Mar 112024
 
 March 11, 2024  Posted by at 9:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  36 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Femmes d’Alger -Women of Algiers (after Delacroix) 1955

 

A Trump Criminal Trial Could Run Right Through 2024 Election (Turley)
Orban Says Trump Pledged Not to Provide Financial Aid to Ukraine (Sp.)
Old Man Shouting, “The American Empire is Doing Great!” (Patrick Lawrence)
Can Americans Have Hope? (Paul Craig Roberts)
No Borders? No America (Justin Smith)
NATO Can No Longer Hide Its Military Presence in Ukraine – Zakharova (Sp.)
France Just Can’t Calm Down, Itching to Start World War III (Sp.)
West Is Conducting ‘All-Out Militarization’ To Defeat Russia – Vucic (ZH)
‘We Shouldn’t Have Gone Into Ukraine’ – Biden (RT)
Islamic World Has Let Palestinians Down – Erdogan (RT)
Erdogan Among ‘Greatest Anti-Semites In History’ – Israeli FM (RT)
Harvard University, Formerly Great, now Corrupted by Money (Paul Craig Roberts)
Special Counsel Files Blistering Reply to Hunter Motion to Dismiss (Turley)
Open Letter to the People of Switzerland, Federal Council, Parliament (GR)
UK Ranked Second-Most Miserable Country In The World (RT)

 

 

 

 

Pelosi Schumer

 

 

Obama

 

 

 

 

Zhirinovsky

 

 

Tucker Steve Kirsch

 

 

Tucker Jordan Peterson, Conrad Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Smith insisted that the oft-cited Justice Department policy to avoid such proceedings within 60 days of an election would not be applied in Trump’s case..”

A Trump Criminal Trial Could Run Right Through 2024 Election (Turley)

“This trial will not yield to the election cycle.” Those words of U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan last year made clear that she will not consider that Donald Trump will likely be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee in setting the schedule for his federal trial in Washington, D.C. Most recently, in the federal prosecution in Florida, Special Counsel Jack Smith declared that he will not consider himself bound by the Justice Department’s longstanding policy of not bringing charges or holding trials of candidates close to an election. With the Supreme Court reviewing the immunity question (and a decision not expected until June), a nightmare scenario is unfolding in which Trump could be tried not just before the general election, but actually through November’s election. Chutkan has insisted that her refusal to consider Trump’s candidacy is simply denying special treatment to the former president.

But there is nothing typical about how she and others have handled the case. The fact that Chutkan was pushing for a March trial date shows just how extraordinary her handling has been. In the D.C. courts, with thousands of stacked up cases, that would be a rocket docket for a complex case of this kind. There are roughly 770,000 pending cases in roughly 100 district courts around the country. The backlog of pending criminal cases in the federal court system increased by more than a quarter in the last five years. Even when defendants plead guilty, criminal cases average 10 months. If a trial is needed, it runs on average to two years, absent serious complications over classified or privileged material. Smith indicted Trump less than a year ago. At every juncture, Smith has tried to expedite and spur the case along. This has included an attempt to cut off standard appellate options for Trump. It seems as if the entire point is to try Trump before the election. Smith has offered no reason, other than that he wants voters to consider the outcome of the trial.

It is a rare acknowledgement of a desire for a trial to become a factor in an election. Chutkan has shown the same determination. The judge was criticized for comments she made before any charges were brought that strongly suggested she thought Trump should be criminally charged. Chutkan told one defendant that he showed “blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day.” In another case, Chutkan told the defendant that it was unfair that he might go to prison but “the architects of that horrific event will likely never be charged.” When asked to recuse herself, Chutkan denied the clear implication of her own words. She stated that she has not expressly stated that “’President Trump should be prosecuted’ and imprisoned… And the defense does not cite any instance of the court ever uttering those words or anything similar.” Of course, neither the court nor the prosecutors seem willing to apply a similarly deferential view of the meaning of Trump’s words within the context of the case.

There, the implications are sufficient for that “one person” described earlier by the court. Chutkan is now reportedly telling parties in other cases that she will be out of the country in August, and that defendants will have to delay any proceedings in light of her plans…unless she can try Trump. She told lawyers that she will stick with her schedule unless “I’m in trial in another matter that has not yet returned to my calendar.” Given the apparent motivation of the trial court to try Trump before the election, the only other source of restraint would be the Justice Department itself. Smith, however, has insisted that he will show no such restraint, even if he tries Trump through the election. In his filings in Florida, Smith insisted that the oft-cited Justice Department policy to avoid such proceedings within 60 days of an election would not be applied in Trump’s case. He insisted that, since everyone knows about the allegations, there would be no harm or foul in holding him for trial for the weeks before the election as his opponent, President Biden, is free to traverse the country campaigning.

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“Trump said that if he returns, he will not do this, [he will] not [allocate] a penny. And then this war will end..”

Orban Says Trump Pledged Not to Provide Financial Aid to Ukraine (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump said that he would not provide financial assistance to Ukraine if elected this fall, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said. On Friday, Trump met with Orban at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida to discuss a wide range of issues of common interest for Hungary and the United States. “If the Americans do not give weapons and money, and the Europeans follow them, then the war will end. If the Americans do not give money, then the Europeans are not able to finance this war themselves, and then it will end.

Trump is not president now, but his party interferes when the Democrats want to send money to the war. Trump said that if he returns, he will not do this, [he will] not [allocate] a penny. And then this war will end,” Orban said in an interview with Hungarian broadcaster M1. Trump and Orban are longtime allies who share conservative political views and have publicly expressed mutual respect and support. Orban has thrown support behind Trump both in the US presidential race and the legal challenges he is facing.

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“These are ideas so old they leave the U.S. in a state of ever more extreme isolation in a world eager to get on with the 21st century..”

Old Man Shouting, “The American Empire is Doing Great!” (Patrick Lawrence)

Democratic elites and the reporters who clerk for them were effusively approving of Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech last Thursday evening—not so much for what he said, which came nothing new, as for the demeanor of our enfeebled president. Never mind that Biden reduced an occasion intended to address all Americans as to the condition of their nation to a cheap stump speech. He avoided falling down for his hour at the podium while stringing coherent sentences (mostly) together in the cause of his political survival. That is what counted. “This was not Old Man Joe,” Peter Baker fairly ejaculated in Friday morning’s New York Times. “This was Forceful Joe. This was Angry Joe. This was Loud Joe. This was Game–On Joe.” Wow. I seemed to have missed that, Joe.

I saw Joe who trades in hollow appearances. This was Joe urging both houses of Congress and 32 million television viewers to join in making believe we still live in the 20th century. This was Joe pretending America’s global primacy is intact. This was Joe refusing to recognize the emergence of new poles of power and the high cost this refusal exacts. “A nation that stands as a beacon to the world. A nation in a new age of possibilities”: You wouldn’t believe an American public figure, to say nothing of a president, would still trade in this kind of exhausted pabulum. Denial of this kind, we must not fail to remind ourselves, does not come cheap. You have to wonder who is driving the bus after listening to a speech as vapid as Biden’s, and I will attempt an answer to this question in due course. Here is the passage in Biden’s speech that most aroused all the Peter Baker liberals eager to see him reelected in November:

“My fellow Americans, the issue facing our nation isn’t how old we are, it’s how old are our ideas…. [Y]ou can’t lead America with ancient ideas that only take us back. To lead America, the land of possibilities, you need a vision for the future and what can and should be done.” These remarks—Biden rehearsed them severally in preceding days—bring us to some very difficult recognitions, even if Biden’s speechwriters intended them otherwise. No recent president I can think of has proven more abjectly bereft of new ideas than Joe Biden. The reckless support of “the Jewish state,” the proxy war in Ukraine, the obsessive Russophobia, the provocations across the Taiwan Strait, the covert operations in Syria and elsewhere, the sanction regimes imposed on too many nations to count, the vassalization of Europe: There is no new thinking in any of this. These are ideas so old they leave the U.S. in a state of ever more extreme isolation in a world eager to get on with the 21st century. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., is the face of the American imperium as it insists on prolonging itself. This is not a role with any originality or vision to it.

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“..the elites could permit Trump to assume the Presidency because they know that they can prevent him from achieving what those who elected him want..”

“.. If all else fails, the bullets that destroyed JFK and RFK are available.”

Can Americans Have Hope? (Paul Craig Roberts)

The issue that faces us is: There is no possibility whatever of Biden being reelected. The fool lined up with Israel in the genocide of the Palestinian people. The fool has lost the war in Ukraine that absorbed untold billions of American money. The fool has violated his oath of office and has not only allowed but has actively participated in bringing in during his 4 years 48 cities the size of Pittsburgh full of immigrant-invaders, actually flying in at the expense of US taxpayers 320,000 immigrant-invaders. The fool is signing over to an international bureaucracy, WHO, the determination of your health care, which as of May of this year will be out of your hands. I could go on, but how can a candidate described by his own Department of Justice to be too incompetent to stand trial for his illegal possession of secret national security documents be sufficiently competent to be President of the United States and to have in his incompetent hands, so ruled by his own Justice Department, the nuclear briefcase?

How can the Democrats run a candidate for president who has been ruled incompetent by his own government? How is it that Democrat state judges, attorneys general, and secretaries of state illegitimately rule that Trump cannot be on the Democrat states ballots because he is an “insurrectionist”? Trump has not been convicted as an insurrectionist. Why do these dumbshit Demorats think that their assertion amounts to a conviction? Moreover the 14th Amendment assigns that decision to the US Congress, not to state judges, attorney generals, and secretaries of state. Are the Democrats so utterly stupid and incompetent that they do not understand basic law and cannot understand that they are asserting a power that they do not have? Yes, I believe that is the case. For decades Democrats have been appointing legal and constitutional illiterates to the judiciary, knowing that the only way Democrats can achieve a one-party tyrannical state is by using stupid people to weaponize law.

With polls showing that 90% of the voting population regard Biden as too old or too incapable to serve as president, why are the Democrats running him? Is it because they have no other candidate? Or is it because the Democrats have a plan to move Trump aside and neutralize him? Biden has nonexistent chances of winning. This makes it impossible for the Democrats to steal the third national election in a row. To steal an election the vote count has to be close. Otherwise, it is not believable. Perhaps the Democrats have a plan for derailing Trump? Earlier I suggested that the Democrats would have Biden resign for medical reasons. Kamala would become president. She would be instructed to choose Hillary as her VP and then resign herself. This would leave Hillary and her machine in power prior to the election. Then the border conflict between Washington and Texas would be heated up. There would be talk of civil war, and the prospect would be used by Hillary to declare martial law to put down rebellion and cancel the election.

As much sense as this makes for the Democrats, there is little evidence that they are moving in this direction. So how will they keep Trump out of office? As Trump has declared war on the American ruling elites,they are determined to keep him away from power. Has Trump been re-educated so that he no longer wants normal relations with Russia? We know he is in Israel’s pocket, which is a great gift to the control that the establishment has over Trump. The question before us is: Does Trump want vindication by reelection more than he wants to overthrow the elite and return government to the people as democracy requires? If he hasn’t struck a deal with the elites, why would they allow him, their enemy, be in the Oval Office? Could it be that the elite know how much more powerful they are compared to a mere US president? When it comes down to the question, what can Trump do?

If he is able to understand the situation and to identify people able and willing to help him take power from the ruling elite and to restore power to the people, he still has the problem of getting a bought-and-paid-for US Senate to approve his appointments. Remember, Trump’s appointment of General Flynn lasted two weeks. My updated opinion is that the elites could permit Trump to assume the Presidency because they know that they can prevent him from achieving what those who elected him want, thereby demoralizing the American citizens who had hope that a leader would restore and revitalize their nation. They know that they can orchestrate an economic catastrophe that would destroy Trump’s presidency and keep Republicans out of office for many years. If all else fails, the bullets that destroyed JFK and RFK are available. There is no doubt that the corrupt US media would attribute Trump’s assassination to “a lone gunman.”

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“Don’t let the enemies-from-within end America in so despicable a manner. Don’t let this be how America ends..”

No Borders? No America (Justin Smith)

Former President Donald Trump has promised to start the largest mass deportation of illegal aliens in U.S. history, if he wins the upcoming election, and he plans to use the military to implement it, rightfully so. As reported in the Washington Post [February 21st 2024], Karoline Leavitt, spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, stated: “Americans can expect that immediately upon President Trump’s return to the Oval Office, he will restore all his prior policies, implement brand new crackdowns that will send shock waves to all the world’s criminal smugglers, and marshal every federal and state power necessary to institute the largest deportation operation in American history” as she also added that illegal aliens “should not get comfortable because very soon they will be going home.”

We have the absolute right and a duty as sovereign citizens, living in sovereign states, to defend ourselves and our families, in the wake of a lawless federal government, this lawless Biden regime. The authority rests within the Constitution which has always allowed for the use of the States’ militias or the military to be mobilized for just such circumstances, and although we can be certain that Biden and some state governors will keep refusing to utilize the mechanisms at their disposal to fast-track the removal of these invaders, we have the right to gather ourselves armed with pistols and rifles — those of us able with the time and backbone to do so — to go to the border and tell the Border Patrol to do join us and do their Constitutional duty to stop the millions more who will try to cross between now and January 2025.

I oft suggested in years past, half-jokingly, not so much anymore, that we should put them on a plane, parachutes optional, and shove them out over Mexico. This comment has become so much more full of meaning, now that we know the Biden regime has actively been seeking out these illegal caravans and flying their members into America. No matter how they arrive, by a fast jet, a slow boat or a reliable bus or train, we must send them back on a super-charged bus or jet just as quickly. Set about to deport every last one of them, and then effectively and totally seal the border and place a ten year moratorium on all immigration, legal and illegal, or until we have our nation and our population straightened out in a fashion that puts us back on a path to the same level of exceptionalism that used to be the rule in America and removes or eradicates, with extreme prejudice, those radicals who seek to fundamentally transform America and end our republic.

Don’t let the enemies-from-within end America in so despicable a manner. Don’t let this be how America ends. Fight back like hell, and when the time is right, make the bastards who have committed this treason against America pay with their own lives.

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“..France and Poland have no right to speak on behalf of NATO, and the alliance’s intervention in the conflict would “erase the path to diplomacy.”

NATO Can No Longer Hide Its Military Presence in Ukraine – Zakharova (Sp.)

Spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova commented on the statement by Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski about the presence of soldiers NATO countries in Ukraine, telling Sputnik: “They couldn’t hide it any longer.” Earlier in the day, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said during a panel discussion at an event dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the country’s accession to the alliance that some NATO countries have already sent their military to Ukraine. The event was broadcasted on the Sejm RP YouTube channel. “NATO soldiers are already present in Ukraine,” Sikorski said. Sikorski added that he is not going to disclose which states sent their military there, “unlike some politicians.” Earlier, the diplomat Sikorski said that the presence of NATO forces in Ukraine “was not unthinkable,” adding that he appreciated Macron’s initiative on the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, in turn, expressed his opinion that Warsaw needs to build a large airport to transport NATO troops. At the end of February, Macron said that France would do everything to prevent Russia “from winning this war.” According to him, the leaders of Western countries have discussed the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine and, although no consensus had been reached in this regard, nothing could be ruled out. Later, the French president, who was sharply criticized for his statements, noted that all his words were carefully considered. He also emphasized that Paris “has no limits or red lines” on the issue of assistance to Kiev. At the same time, the authorities of many European countries stated that there is no talk of transferring military personnel to Ukraine. In particular, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Defense Minister Boris Pistorius emphasized that Germany would not send its military personnel to the republic.

In addition, the head of the German government clarified that NATO countries as a whole are not going to do this. Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto likewise said that France and Poland have no right to speak on behalf of NATO, and the alliance’s intervention in the conflict would “erase the path to diplomacy.” Commenting on Sikorski’s revelation, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik that the alliance’s members could no longer hide it. In his annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly in late February, President Vladimir Putin warned that the consequences of a possible NATO intervention in Ukraine would be tragic for the alliance’s deployed troops.

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“It is not for Russia to tell us how we should help Ukraine in the coming months or years..”

France Just Can’t Calm Down, Itching to Start World War III (Sp.)

France is forming a coalition of nations that are willing to consider the possibility of deploying Western forces to Ukraine, Politico reports. On Friday, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné travelled to Lithuania to hold a meeting with his Baltic and Ukrainian counterparts to promote the idea that foreign forces might assist Ukraine in tasks such as de-mining. Séjourné repeatedly mentioned mine clearance operations as a potential area of assistance, stating it “might mean having some personnel, [but] not to fight.” “It is not for Russia to tell us how we should help Ukraine in the coming months or years,” Séjourné said at a meeting chaired by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and attended by his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.

The newspaper recalled French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks about the possibility of sending servicemen from Western countries to Ukraine. Subsequently most EU members, including Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland, clarified they had no such plans. However, as Politico writes, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania appeared “much more open to the idea.” Commenting on Macron’s statements, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that NATO troops’ potential boots on the ground in Ukraine will lead to an inevitable conflict between Russia and the alliance. Russia has repeatedly warned NATO countries that arms supplies to Ukraine would be considered legitimate targets. Moscow has accused NATO countries of “playing with fire” by arming Ukraine, emphasizing that such actions hinder the possibility of Russia-Ukraine negotiations.

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“The current trend is toward total militarization and a five-fold build-up in all respects..”

West Is Conducting ‘All-Out Militarization’ To Defeat Russia – Vucic (ZH)

Last week we detailed that during Ukrainian President Zelensky’s visit to Albania where he appealed for more weapons from Balkan countries, he pushed the idea that all Western-friendly Balkan states should have a pathway to the EU and NATO. And at the same time French President Emmanuel Macron has been busy floating the possibility of Western troops deploying to Ukraine. Albania is of course a chief regional rival to Moscow’s close ally and friend Serbia. Jahja Muhasilovic, a political analyst on the Balkans, had commented of Zelensky’s rare Balkan trip that “Albania is known to be one of the staunchest supporters of limiting Russia’s influence here in the region.” “In a way, Zelensky’s visit in Albania is having that geopolitical connotation. He is probably counting on the Western Balkan countries not to help them militarily because they are limited, but through their lobbying part that they can play in continuing the armament of the Ukrainian troops,” he explained.

In fresh comments this weekend, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has weighed in and responded to ongoing calls from Western officials to urgently send more weapons to Kiev. Vucic has accused the West of pursuing a policy of “total militarization” toward defeating Russian, which puts the region and the world on the brink of disaster and stumbling to WW3. “What is happening now is madness,” he was cited in regional media as saying. “They all thought that Putin would be easily defeated. Now they see that this is not so.” “The current trend is toward total militarization and a five-fold build-up in all respects,” the Serbian president said further during a visit to the Belgrade Military Technical Institute. Vucic has also warned against European countries sending their troops to Ukraine to confront Russian forces, saying this would immediately and unpredictably escalate the war.

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“He didn’t mix it up. He can no longer retain to himself what everyone understands – the US have disgraced themselves in the bloodiest manner with the whole Ukrainian project..”

‘We Shouldn’t Have Gone Into Ukraine’ – Biden (RT)

In another of his gaffes, Joe Biden has said that Washington made a mistake by going into Ukraine. The US president was actually talking about a different country in another part of the world. In the course of an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, Biden was criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that by ignoring civilian casualties during the IDF’s military operation in Gaza, he was “hurting Israel more than he’s helping Israel.” According to the latest data from the Gaza health ministry, 31,045 people have been killed and 72,654 others wounded since October 7, after which the IDF began its attacks on the Palestinian enclave in response to the Hamas incursion into Israel, in which an estimated 1,200 people lost their lives and over 200 were taken hostage. Biden recalled how, during his visit to Israel early in the conflict, he had warned Netanyahu against making a “mistake” that the US made after 9/11.

“America made a mistake. We went after Osama bin Laden until we got him, but we shouldn’t have gone into Ukraine…” the 81-year-old said. The president quickly corrected himself, saying: “We shouldn’t have gone into the whole thing in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Those military campaigns by the US “caused more problems than they cured,” he added. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova infused the subject with a little sarcasm and said Moscow actually disagreed with the reporting in the media, that Biden had simply confused Ukraine with Iraq and Afghanistan. “He didn’t mix it up. He can no longer retain to himself what everyone understands – the US have disgraced themselves in the bloodiest manner with the whole Ukrainian project,” she wrote on Telegram on Sunday.

After repelling Ukraine’s counteroffensive last year, Russian forces have been steadily improving frontline positions, capturing the strategic stronghold of Adveevka in Russia’s People’s Republic of Donetsk last month, and several other settlements. Washington has been Ukraine’s primary backer since the escalation to armed confrontation in February 2022 of long-simmering conflicts between Moscow and Kiev, and has provided over $111 billion in military and financial assistance. However, in recent months, US aid has subsided drastically as the Biden administration struggles to overcome Republicans’ resistance to its efforts at pushing through another $60-billion in aid for Ukraine. It’s not the first time that Biden has confused countries and places. In June, he said that “Putin is losing the war in Iraq.” In a more recent blunder, he said a week ago that the US and partners were discussing “airdrops of food and supplies into Ukraine,” while actually meaning proposed airdrops into Gaza.

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They left it all to the Houthis.

Islamic World Has Let Palestinians Down – Erdogan (RT)

Muslim-majority countries did not do enough to stop Israeli forces from killing Palestinian civilians in Gaza, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said. He made his comment as the war between Israel and Hamas entered its sixth month. “We have all witnessed together how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights became just a piece of paper when it comes to the right to live for Palestinian children, women and innocent civilians,” the Turkish leader said at an event in Istanbul on Saturday. Erdogan went on to argue that the war in the Middle East “has shown us that the Islamic world still has very significant shortcomings, especially in terms of acting in unity” when attempting to pressure Israel to end its operation in Gaza. Unfortunately, the Islamic world, with its population of nearly 2 billion people, has failed to properly fulfil its brotherly duty to the Palestinians.

The president said that, despite the “hard work and many efforts in the diplomatic field,” the Muslim-majority countries ultimately “could not prevent the deaths of innocent children of Gaza from hunger, bullets and bombs.” Ankara has delivered some 40,000 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza by air and sea, Erdogan said. The remarks came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the offensive on Rafah, a major city near Gaza’s border with Egypt. The city and its surroundings became crowded with refugees after the Israel Defense Forces instructed Palestinians to flee the northern part of the enclave. Netanyahu has rejected international calls for a ceasefire, arguing that the IDF must clear out “the last Hamas stronghold” in Rafah. Israel declared war on Hamas after the militant group unexpectedly attacked southern Israeli cities on October 7, killing some 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages. More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the fighting began last year, according to local authorities.

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“Netanyahu and his hateful administration have added their names to the list of ‘today’s Nazis’ alongside Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pol Pot, Franco and other assassins of the modern era..”

Erdogan Among ‘Greatest Anti-Semites In History’ – Israeli FM (RT)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ranks among the worst anti-Semites in history because of his stance on the Gaza conflict, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has claimed.In a speech on Saturday, Erdogan compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Nazi German dictator Adolf Hitler, referring to the relentless IDF attacks on Gaza, which have killed at least 30,960 people and wounded 72,524 others, according to the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave. He also again refused to label Hamas a terrorist organization, saying Ankara “firmly backs” the leadership of the Palestinian armed group. Katz, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, responded to the Turkish president’s remarks a few hours later on X (formerly Twitter), in both Hebrew and Turkish.

Hamas committed “murders and sexual assaults” during its incursion into Israel on October 7, in which more than 1,100 people were killed and some 240 taken hostage, he said, claiming that Erdogan’s support for the group makes him one “of the greatest oppressors and anti-Semites in history. ”Türkiye has become “the largest supporter of terrorism in the world, along with Iran,” which brings “shame” on the country, the diplomat insisted. In his address in Istanbul, Erdogan, who has been among the harshest critics of Israel in recent months, said the leadership of the Jewish state was responsible for “crimes against humanity” in Gaza. “Netanyahu and his hateful administration have added their names to the list of ‘today’s Nazis’ alongside Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pol Pot, Franco and other assassins of the modern era,” he argued.

What is happening in Gaza has “already surpassed the limits of tolerance,” the Turkish leader insisted. “Backed by the unlimited military and diplomatic support of Western powers, Israel, which is a state of terror, is carrying out an all-out policy of genocide against our Palestinian brothers and sisters.” Erdogan noted that Türkiye has already provided some 40,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza by air and sea. He urged the Muslim world to do more to end the hostilities, saying it has so far “failed to properly fulfill its brotherly duty to the Palestinians.” Netanyahu insisted earlier this week that the mounting international pressure for a truce will not make Israel give up on its goal of achieving “total victory in war” against Hamas.

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“..Harvard is devoid of intelligence and of integrity. The reason is that Harvard is flush with Big Pharma research money..”

“..What do we make of a country where money is the only value, where even universities, allegedly centers of learning, prefer money to truth?”

Harvard University, Formerly Great, now Corrupted by Money (Paul Craig Roberts)

Harvard University has just announced that the university has dropped its Covid “vaccine” mandate that the university has coerced students to accept. It would be interesting to know how many Harvard students the mandate murdered and how many whose health has been ruined by the stupid and irresponsible Harvard administrators’ mandate. It also raises the question of how smart Harvard students really are that they would risk an untested “vaccine.” Harvard says, nevertheless, “We strongly recommend that all members of the Harvard community stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters. Additionally, we continue to emphasize the benefits of wearing a high-quality face mask in crowded indoor settings.” The university says it still requires that all students supply evidence that they had the initial jab. The university goes on to say in responding to COVID-19 that “we will continue to monitor public health data and will periodically review requirements.”

Harvard is allegedly an intelligent institution with a medical school and allegedly has a faculty and administrators capable of assessing facts and making intelligent decisions. Yet we see no sign of any intelligence in the university’s much belated dropping of the vax mandate. We have know for a long time that the mRNA “vaccines” do not prevent a Covid vaccinated person from getting infected with Covid and do not prevent transmission of the virus. Big Pharma Covid vaccine makers themselves now admit this, as do medical authorities. Indeed, the evidence is piling up that the vax makes it more likely for a person to catch Covid. We also know and it has now been admitted–that the mRNA “vaccines” have all of the deadly and health damaging effects that the independent medical scientists said they had. These scientists who told the truth were persecuted by the corrupt US medical establishment.

The evidence is in. There is no longer any question that the “vaccine,” which is not really a vaccine, is not only totally ineffective but very dangerous. Evidence mounts that the “vaccine” is a far greater killer than the lab created virus itself. So why is Harvard still “strongly recommending” more jabs that are ineffective and dangerous? Is this a conclusion from evidence that shows any signs of intelligence? With athletes in the prime of life dropping dead on playing fields all over the world, why is an allegedly intelligent university still requiring students to have had the initial “vaccination”?

Why does an allegedly intelligent university, which I am beginning to think Harvard most certainly is not, requiring students to have taken a vaccine known to be ineffective and dangerous? How can such a non-intelligent, non-rational decision be associated with intelligence? My conclusion is that Harvard is devoid of intelligence and of integrity. The reason is that Harvard is flush with Big Pharma research money, and just as Congress and the President have to vote in keeping with the special interests that fund their campaigns, Harvard votes with Big Pharma. What do we make of a country where money is the only value, where even universities, allegedly centers of learning, prefer money to truth?

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The same David Weiss who’s taken 5 years investigating Hunter. Looks like he’s had enough.

Special Counsel Files Blistering Reply to Hunter Motion to Dismiss (Turley)

Special Counsel David Weiss has filed a blistering opposition to the motion to dismiss by Hunter Biden in California that cites his own book and conflicting statements as creating “nothing more than a house of cards.” The filing (below) shows how Hunter’s claims (repeated by many in the media) collapse under even cursory review in court. Weiss’s filing bulldozes through arguments of selective prosecution and political influence in the case. He specifically notes that Biden repeatedly makes statements without any proof or support in his filings. The filing begins by outright accusing Hunter Biden and his counsel of lying to the court about what occurred after the earlier plea agreement fell apart in court after the judge in Delaware asked about a sweeping immunity clause in paragraph 14. Notably, Weiss said that it was Hunter Biden’s legal team that inexplicably shut down negotiations by playing hardball in seeking to preserve the original agreement:

“The government proposed changes to the agreements that addressed only the issues identified during the hearing. Exh. 3. The defendant rejected these counterproposals on August 7, 2023. Id. Instead, the defendant began insisting that the proposed Diversion Agreement had bound both parties, even though it had not been approved by the Chief U.S. Probation Officer, a condition precedent to formation that would have brought it into effect. Moreover, by taking this position, he chose to shut down any further negotiations that could address the issues raised at the hearing.” It then accuses Biden and his counsel as outright lying to the court:

“In his motion, in multiple places, the defendant falsely states that DOJ ‘inexplicably demanded Mr. Biden plead guilty to felonies with jail time.’ He cites nothing in support of his false claims, which is a consistent theme across his motions. The government attaches as Exhibit 3 a redacted letter from the defendant’s counsel which confirms the defendant understood that the government had proposed changes to only those paragraphs that were at issue during the hearing, not paragraphs regarding the charges the defendant must plead to or any “jail time” the defendant must serve. As shown in Exhibit 3, the government proposed changes to Paragraphs 14, 15 and 17 of the Diversion Agreement, and Paragraph 5(b) of the Plea Agreement. The government proposed no changes to Paragraph 1 of the Plea Agreement, which required the defendant to plead guilty to two misdemeanors. Nor did the government propose any changes to Paragraph 6 of the Plea Agreement, in which the United States had agreed to recommend a sentence of probation. The defendant rejected these counterproposals and refused further negotiations…His newly invented claim in his motion that the government “inexplicably demanded Mr. Biden plead guilty to felonies with jail time” is patently false, unsupported by evidence, and belied by his own letter and representations in his filings in the Delaware case.”

The rest of the filing is equally devastating. Weiss notes that Biden repeatedly misrepresents facts or claims authority that does not exist. He notes that Biden does not cite any cases of similarly situated individuals who were not prosecuted. For example, it notes: “The only attempt the defendant makes to link animus directly to prosecutors is his claim that “reports indicate Mr. Weiss himself admitted [the charges] would not have been brought against the average American.” Motion at 13. However, his citation does not include a reference to reports (plural), rather it includes a single New York Times citation, which includes a denial immediately after the quoted excerpt: “A senior law enforcement official forcefully denied the account.” An anonymous account that is “forcefully denied” is not evidence that can satisfy the defendant’s burden of producing “clear evidence” of discriminatory intent and animus by prosecutors.”

In rejecting the two cases that he references, Weiss takes a swipe at Hunter’s book. When he published the book, some of us noted that he was making statements against his own interest in possible prosecutions. Weiss just made that a reality: “The defendant compares himself to only two individuals: Robert Shaughnessy and Roger Stone, both of whom resolved their tax cases civilly for failing to pay taxes. Shaughnessy failed to file and pay his taxes, but he was not alleged to have committed tax evasion. By contrast, the defendant chose to file false returns years later, failed to pay when those returns were filed, and lied to his accountants repeatedly, claiming personal expenses as business expenses. Stone failed to pay his taxes but did timely file his returns, unlike the defendant. Neither Shaughnessy nor Stone illegally purchased a firearm and lied on background check paperwork. And neither of them wrote a memoir in which they made countless statements proving their crimes and drawing further attention to their criminal conduct. These two individuals are not suitable comparators, and since the defendant fails to identify anyone else, his claim fails.”

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“In Switzerland, such drastic changes to national health legislation would require changes in the nation’s Constitution. According to the very Swiss Constitution, such changes would require approval by the Swiss people by referendum..”

Open Letter to the People of Switzerland, Federal Council, Parliament (GR)

We, the Swiss, have the Constitutional Right of Initiatives or Referenda. It is high time that We, the People, make use of this opportunity requesting the Swiss Federal Council and Parliament to renounce its membership in the WHO, the organization at the verge of becoming the world’s dictator on issues of health, more brutal and radical than humanity has ever known before. The Covid-mandates imposed by the WHO were just a precursor to what may come. For the last several years, the WHO was preparing mostly behind closed doors what they call a “Pandemic Treaty”, or “Pandemic Agreement”, which would become part of the 2005 established and now being drastically revised “International Health Regulations” (IHR). If these two new “rules-based orders” are approved by the World Health Assembly (WHA – 27 May to 1 June 2024 in Geneva), the WHO’s health dictate would be above every nation’s sovereignty, and would make health self-determination a thing of the past.

If the WHO declares a disease, artificially made or not, as a pandemic, orders would have to be followed. If the WHO decides on general vaccination, orders must be followed. In Switzerland, such drastic changes to national health legislation would require changes in the nation’s Constitution. According to the very Swiss Constitution, such changes would require approval by the Swiss people by referendum – with good chances of a popular rejection. To forego a people’s vote, the Swiss Government – Federal Council and Parliament – are currently working on advance-amending the national Swiss health legislation, so that it would meet the requirements of a potentially impending WHO Pandemic Agreement and the new IHR. A Constitutional amendment may then not be necessary, as the new Swiss health standards would blend in with the potentially new WHO dictate.

This is happening semi-clandestinely. Not known to most citizens. Switzerland is supposed to be – constitutionally – a democracy and a country of political neutrality; a country with self-determination and sovereignty in decision making, and where people’s voice and active participation counts. Those were the days. * This call also goes to the Swiss Federal Council and Parliament. Are you not ashamed after the criminal covid and vaxx-fraud you imposed on the very people that pay your salaries and pensions – to betray Us, the People again – with the behind-our-backs anticipatory acceptance of the new WHO oppressive rules? How is health defined? Under the WHO definition, health includes the “climate change” scam, which is already blamed for causing excess dengue fever in Brazil and malaria in Africa – prompting the WHO and Bill Gates releasing billions of genetically modified (GMO) “vaccinating” mosquitoes. They have so far brought a 400% increase in dengue fever in Brazil, and in Africa, malaria is rampant despite, or because of the GMO-Mosquitos. Any “climate-related health issues”, defined by the WHO, would also fall under the WHO health tyranny.

Read more …

“The Dominican Republic topped the list as the world’s happiest country, followed by Sri Lanka in second place and Tanzania in third. All of the top ten countries were African, Asian, or Latin American nations.”

UK Ranked Second-Most Miserable Country In The World (RT)

Published last week, Sapien Labs’ fourth annual ‘Mental State of the World’ report assessed the mental wellbeing of 419,175 Internet-enabled participants across 71 countries. The results painted a grim picture of the English-speaking world. Out of 71 countries surveyed, the Anglophone nations of the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand sit in the bottom quartile, with residents of the UK happier only than those of Uzbekistan. The survey ranks the UK eight places behind Yemen and 12 places behind Ukraine in terms of its population’s overall mental health. Some 35% of Britons told Sapine Labs that they were either “distressed or struggling,” a figure down by only 0.7% since last year, when Britain came in last place in the rankings.

To determine each nation’s overall mental health, the foundation asked individuals 47 questions about their “mood and outlook,” “social self,” “drive and motivation,” and “adaptability and resilience,” among other categories. While Sapien Labs noted that answers to these questions are inherently subjective, other reports have come to similar conclusions. Amid a historic decline in living standards, the UK’s Office of National Statistics found in November that Britons experienced a drop in happiness and personal satisfaction in the year ending last March. According to a report published in The Lancet medical journal last month, some 1.8 million people in the UK are currently awaiting mental health treatment.

Sapien Labs noted that levels of mental well-being across the English-speaking world plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic, and that this decline “continues to persist with no sign of recovery.” Furthermore, the report found that mental well-being was lower in countries where processed food was commonly eaten, children were given smartphones at a younger age, and relations between family members were more distant. Wealthy, English-speaking countries scored least favorably across all of these three metrics. The Dominican Republic topped the list as the world’s happiest country, followed by Sri Lanka in second place and Tanzania in third. All of the top ten countries were African, Asian, or Latin American nations.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Spring
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766784410450333832

 

 

Quoll

 

 

I love you
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766876241078964424

 

 

 

 

Dog

 

 

Ginger cat

 

 

Gull

 

 

Neurogenesis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766453575616487680

 

 

Eyesight

 

 

 

 

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Dec 222023
 
 December 22, 2023  Posted by at 9:12 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  64 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Weeping woman 1937

 

Russia Is Negotiating With The Houthis For Red Sea Passage (Helmer)
‘Stopping Bloodshed In Gaza Our Primary Task:’ Lavrov (Cradle)
WHO Denies Seeing Evidence Of Hamas Using Hospitals As Hideouts (Cradle)
Saudi-French Plan Proposes Exile For Hamas Leadership (Cradle)
What? Ukraine Is Not Winning the War? (Patrick Lawrence)
On Speaking Plain ‘Putin’ (Scott Ritter)
Ukraine Losing 800 Troops A Day – ex-NATO Officer (RT)
Western Leaders Should ‘Stop Playing The Fool’ – Putin (RT)
The Bidens Move To Embrace Influence Peddling With A Twist (Turley)
DOJ Blocked Ex-Hunter Biden Prosecutor From Discussing Case With Congress (WE)
Trump Facing Mounting Challenges To Presidential Eligibility – NYT (RT)
Trump Asks Supreme Court To Deny Special Counsel’s Request (JTN)
Ex-White House Lawyer: SCOTUS Could Rule ‘9-0’ In Trump Case (Hill)
Economist Claims 2024 Will Bring ‘Biggest Crash of Our Lifetime’ in US (ET)
The Greatest Gift For All (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Plimer

 

 

Orlov

 

 

Milei

 

 

Shroyer

 

 

 

 

“No one needs this war — except, of course, the United States with its Western allies and Israel..”

