Jun 202023
 
 June 20, 2023  Posted by at 5:00 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  6 Responses »


Thomas Cole The Course of Empire – The Consummation of Empire 1836

 

 

Andrew Korybko:

 

Putin’s Three Latest Appearances

President Putin strongly suggested in a series of appearances last week that a political solution to the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine is still possible. Those of his supporters in the Alt-Media Community who convinced themselves that the special operation won’t stop until Russian forces reach the Polish border are bound to be infuriated by this assessment, but it’s based on his own words as proven by the official Kremlin website. Here are the three appearances that will be cited in this analysis:

* 13 June: “Meeting with war correspondents

* 16 June: “Plenary session of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum

* 17 June: “Meeting with heads of delegations of African states

What follows are relevant excerpts from each appearance along with a one-sentence summary of the point that he conveyed in each passage. After going through all three of them, the next subchapter will summarize President Putin’s envisaged end game to this proxy war. Finally, the last part of this analysis will then conclude with a few thoughts about the viability of his plans, which are arguably quite reasonable if one takes the time to calmly dwell upon them.

Meeting With War Correspondents

* Russia still intends to achieve its original objectives in the special operation.

– “[The goals and tasks of the special military operation] are changing in accordance with the current situation but of course overall we are not changing anything. Our goals are fundamental for us.”

* The demilitarization of Ukraine remains on track.

– “We are dealing with this gradually, methodically…The Ukrainian defence industry will soon cease to exist altogether. What do they produce? Ammunition is delivered, equipment is delivered and weapons are delivered – everything is delivered. You won’t live long like that, you won’t last. So, the issue of demilitarisation is raised in very practical terms.”

* Kiev’s counteroffensive is failing.

– “If we look at irretrievable losses, clearly, the defending side suffers fewer losses, but this ratio of 1 to 10 is in our favour. Our losses are one-tenth of the losses of the Ukrainian forces. The situation is even more serious with armour…By my calculations, these losses are about 25 or maybe 30 percent of the equipment supplied from abroad.”

* Attacks against Russia’s pre-2014 territory are designed to divert its forces from the frontlines.

– “As for border areas, there is a problem, and it is connected – and I think you understand this too – mainly with a desire to divert our forces and resources to this side, to withdraw part of the units from those areas that are considered the most important and critical from the point of view of possible offensive by the armed forces of Ukraine.”

* The creation of buffer zones to protect Russia’s pre-2014 territory is being considered.

– “If this continues, then we will apparently have to consider the issue – and I say this very carefully – in order to create some kind of buffer zone on the territory of Ukraine at such a distance from which it would be impossible to reach our territory. But this is a separate issue, I am not saying that we will start this work tomorrow. We have to see how the situation develops.”

* The now-defunct draft treaty with Ukraine helped Russia solidify its eastern and southern gains.

– “Even though they tossed it, nevertheless, we used this time to get where we are now which is practically all of Novorossiya and a significant portion of the Donetsk People’s Republic with access to the Sea of ​​Azov and Mariupol. And almost all of the Lugansk People’s Republic, with a few exceptions.”

* Russia might mobilize if it decides to move on Kiev again, but there’s no need for that today.

– “Do we need to go back [to Kiev] or not? Why am I asking this rhetorical question? Clearly, you do not have an answer to it, only I can answer that. But depending on our goals, we must decide on mobilisation, but there is no need for that today.”

* One of the fundamental factors of this conflict is that the West is flooding Ukraine with arms.

– “You know, this is a fundamental question, absolutely fundamental. When we say – I said it, and you repeated it – that the West is flooding Ukraine with weapons, this is a fact, nobody is hiding this; on the contrary, they are proud of it.”

* Russia’s military-technical production surged over the past year.

– “During the year, we increased the production of our main weapons by 2.7 times. As for the manufacture of the most in-demand weapons, we increased this by ten times. Ten times!”

* Not every one of Russia’s responses to the crossing of its “red lines” is covered by the media.

– “Not everything may be covered by the media, although there is nothing to be ashamed of. Are strikes on Ukraine’s energy system not an answer to them crossing the red lines? And the destruction of the headquarters of the main intelligence directorate of the armed forces of Ukraine outside Kiev, almost within Kiev’s city limits, is it not the answer? It is.”

* The Ukrainian state exists and must be treated with respect, but it’s unacceptable to threaten Russia.

– “With regard to ‘what Ukraine are they talking about,’ Ukraine, such as it may be, does exist and we must treat it with respect…If they want to live in our historical territories, then they should influence their political leadership so that it establishes proper relations with Russia and no one poses a threat to us from these territories. This is the issue. This is what the issue is all about.”

* It’s debatable that the West will continue supplying weapons to Ukraine no matter its losses.

– “This is debatable (which was said in response to a war correspondent’s claim that ‘Clearly, no matter what losses Ukraine suffers, the Western countries will continue to supply weapons to it’).”

* There’s no guarantee that Russia will go on the offensive after the failure of Kiev’s counteroffensive.

– “I think that, being aware – I say this with good reason – of the catastrophic losses, the leadership, whatever it may be it has a head on its shoulders, should think about what to do next. We will wait and see what the situation is like and take further steps based on this understanding.”

* Depleted uranium shells are being shipped to Ukraine because the West already ran out of all others.

– “They simply have no shells, but they have depleted-uranium shells in warehouses. It appears that they have now decided to use these shells for the time being. They have swept the warehouses clean”.

* The EU’s snowballing economic problems will impede its plans to produce more arms for Ukraine.

– “The (EU’s) economic problems are snowballing…So, it is not so easy to produce everything there, and even more difficult to expand production and build new facilities. This will come in handy for us, because Russia has a special situation. We must build up our armaments; we will have to, and we will accumulate strategic reserves in warehouses.”

* American mission creep is creating very serious risks for Russia.

– “The United States is getting more and more involved in this conflict, almost directly involved, provoking serious international security crises. Correcting the movements of drones that are attacking our warships is a very serious risk. This is very serious, and they should know that we know about it. We will think about what to do with this in the future. In general, this is how it is.”

* Peace talks could resume and the Istanbul draft treaty be revived if the US cuts off Kiev’s arms supply.

– “We have never refused – as I said a thousand times – to participate in any talks that may lead to a peace settlement…Ultimately it is about the United States’ interests. We know that they hold the key to solving issues. If they genuinely want to end today’s conflict via negotiations, they only need to make one decision which is to stop supplying weapons and equipment. That’s it. Ukraine itself does not manufacture anything. Tomorrow, they will want to hold talks that are not formal, but substantive, and not to confront us with ultimatums, but to return to what was agreed upon, say, in Istanbul.”

* Many Americans are afraid of their country starting World War III since they know it won’t win.

– “[The US] pretend(s) not to be [afraid to endlessly escalate the situation and raise the stakes]. In fact, there are many people there who think clearly and are unwilling to lead the world into a third world war in which there will be no winners; even the United States will not come out of it as a winner.”

Plenary Session Of The St Petersburg International Economic Forum

* President Putin repeated Russia’s military-technical statistics from his last appearance.

– “Our defence industry is gaining momentum every day. We have increased military production by 2.7 times during the last year. Our production of the most critical weapons has gone up ten times and keeps increasing.

* Basing Ukraine’s NATO-supplied F-16s outside that country would pose a serious danger for Russia.

– “The F-16s will be burning too (if they’re sent to Ukraine), no doubt about it. But if they are located at air bases outside Ukraine and are used in hostilities, we will have to think about how and where we can hit the resources that are used against us in the hostilities. There is a serious danger of NATO’s further involvement in this armed conflict.”

* The door to diplomacy remains open if the West decides to resume talks with Russia.

– “We never closed [the door to diplomacy]. They were the ones who decided to close it, yet they keep peeking through the crack at us”.

* Attacks inside Russia are designed to provoke an overwhelming response.

“Knowing that there is little chance of success (on the frontline), they are provoking us (through the Belgorod and Kremlin attacks) into making a harsh response, hoping to point the finger at us and say, ‘Look at them; they are malicious and cruel; nobody should have any dealings with them.’ They want to say this to all the partners we are working with now. So, no, there is no need to take such actions.”

* Nevertheless, a buffer zone is still in the cards, though Russia won’t let this distract it from the front.

– “As for these adjacent territories, it is an attempt to distract our attention from the possible key areas of the main offensive they are considering, an attempt to force us to redeploy units we have amassed in other areas of combat, and so on…I have already said that if these attacks on our adjacent territories continue, we will consider the possibility of creating a buffer zone in the Ukrainian territory. They should know what this can lead to. We use long-range high-precision weapons against military targets, and we are succeeding in all these areas.”

* Russia isn’t contemplating a nuclear first strike and will only use these weapons in self-defense.

– “I have already said that the use of the ultimate deterrent is only possible in case of a threat to the Russian state. In this case, we will certainly use all the forces and means at the disposal of the Russian state. There is no doubt about that.”

Meeting With Heads Of Delegations Of African States

* Russia will still talk with Ukraine despite the possibility that it might withdraw from other agreements.

– “Russia has never rejected any talks…Turkiye hosted a whole series of talks between Russia and Ukraine to work out confidence-building measures, which you have just mentioned, and draft the text of the treaty…But after we withdrew our forces from Kiev, as we had promised, the Kiev authorities, just like their masters usually do, dumped it into the dustbin of history, let’s put it mildly, I will try to avoid any foul expressions. They rejected this. Where are the guarantees that they will not withdraw from other agreements? But even amidst such circumstances, we never refused to hold talks.”

Putin’s Envisaged End Game

The preceding subchapters highlighted the most relevant excerpts from President Putin’s latest media appearances with respect to his envisaged end game. At present, he’s clearly reluctant to escalate the conflict through a second round of mobilization, which he said could precede another march on Kiev. That’s not needed for the time being, however, since the first one already served its military purpose of solidifying Russia’s gains in the east and south even if its political one of reaching a peace deal failed.

The demilitarization of Ukraine remains one of President Putin’s most important objectives, which he said is proceeding as proven by the destruction of its military-industrial complex. Although the enemy continues attacking Russia’s pre-2014 borders, he believes that this is aimed at diverting his country’s forces from the front, which is why he’s hesitant to carve out a buffer zone there right now even though it remains in the cards and could possibly be achieved with only missiles instead of dispatching troops.

The NATO-Russian “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” that Secretary-General Stoltenberg finally acknowledged in mid-February is trending in Moscow’s favor as evidenced by its military-industrial output spiking between 2.7-10 times depending on the particular product. The West is already running very low on supplies to Ukraine and that’s why it’s now resorting to the dispatch of depleted uranium, President Putin noted, since it literally doesn’t have any other shells left.

He believes that these abovementioned military-strategic dynamics could combine with the EU’s “snowballing” economic problems to make it impossible for NATO to defeat Russia in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition”. In that event, peace talks might resume upon the end of Kiev’s NATObacked counteroffensive, during which time the now-defunct draft treaty with Ukraine could be revived as the basis for facilitating a speedy resolution to this conflict.

The abovementioned scenario is only possible if the US cuts off its arms supply to Ukraine, which House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul said is possible if the counteroffensive fails since Congress might then be unable to pass a supplemental spending package for sustaining this aid. Nevertheless, the US’ mission creep could lead to an incident with Russia in the air, at sea, and/or concerning the basing of Ukraine’s promised F-16s in a NATO country before that happens.

This might even be deliberate if its liberalglobalist elite became desperate enough to escalate the conflict if they thought that doing so might coerce Russia into abandoning its newly unified regions and thus helping them “save face” before voters if they agree to a peace deal. Should a 1962-like nuclear standoff emerge as a result of a US-initiated provocation, President Putin would likely regard it as a bluff but would still only use nukes in self-defense instead of a first strike like an influential expert suggested.

He obviously doesn’t want it to get to that point, but it’s America’s prerogative whether it does or not. Russia is more than capable of staying in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” if the US refuses for whatever reason to cut off Kiev’s arms supply after the end of its failed counteroffensive, but the latter is unlikely to be able to rely on the EU much any longer since it’s already mostly run through all its stockpiles. This fact raises the chances of a meaningful de-escalation unless warmongers intervene.

Concluding Thoughts

President Putin believes that the odds favor at least freezing the Line of Contact (LOC) through a ceasefire, if not outright ending the conflict by reviving last year’s now-defunct draft treaty with Ukraine, albeit with amendments reflecting the new ground reality of Kiev having lost four more regions. There’s even the chance that a creative diplomatic-legal solution can be found for making the LOC the new international border without violating the Russian Constitution’s prohibition on ceding territory.

Speculation about the devilish details of a peace treaty aside, the point is that these discussions could begin taking place literally the day after the US cuts off Kiev’s arms supply should it tacitly cede victory to Russia in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” after the counteroffensive ends. Its ruling liberal-globalist elite might instead escalate out of desperation to coerce sensitive concessions from Russia in order to “save face” before voters if they agree to a peace deal, however, which could lead to a standoff.

In any case, President Putin doesn’t presently have any plans to escalate Russia’s involvement in the conflict as proven by him ruling out a second round of mobilization, remaining reluctant to carve out a buffer zone, and refusing to publicize every response to the crossing of his country’s “red lines”. Right now, he’s wagering that Kiev’s failed counteroffensive, the EU’s economic troubles, and NATO’s depleted stockpiles will combine to revive last year’s now-defunct draft treaty, which is actually quite reasonable.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

Jun 082023
 


Piet Mondriaan Still Life with Gingerpot I 1911/12

 

NATO States May Send Troops To Ukraine – Ex-Chief (RT)
Russia Seeks To Replace ‘Nazi Regime’ In Ukraine – Patrushev (RT)
Russia Wants US To Answer About How Its Weapons Used In Ukraine (TASS)
Russia Calls For International Investigation Into Kakhovka HPP’s Dam Collapse (TASS)
US Media Wages Disinformation Campaign Regarding Kakhovka Dam – Envoy (TASS)
How Does This End Well? (Jim Rickards)
Saudi-Russian Concord Is The Secret Behind OPEC+ (Bhadrakumar)
Trump May Face More Criminal Charges Soon (RT)
RFK Jr.’s Rising Profile Sparks Democratic Jitters (Hill)
Tucker Carlson’s Twitter Debut Goes Mega-Viral (ZH)
Fox Claims Tucker Carlson Violated Contract With Independent Twitter Show (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Could Face Jail for Contempt of Court, Judge Says (ET)
The Emergency State’s Plot to Override the Constitution (Whitehead)
Two Tiers of Justice (Kash Patel)
Snowden Reveals Why He Chose To Stay In Russia (RT)

 

 

 

 

Roger Waters


https://twitter.com/i/status/1666371827160043523

 

 

 

 

O’Looney

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think the Poles would seriously consider going in and assemble a coalition of the willing if Ukraine doesn’t get anything in Vilnius.”

NATO States May Send Troops To Ukraine – Ex-Chief (RT)

Former NATO secretary general-turned-Ukrainian presidential adviser, Anders Rasmussen, has claimed that some member states may volunteer to send their soldiers to Ukraine, if the country is not offered security assurances on a wide range of issues at an upcoming summit. Rasmussen, who has served as an adviser to Ukrainian presidents Vladimir Zelensky and Petro Poroshenko, said Kiev should be given written guarantees before NATO leaders meet in Vilnius, Lithuania next month, including for Western intelligence-sharing, weapons transfers and joint military training. “If NATO cannot agree on a clear path forward for Ukraine, there is a clear possibility that some countries individually might take action,” he said on Wednesday, according to the Guardian. “I think the Poles would seriously consider going in and assemble a coalition of the willing if Ukraine doesn’t get anything in Vilnius.”

After touring Europe and the United States in recent weeks to help gin up military support for Ukraine, Rasmussen argued that foreign troop deployments would be legal under international law if requested by Kiev. While NATO’s current secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, recently confirmed that some security assurances would be discussed at the summit, he stressed that full guarantees could only be offered to member states. The bloc first pledged to grant Ukraine membership back in 2008, and Kiev formally applied to join last September, but little progress has been made on the issue since. Several NATO members have become increasingly vocal about Ukraine’s future in the bloc, urging other Western countries to outline a clear path to membership. Earlier this week, sub-grouping of Eastern European NATO states known as the ‘Bucharest Nine’ issued a statement urging the bloc to “launch a new political track that will lead to Ukraine’s membership in NATO” at the Vilnius event, as well as a “more robust, multi–year, and comprehensive support package.”


Though Washington has also repeatedly affirmed that Ukraine will someday join the military collective, it has placed greater focus on the current conflict with Russia, hoping to resolve the issue of membership later on. However, US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith told the Guardian on Wednesday that officials are now “looking at an array of options to signal that Ukraine is advancing in its relationship with NATO,” though did not specify what that might entail. Zelensky rejected any “substitute for NATO” and reportedly told Western partners that he would not attend the summit in Lithuania in July unless the bloc offers Ukraine “concrete” guarantees or a roadmap to full membership. Russia views NATO’s continued eastward expansion as a threat to its security and has cited member states’ aid to Ukraine as one of the reasons it launched the military operation in the neighboring state in February 2022. Moscow repeatedly said that Ukraine’s neutrality would be one of key conditions for a lasting peace.

Read more …

“..Lukashenko stated that Minsk and Moscow’s “only mistake” was failing to resolve the Ukrainian crisis much sooner..”

Russia Seeks To Replace ‘Nazi Regime’ In Ukraine – Patrushev (RT)

There is no war between the peoples of Russia and Ukraine, claimed Russian Security Council chief Nikolay Patrushev, stating that the only “outright aggression” is coming from the US, which is using Ukraine as a tool to wage an undeclared war against Russia. During a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Volfovich, on Wednesday, Patrushev insisted that “Kiev’s Nazi regime,” which was invented by Washington and London, “must be replaced.” He also said Ukraine must be made into a neutral state, noting that the ongoing crisis in the country is not beneficial to anyone except Washington. The security official declared that the US had already “brought the whole of Europe to its knees,” seeking only to maximize benefits for the American economy by weakening the EU, which could have become one of the centers of a multipolar world.

He also noted that the US does not want Russia to be powerful and seeks to either dismember it or liquidate it “in order to have complete reign over the Eurasian territory and pump out resources.” To solve this problem, Patrushev stated that Washington and London have been using the capabilities of NATO and the EU, Ukrainian neo-Nazis and NGOs, and the government in Kiev, which they control. The official added that similar plans were held by the West for Belarus, especially after they unsuccessfully tried to carry out a color revolution in the country in 2020 and failed to install their own puppet government in Minsk via a coup d’etat. Patrushev insisted that Belarus was Russia’s closest ally and strategic partner and that it was vital for the two countries to further deepen their defense cooperation and jointly resist external sanctions and attempts to interfere in internal affairs.


Last week, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stated that Minsk and Moscow’s “only mistake” was failing to resolve the Ukrainian crisis much sooner. He suggested that the two countries took too long trying to find a diplomatic solution and should have acted long ago, even before the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev, which ousted the country’s democratically elected president, Viktor Yanukovich. Lukashenko claimed that hostilities were bound to break out sooner or later and that Moscow should have launched its military operation back in 2014-2015 when Ukraine “had neither an army nor resolve.”

Read more …

No answer will come.

Russia Wants US To Answer About How Its Weapons Used In Ukraine (TASS)

The US authorities must give a concrete answer as to whether or not they know how American weapons are being used on the territory of Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing in comments on the attack on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant. Against the backdrop of the recent attack on the Kakhovka HPP, she pointed to a statement made last December by Ukrainian General Andrey Kovalchuk in an interview with The Washington Post, in which he said that the Ukrainian army had already conducted a test strike from a US HIMARS system on one of the dam’s gates to punch it and see how high the water level of the Dnieper River rises.

“Now, the question for [White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John] Kirby, [White House Press Secretary] Karin Jean-Pierre, all the people who are in charge of communications at the White House. <…> Were you aware of how American weapons, the weapons that are being supplied to Ukraine, are used?” she asked. “That trial tests of a terrorist attack against civilian infrastructure in third countries are being made? These are the questions that we directly pose in the public space before the White House; you must answer them,” she said, adding that the attack on the Kakhovka HPP “is certainly an act of terrorism.”


On Tuesday night, Ukrainian forces delivered a strike on the Kakhovka hydropower plant, presumably from an Olkha multiple launch rocket system (MLRS). The shelling destroyed the hydraulic sluice valves at the HPP’s dam, triggering an uncontrolled discharge of water. In Novaya Kakhovka, the water level exceeded 12 meters at one point, but is now receding. There are currently 15 population centers in the flood zone; residents of nearby towns and villages are being evacuated. The collapse of the hydro plant’s dam has caused serious environmental damage. Farmlands along the Dnieper River have been washed away, and there is a risk that the North Crimean Canal will become shallow.

Read more …

Yeah, like the Nord Stream probe.

Russia Calls For International Investigation Into Kakhovka HPP’s Dam Collapse (TASS)

The situation with the collapse of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant’s dam should become the subject of a worldwide study and investigation, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. “Naturally, this is no longer the topic of the day or the topic of the week, it has already been put into the historical context – I’m talking about what happened yesterday at the Kakhovka HPP. This really should be a subject of worldwide study, research and investigation,” she said. “The reaction of the West in all such situations is 100% predictable. It is an endless desire to blame Russia for everything that happens, regardless of whether it actually happened or is a figment of the imagination,” the diplomat pointed out. Moreover, the reaction of the West “will always be like this,” she added.


The spokeswoman explained that this is part of the information and psychological warfare and “endless linking of all the negative things that happen in the Western countries, outside and on the periphery with our country, in order to maintain the hysterical attitude of their own population towards the situation around Russia, in Russia in general, and so on.” On Tuesday night, the Ukrainian military delivered a strike on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP), presumably from an Olkha MLRS. The shelling destroyed the hydraulic valves at the dam, triggering an uncontrolled discharge of water. In Novaya Kakhovka, the water level has already exceeded 12 meters. There are currently 14 settlements in the flooded area, and a total of about 80 villages may be inundated. Residents of nearby settlements are being evacuated, though authorities have said no large-scale evacuations are necessary. The collapse of the plant’s dam has caused serious environmental damage. Farmlands along the Dnieper River have been washed away, and there is a risk that the North Crimean Canal will become shallow.

Read more …

Latest: whatever Ukraine does, it’s Russia’s fault by definition.

US Media Wages Disinformation Campaign Regarding Kakhovka Dam – Envoy (TASS)

The US media has launched a targeted campaign regarding the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant in an attempt to shift the Ukrainian responsibility on Russia and to ‘whitewash’ the Kiev regime, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov told journalists on Thursday. “There is a targeted disinformation campaign going on in the US media around the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant,” he said. “There are many insinuations about the fact that Russia allegedly has blown up the most important infrastructure facility,” Antonov continued. “Administration officials have framed their rhetoric as if the Russian Federation were in any case responsible for all incidents that occur during the Ukrainian conflict.”

“Such an approach does not stand up to scrutiny. This is another desperate attempt to “whitewash” the Kiev regime, which deliberately shelled the station for many months,” the Russian ambassador stated. According to Antonov, “We have witnessed yet another gross violation of International humanitarian law by Ukraine.””A terrorist attack that led to an ecological disaster, large-scale flooding of settlements and farmland. Endangered the functioning of the North Crimean Canal,” he continued. “Experts have yet to assess the imminent consequences for the cooling circuit of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant as a result of this tragedy.”


“Washington patrons never criticize Kiev. All actions of the regime are approved of, while any strikes, that Russians suffer from, are encouraged,” Antonov noted. “This is a textbook example of an ill-conceived, flawed position that has already caused serious upheavals in the world. However, this is obviously not enough for the United States, and terrorist acts of Ukraine will receive further support.” “According to the American logic, the main idea is not to slow down assistance to Kiev. Ensure its illusory victory. Not only military specialists, but also political technologists are apparently involved in the United States to solve this problem,” the Russian ambassador added.

Dnepro
https://twitter.com/i/status/1666494567388962818

Read more …

“..Biden has created a major drag on world trade on top of the other headwinds already facing the global economy..”

How Does This End Well? (Jim Rickards)

[..] many of the most important countries in the world are maintaining a neutral stance and are not supporting U.S. sanctions. These neutral parties include India, China, South Africa, and Brazil, which collectively include almost 40% of the earth’s population. India, China and Brazil are three of the ten largest economies in the world and collectively produce 24% of global GDP. What’s new about the recent sanctions report quoted above is the U.S. is now getting desperate about the failure of sanctions to damage Russia or change Russian behavior in Ukraine. The U.S. has begun imposing what are called secondary boycotts. This means that the sanctions do not target Russia directly, but target countries that do business with Russia and do not follow U.S. orders.

For example, China is reported to be selling semiconductors to Russia even as Brazil sells aircraft and India sells drones. China and India also purchase oil from Russia. It is also reported that South Africa has begun weapons sales to Russia. All of these sales are in violation of U.S. sanctions. Reportedly, the U.S. will begin imposing separate sanctions on China, Brazil, India, and South Africa for not adhering to U.S. sanctions. These new secondary boycott sanctions will not be well-received. China, Brazil, India, and South Africa will not passively absorb the secondary boycotts. They will retaliate in their own way. The tit-for-tax sanctions will not impede Russia at all, but they will lead to a further contraction of world trade, something last seen during the Great Depression.


Biden claims that the sanctions will not end until Russia withdraws entirely from Ukraine, including Crimea. Not only will Russia not withdraw, it continues to make major military and territorial gains. A Ukrainian offensive won’t fundamentally change that reality, unless it somehow manages to overcome very long odds. This means the sanctions will continue indefinitely. It also means Biden has created a major drag on world trade on top of the other headwinds already facing the global economy. Investors will be well-served by allocating assets toward cash, gold, and other hard assets. These will be the real winners as the war in Ukraine drags on.

Read more …

“Their potential to be key players in the emerging multipolar world is giving Washington the jitters. ”

Saudi-Russian Concord Is The Secret Behind OPEC+ (Bhadrakumar)

A curious thing happened in Vienna on Sunday just as the 35th Ministerial Meeting of OPEC+ was about to start at its headquarters. Three princely western news organizations – Bloomberg, Reuters, and the Wall Street Journal – were barred from entering the OPEC premises. When asked about it, pat came the reply: “This is our house.” Indeed, OPEC officials were left with no option other than an unorthodox way of “mood setting,” given their heightened sensitivity about the wild stories disseminated in the western media about disagreements between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the two high flyers in OPEC+. To be sure, OPEC+ touches raw nerves in Washington even seven years after the group took shape as the brainwave of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS).

The two leaders intended that they would have more control over the global crude oil market. The impetus to realism on the part of Moscow and Riyadh has only grown since 2016, and will crystalize further after the US-led G7 inserted itself into rule making in the world oil market last year, threatening to fragment the entire ecosystem. Neither Russia nor Saudi Arabia can afford a break-up of OPEC+. In fact, had there been no OPEC+ today, there would be an urgent need to create one, as both Moscow and Riyadh have, in different ways, come under US pressure on account of their global pre-eminence as energy producers. Their potential to be key players in the emerging multipolar world is giving Washington the jitters.


Saudi Arabia has formally applied for BRICS membership and sought to join the New Development Bank, the multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states and headquartered in Shanghai, China. In fact, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud was present in Cape Town last week for the BRICS ministerial meeting. On the sidelines, Bin Farhan met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The Russian readout underscored the depth and profundity of the current level of relations between the two counties. Saudi Arabia is tiptoeing toward BRICS at a historic juncture when the group is reportedly all set to create its own currency at its forthcoming summit in Durban, South Africa. This, of course, will be a calamitous development for the petrodollar the pillar of the western banking system – and holds the potential to create a new global oil market.

Read more …

“Federal prosecutors have notified former President Donald Trump in a letter that he is the target of a criminal investigation..”

Trump May Face More Criminal Charges Soon (RT)

The US Department of Justice has informed ex-President Donald Trump that he is under criminal investigation linked to alleged mishandling of classified material, multiple news outlets reported on Wednesday. Trump’s legal team received a letter from prosecutors this week stating that the former leader is the target of a grand jury probe into whether he illegally retained secret files at his private residence after leaving office in 2021, unnamed sources told CNN, Fox News, Politico and other outlets. The move could indicate that special counsel Jack Smith is preparing to make a charging decision on the case. He was tapped for the role not long after federal agents raided Trump’s Florida estate in August 2022, ultimately turning up thousands of pages of government records, including over 100 classified documents. Around 200 other files were voluntarily handed over by Trump’s attorneys prior to the raid.


Smith has reportedly called in several Trump associates in recent weeks to testify before the grand jury, including one of his lawyers, Evan Corcoran, as well as Taylor Budowich, a former spokesperson, and ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. In an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday, Trump declined to confirm whether he had been notified of the investigation, but said he had not been told that he would be charged. The ex-president has denied all wrongdoing in his handling of documents, and even filed a lawsuit in Florida to contest the materials seized from his Mar-a-Lago residence last year. While the DOJ’s access to the documents was briefly suspended, the government was later authorized to use the files for its investigation following an appeal. DOJ procedures state that “target letters” can be sent to those for whom there is “substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime,” allowing them to testify in their own defense ahead of an indictment. They are often sent not long before charges are handed down.

Trump lawyer


DC_Draino: Signed letter from President Trump on Jan 19, 2021, the day before he left office, declassifying “Crossfire Hurricane” docs showing Obama, Biden, the CIA, DOJ, and FBI spied on him. Now you know why they raided Mar a Lago. To steal back evidence of their crimes.

Read more …

How RFK helps the Republicans..

RFK Jr.’s Rising Profile Sparks Democratic Jitters (Hill)

Democrats are growing concerned that Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s profile is rising just as President Biden embarks on a challenging campaign to keep the White House out of Republican control. Kennedy, an anti-vaccine proponent who launched a primary bid against Biden this spring, is doing unexpectedly well in some polls and receiving increasing media attention as a result. He has also been on a press tour this week that included a Twitter Spaces discussion with Elon Musk and digital town hall with journalist Michael Smerconish. Democrats widely consider Kennedy to be a problematic fringe candidate who freely spreads conspiracy theories. But his relatively decent poll numbers, as well as his media-ready image as an heir to the famous political dynasty, have caused some to worry he could gain steam and potentially distract from the task of reelecting Biden in 2024.

“Democrats would be foolish to mock or belittle RFK Jr. Every time we make fun of those who hold fringe positions, we lose,” said Michael Ceraso, a Democratic strategist and former campaign aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The Democratic Party acting smug never works.” Kennedy has indeed stirred up some untapped anger within his own party; Democrats have seen him rise to double digits in several recent polls, leading some establishment figures to acknowledge the parts of his message that may be resonating with voters. A recent Fox News survey placed Kennedy at 16 percent support among registered voters. And a CNN poll released Friday shows him with 20 percent of support among Democratic and Democratic-leaning respondents.


“Take RFK seriously, Biden,” Ceraso said. “If you don’t, we can create a stronger Republican Party that beats us in 2024. Like Bernie did in 2016, RFK has the potential to activate fringe anger if we mock them.” On Monday, the environmental lawyer made a series of unconventional campaign moves that caught the media’s attention. He participated in a SiriusXM-streamed interview with Smerconish, where he called himself an “an evidenced-based person” and doubled down on his nonconformist views on vaccines while defending his candidacy. “It’s not like the Soviet system where the party would, you know, pick the candidates,” he said about his challenge to Biden, arguing that Americans need to see democracy in action.

Read more …

“..Twitter as a platform is not in direct competition with Fox..”

Fox Claims Tucker Carlson Violated Contract With Independent Twitter Show (Sp.)

Fox News notified former show host Tucker Carlson that his new independent program published via Twitter violates his contract with the network, US media reported, citing a copy of a letter from Fox to Carlson’s attorneys. On Tuesday, Carlson posted the first episode of an independent program on Twitter, following his departure from Fox News earlier this year. Shortly after posting the premiere, Fox News general counsel Bernard Gugar sent Carlson’s lawyers a letter claiming Carlson is in breach of his contractual agreement with his former employer, the report said. “In connection with such breach and pursuant to the Agreement, Fox expressly reserves all rights and remedies which are available to it at law or equity,” the letter said, as quoted in the report.

Carlson’s legal team objects to Fox’s efforts to block the new program, arguing that Twitter as a platform is not in direct competition with Fox, the report said, citing a source familiar with their thinking. Another source familiar with the matter reportedly said that Fox executives told Carlson that the network intends to keep him sidelined until 2025. Any legal action by Fox would violate Carlson’s First Amendment rights to freedom of speech under the US Constitution, his lawyers reportedly said. “Fox defends its very existence on freedom of speech grounds. Now they want to take Tucker Carlson’s right to speak freely away from him because he took to social media to share his thoughts on current events,” the report quotes Carlson attorney Bryan Freedman as saying in a statement.


Fox News believes it has been working in good faith to reach an amicable agreement with Carlson, another source reportedly said. Carlson has previously claimed that Fox News first violated their contract with him by breaking promises made “intentionally and with reckless disregard for the truth,” according to a letter sent by Carlson’s attorneys. Carlson was reportedly removed from the Fox News lineup as part of a settlement agreement with Dominion Voting Systems.

Read more …

“71.6 million views in less than 24 hours..”

Tucker Carlson’s Twitter Debut Goes Mega-Viral (ZH)

Tucker Carlson’s first Twitter broadcast went mega-viral Tuesday night, racking up 71.6 million views in less than 24 hours. During the 10 minute monologue, Carlson slammed Ukraine war mongers, and took the media to task for ignoring the “bombshell of the millennium” in which a government whistleblower revealed that craft developed by non-human intelligence has been recovered by governments around the world. “Nobody knows what’s happening. A small group of people control accesses to all relevant information. And the rest of us don’t know. We’re allowed to yap all we want about racism, but go ahead and talk about something that really matters and see what happens. If you keep it up, they’ll make you be quiet. Trust us. That’s how they maintain control,” said Carlson.

Needless to say, Tucker’s first broadcast knocked it out of the park, further validating Twitter as a legitimate platform for major media (that isn’t “Brought to you by Pfizer” so to speak). For context, Fox News’ 7pm broadcast of Jesse Watters reached 2 million viewers on June 5th, per Mediaite, while the Fox News rotation which has replaced Carlson’s 8pm time slot hit just 1.5 million viewers Monday night. Tucker also seemingly put Twitter owner Elon Musk on notice, saying towards the end of his monologue; “As of today, we’ve come to Twitter, which we hope will be the short-wave radio under the blankets,” adding “We are told there are no gatekeepers here.” “If that turns out to be false, we’ll leave … But in the meantime, we are grateful to be here.”


