Nov 122022
 
 November 12, 2022  Posted by at 9:03 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The three trees 1643

 

US Worried About EU Commitment To Punishing Russia (RT)
How Europe Is Destroying Its Own ‘Garden’ (MPN)
White House Divided On Pushing For Peace In Ukraine – NYT (RT)
Kiev Introduces New Restrictions On Speaking Russian (RT)
Sun Tzu Walks Into a Kherson Bar… (Escobar)
Russian Defense Ministry Gives Update On Kherson Withdrawal (RT)
Rewiring Eurasia: Mr. Patrushev Goes To Tehran (Escobar)
Kremlin Reacts To US Economic Pressure (RT)
Disruptions To Oil Supplies Possible Due To Upcoming EU Restrictions (Az.)
Greece Threatens To Block EU Gas Price Correction Mechanism (K.)
Bamboo Diplomacy: The China-SE Asia Romance (Escobar)
The Winners and Losers in a Shift in Control of Congress (Turley)
Federal Judge Declares Biden Loan Forgiveness Unconstitutional (Turley)
Flemish Government Preparing To Cancel WEF Membership (NNP)
A Committee Of Inquiry Into Bourla And von der Leyen (Anderson)

 

 

 

 

Elon has work to do…

 

 

Welfare queen

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
~Paulo Coelho

 

 

 

 

“People in Europe are “growing angry over sanctions and blame the US for rising costs,” putting their government under pressure to withdraw their support..”

US Worried About EU Commitment To Punishing Russia (RT)

EU nations are at risk of deviating from the US-led economic sanctions imposed on Russia for its military campaign in Ukraine, US officials told the media. People in Europe are “growing angry over sanctions and blame the US for rising costs,” putting their government under pressure to withdraw their support, Politico reported on Thursday, citing an internal US report. The document led to a “flurry of calls” among officials in Washington concerned about keeping European leaders on board with the strategy, sources in the US government told the outlet, adding that “things are holding steady for now, but it is a shaky situation.”

Countries in the EU have been struggling with surging inflation, driven to a large degree by rising energy prices. The bloc chose to stop trading with Russia, which used to be its biggest energy supplier, as part of the sanctions drive but is struggling to find a long-term replacement.The crunch has been aggravated by the interruption of gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia to Germany and exacerbated further by the bombing of the undersea route in late September. Both Nord Stream 1 and 2, the later was never operational due to Ukraine tensions, were damaged and now require major repairs.

Protests against the rising cost of living have gripped European nations, with mass demonstrations taking place in Greece, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Germany, to name a few. Rallies in Prague two weeks ago and in Rome last week specifically called to end military aid to Ukraine and open dialogue with Russia. French President Emmanuel Macron last month accused Washington of applying “double standards” in its energy policy. The US is propping up its own economy with subsidies and disregards the effect it has on prices across the Atlantic, he noted. American liquified natural gas has taken a large share of the European market since the Ukraine crisis broke out.

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“The impact of this crisis on every aspect of European life cannot be overstated.”

How Europe Is Destroying Its Own ‘Garden’ (MPN)

The European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell is not particularly perceived by the EU’s political elite or mainstream media as a rightwing ideologue or warmonger. But seen through a different, non-western prism, it is hard not to mistake him for one. Borrell’s recent comments that “Europe is a garden” and that “the rest of the world is a jungle” were duly condemned as ‘racist’ by many politicians around the world, but mostly in the Global South. Borrell’s remarks, however, must also be viewed as an expression of superiority, not only of Borell personally, but of Europe’s ruling classes as a whole. Particularly interesting about the EU top diplomat’s words are these inaccurate depictions of Europe and its relationship with the rest of the world: “We have built a garden”, “everything works” and “the jungle could invade the garden”.

Without delving too deep into what is obviously an entrenched superiority complex, Borrell speaks as if an advocate of the so-called ‘Replacement Theory’, a racist notion advocated by the West’s – Europe especially – rightwing intellectuals, which sees refugees, migrants and non-Europeans as parasites aiming to destroy the continent’s supposedly perfect demographic, religious and social harmony. If stretched further into a historical dimension, one also feels compelled to remind the EU leadership of the central role that European colonialism, economical exploitation, political meddling and outright military intervention have played in turning much of the world into a supposed ‘jungle’. Would Libya, for example, have been reduced to the status of a failed state if the West did not wage a major war starting in March 2011?

The imagined ‘jungle’ aside, Europe’s past and present reality strongly negates Borell’s ethnocentric view. Sadly, Europe is the birthplace of the most horrible pages of history, from colonialism and slavery to the nationalistic, fascist and nihilistic movements that defined most of the last three centuries. Despite the desperate attempt to rewrite or ignore history in favor of a more amiable narrative focused on great splendors, technological advancement and civilizational triumph, Europe’s true nature continues to smolder underneath the ashes, ready to resurface whenever the geopolitical and socioeconomic factors take a wrong turn. The Syrian and Libyan refugee crisis, the Covid pandemic and, more recently, the Russia-Ukraine war are all examples of the proverbial wrong turn. In fact, Borrell’s words, aimed to reassure Europe of its moral superiority are but a foolhardy effort meant to conceal one of the most dramatic crises that Europe has experienced in nearly a century. The impact of this crisis on every aspect of European life cannot be overstated.

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“..Jake Sullivan maintained that Washington “is not pressuring Ukraine” into any talks with Russia, insisting that it is “consulting” Kiev as a partner and providing it with various forms of support..”

White House Divided On Pushing For Peace In Ukraine – NYT (RT)

The US government is divided on whether to pressure Ukraine into initiating peace talks with Russia, with some officials arguing that it won’t get better terms in the future, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing sources. According to White House officials interviewed by the outlet, Gen. Mark Milley, who heads the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated during internal meetings that Kiev’s forces had achieved all that they may reasonably expect before winter sets in and “should try to cement their gains at the bargaining table” with Russia. Milley was apparently referring to Moscow’s recent decision to withdraw its troops from the right bank of the Dnieper River, including the city of Kherson, a move made to preserve the lives of Russian soldiers.

However, other senior officials are said to oppose Milley’s line of thinking, arguing that neither Moscow nor Kiev is ready for talks now, while any lull in the fighting would allow Russia to regroup. Although they believe that the conflict will eventually be settled via diplomacy, the consensus is that the moment for talks “is not ripe,” and the US shouldn’t be seen as trying to hold Kiev back while it “has momentum.” The report comes as US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he does not “think that the conflict will be resolved until [Russian President Vladimir] Putin gets out of Ukraine.”

The same day, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan maintained that Washington “is not pressuring Ukraine” into any talks with Russia, insisting that it is “consulting” Kiev as a partner and providing it with various forms of support. Moscow has repeatedly stated that while it is not holding any talks with the US over Ukraine, it remains open to a diplomatic engagement with Kiev. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has set out conditions for any diplomatic engagement, which include the “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity,” “compensation for all war damage” and “punishment of every war criminal.” Zelensky earlier signed a decree prohibiting any negotiations with Putin, suggesting that Kiev would only talk to Russia when it has a different president.

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2014 redux.

Kiev Introduces New Restrictions On Speaking Russian (RT)

The Kiev City Council voted to remove the Russian language from the Ukrainian capital’s public school curriculum on Thursday, citing national security concerns. According to the statement on the council’s website, the ban also covers nursery schools. Vadim Vasilchuk, the chair of the council’s commission on education, said the measure “will prevent an escalation of tensions in society and strengthen the protection of the education space in Kiev from the hybrid activities of the enemy state.” “Language matters, and, in a time of war, it is an issue of national security,” Vasilchuk added. The legislator said all classes would be taught in Ukrainian, the country’s sole state language.

The move came after Alexey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, described the Russian language last month as “an element of enemy propaganda” that “must completely disappear from Ukrainian territory.” In August, Ukraine’s Education Ministry said that nearly all works of Russian and Belarusian authors would be removed from literature classes. Ukrainian activists and officials have also been tearing down monuments to Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s national poet and novelist, who lived in the 19th century. A bronze Pushkin bust was removed from its pedestal in the northern city of Zhitomir on Friday, while a monument in Kiev was taken down last month. The rights of the sizable Russian-speaking minority have been a highly contentious issue ever since Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Donetsk and Lugansk regions broke away from Ukraine in 2014, following the coup in Kiev and in the wake of attempts by Ukrainian officials to restrict the use of Russian in public life. They formed the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR). Ukraine eventually adopted a set of laws that severely limit the use of Russian in public services, media, and education. Moscow repeatedly accused Ukraine of discriminating against Russian speakers. In the days leading up to the Russian military operation in Ukraine that was launched in February, President Vladimir Putin said that the Ukrainian authorities were conducting policies of “derussification and forced assimilation.” The DPR and LPR, together with two other former Ukrainian territories, joined Russia after holding referendums in late September.

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“Russian public opinion will have tremendous problems absorbing the news.”

Sun Tzu Walks Into a Kherson Bar… (Escobar) ft: 20px;”>

Deal or no deal, General Winter is coming to town – ready to entertain his guest of honor Sun Tzu with so many new dishes at their dinner table. The announcement of the Kherson Retreat may have signaled one of the gloomiest days of the Russian Federation since 1991. Leaving the right bank of the Dnieper to set up a defense line on the left bank may spell out total military sense. General Armageddon himself, since his first day on the job, had hinted this might have been inevitable. As it stands in the chessboard, Kherson is in the “wrong” side of the Dnieper. All residents of Kherson Oblast – 115,000 people in total – who wanted to be relocated to safer latitudes have been evacuated from the right bank. General Armageddon knew that was inevitable for several reasons:

no mobilization after the initial SMO plans hit the dust; destruction of strategic bridges across the Dnieper – complete with a three-month methodical Ukrainian pounding of bridges, ferries, pontoons and piers; no second bridgehead to the north of Kherson or to the west (towards Odessa or Nikolaev) to conduct an offensive. And then, the most important reason: massive weaponization coupled with NATO de facto running the war translated into enormous Western superiority in reconnaissance, communications and command and control. In the end, the Kherson Retreat may be a relatively minor tactical loss. Yet politically, it’s an unmitigated disaster, a devastating embarrassment. Kherson is a Russian city. Russians have lost – even if temporarily – the capital of a brand new territory attached to the Federation. Russian public opinion will have tremendous problems absorbing the news.

The list of negatives is considerable. Kiev forces secure their flank and may free up forces to go against Donbass. Weaponizing by the collective West gets a major boost. HIMARS can now potentially strike targets in Crimea. The optics are horrendous. Russia’s image across the Global South is severely tarnished; after all, this move amounts to abandoning Russian territory – while serial Ukrainian war crimes instantly disappear from the major “narrative”. At a minimum, the Russians a long time ago should have reinforced their major strategic advantage bridgehead on the west side of the Dnieper so that it could hold – short of a widely forecasted Kakhovka Dam flood. And yet the Russians also ignored the dam bombing threat for months. That spells out terrible planning.

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“All civilians who wished to leave the right bank of Kherson Region were provided with assistance.”

Russian Defense Ministry Gives Update On Kherson Withdrawal (RT)

Russian forces have completed the redeployment to the left bank of the River Dnieper in Kherson Region, the Defense Ministry has said. The maneuver was completed early Friday morning, according to the statement. The ministry denied reports that military hardware was abandoned on the other bank, or that Russian troops suffered casualties during the withdrawal. “Russian units have taken the prepared defensive lines and positions,” the ministry said. “No loss of personnel, weapons, vehicles, or materiel of the Russian forces was allowed. All civilians who wished to leave the right bank of Kherson Region were provided with assistance.” The statement claimed that Ukrainian troops tried to disrupt the movement of civilians across the river with artillery fire, but failed to do so. Russia intercepted 28 rockets fired by HIMARS launchers and diverted five others through electronic countermeasures, it said.


Russian artillery and aircraft deterred Ukrainian units from closing the gap with the river, the military added. They were stopped at least 30km from the river crossings, according to the statement. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered the troops to move across the river on Wednesday morning. He said the step was taken to avoid unnecessary deaths of the soldiers and to take up a stronger defensive position. The decision, which was described as “difficult” by military officials, left the provincial capital, Kherson, exposed to capture by Kiev’s forces. The regional authorities have urged residents of the city for weeks to leave and go to safe places to the east. Russia incorporated Kherson Region last month, after the people voted in a referendum to break away from Ukraine and join Russia. Kiev called the vote a “sham” and pledged to keep fighting until all land that it considers to be rightfully Ukrainian is taken.

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The west divides, south and east connect.

“..for the Russian Federation, strategic relations with Iran are essential for Russian national security.”

Rewiring Eurasia: Mr. Patrushev Goes To Tehran (Escobar)

Two guys are hanging out in a cozy room in Tehran with a tantalizing new map of the world in the background. Nothing to see here? On the contrary. These two Eurasian security giants are no less than the – unusually relaxed – Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. And why are they so relaxed? Because the future prospects revolving around the main theme of their conversation – the Russia-Iran strategic partnership – could not be more exciting. This was a very serious business affair: an official visit, at the invitation of Shamkhani.

Patrushev was in Tehran on the exact same day that Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu – following a recommendation from General Sergey Surovikin, the overall commander of the Special Military Operation – ordered a Russian retreat from Kherson. Patrushev knew it for days – so he had no problem to step on a plane to take care of business in Tehran. After all, the Kherson drama is part of the Patrushev negotiations with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Ukraine, which have been going on for weeks, with Saudi Arabia as eventual go-between. Besides Ukraine, the two discussed “information security, as well as measures to counter interference in the internal affairs of both countries by western special services,” according to a report by Russia’s TASS news agency.

Both countries, as we know, are particular targets of western information warfare and sabotage, with Iran currently the focus of one of these no-holds-barred, foreign-backed, destabilization campaign. Patrushev was officially received by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who went straight to the point: “The cooperation of independent countries is the strongest response to the sanctions and destabilization policies of the US and its allies.” Patrushev, for his part, assured Raisi that for the Russian Federation, strategic relations with Iran are essential for Russian national security.

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“Washington’s declaration that Russia no longer qualifies as a market economy..”

Kremlin Reacts To US Economic Pressure (RT)

Washington’s declaration that Russia no longer qualifies as a market economy not only puts pressure on Moscow but will have repercussions globally, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday. This latest step “to continue this really destructive line, in no way contributes to the stabilization in global markets,” he emphasized. Peskov was reacting to the US Department of Commerce’s announcement earlier on Friday that the US would no longer treat Russia as a market economy. The department claimed that American industries and manufacturers are struggling to compete with Russian companies in both domestic and global markets.


“This can only be viewed in one way, as it seems to me, it’s the continuation of actions to put pressure on the Russian Federation in all possible directions. We’ve seen pressure on the economy, numerous sanctions and so on,” Peskov said. He added that the Kremlin has been realizing that the Western sanctions have failed to destabilize the Russian economy. Instead, they “cause a fair amount of turbulence,” primarily for the European economy, because the US is more “resilient” in this regard. “Although the Americans also suffer from inflation and the chaos in the energy market,” Peskov added.

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“..If insurance was withdrawn mid-voyage, buyers and traders would have to figure out what to do with a stranded cargo potentially exposed to sanctions..”

Disruptions To Oil Supplies Possible Due To Upcoming EU Restrictions (Az.)

Oil-laden tankers risk being left languishing at sea if insurers do not urgently get clarity on an unfinished G7 and European Union plan to cap the price of Russian crude, two senior industry executives told Reuters, Report informs. The Group of Seven (G7), which includes the United States, Britain, Germany and France, agreed in September to enforce a low price on sales of Russian oil. US officials said the move, which is due to start on December 5, was aimed at allowing it to continue to flow, heading off a potential price shock after total EU bans were ratified in June. And with just three weeks to go, time is running out to fully convince the shipping services industry it will work. Concerns are centered around a scenario in which insurers discover that oil in transit at sea, which was believed to have been sold below the price cap, was in fact sold above it.

This would trigger the withdrawal of insurance cover as well as a refusal by buyers to accept delivery, leading to financial and logistical headaches and risking environmental dangers. “If the time is too short, I think everyone will have a Plan B to de-risk, terminate, stay away, not maybe conclude any new contracts until there is some clarity,” said George Voloshin, Global Anti-Financial Crime Expert at ACAMS, the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists which consults with oil industry bankers, traders and insurers. If insurance was withdrawn mid-voyage, buyers and traders would have to figure out what to do with a stranded cargo potentially exposed to sanctions, complicating a strategy to deprive Russia of funds over its invasion of Ukraine. “It will probably be quite messy,” Voloshin said.

A European Commission official said the EU is aware that much more additional detail will be needed as time runs short for businesses to learn about their obligations, but that the issue must be dealt with at the G7 level. The official spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak about the matter. “In that situation, the vessel will go off risk and financial and technical services will be withdrawn and no one is going to take delivery of the cargo,” Mike Salthouse, head of claims at British-based global ship insurer North, told Reuters. “This would be a bad development as no one will want uninsured ships sitting off coasts,” he added. Salthouse said an owner of a ship which was potentially not earning anything for many months “will price that into any decision they make about carrying cargo in the future”, adding that this was likely to act as a disincentive.

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“..it was not possible to impose a gas price cap that would not impact on long-term contracts or supply security..”

Greece Threatens To Block EU Gas Price Correction Mechanism (K.)

Greece is prepared to block a European Commission proposal for a gas price “correction mechanism,” set to be presented to the 27 EU states Friday, instead insisting on a firm cap to rein in an unprecedented energy crisis, Kathimerini has learned. The EU’s executive told its 27 member countries at a seminar Monday that it was not possible to impose a gas price cap that would not impact on long-term contracts or supply security. Germany, the bloc’s largest economy, and the Netherlands also oppose the idea. Reacting to Monday’s development, European Council President Charles Michel reportedly sent a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, asking her to put legislation on the table for an EU price cap on natural gas “as soon as possible.”


According to diplomatic sources, the 15 member countries calling for various versions of a price cap will ask the Commission to present a legal proposal during the Friday meeting of the 27 national ambassadors to the EU in Brussels. They say that the Commission has already put together a draft document but is not willing to take formal action. Failure to move in the direction of a price cap will prompt Greece – and other states – to block plans for a gas price “correction mechanism,” the sources said.

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An endless list of all links being forged in “the south”. Do read.

Bamboo Diplomacy: The China-SE Asia Romance (Escobar)

Beijing’s ties with countries now in ASEAN tend to bend the bamboo way: soft, clever, persistent and enduring. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is monopolizing the Asian and Global South spotlight for no fewer than 10 days, this week and the next, across a flurry of regional and international summits. First stop is Phnom Penh for the 25th China-ASEAN summit, the 25th ASEAN Plus Three (APT) summit, and the 17th East Asia Summit, all the way to Sunday. Next week will be Bali for the Group of Twenty, followed by Bangkok for the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit. No wonder the diplomatic spin across Southeast Asia is all about global governance entering the “Asia moment” – as coined by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. It’s a moment that may be set to last a century – and beyond.

In parallel, Chinese diplomacy is also predictably on a roll. Premier Li Keqiang – who will step down next March, after two terms in office – heads Beijing’s delegation in Cambodia after two key Southeast Asian interactions: the visit by Vietnamese leader Nguyen Phu Trong to China and Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng’s visit to Singapore. All that fits the pattern of increasing China-Southeast Asia integration. Since 2020, ASEAN has been China’s largest trading partner. China has been ASEAN’s top trading partner since 2009. Total China-ASEAN trade reached $878 billion in 2021, up from $686 billion in 2020. It had been $9 billion in 1991. China-ASEAN investment was more than US$340 billion by last July, according to the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing.

