Jan 212023
 
 January 21, 2023  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


Edward Hopper Night in the park 1921

 

Russo-Ukrainian War: The World Blood Pump (Big Serge)
Russia ‘Fights To The End’ – Borrell (RT)
Germany Says ‘Nein’ On Tanks At Allies’ Big Ramstein Meeting (ZH)
Poland Could Send Leopard Tanks To Ukraine Without German Approval (G.)
Pentagon Wants Kiev’s Backers To ‘Dig Deeper’ (RT)
Elon Musk Warns Against ‘Relentless Escalation’ In Ukraine (RT)
Top EU Official Comments On Sanctions ‘Debate’ With Kiev (RT)
Moscow Outlines What West Can Do To Resolve Ukraine Crisis (RT)
UK Finds Loophole To Buy Russian Oil – Media (RT)
A Page Turns (Jim Kunstler)
World Economic Fuck’em (QTR)
Investigation Pulls Back Veil On Soros’ ‘Indoctrination’ Efforts (RT)
I Have No Regrets: Biden Breaks Long Silence With Shattering Admission (Turley)
Men Live Longer (Happier?) Lives Taking Viagra; New Study Finds (ZH)
Medical Board Takes Action Against Misinformation Doc (MPT)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Biden is done

 

 

CNN turns on Biden

 

 

 

 

Dowd 23%

 

 

 

 

BARDA

 

 

Lavrov UN Charter

 

 

 

 

From yesterday: “United States advises Ukraine to withdraw its forces from Artemovsk (Bakhmut),” Agence France-Presse reports, citing a senior American official.

Russo-Ukrainian War: The World Blood Pump (Big Serge)

At the present moment, the Ukrainians are not encircled, but the continued creep of Russian positions ever closer to the remaining highways is easily discernable. At the present moment, Russian forces have positions within two miles of all the remaining highways. Even more importantly, Russia now controls the high ground to both the north and south of Bakhmut (the city itself sits in a depression surrounded by hills) giving Russia fire control over much of the battle space. I am currently anticipating that Russia will clear the Bakhmut-Siversk defensive line by late March. Meanwhile, the denuding of Ukrainian forces on other axes raises the prospect of decisive Russian offensives elsewhere.

At the moment, the front roughly consists of four main axes (the plural of axis, not the bladed implement), with substantial agglomerations of Ukrainian troops. These consist, from north to south, of the Zaporozhia, Donetsk, Bakhmut, and Svatove Axis (see map below). The effort to reinforce the Bakhmut sector has noticeably diluted Ukranian strength on these other axes. On the Zaporozhia front, for example, there are potentially as few as five Ukrainian brigades on the line at the moment. At the moment, the majority of Russian combat power is uncommitted, and both western and Ukrainian sources are (belatedly) becoming increasingly alarmed about the prospect for a Russian offensive in the comin weeks. Currently, the entire Ukrainian position in the east is vulnerable because it is, in effect, an enormous salient, vulnerable to attack from three directions.

Two operational depth objectives in particular have the potential to shatter Ukrainian logistics and sustainment. These are, respectively, Izyum in the north and Pavlograd in the South. A Russian thrust down the west bank of the Oskil river towards Izyum would simultaneously threaten to cut off and destroy the Ukrainian grouping on the Svatove axis (S on the map) and sever the vital M03 highway from Kharkov. Reaching Pavlograd, on the other hand, would completely isolate the Ukrainian forces around Donetsk and sever much of Ukraine’s transit across the Dneiper.

The bird’s eye view of this conflict reveals a fascinating meta-structure to the war. In the above section, I argue for a view of the front structured around Russia progressively breaking through sequential Ukrainian defensive belts. I think that a similar sort of progressive narrative structure applies to the force generation aspect of this war, with Russia destroying a sequence of Ukrainian armies. Let me be a bit more concrete. While the Ukrainian military exists at least partially as a continuous institution, its combat power has been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times at this point through western assistance. Multiple phases – life cycles, if you will – can be identified:

In the opening months of the war, the extant Ukrainian army was mostly wiped out. The Russians destroyed much of Ukraine’s indigenous supplies of heavy weaponry and shattered many cadres at the core of Ukraine’s professional army. In the wake of this initial shattering, Ukrainian combat strength was shored up by transferring virtually all of the Soviet vintage weaponry in the stockpiles of former Warsaw Pact countries. This transferred Soviet vehicles and ammunition, compatible with existing Ukrainian capabilities, from countries like Poland and the Czech Republic, and was mostly complete by the end of spring, 2022. In early June, for example, western sources were admitting that Soviet stockpiles were drained.

With Warsaw Pact stockpiles exhausted, NATO began replacing destroyed Ukrainian capabilities with western equivalents in a process that began during the summer. Of particular note were howitzers like the American M777 and the French Caesar. Russia has essentially fought multiple iterations of the Ukrainian Army – destroying the pre-war force in the opening months, then fighting units that were refilled from Warsaw Pact stockpiles, and is now degrading a force which is largely reliant on western systems. This led to General Zaluzhny’s now-famous interview with the economist in which he asked for many hundreds of Main Battle Tanks, Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and artillery pieces. In effect, he asked for yet another army, as the Russians seem to keep destroying the ones he has.

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“It would be absurd to think that Russia has lost the war or that its military is incompetent..”

Ergo: Double down on Hitler and Napoleon’s errors.

Russia ‘Fights To The End’ – Borrell (RT)

EU foreign policy commissioner Josep Borrell said on Friday that the West must keep sending weapons to Kiev, warning those who think Russia has lost or is doing poorly that Moscow has a history of winning long wars. “Russia is a great country, a great nation that is used to fighting to the end, almost losing and then recovering,” Borrell said in a speech in Madrid, bringing up the 1812 invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte’s French empire and the 1941 invasion by Adolf Hitler’s Germany as historical examples of this. “It would be absurd to think that Russia has lost the war or that its military is incompetent,” Borrell added. He claimed that so far Moscow “has been losing the war but it still has enormous strength and capacity to continue [fighting].” Because of this, he said, “now is the time to continue arming Ukraine with the necessary material and military means to wage the kind of war it has to wage.”

He described this as “not only a defensive war but one that allows it to take the initiative and break fronts and prevent Russia from launching a new, very powerful and bloody offensive in a few months.” Borrell’s invocation of Napoleon and Hitler was unusual, as Moscow has repeatedly compared the current efforts by the collective West with the two invasions, known as the Patriotic War and the Great Patriotic War, respectively. Napoleon led a multinational army recruited from all across French-dominated Europe and reached Moscow, but failed to compel Russia’s surrender. The war ended with Russian cavalry on the streets of Paris two years later. Hitler’s effort, also aided by numerous continental allies and vassals, fell just short of Moscow. The Axis armies were savaged at Stalingrad and turned back at Kursk, with Russian soldiers taking Berlin in 1945.

According to Russian estimates, the US and its allies funneled almost $100 billion worth of weapons, ammunition and supplies to the Ukrainian military in 2022. Despite this unprecedented effort, Borrell on Friday continued to insist the West was not a party to the conflict, and that the EU did everything it could to avoid it. Former leaders of Germany and France, however, publicly admitted that the European-mediated Minsk agreements had been a ploy to buy Ukraine time to prepare for war. The EU’s high commissioner for foreign affairs spoke at Madrid’s Teatro Real, where he was presented with the New Economy Forum 2022 Award. One of the presenters was Javier Solana, Borrell’s predecessor at the EU post and NATO’s secretary general in 1999, when the US-led bloc launched an unprovoked war against Yugoslavia.

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“..we have to be careful because we have a duty to look carefully and intensively at what might be the consequences for anybody in that conflict.”