Meanwhile, rich kid propagandist Taylor Lorenz made an absolute ass of herself trying to criticize Carlson’s views – tweeting “It’s wild to see what a fish out of water he is on the internet: no jump cuts, no background music, no catchy thumbnail or video title. Not sure how he’s going to stack up against even an average streamer or youtuber.” Oh… The losers at Business Insider picked up on Lorenz’s tweet, casting doubt on Carlson’s future, claiming: “-Tucker Carlson is in trouble, if his first livestream is anything to go by. -The first episode of his Twitter stream debut lacked the shine of his Fox News glory days. -Without the chyron and quick cuts, Carlson must now compete with the likes of Alex Jones — and he’s losing.” We think we know what’s going on here…

Read more …

Not as long as Joe is the Big Guy..

Hunter Biden Could Face Jail for Contempt of Court, Judge Says (ET)

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, has been ordered to appear in person before an Arkansas judge in July to explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt of court, and if the proceedings don’t go his way, he could face time behind bars. The president’s son is facing a child support case in Arkansas in which he was ordered by the presiding judge in May to hand over information on his finances. Attorneys representing Lunden Alexis Roberts, the mother of Hunter Biden’s child, filed a motion on May 18 to hold the president’s son in contempt of court after alleging he had failed to fully answer questions relating to his ability to pay child support. Judge Holly Lodge Meyer issued an order on June 5 (pdf) that Hunter Biden must appear on July 10 at the Independence County Courthouse in Batesville to explain “why he should not be held in contempt.”

In Arkansas, contempt of court is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by fines and jail time. In her order, Meyer said that she would consider “punishment or sanctions” against Hunter Biden, including “incarceration for civil contempt until such time as the defendant fully answers discovery for a period of up to six months” and “incarceration for criminal contempt for a period of up to six months.” Initially, Biden denied that the child was his, but a DNA test confirmed that he is the father. In 2020, the two agreed that Biden would pay an undisclosed amount of child support. Terms of the agreement are sealed because they contain sensitive personal information, including the amount of monthly support and each party’s source of income.

However, Biden later asked the court to review the child support arrangements because his financial situation had changed, leading to the case now being considered before the court. He appeared before Independence County Circuit Court in Batesville on May 1. During that hearing, his attorney said that Biden had been paying $20,000 per month in child support, for a total of up to $750,000 since the support order was signed. At that hearing, the judge ordered Biden to provide information on his income from his artwork, investments, employment, gifts from friends, and other sources. The judge also said she couldn’t rule on the amount of child support because neither side had provided enough information in the discovery process to move forward.

Roberts’s attorneys have complained that the Biden team was dragging its feet in the discovery process and filed a motion on May 18 for Biden to be held in contempt. Clinton Lancaster, a lawyer for Roberts, argued in the motion for contempt that Biden had been ordered to do something but didn’t and that this “is a habit and a game for Mr. Biden.” Lancaster continued that Biden doesn’t want to disclose his income and “says that he is somewhat financially destitute” despite living in an oceanfront home in Malibu and going on foreign trips. During the hearing in early May, the judge said she would press Biden’s legal team to fulfill their commitments in the discovery process. In the June 5 order, she wrote that she was hereby giving Biden notice to appear in person at the Independence County Circuit Court on July 10 and “show cause, if any exists, why he should not be held in contempt.”

Read more …

Create an emergency, use the powers.

The Emergency State’s Plot to Override the Constitution (Whitehead)

The seeds of this ongoing madness were sown several decades ago when George W. Bush stealthily issued two presidential directives that granted the president the power to unilaterally declare a national emergency, which is loosely defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.“ Comprising the country’s Continuity of Government (COG) plan, these directives (National Security Presidential Directive 51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20), which do not need congressional approval, provide a skeletal outline of the actions the president will take in the event of a “national emergency.”

Just what sort of actions the president will take once he declares a national emergency can barely be discerned from the barebones directives. However, one thing is clear: in the event of a national emergency, the COG directives give unchecked executive, legislative and judicial power to the president. The country would then be subjected to martial law by default, and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would be suspended. Essentially, the president would become a dictator for life. It has happened already. As we have witnessed in recent years, that national emergency can take any form, can be manipulated for any purpose and can be used to justify any end goal—all on the say so of the president.The emergency powers that we know about which presidents might claim during such states of emergency are vast, ranging from imposing martial law and suspending habeas corpus to shutting down all forms of communications, including implementing an internet kill switch, and restricting travel.

Yet according to documents obtained by the Brennan Center, there may be many more secret powers that presidents may institute in times of so-called crisis without oversight from Congress, the courts, or the public. Remember, these powers do not expire at the end of a president’s term. They remain on the books, just waiting to be used or abused by the next political demagogue. So, too, every action taken by the current occupant of the White House and his predecessors to weaken the system of checks and balances, sidestep the rule of law, and expand the power of the executive branch of government makes us that much more vulnerable to those who would abuse those powers in the future. Although the Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers, in recent years, American presidents (Biden, Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc.) have claimed the power to completely and almost unilaterally alter the landscape of this country for good or for ill.

The Executive Branch’s willingness to circumvent the Constitution by leaning heavily on the president’s so-called emergency powers constitutes a gross perversion of what limited power the Constitution affords the president. As law professor William P. Marshall explains, “every extraordinary use of power by one President expands the availability of executive branch power for use by future Presidents.” Moreover, it doesn’t even matter whether other presidents have chosen not to take advantage of any particular power, because “it is a President’s action in using power, rather than forsaking its use, that has the precedential significance.”

Read more …

“It is government gangsters against everyone else….”

Two Tiers of Justice (Kash Patel)

The elite set of individuals that sit atop our federal agencies have completely weaponized our entire government apparatus. It is no longer a one-off “mistake,” but rather the intentional creation of a two-tier system of justice that has gone unchecked. The resulting impact is a death knell for American faith in all three branches of government. Allow me to preface with one important factor: This is not an indictment of the men and women who are our “boots on the ground.” They remember every day why they signed up to serve. They investigate real crimes, protect the public from acts of terror, and root out rampant corruption. These men and women across the country serving in all agencies remain heroes and are equally as frustrated with the leadership at the top of our federal government.

The two-tier system of justice is not Democrats vs. Republicans. It is anyone who is part of the administrative state and the D.C. beltway versus those who seek to destroy this political demon of the deep state. It is government gangsters against everyone else. When it comes to the U.S. government, there are no coincidences. Anything that masquerades as such is a strategic move to protect the upper echelons from ceding power to the proletariat they once rose from. Whether it’s Russiagate, Impeachment #1, Impeachment #2, Jan. 6 Committee, Hunter’s laptop, classified docs, or an intel letter from 51 of our highest “servants,” they layered this two-tier system of justice by doing the same thing at each level – breaking the law. Illegal surveillance, unlawful congressional overreach, and judicial hustling have joined forces, and the result is a destruction of justice.

Case in point: Christopher Wray, a stunning example when it comes to the dual standard of justice and hypocrisy. Wray violated a congressional subpoena. By doing so, the director of the FBI has continuously broken the law and simultaneously destroyed the leadership reputation of the FBI. The days of justice and accountability within our federal government are fleeting, at best. What if you violated a congressional subpoena, what are the ramifications? No need to wonder, just ask Steven Bannon and Peter Navarro. Don’t count on this DOJ to police its own, especially when the narrative being put forth by the document in question nukes the radical left’s pyramid of Jenga justice.

Yesterday, he had one final out, and showed his true lack of institutional control, or better yet its hijacking. He told Chairman Comer to pound sand, so now Congress must hold the line. Ransack these agencies and departments, and hold those who exploit the two-tier system of justice accountable – every single one of them. For starters, take their money, take their fancy government toys, and take Wray’s government-funded G5 jet. You must produce these critical documents and show them to the world, then do it again and again.

Read more …

Chose?!

Snowden Reveals Why He Chose To Stay In Russia (RT)

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has said he had to seek refuge in Russia after exhausting other options for obtaining protection from the US government after his exposure of the spy agency’s illegal mass surveillance program. Other nations either didn’t want to cross Washington or were not confident they could stop Snowden from being kidnapped by a US “blackbag squad,” he said in an interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald on Tuesday. In June 2013, Snowden met with a group of journalists in Hong Kong to disclose the trove of classified materials that he took from the NSA. His plan was then to travel via Moscow to Cuba and later to a Latin American country, which would grant him political asylum. “We had contacts, we had assurances [that] this would probably be our best bet,” he recalled.

Initially he hoped that some European nation, such as Germany or France, would shelter him, but “every diplomat that we talked to in Europe basically said this is not going to work, they’re gonna cave.” By the time Snowden landed in the Russian capital, the US had revoked his passport, effectively trapping him in the airport lounge. While he was there, the US orchestrated the forced landing of a Bolivian government plane carrying then-President Evo Morales, who was returning home from Moscow. The US authorities suspected that Snowden was onboard. “Even the Russians were shocked at the extremity of this conduct,” Greenwald said, referring to a conversation he had with a Russian consul, who recognized his name when the journalist applied for a visa to visit Snowden in Moscow.


The whistleblower came to the conclusion that even if a more powerful nation were to welcome him, “you’ve got to travel over a lot of vassal states on the air path to get there.” “I was out of options. I applied for asylum in Russia. I was granted it and actually I’ve been left alone quite remarkably since then, which is all that I can ask for, given the circumstances,” he suggested. Snowden received Russian citizenship last year. This fact is often brought up by critics, who accuse him of disloyalty to his nation of birth, a notion that Greenwald said he wanted to address. The talk was part of a special ten-year-anniversary reunion, which also featured filmmaker Laura Poitras. She and Greenwald were part of the inner circle that broke the surveillance story.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Bees

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 012023
 
 March 1, 2023  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  61 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Blue Trees (Your Turn Will Come, My Beauty!) 1888

 

Zelensky Hints At Withdrawing From Russian-Encircled Bakhmut (ZH)
Situation In Bakhmut Much Worse Than Kiev Admits – CNN (TASS)
Most Front-Line Ukrainian Soldiers Killed Within ‘4 Hours’ (LI)
Kiev’s Troops Have Big Nazi Problem – Ex-US Soldier Who Escaped Ukraine (RT)
The Stage Is Set For Hybrid World War III (Escobar)
European Legislators Get Money From US Military Companies (TASS)
Afraid Some EU Countries May Send Troops To Ukraine – Orban (TASS)
Hungary Calls For Justice Over Pipeline Sabotage (RT)
Putin Accuses West Of Using ‘Extremists’ Against Russia (RT)
Berlin Left Unprotected As Air Defense Systems Sent To Ukraine (RT)
Ukraine Threatens Putin After Drone Attack Deep Inside Russia (Celente)
Hunter Biden Associate Arrested, Provided FBI With ‘Damning’ Information (TP)
Hunter Biden Business Partner Flips, Now ‘Cooperating’ With GOP Investigators (ZH)
Tucker Carlson, Staff NOT Allowed To Record or Remove J6 Footage (GP)
The Return of Oracles: Chatbots Are Coming! (Ugo Bardi)

 

 

 

 

Zel US

 

 

 

 

Macgregor Poles
https://twitter.com/i/status/1630603369223012362

 

 

Lula Iran

 

 

Wait until insurance companies have to change their long term mortality assumptions…that’s when the real losses get realized.
– Edward Dowd

 

 

 

 

“West” has been telling Z to withdraw. They portray it as his fight, not theirs, so they can’t lose face. But he can. Maybe the way out for him is attacking Crimea, saying that’s the bigger battle. He also started talking about American kids dying in Ukraine battles.

Zelensky Hints At Withdrawing From Russian-Encircled Bakhmut (ZH)

It was only in late January that Ukraine’s military General Staff emphasized that any potential forces withdrawal from the strategic city of Bakhmut in the east was “out of the question” as the situation was said to be under control. But a month later, the narrative has dramatically shifted amid reports that the Russians are shelling Ukrainian positions around the clock, and as complaints from Ukrainian front lines oersist of not enough ammo supplies to keep pace with the Russians. President Zelensky in fresh remarks on the situation has admitted that besieged Bakhut is running out of options. Within the past days he also said for the first time that he won’t seek to hold the city “at any cost” – strongly suggesting Ukraine has suffered a staggering loss in manpower.

He said Tuesday: “The situation is getting more and more difficult”… “The enemy is gradually destroying everything which can be used to protect our positions,” Zelenskiy said in his address, stopping short of announcing a pullout.” There have been emerging repots of gun battles deep within the city itself, which is a new development, also as Russian forces have it nearly fully encircled, as the NY Times also confirms: “The commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, on Tuesday described the situation around the city as “extremely tense” in a post on the Telegram messaging app.” And Reuters too for the first time presented a headline Tuesday which put the situation for the Ukrainian side in stark terms: “Russians tighten noose on Ukraine’s Bakhmut,” the news service reported.

On Monday Zelensky had described that “The enemy is constantly destroying everything that can be used to protect our positions for fortification and defense. Our soldiers defending the area around Bakhmut are true heroes.” Some soldiers cited in local reports are vowing to fight till the end, as military reports get more and more desperate. Meanwhile the Biden administration is still resisting demands to give Kiev F-16 fighter jets… “for now” that is. John Kirby had described in a Monday interview that “At no time have the Russians ever achieved air superiority over Ukraine” – though by many military observer accounts, this is a highly dubious statement.

Read more …

CNN pushing Z out of Bakhmut.

Situation In Bakhmut Much Worse Than Kiev Admits – CNN (TASS)

The situation near Artyomovsk, known in Ukraine as Bakhmut, is much worse for Ukrainian forces than Kiev officially admits, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing Ukrainian troops fighting for the town. “The situation in Bakhmut is very difficult now. It is much worse than officially reported,” a soldier who wished to remain anonymous told CNN on Tuesday. “We should add another 100% difficulty to the official reports. In all directions. Especially in the northern direction.” Another soldier said in a video that “the situation around the defense of Bakhmut is quite difficult”. A third soldier described the fighting as “hellish.” Artyomovsk is located in the Kiev-controlled part of the DPR and is an important transportation hub for supplying Ukrainian troops in Donbass. Fierce fighting has been raging for the town. Denis Pushilin, the interim head of the Donetsk People’s Republic said on February 16 that Russian forces had seized control of all key heights near Artyomovsk.

Read more …

We knew already.

Most Front-Line Ukrainian Soldiers Killed Within ‘4 Hours’ (LI)

A retired American Marine fighting in Ukraine told ABC News the frontlines are a “meat grinder” where soldiers survive an average of “four hours.” Troy Offenbecker is fighting alongside Ukrainian forces in the Donbas region. Moscow and Kiev have been battling around Bakhmut for several months as Russia’s forces have slowly made gains around the city. In January, Germany estimated Kiev was losing a “three-digit number” of soldiers daily fighting for Bakhmut. At that time, the White House believed President Volodymyr Zelensky was committing too many lives and resources to defend the city. Offenbecker’s commentary suggests that the situation may be getting worse for Ukrainian soldiers. “It’s been pretty bad on the ground. A lot of casualties.” He assessed, “the life expectancy is around four hours on the frontline.”

He said the Russian attack on the city is not letting up and had turned into a “meat grinder.” “[The artillery] is nonstop.” Offenbecker explained the Russian forces are fighting around the clock. “[The Russians] have maybe run into a shortage of shells lately, but the past couple of weeks, it’s been nonstop. All day and night,” he told ABC. Meanwhile, Kiev’s Western backers have expressed to Zelensky in recent weeks that NATO countries are struggling to find artillery shells to send to Ukraine. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the US will train Ukrainian forces on fighting methods that use fewer munitions. The Kremlin ordered a mobilization of 300,000 troops last year. Western leaders have anticipated Moscow will order an offensive this winter.

Ukrainian officials say that the Russian offensive is now underway, and Offenbecker agrees. “With the amount of shelling, the amount of armor that they’ve brought in, I think it’s started,” he explained to ABC. Due to Moscow’s and Kiev’s tight control over their countries’ presses, it is unclear how substantial the death toll is for each country. Since the start of the war, Zelensky has nationalized Ukraine’s media, outlawed his political opposition and jailed citizens who opposed his administration. Commenting on the state of journalism in Ukraine, press-union leader Serhiy Guz explained, “We never know what’s the basis of these accusations, what’s the pro-Russian link…It starts to look like a political accusation rather than a genuine crime.” “A lot of journalists self-censor now,” he added.

Read more …

Could be a plant. For either side.

Kiev’s Troops Have Big Nazi Problem – Ex-US Soldier Who Escaped Ukraine (RT)

The Nazi influence in the Ukrainian military is omnipresent, John McIntyre, a former US soldier who served in various Ukrainian military units for a year, has told RT. He defected to Russia after witnessing the actions of the Ukrainian troops amid the ongoing conflict between Kiev and Moscow. “When I came, I was really surprised. Everybody had tattoos and Nazi symbolism,” the former American soldier-turned-mercenary told RT’s Murad Gazdiev in Moscow. McIntyre also admitted he did not believe Nazi ideology was “that big of a problem” for Ukraine until he saw things on the ground himself. The soldier also said he had to conceal his own anti-fascist and communist views to fit in with the Ukrainian troops. Some other Western mercenaries also directly told him: “The Russians aren’t the Nazis, we are the Nazis,” according to McIntyre.

The ex-US soldier served with the Ukrainian forces for a year, although now he claims he had always planned to defect to Russia once he gathered enough intelligence. At a certain point, he was “compromised as a whistleblower” after talking to someone about the war crimes committed by the Ukrainian forces. According to McIntyre, whistleblowers are treated in Ukraine even more harshly than spies. “Anybody who confesses or is known to be about to confess is shot in the back of the head,” he claimed, adding that “a lot of people go missing … including foreigners.” McIntyre himself managed to flee to Russia through Moldova after finding out that Ukraine had snipers hunting down defectors trying to cross the frontlines.

The former soldier, who previously served in Fort Bliss, Texas, for two years, claims the Ukrainian forces actively use civilians as human shields as they station their troops in basements next to residential buildings and then blame Russia if the area gets targeted in a strike. When such attacks happened, news crews covering the incidents “would not show you the houses to the left and right full of soldiers,” he said. The former mercenary also said he had heard about the Ukrainian nationalists, including the members of the infamous Azov battalion and another military formation called Carpathian Sech, who torture and kill Russian POWs by cutting off their genitalia or cutting their stomachs open and slitting their throats. McIntyre, who served with the Carpathian Sech, said he personally knew people who executed POWs, including foreigners from Portugal, France, and Argentina.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1630573543544049664

Read more …

“..Russia’s pivot to the East, towards the rising sun, now irreversible, was the only logical path to follow..”

The Stage Is Set For Hybrid World War III (Escobar)

A powerful feeling rhythms your skin and drums up your soul as you’re immersed in a long walk under persistent snow flurries, pinpointed by selected stops and enlightening conversations, crystallizing disparate vectors one year after the start of the accelerated phase of the proxy war between US/NATO and Russia. That’s how Moscow welcomes you: the undisputed capital of the 21st century multipolar world. A long, walking meditation impregnates on us how President Putin’s address – rather, a civilizational speech – last week was a game-changer when it comes to the demarcation of the civilizational red lines we are all now facing. It acted like a powerful drill perforating the less than short, actually zero term memory of the Collective West.

No wonder it exercised a somewhat sobering effect contrasting the non-stop Russophobia binge of the NATOstan space. Alexey Dobrinin, Director of the Foreign Policy Planning Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia, has correctly described Putin’s address as “a methodological basis for understanding, describing and constructing multipolarity.” For years some of us have been showing how the emerging multipolar world is defined – but goes way beyond – high speed interconnectivity, physical and geoeconomic. Now, as we reach the next stage, it’s as if Putin and Xi Jinping, each in their own way, are conceptualizing the two key civilizational vectors of multipolarity. That’s the deeper meaning of the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership, invisible to the naked eye.

Metaphorically, it also speaks volumes that Russia’s pivot to the East, towards the rising sun, now irreversible, was the only logical path to follow as, to quote Dylan, darkness dawns at the break of noon across the West. As it stands, with the wobblin’, ragin’ Hegemon lost in its own pre-fabricated daze, the real runners of the show feeding burning flesh to irredeemably mediocre political “elites”, China may have a little more latitude than Russia, as the Middle Kingdom is not – yet – under the same existential pressure Russia has been put under. Whatever happens next geopolitically, Russia is at heart a – giant – obstacle on the warmongering path of the Hegemon: the ultimate target is top “threat” China.

Putin’s ability to size up our extremely delicate geopolitical moment – via a dose of highly concentrated, undiluted realism – is something to behold. And then Foreign Minister Lavrov provided the sweet cherry on top, calling the hapless US ambassador for a hardcore dress down: oh yeah, this is war, hybrid and otherwise, and your NATO mercenaries as well as your junk hardware are legitimate targets. Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Security Council, now more than ever relishing his “unplugged” status, made it all very clear: “Russia risks being torn apart if it stops a special military operation (SMO) before victory is achieved.” And the message is even more acute because it represents the – public – cue to the Chinese leadership at the Zhongnahhai to understand: whatever happens next, this is the Kremlin’s unmovable official position.

Read more …

“..some MEPs received pensions, for example, from US corporations Raytheon, Honeywell International and Textron Inc – military companies that develop, produce and sell, among other items, cluster munitions..”

European Legislators Get Money From US Military Companies (TASS)

The European parliament’s members receive money from US military companies, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Telegram channel on Tuesday. “Corruption in the European Parliament thrives. EUObserver journalists have discovered that some MEPs received pensions, for example, from US corporations Raytheon, Honeywell International and Textron Inc – military companies that develop, produce and sell, among other items, cluster munitions,” she said. “It is noteworthy that the focus is on the US military-industrial complex (not even European), which is the embodiment of the term ‘dealers in death’.


Moreover, as it has turned out, MEPs are sponsored with money from the sale of precisely those types of weapons which EU member-states seek ban. For some reason they do not refuse to take the money,” Zakharova added. She also noted that the MEPs had invested their pension savings in the oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell after another oil spill from its pipeline. “How about the ‘green transition’ and nature conservation? There is a very special story about this. MEP Jutta Paulus (of Germany) directly lobbies for the interests of Boston’s NGO Clean Air Task Force. In drafting legislative amendments, she obediently and without hesitation used the documents prepared by that organization,” Zakharova said.

Read more …

“We need a ceasefire, we need peace talks. That is why Hungary insists on peace at all international forums..”

Afraid Some EU Countries May Send Troops To Ukraine – Orban (TASS)

Hungary’s government is worried to see weapons supplies to Ukraine and is afraid that some of the EU countries may send its troops there, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday. He expressed serious concern that “entire Europe is sliding into a war step by step” as EU countries are sending tanks to Ukraine and are looking at supplying it with fighter jets. “If things continue this way, there will be those who may want to send troops to Ukraine,” he said at the opening of the Hungarian parliament’s spring session. He stressed that his government insists on settling the Ukrainian conflict by peaceful means and called on lawmakers to advocate this position. “They want to drag us into this war, but I am calling on you not to yield to provocations,” Orban said.


“We need a ceasefire, we need peace talks. That is why Hungary insists on peace at all international forums,” he said, adding that for these reason Hungary supports China’s peace plan for Ukraine. He reiterated that he continues to be against the European Union’s anti-Russian sanctions, especially in the energy sector. He recalled that restrictions on fuel supplies had provoked a dramatic price rise and Hungary’s spending on energy sources had increased by ten billion euro in 2022. “Brussels has taken this money from the pockets of Hungarians with the use of sanctions,” he added.

Read more …

“What we need to know is, if they did it in the north just to stop the Russian gas coming to Europe … then they could do it in the south as well.”

Hungary Calls For Justice Over Pipeline Sabotage (RT)

Hungary needs to watch out for potential sabotage on pipelines that deliver Russian natural gas to the country, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday, pointing to the September 2022 blasts on the Nord Stream pipelines connecting Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. “The blowing up of the Nord Stream was a simple act of terrorism,” Orban said in a speech to parliament in Budapest. “What we need to know is, if they did it in the north just to stop the Russian gas coming to Europe … then they could do it in the south as well.” Orban said that Hungary, together with neighboring Serbia, must “make clear that if this were to happen, it would not be easy to get away with, like they are doing now with the Nord Stream explosions.”

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto this week called for the UN to investigate the “scandalous” attack on the pipelines. Budapest wants to know “who committed it and why,” the minister said. Hungary and Serbia, whose economies heavily depend on Russian oil and gas, have opposed sanctions that would have prevented them from receiving supplies from Moscow. Both nations have also refused to impose any restrictions of their own. On Thursday, US state-run news outlet RFE-RL reported that South Stream Transport, which operates the TurkStream gas pipeline, would not be able to repair the infrastructure in the event of damage, as the Dutch government has revoked its license.

The Black Sea pipeline delivers Russia gas to Hungary and Serbia. Veteran US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed earlier this month that the Nord Stream sabotage was orchestrated by Washington with help from Norway. The US has denied any involvement, and rejected the allegations as “complete fiction.” Russia has also called for a thorough investigation into the “terrorist attack.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Western countries last week of trying to bury the issue.

Read more …

“Active attempts are currently being made by the Western special services to restore terrorist cells inside Russia, he warned.”

Putin Accuses West Of Using ‘Extremists’ Against Russia (RT)

The West never shied away from using extremists against Russia and is doing so again during the conflict in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has said. He claimed that western intelligence agencies are aiming to restore terrorist cells inside Russia. Countering this terrorist threat remains “an urgent” task for the country, Putin said while chairing a board meeting of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in Moscow on Tuesday. “Over the past year, the number of such crimes has increased, which is obviously connected to the attempts of the Kiev regime to employ terrorist methods. We are well aware of that. They have been using them in Donbass for a long time,” he said.

The West, which is backing Kiev in the conflict against Moscow, has “never shied away from using both radicals and extremists in their interests, despite all their loud statements about fighting international terrorism,” the president said. “They always use whatever’s at hand against us. They use everything that’s possible. It was always like this and it remains so,” he said. Active attempts are currently being made by the Western special services to restore terrorist cells inside Russia, he warned. It’s essential to intensify counter-intelligence work and keep the Russian-Ukrainian border under extra supervision to prevent the smuggling of weapons and ammunition into Russian territory, Putin told the leadership of Russia’s main security agency.

He praised the FSB’s operatives, who have worked at the frontlines and “behind enemy lines” during the conflict in Ukraine, for their “personal courage, professionalism and determination in ensuring the security of Russia.” The agency, he said, has obtained “priceless experience” that will allow it to execute its duties even more effectively. Putin has previously blamed Ukraine for using “terrorist tactics” following the explosion on the Crimean Bridge in early October, which Moscow insists was masterminded by Kiev. That led to a major ramping up of Russian missile strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure and military targets, causing rolling blackouts across the country and significantly damaging Kiev’s air defense capabilities.

Read more …

Germany doesn’t have much defense to speak of. Maybe by 2050?!

Berlin Left Unprotected As Air Defense Systems Sent To Ukraine (RT)

Germany is sending two air defense systems to Kiev in a move that may leave Berlin unprotected, Armin Papperger, CEO of Germany’s leading military contractor Rheinmetall said in an interview with the Pioneer podcast on Tuesday. The two systems in question, Skynex and Skyranger, were commissioned by the German government in order to protect the airspace over Berlin, the arms manufacturer revealed. The two units cost around €200 million ($212 million) and they are to be sent to Kiev within the year. “We had two whole systems that could have certainly defended Berlin,” Papperger said, as quoted by RIA Novosti. According to Papperger, four of the systems would be enough to protect Berlin, but now there will not be enough.

On Saturday, thousands of protesters rallied in the German capital, calling for Chancellor Olaf Scholz to “stop the escalation in weapons deliveries.” Germany also pledged Western-made tanks to Ukraine in late January, promising 14 of their Leopard 2 tanks and pledging to work with partners to create two armored battalions containing 30 tanks each. However, Germany’s EU and NATO allies have been reluctant to deliver. Similarly to Germany sacrificing their own protection for the sake of solidarity with Ukraine, Denmark opted in January to send its 19 French-made Caesar howitzer artillery systems to Kiev, compromising their own defensive capabilities. The artillery systems had been a key component of Denmark’s plan to field a heavy infantry brigade.

Officials in some NATO nations have been cautioning that the constant supply of arms and ammunition to Ukraine on such a massive scale would eventually come at a cost to their own defensive capabilities. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has warned on numerous occasions that providing Kiev with military aid will not change the course of the conflict, and will instead just “prolong the suffering of the Ukrainian people.”

Read more …

“..more than 500km away from Russian border with Ukraine..”

Ukraine Threatens Putin After Drone Attack Deep Inside Russia (Celente)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that he will increase border security after the Kremlin blamed Ukraine for launching a drone attack deep inside Russia as the U.S. and NATO continue to provide more advanced weapons to escalate the conflict. The Associated Press, citing a nearby governor, reported one drone “fell near the village of Gubastovo, less than 60 miles from Moscow.” Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, tweeted a photo of the drone that matches that of the UJ-22 Airborne, a product of Ukrainian manufacturer Ukrjet, the BBC reported. “It is more than 500km away from Russian border with Ukraine. Soon Putin might get very afraid to show himself in public as drones can reach far distances,” he wrote alongside the photo.

Andrei Vorobyov, the governor, noted that the Russian Defense Ministry identified two Ukrainian drones that were downed near the village of Gubastovo, where Gazprom operates a key facility. The BBC said Ukraine does not claim responsibility for attacks inside Russia. The Trends Journal has reported extensively how Ukraine has been accused of expanding the war deeper inside Russia after receiving the green light from the U.S. Dmitry Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister who has been one of the most outspoken advocates of more weapons and war, was caught in a prank Zoom video admitting to being behind attacks on civilian infrastructure in Crimea and Belgorod. Reports said Kuleba was evidently under the impression that he was talking to a former American ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul, who himself has been a major supporter of U.S. intervention.

“Well, if you were to ask me who blows up things in Crimea or Belgorod, then speaking privately, as much privacy we can have in a Zoom call, I’d tell you, yes, that was us,” Kuleba said. The Western media embraced the bridge bombing as though it was another major setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who days later approved airstrikes in about a dozen Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv. Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland, who was a major player in the U.S.-led coup in Ukraine back in 2014, continued down her path of destruction last week when she called Crimea a legitimate target for Ukrainian forces. Nuland told the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that the U.S. supported Ukrainian strikes on these targets because Washington believes Kyiv is “owed and due all of their territory within their international borders,” which she said included Crimea. “Ukraine is not going to be safe unless Crimea is—at a minimum, at a minimum—demilitarized,” she said.

Read more …

“..he had been cooperating with an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business activities when he was apprehended under an Interpol Red Notice..”

Hunter Biden Associate Arrested, Provided FBI With ‘Damning’ Information (TP)

Gal Luft, a former adviser to a Chinese energy conglomerate now claims to have provided the FBI with incriminating information about the Biden family’s foreign business dealings. He is now calling himself a whistleblower and has announced his intention to reveal the names of those involved, after being detained on what he believes are politically motivated charges. According to him, he has given information to the DOJ about the Biden family’s foreign business deals. Luft was arrested on Friday. A defense expert has stated that the recent arrest of Prof. Gal Luft in Cyprus due to charges linked to the illegal exportation of arms to Libya and China is part of an attempt by the Biden administration to silence him. Luft, an Israeli professor, claims that he had been cooperating with an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business activities when he was apprehended under an Interpol Red Notice at the behest of the US.

According to reports, Gal Luft claims to have provided the Justice Department with information about Hunter Biden, his father, and his uncle, Jim Biden in March 2019. Although some may be quick to disregard Luft’s allegations as an empty threat, his association with CEFC China Energy suggests that he may possess pertinent information about the Bidens. Additionally, an attorney representing Luft has indicated that he intends to offer information about Luft’s situation to Congress. According to Luft’s lawyer, Mordechai Tzivin, the arrest of his client was politically motivated and aimed at stifling him for providing compromising information in a corruption case purportedly linked to Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden. “The arrest came four years after Luft cooperated with FBI and Department of Justice investigators to help them with information about the case,” he claimed.

On Sunday, Tzivin said that Luft could “bury Hunter Biden, that’s why they’re trying to bury him first.” He continued by claiming that “if it were Russia, this would’ve already been a diplomatic collision… it’s not unreasonable to think that the Democrats or some of their peers would like him gone.” “His testimony will be very devastating, it will divert attention to the president himself as well,” Tzivin claimed. On February 18, 2023, Luft tweeted out, “I’ve been arrested in Cyprus on a politically motivated extradition request by the US. The US, claiming I’m an arms dealer. It would be funny if it weren’t tragic. I’ve never been an arms dealer. DOJ is trying to bury me to protect Joe,Jim&Hunter Biden. Shall I name names?”

Read more …

A few days earlier.

Hunter Biden Business Partner Flips, Now ‘Cooperating’ With GOP Investigators (ZH)

Eric Schwerin, a close business associate of Hunter Biden who also dealt with Joe Biden’s business and tax affairs, is now working with House GOP investigators looking into Biden family dealings – particularly in Ukraine and China, where the family collected millions of dollars, Just the News reports. “He is cooperating with us,” House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) told the outlet. “His attorneys and my counsel are communicating on a regular basis. Now, I feel confident that he’s going to work with us, and provide us with the information that we have requested,” Comer continued. “I think that Schwerwin is going to be a very valuable witness for us in this investigation.”

Of note, Schwerin, the former president of Hunter Biden’s now-dissolved investment firm Rosemont Seneca Partners, visited the White House at least 19 times from 2009 to 2015, according to White House visitor log records reviewed by The Epoch Times and first reported by the New York Post. Emails between Hunter and Eric Schwerin, his business partner at consultancy Rosemont Seneca, show Schwerin was working on Joe’s taxes. The emails were recovered from Hunter’s laptop
Schwerin’s cooperation comes after the committee received word that Hunter and his uncle, James Biden, don’t plan to be forthcoming with all the information Comer’s committee has sought in their wide-ranging probe. According to Comer, subpoenas are imminent for non-cooperating witnesses.