Russia Is Negotiating With The Houthis For Red Sea Passage (Helmer)

Russia is negotiating with the Houthis of Yemen to protect Russian oil cargoes moving through the Red Sea for delivery to India and China, the principal destinations of Russian oil currently traversing the waterway, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden. Notified in advance to the Yemeni authorities and the Houthi military command, the Russian oil movements by tankers flying a variety of ship registry and national flags, are running the gauntlet of US and European Union (EU) sanctions against Russian oil exports. China is also negotiating with the Houthis for safe passage and protection of Chinese-flagged container vessels. The Chinese military base in Djibouti, recently reinforced to support a large Chinese military group intended for a United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, is also covering the waterway.

Both Moscow and Beijing are acting in semi-secret against US and EU government threats to assemble a naval fleet to convoy shipping headed to and from Israel’s southern port of Eilat. This plan, which the Pentagon is calling Operation Prosperity Guardian, follows the failure of the two US aircraft carrier groups in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf to protect Israel, and deter the Houthi operations. The Pentagon is also threatening to attack Yemeni territory. The fleet, to be assembled over the next month from the Ukraine war coalition states against Russia, will also threaten military force against the movement of Russian oil. Responding to direct questions about the new Red Sea threats on Wednesday afternoon, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Maria Zakharova, skirted saying what the Russian Security Council and General Staff have decided by asking the rhetorical question: “What will the US presence there bring to the region? Greater stability, security, crisis resolution? Or will it all end, as always, with the opposite results?”

Asked to be more specific, Zakharova said: “I have already commented on this question today. I just want to add to what has been said that any presence must have its own purpose and its own result. We see how the United States has increased its presence in the whole region: in the form of attacks on countries, aggression against sovereign regional states, interference in internal affairs, in the form of color revolutions, arms supplies, and manipulation of conflicts in the region. We see what all this has led to…The terrible crisis that has been unfolding before our eyes since October 7 this year. There is no prospect of its immediate completion or even de-escalation. Now everything is balancing on the level of whether, God forbid, this crisis will expand further. Everything is being done on our part to ensure that this does not happen.” Vzglyad, the semi-official security analysis publication in Moscow, has been pro-Israel since the Gaza war began. But yesterday it published a warning from sources identified as Russian experts on the region.

“Yemen has already reacted to this statement. Representatives of the Houthis said that this coalition does not frighten them at all. That they have all the necessary capabilities to provide an adequate response to any actions directed against them and against Yemen. And this is not just a bluff, but words that have a real understanding of their resources and the capabilities behind them. In fact, the coalition ships which will be in the Red Sea will themselves be targets for Yemeni missiles (as the Houthis have already warned)…And the Americans are unlikely to risk conducting a ground operation against them. It is generally difficult to cope with any of the armed formations in Yemen, given the experience of the Yemeni militants and the terrain…

The composition of the coalition has turned out to be quite specific. It did not include Egyptians and Jordanians suffering from Yemeni actions, nor the leaders of the region, the Saudis. There is not a single country in the Middle East except Bahrain. It turns out that none of them has wanted to defend their region, their sea and their interests from the Houthis, together with the Americans. Partly because they understand the futility of such an undertaking. Partly because they are afraid of a backlash from the Houthis. Partly because speaking out against the Houthis would mean, in this particular case, opposing their demands to de-blockade the Gaza Strip.” “No one needs this war — except, of course, the United States with its Western allies and Israel,” Vzglyad concluded.

Read more …

Then do it.

‘Stopping Bloodshed In Gaza Our Primary Task:’ Lavrov (Cradle)

The sixth Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum kicked off on 20 December in Morocco’s capital, Marrakesh, for the first time since 2019. The meeting gathered regional foreign ministers of participating countries, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Secretary-General of the Arab League Houssam Zaki, and ministerial delegations from various Arab states. Algeria continued a long-standing boycott of events held in Morocco. Lavrov commented on the situation in Gaza, saying that external powers are using the war between Palestinian resistance factions and Israel for their benefit. “It has become clear that some external powers are not opposed to using the periodic escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for their interests, to ignite the fire of a regional war in the development of the many past adventures of the United States and its allies that have been launched in [West Asia] over the past 20 years, and the result is the undermining of the state, hundreds of thousands of victims and massive flows of refugees,” the Russian foreign minister said.

Lavrov also noted that Russia is in contact with its allies, especially in the Arab world, to stabilize the situation in Palestine for the long term and to transfer the work of conflict resolution to the political and diplomatic level rather than militaristically. He also continued his line of criticizing Israel, saying, “The suffering of the enclave’s population is aggravated by the consequences of the blockade imposed by Israel. We see our primary task in stopping the bloodshed and ensuring conditions for providing the necessary humanitarian assistance to all those in need.”

He continued by saying that Russia’s diplomatic mission with allies pushed the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution that demands a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, but it has been met with opposition by the US, “which takes a one-sided stance and, as usual, tries to usurp any processes and initiatives,” he stated. Lavrov ended by saying that the world is in a storm and that it’s essential to return to the international covenant that affirms the sovereign rights of all countries. He added that “Russian-Arab relations are based on the principles of equality and mutual respect, noting that Russia has many areas to develop with Arab countries.”

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It was always just a story.

WHO Denies Seeing Evidence Of Hamas Using Hospitals As Hideouts (Cradle)

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on 21 December that northern Gaza has been left without functional hospitals due to the lack of fuel, staff, and supplies. “There are actually no functional hospitals left in the north,” the WHO representative in Gaza, Richard Peeperkorn, said to reporters via video link from Jerusalem. “Al-Ahli [Hospital] was the last one, but it is now minimally functional: still treating patients but not admitting new ones.” Peeperkorn described Al-Ahli Hospital as one that resembled a hospice, providing very limited care with only about 10 staff members, all of whom are junior doctors and nurses who provide basic first aid, pain management, and wound care with scant resources, he said. “Until two days ago, it was the only hospital where injured people could get surgery in northern Gaza, and [the hospital] was overwhelmed with patients needing emergency care,” he said.

The WHO spokesman added that the bodies of Palestinians from Israel’s recent attacks were lined up in the hospital courtyard as they could not be given safe and dignified burials. Hospitals, which are protected under international humanitarian law, have been repeatedly attacked by Israel airstrikes in Gaza since the war erupted. The Israeli army has accused Hamas of having tunnels under hospitals and using the medical facilities as command centers, a claim that has been denied by the Palestinian resistance group. When asked about Israel’s claim, Peeperkorn said: “On our missions we have not seen anything of this sort on the ground”, adding that WHO was “not in a position to assert how any hospital is being used.”

“The role of WHO is to monitor, analyze, and report. We do not attribute attacks to healthcare facilities. We are not an organization investigating crimes. I think this should be very clear,” Peeperkorn went on to say. In the south of Gaza, Israel has continued its attacks on hospitals, with the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis being hit by multiple Israeli strikes, including an Israeli tank shell that hit the maternity building, killing a 13-year-old girl. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said earlier this month that hospitals in the southern Gaza Strip were in “total collapse, unable to deal with the quantity and quality of injuries that arrive.”

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Why would they move want to move to Algeria?

Saudi-French Plan Proposes Exile For Hamas Leadership (Cradle)

The French newspaper Le Monde published details on 20 December of a Saudi document containing a plan to end the war in Gaza, which stipulates the transfer of Hamas’ military and security leaders to the Algerian capital. The newspaper stated that the document was prepared by the head of the Gulf Research Centre, Abdulaziz bin Saqr, after a meeting on 19 November in Riyadh with the head of the North Africa and Middle East Department at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Anne Greux. The document was then transferred to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Le Monde pointed out that the evacuation of Hamas leaders to Algeria most likely refers to the leader of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Muhammad Deif, and the leader of the movement in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar.

Algeria was reportedly chosen as a potential place of exile for the movement’s leaders because of the north African nation’s good relationship with Qatar and Iran, the main supporters of the Hamas movement, and because of its security capabilities that would allow it to tightly control their activities. Le Monde contacted the Algerian ambassador in Paris, but he did not wish to comment on the matter. The plan also calls for the deployment of an Arab peacekeeping force in Gaza under UN auspices and the establishment of a “joint transitional council,” including the main factions in Gaza, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Fatah. The council would be responsible for managing the enclave for a period of four years, and for organizing presidential and parliamentary elections.

The newspaper noted it is unclear if the plan had been approved by the Saudi authorities, or whether it was a purely personal initiative of the Gulf Research Centre head. The document stated only: “It appears that the search for a Saudi-French consensus could contribute to the crystallization of a common vision acceptable to all parties, and have an impact on the decision to end the war.” Since 7 October, the Israeli army has carried out vicious campaign against Gaza that has killed almost 20,000 people, the majority women and children. Israel’s bombing campaign and ongoing siege threaten to make the enclave completely uninhabitable.

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“..Emperor Hirohito’s famous declaration on August 15, 1945, when he announced the surrender on Japanese radio. “The war,” he told his desperate subjects, “has not necessarily progressed to our advantage.”

What? Ukraine Is Not Winning the War? (Patrick Lawrence)

“Putin’s Russia is closing in on a devastating victory. Europe’s foundations are trembling.” This was the headline atop a Dec.9 commentary in The Telegraph, the farthest right of the major London dailies. The subhead elaborated the theme in yet graver terms: “Kyiv’s counteroffensive has ended in failure. This could be NATO’s Suez moment.” The piece that followed included all sorts of goodies in this line. It is not official, not yet, that Ukraine’s grand counteroffensive, the great Russophobic hope of the Zelensky and Biden regimes earlier this year, has proven a bust and that defeat is in the offing. The closest we have to such an admission came from Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this month, when the Ukrainian president declared that the counteroffensive “did not achieve the desired results.”

I loved that moment, to be honest. It reminded me of Emperor Hirohito’s famous declaration on August 15, 1945, when he announced the surrender on Japanese radio. “The war,” he told his desperate subjects, “has not necessarily progressed to our advantage.” O.K., let’s leave Zelensky to Zelensky, Joe Biden to Joe Biden, and Antony Blinken to Antony Blinken. We can count news of failure unofficially official when mainstream media start dropping such news on their readers and viewers. The Telegraph, so far as I know, was the first big daily on either side of the Atlantic to make such blunt admissions. Others have already followed, if in gentler, more oblique language—in Zelensky-speak, this is to say. A significant moment may be upon us. What will follow once it is acknowledged that the Nazi-infested crooks in Kyiv have failed?

President Biden, as is his consistently unwise wont, radically overinvested in the proxy war he chose to start with the Russian Federation as soon as he took office three years ago next month. Having defined the Ukraine conflict as a war in the name of democracy and freedom —“values” rather than interests, this is to say—he has left the U.S. and its European clients no room for compromise and nearly none even for negotiation. What is the next move when defeat is too obvious any longer to deny? If we are about to enter uncharted territory, will it prove dangerous ground? It may, but this is not yet clear. It will be uncertain and probably unstable: This we know. Of the many things I do not like about this circumstance, I will mention a few straightaway. Biden may be the stupidest president of the postwar era on the foreign policy side: He exhibits no capacity whatsoever for nimble or imaginative thought. He is a warmonger of long standing, an election year is upon us, and he is by now in obvious danger of being impeached. His mental incompetence, atop all this, is plain for all to see.

There are also the national security people around Biden to consider. With the exception of CIA Director William Burns, who seems to dedicate himself to his career advancement, these are lockstep ideologues who share a Manichean vision of the world and how it works. And we had better think long and hard about these people now. I urge this because of an item in Politico two weeks back. The piece reported on the policy cliques’ thinking after recent Houthi attacks on U.S. warships in the Red Sea. Some officials urge a vigorous response, but the reigning view favors restraint for fear of enlarging Israel’s barbarity in Gaza into a wider war. Then, well down in the story, this paragraph: “The military’s job is to present a variety of options to senior commanders, but the ultimate decision is up to the president and the administration’s political appointees. In multiple high-level meetings this week, the Pentagon has neither briefed President Joe Biden on options to strike Houthi targets nor recommended that he do so, two of the officials said. All were granted anonymity to detail sensitive internal deliberations.”

Read more …

“..Russia’s victory in the war against Ukraine will be a defeat of NATO,” adding ominously, “This cannot be allowed.”

On Speaking Plain ‘Putin’ (Scott Ritter)

Given the failure of the collective West to impose its will on Russia through what is widely considered a proxy conflict, one would think that some form of retrospective analysis would be in order. However, to engage in such an activity constructively, an agreed-upon lexicon would be needed to communicate effectively. Since Russia is prevailing in the conflict, one would also think that a modicum of interest should be given to how Russia defines the conflict. In short, anyone who is interested in learning the lessons of the collective West’s failure in Ukraine should learn “to speak Putin.” The problem is, those in the West who should be preparing a proper lexicon from which the Russian-Ukraine conflict could be more accurately assessed are instead operating from an outdated lexicon rooted in the language and mindset of a time that no longer exists, born of a Cold War mentality that prevents any deep-seated and relevant analysis of the true situation between Russia and the West.

Both the United States and NATO have described the Russia-Ukraine conflict as possessing existential consequences for Europe and the world, with the secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, going so far as to declare in October 2022 that “Russia’s victory in the war against Ukraine will be a defeat of NATO,” adding ominously, “This cannot be allowed.” Bad news, Mr. Stoltenberg — Russia has won. While the “Special Military Operation” has yet to be concluded, Russia has seized the strategic initiative across the board when it comes to conflict with Ukraine, forcing the Ukrainian military to terminate a counteroffensive, which the government of Ukraine and its NATO allies had invested tens of billions of dollars in military resources, and tens of thousands of Ukrainian lives in hopes of achieving a decisive victory over the Russian military on the battlefield.

Today, Ukraine finds its military decimated by the fighting and unable to sustain itself as a cohesive combat force on the field of battle. The U.S. and NATO likewise find themselves unable and/or unwilling to continue supplying Ukraine with the money and material needed to continue to maintain a viable military presence on the battlefield. Russia is in the process of transitioning away from a posture of flexible defense, and instead initiating offensive operations along the length of the line of contact designed to exploit opportunities presented by an increasingly depleted, and defeated, Ukrainian army. U.S. President Joe Biden has likewise argued that a Russian victory was unacceptable.

“We can’t let Putin win,” Biden said earlier this month to put pressure on a U.S. Congress that has allowed the Ukrainian conflict to become wrapped up in domestic American politics, with key Republicans in both the Senate and House refusing to support a funding bill that lumps some $60 billion in Ukraine assistance together with money for Israel and immigration reform. “Any disruption in our ability to supply Ukraine clearly strengthens Putin’s position,” Biden concluded.

Ritter

Read more …

“Kiev needs to recruit more than 20,000 soldiers every month..”

Ukraine Losing 800 Troops A Day – ex-NATO Officer (RT)

Around 800 Ukrainian troops are being killed and wounded daily amid the conflict with Russia, retired German Air Force Colonel and prominent military analyst Ralph D. Thiele has claimed. In an opinion piece for Focus magazine on Wednesday, Thiele, who used to serve in the personal staff of NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, claimed that Kiev needs to recruit more than 20,000 soldiers every month in order to replace its dead and injured. He did not reveal his sources or basis for his calculations, however. Ukraine also requires additional personnel to be able to rotate its troops on the frontline, so that “exhausted soldiers” may recover and units may replenish their material supplies, he wrote. According to Thiele, who now heads the Political-Military Society, EuroDefense (Germany) and StratByrd Consulting think tanks, “the highly motivated defense” and subsequent counteroffensive, which he described as “a thing of the past,” came at a “high price” for Ukraine.

Kiev’s manpower and hardware are “significantly worn out,” he said. “Western weapons systems are not miracle weapons and are wearing out,” the analyst added. The worsening battlefield situation and decreasing Western support for Kiev are “eating away at the morale” of the Ukrainian troops, who “will have to save ammunition in a war of attrition and endure slaughter at the front without rest and without a greater sense of achievement,” Thiele stressed. Russia has also lost “a large number of soldiers and huge amounts of material” during the conflict, but “it has much more of both than Ukraine,” he argued. “Step by step, Russia’s superiority in the conflict with Ukraine is becoming more visible,” the analyst acknowledged. Moscow’s “strategy of attrition” is “taking effect” in terms of personnel, material, ammunition and morale, he said.

Thiele’s number of 800 Ukrainian soldiers being lost per day appears to be higher than the one announced by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu at the expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry’s Board on Tuesday. According to Shoigu, some 400,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed or wounded since the start of the fighting in late February 2022. This means that, according to Russian figures, Kiev’s daily losses stand at around 600 servicemen. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who chaired the meeting, stressed that “we can say with confidence that our troops have the initiative” on the frontline with Ukraine. “In essence, we are doing what we consider necessary, what we want. Wherever… commanders decide active defense is best, it takes place. And where it is needed, we improve our positions,” Putin explained.

Read more …

That’s hard if you are an actual fool.

Western Leaders Should ‘Stop Playing The Fool’ – Putin (RT)

Western nations that expect Russia to collapse are misguided and should instead let their economies benefit from cooperation, President Vladimir Putin said at a government meeting on Thursday. The US and its allies have targeted Russia with unprecedented sanctions in a bid to punish Moscow for the Ukraine conflict. The country has largely adapted to the pressure, according to the Russian government and Western analysis. Putin raised the issue during a meeting of the Council on Strategic Development and National Projects, as he described Russia’s booming commercial ties with non-Western nations. He noted, however, that Moscow is not closing the door on the West. “It’s time for them [Western leaders] to stop playing the fool and waiting for us to collapse. Everyone realizes by now that if they want to benefit from cooperation with Russia, they should do so,” the president said.

Western nations have a choice between following “ephemeral considerations” motivating them to seek Russia’s destruction and “the interests of their own nations and peoples,” which require cooperation based on a “new foundation of a multipolar world,” Putin stated. Moscow has weathered Western economic attacks by reorienting its economy toward trade with countries that declined to join the Washington-led sanctions campaign, including Asian powerhouses China and India. Russia has also taken measures to decrease reliance on Western-controlled financial institutions, switching to alternative payment methods and national currencies in commerce. During a visit to Beijing on Tuesday, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said the US dollar has almost fully been replaced in trade with China.

Meanwhile, EU nations have suffered a surge in energy prices after rejecting Russian supplies to supposedly reduce dependence and cut Moscow’s profits. In particular, Russian pipeline natural gas has been replaced with more expensive liquified natural gas (LNG), sourced from the US, Qatar, and other nations. Russia is also among Europe’s LNG suppliers and has made record deliveries, according to a report by Kommersant earlier this month. Some factory owners in Germany, the leading European economy, have been forced to shut down due to increased operational costs. The Credit reform credit agency reported this month that it expects 18,100 German companies to file for insolvency this year, marking a 23.5% increase on 2022.

Read more …

“It is a curious defense that we are not corrupt because we just ripped off dupes who were corrupt people..”

The Bidens Move To Embrace Influence Peddling With A Twist (Turley)

As the House of Representatives goes into high gear in its impeachment proceedings (and possible contempt resolution against Hunter Biden), the Biden family legal problems continue to mount. In one week, it was revealed that President Biden’s brother James was caught on an FBI audiotape in a corruption investigation, while Ashley Biden, the president’s daughter, is now also facing demands for unpaid taxes. James Biden is expected to appear before the House for questioning in the coming weeks. The appearance may solidify a new line of defense for the Bidens: that they are harmless grifters. After years of denying influence peddling with the help of an obligating media, even some Democrats are now admitting that Hunter and his uncles have been selling influence. Biden associates confirmed that Joe Biden was the brand that they were peddling to foreign clients, who paid millions to the family.

The FBI tape is the latest example of how the Bidens would market their name and access. The surveillance occurred in the bribery investigation into Mississippi trial attorney Richard Scruggs. Like many Biden associates, Scruggs would eventually go to prison while the Bidens remained untouched. Scruggs forked over $100,000 to James Biden when he was seeking to reinforce support for the massive tobacco legislation and Joe Biden was viewed as skeptical on what some viewed as a windfall for trial lawyers. Scruggs admitted to the Washington Post that “I probably wouldn’t have hired [James Biden] if he wasn’t the senator’s brother.”Scruggs was just another shady figure whose business association with the Bidens would ultimately end with a prison stint. As soon as the tape came out, so did the new defense.

James Biden took the money but allegedly did nothing to land his brother. If that sounds familiar, it should. After Hunter Biden’s former business associate Devon Archer admitted that they were selling the “Biden brand,” the Bidens’ defenders immediately insisted that it was merely “illusory.” In other words, these corrupt figures wanted to buy influence and access, but they were just chumps fleeced by the Bidens. The idea is to get the public to think less of coked up Henry Hill in “Goodfellas” and more of the lovable professor Harold Hill in “The Music Man,” the charming rascal ripping off hayseeds by selling marching bands. It is a curious defense that we are not corrupt because we just ripped off dupes who were corrupt people. The problem, of course, is that influence peddling is a form of corruption. Indeed, it is a form of corruption that is so damaging to good government that the United States has pushed global agreements to ban influence peddling in other countries.

The question is whether Joe Biden knew about the influence peddling of his brothers and his son. If so, he actively assisted his family in acquiring millions to influence him on public policy or legislation. His family was effectively marketing time shares in a senator, a vice president and now a president. Whether or not Biden delivered, the family business corrupted the functions of government by converting offices into types of commodities. That is the case regardless of whether or not they delivered. It is akin to an extortionist taking money without any intent to follow through on threats of disclosure or use of damaging material. Even in today’s willfully blind politics, every voter should be able to agree on two simple facts.First, influence peddling is corruption long opposed by the government and denounced by both parties. Second, if the president knew that his son and uncles were using him for influence peddling, Joe Biden is also corrupt.

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“I will not be permitted to answer most of the questions you have for me..”

DOJ Blocked Ex-Hunter Biden Prosecutor From Discussing Case With Congress (WE)

A key prosecutor who worked for years on the Department of Justice’s case against Hunter Biden refused to answer nearly every question lawmakers asked her during recent congressional testimony after the DOJ instructed her not to speak about the case, according to a transcript reviewed by the Washington Examiner. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf, who appeared alongside her personal lawyers, told the House Judiciary Committee last week during a closed-door interview that she was “significantly constrained” by the DOJ in what she could discuss. “My voluntary appearance here today is not without an overwhelming feeling of frustration and disappointment because as much as I would invite the opportunity to explain the decisions made and accurately describe the actions taken, I will not be permitted to answer most of the questions you have for me,” Wolf said at the start of the interview.

Wolf’s testimony came after two IRS whistleblowers who spent years working on the Hunter Biden investigation accused her of blocking investigative steps that they say were necessary to advance the case. They blamed Wolf and others for allowing the first son to avoid certain tax charges and for allowing his father, President Joe Biden, to avoid scrutiny. Republicans grilled Wolf during the interview about specific actions the whistleblowers said she took, but she responded repeatedly that she was “not able to discuss any particular matters related to an ongoing investigation.” Days ahead of her testimony, the DOJ provided lengthy written instructions to Wolf, which the Washington Examiner verified, that said that even as a former employee, she is expected not to disclose nonpublic information about the investigation and prosecution of Hunter Biden.

The department cited its internal policies and a statute that governs the disclosure of grand jury-related material as reasons for restricting her testimony. The DOJ also sternly observed that Wolf was not the appropriate witness to answer questions related to the substance of the Hunter Biden case or DOJ personnel matters, repeatedly saying that senior officials, rather than line-level officials like Wolf, were better-suited witnesses to address those topics. The DOJ also said it wanted to be cognizant of the separation of powers in prosecutions, a point that comes after Hunter Biden’s defense attorneys argued this month that his gun charges in Delaware should be dismissed on those very grounds. The first son’s lawyers claimed the DOJ breached the separation of powers by, in their view, caving to Republican lawmakers’ pressure to press charges against their client.

Wolf still provided some general comments that shed light on what she was thinking when she made the controversial decisions cited by the whistleblowers. When Wolf was asked about an email she wrote to investigators instructing them to remove Joe Biden’s name from a search warrant, she said she could not discuss the matter. She did, however, speak to the process of drafting warrants. “I think that’s important for people to understand that search warrants…are limited. They’re intrusions on people’s rights. And the default is an intrusion on someone’s rights. So that there are protections built into the process by the Constitution that the magistrates are responsible for enforcing,” Wolf said.

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“..If the Supreme Court takes the case, it will effectively stay the proceedings in all the other states..”

Trump Facing Mounting Challenges To Presidential Eligibility – NYT (RT)

This week’s decision by Colorado’s Supreme Court to disqualify Donald Trump from holding office is the first of several legal challenges that could derail the former US president’s bid to return to the White House, the New York Times has reported. At least 17 states are currently processing legal challenges to Trump’s eligibility, the newspaper claimed on Wednesday. The Times, which cited Lawfare – a website which tracks US national security issues – added that four of these lawsuits have been filed in state courts in Michigan, Oregon, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. A further eleven lawsuits, in states including Arizona, Nevada, New York, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming, have been filed in federal district courts. Trump’s legal team has said they intend to appeal the Colorado decision to the US Supreme Court.

Colorado’s top court on Tuesday ruled that Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s primary ballot ahead of next year’s presidential elections. In a 4-3 ruling, the Colorado justices found that Trump had violated the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits anyone who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding office. The former US president is accused of breaching the so-called “insurrectionist ban” over his alleged efforts to overturn the results of his 2020 election defeat to Joe Biden and inciting the riots at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. The ruling does not prevent Trump from running in other states across the US. In a statement on Tuesday, Colorado’s Supreme Court noted that its judgment placed the court in “uncharted territory” over its efforts to disqualify Trump from the state ballot. It also said that its decision could be reversed with “the receipt of any order or mandate from the Supreme Court.”

Should the US Supreme Court opt, as expected, Trump’s appeal to hear it would mean that he would be returned to the state ballot until America’s top court makes a formal decision. An appeal would also suspend the other active lawsuits across the US, according to retired appeals court Judge J. Michael Luttig. “If the Supreme Court takes the case, it will effectively stay the proceedings in all the other states,” Luttig said, according to the New York Times on Wednesday. The Supreme Court’s judgment on the issue also faces time constraints. Colorado’s Secretary of State confirmed to MSNBC this week that it must certify the candidates eligible to appear on ballots by a January 5 deadline to physically print the documents ahead of the state’s primary election in March. In addition to constitutional arguments over Trump’s capacity to potentially return to the White House, the former president also faces 91 felony counts in four ongoing criminal cases in Washington, New York, Florida, and Georgia.

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“What is ‘imperative’ … is that this case be decided correctly, not that it be decided quickly..”

Trump Asks Supreme Court To Deny Special Counsel’s Request (JTN)

Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put a hold on quickly ruling on special counsel Jack Smith’s request for the high court to review the former president’s appeal of charges related to the 2020 election on the grounds that he has presidential immunity. The Supreme Court should refrain from ruling on Smith’s request until after a lower federal appellate court makes a decision on the issue, Trump’s attorneys said Wednesday in a 44-page court filing. Smith had asked the court last week to quickly rule on whether Trump could be prosecuted for allegedly attempting to overturn the 2020 election in his favor and then playing a role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, ahead of the planned trial start date of March 4, 2024, in the middle of the 2024 presidential primary season.

The special counsel justified the date by calling it of “paramount public importance” to hold the trial “as expeditiously as possible,” but Trump’s legal team wrote that “in an omission that speaks volumes, the Special Counsel never explains why March 4, 2024, is supposedly the only ‘appropriate timetable’ for this historic prosecution. That date has no talismanic significance.” Trump’s attorneys also said that precedence favors allowing the lower appeals court to address the issue first before the Supreme Court. “What is ‘imperative’ … is that this case be decided correctly, not that it be decided quickly,” the lawyers wrote. The former president’s legal team also argued that Smith’s request to the Supreme Court “misstates the legal issue in this appeal by incorrectly framing it as whether absolute presidential immunity extends to ‘crimes committed while in office,'” the former president’s legal team said, arguing that Trump instead “asserted that a President is immune from prosecution for official acts.”

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“..the ruling “vindicates” Trump’s “insistence that this is a political conspiracy to interfere with the election and that … he’s the target and people shouldn’t tolerate that in America.”

Ex-White House Lawyer: SCOTUS Could Rule ‘9-0’ In Trump Case (Hill)

Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb predicted Tuesday that the U.S. Supreme Court could rule “9-0” in favor of former President Trump in a potential appeal of Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that would kick Trump off the state’s ballot. “I think this case will be handled quickly. I think it could be 9-0 in the Supreme Court for Trump,” Cobb said in an interview on CNN, adding later, “I do believe it could be 9-0, because I think the law is clear.” The Colorado Supreme Court issued a ruling Tuesday that Trump should not appear on Colorado’s ballot due to his alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. Citing the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection clause,” the 4-3 ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court argued Trump engaged in an insurrection by promoting false claims of election fraud and encouraging supporters to go the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled the office of the president falls under the insurrection clause, which states those who previously took oaths to support the Constitution as a “member of Congress,” “officer of the United States,” “member of any State legislature” or an “executive or judicial officer of any State” cannot engage in a rebellion against it.“The real key issue in this case is — is Trump an officer in the United States in the context in which that term is used in the Article 3 of the 14th Amendment,” Cobb said. “And in 2010, Chief Justice [John] Roberts explained in free enterprise that people don’t vote for officers of the United States.” Cobb went on to reference multiple Supreme Court decisions that do not conclude officers include the president or vice president in this context.

Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, has already vowed the Trump campaign will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority and includes three justices nominated by Trump. “The Supreme Court though will not hesitate to move quickly on this; they know what the stakes are. They know what their responsibility is,” Cobb continued. “And they can delay some of these Colorado dates to the extent that they feel they’re obligated to or have to.” Colorado’s Supreme Court put its ruling on hold until Jan. 4 to allow Trump to first seek review from the U.S. Supreme Court. If he does, his name will automatically remain on the ballot until justices resolve the appeal. Cobb further argued the ruling “vindicates” Trump’s “insistence that this is a political conspiracy to interfere with the election and that … he’s the target and people shouldn’t tolerate that in America.”

Tucker VDH
https://twitter.com/i/status/1737633022919192892

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Haven’t seen Harry Dent for a while.

Economist Claims 2024 Will Bring ‘Biggest Crash of Our Lifetime’ in US (ET)

An economist who focuses on consumer spending has issued a dire warning about the U.S. economy in the coming year. “Since 2009, this has been 100 percent artificial, unprecedented money printing and deficits: $27 trillion over 15 years, to be exact,” economist Harry Dent told Fox Business on Dec. 19. “This is off the charts, 100 percent artificial, which means we’re in a dangerous state. “I think 2024 is going to be the biggest single crash year we’ll see in our lifetime. “We need to get back down to normal, and we need to send a message to central banks,” he said. “This should be a lesson I don’t think we’ll ever revisit. I don’t think we’ll ever see a bubble for any of our lifetimes again.” Mr. Dent, who owns the HS Dent Investment Management firm, told the outlet that U.S. markets are currently in a bubble that started in late 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Things are not going to come back to normal in a few years. We may never see these levels again. And this crash is not going to be a correction,” he said. “It’s going to be more in the ’29 to ’32 level. And anybody who sat through that would have shot their stockbroker,” Mr. Dent said, making references to the stock market crash in 1929 that led to the Great Depression throughout the 1930s. “If I’m right, it is going to be the biggest crash of our lifetime, most of it happening in 2024. You’re going to see it start and be more obvious by May. “So, if you just get out for six to 12 months and stuff stays at the highest valuation history, maybe you miss a little more gains if I’m wrong. If I’m right, you’re going to save massive losses and be able to reinvest a year or year-and-a-half from now at unbelievably low prices and magnify your gains beyond compare.”

Mr. Dent’s predictions of a market crash are nothing new. In 2009, he wrote “The Great Depression Ahead,” a book that forecasted a significant market crash. In the past few weeks, several analysts have been making similar predictions of a significant stock market crash in the near future. “Based on prevailing market valuations, we estimate that poor total returns are likely for the S&P 500 in the coming 10–12 years, that equity market returns, relative to bonds, are likely to be among the worst in history, and that a market loss on the order of [minus] 63% over the completion of this cycle would be consistent with prevailing valuations and a century of market history,” Hussman Investment Trust President John Hussman, who called the 2008 crash, wrote in a note in October.

However, in a recent note, investment banking firm Goldman Sachs raised its 2024 S&P 500 target by 8 percent, to 5,100, forecasting a tailwind for U.S. stocks from falling inflation and declining interest rates. “Looking forward, the new regime of both improving growth and falling rates should support stocks with weaker balance sheets, particularly those that are sensitive to economic growth,” the firm wrote late last week.

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“Power is the horse ridden by evil..”

The Greatest Gift For All (Paul Craig Roberts)

Christmas is a time of traditions. If you have found time in the rush before Christmas to decorate a tree, you are sharing in a relatively new tradition. Although the Christmas tree has ancient roots, at the beginning of the 20th century only 1 in 5 American families put up a tree. It was 1920 before the Christmas tree became the hallmark of the season. Calvin Coolidge was the first President to light a national Christmas tree on the White House lawn. Gifts are another shared custom. This tradition comes from the wise men or three kings who brought gifts to baby Jesus. When I was a kid, gifts were more modest than they are now, but even then people were complaining about the commercialization of Christmas. We have grown accustomed to the commercialization. Christmas sales are the backbone of many businesses. Gift giving causes us to remember others and to take time from our harried lives to give them thought.

The decorations and gifts of Christmas are one of our connections to a Christian culture that has held Western civilization together for 2,000 years. In our culture the individual counts. This permits an individual person to put his or her foot down, to take a stand on principle, to become a reformer and to take on injustice. This empowerment of the individual is unique to Western civilization. It has made the individual a citizen equal in rights to all other citizens, protected from tyrannical government by the rule of law and free speech. These achievements are the products of centuries of struggle, but they all flow from the teaching that God so values the individual’s soul that he sent his son to die so we might live. By so elevating the individual, Christianity gave him a voice. Formerly only those with power had a voice. But in Western civilization people with integrity have a voice.

So do people with a sense of justice, of honor, of duty, of fair play. Reformers can reform, investors can invest, and entrepreneurs can create commercial enterprises, new products and new occupations. The result was a land of opportunity. The United States attracted immigrants who shared our values and reflected them in their own lives. Our culture was absorbed by a diverse people who became one. In recent decades we have lost sight of the historic achievement that empowered the individual. The religious, legal and political roots of this great achievement are no longer reverently taught in high schools, colleges and universities or respected by our government. The voices that reach us through the millennia and connect us to our culture are being silenced by “Identity Politics,” “political correctness,” “critical race theory” and the war against “white culture.” Prayer has been driven from schools and Christian religious symbols from public life.

Christianity is being gradually marginalized. Each year it becomes more difficult to find a Christmas card that says “Merry Christmas” instead of “Seasons Greetings.” In place of Christmas carols we get Hollywood Christmas songs. In some churches Christianity is being transmuted into Christian Zionism and the worship of Israel. Others fly LGBTQ and BLM flags. We are approaching a time when a Christian Christmas cannot be celebrated as it is not inclusive in a diverse society and therefore is politically incorrect if not a hate crime. Constitutional protections have been diminished by hegemonic political ambitions. Indefinite detention, torture, and murder are now acknowledged practices of the United States government. The historic achievement of due process has been rolled back. Tyranny has re-emerged.

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Pi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1737700986494284215

 

 

 

 

Fox

 

 

Jealousy

 

 


Elephant mother and child, in a field of of hyacinth at Kaziranga national park

 

 

Crosby and Frank
https://twitter.com/i/status/1737877893609373992

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 232023
 


Leonardo da Vinci Lady with an Ermine c. 1489-91

 

Peace Plans Are ‘Absolutely Wrong’ – UK PM (RT)
Austria Calls For Dialogue With Russia (TASS)
Hungary Opposes New EU Sanctions, Military Assistance To Ukraine (TASS)
Ukraine Won’t Join NATO Anytime Soon – Scholz (RT)
Fade to Black in Ukraine (Kunstler)
Chinese Delegation Visits Moscow For ‘Security Consultations’ (RT)
Russia Can Conduct Its Special Op For A Long Time – German Intel Chief (TASS)
No One Knows Who Blew Up Nord Stream – German Intel Chief (TASS)
Ukrainian Sabotage Attack On Belgorod Region (TASS)
The Western Media Disinformation Campaign: Fall of Bakhmut (Doctorow)
Russia Issues Dire Warning After US Approves Ukrainian Strikes On Crimea (ZH)
US ‘Highly Likely’ To Default – Yellen (RT)
Democrats Beg Biden to Make Them Constitutional Nonentities (Turley)
The Idiotic 14th Amendment Argument (Denninger)
GOP Pushes Back Against WHO Plans for ‘Global Governance’ (ET)

 

 

@RealPepeEscobar Waiting list for BRICS+: at 25 – and counting.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkiye, UAE, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.

 

 

Nap Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660695388045623303

 

 

 

 

Zelensky Bakhmut

 

 

Wilkerson
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660661957626826753

 

 

Blind Obama

 

 

Great Awakening

 

 

RFK jr

 

 

@WarClandestine: As Bakhmut falls and Ukraine’s air defenses are depleted, you’ll notice Zelensky is STILL not in Ukraine. Since May 3rd, he has been in Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, and now off to Japan for the G7 Summi.t He’s hiding.

