Sep 052022
 
 September 5, 2022  Posted by at 8:41 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  89 Responses »


Marc Chagall Blue lovers 1914

 

‘Better To Negotiate Now Than Later’ For Ukraine, Retired US General Says (RT)
West And Russia Will Eventually Strike A Deal – Kremlin (RT)
Russia Is Unreliable Energy Partner – Germany (RT)
Germany Announces €65 Billion Inflation Relief Package Amid Energy Crisis (F24)
Greece Unfazed By European Energy Concerns (K.)
Greek Power Subsidy Cap As Of 2023 (K.)
Turkey Likely To Face Bankruptcy, Report Claims (K.)
Full Gas Storage Not Enough For EU To Last Through Winter – Reuters (RT)
UK Police Preparing For Unrest This Winter – Times (RT)
Kiev Spreading ‘Propaganda By Fear’ – French Ex-presidential Candidate (RT)
Mayor Of Antwerp: ‘Belgium Is Bankrupt, We Are The New Greece’ (AD)
The Truth About Carbon-Based Fuels (Denninger)
Biden’s Use of the Marines Violated Federal Policies and Regulations (Turley)
‘Never Seen’ Before: Embalmers Find Numerous Long, Fibrous Clots (ET)

 

 

Euro declines below 99 US cents for the first time in two decades.


Europe wholesale natural gas price up 30% just this morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Webb $12 million a month to Zelensky

 

 


Note the date

 

 

Cologne

 

 

 

 

 

 

This should be in the MSM, not just RT. This guy is a hawk, but sees the west cannot win.

‘Better To Negotiate Now Than Later’ For Ukraine, Retired US General Says (RT)

Sustaining the conflict in Ukraine is becoming increasingly difficult for NATO, so Kiev must think about negotiating with Moscow, retired US Army brigadier general Mark T. Kimmitt has said in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. Washington’s latest military aid package to Kiev last month included “older and less advanced”systems, which “may indicate that battlefield consumption rates have outpaced production to a point where excess inventories provided to Ukraine are nearly exhausted,” Kimmitt pointed out in his article on Thursday. Dealing with “dwindling stocks of leading-edge weapon systems” in NATO countries would likely mean a prolonged conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Such a scenario could result in “more pressure from supporting nations, sustained inflation, less heating gas, and falling popular support” in the West, he wrote.

Kimmitt, who served as assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs in 2008-09, suggested four ways to speed up the resolution of the conflict, which has now been underway for six months. The first option is to “dig deeper” into NATO stockpiles and send arms to Kiev that have so far been withheld by members due to their own national defense requirements, the retired general suggested. That’s something EU countries may be willing to do as it’s “better to use these weapons in Kherson than Krakow,” he added. The US and its European allies could also try ramping up production of the systems that are required by the Zelensky government, Kimmitt said, acknowledging that such a move would unlikely have an immediate effect on the situation on the ground.

The third option is “to step up the conflict” by providing Ukraine with longer-range systems, such as ATACM missiles, F-16 jets, and Patriots, and “broaden the rules of engagement to attack targets in Crimea and possibly Russia,” he wrote. However, the retired general warned that such escalation would definitely face a “response from Moscow” and create the risk of conflict spilling into Europe. The final available solution, according to Kimmitt, is for Ukraine to “push for an interim diplomatic resolution without (or with) territorial concessions.” “There is little incentive to negotiate” at the moment, but Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky “must recognize that diminishing resupplies would have a disastrous effect on his army, not merely for battlefield operations but for the message of declining outside support it would send to the people of Ukraine,” he insisted. “Beginning the diplomatic resolution would be distasteful, and perhaps seen as defeatist, but as there is little chance of climbing out of the current morass, it may be better to negotiate now than later,” the retired general said.

Read more …

“Russia has acquired “priceless experience” of dealing with the West in recent years and will use it to “conduct dialogue… in such a way that our interests are by no means hurt.”

West And Russia Will Eventually Strike A Deal – Kremlin (RT)

The crisis between Russia and the West will inevitably be resolved at the negotiating table, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. He warned, however, that Moscow will be ready to defend its interests when that moment arrives. Western nations “have made too many mistakes and will have to pay for them,” he said on the Rossiya 1 TV Channel. “Any confrontation is followed by détente and any crisis situation is resolved at the negotiating table… this is what will happen this time as well,” the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said, adding that it’s unlikely to occur “soon.” When such talks materialise, Moscow will not hesitate to defend its interests, Peskov added. Russia has acquired “priceless experience” of dealing with the West in recent years and will use it to “conduct dialogue… in such a way that our interests are by no means hurt.”


The Kremlin official listed what he sees as Western errors, citing Germany’s “horrible”decision to send weapons to Ukraine for use against Russian soldiers. He also criticized European nations for supporting a government that allows “Nazis” to openly demonstrate their symbols and stage torchlit processions, calling it “no less horrible.” Peskov also blamed the energy crisis in Europe on “absurd” decisions by European politicians, who have refused to service equipment sold by Western firms to Gazprom. The Russian state energy giant “spent decades” earning its reputation of a reliable natural gas supplier, and has so far done nothing to tarnish it, the Kremlin spokesman claimed. “This is not Gazprom’s fault, this is fault of those politicians, who have taken the decision on sanctions,” he said, referring to the Russian company’s recent decision to indefinitely suspend gas transit through its Nord Stream pipeline, due to technical issues.

Read more …

In Germany, the world is upside down. Isn’t there a Brothers Grimm story about that?

Kim Dotcom:
“How to end the war in Ukraine. Germany can end the war in Ukraine single-handedly. The US cannot afford a proxy war with Russia if Germany backs out of sanctions against Russia. Let’s be honest: Russia is not a threat to Germany. It wants good relations with Europe.”

Russia Is Unreliable Energy Partner – Germany (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz claimed on Sunday that Russia cannot be considered a reliable energy supplier, and accused Moscow of breaching its contractual obligations. Speaking at a news conference with party leaders from the Greens and pro-business FDP, he said Moscow was always a reliable energy partner “even during the Cold War,” but that the rule no longer applies. According to the chancellor, the impact of the Ukraine conflict and related sanctions is being keenly felt in Germany, but Berlin will continue to support Kiev against Russia. Scholz expects Germany to pass through a rough period, but expressed his confidence that the nation will cope with the energy crunch during the upcoming winter season.

Germany is grappling with natural gas supply problems via Nord Stream 1, which has been entirely shut down since August 31. The natural gas pipeline under the Baltic was operating at 40% of capacity from June onwards, providing some 67 million cubic meters per day. The initial supply reduction occurred due to the delayed return of gas turbines after scheduled maintenance in Canada, resulting from Ottawa’s sanctions against Russia. In July, supplies through the pipeline dropped to 20%, as the remaining turbines required an overhaul. Earlier this week, supplies were entirely halted for a scheduled three-day maintenance break, and Gazprom later announced an indefinite shutdown, after an engine oil leak was found in the turbine.

Several EU politicians have accused Moscow of using gas exports as a geopolitical weapon, a claim denied by the Kremlin. Earlier this week, Moscow said only Western sanctions are preventing Nord Stream 1 from working at full capacity. This comes after repeated warnings from Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller that sanctions would obstruct Siemens Energy from carrying out maintenance of the pipeline’s equipment.

Read more …

“The latest agreement, which brings total relief to almost 100 billion euros since the start of the Ukraine war, was hammered out overnight into Sunday by Germany’s three-way ruling coalition..”

It’s not enough. Go talk to Putin..

Germany Announces €65 Billion Inflation Relief Package Amid Energy Crisis (F24)

The German government on Sunday unveiled a new multi-billion euro plan to help households cope with soaring prices, and said it was eyeing windfall profits from energy companies to help fund the relief. German businesses and consumers are feeling the pain from sky-high energy prices, as Europe’s biggest economy seeks to extricate itself from reliance from Russian supplies in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Rapid measures to prepare for the coming cold season will ensure that Germany would “get through this winter,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at the unveiling of the €65 billion package. The latest agreement, which brings total relief to almost 100 billion euros since the start of the Ukraine war, was hammered out overnight into Sunday by Germany’s three-way ruling coalition of Scholz’s Social Democrats, the Greens, and the liberal FDP.

Among the headline measures are one-off payments to millions of vulnerable pensioners and a plan to skim off energy firms’ windfall profits. The government’s latest relief package came two days after Russian energy giant Gazprom said it would not restart gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline on Saturday as planned after a three-day maintenance. The government had made “timely decisions” to avoid a winter crisis, Scholz said, including filling gas stores and restarting coal power plants. But preventative measures, including a drive to reduce consumption, have done little to break a sharp increase in household bills.

The latest announcement follows two previous relief packages totalling 30 billion euros, which included a reduction in the tax on petrol and a popular heavily subsidised public transport ticket. But with the expiration of many of those measures at the end of August and consumer prices soaring, the government has been under pressure to provide new support. Inflation rose again to 7.9 percent in August, after falling for two straight months thanks to previous government relief measures. The take-off in energy prices is expected to push inflation in Germany to around 10 percent by the end of the year, its highest rate in decades.

Read more …

“..12 billion euros (or 6% of GDP) will be spent on power subsidies this year..”

Greece Unfazed By European Energy Concerns (K.)

Most of Europe is bracing for a tough winter. The war continues to rage in Ukraine and the Kremlin has transformed it into an energy weapon aimed at sinking European economies into recession and creating political upheaval, to Russia’s benefit. New, more transmissible variants of the coronavirus are expected to bring a resurgence of the pandemic and climate change is exacerbating the energy crisis, testing Europe’s mostly aged infrastructure and standing in the way of emissions reduction targets. These factors together paint a rather bleak picture of what the new normal looks like – and to top it all off, the European Commission is a deer caught in the headlights.

President Emmanuel Macron has told the French to prepare for sacrifices (for many these will be greater than for others) and called on his ministers not to succumb to the sirens of populism. Berlin has introduced a radical energy savings plan with cutbacks in private consumption and is reintroducing mandatory testing and masks as of October 1 to manage the pandemic. And concern about the recession – which is a threat to even the most advanced economies – is widespread. Greece appears to be the exception to all this. The messages it is sending is that it is protected from all sides, its economy is booming and Covid-19 is no longer a real problem. Greece, according to this relaxed narrative, is fine, and everything is under control. This is far from true, however. There’s a lot of care being given to subsidies, but the attitude is relaxed where everything else – the big and important issues – is concerned.

Take, for example, the government’s policy on energy: 12 billion euros (or 6% of GDP) will be spent on power subsidies this year, €2 billion of which will come from the budget; everyone will benefit, rich and poor, main residences and holiday homes. No effort is being made to contain electricity consumption, which is simply the right thing to do right now, given that natural gas supplies – and, as a result, power production capabilities – are far from guaranteed. Nothing is being done to bolster transportation and distribution networks either, even though energy from renewable sources can be produced but not adequately transported and what transport networks we do have leak 17% of their load in the process – double the European average.

Read more …

Next year, you’re on your own…

Greek Power Subsidy Cap As Of 2023 (K.)

The government plans to put an end to the high state subsidies in 2023 that have up to now covered between 85% and 94% of the electricity rate hikes. As there are no resources to keep subsidizing such high energy costs for households and businesses the government will change the mix of support measures. With the coverage of up to 94% of the increases, some households reached the point of zero bills, while others also secured small refunds. It is impossible to continue such a policy in 2023, government sources say, as the same fiscal conditions will not exist. Inevitably, the government will have to proceed to subsidy cuts, as the budget cannot sustain such spending for such a long period of time.

Alternate Finance Minister Thodoros Skylakakis told Skai Radio on Friday that in 2023 Greece should replace gas (which has very high rates) with other fuels, save energy, and protect the most vulnerable households and businesses. According to sources, the government seems to reject income criteria at this stage as it is an imperfect tool and socially unfair for employees and pensioners, given that tax evasion and concealment of taxable material are on the rise. However, a ceiling on electricity consumption will be considered, as it is no longer in the interest of households to use electricity for heating, given that oil is now significantly cheaper. As Skylakakis mentioned, today gas costs as if oil were at 500 euros per barrel, or gasoline at €6-7 per liter.

The exorbitant rates of natural gas are passed on to electricity bills, since 30-40% of electricity is produced from gas. Based on the above, the margins are frighteningly tight for 2023. According to initial calculations, the surplus from taxes will reach €1.5 billion next year, but this amount will have to finance other previously announced measures, such as the abolition of the solidarity levy for civil servants and pensioners, which entails some €470 million. At the same time, pensioners will get their first raise after many years.

Read more …

Elections in 9 months. This is where Erdogan’s most dangerous.

Turkey Likely To Face Bankruptcy, Report Claims (K.)

Turkey’s economy is on the verge of bankruptcy, according to a report submitted by economic experts to opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reports. The report was prepared with the involvement of officials of Kilicdaroglu’s Republican People’s Party (CHP), Hurriyet says. The report says the difficulty in paying off Turkey’s debt will emerge after the presidential and parliamentary elections, set for June 2023 and claims it is quite likely that payments will be stopped. “Because of the chaos the present government will leave behind, the new government faces the risk of failure in its economic policy,” the report says. The report also says that the Turkish state will have difficulty in paying wages and pensions. The report’s authors say that the support of foreign banks and other financial institutions is necessary for Turkey to avoid bankruptcy.

Read more …

“To cope with this crisis situation, demand reduction will be even more important than storage..”

Full Gas Storage Not Enough For EU To Last Through Winter – Reuters (RT)

Fully-stocked gas storage facilities may not be sufficient to sustain European countries during the upcoming heating season, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing analysts. According to Aurora Energy Research’s calculations, the bloc’s storages can only provide enough gas for up to 90 days of average demand. Modeling by data intelligence firm ICIS also shows that the region’s reserves may run dry by March. Analysts therefore agree that gas consumption should be slashed in order to avoid shortages. “To cope with this crisis situation, demand reduction will be even more important than storage,” Simone Tagliapietra, a senior fellow at the Bruegel think-tank, was cited as saying.


ICIS data shows that, if consumption is reduced 15% below the five-year average each month, the bloc may still have 45% of gas reserves left come spring if Russia continues supplying gas to the region at its current volumes, and 26% if Russia stops deliveries in October. Moreover, the EU’s failure to save gas this winter would affect next year’s storage levels. According to the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies, if Russia cuts gas flows and EU depletes its storages during the upcoming heating season, next year’s storages will be emptied as early as November, before the heating season is even in full swing. “The storage is the safety net, but a very significant demand reduction is what we need as a priority in this crisis,” Matthias Buck, Europe director for Agora Energiewende, told the news outlet.

Read more …

All police forces are.

UK Police Preparing For Unrest This Winter – Times (RT)

UK police fear a sharp rise in certain categories of crime and a risk of civil unrest this winter amid a cost of living and energy crisis, the Sunday Times reports, citing a leaked national strategy paper. The document compiled by police chiefs warns that “economic turmoil and financial instability”may lead to an increase in offenses such as shoplifting, burglary, vehicle theft, online fraud and blackmail. More children are likely to join drug gangs and more women may become subject to sexual exploitation. Contingency planning is reportedly underway to deal with the possible fallout from the cost of living crisis. “Prolonged and painful economic pressure”could create a risk of “greater civil unrest,”similar to the London riots of 2011, the paper is quoted as saying.

Police themselves may also be affected. “Greater financial vulnerability may expose some staff to higher risk of corruption, especially among those who fall into significant debt or financial difficulties,” the paper said. The gloomy forecast was revealed the day before the UK finds out the name of its new prime minister. Both candidates, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former chancellor Rishi Sunak, have pledged to take decisive action to address soaring energy costs. While Sunak has promised targeted support for the poorest in society, frontrunner Truss has not revealed the details of her strategy. Civil servants have been busy with contingency planning. According to the Financial Times, Whitehall officials are now compiling stocks of carbon paper to reproduce documents in a worst-case scenario of winter blackouts.

The Daily Mail has reported that this winter could see people told not to cook until after 8pm and not to use washing machines or dishwashers between 2pm and 8pm as part of energy rationing. Pubs may be ordered to close at 9pm and schools could switch to three-days weeks. The energy crisis in Europe has been exacerbated by sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict and a decrease in Russian natural gas supplies. While the UK is not directly dependent on Moscow for fuel, it is still suffering. The typical annual household fuel bill is expected to rise to around £3,500 from October, three times higher than last year. According to the Bank of England’s latest report, inflation will soar to 13% in October and from the fourth quarter of this year, the UK is projected to enter recession.

Read more …

A rare sane voice.

“Ukrainian propaganda” should be stopped “under the aegis of the UN and media organizations.”

Kiev Spreading ‘Propaganda By Fear’ – French Ex-presidential Candidate (RT)

A former presidential candidate in France has accused Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky of using ‘war propaganda’ as a tool to obstruct the peace process. Veteran politician Segolene Royal also called on the UN and media associations to fight against such tactics. Royal’s suggestion, that some of the “war crimes” Kiev blames on Russian troops were part of ‘propaganda,’ has made her a target for widespread criticism. Speaking to BFMTV earlier this week, Royal said that “everyone knows that there is war propaganda by fear.” As an example, she cited the alleged shelling of a maternity hospital in Mariupol – the story which made headlines in Western media in early March. Zelensky blamed Russia for the incident that, as local authorities claimed, killed three people, including a child.

The Russian military denied targeting the medical facility and insisted the whole thing was a “completely staged provocation” by the Ukrainian side. “You can imagine that if there had been any victim, any baby with blood, in the age of cell phones we would have seen [their photos],” Royal stressed. The authenticity of the photos presented by Kiev as proof of the claimed Russian attack were questioned by many online. Marianna Vyshemirskaya, one of the pregnant women featured in the images that appeared on the front pages of many major outlets, later claimed that there had been no Russian airstrike on the hospital. She insisted that she told AP journalists about this, but they decided not to mention it in their reportage. Royal, who used to be a long-term partner of France’s former president Francois Hollande, also commented on the events of April in the town of Bucha near Kiev, after which Zelensky claimed that negotiations with Russia became impossible.

Ukrainian authorities accused the Russian forces of multiple atrocities against civilians in the town, including the rape of children. Moscow firmly denied the allegations of war crimes, insisting it was “yet another provocation” by Kiev. “The stories of child rape for seven hours under the eyes of the parents: but it’s monstrous to go and spread things like that only to interrupt the peace process,” the veteran French politician stated, without elaborating She also claimed that Zelensky used accounts of alleged torture of Ukrainian soldiers by Russian troops – which Moscow also vehemently denies – not only to impede any peace process but also to “remobilize” troops. She argued that as “there’s been enough horror of war and casualties” and that “Ukrainian propaganda” should be stopped “under the aegis of the UN and media organizations.” s

Read more …

Google translate.

“Fantastic profits are now being made from renewable energy. The billions are pouring into Paris. Europe can change that by saying: “You get a price that is still profitable, but we skim everything between that and the market price.”

Mayor Of Antwerp: ‘Belgium Is Bankrupt, We Are The New Greece’ (AD)

The mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, says Belgium is bankrupt. “We are the new Greece,” he says on Belgian television. “This is of course not a crisis that Putin has caused, but that Europe has brought on itself by phasing out its own primary energy production this century.” “In America people are not in this shit. They have done the opposite of what we have done. They are now exporters of oil and gas, but they certainly weren’t twenty years ago. Climate standards are not of much use if all your companies go to America and China to produce, then you are bankrupt and the climate is not yet saved. This is the green dogmatics. People should start realizing this,” says De Wever in the Flemish current affairs program De Zevende Dag.

“Oil, gas and coal were no longer allowed. No investments were allowed in reserves. Germany does not have a single LNG terminal (a terminal for liquefied natural gas, ed.). The dumbest countries, Germany and Belgium, have phased out nuclear energy in parallel. We have pushed away all energy sources, making ourselves dependent on Putin. Now we hang on to it.” “The biggest power tool has to come from Europe. Von der Leyen is on the right track when she says that non-gas-related energy production must be decoupled from price. Fantastic profits are now being made from renewable energy. The billions are pouring into Paris. Europe can change that by saying: “You get a price that is still profitable, but we skim everything between that and the market price.” That would mean an injection of billions and billions for our country, which you can then give to the consumer.”

We could once have made a lot of profit with the nuclear power plants, now those assets are being given away The previous government, of which De Wever’s party was part, decided that the Belgian nuclear centers Tihange 2 and Doel 3 should close. “It’s a purple-green law. We now have a purple-green government. That is a recipe for catastrophe.” Yet he co-approved that law. “I was lonely then. Elio Di Rupo (ex-Prime Minister of Belgium, ed.) then exclaimed in parliament: “On which planet do the N-VA live, given that they are in favor of nuclear energy?” I cannot be caught not being consistent in positions . I have been defending nuclear energy since the 1980s.” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo says the country is “in an economic war situation”. “Everything has to be on the table,” it sounds.

According to De Croo, the nuclear power plants can only be restarted within five years. Arranging the necessary permits takes a lot of time. De Wever thinks that reaction is ‘a bit late’. “As beggars, we must now appear in Paris. We could once have made a lot of profit with the nuclear power plants, now those assets are being given away. I think it is a bit cheap that people now realize that it is not all that simple.” According to De Wever, it is time ‘for bitter truths’. “This country is bankrupt,” it sounds. “Look at our debt, government spending and deficit. It is worse than in Southern Europe. That has to do with policy. This government has done nothing about it. I have said before that in the next economic shock we will be the new Greece. Unfortunately that is now. Mr De Croo can say a lot, but he can’t do anything. There are no buffers.” s“Especially in the coming budget discussion, it will have to be looked at exactly what can be done”, continues De Wever. “We have many energy-intensive companies in Flanders. They are very vulnerable. In the port of Antwerp, certain factories in the petrochemical port are already shut down.”

Read more …

“..our progress as human beings from a standard of living perspective is entirely the result of our exploitation of carbon-based fuels..”

The Truth About Carbon-Based Fuels (Denninger)

Carbon-based fuels are the reason for modern society. Carbon-based fuels have been responsible for lifting every single area of the world out of privation and dependence on the whims of weather and vagaries of wandering consumers of vegetable material (otherwise known as “meat”) one region at a time — without exception. As the use of carbon-based fuels has been further-refined (e.g. from trees to coal to oil to natural gas) the lift in living standards has been dramatically increased, again without exception anywhere in the world. Not one single subset of society has ever moved forward on any other basis in human history. Ever. To obtain nuclear power, for example, one must exploit carbon-based fuels.

You need them to dig up the rock, separate the uranium, isotopically separate the U-235 from the U-238, produce the zirconium cladding for fuel pins (which also requires digging up rock in size and processing said earth), producing the steel for the containment building and pressure vessel, welding it all together, producing all the copper wiring (more digging, smelting, etc.) for the control systems and more. Not one single scintilla of harnessed nuclear energy would have ever been produced without carbon-based fuels. Indeed, without carbon-based fuels the smelting of the lead required for the first reactor pile shielding would have been impossible. To obtain lithium for a battery you must also exploit carbon-based fuels. One half-million pounds of earth must be dug out of the ground and processed to produce one such battery. This is before a single watt-hour of energy goes into it — that’s just to produce the empty pack.

When it wears out, and all things do, you must do that again. We do not use carbon-based fuels because we’re pigs. We use them because they are wildly less-expensive, easy to package, emit enormous amounts of energy for their mass and volume by comparison to all other means of energy storage other than nuclear, are thus easy to transport to where they’re needed compared against all others and can be stored without material degradation for significant periods of time. That means they’re both reliable and have predictable cost structures and the alternatives are not. Without predictable cost structures nobody can produce anything that has a lead time because there’s no way to price it on a forward basis and nobody will buy anything for delivery in the future if they do not know the price.

Whether we like to admit it or not, our progress as human beings from a standard of living perspective is entirely the result of our exploitation of carbon-based fuels. To reduce or replace them with something that has lower density, is more-difficult transport (or is even impossible to transport or store), is higher cost or has unpredictable reliability and forward cost will directly and ratably destroy our standard of living by the difference in contribution that carbon-fuels make and that which is not made up by a stable, reliable and cost-predictable alternative.s

Read more …

“..made the President look like he was giving a stump speech from Dante’s Inferno. Indeed, it almost had that High Chancellor Adam Sutler look from V for Vendetta..”

Biden’s Use of the Marines Violated Federal Policies and Regulations (Turley)

President Joe Biden’s speech in Philadelphia has produced sharply different responses from the media. On CNN, it was praised as a rallying cry for patriots. On conservatives sites, it was denounced as hateful and divisive. For many of us, however, the optics was a glaring distraction with the intense red background and prominently placed Marines framing the President. The use of the Marines and the Marine band raised concerns given the clearly political purpose of the speech. Indeed, the networks did not view the speech as an address to the nation and refused to give the White House primetime slots. While White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre assured the media that “it’s not a political speech,” it was unabashedly political from calls to get the vote out to direct attacks on “MAGA Republicans” and Donald Trump.

That again raised the legal questions over the use of the Marines in such a speech. Even CNN flagged the concern over the use of the Marines and CNN chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins stated the obvious that “it was a very political speech.” The optics of the speech instantly became a source of Internet chatter with the weird red background that made the President look like he was giving a stump speech from Dante’s Inferno. Indeed, it almost had that High Chancellor Adam Sutler look from V for Vendetta. (The comparison ultimately did not end with just the optics. Sutler warned his inner circle that “every day…brings us closer to November” and “I want this country to realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion. I want every man, woman and child to understand how close we are to chaos…to remember why they need us!”).

However, it was the use of the Marine guards that most stood out — framing the President as he declared Trump supporters to be a threat to democracy . Biden denounced “MAGA Republicans” thirteen times as well as repeated references to his past and possible future political opponent, Donald Trump. The speech was obviously political, as noted by CNN’s Collins, as a “full frontal attack” on his political opponents. The United States has long drawn a line between the work of federal employees in public service and the use of such employees for political purposes. The Hatch Act was passed in 1939 to curtail the political activities of civilian federal employees. The Marine Corps expressly forbids personnel from being used or participating in such political events.

“Active duty members will not engage in partisan political activities, and all military personnel will avoid the inference that their political activities imply or appear to imply DoD sponsorship, approval, or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign, or cause.” The other services have also drawn a bright line against such appearances. Army officials, for example, stress that their rules bar such involvement because “actual or perceived partisanship could undermine the legitimacy of the military profession and department.” In Department of Defense Directive 1344.10 the long list of prohibited involvement in political events include: “Attend partisan political events as an official representative of the Armed Forces, except as a member of a joint Armed Forces color guard at the opening ceremonies of the national conventions of the Republican, Democratic, or other political parties recognized by the Federal Elections Committee or as otherwise authorized by the Secretary concerned.”

Read more …

Not even human?!

‘Never Seen’ Before: Embalmers Find Numerous Long, Fibrous Clots (ET)

Mike Adams, who runs an ISO-17025 accredited lab in Texas, analyzed clots in August and found them to be lacking iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Adams’s lab uses inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, usually testing food for metals, pesticides, and glyphosate. “We have tested one of the clots from embalmer Richard Hirschman, via ICP-MS. Also tested side by side, live human blood from an unvaccinated person,” Adams told The Epoch Times. He found that the clots are lacking key elements present in healthy human blood, such as iron, potassium, and magnesium, suggesting that they are formed from something other than blood.

Adams is joining analytic forces with more doctors and plan to invest out of their own pocket in equipment in order to further determine their composition and probable causation. The string-like structures differ in size, but the longest can be as long as a human leg and the thickest can be as thick as a pinky finger. Richard Hirschman, a licensed funeral director and embalmer in Alabama, recalled that he has been in the trade since the tragedy of 9/11. “Prior to 2020, 2021, we probably would see somewhere between 5 to 10 percent of the bodies that we would embalm [having] blood clots,” Hirschman told The Epoch Times. “We are familiar with what blood clots are, and we’ve had to deal with them over time,” he said. He says that now, 50 percent to 70 percent of the bodies he sees have clots.

“For me to embalm a body without any clots, kind of like how it was in the day, prior to all of this stuff … It’s rare,” Hirschman said. “The exception is to embalm a body without clots,” he noted. [..] “Notice that the key elemental markers of human blood such as iron are missing in the clot (which is just at 4.4 percent of blood). Similar story with magnesium, potassium, and zinc. These are clear markers for human blood. Live human blood will always have high iron, or the person would be dead. These clots have almost no iron, nor magnesium, etc.,” Adams told The Epoch Times. Wade Hamilton, a cardiologist who is familiar with clots, told The Epoch Times: “The fact that the magnesium, potassium, and iron are very low in the samples could suggest that they are not the usual post-mortem clots, that in fact there was no blood flow in these vessels.

