Jun 122022
 
 June 12, 2022  Posted by at 8:27 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  26 Responses »


Caravaggio The seven works of mercy (Sette opere di Misericordia) 1607

 

Pitchforks Soon In Europe? (Vilches)
No Ammo, More Casualties, Thin Lines, Propaganda And Passing The Buck (MoA)
Biden Throws Zelensky Under The Bus (ZH)
Ukraine Slams Biden’s Comments on Zelensky Not Heeding Warnings (NW)
Ukraine Fears It Might Lose Western Support Over ‘War Fatigue’ (Antiwar)
EU Will Likely Grant Ukraine Candidate Status To Join Bloc – Von Der Leyen (G.)
Pentagon Finally Admits Running 46 Biolabs In Ukraine (GGI)
The Warmonger’s Legacy (CGTN)
How The Jan. 6 Committee Undermined Its Own Legitimacy (Turley)
Comey Lied to Congress’ ‘Gang of 8’ Over Russiagate (Sperry)
Biden’s Homeland Secretary Lied Under Oath About Disinformation Board (ET)
Smoking (AGAIN): It’s NOT Transitory (Denninger)
Britain’s Dire Economic Outlook (O.)
A New Molecule That Kills Even The Deadliest Cancer (IE)
Headwind2 – The Debate – Malone and Vanden Bossche (Headwind)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stunt

 

 

 

 

“It´d be plenty enough for Russia to just shut off your nat-gas supply, period. And not even to the whole of Europe.”

Pitchforks Soon In Europe? (Vilches)

Dear Europeans For your own children´s sake — on my knees and with my saddened eyes humbly looking downwards — I beg of you to please stop the current self-destructive nonsense dead in its tracks by immediately demanding from your political class to import the bloody Russian oil normally once again as Europe had been doing for dozens of years. The impact that the ban on Russian oil has upon your daily lives now and for years yonder is such that at the very least a Referendum should have been held. But it was not, and without consultation, the EU leadership acted on their own. Please be advised that the EU un-elected brass simply does not represent you or your needs. They were all voted amongst themselves into their positions like members of a committee in a private country club.

If left unchecked, EU politicians will now continue misrepresenting you and, on your behalf — with your hard-earned assets and livelihoods – will keep on picking a most unnecessary and prolonged armed conflict with Russia, eventually forcing upon you a total war scenario where chances play out all very strongly against you, with Russia probably resulting unscathed. European leaders crave for their war, so they can´t think of a better way to provoke it than by applying ever larger and ´meaner´ sanctions on Russia as if (a) sanctions were effective and (b) as if Europe could win such war (not). Accordingly, we now have yet another set of spanking new EU “sanctions” in package No. 6 that will eventually backfire flat on Europe´s face – like all the others — such as banning the insurance and financing of oil tankers that carry Russian oil. Accordingly, the EU is now trying its very best to

(1) bankrupt the successful Western oil tanker insurance business by reducing the number of participants
(2) induce higher shipping and insurance costs worldwide by reducing the number of participants
(3) foster the development of yet another Russian import substitution service namely oil tanker insurance & financing
(4) seriously hinder the world´s economy by not allowing deliveries of any oil tankers carrying Russian oil anywhere (EU or non-EU) thus cutting off some 15% of the world´s oil supply from the world market and necessarily sending its price yet higher with yet more EU-induced inflation as if we had not had enough already, please brace for it.
(5) force the construction of a new Russian-Chinese-Indian oil tanker fleet leaving idle part of today´s fleet
(6) tempt Russia to embargo strategic value-chain upstream items with captive consumers cascading into multiple failures thru lack of nat-gas, rare earths, inert gases, potash, sulfur, uranium, palladium, vanadium, cobalt, coke, etc.

Russia does not need to fire a single shot or land a single missile on European territories to win such a total war. Think tanks in Europe and elsewhere know this but say nothing. It´d be plenty enough for Russia to just shut off your nat-gas supply, period. And not even to the whole of Europe. It could possibly be to only, say, some limited area in Germany. But you need not put up with any of this. Europe should already have learned from history books and its generals not to underestimate or discriminate against Russia. Let alone cheat on it repeatedly as Europe has done since the downfall of the former Soviet Union. Yet again, history will not be kind to anyone directly or indirectly involved, including yourselves.

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“Zelensky did not listen to us and he didn’t inform us how bad the war was going,” will become the standard line as soon as the Ukrainian army is on the run.”

No Ammo, More Casualties, Thin Lines, Propaganda And Passing The Buck (MoA)

To match Russia’s 50,000 rounds per day, with each round weighing 50 kilograms, some 2,500 metric tons of ammunition would have to be moved per day from Ukraine’s western border to the east. After reaching some railhead in the east they would have to be loaded on some 350 trucks to be distributed while being under fire from long ranging Russian weapons. This would have to happen each and every day. The U.S. has large depots of ammunition but even those would be emptied within a few month if no large scale production of new rounds would be happening. Munition production is usually done only on a small but steady scale of a few hundred rounds per week. The west would have to scale up production to allow for the supply Ukraine would need to match Russia.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense Ukraine’s artillery has lost 506 multiple launch rocket systems and 1,859 field artillery and mortars since the beginning of the war. The daily reported number of pieces hit have changed over time from 50+ per day to now single digits. The total numbers in the Russia report are too high (as they usually are in similar ‘western’ reports). They amount to more than what the Ukraine had at the start of the war. But we can safely guess that more than 90% of Ukraine’s guns and missile systems have been destroyed. Meanwhile the ‘west’ has promised the Ukraine some 200 gun and some 50 missile systems. Half of those are former soviet types. The other half are newer and need ‘western’ ammunition. They seem to arrive only in trickles.

The U.S. has send some 100 M-777 lightweight howitzers. Only a few have been seen at the front in the east and some were already destroyed there. Others are used to fire on non-military targets in Donetsk city. We can guess where the rest is. The M-777 is lightweight (4.2 metric tons) because it is largely made from titanium which has a ten times higher scrap value than steel. Some entrepreneurs in Ukraine’s west seem to have found that recycling the guns (or selling them elsewhere) is of more value than sending them to the east where they would surely be destroyed within a few days. Ten days ago the Ukrainian comedian and president Zelensky had admitted that some 60 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are getting killed per day. That number was highly qualified and an advisor to Zelensky has now doubled it:

“A senior Ukrainian presidential aide has told the BBC that between 100 and 200 Ukrainian troops are being killed on the front line every day. Mykhaylo Podolyak said Ukraine needed hundreds of Western artillery systems to level the playing field with Russia in the eastern Donbas region.” The real numbers are certainly higher than anything the Zelensky regime will ever admit. In a World War I like artillery dominated conflict (but without gas attacks) the number of wounded to dead is historically some 4 to 1 with one of the wounded additionally dying later from his wounds. This historic ‘sanitation deaths’ rate of wounded later dying from their wounds has since been halved by the use of antibiotics. But in Ukraine it may well be higher than usual in modern wars as its medical infrastructure is in a quite bad shape and as many medical personnel have fled the country.

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This is no coincidence. They’re looking to save face.

Biden Throws Zelensky Under The Bus (ZH)

President Joe Biden on Friday told a donors conference in Los Angeles, California on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky brushed aside US warnings saying a Russian invasion of Ukraine was imminent. He described of the situation ahead of the Feb.24 invasion and his communications with Zelensky, according to The Associated Press: “Nothing like this has happened since World War II. I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating,” Biden said, according to the outlet. He added the US had data that showed Russian President Vladimir Putin was going to invade. “There was no doubt,” Biden continued. “And Zelenskyy didn’t want to hear it.”

Biden in the fresh remarks admitted that the possibility of Putin launching a full-scale invasion may have seemed far-fetched at the time, acknowledging, “I understand why they didn’t want to hear it.” Top Ukrainian officials in the days and weeks prior to the invasion had pushed back against Washington, blaming the repeat warnings from US intelligence agencies for sowing “panic”. At that time, Zelensky had even personally told Biden to “calm down the messaging” on the invasion fears. Rarely does US intelligence take its classified assessments public in order to preemptively warn of action it predicts will occur. This highly unusual public stance also fueled widespread skepticism of the constant invasion warnings from the administration even among longtime Russia experts and observers.

It has since been revealed in recent testimony by US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines that Biden had taken the rare step of declassifying intelligence related to the prepared invasion in order to convince skeptical allies that it was likely going to happen. Down to the last days before the invasion, there was hope among many Western officials of an “off ramp” that might quickly de-escalate the situation amid the Russian and Belarusian troop build-up along Ukraine’s eastern and northern borders. Indeed this “off-ramp” might have come in the form of Ukraine and its backers pledging that the ex-Soviet state would never join NATO.

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“I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating and Zelensky didn’t want to hear it..”

Ukraine Slams Biden’s Comments on Zelensky Not Heeding Warnings (NW)

Aides to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have responded to Joe Biden’s comment that the Ukrainian president “didn’t want to hear” American warnings before Russia’s invasion. Speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Los Angeles on Friday, the president said that the U.S. knew before the start of the war on February 24 that Vladimir Putin was going “to go in, off the border.” “Nothing like this has happened since World War II,” Biden said, according to the Associated Press. “But I knew we had data” that showed Putin’s intent. “I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating and Zelensky didn’t want to hear it,” Biden added.

Zelensky’s spokesman Sergei Nikiforov said the Ukrainian leader had “three or four telephone conversations” with Biden before the war started, during which they discussed assessments of the situation in detail. “Therefore, the phrase ‘didn’t want to hear’ probably needs to be clarified,” Nikiforov told Russian-language Ukrainian news outlet LIGA.net. “In addition, if you remember, the president of Ukraine called on partners to introduce a package of preventive sanctions in order to encourage Russia to withdraw troops and de-escalate the situation. “Here we can already say that our partners ‘did not want to hear us,'” Nikiforov said.

Meanwhile, Zelensky’s adviser Mikhail Podolyak told the same news outlet that Biden’s comments were “not entirely true” and that Kyiv had been “well aware that Russia was developing various expansion scenarios.” “[Volodymyr] Zelensky always had relevant analytics on his desk, based on high-quality intelligence,” he said. “The president also carefully reacted to all the words and warnings of our partners.” Podolyak said that Ukraine understood that Russia was planning an invasion and was preparing for it. The question, he said, was over its scale. “It is absurd to blame a country that has been resisting a superior aggressor for more than 100 days when key countries were unable to prevent the Russian Federation [from invading],” he added.

Although Zelensky has been hailed around the world for his wartime leadership, there are question marks over his preparation for the war, the AP reported. Weeks before Putin invaded, Zelensky took exception to warnings by the Biden administration about a possible Russian invasion, fearing it would harm Ukraine’s economy. On Saturday, Zelensky told the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian security summit in Singapore that the war had consequences for the global order. “It is on the battlefields of Ukraine that the future rules of this world are being decided,” he said via video link. He also said that his country’s forces are facing fierce Russian attacks in the country’s east, particularly around the city of Severodonetsk.

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“Zelensky has made clear that his goal is to drive Russia out of the territory it has captured since February 24..”

Ukraine Fears It Might Lose Western Support Over ‘War Fatigue’ (Antiwar)

As the war in Ukraine drags on, Ukrainian officials fear that Kyiv might lose some Western support due to “war fatigue,” The Associated Press reported on Friday. The US and its allies have committed billions of dollars in weapons, but some Western European leaders have been calling for a negotiated solution to end the fighting, an idea Ukrainian officials have rejected. “The fatigue is growing, people want some kind of outcome [that is beneficial] for themselves, and we want [another] outcome for ourselves,” Zelensky said. The current situation on the battlefield is not looking good for Ukraine. An advisor to Zelensky said Thursday that they are losing between 100 and 200 troops each day as Russia continues to make slow but steady gains in the east.


Zelensky has made clear that his goal is to drive Russia out of the territory it has captured since February 24, which would require a massive military offensive. While there is some sentiment among European leaders for Ukraine to make concessions to Russia to achieve peace, top US and NATO officials are encouraging Ukraine to keep fighting. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said last week that Ukraine shouldn’t drop the goal of driving Russia out of all of its territory, including Crimea, which Russia has controlled since 2014. Stoltenberg also said last week that the Western military alliance should be prepared to support Ukraine for the “long haul.”

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Too much resistance. And it would end the EU if it incorporates such corruption.

EU Will Likely Grant Ukraine Candidate Status To Join Bloc – Von Der Leyen (G.)

The EU executive will next week make a recommendation on whether Ukraine should be given candidate status to join the bloc, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has said. Such a recommendation would be a preliminary step on a long road to full membership, and Ukraine would need the backing of all 27 EU governments before candidate status was given. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has been pushing for rapid admission into the EU to provide the country with more security since the Russian invasion. “We want to support Ukraine in its European journey,” Von der Leyen said in a joint press conference with Zelenskiy on a surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday. Heavy fighting is continuing in the eastern Donbas region, where Russia has been making incremental gains.

“The discussions today will enable us to finalise the assessment by the end of next week,” Von der Leyen added, saying that the Ukrainian authorities had “done a lot” towards a candidacy, but that there was “still need for reforms to be implemented, to fight corruption for example”. Speaking alongside Von der Leyen, Zelenskiy said that the EU’s decision on Ukraine would “determine” the future of Europe. “It is now being determined what the future of a united Europe will be, and whether there will be a future at all. A positive response from the European Union to the Ukrainian application will signify a positive answer to the question of whether the European project has a future at all,” he said. “All of Europe is a target for Russia, and Ukraine is just the first stage in this aggression,” he added.

Since Russia’s invasion on the 24 February, senior EU officials, including Von der Leyen, who was making her second trip to Kyiv since the start of the war, have spoken in favour of putting Ukraine on a speedy path to the EU accession by granting it candidate status. And while a number of EU states including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have backed these calls, there are still doubts in Berlin and Paris and other western European capitals over whether it is possible to begin the formal process already. On Thursday, Bloomberg, citing a diplomatic note, reported that Denmark believed Kyiv did not sufficiently fulfil the criteria to apply to join the EU, saying that the country “would need to fundamentally improve its legislative and institutional framework”.

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“46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades.”

i.e. they were already there when Yanukovich was president.

Pentagon Finally Admits Running 46 Biolabs In Ukraine (GGI)

In a recent document, the Pentagon admitted to running 46 biolabs in Ukraine but says they are peaceful efforts to improve nuclear and radiological safety and security, disease surveillance, chemical safety and security, and readiness to respond to epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19. According to the Pentagon, the US government has funded 46 biological research facilities in Ukraine over the last 20 years, but only as part of a peaceful public health endeavor rather than to develop weapons. Russia and China have been accused by the US military of “spreading disinformation and sowing mistrust” about its efforts to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In a document titled ‘Fact Sheet on WMD Threat Reduction Efforts,’ the US Department of Defense for the first time revealed the specific number of such facilities its government has sponsored in Ukraine.

According to the Pentagon, the US has “worked collaboratively to improve Ukraine’s biological safety, security, and disease surveillance for both human and animal health,” by providing support to “46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and disease diagnostic sites over the last two decades.” These programs have focused on “improving public health and agricultural safety measures at the nexus of nonproliferation.” The Pentagon insisted that the work of these biolabs was “often” carried out in collaboration with organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and that it was “consistent with international best practices and norms in publishing research results, partnering with international colleagues and multilateral organizations, and widely distributing their research and public health findings.”

Only three laboratories in Ukraine had the required safety criteria to undertake the type of research they were doing, according to the Russian military last month. Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, the head of the Radioactive, Chemical, and Biological Protection Forces, referenced Ukrainian government sources to point to a series of problems at one of those sites in Odessa, as an example. The Russian military has given evidence of the Pentagon’s role in funding laboratories in Ukraine in a series of briefings that began in March. Kirillov accused Kiev of carrying out “inhumane experiments” on Ukrainian patients and of launching a biological attack against the breakaway territory of Lugansk in early May. Other evidence suggests that when Russia moved soldiers into Ukraine in February, attempts were made to weaponize drones to spread pathogens and to destroy compromising materials.

Between 2005 and early 2022, the US poured more than $224 million into biological research in Ukraine, according to Russia’s Investigative Committee. According to Moscow, the conspiracy involved Western pharmaceutical giants, organizations, and even the Democratic Party of the United States.

George Webb

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From China.

The Warmonger’s Legacy (CGTN)

Six hundred and twenty thousand civilians died in the Vietnam War, yet they have never received justice… Iraq was invaded, accused of developing weapons of mass destruction, yet this has been shown to be a lie. And for 20 years Afghanistan was a battleground in the war on terror, yet ultimately the Taliban regained power. Lies, self-interest and profit have created a vast web of international conflict, devastating the lands and peoples caught in it. And the responsibility rests with one country alone. The documentary “The Warmonger’s Legacy” reveals the shocking truth.

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“..for 230 years, Congress maintained the need for bipartisan membership..”

How The Jan. 6 Committee Undermined Its Own Legitimacy (Turley)

In 1924, Lord Gordon Hewart famously declared, “Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.” The lord chief justice of England, he believed that even a small allegation of possible bias by a court clerk meant justice was not seen to be done and, thus, was not done. Lord Hewart’s quote came to mind while watching the opening night of the House’s Jan. 6 select committee public hearings. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decided a year ago to break from tradition and blocked two Republican committee members selected by GOP leaders. In response, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pulled his other committee nominees, and Pelosi then seated two staunchly anti-Trump Republicans — Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyoming) and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois).

Congress has a long history of bipartisan investigatory and select committees. Many were formed during deep political rifts — yet, for 230 years, Congress maintained the need for bipartisan membership. That was the case with the Watergate committees, the House Committee on Assassinations, the Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, the House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions and other investigations. It would have been easy to stack the decks and limit the members by party on each of those committees, but past congressional leaders understood that the credibility of such investigations required balance, including opposing views. Pelosi’s decision to gut that process was something of a signature muscle play.

As a witness in the first Trump impeachment, I was highly critical of her insistence that the House would impeach before Christmas rather than conduct the traditional impeachment investigation with witnesses. Instead of building a more convincing case, Pelosi preferred to impeach with virtually no record, for a certain defeat in the Senate. In the second impeachment, she went one better: She held no hearing at all and pushed through the first “snap impeachment.” The Jan. 6 committee was similarly stripped of any pretense. It was as subtle a political move as Pelosi’s ripping up President Trump’s State of the Union speech. Asked what she hoped to achieve from the committee on the first day of hearings, Pelosi tellingly referred to it as a “narrative.” It is the difference between seeing and simulating justice.

According to The New York Times, that narrative is meant to “recast the midterm message” and “give [Democrats] a platform for making a broader case about why they deserve to stay in power.” It was packaged with the help of a high-powered media figure brought in to help stage the event. Much of the media touted how the hearings would be “must-see TV” and would force voters “not to look away” from Trump’s “coup.” Countervailing evidence was edited out. Thus, Trump was shown calling for the protesters to “march” on the Capitol — but not his additional words to do so “peacefully.”

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So many of these people have lied, where to begin?

Comey Lied to Congress’ ‘Gang of 8’ Over Russiagate (Sperry)

The FBI deceived the House, Senate and the Justice Department about the substance and strength of evidence undergirding its counterintelligence investigation of President Trump, according to a recently declassified document and other material. A seven-page internal FBI memo dated March 8, 2017, shows that “talking points” prepared for then-FBI Director James Comey for his meeting the next day with the congressional leadership were riddled with half-truths, outright falsehoods, and critical omissions. Both the Senate and the House opened investigations and held hearings based in part on the misrepresentations made in those FBI briefings, one of which was held in the Senate that morning and the other in the House later that afternoon.

[..] The talking points were prepared by Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer who later resigned from the bureau amid accusations of anti-Trump bias, and were used by Comey in his meeting with Hill leaders. They described reports the FBI received in 2016 from “a former FBI CHS,” or confidential human source, about former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Carter Page (no relation to Lisa Page) allegedly conspiring with the Kremlin to hack the election. Quoting from the reports, Comey told congressional leaders that the unidentified informant told the FBI that Manafort “initially ‘managed’ the relationship between Russian government officials and the Trump campaign, using Carter Page as an intermediary.”

He also told them that “Page was reported to have had ‘secret meetings’ in early July 2016 with a named individual in Russia’s presidential administration during which they discussed Russia’s release of damaging information on Hillary Clinton in exchange for alterations to the GOP platform regarding U.S. policy towards Ukraine.” But previous FBI interviews with Carter Page and other key sources indicated that none of that was true – and the FBI knew it at the time of the congressional briefings. The Lisa Page memo anticipated concerns about the quality of information Comey was relaying to Congress and suggested he preempt any concerns with another untruth. The memo advised Comey to tell lawmakers that “some” of the reporting “has been corroborated,” and to point out that the informant’s “reporting in this matter is derived primarily from a Russian-based source,” which made it sound more credible.

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Under oath. In the Senate. And he still has his job?

Biden’s Homeland Secretary Lied Under Oath About Disinformation Board (ET)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas misled Congress when he testified under oath in May that the Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) “had not yet begun its work,” two Republican senators claim. In fact—according to documents obtained from a DHS whistleblower by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)—planning, decision-making, and concrete work by senior DHS officials, including Mayorkas, had begun at least as early as September 2021. In addition, the documents provided to the senators show that Mayorkas was asked by DHS officials tasked with planning and establishing the DGB for his approval to proceed as early as January 2022 and that Mayorkas gave his approval for doing so in February 2022.

“On May 4, 2022, Secretary Mayorkas testified under oath to Senator Hawley that the Disinformation Governance Board ‘had not yet begun its work.’ “On May 1, 2022, the secretary told the news media that the board would be focused on disinformation ‘from foreign state adversaries [and] the cartels’ and would not monitor American citizens,” the GOP senators said in a joint statement. “At the White House on May 2, White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed that the board would be focused on ‘human traffickers and other transnational criminal organizations.’” Despite those claims by Mayorkas and Psaki, Grassley and Hawley said in their statement that the documents they were provided reveal a different picture of the DGB’s development.

The documents said the DGB was conceived from the beginning in part to monitor the domestic speech of U.S. citizens concerning “conspiracy theories about the validity and security of elections” and “disinformation related to the origins and effects of COVID-19 vaccines or the efficacy of masks.” They added that Mayorkas and his team sought a partnership with social media outlet Twitter designed to censor content unapproved by the DGB and planned a meeting with Twitter executives to discuss such a joint effort.

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“..what Biden has done since being in office is add another monstrous inflationary impulse which has not yet shown up in the general price level..”

Smoking (AGAIN): It’s NOT Transitory (Denninger)

I hope you like bad things and bad times; they’re coming. “The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.0 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 8.6 percent before seasonal adjustment. The increase was broad-based, with the indexes for shelter, gasoline, and food being the largest contributors. After declining in April, the energy index rose 3.9 percent over the month with the gasoline index rising 4.1 percent and the other major component indexes also increasing. The food index rose 1.2 percent in May as the food at home index increased 1.4 percent.”

As Chief noted on Stocks-n-Jocks yesterday the monetary aggregates have stopped skyrocketing. What’s not being said is why they skyrocketed in the first place — which is that all spending bills originate in the House and all Fed Action when it comes to monetary aggregates are based there, and only there, because without deficit spending The Fed has nothing to operate against. It is also known that it takes time for inflation to go through the economy. And much depends on where government spending goes. If government spends money in deficit to build a highway, for example, and that construction causes efficiency in business to increase by more than the highway cost then there is no inflationary impact. But if the spending is direct to consumption, which all of the pandemic “relief” spending was then it is all inflationary impact.

Spending collapses are thought of as “bad.” They’re not; they are often good. If you as a business owner get out over your skis and go bust that means I can come in and buy up your assets for pennies on the dollar. This means where someone else has 10% of their operating capital tied up in a building for their employees I only have 5% of mine, which means I now have a 5% cost advantage against my competitors. That, in turn, means I get to take your customers and the consumer benefits with lower prices, better goods and services — or both. Allegedly “protecting” the economy from this is, on the other hand, often through of as “good.” But protecting bloated business cost structures is bad in the intermediate and longer term because while it may look “good” it protects pricing and that, in turn, is bad for the consumer.

Unfortunately what Biden has done since being in office is add another monstrous inflationary impulse which has not yet shown up in the general price level. It will. That M2 has stopped wildly expanding is good over time but that’s 12-18 months out into the future and it presumes that Congress will stop the wildly-excessive deficit spending. May I remind you that there’s an election coming up and Congress has to pass spending bills for the next fiscal year, which starts October 1st, before said election? What do you think the odds are that they won’t add yet another spike to M2 before November?

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“..the gloomiest of all developed nations..”

Britain’s Dire Economic Outlook (O.)

Britain’s growth prospects are the gloomiest of all developed nations. The OECD predicted last week that the UK economy would not grow at all next year, the worst outlook for any OECD nation. This follows warnings in April from the IMF that the UK will experience the worst growth out of the G7 nations in 2023. After a decade of stagnant wages, it seems Britons need to resign themselves to the fact that the buoyant growth of the 2000s is but a distant memory. Every country has suffered the shock of the pandemic, followed by the spike in oil and wheat prices triggered by Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine. But other developed economies have proved more resilient, enjoying export-driven recoveries in the wake of Covid. Here in Britain, the economic malaise left exposed by the 2008 financial crisis is long term and structural.

This crisis was supposed to prompt a big economic rethink: a reckoning with Britain’s addiction to growth fuelled by rising levels of consumer debt enabled by rising house prices. The then shadow chancellor George Osborne pledged to rebalance the economy away from debt-driven growth to more productive development, driven by business investment and exports, underpinned with an expansion of the UK’s manufacturing base and a reduction in the huge regional inequalities between the south-east and the rest of the country. No such thing materialised. Instead, the least affluent areas of the country were forced to bear the biggest burden of cuts to public services, undermining their potential to attract investment.

Britain’s sluggish recovery from the financial crisis – average GDP growth in the decade after 2008 was a full percentage point lower than it was in the run-up to the year – was propelled by consumer spending and resurgent house prices. Productivity growth dropped substantially, taking Britain from second in the G7 for productivity growth pre-financial crash, to the second slowest post crash.

