Alessandro Allori Self portrait c1555
Senator Josh Hawley and Jesse Watters discuss the Obama Administration, the FBI, and the Justice Department falsely accusing the President of being a Russian agent and framing him for treason while covering up illegal foreign bribes made to the Clinton Foundation:
"The whole… pic.twitter.com/lR7LZqxmKF
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) May 16, 2023
🧵THREAD: The FBI worked as a disinformation outlet for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee to frame Donald Trump as a Russian agent to sway the outcome of the 2016 election, and then they did it again with Hunter Biden's laptop during the 2020 election:
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) May 16, 2023
World leaders have spent hours, real hours, talking to Putin trying to avert this modern-day catastrophe. But Putin chose disaster. He is alone. And now everyone understands what we understand. Putin is a disaster. This is the answer. Putin is aggression. And he does not want… pic.twitter.com/PqjdErthuU
— Spriter (@Spriter99880) May 15, 2023
CNN's Jake Tapper and Evan Perez discuss the Durham Report, which suggested no new charges, despite determining that the FBI and DOJ should never have initiated their investigation into Donald Trump, which falsely accused the former President of being a Russian agent:
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) May 15, 2023
The Durham report is an absolutely DAMNING treatise on the weaponization of the FBI against President Trump.
This should be a clarion call for legislative reform. We need to defund and deauthorize government entities that are converted from the just cause of defending our nation… pic.twitter.com/peaeMcVr6q
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) May 16, 2023
BREAKING: Durham Report Exposes Russia Hoax Against Trump
In a shocking revelation, the three-year-long investigation led by special counsel John Durham has concluded that the FBI's comprehensive probe into the alleged connections between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia… pic.twitter.com/vjLd8nsGao
— Mario Nawfal (@MarioNawfal) May 15, 2023
Oz social credit
🏛👁🌐🇦🇺 NEW: Australia introduces social credit to access the internet, through your digital ID.
Citizens need 100 identification points to use social networks.
The police will have access to your accounts, including private messages. pic.twitter.com/dSqA68q26C
— 11☆11 (@FREEDOMWWGIWGA) May 14, 2023
#Macron's order to hang his portrait in the administration of each city from 1,500 residents.
Locals are glad to oblige pic.twitter.com/XkXNhGjVPM
— Arthur Morgan (@ArthurM40330824) May 15, 2023
The Unvaccinated Won't Be Unvaccinated for Long With mRNA in the Food Supply
"We've confirmed: this mRNA stuff is in the food supply," reported attorney @RenzTom. It turns out that Merck has been injecting mRNA into pigs since 2018.
"For all you guys that stood strong and said… pic.twitter.com/jDz6Sij78H
— The Vigilant Fox 🦊 (@VigilantFox) May 16, 2023
There are voices that say Durham intends to go after the FBI next, but I doubt it. He has taken so long with his report that all the usual suspects have had the time to erase -the worst of- their tracks.
The FBI is a cesspit, but fear not: Wray has already made the changes needed. As you were. The smell is hard to bear.
There will be no new charges or arrests. Can you believe it? This has been a coup. There was never any proof for Crossfire Hurricane, but America’s rightfully elected president is gone anyway. And it’s him who’s under investigation, not the people who framed him.
• John Durham: FBI Had No Verified Intel When It Opened Probe On Trump (JTN)
Special Counsel John Durham released a damning final report Monday after more than three years investigating the Russia collusion probe, declaring the FBI had no verified intelligence or evidence when it opened the Crossfire Hurricane probe of President Donald Trump’s campaign in the summer of 2016. The prosecutor, however, recommended no new criminal charges. “Neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation,” Durham wrote in a 300-plus page report sent to Congress and others and obtained by Just the News. DOJ was slated to make the report public later Monday.
The prosecutor faulted the department and the FBI for failing to follow their own standards and allowing a probe to persist, including the surveillance of an American citizen, without basis under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. “Based on the review of Crossfire Hurricane and related intelligence activities, we concluded the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report,” Durham wrote. “The FBI personnel also repeatedly disregarded important requirements when they continued to seek renewals of that FISA surveillance while acknowledging – then and in hindsight – that they did not genuinely believe there was probably cause to believe that the target was knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of foreign power.”