 

 

 

 

Warmonger midget Sunak.

Peace Plans Are ‘Absolutely Wrong’ – UK PM (RT)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has shot down calls for a ceasefire in Ukraine, declaring that Kiev should keep fighting for as long as it takes to get the peace “it deserves.” Ukraine’s British and American backers have rejected calls for peace on multiple occasions before. In a session of parliament on Monday, Sunak was asked by former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn whether he agreed with a ceasefire initiative put forward by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and backed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Pope Francis. Corbyn added that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stated earlier on Monday that “a ceasefire is not a peace,” but without one, “this war will go on and get worse and worse.”

“I could not disagree with him more,” Sunak replied. “A ceasefire is not a just and lasting peace for Ukraine. Russia has conducted an illegal and unprovoked invasion … and the right and only response to that is for Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine.” “All plans masquerading as peace plans,” he continued, “are in fact attempts just to freeze the conflict where it is, are absolutely wrong and they should be called out.” Sunak’s position is in line with that of the US, where Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in December that any ceasefire that involved freezing battle lines would lead to “a phony peace.” At the time, Sunak stated that a ceasefire would be “completely meaningless,” and that the UK would only accept the withdrawal of Russian troops from “conquered territory.”


Ukraine considers the regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – which voted to join the Russian Federation last year – its territories, and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has vowed to bring all four back under Kiev’s control. Zelensky has also promised to recapture Crimea, which voted to join the Russian Federation in 2014. However, American military officials have publicly stated that retaking Crimea is beyond Ukraine’s capability, and Kiev’s long-anticipated spring counteroffensive against Russian forces has thus far failed to materialize. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military suffered the destruction of more than two dozen of its brigades in the city of Artyomovsk/Bakhmut since last October, only to lose the city to the Wagner private military company over the weekend. Nevertheless, Sunak claimed in parliament that Russian forces are “failing on the battlefield,” and declared – as he and US President Joe Biden have on many occasions – that he would “stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

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“..Vienna continued to communicate with Moscow through informal channels..”

Austria Calls For Dialogue With Russia (TASS)

Vienna maintains an informal channel of communication with Moscow and calls for dialogue with Russia despite the Ukrainian conflict, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said. “The West should continue talking with Russia the way the US government is doing,” he pointed out in an interview with Germany’s Die Welt newspaper published on Monday. According to Schallenberg, international platforms such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations should be used for further talks with Russia. Austria’s top diplomat sees it as “the global responsibility” of Western countries. Schallenberg emphasized that Vienna continued to communicate with Moscow through informal channels. “Russia has not disappeared from the map, remaining the EU’s biggest geographical neighbor and the world’s major nuclear power,” he added.

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Keep your foot down this time.

Hungary Opposes New EU Sanctions, Military Assistance To Ukraine (TASS)

Budapest opposes a number of key provisions in the 11th package of sanctions on Russia developed by the European Commission and will not support giving any additional military assistance from the European Peace Facility until its OTP Bank is taken off of Ukraine’s list of international war sponsors, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday. He recalled that EU countries want to increase military assistance to Ukraine from the European Peace Facility to the tune of 500 million euro. “We demand the Ukrainians remove OTP from the list of international war sponsors. Until that happens, we will not give our consent to allocate these 500 million euro to EU countries as compensation for their spending on weapons to Ukraine,” he told Hungarian journalists during a break in the meeting of the EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

The top diplomat’s press conference was broadcast live on his Facebook page (Facebook is banned in Russia due to its ownership by Meta, which has been designated as extremist). On May 4, Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention put Hungary’s OTP Bank Group, which continues to operate in Russia, on the list of international sponsors of war. Szijjarto slammed this decision as “scandalous and unacceptable.” As of today, he stressed, Hungary’s largest bank, OTP, “had not violated a single national or international law” and its blacklisting in Ukraine is absolutely illegal. The top Hungarian diplomat also recalled that his country’s government was against weapons supplies to Ukraine in general and would not budge from this position. “Weapons supplies are fraught with the risk of escalating the war and the longer this war continues, the more people will die,” he stressed.

Touching on the 11th package of anti-Russian sanctions, which was also a topic of discussion for the EU foreign ministers, the Hungarian minister noted, “Brussels should have learned a lesson from the consequences of the sanctions.” “Sanctions are more harmful to Europe than they are to Russia and I think that the 10th package of sanctions should not be followed by an 11th, which would turn out to be a true test for Europe in general and the economy of European countries,” he said, adding that Hungary opposed additional restrictions for European companies in terms of trading in Russian goods, as well as sanctions on Chinese companies suspected of cooperating with Russia. He also reiterated that Hungary will oppose any EU sanctions that would restrict cooperation with Russia in the field of nuclear energy. “Despite the pressure that’s being exerted on us, we will strongly oppose any kind of sanctions affecting the nuclear industry, because that concerns Hungary’s energy security. In no case will we risk the security of Hungary’s energy supply,” he said.

Apart from that, Szijjarto stressed that Budapest will continue to demand that the Ukrainian authorities restore the rights of the Hungarian minority in the Zakarpattia Region. Until this problem is settled, Hungary will not support Kiev’s aspirations to integrate into the European Union, he pledged. Summing up the results of the ministerial meeting, the Hungarian minister noted that no decision had been made about using the European Peace Facility to further finance weapons supplies to Ukraine. “No decision on sanctions was made either,” he said. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said earlier on Monday that the 11th package of sanctions could be agreed before the next EU ministerial meeting in June. Talks on this topic continue. At the same time, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has admitted that not only Hungary but a number of other countries object to the 11th package.

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The Germans are not ready to declare war on Russia.

Ukraine Won’t Join NATO Anytime Soon – Scholz (RT)

Ukraine will most likely not be able to become a NATO member state in the foreseeable future as it does not meet a number of requirements for admission yet, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said. Earlier this month, the head of the US-led military bloc, Jens Stoltenberg, declared that all member states had agreed to welcome Kiev, but only if and when it vanquished Moscow’s forces. In an interview with Germany’s Die Welt published on Monday, Scholz assessed that, for the time being, Ukraine’s Western backers should focus on helping the country “defend its land.” In the future, security guarantees for Kiev will also need to be discussed. “But we are a long way away from there,” he added.

When asked whether he would theoretically support Ukraine’s accession to NATO after its military conflict with Russia was over, the chancellor claimed that it was “clear to everyone that this doesn’t stand on the agenda anytime soon.” One of the reasons for that, according to Scholz, is that “there is a whole range of requirements belonging to NATO’s criteria that Ukraine can’t fulfill at present.” Earlier this month, dpa news agency, citing a YouGov poll, reported that some 54% of Germans oppose the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, with only 27% in favor. Meanwhile, also this month, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the Washington Post that “all NATO allies agree that Ukraine will become a member of the alliance.” He, however, refused to offer any timeline for this.


According to the official, the US-led military bloc is currently helping Kiev “transition from Soviet-era equipment, doctrines and standards” and become “interoperable with NATO forces.” In April, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that most Europeans would disapprove if NATO did not extend a “well-deserved invitation” to join the alliance. The Ukrainian leadership made it clear that it expected to see progress on the issue during an upcoming NATO summit in Lithuania in July.

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“..our country is bypassing the banana republic stage of dissolution and depravity and steaming quickly into a Hieronymus Bosch dystopia..”

Fade to Black in Ukraine (Kunstler)

Well, the folks running things in America — that is, the scores of unelected bureaucratic satraps guarding their nests throughhout the Okefenokee inside-the-Beltway, especially the gator-pit known politely as the Intel Community — decided to subject Mr. Trump to a one-man version of the exquisite torment intended for Russia, Russia, Russia: pain, ignominy, and ruin. They’re still at it six years later, since the relentless Mr. Trump will not give up his crusade to take back the White House and defenestrate all those attempting to defenestrate him. His enemies have captured all the levers of legal power, and yet, amazingly, they can come up with nothing but the most rinky-dink charges to railroad him in captured jurisdictions.

This internal political conflict in the USA has driven the populace plumb insane, while it has rendered our institutions rancid and left us subject to a pathocracy hiding behind a laughably fake chief executive. After a year-plus of America’s genius scheme to maintain world dominance, Russia is doing really well, thank you, in constructing a geo-economic framework for trade that will not be subject to the pranks of USA-led Western Civ. Russia is a nation of people who regard themselves as men and women, the toils of gender confusion happily absent. Ditto race hustles. Ditto banking Ponzis. After two-plus years of “Joe Biden” — well, our country is bypassing the banana republic stage of dissolution and depravity and steaming quickly into a Hieronymus Bosch dystopia of financial, social, psychological and moral ruin. Every official utterance is a lie. Everything’s broken or breaking. And seemingly, on-purpose.


The nagging question, of course, is on whose purposes? And why is Mr. Zelensky flitting from one country to another the past month? Because the game of Let’s You and Him Fight is drawing to a close and Mr. Z may find himself fatally unpopular back on the home-front. He has managed to send upward of a hundred-thousand young Ukrainian men to their deaths in the meat-grinder, and perhaps a million more have hightailed it for other countries. Ukraine will now be a land of mostly women, children, and old folks — with just enough surviving soldiers left looking to hunt down the comedian who turned Ukraine into another one history’s sick jokes.

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“The high-profile security talks, which are held annually, are an “integral and in-demand element of the Russian-Chinese comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation..”

Chinese Delegation Visits Moscow For ‘Security Consultations’ (RT)

Top Russian and Chinese security officials met in Moscow on Monday to discuss cooperation between the two nations in various areas, the press service of Russia’s Security Council has said. “The prospects for joint efforts in the law enforcement sphere, in various areas of operational and service activities have been considered. Special attention was paid to plans for cooperation between the Russian Guard and the People’s Armed Police of China, as well as between financial intelligence [services],” the statement said.The talks involved an unspecified number of representatives of various ministries and government agencies of the two countries, according to the Russian side. The two sides discussed various issues, including “international information security,” as well as “contacts between supervisory and investigative bodies” of the two nations.

The Chinese delegation was led by Chen Wenqing, a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo. He was recently named secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, the country’s top security post with oversight of judges, police, and intelligence. Russia’s delegation was led by Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev. The high-profile security talks, which are held annually, are an “integral and in-demand element of the Russian-Chinese comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation,” the press service said. This was the second major Russia-China security event in just over a month. In mid-April, China’s newly appointed Defense Minister Li Shangfu visited Moscow, where he met his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu, President Vladimir Putin, and other top officials during a three-day stay in Russia.


Li said at the time that the trip was intended to underscore Beijing’s “firm determination to strengthen strategic cooperation between the militaries of China and Russia.” “After my appointment as the defense minister, my first visit is made to Russia in order to demonstrate to the outside world the high level of Chinese-Russian relations,” he said ahead of the talks with Shoigu.

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“..the intelligence service does not see that the conflict has somehow shaken the authority of the Russian state.”

Russia Can Conduct Its Special Op For A Long Time – German Intel Chief (TASS)

Russia is capable of continuing its military operation in Ukraine ‘for a long time’, President of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) Bruno Kahl said. “Russia, as before, remains capable of leading <…> [its special military operation] for a long time,” the DPA news agency quoted the intelligence chief as saying. Kahl also noted that the intelligence service does not see that the conflict has somehow shaken the authority of the Russian state. When asked whether the BND was aware that a military operation would certainly begin, he said: “Fourteen days before the start <…> [of the conflict] we recorded phenomena that could hardly be interpreted in any other way.”.

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Keep the questions alive. Forever.

No One Knows Who Blew Up Nord Stream – German Intel Chief (TASS)

No intelligence agency is currently able to clearly name those responsible for the Nord Streams sabotage, President of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) Bruno Kahl said. “No country, no intelligence agency in the world is currently able to attribute this (the Nord Streams sabotage – TASS) to anyone in particular,” he said, “Maybe this will change, there are some notable successes in the investigation.” Kahl recalled that the site of the sabotage is a seabed, which makes the work of investigators much more difficult. According to him, the investigation is being conducted “in different directions.” “I do not exclude that there will be a success that will make one of the options more likely and the others less likely,” the intelligence chief added. On May 21, the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung reported that at least two Ukrainians may have been involved in the explosions at the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines.


The German Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office on Monday did not comment on this information when asked by TASS. The agency said that the investigation is working on all the evidence to establish the facts, but it is impossible to provide additional data at the moment. In turn, State Secretary Steffen Hebestreit, commenting on the information of the Suddeutsche Zeitung, said that the German government does not intend to speculate about the perpetrators of the Nord Stream sabotage. On September 27, 2022, Nord Stream AG reported “unprecedented damage” on three strings of the offshore gas pipelines of the Nord Stream system. Later, Swedish seismologists said they had identified two explosions on the route of the Nord Stream pipelines on September 26, 2022. Following the incident, the Russian prosecutor general’s office opened a case on charges of international terrorism.

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Allegedly they sent in 50 men. 39 were killed, 5 arrested.

Ukrainian Sabotage Attack On Belgorod Region (TASS)

A Ukrainian sabotage group infiltrated the Grayvoron District of the Belgorod Region on Monday, regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said. According to the latest data, the Russian military and security forces are taking measures to eliminate the enemy and are driving it away from the Russian territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been briefed about the situation. TASS has put together the highlights of what has been reported about the attack as of now.

– The infiltration by Ukrainian saboteurs was reported by Gladkov. He said the Russian military, border guards and the servicemen of the National Guard and the Federal Security Service are taking “necessary measures to eliminate the enemy.” – Before that, the governor said two people were injured in a shelling of the village of Glotovo of the Grayvoron District. He said one of the casualties, a woman, who suffered wounds from a mine explosion, had been taken to a hospital in serious condition. The other person, a man, was in a condition of medium gravity. – The Kremlin later confirmed that a Ukrainian sabotage group had tried to force its way into the Belgorod Region, and the group is now being driven away from the Russian territory and eliminated. – Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there are sufficient forces and equipment on the scene to combat the saboteurs. He said Putin had been briefed about the incident.


– Peskov said the goal of the sabotage attack is “to divert attention from the Bakhmut area and reduce to a minimum the political effect from the loss of Artyomovsk by the Ukrainian side.” The Russian Defense Ministry said into the night of May 21 that the town in Donbass had been fully liberated. – The Russian Defense Ministry has regularly reported stopping Ukrainian sabotage attacks in Russia’s new regions: The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. – The previous sabotage attack took place in the Bryansk Region on March 2. Two people were killed, and a boy with the date of birth in 2012 was wounded at the time. The boy was able to lead two girls that were nearby out of harm’s way. – Putin then called the attack on villages outside Bryansk a terrorist attack.

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“Given their losses in men and materiel defending Bakhmut, the surrender of the city to the Russians will be a great blow to Ukrainian fighting morale when it is finally admitted..”

The Western Media Disinformation Campaign: Fall of Bakhmut (Doctorow)

Midday yesterday, 20 May, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group which did most of the fighting for Bakhmut on the ground, claimed total victory. In the evening, President Vladimir Putin announced to the Russian public that Bakhmut was taken. Joyous messages of congratulations filled the internet message services in Russia as the broad public celebrated a victory as iconic as the Battle for Stalingrad. Meanwhile, the defenders of the Western public against Russian “disinformation” were hard at work, straining their brains to find what to say. This morning’s New York Times still speaks of the battle for Bakhmut as undecided, pointing yet again to the Ukrainian hold on the flanks.

Given their losses in men and materiel defending Bakhmut, the surrender of the city to the Russians will be a great blow to Ukrainian fighting morale when it is finally admitted. So will the fate of their Commander in Chief General Zaluzhny who, according to Russian sources, has been hospitalized for the past two weeks and remains in critical condition after falling victim to a Russian strike on a provincial command center which killed most of the high officers around him. If nothing else, this speaks to the amazing success of Russian military intelligence directing their firepower.

Meanwhile, Western media attention to Ukraine is conveniently redirected at the nonstop travels of President Zalensky who went from his European tour on to the Middle East, where he attended the meeting of the Arab League, and thence via French military jet to the G7 gathering in Hiroshima where he held talks with fellow heads of state and joined them for the obligatory group photos. All the talk was about when the U.S. will formally give its consent to the dispatch of F16s to Kiev. For the disseminators of Western disinformation this is a wonderful distraction from a war that clearly is going badly for Kiev and in particular a distraction from the counter offensive that looks less likely with each passing day of Russian military strikes on the command centers and weapons stores of the Ukrainian side.

The plume of radioactive smoke and ash that rose from the Khmelnitsky store of British depleted uranium artillery shells in Western Ukraine after a Russian missile strike, just like the extensive damage to the Patriot air defense installation near Kiev by a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile tell us all what will be the fate of future Western arms deliveries to Ukraine. It is an interesting question how much longer the Ukrainian military or politicians will put up with their high flying, good life President while the country is well on its way to hell.

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If Kiev attacks Crimea, Russia will flatten Kiev.

Russia Issues Dire Warning After US Approves Ukrainian Strikes On Crimea (ZH)

Russia has issued another stern warning related to further potential Ukrainian attacks on Crimea. “Strikes on this territory are considered by us as an attack on any other region of the Russian Federation. It is important that the United States is fully aware of the Russian response,” Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, warned Sunday. This was in response to an earlier weekend statement by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to CNN. He said while speaking from the G7 summit in Japan over the weekend, “we have not placed limitations on Ukraine being able to strike on its territory… What we’ve said is that we won’t enable Ukraine with US-systems to attack Russia. And we believe Crimea is Ukraine.” However, the US has consistently denied that it has OK’d Ukraine using US-supplied advanced weaponry to mount such attacks.

Antonov further stated on Telegram in response that “the unconditional approval of strikes on Crimea using American and other Western weapons” alongside the move among Western allies to supply Ukraine with jets “clearly demonstrate that the United States has never been interested in peace.” He warned the US administration against “thoughtless judgments on Crimea, especially in terms of ‘blessing’ the Kiev regime for air attacks” on the peninsula. Per Russian state media, other Kremlin officials weighed in even more forcefully, warning that even nuclear disaster could be the result: “Sullivan’s remarks likewise triggered outrage from Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Georgy Muradov, who opined that by allowing Ukraine to use US-made planes to target the peninsula, the White House had “agreed to unleashing a nuclear war.”


“The official recalled that Crimea hosts Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. “An attack on one of the pillars of Russia’s strategic security legally obliges our country to use all available means to prevent it from being undermined.” Russia has also recently accused Ukrainian forces of using UK-supplied long range rockets which are capable of hitting inside Russia. This is also a cause for concern in terms of possible Russia-NATO direct escalation: “Storm Shadow missiles, which have a range of more than 250 kilometers, give Ukraine the capacity to strike well behind Russian front lines and as far as Moscow-occupied Crimea,” US state-funded RFERL underscores, while adding that “British media reports said Kyiv had promised not to use the missiles to strike inside Russia’s territory.”

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“Congress has raised borrowing limits 78 times since 1960.”

US ‘Highly Likely’ To Default – Yellen (RT)

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has doubled down on her warnings about the nation’s debt ceiling, saying the federal government will run out of money to pay its bills as soon as June 1 unless Congress enables it to increase borrowings. “It is highly likely that Treasury will no longer be able to satisfy all of the government’s obligations if Congress has not acted to raise or suspend the debt limit by early June, and potentially as early as June 1,” Yellen said on Monday in a letter to US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Yellen has repeatedly warned that Washington is headed for default on its financial obligations, barring additional borrowing authority from lawmakers, after the national debt soared to its $31.4 trillion statutory limit. The US Treasury is running out of cash after the national debt reached the cap in January.

“If Congress fails to increase the debt limit, it would cause severe hardship to American families, harm our global leadership position and raise questions about our ability to defend our national security interests,” Yellen told McCarthy, a California Republican. The Treasury secretary said it’s impossible to predict the exact date when the money will run out. The government will likely have to start choosing which bills go unpaid by June 15, if not sooner, Yellen said on Sunday in an NBC News interview. Major obligations include interest payments on existing borrowings, Social Security payments to elderly and disabled Americans, bills from defense contractors, and the paychecks of US military personnel and other government employees. The US government has a projected deficit of $1.4 trillion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, meaning its outlays exceed revenue by around $117 billion each month. The nation ran up $6.2 trillion in debt in its first 226 years of existence, then saw the total balloon fivefold in just the past two decades. Congress has raised borrowing limits 78 times since 1960.


McCarthy and President Joe Biden resumed talks on Monday, but so far failed to resolve the debt impasse. Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, have proposed increasing the debt cap by $1.5 trillion while reducing growth in federal spending to address the root cause of the crisis. The president has countered that he’s unwilling to negotiate on the debt ceiling, but he’s open to having a separate conversation about spending once the borrowing cap is raised. Past political clashes over the debt ceiling have shown that waiting until the last minute to reach a settlement can rattle markets, reduce consumer confidence, raise borrowing costs and threaten the nation’s credit rating, Yellen said in Monday’s letter. In fact, the Treasury’s debt costs have already increased for bonds maturing in June. “I continue to urge Congress to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by acting as soon as possible,” Yellen said.

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“These are rational leaders whose desire to nullify their own existence would have seemed entirely implausible to the Framers.”

Democrats Beg Biden to Make Them Constitutional Nonentities (Turley)

Roughly 25 years ago, many of us were shocked by the discovery of a home full of bodies of dozens of people laying in bunk beds, wearing jumpsuits and identical black-and-white Nike Decade sneakers. They were the members of the Heaven’s Gate cult who, with their leader, drank a lethal mix of phenobarbital and vodka to gain entry to “Heaven’s Gate” with the passing Hale-Bopp comet. Few of us could understand how rational people could believe their leader that it was necessary to shed their earthly bodies to gain access to an orbiting alien space craft. Few would buy such a pitch, but these people did. Some of the men even castrated themselves as a sign of their faith.

This week, Heaven’s Gate came to mind as I watched members of Congress line up to take a step that runs against every assumption of self-preservation in Madisonian democracy: They sought to make themselves nonentities. They called upon President Joe Biden to reject their very institutional existence, discard the separation of powers and unilaterally borrow and spend federal money. At one event, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) released a letter to Biden on behalf of himself and nine Democratic senators “to urgently request that you prepare to exercise your authority under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.” He was joined in this by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), among others. Obviously, these are not Nike-wearing cultists, but that only makes their actions all the more inexplicable. These are rational leaders whose desire to nullify their own existence would have seemed entirely implausible to the Framers.

A presidential “power of the purse,” however, is a fiction, only marginally more credible than the Hale-Bopp comet’s power to whisk human souls away into space. Their argument for it is based on Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, which states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” The drafters of this amendment did not want Congress to simply dismiss its obligations to pay off the Union’s debts from the Civil War. Although the amendment is not limited to those debts, it has nothing to do with debt ceilings set by Congress. Default, after all, is not a denial of the validity of debt, but rather a refusal or failure to pay debts in time despite their validity.

Courts have long left it to the political branches to work out such differences in what is often a game of chicken with default. Moreover, as University of Virginia law professor Saikrishna Prakash recently pointed out, there is more than enough federal revenue coming in each month for Biden to avoid default by paying the interest on the debt under existing federal law. That may cause temporary problems for other spending priorities — acute problems, even — but it hardly rises to the level of a constitutional crisis. Instead, these senators are suggesting that a president does not need congressional approval to borrow and spend trillions of dollars, even though the Constitution explicitly grants both of those powers to Congress alone. They also claim that, by demanding budget cuts as a condition of permitting further borrowing, the House is violating the 14th Amendment.

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“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned”

The Idiotic 14th Amendment Argument (Denninger)

Can we stop with the crazy? Here’s the clause that has CNN and a bunch of other wide-eyed nuts salivating: Section 4: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.” Key: Authorized by law.

All spending must originate in the House (per the Constitution.) However, Congress is the source of such limitation as well, and nothing in that clause — or anywhere else in the Constitution says that Congress may not bind the execution of said spending based on the receipt of taxes to offset any debt that may otherwise be required. This is the same thing your bank does. You have $100,000 of income. You also have a credit card with a $20,000 credit line. If you keep invading it on the premise that you expect to earn $110,000 this year, because you are paid partially on commission or bonus, the bank can refuse to increase the line if that income does not materialize. Thus, when you reach the $20 large that’s all there is.

Likewise you can execute a Will that says “you get $1 million dollars provided you take care of my dog, including anything it may require to be healthy and live its best life, until its natural death.” This a two-part test and it is perfectly legal. This sort of clause is literally all over estate plans and business contracts: You get X provided you do both Y and Z. If you do not wish to do either of Y or Z then you don’t get X. Congress has done this by enacting the debt ceiling. Neither Congress or the Executive can accurately predict how much tax revenue will come in. Taxes, of course, come from economic activity; no activity, no taxes. The CBO projects that revenue will be “X” and so does Treasury, but those are guesses because they rely on things that have not yet occurred and as such are inherently inaccurate.

Congress has set in place a two-part system for this. The first is Appropriations, which are authorizations to spend and levies to be taxed. The second is the debt ceiling, which is a hard limit on the difference between the two over time. No, Treasury cannot go around this by claiming something in the 14th Amendment makes the Appropriation sacrosanct. Congress has the authority under the Constitution, and has exercised it, to control the purse. To be enabled by law and thus immune from being questioned, debt that is issued by Treasury must be (1) issued for an appropriated purpose AND (2) be within the debt ceiling in effect at the time of said issue. If it is then under the 14th Amendment it is valid.

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Does the WHO really think it can push this through?

GOP Pushes Back Against WHO Plans for ‘Global Governance’ (ET)

House Republicans took to the podium on May 17 to condemn the Biden administration’s negotiation of global pandemic agreements that they say will grant additional power to the World Health Organization (WHO) and centralize authority in an organization they say failed the American public during the COVID pandemic. Shortly thereafter, on May 19, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a report to member nations stating that, while the “re-emergence of epidemic-prone diseases continues to accelerate,” the WHO’s mandate regarding “health emergencies” must extend beyond pandemics to include hunger, poverty, ecological degradation, climate change, and social and economic inequalities.

Kolakusic
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660567427778838528

The Director General wrote that member nations must establish a “global architecture for health emergency preparedness, prevention, response, and resilience (HEPR),” which includes “global governance, financing and HEPR systems.” But GOP lawmakers disagreed with the WHO. “International law does not trump our Constitution,” Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.) said at a Capitol press conference. “Biden cannot force Americans to follow laws and regulations not passed by our own federal government.” “The World Health Organization pandemic treaty is very vague, it affects our sovereignty, and it could be exploited to tell Americans what kind of health care they need in the event of a global pandemic,” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) said. The public forum was organized by Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and included 18 House members.


Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto, on behalf of the United States, is currently negotiating terms of the WHO Pandemic Accord, which is scheduled to be signed by the 194 WHO member nations in 2024, as well as amendments to International Health Regulations (IHRs), also under the auspices of the WHO. In sum, these negotiations are intended to produce legally binding treaties and agreements that will coordinate a united response among member nations during a “health emergency,” with much of the decision-making authority vested in the WHO. According to these agreements, the WHO would have the authority to, for example, declare when a pandemic is in effect and to coordinate medical supply chains to ensure equitable distribution among member nations. The agreements also speak to global coordination between the WHO and national health authorities like the CDC to set health policies, and coordination among governments on issues like fighting “misinformation.”

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Heliconia rostrata (also known as hanging lobster claw or false bird of paradise) is an herbaceous perennial plant with peculiar downward-facing flowers

 

 

Cat walk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660703979687358464

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 162023
 


Dome ceiling at the Ambassadors’ Hall in the Royal Alcazar of Seville, Spain 1427 (click to enlarge)

 

Wagner Chief Calls On Putin To Declare End Of War (ZH)
Former NATO Troops See ‘Disarray’ In Ukrainian Military – CTV (RT)
US Must Stop ‘Encouraging War’ In Ukraine – Lula (RT)
Spring Offensive (Gonzalo Lira)
Hungary Bans Ukrainian Grain (RT)
Ukraine Accuses Poland Of Violating Grain Deal (RT)
Zelensky is Secretly Buying Fuel from Putin with US Taxpayer Funds (CF)
Russia Begins Exporting Fuel To Iran By Rail (Cradle)
“Joe Biden Is A Criminal”: Former White House Stenographer (ZH)
The Crackdown Cometh (Matt Taibbi)
Pentagon Leaks Suspect Wins Praise From Far-Right US Politicians And Media (G.)
Vindman Leaked Documents To Help Impeach Trump – Never Served Time (GP)
Outrageous Plans To Give The WHO Power Over Your Life (Tess Lawrie)
IMF Unveils New Global Currency Known As The “Universal Monetary Unit” (Snyder)

 

 

Orban
https://twitter.com/i/status/1647292666302824450

 

 

Makis

 

 

Rogan liberalism

 

 

 

 

“..gain a firm foothold, cling to the territories that already exist..”

Wagner Chief Calls On Putin To Declare End Of War (ZH)

Head of Russia’s most prominent mercenary firm Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has issued an unexpected call for the Kremlin to declare an end of the war in order to consolidate territory already gained. A Friday statement by Prigozhin released by his press service suggested it’s time to declare ‘victory’ and to focus on fully establishing Russian control over the occupied territories of Ukraine. “For the authorities [of the Russian Federation – ed.] and for society as a whole, it is necessary to put some kind of bold full stop in the ‘special military operation’,” the Wagner chief said [emphasis ours].


The rare statement continued: “The ideal option is to announce the end of the special military operation, to inform everyone that Russia has achieved the results that it planned, and in a sense, we have really achieved them. We have ground a huge number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and can report to ourselves that our task has been completed.” “Theoretically, Russia has already received this full stop by destroying a large part of the active male population of Ukraine, by intimidating another part of it that has fled to Europe.” Prigozhin went on: “Russia has cut off the Azov Sea and a large chunk of the Black Sea, seized a fat chunk of Ukraine’s territory, and created a land corridor to Crimea,” and stressed that Russia can “gain a firm foothold, cling to the territories that already exist”.

But he noted that “If earlier Ukraine was part of former Russia, now it is an absolutely national-oriented state”. This comes as Wagner is spearheading the largely successful offensive to capture Bakhmut and surrounding areas of Donetsk region. At least 80% of the largely destroyed city is currently in Russian hands. A Russian defense ministry briefing on Saturday said “Wagner assault units have successfully advanced, capturing two districts on the northern and southern outskirts of the city.” Western media too has generally acknowledged the Russian forces’ steady advance.

Wagner
https://twitter.com/i/status/1647397384115335168

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“If changes to tactics are not introduced rapidly, “generations of Ukrainians” could be lost, the document warns.”

Former NATO Troops See ‘Disarray’ In Ukrainian Military – CTV (RT)

A chaotic military command structure is leading to huge losses among Ukrainian troops and is causing serious doubts over the outcome of the conflict with Russia, Canada’s CTV National News has claimed, citing a report by former NATO soldiers. The so-called ‘White Papers’ were compiled by two former high-ranking members of the US Special Forces and one former major in the Canadian Armed Forces. Each of the group has been training local forces in Ukraine for the last nine months, the broadcaster reported on Friday. According to CTV, the papers describe Ukraine’s military command structure as being in disarray, while it further claims that the country’s military communication system is crumbling. If changes to tactics are not introduced rapidly, “generations of Ukrainians” could be lost, the document warns.

One of the authors, a former Canadian army major who chose to remain anonymous, told CTV that it was “well documented” that the Ukrainian army had suffered “huge losses with their junior officers.” Earlier this month, leaked Pentagon papers claimed that Ukrainian forces have so far suffered between 124,000 and 131,000 dead and wounded during the conflict. The figure, which was based on US estimates, is several times higher than Kiev’s official death toll. The source argued to CTV that the authors of the ‘White Papers’ were not looking to criticize Ukraine, but were “only striving for the better outcome” for the country. The lack of coordination between Ukrainian units is leading to “greater losses of life and equipment as well as failed operations,” the paper is said to have stated.

Another issue of concern for the NATO servicemen is that “military aid, such as tanks, are used as mobile artillery and not in combined operations with infantry” by Kiev’s forces. As a result, “[Ukrainian] infantry will watch as the enemy maneuvers and stages in front of their defensive positions just outside of effective artillery range,” the document is cited as saying. According to the report, Ukraine’s training approach “is based on the legacy Soviet model” which puts the commander at the center, “with no delegation of authority in training, planning, and especially operations.” The widespread lack of application of NATO standards leads to painfully slow decision-making on the battlefield, the document reportedly claims. Russia has long described the conflict in Ukraine as a “proxy war” waged against it by NATO. According to Moscow, the assistance provided to Kiev by the US and its allies, including the supply of weapons, training for Ukrainian troops, and intelligence sharing, has de facto made Western nations parties to the conflict.

Bakhmut

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“But above all, it is necessary to convince the countries that are supplying weapons, encouraging the war, to stop.”

US Must Stop ‘Encouraging War’ In Ukraine – Lula (RT)

The United States and its allies should focus on promoting peace in Ukraine instead of “encouraging war” by arming Kiev, Brazilian President Lula da Silva said on Saturday as he concluded a state visit to China, his country’s primary trading partner. “The United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace,” Lula told reporters in Beijing. “The European Union needs to start talking about peace.” He added that, in doing so, world leaders might be able to “convince” both Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky that “peace is in the interest of the whole world.” In contrast to many Western nations, neither Brazil nor China has imposed sanctions on Moscow following the onset of the conflict in Ukraine last year.

Prior to the trip, Lula, the left-wing leader who returned as Brazilian president last year after succeeding Jair Bolsonaro, had sought to position himself as part of a group that could mediate in the conflict. He did not, however, elaborate on the nature of any such talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping following their meeting on Friday. CNN reported earlier this week that Beijing had requested the removal of issues surrounding Ukraine from the list of topics to be discussed by the two leaders. “It is important to have patience,” Lula suggested on Saturday, “But above all, it is necessary to convince the countries that are supplying weapons, encouraging the war, to stop.”

China has been a key trading partner for Brazil since 2009. In 2022 alone, Beijing imported close to $90 billion worth of Brazilian commodities such as soy, iron ore and petrol. Brazil is also the largest single market for Chinese products on the South American continent. Lula’s comments on Ukraine, as well as the strengthening of economic ties with Beijing, are likely to draw the attention of Washington, with whom Brasilia has sought a closer relationship under his rule. In February, he met with US President Joe Biden in the White House, where they primarily discussed efforts to combat climate change and combat anti-democratic extremism.

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Twitter thread.

Spring Offensive (Gonzalo Lira)

Re. the Kiev regime’s spring offensive: Supposedly, 200,000 men have been assembled, 60,000 of them combat troops, to launch a major offensive that will cut Russia’s land bridge to Crimea. Kiev and its Western sponsors have been announcing this offensive for going on months now. It is supposed to break the back of the Russians. For their part, the Russians have heavily fortified the portions of the contact line where this offensive might likely come. This spring offensive was supposed to happen in mid April — that is, now — but it has been postponed supposedly because of weather and ground conditions. At this time, there is no firm date for it, though it’s supposed to happen before July. According to realistic estimates, Kiev has lost already +200,000 men KIA.

They are also rapidly running out of air defense missiles, which have been preventing Russian bombers from being effective on the battlefield. The Pentagon leaks (which are from late February) estimate that by mid May, Kyiv will have run out of air defense missiles, and will be naked to Russian bomber jets. Furthermore, the West’s support is rapidly deteriorating: A dribble of weapons, and dying political support. So there is an enormous time pressure on Kiev and the Washington Warmongers: Launch the offensive NOW—before conditions on the ground turn it into a rout. In Washington, there are two camps — those urging for a settlement and cease-fire, and those urging a make-or-break offensive to smash the Russians. At this time, the Warmongers urging the offensive still have the upper hand. Since the start of this conflict 14 months ago, not once have Kiev regime forces successfully broken through Russian lines in any fortified position.

Don’t tell me about Kharkov and Kherson: The Russians withdrew and gave up the terrain—and still it cost Kiev heavily. With this spring offensive, Kyiv no longer has the tanks or the men to hold onto any territory that they capture. The idea that they will break through all the way to Mariupol — and hold that territory — is just not within the realms of the possible. So even if this offensive breaks through Russian lines, Kiev will not be able to leverage that success. The Russians will simply counterattack, and since they have the men and the gear, their counterattack will likely be successful (though long and bloody). Is THIS what the Washington Warmongers want? I think yes: Marginally degrade Russian forces by throwing away Ukrainian lives in one final push. It would also give the perfect opportunity for Poland to get into the fray. Were the Russians to suffer a bad setback in southern Ukraine, it might provide the distraction (and the time) so that Polish forces could enter western Ukraine.

It would also provide the political rationale for direct Polish intervention. “Look!” the Washington Warmongers could say. “The Russians are losing—let’s get the Poles in there to finish the job!” I think this is the Warmongers’ idea at this time: Use the offensive’s early breathless headlines (which will all be initially positive) to widen the war. Because without widening the war, Russian victory is inevitable. Which means *Washington’s* ignominious defeat—at a time when its global hegemony is seriously teetering. A suicidal Ukrainian offensive—to bring in Poland and widen the war. Tell me what you think.

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“Budapest hopes it will give Brussels “enough time to introduce meaningful and lasting EU measures to reconsider the full duty-free nature of Ukrainian goods.”