These structures raise but do not totally answer some interesting questions.” “The combination of the low electrolytes and the novel very strong string-like structures suggests that these areas where the string-like structures are seen in the blood vessels did not receive circulation. They are not ‘normal’ post-mortem findings according to experienced embalmers bent on obtaining total body vascular access from one site, which because of the unusual ‘clots,’ they were unable to do,” he added.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Koko

 

 

 

 

 

 


the third-tallest and second-heaviest living bird, the cassowary, during its breeding season, lays bright green or pale green-blue eggs

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 112022
 
 July 11, 2022  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  44 Responses »


Salvador Dali Remorse, or Sphinx Embedded In Sand 1931

 

Destroying the “Mother of All Proxy Armies” in Ukraine (Will Schryver)
The ‘Rape Russia’ Plan Backfires (VIlches)
Ukraine Military Used Nursing Home Residents as Human Shields (CTH)
Uber Broke Laws, Duped Police And Secretly Lobbied Governments (G.)
Macron At Centre Of Uber Files Investigation (EurActiv)
Former EU Digital Chief Secretly Helped Uber Lobby Rutte (G.)
J6 Committee Member Says Cipollone “Did Not Contradict” Hutchinson (Turley)
EU Climate Change Goals Will Reduce Farm Production (CTH)
WaPo, NYT Go For Biden Blood In Scathing Moment Of Honesty (ZH)
Biden’s Mental Decay (Techno Fog)
4chan Users Claim Hack of Hunter Biden’s iCloud Account (JTN)
Towards a Theory of Corona Evolution (Eugyp)
Turkey Eyes Half Of The Aegean Sea, The Islands And Crete (KTG)

 

 

 

 

Uninformed Consent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lincoln, Putin, von Clausewitz.

Destroying the “Mother of All Proxy Armies” in Ukraine (Will Schryver)

Much as the vast majority of current western military “experts” have been fixated on conquering “territory” as a measure of progress, or the lack thereof, Lincoln’s early generals were illogically focused on the objective of “taking Richmond” – the capital of the Confederacy. This obsession dominated the strategic focus of the Union high command for most of the war. Lincoln, on the other hand – notwithstanding there is no evidence he ever read von Clausewitz – intuitively and correctly understood that it was not a city, nor any piece of territory, per se, that was the objective upon which his West Point-trained generals should focus. Rather, he repeatedly (and vainly) urged his generals to come to understand it was the destruction of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee, that constituted the only valid objective of their actions.

Lincoln’s frustration with this lack of understanding on the part of his generals reached its zenith after the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg when, despite having Lee’s defeated and demoralized army trapped on the north side of the Potomac River, Union General George Meade permitted it to escape. Lincoln was beside himself when he learned Lee had effected a crossing of the river with all his troops, and was able to regroup once again. Fortunately, in March 1864 Lincoln finally found the general he had been looking for: Ulysses S. Grant. Grant was given supreme command of the Union armies, and from that point until the end of the war he made his sole objective the engagement and destruction of Lee’s army. The subsequent series of battles became known as the Overland Campaign, with both armies maneuvering southward from one bloody engagement to the next.

Grant made several tactical errors and suffered inordinate casualties on multiple occasions. He could have even finally “taken Richmond”, and thereby secured a strategically meaningless “victory”, but he ignored the opportunity to do so. Grant’s focus never varied from its singular objective: to destroy the enemy army. He sought every chance to engage it. If he lost a particular battle, he simply disengaged momentarily, and then moved to flank the Confederates yet again, forcing another engagement of forces. This relentless series of battles and maneuvers finally culminated in Lee’s army seeking refuge in a massive complex of field fortifications and earthworks outside Petersburg, Virginia. From that point, highly accurate Union rifled artillery systematically ripped them to pieces for months, ultimately forcing Lee’s surrender, and the end of the war.

This has been precisely the Russian mentality in Ukraine. Their foremost objective, from the very beginning, as explicitly articulated by President Vladimir Putin in his historic speech of February 24, 2022, was to “demilitarize” Ukraine – to destroy its army. When the war began, the most capable, experienced, well-armed, and well-positioned Ukrainian forces were NOT in Kiev, but in the Donbass and Mariupol. They had been positioning there for months, with the ultimate objective of retaking the Donbass and Crimea – a goal never far from the minds of Ukraine’s ideological and political leaders. Indeed, they spoke of it openly and without qualification.

They strongly believed the strength of their armed forces, after eight years of preparation, had reached a point where it was capable of actually achieving that objective. Their benefactors in NATO encouraged them to believe this – for it was also NATO’s fondest dream to raise its banners over the naval base at Sevastopol, and thereby wield dominance over the entire Black Sea and the Bosporus. Pursuant to this and many other geostrategic objectives – arresting Russian resurgence foremost among them – NATO had been providing arms to Ukraine for years, and those arms shipments were expanded and accelerated dramatically in late 2021.

Read more …

“The war in the Ukraine will be short, not long.”

The ‘Rape Russia’ Plan Backfires (Vilches)

The war in the Ukraine will be short, not long. Contrary to what today´s Western casino politicians and MSM talking heads tell us to expect, come 2023 — or even before – Europeans will no longer withstand the tremendous burden that their ´Russian sanctions´ bear upon themselves, not Russia. European public opinion has become ever louder and impatient in this respect and EU politicians are getting cold feet without any solution at hand, just babble. No plan, none, no foresight… only incongruent foolish G-7 ideas such as establishing a buyer´s price cap cartel for oil & gas in a seller´s market which will never get to see the light of day. And despite some minor losses, these sanctions will continue to leave the Russian Federation basically unscathed and just collecting ever-larger revenues – due to higher induced prices — for smaller volumes of exports delivered.

This benefits Russia in two ways (a) getting paid more by producing less while saving the difference for future sales (b) it allows to finance Russia´s attrition-war strategy forever while Europeans will very soon crawl and beg for a solution to their own unbearable “Russian sanctions”. NATO knows this. So another possibility is that the necessarily short Ukraine war goes nuclear, be it because there is no other way for NATO to possibly win or because Russia is once again forced to attack due to constantly-repeated large-caliber direct NATO-orchestrated threats. More on both possibilities later, and even a third regarding Europe´s further vassalization and possible rape. Either way, any way – it´s worth repeating – the Ukraine war will be short. And even the Davos crowd – after dragging its feet for way too long — has finally accepted that the West is now losing and that Russia is winning in all fronts.


Be it militarily, geo-politically, strategically, financially, economics or logistics… despite all forecasts and plans made, Russia was better at it and today is obviously defeating NATO all around. True enough, today Russia does not fully control world food supplies nor all of the world´s energy, but in that respect, Russia does hold a “unique, essential and indispensable” role – sounds familiar, doesn´t it? – better than anyone around, surely regarding Europe today, correct? And concerning the control of the very last factor of this essential trifecta, namely money, well it’s definitely a Russian + Chinese + BRICS “work-in-progress” project with a complete 180 degrees re-definition of what “real money” shall be while de-throning today´s be-all and end-all petro-dollar. This would plain do away with SWIFT + Bretton Nothing + the all-American softie jazz such as the Federal Reserve which is as “Federal” as Federal Express and has zero “reserves” of anything, just legions of un-funded liabilities and un-payable debts plus piles of worthless electronic bits and bytes.

Read more …

“The Ukrainians placed those people in a situation which was a killing zone. And you can’t do that.”

Ukraine Military Used Nursing Home Residents as Human Shields (CTH)

A quietly released study from the U.N. Human Rights Commissioner [See Here pdf] looking into allegations of war crimes conducted during the Ukraine -vs- Russia conflict, specifically looked into allegations of Russian military targeting a nursing home facility in the eastern region of Luhansk. What the UN investigation revealed was that Ukraine military soldiers had intentionally used the nursing home as an active base to launch military strikes against Russian forces. The Associated Press was forced to reveal, “Ukraine’s armed forces bear a large, and perhaps equal, share of the blame for what happened in Stara Krasnyanka, which is about 580 kilometers (360 miles) southeast of Kyiv. A few days before the attack, Ukrainian soldiers took up positions inside the nursing home, effectively making the building a target.”

The issue of the Ukraine military, intentionally and with purposeful forethought, using civilian locations to embed their military units, highlights the inherent dangers associated with western propaganda during the conflict. In fact, the effort to create civilian casualties seems more purposeful as a strategy to gain western media support and create stories that can be used to advance sympathy toward Ukraine, even if it means putting their own civilians in harm’s way. (Via AP) […] ” The report by the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights doesn’t conclude the Ukrainian soldiers or the Russian troops committed a war crime. But it said the battle at the Stara Krasnyanka nursing home is emblematic of the human rights office’s concerns over the potential use of “human shields” to prevent military operations in certain areas.


The aftermath of the attack on the Stara Krasnyanka home also provides a window into how both Russia and Ukraine move quickly to set the narrative for how events are unfolding on the ground — even when those events may still be shrouded by the fog of war. For Ukraine, maintaining the upper hand in the fight for hearts and minds helps to ensure the continued flow of billions of dollars in Western military and humanitarian aid. […] David Crane, a former Defense Department official and a veteran of numerous international war crime investigations, said the Ukrainian forces may have violated the laws of armed conflict by not evacuating the nursing home’s residents and staff. “The bottom-line rule is that civilians cannot intentionally be targeted. Period. For whatever reason,” Crane said. “The Ukrainians placed those people in a situation which was a killing zone. And you can’t do that.”

Read more …

It’s a crying shame that these leaked files come through the Guardian, since this is what Julian Assange does best. But even then. This should be the end of the careers of Macron, Rutte and lots of others. Thing is, it won’t be. Because the system has rotted along with these people.

Uber Broke Laws, Duped Police And Secretly Lobbied Governments (G.)

A leaked trove of confidential files has revealed the inside story of how the tech giant Uber flouted laws, duped police, exploited violence against drivers and secretly lobbied governments during its aggressive global expansion. The unprecedented leak to the Guardian of more than 124,000 documents – known as the Uber files – lays bare the ethically questionable practices that fuelled the company’s transformation into one of Silicon Valley’s most famous exports. The leak spans a five-year period when Uber was run by its co-founder Travis Kalanick, who tried to force the cab-hailing service into cities around the world, even if that meant breaching laws and taxi regulations. During the fierce global backlash, the data shows how Uber tried to shore up support by discreetly courting prime ministers, presidents, billionaires, oligarchs and media barons.

Leaked messages suggest Uber executives were at the same time under no illusions about the company’s law-breaking, with one executive joking they had become “pirates” and another conceding: “We’re just fucking illegal.” The cache of files, which span 2013 to 2017, includes more than 83,000 emails, iMessages and WhatsApp messages, including often frank and unvarnished communications between Kalanick and his top team of executives. In one exchange, Kalanick dismissed concerns from other executives that sending Uber drivers to a protest in France put them at risk of violence from angry opponents in the taxi industry. “I think it’s worth it,” he shot back. “Violence guarantee[s] success.” In a statement, Kalanick’s spokesperson said he “never suggested that Uber should take advantage of violence at the expense of driver safety” and any suggestion he was involved in such activity would be completely false.

The leak also contains texts between Kalanick and Emmanuel Macron, who secretly helped the company in France when he was economy minister, allowing Uber frequent and direct access to him and his staff. Macron, the French president, appears to have gone to extraordinary lengths to help Uber, even telling the company he had brokered a secret “deal” with its opponents in the French cabinet. Privately, Uber executives expressed barely disguised disdain for other elected officials who were who were less receptive to the company’s business model. After the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who was mayor of Hamburg at the time, pushed back against Uber lobbyists and insisted on paying drivers a minimum wage, an executive told colleagues he was “a real comedian”.

When the then US vice-president, Joe Biden, a supporter of Uber at the time, was late to a meeting with the company at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Kalanick texted a colleague: “I’ve had my people let him know that every minute late he is, is one less minute he will have with me.”

Read more …

It smells of WEF here.

Macron At Centre Of Uber Files Investigation (EurActiv)

French President Emmanuel Macron backed the economic development of US company Uber in France and signed a secret “deal” when he was economy minister between 2014 to 2016, an international media investigation known as the “Uber Files” published on Sunday reveals. The investigation is based on 124,000 confidential internal Uber documents leaked to the UK newspaper The Guardian. Forty other international newspapers, including French newspaper Le Monde and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), also took part in the analysis of documents. According to the investigation, Macron signed a secret “deal” with Uber to “make France work for Uber so that Uber can work in and for France,” which Le Monde called a “simple exchange”.


He did so when tensions between taxi and ride-sharing companies were at an all-time high in the country. Macron promised “a drastic simplification of the legal requirements” to obtain a ride-sharing licence following French courts’ decision to deem UberPop, one of the car-hailing company’s European brands, illegal in 2015 after lawmakers adopted the so-called Taxi Law, Le Monde reported. Macron went so far as to “almost apologise” to Uber after lawmakers adopted the bill, according to an internal Uber memo seen by Le Monde. According to the international investigation, Macron intervened on behalf of Uber while the French anti-fraud authority investigated Uber’s business practices and model. Macron is also said to have suggested to Uber “to prepare bill amendments ahead of time” that he would then transfer to MP allies.

Read more …

The EU should sue her. It won’t.

Former EU Digital Chief Secretly Helped Uber Lobby Rutte (G.)

The European Commission is facing calls to launch an inquiry into its former vice-president Neelie Kroes, after leaked files suggested she secretly helped Uber lobby the Netherlands prime minister, Mark Rutte, and a string of other national Dutch politicians. Uber considered its relationship with Kroes so sensitive that the company’s top European lobbyist repeatedly instructed colleagues to keep it hidden, warning in 2015 that it was “highly confidential and should not be discussed outside this group”. Kroes says she did nothing wrong, adding that her role as a special envoy for tech companies meant it was her job to speak to politicians about nascent firms in the sector. But transparency experts said the covert help Kroes seemingly provided the cab-hailing app – which was under criminal investigation in the Netherlands at that time – may have breached EU ethics rules.

“This case should be urgently investigated so that lessons can be learned,” said Vicky Cann, at the Corporate Europe Observatory, a Brussels NGO that monitors lobbying. The details of Kroes secretly assisting the California tech group are contained within the Uber files, a hoard of 124,000 records leaked to the Guardian and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and media partners in 30 countries. The data appears to show Kroes, who had been the EU’s top official on internet policy, offering to arrange a series of meetings for Uber during her 18-month “cooling-off period” after leaving the commission. The cooling-off period aims to reduce conflicts of interest by restricting the jobs commissioners can take once they have stepped down. In Kroes’s case it ran from November 2014 until May 2016, when it was announced she was joining Uber’s public policy advisory board.


For this, she was paid $200,000 a year, the documents suggest. Despite a commission ban on taking that role before May 2016, Kroes spoke to Dutch government ministers about Uber and offered to set up talks with senior EU officials, according to the leaked files. And when Uber’s Amsterdam headquarters were raided by police in the spring of 2015, Kroes called Dutch government ministers to get regulators to “back off” as she “harassed” a top civil servant, internal Uber emails claim. Uber’s desire to have Kroes onboard was understandable. She was one of the EU’s most powerful policymakers, and a fan of the cab-hailing service. As a serving commissioner in April 2014, Kroes put her name to a strident blogpost attacking a decision by a Brussels court to ban the app, describing the move as “crazy” and designed to protect “a taxi cartel”.

Read more …

But the head of the Oath Keepers is even more interesting. He “has offered to testify, an extraordinary move since he is facing criminal charges.”

J6 Committee Member Says Cipollone “Did Not Contradict” Hutchinson (Turley)

There is a new controversy over the alleged bias of the J6 Committee and the extreme measures used to avoid alternative or conflicting accounts. On Friday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a member of the House select committee, declared that former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone “did not contradict” the testimony of previous witnesses like Cassidy Hutchinson. However, the New York Times is reporting that he was not asked about statements that the Committee knew he would contradict. The controversy comes at a time when the head of the Oath Keepers has offered to testify, an extraordinary move since he is facing criminal charges.

However, he has one big demand: it must be live and in public. In other words, it cannot be edited or tailored by the Committee. Lofgren told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer “Mr. Cipollone did appear voluntarily and answer a whole variety of questions. He did not contradict the testimony of other witnesses. And I think we did learn a few things, which we will be rolling out in the hearings to come.” The contradictions with Hutchinson are important after other witnesses contesting her account on the most sensational points. This brings us back to the offer of Stewart Rhodes to testify live. That is an extraordinary offer for a criminal defendant. No(w) defense lawyer (including this one) would support such an appearance before a criminal trial.


If the Committee is truly interested in getting to the truth, why wouldn’t it hold an open hearing. It has suggested that Trump was in collusion or a conspiracy with this group. It also alleged that the Oath Keepers came to Washington to commit an armed insurrection. We could now, for the first time, hear from one of the leaders of the two groups on that very subject. It would ideally allow him to make an opening statement and offer a full account on whether he coordinated with anyone in the White House on January 6th. If Rhodes is willing to take this risk, the Committee should be willing to give up control over what the public can see and hear in the J6 investigation.

Read more …

“Supposed massive protest action in the Netherlands today turned out to be a hoax, to pull police officers out all across the country and further demoralize them. Meanwhile, farmers were able to stay home and maintain their farms so that they can continue through the week.”

EU Climate Change Goals Will Reduce Farm Production (CTH)

It’s not just Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte pushing the agenda, in 2020 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave an identical outline, with an identical timeline, for the exact same process [SEE HERE]. The collective WEF political leaders are all singing from the same hymnal. In this discussion and interview segment, the spokesperson for Netherlands, Agricultural and Horticultural Organization Wytse Sonnema, outlines why there is such a broad sense of “frustration, anger, even despair” amongst farmers amid proposals for nitrogen reduction target plans. This will be coming to North America soon.

[..] It is a simple matter of math that if North American and European farmers are forced by climate policy to reduce their food production, there will be a shortage of food. There will be a significant gap between the food needed and the new climate driven limits on commercial food production. This intentional curtailing of food production, that creates the purposeful shortage of food, is where Bill Gates, the WEF and the synthetic meat and bugs for food advocates enter the picture. It appears the plan is to replace the missing global calories by changing the food supply. Changing what and how people eat. Lab grown (synthetic) meat, nut/soy milk to replace dairy and bugs being used as replacements for protein sources are three approaches advocated by the climate change advocates that you are likely familiar with.

However, as we saw in the pandemic response to food consumption, there is going to be a massive problem as the WEF attempts to shift food delivery within their Great Reset. Think of the United States like a massive global farm and in this context the parallels between the U.S. and the Netherlands are quite remarkable. Specifically, because of advancements in farming over the past two decades the United States food production has increased massively. The same is true for North America as a whole with Mexico and Canada included. Industrial farming advancements have made it possible to export billions of tons of food every year from our farms in North America to the rest of the world.

The Dutch farmers are like the U.S. farmers in their high productivity. In fact, the Netherlands is the second biggest agriculture and food exporter in the world. Even with a small population of 17 million people, the Netherlands has consistently been among the top contenders in the food export market {LINK}. The reason is simple, they are good at it. Dutch farmers, like American farmers, are excellent at producing food. The Netherlands is one of the largest countries in the world when it comes to the export of agricultural goods such as meat, dairy, eggs, vegetables, and fruit. Unfortunately, this is why the climate change activists in the World Economic Forum have targeted them.

Read more …

“The New York Times and Washington Post suddenly discover that Biden is old and frail on the exact same day.”

WaPo, NYT Go For Biden Blood In Scathing Moment Of Honesty (ZH)

Over the past month or so, mainstream media has overtly abandoned President Biden – the man they relentlessly shilled for during the 2020 election as the establishment went to extreme measures to unseat Donald Trump. After months of gentile distancing, the media’s come-to-Jesus finally happened after the White House ‘botched’ the response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. CNN published an article last Wednesday titled: “After string of Supreme Court setbacks, Democrats wonder whether Biden White House is capable of urgency moment demands.” Ouch! “Rudderless, aimless and hopeless” is how one member of Congress described the White House. Two dozen leading Democratic politicians and operatives, as well as several within the West Wing, tell CNN they feel this goes deeper than questions of ideology and posture. Instead, they say, it gets to questions of basic management.” -CNN

Fast forward to Saturday, and both the New York Times and the Washington Post have taken serious shots at Biden. The Post built on CNN’s article – slamming the White House’s “struggle to respond” to the abortion ruling, writing that “Many Democrats were dismayed by his slow-footed response.” ” For many Democrats, however, it was too little and too late — just one more example over the two weeks in which Biden and his team struggled to come up with a muscular plan of action on abortion rights, even though the Supreme Court ruling had been presaged two months earlier with the leak of a draft opinion.” -WaPo The New York Times straight-up suggested Biden is too old to govern – writing that his team ‘delayed his Middle East trip so the 79-year-old president would have more time to rest’ following last month’s Europe/NATO meetings.


Some excerpts: “managing the schedule of the oldest president in American history presents distinct challenges.” “Polls show many Americans consider Mr. Biden too old, and some Democratic strategists do not think he should run again.” “They acknowledged Mr. Biden looks older than just a few years ago…” “His energy level, while impressive for a man of his age, is not what it was, and some aides quietly watch out for him. He often shuffles when he walks, and aides worry he will trip on a wire. He stumbles over words during public events, and they hold their breath to see if he makes it to the end without a gaffe.” “His speeches can be flat and listless. He sometimes loses his train of thought, has trouble summoning names or appears momentarily confused. More than once, he has promoted Vice President Kamala Harris, calling her “President Harris.””

Read more …

“The New York Times has found experts that “put Mr. Biden in a category of ‘super-agers’ who remain unusually fit as they advance in years.”

Biden’s Mental Decay (Techno Fog)

One can imagine the emergency meeting of White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, et al. They’re already dealing with record inflation, a tanking stock market, and the economy on a verge of a recession. What do they say to that? They claim the US is “stronger economically than we have been in history,” And now they’re left with this mess to clean up. They’re probably thankful, in a way. Another Biden public screw-up is a welcome relief compared to addressing formula shortages. They’ve handled his gaffes before. To the rescue was Assistant White House Press Secretary Emilie Simons to cover for her boss. She falsified Biden’s statement, begging the public to ignore the words from Biden’s mouth. @EmilieSimons46: “No. He said, “let me repeat that line.”

The official White House website has doubled-down on the denial of reality, making up words that were never said to protect a President who may not be able to remember what he had for breakfast. This isn’t Biden’s first public embarrassment, and it certainly won’t be his last. Those who have been paying close attention know they’re a regular occurrence. There will be another one in a few days. His public appearances are, for the most part, heavily scripted and before a friendly audience. Say a few words and talk to some folks before making an exit. And President Biden isn’t up to the challenge, vanquished by the easiest parts of his presidency.

[..] The troubling thing is that most of the presidency is off-script. How do you address inflation and families being priced-out of groceries when you struggle through a press conference? How do you formulate a strategy about China or Russia when you rely on a cheat sheet for a 5-minute meeting? Make no mistake, Biden’s senility is one of the biggest stories in the world. The media’s silence on this matter is telling. Never before has the press tried to so hard to ignore so big a story (I venture this is bigger than Hunter’s laptop), as they’re afraid of what a correct assessment of Biden’s facilities might reveal. Ask whether Dementia-in-Chief is a threat to national security or economic recovery.

Also revealing is the media’s attempts to explain-away or otherwise repackage Biden’s mental and physical deficiencies. Peter Baker, writing for The New York Times, says Biden’s “age has increasingly become an uncomfortable issue for him, his team and his party.” Of course, Biden’s age isn’t the issue per se – it’s Biden’s mind. “Age” is just The New York Times’ way of being polite, of serving the Biden Administration. [..] But – if you have any concerns about Biden’s health or acuity – don’t worry. The New York Times has found experts that “put Mr. Biden in a category of ‘super-agers’ who remain unusually fit as they advance in years.”

Read more …

How much longer does Joe have?

4chan Users Claim Hack of Hunter Biden’s iCloud Account (JTN)

A trove of alleged messages and photos from Hunter Biden’s phone was posted by users of the website 4chan on Saturday night after they claimed to have hacked the first son’s iCloud account. Moderators on 4chan quickly removed the content, The Washington Examiner reported, but users keep reposting the materials on the anonymous image board. The content could not be verified by Just the News, but 4chan users posted alleged images of text messages involving drug use, money transfers, guns and even a screenshot of what appears to be President Joe Biden’s personal phone number, under the contact “Pedo Peter.” One user even posted Hunter Biden’s allegedly inappropriate search history. “4chan has already created torrents for the Hunter Biden iPhone and iCloud backups and are now seeding them.

That means even if 4chan gets shut down the copies will still be out there,” Human Events Senior Editor Jack Posobiec wrote on Twitter shortly after the reported leak. “The Anarchist Handbook” author Michael Malice wrote: “The #4chan Hunter Biden dox sure reminds me, a dinosaur, of how @DRUDGE became a household name reporting on Monica Lewinsky while the corporate press was trying to look the other way (and then twisted themselves in pretzels wondering whether and how to acknowledge him). “I dont know how the corporate press, which reduces Pride month to mimosas, kissing and walking around shirtless, is going to report on Hunter having his Dad stored in his contacts as Pedo Peter. There’s too much there for them to integrate it into their narrative,” he said.


“Can we talk about how Biden is polling as the least popular president of all time and also that his son refers to him as Pedo Peter?” The Post Millennial’s Ian Miles Cheong said on Twitter. The alleged nickname “Pedo Peter” comes after Joe Biden asked his son to call him using the pseudonym “Peter Henderson,” a fictional KGB spy in Tom Clancy novels, The New York Post reported. The leak comes shortly after a leaked video from Hunter Biden’s laptop allegedly shows him smoking and drinking naked at a detox program after asking his father for money to help him pay for rehab.

Read more …

“As soon as we imposed lockdowns and started testing everybody, though, mortality spiked.”

Towards a Theory of Corona Evolution (Eugyp)

Remember that SARS-2 arrived in Europe no later than November 2019, and in America no later than December 2019. The West saw multiple months of community Corona transmission, in other words, without anybody noticing that anything was amiss. Hospitals remained as empty or as full as ever. As soon as we imposed lockdowns and started testing everybody, though, mortality spiked. These containment procedures involved nothing so much as identifying Corona patients and putting as many of them as possible in environments favouring attendant-borne transmission – from Corona testing centres to hospitals. And as the mass containment regime continued through 2021, SARS-2 began evolving towards greater virulence, as nosocomial and nursing home infections came to dominate the case statistics almost everywhere.


Omicron, whatever its origins, broke this dynamic. Unlike prior SARS-2 lineages, this is a classic direct-contact respiratory pathogen. With the advent of Omicron, Corona no longer spreads preferentially in healthcare institutions, and behaves much more like a mild flu or the common cold, with an emphasis on keeping its hosts healthy and mobile. The worst thing we could do, from an evolutionary perspective, is continue the mass containment regime. We want to keep SARS-2 circulating via direct contact in the community. All such respiratory viruses, despite their stark differences, have been subject to the same convergent evolution, with remarkably similar effects on their human hosts. We must stop intervening in matters we don’t understand, or we’ll just continue our recent history, of always making everything worse.

Read more …

Time for NATO to act.

Turkey Eyes Half Of The Aegean Sea, The Islands And Crete (KTG)

Talking about state extremism: Turkey wants half of the Aegean Sea including all islands in the East, the whole Dodecanese as well as the island of Crete. Erdogan’s government partner, far-right nationalist Devlet Bahceli (MHP) presented on Saturday a map of Turkey’s revisionist plan called “Blue Motherland” extended to a new extreme. The presentation took place at the headquarters of terrorist, neo-fascist organization “Grey Wolves“, the militant wing of Behceli’s “Nationalist Movemnt Party” (MHP). The map was presented to the party leader by the Grey Wolves president Ahmet Yigit Yildirim as a …gift.. Islands of the North, Eastern and South Aegean such as Lesvos, Chios all of the Dodecanese including Rhodes as well as the whole island of Crete are marked ‘red’ as the whole of Turkey.


The President of the fascist Grey Wolves org Yildirim presents to his leader ultranationalist Bahceli partner of Erdogan’s Govt, a new map expanding further the claims of Turkey on Greece’ s land & seas It presents eastern Aegean islands, sea & Crete as Turkish!

It should be noted that Bahceli has often threatened to go to the extreme regarding Greece. It should also recall that president Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented Turkey’s plan called “Blue Motherland” in September 2019. [..] Commenting on the map, Greece’s diplomatic sources said that “the public presentation of a map by top officials of the party that is a government ally in Turkey and which depicts Greek territory as Turkish, is a particularly aggressive and provocative action and is absolutely condemnable.” “Unfortunately, it is part of the escalation of extreme rhetoric from Turkey that we witness on a daily basis. We expect the immediate categorical and public disapproval of this unacceptable act of questioning the territorial sovereignty of our country,”. the diplomatic sources stressed.