Interests particularly converge on deepening RCEP – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the largest trade deal on the planet. That translates in practice as closer integration of supply chains, infrastructure connectivity and the building of a new international land-sea trade corridor. So it’s no wonder all the slogans for these 10 days of summits reflect closer integration. The ASEAN 2022 theme is “ASEAN A C T: Addressing Challenges Together.” The Indonesians defined the G20 as “Recover Together, Recover Stronger.” And the Thais defined APEC as “Open. Connect. Balance.”

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We’re still counting. Incredible. In more ways than one.

The Winners and Losers in a Shift in Control of Congress (Turley)

WINNERS – Constitutionalism: The last two years have seen frontal assaults on constitutional values ranging from separation of powers to free speech. Democrats applauded, for example, as President Joe Biden unilaterally waived roughly $500 billion in loans owed to the American people. While courts repeatedly found Biden to have violated the Constitution, Congress remained conspicuously silent even as it joined the president in declaring Republicans threats to the Constitution. In an August New York Times column, “The Constitution Is Broken and Should Not Be Reclaimed,” law professors Ryan D. Doerfler of Harvard and Samuel Moyn of Yale called for our founding charter to be “radically altered” to “reclaim America from constitutionalism.”

It’s safe to say voters effectively reclaimed constitutionalism from such extremist voices. Once again, voters preferred divided government with a Congress willing and able to challenge a president rather than remain a pure pedestrian in the exercise of governance. There’s now a moving part in Congress that’s been dormant for two years. As those institutional gears engage, checks and balances will again force greater accountability and exposure in the constitutional system.

The Supreme Court: For two years, the left has targeted the nation’s highest court with calls for packing it. Polls have long showed this movement was contained almost entirely within the far left. Yet attacking the court and its justices was an article of faith for many Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who called for raw court packing. While the attacks are likely to continue, the shift in Congress will put an end to such radical proposals.

LOSERS- The media: Outlets, in framing the election, consistently echoed Democrats’ narratives — yet failed to deliver them victory. The media now face the prospect of inquiries that could further erode voter trust. Congressional investigations will likely drill down on the Hunter Biden influence-peddling scandal. The media played an active role in burying that scandal and will face questions of how they could turn a blind eye to globe-spanning corruption that involved millions of dollars from foreign political and intelligence figures. They may also see an investigation into backchannels political and government officials used to enlist surrogates in the media and social media for censorship.

The Bidens: The election’s biggest loser could be the Biden family. After successfully avoiding any media or congressional scrutiny of their alleged influence peddling, time is up for the Bidens. Despite Attorney General Merrick Garland’s refusal to appoint a special counsel, they will face investigations launched with the full authority of the Oversight Committee. Garland will also confront demands to show the same aggressive prosecution of contempt of Congress when Biden associates are the subject of such referrals. All this will add to whatever emerges from Delaware in the long-standing investigation of tax and other allegations against Hunter Biden. With the midterms over, the Justice Department will no longer be bound to avoid filings that might influence the election. Hunter could easily find himself under indictment as Congress ramps up a broad investigation into his foreign dealings.

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“Biden knew he couldn’t “forgive”your student loan debt…..

He lied for votes knowing it would get thrown out in court!”

Federal Judge Declares Biden Loan Forgiveness Unconstitutional (Turley)

We have previously discussed how the Administration stretched the 2003 Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) to the breaking point as the basis for waiving roughly half a trillion dollars in debt owed to the public in college loans. Now, U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman of the Northern District of Texas has issued an opinion declaring that President Joe Biden violated the Constitution in unilaterally forgiving the debt before the midterm election. Judge Pittman wrote “[i]n this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone.” It was former President Barack Obama who defied Congress with unilateral actions and declared that he would go it alone if needed because “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.”

President Biden took the same course when it was clear that the loan forgiveness program would not pass Congress. Biden simply announced that he would forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 annually; those who received Pell grants could receive up to $20,000 in relief; couples can qualify despite a joint annual income of $250,000. No vote of Congress — just hundreds of billions of dollars written off by Biden, as if he is an American tsar. Judge Pittman held that “it is fundamental to the survival of our Republic that the separation of powers as outlined in our Constitution be preserved.”

I previously criticized the legal basis for the loan forgiveness program. The Biden Administration has largely counted on blocking anyone from getting to the merits by challenging the standing of anyone to sue over the giveaway. On the merits, the Biden Administration’s position is transparently opportunistic in my view. As the acronym indicates, this short bill was designed for military personnel who often found themselves in arrears while serving abroad. It allows the Education Secretary to grant student loan relief during a war, military operation or national emergency. But nothing in the barely five-page act supports a sweeping and unprecedented waiver of billions of dollars in loans owed to the government.

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“..the Flemish government will pay a whopping EUR 200,000 in membership fees to the WEF and approximately EUR 27,000 as a participation fee in their annual meeting in Davos..”

And Flanders isn’t even a country…

Flemish Government Preparing To Cancel WEF Membership (NNP)

The Flemish conservative party, Vlaams Belang, is pressuring the government to cancel its World Economic Forum (WEF) membership. This year, the Flemish government will pay a whopping EUR 200,000 in membership fees to the WEF and approximately EUR 27,000 as a participation fee in their annual meeting in Davos. Rairfoundation.com reports: In a press release by Vlaams Belang, Flemish Member of Parliament Sam van Rooy stated that the Flemish government is legitimizing and subsidizing a worldwide lobby organization that is openly pursuing a well-defined ideological agenda, namely that of globalism.” This agenda seems to have recently crystallized into the so-called “Great Reset,” which aims to create “a safer, more equal and more stable world” by “acting collectively and swiftly to renew all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.”

They are striving for a world government based on climate hysteria and social control. Because citizens in a democratic constitutional state are entitled to transparency regarding the policies pursued, MEP van Rooy asked Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon questions about the Flemish government’s ties and cooperation with the WEF. In his reply, Jambon stated that the Flemish government “has no structural contacts with the WEF outside of its participation in the WEF meeting in Davos” but that there are “more regular contacts at the level of the Flemish government.” According to the prime minister, those contacts also aim to follow up on the various activities and projects that take place annually, including outside the Davos meeting.

Until 2020, the Flemish government paid an annual membership fee of 55,000 euros to the WEF. Since 2022, however, Flanders has been “promoted” to “associate partner” of the WEF, which requires a membership fee of no less than 175,763.87 euros per year. This contribution has already been paid for 2022; the same bill is expected for 2023. About that “associate partnership,” Jambon states the following: “The associate partnership offers the advantage that Flanders can participate in more activities throughout the year and, in addition, projects are being worked on within a thematic platform, ‘Shaping the Future of Trade and Investment.’ Those activities and projects provide additional visibility and the opportunity to learn and contribute policy-wise.” So the entanglement between the Flemish government and the WEF is therefore increasing, says Van Rooy.

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German European Parlimentarian Christine Anderson posted this on Telegram.

A Committee Of Inquiry Into Bourla And von der Leyen (Anderson)

Christine Anderson (AfD): YouTube didn’t want you to know what we uncovered in the EU special committee on the Corona pandemic YouTube has deleted several videos with speeches by Christine Anderson (AfD), who is a member of the EU special committee on the Corona pandemic for the ID group. In some cases, even videos with questions that the MEP had asked in the committee were sanctioned. Following legal intervention, YouTube caved in and put videos that had already been censored back online. Anderson is now calling on YouTube to hand over the “medical misinformation guidelines” on which the platform operator bases its sanctions. “The impression here is that information that doesn’t fit the desired narrative should be suppressed. I won’t stand for that. If YouTube lets my deadline pass unused, I will file a lawsuit in court,” Anderson said.

Anderson regularly publicizes how high-ranking representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, such as the vice president of AstraZeneca, increasingly come under pressure during hearings and criticized Pfizer CEO Alfred Bourla for canceling his participation in one such meeting at short notice. “I call for a committee of inquiry to take a closer look at the relationship between the Pfizer CEO and EU-Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.” Anderson and her Dutch colleague Rob Ross also uncovered a scandal: “Bourla’s representative on the committee, Janine Smalls, had to admit to Ross in a questioning that the pharmaceutical giant had no knowledge before the market launch of the Pfizer/BionTech drug whether it could be used to prevent the infection as well as the transmission of Covid-19 at all.


“Statements like – “If you vaccinate, you protect yourself and others!” – in the context of the Covid vaccination campaign were simply lies!” In a written question, Anderson is now asking the EU Commission where statements in support of the vaccination campaign originated, such as those still being used by the German government, and whether sanctions can be expected for such “fake news” within the framework of the EU action plan against disinformation. More background information and video links as well as contact possibilities for press representatives on Christine Anderson’s homepage (currently only available in German): www.christineanderson.eu/links/bab-11-2022

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Termites and ants

 

 

 

 

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Oct 202022
 
 October 20, 2022  Posted by at 8:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Schooner and three masters 1886

 

American Advisor To Ukraine’s Military Reveals War Goals (RT)
Ukraine Tries To Capture Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)
US Lifts Ban On Funding ‘Neo-nazi’ Ukrainian Militia (JPost)
Europe’s Ultimate Choices On Ukraine (OR)
Bill Ackman Proposes Peace Plan For Ukraine And Russia (RT)
A Few Updates About The NATO Crusade Against Russia (Saker)
Europe Compensated All Gas Volumes Cut By Russia – Ursula Von Der Leyen (Az.)
EU Countries Urged To Share Gas (RT)
Hungary Opposes ‘Dangerous’ EU Gas Plan (RT)
Europe To Face Worse Gas Crisis In 2023 – Qatar (RT)
Ukraine’s Most Nationalist Region Once A Pro-Russian Hotbed (Plotnikov)
Biden Family Got $5 Million Interest-free, Forgivable Loan From China (JTN)
Net Zero: Doubling Down On Stupid (TT)
Ladapo Dismisses CDC Adding COVID Vaccine to Childhood Schedule (FV)
Ladapo: mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Shouldn’t Be Given to Young Men (ET)

 

 

 

 

Under the seabed

 

 

 

 

Covid implants

 

 

 

 

Kari Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ukraine will refuse to negotiate with Russia and fight to return to its 1991 borders..”

Russia will refuse to go back even to 2014.

The US is aiming for forever war.

American Advisor To Ukraine’s Military Reveals War Goals (RT)

Ukraine will refuse to negotiate with Russia and fight to return to its 1991 borders – established following an independence vote ahead of the collapse of the Soviet Union – according to Dan Rice, an American citizen advising the commander in chief of Kiev’s armed forces. Speaking to CNN’s Erin Burnett for an interview on Tuesday, Rice appealed to Western states for additional arms shipments to Ukraine, adding that while the country desperately needs air defense systems and aircraft, it has no interest in diplomacy with Moscow. “[Russia is] trying, in my opinion, to get to the negotiating table, to try to go back to the 2014 lines,” Rice claimed. “Ukraine won’t have it. Ukraine wants all of their land back, back to the ‘91 lines.”

Ukraine’s 1991 borders would include four formerly Ukrainian provinces – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye – as well as Crimea, all of which have voted to join the Russian Federation in a series of referendums. Crimea’s was held in 2014 soon after the ‘EuroMaidan’ revolution ousted Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich, while the other provinces voted to leave Ukraine last month. Despite Rice’s assessment of Moscow’s position, the Kremlin has made clear that it has no intention of reversing the referendums, with Russian President Vladimir Putin recently stating that while he is prepared to negotiate with Kiev, “the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson will not be discussed.”

Russia’s most recent call for negotiations came last week, when Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested Moscow’s goals could be achieved diplomatically and that it remains “open” to talks. However, he added that “it takes two sides to have a dialogue,” saying negotiations are unlikely given the “very, very hostile stance” toward Russia by Ukraine’s Western backers. A US Marine combat veteran and West Point graduate who now runs the consulting firm Thayer Leadership, Rice went on to voice hopes that Poland would provide its “old Russian fighters”to Ukraine in exchange for American F-16 jets, claiming the aircraft are currently “mothballed” and would come at no cost to the US taxpayer.

“The biggest thing they need right now is air defense systems – both missiles and aircraft. We really need the Ukrainian Air Force to be restocked,” he continued. “We [the United States] are putting in a lot of air defenses, they are just getting there though.” Rice was tapped to serve as a special advisor to Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander in chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, back in June, reportedly at the general’s “personal invitation.” His own LinkedIn page notes that he works in an “unpaid/voluntary role,” and says he will use his official access to “research the Ukrainian military leader development and learning, and how the culture changed between 2014-2022.”

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”Russia formally included the plant in its civilian atomic energy infrastructure earlier this month.”

Ukraine Tries To Capture Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)

Kiev launched an amphibious operation against the Russian city of Energodar in Zaporozhye Region, a senior local official has reported. Ukrainian commandos used around 30 speed boats overnight to cross the Dnepr River, targeting the city, Vladimir Rogov said, as cited on Wednesday morning by Russian media. “After artillery shelling of the city, they attempted to land, including to capture the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. The fighting continued for several hours, at least three or three and a half. The assault was fended off,” he said. Earlier in the day the city administration reported Ukrainian artillery attacks on several key facilities in Energodar, including the city administration building, an access road, and a transformer station crucial for its power supply. The latter was disabled, causing a blackout, the head of the city administration, Aleksandr Volga, said.


Energodar is located in Zaporozhye Region, one of four former Ukrainian regions that voted to become part of Russia last month. Energodar has been under Russian control since March. The Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the largest facility of its kind in Europe, is located on the shore of the Dnepr just outside the city. The site was the focus of a diplomatic spat between Russia and Ukraine, with both sides accusing each other of attacking it and risking a nuclear disaster. Kiev also claimed that Russia was stationing heavy weapons at the facility, which Moscow denies. Russia formally included the plant in its civilian atomic energy infrastructure earlier this month. The provincial capital, the city of Zaporozhye, remains under Ukrainian control and served as the staging ground for the amphibious operation, according to Rogov.

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It takes the Jerusalem Post to report on this. Everyone else has re-defined neo nazis.

US Lifts Ban On Funding ‘Neo-nazi’ Ukrainian Militia (JPost)

Congress is reported to have recently repealed its ban on a Ukrainian militia accused of being neo-Nazi, opening the way for American military assistance. Last June, Congress passed a resolution intended to block American military funding for Ukraine from being used to provide training or weaponry for the Azov Battalion, an independent unit that had been integrated into the former Soviet Republic’s national guard and was taking part in operations against Russian- backed rebels. Called a “neo-Nazi paramilitary militia” by Congressmen John Conyers Jr. and Ted Yoho, who cosponsored the bipartisan amendment, the battalion has been a source of controversy since its inception.

With the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on its unit flash – which resembles a black swastika on a yellow background – and founders drawn from the ranks of the paramilitary national socialist group called “Patriot of Ukraine,” the group would have been a fringe phenomenon in any Western nation, but with its army unequipped to face the separatist threat in the east, Kiev actually integrated Azov into its military forces. According to a report in The Nation, the Pentagon lobbied the House Defense Appropriations Committee to remove the Conyers-Yoho amendment from the 2016 defense budget, claiming it was unnecessary as such funding was already prohibited under another law. However, The Nation asserted that the law in question, known as the Leahy Law, only prohibits funding to groups that have “committed a gross violation of human rights,” which would not apply in this case.

The news that the Azov Battalion is now legally able to receive American aid has enraged the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which last week successfully blocked the battalion from holding a recruitment meeting in Nantes, France. “This step is hardly surprising to anyone who has been following the growing danger of Holocaust distortion in post-Communist Europe, and especially in the Baltics, Ukraine and Hungary,” said Wiesenthal Center Jerusalem office head Efraim Zuroff. “In recent years, the United States has purposely ignored the glorification of Nazi collaborators, the granting of financial benefits to those who fought alongside the Nazis, and the systematic promotion of the canard of equivalency between Communist and Nazi crimes by these countries because of various political interests.”

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“By refusing to take a balanced approach, the EU is disqualifying itself to be an honest broker on peace negotiations that sooner rather than latter will need to start in the conflict.”

Europe’s Ultimate Choices On Ukraine (OR)

EU’s decisions in support of Ukraine have purportedly been taken in the name of democracy, the rule of law and western values and against a military action by Russia considered unprovoked and illegal. The EU appears to have been also concerned about the unsettling of post-World War II borders – or rather the national frontiers that followed the end of the Cold War – and has expressed unfounded fears that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are the prelude for further aggression in Europe. Deep down, through its actions against Russia the European leadership psyche seems to have had a cathartic release, unleashing an old Russophobia manifested in Europe over decades if not centuries, melting together Czarist Russia, the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation in an effort to portray and convince the average European about an inherent Russian malignity that needs to be rooted out once and for all.

In its one-sided defence of Ukraine, the EU has been unwilling to recognize and accept the civil war character of the Ukraine conflict, Russia’s legitimate security concerns and its ongoing warnings about it over years, the historical background of a conflict rooted on the mistreatment of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population that worsened since the US sponsored Ukraine coup in 2014 and its failure to support a diplomatic settlement in 2015 – i.e. the Minsk agreements -, in which they played a mayor facilitating role. The EU ignores the deep flaws of the current Ukraine government and the society it has tried to create, both defined now by blatant corruption, political persecution of opposition and an ultra-nationalist ideology, all this hardly reflecting so-called European values.

Sadly, the EU has been incapable to develop an autonomous and justly self-serving European alternative in the conflict and has become hostage of the US hegemonistic agenda. By refusing to take a balanced approach, the EU is disqualifying itself to be an honest broker on peace negotiations that sooner rather than latter will need to start in the conflict. Non-European countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia are now taking the lead, reflected for instance in the recent Russo-Ukrainian prisoner exchange, a prominent role unthinkable only a few months ago which is embarrassing for Europe given its traditional place in diplomacy.

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“It just saddens me to see death and destruction with no apparent end date or opportunity for resolution.”

Bill Ackman Proposes Peace Plan For Ukraine And Russia (RT)

Ukraine should recognize Crimea as part of Russia and renounce its bid to join NATO for the sake of peace, US billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has said. Just like SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk before him, Ackman was immediately criticized online for suggesting that Kiev should be ready to make concessions in order to end the hostilities. “Crimea was part of Russia until 1954 and is largely comprised of ethnic Russians, which was apparently why the world did little when Russia annexed it back in 2014,” Ackman, the CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, tweeted on Monday. He added that the borders should return to where they were prior to February 24, when Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring country and before four former Ukrainian regions voted to join Russia.

He added that the West should then help Kiev with its recovery, while the country should stay outside of NATO. “Thousands of lives will be saved and resources can be invested to rebuild [Ukraine] rather than in a war that will only lead to more destruction and death,” the billionaire wrote. “If there is a viable path to peace, we should pursue it. Each day the conflict continues, the risk to the world rises.” After receiving criticism online, Ackman clarified his stance on Tuesday. “Yesterday, I suggested that a reasonable peace settlement might be a return to the borders as of [February 24], a Marshall Plan to rebuild [Ukraine], and [Ukraine’s] decision to not join NATO. Then the knives came out. I was accused of being an appeaser and worse,” he wrote.