“We know individuals, many are cooperating with us now, but others, not so much,” he said. “We’re going to start subpoenaing people in the private sector, we’re going to start subpoenaing financial institutions to get us the information. And then we’ll go from there.” Comer then suggested that if innocent, Hunter Biden would want to clear his name in front of the committee. “He could come in front of the House Oversight Committee right now and defend his good name,” Comer said. “He would have 20 Democrats that would definitely support him, and he could make 26 Republicans look bad if all this information we have from his laptop, all the emails that were in his own words, all the audio that are in his own voice, if for some reason we’re misinterpreting that, then he could make us look bad.

“But we all know that this family was involved in influence peddling. And this administration is doing everything in its ability to try to block oversight.” Both Joe Biden and Hunter Biden have denied the family did anything wrong, although Hunter Biden has acknowledged he is under federal criminal investigation on tax issues. Comer said while the committee battles the White House and the Biden family for information, Schwerin’s cooperation was a breakthrough that could spur other key witnesses to cooperate. -Just the News According to White House visitor logs, Schwerin met directly with then-Vice President Joe Biden in the West Wing on Nov. 17, 2010, and had several meetings with White House aides during times when Hunter Biden was securing multi-billion dollar deals overseas, including in China.

Read more …

There could be legal reasons?!

Tucker must come clean.

Tucker Carlson, Staff NOT Allowed To Record or Remove J6 Footage (GP)

On February 20, 100 Percent Fed Up reported about the newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to release all of the 44,000 hours of footage from January 6, 2021, to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, giving him exclusive access to Capitol surveillance footage. “I’ve watched what Nancy Pelosi did, where she politicized [Jan. 6],” said McCarthy. “Where for the first time in the history as a speaker, not allowing the minority to appoint to a committee.” “We watched the politicization of this,” McCarthy said. “I think the American public should actually see all that happened instead of a report that’s written for a political basis.” Carlson, who has continuously called for a probe into the actual events of Jan 6., has been granted exclusive access to 41,000 hours of surveillance footage from the Capitol protests.

“[T]here was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret,” Carlson told Axios reporter Mike Allen. “If there was ever a question that’s in the public’s interest to know, it’s what actually happened on January 6. By definition, this video will reveal it. It’s impossible for me to understand why any honest person would be bothered by that.” In January, Carlson slammed the U.S. government for hiding information from the American public. He also pointed out the ridiculous logic of those who warn that releasing the Jan. 6 Capitol footage could threaten national security.

100 Percent FedUp reports- If you’re like most Americans, you were overjoyed to hear that Tucker Carlson, who is not afraid of exposing government corruption in either party, would be allowed to view all 44,000 hours of the Capitol surveillance tapes and were hoping that finally, we would be allowed to discover what really happened on that day. The majority of Americans never trusted the partisan, Trump-hating Jan 6 Witch Hunt Committee to give an accurate picture of what happened on January 6th at our nation’s Capitol. Those who want the truth exposed have been waiting patiently for Tucker to begin showing surveillance footage on his show, believing he would, once and for all, destroy the Left’s narrative that the so-called “insurrection” was pre-planned by Trump and his supporters.

We’re now learning that Tucker Carlson’s staff will NOT be allowed to freely record footage from January 6, but may request particular clips and that his staffers are not allowed to record or remove any videos from a specific screening area. CBS News – “Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s staff was permitted to view but not record portions of some 41,000 hours of police videos documenting the events of Jan. 6, 2021, with the opportunity to request copies of some of the clips under an agreement reached with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office, according to the high-ranking Republican member of the committee that oversees the U.S. Capitol Police.”

Read more …

Do AI chatbots have the same function as the Oracle of Delphi?

The Return of Oracles: Chatbots Are Coming! (Ugo Bardi)

With the second millennium, society became more and more complex, and the state propaganda system started becoming too rigid and oversimplified. The development of the World Wide Web was an existential challenge for the mass media: people didn’t need anymore to be told what they had to know in a one-size-fits-all, form. They could actively search for knowledge using general-purpose search engines. The epistemic battle rapidly moved to the Web, where states tried to crack down on independent thought by using the tools they know best. Demonization, using terms such as “fake news,” “disinformation,” and “Russian trolls,” was extensively and successfully used to censor and eliminate non-standard sources. It was not possible to completely eliminate independent communication, but the search engines could be bent to suit the needs of the state without the need for direct censorship. Those sites that provide independent data could be simply “soft-banned” or “shadowed.” They are still there, but they are nearly impossible to be found.

And now, there came the new oracles. They came with the name of artificial intelligence-based “chatbots.”(**) A new epistemic revolution, they bypass the search engines, seeking for an answer to direct questions, just like the old oracles did. And they are flexible, adaptable, and changing as a function of the questions they receive. In principle, chatbots are the death knell for search engines, which were the earlier death knell for propaganda. We are in the midst of this new epistemic change, and it is unclear what AI chatbots can and cannot do. For the time being, a good chatbot acts like a good (albeit a little dull) librarian and, at the same time, a meticulous editorial assistant (again, a rather dull one). But, in principle, a good chatbot can bypass the shadow-banning of the search engines: they are much more powerful and sophisticated tools for searching information on the Web. They work on the same principle as the old oracles: they pay for information with information. Every time you ask the bot a question, you provide it with a precious element of information.

Eventually, the question is always the same: who controls the flow of information? Can chatbots be controlled by the state? Maybe but, again, they are very sophisticated tools; they are not easily manageable by the brute force that can be used with the old mass media. They have already scared the elites, who may soon crack down on them. Or, on the other hand, they may be used for even stricter control of people. For one thing, be careful with what you say to your chatbot. A general-purpose chatbot such as “chatGPT” does not keep a record of who asked it what. But others, such as “Replika,” do build a database of your questions that may be used to profile you, or much worse. History teaches us that epistemic revolutions cannot be stopped for a long time. And also that their consequences are always unexpected, and not always pleasant. And, as always, we march into the future with blinds on our eyes, in the darkness, not realizing that both sides of the paths are deep chasms. But we keep walking onward.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

A world I don’t recognize.

 

 

Moose

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 232023
 


Fresco from the Minoan Palace in Knossos, Crete, Greece. 16th century BC

 

World War III to Sweep Vaccine Genocide Under the Rug (VF)
The Dire Significance of Putin’s Feb 21 Speech (Sant)
Putin’s ‘Civilizational’ Speech Frames Conflict Between East And West (Escobar)
Russia Sees Events In Ukraine As War With West For Survival – Envoy (TASS)
Talks Should Be Held With Washington, Not Kiev – Russian UN Envoy (TASS)
NATO Head Issues Warning To China (RT)
Seymour Hersh Recalls Hidden History Of US-Norway Covert Ops (RT)
Moscow Takes Aim At West Over Nord Stream Sabotage (RT)
Russia and China Didn’t Discuss Beijing’s ‘Peace Plan’ – Moscow (RT)
Epstein-Linked Clinton Advisor Allegedly Hanged Himself (PM)
The Crusades of the Virtuous (Hoppe)

 

 

 

 

Trump East Palestine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1628489783340048385

 

 

 

 

Trump delivers

 

 

 

 

Yeadon

 

 

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

 

 

“..if I had to guess, the stock market is going to fall apart in the next week or two.”

World War III to Sweep Vaccine Genocide Under the Rug (VF)

There’s an epidemic of sudden death sweeping across the globe – but nary a peep from the legacy media. After three years of COVID measures, lockdowns, and vaccine passports, the “health” of the people is no longer on the minds of those in authority, as excess mortality exceeds 20 million deaths — 13 million more than what we’ve attributed to COVID-19.

Now, with an open Twitter and COVID-19 vaccine compliance down to only 16%, something else appears to be on the horizon — and that something else is World War III. From The Post Millennial: “On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that if China were to ally itself with Russia in the ongoing war in Ukraine, it would mark the start of World War III. “If China allies itself with Russia, there will be a world war, and I do think China is aware of that,” he stated. Zelensky’s comments came the same day Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv and pledged another $500 million in aid and further sanctions on Russia. On Monday night, former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard responded to Zelenksy’s comments saying, “He [Zelenksy] is doing everything he can to bring us [The United States] and NATO into this war.”


Former President Trump on Tuesday released a video expressing, “World War III has never been closer than it is right now.” “These people have been seeking confrontation for a long time, much like the case in Iraq and other parts of the world. And now, we’re teetering on the brink of World War III.” And Luke Rudkowski asked, “Can we please stop racing towards World War III?” in response to a Feb 21 The New York Times piece:

“World War III solves a lot of issues (for the perpetrators),” attested former Blackrock portfolio manager Edward Dowd.“Why is our administration insanely running into a World War III situation?” Dowd asked. He answered, “And I suspect — I’m a cynical guy — that World War III solves a lot of issues: solves the sovereign debt crisis and solves the vaccine murder that’s gone on — wipes a bunch of stuff off the map — and directs everyone’s attention to a world war.” Edward expressed that he hopes he’s wrong, but that scenario is “definitely in play. And the capital markets may be starting to sniff this out.”


He elaborates. “The U.S. Dollar in a World War III situation would go up quite a bit. And the dollar, the DXY, the basket of currencies, bottomed about two weeks ago and is starting to go up. We think it put in a very significant bottom.” But Edward Dowd is not so optimistic about the stock market’s future. “The stock market is on razor’s edge right now. I don’t like to make predictions, but if I had to guess, the stock market is going to fall apart in the next week or two.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1628461706048335872
https://twitter.com/i/status/1628458245730836483

Read more …

“What Mr. Putin has just told us is that the Kremlin now considers nuclear use condition #2 to be true, today..”

The Dire Significance of Putin’s Feb 21 Speech (Sant)

On Tuesday, February 21st President Putin gave a speech that was expected to be very significant. After it was delivered, however, most pundits said he didn’t say anything we didn’t already know. Most of them focused on his announcement of the withdrawal from the START II treaty. However, he said something far more significant. What Mr. Putin said, when read through the lens of international law, should be chilling to the West. We would do well to remember that Mr. Putin majored in international law. His speech made a legal case against NATO. First he listed, by my count, 30 different ways in which the Western nations have attacked Russia. These included the expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders, support of terrorists in Russia, economic war, terrorist sabotage of the Nordstream Pipeline, financing of the coup and war in Ukraine, directly assisting Ukraine to attack targets in Russia including Russia’s nuclear bombers, and plotting to destroy and partition Russia into pieces.

Nestled in the middle of these was an important statement. “This means they plan to finish us once and for all. In other words, they plan to grow a local conflict into a global confrontation. This is how we understand it and we will respond accordingly, because this represents an existential threat to our country.” Putin’s choice of words is extremely significant in light of Russian nuclear doctrine, which states that nuclear weapons could be used by Russia “in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it or its allies, and also in case of aggression against Russia with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is threatened.”

Among the 30 points of evidence of the American war on Russia, Mr. Putin listed several cases of American use of conventional weapons against Russian territory through Ukraine as the thinly veiled proxy, and stated that this represents an “existential threat to [the Russian State].” What Mr. Putin has just told us is that the Kremlin now considers nuclear use condition #2 to be true, today. This statement was accompanied by two related actions. The day before the speech Russia tested a Sarmat II ICBM. And at the end of the speech, Mr. Putin announced that Russia shall immediately withdraw from the START II treaty, which limits the number and range of their nuclear missiles. These three statements and events together should tell the collective West that Russia has just said “Get off my porch!”, and cocked the forty-five. This doesn’t mean that Russia is going to strike the USA tomorrow morning. But, we are definitely now teetering on the cliff’s edge of nuclear war.

Read more …

“Even before the start of the SMO, there were negotiations…on the supply of air defense systems… We remember Kyiv’s attempts to obtain nuclear weapons.”

Putin’s ‘Civilizational’ Speech Frames Conflict Between East And West (Escobar)

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s much awaited address to the Russian Federal Assembly on Tuesday should be interpreted as a tour de force of sovereignty.The address, significantly, marked the first anniversary of Russia’s official recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, only a few hours before 22 February, 2022. In myriad ways, what happened a year ago also marked the birth of the real, 21st century multipolar world. Then two days later, Moscow launched the Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine to defend said republics. Cool, calm, collected, without a hint of aggression, Putin’s speech painted Russia as an ancient, independent, and quite distinct civilization – sometimes following a path in concert with other civilizations, sometimes in divergence.

Ukraine, part of Russian civilization, now happens to be occupied by western civilization, which Putin said “became hostile to us,” like in a few instances in the past. So the acute phase of what is essentially a war by proxy of the west against Russia takes place over the body of Russian civilization. That explains Putin’s clarification that “Russia is an open country, but an independent civilization – we do not consider ourselves superior but we inherited our civilization from our ancestors and we must pass it on.” A war dilacerating the body of Russian civilization is a serious existential business. Putin also made clear that “Ukraine is being used as a tool and testing ground by the west against Russia.” Thus the inevitable follow-up: “The more long-range weapons are sent to Ukraine, the longer we have to push the threat away from our borders.”

Translation: this war will be long – and painful. There will be no swift victory with minimal loss of blood. The next moves around the Dnieper may take years to solidify. Depending on whether US policy continues to cleave to neo-con and neoliberal objectives, the frontline may be displaced to Lviv. Then German politics may change. Normal trade with France and Germany may be recovered only by the end of the next decade. All that brings us to the games played by the Empire of Lies. Says Putin: “The promises…of western rulers turned into forgery and cruel lies. The west supplied weapons, trained nationalist battalions. Even before the start of the SMO, there were negotiations…on the supply of air defense systems… We remember Kyiv’s attempts to obtain nuclear weapons.”

Putin made it clear, once again, that the element of trust between Russia and the west, especially the US, is gone. So it’s a natural decision for Russia to “withdraw from the treaty on strategic offensive weapons, but we don’t do it officially. For now we are only halting our participation to the START treaty. No US inspections in our nuclear sites can be allowed.”

Read more …

Existential.

Russia Sees Events In Ukraine As War With West For Survival – Envoy (TASS)

Russia views the situation around Ukraine as a war with the collective West for survival, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said at a special session on Ukraine of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. “As for our country, we see all of this as a war with the West for survival, for the future of our country, for our children, for our identity,” he said. The diplomat pointed out that the West has been implementing its plan at least since 2014 while “Ukraine is nothing but a bargaining chip in this plot.”.

Read more …

“Our opponents have not yet gotten over their futile illusions of defeating a nuclear power..”

Talks Should Be Held With Washington, Not Kiev – Russian UN Envoy (TASS)

Negotiations on settling the Ukrainian crisis should be held with Washington nowadays, not with Kiev, and Moscow is ready to seek a diplomatic solution, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said at a special session on Ukraine of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. “The quest to resolve this entire situation fraught with the most negative consequences for all of mankind in the event of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO should now be held not between Russia and Ukraine anymore but between Russia and the collective West, above all, with Washington which is behind the Kiev regime,” the diplomat said. “We are ready to seek a serious and long-term diplomatic solution to this crisis and have repeatedly stated this,” he added. “Our opponents have not yet gotten over their futile illusions of defeating a nuclear power,” the envoy noted. “This is why we also have to deal militarily with the factors that forced us to launch the special military operation a year ago,” he explained.

Read more …

In way over his head.

NATO Head Issues Warning To China (RT)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has claimed that China is preparing to step up its support for Russia, saying the People’s Republic may seek to back Moscow’s efforts in Ukraine. Beijing rejected the charge, calling it “groundless speculation.” Speaking to the Associated Press for an interview on Wednesday, Stoltenberg was asked whether the US-led military bloc had seen any indication that China might provide weapons or other assistance to Russia. “We have seen some signs that they may be planning for that, and of course NATO allies, the United States, have been warning against it because this is something that should not happen,” he said, insisting Beijing must not take any role in the conflict in Ukraine.

The NATO chief went on to argue that the alliance is “no party” to the hostilities, even while stressing that it would support Kiev for “as long as it takes” in order to “ensure that Ukraine prevails.” China was quick to respond to Stoltenberg’s comments, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin stating that his country “stands on the side of peace” in regard to Ukraine, while accusing the NATO head of “smears” and “groundless speculation.” “It is a known fact that NATO countries, including the US, are the biggest source of weaponry for the battlefield in Ukraine, yet they keep claiming that China may be supplying weapons to Russia,” Wang told reporters during a Wednesday press briefing. “This is a familiar trick used and exposed soon after the Ukraine crisis broke out.”

The spokesman added that while NATO claims to be a “regional defensive alliance,” it has frequently “ignored others’ security concerns” and “constantly sought to reach beyond its traditional defense zone.” Officials in Washington and other Western countries have also alleged that China could soon boost assistance for Russia, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently warning such support would be a “serious problem.” An unnamed European official reached by the AP claimed to have “unambiguous” intelligence showing that Beijing is considering supplying weapons, but said it is unclear whether any decision had been made. To date, officials have provided no evidence to support the allegations.

Beijing has refused to condemn Moscow’s military action in Ukraine and continues to keep good ties with the Russian Federation. Last week, Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi announced that the People’s Republic was working on a peace proposal to end the conflict, but the details of the plan have yet to be revealed. While Wang visited the Russian capital for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, the proposal was not discussed, according to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

Gonzalo China declares war on US

Read more …

“It was a secret war within a secret war,” Hersh wrote, adding that at least two Navy SEALs were wounded on these missions, and received the Medal of Honor in secret.”

Seymour Hersh Recalls Hidden History Of US-Norway Covert Ops (RT)

Six decades before Norway helped the CIA destroy the Nord Stream gas pipelines, it gave the agency heavily-armed boats that it used to target North Vietnam, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote on Wednesday. Norway’s involvement in this secret war was deeper than previously reported, Hersh claimed. Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, claimed earlier this month that the CIA sabotaged the Nord Stream lines on President Joe Biden’s orders. The Norwegian Secret Service and Navy reportedly helped CIA divers choose the correct spot to plant the explosives, and ferried the Americans out on a boat to the location, near Denmark’s Bornholm island in the Baltic Sea.

Explaining why the US chose Norway as its partner in destroying the Russia-to-Germany gas lines, Hersh said on Wednesday that the “Norwegian Navy has a long and murky history of cooperation with American intelligence.” Historical reports show that Norway sold a number of fast attack boats to the US Navy, which were used by the CIA to conduct clandestine attacks along the North Vietnamese coast. By 1964, prior to the US’ official entry into the Vietnam war, at least two Norwegian sailors had confessed to taking part in these raids, while unconfirmed reports claimed that Norwegian officers and crew manned some of these boats.

However, according to Hersh’s source “within the intelligence community,” the CIA was given more boats than previously reported. Manned and captained by Norwegian sailors, these vessels carried US Navy SEALs to missions against “far more aggressive targets that included heavily defended North Vietnamese radar facilities.” While the CIA’s previously reported clandestine attacks were controlled by the American command in Saigon, these more aggressive missions were commanded by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington. “It was a secret war within a secret war,” Hersh wrote, adding that at least two Navy SEALs were wounded on these missions, and received the Medal of Honor in secret.

“This bit of top secret and heretofore unknown history raises, to this reporter, an obvious question: what else do we not know about the secret operation in Norway that led to the destruction of the pipelines?” Hersh concluded. The Biden administration has described Hersh’s reporting on the Nord Stream explosions as “utterly false and complete fiction.” Moscow considers the destruction of Nord Stream an act of “terrorism,” and Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, argued this week that Hersh’s reporting was “more than a smoking gun” suggesting US involvement. Prior to Hersh’s initial article, Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the explosions on the West, arguing that the US in particular benefited from the attack due to its position as a supplier of LNG to Europe.

Ray Mc Govern at the UN Security Council

Read more …

No, this will not go away.

Moscow Takes Aim At West Over Nord Stream Sabotage (RT)

The West is opposed to a transparent investigation into the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. Earlier this week, Moscow’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, argued that evidence of Washington’s involvement was “more than a smoking gun.” Peskov claimed that “the need for a thorough and transparent investigation” contrasted with the aims of Western countries that would rather let the mystery go unsolved. “We see a brick wall of unwillingness from the collective West [for a transparent investigation]. Quite the opposite, we see their desire to avoid the question and gradually let it fade away into the sand,” he added.

Peskov insisted the incident should be classified as “a terrorist attack towards energy infrastructure, critically important for the European continent.” According to the Kremlin spokesman, those suspicions were backed by “some surprisingly rather detailed investigations towards who was behind the sabotage.” Nord Stream comprised a set of two 1,200km natural gas pipelines stretching along the bottom of the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany. On September 26, 2022, the pipelines were rocked by a series of underwater explosions. The incident occurred in the international waters and shut off the supply of natural gas to Germany. The blasts occurred during widespread discussions about limiting gas shipments from Russia to Europe as a response to the conflict in Ukraine.

Earlier this month, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claimed the sabotage was a “covert sea operation” planned and executed by the US with assistance from Norway. The reporter cited an anonymous source “with direct knowledge of the operational planning.” The US denied those claims, with White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson calling them “utterly false and complete fiction.” Denmark, Germany, and Sweden are currently investigating the incident. Peskov called Russia’s exclusion from their ongoing probe detrimental to “establishing the truth and determining responsibility.” On Tuesday, the Russian and Chinese ambassadors to the UN demanded a transparent international investigation into the matter.

Sachs

Read more …

They await the official presentation.

Russia and China Didn’t Discuss Beijing’s ‘Peace Plan’ – Moscow (RT)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi did not discuss Beijing’s yet-to-be-unveiled peace proposal for the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, the ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told reporters on Wednesday. “Our Chinese partners explained their thoughts on the root causes of the Ukrainian crisis, as well as their approaches to its political resolution,” she said. The official added “there were no talks of any specific ‘plan’.” Wang first mentioned his “peace proposal” at the Munich Security Conference last week. “We will put forth China’s position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis,” the diplomat announced. Wang warned that he knew that “some forces might not want to see peace talks materialize” without naming any party in particular.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin also commented on the peace proposal at the Monday press briefing. “The international community is fully aware who is calling for dialogue and striving for peace, and who is fanning the flames and stoking confrontation,” the diplomat said. He then encouraged the US to “seriously reflect on the role it has played” in the Ukrainian conflict so far. On Tuesday, Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun said that a “position paper” with China’s consistent views on the conflict would be released “within days.”

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky commented on the plan during a press conference on Tuesday, saying that he had his own “peace formula” supported by a large number of states. Zelensky was apparently referring to the so-called ‘10-point peace plan’ that was presented by him at the G20 summit in November. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow anticipated a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping once Beijing had completed items on its domestic agenda. “We assume that we will realize our plans regarding face-to-face meetings, which will give an additional boost to our relations,” Putin added.

Read more …

He hanged AND shot himself. And then ate the gun?

“Ammunition and a gun case were found in Middleton’s vehicle — but the weapon itself never turned up.”

Epstein-Linked Clinton Advisor Allegedly Hanged Himself (PM)

The sheriff’s report on the disturbing scene where a top Bill Clinton advisor with ties to Jeffrey Epstein was found shot and hanged from a tree has finally been released, prompting sleuths to question why the death was ruled a suicide. Mark Middleton, 59, was a special advisor to the former president in the 1990s, authorizing Epstein’s visits to the White House seven out of the 17 times the infamous pedophile met with top government officials there. Additionally, he was also on the flight logs of Epstein’s private jet. According to the Perry County sheriff’s office, Middleton was found dead on May 7, 2022 with a gunshot wound to his chest and an extension cord tying his neck to a tree in Perryville, Arkansas.


As obtained by the Daily Mail, Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Lawson’s firsthand report on the mysterious death claims that “I could see what at first appeared to be a man sitting near a tree, as my eyes focused better, I could see a rope of some type going from the tree limb to the male.” Middleton’s body was found at the Heifer Ranch, after worker Samantha McElroy called police after finding Middleton’s abandoned black BMW SUV at the property. “I could see that he had a gunshot wound to the chest and that he had a knot tied in an extension cord that was around his neck and it was attached to the limb directly above him,” Lawson added. Ammunition and a gun case were found in Middleton’s vehicle — but the weapon itself never turned up.

Despite the confusing details of the case, Sheriff Scott Montgomery said Middleton had apparently shot himself in the chest with a shotgun and also somehow hung himself, reported the Arkansas Times. According to the outlet, the late presidential advisor’s family said he “was being treated for depression” before his death. Despite unsealing the sheriff deputy’s report nine months after Middleton’s death, Circuit Judge Alice Gray granted a request from his family to keep the crime scene photos sealed. “The Court finds that since Mr. Middleton’s death, the Middletons have been harassed by individuals with outlandish, hurtful, unsubstantiated, and offensive conspiracy theories regarding Mr. Middleton, his death, and his family, which have caused the Middletons immense harm and anguish,” the decision reads.


“These same individuals have indicated and communicated that they will attempt to obtain the File, including Media Content depicting Mr. Middleton’s body and the scene of his death, by way of an Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request,” the judge continued. “The purpose of this Order is to prevent further irreparable injury to the Middletons.” Middleton left the White House in February 1995. The following year, a White House investigation determined that he had “abused his access to impress business clients” leading him to be “barred from the executive mansion without senior approval,” reported the Daily Mail. He has denied those accusations.

Read more …

“..Western capitalist ideology has been so successful in setting material, technological progress as the criterion of “a new civilisation”..”

The Crusades of the Virtuous (Hoppe)

The cultural hegemony of the unipolar power is particularly visible in its media events: “international” festivals, extravaganzas, gala ceremonies, etc. A glaring example of this is the tireless and desperate placement of the sniffling buffoon Zelensky at almost all the recent “cultural” events… be they the film festivals of Cannes, Venice, Berlin, ceremonies such as the Golden Globe Awards, the Grammys or music festivals such as Glastonbury. Zelensky has now become the obligatory sprig of parsley for every neoliberal dish. A brand has been created of him. He is probably the most widely seen public figure in the world today. He is the icon of the times: a pathetic, empty puppet, pumped with unlimited cash and drugs, posing as an endearing emissary of the world’s conscience.

His most recent video appearance at the grand inauguration of the Berlin Film Festival was met with cheers and standing ovations by the entire audience whose applause remained throughout his speech … especially when he declared: “Culture chooses a side when it decides to speak out against evil… and it takes a side when it remains silent and in fact helps the evil.” One of the “highlights” of this self-righteous festival so far is a documentary on Zelensky made by Sean Penn entitled “Superpower”. At the end of its premiere the audience once again rose obsequiously to its feet to give both Penn and his collaborators a standing ovation. Just three years ago the Berlinale greeted war criminal Hillary Clinton as a star. This year’s Berlinale rolled the red carpet out for NATO with full condemnation of their enemies Russia, Iran, China and Belarus; even the mascot – the Berlinale bear – appeared in sky blue and yellow, the Ukrainian national colours.

[..] Outside the grand “Berlinale Palast”, climate activists had glued themselves to the legendary Red Carpet. Two days later the same carpet welcomed a silent protest featuring sombre-looking expatriate Iranian actresses in support of the regime-change activists in Iran entitled “Women Life Freedom”. With the exception of Sean Penn’s eulogy of the Ukraine and its jester, there is little press coverage of the films at the festival… Will any be remembered in the future as noteworthy works of art? Because Western capitalist ideology has been so successful in setting material, technological progress as the criterion of “a new civilisation” and in commoditising virtues and morals all over the world, it has become a creed for many to follow… It sets global dictates and trends (e.g.: global warming, gender fluidity, cancel culture, re-adaptations of history, colour revolutions, etc.). And, in the absence of spirituality, many people follow these global trends and dictates religiously in order to secure an “identity” in the modern world.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acid rain

 

 


Unusual friendship between a female grey wolf and a male brown bear. They were spotted every night for 10 days straight, spending several hours together between 8pm to 4am. They would even share food together

 

 


The Alpine Ibex’s preferred habitat is the rocky region along the snow line above alpine forests, where it occupies steep, rough terrain at elevations of 1,800 to 3,300

 

 


This couple of sea urchins was discovered by a research vessel near New Caledonia at a depth of 300 m. Photo Steve Jurvetson. Fractals are everywhere.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 082023
 
 February 8, 2023  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  85 Responses »


Johannes Vermeer The glass of wine c 1658-1660

 

China Wants its Balloon Back (Celente)
Let’s Talk About Nuclear War (Naveira)
Musk Assesses Public Awareness Of WWIII Risk (RT)
Kiev Inching Closer To Conceding Defeat – Medvedev (RT)
Kiev Still Conducts Terror Attacks Against New Russian Regions – Shoigu (TASS)
Anglo-Zionism and the Confederation of Europe (Batiushka)
China Sees Russia’s Concerns Over NATO Expansion As Premise For Conflict (TASS)
West Uses OPCW To Justify Its Aggression – Moscow (RT)
EU ‘Sold Its Soul’ To Russia – Poland (RT)
EU’s Borrell Can’t Hide His Racist Worldview – Lavrov (RT)
Ukraine: There’s No Substitute For Victory (Steve Forbes)
US Rep. Matt Gaetz Calls For End To Funding Of Kiev’s Army (RT)
Russia Has Lost Confidence In US Dollar – Finance Minister (RT)
US Lacks Unity Before Modern Challenges – Kissinger (TASS)
Where Do Things Stand? (Jim Kunstler)
The Failure of Scientific Journals: the Failure of Science (Ugo Bardi)

 

 

 

 

Trump SOTU

 

 

2014

 

 

Tucker SOTU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’ve “rescued” it, so let’s hear if it’s just a weather balloon.

China Wants its Balloon Back (Celente)

China’s Foreign Ministry called on the U.S. to immediately return the “airship” that was shot out of the skies last weekend by an F-22 after Washington identified it as a “spy balloon.” Mao Ning, a spokeswoman from the ministry, said during a press briefing Tuesday that the balloon does not belong to the U.S., it belongs to China, according to RT, the Russian outlet. She accused Washington of overreacting and acting in an unprofessional manner with the goal of smearing Beijing. China has insisted that the balloon was a civilian meteorological research airship. Tensions between China and the U.S. are hitting new lows. Wei Fenghe, the Chinese military head, refused a call with Lloyd Austin, the U.S. military chief, on Tuesday.

[..] American F-22 fighters successfully shot down a Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon off the South Carolina coast last weekend that the U.S. said was being used by Beijing to “surveil strategic sites.” U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called the incursion an “unacceptable violation of our sovereignty.” The Defense Department said it began tracking the balloon, which was carrying a payload the size of three buses, over the Aleutian Islands on 28 January. The balloon floated over Alaska, Canada, and then re-entered U.S. airspace over Idaho, a statement read. The U.S. claimed it did not shoot down the balloon over land to prevent “undue risk” to civilians. President Joe Biden said Saturday that he ordered the Pentagon to shoot the balloon down “as soon as possible” on Wednesday. The balloon was eventually picked off by the Raptor which fired one AIM-9X Sidewinder missile that cost We the People of Slavelandia about $400,000.


The statement said, “F-15 Eagles flying from Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, supported the F-22.” “Long before the shoot down, U.S. officials took steps to protect against the balloon’s collection of sensitive information, mitigating its intelligence value to the Chinese,” the statement read. China said the U.S. overreacted over a weather balloon. “China strongly disapproves of and protests against the U.S. attack on a civilian unmanned airship by force,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday morning, according to the South China Morning Post. “The U.S.’s use of force is a clear overreaction and a serious violation of international practice,” the ministry said, before noting that Beijing reserves the right to make “further responses that are necessary.”

Read more …

“..there is no compromise, a country is either sovereign or a colony..”

Let’s Talk About Nuclear War (Naveira)

The United States and Russia – the two greatest nuclear powers on the planet – have embarked on a wide-ranging “indirect war”. All that now remains is for them to engage in direct warfare, which will end up happening sooner or later. If later, it will be exactly because both powers are aware that any direct war between them will inevitably escalate into nuclear war, with a good chance of devastating them both. How we reached this point will not be examined in depth here. Very briefly, both parties regard this as a struggle for existence – Russia, in order to continue to exist as a nation (in Putin’s words, “there is no compromise, a country is either sovereign or a colony”), and the United States, to continue to exist as the nation with hegemony over the rest (the US economy has become so reliant on that hegemony that its end would entail the country’s collapse).

Accordingly, both are willing to take the conflict to its ultimate consequences in order to prevail, and thus nuclear war becomes more inevitable with every passing day. Among those responsible for a nuclear war that will be the downfall of all Humankind, there can be no “good guy”. However, when one side is fighting to subsist with autonomy, while the other is fighting in order to dominate the rest, it is not difficult to discern which is most the “bad guy”. Also, if it is still possible, after the hecatomb, to bring the culprits to some kind of justice, it will make all the difference to distinguish who “pressed the button” first (that is, who deliberately chose for millions of people to die) from whoever operated their buttons in retaliation to the incoming attack.

What developments will take place until we finally arrive at nuclear war is also not the purpose of this piece. Once again, to summarise, both are trying to “gain time”, hoping for their adversary to fall over their own feet before direct war ensues: the Russians are counting on an economic and social collapse in the West, while the US counts on a military defeat of the Russians by the Ukrainians, resulting in the fall of the Putin government. It has to be said, however, that thus far the Russians are getting the better of this “war of attrition”.

The US also seeks to draw Russia into war against some other, NATO-member country, prodding Lithuania to blockade land access to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, Romania to provide Moldavia with the means to reincorporate the pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria, and Poland to occupy the westernmost portion of the Ukraine, so as to force Russia to respond militarily. Under the fifth article of the treaty that set up NATO, an attack on any member state is to be taken as an attack on them all; in that way, the United States would drag all of Europe into a war against Russia. The Russians (as well as these European cannon-fodder candidates) have thus far managed to sidestep this trap.

Read more …

“Most are oblivious to the danger.”

Musk Assesses Public Awareness Of WWIII Risk (RT)

The majority of people are not even aware that a new world war may erupt soon, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has stated. The risk of a global catastrophe was highlighted this week by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The UN head said in a speech to the General Assembly on Monday that he feared that humanity was marching toward a “wider war” with its “eyes wide open” and urged preserving peace. “Could we please not do WWIII,” pleaded conservative political commentator Luke Rudkowski, reacting to the speech. Musk responded: “Most are oblivious to the danger.” The Twitter and SpaceX CEO previously warned against “relentless escalation” of the conflict in Ukraine, stating that it was dangerous for the country itself and the world.


Musk won praise for supplying SpaceX Starlink satellite internet systems to the Ukrainian government, with some experts assessing that they were a game-changer in the fight against Russia. But he also suggested that Kiev would have to make concessions to Moscow in order to achieve peace, a notion that prompted some Ukrainian officials to harshly criticize and even insult the businessman. Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, claimed last week that Musk was using his control of Twitter to reduce the reach of Ukrainian official accounts and help “Russian propaganda.” “Maybe a regulator is needed to explain competition rules to the owner?” Podoliak mused. The Ukrainian official offered no evidence to support his claims or explanation of how his regulatory threat could be carried out.