Germany Says ‘Nein’ On Tanks At Allies’ Big Ramstein Meeting (ZH)

Is that a definitive nein on tanks? New German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius in fresh statements has confirmed that defense leaders gathered for a much anticipated meeting in Ramstein failed to achieve consensus on tanks for Ukraine. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was present for the meeting which reportedly involved top military officials from some 50 nations, most of them NATO, who met to coordinate the path forward in arming Ukraine. There’s been intense, uneasy back-and-forth this week between Berlin and Washington on the question of supplying Western-manufactured heavy tanks to Kiev, namely the Leopard as well as M1 Abrams. Hawks among the alliance have seen Berlin as essentially standing in the way.

“Today, we can all not yet say when a decision will be made about Leopard and what this decision will look like,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said at the end of the Ramstein Air Base meeting. Amid accusations that Germany is waffling and thus weakening Western allies’ resolve, Pistorius continued, “We are not really hesitating we are just very carefully balancing all the pros and contra [cons] — we are not talking just about delivering anything to anybody, this is a new kind of measure we would choose, so we have to be careful because we have a duty to look carefully and intensively at what might be the consequences for anybody in that conflict.” While there was agreement to boost military aid to Ukraine among the allies gathered for the meeting, CNBC underscores that “Germany wavered on further EU tank deliveries despite mounting calls from Kyiv and fellow allies.”

The German defense minister continued, according to the remarks translated by CNBC: “I must say there is very clearly no unanimous opinion. The impression that has occasionally been made that there is a closed coalition and Germany stands in the way of this is wrong. There are many allies who say we share the opinion that I explained here today again, there are good reasons for the delivery and there are good reasons against it.” Going into the meeting it was widely reported days ago that Berlin has told European allies that it will authorize Leopard tanks only if Washington first leads the way with supply its own Abrams tanks. But the Biden administration has shut the door on these heavy, advanced tanks for the time being.

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Abrams tanks: “..three gallons to the mile with jet fuel..”

And then you have to supply that fuel. To battle theaters. And Abrams are prone to breaking down. Get real.

Poland Could Send Leopard Tanks To Ukraine Without German Approval (G.)

The Polish prime minister has said his country would be willing to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine without securing Germany’s approval if Berlin does not agree to their re-export at Friday’s meeting of western defence ministers at Ramstein airbase. Mateusz Morawiecki said in a radio interview on Thursday that “consent was of secondary importance” when it came to German-made tanks, because the key issue was to get military aid to Ukraine urgently. “We will either obtain this consent quickly, or we will do it ourselves,” Morawiecki added, heaping further pressure on Berlin to allow German made Leopard 2s to be sent to Ukraine in preparation for a spring offensive.

His comments came as the US Defense Department formally announced new military assistance for Ukraine valued at up to $2.5bn, including armoured vehicles and support for Ukraine’s air defence. The aid includes 59 Bradley fighting vehicles and 90 Stryker armoured personnel carriers, but not Abrams tanks. Poland, along with Finland, has said it wants to give 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, which would normally require German approval, but it is one of a number of countries trying to force the pace at a time when Berlin is still negotiating. Arvydas Anusauskas, Lithuania’s defence minister, said others could follow suit at the Ramstein meeting on Friday. “Some of the countries will definitely send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, that is for sure,” he said.

Lloyd Austin, the US defence secretary, met his newly appointed German counterpart, Boris Pistorius, in Berlin on Thursday, but neither mentioned the Leopard standoff in brief commentsbefore their meeting. Previously, German officials signalled Berlin was willing to break the logjam if the US would also agree to send over some of its own Abrams tanks to Ukraine. But the US said on Wednesday it did not want to do that, because the Abrams, which has a jet turbine engine, is fuel inefficient and so requires complex logistics support. Colin Kahl, the US undersecretary of defence for policy, said: “The Abrams tank is a very complicated piece of equipment. It’s expensive, it’s hard to train on, it has a jet engine – I think it’s about three gallons to the mile with jet fuel. It is not the easiest system to maintain.”

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Maybe they can empty our bank accounts?!

Pentagon Wants Kiev’s Backers To ‘Dig Deeper’ (RT)

Nations providing weapons to Ukraine need to double down on their effort because the country is facing a make-or-break moment, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday ahead of a key meeting of military donors in Germany. “We need to keep up our momentum and our resolve, and we need to dig even deeper,” the Pentagon chief said in his opening remarks before a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at the US Ramstein air base. He described this as “a decisive moment for Ukraine and a decisive decade for the world.” Austin touted the latest military assistance package announced by the Pentagon this week as an example of Washington’s leadership. The $2.5 billion commitment boosted total US military aid to Ukraine since hostilities with Russia broke out last February to over $26.7 billion, the US official noted.

He praised a number of NATO partners, including Poland, Canada, Germany, France, for their lethal aid to Kiev and urged further arming of the Ukrainian forces. “The Ukrainian people are watching us. The Kremlin is watching us. And history is watching us,” Austin declared. Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov will ask donors at the Ramstein meeting for more anti-aircraft systems, offensive weapons, including tanks, and “systematic ammo supplies,” his department said in a tweet. Whether or not Kiev will be given Western-made tanks has been a point of contention among NATO members. Poland and several other nations have said they were willing to provide German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks from their fleets, pending Berlin’s consent. The German government has reportedly conditioned its permission on the US leading by example.

The Pentagon declined to include M1 Abrams tanks in its latest package to Ukraine, citing “sustainment issues.” The tank requires jet fuel to operate and is difficult to maintain, so it “just doesn’t make sense to provide that to the Ukrainians at this moment,” Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told journalists on Thursday. Moscow has accused the US and its allies of prolonging the conflict in Ukraine by forcing Kiev to eschew the pursuit of peace and also pumping it with weapons. It has pledged to achieve its security goals in the conflict regardless of how much support its adversary receives.

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“I am super pro Ukraine, but relentless escalation is very risky for Ukraine and the world.”

Elon Musk Warns Against ‘Relentless Escalation’ In Ukraine (RT)

Billionaire Elon Musk urged caution on Friday following reports that the US is changing its stance on whether it should assist Ukraine in attacking Russia’s Crimean Peninsula. Earlier this week, the New York Times reported, citing sources, that Washington is starting to concede that Kiev needs to have the ability to strike deep into Russian territory, even if this entails the risk of escalation. US officials are said to be “discussing with their Ukrainian counterparts the use of American-supplied weapons, from HIMARS rocket systems to Bradley fighting vehicles, to possibly target … Crimea.” The peninsula overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in 2014 following the Maidan coup in Kiev. Musk responded to a Twitter user who posted a link to the Times article by saying: “I am super pro Ukraine, but relentless escalation is very risky for Ukraine and the world.”


This is not the first time the tycoon has weighed in on the Ukraine conflict. In October, Musk came up with a peace plan to end the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev. According to his proposal, Russia should “redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision,” with Moscow withdrawing from these areas if this is what the people want. He was referring to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which overwhelmingly voted to join Russia last year. However, the Twitter CEO also suggested that Crimea should remain part of Russia, sparking outrage in Kiev. Ukraine’s former ambassador to Berlin, Andrey Melnik, told him to “f**k off.” Later, Musk noted that Russia views Crimea as an integral part of its territory, and attempts to seize it by a foreign power could trigger a nuclear war. “If Russia is faced with the choice of losing Crimea or using battlefield nukes, they will choose the latter,” he wrote at the time.

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“Negotiations regarding further sanctions on Russia with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky are becoming increasingly complicated with each new round..”

Top EU Official Comments On Sanctions ‘Debate’ With Kiev (RT)

Negotiations regarding further sanctions on Russia with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky are becoming increasingly complicated with each new round, European Council President Charles Michel said during a trip to Kiev on Thursday. The statement came after Zelensky urged the EU to impose even tighter restrictions on Moscow. “Each debate on sanctions is much more difficult than the previous one,” Michel told reporters, as quoted by Bloomberg. “We have good debates with President Zelensky, and I will brief my colleagues on what are the Ukrainian proposals and we will consult. I’m confident we will be able to strengthen the pressure on the Kremlin.” Michel added that the EU will adopt a tenth sanctions package on Moscow. “We have to see which additional sectors can be targeted in the future,” he said.