The report’s release touched off instant outrage and impact on Capitol Hill, where House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan tweeted he planned to summon Durham for testimony next week. The FBI immediately reacted, saying Durham’s findings justified the changes that current Director Christopher Wray made after taking over from fired Director James Comey. “The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time. Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented,” the FBI said. “This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect.”
Durham specifically faulted the FBI for relying on evidence from the campaign of 2016 Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, including the now-discredited Steele dossier, saying leadership lacked the necessary distrust of politically motivated allegations. “Our investigation also revealed that senior FBI personnel displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor towards the information that they received, especially information received from politically affiliated persons and entities,” he wrote. “This information in part triggered and sustained Crossfire Hurricane and contributed to the subsequent need for Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.”
“In particular, there was significant reliance on investigative leads provided or funded (directly or indirectly) by Trump’s political opponents. The Department did not adequately examine or question these materials and the motivations of those providing them, even when at about the same time the Director of the FBI and others learned of significant and potentially contrary intelligence.” The special prosecutor pointedly highlighted what he portrayed as a dual system of justice, noting the FBI never opened a counterintelligence probe of Clinton’s campaign, despite receiving intelligence she had authorized a dirty trick to paint Trump as a stooge for Russian President Vladimir Putin to impact the outcome of the election.
“..This drastic action allegedly came on the orders of the Justice Department..”
• IRS Abruptly Removes Investigative Team From Hunter Biden Probe (Straub)
In an alarming move that has raised eyebrows and suspicions about the integrity of federal agencies, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) abruptly removed the entire team working on the high-profile tax fraud investigation of Hunter Biden, first son of President Joe Biden. This drastic action allegedly came on the orders of the Justice Department, adding to the widespread concern among conservatives about potential corruption and the abuse of power within the federal government. The abrupt reassignment of the investigative team has been perceived by many as retaliation against the supervisory special agent whistleblower, who alleged a coverup of the controversial probe. The agent, who has been overseeing the investigation since early 2020, was informed of this sudden personnel change, according to a letter from his attorneys, Mark Lytle and Tristan Leavitt, to Congress.
In the letter, Lytle and Leavitt suggested that the removal of the investigators not only constituted retaliation but could also be construed as an obstruction of a congressional inquiry. The attorneys pointed out that their client had a legal right to make disclosures to Congress under 5 U.S.C. § 2302 and that any attempt to prevent a federal employee from furnishing information to Congress is a direct violation of long-standing appropriations restrictions. They further emphasized that the removal of the experienced investigative team was the very issue the whistleblower initially sought to expose. Hunter Biden [..] is the alleged subject of the coverup claims. Communications retrieved from his abandoned laptop revealed that he had paid up to “half” of his income to his father, President Joe Biden.
This controversy arose simultaneously with the release of the long-awaited report by special counsel John Durham detailing bias in the FBI’s investigation of former President Donald Trump’s alleged links to Russia. The timing of these events has further incensed conservatives, fueling claims of a biased news cycle. The IRS whistleblower first surfaced last month when Lytle informed congressional leaders that his client wished to expose the “preferential treatment” in the Hunter Biden case and the alleged false testimony to Congress by Attorney General Merrick Garland. Garland had repeatedly reassured lawmakers that Delaware US Attorney David Weiss could unilaterally make charging decisions in the investigation. This information comes amid reports of “growing frustration” within the FBI over Weiss’s failure to bring charges against Hunter Biden, despite the bureau concluding most of its work last year.
“..they were instructed to pursue Jan. 6 investigations over child sex crime cases, because they were ‘no longer a priority.'”
• 3 FBI Whistleblowers To Testify On ‘Abuses Of Power’ (DM)
Three FBI officials will testify on alleged ‘abuses of power’ by FBI leadership – ranging from discrimination against conservatives to inflation of domestic terrorism statistics – during a public whistleblower hearing by the House Select Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government Thursday, DailyMail.com has learned exclusively. Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and head of the select committee, has secured the in-person testimony of suspended FBI special agents Garret O’Boyle and Steve Friend, as well as former FBI State Operations Specialist Marcus Allen. President of Empower Oversight Tristan Leavitt will also be testifying. The hearing is set to be held at 9 a.m. ET Thursday and will focus on the ‘abuses of power’ the former officials witnessed.