A few hours earlier, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar had fired new threats against Greece saying that “Ankara has a plan to defend its rights and interests in the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus, which it will implement in different phases and stages.” “We will not allow our rights to be trampled upon, nor will we allow them to be done away with. We repeat this. This is what our president said. We’re not kidding. Do not attempt any adventure like spoiled brats, relying on others. Come like people let’s sit down and talk,” Akar said.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Webb “We told you Ukraine, #Kolomoisky, and puppet #Zelensky were going to go Bank of International Settlements on the west for the shakedown for “reconstruction” funds. Now the proof. $750B!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 282022
 


Pablo Picasso The sculptor and his statue 1933

 

Global Energy Cleaving Continues, Iran and Argentina Apply to Join BRICS (CTH)
How Africa And The Middle East Could Tip War In Putin’s Favour (DM)
Sanctions Against Russia Are Leading Latin America To The Abyss (Saker)
West Doing Its Utmost To Continue The Conflict In Ukraine – Zakharova (Tass)
WHO Behind FDA Scheme to Skip All Future Clinical Trials for COVID Jabs (CHD)
Where The World Is Heading From July 2022 – Geert Vanden Bossche (Assaya)
Warnings Of Mental Health Crisis Among ‘Covid Generation’ Of Students (G.)
‘Off The Charts’ Chemical Shortages Hit US Farms (R.)
The Time of Our Time (Kunstler)
Sri Lanka Suspends Fuel Sales Amid Economic Collapse (ZH)
Voicemail Shows Biden Did Talk Business Dealings With Hunter (NM)
Turkey’s Opposition Promises To Target Israel, Saudi Arabia And Greece (MEE)

 

 

 

 

Macron oil

 

 

 

 

Desmet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had originally called my Sunday article, The Entire World Order Has Changed, BRICS+++. Changed it, in part because I thought people might not understand. 24 hours later, the first applicants.

Wonder how Russia and China can get Saudi Arabia to join, and if they can persuade both Saudi AND Iran.

Global Energy Cleaving Continues, Iran and Argentina Apply to Join BRICS (CTH)

This is not some grand conspiracy, ‘out there‘ deep geopolitical possibility, or foreboding likelihood as an outcome of short-sighted western emotion. No, this is just a predictable outcome from western created events that pushed specific countries to a natural conclusion based on their best interests. You can debate the motives of the western leaders who structured the sanctions against Russia, and whether they knew the outcome would happen as a consequence of their effort, but the outcome was never really in doubt. Personally, I believe this outcome is what the west intended. The people inside the World Economic Forum are not stupid – ideological, yes, but not stupid. They knew this global cleaving would happen.

In April the finance ministers of the BRICS alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) decided to create their own financial mechanisms to continue trade between nations of similar disposition despite Western/NATO sanctions. Earlier this month Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stated, “rapid changes are taking place in the global monetary system that may affect the international role of the dollar.” Additionally, as the proverbial ‘west’ follows the corporate instructions from the World Economic Forum, Powell expanded his points to note the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is also being reviewed. Following a recent meeting of the BRICS group, Iran (86 million people) and Argentina (46 million people) are now applying to join BRICS, possibly creating BRICS+.

(Reuters) – “Iran has submitted an application to become a member in the group of emerging economies known as the BRICS, an Iranian official said on Monday. Iran’s membership in the BRICS group, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, “would result in added values for both sides,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said separately that Argentina had also applied to join the group. Argentinian officials could not be reached for immediate comment.

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez, currently in Europe, has in recent days reiterated his desire for Argentina to join BRICS. “While the White House was thinking about what else to turn off in the world, ban or spoil, Argentina and Iran applied to join the BRICS,” Zakharova wrote on the Telegram messaging app. Russia has long been pushing to forge closer ties with Asia, South America and the Middle East, but it has intensified its efforts recently to weather sanctions imposed by Europe, the United States and other countries over its invasion on Ukraine.”

[.] The bottom line is – the 2022 punitive economic and financial sanctions by the western nations’ alliance against Russia was exactly the reason why BRICS assembled in the first place. Multinational corporations in control of government are what the BRICS assembly foresaw when they first assembled during the Obama administration. When multinational corporations run the policy of western government, there is going to be a problem. In the bigger picture, the BRICS assembly are essentially leaders who do not want corporations and multinational banks running their government. BRICS leaders want their government running their government; and yes, that means whatever form of government that exists in their nation, even if it is communist. BRICS leaders are aligned as anti-corporatist. That doesn’t necessarily make those government leaders better stewards, it simply means they want to make the decisions, and they do not want corporations to become more powerful than they are. As a result, if you really boil it down to the common denominator, what you find is the BRICS group are the opposing element to the World Economic Forum assembly.

Read more …

We’ll have to wait until Europe feels the heat. Or actually, the cold.

How Africa And The Middle East Could Tip War In Putin’s Favour (DM)

Ukraine believes its fate will be decided in the mud and blood of Donbas – where its troops are trying to grind Russia’s army into the dirt using skill, courage, and a fearsome arsenal of Western weaponry. But it seems increasingly likely that its destiny could be decided on another frontline, thousands of miles away: In the deserts of the Middle East and drought-stricken farmlands of Africa, where 44million people who relied on the country for food are now facing famine unless the conflict can be brought to a swift end. Blockades of Ukraine’s main Black Sea ports have placed a stranglehold on grain supplies which previously fed 400million, threatening starvation and riots from Libya to Liberia, and Syria to South Sudan.

On this front, at least, Putin seems to be winning. A growing chorus of leaders – joined in recent weeks by African Union head Macky Sall – are putting pressure on the West to pave the way for a peace deal that most analysts say would favour Russia, but which would get supplies flowing again. Playing catch-up, Western leaders – including Boris Johnson at today’s G7 meeting – have vowed to do ‘whatever it takes’ to reopen Ukraine’s ports, but are faced with the daunting task of sailing cargo vessels past Russia’s Black Sea fleet and through a minefield to get the grain. All the while, the risk of multiple and simultaneous global famines continues to grow – and with it, Putin’s chances of eking out something resembling a victory despite Ukraine’s heroics on the battlefield.

Before the outbreak of war on February 24, Ukraine supplied some 11 per cent of the world’s grain with food being one of its major exports – worth $18.5billion in 2018, according to latest-available data from the World Bank. Almost half of those exports went to Europe but a quarter went to either the Middle East and North Africa or sub-Saharan Africa – two regions that are now most at-risk of shortages, because they have few alternatives to turn to. Ukraine was also a major supplier of the World Food Programme – a UN body which provides sustenance for the globe’s most-vulnerable – providing up to 40 per cent of its wheat, which is used to make staples such as bread. For the time being, the crisis is logistical: There is plenty of food to go around, the difficulty is getting it to the people who need it.

Read more …

Machine translated from: http://www.opciones.cu/internacionales/2022-04-13/las-extorsiones-contra-rusia-golpean-a-latinoamerica

Sanctions Against Russia Are Leading Latin America To The Abyss (Saker)

Washington uses all kinds of extortion to that end: political influence, economic promises and blackmail, as was the case during the recent vote at the UN General Assembly to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. After the vote, several delegates expressed that for various reasons they had been forced to vote that way. Due to the impact of the Western “sanctions” war, the supply of fertilizers has been affected, which poses a threat to Latin American farmers, but is advantageous for the United States, which manufactures large quantities of fertilizer. Already, U.S. producers are looking to increase exports to countries in the region. Fertilizer prices are currently at an all-time high and in the first quarter of 2022 they rose by 30%, which exceeds those reached in 2008 during the global financial crisis.

Due to the “sanctions”, shipments from Russia have been interrupted and this country is one of the main producers and exporters globally. Moscow is the largest exporter of nitrogen fertilizers and the second largest exporter of potash and phosphorus fertilizers. In 2021 the Eurasian giant shipped fertilizers worth $12.5 billion. Among its main buyers were Brazil and the European Union with 25% respectively, and the United States with 14%. As is to be expected, if the fertilizers do not arrive, agricultural production in these countries will be greatly affected.

This complex scenario comes at a time when the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO) reported that the food price index reached 159.3 points in March, an all-time high, while in February it had already beaten the record since the creation of the cost index in 1990. The agency added that among the five categories that make up the index, four have never recorded such high prices: vegetable oils (248.6 points), cereals (170.1), dairy products (145.2) and meat (120.0). Two of the categories increased prices in February due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict: cereals by 17% and vegetable oils by 23%. These countries together export 30 % of the wheat and 20 % of the corn consumed in the world.

Read more …

“West unwilling to answer questions about its mercenaries in Ukraine — Russian diplomat..”

West Doing Its Utmost To Continue The Conflict In Ukraine – Zakharova (Tass)

Western countries are reluctant to answer Russia’s questions about their mercenaries in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday. “As [Russian Ambassador to London Andrey] Kelin said, they [Western countries] are writing some provocative, boorish things. They don’t want to answer the question we ask about their activities,” she said in an interview with the Voskresny Vecher (Sunday Evening) with Vladimir Solovyov on the Rossiya-1 television channel, when asked whether the United States and the United Kingdom have contacted Russia concerning their nationals who are taking part in combat operations in Ukraine.


According to Zakharova, the West is doing its utmost to continue the conflict in Ukraine as long as possible. “They are sparing no effort so that the conflict in Ukraine continued as long as possible. We remember what US 43rd President George Bush Jr said: Ukraine’s mission is to kill as many Russians as possible. <…> They have endowed Ukraine and the Kiev regime with this duty. They are using (Ukraine – TASS) as an instrument and the entire logistics are centered round that – weapons supplies, sending people, anything to keep the conflict burning, as [UK Prime Minister] Boris Johnson told [French President Emmanuel] Macron today, to prevent the settlement of this situation. Otherwise, their plan will fail,” she added.

Read more …

Double down.

WHO Behind FDA Scheme to Skip All Future Clinical Trials for COVID Jabs (CHD)

Late Friday afternoon, the FDA released its agenda for the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) meeting that will vote on the Orwellian “Future Framework” on Tuesday, June 28. Then on Saturday morning, the FDA released a briefing document in connection with this scheme to end science as we know it in connection with future COVID-19 shots. [..] The briefing document is 18 pages of text, 1.5 line spacing, with just 19 references — 9 of which are pre-prints or from the CDC’s in-house newsletter Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) which means they are not peer-reviewed. Any true believer in The Narrative(TM) could have written this in a few hours.

To base the entire future of COVID-19 shots on this glorified undergrad term paper is madness. As I predicted, even though the April 6 meeting was presented as an exploratory initial conversation that reached no conclusions whatsoever, the “Future Framework” is now being presented by the FDA as a done deal, fait accompli, you’d have to be crazy to insist on proper safety studies. The core argument of the briefing document is hilarious (or rather, it would be hilarious if it was not a plan to permanently institutional genocide and hide the evidence). In several places the FDA argues (colloquialisms mine):

1. These COVID-19 shots work great, miracles really, incredibly effective, boy howdy do they work well! Boosters too, total home run, the Israelis even have 10-weeks of data showing that they might help old people. What more evidence could you want? 2. Okay, well, it depends on what you mean by work. These shots do not stop infection, transmission, hospitalization, or death, even though that’s why we licensed them. Any protection wears off fairly quickly, but It’s Not Our Fault(TM) because This Wily Virus(TM) mutates too fast and no one told us that it would ever mutate. 3. So these shots must be reformulated but we cannot possibly ask Lord Pharma to do proper clinical trials ever again because we already know that these shots work great.

The briefing document literally states: “The evaluation of modified vaccines for the purpose of vaccine strain composition decisions will need to rely mainly on comparative immunogenicity data due to the time constraints involved in vaccine manufacturing and clinical efficacy evaluation.” Did you catch that? The evaluation “will need to rely on” (no decision to be made here) measures other than actual health outcomes because of “time constraints.” Ah, $cience!

No clinical trials

Read more …

From commenter Germ: “Start listening at the 20 minute mark if you don’t have much time. He states that BA 4&5 is still evolving and that in 6 to 7 weeks we will see it evolve into a much more deadlier variant crashing the healthcare systems of the world. He said in two months we will be living in a different world.

You really need to listen from the 38:45 minute mark down to the 52 minute mark where he’s predicting the end of western civilization.”

Where The World Is Heading From July 2022 – Geert Vanden Bossche (Assaya)

In this talk with Assaya’s founder Clas Sivertsen, Geert predicts in this video that a new flu epidemic will soon emerge from an animal reservoir, and that the world (except Africa) will experience another wave of hospitalizations and economic collapse. He also discusses vaccinated vs unvaccinated responses to infection by new and future emerging variants, as well as describing what it will take to reach herd immunity. Clas discusses his detailed tracking of eCT values during his recent Covid-19 Omicron infection, and go through some of the histopathology and disease progression, lack of symptoms, etc.

Read more …

How to write an article that says nothing.

Warnings Of Mental Health Crisis Among ‘Covid Generation’ Of Students (G.)

The pandemic has had a lasting legacy on the mental health of the “Covid generation” of students, exacerbating rates of anxiety, depression and self-harm and resulting in a “significant rise” in young people struggling at university, experts have said. UK universities have reported that more students are experiencing mental health problems in the aftermath of the pandemic, and that this is expected to continue with the cohort arriving in September, whose school experience was heavily disrupted by the pandemic. The president of the National Union of Students, Larissa Kennedy, said she was “deeply concerned” by the student mental health crisis, which was “getting worse”, with NUS research suggesting “the majority of students are burdened by anxiety”.


Recent research by the Humen mental health charity suggested that more than two in five (41%) of students did not think their institution prevented problems from arising. Nearly half (47%) of students said mental health difficulties had a negative impact on their university experience, while a third said they didn’t know where to go to seek help, according to the survey of 7,385 students. Kennedy said students’ struggles were caused by exam pressure combined with the cost of living crisis, and called for more funding to introduce “early support hubs” that would “prevent thousands reaching crisis point” Last week the government announced £3m in funding to close the gap between the NHS and university mental health services, which the NUS warned was a drop in the ocean, equating to just £1 per student.

Read more …

You want to rely on Bayer?

‘Off The Charts’ Chemical Shortages Hit US Farms (R.)

U.S. farmers have cut back on using common weedkillers, hunted for substitutes to popular fungicides and changed planting plans over persistent shortages of agricultural chemicals that threaten to trim harvests. Spraying smaller volumes of herbicides and turning to less-effective fungicides increase the risk for weeds and diseases to dent crop production at a time when global grain supplies are already tight because the Ukraine war is reducing the country’s exports. Interviews with more than a dozen chemical dealers, manufacturers, farmers and weed specialists showed shortages disrupted U.S. growers’ production strategies and raised their costs.


Shawn Inman, owner of distributor Spinner Ag Incorporated in Zionsville, Indiana, said supplies are the tightest in his 24-year career. “This is off the charts,” Inman said. “Everything was delayed, delayed, delayed.” Shortages further reduce options for farmers battling weeds that developed resistance to glyphosate, the key ingredient in the commonly used Roundup herbicide, after decades of overuse in the United Sates. Prices for glyphosate and glufosinate, another widely used herbicide sold under the brand Liberty, jumped more than 50% from last year, dealers said, padding profit at companies like Bayer AG BAYGn.DE, BASF SE BASFn.DE and Corteva Inc CTVA.N.

Read more …

“..these giant governments and corporations are thrashing in their death throes. Get out of their way if you possibly can.”

The Time of Our Time (Kunstler)

These days, this place on the planet that used to be a nation groans under a tribulation of bad ideas, bad choices, bad conduct, bad management, and bad faith. We have not been so ripe for regime change since 1776. A ruling Party of Chaos is doing absolutely everything to disorder our lives and there really is no generous interpretation for its motives. Everything it touches breaks, wilts, withers, splinters, rots, poisons, and infects the body politic, driving it deeper into derangement. It doesn’t even pretend to make sense because that would require making distinctions between what is true and what’s not true. We follow-the-science into pure evil.

What awaits is the abandoned scaffold of the family and the community as opposed to the brute hierarchies of mere lonely, forsaken persons under the leviathan state and the behemoth corporation, which have produced mainly new kinds of cruelties, such as: the deadly “vaccine” mandates, the no-knock FBI visitations, the surveillance cameras, the robotic phone trees with their interminable holds, the obtuse insults of the HR departments, the drag queens twerking in your children’s faces, and much more. You might not know it from the news — what is the news now, anyway, except mercenary shuck-and-jive — but these giant governments and corporations are thrashing in their death throes. Get out of their way if you possibly can. Form the bonds you can with people and cherish them. For many, they will be all you’ll have for a while.

You can’t overstate the havoc that we’ll have to live with in the months ahead, short of blowing up the whole joint, one can hope. And it will happen just as a gigantic set of pretenses to a New Order of things rolls out to thumping failure. Forget about central bank digital currencies. Don’t believe that the very people who have severed the relationship between actual capital and money can just magically conjure a new order of money that they propose to control and you don’t. Meanwhile, the old-school money they created too much of is headed for the biggest gaping black hole imaginable because that’s what happens when money based on debt is not paid back. So, for a while, there will be too much money and then there will be not enough, and then nobody will have money.

All that happens as the supply of every kind of stuff in the world stops moving from Point A to Point B, including replacement parts for every sort of machine, distribution of petroleum and its products, and food. And at the same time, it finally becomes too obvious to ignore the fact that many millions are dying or becoming disabled from the effects of the mRNA vaccines foisted on the public, especially in the USA and Europe.

Read more …

Test case.

Sri Lanka Suspends Fuel Sales Amid Economic Collapse (ZH)

A broke and extremely cash-strapped Sri Lanka halted all fuel sales except for essential services in a desperate attempt to manage a severe fuel shortage — allowing the government to buy some time and send two government officials to Russia to negotiate a fuel deal. “From midnight today, no fuel will be sold except for essential services like the health sector, because we want to conserve the little reserves we have,” government spokesman Bandula Gunawardana said in a pre-recorded statement, obtained by AFP News. The Sri Lankan government announced only essential services would operate and be allowed access to fuel until July 10 because of a fuel shortage. “Sri Lanka has never faced such a severe economic crisis in its history,” Gunewardena added.

The move comes less than a week after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the debt-laden economy of the island nation has “completely collapsed:” “We are now facing a far more serious situation beyond the mere shortages of fuel, gas, electricity, and food. Our economy has faced a complete collapse. “It is no easy task to revive a country with a completely collapsed economy, especially one that is dangerously low on foreign reserves,” ” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament on June 22. “The country is also facing record-high inflation and lengthy power blackouts, all of which have contributed to months of protests — sometimes violent — calling on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down,” AFP said.

While the government said talks were held with the IMF, India, China, and Japan for new credit lines, negotiations to purchase heavily discounted Russian crude oil are set to begin this week. Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said the two ministers would arrive in Russia early this week to continue talks about directly purchasing Russian fuels, according to AP News. “There is an advantage for us if we could buy oil directly from the Russian government or the Russian firms. There are talks going on,” Wijesekera told reporters Sunday. Earlier this month, Sri Lanka turned to Russia for cheap oil to purchase crude roughly $30 below the international spot price. The South Asian country said it received 90,000 tons of Russian crude but will need a lot more.

Read more …

Of course he did.

Voicemail Shows Biden Did Talk Business Dealings With Hunter (NM)

A backup voicemail recording recovered from Hunter Biden’s laptop computer shows that Joe Biden spoke with his son Hunter about Hunter’s business dealings with a Chinese oil giant, even though now-President Biden has repeatedly said that he has never talked to his son about his foreign business dealings. The Daily Mail reports that Joe Biden called Hunter on Dec. 12, 2018, after reading a New York Times article that detailed Hunter’s connections with the Chinese oil firm CEFC. Joe Biden left a voicemail for Hunter on his son’s iPhone XS, which was backed up on the laptop that Hunter later abandoned at a Maryland computer repair shop.The Times story in 2018 noted that CEFC Chairman Ye Jianming had been arrested in China and one of his top aides, Patrick Ho, had been convicted in the United States for bribing African officials to aid Iran in evading oil sanctions.

The story also reported that in 2017, Ye and Hunter Biden had met at a Miami hotel to talk about ”a partnership to invest in American infrastructure and energy deals.” When Ho was arrested, he called Joe Biden’s brother Jim, the Times reported, who told the paper he thought the call was intended for Hunter. The Times reported that it was ”unclear whether Hunter Biden struck any business deals with CEFC.” After reading the story, Joe Biden picked up the phone and dialed his son. ”Hey, pal, it’s Dad,” he said. ”It’s 8:15 on Wednesday night. If you get a chance just give me a call. Nothing urgent. I just wanted to talk to you. ”’I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you’re clear,” Biden continued. ”And anyway, if you get a chance give me a call. I love you.”

As reporting on Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings have come to light, President Biden has on a number occasions denied ever having spoken to his son about them, both directly and through his press spokespersons to members of the press who have asked about the matter. Hunter Biden’s best friend and business partner, Devon Archer, texted him the next day: ”Nice quote from uncle jimmy. I hope you thanked him for that.” Hunter replied: ”Took it totally out of the context atctually (sic) the text itself that it was said in. Either way yeah I’m delighted.” But after Ho was arrested, he contacted Hunter Biden and paid him $1 million as a retainer to represent him.

The Daily Mail reports that a FISA warrant shows that federal agents were also monitoring Ho as a possible spy for China. Hunter Biden appeared to be aware of Ho’s status, as revealed in a recording while making sex tapes in a hotel room, according to the Mail. On one of the recordings, Hunter Biden tells the woman he is with: ”’I have another New York Times reporter calling about my representation of the, literally, Dr. Patrick Ho — the f***ing spy chief of China who started the company that my partner [Jianming], who is worth $323 billion, founded and is now missing.”

Read more …

A bigger Turkey.

Turkey’s Opposition Promises To Target Israel, Saudi Arabia And Greece (MEE)

The leader of the Turkish opposition said on Sunday that he will hold Israel, Saudi Arabia and Greece accountable for the steps they have taken against Turkey in recent years, promising to backtrack from Ankara’s recent policies that have sought detente with its regional neighbours. Writing in a series of tweets on Sunday, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said there were “red lines” when it came to dealing with these countries. “There is a price for martyring our citizens in international waters,” he said, referring to the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident where nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli forces in a civilian ship headed for the Gaza Strip. “My message to Israel is that this issue is not closed to us.”

His comments came following a visit by the political leader with the family of one of the Turkish activists who was killed by the Israeli forces. Turkey and Israel signed a deal in 2016 after Israel apologised and decided to pay compensation for the killings. Since then all court cases in Turkey have been dropped by the government. Both governments recently made efforts to repair their relationship, with Israeli President Isaac Herzog visiting Ankara in March. Kilicdaroglu, a possible joint presidential candidate for the opposition during next year’s elections, also criticised the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who visited Ankara last week to officially close the rift between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which emerged following the brutal killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the hands of Saudi agents in Istanbul.

“I also have a few words to say to bin Salman, who came to our country. Murder on our land also has its price,” Kilicdaroglu said. “Our account with him has not been closed either. He may be playing Erdogan on his finger, but Turkey is a great state, he will be made to pay for what he has done in our land.” But arguably Kilicdaroglu’s strongest comments were reserved for Greece. He threatened Greece with “nationalist” resistance and reminded Athens of the Turkish military’s 1974 Cyprus invasion which was led by then-Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit – who was also CHP leader – and deputy prime minister Necmettin Erbakan. Turkey argues that Greece has been arming some of its islands which hold non-militarised status under a set of agreements signed since the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has called on Greece to stop arming the islands, otherwise their sovereignty would be put into question by Turkey. Greece denies that said deals grant non-militarised status to those islands.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build my house

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 052022
 


James Ensor The intrigue 1890

 

Russia Is Winning The Economic War – And No Closer To Withdrawing Troops (G.)
US Officials Admit They Lied About Ukraine Success and Russian Failures (GP)
NATO Chief: Ukraine Shouldn’t Drop Goal to Drive Russia Out of Crimea (Antiwar)
Bilderberg does China (Escobar)
Subpoena Wars (Turley)
COVID Vaccines Linked To 25% Increase In Cardiac Arrest (INN)
Judge Rules In Favor Of St. Paul Unions Over Covid Vaccination Mandate (TC)
Italy and Germany End Travel Restrictions (CS)
Turkey Accuses Greece Of Harboring Terrorist Organizations (AMNA)
Laptop From Hell May Produce Data With Disaster For Joe Biden (Times)

 

 

 

 

I’m going in there

 

 

 

 

From The Guardian, no less.

Russia Is Winning The Economic War – And No Closer To Withdrawing Troops (G.)

It is now three months since the west launched its economic war against Russia, and it is not going according to plan. On the contrary, things are going very badly indeed. Sanctions were imposed on Vladimir Putin not because they were considered the best option, but because they were better than the other two available courses of action: doing nothing or getting involved militarily. The first set of economic measures were introduced immediately after the invasion, when it was assumed Ukraine would capitulate within days. That didn’t happen, with the result that sanctions – while still incomplete – have gradually been intensified.

There is, though, no immediate sign of Russia pulling out of Ukraine and that’s hardly surprising, because the sanctions have had the perverse effect of driving up the cost of Russia’s oil and gas exports, massively boosting its trade balance and financing its war effort. In the first four months of 2022, Putin could boast a current account surplus of $96bn (£76bn) – more than treble the figure for the same period of 2021. When the EU announced its partial ban on Russian oil exports earlier this week, the cost of crude oil on the global markets rose, providing the Kremlin with another financial windfall. Russia is finding no difficulty finding alternative markets for its energy, with exports of oil and gas to China in April up more than 50% year on year.

That’s not to say the sanctions are pain-free for Russia. The International Monetary Fund estimates the economy will shrink by 8.5% this year as imports from the west collapse. Russia has stockpiles of goods essential to keep its economy going, but over time they will be used up. But Europe is only gradually weaning itself off its dependency on Russian energy, and so an immediate financial crisis for Putin has been averted. The rouble – courtesy of capital controls and a healthy trade surplus – is strong. The Kremlin has time to find alternative sources of spare parts and components from countries willing to circumvent western sanctions.

When the global movers and shakers met in Davos last week, the public message was condemnation of Russian aggression and renewed commitment to stand solidly behind Ukraine. But privately, there was concern about the economic costs of a prolonged war.

Read more …

“Russia is the only superpower with a self-sufficient economy..”

US Officials Admit They Lied About Ukraine Success and Russian Failures (GP)

If you think the West has learned its lesson and opted to focus on truth, think again. Germany’s Economy Minister, Robert Habeck, was peddling these whoppers to his own government this week: Western sanctions in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine are still taking a heavy toll on the Russian war machine. . . .The Russian economy is collapsing,” . . . adding that Germany had played its part here by reducing exports to Russia in March by 60%, with an even sharper fall expected in April. The obvious question for any reporter with the brain power of a cretin would be, “what is the evidence that Russia’s economy is collapsing?” The truth is that all sectors are firing on all cylinders.

Just because Germany has decided to commit economic hari kari by declining to purchase cheap Russian oil, does not mean that Russia is bleeding out financially. The Economist reported two weeks ago that Russia is running a record trade surplus. Yes, Russia is importing fewer Mercedes and BMWs via the open market. First, Russia is not dependent on having western luxury items filling western owned stores. Second, the Russian mafia is more than willing to fill the gap and obtain such goods via the black market. Seems like the West never learns. Habeck also forgets the first rule of crisis management–when you are in a hole, stop digging. He made this even more outlandish claim:

“Moscow had lost access to parts crucial to its ability to fight the war, . . . such as “security updates for airplanes, with the result that the planes will soon be grounded”. He apparently did not get the briefing, widely available in the public domain, that Russia builds it own planes, rockets, space ships and tanks. Putin did not outsource critical industry to China or Mexico. Reality will remind the United States and its crazy European allies that Russia is the only superpower with a self-sufficient economy. The economy of Russia is not dependent on having a Russian version of Rodeo Drive filled with overpriced baubles.

Read more …

“..many US officials privately doubt Ukraine could expel Russia from the region..”

NATO Chief: Ukraine Shouldn’t Drop Goal to Drive Russia Out of Crimea (Antiwar)

In an interview with The Washington Post, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine shouldn’t avoid declaring ambitious war aims of driving Russia out of the eastern Donbas region and the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia has controlled since 2014. “They have the right to say that they are fighting for the whole of Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said. The Post report said that many US officials privately doubt Ukraine could expel Russia from the region and that such goals would “doom Kyiv to an endless war.” Stoltenberg has warned that NATO should be prepared to provide Ukraine with long-term support for its fight against Russia. “We need to be prepared that this may actually drag on for a long time,” he said.

Ukrainian President Voldymr Zelensky recently rejected a suggestion from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who said Ukraine should cede territory to Russia to achieve peace. Earlier in the war, Russia made clear that its demands for a ceasefire include Ukraine dropping its claim to Crimea and recognizing the independence of the breakaway Donbas republics. As the war grinds on, Russia is making slow, but steady gains in the eastern Donbas region. Russian forces have also controlled most of the Kherson oblast, which is north of Crimea, for months now, and there are signs that Moscow is considering annexing the region. Retaking territories now controlled by Russia would take a massive offensive by Ukraine, but Ukrainian forces are taking heavy losses. Zelensky said this week that between 60 and 100 Ukrainian soldiers are being killed every day.

While the US and its allies have shipped billions in weapons to Ukraine since Russia invaded, Ukrainian officials say it isn’t enough to mount a counterattack. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Friday that Kyiv “needs more” to mount a “sufficient counterattack and kick them outside of our country to liberate all occupied territory.”


Future Ukraine

Read more …

“They are all paying close attention to the Russia gas-for-rubles experiment…”

Bilderberg does China (Escobar)

A serious debate is raging across virtually all sectors of Chinese society on the American weaponization of the world financial casino. The conclusions are inevitable: get rid of US Treasuries, fast, by any means necessary; more imports of commodities and strategic materials (thus the importance of the Russia-China strategic partnership); and firmly secure overseas assets, especially those foreign currency reserves. Meanwhile Bilderberg’s “diverse group”, on the other side of the pond, is discussing, among other things, what will really happen in case they force the IMF racket to blow up (a key plan to implement The Great Reset, or “Great Narrative”).