The EU imposed sweeping restrictions on Russia after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. Zelensky called on Brussels on Thursday to target Russia’s nuclear industry, including “all entities involved in the Russian missile program.” He also asked for a full ban on Russian energy exports. The bloc’s efforts to completely relinquish Russian oil and gas have been met with resistance from countries such as Hungary, whose economy is heavily dependent on Russian energy. Budapest has managed to gain several carve-outs that allow it to continue receiving supplies from Moscow. “Russian [energy] accounts for 85% of Hungary’s gas consumption and 65% of oil demand. This cannot be changed overnight,” Tamas Menczer, the state secretary for foreign affairs, explained last week.

The Hungarian government shared survey results this month indicating that “97% of Hungarians reject sanctions that cause serious damage.” It added that “the message is clear: the Brussels sanctions policy must be reviewed.” The Kremlin stated last month that the Russian economy has adapted to the sanctions and that it is impossible to deny that the restrictions are hurting the EU countries as well. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the West on Wednesday of trying to use sanctions to incite “a revolution” in Russia and assert “the dominance of the US by all means.”

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“Germany, France and Ukraine were playing a swindle game with the Minsk agreements. Now is payback time..”

Moscow Outlines What West Can Do To Resolve Ukraine Crisis (RT)

US-Russia relations are at their lowest point ever amid the crisis in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. As the conflict deteriorates, the only way to reverse it is for Western nations to acknowledge their mistakes and change their policies, he added. Despite initial hopes that under President Joe Biden the US would engage Russia diplomatically, the last two years “have been very bad for our bilateral relations,” the official told journalists. They are now “probably at their lowest point, historically” he added, and “there is no hope for improvement anytime soon.” The Ukraine hostilities – the focus of the confrontation between Russia and Western nations – are in “an upward spiral” according to Peskov.

“We can see a growing indirect, and sometimes direct involvement of NATO nations in this conflict,” he stated. The nations that back Kiev are acting under “a delusion that Ukraine has any chance to win on the battlefield,” he explained. Asked how the vicious circle could be broken, Peskov suggested that the US and its allies had to mentally turn the clock back to the end of 2021, “when Russia was suggesting a discussion of its concerns at the negotiations table” only to be dismissed. Western repentance for its “cynicism” was also in order, he added. “Germany, France and Ukraine were playing a swindle game with the Minsk agreements. Now is payback time,” he said, referring to the roadmap for Ukraine reconciliation, which the three nations signed with Russia in 2015.

Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Pyotr Poroshenko, the leaders at the time of Germany, France and Ukraine respectively, have since stated that the deal they negotiated with Russia was meant to give Kiev time to rebuild its military. Moscow considers these admissions to be evidence that the negotiations were conducted in bad faith and that the Ukrainian government and its backers had always intended for the Minsk agreements to fail and for the Donbass standoff to be resolved by military means. Russia claimed that its military campaign in Ukraine launched last February preempted an offensive planned by Kiev with NATO’s help. Ukraine, Germany, and France “lied to the people of Donbass, as they had a terrible fate planned for them, which Russia prevented,” Peskov explained.

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I see the name Singapore pop up in these schemes, not just India.

UK Finds Loophole To Buy Russian Oil – Media (RT)

British consumers are indirectly buying Russian oil and petroleum products despite a Western embargo on crude exports from the sanctioned country, OilPrice reported on Monday, suggesting that the bulk of it may come from India. A ban on Russian seaborne oil exports, along with a price cap of $60 per barrel, was introduced by the EU, G7 nations and Australia on December 5. Another embargo banning almost all imports of Russian oil products kicks in on February 5. The UK, which has been among the most vocal advocates of abandoning Russian energy imports, has claimed to be one of the most successful countries in achieving this target. London committed to phasing out Russian oil by the end of 2022, slashing down imports to £2 million ($2.45 million) in October.

However, diesel accounted for 18% of its total demand last year, according to OilPrice, and a number of UK consumers may have replaced direct Russian imports with supplies from Russian-fed refineries. The outlet suggests that the UK has been using India as a “back door,” given a sharp increase in the country’s imports of Russian oil, which hit a record high of 1.2 million barrels per day in December. Prior to last year, India’s imports of Russian crude were insignificant, due to high freight costs. However, the volumes that New Delhi is now buying and re-exporting suggest that some of the refined crude from the sanctions-hit country may ultimately be pumped in UK filling stations.

High diesel prices in Europe and steep discounts on Russian crude offer “a window of opportunity” for Indian refiners, the outlet said. According to tracking data from Kpler, in 2022 the Jamnagar refinery on India’s west coast boosted, by a factor of four, its imports of oil and fuel oil from Russia compared to 2021. Meanwhile, the UK has purchased a total of 10 million barrels of diesel and other refined products from Jamnagar since the beginning of 2022.

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“..We do understand how “Joe Biden” won the 2020 election: via massive fraud engineered by fraud-master Marc Elias, king of the Lawfare trolls..”

A Page Turns (Jim Kunstler)

I’ll never understand — and neither will you — how “Joe Biden” got propelled out of ignominious defeat in the earliest presidential primaries, to sweep the field on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Around the same time, all his rivals magically dropped out of the race for the nomination. Some kind of message must have gone out from Deep State Central. Who wanted this licentious old grifter in White House? Well, probably his old boss, Barack Obama, and just about everyone in officialdom connected to the shenanigans in Ukraine dating back to 2014, and then the RussiaGate illegalities that ensued from it, especially former CIA boss John Brennan and his cronies. Under Mr. Obama, the whole US government had become something like a rotten log infested with sowbugs of grift, deceit, and malfeasance. Installing the dotty old bird in the White House would give Mr. Obama a stealth third term. Mostly, it would prevent the dreaded Golden Golem of populism, Donald Trump, from bringing any harm to that cabal and its, ahem, interests.

We do understand how “Joe Biden” won the 2020 election: via massive fraud engineered by fraud-master Marc Elias, king of the Lawfare trolls, who fine-tuned the mail-in ballot operation during the likewise engineered Covid-19 public health ruse. That wicked election business, of course, is just another grave matter requiring the utmost protection to prevent any inquiry from ever gaining traction. And yet all of it, the monumental government crime spree of recent years is all unraveling before our eyes — even before Jim Jordan or anyone else has even said boo from a House committee chair.

It’s all falling apart — along with America’s economy, our institutions, and our culture. The Biden family’s cover stories are collapsing, the government’s censorship and propaganda machine has thrown a rod, the Covid-19 story looks day-by-day like organized mass murder, election fraud issues still stalk the land despite every effort to squash them — and the grim reality coalesces that Russia is going to clean up the mess we made in Ukraine, and, in the aftermath, probably produce a shit-ton of evidence of American corruption and villainy there.

“Joe Biden,” the phantom president, has entered the air-lock, waiting to be jettisoned into the deep space of ignominy, chocolate mint chip ice cream cone in hand. Kamala Harris watches the action offstage in a fugue of anxiety and depression. She does not want to become president — and, guess what, nobody really wants her to be, either. She won’t even have to be induced to step aside. Her hysteria will be so great that not even the hypnotists of the Intel Community will be able to calm her down. She’ll run shrieking from it back to California. The levers of control finally fail. By a caprice of history, and the genius of the founding fathers, Kevin McCarthy lands in the White House. A page turns. The coup is finally over. That’s my fantasy du jour.

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“..authoritarian catnip to the dingleberries that assemble at the World Economic Forum every year..”