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ERX-41

A New Molecule That Kills Even The Deadliest Cancer (IE)

Recently, a tiny group of people with rectal cancer saw their disease vanish after experimental treatment. It was a very small trial done by doctors at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, wherein the patients took a drug called dostarlimab for six months. At the end of their trial, every single one of their tumors disappeared. Now, in another breakthrough, a new compound synthesized by Dr. Jung-Mo Ahn, a University of Texas at Dallas researcher, has been found to kill a broad spectrum of hard-to-treat cancers, including triple-negative breast cancer, leaving healthy cells unscathed. He exploited a weakness in cells that were hitherto not targeted by the other drugs.

The study, which was carried out in isolated cells, both in human cancer tissue and in human cancers grown in mice, was published in the journal Nature Cancer. Ahn, a co-corresponding author of the study and a UT Dallas associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, has been working on small molecules that target protein-protein interactions in cells for more than a decade. Previously, he had developed potential therapeutic candidate compounds for treatment-resistant breast cancer and prostate cancer. In his current research, Ahn and his colleagues tested a new compound he synthesized called ERX-41 for its effects on breast cancer cells – those that contained estrogen receptors (ERs) and those that do not.

Now, there are effective treatments for patients with ER-positive breast cancer, but only a few treatment options for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) exist. It lacks receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor 2. TNBC is known to affect women under 40 and has worse outcomes than other types of breast cancer. “The ERX-41 compound did not kill healthy cells, but it wiped out tumor cells regardless of whether the cancer cells had estrogen receptors,” Ahn said. “In fact, it killed the triple-negative breast cancer cells better than it killed the ER-positive cells. “This was puzzling to us at the time. We knew it must be targeting something other than estrogen receptors in the TNBC cells, but we didn’t know what that was.”

Soon, the researchers discovered that ERX-41 binds to lysosomal acid lipase A (LIPA), a cellular protein. LIPA is found in a cell structure called the endoplasmic reticulum, an organelle that processes and folds proteins. “For a tumor cell to grow quickly, it has to produce a lot of proteins, and this creates stress on the endoplasmic reticulum,” Ahn said. “Cancer cells significantly overproduce LIPA, much more so than healthy cells. By binding to LIPA, ERX-41 jams the protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum, which becomes bloated, leading to cell death.”

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Dr Malone and dr Vanden Bossche meet each other for the first time ..

Headwind2 – The Debate – Malone and Vanden Bossche (Headwind)

In this third episode of the Headwind documentary series dr Robert Malone and dr Geert Vanden Bossche debate on the pathway the virus will take, the new virulent strains the relentless vaccine boostering will produce and the crime against humanity which is the totally unnecessary Covid19 vaccination of children. Dr Malone and dr Vanden Bossche meet each other for the first time and debate on all these issues, with the stunning landscape of Southern Spain as a gorgeous backdrop.

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Ted Turner: Healing the planet for profit

 

 

 

 

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Jun 092022
 
 June 9, 2022  Posted by at 2:00 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  8 Responses »


Pieter Brueghel the Younger Construction of the Tower of Babel 1595

 

 

It’s pretty amazing, but finally Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said something that is actually true. Not because he intended to, but hey, beggars are choosers. Zelensk(i)y(y) today compared western weapons and sanctions to Covid vaccines. A tad late, for sure, given the vaccine fatigue, but then his audience are not the smartest sheep in the herd.

But he is so right it’s impossible to let this slip. Because any additional weapons delivered to Ukraine will have the exact same effects that the Covid vaccines have had. That is, they will kill more people and end more lives, than no vaccines and no weapons could ever have done.

A unintended brilliant insight from a murderous clown. There are actually Ukraine voices claiming that with enough weapons, they could take/retake Sievierodonetsk and other places in 2-3 days. I wish I was kidding you. They want you to ignore Russia’s warning that for them this is an existential issue, and to think Putin is just a madman looking for Lebensraum.

That way Raytheon et al can keep on adding up profits, and no Americans or British or Germans will die, so it all looks good in the media.

This is the Guardian’s take:

 

Zelenskiy: Russian Invasion Of Ukraine Is ‘Covid-22’ And Weapons Are Vaccine

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has compared Russia’s invasion to Covid and described weapons and sanctions as a vaccine, as Ukraine’s military position in Donbas worsens. The Ukrainian president, speaking via video link at a gala to celebrate Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the year, lobbied again for more outside help because “the Ukrainian military are dying on the battlefield”. He asked rhetorically whether the US president, Joe Biden, and members of Congress were using “all the capacity of our influence and our leadership” and called on them to be “100% influential”.

“Weapons and sanctions are … a vaccine … against Covid-22 brought by Russia,” Zelenskiy said, hours after he warned that the fight for Sievierodonetsk could decide “the fate” of the entire Donbas – the name given collectively to the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in the country’s east. [..] Russia’s permanent representative to the UN told the BBC that Moscow’s forces were making steady progress in Ukraine and predicted that the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions would be captured shortly.

Vasily Nebenzya said: “It seems to me that there is progress. No one promised a result in three days or a week,” and added: “Just give it time … and you will see the Donetsk and Luhansk regions liberated. And, I hope, this will happen very soon.” Overnight Zelenskiy acknowledged that the struggle for Sievierdonetsk, which has been raging for several weeks, was “probably one of the most difficult throughout this war” and that “in many ways, the fate of our Donbas is being decided there”.

Ukrainian insiders have previously argued the city is not particularly strategic and that their goal has been to inflict heavy casualties on the Russians but Zelenskiy’s statement suggests the city has symbolic importance, not least because it is one of the last two population centres in Luhansk province that Kyiv controls.

Western media and politicians continue to claim that Ukraine can win. They can’t unless NATO goes in full force, and even then. Besides, they won’t.

In precisely the same way that the leaky untested vaccines (plus boosters) won’t stop the pandemic. It is a perfect metaphor.

 

 

 

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Jun 092022
 


Pablo Picasso Rest 1932

 

Zelensky Vows “Full De-Occupation Of Entire Territory” (ZH)
For Europe, From Russia, With Love (Vilches)
Kyiv Keeps US in the Dark on War Realities: NYT (Celente)
Is US/NATO (with WEF help) Pushing For A Global South Famine? (Hudson)
Ukraine to Ban ‘War and Peace’ From Being Taught in Schools (SN)
Is Lasting Peace Possible? (Hathaway)
Healthy Young People Are Dying Unexpectedly From A Mysterious Syndrome (DM)
Fifth Jab Being Considered In Israel (JPost)
Moderna Says Omicron-containing Booster Outperforms Current Vaccine (Stat)
How Fake Is Twitter’s User Data? (ET)
Twitter Will Reportedly Give Its Full Data Stream To Elon Musk (Eng.)
168,000 Deleted Files Recovered From Hunter Biden’s Laptop (WE)
What is a Woman? (Laura Dodsworth)
This Is What Erdogan Promised (IS.fi)

 

 

 

 

Gervais

 

 

 

 

 

 

6G

 

 

Apart from Zelensky’s nonsensical claim (no. 1001), there’s “For eight years they have been killing us” and “Emmanuel Macron has warned that the West must not humiliate Russia”. And I haven’t seen one person point out that the West CANNOT humiliate Russia.

Zelensky Vows “Full De-Occupation Of Entire Territory” (ZH)

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that the West must not humiliate Russia if it wants to avoid an unnecessarily prolonged conflict that could spread beyond Ukraine. Since making the remarks days ago, he’s stirred anger among different allies – both in Europe and the US and UK. And he’s again come under fresh criticism and condemnation for the statement. He said last Friday, “We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means.” As part of the comments he offered France’s role as a “mediating power” in the conflict. This after having reportedly held calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin on pretty much a weekly basis since the invasion began in late February.

Macron has come under criticism from some corners of the EU for even holding the calls where he’s attempted to gain diplomatic concessions, and jump start talks again between Moscow and Kiev. But he hasn’t exactly been alone in his push for a diplomatic solution, given two other populous European nations and their leaders – namely German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi – have done the same. Entirely to be expected, Macron immediately received pushback from the Ukrainians, with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba writing on Twitter that “Calls to avoid humiliation of Russia can only humiliate France and every other country that would call for it.” But the Macron comments have stirred anger in the US as well, with Republican hawk Rep. Adam Kinzinger saying “Emmanuel Macron is humiliating himself,” in weekend statements.

“Russia has already been humiliated, and true to their reputation the French are trying to raise the white flag.” Kinzinger, it should be remembered, has gone so far as to push the Biden administration toward erecting a no-fly zone, which would assuredly push the two nuclear armed superpowers into a WW3 scenario confrontation. Meanwhile, at a moment that direct Russia-Ukraine negotiations are essentially dead, but with Turkey still attempting to intervene diplomatically toward the erection of a UN-backed ‘grain corridor’ on the Black Sea, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in media statements Tuesday that even with the latest Russian gains in Donbas his country will not cede any territory for sake of a negotiated settlement.

“We have already lost too many people to simply cede our territory,” Zelensky said in a virtual address to an event hosted by Britain’s Financial Times newspaper. He said neither is stalemate “an option” and that ultimately “We have to achieve a full deoccupation of our entire territory.” Asked specifically about Macron’s ‘don’t humiliate Russia comments’ from days prior, Zelensky reponded: “We are not going to humiliate anyone, we are going to respond in kind.” The Ukrainian leader’s comments came as the last major holdout city of Sievierodonetsk in Luhansk province could soon fall to Russian forces. Zelensky further commented: “I don’t really understand … humiliating Russia. For eight years they have been killing us. What are we talking about here?”

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“..the European success we all know was always based on superb and cheap Russian energy.”

For Europe, From Russia, With Love (Vilches)

The real ultimate EU problem is ´negotiating´ from a position of extreme weakness it has dug itself into and should have always avoided. But at the same time, Europe cannot be anywhere independent from Russia. So the above will affect current and future European production of fuels to fertilizers and everything in between, from kerosene to diesel to gasoline affecting cars, trucks, buses, plastics, pesticides, agricultural, mining and industrial machinery, foodstuffs, water quality and availability, pharmaceuticals, ships, inks, airplanes, polymers, medical and industrial gases, sealing rings & membranes, power transmission, transformer and lube oils, etc., etc., etc.,. Attempting to execute the above under the described terms – and others not mentioned but technically even far more demanding – would be outright engineering and economics madness.

But simultaneously attempting many impossible projects as now required throughout Europe within an ultra-narrow 6-month time-frame and everybody at the same time is sheer nonsensical stupidity, doomed to fail. Why do it then ? Because it´s mandated by the prevailing post-Brexit-US-Anglo-Saxon Russophobia that now hypnotized European leadership foolishly and irreversibly endorses. Henry Kissinger knows it, but do they?. Naturally, the EU leadership has made mistakes all along the 21st century, both technical and political, as fallible humans cannot avoid it. But the captains of the European ship this time around are going a long step further by unbelievably forcing its sailors to run around the deck like a bunch of beheaded chickens with no sense of purpose in rapidly approaching shallow waters in what seems to be a deliberate suicidal attempt.

This has never happened before in recent history as the European success we all know was always based on superb and cheap Russian energy. The plan and policies were led by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder who thought it out bottom-up, top-down, sideways, from left to right, from right to left, crossways, you name it. Until finally in the late 1990s reached the conclusion and convinced the European family of nations that Franz should marry Natasha. And so they remained happily married with many healthy and ambitious children until 2022 whereby the post-Brexit US Anglo-Saxon axis achieved the unthinkable by turning Europe against Russia yet again for the third time in a century as Prof. Michael Hudson has correctly observed. Meanwhile, absurdly enough, Poland is now proposing yet additional sanctions against Russia as if they did any good

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Zelensky has claimed 30,000-40,000 Russian casualties. Nuff said.

Kyiv Keeps US in the Dark on War Realities: NYT (Celente)

The New York Times, citing current and former U.S. officials, published a report Wednesday that American intelligence agencies have “less information than they would like about Ukraine’s operations and possess a far better picture of Russia’s military.” Beth Sanner, a former senior intelligence official, told the paper: “How much do we really know about how Ukraine is doing?” “Can you find a person who will tell you with confidence how many troops has Ukraine lost, how many pieces of equipment has Ukraine lost?” she asked. The Trends Journal has pointed out since the beginning of the conflict that it was nearly impossible to find the number of casualties suffered by Ukrainian troops in Google searches.

But if you were interested in finding out Russia’s war dead, there were dozens of article links. Zelensky vowed to fight for every inch of his country, but how he plans on doing that — without NATO joining the war — is anybody’s guess. The Times reported that the U.S. has a better understanding about Russia’s military’s condition than Ukraine’s. Even Avril D. Haines, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate in May: “We have, in fact, more insight, probably, on the Russian side than we do on the Ukrainian side.” Why did the U.S. agree to send Kyiv advanced rocket systems when it did not have a clear picture about the war’s development, and why has the Biden administration been so positive about Ukraine’s chances against Russia?

Stephen Biddle, a professor of international affairs at Columbia University, told the paper, “I’m not sure it’s in the interest of the American public or Ukrainian public to have Ukrainians be upfront about their losses if the result is it strengthens the Russian war effort. But that means we don’t really know both sides of the story.”

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“To put it simply: we are facing a crisis on top of a crisis.”

Is US/NATO (with WEF help) Pushing For A Global South Famine? (Hudson)

U.S. Cold War strategy is not alone in thinking how to benefit from provoking a famine, oil and balance-of-payments crisis. Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum worries that the world is overpopulated – at least with the “wrong kind” of people. As Microsoft philanthropist (the customary euphemism for rentier monopolist) Bill Gates has explained: “Population growth in Africa is a challenge.” His lobbying foundation’s 2018 “Goalkeepers” report warned: “According to U.N. data, Africa is expected to account for more than half of the world’s population growth between 2015 and 2050. Its population is projected to double by 2050,” with “more than 40 percent of world’s extremely poor people … in just two countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.”

Gates advocates cutting this projected population increase by 30 percent by improving access to birth control and expanding education to “enable more girls and women to stay in school longer, have children later.” But how can that be afforded with this summer’s looming food and oil squeeze on government budgets? South Americans and some Asian countries are subject to the same jump in import prices resulting from NATO’s demands to isolate Russia. JPMorgan Chase head Jamie Dimon recently warned attendees at a Wall Street investor conference that the sanctions will cause a global “economic hurricane.” He echoed the warning by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in April that, “To put it simply: we are facing a crisis on top of a crisis.”

Pointing out that the Covid pandemic has been capped by inflation as the war in Ukraine has made matters “much worse, and threatens to further increase inequality” she concluded that: “The economic consequences from the war spread fast and far, to neighbors and beyond, hitting hardest the world’s most vulnerable people. Hundreds of millions of families were already struggling with lower incomes and higher energy and food prices.” The Biden administration blames Russia for “unprovoked aggression.” But it is his administration’s pressure on NATO and other Dollar Area satellites that has blocked Russian exports of grain, oil and gas. But many oil- and food-deficit countries see themselves as the primary victims of “collateral damage” caused by US/NATO pressure.

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I notice Russian players shine in the NHL playoffs, and haven’t seen one word about banning them.

Ukraine to Ban ‘War and Peace’ From Being Taught in Schools (SN)

Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ and other classic historical novels that portray the Russian military in anything other than a negative light will be banned from being taught in Ukrainian schools, it has been announced. “All these will be completely excluded from foreign literature,” first deputy Minister of Education Andrey Vitrenko said in an interview with the TV channel Ukraine 24. “So, for example, ‘War and Peace,’ this will not be studied in Ukraine anymore,” he added. Vitrenko said that his ministry was working on compiling a list of books that will be banned in line with an announcement last month by Kiev’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy that works of literature “promoting Russian propaganda” would be removed from Ukrainian libraries and replaced by Ukrainian books.


Quite how banning a book that is revered the world over and was first published in 1869 will stop Putin’s war machine is anyone’s guess. We have previously documented the increasing intolerance and censorship of all things Russian, even if they have absolutely nothing to do with Vladimir Putin or the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Wimbledon tennis tournament has banned Russian players from competing this year even if they denounce the actions of their own country. There have also been calls for Russian athletes to be subjected to ideological purity tests before they are allowed to compete in international tournaments. In perhaps the most ludicrous example of Russophobia, Siberian cats were banned from competing in international cat competitions.

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“Since capitalism is a predatory social and economic system, predatory personalities rise to power.”

Is Lasting Peace Possible? (Hathaway)

Militarists point to history and say it’s just one war after another. But that’s the history only of our patriarchal civilization. The early matriarchal civilization of south-eastern Europe enjoyed centuries of peace. UCLA anthropologist Marija Gimbutas described the archaeological research in The Living Goddesses. No trace of warfare has been found in excavations of the Minoan, Harappa, and Caral cultures. Many of the Pacific islands were pacifistic. The ancient Vedic civilization of India had meditation techniques that preserved the peace, and those are being revived today to reduce stress in society.

Our society, though, has a deeply entrenched assumption that stress is essential to life. Many of our social and economic structures are based on conflict. Capitalism’s need for continually expanding profits generates stress in all of us. We’ve been indoctrinated to think this is normal and natural, but it’s really pathological. It damages life in ways we can barely perceive because they’re so built into us. We don’t have to live this way. We can reduce the stress humanity suffers under. We can create a society that meets human needs and distributes the world’s resources more evenly. We can live at peace with one another. But that’s going to take basic changes.

These changes threaten the power holders of our society. Since capitalism is a predatory social and economic system, predatory personalities rise to power. They view the world through a lens of aggression. But it’s not merely a view. They really are surrounded by enemy competitors. So they believe this false axiom they are propagating that wars are inevitable. In the past their predecessors defended their power by propagating other nonsense: kings had a divine right to rule us, Blacks were inferior to Whites, women should obey men. We’ve outgrown those humbugs, and we can outgrow this one.

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Aaron Kheriaty, MD: “New levels of systematic mendacity. Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) is not a thing. These are cardiac deaths. Stop pretending we don’t know why they are elevated. Just f***ing stop. Enough of this. It’s only a mystery if you are blind.”

Healthy Young People Are Dying Unexpectedly From A Mysterious Syndrome (DM)

People aged under 40 are being urged to have their hearts checked because they may potentially be at risk of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. The syndrome, known as SADS, has been fatal for all kinds of people regardless of whether they maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. SADS is an ‘umbrella term to describe unexpected deaths in young people’, said The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, most commonly occurring in people under 40 years of age.The term is used when a post-mortem cannot find an obvious cause of death. The US-based SADS Foundation has said that over half of the 4,000 annual SADS deaths of children, teens or young adults have one of the top two warning signs present.Those signs include a family history of a SADS diagnosis or sudden unexplained death of a family member, and fainting or seizure during exercise, or when excited or startled, reported news.com.au.


Last year a 31-year-old woman, Catherine Keane, died in her sleep while living with two friends in Dublin. Her mother Margherita Cummins told the Irish Mirror, ‘They were all working from home so no one really paid attention when Catherine didn’t come down for breakfast.’ ‘They sent her a text at 11.20am and when she didn’t reply, they checked her room and found she had passed. ‘Her friend heard a noise in her room at 3.56am and believes now that is when she died.’ Ms Cummins stated that her daughter ‘went to the gym and walked 10,000 steps every day’. ‘I take some comfort in that she went in her sleep and knew no pain and I’m grateful for that. I always worried about the kids driving in the car but never saw this coming. I never thought I’d ever lose a child in my life,’

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Oh f**king stop already.

Fifth Jab Being Considered In Israel (JPost)

Due to the increase in morbidity, the epidemic treatment team will convene on Wednesday to discuss the provision of a fifth coronavirus vaccine to at-risk populations, KAN reported. According to KAN, a third vaccine for Israelis ages 5 to 12 is also being considered for those who want it. Medical staff would be obligated to receive a second or third dose. Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, who himself had tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, is currently in quarantine and is working from home, Maariv reported. He had already discussed with senior officials in his ministry about the recent spark in COVID-19 cases.


After the meeting was over, Horowitz urged the general public to “use discretion and wear a mask when necessary, including on public transportation.” He recommended that those elderly or at-risk should wear a mask in closed spaces, “even if it’s not mandatory.” The amount of COVID cases reported yesterday was the highest in Israel in over a month and a half, with approximately 3,731 testing positive, the Health Ministry reported. The Health Ministry is also considering bringing back requirements to self-isolate for those who test positive for the virus. The ministry also intends to examine in the coming days whether the level of immunity in the population has decreased following the morbidity increase, Ynet reported.

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And again: Oh f**king stop already.

Moderna Says Omicron-containing Booster Outperforms Current Vaccine (Stat)

Moderna said Wednesday that using a new version of its Covid-19 vaccine as a booster led to a superior antibody response against the Omicron variant compared to its current shot. The company said it plans to submit its data to the Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks and that it hopes that the new booster will be available in the late summer. Moderna’s booster, called mRNA1273.214, is a bivalent vaccine, meaning it contains mRNA coding for the spike protein for both the original strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the newer Omicron strain. The company had previously released data showing that a bivalent vaccine containing mRNA coding for the spike protein for the original virus and the protein from the Beta variant of SARS-CoV-2 provided better antibody protection than the original vaccine.


Moderna said giving vaccinated volunteers a boost with mRNA1273.214 increased geometric mean titers, a measure of antibody levels, eight-fold. The FDA has been holding public hearings on how to choose which strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus should be included in booster shots in the fall and who should receive those shots. Another meeting on whether and how the SARS-CoV-2 strain composition of Covid-19 vaccines should be modified is being held on June 28. However, companies have warned that choices will need to be made soon in order for vaccines to be available in the fall. In a statement, Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO, said that the data mean this bivalent vaccine is “our lead candidate for a Fall 2022 booster.”

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Twitter likes the fakes and the bots, it’s all about the numbers.

How Fake Is Twitter’s User Data? (ET)

Over the last several weeks, the perception has grown that Elon Musk will not be the emancipator of Twitter, freeing it finally from its mysterious algorithms that throttle, block, and ban perfectly wonderful accounts solely based on the political vendetta of employees and management. It’s said that he has cold feet, as if Elon’s demand for better data is purely a cover for emotional doubt. That’s simply not true. What he has intuited—that Twitter underreports the sheer fake accounts and bot armies that use its platform—could in fact become another scandal for our age. Twitter says it’s only 5 percent. Elon has crowd-sourced the question and suspects it is closer to 20 percent. The truth is out there, but Twitter is not forthcoming. Why might this be?

Here is where we get to the core of the issue: the reach data provided by these companies—this pertains not only to Twitter but to hundreds of thousands of sites—form the basis of its pricing structure for advertisers and therefore drive the fundamentals of the business model. The business model is that these companies sell your content—which you provide because you want your views known—to advertisers so that they can sell to you. Advertisers are charged for access to your brain based on an overall estimate of how many users are on the platform and how broad is the reach. Accuracy is of huge importance here. But accuracy has not exactly defined the way these companies have long operated. The data are subject to manipulation in the extreme.

For example, Twitter has proven to be absolutely awful at policing the number of fake accounts that pretend to be some famous person with large followers. One might suspect that getting rid of such accounts should be part of Twitter’s main focus. I’ve dealt with it for years and spent far too much time getting rid of them. Who has such time? It’s ridiculous. But have a look at this problem which has been going on for many weeks now. Brownstone’s Martin Kulldorff has a famous Twitter account but I can easily search his name which turns up many fake accounts. Notice the slightly different spellings. This isn’t rocket science! Does Twitter do anything about it? Not in many weeks.

If this is any indication of the underlying realities, Twitter has a very big problem. Instead of focusing its energies on censoring good accounts, it might have applied its energies to solving a problem that affects all users.And yet there is more at stake. Consider that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has initiated an investigation into Twitter. If the company has falsely reported its real user base, that stands in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Paxton has given the company until June 27, 2022, to produce evidence for how it calculates the numbers it has routinely touted to advertisers. We’ll see. It will probably end up in court.

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The full firehose. But Musk should first check how much of the data has been manipulated.

Twitter Will Reportedly Give Its Full Data Stream To Elon Musk (Eng.)

Twitter could comply with Elon Musk’s demand for more data about its users as soon as this week. According to The Washington Post, the company plans to give the billionaire full access to its full “firehose,” an internal database that includes details on the more than 500 million tweets posted to the service every day. In addition to representing a real-time record of what’s happening on Twitter at any moment, the trove includes device data and information about the accounts that access the platform. After Twitter accepted Musk’s $44 billion buyout offer in April, the billionaire announced in May the deal was “temporarily on hold” over concerns he had about fake accounts.

Twitter has consistently claimed that bots represent less than five percent of its daily users, a number Musk says he wants to confirm before moving forward with the acquisition. On Monday, Musk accused the company of committing a “material breach” of the merger agreement by allegedly refusing to disclose enough information about fake accounts. At the time, Twitter said it would “continue to cooperatively share information” with Musk as it worked toward completing the transaction. “We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders,” the company told The Post, reiterating its statement from Monday. “We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement at the agreed price and terms.”

How many bots and fake accounts there are on Twitter is important to Musk because that number would have a significant impact on his ability to monetize the platform through ads. Musk has committed about $33 billion of his personal wealth to buy the company, and he’s required to go through with the deal unless he can show Twitter misled him or that its value has changed.

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“..100% certainty that Hunter Biden “was the only person responsible for the activity on this hard drive and all of its stored data.”

168,000 Deleted Files Recovered From Hunter Biden’s Laptop (WE)

A cyber forensics expert commissioned by the Washington Examiner recovered over 168,000 deleted files from a copy of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop. Many of the deleted files were system files, application files, or duplicates of user files stored elsewhere on the laptop. Some of the recovered data, however, shed light on his financial dealings in 2018 and early 2019, as well as his personal dealings during that time frame. Also recovered from the drive were deleted pictures of government ID cards for two individuals linked to President Joe Biden’s son. Konstantinos “Gus” Dimitrelos, a former Secret Service agent who has testified in over 100 classified, criminal, and civil matters, retrieved the deleted files from unallocated space on the hard drive using a technique called data carving.