I ask: is [Ukraine] better off in a continued prolonged war that leads to 1,000s more [Ukrainian] deaths and the leveling of the country or does some kind of negotiated settlement make sense? … I am by no means an expert. It just saddens me to see death and destruction with no apparent end date or opportunity for resolution. “In a negotiated settlement, both parties must concede something or there is no opportunity for resolution. What is the least that both parties can concede that is acceptable for both? What am I missing in my analysis? What better ideas do you have?” Ackman argued.

Ackman’s comments came as more public figures in the West have been making suggestions for a possible peace deal between Russia and Ukraine. Venture capitalist and tech entrepreneur David Sacks tweeted on Sunday that the US should propose a ceasefire based on the February 23 lines and guarantee that Ukraine will not join NATO. Musk offered his own vision of a peace settlement this month, which includes Ukraine recognizing Crimea as Russian territory. Kiev and Western officials quickly blasted Musk for what they considered to be a plan that heavily favors Moscow.

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“..while most of the US and NATO forces are a sad joke, the US nuclear triad and the USN’s submarine force are both still world class and extremely dangerous and capable..”

A Few Updates About The NATO Crusade Against Russia (Saker)

What we are seeing is the creation of two parts of our planet: the AngloZionist Hegemony (in which only the USA and Israel have agency, the rest are colonies, occupied countries, volunteer slaves, etc.) and the Multipolar Free World. While the two blocks are not technically at war with each other, in reality they already very much are. Russia and Iran are bearing most of the military burden while other free countries quietly try to either stay out and keep a low profile or, even more quietly, assist China and rest of the Multipolar Free World to prevail economically. Of course, the AngloZionist Hegemony is using every means it has to subvert not only Russia, but also China, Iran and any other country daring to declare even a modicum of sovereignty.

The eventual and inevitable outcome of this confrontation is not in doubt, at least not to those who are aware of reality. It is not the outcome which I fear (in fact I await it with great anticipation!) but the potentially enormous costs of defeating the West’s last Crusade (last time Russia lost 27 million people, most of them innocent civilians, and that did not even do the full job – hence today’s war). I will never stop repeating that while most of the US and NATO forces are a sad joke, the US nuclear triad and the USN’s submarine force are both still world class and extremely dangerous and capable (and US SSNs come with not only anti-submarine and anti-surface capabilities, but also with land-attack missiles).

This is why it is absolutely crucial for Russia to turn up the pain dial steadily but SLOWLY. Those dimwits who constantly advocate for “firm Russian actions” and simply “hit them hard!” are clueless civilians from countries who never won a real war adn who have no idea whatsoever about modern warfare or about the immense risks their warmongering hysterics create for our entire planet. I can sincerely say that I thank God that Putin is a very careful type who fully understands that there are no “quickfix solutions” to denazifying and demilitarizing the AngloZionist Hegemony. And yes, Russia will continue to unilaterally and gradually rotating up the pain dial, and Russia will do so without feeling the need to seek approval from those who have never won a war but who believe that wars are won by “showing toughness”.

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Ursula counts on your gullibility. Just look at this nonsense: “the market has really changed, from a pipeline gas market to a LNG market.”

The EU has cut itself off from pipeline gas. Now all it has is LNG. But that hasn’t changed “the market”, only the EU.

And now the US is talking about a export ban….

Europe Compensated All Gas Volumes Cut By Russia – Ursula Von Der Leyen (Az.)

Compared to September 2021, in September 2022, Russia has cut 80 percent of its pipeline gas supplies, said President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary on the preparation of the European Council meeting of 20-21 October 2022, according to the Commission. “But Europe has been able to compensate all that. We have diversified towards our trusted partners, like for example Norway and the United States. We have increased the savings. And it is good, we achieved in September a reduction of 15 percent. We have filled our storages up to 92 percent. We did not give in to this blackmail. We made it. And I think we can be proud of that. We resisted. That is important. But we also see that resisting Russian energy coercion comes at a price. European families have seen their gas bills skyrocketing. And our companies are struggling to keep up competitiveness. It is not only about the competitiveness in the Single Market – that is also important. But it is also about the global competitiveness that our companies are fighting for,” she said.


Ursula von der Leyen recalled that in March, the Commission proposed to the Council the option to cap gas prices. “At that time, this did not gain any traction. But today, we are coming back to this. So what is the model? The current benchmark determining gas prices is TTF. TTF is only focused on pipeline gas. What we see now is that the market has really changed, from a pipeline gas market to a LNG market. So we need a new, a specific price benchmark for LNG. The Commission will now develop this complementary benchmark together with the European regulator. But this takes time. So in the meantime, as a stop-gap measure, we will limit prices at TTF. We call this the market correction mechanism. Yesterday, we proposed guiding principles as a first step. On this basis, we will prepare the operational mechanism in a second step. This is concerning the price cap at wholesale level,” she said.

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“According to von der Leyen, the EU has managed to reduce its “huge dependency on Russian gas” by two thirds in eight months..”

EU Countries Urged To Share Gas (RT)

European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen has called on EU member states to jointly purchase gas in order to avoid competition that could push prices even higher. “Instead of outbidding each other, Europeans should buy gas together. For this, we will purchase together gas at {the} EU level… We do this because we have learnt the lesson. We literally saw in August, at the height of the filling season, how member states were outbidding each other and prices were spiking. We definitely can be smarter than this. So pooling our demand is a must,” Leyen said on Wednesday at the European Parliament session in Strasbourg. Her comments come a day after the EC announced a new emergency package of measures aimed at lowering gas prices and ensuring the EU’s winter energy supply.


Joint gas purchases are part of the plan, as is the introduction of binding “default rules” for member states to share gas in the case of an emergency. “We know that some member states are more directly exposed than others to Russian gas. The situation is especially challenging for landlocked countries in Central Europe. But in the end, in our single market with highly integrated supply chains, a disruption in one member state has a massive impact on all member states. So, sharing gas in a crisis is critical,” she stated. According to von der Leyen, the EU has managed to reduce its “huge dependency on Russian gas” by two thirds in eight months, and also to diversify supplies. However, she noted that this has come “at a high price” and urged the bloc to invest in “home-grown sources of energy” in order to maintain competitiveness.

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“Hungary has a long-term contract for gas supplies with Russia’s Gazprom, and the country “is guaranteed to receive 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Russia.”

Hungary Opposes ‘Dangerous’ EU Gas Plan (RT)

The European Commission’s proposal on joint gas purchases by EU member states is a risky move, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto warned on Wednesday. “The European Commission’s proposal is unsuitable and even dangerous… threatens to further cut gas supplies to Europe,” he stated in a video address posted to his Facebook page. The minister urged Hungary not to accept the “risky” proposal, which could only lead to a drop in supplies and an increase in energy prices. He stressed once more that Hungary opposes another “dangerous” notion – a price cap on Russian gas, which “would mean that the Russians would stop supplying natural gas to Europe.”

“According to simple economic principles, if we increase the quantity of a given product in a market, its price will decrease, but if we decrease the quantity of the product, the price will increase. Therefore, the amount of natural gas on the European market should be increased. It would be necessary for as much natural gas as possible to arrive in Europe from as many sources as possible,” he added. The minister said that Hungarian gas storages are currently 50% full, which means that the country has enough gas reserves for six months. He called this an “outstanding” result compared with other EU countries. Reuters, citing Aurora Energy Research analysts, recently reported that even a 100% gas storage level would only sustain the bloc for about three months.

Hungary has a long-term contract for gas supplies with Russia’s Gazprom, and the country “is guaranteed to receive 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Russia.” Also, at the end of August Hungary signed an additional two-month contract for the supply of up to 5.8 million cubic meters of Russian gas per day starting on September 1.

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“You just don’t have enough volume to bring [in] to replace that gas for the long term, unless you’re saying ‘I’m going to be building huge nuclear [plants], I’m going to allow coal, I’m going to burn fuel oils’”

Europe To Face Worse Gas Crisis In 2023 – Qatar (RT)

Europe is facing a shortage of natural gas over the next several years due to the break-up of trade with Russia, the energy minister of Qatar, a leading global exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has said. Replacing all Russian gas with other sources doesn’t seem like a viable strategy, Saad al-Kaabi told the Financial Times in an interview published on Tuesday. If “zero Russian gas” flowed in to the EU, as Brussels intends, “I think the problem is going to be huge and for a very long time,” he said. “You just don’t have enough volume to bring [in] to replace that gas for the long term, unless you’re saying ‘I’m going to be building huge nuclear [plants], I’m going to allow coal, I’m going to burn fuel oils’,” the minister explained. The EU leadership prides itself on having reduced the share of Russian gas in the bloc’s mix from some 40% to just 7.5% in seven months.

Brussels hopes to massively ramp up supplies of LNG and increase piped imports from Norway and Algeria to fully eliminate reliance on Russian energy. The surge in demand from Europe is meeting some resistance from traditional markets for LNG in Asia. China has reportedly ordered its state importer not to re-export excess gas due to concerns over a possible deficit in the winter. Kaabi warned in the interview that while European nations had accumulated enough gas in storage facilities to make it through the upcoming winter relatively unscathed, there is no certainty that this will be the case in future seasons. The energy crisis may be “much worse next year,” unless Russian gas is imported, he said. “This coming winter, because of the storage capacity being full, it’s fine,” the Qatari official stated.

“It’s really replenishing the reserves, or the storage, for next year that’s going to be the issue.” Next year and the following year, even up to 2025, are going to be the issue. Commenting on the challenges that the Europeans are having in securing supplies from his nation, the minister said Doha was concerned about losing the EU market in the future because of its larger goal of moving away from fossil fuels. Europe needs to “get off the discussion that gas is not needed for a long time,” he suggested, “because everybody who’s going to invest in the gas sector, they’re looking at 25, 30, 40-year horizons to invest and to get reasonable returns on the investments.” QatarEnergy, the state-owned company that Kaabi also heads, prefers long-term contracts for 15-20 years in foreign trade.

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Love good history lessons.

Ukraine’s Most Nationalist Region Once A Pro-Russian Hotbed (Plotnikov)

“In the last decade of the 19th century, despite all its own difficulties in terms of national and economic life, Galicia became the center of the Ukrainian movement. In Russia’s Ukrainian lands, it played the role of a cultural arsenal with respect to Russia’s Ukrainian lands, where the means to bring about a cultural and socio-political revival of the Ukrainian people were created and improved,” Mikhail Grushevsky, a historian who was one of the first ideologists of Ukrainian nationalism, wrote in an article entitled Ukrainian Piedmont, back in 1906. Today, it is difficult to dispute his assertions. During the 20th century, western Ukraine, which Galicia is part of, was the main center of Ukrainian identity and the engine driving Ukrainization in the rest of the country’s regions.

But the history of the Galician lands does not begin at the end of the 19th century. It has roots in the deep past, tracing back to the very origins of Russia. After the first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772, Galicia came under the rule of Austria. Vienna needed to build an administrative system for the region, most of which was inhabited by Slavs. To do this, the Austrian authorities skillfully played on the incongruities between the Catholic Polish population (mainly townspeople and nobles) and the Orthodox peasantry. Seeing the latter as possible agents of Russian influence, a campaign was launched to Polonize them.

The effect, however, turned out to be exactly the opposite. Galician Russophilism was born amidst the Polonization drive in the first half to the middle of the 19th century, when Poles played the dominant role in the cultural and social life of the region. The local Rusyn population gave up hope of finding a way to integrate into the Austrian Empire without losing their traditions and culture, so they began to look for new meaning in the East. Moreover, in the period between the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) and the Crimean War (1853-1856), Russia really was the hegemon of continental Europe. Austria itself called on Russian troops to help suppress a Hungarian uprising. For the Rusyns, the power of the neighboring empire was obvious, and they perceived Russia as a place where they could occupy a privileged position as part of the national majority, and not be second-class subjects.

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Lending a whole new meaning to the term ‘conflict of interest’.

“..assisting them with potential business deals and investments while Joe Biden was Vice President; however, that work remained intentionally uncompensated while Joe Biden was Vice President..”

Biden Family Got $5 Million Interest-free, Forgivable Loan From China (JTN)

President Joe Biden has made waves this fall with his plan to forgive hundreds of billions of dollars of student loans, shifting the burden to taxpayers. Five years earlier, his family cashed in on a zero-interest, forgivable loan of its own from an energy company in communist China, according to evidence in the possession of the FBI. The loan arrangement, confirmed in documents obtained by Just the News and also new information released by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), shows the Chinese energy firm CEFC Beijing International Energy Company Limited understood the transaction would benefit Joe Biden’s family (referred to as “BD family” in the emails), but it also was creating heartburn with its own compliance/risk management officers.

The Chinese company’s leaders “fully support the framework of establishing the JV (joint venture), based on their trust on BD family,” stated a July 26, 2017 email from a CEFC official to Tony Bobulinski, a Hunter Biden business partner at the time. The email was written in part to explain why there had been a delay in getting the money to a firm called SinoHawk associated with the future president’s son and brother, Hunter Biden and James Biden, respectively. “The delay of wire is caused by the details on the JV building, as follows: 1) the positioning and strategy of the JV are not made fully clear to CEFC 2) 5 million is lent to BD family in the 10 million charter capital. How will this 5 million be used (or the 10 million as a whole)? This 5 million loan to BD family is interest-free,” the email stated.

“But if the 5 M is used up, should CEFC keep lending more to the family?” the email inquired. “If CEFC lends more, they need to know the interest rate for the subsequent loan(s).” The CEFC official went on to explain the nebulous transaction was raising worries with the company’s compliance officers. “Because of the reasons above, the risk management department of CEFC is showing concerns on the operation of SinoHawk, hence the delay of the wire,” CEFC’s Raymond Zhao wrote. At the time of the transaction, Joe Biden had already left the White House as vice president, was a private citizen and was planning for his eventual 2020 presidential run. Bobulinski has said in media interviews that Joe Biden was a silent partner in the Chinese transaction, identified in internal documents as “the big guy” who might get 10% of the deal.

Grassley on Monday released a letter he sent to the FBI that contained a summary of an October 2020 interview Bobulinski gave to the FBI concerning the Chinese loan transaction. According to Grassley, the $5 million Chinese transaction was paid to a Hunter Biden-connected firm in August 2017, one month after the email obtained by Just the News. Bobulinski told the FBI that some of the Chinese money paid in 2017 was actually deferred compensation for work Hunter and James Biden had done while Joe Biden was still vice president, Grassley wrote. Grassley and Sen. Ron Johnson previously have said some $6 million paid in spring 2017 was appeared to be for pre-2017 work.

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“..gas power stations are doing the heavy lifting of grid balancing and wind backup. It wasn’t cheap before the war in Ukraine and it’s not cheap now.”

Net Zero: Doubling Down On Stupid (TT)

Most of my thinking lately dwells on the impossibility of Net Zero. Green energy lobbyists have ramped up the propaganda in recent months, doing all they can to obscure the reality of Net Zero. There are now endless debates as to the true cost of wind energy. Carbon Brief is pushing the line that wind energy is “nine times cheaper”. Andrew Montford of Net Zero Watch has a crack at this dodgy number. Montford’s analysis is often quite good. Personally I think the argument needs to be reframed. Costing energy is an imprecise science because it’s fraught with complexity. The slam dunk argument against wind energy is when we frame it as intermittent versus dispatchable energy. I argue that the cost of building and operating windmills is not a standalone figure.

We must also consider the cost of grid balancing and the various energy storage technologies. Energy storage is in its infancy. It is not cheap. It is not going to get cheaper any time soon. In all probability it’s going to remain a pricey affair for decades to come. There will be shortages of lithium and battery grade nickel in the next five to ten years, leading to production and supply chain problems. In the interim gas power stations are doing the heavy lifting of grid balancing and wind backup. It wasn’t cheap before the war in Ukraine and it’s not cheap now. Moreover, as we’ve dismantled our conventional power generation, we’ve lost a great deal of spinning reserve for short term grid balancing so we’re now having to build standalone flywheels – simulating the spinning metal mass of a power station turbine.

The demonstrator is set to cost £25m. The more intermittent energy we add the more it destabilises the grid so we could end up needing dozens of these contraptions. Elsewhere the renewables sector is looking at conversion of surplus wind energy (at times of low demand) into hydrogen which would then be piped to gas stations and converted into methane. Again, this is not past the demonstrator phase, so we have no real world data on costs and conversion losses. One analysis has it that the technology to convert power to hydrogen and back to power has a round-trip efficiency of 18%-46%, In comparison, two mature long-duration technologies, pumped-storage hydropower and compressed air energy storage, boast round-trip efficiencies of 70%-85% and 42%-67%, respectively.

A more technical paper, assessing German research, concludes that the balancing of fluctuations of renewable energy though green hydrogen seems feasible only up to a level of several GWh per day. “However, the German government’s idea of replacing a significant share of conventionally produced electric energy in the order of TWh with hydrogen does not stand up to scientific analysis”. In short, there is no current cost effective technology capable of mitigating intermittency caused by wind and solar.

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“The CDC panel voted 15-0 to add the Covid “vaccinations” to the Vaccines For Children program. Tomorrow they vote to move to the childhood schedule. ”

Ladapo Dismisses CDC Adding COVID Vaccine to Childhood Schedule (FV)

Amidst the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) upcoming vote to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the Vaccine for Kids program along with being on the childhood vaccine schedule, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo declared any decision will have minimal, if any, impact on the Sunshine State. The CDC is set to meet with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to vote. “Regardless of what [CDC] votes [Wednesday] on whether COVID-19 vax are added to routine child immunizations – nothing changes in FL,” Ladapo declared. “Thanks to [Gov. Ron DeSantis], COVID mandates are NOT allowed in FL, NOT pushed into schools, & I continue to recommend against them for healthy kids.

Ladapo recently recommended against men aged 18-39 receiving the mRNA COVID vaccines, citing a rise in cardiac risk to the tune of 84%. “Results from the stratified analysis for cardiac-related death following vaccination suggests mRNA vaccination may be driving the increased risk in males, especially among males aged 18 – 39,” the review from the Florida Department of Health says. “As such, the State Surgeon General recommends against males aged 18 to 39 from receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Those with preexisting cardiac conditions, such as myocarditis and pericarditis, should take particular caution when making this decision,” Ladapo’s office announced.

“Studying the safety and efficacy of any medications, including vaccines, is an important component of public health,” Ladapo said. “Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed – these are important findings that should be communicated to Floridians.” Shortly after the surgeon general tweeted the announcement, Twitter blocked users from seeing it before restoring it. Ladapo took to social media Monday morning to combat critics and skeptics of the new release. “I love the discussion that we’ve stimulated. Isn’t it great when we discuss science transparently instead of trying to cancel one another?” he said. “I’m going to respond to the more substantive critiques.”

Tucker CDC

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Only the state can mandate. But most will follow the CDC criminals.

Ladapo: mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Shouldn’t Be Given to Young Men (ET)

Studies and other data show that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines should not be given to young men, Florida’s surgeon general says. Florida health officials recently analyzed data on vaccinated state residents and detected a sharp increase in heart-related deaths among males aged 18 to 39 after vaccination. The state is now recommending that population, with exceptions, should not get one of the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. “In young men, from 18 to 39, it clearly was a signal for increased risk,” Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program. “That was the main finding.” [..]

Taken together with other research that has found young vaccinated males experiencing heart inflammation at higher rates than unvaccinated young males—including studies from Scandinavia, England, and the United States—Florida officials decided to issue the new recommendation, which contradicts guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “There are a number of studies that are indicating that these vaccines, mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular and cardiac events. And we just added to that with another one,” Ladapo said.

