Apr 082024
 
 April 8, 2024  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


James McNeill Whistler Arrangement in Pink, Red and Purple 1883-4

 

Facing Nuclear War (Paul Craig Roberts)
Take up the NATO Man’s Burden. Send Forth The Worst Ye Breed (Hayes)
US Reluctant to Cut Off Israel’s Arms Pipeline (Sp.)
Ex-German Chancellor Calls For Diplomatic Solution To Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Ukraine May Have To Compromise With Russia – Stoltenberg (RT)
Stoltenberg’s Dido Moment Might Put A Halt To West’s Lies (Jay)
Kiev ‘Hostage’ To US Politics – Zelensky (RT)
UK To Pressure US House Speaker On Ukraine Aid (RT)
FSB Reveals Crocus City Attackers’ Plan To Escape To Ukraine (RT)
IAEA Chief Calls Attack on Zaporozhye NPP Violation of Security Principles (Sp.)
Morality Challenged (Michael Brenner)
Col. Macgregor Urges US to Stop ‘Marching’ Into Foreign Countries (Sp.)
Appeals Court Vacates ‘Disinformation’ Monitoring Of Jan. 6 Defendant’s Computer (ET)
Elon Musk Says X Will Defy Order From Brazil’s Supreme Court (ET)
Outgoing Boeing CEO Bags $33 Million Pay-Off Despite 737 Max Accidents (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Fundraiser

 

 

Palestine

 

 

Pepe

 

 

Putin Macron
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776833714820989431

 

 


Temperance is a tree which has for its root very little contentment, and for its fruit calm and peace. – Buddha

 

 

 

 

“..that the US needs to defend against a Russian or Chinese invasion is an absurdity when the US is being overrun daily by immigrant-invaders..”

Facing Nuclear War (Paul Craig Roberts)

The invention of nuclear weapons was an act of total insanity. If the massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons are not dismantled and destroyed, sooner or later they will destroy planet Earth. We have survived so far because the Cuban Missile Crisis awoke President Kennedy and Soviet leader Khrushchev to the danger of distrust between nuclear powers. For the remainder of the 20th century Washington and Moscow worked to defuse tensions and to build transparency and trust. Sufficient success was achieved to avoid false indications from warning systems showing incoming ICBMs from resulting in the launch of nuclear war. Today there is no trust. In the 21st century all of the arms agreements hammered out over the decades of the Cold War have been abandoned, first by Washington and then in response by the Kremlin. The Soviet collapse in 1991 gave rise to the neoconservative doctrine of US hegemony, an assertion of American unilateralism, a claim of American supremacy. Such an absurd and unrealistic claim is totally inconsistent with the existence of nuclear weapons.

All trust has been erased. In the US Russia has been demonized to an unprecedented extent. It is so extreme that anyone who gives an objective analysis is branded a “Putin agent/dupe.” This makes realistic assessments impossible. In Russia trust of Washington has been completely destroyed by broken promises, such as NATO will not move one inch to the East, broken arms agreements, deceit over the Minsk Agreement, and by Washington’s endless rejections of Russian requests for a mutual security agreement. Today all it takes for the world to end is one false warning of incoming missiles. It was Washington, not Russia, that created this situation, and nothing is being done about it. The world is content with the Sword of Damocles hanging by a thread over the planet. Whenever I raise this most serious of all issues, a gaggle of idiots pronounce that nuclear weapons will never be used because there can be no winners. All the while Putin is warning that Washington and its NATO puppets are pushing Russia into nuclear war. There is no end of people too stupid to see the dire threat.

If Biden, the defense secretary, anyone in Washington had any sense, they would call Putin and declare that we need more than a mutual security agreement. We need to dismantle and destroy all nuclear weapons–the US, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, France and the UK. To demonstrate our newly acquired good intentions, Washington should announce that it is closing its worldwide network of illegal bioweapon research laboratories and abandoning its effort to substitute Washington’s self-serving “rule-based order” for established international law. The notion that the US needs to defend against a Russian or Chinese invasion is an absurdity when the US is being overrun daily by immigrant-invaders. According to official numbers, immigrant-invaders recruited from 160 countries by NGOs financed with federal tax dollars are entering unopposed our country monthly in numbers equivalent to the population of Pittsburgh.

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“..intransigent Sunnis, who don’t know their place of half devil and half child in the Pax Americana’s scheme of things..”

Take up the NATO Man’s Burden. Send Forth The Worst Ye Breed (Hayes)

Fast forward to Easter 2024 and consider this report by Irish state broadcaster RTE on Israel’s latest attack on the Zaynab shrine. Note how this Irish government outlet (feebly) argues that Israel is entitled to attack the shrine and to hell with the collateral human damage because it is a Hezbollah (read Shia) stronghold. The reality, had these genocidal apologists bothered to check, is that Hezbollah have to guard all Shia locales because Israel and their NATO proxies continually attack them and slaughter every and all Shias that they can. Think of a Russian Orthodox Church in Western Ukraine and you get the picture. I asked a good friend of mine, a female secular Sunni tour guide, if the Zaynab shrine was always so heavily guarded. She said that prior to NATO’s war against Syria, it only had normal security, the type that would be common in the mid West of the USA. Syria, before NATO launched its genocidal war against it, was considered one of the safest countries one could travel in. And that was probably their mistake, that it looked like easy meat for NATO’s cut throats.

But let’s forget Syria and Maaloula (which the Western media conveniently forgot about once Hezbollah and the Syrian Army freed it from NATO’s nun-torturing proxies). Let’s move on to Gaza or, rather to the BBC’s sickening coverage of it, as exemplified by examples of the BBC’s complicity in this most disgusting of war crimes. The sufferings the people of Gaza are enduring is the plainest example there is today of a war crime committed by war criminals, who should answer for their crimes. That the BBC considers Gaza is just some sort of pedantic philosophical talking point is a criminal indictment of the BBC on a par with anything the Nazis stood accused of in Nuremberg. And then there is NATO’s most recent criminal attack on Moscow, which is brilliantly addressed here by British maverick Russell Brand, who uses [an] article from WSWS, which often features in this site’s Editor’s Picks.

Although Brand easily and convincingly argues that NATO’s instant denials of Ukrainian intelligence involvement in these terror attacks are not in the least credible, Maaloula, Zaynab, Gaza and a million other places show that the criminal case against NATO goes much further and deeper than that. We have, in essence, two great forces operating against each other in the West. On the one hand, we have the business model of NATO and Israel, which see themselves fulfilling their manifest destiny by cleansing the lands they conquer of Shias, Armenian Christians, and elderly Russian monks and nuns. Their logic is quite simple. By cleansing the Middle East of its minorities, NATO can argue that the war there is between their pampered Israeli puppets and intransigent Sunnis, who don’t know their place of half devil and half child in the Pax Americana’s scheme of things.

On the other side of the ledger sheet, you have the Armenians, the Assyrians, the Mandaeans, the Shia, the Yezidi, secular Sunnis and many more who just want to live out their lives in peace, observing the customs their ancestors have observed since the dawn of time. This is not so much the Clash of Civilizations NATO’s mouthpieces harp on about but NATO, being utterly devoid of civilisation, trying to wipe everything from Maaloula and Zaynab to Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Masha and Mishka from the face of the earth. Hyperbole? Consider the case of former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the man who flew to Kiev to order the cross dressing Zelensky to fight to the last pregnant woman. This “cultured” man suggested that Palmyra, one of the jewels in Syria’s cultural crown, be allowed fall into ruin but that it should be recreated in some British controlled virtual world or other. True to form, this modern day Kipling has not a thought on how Palmyra, Maaloula or Zaynab fit into the greater glory of Greater Syria and the entire Fertile Crescent. Johnson would make a good Israeli, brash, boorish, and so arrogantly full of piss and wind that he is.

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“..John Kirby said the US did not know whether American-supplied weapons were used in the Israeli strike..”

US Reluctant to Cut Off Israel’s Arms Pipeline (Sp.)

Despite the verbal rhetoric and political fanfare emanating from the White House over Israel’s actions in Gaza, the Biden administration shows no willingness to cut off Tel Aviv from Washington’s arms supplies. While Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take steps to minimize civilian harm in the war against Hamas, at no point during a recent phone call did he specifically threaten to limit US arms shipments, according to media reports. Biden “has the power to limit any foreign arms deliveries, even those previously approved by Congress,” the New York Times noted. But there was no specific “or else” delivered by Biden to Netanyahu during their exchange, the outlet added, citing officials. The call itself was inevitable, prompted by a wave of outrage over Israel’s deadly strike on the World Central Kitchen (WCK) humanitarian convoy in Gaza.

The Israeli strike killed seven WCK workers from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Palestine, as well as a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Their humanitarian convoy was traveling in a “deconflicted zone” in two armored vehicles emblazoned with the organization’s logo and a soft-skinned vehicle when it was attacked. The team had just unloaded more than 100 tons of food aid it had brought into Gaza. After the strike, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli troops had “unintentionally harmed non-combatants” in Gaza, adding that “this is what happens in war. The flood of official statements from the White House stands in stark contrast to the detachment the US has shown in the face of the escalating civilian death toll in Gaza since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict escalated in the wake of the Hamas attack on October 7. 32,916 Palestinians have died since hostilities began, according to Gaza health officials.

U.S. President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that the strike on humanitarian workers and the overall humanitarian situation in Gaza were “unacceptable.” White House national security communications adviser John Kirby said the US did not know whether American-supplied weapons were used in the Israeli strike. The US is the largest supplier of arms to Israel. It will account for 69% of Israel’s arms imports between 2019 and 2023, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The US signed a ten-year military agreement with Israel in 2016 that guarantees Israel $3.3 billion a year to purchase weapons from the US. An additional $500 million per year is earmarked for missile defense. “The continued supply of the world’s most advanced weapons technology will ensure that Israel has the ability to defend itself from all manner of threats,” former President Barack Obama said at the time.

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“Berlin and Paris Should Spearhead Efforts To End The Bloodshed..”

Ex-German Chancellor Calls For Diplomatic Solution To Ukraine Conflict (RT)

Berlin and Paris should be leading the way toward a negotiated solution to the Ukraine conflict, Gerhard Schroeder, who served as German chancellor between 1998 and 2005, has argued. The veteran politician also refused to disavow his long-time friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that it could make him a good mediator in the current situation. In 2014, Schroeder threw a birthday party in St. Petersburg, with the Russian leader in attendance. Back in 2006, he became the head of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, later also accepting a role on the board of Russia’s Rosneft energy giant. Schroeder stepped down from the latter post several months after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began in February 2022. In an interview with Suddeutsche Zeitung published on Thursday, the 80-year-old expressed the view that it is still possible to secure a peace deal. “I am firmly convinced that [President] Putin is also interested in that,” Schroeder clarified.

The former German chancellor told the newspaper that he did not believe the conflict would spread further beyond Ukraine, or that it would lead to the use of nuclear weapons. He also lauded German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for refusing to provide long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine. However, according to the politician, Germany and France should do more on the diplomatic front to end the bloodshed. Schroeder also expressed cautious optimism over the fact that there is now talk within the ruling Social Democratic Party about potential ways out of the Ukraine conflict, such as the freezing of the hostilities. In an interview with the press agency dpa last week, he similarly named diplomacy as the only way out of the crisis.

Speaking of his personal ties to the Russian president, Schroeder said: “We have worked together sensibly for many years. Perhaps that can still help to find a negotiated solution.” The former chancellor has previously called for a diplomatic resolution, claiming that Western Europe “failed” to seize the opportunity to push for peace in March 2022 during talks between Kiev and Moscow in Istanbul. Around the same time, Schroeder himself reportedly traveled to Türkiye and Russia on a “peace mission.” Russia has repeatedly asserted that it is in principle ready to engage in peace negotiations with Ukraine. According to Moscow, Kiev and its Western backers, however, have been setting unrealistic preconditions for talks.

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But the career puppet also says: “real peace” can only be achieved with a Ukrainian victory..”

Ukraine May Have To Compromise With Russia – Stoltenberg (RT)

Ukraine may ultimately have to agree to some kind of compromise with Russia to end the conflict, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said. In an interview with the BBC published on Saturday, the NATO chief reiterated that the West must support Ukraine in the long term “even if we believe and hope that the war will end in the near future.” He added that Western countries should invest in Kiev’s defense capabilities to make it more resilient in the event of future hostilities. At the same time, he signaled that it was up to Ukraine to choose when and under what conditions to seek peace with Russia. “At the end of the day, it has to be Ukraine that decides what kind of compromises they’re willing to do,” Stoltenberg said, adding that the West’s role is to help Kiev reach a negotiating position that could produce an “acceptable result.”

That said, Stoltenberg emphasized that he was not pushing Kiev toward any concessions, adding that “real peace” can only be achieved with a Ukrainian victory. Earlier this week, the NATO boss made a strong plea to support Kiev in the long term, urging the bloc’s members to “rely less on voluntary contributions and more on NATO commitments.” According to several reports, Stoltenberg proposed a five-year €100 billion ($107 billion) military aid package to Ukraine. The exact details of the initiative are reportedly now under discussion. Throughout the conflict, Russia has maintained that it is open to talks with Ukraine. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky banned any negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow after four former Ukrainian territories overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in the autumn of 2022.

The Ukrainian leader has been advicating a ten-point ‘peace formula’ demanding that Moscow withdraw its troops from territory Kiev claims as its own, as well as for a tribunal to be established to prosecute Russian officials for alleged war crimes. Moscow has dismissed the initiative as “detached from reality.” In an interview with Politico on Saturday, Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, claimed that while Ukrainians were tired of the conflict, they would vehemently oppose any compromise with Russia. However, last month Zelensky suggested that a return to Ukraine’s 1991 borders was no longer a precondition for negotiations with Russia. Nevertheless, he still insisted that Kiev must regain the territory it lost to Moscow in 2022. Moscow has said Ukraine must take into account the fact that its borders have changed drastically since the start of the hostilities.

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“The greatest lie of all is the one about Russia having its sights on European countries to invade and conquer..”

Stoltenberg’s Dido Moment Might Put A Halt To West’s Lies (Jay)

Lying seems to be the ubiquitous theme now of NATO and western elites so I can be forgiven. Those were, of course the immortal words of Dido from the song White Flag – a narrative which would work well with the NATO supremo who you could easily imagine singing along too at the lights in Oslo in his Volvo estate with the “baby on board sticker” on the rear window. In reality, ponder what the old fool really said. “The sooner we can convince Moscow that it will not win on the battlefield, the sooner we can reach a peace agreement in which Russia understands that it cannot win the war, but must sit down and negotiate an agreement in which Ukraine becomes a sovereign, independent state.” Interesting how the official line is shifting all the time. Our man Jens is now talking about Russia “not winning” compared to Biden just a few weeks ago who told press room wasters that “Putin was losing in Ukraine”.

But here is our NATO man actually now calling for peace talks as it becomes embarrassingly patent that NATO has nothing to celebrate on its birthday and that Ukraine is falling village by village, town by town, to Russian forces. Of course Ukraine and NATO are both banking on the Americans signing off a 60bn dollar of military aid for Ukraine, as though that will make a difference to a war machine which siphons off so much which arrives in Kiev, leaving some pundits recently writing about how much even the staplers in government ministries are being stolen each day, such is the depth and severity of the crisis. But it’s the lying and level of lying which is astonishing. As Anthony Blinken stunned journalists just recently by saying that “Ukraine will join NATO” – perhaps the biggest lie ever of the entire war as western leaders know this is impossible and can never happen, without, that is the full defeat and exit of Russian forces. Actually it’s the second biggest lie.

The greatest lie of all is the one about Russia having its sights on European countries to invade and conquer which is something that Stoltenberg constantly says but not one EU leader believes which is evident in their irresponsible depletion of their own missiles. Macron also plays a key role in the manufacture of these untruths with his recent success in convincing journalists to write up the “we could send French troops into Ukraine” when, in fact, he packed that statement with so many caveats that he really didn’t say it at all. What is clear is that there is a state of panic now which is palpable from the West in general and that Macron, as well as NATO leaders, are having informal talks – or at least are having talks about possible talks – with Russia over some sort of what the Americans like to call an “off ramp” for Ukraine and the West. You could call it a “white flag” which has probably left you humming the song.

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“..rebuking US lawmakers for what he called an “immature approach” to the conflict and global security as a whole..”

Kiev ‘Hostage’ To US Politics – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine’s issues have become caught up in US domestic politics and this jeopardizes its ability to fight against Russia, President Vladimir Zelensky has complained. At this stage Kiev, he explained on national TV on Saturday, would agree to any kind of support from Washington, even in the form of a loan. Zelensky expressed hope that the US Congress would eventually approve a supplemental aid package for Kiev which has been in limbo for months worth of tens of billions of dollars. Describing the long-awaited assistance as critical, Zelensky said he believes that “we can get a positive vote from the US Congress.” “Unfortunately, we are hostage to the fact that this is the electoral process… Russia’s war against Ukraine has today become an internal political issue in the United States,” he complained, rebuking US lawmakers for what he called an “immature approach” to the conflict and global security as a whole.

The Ukrainian president also signaled that Kiev would accept assistance from the US in the form of a loan. “You know, one senator was recently there, and he asked: would you agree to loan money? Let’s be frank: we will agree to any option,” he said, adding that Ukraine’s fate is hanging in the balance. Zelensky was referring to senior Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who traveled to Kiev last month to promote the loan idea first put forward by GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. Graham claimed at the time to have been direct with Zelensky, telling him, “it’s not unfair for me to ask you and other allies: Pay us back down the road, if you can.”

Later, Politico reported that while Kiev is ready to consider the proposal, some Ukrainian officials find it “somewhat offensive.” US President Joe Biden has been urging Congress for several months to approve his aid package which would earmark $60 billion for Ukraine. Many Republicans have opposed the measure, demanding more efforts to strengthen security on the Mexican border. However, House Speaker Mike Johnson signaled earlier this month that the package could come up for a vote soon with “some important innovations,” including a proposal to extend a loan to Ukraine, as well as seizing frozen Russian sovereign assets and transferring them to Kiev. Moscow has described the blocking as “theft” and warned of retaliation if the funds are seized.

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UK Foreign War Secretary David Cameron also gets involved in domestic US politics?!

UK To Pressure US House Speaker On Ukraine Aid (RT)

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron is planning to use his upcoming trip to the US to persuade House Speaker Mike Johnson to unblock a $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine, the Telegraph reported on Sunday, citing sources at the Foreign Office. The additional funding has been delayed for several months due to political in-fighting in Congress. Cameron will fly to Washington, DC next week to meet with Johnson, as well as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Telegraph said. “If Congress does not help Ukraine, Ukraine will lose the war,” President Vladimir Zelensky warned earlier this week, following multiple complaints about the shortage of ammunition on the battlefield. Cameron renewed his appeal to keep helping Kiev in a piece for the Telegraph on Sunday, arguing that the West must “stop” Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Ukraine must win this war. If Ukraine loses, we all lose. The costs of failing to support Ukraine now will be far greater than the costs of repelling Putin,” Cameron wrote in an op-ed co-authored with French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne. He previously argued on social media that the security of the US, UK and EU is “on the line in Ukraine.”

Earlier this year, the British government stepped up its military assistance to Ukraine, pledging $3.2 billion in military aid, while the EU unveiled a plan to provide €50 billion ($54 billion) in loans and grants. House Republicans, however, have so far refused to advance the aid bill sought by President Joe Biden, arguing that the White House should agree to tougher border security measures. Johnson said before Congress went on a two-week Easter break that he was working on “important innovations” to the proposed legislation, signaling that the bill could be put to a vote soon. Russia has repeatedly said that no amount of foreign aid will change the course of the conflict in Ukraine, and will merely increase the risk of a further escalation.

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“..abandon the car near the border” and then call their handler for further instructions..”

FSB Reveals Crocus City Attackers’ Plan To Escape To Ukraine (RT)

Two escape routes were prepared in Ukraine for the terrorists who attacked a packed concert hall outside Moscow last month, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Sunday. The FSB showed snippets from interrogation videos, in which the suspects confessed that they were promised money in Kiev. On March 22, four Tajik nationals opened fire inside the Crocus City Hall music venue and then set the building on fire. A total of 145 people were killed and more than 500 were injured in the attack. The suspected assailants were detained the next day while trying to flee to Ukraine by car, the authorities said. More suspects were arrested in the following days, most of them of Tajik origin. The jihadist group Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) has claimed responsibility for the attack. FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov, however, suggested that the US, UK, and Ukraine may also be linked to the attack, possibly using Islamists as proxies. Ukraine and its Western backers have denied any involvement.

In the interrogation videos aired on Russian TV, the suspects said that they were following instructions from the handler they knew as Sayfullo. The authorities are currently working to determine his identity. The handler told the suspects to escape to Ukraine where they expected to receive 1 million rubles each ($11,000), they said. “Sayfullo told us that guys would wait for us at the Ukrainian border and that they would help us to cross the border and arrive in Kiev,” suspect Muhammadsobir Fayzov told his interrogator. According to investigators, the suspects took the M3 highway that leads to the border with Ukraine, but were eventually intercepted about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Ukraine’s Sumy region.

Suspect Shamsidin Fariduni said that they were told to “abandon the car near the border” and then call their handler for further instructions on how to cross into Ukraine. Russian officials said previously that a “window” for crossing the border had been arranged on the Ukrainian side.The FSB said on Sunday that the Ukrainians were conducting “demining activities” near the villages of Chuykovka and Sopych, which points to two possible escape routes. According to investigators, the suspects were expected to destroy their vehicle and cross the border on foot, using woodlands as cover. Russia’s Investigative Committee said earlier this week that pro-Ukrainian images were discovered on the phone of one of the suspects.

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“Such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident and must cease immediately,” Grossi was quoted as saying..”

IAEA Chief Calls Attack on Zaporozhye NPP Violation of Security Principles (Sp.)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi characterized the recent drone attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) as a violation of nuclear security principles and called for an end to such “reckless attacks” Sunday. The IAEA confirmed minor damage to the sixth power unit of the plant as a result of the drone attacks. “This is a clear violation of the basic principles for protecting Europe’s largest [nuclear power plant]. Such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident and must cease immediately,” Grossi was quoted as saying in the IAEA statement. Earlier in the day, Ukrainian kamikaze drones attacked the territory of the power station immediately after an inspection carried out by IAEA experts, the plant’s press service said. The attack left three of the facility’s workers injured, with one of them sustaining serious injuries, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said.

The IAEA had previously confirmed damage to the plant in a separate statement. “IAEA experts confirmed physical impact of drone attacks at ZNPP today, incl. at 1 of its 6 reactors,” the agency said. “One casualty reported. Damage at unit 6 has not compromised nuclear safety, but this is a serious incident with potential to undermine integrity of the reactor’s containment system.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the international community must respond to Ukraine’s attack, calling it “an act of nuclear terrorism.” “The world community must realize and react to an act of nuclear terrorism on the part of the Kiev regime,” Zakharova said on Telegram. The Zaporozhye nuclear plant, constructed in the 1980s by the Soviet Union, is Europe’s largest and one of the world’s largest. The massive power station is reportedly now completely reliant on a single 750-kilowatt line for external power after previous attacks.

A connection to outside electricity is necessary to ensure the plant is able to cool its reactors – an interruption in the delivery of power could precipitate a catastrophic meltdown. Russia took control of the sensitive asset in March 2022 and it has endured Ukrainian fire ever since. Ukrainian drones, missiles, and artillery have all been used against the plant by Kiev, which has repeatedly attempted to reassert control. Kiev claims Russia is storing weapons at the power station and using it as cover to attack Ukrainian troops. Observers worry Ukraine may create a disaster at the plant, blaming Russia and spoiling newly-Russian territory. Kiev has repeatedly employed US-provided cluster munitions during fighting in the Donbass, raising the prospect of unexploded bomblets creating a hazard for decades to come.

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Long from Brenner.

Morality Challenged (Michael Brenner)

Is there now a moral void at the heart of Western societies? That question haunts us as governments in the United States and Europe act as accomplices in Israeli’s atrocious crimes against the Palestinians. The Jewish state’s conduct meets the standard of genocide as stated in the United Nations Convention on Genocide of which they all are signatories. Confirmation is likely to come soon in a conclusive determination by the International Court of Justice. The ICJ already in January recognized a prime facie case for genocide. The UN’s top court ordered Israel to take all measures to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza. The ICJ found it did have jurisdiction on the matter, and decided there was a plausible case under the 1948 Genocide Convention. At least some of the acts and omissions by Israel “fall within the provisions of the (Genocide) Convention,” the judges said.

The ICJ issued a set of stipulations “to protect the rights claimed by South Africa that the Court has found to be plausible,” including “the right of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide.” One reasonably expected that the stark moral issues thereby highlighted – along with subsequent atrocities – would spark an animated, anguished public debate as a prelude to decisive action. Yet, the political class in its near totality disregards or sublimates them. Silence reigns. Gaza exhibits singular features that set it apart from other relatively recent instances of systematic, targeted attacks on civilians. One, the West’s response is not one of indifference leading to passivity – as in regard to Ruanda.

Governments have been active participants in Israel’s indiscriminate punishment of the Palestinians. They provide Israel with vast amounts of weapons critical to their military assault; they offer unqualified political support and diplomatic cover; they acquiesce in the siege that prevents foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian aid from entering the strip – causing mass famine and disease among the civilian population; they lend credence to crude propaganda lines from Jerusalem without question or qualification: the phony rape stories, alleged Hamas nests in hospitals, etc. etc..; they pressure their mass media to publicize those fabrications as hard news; and they suppress both public demonstrations and individual calls for measure to alleviate Palestinian suffering – instead, denouncing them as pro-Hamas and/or anti-Semitic. Germany, France and now Britain have gone so far as to criminalize public expressions of anti-Zionist viewpoints.

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“..trying to force people to become like us..”

Col. Macgregor Urges US to Stop ‘Marching’ Into Foreign Countries (Sp.)

Former Pentagon Adviser Col. Douglas Macgregor said Sunday the United States should stop “marching” into foreign nations to expand their political influence. “We need to stop marching into other peoples countries and trying to force people to become like us,” Macgregor said on the X social media platform. Earlier this week US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed the US-led NATO alliance is a defensive organization that has “no designs” to seize the territory of any other country in the world. NATO has carried out bombings and interventions in countries including Libya, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan over its 75-year history.

The alliance also partnered with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to sponsor Operation Gladio, a covert program that backed far-right paramilitaries throughout Europe. In March, the Russian Mission to the United Nations requested a Security Council meeting to mark the 25th anniversary of the bombing campaign carried out by NATO against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War in 1999. Several US-aligned states raised objections to the proposed meeting, saying it was not relevant under the UN Security Council agenda category of “threats to international peace and security.”

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The judge really wants to go after Tucker Carlson.

Appeals Court Vacates ‘Disinformation’ Monitoring Of Jan. 6 Defendant’s Computer (ET)

A sentencing requirement that Jan. 6 defendant Daniel Goodwyn have his computer monitored by the government for “disinformation” has been vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The court on March 26 published a mandate sending the case back to U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to remove the computer monitoring requirement he issued as part of the sentencing judgment in the case on June 15, 2023.
“Judge Walton had no legal basis to issue the special condition,” Carolyn Stewart, Mr. Goodwyn’s attorney, told The Epoch Times in an April 3 email. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the judge “plainly erred” in imposing the computer monitoring. Judges Gregory Katsas, Naomi Rao, and Bradley Garcia issued a per curiam order vacating the monitoring provision.

Judge Walton, when imposing a 60-day jail sentence in June 2023, said Mr. Goodwyn spread “disinformation” during a broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on March 14, 2023. Judge Walton ordered that Mr. Goodwyn’s computer be subject to “monitoring and inspection” by a probation agent to check if he spread Jan. 6 disinformation during the term of his supervised release. The judge also referred to Mr. Goodwyn spreading alleged “misinformation,” using the term interchangeably with “disinformation.” Mr. Goodwyn, 35, of Corinth, Texas, pleaded guilty on Jan. 31, 2023, to one misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. The charge could have meant up to a year in prison. On June 6, 2023, Judge Walton sentenced Mr. Goodwyn to 60 days in prison, a year of supervised release, a $2,500 fine, and a $500 restitution payment.

Federal prosecutors had asked for 90 days in jail, 36 months of supervised release, a $25,676 fine, and $500 in restitution. The recommended fine amount represented proceeds of a GiveSendGo web page Mr. Goodwyn uses to raise funds for his legal fees. Mr. Goodwyn asked for a sentence of time served with three months of supervised release. He received credit for three weeks he spent in pretrial detention, but not for the 13 months he spent in home detention. He completed his incarceration at the Federal Correctional Institution at Bastrop, Texas, on Aug. 25, 2023. Mr. Goodwyn said the Court of Appeals made the correct decision. “Judge Walton’s imposition of the computer monitoring restriction is inconsistent with American law and tradition,” Mr. Goodwyn told The Epoch Times. “It’s unbelievable, in my opinion, that he would unlawfully order feds to spy on me in direct violation of the First and Fourth Amendments, under threat of locking me back up in prison.”

[..] During the sentencing hearing, Judge Walton criticized Mr. Goodwyn for having the “false impression” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump. “And there is just no proof whatsoever that that was, in fact, the case,” the judge said, according to the official court transcript for the June 6 portion of the hearing. It was Mr. Goodwyn’s appearance on Mr. Carlson’s Fox News program that drew some of the sharpest fire from Judge Walton. He called Mr. Carlson a “lightning rod” who “has said and done things that I think clearly have been divisive.” Mr. Carlson gave the impression “that individuals who have been charged in reference to the events on January 6th of ‘21 have been treated unfairly,“ the judge said. ”And I see no evidence that, in fact, was the case.”

When being interviewed by Mr. Carlson, Mr. Goodwyn “made no attempt to correct the record,” Judge Walton said. “And when Carlson suggested that all the defendant did was go into the Capitol and walk around for less than a minute and leave, that just wasn’t correct. And that misinformation that is disseminated to the American public has contributed to the discord that now exists in our country in reference to the presidential election and what occurred on January 6th.”

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“You’re going to save my country. We could never repay you.”

Elon Musk Says X Will Defy Order From Brazil’s Supreme Court (ET)

Owner of X Corp. Elon Musk said on the platform on April 6 that the company had decided to lift all restrictions on Brazilian accounts targeted by an order from the nation’s Supreme Court. “We are lifting all restrictions. This judge has applied massive fines, threatened to arrest our employees and cut off access to X in Brazil. As a result, we will probably lose all revenue in Brazil and have to shut down our office there. But principles matter more than profit,” Mr. Musk wrote, explaining X’s decision. The announcement came in response to reporting by investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger and colleagues David Ágape and Eli Vieira, titled “Twitter Files Brazil.” In his reporting, Mr. Shellenberger cited records released by X, formerly known as Twitter, during Mr. Musk’s 2022 takeover that allegedly show that “Brazil is engaged in a sweeping crackdown on free speech led by a Supreme Court justice.”

Sitting members of Brazil’s Congress and journalists were among those named by Brazil’s highest court for censoring, Mr. Shellenberger said of his findings, which he has shared on X He named lower house members Carla Zambelli of former President Jair Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party and Marcel van Hattem of the NOVO party as targets of orders targeting posts that the court deemed misinformation. According to the internal files that Mr. Shellenberger shared, Twitter in Brazil was threatened with a $30,000 fine. The company had one hour to remove the congressmembers’ posts or pay the court for noncompliance. The article reports that the justice had even been jailing individuals without trial for their social media posts. According to Mr. Shellenberger, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes allegedly made demands to Twitter to allow access to its internal data, in violation of Twitter’s own policies on the handling of user data.

He also allegedly ordered that Twitter deplatform the individuals responsible for the specific posts that he wanted censored “without giving users any right of appeal or even the right to see the evidence presented against them.” Brazil’s “Twitter Files” also show that the justice “sought to weaponize Twitter’s content moderation policies against supporters of then-president [Jair Bolsonaro],” Mr. Shellenberger said—a similar trend to what the “Twitter files” revealed was happening to former President Donald Trump and conservative voices in the United States. The origin of the order to censor Brazilians’ posts was also revealed in the internal Twitter files, he said. He said Justice de Moraes, Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court, and Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court declined to respond to the report.