The existence of recoverable deleted user files adds another layer of authenticity to the hard drive, Dimitrelos said. “In order for user-created data — including personal photographs, bank records, invoices, business records, third-party data such as the driver’s licenses of other persons, chat conversations, and medical records, as examples — to exist within the unallocated hard drive space, the computer user would have had to manually delete the files,” Dimitrelos said. “Any Robert Hunter Biden recovered files in unallocated space was there as a result of deletions by the user ‘roberthunter.’” Dimitrelos has examined the Washington Examiner’s copy of the hard drive and determined with 100% certainty that Hunter Biden “was the only person responsible for the activity on this hard drive and all of its stored data.”

Many of the recovered user files were attachments to text messages that Hunter Biden sent to or received from his associates. The text messages contain markers indicating that an attachment was deleted. One of the recovered text attachments was a selfie he took in which he can be seen holding a vape pen. He attached the photo to a message sent to an unknown person Jan. 30, 2019. “That’s the weed vape pen that a Russian Escort left in my room before I came here this time,” Hunter Biden texted them.

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“..the doctor who prescribes hormones to children asked Walsh whether chickens cry..”

What is a Woman? (Laura Dodsworth)

It turns out that the best way to disrupt transgender ideology is to ask one simple question: what is a woman? Creator Matt Walsh asked each contributor the same question with purist focus in this brilliant and horrifying new film. The obstructions, circular reasoning and threats to walk off the set revealed that gender is like “a jenga tower”, as Walsh says. I spoke to Walsh about the film just a few days after its release. It has gone down a storm and Walsh was busy fielding interviews. He was also cautious; a publicist was off camera in our video call, and they recorded the interview. I don’t blame them for wanting to keep the record straight. What is a woman? is wildly controversial and successful, and that attracts peevish and disingenuous reviewers.

Transgender ideology is defeatingly complex and ever-shifting. The film’s success lies in its determined pursuit of the answer to one question. I asked Walsh why he focussed on this truth, whereas other activists have honed in on particular aspects, such as feminists arguing for women’s sex-based spaces and rights. “Philosophically it’s the best way to approach this issue,” he replied. “There are practical reasons why rights matter. I want to protect the rights of women and children, all those things matter and I care about them too. But the first thing is that it’s not true. That’s the important thing, first and foremost. Then we can establish all those other things. The loss of rights can be tackled after truth. Trans activists will ask why you care so much about what a woman is, but that’s sleight of hand.”

There was a palpable difference between the interviewees who were prepared to offer honest answers and those who would not. The first set seemed at ease. The trans man, in particular, was brutally raw, hiding nothing. In contrast, those who couldn’t answer the question seemed different – their body language was off, their answers evasive. They seemed to be thinking ahead, denial and defence almost visible on the surface, while cogs whirred just below. The social sciences professor replied with fallacious logic. In one of the more bizarre moments, the doctor who prescribes hormones to children asked Walsh whether chickens cry. A trans woman and a congressman flounced off camera. They didn’t just deny the simple biological truth (that a woman is an adult human female), they denied the concept of truth itself. The professor asserted that “invoking the word truth was condescending”.

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Google translate from Finnish.

This Is What Erdogan Promised (IS.fi)

The NATO process in Finland and Sweden has been at a standstill for three weeks due to opposition from Turkey. Not even NATO accession talks have been allowed to begin. There have been charges against Turkey, especially in Sweden. Turkey launched its publicity campaign on 13 May, five days before Finland and Sweden applied for membership in Brussels. “The Nordic countries are like guest houses for terrorist organizations,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan . Turkey’s violent drumming has raised the question of whether something went wrong in Finland’s diplomatic efforts in the spring. How did Turkey surprise Finland?

In an interview with IS, the president of the Republic Sauli Niinistö said that there was no reason to doubt Turkey’s position before Erdogan’s sharp exits. According to Niinistö, in a telephone conversation on 4 April, Erdogan clearly expressed his support for Finland’s efforts. – At the end of a rather long discussion, he said that you are applying for NATO membership, we will look at it favorably, we will assess it favorably , Niinistö says. Should the speeches have been treated with greater caution? – It is quite difficult to get started because it is not true if something is repeatedly reassured not only to me but also to our Foreign Minister and even to the Secretary General of NATO. It would have been difficult to justify a solution that we are not moving forward because Turkey’s positive position is not correct or we suspect it is not. Should this be the way to go? No.

Is it possible that there have been differences of interpretation between Finland and Turkey? – There is no possibility of misunderstanding. Besides, the continuation of the April 4 call is a bit ambitious. On 5 May, Foreign Minister [ Pekka Haavisto ] confirmed that he had a discussion with Turkish Foreign Minister [ Mevlüt ] Cavusoglu and stated that there were no problems. And NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued a similar statement on behalf of NATO in early May. – If there was still a clear perception in NATO on May 5 that there are no problems, then we have to believe it. That fact raises this issue more on the NATO table than on our table.

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Gonzalo: Whatever remains

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 072022
 


Pablo Picasso Rest (Marie-Thérèse Walter) 1932

 

Zelensky Says Ukraine is Being Pushed to Make Concessions to Russia (Celente)
Blaming Putin Is Helping Putin (Dmitry Orlov)
Fury In Moscow After Air Closures Block Lavrov Trip To Serbia (AFP)
Your Show of Shows (Kunstler)
The White House Keeps Stoking Covid Fears (Bhattacharya)
COVID-19: Mask Mandates Could Increase Death Rate (Celente)
Florida Surgeon General Openly Questions Safety Of Covid-19 Vaccines (FP)
Elon Musk Threatens To Terminate Twitter Deal (PM)
Biden Admin Quietly Raised Amount of Ethanol Required in Gasoline (CTH)
Soros Spent $40 Million To Elect 75 ‘Social Justice’ Prosecutors (WE)
Exasperated Biden Has Only Himself To Blame For Poll Numbers (Levine)
Why Is Chuck Schumer Trying To Stop Antitrust Reform? (NW)
Ankara Tries To Sell ‘Ottoman Islands’ Theory (K.)
Nils Merzel’s New Book Argues Julian Assange Is Being Tortured (Conv.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuclear warheads
https://twitter.com/i/status/1533811236160290817

 

 

“Zelensky did not specify exactly what parties are beginning to grow impatient..”

Zelensky Says Ukraine is Being Pushed to Make Concessions to Russia (Celente)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday told reporters that he is starting to feel pressure from the West to negotiate for peace with Russia from a current position of weakness. Ukrayinska Pravda reported that Zelensky told reporters: “I do not have any negotiations on any plans (on the peace plan, which is being discussed by the United States, the European Union and Britain – ed.); such negotiations are currently at zero. Everyone really wants to push us little by little towards some result that is definitely undesirable for us, because we have not been asked yet, but beneficial for other parties that have their own interests. Again, different: both financial and political. “Fatigue is growing, people want some kind of result for themselves, and you and I need a result – for us. Thus, I did not discuss with them the structures for resolving the issue of this war with a positive result for us.”

Zelensky did not specify exactly what parties are beginning to grow impatient with the war but some high-profile people have recently said that Ukraine should consider some kind of concessions to achieve peace. Zelensky and his closest advisers have been adamant that they will not cede one inch of the country to Russia, despite Russian forces and separatists now controlling about 20 percent of the country. Zelensky has said earlier that Russian troops must leave the country before there can be any talk of a negotiate peace, which many see as an unfeasible position. Last week, Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, called Zelensky’s demand idiotic “and unfeasible in principle,” Newsweek reported.

“Anticipating his inevitable defeat, Ukrainian President Zelensky found a convenient way out of the impasse,” Medvedev said. “No country, no problem. His actions and statements prove that now he is ready to put almost everything on the altar of his political ambitions.”

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“The logical steps needed to make it all Putin’s fault are then obvious: the shortages are because of the war and the war is Putin’s fault.”

Blaming Putin Is Helping Putin (Dmitry Orlov)

The systemic crisis which we are currently witnessing in the West (and in other parts of the world that are too tightly interconnected with the West to avoid experiencing it as well) is objectively being caused by the West itself. But Westerners, being unaccustomed to acknowledging their mistakes (being all superior, indispensable and infallible-like in their own addled minds), are forced to resort to explaining away their epic failures in virtually every sphere by blaming it all on Putin. That is, they don’t even blame Russia in general, but blame Putin personally; after all, Russia can be good and agreeable at times (as it was under Gorbachev and Yeltsin) but Putin makes it misbehave. That’s why it’s all got to be Putin’s fault.

Here’s what it’s come to: an entire President of the United States (or whoever runs his teleprompter), who, in the course of his election campaign, swore up and down that he will take responsibility for whatever happens under his command, now blames “Putin’s Price Hike” so regularly and monotonously that the phrase has become a meme. By now the narrative of “it’s all Putin’s fault” has spread to encompass all of the more sensitive problems: inflation, fuel prices, food price hikes and even… shortages of baby formula! It turns out that the shortages aren’t caused by the discovery of dangerous bacteria in the products of a monopoly producer but by shortages of imported sunflower oil from… the Ukraine. That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, no less! The logical steps needed to make it all Putin’s fault are then obvious: the shortages are because of the war and the war is Putin’s fault.

This wonderful strategy works just fine for the short term, but it has a major vulnerability in the longer term because of a certain mechanism of mass psychology. Superficially, it is simple and seemingly bulletproof: Putin is irrational; he has imperial ambitions, suffers from paranoia, delusions of grandeur, is obsessed with restoring the USSR… Since his motives are irrational, they cannot be dealt with through rational means such as negotiation, diplomacy, compromise and so on. Putin is a crazy dictator with lots of nuclear missiles and so all we can do is suffer. This construct seems good enough for most purposes, such as explaining away social problems, economic issues and failures of leadership. But only in the short term.

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“This was a deprivation of a sovereign state of the right to carry out foreign policy.”

Fury In Moscow After Air Closures Block Lavrov Trip To Serbia (AFP)

Moscow on Monday furiously condemned the rejection by several European countries of a request for Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s plane to pass through their airspace, forcing him to cancel a trip to ally Serbia. “The unthinkable has happened,” Lavrov told an online news conference in Moscow. “This was a deprivation of a sovereign state of the right to carry out foreign policy.” Bulgaria, Macedonia and Montenegro refused a request from Russia for Lavrov’s plane to pass through their airspaces on the way to Serbia because of sanctions imposed over Moscow’s military action in Ukraine. Lavrov had been due to hold talks with top officials in Belgrade, one of Moscow’s few remaining allies in Europe since the launch of the offensive in late February.

Lavrov described the move as “outrageous”, insisting that Moscow’s relations with Belgrade would not be “destroyed”. He said Moscow had invited his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic to visit Russia in the near future instead. The Kremlin also denounced the moves, with President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman calling them “hostile actions”. “We are convinced that such actions will not be able to prevent our country’s continuation of contacts, especially with friendly countries,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists. Lavrov had previously been forced to cancel a trip to Geneva for disarmament talks in late February, after the European Union closed its airspace to Russian aviation.

A Russian diplomatic source told news agency Interfax there had been no choice but to cancel the visit to Serbia. “Russian diplomacy has not yet learned how to teleport,” the source said. The chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian parliament’s upper house, Konstantin Kosachev, suggested NATO was pressuring the three countries. “We are talking about a NATO demarche, and without the United States it could not have happened,” Kosachev said on Telegram.

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“..as a final indignity — actually, an advertisement to the world of our depraved weakness — the US military is hosting drag queen shows at our European air bases.”

Your Show of Shows (Kunstler)

The Party of Chaos certainly doesn’t need to reinforce the mass formation psychosis of its base who maintain that the 2020 election was the fairest-and-squarest in US history. The committee members will chant the talismanic phrase “The Big Lie” ad nauseam to ward off reasonable suspicions that they are the ones doing the lying. Since a kind of maniacal stupidity attends all the party’s doings these days, it could easily backfire on them. Even two years later probes are still pending in several swing states, and only a few weeks ago, the documentary 2000 Mules released time-stamped videocam footage of blatant wholesale drop-box ballot-stuffing around the country. Lawsuits filed lately also claim the committee itself is illegally constituted, since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disallowed (against the rules) the minority Republicans from appointing their own chosen members.

Instead, she did it for them, planting the vehemently hostile rogues Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger on it, meaning no witnesses will be called who might refute pertinent details of the “insurrection” narrative already constructed. Much of the testimony presented will be videotaped interviews with Trump White House officials and there will be no accounting for what may be edited out. In other words, you have an obvious setup for a star chamber, a device for disregarding individual rights and fair procedure. The context, of course, as I aver above, is a country that is imploding six ways to Sunday — to paraphrase Chuck Schumer, the Party of Chaos’s Senate leader. At least half the public is already onto the extravagant damage inflicted upon our national life by the beneficiaries of the 2020 election.

Thanks to “Joe Biden,” the dollar is hemorrhaging value, we instigated a war in Ukraine that will lead to global famine and mass refugee events, oil and natgas are unaffordable thanks to our destabilizing of global distribution networks, spare parts are unavailable for every imaginable machine in the land, the business model for farming is broken, real estate is groaning under rising mortgage interest rates, the CDC is still pushing Covid vaccines despite proof that they are ineffective and harmful, cities are overwhelmed with criminal violence and psychotic homeless drug fiends, and, as a final indignity — actually, an advertisement to the world of our depraved weakness — the US military is hosting drag queen shows at our European air bases.

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“..in at least 35% of pediatric “Covid deaths,” Covid couldn’t have been the cause.”

The White House Keeps Stoking Covid Fears (Bhattacharya)

“I’ve been a huge advocate of keeping schools fully open to in person education since October of 2020,” Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid response coordinator, tweeted last week. “Still am.” So why is Dr. Jha engaged in scare-mongering about the danger of Covid to children? In a May 30 tweet, Dr. Jha asserted that Covid is “a far greater threat to kids than the flu is.” He linked to an article by Harvard Medical School instructor Jeremy Faust, which claims that Covid killed more than 600 children in 2021, whereas the flu kills “an average” of only 120 children annually. But Dr. Faust’s data are severely skewed, for three reasons.

First, while flu is seldom tested, everyone admitted to a hospital for any reason gets a Covid test. Between October 2018 and September 2019, 1.4 million flu tests were reported to public-health and clinical labs. As of May 31, 2022, there had been 897 million PCR tests for Covid. Second, evidence from audits of death certificates found that 35% of all pediatric deaths in 2020 “had co-occurring diagnosis codes that could not be plausibly categorized as either a chain-of-event or significant contributing condition,” according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Put another way, in at least 35% of pediatric “Covid deaths,” Covid couldn’t have been the cause.

Third, Dr. Faust relies on a figure for confirmed flu deaths that is well-known to underestimate actual flu deaths by an order of magnitude. Correcting for the lack of flu testing, the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases estimated 1,161 pediatric flu deaths in the 2012-13 season rather than the 142 that Dr. Faust reported. For the White House to amplify a false message of high Covid risk for children undermines public health and erodes public confidence. It foments an erroneous assessment of risk and is the kind of misinformation that leads to more school closings as well as burdensome mask and quarantine mandates.

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“Results from this study strongly suggest that mask mandates actually caused about 1.5 times the number of deaths..”

COVID-19: Mask Mandates Could Increase Death Rate (Celente)

A new study out of Kansas found that mask mandates could be associated with a higher rate of death due to the spread of COVID-19. The observational study, which was published in Medicine in February considered “whether mandatory mask use influenced the case fatality rate in Kansas” from August 2020 to October of the same year, Town Hall reported. Dr. Zacharias Fögen authored the observational study titled, “The Foegen Effect: A Mechanism by Which Facemasks Contribute to the COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate.” He wrote the main takeaway was that “contrary to the accepted thought that fewer people are dying due to infection rates are reduced by masks, this was not the case.”


“Results from this study strongly suggest that mask mandates actually caused about 1.5 times the number of deaths or 50% more deaths compared to no mask mandates,” the German doctor wrote. Fögen’s theory is that hypercondensed droplets caught by masks are re-inhaled and “introduced deeper into the respiratory tract.” The study focused on Kansas because the decision to force masks was up to the 105 counties and 81 refused to impose them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to insist that masks are an effective tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19. President Joe Biden has made mask usage one of the central themes in his administration’s fight against the virus. On his first day in office, he signed an executive order requiring masks on federal property and called for their widespread use for 100 days.

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“How can you force people to take a vaccine in order to stop transmission when that vaccine is not effective at stopping transmission?”

Florida Surgeon General Openly Questions Safety Of Covid-19 Vaccines (FP)

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Friday made some of his strongest statements yet against receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Delivered at a press conference announcing an agreement with the Special Olympics to lift a vaccine mandate, the Florida Department of Health leader went much further. He called into question the efficacy of COVID-19 shots and whether they are even safe to use. “People will say oh, you know, millions of people have taken these vaccines, they must be safe,” he said. “Well, you can’t know the answer to that when it is taboo to talk about having a reaction after vaccines.” Citing only anecdotal evidence, he suggested the vaccine has produced more side effects than others such as flu shots.


“There’s another vaccine that over 100 million Americans take every year, and it’s the influenza vaccine,” he said. “And the stream of adverse events that I’ve heard from people all over this country after these vaccines is nothing like the years of my life when I’ve been in medicine and have been administering the influenza vaccines. There is a difference, and you can’t say that millions of people getting it excuses you from that.” Regarding vaccine mandates, he said those make no sense based on what science now shows about this coronavirus and about vaccines in use now. “Scientifically, it makes zero sense,” Ladapo said. “How can you force people to take a vaccine in order to stop transmission when that vaccine is not effective at stopping transmission?”

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“..Parag Agrawal, current CEO said that for Musk to undertake this count he would need access to information that is not currently public.”

You can buy this car, but you cannot look at the engine…

Elon Musk Threatens To Terminate Twitter Deal (PM)

Elon Musk has accused Twitter of “resisting and thwarting” his inquiries about how many fake, or bot accounts are currently on the Twitter platform. Musk has been trying to get this information since his acquisition process for the platform began. Musk has reportedly called Twitter’s unwillingness to provide the information a “clear material breach” to the terms of the agreement that is still under negotiation. As a result, Musk is reserving his right to not complete the transaction.In the letter to Twitter Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde, Skadden attorney Mike Ringler for Musk said that “Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement,” according to CNBC.

He said further that Twitter must provide the information that is being requested, and that the merger agreement requires it. Ringler disputed Twitter’s claim that they are not responsible to give that data in order to close the deal. “Mr. Musk is entitled to seek, and Twitter is obligated to provide,” Ringler wrote, “information and data for, inter alia, ‘any reasonable business purpose related to the consummation of the transaction.'” “At this point,” Ringler continued, “Mr. Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement, which is causing further suspicion that the company is withholding the requested data due to concern for what Mr. Musk’s own analysis of that data will uncover.”

The letter, submitted to the SEC, posited that “If Twitter is confident in its publicized spam estimates, Mr. Musk does not understand the company’s reluctance to allow Mr. Musk to independently evaluate those estimates. As noted in our previous correspondence, Mr. Musk will of course comply with the restrictions provided under Section 6.4, including by ensuring that anyone reviewing the data is bound by a non-disclosure agreement, and Mr. Musk will not retain or otherwise use any competitively sensitive information if the transaction is not consummated.”

Musk has been adamant throughout the process that he needs to know how many of the accounts on Twitter are actual humans. There is speculation that if the number is higher than Twitter execs have reported, Musk could negotiate a new buying price that’s less than the $44 billion initially offered and agreed to. Musk and his team have been willing to do the calculations themselves, but Parag Agrawal, current CEO who took over after founder Jack Dorsey left in the fall, said that for Musk to undertake this count he would need access to information that is not currently public.

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From 10% to 15%. But small engines and older car engines cannot take more than 10%.

(bio-) Ethanol fulfills its promise as an unmitigated disaster.

But wait, didn’t we have a food problem?

Biden Admin Quietly Raised Amount of Ethanol Required in Gasoline (CTH)

Last Friday the Biden administration raised the mandatory amount of biofuel, specifically ethanol, that must be blended within the U.S. gasoline supply. The previous amount of 10% was raised to 15% by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is likely to lead to two sets of bigger issues, less food and higher gas prices. First issue. – The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a government mandate, passed in 2005 and expanded in 2007, that requires growing volumes of biofuels to be blended into U.S. transportation fuels like gasoline and diesel every year. Approximately 40 percent of corn grown in the U.S. is used for ethanol. Raising the amount of ethanol required in gasoline will result in the need for more biofuel (corn). With farming costs and outputs already under pressure this could be problematic.

Second issue – The EPA enforces the biofuel standard by requiring refineries to submit purchase credits (known as Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proving the purchases. This enforcement requirement sets up a system where the RIN credits are bought and sold by small refineries who do not have the infrastructure to do the blending process. They purchase second-hand RIN credits from parties that blended or imported biofuels directly. This sets up a secondary income stream, a trading market for the larger oil companies, refineries and importers. The RIN credit trading platform is similar to what we might expect to see if the ‘Carbon Trading’ scheme was ever put into place. However, now that the biofuel requirements for blended gasoline have gone from 10% to 15%, the price of the RIN credits will likely jump.

This will cost refineries billions in additional expenses,…. which will mean the cost of the gasoline from the refineries will increase,….. which will mean the cost of the gasoline at the pump will go higher. The EPA theory is that RIN credits should be expensive thereby forcing all oil refineries to invest in infrastructure that makes the blended fuel. All of the infrastructure from the refinery to the gas station would need to be modified to facilitate the new 15% RFS standard. Again, higher prices at the pumps as a result of oil companies and refineries needing to spend billions on upgrades. Which brings us to issue number three.

Third Issue – “Ethanol is a valuable source of octane in finished gasoline, but it is chemically different than petroleum gasoline and cannot be used in concentrations above 10 percent in small engines — like outboard boat motors, motorcycles, lawnmowers, generators or chain saws — or in any cars made before 2001. Complicating matters further, most cars on the road today still aren’t warrantied to run on gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol. Retail stations also must have compatible infrastructure in order to sell gasoline with higher ethanol blends.” This issue is known within the industry as “The Blend Wall.”

Read more …

America’s future is being shaped by a foreigner who will not see that future.

Soros Spent $40 Million To Elect 75 ‘Social Justice’ Prosecutors (WE)

Sky-high campaign donations from liberal anti-police billionaire George Soros and his groups have helped to elect 75 “social justice” prosecutors in whose cities jailings have plummeted and crime has surged, according to a new report provided to Secrets. In a 17-page report compiled by the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, a decade of spending has put Soros prosecutors in enough big cities that they represent 1 in 5 people, or about 72 million. That includes about half of America’s 50 most populous cities and counties where 40% of U.S. homicides occur. Soros is a well-known proponent of social justice prosecution, which calls for lighter sentences, especially of minorities. The movement, however, has led to higher crime in some cities and has been decried by pro-law-and-order conservatives.


Police have led the charge against liberal prosecutors who have been refusing to file charges that lead to long prison sentences. In a statement to Secrets, LELDF President Jason Johnson hit the Soros funding. “Soros is using that campaign money and the hundreds of millions more for supporting organizations to quietly transform the criminal justice system for the worse, promoting dangerous policies and anti-police narratives to advance his radical agenda,” said Johnson. He added, “Over the past decade, George Soros has spent $40 million to elect 75 of his chosen prosecutors. In campaigns from Houston and Los Angeles to Philadelphia and Orlando, Soros was the campaign’s biggest spender by far — as much as 90% of the dollars spent in some races. Soros isn’t done yet — he’s already spent another million so far this year on his hand-picked district attorneys.”

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“Let Joe be Joe” is the thinking.”

Exasperated Biden Has Only Himself To Blame For Poll Numbers (Levine)

Leaks from the White House suggest that Joe Biden is in a snit over his plummeting poll numbers, now that they’ve sunk below those of Donald Trump. He is exasperated that he is not receiving credit for the great achievements of his administration and feels he is a victim of circumstances beyond his control: inflation, rising fuel prices, the border crisis, Afghanistan, the war in Ukraine, school shootings, COVID-19, and so on. Oh, woe is him. So goes the spin. Biden’s solution is to snarl at staff and demand better messaging. First lady Jill Biden and the president’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, are reported by Politico to be urging him to get out and about more. “Let Joe be Joe” is the thinking.

But isn’t that part of the problem? When Biden goes off script in front of a teleprompter, things go awry very quickly. He blurts out reckless thought bubbles, like when he said Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” or that the US would get involved militarily in Taiwan. The plan is to put the near-octogenarian president on the road to give him more opportunities to connect organically with people and talk up his accomplishments. Perhaps in a sign that he is upping the tempo of his lethargic work output, Biden cut short his weekend sojourn at his Delaware beach house earlier than usual, returning to the White House Sunday rather than Monday morning. But the subtext of the leaks of turmoil in the Oval points to one central grievance: Donald Trump.

The man whose legacy Biden has spent his entire presidency trying to erase just can’t be outstripped. It’s why Biden can’t mention his predecessor’s name, treating him more like Lord Voldemort than a former president. He is “seething,” reports Politico, that his standing in the polls is now worse than that of Trump, “whom Biden routinely refers to in private as ‘the worst president’ in history and an existential threat to the nation’s democracy.” What does that say about his own presidency? Biden’s Trump derangement is “the greatest source of West Wing frustration, coming from behind the Resolute Desk.” Well, no wonder. When you look at the polling comparison between Biden and Trump, there simply is no contest. There is not a single day in which Biden has done better than Trump in his second year in office.

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Money?!

Why Is Chuck Schumer Trying To Stop Antitrust Reform? (NW)

We’re all familiar with the concentrated market power of giant technology companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, which reach into all corners of Americans’ daily lives. For more than a decade, their monopolistic dominance has spawned Justice Department investigations, congressional hearings, civil lawsuits and legal penalties. Over and over again, antitrust bills are discussed and some are introduced—and then they die in the House and the Senate. Now, though, two bills that would begin to rein in the power of companies like these Big Tech behemoths are under consideration in the Senate. They’ve both passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by impressive margins and are ready for a full vote. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been dragging his feet on bringing them to the floor.

Letting these bills die would be a significant failure of the American antitrust movement, signaling to the Big Tech companies that even modest and highly limited restrictions on their behavior are politically impossible to achieve—that despite overwhelming popular support for reform, Washington is simply too intransigent and too bought and paid for to get anything done. A defeat would give these companies the green light to continue stomping all over their smaller competitors and harming consumers by invading our privacy and limiting our choice. But given Schumer’s own ties to Big Tech, his reluctance to bring this legislation to the floor—where it would almost certainly pass—is no surprise.

Schumer has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Big Tech and its employees over the past decade. Between 2013 and 2018—a time period when tough data protections were adopted in the European Union, and there were broad calls for the U.S. to do the same—these corporate giants gave Schumer more than almost any other member of Congress. In 2016, the technology industry gave Schumer $237,000. In just the spring of 2021, when antitrust legislation was under discussion in Congress, Schumer took $120,000 from Google and Apple executives and their aligned PACs. The ties go beyond campaign contributions. Schumer’s staff has been a revolving door for Big Tech. According to the New York Post, more than 80 former Schumer staffers have gone on to subsequently work at the Big Tech firms.

And Schumer’s two daughters have also both worked directly for Big Tech—one for Amazon, and one for Facebook subsidiary Instagram. Alison Schumer also advocated against regulation as a public affairs manager for Airbnb, the technology company that has in many ways distorted housing markets worldwide. Given all that money and those family connections, it’s no wonder that Schumer has been reluctant to take a hard line on the enormous problem of tech market concentration. Indeed, journalists who watch the sector have called Schumer a “quiet but reliable Washington ally” to Big Tech, as well as a “tech booster.” As recently as 2018, he said tech companies were too new to regulate aggressively. He proposed that the companies police themselves—an approach that has clearly failed.

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Lausanne Treaty, 1923. Yes, Turkey is smaller than the Ottoman empire. This is turning into a weird revisionist story.

Ankara Tries To Sell ‘Ottoman Islands’ Theory (K.)

The theory of “Ottoman islands” whose sovereignty has not been given to any country by any treaty is being pushed by Ankara in earnest. Indicatively, the idea has also been picked up and promoted by the Turkish media, targeting specific islands, such as Agathonisi and Farmakonisi. The pro-government Milliyet columnist and director of the Kanal D television network in Ankara, Zafer Sahin, said in an article that “a second Imia crisis is on the brink. This is because the situation has turned into a deep political and military crisis that goes beyond the Imia issue.” Greece and Turkey came close to war in 1996 over the rocky Imia islets.

In his article titled “The Ottoman Islands in the Aegean,” Sahin emphasized that Ankara, in addition to questioning the sovereignty of the eastern Aegean islands that are militarized, is also preparing to raise the issue of the sovereignty of islands whose sovereignty has not been determined, citing Gavdos as an example. “This is located south of Crete and is under a regime whose sovereignty has not been determined,” he said. Turkey has long promulgated theory of “gray zones” regarding the status of 152 Greek islands and islets, but it seems that now there is an attempt to connect them with the Ottoman Empire.

“There are Ottoman islands that have not been transferred to the maps of the US and Great Britain, issued after the Second World War, which appear outside Greek territory,” Sahin claims. These theories began to emerge after the statements of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last week, who tried to threaten Greece into demilitarizing these islands. “Otherwise, the debate over sovereignty begins as they have been given [to Greece] under conditions,” he said.

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Not a word so far from the new Oz PM.

Nils Merzel’s New Book Argues Julian Assange Is Being Tortured (Conv.)

It is easy to forget why Julian Assange has been on trial in England for, well, seemingly forever. Didn’t he allegedly sexually assault two women in Sweden? Isn’t that why he holed up for years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid facing charges? When the bobbies finally dragged him out of the embassy, didn’t his dishevelled appearance confirm all those stories about his lousy personal hygiene? Didn’t he persuade Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning to hack into the United States military’s computers to reveal national security matters that endangered the lives of American soldiers and intelligence agents? He says he is a journalist, but hasn’t the New York Times made it clear he is just a “source” and not a publisher entitled to first amendment protection? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you are not alone. But the answers are actually no.

At very least, it’s more complicated than that. To take one example, the reason Assange was dishevelled was that staff in the Ecuadorian embassy had confiscated his shaving gear three months before to ensure his appearance matched his stereotype when the arrest took place. That is one of the findings of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, whose investigation of the case against Assange has been laid out in forensic detail in The Trial of Julian Assange.What is the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture doing investigating the Assange case, you might ask? So did Melzer when Assange’s lawyers first approached him in 2018: “I had more important things to do: I had to take care of “real” torture victims!” Melzer returned to a report he was writing about overcoming prejudice and self-deception when dealing with official corruption. “Not until a few months later,” he writes, “would I realise the striking irony of this situation.”

[..] He received nothing like full co-operation in investigating Assange’s case. He gathered around 10,000 pages of procedural files, but a lot of them came from leaks to journalists or from freedom-of-information requests. Many pages had been redacted. Rephrasing Carl Von Clausewitz’s maxim, Melzer wrote his book as “the continuation of diplomacy by other means”. What he finds is stark and disturbing: “The Assange case is the story of a man who is being persecuted and abused for exposing the dirty secrets of the powerful, including war crimes, torture and corruption. It is a story of deliberate judicial arbitrariness in Western democracies that are otherwise keen to present themselves as exemplary in the area of human rights.

“It is the story of wilful collusion by intelligence services behind the back of national parliaments and the general public. It is a story of manipulated and manipulative reporting in the mainstream media for the purpose of deliberately isolating, demonizing, and destroying a particular individual. It is the story of a man who has been scapegoated by all of us for our own societal failures to address government corruption and state-sanctioned crimes.”

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Rubik
https://twitter.com/i/status/1533888946723340288

 

 

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Jun 032022
 
 June 3, 2022  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  36 Responses »


Carl Bloch The transfiguration c1865

 

The East Grows Stronger While The West Gets Weaker (ZH)
Zelensky Says Russia Controls A Fifth Of Ukrainian Territory (BBC)
Quo Vadis, Mr Johnson? (Batiushka)
US Engaged In “Offensive” Cyber Ops Against Russia In Ukraine: NSA Director (ZH)
Biden To Visit Saudi Arabia In Push To Lower Oil Prices And Punish Russia (G.)
Biden’s Inner Trudeau (Turley)
Arms Sent To Ukraine Will End Up In Criminal Hands, Says Interpol Chief (G.)
Voting Software Vulnerable In Some States (AP)
Bill Barr Applauds Durham For Showing Truth On Clinton Campaign, FBI (JTN)
The Decline and Fall of Davos Man (PS)

 

 

 

 

Inflation

 

 

Kat Lindley

 

 

Interesting graph. Qué pasa?

 

 

It’s like they do it on purpose.

The East Grows Stronger While The West Gets Weaker (ZH)

The latest agreement among member nations on export bans targeting Russia is largely oil focused, not natural gas focused, with the union demanding an immediate 70% decrease in Russian oil transferred BY SHIP. Oil transferred by pipeline will continue to flow into the EU for now. The ban is intended to expand to 90% of all shipborne Russian oil by the end of this year. Natural gas imports from Russia will also continue. While some European nations are more dependent on Russian energy than others, overall 40% of the EU’s needs are supplied by the country’s industry. It is not surprising that they are seeking an incremental approach to sanctions, they simply would not be able to survive another winter if they were to go cold turkey and block Russian imports completely. Of course, this does not mean that Russia has to operate on Europe’s timetable.

Russia is already reducing exports of natural gas to multiple EU countries, with Denmark, Netherlands and Germany being the latest to see losses. The EU’s ban was oil and ship focused because they cannot find an alternative source for natural gas that would resolve shortages if they banned everything. Germany in particular would be destroyed by the loss of natural gas supplies from Russia with its 42% dependency. The solutions offered by governments and in the mainstream media neglect certain realities. Namely, they claim that output can be increased or diverted to Europe to fill the gap. Joe Biden has suggested that the US is a “net exporter” of oil (this advantage has swiftly declined since he entered the White House according to the IEA) and that the US could help alleviate European demand. The IEA and OPEC members like Saudi Arabia have offered to increase market availability and output of oil if Russian exports are hit with sanctions.

The problem is that increased production is a fantasy stifled by the realities of labor shortages, increased drilling costs due to inflation and shortages in raw materials caused by supply chain disruptions. There is little chance that production capacity will ever be able to match EU demands, according to experts in the drilling industry. [..] Russia has shown considerable resilience to sanctions on oil as both China and India have increased purchases in tandem with Europe’s bans. The wider implication of this being that Europe and the West will be facing reduced global oil supplies and paying a premium while countries like China and India will be enjoying increased supplies and lower prices from Russia. The East grows stronger while the West gets weaker

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“Zelensky admits Russia now holds one-fifth of Ukraine, the largest country entirely within Europe. What he didn’t acknowledge is that Russia controls Ukraine’s industrial heartland, 90% of its energy resources (including all of offshore oil), and its critical ports and shipping.”

“BREAKING: Tribunal over Ukrainian warcrimes will be held in Mariupol. It will be called the Mariupol Tribunal. In addition to the Ukrainian Nazis who committed war crimes in Mariupol, foreign mercenaries and NATO instructors will also be tried there.”

Zelensky Says Russia Controls A Fifth Of Ukrainian Territory (BBC)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says that Russian forces have seized 20% of his country’s territory, as Moscow’s invasion nears its 100th day. Addressing lawmakers in Luxembourg, he added that the front line extended for more than 1,000km (621 miles). “All combat-ready Russian military formations are involved in this aggression,” he told MPs via videolink. Russian forces have been intensifying attacks on the city of Severodonetsk in the eastern Donbas region. UK defence officials say Russia has seized most of the city and are making “steady local gains, enabled by a heavy concentration of artillery”.


Severodonetsk is the easternmost city under Ukrainian control and regional governor Serhiy Haidai said Russia was trying to break through defences in the city “from all directions”. However he said Ukrainian troops were carrying out counter-attacks, “pushing back the enemy on some streets and taking several prisoners”. Intense street-to-street fighting in the city had hampered evacuations, he said, describing such efforts as “extremely dangerous”. In a video address late on Thursday evening, Mr Zelensky said the situation in Donbas had not changed significantly that day but that Ukrainians had experienced “some success” in battles in Severodonetsk.

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“..Johnson regurgitates the old Victorian anti-Russian myths of ‘The Great Game’..”

Quo Vadis, Mr Johnson? (Batiushka)

Alexander Johnson, or to give him his full name, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, was born to wealthy British parents in New York in June 1964, fifty years after the Sarajevo assassination in June 1914. Since 2019 Johnson has been the Prime Minister of the UK. Giving the impression of an elitist and snobbish aristocrat and distantly related to Queen Elizabeth II, he used to work as a right-wing journalist but is above all a renowned political opportunist. A man of the people he is not. Like so many other politicians, does he actually believe in anything, apart from in himself? Johnson is a biographer of his idol, the half-American Winston Churchill, whom he appears to imitate in his stoop and gait. His fawning book The Churchill Factor, clearly indicates who his model is.

He has five or six or seven children (he himself does not seem to be too sure how many he has fathered by various mothers) and enjoys drunken parties in Downing Street during and outside lockdowns. A highly divisive and controversial figure inside the UK, loved by a few and hated by most, the following quip is made about him: What is the difference between Zelensky and Johnson? Zelensky is a buffoon who became a politician, whereas Johnson is a politician who became a buffoon. More serious commentators ask the question: Is Johnson a natural buffoon, or does he just pretend to be a buffoon? Or, perhaps most likely of all, is he a natural buffoon who pretends to be an even greater buffoon? Of course, most people will admit that as regards Zelensky, he never became a politician, but remained a buffoon. But that is another story.

Despite his middle name of Boris (1), Johnson is a Russophobe to the core, as prejudiced as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (given his title because he defended the indefensible Boer War) or any other old Imperialist. Like other blinkered representatives of the Norman-British Establishment, Johnson regurgitates the old Victorian anti-Russian myths of ‘The Great Game’ as well as the new ones. These latter include the 2006 poisoning of the British spy and traitor, Alexander Litvinenko (clearly not an act of the Russian secret services, who would have acted so as not to be identified), and the 2018 Skripal poisonings in the British Establishment military centre in Salisbury (and the subsequent censorship of the case and the father’s and daughter’s abductions carried out by MI5). These poisonings were due to a nasty substance to be found, perhaps uniquely on earth, at the highly secretive and evil Porton Down chemical weapons plant, just six miles from Salisbury. That MI5 and its SIS assassination arm (100 murders per year on average) with its many South African hirelings, could have been responsible would never be admitted by Johnson’s tiny mind.

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“..infrastructurally devastating cyberattacks..”

US Engaged In “Offensive” Cyber Ops Against Russia In Ukraine: NSA Director (ZH)

The US military has issued a stunning but perhaps not entirely unexpected admission that it has been conducting offensive cyber operations in support of Ukraine. It marks the first ever such acknowledgement, and suggests – as many observers have long suspected – a deeper Pentagon and US intelligence role in Ukraine against the Russian military than previously thought. National Security Agency (NSA) and US Cyber Command Director Gen. Paul Nakasone told the UK’s Sky News on Wednesday, “We’ve conducted a series of operations across the full spectrum: offensive, defensive, [and] information operations.” This includes “offensive hacking operations” he said.

Without offering specific details, he continued, “My job is to provide a series of options to the secretary of Defense and the president, and so that’s what I do.” Importantly, Gen. Nakasone gave the interview from allied Baltic country Estonia, from which other supporting operations including weapons transfers for Ukraine have come. He spoke of major attempts of the Russians to launch infrastructurally devastating cyberattacks on Ukraine, saying, “And we’ve seen this with regards to the attack on their satellite systems, wiper attacks that have been ongoing, disruptive attacks against their government processes.” “This is kind of the piece that I think sometimes is missed by the public. It isn’t like they haven’t been very busy, they have been incredibly busy.

“And I think, you know, their resilience is perhaps the story that is most intriguing to all of us,” he said, describing the Ukrainian response. As for support the US has given Ukraine in the lead-up to the Russian invasion, the NSA director referenced the following: Nakasone previously said his agency deployed a “hunt forward” team in December to help Ukraine shore up its cyber defenses and networks against active threats. But his latest remarks appear to be the first time that a U.S. official said publicly that the U.S. has been involved in offensive cyber operations in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Pick your enemies wisely.

Biden To Visit Saudi Arabia In Push To Lower Oil Prices And Punish Russia (G.)

Joe Biden will reportedly visit Riyadh later this month and meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, abandoning a campaign pledge to make Saudi Arabia “a pariah” for the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The Riyadh trip, first reported by the Washington Post and New York Times, suggests Biden has prioritized his need to bring oil prices down and thereby punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, over his stand on human rights. The visit will be added on to an already planned trip to Israel, Germany and Spain. The White House said it had no new travel plans to announce, but made clear there was no barrier to Biden meeting the crown prince.

“If he determines that it’s in the interests of the United States to engage with a foreign leader and that such an engagement can deliver results, then he’ll do so,” a senior White House official said. “In the case of Saudi Arabia, which has been a strategic partner of the United States for nearly 80 years, there’s no question that important interests are interwoven with Saudi Arabia. And the President views the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as an important partner on a host of initiatives that we are working on both in the region and around the world.” The end of the crown prince’s US isolation has looked likely since the Ukraine invasion began on 24 February. Seeking to cut off Russian revenue, Washington has sought an expansion of the global oil supply to bring down prices, which also represented a threat to already poor Democratic prospects in this year’s congressional elections.

The White House reportedly sought to set up a phone call between Biden and Mohammed in March, but was snubbed by the crown prince. However, the president’s top Middle East adviser, Brett McGurk, and his special envoy for energy issues, Amos Hochstein, have persevered in paving the way for a meeting with a string of quiet trips to Riyadh.

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“..politicians are once again ignoring what is constitutionally possible..”

Biden’s Inner Trudeau (Turley)

In our increasingly hateful and divisive politics, there are times when our nation seems incapable of coming together for a common purpose. Tragedies — moments of shared national grieving and mutual support — once were the exception. Yet one of the most chilling aspects of the aftermath of the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, was how the moment of unity was quickly lost to political posturing. Politicians have long admitted that a crisis is an opportunity not to be missed — the greater the tragedy, the greater the opportunity. After the mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, New York’s Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) called for censorship to “silence the voices of hatred and racism.” After the Uvalde massacre, some Democrats renewed calls for everything from court packing to ending the Senate filibuster.

The most immediate response, however, was a call for gun bans. Vice President Kamala Harris got out front of the White House by demanding a ban on AR-15s, the most popular weapon in America. Then President Joe Biden created a stir by suggesting he might seek to ban 9mm weapons. Such calls are not limited to the United States. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government is introducing legislation to “implement a national freeze on handgun ownership.” He said Canadians would no longer be able “to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada,” adding that “there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives.”

The difference between the push in the two countries is the existence of the Second Amendment in the United States — a constitutionally mandated “reason” why Americans are allowed to have guns; they don’t have to prove it to the government. While the White House subsequently tried to walk back his comments, Biden saying there’s “no rational basis” to own 9mms and AR-15s sounds like he’s channeling his inner Canadian.There is now a strong majority for gun control reforms. However, politicians are once again ignoring what is constitutionally possible by focusing on what is politically popular with their voting base.

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A strange difference between guns for Ukraine and guns in America.

Arms Sent To Ukraine Will End Up In Criminal Hands, Says Interpol Chief (G.)

Weapons sent to Ukraine after Russia’s invasion in February will end up in the global hidden economy and in the hands of criminals, the head of Interpol has said. Jürgen Stock says once the conflict ends, a wave of guns and heavy arms will flood the international market and he urged Interpol’s member states, especially those supplying weapons, to cooperate on arms tracing. “Once the guns fall silent [in Ukraine], the illegal weapons will come. We know this from many other theatres of conflict. The criminals are even now, as we speak, focusing on them,” Stock said.

“Criminal groups try to exploit these chaotic situations and the availability of weapons, even those used by the military and including heavy weapons. These will be available on the criminal market and will create a challenge. “No country or region can deal with it in isolation because these groups operate at a global level.” He added: “We can expect an influx of weapons in Europe and beyond. We should be alarmed and we have to expect these weapons to be trafficked not only to neighbouring countries but to other continents.” He said Interpol urged members to use its database to help “track and trace” the weapons.

“We are in contact with member countries to encourage them to use these tools. Criminals are interested in all kinds of weapons … basically any weapons that can be carried might be used for criminal purposes.” Ukraine’s western allies have sent shipments of high-end military weapons to Ukraine since the Russian invasion more than three months ago. On Tuesday, the American president, Joe Biden, announced the US would supply Kyiv with advanced missile systems and munitions. After the US pulled out of Afghanistan in 2021, following 20 years of war, huge amounts of often highly sophisticated military equipment was left behind and fell into the hands of the Taliban.

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Who wrote that headline? It’s Dominion, in 16 states!

Voting Software Vulnerable In Some States (AP)

Electronic voting machines from a leading vendor used in at least 16 states have software vulnerabilities that leave them susceptible to hacking if unaddressed, the nation’s leading cybersecurity agency says in an advisory sent to state election officials. The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, or CISA, said there is no evidence the flaws in the Dominion Voting Systems’ equipment have been exploited to alter election results. The advisory is based on testing by a prominent computer scientist and expert witness in a long-running lawsuit that is unrelated to false allegations of a stolen election pushed by former President Donald Trump after his 2020 election loss. The advisory, obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its expected Friday release, details nine vulnerabilities and suggests protective measures to prevent or detect their exploitation.


Amid a swirl of misinformation and disinformation about elections, CISA seems to be trying to walk a line between not alarming the public and stressing the need for election officials to take action. CISA Executive Director Brandon Wales said in a statement that “states’ standard election security procedures would detect exploitation of these vulnerabilities and in many cases would prevent attempts entirely.” Yet the advisory seems to suggest states aren’t doing enough. It urges prompt mitigation measures, including both continued and enhanced “defensive measures to reduce the risk of exploitation of these vulnerabilities.” Those measures need to be applied ahead of every election, the advisory says, and it’s clear that’s not happening in all of the states that use the machines.

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That’s all?

Bill Barr Applauds Durham For Showing Truth On Clinton Campaign, FBI (JTN)

Former Attorney General Bill Barr defended special counsel John Durham after the acquittal of ex-Clinton Campaign attorney Michael Sussmann, saying the prosecutor was able to shed light on the Hillary Clinton campaign’s “dirty trick” with the disproven Trump-Russia scandal and the related problems at the FBI. “No, I’m very proud of John Durham, and I do take responsibility for his appointment, and I think he and his team did an exceptionally able job, both digging out very important facts and presenting a compelling case to the jury,” Barr told Fox News host Jesse Waters on Wednesday. After Sussmann was acquitted of lying to the FBI, the jury forewoman told reporters that the case was a waste of time. “I don’t think it should have been prosecuted,” she said, according to The Washington Times.


“There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI.” Durham told Waters that while Durham “did not succeed in getting a conviction from the D.C. jury, I think he accomplished something far more important, which is he brought out the truth in two important areas. “First, I think he crystalized the central role played by the Hillary campaign in launching, as a dirty trick, the whole Russiagate Collusion narrative and fanning the flames of it,” Barr explained. “And second, I think he exposed really dreadful behavior by the supervisors in the FBI… who knowingly used this information to start an investigation of [former President Donald] Trump and then duped their own agents by lying to them and refusing to tell them what the real source of that information was,” Barr said, adding, “And that was appalling.”

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“..not a single aspect of globalization has been spared from the fallout of new geopolitical conflicts..”

The Decline and Fall of Davos Man (PS)

“Davos Man” has had a grim 14 years. The late Harvard University political scientist Samuel P. Huntington popularized the term in 2004 to describe a new overclass of evangelists for globalization. Davos Man, he claimed, wanted to see national borders disappear and the logic of politics superseded by that of the market. But since the 2008 global financial crisis, politics has increasingly trumped economics, a trend that reached its apotheosis in 2016 with Donald Trump’s election in the United States and the Brexit referendum. Both events represented a backlash against Davos Man’s vision of a frictionless world governed (not run) as efficiently as possible by “multi-stakeholder processes.”

Moreover, at this year’s annual gathering in Davos, attendees had to confront an even bigger challenge than national politics: the return of geopolitics. The World Economic Forum’s theme was “History at a Turning Point,” in recognition of the fact that we have reached the end of the “end of history.” Although the WEF’s ethos is to promote cooperation in the pursuit of “one world,” the new agenda is necessarily focused on conflict and division. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression on Ukraine obviously loomed large at this year’s meeting. To open the event, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – appearing virtually in his now familiar military fatigues – spoke of a world split along the fault lines of fundamental values. And Russia House, the facility where Russian delegations hosted parties and networking events in years past, was transformed by Ukrainian activists and donors into the Russian War Crimes House, with an exhibition calling attention to Russian atrocities in Ukraine.

After browsing this year’s program, it soon became clear that not a single aspect of globalization has been spared from the fallout of new geopolitical conflicts – between Russia and the West, China and the West, China and its neighbors, and so forth. Instead of panels discussing free-trade agreements, there were multiple sessions on economic warfare. Political and business leaders grappled with the fact that we now live in a world where central-bank reserves can be confiscated, commercial banks can be summarily disconnected from the SWIFT international payments system, and private assets can potentially be seized to pay for a country’s reconstruction.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fertilization

 

 

Crazy dog

 

 

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May 302022
 


Gustave Courbet The man made mad by fear 1844

 

Zelensky Hopes for Regime Change in Moscow, Plans To Reclaim Crimea (Antiwar)
Zelensky Signals Donbas Could Soon Fall (ZH)
Whose Lies Can You Trust? (Rothenberg)
EU Struggles To Break Deadlock On Russian Oil Ban Before Summit (ST)
EU To Block Seaborne Russian Oil Deliveries, Not Pipeline (ZH)
Erdogan Says Won’t Let ‘Terrorism-supporting’ Countries Enter NATO (R.)
Erdogan’s Revisionism (Rozakis)
Negative Views Of Russia Mainly Limited To Western Liberal Democracies (G.)
Everyone on Special Counsel Team Wiped Their Cell Phones (CTH)
Biden Falsely Claims Jan. 6 Rioters ‘Killed Two Police Officers’ (DW)
The Biggest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme in History (Root)
Amnesty Should Be Granted To The Unvaccinated (NP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Zelensky indicated he was open to talks but wanted regime change in Moscow first..”

“When Ukraine says it will be fighting to regain its territories it lost, it means Ukraine will be fighting until it gets all its territory back. It doesn’t mean anything else.”

Zelensky Hopes for Regime Change in Moscow, Plans To Reclaim Crimea (Antiwar)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he wanted talks with a Russian president; however, he hoped that person was someone other than Vladimir Putin. He also called for his country to reestablish its pre-civil war borders. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria hosted Zelensky for an interview at the World Economic Forum. The event was sponsored by the foundation of Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk. In his introduction, Zakaria framed the war in Ukraine as “Russia versus the world.” During the interview, Zelensky indicated he was open to talks but wanted regime change in Moscow first. “This war will be over sooner or later. I’m sure there would be some sort of peaceful process, some sort of talks, and we would be discussing the issues of who Ukraine will negotiate, with what president of the Russia Federation.”

He added, “I hope that will be a different president in the Russian Federation.” The Ukrainian leader said his counterpart was “living in a bubble of alternative reality,” and Putin was “not keenly aware” of the situation on the ground in Ukraine. Zakaria asked Zelensky, “will Ukraine fight until it takes all the territories it lost in 2014?” Zakaria is referring to the breakaway Donbas republics – Donetsk and Luhansk – and the Crimean Peninsula that was annexed by Russia. Zelensky responded affirmatively to the CNN host’s question. “When Ukraine says it will be fighting to regain its territories it lost, it means Ukraine will be fighting until it gets all its territory back. It doesn’t mean anything else.”

During an event last week at the WEF, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger called on Kiev to cede territory to help resolve the conflict. Zelensky responded with harsh criticism of the former American official. “Mr. Kissinger has emerged from the deep past and said that part of Ukraine should be given to Russia to avoid the alienation of Russia from Europe.” Zelensky added, “it seems that Mr. Kissinger has 1938 on the calendar instead of 2022.” The actor turned president also used the platform to plead for more weapons. Since Russia invaded, the US has approved or transferred over $50 billion in aid to Ukraine.

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“..a notably pessimistic shift and negative tone..”

Zelensky Signals Donbas Could Soon Fall (ZH)

In a Saturday night speech Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave his most dire assessment to date of the status of Ukraine forces in the eastern Donbas region, where for over at least the last two months Russia has concentrated its forces, following the Feb.24 invasion of the country. Saturday marked the 95th day of the conflict. He described conditions there as “indescribably difficult” in what marks a notably pessimistic shift and negative tone for the Ukrainian leader, strongly suggesting the fall of Donbas – or at least whole regions such as Luhansk – could be imminent. He identified several intense ongoing battles in places with a large Russian force presence, including Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Bakhmut and Popasna. Sievierodonets in particular is scene of fierce up-close street battles.

“But our defense holds on,” Zelensky sought to assure the public. “It’s indescribably difficult there. And I am grateful to all those who withstand this onslaught of the occupiers.” As the AP describes of some instances of “close-quarter combat”:Ukrainian regional officials reported that Russian forces were “storming” Sievierodonetsk after trying unsuccessfully to encircle the city. The fighting knocked out power and cellphone service, and a humanitarian relief center could not operate because of the danger, the mayor said. Zelensky in the address also denounced what he called “absolutely senseless, openly barbaric strikes at the Sumy region,” which left at least one person dead and seven wounded and two in critical condition, saying further mortars struck close to a kindergarten.

“These are the enemies chosen by the Russian Federation,” he added. With this, he again called on the West and world leaders to official label Russia as a “terrorist state” – something US has thus far resisted doing, even after Biden previously described Russia’s actions as “genocide”. “This is fair and reflects the daily reality that the occupiers have created in Ukraine and are eager to bring further to Europe. And this must be legally enshrined,” he said. The Biden administration has meanwhile signaled the US is getting ready to ship long-range rocket systems to Ukrainian forces, a major first marking a significant escalation. But given what appears to be Russia’s steady progress over Donbas, it’s likely too-little too-late to turn the tide for the Ukrainians in the East.

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“People will instinctively choose peace over war. We are naturally possessed of that much empathy for others. You have to be marshaled into killing..”

Whose Lies Can You Trust? (Rothenberg)

Imagine if the public had had a say over the question, in 2003, of whether or not we should invade Iraq. No, forget that. That’s not a good example. The public was in favor of it. But why? For months we were the target of an intense propaganda campaign to sway our support for a decision to attack that had already been made. If you convince people that we’re fighting them “over there” so that we don’t have to fight them “over here”, well, that figures to be enough to win them over. Now go back to 1991 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Much talk about a “peace dividend”. Nice ring to it. The United States has had the lion’s share of the world’s wealth since WW2, and now it had the wealth and no viable rivals anywhere in sight.

However, it was considered to be in the “national interest” to expand NATO, an alliance solely formed to counter the communist menace of the Soviet Union, which no longer existed. There was to be no peace dividend. It’s a made-up thing anyway. Since then, 13 countries have joined NATO pushing east toward Russia’s borders. Russia’s leadership regards it as a provocation. You can argue against this but only if you wouldn’t consider it a provocation if Russia had formed a military alliance with Cuba, Mexico, and Canada, or any of the three. I suspect patriotic Americans will reject this dialectic. Imagine if the public had had a say over the question, in 1991, of whether or not we should expand our military alliance with its attendant costs, or whether we should reap the dividend by seeking a more cooperative relationship with the whole of Eurasia including the Middle East.

Missing was the propaganda campaign to win our support for a peace dividend so that we could spend “over here” instead of “over there”. People will instinctively choose peace over war. We are naturally possessed of that much empathy for others. You have to be marshaled into killing. That we identify with peoples’ suffering is evident in all the Ukrainian flag flying. That’s people, not states. States deal in straight power concepts. It is in the anarchist spirit to resist this. To declare that Ukraine is a pawn in a great-power game greatly overstates the country’s role. A pawn can force a win by checkmate or through progression. A better metaphor is Ukraine is the board the game is being played on. The main players are the United States and Russia.

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Slow suicide.

EU Struggles To Break Deadlock On Russian Oil Ban Before Summit (ST)

Ambassadors from the 27 European Union member states on Sunday (May 29) examined a compromise mooted to enable them to break the deadlock on a Russian oil embargo ahead of an emergency summit in Brussels. The bloc’s officials fear the absence of an agreement would cast a shadow over the two-day meeting starting Monday between European leaders. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the gathering by video link to press the bloc to “kill Russian exports” three months after the invasion of Ukraine. The latest round of proposed sanctions by the EU has been blocked by landlocked Hungary, which has no access to seafaring oil cargo ships. Hungary is dependent for 65 per cent of its oil needs on Russian crude supplied via the Druzhba pipeline, which runs from Russia to various points in eastern and central Europe.


Budapest has rejected as inadequate a proposal to allow it two years longer than other EU states to wean itself off Russian oil. It wants at least four years and at least 800 million euros (S$1.1 billion) in EU funds to adapt its refineries to process non-Russian crude and boost pipeline capacity to neighbouring Croatia. Slovakia and the Czech Republic, also supplied by the Druzhba pipeline, accepted exemptions of two and half years, diplomatic sources said. The compromise solution put to national negotiators on Sunday consists in excluding the Druzhba pipeline from a future oil embargo and only imposing sanctions on oil shipped to the EU by tanker vessel, European sources said. The Druzhba pipeline accounts for a third of all EU oil supplies from Russia. Maritime cargos account for the remaining two thirds.

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“..a mere month ago when its head Ursula von der Leyen said, “This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined.”

EU To Block Seaborne Russian Oil Deliveries, Not Pipeline (ZH)

Last week EU leaders held what was deemed an “awkward” summit, as one diplomat attendee put it, given the don’t mention the Russian oil ban elephant in the room. Given Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Hungarian government recently likened a Russian oil ban to dropping a nuclear bomb on its economy (and with some smaller EU countries quietly agreeing with that assessment), there seems a growing consensus – at least behind the scenes – that a total embargo is completely unrealistic and untenable, especially amid steadily ratcheting energy prices. But the European Commission seems to have quickly changed its tune while facing certain ‘hard realities’, as many predicted, coming off a mere month ago when its head Ursula von der Leyen said, “This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined.”

Now just weeks later, on Saturday the European Commission hinted it will move toward a ban only on seaborne deliveries, but not pipeline supplies as part of its “phased approach”. Bloomberg on Saturday cited EU officials privy to the ongoing discussions who pinpointed that this allows a broader ban without significantly impacting Hungary’s primary supply, which is transferred through the massive Druzhba pipeline, which is also the world’s world’s longest oil pipeline. Industry publications point out that in the month prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, some 750,000 b/d of Russian crude flowed through the Druzhba to various refineries in Europe.

Bloomberg writes of the impending modified oil ban that “The proposal would give extra time to Hungary, which has antagonistic the deal, to discover a technical resolution that satisfies its power wishes. It might additionally cope with the worries of different landlocked nations, together with Slovakia and the Czech Republic.” And further, “Bulgaria would get a transition duration till June or December 2024 and Croatia may get an exemption for imports of vacuum fuel oil. The fee additionally proposed proscribing re-exports of Russian oil provided by way of pipeline to different member states or 3rd nations.”

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Negotiating.

Erdogan Says Won’t Let ‘Terrorism-supporting’ Countries Enter NATO (R.)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said talks with Finland and Sweden about their joining NATO were not at the “expected level” and Ankara cannot say yes to “terrorism-supporting” countries, state broadcaster TRT Haber reported on Sunday. Turkey has objected to Sweden and Finland joining the Western defence alliance, holding up a deal that would allow for a historic enlargement following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Erdogan’s latest comments indicated his opposition continued. “For as long as Tayyip Erdogan is the head of the Republic of Turkey, we definitely cannot say ‘yes’ to countries which support terrorism entering NATO,” he was cited as telling reporters on his return from a trip to Azerbaijan on Saturday.


Two sources previously told Reuters that Wednesday’s talks with Finnish and Swedish delegations made little headway and it was unclear when further discussions would take place. All 30 NATO members must approve plans to enlarge NATO. Turkey challenged the bids from Sweden and Finland on the grounds that the countries harbour people linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and others it deems terrorists, and because they halted arms exports to Ankara in 2019. “They are not honest or sincere. We cannot repeat the mistake made in the past regarding countries that embrace and feed such terrorists in NATO, which is a security organisation,” he said.

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Tensions between Greece and Turkey are rising fast.

Erdogan’s Revisionism (Rozakis)

There is no doubt that Turkey has exceeded all precedent with its recent actions and statements – from official lips too. The recent violation by Turkish fighter jets of the airspace over Evros in northeastern Greece is a severe infringement that Turkey has never attempted before. This is not to dismiss other similar behavior – like the overflights above the eastern Aegean islands – but it is an unprovoked intervention into continental territory, which cannot be brushed off with the excuse of the jets’ excessive speed (though this is a thin excuse for the island overflights too, given the frequency of violations). It is an act that can be regarded as an invasion of sovereign territory and one that could justify the activation of Greece’s defenses.

That the Greek side chose not to treat it this way is evidence of the government’s good will and of a deliberate effort to deny Turkey the opportunity to use this incident as a precursor to something bigger. On the scale of seriousness, though, this brief incident appears more severe than those at sea in 2020; there, at least, Turkey seemed to be challenging Greece’s sovereign rights rather than its actual sovereignty, and that in non-delineated areas whose delineation is a condition for any legal claims for exclusive rights of exploitation. The overflight into continental territory has not been Turkey’s only infringement in recent weeks, of course. It comes on top of the overflights above our easternmost islands – which have become almost routine – as well as what appears to be a fresh attempt to instrumentalize the refugee crisis by allowing new waves of migrants to attempt the crossing into the country.

This is not to mention recent comments by the Turkish president shutting down any future discussion with the Greek prime minister. There is no reason to expand on this further, however, because the Turkish president is renowned for his inconsistency and has often made such statements in the past he then reneged on. Be that as it may, things are not looking good. Erdogan’s overall behavior indicates that he does not rule out the possibility of conflict with Greece; in fact, he may be courting it. And this is why efforts to modernize our armed forces are absolutely justified, as is the cultivation of stable alliances with countries that can guarantee our territorial integrity.

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Now do the same poll about the US.

Negative Views Of Russia Mainly Limited To Western Liberal Democracies (G.)

The sharp polarisation between mainly western liberal democracies and the rest of the world in perceptions of Russia has been laid bare in an annual global poll of attitudes towards democracy. Within Europe, 55% of those surveyed for the Alliance for Democracies said they were in favour of cutting economic ties with Russia due to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, whereas in Asia there was a majority against, and in Latin America opinion was evenly split. Negative views of Russia are largely confined to Europe and other liberal democracies. Positive views of Russia have been retained in China, Indonesia, Egypt, Vietnam, Algeria, Morocco, Malaysia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

The annual Democracy Perception Index, carried out after the invasion of Ukraine, covers 52 highly populated countries in Asia, Latin America, the US and Europe. Majorities in a total of 20 countries thought economic ties with Russia should not be cut due to the war in Ukraine. They included Greece, Kenya, Turkey, China, Israel, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, South Africa, Vietnam, Algeria, the Philippines, Hungary, Mexico, Thailand, Morocco, Malaysia, Peru, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia. Colombians were evenly split. By contrast, among the 31 countries that favoured cutting ties, 20 were in Europe. Although Russian diplomats will point to the findings as evidence that global public opinion does not share western interpretations of events in Ukraine, the level of distrust of Russia in some countries was high.

The countries with a widely held most negative view of Russia included Poland (net negative 87%), Ukraine (80%), Portugal (79%), Italy (65%), UK (65%), Sweden (77%), US (62%) and Germany (62%). Even in Hungary – whose leader Viktor Orbán is an ally of Putin – a net 32% have a negative view of Russia. In Venezuela, often seen as propped up by Russia, the local population has a net negative view of Russia of 36%. Countries with a net positive view of Russia included India (36%) Indonesia (14%), Saudi Arabia (11 %), Algeria (29%), Morocco (4%), and Egypt (7%).

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It’s hard to do. The chances of it happening accidentally on 15 phones at once are zero.

Everyone on Special Counsel Team Wiped Their Cell Phones (CTH)

In the aftermath of the late summer 2017 Page/Strzok cell phone text messages, which started to identify the DOJ and FBI targeting operation against Donald Trump, the DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) decided he better look at the communications inside the rest of the Mueller-Weissmann team. Early in 2018 IG Horowitz asked for all of the special counsel cell phones. Andrew Weissmann knew there would be trouble, the special counsel operation was at a critical juncture so he instructed the team to wipe them clean, quickly. Eventually records were released in 2020 showing how the Weissmann/Mueller special counsel team “accidentally” wiped 15 iPhones of all data early in 2018 after the phones were requested by the OIG office for review.

Mueller’s lead investigator Andrew Weissmann said he “accidentally” wiped two phones himself; through a lengthy process of entering the wrong passcode several times over a period of three hours; removing data to show his activity during the special counsel. Weissmann claimed to have entered the wrong password (takes ten attempts) and that erased all the data. Greg Andre, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s criminal division, made the same claim. Wiping your phone to hide damaging information only works if the other phone you are communicating with wipes the same data. Guess what happened? Yup, exactly that, all of the cell phones connected to the key participants in the Muller operation deleted their phone content rendering a review impossible.

James Quarles III, who worked with Mueller in private practice at the Washington office of Wilmer-Hale, claimed his iPhone magically erased itself. Before joining the special counsel team, Mr. Rush Atkinson worked under Andrew Weissmann in the DOJ’s criminal fraud section where he specialized in financial fraud. Atkinson claims he too entered the wrong password ten times and accidentally erased all the data. At least twelve other people assigned to the special counsel investigation had similar “phone wiped/erased” issues which blocked the inspector general from his review.

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“Well, that’s what the rest of the world saw. It’s not who we are. And now, we’re proving, under pressure, that we are not that country. We’re united.”

Biden Falsely Claims Jan. 6 Rioters ‘Killed Two Police Officers’ (DW)

President Joe Biden falsely claimed that January 6 rioters at the U.S. Capitol “killed two police officers” while giving the commencement address at his alma mater Saturday. Biden and several top Democrats have repeated the debunked claim previously, but the president’s latest assertion of it came at the University of Delaware, where Biden graduated in 1965. No police officers died during the riots, and one who died the following day was found to have died of natural causes. “A mob of insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, the very citadel of democracy,” Biden told the newly minted graduates. “Imagine what you’d be thinking today if you had heard this morning before you got here that a group of a thousand people broke down the doors of the parliament of Great Britain, killed two police officers, smashed and ransacked the office of members of the British Parliament or any other, what would you think? What would you think?”

Immediately after U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died on January 7, the department claimed he had been “injured while physically engaging with protesters” and “was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.” The New York Times reported that Sicknick had been beaten with a fire extinguisher, another claim that has since been debunked. The Washington, DC, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner told the Washington Examiner in April that Sicknick’s death was “natural” and caused by two strokes. Two other police officers, Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith and Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood, killed themselves following the attacks.

The only people involved in the riots who died on January 6 were Air Force veteran and Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot in the neck by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd, who was cleared of wrongdoing; two protesters who suffered fatal heart attacks, and another who died of a suspected drug overdose. Biden claimed in a speech in Wisconsin in March that rioters killed five police officers. “Look, how would you feel if you saw crowds storm and break down the doors of the British Parliament, kill five cops, injure 145 — or the German Bundestag, or the Italian Parliament?” he said. “I think you’d wonder. “Well, that’s what the rest of the world saw. It’s not who we are. And now, we’re proving, under pressure, that we are not that country. We’re united.”

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“This turns Americans into paranoid hypochondriacs and hospital junkies.”

The Biggest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme in History (Root)

One of my close friends thought he was having a heart attack. He asked me to drive him to the hospital. Of course, I dropped everything and rushed him to an ER in Las Vegas. He was kept at the hospital for 22 hours. He was given a battery of tests. He passed them all with flying colors. The doctors could find nothing wrong. Thank God — there was no heart attack. He was given a clean bill of health. About two weeks later the bill came. Twenty-two hours in the hospital. Not even one full day. Nothing wrong, so no treatments of any kind were given. The bill was $115,000. What a great job former President Barack Obama did to “fix” the health care system. Now 22 hours in a hospital costs $115,000. The frauds in the media don’t dare talk about that story.

This also explains everything about the pandemic. This is why the reaction by the media, Democratic politicians and medical “experts” has been so hysterical. It’s all about the money. Here’s a simple explanation of the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme. First, Biden, Fauci, the CDC, FDA, Democratic politicians and the media scare people to death — over a flu with mostly mild to moderate symptoms with a 99.9 percent recovery rate. They whip Americans into a frenzy. “If it bleeds, it leads.” The more deaths on the front page, or at the top of the news, the more papers they sell, the higher the ratings — and of course, the billions more spent by Big Pharma on drug and vaccine ads as a “thank you” to the media. This turns Americans into paranoid hypochondriacs and hospital junkies.

It’s one big vicious cycle that makes everyone at the top filthy rich. Think of that $115,000 bill for 22 hours in the hospital. That’s for a person who wasn’t sick. What if you actually have the flu? They’ll admit you for a day, or two, or three, and you’ll go home with a $250,000 bill. What if you actually get seriously ill? That’s a trip to the ICU. Whether you live or die, someone gets a $5,000,000 bill. Multiply these bills by millions of scared-to-death Americans who rush to the ER at the first sign of a cold, cough, fever or sneeze. Most of them are poor and on Obamacare or Medicaid. And it’s all paid by OPM — other people’s money. The government pays, and pays, and pays some more. With your money.

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The choice of terminology alone shows how deep Canada has fallen.

Amnesty Should Be Granted To The Unvaccinated (NP)

With vaccine mandates lifted across the country — only the stubborn, ignore-the-science federal government is holding out — it’s time to stop punishing people with minority opinions on public health policy. Let them go back to work, let them visit their relatives, let them live as freely as people in Auckland and Amsterdam do. Public health measures must be prophylactic and not punitive, aimed at preventing the spread of disease, not administering a penalty to those who do not comply with all the dictates. I wrote that some seven months ago, in light of the federal government’s unreasonable vaccine mandate imposed on federal employees, which included dismissal for unvaccinated employees who work at home.

Seven months on, the unreasonable has become the absurd, with an unvaccinated federal employee able to happily attend a hockey game in a packed arena full of screaming fans, but fired for working alone at home. s each day passes, it becomes more clear that federal pandemic measures are punitive. Canada is one of the most vaccinated countries on earth. Thus it may be politically popular to administer harsh measures to the small minority of the unvaccinated, even if a year on from initial doses and post-Omicron, the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent infection and transmission is greatly diminished. Yet denying millions of Canadians the ability to travel in their own country, or to serve in the military, or to drive a truck across the border, is not something that mere political popularity makes legitimate.

Recent attention has focused on the only-in-Canada travel policies that are snarling our airports. The European Union dropped its mask mandate for flights almost two weeks ago; even New Zealand no longer has vaccine mandates for air travel, at home or abroad.

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May 292022
 


Edouard Manet Gypsy with a cigarette 1862

 

Servant Of The Corrupt (IM1776)
Russia Solidifies Gains in Eastern Ukraine (CTH)
US To Transfer Long-range Rocket Systems To Ukraine (PressTV)
Putin Urged To Hold ‘Direct, Serious Negotiations’ With Zelensky (BBC)
Russia’s Necessary and Legal Military Response to US/NATO Aggression (Gritsch)
The Eurasian Economic Union Steps Up (Escobar)
Qatar Gas Shipments To Germany Will Actually Come From Texas (MEE)
Civilisation and Anti-Civilisation (Batiushka)
Mexican President Unlikely To Attend Summit Of The Americas (LATimes)
The World Health Organisation Has Lost All Credibility (Clark)
California Poised to Adopt ‘Medical Misinformation Bill’ (ET)
SEC Publishes Letter Asking Elon Musk To Explain Late Twitter Filing (G.)
UN Warns of ‘Total Societal Collapse’, Breach of Planetary Boundaries (BT)

 

 

 

 

Bidenese

 

 

 

 

Maajid
https://twitter.com/i/status/1530516870436200448

 

 

“.. the Pandora Papers showed him to be just as crooked as his predecessors.”

Servant Of The Corrupt (IM1776)

In February 2021, by order of President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine shut down three domestic television channels, accusing them of spreading Russian “propaganda.” Three months later, Zelenksky arrested Viktor Medvedchuk, who was at the time leading the second-biggest party in Ukraine’s national parliament, the pro-Russia and Eurosceptic Opposition Platform for Life (OPZZh). Zelensky didn’t have trouble incinerating vaunted democratic norms well-before Russia crossed the Rubicon into Ukraine this year. So it was no surprise when he did it again amid the war in late March, invoking emergency powers under martial law to nationalize TV channels and ban 11 opposition parties, including OPZZh — all supposedly done in the name of combatting Russian misinformation and Russian sympathizers, even though OPZZh’s then-chairman, Yuriy Boyko, denounced the war and called for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. Zelensky, however, wouldn’t miss another opportunity to clip the wings of political opposition in his country, certainly not now that Western media rationalizes and glorifies his every move.

But the portrait of the Ukraine President as a democratic paragon whitewashes the real Zelensky and conceals a vast web of corruption and international skullduggery of which Ukraine is situated in the centre. Understanding the real Zelensky, requires seeing him as a creation of Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. He is, in truth, a puppet of intrigue. It might be hard to believe now, but revelations from documents in the Pandora Papers — millions of files from offshore service providers leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and shared with partners around the world — sent Zelensky reeling last year, threatening to end his political career. Though the actor-turned-politico campaigned as an anti-corruption reformer, the Pandora Papers showed him to be just as crooked as his predecessors.

Of more than 300 politicians and public officials, including several current and former national leaders, in more than 91 countries and territories to whom the documents were linked, Ukraine was home to more secret offshore holdings than any other, including Russia. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which contributed to the investigation, found that just before Zelensky was elected president, “he gifted his stake in a key offshore company, the British Virgin Islands-registered Maltex Multicapital Corp., to his business partner — soon to be his top presidential aide. And in spite of giving up his shares, the documents show that an arrangement was soon made that would allow the offshore to keep paying dividends to a company that now belongs to his wife.”

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“come back coward, I’ll bite your kneecaps.”

Russia Solidifies Gains in Eastern Ukraine (CTH)

If you were to read the play-by-play of information in the U.K. Telegraph, you could get whiplash from the diametrically opposed narratives coming from both sides in the propaganda war. On one hand the western narrative is that Russia is losing, getting weaker, running out of money and weapons. On the other hand, France and Germany are asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to release all of the captured soldiers he is gathering, while western media claim all the Ukraine retreats are “strategic”. It would appear the Monty Python knight has lost all his appendages and is yelling, “come back coward, I’ll bite your kneecaps.”

(Via Telegraph) – “Russia said its forces were in full control of the Ukrainian town of Lyman, a railway hub in the Donetsk region, on Saturday in a gain that would help set the stage for the next phase of the Kremlin’s offensive in the eastern Donbas. Ukrainian and Russian forces had been fighting for Lyman for several days. The town lies 40 km (30 miles) west of Severodonetsk, the largest Donbas city still held by Ukraine but now under heavy assault from Russian forces. The governor of Luhansk region, which along with Donetsk makes up the Donbas, said on Friday that Russian troops had entered Severodonetsk. The Russian gains indicate a shift in momentum in the war.”


Meanwhile the U.S. State Department, the actual combatant command center for the U.S. proxy war, along with internationally aligned diplomatic corps and the U.S. intelligence apparatus, are continuing to push the propaganda as if we cannot see how clearly staged it is. Indeed, with the Pentagon preferring a ceasefire and peaceful negotiations while the State Dept demands more war, these are very remarkable times on the other side of the looking glass.

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“a serious step towards unacceptable escalation”

US To Transfer Long-range Rocket Systems To Ukraine (PressTV)

The US has decided to further extend military aid to Ukraine, transferring long-range rocket systems to the country while Russia continues to make advancements in its special operations in the Donbas. US officials said on Friday that despite its earlier reservations in regard to sending missile systems to Ukraine, following Kiev’s insistence Washington had agreed to deliver them the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) or the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) next week. Western countries led by the United States had already provided Ukraine with long-range weaponry, including M777 howitzers. However, Kiev insisted that it wanted longer-range ground weapons, especially rocket launchers, to help it win artillery battles.


Till now, Washington had held back from providing Kiev with such weapons partly to avoid an escalation should Ukraine strike targets deep inside the Russian territories. American and diplomatic officials told Reuters that Washington had even relayed to Kiev the concerns White House officials had in regard to this issue. “We have concerns about escalation and yet still do not want to put geographic limits or tie their hands too much with the stuff we’re giving them,” one US official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had already warned the White House against providing long-range missile systems to the country. Lavrov pointed out that providing Kiev forces with weapons that could reach Russian territory would be “a serious step towards unacceptable escalation” of the conflict.

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Macron and Scholz spent 80 minutes demanding Putin do things they know he cannot do.

Putin Urged To Hold ‘Direct, Serious Negotiations’ With Zelensky (BBC)

The leaders of France and Germany have urged Russia’s Vladimir Putin to hold “direct [and] serious negotiations” with Ukraine’s president, the German chancellor’s office said. Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz spoke to Mr Putin by phone for 80 minutes. The pair “insisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops”, the chancellor’s office said. Russia’s leader said Moscow was open to resuming dialogue with Kyiv, according to the Kremlin. It did not mention the possibility of direct talks between Mr Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. The Ukrainian president earlier said he was not “eager” for talks, but added they would likely be necessary to end the conflict. Russian and Ukrainian delegations have held multiple rounds of talks remotely and in person since Russia invaded on 24 February, but efforts have stalled of late.


France and Germany also urged Mr Putin to release 2,500 Ukrainian fighters taken as prisoners-of-war at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol. The sprawling factory became the last holdout in the southern port city, which endured relentless bombardment from Russian forces and now lies in ruins. Earlier this month, Moscow officials said the last fighters defending the plant had surrendered, while President Zelensky said they had been given permission to leave. Russia has previously said more than 900 of the fighters were moved to a reopened prison colony in Olenivka, a village in Russian-occupied Donetsk. A smaller number with serious wounds were taken to a hospital in the town of Novoazovsk, also in Donetsk. Ukraine hopes they will be released as part of a prisoner exchange – but Russia has not confirmed that. Some Russian lawmakers argue the fighters should be tried or even executed.

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“..Russia exhibited enormous restraint as the US and Ukraine violated the Minsk Protocols and rejected requests for diplomacy..”

It doesn’t matter if you agree or not, what matters is that everyone in the west should be exposed to Russians view of this. And then form their opinions.

Russia’s Necessary and Legal Military Response to US/NATO Aggression (Gritsch)

In 2014, the US initiated a proxy war against Russia by engineering the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically-elected president. This ignited a bloody civil war on Russia’s border in which the US-installed and US-armed Kiev regime attacked the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk whose largely ethnically Russian residents opposed the US coup. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) documented the Kiev regime’s attacks that killed thousands of civilians and terrorized the populace. In 2015, the US-installed then-president, Petro Poroshenko, publicly articulated Kiev’s anti-Russia stance and its policy for the Donbass:

“We will have jobs—they will not. We will have pensions—they will not. [….] Our children will go to schools and kindergartens—theirs will hide in the basements.” Popular Ukraine pundits openly called for Donbas residents’ extermination. In 2015, Congress lifted its ban on funding Ukraine’s neo Nazi militias and placed US military trainers on the ground inside Ukraine. NATO and the CIA also began training Ukraine regime forces–effectively establishing Ukraine as a de facto US/NATO mercenary state. During the past eight years, Russia exhibited enormous restraint as the US and Ukraine violated the Minsk Protocols and rejected requests for diplomacy. In 2021, US aggression against Russia increased dramatically once Biden took office–in Ukraine and in the Black Sea. US actions and Ukraine President Zelensky’s public statements generated immediate threats to the survival of the Russian nation-state.

The US government and the corporate media falsely characterize Russia’s special operation as entirely ‘unprovoked’ and an ‘illegal invasion’. These allegations ignore four conditions which each independently compelled President Putin and the Duma to initiate Russia’s denazification and demilitarization operation and which establish this intervention as consistent with international legal norms. Chief among the factors necessitating Russia’s immediate military response were indications of an imminent new massacre as 125,000 Ukraine forces amassed along the border of Donbass in December of 2021. This was never reported in the US corporate press. Instead, the US government and corporate media repeatedly stated that Russian troops were gathering on Ukraine’s border (inside Russia) and predicted an impending Russian invasion.

In hindsight, US intelligence could make this accurate claim because it was aware of the menacing buildup of Ukraine forces. Anticipating an imminent massacre, Russia was obligated to intervene militarily because it had a Responsibility to Protect (R2P) the citizens of Donbass. R2P is a political commitment to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity; it was endorsed by the United Nations at its 2005 world summit.

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“..the centre of economic development [..] continues to move into the Asia-Pacific Region.”

The Eurasian Economic Union Steps Up (Escobar)

The first Eurasian Economic Forum, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, took place this week at a very sensitive geopolitical juncture, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov keeps stressing that, “the West has declared total war against us, against the entire Russian world. Nobody even hides this now.” It’s always important to remember that before Maidan in 2014, Ukraine had the option to become a full member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and even balance it with a loose association with the EU. The EAEU comprises five full members – Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Armenia – yet 14 nations sent delegations to the forum, including China, Vietnam and Latin American nations. There was much rumbling that the proceedings would be jeopardized by the serial sanctions packages imposed on Russia by the collective West.

There’s no question that some EAEU members – such as Kazakhstan – seem to be more worried about the effects of the sanctions than about fine-tuning business with Russia. Yet that’s not the point. The crucial point is that by 2025 they have to harmonize their legislation concerning financial markets. And that’s directly connected to what the executive body of the EAEU, led by Sergey Glazyev, is working on, extensively: designing the lineaments of an alternative financial/economic system to what the West would rather coin as Bretton Woods 3. The Eurasian Economic Forum was established by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council explicitly to further deepen economic cooperation between EAEU members. No wonder the official theme of the forum was Eurasian Economic Integration in the Era of Global Shifts: New Investment Opportunities, focusing on strategic development in the industrial, energy, transport, financial, and digital areas.

President Putin’s speech to the plenary session was quite revealing. To really appreciate the scope of what’s implied, it’s important to remember that the Greater Eurasian Partnership concept was presented by Putin in 2016 at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, focused on a “more extensive Eurasian partnership involving the Eurasian Economic Union” and including China, Pakistan, Iran and India. Putin stressed how the drive for developing ties “within the framework of the Greater Eurasian Partnership” (…) “was not the political situation but global economic trends, because the centre of economic development is gradually – we are aware of this, and our businesspeople are aware of this – is gradually moving, continues to move into the Asia-Pacific Region.”

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“Qatar produces around 107 billion cbm of gas annually, and 80 percent of that is locked in long-term contracts. Only 10-15 percent can be diverted to Europe – the numbers don’t add up..”

Qatar Gas Shipments To Germany Will Actually Come From Texas (MEE)

Germany and Qatar signed a deal last week to deepen their energy partnership focusing on the supply and processing of liquified natural gas (LNG). LNG is Qatar’s main export and is desperately needed in Germany as it seeks alternatives to its current energy dependency on Russian natural gas. Berlin is under pressure to introduce an energy embargo in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It also faces the prospect that Moscow could cut off gas supplies unilaterally – as it has already to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland – in retaliation for Germany’s diplomatic support and military aid to Ukraine But industry experts tell MEE that the deal is mired with caveats on the German side.

Thomas O’Donnell, an energy and geopolitical analyst based in Berlin, says the German government is losing political ground due to rising energy costs. He suggests the deal with Qatar amounts to a short-term gimmick intended to shore up support. “They failed to fill their gas storage before the winter last year and that led to nearly a 30 percent hike in energy costs for the domestic consumer. If they fail again there might be calls for the government to go,” said O’Donnell. “Around 56 percent of Germany’s gas consumption comes from Russia. That’s billions of cubic metres of gas through dedicated pipelines, NordStream1 and TurkStream. It would take a monumental effort to shift that heavy a dependency to another supplier.” According to O’Donnell, in 2021 Germany used around 71 billion cubic metres (cbm) of gas from Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Replacing such large volumes with Qatari gas is simply not possible. “Qatar produces around 107 billion cbm of gas annually, and 80 percent of that is locked in long-term contracts. Only 10-15 percent can be diverted to Europe – the numbers don’t add up,” he said. O’Donnell said that European countries’ desperation means that they are paying a heavy price for spot gas – that is large deliveries of gas purchased in one-off transactions. These transactions are often made on an emergency basis when the buyer has to pay a much higher rate than when purchased on long-term contracts. The current price of spot gas is up 176 percent from last year. “The US has the most spot gas available in the market and much of it is being bought by Europe at very high rates,” said O’Donnell.

Von der Leyen is a psychopath

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“..just because God ‘told’ George Bush to invade Iraq in 2003, that did not make him or his forces Christian.”

Civilisation and Anti-Civilisation (Batiushka)

Western war has always consisted of highly organised violence, aided by the most aggressive high technology. Advances in military technology have all been initiated by the West. It used to be castles against arrows, the lethal crossbow against pikes, cannon against stone walls, the musket against bows, the Maxim gun, invented by the Anglo-American ‘Sir’ Hiram Maxim (3) against spear-throwing Africans, then it was poison gas (as used by Hitler, that is Churchill (sorry for the Bushism, ‘anyway’) against the Kurds), then Agent Orange, cluster bombs and uranium-tipped shells against rifles. To illustrate this, let us think about how those used to the way that such technology is exploited criticise the special operation (not war) in the Ukraine (4). They claim that the progress of the Russian operation, carried out by relatively small numbers of liberation forces from Donetsk and Lugansk and of Confederate Russian troops, is ‘too slow’.

Here they misunderstand how the Allied/Confederate forces use their military technology. It is quite unlike the US and its Union NATO vassals. The latter carpet bomb, they cause ‘collateral damage’ (the NATO euphemism for the mass murder of innocent victims) and are hugely destructive, as though war was all a special effects show, a spectacle for entertainment as in Hollywood films, most of which portray great destruction. This is why nearly 20 years ago the American Rumsfeld spoke of the US destruction of civilian infrastructure in Iraq as ‘shock and awe’, which is just another euphemism – Hitler would have called it ‘Blitzkrieg’. Yes, of course, Russian civilisation conducts military operations ‘slowly’ (5): it is not a US-style special effects operation, it is meant to avoid civilian and military casualties. You cannot translate ‘collateral damage’ into Russian, you can only paraphrase it.

Western religion has a similar story to tell. As we have said, every civilisation has a set of sacred values. The Western too and though it calls its religion ‘Christianity’, it is not. For instance, it insists on calling the Crusaders and Teutonic Knights ‘Christians’. But just because you are a bloodthirsty barbarian who commits genocide with a cross on your uniform, that does not make you a Christian. Just as Nazis wore a belt with ‘Gott mit uns’ (‘God with us’) stamped on it, that did not make them Christian either. And when the Nazis put crosses on their tanks and dive-bombers, it did not make them Christian either (though the crosses did take in some naïve Western Ukrainians in 1941). And just because God ‘told’ George Bush to invade Iraq in 2003, that did not make him or his forces Christian. Frankly, the Western use of the word Christian is blasphemous to Orthodox Christians and the more accurate use of words like ‘Catholic’ and ‘Protestant’ is insulting to those who are of those religions.

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“What is this supposed to be, the Summit of the Americas, or the Summit of the Friends of America?”

Mexican President Unlikely To Attend Summit Of The Americas (LATimes)

Despite a major U.S. lobbying effort, the president of Mexico hinted strongly on Friday that he will not attend a high-stakes regional summit next month in Los Angeles because the Biden administration refuses to invite a trio of leftist governments. Mexico is arguably the most important Latin American participant in the upcoming Summit of the Americas, which administration officials have said will include a special focus on immigration. It starts June 6. In his daily marathon press conference, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he was still awaiting a response from President Biden or the U.S. State Department to his demand that all countries in the Western Hemisphere be invited.

Every host nation for the summit, which occurs every three or four years, has discretion in drawing up the guest list, and most if not all countries are routinely included. This is the first time the summit is taking place in the U.S. since its 1994 inaugural session in Miami. Administration officials have made it clear they will not invite Venezuela or Nicaragua, because those countries’ authoritarian leaders do not represent the model of democracy Washington and others in the region seek to promote. U.S. officials also said initially they would not invite Cuba, then suggested they might welcome a “low level” delegation from Havana. A diminished status did not appeal to Cuban officials, however, and President Miguel Díaz-Canel said earlier this week he will not attend.

Cuba was present at the last two Summits of the Americas, in Panama and Peru. In Panama in 2015, then-President Obama famously shook hands with then-President Raul Castro, the first such contact between the Cold War enemies in decades. Months later, Washington and Havana opened diplomatic ties and began a warming of trade and travel relations not seen for half a century. The opening was frozen by President Trump and has only haltingly and in minor ways been renewed by Biden, despite his promises as a presidential candidate.

López Obrador, a consummate showman, deliberately did not commit in his remarks Friday morning but ultimately made clear he would not attend if Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua were not invited. Instead, he would send a delegate, most likely his more-U.S.-friendly foreign secretary, Marcelo Ebrard. “We are going to wait to see what they [U.S. officials] decide, but regardless, Mexico will participate,” the president said. “It’s just that I will not attend if all countries are not invited.” He added: “What is this supposed to be, the Summit of the Americas, or the Summit of the Friends of America?”

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“The only European country on the WHO’s board is Slovakia..”

The World Health Organisation Has Lost All Credibility (Clark)

Let’s be honest: is there anyone out there who has faith in the ability of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to tackle a future pandemic? Any lingering hope that the WHO might be an organisation fit to be trusted with global heath concerns has pretty well evaporated with the election, by acclamation, of China as one of the 12 members of its executive board on Friday. It is true, of course, that an international body must have representation from all over the world if it is going to win the near-universal cooperation it needs in order to operate. It can’t be led entirely by western democracies and wealthy South Asian countries even if they might have the best skills available; you need members able to tap into every culture and religion on Earth.

But ought we really be trusting leadership of the WHO to a government which is not merely a malignant dictatorship, accused of human rights abuses against its own citizens – but which has also obstructed an investigation into the high likelihood that it accidentally caused the last pandemic? The story of how Covid-19 began has been investigated very thoroughly in Alina Chan and Matt Ridley’s excellent book, Viral: the Search for the Origin of Covid-19. If no one has quite pegged down where the virus came from – and probably never will – there is at least a very strong case to answer that it originated in Chinese laboratory experiments aimed at researching how to tackle coronaviruses, and that it entered the population through a laboratory leak. It would hardly be unprecedented for a virus to leak from a laboratory in this way – even if it would make it way and above the world’s most expensive laboratory accident.

What has been China’s response to this possibility? To try to snuff out any investigation into the matter. Bizarrely, a WHO team allowed into China in early 2021, and chaperoned at every turn, tried to dismiss a lab leak, announcing that it would not investigate the matter any further. It isn’t just China whose presence on the WHO Executive Board will cause alarm. Also on the list is Brazil, whose own parliament has recommended criminal charges against the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, over his handling of the pandemic. Then there is Yemen, which is in the grip of civil war. The only European country on the WHO’s board is Slovakia, which hardly has the greatest political clout and which happens to have had one of the highest deaths rates from Covid-19 anywhere.

Sagan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1530461678772559872

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All critical thinking banned. Why would anyone still want to become a doctor?

California Poised to Adopt ‘Medical Misinformation Bill’ (ET)

The California Legislature is poised to pass Assembly Bill 2098, described as a “medical misinformation bill.” If passed, the new law would prohibit doctors from freely providing medical advice and treating their patients if those practices run counter to the official state sanctioned position. In April 2020, the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, the California State Board of Pharmacy, and the Medical Board of California issued a statement regarding the “improper prescribing of medications related to treatment of Novel Coronavirus,” such as hydroxychloroquine, warning that “inappropriately prescribing or dispensing medications constitutes unprofessional conduct in California.”

On June 29, 2021, the Federation of State Medical Boards issued a warning, stating that “Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license.” In August 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci said there was no evidence that ivermectin works, and that it’s more likely to cause harm. In December 2021, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning headlined, “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.” In an updated April 29, 2022, report, the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel said it “recommends against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, except in clinical trials.”

Should AB 2098 become law, doctors who prescribe medications not approved by the state or who claim unsanctioned drugs are effective would see their licenses revoked and face strict penalties and disciplinary actions by the Medical Board of California. In short, AB 2098 would designate the dissemination of information not approved by the state related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes “COVID-19,” as misinformation or disinformation, which constitutes unprofessional conduct. One physician, Dr. Syed Haider, has already been reported to four state medical boards by pharmacists he says “don’t like filling ivermectin prescriptions.” He has also been forced to retain a lawyer to protect his medical license.

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And they’ll all sell their Tesla’s.

SEC Publishes Letter Asking Elon Musk To Explain Late Twitter Filing (G.)

The US financial watchdog has contacted Elon Musk about the disclosure of his stake in Twitter, asking the Tesla chief executive why he appeared to file a crucial form late. The Securities and Exchange Commission published a letter sent to the world’s richest man in which it asks a series of questions about how he declared his acquisition of a 9.2% stake on 4 April. The move prompted a flurry of corporate activity that led to Twitter accepting a $44bn (£35bn) takeover bid from Musk on 25 April – although he has since announced that the deal is “on hold” while he seeks more information about the proportion of fake accounts on Twitter.

In the 4 April letter, the SEC asked why a schedule 13G form announcing Musk’s acquisition of a large shareholding “does not appear” to have been filed within the required 10 days of the stake passing the 5% level where it needs to be disclosed publicly. According to Musk’s own filing, he passed the 5% level on 14 March and therefore should have filed the form by 24 March. “Please advise us why the schedule 13G does not appear to have been made within the required 10 days from the date of acquisition as required by rule 13d-1(c), the rule upon which you represented that you relied to make the submission,” said the SEC in the letter, dated 10 days before Musk announced his takeover bid. The SEC said that once it had reviewed Musk’s reply it “may have additional comments”.

In 2018, Musk reached a settlement with the SEC over a tweet in which he said was considering taking Tesla off the stock market and into private ownership and had “funding secured” for the proposal. Investors filed a lawsuit against Musk on Wednesday in which they claimed Musk had saved himself $156m by failing to disclose that he had bought more than 5% of Twitter in a timely manner. The letter also asks Musk to explain why he filed a 13G, which is for passive investors who are not preparing to shake up the business in question. The SEC points out that an investor must file a different form, a 13D, if they have bought the shares with the intention of changing or influencing the control of the company in question. The day after filing his initial form, Musk refiled it as a 13D, for investors who intend to take an active role.

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Problem: the UN has no credibility left either.

UN Warns of ‘Total Societal Collapse’, Breach of Planetary Boundaries (BT)

When the United Nations published its 2022 ‘Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction’ (GAR2022) in May, the world’s attention was on its grim verdict that the world was experiencing an accelerating trend of natural disasters and economic crises. But not a single media outlet picked up the biggest issue: the increasing probability of civilisational collapse. Buried in the report, which was endorsed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, is the finding that escalating synergies between disasters, economic vulnerabilities and ecosystem failures are escalating the risk of a “global collapse” scenario. This stark conclusion appears to be the first time that the UN has issued a flagship global report finding that existing global policies are accelerating toward the collapse of human civilisation.

Yet somehow this urgent warning has remained unreported until now. The report does not suggest that this outcome is inevitable or specify how close to this possibility we are. But it does confirm that, without radical change, that’s where the world is heading. he UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework are a set of social, economic, legal, political and institutional measures to reduce “disaster risk and losses” – both involve targets to 2030 which the world is in danger of failing to meet. That failure, however, is directly linked to the rate at which human activities are interfering with natural systems, in particular, ‘planetary boundaries’.

The planetary boundaries framework was developed by the Stockholm Resilience Centre in 2009 to provide what it calls a “science-based analysis of the risk that human perturbations will destabilise the Earth system at the planetary scale”. This framework identifies a range of nine key ecosystems which, if pushed passed a certain threshold, will dramatically reduce the “safe operating space” for human habitation. The report notes that at least four of the nine planetary boundaries now seem to be operating outside the safe operating space. While land system change and climate change are in a zone of “uncertainty with increasing risk” of overstepping the safe operating space, the report says, biochemical flows and ‘novel entities’ (“new engineered chemicals, materials or organisms and natural elements mobilised by human activity such as heavy metals”) have “far exceeded” that space.

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Bourla neck
https://twitter.com/i/status/1529761915496542208

 

 

 

Life is so, so beautiful
https://twitter.com/i/status/1530264225763020801

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 172022
 
 May 17, 2022  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  33 Responses »


Man Ray Le Violon d’Ingres 1924

 

At Least 300 Azov Fighters Surrender To Russians At Azovstal Plant (ZH)
Hundreds Of Ukrainian Troops Evacuated From Azobvstal After 82-Day Assault (G.)
Russia Has The Historical Right To Invade Ukraine (Finkelstein)
Death By A Thousand Cuts: Where Is The West’s Ukraine Strategy? (Escobar)
EU Plans Loans And Grants To Help Rebuild Ukraine (G.)
Turkey Says It Will Not Approve Sweden And Finland Joining NATO (G.)
States Must Pre-emptively Nullify Any WHO Pandemic Regulations (Blaze)
The New Rift Between WHO and China (Tucker)
Scandinavian Black Metal (Every)
The Twitter Bot Inquiry Intensifies (CTH)
Your Government Quietly Confirmed The Fully Vaccinated Are Developing AIDS (DE)
Feeding the Narrative (Kunstler)

 

 

The AZOV regiment in the Azovstal compound has surrendered to Russia. The MSM will tell you they were “evacuated”, “to save lives”. And of course it’s out of fashion to call them neo-nazis.

Russia has won, and on its own terms. But they won’t tell you that either. Zelensky’s message: “We hope to save the lives of our boys”. “I want to underline: Ukraine needs its Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle.”

Yes, the neo-nazis have become (inter-) national heroes. Oh, the irony.

The effect on the morale of Ukraine will be huge, with one part of the “regular” army -and civilians- so far looking to Azov as a symbol of strength, and another part too scared to surrender themselves for fear of Azov reprisals. Don’t be surprised if this means much more of Ukraine will soon surrender too, including Zelensky.

But, but, what about the $40 billion the US will send? Don’t worry, the remaining oligarchs -in the US AND Ukraine-know just what to do with that. Most will need to take it abroad though, they can’t wait until Russia might come after them.

 

 

Baby formula. 42.6% corn syrup. 10.1% sugar. Get them addicted young.

 

 

Clarence Thomas

 

 

 

 

“..after previously vowing multiple to times to ‘fight till the end’..”

At Least 300 Azov Fighters Surrender To Russians At Azovstal Plant (ZH)

The more than month-long standoff at Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks plant is finally over, after for many weeks the siege of the large complex by Russian forces remained the focus of international headlines, and following a series of high-risk civilian evacuations, some of them under the auspices of UN and Red Cross emergency teams. The remnant hundreds of armed Ukrainian Azov battalion militants which had refused to come out have now surrendered in the Monday night hours. “Reuters saw about a dozen buses apparently carrying Ukrainian fighters leaving the plant on Monday. It was not possible to determine how many people were aboard.” Widespread reports say that some 300 Ukrainian fighters have laid down their weapons and emerged from the cavernous facility.

“More than 260 Ukrainian soldiers were evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the port city of Mariupol,” Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Malyar said. Another “53 heavily wounded (soldiers) were evacuated from Azovstal to the medical mortgage near Novoazovsk for medical aid,” according to Malyar’s statement. Azov issued a statement on Telegram saying they are “implementing the approved decision of the Supreme Military Command” in order to “save lives”. And the Russian side has since confirmed that “An agreement has been reached on the removal of the wounded,” according to a Russian defense ministry statement. “A humanitarian corridor has been opened through which wounded Ukrainian servicemen are being taken to a medical facility in Novoazovsk.”

Russian media is also widely reporting the surrender at Azovstal, with RT airing some of the first footage of the evacuation of the last fighters to leave… The Moscow Times is quoting confirmation from Ukraine’s president – who is applauding the safe surrender: “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said “we hope to save the lives of our boys.” “I want to underline: Ukraine needs its Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle,” he said in a video statement. Crucially, Novoazovsk – where the wounded Ukrainian fighters are being taken – is in Russian-controlled territory about 40km east of Mariupol. The surrendered troops are reportedly now in the custody of the pro-Moscow Donetsk People’s Republic. Likely Kiev will seek to negotiate their return for captured Russians currently in Ukrainian military custody.

Azov battalion, which has long been widely acknowledged even in prior mainstream media reporting as a neo-Nazi group, is asking the Ukrainian public for continued “support” – given this surrender (after previously vowing multiple to times to ‘fight till the end’) will likely be viewed by some as premature capitulation. During the long siege, all that were stuck in the facility had been running out of food, supplies, and ammunition as Russian forces had them completely surrounded. Last month President Putin is said to have ordered the military to simply wait them out, as opposed to what would have likely been a high death toll operation to enter the underground complex beneath the huge plant.

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“..the soldiers defending the steel plant had “performed their combat task” and now the main goal was to save the lives of personnel.”

Hundreds Of Ukrainian Troops Evacuated From Azobvstal After 82-Day Assault (G.)

More than 260 Ukrainian soldiers, many of them wounded, have been evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the port city of Mariupol, appearing to cede control of the city to Russia after 82 days of bombardment. Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar said late on Monday that 53 heavily wounded soldiers were evacuated to a hospital in the Russian-controlled town of Novoazovsk. More than 200 others were transported through a corridor to Olenivka, Maliar said. The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said that the soldiers defending the steel plant had “performed their combat task” and now the main goal was to save the lives of personnel. By holding the steelworks, they stopped Russian forces from rapidly capturing the southern city of Zaporizhzhia, its statement on Facebook said.


It was unclear how many soldiers remained in the steel plant, but Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said: “We hope to save the lives of our boys”. “I want to underline: Ukraine needs its Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle,” he said in a video statement. The evacuation is likely to mark the end of the longest and bloodiest battle of the Ukraine war and a significant defeat for Ukraine. Mariupol is now in ruins after a Russian siege that Ukraine says killed tens of thousands of people in the city. For Ukrainians, the Azovstal plant has become a symbol of resistance, with hundreds of troops continuing to fight on there even after the rest of the city had fallen to Russian forces. Some 600 troops were believed to have been inside the steel plant.

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“But I will say —and I’m not afraid to say it because it would dishonor the memory of my parents if i didn’t say it—, I will say that they had the right to do it.”

Russia Has The Historical Right To Invade Ukraine (Finkelstein)

[..] if you agree that for 20 years—more than 20 years, more than two decades—, Russia has tried to engage in diplomacy; if you agree that the Russian demand to neutralize Ukraine —not occupy it, not determine its government, its form of economy, just neutralize it like Austria after World War II—, if you agree that was a legitimate demand; if you agree that the West was expanding and expanding NATO; if you agree that Ukraine de facto had become a member of NATO, weapons pouring in, engaging in military exercises in NATO; and if you agree… You know, Russia lost 30 million people during World War II because of the Nazi invasion, so there’s a legitimate concern by Russia with all of these —if you excuse my language— Nazis floating around in the Ukraine, then the simple question is: What was Russia to do?

I’m not saying I agree with the invasion, I’m not saying it went right, but I think one thing: the invasion showed… you know what the one thing the invasion showed, Briahna, was that Russia is kind of weak militarily, which is why all the more they may have been fearful of a NATO-backed Ukraine filled with Nazis, and probably at some point positioning nuclear missiles on its border. And I think 30 million, 30 million people… Listen to this: I think 30 million people is 30 million arguments in favor of Russia. Now I’m not going to say, because I’m not a general and I’m not a diplomat, so I’m not going… I’m not a military strategist so I’m not going to say it was the wisest thing to do.

I’m not going to say it was the most prudent thing to do. But I will say —and I’m not afraid to say it because it would dishonor the memory of my parents if i didn’t say it—, I will say that they had the right to do it. And I’m not taking that back. They had the right to do it. They had if I can call it the historic right to do it. 30 million people (killed during WW2), and now you’re starting again, you’re starting again. No, no, you know I can’t go for it, I can’t go for those who acknowledge the legitimacy of the arguments made by Putin but then call the invasion criminal. I don’t see that.

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“The caliber of ‘strategic’ advice from the NATO realm was self-evident in the Serpent Island fiasco – a direct order issued by British ‘consultants’ to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.”

Death By A Thousand Cuts: Where Is The West’s Ukraine Strategy? (Escobar)

Ukraine was never about a military win. What is being accomplished is the slow, painful destruction of the European Union (EU) economy, coupled with extraordinary weapons profits for the western military-industrial complex and creeping security rule by those nations’ political elites. The latter, in turn, have been totally baffled by Russia’s C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) capabilities, coupled with the stunning inefficiency of their own constellation of Javelins, NLAWs, Stingers and Turkish Bayraktar drones. This ignorance reaches way beyond tactics and the operational and strategic realm. As Martyanov delightfully points out, they “wouldn’t know what hit them on the modern battlefield with near-peer, forget about peer.”

The caliber of ‘strategic’ advice from the NATO realm was self-evident in the Serpent Island fiasco – a direct order issued by British ‘consultants’ to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, thought the whole thing was suicidal. He was proven right. All the Russians had to do was launch a few choice anti-ship and surface Onyx missiles from bastions stationed in Crimea on airports south of Odessa. In no time, Serpent Island was back under Russian control – even as high-ranking British and American marine officers ‘disappeared’ during the Ukrainian landing on the island. They were the ‘strategic’ NATO actors on the spot, doling out the lousy advice.

Extra evidence that the Ukraine debacle is predominantly about money laundering – not competent military strategy – is Capitol Hill approving a hefty extra $40 billion in ‘aid’ to Kiev. It’s just another western military-industrial complex bonanza, duly noted by Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev. Russian forces, meanwhile, have brought diplomacy to the battlefield, handing over 10 tons of humanitarian assistance to the people of liberated Kherson – with the deputy head of the military-civil administration of the region, Kirill Stremousov, announcing that Kherson wants to become part of the Russian Federation. In parallel, Georgy Muradov, deputy prime minister of the government of Crimea, has “no doubts that the liberated territories of the south of the former Ukraine will become another region of Russia. This, as we assess from our communication with the inhabitants of the region, is the will of the people themselves, most of whom lived for eight years under conditions of repression and bullying by the Ukronazis.”

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Loans And Grants And Stolen Assets.

EU Plans Loans And Grants To Help Rebuild Ukraine (G.)

Ukraine could receive loans, grants and possibly the proceeds of seized Russian oligarch property to help pay the multibillion-euro cost of rebuilding the country after the ruinous war launched by the Kremlin, according to a leaked EU reconstruction plan. In the plan drafted in Brussels, the European Commission states that the Ukrainian government will have to take out loans to pay for rebuilding its war-ravaged country. Non-repayable grants from EU member states would provide another tranche of the funds needed to rebuild destroyed homes, schools, roads, railways, airports and bridges. The EU also proposes assessing the feasibility of using assets seized from sanctioned Russians and Belarusians after a proposal from the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, earlier this month.

“I am absolutely convinced that this is extremely important not only to freeze assets, but also to make possible to confiscate it, to make it available for the rebuilding of the country,” he told Ukraine’s Interfax news agency. Lawmakers in the UK and the US have also proposed seizing Russian property to aid Ukraine’s reconstruction and ease the plight of the country’s refugees. Brussels officials have also called for the EU to borrow as a bloc on international capital markets to finance loans for Kyiv, according to the leaked report. If agreed, it would be only the second time in its history that the EU has borrowed as a whole rather than as individual member states, after funding the landmark €750bn (£635bn) Covid recovery plan in 2020.

The idea is floated in a Ukraine relief and reconstruction plan seen by the Guardian that the commission is expected to publish on Wednesday. Figures have been left blank in the document, pending further discussions in Brussels. The paper notes, however, that the financial needs “are expected to be substantial” and that reconstruction would take more than a decade. It also estimates that damage to physical infrastructure alone may run to more than €100bn.

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“They say they will come to Turkey on Monday. Will they come to persuade us? Excuse us, but they shouldn’t bother.”

Turkey Says It Will Not Approve Sweden And Finland Joining NATO (G.)

Turkey has said it will not approve Sweden and Finland joining it as Nato members, hours after Stockholm followed Helsinki in a historic Nordic security policy shift by formally confirming that it intended to apply for membership of the alliance. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said diplomatic delegations from the two countries, which have reversed decades of military non-alignment in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, should not even bother coming to Ankara to discuss the move. “We will not say yes to those [countries] that apply sanctions to Turkey to join the security organisation Nato,” Erdogan said. “They say they will come to Turkey on Monday. Will they come to persuade us? Excuse us, but they shouldn’t bother.”


The Turkish president’s comments came as Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, said “a broad majority” in parliament backed Nato membership as “the best thing for the security of Sweden” – drawing a warning from Moscow. Sweden was “leaving one era behind us and entering a new one”, she said. The Finnish government confirmed its intention to join Nato on Sunday, shortly before Andersson’s ruling Social Democrats abandoned 73 years of opposition to the idea. Andersson said Sweden’s Nato ambassador would formally hand over Stockholm’s application to the alliance headquarters in Brussels “within the next few days” and that the membership request would be submitted simultaneously with Finland’s.

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Orwell lives.

States Must Pre-emptively Nullify Any WHO Pandemic Regulations (Blaze)

On May 22, the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization, will meet in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the next step in its nefarious pandemic treaty and the quest to use “public health” to expand the WHO’s power over sovereign states. Representatives from 193 nations, including the U.S, will be attending. Interestingly, the only country not invited is Taiwan, of course, at the behest of its Chinese puppet masters. What is the nature of this pandemic treaty agenda? On Jan. 24, 2022, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, explained the treaty was a “priority” to “urgently strengthen WHO as the leading and directing authority on global health, at the center of the global health architecture.”

In chilling words he laid out the guiding principle of this wicked plot. “We all want a world in which science triumphs over misinformation; solidarity triumphs over division; and equity is a reality, not an aspiration,” he added. He concluded, “We are one world, we have one health, we are one WHO.” Until now, the Biden administration appeared awfully quiet about this treaty, unlike some of the other recent international climate treaties about which officials have been quite vocal. However, it has come to light that several months ago, the Biden administration quietly sent the WHO several amendments to a 2005 international health regulation to be considered at the May 22 meeting about the treaty. At the time, the White House never issued an official statement or held a press conference.

The draft was not made public until mid-April. What is the nature of these amendments? They would essentially allow the director-general of the WHO to declare a public health emergency in a country and unilaterally coerce its citizens to take certain actions. The proposed amendment deletes a critical sentence from Article 9 of the 2005 International Health Regulations: “WHO shall consult with and attempt to obtain verification from the State Party in whose territory the event is allegedly occurring…” What could be the benign reason for the Biden administration erasing an existing requirement that the WHO first consult with the government of that particular country before making a determination? If there was any doubt about the motivations of these amendments and the direction in which they want to take our sovereignty, look at the next proposed change:

The Biden administration wants all the emergency declarations to be mandatory and cut out all views of the concerned state. The amendments are also designed to truncate the period of time for approving this travesty. The current WHO regulations provide for an 18-month grace period during which a nation may withdraw its “yes” vote for the amendments. The Biden administration draft proposal would truncate that period to just six months.

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Perhaps Xi doesn’t like the WHO getting dictatorial powers?

The New Rift Between WHO and China (Tucker)

From the beginning of the pandemic, the World Health Organization and China’s CCP have worked and spoken hand-in-glove, culminating in the Potemkin Village junket of mid-February 2020. The WHO-sponsored travel report – how wonderfully China had performed! – was written and signed by American public health officials who recommended Wuhan-style lockdowns, a disastrous policy that further inspired most governments in the world to do the same. Twenty-six months later, it turns out that China in fact had not “eliminated the virus fully within its borders,” contrary to the over-the-top claims of TV pundit Devi Sridhar in her new book Preventable. They only pushed cases into the future, as the CCP discovered when positive tests appeared all over Shanghai, leading to 7 weeks of brutal lockdowns.

This move on China’s part has been a disaster for the country and the world economy, and presently endangers the financial and technological future of the entire country. For Xi Jinping, lockdowns and zero-covid were his greatest achievement, one which was celebrated the world over, causing his political pride to swell beyond all bounds. Now, he cannot back off lest he face possible losses in upcoming party elections. Just this past weekend, he made it clear to the entire government that there would be no backing off the zero-covid policy: the CCP will “unswervingly adhere to the general policy of ‘dynamic zero-Covid,’ and resolutely fight against any words and deeds that distort, doubt or deny our country’s epidemic prevention policies.” The problem is acute: vast numbers in China likely need to acquire natural immunity via exposure.

The lockdown policy likely puts a damper on the achievement of endemicity. That means long-term damage to China’s future. Sensing this problem, the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, offered a mild criticism: “Considering the behavior of the virus, I think a shift will be very important,” adding that he had discussed this point with Chinese scientists. What happened next is truly fascinating: Tedros’s comments were censored all over China and searches for the name Tedros were immediately blocked within the country. Implausibly, merely by stating the incredibly obvious point, Tedros has made himself an enemy of the state. Meanwhile, another WHO/China partisan, Bill Gates, has been sheepishly saying something very similar in interviews, namely that the virus cannot be eradicated.

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“.. the G7 warns of 43 million people going hungry if Russia won’t stop its blockade of the Black Sea, which it won’t..”

Scandinavian Black Metal (Every)

Think of Scandinavian Black Metal as Finland and Sweden officially announce bids for NATO membership, overturning decades and centuries of neutrality, respectively; as Ukraine wins the Eurovision Song Contest, showing the tune the EU public is singing, and President Zelenskiy floats hosting it in demolished and occupied Mariupol; and as France and Germany come last, an EU-wide rejection of their continuous bids to harmonize with Russia. Think similarly as the G7 warns of 43 million people going hungry if Russia won’t stop its blockade of the Black Sea, which it won’t. That seems an undercount given recent surveys in even Western countries talking about 2 in 7 people facing some form of hunger, and a surge in the use of food banks. Worse, India just halted exports of wheat, or will only sell to those in real need, which injects another layer of (geo)politics into commodities trading.

Likewise, oil remains over $100 despite much of China in lockdown, which Shanghai may lift slightly from 16 May. Imagine how high oil would be with China open. Diesel is in short supply, and Bloomberg’s Javier Blass says at prices the equivalent of $200-250. There are warnings of diesel shortages in the north-east US, which will bring trucking to a halt. Recent conversations with taxi drivers in London and Singapore, which there are evident shortages of, complaining that current fuel prices mean they struggle to make ends meet. Nigerian domestic airlines have threatened to stop flying completely.

We can all name the tune that follows. Pro-China Sri Lanka is in chaos over rising food and energy prices. Pro-China Iran is seeing street protests, despite being a major energy producer – and is still no closer to a nuclear deal despite the EU thinking ‘Wandel Durch Handel’ will work in the Middle East in the same way it has not worked in eastern Europe or the Far East. China itself, besides sealing people into their homes, is restricting outbound international travel, clipping passports of those arriving, and according to one source, blocking overseas calls.

China also saw terrible data: industrial production -2.9% y-o-y vs. consensus of 0.5% and 5.0% in March; in year-to-date (y-t-d) terms, it was up 4.0%, down from 6.5% from last month; retail sales y-o-y were -11.1% vs. -6.6% consensus, and down from -3.5%, and in y-t-d terms were -1.2%, down from 3.3%; fixed investment y-o-y y-t-d was 6.8% vs. 7.0% consensus and down from 9.3%, the last leg standing; and property investment was -2.7% y-o-y y-t-d vs. -1.5% consensus and 0.7% in March, underlining that the investment seen was into infrastructure not housing. Indeed, residential property sales were -32.2% y-o-y y-t-d, and unemployment ticked up from 6.0% to 6.1%. China’s response was to cut mortgage rates 20bp for first-home buyers, but there was no rate cut in the MLF interest rate from 2.85% despite 50-50 market expectations of such a move.

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Will anything be left of Twitter?

The Twitter Bot Inquiry Intensifies (CTH)

If you accept that Twitter is manipulating the public conversation intentionally (they are), then Twitter bots would serve an ideological function. However, the issue of ‘bots’ operating on the Twitter platform is interesting when you consider the cost of platform operation. On one hand, extensive auto-generated ‘bots’ would be an issue of cost and data-processing, a net negative. On the other hand, the use of bots would be a manipulative practice for the creation of false impressions to generate advertising revenue. If the scale of data-processing was subsidized, an outcome of a network of data processing centers -the AWS cloud- linked to government resources, the bots would not be a cost issue for the operation. Despite the false impressions generated, bots would, however, under this weird situation, be useful for the manipulation of the conversation.

At the root of Elon Musk’s line of inquiry is the need to discover if this suspicion is true. If the scale of bots has been underestimated (likely by a willfully blind operation) the advertising fees charged by Twitter were potentially fraudulent. This is another operational reason (mitigating lawsuits from advertisers) for Musk to make the determination prior to the final purchase of the platform. Taking Twitter private as a company, eliminating bots (which is essentially removing fraudulent users) then carries the potential benefits of both lowering costs and positioning the company to increase genuine ad revenue from authenticated users as real people. Many people suspect the size of the political left on the Twitter platform is manipulated by programatic bots. Meaning there seems to be more people on the left side of the spectrum because bots are deployed to give the impression of like-minded users.

I am one of the people who believe this suspicion is accurate, because it would be a typical way the ideological left operates. The bots would be in addition to the deployment of algorithms that are designed to suppress speech the platform operators do not like. I have long suspected the Twitter algorithm process is essentially assigning certain users into specifically designed data-processing containers where their voice is suppressed. Some people call this ‘shadow-banning,’ I simply call it suppression. Elon Musk represents a threat to the way the platform was/is designed to operate. If Musk removes the discussion constraints, opens the containers and removes the restrictions, while simultaneously eliminating bots and fake accounts, the entire perspective of the platform could change very quickly. This is what I think the current board and operators are trying to avoid.

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“..Public Health Scotland, the New Zealand Ministry of Health, the Government of Canada, the UK Health Security Agency, the Office for National Statistics, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control..”

Your Government Quietly Confirmed The Fully Vaccinated Are Developing AIDS (DE)

Something is very wrong, and it is because of the Covid-19 injections. All around the world, Governments are publishing official data that all show the same thing. Those same Governments however are not willing to explain why. Instead, they are quietly publishing data in the hope that it will get swept under the carpet whilst they have you distracted by war in Ukraine and worrying about the cost of living; a crisis created by Government policy. But with the publication of confidential Pfizer documents, Governments around the world are running out of places to hide, and if these worrying trends continue, they will be forced to admit the Covid-19 injections are either causing Antibody-Dependent Enhancement or something much worse. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.


Whilst rare, it is perfectly possible for a medication or drug to cause Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, and data published by Public Health Scotland, the New Zealand Ministry of Health, the Government of Canada, the UK Health Security Agency, the Office for National Statistics, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control strongly suggests the Covid-19 injections should be added to the list. How else can Governments around the world explain the fact the fully vaccinated are more likely to be infected with Covid-19, more likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19, and more likely to die of Covid-19 than the unvaccinated? How else can Governments around the world explain the huge rise in all-cause mortality rates among the fully vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated? How else can Governments around the world explain the 1,145% to 33,715% increase in AIDS-related diseases, cancers and infections reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in 2021?

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“..it will promote the evolution of new-and-different iterations of novel Coronaviruses, and it will surely kill and maim a lot more people, including little children.”

Feeding the Narrative (Kunstler)

This is not 2020. The public may be better inoculated now against government gaslighting and mind-fuckery than they are against Covid-19 viruses. As Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) noted last week in his colloquy with Secretary Mayorkas, “Do you know who the greatest propagator of disinformation in the history of the world is? The U.S. government.” Senator Paul is onto something. In the course of that hearing, he asked Mr. Mayorkas whether talk about Covid 19 on social media might be subject to official “disinformation” action by his agency. “I’ve said a million times that cloth masks don’t work; YouTube takes me down,” Senator Paul said. “They’re a private company. I can have that beef with them. What about you? You’re going to look at that? I often say that natural immunity from having had the infection is equal to the vaccine or better. You’re going to take that down?”

Rand Paul is a licensed physician, by the way, and Alejandro Mayorkas is not. Mr. Mayorkas answered that someone might claim that vaccination centers “are actually peddling fentanyl. Now, should I sit back and take that, or should I actually disseminate accurate information?” he asked. In reality, of course, this hypothetical fentanyl nonsense is not what is at issue regarding Covid-19 “vaccines.” What is actually at issue is the now-established fact that the mRNA products called “vaccines” do not prevent infection or transmission of Covid-19, and do provoke a broad array of harms to people that cause disability and death in, at least, tens of thousands of cases, which is a lot in terms of all prior medical standards.

The government has been lying about this consistently. And the news media have been obediently conveying those lies, in league with the pharmaceutical giants who produce the “vaccines.” The governor of my state, Kathy Hochul, still idiotically wants to mandate mRNA “vaccines” for children. Pfizer ran a commercial on CBS’s 60-Minutes Sunday night promising that further “vaccination” with their sketchy product will “open up the world” for people. In fact, it will do nothing to protect people, rather it will promote the evolution of new-and-different iterations of novel Coronaviruses, and it will surely kill and maim a lot more people, including little children.

Malone: myocarditis may be occurring in a majority of the vaccinated.

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May 152022
 


Jacques-Louis David Coronation of Napoleon in 1804 in Nôtre-Dame Cathedral, Paris (10 metres wide, 6 metres tall) 1805-7

 

US-led War On Russia Escalates (WSWS)
US Senate GOP Delegation Meets With Zelensky In Kiev (CNN)
Guy Mettan: Ukraine is the First Battle of the Third World War (G&E)
Ten More European Gas Buyers Open Ruble Accounts For Payments (BBG)
The Real Reason Behind the EU’s Drive to Embargo Russian Oil
NY Times Op-ed Warns Of ‘Fantasies Of Regime Change’ (Fox)
India Bans Wheat Exports, Irks G7 (AFP)
India Reverses Prior Position and Will Now Block Further Wheat Exports (CTH)
Survey Shows Over 500,000 Killed By The Covid Vaccines So Far (Kirsch)
Egypt Considers Issuing Bonds In China’s Yuan (Al-M)
Karine Jean-Pierre Has History Of Accusing Things Of Being Racist (NYP)
Biden Phrase “Ultra MAGA” Came from Six Month Study (CTH)

 

 

 

 

Why Did Lloyd Austin Call Sergei Shoigu?

 

 

 

 

Russia, China at UN on biolabs

 

 

 

 

Dr. Cole about Vanden Bossche’s theory

Urso about Vanden Bossche’s theory

Malone about Vanden Bossche’s theory

 

 

Playing war games on Russia’s border.

US-led War On Russia Escalates (WSWS)

A day after Finland pledged to join NATO “without delay,” Sweden’s ruling social democrats accepted a parliamentary report also calling to join the US-led alliance. NATO is threatening to turn Scandinavia and the entire Baltic Sea into a second front in the war on Russia it has waged since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Finnish and Swedish troops are joining US and Ukrainian forces in NATO “Hedgehog” war games next week in Estonia, whose border with Russia is just 150 kilometers from Saint Petersburg. The exercise, involving 15,000 troops, will simulate war between NATO and Russia in Estonia. This underscores that Finland’s vast,1,300-km border with Russia is becoming a potential war zone.

Asked on Thursday about Finland joining NATO, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said: “Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop the threats to its national security that arise in this regard.” Russian officials have said that if Sweden and Finland join NATO, they will try to maintain a regional balance of power by stationing nuclear missiles in Russia’s Baltic port enclave at Kaliningrad. This week, former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev admitted that Europe is rapidly moving towards all-out war. “NATO countries pumping weapons into Ukraine, training troops to use Western equipment, sending in mercenaries and the exercises of Alliance countries near our borders increase the likelihood of a direct and open conflict between NATO and Russia,” he said. “Such a conflict always has the risk of turning into a full-fledged nuclear war.”

Nonetheless, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson is to schedule a debate on joining NATO tomorrow. With staggering recklessness, the Swedish social democrats are scrapping a two-century policy of non-alignment in foreign wars that Sweden has observed since the Napoleonic wars ended in 1814, as the Finns scrapped the neutrality they observed since World War II. At a press conference last night, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist admitted that Sweden’s announcement could provoke war with Russia, but dismissed the danger: “If Sweden chooses to seek NATO membership, there is a risk of a reaction from Russia. … Let me state that, in such a case, we are prepared to deal with any counter-response.”

The Swedish government’s case for joining NATO is a mixture of political lies and self-delusion. By joining NATO, Sweden is not, as Linde argues, deterring Russia from attacking it by making clear Moscow would potentially run the risk of a military clash with NATO. Rather, Sweden is signing up to a NATO war drive against Russia already being led by Washington, London and Berlin. Hultqvist’s statement that the Swedish government is prepared for “any counter-response” from Russia is astonishing. It appears Sweden’s defense minister has forgotten that Russia has over 6,000 nuclear warheads: In case of a major escalation of the NATO-Russia war, Russia’s “counter-response” could obliterate Sweden.

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So brave to travel into a war zone.

US Senate GOP Delegation Meets With Zelensky In Kiev (CNN)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with a congressional delegation led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kyiv Saturday, and called for Russia to officially be recognized as a “terrorist state,” he said Saturday in his nightly address. McConnell said in a statement Saturday evening the delegation “just left” Ukraine and called it an “honor” to meet with Zelensky and his senior advisers. McConnell was joined on the unannounced trip by Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas. McConnell and the other senators became the latest US officials to visit Ukraine since Russia invaded the eastern European nation in late February.

The Kentucky Republican said in the statement the delegation “reaffirmed” to Zelensky “that the United States stands squarely behind Ukraine and will sustain our support until Ukraine wins this war. It is also essential that America not stand alone. He continued: “It is squarely in our national interest to help Ukraine achieve victory in this war and to help Ukraine and other countries deter other wars of aggression before they start.” In his nightly address Saturday, Zelensky said he discussed US support for Ukraine and tightening sanctions on Russia with the delegation. “I believe that this visit once again demonstrates the strength of bipartisan support for our state, the strength of ties between the Ukrainian and American nations,” Zelensky said.

CNN previously reported Zelensky has asked President Joe Biden to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. The Ukrainian president added that he “expressed gratitude for the historic decision to renew the Lend Lease program” during the GOP delegation’s visit. Biden earlier this week signed into law the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act. The new law, which eases some of the requirements for the US to lend or lease military equipment to Ukraine, passed with a bipartisan majority in the US House and Senate. Its sponsors said the legislation gives Biden much broader authority to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia and addresses how the US can get weapons to Ukraine faster.

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Apologies for sound quality.

Guy Mettan: Ukraine is the First Battle of the Third World War (G&E)

Guy Mettan discusses the deep thousand year history of Russophobia which informs the current Ukraine crisis. Europe had divided in two parts along religious lines which can still be seen in Ukraine today. He traces Russophobia from medieval Germany to France to Britain and back again to Germany and today the U.S. and EU. Brzezinski outlined the importance of conquering Ukraine because it’s the pivotal power of Europe. Ukraine is the first battle of the Third World War. It won’t be a total war, it will be a global unlimited war, unlimited in space and time where everybody will be affected. He agrees that there is a neo-totalitarian trend in the West and that democracy is a false flag. He’s pessimistic regarding the future development of our world as the U.S. and EU develop into a totalitarian new empire. But he’s optimistic that the light of the truth can’t be extinguished.

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The EU finds ways to circumvent its own sanctions.

Ten More European Gas Buyers Open Ruble Accounts For Payments (BBG)

Ten more European gas buyers have opened accounts in Gazprombank JSC, doubling the total number of clients preparing to pay in rubles for Russian gas as President Vladimir Putin demanded. A total of twenty European companies have opened accounts, with another 14 clients asking for the paperwork needed to set them up, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential matters. He declined to identify the companies. European buyers have been struggling for weeks to figure out how they can meet Putin’s order to pay for Russian gas in rubles starting April 1 and not fall afoul of European Union sanctions imposed over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Under the new mechanism, clients have to open two accounts: one in foreign currency and one in rubles in Gazprombank. After Poland and Bulgaria rejected these terms, Gazprom PJSC halted gas flows to them in late April. As deadlines for payment for April supplies loom later this month for major West European buyers, Russia has moved to address EU concerns that the payment mechanism may violate sanctions. The person close to Gazprom said the current terms mean that the transaction is effectively completed once the buyer pays foreign currency to Gazprombank, since the subsequent conversion to rubles is automatic and doesn’t involve Russia’s central bank, which is subject to EU sanctions.

The bloc so far hasn’t said whether the Russian changes allay its concerns, but Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Wednesday companies will be able to pay for gas in rubles without breaching the restrictions. “Most of the gas importers have already opened their account in rubles with Gazprom,” he told a press conference. He said that Germany’s top gas importer had already paid in rubles. Like Italy, Germany is a massive consumer of Russian gas. The person close to Gazprom said the number of customers who’ve paid in rubles remains at four, the same as late last month. Payments from other buyers are due later this month, he said.

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“The war by the West against Russia has long been in the planning stages.”

The Real Reason Behind the EU’s Drive to Embargo Russian Oil

The idea that Europe fears a Russian invasion of Poland or even Germany, which necessitates NATO’s expansion to its border in the Donbas, is ludicrous. Russia’s military is not built along these lines nor is its performance in Ukraine evidence it is capable of such an operation. What is unfolding now is a script that was written a long time ago. The war by the West against Russia has long been in the planning stages. The Russians understand this better than many are willing to accept. Their leadership, Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have articulated this very clearly at every stage of the war to date. They are under no illusions about where the West and Davos are willing to take this conflict, which is why they have made serious threats about striking out at the real “decision centers” who give the Ukrainian Armed Forces their marching orders.