They will be given the opportunity to detail how they have been ‘retaliated’ against by the FBI, according to a source familiar. O’Boyle and Friend participated in a closed door transcribed interview in February conducted by the select committee. According to notes from the interview, the former agents specifically expressed concerns with instructions from FBI leadership that they focus on pursuing ‘domestic violent extremism’ probes and disregard standard investigative procedures in January 6 cases. In addition, the former officials told the committee that they were instructed to pursue Jan. 6 investigations over child sex crime cases, because they were ‘no longer a priority.’ Specifically, the former agents accuse the FBI of inflating statistics on ‘domestic violent extremism’ to fit the Biden administration’s political narrative that extremism is on the rise nationwide.
‘The manipulative casefile practice creates false and misleading crime statistics, constituting false official federal statements,’ Friend wrote in an affidavit. ‘Instead of hundreds of investigations stemming from an isolated incident at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, FBI and DOJ officials point to significant increases in domestic violent extremism and terrorism around the United States.’ Friend had his security clearance revoked last September after he vocalized concerns to his superiors, which he described in an affidavit as being a clear retaliatory move by the agency against him. O’Boyle’s clearance has also been stripped. Allen, who has not yet sat before the select committee, is expected to present new evidence to the lawmakers Thursday.
“Trump versus RFK, Jr. would bring the people of this country together and refocus the nation’s attention on things that matter. It would also be the Baby Boomer’s last stand.”
• Dirty Secrets (Jim Kunstler)
Like myriad institutions in recent decades, the Democratic Party had come to be dominated by women. Women, being hard-wired for safety-seeking, were easily manipulated by the security state into an hysteria fixated on Donald Trump, who was made to represent everything that seemed unsafe. They gave the game away on Mr. Trump’s inauguration day with their women’s march that featured thousands wearing the emblematic “pussy hats.” Message: don’t think you can have your wicked way with this! The hysteria hasn’t let up since then, and now that Mr. Trump is resurging from a thousand attempts to kill him off like some implacable axe-murderer in a horror movie, the corps of useful idiots is showing signs of nervous exhaustion.
The Democratic Party’s front-man, “Joe Biden” (or the claque behind him backstage), has screwed the pooch on just about every matter of vital public interest at home and abroad, and now this president stands revealed as the head of a racketeering operation that specialized in bribery. Yet, oddly, it is Mr. Trump who has been fed into the cogs of the judiciary on an unending set of Mickey Mouse charges. There’s a pretty fair possibility that none of that will work. The Democrats must suspect this, and their nemesis has declared his intentions for a return to power pretty clearly: fire all the seditionists in the security state, pardon all the people on the Right who were unjustly prosecuted, and commence some righteous prosecutions against people who actually deserve it.
Thus, the Left plunges ever-deeper into mental illness — celebrating it at every opportunity and even shoving it America’s face, Joker-style, in defiance: Here, have another drag queen…. A big part of the Left’s mental illness is the inability to even notice their own self-destructive trajectory. There’s a way out for them but it’s pretty drastic. That would be turning to RFK, Jr. for leadership. Trouble is, Mr. Kennedy intends to go after the Democrats’ patron, the security state itself, which he’s publicly blamed for the deaths of his father and uncle. Bobby Kennedy also happens to be an enemy of the US public health agencies and especially a critic of the Covid-19 vaccines that the Left has hung its identity on. They still can’t admit that getting vaxxed and boosted was a tragic mistake.
But an election contest between RFK, Jr. and Donald Trump would be a most salutary exercise for our country. Both of them want to dismantle the overgrown surveillance apparatus and severely reform the agencies under the executive branch. That is, they are both intent on disarming the security state and the Censorship Industrial Complex it spawned. They are both against the stupid Neo-con wars. Trump versus RFK, Jr. would bring the people of this country together and refocus the nation’s attention on things that matter. It would also be the Baby Boomer’s last stand.