They are starting to literally freak out with the slowly but surely emergence of an alternative, resource-based monetary/financial system: exactly what the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) is currently discussing and designing, with Chinese input. Imagine a counter-Bilderberg system where a basket of Global South actors, resource-rich but economically poor, are able to issue their own currencies backed by commodities, and finally get rid of their status of IMF hostages. They are all paying close attention to the Russia gas-for-rubles experiment. And in China’s particular case, what will always matter is loads of productive capital underpinning a massive, extremely deep industrial and civil infrastructure.

No wonder Davos and Bilderberg messenger boys, when they look at The Grand Chessboard, are filled with dread: their era of perpetual free lunch is over. What would delight cynics, skeptics, neoplatonists and Taoists galore is that it was Davos-Bilderberg Men (and Women) who actually boxed themselves into zugzwang. All dressed up – with nowhere to go. Even JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon – who didn’t even bother to go to Bilderberg – is scared, saying an economic “hurricane” is coming. And overturning the chessboard is no remedy: at best that may invite a ceremonious tuxedo visit by Mr. Sarmat and Mr. Zircon carrying some hypersonic bubbly.

Read more …

“..the greatest costs will be borne by the public, if our legal proceedings become as performative and shallow as our politics.”

Subpoena Wars (Turley)

The problem is not that the committee will move forward with hearings or a report. Despite its partisan composition and agenda, there is always a value to greater transparency about what occurred on that tragic day. The problem is the effort to ratchet up interest through conflict. The committee has taken the rare step of subpoenaing GOP colleagues, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and threatening to hold them in contempt like Navarro and other former Trump officials. Despite years of bitter political divisions, the two parties have long avoided using subpoenas against each other. It was viewed as a step toward mutually assured destruction if House members unleashed inherent investigatory powers on each other.

House Democratic leaders, however, shattered that long tradition of restraint despite the fact that they may gain little from the effort. What they will lose is a long-standing detente on the use of subpoenas against colleagues — and they are creating a new precedent for such internal subpoenas just months before they could find themselves in the minority. Today’s hunters then could become the hunted, if Republicans claim the same license after November’s elections. The House already is a dysfunctional body that allows for little compromise or dialogue between parties. The targeting of fellow members now will remove one of the few remaining restraints on unbridled partisan rage. Judge Faruqui encouraged Navarro to consider the basis of his self-defense when Navarro seemed intent on self-immolation.

In addition to announcing that he would represent himself, Navarro made an extended statement on the steps of the courthouse in his defense. He then incongruously said he could not discuss “legal matters” before plunging again into his legal defense points. Navarro is known as someone who tends toward the path of greatest resistance. In a city known for highly managed criminal defendants with legions of lawyers and PR advisers, Navarro was a captivating figure as he held forth outside the courthouse. Yet for all that he has in terms of personal guts, he lacks legal authority. The problem is that even as he claimed executive privilege to avoid answering any of the House committee’s questions, he was publishing a book and giving interviews on the very subject matter of the subpoenas.

It was an ill-considered course that may make him an icon on the right but could also make him a convicted defendant. As he repeatedly pitched his book outside the court, it seemed clear that his priority was not acquittal. Navarro at one point asked, “Who are these people?” I have found myself asking the same question about all of the players in this subpoena war. Institutions and individuals alike seem to be in a crazed fit with little concern for how their actions may play out beyond the next election. But the greatest costs will be borne by the public, if our legal proceedings become as performative and shallow as our politics.

Read more …

Rare side effects.

COVID Vaccines Linked To 25% Increase In Cardiac Arrest (INN)

A new study by Israeli researchers and published in Nature has revealed an increase of over 25 percent in cardiovascular-related emergency calls in the young-adult population, following the rollout of COVID vaccines, among both males and females. No similar increase was found due to COVID infection alone. Israel health authorities and the U.S. Centers of Disease Control (CDC) have acknowledged a link between COVID vaccines and specific cardiovascular complications. The risk of myocarditis after receiving a second vaccine dose is now estimated to be between 1 in 3000 to 1 in 6000 in men aged 16 to 24. Recent articles in scientific journals, however, have sought to suggest that cardiovascular complications following COVID infection are more common than those following vaccination.

This assertion is contradicted by the findings from a recent study conducted by Israeli researchers, using data from Israel National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) related to “cardiac arrest and acute coronary syndrome EMS calls in the 16–39-year-old population” between 2019 and 2021. This enabled them to compare baseline (pre-COVID epidemic) to COVID epidemic without vaccines, to COVID epidemic following widespread vaccine takeup. An increase of over 25% was detected in both call types during January–May 2021, compared with the years 2019–2020. That is to say, “increased rates of vaccination … are associated with increased number of CA [cardiac arrest] and ACS [acute coronary syndrome].” By contrast, the trial “did not detect a statistically significant association between the COVID-19 infection rates and the CA and ACS weekly call counts.”

While the dangers of myocarditis for young males have gained widespread attention, this study found a larger increase in CA and ACS events among females that was linked to COVID vaccination. Myocarditis is known to be a “major cause of sudden, unexpected deaths in adults less than 40 years of age and is assessed to be responsible for 12–20% of these deaths,” the study’s authors note. They add that their findings have been mirrored by researchers in Germany and Scotland. They caution that given these findings, “It is essential to raise awareness among patients and clinicians with respect to related symptoms (e.g., chest discomfort and shortness of breath) following vaccination or COVID-19 infection to ensure that potential harm is minimized.”

Athlete deaths
https://twitter.com/i/status/1533320290499018753

Read more …

This seems the only valid way to look at it:

“It is difficult for this Court to imagine what could be more intrusive and more destructive to the employer-employee relationship than requiring employees to forfeit their bodily autonomy in the name of maintaining their livelihood”

Judge Rules In Favor Of St. Paul Unions Over Covid Vaccination Mandate (TC)

A judge ruled Thursday that the city of St. Paul’s COVID vaccination policy for police, firefighters and legions of other unionized city workers should have been part of the bargaining process, and he barred the city from enforcing it until it is approved as part of a negotiated agreement. The employee unions filed lawsuits last year over the coronavirus vaccine mandate for employees, calling it an unfair labor practice — and the judge agreed. The firefighters’ lawsuit noted that the city didn’t negotiate with the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 21 before making “a unilateral change to the terms and conditions” of employment for Local 21 members.

In his ruling, Ramsey County Judge Leonardo Castro noted that the city didn’t engage in bad faith by implementing the vaccination policy, but nevertheless enacted an unfair labor policy. “The City was faced with the height of a pandemic and based its actions upon what it believed to be in the best interest of the health and safety of its employees and the public,” Castro wrote in the ruling. “There was no malice, conspiracy or employee targeting involved.” The city did engage in discussions of the policy with union representatives, Castro wrote, though not in formal bargaining. For an issue such as injecting your own body with a foreign substance versus losing your job, he reasoned, that’s not enough.

“It is difficult for this Court to imagine what could be more intrusive and more destructive to the employer-employee relationship than requiring employees to forfeit their bodily autonomy in the name of maintaining their livelihood,” he wrote.

Read more …

What will they all do in September?

Italy and Germany End Travel Restrictions (CS)

Following the lead of other nations across Europe and the world, both Italy and Germany announced they were ending all COVID-related travel restrictions and requirements for travellers looking to enter their countries. “As of June 1, 2022, a Green Pass or equivalent certificate is no longer needed to enter Italy. All Covid-19 related entry restrictions have been lifted.” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced on its website. Before the announcement, those wishing to enter Italy had to provide proof of vaccination, proof that they had recovered from COVID-19, or provide a negative COVID-19 test. These requirements are now gone. The decision comes roughly one month after Italy scrapped its vaccine passport within the country.

Similarly, while not as absolute as Italy’s decision, Germany has decided to end nearly all travel restrictions until the end of August. According to an update on the German Federal Foreign Office’s website, “As of June 1, the requirements to register before entry, provide a negative test result and to quarantine only applies to travellers who have stayed in an area of variant of concern. Extension of the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations until August 31, 2022.” Italy and Germany now join the growing list of sensible countries that have ended the vaccine passport and travel restrictions in the wake of the incredibly mild Omicron variant.

This list of countries includes the following: the UK, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Austria, Romania, and many others. Canada, of course, remains one of the most thoroughly backwards countries on the planet and has extended its federal vaccine mandate until the end of June. This includes the federal travel ban on unvaccinated Canadians, who, being unable to board a plane, train, ferry, or cross over into the US, remain de facto prisoners in their own country.

Read more …

Erdogan’s standard threat.

Turkey Accuses Greece Of Harboring Terrorist Organizations (AMNA)

Turkey’s recent accusations that Greece is supposedly harboring terrorist organizations are “false and unfounded,” and are therefore “rejected in their entirety,” said Greek diplomatic sources on Saturday. Greece, sources clarified, “fully implements European Union decisions in the fight against terrorism.” Anadolu news agency had earlier reported that the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the Greek ambassador to Ankara to protest that allegedly Athens provides terrorist organizations with opportunities to engage in various activities. According to Anadolu, Greek Ambassador to Ankara Christodoulos Lazaris was called in because Greek authorities allowed a protest gathering be held by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) near the Turkish embassy in Athens, an organization that has been classified as a terrorist one by the EU and by Turkish authorities, it was added.

Read more …

The Times of London publishes Russian disinformation.

Laptop From Hell May Produce Data With Disaster For Joe Biden (Times)

Mac Isaac is an albino with restricted sight who was vague in interviews in 2020 about whether he got a good look at his customer. In his book, American Injustice, he says he made repeated attempts to return the laptop and then hand it over to the authorities. He said he was angered that, after he gave all the material to the FBI, it did not feature in the first impeachment of President Trump over his pressure on President Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Mac Isaac says that spurred him to hand a copy of the data to Robert Costello, a lawyer for Rudy Giuliani, who in turn was acting as Trump’s lawyer. Mac Isaac says that the customer who came in with three liquid-damaged laptops appeared “intoxicated” with speech that was “a little slurred”.

Speaking to a Fox News podcast, he added: “When I actually left the shop probably about 45 minutes after he left the shop, I noticed his vehicle was still there. I just assumed that he was sleeping one off.” One of the laptops was a write-off and one just needed an external keyboard. “The third computer, there was a glimmer of life, but it required me to check it in so I could take it apart, disconnect some components to get the machine up and running,” Mac Isaac said. “I explained that process with him, I printed up an authorisation allowing me to take custody of the machine. And I had him sign that document, review the document with him.” It contained his usual proviso that, if unclaimed after 90 days, the computer was considered abandoned and became Mac Isaac’s property.

He says that the manual nature of dragging files and then comparing some to see if the data was intact led him to see what was on the computer. “That’s when I realised that the person . . . that’s storing in a lot of this homemade porn is actually the guy that dropped off the laptop,” he said. Mac Isaac denies he breached Hunter Biden’s privacy. “He wanted me to recover his data. When a customer requires a data recovery it’s usually for two things, movies and pictures. It’s for the things that you can’t replace,” he said. He says he opened a long video to check for digital corruption and found issues of another sort. “That just happened to be a homemade video of Hunter [doing] amazingly multiple illegal acts at the same time . . . smoking crack, while engaged in sex trade — I don’t know — I’m pretty sure, I’m not a lawman.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 172022
 
 May 17, 2022  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  33 Responses »


Man Ray Le Violon d’Ingres 1924

 

At Least 300 Azov Fighters Surrender To Russians At Azovstal Plant (ZH)
Hundreds Of Ukrainian Troops Evacuated From Azobvstal After 82-Day Assault (G.)
Russia Has The Historical Right To Invade Ukraine (Finkelstein)
Death By A Thousand Cuts: Where Is The West’s Ukraine Strategy? (Escobar)
EU Plans Loans And Grants To Help Rebuild Ukraine (G.)
Turkey Says It Will Not Approve Sweden And Finland Joining NATO (G.)
States Must Pre-emptively Nullify Any WHO Pandemic Regulations (Blaze)
The New Rift Between WHO and China (Tucker)
Scandinavian Black Metal (Every)
The Twitter Bot Inquiry Intensifies (CTH)
Your Government Quietly Confirmed The Fully Vaccinated Are Developing AIDS (DE)
Feeding the Narrative (Kunstler)

 

 

The AZOV regiment in the Azovstal compound has surrendered to Russia. The MSM will tell you they were “evacuated”, “to save lives”. And of course it’s out of fashion to call them neo-nazis.

Russia has won, and on its own terms. But they won’t tell you that either. Zelensky’s message: “We hope to save the lives of our boys”. “I want to underline: Ukraine needs its Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle.”

Yes, the neo-nazis have become (inter-) national heroes. Oh, the irony.

The effect on the morale of Ukraine will be huge, with one part of the “regular” army -and civilians- so far looking to Azov as a symbol of strength, and another part too scared to surrender themselves for fear of Azov reprisals. Don’t be surprised if this means much more of Ukraine will soon surrender too, including Zelensky.

But, but, what about the $40 billion the US will send? Don’t worry, the remaining oligarchs -in the US AND Ukraine-know just what to do with that. Most will need to take it abroad though, they can’t wait until Russia might come after them.

 

 

Baby formula. 42.6% corn syrup. 10.1% sugar. Get them addicted young.

 

 

Clarence Thomas

 

 

 

 

“..after previously vowing multiple to times to ‘fight till the end’..”

At Least 300 Azov Fighters Surrender To Russians At Azovstal Plant (ZH)

The more than month-long standoff at Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks plant is finally over, after for many weeks the siege of the large complex by Russian forces remained the focus of international headlines, and following a series of high-risk civilian evacuations, some of them under the auspices of UN and Red Cross emergency teams. The remnant hundreds of armed Ukrainian Azov battalion militants which had refused to come out have now surrendered in the Monday night hours. “Reuters saw about a dozen buses apparently carrying Ukrainian fighters leaving the plant on Monday. It was not possible to determine how many people were aboard.” Widespread reports say that some 300 Ukrainian fighters have laid down their weapons and emerged from the cavernous facility.

“More than 260 Ukrainian soldiers were evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the port city of Mariupol,” Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Malyar said. Another “53 heavily wounded (soldiers) were evacuated from Azovstal to the medical mortgage near Novoazovsk for medical aid,” according to Malyar’s statement. Azov issued a statement on Telegram saying they are “implementing the approved decision of the Supreme Military Command” in order to “save lives”. And the Russian side has since confirmed that “An agreement has been reached on the removal of the wounded,” according to a Russian defense ministry statement. “A humanitarian corridor has been opened through which wounded Ukrainian servicemen are being taken to a medical facility in Novoazovsk.”

Russian media is also widely reporting the surrender at Azovstal, with RT airing some of the first footage of the evacuation of the last fighters to leave… The Moscow Times is quoting confirmation from Ukraine’s president – who is applauding the safe surrender: “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said “we hope to save the lives of our boys.” “I want to underline: Ukraine needs its Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle,” he said in a video statement. Crucially, Novoazovsk – where the wounded Ukrainian fighters are being taken – is in Russian-controlled territory about 40km east of Mariupol. The surrendered troops are reportedly now in the custody of the pro-Moscow Donetsk People’s Republic. Likely Kiev will seek to negotiate their return for captured Russians currently in Ukrainian military custody.

Azov battalion, which has long been widely acknowledged even in prior mainstream media reporting as a neo-Nazi group, is asking the Ukrainian public for continued “support” – given this surrender (after previously vowing multiple to times to ‘fight till the end’) will likely be viewed by some as premature capitulation. During the long siege, all that were stuck in the facility had been running out of food, supplies, and ammunition as Russian forces had them completely surrounded. Last month President Putin is said to have ordered the military to simply wait them out, as opposed to what would have likely been a high death toll operation to enter the underground complex beneath the huge plant.

Read more …

“..the soldiers defending the steel plant had “performed their combat task” and now the main goal was to save the lives of personnel.”

Hundreds Of Ukrainian Troops Evacuated From Azobvstal After 82-Day Assault (G.)

More than 260 Ukrainian soldiers, many of them wounded, have been evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the port city of Mariupol, appearing to cede control of the city to Russia after 82 days of bombardment. Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar said late on Monday that 53 heavily wounded soldiers were evacuated to a hospital in the Russian-controlled town of Novoazovsk. More than 200 others were transported through a corridor to Olenivka, Maliar said. The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said that the soldiers defending the steel plant had “performed their combat task” and now the main goal was to save the lives of personnel. By holding the steelworks, they stopped Russian forces from rapidly capturing the southern city of Zaporizhzhia, its statement on Facebook said.


It was unclear how many soldiers remained in the steel plant, but Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said: “We hope to save the lives of our boys”. “I want to underline: Ukraine needs its Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle,” he said in a video statement. The evacuation is likely to mark the end of the longest and bloodiest battle of the Ukraine war and a significant defeat for Ukraine. Mariupol is now in ruins after a Russian siege that Ukraine says killed tens of thousands of people in the city. For Ukrainians, the Azovstal plant has become a symbol of resistance, with hundreds of troops continuing to fight on there even after the rest of the city had fallen to Russian forces. Some 600 troops were believed to have been inside the steel plant.

Read more …

“But I will say —and I’m not afraid to say it because it would dishonor the memory of my parents if i didn’t say it—, I will say that they had the right to do it.”

Russia Has The Historical Right To Invade Ukraine (Finkelstein)

[..] if you agree that for 20 years—more than 20 years, more than two decades—, Russia has tried to engage in diplomacy; if you agree that the Russian demand to neutralize Ukraine —not occupy it, not determine its government, its form of economy, just neutralize it like Austria after World War II—, if you agree that was a legitimate demand; if you agree that the West was expanding and expanding NATO; if you agree that Ukraine de facto had become a member of NATO, weapons pouring in, engaging in military exercises in NATO; and if you agree… You know, Russia lost 30 million people during World War II because of the Nazi invasion, so there’s a legitimate concern by Russia with all of these —if you excuse my language— Nazis floating around in the Ukraine, then the simple question is: What was Russia to do?

I’m not saying I agree with the invasion, I’m not saying it went right, but I think one thing: the invasion showed… you know what the one thing the invasion showed, Briahna, was that Russia is kind of weak militarily, which is why all the more they may have been fearful of a NATO-backed Ukraine filled with Nazis, and probably at some point positioning nuclear missiles on its border. And I think 30 million, 30 million people… Listen to this: I think 30 million people is 30 million arguments in favor of Russia. Now I’m not going to say, because I’m not a general and I’m not a diplomat, so I’m not going… I’m not a military strategist so I’m not going to say it was the wisest thing to do.

I’m not going to say it was the most prudent thing to do. But I will say —and I’m not afraid to say it because it would dishonor the memory of my parents if i didn’t say it—, I will say that they had the right to do it. And I’m not taking that back. They had the right to do it. They had if I can call it the historic right to do it. 30 million people (killed during WW2), and now you’re starting again, you’re starting again. No, no, you know I can’t go for it, I can’t go for those who acknowledge the legitimacy of the arguments made by Putin but then call the invasion criminal. I don’t see that.

Read more …

“The caliber of ‘strategic’ advice from the NATO realm was self-evident in the Serpent Island fiasco – a direct order issued by British ‘consultants’ to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.”

Death By A Thousand Cuts: Where Is The West’s Ukraine Strategy? (Escobar)

Ukraine was never about a military win. What is being accomplished is the slow, painful destruction of the European Union (EU) economy, coupled with extraordinary weapons profits for the western military-industrial complex and creeping security rule by those nations’ political elites. The latter, in turn, have been totally baffled by Russia’s C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) capabilities, coupled with the stunning inefficiency of their own constellation of Javelins, NLAWs, Stingers and Turkish Bayraktar drones. This ignorance reaches way beyond tactics and the operational and strategic realm. As Martyanov delightfully points out, they “wouldn’t know what hit them on the modern battlefield with near-peer, forget about peer.”

The caliber of ‘strategic’ advice from the NATO realm was self-evident in the Serpent Island fiasco – a direct order issued by British ‘consultants’ to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, thought the whole thing was suicidal. He was proven right. All the Russians had to do was launch a few choice anti-ship and surface Onyx missiles from bastions stationed in Crimea on airports south of Odessa. In no time, Serpent Island was back under Russian control – even as high-ranking British and American marine officers ‘disappeared’ during the Ukrainian landing on the island. They were the ‘strategic’ NATO actors on the spot, doling out the lousy advice.

Extra evidence that the Ukraine debacle is predominantly about money laundering – not competent military strategy – is Capitol Hill approving a hefty extra $40 billion in ‘aid’ to Kiev. It’s just another western military-industrial complex bonanza, duly noted by Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev. Russian forces, meanwhile, have brought diplomacy to the battlefield, handing over 10 tons of humanitarian assistance to the people of liberated Kherson – with the deputy head of the military-civil administration of the region, Kirill Stremousov, announcing that Kherson wants to become part of the Russian Federation. In parallel, Georgy Muradov, deputy prime minister of the government of Crimea, has “no doubts that the liberated territories of the south of the former Ukraine will become another region of Russia. This, as we assess from our communication with the inhabitants of the region, is the will of the people themselves, most of whom lived for eight years under conditions of repression and bullying by the Ukronazis.”

Read more …

Loans And Grants And Stolen Assets.

EU Plans Loans And Grants To Help Rebuild Ukraine (G.)

Ukraine could receive loans, grants and possibly the proceeds of seized Russian oligarch property to help pay the multibillion-euro cost of rebuilding the country after the ruinous war launched by the Kremlin, according to a leaked EU reconstruction plan. In the plan drafted in Brussels, the European Commission states that the Ukrainian government will have to take out loans to pay for rebuilding its war-ravaged country. Non-repayable grants from EU member states would provide another tranche of the funds needed to rebuild destroyed homes, schools, roads, railways, airports and bridges. The EU also proposes assessing the feasibility of using assets seized from sanctioned Russians and Belarusians after a proposal from the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, earlier this month.

“I am absolutely convinced that this is extremely important not only to freeze assets, but also to make possible to confiscate it, to make it available for the rebuilding of the country,” he told Ukraine’s Interfax news agency. Lawmakers in the UK and the US have also proposed seizing Russian property to aid Ukraine’s reconstruction and ease the plight of the country’s refugees. Brussels officials have also called for the EU to borrow as a bloc on international capital markets to finance loans for Kyiv, according to the leaked report. If agreed, it would be only the second time in its history that the EU has borrowed as a whole rather than as individual member states, after funding the landmark €750bn (£635bn) Covid recovery plan in 2020.

The idea is floated in a Ukraine relief and reconstruction plan seen by the Guardian that the commission is expected to publish on Wednesday. Figures have been left blank in the document, pending further discussions in Brussels. The paper notes, however, that the financial needs “are expected to be substantial” and that reconstruction would take more than a decade. It also estimates that damage to physical infrastructure alone may run to more than €100bn.

Read more …

“They say they will come to Turkey on Monday. Will they come to persuade us? Excuse us, but they shouldn’t bother.”

Turkey Says It Will Not Approve Sweden And Finland Joining NATO (G.)

Turkey has said it will not approve Sweden and Finland joining it as Nato members, hours after Stockholm followed Helsinki in a historic Nordic security policy shift by formally confirming that it intended to apply for membership of the alliance. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said diplomatic delegations from the two countries, which have reversed decades of military non-alignment in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, should not even bother coming to Ankara to discuss the move. “We will not say yes to those [countries] that apply sanctions to Turkey to join the security organisation Nato,” Erdogan said. “They say they will come to Turkey on Monday. Will they come to persuade us? Excuse us, but they shouldn’t bother.”


The Turkish president’s comments came as Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, said “a broad majority” in parliament backed Nato membership as “the best thing for the security of Sweden” – drawing a warning from Moscow. Sweden was “leaving one era behind us and entering a new one”, she said. The Finnish government confirmed its intention to join Nato on Sunday, shortly before Andersson’s ruling Social Democrats abandoned 73 years of opposition to the idea. Andersson said Sweden’s Nato ambassador would formally hand over Stockholm’s application to the alliance headquarters in Brussels “within the next few days” and that the membership request would be submitted simultaneously with Finland’s.

Read more …

Orwell lives.

States Must Pre-emptively Nullify Any WHO Pandemic Regulations (Blaze)

On May 22, the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization, will meet in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the next step in its nefarious pandemic treaty and the quest to use “public health” to expand the WHO’s power over sovereign states. Representatives from 193 nations, including the U.S, will be attending. Interestingly, the only country not invited is Taiwan, of course, at the behest of its Chinese puppet masters. What is the nature of this pandemic treaty agenda? On Jan. 24, 2022, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, explained the treaty was a “priority” to “urgently strengthen WHO as the leading and directing authority on global health, at the center of the global health architecture.”

In chilling words he laid out the guiding principle of this wicked plot. “We all want a world in which science triumphs over misinformation; solidarity triumphs over division; and equity is a reality, not an aspiration,” he added. He concluded, “We are one world, we have one health, we are one WHO.” Until now, the Biden administration appeared awfully quiet about this treaty, unlike some of the other recent international climate treaties about which officials have been quite vocal. However, it has come to light that several months ago, the Biden administration quietly sent the WHO several amendments to a 2005 international health regulation to be considered at the May 22 meeting about the treaty. At the time, the White House never issued an official statement or held a press conference.

The draft was not made public until mid-April. What is the nature of these amendments? They would essentially allow the director-general of the WHO to declare a public health emergency in a country and unilaterally coerce its citizens to take certain actions. The proposed amendment deletes a critical sentence from Article 9 of the 2005 International Health Regulations: “WHO shall consult with and attempt to obtain verification from the State Party in whose territory the event is allegedly occurring…” What could be the benign reason for the Biden administration erasing an existing requirement that the WHO first consult with the government of that particular country before making a determination? If there was any doubt about the motivations of these amendments and the direction in which they want to take our sovereignty, look at the next proposed change:

The Biden administration wants all the emergency declarations to be mandatory and cut out all views of the concerned state. The amendments are also designed to truncate the period of time for approving this travesty. The current WHO regulations provide for an 18-month grace period during which a nation may withdraw its “yes” vote for the amendments. The Biden administration draft proposal would truncate that period to just six months.

Read more …

Perhaps Xi doesn’t like the WHO getting dictatorial powers?

The New Rift Between WHO and China (Tucker)

From the beginning of the pandemic, the World Health Organization and China’s CCP have worked and spoken hand-in-glove, culminating in the Potemkin Village junket of mid-February 2020. The WHO-sponsored travel report – how wonderfully China had performed! – was written and signed by American public health officials who recommended Wuhan-style lockdowns, a disastrous policy that further inspired most governments in the world to do the same. Twenty-six months later, it turns out that China in fact had not “eliminated the virus fully within its borders,” contrary to the over-the-top claims of TV pundit Devi Sridhar in her new book Preventable. They only pushed cases into the future, as the CCP discovered when positive tests appeared all over Shanghai, leading to 7 weeks of brutal lockdowns.

This move on China’s part has been a disaster for the country and the world economy, and presently endangers the financial and technological future of the entire country. For Xi Jinping, lockdowns and zero-covid were his greatest achievement, one which was celebrated the world over, causing his political pride to swell beyond all bounds. Now, he cannot back off lest he face possible losses in upcoming party elections. Just this past weekend, he made it clear to the entire government that there would be no backing off the zero-covid policy: the CCP will “unswervingly adhere to the general policy of ‘dynamic zero-Covid,’ and resolutely fight against any words and deeds that distort, doubt or deny our country’s epidemic prevention policies.” The problem is acute: vast numbers in China likely need to acquire natural immunity via exposure.

The lockdown policy likely puts a damper on the achievement of endemicity. That means long-term damage to China’s future. Sensing this problem, the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, offered a mild criticism: “Considering the behavior of the virus, I think a shift will be very important,” adding that he had discussed this point with Chinese scientists. What happened next is truly fascinating: Tedros’s comments were censored all over China and searches for the name Tedros were immediately blocked within the country. Implausibly, merely by stating the incredibly obvious point, Tedros has made himself an enemy of the state. Meanwhile, another WHO/China partisan, Bill Gates, has been sheepishly saying something very similar in interviews, namely that the virus cannot be eradicated.

Read more …

“.. the G7 warns of 43 million people going hungry if Russia won’t stop its blockade of the Black Sea, which it won’t..”

Scandinavian Black Metal (Every)

Think of Scandinavian Black Metal as Finland and Sweden officially announce bids for NATO membership, overturning decades and centuries of neutrality, respectively; as Ukraine wins the Eurovision Song Contest, showing the tune the EU public is singing, and President Zelenskiy floats hosting it in demolished and occupied Mariupol; and as France and Germany come last, an EU-wide rejection of their continuous bids to harmonize with Russia. Think similarly as the G7 warns of 43 million people going hungry if Russia won’t stop its blockade of the Black Sea, which it won’t. That seems an undercount given recent surveys in even Western countries talking about 2 in 7 people facing some form of hunger, and a surge in the use of food banks. Worse, India just halted exports of wheat, or will only sell to those in real need, which injects another layer of (geo)politics into commodities trading.