Last year, Justice de Moraes also ordered an investigation into executives at social messaging platform Telegram and Alphabet’s Google, who were in charge of a campaign criticizing a proposed internet regulation bill. Mr. Musk said of Brazil’s Twitter Files, which he released to Mr. Shellenberger, “This aggressive censorship appears to violate the law & will of the people of Brazil.” Journalist Paulo Figueiredo, a contributor to The Epoch Times who was censored by the court order, replied: “You’re going to save my country. We could never repay you.” He had replied to an earlier post urging X to not comply with the court order, saying the independent platforms Rumble and Locals did not comply. “You’re powerful enough to make a difference,” Mr. Figueiredo said.

Rogan X

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For running the company into the ground.

Outgoing Boeing CEO Bags $33 Million Pay-Off Despite 737 Max Accidents (Sp.)

Boeing’s departing CEO Dave Calhoun’s 2023 pay package jumped by 45 percent to about $33 million, according to an annual proxy statement filed on Friday. Boeing reported that Calhoun’s compensation mainly consists of deferred stock options. Boeing’s share price has slumped almost 30 percent this year as of March 29, 2024 following the mid-air blowout of an Alaska Airlines B737 MAX 9 jet door plug on January 5. A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that Boeing failed to correctly install the four bolts required to secure the door on the Alaska jet. The revised figure for Calhoun’s overall earnings in 2023 totalled $24.8 million. The departing CEO pocketed $22.6 million the previous year, according to the regulatory filing.

The Seattle-based planemaker is in financial and regulatory trouble after several accidents with its B737 Max short-medium haul airliners. It has suffered a drop in new orders and mounting concerns over quality control and corporate governance raised by regulators and customers. Last February, an expert panel found Boeing’s safety practices “inadequate and confusing” and noted a “disconnect” between the company’s senior management and front-line workers. In March, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) probe found multiple issues within Boeing’s 737 Max production, including quality control violations by major supplier Spirit AeroSystems. The FAA conducted 89 product audits of which 33 failed, totalling 97 instances of noncompliance. Based on FAA findings, Spirit AeroSystems underwent 13 audits, failing seven.

Calhoun was appointed CEO of Boeing in January 2020. His 2023 pay-packet is his highest yet, despite the transnational corporation’s litany of woes. sFollowing the Alaska incident, Boeing’s executive compensation committee adjusted the payment structure for top officials in 2024. Executives in the commercial aircraft division will now have their pay split into 60 percent based on operational performance and 40 percent based on financial performance. Previously, three-quarters of pay was based on financial metrics.

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https://twitter.com/i/status/1776616386048983117

https://twitter.com/i/status/1776606901611933760

 

 

Birx

 

 

Baby elephant
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776687801632952388

 

 

Toddler puppy

 

 

Hawk mallard

 

 

Horse
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777095055255433356

 

 

Toothpaste
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777182076950974843

 

 

PolyGlu

 

 

Table cloth

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 152024
 


Vincent van Gogh Lilac Bush 1889

 

US Has Created ‘Frankenstein’ States – Galloway (RT)
NATO’s ‘Welfare’ States: Treating the U.S. As ‘Room Service’ (Hoekstra)
US Intelligence ‘Threat Assessment’ Says Hamas Isn’t Going Away (Antiwar)
Scenario for Military Takeover of Ukrainian Parliament Was Written by US (Sp.)
France Mulled ‘Boots On The Ground’ In Ukraine Since June – Le Monde (RT)
Medvedev Responds To Zelensky ‘Peace Plan’ (RT)
EU Members Oppose Plan To Arm Kiev With Russian Money – Politico (RT)
Kremlin Slams US ‘Distortion’ Of Putin’s Words On Nuclear Weapons (RT)
Trump Unlikely To Win – Macron (RT)
US in ‘Constant State of Neo-McCarthyism’ – Sleboda (Sp.)
The U.S. Is Not a Democracy and Can’t Be Reformed (Barton)
Musk Cancels X Partnership Deal With Don Lemon (RT)
Canada Moves to Impose Potential Life Imprisonment for Speech Crimes (Turley)
973% SURGE in Heart Failure Among Navy Pilots (DW)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malaysia PM

 

 

Elon

 

 

 

 

@Judgenap: Congress has no right to ban TikTok

 

 

Tucker TikTok

 

 

 

 

“When you make a monster… it’s no longer yours. It’s a monster that can do monstrous things..”

US Has Created ‘Frankenstein’ States – Galloway (RT)

The American policy of giving billions in aid to Ukraine and Israel has created “monster” states, British MP George Galloway has claimed. Appearing on Rick Sanchez’s show Direct Impact broadcast on RT, Galloway discussed the debate surrounding Western aid to Ukraine, as well as the rift between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the situation in Gaza. In the latest row between Biden and Netanyahu, the US president has insisted that an Israeli assault on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza – where around 1.5 million Palestinians have sought refuge – would be a “red line.” Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead regardless, arguing that his own red line is ensuring that the October 7 Hamas attack “never happens again.”

Comparing Washington to the fictional scientist Frankenstein, Galloway told Sanchez: “When you make a monster… it’s no longer yours. It’s a monster that can do monstrous things. And that’s what they have done with Netanyahu and people like him who now run Israel.” Israel is the biggest cumulative recipient of US military aid, being provided with around $3.8 billion worth of weapons and defense systems each year. Galloway also used the Frankenstein analogy to refer to the Ukrainian government, which he claimed has become a “client state” that now “tells the paymaster what to do.”

“Ukraine treats us now as if we owe them rather than them having been on the end of endless subventions of money and material. Now the Ukrainian leadership insults the people that gave them so much, hundreds of billions of dollars,” Galloway argued. Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused his country’s Western supporters of “playing internal political games” while criticizing them for delays in allocating aid. Ukrainian first lady Elena Zelenskaya declined an invitation last week to attend Biden’s State of the Union address, citing a busy schedule. The US has already doled out around $45 billion in military aid to Kiev. A foreign aid bill that would include another $60 billion in military support has been stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

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Make NATO a defensive alliance again and your problems are over.

NATO’s ‘Welfare’ States: Treating the U.S. As ‘Room Service’ (Hoekstra)

Last month, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg conceded what former US President Donald Trump has been warning about for nearly a decade: America’s allies are not paying their fair share — as they had agreed — for national defense. After four years in which Trump held our NATO allies accountable for funding their share of NATO’s collective defense, US President Joe Biden has once again allowed many of them to pass significant burdens of NATO spending on to American taxpayers – threatening the security of the NATO alliance in the process. The very nature of alliances is that they are a two-way street. Americans should rightly expect to realize benefits from U.S. participation in NATO, just as the citizens of other NATO nations can expect to benefit from their country’s relationship with the United States.

Indeed, that was the original idea behind the North Atlantic Treaty Organization when it was founded in 1949. In the wake of WWII, 12 nations agreed to band together to guard against the threat of the Soviet Union, a number that has now grown to 32 with the recent addition of Sweden. The NATO alliance today, however, more closely resembles an international welfare program than a true alliance, with most countries failing to meet their defense commitments and instead relying on the generosity of the United States. As the eminent journalist Amir Taheri put it: “others… treat the US as a ‘room service’ reachable by pressing a button…” In 2014, every NATO member agreed to allocate just 2% of their nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) to defense spending. This minimum baseline target is crucial to ensuring military readiness in the face of growing threats from hostile nations such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.

A decade later, 19 out of 32 NATO member nations have failed to meet this goal. Moreover, most of those countries that have reached the 2% target, such as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Greece, are smaller nations with smaller GDPs. The United States, meanwhile, accounts for a staggering 70% of all NATO defense spending — even though the combined GDP of the other 31 member nations is roughly equal to that of the United States. Germany, by far the richest NATO member behind the United States, allocates just 1.57% of its GDP to defense spending. The combined population of these 31 NATO member states, at more than 620 million, also now dwarfs that of the United States, at 333 million. In other words, each American citizen is now effectively responsible for funding the national defense of two people in another NATO nation. The situation in Europe today is far different than at the founding of NATO, when many nations were still relying on the Marshall Plan funding to be rebuilt.

Our NATO allies have highly advanced economies and immensely capable citizens. American taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize their national defense. If NATO is to function as an effective deterrent to military aggression from Russia and other adversaries, there seriously needs to be a new commitment by every NATO member state to invest in a strong national defense. Yet, the failure of our European allies to meet their spending commitments means they are woefully unprepared from a military standpoint to defend their countries – thus endangering the United States as well as themselves by threatening to draw America into war unnecessarily because of European weakness. President Trump wisely recognized this threat and accordingly made holding our NATO allies accountable a top priority of his foreign policy. Under his leadership, NATO member countries increased their defense spending by $350 billion.

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And neither are the Houthis. You got yourself a big problem.

US Intelligence ‘Threat Assessment’ Says Hamas Isn’t Going Away (Antiwar)

An annual “threat assessment” compiled by US intelligence agencies was released on Monday and said that Israel will likely face resistance from Hamas for years to come, another sign that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stated goal of “eradicating” the Palestinian group isn’t realistic. “Israel probably will face lingering armed resistance from HAMAS for years to come, and the military will struggle to neutralize HAMAS’s underground infrastructure, which allows insurgents to hide, regain strength, and surprise Israeli forces,” the assessment reads. The assessment aligns with an Israeli military intelligence document that was circulated last month and said even if Israel succeeded in dismantling Hamas as an organized military force, the group would still exist as “a terror group and a guerrilla group.” Other reports have said Israel is struggling to destroy the vast tunnel network underneath Gaza that is key to Hamas’s survival and is far more expansive than Israel initially thought.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Charles Q. Brown, the highest ranking US military officer, previously said that Israel’s mass killing of civilians in Gaza will be a recruiting boon for Hamas. “The faster you can get to a point where you stop the hostilities, you have less strife for the civilian population that turns into someone who now wants to be the next member of Hamas,” Brown said in November. Despite believing Netanyahu’s goal is unrealistic, the US continues to provide unconditional military support for Israel’s genocidal war, which has killed at least over 31,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children. The Biden administration is trying to distance itself from Netanyahu by criticizing his government, but the rhetoric hasn’t amounted to a policy change. The US threat assessment said that while Hamas isn’t going away, Netanyahu could lose his hold on power. “Netanyahu’s viability as leader as well as his governing coalition of far-right and ultraorthodox parties that pursued hardline policies on Palestinian and security issues may be in jeopardy.

Distrust of Netanyahu’s ability to rule has deepened and broadened across the public from its already high levels before the war, and we expect large protests demanding his resignation and new elections. A different, more moderate government is a possibility,” the report says. The assessment also said that Iran had no role in Hamas’s October 7 attack and acknowledged Tehran is not seeking a nuclear weapon. “Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities necessary to produce a testable nuclear device,” the report reads. The report acknowledges that Iran’s increases in uranium enrichment since the US tore up the nuclear deal in 2018 were to gain leverage for negotiations, not seek a bomb. “Iran uses its nuclear program to build negotiating leverage and respond to perceived international pressure,” the assessment says.

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“..none of the Ukrainian military and intelligence structures is independent: each of them has either British or US “supervisors..”

Scenario for Military Takeover of Ukrainian Parliament Was Written by US (Sp.)

A takeover of the Ukrainian Parliament by the nation’s military would not be a grass-roots movement, “Other Ukraine” expert Alexander Dudchak told Sputnik, suggesting that the potential rebellion has been orchestrated from the West. The disillusioned Ukrainian military is planning a takeover of the Ukrainian Parliament or Verkhovna Rada, an exchange from private Telegram channel Parabelum obtained by Sputnik reveals. “This could be a scenario of replacing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky without holding elections,” Alexander Dudchak, researcher at the Institute of CIS Countries and expert of the ‘Other Ukraine’ movement, told Sputnik. The members of the classified chat, composed of commanders and soldiers of elite units of the Ukrainian armed forces, were discussing options for overthrowing the present government and the command of the Ukrainian armed forces following the sacking of Commander-in-Chief General Valery Zaluzhny.

“The most important action that we will need to pull off lightning fast is the takeover of the VR [Verkhovna Rada] at a certain point,” one of the chat members wrote. They also expressed dissatisfaction with Zelensky’s decisions and the new commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Oleksandr Syrsky, who was appointed a month ago to replace Zaluzhny. The alleged coup plotters placed special emphasis on involving Ukrainian troops fighting at the frontline in the anti-Zelensky movement. According to the researcher, engaging Ukrainian active duty personnel is fraught with risks, given that those in the trenches are closely monitored by foreign mercenaries from ‘barrier detachments’ with orders to shoot any who leave their positions against orders. If Ukrainian troops are allowed to march towards Kiev that would mean that the regime-change scenario was written in Washington in response to Zelensky’s refusal to hold elections this year, Dudchak argued.

Leaders of elite Ukrainian units, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the nationalist Azov and Aidar battalions are also reportedly planning to create a radical party with a military wing. The expert insists that none of the Ukrainian military and intelligence structures is independent: each of them has either British or US “supervisors”. “The confrontation between the military and the Kiev regime is in general a manifestation of the confrontation between London and Washington,” said Dudchak. “The office of the president is under British control, while the military, who supposedly will gather in the name of Zaluzhny, are under Americans, plus the SBU is also a US-backed structure.” The consequences for Kiev would be dramatic and could seriously complicate the Ukrainian military’s positions at the frontline, the researcher concluded.

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“..we are ready to use the means to achieve our objective – which is that Russia does not win..”

France Mulled ‘Boots On The Ground’ In Ukraine Since June – Le Monde (RT)

The idea of sending Western troops to Ukraine was secretly discussed in Paris as early as last June, months before French President Emmanuel Macron’s pledge to keep all options on the table to defeat Russia, according to Le Monde. The subject was raised at a defense council at the Elysee Palace in June 2023, soon after Kiev launched its much-touted counteroffensive, the French newspaper wrote on Thursday. “The role of the military is to always prepare the maximum number of possible options, in order to help with the political-military decision of the President of the Republic,” Chief of Staff of the French Army, Pierre Schill, told the paper. Macron’s recent public statements are “foremost a political and strategic message” to Russia about France’s “will and commitment,” rather than an escalation, the general argued.

Following a summit of Ukraine’s sponsors hosted in Paris in late February, Macron said there was no consensus on sending troops in any official manner, but claimed that “in terms of dynamics, we cannot exclude anything.” The controversial statement prompted a wave of objections from NATO members, including the US, UK, Italy, Spain and the Czech Republic. The US-led bloc’s chief has declared outright that “NATO has no plans to send troops to Ukraine.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said there will be “no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil, who are sent there by European or NATO countries,” and that the bloc’s leaders were “unanimous as far as this question is concerned.” However, the French leader has stood behind his words, repeatedly reiterating that nothing must be excluded to make sure that Russia is defeated in Ukraine.

“We must, with determination, will and courage, say that we are ready to use the means to achieve our objective – which is that Russia does not win,” Macron again said in a televised interview to TF1 and France 2 on Thursday. While refusing to draw red lines, Macron said France would never initiate an offensive against Russia, even as he called Moscow an “adversary.” The latest rift between the leaders of France and Germany has exacerbated an already strained relationship, as Macron allegedly made his comments “against express wishes of Scholz’s office,” Bloomberg wrote early in March. The heads of the two states are set to meet in Berlin on Friday in an effort to reduce tensions over Ukraine, Politico wrote on Wednesday, while Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk will join the meeting later in the day.

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“A “reasonable” peace agreement with Ukraine would involve Moscow taking full control over the country..”

Medvedev Responds To Zelensky ‘Peace Plan’ (RT)

A “reasonable” peace agreement with Ukraine would involve Moscow taking full control over the country, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has claimed. The senior official mocked the peace plan proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which has been backed by the West as the only way to end the conflict with Russia. First unveiled in late 2022, the proposal amounts to Moscow conceding military defeat, according to the Russian leadership. “Everyone, including those brazen Western liars, understands that even in a less complicated situation peace can be achieved either through reasonable compromise or after one of the sides capitulates,” Medvedev, who serves as deputy head of the Security Council, wrote on social media on Thursday. Since the Ukrainian proposal can only be taken with “loathing” and a “sense of shame,” Medvedev said he had come up with a “soft” alternative.

This would involve formal capitulation by Kiev, the dissolution of the Ukrainian government, and the UN-monitored election of a new parliament. The new legislature in Kiev would be tasked with paying reparations to Russia and ultimately ratifying a treaty of union, under which Moscow would assume full sovereignty over Ukraine. “This is a compromise position, right?” Medvedev added, addressing Western nations. “I believe that based on it, we can find a friendly consensus with the international community, including the Anglosphere, hold productive summits counting on mutual understanding with our close friends, the Western partners.” The comments came after Switzerland announced that it will host a new round of talks on the ‘Zelensky formula’ this summer. Bern has urged the inclusion of Russia in the talks, unlike during every previous summit, although neither Kiev nor Moscow has agreed.

The Russian government believes the entire process to be a ruse. The Ukrainian document includes points on non- specific issues such as global food and energy security. The ploy, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, is to get non-aligned countries to back these articles so that Kiev could then falsely claim global support for the entire ‘formula’. Russia is prepared for peace talks “based not on a wish list somebody came up with after taking psychotropic substances, but on the realities… on the ground,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview this week. Any stable truce with Ukraine will have to address Russian security concerns caused by NATO’s expansion in Europe, he added. Considering the lack of trust in Moscow after so many Western promises given to it were broken, that bridge would be difficult to cross, according to the Russian leader.

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“..a bad precedent that could push other countries to avoid holding their reserves in Western currencies..”

EU Members Oppose Plan To Arm Kiev With Russian Money – Politico (RT)

A European Union plan to use the profits generated by Russia’s central bank assets frozen in the bloc to buy weapons for Ukraine has faced resistance from Malta, Luxembourg, and Hungary, Politico reported on Thursday, citing an EU official. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last month suggested using the interest earned from the assets to acquire weapons for Ukraine rather than using the funds for reconstruction, as had been initially planned. According to the outlet, Malta, Luxembourg and Hungary “expressed reservations” about the plan during a meeting of the EU’s 27 ambassadors on Wednesday. The report indicated that von der Leyen’s idea of using Russian money to purchase arms for Kiev has “complicated talks” ahead of the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels next week.

The West has frozen roughly $300 billion in holdings belonging to the Russian central bank since the start of the Ukraine conflict two years ago. Brussels-based clearinghouse Euroclear holds around €191 billion ($205 billion) of the funds and has accrued nearly €4.4 billion in interest over the past year. The EU is aiming to give Kiev between €2 and €3 billion in revenue generated by the frozen assets this year, the Financial Times reported earlier this week. A first tranche of the money could be disbursed as early as July if Brussels can secure the approval of all bloc members, the outlet said, citing EU officials. Some member states are cautious about the controversial proposal, saying it needs a more thorough analysis, Bloomberg said in a separate report on Tuesday. Hungary has reportedly insisted that the proceeds from the Russian assets should be allocated to Ukraine’s reconstruction rather than be used for funding its military, the outlet said, citing people familiar with the discussions.

While Kiev’s Western backers generally agree that the frozen assets should be used to aid Ukraine, they are at odds about whether an outright seizure would be legal. While the US and UK support the direct expropriation of the funds, some EU member states, France and Germany in particular, warn the move would erode trust in the European financial system. It’s also argued that such a drastic move would set a bad precedent that could push other countries to avoid holding their reserves in Western currencies out of fear that they could someday also becomes targets of sanctions. Moscow has warned that it would respond in kind if the West went through with its threats to confiscate the assets. Russia has repeatedly said that any actions taken against its assets would amount to “theft,” stressing that seizing the funds or any similar move would violate international law and undermine Western currencies, the global financial system, and the world economy.

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“..Everything is written in our Strategy, we haven’t changed it.”

Kremlin Slams US ‘Distortion’ Of Putin’s Words On Nuclear Weapons (RT)

Washington “deliberately distorted” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s words about the conditions under which Moscow would use nuclear weapons, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. He was referring to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s remarks about an interview Putin gave that aired on Wednesday. While answering a reporter’s question on whether US President Joe Biden had been briefed about Putin’s comments, Jean-Pierre responded that the Russian leader was “restating Russia’s nuclear doctrine” but went on to claim that “Russia’s nuclear rhetoric has been reckless and irresponsible throughout this conflict.” Peskov described the White House’s reaction to Putin’s interview as an “absolutely deliberate distortion of the context,” adding that “no threats to use nuclear weapons were made by Putin in this interview.”

He indicated that the president was answering the journalist’s questions rather than making official statements and explained that Putin “was just talking about the reasons that could make the use of nuclear weapons inevitable.” The Kremlin spokesperson also drew attention to the fact that Jean-Pierre had omitted the president’s remark where he stressed that “it has never come into his mind to use tactical nuclear weapons” despite the “various situations” that had emerged on the battlefield. While answering a question about tactical nuclear arms in the interview, Putin stressed that weapons of mass destruction have never been used by Russia in Ukraine. “Weapons exist to be used. We have our own principles and they imply that we are ready to use any weapons, including the ones you mentioned, if we are talking about the existence of the Russian state, in case of a threat to our sovereignty and independence. Everything is written in our Strategy, we haven’t changed it.”

In June 2020, Putin signed a decree on Russia’s nuclear deterrence policy. The document provides for the use of nuclear weapons in a number of cases, one of which is aggression against Russia using conventional weapons that puts the existence of the state at risk. Putin warned that Russia is prepared to use nuclear weapons and considers its arsenal “more advanced than anyone else’s.” Meanwhile, the Russian leader suggested that Washington has enough experts in strategic deterrence, including President Joe Biden himself, to avoid a nuclear conflagration. But he added that if the US abandons its de facto moratorium on nuclear tests, Moscow will do the same.

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What a strange thing to say. Does he know something?

Trump Unlikely To Win – Macron (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed doubt that Donald Trump will be able to secure another term in the White House, when asked who could potentially mediate peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Macron called Moscow “an adversary,” but stopped short of declaring it an “enemy,” during an interview with the France 2 and TF1 TV channels on Thursday. He once again refused to rule out NATO deployments in Ukraine, reiterating that Paris is ready to make any “decisions necessary to prevent Russia’s victory” – and noting that he sees no opportunities for negotiations with the Kremlin at this point. “I am absolutely ready for discussions at any time, but we need someone sincere and peace-oriented to do that,” Macron said, adding that he hoped that the time would come one day to negotiate with a Russian president “whoever it might be.”

Noting Macron’s reluctance to engage in direct communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the interviewers wondered if the United States could potentially mediate such talks, especially if Donald Trump is reelected. “As far as I’m informed, I don’t think Donald Trump will become President of the United States,” the French leader claimed. At the same time Macron said there was “nothing personal” behind his decision to refrain from dialogue with Putin. “Undoubtedly, I am the head of the state that used to talk to him more than anyone else.”

Back in January, Macron said he would deal with whoever wins the US election, claiming “I’ve always had the same philosophy, I take the leaders that people give me.” US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are set for a rematch in November, with recent polls showing Trump leading his incumbent rival by between two and nine percentage points. Trump has promised to end the Ukrainian conflict “in 24 hours” if voted back into office, without specifying how peace could be achieved. Meanwhile, Russia is holding its own presidential election this weekend, in which Vladimir Putin faces three opponents.

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“Let us understand that this is a propaganda bubble that Americans have, to a large part, inflicted on themselves.”

US in ‘Constant State of Neo-McCarthyism’ – Sleboda (Sp.)

The US fearmongering surrounding Russia is the result of a sort of “Neo-McCarthyism” Mark Sleboda, an international relations and security analyst told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Wednesday. “If someone threatened the existence of the US state, they would use nuclear weapons. Putin is saying the exact same thing,” Sleboda explained. “The Western media just loves putting Russia and nukes together in the same sentence. I think it has a certain amount of scaremongering, a kind of neo-McCarthyite effect just by seeing the two words together in a headline.” Show host Melik Abdul pointed to a panel between US commentators Candace Owens and Chris Cuomo, during which Cuomo refused to acknowledge that Putin is intelligent, Abdul said that it is emblematic of the West’s refusal to “acknowledge basic stuff.”

“I mean, could we agree that Putin is intelligent?” Sleboda responded playfully. “Could we agree that Putin is a human being? [Do] we agree that Putin’s first name is Vladimir? None of these things, I guess, [can] be agreed on because we live in a constant state of hyper neo-McCarthyism,” Sleboda added, noting that the term isn’t quite correct since Russia is no longer communist. “Maybe Russophobic hysteria” is a better term, he pondered. “But Vladimir Putin is, obviously, an extremely intelligent and capable leader of his country. He is a thorn in the US hegemony’s side. Numerous US politicians and officials have admitted that, but in the current social-political climate in the United States, it’s simply verboten. It is forbidden to acknowledge things like that,” Sleboda explained. “Let us understand that this is a propaganda bubble that Americans have, to a large part, inflicted on themselves.”

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“It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery..”

The U.S. Is Not a Democracy and Can’t Be Reformed (Barton)

It may be reasonable to start with the Trump administration (2016-2020), especially with the view that he is likely to stage a comeback in the forthcoming presidential elections in November. How close was he to corporations and the very rich and to what extent did he represent their will? As noted by Eric Lipton in the New York Times, during Trump’s presidency (2016-2020) there was “the merging of private business interest with government affairs”. So, for instance, billionaire investor Carl Icahn was appointed as a special adviser to the president. Interestingly, as he was not an official government employee he therefore was not subject to conflict of interest divestment requirements. Consequently, Icahn maintained his majority holdings in an oil refinery while advocating for a rule change that would have saved his refinery more than $200 million the previous year.

Let’s take a shortcut and indicate how plutocratic Trump’s government was. Trump’s cabinet had more combined personal wealth than one-third of American households, and Icahn was richer than all of them combined. As Liz Kennedy from the Center for American Progress points out, corporate interests are in a position to outspend labor or public interest groups on elections. For example, in 2014, business interests spent $1.1 billion on state candidates and committees compared with the $215 million that labor groups spent. Unfortunately, the U.S. establishment, facing such huge volumes of money in politics that give lobbyists far greater access to legislators than should be allowed in liberal democracies, does nothing about the problem. How about the much-vaunted concept of “checks and balances”? The system was designed in theory to allow each branch of a government to amend or veto acts of another branch to prevent any one branch from having too much power.

But the money issue was already addressed by the Supreme Court. In its decisions like Buckley versus Valeo and Citizens United versus FEC, the Supreme Court stated that political donations and spending on lobbying were a form of free speech and therefore constitutionally protected. What a clever way of giving too much power to the very rich! In practice, one can hardly see any checks and balances. Hardly any high-ranking politician commented on the impact of the above Supreme Court decisions. One of the exceptions was the ex-president, Jimmy Carter. In 2015, he was asked on a radio show, the Thom Hartmann Program, what he thought about the 2010 Citizens United decision and the 2014 McCutcheon decision, both decisions by the five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. These two historic decisions enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into U.S. political and judicial campaigns.

President Carter elaborated as follows: “It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and Congress members. So, now we’ve just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over… At present, the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a great deal more to sell.”

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“..basically just ‘CNN, but on social media,’ which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the fact that CNN is dying.”

Musk Cancels X Partnership Deal With Don Lemon (RT)

Elon Musk has abruptly withdrawn from a deal to exclusively host journalist Don Lemon’s new talk show on X (formerly Twitter), shortly after he interviewed the billionaire last Friday, the former CNN anchor has said. In a statement on Wednesday, Lemon explained that the deal was part of X’s public commitment to “amplifying more diverse voices on their platform” and that Musk had encouraged him to join X with a new talk show and promised to support the project. However, several hours after filming an interview with Musk on Friday, which Lemon described as a “good conversation,” the billionaire allegedly messaged the former host, informing him that the partnership contract with the Don Lemon Show had been terminated without explaining the reasons.

“His commitment to a global town square where all questions can be asked and all ideas can be shared seems not to include questions of him from people like me,” Lemon suggested, adding that there were no restrictions on the interview that Musk had agreed to, and insisted that his questions were “respectful and wide ranging.” Musk has since confirmed the deal was scuttled, but pointed out that Lemon would still be free to upload his show, monetize it, and build his viewership on the platform “along with everyone else.” “What we aren’t going to do is guarantee minimum payments to him, as he was demanding, which would be going beyond everyone else,” Musk explained. As for the reason for the sudden termination, the billionaire stated that Lemon’s approach to the interview was “basically just ‘CNN, but on social media,’ which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the fact that CNN is dying.”

“Instead of it being the real Don Lemon, it was really just Jeff Zucker talking through Don, so lacked authenticity,” Musk wrote, referring to the former president of the media company where Lemon worked until last year. In several snippets of the interview that have been published ahead of the full premiere on Monday, Lemon asked the billionaire a series of questions about content moderation, hate speech, conspiracy theories, as well as his political leanings and attitude towards former US President Donald Trump. The visibly frustrated Musk stated at one point in the interview that “he doesn’t have to answer these questions” and told Lemon that “the only reason I’m doing this interview is because you’re on the X platform and you asked for it.” “Otherwise I would not be doing this interview,” Musk said.

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“There is also a chilling option for house arrest if a judge believes a defendant “will commit” an offense..”

Canada Moves to Impose Potential Life Imprisonment for Speech Crimes (Turley)

We have previously discussed the unrelenting attacks by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his allies on free speech. There has been a steady criminalization of speech, including even jokes and religious speech, in Canada. Now, the Canadian parliament is moving toward a new change that would allow the imposition of life imprisonment on those who post views deemed supportive of genocide. With a growing movement calling Israel’s war in Gaza “genocide,” the potential scope of such a law is readily apparent. That appears to be its very draw for anti-free speech advocates in the country.

The Online Harms Act, or Bill C-63 increases the potential penalties from five years to life imprisonment. It also increases the penalty for the willful promotion of hatred (a dangerously ill-defined crime) from two years to five years. The proposed changes constitute a doubling down on Canada’s commitment to reducing free speech for citizens despite criticism from many in the civil liberties community. There is also a chilling option for house arrest if a judge believes a defendant “will commit” an offense. In other words, if a judge thinks that a citizen will be undeterred and try to speak freely again. Justice Minister Arif Virani employed the same hysteria to convince citizens to surrender their freedoms to the government. He expressed how terrified he was with the potential of free speech, stating that he is “terrified of the dangers that lurk on the internet for our children.”

It is not likely to end there. Today the rationale is genocide. However, once the new penalties are in place, a host of other groups will demand similar treatment for those with opposing views on their own causes. This law already increased the penalties for anything deemed hateful speech. The law comes after Canada blocked a Russian dissident from becoming a citizen because of her violation of Russian anti-free speech laws. In a telling act, the government said that the same conduct (i.e., free speech) could be a crime in Canada. Indeed, it may now be punished even more harshly.

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It ain’t over.

973% SURGE in Heart Failure Among Navy Pilots (DW)

A United States Navy medic who blew the whistle on an explosive report showing a massive increase in heart issues among military pilots has been blocked by the Department of Defense (DOD) from accessing his work computer. Navy Medical Service Corps Lt. Ted Macie shared shocking information about the surge in heart failure among military personnel. Macie claimed that members of the U.S. military have experienced massive increases in heart-related issues, presenting Defense Department data showing the following:
937% increase in heart failure
152% increase in cardiomyopathy
69% increase in ischemic heart disease
36% increase in hypertensive disease
63% increase in other forms of heart disease

The alarming data was first raised by his wife, Mara Macie, a candidate for Florida’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House against John Rutherford. “The responses to our concerns from the DoD have been memorandums, letters. As in a letter displaying how they confirmed the data but said it was due to the COVID-19 virus, even though all the issues start in 2021,” Lt. Macie told The Gateway Pundit last week. “I met with the Chief of Naval Operations and her aide. So far the only response to that is that the DMED data has been sent to the Navy IG from the CNO’s office. Slow rolling everything has been the norm as well as denying anything is happening.” Just days later, Mara Macie revealed that Lt. Ted Macie had lost access to his work computer. “This afternoon, as Ted was nearing the end of his work day, he went to use the restroom. And when he returned, he no longer had access to his work computer, and he needs to have access to his work computer to do his job,” Mara said. Mara Macie said the commanding officer ordered Lt. Macie’s access to his work computer to be blocked.

“I haven’t yet, and I believe that’s because I’m putting out the DoD’s own data. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not my job to look at the defense database. However, it’s something that is affecting our entire DoD. So, I think it’s kind to point this out…” said Lt. Macie on Wednesday. Last year, Macie’s wife blasted the U.S. government’s treatment of military troops during the COVID-19 pandemic. “So you may have seen my wife’s recent post, and I want to elaborate on that and give you an example as to why reinstatement, back pay, and apologies isn’t enough,” Macie said in his video. According to information published by the U.S. Army, 97% of active-duty U.S. troops are fully vaccinated, 90% of Army National Guard members are fully vaccinated, and 91% of U.S. Army Reserve members are fully vaccinated.