World Economic Fuck’em (QTR)

[..] the “Forum” is harboring incredible influence, mostly with “useful” bureaucratic idiots on the left who are happy to take their cues on how to napalm individual rights for betterment of advancing their agendas from anyone who will help, regardless of their motivation. That’s right: gone are the days of joking about The Great Reset, owning nothing and liking it and shifting to a diet of mealworms and crickets.I’ve arrived at a point past that – a point of being sickened by watching people that in no way, shape or form represent me or the people in my life, yammer on about what my future will or won’t look like and what things I stand for are “right” or “wrong”.


It’s right in the WEF’s mission statement: “The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.” The truth is no matter how much each narcissistic and likely psychotic guest would love to speak on behalf of millions, or even billions of people, they simply don’t. I don’t expect these people to understand the consequences of painting with a broad brush, nor do I think they care about them. Take the Covid vaccines as an example. Isn’t the idea of jabbing every single person on Earth, regardless of age, health status and lifestyle (lest we forget whether or not they consent to it reckless? Of course it is. But it doesn’t matter – because someone wanted it to be done…and, with that, it was put into action.

Wild, right? This unilateral implementation of mandates during Covid, regardless of what the individual may want for themselves and their families, was authoritarian catnip to the dingleberries that assemble at the World Economic Forum every year. I’m certain it has enabled many participants to think: we did it with vaccines – we cut them off from travel, we put their jobs and their livelihoods on the line and we even arrested and jailed them – now we can do it with anything else. I don’t need to be in Davos this week to understand how little I have in common with the people of the World Economic Forum. I know this because I was recently in Washington DC during the International Monetary Fund’s most recent circle jerk world conference.

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“Maria Zakharova: [..] Should it be proven that the leading US media outlets “received money for adjusting their coverage, all US democracy could be wrapped up in their Constitution and thrown out into the garbage heap of history..”

Investigation Pulls Back Veil On Soros’ ‘Indoctrination’ Efforts (RT)

Billionaire George Soros has links to dozens of prominent media figures in the US and beyond via organizations he funded, a conservative US watchdog claims. In the last report of a three-part investigation, published on Tuesday, MRC Business examined the ties of the Budapest-born liberal mogul, coming to the conclusion that he “cemented himself as one of the most powerful influencers in global politics through his incredible influence in the media.” MRC Business said that it had uncovered at least “54 major figures in journalism and activist media who are connected to Soros-funded organizations.” The list includes CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour, NBC News anchor Lester Holt, and Cesar Conde, the NBCUniversal News Group chairman, who oversees the outlets NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC.

Many of the 54 individuals play prominent roles in institutions funded by Soros. For instance, Amanpour is a senior adviser at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which received $2.75 million from the mogul between 2018 and 2020, while Holt is listed as a board member in the same organization. Conde is a trustee at the Aspen Institute, which received over $1 million from the billionaire between 2016 and 2020. According to MRC, in total Soros has funneled over $32 billion into his organizations in a bid “to spread his radical ‘open society’ agenda on abortion, Marxist economics, anti-Americanism, defunding the police, environmental extremism and LGBT fanaticism.” These efforts have paid off, allowing him to “help indoctrinate millions with his views on a day-to-day basis”, the group claims.

MRC has previously claimed that Soros has financial ties to at least 253 media organizations globally, funding them through his non-profit groups and enabling him to reach viewers and listeners in virtually every corner of the world. Commenting on the report, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted on Thursday that such revelations could be compared to a “nuclear bombshell.” Should it be proven that the leading US media outlets “received money for adjusting their coverage, all US democracy could be wrapped up in their Constitution and thrown out into the garbage heap of history,” she said.

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If his own party goes after him, this is probably how.

I Have No Regrets: Biden Breaks Long Silence With Shattering Admission (Turley)

President Joe Biden has something that he wants the public to know. After the discovery of highly classified material in Biden’s former office, his garage and library, the President wanted to make one thing (and only one thing) perfectly clear: “I have no regrets.” It was a moment that rivaled his disastrous observation that, while classified material was found in his garage, it is a locked garage that also housed his beloved 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. While Biden’s “corvette standard” for storing classified documents was baffling, his declaration of “no regrets” is downright infuriating. It is also remarkably moronic with a special counsel in the field. Either the President believes that Special Counsel Robert K. Hur will paper over the entire affair or he is doing his best to force his hand with a criminal charge.

Biden was miffed to be even asked about the matter after stonewalling the press for days. He ventured out of his White House bunker to tour storm damage in California and used the victims as a virtual human shield: “You know what, quite frankly, bugs me is that we have a serious problem here we’re talking about. We’re talking about what’s going on. And the American people don’t quite understand why you don’t ask me questions about that.” The problem is that recent polls show that, while the President has no regrets, the public overwhelmingly does. Most citizens view his conduct as negligent. Roughly two-thirds believe that Congress should investigate the President, including a majority of Democrats. Sixty percent believe that he acted inappropriately with classified material.

Nevertheless, after days to hunkering down with this aides and polls, Biden decided to stick with total and absolute denial of regret or responsibility. It was not a surprise for many of us who have following Biden and his family through the years. I wrote at the start of this scandal that Biden’s ” silence is hardly surprising. Biden has always been better at expressing revulsion than responsibility. Time and again, he has literally rushed before cameras to denounce others, often without basis, for alleged crimes. He has not waited for investigations, let alone trials.” When it has come to his own alleged misconduct, Biden will deflect, deny, but rarely declare responsibility.”

The comments on Thursday were classic Biden. He first deflected by using the California victims. He then denied any real responsibility. Despite the appointment of a special counsel to investigate his conduct, he shrugged off the entire matter as something akin to finding a neighbor’s borrowed hammer from 2017 in his garage: “We found a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place. We immediately turned them over to the Archives and the Justice Department …I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets. I’m following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do. It’s exactly what we’re doing. There’s no there there.”

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Hey, it makes the blood flow!

Men Live Longer (Happier?) Lives Taking Viagra; New Study Finds (ZH)

The second study in two years shows Viagra might reduce the risk of heart disease in men. Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) found that men who took the little blue pill experienced a 39% reduction in heart disease. USC researchers gathered data from 70,000 men with an average age of 52 who were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction within the last decade. They believe Viagra increases blood flow and oxygen into the heart and throughout the body. Viagra users also were 17% less likely to suffer heart failure and had a 22% reduction in developing unstable angina. All of those conditions are fatal if untreated. Men who used the drug achieved longer life and decreased the risk of early death by 25%.


“Viagra was associated with lower incidence of [heart complications], cardiovascular death, and overall mortality risk compared to non-exposure,” the researchers wrote. The last study, published in the American College journal of Cardiology and titled “Association of Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors Versus Alprostadil With Survival in Men With Coronary Artery Disease,” showed older men with cardiovascular disease who took the erectile dysfunction pill lived a healthier life. According to the American Heart Association, erectile dysfunction could be an early warning sign of heart disease in otherwise healthy men.

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Straight from the Middle Ages.

Medical Board Takes Action Against Misinformation Doc (MPT)

An Idaho pathologist who previously came under fireopens in a new tab or window for prescribing ivermectin to COVID-19 patients and spreading falsities about vaccines, is facing disciplinary actionopens in a new tab or window by the Medical Commission in Washington state, where he is also licensed to practice. Ryan Cole, MD, is said to have made “numerous false and misleading statements” during public presentations on the pandemic, COVID vaccines, the use of ivermectin to treat COVID, and the effectiveness of masks, according to a statement of chargesopens in a new tab or window issued by the Washington Medical Commission earlier this month. He also allegedly provided negligent care to a number of patients in the prevention or treatment of COVID.