“While our study is not definitive—and we never claimed it was—the fact that there is so much evidence that is consistent with our findings very obviously means that you need to consider whether doing … COVID-19, mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations, including them in a strategy, a public health strategy for young men at this point in the pandemic, makes sense. … It doesn’t make any sense. And obviously, should not be giving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to young men at this point in the pandemic,” he added later. The official statement communicating the updated Florida guidance says that the benefit of vaccination for young males is likely outweighed by the “abnormally high risk of cardiac-related death.” It noted that the other available COVID-19 vaccines were not linked with the risk.

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Baby Bear Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 


Saturn the Moon Jupiter and its moons

 

 

Reindeer cyclone

 

 

 

 

Fever

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 272022
 


Marcel Duchamp About young sister 1911

 

This Is the Way the World Ends (Jim Kunstler)
Ukrainian Territories To Be Absorbed Into Russia By Week’s End: Lawmaker (ZH)
All the Young Dudes, Carry the -Russian- News (Escobar)
Zelensky Reveals US Pays Ukraine $1.5 Billion Per Month (RT)
Putin Considering Talks With Kiev On New Conditions – Turkish FM (RT)
German Energy Apocalypse Update V (Eugyp)
Germany Suspects ‘Targeted Attack’ On Russian Gas Pipelines (RT)
The US Is Winning Its War On Europe’s Industries And People (MoA)
West Should Treat Us With Respect – Putin (RT)
Poland Slams ‘Scandalous’ Von der Leyen Warning (RT)
Russia And The US Still Have Time To Prevent A Nuclear War (Trenin)
Orban Says EU Sanctions on Russia Have ‘Backfired’ (R.)
Moscow Tells US To ‘Back Off’ With ‘Aggressive’ Course (RT)
Moscow Grants Russian Citizenship To Edward Snowden (AP)
Roger Waters Pens Open Letter To Putin (RT)
Trouble About The Corona Vaccine Deal: Why Is Von Der Leyen Stonewalling? (MP)
Just 1.5% Of Eligible Americans Have Gotten Updated COVID Booster (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Meloni identity

 

 

 

 

Net Zero

 

 

This one is a bit older.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Madame von der Leyen’s fellow Germans have already been sent to their room without so much as a kartoffelklop, plus no heat or hot showers for you, Hansel and Gretel.”

This Is the Way the World Ends (Jim Kunstler)

The bond market has gone south, and that spells The End for the great game of financialization. The bond market is Moby Dick compared to the little blowfish that is the stock market. The global money system is based on bonds, which are… what? That’s right: loans… promises to pay you X at some future moment. So, what happens when a daisy-chain of promises-to-pay gets broken? Or, perhaps more precisely, when all those promises lose their last shred of plausible reality? Why, the money that these broken promises are denominated in loses its essential cred. Trick question: how much is worthless money worth? (Answer: not enough to pay for a can of Schrödinger’s cat food.) Which is where all this folderol leaves a lot of ordinary people all over Western Civ (and beyond!) trying to scratch up enough increasingly worthless money to feed the family and pay the landlord. Many will never understand what happened. But they will not be any less pissed off at the result.

This is the way the world ends for the hapless phantom known as “Joe Biden” the child-sniffing ectoplasm that haunts the White House these days of late empire. Somehow, the bamboozled nation has so far passively accepted the pranks and punishments laid on them by the backstage managers behind the Figment-in-Chief. Eight-plus percent inflation? No problemo, right? Eighty-five thousand new IRS agents on-board to drive you batshit while destroying your household and your posterity (ha!)? Half the population of South America flooding across the border? (The vibrancy! You no like?) A hundred dollar fill-up at the gas pump, and no heat for you this winter? (But… Netflix!) Drag queens to amuse and edify your children about the delirious realm of sexual pathology. All that…and how about a Russian hypersonic nuclear missile up your ass if the preceding somehow failed to move you? (Because: Russia, Russia, Russia…!)


Meanwhile, a trend is manifesting in other lands. The people of, first, Sweden and now Italy are voting in “right wing” nationalist governments — the horror — sending their equivalent of our Party of Chaos to the showers. This has irked the President of the European Union, one Ursula von der Leyen, no end. She has threatened to send Italy to its room without supper for the effrontry. Of course, Madame von der Leyen’s fellow Germans have already been sent to their room without so much as a kartoffelklop, plus no heat or hot showers for you, Hansel and Gretel. Embrace the suck.

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No way back.

Ukrainian Territories To Be Absorbed Into Russia By Week’s End: Lawmaker (ZH)

With four occupied regions of Ukraine currently in the midst of a five-day referendum on whether to join the Russian federation, a Kremlin lawmaker told state media over the weekend that the territories are likely to be absorbed by Russia on September 30. “Taking into account the preliminary results of the referendums and Russia’s readiness to acknowledge them, the accession of the territories is likely to take place as early as on September 30,” the unnamed member of Russia’s State Duma said to TASS. Voting is set to conclude Tuesday in Donestk, Luhansk and the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, meaning as early as Wednesday or even Thursday announcements of results are likely to trickle out, paving the way for a potential Friday official declaration.


While Russian forces do not yet control the entirety of each of these territories, their annexation would constitute Ukraine losing almost 20% of its geographic territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin might himself make the proclamation following the referendums, which Ukrainian leaders along with Washington have dismissed as a “sham” – saying they won’t be recognized. Russian media reports indicate: The lawmaker said Russian President Vladimir Putin could take part in the procedure on September 30. “I don’t know if he will [participate], but he is likely to do so,” the MP said. Given that on Saturday Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov vowed new territories would be under Russia’s “full protection” – there is more than likely to be a major uptick in the intensity of fighting to follow the referenda results announcement in eastern Ukraine.

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“..after so many years, Moscow is finally fully committed to supporting Donbass all the way to the baby bears coming to Mama for good.”

All the Young Dudes, Carry the -Russian- News (Escobar)

Moscow’s rerouted strategy takes maskirovka – mask, feint, fool the enemy – to another level, actually dropping the mask, plus the velvet gloves. Now it’s all very clear: this is turbo-charged Sun Tzu (“May your plans be dark and impenetrable like the night, and when you move, strike like lightning.”) There will be plenty of strikes like lightning ahead in the Ukrainian battlefield. This is the culmination of a process that started in Samarkand, during the SCO summit last week. According to diplomatic sources, Putin and Xi Jinping had a very serious conversation. Xi asked tough questions – as in you must finish this off – and Putin arguably explained how things would reach the next level.

Yoda Patrushev was on the road to China immediately afterwards – meeting with his Yoda counterpart Yang Jiechi, head of the Foreign Affairs Commission, and the secretary of the Central Political and Legal Committee, Guo Shengkun. Following-up on Samarkand, Patrushev outlined how Moscow will help Beijing militarily when the Empire tries anything funny in the next battlefield: Asia-Pacific. That should happen under the framework of the SCO. Crucially, the Patrushev meetings were requested by the Chinese. So the Russia-China strategic partnership is about to achieve full-fledged cooperation before the going gets tough in the South China Sea. It’s as if Russia-China were on the brink of creating their own CSTO.

And that is happening even as the Chinese leadership continues to express – mostly in private – that war in Russia’s western borderlands is very bad for business (BRI, EAEU, SCO, BRICS+, all of them) and should be wrapped up a.s.a.p. The problem is a swift wrap-up is off the cards. Foreign Minister Lavrov, in New York for the UN General Assembly, has stressed how. “Ukraine has eventually become a totalitarian Nazi sort of state” – unconditionally supported by the collective West. NATOstan has predictably doubled down on its tactics since the non-response response to Russia’s demand for a serious discussion on indivisibility of security, in late 2021: it’s always about shelling Donbass. This could not possibly be tolerated anymore by the Kremlin and Russian public opinion.

Thus the partial mobilization – forcefully proposed by the siloviki and the Security Council for quite a while now, with Kostyukov at GRU, Naryshkin at SVR and Bortnikov at FSB on the forefront. The symbolism is powerful: after so many years, Moscow is finally fully committed to supporting Donbass all the way to the baby bears coming to Mama for good. There are – unconfirmed – rumors in Moscow that the decision was accelerated because GRU has intel on the Americans soon transferring long-range missiles to Kiev capable of striking Russian cities. That’s beyond a red line for the Kremlin – hence Putin’s express mention that every weapon available in Russia’s mighty arsenal will be used to protect the Motherland.

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Lowballing.

Zelensky Reveals US Pays Ukraine $1.5 Billion Per Month (RT)

The Ukrainian government is being heavily supported with American money, with Washington contributing $1.5 billion per month to the budget, Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky has revealed. The sum was mentioned by the Ukrainian leader during an interview with CBS host Margaret Brennan for the ‘Face the Nation’ program, which was aired on Sunday. Currently Kiev runs “a deficit of $5 billion in our budget,” Zelenksy said, adding that “the United States gives us $1.5 billion every month to support our budget to fight” against Russia. Zelensky argued that arming and otherwise helping Ukraine militarily is a “win-win” for the US. He pledged that once Russia is defeated, the Ukrainian people will return to their home country and start paying taxes there, relieving the burden on American taxpayers.

“For the United States, it will be significant savings, but for us, it will be an opportunity to secure our territory and make it safe for our population,” he stated. US President Joe Biden has pledged to help Ukraine “for as long as it takes” to secure a strategic defeat of Russia, which he declared Washington’s ultimate goal in the conflict. Many Americans do not share the president’s view that the situation in Ukraine is crucial. According to the conservative election pollster Rasmussen Reports, it failed to make the top-ten list of issues of concern for likely voters. Earlier this month, the Biden administration asked Congress to authorize some $12 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, including $4.5 billion to support the Kiev government financially beyond September. It asked for $2 billion on top of that, to help Ukraine offset rising energy prices.


The package is expected to be approved on Friday, but some political analysts question whether the cash flows to Ukraine can be sustained after the midterm elections in November. “America can’t afford to provide a blank checkbook to Ukraine when we have inflation, gas prices, a supply chain crisis, all of the above, going on at home,” a GOP lawmaker told Politico, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “That’s what I’m hearing from my voters.” The outlet predicted that if the Republican Party wins the House, Biden will face more resistance to his requests for emergency aid to Ukraine.

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“In the course of negotiations with our president, Putin announced the possibility of returning to negotiations with Kiev, but on new conditions that have appeared,”

Putin Considering Talks With Kiev On New Conditions – Turkish FM (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering resuming talks with Ukraine, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday. The top diplomat made the remarks during a press conference in Tokyo where he’s attending the funeral of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July. According to Cavusoglu, Putin floated the idea during a conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the recent summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. “In the course of negotiations with our president, Putin announced the possibility of returning to negotiations with Kiev, but on new conditions that have appeared,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying, He didn’t elaborate on the “conditions” specified.

The minister also reiterated Ankara’s desire to stage direct talks between Putin and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. “Our president will continue his contacts with Putin and Zelensky. Our aim is to bring the two leaders together to ensure that decisions are made at the level of the leaders,” Cavusoglu said. Top Russian officials have repeatedly said Moscow has been ready to talk with Kiev, pinning the blame for the stalled negotiations on the Ukrainian side. Last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said dialogue is “of course needed,” adding that Putin had already explained that “Ukraine left the negotiations several months ago.”


Apart from declaring the goal of defeating Moscow on the battlefield, Ukrainian officials have also reacted angrily to the referendums on joining Russia, currently ongoing in the Donbass republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions in southern Ukraine. On Sunday, Zelensky warned that should Russia complete the vote, it would “make it impossible, in any case, to continue any diplomatic negotiations” with Moscow.

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“Normally” Eugyppius writes on Covid. But he’s in Germany…

German Energy Apocalypse Update V (Eugyp)

Germany has nationalised the gas importer Uniper, to save it from insolvency in the face of the Gazprom gas stoppage. Robert Habeck’s earlier scheme to save Uniper and other importers involved the imposition of a gas surcharge of 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour on all consumers, but the government appears ready to scrap this plan just days before it was set to go into effect. Instead, some politicians are now talking of capping gas prices, though as far as I can tell, nobody has any idea how. As the pressure builds and the first closures begin, Germany is entering an economic recession, and there are everyday renewed cracks in the political edifice.

Minister President of Saxony Michael Kretschmer (CDU) – no fringe political figure – recently remarked that Germany “cannot do without Russian gas” and acknowledged that EU sanctions are to blame for the shortage, but he stopped short of demanding that Nord Stream 2 be opened; instead, he hopes for a return to Russian gas after the Ukraine war has ended. The Greens in government remain committed to taking Germany’s last nuclear power plants offline by the end of the year, hoping that enough French nuclear plants will return to service over the winter to cover any resulting shortages. It is hard to imagine a more farcical approach to nuclear energy.

Meanwhile, the head mayor of Berlin has suggested that two- or three-hour periods of load-shedding may be necessary to keep the electrical grid functional over the winter. Other experts, while downplaying the risk of uncontrolled outages, have raised the possibility load-shedding as well, confirming that these are very real contingency plans and that we’re being prepared for them. The stated concern is invariably that local or regional gas shortages will cause the widespread activation of electrical heaters and overwhelm the grid, though how exactly this could be anticipated far enough in advanced for scheduled outages is unclear to me. Prices have increased vastly across the economy, and estimates are that up to 60 percent of German households are now committing their entire monthly income to cover the rising cost of living.

The depth of the crisis isn’t fully known, as loan defaults and similar economic signals won’t begin in earnest until 2023. And that’s it. There are no plans from the government, beyond doubtful price-tinkering, regulatory schemes and targeted financial assistance. If you look at those news outlets most guilty of Corona hysteria, like the state-funded Tagesschau or the Süddeutsche Zeitung, you find extremely muted reporting on the crisis. Instead, hyperventilation about Ukraine continues to dominate headlines; pieces on the energy apocalypse are either misleading items like this one, hailing a dip in gas prices, or trivial write-ups about whether cities should cancel their Christmas lighting this year.

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Well, the Russians don’t blow up their own pipelines…

Germany Suspects ‘Targeted Attack’ On Russian Gas Pipelines (RT)

While the loss of pressure in three natural gas pipelines between Russia and Germany is still officially being investigated, Berlin is reportedly no longer convinced it was a coincidence, and suspects a “targeted attack” on behalf of either Ukraine or Russia, the newspaper Tagesspiegel reported on Monday evening. Pressure in one of the Nord Stream 2 lines dropped sharply overnight, followed by the same happening to both Nord Stream 1 pipes on Monday afternoon. Denmark announced that a gas leak was spotted off the coast of Bornholm island in the Baltic Sea and closed the area for maritime traffic, but could not confirm if this was what caused the pressure loss.

According to Tagesspiegel, the German government and agencies investigating the incident “can’t imagine a scenario that isn’t a targeted attack,” according to an anonymous source familiar with their assessments. “Everything speaks against a coincidence.” The outlet explained that a deliberate attack on the bottom of the sea has to involve special forces, navy divers or a submarine. Berlin is reportedly examining two possible scenarios. In the first, Ukraine or “Ukraine-affiliated forces”could be behind the attack. The second option is that Russia did it as a “false flag,” to make Ukraine look bad and drive the EU energy prices even higher.


With Nord Stream offline since late August, Russian gas can only be delivered to Germany and central Europe via the older pipelines going through Poland and Ukraine, Tagesspiegel noted. “We are in the process of clarifying the situation here,” a spokeswoman for the federal ministry of economics told the outlet. “We don’t currently know what caused the pressure drop.” Nord Stream 1 was built in 2011. Construction on Nord Stream 2 began in 2018, and took much longer due to political pressure and economic sanctions from the US. NS2 was finished and pressurized by September 2021. However, two days prior to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the German government put its certification on indefinite hold, and has categorically refused any suggestion from Moscow – or its own people – to unblock the pipeline.

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“Instead of a real military threat from Russia and China, the problem for American strategists is the absence of such a threat.”

The US Is Winning Its War On Europe’s Industries And People (MoA)

On February 7 Professor of Economics Michael Hudson explained why America’s Real Adversaries Are Its European and Other Allies: “What worries American diplomats is that Germany, other NATO nations and countries along the Belt and Road route understand the gains that can be made by opening up peaceful trade and investment. If there is no Russian or Chinese plan to invade or bomb them, what is the need for NATO? And if there is no inherently adversarial relationship, why do foreign countries need to sacrifice their own trade and financial interests by relying exclusively on U.S. exporters and investors?

These are the concerns that have prompted French President Macron to call forth the ghost of Charles de Gaulle and urge Europe to turn away from what he calls NATO’s “brain-dead” Cold War and break with the pro-U.S. trade arrangements that are imposing rising costs on Europe while denying it potential gains from trade with Eurasia. Even Germany is balking at demands that it freeze by this coming March by going without Russian gas. Instead of a real military threat from Russia and China, the problem for American strategists is the absence of such a threat.” What the U.S. needed was to provoke Russia, and later China, into reacting to U.S. arranged threats in a way that would oblige its ‘allies’ to follow its sanction policies. The rather dimwitted European leadership fell for the trick.


The U.S. arranged for a Ukrainian attack on the rebel held Donbas region. This started on February 17 with intense artillery preparations against Donbas positions as recorded by the OSCE observers at that border. Russia had to react or see the ethnic Russians in those areas getting maimed and killed by Nazi devoting Ukrainians. There was no way to prevent that but by other than military means. On February 22 Russia recognized the Donbas republics as independent states and signed defense agreements with them. The same day the German chancellor Olaf Scholz canceled the launch of the undersea Nord Stream II pipeline which was to transport Russian gas to Germany’s industries and consumers. The Europeans launched a sequence of extremely harsh economic sanctions against Russia which, prodded by the U.S., had been prepared months in advance. Russia’s Special Military Operation, under Article 51 of the UN Charter, commenced on February 24.

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“Without that we won’t even talk to them. Nobody is going to tolerate humiliation..”

West Should Treat Us With Respect – Putin (RT)

Russia and Belarus are countries that are prepared to work with the West but only if there is mutual respect, presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko agreed during a face-to-face meeting in Sochi on Monday. Speaking on tv channel Rossiya 24, Lukashenko said he believes the West’s future lies with Russia, which has “everything they need.” On the other hand, he added, the West has things Russia and Belarus need and are willing to buy, including certain technologies. “What else do they want? They just need to make responsible decisions,” he said said. Putin agreed with the Belarusian leader, insisting the West must “treat us with respect.”

“Without that we won’t even talk to them. Nobody is going to tolerate humiliation,”Lukashenko continued, noting that both Moscow and Minsk were open to working with those who want to live side by side, building relations based on mutual respect. The Russian leader has previously suggested that the West was essentially waging a hybrid war against Moscow and was looking to “weaken, disunite and ultimately destroy”Russia. In a televised address last week, Putin claimed that Western countries openly admit that they “managed to break up the Soviet Union in 1991”and were now aiming to “split Russia into many regions that would be at each other’s throats.”


As a means to that end, Putin claims the West has been intentionally fostering Russophobic sentiments in countries like Ukraine, where he accuses the US and its allies of installing a hostile government and of turning the Ukrainian people into cannon fodder by pushing them into war with Russia. Putin has also warned Western leaders who openly call for a military defeat of Russia that Moscow is prepared to use any means at its disposal to defend itself and to ensure its territorial integrity. US President Joe Biden has hit back at Putin, accusing him of “making irresponsible nuclear threats to use nuclear weapons.”