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Tucker Kory
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768063269808361671
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768056633123385656

 

 

8 minute house

 

 

Heavens on earth

 

 

Egg

 

 

Tiger

 

 

Grounding your garden
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768002498248290739

 

 

Tom&Jerry
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768392683318624400

 

 

Starling
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768184803063394413

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 132023
 
 October 13, 2023  Posted by at 8:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  35 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1906

 

Israel Not Prepared for Hezbollah’s Second Front – Alastair Crooke (Sp.)
Sy Hersh: Bibi’s Opposition to 2-State Solution Cost Lives of Jews, Arabs (Sp.)
The Geopolitics of Al-Aqsa Flood (Pepe Escobar)
Russian Views of the Hamas-Israeli Conflict (Paul Craig Roberts)
Netanyahu Wants US Involved In War – Ex-Pentagon Official (RT)
US Won’t Fight For Israel – White House (RT)
US Must Prepare For War With China And Russia – Congress (RT)
Struggle For Future Of World Order ‘Intensifying’ – Moscow (RT)
Zelensky Final Stage of Conflict Statement Shows Hopelessness – Lavrov (Sp.)
Beijing Can’t Be Neutral On ‘Fox Entering Henhouse’ – Borrell (RT)
Europe Made A ‘Grave Mistake’ On Immigration – Kissinger (Az.)
‘Star Witness’ Ellison Unveils Chaos Behind FTX’s Fake Balance Sheets (ZH)
CEO of X -aka Twitter- Responds To EU ‘Disinfo’ Threats (RT)
RFK Jr. Sees Surge in Fundraising After Declaring Independent Run (ET)

 

 

 

 

Jon Stewart

 

 

FOX

 

 

 

 

Gabor Maté
https://twitter.com/i/status/1712402483115614498

 

 

“The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation.” George Orwell, 1984

 

 

 

 

“..there comes a point when you have so much information and data bits and everything like this that you don’t have a clear picture..”

Israel Not Prepared for Hezbollah’s Second Front – Alastair Crooke (Sp.)

The Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah may raise the stakes in the Israel-Hamas war by getting directly involved in the conflict. Over the past few days, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hezbollah fighters have been exchanging strikes across Lebanon’s southern border. The clashes came after Hamas’ surprise attack on Israeli cities from the Gaza Strip on October 7 and Tel Aviv’s retaliation. The question is whether the Shiite militants will resort to a direct military intervention in Israel in a show of solidarity with Hamas. “There has been some direct military intervention,” former British diplomat and MI6 agent Alastair Crooke told Sputnik. “Hezbollah, a few days ago, two or three days ago, destroyed three Israeli radar base posts. These were in the Shebaa Farms area, which is recognized as Lebanese territory, but is occupied by Israel.”

“There was an Israeli response, and now we’ve moved to a response by Hezbollah that ended up with firing on military bases inside Israel. And with the reaction of Israel to killing three of the Hezbollah cadres. And Hezbollah says they will react to that and they will respond by killing three Israelis. I mean, it’s very reminiscent for me of what started the 2006 war. If you recall, it was Hezbollah taking two soldiers, they slipped across the border and took two Israelis hostage in reaction for what Israel was doing in Lebanon at that point. So, it’s quite sort of similar. Hezbollah said it very clearly. Hassan Nasrallah has said ‘If Israel goes into Gaza militarily, then we will open a front, the next front.’ Most people, including I interpret that as quite a clear red line.”

Hezbollah is both a political party and militant group that was formed in 1982, during the 15-year Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), and earned the name “state-within-a-state” due to its sophisticated security apparatus, well-trained fighters, and political organization. Since its inception, Hezbollah has been involved in a continuous fight against Israel over what it called the “occupation” of Palestine. In 2006, the month-long Israel-Hezbollah war erupted, precipitated by the Lebanese militant group’s cross-border raid on an Israeli military patrol on July 12, 2006. A UN-brokered ceasefire was agreed by the warring parties on August 14, 2006, while on September 8, 2006, Israel lifted its naval blockade of Lebanon. Per Crooke, the IDF was outperformed by Hezbollah at the time.

“In 2006, [the IDF] lost the war and Hezbollah had the technological advantage over them,” the ex-MI6 agent said. “They were intercepting the Israeli military communications. They were intercepting deciphered messages coming to from Tel Aviv to Beirut. They had the security, Hezbollah’s operational practices. It was a defeat [for Israel] and the army was not very impressive. There were times when they didn’t even manage to provide for the reserves that arrived – there was no food, and there was no transport for them. It was a bit like this last weekend. It was pretty chaotic. And look what we saw [this past weekend]. Again, a former senior military officer in Israel said, ‘Look, this time, the command and control structure of the army just collapsed, when Hamas broke through the Erez crossing, it just collapsed and there were no troops, and there was no ability to respond at all.’ They just saw an implosion. So, it’s not really that great.”

Furthermore, the Israeli intelligence failure to proactively thwart the Hamas attack suggests the erosion of intelligence capabilities and understanding of the situation on the ground, according to Crooke. It appears that despite Tel Aviv and Washington’s top notch technology, the nations’ spies failed to correctly interpret the massive volumes of intelligence data. Crooke explained that the shift over to artificial intelligence (AI) as a means of intelligence gathering “has not been very successful, neither in Ukraine for the Americans and for NATO and computer modeling efforts.” “Nor has it for the Israelis, because there comes a point when you have so much information and data bits and everything like this that you don’t have a clear picture,” the former British intelligence operative emphasized.

To understand how people are thinking one needs “emotional intelligence” and some sort of empathy, and not just the AI-collected data, according to him. “I saw this in the past,” Crooke said. “The West is finding it harder and harder to understand, to empathize with other, if you like, civilizations, whether it’s Russian or Iranian. They reduce it to a sort of instrumentalism that they can do it, and think if they collect enough data points, they will understand how Russia thinks and how Iran thinks. And of course, they don’t get into the mindset. They don’t get into the way of thinking, which is quite different. Even the language is quite different. And the capabilities of AI to understand symbolic meaning, and let alone some of the sort of esoteric elements of Islamic meaning – it just depends on who’s writing the AI. But for sure, it will be someone who’s lived all their life in the Western sphere and finds this all a mystery.”

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“[He] is finished. He is a walking dead man. He will stay in office only until the shooting stops . . . maybe another month or two.”

Sy Hersh: Bibi’s Opposition to 2-State Solution Cost Lives of Jews, Arabs (Sp.)

Benjamin Netanyahu “is finished,” as his decision to allow a group of Orthodox settlers to celebrate Sukkot in the West Bank last week was ill-timed, given the growing tensions between Jews and Palestinians in the region, an Israeli source told Seymour Hersh. On October 6 a group of Jewish settlers were reported to have clashed with local Palestinians in Huwara, a village in the northern part of the West Bank, which resulted in the death of a 19-year-old Arab man. Israeli settlers in the West Bank required “extraordinary protection” over the upsurge in violence. So, Netanyahu gave a nod to local Israeli military authorities to order two of the three Army battalions that controlled the border with Gaza to shift their focus to the Sukkot festival. Given that each battalion comprised about 800 soldiers, 1,600 were sent to shield the Orthodox Jews.

“That left only eight hundred soldiers to be responsible for guarding the 51-kilometer border between the Gaza Strip and southern Israel,” Hersh’s interlocutor said. “That meant the Israeli citizens in the south were left without an Israeli military presence for ten to twelve hours. They were left to fend for themselves.” Thus, unsurprisingly, the diminished IDF contingent was overrun by Hamas militants on October 7, while Israeli civilians were left unprotected. Hersh’s sources called the Saturday attack “the great military failure in Israeli history.” He noted that a previous surprise attack on Israel by Egypt and Syria in 1973 claimed the lives of soldiers, while this time peaceful civilians suffered. “Last Saturday twenty-two settlements in the south were under control of Hamas for hours, and they went house to house slaughtering women and children,” the insider said.

The source believes that this failure means the end of Netanyahu’s political career: “[He] is finished. He is a walking dead man. He will stay in office only until the shooting stops . . . maybe another month or two.” But not just for Saturday’s slaughter: the root of the problem named Hamas goes much deeper, per Hersh’s interlocutor. To begin with, Benjamin Netanyahu “was always opposed to the 1993 Oslo Accords,” the insider said. The agreement envisaged the gradual implementation of the so-called “two-state solution” for Israel and Palestine. It was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) negotiator Mahmoud Abbas in September 1993. Under the agreements, Tel Aviv accepted the PLO as the representative of the Palestinians, and the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist in peace.

The document stipulated the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which would assume governing responsibilities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At the time, Netanyahu was out of office: he served as a prime minister between 1996 and 1999 and won the Israeli prime ministership for the second time in 2009. When Bibi returned to office in 2009, he “chose to support Hamas” as an alternative to the Palestinian Authority, “and gave them money and established them in Gaza,” according to the insider. Furthermore, an arrangement with Qatar was made under which hundreds of millions of dollars were directed to the Hamas leadership with Israeli approval, per the source.

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“In the drive towards a multipolar world, [..] there’s simply no place for an ethnocentric Apartheid state fond of collective punishment..”

The Geopolitics of Al-Aqsa Flood (Pepe Escobar)

=Only one year ago, the sweaty sweatshirt comedian in Kiev was talking about turning Ukraine into a “big Israel,” and was duly applauded by a bunch of Atlantic Council bots. Well, it turned out quite differently. As an old-school Deep State source just informed me: “Ukraine-earmarked weapons are ending up in the hands of the Palestinians. The question is which country is paying for it. Iran just made a deal with the US for six billion dollars and it is unlikely Iran would jeopardize that. I have a source who gave me the name of the country but I cannot reveal it. The fact is that Ukrainian weapons are going to the Gaza Strip and they are being paid for but not by Iran.” After its stunning raid last weekend, a savvy Hamas has already secured more negotiating leverage than Palestinians have wielded in decades.

Significantly, while peace talks are supported by China, Russia, Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt – Tel Aviv refuses. Netanyahu is obsessed with razing Gaza to the ground, but if that happens, a wider regional war is nearly inevitable. Lebanon’s Hezbollah – a staunch Resistance Axis ally of the Palestinian resistance – would rather not be dragged into a war that can be devastating on its side of the border, but that could change if Israel perpetrates a de facto Gaza genocide. Hezbollah holds at least 100,000 ballistic missiles and rockets, from Katyusha (range: 40 km) to Fajr-5 (75 km), Khaibar-1 (100 km), Zelzal 2 (210 km), Fateh-110 (300 km), and Scud B-C (500 km). Tel Aviv knows what that means, and shudders at the frequent warnings by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that its next war with Israel will be conducted inside that country.

Which brings us to Iran. The key immediate consequence of Al-Aqsa Flood is that the Washington neocon wet dream of “normalization” between Israel and the Arab world will simply vanish if this turns into a Long War. Large swathes of the Arab world in fact are already normalizing their ties with Tehran – and not only inside the newly expanded BRICS 11. In the drive towards a multipolar world, represented by BRICS 11, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), among other groundbreaking Eurasian and Global South institutions, there’s simply no place for an ethnocentric Apartheid state fond of collective punishment.

Just this year, Israel found itself disinvited from the African Union summit. An Israeli delegation showed up anyway, and was unceremoniously ejected from the big hall, a visual that went viral. At the UN plenary sessions last month, a lone Israeli diplomat sought to disrupt Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi’s speech. No western ally stood by his side, and he too, was ejected from the premises. As Chinese President Xi Jinping diplomatically put it in December 2022, Beijing “firmly supports the establishment of an independent state of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty based on 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. China supports Palestine in becoming a full member of the United Nations.”

Tehran’s strategy is way more ambitious – offering strategic advice to West Asian resistance movements from the Levant to the Persian Gulf: Hezbollah, Ansarallah, Hashd al-Shaabi, Kataib Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and countless others. It’s as if they are all part of a new Grand Chessboard de facto supervised by Grandmaster Iran. The pieces in the chessboard were carefully positioned by none other than the late Quds Force Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps General Qassem Soleimani, a once-in-a-lifetime military genius. He was instrumental in creating the foundations for the cumulative successes of Iranian allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Palestine, as well as creating the conditions for a complex operation such as Al-Aqsa Flood.

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“..Hamas’ attack “destroyed the myths around Israel’s defense systems” and achieved for Hamas a more important moral victory than the military success of the attack..”

Russian Views of the Hamas-Israeli Conflict (Paul Craig Roberts)

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zakharova asked: “How did it happen that in a year; that’s how much time the operation was being prepared for, then carried out now in a few days, the United States as Israel’s closest ally did not warn about this? They have satellites everywhere, appropriate tracking devices, military bases, including in the region. There are all the possibilities to carry out, not just monitoring, but surveillance — the facts speak for themselves — of all information circulating on American-made equipment (hardware and software). For the whole year of preparing such a large-scale operation, the United States with all the power of its special services did not transmit anything to Israel as intelligence…How did it happen that during the whole year of preparation of the corresponding operation in the Middle East, the United States did not transmit any information to its partners in Israel?”

Moscow security affairs analyst Yevgeny Krutikov says the huge amount of weapons used in Hamas’ attack “could not fall from the sky. How did they get there (Gaza)?” The publication Vzglyad, a platform for Russian military thinking, published an article that concluded that Hamas’ attack “destroyed the myths around Israel’s defense systems” and achieved for Hamas a more important moral victory than the military success of the attack. Israel’s support for Ukraine against Russia has caused the Kremlin to rethink its relationship with Israel. Vzglyad reported that the Israeli government has become Russia’s adversary: “The time has come to take a new position on the Palestinian issue . . . to take a more pro-Palestinian position in the Middle East Conflict. To stand on the side of those who help Russia within the framework of their own interests (Iran, Saudi Arabia) against those who help our enemies. And thereby to send a very clear signal to the world – a signal that Russia will treat its partners exactly as they treat it. To help supporters – and not to act in the interests of opponents.”

It is possible that Israel’s military has been corrupted by too much American money, has been getting by on past successes, and has underestimated the Arabs. Washington is no longer the uni-power in the Middle East. The Russians, Turks, Syrians, Iranians, Saudis, and Hezbollah in Lebanon could all go to the aid of Palestine. Hezbollah alone has twice defeated Israeli invasions of Lebanon. Netanyahu’s invasion of Gaza could put Israel’s existence in jeopardy. In other words, Netanyahu’s plan to complete the conquest of Palestine could result in Israel’s destruction. On the other hand, the enmity among Muslims could again result in Muslim impotence and Israel’s success. My initial view was that Hamas’ attack would result in the disappearance of Palestine and no one would interfere. Now I am unsure. Netanyahu could be setting off a wider conflict from which Israel would not emerge a victor and Washington would have to choose between accepting defeat and using nuclear weapons.

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“..Netanyahu “wants to open up the war with Lebanon, by attacking Hezbollah” in pursuit of his ultimate objective, “to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities..”

Netanyahu Wants US Involved In War – Ex-Pentagon Official (RT)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like Washington directly involved in the conflict with Hamas because he hopes to expand the war to Lebanon and Iran, a former senior security policy analyst at the US Department of Defense, Michael Maloof, told RT on Wednesday. On Monday, the US ordered the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford and five guided missile destroyers to the Eastern Mediterranean. According to Maloof, this “meets Netanyahu’s wildest dreams.” “He wanted the US involved in this conflict,” the former Pentagon official told RT. Netanyahu “wants to open up the war with Lebanon, by attacking Hezbollah” in pursuit of his ultimate objective, “to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities,” Maloof added. For that to happen, “he has to have a Gulf of Tonkin moment, if you will.”

Maloof recalled how US President Lyndon Johnson essentially started the Vietnam War by sending ships to the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964. An alleged North Vietnamese attack on two US destroyers was then used as a pretext for direct involvement. The US has also pledged to help Israel with deliveries of weapons and ammunition, with the Pentagon insisting it has enough to do so and continue supplying Ukraine. Maloof is skeptical of that assertion, however. He also told RT it was “not surprising” that some of the weapons Washington had sent Kiev ended up in the hands of Hamas. That accusation was first made by former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Ukraine’s military intelligence, the GUR, responded on Monday by accusing Russia of sending captured Western weapons to Hamas militants in a “false flag” operation designed to make Kiev look bad to its backers. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the weapons claim, but rejected the Ukrainian insinuations of Russian involvement in the Hamas attack as “complete nonsense.”

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“There are no intentions, no plans to put American troops on the ground in combat.”

US Won’t Fight For Israel – White House (RT)

No American troops will be deployed to Israel, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the White House on Thursday. The US will continue to supply the Israel Defense Forces in their fight against Hamas, however. “We have national security interests throughout the region,”Kirby said at the daily press briefing, referring to the deployment of a carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean, but quashed any rumors of airborne troops or Marines being sent to Israel. “The Israelis have made it very clear that they don’t want foreign troops on their soil, that they want to prosecute these operations on their own and they have every right to want to do that,” Kirby said. “There are no intentions, no plans to put American troops on the ground in combat.”

The US already has “some experts” providing West Jerusalem with “advice and counsel” on how to free hostages taken by Hamas, and maintains a “terrific information and intelligence-sharing relationship” with Israel, as well as “a strong defense relationship, when it comes to providing weapons and munitions,” Kirby added. The IDF is “small but very capable”and the US is “doing everything we can to improve those capabilities,” he added. Earlier in the day, IDF chief of staff General Herzi Halevi said that the military “failed” to protect Israel and its people on Saturday, and that there would be a reckoning once the war against Hamas was over.

The Palestinian group that controls much of Gaza struck on the anniversary of the 1973 war, launching thousands of rockets into Israel and sending more than 1,000 militants to breach the border fence in an operation dubbed ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’. Hamas fighters stormed 22 towns, villages, and settlements, as well as a music festival being held near Gaza. Israel responded by launching airstrikes against Gaza, while deploying tanks and artillery to the southern border. So far, around 1,200 people have been killed in Israel and at least 1,100 in Gaza, according to local officials.

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Message from the arms industry.

US Must Prepare For War With China And Russia – Congress (RT)

Washington needs to urgently update and expand both its nuclear arsenal and the conventional military in order to face the combined might of Moscow and Beijing, the congressional Strategic Posture Commission argued in its final report published on Thursday. “The United States and its allies must be ready to deter and defeat both adversaries simultaneously,” the commission said. “The US-led international order and the values it upholds are at risk from the Chinese and Russian authoritarian regimes.” While the commission has not identified any specific evidence of Russia and China working together, “we worry… there may be ultimate coordination between them in some way, which gets us to this two-war construct,” a senior official involved in the report told Reuters, on condition of anonymity.

The current US national security strategy calls for defeating one major adversary while deterring another. The commission argued that the combined threat from China and Russia will become acute as early as 2027 so “decisions need to be made now in order for the nation to be prepared.” The 131 findings and 81 recommendations in the report amount to the need for massive expansion of both the conventional armed forces and the Nuclear Triad. The report demands more of the B-21 stealth bombers and Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines. The B-21 is still in development and is expected to enter service by 2027 at the earliest. The first two Columbia-class subs are under construction and are expected in 2030. The US Navy has planned to order 12, to replace the 18 Ohio-class boats currently in service.

“Amid all of the Commission’s recommendations to increase the number of strategic and tactical nuclear systems, there is almost no mention of cost in the entire report,” which “does not seem to acknowledge any limits to defense spending,” the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) has said in response. At a press event announcing the report, the commission’s vice-chair, retired Republican Senator Jon Kyl, argued that higher military spending is a small price to “hopefully preclude” a possible nuclear war and that President Joe Biden and Congress need to “take the case to the American people” to spend more money.

According to FAS, however, the commission’s recommendations are “likely to exacerbate the arms race, further constrict the window for engaging with Russia and China on arms control, and redirect funding away from more proximate priorities.” The only reason the commission did not argue for an immediate expansion of the US nuclear stockpile “is that the weapons production complex currently does not have the capacity to do so,” FAS noted, adding that there is no need for a nuclear arms race so long as the US has enough submarines to present a credible deterrent to a first strike by an adversary.

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“The rising centers of power do not want to put up with an aggressive Western dictate.”

Struggle For Future Of World Order ‘Intensifying’ – Moscow (RT)

The world is facing a “classic revolutionary situation” in the field of international relations, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, said on Thursday. An ever-increasing number of the “rising powers” around the world want more independence in their foreign policy and dislike the crumbling hegemony of the West, which it is desperately trying to preserve, he added. “The West, led by the US, can no longer ensure its dominance on a global scale,” Naryshkin told a meeting of intelligence chiefs of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Baku. “The rising centers of power do not want to put up with an aggressive Western dictate.” In its efforts to maintain a unipolar world, the US deliberately tries to destabilize key world regions, he believes.

Washington and its allies in London and Paris do not hesitate when it comes to manipulating various destructive forces on the international arena to achieve these goals, he stated, adding that the list of such forces includes international terrorist groups, radical Islamists, and ultranationalist movements. According to Naryshkin, America’s efforts have disrupted the peace process in Syria and exacerbated the situation in Afghanistan. They have also recently turned their eyes towards Africa, where they have allegedly encouraged various militant factions to launch attacks against the infrastructure in Mali and the Central African Republic, the Russian spy chief said, citing what he called “reliable information” in his agency’s possession.

The West orchestrates “sabotage operations against African nations that are friendly to Russia,” Naryshkin claimed, adding that the group of the seven biggest developed economies known as the G7 also “actively work against Russia.” The West openly hosts and supports various “separatist terrorist structures calling for subversion of the Russian state order and violation of its territorial integrity,” the official said, naming the so-called ‘Free Nations of Post-Russia’ Forum among them. A loose association of various opposition activists, as well as ethnic and regional separatist movements, the forum openly advocates the disintegration of Russia under the slogans of “decolonization” and “de-occupation.” In March, it was designated an “undesirable organization” in Russia.

Three meetings of the forum have already been hosted, with two taking place in Poland and one in the Czech Republic. The fourth meeting is scheduled to be held in Sweden in December. “It is obvious to any sensible person that the manifestation of such … desires would have led to Eurasia plunging into a horrible ethnic and religious conflict,” Naryshkin said, calling it evidence of Washington’s intent to “set the Eurasian continent on fire.” The West is “playing with fire” and “the future of the world order is at stake,” he warned, calling on “more responsible global and regional actors” to join their forces and coordinate their efforts to prevent destabilization instigated by the West and lead the world towards a multipolar world order.

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“Zelensky admitted that Ukraine is afraid of a possible shortage of financial resources and weapons. He added that Kiev has “many more fears” in the current situation.”

Zelensky Final Stage of Conflict Statement Shows Hopelessness – Lavrov (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent statement on Kiev entering a final stage of conflict with Moscow shows his hopelessness, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday. “I think [of it] as an admission of hopelessness,” Lavrov told reporters, when asked about Zelenskyy’s statement. Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with a Romanian TV channel that the conflict in Ukraine is at its final stage. In addition, Zelensky admitted that Ukraine is afraid of a possible shortage of financial resources and weapons. He added that Kiev has “many more fears” in the current situation. In September, Lavrov said at a press conference after his speech at the UN General Assembly that Russia was ready for talks on Ukraine, but would not consider proposals for a ceasefire.

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Borrell is headed for China, and he doesn’t come empty handed. No, he comes with criticism and demands. Which is the one thing you don’t do on such an occasion.

He also said: “It is time China started taking Europe more seriously..” Well, you just assured they won’t. You are the anti-diplomat.

Beijing Can’t Be Neutral On ‘Fox Entering Henhouse’ – Borrell (RT)

China should do more to convince Kiev and its Western backers that it is not on Moscow’s side in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said ahead of a visit to the Asian superpower. He expressed doubt that neutrality on the issue is even possible. “Being neutral in such a case is just like watching on the sidelines as the fox enters the henhouse and waiting for the outcome,” he said in an interview with the South China Morning Post on Thursday. Beijing has criticized its ally, Moscow for using force, but agreed with Russian claims that NATO expansion in Europe was one of the main causes of the conflict. The EU has joined the US in describing Russia’s actions as “unprovoked aggression.” Moscow has said the conflict is part of a Western proxy war.

“China can certainly do more, including in its engagement on the peace formula put forward by Ukraine,” the commissioner added, stating that “a lot remains to be done to convince Ukraine that China is not on Russia’s side.” The ‘Zelensky formula’ that Borrell was referring to was put forward by Kiev and its backers as the only way to resolve the conflict. It demands that Russia concede defeat, pay reparations, and hand over alleged war criminals to an international tribunal. Beijing proposed its own roadmap to de-escalation last year, urging respect for the territorial integrity “of all countries” while addressing Russia’s national security concerns. Moscow has dismissed Kiev’s plan, saying it is “detached from reality,” while the Chinese proposal could serve as the basis for a long-term solution.

Borrell said his goal during the three-day visit is to affirm that “Europe takes China seriously and has no hidden agenda aiming at derailing its rise.” Brussels expects Beijing to take it seriously in return and to “stop looking at us through the lens of its relations with others.” He added that the “war in Ukraine has transformed us … from the position of an economic power to a geopolitical one, taking its strategic responsibilities very seriously.” The EU has decoupled its economy from Russia over the Ukraine conflict. The rejection of cheap Russian energy undercut the competitiveness of many businesses in member states, some of which relocated to other nations, including the US.

Senior EU officials have argued that the bloc needs to “de-risk” economic relations with China, specifically citing its non-alignment on Ukraine as a reason. “How China continues to interact with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war will be a determining factor for EU-China relations going forward,” European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen said in March. Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that Beijing is standing up “for its sovereignty, security and development interests,” when he hosted the EU official the following month.

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And the US is trying to do them one better.

Europe Made A ‘Grave Mistake’ On Immigration – Kissinger (Az.)

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has said that nations in Europe were wrong to take in many people who are now supporting Hamas’ actions against Israel. Unless the militant group is punished for its hostage-taking, Europeans risk being targeted similarly, he warned. In an interview published on Wednesday, Mathias Dopfner, the CEO of German media group Axel Springer, asked the veteran statesman about “Arabs celebrating” in the streets of Berlin after Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel last week. Kissinger, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, said he found such gestures of support for criminal acts “painful.” “It was a grave mistake to let in so many people of totally different cultural and religious concepts because it creates a pressure group inside each country that does that,” he noted.

Asked what Germany and the EU should do in the current situation, Kissinger said he expected “unconditional” political support for Israel – as well as military suppor if needed. “There has to be some penalty; there has to be some serious limitation on their capability of taking this kind of action,” he said of Hamas tactics. “I would say that every European nation has the same interest because the same attitude might erupt in the direction of Europe,” he warned. Washington’s former top diplomat recalled peace talks that resolved the Yom Kippur War five decades ago, saying that Western nations and Israel were lucky to have an Arab leader “with a vision of the future” in Anwar Sadat, the former president of Egypt.

“I don’t think it is possible to find leaders among the Hamas group [with a similar vision],” he said, “I think Hamas should be excluded from a political role.” Pro-Palestinian rallies were held in multiple European cities amid the escalation in the Middle East. In Berlin, police broke down a spontaneous demonstration on Saturday, which was associated with the NGO Samidoun. The German law enforcement said the protesters posed an “immediate threat to public safety” due to “anti-Israel” chants “glorifying violence.” The German government was at the forefront of welcoming asylum-seekers during the 2015 influx, when some 1.3 million people arrived on the continent in just one year. Anti-migrant sentiments surged in many nations during the crisis, with some Eastern European members of the EU adopting policies to curb immigration.

Tucker

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“I didn’t want to be dishonest, but I didn’t want them to know the truth.”

‘Star Witness’ Ellison Unveils Chaos Behind FTX’s Fake Balance Sheets (ZH)

What would a second day of testimony in the FTX trial for Caroline Ellison have been without mentions of identity theft from Thai prostitutes and bribing Chinese officials? Taking the stand on Wednesday, Sam Bankman-Fried’s former love interest turned star government witness against him, Ellison, spoke about the balance sheet that led to the downfall of Bankman-Fried’s companies. Ellison stated that this balance sheet was a manipulated version of what Alameda had sent to its lenders, deliberately crafted to give the impression that the firm was in a more robust financial condition than was actually the case. She described the document as “deceptive.” Previously it had been reported that, at Bankman-Fried’s direction, Ellison had “prepared seven different versions of Alameda’s balance sheet to potentially show to lenders,” according to The Messenger.

However, even the manipulated figures were concerning—laden with FTX’s FTT token and other tokens closely affiliated with Bankman-Fried—casting doubt on the financial viability of both Alameda and FTX. Among potential lenders was Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Ellison testified Wednesday. She also lied to Genesis, one of FTX’s lenders, about Alameda’s balance sheet, @teddyschleifer reported on X Wednesday. “Caroline Ellison testified that Sam Bankman-Fried ordered her to lie in mid 2022 to Genesis, one of FTX’s lenders, about Alameda’s balance sheet,” he wrote. “Caroline prepared a bunch of bullshit balance-sheets that they could send, and Sam chose ‘Alternative 7’ as the best lie of the bunch.” Ellison reportedly said: “I didn’t want to be dishonest, but I didn’t want them to know the truth.”

Ellison testified on Wednesday: “I was in a constant state of dread. I knew we would have to take the money from our line of credit and that was money that could be called in at any time.” And where was the money going? Ellison testified that she and Alameda executives had “paid a large bribe to Chinese officials” to obtain funds that were locked on a Chinese exchange. After initial attempts to unfreeze funds by negotiating with the Chinese government through lawyers proved unsuccessful, Ellison stated that the FTX/Alameda team then endeavored—yet failed again—to access the funds by setting up fictitious exchange accounts using IDs that she believed belonged to “Thai prostitutes.”

Ultimately, Ellison was able to secure the funds after making a $100 million payment to a cryptocurrency account she believed was somehow connected to Chinese government officials. Ellison recounted an episode where an employee, whose father was a Chinese government official, voiced objections to the plan during a meeting. In response, Bankman-Fried became increasingly irritated and eventually told the employee to “shut the f*** up.” In a confidential “State of Alameda” memo authored by Ellison in November 2021, shortly after the payment was executed, she included an entry labeled “-150m from the thing?” under a section outlining “notable/idiosyncratic” financial events.

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It’s a power game.

CEO of X -aka Twitter- Responds To EU ‘Disinfo’ Threats (RT)

The CEO of X (formerly Twitter), Linda Yaccarino, has defended the platform’s response to a purported surge in disinformation and harmful content following Hamas’ attack on Israel in an open letter to EU internal markets commissioner Thierry Breton on Wednesday. The social media platform has “redistributed resources” and “refocused teams” to manage the flow of information regarding the conflict 24/7, Yaccarino explained, claiming that a dedicated “leadership group” had been assembled in the immediate aftermath of the Palestinian militants’ incursion to devise a platform-wide strategy. As a result, she said, tens of thousands of posts and other media related to the war had been removed since Saturday, while hundreds of accounts allegedly connected to terrorist groups, extremism, and violence had been deplatformed.

“There is no place on X for terrorist organization or violent extremist groups and we continue to remove such accounts in real time, including proactive efforts,” Yaccarino wrote. More than 700 Community Notes, the crowdsourced fact-checking platform owner Elon Musk has promoted as an alternative to establishment fact-checkers, are circulating regarding the conflict, she continued, revealing that the annotations are being published faster than ever before. Breton had warned Musk in an “urgent” open letter on Tuesday that X was facing a potential investigation and steep penalties under the EU’s new Digital Services Act if it did not immediately address the illegal content and disinformation purportedly running rampant on the platform regarding the Israel-Gaza conflict.

The billionaire was given 24 hours to respond to Breton’s demands, which included an order to reach out to law enforcement in order to “ensure [X] respond[s] promptly to their requests.” In her response, Yaccarino insisted that X was responding readily to requests from law enforcement, but that it had received none from Europol at the time of writing. While Breton had claimed that the EU had “indications” X was being used to spread both disinformation and illegal content, suggesting “qualified sources” had confirmed the platform was flouting EU regulations, he did not mention any specific violations in his letter. Musk repeatedly requested examples in a thread on X, but Breton demurred, claiming the Tesla CEO was “well aware” of complaints regarding “fake content and glorification of violence.”

X’s Safety division revealed earlier this week that the platform had seen an increase in daily active users in Israel and Palestine and was specifically targeting new Hamas-affiliated accounts for removal via a partnership with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. On Wednesday, Breton also reached out to threaten Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg with a similar “urgent” letter, warning the billionaire he had 24 hours to provide the bloc with a detailed description of how his platform was addressing the spread of disinformation and illegal content regarding the Israel-Hamas war.

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“..Just as Bobby Kennedy sees a path to victory as an independent, so do the donors that were reluctant to contribute with him running as a Democrat..”