Read more …

“..Aleksey Danilov, who claimed that Russia is lobbying EU nations to accept a Korean-style split of his nation..”

Kiev Inching Closer To Conceding Defeat – Medvedev (RT)

Discussions of a “Korean scenario” in Ukraine are a sign that Kiev is on the way to recognizing the reality on the ground and accepting its losses, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said. The idea of a Korean-style division of Ukraine has been discussed by current and former officials in Kiev, who claim that this is what Russia is pursuing. The idea that Ukraine could be divided up the way Korea was after the war in the 1950s is “for domestic consumption” and constitutes “wishful thinking,” Medvedev added, citing unnamed “propagandists” as peddling the notion. What is notable is that “they coyly tested the statement that there can be no victory” and that “being split is the best-case scenario,” the former president said. The ‘Korean scenario’ means that a smaller, US-backed Ukraine could eventually develop to the level of South Korea while maintaining its claims over lost territories, Medvedev explained.

“In essence, this is the first step towards accepting the realities on the ground,” he said. Korea was split into two parts after a three-year civil war, in which the opposing factions in the north and south were backed by the USSR and China, and the US respectively. Both Pyongyang and Seoul claim sovereignty over the entire Korean Peninsula, and each considers the other government to be unlawful. Unlike South Korea, Donbass voted in a referendum to become part of Russia rather than forming a sovereign state, Medvedev said, arguing that a ‘Korean scenario’ is not feasible for Ukraine. The former president currently serves as the deputy chairman of the Russian National Security Council.

The idea was floated to the Ukrainian public last month by Medvedev’s counterpart in Kiev, Aleksey Danilov, who claimed that Russia is lobbying EU nations to accept a Korean-style split of his nation, and stated that Kiev would reject it. The Kremlin dismissed the report as a “hoax. This week, the Korean scenario was also brought up by Aleksey Arestovich, the former aide to the office of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Speaking at an expert panel discussion on Monday, he stated that Ukraine does not have enough manpower to beat Russia on the battlefield anytime soon, and claimed that a Korean scenario may become an acceptable off-ramp for the parties involved. Like Danilov before him, Arestovich claimed that Russia is seeking this type of outcome, while noting that the Western nations which Kiev depends upon “think the same way.”

Read more …

“..Ukraine’s armed forces have been attacking residential areas, hospitals, and public gathering areas..”

Kiev Still Conducts Terror Attacks Against New Russian Regions – Shoigu (TASS)

Authorities in Ukraine continue intimidating civilians in Russia’s new regions, with Ukrainian troops attacking residential areas and hospitals there, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday. “While realizing that they won’t be able to inflict a military defeat on Russia, the Ukrainian leadership has been resorting to criminal activity in order to intimidate residents of new Russian regions,” Shoigu said, adding that Ukraine’s armed forces have been attacking residential areas, hospitals, and public gathering areas and committing terror attacks against government and social facilities. On January 28, Russia’s top brass said that the Ukrainian armed forces had launched an intentional attack at around 7:30 am, using rocket-propelled projectiles from the US-made HIMARS multiple launch rocket system, on a hospital in Novoaidar in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR).


Fourteen patients and medical employees were killed, while 24 more suffered wounds. The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that civilian and military health professionals had been providing medical treatment to local civilians and service members at the Novoaidar hospital for many months. Former LPR’s ambassador to Moscow Rodion Miroshnik said last week that Ukrainian forces had shelled four LPR hospitals since the start of the year. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has said it’s going to look into the circumstances behind the Novoaidar hospital shelling.

Read more …

Orthodox priest Batiushka sees the GOP as the Anglos, and the Dems as the zionists.

Anglo-Zionism and the Confederation of Europe (Batiushka)

[..] the main bastion of Anglo-Zionism is undoubtedly the USA, which the bankers from London seriously colonised during the First World War. specifically during the 1916 turning-point, when it became apparent to the Round Table organisation there would only be one winner, neither Germany, nor Great Britain, but the USA. As soon as Russia had been taken out of the equation through US bankers via their British agents and Russian traitors in Petrograd in early 1917, the first US troops appeared in France less than one month later. All had been pre-planned. Today in the US, the Republican Party represents the Anglos and the Democratic Party the Zionists. The billionaire Trump, like Bush, is a typical White Anglo nationalist WASP: America first.

On the other hand, Biden is a typical Zionist, just like Obama and Clinton before him, though quite unlike Kennedy. An electoral accident, he of course had to be eliminated. And he was.For 250 years the Anglos and the Zionists have worked together in the US, they have had the same self-interested interests – money and power. However, there are now discussions between them regarding the Ukraine. Already half of the Anglo Republicans want out of the Ukraine (1). It is too costly and they want to save the US (and their own fortunes) from its multiple self-inflicted wounds just in case it goes under. But the Zionists are thinking along the same lines. There is only one solution. The Anglos wanted the Ukraine in order to defeat their traditional rival, Russia.

However, for the Zionists the Ukraine had another purpose, it was to destroy White Europe, the same purpose they had in fomenting the First and Second World Wars, so ensuring Zionist domination of the world – ‘Globalism’. Not all neocons are Wolfowitzes, Kagans and Nulands. Many are Anglos. Today, we are already seeing that the Republicans are increasingly beginning to support Zaluzhny, the Kiev military commander, whereas the Democrats still stand behind the Jewish Zelensky, but are now wavering. The Republicans originally wanted to weaken Russia. The Republicans are nationalists, so are the Russians. It is now just dawning on them that Russia does not want to recreate the Soviet Empire or any other sort of Empire, all they want is to protect Russians, not to invade other countries. In any case, they are not going to weaken Russia any more through the Ukraine.

All that they have done so far is to strengthen Russia. The Ukraine has not served its purpose. As for the Zionists, they are happy to kill as many White Europeans, especially Russian and Ukrainians, as possible, but above all they want world power. The interests of Anglos and Zionists coincide. For if the Russians do not want world power after all, then the real rival is China, which has real mercantile power. Therefore, the pivot to China, where there is real money. Once the US has lost in the Ukraine, and Kadyrov confidently predicts that it will be over by the end of 2023, the US will turn its attention to China. But it is already happening. That is what the balloon show was all about. China is a much more interesting option for the money-grubbers, whether Anglos or Zionists. But where does that leave benighted Europe?

Read more …

“You believe that the NATO expansion does not carry a threat for Russia, but, when [Soviet leader Nikita] Khruschev decided to deploy nuclear weapons on Cuba, what was [US President John] Kennedy’s reaction?”

China Sees Russia’s Concerns Over NATO Expansion As Premise For Conflict (TASS)

China remains neutral in regards to the conflict in Ukraine, but it understands Russia’s concerns over NATO’s eastward expansion and the plans to include Ukraine in the alliance, which have become the premise for the current conflict, Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye said on the LCI TV channel Monday. “NATO has been posing a threat to Russia’s security for decades, […] the five rounds of NATO’s eastward expansion pose a significant threat for Russia’s security. This is what [Russian] President Vladimir Putin is talking about; he strongly opposes the inclusion of a number of neighboring states to NATO, including Ukraine,” Lu Shaye said, answering a question about the reasons behind the current conflict in Ukraine.

“You believe that the NATO expansion does not carry a threat for Russia, but, when [Soviet leader Nikita] Khruschev decided to deploy nuclear weapons on Cuba, what was [US President John] Kennedy’s reaction?” he continued. When the host noted that, prior to the special military operation, there allegedly were no plans to include Ukraine to the alliance and to deploy NATO missiles on its territory, the diplomat noted that this could happen in the future. “If NATO pushes its borders to Russia’s threshold, it will also deploy missiles,” he noted. The Chinese envoy opined that the actions of the West do not contribute to a prompt end of the Ukrainian conflict.

“China remains neutral in this crisis, but we believe that constant shipments of increasingly heavy weapons to one side of the conflict do not contribute to its prompt end. It is like pouring oil to the flame,” he said. Answering corresponding allegations from the host, the diplomat assured that Beijing does not ship weapons to Russia and “does nothing against peaceful settlement of the conflict.” “Several months ago, European countries refused to ship tanks to Ukraine, and now they do. Today, they refuse to ship warplanes, but, maybe, in several months, they will ship them,” he noted. “Maybe, one day, NATO member states will wonder if they are a side to the conflict.”.

Read more …

It’s insane that the OPCW still exists. On par with Bellingcat.

West Uses OPCW To Justify Its Aggression – Moscow (RT)

The latest report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which blames Damascus for carrying out a chemical attack in Douma in 2018, looks like a political hit piece meant to justify the West’s continued military aggression against the Syrian government, says Alexander Shulgin, Russia’s permanent representative to the organization. Speaking to RT, Shulgin vehemently dismissed the report, which was released in late January by the so-called Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). Calling the IIT “completely illegitimate,” he claimed the group’s creation was pushed through by the US and its allies in order to undermine the core principles of the OPCW and international law and replace them with their own “made-up rules.”

The IIT’s report, according to Shulgin, is riddled with inconsistencies and factual gaps, and barely holds together. Furthermore, none of Russia’s or any other country’s “uncomfortable” questions regarding the details of the IIT’s findings were even remotely addressed during an OPCW briefing on the report, the ambassador claimed. Shulgin also noted that the report highlighted the double standards currently present within the OPCW. When Russia presented evidence of a chemical attack in Aleppo back in 2016, every minute detail of Moscow’s findings was heavily scrutinized by the organization, he said. However, when it comes to the attack in Douma, OPCW officials seem to turn a blind eye to basic questions such as how and when the evidence was gathered and presented during the investigation.

“For instance, they referred to the fact that some new sample has appeared, provided by a third party. What is this third party? Nothing is said about it. They just say ‘trust us’,” said Shulgin, noting that the sample in question had never been reported on in previous investigations. “So before, there was no sample, but now, suddenly, it has somehow appeared. Without any explanations,” the ambassador stressed, suggesting its sudden appearance can only be explained by the need for the US, France, and UK to escape international accountability for their aggression against Syria.

The three NATO states launched a series of airstrikes against civilian and military targets in Syria in April 2018 after the so-called ‘White Helmets’ – an NGO operating in rebel-controlled areas of Syria – published a series of videos supposedly showing the aftermath of a chlorine attack on the residents of Douma. Syria has vehemently denied any responsibility for the incident, and both Damascus and Moscow have repeatedly pointed to evidence, including testimonies from alleged victims, that suggests the incident was staged in order to justify a Western attack.

Read more …

“..Peskov said in December that the EU was only replacing one “addiction” with another while filling Washington’s coffers with billions of dollars…”

EU ‘Sold Its Soul’ To Russia – Poland (RT)

Europe allowed itself to grow dependent on Russian energy like a drug addict, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday. Speaking at a conference in Warsaw on efforts to support Ukraine, Morawiecki suggested that the EU got hooked on Russian natural resources, with Moscow doing its best to enable the addiction. “The dealer always gives the first dose for free or very cheap so that the addict comes for more and agrees to any price,” he said. As a result, the prime minister stated, gas contracts with Russia “turned out to be a pact under which Europe sold its soul.” The continent was “so easily seduced by Russia” not through “demonic abilities,” but rather because of its own weakness, he claimed.

At the same time, Morawiecki said the Ukraine conflict had awakened many countries “from their geopolitical slumber.” As the fighting rages, the West stands at a crossroads: “either the victory of Russia and the defeat of the West, or the renaissance of Western civilization,” he asserted. “Today it is not enough for us to talk about rebuilding Europe, today we have to think about rebuilding Europe so that peace and security become permanent foundations for development for many decades,” Morawiecki stressed. Since the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the EU has committed to completely weaning itself off Russian energy by 2030. It intends to double down on the use of green energy and secure oil and gas supplies of non-Russian origin. In particular, the bloc has resorted to importing liquified natural gas (LNG) from the US.

However, in October, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire accused the US of capitalizing on the EU’s economic woes, saying that it sells its LNG “at four times the price that it sets for its own industrialists.” Commenting on the bloc’s push to reduce dependence on Russian energy, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said in December that the EU was only replacing one “addiction” with another while filling Washington’s coffers with billions of dollars.

Read more …

“Not so long ago he openly spoke about Europe being a garden surrounded by a jungle that threatens it..”

EU’s Borrell Can’t Hide His Racist Worldview – Lavrov (RT)

Calling African countries easy to manipulate is on brand for Josep Borrell, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday, responding to the EU foreign policy chief’s remarks that accused Moscow of “spreading misinformation.” Borrell had addressed EU diplomats earlier in the day, accusing Russia of using “information manipulation and interference” as weapons of war. Noting that Lavrov was visiting Mali and Eritrea, Borrell called them “easy countries” for Moscow to “spread lies about who is guilty for what is happening” in Ukraine. “So speaks a man who can’t hide the racist essence of his worldview,” Lavrov said when asked about his EU counterpart’s accusations. “Not so long ago he openly spoke about Europe being a garden surrounded by a jungle that threatens it, so the garden needs to be careful with the jungle. That says it all about who actually relates to the needs and interests of African countries, and how.”

“We have nothing to hide or to be ashamed of,” the Russian foreign minister added. “We were at the source of Africa’s liberation from the colonial yoke. The Soviet Union was one of the main initiators of the declaration to grant independence to colonized countries and peoples in 1960. And it was not an imitation, as [former UK PM] Boris Johnson recently called the Minsk agreements, but a real historical act that sealed the end of colonial rule.” Speaking to EU diplomats, Borrell lamented that some African countries do not support the bloc’s position that Ukraine is fighting “for the values on which we are basing our understanding of the world.”

In his view, the current conflict is not only being fought on the battlefield with troops, but “in the information space, trying to win the hearts and minds of people.” For that purpose, the EU is “protecting the freedom of expression” by banning Russian media, while providing support to “independent” outlets that Moscow has designated as foreign agents, he added. While accusing Russia of spreading disinformation, Borrell apparently did so himself – by saying Eritrea was among the “easy” countries Lavrov was currently targeting. The Russian diplomat actually visited that country last month, along with Angola, Eswatini and South Africa. His current trip includes stops in Mali, Mauritania and Sudan.

Read more …

Well, well, Mr Forbes.

Ukraine: There’s No Substitute For Victory (Steve Forbes)

The disgraceful dithering—especially by Germany—over sending tanks to Ukraine highlights the hesitation and confusion over what’s at stake in this war with Russia. Since the conflict’s beginning, the U.S. and NATO have provided Ukraine with weaponry, but never in sufficient quantity and quality to win. This hesitation has only stiffened Vladimir Putin’s conviction that despite humiliating battlefield setbacks, he can ultimately triumph, and that as time goes by, the West will tire of the effort and pressure Kyiv into a bad deal.


In Putin’s mind, the best way to achieve the subjugation of Ukraine is to use the same approach that Russia used against Nazi Germany in World War II, when the Red Army relied heavily on massive artillery barrages, tank attacks and unrelenting human wave attacks to beat back the Nazi onslaught—which is why Russian casualties were more than ten times those of the U.S. and Britain combined. Putin is playing for keeps. Russia and our other adversaries still see the U.S. as a country in terminal decline and lacking the stamina it exhibited during the Cold War. Therefore, we should be supplying Ukraine with everything it needs to unmistakably defeat Putin. That means not only many more tanks—especially Germany’s Leopard 2s, which are better suited to the terrain than our Abrams tanks—but also fighter aircraft, including F-16s, antitank and advanced antiaircraft weaponry, drones and much else.

Read more …

“..foreigners” have come to Washington “to lecture us about spending our constituents’ money on a conflict thousands of miles away..”

US Rep. Matt Gaetz Calls For End To Funding Of Kiev’s Army (RT)

The US must stop sending billions of dollars to bolster Ukraine’s military, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz said during a speech in the House of Representatives on Monday. He slammed President Joe Biden and both parties, saying the conflict in Ukraine is only benefiting military contractors. “Tomorrow [at the State of the Union address] President Biden will tell us how much more we must do for Ukraine,” Gaetz said, adding that the ongoing hostilities are only lining the pockets of America’s military industry. “Defense contractors need there to be a war going on somewhere. Whether the arms end up in the hands of ISIS, the Taliban, the Azov Battalion, or on the black market,” according to Gaetz. Washington’s support of Ukraine with endless weapons will not end the war but just “prolong the killing,” he said.


“Bandits in the Sinaloa mountains hurt more Americans than the [Russian] men in Crimea,” Gaetz said, adding that the benefits of the conflict to normal Americans are “unclear.” He lamented that “foreigners” have come to Washington “to lecture us about spending our constituents’ money on a conflict thousands of miles away” – a reference to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s visit to the US Capitol in December. He accused Biden of doing “everything possible” to provoke a nuclear war with Russia and called on the White House to pursue a solution through diplomacy. Biden promised 31 US-made M1 Abrams tanks for Ukraine in late January, but said that Washington would not send F-16 fighter jets. Gaetz noted that Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the warplane, was ramping up production in anticipation that there could soon be “third party transfers” of the jets to Kiev.

Read more …

“..the US dollar, euro, and British pound – the main reserve currencies – had once been considered the top units of account. “The situation has shown that now this [dollar] is a completely unreliable instrument..”

Russia Has Lost Confidence In US Dollar – Finance Minister (RT)

Russia no longer has trust in the US currency because it has become an unreliable financial instrument, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov stated on Monday. He pointed out that the US dollar, euro, and British pound – the main reserve currencies – had once been considered the top units of account. “The situation has shown that now this [dollar] is a completely unreliable instrument … Therefore, we have no confidence in this kind of unit of account. It is lost,” Siluanov told Russia’s Channel One channel. He also pointed out that Russia has been switching to trade in other currencies, particularly “in rubles and, of course, currencies from other friendly countries, such as the yuan.”


Moscow has been steadily pursuing a policy of de-dollarization in foreign trade. In recent years, Russia and some of its trade partners, including India and China, have been ramping up the use of domestic currencies in mutual settlements in an effort to move away from the dollar and euro. Siluanov highlighted that in 2021 a significant part of financial transactions in Russia were carried out in dollars and euros. “About one third of settlements were then carried out in rubles, while now more than half, about 55%, are conducted in rubles and friendly currencies,” he said, adding that this figure will continue to grow. According to the minister, the economic wellbeing of citizens is more important than exchange rates. “We are most concerned about how the economy will develop, how the income of the population will grow, what kind of employment we will have,” he concluded.

Read more …

“..Reagan “understood better than anyone how to integrate the elements of power and the elements of conciliation.”

US Lacks Unity Before Modern Challenges – Kissinger (TASS)

The US lacks unity inside the country amid modern challenges, Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said during the event, dedicated to the 112th anniversary of former US President Ronald Reagan. “Today we again suffer from domestic division and international disorder about arguments about who we are and what we stand for. We find it difficult to muster the domestic cohesion necessary to face the challenges ahead of us,” Kissinger said. He named “China’s ambitions” and the situation in the Middle East, where, in his words, there is a risk of “developing the world’s most devastating weapons.” He also mentioned the Ukrainian crisis that “shows no signs of abating,” and touched upon the issue of development of artificial intelligence that “is transforming human consciousness itself.””Each of these present developments requires a combination of strength and conciliation,” Kissinger said, adding that Reagan “understood better than anyone how to integrate the elements of power and the elements of conciliation.”.

Read more …

“.. Russia’s war-aim is simple: the elimination of chaos on its border. This rational objective is something that America’s Party of Chaos can’t understand..”

Where Do Things Stand? (Jim Kunstler)

The Right perceives that its opponents have lost their minds, but there is no arguing with people who are literally insane. What must be done is to wrest political power away from them. In the madness of the Left, power is solely a destructive force, and coercion is a form of pleasure-seeking. Unable to control the dynamics in-play, they seek to wreck the dynamics, to induce as much chaos as possible, so as to punish the non-insane. That is exactly what the Green New Deal does. Unable to control the dynamic disruptive changes in the global oil-and-gas industry that our high-tech economies depend on, the Left pretends that there is work-around “Green” energy system that can replace fossil fuels with wind and solar devices that don’t scale up and which require fossil fuels to make and deploy.

It’s slick and grandiosely hypothetical (i.e., wishful thinking), and the net effect of this major crusade will be to hasten the collapse and impoverishment of our society (ergo: the punishment). Keep all this in mind as you watch the Congressional inquiries now just getting underway. Much as they are likely to reveal the insane and arguably criminal machinations of a panicked bureaucracy, and the figures who run it, the Left will remain impervious to any truthful revelations that emerge. Of course, many of these officials are culpable for actions extremely damaging to the people of this land, and the masses on the Left who supported those actions — such as mandatory vaccinations — will be among the most damaged. These True Believers will find it hard to admit that they did it to themselves. So, the hearings upcoming, such as the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government, will probably not change the minds of your friends and relatives stuck in the mass formation of Jacobin-Wokery.

But the hearings will be a step in wresting power away from these maniacs. Part of that step must be to demonstrate the dishonesty of recent elections, so as to remove the implanted mechanisms that enabled that dishonesty: mail-in, no-ID ballots, “motor-voter” laws, electronic vote-counting machines. If that can be fixed, the left can be voted out of power. The hearings will take place against the back-drop of our deteriorating charade over in Ukraine. The Zelensky regime that we employed to foment this conflict with Russia is losing its mojo for creating chaos in that corner of the world. The newly-announced tank caper will amount to nothing. Russia’s war-aim is simple: the elimination of chaos on its border. This rational objective is something that America’s Party of Chaos can’t understand. How will it react when chaos gets cancelled in Ukraine? Probably by attempting to foment chaos in another corner of the world, or on the home front — another reason that power must be wrested away from it.

Read more …

Covid coverage has hurt scientific journals like nothing ever has.

The Failure of Scientific Journals: the Failure of Science (Ugo Bardi)

“Biophysical Economics and Sustainability” is a scientific journal that I helped create back in 2016. I still think it was a good idea, but it didn’t work and it couldn’t have worked. So, I resigned from my position as editor of the journal this December. But let me tell the story from the beginning. The journal was the brainchild of Charles W. Hall and David Packer. About Charlie Hall, you may have heard of him, he was the developer of the fundamental concept of EROI (energy return on energy invested). Dave Packer was a senior editor at Springer (now retired). The idea was to create a high-quality journal that could offer a publishing outlet in the field called “biophysical economics,” or also “econophysics.” You may have heard about this field: it is an approach to economics based on the same models used in biology.

The idea was to examine the basic elements of what an economic system is: an entity that transforms resources into products, and then into waste. The main difference with traditional economics is that biophysical economics is focused on physical things that can be measured: energy, mass, materials, and the like. In contrast, economics is heavily focused on money and prices and, often, it loses contact with the physical world. For instance, it is often said in the field of the economics of natural resources that “prices create resources.” The idea is that when a non-renewable resource becomes scarce, prices become higher, making it possible to extract resources that were not profitable before. It is a magic trick supposed to create something out of nothing. No need to say that it doesn’t work in the real world. And it doesn’t work in the biophysical approach, either.

The concept of EROI (Energy Return for Energy Invested) is fundamental to understanding this point. It tells you what’s possible to do with energy technologies, and what’s not possible. But it just does not exist in traditional economics: it is ignored and, as a consequence, plenty of resources are wasted in non-viable energy technologies, biofuels for instance. You may think that it is time to replace the obsolete approach of traditional economics with the more rigorous one of biophysical economics. But it is just not happening. If you look at the number of publications in scientific journals on databases such as “Scopus”, you see that growth has stalled during the past 10 years or so, and now it is going down, as you can see below for a search of the term “Biophysical Economics.” Not only growth stopped about 10 years ago, but the number of published studies remains a minor fraction of the publications in economics.

Read more …

 

 

 

Democracy

 

 


Located in the province of Catania, in the Italian island of Sicily, is the town of Grammichele

 

 

No nails
https://twitter.com/i/status/1622959130368524288

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 292023
 


Edward Hopper Cat boat 1922

 

What’s Next? (Helmholtz Smith)
Ex-Polish FM Names Two Major Ukrainian Problems (RT)
Neutrality and Peaceful Multi-Ethnicity (Rosel)
Air Force General Predicts War With China In 2025 (NBC)
NATO Ready For Direct Confrontation With Russia – Official (TASS)
If WWIII Breaks Out, It Won’t Start On Tanks Or Fighter Jets – Medvedev (TASS)
White House Confronted Over Tanks To Ukraine (RT)
Britain ‘Modeling Cyber Strikes’ On Russian Infrastructure – Moscow (RT)
Mozart Group Trains Ukrainians To ‘Kill Russians’ – Founder (RT)
As West, Debt & Stocks Implode, East Gold & Oil Will Explode (Von Greyerz)
Are You Really Against Fossil Fuels? Read This Before You Answer (RCE)
Zuckerberg-Funded “Non-Profit” Gears Up for 2024 Elections (GP)
Bill Gates Trashes Effectiveness of COVID Vaccines (CHD)
Meet Hamilton 68, the New King of Media Fraud (Matt Taibbi)
Responding to Hamilton 68 (Matt Taibbi)

 

 

 

 

Douglas Macgregor – We are co Belligerents

 

 

 

 

“At first, the Germans sent soldiers’ helmets [to Ukraine], saying that they did not want to supply lethal weapons there. Now it’s come to tanks, and there are already talks about planes.” “Step by step, the Germans are drifting towards war,”
– Viktor Orban

 

 

Gonzalo Lira 2023.01.28 The West Has Lost Already

 

 

 

 

Madness

 

 

Ethical Sceptic

 

 

 

 

• Gonzalo: The last numbers I was confident of came from Col. Douglas Macgregor: He reported 157,000 KIA as of a few days ago.
• According to unofficial data circulating online, AFU Chief Valery Zaluzhny reported to the Pentagon and NATO on the number of losses of Ukrainian servicemen. According to the Ukrainian command, the AFU has lost a total of 232,000 killed since the start of the special operation.
• According to the private company Stratfor Forecasting, Ukraine’s losses exceed 305,000 killed.

 

 

 

 

“This grinding away can continue until Ukraine collapses because it is easier for the Russians to let the enemy come to them than go after them.”

What’s Next? (Helmholtz Smith)

I don’t know what the Russians are going to do in Ukraine and neither does anyone else outside of their high command. But there sure have been a lot of wrong predictions. Leaving aside the Western propaganda mill (of which more below), serious observers seem to get the timing wrong. We know the correlation of forces favors Russia but we expect things to happen more quickly. We agree that Moscow was expecting something shorter, less bloody and quicker at the beginning and was probably surprised by the resistance of the Kiev regime and NATO’s unhinged support. Therefore there was a re-examination and the call-up of further forces. Thus far we are in agreement – it’s the timing of the next step that we seem to get wrong.

I’ve been thinking about why this is so and I have come to the following conclusions. By now everybody who is paying attention knows that the Ukraine battlefield is part of a world war in which those who control the US empire are trying to hold onto their dominance. For those outside the NATO propaganda bubble there is general agreement that
1/ Russia is winning both in the Ukraine battlefield and the wider theater.
2/ Time is on Russia’s side.

First the Ukraine battlefield. The first aim in war is to destroy the enemy’s power and that Russia is doing, especially in the Bakhmut slaughterhouse. Kiev is determined to stand and fight here and the Russians are quite happy to let them do so – “artillery conquers and infantry occupies” – and that is what we see here. Slowly slowly the Russian forces advance over mountains of Ukrainian bodies. In the last week or so Russian forces have begun to advance on other fronts too. This grinding away can continue until Ukraine collapses because it is easier for the Russians to let the enemy come to them than go after them. Meanwhile Russian missiles destroy the infrastructure Kiev needs to continue the war. Time and developments favor Russia and there is no incentive to make “big arrow” movements.

Read more …

Ukraine went steeply downhill due to corruption.

“..the country had “nuclear plants, an aviation industry, no debt and the most fertile land in the world.”

Ex-Polish FM Names Two Major Ukrainian Problems (RT)

Ukraine was never able to achieve economic prosperity despite having a head start due to widespread graft among officials and delusions of being a significant global player, former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has suggested. In an interview with the magazine Krytyka Polityczna on Friday, Sikorski, who has represented Poland in the EU Parliament since 2019, stated that Ukrainian elites “were simply wasting their time.” In his view, they were “hiding their corruption and delusions of grandeur behind a story” that they were playing some big game with the US, Russia, Europe, and China.

The MEP recalled that after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Ukraine had a huge edge over many other ex-Soviet republics and members of the former Eastern bloc. In particular, he said the country had “nuclear plants, an aviation industry, no debt and the most fertile land in the world.” However, even before Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last year, the country “had a GDP four times smaller than Poland,” the former minister pointed out, adding that Ukrainians “are now paying dearly for this maneuvering” by the elites. Earlier this week, Sikorski suggested that Warsaw had considered partitioning Ukraine in the first weeks of the conflict. The allegation, however, was vehemently denied by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who accused Sikorski of acting “like a Russian propagandist.”

Once the second-largest economy in the Soviet Union, Ukraine was Europe’s poorest country by per-capita GDP as of 2020. Even before Russia’s military operation in February 2022, a major economic problem facing Ukraine stemmed from a popular revolt and hostilities in industry-heavy Donbass, which were sparked by a Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014. Another major reason Ukraine had become something of an economic backwater, however, is rampant corruption. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception index, Ukraine ranked 122 out of 180 countries globally as of 2021. The same year, Freedom House, a US government-financed non-profit organization, described graft in Ukraine as “endemic,” noting that the government’s efforts to combat it “have met resistance and experienced setbacks.”

Read more …

“For those two diplomats Minsk was not a sham, it was an attempt in good faith to bring peace to Ukraine..”

Neutrality and Peaceful Multi-Ethnicity (Rosel)

Switzerland has been neutral since the year 1815. The great powers at that time guarantied the territorial integrity of Switzerland in the borders of 1815 provided that Switzerland would remian neutral in future conflicts. But even before 1815 the independence of the confederation from the great powers Austria and France was intertwined with its neutrality. Neutrality has been an issue in Switzerland since the latest Ukraine conflict began. A few months back the Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis was considered to be negligent in the matter of neutrality and as a result a referendum is now being prepared by the Swiss People’s Party which will confirm, clarify and strengthen Switzerland’s neutrality. Switzerland is not unique. Austria is also neutral, meaning that it is not a member of NATO, and in this way it avoided being partitioned after World War II as Germany was.

Switzerland is also a multi-ethnic country. Despite its population of only 8 million, there are four cultural groups and four official languages. There is an unofficial custom which parliament always observes when electing a new government: the three main regions must always be represented in the government. All ministers are bilingual. There are no ethnic tensions. If you want to talk about values, think about neutrality and peaceful multi-ethnicity! Switzerland’s last war was in 1848 and it was a very short civil war. It is also said that the neutrality of Switzerland allows it to be an honest broker. Thus many international agencies and summits are hosted in Geneva. Switzerland is a go-between the estranged nations United States and Iran.

The change in government in Kiev in 2014 can be considered to be a coup d’état since the elected government was replaced by a government according to the wishes of the United States, as was evidenced by the leak of an infamous telephone conversation between the US ambassador and the US diplomat (who is now known for her undiplomatic language) Victoria Nuland. The Maidan coup d’état resulted in severe ethnic tensions in a politically fragile country, which at that time had only been a nation state for a total of 28 years including the years from 1917 to 1922. There was for example a massacre in Odessa in which 46 anti-Maidan demonstrators were killed.

When the conflict in Ukraine broke out in 2014 after the troubles on the Maidan square and the violent change of government, Switzerland held the presidency of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe OSCE. Therefore the Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini (called “the facilitator” and praised by Bloomberg) was allowed to work on a ceasefire agreement which resulted in the Minsk I and the Minsk II Protocols, both signed for the OSCE by Tagliavini. She was supported by Swiss President Didier Burkhalter who at that time was President of the OSCE. He cautioned all parties not to pour oil on the fire. For those two diplomats Minsk was not a sham, it was an attempt in good faith to bring peace to Ukraine. Burkhalter retired prematurely from politics two years later.

Read more …

“If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk.”

Air Force General Predicts War With China In 2025 (NBC)

A four-star Air Force general sent a memo on Friday to the officers he commands that predicts the U.S. will be at war with China in two years and tells them to get ready to prep by firing “a clip” at a target, and “aim for the head.” In the memo sent Friday and obtained by NBC News, Gen. Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, said, “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me will fight in 2025.” Air Mobility Command has nearly 50,000 service members and nearly 500 planes and is responsible for transport and refueling. Minihan said in the memo that because both Taiwan and the U.S. will have presidential elections in 2024, the U.S. will be “distracted,” and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have an opportunity to move on Taiwan.

He lays out his goals for preparing, including building “a fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain.” The signed memo is addressed to all air wing commanders in Air Mobility Command and other Air Force operational commanders, and orders them to report all major efforts to prepare for the China fight to Minihan by Feb. 28. During the month of February, he directs all AMC personnel to “fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most. Aim for the head.” He also orders all personnel to update their records and emergency contacts. In March he directs all AMC personnel to “consider their personal affairs and whether a visit should be scheduled with their servicing base legal office to ensure they are legally ready and prepared.”

Minihan urges them to accept some risk in training. “Run deliberately, not recklessly,” he writes, but later adds, “If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk.” He also provides a window into one capability the U.S. is considering for possible conflict with China — commercial drone swarms. He directs the KC-135 units to prepare for “delivering 100 off-the-shelf size and type UAVs from a single aircraft.”

Read more …

Looks like he’s actually saying that NATO is not ready:

“The fact that your enemy has better weapons is not the problem of the enemy. That is your problem..”

NATO Ready For Direct Confrontation With Russia – Official (TASS)

Chair of the NATO Military Committee Rob Bauer said that the US-led bloc is ready for a direct confrontation with Russia in an interview with Portugal’s RTP TV channel. Replying to a question on the matter, he asserted: “We are ready.” That said, he added that NATO is going to respond only if Russia crosses the red line by invading one of NATO member states. The military official stressed that NATO should be better prepared because currently Russia has the military initiative. “The fact that your enemy has better weapons is not the problem of the enemy. That is your problem,” he said. The interview also raised the issue of introducing “a war-time economy but in peace time,” however, Bauer admitted that this process would be difficult.