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“..the president’s remarks were not an attempt to interfere with Italian domestic politics but rather meant to underline the body’s role “as guardian of the [European] treaties with regard to the rule of law.”

Poland Slams ‘Scandalous’ Von der Leyen Warning (RT)

A warning by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that Brussels has tools to discipline Italy if its prospective center-right government fails to cooperate with the EU was “scandalous,” according to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. The remark was a wake-up call for member states, the head of the Polish government said on Sunday, as quoted by state news agency PAP. “Is this the kind of Europe we want? Is this democracy and rule of law? That Eurocrats in Brussels decide what a government should be?”Morawiecki asked. He was responding to von der Leyen’s suggestion that, should the new Italian government fail to meet the EU’s policy expectations, the country could be disciplined.

The top official said “whatever democratic government is willing to work with us, we’re working together,” adding that “if things go in a difficult direction, I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland, we have tools.” Von der Leyen spoke about Italy on Thursday at Princeton University, after it was suggested that people friendly to Russia could come to power in Rome after the election on Sunday. She was asked what the EU leadership plans to do about it. Morawiecki interpreted the remark as a promise to punish Italy, unless its new government is “in favor of Brussels.” European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said that the president’s remarks were not an attempt to interfere with Italian domestic politics but rather meant to underline the body’s role “as guardian of the [European] treaties with regard to the rule of law.”


A center-right coalition led by Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy (FI) party looks set to form a new cabinet following a snap election in the country. The outcome was consistent with opinion polls ahead of the ballot. In mid-September, the European Commission recommended suspending some €7.5 billion of emergency funding to Hungary over alleged erosion of the rule of law in the country. A similar punishment was imposed on Poland last year over controversial judicial reforms adopted by its conservative government.

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“..if – God forbid! – the Kremlin will face what the Russian military doctrine calls “a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation,” its nuclear weapons will not point to some location on the European continent, but more likely across the Atlantic.”

Russia And The US Still Have Time To Prevent A Nuclear War (Trenin)

This October marks the 60th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, which drew Moscow and Washington into a nuclear showdown that threatened the immediate annihilation of the world. Luckily, the leaders of the time – Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy – had the wisdom to step back from the brink, and then engage with each other on first steps toward jointly managing adversity in the nuclear era. Given the current conflict in Ukraine, which is steadily escalating toward a direct military collision between Russia and the United States, there is a hope that the lessons of the past can also help to end the present confrontation on a peaceful note. However, we should also be mindful of the major differences between the two crises.

On the surface the root cause of both confrontations has been acute feelings of insecurity created by the expansion of the rival power’s political influence and military presence right to the doorstep of one’s own country: Cuba then, Ukraine now. This similarity, however, is almost as far as it goes. The salient feature of the Ukraine crisis is the vast asymmetry not only between the relevant capabilities of Russia and the United States, but even more importantly between the stakes involved. To the Kremlin, the issue is literally existential. Essentially, it is not only the future of Ukraine, but that of Russia itself that is on the table. To the White House, the issue is definitely important, but far less critical. What is in question is clearly US global leadership (which will not collapse within the Western world, whatever happens in Ukraine), its credibility (which can be dented but hardly destroyed), and the administration’s standing with the American people (for whom Ukraine is hardly a top concern).

[..] The problem is that its highly pro-active policy on Ukraine is based on a flawed premise that Russia can indeed accept being ‘strategically defeated’ and, should nuclear weapons be used, their use would be limited to Ukraine or, at worst, to Europe. Americans have a long tradition of ascribing their own strategic logic to their Russian opponents, but this can be fatally misleading. Ukraine, parts of Russia and Europe being hit by nuclear strikes – while the US emerges from the conflict unscathed – might be considered a tolerable outcome in Washington, but hardly in Moscow. [..] So many of Russia’s so-called red lines being breached without consequence from the start of the Ukraine war have created an impression that Moscow is bluffing, so that when President Vladimir Putin recently issued another warning to Washington, saying that “it is not a bluff,” some people concluded that it was precisely that.

Yet, as recent experience demonstrates, Putin’s words deserve to be taken more seriously. In a 2018 interview he said, “Why do we need a world in which there is no Russia?” The problem is that Moscow’s strategic defeat, which the US is aiming for in Ukraine, would probably ultimately result in “a world without Russia.” This probably suggests that if – God forbid! – the Kremlin will face what the Russian military doctrine calls “a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation,” its nuclear weapons will not point to some location on the European continent, but more likely across the Atlantic.

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“Hungary to hold a referendum on the EU’s sanctions imposed on Russia, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announces.

“The sanctions were not decided democratically, but were decided by Brussels bureaucrats and European elites,” he said on Monday.”

Orban Says EU Sanctions on Russia Have ‘Backfired’ (R.)

Hungary should prepare for a prolonged war in neighbouring Ukraine, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday, sharply criticising European Union sanctions imposed on Russia which he said have “backfired”, driving up energy prices. Orban, long at odds with the EU over some of his policies seen in Brussels as anti-democratic, urged a ceasefire to end the war and said the sanctions against Russia were dealing a blow to Europe’s economy. Orban, who was reelected for a fourth consecutive term in April, now faces surging inflation, plunging consumer confidence and the prospect of a recession next year.

He told parliament it was no surprise that governments were falling in Europe, referring to the Italian election on Sunday following which Giorgia Meloni looks set to lead Italy’s most right-wing government since World War Two. “We can safely say that as a result of the sanctions, European people have become poorer, while Russia has not fallen to its knees,” Orban said. “This weapon has backfired, with the sanctions Europe has shot itself in the foot.” “We are waiting for an answer, the entire Europe is waiting for an answer from Brussels on how long we will keep doing this,” he said, adding it was also time to discuss the sanctions with the United States. Orban, whose government is in talks with the European Commission to secure billions of euros in EU funds blocked over rule-of-law concerns, said his government would launch a “national consultation” asking Hungarians about sanctions.


Orban has previously used this campaign tool to shore up domestic support for his Fidesz party on policies such as gay rights or migration. Orban said his government had revised its long-term energy strategy and aims to overhaul the power system and extend the lifespan of the Paks nuclear power plant, with a total of 32 big investments planned to be financed using EU funding. “If the Brussels bureaucrats do not give us this money, which Hungary is eligible for, then we will get the necessary funds from other financial sources,” Orban said, adding Hungary had started talks with the EU and “other international partners”. He did not elaborate.

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“Dozens of nations representing half of humanity either backed Russia’s position on Ukraine or at least acknowledged the merits of Russia’s reasoning..”

Moscow Tells US To ‘Back Off’ With ‘Aggressive’ Course (RT)

The US is taking an increasingly aggressive stance towards Moscow, but no amount of economic sanctions and political pressure can sway it from defending its national interests, a top Russian diplomat said. Moscow’s diplomacy regarding the US is an exercise in “crisis management”, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview on Russian television on Monday. He described US behavior as being “increasingly confrontational and worrisome.” “We can see how [the Americans] are trying to mobilize their satellites, their vassals to confront Russia in a more aggressive and hardline manner,” the diplomat said. “Washington’s irresponsible, extremely aggressive, extremely assertive course is bringing us all to the dangerous line. We are warning against maintaining this course.”

The brinkmanship has been evident not only when it comes to the crisis in Ukraine, but also in the all-important issue of nuclear non-proliferation and reduction, Ryabkov said. Washington has pretty much dismantled the entire architecture of strategic arms control and is threatening the last remaining bilateral treaty of that kind with Russia, the New START, he pointed out. The core of the problem, the diplomat said, is that the US “does not need agreements, which had been signed on the basis of parity, served not only the security interest of the group [of nations] led by the US, but strengthened the security of entire regions and the world in general. They are not in line with the hegemonic course that the US pursues in the international arena.”

The deputy minister said he didn’t expect US policy towards Russia to change anytime soon, because “there is an anti-Russian consensus of the elites” in the US. But the only viable solution is for Washington to recognize that Russia will not be bullied and act accordingly, Ryabkov added. “Time and time again we’ve told our American interlocutors, to use the most neutral term, that they have to back off and stop escalating the situation,” he said.

European nations, which sided with Washington’s anti-Russian drive, are suffering because of it, the Russian diplomat pointed out. In fact, their subservience to Washington makes them vulnerable to American exploitation, Ryabkov said. “[The Americans] are undermining Europe’s competitiveness, pumping their products into European markets, be they military equipment or hydrocarbons, which the Europeans would rather get from alternative sources under different circumstances,” he said. But Washington lacks global support, regardless of what American officials claim Ryabkov said. Dozens of nations representing half of humanity either backed Russia’s position on Ukraine or at least acknowledged the merits of Russia’s reasoning about it, he explained.

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One of 75, but the only one who gets attention.

Moscow Grants Russian Citizenship To Edward Snowden (AP)

President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden, according to a decree signed by the Russian leader on Monday. Snowden is one of 75 foreign nationals listed by the decree as being granted Russian citizenship. The decree was published on an official government website. Snowden, a former contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency, has been living in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the U.S. after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs. He was granted permanent residency in 2020 and said at the time that he planned to apply for Russian citizenship, without renouncing his U.S. citizenship.


Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti that the former contractor’s wife Lindsay Mills, an American who has been living with him in Russia, will also be applying for a Russian passport. The couple had a child in December 2020. Snowden, who has kept a low profile in Russia and occasionally criticized Russian government policies on social media, said in 2019 that he was willing to return to the U.S. if he’s guaranteed a fair trial. He hasn’t commented on being granted Russian citizenship.

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“Just because NATO and the US get to “invade other sovereign countries at the drop of a hat, or for a few barrels of oil,” doesn’t mean Russia shouldn’t hold itself to a higher standard..”

Roger Waters Pens Open Letter To Putin (RT)

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has penned a blunt open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, seeking guarantees that Russia will not expand beyond the Donbass and Crimea and will never “invade anyone ever again.” Posted to Facebook on Monday, the missive follows similarly frank open letters to Ukrainian First Lady Elena Zelenskaya. In the letter, Waters asks Putin to affirm he wants an end to the war – something the Russian president has already said on other occasions. He also demands a guarantee that Russia’s “territorial interest” stops at the “security of the Russian speaking populations”of Crimea and the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, citing the need to reassure “some people who think you want to overrun the whole of Europe, starting with Poland and the rest of the Baltic states.”

If Russia does have territorial ambitions beyond eastern Ukraine, Waters writes, “f*** you, and we might as well all stop playing the desperately dangerous game of nuclear chicken that the hawks on both sides of the Atlantic feel so comfortable with, and have at it.” It wasn’t immediately clear if the referendums in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions on joining Russia qualified for this response. Moscow would also have to promise “not to invade anyone ever again,” Waters told Putin, complaining the launch of Russia’s special military operation in February was not just a “heinous war of aggression,” but an unexpected one to boot. Just because NATO and the US get to “invade other sovereign countries at the drop of a hat, or for a few barrels of oil,” doesn’t mean Russia shouldn’t hold itself to a higher standard, he explained.

“If you were to reply to me,” Waters wrote to Putin, “I would mightily respect you for it, and take it as an honorable move in the right direction towards a sustainable peace.” The progressive rock guitarist’s appeal to Putin followed his previous open letters to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s wife Elena, in which he urged the Ukrainian First Lady to “demand the implementation of your husband’s election promises and put an end to this deadly war,” a reference to Zelensky’s campaign pledge to “end the civil war” in Donbass. He told Zelenskaya she was “tragically mistaken” in her belief that western “support for Ukraine” – namely the continued supply of weapons – would shorten the conflict.

Zelenskaya responded to the musician earlier this month on Twitter, blaming Russia for “invading” Ukraine, “destroy[ing] cities and kill[ing] civilians.” She insisted that if Ukraine stops fighting it will mean the end of its existence, and urged Waters to address his peace appeals to the Russian president instead.

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Google translation from German outlet Morgenpost.

The “talks” between Ursula and Bourla were in WhatsApp (or a similar app), and she gave herself permission to delete all of it. Dead end.

Trouble About The Corona Vaccine Deal: Why Is Von Der Leyen Stonewalling? (MP)

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is under pressure because of a multi-billion dollar mega contract for the delivery of Biontech-Pfizer’s corona vaccine. According to information from our editorial team, the budget controllers of the EU Parliament are preparing a formal reprimand, the displeasure in Parliament is great, the first MPs call for the public prosecutor. It is by far the largest contract in the European Union for the procurement of corona vaccines: In May 2021, i.e. five months after the start of the vaccination campaign, the Commission agreed on the delivery of up to 1.8 billion doses of the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine ( 900 million as an option) for the years 2022 and 2023. According to insider information, the purchase price is a gigantic 35 billion euros.

Not only the volume is spectacular. It is also unusual that von der Leyen apparently personally arranged the contract in talks with Pfizer boss Albert Bourla – the European Court of Auditors speaks of “preliminary negotiations”. Nevertheless, the President of the Commission adamantly refuses to provide any information about her exchange with the Pfizer boss. Now von der Leyen even rebuffed the Court of Auditors – and may have overdone it. The auditors took an interest in the deal as part of a special report on European vaccine procurement. According to her account, von der Leyen conducted the preliminary negotiations with the Pfizer boss in March 2021 without involving the joint negotiating team, as would have corresponded to a Commission decision on the procedure.

The auditors asked the Commission for information about the preliminary negotiations, such as experts involved, timetable, records, details of the agreed terms. After all, this contract will “shape the EU’s vaccine portfolio until the end of 2023”. But the examiners received a rejection: “No information was transmitted,” they write. Internally, the inspectors are stunned: “This behavior is extremely unusual, something like this has never happened before,” says the authority. However, the Court of Auditors cannot enforce anything in this case. The EU Parliament has the lever in its hand. There threatens from the Leyen Trouble. The chair of the Budget Control Committee, Monika Hohlmeier (CSU), calls it “very worrying” that the Commission is refusing to give the Court of Auditors central information for evaluating the preliminary negotiations, especially because of their influence on the proper award procedure.

According to the Court of Auditors, the tender only contained what had previously been informally agreed, Hohlmeier told our editorial team: “The Committee on Budgetary Control will reprimand the Commission here and insist that information relevant to the audit must always be shared with the Court of Auditors without restrictions.” The lack of transparency in the multi-billion dollar contracts has long been an issue in the EU Parliament, also because it plays into the hands of anti-vaccination campaigns. Von der Leyen’s blockade is fueling all sorts of speculation among critics, such as an alleged preference for the US company Pfizer. The Washington-based consumer organization SumOfUs accuses von der Leyen of agreeing to a hefty price increase in her talks with Bourla, even though a discount would have been obvious given the enormous quantity. In fact, with the deal, the price per Biontech vaccine dose rose from EUR 15.50 to EUR 19.50 – the then Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borrisov revealed this out of annoyance at the high costs.

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It’s over.

Just 1.5% Of Eligible Americans Have Gotten Updated COVID Booster (ZH)

Only 1.5% of those eligible to receive the new Covid booster jab – which was tested on just 8 mice, not humans, before the FDA approved it – have taken the updated shot, according to data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approximately 4.4 million people have taken the tweaked booster shot from Pfizer and Moderna after they were rolled out three weeks ago around Labor Day weekend. The bivalent shots were designed to target both the original Covid-19 strain, and the currently circulating Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, NBC News reports. “I would expect a much higher proportion of Americans to have gotten the booster by this point,” said Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Scott Robers, who said the relatively low uptake was “demoralizing.”

“The fact that this booster came out days before Biden said the pandemic is over is a huge mixed message,” said Roberts, who added that a lack of public awareness surrounding the shots – or the ‘prevailing narrative that the pandemic is ending’ might have hindered the rollout. “Now it’s going to be that much harder to convince those at risk who are on the fence to get a booster.” As of Tuesday, the US had shipped over 25 million boosters to tens of thousands of sites. Approximately 80% of the US population has received at least one shot of the primary Covid vaccine, and almost 68% are considered ‘fully vaccinated’ by the CDC – meaning they’ve received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna’s offering, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.


“[..] experts are still gathering real-world data, since the shots were distributed without results from human trials. Laboratory studies found that the boosters generated strong antibody responses against BA.4 and BA.5, and human trial data showed that a similar vaccine yielded a strong antibody response against the initial omicron strain, BA.1. Authorization of the bivalent boosters for children ages 5 to 11 may be just weeks away, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said at an event this week with the Covid-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project.” -NBC News Word of the slow uptake comes after Denmark recommended that only those over the age of 50, or who are at risk of developing severe Covid-19, receive the vaccine.

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Trailer

Malhotra

 

 

 

 

 

 

Einstein

 

 

 

 

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Sep 252022
 
 September 25, 2022  Posted by at 8:24 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  69 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Night fishing at Antibes 1939

 

Ukraine, EU’s Dictatorship And Change Of Global Order – Lavrov (RT)
Russia Calls Out Western Elites At UN (RT)
Hungarian FM Warns Of Apocalyptic Conflict (RT)
As Democracy Dies in the EU, Von der Leyen Reveals its Sins (Luongo)
Azov Delegation Visits the US (MR)
Strike Kills Hundreds Of Foreign Fighters In Ukraine – Russia (RT)
Germany Needs Russian Gas – Saxony PM Kretschmer (RT)
Truss’s Extreme Right-Wing Putsch (Pettifor)
The Decline And Fall Of The American Empire (Doug Casey)
Ukraine: The CIA’s 75-year-old Proxy (Sussman)
Ford Forced To Park Thousands Of Unfinished Vehicles (RT)
Republicans Push For Special Counsel In Hunter Biden Probe (CB)
WaPo Columnist Calls for the End of Impartiality and Balance (Turley)
Covid Update: What Is The Truth? (NIH)

 

 

 

 

Ritter

 

 

 

 

Amish warp speed

 

 

 

 

 

 

“[Zelensky] advised everyone who feels Russian to ‘go to Russia’ for the benefit of their children and grandchildren. That’s what the residents of said regions are doing now, taking their lands, on which their ancestors lived for centuries, with them”.

Ukraine, EU’s Dictatorship And Change Of Global Order – Lavrov (RT)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke at the 77th UN General Assembly on Saturday, explaining Russian stance on the key international issues, relationship with the collective West and the ongoing conflict with Ukraine. After delivering his speech at the UNGA, Lavrov gave a big press conference on the sidelines of the event. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is largely a result of the inability of the collective West to negotiate with Russia and address its security concerns, Lavrov told the UNGA. All the repeated attempts to establish the rules of co-existence made by Moscow have been ignored, he said. “We have repeatedly proposed over the years to agree on the rules for coexistence in Europe based on the principle of equal and indivisible security, approved at the highest level of OSCE documents. We made our last proposal to make this principle legally binding in December 2021, to which we received an arrogant refusal,” Lavrov stated.

Ukraine has become a mere tool for Washington to maintain its global dominance and target Russia, the top diplomat believes. “It is evident to any unbiased observer: for the Anglo-Saxons, who have completely subjugated Europe, Ukraine is simply expendable material in the fight against Russia. NATO declared our country a direct threat on the path to total US dominance, and named China as a long-term strategic challenge,” Lavrov told the UNGA. The minister further elaborated on the matter at the press conference after his speech, stating that Moscow already views the US and its NATO bloc as parties of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Recently, Ukrainian military has admitted that the Pentagon chooses targets for them, he explained. “What is this if not a direct participation in aiming of deadly weapons and participation in the war?” Lavrov said.