RFK Jr. Sees Surge in Fundraising After Declaring Independent Run (ET)

Within hours of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s announcement that he will run for president as an independent and not a Democrat, the super PAC supporting his candidacy raised more than $11 million. American Values 2024 disclosed on Oct. 10 that it has generated $11.28 million since Mr. Kennedy told an audience in front of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, “I’m here to declare myself an independent candidate for president of the United States.” Individual events have spurred bountiful fundraising for Mr. Kennedy. In September, a private fundraiser performance by musician Eric Clapton generated more than $2 million that was split between the campaign and American Values 2024.

The organization tallied about $6.47 million in July from a mix of donors who are registered Democrats and Republicans, according to American Values 2024. That number included about $5 million collected during Mr. Kennedy’s testimony in a hearing about censorship before the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. Individuals can give as much as $3,300 to a political candidate’s campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission. Super political action committees (PACs) are allowed to raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations, and individuals and “spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates,” according to OpenSecrets, an organization that tracks money in U.S. politics and its impact on elections and public policy.

RFK

Unlike traditional PACs, super PACS may not contribute money directly to political candidates. Prominent Democratic Party donors like Abby Rockefeller have contributed to American Values 2024, but Republican donors have given a majority of the money the super PAC has received, including former President Donald Trump donor Tim Mellon, according to American Values 2024 reports. Tony Lyons, co-chair of American Values 2024, spoke to The Epoch Times about the influx of support. “People feel that the Democratic National Committee was disenfranchising them and that Bobby would not get the nomination based on the rules the DNC was putting into place and the inflammatory statements they have made about him time after time,” he said.

“They feel that their vote wouldn’t count, and that their donation wouldn’t be helpful because the primary would be rigged. Just as Bobby Kennedy sees a path to victory as an independent, so do the donors that were reluctant to contribute with him running as a Democrat,” Mr. Lyons explained. George Washington, America’s first president, is the only independent candidate to win election to the nation’s highest office. No independent candidate has won an electoral vote in the past 50 years. America, Mr. Kennedy believes, is ready for “a new page in American politics.”

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KATT
https://twitter.com/i/status/1712287531046260927

 

 


..the Appalachian Mountains, the Atlas Mountains, the Scottish Highlands, the Watkins Range and Scandinavian Mountains were all once part of the same mountain range, the Central Pangean Mountains

 

 

ParrotTV
https://twitter.com/i/status/1712353934323470658

 

 

Deer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1712427895950577884

 

 

Friday
https://twitter.com/i/status/1712704619132953084

 

 

ART

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 272023
 
 September 27, 2023  Posted by at 9:04 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Frederick Carl Frieseke Girl In Blue Arranging Flowers 1915

 

Hersh Reveals US Motive For Destruction Of Nord Stream Pipelines (MoA)
Biden Planned On Blowing Nord Stream Before Ukraine Conflict Began – Hersh (RT)
Nord Stream Blast: Why the West Still Can’t Name the Culprit (Sp.)
Canadian Parliament Speaker Resigns After Honoring Ukrainian Nazi (RT)
Russian Foreign Ministry Responds To Canada Honoring Nazi Veteran (RT)
Nazi Hunter: Canada Failed Miserably in Bringing Nazis to Justice (Sp.)
Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Seen Alive and Well (Sp.)
Nothing Is Off Table To Get Ukraine Into EU – Parliament President (G.)
How Russia Will Deal With American Tanks in Ukraine (Sp.)
US Judge Finds Trump Committed Fraud by Inflating Wealth, Assets (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Sues Rudy Giuliani for Spreading Contents From Laptop (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Used Dad’s Classified Doc House For $250K China Wire Transfer (ZH)
EU Warns Elon Musk After X Found To Have Highest Rate Of Disinformation (G.)

 

 

 

 

NYC Sanctuary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeadon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1706538481135104245

 

 

 

 

Russell

 

 

 

 

On the first anniversary of the Nordstream blast, lots of articles. Also about “alternative explanations”. But Sy Hersh doesn’t make things up. That’s not his MO at all.

“And thus followed the ultimate fear: that America would lose its long-standing primacy in Western Europe.”

Hersh Reveals US Motive For Destruction Of Nord Stream Pipelines (MoA)

It was no surprise to the agency’s secret planning group when on January 27, 2022, the assured and confident Nuland, then undersecretary of state for political affairs, stridently warned Putin that if he invaded Ukraine, as he clearly was planning to, that “one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.” The line attracted enormous attention, but the words preceding the threat did not. The official State Department transcript shows that she preceded her threat by saying that with regard to the pipeline: “We continue to have very strong and clear conversations with our German allies. … The German leader was considered then—and now—by some members of the CIA team to be fully aware of the secret planning underway to destroy the pipelines.

What I did not know then, but was told recently, was that after Biden’s extraordinary public threat to blow up Nord Stream 2, with Scholz standing next to him, the CIA planning group was told by the White House that there would be no immediate attack on the two pipelines, but the group should arrange to plant the necessary bombs and be ready to trigger them “on demand”—after the war began. “It was then that we”—the small planning group that was working in Oslo with the Royal Norwegian Navy and special services on the project—“understood that the attack on the pipelines was not a deterrent because as the war went on we never got the command.” After Biden’s order to trigger the explosives planted on the pipelines, it took only a short flight with a Norwegian fighter and the dropping of an altered off-the-shelf sonar device at the right spot in the Baltic Sea to get it done.

By then the CIA group had long disbanded. By then, too, the official told me: “We realized that the destruction of the two Russian pipelines was not related to the Ukrainian war”—Putin was in the process of annexing the four Ukrainian oblasts he wanted—“but was part of a neocon political agenda to keep Scholz and Germany, with winter coming up and the pipelines shut down, from getting cold feet and opening up” the shuttered Nord Stream 2. “The White House fear was that Putin would get Germany under his thumb and then he was going to get Poland.”

All of this explains why a routine question I posed a month or so after the bombings to someone with many years in the American intelligence community led me to a truth that no one in America or Germany seems to want to pursue. My question was simple: “Who did it?” The Biden administration blew up the pipelines but the action had little to do with winning or stopping the war in Ukraine. It resulted from fears in the White House that Germany would waver and turn on the flow of Russia gas—and that Germany and then NATO, for economic reasons, would fall under the sway of Russia and its extensive and inexpensive natural resources. And thus followed the ultimate fear: that America would lose its long-standing primacy in Western Europe.

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“We realized that the destruction of the two Russian pipelines was not related to the Ukrainian war..”

Biden Planned On Blowing Nord Stream Before Ukraine Conflict Began – Hersh (RT)

US President Joe Biden initially planned on destroying the Nord Stream gas pipelines to deter Russia from launching its military operation in Ukraine, American journalist Seymour Hersh reported on Tuesday. However, Hersh alleged that the sabotage operation went ahead later not to deter Russia, but to harm the German economy. The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, which connected Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, were destroyed in a series of underwater explosions exactly a year ago on Tuesday. Competing theories have emerged as to who was to blame, with mainstream media in the West blaming a Ukrainian commando unit and Seymour Hersh claiming that the CIA carried out the operation under direct orders from Biden.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Hersh alleged that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan convened a series of meetings in late 2021, tasking intelligence officials with coming up with a means of deterring Russian President Vladimir Putin from sending troops into Ukraine. “The White House’s policy was to deter Russia from an attack,” an intelligence source told Hersh. “The challenge it gave to the intelligence community was to come up with a way that was powerful enough to do that, and to make a strong statement of American capability.” By January, as Russian forces were massing on the Ukrainian border, the CIA had “solved the problem,” the source said. With a plan in place to plant remotely-detonated explosives on the pipelines under the Baltic Sea, Biden warned in early February that in the event of military action by Russia, “there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

Following Biden’s statement, which was delivered alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the CIA team tasked with sabotaging the pipelines received new orders, Hersh claimed. Instead of immediately destroying Nord Stream, the team was instructed to plant the explosives for detonation at a later date. “It was then that we understood that the attack on the pipelines was not a deterrent because as the war went on we never got the command,” a member of the team told Hersh. “We realized that the destruction of the two Russian pipelines was not related to the Ukrainian war,” the source continued. “But was part of a neocon political agenda to keep Scholz and Germany, with winter coming up and the pipelines shut down, from getting cold feet and opening up.”

According to Hersh’s earlier reporting, CIA divers planted the explosives last summer with the help of the Norwegian navy, using a NATO exercise in the region as cover. By the time the bombs were triggered in September, the flow of Russian gas to Germany via Nord Stream 1 had already been slowed to a trickle by Russia in response to Western sanctions, while Nord Stream 2 was never certified to begin operation by Scholz’s government. However, with the German economy heavily dependent on Russian gas, Biden reportedly feared that Scholz would choose reproachment with Moscow over support for Ukraine. “The President of the United States would rather see Germany freeze than [see] Germany possibly stop supporting Ukraine,” Hersh declared earlier this year.

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“Giraldi said that he feels that Hersh’s narrative is “correct in every detail.”

Nord Stream Blast: Why the West Still Can’t Name the Culprit (Sp.)

Gas leaks from the Nord Stream pipeline system were detected on 26 September 2022, with the EU leadership admitting that this could be the result of a “deliberate attack”. Two days later, on 28 September, the Kremlin announced that Russia was ready to consider applications from EU countries for a joint investigation into the Nord Stream incident. However, not only did the West snub Moscow’s request but also blamed Russia for destroying its own pipelines. Later, European and American officials backtracked on their accusations but fell short of naming a potential perpetrator. On 12 October 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident “an act of international terrorism”. Meanwhile, as gas prices soared and US energy producers secured lucrative LNG contracts with European countries, it became clear that Washington had been the major beneficiary from the Nord Stream destruction. Furthermore, the US leadership had previously issued several threats that it would destroy the pipelines.

“We know that the United States President Joe Biden, threatened openly that he would stop Nord Stream 2 if the Russians were to militarily intervene in Ukraine,” Philip Giraldi, former CIA station chief and now an executive director of the Council for the National Interest, told Sputnik. “That was repeated by Victoria Nuland, who was Number Three at the State Department. She said basically the same thing. So we had the President and a senior official both saying that they would stop the pipeline if this were to happen. So we have a statement coming from the government itself saying it would do this.” “And then I would say on top of that, the United States – given its military capabilities – had the capability to do this. They sent divers down to attach explosives and to arrange for a drone satellite that would ignite the charges and blow up the pipelines.

“It had the capability to do it. And it also had the motive, which was basically to weaken Russia’s ability to use its energy resources to affect politics in Europe. So this is what it was all about,” Giraldi continued. On 8 February 2023, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh dropped a bombshell, detailing an apparent plot by Team Biden and the US intelligence community to blast the Nord Stream pipelines with the help of Norwegian operatives. Reflecting on Hersh’s version, Giraldi said that he feels that Hersh’s narrative is “correct in every detail.” “And I can confirm to you that Sy Hersh, whom I know somewhat, has excellent sources inside CIA and inside the Pentagon. So what he’s telling us comes straight from people who know about it,” the CIA veteran said.

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Scapegoat.

Canadian Parliament Speaker Resigns After Honoring Ukrainian Nazi (RT)

Canadian House Speaker Anthony Rota stepped down on Tuesday after a Nazi veteran was his invited guest at a speech by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. The invitation has faced widespread condemnation. Rota apologized on Monday for the presence of 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka at Zelensky’s address to Canadian lawmakers on Friday, but refused to resign. Although lawmakers from all parties – including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – cheered and applauded Hunka at the event, calls for Rota’s resignation grew over the weekend as the incident drew worldwide attention, particularly from the governments of Russia and Poland. Rota eventually announced his resignation on Tuesday afternoon, stating that he would leave his position at the end of Wednesday’s session.

“The work of this house is above any of us. Therefore, I must step down as your speaker,” Rota said. “I reiterate my profound regret for my error.” Politicians from the opposition New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois parties issued the loudest demands for Rota’s resignation, with New Democrats leader Peter Julian describing the invitation as “an unforgivable error which puts the entire House in disrepute.” Trudeau, who leads the Liberal Party, of which Rota is a member, did not call for the speaker’s resignation, but described the ceremony as “deeply embarrassing for the House and for Canada.” During the event, Rota hailed Hunka as “a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero… who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians.”

Rota did not mention that Hunka fought in Hitler’s elite Waffen SS, but the nonagenarian was identified by the Associated Press as a member of the First Ukrainian Division, a volunteer unit created by the Nazis in 1943. Also known as the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, the unit is known to have committed atrocities against Jews and Poles during its campaign on the Eastern Front. “There should be no confusion that this unit was responsible for the mass murder of innocent civilians with a level of brutality and malice that is unimaginable,” the Toronto-based Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) said in a statement on Sunday.


The Ukrainian Postal Service is now issuing stamps of Waffen SS Nazi Galicia Yaroslav Hunko

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“..the ultra-liberal ideology propagated in Canada and permeated with hatred for Russia, its culture, religious and traditional values, essentially has the same roots as Nazism.”

Russian Foreign Ministry Responds To Canada Honoring Nazi Veteran (RT)

The Canadian Parliament’s public celebration of a Ukrainian Nazi veteran last week is a cynical abuse of the memory of the victims of Nazism and an example of the blatant Russophobia embraced by the Canadian government, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on Tuesday. The message comes after the Canadian House of Commons on Friday gave a standing ovation to 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka, a member of the 14th Waffen Grenadier division of the SS, which was responsible for countless war crimes during the second half of World War II. The commemoration took place during a visit by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the incident was “the best possible way to characterize the regime of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has embraced unbridled Russophobia.”

After facing backlash from Jewish and Polish communities over the incident, House Speaker Anthony Rota apologized for inviting the Nazi veteran, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the situation as “profoundly embarrassing.” The Russian ministry stressed, however, that despite Canada’s apologies, “the fact remains that the ultra-liberal ideology propagated in Canada and permeated with hatred for Russia, its culture, religious and traditional values, essentially has the same roots as Nazism.” Moscow added that it was “no coincidence” that Canada has monuments to Ukrainian nationalist leaders while the government allows the overwhelming majority of Nazi veterans like Hunka, who was granted asylum in Canada after the end of World War II, to live out their days “in safety, honored and cared for (in particular, by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland) as ‘fighters against Russian Communism.’”

The ministry concluded its statement by stressing that the “hostile actions” of the Canadian government, such as the continuous expansion of anti-Russian sanctions and blacklists of Russian nationals will not be left unanswered and that Moscow will not tolerate the fact that “Canadian liberals are flirting with Nazism.” “We expect that healthy forces in Canadian society will speak out against the ‘Nazification’ of history and daily life encouraged by the country’s officials, which goes hand-in-hand with aggressive Russophobia,” it said.

Russia to Canada
https://twitter.com/i/status/1706499953432924204

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“Canada is not a unique situation. Ten thousand Nazi war criminals emigrated to the United States, thousands to Australia, Great Britain, and in fewer numbers to New Zealand.”

Nazi Hunter: Canada Failed Miserably in Bringing Nazis to Justice (Sp.)

Ninety-eight-year-old Ukrainian Nazi veteran Yaroslav Hunka, who fought in the ranks of the Schutzstaffel’s (SS) 14th Waffen Grenadier Division, was enthusiastically hailed by Canadian lawmakers and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The incident triggered a wave of fierce criticism, prompting House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota to apologize for featuring a Nazi soldier in the Canadian legislature. Sputnik reached out to Dr. Efraim Zuroff, a legendary Nazi hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the director of its Israel Office, to ask why the scandalous honoring of a Nazi became possible in a modern Western state. “It’s no secret that hundreds, at least hundreds, if not thousands of people who committed Holocaust crimes and/or collaborated with the Nazis were able to emigrate to Canada,” Dr. Zuroff told Sputnik.

“And by the way, Canada is not a unique situation. Ten thousand Nazi war criminals emigrated to the United States, thousands to Australia, Great Britain, and in fewer numbers to New Zealand.” Dr. Zuroff is unfamiliar with the particular case of Yaroslav Hunka, but it is still well known that the Waffen SS Galicia Division was “very involved in the mass murder of Jews and Poles in eastern Poland and Galicia,” he pointed out. “And it’s a very sad thing that the heroes, the leadership of the Ukrainian nationalists during World War II, which was headed by Stepan Bandera, for example and the UPA*, the army raised by the Ukrainians to fight with the Germans, with the Waffen SS, which was led by Roman Shukhevych, these are the heroes of Ukraine,” the Nazi hunter highlighted.

It is common knowledge that Nazi Germany played the lead role in the Holocaust – the systematic state-sponsored killing of European Jews in the Second World War. Still, Westerners are not fully aware of the incredibly important role played by local collaborators in the mass murder of the Jewish people, according to Dr. Zuroff. Nazi Germany’s Einsatzgruppen, mobile killing units organized by the SS (tasked with the “final solution of the Jewish question, i.e. the genocide of the ethnic group), “covered an area from Tallinn in the north of Estonia, all the way down to Odessa, near the Black Sea, a front of 1,500 kilometers, and murdered 1.5 million, primarily Jews, in less than two years,” the expert said.

“There were only several thousand people who served in the Einsatzgruppen, and they were working in territory, which they didn’t know the language, they didn’t know the topography. They needed help from the locals,” he explained, adding that this help was provided. “And they’re [locals] the ones who carried out these murders, in many cases without any Germans present. We know in Lithuania, for example, that there were less than a thousand Germans in Lithuania. In Lithuania, there were 220,000 Jews who lived under the Nazi occupation, of whom 212,000 were murdered, 90% of them by shooting near their homes.”

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The Black Sea Fleet command convenes in an underground bunker.

Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Seen Alive and Well (Sp.)

Western media reported that Russian Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Viktor Sokolov was killed in Ukrainian attack on Sevastopol, citing Ukrainian officials, without verifying the information. Ukraine used several British-sourced Storm Shadow cruise missiles to target the HQs building of the Russian Fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea last Friday. Russian Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Viktor Sokolov has turned up alive and well, taking part in a Defense Ministry board meeting alongside Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday. Sokolov’s appearance follows claims in dozens of Western media outlets quoting Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces claiming that he had been killed in last week’s strike on the Black Sea Fleet’s HQ in Sevastopol.

The Russian Defense Ministry said six people were injured in the September 22 attack, with one person unaccounted for and the HQ’s historic building suffering damage. These figures are a far cry from estimates made by Kiev – which claimed that dozens of servicemen and officers were killed and over 100 injured. US reconnaissance forces were spotted in the area near the HQ two days prior to the attack, prompting Russian and US military observers to tell Sputnik that they suspect direct NATO involvement in the strike. The UK approved the delivery of Storm Shadow cruise missile systems to Ukraine in May, with Ukraine’s armed forces subsequently using them liberally, including to attack built-up civilian areas in the Donbass. Despite generous arms deliveries, intelligence and other support to Kiev, the United States and most of its allies refuse to admit that the Ukrainian crisis is a NATO proxy war against Russia.

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Where do they find these people?

Nothing Is Off Table To Get Ukraine Into EU – Parliament President (G.)

The European Union must begin a major wave of change to prepare for the arrival of Ukraine as a member state, the leader of its parliament has said, with “nothing off the table”, including removing trade tariffs and giving Kyiv access to internal markets before full membership. Speaking exclusively to the Guardian, Roberta Metsola, an MEP from Malta who became the European parliament’s youngest ever president last year, said she expected member states to begin formal negotiations with Ukraine as soon as December. “If they are going fast, we should match that speed,” she urged. Metsola was the first political leader to visit Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, meeting the country’s president, President Zelenskiy, in Kyiv on 1 April 2022, when the capital was still under curfew and surrounded by tanks.

She has made the images of that encounter a symbol of her presidency: a poster of the pair in military green, shaking hands, hangs over the Parliament courtyard. Defying caution and outright antagonism from some member states, she has given unequivocal support to Ukraine’s attempt to join the EU, a process which has advanced even as the country’s attempts to join Nato have stalled. Ukraine is one year into a what many expect will be four or five year journey. But Metsola reflects fresh thinking among some EU leaders that the bloc needs to accelerate access to Ukraine- and the Balkan states that have also applied- in order to curb the risk of Russian interference in these former Soviet territories.

“Pushing the can down the road” on enlargement will only fuel nationalism and the far-right, she warned. “It increases the extremes on the political spectrum, the Euroscepticism. Campaigns in accession countries are fought, and lost or won, on the basis of the dream and hope of the EU.” Metsola wants formal talks to begin before Christmas. The decision rests with EU ministers, who will meet formally in December after a public report in October on Ukraine’s progress in reforming its judiciary, curbing corruption and opening its markets. “I expect a concrete outcome because the worst signal could be that we have given these people targets and deadlines which we can’t meet ourselves,” said Metsola.

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They strip off the protective parts before shipping them to Kiev.

How Russia Will Deal With American Tanks in Ukraine (Sp.)

Ukraine has received some of its long-promised Abrams tanks, with the rest scheduled to be delivered later this fall. The long wait began in January, when US President Joe Biden announced that a battalions’ worth of America’s best tanks would be sent to “improve” Ukraine’s “ability to maneuver in open terrain.” The Abrams are the last of three NATO heavy tank platforms to be delivered to Ukraine to date, with Washington using promises about their deployment to get the alliance’s European members, particularly Germany, to approve the sending of their Leopard series MBTs (hundreds of Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 tanks have been sent to Kiev since then). The UK also joined in, sending 14 of its fearsome Challenger 2s – boasting the status of one of the only major MBTs in NATO armies’ service never to have been destroyed by the enemy in battle.

Russian forces taking on Ukraine’s NATO-equipped army during the summer counteroffensive soon changed all that, with dozens of Leopard 1 and Leopard 2s knocked out, and at least two of Britain’s “unbeatable” tanks taken out in fierce fighting in Zaporozhye after finally appearing on the battlefield earlier this month. [..] The Abrams tanks that Ukraine is getting aren’t up to the same standard as those used by the US military. While its tanks are receiving the same controversial depleted uranium munitions which the US and NATO have already successfully used to poison vast swathes of the former Yugoslavia and Iraq, they are not equipped with the same layer of ultra-thick DU armor plates for enhanced protection of the tank and its crew that US Army Abrams have.

Ukraine’s Abrams are made from refurbished hulls and turrets from California’s Sierra Army Depot, with their DU armor plating removed for secrecy reasons. With the tanks proving vulnerable to enemy anti-tank systems even with the DU armor installed, Russian forces should have no problem using any or all of the above-mentioned weapons systems to target them.

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Wonder what’s in the tax filings (not inflated numbers!). Wonder if the banks saw those. And if not, why.

US Judge Finds Trump Committed Fraud by Inflating Wealth, Assets (Sp.)

A New York state judge on Tuesday found former US President Donald Trump liable for fraud in a civil lawsuit that accuses the one-time commander of intentionally inflating his wealth and asset value. The 35-page ruling, brought forward by the New York Attorney General’s Office, determined Trump and company submitted multiple misleading valuations for real estate assets in official statements to insurers and other financial institutions in order to secure favorable loans and lower insurance premiums throughout the years. Properties listed in the suit included Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida resort, his golf course in Scotland, Trump Park Avenue, and his Seven Springs property in New York’s Westchester County, among other sites.

“In defendants’ world, rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air,” Judge Arthur Engoron wrote in the decision. “That is a fantasy world, not the real world.” In granting a partial summary judgement to NY Attorney General Letitia James, Engoron outlined that such business maneuvers violated the law and as such canceled the business certificates of Trump and listed defendants, including those of his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. Also named were Allen Weisselberg, who served as the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, and company executive Jeff McConney. Additionally, Engoron ordered individual sanctions of $7,500 against lawyers who represented the listed Trump defendants and required that within 10 days’ time each defendant submit three independent receivers to manage the dissolution for the business certificates.

The Trump camp has argued claims laid out in the civil filing are barred due to the statute of limitations, with lawyer noting banks involved in the Trump-affiliated deals were far from victims as the same entities turned profits. The former president has also rejected committing any wrongdoing, instead claiming James’ suit is a politically-driven attack. The Tuesday ruling, which denied a request by Trump to end the civil fraud lawsuit, did not settle six other claims at the center of James’ lawsuit. In fact, a non-jury trial set to start on October 2 will address the remaining key points. The New York attorney general is seeking about $250 million in damages and is looking to enforce a ban on Trump doing any business in the Empire State.

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He should have given the laptop to WikiLeaks.

Hunter Biden Sues Rudy Giuliani for Spreading Contents From Laptop (Sp.)

The lawsuit, which relies on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, was filed in the Central District of California. Neither Rudy Giuliani nor Hunter Biden live in that district and the alleged crimes took place in Delaware. Whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld told Sputnik the choice was the result of “venue shopping.” Embattled first son Hunter Biden is continuing to file lawsuits against individuals he blames for the release of the contents of a laptop he reportedly abandoned at a Delaware computer repair store. The lawsuit is against former New York City mayor and Donald Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. The suit, filed in the Central District of California, accuses the former mayor of “looking for, hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, [and] disseminating … data that was taken or stolen,” thereby violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

It is the latest string of lawsuits brought by Hunter Biden against individuals surrounding his laptop. He also sued the owner of the non-profit Marco Polo, which has been publishing the contents of the laptop, the owner of the computer repair shop where Biden reportedly abandoned the laptop and the FBI for allegedly violating his privacy when two FBI agents told Congress and the media they were concerned the agency was slow-walking the investigation. The laptop in question first made headlines in October 2020, shortly before the 2020 presidential election. Reportedly, the computer repair shop owner had given the laptop to the FBI months before, but after not hearing anything about it on the news, contacted Giuliani’s lawyer at the time Bob Costello and provided him a copy of the computer’s hard drive. Costello is also a defendant in Biden’s latest lawsuit.

Contents of the laptop were published by the New York Post, showing the future first son smoking what appears to be crack cocaine, fornicating with suspected prostitutes and other salacious details. Further reporting on the laptop revealed emails related to Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals and financial records showing the Biden family received millions of dollars from foreign businesses, including those in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, China and Russia. Some of the email and text messages found on the iPhone backup implied that current US President Joe Biden may have joined in on some business calls with his son and references to payments made to “the big guy” have been pointed to by critics as proof the elder Biden was more involved in his son’s business deals than the president claimed. As recently as August, the US president has reiterated he “never talked business” with his son.

The laptop was originally called “Russian disinformation” by multiple media outlets in the United States, and more than 50 former senior intelligence officers signed a letter saying it had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” One by one, the various outlets who discredited the laptop as disinformation quietly admitted it was legitimate and a former CIA official testified to the House Judiciary Committee that former Biden campaign adviser and now-Secretary of State Antony Blinken “played a role in the inception.” Giuliani’s spokesman Ted Goodman pointed to the changing story of the laptop’s detractors when responding to the lawsuit. “Hunter Biden previously refused to admit ownership of the laptop. I’m not surprised he’s now falsely claiming his laptop hard drive was manipulated by Mayor Giuliani, considering the sordid material and potential evidence of crimes on that thing,” Goodman said.

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My son is the smartest man I know.

Hunter Biden Used Dad’s Classified Doc House For $250K China Wire Transfer (ZH)

Hunter Biden used his Dad’s Delaware home where classified documents were found strewn about the garage to receive more than $250,000 in Chinese wire transfers, according to the House Oversight Committee. The wires were from Wang Xin and Jonathan Li, the latter of whom ran a Chinese private equity fund (BHR) which Hunter was listed as being on the board of directors. Hunter also arranged for a meeting between Li and Joe Biden while Joe was VP, while Joe allegedly gave Li’s son a letter of recommendation. Here’s the breakdown of events from the Committee:

• 2009-2017: During his time as Vice President and prior to later payments to Hunter Biden, evidence shows Joe Biden developed a familiar relationship with Jonathan Li. Devon Archer, a Biden business associate, described how Joe Biden met with Jonathan Li for coffee in Beijing, China, had a phone call with him, and wrote college recommendation letters for his children.
• April 25, 2019: Joe Biden announced his candidacy in the 2020 presidential election.
• July 26, 2019: Wang Xin wired $10,000 with Joe Biden’s home listed on the wire.
• August 2, 2019: Jonathan Li wired $250,000 with Joe Biden’s home listed on the wire.
• October 13, 2019: George Mesires, who served as Hunter Biden’s lawyer, stated, in part, that Hunter Biden served with BHR “only as a member of its board of directors,” which was purportedly an “unpaid position.”
• October 22, 2020: During a presidential debate, Joe Biden said, “My son has not made money […] in China.”

Of note, Hunter was living at the Wilmington house while he was raking in millions of dollars from CCP-linked business dealings. Hunter was living there… Seamus Bruner (researcher for legendary bombshell-dropper Peter Schweizer), reports via Breitbart News, that “While addicted to drugs, cavorting with prostitutes, and making deals with businessmen tied to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence, Hunter Biden lived in the house where Joe Biden stored classified documents.” Second, the Washington Free Beacon reported in January that photos from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop place him at the Wilmington House in July, 2017. Of note, the classified documents were reportedly brought to the house in January of that year. The photos ‘are the most concrete evidence to date’ that Hunter – who was actively negotiating a deal with a CCP-linked Chinese energy company – had access to areas of his father’s home where classified documents were stored.

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I know there’s the EU’s Code of Practice on Disinformation, and I know there’s the Digital Services Act, but I don’t know who decided that Musk is violating either.

Oh, and it’s basically all Russia Russia. Ring a bell? It’s like Trudy reacting to the Nazi he celebrated by saying we should all be wary of Russian disinformation. Same thing. Diversion. Squirrel!

EU Warns Elon Musk After X Found To Have Highest Rate Of Disinformation (G.)

The EU has issued a warning to Elon Musk to comply with sweeping new laws on fake news and Russian propaganda, after X formerly known as Twitter was found to have the highest ratio of disinformation posts of all large social media platforms. The report analysed the ratio of disinformation for a new report laying bare for the first time the scale of fake news on social media across the EU, with millions of fake accounts removed by TikTok and LinkedIn. Facebook was the second worst offender, according to the first ever report recording posts that will be deemed illegal across the EU under the Digital Services Act (DSA), which came into force in August.

Nevertheless, Facebook and other tech giants, including Google, TikTok and Microsoft, have signed up to the code of practice the EU drew up to ensure they could get ready in time to operate within the confines of the new laws. Twitter left the code of practice but it is obliged under the new law to comply with the rules or face a ban across the EU. Mr Musk knows he is not off the hook by leaving the code of practice, said the European commissioner Vera Jourova, who is responsible for the implementation of the new anti-disinformation code. There are obligations under the hard law. So my message for Twitter/X is you have to comply. We will be watching what you do.

X, formerly Twitter, is the platform with the largest ratio of mis/disinformation followed by Facebook, she told reporters. The 200-page report is an account of the work the large platforms have done in the first six months of 2023 to prepare for compliance with the new law and lifts the lid on the behind-the-scenes efforts made by Facebook and others to crack down on Russian propaganda, hate speech and other disinformation. The Russian state has engaged in the war of ideas to pollute our information space with half truth and lies to create a false image that democracy is no better than autocracy, said Jourova.

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This five-month-old bar-tailed godwit smashed the record for long-distance migration following a non-stop, 11-day flight from Alaska to Tasmania: a 13,560 km journey beating the previous record, a godwit which flew 13,000 km

 

 

Burzynski

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 172023
 


Henri Cartier Bresson Paris 1952

 

BLM vs Proud Boys: The Shocking Hypocrisy Of US Law (Robert Bridge)
Trump Decries ‘Double Standard’ in Documents Case (ET)
Court Documents Reveal Number Of Trump Private Messages Disclosed By X (RT)
Jeffrey Sachs: US Sanctions Against Russia and China Destined to Fail (Sp.)
‘Ground War’ in Ukraine May Be Over – Macgregor (Sp.)
Kiev’s Requests for Arms Exceed NATO’s Production Capacity (Sp.)
Ukrainian Army Lost 9 Out Of Every 10 Troops – Conscription Officer (RT)
NATO Says It Can Deploy 3.5 Million Soldiers If Attacked (RT)
Zelensky Issues Warning To EU Neighbors (RT)
Zelensky Political Rival Charged With Treason (RT)
Orban Explains What Might Force West To Want Peace In Ukraine (RT)
Currency Wars Versus Gold Standards (Macleod)
Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger Sign Charter to Create Defense Alliance (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Obama Bush
https://twitter.com/i/status/1703116084801413435

 

 

 

 

Tucker Carlson: “Criticize the drug companies, question the war in Ukraine, and you can be pretty sure this is going to happen.”