“Due to their specialized knowledge and training, licensed physicians possess a high degree of public trust,” the commission wrote in the statement. “That public trust is essential to effective delivery of medical care. Knowingly false statements or those made in reckless disregard for the truth, such as the medical disinformation statements by respondent … erode the public’s trust in physicians and their medical treatment and advice, and thereby injure public health.” Specifically, at all times relevant to the case, Cole, an anatomical and clinical pathologist, ran an independent medical laboratory that he owns, provided direct care to patients via telemedicine through the website MyFreeDoctor.com, and spoke at public and private forums, as well as on news shows and podcasts, the statement noted.

According to the commission, since March 2021, Cole is said to have made false and misleading comments during his presentations, including, “Children survive [COVID-19] at a hundred percent,” and “A hundred percent of world [ivermectin] trials have shown benefit.” Other public statements Cole is said to have made include that the COVID vaccine is “an experimental biological gene therapy immune-modulatory injection,” in addition to “a fake vaccine … the clot shot, needle rape.”

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Assange

 

 

 

 

Burns

 

 


Percentage of new bonds that mature in one year.

 

 

Sugihara

 

 

Condor

 

 

Dragonfly

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 122022
 


Paul Gauguin Landscape with black pigs and a crouching Tahitian 1891

 

Musk Says Fauci Lied, People Died (RT)
Zelensky Was Ready For Neutrality In March – Col. Macgregor (RT)
How the Mainstream Media Misses the Money Quote (Antiwar)
Twitter Files: Corporate Media Ignores The Biggest Story Of The Decade (ZH)
Dupe or Designated Defendant? The Criminal Case Against Jack Dorsey (Turley)
Jack Dorsey Defiantly States He Has Never Heard Of Twitter (BBee)
4 Minutes of Undiluted Truth on Mainstream TV (Mike Whitney)
Merkel’s Ukraine Remarks Show Breach Of Trust – Serbia (RT)
China Wants To Drop Dollar In Oil Trade – Reuters (RT)
Western Price Cap Disrupting Global Oil Markets – Economist (RT)
Sanctions On Russia Are Backfiring – Former Austrian Vice-chancellor (RT)
FBI Reveals It Has More Information on Deceased DNC Staffer Seth Rich (ET)
Are We Finally Reaching Peak Climate Hysteria? (Spiked)
Dutch Gov’t Attempts To Forcibly Close 3,000 Farms For ‘Green’ Agenda (ZH)
Viagra Lowers the Risk of Alzheimer’s By Almost 70% (GR)

 

 

 

 

Back to the future?!

 

 

Douglas Macgregor: Zelensky Has Made A Terrible Mistake By Trying To Pin Missile Strikes On Russia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter files on censorship of doctors, and promoting Fauci, should be explosive. If they still exist. Musk has promised them.

Musk Says Fauci Lied, People Died (RT)

The billionaire Tesla and Twitter boss, Elon Musk, has triggered a social media firestorm on Sunday after suggesting that US Covid-19 czar, Dr. Anthony Fauci, should be investigated and prosecuted for allegedly lying under oath about the funding of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab in China. In what initially appeared to be an ironic dig, poised to trigger an avalanche of criticism from the left, Musk also posted a meme showing the retiring White House chief medical adviser whispering “Just one more lockdown my king” in President Biden’s ear. But after Fauci’s name was propelled to the top of Twitter trends with over 600,000 mentions, Musk apparently felt forced to elaborate why he thought the controversial face of America’s response to the pandemic should be investigated.

“As for Fauci, he lied to Congress and funded gain-of-function research that killed millions of people,” Musk said in response to one critic, adding “not awesome imo.” The 81-year-old Fauci, who plans to retire by the of the month, led a disjointed US Covid-19 response marked by his flip-flopping on issues such as the efficacy of masks and herd immunity targets. Shortly after Fauci announced that he would step down as Biden’s chief medical adviser and as director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – Senator Rand Paul demanded that the US administration preserve documents and messages that could become evidence in the potential probe.

“Fauci’s resignation should not prevent a full-throated investigation into the origins of the pandemic. He must be required to testify under oath regarding any discussions he participated in concerning the Wuhan lab leak. His policies destroyed lives,” tweeted Paul. The senator previously accused Fauci of directing public funding to gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab and lying about it under oath in congressional testimony, as the two sparred repeatedly in Senate hearings. Gain-of-function is the modification of pathogens to enhance them in various potential ways, including transmissibility. The rationale is that scientists can study new strains and find ways to stop them before similar adaptations emerge naturally.

The ‘lab leak’ theory – that the coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab – was popularized by former US President Donald Trump, who made the allegation amid a trade war with China. Major US media organizations and tech platforms initially labeled it as ‘disinformation’ and tried to suppress the theory from public discourse. However, after Musk took over Twitter, the company stopped enforcing its Covid-19 “misleading information policy.”

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“Fiona Hill [..] wrote in September that an “interim settlement” had been agreed in Istanbul. In May, Ukrainian media linked the collapse of these talks to pressure imposed on Kiev by Johnson.”

Zelensky Was Ready For Neutrality In March – Col. Macgregor (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky was ready in March to meet some of Moscow’s conditions for peace, retired US Army Colonel Douglas MacGregor has claimed in a recent interview. He blamed former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for preventing a settlement. As Ukrainian and Russian delegations sat down in Istanbul in March, news surfaced of a potential deal that would have seen Kiev renounce its ambition to join NATO and agree to neutrality, in exchange for Russia’s withdrawal to pre-February battle lines. Days later, Zelensky said he had discovered evidence of war crimes in territory evacuated by Russian forces, and negotiations were called off. In an interview with military historian Michael Vlahos, published on Saturday, MacGregor claimed that the UK was responsible for the abrupt end of the peace talks.

“We have evidence that towards the end of March, Mr. Zelensky said ‘well, we could live with neutrality,’ and when that word reached Washington and London, people became incensed,” he said. “Boris Johnson represented Washington’s interests and said ‘absolutely not, we will support you to the bitter end. You must stand your ground and fight for every inch of Ukraine’.” MacGregor is not the first US official to suggest that Zelensky was ready for peace in March. Fiona Hill, a veteran US diplomat who served as the US National Security Council’s senior director for Europe and Russia in the Trump administration, wrote in September that an “interim settlement” had been agreed in Istanbul. In May, Ukrainian media linked the collapse of these talks to pressure imposed on Kiev by Johnson.

The prime minister visited Kiev on April 9, reportedly without warning, and according to the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper, told officials that “even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, they [the West] are not.” Now, almost ten months into the conflict, Zelensky has forbidden negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has promised to retake all of the regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – which voted to join the Russian Federation in September. The Ukrainian leader has also vowed to capture Crimea, which has been a part of Russia since a 2014 referendum. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said Russia remains open to talks, but cautioned in October that Western powers must be involved, as an agreement with Ukraine alone could be “instantly canceled upon orders” from the West.

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“..there was a canyon between the leader of the US and the leader of the loyal European opposition. The canyon was so wide that it included disagreement over the causes and solutions of the war.”

How the Mainstream Media Misses the Money Quote (Antiwar)

On December 1, French President Emmanuel Macron went to Washington for the first state visit of the Biden administration. After the pageantry, presents, hand holding and flattering words of fraternity and solidarity, Macron faced the gathered press. “We will never urge Ukrainians to make a compromise that will not be acceptable for them.” “That,” said Helene Cooper of The New York Times, “is the money quote.” But it wasn’t the money quote by several euros. The money quote came days later when Macron was not standing shoulder to shoulder with Biden in front of an American audience, but standing on his own addressing a French audience.

Macron told the French television network TF1, in an interview filmed during his visit to Washington but aired as he left, that “We need to prepare what we are ready to do, how we protect our allies and member states, and how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table.” Then Macron made his full meaning clear: “One of the essential points we must address – as President Putin has always said – is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia.” The money quote was that, despite the display of solidarity, there was a canyon between the leader of the US and the leader of the loyal European opposition. The canyon was so wide that it included disagreement over the causes and solutions of the war.