Hungary Bans Ukrainian Grain (RT)

The Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture has announced a “temporary ban” on the imports of grain and oilseeds from Ukraine, citing the lack of any “meaningful” EU-wide measures to protect the markets from “destabilization” by the uncontrolled inflow of cheap produce. The Hungarian government is “committed to protecting the interests of the Hungarian farming community,” the ministry said in a statement on Saturday evening, announcing a temporary ban until June 30. Budapest hopes it will give Brussels “enough time to introduce meaningful and lasting EU measures to reconsider the full duty-free nature of Ukrainian goods.” The list of banned products will also include “a number of other agricultural products,” according to the ministry. The Minister of Agriculture, István Nagy, said these “extraordinary measures” are necessary to prevent “serious damage” to Hungarian agriculture.


Poland rolled out similar restrictions earlier in the day, also citing the need to protect local farmers, and triggering backlash from Kiev. In a separate move on Friday, Slovakia banned the processing and sale of Ukrainian grain, citing the discovery of a dangerous pesticide prohibited in the EU in a 1,500-ton haul of the product. The issue stems from Brussels’ efforts to support Ukraine by permitting duty-free imports from the country, touted as a way to help its exports reach poorer nations in the Middle East and Africa. However, much of the produce has ended up in Eastern Europe, sending local prices plummeting. Last month, the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia demanded action from the EU Commission on Ukrainian agricultural imports, calling for the reintroduction of tariffs. In early April, the countries also urged Brussels to buy back accumulated Ukrainian products on “humanitarian” grounds.

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“The banned items range “from grain to honey products, very, very many things..”

Ukraine Accuses Poland Of Violating Grain Deal (RT)

Kiev lashed out at Warsaw’s decision to impose a ban on Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products, accusing it of violating a deal reached by the two countries this month. Poland rolled out the restrictions earlier in the day, citing the need to protect local markets from “destabilization” caused by the inflow of cheap produce from Ukraine. Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry claimed the move violated an agreement reached last week in the wake of mass protests by Polish farmers. At the time, Warsaw said Kiev had “agreed to limit and, for now, halt exports to Poland.” “We understand that Polish farmers are facing a difficult situation, but we are emphasizing that now the most difficult situation is for Ukraine’s farmers,” the ministry said, adding that “resolving various issues by unilateral drastic actions will not accelerate a positive resolution of the situation.”

At the same time, the ministry called upon Warsaw to strike a new agreement on the matter as soon as possible, addressing the concerns of both sides. Announcing the ban, the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), Jaroslaw Kaczynski, insisted the country remains “unchanged friends and allies of Ukraine.” “Today, the government has decided on a regulation that prohibits the entry and importation of grain into Poland, but also dozens of other types of food [from Ukraine],” Kaczynski said during his party convention. The banned items range “from grain to honey products, very, very many things,” he added. Later in the day, another Eastern European nation, Hungary, rolled out a ban of its own on Ukrainian agriculture imports.

Announcing the move, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the restrictions were needed since the status quo would cause severe damage to local farmers. Multiple Eastern European nations, namely Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, have sounded the alarm over the inflow of cheap agriculture goods from Ukraine lately. Last month, they demanded action from the EU Commission on the issue, urging it to re-impose import tariffs on the produce. Last year, agriculture products from Ukraine were allowed duty-free entry into the bloc, with Brussels advertising the move as a way to help Ukraine reach its customers in the Middle East and Africa amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. However, much of the produce ended up in Eastern Europe, creating logistics bottlenecks and sending prices into a downward spiral, with the situation affecting local producers.

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“..he responded by firing ten who had been “brazenly bragging about the money they had.”

Zelensky is Secretly Buying Fuel from Putin with US Taxpayer Funds (CF)

It has been reported that President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials collectively embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars in American aid meant to go towards the purchase of diesel. Veteran journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that, according to sources familiar with the matter, the amount could be as high as $400 million. In his latest Substack article, Hersh delved into the rampant corruption allegedly taking place among Ukraine’s political elite, suggesting the situation is worse than most people think. He explained that according to one source in the American intelligence community, Zelensky has been purchasing “discount diesel” from Russia with American money, and stashing the leftover funds.

“The Ukrainian president and many in his entourage have been skimming untold millions from the American dollars earmarked for diesel fuel payments,” Hersh wrote. Analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency, he continued, put the number at “$400 million last year, at least,” while another expert likened the level of corruption in Ukraine to that of the war in Afghanistan. During that conflict, the US was paying up to $400 per gallon to move fuel from foreign ports into the nation. It has not been revealed how much is being paid for diesel in Ukraine. As Hersh pointed out, CIA Director William Burns confronted Zelensky on the issue of corruption during a meeting in January, telling the Ukranian president that other officials were mad at him for “taking a larger share of the skim money than was going to the generals.”

Burns provided Zelensky with a list of high-ranking Ukrainian officials known by the CIA as corrupt, and he responded by firing ten who had been “brazenly bragging about the money they had.” According to the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, the US has provided Ukraine with over $35 billion in aid since Russia launched its “premeditated, unprovoked, and brutal war” against the sovereign nation. While the US has been, by far, the greatest supplier of aid to Ukraine, dozens of other countries have stepped up to provide financial, military, and humanitarian support.

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FROM Iran or TO Iran?

Russia Begins Exporting Fuel To Iran By Rail (Cradle)

Earlier this year, Russia launched for the first time fuel-by-rail exports to Iran after its main purchasers stopped importing Russian fuel due to western sanctions imposed on the Kremlin following the start of the war in Ukraine, according to three industry sources that spoke with Reuters. Russia delivered 30,000 tons of diesel and gasoline to Iran in February and March, the sources said. Last year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak announced that the two nations had clinched a massive energy deal worth $40 billion and agreed to swap oil and natural gas supplies. “We expect fuel supplies to Iran to rise this year, but we already see several issues with logistics due to rail congestion. That may keep exports from booming,” one of the sources reportedly told Reuters.

The fuel cargoes were shipped from Russia through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan by rail. Some of the shipments of gasoline were then sent by truck from Iran to neighboring countries, including Iraq. Before the start of the Ukraine war, Russia exported small volumes of fuels to the Islamic Republic via the Caspian Sea. However, after the west sanctioned seaborne diesel and gasoline cargoes, Moscow had to look for alternative ways to expand deliveries to Tehran. While Iran is an oil-producing country with large deposits and its own refineries, over recent months, demand has surpassed domestic fuel production, according to a trader in Central Asian oil products that spoke with Reuters.

The main overland route for cargo sent from Russia to Iran passes through Azerbaijan as part of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200-kilometer-long transit system that connects ship, rail, and road routes for moving cargo between India, Iran, Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Russia, and the rest of Europe. Last July, a Russian company completed the first transport of goods via container trains from Russia to India through the eastern branch of the INSTC. Russia and Iran have deepened their economic and defense cooperation due to growing economic pressure from the west and the war in Ukraine.

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“Joe Biden is a criminal. He was conducting malfeasance in office to enrich his family. Jake Sullivan is a conspirator in that, and there’s more… Obama officials involved in it, I believe.”

“Joe Biden Is A Criminal”: Former White House Stenographer (ZH)

Mike McCormick, a stenographer in the White House for 15 years who worked with Biden from 2011 to 2017, told Fox & Friends First that the FBI has completely ignored him despite his willingness to testify under oath before the grand jury investigating Hunter. “In February, I went to the FBI and filed one of their tips on their website. If you do that, and you’re lying to them, you go to jail. I’m not lying. I’m telling the truth, and I’m not going to jail,” McCormick said on Thursday. “Joe Biden is a criminal. He was conducting malfeasance in office to enrich his family. Jake Sullivan is a conspirator in that, and there’s more… Obama officials involved in it, I believe.”

McCormick specifically noted a key dialogue involving then-VP Biden, aide Jake Sullivan and the press on Air Force Two before an April 21, 2014 trip to Kyiv, Ukraine, in which Sullivan – now Biden’s national security adviser – outlined a US investment in the Ukrainian energy sector just days after Hunter joined the board of Burisma. Months after the trip, Congress allocated $50 million to Ukraine’s energy market. “I’m sitting back there with a tape recorder. Jake Sullivan comes back and somebody asks about fracking. His answer is, well, we’re bringing a lot of American assistance over for fracking. Burisma was the direct beneficiary of that fracking, and that’s what I recorded, and that’s in a White House transcript,” said McCormick, adding: “In the transcript, you don’t know who Jake Sullivan is. It’s a senior administration official. I’m the witness that says Jake Sullivan is the guy who said it and he should be investigated because at the time Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma and Joe Biden is bringing American taxpayer money to enrich that company and himself and his family.”

“Hunter joined the board of the Ukrainian natural gas firm on April 18, just three days before Biden and his team traveled to Kyiv. But that critical piece of the puzzle was not made public until May 12. McCormick argued the timeline of the events suggests that Biden funneled American money overseas to “enrich” himself and his family, and used his own influence to aid his son’s rookie energy career. The former stenographer made it clear he wants to present the information under oath before the grand jury in Delaware probing Hunter’s business dealings, which is led by U.S. Attorney David Weiss.” -Fox News

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Leaks.

The Crackdown Cometh (Matt Taibbi)

On a flight, reading about the FBI’s arrest of Jack Texiera, already dubbed the “Pentagon Leaker.” A quick review reveals multiple media portraits already out depicting him as a dangerous incel who shared his wares on Discord, a social media app where “racist memes” and “offensive jokes” flourish. Writes the New York Times: “Dark humor about race or ideology can eventually shape the beliefs of impressionable young people, and innocuous memes can be co-opted into symbols of hatred, researchers say.” Well, clearly we can’t have dark humor or innocuous memes! Gitmo cages for all! The Washington Post went with “charismatic gun enthusiast”:

The New York Times summarized key points in the secret defense documents, which among other things suggested “Ukrainian forces are in more dire straits than their government has acknowledged publicly.” Reading what’s out there, it’s not easy to parse what’s a legitimate intelligence concern in reaction to these leaks and what’s mere embarrassment at having been caught lying, to the public, to would-be U.S. allies the documents show we’ve been spying on, etc. You’ll read a lot in the coming days about the dangers of apps like Discord, or of online gaming groups, which counterintelligence officials told the Washington Post today are a “magnet for spies.” The Leaker tale will also surely be framed as reason to pass the RESTRICT Act, the wet dream of creepazoid Virginia Senator Mark Warner, which would give government wide latitude to crack down on “communication technology” creating “undue or unacceptable risk” to national security.


The intelligence community has itself been massively interfering in domestic news using illegal leaks for years. Remember the “Why Did Obama Dawdle on Russia’s Hacking?” story by David Ignatius of the Washington Post in January of 2017, outing would-be Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn as having been captured in intercepts speaking with a Russian ambassador? That was just the first in a string of leak- or intercept-based news stories that dominated news cycles in the Trump years, involving everything from conclusions of the FISA court to supposedly secret meetings in the Seychelles. When civilians or whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, Julian Assange (in jail for an incredible four years now), Reality Winner and now the “Discord Leaker” bring leaked information to the public, the immediate threat is Espionage Act charges and decades of jail time. When a CIA head or a top FBI official does it, it’s just news. In fact, officials talk openly about using “strategic leaks” as a P.R. staple. In a world where media currency is becoming the ultimate power, these people want a monopoly. It’s infuriating. Watch how this thing will be spun. It’s going to get ugly fast.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1647202095727083521

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View from the Guardian.

Pentagon Leaks Suspect Wins Praise From Far-Right US Politicians And Media (G.)

Washington lawmakers have written off Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old air national guardsman accused of being behind the worst US intelligence leak in a decade, as an “alleged criminal” after his arrest yesterday, but that hasn’t stopped him from winning praise from the political right. “He revealed the crimes, therefore he’s the criminal. That’s how Washington works. Telling the truth is the only real sin,” declared the Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson on Thursday evening in the opening monologue of his show, which is the most watched on cable television. “The news media are celebrating the capture of the kid who told Americans what’s actually happening in Ukraine. They are treating him like Osama bin Laden,” the late al-Qaida terrorist leader.

Federal prosecutors allege Teixeira took secret documents from the Massachusetts air national guard base where he worked as a low-ranking cyber specialist and posted them online. They first appeared on one of the gaming messaging platform Discord’s servers in January before spreading to other social media sites and being reported on by news outlets earlier this month. Shortly after he was taken into custody in Massachusetts on Thursday, the far-right congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene – who has persistently called for the Joe Biden White House and Washington in general to cut off support to Kyiv – rallied to his defense. “Jake Teixeira is white, male, christian, and anti-war. That makes him an enemy to the Biden regime. And he told the truth about troops being on the ground in Ukraine and a lot more,” she tweeted in an apparent reference to one of the leaked documents that indicates 14 US special forces soldiers were present in Ukraine during the past two months.

“Ask yourself who is the real enemy? A young low level national guardsmen [sic]? Or the administration that is waging war in Ukraine, a non-Nato nation, against nuclear Russia without war powers?” Other documents have revealed details of how the United States gathers its information and how deeply its intelligence agencies have penetrated Russia’s military. Also among the leaked material is a pessimistic assessment of Ukraine’s prospects of recapturing territory from Russia this spring – a subject Carlson seized on. “Ukraine is in fact losing the war,” he said, citing other documents that indicate Washington’s concerns about Kyiv’s ability to defend its airspace. “The Biden administration is perfectly aware of this. They’re panicked about it, but they have lied about this fact to the public. Just two weeks ago, for example, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told the US Senate that Russian military power is ‘waning’. In other words, Russia is losing the war. That was a lie. He knew it was when he said it, but he repeated it in congressional testimony. That is a crime, but Lloyd Austin has not been arrested for committing that crime.”

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“If you illegally leak anything classified against the Biden regime, even if it proves they’re lying about a war… you’ll get raided by the FBI, perp-walked, slammed in the press as a traitor, and probably spend the rest of your life in prison.”

Vindman Leaked Documents To Help Impeach Trump – Never Served Time (GP)

In 2019, Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman admitted while being questioned by the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday that he had leaked information to an anti-Trump whistleblower at the center of the Democrats’ partisan impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump. Vindman attempted to provide talking points to Trump prior to his “infamous” Ukraine phone call and then leaked a mischaracterization of the call afterward. Vindman was directly confronted by California Rep. Devin Nunes. Nunes asked: “Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, did you discuss the July 25 phone call with anyone outside the White House on July 25 or the 26, and if so, with whom?” “Yes. I did,” Vindman responded. Vindman was pressed about the details and asked who he spoke with regarding the phone call. Vindman said he talked with two individuals who were not in the White House.

Vindman was asked to provide the names of the people he had spoken with but was cut off by then-Democratic Chair Adam Schiff. “We need to protect the whistleblower. Please stop. I want to make sure that there is no effort to out the whistleblower through these proceedings. If the witness has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we’re here for. I want to advise the witness accordingly.” Vindman was accused of leaking national security information but never served jail time.. One Twitter user made it clear that he believes there is a two-tiered system of justice in place. He said, “Despite destabilizing a Commander-in-Chief and helping provoke a war in Ukraine,” Vindman now goes on chat shows. Whereas Jack Teixeira leaked information showing how the government is lying to you and the world, I’m furtherance of those wars. He’s in a cell now.

[..] Catturd responded by pointing out the vastly different treatment those willing to help the Democrats have received, saying: “Remember the rules…If you illegally leak anything classified against Trump…you’re a brave whistleblower, and you’ll get a million-dollar book deal or a job at CNN. If you illegally leak anything classified against the Biden regime, even if it proves they’re lying about a war… you’ll get raided by the FBI, perp-walked, slammed in the press as a traitor, and probably spend the rest of your life in prison.”

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“The WHO will be empowered to issue binding requirements for lockdowns, masks, quarantines, border closures, travel restrictions, mandatory vaccinations, mandatory medical examinations and other measures that they see fit.”

Outrageous Plans To Give The WHO Power Over Your Life (Tess Lawrie)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is proposing the adoption of a ‘Pandemic Treaty’, or ‘Pandemic Accord’ as it is now being called. On Monday, 11 months after a UK petition calling for a debate on the matter reached the threshold of signatures to require a debate in Parliament, this will take place at last. You may be aware that the unelected Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has been on social media recently claiming that this new treaty will not affect individual countries’ sovereignty. However, what you are not being told is that in conjunction with the Pandemic Accord, amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) have been proposed and are being negotiated. Some of these amendments would cede unprecedented authority to the WHO and raise serious questions with regards to state sovereignty.

Amendments to the International Health Regulations can be adopted by simple majority vote in the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the WHO, without subsequent national ratification procedures. This means that as things stand, these changes can sail through without parliamentary scrutiny and without you, the public, being informed. Instead of being advisory, as is any guidance currently coming out of the WHO, some of the new amendments propose that WHO advice would be legally binding on all state parties and their people. If the amendments are adopted, the unelected and unaccountable Director General of the WHO would be able unilaterally to declare a public health emergency without seeking any advice from member states or WHO committees.

There would be no committees involved in the decision-making, nor would there be any checks and balances on the Director General’s decision. So one unelected, unaccountable person would have the power to take decisions that could result in restricting the lives of billions of people. This is an unimaginable concentration of power. Amongst the more disturbing changes proposed is the removal of a clause requiring the WHO to consider an individual’s human rights in the application of the International Health Regulations. The WHO will be empowered to issue binding requirements for lockdowns, masks, quarantines, border closures, travel restrictions, mandatory vaccinations, mandatory medical examinations and other measures that they see fit.

Proposed amendments also seek to implement an international database system enabling nations to enforce travel restrictions through tools such as vaccine certificates, prophylaxis certificates, testing and recovery certificates along with passenger locator forms and a traveller’s health declaration, all preferably tied to a personal QR code. The proposals further involve significantly increasing the WHO’s funding. Part of this additional funding is required to set up an extensive surveillance process in all member states, which the WHO will verify regularly through a country review mechanism. Both the IHR amendments as well as the proposed Pandemic Accord also encourage systematic global collaboration to counter dissent from official governmental or WHO guidance.

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Ü

IMF Unveils New Global Currency Known As The “Universal Monetary Unit” (Snyder)

A new global currency just launched, but 99 percent of the global population has no idea what just happened. The “Universal Monetary Unit”, also known as “Unicoin”, is an “international central bank digital currency” that has been designed to work in conjunction with all existing national currencies. This should set off alarm bells for all of us, because the widespread adoption of a new “global currency” would be a giant step forward for the globalist agenda. The IMF did not create this new currency, but it was unveiled at a major IMF gathering earlier this week…

“Today, at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings 2023, the Digital Currency Monetary Authority (DCMA) announced their official launch of an international central bank digital currency (CBDC) that strengthens the monetary sovereignty of participating central banks and complies with the recent crypto assets policy recommendations proposed by the IMF. Universal Monetary Unit (UMU), symbolized as ANSI Character, Ü, is legally a money commodity, can transact in any legal tender settlement currency, and functions like a CBDC to enforce banking regulations and to protect the financial integrity of the international banking system.”

As the press release quoted above indicates, this new “Universal Monetary Unit” was created by the Digital Currency Monetary Authority. So who in the world is the Digital Currency Monetary Authority? Honestly, I had no idea until I started doing research for this article. The press release says that the organization consists of “sovereign states, central banks, commercial and retail banks, and other financial institutions”… The DCMA is a world leader in the advocacy of digital currency and monetary policy innovations for governments and central banks. Membership within the DCMA consists of sovereign states, central banks, commercial and retail banks, and other financial institutions.

Basically, it sounds like a secretive cabal of international banks and national governments is conspiring to push this new currency down our throats. We are being told that the “Universal Monetary Unit” is “‘Crypto 2.0”, and those that created it are hoping that it will be widely adopted by “all constituencies in a global economy”… The DCMA introduces Universal Monetary Unit as Crypto 2.0 because it innovates a new wave of cryptographic technologies for realizing a digital currency public monetary system with a widespread adoption framework encompassing use cases for all constituencies in a global economy.

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Autism

 

 

Japanese multiplication
https://twitter.com/i/status/1647270979758956544

 

 

Bumble bee

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 312023
 
 March 31, 2023  Posted by at 9:12 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Dora Maar au chat 1941

 

NYT: Donald Trump Has Been Indicted (Techno Fog)
The Impact of Sanctions on the De-Dollarization of Int’l Trade (Gonzalo Lira)
Saudi Arabia Makes Move Towards Russia-China Bloc (RT)
Brazil and China Sign Pact To Abandon Dollar (RT)
Russia, China Have To Take Measures To Protect Relations – Zakharova (TASS)
Beijing Demands That US Stop Provoking China (TASS)
Senior Orthodox Bishop Invokes Woe On Zelensky (RT)
Kiev Demands Cut Of Western ‘War Profits’ – Politico (RT)
Kuleba: If US Stops Supporting Ukraine, World Order Will Collapse (Az.)
Ukraine’s Military Losing 500 Troops Daily Near Bakhmut – LPR (TASS)
Russian General Staff Says No Plans To Hold Second Wave Of Mobilization (TASS)
Russian Central Bank Reveals How It Braced For Western Dollar Grab (RT)
London Totally Ruined Architecture Of Relations With Moscow – Ambassador (TASS)
The Most Dangerous International Treaty Ever Proposed (Kingsley)
Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century (Siegel)

 

 

 

 

 

 

PCR

Hoeg

 

 

 

 

Jordan Peterson
https://twitter.com/i/status/1641206079844483073

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How much longer will the States remain United?

NYT: Donald Trump Has Been Indicted (Techno Fog)

Breaking news from the New York Times today: “A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Donald J. Trump on Thursday for his role in paying hush money to a porn star, according to four people with knowledge of the matter, a historic development that will shake up the 2024 presidential race and forever mark him as the nation’s first former president to face criminal charges. The felony indictment, filed under seal by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, will likely be announced in the coming days. By then, prosecutors working for the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, will have asked Mr. Trump to surrender and to face arraignment on charges that remain unknown for now.”


A felony indictment. We’ll have more information and more analysis after the indictment is unsealed. But as we stated yesterday regarding the reported “delays” and the potential charges: “In New York, the falsification of business records is a misdemeanor that is subject to a two-year statute of limitations. Bragg, however, is supposedly pursuing felony charges against Trump for falsifying business records to conceal federal campaign finance violations. The felony has a five-year statute of limitations, one which Bragg can manipulate to perhaps apply to Trump.” The indictment is an absolute scandal, the banana republic on parade, the prosecutor using the weapons of his office to attack his political opponent.

Whitlock

Bragg and his predecessor’s slow-walking of the investigation, with its inception by Manhattan DA goes back to 2019, evidences both the dubious nature of the case against Trump and the political motivations for prosecuting Trump. Theoretically, this should be a simple case. Yet the investigation went on for nearly five years, despite what they’ve possessed: overzealous prosecutors who wanted to charge Trump with racketeering, the cooperating witnesses, the likely millions of pages of materials from the Trump Organization. Now suddenly, the insanely pro-criminal Manhattan DA, who demanded his prosecutors reduce charges for violent criminals, is prioritizing law and order. It’s hard to believe there are legitimate reasons – for prosecutors, that means seeking justice – for that transformation. Why bring the case now? It’s the start of the 2024 presidential campaign season.


[..] Don’t be surprised if the trial date is set for the first half of 2024. And don’t understate the danger to Trump, who will face a jury of Biden voters. Biden won Manhattan 86.7% to 12.3% according to the New York Times. The jury of Trump’s peers will be friendly to the prosecution. That’s all the Manhattan DA might need to secure a conviction. Trump could very well win on appeal but the damage – which carries national repercussions – might already have been done. And that’s the whole point of this dirty scheme.

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Twitter thread. Russian sanctions drive countries away from the dollar.

The Impact of Sanctions on the De-Dollarization of Int’l Trade (Gonzalo Lira)

The Russian sanctions have caused a worldwide de-dollarization, as countries are unable to use dollars to buy essential commodities from Russia. This has led to countries signing treaties to trade in yuan, as it is a more reliable currency. This de-dollarization has caused a decrease in demand for dollars overseas, leading to American domestic inflation and an inability to continue piling on debt, which will ultimately lead to dollar hyperinflation. Why are so many countries all of a sudden turning to the yuan to buy their essential commodities? Why is the world de-dollarizing so quickly? Simple — the Russian sanctions.

Russia is the biggest single commodity producer in the world — they have oil AND gas AND agro AND minerals AND anything else. But because of the sanctions, Russia CANNOT take dollars (or euros) for sales of their commodities. First, the sanctions disconnected Russia from SWIFT, meaning Russians can’t pay for things they would want to buy with dollars. So why would Russia take dollars for their commodities — if they can’t buy stuff with those dollars. Plus their dollar assets get confiscated in the West. So why hold dollars, and dollar assets to park them in, if they will be stolen? So because of sanctions, Russia has been FORCED to de-dollarize. Russia didn’t want to de-dollarize — they were obliged. By the West. But Russia still has to trade, because it still has to acquire things it cannot produce at home, and still has a surplus of commodities with which to acquire these foreign goods.

Apart from the West, Russia’s major trading partners are China and India. So it makes sense for Russia to sell its commodities in yuan and rupees: Sell oil/agro/gas in yuan, and buy Chinese goods with those yuan. Same with India. But why are OTHER countries signing treaties to trade in yuan, like France and Brazil in the last few days? They’re getting ahead of the curve. As more commodities trading takes place in yuan and rupees, the more demand for those currencies. Hence it becomes smart to cut a deal with China NOW — to fix an exchange rate of yuan. In essence, these deals are longs on the yuan. The effect is, these trade deals eventually lead to more de-dollarization—which becomes a self-reinforcing cycle, as dollars become less valuable (because they can buy less commodities) so more countries want yuan, leading to more de-dollarization, leading to a weaker dollar.

All this leads to the collapse of the dollar into hyperinflation. The dollar was valuable BECAUSE it was the currency in international commodities trade, which created the demand for dollars and dollar assets outside the US — thereby financing the enormous American debts. With trade de-dollarization, there’s no longer as much demand for dollars overseas, leading to American domestic inflation and an inability to continue piling on debt. Ultimately, the Federal Reserve will be forced to simply print — which will lead to dollar hyperinflation. BTW, Russia didn’t cause this. The sanctions which triggered this worldwide de-dollarization was just the final straw. It didn’t help that American leadership seems capricious and hysterical, making other countries very nervous that they might be sanctioned too.

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Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa, Naledi Pandor: “Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Algeria, Argentina, Mexico and Nigeria want to join BRICS.”

Saudi Arabia Makes Move Towards Russia-China Bloc (RT)

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has signed the documents granting Saudi Arabia the status of “dialog partner” with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – the political, economic and security bloc currently chaired by China. The king signed off on the memorandum of understanding at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, held at the al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, the Saudi Press Agency reported. In addition to formalizing the partnership, King Salman also approved the technical and vocational training with China. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman thanked Beijing for mediating the talks with Iran, which culminated in the re-establishment of “good neighborly relations” earlier this month. The Saudi state agency also said that Iran was set to join the bloc “soon.” Tehran had applied for membership in 2021.


The SCO was created in 2001 by Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. It has since expanded to India, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan as full members. The status of dialog partner was created in 2008, and includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Egypt, Nepal, Qatar, Sri Lanka and Türkiye. The bloc initially focused on security concerns, primarily terrorism, separatism and extremism. It has an agreement with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on jointly addressing security, crime and drug trafficking. Over the years, it began fostering cooperation in matters of trade, economics, and culture as well. In addition to taking a step closer to the SCO, Saudi Arabia is reportedly interested in joining the BRICS group – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – Russia’s ambassador to the kingdom, Sergey Kozlov, said in February.

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“25 countries are already making settlements with China in yuan.”

Brazil and China Sign Pact To Abandon Dollar (RT)

Beijing and Brasilia have signed an agreement on trade in mutual currencies, abandoning the US dollar as an intermediary, and are also planning to expand cooperation in the field of food and minerals. According to media reports, the deal will enable the two BRICS members to conduct their massive trade and financial transactions directly, exchanging renminbi for real and vice versa instead of using the greenback for settlements. “The expectation is that this will reduce costs… promote even greater bilateral trade and facilitate investment,” AFP quoted the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency as saying on Wednesday. The countries also reportedly announced the creation of a clearinghouse that will provide settlements without the use of the US dollar, as well as lending in national currencies.


The move is aimed at facilitating and reducing the cost of transactions between the sides, and getting rid of dollar dependence in bilateral relations. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced earlier that such arrangements will boost the usage of the renminbi for cross-border transactions between enterprises and financial institutions in the two countries, and further facilitate bilateral trade and investment. China has been Brazil’s largest trading partner for more than a decade, with bilateral trade hitting a record $150 billion last year. According to the Secretary for International Affairs at the Ministry of Finance of Brazil, Tatiana Rosito, 25 countries are already making settlements with China in yuan.

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“..both sides view the strengthening of relations as a “natural process,..

Russia, China Have To Take Measures To Protect Relations – Zakharova (TASS)

Moscow and Beijing have to take adequate measures in current geopolitical circumstances in order to protect their multifaceted cooperation from the harmful effect of illegal unilateral sanctions, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing Thursday. “In current geopolitical circumstances, Moscow and Beijing have to take adequate measures in order to protect the positive groundwork of multifaceted cooperation, which took many years to accumulate, from the harmful effect of illegal unilateral sanctions,” the diplomat noted.


Meanwhile, the spokeswoman underscored, both sides view the strengthening of relations as a “natural process,” defined by long-standing ties and geographical proximity. “Unlike the westerners, we seek to build cooperation with external partners exclusively based on principles of equality, mutual consideration of each other’s interests, instead of building some coalition or some exclusive clubs with an ‘anti-‘ prefix,” Zakharova noted.

Lavrov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1641539345101324288

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“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army will take all necessary measures to protect national sovereignty and security and will resolutely defend peace and stability in the South China Sea..”

Beijing Demands That US Stop Provoking China (TASS)

The US Armed Forces must stop provoking China in the South China Sea, otherwise they will bear responsibility for any potential incidents, Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesman Tan Kefei warned on Thursday. The comment was Tan’s response to a US Navy vessel that allegedly sailed near the China-controlled Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. “We sternly demand that the United States immediately stop such provocations, otherwise it will bear full responsibility for all the serious consequences of their causing a potential incident,” the Chinese Defense Ministry quoted him as saying on WeChat. “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army will take all necessary measures to protect national sovereignty and security and will resolutely defend peace and stability in the South China Sea,” Tan assured.


The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius passed near the Paracel Islands last Friday. China’s top brass claimed that the US warship did this without the Chinese government’s permission and had violated China’s sovereignty. The US 7th Fleet replied by saying in a news release that the US destroyer had acted in line with international law, while conducting a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP). Beijing has disputed the territorial jurisdiction of some islands in the South China Sea where large hydrocarbon reserves were found with Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia. The most disputed territories are the Xisha Islands, also known as the Paracel Islands, the Nansha or Spratly Islands and Huangyan Island (Scarborough Reef).

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“You’ll disappear like dew in the sun, because all who take up the sword will perish by the sword..”

Senior Orthodox Bishop Invokes Woe On Zelensky (RT)

A senior bishop in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) has issued a strongly-worded rebuke to President Vladimir Zelensky over his role in a crackdown that the country’s largest religious denomination is currently facing. “I am telling you, Mr President, and your entire pack, that our tears will not fall to the ground, but on your head,” Metropolitan Pavel said in a video address on Wednesday. “You think today that after taking power on our backs, [based] on our wishes, you can treat us like that. Our Lord will not forgive this action, neither to you nor to your family,” the bishop warned. Pavel heads the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, the largest Orthodox monastery in the country. The Ukrainian ministry of culture denied the UOC a renewal of tenancy in the property, which means that some 220 monks living there would be “kicked out to the streets,” as Pavel described it.

The deadline for the expulsion comes this week. The bishop blasted the president for refusing to meet senior UOC clerics to discuss the situation. This was particularly hypocritical, he remarked, considering that, as a presidential candidate, Zelensky had sought and received the blessing to run for office from Metropolitan Onufry, the Church leader. “You have failed to stop the culture minister, who is possessed by hateful malice and devilish fury. This means he is acting with your permission; Woe to you, have fear,”the bishop said. The minister, Aleksandr Tkachenko, has said that UOC monks could stay at Lavra if they agreed to defect to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), a rival schismatic organization backed by Kiev.

The OCU received recognition as a legitimate church in 2019 from the Constantinople Patriarchate, causing a major schism among the Orthodox faithful of the world. Metropolitan Pavel has also accused Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople of having given impetus to the crackdown with this move. “Woe and shame on you, so-called patriarch [Bartholomew], because everything done today is done with your ill-fated and evil blessing,” he said. The bishop also likened the current detractors of the UOC to the Bolshevik and communist leaders, who’d cracked down on all religions when they were in power. He expressed faith that his church will survive the new period of suppression, just like it had the previous one. “You’ll disappear like dew in the sun, because all who take up the sword will perish by the sword,” he said, quoting in the same sentence from the Ukrainian national anthem and from the Gospels.

Pavel

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“..the record profits had been achieved purely because of the conflict in his country..”

Kiev Demands Cut Of Western ‘War Profits’ – Politico (RT)

Major oil companies have made record profits as a result of the conflict in Ukraine and should pay to rebuild the country’s war-torn infrastructure, Ukrainian Minister of Energy German Galushchenko said on Wednesday in an interview with Politico. According to Galushchenko, oil and gas majors have generated windfall profits of more than $200 billion due to wild swings in global energy prices, and should transfer some of those funds to Ukraine. Western sanctions imposed on Russia over the past year in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine have sent energy prices soaring. In 2022, oil majors Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and TotalEnergies posted a combined profit of $196.3 billion, marking an all-time high for the industry.


“I think it would be fair to share this money with Ukraine. I mean, to help us to restore, to rebuild the energy sector,” Galushchenko said on a visit to Brussels, adding that the record profits had been achieved purely because of the conflict in his country. According to the latest assessment by the Ukrainian government, the World Bank, the European Commission, and the UN, the estimated cost of the country’s reconstruction and recovery will be over $400 billion. The Ukrainian energy minister also called on the West to take further steps to plug sanctions loopholes that allow Russian energy producers to continue exports.

IAEA
https://twitter.com/i/status/1641206842415108098

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And the sun will stop shining too. Insert biblical reference.

Kuleba: If US Stops Supporting Ukraine, World Order Will Collapse (Az.)

If support for Ukraine does not continue after the US presidential elections next year, world order and security will collapse, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, Report informs via RBC-Ukraine. He said the matter is not only about the fate of Ukraine: “We must also consider international security. If the support for Ukraine stops, the countries will know that they can invade the neighboring country. If so, world security will collapse.”

Austria

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“It continues replenishing the losses that the Ukrainian army is suffering..”

Ukraine’s Military Losing 500 Troops Daily Near Bakhmut – LPR (TASS)

The Ukrainian military is daily losing 500 fighters in the area of Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine), Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) people’s militia retired Lieutenant-Colonel Andrey Marochko said on Thursday. “In my estimates, about 500 personnel daily [as casualties] there [in the Artyomovsk area]. These are both sanitary and irretrievable losses,” the retired officer said in a live broadcast on Komsomolskaya Pravda radio. The Ukrainian military experiences a shortage of fighters due to huge casualties and continues replenishing its troops, Marochko said. “It continues replenishing the losses that the Ukrainian army is suffering,” the retired officer said. Marochko told TASS on March 27 that the Ukrainian military had lost as many as 1,500 soldiers in battles with Russian forces in the Artyomovsk area over the week.


Artyomovsk is located on the Kiev-controlled part of the Donetsk People’s Republic and is a major transportation hub for the Ukrainian army’s supplies in Donbass. Fierce fighting for the city is underway. Yan Gagin, military-political expert and adviser to the acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said on March 22 that the city had been practically sealed off by Russian forces and all approaches to Artyomovsk were under Russian artillery control. He earlier said that Russian forces controlled about 70% of the city. Acting DPR Head Denis Pushilin has repeatedly said that there is no evidence of the Ukrainian army’s plans to leave Artyomovsk. Meanwhile, Kiev claims that the city’s defense will be bolstered. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky earlier said that Ukrainian troops would not surrender Artyomovsk and would fight for it as long as they could.

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..”the number of citizens who decided to join the Russian armed forces under the enlistment contract has increased significantly as of lately.”

Russian General Staff Says No Plans To Hold Second Wave Of Mobilization (TASS)

The Russian General Staff is not planning to hold the second wave of mobilization, because the current number of volunteers and servicemen is sufficient for fulfilling the tasks of the special operation, said Rear Adm. Vladimir Tsimlyansky, the head of the Russian General Staff’s main organization and mobilization department. “I would like to assure you that the General Staff’s plans do not include the second wave of mobilization. The current number of conscripts and people who volunteered to participate in the [special] operation is sufficient for fulfilling the objectives,” he said during a briefing devoted to Russia’s spring draft. In his words “the number of citizens who decided to join the Russian armed forces under the enlistment contract has increased significantly as of lately.” This year’s spring draft in Russia will be held during its usual timeframe of April 1 – July 15 for a total of 147,000 Russians aged between 18 and 27.

Polish TV

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The need for dollars is already shrinking.

Russian Central Bank Reveals How It Braced For Western Dollar Grab (RT)

The Bank of Russia had been preparing for an escalation of Western sanctions since 2014 and was beefing up additional funds as a hedge against future restrictions on its foreign exchange reserves, the regulator revealed on Wednesday. Amid “increasing geopolitical risks” the central bank ramped up investments in assets “that cannot be blocked by unfriendly nations”and transferred part of its reserves to gold, Chinese yuan and foreign currency in cash, the regulator announced in its annual report. The central bank managed to stash billions of imported dollars “in volumes limited by logistics capabilities,” the report said without specifying the amount of accumulated funds. Alternative reserves in dollars and gold bars have been stockpiled in the vaults of the Bank of Russia.