 

 

Russell

 

 

 

 

Captcha
https://twitter.com/i/status/1703082692609204482

 

 

I’ve come to the conclusion that America today is the living manifestation of “Universe 25”. Russia is not. Unless we change course, and get back to basics, we’re screwed. Russia wins by default—meaning that they’re not even trying to win. We’re just losing on our own.
– Scott Ritter

 

 

 

 

“America is looking more like a bona-fide banana republic than ever before.”

BLM vs Proud Boys: The Shocking Hypocrisy Of US Law (Robert Bridge)

Between May 2020 and January 6, 2021, the United States experienced two tumultuous events – one at the hands of liberals, the other of conservatives – that resulted in many millions of dollars in property destruction, as well as injuries and loss of life. Yet just one side in those battles suffered severe legal consequences for its actions. During the Black Lives Matter/Antifa riots that swept the US in the summer of 2020 following the police killing of George Floyd, protesters went on a rampage and stormed various government buildings in Portland, Oregon. One of the attackers, Kevin Benjamin Weier, 35, was arrested for setting fire to the federal courthouse. Many (right-wing) commentators have described that willful destruction of government property, and the assorted acts of violence by other protesters, as seditious acts against the US government.

For over 100 days the protesters kept Portland residents under a state of siege, as Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler seemed unwilling or unable to halt the violence. That should come as no surprise considering that the Portland City Council slashed millions from the police budget, and even ordered the police to stop using tear gas in a futile attempt to appease the mob (Note to Portland: it’s impossible to appease a mob). Finally, President Donald Trump shocked liberal sensitivities by sending in federal agents to help restore order and arrest the perpetrators. So what happened to Antifa member Kevin Benjamin Weier and his motley crew of anarchists? While many protesters around the country had their prison bail paid by Hollywood celebrities, Mr. Weier, whose felony charge made him eligible for 10 years in the slammer, together with a hefty $250,000 fine, was ultimately sentenced to two years’ probation and a $200 fine. In other words, about the same slap on the wrist that a Los Angeles shoplifter could expect to receive.

Just six months after the BLM/Antifa protests had subsided, the American people were treated to yet another historic display of pent-up passions as thousands of disaffected Trump supporters descended upon the Capitol Building in Washington, DC to express their outrage over an election they believed had been stolen. While there were many scenes of chaos and pandemonium, with rioters breaching the entrance and carrying out acts of vandalism and looting, everything was not quite as it had seemed. Two years after the storming of the Capitol Building, 40,000 hours of surveillance videotape from that day were finally released, and the images show that the establishment media had been cherry-picking the worst scenes for public consumption.

“Taken as a whole, the video record does not support the claim that January 6th was an insurrection,” remarked Tucker Carlson, the first journalist to expose the tapes in their entirety. “In fact, it demolishes the claim.” Although there was undoubtedly a group of hooligans among the thousands of January 6th protesters responsible for wreaking a lot of havoc, the overwhelming majority of the participants “were not insurrectionists,” Carlson continued. “They were orderly and meek. They were sightseers.” Such a conclusion will be very difficult for most people to believe, but that’s only because the media continually broadcasted the most damning images from the Capitol Building, reinforcing the narrative of seditious rioters.

Now compare that harsh ‘made for television’ portrayal of January 6 with CNN’s “Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Protests” style of reporting it used to downplay the severity of the George Floyd protests. And while the Democrats and aligned media continue to sell the January 6 riot as a violent right-wing insurgency, as they pursue their primary goal of putting ‘dictator’ Donald Trump behind bars, the only person to suffer a violent death on January 6 was a protester named Ashli Babbitt, a 36-year-old military veteran. A Capitol Police officer shot her in the neck, with a later explanation by the department stating that he had “potentially saved Members [of Congress] and staff from serious injury and possible death.”

All things considered, the damage done by left-wing protesters during the George Floyd protests were far worse than the crimes committed by the Trump supporters on Capitol Hill. That becomes more evident when it is considered that acts of arson, vandalism, and looting that occurred between May 26 and June 8 caused approximately $1-2 billion in damages nationally, the highest recorded amount from civil disorder in US history. Meanwhile, the monetary damage caused by the Capitol Building protesters was just over $2.7 million. Meanwhile, as we have already discussed, there have been no serious criminal charges filed against the members of Black Lives Matter and Antifa, which brings us to the most hypocritical part of this story.

This week, Enrique Tarrio, the former chairman of the far-right organization Proud Boys, who wasn’t even in Washington, D.C. on January 6, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for plotting to keep Trump in power by force after he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden. Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the similar-minded group the Oath Keepers, and one-time Proud Boys leader Ethan Nordean, were both handed 18-year sentences. The three men were found guilty of breaking the seditious conspiracy law, which was enacted after the Civil War to arrest Southerners who continued to take up arms against the US government.

In order for prosecutors to win a seditious conspiracy case, they must prove that two or more people conspired to “overthrow, put down or to destroy by force”the US government, or that they plotted to use force to challenge government authority. Although the case has already been settled, the jury is still out for many political pundits who, pointing to the January 6 surveillance videos, argue that the case for violent insurrection is weak at best. Now, with former President Donald Trump heading for court on March 4, 2024, just eight months before the presidential election, America is looking more like a bona-fide banana republic than ever before.

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“This is all about the Presidential Records Act,” President Trump said. “I’m allowed to have these documents. I’m allowed to take these documents, classified or unclassified. And frankly, when I have them, they become unclassified. “People think you have to go through a ritual—you don’t. At least, in my opinion, you don’t.”

“Hillary Clinton destroyed documents while under subpoena—while under subpoena—and wasn’t even charged. … Does it make you angry?” “Yeah,” he replied. “Yeah, it makes me angry.”

Trump Decries ‘Double Standard’ in Documents Case (ET)

President Trump is facing criminal charges in two federal cases relating to his handling of classified documents and his challenge of the 2020 presidential election results. Two additional cases have been brought by Democrat prosecutors in New York and Atlanta, though the former president holds that those cases were also brought in coordination with the Biden Department of Justice. “These are Biden indictments,” he said. “This is a guy that is grossly incompetent—I don’t even believe it’s him. It’s the people, the fascists that’s around him. Because I don’t believe he’s smart enough to do this, if you want to know the truth.” In the documents case, brought by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, President Trump stands accused of willful retention of national defense information, obstruction, and making false statements.

But the case, according to the former president, revolves around a “fake crime.” “They create a fake crime, and then they say, ‘Oh, you obstructed.’ This is a fake thing that they’ve done,” he said. Pointing to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, he contended that the law gives him the authority to decide which records he can keep. As support for those claims, President Trump cited a similar case involving audio recordings that President Bill Clinton kept in a sock drawer. The recordings were made during President Clinton’s time in office, but when government watchdog group Judicial Watch sued to obtain access to them, a federal judge dismissed the case. The 42nd president, the judge ruled, had the authority to decide which records qualified as personal and which were presidential.

“This is all about the Presidential Records Act,” President Trump said. “I’m allowed to have these documents. I’m allowed to take these documents, classified or unclassified. And frankly, when I have them, they become unclassified. “People think you have to go through a ritual—you don’t. At least, in my opinion, you don’t.” Further noting that the statute in question is civil rather than criminal, he asserted, “I did absolutely nothing wrong.” President Trump has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges filed against him. But while he may not be worried about a conviction, one emotion he admitted to feeling was anger. Ms. Kelly, noting that he had not been accused of destroying classified documents, said: “Hillary Clinton destroyed documents while under subpoena—while under subpoena—and wasn’t even charged. … Does it make you angry?”

“Yeah,” he replied. “Yeah, it makes me angry.” President Trump noted that Ms. Clinton smashed her cell phones and destroyed tens of thousands of emails after receiving a congressional subpoena, yet former FBI Director James Comey concluded that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against her. “Yeah, there’s a double standard in this country, and the people aren’t standing for it,” he said. “People get it.”

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“X lost its appeal and was found to be in contempt of court for delaying its compliance with the search warrant, leading to the $350,000 fine being imposed.”

Court Documents Reveal Number Of Trump Private Messages Disclosed By X (RT)

X, the social media network formerly known as Twitter, provided access to at least 32 of Donald Trump’s private messages as part of an investigation into the former US president’s alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to recently unsealed court filings. Separate court documents from August previously stated that federal prosecutors had received“some volume” of Trump’s private messages. The exact number – 32 – was revealed on Friday as part of a court filing submitted by X, in which it is seeking to appeal a $350,000 fine for failing to comply with the terms of a search warrant. The content of the messages remains unclear. The warrant, which was served on the social media giant in January, gave X ten days to submit Trump’s data from between October 2020 and January 2021, a time span which the filing noted “includes the November 2020 presidential election and the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.”

In addition to the search warrant, X was also issued with a so-called nondisclosure order designed to ensure that Trump was not aware that prosecutors had gained access to his private messages. This was, the court filing said, to prevent “destruction of or tampering with evidence, intimidation of potential witnesses or serious jeopardy to this investigation.” However, X told the investigation that it would be unable to comply with the search warrant as it had not been given enough time to do so. The company also objected to the nondisclosure order due to what it said was the “intense publicity around the investigation.” “Indeed, the materials Twitter produced to the government included only 32 direct-message items, constituting a minuscule proportion of the total production,” prosecutors said.

They added that the nondisclosure request was not a “hypothetical consideration” given alleged attempts by Trump to obstruct another federal investigation into his supposed mishandling of classified government documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Trump denies all wrongdoing in each of the cases against him. “The former president propagated false claims of fraud (including swearing to false allegations in a federal court filing),” prosecutors wrote in a legal brief, adding that he had “pressured state and federal officials to violate their legal duties, and retaliated against those who did not comply to his demand, culminating in violence at the US Capitol on January 6.” X lost its appeal and was found to be in contempt of court for delaying its compliance with the search warrant, leading to the $350,000 fine being imposed.

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“The more energetic and dynamic part of the world, the faster growing part of the world quantitatively, is not on the US-European side of the story..”

Jeffrey Sachs: US Sanctions Against Russia and China Destined to Fail (Sp.)

Sanctions have failed to bring Russia to its knees, as the nation’s economy has proved to be far more resilient than Western policymakers ever imagined. Back in March-February 2022 they projected that a bunch of restrictions would be effectively a knockout punch against the Russian economy, that they would bring military production to a halt and that they could even potentially cause mass political unrest. None of that has materialized. Why did Western analysts get Russia so wrong? “When it comes to Russia, the idea that this would be some kind of a ‘knockout blow’ for the conflict in Ukraine was utterly naive and predictably a failure,” renowned economist and Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs told Sputnik. “But I think the Russian economy also was clearly vastly underestimated. And what the West gets wrong on all aspects of the Ukraine crisis is that the world is not united with the West. The West is just a small part of the world. Most of the world wants to stay clear of this crisis.”

[..] While Western sanctions have failed to cripple Russia’s economy and hinder China’s rise, they at the same time have given a boost to the development of the two countries, prompting them to explore new markets, develop new technologies and forge new partnerships. For instance, over the past two years, one has seen Chinese auto companies become major players on the international market, even overtaking German car producers. And one of the major markets for Chinese cars has been the Russian market, in large part because last year a lot of Western brands, a lot of Japanese brands left the Russian market, which created a void that the Chinese companies could fill.
“Well, I think certainly there is a huge boomerang effect of these sanctions. Europe is the biggest loser of the sanctions, this is for sure, because Russia’s low-cost production, both of primary energy certainly, but also of fertilizers and many other commodity-based manufactured goods going to Europe are now going to China and going to the rest of Asia. And Europe is in outright recession,” said Sachs.

“If there is a particular loser from all of this, it’s the German industry which had probably the closest symbiotic relationship with the Russian economy over the last 30 years,” added the professor. Germany is the only G7 nation that will see economic contraction this year, according to the IMF. The IMF attributes the trend to weak production output as well as a contraction in two consecutive quarters (Q4 in 2022 and Q1 in 2023). The latter factor prompted international economists to conclude in mid-July that the country had fallen into a technical recession. The destruction of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines, as well as Berlin’s decision to follow in Washington’s footsteps and slap energy sanctions on Russia, backfired on German manufacturers, leading to relocation of businesses and, eventually, deindustrialization.

“All of the fervor against Nord Stream, for example, was a part of the US desire to ensure that Germany and Russia never got too cozy economically,” Sachs remarked. “And as Russia therefore turns to the broader BRICS world and the rest of the world, it’s those countries that benefit from these linkages,” the professor continued. “And it’s Europe that is absolutely left behind. One of those beneficiaries is China. Clearly. Because China is a crowded, densely populated economy with natural resources, but on a per capita basis, relatively low. So it’s very complementary with Russia. Add in the common shared high-tech element, and that’s an added benefit of this increasingly strong relationship between China and Russia on the economic side, because there is a lot of technology transfer that can go in both directions.

Add in the building of infrastructure across Eurasia, connecting Russia and China in a number of ways. That also is of great strength.” So, in the end, the Western sanctions policy has not led to any kind of a deep, prolonged crisis for either Russia or China. Quite the contrary, according to the professor. “The more energetic and dynamic part of the world, the faster growing part of the world quantitatively, is not on the US-European side of the story,” Sachs concluded.

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Terror strikes and long-range missiles do not win a war….

‘Ground War’ in Ukraine May Be Over – Macgregor (Sp.)

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine may be about to move to a new phase amid the severe losses sustained by the Kiev regime forces, warns former senior Pentagon adviser Col. Douglas Macgregor. With thousands of Ukrainian losses during the ongoing “counteroffensive”, Kiev appears to be “desperate for manpower” and is trying to rectify this problem by “forcing people into uniform inside the country that are not really capable of fighting” and attempting to repatriate Ukrainians of military age from overseas, Macgregor said during an interview with Norwegian political scientist Glenn Diesen. “So I think the Ukrainian ground war, for all intents and purposes, is either at a standstill or perhaps even over,” he remarked.

Macgregor did point out, however, that Kiev may instead resort to attacking Russia with long-range weapons acquired from Western sponsors, such as Storm Shadow and Taurus missiles, with the colonel suggesting that the recent Ukrainian attack on Sevastopol was an example of such a strike. He noted that this course of actions does not bode well for Ukraine as it essentially helps convince Moscow that the Ukrainian conflict can only be resolved through military means. Macgregor also lamented that the US leadership mulls what other armaments “short of a nuclear weapon” they can use via the Ukrainians instead of attempting to negotiate a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian conflict with Russia. “The Russians would love to sit down and talk to somebody who is willing to examine where we stand – no one will do it,” he said. “So this is why I call this phase of the war, it’s no longer the Ukrainian phase, it is now the Biden phase of the war. And the Biden phase of the war is long range strikes.”

He warned that such long range strikes into the Russian territory will not convince the Russians to acquiesce to the US’ demands, as the strategists in Washington apparently believe. “If anything, it is going to persuade the Russians that they must attack and attack decisively to the west,” Macgregor stated. Finding itself unable to defeat the Russian forces on the battlefield, the regime in Kiev has resorted to carrying out terror strikes against population centers and civilian infrastructure in Russia. While so far these attacks were mostly conducted using drones and Soviet-era ordnance, as well as by sending teams of Ukrainian terrorists across the border, odds are high that Kiev may also start actively using for these purposes the long-range missiles provided by its NATO sponsors.

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Again, this would take years to address.

Kiev’s Requests for Arms Exceed NATO’s Production Capacity (Sp.)

Chair of the NATO Military Committee Adm. Rob Bauer on Saturday admitted that Ukraine’s requests for weapons and ammunition, as well as the volume of defense production used in Ukraine, are “huge” and exceed the production capabilities of the alliance. “The volume of the weapons and the ammunition that Ukraine requires is huge … The scale and the volume of what is used is going beyond our production capacity,” Bauer said at a press conference in Norway. The Military Committee Chair also said that NATO countries that decide to supply weapons and ammunition to Ukraine have to think about the risks for their own security.

“When they think about giving away weapons or ammunition, they have to think on the decision itself, ‘Am I giving away?’. Second, what is the risk that I take against my own readiness in NATO, in my own country,” Bauer said. In this regard, the military official called on the NATO countries to address issues of increasing production capacity in the defense sector more quickly and efficiently. Moscow has condemned foreign military supplies to Ukraine. In April 2022, Russia sent a diplomatic note to all NATO countries on the issue of arms supplies to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned that any cargo containing weapons for Ukraine will become a legitimate target for Russia.

Read more …

… and we’re out of soldiers.

“..out of 100 people who joined the units last fall, 10-20 remain, the rest are dead, wounded or disabled.”

“..conscription of people with such severe conditions as hepatitis, HIV without symptoms, and clinically treated tuberculosis..”

Ukrainian Army Lost 9 Out Of Every 10 Troops – Conscription Officer (RT)

Up to nine out of ten Ukrainian draftees who joined the army a year ago were either killed or wounded in action, a senior conscription officer in the Poltava Region said on Friday, according to local media. Speaking at a meeting of Poltava City Council, Lt. Colonel Vitaly Berezhny, who serves as acting head of the territorial center of recruitment and social support, admitted that local authorities are struggling with their conscription campaign, having fulfilled the mobilization plan by only 13%, which puts the city in last place in the whole region. Berezhny was quoted by local media outlet Poltavshina as saying the military urgently needs reinforcements, as “out of 100 people who joined the units last fall, 10-20 remain, the rest are dead, wounded or disabled.”

To remedy the manpower shortage, the officer suggested rolling out draft notification posts in a bid to “establish the presence of conscripts.” He added that the region was also planning to create a large mechanized brigade, and urged local deputies to assist in the effort. Ukraine announced a general mobilization shortly after the start of Russia’s military campaign in February 2022, banning most men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country. In August, former Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov said Kiev had not yet fulfilled its existing mobilization plan, suggesting there was no need for another draft drive. However, earlier this month, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry issued a decree allowing the conscription of people with such severe conditions as hepatitis, HIV without symptoms, and clinically treated tuberculosis.

At the same time, Ukrainian authorities embarked on a massive campaign against corruption in the country’s conscription system, with President Vladimir Zelensky recently firing all regional military conscription officials. Berezhny’s acknowledgment comes amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive that has been underway for more than three months but has failed to gain significant ground. Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin estimated Ukraine’s losses at more than 71,000 troops. He also suggested that Kiev could enter into negotiations with Moscow only when it comes close to running out of resources to throw at Russian defences, but concluded that Ukraine would need those talks only to restore its battered military potential.

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Please don’t ask how battle-ready those troops would be… Good thing nobody is planning to attack NATO.

Logos: “.. you do not have the time to prepare for an attack if the attack happens. And it is not us planning the attack, it is the opponent planning the attack. If they attack, you have to be ready..”

NATO Says It Can Deploy 3.5 Million Soldiers If Attacked (RT)

NATO, in accordance with its new defense plans, can deploy 300,000 soldiers in the first month of a potential attack on the bloc, while the total number of the alliance’s military personnel could reach 3.5 million people, Chair of the NATO Military Committee Adm. Rob Bauer said, Report informs via Sputnik. “If we are talking about collective defense, you do not have the time to prepare for an attack if the attack happens. And it is not us planning the attack, it is the opponent planning the attack. If they attack, you have to be ready. Therefore, we need more soldiers at high readiness … We are talking, in NATO as a whole if Finland and Sweden have joined, of about 3.5 million soldiers in the alliance. So the 300,000 is the number … that we foresee at high readiness available for basically the first 30 days if it is necessary,” Bauer told reporters at a press conference with Norwegian Chief of Defense Gen. Eirik Kristoffersen.

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“We won’t listen to Berlin, von der Leyen… because it’s in the interest of the Polish farmers.”

Zelensky Issues Warning To EU Neighbors (RT)

Kiev will respond if EU countries decide to impose unilateral restrictions on Ukrainian grain in contravention of decisions made in Brussels, President Vladimir Zelensky has said. On Friday, the European Commission opted not to extend a ban on deliveries of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia. The curbs, which were introduced in May, expired on September 15. While the Bulgarian authorities supported the move, the other four EU member states said they would now introduce restrictions at national level due to the need to protect their agricultural industries. Zelensky wrote on Telegram that he had talked to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the phone, telling her that he was “deeply grateful” to her for “keeping her word and maintaining the rules of the free market.”

The decision by Brussels not to extend the ban “is an example of true unity and trust between Ukraine and the EU. Europe always wins when the rules work and the treaties are fulfilled,” he said. However, the Ukrainian leader added that “now it’s important [to make sure] European unity also works on a bilateral level; that the neighbors support Ukraine” amid its conflict with Russia. If Poland, Hungary, Romania or Slovakia make decisions that “violate EU law, Ukraine will respond in a civilized way,” Zelensky warned, without specifying the countermeasures to which Kiev may resort to protect its interests. After learning about the ruling by the European Commission on Friday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Warsaw would “extend the ban on Ukrainian grain. We won’t listen to Berlin, von der Leyen… because it’s in the interest of the Polish farmers.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced a similar plan, saying he was preparing for “a serious fight in Brussels” over the grain issue. Warsaw and Budapest have vigorously resisted deliveries of Ukrainian grain, despite having quite opposite views on the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Poland has been one of the main backers of Ukraine in the EU, providing the country with weapons and insisting on increasingly harsh measures against Russia, while the Hungarian authorities have consistently criticized the bloc’s sanction on Moscow as ineffective, and insist on a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

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He banned almost all opposition. And the one he didn’t touch now turns out to be a Russian collaborator?!

Zelensky Political Rival Charged With Treason (RT)

Member of the Ukrainian parliament and former emergency-services minister Nestor Shufrich has been arrested and is being held on charges of treason issued by a court in Kiev, the country’s capital. According to footage from Friday’s hearing published by outlet RBK-Ukraine, the judge has ruled that Shufrich will stay behind bars for the next two months. The politician, who was a member of the Opposition Platform-For Life party before it was banned as pro-Russian on the orders of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky last summer, has also been denied bail. Earlier in the day, masked operatives from Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) arrived at the MP’s home, informing the 56-year-old that he’s suspected of treason and searching the premises.

The SBU said in a statement that its investigators have “collected a well-argued evidence base about the anti-Ukrainian activities” of Shufrich. According to the agency, the parliamentarian was an agent of Moscow whose main task was to promote pro-Russian sentiment in Ukraine through his media appearances. “He systematically disseminated the Kremlin’s narratives, that the Ukrainian state is allegedly an artificial entity, that Ukraine and Russia have a single history, and that Ukrainians and Russians are supposedly ‘one nation,’” the SBU claims. According to local media, items with Soviet and Russian symbols, including medals, ID cards and the Saint George’s ribbons with which Russians celebrate World War II victory, were found in the search of Shufrich’s home.

The lawmaker also allegedly owned a collection of Russian military uniforms. The investigators also reportedly found a 2014 document that details a plan for the autonomy of Donetsk and Lugansk Regions. Both territories, as well as Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, officially became part of Russia last year after referendums. Kiev and its Western backers have labeled the votes a “sham.” Shufrich has been an MP since 1998, appearing in six iterations of the Verkhovna Rada. He also held the post of Ukraine’s Emergency Services Minister in 2006-2007, and in 2010, and was also deputy head of the country’s National Security and Defense Council, from 2010 to 2012.

Russian political analyst and former MP Sergey Markov suggested that Shufrich’s arrest might be a sign that Ukraine is preparing to stage a presidential election next year after all. President Zelensky said earlier that the vote will not be held as the country is under martial law. Shufrich used to be “one of the most pro-Russian MPs and one of most vivid critics of Zelensky,” but amid the conflict between Moscow and Kiev he “fully backed” the president, Markov wrote on Telegram. The analyst said that the MP is being detained by Ukrainian authorities over concerns that he “could suddenly run [in the election] and steal some of the Zelensky’s former voters,” who are disappointed in the president.

Read more …

“If there is something that might force European capitals to reconsider their position on the conflict, it is the further deterioration of the economic situation on the continent..”

Orban Explains What Might Force West To Want Peace In Ukraine (RT)

European nations might eventually forgo their support for Kiev’s military efforts in the ongoing conflict with Russia due to their own economic hardships, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told nationwide Kossuth Radio on Friday. The conflict that has lasted for more than a year and a half is affecting the European economy, which “will not be like we want it to be” for as long as it goes on, Orban told the radio’s ‘Good Morning, Hungary!’ show. Yet, “war supporters are in the overwhelming majority” among EU governments, he pointed out. If there is something that might force European capitals to reconsider their position on the conflict, it is the further deterioration of the economic situation on the continent, the prime minister believes.

Most people in Europe already share Hungary’s position on the issue, which is anti-war, he claimed. Economic setbacks could force these people to “exert pressure” on their governments, he added. “Deterioration of the economic situation in the West will force countries to stand up for peace,” Orban said. According to the Hungarian prime minister, the outcome of next year’s US presidential elections might also heavily affect the West’s general position on the issue. “There are two possibilities: … the presidential candidates will either support the war or announce the end of the war,” he said. Orban said he believes that a US president is fairly capable of “putting an end” to the conflict.

That does not mean that Europe should just “wait for a fairy to end the war with a magic wand,” he added. The prime minister criticized the European approach to the conflict so far by saying that “181 billion of European money” has been spent on supporting Kiev but “we have not come any closer to peace.” It is unclear if he referred to dollars or euros. According to Ukraine Support Tracker data regularly published by Germany’s Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the EU institutions and EU nations together pledged a total of €131.9 billion ($139.8) for Ukraine between January 2022 and July 2023.

The UK, Norway and Switzerland, which are not part of the EU, together pledged an additional €23.31 billion ($24.8 billion) over the same period, bringing the total amount of European commitments to €155.21 billion ($165.66), data provided by the Kiel Institute showed. Viktor Orban has long maintained that the West was making a mistake by pursuing military confrontation with Russia in Ukraine. He has repeatedly stated that there could be no military solution to the conflict, adding that the US and its allies need to stop arming Kiev and seek peace with Russia instead.

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“It allows for the creation and destruction of credit determined solely by the needs of the Russian people, both as businessmen and consumers.”

Currency Wars Versus Gold Standards (Macleod)

In the middle of a war, usually a government suspends its gold standard. This would suggest that Russia can only consider a gold standard after its special operation in Ukraine is over. But the modern equivalent of a gold standard, the currency board, has been successfully established in modern times in nations with far worse budget deficits than Russia. Russia was in the fortunate position of a budget deficit of only 2.3% of GDP last year, despite military spending. This year, military spending has soared, and at a guess the deficit will be about 5% of GDP this year, but government debt to GDP will still be about 20%.

Anything other than ball-park numbers for the Russian economy are difficult to come by, and the volatility of the rouble is a further analytical hazard. But some of these numbers are not substantially different from where Britain was economically in 1816, when a return to the gold standard was planned — the exception being her estimated debt to GDP number, which at nearly 200% was ten times that of Russia today. Therefore, there is no reason why Russia cannot put the rouble onto a gold standard immediately.

In doing so, the objective is simple: to ensure that the purchasing power of circulating credit retains its value in terms of goods and services with as little fluctuation as possible. It would allow savers to accumulate credit balances in their bank accounts, and for businessmen to calculate the profitability of their investments with greater certainty. With income tax currently at a flat 13% rate and corporation tax at 20%, in these conditions economic progress will advance surprisingly rapidly. And there is every reason to expect Russia would quickly become an economic counterweight to the sheer power of China, rather than living off the depletion of her natural resources. It is necessary not just for Russia to distance herself from the fate of the western fiat currency system, but also for President Putin’s legacy.

The method of ensuring monetary stability is equally simple: to bind credit denominated in roubles to gold, which both in law and naturally is the money of the people. It is the highest form of credit, there being no counterparty risk. Its purchasing power in the general sense has held steady through millennia. Importantly, it removes the currency from political control and dollar influences. It allows for the creation and destruction of credit determined solely by the needs of the Russian people, both as businessmen and consumers.

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Message to Macron.

Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger Sign Charter to Create Defense Alliance (Sp.)

The leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have signed a charter establishing an alliance of Sahel states to create a collective defense architecture, Mali’s interim president for the transitional period, Assimi Goita, said on Saturday. “I have signed today with the leaders of Burkina Faso and Niger the Liptako Gourma Charter, establishing the Alliance of Sahel States to create an architecture of collective defense and mutual assistance for the benefit of our people,” Goita said on X. An attack on the sovereignty or territorial integrity of one or more parties to the charter will be regarded as aggression against the other parties and will require their assistance, including the use of military force, the document read. The parties also commit to fighting terrorism and organized crime on the territory of Sahel states, the charter added.

Read more …

 

 

 

 


In 1913 Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived together in Vienna

 

 

 

Gorilla babies

 

 

 

 

Buffalo

 

 

Flik flak
https://twitter.com/i/status/1702752462971572660

 

 

 

 

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Aug 112023
 
 August 11, 2023  Posted by at 5:55 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  21 Responses »


Eugène Delacroix Liberty Leading the People 1830 (French Revolution of 1830)

 

 

In January 2023, US special counsel Jack Smith applied for -and received- a subpoena for Twitter, specifically for all of Donald Trump’s utterances at the site through the years, including the ones he may have never published. Note: the subpoena came long after Trump left Twitter. And no, it wasn’t X then, and therefore it is not now. He wrote it when it was Twitter. Important. Trump left Twitter (was cancelled) on Jan 8 2021, Elon Musk bought it on October 27 2022, and renamed it “X” in late July 2023. Just so we get our horses and dogs in line.

Special counsel Jack Smith received his Twitter/Trump subpoena with the added provision that it had to be entirely secret, not even Twitter or Trump could know. US District Court Judge Beryll Howell gave Smith what he wanted, agreeing that if Trump’s years-old Twitter past was known, he would become a flight risk. But both Smith and Howell knew this was absolute nonsense. Not only is Twitter the last place you turn to when you have nefarious secrets to hide (it’s the opposite!), but the man is running for President, for God’s sake! And because of some 5 year old -or so- tweets he would pack in the family and disappear to an -underground- bungalow on Vanatua, never to be heard from again?

I would put this down as the moment when it became impossible for the US to have a presidential election in 2024. We’ve had some 8 years of this anti-Trump circus now, non-stop, Hillary, Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Robert Mueller, yada yada yada, but I don’t think we’ve reached the point before where the elections might as well be cancelled. We’re there now though. And that is a BIG point. We’ve let it come far too far. We’re in slapstick territory.

 

Think of it as a boxing match. In the one corner, we have the former champion/president, wearing the slightly widened red trunks. At age 77, he looks somewhat bruised and battered, but he doesn’t look beaten- yet. What’s noticeable though is that his corner is empty, except for Melania cleaning his brow, not even his own party is there to support him. There are some 90 million Americans behind him, but they are at home.

In the other corner, the defending champion, in blue trunks, weighing in at about 25 pounds and falling, looks a little lost. But behind him in his corner he has thousands of operatives: his entire party, plus the CIA and NSA and FBI and DOJ. And all the newspapers and TV channels and social media in the country. And all the judges and prosecutors, the DAs and GAs, it’s a veritable love-in. The guy in the blue trunks could be braindead and he’d still win. And I wish I was a cartoonist, and could capture the entire image in one frame. I can see it in front of my eyes, but I can’t draw it.

 

Where the boxing analogy goes astray is that in this case the blue side is allowed to harass the red side before, during and after the (preparations for) the fight, and during the fight itself. You can’t a have a free and fair fight, and a level playing field, if some “blue operatives” can put shackles on the ankles and wrists of the red candidate, or even lock him up while he’s preparing for the bell to ring. If the system allows him to be a candidate, it must also allow him to prepare for his candidacy, in the same way that his opponent can. That is not happening.

US special counsel Jack Smith has announced that the US plans to drag Trump before court after court starting January 2 2024. At least 3 major indictments (will be a dozen) , likely many more, and at my last count, 82 charges (it’s impossible to keep up). Smith can then finger pick any of these charges to put Trump in custody, whenever he feels like it. The judges are almost all “blue”, and so are the jury pools: New York and DC. And this is while he’s supposed to be campaigning!

And also: Trump allegedly already spent $40 million on legal expenses. But what if Trump doesn’t have $40 million? We could argue the $40 million should be spent on his campaign. Look at Imran Khan, guys, who was just convicted to a 3-year prison term in Pakistan on US directives. Like Trump, he is the most popular political candidate in his nation, and they got him on selling necklaces when he was PM.

That is Trump’s future too. And hence, the end of American democracy. He doesn’t stand a chance. And if he doesn’t, the system doesn’t, and you don’t. You’re fine as long as you agree with the boot stomping on your neck, and you maybe even enjoy it. But if you don’t, Jack Smith and his ilk – and Obama, Hillary, Adam Schiff, Pelosi, the whole gang, will come with charges and indictments directed at you.