Russia’s top diplomat also touched upon the ongoing referendums in the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics, as well as in the Russian-controlled parts of Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. While the vote has already triggered a “tantrum” in Ukraine and in the West, with the G7 vowing even more anti-Russian sanctions, the referendums are actually fully in line with Kiev’s wishes, Lavrov suggested. “The people living there are essentially only reacting to what President Zelensky recommended for them to do in one of his interviews in August 2021. Back then, he advised everyone who feels Russian to ‘go to Russia’ for the benefit of their children and grandchildren. That’s what the residents of said regions are doing now, taking their lands, on which their ancestors lived for centuries, with them”.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington’s strive for global domination and exceptionalism has reached an unprecedented height, resulting in multiple aggressive wars and claiming lives of “many hundreds of thousands” of people worldwide, Lavrov stated. “Having proclaimed victory in the Cold War, Washington elevated itself almost to the rank of the messenger of God on earth, with no obligations, but only “sacred” rights to act with impunity, as it pleases and anywhere,” Lavrov said. Any nation can fall victim to Washington’s ambitions should it somehow anger the “self-styled masters of the world,” Lavrov warned. That fate has befallen people of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and other countries, he added.

The EU, while being “subjugated” by the US, is showing same symptoms of exceptionalism and arrogance, Lavrov believes. The minister recalled fresh remarks by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who threatened Italy with consequences should the upcoming polls actually show the projected right-wing tilt. “This is arrogance, sense of impunity, exceptionalism. Only they have the right to make judgments. What Mrs. von der Leyen said about the Italian elections was astounding,” Lavrov told the press conference, adding that he did not recall such threats made by an EU leader before. “The European Union, in principle, is becoming an authoritarian, rigid, dictatorial entity,” the top diplomat said.

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A bit more Lavrov.

Russia Calls Out Western Elites At UN (RT)

Years of NATO encroachment on Russia and the West’s refusal to negotiate over Ukraine left Russia “no choice” but to launch its special military operation, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN on Saturday. However, Lavrov added that Russia is now shaping “the future of the world order.” “The US and its allies want to stop the march of history,” Lavrov declared from the podium in New York, describing how in the aftermath of the Cold War, Washington appointed itself “almost an envoy of God on earth,” launching foreign conflicts at will and expanding the NATO alliance deeper into Eastern Europe. The shifting of NATO’s borders to the east and its official declaration of interest in the Indo-Pacific region mean that the US-led bloc “now has the goal of subjugating the Asian area,” Lavrov stated.

However, it was the West’s refusal to negotiate over Ukraine that led Russia to fight back, he continued. “The West watched in silence as the coup plotters started bombing the east of Ukraine,” he said, referring to Kiev’s attacks on the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics even after the Minsk agreements had been signed in 2014 and 2015. “Were we supposed to put up with Kiev’s attempt to ban the Russian language, education, Russian media and culture? The demands of chasing Russians out of Crimea? The declaration of war against the Donbass, the population of which was declared not human beings, but ‘creatures’ by both the former and the current Kiev’s authorities?”

Once the US and NATO rejected a Russian-proposed security deal for Ukraine, Moscow had “no choice but to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and start a special military operation,” Lavrov said, adding that “any sovereign self-respecting state would do the same, a state that understands its responsibility to its own people.” Seven months into that operation, and with Russia recently announcing the mobilization of some 300,000 additional troops, Lavrov told the assembly that “the future of the world order is being decided,” with the US-led “unipolar” model “receding into the past.”

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“It’s a definite red line for us. We don’t want to force the Hungarian people, who are in no way responsible for the war, to pay for it..”

Hungarian FM Warns Of Apocalyptic Conflict (RT)

The international community should now focus on ensuring that the current escalation between Moscow and NATO does not spiral into a direct military conflict, the Hungarian foreign minister has said. Speaking to Russian news outlet RIA Novosti while in New York for the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, Peter Szijjarto said: “If you ask me, the most important task now is to prevent tensions in relations between Russia and NATO from growing into an open military confrontation.” The diplomat warned that the consequences would be catastrophic. Szijjarto went on to say that, like others from his generation, he had always hoped that he would never experience a war as devastating as WWII.


“We don’t want to put the existence of the planet on the line, because a direct conflict between NATO and Russia has no end, and everyone knows what it means,” he warned. According to Szijjarto, Hungary, which is a member of the military alliance itself, is doing its best to prevent this doomsday scenario. On Friday, he indicated that Budapest will not rush to impose new sanctions on Moscow, especially those affecting energy supplies. “It’s a definite red line for us. We don’t want to force the Hungarian people, who are in no way responsible for the war, to pay for it,” Szijjarto said. He also warned that the European economy is sliding into recession due to the punitive measures against Russia already in place.

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“..Von der Leyen and her merry tribe of vandals in Brussels cast themselves as the protectors of the sacred right of a ‘democracy’ they deny to anyone who disagrees with her.”

As Democracy Dies in the EU, Von der Leyen Reveals its Sins (Luongo)

It’s no secret at this point that the EU is an anti-democratic organization. The leadership isn’t elected, but selected from a pre-determined pool of candidates from within the Party structure. Everyone with the power to make a decision was placed there not by popular vote but by backroom collusion. As we approach this weekend’s Italian elections there is real despair in the air that there is any light out of this dark time. That no matter what decisions we try to make, they are only in service of those that seek total dominion. And yet all you hear from these Eurocrats is that we are in a “war of Democracy versus Autocracy,” as EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen put it in her hellish EU state of the union address to the European Parliament recently.

Cloaking herself in the inverse of the EU flag’s colors to show solidarity with another anti-democratic regime, Ukraine, Von der Leyen and her merry tribe of vandals in Brussels cast themselves as the protectors of the sacred right of a ‘democracy’ they deny to anyone who disagrees with her. The same can be said for nearly every major government in Europe. Every time an ‘election’ rolls around the local system is gamed to ensure a particular outcome. The political establishment always coalesces around maintaining the status quo, freezing out any possibility of an ‘unworkable’ or ‘representative’ coalition. Any outcome they can’t overcome that lies outside the scope of the EU’s values is either laden with poison pills, immediately put under pressure by the EU’s Byzantine rules, and eventually forced out of office.


There is no better example of this anti-democratic structure made flesh than Italy. For more than a decade Italians have been saddled with mostly-unelected technocratic governments who, at best, stymie any populist/sovereigntist impulses within Italy’s electorate or, at worst, advance the EU’s centralization agenda under the false rubrics of Climate Change and “European Values.” European Values is a phrase that is synonymous with the phrase “rules-based order.” We make the rules, they say, and you abide by them. We’re allowed to break those rules because 1) we can and 2) we are the goodies. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that as the Italians go to the polls this weekend with the center-right coalition led by the Brothers of Italy (FdI) likely to win a major, uncontestable victory, the unelected, openly totalitarian President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, openly threaten Italians to ‘vote right’ or face her wrath.

Meloni

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Italy bad, Azov good.

Azov Delegation Visits the US (MR)

Half a dozen representatives of the neo-Nazi-led Azov movement in Ukraine are currently visiting the United States, taking meetings in Washington and reaching out to Ukrainian Americans. Three are veterans of the far-right Azov Regiment who held out for numerous weeks in the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. Among them is Giorgi Kuparashvili, a co-founder of the Azov Regiment and a leader of its Yevhen Konovalets Military School, named for the founder of the fascistic Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. According to journalist Leonid Ragozin, “The school functioned outside Ukraine’s system of military education — one of many reasons to suspect that Azov was highly autonomous and never truly integrated in [the] armed forces.”

The Azov veterans were accompanied by two wives and a mother of POWs from Azovstal, including Kateryna Prokopenko, who is married to the just-freed, far-right Azov Regiment commander Denys Prokopenko. (According to the US-funded Radio Svoboda, the Georgian-born Kuparashvili mentored Prokopenko.) The three women represented the Azovstal Defenders’ Family Association, led by Kateryna Prokopenko. The group first made an impromptu appearance at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey (UACCNJ) in Whippany on Saturday, September 17. The last minute event, thrown together the day before, promised to “dispel the Russian agitprop that the Azov regiment is nazi.” The UACCNJ warned Facebook followers, “WE ARE NOT RECOMMENDING THAT YOU BRING YOUNG CHILDREN,” but the audience appears to have mostly consisted of children from its Saturday school.

According to Michael Hrycak, the New Jersey Department Commander of the Ukrainian American Veterans (UAV), his organization invited Azov “to visit the United States to spread their story about holding out in Mariupol.” He claimed the delegation would be giving testimony to Congress and the United Nations. The Defense Ministry of Ukraine tweeted that they should. Walter Kovbasniuk, the past commander of UAV Post 17 in Passaic, New Jersey, exchanged “Azov’s signature salute” with a former POW, “their fists held tight across their chests.” Leonid Ragozin has described this “making ‘from heart to the sun’ gesture” as “a crypto-fascist substitute for Sieg Heil.” In Washington DC, the Azov delegation met with a North American leader of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and at least a few members of Congress: Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).

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“Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu revealed that Russian forces and the militias of the Donbass republics had eliminated more than 2,000 foreign mercenaries.”

Strike Kills Hundreds Of Foreign Fighters In Ukraine – Russia (RT)

Up to 300 foreigners fighting for Kiev against Moscow have been killed in Nikolayev Region in southern Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday. “Up to 300 militants were eliminated by a missile attack on the point of temporary deployment of foreign mercenaries in the area of the village of Kalinovka, Nikolayev Region,” the ministry’s spokesman, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, announced during his daily briefing. This adds to a growing list of foreign combatants who have lost their lives fighting for Ukraine. Earlier this week, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu revealed that Russian forces and the militias of the Donbass republics had eliminated more than 2,000 foreign mercenaries.

As of September 21, 1,000 foreigners remained in the ranks of the Ukrainian military, according to the minister, whereas in April the number was estimated at 3,000. Russian forces also eliminated more than 200 Ukrainian troops in Nikolayev Region, and almost as many more in Kharkov Region and in the Donetsk People’s Republic, Konashenkov said. The military spokesman also revealed during the briefing that in the vicinity of the village of Sergeyevka, in southeastern Dnepropetrovsk Region, a Russian fighter shot down a Ukrainian MiG-29 that had been “converted to use American HARM anti-radar missiles.” Since the launch of the Russian military operation in Ukraine in late February, Moscow has been warning Western countries to stop“pumping up” Ukraine with weapons, arguing that it would only prolong the conflict.

However, in the wake of Russia’s recent announcement of a partial mobilization of reservists, Kiev’s supporters, including the US and UK, have pledged to sustain or increase their military assistance to Ukraine. On Friday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted that his country’s forces have been suffering at least 50 casualties a day. He claimed, however, that the Russian side was losing several times more. Zelensky’s comments came soon after Shoigu’s announcement that Russia’s forces have lost 5,937 troops since the beginning of the military offensive. According to the minister, the losses on the Ukrainian side were ten times higher, at an estimated 61,000 soldiers dead.

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Kretschmer keeps calling for détente.

Germany Needs Russian Gas – Saxony PM Kretschmer (RT)

Russian gas supplies are critical for Germany, and will remain so in the foreseeable future despite Berlin’s attempts to diversify its energy sources, Saxony’s minister-president Michael Kretschmer warned. In an interview with the newspapers belonging to Germany’s Funke Mediengruppe on Saturday, Kretschmer said: “We are already witnessing that we can’t do without Russian gas.” The official added that the sanctions imposed by Berlin over Russia’s offensive against Ukraine have “contributed to this shortage situation.” According to Kretschmer, Berlin should try to make sure that it keeps receiving Russian gas after the armed conflict in Ukraine is over. He added that the current exorbitant prices for the fuel are ruining Germany’s industry.


As a stopgap measure to alleviate the situation Saxony’s governor suggested prolonging the operational lives of Germany’s three nuclear power plants, as well as reactivating some of the existing facilities that had previously been shut down. According to the German government’s current plans, two of the three remaining nuclear power plants should be kept on stand-by until mid-April 2023. However, barring any changes, all nuclear facilities will be disconnected from the German grid by the end of this year. Saxony’s minister-president went on to say that Germany should not give up its ambitious plans to become climate neutral, but noted that a “new path” is needed. The governor explained that previous plans to use “gas as a bridge technology” are apparently not going to materialize. Apart from prolonging the use of nuclear power plants, Kretschmer also suggested turning more to Qatar as a gas supplier and also tapping domestic gas supplies.

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“An unelected government that has chosen this moment to use the power of the state to capture public wealth and divert it to the top ranks of the private sector..”

Markets don’t like this at all. Sterling and gilts are off a cliff.

Truss’s Extreme Right-Wing Putsch (Pettifor)

Budgets often reflect nothing more than the dreams and aspirations of a finance minister. Today Britain’s finance minister presented a budget which revealed something more sinister. The overthrow of the Johnson government was indeed a secretly plotted and suddenly executed attempt to dislodge the electoral mandate (for “levelling up”) of a government and replace it with an undemocratic mandate to serve the interests of the very rich, while bearing (or “levelling”) down on the poor. This IS the right wing Revolt of the Rich. Johnson’s elected government’s 2019 manifesto promised: “Millions more invested every week in science, schools, apprenticeships and infrastructure while controlling debt.”


UK 10 Year Bond Chart

Today, the Debt Management Office reported effectively that debt was no longer being controlled – but would expand by £72 billion by the end of this year -£45bn of which is attributed to the debt-financed tax-cutting package “that sparked a historic increase in borrowing costs.” Britain now has an extreme right-wing government with no electoral mandate, and one supported by a minority of Tory MPs in a deeply divided governing party. An unelected government that has chosen this moment to use the power of the state to capture public wealth and divert it to the top ranks of the private sector – bankers, investors, developers and speculators. At the same time the poor are threatened with the loss of livelihoods if they do not single-handedly increase their own meagre earnings.


They are expected to do this as the economy is deliberately plunged into recession by a combination of inflationary rises in globalised energy and food prices; by a corresponding fall in real (inflation-adjusted) wages; and by the ratcheting up of interest rates by the Bank of England. Speaking of the Bank of England: that institution is now engaged in open conflict with the Liz Truss regime and Kwasi Kwarteng, the new finance minister – a conflict that can only end in economic upheaval. Yesterday the Bank published a statement on the decision of the members of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to raise the Bank rate of interest to 2.25% and admitted that consumer price inflation is not worsening, but is already falling – “from 10.1% in July to 9.9% in August. It also asserted dishonestly that “nominal wages have continued to rise.” Nominal wages are not real wages and economists at the Bank of England know that. Real Wages are falling. Bank of England economists know that too.

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“U.S. founders modeled the country on Rome, all the way down to the architecture of government buildings, the use of the eagle as the national bird, the use of Latin mottos, and the unfortunate use of the fasces—the axe surrounded by rods—as a symbol of state power.”

The Decline And Fall Of The American Empire (Doug Casey)

Rome reached its peak of military power around the year 107, when Trajan completed the conquest of Dacia (the territory of modern Romania). With Dacia, the empire peaked in size, but I’d argue it was already past its peak by almost every other measure. The U.S. reached its peak relative to the world, and in some ways its absolute peak, as early as the 1950s. In 1950 this country produced 50% of the world’s GNP and 80% of its vehicles. Now it’s about 21% of world GNP and 5% of its vehicles. It owned two-thirds of the world’s gold reserves; now it holds one-fourth. It was, by a huge margin, the world’s biggest creditor, whereas now it’s the biggest debtor by a huge margin. The income of the average American was by far the highest in the world; today it ranks about eighth, and it’s slipping.

But it’s not just the U.S.—it’s Western civilization that’s in decline. In 1910 Europe controlled almost the whole world—politically, financially, and militarily. Now it’s becoming a Disneyland with real buildings and a petting zoo for the Chinese. It’s even further down the slippery slope than the U.S. Like America, Rome was founded by refugees—from Troy, at least in myth. Like America, it was ruled by kings in its early history. Later, Romans became self-governing, with several Assemblies and a Senate. Later still, power devolved to the executive, which was likely not an accident. U.S. founders modeled the country on Rome, all the way down to the architecture of government buildings, the use of the eagle as the national bird, the use of Latin mottos, and the unfortunate use of the fasces—the axe surrounded by rods—as a symbol of state power.

Publius, the pseudonymous author of The Federalist Papers, took his name from one of Rome’s first consuls. As it was in Rome, military prowess is at the center of the national identity of the U.S. When you adopt a model in earnest, you grow to resemble it. A considerable cottage industry has developed comparing ancient and modern times since Edward Gibbon published The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776—the same year as Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and the U.S. Declaration of Independence were written. I’m a big fan of all three, but D&F is not only a great history, it’s very elegant and readable literature. And it’s actually a laugh riot; Gibbon had a subtle wit.

There have been huge advances in our understanding of Rome since Gibbon’s time, driven by archeological discoveries. There were many things he just didn’t know, because he was as much a philologist as an historian, and he based his writing on what the ancients said about themselves. There was no real science of archeology when Gibbon wrote; little had been done even to correlate the surviving ancient texts with what was on the surviving monuments—even the well-known monuments—and on the coins. Not to mention scientists digging around in the provinces for what was left of Roman villas, battle sites, and that sort of thing. So Gibbon, like most historians, was to a degree a collector of hearsay.

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“Do not throw away your weapons now. Take them in your hands. Destroy the enemy.…People! Know! Moscow, Poland, the Hungarians, the Jews are your enemies. Destroy them!”

Ukraine: The CIA’s 75-year-old Proxy (Sussman)

The MSM have constructed an undiluted narrative about “Putin’s War” that disguises America’s imperialist expansion into eastern Europe. It is utterly Orwellian in its effort to project onto Russia what the U.S. and its main imperial ally, the UK (which a British journalist deemed “America’s tugboat”), have been doing non-stop since 1945—and indeed for centuries. Looking back, the U.S. under Truman began the policy of turning enemies (Germany, Japan) into friends and friends (the important war-time alliance with the USSR) into enemies. The CIA, established in 1947, was the main clandestine instrument of this policy, working closely with the neo-Nazi Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) to carry out acts to sabotage, divide and destabilize the Soviet state.

The OUN, in particular the faction led by the German ally Stepan Bandera and his second in command, Yaroslav Stetsko, OUN-B, was a violently anti-semitic, anti-communist, and anti-Russian organization, which collaborated with the Nazi occupation and actively participated in the slaughter of millions of Poles, Ukrainian Jews, and ethnically Russian and Ukrainian communists in the region. Nonetheless, The Washington Post treated Stetsko as a national hero, a “lonely patriot.” The OUN-German alliance in 1941 was backed by the leaders of the Ukrainian Orthodox and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic churches. The latter’s archbishop, Andrey Sheptytsky, penned a pastoral letter that declared: “We greet the victorious German Army as deliverer from the enemy. We render our obedient homage to the government which has been erected. We recognize Mr. Yaroslav Stetsko as Head of State … of the Ukraine.”

On the occasion of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the OUN put up posters in the western Ukrainian city of Lvov that read: “Do not throw away your weapons now. Take them in your hands. Destroy the enemy.…People! Know! Moscow, Poland, the Hungarians, the Jews are your enemies. Destroy them!…Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes! Glory to the Leader! [Bandera]” Notably, this call for ethnic cleansing does not cite the Germans then occupying Ukraine, yet the fascist and neo-Nazi propagandists who are waging a war in the Donbas region today portray their forebearers as heroes for having defended Ukrainian nationalism from the Soviets and Germany. The Pentagon successfully pressed Congress to lift restrictions on training and providing military assistance to groups, such as the Azov Battalion, that are based on fascist or neo-Nazi ideology.