“This safety cushion was created in the form of alternative reserves – less liquid and convenient in everyday life, but more reliable in the face of a tough geopolitical scenario,” the regulator explained. It was impossible to abandon reserves in dollars and euros, as these currencies were used for settlements in international trade as well as in the domestic financial sector, the central bank added. “Therefore the structure of foreign exchange reserves needed to take into account the needs of citizens and businesses,” the regulator concluded. The central bank could have “unloaded” part of this money to banks during the first wave of Western sanctions to stabilize Russia’s banking system and offset the withdrawal of dollars and euros by “panicking depositors,”the chief analyst from Ingosstrakh-Investment, Viktor Tunyov, believes.

According to some estimates, last year almost $20 billion was withdrawn by depositors from the country’s second largest bank, VTB, alone. In 2022, Russia was hit by sweeping Western economic sanctions, which included measures to cut the Russian central bank off from the international financial system, while around $300 billion of the bank’s foreign reserves were frozen. Moscow has criticized the seizure of its assets, saying it constitutes theft.

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“Because it leads to wrong decisions, to the wrong decision-making process. They need to hear what we say, our arguments, then they will have a broader perception of the real state of affairs..”

London Totally Ruined Architecture Of Relations With Moscow – Ambassador (TASS)

Russia and the UK have no political dialogue after London completely ruined the architecture of relations between the countries, Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin said in an interview with RTVI television on Thursday. “We now in principle have no political communication, no political dialogue, unlike it was with the UK in the past, about key aspects of international affairs,” he said. The ambassador said “London ruined the entire architecture of bilateral relations.” “It broke it down in the economic area, the humanitarian area, the scientific one, the educational one and the political one first of all. It was purely its initiative – the destruction of that architecture,” Kelin went on to say.


“We are in contact with the Foreign Office. Russian diplomats, including the ambassador of the Russian Federation, are forbidden from going to parliament. This is so by a decision of the parliament’s speaker. This is very bad, because the British people, British officials, British lawmakers, they remain uninformed about the other side, uninformed about the situation as a whole,” the ambassador said. According to Kelin, this is a “categorical mistake.” “Because it leads to wrong decisions, to the wrong decision-making process. They need to hear what we say, our arguments, then they will have a broader perception of the real state of affairs,” Kelin said.

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“..there would be no requirement for an “actual” health emergency [..] it would be sufficient for the DG, acting on his or her discretion, to have identified the mere “potential” for such an event.::

The Most Dangerous International Treaty Ever Proposed (Kingsley)

Human history is a story of forgotten lessons. Despite the catastrophic collapse of European democracy in the 1930s, it appears that the tale of the twentieth century – in which citizens, cowed by existential threats, acquiesced in the rejection of liberty and truth in favour of obedience and propaganda, whilst allowing despotic leaders to seize ever more absolutist powers – is perilously close to being forgotten. Nowhere is this more evident than in relation to the apparent nonchalance which has greeted two international legal agreements currently working their way through the World Health Organisation: a new pandemic treaty, and amendments to the 2005 International Health Regulations, both due to be put before the governing body of the WHO, the World Health Assembly, in May next year.

As concerned scholars and jurists have detailed, these agreements threaten to fundamentally reshape the relationship between the WHO, national governments, and individuals. They would hardwire into international law a top-down supranational approach to public health in which the WHO, acting in some cases via the sole discretion of one individual, its Director General (DG), would be empowered to impose sweeping, legally binding directions on member states and their citizens, ranging from mandating financial contributions by individual states; to requiring the manufacture and international sharing of vaccines and other health products; to requiring the surrender of intellectual property rights; overriding national safety approval processes for vaccines, gene-based therapies, medical devices and diagnostics; and imposing national, regional and global quarantines preventing citizens from traveling and mandating medical examinations and treatments.

A global system for digital ‘health certificates’ for verification of vaccine status or test results would be routinised, and a bio-surveillance network whose purpose would be to identify viruses and variants of concern – and to monitor national compliance with WHO policy directives in the event of them – would be embedded and expanded. For any of these sweeping powers to be invoked, there would be no requirement for an “actual” health emergency in which people are suffering measurable harm; instead it would be sufficient for the DG, acting on his or her discretion, to have identified the mere “potential” for such an event.

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Fighting disinformation with ….disinformation. Long article.

Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century (Siegel)

No one thought Trump was a normal politician. Being an ogre, Trump horrified millions of Americans who felt a personal betrayal in the possibility that he would occupy the same office held by George Washington and Abe Lincoln. Trump also threatened the business interests of the most powerful sectors of society. It was the latter offense, rather than his putative racism or flagrant un-presidentialness, that sent the ruling class into a state of apoplexy. Given his focus in office on lowering the corporate tax rate, it’s easy to forget that Republican officials and the party’s donor class saw Trump as a dangerous radical who threatened their business ties with China, their access to cheap imported labor, and the lucrative business of constant war. But, indeed, that is how they saw him, as reflected in the unprecedented response to Trump’s candidacy recorded by The Wall Street Journal in September 2016:

“No chief executive at the nation’s 100 largest companies had donated to Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign through August, a sharp reversal from 2012, when nearly a third of the CEOs of Fortune 100 companies supported GOP nominee Mitt Romney.” The phenomenon was not unique to Trump. Bernie Sanders, the left-wing populist candidate in 2016, was also seen as a dangerous threat by the ruling class. But whereas the Democrats successfully sabotaged Sanders, Trump made it past his party’s gatekeepers, which meant that he had to be dealt with by other means. Two days after Trump took office, a smirking Senator Chuck Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that it was “really dumb” of the new president to get on the bad side of the security agencies that were supposed to work for him: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you.”

Trump had used sites like Twitter to bypass his party’s elites and connect directly with his supporters. Therefore, to cripple the new president and ensure that no one like him could ever come to power again, the intel agencies had to break the independence of the social media platforms. Conveniently, it was the same lesson that many intelligence and defense officials had drawn from the ISIS and Russian campaigns of 2014—namely, that social media was too powerful to be left outside of state control—only applied to domestic politics, which meant the agencies would now have help from politicians who stood to benefit from the effort.

Immediately after the election, Hillary Clinton started blaming Facebook for her loss. Until this point, Facebook and Twitter had tried to remain above the political fray, fearful of jeopardizing potential profits by alienating either party. But now a profound change occurred, as the operation behind the Clinton campaign reoriented itself not simply to reform the social media platforms, but to conquer them. The lesson they took from Trump’s victory was that Facebook and Twitter—more than Michigan and Florida—were the critical battlegrounds where political contests were won or lost. “Many of us are beginning to talk about what a big problem this is,” Clinton’s chief digital strategist Teddy Goff told Politico the week after the election, referring to Facebook’s alleged role in boosting Russian disinformation that helped Trump. “Both from the campaign and from the administration, and just sort of broader Obama orbit…this is one of the things we would like to take on post-election,” Goff said.

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Fact checkers
https://twitter.com/i/status/1641376196758847489

 

 

 

 

Candace

 

 

Fox
https://twitter.com/i/status/1641123059011817472

 

 


China High Speed Trains

 

 

Lions
https://twitter.com/i/status/1641192412356681731

 

 

Chromatophores

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 082023
 
 March 8, 2023  Posted by at 10:22 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Pollard willows at sunset 1888

 

US Spies Say ‘Pro-Ukrainian Group’ Bombed Nord Stream – NYT (RT)
US Intelligence Now Says Pro-Ukraine Mystery Forces Destroyed Nord Stream (ZH)
US Media Leaks On Nord Stream Sabotage Intended Only To Confuse – Russia (TASS)
Russian Lawmaker Calls NYT Article On Nord Stream Sabotage ‘Red Herring’ (TASS)
Support For Aid To Ukraine Declines Across West (RT)
Ukrainian Loses Over 11,000 Troops In February, 40% Jump – Shoigu (TASS)
‘Black Hole’: Ukrainian Army Faces Nightmare In Bakhmut – DPR Adviser (TASS)
US Seeking To Contain China – Xi (RT)
China Staying True To Its Own Politics Amid Global Changes – Top Diplomat (TASS)
Ukraine Crisis Led By ‘Washington’s Hand’ Seeking To Continue Conflict (TASS)
Zelensky Is ‘Just Scum’ – Belarusian President (RT)
US-backed Attempts To Drag Belarus Into Ukraine War To Fail – Lukashenko (TASS)
WHO’s Unprecedented Power to Override National Sovereignty (CHD)
Oh Boy… (Denninger)
Fox News Hit With Election Complaint (RT)
US Lawmakers Call For Declassified Covid Origins Report (RT)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Julie Kelly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633281026742009857

 

 

 

 

Tucker questionnaire
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633290114842361856

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first significant known lead…..

The New York Times never reported on the Sy Hersh story, How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline. Instead, they come up with a whole new story, without even mentioning Hersh. You’d think that if they found anything untrue in his story, they’d run with that. They did not.

Their anonymous sources claim a private group of “Ukrainian or Russian nationals” hired a boat and did the deed. Even if right after the September 2022 attack, everyone agreed this would have taken a sophisticated state actor. Avoiding detection would have been hard enough, drilling holes into the think concrete wall of the pipes, placing over 1,000 pounds of “military grade” explosives, etc etc. But the purpose of the NYT story is not to prove anything, it’s just to sow doubt about Hersh’s story.

Hersh was adamant that it was the US -and Norway- who conducted the attack. Now there may be Ukrainians or Russians involved. And you don’t have to go into details (as Hersh did) to plant some doubt. But you can state that no Americans were involved. You don’t have to prove that either. You can just say it. “Anonymous sources”. Obviously the NYT has no credibility as long as it ignores Hersh, but the home crowd doesn’t mind as long as they …ignore Hersh. Mum’s the word. That Hersh guy spent months just making it all up, no use addressing that.

US Spies Say ‘Pro-Ukrainian Group’ Bombed Nord Stream – NYT (RT)

Unspecified new intelligence “suggests that a pro-Ukrianian group” was behind the September 2022 attack on Nord Stream pipelines, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, quoting anonymous US officials. The Times’ entirely unnamed sources said they “believed the saboteurs were most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two” and that “no American or British nationals were involved.” They further said they had no evidence Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky or his “top lieutenants” were involved, or that the “any Ukrainian government officials” directed the attack. The anonymous officials could not say who directed or paid for the “operation,” and said it was possible the attack “might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.”

The bombs that tore apart three out of four strings of the pipelines under the Baltic Sea were “most likely” planted by experienced divers, “who did not appear to be working for military or intelligence services,” but may have received “specialized government training in the past,” the anonymous officials claimed. They also said US President Joe Biden and his top aides “did not authorize” the attack on Nord Stream and that “there was no US involvement” in it. These statements directly address last month’s report by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who accused the US of ordering the bombing and planting the explosives. While Western European officials also believe the attack was state-sponsored, “US officials have not stated publicly that they believe the operation was sponsored by a state,” the Times noted.

Some officials see “Ukraine and its allies” as having “the most logical potential motive” to destroy the pipelines. It was unclear who they meant by allies; though Poland has been the most outspoken critic of Nord Stream, the US and the entire NATO bloc have sent more than $100 billion worth of weapons and other aid to Kiev over the past year. “Any findings that put blame on Kyiv or Ukrainian proxies could prompt a backlash in Europe and make it harder for the West to maintain a united front in support of Ukraine,” the Times reporters noted. The Nord Stream explosions happened five weeks after the Moscow car bombing that killed Russian journalist Darya Dugina.

Anonymous US spies told the Times last October they believed “elements” within the Ukrainian government – but not Zelensky – were responsible, but declined to name anyone. Kiev has officially denied any responsibility whatsoever. “After the Nord Stream operation, there was hushed speculation – and worry – in Washington that parts of the Ukrainian government might have been involved in that operation as well,” the Times reported on Tuesday. The anonymous officials who spoke to the paper said there was “no evidence so far” the Ukrainian government was involved, and that President Joe Biden’s trust in Zelensky “has been steadily increasing.” The Times did acknowledge that American intelligence has “limited visibility into Ukrainian decision-making,” despite Kiev’s “deep dependence” on the US.

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“The CIA alleges that 5 random clowns in a sailboat penetrated the most highly patrolled body of water on earth, drilled through concrete at incredible depths, and planted 1,000 Kilograms of highly unstable C4 plastique, then remote detonated it with pulse sonar.”

US Intelligence Now Says Pro-Ukraine Mystery Forces Destroyed Nord Stream (ZH)

Last month, Pulitzer prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh concluded that the United States blew up the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream natural gas pipelines last September as part of a covert operation under the guise of the BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise. Now, four weeks after Hersh’s bombshell report, anonymous US intelligence officials tell the NY Times that the saboteurs are likely ‘pro-Ukraine, possibly government-trained Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two,’ but that ‘no American or British nationals were involved.’

“U.S. officials said that they had no evidence President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine or his top lieutenants were involved in the operation, or that the perpetrators were acting at the direction of any Ukrainian government officials. [..] U.S. officials said there was much they did not know about the perpetrators and their affiliations. The review of newly collected intelligence suggests they were opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, but does not specify the members of the group, or who directed or paid for the operation. U.S. officials declined to disclose the nature of the intelligence, how it was obtained or any details of the strength of the evidence it contains. They have said that there are no firm conclusions about it, leaving open the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.” -NY Times

The perpetrators were likely “experienced divers who did not appear to be working for military or intelligence services,” US officials said, adding that “it is possible that the perpetrators received specialized government training in the past.” According to one European lawmaker briefed late last year by his country’s primary foreign intelligence service, over 1,000 pounds of “military grade” explosives were used. ‘But it wasn’t us!’ the US insists. The Times also notes that the implications of Ukrainian involvement in the attack “whether direct or indirect,” which could “upset the delicate relationship between Ukraine and Germany, souring support among a German public that has swallowed high energy prices in the name of solidarity.”

“Since the explosions along the pipelines in September, there has been rampant speculation about what transpired on the sea floor near the Danish island of Bornholm. Poland and Ukraine immediately accused Russia of planting the explosives, but they offered no evidence. Russia, in turn, accused Britain of carrying out the operation — also without evidence. Russia and Britain have denied any involvement in the explosions. [..] Any findings that put blame on Kyiv or Ukrainian proxies could prompt a backlash in Europe and make it harder for the West to maintain a united front in support of Ukraine. U.S. officials and intelligence agencies acknowledge that they have limited visibility into Ukrainian decision-making.” -NYT

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“First of all, we took notice of the fact that the mentioned article instantly got a ‘green light’ in the local information field, literally being all over the media in a heartbeat.”

US Media Leaks On Nord Stream Sabotage Intended Only To Confuse – Russia (TASS)

US media leaks from anonymous sources about the sabotage attacks on Nord Stream pipelines are intended only to confuse those who are trying to find out the truth, Minister-Counselor of the Russian Embassy in the United States Andrey Ledenev said. Commenting on an article in the New York Times, the diplomat said: “First of all, we took notice of the fact that the mentioned article instantly got a ‘green light’ in the local information field, literally being all over the media in a heartbeat.” “This is especially noteworthy given the attempts of the local officials and journalists to blatantly silence the resonant material of the Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh on the same topic. As well as the administration’s opposition to launching a comprehensive and independent investigation into this act of international terrorism against critical energy infrastructure,” Ledenev was quoted as saying on the Russian embassy’s official Telegram channel.

In his words, “it looks like local authorities have something to hide given the fact they openly threatened the operation of the gas pipelines, and afterwards overtly savored their destruction,” especially since mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Europe “has always been like a thorn in Washington’s side.” “We have no faith in the ‘impartiality’ of the conclusions of the US intelligence. We perceive anonymous ‘leaks’ as nothing more than an attempt to confuse those who are sincerely trying to get to the bottom of things in this egregious crime. Shift the blame from the statesmen who ordered and coordinated the attacks in the Baltic Sea to some abstract individuals,” the Russian diplomat continued. “We are convinced that in the end justice will prevail. We shall spare no effort for this to happen,” he added.

The New York Times reported earlier on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources, that US intelligence has so far been unable to identify the mastermind of last September’s sabotage attacks that targeted the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which transported natural gas from Russia to Europe. The anonymous officials interviewed by the newspaper said there had been no firm conclusions about those responsible, thus leaving open “the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.” Meanwhile, Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper wrote that German investigators had allegedly identified the vessel used in the attack. The company that leased it was owned by Ukrainian citizens.

On September 27, 2022, Nord Stream AG reported unprecedented damage that occurred the day before on three strings of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 offshore gas pipelines. On September 26, 2022, Swedish seismologists registered two explosions on the pipeline routes. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office launched a criminal case based on charges of international terrorism.

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“..leaving open “the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force..”

Russian Lawmaker Calls NYT Article On Nord Stream Sabotage ‘Red Herring’ (TASS)

Leonid Slutsky, the head of the Russian State Duma (parliament’s lower chamber) Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Tuesday’s New York Times article suggesting that a pro-Ukrainian group could be behind the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines was a “yet another red herring.” “The NYT article is a yet another red herring, aimed at distracting the public from real perpetrators by pointing to an abstract rebel group. But who would believe that an operation of this scope, which essentially is of military nature, can be carried out by a previously unknown sabotage group?” Slutsky wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday. In his opinion, this article should become a wake-up call for the Kiev government and President Vladimir Zelensky, “indicating that he and his ‘rebels’ will be cast away when the heat is on in Washington.”

The New York Times reported earlier on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources, that US intelligence has so far been unable to identify the mastermind of last September’s sabotage attacks that targeted the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which transported natural gas from Russia to Europe. The anonymous officials interviewed by the newspaper said there had been no firm conclusions about those responsible, thus leaving open “the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.”

However, Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on February 8 published an article where he said, citing a source, that explosives under the Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were planted by US Navy divers, helped by Norwegian specialists, under the guise of the Baltops exercise in June. The story stated that the CIA and Burns took part in the preparation of the operation, and US president Joe Biden personally authorized the operation after nine months of deliberations with the administration’s national security staff. On September 27, 2022, Nord Stream AG reported unprecedented damage that occurred the day before on three strings of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 offshore gas pipelines. On September 26, 2022, Swedish seismologists registered two explosions on the pipeline routes. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office launched a criminal case based on charges of international terrorism.

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Time for a false flag? BTW, where is the western coverage of these polls?

Support For Aid To Ukraine Declines Across West (RT)

A year into the Russia-Ukraine conflict, public support for military and financial assistance to Kiev is in decline in the West, a joint survey by the Economist magazine and the YouGov pollster has shown. Even the most ardent backers of Ukraine are now less enthusiastic about supporting the country, the Economist said in a report revealing the poll results on Monday. Among US Democrats, support for financial aid to Kiev fell from 82% to 75% between April 2022 and February 2023, the poll revealed. Republican support for similar measures almost halved over the same period, from 67% to 39%, it added. Sending battle tanks to Kiev still appeared to be a popular option, as their delivery to Ukraine was supported by 70% of Democrats and just under 50% of Republicans between late January and mid-February 2023.

A poll conducted by the Associated Press in mid-February showed, however, that less than a half of Americans support military aid to Kiev. Public backing for further restrictions against Moscow that could increase the cost of living in Europe has seen a sharp decline in major European nations over the past year, according to the poll. In February 2022, 45% of Britons said they would favour such sanctions, but in December 2022 the level of support for the measures dropped to 35% in the UK. In Germany, it fell from almost 40% to less than 30% over the same period, while Spain, Italy and France followed a similar trend. Another poll published by YouGov two weeks ago, on February 24, showed that people in some European nations, including France and Italy, tend to favor a negotiated solution to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, over supporting Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”

In Italy, 47% of respondents said they would like to see a negotiated end of the fighting, even if it means Kiev having to cede control over some territories it considers its own to Russia. In France, 38% of people supported this option. Only 29% of Italians and 37% of the French believed Kiev should be supported further, even if it means the conflict will last longer. Major European nations also saw a decline in support for almost all types of aid to Kiev over the second half of 2022. Most Europeans also believed that conflict had reached a stalemate, with Spanish citizens believing Russia was gaining the upper hand in it. The idea that Kiev is winning the conflict was shared by only a small minority in the European nations covered by the poll.

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“..it’s surprising how the Kiev regime doesn’t care about its people, tolerating any cost to human life to please its Western handlers..”

No problem, we’ll say the same about Russia…

Ukrainian Loses Over 11,000 Troops In February, 40% Jump – Shoigu (TASS)

The losses of Ukrainian troops jumped by 40% in February, surpassing 11,000 people, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said during a conference call with top commanders of the Russian armed forces. “There’s considerable growth of losses among the personnel of the Ukrainian armed forces. In February alone, they increased by more than 40% compared with January and totaled more than 11,000 servicemen. In connection with this, it’s surprising how the Kiev regime doesn’t care about its people, tolerating any cost to human life to please its Western handlers,” he said.


The minister said it continues to be a priority for the Russian armed forces to preserve the lives and health of its personnel and civilians. Shoigu also said Russian troops will continue to perform missions as part of the special operation. The West, as part of the US strategy to “break Russia by force of weapons,” in ramping up arms shipments to Kiev but that doesn’t result in Ukrainian achievements on the battlefield, Shoigu said.

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“Zelensky has long called it a fortress city, the loss of which, in principle, would be tantamount to the loss of the frontline. This fortress city has now turned into a black hole that sucks in enemy manpower..”

‘Black Hole’: Ukrainian Army Faces Nightmare In Bakhmut – DPR Adviser (TASS)

The city of Artyomovsk (Ukrainian name – Bakhmut), which Kiev has for some time described as the Ukrainian forces’ impregnable fortress has turned into a veritable “black hole,” Yan Gagin, an adviser to the acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, said on the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock TV news channel. “He [Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky] has long called it a fortress city, the loss of which, in principle, would be tantamount to the loss of the frontline. This fortress city has now turned into a black hole that sucks in enemy manpower,” Gagin said. Artyomovsk is located in the Kiev-controlled part of the DPR. Fierce battles for the city are in progress.


According to the latest reports, the Russian forces have cut off or taken under fire control all paved roads to the city. Spring slush and mud greatly impede the delivery of supplies to Ukrainian troops in the city. On February 20, Zelensky vowed that the Ukrainian army would fight for Artyomovsk “as long as it is reasonable.” Additional units continue to be brought to the city. As retired Lieutenant-Colonel of the Lugansk People’s Republic’s militia Andrey Marochko told TASS, Kiev has even sent some under-age conscripts to the area of hostilities. On Monday, Gagin said that the Ukrainian troops in Artyomovsk were trapped just like they were in Debaltsevo in 2015.

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“He compared the US government to an athlete trying to trip their opponent instead of giving its best performance.”

US Seeking To Contain China – Xi (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has publicly criticized the US and accused it of leading a Western attempt to “contain” his country. Foreign Minister Qin Gang also warned Washington to “hit the brakes” or risk “conflict and confrontation. “Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to our nation’s development,” Xi said in a rare verbal attack on Monday, as quoted by state media. The Chinese leader was meeting with industry and business groups during an annual gathering of an advisory body to the Communist Party. His speech focused on the national economy, with the remark about Washington’s policy illustrating what he called “uncertain and unpredictable factors” in the international environment, which also included the Covid-19 pandemic.

Xi normally refrains from targeted criticism of the US. Michael Swaine, a senior research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told the New York Times that, to his knowledge, it was the first time the Chinese leader “has publicly come out and identified the US as taking such actions.” Meanwhile, another senior Chinese official accused Washington of using underhanded tactics on Tuesday. “The US claims that it seeks to out-compete China but does not seek conflict. Yet in reality, its so-called ‘competition’ means to contain and suppress China in all respects,” Foreign Minister Qin Gang said in a speech on the sidelines of an ongoing session of the Chinese legislature. He compared the US government to an athlete trying to trip their opponent instead of giving its best performance.

Washington wants Beijing not to push back when it is targeted by such action or slander, the minister suggested, adding that this was not possible. The US trajectory could lead to a disaster that no guardrails would be able to prevent, he warned. “If the US does not hit the brakes, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing and there will surely be conflict and confrontation,” said Qin, who previously served as the Chinese ambassador to the US. Washington has accused Beijing of undermining a “rules-based order” with its policies and imposed a number of economic restrictions, including last year’s ban on exporting certain semiconductors to the country. Tensions escalated further last month after Washington accused the country of flying a “spy balloon” over American soil, which China said was just a stray weather aircraft.

Mao Ning

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“Beijing will always contribute to maintaining peace on the planet and preserving the existing world order..”

China Staying True To Its Own Politics Amid Global Changes – Top Diplomat (TASS)

Authorities in China will stick to an independent policy course against the backdrop of the drastic changes underway in the international arena, China’s top diplomat Qin Gang said on Tuesday. “Major changes, unseen in the past 100 years, are taking place globally. Under the circumstances, China will pursue a peaceful and independent foreign policy and stick to mutually advantageous strategies,” Qin told a press conference during the annual plenary meetings of the country’s top advisory and legislative bodies underway in Beijing this week. Beijing will always contribute to maintaining peace on the planet and preserving the existing world order, Qin added.


The first session of the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s parliament) kicked off on Sunday and it will end on March 13. It coincided with the work of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top political advisor. This week, Chinese lawmakers and advisors are discussing key issues surrounding the country’s social and economic development, and coordinating domains for further reform. The sessions will result in the election of new top officials, including the Chinese vice-president and the premier of the State Council.

Read more …

No invisible hand.

Ukraine Crisis Led By ‘Washington’s Hand’ Seeking To Continue Conflict (TASS)

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov disagreed with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s opinion that the crisis in Ukraine was orchestrated by “an invisible hand.” According to the spokesman, it is the hand of the United States, which does not want the military conflict in Ukraine to end. “Here, perhaps, we can disagree with our Chinese friends,” Peskov told reporters at a briefing, commenting on the statement of the Chinese Foreign Minister. At the same time, the Kremlin spokesman made it clear right away that the disagreement was a joke.


“You know what the joke is? This is not an invisible hand, in fact, this hand is quite visible. This is the hand of the United States, the hand of Washington. Washington does not want this war to end, Washington wants and will do everything to continue this war. That is why this hand is visible,” Peskov said. Earlier on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said at the annual press conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress session that efforts to promote negotiations between Russia and Ukraine had failed. According to him, “an invisible hand is pushing the conflict towards further prolongation and escalation and is trying to use the crisis in Ukraine for its geopolitical purposes.”

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“If you think that by challenging us this way you’ll be able to drag us into the war tomorrow… then you are mistaken.”

Zelensky Is ‘Just Scum’ – Belarusian President (RT)

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has lashed out at his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky, accusing him of attempting to drag Belarus into Kiev’s conflict with Moscow. On Tuesday, Lukashenko told the media that a Russian A-50 surveillance aircraft sustained minor damage in a drone attack on the Machulishchy air base in Belarus last week, adding that the assault had been carried out by a “terrorist” recruit of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU). “There can be only one conclusion… President Zelensky is just scum. Just scum, as such operations are never carried out without the consent of the head of state and the commander-in-chief. I am telling you this as a president,” the Belarusian leader said.

The exact word that Lukashenko used was “gnida”, which is Russian for louse egg or nit. According to Lukashenko, Zelensky “has been making circles around Belarus” and talking about signing “a non-aggression pact” between Kiev and Minsk under the auspices of the UN, but “at the same time” doing things like this. “I know that they want to drag us into the war on the order of the Americans,” Lukashenko said. In a comment addressing Zelensky’s government, he stated: “If you think that by challenging us this way you’ll be able to drag us into the war tomorrow… then you are mistaken.”

The Belarusian leader first revealed that Ukraine had offered “a non-aggression pact” to his country in late January. Back then, Lukashenko said such an agreement would have been excessive, as Minsk had no aggressive plans against its neighbor. Belarus is a close ally of Russia, with the two countries creating a joint military grouping on Belarusian territory in the fall. According to Minsk, this was needed to address perceived threats from the West, which he said is eager to involve Belarus in the Ukrainian conflict in order to extend the frontline and stretch the resources of the Russian forces.

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“..if you think that having thrown down this challenge you will drag us into the war which is already underway across the entire Europe, you are wrong..”

US-backed Attempts To Drag Belarus Into Ukraine War To Fail – Lukashenko (TASS)

Kiev is seeking to drag Belarus into the conflict in Ukraine on instructions from Washington but will not be able to do so, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday. “If they plan to do it (and I know that they are seeking to drag us into the war on commands from the Americans), if you think that having thrown down this challenge you will drag us into the war which is already underway across the entire Europe, you are wrong,” the BelTA news agency quoted him as saying. Earlier on Tuesday, Lukashenko said that an agent of the Ukrainian special services and more than 20 of his accomplices had been detained in Belarus following an attempted act of sabotage against an A-50 long-range radar surveillance and control aircraft of the Russian aerospace forces. According to the Belarusian president, the plane did not sustain “any serious damage, but for, as they say, scratches and a hole in the hull.” Belarus has asked the Russian side to take this plane in for repairs and send another such plane instead, which was done.

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• “Empowering the WHO’s Emergency Committee “to override decisions made by sovereign nations regarding health measures.”

WHO’s Unprecedented Power to Override National Sovereignty (CHD)

Two World Health Organization (WHO) committees recently convened to discuss proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) and the “zero draft” of a new global “pandemic treaty.” Media have focused primarily on the pandemic treaty, with the Biden administration recently reaffirming its commitment to finalizing it, and with The Associated Press (AP) reporting the treaty would not threaten national sovereignty. However, some experts warn the public should be more concerned about the proposed IHR amendments — which are more likely to be adopted — as they would give the WHO unprecedented power over national governments and override national sovereignty. Experts also say there are clear differences between the proposed IHR amendments and the pandemic treaty, even though the two are often conflated in public discourse.

Previous versions of the IHR have been in place since 1969. The current version was first enacted in 2005, in the aftermath of SARS-CoV-1. IHR amendments a ‘clear and present danger’ According to author and researcher James Roguski, “It seems nearly everyone is having difficulty maintaining clarity between the proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations and the proposed ‘Pandemic Treaty.’” Roguski, who has extensively researched both proposals, recently wrote on his blog that the “Zero Draft” of the Pandemic Treaty “is a real thing” but is also “a skillfully crafted decoy” designed to draw attention away from the proposed IHR amendments. He called these amendments — which the WHO’s Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) discussed on Feb. 20-24 — “a clear and present danger.”

According to Reclaim the Net, the WHO, through the proposed IHR amendments, is “pushing to greatly expand its surveillance powers,” including requiring states to build “collaborative surveillance networks.” “The unelected health agency also wants increased influence over the targeting of ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’” via the proposed amendments. According to the Brownstone Institute, the proposed amendments would “expand the definitions of pandemics [and] health emergencies, including the introduction of ‘potential’ for harm rather than actual harm” and would change the recommendations of the IHR for states “from ‘non-binding’ to mandatory.” The WHO’s director general would be empowered to “independently declare emergencies, and would grant the WHO “control over certain country resources.”

A total of 307 IHR amendments have been proposed. On his blog, Roguski compiled a list of the top 10 reasons to oppose the amendments. These include:
• Changing the WHO “from an advisory organization … to a governing body whose proclamations would be legally binding.” (Articles 1 and 42)
• Removing language preserving “respect for dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of people.” (Article 3)
• Giving the WHO “authority to require medical examinations, proof of prophylaxis, proof of vaccine and to implement contact tracing, quarantine and treatment.” (Article 18)
• Instituting “a system of global health certificates in digital or paper format.” (multiple articles and annexes)
• Empowering the WHO’s Emergency Committee “to override decisions made by sovereign nations regarding health measures.” (Article 43)

Read more …

“The Brady decision by the USSC makes clear that the prosecution must turn over all evidence they have which exculpates a defendant. It’s not optional and it dates to 1963.”

Oh Boy… (Denninger)

Well now there’s a problem. Tucker has released video that pretty-much blows a hole in the entire January 6th narrative. In fact, it blows it up, sets it alight and watches it burn to ash. This is a serious problem for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the number of people sitting in prison — or convicted on connived, false claims with no ability for their defense to access the evidence proving that in many cases they were escorted. At worst most of these people are guilty of trespass, but even there you likely can’t make it stick as trespass is voided if you’re invited or chaperoned, and its quite clear that at least in some cases — they are. There’s another problem too: The Brady decision by the USSC makes clear that the prosecution must turn over all evidence they have which exculpates a defendant. It’s not optional and it dates to 1963.


The violations here are severe and in fact it appears basically universal. Indeed the definition of malicious prosecution is to bring a case before the court where you know the exculpatory evidence is so strong you’d never win a conviction and you intentionally withhold it from the defense. That opens up the DOJ and even the individuals involved to personal liability. I have no idea how the DOJ thought they’d get away with this indefinitely, but apparently they did think they would. Well, not any more. Now the question becomes if the government will not live to its own laws, what remains? It’s not a pleasant question to ponder, but ponder it we must, and the implications do not just extend to January 6th. Unfortunately.

Read more …

They had the counter-attack ready on the shelf. Took just one day.

“MMFA has gone after Carlson numerous times, accusing him of everything from “election denial” to racism…”

Fox News Hit With Election Complaint (RT)

Media Matters for America has filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against Fox News, claiming the cable network has provided an illegal contribution to the Republican Party in the 2020 US election. MMFA’s head talked up the complaint on Monday, as Fox aired previously unavailable footage of the January 6 Capitol riot. Fox operates “more like a partisan operation than a news network,” Angelo Carusone told Democracy Now! on Monday evening, adding he anticipated “a lot more” FEC complaints going forward. The MMFA is basing its complaint on one of the documents produced in the ongoing defamation lawsuit against the cable network by Dominion Voting Systems, which is seeking $1.6 billion in damages. According to the discovery in that trial, Fox owner Rupert Murdoch gave then-President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, “confidential information” about a campaign ad for Democrat Joe Biden.

MMFA is arguing that the FEC “press exemption” would not apply in this case, and that Murdoch’s act amounts to “an illegal corporate in-kind contribution.” “If you try to get around that disclosure law… by giving something that is the equivalent of money, that you would need to spend money on, or that could be considered something of value for a political campaign, you’re either not supposed to do it or it’s supposed to be disclosed,” Carusone told Democracy Now! Carusone’s interview coincided with Fox News showing video from the 2021 riot at the US Capitol, which the new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy – a California Republican – provided to Tucker Carlson, the most-watched evening news host in the US. The footage Carlson aired directly contradicted the narratives about the Capitol “insurrection” put forth by Biden and the Democrats.

MMFA has gone after Carlson numerous times, accusing him of everything from “election denial” to racism. The Republican National Committee has previously complained to the FEC that Twitter had given an in-kind contribution to the Democrats in the 2020 election, by censoring the New York Post’s factually true story about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Biden, the Democrats and MMFA denounced the report – falsely, as it turned out – as “Russian disinformation.” The RNC filed their claim in October 2020, just weeks before the election. The FEC rejected it, without explanation, in September 2021.

Tucker 2
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633276073155674114

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“..urging for an international probe into the matter within the United States following similar investigations in the People’s Republic.”

US Lawmakers Call For Declassified Covid Origins Report (RT)

The US House Intelligence Committee has adopted its own version of a bill seeking to force the government to declassify all that it knows about the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, namely information that relates to a major virology lab in China, from which US officials have claimed the virus originally escaped. A Senate-approved bill moving through Congress was given a rubber stamp by the Republican-controlled intel committee on Tuesday, aiming to require Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to “make available to the public as much information as possible” about the beginnings of the virus, as well as “any and all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology” and Covid-19.

“The American public deserves answers to every aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic, including how this virus was graded and specifically, whether it was a natural occurrence or was the result of a lab-related event,” committee chairman Mike Turner said. “The intelligence community does have more information about Covid-19 than the public has seen.” The legislation was approved unanimously by the committee and will now head for a floor vote in the House, after which it would be destined for President Joe Biden’s desk for a signature. The GOP-led push to declassify information follows an updated assessment by the Department of Energy, which recently concluded the virus likely leaked from the Wuhan lab, though the department only endorsed that theory with “low confidence.”

Days later, FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared on Fox News to declare that Covid-19 “most likely” emerged from the virology facility, citing a bureau report that has not been made public. Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Mike Braun initially proposed similar legislation in 2021, and though the bill was passed in the upper chamber, it was never enacted into law. It was reintroduced and passed again overwhelmingly last week. “The Senate already passed my bill with [Hawley] to make every bit of evidence we know about the Covid lab leak declassified for the American people to see the facts without corporate or government censors. President Biden needs to declassify everything we know today,” Braun wrote in a tweet in late February, soon after the Wall Street Journal was first to report the Energy Department’s revised conclusion.