You’re on the verge of the abyss. if you want to take your chances with what you might find down there, fair enough. But always know that you have a choice. And that, if somehow they do manage to stage a presidential election in November 2024 as things stand now, it’ll be fake from A to Z. Grow a pair, people, grow a backbone. You’re going to need them.

 

 

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Aug 062023
 
 August 6, 2023  Posted by at 9:11 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


El Greco St. Paul and St. Peter 1595

 

Asians Are Less ‘Humane’ – Ukrainian Security Chief (RT)
Who is Responsible for Ukraine’s Failed Counteroffensive? (Scott Ritter)
What Should Russia Expect From Saudi Arabia’s Ukraine ‘Peace Summit’? (RT)
Ex-Pakistani PM Imran Khan Jailed For Three Years (RT)
DOJ Seeks Protective Order in Election Case (ET)
A Successful Prosecution Would Fold Space And Time (Taibbi)
Niger Junta Turns To Wagner For Help – Media (RT)
X to Fund Legal Bills of People ‘Unfairly Treated’ for Posts, Likes on X (Sp.)
Austrian PM Proposes Constitutional ‘Right to Cash’ (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full German Nazism, complete with Untermenschen etc. This is what you fund.

Asians Are Less ‘Humane’ – Ukrainian Security Chief (RT)

Russians are “Asians” and, therefore, lack the “humanity” that Ukrainians purportedly possess, Aleksey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, has claimed. The top official made the remark as he spoke live on Ukrainian TV, which has been heavily censored and turned into a state-approved “broadcasting marathon” amid the ongoing conflict. “I’m fine with Asians, but Russians are Asians. They have a completely different culture, vision. Our key difference from them is humanity,” Danilov stated. The security chief, as well as other top Ukrainian officials, have repeatedly made hateful remarks about Russians during – and even well before – the ongoing hostilities between the two countries broke out back in February 2022.


Danilov has repeatedly promised to “kill” Russians anywhere across the globe, with similar extreme statements consistently made by Mikhail Podoliak, the top aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Podoliak has repeatedly claimed that all Ukrainians universally “hate Russians,” as well as voiced calls to “kill Russians” on a daily basis. Similarly radical remarks have been repeatedly made by the Ukrainian military spy chief, Kirill Budanov, who also expressed the same urge. Threats by the latter have been addressed by Russia’s permanent envoy to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, who branded them a “blatant example of hateful remarks, Russophobia and incitement of violence based on nationality.”

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“.. the fetid stench of rotting corpses, abandoned by their comrades who fled for their lives.”

Who is Responsible for Ukraine’s Failed Counteroffensive? (Scott Ritter)

On a normal summer’s day, the road to Rabotino would be empty, save for the odd combine tractor and the vehicles driven by farmers and their families as they tend to the fields of crops they had planted in spring. The summer’s heat would reflect off the horizon, creating glimmering mirages, while the still air would echo with the chirping of birds and the buzzing of insects. On a normal summer’s day, the road to Rabotino would resemble paradise. Today, the road to Rabotino can best be described as a highway to hell: the serene landscape scarred with craters made by artillery shells, bombs, and mines. Fields that once grew crops intended to feed the world now seem to produce another crop—the torn, burned-out hulks of Ukrainian tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and other military vehicles of all shapes and sizes.

The air buzzes not with bees, but bullets, and the sky above is torn by the sound of shells passing overhead, on their way to their intended target, often consisting of a new crop of military metal waiting to be consumed by fire. The smell of fresh soil, young crops, and flowers of the field has been replaced by the fetid stench of rotting corpses, abandoned by their comrades who fled for their lives. The Russian Ministry of Defense has assessed that, since the Ukrainian counteroffensive began in early June, the Ukrainian Army has suffered some 43,000 casualties, with more than 4,900 pieces of equipment, including 1,831 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles (among which are included 25 German-made Leopard tanks and 21 US-made M-2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles) having been destroyed.

Russian casualties, while unspecified, have been alluded to by President Putin, who stated that the kill ratio was 10:1 in Russia’s favor. That equates to 4,300 casualties: the brutal blade of war cuts both ways. The casualties suffered by Ukraine roughly align with the casualties suffered by German forces during their offensive operations against the Soviet Army in the battle of Kursk, fought in the month of July and August 1943. The Kursk battle was one of the largest during the Second World War.This should give one an idea of the scope and scale of the violence which has transpired in and around the village of Rabotino, and elsewhere in the Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions where Ukraine and Russian forces are confronting one another.

When an army suffers a defeat of the scope and scale of that suffered by Ukraine near Rabotino, and in other fields and villages across the line of contact with Russia, it is normally incumbent upon the leadership of the defeated forces to ascertain the reasons why the defeat occurred, and then to undertake remedial action to correct the problems identified.It came weeks after being on the receiving end of criticism from their erstwhile allies and partners in NATO, who provided Ukraine with both the material used to equip the Ukrainian Army, and training on how this equipment was to be used in battle against the Russians.

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Where’s China?

What Should Russia Expect From Saudi Arabia’s Ukraine ‘Peace Summit’? (RT)

Political expert Andrey Dubnov:

The goal of the conference is not to formulate “agreements acceptable to all parties.” Russia has not been invited to this event, and this makes sense, because otherwise the meeting would have been doomed to failure. It is obvious that Moscow’s position has been articulated; the last time it was expressed was at the Russia-Africa summit. Moscow’s main position is essentially an arrangement that can be called a ceasefire, based on Russia’s retention of the Ukrainian territories now organized as four Russian regions. It is difficult to imagine that Moscow is prepared to abandon this as its main negotiating position. On the other hand, Kiev’s stance on peace is articulated as being possible only if Russia withdraws its troops to the 1991 borders. With such positions of the parties, a general meeting would be pointless.

What is the purpose of the summit in Saudi Arabia? Since this initiative comes mainly from Kiev and is backed by the US, it is now about consolidating the whole wider world – not just the West, but the big South, including the BRICS member countries (India, Brazil and South Africa). It is an attempt to find a consolidated expression of support for the Ukrainian peace plan. Within this “formula of support” there are some limits regarding the flexibility of Kiev’s negotiating position: under what conditions it is ready to give up its categorical demand to return to the 1991 borders and to compromise with Russia? Clarifying this kind of flexibility may be one of the ulterior goals of this conference. But practice shows that such diplomatic conferences look first and foremost like big, big PR. Diplomacy needs silence and confidentiality. The Saudi initiative does not yet provide for this silence and confidentiality, so it is still more of a political meeting than a search for a diplomatic solution to the problem.

President Vladimir Zelensky’s peace plan will be at the center of the Saudi initiative. Within this framework, an attempt will be made to somehow find acceptable windows in which Kiev, I repeat, will be prepared to make further compromises with Moscow. But at the end of the day, everything will depend on the outcome of the military operations on the ground, which are being actively pursued. No peace plan for Ukraine can become a reality without China’s participation. The meeting in Saudi Arabia could be a precursor to a financial and economic assistance plan to rebuild Ukraine. This is how the plan to help Afghanistan began at the Bonn conference many years ago.

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Remarkable how similar his story is to Trump’s. One man vs the establishment.

Ex-Pakistani PM Imran Khan Jailed For Three Years (RT)

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan was issued with a three-year jail sentence by an Islamabad court on Saturday after he was found guilty on corruption charges. The verdict means that Khan, who claims the prosecution was politically motivated, will not be able to contest elections later this year. In a pre-recorded statement released on X (formerly Twitter), Khan told his supporters: “I have only one appeal, don’t sit at home silently.” Judge Humayun Dilawar declared in court that Khan, 70, had “deliberately submitted fake details” after he was accused of illegally profiting from the sale of gifts he received while serving as Pakistan’s head of state between 2018 and 2022. After issuing the three-year custodial term, the judge also ordered Khan to be banned from politics for a period of five years.

Following the verdict, Khan, who was not in court, was arrested at his home in Lahore and taken into police custody. The claims against the former prime minister are a case of “political victimization,” according to his lawyer Intezar Hussain Panjutha. “Khan was not given an opportunity to defend himself and say his side of the story,” he said after the verdict. “We wanted to provide witnesses in his favor but he was not allowed this opportunity. Khan was not given a fair trial.” Khan’s barrister, Gohar Khan, added in comments to The Dawn newspaper that the court’s verdict had been a “murder of justice.” However, opponents of the former politician appeared to celebrate the court’s judgment outside the building, with some chanting: “Imran Khan is a thief.” More than 150 cases have been brought against Khan, the former sports star turned populist political figure, since he was ousted from office last April following a no-confidence vote. He has denied all wrongdoing.

Barring a successful appeal, Khan’s conviction means he will be prohibited from standing in Pakistan’s general elections, which are expected to take place in October or November. Khan, who had unsuccessfully called for early elections to take place, has previously stated his belief that Pakistan’s military authorities have attempted to obstruct his Tehreek-e-Insaf party from regaining political power. It’s the second time in recent months that Khan has been arrested. Around 100 paramilitary troops were involved in his detention last May in connection with one of the numerous cases against him. Khan has alleged that Pakistan’s military is responsible for attempts to subdue his political influence. He has also claimed that the United States has conspired with Pakistan’s government to prevent him from returning to political power.

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“IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”

DOJ Seeks Protective Order in Election Case (ET)

Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith on Aug. 4 requested the federal judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s case to issue a “protective order” in light of a social media post made by the former president. The Aug. 4 Truth Social post by Mr. Trump said, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Following this, Mr. Smith urged U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan to “enter a protective order governing or restricting discovery or inspection” of case details, to restrict what Mr. Trump can share publicly about the case and evidence. “Such a restriction is particularly important in this case because the defendant has previously issued public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him,” argued Mr. Smith in a filing, citing the Truth Social post.


“If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details—or, for example, grand jury transcripts—obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case,” Mr. Smith said, adding that such posts may influence jurors.A spokesperson for Mr. Trump responded immediately to the filing implying that the post was not a retaliation against Mr. Smith’s charges. “The Truth post cited is the definition of political speech, and was in response to the RINO, China-loving, dishonest special interest groups and Super PACs, like the ones funded by the Koch brothers and the Club for No Growth,” said the brief statement.

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“I don’t care about a link… I have a much better link,” and “I have a lot of friends in Detroit… Detroit is totally corrupt.”

A Successful Prosecution Would Fold Space And Time (Taibbi)

Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment is a case within a case, a prosecutorial enchilada filled with things for people of all political persuasions to hate. The outside is a shell of a conventional conspiracy prosecution, and these parts are genuinely damaging for Donald Trump. Inside, it’s a deranged authoritarian fantasy, at times reading more like a 45-page Louise Mensch tweet than an indictment. This radical core is somehow scarier than the allegations against Trump and co-conspirators like Rudy Giuliani, John Eastment, Sidney Powell, Jeffrey Clark, and Kenneth Cheeseboro. Despite early criticism describing the case as entirely about protected speech, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith’s case does focus on some overt acts, and these sections are buttressed by witnesses who could be convincing across the spectrum.

Former Arizona Speaker of the House and onetime Trump supporter Rusty Bowers will describe being asked not to certify the results by, among others, Trump and Giuliani. Ronna McDaniel, chair of the RNC, will say she was told votes by so-called “fraudulent electors” would only be deployed if election litigation was successful. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is rumored to be running for president and took instant advantage of indictment news Tuesday, will testify Trump told him, “You’re too honest,” in response to prods to refuse to certify the outcome.

If Smith simply focused on those damaging episodes in states like Arizona, Michigan, and Georgia, or on Trump’s interactions with Pence, this prosecution would be an easier sell to the general population. Instead, Smith has tried to pen a Unified Field Theory of insurrection that would massively expand the meaning of concepts like incitement to include false statements, tweets, and other forms of protected speech, down to classic Trumpisms like “I don’t care about a link… I have a much better link,” and “I have a lot of friends in Detroit… Detroit is totally corrupt.”

In fact, if rumors are true and the four counts filed by Smith this week are later complemented by a superseding indictment, this document may end up expanding the definition of “seditious conspiracy” to include those things as well. As Adam Kinzinger said this week, he hoped additional counts will hold Trump “accountable” for all the actions of January 6th. It’s not hard to read this and see the framework of an argument that Trump’s ideas, tweets and “knowingly false statements” were elements of the same conspiracy to “violently disrupt” the election for which people like Oath Keepers Elmer Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs have already been convicted and sentenced to 18 and 12 years in prison, respectively. A successful prosecution would fold space and time to make legal speech felony violence.

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Flammable.

Niger Junta Turns To Wagner For Help – Media (RT)

One of the leaders of last week’s coup in Niger has reportedly sought the assistance of Russian defense contractor Wagner Group PMC as the junta nears a deadline to either return the country’s ousted president to power or face a possible military intervention by neighboring nations. General Salifou Moody allegedly made the request during a visit to neighboring Mali, where he met with a Wagner representative, the Associated Press reported on Saturday, citing French journalist Wassim Nasr, a senior research fellow at the Soufan Center. The meeting was first reported by France 24, and Nasr said he had confirmed the talks with a French diplomat and three people familiar with the matter in Mali.

“They need (Wagner) because they will become their guarantee to hold onto power,” Nasr told the AP, claiming that Wagner is considering the request. Neither Wagner nor Russian government officials have commented on the junta’s alleged request for help from the contractor. The Kremlin said on Friday that any interference in Niger from powers outside the region wouldn’t likely improve the situation. “We continue to favor a swift return to constitutional normality without endangering human lives,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has called the coup a “justified rebellion of the people against Western exploitation.”

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has threatened to send troops into Niger if the coup leaders don’t return President Mohamed Bazoum to power by Sunday. Bazoum has been under house arrest since his ouster and has asked the US “and the entire international community” to restore his government. The militaries of several ECOWAS members, including Nigeria, have agreed on a plan for their intervention in Niger. Wagner has become a major player in the African security landscape, though it’s unclear how its influence on the continent stands after its failed mutiny against Moscow in June. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the future of the contracts Wagner signed with various African countries is a matter for those client governments to decide. The firm’s troops have reportedly operated in such countries as Mali, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Mozambique and the Central African Republic.

Mali and Burkina Faso are among the ECOWAS member states that have sided with the Niger junta following the coup. Bazoum accused the two neighbors of employing “criminal Russian mercenaries.” African Freedom Institute President Franklin Nyamsi warned in an RT interview on Thursday that if ECOWAS carried out its threat to send troops into Niger, it would be seen as a declaration of war on the junta’s allies, including Mali and Burkina Faso. Such a conflict could escalate dramatically as the warring factions seek help from the world’s military superpowers, he said, adding, “We are now at the door of a world African war.”

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Wonder how the idea would work out in practice.

X to Fund Legal Bills of People ‘Unfairly Treated’ for Posts, Likes on X (Sp.)

US billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk pledged on Saturday that his social media platform, X (formerly known as Twitter), will pay legal bills of those people who were “unfairly treated” at workplaces by their employers for posts and likes on the platform. He added that there would be “no limit” to funding the bills and called on people to inform the platform of such cases. “If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill,” Musk said on X. In late October 2022, Musk finalized the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, a US company founded in 2006 and headquartered in San Francisco, California. Twitter Corporation ceased to exist as a separate company as a result of its merger with X Corp. founded by Musk in 2006. In late July, Twitter’s logo was changed from a blue bird to a black-and-white X logo. Musk specified that the new logo symbolized “the imperfections in us all that make us unique.”

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“..the right to cash was worthless if “there won’t be a single ATM left in Austria..”

Austrian PM Proposes Constitutional ‘Right to Cash’ (Sp.)

As cashless payment methods proliferate across Europe, Austrian Prime Minister Karl Nehammer has moved to legally preserve paying in the old-fashioned way, with banknotes and coins. Speaking on Friday, the conservative Austrian leader proposed a “constitutional protection of cash as a means of payment,” saying he would direct Finance Minister Magnus Brunner and the country’s central bank to come up with a plan in the coming months to ensure a “basic supply” of cash remains in the economy. “Everyone should have the opportunity to decide freely how and with what he wants to pay,” he said. “That can be by card, by transfer, perhaps in future also with the digital euro, but also with cash. This freedom to choose must and will remain.”

“More and more people are worried that cash could be restricted as a means of payment in Austria,” Nehammer said, adding that people have a “right to cash.” Nehammer noted that his comments are in response to claims circulating on social media that the country could soon do away with cash payments, forcing customers to use bank cards or payment apps. According to the Austrian leader, €47 billion is withdrawn from ATMs every year in Austria and the average Austrian carries €102 in cash. Further, two-thirds of payments under €20 are made in cash, he said. Roughly 9.1 million people live in the Central European country, which is part of the European Union and the Eurozone.

The debate isn’t new to Austria, and Nehammer’s proposal was criticized by both left and right politicos. Philip Kucher, an MP from the Social Democratic Party, said the right to cash was worthless if “there won’t be a single ATM left in Austria,” while the right-wing Freedom Party accused the prime minister of stealing their idea. While the Eurozone nations have been increasing options for cashless payment, the European Central Bank has also committed itself to preserving cash as a payment form. The Eurosystem Cash 2030 strategy was launched in 2020. A study published by the ECB in March found that within the Eurozone, cash is still the most frequent payment method, accounting for 59% of transactions. However, 55% of consumers said they preferred cashless payments. They also found that the value of card payments had exceeded the value of cash payments for the first time, rising to 46% of transactions.

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Jul 312023
 
 July 31, 2023  Posted by at 9:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  53 Responses »


Henri Gervex Rolla 1878

 

Nuclear War No Worse Than Climate Change – Blinken (RT)
DOJ Tries To Jail Key Hunter Biden Witness Devon Archer (NYP)
Elon Musk Says Russia, Ukraine Should Start ‘Turning Other Cheek’ (Sp.)
Zelensky Frustrated Over Downing of US-Made HIMARS Missiles by Russia (Sp.)
UK Training Elite Ukrainian Force To Seize Crimea Before Christmas (RT)
Veteran US Army Officer Sizes Up Russia’s Naval Power Against US, China (Sp.)
Germany May Face Irreversible Deindustrialization – CDU Chair (Sp.)
Ye Restored To X (RT)
‘Facebook Files’ Show Biden Admin Even Targeted Jokes For Censorship (Turley)
Former US President Trump Spends $40 Million On Legal Fees (Az.)

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1685608840748789760

 

 

Trump ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Idiot.

Nuclear War No Worse Than Climate Change – Blinken (RT)

The threat of nuclear annihilation is no more serious than the threat of climate change, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed. Blinken’s critics argue that Washington is risking nuclear war by arming Ukraine. In an appearance on 60 Minutes Australia on Sunday, Blinken was asked whether nuclear war or climate change represented “the greater threat to humanity.”“Well, you can’t, I think, have a hierarchy,” he replied. “There are some things that are front and center…including potential conflict, but there’s no doubt that climate represents an existential challenge to all of us.” “So for us, this is the existential challenge of our times,” he continued, adding that this “doesn’t mean that in the meantime there are not severe challenges to the international order like Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”

With July set to go down as the hottest month in history, the UN has called for “accelerated action” to reduce carbon emissions, including a global end to coal use by 2040. Earlier this summer, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry demanded an overhaul of the world’s agricultural system to reduce carbon emissions from farming in a bid to avert “half a degree of warming by mid-century.” In Ukraine, however, President Joe Biden’s administration continues its policy of open-ended support for Kiev’s military. The US and its NATO allies have armed Ukraine with long-range missiles and are currently discussing the supply of American-made fighter jets to Kiev, amid repeated warnings from Moscow that such weapons dramatically raise the chances of an all-out war between Russia and the West.

Kiev’s forces have also made repeated attempts to target Russian nuclear power plants, the Kremlin warned earlier this month, accusing Ukraine and its sponsors of “nuclear terrorism.” In the US, warnings about the imminent threat of nuclear conflict have primarily come from the isolationist wing of the Republican Party. Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former President Donald Trump have been two of the loudest voices calling for an end to the US’ support for Kiev, with Trump declaring in April that the world was facing “the most dangerous period” in history because of nuclear weapons and “incompetent” leadership in Washington. “Every day this proxy battle continues, we risk global war,” Trump said in March, arguing that “we should support regime change in the United States” to avert this risk.

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Confusing.

DOJ Tries To Jail Key Hunter Biden Witness Devon Archer (NYP)

The Justice Department is pushing for Devon Archer to report to prison — just days ahead of the former Hunter Biden business partner’s hotly anticipated congressional testimony, according to new court documents. Manhattan federal prosecutors on Saturday filed a letter requesting a judge set a date for Archer, 58, to start his one-year sentence in a fraud case unrelated to the first son’s various scandals. The request came after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Archer’s 2018 conviction last Tuesday on two felony charges for his role in a conspiracy to defraud a Native American tribe. Archer — who is set to deliver closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee on Monday about Biden — had been challenging the conviction.


In light of the appeals court ruling, the DOJ “respectfully requests that the defendant be ordered to surrender, at a date and time determined by the Court, to a facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons to commence his term of imprisonment,” reads the letter to Judge Ronnie Abrams. Archer’s attorney, Matthew Schwartz, said Sunday his client would still testify on Capitol Hill as planned despite allegations the DOJ letter was an intimidation tactic. “We are aware of speculation that the Department of Justice’s weekend request to have Mr. Archer report to prison is an attempt by the Biden administration to intimidate him in advance of his meeting with the House Oversight Committee,” Schwartz said in a statement, per Politico. “To be clear, Mr. Archer does not agree with that speculation,” Schwartz added. “In any case, Mr. Archer will do what he has planned to do all along, which is to show up on Monday and to honestly answer the questions that are put to him by the Congressional investigators.”

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“there are no angels in war..”

Elon Musk Says Russia, Ukraine Should Start ‘Turning Other Cheek’ (Sp.)

Entrepreneur Elon Musk believes that Ukraine and Russia should act according to an old Christian principle of ‘turning the other cheek’ and should forgive each other to get out of the vicious cycle.”The thing is that people in Ukraine and in Russia can find a million reasons to hate the other side, if you just look at the history,” Musk said on Friday in an online conversation on X platform. “So this is why you know, the Christian principle of turning the other cheek is a very wise one because if you do not ultimately forgive your enemy, you’re stuck in a cycle of retribution forever.” There has to be some realism and we cannot label Russia as “pure devil” and Ukraine “pure angel” because “there are no angels in war,” Musk added.


“As we speak the flower of Ukrainian youth is dying in trenches,” the entrepreneur continued. ‘Turning the other cheek’ is an old Christian phrase that has its origin in the Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament. One should respond to the other with retort. Elon Musk had an online discussion on his newly named platform “X” with the American entrepreneur and a candidate in the 2024 Republican Party presidential primaries Vivek Ramaswamy on Friday. Musk spent a considerable amount of time talking with Ramaswamy about the Ukrainian crisis. Ramaswamy voiced his opinion that NATO should not admit Ukraine and that the Pentagon’s leadership needs new people.

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“We did not understand that the Russian population actually supports its government,” Macgregor underscored.”

Zelensky Frustrated Over Downing of US-Made HIMARS Missiles by Russia (Sp.)

Over the past few months, the Russian air defense systems have destroyed a whole array of Kiev’s HIMARS missiles in the special military operation zone in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is uneasy over the fact of the Russian air defenses successfully downing advanced missiles that the US delivers to Kiev, foreign policy expert and former Pentagon adviser Douglas Macgregor has told a YouTube channel. “The Russian air defenses are superb, is the best word that I can come up with. There is no such thing as perfect integrated air defenses; something will always get through, but overwhelmingly, they manage to shoot down HIMARS [High Mobility Artillery Rocket System] and all sorts of missiles,” Macgregor said.

According to him, Russia downing HIMARS missiles prompted “the frustration that we saw in Mr. Zelensky,” who was “furious, angry, and distraught.” “The losses inside his country are horrific; it’s only American cash that really sustains this Ukrainian state. It’s on life support and a humane thing would be to put an end to it and negotiate […],” Macgregor added, in an apparent reference to the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF)’s massive death toll. The remarks followed the ex-Pentagon adviser’s interview with another YouTube channel, in which he referred to Russia-related mistakes the US made before getting involved in the Ukraine conflict.

“[…] They [in Washington] were wrong about Russia. They did not understand what were they dealing with. They thought that Russia was still the backward, confused, chaotic state that it was in the 1990s. They missed entirely all of the things that had been done in the last twenty years by [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and his supporters. I’m not here to say that everything that they’ve done is perfect or has worked brilliantly, but it very definitely recovered Russia from the ash-heap of history. At the same time, we did not understand that Russians had maintained this large scientific and industrial base to produce and manufacture military equipment. We did not understand that the Russian population actually supports its government,” Macgregor underscored.

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2,000? Know how big Crimea is?

UK Training Elite Ukrainian Force To Seize Crimea Before Christmas (RT)

British instructors are training an elite Ukrainian unit that is supposed to help Kiev retake Crimea, the Sunday Express has claimed, citing sources. Ukrainian officials have been talking for months about plans to take back the Russian peninsula during its much-hyped counteroffensive, which has so far failed to live up to expectations in the West. According to the report, more than 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers comprising “an elite commando brigade” arrived at a training camp in Devon in southwest Britain to prepare for an attack that is supposed to “recapture Crimea before Christmas.” The brigade is expected to “form the tip of the spear” and will be supported by two other forces, the tabloid’s sources claimed.

The Express also noted that the operation would involve combined strikes from air, land, and sea, with Kiev’s armored formations attempting to breach Russian defenses while being backed by long-range attacks using Western-supplied missiles. An unnamed senior defense source told the paper that UK instructors aim to teach Kiev’s troops how to use NATO tactics to “shape the battle space” before committing forces for a decisive thrust. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky outlined Kiev’s ambition to reclaim Crimea through a major counteroffensive back in late April. However, when Ukraine launched its push against Russian lines in the early days of June, it failed to gain any ground and suffered heavy casualties, according to Moscow.

Despite apparent problems with the counteroffensive, Kirill Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence, claimed on Saturday that Kiev would take Crimea “soon,” without giving an exact timeline. Last year, he already predicted that this would happen in the spring of 2023, a projection that failed to come true. Meanwhile, in March former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that, should Ukraine attempt to seize back Crimea, Moscow could resort to “all means of protection,” including its nuclear arsenal. The Crimean Peninsula overwhelmingly voted to rejoin Russia in a public referendum in 2014 following a Western-backed coup in Kiev. Neither Ukraine nor Western countries have recognized its results.

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“..only 5 percent of the components for military shipbuilding are “dependent on foreign imports.”

Veteran US Army Officer Sizes Up Russia’s Naval Power Against US, China (Sp.)

Today, Russia celebrates Navy Day, a national holiday that is observed annually nationwide on the last Sunday of July. This year’s Navy Day is being celebrated as Russia continues to upgrade and enhance its naval capabilities, despite the US-led West doubling down with their endless economic sanctions. Yet even as Washington and its allies seem willing to pull all the stops in its economic war against Russia, it seems that the West’s sanctions failed to harm Russia’s naval projects, says Earl Rasmussen, a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel and an international consultant “Sanctions have had little impact on modernization efforts,” Rasmussen told Sputnik, referring to Moscow’s drive to upgrade its naval capabilities. “Russia has taken steps to move weapon and defense security manufacturing to be based on internal/domestic capabilities.”

He pointed out that Alexei Rakhmanov, who heads the United Shipbuilding Corporation, earlier revealed that the West’s sanctions against Russia’s shipbuilding industry were feeble and had next to no effect whatsoever, brading them “practically unnoticeable,” since only 5 percent of the components for military shipbuilding are “dependent on foreign imports.” According to Rasmussen, the Russian Navy is currently considered “the third strongest globally after the United States and China to include a strong submarine presence,” and while many of its elements are either aging or are nearing their “life expectancy,” Russia’s efforts “have focused on the modernization of both new and upgraded forces.” “Several surface vessels are under development and will soon see active surface. Additionally, developments are underway with submarine modernization across 6 different submarine classes/types each providing unique capabilities to include the ability to carry [the] newest weapon systems,” the US veteran remarked. “Russia’s submarine modernization is the largest since WW2.”

He also argued that growing naval cooperation between Russia, China and Iran should be a cause for concern for the “foreign policy and defense makers” in Washington. “One of the main concerns for decades has been the potential of Russia and China developing an alliance. The current US administration policies have accelerated this partnership as well as adding Iran,” Rasmussen mused. “Hence, three of the strongest regional players globally seem more aligned than ever with increased cooperation and strategic alignment. Current western policymakers seem to be living in a world of past years and have not come to fully appreciate today’s reality.” Rasmussen’s remarks come mere days after the conclusion of the Russo-Chinese joint naval exercise dubbed North/Interaction–2023 in the Sea of Japan. This exercise involved Russian and Chinese warships and their crews practicing a variety of tasks such as convoying ships, anti-submarine warfare and naval combat.

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Wannabe Green.

Germany May Face Irreversible Deindustrialization – CDU Chair (Sp.)

The German economy is expected to be the worst-performing among the G7 nations this year, with the country’s GDP likely to plummet by at least 0.3%. Germany is facing further economic decline and deindustrialization, Friedrich Merz, the chairman of the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has told a German news agency. He pointed to the country’s grim economic indicators, including a summer rise in unemployment, a contraction in industrial production and a 16% increase in bankruptcies in the first half of 2023. “Germany is losing competitiveness. This is not an abrupt process that triggers an overnight economic crisis [and] instead, we are experiencing a gradual process of deindustrialization in our country. You have to take this very seriously [because] something is happening here at the moment that may no longer be reversible. The federal government must react to this now,” Merz warned.

The CDU chairman spoke after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claimed earlier this week that Germany would be the worst-performing major economy in the world this year as the country’s manufacturing sector remains under pressure. According to the IMF, the German economy will suffer the only contraction in the Group of Seven (G7) before the end of the year, with the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) expected to fall 0.3%. The IMF earlier forecast that growth in Germany’s GDP would stay near zero in 2023, before gradually increasing to between 1% and 2% in the period of 2024 to 2026. This was echoed by Clemens Fuest, president of the Munich-based Ifo economic research institute, who told a US news agency that “it looks like the German economy is really having a hard time getting out of this recession.”

The Ifo earlier reported that the German Business Climate Index declined to 87.3 points in July versus last month’s 88.6 and the consensus forecast of 88.0. The index is calculated on the basis of a survey of about 9,000 German enterprises and remains the main indicator of the economic situation in the country. Paolo Raffone, a strategic analyst and director of the CIPI Foundation in Brussels, told Sputnik in this context that “long term, reliable, low cost and abundant energy supplies from Russia have been pivotal to German industrial sector development and strength.” He added that the destruction of the North Stream pipelines in September 2022 was “highly symbolic (cutting German energy ties with Russia and Eurasia) and it has had tremendous consequences for the German economy.”

Raffone warned that “without the convenient Russian energy supplies, Germany has entered (again) a period of industrial difficulty that impacts the general economy and the life of people.” Gunnar Beck, a member of the European Parliament for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) part, for his part, told Sputnik that Nord Stream’s collapse and Berlin’s move to join the West’s energy sanctions against Russia are “not the only source of Germany’s declining economic fortunes.”

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Just 5 years ago (or even 1?!), nobody would have had any idea what this headline meant.

Ye Restored To X (RT)

Kanye West was reinstated to X on Saturday after the social network formerly known as Twitter was provided with assurances that the controversial rapper will not use the platform to spread anti-Semitic or otherwise offensive content, the Wall Street Journal reported. West, legally known as Ye, was suspended from the social network – newly rebranded by owner Elon Musk – late last year, shortly after he posted an image of a swastika merging with a star of David. The ban was overturned on Saturday – a move which came after Musk restored numerous prominent Twitter accounts that had been suspended under its prior ownership. According to the Wall Street Journal, who cited an anonymous source close to the situation, X has been assured that West’s newly restored account will not be used to distribute anti-Semitic rhetoric.

He has not yet posted to the social network as of Sunday afternoon. West’s formal suspension from Twitter followed a string of anti-Semitic statements in interviews and on social media last year, including an October tweet in which he said he would go “death con 3” on members of the Jewish community. His account was locked by Twitter afterwards, before he was later readmitted to the platform. Shortly after his return last year, West praised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis on Twitter before posting the swastika image which appeared to lead to his suspension. Elon Musk declared at the time: “I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.”

In March, West said that he “liked Jewish people again” while speaking about the movie ‘21 Jump Street’ featuring the American actor Jonah Hill. West will not be allowed to monetize his account under the terms of his readmission to Twitter, the WSJ added in its Saturday report. Elon Musk announced earlier this year that certain high-profile content creators would receive a share of revenue from advertisements linked to their posts. 24-time Grammy Award winner West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016 and has spoken about his struggle with mental health. He was released from a high profile partnership with sportswear company Adidas in October following public backlash against his offensive statements. This came just days after West said in an interview that, “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me.”

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“Facebook executives were facing the same insatiable government desire for censorship..”

‘Facebook Files’ Show Biden Admin Even Targeted Jokes For Censorship (Turley)

COVID-19, the flu and the common cold all walk into a bar. The bartender asks, “what is this? Some kind of sick joke?” Indeed, it is one of the many COVID-19 jokes that raged on the internet during the pandemic. What citizens did not know is that the Biden administration was tracking the laugh lines for censorship, along with other views it found neither funny nor helpful.The newly released “Facebook Files” revealed a concerted effort by the Biden administration to censor not just false information, but also true information, along with jokes that its functionaries simply found annoying. Months ago, I testified before Congress on censorship after Elon Musk’s release of internal Twitter communications, also known as the Twitter Files.

I warned that the government was engaging in “censorship by surrogate,” using corporate allies to do indirectly what it is legally prevented from doing directly. Facebook had refused to open its own files on government censorship efforts. That came to an end when the House Judiciary Committee finally moved to hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress. The resulting Facebook Files confirmed what many of us have suspected for years. Indeed, the emails proved to be a mirror image of what had occurred at Twitter — a massive effort by the government to pressure the company to censor its critics and other dissenting voices. Facebook executives used similar language to lament the “overwhelming” effort of the government to censor citizens and its unwillingness to take “no” for an answer.

Over at Twitter, executives described a deluge of demands for censorship from federal officials at the FBI and other agencies. One official wrote that “[t]he FBI has some folks in the Baltimore field office and at HQ that are just doing keyword searches for violations. This is probably the 10th request I have dealt with in the last 5 days.” In January 2020, Twitter’s then-director of policy and philanthropy, Carlos Monje Jr., expressed unease about the pressure coming from the FBI. “They are probing & pushing everywhere they can (including by whispering to congressional staff),” he said. One email from August 2022 sent “long lists of newspapers, tweets or YouTube videos” deemed to be voicing “anti-Ukraine narratives.” Even satirical and comedy sites were reportedly designated by the government for removal.

Now we know that Facebook executives were facing the same insatiable government desire for censorship. In an April 2021 email, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s president for global affairs, wrote to colleagues that Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to Biden who was steering COVID-19 policy, “was outraged — not too strong a word to describe his reaction — that [Facebook] did not remove this post.” The post was actually a humorous meme shared by a user named Timothy McComas. It featured actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s character from the film “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” pointing at a TV with a beer and cigarette in hand. The caption read: “10 years from now, you will be watching TV and hear…. ‘Did you or a loved one take the COVID vaccine? You may be entitled…’”

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Campaign funds.

Former US President Trump Spends $40 Million On Legal Fees (Az.)

Former US President Donald Trump’s political action committee is expected to report on Monday that it has spent about $40 million in legal fees in the first half of 2023 to defend Trump and his advisers, among others, the Washington Post reported, Report informs. The New York Times separately reported that the PAC has sought the return of $60 million it made to another group supporting Trump, a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

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Moonwalk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685700030710116352

 

 

tail

 

 


Discovered by researchers with the Census of Marine Life at a depth of 2,750 meters, this sea cucumber is so transparent that its digestive tract is on spectacular display

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 272023
 
 July 27, 2023  Posted by at 8:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  82 Responses »


Samuel Melton Fisher Asleep 1902

 

Russian Military Emerging Bigger, Stronger From Ukraine War – Martyanov (Sp.)
Ukraine ‘Offensive’ Has Not Helped – They Already Lost The War – Macgregor (WF)
West ‘Torpedoed’ Ukraine Peace ‘Because We Want War With Russia’ – RFK Jr.
NATO-Trained Ukrainian Soldiers Being Wiped Out – Austrian Military Expert (Sp.)
US Official Shares Details of Secret ‘Track 1.5’ Diplomacy With Moscow (MT)
Zelensky Uses Martial Law To Avoid Election (RT)
West Using Dollar As Weapon – Putin (RT)
Cash Is King Of The Thieves In The Ukraine (Helmer)
Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal Falls Apart (DeMartino)
Inside Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal (Will Scharf)
Neither East Nor West: Turkiye’s Travails As A ‘Swing State’ (Bhadrakumar)
Elon Musk’s X Seizes @X Account From Longtime Twitter User (Sp.)
EV Suspected In Fire Of Massive Cargo Ship Carrying 3,000 Cars (ZH)

 

 

 

 

The federal court judge presiding over Hunter Biden’s case seems extremely uncomfortable that the plea deal is far too generous to Hunter — which is what the IRS whistleblowers have been saying — and she might reject it altogether, a very rare move

 

 

Patel plea deal

 

 

 

 

Trump ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m beginning to think that many American generals also know and learn about warfare from the entertainment industry, from Hollywood..”

Russian Military Emerging Bigger, Stronger From Ukraine War – Martyanov (Sp.)

Having blown over $95 billion on arms to Ukraine, Western countries have increasingly started talking about their inability to keep providing Kiev with weapons and ammo at the same pace as they have up to now. Some European countries have calculated that their armies would be able to fight a full-scale war for as little as 24-48 hours after their sending weapons and ammo inventories to Kiev. Earlier this month, President Biden admitted to media that the United States was deploying cluster bombs to Ukraine because it was running low on conventional 155 mm artillery ammunition. The admission sparked harsh criticism from former President Donald Trump, who blasted Biden for essentially revealing that the emperor has no clothes.

“Let me put it this way: We have witnessed, in the last 15 months, a ‘21+ mature audiences only explicit’ demolition of the American military mythology and American technological mythology,” Andrei Martyanov, a veteran Russian military analyst and best-selling author, told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. “Those people from the think tanks [predicting the weakening of the Russian MIC], most of them never served a day in the armed forces. And to quote General Robert Latiff, author of the book Future War, ‘everything that the American public and politicians know about warfare is primarily from the entertainment industry.’ I’m beginning to think that many American generals also know and learn about warfare from the entertainment industry, from Hollywood. Those people are absolutely unprepared and not equipped to operate with basically what amounts to operational values, and they don’t even understand what they’re looking at,” Martyanov stressed.

Characterizing the field of Russia studies in Western countries as “basically a wasteland” today, Martyanov suggested that they don’t have the ability to comprehend realities on the ground because they take their primary data from Kiev, which falsifies it, and from “pseudo-academic shysters” in US academia whose “only task is to rewrite and then reiterate what Russia is and what is history, especially of the 20th century, is, and sell it to the public and policymakers.” [..] “The point is, just to give you a technological example…that the United States in terms of air defenses…is not even in the same league with Russia. In terms of cruise missiles, again, the United States lags here not by years, it lags by generations. And the same goes for armor, the same goes for operational concepts and things of this nature, and even in electronic warfare,” the observer stressed.

“For the average American political scientist who grew up with their Wall Street type economy, that’s the one I think they studied, they operate with gross domestic product numbers which are provided by Wall Street and shysters from the economic schools. They still cannot even grasp the idea” that the US could be weaker than its adversaries, Martyanov said. “For example, Russia produces as much steel as the United States. And it produces six times more aluminum…And when you look at these fundamental economic and military indices, how can you explain it? [Meanwhile] they still believe that they are the number one economy in the world, while China actually dwarfs the United States.”

Martyanov

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“Anybody else would have said by now, no more death. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are dying… but there’s no humanity in these people. They don’t care..”

Ukraine ‘Offensive’ Has Not Helped – They Already Lost The War – Macgregor (WF)

Col. Douglas Macgregor always tells it like it is. See the full interview below with Judge Napolitano as well as clips with Turley. Basically, a peace treaty was signed, Russian territories with mostly Russian people would be part of Russia. Putin started pulling his troops out. But the Deep State and the Big Guy want to keep the con going, costing lives and American tax dollars. And then… Ret. Col. Douglas Macgregor: “The message that Jake Sullivan and President Biden have sent to Moscow is ‘Gentlemen, you’re going to have to march west. Nothing will stop until you make it clear unambiguously that you’ve won.’ Unfortunately, that’s what they’re saying. These people are not reasonable. They’re not rational. Anybody else would have said by now, no more death. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are dying… but there’s no humanity in these people. They don’t care”

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“Zelensky ran for president. He was a comedian. He had no political experience. Why did he win? Because he ran on one issue: signing the Minsk Accords.”

West ‘Torpedoed’ Ukraine Peace ‘Because We Want War With Russia’ – RFK Jr.

There is no chance of Russia losing the proxy war with NATO in Ukraine, the West fomented the conflict and a peace agreement is needed immediately to prevent further bloodshed, Democratic presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said. “Russia’s not gonna lose this war. Russia can’t afford this – it’d be like us losing a war to Mexico. They are not gonna lose the war,” Kennedy said, speaking at a televised town hall Tuesday night. “Go look at what Russia did in Stalingrad in order to preserve its territorial integrity. Russia’s been invaded three times through the Ukraine. The last time, Hitler killed one out of every seven Russians. They’re 400 miles from Moscow. We already have Aegis missile systems within 12 minutes of Moscow.

We wouldn’t tolerate that if the Russians did it [like] in 1962 when they put them in Cuba,” the candidate added, referencing the Cuban Missile Crisis, during which time his late uncle, John F. Kennedy, was president. “The more disturbing thing,” Kennedy said, “is that on two occasions the Russians tried to sign a peace agreement with [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky,” and both times the West sabotaged it. The candidate pointed to the 2015 Minsk Agreements, which Zelensky expressed interest in before being talked out of it by the US in 2019, and the 2022 draft peace deal reached after talks in Belarus and Turkiye. “In 2019, France Germany and Russia all agreed to the Minsk Accords. That year, Zelensky ran for president. He was a comedian. He had no political experience. Why did he win? Because he ran on one issue: signing the Minsk Accords.

As soon has he got in there, Victoria Nuland and the White House told him he couldn’t do it,” Kennedy recalled. “Then,” in February 2022, he noted, Russia sent “40,000 troops in. That’s not enough to conquer the country. Clearly, [Putin] wanted somebody to come to the negotiating table.” Russian and Ukrainian negotiators met in Istanbul, hammering out a draft peace deal. After that, “Putin in good faith began withdrawing troops from Ukraine. What happened? We sent Boris Johnson over there to torpedo it. Because we don’t want peace, we want war with Russia,” RFK Jr. stressed. The Democratic politician also pointed out that the current crisis has its origins in the end of the Cold War. “We promised in 1992, the Russian leadership said… ‘We’re gonna withdraw 400,000 troops from East Germany and we’re gonna allow you to reunite Germany under NATO,’ which is a hostile army.

That’s a huge concession for them. ‘One commitment that we want,’ is what the Russians said, ‘is that you will not move NATO to the east.’ James Baker, who was then secretary of state under [George H.W.] Bush, famously promised ‘We will not move NATO one inch to the east.’ Well since then, we’ve moved it 1,000 miles and 14 countries. Now when we started that plan in 1997, Bill Perry, who was the secretary of defense under the Clinton administration, said ‘If you move NATO to the east, I am resigning because you are forcing the Russians to come to war with us.’ George Kennan, who’s the most important diplomat in American history, the architect of the containment policy [after] World War II, said the same thing. You do not need to make an enemy out of Russia,” Kennedy said.

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“Due to inexperience, he ordered his platoon to advance directly into minefields. Only just over half of the platoon returned..”

NATO-Trained Ukrainian Soldiers Being Wiped Out – Austrian Military Expert (Sp.)

Many Ukrainian soldiers who underwent a six-month training in NATO countries are lost in action, Colonel Markus Reisner, a military strategist from the Ministry of Defence of Austria revealed in an interview with a German television channel. “I recently spoke to a Ukrainian comrade: in a neighboring unit, their commander was a 47-year-old reservist. Due to inexperience, he ordered his platoon to advance directly into minefields. Only just over half of the platoon returned,” he recounted. According to Reisner, such a mistake severely affected the morale of the Ukrainian troops. The Austrian officer also expressed his opinion that the first phase of the Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed.


In a highly anticipated development last month, the Ukrainian forces finally launched the much-awaited counteroffensive. This strategic move had been eagerly anticipated for several months, with President Zelensky making multiple announcements about its impending implementation. Despite Kiev’s readiness to sacrifice hundreds of its soldiers, Ukrainian troops have encountered formidable resistance in their pursuit of strategic objectives. As of the current situation, they have not succeeded in breaching the initial line of Russian defenses, known as the “Surovikin Defensive Line,” underscoring the complexity of the conflict with both sides locked in a tense and high-stakes struggle for dominance.

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“Russian power,” he concluded, “is not necessarily a bad thing.”

US Official Shares Details of Secret ‘Track 1.5’ Diplomacy With Moscow (MT)

Secret diplomatic talks are ongoing between former senior U.S. national security officials and high-ranking members of the Kremlin, a former U.S. official directly involved in the talks has confirmed to The Moscow Times. Earlier this month, NBC first reported the existence of these back-channel discussions, which involve former U.S. officials engaging in discreet exchanges with the Kremlin, as well as a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in an effort to lay the groundwork for negotiations to end the war in Ukraine. Known as track 1.5 diplomacy, these covert discussions enable both sides to understand each other’s red lines and mitigate potential conflicts, serving as a crucial link between official government negotiations (track 1 diplomacy) and unofficial expert dialogues (track 2).

The Moscow Times has since spoken to one of the individuals directly involved in these talks. The former U.S. official agreed to speak on condition of anonymity given the confidential nature of the discussions. “There is an eminent need for track 1.5 diplomacy when the world gets closed off as it has now,” the former official said. Meetings between the U.S. and officials in the Kremlin have been taking place at least twice a month, often through an online format. “I have been visiting Moscow at least every three months,” the former official said. When it came to the Kremlin’s willingness to lay its cards on the table, the former official stated: “We were given some access to the Kremlin’s thinking, though not as much as we would have liked.”

From his vantage point, sitting across from senior Kremlin officials and advisers, it was apparent that the greatest issue was that the Russians were unable to articulate what exactly they wanted and needed. “They don’t know how to define victory or defeat. In fact, some of the elites to whom we spoke had never wanted the war in the first place, even saying it had been a complete mistake,” he said. “But now they’re at war — suffering a humiliating defeat is not an option for these guys.” “It was here that we made clear that the U.S. was prepared to work constructively with Russian national security concerns,” the former official added, breaking from the official U.S. line of squeezing Russia financially and isolating it internationally so as to prevent it from continuing its war against Ukraine.

“An attempt to isolate and cripple Russia to the point of humiliation or collapse would make negotiating almost impossible — we are already seeing this in the reticence from Moscow officials,” he said. “In fact, we emphasized that the U.S. needs, and will continue to need, a strong enough Russia to create stability along its periphery. The U.S. wants a Russia with strategic autonomy in order for the U.S. to advance diplomatic opportunities in Central Asia. We in the U.S. have to recognize that total victory in Europe could harm our interests in other areas of the world. “Russian power,” he concluded, “is not necessarily a bad thing.”

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To stay in power, he needs martial law to continue. For that, he needs the war to continue.

Zelensky Uses Martial Law To Avoid Election (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Wednesday proposed to extend the state of emergency, thereby effectively canceling the parliamentary elections scheduled for October. Zelensky announced martial law on February 24, 2022, and has been extending it ever since. The most recent 90-day extension was announced on May 20, and is due to expire on August 18. If the Verkhovna Rada approves Zelensky’s latest request, this will see the emergency extended through November 15. Ukrainian law calls for parliamentary elections no later than October 29, with a 60-day campaign season starting on August 28. However, it also forbids campaigning and voting during martial law. Another extension would cut into the campaign season for the presidential elections, currently scheduled for March 2024.

“If we have martial law, we cannot have elections. The constitution prohibits any elections during martial law,” Zelensky announced in May. The following month, he told the BBC that “elections need to happen in a time of peace, when there is no fighting.” Some of Ukraine’s supporters in Europe and North America have been critical of the possible cancellation of elections. Ukraine should prepare for a vote as soon as possible, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) head ‘Tiny’ Kox said in an interview in May. “Although democracy is far more than only elections, I think we all agree that without the elections, democracy cannot properly function,” Kox said at the time.

Zelensky ran on a peace platform in 2019 and won with 73% of the vote. Soon thereafter, his newly formed party – named after the TV show in which he played a fictional president of Ukraine – won a supermajority in the Verkhovna Rada as well. By late 2020, he had pivoted away from the notion of peace in Donbass and began to openly talk about a military solution for “occupied territories.”

Within three months of the conflict with Russia escalating, in May 2022, Zelensky enacted a law that allowed him to ban any political parties merely accused of being “pro-Russian,” without any right to appeal. He has outlawed a dozen parties since then, including the formerly largest parliamentary opposition bloc. Earlier this month, the Federal Intelligence Service of Switzerland accused Zelensky of attempting to “politically eliminate” Kiev mayor Vitaly Klitschko ahead of next year’s presidential election. The FIS cited “credible intelligence” to say that Zelensky was “showing authoritarian traits” which may lead to Western pressure, according to a classified report leaked to the outlet NZZ.

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The BRICS bank headaches.

West Using Dollar As Weapon – Putin (RT)

Setting up alternative financial institutions is a difficult but necessary endeavor at a time when Washington has weaponized the US dollar, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, at the meeting with New Development Bank head Dilma Rousseff. The former president of Brazil, who took over the former BRICS Development Bank in March, was in St. Petersburg to meet with Putin ahead of this week’s Russia-Africa summit. “I have no doubt that, using your rich experience in government and knowledge in this area, you will do everything to develop this institution, which I think is very important today,” Putin told Rousseff. “In current conditions, this is not an easy job, given what is happening in world finance and the use of the dollar as a tool of political struggle,” he added.

Putin underscored that the economic bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is not aimed against anyone, but working together in mutual interest, including in finance. He pointed out that BRICS members are already increasingly settling accounts in national currencies. Rousseff agreed that this approach should be implemented by developing countries in general. She also said that the biggest challenge to developing nations is the ability to raise funds for projects of national interest, from social service to environmental issues. This issue, she argued, gets neglected as everyone focuses on the debt problem. The US accounts for some 20% of global economic output, but more than 50% of world currency reserves are held in dollars.

That percentage has actually shrunk over the past year, as the financial sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict – including the freezing of sovereign reserves and blocking of SWIFT access – raised concerns in other countries that such measures might target them in the future. Last October, Putin argued that the US had “discredited the institution of international financial reserves” by weaponizing the dollar, first by monetary emissions and then by “stealing” Russian funds. Since then, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has agreed that sanctions might drive some countries to abandon the dollar. “The long historical era of the dominance of the American dollar is coming to an end,” Andrey Kostin, head of Russia’s VTB bank, said in an interview last month. While most Western economists don’t see any other currency capable of replacing the greenback, Putin hinted in June that BRICS was working on a reserve currency of its own, perhaps based on a commodities basket.

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“This is Zelensky’s pyramid”..”No IMF member state has ever been allowed to take a six-times multiple of its borrowing quota at this money volume..”

Cash Is King Of The Thieves In The Ukraine (Helmer)

President Vladimir Zelensky has enough fingers to count that $115 billion is worth almost three times more than $41.3 billion. The first number is the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) calculation of “external support over 2023–27 involving sizable official financing in the form of grants and concessional loans, as well as debt relief.” This includes “SDR [Special Drawing Rights] 11.608 billion (577.01 percent of quota, about US$15.6 billion).” No IMF member state has ever been allowed to take a six-times multiple of its borrowing quota at this money volume except for the Ukraine. Nor has any IMF member state ever been authorised by the IMF board of directors to stop new domestic bank lending and postpone all borrowing obligations (“current debt standstill”) for at least another three years from this Christmas.

The resulting money pile the IMF calls “the wartime liquidity surplus”. Converting this into the Ukrainian banks’ profit line and diverting that into individual cash and assets, Kiev officials have told Reuters to report as the “Ukraine banks’ robust health.” “Across the banking sector,” the New York-based propaganda agency reports, “deposits are as abundant as they’ve ever been, and the country’s lenders have found ways to remain profitable.” This is being done, they explain, by borrowing more and more in government bonds at a 25% interest rate guaranteed by more IMF money flowing into the central bank; lending less and less to zero for customers; and ignoring the increasing pile-up of defaulted, non-performing, or fraud loans.

This is Zelensky’s pyramid, even Reuters and its Ukrainian banker sources imply, though the IMF staff cannot bring themselves to say so. “In the current context, Ukrainian bankers note, the choice makes sense. “’We will only survive if the government survives,’ [Privatbank chief executive Gerhard] Boesch sums up.” The big money number dwarfs the Pentagon’s most recent estimate that “the Biden administration has committed more than $41.3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February 2022.” The new July 7 number includes deliveries of Patriot missiles, HIMARS rockets, cluster bombs, and “dual-purpose improved conventional munitions, or DPICM”. Using the banker’s term, the Pentagon announcement declared “the Ukrainian forces have effectively leveraged assistance…So we will continue to provide Ukraine with the urgent capabilities that it needs to meet the moment, as well as what it needs to keep itself secure for the long term from Russian aggression.”

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That was quite a dirty trick they tried to pull. He would have gotten away with murder.

Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal Falls Apart (DeMartino)

President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, is facing federal charges over information found on a laptop that he abandoned at a computer repair shop. His defense team and prosecutors earlier reached a plea agreement that was widely blasted as too ‘lenient’ by Republicans figures. An earlier plea deal agreement made between prosecutors and Hunter Biden’s defense team fell apart on Wednesday after the presiding judge questioned its constitutionality and prosecutors revealed that Biden is still under investigation. The first son appeared before US District Judge Maryellen Noreika on Wednesday, when he was expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges after his legal team and prosecutor David Weiss agreed to a deal that would have suspended a felony gun charge.

Noreika raised concerns that she believed the deal would be ruled unconstitutional. The agreement stipulated that if Biden broke any of the terms, Noreika would act as an arbiter to decide if the gun charge would be reissued. The district judge noted the executive branch – not the judicial branch – is in charge of when to charge a person, and said she was concerned Biden may lose his immunity if the accord was ruled unconstitutional. Biden’s defense attorney Chris Clark said the stipulation was necessary to prevent the case from becoming further politicized if the government were to bring up the gun charge again. While Noreika said she understood his concerns, the official noted she was unaware of any case law that would support the agreement.

Another bombshell came in the case when Noreika asked Weiss whether Biden was still under an investigation, to which Weiss responded that he is but could not provide additional details on the matter. Weiss later remarked it was a possibility that Biden could be hypothetically charged for violating the Foreign Agents Registry Act. Asked if the deal would shield Biden from a prosecution stemming from that ‘possibility,’ Weiss indicated it would not, although Clark disagreed. Weiss responded by noting that “then there is no deal,” to which Clark replied: “As far as I’m concerned, the deal is null and void.” Biden ultimately submitted a not guilty plea after Noreika relayed that she could not say whether she would in fact accept the plea deal.

The judge said she would need to order a fact-finding mission on the deal and asked both sides for a briefing but did not set a date. She also did not rule out the possibility of agreeing to all terms of the current deal after gathering more information. Weiss and the Biden legal team could also hammer out a new plea deal that satisfies Noreika’s concerns. Prosecutors say Biden received taxable income of over $1.5 million for both 2017 and 2018 and owed more than $100,000 in taxes for each year, but did not pay any taxes either year. Officials also say he lied about his drug use on a purchase form for a firearm, which is what led to the felony gun charge that was supposed to be suspended under the terms of the plea deal. Last week, two whistleblowers with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) alleged during congressional testimony that the yearslong Justice Department investigation into Hunter Biden was fraught with misconduct and political favoritism.

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Twitter (X?) “thread”.

Inside Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal (Will Scharf)

Based on conversations with people who were in the courtroom today, and my experience as a former federal prosecutor, I think I know the full story of what happened with the Hunter Biden plea agreement blow-up this morning. Bear with me, because this is a little complicated: Typically, if the Government is offering to a defendant that it will either drop charges or decline to bring new charges in return for the defendant’s guilty plea, the plea is structured under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(A). An agreement not to prosecute Hunter for FARA violations or other crimes in return for his pleading guilty to the tax misdemeanors, for example, would usually be a (c)(1)(A) plea. This is open, transparent, subject to judicial approval, etc.

In Hunter’s case, according to what folks in the courtroom have told me, Hunter’s plea was structured under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(B), which is usually just a plea in return for a joint sentencing recommendation only, and contained no information on its face about other potential charges, and contained no clear agreement by DOJ to forego prosecution of other charges. Instead, DOJ and Hunter’s lawyers effectively hid that part of the agreement in what was publicly described as a pretrial diversion agreement relating to a § 922(g)(3) gun charge against Hunter for being a drug user in possession of a firearm. That pretrial diversion agreement as written was actually MUCH broader than just the gun charge. If Hunter were to complete probation, the pretrial diversion agreement prevented DOJ from ever bringing charges against Hunter for any crimes relating to the offense conduct discussed in the plea agreement, which was purposely written to include his foreign influence peddling operations in China and elsewhere.

So they put the facts in the plea agreement, but put their non-prosecution agreement in the pretrial diversion agreement, effectively hiding the full scope of what DOJ was offering and Hunter was obtaining through these proceedings. Hunter’s upside from this deal was vast immunity from further prosecution if he finished a couple years of probation, and the public wouldn’t be any the wiser because none of this was clearly stated on the face of the plea agreement, as would normally be the case. Judge Noreika smelled a rat. She understood that the lawyers were trying to paint her into a corner and hide the ball. Instead, she backed DOJ and Hunter’s lawyers into a corner by pulling all the details out into the open and then indicating that she wasn’t going to approve a deal as broad as what she had discovered.

DOJ, attempting to save face and save its case, then stated on the record that the investigation into Hunter was ongoing and that Hunter remained susceptible to prosecution under FARA. Hunter’s lawyers exploded. They clearly believed that FARA was covered under the deal, because as written, the pretrial diversion agreement language was broad enough to cover it. They blew up the deal, Hunter pled not guilty, and that’s the current state of play. And so here we are. Hunter’s lawyers and DOJ are going to go off and try to pull together a new set of agreements, likely narrower, to satisfy Judge Noreika. Fortunately, I doubt if FARA or any charges related to Hunter’s foreign influence peddling will be included, which leaves open the possibility of further investigations leading to further prosecutions.

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Erdogan paints himself into a corner.

Neither East Nor West: Turkiye’s Travails As A ‘Swing State’ (Bhadrakumar)

The Russian Foreign Ministry website featured two press releases last week on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s conversations with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts, Hakan Fidan and Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, respectively. The conversations took place at the initiative of the Turkish and Iranian sides. Lavrov’s conversation with Fidan was business-like and formal, while with Amir-Abdollahian, Russia’s top diplomat, was in a noticeably relaxed freewheeling exchange — “trust-based” and signaling “mutual interest in closely coordinating the approaches” to world politics. The alchemy of the Russian-Turkish relationship has distinctly changed, whereas, the strategic partnership with Iran has consolidated and a high level of maturity and predictability is visible.

One recent factor that corrupted the Russian-Turkish relationship is the Kremlin’s unilateral decision to let the Black Sea Grain Initiative expire on 17 July. Ankara tried behind the scenes to avert the moment, but the Russian decision was not Turkiye-centric. Therein lies the hope — and the despair. Russia has since offered that a new grain deal with Turkiye might be possible if Moscow’s demands are met, announcing works on new export routes. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reciprocated by calling on western countries to “follow up on Putin’s expectations.” However, the crisis of confidence in the Russian-Turkish relations has a geopolitical dimension, and it concerns the war in Ukraine. Succinctly put, Turkish foreign policies have lately displayed a nuanced “westernism” that affects vital Russian interests.

Indeed, there is no plausible explanation for the sudden visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Istanbul on 8 July, the sudden release of notorious Azov commanders who were in Turkish custody per an understanding with Russia on the exchange of prisoners, or the plan to set up a co-production venture in Ukraine for Turkiye’s Bayraktar drones. One way of looking at such a sharp Turkish turnaround could be that interest groups in Turkiye’s defense industry are being manipulated by Zelensky. Erdogan’s open support for Ukraine’s NATO membership is blatant tokenism. The big picture is that Zelensky, with encouragement from the US, is looking for opportunities to erode the mutual trust and confidence that has accrued in the Turkish-Russian relationship over recent years, thanks to the hands-on diplomacy between Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Anyway, on the eve of the NATO Summit in Vilnius (11-12 July), where Erdogan was expected to meet up with US President Joe Biden (and Zelensky), Lavrov made Moscow’s concerns known to Foreign Minister Hakan in a phone conversation initiated by the latter. The Russian readout said: “The sides exchanged opinions on the regional agenda and prioritized the latest developments around Ukraine, including the situation regarding the return of Azov battalion “ringleaders” from Istanbul to Kiev. The Russian side drew the attention of Ankara to the fact that continued deliveries of military equipment to the Kiev regime amounted to a destructive course. It was noted that subsequent steps could only bring about negative consequences.”

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Doesn’t look elegant.

Elon Musk’s X Seizes @X Account From Longtime Twitter User (Sp.)

The user who once held the @X account on the Elon Musk-owned social media site formerly known as Twitter and recently renamed “X” had his account taken by the company and was offered little in return. X reportedly took over the account on Tuesday night, which previously belonged to San Francisco photographer Gene Hwang, who opened the account in 2007, the year after the platform launched. The email informing him that his account had been taken over by the newly rebranded firm said it would let him pick any unclaimed or inactive usernames, and offered fan merch and a trip to the company’s headquarters in return.

“Additionally, as a reflection of our appreciation, you will also be provided with a selection of X merch and an exclusive visit to X’s HQ to meet members of our team,” the email read, which Hwang shared with US media. Hwang said he does not plan to take X up on its offer, and suggested he may ask for the bird on the sign the company is dismantling outside its main office. The @X account has since been posting as an official account of the site. Hwang seems to have moved to @x12345678998765.

However, X may run into issues with its new name. Trademark lawyers have said that a simple trademark will make it more difficult for Musk to sue companies that use the letter X for their own branding On the flip side, Musk may find his trademark being challenged by other tech giants. As previously reported by Sputnik, both Meta* and Microsoft hold trademarks for “X.” Google and Xfinity also own trademarks related to X. While none seem to be directly related to the services X currently offers, if Musk moves forward with his current plan to make X the “everything app” there may be some crossover that could cause another company to challenge his trademark.

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It’ll keep burning for days. What do the insurers think of this?

EV Suspected In Fire Of Massive Cargo Ship Carrying 3,000 Cars (ZH)

A fire on a ship carrying 3,000 cars off the Netherlands coast is suspected of being started by an electric vehicle and killed one sailor, “could burn for days,” the Dutch Coast Guard told AFP News. The fire broke out late Tuesday night on board the roll-on, roll-off ship the Fremantle Highway off the northern Dutch coast. “The fire could still burn for days,” stated a coastguard official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The ship is being cooled to keep it stable. “Only the side of the ship is being sprayed, not the deck,” said the official. Fremantle Highway is carrying 3,000 vehicles. Of those vehicles, 25 are EVs, a coastguard official told the NOS public broadcaster, adding there is suspicion that one of those 25 EVs started the blaze.

Rescue ships and helicopters have evacuated 23 crew members. However, one individual lost their life due to the fire. Should the vessel sink, “it would be a disaster of the highest order,” the daily paper De Telegraaf said. Bloomberg ship tracking data shows Fremantle Highway left the German port of Bremen on Tuesday. The vessel appears to have deviated off course around 5 pm local time Tuesday, an indication of possibly when the fire broke out. “Currently several parties including salvagers and the Dutch authorities are looking at minimizing the damage as much as possible,” the Coast Guard said.

Shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen warned earlier this year: “Shipping companies are facing an added concern with the increasing demand for electric vehicles. Fires onboard vessels can have catastrophic consequences, and battery fires are extra potent and dangerous. Li-ion batteries generate extreme heat when they malfunction, often reaching temperatures of 800 degrees Celsius or higher. This heat can quickly spread to nearby combustible materials, causing a rapid fire that’s challenging to extinguish. Controlling battery fires is nearly impossible and might indicate Fremantle Highway could burn for days, if not longer.