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What is to come. Sign of the times.

Ford Forced To Park Thousands Of Unfinished Vehicles (RT)

Ford Motor Co. continues to be plagued by parts shortages, so much so that America’s largest automaker has reportedly resorted to parking thousands of unfinished pickups at an idle former NASCAR track in Kentucky. Footage posted online purports to show massive parking lots at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky, jammed with row after row of new Ford trucks. Automotive media outlets, such as The Drive, reported this week that the stashed vehicles are partially finished trucks that can’t be completed or shipped to customers because certain parts aren’t available. Ford apparently began hauling trucks to the speedway in late August. The Drive posted satellite photos of the facility from August 24 and September 19, showing formerly empty parking lots filled with vehicles.


Major automakers have struggled since last year with protracted shortages of computer chips. Ford’s parts shortfalls are widespread, ranging from windshield wiper motors to infotainment systems. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the company even has shortages of its iconic “blue oval” badges and the nameplates that identify vehicle models. Ford announced earlier this week that it had as many as 45,000 unfinished vehicles in inventory that wouldn’t be completed by the end of September because of parts shortages. The company added that its third-quarter costs would be about $1 billion higher than planned because of rampant inflation. [..] Customers have had to bide their time on long waiting lists for some Ford models, such as the F-150 Lightning electric pickup. Last month, Ford announced price increases of as much as $8,500 for the Lightning.

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There’s been a probe since Obama. Crickets.

Republicans Push For Special Counsel In Hunter Biden Probe (CB)

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and 32 other Senate Republicans are demanding special counsel powers for the prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden. The lawmakers say they fear Attorney General Merrick Garland or others at the Justice Department may attempt to meddle in the probe to protect President Joe Biden and his son. “It is clear that Hunter Biden thrived off of a ‘pay to play’ culture of access to his father, then Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for financial compensation,” Cornyn and his colleagues wrote in the letter. “Given that the investigation involves the President’s son,” the letter from Cornyn says, “we believe it is important to provide U.S. Attorney Weiss with special counsel authorities and protections to allow him to investigate an appropriate scope of potentially criminal conduct, avoid the appearance of impropriety, and provide additional assurances to the American people that the Hunter Biden investigation is free from political influence.”

“There is no way of knowing the entire scope of the investigation, but evidence seems to be mounting that Hunter Biden committed numerous federal crimes, including, but not limited to, tax fraud, money laundering, and foreign-lobbying violations,” the senators wrote in a letter. “Given the politicization of the DOJ under your watch and the importance of avoiding any appearance of impropriety, the undersigned request that you provide U.S. Attorney Weiss the full protections and authorities of a special counsel,” the letter said. “This is one important action that you can take that will go a long way to restoring faith in our governmental institutions.”

[..] In the letter, the Republicans said that Hunter must be investigated amid concerns that “he is continuing to profit off” his father’s name. “Hunter Biden’s connections throughout the Russian sphere of influence have now become especially relevant in the fast-moving and developing Russian war in Ukraine,” the Republicans on the House Oversight Committee said. “Hunter Biden’s dealings have not gone unnoticed, and a Department of Justice (DOJ) probe begun under the Obama Administration has expanded to include a wide variety of potential violations and crimes.

“According to the New York Times, Hunter Biden is currently under investigation by the DOJ for possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and possible criminal tax evasion and money laundering,” it continued. “Given Hunter Biden’s foreign business relationships in Ukraine and Russia and the current international landscape, we are concerned about whether Hunter Biden continues to profit off his status as President Biden’s son as well as whether foreign adversaries may be attempting to exploit questionable business dealings. NARA may possess documents relevant to this investigation from then-Vice President Biden’s tenure,” they said.

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“Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”

WaPo Columnist Calls for the End of Impartiality and Balance (Turley)

In an age of rage, Washington Post columnist and MSNBC contributor Jennifer Rubin has long been a standout in her attacks on Republicans and conservatives: “We have to collectively, in essence, burn down the Republican Party. We have to level them because if there are survivors, if there are people who weather this storm, they will do it again.” However, her recent column shows that she has made a clean break not only from Republicans but from reason. The writer (long cited by the Post as their “Republican columnist” for balance) has called for the media to abandon balance and impartiality. Rubin is demanding that the media just become overt advocates in refusing to report both sides in the myriad of political issues in this election.

In her column, Rubin rejects the “need for false balance” because the coverage can suggest that Republicans are “rational.” “The Kabuki dance in which Trump, his defenders and his supporters are treated as rational (clever even!) is what comes from a media establishment that refuses to discard its need for false balance that it has developed over the course of decades.” That balance was once called “journalism” but Rubin now calls it facilitating “disinformation.” Balanced reporting is now dangerous and makes the media “a megaphone for disinformation, upholding the pretense that there are two political parties with equally valid takes on reality.” Rubin’s attack on disinformation is ironic given her own past controversies in misrepresenting news, cases, and events.

For full disclosure, I clashed with Rubin over her personally attacking me for a theory that I did not agree with in a column that I did not write. I also challenged her on an equally bizarre column where she wrote about my impeachment testimony and later column misrepresenting the holding in an appellate case involving Trump. That false account was never corrected by the Washington Post. It appears that misrepresenting the holding of a major case is not being a “a megaphone for disinformation.” Rubin, however, is not alone in this call to abandon the foundational principle of impartiality in journalism. We have been discussing the rise of advocacy journalism and the rejection of objectivity in journalism schools. Writers, editors, commentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers.

This movement includes academics rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy. Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll decried how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation. In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that the journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.” Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”

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April 2022.

Covid Update: What Is The Truth? (NIH)

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most manipulated infectious disease events in history, characterized by official lies in an unending stream lead by government bureaucracies, medical associations, medical boards, the media, and international agencies. We have witnessed a long list of unprecedented intrusions into medical practice, including attacks on medical experts, destruction of medical careers among doctors refusing to participate in killing their patients and a massive regimentation of health care, led by non-qualified individuals with enormous wealth, power and influence.

For the first time in American history a president, governors, mayors, hospital administrators and federal bureaucrats are determining medical treatments based not on accurate scientifically based or even experience based information, but rather to force the acceptance of special forms of care and “prevention”—including remdesivir, use of respirators and ultimately a series of essentially untested messenger RNA vaccines. For the first time in history medical treatment, protocols are not being formulated based on the experience of the physicians treating the largest number of patients successfully, but rather individuals and bureaucracies that have never treated a single patient—including Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, EcoHealth Alliance, the CDC, WHO, state public health officers and hospital administrators.

The media (TV, newspapers, magazines, etc), medical societies, state medical boards and the owners of social media have appointed themselves to be the sole source of information concerning this so-called “pandemic”. Websites have been removed, highly credentialed and experienced clinical doctors and scientific experts in the field of infectious diseases have been demonized, careers have been destroyed and all dissenting information has been labeled “misinformation” and “dangerous lies”, even when sourced from top experts in the fields of virology, infectious diseases, pulmonary critical care, and epidemiology. These blackouts of truth occur even when this information is backed by extensive scientific citations from some of the most qualified medical specialists in the world. Incredibly, even individuals, such as Dr. Michael Yeadon, a retired ex-Chief Scientist, and vice-president for the science division of Pfizer Pharmaceutical company in the UK, who charged the company with making an extremely dangerous vaccine, is ignored and demonized. Further, he, along with other highly qualified scientists have stated that no one should take this vaccine.

Dr. Peter McCullough, one of the most cited experts in his field, who has successfully treated over 2000 COVID patients by using a protocol of early treatment (which the so-called experts completely ignored), has been the victim of a particularly vicious assault by those benefiting financially from the vaccines. He has published his results in peer reviewed journals, reporting an 80% reduction in hospitalizations and a 75% reduction in deaths by using early treatment. Despite this, he is under an unrelenting series of attacks by the information controllers, none of which have treated a single patient.

Neither Anthony Fauci, the CDC, WHO nor any medical governmental establishment has ever offered any early treatment other than Tylenol, hydration and call an ambulance once you have difficulty breathing. This is unprecedented in the entire history of medical care as early treatment of infections is critical to saving lives and preventing severe complications. Not only have these medical organizations and federal lapdogs not even suggested early treatment, they attacked anyone who attempted to initiate such treatment with all the weapons at their disposal—loss of license, removal of hospital privileges, shaming, destruction of reputations and even arrest.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

George Webb

 

 

 

 

Guano/Nitrogen/Haber

 

 

Moto dog

 

 


Green vine snake

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Sep 242022
 
 September 24, 2022  Posted by at 7:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  71 Responses »


Joan Miro Montroig, la iglesia y el pueblo 1918

 

4 Ukrainian Regions Vote In Referendums On Joining Russia (ZH)
Historic Context Of The Referenda In Ukraine (MoA)
Von der Leyen’s Warning Message To Italy Irks Election Candidates (Pol.eu)
Reaping the Whirlwind (Scott Ritter)
Talks With Ukraine Necessary – Kremlin (RT)
Hungary Explains ‘Red Line’ For Russia Sanctions (RT)
Sanctions On Russia Lead To More Ship Emissions, Says Cargill (ZH)
Macron Suggests Covid As Reason For Ukraine Conflict (RT)
I Know What I’d Do In Putin’s Shoes – Jordan Peterson (RT)
US Military Bought Tool That Can See 93% Of Internet Traffic – Senator (RT)
“Joe Biden’s” Last Stand (Kunstler)
Biden Family Worked to Sell American Gas to China (ET)
Who Controls Those Who Control Us? (Ugo Bardi)
Judge Orders NYPD Union Members Fired Over Vax Mandate Reinstated (YP)
The Vaccine Narrative Is as Leaky as the Vaccines (Thakur)

 

 

 

 

Normalizing myocarditis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1573134151376687104

 

 

 

 

Clay Travis

 

 

 

 

 

 

This map makes very clear what’s at stake: all of southeast Ukraine. Things will escalate on Tuesday at the latest.

4 Ukrainian Regions Vote In Referendums On Joining Russia (ZH)

On Friday Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine kicked off voting in referendums on joining the Russian Federation, according to announcements by a series of separatist leaders, in the biggest political development on the ground thus far in the seven-month long invasion. These ‘popular referendums’ are taking place in four areas of Ukraine in the east and south, namely the self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, and in large parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – despite these not yet being under full Russian military control. The voting is expected to continue over a period of five days.

In total the four regions make up nearly 20% of Ukraine’s territory, and signals huge escalation given this week President Vladimir Putin vowed to use “all the means at our disposal” – including the potential of nuclear arms – to defend Russia’s “territorial integrity”. Of course, by bringing whole swathes of Ukraine into Russia, Putin effectively issued a ‘by all means’ declaration for military defense of these territories. The Ukrainian presidency’s office denounced the move as illegal and a “propaganda show”, saying, “Today, there is no legal action called a ‘referendum’ in the occupied territories.” According to a statement by Zelensky adviser Mykhailo Podolyak: “There is only – 1. [A] Propaganda show for z-conscription. 2. The territory of Ukraine that needs an immediate release,” he added, citing the “Z” letter and symbol that has become synonymous with Russia’s offensive.

Ukraine’s Western backers have also dismissed the voting as a “sham” – even as there’s widespread acknowledgement the results will likely be overwhelming in favor of joining Russia, given these are by and large places of a concentrated pro-Kremlin and Russian speaking population (especially among those Ukrainians who’ve remained there under Russian occupation). Western pundits are also seeing the move toward annexation as an act of desperation, following Ukrainian forces’ largely successful counteroffensive which has threatened Moscow’s grip on the east in particular. But officials from the two breakaway republics in the Donbas in particular have pointed to years of shelling and atrocities conducted by Ukraine’s military and nationalist militias such as Azov battalion.

According to international figures, some 14,000 people had died in total among both sides of fighting in what was essentially a localized civil war since even before the current conflict, since 2014. The Ukrainian government has all along initiated polices in attempts to stamp out Russian language and culture.

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And this map shows the context of “historical” Ukraine.

“..one of the first laws implemented by the new government removed the Russian language from official use. Instead of overcoming the differences between its people it only sealed the predominant split in Ukraine..”

Historic Context Of The Referenda In Ukraine (MoA)

Voting for membership in the Russian Federation has started in four oblast of Ukraine: “Russian proxy officials in four regions — Donetsk and Luhansk in the east, and Kherson and Zaporizka in the south — earlier this week announced plans to hold referendums over four days beginning on Friday. Russia controls nearly all of two of the four regions, Luhansk and Kherson, but only a fraction of the other two, Zaporizka and Donetsk. Ukrainian officials have dismissed the voting as grotesque theater — staging polls in cities laid to waste by Russian forces and abandoned by most residents.” President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Ukraine’s allies for their steadfast support and said “the farce” of “sham referenda” would do nothing to change his nation’s fight to drive Russia from Ukraine.

The Ukrainian regime has resorted to pure terrorism to prevent the votes from happening: “Ukrainian partisans, sometimes working with special operations forces, have blown up warehouses holding ballots and buildings where Russian proxy officials preparing for the vote held meetings. Ukrainian officials have acknowledged that they are engaged in a campaign to assassinate key Russian administration officials; more than a dozen have been blown up, shot and poisoned, according to Ukrainian and Russian officials.” Such behavior by the Zelenski regime against its still Ukrainian compatriots will only encourage the people in the four oblast to vote for an alignment with Russia. The propaganda in the ‘west’ will declare that the vote is irregular and that the results, likely to be pro-Russian, will be fake.

[..] In 2014, after the violent fascist coup in Kiev, one of the first laws implemented by the new government removed the Russian language from official use. Instead of overcoming the differences between its people it only sealed the predominant split in Ukraine. The election promise of the current Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelenski to make peace with the Russia aligned rebellious Donbas region by adhering to the Minsk 2 agreements was rewarded with a large share of southeastern votes for his presidency. However, after having been threatened with death by fascists, Zelenski has made a 180 degree turn and has since posed as Ukrainian nationalist. In consequence he has lost all support in southeastern Ukraine.

The southeastern parts of today’s Ukraine have for centuries been part of the central Russian empire. They were only attached to the Soviet Republic of Ukraine under Lenin’s rule in 1922 and, in the case of Crimea, in 1954 under Nikita Khrushchev who himself had grown up in the Donbas region. A likely high turnout and majority vote for membership in the Russian Federation will only correct the historic misalignment created by those illogical transfers.

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She is unelected. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t understand.

Von der Leyen’s Warning Message To Italy Irks Election Candidates (Pol.eu)

Italian politicians asked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen not to intervene in domestic politics after she warned that Europe has “the tools” to deal with Italy if things go in a “difficult direction.” During a conference on Thursday at Princeton University, an attendant pointed out to von der Leyen that “figures close to Putin” were among candidates for the upcoming legislative election on Sunday. “We’ll see,” she replied. “If things go in a difficult direction — and I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland — we have the tools.” This is a clear reference to the ability of the European Commission to cut funds allocated to member countries when they are deemed to be violating the rule of law. Last week, the Commission proposed to cut €7.5 billion of funds allocated to Hungary.

Von der Leyen’s remark came just a day before Italy’s campaign goes quiet for the weekend, and has provoked the ire of multiple candidates during their final stretch. “What is this, a threat? This is shameful arrogance,” tweeted Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s far-right League party. He asked von der Leyen to “respect the free, democratic and sovereign vote of the Italian people.” He also said on Italian TV that “if anyone in Brussels thinks of cutting the funds that belong to Italy, because the League wins the elections, then we have to rethink this Europe,” adding that “this is institutional bullying.”

Italy is the biggest beneficiary of the Next Generation EU fund, a package of grants and loans to tackle the economic challenges after the COVID-19 pandemic. Even Matteo Renzi, the EU-friendly, liberal leader of the Italia Viva party, asked von der Leyen “not to enter into Italian affairs in the slightest.” “I’m sure she will clarify her sentence,” said a more lenient Enrico Letta, who leads the center-left democratic party. He assured Italian voters that “there is no blackmail from the EU.”

Ursula

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“..a post-SMO military operation will be one configured to destroy an active threat to Mother Russia itself..”

Reaping the Whirlwind (Scott Ritter)

Putin’s decision to order a partial mobilization of the Russian military, when combined with the decision to conduct the referendums in the Donbass and occupied Ukraine, radically transforms the SMO from a limited-scope operation to one linked to the existential survival of Russia. Once the referenda are conducted, and the results forwarded to the Russian parliament, what is now the territory of Ukraine will, in one fell swoop, become part of the Russian Federation — the Russian homeland. All Ukrainian forces that are on the territory of the regions to be incorporated into Russia will be viewed as occupiers; and Ukrainian shelling of this territory will be treated as an attack on Russia, triggering a Russian response.

Whereas the SMO had, by design, been implemented to preserve Ukrainian civil infrastructure and reduce civilian casualties, a post-SMO military operation will be one configured to destroy an active threat to Mother Russia itself. The gloves will come off. The U.S. and NATO, having committed to a program designed to defeat Russia via proxy, must now decide whether they continue to follow through with their political and material support for Ukraine and, if so, to what extent. Does the goal remain the “strategic defeat” of Russia, or will the aid be tailored simply to assist Ukraine in defending itself? These are two completely different goals.

One allows for the continued attrition of any Russian force that seeks to project power from Russian territory into Ukraine but, in doing so, respects the reality, if not the legitimacy, of the Russian incorporation of the Donbass and southern Ukrainian territories under occupation into the Russian Federation. The other continues to sustain the current policy of the Ukrainian government and its Western allies of evicting Russia from the Donbass, occupied Ukraine and Crimea. This means attacking Mother Russia. This means war with Russia. For its part, Russia considers itself already to be in a war with the West. “We are really at war with…NATO and with the collective West,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a statement that followed Putin’s announcement regarding partial mobilization.

“We mean not only the weapons that are supplied in huge quantities. Naturally, we find ways to counter these weapons. We have in mind, of course, the Western systems that there exist: communication systems, information processing systems, reconnaissance systems, and satellite intelligence systems.” Put in this context, the Russian partial mobilization isn’t designed to defeat the Ukrainian military, but to defeat the forces of NATO and the “collective West” that have been assembled in Ukraine.

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“But, as we have already said, we do not see any prerequisites for the negotiation process..”

Talks With Ukraine Necessary – Kremlin (RT)

Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are needed, but there are no signs that such a dialogue could resume in the near future, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. He also pointed out that Kiev backed out of talks with Moscow months ago. Speaking to reporters, Peskov was asked whether Moscow believes that talks with the government in Kiev are warranted under the current conditions. The Kremlin spokesman signaled that dialogue is “of course needed.” “And it is needed to achieve our goals. But, as we have already said, we do not see any prerequisites for the negotiation process,” he stated. Peskov went on to say that Russian President Vladimir Putin has already explained that “Ukraine left the negotiations several months ago.”

The Russian leader, he added, also offered the reminder that various Kiev officials had signaled that they “intend to solve their problems on the battlefield.” “You know very well how our president reacted to this,” he said. On Wednesday, Putin announced a partial mobilization in which 300,000 reservists will be called up to take part in the conflict with Ukraine. The move came a day after the two Donbass republics and the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions decided to hold referendums over September 23-27 on whether to unite with Russia. Russia has repeatedly said that it is ready to talk with Ukraine, but insisted that it isn’t interested in “a meeting for the sake of the meeting.”