Though the original bill never received the president’s signature, so far the White House has not given any indication it will veto the measure. Beijing, for its part, has vocally denied suggestions the pathogen escaped from the Wuhan virology lab, rejecting the theory as a way to smear China’s image abroad. On Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry accused Washington of “spreading myths” about the origins of the pandemic, urging for an international probe into the matter within the United States following similar investigations in the People’s Republic.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Bamboozle

 

 

Chirodectes maculatus

 

 

Young

 

 


Crocodile with perfect camouflage – Jens Cullmann

 

 

Trolling

 

 

Arnie

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 042023
 
 March 4, 2023  Posted by at 10:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  38 Responses »


Frans Hals Two Laughing Boys with a Mug of Beer 1626

 

Worst-Ever Economic Crash Coming – Nouriel Roubini (RT)
Prepare For 10 Years Of Global Destruction (Egon von Greyerz)
Russian Mercenary Boss Says Bakhmut Effectively Surrounded (Az)
Wagner Chief Calls On Zelenskiy To Abandon ‘Encircled’ Bakhmut (G.)
EU Must Shift To Wartime Economy – Industry Commissioner (RT)
Beijing Calls US World’s ‘Primary Nuclear Threat’ (RT)
New Biden Cyber Strategy Takes Aim at China as ‘Most Persistent Threat’ (ET)
One Year Later in Ukraine: Washington and NATO Got It Very Wrong (Mises)
Power Shortages Coming Soon to America (ET)
WHO Wants Proof Behind US Claims Of Covid Origin (RT)
Blinken Lied About Exchange With Lavrov – Moscow (RT)
Russian Diplomats Mock US Official Over Country Name Gaffe (RT)
Robert F. Kennedy Jr Ponders Bid For 2024 White House Nomination (Fox)

 

 


57 people died in the March 1 Greek train disaster

 

 

Prighozin

 

 


“Any State can be recognized as a participant in hostilities if, in addition to supplying weapons, this State trains the personnel of the belligerent side to handle these weapons (the Briand–Kellogg Pact of 1928, the Budapest Resolution to the 1934 Pact).”

 

 

Flags cemetery

 

 

Kurten
https://twitter.com/i/status/1630325751395282957

 

 

 

 

Kucinich

 

 

 

 

Does Roubini have any credibility left?

Worst-Ever Economic Crash Coming – Nouriel Roubini (RT)

The world is facing the “perfect storm” of high inflation, rising interest rates and a recession in 2023, with people who are currently employed likely to be hit hardest by the crisis, famed economist and New York University professor Nouriel Roubini told Australia’s ABC on Thursday. One of the first economists to predict the financial crisis of 2008-09, Roubini has been warning now for months of a stagflationary debt crisis, which would combine the worst elements of 1970s stagflation and the 2008 debt crisis. “I do believe that a stagflationary crisis is going to emerge this year,” he said, pointing out that the debt ratio in advanced economies was only 100% of GDP in the 1970s while currently it is 420% of GDP, in private and public debt.

“So, in this case, if we have those shocks to, say, oil prices, not only do you get inflation, not only do you get recession and stagflation, but you get what I call a great stagflationary debt crisis, because with interest rates so high, then that [debt] ratio has become unsustainable,” he explained. Dubbed ‘Doctor Doom’ by Wall Street for his dire economic predictions, Roubini suggested that all of this would force the US Federal Reserve and other central banks to keep hiking interest rates until their economies fell into recession. “I think that the Fed funds rate will have to be certainly above 6% to achieve a 2% inflation target,” he said. “But if you raise interest rates to 6% then you’re going to have a real hard landing.”

According to the economist, this will precipitate a harsh correction in equity markets, bond yields going higher, credit spreads for private sector debt widening, and will eventually lead to severe financial distress. “That financial distress is going to make the recession more severe, and a more severe recession by having a contraction of income and output is going to increase the number of defaults by households, businesses, corporates, and even some financial institutions and some governments in poor countries that have serious debt problems,” Roubini warned. He also said that people who are currently employed would likely be hit hardest by the looming crisis, including those who kept their jobs. “Stagflation is the worst of all worlds for workers,” he stressed.

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“..the United States has acted more boldly to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, pursue, maintain and abuse hegemony, advance subversion and infiltration, and wilfully wage wars, bringing harm to the international community.”

Prepare For 10 Years Of Global Destruction (Egon von Greyerz)

The final stages of major economic cycles are always accompanied by the maximum amount of bad news as well as heinous events. This time is no different as the West is in the process of committing Harakiri (Seppuku). As Elon Musk said: “My mentality is that of a Samurai. I would rather commit Seppuku than fail.” Sadly, the problem for the West is that it is both committing Harakiri and failing. For at least half a century, the world has been in a process of self-destruction. As the decline accelerates, the next phase of 5-10 years will include major political, social, economic as well as wealth – destruction. What can be more heinous than a total economic and financial collapse accompanied by a potential World War III that at worst could destroy the world totally.

A recent article of mine discussed global fragility due to War, Debt and Energy Depletion. In this article I outline the major risks today, financial and geopolitical and also discuss the best way to protect against these risks. Physical Gold is of course the ultimate wealth preservation investment. The next major move up in gold is not far away. See further on. Biden’s recent visit to Ukraine and whistle stop tour of Europe confirmed that there is no desire to make peace but only war. More support of weapons and money from the US is forthcoming. And whatever the US dictates, Europe follows without considering the consequences. At the end of his Warsaw address Biden stated about Putin: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power”. Hmmm…. Hardly the talk of a peace maker.

China on the other hand is trying to act as peacemaker but their proposal last Friday was cold shouldered by the West. More importantly, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an important policy document this week which is a very strong attack on the US hegemony called: “US Hegemony and Its Perils”. The attack starts in the introduction: “Since becoming the world’s most powerful country after the two world wars and the Cold War, the United States has acted more boldly to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, pursue, maintain and abuse hegemony, advance subversion and infiltration, and wilfully wage wars, bringing harm to the international community. It then goes on in detail to attack all the areas of US Hegemony like: Political – Throwing its Weight Around, Military – Wanton Use of Force, Economic – Looting and Exploitation, Technological – Monopoly and Suppression, Cultural – Spreading False Narratives.

The document exemplifies in detail the hegemonic policies and attacks of the US. Although US politicians will totally reject its contents, it is difficult to argue with the facts put forward by China. As I mention regularly, I very much like America and its people but have difficulties accepting the policies of the Neocons who dominate US politics.

Read more …

It’s gone. But how do you admit it?

Russian Mercenary Boss Says Bakhmut Effectively Surrounded (Az)

Russian troops and mercenaries were closing off the last access routes to the besieged Ukrainian city of Bakhmut on Friday, on the cusp of Moscow’s first major victory in half a year after the bloodiest fighting of the war.
The head of Russia’s Wagner private army said the city, which has been blasted to ruins, was now almost completely surrounded, with only one route out left open for Ukraine’s troops. Reuters journalists west of the city saw Ukrainians digging new trenches for defensive positions there, while the commander of a Ukrainian drone unit inside the city for months said he had been ordered to withdraw.


Victory in Bakhmut, with a pre-war population of about 70,000, would give Russia the first major prize of a costly winter offensive after it called up hundreds of thousands of reservists last year. It says it would be a stepping stone to capturing the surrounding Donbas region, a major war aim. Ukraine, which recaptured swathes of territory in the second half of 2022 but whose forces have been on the defensive for three months, says the city has little strategic value but that the huge losses there could determine the course of the war. In a video filmed on a rooftop in an undisclosed location, Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, dressed in a combat uniform, said he was calling on President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to order the evacuation of Bakhmut to save the lives of Ukrainian soldiers.

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The Guardian says “..in the battles for Bakhmut its defenders had inflicted casualties on the Russian attackers at a ratio of 7:1..”

Wagner Chief Calls On Zelenskiy To Abandon ‘Encircled’ Bakhmut (G.)

The chief of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner has said his fighters have “practically encircled” Bakhmut, the eastern Ukraine city the Kremlin has been trying to seize for months. Only one road remains under Ukrainian control, Yevgeny Prigozhin added in a video posted online in which he called on the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to abandon the city. While the claims by the head of the mercenary group could not be confirmed, the situation in the embattled city appeared to be extremely precarious, amid evidence Ukraine was preparing extensive new defensive positions, including around the nearby city of Kramatorsk. Large amounts of military traffic were seen on nearby roads on Friday, and there were claims that several bridges near the city had been destroyed.

Video posted online showed the blowing up of a railway bridge over the Bakhmutka River to the east of the city, while other footage purported to show damage to a small road bridge. Russian shelling was seen hitting routes leading west out of Bakhmut, in what appears to be an attempt to block Ukrainian forces’ access in and out of the city. Amid mounting speculation that Ukraine’s defenders might be preparing to withdraw, Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of the national security and defence council of Ukraine, said that in the battles for Bakhmut its defenders had inflicted casualties on the Russian attackers at a ratio of 7:1. “It is difficult there, but keep in mind that every day our boys and girls send hundreds of them to where they are supposed to go, given that they came here to kill us,” Danilov said.

Volodymyr Nazarenko, a deputy commander in the National Guard of Ukraine, told Ukrainian NV Radio the situation was “critical”, with fighting going on “round the clock”. The commander of a Ukrainian drone unit active in Bakhmut, Robert Brovdi, who goes by the name “Madyar”, said in a video posted on social media that his unit had been ordered by the military to withdraw immediately. He said he had been fighting there for 110 days. On a visit to the western city of Lviv to see wounded soldiers recuperating in hospital, Zelenskiy thanked those who had been injured during the “heroic defence” of Bakhmut. Statements on social media issued by Ukrainian soldiers fighting in the Bakhmut area appeared to suggest they were holding their positions, although under intense pressure.

“Friends, at the moment there is no withdrawal of troops from Bakhmut,” said one soldier from the 93rd mechanised brigade on Twitter. “Fighting continues in all areas of the city, the 93rd stands and continues to perform the tasks assigned to it. The situation is actually complicated, but trust only official sources and do not panic.” In the video posted by Prigozhin, recorded on a building’s rooftop four miles north of Bakhmut, the Wagner chief claimed his forces were increasingly fighting against old men and children rather than the professional Ukrainian army. The footage showed what looked like three captured Ukrainians – an older man and two young boys – who looked frightened and asked to be allowed to go home. They appeared to be talking in what looked like a choreographed appearance under extreme stress.

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Much easier to further curtail your freedoms.

EU Must Shift To Wartime Economy – Industry Commissioner (RT)

The European Union’s industry chief has said the bloc will have to shift to a “wartime” economic model if it hopes to meet Kiev’s battlefield needs, with senior Ukrainian officials voicing hopes for a massive influx of shells from their foreign sponsors. Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton discussed plans to bolster arms and ammo shipments to Ukraine during a sit-down with the Financial Times, saying he is working with the EU’s foreign policy head Josep Borrell to expand industrial capacity in Europe, slash supply bottlenecks and pressure banks to boost their lending to facilitate military transfers to Kiev. “I believe it is time that the European defense industry moves to a wartime economy model to cater for our defense production needs,” he told the outlet on Friday, adding that he and Borrell are “fully determined to support the production ramp-up of the European defense industry to face the realities of a high-intensity conflict – starting with the question of ammunition.”

Though unnamed diplomats voiced their doubts to FT – with one asking “How are we going to pay for this?” – the efforts to speed deliveries to Kiev and replenish Europe’s own domestic stocks come after Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov pleaded with the bloc for 250,000 artillery shells per month, vastly outpacing any existing EU plan. In a letter to European defense chiefs on Friday, Reznikov spoke of the “crucial role” played by artillery on the battlefield, claiming Ukrainian troops burn through 110,000 155mm shells every few weeks. Ukrainian troops are “limited by the amount of available artillery shells” and need at least 356,400 rounds per month to “successfully execute” their tasks – or a whopping 594,000 shells monthly to use their artillery power to full capacity, Reznikov claimed.

According to the Times, Borrell is aiming at a “less ambitious” scheme, instead hoping to disperse €1 billion over “the next few months” to partially cover the bill for donated shells from allies. With costs soaring amid growing shortages on the continent, 155mm shells produced in Europe could run as much as €3,300 for a single round, a recent weapons contract inked between EU members suggests. Based on that estimate, the ammunition sought by Kiev could cost the bloc some €825,000,000 for just one month, though officials have yet to confirm any specific figures. It is hard to trace how many shells Ukraine has been getting from the armories of its European backers, but over the past year the United States alone sent “over 1,000,000 155mm artillery rounds,” according to the Pentagon’s latest data.

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Are they wrong?

Beijing Calls US World’s ‘Primary Nuclear Threat’ (RT)

The United States is the top “nuclear threat” in the world, China has said, accusing Washington of seeking to maintain “military hegemony” over other nations after US officials declared the need to reign in Beijing’s much smaller weapons program. Speaking to reporters for a press briefing on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning was asked to respond after a top security adviser to US President Joe Biden stated the White House must “invest China in work to diminish nuclear threats.” “Calling China a ‘nuclear threat’ is a convenient pretext for the US to expand its own nuclear arsenal and keep its military hegemony,” she said, insisting China has maintained a “prudent and responsible” nuclear policy, in stark contrast to Washington’s.

Following a foreign minister’s meeting in New Delhi earlier on Friday by the four-way QUAD alliance – consisting of the US, Japan, Australia and India – officials also issued a statement deeming the “use or threat of use” of nuclear weapons “inadmissible.” Though the remark was not explicitly aimed at Beijing, the QUAD grouping, at times dubbed an ‘Asian NATO,’ has frequently pointed to alleged threats posed by China in the Indo-Pacific region. “China has stated our position on QUAD on multiple occasions. We believe that state-to-state cooperation needs to be consistent with the trend of peace and development,” rather than about creating “exclusionary” regional alliances, Mao continued, going on to note the upcoming nuclear technology transfer from the US to Australia under the separate AUKUS pact.

“The US has also built small blocs reminiscent of the Cold War by bolstering extended deterrence and conducting nuclear submarine cooperation,” she said. Further steps for the trilateral AUKUS agreement, which also includes the UK, are set to be revealed later this month, with officials hoping for a “seamless transfer” of nuclear propulsion technology from Washington to Canberra. Beijing has previously slammed the deal for advancing “nuclear proliferation” around the world, given that Australia lacks its own domestic capability for the sensitive tech.

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“China in particular is threatening U.S. interests and dominating emerging technologies critical to global development with the intent of reshaping the world order..”

New Biden Cyber Strategy Takes Aim at China as ‘Most Persistent Threat’ (ET)

The Biden administration’s new cybersecurity strategy takes aim at China’s communist regime and other authoritarian powers for subverting the international order through malign cyberactivity. The 2023 National Cyber Strategy, released on March 2, says that communist China and other regimes are attempting to export their own forms of authoritarianism through the use of technology. “The governments of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and other autocratic states with revisionist intent are aggressively using advanced cyber capabilities to pursue objectives that run counter to our interests and broadly accepted international norms,” the strategy states. “Their reckless disregard for the rule of law and human rights in cyberspace is threatening U.S. national security and economic prosperity.”

China in particular is threatening U.S. interests and dominating emerging technologies critical to global development with the intent of reshaping the world order, the document states. “[China] now presents the broadest, most active, and most persistent threat to both government and private sector networks and is the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do so.” “Having successfully harnessed the Internet as the backbone of its surveillance state and influence capabilities, [China] is exporting its vision of digital authoritarianism, striving to shape the global Internet in its image and imperiling human rights beyond its borders.”

Given the threat posed by authoritarian powers like the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the strategy outlines an aggressive posture that the administration seeks to take to defend the United States and its interests from foreign interference. This new posture, according to the strategy, will integrate cyber, diplomatic, military, intelligence, law enforcement, and other capabilities to target threat actors and remove them from play. “The United States will use all instruments of national power to disrupt and dismantle threat actors whose actions threaten our interests,” the strategy states. “These efforts may integrate diplomatic, information, military (both kinetic and cyber), financial, intelligence, and law enforcement capabilities.”

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“..a whiff of Munich..”

One Year Later in Ukraine: Washington and NATO Got It Very Wrong (Mises)

It’s been a year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In spite of claims from the regime and its media allies that Russia was the next Third Reich and would soon roll through half of Europe, it turns out that was never even remotely true. In fact, things have unfolded more or less just like we predicted here at mises.org: the Russians aren’t even close to occupying any place in Europe beyond eastern Ukraine. It’s not Munich 1938. Economic sanctions have not crippled the Russian regime. Most of the world remains ambivalent on the conflict. The conflict will likely end with a negotiated settlement—contrary to what the Washington wants. The fact is that in spite of the United States’ and NATO efforts to turn Ukraine into World War III, the war in Ukraine remains a regional conflict.

It seems most of the world is uninterested in making sacrifices to carry out US policy in Ukraine and that many see the inherent hypocrisy behind US talk about respecting national sovereignty. There’s also an important lesson here about listening to the war maximalists who incessantly promote full-scale war as the “solution” to every international crisis. The US clearly wants to fight the war to the last Ukrainian, in what the US is packaging as a global crusade in the style of World War II. But, it seems now that more pragmatic thinkers—i.e., the French and the Germans—recognize that negotiations are the more humane solution. Within days of the Russian invasion, the Western global hegemonists got to work claiming the invasion was essentially a war of global conquest. For instance, Matthew Kroenig in Foreign Policy stated that Vladimir Putin had shown a clear interest in “resurrecting the former Russian Empire, and other vulnerable Eastern European countries—Poland, Romania, or the Baltic states—might be next.” Kroenig immediately concluded that the US’s military budget should be doubled.

Another writer insisted the Ukraine invasion contained “a whiff of Munich.” John Storey at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute claimed that “the forgotten lesson of Munich” had allowed “Putin is [to do] his best impression of German dictator Adolf Hitler.” Storey ominously asked, “Will the Baltic states and Eastern Europe be next?” dutifully repeating the party line that Russian tanks might soon roll into central Europe. Yet the “lesson of Munich”—which is invoked incessantly and certainly not “forgotten”—has never been appropriate for conceptualizing the war in Ukraine. That sort of thing has even led some pundits to proclaim that global nuclear war is “worth it.” The real lesson to be learned here, however, is the lesson of 1914: that we should not allow military alliances to lead major powers into overreactions that lead to global disasters. The “Munich” crowd wanted mass mobilization against Russia in early 2022. They didn’t get it, and thank goodness.

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“..the reserve margin could fall from 26 percent in 2023 to 15 percent by 2030 even in the best-case scenario..”

Power Shortages Coming Soon to America (ET)

Existing power plants are projected to retire at a faster pace than installations of new units, and dependence on renewable projects are threatening widespread power shortages, according to a new report by regional power transmission company PJM Interconnection. PJM analysis shows that 40 gigawatts (GW) of existing power generation is at risk of retirement by 2030, accounting for 21 percent of its current installed capacity. Meanwhile, 290 GW worth of new power supply is seeking to connect to PJM’s grid. But 94 percent of this power supply is made up of renewable energy projects that tend to only have a completion rate of 5 percent. This casts doubt on the ability of new power supply to replace old supply. PJM covers 13 eastern states and the District of Columbia.

PJM also forecasts power demand growth of 1.4 percent annually over the next decade. Certain individual zones might even show demand growth as high as 7 percent per year due to the expansion of clusters of data centers as well as overall electrification. The retirement of existing power generation combined with the growing demand for power will create a supply gap. According to the report, the pace of new power generation addition will likely be “insufficient” to fill this supply gap by 2030. As such, the completion rates of upcoming projects will have to “increase significantly” to maintain necessary reserve margins, it said. Reserve margin refers to the amount of unused available power capacity of an electric power system.

A reserve margin of 10 percent would mean that an entity has excess capacity amounting to 10 percent of peak demand. According to PJM projections, the reserve margin could fall from 26 percent in 2023 to 15 percent by 2030 even in the best-case scenario. Reserve margins are critical during times of adverse weather conditions and periods of high demand. A decline suggests less reliability of power. “The lopsided energy transition is resulting mainly from Biden’s energy policies and state mandates driving fossil fuel generation to shut down as renewable and storage projects are being developed. These are policy choices by political leaders and utilities are responding as directed,” stated a Mar. 2nd analysis of the PJM report by the Institute for Energy Research (IER).

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Not done enough damage yet?

WHO Wants Proof Behind US Claims Of Covid Origin (RT)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the United States and every other country to release their intelligence on the beginnings of the coronavirus pandemic, cautioning against unsubstantiated speculations and “politicization” of the issue after Washington claimed the pathogen “likely” leaked from a Chinese laboratory. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke at length about the need to identify the ultimate starting point for the global health crisis during a media briefing on Friday, calling it a “scientific” and “moral imperative.” “If any country has information about the origins of the pandemic, it’s essential for that information to be shared with WHO and the international scientific community,” he said, noting he was in touch with Chinese officials on the matter as recently as a few weeks ago.

The agency’s Covid-19 technical lead – Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious disease epidemiologist – also stated that the WHO has reached out to Washington’s embassy in Switzerland for more information of Covid’s origins, after FBI Director Christopher Wray claimed the virus “most likely” escaped a Chinese lab in comments to Fox earlier this week, citing a bureau assessment that has not been made public. “It remains vital that that information is shared,” she said, adding that the US has so far not offered access to its data. Beijing has vocally denied suggestions the pathogen may have escaped from its high-security virology laboratory in the city of Wuhan – among the first sites Covid-19 was detected in late 2019 – with PRC officials dismissing the theory as an attempt to smear China.

Tedros went on to warn against “the continued politicization of the origins research,” saying that sparring between rival nations has turned the issue into a “geopolitical football, which only makes the task of identifying the origins more difficult. And that makes the world less safe.” Until there is greater transparency from world leaders on the question, he said “all hypotheses” on the origins of the virus “remain on the table.”

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They prefered the stoned basketball girl.

Blinken Lied About Exchange With Lavrov – Moscow (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was lying when he claimed that he and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, discussed a jailed American citizen during a brief recent exchange, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow has said. Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Blinken revealed that he and Lavrov “spoke briefly” on the sidelines of a meeting of G20 foreign ministers in India. Among other things discussed with Lavrov, the American official said he had “raised the wrongful detention of Paul Whelan,” a former US Marine currently serving a 16-year prison term in Russia for espionage. “The United States has put forward a serious proposal. Moscow should accept it,” Blinken added.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denied those claims on Friday, saying she had asked Lavrov about the exchange with Blinken. The top Russian diplomat told her that his American counterpart had not brought up Whelan’s case, with Zakharova branding Blinken’s statement “lies” and an example of “astounding” behavior by the US government. Whelan is a Canadian-born former US Marine, who in 2020 was sentenced to a 16-year prison term in Russia for spying. He claimed he was framed while on a trip to the country. The administration of President Joe Biden has called on Russia to release Whelan, branding his sentence unfair.

The proposal to which Blinken referred matches those that Washington has previously made to Moscow, State Department spokesperson Ned Price claimed on Thursday. US officials reportedly tried to include Whelan in a prisoner exchange last year involving American WNBA player Brittney Griner and Russian businessman Viktor Bout, although the two sides ultimately freed just one convict each. Griner was serving a term for a drug crime in Russia, while Bout was imprisoned in the US on gun trafficking charges.

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“must be a foe of [the] United American Emirates and the British Confederation!”

Russian Diplomats Mock US Official Over Country Name Gaffe (RT)

Russian diplomats have poked fun at White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre after she made a mess of the country’s official name during a press briefing on Friday. Jean-Pierre made the gaffe while previewing the upcoming meeting between US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the White House. The press secretary said the leaders would discuss “our work together to address the challenges posed by the People’s Republic of Russia.” The country’s official name is the Russian Federation. According to the official transcript from the briefing, Jean-Pierre misspoke and was actually referring to the People’s Republic of China.


Nevertheless, the clip of Jean-Pierre’s blunder made its way to social media. Dmitry Polyansky, the deputy head of Russia’s mission to the UN, tweeted that the non-existent state “must be a foe of [the] United American Emirates and the British Confederation!” Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, shared the clip on her Telegram channel, writing “zombie apocalypse.” In March, Biden mixed up Ukraine with Russia during a conversation with historian Heather Cox Richardson. He claimed that President Vladimir Putin had decided “that he’s going to just invade Russia.” Biden later corrected himself. In a speech in November, Biden said “the war in Iraq” when referring to the Ukraine conflict, before correcting himself.

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They’ll eat him alive.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr Ponders Bid For 2024 White House Nomination (Fox)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is considering running for president in 2024, challenging President Biden for the Democratic nomination, and he says his wife approves. “I am thinking about it yes. I have passed the biggest hurdle, that my wife has greenlighted it,” Kennedy told a crowd in New Hampshire on Friday, according to reports. Kennedy’s wife, actress Cheryl Hines, was reportedly attending the speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, which for nearly a quarter-century has been a must stop in the Granite State for potential or actual White House contenders. Kennedy, the son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy, describes himself as a lifelong Democrat and has faced criticism for his activism against the COVID-19 vaccine.

In his speech, he called the Democratic National Committee (DNC) decision to upset the presidential nominating calendar wrong, as it moves New Hampshire’s primary from the first place into the third. New Hampshire, which prides itself on its well-informed electorate and its emphasis on small-scale and grassroots retail politics, has for a century held the first primary in the race for the White House. While Republicans are making no changes to their presidential nominating calendar in the 2024 election cycle, the DNC last month voted overwhelmingly to approve a new top of the calendar, pushed by Biden, that upends the traditional schedule. New Hampshire will now vote second in the DNC’s calendar, along with Nevada, three days after South Carolina, under the new schedule.

Ahead of the DNC’s final approval of the schedule, Kennedy wrote an open letter to the committee, urging members to keep New Hampshire in the first spot because of the state’s long history advocating for civil rights and election transparency. The DNC changed the nominating calendar in an effort to reflect more diversity in the Democratic Party, but Kennedy said that New Hampshire already showcases the diversity in America. As a swing state, Kennedy said, New Hampshire’s “four electoral votes could decide the 2024 election.” “Most importantly, New Hampshire runs the most secure and transparent election in America. It should be a model for our country at a time when we need it most,” Kennedy wrote.

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Located in the de Young Museum’s Sculpture Garden in San Francisco, this statue’s head (depicting a crouching woman by the Japanese sculptor Tobari Kogan) is covered by a beehive — occupied by a live colony of bees

 

 

Rebirth

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 192023
 


Utagawa Yoshitoshi Ariko weeps as her boat drifts in the moonlight 1886

 

Nuclear War, Debt Collapse Or Energy Depletion? (Egon von Greyerz)
There Is Fire In Our Crowded Theater (Gaertner)
Putin Must Turn ‘360 Degrees’ – German FM Baerbock (RT)
China To Present Its Ukraine Peace Proposal (RT)
‘Stop Dangerous Acts,’ China Tells NATO (RT)
US Fears China May Provide Russia With Lethal Weapons – Blinken (TASS)
Raisi in Beijing: Iran-China Strategic Plans Go Full Throttle (Escobar)
Iran-China Strategic Partnership: The Big Picture (Escobar)
NATO Chief Reveals Biggest Risk In Terms Of Ukraine Conflict (TASS)
Poland, Baltic States Seek To Dismember Russia – Envoy To UN (TASS)
EU ‘Indirectly At War’ With Russia – Orban (RT)
Highlights from the Munich Security Conference (RT)
Ukraine SitRep – Casualty Numbers, Lack Of Tanks, Something Is Up (MoA)
Biden Admin To Sign Deal to Give WHO Authority Over US Pandemic Policies (ET)

 

 

 

 

Sy Hersh
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626878540175101953

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brazil vaccination
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626765113633001472

 

 

 

 

McCullough
https://twitter.com/i/status/1627061416250474497

 

 

1925

 

 

Derivatives
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626818461338079234

 

 

 

 

Von Greyerz is not a politician or journalist; he’s a gold dealer. Maybe that’s why he can paint such a clear picture.

Nuclear War, Debt Collapse Or Energy Depletion? (Egon von Greyerz)

War is obviously a potentially catastrophic threat since the sheer existence of the world and mankind is now at maximum risk. Wars are horrible whoever starts them. Since the beginning of mankind there have probably been over 100,000 important wars and conflicts. Wars are horrible whoever starts them. Most wars end in major fatalities and injuries and a massive human and financial cost. And at the end of the war, the situation is often worse than when it started, like in for example Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq and Libya which countries the US invaded unprovoked. The same will most probably be the case in Ukraine. There are always two sides to a war. I learnt many years ago that before we judge someone, we must walk three moon laps in his moccasins. So let us first walk in Putin’s moccasins.

The whole West hates Russia and have personalised it to Putin. Few realise that many of the people behind Putin are extreme hardliners and much more dangerous. Historically, Ukraine (like many European countries) has had a motley existence. Since the late 1700s to 1991 Ukraine was part of Russia / Soviet Union with a brief interruption after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. After the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine in 2014, the Minsk agreement brokered by Germany and France stipulated that parts of the Donbas region should be granted self-government. There should also be a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons by the Ukrainians. The Minsk agreement was never honoured and Ukraine continued to kill over 20,000 Russians in the region and to bomb the Donbas. As the bombing intensified in early February 2022, (allegedly at the insistence of the US), Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

So the above is how Russia and Putin sees the Ukrainian situation. Wearing America’s moccasins, the US Neocons are extremely worried about losing the US hegemony. Since WWII, the US has basically failed with every war they have been involved in. But in their view, if they fail in the present conflict, that will be the end of US dominance both politically and financially. Ukraine is clearly just a pawn in a much bigger game between the two titans – USA and Russia. I watched Zelensky’s latest speech live to UK parliamentarians where he was begging for planes, weapons and money. This is obviously the role of a defending leader although he is clearly sacrificing his people. But wars are really really bizarre. Clapping every sentence that Zelensky uttered about the evil Russian invaders were around 1,000 politicians whose British ancestors, over a 400 year period, had invaded, conquered and ruled over 400 million people and 25% of the world’s landmass including major parts of Asia, Australia, Africa, Middle East and America. But today the shoe is on the other foot.

Politicians are masters at throwing stones whilst sitting in glass houses. But wars are always about CONSEQUENCES. It is clear at this point that the West is sadly ignoring the potential consequences of this war as they keep sending money and weapons but no peace makers. The US has no desire for peace at this stage and Europe just follows blindly whatever the US initiates without thinking of the consequences which both economically and militarily are much graver for Europe. Zelensky has asked for tanks and is getting them. He is now asking for planes which the NATO countries are also considering. There are not yet any NATO troops in Ukraine officially but it is clear that there are many NATO soldiers there without the official uniforms. An Austrian colonel confirms that if a NATO soldier takes off his uniform, he is a mercenary and this seems how NATO sends troops to Ukraine unofficially. Also the Mozart group led by a retired US Marine Corps Colonel acts in Ukraine as mercenaries. So what is clear that there are not only NATO weapons in Ukraine but also soldiers. This by definition is as close to WWIII as the world can get.

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“The entire Eastern Seaboard of the US may soon be pervasively contaminated by carcinogenic vinyl chloride & other toxic chemical waste. I’ve spent days collecting limited data & agonizing over whether to publish this. This is my warning. Pray I’m wrong.”

“..if you are in the affected area – that is, anywhere east of the Mississippi – LEAVE. Or, don’t – I’m not your mother.”

There Is Fire In Our Crowded Theater (Gaertner)

Up to two and a half million gallons of one of the most toxic substances known to man have been released into the air, water and soil of the Eastern Seaboard, and are presently making their way south and east. Acid rain, which in this case is hydrochloric acid mixed with concentrated, unburned vinyl chloride, has (so far) been reported in every direction: West: 400 miles west to Lafayette (probably further). North: 1200 miles north up to Durham, Canada; East: 1200 miles east to NYC and Boston today more. South: 800 miles southwest to Kentucky so far. Vinyl chloride is water-soluble, takes months to degrade in soil or water (the Camp Lejeune spill was just a few thousand gallons), boils at 8F, and its metabolites absolutely maul DNA: safe exposures are considered to be in the parts per billion (“Standards”), and we’re talking about parts per million exposure likely coming for everybody east of the Mississippi.

There will likely be some isolated parts of the eastern United States that escape contamination. However, I sure as hell would not want to wait around to find out which ones will be passed over. There are 250 million people living to the east of the Mississippi River, and considering the rate at which it is progressively moving south with the water and east on the winds, every single person on the entire eastern seaboard may have only a few more days to leave before they are exposed to a lethal concentration of vinyl chloride. Everybody in the areas which have received acid rain have already been exposed, and will likely develop extensive cancers over the coming few months.

I will just say: If you live anywhere east of the Mississippi River – in my humble opinion – LEAVE. Maybe plan to come back in a couple of weeks; the magnitude of this will be more evident by that time. We have been at war for the last three years, and somebody may have just landed the killing blow with an utterly, historically unprecedented chemical weapons attack.

I’ve waited as long as I can, in good conscience, to gather evidence and to write this. I fully understand what I’m saying, and that 99% of people either can’t leave, or want to wait for more information, or just generally refuse to believe something of this scale could ever happen here. Not to mention that there’s absolutely no way this article will reach everybody that needs to hear it. I can scarcely believe I’m writing this, and I have been praying to be wrong. I really, really hope that I am wrong, but I do not think so. The authorities sure aren’t going to tell us the truth about any of it. So, for those of you who are inclined to take it seriously, or aren’t quite sure yet, read on for the data and events thus far, share this with anybody you care about, and if you are in the affected area – that is, anywhere east of the Mississippi – LEAVE. Or, don’t – I’m not your mother. Time is short. I hope I’m wrong.

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Yeah, 360º sounds about right. Sweet Jesus. These people are selected for incompetence.

Putin Must Turn ‘360 Degrees’ – German FM Baerbock (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin must “change by 360 degrees” in order for Ukraine to be safe, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told the Munich Security Conference. In other words, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev pointed out, he must continue doing exactly what he is doing. Appearing alongside American Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba on Saturday, Baerbock was asked whether there is “any chance of Ukraine being safe in the long term” if Putin remains in office. “If he doesn’t change by 360 degrees, no,” the German FM replied. “It’s hilarious that Europe is run by such ignorant people,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev wrote on social media. “There is no doubt, connoisseur of geometry, that it will be so,” he mocked. “We are holding our ground.”

Baerbock, Blinken, and Kuleba spoke at a panel entitled ‘Visions for Ukraine,’ in which the three attempted to sketch out an image of what the country might look like post-conflict. All three agreed that to get there, Russia must unconditionally withdraw from territory claimed by Kiev, which includes the Russian region of Crimea and the four formerly Ukrainian regions that voted to join Russia in September. Echoing previous statements from Kiev, Kuleba said that a “long vision” of victory for Ukraine involves not only a Russian withdrawal, but “compensations for the damage inflicted, accountability for perpetrators of crimes, and most importantly, Russia must change.” “As long as Putin is in power, we will be in trouble,” he claimed, adding that his removal or retirement would lead to “a period of opportunity for all of us.”

Ukraine’s Western backers are not unanimous on the topic of regime change. While US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland – who largely orchestrated the pro-Western coup in Kiev in 2014 – has explicitly called for this outcome, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that such an approach is doomed to fail. “When I hear a lot of people advocating for regime change, I would just ask them: for which change? Who’s next? Who is your leader? How to implement it? We experienced several times in the past decade a lot of regime change in a lot of countries. It’s a total failure,” he told the Munich conference.

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“..some forces might not want to see peace talks materialize.” “They don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians or the harm to Europe..”

China To Present Its Ukraine Peace Proposal (RT)

China will present a plan aimed at peacefully resolving the conflict in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. Those calling for continued fighting “don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians,” he also warned. “We will put forth China’s position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis,” Wang said, without providing a timeline for the proposal. “We will stand firm on the side of peace and dialog.” Wang did not outline any specifics of the plan but said that “the territorial integrity and sovereignty” of those involved should be respected, as should the “legitimate security concerns” of the belligerents. “Attacks on nuclear power stations” must also be opposed, he said, likely in reference to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of shelling.

China is well positioned to broker peace, he said, as it is “not a party directly concerned, but [it] did not sit idly by” since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began nearly a year ago. China has refused to join the Western-led sanctions regime against Russia, and has deepened its economic ties with Moscow over the last year. During this time, Wang said that China backed the peace talks in Belarus and Türkiye, the latter of which were abruptly ended by the Ukrainian side last spring, despite an agreement being reached in principle. Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has claimed that Kiev withdrew from these talks at the West’s request, while Ukrainian media reports blamed former British PM Boris Johnson for urging the Ukrainians to back out of a deal.

“We saw a framework text on the peaceful resolution of the crisis, however that was stopped” Wang told his audience in Munich. Without directly blaming any Western countries, the Chinese diplomat suggested that “some forces might not want to see peace talks materialize.” “They don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians or the harm to Europe,” he continued. “They might have strategic goals greater than Ukraine itself.” American and NATO officials have consistently urged Ukraine to keep fighting, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declaring in December that a ceasefire would lead to “a phony peace.” European leaders, meanwhile, have largely stuck to the US line that Kiev will decide when to sit down to talks.

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When China has a peace proposal, everyone must listen. But the US doesn’t want negotiations or peace. The first thing to come out would be the end of the unipower: they would have to acknowledge they have already lost. They don’t want that put in black and white.

‘Stop Dangerous Acts,’ China Tells NATO (RT)

The main reason for Europe’s current “security plight” is NATO’s insistence on pursuing absolute security and political exclusion against specific countries, China’s ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun has claimed. Speaking at the UN Security Council briefing on Friday, the envoy noted that the ongoing crisis in Ukraine is the result of NATO’s continued expansion towards the east and urged the US-led military bloc to abandon its Cold War mentality and to stop being “a troublemaker.” He also pointed out NATO’s “self-contradictory” behavior, where it promotes itself as a “defensive alliance” while at the same time constantly seeking to “breach its geographic confines and expand its agenda, stoke division and tensions, create fears and confrontations.”