Chair of the NATO Military Committee Rob Bauer – A doofus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1619357056032710657

Read more …

“Then everything will definitely be turned to dust..”

If WWIII Breaks Out, It Won’t Start On Tanks Or Fighter Jets – Medvedev (TASS)

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has lambasted Western attempts to justify arms deliveries to Kiev as an alleged effort to prevent a world war. “Firstly, defending Ukraine, which nobody needs in Europe, will not save the senile Old World from retribution if anything occurs. Secondly, once the Third World War breaks out, unfortunately it will not be on tanks or even on fighter jets. Then everything will definitely be turned to dust,” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday. In this post, Medvedev commented, in particular, on Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto’s remarks that the Third World War would erupt if Russian tanks reached Kiev and “the borders of Europe”, and that the weapons sent to Ukraine were meant to stop the escalation. Medvedev equated his remarks to the calls from the United Kingdom to provide Kiev with all the weapons NATO has.

Read more …

“What actions will you take to ensure that our military equipment is not falling into the hands of criminal networks, terrorists, or being sold for profit?”

White House Confronted Over Tanks To Ukraine (RT)

Several Republican lawmakers have raised red flags about the decision by the administration of US President Joe Biden to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. They claim that the move comes at a time when the US is struggling with domestic problems, while the delivery itself is bound to face numerous challenges. In a letter released on Friday, representatives Troy Nehls, Paul Gosar, Eli Crane, and Lauren Boebert demanded answers from Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin about the unprecedented step of sending Ukraine 31 M1 Abrams tanks to help it in its fight against Russia. The lawmakers said they were not elected by the American people “to continually spend their hard-earned money into a conflict halfway around the world” without the ability to properly track the use of military assistance to Ukraine.

They further argued that it is “shameful that the American taxpayer is continuing to subsidize the ongoing Ukraine conflict” while the White House is “turning a blind eye” to the issue of domestic security, particularly the record-high number of illegal crossings at the southern border. The delivery of heavy armor is certain to face logistical challenges, they said, noting that Abrams tanks could be delivered only in several months, while Ukrainian service members will have to undergo lengthy training to learn how to operate the machinery. The letter also noted that Ukraine has a history of being a hotbed for illegal arms trafficking. “What actions will you take to ensure that our military equipment is not falling into the hands of criminal networks, terrorists, or being sold for profit?” the lawmakers asked Biden and Austin.

They also wondered how the Pentagon intended to track the weapons and how the administration would account for the destruction of hardware provided under US military assistance and reimburse American taxpayers. In November, congressional Republicans called for an audit of US government funds appropriated for aid to Ukraine. A month later, however, the initiative was narrowly defeated in the House of Representatives, with Democrats arguing that it would send the wrong signal to Kiev.

Read more …

All sides, all the time.

Britain ‘Modeling Cyber Strikes’ On Russian Infrastructure – Moscow (RT)

Britain has been modeling cyberattacks on Russia’s critical infrastructure, the country’s deputy foreign minister, Oleg Syromolotov, said on Saturday. He added that the simulated hacks included energy facilities and were conducted under NATO guidance. The deputy minister stated that attempts to hack Russian government entities by foreign actors have “increased by two to three times” over the course of last year. Syromolotov was reacting to a story published by The Times last month, in which Lt. Gen. Tom Copinger-Symes, the deputy commander of the UK’s strategic command, was quoted as saying the National Cyber Force was seeking to recruit people with Russian degrees.

“The British are systematically using their offensive capabilities to target Russia’s information [sector],” Syromolotov told the TASS news agency. He added that London regularly conducts exercises, including joint NATO drills, simulating attacks on “Russian critical infrastructure.” “They include the modeling of strikes on government entities in the Kaliningrad Region and Moscow’s energy system,” the diplomat said. The Kaliningrad Region is a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea that borders Poland and Lithuania. Syromolotov said that last year Russia was hit by “unprecedented cyberattacks from abroad,” with the majority of intrusions coming from the US and other NATO members, as well as Ukraine. “We have become a target of coordinated aggression involving intelligence services, transnational IT corporations and hacktivists from the collective West and its puppets.”

According to Syromolotov, government services have been targeted the most. The Foreign Ministry has been repeatedly attacked, he said. “Overall, around 50,000 hacker attacks were repulsed last year.” On April 11, 2022, on the eve of Russia’s Cosmonautics Day celebrations, hackers targeted the website of the country’s space agency, Roscosmos, according to its press service. Also last year, intruders gained access to the database of one of the contractors of the Russian national postal service, leaking some internal documents. On Wednesday, cyber attackers briefly hijacked a TV signal in Russia’s Belgorod Region and Crimea and broadcast an excerpt from a speech by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Crimean officials blamed Kiev’s intelligence services for the intrusion.

Read more …

“Why do we train guys? It isn’t simply to defend themselves, it’s to kill the enemy.”

Mozart Group Trains Ukrainians To ‘Kill Russians’ – Founder (RT)

Despite its professed humanitarian mission in Ukraine, the Mozart Group is a private military company training Ukrainian soldiers to kill Russians, its founder and CEO told RT’s Afshin Rattansi on Saturday’s episode of ‘Going Underground.’ Founded by US citizens Andrew Milburn and Andrew Bain last March, the Mozart Group has been described as the Western answer to the Wagner Group – the Russian private military company currently fighting the Kiev forces for control of the key Donbass city of Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine). Speaking to Rattansi, Milburn was keen to dispel any comparison between Mozart and Wagner. He told the RT host that his group’s mission is “purely humanitarian,” and that Mozart’s members primarily work to supply and evacuate civilians living near the front lines.

However, the group’s other mission is the training of Ukrainian soldiers, which often takes place “very close to the front line,” Milburn, a former US Marine Corps commander, said. “Sadly in this war – in any war actually – the more of the adversary you take off the playing field, or kill, the less the danger is to your own guys,” he said. “Why do we train guys? It isn’t simply to defend themselves, it’s to kill the enemy.” “Everything we’re doing is exactly within the parameters of NATO policy,” he continued. “The West is providing Ukraine with lethal weapons that kill Russians. Why are they doing that? It’s to kill Russians.” “When we train soldiers that is their goal. It’s why we teach them how to operate their weapons.”

While Mozart survives on private donations, Milburn has previously called for “funding from Western governments,” asking Newsweek last month, “What the hell is stopping the US, or UK, or European Union governments from reaching out and saying ‘Let us help you?’” Milburn is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with Bain, who accused the retired commander of violating US arms trafficking regulations and seeking to expand Mozart’s training operations into Armenia. The suit also accused Milburn of embezzling money donated to the organization, orchestrating the burglary of humanitarian supplies in Ukraine, sexually harassing a female co-worker, and bribing Ukrainian military leaders. Milburn in turn accused Bain of seeking money from the Mozart Group, and claimed that Bain is “heavily invested in Russia,” which he denies.

Read more …

“Before the Western Ponzi scheme comes to an end, these three nations will virtually hold 100% of their own debt. At that point, the bonds will be worthless and interest rates will have reached infinity. Not a pretty prospect!”

As West, Debt & Stocks Implode, East Gold & Oil Will Explode (Von Greyerz)

“The risk of over-tightening by the European Central Bank is nothing less than catastrophic” says Prof Kenneth Rogoff . At Davos he also said: “Italy is extremely vulnerable. But this could pop anywhere. Global debt has gone up massively since the pandemic: public debt, corporate debt, everything.” Rogoff believes that it is a miracle that the world averted a financial crisis in 2022, but the odds of a major accident are shortening as the delayed effects of past tightening feed through. As Rogoff said: “We were very fortunate that we didn’t have a global systemic event in 2022, and we can count our blessings for that, but rates are still going higher and the risk keeps rising.” But lurking in the murkiness is also the global financial assets/liabilities which is almost $500 trillion including the shadow banking system at 46% of the total. The shadow banking sector includes pension funds, hedge funds and other financial institutions which are largely unregulated.

Shadow banking is not subject to the normal mark-to-market rules. Thus no one knows what the real position or losses are. This means that central banks are in the dark when it comes to evaluation of the real risks of the system. Clearly, I am not the only one harping on about the catastrophic global debt/liability situation. And no one knows the extent of total global derivatives. But if they have grown in line with debt and also with the shadow banking system, they could easily be in excess of $3 quadrillion.

Cultures don’t die overnight, but the US has been in decline since at least the Vietnam war in the 1960s. Interestingly, the US has not had a real Budget surplus since the early 1930s with a handful of years of exception. But when you, like the US, live on borrowed time and borrowed money, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up appearances. In 1971, the pressures on the US economy and currency became too great. Thus Nixon closed the Gold Window with the dollar having lost over 98% in real terms since then. This is of course a total catastrophe and a guarantee that the remaining 2% fall to ZERO will come in the near term future, whether it takes 5 or 10 years for the dollar to reach oblivion. Remember that the final 2% is 100% from today!


The US, EU and Japan have now reached the stage when no one wants their debt. So sovereign debt of these nations is no longer a question of “passing the parcel” but keeping the parcel. When every third party holder of these debts is a seller, who will buy? These three countries will end up holding their own debt. Japan already holds over 50% of its debt. Before the Western Ponzi scheme comes to an end, these three nations will virtually hold 100% of their own debt. At that point, the bonds will be worthless and interest rates will have reached infinity. Not a pretty prospect!

Read more …

Why Just Stop Oil is a pretty dumb statement.

Are You Really Against Fossil Fuels? Read This Before You Answer (RCE)

It is easy for anyone to say that they are against fossil fuels. Opposition to coal, oil and natural gas is fashionable and will prompt heads to nod and even hands to applaud in most places. But are people aware of the extent to which their lives are dependent on fossil fuels? Do they know that more than 90 percent of things used in their everyday lives are derived from fossil fuels? From your toothbrush to your car tire, a majority of the things you use today has been made possible because of fossil fuels. Shoes, refrigerators, washing machines, coffee makers, furniture, pens, eating utensils, eyeglasses, commodes, medical gear, camping equipment, and the list goes on and on.


Consider the computer or the phone from which you are reading this article. They are made of glass, metal, plastic, lithium and silicon – all of which require fossil fuels to mine, process or manufacture. While some are chemical derivatives of fossil fuels, all depend one way or another on their combustion for electricity generation, process heat or transportation. You wouldn’t have the iPhone, Android or MacBook without fossil fuels. Imagine the irony of typing out “end oil” from a phone that is made from fossil fuels! Or supporting climate activism by relaying video that was recorded with a camera made from fossil fuels! Of course, this sort of irony is displayed regularly and missed constantly. In short, the most fundamental necessities – and the most cherished conveniences – of daily life are products dependent on the use of fossil fuels.

Read more …

“Twenty-four states have enacted bans or restrictions on private funding of local election offices. But the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence has been working to ingratiate itself with local offices.“

Zuckerberg-Funded “Non-Profit” Gears Up for 2024 Elections (GP)

The Zuckerberg-funded group the Center for Tech and Civic Life that gave out $420 million to election offices in 2020 is doing the same in 2024. Through the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, they are funneling $80 million in election grants to local election offices. A report from election integrity watchdogs Honest Elections Project, John Locke Foundation, and Florida’s Foundation for Government Accountability issued a warned that the Alliance “is focused on systematically reshaping election offices and pushing progressive voting policies.”

Epoch Times reported: Election integrity watchdogs, including Virginia-based Honest Elections Project (HEP), North Carolina’s John Locke Foundation, and Florida’s Foundation for Government Accountability, are again raising the alarm about CTCL—this time, a year before the election rather than months after—claiming its Alliance is a front for boosting Democratic turnout, especially in Democratic strongholds within swing states. “No matter what it claims to be, the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is nothing more than a dark money-fueled scheme to push liberal voting policies and influence election administration in key states,” HEP Executive Director Jason Snead told The Epoch Times.

“The work of the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is ‘Zuck Bucks 2.0,’” John Locke Foundation Civitas Center for Public Integrity Director Dr. Andy Jackson said, claiming in a statement that the Alliance is a vehicle “for the private funding of elections by left-wing donors.” Snead and Jackson collaborated in producing a Jan. 19 Zuck Bucks 2.0 report that claims CTCL’s Alliance “is focused on systematically reshaping election offices and pushing progressive voting policies,” adding, “How state and local governments respond will have ramifications for free and fair elections in 2024 and beyond.” An investigation from House Republicans found that less than 1% of the funds were spent on personal protective equipment. Twenty-four states have banned or restricted private funding for local election offices.

Fox News reported:” CTCL issued about $400 million in grants during the 2020 election to fund a variety of work and equipment. That included ballot drop boxes, voting equipment, additional manpower, protective gear for poll workers and public education campaigns on new voting methods, among other expenses.… House Republicans found in an investigation that less than 1% of the funds were spent on personal protective equipment. Instead, the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence appears to be another effort by Zuckerberg and CTCL to influence local election operations, according to critics. “The work of the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is Zuck Bucks 2.0, which is why they avoided states that have instituted bans on the private funding of election administration,” Andy Jackson, director of the Civitas Center for Public Integrity, said in a statement. Twenty-four states have enacted bans or restrictions on private funding of local election offices. But the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence has been working to ingratiate itself with local offices.“ The GOP needs to stop this!

Read more …

“He invested $55 million in BioNTech back in 2019 and it’s now worth north of $550 million.

Bill Gates Trashes Effectiveness of COVID Vaccines (CHD)

Bill Gates, long recognized as one of the world’s foremost proponents of vaccines, raised some eyebrows at a recent talk in Australia when he admitted there are “problems” with current COVID-19 vaccines. Speaking at Australia’s Lowy Institute as part of a talk entitled “Preparing for Global Challenges: In Conversation with Bill Gates,” the Microsoft founder made the following admission: “We also need to fix the three problems of [COVID-19] vaccines. The current vaccines are not infection-blocking. They’re not broad, so when new variants come up you lose protection, and they have very short duration, particularly in the people who matter, which are old people.” Such statements came as a surprise to some in light of Gates’ longstanding support of — and investments in — vaccine manufacturers and organizations promoting global vaccination.

However, they were the latest in a string of developments in recent weeks that have increasingly called the COVID-19 vaccines, in particular, into question. Several analysts and commentators were critical of Gates — but not due to disagreement with the statements he made in Australia. Instead, they argued that he had previously heavily invested in mRNA vaccines at the same time he encouraged a global COVID-19 vaccination campaign and supported mandatory vaccination. Speaking Jan. 25 on The Hill TV’s “Rising,” co-hosts Briahna Joy Gray and Robby Soave addressed Gates’ statements. Soave initially agreed at face value with Gates’ criticism of current mRNA vaccines, saying: “He really nails it on the issues that we’re having: the short duration of protection, not a significant discernable impact on the transmission of cases … not a massive benefit for a lot of otherwise healthy and younger people.”

However, Soave — who on Jan. 19 revealed “Facebook files” indicating the CDC significantly influenced content moderation and censorship on the platform pertaining to COVID-19 vaccines — then pointed out Gates’ prior investments that contributed to the development of mRNA vaccine technology. Soave said, “Bill Gates was a major proponent of mRNA technology … he was an investor in BioNTech, which developed the mRNA vaccine for Pfizer.” “We were just doing some digging,” continued Soave, “[and] we saw that he sold a lot of those shares at … how much profit was that?” “10x,” replied Gray. “He invested $55 million in BioNTech back in 2019 and it’s now worth north of $550 million. He sold some stock … at the end of last year, I believe it was, with the share price over $300, which represented a huge gain for him over when he invested.”

Read more …

“No evidence to support the statement that the dashboard is a finger on the pulse of Russian information ops.” “Hardly evidence of a massive influence campaign.”

Meet Hamilton 68, the New King of Media Fraud (Matt Taibbi)

If one goes by volume alone, this oft-cited neoliberal think-tank that spawned hundreds of fraudulent headlines and TV news segments may go down as the single greatest case of media fabulism in American history. Virtually every major news organization in America is implicated, including NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and the Washington Post. Mother Jones alone did at least 14 stories pegged to the group’s “research.” Even fact-checking sites like Politifact and Snopes cited Hamilton 68 as a source. Hamilton 68 was and is a computerized “dashboard” designed to be used by reporters and academics to measure “Russian disinformation.” It was the brainchild of former FBI agent (and current MSNBC “disinformation expert”) Clint Watts, and backed by the German Marshall Fund and the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan think-tank. The latter’s advisory panel includes former acting CIA chief Michael Morell, former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, former Hillary for America chair John Podesta, and onetime Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.

The Twitter Files expose Hamilton 68 as a sham: The secret ingredient in Hamilton 68’s analytic method was a list of 644 accounts supposedly linked “to Russian influence activities online.” It was hidden from the public, but Twitter was in a unique position to recreate Hamilton’s sample by analyzing its Application Program Interface (API) requests, which is how they first “reverse-engineered” Hamilton’s list in late 2017. The company was concerned enough about the proliferation of news stories linked to Hamilton 68 that it also ordered a forensic analysis. Note the second page below lists many of the different types of shadow-banning techniques that existed at Twitter even in 2017, buttressing the “Twitter’s Secret Blacklist” thread by Bari Weiss last month. Here you see categories ranging from “Trends Blacklist” to “Search Blacklist” to “NSFW High Precision.” Twitter was checking to see how many of Hamilton’s accounts were spammy, phony, or bot-like. Note that out of 644 accounts, just 36 were registered in Russia, and many of those were associated with RT.

Examining further, Twitter execs were shocked. The accounts Hamilton 68 claimed were linked to “Russian influence activities online” were not only overwhelmingly English-language (86%), but mostly “legitimate people,” largely in the U.S., Canada, and Britain. Grasping right away that Twitter might be implicated in a moral outrage, they wrote that these account-holders “need to know they’ve been unilaterally labeled Russian stooges without evidence or recourse.” Other comments in internal company emails: “These accounts are neither strongly Russian nor strongly bots.” “No evidence to support the statement that the dashboard is a finger on the pulse of Russian information ops.” “Hardly evidence of a massive influence campaign.”

Read more …

“I genuinely wanted to hear an innocent explanation if they had one. They still said nothing. Only after the story blew up online yesterday did they put out an explanation.”

Responding to Hamilton 68 (Matt Taibbi)

Days before yesterday’s Twitter Files report about Hamilton 68, I wrote the public relations officers of both of the sites’ parent organizations, the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) and the German Marshall Fund (GMF). I told them I was in possession of the Hamilton 68 list, which purported to track “Russian influence activities.” I said I had a slew of internal Twitter documents that among other things identified their project as “bullshit.” Toward the end I added: Given the sheer quantity of news stories sourced to Hamilton 68, this has to go down as one of the great media frauds of all time. Unless you have an explanation for how and why hundreds of non-Russians like Dennis Michael Lynch, Patrick Hennigsen, Joe Lauria, and [I inserted the name of a San Diego school board member] came to be on this list, there’s no other conclusion.

I hope you will treat this matter with respect and answer this query. My story is going to identify not just people like Clint Watts but members of the ASD advisory board as party to this. The story eventually published, “Move Over, Jayson Blair: Meet Hamilton 68, The New King of Media Fraud,” was based on email assessments of Twitter executives like Yoel Roth and Nick Pickles, the forensic analysis Roth had done in 2017 and which was excerpted yesterday, and interviews with people on the list. These elements — especially the interviews — made for a pretty ironclad case that the much-ballyhooed Hamilton 68 “dashboard” was a sham, that took real opinions of real people and falsely declared them part of a “network” of “Russian influence activities.”

On the remote chance Hamilton 68 had inside information legitimizing the linking of Dennis Michael Lynch, David Horowitz, and @TrumpDyke to “Russian influence activities,” I not only reached out to Hamilton’s creators, but when they were quiet, threw a tantrum on Twitter, tagging every member of the ASD advisory board in an effort to hear from them pre-publication. I genuinely wanted to hear an innocent explanation if they had one. They still said nothing. Only after the story blew up online yesterday did they put out an explanation.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elon Mars
https://twitter.com/i/status/1619140353743015936

 

 

 

 

Musk landing

 

 


This 1974 photograph shows the freshly excavated pit with 2,000-year-old terracotta warriors still showing the original color scheme before the rapid deterioration that made them as we know them today

 

 

Mandarin duck

 

 


The sabertooth longhorn beetle is one of the largest beetles reaching a length of up to 17.7 cm. Its larval stage can last up to 10 years, while its adult phase is likely to last no more than a few months

 

 

Odd couple
https://twitter.com/i/status/1619316157235986432

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 282023
 
 January 28, 2023  Posted by at 9:27 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  74 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Man in Oriental Costume (The Noble Slav) 1632

 

US Can Turn Back Doomsday Clock (CN)
Doomsday Clock: 90 Seconds To Midnight (Escobar)
World War III: Has It Begun? (Jim Rickards)
Pentagon Think Tank Warns Against ‘Long War’ In Ukraine (RT)
Ukraine – RAND Study Sees Risks In Prolonged War (MoA)
Pretend-O-Rama (Kunstler)
Kyiv Improving Airfields Anticipating Western Fighters (Drive)
Zelensky Issues Warning Over Abrams Deliveries (RT)
Russian Diplomat Wants Germany To Clarify Status In Ukraine Conflict (TASS)
German FM Under Fire Over ‘War With Russia’ Comment (RT)
Brazil Refuses To Sell Tank Ammo For Ukraine (RT)
EU Claims To Have Found Way To Access Frozen Russian Funds (RT)
Russian Senator On Basis For Productive Talks With Kiev (TASS)
Russian FM Says BRICS Group To Consider Common Currency (AA)
FDA Quietly Changes End Date for Study of Heart Inflammation (ET)
Pilots Are Dying At Southwest Airlines At Over 6x The Normal Rate (Kirsch)

 

 

27 million dead Russians. Russia liberated Auschwitz. Not welcome. The Germans built it, the Poles manned it. They are welcome.

 

 

Tenpenny

 

 

 

 

Dowd
https://twitter.com/i/status/1619088768769884160

 

 

Bannon

 

 

 

 

RFKjr

 

 

Nuland Rand Paul

 

 

 

 

“But in April, Ukraine’s Western allies [..] refused to support the neutrality agreement and persuaded Ukraine to abandon its negotiations with Russia.”

US Can Turn Back Doomsday Clock (CN)

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has just issued its 2023 Doomsday Clock statement, calling this “a time of unprecedented danger.” It has advanced the hands of the clock to 90 seconds to midnight, meaning that the world is closer to global catastrophe than ever before, mainly because the conflict in Ukraine has gravely increased the risk of nuclear war. This scientific assessment should wake up the world’s leaders to the urgent necessity of bringing the parties involved in the Ukraine war to the peace table. So far, the debate about peace talks to resolve the conflict has revolved mostly around what Ukraine and Russia should be prepared to bring to the table in order to end the war and restore peace.

However, given that this war is not just between Russia and Ukraine but is part of a “New Cold War” between Russia and the United States, it is not just Russia and Ukraine that must consider what they can bring to the table to end it. The United States must also consider what steps it can take to resolve its underlying conflict with Russia that led to this war in the first place. The geopolitical crisis that set the stage for the war in Ukraine began with NATO’s broken promises not to expand into Eastern Europe, and was exacerbated by its declaration in 2008 that Ukraine would eventually join this primarily anti-Russian military alliance. Then, in 2014, a U.S.-backed coup against Ukraine’s elected government caused the disintegration of Ukraine. Only 51 percent of Ukrainians surveyed told a Gallup poll that they recognized the legitimacy of the post-coup government, and large majorities in Crimea and in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces voted to secede from Ukraine.

Crimea rejoined Russia, and the new Ukrainian government launched a civil war against the self-declared “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk. The civil war killed an estimated 14,000 people, but the Minsk II accord in 2015 established a ceasefire and a buffer zone along the line of control, with 1,300 international OSCE ceasefire monitors and staff. The ceasefire line largely held for seven years, and casualties declined substantially from year to year. But the Ukrainian government never resolved the underlying political crisis by granting Donetsk and Luhansk the autonomous status it promised them in the Minsk II agreement.

[..] In March 2022, the month after the Russian invasion, ceasefire negotiations were held in Turkey. Russia and Ukraine drew up a 15-point “neutrality agreement,” which President Volodymyr Zelenskyy publicly presented and explained to his people in a national TV broadcast on March 27th. Russia agreed to withdraw from the territories it had occupied since the invasion in February in exchange for a Ukrainian commitment not to join NATO or host foreign military bases. That framework also included proposals for resolving the future of Crimea and Donbas. But in April, Ukraine’s Western allies — the United States and United Kingdom in particular — refused to support the neutrality agreement and persuaded Ukraine to abandon its negotiations with Russia.

Scott Ritter

Read more …

“Almost without firing a shot a Russia-Iran alliance could smash NATO to bits and bring down assorted EU governments..”

Doomsday Clock: 90 Seconds To Midnight (Escobar)

No one ever accused German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock of being brighter than a light bulb. She finally gave the game away, at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg: “The crucial part is that we do it together and that we do not do the blame game in Europe because we are fighting a war against Russia.” So Baerbock agrees with Lavrov. Just don’t ask her what Doomsday Clock means. Or what happened after Operation Barbarossa failed. The EU-NATO combo takes matters to a whole new level. The EU essentially has been reduced to the status of P.R. arm of NATO. It’s all spelled out in their January 10 joint declaration. The NATO-EU joint mission consists in using all economic, political and military means to make sure the “jungle” always behaves according to the “rules-based international order” and accepts to be plundered ad infinitum by the “blooming garden”.

Looking at The Big Picture, absolutely nothing changed in the US military/intel apparatus since 9/11: it’s a bipartisan thing, and it means Full Spectrum Dominance of both the US and NATO. No dissent whatsoever is allowed. And no thinking outside the box. Plan A is subdivided into two sections. 1. Military intervention in a hollowed-out proxy state shell (see Afghanistan and Ukraine). 2. Inevitable, humiliating military defeat (see Afghanistan and soon Ukraine). Variations include building a wasteland and calling it “peace” (Libya) and extended proxy war leading to future humiliating expulsion (Syria). There’s no Plan B. Or is there? 90 seconds to midnight?

Obsessed by Mackinder, the Empire fought for control of the Eurasian landmass in World War I and World War II because that represented control of the world. Later, Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski had warned: “Potentially the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition between Russia, China and Iran.” Jump cut to the Raging Twenties when the US forced the end of Russian natural gas exports to Germany (and the EU) via Nord Stream 1 and 2. Once again, Mackinderian opposition to a grand alliance on the Eurasian landmass consisting of Germany, Russia and China. The Straussian neo-con and neoliberal-con psychos in charge of US foreign policy could even absorb a strategic alliance between Russia and China – as painful as it may be. But never Russia, China and Germany.

With the collapse of the JCPOA, Iran is now being re-targeted with maximum hostility. Yet were Tehran to play hardball, the US Navy or military could never keep the Strait of Hormuz open – by the admission of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. Oil price in this case would rise to possibly thousands of dollars a barrel according to Goldman Sachs oil derivative experts – and that would crash the entire world economy. This is arguably the foremost NATO Achilles Heel. Almost without firing a shot a Russia-Iran alliance could smash NATO to bits and bring down assorted EU governments as socio-economic chaos runs rampant across the collective West.

Read more …

“The issue of when wars in general and world wars in particular begin and end is not as clear cut as many believe..”

World War III: Has It Begun? (Jim Rickards)

That’s a serious question and deserves serious consideration by investors. A wave of analysts and commentators have warned that the war in Ukraine could spin out of control and escalate into World War III. One variation on that theme is that the war could escalate into a nuclear war with tactical nuclear weapons deployed. Most point a finger at Russia as the party that will launch a nuclear strike out of desperation at a failing campaign in Ukraine. Actually, the opposite is true. The Russian campaign is not failing (it has been on hold for several months awaiting the right conditions to launch a winter offensive). You just don’t hear about it in the mainstream media, which is essentially a propaganda outlet for Ukraine. And the party most likely to use nuclear weapons first is the U.S. in order to save face and destabilize Russia once Ukraine is on the brink of collapse.


Many people have a hard time believing that. They’ve been told that Putin is the devil incarnate and would probably like to destroy the world. We like to think that in modern times we’re sophisticated and above falling prey to propaganda. Unfortunately, it isn’t true. The fact is the U.S. did wage the only nuclear war in history from Aug. 6–9, 1945 and had a successful outcome. I’m not getting into the morality of it here, one way or the other. I’m just being objective. Either way, another nuclear war could not be contained and it would be tantamount to World War III. It amounts to the same thing. But my point is different. It’s not that we may be headed to World War III; it’s that we’re already there. The issue of when wars in general and world wars in particular begin and end is not as clear cut as many believe. There are many examples.

Read more …

“In 2019, the think tank provided a blueprint for “overextending and unbalancing” Russia..”

Pentagon Think Tank Warns Against ‘Long War’ In Ukraine (RT)

While both Moscow and Kiev think they will benefit from continued fighting, such a turn of events does not serve Washington’s best interests, the Pentagon’s think tank RAND Corporation argues in a new report published on Friday. Authored by Samuel Charap and Miranda Priebe, “Avoiding a Long War” accepts the prevailing premises about the conflict, but notes that US interests “often align with but are not synonymous with Ukrainian interests.” According to the authors, the conflict has already inflicted significant economic, military and reputational damage on Russia, so its “further incremental weakening is arguably no longer as significant a benefit for US interests.” The price to the West has not been insignificant either, from the disruption to energy, food and fertilizer markets to the cost of “keeping the Ukrainian state economically solvent,” which will only “multiply over time.”

NATO’s military aid to Ukraine “could also become unsustainable after a certain period,” while Russia may “reverse Ukrainian battlefield gains,” they said. The conflict is “absorbing senior policymakers’ time and US military resources,” distracting Washington from other global priorities, such as China, while pushing Moscow closer to Beijing. In short, the consequences of a long war – ranging from persistent elevated escalation risks to economic damage – far outweigh the possible benefits. The study describes President Vladimir Zelensky’s vision of victory, in which Ukraine would recover all the territories it lays claim to and force Russia to submit to war crimes trials and reparations, as “optimistic” and “improbable.” Moscow, “perceives this war to be near existential” and has signaled “a high level of resolve,” the authors caution, raising the probability it might use nuclear weapons if it feels threatened.

Prospects for some kind of negotiated peace are “poor in the near term,” the report acknowledges, as Kiev believes Western support will continue indefinitely, while Moscow has been given no reason to believe the sanctions will ever be lifted. The US could “condition future military aid on a Ukrainian commitment to negotiations,” while giving Kiev security commitments, but “not as binding as US mutual defense treaties” or NATO membership, the report suggested. Washington should also give Moscow assurances regarding Ukraine’s neutrality and set “conditions for sanctions relief.” Founded in 1948 by the US military-industrial complex, RAND has provided the Pentagon with policy advice for decades. In 2019, the think tank provided a blueprint for “overextending and unbalancing” Russia that included economic sanctions, sending weapons to Ukraine, promoting uprisings in Central Asia and even deploying more nuclear weapons to Europe. By contrast, the advice on how to avoid escalation with Moscow while arming Kiev, from July last year, seems to have had little to no effect.

Read more …

More on that RAND report.

Ukraine – RAND Study Sees Risks In Prolonged War (MoA)

RAND Corp is a government and industry financed large research institute. Founded shortly after the end of the second world war it mostly works for the Pentagon by developing policies and strategies. In April 2019 RAND published a report about Extending Russia The report summary explained its purpose: “As the 2018 National Defense Strategy recognized, the United States is currently locked in a great-power competition with Russia. This report seeks to define areas where the United States can compete to its own advantage. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from Western and Russian sources, this report examines Russia’s economic, political, and military vulnerabilities and anxieties. It then analyzes potential policy options to exploit them — ideologically, economically, geopolitically, and militarily (including air and space, maritime, land, and multidomain options).” RAND developed policy options in those four fields. It then evaluated their benefit, cost and risks as well as their likelihood of success. Here is their summary table for economic measures:

The first three measures were implemented when the war in Ukraine was launched. The geopolitical measures included an option of providing lethal aid to Ukraine. This would create the risk that Russia would respond militarily and eventually take more of Ukraine than the two Donbas republics: Taking more of Ukraine might only increase the burden [for Russia], albeit at the expense of the Ukrainian people. However, such a move might also come at a significant cost to Ukraine and to U.S. prestige and credibility. This could produce disproportionately large Ukrainian casualties, territorial losses, and refugee flows. It might even lead Ukraine into a disadvantageous peace. While they at times underestimate Russia’s capabilities RAND people are not dumb. They knew of the likely outcome of a war. Other geopolitical measure RAND evaluated included more support for ‘Syrian rebels’, regime change per color revolution in Belarus, to exploit tensions in the southern Caucasus and to reduce Russian influence in Central Asia. RAND’s summary for geopolitical measures:

The Trump and Biden administrations both implemented the measures that seemed to have high benefits as well as high risks. The use of ideological measures against Russia was seen as having rather low benefits.

There follow more options, mostly in military categories, that the RAND report developed and evaluated. They emphasize industry pork. The Trump administration took some of the measures RAND provided but seemed not too enthusiastic about them. Its regime change attempt in Belarus failed. The Biden administration changed tact. He endorsed Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the color revolution candidate that had failed the elections in Belarus. Biden also allowed for the delivery of more offensive weapons to Ukraine. The regime in Kiev was encouraged to retake the rebellions Donbas republics. The green light for that was given in early 2022 even as the White House knew that Russia would respond militarily. The consequences for Ukraine that RAND had predicted in 2019 ensued.

Read more …

“The Ukraine misadventure will disappear from America’s collective consciousness in a New York minute and a Fourth Turning jamboree of serious domestic political disorder will commence in short order..”

Pretend-O-Rama (Kunstler)

We are losing this unnecessary proxy war about as steadily as possible, and actually making Russia look good in the process. Russia could have ended the war in five minutes by turning Kiev into an ashtray, but it spent the first eight months of the operation trying to avoid busting up Ukraine’s infrastructure, so as not to turn it into a failed state (that would present new and worse problems). Mr. Putin made many overtures to negotiate an end to the conflict, all rejected by Ukraine, the US, and its NATO “partners.” So, now Russia is grinding on-the-ground to reduce Ukraine’s ability to continue making war by systematically killing the troops Ukraine foolishly throws into the battle line, and destroying Ukraine’s heavy weapons. Ukraine is about out of its own soldiers and weapons.