These are warnings not to our politicians, but to us. This is where things lead. They have asked for a parting of the ways, peaceably, between East and West, but that is not part of the agenda. Like classic narcissists with the burning need to control everything, Russia and the rest of Asia will not be allowed to walk away from Davos and their Eurocrat quislings, because they are the righteous saviors of humanity. And we are just, at best, “the help” and at worst an inconvenience. The bigger Davos plan of destroying the old global order to Build it Back Better, where they own everything and you will own nothing and like it or else, is the script.

They are now committed to this plan. It does not matter now whether it will work or not. This is what we have to realize in all of our analyses. Do the Russians and their friends in Asia and across the Global South have the means and the tools to come out on top? Possibly. But the bigger question is whether or not this conflict escalates to the point where winning is an irrelevant concept. When you see a bloc as powerful as the European Union willing to commit acts of domestic vandalism this big—and blaming the victim of their unbridled aggression—it tells you we are far past the point of rational settlement.

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“..the United States and its allies have greatly increased the danger of an even larger conflict..”

NY Times Op-ed Warns Of ‘Fantasies Of Regime Change’ (Fox)

On Wednesday, The New York Times published an op-ed warning that the United States risks war with Russia if it continues to pursue an expansive strategy in Ukraine. “Nuclear weapons are discussed in easy tones, not least on Russian television. The risk of cities being reduced to corium remains low without NATO deployment in Ukraine, but accident and miscalculation cannot be discounted,” wrote Tom Stevenson. The op-ed, titled “America and Its Allies Want to Bleed Russia. They Really Shouldn’t,” cautions that while America’s initial actions to provide support to Ukraine, American leaders’ willingness to speak in increasingly bold terms about regime change in Russia and “draining” the country poses a risk to American security.

“By expanding support to Ukraine across the board and shelving any diplomatic effort to stop the fighting, the United States and its allies have greatly increased the danger of an even larger conflict,” Stevenson wrote. “They are taking a risk far out of step with any realistic strategic gain,” he added. “The early U.S. response to the invasion was simple: Supply the defenders and apply America’s unique financial weaponry to the Russian economy. The new strategy — call it bleed Russia — is quite different. The underlying idea is that the United States and its allies should seek to recover more from the rubble of Kharkiv and Kramatorsk than the survival of Ukraine as a polity or even a symbolic frustration of Russian aggression.” Stevenson notes that Russia discusses nuclear tensions “in easy tones” and warned that “accident and miscalculation cannot be discounted”.

“It is unclear what more there is to gain by weakening Russia, beyond fantasies of regime change,” he said. “The war was dangerous and destructive enough in its initial form. The combination of expanded strategic aims and scotched negotiations has made it more dangerous still. At present, the only message to Russia is: There is no way out.”

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Much less wheat from Ukraine, Russia and now India, the world’s second-largest wheat producer. It adds up.

India Bans Wheat Exports, Irks G7 (AFP)

India banned wheat exports without government approval Saturday after its hottest March on record hit production, in a blow to countries reeling from supply shortages and soaring prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The announcement drew sharp criticism from the Group of Seven industrialized nations’ agriculture ministers meeting in Germany, who said that such measures “would worsen the crisis” of rising commodity prices. “If everyone starts to impose export restrictions or to close markets, that would worsen the crisis,” German Agriculture Minister Cem Ozdemir said at a press conference in Stuttgart. Global wheat prices have soared on supply fears following Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, which previously accounted for 12% of global exports.

The spike in prices, exacerbated by fertilizer shortages and poor harvests, has fueled inflation globally and raised fears of famine and social unrest in poorer countries. It has also led to concerns about growing protectionism following Indonesia’s halting of palm oil exports and India putting the brakes on exports of wheat. India, the world’s second-largest wheat producer, said that factors including lower production and sharply higher global prices meant it worried about the food security of its own 1.4 billion people. Export deals agreed to before the directive issued Friday could still be honored, but future shipments need government approval, it said. But exports could also take place if New Delhi approved requests from other governments “to meet their food security needs”.

“We don’t want wheat to go in an unregulated manner where it may either get hoarded and is not used for the purpose which we are hoping it will be used for –- which is serving the food requirements of vulnerable nations and vulnerable people,” said BVR Subrahmanyam, India’s commerce secretary. On Thursday New Delhi said it was sending delegations to Morocco, Tunisia, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Algeria and Lebanon “for exploring possibilities of boosting wheat exports from India”. [..] India said that it planned to increase wheat exports this financial year, starting April 1, to 10 million tons from seven million tons the year before. While this is a tiny proportion of worldwide production, the assurances provided some support to global prices and soothed fears of major shortages.

Egypt and Turkey recently approved wheat imports from India. But India endured its hottest March on record – blamed on climate change – and has been wilting in a heatwave in recent weeks, with temperatures upwards of 45 degrees Celsius. This has hit farmers hard, and this month the government said that wheat production was expected to fall at least five percent this year from 110 million tons in 2021 — the first fall in six years.

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About the India export ban. Food, energy and politics.

India Reverses Prior Position and Will Now Block Further Wheat Exports (CTH)

In April India said it was hoping to expand its wheat exports from 7 million tons to 10 million. However, as precarious winter wheat harvests reflect lower outputs, they are reversing position and will now block any wheat exports in order to ensure their own supply. INDIA – “[…] The announcement drew sharp criticism from the Group of Seven industrialized nations’ agriculture ministers meeting in Germany, who said that such measures “would worsen the crisis” of rising commodity prices. [..] India, the world’s second-largest wheat producer, said that factors including lower production and sharply higher global prices meant it worried about the food security of its own 1.4 billion people. Export deals agreed to before the directive issued Friday could still be honored, but future shipments need government approval, it said.”

Don’t look now, but there’s an ideological alignment in the background of these decisions. Turkey and Egypt will be receiving wheat export from India, both nations are aligned against the western position toward Russian sanctions. Turkey said a few days ago they would not approve of Finland joining NATO (the irony of Turkey in NATO not withstanding). We need to watch carefully, but there are indications in the geopolitical decision making of nationalist-minded countries, that seem to align with the previously discussed energy alliance cleaving. The food alliance per se’, is lining up in similar fashion to the energy sector oil alliance. If this geopolitical and ideological alignment of food imports/exports continues, what we will see is Europe become even more dependent on the U.S. for food exports. That type of reality has the potential to play well for Biden’s pressure and blackmail campaign forcing NATO to stay committed to the war in Ukraine.

Due to sanctions, Western European allies have already become more dependent on the U.S. for energy products including heavy oil, and liquified natural gas (LNG) which is being exported from the U.S. at the highest rate in history; unfortunately, driving up the prices we pay. Now we can overlay food exports as another angle for Biden to keep blackmailing NATO to support his proxy war in Ukraine. Americans are already paying more for energy because we are subsidizing Europe. Now Americans will pay more for food products because we are subsidizing Europe. That, my friends, is a hot mess. This sanctions map starts to take on a new dimension beyond energy. The western team in yellow trading energy and foodstuffs between themselves based on common ideology and outlook. The team in grey trading energy and foodstuff based on common ideology and outlook.

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Time to broaden the survey.

Survey Shows Over 500,000 Killed By The Covid Vaccines So Far (Kirsch)

A simple survey of my readers provided some extremely compelling evidence that 1) the US government has killed over 500,000 previously healthy Americans and 2) that the vaccine actually caused the deaths. It took me around 30 minutes to create the survey and 11 hours to wait for highly statistically significant results. I was able to accomplish something in less than 12 hours that the CDC has been unable to accomplish in 18 months: prove causality. We see both dose dependency and enormous changes in ACM deaths pre- vs. post-vaccine. We satisfy all five Bradford-Hill criteria applicable to vaccines. We used 400 independent observers. I should note that all follow my Substack so they are correlated: all have excellent judgment, high intelligence, and immunity from mass formation effects. So they have the ability to see what is truly going on.

The survey compared the all-cause mortality (ACM) death rates just PRIOR to a vaccine dose to the ACM death rates immediately AFTER the dose. I predicted they would be dramatically higher after the dose and the effect would be dose dependent. It appears I was right. In fact, the survey projects far more deaths than I thought possible. The number of deaths computed from the reports could be as high as 2M Americans, but the 500,000 number seems more credible, so I’m discounting the result by 4X to account for biases and confounders. I don’t think there is any way anyone is going to be able to “explain away” these results once we redo the survey with a better set of controls (the next step). And these results are ONLY counting the all-cause mortality increase for just the one month after each shot. We know you can die a year later from these vaccines.

We found Dose #4 caused only a 1.27X increase compared with 5.5X to 8.3X for doses 1 and 2 respectively and 2.3X for Dose #3. If this were a highly biased population, Dose 4 would have caused a larger discrepancy, but it’s approaching 1:1 as we’d expect. The decreasing ACM increase with later shots makes sense… The vaccine eliminates anyone whose immune system is susceptible to auto-immune attacks on the spike protein. If it hasn’t killed you after 3 shots, it’s less likely to kill you on shot #4. You’re immune due to both survivor bias and the fact that your immune system has recognized the vaccine as an invader and clears it from the system quicker than on shots 1 and 2. This of course says nothing about it’s impact on effectiveness against the virus which is likely pretty minimal at this point which is a story for another day.

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Question is: who will buy them? China?

Egypt Considers Issuing Bonds In China’s Yuan (Al-M)

Egypt may soon sell bonds that are priced in China’s currency the yuan. Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait made the announcement yesterday alongside the People’s Republic’s Ambassador in Cairo Liao Liqiang. The move would help diversify Egypt’s financial resources and target China’s large bond market, the state-owned Al-Ahram reported. Bonds are a type of financial security that represent the holder’s obligation to repay the buyer. Governments issue bonds to help finance their expenses. Egypt has pursued several new bond strategies recently. The country is currently preparing to sell Islamic bonds. An Islamic bond, or sukuk, complies with Islamic law’s prohibition on usury.


In February, Egypt named six banks to manage the future sukuk sale. Last year, Egypt issued bonds in Japan’s currency the yen. The move could threaten the position of the US dollar as the world’s dominant currency. Many countries around the region sell bonds in dollars or their own currency. Doing business in yuan is becoming more appealing to some countries. Saudi Arabia is reportedly considering accepting yuan as payment for oil sales to China Egypt recently secured foreign investment from its Gulf allies to mitigate the economic fallout from the war in Ukraine. The war has wreaked havoc on Egypt’s wheat supply, for example.

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Where does Biden find these women?

Karine Jean-Pierre Has History Of Accusing Things Of Being Racist (NYP)

Newly installed White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has a long history of accusing policies and political enemies of “racism,” a review of her social media and TV news appearances show. The Post looked at Jean-Pierre’s tweets between 2015 and 2020 and found a staggering 57 instances where she accused people, policies, ideas, or words of being “racist.” And Jean-Pierre accused people and ideas she was opposed to as “racist” at least 43 times in TV appearances too, according to video clipping service Grabien, whose available analysis spanned just the first two years of President Trump’s term in office. Her target on both social media and TV was overwhelmingly Trump.

“If it walks like a racist, talks like a racist, acts like a racist, it is a racist and we have a racist president in the White House who really pushes his racism like a peacock,” she told a smirking panel on the MSNBC show “AM Joy” in 2018. “Donald Trump is a RACIST!” she railed in a tweet from Jan 2018, echoing what became a common refrain from her during his presidency. “Donald Trump is the most outwardly racist President that we have seen in generations and African Americans voters aren’t blind to that. He uses his megaphone to divide people, spew racism, and give cover to white supremacists,” she tweeted in 2020. Her new boss, President Biden, got in on the act in during the 2020 presidential campaign, claiming Trump was “one of the most racist presidents’ we’ve ever had.”

Trump was far not alone as an object of her derision — Jean-Pierre also ripped the former president’s staff and confidants as racists too. “Steve Bannon is a white Supremacist. Steve Bannon is a white Nationalist. Steve Bannon is a racist,” she thundered in September 2018, of the president’s former White House counselor. She levied the same accusation on Sebastian Gorka, another Trump White House advisor. Jean-Pierre also blasted former Attorney General Jeff Sessions as “a bigot & a racist,” who “views brown and black people as less than, not even human,” according to a tweet from June 2018. She also called racists Texas Sen. John Cornyn in 2020, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2018, and Former Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie in 2017.

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“..a few days ago White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the terminology “ultra-MAGA” was an “organic utterance” from Joe Biden. Whoops.”

Biden Phrase “Ultra MAGA” Came from Six Month Study (CTH)

The Washington Post is reporting the shift from the White House to disparage their political opposition with the terms “MAGA”, “Ultra-MAGA” and President Trump as the “Great MAGA King,” came from a six-month poll study led by Anita Dunn, the latest senior advisor in the White House. Keep in mind, a few days ago White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the terminology “ultra-MAGA” was an “organic utterance” from Joe Biden. Whoops. WASHINGTON DC – […] Biden’s attempt to appropriate the “MAGA” brand as a political attack was hardly accidental. It arose from a six-month research project to find the best way to target Republicans, helmed by Biden adviser Anita Dunn and by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal group.

The polling and focus group research by Hart Research and the Global Strategy Group found that “MAGA” was already viewed negatively by voters — more negatively than other phrases like “Trump Republicans.” In battleground areas, more than twice as many voters said they would be less likely to vote for someone called a “MAGA Republican” than would be more likely. The research also found that the description tapped into the broad agreement among voters that the Republican Party had become more extreme and power-hungry in recent years.” On May 5th the White House announced Anita Dunn would return to the JoeBama administration as senior advisor.

Dunn’s specific expertise is using pressure, blackmail and political leverage to control information distribution by media organizations. Apparently “ultra-MAGA” was Dunn’s first branding effort for the White House. The reappearance of Anita Dunn aligns with the expressed intent of the DHS ‘disinformation’ board. Dunn’s professional political skillset surrounds being a paid media fixer. She has done this for multiple democrat politicians including Obama. It was Anita Dunn who used her position in the Biden campaign to demand that media stop allowing Rudy Guiliani to explain the Biden family ‘pay to play’ financial system of selling influence. Anita Dunn also advised Harvey Weinstein how to remove media stories of his Hollywood rape issues. Dunn reappearing makes sense, as the U.S. government objective to control information is now in full swing.

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May 092022
 
 May 9, 2022  Posted by at 2:07 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  14 Responses »


M.C. Escher Gravitation 1952

 

 

Earlier today, I read that the Russian ambassador to Poland was hit by a paint bomb while laying a wreath for WWII fallen soldiers, with the culprits chanting: “fascist, fascist”! And I thought that is rich, on the day that Russia commemorates the 25-40 million Russian lives lost in WWII fighting fascism.

I don’t know how many of you ever saw Claude Lanzmann’s 1980’s 8-hour documentary “Shoah”, but I did at some point. It shook all of me, every molecule, and I will never watch it again. I come from the land of Anne Frank. What it told me was that nazism wasn’t just a German thing, it was the region, not the nation, it was where most Jewish people lived before Hitler and Goebbels came along.

Lanzmann interviewed scores of Polish people who were loudly proud of having pushed back Jews, trying to flee, onto the cattle trains bound for Auschwitz et al. That same mentality has prevailed in large parts of Ukraine as well over the by now 80 years or so. Just look at the map: that’s where this was happening. And the Russians defeated it in that part of the world, not western troops.

And when it was done, the role of the 25-40 million Russian deaths in it was denied in the west, because: communism vs capitalism. But of course Russia cannot just ignore or deny all those deaths, just because Hollywood wants to sell tickets to Saving Private Ryan. For Russia, WWII meant: never again. And for them that means something slightly different than for us. It’s not just never again fascism or nazism, it’s also that these two things are symbolic for having your motherland invaded from the west, and by the west. Never again. That is why Russia moved into Ukraine.

And they are convinced that NATO was getting ready, with the remaining nazis in Ukraine, to attack the Donbass and Crimea. Note: Russia has an excellent secret service. They’re not just guessing. 100s of 1000s of troops were amassing on their eastern border(s).

And now Zelensky is calling the Russians the nazis. That’s quite the about face. They lost all those lives fighting the nazis, only to become the nazis themselves. Labeled so by an actor who relies heavily on admitted, and tattooed, 2022 nazis to stay in power.

Western media, and governments, had a zillion predictions about what Putin would say today, but still there was no mobilization of Russians, and no total war declaration. They were all wrong, again. But it helped get the clickbait up! Still, he would have said it if we did not announce his intentions!, us who have a direct line into his brain…

I’ll leave you with three full reports from today, so you can make up your own mind- something I always try to do. First, RT, for which I cannot provide a link (banned because it’s propaganda!), then Guardian and then BBC.

 

 

Launching The Offensive Was “The Only Right Decision,” Russian President Insisted At The Annual Victory Day Parade (RT)

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine was a preemptive move against future aggression, President Vladimir Putin has outlined during his address at the Victory Day parade in Red Square in Moscow on Monday. Putin not only praised the achievement of the Soviet people during World War II, but also addressed the Kremlin’s reasons for the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Russia had to act because a large-scale offensive against the breakaway republics in the eastern Donbass region was being planned, he claimed.

“We saw the military infrastructure unfolding [in Ukraine]; hundreds of foreign advisers starting their work; there were regular deliveries of the most modern weapons from NATO countries. The danger grew every day,” the president explained. “Russia gave a preemptive rebuff to aggression – this was a forced, timely and the only right decision by a sovereign, strong and independent country,” he added, referring to the launch of the military operation. “Despite all the disagreements in international relations, Russia has always advocated the creation of a system of equal and indivisible security,” Putin continued. He cited Moscow’s attempts to engage in dialogue on security guarantees with Washington late last year, which failed to yield results.

“NATO countries didn’t want to hear us, which means that, in fact, they harbored completely different plans, and we saw it,” he elaborated. There were open preparations for a punitive operation in the Donbass and “an invasion of our historical lands, including Crimea,” Putin insisted, adding that Kiev also announced plans to restore its nuclear capabilities. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US has increasingly spoken of ‘American exceptionalism,’ Putin pointed out. By spreading those ideas, Washington is “humiliating not only the whole world, but also its satellites, which have to pretend that they don’t notice anything and humbly accept it all. But we are a different country,” he insisted.

Russia has a different character, we’ll never give up on our love for our Motherland, on our faith and traditional values and customs of our ancestors; on respect for all peoples and cultures. But the West has apparently decided to “cancel” those values, with such “moral degradation becoming the basis for cynical falsifications of the history of World War II, and the incitement of Russophobia,” he said. “We know that American veterans, who wanted to come to the parade in Moscow, were basically banned from doing so,” Putin added. But he pointed out that Russia remembered the feats of the US servicemen and their contribution to victory in World War II.

Returning to the military operation in Ukraine, the president illustrated that “the self-defense forces of the Donbass Republics together with the Russian military are fighting on their land… for the Motherland, for its future, to make sure that no one forgets the lessons of World War II, so that there would be no place in the world for butchers, punishers, and Nazis.” Announcing the “special military operation” on February 24, Putin said that Moscow should not repeat the mistakes of the Soviet leadership of 1940-1941.

Back then, he explained, the USSR tried not to provoke Nazi Germany by “refraining or postponing the most urgent and obvious preparations it had to make to defend itself from an imminent attack.” As a result, the president continued, the moment was lost and the country was not prepared to counter the invasion. “The attempt to appease the aggressor ahead of the Great Patriotic War proved to be a mistake which came at a high cost for our people…We will not make this mistake the second time. We have no right to do so,” Putin said.

 

 

The essence: “We will not make this mistake the second time. We have no right to do so,”

 

 

Putin Ties Ukraine Invasion To Second World War In Victory Day Speech (Guardian)

Vladimir Putin has told Russian soldiers they are “fighting for the same thing their fathers and grandfathers did” as he used his Victory Day speech to justify his invasion of Ukraine. As Putin sought to rally his country through the memory of the second world war, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, pushed back in his own address from Kyiv. “We will not allow anyone to annex this victory, we will not allow it to be appropriated,” he said. The dual speeches marked a closely watched anniversary in eastern Europe, where Russia has used claims that it is fighting fascism to justify its bombardment of cities such as Mariupol and Kyiv and to launch the largest military campaign in Ukraine since the 1940s.

Prior to the speech, foreign officials had said Putin could use it to launch a full mobilisation of Russian troops or formally declare war in Ukraine, but there were no large policy announcements. Instead he suggested Russia was “forced” into the war by Nato and pledged to provide aid for the families of soldiers who had died in what the Kremlin is calling a “special operation”. Speaking at the 77th annual celebration of the defeat of Nazi Germany, the Russian president launched a defence of his war in Ukraine, pivoting from a recognition of Russia’s “greatest generation” to a description of how it was believed Ukraine was being armed by the west for an imminent attack on Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.

“Nato countries did not want to listen to us,” Putin said. “They had different plans, and we saw it. They were planning an invasion into our historic lands, including Crimea … Russia gave a preemptive rebuff to aggression, it was a forced, timely and only right decision.” He also described the war as “sacred”. “The defence of the motherland, when its fate was being decided, has always been sacred,” Putin said, speaking of the second world war. “And now, you are fighting for our people in the Donbas. For the security of our homeland – Russia.” Russia provided fewer armoured vehicles than in past years during the Red Square parade on Monday and a planned flyover was cancelled, ostensibly due to weather conditions.

Putin did not bring up specific Russian victories in his speech, despite speculation his forces were engaged in a last-ditch effort to secure Mariupol and its Azovstal plant from the remaining Ukrainian defenders by 9 May. Instead, the Russian president addressed troop losses in the war, saying he had signed a new order that would give educational aid to the children of those killed. The Kremlin has been accused of seeking to cover up losses. After the sinking of the Moskva cruiser in the Black Sea, a number of families went public with claims the Russian military was trying to avoid confirming deaths onboard the ship.

“The death of each of our soldiers and officers is a grief for all of us and an irreparable loss for relatives and friends,” Putin said. “The state, regions, enterprises, public organisations will do everything to take care of such families and help them. We will provide special support to the children of the dead and wounded comrades. The presidential decree on this was signed today.”

The muted speech came in stark contrast to that delivered by Zelenskiy, who delivered a recorded address to a piano accompaniment as he walked through central Kyiv past anti-tank barricades. “This is not a war of two armies,” he said. “This is a war of two world views. A war waged by barbarians … who believe that their missiles can destroy our philosophy.” In the speech, Zelenskiy took aim at Russian claims Ukraine had sought to block 9 May celebrations, a focus of Russian state media in advance of the holiday.

“Our enemy dreamed that we would refuse to celebrate 9 May and the victory over Nazism,” said Zelenskiy. “So that the word ‘denazification’ will have a chance [to succeed] … On the day of victory over Nazism we are fighting for a new victory. The road to it is difficult but we have no doubt that we will win. “And very soon there will be two Victory Days in Ukraine. And some will not even have one left.”

 

 

“The defence of the motherland, when its fate was being decided, has always been sacred.”

 

 

Putin Says Russia Fighting For Motherland In Ukraine In Victory Day Speech (BBC)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russian forces in Ukraine were fighting for the future of their motherland, in his annual address marking victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two. Despite rumours he would make a major announcement his speech stuck largely to defending Russia’s invasion. He tied the war in Ukraine to victory in 1945, blaming the West and Nato for rejecting security demands. Almost 10 weeks into the invasion, civilian casualties continue to mount. Some 60 civilians are feared dead in the eastern town of Bilohorivka, after a Russian attack on a school where people were trying to escape bombardment.

Flanked by military top brass, Russia’s leader spoke of Ukrainians as fascists, repeating his false claim that the democratic government in Kyiv was run by neo-Nazis. Defending the motherland had always been sacred, he said, referring to the eastern region which is now the main focus of Russia’s assault: “Today you are fighting for our people in Donbas, for the security of Russia, our homeland.” He also made unfounded allegations against Nato and Ukraine and described the invasion as a pre-emptive rebuff: “They were preparing a punishing operation in Donbas to intrude on our historic lands. In Kyiv they were saying they might get nuclear weapons and Nato started exploring the lands close to us, and that became an obvious threat to us and our borders.”

Ukrainian presidential official Mykhailo Podoliak later responded, tweeting that there were no rational grounds for the war: “Nato countries were not going to attack Russia. Ukraine did not plan to attack Crimea.” There had been speculation that Russia’s president may be considering a change of military strategy, either a full declaration of war, rather than the current so-called special military operation, or a mobilisation of Russian men to boost the armed forces. Instead he said he was signing a decree for families of the dead and wounded in Ukraine to receive special support.

There was a minute of silence, including for the fallen in Ukraine, and he ended his 11-minute address with the words: “Glory to our armed forces – for Russia, for victory, hurrah”, at which the assembled forces responded with a big cheer. The parade was more modest than in recent years. Russian news agencies said 11,000 troops and 131 armoured vehicles took part in the event, including Russia’s widely feted Armata tanks, which have not been considered combat-ready for the war in Ukraine.

Not everything went according to plan. A flypast by the air force had to be cancelled shortly before the parade because of “weather conditions”, according to the Kremlin. Ahead of Victory Day, warplanes had rehearsed over Red Square in a Z-formation, the motif used by the Russian state during its war in Ukraine. Smaller parades took part in cities across Russia and the weather was also blamed for similar cancellations of flypasts in Yekaterinburg, Rostov and Novosibirsk. There was no mention in Vladimir Putin’s speech of Mariupol, the southern Ukrainian port city where a small group of Ukrainian forces continue to hold out in a maze of tunnels under the Azovstal steelworks.

But Russia was able to claim limited success on Monday in Kherson, the one Ukrainian city it can claim to have fully occupied. State-run news agency Ria Novosti showed footage of a Victory Day march in memory of those who died in the war. It was led by Volodymyr Saldo, a pro-Russian local official who has been named Kherson governor and is now being investigated for treason by Ukraine. What was then the Soviet Union lost 27 million lives during World War Two, with Ukraine accounting for eight million of them. In a separate message marking 9 May, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Nazis had been expelled in 1945 and Ukraine would not allow anyone to “annex this victory”. Very soon, he said, Ukraine would have two victory days to celebrate.

 

 

 

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