Likewise, oil remains over $100 despite much of China in lockdown, which Shanghai may lift slightly from 16 May. Imagine how high oil would be with China open. Diesel is in short supply, and Bloomberg’s Javier Blass says at prices the equivalent of $200-250. There are warnings of diesel shortages in the north-east US, which will bring trucking to a halt. Recent conversations with taxi drivers in London and Singapore, which there are evident shortages of, complaining that current fuel prices mean they struggle to make ends meet. Nigerian domestic airlines have threatened to stop flying completely.

We can all name the tune that follows. Pro-China Sri Lanka is in chaos over rising food and energy prices. Pro-China Iran is seeing street protests, despite being a major energy producer – and is still no closer to a nuclear deal despite the EU thinking ‘Wandel Durch Handel’ will work in the Middle East in the same way it has not worked in eastern Europe or the Far East. China itself, besides sealing people into their homes, is restricting outbound international travel, clipping passports of those arriving, and according to one source, blocking overseas calls.

China also saw terrible data: industrial production -2.9% y-o-y vs. consensus of 0.5% and 5.0% in March; in year-to-date (y-t-d) terms, it was up 4.0%, down from 6.5% from last month; retail sales y-o-y were -11.1% vs. -6.6% consensus, and down from -3.5%, and in y-t-d terms were -1.2%, down from 3.3%; fixed investment y-o-y y-t-d was 6.8% vs. 7.0% consensus and down from 9.3%, the last leg standing; and property investment was -2.7% y-o-y y-t-d vs. -1.5% consensus and 0.7% in March, underlining that the investment seen was into infrastructure not housing. Indeed, residential property sales were -32.2% y-o-y y-t-d, and unemployment ticked up from 6.0% to 6.1%. China’s response was to cut mortgage rates 20bp for first-home buyers, but there was no rate cut in the MLF interest rate from 2.85% despite 50-50 market expectations of such a move.

Read more …

Will anything be left of Twitter?

The Twitter Bot Inquiry Intensifies (CTH)

If you accept that Twitter is manipulating the public conversation intentionally (they are), then Twitter bots would serve an ideological function. However, the issue of ‘bots’ operating on the Twitter platform is interesting when you consider the cost of platform operation. On one hand, extensive auto-generated ‘bots’ would be an issue of cost and data-processing, a net negative. On the other hand, the use of bots would be a manipulative practice for the creation of false impressions to generate advertising revenue. If the scale of data-processing was subsidized, an outcome of a network of data processing centers -the AWS cloud- linked to government resources, the bots would not be a cost issue for the operation. Despite the false impressions generated, bots would, however, under this weird situation, be useful for the manipulation of the conversation.

At the root of Elon Musk’s line of inquiry is the need to discover if this suspicion is true. If the scale of bots has been underestimated (likely by a willfully blind operation) the advertising fees charged by Twitter were potentially fraudulent. This is another operational reason (mitigating lawsuits from advertisers) for Musk to make the determination prior to the final purchase of the platform. Taking Twitter private as a company, eliminating bots (which is essentially removing fraudulent users) then carries the potential benefits of both lowering costs and positioning the company to increase genuine ad revenue from authenticated users as real people. Many people suspect the size of the political left on the Twitter platform is manipulated by programatic bots. Meaning there seems to be more people on the left side of the spectrum because bots are deployed to give the impression of like-minded users.

I am one of the people who believe this suspicion is accurate, because it would be a typical way the ideological left operates. The bots would be in addition to the deployment of algorithms that are designed to suppress speech the platform operators do not like. I have long suspected the Twitter algorithm process is essentially assigning certain users into specifically designed data-processing containers where their voice is suppressed. Some people call this ‘shadow-banning,’ I simply call it suppression. Elon Musk represents a threat to the way the platform was/is designed to operate. If Musk removes the discussion constraints, opens the containers and removes the restrictions, while simultaneously eliminating bots and fake accounts, the entire perspective of the platform could change very quickly. This is what I think the current board and operators are trying to avoid.

Read more …

“..Public Health Scotland, the New Zealand Ministry of Health, the Government of Canada, the UK Health Security Agency, the Office for National Statistics, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control..”

Your Government Quietly Confirmed The Fully Vaccinated Are Developing AIDS (DE)

Something is very wrong, and it is because of the Covid-19 injections. All around the world, Governments are publishing official data that all show the same thing. Those same Governments however are not willing to explain why. Instead, they are quietly publishing data in the hope that it will get swept under the carpet whilst they have you distracted by war in Ukraine and worrying about the cost of living; a crisis created by Government policy. But with the publication of confidential Pfizer documents, Governments around the world are running out of places to hide, and if these worrying trends continue, they will be forced to admit the Covid-19 injections are either causing Antibody-Dependent Enhancement or something much worse. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.


Whilst rare, it is perfectly possible for a medication or drug to cause Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, and data published by Public Health Scotland, the New Zealand Ministry of Health, the Government of Canada, the UK Health Security Agency, the Office for National Statistics, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control strongly suggests the Covid-19 injections should be added to the list. How else can Governments around the world explain the fact the fully vaccinated are more likely to be infected with Covid-19, more likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19, and more likely to die of Covid-19 than the unvaccinated? How else can Governments around the world explain the huge rise in all-cause mortality rates among the fully vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated? How else can Governments around the world explain the 1,145% to 33,715% increase in AIDS-related diseases, cancers and infections reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in 2021?

Read more …

“..it will promote the evolution of new-and-different iterations of novel Coronaviruses, and it will surely kill and maim a lot more people, including little children.”

Feeding the Narrative (Kunstler)

This is not 2020. The public may be better inoculated now against government gaslighting and mind-fuckery than they are against Covid-19 viruses. As Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) noted last week in his colloquy with Secretary Mayorkas, “Do you know who the greatest propagator of disinformation in the history of the world is? The U.S. government.” Senator Paul is onto something. In the course of that hearing, he asked Mr. Mayorkas whether talk about Covid 19 on social media might be subject to official “disinformation” action by his agency. “I’ve said a million times that cloth masks don’t work; YouTube takes me down,” Senator Paul said. “They’re a private company. I can have that beef with them. What about you? You’re going to look at that? I often say that natural immunity from having had the infection is equal to the vaccine or better. You’re going to take that down?”

Rand Paul is a licensed physician, by the way, and Alejandro Mayorkas is not. Mr. Mayorkas answered that someone might claim that vaccination centers “are actually peddling fentanyl. Now, should I sit back and take that, or should I actually disseminate accurate information?” he asked. In reality, of course, this hypothetical fentanyl nonsense is not what is at issue regarding Covid-19 “vaccines.” What is actually at issue is the now-established fact that the mRNA products called “vaccines” do not prevent infection or transmission of Covid-19, and do provoke a broad array of harms to people that cause disability and death in, at least, tens of thousands of cases, which is a lot in terms of all prior medical standards.

The government has been lying about this consistently. And the news media have been obediently conveying those lies, in league with the pharmaceutical giants who produce the “vaccines.” The governor of my state, Kathy Hochul, still idiotically wants to mandate mRNA “vaccines” for children. Pfizer ran a commercial on CBS’s 60-Minutes Sunday night promising that further “vaccination” with their sketchy product will “open up the world” for people. In fact, it will do nothing to protect people, rather it will promote the evolution of new-and-different iterations of novel Coronaviruses, and it will surely kill and maim a lot more people, including little children.

Malone: myocarditis may be occurring in a majority of the vaccinated.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Apr 232022
 
 April 23, 2022  Posted by at 8:02 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Jackson Pollock Number 31 1949

 

Does Paul Craig Roberts like Genocide? (Orlov)
Zelensky Gets John F. Kennedy Award For Defending Democracy (AP)
Daddies in Mommie-land (Kunstler)
Migratory Birds Of Mass Destruction (IPL)
Xi Echoes Putin in Proposal for New ‘Global Security Initiative’ (ET)
Biden Proposes $500 Million In Aid For Ukrainian Government (Hill)
Turkey Says Some NATO Members Want Longer Ukraine War to Hurt Russia (Antiwar)
Russia Warns Greece of Complete Breakdown in Relations (GR)
FDA and Pfizer Knew COVID Shot Caused Immunosuppression (Mercola)
Patients Report A Rebound Of Covid-19 Symptoms After Taking Paxlovid (BGlobe)
The IMF and the Law of Unintended Consequences (CTH)
Staring Into the Abyss (CHS)
Woke Elitists Are Too Stupid To See Elon Musk Is Saving Twitter (Smith)
The Coming Removal of the Mandate of Heaven, Part 2: Water (GCW)

 

 

Gonzalo Lira

 

 

A different view.

 

 

Attacking PCR without even linking to what you’re citing is not great.

But Orlov’s view of the future is interesting.

Does Paul Craig Roberts like Genocide? (Orlov)

3. Russia has a great and prosperous future as a wealthy, well-educated, civilized, vast and resource-rich country, but this future has nothing to do with Europe or the rest of the West, which are going to collapse. The fact that Russia has been rather tightly integrated with the West ever since Peter the Great moved the capital to St. Petersburg has complicated its transition away from the West and its turn eastward. Western sanctions, rampant Russophobia and the application of cancel culture to Russian culture has made this transition inevitable in the eyes of most Russians, but the process takes time. It would not be helpful if tensions with the West decreased prematurely or if anti-Russian sanctions were removed before they are made completely irrelevant. Also, the West’s unwillingness to buy Russian energy, metals, fertilizer and other essentials speeds up its collapse timeline and that, for Russia, is also a positive.

4. Immediately after Russia commenced its Special Operation in the Ukraine, much of Russia’s remaining fifth-columnists departed for other lands. They already had no impact on Russian politics, but they still exerted some amount of influence in culture and education, and their departure has been most welcome. Given the absolutely overwhelming public support for the Special Operation in Russia, those liberals who have spoken out against it have thereby excused themselves from Russian public life, making room for new talent and new blood. This is also a process that needs to run its course and should not be rushed.

5. The Special Operation has allowed Russia to demonstrate the overwhelming superiority of its armed forces vis-à-vis NATO. All of the weapons that the West has managed to infiltrate into the Ukraine are either being destroyed by rocket attacks or are accumulating in stockpiles after being abandoned by retreating or surrendering Ukrainian troops. None of the obsolete Stingers, Javelins or other military junk has made much of a difference at all. There is very little of any significance that the West can do to hurt Russia’s careful and measured progress in the Ukraine. Once more, time is on Russia’s side: it will take another few months for it to register in the West that all those billions spent on aid to the Ukraine have gone into a black hole with nothing to show for it.

Read more …

We all know what award he’ll be heavily nominated for. That’s how crazy this has all become.

Zelensky Gets John F. Kennedy Award For Defending Democracy (AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is among five people named Thursday as recipients of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for acting to protect democracy. Zelensky was chosen because of the way he has “marshaled the spirit, patriotism and untiring sacrifice of the Ukrainian people in a life-or-death fight for their country,” as Russia pours in troops and assaults cities and towns, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation said. The foundation said four U.S. officials were chosen for standing up for free and fair elections, as the system is challenged in ways it has never been before. They are: Republican U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Fulton County, Georgia, elections worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss.


Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the awards May 22 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. The award was created by the family of the late president to honor public figures who risk their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good, and is named after Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Profiles in Courage.” “There is no more important issue facing our country, and the world, today than the fight for democracy,” Kennedy said in a statement. “The war in Ukraine has shown the world that we can’t take freedom for granted, and the courage of our elected officials in the U.S. reminds us that as citizens we each have a responsibility to protect our democracy and exercise our fundamental right to vote.”

Read more …

“..a shell of a man who, in his prime, lived just to work his official positions for millions in grift.”

Daddies in Mommie-land (Kunstler)

If the USA and its NATO allies actually cared about Ukraine, we would have just left the place alone to slowly settle into the de-industrialized agricultural backwater it was becoming. And if we wanted to prevent widespread devastation once Operation Z got underway, we would have promoted peace talks, with an emphasis on our previous declaration that Ukraine would not be a candidate to join NATO. Instead, we set up Ukraine as a launching pad for annoying Russia (while also using Ukraine as a money laundromat for public officials and arms-makers). America is a drama queen, like the Queen Bee in one of those Real Housewives shows on cable TV, whose entire purpose in life is creating colorful conflicts within her circle of sisters. Daddy is not needed around that house, except offstage maybe as the wide-receiver for a multi-million-dollar paycheck courtesy of the NFL (a rival entertainment).

When one of America’s drama queen stunts goes wrong, the Queen Bee melts into a puddle of tears — boo hoo — tripping the empathy toggle.The sisters cluster around her, beating their wings. Somebody, please, help her feel better… fetch her a glass of pino grigio or a Xanax! Drama Queen Bee America does not like how the Ukraine drama is playing out. The mean old Daddy Putin is rocking the joint, cleaning out the place like Gary Cooper in some Long Branch Saloon of the Eurasian steppe — heaving all those Azov Nazis through the swinging doors out into the dusty street. The other sisters in the NATO circle were induced to acting as cheerleaders for the Azov boys, and now Mr. Putin has gone and turned off Europe’s gas. Western Civ is about to be sent to bed without dinner — the ultimate daddy trick. Now the sisters are all going boo hoo. Nothing is working for the sisterhood.

America’s president, “Joe Biden,” suits the current national script perfectly. He’s a mere prop for the drama queens. No one mistakes him for “Daddy.” He’s the old, impotent, intemperate, often confused “Grampy,” a figure of bathos and derision, a shell of a man who, in his prime, lived just to work his official positions for millions in grift. How, otherwise, do you account for his fortune? The Ukraine money laundromat was one of his favorite stops, managed carefully by cheerleaders Victoria Nuland, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, and NSC official Fiona Hill, America’s foreign policy establishment there back in the day. But who, exactly, is managing Grampy now backstage in the White House? My guess would be Susan Rice because you never hear anything about Susan Rice or her role there: Director of the Domestic Policy Council of the United States. Wow! Sounds weighty. When was the last time you saw her name in The New York Times or cable TV news? You’d think they’d be interested in her doings.

Read more …

“But the cover-up was only partially successful. Indeed, Russia is in possession of highly incriminating evidence.”

Migratory Birds Of Mass Destruction (IPL)

The UN Security Council held an extraordinary event on April 6 under the rubric Arria Formula Meeting on Biological Security regarding the biological activities in countries including Ukraine. Predictably, the US and UK representatives didn’t show up at the event and the western media also blacked out the proceedings. But that does not detract from the profound significance of what transpired. The highlight of the Security Council proceedings lasting over two hours was the disclosure by General Igor Kirillov, chief of the Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces of the Russian Armed Forces, that Washington is creating biological laboratories in different countries and connecting them to a unified system.

He said the US has spent more than $5 billion on military biological programs since 2005 and detailed that in territories bordering Russia and China alone, about 60 facilities have been modernised during this period. The Ukrainian network of laboratories is designed to conduct research and monitor the biological situation consisting of 30 facilities in 14 populated locations. Highly sensitive materials from the Ukrainian biological laboratories were exported to the US in early February just before the Russian special operation began, and the rest were ordered to be destroyed lest they fell into Russian hands. But the cover-up was only partially successful. Indeed, Russia is in possession of highly incriminating evidence.

Previously also, Russia had released a number of documents related to the biological military activities of the Pentagon, which pointed toward a worldwide project to set up biological laboratories in rival countries with the goal of developing targeted viral weapons against those countries. The proceedings of the Security Council conference on April 6 are in the public domain and are accessible. Russia has made specific allegations, pointing finger at:
• Pentagon funding for the bio-labs in Ukraine;
• Location of these bio-labs (not only in Ukraine but in 36 countries around the world);
• Diseases and epidemics on which research work is going on, focusing on the means for their release, the countries where they are being tested (even without the knowledge of the governments of these countries); and, of course,
• Experiments relating to coronavirus (and bats used to transmit this virus).

However, the US has so far point-blank refused to accept any supervision and verification of such incriminatory evidences and has stonewalled the demand for a verification mechanism. It is unlikely that the US will permit an international verification process that holds the potential to expose it as indulging in crimes against humanity — although there are appropriate frameworks in place including the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the UN, to hear the clarifications from the relevant country in a fair and impartial manner.

Read more …

Xi doesn’t echo anyone.

Xi Echoes Putin in Proposal for New ‘Global Security Initiative’ (ET)

Chinese leader Xi Jinping on April 21 took several veiled swipes at Washington and allies’ sanctions on Russia, while proposing what he called a new China-led “global security initiative.” Xi said the new initiative takes “legitimate security concerns of all” and upholds “the principle of indivisibility of security,” key concepts that Russia has used to justify its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its current assault on Ukraine. The “indivisibility of security” broadly refers to the idea that the security of one state is inseparable from that of other countries in the region, and thus no state should enhance its security at the expense of another’s. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in justifying his invasion of Ukraine, had argued that NATO’s strategy breached this principle.

The Chinese leader’s remarks, made during a video speech to the annual Boao Asia Forum, came as Beijing continues to strengthen its ties with Moscow even after Putin’s invasion. Earlier this week, a top Chinese diplomat pledged to deepen links with the aggressor state during a meeting with Russia’s envoy to China in Beijing. Since the war, the Chinese regime has repeatedly criticized Western sanctions and refused to condemn Moscow. It has also echoed Moscow’s propaganda claim that the United States and NATO instigated the conflict. During his speech, the Chinese leader said the security initiative would uphold “non-interference in internal affairs” and respect “sovereignty and territorial integrity,” slogans consistently used by Beijing to justify and deflect criticism of its aggression towards Taiwan. Beijing views the self-ruled island as its own territory to be taken by force if necessary.

The Chinese leader also reiterated Beijing’s opposition to “long-arm jurisdiction” and “unilateral sanctions,” without directly naming any country. Last month, Western officials warned that Beijing had signaled a willingness to provide Moscow with economic and military aid for its war effort. This prompted President Joe Biden to warn Chinese leader Xi Jinping during a March 18 video call of unspecified “consequences” should the regime materially support Moscow.

Read more …

It will all land in the pockets of the oligarchs.

Zelensky wants $7 billion per year.

Biden Proposes $500 Million In Aid For Ukrainian Government (Hill)

The Biden administration is seeking to send Ukraine $500 million to help keep its government services running as the war with Russia stretches into its third month, the Treasury Department announced Thursday. The administration will ask Congress to approve $500 million to cover the cost of Ukraine’s basic government services, including pensions, salaries and aid programs, the Treasury Department said. The aid package would be in addition to another $800 million in military support proposed by Biden on Thursday, which would also require approval from Congress. Biden said Thursday the U.S. has almost exhausted the $13.6 billion in Ukraine aid approved in a March government funding bill. Any new federal spending must be approved by the House and Senate before the president can sign the bill and send out the money.


“This is money the government can help use to stabilize their economy, to support communities that have been devastated by the Russian onslaught and pay the brave workers that continue to provide essential services to the people of Ukraine,” Biden said in remarks from the White House Thursday morning. Both Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met separately Thursday with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Wasington, D.C. Yellen and Shmyhal were joined by Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo and Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko. The U.S. and its allies have provided tens of billions of dollars in military and economic support to Ukraine as it attempts to fend off the Russian invasion. Mass emigration, compulsory military service for working-age men, the destruction of Ukrainian cities and the upended wheat planting season have derailed the Ukrainian economy, exacerbating the deep humanitarian costs of war.

Read more …

“The [Washington Post] report said: “For some in NATO, it’s better for the Ukrainians to keep fighting, and dying, than to achieve a peace that comes too early or at too high a cost to Kyiv and the rest of Europe.”

Turkey Says Some NATO Members Want Longer Ukraine War to Hurt Russia (Antiwar)

In an interview on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said some NATO member states want the war in Ukraine to last longer as a way to hurt Russia. “There are countries within NATO who want the war to continue,” Cavusoglu told CNN Turk. “They want Russia to become weaker.” According to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, Cavusoglu did not think the war would last long after Russia and Ukraine held peace talks in Istanbul last month. But following a NATO foreign ministers meeting, he was given the impression that some alliance members don’t want the war to end.


Since Russia invaded on February 24, the US and many of its NATO allies have abandoned diplomacy with Russia. Instead of seeking a diplomatic solution, the Western powers are pouring weapons into Ukraine and waging an economic sanctions campaign against Russia. The view among some NATO members on the war was summarized by a recent report from The Washington Post. The report said: “For some in NATO, it’s better for the Ukrainians to keep fighting, and dying, than to achieve a peace that comes too early or at too high a cost to Kyiv and the rest of Europe.”

Read more …

“this happened despite the fact that we share the same faith with the Greeks, the same traditions, and were always there to help our Greek friends.”

Russia Warns Greece of Complete Breakdown in Relations (GR)

Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned Greece on Friday that the relations between the two nations that “share the same faith” have been “reduced to almost nothing.” Maria Zakharova, director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, warned in a statement released on social media that the “historical parallels” between Greece and Russia were in danger of becoming “a solid double line between us.” The Russian official focused on Greece’s decision to declare 12 Russian officials “personae non-gratae,” on April 6 joining other European states that had taken similar steps in response to accusations of atrocities committed by Russian forces against civilians in Ukraine. The Foreign Ministry said the decision was made in line with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963.

Russia’s embassy in Athens condemned Greece’s decision and warned of consequences. “We have strongly protested against this unjustified and hostile step which aims to further destroy our bilateral relations,” the Russian embassy announced in a statement. “We made clear that this action will not remain without consequences,” it further said. In her social media post, Zakharova lamented the breakdown of relations between Russia and Greece and delved in the historic ties between the two countries. “There was a time when Russia helped Greece achieve independence and restore its statehood, and its first head was previously Russia’s foreign minister, but now this country’s diplomatic relations with Russia have been reduced to almost nothing,” Zakharova warned.

She added that “this happened despite the fact that we share the same faith with the Greeks, the same traditions, and were always there to help our Greek friends. “This is not so much an issue of Euro-Atlantic solidarity erasing the past, since it is a sovereign choice for every nation to decide whom to honor. Even worse, this deprives people and nations of their future, independence and the right to make sovereign choices,” Zakharova concluded.

Read more …

“Pfizer’s own consent form clearly states: “Although not seen to date, it cannot yet be ruled out that the studied vaccine can make a later COVID-19 illness more severe.“

FDA and Pfizer Knew COVID Shot Caused Immunosuppression (Mercola)

With another batch of 11,000 Pfizer documents, released April 1, 2022, old suspicions have gained fresh support. As reported by “Rising” cohost Kim Iversen (video), the first bombshell revelation is that natural immunity works, and Pfizer has known it all along. The clinical trial data showed there was no difference in outcomes between those with previous COVID infection and those who got the shot. Neither group experienced severe infection. Natural immunity was also statistically identical to the shot in terms of the risk of infection. The second revelation is that side effects from the shots were more severe in younger people, aged 18 to 55, than those aged 55 and older. (The risk of side effects also increased with additional doses, so the risk was higher after the second dose than the first.)

As many of us have said all along, the risk of severe COVID is dramatically lower in younger people than those over 60, which makes an elevated risk of side effects unacceptable. As noted by The Naked Emperor on Substack,[1] “with a vaccine that is producing more frequent and more severe reactions and adverse events in younger individuals, the vaccine should have been restricted to those who were actually at risk of severe COVID-19.” Interestingly, Pfizer’s documentation also includes medical information that mainstream media and fact checkers have labeled as misinformation or disinformation. A pediatric consent form lists several possible side effects, including a myocarditis rate of 10 in 100,000 — far greater than the 1 in 50,000 (i.e., 2 in 100,000) rate previously reported.

We also know that myocarditis is far more frequent in young males, so for them, the risk is significantly higher than 10 in 100,000, as they make up the bulk of these injuries. Many who have warned about the possibility of mRNA shots causing antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) — a situation in which you end up being more susceptible to serious infection than you would have been otherwise — have been smeared and demonized by media and labeled as disinformation spreaders. Yet Pfizer’s own consent form clearly states: “Although not seen to date, it cannot yet be ruled out that the studied vaccine can make a later COVID-19 illness more severe.” As noted by Iversen, if ADE truly was of no concern at all, the consent form would not include it. Yet there it is.

Vaccine-associated enhanced disease (VAED) is also listed as an “Important Potential Risk” in Table 5 on page 11 of a document called “5.3.6 Cumulative Analysis of Post-Authorization Adverse Event Reports.”As of February 28, 2021, Pfizer had 138 cases of suspected VAED, 75 of which were severe, resulting in hospitalization, disability, life-threatening consequences or death; a total of 38 cases turned out to be lethal and 65 remained unresolved. Moreover, as noted by the Daily Expose, “Phase 3 clinical trials are designed to uncover frequent or severe side effects before a vaccine is approved for use, including ADE. But herein lies the problem, [because] none of the COVID-19 vaccines have completed Phase 3 trials.”

Read more …

Anyone surprised?

Patients Report A Rebound Of Covid-19 Symptoms After Taking Paxlovid (BGlobe)

When it first hit the market in December, the COVID-19 antiviral treatment, Paxlovid, was hailed as a game-changer, an effective medicine that kept at-risk people out of the hospital. But now some patients are reporting on social media an unusual and unnerving phenomenon: their COVID symptoms appear to rebound after taking the medication. And it’s not just their symptoms that reappear. Many report that after finishing their five-day course of treatment, feeling better, and testing negative on an at-home rapid test, they then test positive again a few days later. The issue has captured the attention of at least two teams of Boston-area scientists, who are trying to understand what might be fueling the problem. Resistance to the drug? Patients being quickly reinfected?

Or maybe some people just need to take the medicine longer to mount a more effective immune response. Twitter and Reddit have been filled with patients and doctors sharing their experiences and hypotheses over the past few days, including John Donoghue, a 71-year-old emeritus physics professor in Amherst. “We had three cases in the house with the same pattern,” Donoghue said, in an interview. He, his wife, and her 95-year-old mother all were infected with COVID in the last month. All three received Paxlovid, felt better, and tested negative on rapid tests for four or five days. Then their symptoms returned and each one tested positive again.

“The symptoms the second time were milder,” Donoghue said. “In some ways, we feel that Paxlovid did its job. It took away the extreme symptoms of the first round and reduced them very quickly in all three cases.” Paxlovid, granted an emergency use authorization by federal regulators in late December, is an at-home treatment prescribed at the first sign of infection to patients at high risk of serious COVID complications. The treatment consists of a series of three pills taken twice a day for five days. In its clinical trial, Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant that manufactures Paxlovid, reported an 89 percent reduction in COVID-related hospitalization or death from any cause in patients who received Paxlovid within three days of symptoms, compared with patients who received a placebo.

Read more …

“Now, the world is facing massive inflation, economic contraction, looming hunger, widespread famine and a pending global financial collapse.”

The IMF and the Law of Unintended Consequences (CTH)

It’s not exactly a confidence builder when the Director of the International Monetary Fund answers the question about forward priorities by saying, “Perhaps we need to pay attention to the law of unintended consequences.” You had one job Kristalina, one job. During an International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring debate and discussion segment, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, outlined her perspective against the backdrop of massive inflation caused by the global financial institutions telling government to spend money and they will print it, during COVID. [The video is prompted to 01:04:50].


The discussion included EU Central Bank President Lagarde, US Fed Chair Powell, Indonesian Finance Minister Mulvani – when IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva admitted they channeled their COVID fear and emotions by unsustainably printing money without pausing to think through the consequences. Now, the world is facing massive inflation, economic contraction, looming hunger, widespread famine and a pending global financial collapse. Their response? “Whoops.” Not to worry, they’ll have a little wine and chocolate and figure things out. Swear.

Read more …

“..the Fed has exacerbated socially fatal neofeudal inequality..”

Staring Into the Abyss (CHS)

The global economy is perched on the edge of an abyss, and averting our gaze doesn’t actually lessen the risk, it increases it because problems which aren’t faced directly and addressed directly fester and rot the system from within. This is why we’re collectively staring into the abyss: all the big problems have been dismissed, ignored or papered over with PR-happy-talk “solutions” that only make the problem worse. There are three basic techniques that our “leadership” (public and private) have used to avoid dealing directly with our pressing problems: 1. Appear to address the problems by doing more of what’s failed spectacularly. 2. Propose magical-thinking happy-happy technological “solutions” that are appealing but impractical. 3. Keep the status quo glued together to maximize quick-buck gains for the elite while guaranteeing long-term catastrophe for the entire society / economy.

Doing more of what’s failed spectacularly is one of the phrases you’ve seen here over the years. This generates an illusion of control because the tried-and-true Band-Aid makes it look like the problem is being addressed. Since doing more of what’s failed spectacularly doesn’t break the system immediately, everyone incorrectly assumes it’s benign or actually helping. The Federal Reserve’s blowing of serial speculative credit-asset bubbles is a good example. With the bogus goal of generating a “wealth effect” that only rewards the already-rich, the Fed has exacerbated socially fatal neofeudal inequality and created guaranteed-to-pop bubbles that each collapsed with devastating consequences for the credulous who believed the Fed’s poisonous assurances that a) this isn’t a bubble and b) bubbles never pop.