Biden and Macron both “strongly condemn Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine.” But for Biden, in the beginning, that war was wholly unprovoked, and, in the end, the settlement must reflect that and protect core US values. For Macron, though the war was illegal, Russia had legitimate security concerns that NATO had been pushing, and the settlement must reflect that too. Macron hinted at that crucial separation at the press conference with Biden. Even then, Macron said “We want to build peace and a sustainable peace means full respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” But then, hinting at Russia’s demand to be included in a new European security structure that takes its concerns seriously, he added, “but at the same time [it means] a new architecture to make sure we have a sustainable peace in the long run.” But that didn’t make it into the money quote.

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“Twitter was participating in a form of treason, along with the agencies that they cooperated with. It’s a huge story, and one that should lead to punishment for those involved.”

Twitter Files: Corporate Media Ignores The Biggest Story Of The Decade (ZH)

Twitter has long denied that they “shadow ban” users, but this was a lie. The data shows that small groups within Twitter called “strategic response teams” suppressed up to 200 accounts per day. Usually these were accounts of larger and more influential conservative politicians and celebrities. And, these teams operated in coordination with Democrat officials and agencies like the FBI. In some cases the goal was to mute a particular individual. In other cases the goal was to steer national elections. Internal Twitter communications show that SRT groups spent most of their time fabricating reasons why certain information was subject to TOS. In other words, if Twitter’s rules were not being violated, they made up new rules.

The exposure of Twitter is the biggest story of the decade because it provides proof of a hidden cabal. It shows the ugly mechanics behind the scenes and exposes a network of elites and their errand boys who were involved in direct operations to destroy the 1st Amendment for the sake of ideological supremacy. It’s the classic definition of fascism, a definition that Benito Mussolini reiterated when he argued: “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” And, if this brand of Fascism was happening within the halls of Twitter, then there is little doubt it is also happening at companies like Google/YouTube, Apple, Facebook, etc. Before we had evidence, now we have confirmation.

The corporate media argues over relevance instead of morality because they benefited from the censorship. It’s important to remember that one of the first measures Big Tech companies applied after suppressing the alternative media during the pandemic was to then amplify the corporate media. These companies are floundering with dismal audience numbers and dwindling profits. No one listens to them anymore. Yet, as long as they promote the establishment narrative their opinions and disinformation are given priority on nearly every search engine and social media platform. Of course they aren’t interested in the Twitter Files, liars are often “bored” by honest commentary and factual information.

Also, their continued existence relies on the censorship of their competition in the alternative media. The bottom line is this: According to the Bill of Rights, it is illegal for agents of the US government to obstruct the free speech of law abiding American citizens. It does not matter if the action is done by using “private businesses” as middlemen. And, if a private business is colluding with government to implement political policy then it is no longer a private business. Twitter was participating in a form of treason, along with the agencies that they cooperated with. It’s a huge story, and one that should lead to punishment for those involved.

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“..lying in public is generally not a crime. However, when you repeat a lie to federal investigators or Congress or the courts, it becomes a federal offense.”

Dupe or Designated Defendant? The Criminal Case Against Jack Dorsey (Turley)

The latest Twitter disclosures have raised potential legal liability for Twitter and its executives. No one appears more at risk than Twitter’s former CEO Jack Dorsey It is an ironic turn of events since Dorsey supported the takeover by Elon Musk and has called for all files to be released without filtering. Dorsey has the feel of a “designated defendant,” someone who was pushed forward by others to take any legal hit. On its face, Dorsey has vulnerability after the latest release. He was repeatedly asked by members of Congress about censoring and shadow-banning, which has now been confirmed in these files. In September 2018, Dorsey testified under oath and denied what these files appear to now confirm. Rep. Mike Doyle, D., Pa., asked, “Social media is being rigged to censor conservatives. Is that true of Twitter?”

Dorsey responded, “No.” Doyle then asked “Are you censoring people?” “No,” Dorsey said. “Twitter’s shadow-banning prominent Republicans… is that true?” Doyle asked. Dorsey again said no. Dorsey was also asked about my prior testimony on private censorship in circumventing the First Amendment as a type of censorship by surrogate. Dorsey and the other CEOs were asked about my warning of a “‘little brother’ problem, a problem which private entities do for the government that which it cannot legally do for itself.” In response, Dorsey insisted that “we don’t have a censoring department.” It now appears that the entire company was operating as a censoring department. However, there were in fact super-censors.

Dorsey did not mention the Strategic Response Team-Global Escalation Team (SRT-GET), which operated above what journalist Bari Weiss described as “a level beyond official ticketing, beyond the rank-and-file moderators following the company’s policy on paper.” That group reportedly included Vijaya Gadde, head of Legal, Policy and Trust; Yoel Roth, the global head of Trust and Safety; CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal, and others. Notably, others at the company made similar denials as Dorsey but may not have done so under oath. In 2018, Gadde and head of product Kayvon Beykpour expressly declared, “We do not shadow-ban. And we certainly don’t shadow-ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.”

Even if untrue, lying in public is generally not a crime. However, when you repeat a lie to federal investigators or Congress or the courts, it becomes a federal offense. The question is whether Dorsey was left in the dark on these decisions. He was reportedly a member of SRT-GET. However, some of the files indicate that these decisions may have been made without his knowledge. That includes the decision on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, which Dorsey called a “total mistake.”

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“I’m not here talking to you right now. My name is not Jack Dorsey. I vehemently deny my own existence at this time.”

Jack Dorsey Defiantly States He Has Never Heard Of Twitter (BBee)

In the aftermath of the second wave of what have come to be known as the “Twitter Files” — in which documented evidence is presented that Twitter engaged in systematic practices to suppress and “shadowban” conservative or otherwise dissenting accounts, despite previous claims to not do so — co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey has issued a defiant statement that he has, in fact, never heard of Twitter. “I have no comment on, and indeed, no knowledge regarding anything known as a ‘Twitter,'” Dorsey said. “Any claims to the contrary are untrue and a wholesale misrepresentation. The previous statements attributed to me regarding ‘shadowbanning,’ while made by me, were simply not made by me.”


Furor continues to grow in the wake of new Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk authorizing the release of large amounts of internal communications and descriptions of practices under the company’s previous regime. “Twitter and its former brain trust have very serious questions to answer,” said Senator Ted Cruz in comments to the media. “Mr. Dorsey testified before Congress and denied that Twitter had engaged in such practices. The American people demand the truth.” “I never appeared before Congress,” Dorsey said in response. “I’m not here talking to you right now. My name is not Jack Dorsey. I vehemently deny my own existence at this time.” At publishing time, investigations into Dorsey’s knowledge of secret Twitter practices were ongoing, as further questions sent to Dorsey remained unanswered as he denied ever providing his previous answers to the first questions.

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“..the best ‘easy-to-understand’ summary of the Ukraine War you’ll hear anywhere..”

4 Minutes of Undiluted Truth on Mainstream TV (Mike Whitney)

The last thing you’d ever expect to hear on a mainstream news channel, is the truth. But—strange as it might seem—that’s exactly what happened on Wednesday night on the Tucker Carlson Show. Carlson interviewed veteran journalist Glenn Greenwald in a 4-minute segment that provided the best ‘easy-to-understand’ summary of the Ukraine War you’ll hear anywhere. And what was so shocking about the interview, was how casually both men veered onto topics that are essential to grasping “How we got to where we are today” but which are entirely banned on all the other cable news channels. You are not allowed to know, for example, that Russia was “lured into the conflict in Ukraine”.