“Pursuing absolute security and political exclusion and containment by force against a specific party is the very crux of the reason why Europe is in the security plight,” he said. “Europe, and even the whole world, will be caught up in greater turmoil” unless NATO changes its mindset, the diplomat added. Zhang reiterated China’s calls for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine, and urged them to start peace negotiations as soon as possible. He also suggested that the US, EU and NATO should sit down with Moscow for a “comprehensive and in-depth dialogue” based on the principle of security indivisibility. “They should discuss how to build a balanced, effective, and sustainable security architecture and realize common security,” he said, adding that it is crucial to stop any attempts to “hype up” the conflict in order to avoid further escalation and expansion.

Meanwhile, Beijing has seen its own relations with the US deteriorate to new lows over the recent downing of an alleged Chinese spy balloon earlier this month. The US has announced it would be shutting down military communications with China after the incident and imposed sanctions on implicated Chinese companies and institutions. Beijing, in turn, has denied the allegations, arguing the balloon was a civilian airship. It has nevertheless vowed retaliation over the incident and has reduced its military and diplomatic ties with the US. Beijing has also repeatedly criticized Washington for allowing a number of US officials to make repeated visits to the self-governing island of Taiwan, which China considers to be part of its sovereign territory. As the White House has also continued to greenlight arms sales for Taipei’s military, Beijing imposed sanctions on US arms manufacturers Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

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Desperate attempt to drag China into the conflict.

What weapons does China have that Russia does not?

US Fears China May Provide Russia With Lethal Weapons – Blinken (TASS)

The United States fears that China is allegedly considering giving Russia lethal weapons, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC in an interview, a fragment of which was broadcast on Sunday. According to Blinken, in a conversation with Chinese State Councilor and Director of the CCP Central Foreign Affairs Office Wang Yi, he “had an opportunity <..> to share our [the US’] very real concerns about China’s support for Russia.” “What we’ve seen over the past years is, of course, some political and rhetorical support, even some non-lethal support. But we’re very concerned that China’s considering providing lethal support to Russia,” the US Secretary of State said.


He said that providing “lethal support” to Russia would have “serious consequences [for Beijing] in our [China-US] relationship”. He also recalled that this was something that “President [Joe] Biden shared with [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] on several occasions”. In late January, John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the US National Security Council, said that the United States urged China not to support Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. According to him, Washington intended to take action against those companies, including the Chinese ones, that violated the US sanctions regime against Moscow.

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China is focused elsewhere.

Raisi in Beijing: Iran-China Strategic Plans Go Full Throttle (Escobar)

Beijing and Tehran are already actively cooperating in the construction of selected lines of Tehran’s subway, the Tehran-Isfahan high-speed railway, and of course joint energy projects. Chinese tech giant Huawei is set to help Tehran to build a framework for a 5G telecom network. Raisi and Xi, predictably, stressed increased joint coordination at the UN and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), of which Iran is the newest member, as well as a new drive along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). While there was no explicit mention of it, underlying all these initiatives is the de-dollarization of trade – in the framework of the SCO but also the multipolar BRICS group of states. Iran is set to become one of the new members of BRICS+, a giant step to be decided in their upcoming summit in South Africa next August.

There are estimates in Tehran that Iran-China annual trade may reach over $70 billion in the mid-term, which will amount to triple the current figures. When it comes to infrastructure building, Iran is a key BRI partner. The geostrategy of course is hard to match: a 2,250 km coastline encompassing the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Sea of Oman and the Caspian Sea – and huge land borders with Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Every think tank in China sees how Iran is irreplaceable, not only in terms of BRI land corridors, but also the Maritime Silk Road. Chabahar Port may be a prime Iran-India affair, as part of the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) – thus directly linked to the Indian vision of a Silk Road, extending to Central Asia.

But Chinese port developers do have other ideas, focused on alternative ports along the Persian Gulf and in the Caspian Sea. That will boost shipping connections to Central Asia (Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan), Russia and the Caucasus (Azerbaijan). And that makes perfect sense when one combines port terminal development with the modernization of Iran’s railways – all the way to high-speed rail. An even more revolutionary development would be China coordinating the BRI connection of an Iranian corridor with the already in progress 3,200 km-long China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), from Kashgar in Xinjiang to Gwadar port in the Indian Ocean.That seemed perfectly plausible when Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was still in power, before being ousted by a lawfare coup. The key of the whole enterprise is to build badly needed infrastructure in Balochistan, on both sides of the border. On the Pakistani side, that would go a long way to smash CIA-fed “insurgents” of the Balochistan Liberation Army kind, get rid of unemployment, and put trade in charge of economic development.

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“..All that spells out Iran’s full reconnection with Asia – after those arguably wasted years of trying an entente cordiale with the collective West..”

Iran-China Strategic Partnership: The Big Picture (Escobar)

The key takeaway of President Ebrahim Raeisi’s state visit to Beijing goes way beyond the signing of 20 bilateral cooperation agreements. This is a crucial inflexion point in an absorbing, complex, decades-long, ongoing historical process: Eurasia integration. Little wonder that President Raeisi, welcomed by a standing ovation at Peking University before receiving an honorary academic title, stressed “a new world order is forming and taking the place of the older one”, characterized by “real multilateralism, maximum synergy, solidarity and dissociation from unilateralisms”. And the epicenter of the new world order, he asserted, is Asia. It was quite heartening to see the Iranian president eulogizing the Ancient Silk Road, not only in terms of trade but also as a “cultural bond” and “connecting different societies together throughout history”.

Raeisi could have been talking about Sassanid Persia, whose empire ranged from Mesopotamia to Central Asia, and was the great intermediary Silk Road trading power for centuries between China and Europe. It’s as if he was corroborating Chinese President Xi Jinping’s famed notion of “people to people exchanges” applied to the New Silk Roads. And then President Raeisi jump cut to the inescapable historical connection: he addressed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), of which Iran is a key partner. All that spells out Iran’s full reconnection with Asia – after those arguably wasted years of trying an entente cordiale with the collective West. That was symbolized by the fate of the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal: negotiated, unilaterally buried and then, last year, all but condemned all over gain.

Beijing and Tehran, now on overdrive and with no time to lose, may face all manner of challenges – and threats – from the Hegemon; but their 25-year strategic deal does honor historically powerful trading/ merchant civilizations now equipped with substantial manufacturing/ industrial bases and with a serious tradition in advanced scientific innovation. The serious possibility of China-Iran finally configuring what will be a brand new, expanded strategic economic space, from East Asia to West Asia, central to 21st century multipolarity, is a geopolitical tour de force. Not only that will completely nullify the US sanction obsession; it will direct Iran’s next stages of much needed economic development to the East, and it will boost the whole geoeconomic space from China to Iran and everyone in between.

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“The risk of an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine for NATO is incomparable with the danger of a Russian victory”
– Stoltenberg

The support of Europe hinges on the idea that Russia wants to conquer the entire continent. Made up from thin hot air.

NATO Chief Reveals Biggest Risk In Terms Of Ukraine Conflict (TASS)

There are no risk-free options in terms of the conflict in Ukraine but the biggest risk of all is if Russia wins, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, addressing the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. “Some worry that our support to Ukraine risks triggering escalation. Let me be clear: there are no risk-free options, but the biggest risk of all is if Putin wins,” he noted, adding: “This will make the world more dangerous and us more vulnerable.” The NATO secretary general highlighted the need to learn “some important lessons” from the Ukraine conflict. “First, we must sustain and step up our support to Ukraine” and “give Ukraine what they need to win,” Stoltenberg pointed out.


“The second lesson is that we need to continue to strengthen our deterrence and defense,” he went on to say. “The third lesson is that we need to strengthen the resilience of our societies. Military forces are necessary to protect our security but they are not sufficient. We must also secure our cyberspace, our supply chains and our infrastructure,” the NATO chief stressed. According to him, the most important lesson is that “North America and Europe must stand together.”

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“..and gain control over its natural resources..”

Poland, Baltic States Seek To Dismember Russia – Envoy To UN (TASS)

Poland and Baltic countries are seeking to dismember Russia and gain control over its natural resources, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya told the UN Security Council on Friday. “When, how, and on whose prompting was the OSCE taken hostage by those ravaging Russophobes – Poles, Balts, and other young Europeans, who no longer even try to conceal their plans to dismember Russia and seize its natural resources? If you do not take it from me, check against the manifest that Ms. Anna Fotyga, ECR MEP from Poland, published recently in Euractiv,’” Nebenzya told a UNSC briefing dedicated to the anniversary of Resolution 2202 that endorsed the Minsk Package of Measures on Ukrainian reconciliation.

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“..everyone there is on the side of war except us.”

EU ‘Indirectly At War’ With Russia – Orban (RT)

Europe has become “immersed in war” due to its policy of supplying arms and military intelligence to Ukraine throughout its conflict with Russia, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Saturday, addressing his country’s refusal to send weapons to Kiev. Speaking at his annual state-of-the-nation speech in Budapest, Orban reiterated that Hungary won’t fall in line with other EU member states by supplying military aid to Ukraine, its northeastern neighbor, adding that European leaders appear to be “sleepwalking” into an expanded conflict. “It started with helmets and now we are already at the delivery of tanks, in the future also of airplanes, and before long we will hear about the so-called peacekeeping units,” Orban said.

“Europe is getting immersed in war, in reality they’re already indirectly at war with Russia,” he added. Orban, who has served as Hungary’s Prime Minister since 2010, stated that Hungary will “maintain economic relations with Russia and recommend this to our allies” even as Western leaders continue to impose sanctions on Moscow. He also said that while Hungary remains a proud member of both the EU and NATO, the military bloc must remain a defensive alliance and not be used to “collectively attack a third country” – adding that a “sovereign Ukraine between Hungary and Russia” is in Budapest’s best interests.

The premier maintained that Hungary has shown “great humanitarian aid” for Ukrainian refugees, and said he’d like the Russia-Ukraine conflict to end immediately but that he does not have the influence within NATO and the EU to get that done, as “everyone there is on the side of war except us.” While he also discussed issues such as inflation and domestic political affairs, around half of Orban’s hour-long speech was centered around policy matters involving Moscow and Kiev. There will be no resolution in Ukraine, Orban concluded, until lawmakers in both Moscow and Washington sit at the negotiation table. Until then, only more fighting – and the threat of a world war – awaits.

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That Sunak guy is a dangerous fool:

“..Now is the time to “double down” on military support for Kiev, he added, no matter the cost in “blood and treasure.”

Highlights from the Munich Security Conference (RT)

Running from Friday to Sunday, the Munich Security Conference is a global affair, attended by guests from more than 100 countries. However, this year’s conference mostly focused on Ukraine, with President Vladimir Zelensky urging his Western backers to provide more “modern weapons,” and the leaders of the UK, France and Germany seemingly eager to meet his demands. Speaking at the conference on Friday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called on Western leaders to give Ukraine “advanced, NATO-standard capabilities.” Now is the time to “double down” on military support for Kiev, he added, no matter the cost in “blood and treasure.” The UK is the largest supplier of military aid to Ukraine after the US, with London committing £2.3 billion ($2.77 billion) to Kiev’s forces last year.

Ursula

In addition to training 20,000 Ukrainian soldiers and pilots this year, Sunak recently announced that the UK would send 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, along with the country’s entire stock of AS90 artillery guns. Russian President Vladimir Putin is “betting we will lose our nerve,” Sunak said, promising that the UK would “prove him wrong” by increasing the supply of artillery ammunition, armored vehicles, and air defense systems. However, reports suggest that the flow of weapons to Ukraine has left British stockpiles almost depleted. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on allies to send Ukraine Leopard 2 main battle tanks from their own stockpiles. Berlin has been “intensively campaigning” for this since it gave operators of the Leopards permission to export them to Ukraine last month, he claimed.

Scholz’s position marks a dramatic turnaround, given that his government initially refused to authorize delivery of the tanks. Berlin relented in the face of a pressure campaign from its allies, but these allies have since tempered their enthusiasm. Denmark, Greece, Switzerland, and Turkey have outright refused to donate their Leopards, and Finland – which led the “free the Leopards” campaign to pressure Germany – only promised to train Ukrainian soldiers on the tanks. Canada, Norway, Portugal, and Poland are among the few other states that have agreed to supply Leopards, though German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius acknowledged this week that they had only assembled “half a battalion” so far.

French President Emmanuel Macron declared on Friday that Paris does not seek “regime change” in Moscow, a position not shared by his allies in Kiev. “When I hear a lot of people advocating for regime change, I would just ask them: for which change? Who’s next? We experienced several times in the past decade a lot of regime change in a lot of countries. It’s a total failure,” Macron said. Macron has maintained contact with Putin since the military operation in Ukraine began, and has cautioned the West against trying to force “humiliating” peace terms on Russia. However, he has continued to provide Kiev’s forces with progressively heavier weapons, including infantry fighting vehicles and artillery guns.

Kamala Munich Security Conference
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626914577748295681

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Blinken said yesterday in Munich that 200,000 Russians have been killed or wounded. The BBC counts 14,709 killed.

Ukraine SitRep – Casualty Numbers, Lack Of Tanks, Something Is Up (MoA)

There is some interesting news on the casualty count in the war in Ukraine. Ivan Katchanovski translated bits from a Russian language BBC report: “Based on open sources, the BBC managed to establish the names of 14,709 Russian soldiers who died in the war in Ukraine. Throughout 2022, Russian sources typically reported about 250-300 dead each week. In January, these figures doubled.” #Russia 1/ “But in just two weeks in February, the BBC Russian Service, together with Mediazona (recognized as a “foreign agent” in Russia) and a team of volunteers, managed to confirm the names of 1,679 dead, which is five times more than the usual weekly numbers.” #Ukraine #ukrainewar 2/

The war started in eighths week of 2022. There were thus 44 weeks in the rest of the year. With 300 dead per week the number of Russians killed until the end of 2022 was 13,200. (These numbers likely included the number of Wagner mercenaries killed but probably not those of the Donbas militia.) The BBC then counts 2,400 killed in January and 1,700 in February. The total is thus below 20,000 the number Col. MacGregor and others have estimated for the Russian side. The BBC says it estimates that it only catches half of the dead but gives no sound reason why that would be the case.

The daily losses on the Ukrainian side are much higher. The daily clobber list of the Russian Ministry of Defense mentions about 400 Ukrainians killed every day. This is consistent with the numbers Ukraine’s government mentioned last summer and fall. Over the 358 days of the war the total sums up to about 143,000. The Russian reports do not include the number of those who got killed by the Wagner mercenaries in the Bakhmut area. That number is by likely well above 20,000.

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The WHO lost all credibility in the pandemic. For decades.

Biden Admin To Sign Deal to Give WHO Authority Over US Pandemic Policies (ET)

The Biden administration is preparing to sign up the United States to a “legally binding” accord with the World Health Organization (WHO) that would give this Geneva-based UN subsidiary the authority to dictate America’s policies during a pandemic. Despite widespread criticism of the WHO’s response to the COVID pandemic, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra joined with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in September 2022 to announce “the U.S.-WHO Strategic Dialogue.” Together, they developed a “platform to maximize the longstanding U.S. government-WHO partnership, and to protect and promote the health of all people around the globe, including the American people.”

Alex Jones Ventura

These discussions and others spawned the “zero draft” of a pandemic treaty, published on Feb. 1, which now seeks ratification by all 194 WHO member states. A meeting of the WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) is scheduled for Feb. 27 to work out the final terms, which all members will then sign. Written under the banner of “the world together equitably,” the zero draft grants the WHO the power to declare and manage a global pandemic emergency. Once a health emergency is declared, all signatories, including the United States, would submit to the authority of the WHO regarding treatments, government regulations such as lockdowns and vaccine mandates, global supply chains, and monitoring and surveillance of populations.


“They want to see a centralized, vaccine-and-medication-based response, and a very restrictive response in terms of controlling populations,” David Bell, a public health physician and former WHO staffer specializing in epidemic policy, told The Epoch Times. “They get to decide what is a health emergency, and they are putting in place a surveillance mechanism that will ensure that there are potential emergencies to declare.” The WHO pandemic treaty is part of a two-track effort, coinciding with an initiative by the World Health Assembly (WHA) to create new global pandemic regulations that would also supersede the laws of member states. The WHA is the rule-making body of the WHO, comprised of representatives from the member states.

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Flash light fish

 

 


The Mwanza flat-headed rock agama also known as the Spider-Man agama, can’t spin webs but can climb up vertical walls with ease

 

 

Amur leopard
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626940933810913281

 

 


The ocean sunfish (Mola mola) is one of the heaviest known bony fishes in the world. Adults typically weigh between 247 and 1,000 kg (545–2,205 lb). Yet, Newly hatched sunfish larvae are only 2.5 mm (3⁄32 in) long and weigh less than one gram

 

 

Sturgeon

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 142023
 
 January 14, 2023  Posted by at 9:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  97 Responses »


John Waterhouse Diogenes 1882

 

Ukraine Is A ‘De Facto’ NATO Member – Kiev (RT)
Russia Speaks On Endgame For Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Internal Documents Show Prominent Democrats Knowingly Pushed Russiagate Lie (ET)
There’s More: Elon Musk Exposes Schiff For Mass Scale Collusion (TPN)
Where’s The Impeachment AND Indictment (Denninger)
House GOP Launches Investigation Into Biden Classified Documents (JTN)
Biden Visitor Logs Under Scrutiny After Classified Files Uncovered (RT)
Former Acting AG Derides Garland’s ‘Unforced Error’ On Document Probes (JTN)
House Republicans Consider Wiping Trump’s Impeachments Off the Books (WJ)
House GOP Begins Probe Into Afghanistan Withdrawal (JTN)
The Aristocracy Is Eating the Peasants (Rubino)
BBC Criticised For Letting Cardiologist ‘Hijack’ Interview (G.)
Covid Vaccines Are “Obviously Dangerous” – Senior Swedish Doctors (DS)
WHO Proposals Could Strip Nations of Their Sovereignty (CHD)

 

 

 

 

Tucker: Well, he’s dead!

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1614027701731446784

 

 

 

 

I’ve seen zero pushback from NATO or its members. Can anyone just make this claim?

Ukraine Is A ‘De Facto’ NATO Member – Kiev (RT)

Ukraine is already a “de facto” member of NATO, Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov told the BBC in an interview published on Friday. The minister added that he was “sure” Kiev’s formal accession to the alliance was not far off. “Ukraine as a country, and the armed forces of Ukraine, became [a] member of NATO. De facto, not de jure. Because we have weaponry, and the understanding of how to use it,” Reznikov said. He told the outlet he was certain Kiev would soon receive more powerful equipment from the West, including western-made battle tanks and fighter jets. The US and its allies have been reluctant to send heavier armament to Ukraine, with some arguing such a move could risk escalation and drag them directly into the ongoing conflict. Reznikov brushed off such concerns, branding them a mere formality.

“This concern about the next level of escalation, for me, is some kind of protocol,” the minister said. He also denied that his comments could be seen as controversial amid the West’s attempt to avoid being viewed as a party to the fighting. “Why [would it be] controversial? It’s true. It’s a fact,” he said, commenting on Kiev’s relations with NATO and the West’s military support of Ukraine. “I’m sure that in the near future, we’ll become a member of NATO, de jure,” the minister added. Moscow regards Ukraine’s potential NATO accession as a threat to its national security and has named establishing a neutral status for the country as one of the goals of the military offensive launched in February last year.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that Ukraine had become a de facto NATO member as early as in June 2022. He also filed a NATO membership application in September of the same year and called for a fast-track accession process. The military bloc itself, however, has been less eager to consider such a prospect. In November, NATO reiterated its pledge to accept Ukraine at some point, but said the issue was not on the agenda for the time being. In spring 2022, French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said the process could take decades, while Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said too many NATO members were against the idea altogether.

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“..if this result can be achieved through negotiations, we stand ready for this scenario. If not – then our tasks will be achieved by military means.”

Russia Speaks On Endgame For Ukraine Conflict (RT)

The Ukraine conflict may be concluded either through diplomatic, or military means, but only after Moscow has achieved its goals, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said on Friday. Speaking at a briefing at the UN Security Council, the envoy commented on a possible path for ending the hostilities between the two sides. The opportunity to settle the conflict “will only present itself once Ukraine stops posing a threat to Russia and discriminating against Russian-speaking Ukrainians,” he said. Nebenzia noted that “if this result can be achieved through negotiations, we stand ready for this scenario. If not – then our tasks will be achieved by military means.” The diplomat reiterated that Russia is fighting not against the Ukrainian people, but rather against “the criminal nationalist regime which came to power in 2014” after a coup in Kiev.

The new Ukrainian leadership has been trying to purge the country of “everything that is related to Russia, and to glorify Nazi accomplices,” he said. Nebenzia stated that “everything could have ended differently for Ukraine,” if Kiev had enforced the now-defunct Minsk Agreements, which were signed in 2014 and 2015 in a bid to pave the way for peace by granting the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics special status within the Ukrainian state. However, neither Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky or his predecessors, nor France and Germany, which took part in negotiating the Minsk Agreements, ever intended to fulfill the plan, according to Nebenzia. This diplomatic process “only served as a smokescreen behind which they secretly armed Ukraine in order to set it against Russia,” he stated.

Last month, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that the Minsk Agreements were “an attempt to give Ukraine time” so that its army could get stronger. Later, this revelation was confirmed by former French President Francois Hollande, who noted that the Minsk Agreements had helped Ukraine to achieve that goal. Merkel’s and Hollande’s confessions caused an uproar in Moscow, with Russian officials describing them as “formalization of betrayal.” In December, Ukraine floated the idea of a “Global Peace Summit,” building on Zelensky’s “peace formula,” which in particular demanded Russia withdraw its troops from all territories claimed by Kiev. Moscow dismissed the plan as ignoring the new status of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, and Crimea, as parts of Russia. Kiev wants to hold the summit at the UN headquarters in New York on February 24, with no indication that Moscow would be invited.

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What are the consequences for them?

Internal Documents Show Prominent Democrats Knowingly Pushed Russiagate Lie (ET)

The latest Twitter Files release shows how prominent Democrats knowingly pushed a false Russiagate-related narrative about “Russian bots” promoting a key House Intelligence Committee memo that detailed efforts to spy on the Trump campaign, despite the lawmakers being told by Twitter executives that it wasn’t true. The 14th instalment of the Twitter Files was released on Jan. 12 by journalist Matt Taibbi, who explained in a series of posts that, at a key moment in the Trump-Russia investigation, Democrats alleged that “Russian bots” were spreading an explosive report from then-Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). “At a crucial moment in a years-long furor,” Taibbi explained in one of the posts, “Democrats denounced a report about flaws in the Trump-Russia investigation, saying it was boosted by Russian ‘bots’ and ‘trolls.’”

“Twitter officials were aghast, finding no evidence of Russian influence,” Taibbi continued. In support of this take, Taibbi shared screenshots of correspondence from Twitter executives to several Congressional Democrats, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), confirming that they had “not identified any significant activity connected to Russia with respect to Tweets posting original content to this [#ReleaseTheMemo] hashtag.” The #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag spread like wildfire on Twitter, topping its trending list starting on Jan. 18, 2018 and reflecting the widespread call to publicly release a then-classified memo submitted by Nunes, who at the time was the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Widely referred to as the Nunes memo, it was later declassified under then-President Donald Trump’s order on Feb. 2, 2018. The memo showed how the FBI under the Obama administration used unverified opposition research—the infamous “Steele Dossier” funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee—to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page as part of an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The claims made in the Nunes memo were confirmed by Justice Department Inspector-General Michael Horowitz in his report, released on Dec. 9, 2019.

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But he still has his job.

There’s More: Elon Musk Exposes Schiff For Mass Scale Collusion (TPN)

On Friday, journalist Matt Taibbi dropped a Twitter Files supplemental to expose Democrat representative Adam Schiff once again for colluding with Twitter. Since former President Donald Trump took office, Schiff has spent every day accusing the former president of colluding with Russia, however it now appears that the only person colluding all this time was Schiff himself. In a previous Twitter Files drop, Schiff put pressure on Twitter to ban investigative journalist Paul Sperry. Twitter initially denied the request however later banned Sperry from the site.


Taibbi just followed up with a supplemental exposing Schiff of more wrongdoing. “Staff of House Democrat Adam Schiff wrote to Twitter quite often, asking that tweets be taken down. This important use of taxpayer resources involved an ask about a “Peter Douche” parody photo of Joe Biden. The DNC made the same request,” Taibbi tweeted. “The real issue was Donald Trump retweeted the Biden pic,” the journalist explained To its credit Twitter refused to remove it, with Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth saying it had obvious “humorous intent” and “any reasonable observer” – apparently, not a Schiff staffer – could see it was doctored.”

Taibbi continued: “Schiff staffer Jeff Lowenstein didn’t give up, claiming there was a “slippery slope concern here.”” “Twitter also refused requests for bans of content about Schiff and his staff, e.g. “complete suppress[ion of] any and all search results about Mr. Misko and other Committee staffers.” Twitter said this would not be “conceivable.”” Taibbi explained.

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“..enough to get any other person indicted and convicted..”

Where’s The Impeachment AND Indictment (Denninger)

Biden has now been “caught” with classified documents in two unsecured places (late update: It appears its three locations, but the third I do not have confirmation on as to what and where.) The documents were acquired and retained while and after he was Vice-President and thus had no more right to transport and possess them outside of a secure facility than any other person with a security clearance — that is, no right to do so whatsoever. One of the places is allegedly Biden’s house and not just anywhere in the house: In the garage. Further, the Penn Biden Center, the first (different) place said documents were found, is an unsecured facility that is frequently open to foreign persons and in fact its sponsor, the University of Pennsylvania, has received material donations from Chinese organizations linked to the Chinese government.

Hunter Biden also allegedly was involved in negotiating various business elements with the center including office space for himself and his staff, along with, it appears, Blinken who currently is Secretary of State! Folks, this is not trivial stuff. With regards to Penn we’re talking about something on order of $77 million from China in the form of donations and contracts, which of course leads to the obvious question as to what were they buying? I don’t care what the classified documents involve the fact that Biden removed them from their secure locations and they were not only in the Penn Center but others were in his garage where they were most-certainly not under any sort of “appropriate” security, never mind Biden have no lawful right to possess them in the first place beyond wherever he was using them while Vice-President in an official capacity, in a secure location, is enough to get any other person indicted and convicted.

Oh, and by the way, Hunter who never had a right of access to them and was in fact an agent of a foreign corporation, Burisma, has listed Biden’s address where the documents were as his residence so it must be presumed he had access to same. The President is not above the law. Never mind that it appears the Government knew this prior to the election and deliberately sat on the information. Indictment and impeachment now folks. This is actual impeachment-worthy conduct, never mind felony prosecution worthy conduct.

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Still puzzled about the garage. How do secret docs end up there?

House GOP Launches Investigation Into Biden Classified Documents (JTN)

House Republicans are seeking information on the appointment of special counsel Robert Hur to investigate President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents and hand over records of communications between the DOJ, FBI, and the White House. In a Friday letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., said the committee was “conducting oversight of the Justice Department’s actions with respect to former Vice President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, including the apparently unauthorized possession of classified material at a Washington, D.C. private office and in the garage of his Wilmington, Delaware residence.”

They further observed that Garland’s appointment of Hur had raised questions. Former President Donald Trump appointed Hur in 2018 to a legal posting in Maryland, wherein he established a record for taking on corrupt Democratic officials. Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh even found herself behind bars as a result of Hur’s efforts. He previously worked with former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and was an aide to now-FBI Director Christopher Wray. His association with the pair has raised some concerns among conservative circles. President Joe Biden, who vehemently condemned former President Donald Trump’s storage of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate, appeared to have ink on his face this week following revelations that his aides had discovered classified documents in both his former office at the Penn Biden Center and his Delaware home.

The first discovery occurred in early November and the documents were handed over to the government at that time. Speculation has arisen that the government may have deliberately withheld the details of that incident until after the elections, which Jordan and Johnson addressed in their letter. “It is unclear when the Department first came to learn about the existence of these documents, and whether it actively concealed this information from the public on the eve of the 2022 elections,” they wrote. “It is also unclear what interactions, if any, the Department had with President Biden or his representatives about his mishandling of classified material.” The pair stopped short of making accusations, but noted that “[t]he Department’s actions here appear to depart from how it acted in similar circumstances.”

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“We need to know who all has had access to the president.”

Biden Visitor Logs Under Scrutiny After Classified Files Uncovered (RT)

Congressional Republicans are demanding to see visitor logs for US President Joe Biden’s homes, arguing that the discovery of classified files at one of his residences is a national security risk. Mr Biden acknowledged on Thursday that sensitive material was found in the garage of his house in Delaware. The White House deflected when asked if the visitor logs would be provided. The justice department has appointed an investigator to look into the files. News that sensitive documents dating from Mr Biden’s time as vice-president had been found in a private office at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank in Washington, emerged earlier this week. That was followed by a disclosure that a second cache was discovered at Mr Biden’s home.

The first batch was found on 2 November, just before the US midterm elections, but only became public on Monday. Mr Biden kept an office at the think tank after he left the White House in 2017 until he launched his presidential campaign in 2019. On Thursday, US Attorney General Merrick Garland revealed in a news conference that the second cache had been found on 20 December at Mr Biden’s private home in Wilmington, Delaware. He added that Mr Biden’s lawyers had called investigators on Thursday morning to notify them of an additional document, also found at the same residence. Citing the “extraordinary circumstances”, the attorney general appointed Robert Hur, a former senior justice department official during the Trump presidency, to lead an investigation in the Biden files.

Kevin McCarthy, the newly elected Republican Speaker of the House, questioned the timing of the first disclosure and accused Mr Biden of knowingly mishandling the sensitive papers. “He knowingly knew [sic] this happened going into [the] election, going into interviews. This is what makes America not trust their government,” Mr McCarthy said on Thursday. Other Republicans on Thursday demanded the president release a log of all the people who had visited Mr Biden’s Delaware home. James Comer, a Kentucky congressman and chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News: “We need to know who all has had access to the president.” Colorado Republican Ken Buck wrote a letter to the White House calling on Mr Biden to “release all visitor logs”. Elise Stefanik, the number three House Republican and a New York congresswoman, said that the visitor logs were “a clear matter of national security”.

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“And so what he did though, is he forced his own hand, and in a really unskillful, you know, judge-like manner where he wasn’t thinking through the steps that would happen.”

Former Acting AG Derides Garland’s ‘Unforced Error’ On Document Probes (JTN)

Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker on Friday contended that Attorney General Merrick Garland’s handling of the Department of Justice investigations into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents had forced him to appoint a special counsel to handle an inquiry into President Joe Biden over the same issue. Garland, this week, appointed special counsel Robert Hur to probe the president’s handling of classified documents after previously appoint Jack Smith as special counsel to investigate Trump’s own alleged mishandling of sensitive materials. “I think this is a huge unforced error by Merrick Garland. He didn’t need to appoint a special counsel against Donald Trump,” Whitaker said on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show.

“And so what he did though, is he forced his own hand, and in a really unskillful, you know, judge-like manner where he wasn’t thinking through the steps that would happen.” “[A]nd what makes it even more quizzical to me, is that he knew when he appointed the special counsel, Jack Smith, against Donald Trump, that Joe Biden had similar problems with classified document mishandling,” he went on. “So that tells me that they never planned on this Biden mishandling to ever see the light of day. They were planning on everybody to play nice, that the mainstream media wouldn’t cover it, wouldn’t hear about it, that it would just kind of never be announced.” “And then it came out. And he has been scrambling ever since… he created his own mess, and now he’s gonna have to live with it,” Whitaker concluded.

He then addressed the concurrent special counsel investigations, suggesting that the pair needed to come to agreement on the standards to which they would hold both of their investigative targets. “I think it’s gonna be very interesting if the special counsels coordinate their legal analysis,” he said. “[I]n each case, you’re fundamentally looking at this, you know, gross negligence or recklessness standard, that they need to kind of agree what the facts and circumstances that would trigger that.” Whitaker served as an acting Attorney General under former President Donald Trump, temporarily filling the vacancy between former AGs Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr.

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The ultimate step?

House Republicans Consider Wiping Trump’s Impeachments Off the Books (WJ)

From the moment former President Donald Trump took his oath of office six years ago, Democrats had one goal in mind: impeachment. First, with a big assist from the Department of Justice, the FBI and the legacy media, they alleged he had colluded with the Kremlin to win the presidency. Their hopes were dashed when Robert Mueller’s 22-month witch hunt ended in failure in the spring of 2019. Next, they seized on a phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to investigate the Biden family’s business dealings in the country. Following a sham inquiry, Trump was impeached by the House. Finally, one week after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion, the House voted to impeach Trump a second time over his alleged role in what Democrats insist to this day was an “insurrection.”


As we know, both impeachment trials ended in Trump’s acquittal by the Senate. Now, according to The Washington Times, House Republicans are considering expunging Trump’s impeachments from the record. Asked if he would be willing to bring such legislation to the floor, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said, “We’d look at it. … When you find that the final information of the Russia document is all a lie, and we watch what he went through, I would understand why members would want to bring that forward.” The Times noted that 42 Republicans, including House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York, got behind a resolution to exonerate Trump, but the Democrat-controlled Congress refused to vote on it. Now that Republicans control the House, it’s a real possibility.

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“It is absurd and disgraceful that the Biden administration has repeatedly denied our longstanding oversight requests and continues to withhold information related to the withdrawal..”

House GOP Begins Probe Into Afghanistan Withdrawal (JTN)

House Republicans have begun their probe into the Biden administration’s botched withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, asking that Secretary of State Antony Blinken provide them with a bevy of information on the matter. “We owe this to the American people, especially our service members and veterans,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas said, according to The Hill. The Texas lawmaker has set a deadline of Jan. 26 for the administration to hand over intelligence reports and communications with both the Taliban and Islamic Republic.

While he previously requested such information while serving as the committee’s ranking member, he now has formally asked as the committee chairman. Republicans have vowed to issue subpoenas should the administration continue to withhold the information. “It is absurd and disgraceful that the Biden administration has repeatedly denied our longstanding oversight requests and continues to withhold information related to the withdrawal,” he said, per the outlet. “In the event of continued noncompliance, the Committee will use the authorities available to it to enforce these requests as necessary, including through a compulsory process.”

Roughly 20 years following the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power and to eliminate the Al-Qaeda insurgents operating in the country, U.S. forces withdrew, leaving behind an ill-prepared regime that was unable to combat the rising tide of Islamic militants seeking to overtake the country. In the Summer of 2021, the Taliban launched an offensive amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops that culminated in the capture of Kabul and a hasty airlift operation on the part of the western allies to evacuate their personnel and supportive Afghans. The fiasco preceded a marked drop in President Joe Biden’s approval rating, which has been under water ever since.

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“Return to the gold standard and avoid monetary collapse — but at the cost of giving up the ability to create money at will..”

The Aristocracy Is Eating the Peasants (Rubino)

Most people (especially most Americans) still seem to view the events of the past half-century as more or less random. Booms and busts erupting out of nowhere, impoverishing all but a handful of lucky elites. Political crises that end up dividing rather than uniting. Wars that cost fortunes and resolve nothing. Everything is bad, and nothing is related to anything else. But of course that’s not true. Each of the above events serves the same purpose: to enrich a modern aristocracy at the expense of everyone else. And the endgame is looking even worse. To see the scam play out, let’s go back to 1995. Two decades previously, in 1971, the US and by extension the world had ditched sound, gold-backed money in favor of “fiat” currencies that their governments, via their central banks, could create in infinite quantities out of thin air.


The result was spiking inflation and exchange rate chaos in the 1970s and soaring government deficits in the 1980s. By the 1990s it had become clear to the people running major governments and big corporations that unsound money would lead to unsustainable debt, which in turn would destabilize the financial world and bring about a hyperinflationary depression followed by a French Revolution-style reckoning for those responsible. That generation’s elites were thus left with two choices: Return to the gold standard and avoid monetary collapse — but at the cost of giving up the ability to create money at will. Or use their fictitious currencies to steal as much real wealth as possible from the peasants and let future elites deal with the eventual collapse. They, as the sociopaths we now know them to be, chose the second strategy.

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Panic.

BBC Criticised For Letting Cardiologist ‘Hijack’ Interview (G.)

The BBC has come under fire from scientists for interviewing a cardiologist who claimed certain Covid vaccines could be behind excess deaths from coronary artery disease. Experts have criticised Dr Aseem Malhotra’s appearance on the corporation’s news channel on Friday, accusing him of pushing “extreme fringe” views, which are “misguided”, “dangerous” and could mislead the public. Scientists have described the doctor as “hijacking” an interview on statins to air his views, causing BBC staff to be “alarmed and embarrassed” by their booking. Malhotra recently retweeted a video by the MP Andrew Bridgen, who had the Tory whip removed on Wednesday after comparing the use of Covid vaccines to the Holocaust. After criticising new guidance on statins, he cited British Heart Foundation (BHF) figures that suggested there had been more than 30,000 excess deaths linked to heart disease since Covid first arrived.