The Fed’s “solution”–blowing an even bigger bubble to paper over the catastrophic losses when the previous bubble popped–has finally reached the endgame: three bubbles and you’re out (2000, 2008-09 and 2021-22). Sorry to disappoint the beneficiaries of the three Fed bubbles, but there won’t be a fourth bubble. Bubbles don’t inflate at the bottom of the abyss.

Read more …

Does woke Twitter have a future?

Woke Elitists Are Too Stupid To See Elon Musk Is Saving Twitter (Smith)

In the past year Big Tech and Big Media are learning a valuable lesson – That “Get Woke, Go Broke” is not just a mantra, it’s a rule. We’ve just seen companies like Netflix take a massive market beating because of their hubris and their presumption that they can simply dictate the path of our culture from on high through leftist propaganda. CNN just shut down their premium “+” service after a single month because no one trusts them enough to pay them pocket change for content. And Disney is about to lose their municipal charter in Florida because they thought they were in charge of the state and its laws, when in fact they are not. Woke corporations are slowly but surely dying and leftists don’t seem to grasp the situation.

They’ll never admit openly that the reason these companies are seeing declines is because of their cult-like political stance that justifies the forced indoctrination of everyone, including children. They’ll say it was covid, they’ll say it was inflation, they’ll say it was bigotry, but in reality it was always them. No one likes them, and people are finally realizing they don’t have to spend money buying products from insane leftists they don’t like. In this regard Twitter is a bit of an enigma. The social media company has gone from a relatively innocuous space for people to market online businesses and for politicians and celebrities to engage with their followers or detractors, to a vicious battleground overrun with leftist zealots hellbent on using the platform as a weapon to silence dissent and destroy the lives of people that disagree with them. The platform went from average social media outlet to becoming a birthplace for evil behavior.

If I was to describe what Twitter really stands for today, I would say it is an attempt to build a global hive mind; a place where everyone is coerced into conformity with establishment ideals through peer pressure and mob aggression. That is to say, Twitter is the antithesis to a free speech society; a beta test for the future of authoritarianism where you THINK you are allowed to speak your mind but only the “correct” opinions are allowed to pass. How this happened is hard to say. Some theorize that leftist cultists scrambled like rats from the sinking ship of Tumblr and found their way over to Twitter to take up residency. I would argue that maybe Twitter was always intended to become what it now is. Just take a look at the monster’s gallery of its largest shareholders.

If Elon Musks Takes Over, He’ll Expose Twitter

Read more …

The water wars will not be pretty. Promise.

The Coming Removal of the Mandate of Heaven, Part 2: Water (GCW)

In order to understand the grave danger China is facing, we need to understand water usage and thresholds below which the population begins to face some level of danger. For that, we’re going to turn to Reuters for an overview. At a minimum, a civilization requires 1,700 cubic meters of water per person per year to be considered water secure. This amounts to 373,947 gallons of water per person, with a minimum of 4,156 gallons of water per year to ensure good health. Freshwater is used for everything from industry to agriculture to power generation, and our infrastructure is rated for a minimum level of water moving through the pipes. If that water falls below that level, pressure drops and the water can become unsafe.

This starts to become a problem at 1,000 cubic meters per person per year, and reaches a threat level at 500 cubic meters per person per year. Beijing is currently sitting at 100 cubic meters of fresh water per person per year. Barely seven times the necessary minimum for a person to remain healthy, with the rest stretched thin and endlessly recycled as it eventually becomes useless for any purpose which brings it into contact with humans in any way. When examining the water situation in a given country, the first place to look is always the groundwater situation. Which, in China’s case, isn’t very positive. Over 80% of the groundwater in China is unsafe, according to publicly available data attained from a Chinese government survey. Information which is normally a closely held secret.

Same with the fact that 47% of the groundwater in China is so badly polluted it can’t even be used for industrial purposes. Note, Beijing gets almost a third of their water from groundwater sources, which must be thoroughly treated at massive cost in man-hours, materials, and energy before it can be used by the general public. This has resulted in Beijing sinking at a rate of 11 cm per year as the depleted aquifer results in subsidence. Assuming its even at a level which can be affordably treated. Which 47% of the groundwater can’t be. This situation is even worse in the cities, where 90% of the groundwater is unusable for purposes which would bring it into contact with people. And, ironically, although the groundwater pollution is worse in the cities, rural areas are more heavily affected due to the fact most rural communities lack the resources to treat either the water they take in for normal usage or the waste water they release back into the wild.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Brand

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 202021
 
 May 20, 2021  Posted by at 8:34 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


Amedeo Modigliani Nu allongé 1917

 

Government Scrubs Stats on Vaccine-Related Deaths (Mercola)
Ivermectin Crushes Delhi Cases (DR)
Amid Concerns Over Effectiveness, Govt Ramping Up Remdesivir Production (BS)
Rock Music? No. Road Hockey? Yes (LFP)
Biden Permits Nord Stream 2 (Greenwald)
Colonial Pipeline Confirms It Paid $4.4m Ransom To Hackers (AP)
Pentagon Reportedly Running Secret Army Of 60,000 Around The World (NYP)
Accused Russiagate ‘Spy’ Kilimnik Speaks (Maté)
Blinken, Lavrov Seek Cooperation Despite ‘Serious Differences’ (R.)
Germany’s Greens Are Neoliberals With Bicycles (Jac.)
European Parliament to Suspend Turkey’s EU Accession Talks

 

 

 

 

Plasma: vaccines wipe out antibodies

 

 

Shocking claims from French Nobel prize winner Luc Montagnier…

 

 

“Any other vaccine would have been pulled from the market by now.”

Government Scrubs Stats on Vaccine-Related Deaths (Mercola)

According to Dr. Peter McCullough, vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center and known for being one of the top five most-published medical researchers in the United States, COVID-19 vaccines are killing “huge numbers” of people and the government is simply ignoring it. In a video interview with investigative journalist and founder of Liberty Sentinel, Alex Newman, McCullough says the U.S. government, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and health agencies around the world have all committed to vaccinating the global population while sitting on data showing the COVID-19 “vaccines” are turning out to be the most lethal vaccines ever created. [..] During a recent Texas state Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing, McCullough noted that, according to available data, early treatment could have prevented up to 85% of COVID-19 deaths. Early at-home treatment also minimizes the spread, as the amount of time you’re infectious can be reduced from two weeks to about four days.

Yet, despite being inexpensive and readily available, early treatments have all been censored and suppressed, apparently in order to secure this global mass vaccination campaign. In fact, as McCullough notes, there’s been no clarified guidance on COVID treatment at all, not even hospital protocols. The entire focus of our health agencies has been on masking, lockdowns and waiting for a gene therapy “vaccine.” The results have been devastating. Five months into the mass vaccination campaign, more than 10,000 in the U.S. and European Union have already died after getting the shots. Any other vaccine would have been pulled from the market by now. For example, in 1976, the U.S. government vaccinated 45 million people against pandemic swine flu. The entire program was canceled after reports of just 53 deaths, according to Fox News. Note: The number of deaths reported after the 1976 inoculation program varies from three to 53, depending on the source.

Now, health authorities are shrugging off more than 3,800 deaths after COVID-19 vaccination as either coincidental or inconsequential. Think about that. Five months into the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, we’re looking at a death toll that is 7,000% greater than during the swine flu vaccination campaign, which was canceled after the vaccine was deemed too risky. The COVID-19 “vaccine” is also on a level of magnitude more dangerous than the seasonal flu vaccine. As reported by McCullough, on average, there are 20 to 30 deaths reported following the seasonal flu vaccine, which is given to about 195 million Americans each year. Compare that to these novel COVID-19 gene therapies. So far, an estimated 124 million Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the death count is already at 3,837, as of April 30, 2021.

Read more …

“Where is a developing country getting the 60 million dollars a day to purchase the Remdesivir?”

Ivermectin Crushes Delhi Cases (DR)

Just three weeks after adding Ivermectin, Delhi now leads India out of the deadly second surge of the COVID pandemic. Cases that had peaked at 28,395 on April 20 plummeted nearly 80% to just 6,430 on May 15. Deaths peaked May 4, and now they are also down 25%. On May 10, the Indian State of Goa adopted an even more ambitious policy of preemptive Ivermectin for all adults in the state. The Chief Minister of Goa is Dr. Pramod Sawant, a progressive 49-year-old physician persuaded by science. In particular, he read Dr. Pierre Kory’s Dr. Tess Lawrie’s and Dr. Andrew Hill’s robust meta-analyses. As a direct result, Goa has seen a drop in cases from 3,124 the day after the announcement to 1,314 five days later.

Meanwhile, three other Indian states have followed Goa’s lead in adding Ivermectin: Uttarkhand, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh. And, as expected, they have seen a drop in new daily cases as well, with Uttar Pradesh down nearly 75% from a peak of 37,944 just four days after they began following the April 20 AIIMS guidance to just 10,505 on May 16. The tragic story in all this is that the Indian state of Tamil Nadu installed a new leader on May 7, 2021. He suddenly reversed their state’s decision to adopt Ivermectin. Readers of my book all know about Peruvian President Sagasti’s fateful decision to outlaw Ivermectin. Before taking power, the COVID deaths had dropped 14 fold to almost nothing with Ivermectin use. However after Sagasti was elected, Ivermectin was stopped, and deaths roared back at 13 fold.

Peru paid the price in skyrocketing cases and 78,000 preventable deaths. Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister, MK Stalin, also chose to forgo Ivermectin. Instead, he ordered tens of thousands of doses of Remdesivir, a drug that sells for 3,000 dollars per dose. So now Tamil Nadu’s cases are rocketing as well. In contrast to Goa’s young physician Chief Minister who had read the latest science on Ivermectin’s dramatic effect on reducing COVID death, MK Stalin is a 68-year-old non-physician socialist and atheist who is towing the party line by forbidding Ivermectin.

Stalin now requests allocations for some 20,000 daily doses of Remdesivir for the Tamil Nadu citizens despite the science that shows no reduction in COVID death with this drug. [..] Twenty thousand doses of Remdesivir cost 60 million dollars, while 20,000 doses of Ivermectin go for a few hundred. Where is a developing country getting the 60 million dollars a day to purchase the Remdesivir? Why is their leader throwing away a cheap drug, Ivermectin, that has saved lives in other countries? ”

Read more …

Remdesivir is the worst choice.

Amid Concerns Over Effectiveness, Govt Ramping Up Remdesivir Production (BS)

The Indian government, on Wednesday, claimed it has ramped up the production of Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug prescribed for treating moderate-to-critical Covid patients, by 10 times. From 1 million vials per month in April, the Centre claims it will produce 10 million vials this month, as it has increased the number of plants manufacturing Remdesivir from 20 to 60. Meanwhile, reports suggest that Remdesivir may soon be dropped from the Indian Council of Medical Research’s Covid treatment protocol, as experts have questioned its effectiveness in Covid treatment. The news comes just days after plasma therapy was dropped from ICMR’s Covid treatment protocol.

The last few weeks saw a severe shortage of Remdesivir injections across the country, along with an acute shortage of hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, leading to a record rise in Covid fatalities. The Centre said it is monitoring the supply of drugs such as Remdesivir, Ivermectin and Favipiravir, essential for treating moderate to critical Covid patients. The Centre said it had ramped up production of these drugs and imported them in large quantities to ensure uninterrupted supply. A couple of days ago, the Indian government said it had received 530,000 Remdesivir vials as foreign aid from various countries such as the US and France, to help combat the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The availability of these drugs is being monitored by implementing a three-pronged strategy of supply chain management, demand side management and affordability,” the Centre said in a statement. The drugs whose supply is being monitored include those in ICMR’s Covid treatment protocol, such as Remdesivir, Enoxaparin, Dexamethasone and Ivermectin, and non-protocol drugs such as Favipiravir, Amphotericin and Apixaban. The Centre added that it will increase the production of Ivermectin, a Covid protocol drug, by five times, from 15 million 12 Mg tabs last month to 77 million this month.

Read more …

London, Ontario. AI scans.

Rock Music? No. Road Hockey? Yes (LFP)

There won’t be any music festivals in London this summer, but there will be road hockey. Jones Entertainment Group says it is again postponing Start.ca Rocks the Park until 2022 but will go ahead with HockeyFest — Game On, a three-on-three street hockey tournament, June 25-27. London will be the first of nine cities to play host to the tournament, which will be held across Canada and in parts of the U.S. The London tournament will be at Westmount Shopping Centre and Saunders secondary school. New technology, similar to metal detectors common at airports, will be used to scan all participants for COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone showing symptoms will be tested for the coronavirus to determine whether they can play, coach, referee or watch the games.

“It’s cutting-edge, world-class technology, one more thing to lead the charge into somewhat normal activities,” said Brad Jones, president of Jones Entertainment Group and HockeyFest. “What a better place to start than our own hometown of London? This will be a game-changer in getting back to some sort of normalcy in the sports and entertainment industry.” The new artificial intelligence (AI) technology, called Safe Entry Stations, was developed by Toronto-based Predictmedix and built by another Toronto firm, Juiceworks. It can identify symptoms of infectious diseases and can also be used to detect alcohol or marijuana use.] Predictmedix co-founder and chief operating officer Rahul Kushwah said the new technology was used successfully at this year’s Super Bowl and may become as common as metal detectors at airports, including at work places.

They can be permanently installed or a mobile unit can be leased for events such as concerts. “It’s about creating safe environments, whether it’s a concert or a workplace,” Kushwah said, noting the new technology has a 95% success rate identifying symptoms. “It’s going to help open up our cities. Walking through one of these is analogous to a triage when you walk into a hospital.” Those hockey players who test negative are given a wristband. Those who test positive for symptoms will be given a Covid-19 test and, if positive, will not be allowed to play and will be instructed to leave along with anyone who travelled with them to the tournament.

Read more …

Putin for the win.

Biden Permits Nord Stream 2 (Greenwald)

It is true that Trump, like Obama before him, spoke of the potential to partner with Russia rather than viewing it as an enemy, just as it is true that both presidents imposed sanctions on Moscow. And it is also true, and understandable, that Moscow likely favored a Trump victory rather than having supreme war hawk Hillary Clinton in the White House (the same reason Ukraine worked in 2016 to help Hillary win). But over and over, Trump undermined, not advanced, core Russian objectives. As Obama himself said in 2016, it is hard to imagine doing anything more provocative and harmful to Russian vital interests than sending lethal arms to Ukraine — exactly what Obama refused to do, despite bipartisan pressure. Yet the Trump administration quickly did exactly that: bizarre behavior for a Kremlin asset, to put that mildly.

Trump found one thing even more threatening to the Kremlin’s vital interests than arming Ukrainians: namely, doing everything possible to destroy Russia’s ability to complete construction of its new underwater natural gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2. That new pipeline is designed to double Russian sales capacity to an EU addicted to cheap Russian natural gas, producing massive revenue for the Russian economy and giving Moscow greater leverage when dealing with its European neighbors. But it provides an even more important benefit: it allows Russia to bypass Ukraine and other Eastern European countries, thus avoiding costly transit fees and the risks of political instability or anti-Russian manipulation by outside forces, including the U.S. government.

For all those reasons, few priorities were more important to Putin and the Russian economy than this new pipeline. Yet for at least the last two years of his presidency, Trump — even as he was shrilly depicted as an agent of the Kremlin — was obsessed with stopping the Russian pipeline and thus sabotaging Putin’s key geopolitical project. The Trump administration caused a halt to the project in 2019 when it imposed sanctions on companies working on it. Trump did everything he could to pressure, cajole and even threaten the Germans to pull out of the deal, warning that it would leave a winter-plagued Europe captive to Russian pressure and insisting that Berlin had the obligation to buy gas from the U.S., not Russia, given NATO expenditures to protect Germans. Trump even tried to pull close to 10,000 U.S. troops out of Germany to pressure the Merkel government, but the pro-war alliance of hawkish Democrats and Liz-Cheney-led neocon Republicans voted to defund that effort.

Any minimally rational or honest media would have taken note of these events and instantly realized that their years-long conspiracy theory about Trump being controlled by Putin was sophomoric nonsense, the opposite of the truth. That a Putin-controlled Russian asset would send lethal arms to Ukraine and do everything possible to sabotage Nord Stream 2 is so blatantly absurd that it could be ratified only by a media aggressively committed to spreading disinformation and lies. All of this became even clearer on Tuesday when President Biden reversed Trump’s blockage of the Russian natural gas pipeline. Axios’ Jonathan Swan reported that “the Biden administration will waive sanctions on the corporate entity and CEO overseeing the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline into Germany,” which “indicates the Biden administration is not willing to compromise its relationship with Germany over this pipeline.” Swan wrote what is clearly true: “the completion of Nord Stream 2 would be a huge geopolitical win for Putin and give him substantial new leverage in Europe.”

Read more …

Bitcoin?

Colonial Pipeline Confirms It Paid $4.4m Ransom To Hackers (AP)

The operator of the nation’s largest fuel pipeline confirmed it paid $4.4m to a gang of hackers who broke into its computer systems. Colonial Pipeline said Wednesday that after it learned of the 7 May ransomware attack, the company took its pipeline system offline and needed to do everything in its power to restart it quickly and safely, and made the decision then to pay the ransom. “This decision was not made lightly,” but it was one that had to be made, a company spokesman said. “Tens of millions of Americans rely on Colonial: hospitals, emergency medical services, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, airports, truck drivers and the traveling public.”


Joseph Blount, Colonial Pipeline’s CEO, told the Wall Street Journal he authorized the payment because the company didn’t know the extent of the damage and wasn’t sure how long it would take to bring the pipeline’s systems back. The FBI discourages making ransom payments to ransomware attackers, because paying encourages criminal networks around the globe who have hit thousands of businesses and health care systems in the US in the past year alone. But many victims of ransomware attacks, where hackers demand large sums of money to decrypt stolen data or to prevent it from being leaked online, opt to pay. “I know that’s a highly controversial decision,” Blount said. “I didn’t make it lightly. I will admit that I wasn’t comfortable seeing money go out the door to people like this.” “But it was the right thing to do for the country,” he said.

Read more …

Cyber-warriors.

Pentagon Reportedly Running Secret Army Of 60,000 Around The World (NYP)

The Pentagon is running a 60,000-strong secret army made up of soldiers, civilians and contractors, who travel the world under false identities embedded in consultancies and name-brand companies — without the knowledge of the American people or most of Congress — according to a report. The top-secret army was created by the Pentagon over the past 10 years as part of a program called “signature reduction,” and operates both domestically and internationally using a low-profile force of clandestine warriors who sometimes wear civilian clothes as they carry out their assignments, Newsweek reported. The force is 10 times the size of the covert elements of the CIA, comes with a cost of more than $900 million, and engages about 130 private companies in operations in locales like the Middle East and Africa, the report said.


Despite the undercover army’s size and budget, Congress has never held a hearing on it. About half of the “signature reduction” force is made up of special forces, the highly trained commandos who pursue terrorists around the world, including in Iran and North Korea. Military intelligence specialists comprise the second-largest element inside the force. But the newest and fastest-growing group in the unit is made up of cyber-warriors who use false personas and “nonattribution” or “misattribution” techniques online to disguise themselves so they can track high-value targets, collect “publicly accessible information” and engage in influence campaigns to manipulate social media.

Read more …

So much for Russiagate.

Accused Russiagate ‘Spy’ Kilimnik Speaks (Maté)

The man cast as a linchpin of debunked Trump-Russia collusion theories is breaking his silence to vigorously dispute the U.S. government’s effort to brand him a Russian spy and put him behind bars. In an exclusive interview with RealClearInvestigations, Konstantin Kilimnik stated, “I have no relationship whatsoever to any intelligence services, be they Russian or Ukrainian or American, or anyone else.” Kilimnik, a longtime employee of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, spoke out in response to an explosive Treasury Department statement declaring that he had “provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy” during the 2016 election. That press release, which announced an array of sanctions on Russian nationals last month, also alleged that Kilimnik is a “known Russian Intelligence Services agent implementing influence operations on their behalf.”

Treasury’s claim came shortly after two other accusatory U.S. government statements about the dual Ukrainian-Russian national. In March, a U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment accused Kilimnik of being a “Russian influence agent” who meddled in the 2020 campaign to assist Trump’s reelection. A month earlier, an FBI alert offered $250,000 for information leading to his arrest over a 2018 witness tampering charge in Manafort’s shuttered Ukraine lobbying case, which was unrelated to Russia, collusion, or any elections. Treasury provided no evidence for its claims, which go beyond the findings of the two most extensive Russiagate investigations: the 448-page report issued in 2019 by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the 966-page report issued in August 2020 by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Treasury has declined all media requests for elaboration on how it reached conclusions that those probes did not. Two unidentified officials told NBC News that U.S. intelligence “has developed new information” about Kilimnik “that leads them to believe” that he passed on the polling data to Russia. But these sources “did not identify the source or type of intelligence that had been developed,” nor “when or how” it was received. “Nobody has seen any evidence to support these claims about Kilimnik,” a congressional source familiar with the House and Senate’s multiple Russia-related investigations told RCI. Despite the absence of evidence, the Treasury press release’s one-sentence claim about Kilimnik has been widely greeted as the Trump-Russia smoking gun. Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who heads the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC that Treasury’s assertion about Kilimnik proved that Russian intelligence was “involved in trying to help Trump win in that [2016] election. That’s what most people would call collusion.”

Read more …

Biden to meet killer Putin?!

Blinken, Lavrov Seek Cooperation Despite ‘Serious Differences’ (R.)

Top diplomats from the Biden administration and Russia in their first in-person meeting on Wednesday stressed that the former Cold War foes have serious differences in how they view world affairs but struck an optimistic tone for the talks, saying the two sides can still find ways to work together. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in his first meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, a veteran diplomat, said it was “no secret that we have our differences” and that Washington would respond to aggressive acts by Russia, but that the world would be safer if the two countries’ leaders worked together. Lavrov, speaking through a translator at the opening of the meeting in Reykjavik on the sidelines of an Arctic Council meeting, said Russia and the United States have “serious differences” but have to cooperate “in spheres where our interests collide.”

Senior U.S. State Department officials said there were no breakthroughs in the meeting, but described it as a “good start” to work on relations between the two countries in “weeks, months and years to come.” Blinken said Biden wanted “a predictable, stable relationship with Russia” and said the two countries could work together on tackling the coronavirus pandemic, combating climate change, dealing with Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs, and the conflict in Afghanistan. “We think that’s good for our people, good for the Russian people and indeed good for the world,” Blinken said. The pair also discussed cyber security and Russia’s troop movements on its border with Ukraine, issues that have tested the already fraught ties this year, senior State Department officials told reporters. They repeatedly insisted that the meeting was “table setting” for future talks.

Wednesday’s meeting, the first high-level, in-person discussion between the Biden administration and a Russian counterpart, lasted one hour and 45 minutes, longer than the expected one hour. Lavrov told Russian state media the talks were “constructive” and that Russia was ready to discuss all issues between the two countries “on the basis of mutual respect.” The two diplomats would prepare proposals for a possible meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lavrov said. State Department officials referred questions about a presidential meeting to the White House, but said there was acknowledgment that “strategic stability” would be discussed.

Read more …

Nice headline. The Greens are set to become a force in German politics.

Germany’s Greens Are Neoliberals With Bicycles (Jac.)

The Greens’ recent victories notwithstanding, their attempt at balancing highly contradictory interests in the name of ecological pragmatism has already become a strain on the party. Only through the meteoric rise of the Fridays for Future movement have the Greens been able to establish themselves as the strongest party among under-thirty-year-olds. Yet, Habeck and Baerbock have spared no efforts to improve their standing with German industry and shake their old antibusiness image. In 2019, Baerbock gained recognition with the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI), Germany’s leading federation of industrialists and corporations, for putting forward an economic agenda that is especially aggressive against China. She insisted that Germany must be part of a European economic and digital infrastructure that is independent of Chinese corporations such as Huawei.

She added that new climate regulations could actually prove advantageous for German businesses, especially if Chinese competitors who supposedly undercut these regulations were subject to extra taxation. Baerbock’s foray into a sort of Green anti-Chinese economic policy has since been praised by German business representatives. It is not hard for them to accept this — especially given that questions of union rights and worker representation are noticeably absent from this vision. Accordingly, Baerbock has commended initiatives such as Elon Musk’s new Tesla factory in Brandenburg, regardless of the fact that Musk has repeatedly made clear that he will accept neither union representation nor collective bargaining agreements in his new factory.

The Greens have also proven to be very generous partners to German industry — or rather, industrialists — in the state of Baden-Württemberg, where Winfried Kretschmann has governed for ten years as the party’s first and so far only state-level prime minister. Baden-Württemberg used to be a stronghold of the CDU but has been won over by Kretschmann with an agenda which adds a green face to conservative, pro-business parties. Kretschmann has since established his party as the strongest in the state — but also continuously irritated its activist base with his stance protecting the interests of automobile manufacturers like Daimler-Benz and Porsche, and his cautious position on the transition to electric cars.

While Kretschmann’s administration has presided over a decline in public infrastructure and a rise in poverty — especially among children and pensioners — it has actively fended off social initiatives such as a popular petition for free childcare and remains committed to conservative fiscal policies. The Greens have also alienated parts of the climate justice movement, for instance when the CDU/Green government in the state of Hesse pledged its support for the controversial extension of the A49 highway and, connected to this, the clearing of the Dannenröder Forest. Protesters who tried to prevent the clearing in November 2020 were met with numerous incidents of police violence — provoking much negative publicity for Hesse’s government and its transport minister Tarek Al-Wazir, a member of the Greens.

Read more …

Hmm. Keep your enemies closer, we were told.

European Parliament to Suspend Turkey’s EU Accession Talks

Turkey’s accession talks for entry into the European Union were suspended on Wednesday as relations between Turkey and the bloc have become increasingly strained over the last several years. The European Parliament also called for Turkey to implement an immediate change of course regarding the rule of law and human rights as a prerequisite for the country’s accession to the EU. European lawmakers passed the proposal to suspend Turkey’s accession by 480 votes in favor, 64 against and 150 abstentions in a European parliamentary session. Today’s move came after Members of the European Parliament cited many violations of human rights and the rule of law in Turkey. Turkey is one of the countries having been through the longest negotiation process to enter the EU.


It became an official candidate for membership in 1999 at the Helsinki summit of the European Council. Official accession talks started in 2005 but have been stalled since 2016. According to Nacho Sánchez Amor, who drafted the report on the country, Turkey must change course and “put expressions of good will into concrete actions. “The report is probably the toughest ever in its criticism. It reflects all that has unfortunately happened in the country in the last two years, in particular in the fields of human rights and rule of law, which remain the main area of concern for the European Parliament,” he said. The latest report adopted by the Committee of Foreign Affairs states that the Turkish government has deliberately distanced itself from European values and has led its relations with the EU to a “historic low point.”

Read more …

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

Dogs Cat

 

 

 

 

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

 

Dec 072020
 


René Magritte Promenades d’Euclid 1955

 

WHO Looks At Giving COVID19 To Healthy People To Speed Up Vaccine Trials (G.)
Fears That UK Will Not Cope With Brexit And Covid Vaccine Rollout (G.)
Azar Responds To Biden’s Vaccine Distribution Remark (JTN)
Ratcliffe: Interim Durham Report To Deter Biden From Shutting Down Inquiry (WE)
Water Futures to Start Trading Amid Growing Fears of Scarcity (BBG)
No Escape From Our Techno-Feudal World (Escobar)
Election Day Information Blackout: US Media Is No Friend of the People (SCF)
The Elite Strategy To Divide and Conquer (Curtin)
Toyota Will Not Invest In Electric Cars In UK Until At Least 2034 (G.)
Finding the Truth behind the American Hologram (CoIC)
China Boycott To Hit Australian Wine Hard As Fruit, Vegetable Prices Rise (G.)
Greece Wants EU Arms Embargo On Turkey (K.)

 

 

 

 

California has had a nearly identical case trajectory as Texas.

In TX, schools are open. Businesses are open. People can go for a walk.

 

 

To test vaccines that hardly work and could be very dangerous. It’s taking on Matrix-like proportions.

WHO Looks At Giving COVID19 To Healthy People To Speed Up Vaccine Trials (G.)

The World Health Organization is holding discussions on Monday about the feasibility of trials in which healthy young volunteers are deliberately infected with coronavirus to hasten vaccine development – amid questions over whether they should go ahead given the promising data from the frontrunner vaccine candidates. Some scientists have reservations about exposing volunteers to a virus for which there is no cure, although there are treatments that can help patients. However, proponents argue that the risks of Covid-19 to the young and healthy are minimal, and the benefits to society are high. The WHO advisory group meeting, which will focus on reviewing existing plans for “human challenge trials” and discuss associated technical concerns, will not include groups representing research participants or members of the public.

1Day Sooner, a non-profit organisation advocating for human challenge study volunteers, said it asked to attend the meeting but was turned away. In a statement to the Guardian, the WHO said the meeting was a focused technical consultation with scientific experts, and that such meetings were not usually open to the public but that future meetings could include civil participation. More than a dozen scientific experts are expected to convene as part of the advisory group on Monday, and observers could include representatives of the Wellcome Trust, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the US-based National Institutes of Health and the FDA.