Moreover, earlier this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that Moscow had never dismissed the idea of peace talks, warning, however, that “the longer this process is delayed, the harder it will be to reach an agreement.” Meanwhile, in late July Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said Kiev refused to negotiate with Moscow, claiming that Russia would not stop until it gets “smashed.” The last time Russia and Ukraine sat down at the negotiating table was in late March. At that time, the two parties were discussing a draft peace agreement that would have made Ukraine a neutral state in exchange for security guarantees given by major world powers. Later, however, Kiev ended the talks after accusing Russian troops of having committed war crimes, an allegation that Moscow has vehemently denied.

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Energy. Simple as that.

Hungary Explains ‘Red Line’ For Russia Sanctions (RT)

Hungary is against imposing new sanctions on Moscow, especially in the energy sector, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Friday after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. According to the minister, energy sanctions are “a clear red line” for Hungary as Europe is grappling with soaring gas prices. “Our position is very clear. We see no reasonable reasons to discuss a new package of sanctions, especially when it comes to energy,” Szijjarto said on Friday, RIA Novosti reports. The pair met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. According to a Hungarian outlet Index, he added that “this is a clear red line for us. We do not want the Hungarian people to pay a price for a war they have nothing to do with,” referring to the ongoing hostilities between Russia and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto signaled that Hungary doesn’t plan to shun any debate on the new sanctions package, but it “wouldn’t consent to anything that is contrary to our national interests.” The minister also addressed the criticism he may face for holding talks with Lavrov, highlighting the fact that peace “will not come without dialogue.” If there are no negotiations, “the world will face even more serious consequences”, he said. Szijjarto warned that the European economy is heading into recession. In recent months, Europe has been plagued by an energy crisis, which was largely caused by skyrocketing natural gas prices due to sanctions the EU has imposed on Russia.

Hungary is heavily dependent on Moscow for energy and gets around 80% of its gas from Russian energy giant Gazprom and while Russia has cut off a number of countries from gas supplies, in late August, Hungary signed a deal with Moscow for additional deliveries on top of the already agreed volumes. On Wednesday, following Moscow’s bid to support referendums in the two Donbass republics and Russian-controlled Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions on joining Russia, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the bloc had made a “political” decision to slap new sanctions on Moscow. The exact nature of the restrictions, however, is so far unclear.

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“.. the whole strong climate action EU has been promoting to decarbonize its grid to save the planet is at risk of unraveling this winter.”

Sanctions On Russia Lead To More Ship Emissions, Says Cargill (ZH)

The unilateral sanctions that Western countries slapped Moscow with are igniting even more man-made carbon-dioxide emissions from the shipping industry as Europe rejiggers energy supply chains away from Russia by sourcing energy products from far away. Jan Dieleman, Cargill Inc.’s head of ocean transportation business, told Bloomberg that European importers are hiring tankers for long-distance hauls of energy products from countries halfway around the world. If it weren’t for the sanctions, natural gas and other refined energy products would flow via pipelines from Russia to Europe. But since Europe is hellbent on rapidly shifting its entire energy supply chain away from Russia. EU importers are hiring tankers to source liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Asia.

In a recent note, we outlined the insanity behind the EU’s panic buying of LNG from China. It’s so idiotic because China is just reselling Russian LNG… Dieleman said higher fuel costs for vessels mean ship operators are switching to dirtier-burning fuels like diesel or crude oil on these long-haul trips. Meanwhile, EU countries are aggressively restarting fossil fuel power plants ahead of what could be a very dark and cold winter. Some governments have even asked residents to burn firewood to heat their homes as the energy crisis could induce rolling blackouts during peak demand hours. So the whole strong climate action EU has been promoting to decarbonize its grid to save the planet is at risk of unraveling this winter.

The very fact that Europe has to source LNG from Asia on longer routes while vessels burn dirtier fuel is entirely hypocritical to the bloc’s stance about saving the planet. For some context, shipping is responsible for almost 3% of man-made carbon-dioxide emissions.

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Ha ha ha! You sure it’s not the vaccines?

Macron Suggests Covid As Reason For Ukraine Conflict (RT)

Russian foreign policy regarding Ukraine is dictated by the whims of President Vladimir Putin rather than rational thinking, his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, has claimed. Macron speculated about Putin’s mindset and the reasons he ordered Russian troops to enter Ukraine in late February, during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday. “I have no rational explanation. I think this is a series of resentment, this is a strategy of hegemony in the region, and I would say this is a post-Covid-19 consequence, isolation,” he said. The French leader argued that when Putin “decided to launch his war on 21 February, I think he made the first mistake, a huge one. And he decided to put Russia in a situation indeed to be the new imperial country and to launch a colonial war.”


On February 21, Putin signed orders recognizing the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as sovereign states. Moscow pledged troops to defend the two Donbass republics, and called on Kiev to withdraw its forces from the territory they claimed as their own, which the Ukrainian government refused to do. Russia launched its military campaign against Kiev on the 24th. The hostilities followed decades of Russian complaints over NATO expansion in Europe, which the US and its allies pushed forward with in spite of their promises to not do so, made to the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev.

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“..we can’t say ‘no’ to Putin because we sold our soul for his oil and gas..”

I Know What I’d Do In Putin’s Shoes – Jordan Peterson (RT)

Popular conservative political commentator Jordan Peterson has tried to get into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s head and predict how Russia’s conflict with the West in Ukraine will unfold. Peterson said that if he were the Russian president he would leave the EU without energy supplies in the winter. “I know what I’d do in his shoes,” he said on the Piers Morgan Uncensored show on Thursday. “I’d wait till the first cold snap and shut off the taps.” Peterson was referring to supplies of Russian natural gas to EU nations. He argued that Moscow indirectly warned that a full shutdown would happen when Russian gas giant Gazprom started curtailing deliveries through the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany, citing maintenance issues.

The political commentator declined to endorse a notion popular in the West that Putin resembles Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin in his thinking, calling the claim “foolish” and not backed by any actual evidence. Putin “is a lot more like everybody else than anyone thinks,” Peterson argued. He added that “there is a bit of Hitler and Stalin in everyone,” before going into an explanation of how accepting government-imposed lies under pressure was part of human nature. “The totalitarian state is actually the grip of the lie. And people would certainly go along with that. We’ve seen this emerge with [the] cancel culture. It’s like ‘Lie! Or else!’,” he said. He mocked the idea that Ukraine and its Western backers could “win” against Russia as “naïve.” “I just don’t understand that. What do you mean we are going to win? What are we going to win exactly?” he demanded.

The Russian government, Peterson believes, would consider simply devastating Ukraine an acceptable outcome, if no better alternative can be achieved. And the West would not be able to stop it due to Russia’s role as a global supplier of energy, he argued. “We can’t win against Vladimir Putin in any way because you cannot win against someone you cannot say ‘no’ to. Period. And we can’t say ‘no’ to Putin because we sold our soul for his oil and gas,” he said. “And we did that to elevate our moral stature in relation to ‘saving the planet.’ And here we are, facing a very dire winter, hoisted on the petard of our very own foolishness and moral presumption,” he added. Peterson was referring to the concern that humanity was facing an existential threat due to climate change, a threat that he believes to be exaggerated.

The unintended consequences of the West’s conflict with Russia are a far more imminent and real threat to humans, he pointed out, as “the World Bank already estimated that we’ve put 350 million people into what they call ‘food insecurity’.” “But the planet has too many people on it anyway, so, you know… It’s just poor people,” he added. Peterson is a Canadian psychology professor who rose to international prominence over his commentaries on various contemporary issues, such as transgender acceptance policies in the West, the role of Christianity in cultures originating in Europe, and geopolitical conflicts. His YouTube channel has over 5.5 million subscribers

Peterson

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No surprise, but now it has a name.

US Military Bought Tool That Can See 93% Of Internet Traffic – Senator (RT)

Multiple branches of the US military have bought access to “petabytes” of American citizens’ private internet use data via a tool called Augury, giving them access to an almost omniscient set of data points, including an individual’s email communications, browsing history, and other behaviorally identifying information, all on demand and without a warrant, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) claimed in a letter to the Office of the Inspector General on Wednesday. The senator asked the OIG to investigate the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department’s purchase and use of any such records, citing a report his office received from a military whistleblower regarding the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) buying and using netflow data from data broker Team Cymru.

Netflow data includes proprietary information normally available only to internet service providers, and is likely being provided without the informed consent of those providers – let alone judicial authorization. Wyden’s own investigation of the whistleblower’s claim appeared to reveal that US Cyber Command, the Army, FBI, and Secret Service had also purchased the company’s data sets. An investigation by Motherboard found they paid a total of $3.5 million to use Team Cymru’s tool Augury, which allegedly can access 93% of internet traffic. It uses a technology called packet capture data (PCAP), which one cybersecurity technology professional referred to as “everything… there’s nothing else to capture except the smell of electricity.”

A spokesman from the Navy Office of Information told Motherboard that “The use of net flow data by NCIS does not require a warrant,” claiming the agency had not used netflow for criminal investigation purposes – only for “various counterintelligence purposes.”The other agencies which reportedly purchased Augury did not respond to the outlet’s request for comment. For their part, Team Cymru has insisted its tool “is not designed to target specific users or user activity. The platform specifically does not possess subscriber information necessary to tie records back to any users.” However, previous studies have shown that relatively few data points are needed in order to de-anonymize individuals in a database, meaning that even the “limited sampling of the available data” it allows may be enough to unmask an individual – and gain access to the totality of their online existence.

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“They engineered the 2014 coup in Kiev that ousted the elected president, Mr. Yanyukovich, to set up a giant grifting parlor and international money-laundromat.”

“Joe Biden’s” Last Stand (Kunstler)

Let us agree that the place called Ukraine was never any of America’s business. For centuries we ignored it, through all the colorful cavalry charges to-and-fro of Turks and Tatars, the reign of the dashing Zaporozhian Cossacks, the cruel abuses of Stalin, then Hitler, and the dull, gray Khrushchev-to-Yeltsin years. But then, having destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and sundry other places all on a great hegemonic lark, the professional warmongers of our land and their catamites in Washington made Ukraine their next special project. They engineered the 2014 coup in Kiev that ousted the elected president, Mr. Yanyukovich, to set up a giant grifting parlor and international money-laundromat. The other strategic aim was to prepare Ukraine for NATO membership, which would have made it, in effect, a forward missile base right up against Russia’s border. Because, well, Russia, Russia, Russia!

An early beneficiary of these arrangements, you might recall, was one Hunter Biden, the drug-addicted, sex-obsessed, no-account son of Barack Obama’s no-account vice-president then known simply as Joe Biden sans quote-marks — because in 2014, he was a closer approximation of a real person than is sadly now the case. In fact, he was known as “The Big Guy” among Hunter’s business coterie (though listed as “Pedo Peter” on Hunter’s speed-dial). After the 2014 coup, and for years beyond, Hunter pulled a steady revenue stream out of Ukraine’s Burisma Holdings, a natgas distributor (among other things), serving as a know-nothing, no-show board member. When this monkey business came to the attention of President Trump, and he made a telephone inquiry about it, he was instantly beset by swarms of DC swamp vermin hoisting writs of impeachment.

Fast forward through the past eight years and you have Kiev’s persecution of the Russian-speaking Donbas provinces, the constant shelling and harassment by Banderite Nazis. Between that and the ever more strident urgings for Ukraine to join NATO, President Putin of Russia, Russia, Russia apparently had enough. In February of this year, he started the Special Military Operation to put an end to these hostilities. By April, when whole battalions of Ukrainian Nazis had been exterminated, a call to peace talks was issued by Mr. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister. This was shot-down without ceremony by “Joe Biden” (that is, by the junta behind him). The genius strategists in Foggy Bottom aimed to “weaken” Russia.

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Under the carpet.

Biden Family Worked to Sell American Gas to China (ET)

The Biden family was selling U.S natural gas to China long before Joe Biden became president, who was aware of how his son Hunter Biden was making the sale possible, according to Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, citing documents and information provided by a whistleblower. Hunter Biden had a Chinese Communist Party member as his assistant while dealing with the Chinese side for the shipping of American natural gas to China in 2017, and the Biden family was promising business associates that they would reap rewards once Biden became president, said Comer in a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen dated Sept. 20.

“The President has not only misled the American public about his past foreign business transactions, but he also failed to disclose that he played a critical role in arranging a business deal to sell American natural resources to the Chinese while planning to run for President,” Comer wrote. Joe Biden, Comer said, was a business partner in the arrangement and had office space to work on the deal, and a firm he managed received millions from his Chinese partners ahead of the anticipated venture. While part of what Comer stated had previously been reported in the news, the letter, citing whistleblower testimonies, as well as emails, a corporate PowerPoint presentation, screenshot of encrypted messages, and bank documents that committee Republicans obtained, provides a more complete picture suggesting Biden’s knowledge and involvement in the plan from at least 2017.

From 2017 to 2021, the Bidens promised business associates that Joe Biden would run for president in 2020 and those who worked with them from 2017 onward would “reap the rewards in a future Biden administration,” according to Comer’s recount of a whistleblower testimony to Oversight Committee Republicans. “As America now struggles in an energy crisis, it is critical to understand why the Biden family was selling American energy reserves to the Chinese, if that is affecting President Biden’s decision making today, and why President Biden has never disclosed his relationship with the Chinese to the American public,” Comer wrote to Yellen.

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History lesson.

Who Controls Those Who Control Us? (Ugo Bardi)

It never was a secret that Benito Mussolini started his political career as a shill for the British secret services. His task was pushing Italy to join the allies in World War One. Recent data show that, in 1917, he was still being paid by the British M15 to the tune of 100 pounds per week, a respectable sum at that time. We don’t know what role the British Services had in Italy in the events after the end of WW1, but it is likely that they continued to support Mussolini, directly or indirectly. The British wanted a stable Italy that they saw as a staunch ally and a barrier against the ambitions of rival powers in the Mediterranean sea. Italy had played that role from when it had been created as a unified state, in 1861, with the help and financing of the British.

Italy was friendly to Britain, yes, but not a disinterested friend. Italians wanted something in exchange for their friendship, and they had it in the form of coal. Italy had no significant coal reserves, it was fully dependent on imports. It was British coal that had created the Italian industrial economy, from the early 1800s onward. That created a relationship between the two countries that many defined as a true brotherhood (fratellanza). But things changed in 1913, when Britain went through its “peak coal.” Production stopped increasing and was disrupted by strikes and social unrest. Britain still had enough coal for its internal needs, but exports were affected. This was especially bad for Italy, which saw a precipitous drop in coal imports after the end of WWI. At that time, the change of mood toward the British in Italy was palpable.

D. H. Lawrence reports in his “Sea and Sardinia,” published in 1921, how insulting the “English” was a common subject of conversation among Italians. Now, put yourself in the shoes of someone who managed the British secret services in the early 1930s. It must have been clear to them that there was a problem with Italy. An enormous problem. Germany’s coal production was still increasing and Germany could easily supply 100% of Italy’s needs. Then, Italy and Germany were natural allies. Germany had no direct strategic interests in the Mediterranean sea, while Italy could use Germany’s support to become the leading Mediterranean power. By taking control of the Suez Canal, Italy could effectively kick Britain out of the Mediterranean: truly a disaster for the British Empire. (Italy actually tried to do exactly that in 1940).

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“To be unequivocally clear, this Court does not deny that at the time it was issued the vaccine mandate was appropriate and lawful..”

Judge Orders NYPD Union Members Fired Over Vax Mandate Reinstated (YP)

In a major victory for members of the NYPD’s largest police union, a judge ruled Friday cops who were fired for not getting vaccinated against the coronavirus have to be reinstated. In the stunning decision, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lyle Frank wrote that the city’s vaccine mandate on the Police Benevolent Association was invalid “to the extent it has been used to impose a new condition of employment” on the union. The mandate was also invalid because it issued enforcement beyond “monetary sanctions” prescribed in the law, Frank wrote — ordering that all PBA members put on leave or canned be reinstated.

It would be a “gross overstatement” of the city’s Department of Mental Health and Hygiene to say it could enforce the vaccine mandate through termination, unpaid leave or suspension, Frank said. “To be unequivocally clear, this Court does not deny that at the time it was issued the vaccine mandate was appropriate and lawful,” the ruling stated. But the city hadn’t “established a legal basis or lawful authority for the DOH to exclude employees from the workplace and impose any other adverse employment action as an appropriate enforcement mechanism of the vaccine mandate.”

Any new condition of employment would have to be included in a collective bargaining agreement between a labor union and the city, the judge wrote. Frank is the same judge who recently ruled to toss the city Department of Education’s budget. [..] The ruling is the second big blow against the Big Apple’s COVID-19 measures in a week, after a Manhattan judge ruled last week an NYPD cop who sued over the mandate couldn’t be fired for refusing to get jabbed. Brooklyn cop Alexander Deletto, 43, should be allowed to keep his job after the city offered no explanation why it rejected his request for a religious exemption.

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“..governments don’t ban products merely because they are not beneficial. Bans apply only to products that inflict harms. So the unstated reality is the benefit: harm ratio is no longer favorable.”

But that’s only in Denmark?!

The Vaccine Narrative Is as Leaky as the Vaccines (Thakur)

Let’s start with two simple questions. If regulators had the information available to them of the leakage between Covid-19 vaccine efficacy rates in controlled trials and their effectiveness in the real world, would they still grant emergency use authorization? Would their legal framework permit them to do so? Remember, all laws serve a dual purpose. On the one hand, they are permissive and enabling, granting powers to do certain things. On the other, they are limiting and restrictive, ring-fencing what may lawfully be done even by the state. Second, is Denmark being ruled by an anti-vaxxer government and health authority? From July 1 Denmark, which has an excellent health infrastructure including data collection, banned under-18s from being vaccinated and in mid-September the ban was extended to boosters for under-50s, other than in exceptional circumstances for immunocompromised and high-risk individuals in both cases.

The explanation offered by the health authorities is interesting both for what they said and what they did not say. They anticipate a rise in Covid-19 infections over autumn and winter and “aim to prevent serious illness, hospitalisation and death.” This risk applies to 50-year olds and above and not those younger. Because the vaccines are not meant to prevent infection, they will no longer be offered to the under-50s. However, governments don’t ban products merely because they are not beneficial. Bans apply only to products that inflict harms. So the unstated reality is the benefit: harm ratio is no longer favorable. The really interesting question therefore is: why don’t they say so? The empirical data from around the world demonstrates negligible to negative vaccine effectiveness for healthy under-50s and greater risk of serious adverse events. Denmark’s decision marks official if implicit acknowledgment that harms are greater than benefits.

The lockdowns across the Western world remain, to me, inexplicable and baffling. The abandonment of a century’s worth of cumulative scientific knowledge and global and national pandemic preparedness plans were based neither on new science nor emerging data. Rather, they were based firstly on apocalyptic modelling using flawed assumptions and secondly on dubious data from China whose authoritarian policies played to innate instincts in our own health bureaucrats and politicians, cheered on by the mainstream media. In a further nod to anti-scientific groupthink conformism, critical and contrarian voices within the health and political establishments were silenced and exorcised. Outside government, they were vilified and expelled from the public square in active collusion with the social media tech giants.

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