“Ukraine is not a symbol of Freedom & Liberal Democracy. It is a corrupt warmongering Proxy of the US and the Western Globalist Elites”
• Ukraine Is Not A Symbol of Freedom & Liberal Democracy (Muir)
Statements from the U.S. and other Western officials, as well as pervasive accounts in the news media, have created a stunningly misleading image of Ukraine. There has been a concerted effort to portray the country not only as a victim of brutal Russian aggression but as a plucky and noble bulwark of freedom and democracy. The conventional narrative would have us believe that Ukraine is an Eastern European version of Denmark. The promoters of that narrative contend that the ongoing war is not just a quarrel between Russia and Ukraine over Kiev’s ambitions to join NATO and Moscow’s territorial claims in Crimea and the Donbas. No, they insist—the war is part of a global struggle between democracy and authoritarianism, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a leader worthy of nothing less than Winston Churchill’s legacy.
President Biden, in his March 26 remarks on the war, said the conflict was “a battle between democracy and autocracy, between liberty and repression, between a rules-based order and one governed by brute force.” CNN’s John Blake literally compared Ukraine’s cause to America’s in its Revolutionary War. He claimed Ukrainians “are building their own monuments to democracy, with their blood.” The world, he said, “has been transfixed by their battle to repel the mighty Russian army and preserve the birth of democracy in their homeland.” He added that “the war in Ukraine isn’t just a geopolitical struggle—it’s a call to remember. The courage of the Ukrainian people is a reminder of what the U.S. used to be—a ‘beacon of liberty,’ where virtually every schoolchild memorised the ‘Concord Hymn’ poem inscribed at the base of the Minute Man statue.”
In a March 26 USA Today op-ed, John M. Bridgeland, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President George W. Bush, similarly expressed fawning admiration for Zelenskyy and Ukraine’s alleged commitment to democracy. “The world is seeing the bravery of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people, who are willing to die to defend their democracy and freedom,” he wrote. Indeed, Bridgeland said, “No cost is too high [for Ukrainians] to defend their democracy and beloved Ukraine.”
[..] The notion that Ukraine was such an appealing democratic model in Eastern Europe that the country’s mere existence terrified Putin may be a comforting myth to U.S. politicians and pundits, but it is a myth. Ukraine is far from being a democratic-capitalist model and an irresistible magnet for Russia’s groaning masses. The reality is murkier and troubling: Ukraine has long been one of the more corrupt countries in the international system. In its annual report published in January 2022, Transparency International ranked Ukraine 123rd of the 180 countries it examined, with a score of 32 on a one to 100-point scale.
Ukraine’s track record of protecting democracy and civil liberties is not much better than its performance on corruption. In Freedom House’s 2022 report, Ukraine is listed in the “partly free” category, with a score of 61 out of a possible 100. Other countries in that category include such bastions of liberal democracy as Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines (55), Serbia (62), Hungary (59), and Singapore (47). Interestingly, Hungary—which has been a target of vitriolic criticism among progressives in the West because of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s conservative social policy—ranks eight points higher than Ukraine, which is the recipient of uncritical praise from the same Western ideological factions.
This was always a non-story. Makes no sense at all. Next!
• Prigozhin Denies Talking To Kiev About Selling Out Russian Troops (RT)
Evgeny Prigozhin, the head of Russia’s Wagner private military company, claims it would have been “physically impossible” for him to meet with Ukrainian military intelligence agents in Africa to make a treasonous proposal to them. The alleged contacts were described by the Washington Post based on purported leaks from the Pentagon. The outlet claimed on Sunday that classified US documents, which made their way to the public through a Discord server, claim there had been communication between Prigozhin and Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR).
The Wagner head allegedly sought to have Ukrainian troops withdraw from the area around the bitterly contested city of Artyomovsk (known in Ukraine as Bakhmut) in order to ease the pressure on his own troops for a while, in exchange for information on Russian troop positions elsewhere. The alleged contacts were said to take place by phone and an in-person meeting in Africa, where the Wagner Group is also active. Prigozhin dismissed the report as “speculation dumped by the Washington Post” and insisted he had not been to Africa since months before the hostilities in Ukraine broke out in February 2022. He suggested that the newspaper was overstating the supposed intel or had fallen victim to planted disinformation.
The Post said two Ukrainian officials confirmed the contacts between Prigozhin and the GUR, but when the newspaper asked Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky about them, he appeared to be angered and demanded to know who the sources in his government were. “Who is talking about the activities of our intelligence? Because this is the most severe felony in our country,” he said, before accusing the newspaper of trying to help Russia. The Post later redacted this portion of the interview on its website. In a statement, Prigozhin alluded to the apparent act of self-censorship, calling into question the Post’s reliability.