Joshua Morrison, executive director of 1Day Sooner, said: “If the argument is, we’re just giving advice into what the studies should look like – we think research participants should be a part of that. And if the argument is that this [meeting] is completely separate from the ethical side of things, I do think that’s hard to disentangle from the technical concerns.” [..] The UK government has invested about £30m to back a human challenge trial, although ethical approval is pending, and similar studies are being planned in the Netherlands. Enthusiasm for such trials in the United States has reportedly waned since the positive vaccine results poured in last month.

Read more …

“..it is possible that imported equipment necessary for dealing with the pandemic gets caught up in that..”

Fears That UK Will Not Cope With Brexit And Covid Vaccine Rollout (G.)

Well before scientists were sure that a vaccine would be ready for use in the UK by the end of this year, the government regulator – the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – put out an urgent call for help. Its appeal, issued in September, was evidence that even if a vaccine were to be developed and approved soon, things would be far from plain sailing. The call to tender stated: “The MHRA urgently seeks an artificial intelligence (AI) software tool to process the expected high volume of Covid-19 vaccine-adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and ensure that no details from the ADRs’ reaction text are missed. For reasons of extreme urgency under Regulation 32(2)(c) related to the release of a Covid-19 vaccine, MHRA have accelerated the sourcing and implementation of a vaccine specific AI tool…”

The Cabinet Office, which coordinates policy across government departments and their responses to crises, was alerted. A company called Genpact won the £1.5m tender soon after. The MHRA said then that based on previous vaccination campaigns, there would be between 50,000 and 100,000 reports of suspected side effects for every 100 million doses over a six to 12-month period. This weekend there is real hope inside government that an end is in sight to the pandemic. News that the UK had become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which the MHRA says offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19, has been hailed as a potentially decisive moment.

There are, however, no celebrations in Whitehall. Rather there is much caution, just as there was back in September. It is not only the administrative challenge of vaccinating much of the population safely that is worrying officials, but the prospect of doing so just as the deep mid-winter approaches – a time when NHS staff would, even in a normal year, be run off their feet. This year it is worse, however. The pandemic is still claiming hundreds of lives a day and a Covid-19 third wave may be round the corner, after festive relaxations, to add to intense pressures already on the NHS. And on top of it all, there are the hugely disruptive, and to some extent unknown, effects of Brexit on the UK’s trade and ability to import and export that are about to reveal themselves.

Those concerns also preoccupy an overloaded government machine and Cabinet Office. As Sam Lowe, a former member of the Department for International Trade’s Strategic Trade Advisory Group, now a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, says, there is a possibility that the two issues will intersect and collide, making matters worse. “There are going to be delays at the borders and it is going to take the EU and UK a while to get used to trading under the new system and it is possible that imported equipment necessary for dealing with the pandemic gets caught up in that,” says Lowe.

Read more …

“We do hundreds of millions of vaccinations a year. We’re leveraging the systems that are known and that work here in the United States.”

Azar Responds To Biden’s Vaccine Distribution Remark (JTN)

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar during an interview on Fox News Sunday pushed back against a statement Joe Biden recently made regarding the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. “There is no detailed plan, that we’ve seen anyway, as to how you get the vaccine out of a container into an injection syringe, into somebody’s arm,” Biden said. “With all respect that’s just nonsense,” Azar said in response after the clip of Biden’s statement played during the interview. He went on to push back against Biden’s statement. “We have comprehensive plans from the CDC working with 64 public health jurisdictions across the country as our governors have laid out very detailed plans that we’ve worked with them on,” Azar said.


“We’re leveraging our retail pharmacies, our hospitals, our public health departments, our community health centers. We have the…kits that have the syringes, the diluent, the needles, the PPE to administer.” Azar continued: “This is being micromanaged and controlled by the United States military as well as our incredible private sector. We do hundreds of millions of vaccinations a year. We’re leveraging the systems that are known and that work here in the United States.”

Read more …

“This idea that there was not FISA abuse and it was a bunch of nonsense — look, someone is going to prison over that. It’s just a question now of how wide and how deep it was..”

Ratcliffe: Interim Durham Report To Deter Biden From Shutting Down Inquiry (WE)

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said an interim report from special counsel John Durham should be released as a deterrent against President-elect Joe Biden trying to shut down the federal prosecutor’s inquiry into the Russia investigation. President Trump’s spy chief also told Maria Bartiromo on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures that now that the election is over, publicizing Durham’s findings is not a political issue anymore. “I think the American people should know what’s happening in a two-year investigation into this, and I hope that that report will be forthcoming,” Ratcliffe said, adding, “The American people deserve a full accounting, but the special counsel regulations not only require a final report, they allow for interim reports, so I’d like to see an interim report that talks about this from the angle of someone that has not only the intelligence community documents that I have but the law enforcement documents.”

It remains unclear what a Biden administration will do with Durham’s work, but Attorney General William Barr elevating him to special counsel in October provides some protection against a swift dismissal. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and other Democrats have suggested that Biden could end Durham’s inquiry, to which Ratcliffe pointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses detailed in Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s lengthy report from late last year. “Chairman Schiff has indicated he thinks that the Durham investigation should end — which is exactly why an interim report is appropriate. It would show whether or not there’s a good-faith basis to continue. It would protect the work that’s been done,” Ratcliffe said.

“So, I would encourage my colleagues over at the Department of Justice and at the FBI and, in particular, now special counsel Durham to consider doing that, so that the American people can get the full accounting that they deserve.” “Look, it’s not a question anymore whether or not there was illegal spying,” he added. “This idea that there was not FISA abuse and it was a bunch of nonsense — look, someone is going to prison over that. It’s just a question now of how wide and how deep it was, and I know John Durham has been investigating that, and I’m confident, and I’ve said that based on what I’ve seen I think there should be additional indictments, I’m not backing off of that, but he’s the prosecutor I’d like to hear from him in an interim report, and I think the American people would agree with me.”

Read more …

I try to never link to paywalled articles. But this is just too crazy. The inevitable outcome will be that those who need their water the most won’t be able to afford it.

Water Futures to Start Trading Amid Growing Fears of Scarcity (BBG)

Water is joining gold, oil and other commodities traded on Wall Street, highlighting worries that the life-sustaining natural resource may become scarce across more of the world. Farmers, hedge funds and municipalities alike will be able to hedge against — or bet on — potential water scarcity starting this week, when CME Group Inc. launches contracts linked to the $1.1 billion California spot water market. According to Chicago-based CME, the futures will help water users manage risk and better align supply and demand. The contracts, a first of their kind in the U.S., were announced in September as heat and wildfires ravaged the U.S. West Coast. They are meant to serve both as a hedge for California’s biggest water consumers against skyrocketing prices and a scarcity gauge for investors worldwide.

“Climate change, droughts, population growth, and pollution are likely to make water scarcity issues and pricing a hot topic for years to come,” said RBC Capital Markets managing director and analyst Deane Dray. “We are definitely going to watch how this new water futures contract develops.” Two billion people now live in nations plagued by water problems, and almost two-thirds of the world could face water shortages in just four years, Tim McCourt, global head of equity index and alternative investment products at CME, said in an interview. “The idea of managing risks associated to water is certainly increased in importance.” The futures will be financially settled, as opposed to requiring the actual physical delivery of water, and are based on the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index started two years ago.

The index sets a weekly benchmark spot price of water rights in California, underpinned by the volume-weighted average of the transaction prices in the state’s five largest and most actively traded water markets. Contracts will include quarterly ones through 2022, with each representing 10 acre-feet of water, equal to roughly 3.26 million gallons. Currently, if a farmer wants to know what water will cost in California six months from now, it’s kind of a “best guess,” Patrick Wolf, senior manager and head of product development at Nasdaq, said in an interview. The futures will allow market participants to see “what is everybody’s best guess,” he said.

Read more …

“Californian ideology”

No Escape From Our Techno-Feudal World (Escobar)

The political economy of the Digital Age remains virtually terra incognita. In Techno-Feudalism , published three months ago in France (no English translation yet), Cedric Durand, an economist at the Sorbonne, provides a crucial, global public service as he sifts through the new Matrix that controls all our lives. Durand places the Digital Age in the larger context of the historical evolution of capitalism to show how the Washington consensus ended up metastasized into the Silicon Valley consensus. In a delightful twist, he brands the new grove as the “Californian ideology”. We’re far away from Jefferson Airplane and the Beach Boys; it’s more like Schumpeter’s “creative destruction” on steroids, complete with IMF-style “structural reforms” emphasizing “flexibilization” of work and outright marketization/financialization of everyday life.

The Digital Age was crucially associated with right-wing ideology from the very start. The incubation was provided by the Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF), active from 1993 to 2010 and conveniently funded, among others, by Microsoft, At&T, Disney, Sony, Oracle, Google, and Yahoo. In 1994, PFF held a ground-breaking conference in Atlanta that eventually led to a seminal Magna Carta: literally, Cyberspace and the American Dream: a Magna Carta for the Knowledge Era, published in 1996, during the first Clinton term. Not by accident the magazine Wired was founded, just like PFF, in 1993, instantly becoming the house organ of the “Californian ideology”. Among the authors of the Magna Carta we find futurist Alvin “Future Shock” Toffler and Reagan’s former scientific counselor George Keyworth.

Before anyone else, they were already conceptualizing how “cyberspace is a bioelectronic environment which is literally universal”. Their Magna Carta was the privileged road map to explore the new frontier. Also not by accident the intellectual guru of the new frontier was Ayn Rand and her quite primitive dichotomy between “pioneers” and the mob. Rand declared that egotism is good, altruism is evil, and empathy is irrational. When it comes to the new property rights of the new Eldorado, all power should be exercised by the Silicon Valley “pioneers”, a Narcissus bunch in love with their mirror image as superior Randian heroes. In the name of innovation they should be allowed to destroy any established rules, in a Schumpeterian “creative destruction” rampage. That has led to our current environment, where Google, Facebook, Uber, and co. can overstep any legal framework, imposing their innovations like a fait accompli.

Read more …

Problem is, it appears to work.

Election Day Information Blackout: US Media Is No Friend of the People (SCF)

While half of the United States is mesmerized by witness testimony describing the ‘irregularities’ that purportedly occurred in the 2020 presidential contest between the incumbent Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the other half has been left deliberately in the dark by an activist media. It has become almost a cliché to say that the United States is now fiercely divided into parallel universes, alternative realities, otherwise known as the Republican and Democratic camps. One of the primary reasons for this great divide, aside from the obvious ideological differences, is that just one side, that is, the left, predominantly controls the flow of news and social media content. Indeed, the ‘legacy media’ even feels itself bold enough to cast judgment on presidential messages via Twitter in real time.

If ever there was a recipe for disaster, as the most consequential election in recent memory remains up for grabs, this is it. On November 30, Bobby Piton, a mathematician and expert, testified at the Arizona voter fraud hearing where he provided compelling evidence that up to 300,000 “fake people” cast a vote in the contested election of Nov. 3. The data, if correct, was alarming in its implications since it meant the difference between Trump or Biden winning the fiercely contested swing state. Certainly the major media networks, in the interest of safeguarding the voting process and consequentially democracy itself, would be interested in providing its viewers with such news, right? Think again.

Not only was Piton’s riveting testimony sent to the memory hole by all of the ‘legacy’ media networks, but Twitter actually decided to block his account the very next day. Piton was treated as yet another ‘conspiracy theorist’ nutcase who will probably need to enter some sort of re-indoctrination internment camp before he can join polite society again. He certainly won’t be in need of company if the thought police get their way. Just days earlier, the social media platform also suspended the account of Pennsylvania state senator Doug Mastriano, who testified at that state’s election hearing. Twitter later said that Mastriano’s suspension was a “glitch,” which begs the question as to why these technological breakdowns almost always, without fail, target Republicans.

Read more …

“..Come on, this is Hollywood where creative showmen can dazzle our minds with plots so twisted that when you leave the theater you keep wondering what it was all about..”

The Elite Strategy To Divide and Conquer (Curtin)

The Institute for Policy Studies has just released a new analysis showing that since the start of the Covid-19 “pandemic” in mid-March and the subsequent transfer upwards of $5 trillion to the wealthy and largest corporations through the Cares Act, approved 96-0 in the US Senate, 650 US billionaires have gained over a trillion dollars in eight months as the American people have suffered an economic catastrophe. This shift upward of massive wealth under Trump is similar to Obama’s massive 2009 bailout of the banks on the backs of American workers. Both were justified through feats of legerdemain by both political parties, accomplices in the fleecing of regular people, many of whom continue to support the politicians that screw them while telling them they care.

If the Democrats and the Republicans are at war as is often claimed, it is only over who gets the larger part of the spoils. Trump and Biden work for the same bosses, those I call the Umbrella People (those who own and run the country through their intelligence/military/media operatives), who produce and direct the movie that keeps so many Americans on the edge of their seats in the hope that their chosen good guy wins in the end. I am well aware that most people disagree with my analysis. It does seem as if I am wrong and that because the Democrats and their accomplices have spent years attempting to oust Trump through Russia-gate, impeachment, etc. that what seems true is true and Trump is simply a crazy aberration who somehow slipped through the net of establishment control to rule for four years.

To those 146+ million people who voted for Biden and Trump this seems self-evident. But if that is so, why, despite their superficial differences – and Obama’s, Hillary Clinton’s and George W. Bush’s for that matter – have the super-rich gotten richer and richer over the decades and the war on terror continued as the military budget has increased each year and the armament industries and the Wall Street crooks continued to rake in the money at the expense of everyone else? These are a few facts that can’t be disputed. There are many more. So what’s changed under Trump? We are talking about nuances, small changes. A clown with a big mouth versus traditional, “dignified” con men.

If you were writing this script as part of long-term planning and average people were getting disgusted from decades of being screwed and were sick of politicians and their lying ways, wouldn’t you stop the reruns and create a new show? Come on, this is Hollywood where creative showmen can dazzle our minds with plots so twisted that when you leave the theater you keep wondering what it was all about and arguing with your friends about the ending. So create a throwback film where the good guy versus the bad guy was seemingly very clear, and while the system ground on, people would be at each other’s throats over the obvious differences, even while they were fabricated.

Read more …

More Brexit fallout.

Toyota Will Not Invest In Electric Cars In UK Until At Least 2034 (G.)

Toyota will not invest in building battery electric cars in Britain until at least the mid-2030s, dealing a blow to hopes that UK car factories will take a leading role in the move away from fossil fuels. Johan van Zyl, the chief executive of Toyota Motor Europe, said that hybrid cars containing both internal combustion engines and battery-powered motors would be the only option for the next round of investment at the company’s plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire. Production of the Corolla at Burnaston is due to end in 2027, and Toyota has yet to decide to invest in production after that point. That means the first zero-emissions Toyota cars would not be built in the UK until 2034 at the earliest, based on the manufacturer’s usual seven-year product cycles.

At the same time, Toyota is also preparing to launch multiple zero-emission battery electric vehicles to cater for countries with the strictest rules. This includes the UK, where all hybrids will be banned by 2035. Continued production of hybrids with internal combustion engines at Burnaston would be a boon for employment at Toyota’s other UK factory, an engine plant at Deeside. However, in the longer term the future of both plants, and others in the UK such as BMW’s Hams Hall engine plant, could be called into question if they are not favoured for investment in zero-emissions technology. The factory at Burnaston started production of the Corolla hatchback in January 2019, after a £240m investment that was decided in 2017.

At the time, the investment was hailed as a vote of confidence, but future spending will be dependent on Toyota’s assessment of post-Brexit trading conditions. “By 2027, when this Corolla’s life cycle comes to an end, I think it will be not possible to produce a zero-emissions vehicle there,” Van Zyl said. “Therefore it will have to be a hybrid technology vehicle.” Van Zyl also warned that a no-deal Brexit would be harmful for the UK and the EU, with only weeks to go until cross-Channel trade moves to new regulations, which are still under negotiation. Brexit could add to the challenges facing the plant if no deal is agreed and 10% tariffs are imposed on 1 January. Some 90% of Burnaston’s products are exported, meaning they would be hit hard by such tariffs.

Read more …

“..civilization is effectively a heat engine whose power is expressed in the form of economic growth..”

Finding the Truth behind the American Hologram (CoIC)

“Tim Garrett, physicist/professor of atmospheric sciences who hypothesised that civilization is effectively a heat engine whose power is expressed in the form of economic growth, admits that we will never decarbonize.”

It’s rather jarring to see an expert like Tim Garrett, whose work I have followed for many years, come out and say so bluntly that we will not do the steps needed to save ourselves. And the reason is very simple… People will raise hell if their right to pollute and consume is severely curtailed. We see this today with people’s refusal to simply wear a damn mask and do what’s for the greater good in a global pandemic. Now can you imagine the outrage when they are told they have to drastically reduce their living standards to prevent catastrophic climate change, a threat we cannot see but which will nevertheless destroy us in the long run? The reality that humans are causing the climate to warm, with catastrophic consequences, demands radical government intervention in the market as well as collective action on an unprecedented scale.

This has been known for decades and those catastrophic consequences are now coming to fruition, yet we remain a carbon-based, growth-oriented civilization. The later the “peak” the harder the reductions, bearing in mind that it is the area under the lines (cumulative emissions) which ensures a 2°C outcome. The 2020 peak (above) indicates the “unprecedented” 10% reductions trajectory giving only a 50/50 chance of staying under 2°C. Not only do we need to halt future CO2 emissions, but we need to magically extract CO2 already in the atmosphere with technology that does not exist.

Quoting Prof Anderson from last month: “…in 2020 such technologies remain highly speculative, with a few very small laboratory/pilot schemes now operating, with other proposed technologies still in the imagination of academics and tech-entrepreneurs. This faith in utopian technology reflects a deep and systemic bias that has hugely undermined the real scale of the mitigation challenge and misinformed policy makers for many years. Our fate is sealed.

Read more …

“..Prices of summer vegetables, stone fruit, apples, pears, and table grapes are forecast to rise by between 15% and 25%.”

China Boycott To Hit Australian Wine Hard As Fruit, Vegetable Prices Rise (G.)

Australia may be able to divert a “limited amount” of wine to its allies in the UK and the US, but China’s tariffs will probably reduce the value of exports. That is the conclusion of the Department of Agriculture’s Abares commodities report, released on Monday, which lists trade tensions as a dark spot in an otherwise recovering industry. The report also warns that fruit and vegetable prices are expected to rise in Australia due to Covid-19 travel restrictions limiting labour available for harvesting. Prices of summer vegetables, stone fruit, apples, pears, and table grapes are forecast to rise by between 15% and 25%. By some estimates commodity markets exposed to China trade tensions are worth $19bn, with services worth a further $28bn of exports.

The Abares report argues that the causes of trade tensions with China “appear to lie mostly outside commodity markets” although not all rigorous applications of trade law, biosecurity protocols and technical trade rules can be interpreted as an escalation. It notes that growth in exports to China follows its accession to the World Trade Organization and Australia’s free trade deal, but defends Australia’s increasing reliance on China, by arguing the phenomenon is “not unique to Australia” and China is expanding trade with “many other countries”. The report finds that concentration of Australia’s export markets varies, and China’s share ranges from 10% of wheat exports to 79% of wool exports.

Australia’s markets for fibre are “more concentrated in China than other exports” but sectors with recently applied tariffs, including wine and barley, are “much less concentrated”. Wine is predicted to be the biggest loser, with a 28% price fall estimated for wine grapes. The report blames “measures implemented to combat Covid-19” for reduced demand for red wine imports in China, as well as anti-dumping security deposits imposed in late November.

Read more …

The arms industry protests.

Greece Wants EU Arms Embargo On Turkey (K.)

Greece will insist in this week’s European Council on a European Union embargo on selling arms to Turkey. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is also expected to tell his counterparts that the arms they sell to Turkey could be used against EU member-states. Athens’ main concern is Germany’s T-214 submarines. Germany is expected to deliver components of six submarines to Turkey, which will finish building them locally. Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias have repeatedly discussed the issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. Some countries, notably Germany and Spain, appear unwilling to implement an embargo because of the economic losses they would sustain.

Greece considers these misgivings unfounded, saying such cancellations have happened in the past. A notable precedent is the cancellation of the sale of two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships (helicopter carriers) to Russia after the latter invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014. Russia had ordered the ships in 2010 and France cancelled the order in 2015, selling the two ships instead to Egypt for 1.2 billion euros. The above precedent shows that Germany is capable of selling the T-214 submarines under construction to a third country and avoid financial loss. Germany had also cancelled the sale of a weapons system to Russia – in its case, combat simulators – after the Crimea invasion.

Spain has also provided components for a vessel, a helicopter carrier, currently being built in Istanbul. Spain is one of the countries that uses its economic exposure in Turkey to argue against an arms embargo. The Netherlands, however, with a far longer presence in Turkey and with far greater investments (over $30 billion) – through the presence of multinational firms such as ING Bank, Philips, Shell and Unilever – is one of the major proponents of the EU putting greater pressure upon Turkey to force it to stop its provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean. Not to mention the US Congress’ decision to push for the imposition of sanctions against Turkey over its purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile air defense system.

Read more …

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site.

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

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime, election time, all the time. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Oct 052020
 


Leonardo da Vinci A Copse of Trees 1508

 

President Trump Could Be Discharged From Walter Reed On Monday (JTN)
Largest COVID19 Contact Tracing Study: Children Key To Spread (Princeton)
Why Are Dems Praying for Speedy Recovery of a “Fascist Dictator”? (Greenwald)
Supreme Court To Commence New Term On Monday (JTN)
Amazon Reveals Over 20,000 Employees Likely Contracted COVID (MPN)
The DNC Hired CrowdStrike To Frame Russia For The Hack (Farnan)
Joe Biden Defense Of His Son’s Business Deals Conflicts With Evidence (JTN)
Pompeo’s Visit To Greece, Cyprus Prompted By Turkey’s S-400s (K.)
GOP Reps Join Tulsi Gabbard In Push To Drop US Assange, Snowden Charges (WT)

 

 

I see thirty days of more hysterical clickbaiting in your future. Trump’s trip outside Walter Reed may not have been risk-free, but you need to steamroller over his entire medical team at the hospital, and claim they are irresponsible frauds or something like that, to turn it into the murderous rampage that the MSM make it.

Here’s a bit of humor about it from Twitter. Please lighten up a little.

 

 

Motorcade
https://twitter.com/alexplitsas/status/1312892097616400387

 

 

US national security

 

 

Seek Help

 

 

 

 

Oh, no, much too early! Those doctors are crazy!

President Trump Could Be Discharged From Walter Reed On Monday (JTN)

President Trump could be discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center to finish his COVID-19 treatment from the White House, a doctor announced during a press conference on Sunday. “In response to transient low oxygen levels as Dr. Conley has discussed, we did initiate dexamethasone therapy and he received his first dose of that yesterday. And our plan is to continue that for the time being,” that doctor said. President Trump’s physician Dr. Sean Conley expressed that he wished to “reiterate how pleased we all are with the president’s recovery.” Conley explained that on Friday morning when the president’s “oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94 percent,” he suggested that the president take oxygen.


“He was fairly adamant that he didn’t need it. He was not short of breath. He was tired, had the fever, and that was about it,” Conley explained, noting that following approximately a minute of oxygen the president’s levels had risen and that the president remained on the oxygen for around one hour. Conley also said that the president’s oxygen level on Saturday dipped but eventually rose. He noted that the president is not experiencing shortness of breath.

Read more …

Again, a new viewpoint.

Largest COVID19 Contact Tracing Study: Children Key To Spread (Princeton)

A study of more than a half-million people in India who were exposed to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 suggests that the virus’ continued spread is driven by only a small percentage of those who become infected. Furthermore, children and young adults were found to be potentially much more important to transmitting the virus — especially within households — than previous studies have identified, according to a paper by researchers from the United States and India published Sept. 30 in the journal Science.

Researchers from the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI), Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Berkeley, worked with public health officials in the southeast Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to track the infection pathways and mortality rate of 575,071 individuals who were exposed to 84,965 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. It is the largest contact tracing study — which is the process of identifying people who came into contact with an infected person — conducted in the world for any disease.

Lead researcher Ramanan Laxminarayan, a senior research scholar in PEI, said that the paper is the first large study to capture the extraordinary extent to which SARS-CoV-2 hinges on “superspreading,” in which a small percentage of the infected population passes the virus on to more people. The researchers found that 71% of infected individuals did not infect any of their contacts, while a mere 8% of infected individuals accounted for 60% of new infections. “Our study presents the largest empirical demonstration of superspreading that we are aware of in any infectious disease,” Laxminarayan said. “Superspreading events are the rule rather than the exception when one is looking at the spread of COVID-19, both in India and likely in all affected places.”

The findings provide extensive insight into the spread and deadliness of COVID-19 in countries such as India — which has experienced more than 96,000 deaths from the disease — that have a high incidence of resource-limited populations, the researchers reported. They found that coronavirus-related deaths in India occurred, on average, six days after hospitalization compared to an average of 13 days in the United States. Also, deaths from coronavirus in India have been concentrated among people aged 50-64, which is slightly younger than the 60-plus at-risk population in the United States.

Read more …

“..their behavior upon hearing that someone they claim to regard as a genocidal racist fascist tyrant has contracted a fatal virus is extremely unusual..”

Why Are Dems Praying for Speedy Recovery of a “Fascist Dictator”? (Greenwald)

The typical reaction to the death of a tyrant — whether by revolutionary violence or natural causes — is not one of grief and sadness but joyous celebration. It is not hard to understand why: when a nation and its oppressed citizenry are finally liberated from the suffocating, savage grip of fascist dictatorship, they feel joy for themselves, their families and the future of their nation. Yet in the U.S., a radically different dynamic is playing out. Over the past several years, but particularly in the months heading into the 2020 election, it has become extremely common for prominent Democrats and their media allies to refer to President Trump as a dictator, a fascist, a tyrant hellbent on destroying U.S. democracy, a genocidal racist, and even a Nazi.

And yet, the overwhelming reaction in those mainstream precincts to the news that the fascist dictator has contracted a potentially lethal virus is to hope and pray that he makes a speedy recovery whereby he can resume his democracy-destroying, genocidal, tyrannical, fascist rule. In March of last year, as CNN put it, “two powerful House Democrats invoked Adolf Hitler’s actions in Germany and the treatment of Jews during World War I and in the 1920s to warn against the direction the US is moving in, with both saying Donald Trump’s presidency presents an unprecedented threat to democracy.” One of the Democratic lawmakers who explicitly invoked Nazism and Hitler as the proper prism to understand Trump’s rule was House Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina.

Just two months ago, Clyburn went back on CNN and warned that Trump was preparing to hold despotic power even if he loses, pronouncing: “I feel very strongly that he is Mussolini, Putin is Hitler.” Yet when Clyburn learned this week that our modern-day Hitler who is on the precipice of ending democracy had contracted a fatal virus, he did not celebrate but instead, for some reason, lamented the news, wishing “the First Family a speedy and complete recovery.” Why would you possibly wish a speedy recovery — rather than a quick demise — to someone you believe is a Hitler-like perpetrator of genocide whose recovery would enable fascism to continue? That seems counter-intuitive and counter-productive.

MSNBC star Rachel Maddow [..] has notoriously spent the last four years manically obsessed with the claim that Trump has such a corrupt relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin that it is the Kremlin, thanks to Trump, which secretly runs the U.S. and is using that power to plot harm to large numbers of Americans by, for instance, seizing the power to cut off their heat in the dead of winter. Maddow was explicitly linking Trump to classic fascism as early as 2015. Yet upon learning that the fascist, Kremlin-controlled, Nazi-like dictator had become ill, Maddow launched a one-woman crusade demanding that her fellow liberals pray earnestly for his recovery. She first posted an extremely effusive tweet: “God bless the president and the first lady. If you pray, please pray for their speedy and complete recovery…”

[..] Whatever else is true, their behavior upon hearing that someone they claim to regard as a genocidal racist fascist tyrant has contracted a fatal virus is extremely unusual when compared to how people throughout history react when learning of similar news. It is worth interrogating what accounts for such a baffling dynamic.

Read more …

Fireworks.

Supreme Court To Commence New Term On Monday (JTN)

The Supreme Court on Monday will commence a new term with just eight justices following September death of the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, though the void could soon be filled if Senate Republicans confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the high court. Barrett’s confirmation would mark the third Trump appointee to the nine-member court during the president’s less than four years occupying the Oval Office. The Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 . Though the first vacancy arose during President Barack Obama’s tenure, Senate Republicans declined to consider the Democratic president’s nominee Merrick Garland. Then-candidate Trump made the presidential power to appoint Supreme Court nominees a central argument to voters during the 2016 election.


Barrett’s addition to the court would likely provide a significant conservative advantage, allowing the conservative justices to decide cases 5-4 even if the George W. Bush-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts were to side with the court’s three liberal justices. The new term will get underway remotely as the court continues to conduct business via phone amid the coronavirus pandemic, as it began doing at the conclusion of the last term, according to the Associated Press. The public will be able to to hear arguments live. The wire service reported that the cases during the coming two weeks were slated for last spring but were delayed due to the high court shutting down for a period because of the coronavirus. [..] The Supreme Court could play a key role after the Nov. 3 general election if it decides to hear voting-related cases. A dramatic expansion on short notice of mail-in balloting in this cycle is expected to precipitate a flood of election litigation.