That does not fit the script that has been passed-along from the Biden State Department to their lapdogs at the cable news stations. You’re also not allowed to know that the US does not fight wars “to spread democracy” or that “the US has no vital interests in Ukraine” or that “Russia is not really our enemy”. All of those topics are verboten. You’re not even allowed to think about these things, which is why– for the most part– they have been completely scrubbed from any-and-all discussion of foreign policy in the corporate media.

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The EU also faces another problem with Serbia, which wants troops in Kosovo. Germany says no way. But there is a UN resolution.

Merkel’s Ukraine Remarks Show Breach Of Trust – Serbia (RT)

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent comments on the 2014-15 Minsk agreements have cast the Ukraine conflict in a new light, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Saturday. Merkel stated that Kiev used the ceasefire to rearm its troops. The peace deals brokered by Germany and France eight years ago laid out a path for the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics’ (DPR and LPR) peaceful reintegration into Ukraine. However, they were never implemented because the government of Ukraine argued over the interpretation of the agreements. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko eventually admitted that Kiev mainly intended to use the ceasefire to rebuild its military and the economy. Merkel seemed to confirm this in an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit on Wednesday, saying that by signing the agreements, Ukraine won “valuable time” to muster a stronger army.

“We have witnessed a historically important statement by Angela Merkel. I am surprised and still checking whether it is possible that she has said such a thing,” Vucic told local media. “She is a woman whom I appreciate greatly, but for me this statement is almost unbelievable.” The former chancellor’s words “shed a completely new light” on the history of the conflict, Vucic said. “It cannot change the fact of who attacked whom, but changes a lot in terms of facts and relations inside what has been going on since 2014 … it is a clear sign for me that [they] cannot be trusted.” “It’s a lesson for us,” Vucic added, as his country now faces heightened tensions in Kosovo, Serbia’s breakaway region that the majority of EU and NATO members recognize as an independent state.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that he was disappointed by Merkel’s remarks that “nobody intended to fulfill any part of the Minsk agreements.”Earlier, Putin cited Kiev’s inability to stick to the Minsk agreements as one of the reasons Moscow recognized the independence of the two Donbass republics on February 21, three days before launching its military operation in Ukraine. The DPR and LPR, along with two other former Ukrainian territories, became parts of Russia after referendums in late September.

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Oil markets are global. The yuan is not a global currency. And China won’t make it one.

China Wants To Drop Dollar In Oil Trade – Reuters (RT)

Beijing will work to make energy purchases in yuan instead of US dollar signalling another step towards shifting further away from the greenback, China’s President Xi Jinping told Gulf Arab leaders as cited by Reuters. China’s leader highlighted the necessity of the move while speaking at a Chinese-Arab summit that was hosted by Saudi Arabia earlier this week. Xi had held separate talks with the heads of the Persian Gulf states at the summit that reportedly brought together 30 leaders from across the region. The world’s biggest crude importer, China in November ramped up purchases of oil by 12% year-on-year, marking the 10-month high despite the severe pandemic-related restrictions. Chinese state refiners stepped up purchases of US crude oil, while maintaining high imports of Russian oil prior to the December 5 European embargo and imposition of an oil price cap.


China’s independent refiners also moved a record amount of deeply discounted Iranian crude passed off as oil sourced from Malaysia, which is commonly used as a transfer point for oil originating from the sanction-hit Venezuela and Iran. Saudi Arabia was China’s number one oil supplier in the first ten months of 2022, making up 18% of China’s total crude oil purchases, with imports totaling 73.54 million tons, or 1.77 million barrels per day, Chinese customs data showed. Keen interest in the yuan and other currencies from major oil importers have arisen in the wake of unprecedented sanctions introduced by Washington and the allies against Russia, one of the world’s biggest oil producers and exporters over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

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“43% of EU inflation is related to energy prices, while only 17% of US inflation is due to energy prices..”

Western Price Cap Disrupting Global Oil Markets – Economist (RT)

The latest EU sanctions on Russian oil exports will fail to strip the country of its revenues, but are already causing global oil supply disruptions, a senior energy economist at CER-Centro Europa Ricerche told Sputnik news agency on Wednesday. The EU embargo took effect on Monday and was accompanied by a $60 price cap on Russian crude, supported by G7 countries and Australia. Any transactions over this limit are now barred from receiving brokerage, shipping, or insurance services. Demostenes Floros said that although the price cap has not sparked an immediate surge in oil prices, severe consequences lie ahead. The economist predicts rising demand in China, which will inevitably affect the cost of crude. He added that higher energy prices will deal a blow to the EU at a time of spiraling inflation and an unfolding recession.

Floros explained that “43% of EU inflation is related to energy prices, while only 17% of US inflation is due to energy prices and this is a very big difference between the European Union and the United States,” adding that the price cap will deepen the split within the bloc. The sanctions may also result in serious problems with contracting necessary volumes of diesel in the EU once the ban on Russian refined oil products comes into force on February 5, he warned. “I think that prices will increase, especially if other OPEC+ producers will not compensate Russian output,” the economist said, cautioning that the “politicization” of energy supplies could further destabilize a market which has not yet recovered from the Covid crisis.

EU oil sanctions on Russia are already causing setbacks. Dozens of tankers carrying 23 million barrels of crude are currently stuck in the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, unable to pass, as Turkish authorities demand proper insurance guarantees. Most of the Black Sea crude stuck in the straits was from Kazakhstan, which is not targeted by sanctions, according to EU officials. At the same time, Russian insurance companies have already provided letters of confirmation to Turkish authorities in order to secure passage.

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“If it goes on like this, next year in March and April we will face mass insolvencies and bankruptcies..”

Sanctions On Russia Are Backfiring – Former Austrian Vice-Chancellor (RT)

Western sanctions imposed on Moscow have failed to make a dent in Russia’s economy and ultimately only hurt Europeans, former Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache said on Saturday. He also accused European policymakers of turning a blind eye to the deadly fighting in Donbass, which he said served as a prelude to the current conflict for many years. Speaking at a pro-neutrality rally in Vienna, which was also a protest against sanctions on Russia, Strache claimed that Austria’s decision to join the restrictions had turned out to be a self-inflicted wound. “Austria has shown Europe how the sanctions are damaging itself,” he said, telling his audience that the measures have caused soaring electricity and gas prices, with more and more people feeling the impact.

“If it goes on like this, next year in March and April we will face mass insolvencies and bankruptcies,” he warned, calling the possibility “damn dangerous.” If the crisis is exacerbated and more people get desperate, “this could bring a dangerous development in the form of social tensions that we all do not want,” the former vice-chancellor added. At the same time, Strache continued, the restrictions have failed to undermine the Russian economy. According to him, “this year, the Russians have doubled [their] business,” raking in $220 billion in revenue. Strache also stated that Europe had found itself in the current situation because it had been “looking the other way” for many years when it comes to hostilities in Donbass, which started in 2014 after violent riots in Kiev overthrew the democratically-elected president, Viktor Yanukovich.

After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February, Western nations imposed new severe sanctions on Moscow, freezing half its gold and foreign currency reserves and targeting its energy exports. The restrictions, however, caused energy prices and living costs to surge, prompting numerous protest rallies across Europe. Earlier this month, hundreds of Italian activists gathered in the center of Milan to protest sending weapons to Ukraine and expanding the sanctions. In late November, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova insisted that EU policymakers have only themselves to blame for their ongoing energy crunch.

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”The agent claimed that disclosure of the records would harm an FBI investigation into the allegations that Russians had hacked into U.S. systems.”

FBI Reveals It Has More Information on Deceased DNC Staffer Seth Rich (ET)

The FBI not only has possession of a laptop computer owned by slain Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich, but a report detailing forensic imaging of what’s being described as Rich’s work computer, the bureau revealed in a new filing. The FBI’s records office located the report while searching for the work computer, Michael Seidel, chief of the office, said in a sworn declaration filed with a federal court in Texas on Dec. 9. He described the document as “a three (3) page forensic report detailing the actions performed by an outside entity to image the work laptop.” The report was among four documents that had never been disclosed by the FBI in relation to Rich’s case.

Journalist Sy Hersh said in or around 2017 that he was told by a source about an FBI report on Seth Rich. He said, according to the source, that Seth Rich’s computer showed the DNC staffer had relayed DNC documents to WikiLeaks, a pro-transparency group. Hersh talked about the source’s claims during a phone call with Ed Butowsky, an investor who later retracted claims about Rich being a WikiLeaks source, and discussed the call during a deposition. Rich was gunned down in the early morning hours on July 16, 2016, near his home in Washington. The killing of Rich, the DNC’s voter expansion data director, remains unsolved. Authorities have claimed that the killing was a robbery gone wrong. Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, has suggested that Rich passed DNC files to the group, which released the DNC files in 2016. U.S. authorities have alleged that Russians hacked into the DNC systems, but those allegations were made before the FBI received images from the DNC’s server to determine their validity.

The Metropolitan Police Department has said it is the lead investigating agency into the death. It has declined to say whether the FBI was helping with the probe into Rich’s death. The new records were found after the records office contacted an unnamed FBI special agent during its search for Rich’s work computer, according to FBI Records Chief Seidel. The other records are a letter from a third-party that accompanied the work computer and two FBI chain of custody forms. None of the records were indexed to Rich inside of the bureau’s central records system and neither the forensic report nor the custody forms mention Rich’s name, according to the FBI. They were also not included in an electronic file created for Rich’s case. The agent claimed that disclosure of the records would harm an FBI investigation into the allegations that Russians had hacked into U.S. systems.

The FBI now wants the court to agree to keep the new records shielded from Brian Huddleston, a Texas resident who filed a lawsuit against the bureau over its ignoring a Freedom of Information request for records on Rich. Bureau officials initially claimed in sworn statements that the FBI had searched for records on Rich but did not locate any. In 2020, for the first time, the FBI admitted it had files from a computer belonging to Rich. Some of those files were then released to Huddleston and made public, including documents that appear to suggest that someone could have paid for his death. The FBI has said it has images from a second computer owned by Rich, which the bureau described as Rich’s personal laptop. A federal judge in September ordered the bureau to hand the images over to Huddleston, finding that the bureau improperly withheld them.

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No way.

Are We Finally Reaching Peak Climate Hysteria? (Spiked)

The madness of the greens is peaking. This week a leading eco-politician in the UK, Caroline Lucas of the Green Party, referred to the building of a new coalmine as a ‘crime against humanity’. Take that in. Once upon a time it was mass murder, extermination, enslavement and the forced deportation of a people that were considered crimes against humanity. Now the building of a mine in Cumbria in north-west England that will create 500 new jobs and produce 2.8million tonnes of coal a year is referred to in such terms. Perhaps the coalmine bosses should be packed off to The Hague. Maybe the men who’ll dig the coal should be forced alongside the likes of ISIS to account for their genocidal behaviour.

We cannot let Ms Lucas’s crazed comments just slide by. We need to reflect on how we arrived at a situation where a mainstream politician, one feted by the media establishment, can liken digging for coal to crimes of extermination. It was in the Guardian – where else? – that Ms Lucas made her feverish claims. On Wednesday, when the government gave the go-ahead to the Cumbria mine, the first new coalmine in Britain for 30 years, Lucas wrote that the whole thing is ‘truly terrible’. This ‘climate-busting, backward-looking coalmine’ is nothing short of a ‘climate crime against humanity’, she said.

It isn’t though, is it? Sorry to be pedantic but it is not a crime to extract coal from the earth. If it were, the leaders of China – where they produce 13million tonnes of coal a day , rather putting into perspective the Cumbria mine’s 2.8million tonnes a year – would be languishing in the clink. I look forward to Ms Lucas performing a citizen’s arrest on Xi Jinping. It certainly is not a crime against humanity. That term entered popular usage during the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis. It refers to an act of evil of such enormity that it can be seen as an assault on all of humankind. Earth to Ms Lucas: extracting coal to make steel – what the Cumbria coal will mostly be used for – is not an affront to humankind. I’ll tell you what is an affront, though: speaking about the burning of coal in the same language that is used to refer to the burning of human beings. That, Caroline, is despicable.

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I still don’t know where the focus on nitrogen came from. Wasn’t it always CO2?

Dutch Gov’t Attempts To Forcibly Close 3,000 Farms For ‘Green’ Agenda (ZH)

Dutch farmers protesting for months over the government’s radical ‘green’ plan to slash nitrogen emissions by 50% – 95% could soon face forced buyouts of their land. “For agricultural entrepreneurs, there will be a stopping scheme that will be as attractive as possible,” Christianne van der Wal, nitrogen minister, recently said in the Dutch parliament. The Dutch government plans to purchase 3,000 “peak polluter” farms via a €24.3 billion ($25.6 billion) fund. Van der Wal said farmers would be offered 100% value for their land, but if voluntary efforts fail, farmers will face forced buyouts. The country is attempting to reduce nitrogen pollution and will make farm purchases if not enough landowners accept buyouts. She added: “There is no better offer coming.”

So, how did this happen? As we explained over the summer, farmers were livid with the Dutch government for following through with their green agenda to reduce nitrogen emissions on farms. Many of these folks took to the streets with their tractors and pitchforks and demanded the government reverse course on crushing the country’s agriculture industry. The Dutch government began implementing new rules on nitrogen activity on farmers and farm buildings as early as 2019. That halted the expansion of dairy, pig, and poultry operations for the last several years, which are significant sources of nitrogen pollution. One Dutch farmer spoke with ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ to discuss the pressure from the government and their move to close down thousands of farms.

“I don’t know what we can expect. For my own family, I hope that one of my sons can continue farming if he wants,” Dutch Farmer Geertjan Kloosterboer said. The Netherlands is trying to reduce emissions and follow through with a green agenda, but it could jeopardize the nation’s food supply and put the world’s supply at risk. Recent data shows the country, which is the size of Maryland, is the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products by value behind the US. Their centrality in the global food supply is indisputable, and so-called green politicians want to destroy the industry in the name of climate change. It seems like the protests aren’t going away anytime soon.

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Brain health.

Viagra Lowers the Risk of Alzheimer’s By Almost 70% (GR)

New research published recently suggests that Pfizer’s erectile dysfunction drug Viagra can decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 69%. The research, which was published in Nature, found that the medication has a direct effect on brain health and significantly reduces the toxic proteins that can cause dementia. The study’s findings are so promising that the drug may someday be used to counter dementia. A new team of experts is preparing to conduct another study that builds on this data but tests the generic version of Viagra — sildenafil — in patients suffering from early Alzheimer’s.

The team of researchers arrived at Viagra’s viability as a treatment for dementia after analyzing 1,600 approved drugs hoping to find one that could be repurposed to fight the root causes of dementia. “Sildenafil, which has been shown to significantly improve cognition and memory in preclinical models, presented as the best drug candidate. Sildenafil may have neuroprotective effects and reduce levels of toxic tau proteins,” said Dr. Feixiong Cheng, the lead researcher on the study, which was conducted by the Cleveland Clinic. Despite the excitement surrounding the study’s promising results, some experts are advising people to not get their hopes up quite yet, as clinical trials are still necessary.

Another recent study uncovered another unlikely weapon in the fight against dementia: coffee. Research suggests that coffee consumption may significantly decrease your chances of developing the disease. The study sheds light on the mysterious disease, for which there is no cure as of now. While coffee does not mitigate or fight Alzheimer’s like some medications do, the study found that people with no memory loss who also drank larger than average amounts of coffee were at less of a risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, which is considered a pre-stage of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Bout

 

 

 

 

Weaver

 

 

Blue-footed booby

 

 


Blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii)

 

 

 

 

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