Russia is maneuvering to roll over what’s left there and put an end to these pointless and needless hostilities. Contrary to US propaganda, Russia has no ambition to conquer NATO territory. Rather its aim is to restore order to a corner of the world that has been its legitimate sphere of influence for centuries — and more than once been used as a doormat for European armies to invade Russia. Apparently, we can’t allow Russia to clean up this mess we made — or we pretend that we can’t, even though it’s happening anyway, whether we like it or not. So now, the US promises to send thirty-one M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. A bold move, you think? Not exactly. By the time these tanks get anywhere in the vicinity of Ukraine, this war is likely to be over.

Never mind the difficult business of training the few remaining eligible Ukrainian men between sixteen and sixty how to operate the tanks, and training maintenance crews, and delivering inventories of spare parts — you see where this is going — not to mention the certainty that the Russians will simply blow them up as fast as they appear on the premises. Anyway, a measly thirty-one tanks that can barely be operated is meaningless compared to hundreds of T-72s backed by newer T-14 tanks the Russians can muster from just over their border with Ukraine. The tank proffer is, sad to say (for the dignity of our country), a joke, kind of a last feeble pretense before the whole thing ends in ignominy for the “Joe Biden” team — whoever that actually is.

The repercussions are liable to be ugly for our country, not necessarily in terms of more military trouble in other lands (which we probably lack the capacity to engage in now), but something more personal: the collapse of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency and a vicious loss of purchasing power here at home. That would provoke a situation worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s, and that’s probably where things are going. The Ukraine misadventure will disappear from America’s collective consciousness in a New York minute and a Fourth Turning jamboree of serious domestic political disorder will commence in short order. If you think “Joe Biden’s” term in office has been a disaster so far, just wait. You ain’t seen nuttin yet.

Read more …

Want to guess who pays for this?

Kyiv Improving Airfields Anticipating Western Fighters (Drive)

Unlike the recent influx of promises for western tanks, Ukraine has yet to receive any solid offers of modern fighter jets from allies like the U.S., France, the Netherlands, Denmark and others. But it’s preparing airfields across the country in anticipation of deliveries of multi-role jets like U.S.-made F-16 Fighting Falcons or French Mirage or Rafale fighters. To integrate jets like those into the Ukrainian Air Force would not only require training for pilots and maintainers, but it would also require making sure more modern jets have safe places to operate from. “We have to prepare the airfield infrastructure so that pilots could land safely on the airstrips,” Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Col. Yuri Ignat told reporters Friday at a press briefing in Ukraine. “The works are in progress in different regions of Ukraine with the support of the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Defense and other government agencies to support us in the creation of this airfield network.”


With the country under continuing sporadic missile and drone barrages, like the one yesterday, Ignat acknowledged that the work to create the airfield network for new fighters cannot be done “as well as it could have been done in peacetime.” Ignat did not offer any details about where or how many airfields are in the pipeline, or what kind of work needed to be done. But any improvements likely involve upgrading the quality of operating areas and possibly lengthening runways. Ukraine’s Soviet-designed tactical jets were built to operate in conditions that can be considered positively austere when compared to their Western counterparts. The bases they operate from reflect this flexibility. too. As for the aircraft, they have sturdier landing gear, mud guards on their nose wheels, in some cases even intake doors that protect the aircraft from ingesting damaging debris during taxiing. Most Western designs are made to operate from much more pristine surfaces that are meticulously cleared of even small pieces of debris. So if Ukraine wants Western fighters, it needs infrastructure that meets their operational needs.

Read more …

Not enough! Not fast enough! More more moar!

Zelensky Issues Warning Over Abrams Deliveries (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky has criticized Washington’s lack of speed in delivering heavy tanks to Ukraine. In an interview with Sky News on Friday, the Ukrainian leader also warned that Kiev would not be satisfied with a small number of tanks from the West. Zelensky’s comments come after the US promised on Wednesday to supply Kiev with 31 M1 Abrams tanks, but cautioned that the delivery could take several months or more. The White House explained that it expects to acquire the machines from the industry, rather than pulling them directly from its own stocks. However, Zelensky complained that if the American tanks arrive as late as August, it will be “too late.” He insisted that a handful of tanks “won’t make a difference on the battlefield.”


The president told Sky News that Ukraine currently needs “300 to 500 tanks” in order to be able to launch a counter offensive against Russia. “It’s not about politics, it’s about specific results on the battlefield,” he said. Zelensky also thanked the countries that have been delivering weapons to Ukraine and noted that a total of 12 countries have already committed to bolstering Kiev’s tank coalition. Earlier this week, Germany officially approved the supply to Kiev of 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks from its own stocks and also gave permission to other countries to provide their own German-made armor for the needs of the Ukrainian army. Berlin said it expects to deliver the Leopards no later than the end of March. Other countries that have also pledged their heavy armor to Kiev include the UK, Poland, Canada, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands.

Read more …

“”The German foreign minister said that her country was fighting jointly with other nations against Russia, while her ministry does not consider their own country to be party to the conflict..”

Russian Diplomat Wants Germany To Clarify Status In Ukraine Conflict (TASS)

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova urged the German ambassador to Russia on Friday to clarify Berlin’s position on its status in the conflict in Ukraine. “The German foreign minister said that her country was fighting jointly with other nations against Russia, while her ministry does not consider their own country to be party to the conflict. Taking into account these contradictory statements, the German ambassador to Russia should clarify them,” the Russian diplomat wrote on her Telegram channel. Earlier, Germany’s Foreign Ministry said providing assistance to Kiev did not make Berlin party to the conflict in Ukraine. This was how Germany’s diplomacy commented on a statement by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock who said, addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe earlier this week, that “we are fighting a war against Russia.”.

Read more …

More Baerbock.

“..a regional lawmaker from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the president of the German-Hungarian association, Gerhard Papke, accused Baerbock of being “completely politically insane” for making such a statement..”

German FM Under Fire Over ‘War With Russia’ Comment (RT)

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has faced a wave of criticism after claiming at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) that Germany is at war with Russia. The comment led opposition politicians to question whether she is fit for the job. “A statement by Baerbock that Germany is at war with Russia shows that she is not suited for her job,” Sahra Wagenknecht, a German MP and the former head of the Left Party’s faction in the Bundestag, wrote on Twitter on Friday. A foreign minister should be a “top diplomat” and “not act like an elephant in a China shop,” the lawmaker added, accusing Baerbock of “trampling” on Germany’s reputation. During the Tuesday debate, Baerbock said European nations were “fighting a war against Russia” and must do more to defend Ukraine.

Germany needs a foreign minister who is capable of acting “as a responsible diplomat and not a firebrand” amid conflict in Europe, said Alice Weidel, the co-chair of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AFD) faction in the Bundestag. Weidel accused Baerbock of being incapable of acting on the diplomatic stage, saying Berlin needs a top diplomat who represents Germany’s interests exclusively. Meanwhile, a regional lawmaker from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the president of the German-Hungarian association, Gerhard Papke, accused Baerbock of being “completely politically insane” for making such a statement. Left MP Selim Dagdelen demanded Chancellor Olaf Scholz provide an “immediate” explanation on whether Baerbock had his government’s mandate “for her declaration of war” and suggested the minister was a threat to the security of German citizens.

Neither Baerbock, nor Scholz, have responded to the criticism so far. Germany’s Foreign Ministry maintained Berlin is not a party to the conflict between Kiev and Moscow in a statement to the Bild tabloid. “Supporting Ukraine in exercising its individual right for self-defense… does not make Germany a party to the conflict,” it said, pointing to the UN Charter. It said Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine is “a war against the European peace and order” and this is what Baerbock had meant. In the wake of Baerbock’s Tuesday statement, Moscow said that the German minister’s words only show that the West had been planning this conflict all along for years.

Read more …

“..to Germany for use in Ukraine..”

Brazil Refuses To Sell Tank Ammo For Ukraine (RT)

Brazilian President Lula da Silva shot down an offer to sell tank ammunition to Germany for use in Ukraine, Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported on Friday. A vocal critic of the West’s policy toward Ukraine, Lula has striven to remain neutral on its conflict with Russia. The president allegedly rejected the request at a meeting with Brazilian defense chiefs and Defense MInister Jose Mucio last week. According to the paper’s sources, since-dismissed army commander Julio Cesar de Arruda told Lula that Germany wished to purchase just under $5 million worth of shells for its Leopard 1 tanks.

Lula reportedly considered asking Berlin to guarantee that it would not send the ammunition to Ukraine, but ultimately declined the offer, “arguing that it was not worth provoking the Russians,” as Folha de Sao Paulo put it. Less than a week later, Germany formally announced that it would donate a company-sized force of Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, and would allow other countries operating the tanks to transfer them to Kiev. It is unclear whether the ammunition referenced by Folha is compatible with both generations of Leopard tank. Like his right-wing predecessor, the left-wing Lula has taken a neutral position on the conflict in Ukraine.

While Jair Bolsonaro’s government formally condemned Moscow at the UN General Assembly over its military operation, neither president has imposed sanctions on Russia, and each has partially blamed Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky for the outbreak of hostilities. Lula has condemned the US for pouring tens of billions of dollars into Ukraine’s government and military, and suggested last year that US President Joe Biden “could have avoided [the conflict], not incited it.” He also declared that NATO leadership should have reassured Russia that Ukraine would never be allowed to join the US-led military bloc, which was one of Moscow’s key demands for peace before it sent troops into the country.

Read more …

Given that Russia will be in control, it would seem wiser to return their funds, so you would get some actual rebuilding done.

EU Claims To Have Found Way To Access Frozen Russian Funds (RT)

The European Union has told member states that it has legal authority to temporarily leverage a hefty amount of Russian Central Bank assets to pay for the rebuilding of Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. The mechanism could reportedly involve as much as €33.8 billion ($36.8 billion) of the funds frozen by the bloc as part of the Ukraine-related sanctions imposed on Moscow. According to the EU’s Council Legal Service, the plan is legally feasible if the assets aren’t expropriated and certain conditions are met. These include a termination date, a focus on liquid assets, and clarity that the principal and interest would be returned to Russia at some point, according to people close to the discussions. The Group of Seven (G7) and the EU reportedly failed to find a clear legal basis for simply confiscating Russian assets.


Instead, Brussels is considering the idea of pooling the frozen assets together at EU or international level to generate returns that could be used to finance the rebuilding of Ukraine. According to a number of estimates, the Russian Central Bank’s frozen assets amount to some $300 billion worldwide. EU officials had previously said almost €34 billion ($37 billion) of the funds are sitting in EU-based deposits. The figure is, however, still under assessment. In November, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed that the bloc’s authorities should create a special structure to manage the frozen Russian funds and invest them with a view to using the proceeds for Ukraine. The Russian government has repeatedly called the freezing of the country’s assets “theft,” and warned that the step contravenes international law. According to Moscow, the very idea of international reserves has been discredited by the use of the US dollar as a weapon in the sanctions war against Russia.

Read more …

“.. I think that only the successful completion of the special military operation may be the basis for meaningful and fruitful negotiations..”

Russian Senator On Basis For Productive Talks With Kiev (TASS)

Only the successful completion of the special military operation may serve as the foundation for “meaningful and productive” talks on the situation in Ukraine, says First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, ex-Russian Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov. “This is my personal opinion. I think that only the successful completion of the special military operation may be the basis for meaningful and fruitful negotiations. Without this, any talks, the results of these talks, will only postpone the resolution of the conflict and threaten to renew or repeat it,” he said at a press conference at TASS on Friday.


Replying to a question about any negotiations currently taking place on settling the situation around Ukraine, the official noted that the “process is not in progress.” “What is more, in order for the talks to go on, they have to start. They haven’t,” the senator stressed. He added that the possibility to launch talks on this issue between Moscow and Washington or Brussels is also not visible at the moment.

Read more …

“..the West has proved that all the values and mechanisms of globalization that it itself created and promoted, including the inviolability of property, fair competition, the presumption of innocence, can be trampled on at any moment..”

Russian FM Says BRICS Group To Consider Common Currency (AA)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – BRICS countries – will discuss creating a common currency at the group’s forthcoming summit this August in South Africa. “Serious, self-respecting countries are well aware of what is at stake, see the incompetence of the ‘masters’ of the current international monetary and financial system, and want to create their own mechanisms to ensure sustainable development, which will be protected from outside dictates. “It is in this direction that the initiatives that have been voiced recently … about the need to think about creating our own currencies within the framework of BRICS,” he told a news conference after a meeting with Angolan President Joao Lourenco in the capital Luanda.


The minister added that Russia and Angola have a “firm intention” to develop cooperation in all areas, despite “illegal” Western pressure. Lavrov said the West uses “the same colonial methods with which it exploited developing continents,” and continues using them “to plunder foreign countries and uses resources of global importance to its advantage.” “By its actions, the West has proved that all the values and mechanisms of globalization that it itself created and promoted, including the inviolability of property, fair competition, the presumption of innocence, can be trampled on at any moment, and can also betray its allies at any moment. This is proved by the practice of not so long ago events in Afghanistan, Iraq, and during the Arab Spring of 2011,” he said.

Read more …

How does the FDA still exist?

FDA Quietly Changes End Date for Study of Heart Inflammation (ET)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has changed the end date for a key study on post-vaccination heart inflammation without notifying the public. Pfizer was supposed to complete a study on the occurrence of subclinical myocarditis, or heart inflammation, after receipt of its COVID-19 vaccine. The completion date was listed by the FDA in 2021 as June 20, 2022. Pfizer was also supposed to submit the results of the study to the FDA by the end of 2022 as part of a list of requirements the FDA imposed as a condition of approving Pfizer’s jab. But after the deadline passed, the FDA quietly changed the date. Under a list of postmarketing requirements for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the FDA now says the same study has an “original projected completion date” of June 30, 2023.


The current status of the study is listed as “pending.” The FDA and Pfizer did not respond to requests for comment. Jessica Adams, a former regulatory review officer at the FDA, said the wording amounts to misinformation. “By definition, ‘original’ dates can’t change,” she wrote on Twitter, tagging the agency. “Please correct this ‘misinformation.’” Dr. Vinay Prasad, who has increasingly criticized the FDA over its decisions during the pandemic, said the new timeline “is so slow it will be entirely moot.” “Another FDA failure,” he said on Twitter.

VDB
https://twitter.com/i/status/1615174302319661056

Read more …

“I’ll pay you $5 for any flight attendant/pilot who signs the petition. So you can earn $50/hr or even more and work your own hours. And you’ll be doing a huge public service..”

Pilots Are Dying At Southwest Airlines At Over 6x The Normal Rate (Kirsch)

I thought the vaccines were supposed to reduce death not increase it! I just asked the FAA for their comment on this. Here’s what I wrote:

If they respond, I’ll post their response here. The FAA wants a war, so I’m going to give them one. I’m not going to let the FAA get away with ignoring all the deaths and disabilities. I’m willing to pay people $5 per name who sign our FAA petition to investigate these injuries. All you do is stand right outside the Crew security checkpoint and hand out the fliers. I’ll pay you $5 for any flight attendant/pilot who signs the petition. So you can earn $50/hr or even more and work your own hours. And you’ll be doing a huge public service. I will then pay all costs for 20,000 of these people to come demonstrate outside of FAA headquarters. If 20,000 doesn’t work, then we’ll try 40,000 people. Whatever it takes for these people to investigate. The protest will end when the FAA agrees to investigate the injuries. Please let me know if you are interested in this offer to help me collect names.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Ray Bradbury

 

 

Speed of light

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bobcat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1618981127754231808

 

 

Begonia pavonina
https://twitter.com/i/status/1619029563895590913

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 242023
 


Vincent van Gogh The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884

 

Russia and West On Verge Of ‘Real War’ – Lavrov (RT)
War Between West, Russia No Longer Hybrid, But Real, Says Lavrov (TASS)
Why the End of the American Empire Was Delayed (Batiushka)
US Plans Threatened WWIII And Forced Moscow’s Hand – Medvedev (RT)
Germany Rewrites History To Blame Russia For Its Own Bad Decisions (Marsden)
Hungary To Oppose EU’s Anti-Russian Nuclear Sanctions – Foreign Minister (TASS)
Italy’s New Foreign Policy And A Multipolar World Order (Papalia)
Poland Considered Partitioning Ukraine – Former FM (RT)
Wagner Founder Gives Explanation For US Hostility (RT)
Meta/Facebook Takes Azov Regiment Off Its Dangerous Organizations List (EG)
The 2024 Election and the “Get Out of Jail Free” Vote (Turley)
Mar-A-Lago Raid Was Just Another Russia-Collusion Hoax (Fed.)
FDA Panel To Consider Annual Covid-19 Vaccine Shots (Hill)
Collapse Is Not An Event, But A Process (Ugo Bardi)
Temperatures in Northern Hemisphere Due to Fall Over Next 25 Years (DS)
Carbon Credits Are the Biggest Scam Since Indulgences (IM)

 

 

???? “To be published June 6 2023”.

 

 

Zelensky Addressing a Chambers of Commerce meeting in Boca Raton

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo F-16s

 

 

 

 

Wagenknecht
https://twitter.com/i/status/1617331636433035264

 

 

Shellenberger

 

 

 

 

EU Foreign Ministers will discuss the allocation of a new tranche of military aid to Ukraine from the “European Peace Fund” – Josep Borrell

 

 

Stating the obvious.

Russia and West On Verge Of ‘Real War’ – Lavrov (RT)

The current situation in Ukraine shows that the conflict between Russia and the West can no longer be defined as a “hybrid war” but is instead approaching being a real one, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. Speaking at a press conference following a meeting with his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor, Lavrov also noted that this “almost real” war was something that the West “has been preparing for a long time against Russia.” The minister claimed that Western powers are seeking to destroy everything Russian, from the language to the culture that had existed in Ukraine for centuries, and even forbid people from speaking their native language.

Lavrov went on to point out that such practices have become commonplace throughout Ukraine and that the country’s last two presidents, Pyotr Poroshenko and current leader Vladimir Zelensky, have both turned into “presidents of war” and “Russophobic leaders” after gaining power, despite running their presidential campaigns under the promise of establishing peace. The minister also recalled that Ukraine has adopted laws that prohibit using the Russian language in education, media, and even in everyday life. “And this is all supported by the West,” Lavrov said, adding that this support extends to neo-Nazi marches with swastikas and symbols of banned Nazi divisions being held across the country. He also accused the West of turning a blind eye to the fact that Kiev’s forces continue to deliberately choose targets and carry out attacks in such a way as to terrorize the civilian population.

“The West knows perfectly well that the Ukrainian regime deliberately bombs cities and towns using Western-supplied weapons,” the minister said. Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s position that it has not carried out attacks in Ukraine against civilian infrastructure, and that the damage to it is attributable to Kiev’s regular practice of deploying heavy weapons and air defense systems in residential areas. Despite the spiraling tensions, Lavrov noted that Moscow remains open to negotiations with Kiev, and warned that those who refuse talks should understand that the longer they are delayed, the harder it will be to find a solution. The minister also asked the Ukrainian government to explain, perhaps through a third party, how it sees the situation in the country playing out and the possibility of negotiations with Russia.

Read more …

Same issue, but different words.

War Between West, Russia No Longer Hybrid, But Real, Says Lavrov (TASS)

What is going on in Ukraine is no longer a hybrid war, but a real war between the West and Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. “When we talk about what is going on in Ukraine, we are talking about the fact that this is no longer a hybrid war, but a real one, the West has been preparing for a long time against Russia, trying to destroy everything Russian: from language to culture, which has been in Ukraine for centuries, and forbidding people to speak their native language,” he said at a press conference following talks with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor.


“In Ukraine, this is all common practice. Both the former president [of Ukraine, Pyotr] Poroshenko and the current one [Vladimir] Zelensky, who were elected under the slogan of establishing peace, immediately after being elected turned into war presidents, Russophobe presidents,” Lavrov said. The Russian top diplomat recalled that Ukraine has adopted laws that prohibit education in Russian, media in Russian, including such media in Ukraine, laws that even, in fact, prohibit the use of the Russian language in everyday life. “Any cultural contacts related to the Russian language are prohibited. And this is all supported by the West. Just like the West supports the regular marches of neo-Nazis with swastikas, with symbols of division which were banned by the Nuremberg Tribunal, recognized as criminal. The West supports all this,” Lavrov said.

Read more …

“..it never really grasped how completely underhand and perfidious the West is..”

Why the End of the American Empire Was Delayed (Batiushka)

Why did President Putin and the Russian Federation as a whole allow the White House to take over Kiev and then most of the Donbass in 2014-2015? As a result, Russian forces have been faced since 2022 with the far worse task of liberating, demilitarising and denazifying the Ukraine. Worse still, because Washington has forced Kiev to reject any peace negotiations with Moscow and is sending the Ukraine much of what it has through its NATO proxies, Russian forces are faced with the even worse task of liberating, demilitarising and denazifying the whole of the US-run NATO. President Putin has himself admitted that he made a mistake in not acting in 2015. So why this delay in resistance and bringing about the collapse of the American Reich? There are three clear reasons:

1. In 2014-15 the Russian Federation was far too weak militarily, economically and politically to stand up to the bully of the Western world. A war of liberation initiated then could have ended up very badly for Russia, which had suffered greatly from Western ‘sanctions’ just for its liberation of the Crimea.

2. The Russian Federation government had too little support inside its Westernised self to resist. CIA assets, including treacherous followers of the Vlasovtsy (5), had infiltrated all its institutions, including even the Russian Orthodox Church. This was already clear in 1993 during the October Coup, Black October, in which probably thousands of Russian patriots were massacred by the pro-Western Yeltsin regime. Five years ago, I met a former US marine, who had been sent in 1993 to a base outside Moscow, together with 4,000 other marines, who had been instructed that they might be needed to put down an anti-American revolt in Moscow. (In the end, they were not). 4,000 US troops around Moscow in 1993 at the invitation of its drunken ruler? Yes. A fifth column of Russian Westernisers, pussy rioters, liberals, journalists, actors, musicians, oligarchs, politicians, educationalists? Yes. All Russian institutions infiltrated by traitors? Yes. Only in 2022 was the Russian Federation ready to resist the American bully. It had taken it until 2022 to get ready, and even then the traitors were there in abundance, though soon running away to Israel, Finland, Georgia and elsewhere (6).

3. Western readers should not underestimate the incredible naivety of Russians towards the West. The Russians did not think that the West would forbid Kiev to reject a peace agreement in March/April 2022, thus forcing Kiev and Western economies to commit suicide, like a spoilt child who hurts himself just in order to spite his parents. As a result the limited operation to free the Donbass had to be entirely rethought. Again, President Putin was quite recently shocked to learn that he had been lied to by the German Merkel and the French Hollande. He had been tricked into believing that the West was sincere and that it was actually going to implement the Minsk Accords to protect the Donbass. As those two Western leaders recently admitted, the Minsk accords had only been playing for time to allow the Kiev Army to prepare, dig in, arm, train and then invade. Western leaders are liars. Fact. The origin of this extraordinary Russian naivety seems to be because between 1917 and 1991 Russia was cut off from the West, it lived in a bubble, so that it never really grasped how completely underhand and perfidious the West is. I have been living in Western Europe for too long not to know it. Ten years ago a Muscovite put it to me very well: ‘We knew that the Communists were lieing to us about Communism. What we didn’t know is that they were telling us the truth about Capitalism’.

Read more …

..“serious crisis” at the UN and other international institutions, which were created to resolve international disputes but have been turned into a battlefield by the West instead.”

US Plans Threatened WWIII And Forced Moscow’s Hand – Medvedev (RT)

The US and its allies almost ignited a third world war by preparing to attack Russia, which had no choice but to do something about it, former president Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday, addressing the leadership of the ruling United Russia party in Moscow. “Our party should help the people around the world understand that the ongoing special operation was a forced and last-resort response to preparations for aggression by the US and its satellites,” Medvedev said. “It is obvious that the world came close to the threat of WWIII because of what was happening,” he added. Medvedev also described a “serious crisis” at the UN and other international institutions, which were created to resolve international disputes but have been turned into a battlefield by the West instead.


“Our opponents are trying to enlist as many votes as possible in support of their anti-Russian initiatives, using underhanded means such as economic pressure, extortion and political bribery,” Medvedev said, adding that the main mission of Russian diplomacy remained countering this “cynical line” by the West. Medvedev was president of Russia between 2008 and 2012, when he became the chairman of the ruling party and prime minister. He stepped down as PM in 2020 to run the national security council. Though the West considered him a “liberal” during his presidency, Medvedev has been blunt and outspoken about the special military operation in Ukraine since it was launched in February 2022. Just last week, he ridiculed the World Economic Forum in Davos and warned the West that the current conflict is existential in nature for Russia, which should be kept in mind when it comes to nuclear weapons and their possible use.

Read more …

The Greens play a curious role in Germany. They have a lot of power.

Germany Rewrites History To Blame Russia For Its Own Bad Decisions (Marsden)

The German town of Brunsbuttel, near Hamburg, received a new floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on Friday, another step in the country’s search to replace the gas supplies it now can’t get from Russia. Small protests in the vicinity of the port held by locals unhappy with the new facility belied the official fanfare. Meanwhile, wider criticism has been levelled against Berlin’s efforts to boost gas imports by both land and sea, which climate activists believe to be very environmentally unfriendly. German Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck, of the Green Party, said the new terminal was necessary because “half of the gas supply to Germany stopped, because [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has cut it off. Now the supply has been stopped completely and it will not come back to us.”

Except that’s not how it all went down. Nearly a year ago, just before the Ukraine conflict turned hot and as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stopped the approval process for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany and into Europe, Habeck was already keen to give Russian gas the boot. He told public radio that the country could go without it. The comment promptly raised eyebrows in the Western press, with Bloomberg, for example, calling the proposition “tricky.” Habeck’s Greens, and the German government more generally, have long been obsessed with renewables. The Ukraine conflict was merely an excuse to double down. Even the International Energy Agency took note of this back in March 2022. “Progress towards net zero ambitions in Europe will bring down gas use and imports over time,” according to an IEA report.

In April, Habeck said, “We are working actively to become independent on fossil fuels from Russia,” and cited “great progress.” Not once, but twice, Habeck publicly declared that he had reduced his shower time, in hat had become both a means of saving energy and also of sticking it to Putin, a gesture reminiscent of the folks who pull on escalator handrails thinking that they’re helping move all the people to the top. Habeck said that such measures would “annoy Putin.” Actually, it mostly just annoyed Germans and Europeans. Habeck appeared alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a meeting of bloc representatives in Versailles on March 8, when she said, “We must become independent from Russian oil, coal and gas.” Habeck echoed the sentiment: “All the German government’s, the country’s, efforts are going toward reducing this dependency as quickly as possible and then using the energy policy room for maneuver we have gained, including in security policy terms.”

Read more …

“Hungary will not support any EU sanctions that would potentially limit cooperation with Russia in the nuclear field..”

Hungary To Oppose EU’s Anti-Russian Nuclear Sanctions – Foreign Minister (TASS)

Hungary will not support any EU sanctions that would potentially limit cooperation with Russia in the nuclear field, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told reporters during a break at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels Monday. “Hungary will not support any sanctions that in any way limit nuclear cooperation with Russia,” Szijjarto said. The Minister noted that “the European Commission has, obviously, commenced the development of the 10th sanctions package.” However, Hungary warned that it will not support any proposals “if they include restrictions on cooperation with Russia in the nuclear area,” Szijjarto said.


“This would cause enormous damage to our country and violate its energy security,” he underscored. “I made it clear that nuclear energy is crucial for Hungary’s power supply,” the Foreign Minister said, noting that the Paks Nuclear Power plant, which uses Russian nuclear fuel, provides half of the country’s energy supply. “Without the Paks NPP, the current power supply in Hungary would be impossible. Just as it would be impossible to ensure Hungary’s power security in the upcoming decades without construction of new reactor units at the Paks NPP,” Szijjarto said.

Read more …

‘Italy’s posture must return to the defence of its national interests … It doesn’t mean having a negative stance toward others, it means having a positive one for ourselves … because everyone else is doing it’

Italy’s New Foreign Policy And A Multipolar World Order (Papalia)

In recent developments Meloni’s foreign policy has been pointing away from the EU and NATO. She and her political allies have publicly supported Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbàn, who has attacked the sanctions against Russia, following the EU’s condemnation of his authoritarian policies; Hungary is a NATO member but has signed a separate deal with Gazprom to secure supplies of Russian gas. Meloni’s party is also allied to the governing nationalist Right in Poland, the Czech Republic’s governing Civic Democratic Party, and the far right Sweden Democrats Party that triumphed in elections in September 2022. The German far right Alternative für Deutschland Party was ‘jubilant’ over Meloni’s success; it too has opposed sanctions against Russia and its vote is also on the rise.

As in the 1930s, one should not discount ideological and political affinities across national borders, particularly when national interests also align. As Bhadrakumar warns: ‘Do not underestimate the “Meloni effect”. The heart of the matter is that far-right forces invariably have more to offer to the electorate in times of insecurity and economic hardship.’ In the current era, these affinities can be gathered under the broad ideological umbrella of ‘sovereigntism’, putting EU unity at risk. Should Italy distance itself from NATO or leave it altogether, particularly in the light of Turkey’s ambivalent stance and the possibility of a Russian victory in Ukraine, it is doubtful that the alliance would be able to survive. This is not as far-fetched a thought as it might seem.

According to retired Italian General Fabio Mini, former commander of the NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo (2002–03), NATO’s expansion to Eastern Europe over recent decades, promoted by the United States, has further undermined the alliance’s cohesion and unity of purpose. The Ukraine–Russia crisis, as pointed out by Thomas Hughes, a scholar of international and defence policy, ‘marks an existential crisis for NATO’. Under these circumstances the United States would find it increasingly difficult to maintain a military presence in Italy. On 1 October 2022, following news that Germany’s Social Democrat-led government had rejected Italy’s proposed Europe-wide price cap on gas and that Italy would no longer receive gas from Russia through Austria, Meloni addressed a crowd of angry farmers in Milan: ‘Italy’s posture must return to the defence of its national interests … It doesn’t mean having a negative stance toward others, it means having a positive one for ourselves … because everyone else is doing it’.

Read more …

Poles falling over each other to be the most belligerent.

Poland Considered Partitioning Ukraine – Former FM (RT)

Former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has suggested that the government in Warsaw considered partitioning Ukraine in the first weeks of the military conflict between Kiev and Moscow. His comments came in an interview with Radio ZET on Monday, prompting a strong retort from the country’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki. Sikorski was asked if the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) government had ever entertained the idea of dividing up Ukraine. He replied by stating that there was “a moment of hesitation in the first 10 days of the war, when we all didn’t know how it would go, that maybe Ukraine would fall.” “Had it not been for the heroism of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and the help of the West, things could have been different,” Sikorski said.

His remarks soon drew a reaction from Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who accused Sikorski of behaving “like a Russian propagandist.” “The former foreign minister must weigh his words. I expect these disgraceful statements to be withdrawn. I call on the opposition to dissociate themselves from Radoslaw Sikorski’s declaration,” Morawiecki tweeted. It is not the first time Sikorski has been at odds with the government in Warsaw. In September, the ex-minister tweeted “Thank you, USA” alongside a photo of a massive gas leak caused by the sabotage of Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

Sikorski further congratulated those responsible for the act, saying the severe damage caused to the natural gas pipelines would force Russia to talk to Poland and Ukraine if it wanted to continue delivering gas to Europe. “Good work,” he concluded in a second tweet. He later deleted both tweets. Russia responded to the former FM’s post by calling it an “official statement” confirming the Nord Stream incident was a “terrorist attack.” It still remains unclear who exactly was behind the sabotage as both Ukraine and Washington and its allies have denied responsibility.

Read more …

“..Of course, if you’re doing a reversal of concepts, you can make anyone look bad.”

Wagner Founder Gives Explanation For US Hostility (RT)

The Wagner Group scares the US because it is willing to oppose American atrocities around the world, the private military company’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed on Monday, answering a question from RT. Washington said last week that it would designate the Russian PMC as an international criminal organization, accusing it of “widespread atrocities and human rights abuses.” “Unlike American paramilitary structures,” Prigozhin said in a written response to RT, “Wagner PMC only goes after the enemies of peace, and does not commit crimes. Of course, if you’re doing a reversal of concepts, you can make anyone look bad.”

The US is the only country to use nuclear weapons in history, and “organized wars and revolutions” in “Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Mozambique, Central Africa and so on,” Prigozhin noted, adding that in some of those countries Wagner came in and “stopped the wars with an iron fist.” Calling the US “a powerful criminal syndicate subsisting on the money of the entire world,” Prigozhin said Wagner was “more like the vice police” in relation. Washington “trained bandits and terrorists all over the world so that there would be unrest everywhere,” while the “fantasy island called the USA” lives in peace, he added. Used to people not fighting back or getting intimidated by name-calling, the Americans don’t know what to do with Wagner, who “looks into the eyes of the personification of world evil without fear.”

Prigozhin said the US objective is to break up Russia just as it did to the USSR, then take on China, in order to maintain its global hegemony. The Wagner Group was originally established in 2014. Over the past year, its fighters have taken part in battles against the Ukrainian military in the Donbass. Earlier this month, the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged Wagner’s role in capturing the key town of Soledar. US authorities have accused the PMC of unspecified “human rights violations” in Syria and the Central African Republic, where Wagner helped the government against jihadist insurgents. Last month, the State Department declared Wagner an “entity of particular concern” for religious freedom in Africa, in the same category as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

Read more …

Why?

Meta/Facebook Takes Azov Regiment Off Its Dangerous Organizations List (EG)

Facebook parent company Meta has removed the Azov Regiment, a controversial unit within the Ukrainian National Guard with alleged far-right political leanings, from its list of dangerous individuals and organizations. The move, first reported by The Kyiv Independent, means members of the unit can now create Facebook and Instagram accounts and post without Meta automatically flagging and removing their content. Additionally, unaffiliated users can praise the Azov Regiment, provided they abide by the company’s Community Standards. “The war in Ukraine has meant changing circumstances in many areas and it has become clear that the Azov Regiment does not meet our strict criteria for designation as a dangerous organization,” a company spokesperson told The Kyiv Independent.

Sharing more information on the policy change, Meta told The Washington Post it recently began to view the Azov Regiment as a separate entity from other groups associated with the far-right nationalist Azov Movement. Specifically, the company pointed to Ukraine’s National Corp political party and founder Andriy Biletsky, noting they’re still on its list of dangerous individuals and organizations. “Hate speech, hate symbols, calls for violence and any other content which violates our Community Standards are still banned, and we will remove this content if we find it,” Meta said. The Azov Regiment was founded in 2014 by Biletsky following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the start of the Donbas War that same year. Before the unit was integrated into Ukraine’s National Guard in November 2014, it was controversial for its adherence to neo-Nazi ideology.

In 2015, a spokesperson for the Azov Regiment said 10 to 20 percent of the unit’s recruits were self-professed Nazis. At the start of the 2022 conflict, Ukrainian officials said the Azov Regiment still had some extremists among its ranks but claimed the unit had largely become depoliticized. During the months-long siege of Mariupol, the Azov Regiment played a prominent role in the city’s defense. Russia captured many of the battalion’s fighters at the end of the battle. The change underscores just how much Meta’s content moderation policies have changed since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Partway through last year, the company began temporarily allowing people in Ukraine and a handful of other countries to call for violence against Russian soldiers. After the decision created controversy, Meta said it would turn to the Oversight Board for policy guidance, a request the company later withdrew, citing “ongoing safety and security concerns” related to the war.

Read more …

“..Both of these investigations could easily take a year or more.”

The 2024 Election and the “Get Out of Jail Free” Vote (Turley)

President Biden has declared that the criminal investigation into his possession of classified material ultimately will fizzle out because “there is no ‘there’ there.” To the contrary, there obviously is a great deal “there,” enough that a special counsel was appointed to investigate a classified documents trail from a D.C. office closet to Biden’s Delaware garage. Although the president wants Americans to look down the road past images of classified documents next to his vintage Corvette, we may be heading into one of the most bizarre, unsettling moments in our constitutional history. There is now a distinct possibility we will have not just two leading candidates campaigning for the presidency with their own respective special counsels in tow, but two candidates who could be indicted or close to indictment at the time of the election. That would present some novel political and constitutional questions.

A great deal already has been written about comparisons of the two cases and the obvious differences. The Justice Department’s Trump investigation includes not only accusations of mishandling classified material but also of false statements and obstruction; far more documents are involved, too. Yet enough similarities exist that Justice could weigh charges in both cases, even if only misdemeanors. Moreover, the Biden allegations are serious in their own way. The documents in Donald Trump’s possession at Mar-a-Lago were largely housed in a locked storage room with security added at the FBI’s request; there was ’round-the-clock Secret Service protection and camera surveillance. That is not ideal — but it is better than a dozen documents scattered around a closet, garage and library in different states.

There is no question of gross mishandling in Biden’s case. There is only the question of who was responsible. If the evidence shows that Joe Biden used any of these clearly marked documents to write his book or other projects, his insistence on “inadvertent” possession will take on a more sinister meaning as an effort to deceive the public and the FBI. Both of these investigations could easily take a year or more. The average time of a special counsel investigation of a president is over 900 days. These two investigations should take less than the average — but they are starting in 2023, with a presidential election in 2024. Trump has already announced, and Biden is expected to do so soon.

Read more …

Equal justice?

Mar-A-Lago Raid Was Just Another Russia-Collusion Hoax (Fed.)

The search of Biden’s home followed the discovery in November 2022 of at least 10 classified documents, including ones reportedly marked “top secret.” Those documents also dated back to his days as vice president under Barack Obama and were stored in a closet at a private office building in D.C. But the so-called “think tank” where they were stored, the Penn Biden Center, did not open until February 2018, meaning Biden had kept the classified documents found there at another location for the year following his time as vice president. That the classified documents Biden removed from the White House and earlier the Senate were not missed at the time and are only now being discovered — at least a decade later for some — and then only after multiple searches of different locations, contrasts sharply with what happened following Trump’s time in office.

According to then-archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, he watched “the Trumps leave the White House and getting off in the helicopter” at the end of Trump’s term. Ferriero recalled someone was “carrying a white banker box,” prompting Ferriero to ask himself, “What the hell’s in that box?” Ferriero claimed, “[T]hat began a whole process of trying to determine whether any records had not been turned over to the Archives,” with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) “going through materials transferred from the White House in the chaotic final days of Trump’s presidency.” According to The Washington Post, “officials had noticed that certain high-profile documents were missing,” such as “Trump’s correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he had termed ‘love letters.’”

The NARA also could not locate the “National Weather Service map of Hurricane Dorian, which Trump had famously marked up with a black Sharpie pen to extend to Alabama,” or the letter Obama had left for Trump upon the change in administrations. NARA sought the return of these documents, and in January 2022, Trump representatives worked with NARA employees to arrange for 15 boxes of presidential papers to be returned to the archive. Within those boxes were some documents marked “classified,” which led NARA to refer the matter to the Department of Justice. The DOJ then launched an investigation into Trump, even though when alerted to Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified documents, NARA made no such referral.

A grand jury later issued a subpoena for any presidential documents, and following a search of Mar-a-Lago by Trump’s representatives, those documents were turned over. However, after a source told the DOJ that some documents remained at Mar-a-Lago, the FBI obtained a search warrant and executed a surprise raid on the former president’s home. This entire sequence began because NARA went looking for missing documents and then, rather than work with Trump to establish his presidential library and to arrange for the documents to be stored under the auspices of NARA’s custody at a mutually agreeable location — something NARA had done for Obama — NARA created a federal criminal case out of the matter.

Read more …

Maybe 1% will take them.

FDA Panel To Consider Annual Covid-19 Vaccine Shots (Hill)

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory panel on vaccines is set to consider an annual schedule for the coronavirus vaccine, akin to how flu vaccines are administered, when it meets this week. The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will meet Thursday to discuss how to simplify and streamline the COVID-19 vaccination process, including the composition of coronavirus vaccines and the recommended scheduling for these shots. The rapid evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, resulting in variants with an improved ability to escape immune protection, means that “periodically updating the composition of COVID-19 vaccines as needed,” as was done with the updated bivalent booster, requires consideration, according to panel documents posted Monday.


The panel said it anticipates evaluating the composition of the COVID-19 vaccine annually in June and making a recommendation for the following year — though it acknowledged the difficulties of mounting a globally coordinated vaccine recommendation. “FDA anticipates conducting an assessment of SARS-CoV-2 strains at least annually and to engage VRBPAC in about early June of each year regarding strain selection for the fall season,” the VRBPAC documents said. While acknowledging that COVID-19 and the flu are not identical, VRBPAC said the deployment of the bivalent COVID-19 boosters, created to target both the ancestral strain of the virus as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, was “analogous” to annual flu vaccinations.

Read more …

“There is nothing definitive in the universe, and collapses exist because the old must leave space for the new. ”

Collapse Is Not An Event, But A Process (Ugo Bardi)

About ten years ago, my friend and colleague Massimo Nicolazzi wrote that the inversion of the declining trend of oil production in the US could not be neglected any longer. I commented by saying that it was a short-lived flare that couldn’t last for long. It turned out that Nicolazzi was right and I was wrong. By now, the growth of the US oil production curve has been lasting for more than ten years and is still ongoing — it was not just a short-lived flare. Of course, it cannot last forever but, for the time being, it changed everything. Among others, it propeled the American Empire back to the path of world domination that the Neocons theorized in the 1990s.

Does that mean that Hubbert’s “peak oil” theory is wrong and must be discarded? Of course not. It only means reinforcing some of the basic rules of complex systems. For instance, the one that goes “complex systems always surprise you,” and also, “never take an example as a rule.” So, when dealing with collapse (that I call the “Seneca Cliff) we should always remember that collapse is not an event, it is a process. Collapses have a history, they are the result of the interaction of several factors, and the same processes that generate collapse can also generate its opposite, which I tend to call the “Seneca Rebound.” It is normal. There is nothing definitive in the universe, and collapses exist because the old must leave space for the new.

Recently, for another unexpected change, I identified a new trend: the rapid growth of renewable energy production worldwide. A trend that can be well described by some recent studies in terms of the EROI (energy returned for energy invested) of renewables having become several times larger than that of fossil fuels. No wonder we are seeing — or we’ll soon see — a revolving door effect in energy production. Fossils are out, renewables are in. History rhymes, as it usually does! Then, just like Nicolazzi’s statement about tight oil was not believed by peak-oil hardliners (including me), my statements on renewables were understood as a mortal offense by catastrophistic hardliners. You can’t believe how nasty their comments have been: apart from branding me an incompetent, an idiot, and ignorant of the basic laws of physics, catastrophism seems to be strictly linked to conspirationism, so people have been writing that I cannot tell the truth because I am blackmailed by the powers that be (no, really, someone wrote exactly that!).

The problem is the science of complex systems is never black or white. It doesn’t allow for absolute truths, nor it is sympathetic to people choosing between complacency and panic (the two functioning modes of human beings according to James Schlesinger). The science of complex systems is, well, a little complex and it needs a little mental flexibility to be understood. Not that it takes superhuman mental capabilities, not at all. It is just that you need to free yourself from the schematic way of reasoning that’s normally imposed on all of us by the media.

Read more …

“..the North Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, an important sea current that has been pumping warmer water into the Arctic, is weakening and that’s leading to a cooler North Atlantic area and lower temperatures, as was observed in the period 1950-1970.”

Temperatures in Northern Hemisphere Due to Fall Over Next 25 Years (DS)

Whisper it quietly – and don’t tell Al ‘Boiling Oceans’ Gore – but the Northern hemisphere may be entering a temperature cooling phase until the 2050s with a decline up to 0.3°C. By extension, the rest of the globe will also be cooled. These sensational findings, ignored by the mainstream media, were released last year and are the work of six top international scientists led by Nour-Eddine Omrani of the Norwegian Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research. Published in the Nature journal Climate and Atmospheric Science, the scientists say that the North Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, an important sea current that has been pumping warmer water into the Arctic, is weakening and that’s leading to a cooler North Atlantic area and lower temperatures, as was observed in the period 1950-1970.

Certainly, current observations back up these suggestions. As we reported recently, Arctic summer sea ice stopped declining about a decade ago and has shown recent growth. The Greenland surface ice sheet grew by almost 500 billion tonnes in the year to August 2022, and this was nearly equivalent to its estimated annual loss. Of course, climate alarmists have not quite caught up with these recent trends, with Sir David Attenborough telling his BBC Frozen Planet II audience that the summer sea ice could all be gone within 12 years.

Interestingly, the six scientists, whose work has helped debunk the ‘settled’ science myth, still attribute some global warming to human causes. The Northern hemisphere is characterised by “several multidecadal climate trends that have been attributed to anthropogenic climate change”. But producing work that predicts 30 years of global cooling puts them outside the ‘settled’ narrative that claims human-produced carbon dioxide is the main – possibly the only – determinant of global and local temperatures. At the very least, it dials down the hysteria pushing for almost immediate punitive net-Zero measures. Lead author Omrani is reported to have said that the expected warming pause “gives us time to work out technical, political and economic solutions before the next warming phase, which will take over again from 2050”.

Read more …

“..there’s a growing push to implement the carbon credit scam worldwide. And that’s not a coincidence.”

Carbon Credits Are the Biggest Scam Since Indulgences (IM)

In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church convinced the commoners to buy indulgences to alleviate their sins. And they made a fortune in the process. Similarly, today, our overlords—the mainstream media, central bankers, and their political allies—are working overtime to convince the commoners to pay for their alleged climate sins. Enter carbon credits, government-issued permits that grant you the privilege to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide. Although advocates promote them as a way to “save the environment,” in reality, carbon credits are nothing more than a devious mechanism to tax, regulate, and control you. It’s not a coincidence that the most philosophically and ethically bent people are promoting them.


For example, at a recent World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, participants revealed and touted an “individual carbon footprint tracker.” It will track where people travel, how they travel, what they eat, and what they consume. Carbon accounting is already creeping into many places, like Google Flights. A federal carbon tax is already a reality in Trudeau’s Canada, and it’s causing the price of food and other goods and services to soar. But Canadians haven’t seen anything yet—the federal carbon tax will triple by 2030. In short, there’s a growing push to implement the carbon credit scam worldwide. And that’s not a coincidence. Remember, central banks only exist to harvest wealth from the populace through inflation and redirect it to the politically connected, an insidious practice known as seigniorage.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Pfizer India
https://twitter.com/i/status/1617493297735270400

 

 


‘Girls in the Windows’ – New York (1960) – Ormond Gigli
The building was knocked down the next day

 

 

Kafka

 

 


This iconic picture by Masa Ushioda is now famous as the ‘whale’s high five’ and was taken off the coast of Hona, Hawaii in 2018

 

 

Limit

 

 


Lifeguards working in Croatia.

 

 

Pelican landing
https://twitter.com/i/status/1617631392644628480

 

 


Alligator lurking in the duckweed. Photo: Cole Frechou

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 122023
 


Heinrich Hofmann Christ and the Rich Young Man 1889

 

Is Coincidence Now The Leading Cause Of Death? (Emerald)
The City Of Soledar Has Been Liberated By The Wagner PMC (Saker)
Wagner Comments On Ukrainian Casualties In Soledar (RT)
Zelensky Tries To Reassure Hollywood: “There Will Be No Third World War” (ZH)
Nothing That Our Adversaries Predicted Has Happened – Putin (RT)
Kremlin Explains Why There Are No Peace Talks On Ukraine (RT)
Using Ukraine as a Bloodied Pawn (Antiwar)
Share Prices Of NATO Weapons Makers Surge (RT)
Why Biden and Trump Are Treated Differently in Classified Document Cases (ET)
Biden’s ‘Surprise’: Classified Documents Were Moved At Least Twice (Turley)
Top Dems Fume As Kevin McCarthy Boots Them From Key Committee Positions (AW)
India Won’t Support G7 Price Cap On Russian Oil – Analyst (RT)
Italy and the EU Are on Collision Course as Economic Conditions Worsen (NC)
Greece, Malta Lag Behind In Sanctioning Russian Assets – EU Official (RT)
WEF Partner Behind Sudden Push to Ban Gas Stoves (GP)

 

 

 

 

Pentagon controlled Covid – Whole FDA approval process was theater.
https://twitter.com/TheChiefNerd/status/1613316088690876418

 

 

 

 

Tucker RFK jr

 

 

 

 

Trust the science

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good video.

Is Coincidence Now The Leading Cause Of Death? (Emerald)

Vaccinated people around the world are now dying of “sudden cardiac events” according to the latest data we have from the CDC. Just comb through the data published by the Ethical Skeptic on Twitter if you don’t believe me.

But you knew that already — if you watched what happened to NFL player Damar Hamlin. The situation was so bad that our corrupt corporate media actually pulled the arch-villain Dr. Fauci out of exile to defend the experimental COVID vaccines — thus implicating his “Wuhan baby” in Hamlin’s medical case of course. CBS News’ Major Garrett completely disgraced himself with this abject display — he might as well retire now to the Dan Rather Rest Home for Disgraced Journalists after he takes his next booster and prays to his pocket Dr. Fauci bobble-head doll. Big Pharma had already deployed its Twitter bots and its paid media shills to defend their products in the Damar Hamlin incident — only to discover that former NFL player Uche Nwaneri had died of a heart attack (aged 38) at home on the same day. That should be one coincidence too many for most people.

In fact, Damar Hamlin and Uche Nwaneri were just the tip of the iceberg. Two days later, pro surfer Marcio Freire died of a “sudden cardiac event” while surfing. (He was 47.) The next day, a 16 year-old girl died of the same thing while playing flag football at a Las Vegas school and an 18 year-old girl died of a “sudden cardiac event” while playing basketball in the Bahamas. The day after those tragic deaths, pro soccer player Modeste M’Bami died of a heart attack as well. (He was 40.) Two days later, a coach at Devine Middle School died of a heart attack in front of his students while teaching class. (He was 35.) Then a 21 year-old student at the Air Force Academy died of a “sudden cardiac event” while walking to class — and a boy at Western Brown High School in Ohio died of the same thing on the same day at his school.


It was getting hard to keep track of all these “sudden cardiac events” killing young and healthy people. Our corporate media was not keeping track of the deaths — so much as claiming that literally anything could have caused those deaths other than the experimental vaccines. You might call it Sudden Invented Syndrome Syndrome: our political elites and Big Pharma and MSM were creating new medical syndromes to cover up the biggest failed medical experiment in human history. You know it’s true. It could be Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS)! It could be commodio cordis! It could be climate change! It’s all a coincidence, you understand — and you should definitely not doubt the COVID vaccines, or Big Pharma, or your doctors, or your government. This situation was captured perfectly in the best video of 2023.

Coincidence

Read more …

“..NATO wants to fight Russia down the the last Ukrainian while Russia does not want to fight NATO down to the last Russian…”

The City Of Soledar Has Been Liberated By The Wagner PMC (Saker)

I do not have access to Russian plans, but I do not believe that the liberation of Soledar by itself will have a major impact for the planned “Big Offensive” the Russian forces are ready to execute. Yes, time is of the essence in warfare, but that means that, like in chess, sometimes that critical feature of time means that waiting is the correct use of that time. That being said, the liberation of Soledar will have a major effect on NATO supply lines, both on roads and railways. Again, the idea here is to transform the once unified NATO forces into smaller “chunks” unable to help each other. By all signs, this has been an extremely effective Russian tactic. Another location which NATO tried really hard to exploit is Kherson, yet all the NATO attacks failed and have now petered down to almost nothing (mostly UAV recon flight and regular artillery strikes).

Ditto for the Kharkov oblast were Ukie attacks mostly stopped. Finally, here is another important marker: the size of the NATO offensives. Remember how in the first months of the war the Ukrainian counter-attacks typically involved several brigades? Then much of what we saw were battalion-size attacks. Now most of what we see are very small, company-level, engagements. Such, engagements are futile by definition: why bother with a company-level attack which, even if fully successful you won’t be able to develop even tactically, nevermind operationally? The ONLY reason for such attacks are optics and PSYOPs. Period. The Russians won’t fight that way, because that way implies sending wave after wave after wave of bodies through into the Russian meat grinder for the sole purpose of taking a photo, making a video or claim another absolutely huge “peremoga” (all the NATO victories are huge, didn’t you know?).

Right now the KIA/MIA ratio between NATO and Russia is roughly about 10:1 and that is exactly how the Russians like it, even if they now have several hundred of thousand of soldiers in the South, East and North. Simply put, NATO wants to fight Russia down the the last Ukrainian while Russia does not want to fight NATO down to the last Russian. This is why NATO fights with bodies and Russia with (mostly) artillery shells. Conclusion: let’s not start acting like NATO and Ukie airmchair generals and declare that the liberation of Soledar is a “huge” victory. It is, however, very good news as it strongly suggests that the NATO first and second line of defense have been breached forcing NATO to regroup. Could that be the “first crack” in the NATO defenses? Maybe, maybe not, we need to see how NATO will respond before coming to conclusions.

Russian winter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1613153895638863876

Read more …

“..Russian control of the town now threatens to unravel the entire Ukrainian front in Donbass..”

Wagner Comments On Ukrainian Casualties In Soledar (RT)

Ukrainian soldiers surrounded in Soledar have either surrendered or been killed, Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Wednesday. Fighters of the private military company completely surrounded the Donbass town the day prior and are now clearing the extensive tunnel network in the salt mines underneath. “I want to repeat that Soledar has been fully liberated and cleared of Ukrainian army units,” Prigozhin said in a statement on Wednesday evening. “The Ukrainian troops that refused to surrender have been destroyed.” Prigozhin estimated that around 500 Ukrainian troops have been killed after Wagner forces closed the encirclement of Soledar. “The entire town is littered with the bodies of Ukrainian servicemen,” he said. Wagner fighters first circulated a video taken in downtown Soledar on Tuesday, as proof the town administration was under their control.


Later in the day, Prigozhin was filmed touring the salt mine tunnels as well, which he said Wagner was starting to clear as well. The tunnel network is approximately 300 kilometers (186 miles) long and reaches hundreds of meters below the ground level. Prigozhin also quashed rumors, circulating due to a meeting of Russian and Ukrainian officials in Türkiye on Wednesday, that some kind of evacuation was being arranged. “There can be no word of any humanitarian corridor,” he said, noting that all civilians have already been evacuated from the town. Soledar had around 10,000 residents before the conflict. The Ukrainian army turned it into a strongpoint after being pushed out of Popasnaya in mid-2022. Russian control of the town now threatens to unravel the entire Ukrainian front in Donbass. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had acknowledged on Sunday that the situation in Soledar was “very difficult” but vowed that Ukrainian troops would continue to hold “no matter what.”

Read more …

And while -at least- 100s of his people are dying, Frankie goes to Hollywwod.

Zelensky Tries To Reassure Hollywood: “There Will Be No Third World War” (ZH)

When we first heard that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would make a virtual appearance at 80th annual Golden Globe Awards Tuesday night in order to update the audience and American public on the status of the conflict, we thought it was a joke. It should be remembered too that the Oscar Awards rejected efforts for a Zelensky appearance last year (though he did give an emotional speech at the Grammys last April). But like with much else connected with Zelensky and the unprecedented pandering of American institutions for a foreign leader, it was all too absurdly real. He told the audience of Hollywood A-listers that “there will be no third World War” – citing Ukraine’s momentum on the battlefield. “The war in Ukraine is not over yet, but the tide is turning and it is already clear who will win,” Zelensky said after being introduced by friend and actor Sean Penn. “There are still battles and tears ahead.”

He launched into a bit of a history lecture, akin to his December in-person Congressional speech, reminding the television viewing audience that the Golden Globe Awards first got its start during WWII, and compared the current Russian invasion to “the struggle for the right of the new generations to know about the war only from movies.” That’s when Zelensky sought to assure Americans against what’s become a legitimate overarching concern – uncontrollable escalation between the US and Russia: “The First World War claimed millions of lives. The Second World War claimed tens of millions of them. There will be no third World War. It is not a trilogy,” Zelensky said, promising that Ukraine “will stop the Russian aggression” with the help of the free world.

“The war in Ukraine is not over yet, but the tide is turning and it is already clear who will win… We will make it together with the whole free world and I hope that all of you will be with us on the victorious day the day of our victory,” Zelensky said. For anyone worried that the world is inching toward nuclear Armageddon, these words are not cause for comfort – but quite the opposite… after all, it’s 2023 and a foreign head of state just appeared at a Hollywood awards show to tell celebrities he’s not expecting World War 3 to break out. But Kiev wants to combat growing global skepticism regarding the war’s outcome, in order to keep the Western weapons pipeline flowing of course. He also just pledged “victory” over nuclear armed super power Russia, and that a Ukrainian “win” is becoming “clear”… so let that sink in.

Read more …

“..there’s still much that needs to be done to secure Russia’s “absolutely … sovereign independent development despite all the external pressure and threats.”

Nothing That Our Adversaries Predicted Has Happened – Putin (RT)

None of the gloomy forecasts the West made about Russia’s fate in 2022 have come to pass, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the government on Wednesday as he commented on the West’s failure to disrupt the national economy. “Nothing that our adversaries predicted has happened to us,” Putin said as he thanked the government for its effective work throughout 2022, which helped Russia withstand international pressure amid unprecedented sanctions imposed by the US and its allies. “In no small way, that was the result of the government’s work,” he added. The president then said that there’s still much that needs to be done to secure Russia’s “absolutely … sovereign independent development despite all the external pressure and threats.”

He highlighted the fact that more efforts should be aimed at supplying the Russian forces involved in the conflict in Ukraine. Russia should also expand the technological capacities of its economy and encourage the creation of new industries and workplaces, he said, while strengthening the financial sector, the agriculture industry and some other economic fields. Following the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in late February, the US and its allies in Europe and beyond imposed unprecedented sanctions against Moscow, targeting entire sectors of its economy, including finances and banking as well as aviation and space industries. In December, the EU, along with the G7 countries and Australia, introduced a price cap on Russian seaborne oil, set at $60 per barrel.

Last spring, many Western officials and media outlets predicted that the Russian economy would collapse under the pressure of sanctions and military expenditures, only to admit that Moscow managed to defy all of those predictions. In May, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic admitted that the Western sanctions were not working, as The Economist reported that the Russian economy proved to be “surprisingly resilient” amid high oil and gas revenues. In August, Bloomberg and the Washington Post reported that the sanctions failed to bring about the economic collapse that Western leaders had hoped for. In December, Putin said that Russia was outperforming many of the G20 nations despite sanctions. Earlier the same month, the Russian Finance Ministry said that oil and gas budget revenues exceeded the full-year target in the first 11 months, bringing an additional $9 billion to Russia’s coffers.

Putin 2016

Read more …

“Moscow says Washington and its allies are waging a proxy war at the expense of the Ukrainian people.”

Kremlin Explains Why There Are No Peace Talks On Ukraine (RT)

Russia would prefer peace talks with Ukraine over fighting, but sees no potential for them due to the positions taken by Kiev and its Western backers, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. The official reminded journalists on Wednesday that Ukrainian law “forbids the president of Ukraine [from having] any dialogue with us.” “Under the circumstances, in which Westerners are apparently not prone to allow Kiev to show any flexibility on the issue, we cannot say that there is any potential [for negotiations] at the moment,” he added. In October, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed into law an order by the Security and Defense Council, which banned any talks with Russia while its President Vladimir Putin remains in office.


Senior Ukrainian officials declared that talks with Moscow may only be possible after Kiev seizes control of all the land it considers to be under its sovereignty, including the Crimean Peninsula. Moscow said it was on the verge of signing a truce with Kiev in early April, after a breakthrough was achieved during Türkiye-mediated talks in Istanbul. The Ukrainian government made a U-turn, however, which Russia believes to have been the result of Western meddling. The US has declared “strategic defeat” of Russia in Ukraine as its policy goal and pledged to help Kiev “for as long as it takes” to achieve military victory. Moscow says Washington and its allies are waging a proxy war at the expense of the Ukrainian people.

Read more …

“Achieving such an objective would indisputably require a prolonged war in Ukraine – regardless of the consequences to the Ukrainian people.”

Using Ukraine as a Bloodied Pawn (Antiwar)

US and NATO officials routinely contend that assisting Ukraine in its war against Russia is a moral as well as a strategic imperative. Ukraine is supposedly on the frontlines of a global struggle between democracy and freedom on one side and brutal authoritarianism on the other. That justification lacks credibility for two reasons. First, Ukraine itself is a corrupt, repressive autocracy, not a freedom-loving democracy, even if one uses the most flexible, expansive definition of “democracy.” Second, the Russia-Ukraine war is a nasty turf fight over mundane stakes, not part of an existential global confrontation between good and evil.

It is hard to determine how much Western political leaders and their media mouthpieces actually believe their own moralistic propaganda. Some likely have drunk the Kool Aid, but others clearly have more practical (and less savory) reasons for wanting Washington to wage a proxy war against Russia. First and foremost, the financial benefits to the military-industrial complex are enormous. The United States has already provided more than $100 billion in aid to Kyiv, and a major portion of those funds are going to pay for Ukraine’s purchases (now or in the near future) of weapons systems from Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, or other manufacturers. Those firms also will benefit from the destruction of weapons already provided to Kyiv, since US stockpiles supposedly must be replenished. The usual collection of hawks already are sounding alarms that the arsenals of the United States and its NATO allies have become significantly depleted.

However, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin may have inadvertently disclosed a broader, ignoble motive for the proxy war. An April 2022 statement that he issued in Poland at the end of his stealth visit to Kyiv emphasized that Washington’s goal was not merely to help Ukraine repel Russia’s invasion, but to “weaken Russia” to the point that it could no longer pose a threat to any other country. Achieving such an objective would indisputably require a prolonged war in Ukraine – regardless of the consequences to the Ukrainian people.

Read more …

What kind of people hold and purchase these shares?

Share Prices Of NATO Weapons Makers Surge (RT)

The largest military and defense corporations of NATO member states have seen a 21.5% boost in market value in 2022 amid the military operation in Ukraine and the rearmament in Europe, Vedomosti newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing data from Defense News and Tradingview analytics. Their combined market capitalization increased from $579 billion in December 2021 to $703 billion in December 2022, according to the estimates. The ranking included 25 companies with a capitalization of over $1 billion which are traded on the stock market and have military products dominating in their revenues, and are also actively involved in arms supplies to Ukraine.


Authors of the report name German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall as the top gainer over the last 12 months, with a 122% surge in share price. French drone and missile producer Thales saw its market value rise 54%. American defense contractor Northrop Grumman was up 44%, while stock in HIMARS rocket launchers maker Lockheed Martin gained 42%. Other notable mentions in the report include BAE Systems (+40%), Kongsberg Gruppen (+37%), General Dynamics (+24%), and Raytheon Technologies (+19%). The report pointed out that the value of NATO’s military giants was soaring while the overall Western corporate sector sank by 16% last year, according to the S&P 1200 index, suggesting that arms manufacturers were likely the main beneficiaries of the political crisis in Europe.

Read more …

Garland knew of the “Biden files” on Nov. 2, said nothing. But did order the raid on Mar-a-Lago on Nov. 16. There is no excuse.

Why Biden and Trump Are Treated Differently in Classified Document Cases (ET)

As Republican lawmakers such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) express concern that President Joe Biden’s retention of classified materials from his vice presidency may be “[swept] under the rug,” legal experts told The Epoch Times why Biden and former President Donald Trump appear to have been treated very differently in two strikingly parallel cases. FBI agents executed a search warrant on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, in August 2022. The warrant said there was probable cause to believe there were “additional documents that contain classified NDI [national defense information]” or “presidential records subject to record retention requirements” at Mar-a-Lago.

By contrast, neither the Penn Biden Center nor any other address associated with Biden has been raided after classified materials were reportedly found at the center’s Washington office, which is located in a nondescript building about a mile from the White House. “What’s the difference in what President Trump did versus what we now know President Biden did?” asked House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), as reported by CBS. Biden’s attorneys have said that the materials were identified on Nov. 2, just days before an underwhelming midterm election performance by Republicans. Yet, the public wasn’t told of the existence of those materials until Jan. 9, two months after those elections took place.

That delay is indicative of “a political cover-up,” says Mike Davis, former chief counsel for nominations to then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and the founder of the Article III Project. He sees it as part of a pattern under the Biden administration. “There’s a clear political double standard at the Biden Justice Department, which has been politicized and weaponized against Republicans,” Davis told The Epoch Times on Jan. 10. An expert on administrative law had a similar perspective. “The fact that this has happened really creates a rule of law: if you’re a Republican, you have to meet certain exacting standards when it comes to records, and if you’re a Democrat, you don’t,” according to the expert, who requested anonymity because company policy doesn’t allow employees to speak to the media.

“A Republican president must operate in a fishbowl. If you’re a Republican president, the presumption is you have to preserve everything. And you just have to be extra careful. If you’re a Democrat, rest assured, you’re going to have different procedures applied.” Under a more consistent system, he added, the standard set by Trump’s case would also have applied to Biden’s case. “The Justice Department shouldn’t have said, ‘Let’s negotiate. You guys review and tell us what you find.’ The Justice Department should have immediately had the FBI raid the offices. Why? How do we know, without documenting and creating an inventory, whether the documents were classified or top secret?”

Tucker Biden files

Read more …

“Clinton was also “surprised” by the discovery of the documents . . . after they could not be used as part of the earlier investigation.”

Biden’s ‘Surprise’: Classified Documents Were Moved At Least Twice (Turley)

With the reported discovery of a second batch of highly classified documents connected to President Biden, the decisions of Attorney General Merrick Garland are fast moving from the inexplicable to incomprehensible. Garland was presumably briefed that classified documents were discovered in Joe Biden’s old office on Nov. 2. He also presumably knew about the Biden documents when he appointed a special counsel to investigate the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago 16 days later. At the time of the appointment of Jack Smith, some of us noted the inexplicable refusal of Garland to appoint a special counsel to look into alleged Biden influence peddling and other crimes. Garland continued to refuse such an appointment even as he justified the appointment of Smith on the basis that Trump was running for the presidency.

Joe Biden is the president. What is the difference? President Biden, meanwhile, is feigning ignorance, simply saying he was “surprised” the documents were there. By not discussing the content of the documents, Biden minimizes his vulnerability to charges of obstruction or false statements. He can simply declare “surprise,” knowing that many in the media will welcome his silence as they spin the scandal. Despite the lack of information, the press and pundits have already declared there is no real national security danger and certainly no comparison to Mar-a-Lago. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, declared “There is no comparison. They were in a locked closet. They were not accessible.” So that is the standard? A locked closet? The Mar-a-Lago storage room was locked and later the security was enhanced at the request of the FBI.

It is fair to note that Trump and his staff are accused of false statements and obstruction. However, that does not change the same alleged crime of unlawful removal and possession. Biden is taking a page from the Hillary Clinton playbook. Recall the long-sought Whitewater documents. After the case was effectively over, they suddenly appeared. The New York Times called the documents “elusive,” as if they moved by free will. Clinton was also “surprised” by the discovery of the documents . . . after they could not be used as part of the earlier investigation. There are some obvious explanations for the documents being present in the office, particularly given Biden’s work on a book that discussed his work in some of the referenced countries like Ukraine. However, even that explanation raises more questions.

For example, Biden left office as vice president in 2017 and had an office at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia after finishing his term until 2019. On February 8, 2018, the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement says that it opened its doors in Washington, D.C. So if these documents were removed when Biden left office, where were they in the prior year and were they moved repeatedly before they ended up in the Washington office? This does not appear a “one-and-done” mistake. Rather documents may have been at various locations over a five year period. None of this could be clarified with Biden simply expressing “surprise.”

Read more …

“McCarthy has the power to block Schiff and Swalwell. But the House will need to act against Omar serving on Foreign Affairs.”

Top Dems Fume As Kevin McCarthy Boots Them From Key Committee Positions (AW)

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has just made good on another promise Tuesday to remove Squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the Foreign Affairs Committee and Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from the Intelligence Committee. The Daily Mail is contending that it is payback from former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) stripping GOP Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) from their committee assignments during the 117th Congress. However, Republicans are asserting it is a promise kept to clean the House of radical leftists who they see as a national security threat. Republicans warned Democrats this was coming. Although conservatives won back the House with a slim majority, it is just enough to give them control and allow McCarthy the power to boot leftists from powerful committees.

Normally, the new Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries would present names for the committees to McCarthy, but the Speaker had already made it clear who would be blocked, which includes the three far-left representatives, according to Punchbowl News. “It’s not like it’s anything new,” McCarthy informed the media outlet. “Remember, this is what Nancy Pelosi – this is the type of Congress she wanted to have.” “Swalwell can’t get a security clearance in the private sector,” he noted of the California lawmaker who was allegedly honey potted by a Chinese spy named Fang Fang. “I’m not going to give him a government security clearance.” The woman helped Swalwell raise money for his 2014 campaign and many suspect he was sleeping with her.

The California Democrat claimed that he cut all ties to the alleged spy, but it was shown that he remained friends with her on Facebook long after an FBI briefing on her connection to China. “Schiff has lied too many times to the American public. He should not be on Intel,” McCarthy bluntly asserted. And then there are Omar’s antisemitic outbursts and anti-American sentiments. She even made conciliatory comments at the last moment, but it didn’t save her committee assignment. [..] McCarthy has the power to block Schiff and Swalwell. But the House will need to act against Omar serving on Foreign Affairs. With a Republican majority and numerous Jewish Democrats who don’t care for her, it should be no problem making sure she’s off the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Read more …

“At the beginning of 2022, Russia’s share of India’s oil imports amounted to just 0.2%. By the end of last year, it had grown to nearly one million barrels per day, reaching more than 20% of the country’s oil import basket.”

India Won’t Support G7 Price Cap On Russian Oil – Analyst (RT)

The chances of India backing the G7 price cap imposed on Russian oil are almost zero, as the country will prioritize its own political and economic interests, an Observer Research Foundation (ORF) analyst told TASS on Wednesday. Nandan Unnikrishnan said India would not be targeted with secondary sanctions for rejecting the mechanism introduced by the EU, G7 countries and Australia in December. The measures target Russia’s seaborne crude, banning Western businesses from providing insurance and other services in respect of the country’s oil cargo unless it’s purchased at or below $60 per barrel. “At the moment, prospects of India joining the oil price ceiling are almost zero,” Unnikrishnan said in an interview with the news agency. His comments followed media reports suggesting that New Delhi could join the Russian oil price cap if crude costs go above $60 per barrel. “India will pursue its own interests – economic, political, strategic. It is currently interested in importing cheap crude from Russia and won’t give up on this, as the nation makes big profits,” added the ORF analyst.


Unnikrishnan also noted that 85% of the Indian economy relies on the private sector, stressing that Reliance Industries, the country’s largest buyer of Russian oil, has significant assets in the US, but it has not stopped imports. He said Indian companies would act purely in accordance with their business interests. India, the world’s third-biggest importer of crude oil after China and the US, has been steadily increasing purchases of Russian crude over the past several months, taking advantage of discounts Moscow offered to attract buyers. At the beginning of 2022, Russia’s share of India’s oil imports amounted to just 0.2%. By the end of last year, it had grown to nearly one million barrels per day, reaching more than 20% of the country’s oil import basket. India reportedly remained Russia’s top importer for three months in a row as of December.

Read more …

“The 10-year bond yield has climbed above four percent (the level at which investors say panic sets in), nearly quadrupling the level of a year ago..”

Italy and the EU Are on Collision Course as Economic Conditions Worsen (NC)

Despite NATO’s Ukraine war being the driver of Eurozone inflation, the European Central Bank is determined to keep hiking interest rates even if that means recessions for bloc countries and another debt crisis for Italy. The ECB raised its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points In December, but also signaled that more hikes would follow in the coming months, which triggered a sell-off of Italian government bonds. Italy’s borrowing costs have risen to over four percent and are causing alarm in Rome. Meloni said the ECB should avoid making “choices that make things worse.” Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini called the ECB’s decisions “unbelievable, baffling, worrying.” Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto criticized the ECB and its president Christine Lagarde for blindly following economic theory despite the harm it will inflict on businesses and workers.

“You have to justify this politically to your European citizens. You are not a Martian,” he said. Crosetto even resorted to accusing the ECB of aiding Russia with its rate hikes. The situation for Italy could worsen as growth slows and interest rates rise further. According to FT: “The new Italian government had “given little cause for concern for investors for now,” said Veronika Roharova, head of euro area economics at Swiss bank Credit Suisse. “But concerns may resurface if growth slows, interest rates continue to rise and [debt] issuance is picking up again.” Economists are now widely expecting all three of those to occur. Two-thirds of economists polled by FT predicted the ECB would start cutting rates in 2024 – likely after Italy and other states in the EU are in a recession. Again from FT:

“The ECB will start shrinking its €5 trillion bond portfolio by €15 billion per month from March by replacing only partially matured securities, putting further pressure on Italian borrowing costs. Ludovic Subran, chief economist at German insurer Allianz, said the eurozone risked a repeat of the 2012 bond market collapse “as fiscal options differ across countries without the heavy lifting of the ECB”.” Italy’s borrowing costs have already risen sharply since the ECB started raising interest rates over the summer. The 10-year bond yield has climbed above four percent (the level at which investors say panic sets in), nearly quadrupling the level of a year ago, and 2.1 percentage points above the equivalent yield on German bonds. According to Bloomberg, such conditions “threaten to unlock the same Pandora’s box that fueled the euro crisis of 2010-12, when the currency bloc nearly split apart as more-indebted countries faced a sudden, harsh tightening of financial conditions as investors sold off their bonds.”

Read more …

“..the EU is also working on making bypassing sanctions a criminal offence in all the member states.”

Greece, Malta Lag Behind In Sanctioning Russian Assets – EU Official (RT)

Greece and Malta lag behind their European Union peers in freezing Russian assets sanctioned over Moscow’s war against Ukraine, according to an EU official and an internal document, as the bloc considers confiscating the funds to help Kyiv, Report informs via Reuters. The 27 EU countries have so far reported freezing some 20.3 billion euros ($22 billion) of sanctioned Russian assets, with Italy, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria each notifying actions totalling more than a billion euros. Almost every other EU country has frozen millions worth of assets, according to the document from the EU’s executive European Commission, which was seen by Reuters. By comparison, Greece had only notified the bloc of freezing assets worth 212,000 euros, and Malta 147,000 euros. “That is a bit surprising,” said the EU official, who spoke under condition of anonymity.


“Either they don’t have much, or they are not doing their job. Or they have done something but not communicated to us even though they had chances.” More than 10 months since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the EU currently has some 1,300 individuals and 120 entities blacklisted, as well as economic sanctions in place that include trade, transport, energy, banking, media and defence sectors. The EU’s attention turns this year to how and whether to confiscate the frozen Russian assets, and spend it on rebuilding Ukraine, an exercise where an estimated 300 billion euros worth of Russian central bank assets in Europe could also be at stake. There is little legal precedent and some member states voice major concerns about ensuing lawsuits, while others say turning the assets over to Ukraine’s benefit would be the right thing to do. Linked to that, the EU is also working on making bypassing sanctions a criminal offence in all the member states, which is not the case currently.

Read more …

“it’s all part of the plan.”

WEF Partner Behind Sudden Push to Ban Gas Stoves (GP)

The abrupt push by Democrats led by the Biden Regime to ban gas stoves has enraged and confused Americans across the country. The good news is we may have found the primary culprit behind the push and it’s connected to the World Economic Forum. RedState.com, which first broke this story, points out prominent Democrats and liberals never demonstrated an iota of concern over gas stoves before. Not even noted low-IQ Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who made an utter fool of herself by claiming a study shows gas stoves are dangerous to brain health. A major Twitter leftist named Max Kennerly also got in on the act pushing the supposed dangers of cooking with gas. Like AOC, he had never tweeted about gas stoves before. Look at this tweet by Libs of TikTok showing Kamala Harris, Jill Biden, Pocahontas, and AOC all cooking on gas stoves. Do they appear alarmed over the potential impact to their health?

So why the manufactured outrage over gas stoves? Where did this study AOC cited come from? RedState.com has the answer: “Regardless, it’s worth asking where this is all coming from, right? Why did Democrats all start moving in lockstep to ban gas stoves, seemingly with no prior concern at all? And sure enough, with a little digging, it’s been revealed that this isn’t just idle science taking place.” “The company behind the study is called “Carbon-Free Buildings.” That company is a partner of the World Economic Forum and has a true-believer CEO who wants to rid the world of all carbon emissions (which is impossible and would lead to mass extinction).” To no one’s surprise this all connects back to the World Economic Forum (WEF). The same megalomaniacs who years ago informed the masses that they “will own nothing and be happy.”


Certainly looks like the Regime and its fellow Democrats have received marching orders from their globalist masters. The WEF and the Democrats both share a common goal of eliminating fossil fuels for the commoners while they fly gas-guzzling private jets across the globe. The elimination of gas stoves qualifies another step toward completing their scheme. As the Joker from The Dark Knight once said, “it’s all part of the plan.” If you have not realized this until now, then you really have not been paying attention.

Read more …

 

 

 

 


The most famous figure in human history, according to the ranking of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is Aristotle. (MIT) collected and analyzed data on history and culture around the planet from 4,000 BC. until 2010. There are six people from Greece in the top ten.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The green heron with its neck at rest vs. fully stretched

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 022022
 
 December 2, 2022  Posted by at 9:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  55 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Female bust 1943

 

All NATO Countries Agree On ‘Need’ For Ukraine Membership – Minister (RT)
US Poised To ‘Dramatically Expand’ Training Of Ukrainian Forces (ZH)
Zelensky Adviser: ‘13,000 Ukrainian Soldiers Killed’ (Telegraaf)
Eastern Ukraine Had Good Reason To Join Russia (Kovalik)
EU Has No Legal Way To Seize Russian Assets – EU Officials (RT)
Operation Gladio: NATO’s Secret War for International Fascism (Chung)
EU Respects China’s Sovereignty – European Council President (RT)
Macron Warns US Climate Plan May ‘Fragment The West’ (RT)
Dutch Farmers to Rutte: Go to Hell (Celente)
WH Press Secretary Called Out For Saying Biden Has Visited Border (JTN)
The European Union Moves Toward a Possible Ban of Twitter (Turley)
Elon Musk Declares ‘Cancel Culture Needs To Be Canceled’ (Fox)
Activists and Pundits Target Justice Barrett as “Religious Extremist” (Turley)
Three COVID-19 Questions Dr. Fauci Needs To Answer (Kory)

 

 

 

 

@jack
https://twitter.com/alx/status/1598329040393437185

 

 

 

 

Straight
https://twitter.com/i/status/1598235853603864576

 

 

 

 

Tucker Heavy D

 

 

Tucker Max Keiser
https://twitter.com/i/status/1598521626420707329

 

 

 

 

The need for WWIII.

All NATO Countries Agree On ‘Need’ For Ukraine Membership – Minister (RT)

There is a consensus within NATO that Ukraine needs to become a member of the bloc, Ukrainian Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Olga Stefanishina claimed on Thursday. Budapest’s objections to Kiev’s participation – due to a dispute over ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine – will be overcome by “political instruments,” she added. “We have made progress on the question of getting closer to NATO,” Stefanishina said at a security forum in Kiev. “At the most recent ministerial summit in Bucharest, all 30 member states agreed on the need to offer Ukraine membership.” “NATO members confirmed that the alliance door is open to Ukraine,” Stefanishina continued, arguing that this was a “new powerful signal” that shows “no one fears pressure from Russia.”

Hungary continues to object to Ukraine’s participation in NATO’s official meetings, but this has “become a problem” for the bloc, the minister told her audience in Kiev. NATO is now using “all political instruments of pressure to convince Hungary to abandon the blockade,” the minister said. She did not elaborate on the form that such pressure might take. On Wednesday, the EU announced it would withhold billions in funding to Hungary until it complies with 27 “essential milestones” laid out by Brussels. The money includes pandemic relief and “cohesion” funds intended to level social inequalities in the bloc. Hungary certainly appeared skeptical towards Ukraine’s membership in NATO at the Bucharest summit, with Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto arguing that a country could only join the bloc if it “does not threaten but strengthens the security of existing members.”

Szijjarto has also reiterated that Budapest would “not agree to a formal meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission until the Hungarians of Transcarpathia have their rights restored.” “We cannot and do not want to retreat from this position,” he added, explaining that while Budapest has not raised the issue since the conflict in Ukraine escalated in February, it has not forgotten about it either.

Read more …

And the need for MORE WWIII.

US Poised To ‘Dramatically Expand’ Training Of Ukrainian Forces (ZH)

As if the Pentagon and US intelligence hadn’t already escalated its presence enough inside Ukraine, given there are already literally a small contingent of “boots on the ground” – as we detailed last month, CNN is now reporting that the Biden administration is considering “dramatically” increasing its training of Ukrainian forces. The proposal would involve US advisers training “much larger groups of Ukrainian soldiers in more sophisticated battlefield tactics” at American installations in Germany, and perhaps other locations in Europe, according to the new report. CNN begins by reporting that “The Biden administration is considering a dramatic expansion in the training the US military provides to Ukrainian forces, including instructing as many as 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers a month at a US base in Germany, according to multiple US officials.”

“If adopted, the proposal would mark a significant increase not just in the number of Ukrainians the US trains but also in the type of training they receive,” the report continues, also noting that this far “only a few thousand” Ukrainian soldiers have been trained on specific US-provided weapons systems. According to further details in CNN: “Under the new program, the US would begin training much larger groups of Ukrainian soldiers in more sophisticated battlefield tactics, including how to coordinate infantry maneuvers with artillery support – “much more intense and comprehensive” training than Ukraine has been receiving in Poland or the UK, according to one source briefed on the proposal.”

This is a significant statement given the ongoing British program at multiple UK bases is large in size. However what’s being mulled by the Pentagon would see some 15,000 Ukrainians trained by the United States every six months. Multiple US officials have meanwhile projected they expect the war could take years before there’s a final ceasefire and resolution. The UK’s own infantry training program for Ukraine forces has a stated goal of training at least 10,000 Ukrainian troops. The Kremlin for its part has warned repeatedly of such deepening Western involvement which clearly is now going far beyond just weapons shipments. Russia this week walked away from New START nuclear arms reduction treaty negotiations with the US while citing its growing involvement in backing Kiev as a major reason for halting resumption of talks.

Maersheimer The west is playing Russian roulette in Ukraine.

Read more …

Google translation. This is why Ursula had to be “corrected”. Zelensky will never admit 100,000 deaths.

So now we have Ursula at 100,000, Russia at 200,000+, and Zelensky at 10-13,000, with Ukraine also saying 100,000 Russia deaths. Take your pick.

Zelensky Adviser: ‘13,000 Ukrainian Soldiers Killed’ (Telegraaf)

In the war between Russia and Ukraine, 10,000 to 13,000 soldiers have died on the Ukrainian side, Mykhailo Podolyak reports in conversation with the Ukrainian TV channel Channel 24. Podolyak is an adviser to President Zelensky. His statements have not yet been officially confirmed from Kiev. Ukraine regularly provides figures on the number of Russian soldiers killed, but the figures on the number of casualties on the Ukrainian side have always been shrouded in fog. Earlier this week, Kiev reacted furiously to a statement by the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. She stated that 100,000 Ukrainian troops had been killed since the start of the war. After the criticism, she went back on her words by saying that she was talking about dead and injured. According to Podolyak, the number of civilian casualties is ‘considerable’. The BBC reported in June that the number of civilian casualties was around 3,600. That number is probably much higher now.

Read more …

“In present-day Ukraine, “there are neo-Nazi pogroms against the Roma, rampant attacks on feminists and LGBT groups, book bans, and state-sponsored glorification of Nazi collaborators.”

Eastern Ukraine Had Good Reason To Join Russia (Kovalik)

Once a Pittsburgh sister city also known for its steel industry, Donetsk, and the greater Donbas region in which it is located, has been at war since 2014. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, 14,000 people died in this conflict, even before Russia began its military operations in February. I’ve just returned from there. Before Russia’s intervention, the conflict had been between the people of that region and the government in Kiev, after an unconstitutional coup took 2014. This coup, known as “Maidan,” was — as then US Ambassador to Ukraine Victoria Nuland explained in a recorded telephone conversation — managed by the United States. The coup brought to power a pro-Western, anti-Russian, government, which contained elements which were far-right and even Nazi.

The best known element, as the Nation Magazine reported in 2019, is the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which has been part of Ukraine’s National Guard since 2014. Its commander Andriy Biletsky once wrote that Ukraine’s mission is to “lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade…against the Semite-led Untermenschen.” As The Nation explained, the Azov Battalion is not merely Nazi in theory, but also in practice. In present-day Ukraine, “there are neo-Nazi pogroms against the Roma, rampant attacks on feminists and LGBT groups, book bans, and state-sponsored glorification of Nazi collaborators.” The American press wrote about this sporadically before this year. Now the press does backflips to obscure and deny this reality.

However, the people of Donetsk, who have lived this reality now for almost nine years, are very clear that all of this is real. Indeed, I met people in Donetsk (some quite elderly) who volunteered back in 2014 to defend their land and their people from the Kiev government’s aggression. Much of the government views the predominantly ethnic Russian people of the Donbas as inferior beings whose language and culture, including the Russian Orthodox Church, should be eradicated. I actually traveled to Donestk in a vehicle laden with clothes destined for a Russian Orthodox monastery in Donetsk that is constantly being shelled by the Kiev government. These monks now live in underground rooms beneath the increasingly-destroyed monastery.

The people I met in Donetsk view their struggle as a fight against fascism. As one told me, there is a saying in Donetsk which goes, “First Stalingrad, now Stalino.” (Stalino was the former name of Donetsk.) Stalingrad, was where the Nazis were finally forced to retreat from Russia. The people of Donetsk are now dedicated to doing the same to the neo-Nazis in Ukraine. And yes, despite how inconvenient to Americans it may be to accept this, they see Russia as their ally in this struggle.

Read more …

“..in most member states seizing frozen assets is only legally possible when there is a criminal conviction..”

EU Has No Legal Way To Seize Russian Assets – EU Officials (RT)

EU officials have said they cannot legally confiscate Russian assets that have been frozen as part of Western sanctions, however, they hope to set up an international court to prosecute Russian officials for the military operation in Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. According to European Commission officials, the international principle of state immunity doesn’t allow the executive body to appropriate the assets of the Russian Central Bank, but lawmakers have proposed that EU member states and their allies create a fund to manage the liquid assets and lay aside profits from those investments for the reconstruction of Ukraine. According to the commission, Brussels has no current figures on the amount of Russian Central Bank assets that bloc countries hold or what proportion is in liquid assets such as cash.


According to the Kremlin, around $300 billion in reserves held abroad have been frozen since March, along with billions more belonging to Russian businesses and individuals. The legality of using Russian state and private assets to fund Ukraine has been under discussion for several months, but the bloc’s desired mechanism is not easy to implement, as in most member states seizing frozen assets is only legally possible when there is a criminal conviction. Meanwhile, Washington is facing its own challenges when it comes to using of Russian funds. Treasury and Justice Department officials have reportedly asked lawmakers to develop new legislation to expand their powers, not just to freeze, but to seize the assets. US officials told the journal that the administration is constrained in what it can do until that new authority is introduced.

Read more …

Fascism was always the defense against communism. Pity there’s no more communism. What to do now?

Operation Gladio: NATO’s Secret War for International Fascism (Chung)

With the end of the Second World War, there appeared an almost instantaneous agreement among the Western European nations the need to defend their sovereignty against the rise of Soviet communism. Ironically the solution to this was the idea of a ‘New World Order’[1] for Europe. The Fifth Column was sold as a communist one, and thus the need to work with ‘former’ Nazis and fascists was justified to secure the European civilization from the threatened invasion by the ‘Asiatic hordes.’ Of course, the common people were not notified of this decision to reunite with the fascists; that not even before the end of the Second World War, there were discussions of aligning with the fascists to secure what was to be the ‘New World Order’.

To ensure that Europe would stand strong, it seemed only logical that it should form a European unity, able to collectively use their resources and military in a coordinated defense against this looming “Asian threat”. It would be interesting, that many nations who treated the army of Hitler with seeming indifference up to the very moment of invasion, would now trumpet loudly the need to prepare for war on all fronts (economically, culturally, politically, militarily including paramilitary) against the Eastern barbarians, and Mosley had positioned himself at the forefront of this clarion call.

In his The World Alternative (1936) Mosley wrote: “We must return to the fundamental concept of a European Nation which animated the war generation of 1918.” In reference to the openly pro-fascist former British Prime Minister Lloyd George’s (1916-1922) War Cabinet. When the Axis began losing crucial battles in 1943, this only intensified Europeanism as the new order’s last line of defense that would be entrusted to the younger generation. On November 14th, 1944 Mussolini proposed in the Verona programme “a European Community, with a federation of all nations and the development of Africa’s natural resources.”[2]

Stephen Dorril writes in his book Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British fascism:[3] “The Eastern Front was transformed into the ‘European Front’ as Europe’s defence became a supra-national moral obligation. The Waffen SS assumed the role of Europe’s army and its struggle to hold back the Bolsheviks from overrunning the West invoked an embryonic Europeanism, which became a central myth of post-war Fascism. Neo-Fascist thinker Maurice Bardeche wrote that ‘the Defense of the West has remained in the memory, and this is still the chief meaning of fascist ideas’.”

Read more …

Xi correctly views Michel as an absolute nobody.

EU Respects China’s Sovereignty – European Council President (RT)

European Council President Charles Michel on Thursday assured Chinese President Xi Jinping that the EU respects China’s sovereignty and will not interfere in its domestic affairs. Michel, who arrived in Beijing at the invitation of President Xi, discussed China-Europe ties and regional and global issues with the Chinese president during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People on Thursday morning. “EU sticks to strategic autonomy, upholds one-China policy, respects China’s sovereignty and will not interfere in China’s domestic affairs,” state-run Global Times quoted Michel as telling Xi during the meeting.


“EU is willing to strengthen communication with China on better coping with the energy crisis and climate change,” he added. President Xi welcomed the visiting European Council president and said his visit reflects the EU’s goodwill to develop ties with China. Xi said that it is in the common interest of China, Europe, and the international community to keep China-Europe ties forward.

Read more …

Macron found out the plan too late.

Macron Warns US Climate Plan May ‘Fragment The West’ (RT)

A new US incentive scheme to subsidize local electric car makers risks driving a wedge between Western countries, French President Emmanuel Macron warned on Wednesday amid looming fears of a trade war between America and Europe. Speaking at the French embassy in Washington, Macron said the scheme would have a negative impact on Europe by making it less attractive for businesses to invest in the continent’s economy. The US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) offers $391 million of incentives to promote clean energy, including support for electric vehicle manufacturers.“The choices of the past few months, in particular the IRA, are choices that will fragment the West,” he said, adding that the EU and the US need “to co-ordinate and re-synchronize our policy agendas.”

Macron described the economic plan as “super aggressive” towards European companies during a meeting with US lawmakers from both main parties, according to an unnamed Reuters source.“You will perhaps fix your issue, but you will increase my problem,” he added, as quoted by AFP, warning that the US incentive could “kill a lot of jobs.”Meanwhile, on Wednesday, when asked about European concerns about the act, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed it “presents significant opportunities for European firms as well as benefits to EU energy security,” adding that “this is not a zero-sum game” for the US, and Washington seeks a “constructive path of engagement” with the EU on the matter.

In recent months, the Inflation Reduction Act has been a particularly thorny subject in transatlantic relations, with various EU leaders arguing that it discriminates against Europeans as it could give American electric vehicle manufacturers an advantage over their EU counterparts in the lucrative US market. While the EU and US are attempting to resolve their differences, Bernd Lange, the chair of the European Parliament’s trade committee, warned that when the scheme enters in force in several weeks, it will be too late for the parties to negotiate any changes to the legislation. He added that, should this happen, the EU would likely lodge a lawsuit against Washington with the World Trade Organization.

Read more …

Trying to find this in the Dutch press. Not much. Yesterday at some point they said the farmers had gone home. And in the southern province of Limburg 25 farmers were bought out for €47 million.

I’m still not sure at which point the nitrogen narrative became so fashionable. Other than the EU made it illegal. Or was that the WEF?

Dutch Farmers to Rutte: Go to Hell (Celente)

Dutch farmers are fighting for their lives, but don’t expect to see any mention about their struggle with government oppression in the Western media. Videos emerged on social media Thursday that showed Dutch farmers riding in tactors and clashing with police to rail against the country’s decision to make good on its threat to enforce the EU climate law that has sparked protests for months. These farmers say these demands will essentially eliminate any chance that they have of making a living. The Netherlands, a country of just about 17 million residents, is the world’s second-largest agricultural exporter after the U.S. At issue are the projected effects of climate legislation which by 2030 would force Dutch firms to cut national nitrogen emissions by 50 percent and up to 95 percent in certain areas. Cows and fertilizers have both been targeted as main sources of emissions being effectively outlawed.


Under the plan, the Dutch government said it would be willing to buy 3,000 of the farms that it considers to be “peak polluters,” The Guardian reported. The government said the hope is to reduce “ammonia and nitrogen oxide emissions that are illegal under EU law.” Christianne van der Wal, the country’s nitrogen minister, told the farmers, “There is no better offer coming.” She said compulsory purchases would be made with “pain in the heart”, if necessary, The Telegraph reported. Mark Rutte, the prime minister has said if there are not enough farmers who sell their businesses, then the government may have to force some of them out of business, Bloomberg reported. One Twitter user posted a video that claimed to show police using an excavator to forcefully remove a protesting tractor driver. “Dutch police attack farmers by trying to destroy their tractors…while those who stand in their way are beaten and arrested. Fighting the Great Reset was never going to be easy,” the post read.

Read more …

Blatant. Apparently they think they can get away with it.

WH Press Secretary Called Out For Saying Biden Has Visited Border (JTN)

Twitter users and elected officials called out White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for incorrectly saying President Joe Biden visiting the border. Fox News reporter Peter Doocy brought up the border Wednesday during a press briefing where he asked Jean-Pierre when the president would be visiting the southern border. “We know the president’s never been down to the border. The possible next speaker says that he wants [Biden] to go with him. So, is he going to?” Doocy asked. “He’s been there. He’s been to the border. And since he took office,” Jean-Pierre answered. Doocy asked a follow-up question about when specifically Biden visited the border, but the press secretary ignored his question and moved on, according to Fox News.


Many twitter users including Texas GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw correct Jean-Pierre, noting that Biden has not visited the border at all during his time as president. “Narrator: President Biden has not been to the border,” Crenshaw tweeted. Former California Senate candidate James Bradley also called the press secretary out on this statement. “Karine Jean-Pierre FACT CHECK: Joe Biden has NOT been to the southern border HE OPENED since he has been president,” Bradley tweeted. According to Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy the only time Biden has conceivably “been to the border” was during a very brief 2008 drive-by when he landed at El Paso airport and rode in a motorcade to the suburb of Las Cruces, with the route hugging the U.S.-Mexico border for a few minutes.

Read more …

“Allow the public to see not just communications on censorship (including subjects beyond Hunter Biden) but how Twitter may have used verification, throttling, algorithms, or other methods to control speech.”

The European Union Moves Toward a Possible Ban of Twitter (Turley)

The anti-free speech movement in the United States has shifted to Europe to do what the government cannot do in this country: force the censorship of dissenting viewpoints. It is, therefore, little surprise that Nina Jankowicz, the short-lived “disinformation czar” at Biden’s Department of Homeland Security, has now registered as a foreign agent with a European group pushing censorship. The vehicle for this effort is also not surprising. For years, some of us have denounced the EU’s efforts to pass the Digital Services Act, a roadmap for state censorship on the Internet. It is the Western embrace of Chinese style speech controls on the Internet. The chief censor in the West has been Breton, who has shown open contempt for free speech values.

Breton has made no secret that he views free speech as a danger coming from the United States that needs to be walled off from the Internet. He previously declared that, with the DSA, the EU is now able to prevent the Internet from again becoming a place for largely unregulated free speech, which he referred to as the “Wild West” period of the Internet. It is a telling reference because the EU views free speech itself as an existential danger. They reject the notion of free speech as its own protection where good speech can overcome bad speech. That is viewed as the “Wild West.” Musk has indicated that he will try to comply with the EU demands but that “there is still huge work ahead.” I have previously suggested that, if Musk is forced to comply with EU censorship rules, he should post a warning to the citizens of these countries that they are being given state-controlled information under mandatory censorship laws.

However, in the United States, Musk should hold the line in his restoration of free speech and release the record on the company’s past censorship efforts. Musk has forced people to take side in this existential free speech fight. The public has responded by signing up in record numbers. It is time for the public to see the truth about the years of election manipulation and viewpoint discrimination. So, open the files. Allow the public to see not just communications on censorship (including subjects beyond Hunter Biden) but how Twitter may have used verification, throttling, algorithms, or other methods to control speech. The company does not have to release codes or potentially damaging information to reveal the back channel communications, deliberations, and targeting choices. By embracing total transparency, Musk can force the EU and other companies to face the ugly realities of censorship. Let them take ownership of censorship as the public demands both transparency and accountability.

Read more …

“..most Americans are not interested in the culture war and how it is a small percentage driving this friction.”

Elon Musk Declares ‘Cancel Culture Needs To Be Canceled’ (Fox)

Twitter users rejoiced on Wednesday when CEO Elon Musk declared that “cancel culture needs to be canceled.” Musk tweeted, “Cancel culture needs to be canceled!!” in response to a clip from CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” The CNBC host Joe Kernen spoke to AEI president emeritus Arthur Brooks about criticism Musk has faced since his acquisition of Twitter. Kernen observed how the country is being torn into two, and the two sides are moving “further apart.” “We are so far apart on how we view the world, Arthur. Is this Twitter’s fault in the first place?” he asked. Brooks responded that most Americans are not interested in the culture war and how it is a small percentage driving this friction.


“Three percent of your employees are activists instead of working, and they’re blowing up your Slack channel right now demanding that you get involved in a culture war and make political statements. Don’t do it!” Brooks warned viewers. “The rest of your employees are feeling bullied as well. Their co-workers are being bullied by these activists, it’s time for us to say ‘I will not be conscripted into America’s culture war!'” He continued, “We don’t hate each other in this country-I’ve got the data Joe. Ninety-three percent of Americans say they hate how divided we’ve become as a country, those other 7% that doesn’t hate it, those are the activists saying if you buy a Tesla it means that somehow you believe in hate speech, it’s completely absurd, and it’s total bullying.”

Tulsi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1598271337704759296

Read more …

They won’t leave it alone. And it’s not about her. It’s still about Trump.

Activists and Pundits Target Justice Barrett as “Religious Extremist” (Turley)

Justice Amy Coney Barrett is facing increasing calls to recuse herself from a major Supreme Court case due to her religion. These absurd demands say less about the ethics of Barrett than the bias of her critics, who have waged an unrelenting and vicious campaign against the jurist and her family. At issue is 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis’ Dec. 5 argument. Even before the court granted review, I noted it could be one of the most important free-speech cases in history. It involves a web designer who declines jobs for same-sex marriages over her religious beliefs. Liberal academics and pundits have decried Barrett’s participation in the case because she has been part of the Christian group People of Praise, which holds traditional views of marriage and homosexuality.


The media are quoting former members calling themselves “survivors” saying the group holds views that make it impossible for her to judge the case fairly. Impossible, that is, if Barrett is willing to discard every principle of legal and judicial integrity she has maintained her entire career. Justices routinely rule for individuals or groups that they find objectionable and even sinful. That is what jurists do when they take an oath requiring blind and equal justice. While some have called for all the conservative justices to recuse themselves, the focus has been on Barrett. A petition with thousands of signatures declares, “Barett’s [sic] extremist religious views should have disqualified her from serving on the Supreme Court at all; but when it comes to this case in particular, it is obvious that she is far too biased to issue an impartial ruling and must recuse herself.”

Read more …

I think I prefer having Fauci shut up. Other than in a court of law.

Three COVID-19 Questions Dr. Fauci Needs To Answer (Kory)

The incoming House Republican majority would be wise to shed light on Fauci’s efforts to undermine the practice of medicine during the pandemic. Here are three specific areas worthy of investigation. First, get to the bottom of the mask masquerade. During his final press conference, Fauci stressed the importance of facial accessories by cracking a joke about “looking terrific.” Early in the pandemic, he was singing a different tune, acknowledging in private emails, “the typical mask you buy at a drug store is not really effective at keeping out a virus.”


Less than a year later, Fauci was calling double masking “common sense.” Even last week while sitting for a deposition brought by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana, Fauci implored a court reporter to don a mask after sneezing – despite not being able to name a single study supporting their use. This in November 2022, more than two months after President Joe Biden declared the pandemic “over.” Second, explore Fauci’s constant shifting of the goalposts with COVID-19 vaccines. Alongside Biden, Fauci has become the face of the vaccine push. In fact, his parting words were a final plea to “get your updated COVID-19 shot.” Never did he offer a shred of remorse for all his failed claims about the efficacy of the vaccines.

Malhotra

In December 2020, Fauci marveled at the purported 90% efficacy rate of the Pfizer vaccine, heralding the development as “just extraordinary.” As the pandemic wore on and “breakthrough cases” became the new norm, Fauci shifted to, “even if a vaccine fails to protect against infection, it often protects against serious disease.” In May 2021, he referred to vaccinated people as “dead end to the virus.” Today, as Fauci continues his push for more and more boosters unabated, even the New York Times is publishing stories carrying headlines such as, “Will Covid Boosters Prevent Another Wave? Scientists Aren’t So Sure.” Vaccinated Americans accounted for a majority of COVID-19 deaths for the first time in August. Making matters worse was Fauci’s relentless disinformation campaign against the use of safe, effective re-purposed generic drugs in favor of high-priced, patented pharmaceutical products.


Fauci dismissed critics as opponents of science, even at one point claiming to represent science itself. Yet when data have countered his preferred narrative, science has faced no greater foe than Dr. Anthony Fauci. For example, Fauci denigrated ivermectin, a readily available over the counter drug that has proven effective as a covid-19 treatment, despite his and the media’s constant citing of less than five of the 93 controlled trials in order to claim that ivermectin is ineffective. Ditto with Hydroxychloroquine, labeled as “dangerous” with “toxic” side effects, according to Fauci, who has provided no evidence to support his claims despite an even larger evidence base in support. Or fluvoxamine, another cost-effective generic drug that decreased COVID-19 hospitalizations and death in randomized-controlled trials published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Lancet.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Lions reunite
https://twitter.com/i/status/1598063802637234176

 

 

 

 

Toy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1598023185009893376

 

 


“These are baby stingrays. They look like aliens stuck in ravioli.”

 

 

Baby falcons

 

 

 

 

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