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Tucker Ice Cube

 

 

Always one
https://twitter.com/i/status/1684307786325262343

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 262023
 


Andy Warhol Mick Jagger 1975

 

Glimpses Of An Endgame In Ukraine (Bhadrakumar)
Major Advancements For Russia, Ukraine On Its Last Legs – Macgregor (WF)
Even Strong Western Economies Turn Into Colonies – Zakharova (TASS)
Who Can Give Security Guarantees To Ukraine? (MoA)
IAEA Discovers Anti-Personnel Mines Near Zaporozhye Nuke Plant (TASS)
NATO Countries Using Ukraine to Get Rid of Outdated Weapons (Sp.)
The Polish Response To Putin’s Challenge (Helmer)
Zelensky Associate Was Present at Biden Bribery Meetings (GP)
Biden Claims To Have ‘Ended Cancer’ (RT)
Biden’s Dog Attacks 8 White House Staffers in Cover-Up (Sp.)
Biden Changes Long-Standing Position on Hunter’s Foreign Deals (Turley)
Hunter Biden’s Memoir Became Source of Tax Evasion Evidence (Sp.)
Members and the Media Panic as the Biden Scandal Mounts (Turley)
Twitter Rebrand to ‘X’ Fraught With Permit, Trademark Issues (DeMartino)
Musk: ‘X Will Become Most Valuable Brand on Earth’ (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

RFK Hannity
https://twitter.com/i/status/1684030867264643072
https://twitter.com/i/status/1684017271012995075

 

 

Azov

 

 

 

 

Tucker Ice Cube


https://twitter.com/i/status/1684017033174827008

 

 

 

 

“..Polish leadership’s concern, paradoxically, will be that Donald Trump may not return as president in 2024..”

Glimpses Of An Endgame In Ukraine (Bhadrakumar)

It is one thing that the Russian people are well aware that their country is de facto fighting the NATO in Ukraine. But it is an entirely different matter that the war may dramatically escalate to a war with Poland, a NATO army that the US regards as its most important partner in continental Europe. By dwelling at some length on Polish revanchism, which has a controversial record in modern European history, Putin probably calculated that in Europe, including in Poland, there could be resistance to the machinations that might drag NATO into a continental war with Russia. Equally, Poland must be dithering too. According to Politico, Poland’s military is about 150,000 strong, out of which 30,000 belong to a new territorial defence force who are “weekend soldiers who undergo 16 days of training followed up by refresher courses.”

Again, Poland’s military might doesn’t translate into political influence in Europe because the centrist forces that dominate the EU distrust Warsaw, which is controlled by the nationalist Law and Justice Party whose disregard for democratic norms and the rule of law has damaged Poland’s reputation across the bloc. Above all, Poland has reason to be worried about the reliability of Washington. Going forward, Polish leadership’s concern, paradoxically, will be that Donald Trump may not return as president in 2024. Despite the cooperation with the Pentagon over the Ukraine war, Poland’s current leadership remains distrustful of President Joe Biden — much like Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

On balance, therefore, it stands to reason that the sabre-rattling by Lukashenko and Putin’s lesson on European history can be taken as more of a forewarning to the West with a view to modulate an endgame in Ukraine that is optimal for Russian interests. A dismemberment of Ukraine or an uncontrollable expansion of the war beyond its borders will not be in the Russian interests. But the Kremlin leadership will factor in the contingency that Washington’s follies stemming out of its desperate need to save face from a humiliating defeat in the proxy war, may leave no choice to the Russian forces but to cross the Dnieper and advance all the way to Poland’s border to prevent an occupation of Western Ukraine by the so-called Lublin Triangle, a regional alliance with virulent anti-Russian orientation comprising Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, formed in July 2020 and promoted by Washington.

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Article is bits and pieces thrown together, but still interesting.

Major Advancements For Russia, Ukraine On Its Last Legs – Macgregor (WF)

The same people driving this war in Eastern Europe and Ukraine are the people dominating the financial markets, dominating media and ultimately shaping policy for our government.. Government by donors. This is entirely a function of people with a lot of money. – Douglas MacGregor Ret. Col. Douglas Macgregor: “[Putin] represents, in the minds of many people around the world, someone who has decided to challenge not just American military and political hegemony, but American and Western financial hegemony.

Macgregor

The World Bank and associated institutions have effectively been puppets for the US… We talk all the time about the Chinese supposedly blackmailing people by lending them lots of money and then holding them accountable. Well, we do the same thing, only we do it in more subtle ways that are actually more damaging to the society, because we’re very intrusive… The bottom line is this is a new era that is coming, and they’ve already got 40 plus nations willing to join this new currency. India, China and Russia, of course, are at the center of this, at the core of it. And this is seen as a rebellion against our financial dominance. That has been so, from their standpoint, certainly destructive in so many ways for so long.”

WAKE UP: If Russia was the aggressor against Ukraine, the situation would be different now, and we would see Russians on the borders of Poland after they destroyed Ukraine, but this did not happen, because the Russians do not want this. – Col. Douglas Macgregor “It’s stupid to threaten Russia with nuclear weapons,” – said Douglas Macgregor, ex-adviser to the head of the Pentagon. “The Russians can flood the Atlantic with their submarines, as well as the Pacific Ocean, where they will be supported by the Chinese Navy..”

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They’re no longer strong.

Even Strong Western Economies Turn Into Colonies – Zakharova (TASS)

Even economically strong and developed Western countries have turned into colonies, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday. “Western countries, even strong and developed economies, have become colonies,” the diplomat noted, addressing a Russian-African women’s forum. “The most interesting thing is that European Union nations and NATO countries have already become neo-colonies. They are economically strong; they have a long history of democratic development, and many have given birth to democratic freedoms in the past. However, today, they are not just dependent, but they are completely subordinate to the will of their metropolis – that is, the Anglo-Saxon world – in terms of the economy, politics and morality.


However, the world is unwilling to follow the old path, get back on the same old track and repeat the same mistakes,” she added. “We are not only fighting for ourselves; we are fighting for the future of the world, deciding whether it will be a free world or we will return to the colonial past,” Zakharova noted. Still, the diplomat pointed out that Russia and Africa weren’t ready to sacrifice freedom for material benefits the way some Western countries did. “Although we appreciate material welfare, there are more important things. Welfare turns against humans when there is no internal freedom, free will, and an understanding of what’s good and bad,” Zakharova emphasized.

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How about Russia?

Who Can Give Security Guarantees To Ukraine? (MoA)

In 2013 the European Union pressed the Ukraine to sign a free trade agreement with it. Russia, which was the biggest trading partner of Ukraine, made a counter offer that was financially better and had less political restrictions attached to it. Then President Victor Yanukovych of Ukraine had to reject the EU agreement. The U.S., together with the German secret service BND, had long standing ties with the right-wing groups in west-Ukraine which had previously cooperated with Nazi Germany and had been attached to the German Nazi-Wehrmacht. The CIA reactivated these groups and instigated a violent color-revolution in Kiev. That revolution led to a civil war as large parts of the ethic Russians in east Ukraine rejected the new regime that had been installed by a west Ukrainian minority.

While the ethnic Russians in Ukraine lost control over most of their original areas they also soon defeated what was left of the Ukraine army. They did so twice. Since 2015 the conflict was stalled. The Minsk agreements, under which Ukraine was supposed to became federalized, were signed, but Ukraine stalled their implementation. Meanwhile the U.S. and Britain used the time to reinstate and rearm the Ukrainian army. By 2021 the Ukraine was ready to attack the People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. Russia activated its army and warned that it would have to interfere with such plans. The imminent launch of an Ukrainian attack was called off. In early 2022 the U.S. gave the Ukrainians a green light to launch their long planned attack. Russia intervened and the current war started.

The U.S. plans behind the war expected that the pre-coordinated western sanctions that immediately followed would ruin Russia, that Russia would be shunned by the rest of the world and that a military defeat of the Russian army would lead to regime change in Moscow. The Ukraine expected that, after winning a war against its separatists, it would immediately become a member of NATO. Neither of the (totally unrealistic) expectations was met. The Ukraine is now obviously losing the war. It will soon need to sign a capitulation like ceasefire agreement with Russia. But who or what can guarantee that any such agreement will be held up? NATO membership is no longer an option.

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Whose are they?

IAEA Discovers Anti-Personnel Mines Near Zaporozhye Nuke Plant (TASS)

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have observed directional anti-personnel mines on the periphery of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), the agency’s Director General Rafael Grossi said. According to him, while inspecting the site on July 23, the IAEA experts saw some mines located in a buffer zone between the site’s internal and external perimeter barriers. The experts reported that the mines were in a restricted area that plant personnel cannot access. No mines were discovered within the site. “As I have reported earlier, the IAEA has been aware of the previous placement of mines outside the site perimeter and also at particular places inside. Our team has raised this specific finding with the plant and they have been told that it is a military decision, and in an area controlled by military,” Grossi said.

According to him, “having such explosives on the site is inconsistent with the IAEA safety standards and nuclear security guidance.” That said, the IAEA experts concluded that “any detonation of these mines should not affect the site’s nuclear safety and security systems.” On June 22, ahead of Grossi’s visit to Russia, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Russia of plotting a terror attack on the Zaporozhye NPP. He said as much to the United States, Brazil, India, China, European, Middle East and African countries but provided no evidence to back up his allegation.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov refuted these allegations as yet another lie. According to Renat Karchaa, adviser to the CEO of Russian state nuclear power corporation Rosenergoatom, Zelensky’s statements may indicate that Kiev is plotting a terror attack or a strike on the ZNPP in a bid to drag NATO into the conflict. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said on June 23 that Russia was alarmed over Kiev’s repeated allegations that Russian forces were mining the nuclear facility.

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And they don’t produce enough to replace them.

NATO Countries Using Ukraine to Get Rid of Outdated Weapons (Sp.)

NATO countries have been pumping weapons into Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict with Russia, but most of them are outdated and have been mothballed for decades, military expert and former high-ranking NATO artillery officer Pierre Henrot told Sputnik. “NATO countries in fact only send their oldest equipment to Ukraine and take the opportunity to replenish their armament for their armies with new generations of equipment. Examples abound: the Poles, who are the most committed alongside Ukraine, to the point that they are talking about entering western Ukraine themselves, provided very early [on] all their Soviet-era tanks to the Ukrainians and have just received for the Polish army a first contingent of American Abrams tanks, brand new and manufactured for them,” Henrot said.

Other countries have also provided decommissioned equipment, including 88 German Leopard 1 tanks that were withdrawn from arsenals in 2003, and French AMX 10-RC light tanks that were developed in the 1970s and have been decommissioned by the French army as well, the former officer added. “The worst is probably the delivery by France of VAB armoured infantry vehicles (Vehicules de l’Avant Blindes), in a four-wheeled version, which invariably gets bogged down in the autumn mud. Entering service in 1979, it has proven to be a rolling coffin for Ukrainian infantry over the past year,” the expert further explained. Some countries, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania, also sent Ukraine all their Soviet MiG or Sukhoi fighters, he said.

Another problem with such ragtag deliveries is that the spare parts and ammunition for such weapons are often different and incompatible with one another, Henrot pointed out. “It is as if the NATO partners were getting rid of their outdated weapons, already mothballed,” the former officer said. However, some of Western military aid is useful for the Ukrainian military, and of good quality, the expert noted, adding that it is usually equipment for small arms, bulletproof vests and night sight systems, as well as US-made Stingers and Javelins. “Where the Americans provided suitable and effective weapons, it was with the 2,000 portable anti-aircraft Stingers delivered or with the 10,000 Javelin anti-armor weapons provided; formidable weapons in the hands of infantrymen. It is the same for the NLAW [Next Generation Light AntiTank Weapons], a useful weapon on the battlefield,” he stated.

At the same time, the Western countries often lack sufficient capacities to produce weapons required by the Ukrainian military, Henrot mentioned. “NATO countries fail to keep up with the production of ammunition for artillery and even for small arms. Again, the variety of calibres is very large; it’s a headache, but above all, there are not enough production chains, and industrialists are reluctant to launch production units for an effort that could stop quite quickly, and they have not received a firm long-term contract from Western governments,” the expert explained. Henrot believes that the recent widely criticized decision of the United States to send cluster bombs to Ukraine is the demonstration of the same problem. “The Americans for their part have almost openly admitted that it was their last ammo in stock and that they have nothing left to deliver,” Henrot concluded.

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“The Polish authorities, who are nurturing their revanchist ambitions, hide the truth from their people. The truth is that the Ukrainian cannon fodder is no longer enough for the West.”

The Polish Response To Putin’s Challenge (Helmer)

[Putin] warned that President Vladimir Zelensky’s regime in Kiev may be contemplating a trade with Poland of the territory around Lvov in exchange for Polish military intervention to support Kiev against Russia: “Today we see that the regime in Kiev is ready to go to any length to save its treacherous hide and to prolong its existence. They do not care for the people of Ukraine or Ukrainian sovereignty or national interests. They are ready to sell anything, including people and land, just like their ideological forefathers led by Petlyura, who signed the so-called secret conventions with Poland in 1920 under which they ceded Galicia and Western Volhynia to Poland in return for military support. Traitors like them are ready now to open the gate to their foreign handlers and to sell Ukraine again.”

“As for the Polish leaders, they probably hope to form a coalition under the NATO umbrella in order to directly intervene in the conflict in Ukraine and to bite off as much as possible, to ‘regain’, as they see it, their historical territories, that is, modern-day Western Ukraine. It is also common knowledge that they dream about Belarusian land.” If that were to happen, Putin said Russia would support a Ukrainian regime replacing Zelensky and opposing the Poles. “The Polish authorities, who are nurturing their revanchist ambitions, hide the truth from their people. The truth is that the Ukrainian cannon fodder is no longer enough for the West. That is why it is planning to use other expendables – Poles, Lithuanians and everyone else they do not care about. I can tell you that this is an extremely dangerous game, and the authors of such plans should think about the consequences.”

The Polish state media have ignored Putin’s historical precedents and the deal-making underway between the Ukrainian military command and its Polish counterpart. The Polish commercial network TVN24, which is owned by the US media corporation Warner Bros. Discovery, broadcast a discussion with a think-tank academic and a retired military intelligence colonel. “‘The Russians are trying to drive a wedge between Poland and Ukraine,’ Agnieszka Legucka, an analyst for Russia at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, said in the Fakty po Faktach [Facts after Facts] programme. ‘Putin has recently been portraying himself as such an expert in history. Anyway, in 2019 he launched attacks on Poland, in particular when it comes to this historical dimension. He accused us of starting World War II,’ she said.

‘And Poland now, especially when it supports Ukraine so much both militarily and humanely, has become one of the countries that is attacked by the Russian authorities directly, including Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev.’ According to the expert, the Russians ‘are trying to drive a wedge between Poland and Ukraine. And the issue of the alleged separation of Ukraine and even Belarus is very eagerly raised by both Russian and Belarusian propaganda,’ she added.”

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“..if that document is true, who wants to believe that President Zelensky and his administration have not used that as leverage over Joe Biden..”

Zelensky Associate Was Present at Biden Bribery Meetings (GP)

Author Peter Schweizer went on with Jesse Watters on Monday night where he proceeded to drop another bomb on the Biden Crime Family. According to Schweizer, who wrote a best-seller “Secret Empires” on the Biden Family crimes, told Jesse that one of Vlodomyr Zelensky’s top officials was sitting in the room when they were discussing bribing the Bidens, Joe and Hunter. Ukrainian President Zelensky has a top official who was sitting in on meetings where they talked about bribing the Bidens. Schweizer suggests Zelensky is using this as leverage over the Biden regime for weapons and billions in US dollars. Peter Schweizer: We’ve been at this since 2018. ** They initially said there were no foreign deals. ** Then they shifted and said there were. There might have been foreign deals, but the Bidens made no money. ** Then it became Joe Biden didn’t know about any of the deals. ** Then it became Joe Biden didn’t participate in any of the deals. ** And now it’s that he was not in business with his son.


Look, the implications for this are huge, Jesse. If you look at that 1023 form that the FBI released, if that document is true, that document reveals that one of the people that was at those meetings that heard the conversations about bribing the Bidens worked for – President Zelensky. Who really wants to believe, if that meeting took place and that document is accurate, that that individual did not go and report to President Zelensky what he heard? And again, if that document is true, who wants to believe that President Zelensky and his administration have not used that as leverage over Joe Biden when it comes to negotiations on Ukraine policy? We may all have to start learning the Ukrainian word for compromise because this is a very clear indication of how this has shaped this administration’s policy towards Ukraine and also towards China. It is also convenient for Zelensky that there is not a team of US auditors in his country tracking where all of this money went.

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“Biden cured cancer in the same way that he marched for civil rights, was arrested trying to see Nelson Mandela, grew up in the black church, was raised in the Puerto Rican community, was a professor at UPenn, built the greatest economy in the world, and never spoke to his son about business..”

Biden Claims To Have ‘Ended Cancer’ (RT)

During a speech on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden seemed to claim that his administration had cured cancer. “I said I’d cure cancer. They looked at me like, ‘Why cancer’? Because no one thinks we can. That’s why. And we can. We ended cancer as we know it,” Biden said during a speech in the East Room of the White House. Biden was scheduled to speak about expanding Americans’ access to mental health care. After the cancer remark, he continued to talk about healthcare for military veterans, which is run by the federal government. The strange claim was quickly noticed by Republicans, who have often accused the 80-year-old Democrat of behaving as if afflicted by dementia. “Biden just told everyone that he cured cancer. I feel like that would have at least gotten a press release,” quipped Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado.

“Biden cured cancer in the same way that he marched for civil rights, was arrested trying to see Nelson Mandela, grew up in the black church, was raised in the Puerto Rican community, was a professor at UPenn, built the greatest economy in the world, and never spoke to his son about business,” tweeted Texas activist Christian Collins. Those were just some of the claims Biden had made over his 50-year political career that turned out to be tall tales. The longtime Democrat also has a history of misspeaking in public. Just last week, he introduced himself as an artificial intelligence. The week before, in Europe, he urged Russia to “stop attacking Russia.” Earlier this month, he also claimed that Moscow was “losing the war in Iraq.”


Biden’s elder son Beau passed away in 2015 from an aggressive brain cancer, which his father has publicly attributed to “burn pits,” a method used by the US military to dispose of garbage. Beau Biden was reportedly exposed to the toxic pits during his 2008 deployment in Iraq as a military lawyer, and earlier as a contractor in Kosovo. In February 2022, Biden announced a government program to find a cure for cancer, dubbing it a re-launch of the Obama administration’s 2016 ‘Cancer Moonshot’. The new program’s goal was to “reduce the cancer death rate by half within 25 years and improve the lives of people with cancer and cancer survivors,” according to the National Cancer Institute. In March this year, Biden had surgery to remove from his chest a “small skin lesion” that had “basal cell carcinoma,” according to the White House physician.

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I think I count 8 reported cases. In 4 months. Madness.

Biden’s Dog Attacks 8 White House Staffers in Cover-Up (Sp.)

Commander, President Joe Biden’s soon-to-be two-year canine, has been implicated in seven biting assaults within four months, attacking Secret Service and White House personnel, reports have claimed. A series of alarming occurrences featuring Commander have emerged, all of which were kept undisclosed until now. These incidents are reminiscent of attacks associated with Major, whom the White House claimed was handed over to the president’s close acquaintances in 2021 due to his biting spree. On November 3, Commander was at the center of a serious biting incident when he attacked a Secret Service uniformed officer, inflicting injuries on the arm and thigh before the victim was hospitalized.

The details of this incident were brought to public attention when relevant emails were disclosed to the conservative legal organization Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act. In another occurrence, Commander, broke the skin of another Secret Service member’s hand and arm. Additionally, Commander bit a security technician at President Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, the following month. “This is a special sort of craziness and corruption where a president would allow his dog to repeatedly attack and bite Secret Service and White House personnel. And rather than protect its agents, the Secret Service tried to illegally hide documents about the abuse of its agents and officers by the Biden family,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton noted. Reports suggest that Biden doubted the claims about Major attacking a Secret Service agent. Moreover, the White House has not revealed any biting events implicating Commander.

According to the reported emails, agents disclosed a series of incidents that occurred discreetly. On October 3, 2022, near the East Wing garden, Commander “inflicted a ‘friendly soft bite’ on [a Secret Service agent’s] forearm as [he] held the door open,” regardless “no skin was broken from the bite.” On the morning of October 5, 2022, the first recorded incident involved Commander hopping on an emergency response technician on the grounds of the presidential villa and biting their “arm/wrist area.” On November 10, a Secret Service Uniformed Division officer was bitten on the left thigh as First Lady Jill Biden walked Commander in the Kennedy Garden near the East Wing. Media sources reveal that the officer reported experiencing “bruising, tenderness, and pain” in the bite area. On November 14, one other Secret Service officer recounted an incident via email where they had to defend themselves as Commander charged toward them.

The officer described grabbing a black chair they were sitting on, making eye contact with the dog, and backing away to avoid being attacked. On December 11, Commander bit a Secret Service special agent in the Presidential Protective Division. This event transpired after the president yanked Commander’s leash following a movie. The agent reported being double-bitten, first on the arm with a 1.5cm cut and lesions, and a 1cm cut on their hand and thumb sustained from a second bite. On December 16, another Secret Service member was attacked and inflicted with canine bites, as indicated in a workplace injury form available to media sources. “I was walking across the complex, and a dog bit my left arm,” the officer wrote, expressing the wound as “Dog bite, superficial laceration, contusion, soreness, and bruising.”

On 2022’s Christmas Eve, a Secret Service inspector notified colleagues that another officer had been wounded at [undisclosed location] the day before. The inspector’s email cited that nearly every official in the room discussed specific incidents involving the First Family’s dog. On January 2 this year, an agency technical security investigator was the victim of an attack while responding to an alarm at the president’s Wilmington residence, frequently visited during weekends. “Commander squeezed his way through the door and immediately bit/latched onto the lower right side of my back,” the attack victim emailed. “These shocking records raise fundamental questions about President Biden and the Secret Service,” Fitton remarked.

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“The answer remains the same. The president was never in business with his son.”

That’s not “the same”. It is a big change from “I never talked to him about his business”.

Biden Changes Long-Standing Position on Hunter’s Foreign Deals (Turley)

Starting with his campaign for the presidency and continuing until this week, President Joe Biden has maintained one clear and consistent position on his son’s influence peddling schemes. As a virtual mantra, Biden — and the White House staff — have categorically maintained that he had no knowledge of any foreign dealings of his son. That has been proven to be a lie, but Biden continued to maintain the position. Yet, on the eve of the testimony of a key Biden associate, the White House has changed its position. Now the President is only claiming that he was “not in business” with his son.Some of us have written multiple columns over the last four years arguing that the President was clearly and knowingly lying in his denials of knowledge and discussions of these deals. Even when he made the statement, it was clearly untrue but most of the media shrugged and happily walked away.

Then the evidence began to mount. The laptop includes pictures and appointments of Hunter’s foreign business associates with Joe Biden. There is also a recording of Joe Biden discussing a Times report on Dec. 12, 2018, detailing Hunter’s dealings with Ye Jianming, the head of CEFC China Energy Company. He assures his son that “I think you’re clear” after lawyers worked on the New York Times before the story ran. There is also a recording of his uncle James assuring Hunter that he and his father were going to arrange for “safe harbor” for him as his world began to collapse. Then there is the July 30, 2017 Whatsapp message from Hunter Biden to one of his Chinese associates, Henry Zhao, the director of Harvest Fund Management and Communist Party official. Zhao was funneling money to Hunter’s firm BHR Partners. Hunter is quoted as writing:

“I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.” Nevertheless, the White House has maintained the total denial . . . until this week before the testimony of Devon Archer. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked by Fox News journalist Gillian Turner:

“Chairman James Comer today says that the Oversight Committee has evidence that the president in the past communicated directly with foreign business associates of his son Hunter Biden many times. Curious if the White House and the president still stand behind his comment that he’s never been involved and has never even spoken to his son about his business?” The response from Jean-Pierre was surprising: “So, I’ve been I’ve been asked this question a million times. The answer is not going to change. The answer remains the same. The president was never in business with his son. I just don’t have anything else to add.” It takes an utter contempt for the intelligence of the public to insist that “the answer remains the same” and then give an entirely new answer. However, that is only if most of the public is informed of the contradiction. None of the media in the White House press corp followed up on Turner’s questions when Jean-Pierre immediately moved on.

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“[Hunter Biden] was money laundering. He was racketeering. He committed wire fraud. He violated the Mann Act. The list goes on and on and on..”

Hunter’s plea deal covers two years of tax evasion. But “IRS agents saw evidence that the first son was engaged in tax evasion that “stretched back two decades.”

Hunter Biden’s Memoir Became Source of Tax Evasion Evidence (Sp.)

US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent Joseph Ziegler, who was known only as “Whistleblower X” in the Hunter Biden tax case prior to his testimony at the House Oversight Committee last Wednesday, said that some of the alleged tax evasion schemes in which Hunter Biden reportedly engaged in were detailed in his 2021 work, “Beautiful Things: A Memoir.” As per Ziegler, the opus showed that some of the expenses described by Hunter were for personal choices and not corporate benefit. “That’s almost the biggest component of this that I don’t think that the general public understands: You have statements being made in a book that are talking about going out to California, leaving your life and then going to start this new life. Yet, on your tax return you’re essentially stating things that are completely different,” Ziegler told the John Solomon Reports podcast.

The whistleblower said he and IRS supervisory agent Gary Shapley, also known as the first IRS whistleblower in Hunter Biden’s case, are gathering more documents to provide to Congress. The trove reportedly includes WhatsApp messages in addition to the one made public from 2017 in which Hunter invoked his father’s name to force his Chinese associate into forking out large sums of money. The whistleblower said there is evidence of US President Joe Biden’s association in the Hunter tax case. Earlier, the president repeatedly denied being related to his son’s business dealing or knowing anything about them. Ziegler told the media outlet that a family friend named Rob Walker told the FBI that then-Vice President Joe Biden attended a meeting with the Chinese executives, and that his son deducted as a business expense a hotel room in father’s name.

Ziegler highlighted his team was prevented from finding out whether Joe Biden actually used the room or was present at the hotel. “But what I think it’s important to know is that that was a deduction that was taken on Hunter’s tax return,” he said. Moreover, per the whistleblower, IRS agents saw evidence that the first son was engaged in tax evasion that “stretched back two decades.” “In my transcript, I talked about certain issues that Hunter had, I think, going back to the early 2000s,” he said.

In June, the younger Biden struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors on two minor tax crimes and a gun case. However, Republican congressmen said they are determined to get to the bottom of Hunter’s alleged crimes. Last week, House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer said he expects to file “between six and 10 criminal referrals” with the Justice Department related to Hunter after the congressional probe is completed.
“[Hunter Biden] was money laundering. He was racketeering. He committed wire fraud. He violated the Mann Act. The list goes on and on and on,” Comer alleged.

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Devon Archer is scheduled to testify on Friday. Will that happen? Will he be alive?

Members and the Media Panic as the Biden Scandal Mounts (Turley)

Now, Archer is expected to testify that Joe Biden participated in actual telephone calls with them. That will allow investigators to build further on the foundation Goldman laid. Archer will join other witnesses like Hunter’s business associate Tony Bobulinski, who said that he sat down with Joe Biden to discuss the deals. Bobulinski was instructed by Biden associate James Gilliar not to speak of the former veep’s connection to any transactions. No matter the severity of the revelations, the liberal media calls the investigations a “clown show.” Others have continued to tell the public that there remain no alleged ties from Hunter to President Biden despite emails, pictures and witness testimony. Yet it is becoming harder and harder to avoid these details.

With the possible testimony of Hunter’s business associates, the only hope is that Republicans might be convinced to “move on.” What was most notable about the question to Christie was the reference to the plea bargain. A year ago, I wrote a column on how the political and media establishment would likely use a “scandal implosion” approach as the evidence mounted over the corruption allegations. After the Democrats lost the House, there was a need to cap off the scandal and I suggested that the Justice Department would secure a light plea on a couple tax counts with little or no jail time. Members and the media would then declare the scandal closed and demand that we all “move on.” It is unnerving to see how the response unfolded so precisely as predicted. Members made repeated reference to the plea bargain to avoid further discussion.

Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D.-Md.) was positively irate that “We are doing this all over again for the Hunter Biden show to someone who has pleaded guilty and has taken responsibility for not filing taxes for two years. This is ludicrous. Beam me up, Scotty. There’s no intelligent life down here. None.” He then tore up papers in disgust. Members and the media were literally citing a plea bargain as dispositive, even as two lead investigators were saying it was fixed and politically influenced. Some in the media attacked these two IRS veterans as “so-called whistleblowers” (just as members previously attacked “so called journalists” for discussing censorship records). Others insisted that the allegations were still “unproven” or “unverified” while showing the same lack of interest in establishing the truth. Notably, these same media outlets did wall-to-wall coverage of the false Russian collusion claims in the Steele dossier.

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There’s a lot of X’s out there.

Twitter Rebrand to ‘X’ Fraught With Permit, Trademark Issues (DeMartino)

Later Sunday night, the logo began appearing in place of the social media site’s iconic bird logo for some users on some platforms. While the old Twitter branding remains for some users on some platforms, Musk promised in a Tweet (or an “X”) that the old branding would soon be gone completely. “And soon we shall bid adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds,” Musk wrote. Musk also changed his profile picture and the profile picture of the official “Twitter” account to the site’s new logo. X.com also now redirects to Twitter.com. X users responded to the delayed signage removal and the rebrand in general with a mix of mocking and indifference, while others took the opportunity to dunk on the city of San Francisco.

At present, there is also a question of whether the “X” branding is even available for Musk to use for social media sites. Both Microsoft and Meta* hold trademarks of “X.” The Meta patent lists the service as potentially “providing interactive websites featuring technology that enable online users to create personal profiles” that users can use “for broadcasting, transmitting, receiving, accessing, viewing, uploading, downloading, sharing, integrating, encoding, decoding, displaying, formatting, organizing, storing, caching, transferring and streaming of data, text, games, game content, digital media, images, music, audio, video and animations.” Another listed use for the Meta trademark of X includes “online social networking services.”

Microsoft’s patent, first filed in 2002, lists “on-line chatrooms” and “electronic bulletin boards” for users to share messages about video games and an online video game storefront. Both patents, particularly the Meta one, which seems related to a social media site, could cause legal problems for Musk, who has been in an online feud with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Musk has threatened to sue Meta for launching an X competitor called “Threads” and the two floated a potential cage fight being aired on Pay-Per-View.

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“Musk foresees these payment capabilities potentially becoming half of the global financial system.”

Musk: ‘X Will Become Most Valuable Brand on Earth’ (Sp.)

The rebranding of Twitter to “X” was announced over the weekend and near instantly began to face varying hurdles, from potential legal challenges to a barrage of criticism from users thrown off by the platform’s redesign. Some forecasts indicated the change could result in billions’ worth in losses for the firm’s value. Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of companies Tesla and SpaceX, announced his confidence in the success of X social media on Tuesday, vowing that the Twitter rebrand would make the platform the “most valuable brand on Earth.” Musk’s statement came in response to a US media article that estimated the rebranding could potentially decrease Twitter’s value by $4 billion to $20 billion.

Nevertheless, Musk remains undeterred, envisioning “X” as a comprehensive communication platform that also offers robust financial transactions. The potential integration of payment systems into Twitter/X has sparked speculation that users may soon be able to send and receive money directly through the platform. Musk foresees these payment capabilities potentially becoming half of the global financial system. While specific details about the payment systems have not been revealed, Musk emphasized the importance of executing them correctly for the magnum opus of Twitter/X to become a reality, noting his intentions to revolutionize the financial world. Linda Yaccarino, Twitter’s new CEO, has expressed enthusiasm about the transformation and hinted at more changes to come, signaling the company is just getting started.

Under Yaccarino’s leadership, the platform aims to fulfill its immense potential and meet the expectations of fans and critics alike. Since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, Musk has embarked on a series of changes to enhance the user experience and drive innovation on the platform. The rebranding to “X” was the latest in a series of moves aimed at revitalizing Twitter and positioning it as a leader in the ever-evolving social media landscape. With popular platforms such as TikTok vying for users’ attention, critics have underscored that the success of Musk’s rebranding strategy will undoubtedly face challenges as the viability of company’s future remains uncertain.

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Plimer

 

 

Viper
https://twitter.com/i/status/1683884068000215044

 

 

Peacock

 

 

Idolomantis diabolica
https://twitter.com/i/status/1683874828694982657

 

 


The exact moment the sunlight penetrates the wings of a Black and white Jacobin hummingbird revealing a secret of nature that cannot be seen with our eyes. No digital manipulation. IG: christianspencerphoto

 

 

Metallica
https://twitter.com/i/status/1683773227389140992

 

 

 

 

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