Malhotra, a cardiologist at ROC Private Clinic, claimed mRNA Covid vaccines play a role, saying his “own research” showed “Covid mRNA vaccines do carry a cardiovascular risk”. He added that he has called for the vaccine rollout to be suspended pending an inquiry because of the “uncertainty” behind excess deaths. The BHF has said that, while Covid infections probably contributed significantly during the first year of the pandemic, ambulance delays, inaccessible care and lengthy waiting lists are now the key factors. Malhotra has become a vocal figure for hesitancy about Covid vaccines, claiming they pose a greater threat than the virus itself – a view repeatedly debunked by factcheckers. On Friday, he reiterated his claim the jabs were a likely cause of his father’s death. Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, was also interviewed by the BBC on Friday.

“I did a rapid response interview on the BBC news channel this morning to say that vaccine side-effects very, very rare in comparison with the preventable risks of Covid-19. The staff seemed alarmed and embarrassed that they had given him [Malhotra] a platform,” he tweeted. Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, said: “I am genuinely astonished by the BBC allowing someone with a known extreme fringe view on mRNA vaccines and the extent to which they are associated with cardiovascular problems to either hijack an interview on a tenuously related topic to express these views, or indeed to appear at all following even a cursory background check.”

Malhotra
https://twitter.com/i/status/1613837487796850688

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And should be halted immediately.

Covid Vaccines Are “Obviously Dangerous” – Senior Swedish Doctors (DS)

[..] a public statement by a group of five senior Swedish doctors who, in collaboration with Dr. Johan Eddebo, a researcher in digitalisation and human rights, are raising the alert about the Covid vaccines, which they describe as “obviously dangerous”. They say there should be an “immediate halt” to the mass vaccination pending “thorough investigations” of the true incidence and severity of adverse effects.

[..] If, as has been argued, the vaccinations, and especially the boosters, alter the immune profile of recipients such that Covid infections get ‘tolerated’ by the immune system, it’s possible that vaccinated individuals will tend towards a situation of long-term, repeat infections that do not get cleared, and do not present with obvious symptoms, while still promoting systemic damage. The literature now indicates an extensive substitution in the vaccinated of virus-neutralising antibodies for non-inflammatory ones, a ‘class switch’ from antibodies that work towards clearing the virus from our system, to a category of antibodies whose purpose is to desensitise us to irritants and allergens.

The net effect is that the inflammatory response to Covid infection gets down-regulated (reduced). This means that full-blown infections will present with milder symptoms, and that they won’t get cleared as effectively (partly since fever and inflammation are essential to your body getting rid of a pathogen). That these developments alone aren’t cause for an immediate halt to the mass vaccinations, as well as thorough investigations, is astonishing. There is of course another, and more well-known, potential partial explanation of the surprising excess mortality. We have indications of clotting disorders connected to the Covid vaccines, evident in a new major Nordic study, while repeated studies evidence a clear correlation between heart disease and Covid vaccination (see Le Vu et al., Karlstad et al. and Patone et al.).

A newly published Thai study moreover indicated that almost a third of the vaccinated youth enrolled exhibited cardiovascular manifestations, and a yet unpublished Swiss study suggests that as many as 3% of everyone vaccinated manifest heart muscle damage. And as stated above, we also see signals pertaining to fertility disturbances connected to the Covid vaccines. An Israeli study shows impaired motility and sperm concentrations after both Pfizer and Moderna vaccination. The safety committee of the European Medicines Agency has also affirmed that the vaccines may cause menstrual disturbances, and Pfizer’s own studies indicate that the lipid nanoparticles of the mRNA-vaccines cluster in the reproductive organs.

The hypothesis that COVID-19 vaccinations influence fertility is supported by a significant and unprecedented decline in the Swedish birth rate during the first months of 2022. According to Swedish demographers, the decline is ”surprising”. There are similar data from many other Western countries, and to continue the mass vaccinations for low-risk groups such as children or pregnant women is utterly irresponsible – especially since the vaccinations do little or nothing to stop the spread as was initially promised, and is often still falsely maintained.

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World government.

WHO Proposals Could Strip Nations of Their Sovereignty (CHD)

Secretive negotiations took place this week in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss proposed amendments to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR), considered a binding instrument of international law. Similar negotiations took place last month for drafting a new WHO pandemic treaty. While the two are often conflated, the proposed IHR amendments and the proposed pandemic treaty represent two separate but related sets of proposals that would fundamentally alter the WHO’s ability to respond to “public health emergencies” throughout the world — and, critics warn, significantly strip nations of their sovereignty. According to author and researcher James Roguski, these two proposals would transform the WHO from an advisory organization to a global governing body whose policies would be legally binding.


They also would greatly expand the scope and reach of the IHR, institute a system of global health certificates and “passports” and allow the WHO to mandate medical examinations, quarantine and treatment. Roguski said the proposed documents would give the WHO power over the means of production during a declared pandemic, call for the development of IHR infrastructure at “points of entry” (such as national borders), redirect billions of dollars to the “Pharmaceutical Hospital Emergency Industrial Complex” and remove mention of “respect for dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of people.” Francis Boyle, J.D., Ph.D., professor of international law at the University of Illinois, said the proposed documents may also contravene international law.

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..an ant rolling a water droplet on a rough surface, an example of ideal nonwetting conditions

 

 

 

 

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Nov 232022
 
 November 23, 2022  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  66 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The spectacles seller 1624

 

Is NATO Falling Apart? (Saker)
Is Washington’s Dangerous Ukraine Boondoggle Starting to Unravel? (Ron Paul)
Emmanuel Macron: “We Need a Single Global Order” (SN)
Scholz Names Reason Behind European Economy Downturn (RT)
Up To Three Million Ukrainians Will Migrate In Winter – WHO (RT)
Russia Threatens To Cut Gas Exports Due To Ukraine’s Theft (RT)
CIA Reveals Plan For Disgruntled Russians (RT)
App Store ‘Gatekeepers’ Could Deplatform Twitter Itself (SN)
Stop COP (Hunziker)
Biden Officials Off The Hook For Deposition In Social Media Censorship Case (PM)
Greek Food Prices Consistently Higher Than EU (K.)
Special Counsel vs Trump ‘Tool to Attack a Political Enemy’: FBI Veteran (ET)
FDA Social Media Posts On Covid Under Legal, Medical Scrutiny (JTN)
Sometimes I feel I Am Damaged for Life: Woman Injured by Pfizer Vaccine (CHD)
New WHO Pandemic Treaty In Final Stages, Would Overrule US Constitution (NN)

 

 

Marc Elias is the top Hillary lawyer.

 

 

 

 

Terry Duffy

 

 

 

 

Macgregor-Ukraine is about to be annihilated

 

 

 

 

 

 

“NATO can’t defend ANY of its members against a truly modern military..”

Is NATO Falling Apart? (Saker)

[..] let’s imagine that Russia would really strike some target inside Poland (which is what the Ukies claimed, as did the Poles until Uncle Shmuel told them to cool it). What would happen next? Does anybody still remember what happened when Erdogan flew to Mons to beg for NATO protection against Russia (following the downing of a Russian Su-24 over northern Syria by a joint US-Turkish operation, possibly executed without Erdogan’s knowledge, at least that was his claim). What did NATO promise or give the Turks? Absolutely *nothing* (other than “consultations”). Now the Poles might be delusional enough to think that a US President might order a retaliatory attack on Russia if Russia strikes Poland, but those of us who know the USA and its ruling elites know that this is nonsense.

Why? Simply because a US/NATO counter-strike on Russian forces would result in an immediate Russian response. And then what? The truth is very stark in its simplicity: • The US/NATO do not have the manpower or firepower needed to take on Russia in a conventional combined arms war. • Any use of nuclear weapons will result in an immediate retaliation most likely resulting into a unwinnable full-scale nuclear war. • So here is the deal: whether western politicians understand that or not, military professionals all know the truth – NATO can’t defend ANY of its members against a truly modern military. Why? Let’s look at what capabilities the US/NATO truly have:

• The USN has a superb submarine force (both SSNs and SSBNs) capable for firing large numbers of relatively obsolete cruise missiles (and plenty of SLBMs) •A still very capable, if rather old, nuclear triad •A quantitative (only!) conventional advantage over Russia • Superb (but very vulnerable!) C4ISR capabilities • A printing press allowing for the quasi infinite printing of dollars • A comprador elite ruling over all the NATO/EU countries • The most formidable propaganda machine in history. So what does NATO lack to be a credible military force? Obviously, “boots on the ground”. And I don’t mean a few subunits from the 101st or 82AB or US special forces or even a so-called “armored brigade” which, in reality, lacks adequate TO&E to qualify as such. I am talking about a “land warfare” force capable of fighting a modern and extremely determined enemy.

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“.. this is the clearest public example of the Biden Administration’s acceptance that it has a “Zelensky problem.”

Is Washington’s Dangerous Ukraine Boondoggle Starting to Unravel? (Ron Paul)

Last week the world stood on the very edge of a nuclear war, as Ukraine’s US-funded president, Vladimir Zelensky, urged NATO military action over a missile that landed on Polish soil. “This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a really significant escalation. Action is needed,” said Zelensky immediately after the missile landed. But there was a problem. The missile was fired from Ukraine – likely an accident in the fog of war. Was it actually a Russian missile, of course, that might mean World War III. But Zelensky didn’t seem to be bothered by the prospect of the world blown up, judging from his reckless rhetoric. While Zelensky has been treated as a saint by the US media, the Biden Administration, and both parties in Congress, something unprecedented happened this time: the Biden Administration pushed back.

According to press reports, several Zelensky calls to Biden or senior Biden Staff went unanswered.When US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan finally returned Zelensky’s call, he is reported to have said, “tread carefully” on claims Russia was behind the missiles landing in Poland. The Biden Administration went on to publicly dispute Zelensky’s continued insistence that Russia shot missiles into NATO-Member Poland. After two days of Washington opposition to his claims, Zelensky finally, sort of, backed down. We’ve heard rumors of President Biden’s frustration over Zelensky’s endless begging and ingratitude for the 60 or so billion dollars doled out to him by the US government, but this is the clearest public example of the Biden Administration’s acceptance that it has a “Zelensky problem.” Zelensky must have understood that Washington and Brussels knew it was not a Russian missile. Considering the vast intelligence capabilities of the US in that war zone, it is likely the US government knew in real time that the missiles were not Russian.

For Zelensky to claim otherwise seemed almost unhinged. And for what seems like the first time, Washington noticed.As a result, there has been a minor – but hopefully growing – revolt among conservatives in Washington over this dangerous episode. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene introduced legislation demanding an audit of the tens of billions of dollars shipped to Ukraine – with perhaps $50 billion more in the pipeline. The resolution currently has eleven co-sponsors. Rep. Matt Gaetz has publicly stated that he would not vote for one more dollar for Ukraine. Others, like US Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), have gone even further. In a recent Tweet Rep. Gosar called US support for Ukraine a “corrupt money-laundering operation.” As the fallout from the recent collapse of the FTX crypto exchange points to possible political corruption, his claims may prove to be accurate.

[..] When the Ukraine war hysteria finally dies down – as the Covid hysteria died down before it – it will become obvious to vastly more Americans what an absolute fiasco this whole thing has been. Hopefully Republicans will accelerate that process when they take the House in January. It cannot come too soon!

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1) I thought we were in a garden, not a jungle?!

2) There will be a global order, and you won’t be in it.

Emmanuel Macron: “We Need a Single Global Order” (SN)

During a speech at the Apec summit in Bangkok, where world leaders gathered, French President Emmanuel Macron called for a “single global order.” Macron made the comments while discussing the power interests of Russia and China and the threat of war. “We are in a jungle and we have two big elephants trying to become more and more nervous,” he said.“If they become very nervous and start a war, it will be a big problem for the rest of the jungle. You need the cooperation of a lot of other animals, tigers, monkeys and so on,” added Macron.“Are you on the U.S. or the Chinese side? Because now, progressively, a lot of people would like to see that there are two orders in this world. This is a huge mistake, even for both the U.S. and China.” “We need a single global order,” he concluded.


Macron’s words are sure to confuse the ‘fact checker’ industry, which continues to insist that claims about the ‘New World Order’ or one world government are a baseless conspiracy theory. Indeed, much hilarity ensued last week when it was revealed that Google-owned YouTube had effectively fact-checked a video published by ‘The World Government Summit 2022’. In the video, the host of a panel discussion asks H.E. Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President, “Are you ready for a new world order?” Underneath the video is a fact check box about the ‘New World Order’ which links to a Wikipedia article that states, “The New World Order (NWO) is a conspiracy theory which hypothesizes a secretly emerging totalitarian world government.” The tone of the article debunks the notion that there is a move towards a ‘New World Order’, despite the panelists at the World Government Summit openly discussing that very agenda.

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It was China all along…

Scholz Names Reason Behind European Economy Downturn (RT)

Neither the Covid-19 pandemic nor Russia’s offensive against Ukraine has played a pivotal role in bringing about the current economic downturn in Europe, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has argued. He attributed it to growth in Asia instead, warning that there likely will not be a return to the good old days in the foreseeable future.Speaking on Tuesday at an economic summit in Berlin organized by Suddeutsche Zeitung, Scholz said that, for years, countries in North America and Europe had enjoyed a combination of stable growth, low inflation and high employment rates. This, however, according to the chancellor, was an “economic exception” that cannot be expected to last any longer.

“Russia’s war [against Ukraine] and the economic consequences of the [Covid-19] pandemic may have expedited” the end of this era, the politician opined. He hastened to add, however, that “they were not the trigger for it.” Scholz went on to explain that, for decades, countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia have mainly been viewed as a source of cheap goods for the European, American and, increasingly, the Chinese markets. But in the meantime the same Asian nations experienced an explosive increase in the number of people belonging to the middle class. Those individuals’ purchasing power rose accordingly. This, the German chancellor postulated, is what has led to growing inflation elsewhere.

He noted that, at the same time, this is a major story of success enabled by globalization. He also warned against deglobalization, calling on Germany and other European nations to embrace more trade with emerging economies, “of course, [trade] by fair rules. “An increasingly multipolar word is arranging itself right now, fundamentally anew,” a development which is best seen in South-East Asia, Scholz argued. He hastened to reassure German businesses that they have nothing to fear, as their goods will remain in high demand in this new world and they only stand to gain more.

Speaking of the current energy crisis in his country, Scholz accused Russia of weaponizing gas exports, adding that Germany had made a mistake in relying too much on one supplier. He vowed that Berlin will never repeat this, going forward, meaning that dependence on China will have to be reduced as well. Germany, he said, needs to look for new suppliers and markets for its goods. The chancellor promised to make sure Europe’s economic powerhouse sees itself through the coming winter.

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Peace talks now. But not on Zelensky’s terms.

Up To Three Million Ukrainians Will Migrate In Winter – WHO (RT)

This winter may be a “life-threatening” experience for “millions” of Ukrainians, Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Europe, has warned. Up to three million Ukrainians are expected to migrate “in search of warmth and safety,” Kluge said on Monday during a press conference in Kiev. “We expect 2–3 million more people to leave their homes in search of warmth and safety. They will face unique health challenges, including respiratory infections such as Covid-19, pneumonia and influenza, and the serious risk of diphtheria and measles in under-vaccinated populations,” Kluge stated.

Those who remain at home will likely be forced to opt for “alternative heating methods,” the official said, warning that doing things “like burning charcoal or wood, or using generators fueled by diesel, or electric heaters” carry health risks as well.They include “exposure to toxic substances that are harmful for children, older people and those with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, as well as accidental burns and injuries,” he said.The ongoing conflict is also taking a heavy toll on the mental health of Ukrainians, according to Kluge. Some 10 million of them are already “at risk of mental disorders such as acute stress, anxiety, depression, substance use and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD,” the official said.

According to the latest UN figures, more than 7.8 million refugees from Ukraine have migrated to Europe amid the conflict between Moscow and Kiev that broke out in late February. Some 4.7 million of them have been registered for Temporary Protection or similar national protection schemes across the EU. A sizable portion of the refugees, however, have gone to Russia, with more than 2.8 million recorded in the country.

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Again: peace talks now.

Russia Threatens To Cut Gas Exports Due To Ukraine’s Theft (RT)

Russia’s energy giant Gazprom said on Tuesday that Ukraine was diverting natural gas supplies transiting to Moldova, and the company has threatened to curtail deliveries through a key pipeline in response. “The volume of gas supplied by Gazprom to the ‘Sudzha’ gas measuring station (GMS) for transit to Moldova via Ukraine exceeds the physical volume transmitted at the border of Ukraine with Moldova,” Gazprom’s statement read. Moldova paid for some November gas supplies on Monday, according to Gazprom, which said that Kiev had kept 52.52 million cubic meters of gas meant for Moldova on its territory.


The Russian energy company further warned that if the transit imbalance persists then it would begin slashing gas supply to the Sudzha GMS for transit via Ukraine from 10 am (7am GMT) on November 28, “in the amount of the daily underderlivery.” The Sudzha transit line through Ukraine remains the only route to supply Russian gas to western and central European countries after the Nord Stream network was damaged by a suspicious explosion in September. Meanwhile, land-locked Moldova, which has been suffering massive blackouts lately, has called for international assistance as soaring energy costs and skyrocketing inflation are set to put a huge strain on consumers in one of Europe’s poorest countries. According to the French Foreign Ministry, support is all the more important as Moldova is facing an unprecedented energy crisis as winter approaches.

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“He described the conflict as a massive failure for Moscow and said it presented opportunities for Western intelligence agencies to recruit disaffected Russians.”

CIA Reveals Plan For Disgruntled Russians (RT)

The CIA is interested in recruiting Russians “disgusted” with the conflict in Ukraine, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. The claim was made by deputy director of operations David Marlowe during a recent meeting at a Washington-area think-tank. “We’re looking around the world for Russians who are as disgusted with that as we are,” Marlowe reportedly said, referring to the current events in Ukraine. “Because we’re open for business.”Marlowe spoke “before a select audience of university faculty and staff” at George Mason University’s Hayden Center in Arlington, Virginia. The “CIA at 75” event was his first public appearance since he took office in June 2021, according to the WSJ. Though the event was held last week, the Hayden Center made the video of it public on Monday.

CIA Deputy Director for Analysis Linda Weissgold, described as responsible for producing finished intelligence reports for President Joe Biden and the rest of the US leadership, was also on the panel, along with the agency’s one-time acting director Michael Morrell. Appointed by current CIA Director William Burns, Marlowe is an Arabic speaker whose expertise is in the Near and Middle East. According to him, Russian President Vladimir Putin “squandered” all of his power and influence by “invading” Ukraine in February. He described the conflict as a massive failure for Moscow and said it presented opportunities for Western intelligence agencies to recruit disaffected Russians.

The announcement follows several instances during which Western intelligence agencies have tried to approach Russian personnel serving abroad, according to Moscow. Last month, Moscow summoned the Dutch ambassador over reports that a British spy had tried to recruit a Russian military attache in The Hague. Earlier this year, the Kremlin denounced US attempts to suborn Russian diplomats as “very impudent behavior” and “unacceptable.” The Hayden Center was set up in 2017 by the retired US Air Force General Michael V. Hayden, several months after he became a CNN contributor. Hayden ran the National Security Agency (NSA) between 1999-2005 and the CIA from 2006-2009, through such controversies as waterboarding torture of terrorism suspects and warrantless mass surveillance of Americans.

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What are the odds of Musk setting up his own app store?

App Store ‘Gatekeepers’ Could Deplatform Twitter Itself (SN)

App store ‘gatekeepers’ Apple, Google Play and Amazon could all decide to deplatform Twitter itself following new owner Elon Musk’s commitment to free speech, according to a report. Speculation over app stores potentially targeting Twitter intensified after Apple executive Phil Schiller deactivated his Twitter account for no apparent reason days after Donald Trump was restored to the platform. Twitter users also noticed that the official Apple account itself had apparently removed all of its tweets, although it was later revealed that this was nothing new. According to a report by Fast Company, “Musk is playing a dangerous game that could spell game over for the platform he just bought” by his supposed failure to moderate impose stringent moderation.

“Musk’s platforming of hateful content could get Twitter itself deplatformed,” writes Clint Rainey, adding that the company could be on a “collision course” with app store “gatekeepers.” Rainey and his ilk are mad that Musk has culled the number of “moderators employed to track harmful content and enforce Twitter’s rules against it.” Showcasing again how journalists now weaponize their platforms to try to chill free speech, Fast Company contacted Apple, Google and Amazon to ask them if they planned to deplatform the Twitter app itself, but none responded. The article notes how both Parler and Truth Social were at one stage banned from app stores before they were forced to agree to more draconian moderation policies.

While it’s incredibly unlikely that the Twitter app itself would ever be deplatformed, the ‘gatekeepers’ could follow the example of advertisers by putting pressure on Musk to impose tighter censorship, therefore derailing the billionaire’s stated goal to “free the bird” and restore true freedom of speech. Given that Apple is also likely to take a large cut of Twitter’s new $8 subscription service, a financial motive is also in place to maintain a good relationship with Musk. Much of the hysteria seems to be based around Musk allowing accounts that had been unfairly banned or suspended on the platform, such as those operated by the Babylon Bee and Jordan Peterson, to return. Trump himself returning to the platform, despite insisting he has no plans to actually use his account again, has also instilled terror into censorious leftists who fear they are losing power over the ability to shut down adversarial voices.

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What I wrote almost 7 years ago: CON21. Nothing has changed, let alone improved.

Stop COP (Hunziker)

Fossil fuel interests have taken over climate talks. The acronym COP for “Conference of the Parties” should be changed to “Continue Oil Production.” Eighteen of the twenty companies that sponsored UN climate talks at the make-believe Egyptian resort Sharm El-Sheikh either directly support or partner with oil and gas companies. Global Witness/London identified at least 636 fossil lobbyists at COP27. What are fossil fuel lobbyists doing at a climate conference? According to Pascoe Sabido of Corporate Europe Observatory/Brussels: “These findings underline the extent to which this COP has never been about the climate. It’s been about rehabilitating the gas industry and making sure that fossil fuels are on the agenda.

This is part of the bigger problem which is linked to the overall corporate capture of the U.N. climate talks… We need to kick the big polluters out.” (Source: Fossil Fuel-Linked Companies Dominate Sponsorship of COP27, DeSomg, Nov. 16, 2022) Of course, fossil fuel interests sponsor big pavilions, like showtime at Las Vegas conventions. Dubai’s racy, futuristic colorful pavilion was a standout as an effective ploy to convince the world of their serious intentions for net zero. Oh, please! Hopefully, a massive worldwide movement to Stop COP28 Dubai can effectively reverse the embarrassment of holding next year’s COP in the kingdom of oil. It’s an insult to climate scientists. Is Saudi Arabia next?

Adding insult to even the remotest idea of holding further COPs, COP 27 was a virtual disaster. “Indeed, the real legacy of COP27 could well be exposing the climate summit for what it has become, a bloated travelling circus that sets up once a year, and from which little but words ever emerge… in the course of 27 COPs, there has never been a formal agreement to reduce the world’s fossil fuel use.” (Source: Bill McGuire, professor emeritus, Geophysical & Climate Hazards, UCL, The Big Takeaway From COP27? These Climate Conference Just Aren’t Working, The Guardian, Nov. 20, 2022).

Hopefully, a movement to stop COPs altogether will emerge from the shadows of backroom and boardroom negotiations resembling fraternity initiations of naive pledges turned into nincompoops. COP is that ridiculous and overly expensive as well as duping the public into thinking something constructive is happening. Stop COP! According to Bill McGuire: “Some old hands have labelled it (COP27) the worst COP ever, and I doubt many would argue… it is becoming increasingly difficult to view these events as anything other than photo opportunities for presidents and prime ministers who turn up simply to make the world think they care… hijacking by the fossil fuel sector, and failure, year on year, to do the job they were set up to do, surely means that COP is no longer fit for purpose.”

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Fauci and Psaki are still due. For now.

Biden Officials Off The Hook For Deposition In Social Media Censorship Case (PM)

On Monday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked deposition requests handed down to three officials in the Biden administration, overruling Louisiana District Judge Terry Doughty, who had originally placed the order. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly, and White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty had all been slated to provide depositions in an ongoing lawsuit alleging that the administration worked hand-in-hand with social media companies to censor certain points of view.As the New York Post reports, in their decision, the panel of judges stated that they would be staying the depositions “pending further consideration” from Doughty and the district court.

“Before any of the depositions may go forward,” they argued, “the district court must analyze whether the information sought can be obtained through less intrusive, alternative means, such as further written discovery or depositions of lower-ranking officials.” They went on to point out that the Biden administration “has already produced extensive written discovery,” and that in his ruling, Doughty gave Easterly and Flaherty the choice to send their inferiors to depose in their place. Thus, they argued, it is now Doughty’s burden to prove why the government’s request to find alternative means is unreasonable. “It is not enough,” they continued, “that these officials may have ‘personal knowledge’ about certain communications. That knowledge may be shared widely or have only marginal importance in comparison to the ‘potential burden’ imposed on the deponent.”

As the New York Post reports, while the court’s ruling may lead to Murthy, Easterly, and Flaherty not having to give depositions, there are a number of other officials listed in the lawsuit that are still slated to take the stand, including Dr. Fauci and former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. If Doughty is not able to defend his position, however, their depositions may be overturned as well. The lawsuit, which was filed by attorneys general Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Jeff Landry of Louisiana in May, alleged that the Biden administration had colluded with big tech to suppress debate over topics like Covid-19, election integrity, and the Hunter Biden laptop story.

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What I keep a close eye on. Minimum wage is way below most EU countries, but prices are higher.

Greek Food Prices Consistently Higher Than EU (K.)

The turbulence in energy prices and other commodities like cereals and grains brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may have exacerbated the inflationary crisis for almost 12 months now, but for many years in Greece, the cost of food and other necessities has not been in line with the purchasing power of the country’s citizens. Despite the recession-induced fall in consumption, this discrepancy remained even during the 10-year financial crisis, with the so-called internal devaluation only having an impact on wages, pensions and incomes in general, but not prices. More recently, Greece’s gross domestic product per capita in purchasing power standards in 2021 was 65% of the average for the European Union, placing it second to last behind Bulgaria.

The main reasons cited for this imbalance are Greece’s significant reliance on imports for primary and secondary materials, the market’s small size, which does not favor price competition from suppliers who are both Greek and foreign, and numerous “blurred” areas in supplier-retailer relationships that still exist despite the issue being raised by the Competition Commission and by government announcements. Therefore, it is seen as little coincidence that during this most recent crisis, food inflation in Greece has consistently been higher than in the eurozone from last November to August, with the gap even widening by 3.8 percentage points.This is taking place in addition to the difference that frequently exists in absolute prices of similar products in Greece and other European countries.

Tellingly, Greece is more expensive compared to countries where the purchasing power is higher (such as Germany and France). With regard to the issue of dependence on basic raw materials, the example of bread and a range of foodstuffs with flour as the basic raw material is a telling one. Bread is produced from flour, mainly from soft wheat, a product that is grown to a very small extent in Greece, unlike durum wheat, which is mainly used for pasta. As a result, Greece covers only 10% of its needs for soft wheat from domestic production and imports the rest. Indicatively, until the beginning of the war in Ukraine, 30% of Greece’s needs were covered by imports from Russia and Ukraine.

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“They really haven’t articulated facts which justified the appointment of any kind of counsel..”

Special Counsel vs Trump ‘Tool to Attack a Political Enemy’: FBI Veteran (ET)

In appointing a special counsel to investigate former President Donald Trump, the Justice Department (DOJ) has turned its law enforcement apparatus into a “tool to attack a political enemy,” according to FBI veteran Marc Ruskin. During a Nov. 18 announcement in Washington, Attorney General Merrick Garland, a Biden appointee, tasked former DOJ prosecutor Jack Smith with overseeing investigations related to Trump’s handling of classified records and parts of the probe into the events surrounding Jan. 6, 2021. Trump has denied wrongdoing and characterized Garland’s move as a “horrendous abuse of power” and the “latest in the long series of witch hunts.” The timing of the appointment is significant, Ruskin said, noting how it dovetailed with pledges by House Republicans to investigate President Joe Biden and his administration once the GOP takes control of the House in January. “Using the legal system in baseless investigations and prosecutions has been a hallmark of the anti-Trump campaign since before 2016,” Ruskin, who served 27 years with the FBI and is a contributor for The Epoch Times, said in an interview.

Ruskin believes that the special counsel investigation serves a particular purpose. “It’s an old trick,” he said. “They’ll be hoping to divert attention from the congressional investigations and focus instead on a baseless special counsel investigation, because there’s no question that the legacy media is going to jump on board and give this front page attention, while the investigations being conducted by Congress will either be ignored or relegated to the back of the newspaper.” U.S. Code 28 CFR Section 600.1 prescribes that the DOJ should appoint a special counsel in an investigation in which there is a conflict of interest or other extraordinary circumstances, under which it would be in the public interest for an outside special counsel to step in. During the Nov. 18 press conference, Garland described the appointment of Smith—a registered independent—as a matter of public interest, citing Trump’s presidential candidacy and Biden’s interest in entering the race.

Ruskin, however, didn’t feel convinced that there were sufficient grounds to warrant such a move. “They really haven’t articulated facts which justified the appointment of any kind of counsel,” he said. Some Trump critics have argued that the special counsel appointment suggests that the DOJ is intent on bringing the case to indictment. Ruskin dismissed this claim as “a fabrication in order to justify a difficult-to-justify investigation.” “The argument is the old ‘where there’s smoke there must be fire’ reasoning, which is fallacious reasoning,” he said. “It’s a fallacy which has been propagated in order to justify what is arguably a politically motivated investigation seeking to create an advantage for the Democratic Party in the upcoming elections.”

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The FDA now says it was “only a suggestion”. Weasels.

“The judge suggested it was “common sense that it would be predictable that state boards would react to statements by the FDA” by investigating doctors who prescribe ivermectin for COVID.”

FDA Social Media Posts On Covid Under Legal, Medical Scrutiny (JTN)

The FDA’s Twitter habits are getting scrutiny in court and from medical professionals as the feds seesaw between walking back their once-confident COVID-19 assertions and making sweeping new claims without providing evidence.Having long ago conceded that COVID vaccines can’t stop viral transmission and that assertions to the contrary by President Biden among others were based on “hope” rather than science, the feds are now downplaying the influence of their social media to escape liability for allegedly violating statutory limits by interfering in medical judgments. At the same time, over the past two months, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf has gone on a spree of evidence-free tweets about bivalent boosters and oral antivirals, such as Pfizer’s rebound infection-prone Paxlovid, prompting exasperation from leading doctors.

The FDA’s “social media statements … are what bother me the most,” U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown said in a hearing this month on the government’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit by three doctors who claim the agency’s false portrayals of ivermectin have harmed their ability to treat patients and threatened their licenses. The June lawsuit cited the FDA’s multiple tweets characterizing the antiparasitic, whose inventors won a Nobel Prize in 2015, as a livestock treatment that was dangerous for humans, as well as other statements falsely suggesting off-label treatments were dangerous rather than routine. Justice Department lawyer Isaac Belfer emphasized that the social media statements were “written in informal conversational language” and constitute “non-binding recommendations” that doctors and consumers were free to ignore.

Brown responded that they lacked “qualifier statements” on ivermectin’s human uses and the drug’s FDA authorization. He questioned whether “the purpose of those statements [was] really to advise patients not to self-medicate with ivermectin,” as the feds claim. FDA emails show the agency celebrating the virality and media coverage of its “You are not a horse” tweet, its most viewed ever, which linked to an agency webpage referring to “multiple” reports of people who took the livestock version and required medical attention. The page starts with a photo of a horse and a warning that it’s “highly dangerous” to use medicine not authorized to treat COVID. The judge suggested it was “common sense that it would be predictable that state boards would react to statements by the FDA” by investigating doctors who prescribe ivermectin for COVID.

The FDA separately warned the Federation of State Medical Boards and National Association of Boards of Pharmacy about ivermectin between its August 2021 and April 2022 “horse” tweets. Less than two weeks after Brown’s warning to the FDA about careless tweets, Califf went beyond crediting his recovery from his first known COVID infection to his “up to date” vaccination and course of Paxlovid, which was only tested in unvaccinated patients. In a meandering tweet thread, the commissioner also cited unspecified “preliminary epidemiological findings” that “point to the distinct possibility of the bivalent vaccines and antivirals reducing risk of long Covid.” Johns Hopkins medical professor and National Academy of Medicine member Marty Makary and University of California San Francisco epidemiologist Vinay Prasad accused Califf of making statements that pharmaceutical companies themselves can’t legally make.

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“Blood pressure spikes, elevated heartbeats, dizziness, nausea, heat on chest and pain, hot feet and cold hands, weird head pressure, shortness of breath, neck pain, back pain, extreme fatigue, a numb left hand, mild numbness on left side of face with random twitching, confusions, heart palpitations, eye blurriness, jaw tightness and gum pain.”

Sometimes I feel I Am Damaged for Life: Woman Injured by Pfizer Vaccine (CHD)

Ortiz, now 54 years old, is a mail carrier in Arlington, Texas. In an exclusive interview with The Defender, she described her initial injuries and ongoing symptoms. She provided extensive documentation to corroborate her claims. Ortiz described what happened when she got the vaccine — and how the pharmacist who administered it reacted:“I felt waves of heat in my body and felt as if I was going to faint. I did not faint. But I immediately felt that my life was in danger, something was really wrong with me.” She asked the pharmacist what would happen if she were allergic to the vaccine, and did he have an EpiPen, Ortiz said. The pharmacist said he did. “But when I was lying on the floor, all he did was call the ambulance,” she said.

Ortiz may have sustained an immediate adverse event following her vaccination, but her symptoms were far from fleeting. She told The Defender she experienced: “Blood pressure spikes, elevated heartbeats, dizziness, nausea, heat on chest and pain, hot feet and cold hands, weird head pressure, shortness of breath, neck pain, back pain, extreme fatigue, a numb left hand, mild numbness on left side of face with random twitching, confusions, heart palpitations, eye blurriness, jaw tightness and gum pain.” Her symptoms led to several visits to the emergency room and significant lost time at work, which put her career at risk. “I missed work for over three months and ended up at the emergency room five times,” said Ortiz.

“When I returned to work, I [was] approved for a very easy route at the post office. It is mostly curbside. And thank God, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to do the route.” However, even with a less challenging route, Ortiz still faced significant difficulties, she said: “There were many times, while driving to work, that I felt sick and ended up at the hospital or going back home. It caused me to leave work many times. “There was one time that I pushed myself to work with the weird head pressure and confusion and eye blurriness, and I ended up rear-ending a vehicle on my route.”Similar to the experience of several other vaccine injury victims who recently spoke to The Defender, Ortiz described multiple doctors’ visits, during which doctors usually dismissed her concerns that the COVID-19 vaccination caused her health problems.

“I’ve been to many doctors but all the tests are okay,” said Ortiz. “Many doctors would insist that the vaccine does not cause what I was suffering [from].” Ortiz described taking a battery of exams, including “[an] EKG, CT scan, x-rays, a brain MRI, lumbar MRI, a stress test, tons of lab tests, aldosterone/renin activity, a transthoracic echocardiogram, urinary fractionated metanephrines, duplex abdomen complete, and an EEG.”Even after all of these tests, said Ortiz, “All the doctors told me that the Pfizer vaccine” did not cause her injuries. Instead, they blamed “anxiety” for her symptoms. “When I look at a lot of my medical records, I was surprised how in so many pages they didn’t even mention the vaccine, just that I am there, in the ER, for high blood pressure.” She described one particularly disheartening experience with one of her doctors: “My family doctor pretty much was annoyed with me. She refused to run any tests for me. “I had to beg her to check my vitamin D levels because of the extreme fatigue. She acted as if I was not insured and was begging for free services.”

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Dr. Richard Urso shared this, asking: “Is this nonsense true or is it hyperbole?”

New WHO Pandemic Treaty In Final Stages, Would Overrule US Constitution (NN)

Today we bring you a truly bombshell interview and critical story about the WHO’s new pandemic treaty which is specifically written to overrule the United States Constitution and all domestic laws in every nation, worldwide. How do we know this? Because treaty expert Dr. Francis Boyle studied the proposed treaty language and lays it all out in today’s hard-hitting interview (see below). He’s the author of the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, and an expert in reading and writing treaties. And today, he issues his strongest warning yet made public.

Dr. Boyle is the author of a recent book entitled, “Resisting Medical Tyranny,” and in today’s interview, he openly warns that this new WHO treaty — dubbed “WHO CA+” — is designed to unleash a global medical dictatorship that would overrule your local doctors, hospitals and clinics, forcing them to follow WHO directives on things like masks, quarantines, social distancing and economic lockdowns. In essence, the new WHO pandemic treaty turns the entire world into a China-style medical police state where sovereign nations, states and individuals themselves have no recognized health freedom rights whatsoever.

Digital gulag

Stated another way, if Biden signs this treaty, what China did to its own people during COVID lockdowns will soon be coming to America. Joe Biden reportedly intends on signing this treaty as quickly as possible, once the final language is completed. And from that day forward, governments around the world merely need to unleash their own cooked-up biological weapons on their own people to set the provisions of this treaty into motion. Dr. Boyle specifically told me in the interview that governments are unleashing “Nuremberg-level crimes against civilians,” and that this new WHO treaty grants genocidal governments the “teeth” they need to lock down, imprison or exterminate their own populations.

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Garland Nixon was suspended for this tweet.

His comment on the suspension: “Change Blinken to Putin and change Palestinians to Ukrainians and it gets boosted by Twitter instead of censored.”

 

 

 

 

Puppies
https://twitter.com/i/status/1595197053042393088

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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