“..the ground will start to be laid for US/NATO to eventually turn rump Ukraine, the Baltic lap dogs, rabid Poland and a few other extras into a sort of Fortress Eastern Europe engaged in a war of attrition against Russia with the potential to last decades. That may be the ultimate argument for Russia to finally go for the jugular, as soon as possible.”
• Cries and Whispers Along the Russian Watchtowers (Pepe Escobar)
Trademark American arrogance/ignorance does not erase the fact there seems to be a serious power struggle among the siloviki. Yevgeny Prigozhin, a siloviki, in fact denounced Shoigu and Gerasimov as incompetent, implying they only keep their posts out of loyalty to President Putin. This is as serious as it gets. Because it’s linked to a key question posed across several educated silos in Moscow: if Russia is widely known to be the strongest military power in the world with the most advanced defensive and offensive missiles, how come they have not wrapped up the whole deal in the Ukrainian battlefield? A plausible answer is that only 200,000 members of the Russian army are currently fighting, and about 400,000 to 600,000 are waiting in reserve for the Ukraine attack. While they wait they are in constant training; so waiting works to Russia’s advantage.
Once the famous “counter-offensive” peters out, Ukraine will be hit with massive force. There will be no negotiated settlement. Only unconditional surrender. What goin’ on right now – the Prigozhin drama – is subordinated to this logic, running in parallel to a quite sophisticated media operation. Yes, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) made several serious mistakes, as well as other Russian institutions, since the start of the SMO. To criticize them in public, constructively, is a salutary exercise. Prighozin’s tactics are a gem; he manipulates a degree of public outrage/indignation to put pressure on the MoD bureaucracy by essentially telling the truth. He could even go as far as naming names: officers who are abandoning different sectors of the frontlines. In contrast, his Wagner “musicians” are pictured as true heroes. Whether Prigozhin’s sound and fury will be enough to fine tune the MoD’s entrenched bureaucracy is an open question.
Still, media coverage of the whole drama is essential; now that these problems are in the public domain, people will expect the MoD to act. And by the way, this is the essential fact: Prighozin has been allowed (italics mine) to go as far as he wants by the Higher Power (the St. Petersburg connection). Otherwise he would be in a revamped-gulag by now. So the next few weeks are absolutely crucial. Putin and the Security Council certainly know what everyone else doesn’t – including Prighozin. The key take away is that the ground will start to be laid for US/NATO to eventually turn rump Ukraine, the Baltic lap dogs, rabid Poland and a few other extras into a sort of Fortress Eastern Europe engaged in a war of attrition against Russia with the potential to last decades. That may be the ultimate argument for Russia to finally go for the jugular, as soon as possible. Otherwise the future will be bleak. Well, not so bleak. Remember Putin: “We haven’t even started anything yet.”
“..Baerbock said that possible arms supplies by third countries to Russia were unacceptable because they could be equated to participation in the conflict..”
• West Acknowledges Direct Involvement In Conflict In Ukraine – UN Envoy
The West has outright acknowledged its direct involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya told a meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday. “Recently [German Foreign Minister] Annalena Baerbock said that possible arms supplies by third countries to Russia were unacceptable because they could be equated to participation in the conflict,” the permanent representative pointed out. “And what about the fact that now the entire military machine of the West is working to keep the war going?” Nebenzya asked. “This is yet another open admission of direct Western involvement in the conflict,” Nebenzya said.
Hungary seems to always cave in the end.
• Hungary Blocks €500 Million Payment To Ukraine (RT)
Hungary has blocked the transfer of €500 million ($544 million) worth of arms and military equipment from the EU to Ukraine, Italy’s ANSA news agency reported on Monday. With Kiev scrambling for Western arms to bolster its long-promised counteroffensive against Russian forces, the package was supposed to be sent next week. The package was supposed to be the eighth drawdown for Ukraine from the European Peace Facility (EPF), a €5.6 billion ($6.08 billion) fund that the bloc uses to finance foreign militaries and reimburse its own members who send arms to foreign conflicts. Prior to last February, the ‘Peace Facility’ had only been used to supply non-lethal equipment to Georgia, Mali, Moldova, Mozambique, and Ukraine, for a total of less than $125 million.
Budapest refused to authorize the latest transfer unless it received “guarantees” that the EPF would remain “global” in its scope, and not be used solely to arm Ukraine, ANSA reported, citing “an informed source.” That Hungary would block the supply of arms to Kiev is not surprising. While Hungary is a member of NATO, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has refused to allow the US-led bloc to send weapons to Ukraine via Hungarian territory. Orban has accused the US and his fellow NATO allies of stoking the conflict “at the expense of European interests,” while his government supports a Chinese plan aimed at resolving the conflict diplomatically. Late last year, Hungary held up an €18 billion ($19.5 billion) tranche of economic aid for Ukraine, which the bloc would have borrowed on global markets. Orban argued that by doing so, the EU would have become “indebted” over Ukraine. He eventually relented when the bloc lifted a freeze it had placed on grant money for Hungary.
In January, Hungary also blocked the release of the seventh tranche of EPF arms for Ukraine, although the package was approved several weeks later. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly called on the West to supply him with heavier weapons and more ammunition ahead of a much-vaunted counteroffensive against Russian forces. Zelensky toured Italy, Germany, the UK, and France in recent days and secured further promises of aid from all four, but he still insists he needs fighter jets and longer-range missiles to make good on his promise to retake the Russian territories of Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk, Lugansk, and Crimea. American military officials have publicly expressed doubt that the Ukrainian military can achieve these goals, and leaked Pentagon documents suggest that Washington is bracing for the failure of Kiev’s offensive.
• Musk Responds To Epstein Subpoena (ZH)
Update: Musk has replied news that he’s been subpoenaed in the US Virgin Islands lawsuit against JPMorgan over their relationship with Epstein. “This is idiotic on so many levels,” said Musk, adding “That cretin never advised me on anything whatsoever.” “The notion that I would need or listen to financial advice from a dumb crook is absurd.” Lastly, Musk claims that JPMorgan “let Tesla down ten years ago, despite having Tesla’s global commercial banking business, which I then withdrew. I have never forgiven them.”
* * *
Elon Musk was issued a subpoena by the US Virgin Islands as part of its lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase over the bank’s alleged facilitation of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring, a court filing revealed Monday. According to the filing, the Virgin Islands has attempted to serve Musk since late April, because Epstein “may have referred or attempted to refer” Musk as a client to JPMorgan. “The USVI hired an investigative firm to try to locate an address from Musk, and also contacted one of the CEO’s lawyers, who in the past has waived the requirement of him being personally served with legal documents in past federal cases, according to the filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.” -CNBC.
“The Government contacted Mr. Musk’s counsel via email to ask if he would be authorized to accept service on Mr. Musk’s behalf in this matter but did not receive a response confirming or denying his authority,” reads the filing. JPMorgan is accused of servicing approximately 55 Epstein accounts between 1998 and 2013, years after his 2006 arrest for soliciting minors in Florida. Meanwhile, the US Virgin Islands has also been unable to subpoena Google co-founder Larry Page in connection with its investigation into Jeffrey Epstein, according to federal court filings.
“what’s happening in the banking crisis today is that debts grow faster than the economy can pay..”
• US Empire of Debt Headed for Collapse (Pepe Escobar)
Prof. Michael Hudson’s new book, The Collapse of Antiquity: Greece and Rome as Civilization’s Oligarchic Turning Point” is a seminal event in this Year of Living Dangerously when, to paraphrase Gramsci, the old geopolitical and geoeconomic order is dying and the new one is being born at breakneck speed. Prof. Hudson’s main thesis is absolutely devastating: he sets out to prove that economic/financial practices in Ancient Greece and Rome – the pillars of Western Civilization – set the stage for what is happening today right in front of our eyes: an empire reduced to a rentier economy, collapsing from within. And that brings us to the common denominator in every single Western financial system: it’s all about debt, inevitably growing by compound interest.
Ay, there’s the rub: before Greece and Rome, we had nearly 3,000 years of civilizations across West Asia doing exactly the opposite. These kingdoms all knew about the importance of canceling debts. Otherwise their subjects would fall into bondage; lose their land to a bunch of foreclosing creditors; and these would usually try to overthrow the ruling power. Aristotle succinctly framed it: “Under democracy, creditors begin to make loans and the debtors can’t pay and the creditors get more and more money, and they end up turning a democracy into an oligarchy, and then the oligarchy makes itself hereditary, and you have an aristocracy.” Prof. Hudson sharply explains what happens when creditors take over and “reduce all the rest of the economy to bondage”: it’s what’s called today “austerity” or “debt deflation”.
So “what’s happening in the banking crisis today is that debts grow faster than the economy can pay. And so when the interest rates finally began to be raised by the Federal Reserve, this caused a crisis for the banks.” Prof. Hudson also proposes an expanded formulation: “The emergence of financial and landholding oligarchies made debt peonage and bondage permanent, supported by a pro-creditor legal and social philosophy that distinguishes Western civilization from what went before. Today it would be called neoliberalism.”
Egon talks his book.
• A Disorderly Reset With Gold Revalued By Multiples (Egon von Greyerz)
Tectonic shifts lie ahead. These will involve a US and European debt crisis ending in a debt collapse, a precipitous fall of the dollar and the Euro with Gold emerging as a reserve asset but at multiples of the current price. The next phase of the fall of the West is here and will soon accelerate. It has been both precipitated and aggravated by the absurd sanctions of Russia. These sanctions are hurting Europe badly and affecting the US in a way that they didn’t expect, but was obvious to some of us. The Romans understood that free trade was essential between all the countries that they conquered. But the US administration blocks have both the money and the ability to trade of the countries they don’t like.
But shooting yourself in the foot really hurts and the consequences are in front of our eyes. No foreign country will want to hold US debt or dollars. That is a catastrophic problem for the US as their deficits will grow exponentially in coming years. So a debt collapse is not just a looming disaster but a bomb hurling towards the US economy at supersonic speed. With the imminent death of the petrodollar and explosion of US debt, there is only one solution for the funding requirements of the US Government – the FED which will stand as the sole buyer of US Treasuries.
So the DEBT spiral of higher debt, higher deficits, more Treasuries, higher rates and falling bond prices will soon turn into a DEATH spiral with a collapsing dollar, high inflation and most probably hyperinflation. Sounds like default to me but that word will probably never be used officially. It is hard to admit defeat even when it stares you in the face! Yes, the US will probably obfuscate the situation with CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies) but since that is just another form of Fiat money, it will at best buy a little time but the end result will be the same.
“American life expectancy during this period sharply declined by a staggering 2.5 years from 2019 through 2022..”
• Nonprofit Hospitals Made Huge Profits During Pandemic (ET)
Federal officials gave more than $23 billion in COVID-19 aid to the nation’s top 20 nonprofit hospitals, even as a 62 percent increase in their collective net assets led to parallel surges in the institutions’ total profits and revenues during 2018–2021, according to a new report. Only two of the 20 institutions have repaid the government for the COVID-19 aid they received. “The 20 largest nonprofit hospitals in the country continued making massive profits while their cumulative net assets soared to $324.3 billion in 2021, up from $200.6 billion in 2018. “Those hospital systems received congressional COVID bailouts of $23 billion and only two providers partially paid their COVID bailout back,” according to the report compiled by Open The Books, an Illinois-based research nonprofit that compiles and posts spending by all levels of government in the United States.
The two institutions that have partially repaid the government weren’t identified. The biggest jump among the top 20 was 92 percent by the Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, Minnesota, whose assets surged to $17.7 billion in 2021 from $9.2 billion in 2018. The Mayo Clinic received $350,000 in federal COVID-19 aid, the lowest amount received among the top 20 institutions. The Cleveland Clinic Health System, based in Independence, Ohio, saw its assets rise 60 percent, to $15.7 billion from $9.8 billion, while receiving $118 million in federal COVID-19 aid. Intermountain Healthcare, based in Salt Lake City, the 12th-largest of the top 20, enjoyed a 63 percent growth in net assets to $11.6 billion from $7.1 billion; Intermountain received $518 million in aid.
[..] As the revenue poured in for the 20 hospitals, compensation for their top executives soared, often beyond $10 million annually, according to the report. For example, the CEO of Ascension Healthcare, which is based in St. Louis and is the nation’s second-largest such system, received $13 million in 2021 and more than $22 million over the period covered by the study. [..] The recipient among the top 20 of the most COVID-19 aid was San Francisco-based CommonSpirit Health with $3.6 billion, followed by Providence St. Joseph Center with $3 billion, Ascension Healthcare with $2.7 billion, Livonia, Michigan-based Livonia Health with $2.3 billion and Sutter Health, based in Sacramento, California, with $1.7 billion. Meanwhile, the overall health of Americans got worse between 2018 and 2021. “American life expectancy during this period sharply declined by a staggering 2.5 years from 2019 through 2022. While ‘comparable country averages’ rebounded from a COVID-related drop in 2021, the United States continued declining in life expectancy,” the report found.
Yeah, “The Science” doesn’t do it anymore. You’ll have to work again.
• Climate Sceptics Target Scientists For Vicious Abuse On Musk’s Twitter (G.)
Some of the UK’s top scientists are struggling to deal with what they describe as a huge rise in abuse from climate crisis deniers on Twitter since the social media platform was taken over by Elon Musk last year. Since then, key figures who ensured “trusted” content was prioritised have been sacked, according to one scientist, and Twitter’s sustainability arm has vanished. At the same time several users with millions of followers who propagate false statements about the climate emergency, including Donald Trump and rightwing culture warrior Jordan Peterson, have had their accounts reinstated. Climate scientists say the change has been stark, and they are fighting to make themselves heard over a “barrage” of often hostile comments.
“There’s been a massive change,” said Mark Maslin, professor of earth system science at University College London and the author of popular books including How to Save Our Planet. “I get so much abuse and rude comments now. It’s happening to all of us, but I challenge the climate deniers so I’ve been really targeted.” Maslin says he used to have regular meetings with Sean Boyle, Twitter’s former head of sustainability, who was laid off in Musk’s mass cull of staff shortly after he took over in Aprll 2022. Maslin said Boyle discussed the platform’s work to develop ways of ensuring that trusted information was pushed to the top. “They were using climate change as a good test bed, because it was fairly clear who the good and bad actors were,” Maslin said. “But he was sacked and Twitter became the wild west.”
Maslin said he will stay on the platform and push back against conspiracy theories with scientific evidence. “I want people to understand there are solutions. There is a real need for us to be on social media defending the truth, however nasty the responses get.” But not all scientists have found standing up to regular hostility an easy feat. Doug McNeall, a statistician working on climate change at the Met Office Hadley Centre at Exeter University, said he had blocked or muted many accounts on Twitter even before Musk’s arrival. “I got to the point where it was definitely affecting my mental health,” he said. “I spent years debating quite strongly with climate sceptics, including people I assume were paid,” he added. “But there can be a real personal cost interacting over a long time with people who are abusing you.”
• Biden Finally Draws Larger Crowd Than Trump (BBee)
The mainstream media has been heaping praise on President Biden for finally drawing a larger crowd than former President Trump. According to reports, hundreds of thousands are gathering in El Paso and it’s all because of President Biden. “These are truly historic numbers we are seeing! Trump could never get this many people even at his biggest rallies,” gushed CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. “This is an incredible moment for President Biden. He’s clearly resonating with the American people — well, the people, anyway — and it’s clear that his policies are making a real difference.”
Upon seeing the massive crowds, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow added, “This just goes to show that people are hungry for real leadership and real strength. President Biden is clearly delivering on that front.” Many news sites praised the crowd for its youthfulness and diversity. “Just look at how young of a crowd Biden pulls!” exclaimed Anderson Cooper. “All those unaccompanied minors — I mean democrat voters and it’s all thanks to Biden.” When asked for comment, even Trump had to admit that it was a “tremendous and unbelievably large crowd of people that — to be quite frank with you — I could never draw, believe me!”
— Nature is Amazing ☘️ (@AMAZlNGNATURE) May 15, 2023
Have you ever seen a flower mantis? pic.twitter.com/KWWjERZwHF
— Nature is Amazing ☘️ (@AMAZlNGNATURE) May 15, 2023
Alces alces, known as moose in North America and elk in other regions of the world, can reach a height of 2.3 m (7ft 6") from hoof to shoulder
[read more: https://t.co/CeOg7mUnc1]
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) May 15, 2023
— Nature is Amazing ☘️ (@AMAZlNGNATURE) May 16, 2023
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