Read more …

“Bezos has seen his net wealth grow by over $73 billion since lockdown began on March 18..”

Amazon Reveals Over 20,000 Employees Likely Contracted COVID (MPN)

It announced the figure in the middle of a public relations statement detailing the measures it was taking to try to keep its employees safe from the virus. The company presented itself as a proactive and responsible business. “As part of this commitment, we’ve decided to publicly share the COVID-19 infection rates among Amazon front-line employees—something few if any companies and no other major retailers have done,” noted its blog post. It also claimed to be carrying out thousands of tests a day on its staff and noted that, despite the large figure of 19,816 cases, that represented a smaller percentage of positive tests than the general population.

However, Amazon did not include any of its third-party delivery contractors in the figures, who number in the many tens of thousands, at least. Nor was there any confirmation on the number of deaths. Amazon also called on other big companies to do as it had done. “We hope sharing this data and our learnings will encourage others to follow, and will prove useful as states make decisions about reopening public facilities and employers consider whether and how to bring people back to work,” they said. “Wide availability of data would allow us to benchmark our progress and share best practices across businesses and industries.”

Yet Amazon’s move may not be as bold and forward-thinking as it might first appear. The company had been widely condemned for its secrecy and refusal to release figures. On Wednesday, NBC News reported that half a million of its employees had begun to crowdsource that same information in order to build up a database to keep themselves safer. Employees also condemned the company for keeping them in the dark about co-worker infections and their lack of response to the pandemic, which included crowding hundreds of people into recreation rooms, thereby exposing them to increased risk.

[..] A lack of funds is certainly not an excuse for the online retail giant, whose business has expanded into supermarkets, cloud computing, and streaming services. The company’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, became the world’s richest individual late last year, surpassing Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Bezos has seen his net wealth grow by over $73 billion since lockdown began on March 18 and now stands at over $186 billion. That means that, on average, he has added $370 million to his wealth every day of the pandemic.

Read more …

“The following is an exclusive excerpt from The Russia Lie that tells the amazing story in detail..”

The DNC Hired CrowdStrike To Frame Russia For The Hack (Farnan)

U.S. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe recently declassified information indicating the CIA obtained intelligence in 2016 that the Russians believed the Clinton campaign was trying to falsely associate Russia with the so-called hack of DNC computers. CIA Director John Brennan shared the intelligence with President Obama. They knew, in other words, that the DNC was conducting false Russian flag operation against the Trump campaign. The following is an exclusive excerpt from The Russia Lie that tells the amazing story in detail:

On March 19, 2016, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, surrendered his emails to an unknown entity in a “spear phishing” scam. This has been called a “hack,” but it was not. Instead, it was the sort of flim-flam hustle that happens to gullible dupes on the internet. The content of the emails was beyond embarrassing. They showed election fraud and coordination with the media against the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. The DNC and the Clinton campaign needed a cover story. Blaming Russia would be a handy way to deal with the Podesta emails. There was already an existing Russia operation that could easily be retrofitted to this purpose. The problem was that it was nearly impossible to identify the perpetrator in a phishing scheme using computer forensic tools. The only way to associate Putin with the emails was circumstantially.

The DNC retained a company that called itself “CrowdStrike” to provide assistance. CrowdStrike’s chief technology officer and co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, is an anti-Putin, Russian expat and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. With the Atlantic Council in 2016, all roads led to Ukraine. The Atlantic Council’s list of significant contributors includes Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk. The Ukrainian energy company that was paying millions to an entity that was funneling large amounts to Hunter Biden months after he was discharged from the US Navy for drug use, Burisma, also appears prominently on the Atlantic Council’s donor list. Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Western puppet installed in Ukraine, visited the Atlantic Council’s Washington offices to make a speech weeks after the coup.

Pinchuk was also a big donor (between $10 million and $20 million) to the Clinton Foundation. Back in ’15, the Wall Street Journal published an investigative piece, “Clinton Charity Tapped Foreign Friends.” The piece was about how Ukraine was attempting to influence Clinton by making huge donations through Pinchuk. Foreign interference, anyone? On June 12, 2016, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced: “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton . . . We have emails pending publication.” Two days later, CrowdStrike fed the Washington Post a story, headlined, “Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump.” The improbable tale was that the Russians had hacked the DNC computer servers and got away with some opposition research on Trump. The article quoted Alperovitch of CrowdStrike and the Atlantic Council.

Read more …

Like late night comedy refusing the accept the gift the Biden is to their work, the press leave him alone too. It’s the same thing. Journalism it is not.

Joe Biden Defense Of His Son’s Business Deals Conflicts With Evidence (JTN)

During one of the many sharp exchanges at last week’s presidential debate, Joe Biden flat out denied his son Hunter had any business relationship with the Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina, the billionaire wife of the late Moscow mayor. “Why is it, just out of curiosity, the mayor of Moscow’s wife gave your son three and a half million dollars?” President Trump asked during one flash point. “That is not true,” Biden answered. “Oh really, he didn’t get three and a half million?” Trump persisted a few second later. “It’s totally discredited,” the former vice president snapped back. “Totally discredited.” In fact, Biden’s answer directly conflicts with evidence that the U.S. Senate, the FBI and the U.S. Treasury Department have all gathered.

In their most recent investigative report on Ukraine corruption, the Senate Finance and Homeland Security committees disclosed that Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) that the Treasury Department turned over to Senate investigators show a direct link between Hunter Biden and Baturina. “Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow,” the Senate report declared, identifying a firm that the younger Biden and his business partner Devon Archer had created in 2013 as the recipient of the 2014 payment. “On Feb. 14, 2014, Baturina wired $3.5 million to a Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC (Rosemont Seneca Thornton) bank account for a ‘Consultancy Agreement DD12.02.2014.'” the Senate report said. “Rosemont Seneca Thornton is an investment firm co-founded by Hunter Biden that was incorporated on May 28, 2013 in Wilmington, Del.

According to The Financial Times, Rosemont Seneca Thornton is a consortium that consists of Rosemont Seneca Partners and the Thornton Group, a Massachusetts-based firm.” The consulting payment was not only flagged because of its source. Its timing was also suspicious for its proximity to unfolding events in Eastern Europe. The payment was made four days before the Maidan revolution successfully ousted Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s Russian-friendly president, and less than two weeks before Vladimir Putin sent Russian forces to invade Ukraine’s Crimea region and annex it. The Treasury reports showed 11 more transactions flowing from Baturina to entities tied to Hunter Biden in 2015.

“Between May 6, 2015 and Dec. 8, 2015, Baturina sent 11 wires in the amount of $391,968.21 to a bank account belonging to BAK USA LLC. Nine of the 11 transactions, totaling $241,797.14 were sent from Baturina’s accounts to a Rosemont Seneca Thornton bank account, which then transferred the money to BAK USA,” the Senate report noted.

Read more …

Turkey’s main threat today may well be in Nagorno-Karabach.

Pompeo’s Visit To Greece, Cyprus Prompted By Turkey’s S-400s (K.)

The indications that Turkey activated the radars of its Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft systems in order to detect US-made Greek F-16 fighter jets on their return from the Eunomia exercise on August 27 off Cyprus apparently sounded the alarm in Washington about the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and reportedly prompted the visits by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Cyprus on September 12 and Greece on September 27-29. The visits highlight how Ankara’s procurement of the S-400s is irking Washington, which has threatened to impose sanctions if the Russian system is activated. According to reports from a section of the Turkish opposition media, a general test of the S-400 systems is planned by Ankara near Sinop on the Black Sea.


Regardless of the decisions that Ankara will take regarding its air defense, last week’s three-day visit by Pompeo, which took him to Thessaloniki and the Souda base on Crete, was seen as very significant. The permanent mooring of the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams at the Souda facility is a strong indication of the US intent to substantially strengthen its presence on the island. The support of a 106,000-ton displacement ship capable of carrying helicopters, UAVs and other systems requires significant changes to the base. The US has been supporting Greece in an ongoing effort since 2016 to further bolster the capabilities of the navy base on Souda.

Read more …

Tulsi has balls.

GOP Reps Join Tulsi Gabbard In Push To Drop US Assange, Snowden Charges (WT)

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii Democrat, has gained support from Republican colleagues in calling for the U.S. government to abandon its criminal cases against Julian Assange and Edward J. Snowden. Along with Rep. Thomas Massie, Kentucky Republican, she introduced a resolution Friday urging the U.S. to drop all charges and efforts to extradite Mr. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican, joined the Democrat days earlier by co-sponsoring a similar resolution asking the U.S. to drop its case against Mr. Snowden, who is also wanted for leaking. Mr. Assange, who launched the WikiLeaks website in 2006, and Mr. Snowden, a former intelligence contractor, each face criminal charges in separate cases related to leaking classified information.


Both men have been charged in federal court in Alexandria, Va., with violating the U.S. Espionage Act, and they face the possibility of hefty prison sentences if put on trial and convicted. Ms. Gabbard, who unsuccessfully sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, argued that Mr. Assange and Mr. Snowden each played a part in exposing government wrongdoing and should be spared. WikiLeaks “published information that exposed lies and abuses of power at the highest levels,” said Ms. Gabbard; Mr. Snowden “bravely expos[ed] massive illegal government surveillance,” she said.

Read more …

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site.

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

 

 

Failure-proof is achievable; failure-free is not.
– Nassim Taleb

 

 

Assange superpower

 

 

Carl Sagan Are you a socialist?

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime, election time, all the time.

 

Sep 022020
 
 September 2, 2020  Posted by at 9:37 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  13 Responses »


Leonardo da Vinci Head of a Woman 1475-80

 

Trump Administration Issues Sweeping Eviction Ban (Hill)
Trump Knocks Fauci: ‘I Inherited Him’ (Hill)
Fauci: COVID Vaccine Trials Could End Early If Results Are Overwhelming (KHN)
Dem Group Warns Of Apparent Trump Election Day Landslide (Axios)
CIA Conduct During Russia Assessment May Be Next Boomerang (Solomon)
FBI Investigated Trump As Comey Said He Wasn’t Under Investigation (JTN)
Judge Sullivan Files Order Dragging Out Flynn Case Past Election (CT)
How an “Act of God” Pandemic Is Destroying the West (Michael Hudson)
Fed Now Owns Nearly One Third of All US Mortgages (Mish)
California Democrats Kill Gas and Oil Regulations (Horn)
Erdogan Asked His Generals To Sink Greek Ship Or Shoot Down Fighter Jet (KTG)
Journalists Paved Assange’s Path To A US Gulag (Cook)

 

 

We need rapid tests and HCQ, zinc, lots of them all. The numbers are not decreasing nearly fast enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taleb Fragility + Pandemic

 

 

Election time.

Trump Administration Issues Sweeping Eviction Ban (Hill)

The Trump administration issued an order Tuesday banning landlords from evicting tenants from properties they can no longer afford to rent due to income lost to the coronavirus pandemic. The order, issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), would make it illegal to evict any individual who expects to make less than $99,000 or a joint-filing couple that expects to make less than $198,000 in 2020. The tenants would still be required to pay rent owed per the terms of the lease, but will be allowed to stay in their unit through the end of the year. “President Trump is committed to helping hardworking Americans stay in their homes and combating the spread of the coronavirus. Today’s announcement from his administration means that people are struggling to pay rent and risk further spreading of exposure to the disease, due to economic hardship,” said White House spokesman Brian Morgenstern.


The national eviction ban was issued under a federal law that gives the CDC director authority to impose measures to prevent the spread of communicable disease “as he [or] she deems necessary.” The provision specifically refers to filling the gaps left by “inadequate” state-imposed public health measures and does not directly mention financial aid or overriding contracts between citizens, raising questions about its legality. In order to qualify for the eviction protection, a tenant must declare that their 2020 income will fall below the threshold set out in the order; they’ve sought all potential sources of federal housing aid; and that they cannot afford to pay the rent due to a pandemic-related job loss or expense despite their best efforts to do so.

Read more …

Trump gets the blame for the pandemic, but Fauci is the go-to guy.

Trump Knocks Fauci: ‘I Inherited Him’ (Hill)

President Trump on Monday questioned the value of Anthony Fauci to the White House coronavirus task force, saying in an interview with Fox News that he “inherited” the government’s top infectious disease expert. “I disagree with a lot of what he said,” Trump told Laura Ingraham when asked if he would put Fauci “front and center” in the pandemic response if he could do it again. “I get along with him, but every once in a while, he’ll come up with one that I say, ‘Where did that come from?'” Trump continued. “I inherited him. He was here. He was part of this huge piece of machine.” The president reiterated his claim that Fauci opposed his decision to restrict travel from China in January. Fauci indicated at the time he did not think it was a good idea, though he later said it had bought the U.S. time to fight the virus.


Trump has repeatedly undermined and criticized Fauci. Last month, he retweeted a message that said Fauci “has misled the American public on many issues, but in particular, on dismissing #hydroxychloroquine and calling Remdesivir the new gold standard.” He also has said Fauci is a nice man but has “made a lot of mistakes.” Other White House officials, such as trade adviser Peter Navarro, have openly attacked Fauci in public. Fauci has been among the most visible members of the White House coronavirus task force, giving frequent media interviews. However, he has largely been cut out of recent public White House events around the pandemic, as has Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the administration’s coronavirus response.

Read more …

Empty blah.

Fauci: COVID Vaccine Trials Could End Early If Results Are Overwhelming (KHN)

A COVID-19 vaccine could be available earlier than expected if ongoing clinical trials produce overwhelmingly positive results, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official, in an interview Tuesday with KHN. Although two ongoing clinical trials of 30,000 volunteers are expected to conclude by the end of the year, Fauci said an independent board has the authority to end the trials weeks early if interim results are overwhelmingly positive or negative. The Data and Safety Monitoring Board could say, “‘The data is so good right now that you can say it’s safe and effective,’” Fauci said. In that case, researchers would have “a moral obligation” to end the trial early and make the active vaccine available to everyone in the study, including those who had been given placebos — and accelerate the process to give the vaccine to millions.


Fauci’s comments come at a time of growing concern about whether political pressure from the Trump administration could influence federal regulators and scientists overseeing the nation’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, and erode shaky public confidence in vaccines. Prominent vaccine experts have said they fear Trump is pushing for an early vaccine approval to help win reelection. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he trusts the independent members of the DSMB — who are not government employees — to hold vaccines to high standards without being politically influenced. Members of the board are typically experts in vaccine science and biostatistics who teach at major medical schools. “If you are making a decision about the vaccine, you’d better be sure you have very good evidence that it is both safe and effective,” Fauci said. “I’m not concerned about political pressure.”

Read more …

It’ll be mayhem. Good for the lawyers, bad for everyone else. The US will be lucky not to have a civil war.

Dem Group Warns Of Apparent Trump Election Day Landslide (Axios)

A top Democratic data and analytics firm told “Axios on HBO” it’s highly likely that President Trump will appear to have won — potentially in a landslide — on election night, even if he ultimately loses when all the votes are counted. Way more Democrats will vote by mail than Republicans, due to fears of the coronavirus, and it will take days if not weeks to tally these. This means Trump, thanks to Republicans doing almost all of their voting in person, could hold big electoral college and popular vote leads on election night. Imagine America, with its polarization and misinformation, if the vote tally swings wildly toward Joe Biden and Trump loses days later as the mail ballots are counted.

That is what this group, Hawkfish, which is funded by Michael Bloomberg and also does work for the Democratic National Committee and pro-Biden Super PACs, is warning is a very real, if not foreordained, outcome.Hawkfish CEO Josh Mendelsohn calls the scenario a “red mirage.” “We are sounding an alarm and saying that this is a very real possibility, that the data is going to show on election night an incredible victory for Donald Trump,” he said. “When every legitimate vote is tallied and we get to that final day, which will be some day after Election Day, it will in fact show that what happened on election night was exactly that, a mirage,” Mendelsohn said. “It looked like Donald Trump was in the lead and he fundamentally was not when every ballot gets counted.”

Under one of the group’s modeling scenarios, Trump could hold a projected lead of 408-130 electoral votes on election night, if only 15% of the vote by mail (VBM) ballots had been counted. Once 75% of mail ballots were counted, perhaps four days later, the lead could flip to Biden’s favor. This particular modeling scenario portrays Biden as ultimately winning a massive victory, 334-204.

Read more …

These things need much more scrutiny.

CIA Conduct During Russia Assessment May Be Next Boomerang (Solomon)

By his own admission, ex-CIA Director John Brennan chafed at being questioned earlier this month by federal prosecutor John Durham about the Obama administration’s intelligence assessment that Russia’s meddling in 2016 election was designed to help Donald Trump. Brennan “questioned why the analytic tradecraft and the findings of the ICA are being scrutinized by the Department of Justice, especially since they have been validated by the Mueller Report and the bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Review,” a statement issued by his spokesman Nick Shapiro said. The answer, according to multiple officials familiar with the evidence, is that the House intelligence committee in 2018 sent a secret report to the CIA inspector general that called into question the tradecraft used in the Brennan-led assessment.

Specifically, the officials said, it highlighted dissent and doubts by some intelligence community analysts about Vladimir Putin’s intentions in intervening in the 2016 election. Some believed it was to help Trump; others believed it was simply to sow chaos without picking a winner, and still others saw evidence Putin might have preferred Hillary Clinton, the officials said. In other words, an assessment that was portrayed as unanimous when it was made public in early January 2017 was anything but at the analyst level, according to Fred Fleitz, a longtime intelligence officer who was briefed on the House intelligence committee’s concerns when he served as chief of staff in the National Security Council.

“When I was briefed on the House Intelligence Committee report on the January 2017 ICA, I was told that John Brennan politicized this assessment by excluding credible intelligence that the Russians wanted Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 election and ordered weak intelligence included that Russia wanted Trump to win, Fleitz told Just the News. “I also was told that Brennan took both actions over the objections of CIA analysts. I am concerned about what happened to these analysts and worry that they may have been subjected to retaliation by CIA management,” he added.

“These analysts are true whistleblowers, and they should come to the congressional intelligence committees to tell their stories and set the record straight on the ICA.” Officials said the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, who was a member of the House Intelligence Committee before joining the Trump administration, is considering declassifying parts or all of the House Intelligence Committee report to the inspector general. Ratcliffe hinted Sunday new releases of information are imminent. “I’m optimistic that I’ll be declassifying additional documents soon,” Ratcliffe told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday.

Read more …

And Trump knew.

FBI Investigated Trump Tweets As Comey Said He Wasn’t Under Investigation (JTN)

The conservative watchdog Judicial Watch says it has received more than 300 pages of emails between former FBI official Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page that includes records of the FBI discussing an investigation into tweets sent by President Trump in early 2017 about the agency spying on him at the behest of former President Obama. In a March 2017 exchange, Strzok emails several of his colleagues, including Page, about several tweets the President Trump had sent earlier in the month commenting on suspected wire tapping at Trump Tower during the 2016 election. “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” wrote POTUS on March 4.

“Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!” Trump continued. “I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!” He concluded the March 4 tweet storm with: “How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate Bad (or sick) guy!” On March 29, 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey’s chief of staff emailed Strzok, Page and several of their colleagues saying that the director would like a briefing on a “sensitive matter.”

A followup email says that Comey requested the briefing so that he would be able to brief then-acting U.S. Attorney General Dana Boente. One week after the email exchange and director’s briefing, the second renewal and order of the FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was filed. The new emails also detail exchanges between FBI officials and reporters at CNN and the New York Times pertaining to the Russia investigation. [..] “These astonishing emails, which have been hidden for years, show the Comey FBI was investigating President Trump over his critical tweets of the agency and Obama’s spying abuse and misconduct,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These emails also show that Comey was intimately involved with illegal and dishonest FISA spy op against President Trump.”

Read more …

No coincidence.

Judge Sullivan Files Order Dragging Out Flynn Case Past Election (CT)

The minute order filed by Judge Emmet Sullivan outlines a protracted time-frame for the next sequence of events in the case against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. As noted in the order, Sullivan is now telling the DOJ and Flynn defense to file a joint status report outlining their “recommendation for further proceedings” by September 21, 2020. From there a briefing schedule which will require both parties to respond to Sullivan’s personal amicus (Gleeson), and additionally respond jointly to any other amicus not ordered by the court. Lastly, Sullivan is requesting three dates for oral arguments. In essence, despite his ability to quickly convene the parties to settle all matters before the court; which includes the unopposed motion by the DOJ and defense to drop the case; Sullivan intends to drag this case out as long as possible and use the amicus as a tool forcing responses from both parties (DOJ and Flynn). So much for the “quick dispatch” outlined within the DC Circuit opinion, this case is going on for several more months.

Read more …

Jubilee time.

How an “Act of God” Pandemic Is Destroying the West (Michael Hudson)

Before juxtaposing the U.S. and alternative responses to the coronavirus’s economic effects, I would like to step back in time to show how the pandemic has revealed a deep underlying problem. We are seeing the consequences of Western societies painting themselves into a debt corner by their creditor-oriented philosophy of law. Neoliberal anti-government (or more accurately, anti-democratic) ideology has centralized social planning and state power in “the market,” meaning specifically the financial market on Wall Street and in other financial centers. At issue is who will lose when employment and business activity are disrupted. Will it be creditors and landlords at the top of the economic scale, or debtors and renters at the bottom?

This age-old confrontation over how to deal with the unpaid rents, mortgages and other debt service is at the heart of today’s virus pandemic as large and small businesses, farms, restaurants and neighborhood stores have fallen into arrears, leaving businesses and households – along with their employees who have no wage income to pay these carrying charges that accrue each month. This is an age-old problem. It was solved in the ancient Near East simply by annulling these debt and rent charges. But the West, shaped as it still is by the legacy of the Roman Empire, has left itself prone to the massive unemployment, business closedowns and resulting arrears for these basic costs of living and doing business.

Western civilization distinguishes itself from its Near Eastern predecessors in the way it has responded to “acts of God” that disrupt the means of support and leave debts in their wake. The United States has taken the lead in rejecting the path by which China, and even social democratic European nations have prevented the coronavirus from causing widespread insolvency and polarizing their economies. The U.S. coronavirus lockdown is turning rent and debt arrears into an opportunity to impoverish the indebted economy and transfer mortgaged property and its income to creditors. There is no inherent material need for this fate to occur. But it seems so natural and even inevitable that, as Margaret Thatcher would say, There Is No Alternative. But of course there is, and always has been. However, resilience in the face of economic disruption always has required a central authority to override “market forces” to restore economic balance from “above.”

Read more …

How not to do a Jubilee.

Fed Now Owns Nearly One Third of All US Mortgages (Mish)

Nearly $7 Trillion in Securities, $2 Trillion Mortgages. As of August 26, 2020 the Fed’s Balance Sheet is nearly $7 trillion total of which $3.7 trillion are notes or bonds, and nearly $2 trillion in mortgages (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Ginnie Mae).

Bloomberg reports No End in Sight to Fed’s Mortgage Buying Spree. • The Fed has snapped up $1 trillion of mortgage bonds since March. It bought around $300 billion of the bonds in each of March and April, and since then has been buying about $100 billion a month. • The Fed now owns almost a third of bonds backed by home loans in the U.S. • Buying the securities has pushed mortgage rates lower, with the average 30-year rate falling to 2.91% as of last week from 3.3% in early February. • Morgan Stanley analysts pointed out in late March that the buying was running at eight times the pace seen in prior episodes of Fed purchasing under programs known as quantitative easing. • Just before this latest round, principal payments from its mortgage bond holdings had whittled that down to 21%, but it has now increased back to 30%. • If the Fed maintains its current buying pace, it will again own 34% of the mortgage universe by year’s end.

Read more …

It was always just lip service.

California Democrats Kill Gas and Oil Regulations (Horn)

Big money from Big Oil and industry-tied unions has helped to kill a legislative effort to create environmental protections for communities living near oil and gas operations in California. On August 5, a 5-4 Senate committee vote struck down consideration of legislation calling for a 2,500-foot setback between future oil wells and homes, schools, and playgrounds. Only one of those votes came from a Republican. It was the second time in as many years that the bill, Assembly Bill 345, failed to pass, and it failed to do so even after several rounds of significant amendments had watered down the legislation. With that, a years-long activist-led legislative movement went up in smoke for 2020.

And then came the historically large wildfires. Within a matter of days, the state’s northern half caught fire at an epic scale, wildfires made worse from climate change and fueled by unfettered fossil fuel drilling. California oil is some of the dirtiest, from a climate change perspective, in the United States. Drilling for oil in the state also has major public health repercussions, an impetus driving AB 345. Recent studies have linked oil drilling in California to health impacts, including low birth weight and small gestational age, as well as preterm births. Research has also linked higher levels of industrial pollution to higher contraction rates of COVID-19. Despite these impacts, the bill attracted a core group of Democratic legislators who ultimately oversaw the bill’s demise.

Three of those who spoke out the most strongly against AB 345 at the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water hearing on August 5 before voting against it — senator Ben Hueso, senator Andreas Borgeas, and Senate majority leader Bob Hertzberg — have received high dollar contributions and other support from oil interests that lobbied against AB 345. The lobbying and influence campaign efforts waged by the oil industry and labor against AB 345 illustrates the difficulty in crafting climate policy and environmental protections — even in a state with a supermajority Democratic Party legislature that bills itself as a global leader on fighting climate change.

Read more …

Merkel needs to wake up.

Erdogan Asked His Generals To Sink Greek Ship Or Shoot Down Fighter Jet (KTG)

German conservative newspaper Die Welt reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wanted to provoke a military incident with Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean in order to survive politically.In a report entitled “Erdogan’s calculated war,” the news paper said that “if it depended on the Turkish President, his navy would have sunk a Greek ship in the Mediterranean a long time ago.” Citing Turkish military sources, Die Welt wrote that Erdogan had asked Turkey generals a few days ago to sink a Greek ship and that they should do so securing that no one is killed in the process.


When the generals refused, someone else suggested shooting down a Greek fighter, and the pilot could use the launch pad to save himself. But Turkish generals again refused. Turkish and Greek Navy ships have been at standoff in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea since Ankara sent seismic vessel Oruc Reis for hydrocarbon research in the Greek continental shelf beginning of August. Fighter jests of the two countries are often engaged in “dog fights” over the Aegean Sea because Turkey sends its F-16s to violate Greek air space.

Read more …

“He is the modern equivalent of a severed head on a pike displayed at the city gates.”

Journalists Paved Assange’s Path To A US Gulag (Cook)

Court hearings in Britain over the US administration’s extradition case against Julian Assange begin in earnest next week. The decade-long saga that brought us to this point should appall anyone who cares about our increasingly fragile freedoms. A journalist and publisher has been deprived of his liberty for 10 years. According to UN experts, he has been arbitrarily detained and tortured for much of that time through intense physical confinement and endless psychological pressure. He has been bugged and spied on by the CIA during his time in political asylum, in Ecuador’s London embassy, in ways that violated his most fundamental legal rights. The judge overseeing his hearings has a serious conflict of interest – with her family embedded in the UK security services – that she did not declare and which should have required her to recuse herself from the case.

All indicators are that Assange will be extradited to the US to face a rigged grand jury trial meant to ensure he sees out his days in a maximum-security prison, serving a sentence of up to 175 years. None of this happened in some Third-World, tinpot dictatorship. It happened right under our noses, in a major western capital, and in a state that claims to protect the rights of a free press. It happened not in the blink of an eye but in slow motion – day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. And once we strip out a sophisticated campaign of character assassination against Assange by western governments and a compliant media, the sole justification for this relentless attack on press freedom is that a 49-year-old man published documents exposing US war crimes.

That is the reason – and the only reason – that the US is seeking his extradition and why he has been languishing in what amounts to solitary confinement in Belmarsh high-security prison during the Covid-19 pandemic. His lawyers’ appeals for bail have been refused. While the press corps abandoned Assange a decade ago, echoing official talking points that pilloried him over toilet hygiene and his treatment of his cat, Assange is today exactly where he originally predicted he would be if western governments got their way. What awaits him is rendition to the US so he can be locked out of sight for the rest of his life.

There were two goals the US and UK set out to achieve through the visible persecution, confinement and torture of Assange. First, he and Wikileaks, the transparency organisation he co-founded, needed to be disabled. Engaging with Wikileaks had to be made too risky to contemplate for potential whistleblowers. That is why Chelsea Manning – the US soldier who passed on documents relating to US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan for which Assange now faces extradition – was similarly subjected to harsh imprisonment. She later faced punitive daily fines while in jail to pressure her into testifying against Assange.

The aim has been to discredit Wikileaks and similar organisations and stop them from being able to publish more revelatory documents – of the kind that show western governments are not the “good guys” managing world affairs for the benefit of mankind, but are in fact highly militarised, global bullies advancing the same ruthless colonial policies of war, destruction and pillage they always pursued. And second, Assange had to be made to suffer horribly and in public – to be made an example of – to deter other journalists from ever considering following in his footsteps. He is the modern equivalent of a severed head on a pike displayed at the city gates.

Read more …

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, your support is now an integral part of the process.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

 

 

Taleb Being Lebanese

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime.