50 years after leaving Vietnam, the US keeps getting involved in wars without understanding them

In January 1973, the US signed an agreement that saw it pull out of Vietnam, abandoning its South Vietnamese partners.

In August 2021, history repeated itself in Afghanistan.

Vietnam being one of the theaters of the Cold War, the US decided to intervene to face the progression of communists in the country.

  • According to the domino theory, Vietnam needed to stay within the Western sphere of influence. For the sake of democracy all over the world, obviously.

The year 1965 was the beginning of a massive US involvement.

Until then, Washington had limited itself to sending supplies and about 900 military observers and trainers. But after the controversial Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, the American engagement became way more serious.

At its peak in 1969, the US intervention included more than 540,000 troops on the ground.

However, the large scale 1965-68 Operation Rolling Thunder, during which the US dropped 864,000 tons of bombs on North Vietnam, ended up a failure.

  • The surprise Tet Offensive launched by the North Vietnamese was also a failure, but it seriously damaged South Vietnam’s infrastructure and the US’ reputation as a trustworthy ally.

By the end of the ‘60s, the US population had grown tired of the conflict, and more and more protests against the war were organized throughout the country.

President Richard Nixon had campaigned in 1968 on the promise to end the war in Vietnam with peace and honor – the idea was to gain time and arm the South Vietnamese in order for them to defend their positions on their own.

However, Nixon had failed to deliver this peace and, in 1972, was facing re-election.

  • As the Americans had already proved during WWII when they constantly postponed the opening of a second front in Europe, a ‘democratic war’ is always closely linked to elections and internal political fights.

Three (very different) men in a boat

How the talks went is a crucial illustration of how cynical, and sometimes absurd, the foreign policy of the US can be.

Richard Nixon sent in Henry Kissinger, the national security adviser at the time. A brilliant personality, Kissinger (who is now 99) was already a member of the establishment.

He did not regard South Vietnam as being important in itself, but considered it necessary to support it in order to maintain the global power status of the US.

  • He was convinced that none of the allies of Washington would trust them anymore if the US were to dump Saigon too quickly. Realpolitik incarnate.

The North Vietnamese envoy for these negotiations was Le Duc Tho, who had started his career as a revolutionary when he was 16 and had been one of the founders of the Indochinese Communist Party in 1930. He had been jailed twice for several years by the French in very harsh conditions. He was dedicated to the unification of his country. Kissinger called him a “fanatic.”

The third man was South Vietnam’s president, Nguyen Van Thieu. He had joined Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh but left it after a year of service and went on to join the Vietnamese National Army of the French-backed State of Vietnam.

The president of South Vietnam since 1965, he had managed to ensure a relative security but was known for turning a blind eye to (and indulging in) corruption. Another example of American foreign policy, which the quote “He may be a bastard, but he is our bastard” summarizes quite well. To add cynicism to the picture, Nguyen did not actually get a chance to sit at the negotiating table.

The cosmopolitan intellectual, the revolutionary nationalist, and the opportunist politician. Which of them was the good, the bad, or the ugly is a matter of personal preference.

The Vietnam peace treaty: Rehearsal for Afghanistan?

Between 1969 and 1973, Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho met more than 15 times in Paris. According to American historian A. J. Langguth, at one point in 1970, when things seemed at a standstill, one of Kissinger’s attempts to talk to Le Duc Tho was met with a note saying:

  • “The US words of peace are just empty ones.” But with the US proposal and the coming presidential election, North Vietnam had a chance it could not pass up. As the subsequent events proved, the Vietnamese understood the Americans, but the Americans did not understand the Vietnamese.

The two sides ended up negotiating a complete withdrawal of the US and the release of all POWs in North Vietnam. However, the negotiations almost collapsed after this agreement, as Nixon wanted amendments and Nguyen Van Thieu, having been excluded from the talks, did not want to sign it.

Kissinger managed to gain some cosmetic concessions from the North Vietnamese in order for the US not to lose face. Washington sent an ultimatum to Nguyen Van Thieu. The peace treaty was signed on January 27, 1973 in Paris. However, the ceasefire was broken by both Vietnamese sides within 24 hours. Two years later, on April 30, 1975, Saigon fell to the communist North Vietnam and it marked the definitive and complete withdrawal of the US.

  • Nguyen Van Thieu made a final speech denouncing Washington for not keeping its word and then fled to Taiwan.

Any resemblance with the Afghan scenario is purely coincidental.

  • In 2020, the US and the Taliban signed an agreement for the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Afghan government was not invited to negotiate. The ceasefire was broken almost immediately. Two years later, Kabul fell to the Taliban.
  • Interestingly enough, the propaganda machine still has it that the US did not lose the Vietnam War – South Vietnam lost. Even Wikipedia does not mention that it was a US defeat: The French were defeated, but in the case of the US, it was simply a “withdrawal.”

Lost in translation

In Francis Ford Coppola’s movie ‘Apocalypse Now’, the character Hubert de Marais has this very important line which he delivers with a typical French accent:

“The Vietnamese are very intelligent. You never know what they think. The Russian ones who help them – ‘come and give us their money. We are all communists. Chinese give us guns. We are all brothers.’ They hate the Chinese! Maybe they hate the American less than the Russian and the Chinese. I mean, if tomorrow the Vietnamese are communists they will be Vietnamese communists. And this is something you never understood, you Americans.”

Coppola had, in the ‘70’s, understood something that former US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara only came to understand in the ‘90’s when he met with Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap.

With astonishment, he suddenly realized that the Vietnamese were fighting a war of independence, not an ideological war. The 20-year conflict in Vietnam had never been about the spread of communism in the world. Concerning US foreign policy, the elderly and experienced politician went on to say:

  • “We don’t understand the Bosnians, we don’t understand the Chinese, and we don’t really understand the Iranians.” With the exception of colonized Western Europe, it seems to be a good summary of Washington’s policy towards countries all over the world.

But the propaganda machine works well: Kissinger will be remembered as the one who got the Nobel Peace Prize for the 1973 treaty. Le Duc Tho gracefully refused it.

  • The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Source: Matthieu Buge – RT

Are Pfizer REALLY “directing the evolution” of COVID-19?

Yesterday independent investigative journalists Project Veritas released their latest undercover report: A recording of a research director from Pfizer allegedly admitting the pharma giant is deliberately mutating the Sars-Cov-2 virus.

The process, which the researcher – Dr Jordan Walker – refers to as “directed evolution”, would apparently help Pfizer pre-emptively develop new vaccines:

So, what can we trust about the story?

Well, first, the video does appear at first glance to be genuine. Research shows a complex and detailed online presence for a “Dr Jordan Trishton Walker”.

That includes a (now deleted) LinkedIn page showing he worked as a research director for Pfizer, although there are some gaps and contradictions in the record that would require a more detailed look.

But what about his claims? Or the claims of the rest of the video?

Well, let’s breakdown what “Dr Walker” actually says:

  • COVID is real and mutating
  • Their vaccines are not as “effective” against “variants”
    Pfizer is researching mutations to pre-empt vaccine development
  • The public finding out would scare them
  • They don’t want an “evolved” virus to escape and cause “another outbreak”
  • This kind of research “probably” created the virus in the first place, aka the “lab leak theory”.

Outside of the idea that Pfizer is “directing the evolution” of the virus, this is all narrative reinforcement.

From the beginning, the only totally verboten position has been that the pandemic is a lie.

You’re allowed to think the virus was natural, or created in a lab.
You’re allowed to believe masks work or don’t. You’re allowed to believe in hydroxychloroquine and other “alternative treatments”. You’re allowed to believe in natural immunity, or vaccines and boosters.

But you’re NOT allowed to believe “COVID” doesn’t exist. That they just rebranded the flu to push through an authoritarian agenda.

You’re allowed to believe anything, so long as you concede that the “COVID” is a new, scary disease that requires special public health measures.

That is the big lie.

Source: Kit Knightly – Off-Guardian

2023 will be make-or-break year for Russia

Predicting the course of political events during particularly volatile periods, such as the one we entered a year ago, is a thankless and meaningless endeavor. Yet in such times, there’s both a need and an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the main trends shaping the world. This brief overview is an attempt to identify Russia’s main course of development in the international arena and its relations with key players in the year ahead.


The longer the conflict in Ukraine lasts, the more it resembles an uncompromising confrontation between Russia and US-centric Western countries.

The escalation of hostilities continues to be the dominant trend. The stakes are extremely high for all sides, but for Moscow even more so than for the United States or Western Europe. For Russia, the conflict is not only a matter of external security and its place in the world, but also a matter of internal stability, including the cohesion of its political regime and the future of Russian statehood. After the partial mobilization last fall, combat operations in Ukraine began to resemble something far broader.

  • What started out as a “special military operation” may well become a “patriotic war.”

Predicting the course of political events during particularly volatile periods, such as the one we entered a year ago, is a thankless and meaningless endeavor. Yet in such times, there’s both a need and an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the main trends shaping the world. This brief overview is an attempt to identify Russia’s main course of development in the international arena and its relations with key players in the year ahead.

All conflicts eventually come to an end as a result of agreements.

However, the above circumstances make it nearly impossible to conclude either a peace agreement or even a stable armistice similar to the Korean deal of the 1950s.

The problem is that Washington’s maximum concessions are a far cry from Moscow’s minimal goals.

The objective of the US is to exclude Russia from among the great world powers, initiate regime change in Moscow, and deprive China of an important strategic partner.

Its strategy is to exhaust the Russian Army at the battlefront, shake up society, undermine people’s trust in the authorities, and finally, get the Kremlin to surrender.

As for Russia, it has the resources and power to get the better of these schemes and achieve its goals in such a way as to avoid another armed conflict in the future.

  • In 2023, combat operations in Ukraine may not end, but over the next 12 months, we will see whose willpower is stronger and which side will eventually prevail.

The West

The Ukrainian conflict has so far been a proxy war between Russia and NATO.

  • However, the growing number of Western countries joining the conflict and aiming to “strategically defeat” Russia may lead to a direct clash between the Armed Forces of Russia and Western military units.

If this happens, the Ukrainian conflict will turn into a Russia-NATO war. Such a situation will inevitably carry a nuclear risk.

  • This is further aggravated by the fact that, acting out of desperation, Kiev authorities may provoke the US-led military bloc to directly enter the conflict.

However, even if a head-on collision is avoided, the West’s overall hostility towards Russia will keep on growing. Economic relations between Russia and Western Europe, which the latter sabotaged last year despite the evident “suicide” of such actions, will continue deteriorating.

  • In terms of relations between Japan and Russia, cooperation established by former prime minister Shinzo Abe is being replaced with Cold War-era hostility. In contrast to Western Europe, Japan isn’t willing to break off energy ties with Russia. But the revitalization of the alliance between Japan and the United States, coupled with the strengthening military-political ties between Russia and China and mounting tension on the Korean Peninsula all signal a return to the old confrontation with Russia, China, and North Korea on one side, and the United States, Japan, and South Korea on the other.

The East

In the current circumstances, Belarus remains Russia’s only absolute ally.

At the same time, Moscow maintains partner relations with several nations whose importance has grown significantly in recent times. These are primarily the great world powers China and India; regional players Brazil, Iran, Turkey, and South Africa; and the Persian Gulf countries – primarily Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These countries, along with dozens of others, have not joined in the Western sanctions against Russia and continue to be Moscow’s partners. However, Asian, African and Latin American countries that exist within Washington’s financial empire, which are increasingly called “the world majority” in Russia, are forced to consider the effect of secondary US sanctions.

This is apparent in the case of China. The proposal of a Russian-Chinese partnership “without borders” demonstrates the willingness of both world powers to develop in-depth cooperation in all fields. Despite Washington’s considerable efforts to use the Ukrainian conflict to sabotage China-Russia relations, economic and military ties between Beijing and Moscow are growing stronger.

  • The promised visit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Russia, scheduled for the spring of 2023, is evidence of the ongoing rapprochement.
  • At the same time, both sides are acting out of their national interests.

For Russia, the United States is currently an opponent. But for China, it is only a rival and a potential opponent. This is not enough to form a military alliance between Moscow and Beijing. China naturally values its economic interests in US and European markets, and Beijing may change its mind in favor of a military alliance only if Washington becomes its enemy. For the sake of Russia alone, China is not willing to take this step.

  • There are also issues around Russia’s relations with India. Just like Beijing, New Delhi is Moscow’s strategic partner. Yet with its ambitious goal of accomplishing a major economic leap in the current decade, India is particularly interested in economic and technological cooperation with the US, the EU, and Japan.

Moreover, New Delhi sees Beijing as its main rival and a potential military threat: the smoldering conflict on the border between the two most populated Asian states continues to occasionally flare up. In addition to BRICS and SCO membership, India is a member of the Quad group, which the US views as an anti-Chinese alliance.

In such conditions, Russia will have to decisively strengthen its positions in India in 2023.

This includes actively working with local elites, explaining Russia’s foreign policy and countering the attempts to distort it by Western media (used by the Indian press as its main reference), finding and developing new opportunities for economic, technological, and scientific cooperation, and encouraging productive cooperation via international forums and other platforms. In the opposite case, a “go with the flow” attitude in Russian-Indian relations will result in India’s drift away from Moscow.

Last year, Iran became the only country to supply its own weapons systems to Russia.

At the same time, Tehran entered the process of joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The North-South Transport Corridor linking Russia with the Persian Gulf nations, India, and South Asia has acquired particular importance under Western sanctions. Also, last year it finally became clear that the Iranian nuclear deal would not be extended. This means the suspension and possibly even the termination of over half a century of cooperation between Russia and the United States on nuclear nonproliferation.

  • In 2023, Russia and Iran will continue growing closer. On the Russian side, this will require the development of a more concise and active strategy towards the Middle Eastern state.

Moscow’s relations with Tehran directly influence its relations with the Arab nations and Ankara. The region is notable for having several centers of power. The policy of the Persian Gulf’s Arab countries (especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) is becoming increasingly multi-vector. They are no longer focused solely on the US and are developing ties with Russia and China. In the coming year, this trend will likely continue and strengthen. Having proposed a concept for regional security in the Gulf zone back in 2019, in 2023 Moscow could step up the efforts and facilitate dialogue between Iran and its southern neighbors.

2023 is the centenary of the proclamation of the Turkish republic, and will see presidential elections.

  • For Russia and its foreign policy, the importance of Turkey has grown dramatically in recent years. As a result of the Syrian war, the Second Karabakh War, the Ukrainian conflict, and the collapse of normal relations between Russia and Western Europe, Turkey turned into a transport, logistics, and gas hub between Russia and the Euro-Atlantic world.
  • The Turkish opposition is determined to put an end to the 20-plus year political reign of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who intends to run for another (according to him, final) presidential term. We won’t make predictions concerning the upcoming election but will only point out the trend that Turkey is transforming from a regional power into a major independent player with global ambitions. This makes Ankara an indispensable, if challenging partner for Moscow.

Close neighbors

Last but not least are Russia’s relations with its immediate neighbors. This trend came to the fore in 2022 and is set to continue. Over the coming year, achieving a breakthrough and eventually, victory in Ukraine, will be Russia’s main priority. Belarus will remain Russia’s closest ally and partner. Meanwhile, the rise of ethnic nationalism in Kazakhstan and potential discord in relations between Moscow and Astana pose the greatest risk.

Other threats may include a Moldovan attempt to cooperate with Kiev and the West on solving the Transnistria conflict; a potential renewal of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan; another outbreak of the border dispute between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and internal destabilization issues in neighboring countries.

On the other hand, under the influence of last year’s gigantic geopolitical, strategic, and geo-economic shifts, it has become obvious that we need a fundamentally different level of economic and military-political cooperation within the frameworks of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), respectively. It’s worth noting that in both aspects, Russia-Uzbekistan cooperation looks particularly promising. What is clear is that under the conditions of unprecedented geopolitical tension along the entire perimeter of Russia’s new post-Soviet borders, Moscow will need to invest a lot more attention, understanding, and effort to reap results. This will become one of the key challenges for Russian foreign policy in 2023.

  • This article was first published by Profile.ru

Source: Dmitry Trenin – RT

Header:  Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping ©  Kenzaburo Fukuhara – Pool / Getty Images

How Blacktock Investment Fund Triggered Energy Crisis

Blackrock pushes ESG

In January, 2020 on the eve of the economically and socially devastating COVID lockdowns, the CEO of the world’s largest investment fund, Larry Fink of Blackrock, issued a letter to Wall Street colleagues and corporate CEOs on the future of investment flows. In the document, modestly titled “A Fundamental Reshaping of Finance”, Fink, who manages the world’s largest investment fund with some $7 trillion then under management, announced a radical departure for corporate investment. Money would “go green.” In his closely-followed 2020 letter Fink declared,

  • “In the near future – and sooner than most anticipate – there will be a significant re-allocation of capital…Climate risk is investment risk.” Further he stated, “Every government, company, and shareholder must confront climate change.” [i]

In a separate letter to Blackrock investor clients, Fink delivered the new agenda for capital investing. He declared that Blackrock will exit certain high-carbon investments such as coal, the largest source of electricity for the USA and many other countries. He added that Blackrock would screen new investment in oil, gas and coal to determine their adherence to the UN Agenda 2030 “sustainability.”

Fink made clear the world’s largest fund would begin to disinvest in oil, gas and coal.

“Over time,” Fink wrote, “companies and governments that do not respond to stakeholders and address sustainability risks will encounter growing skepticism from the markets, and in turn, a higher cost of capital.” He added that, “Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects… we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.” [ii]

From that point on the so-called ESG investing, penalizing CO2 emitting companies like ExxonMobil, has become all the fashion among hedge funds and Wall Street banks and investment funds including State Street and Vanguard. Such is the power of Blackrock. Fink was also able to get four new board members in ExxonMobil committed to end the company’s oil and gas business.

The January 2020 Fink letter was a declaration of war by big finance against the conventional energy industry. BlackRock was a founding member of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (the TCFD) and is a signatory of the UN PRI— Principles for Responsible Investing, a UN-supported network of investors pushing zero carbon investing using the highly-corrupt ESG criteria—Environmental, Social and Governance factors into investment decisions. There is no objective control over fake data for a company’s ESG.

As well Blackrock signed the Vatican’s 2019 statement advocating carbon pricing regimes.

BlackRock in 2020 also joined Climate Action 100, a coalition of almost 400 investment managers managing US$40 trillion.

With that fateful January 2020 CEO letter, Larry Fink set in motion a colossal disinvestment in the trillion-dollar global oil and gas sector. Notably, that same year BlackRock’s Fink was named to the Board of Trustees of Klaus Schwab’s dystopian World Economic Forum, the corporate and political nexus of the Zero Carbon UN Agenda 2030. In June 2019, the World Economic Forum and the United Nations signed a strategic partnership framework to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. WEF has a Strategic Intelligence platform which includes Agenda 2030’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

In his 2021 CEO letter, Fink doubled down on the attack on oil, gas and coal.

  • “Given how central the energy transition will be to every company’s growth prospects, we are asking companies to disclose a plan for how their business model will be compatible with a net zero economy,” Fink wrote. Another BlackRock officer told a recent energy conference, “where BlackRock goes, others will follow.” [iii]

In just two years, by 2022 an estimated $1 trillion has exited investment in oil and gas exploration and development globally. Oil extraction is an expensive business and cut-off of external investment by BlackRock and other Wall Street investors spells the slow death of the industry.

Biden—A BlackRock President?

Early in his then-lackluster Presidential bid, Biden had a closed door meeting in late 2019 with Fink who reportedly told the candidate that, “I’m here to help.” After his fateful meeting with BlackRock’s Fink, candidate Biden announced,

“We are going to get rid of fossil fuels…”

  • In December 2020, even before Biden was inaugurated in January 2021, he named BlackRock Global Head of Sustainable Investing, Brian Deese, to be Assistant to the President and Director of the National Economic Council. Here, Deese, who played a key role for Obama in drafting the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, has quietly shaped the Biden war on energy.

This has been catastrophic for the oil and gas industry. Fink’s man Deese was active in giving the new President Biden a list of anti-oil measures to sign by Executive Order beginning day one in January 2021. That included closing the huge Keystone XL oil pipeline that would bring 830,000 barrels per day from Canada as far as Texas refineries, and halting any new leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Biden also rejoined the Paris Climate Accord that Deese had negotiated for Obama in 2015 and Trump cancelled.

The same day, Biden set in motion a change of the so-called “Social Cost of Carbon” that imposes a punitive $51 a ton of CO2 on the oil and gas industry. That one move, established under purely executive-branch authority without the consent of Congress, is dealing a devastating cost to investment in oil and gas in the US, a country only two years before that was the world’s largest oil producer.[iv]

Killing refinery capacity

Even worse, Biden’s aggressive environmental rules and BlackRock ESG investing mandates are killing the US refinery capacity. Without refineries it doesn’t matter how many barrels of oil you take from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. In the first two years of Biden’s Presidency the US has shut down some 1 million barrels a day of gasoline and diesel refining capacity, some due to COVID demand collapse, the fastest decline in US history. The shutdowns are permanent. In 2023 an added 1.7 million bpd of capacity is set to close as a result of BlackRock and Wall Street ESG disinvesting and Biden regulations. [v]

Citing the heavy Wall Street disinvestment in oil and the Biden anti-oil policies, the CEO of Chevron in June 2022 declared that he doesn’t believe the US will ever build another new refinery.[vi]

  • Larry Fink, Board member of Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum, is joined by the EU whose President of the EU Commission, the notoriously corrupt Ursula von der Leyen left the WEF Board in 2019 to become EU Commission head.

Her first major act in Brussels was to push through the EU Zero Carbon Fit for 55 agenda. That has imposed major carbon taxes and other constraints on oil, gas and coal in the EU well before the February 2022 Russian actions in Ukraine.

The combined impact of the Fink fraudulent ESG agenda in the Biden administration and the EU Zero Carbon madness is creating the worst energy and inflation crisis in history.


[i] Larry Fink, A Fundamental Reshaping of Finance, Letter to CEOs, January, 2020, https://www.blackrock.com/corporate/investor-relations/2020-blackrock-client-letter

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Tsvetana Paraskova, Why Are Investors Turning Their Backs On Fossil Fuel Projects?, OilPrice.com,

March 11, 2021, https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Why-Are-Investors-Turning-Their-Backs-On-Fossil-Fuel-Projects.html

[iv] Joseph Toomey, Energy Inflation Was by Design, September, 2022, https://assets.realclear.com/files/2022/10/2058_energyinflationwasbydesign.pdf

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Fox Business, Chevron CEO says there may never be another oil refinery built in the US, June 3. 2022, https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/chevron-ceo-oil-refinery-built-u-s

Source: F. William Engdahl – Southfront

“A New System” – Inside the Davos Summit 2023

The World Economic Forum’s annual meet-up kicks off tomorrow. Politicians, corporate giants, “philanthropists” and all manner of elite monstrosities gather for a weekend of telling each other how smart they are and making the world generally worse.

But what’s on the menu this year?

Well, here are the five main items up for discussion, according to the WEF’s website:

See if you can notice a pattern:

Addressing the Current Energy and Food Crises in the context of a New System for Energy, Climate and Nature

Addressing the Current High Inflation, Low Growth, High Debt Economy in the context of a

New System for Investment, Trade and Infrastructure

Addressing the Current Industry Headwinds in the context of a New System for Harnessing

Frontier Technologies for Private Sector Innovation and Resilience

Addressing the Current Social Vulnerabilities in the context of a New System for Work,

Skills and Care

Addressing the Current Geopolitical Risks in the context of a New System for Dialogue and

Cooperation in a Multipolar World

Now, none of this is news. A “new system” for energy is a “green new deal”, a “new system” for international cooperation is some type of global governance, and a “new system” for investment and trade covers a lot of topics, including digital currency.

Like I said, nothing new, but it’s always refreshing to see it in print, with no effort to hide it.

It’s also interesting that they don’t use the phrases “new normal”, “great reset” or “build back better” anywhere on the page, despite the fact it’s obviously what they’re talking about.

A little victory for the alternate media, who have clearly raised enough awareness that those phrases are now considered too tainted to use.

In fact, the WEF brotherhood is clearly concerned about losing control of the narrative, as this article from a few days ago highlights:

The world’s biggest problem solvers need to craft better narratives

It argues:

People are more persuaded by the information presented within a narrative because a good narrative helps to ease information processing. Those trying to solve the world’s most pressing challenges must take notice of this.

The whole article is essentially a very long-winded way of saying “we need to tell better lies”.

We must name the real antagonists: irresponsible politicians, bought scientists and some companies failing to live up to the needs of the transition to net-zero.

We must also stop pretending that there is a debate over the facts of climate change. A false balance is a phenomenon that occurs when a news organization or other media outlet presents an issue as being the subject of a debate, even when there is no actual debate or disagreement among experts on the matter.

The author is talking about climate change, but his points about shifting blame and shutting down debate apply across the board.

Look for a shift of narrative “villains” this year, as well as increased emphasis on positivity and “unity”. Unity likely means attempting to woo back some of the fringe-mainstream elements pushed further to the alternative by the Covid narrative (as they did with Ukraine).

Elsewhere – and on a related note – there is likely to be talk of censorship – or, sorry, “countering misinformation” – as discussed in this WEF article from 6 days ago, headlined:

Digital safety: Applying human rights in the digital world

The article details the “challenges” facing the WEF’s “Global Coalition for Digital Safety” in their efforts to tackle…

the likes of child sexual abuse and exploitation, terrorism and hate speech, misinformation and content related to self-harm and suicide.

  • Notice how “hate speech” and “misinformation” are thrown in there with the actual crimes? To quote Sesame Street, “one of these things is not like the other”. But that’s no surprise in the age of “legal but harmful”.

To be clear, these people do not care about any of those things. Not at all.

Their businesses exploit children, their state agencies fund terrorism, and their media outlets spit out misinformation at 50 words a minute.

They only really care about control. In this instance that means controlling the internet – more specifically, controlling what you are allowed to say and hear on the internet.

Another potential focus for discussion, highlighted in a couple of places, will be a push for more direct action. What they seem to be calling “tangible solutions”.

The head of Amnesty International – who will be in attendance – has called for Davos attendees to focus on:

  • tangible solutions that we already know work, rather than opting to protect the existing global economic system at any cost.
  • Underlining that “now is the time for action” not “empty gestures”, and simultaneously echoing the “new system” messaging.
  • The “tangible solutions” line is repeated in the “narratives” article mentioned earlier, by financial consultancy giant Mercer on their page about Davos, a WEF “expert panel”, and by Forbes in their article on young leaders at Davos.
  • Of course “solutions-based thinking” has been corporate talk for decades, and “now is the time for action” is a cliche which does the rounds at every meeting, summit or conference.
  • Nobody in history has ever said “now is not the time for action, now is the time for gestures”.

So, of course, it could be empty words designed to make the speakers (and their meeting) feel important.

But it could be something else, perhaps a sign that the propaganda stage of the “great reset” is over, and now we transition to the next stage. Signalling a move away from passive manipulation and psychology-driven control mechanisms and toward more direct enforcement.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Either way, you can broadly define the Davos agenda as four main themes:

  1. “A new system”: Reforming the global systems of politics and finance
  2. “controlling the narrative”: Telling more believable lies & limiting public debate
  3. “countering misinformation”: Censorship, especially of the internet
  4. “tangible solutions”: Taking more direct action via enforcement and policy.

The Davos talking points, it seems, will be a retrospective focusing on what they can learn from the shortcomings of their “pandemic” narrative.

One final thought, an (unconfirmed) story doing the rounds is both hilarious and telling…if true:

Source: Off-Guardian

The Mother of All Limited Hangouts

The Mother of All Limited Hangouts has begun. Yes, I’m talking about the “COVID Twitter Files,” which are finally being released to the public, in almost textbook limited-hangout fashion.

I’ll get into that in just a minute, but first, let’s review what a “limited hangout” is, for those who are not familiar with the term.

The way a limited hangout works is, if you’re an intelligence agency, or a global corporation, or a government, or a non-governmental organization, and you have been doing things you need to hide from the public, and those things are starting to come to light such that you can’t just deny that you are doing them anymore, what you do is, you release a limited part of the story (i.e., the story of whatever it is you’re doing) to distract people’s attention from the rest of the story.

The part you release is the “limited hangout.” It’s not a lie. It’s just not the whole story. You “hang it out” so that it will become the whole story, and thus stop people from pursuing the whole story.

Victor Marchetti, a former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the CIA who went on to become a critic of the Intelligence Community, described the tactic this way in 1978…

“… a favorite and frequently used gimmick of clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting, sometimes even volunteering, some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.”

All right, so, you’re probably asking, if the “COVID Twitter Files” are a limited hangout, what’s the whole story that they’re distracting us from?

Let me try to refresh your memory.

  • In March and April of 2020, in the course of roughly five to six weeks, the majority of societies throughout the world were transformed into pathologized-totalitarian police states. A global “shock-and-awe” campaign was conducted. Constitutional rights were suspended. The masses were locked down inside their homes, where they were subjected to the most massive official propaganda blitzkrieg in human history. Goon squads roamed the streets of Europe, the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, Asia, the Americas, and elsewhere, beating and arresting people for being outdoors without permission and not wearing medical-looking masks. Corporate media around the world informed us that life as we knew it was over … a “new normal” was coming, and we needed to get used to it.

The entire official pandemic narrative was rolled out during those first few weeks. Everything. Masks. Mandatory “vaccines.” “Vaccination” passports. The segregation of “the Unvaccinated.” The censorship and demonization of dissent.

Everything. The whole “New Normal” package. It was rolled out all at once, globally.

If your memory of what happened is a little hazy … well, have a look at this 257-tweet Twitter thread of corporate-media articles compiled in March and April of 2020, documenting the initial “shock-and-awe” campaign […]

That is the story. How that happened. Why that happened. And who or what made it happen. It isn’t a story about a virus, or our governments’ reactions to a virus. It is the story of the radical restructuring of society based on lies and official propaganda, executed, globally, through sheer brute force and systematic psychological conditioning.

It is the story of the implementation of our new totalitarian global-capitalist “reality” … the “New Normal” that was announced in the Spring of 2020. It is not a story the global-capitalist ruling classes can permit to be told, except by “crazy conspiracy theorists,” “science deniers,” and other “crackpots” and “extremists.”

  • All right, so … the “COVID Twitter Files,” or the “Fauci Files,” or whatever we’re calling them. If you wanted to bury the actual story (i.e., the story I just outlined above) with a limited hangout and discredit those of us who have been trying to report it for nearly three years, you couldn’t do any better than Elon Musk is doing.

Instead of a story about how the entire global-capitalist power apparatus coordinated with global IT corporations like Twitter, Facebook, Google, et al., to conduct a global Gleichschaltung op the scale of which Goebbels could have never dreamed of, censoring and visibility-filtering dissent and enforcing the official pandemic narrative, not just in the USA, but in countries all throughout the world…instead of that monumental story, we are getting The Alex Berenson Show!, starring Alex Berenson as Alex Berenson, with a special guest appearance by Alex Berenson, written and directed by Alex Berenson, and so on.

Seriously, though, who better to handle the “COVID Twitter Files” than Alex Berenson, in whose opinion the events of the last three years were simply due to mass hysteria (or Pandemia, $14.99 on Amazon), and certainly not to any kind of coordinated radical restructuring of society by the global-capitalist power apparatus, or any other wild conspiracy theories.

Forget about that 257-tweet thread I compiled in March and April of 2020. What actually happened, according to Alex Berenson, was that people just went kind of crazy, and overreacted, and “mistakes were made.”

Mistakes like Twitter suspending Alex Berenson, and other very important people! Or, wait, no, it wasn’t just mass hysteria … it was also Pfizer and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, and the White House, and someone named Andrew Slavitt, all of whom conspired with “Old Evil Twitter” to suspend Alex Berenson from the platform, all of whom Alex will be suing forthwith!

The Alex Berenson Show is just getting started, so definitely stay tuned to “Free-Speech Twitter” to follow all of Alex Berenson’s exploits as he leads “Team Reality” to its ultimate victory over “Team Apocalypse” and exposes the crimes of the usual assortment of official “bad apples,” or whatever cartoonish fairy tales Alex Berenson and Elon Musk have in store for us! It promises to be quite the spectacle!

I’ll be covering the show in my columns, of course — I still have a few subscribers and readers who I haven’t totally alienated yet — and discussing “The Art of the Limited Hangout” for the benefit of anyone still paying attention in the weeks and months and possibly years ahead. If you are one of the many people who now appear to seriously believe that military-contractor oligarchs like Elon Musk and narcissistic ass clowns like Alex Berenson are going to deliver us from the New Normal Reich, and “prosecute Fauci,” and end corporate censorship, or in any way meaningfully bite the hand of the global-capitalist system that feeds them, you may want to give those columns a miss.

  • For the rest of you, I will do my best to point out how this phase of the PSYOP works, because it’s going to last for quite a while. The “COVID Twitter Files” are not The Mother of All Limited Hangouts; they’re just one part of it. There are many more limited hangouts to come. The New Normal having been successfully implemented, the history of its implementation is now being written (or, rather, rewritten) to conform to the official COVID narrative, a process which will likely continue for years.

Those of you who are old enough might recall this phase from “The War on Terror.” It started around April 2004, when the Abu Ghraib torture photos were released, and continued until the Summer of 2016, when The War on Terror was abruptly cancelled and replaced by The War on Populism, which prepared us for the implementation of the New Normal in the Spring of 2020.

All of which is part of an even larger story, i.e., the story of the evolution of the first globally-hegemonic power system in history, which, lacking any external adversary, has nothing to do but go totalitarian, eliminating all internal resistance and establishing ideological uniformity throughout the territory it occupies, which, in this case, means the entire planet.

Sorry … I know, history is boring, and complicated, and not nearly as fun (and cathartic) as the shit-slinging circus that Musk is making of the Twitter Files.

Personally, I can’t wait to find out which official “bad apple” they’re going to offer us in today’s edition of the Two Minutes Hate, and who’s going to be released from “Old Twitter Prison,” and, whatever, anyway, don’t worry about all that evolution-of-global-capitalism stuff. It’s probably just a bunch of fancy-sounding nonsense I made up to try to sell you my books, or to make myself sound smart, or something.

Forget that I even mentioned that stuff. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

Source: CJ Hopkins – Off-Guardian

Faced with a new wave of COVID, China is opening its borders – was Beijing left with no other choice?

  • Despite the world’s concerns over a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Beijing has no choice but to open up. The notorious ‘zero-COVID’ policy is no more. After three years of harsh quarantines, China is finally returning to normal life and opening its borders. The Asian giant will no longer impose sudden lockdowns.

Since 2020, the Chinese people have been living under the constant threat of new outbreaks and uncompromising government actions that were hurting both livelihoods and the quality of life.

The rules were changed only recently, following a series of protests that swept the country. A tragedy provoked a public outcry, after which people took to the streets and clashed with police. After all of that, the government announced that it was canceling most of the restrictions. China is finally on its way back to the pre-pandemic normal.

However, while locals are celebrating, the rest of the world is concerned. Many media outlets and experts state that we might now be on the brink of another global pandemic that will quickly spread beyond China’s reopened borders.

The question is: were the authorities so alarmed by the protests that they decided to suddenly change their policy and ignore the global threat? Or was the widespread discontent merely the last straw that made changes come about sooner?

The well-meaning crackdown

  • Methods of fighting the pandemic varied across the globe. Some countries remained under lockdown for just two or three months, whereas others decided to open up much later. Yet China chose arguably the most aggressive strategy to protect itself against the virus.
  • The zero-tolerance policy had many nuances and intricacies. Yet its main goal can be summarized as “eliminate even the possibility of the virus spreading by any means necessary.” The elaborate monitoring system was based on health codes assigned to each Chinese citizen, as well as to foreigners entering the country.

Health codes acted as a sort of digital ID that included data about the individual’s travel history, residence, and medical records. It also displayed one of the three risk levels: green, yellow, or red. Green means ‘safe’, yellow indicates that the person might have been in contact with someone who was infected or comes from a region with a high infection rate, and red means that the person almost certainly carries the virus. The system was far from perfect, yet it helped limit the spread of COVID and allowed the authorities to track possible hotspots of the pandemic.

People in big cities usually had to get tested every few days to keep their health codes green. And if their test result was positive – or, in some cases, if they were in contact with an infected person – many had to immediately go to the hospital or to a quarantine center, whether they wanted to or not.

Lockdowns could be issued at different levels, from a single city district to a whole region. However, since local authorities were directly responsible for the spread of the virus and often lacked specific instructions, they preferred to err on the side of caution and issued lockdowns freely. Over the last two and a half years, at least 100 Chinese cities have experienced partial lockdowns.

  • Life was, obviously, hard, yet the government invested heavily in making the conditions at least bearable. People under lockdown had food and other essential goods delivered to them for free. Residences in quarantine centers came with decent furniture and a TV. People even had snacks and packs of fruit provided to them. In 2020 alone, China spent over $60 billion on its fight against COVID. It would go on to spend much more.

Whether this strategy was absolutely necessary might be up for debate. Yet it is hard to deny that the Chinese government managed to keep the number of deaths from COVID remarkably low. According to the official data, only three people per million died from the virus. Even major Western media outlets, such as The New York Times, which tend to criticize the Chinese authorities, acknowledge this fact. So, at least as far as numbers are concerned, the zero-tolerance policy was working as intended.

Reasons to be harsh

There are also specific reasons for that severity. The main issue is population density. In 2021, China ranked only 85th on the list of countries with the highest population density, with 149 people per square kilometer. However, this is just a mean average.

While some regions, such as Qinghai or Xinjiang, have very low population densities, in other places, such as Shanghai or Guangdong, it can be as high as over 2,000 people per square kilometer. An uncontrolled spread of disease in these areas, where people live in such close quarters, would have been devastating.

And it wouldn’t have stopped there. China has a high rate of internal migration. Around 376 million people move to different cities or provinces each year. They travel for new jobs, new homes, to be closer to their families, etc. And any of them could carry the virus.

Still, this is nothing compared to the world’s largest annual migration – which happens around the time of Spring Festival – or, as it is called in some parts of the world, the Chinese New Year. This is a time when people from all over the world come to Asian countries to take part in the traditional celebrations and see their families.

If the scale of these travels had not been limited, the virus’s spread would have been disastrous.

  • In 2019, around 3 billion trips were made in the holiday season. The lion’s share of this traffic was between different regions of China.

COVID was especially difficult for China due to its high population density and the movement of hundreds of millions of people. Faced with a choice between comfort and national security, the government chose the latter. This prevented many deaths and disasters. Yet it also created new problems.

How the last straw fell

The lockdowns were, obviously, never popular among the Chinese. Many people refused to follow the strict social distancing rules, resisted arrests and spoke out against the restrictions on social media.

Yet in 2022 the discontent reached a new high. The belligerenсу started in spring, during the infamous Shanghai lockdown. On February 28, the whole city shut down, thus confining 26 million people to their homes, while thousands were regularly being taken to hospitals or quarantine centers, whether they wanted to go or not.

  • At first the lockdown was only supposed to last for one month. However, the virus kept spreading, so Shanghai remained closed until June 1.

Eventually the metropolitan city was even hit with food shortages. People complained online that they couldn’t get enough food, while some even screamed at the police that they were starving.

Others just went to their balconies or opened their windows to sing or simply scream to vent their frustrations. Local authorities dispatched drones with loudspeakers to urge people to protect themselves from the disease and close their windows.

Some residents broke out of their buildings, breaking barriers that were put outside, and then tried to evade the police or openly clashed with law enforcement.

The hospitals were overwhelmed. Some people reportedly died because they could not get medical assistance since they did not have COVID.

The lockdown was also heavily criticized online, not only in Shanghai but all over the country. Social media users reposted videos that explained the damage and misery that the lockdown brought and shared songs with ‘rebellious’ lyrics. The most popular songs included ‘Do You Hear The People Sing’ by Les Miserables, which was also often played during the 2019 Hong Kong protests.

  • Despite the widespread discontent and the many separate cases of disobedience, full-scale protests did not materialize. The lockdown ended in June, and things went back to normal. For a time.

Like many infectious diseases, COVID tends to die down in the summer. When it gets colder in autumn, the virus comes back stronger.

In August, the number of new cases registered in a single day hit 1,000 again and began growing steadily. As temperatures dropped, the virus made its way from the northern regions to the most populous southern provinces.

In late October, the Shanghai authorities ordered mass testing of the 1.3 million residents of the Yangpu district and temporarily confined them to their homes. Rumors of another city-wide lockdown started circulating, scaring people and building up tensions. One man even gave a speech in his residential building, stating:

“In August, the number of new cases registered in a single day hit 1,000 again and began growing steadily. As temperatures dropped, the virus made its way from the northern regions to the most populous southern provinces.”

In late October, the Shanghai authorities ordered mass testing of the 1.3 million residents of the Yangpu district and temporarily confined them to their homes. Rumors of another city-wide lockdown started circulating, scaring people and building up tensions. One man even gave a speech in his residential building, stating:

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

  • In November, the number of new COVID cases started climbing even faster. By the end of the month, over 30,000 new infections had been reported. A number of new strict lockdowns were announced. That is when the tragedy struck.

The backlash of the white paper sheets

  • On November 24, a fire started in a residential building in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang region, which had been under lockdown for over 100 days. The exact reasons for the incident remain unclear, yet it is widely believed that roadblocks had prevented firefighters from extinguishing the fire in time. Because of the lockdown, the building was packed. Ten people died and nine were injured.
  • This was not the first lethal accident that happened because of a quarantine. Back in September, a bus carrying people to a Guizhou quarantine center crashed, killing 27 people. However, the Urumqi fire happened exactly at the wrong time and became a catalyst for unrest.

The new wave of group protests started in southern and central China, with memorials for the victims of the fire appearing in Nanjing, Xi’an, and Shanghai. People took to the streets. Some held vigils with candles, while others broke tents and booths for СOVID testing.

  • Many protesters held white sheets of paper instead of traditional placards and signs, following the example of the students of Nanguang College. It was both a statement against censorship and a sign of respect for the dead – white is the traditional color of mourning in China. The white sheets soon became one of the symbols of the protests.

The discontent soon turned violent. Protesters clashed with the police, riot shields were brought out, and equipment and private property were damaged or destroyed. The exact number of injured and detained remains unknown.

By the end of the week, the unrest had swept through major cities across the country. The demands became more political. Some protesters called for reforms of the Communist Party and even for the resignation of Xi Jinping. In Chengdu, people chanted “we don’t want lifelong rules and lifelong emperors.”

Finally, on December 7, the protesters got what they wanted. The authorities issued new guidance on disease control, which included most of what the people wished for: the abolition of health codes, less frequent testing, shorter and less frequent lockdowns, the ability to stay at home instead of going to a quarantine center, etc.

Protesters dispersed to celebrate in reopened bars, cafes, ski slopes, and so on. Social media was abuzz for a few days, but then everything was quiet once again.

Is this the success of the protest?

At first glance, it might seem obvious that the government ‘caved in’ under pressure and changed the rules just to avoid further unrest. While this is a reasonable assumption, things are not so simple.

First of all, many media outlets tend to blow the scale of the protests out of proportion. The clashes between citizens and the police were concerning, yet this is nothing that China has not seen before. The discontent was widespread, and the real number of people involved is difficult to determine, yet the localized, brief clashes don’t come close to the long and violent protests in Hong Kong, which bordered on guerilla warfare. In 2019, protesters choked on tear gas and were shot with rubber bullets. That conflict was much more noticeable and concerning, and it still didn’t really change Chinese politics.

The demands of the citizens are important to the authorities. Yet Chinese decision makers aren’t easily influenced by pieces of white paper and a few fights. Besides, China was already on track to change its policy even before the protests.

  • On November 2, China’s National Health Commission, which directs the country’s fight against the pandemic, published its ‘20 optimizational measures’, a new and improved set of rules for disease control.

While the Commission stressed that the pandemic was still a threat, it also called for a more measured approach to dealing with it. The document criticized arbitrary crackdowns and forced closures of schools, businesses, hospitals, roads, etc. It said that local authorities should be more responsible and take drastic measures only when truly necessary.

The Commission also pointed out that the situation is changing rapidly and that safety protocols need to be “adaptive and precise” to avoid unnecessary lockdowns and closures of businesses.

This step demonstrated that fighting the pandemic remained the government’s top priority.

The price of health

  • Despite the long lockdowns, trade conflicts, and global recession, the Chinese economy is still doing relatively well. GDP is climbing, national projects are being completed and large corporations continue to grow. In fact, in 2022 the revenue of Chinese companies on the Global Fortune 500 list surpassed the revenue of their US counterparts for the first time. Of all the money generated by the world’s largest enterprises, 31% went to China.

Nevertheless, things are not as great as they used to be. GDP-wise, China has now found itself on shakier ground. For the past almost 30 years, the country’s GDP growth has not fallen below 6% per year. The pandemic changed that, however. In 2020, GDP grew only 2%. And while the next year saw an increase of 8%, in 2022, the Chinese economy grew at just 4.4%.

The energy crisis that loomed over the country for a long time is also being resolved, at least temporarily. Changes in the energy markets made it possible for China to buy more oil, gas, and electricity from Russia at lower prices. The recent deal with Saudi Arabia also strengthens the nation’s energy security.

It might seem like everything is great, especially since most of the world is struggling with a recession and growing energy prices. However, the cracks are beginning to show.

  • Back in July, the Chinese Politburo changed its strategy for 2022. Instead of aiming to achieve the yearly growth goals set earlier, it stated it would instead strive for “the best possible results.” The focus shifted from rapidly expanding the economy to stabilizing it and preserving what’s already been achieved.
  • These policy changes are not just because of the global recession and instability. They are the result of the major underlying problems that the Chinese economy faces.

One of the big ones is the real estate sector crisis. Real estate and construction have always been important for China: they make up at least 15% of the nation’s economy and play an important role in society. After all, Chinese men are often expected to own a home before they can even consider starting a family.

  • For a while the market was booming. Demand was high, prices were rising, and new large construction projects were launched. Then, in 2020, everything started to collapse.

Demand dropped sharply. New residential buildings were finished, yet no one wanted to buy the apartments. There are now ghost-towns, with fully built buildings and infrastructure and barely any people living in them.

Large companies were hit hard. The situation became dire when Evergrande, one of the largest developers in China and the whole world, became unable to meet its debt obligations. Given the scale of the company and its loans, some experts warned of “China’s Lehman moment,” warning that the world might see another global financial crisis similar to the one in 2008 because of the US subprime mortgage collapse.

  • The worst outcome was avoided, yet the market is still struggling. In 2022, new home sales plummeted 23%. And that is worrying, since pre-sales accounted for 86% of Chinese developers’ funding.

Despite all of that, the government is reluctant to bail out large companies. Developers keep asking the state for help, yet no significant relief packages are coming.

According to S&P estimates made in October, Chinese developers need about $100 billion to keep operating as planned and fulfill their obligations. While the government could disburse such an amount, it would definitely be a strain, especially in the current political and financial climate.

  • There is also the issue of growing unemployment. It went from under 3% in 2018 to 5.5% in 2022, which means that over 70 million people in China are out of work. Things are especially dire for Chinese youth – the unemployment rate among people aged from 16 to 24 reached as high as 18%.
  • There are no simple solutions for these threats to long-term prosperity, yet one thing is clear: China needs its people to become richer and encourage them to spend more money. And lockdowns are detrimental to both of these goals. Millions of college graduates still can’t start their careers in earnest, with millions of new graduates joining the workforce every year.

Resolving these and many other economic challenges with increased government spending is next to impossible. China desperately needs people to earn more and spend more to maintain growth and achieve its ambitious plans set out in the “China 2035” plan. Lockdowns prevented this from happening – there is only so much an average person will invest in their future when next week they can be confined to their home for an indefinite time.

This is why no level of population control and political gains could justify prolonged support of the zero-tolerance policy. The government was merely waiting for the right moment, although it might have come sooner than was expected.

A more normal “new normal”

On December 7, the National Health Committee published its “Ten Measures,” aimed at improving the rules of fighting COVID and accelerating the safe transition to open borders and cities. The key points are:

  1. Health codes will only be checked in places such as nursing homes, orphanages, medical institutions, child-care institutions, and primary and secondary schools. People are free to go to any other public place.
  2. Mandatory testing will be on a smaller scale and less frequent.
  3. Lockdowns will be limited to specific high-risk residential areas, instead of blocks or streets, and will be lifted if there are no new cases for five days.
  4. Suspending the work of any services and businesses in low-risk areas is now forbidden.
  5. On December 13, the ‘Travel Card’ app, which all travelers in China had to use, was disabled. The government will no longer use the app to monitor the movements of citizens. The developer also claims that all the collected user data has been automatically wiped clean.

Concerns about the possible resurgence of COVID because of China’s reopening are not unreasonable: the virus is already spreading fast. According to a recent report of the National Health Commission, 248 million people in China might have contracted Covid in December. If these numbers are correct, the infection rate is even worse than in January 2022, when up to 4 million people were infected each day. However, according to researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the worst of the new wave of the pandemic might already be over, at least in the large cities.

  • It is also worth pointing out that Western experts and media are mostly worried because they distrust the official data published by Chinese authorities. Their skepticism is not misguided, yet they also struggle to produce any credible sources with alternative data. For example, a popular Bloomberg publication about overwhelmed crematoriums is based on the words of an anonymous funeral home worker from Shanghai who happened to have been the first to pick up the phone.

What is even more important is that there is a big difference between the China of 2019 and the China of now.

  • Vaccines are no longer a problem. In fact, enough vaccines have been administered to vaccinate 122% of the population. New doses are being produced and delivered regularly. Over 90% of Chinese citizens have been fully vaccinated and can strengthen their immunity at any time.
  • The only group that is still at risk are people over 80. Only 65% of them have received their shots, which is problematic, since the virus is especially dangerous for the elderly. Many old people have underlying health conditions and they believe that their illnesses can be worsened by the vaccine. In fact, the shots are safe and can be taken with most of the underlying conditions. Nevertheless, some elderly are still wary.

There was also the issue of logistics. China prioritized getting people of working age vaccinated first, since they have to leave their homes more often. The elderly often had to wait.

The situation is now much less dire. The authorities can focus on protecting the elderly and improving the nation’s immunity. A new push to get more people vaccinated has already been announced, although the corresponding official document does not go into specifics about how the authorities will go about it.

  • Besides, people are much more aware of the virus and of the methods of protection. Pedestrians still go about their days in masks, still take care with hygiene and still avoid unnecessary close contacts. And more freedom does not mean that people will go out of their way to get infected. As one local Twitter user pointed out: “So in Beijing, now that everyone is free to go anywhere, ppl are exercising that right by staying at home.”

The hardest test of the new lighter rules begins on January 8, when China reopens its borders. People will be able to enter and leave the country freely and, soon after that, the Spring Festival trips will begin in earnest.

  • Travel to and from will not be the same as before, at least at first. A number of countries, including the US, UK, France, and Spain, now have mandatory testing of everyone arriving from China to prevent the virus from spreading further. However, even if the number of daily cases rises for a short time, the world is much less vulnerable to COVID now.

China will still need to carefully weigh each step on its path towards the pre-pandemic normal. The rules might change once again and there might be setbacks or new local lockdowns. However, the process of making life easier and more predictable for a large part of the world has begun.

The protests might have brought these changes about sooner than expected, or they might have simply happened at the right time. Whatever the case, China was bound to change its policy sooner or later. After all, no emergency can last forever.

Source: Vadim Zagorenko – RT

Yet another COVID “variant”: Omicron XBB & the self-driving narrative

  • There’s yet another COVID variant in the headlines – it’s Omicron XBB 1.5 if you want to know.

It honestly doesn’t really matter at this point – but it does provide an interesting lesson in the nature of propaganda narrative construction and how, past a certain point, they take on a life of their own.

These days, self-driving cars are in the news a lot. Give it a few years, and driving your own car will be seen as “selfish”, “dangerous” and “old-fashioned”.

But COVID has become a self-driving narrative.

It is a self-perpetuating machine, not out of the control of its creators, but currently set to auto-pilot. We’ve reached the propaganda singularity – that point at which too many people have too much riding on the supposed “reality” of COVID to ever let it die.

If the originators of the Pandemic lie were to speak out – to admit the planning of the scam, explain how it was done and claim COVID never existed – they would be ignored or shouted down. And all the fake “science” they paid to create would be used as “evidence” they were wrong.

This is not accidental. It is the ultimate aim of propaganda. The media is an industrial machine designed to turn a collection of lies into a story, a story into a belief, and finally – most importantly – a belief into an unquestioned part of the collective reality.

This is not a new process but it usually takes years and years, Climate Change being the obvious recent example. COVID has shown us the process massively accelerated, like a time-lapse of a seed becoming a flower.

The major part of this is engaging people’s profit motive. Money mostly, as always and forever, but aspects of ego and “virtue” and purpose play into it as well – all of that can be balled into a group we can roughly term “self-interest”.

Right now there are dozens – maybe hundreds – of universities and research labs around the world being paid millions of dollars in grants and subsidies to research “COVID” in one way or another.

New variants, new methods of testing, assessing the effectiveness of PPE, pandemic preparedness and prevention, updating testing assays, modifying vaccines…the list goes on and on.

You name some small area of the “pandemic” narrative, and I can guarantee that some guy in a lab coat is out there being paid to write papers about it.

An army of people – people who likely never had any role in creating the fake narrative, and may well believe it’s entirely real – are now in the position where their very livelihood depends on Covid existing. They will NEVER allow themselves to be convinced otherwise.

Everyone knows the Upton Sinclair quote “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it.” That certainly applies here.

But just as true, and just as relevant is this: It is very easy to find something when your salary depends on finding it. So the variants will keep on coming.

COVID has become a cottage industry. Sucking in money on one end, spitting out variants on the other.

And while, for the present, that is a quiet process running in the background, at any moment one of these “variants” can be plucked from relative obscurity and used to restart lockdowns and mask mandates and the whole pandemic spiel.

A little fear porn farm, with a ripening crop to be harvested as needed.

That’s the little lesson here – the ultimate propaganda victory is not to make everyone believe a lie is the truth, it is to make some people need it to be.

Source: Kit Knightly – Off-Guardian

Huge Spikes in Neonatal Deaths Following Vaccine Rollout, Data from Major Israeli Health Insurer Show

Neonatal deaths are defined as deaths in the first four weeks of life, from the moment after birth until 28 days later. Recently, he obtained data on the quarterly number of neonatal deaths beginning the first quarter of 2019. Here is what that looks like:

The quarterly number of neonatal deaths is very low, hovering between 4-8 for 2019 and 2020. Then in the second quarter of 2021, it suddenly jumps three-fold to 17, dips again in the third quarter and then jumps again to 18 in the last quarter of the year.

Since the total number of births changes little from month to month, these spikes are about triple the usual rate of neonatal deaths. (I confirmed this using data from a separate FOIA he filed with monthly data on live births from April 2019.)

In February 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Health started to officially recommend COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant women in their second and third trimesters, so the timing of the second quarter spike would coincide with women being jabbed later in their pregnancy two to four months prior.

The fourth quarter spike coincides with the booster vaccination campaign in Israel in August and especially September – a drive that aggressively targeted pregnant women. Unfortunately, the health insurer claimed not to have information on the vaccination status of pregnant women, so we are not able to differentiate by vaccination status.

However, the spike in the second quarter and again in the fourth quarter of 2021 is similar to what I found earlier this year in an analysis of data from a large Israeli hospital (also FOIA’d by David), where we saw a large jump in the rate of stillbirths, miscarriages and abortions (SBMAs) among vaccinated women in the second quarter (April-June):

So it is quite a coincidence seeing a spike in the neonatal death rate in the same quarter as we see a spike in the stillbirths, miscarriages and abortions rate among the vaccinated. (We don’t have November-December data so we cannot compare fourth-quarter stillbirths, miscarriages and abortions to neonatal deaths.)

What are the chances that those spikes are just a fluke? A statistical test called Chi-square can help us compare an average quarter to one of the quarters with a big spike. If we look at the average number of neonatal deaths per quarter in 2019-2020 (which is 6) and the average number births (which is 10,882) and compare that with either the second quarter or fourth quarter of 2021, the result is statistically significant: for the second quarter, you would expect that number of neonatal deaths or more about 2.5 times out of a hundred; for the fourth quarter you’d expect that number 1.8 times out of a hundred. (Anything less than 5 times out of a hundred is considered statistically significant according to conventional standards.)

The significance increases a bit if we do an annual comparison:

Since we don’t have birth data for the first quarter of 2019, I will compare 2020 to 2021. In 2021 there were 47 neonatal deaths out of 45,449 live births. In 2020 there were 24 neonatal deaths out of 42,962 live births. We’d expect such a large difference less than 1.2 times out of 100. In other words, this is a once in a hundred year anomaly. If this was due to Covid, we would have expected to see some increase in 2020 over 2019 – but the number of neonatal deaths and overall live births remained nearly constant.

Here are the full data, including the number of births and the neonatal death rate.

For more on this topic, see this post on stillbirths and fertility statistics from around the world, which I update on occasion.

  • Dr. Josh Guetzkow is Senior Lecturer in Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This article first appeared on his Substack page Jackanapes Junction, which you can subscribe to here.

Stop Press: Watch former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu state: “Israel became the lab for Pfizer.“

Source: Dr. Josh Guetzkow – DAILY SCEPTIC

Header: An Israeli health worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine to an pregnant woman at the Clalit Health Services, in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on January 23, 2021. Israel began administering Covid-19 vaccines to teenagers Saturday as it pushed ahead with its inoculation drive, with a quarter of the population now vaccinated, health officials said.

A Gift of Words

  • Things, possessions, life on the installment plan or credit card. This is the season to buy, to accumulate more folderols, to give things to one’s children and each other, which, we like to believe, will bring joy.

It’s make-believe, of course, an adult lie conjured up out of guilt and fear that our lives, the stories we live, the stories we dream, and those that dream us, are insufficiently meaningful to bring our children and ourselves the joy we say we seek.

Driven by a pure sense of guilt devoid of any sense of redemption in a capitalist materialist culture, we buy and buy, accumulate and accumulate, in the vain hope that such tangible “gifts” will bring a magic that we can possess. Our exchange of gifts is a consumer culture’s parody of the true meaning of a gift: that gifts are given to be given away, to be passed around, like the peace pipe of native American Indian tribes.

As Lewis Hyde writes in his extraordinary book, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property:

“…a gift that cannot be given away ceases to be a gift. The spirit of a gift is its constant donation.”

What we are given, in the inner and outer world, must be shared, allowed to circulate. But we like to own, to stop the flow. As a result, we have become stuck, selfie people who can’t understand that to possess is to be possessed.

Stop, pose, click. Got it!

Describing art as a way of life, or walking life’s way as an art, the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke put it thus:

“Not any self-control or self-limitation for the sake of specific ends, but rather a carefree letting go of oneself; not caution, but rather a wise blindness; not working to acquire silent, slowly increasing possessions, but rather a continuous squandering of all perishable values. This way of being has something naïve and instinctive about it, and resembles that period of the unconscious best characterized by a joyous consciousness , namely the period of childhood.”

The truth is that we are sustained by stories – oral, written, existential – not by things, as a commercial civilization would have us believe. From infancy to old age, we crave stories that will allow us to make sense of our lives, to give them shape and spiritual significance.

And the greatest gifts we can give each other are stories that draw on the mystery and sacredness of existence, stories that express, in ravishing language and a musical spirit, clarification for our lives. Stories that help us resist the nihilistic ethos of our times, the violence and deceit that defines them.

For example, long ago a Jewish boy was born in a stable because his parents couldn’t get a room anywhere. The parents then had to flee with the boy because the government was murdering children and was out to get him.

  • Later in life, this child Jesus, became a radical opponent of church and state, preached peace, love, non-violence, and living by faith, not money; he embraced the outcasts, condemned the hypocrites, and was finally executed as a radical criminal by the state. But his spirit was undefeated; he conquered death; and his name has become synonymous with love and kindness to such a degree that we celebrate his birth as the light of the world as the darkest days of the year turn brighter.

It’s a beautiful story from beginning to end, and if heeded, would bring massive resistance to the way things are throughout the world. No wonder it has touched the hearts of so many for so long.

Sadly, however, Wordsworth put it perfectly when he said that, “getting and spending we lay waste our powers.” And the consumer-gift-stories we indirectly tell our children by participating in the madness of holiday shopping are tales unfit for young ears.

To live to buy is to tell them lies.

Our children (and all of us) wish not things but stories that will help them face life with enthusiasm and courage. When I was a young boy, my father would ease me to sleep with “Jiminy Cricket Stories,” imaginary improvisations on Pinocchio and his conscience. They were in no way trendy like the most recent Pinocchio film adaptation, but fundamentally sound as in the song As Time Goes By – it’s still the same old story.

I can’t remember any of his stories today, but what stays with me is their underlying theme, their spirit: to become a real boy, a genuine person, one must determine to tell the truth. One must be brave, truthful, and unselfish. Yet even more, when I think of them, I feel my father’s unconditional love and the timbre of his lilting voice.

These stories about truth and bravery contained hard but vital lessons for a father to pass on to a son, but he did it in such an entertaining way that I took the lessons to heart. Ever since, in gratitude and wonder, I have been trying to make my story adhere to that spirit of truth. Trying; for as we all know, truth is a hard taskmaster. We never hold it, only seek it, and can only approach it if we are possessed by language and allow its musical spirit to carry us on into the unknown.

When I became a father myself, I tried to pass on to my children a love for stories and the words we use to express our lives. Without words, and the ability to use them meaningfully, we are lost in the world of things, a place where consuming replaces creating. So from infancy onward, my wife and I would read to them, and eventually I began to tell them imaginary stories of my own, “Willy Daly Stories,” inspired by a boyhood pal. They would hang onto each word, and swing into depths of reverie as I strung them together into tall tales.

“At the bottom of each word/I’m a spectator at my birth,” wrote the French poet Alain Bosquet.

Entering into this creative spirit, Susanne and Daniel would ask me. “Is that really true?” And I could not lie and say no. So they would laugh, I would grin, and we would go on.

Like all children, they loved these stories, the ones I told and the ones we read. They entered into them, and they, into them; their inner worlds germinated. When they were very young, each started to read, not haltingly but fluently and with amazing comprehension. “Out of the blue” something clicked (and neither was “taught” to read, but was read and talked to by my wife and me as though they comprehended everything, even the most abstruse words), and from that day on the words that they previously heard became theirs. They received the gift, even when they didn’t understand the meaning, they grasped the music.

Now it has passed to my grandchildren, Sophie and Henry, who are children of the word, lovers of the epiphanies stories can disclose.

  • “The bright book of life,” as D.H.Lawrence called the novel, opened to them. Novel: New. New life forever arising out of the old. Miraculously (is there any other word for it?), they were in possession of the gift of words that they could pass on; they had the power to hear and tell their own stories, to understand their lives, not as the pursuit of things, but as the pursuit of meaning. They felt proud and I felt blessed.

“Art tells the truth,” wrote Chekhov. Indeed. And the wheel of life turns with the seasons. The gift of stories is passed on. Christmas turns to New Year’s. People pass on, but so do stories. The things are forgotten.

  • The wordsmith Leonard Cohen sang in his song, “Famous Blue Raincoat,” that “I hope you are keeping some sort of record.” The words stick on the page, but the beautiful melody carries them into our present and into the future and we imagine stories carrying us on as the music and the words don’t stop and we keep humming the tune and imagining as we move along to that which cannot be said and about which it is impossible to be silent, to paraphrase Victor Hugo.
  • My daughter: Susanne. Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne: “There are children in the morning/they are leaning out for love/and they will lean that way forever/while Suzanne holds the mirror.”
  • My son: Daniel. Like brave Pinocchio being swallowed by Monstro, and Daniel in the Lion’s den, the stories of courage and derring-do, told indirectly.

Daniel Berrigan, S. J., a friend and mentor, the puckish fierce poet of beauty and peace, whose fierceness belied his tenderness.

The Biblical Susanna, the falsely accused, and Daniel her liberator.

Names contain multitudes, tales never told, stories traveling on.

The gifts must be given away, like playing or listening to live music. Here and gone; one time only. Like life.

I recently saw a book for sale at my local library – From my Father, Singing by David Bosworth – a beautiful book, a true work of art. I read it once at the suggestion of my storyteller father, and have just reread it.

I am grateful to Bosworth for his gift and to my father for passing on the word. It is a tale in the form of a letter from a father to a son, a father in search of the meaning of his own father’s life, that elusive gift that can only be found in a story, in the telling.

The letter writer, our author, is in flight from a life lived “according to script,” a wife in love with money, shopping, and things, his dead-end job – “the place where I pretended to earn our living” – a life of pretense and lies, a living death in which all efforts were made to deny its meaninglessness: “to have fun, to keep busy, to buy something, to face the bleak descent of Sunday evening by preparing already for the following weekend.”

In order to explain himself to his son, a young infant, he explores his own childhood, the life he lived caught between his parents’ conflicting worlds. In the end, by fashioning this letter, by putting word behind word behind word, he comes to understand and appreciate his father and consequently himself; he composes a letter to his son (who cannot yet read but whom we know will) “intended as a gift, a living legacy in words.”

  • Yes, art tells the truth.

Pass on the word, the true gift.

Here is Billy Joel’s gift to his daughter:

Source: Edward Curtin- Off-Guardian

Fauci: ‘I could not be complicit with Trump’s misinformation’

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) who is leaving his post at the end of the year, said in an interview with CNN that he could not be “complicit” with former President Donald Trump about the misinformation he spread during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fauci told Chris Wallace in the interview, that will air in full on Sunday, that Trump clearly was making statements throughout the pandemic that were not based on scientific fact and data.

He also said that while he was uncomfortable with having to publicly stand up and disagree with the President, he had to do it.

  • “I have such a great deal of respect for the office of the presidency that it just made me very uncomfortable, but I had to do it, Chris, because I couldn’t stand there and be complicit in saying hydroxychloroquine works when it doesn’t, you know, bleach works. It doesn’t. The virus is going to go away like magic. It’s not,” said Fauci.

Fauci acknowledged he created a “growing enmity” from Trump and his allies for disagreeing with him, which he said he did not desire.

  • “But in order to maintain my own scientific and personal integrity, and most importantly, fulfill my responsibility to the American public, I had to do that,” he told Wallace.
  • Trump reportedly at one point considered demoting the top doctor after he criticized his policies.

In October of 2020, Trump was heard criticizing Fauci in a call with campaign staffers, suggesting he was an “idiot” and saying, “He’s been here for, like, 500 years.”

More recently, however, Fauci praised Trump after he said during a speaking tour that he had received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

Source: Arutz Sheva

Vanguard and Blackrock Own the Entire World: We Are Already a New Global World Order in the Making

“Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations that’ve long since bought and paid for, the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pocket, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and the information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them.”

  •  George Carlin

The misconceptions and ‘beliefs’ by the masses in this country, and the world, are staggeringly naïve; so much so as to be the lynchpin of universal ignorance. The asinine and preposterous idea of voting as sacred, and the reliance on masters instead of self, has brought about such dependence on the state and the master class, as to have almost single-handedly destroyed the independence of man. This is what I refer to as a master/slave relationship, where all confidence is misplaced, logic is abandoned, reason is lost, and common sense disappears. This happens every time trust for one’s own life and freedom is consigned to those claiming to be ‘leaders’ of man. There are no such leaders, as no man has any right to control or hold power over another without the total destruction of liberty becoming the resulting outcome. To think otherwise is simply an exercise in idiocy.

The quest for power and control over all began long ago; in fact, it began at the beginning. Those who seek to rule have always been among us, but they never had the power to do so until the people themselves acquiesced and allowed it. As time passed, and so-called ‘progress’ developed into what we call the modern world, technology expanded into everyday life, communication became instant; thereby causing the mass delivery of propaganda and lies to consume most all. With the advent of this new modern world, a hotbed of intense micro-management of people became the norm. Population growth coincided with the ‘advancement’ of humanity, and control over the many had to rely on voluntary submission instead of brute force, as was purposely designed, until finally, we reached a point where no free nation existed on earth. The incremental destruction of the individual, the incremental dumbing down of society, the incremental dependence on the state, and the incremental abandonment of freedom, all allowed for the fully regulated world we live in today to exist. The result of this atrocious metamorphosis brought about global rule by the few, and this will continue to be the prevailing system until and unless the bulk of the general populations decide to become responsible for themselves, and discontinue any belief or adherence to the state.

Who are those who run and control the world? Is it a conspiracy? Why is this important? Why do most all know little if anything about this controlling cabal? The information presented here, and in the reference provided, is not new, and can be researched by anyone. It has been available for a long time, so why is this never spoken about or reported by any mainstream and most alternative sources? This may seem puzzling, but it is certainly not, as those who control the world obviously control what is reported as news as well.

There are a few thousand institutional investment firms that own every large bank, every large corporation, every large investment firm, every ‘news’ outlet, every large communication company, every large pharmaceutical company, every large transportation company; in other words, most every large company on earth is owned by these institutional investors. In turn, the small institutional investment firms are owned by larger institutional investment firms, and the larger investment firms, are owned by even larger investment firms. The two institutional investment companies that are the major owners and controllers of all the others in the world are Vanguard Holdings and Blackrock, and Vanguard is the largest shareholder (owner) of Blackrock. What this means is that Vanguard and Blackrock own and control this planet.

They own virtually all big companies, and all the institutional investors of those companies, and in turn, have a monopoly over almost everything on earth. In addition, Blackrock, whose largest shareholder is Vanguard, is the only private company that works with, and has access to the Federal Reserve Central Bank and the Treasury. Blackrock lends money to, and is the main advisor to the central bank, and develops the software structure of the Federal Reserve, but the controlling shareholder of Blackrock is still Vanguard. These two companies own and control, and have a monopoly over life itself.

Reports show that the top 1% in the world owns more than the other 99% combined, but it is actually even more sinister. In 2017, well over 80% of all earned money was collected by this 1%, and is now certainly higher, especially after this ‘covid’ scam allowed the billionaires to greatly increase their income and net worth.

Consider this fact, and then consider that Vanguard and Blackrock sit atop, own, and control most of that 1%; are closing in on $20 trillion of worth, which means that a very tiny fraction of that 1% controls almost 100% of everything.

Over 90% of the international mainstream media is owned and controlled by nine conglomerates, which in turn are owned and controlled by Vanguard and Blackrock, which also owns and controls most all the other institutions that hold the stock of these media companies.

The same holds true for big tech, the food industry, the travel industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and every other large industry worldwide. While ownership is spread, the owners (Vanguard and Blackrock) of the owners, including the assets of the NGOs, tax-free foundations, banks, insurance companies, and others, sit at the top of the pyramid of power. In fact, these foundations and investment funds are the richest families, and many stay forever hidden, with the exception of the few. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros, the Clinton’s, the Bush’s, the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, and others are known, but most are not.

  • Vanguard is a private corporation, and does not disclose its shareholders, so they can hide in plain sight; never divulging their ownership of the world. All of these players are directly and indirectly connected with each other, and the top few pull the strings of the planet’s economic systems.

Yes, Gates, Soros, the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Royal Families, the Vatican, the top-level Zionists, the Morgan’s, the Bush’s, the Clinton’s, Klaus Schwab and the WEF, the UN, and many others are known, but many of the most evil and powerful controllers remain hidden in the shadows, while they manage all global networks. These are the owners of the rest of us, while their pawns in governments around the world due the bidding of their masters.

Most today think in terms of politics, and believe that politicians and the state players are in charge. This is idiotic nonsense, as the ‘covid’ hoax revealed. Virtually every country on earth acted in concert, and in the exact same manner at the same time. This would be not only absurd, but a complete impossibility unless a top-down conspiracy were in place, and being guided by the very few. Nearly every country in the world destroyed its own economies, its own citizens, and mandated similar if not identical policies meant to take total control over entire populations. If a large portion of the masses cannot understand the scope of this madness, there is no hope for humanity, for this world is now under the thumb of the few most powerful, who own and control most all the monetary systems, assets, land, medical care, pharmaceuticals, ‘education’ facilities, travel, banking, lawmaking, enforcement agencies, militaries, media, and have the ability to alter the psychological makeup of those they do not purposely murder by injection, torture, or starvation.

For those of you who succumb to the criminal and fraudulent voting process, those who look to fake prophets instead of self, those expecting redemption from the state; remember that you are playing directly into the hands of those monsters who rule over you. You will suffer the severe consequences of your actions to such a degree that all that has happened in the past will seem mild by comparison, as your lives will be relegated to that of a slave.

“It is incredible how as soon as a people become subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and willingly that one is led to say that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement.”

  •  Etienne de La Boetie

Source link:

The ‘Covid’ Lie and Monopoly—Who Runs the World

Source: Gary D. Barnett – Lew Rockwell

COVID-19: A Universe of Questions In a Time of Universal Deceit

As we approach the third year of the ‘COVID Crisis’, the once unassailable COVID Story – reported and repeated by politicians, public health mandarins and all mainstream media – has been replaced by contradictions and inconsistencies.

The original COVID Story narrated by health ‘experts’ and government officials told of a particularly virulent pathogen which besieged the planet in 2020 and spread like wildfire– terrorizing, infecting, and killing people en masse.

It was the story of a “pandemic level event” in which people were told to stay indoors, entire sectors of society were forced to shut down and humans were told to do everything possible to avoid contact with one another.

It was a story of closed down schools, closed down businesses, closed down churches and soon-to-be overwhelmed hospitals.

In later chapters the COVID Story morphed from ironclad truths, “Follow the science”, to ever changing definitions, “The science evolves.” Countless aspects of the “official” narrative changed overnight. Gradually the tale became fraught with pages of questionable statistics and ever shifting storylines.

What was one to make of all of these contradictions and ministerial mutations?

Did today’s story make sense with yesterday’s? Will tomorrow’s make sense with today’s?

Soon the only certainty within the COVID narrative became its uncertainty– the moment the COVID story “you thought you knew” was on solid footing the sands shifted yet again.

Attempting to make sense of the COVID conundrum soon required navigating a complex labyrinth of deceits, manipulations, obfuscations and concealments. Separating fact from fiction became more challenging each day.

While most persisted with the media storyline and government edicts, some began to take notice of the numerous anomalies and started asking questions.

The most glaring question was simply: “Why was no one allowed to ask questions?” Once this Pandora’s Box opened, a stream of questions came tumbling out.

Why wasn’t the media asking any questions? How were they all operating in lockstep?

Were we alerted to this “pandemic-level event” by our direct observations and experiences?

Were we surrounded by sick people, in our homes, neighborhoods and workplaces who were succumbing to a quick-spreading and dangerous virus?

If we were truly in a pandemic of biblical proportions would there be so much discussion of the epidemiological minutiae?

Bit by bit as most of the accepted narrative began to unravel, questioning the “official story” became more than a revolutionary act it became an obligation.

If you have to be persuaded, reminded, pressured, lied to, incentivized, coerced, bullied, socially shamed, guilt-tripped, threatened, punished and criminalized. If all of this is considered necessary to gain your compliance — you can be absolutely certain that what is being promoted is not in your best interest.

– Ian Watson

To sell the COVID Story a mass marketing campaign rife with its own nomenclature was launched. The constant drumbeat of the Covid battle cry became inescapable resembling military grade propaganda rather than public health messaging.

Were these COVID watch words and rallying cries intended to serve public health or were they designed merely to be obeyed? Where did these ideas and phrases come from?

Why did the media and government relentlessly stoke public fear and anxiety?

Why were millions spent on behavioral management teams?

How did the phrase “the new normal” emerge within the first weeks of the pandemic?

Was sustained psychological manipulation utilized to create fear and coerce the public?
Were COVID symptoms genuinely unique or were we being conditioned to believe there was a new disease?

Were statistics about COVID deathsbeing manipulated to create the perception of a crisis?

Were lockdowns about protection or social control?

Did lockdowns reduce deaths or cause increased mortality?

Was there ever any evidence for ”asymptomatic spread” or was this overstated to frighten the public?

How did we go from “two weeks to flatten the curve” to permanent emergency “laws?

Hospitals and doctors are getting rich off a sickened mass population.
– Steven Magee, Hypoxia, Mental Illness & Chronic Fatigue

One of the earliest COVID Campaign methods used to alert the public to the coming storm of dire illness centered on the belief that hospitals were going to be overwhelmed by a cascade of the COVID infected.

“Two weeks to flatten the curve” became a national rallying cry. The public was flooded with stories of overflowing hospital corridors and swamped ICU’s. Makeshift hospitals were swiftly constructed to take in the excess casualties. The unquestioning media amplified these stories creating a climate of widespread panic and hysteria.

Was any of this true?

Were US hospitals really overwhelmed? What does the data say?

Were NYC hospitals overwhelmed in Spring 2020?

Was Elmhurst hospital, the ‘epicenter of the epicenter’, overflowing in Spring 2020?

Were ICUs flooded with patients?

Were US hospitals busier in 2020 than they were in 2019?

Are hospitals regularly overrun during cold and flu season?

Fear is a market. To instill fear in people also has advantages. Not only in terms of drug use. Anxiety-driven people are easier to rule.

– Gerd Gogerenzer, Director Emeritus, Max Planck Institute for Educational Research

As the pandemic picked up speed, the “Covid death toll” became a daily marker hammered home by media bullhorns and mortality scoreboards.

Ghastly tales of the “first wave” of Covid fatalities were plastered all over media channels in lockstep. Harrowing tales of overflowing morgues and refrigerated trucks filled with Covid cadavers saturated the evening news. While a simpler explanation for these trucks was readily available, a compliant and complicit media plugged its ears and continued to manufacture mass hysteria.

Again all questions that might sow seeds of skepticism were kept away from public discussion.

But was this advertised death march verifiable or was this yet another feature of the Covid fear campaign?

Were COVID death counts and death certificates accurate or were Covid deaths artificially inflated?

What was the average age of COVID deaths and how did that compare with normal life expectancy?

What percentage of COVID deaths were from people who already had multiple comorbidities?

Were the photos of coffins from Bergamo, Italy, in March 2020, used to terrify the world, authentic?

Why did CNN report that a 7-year-old Georgia boy died from COVID when he drowned in a bathtub after a seizure.

How many COVID deaths due to “intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events” were placed in the CDC COVID death count?

Why were 14,369 injury deaths, 1,265 deaths due to falls, drowning deaths and suicides listed in the Covid-19 death count?

Why did the CDC change recording methods exclusively for Covid deaths and did this inflate COVID fatality numbers?

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth.
Carl Sagan

As the purported wreckage of the “first wave” subsided and the body count failed to add up to the predicted totals, the narrative abruptly shifted.

“The COVID Death” was replaced by “The COVID Case” as the main vector of fear. What defined a “COVID Case” generally seemed up for grabs. “Case” definitions ranged from anyone “suspected of having COVID” to those who were ‘positive’ as established through PCR testing.

Nowhere in the media could one find an inquiring reporter who would question what it meant to be a “probable case.” Even as the PCR became a regular feature of daily life never was the soundness of its usage as a diagnostic tool examined by any mainstream source.

Were these case counts and the methods used situated on solid scientific ground?

Was COVID-19 a novel virus?

How did the peer-review process of the critical publication about the Covid PCR tests only take one day?

Were COVID PCR test results accurate?

Were COVID case counts and diagnoses accurate?

Were PCR tests used deceptively to invent COVID “cases?”

Why was the definition of a COVID “case” altered?

Big Pharma needs sick people to prosper. Patients, not healthy people, are their customers.

If everybody was cured of a particular illness or disease, pharmaceutical companies would lose 100% of their profits on the products they sell for that ailment. What all this means is because modern medicine is so heavily intertwined with the financial profits culture, it’s a sickness industry more than it is a health industry.

– James Morcan

Once it was firmly established in the public’s mind that a pathogenic menace was lurking just outside their door a non-stop barrage of messaging, gaslighting and coercion kicked in from all angles.

The entire world was repeatedly informed that the only salvation for the human species was a genetically engineered experimental medical product concocted at “Warp Speed” by giant Pharmaceutical companies. This and only this medication could save humanity from catastrophe.

Like many other facets of the COVID Story, the tale of Big Pharma and their magical potions unraveled upon further scrutiny. Multiple questions arose:

If Big Pharma is truly in the business of public health what is their historical record towards safeguarding public health?

What is Pfizer’s previous track record of fraud and corruption?

Has Big Pharma captured the FDA and the political and regulatory processes?

Does Big Pharma control the CDC?

Does Big Pharma influence clinical trials?

Were Pfizer’s clinical trials for COVID vaccines properly run trials?

Why did the FDA try to conceal COVID vaccine trial data for 75 years? What did the trial data reveal?

Why has the FDA refused to make its vaccine safety monitoring public?

How did the CDC decide the Pfizer clinical trials proved a ‘safe and effective’ vaccine?

I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.

-Malcolm X

When the mass rollout of the experimental Covid vaccines was launched, a compulsory campaign silencing all voices who dare question the vaccine imperative was set in motion. Even so, some voices of apprehension slipped through the cracks. Many of these voices were some of the most renowned medical practitioners in their field.

Why were their voices not allowed into the mainstream conversations?

Why were thousands of dissenting physicians censored and silenced?

Why were doctors who spoke out about early treatment vilified and censored?

Were the Covid vaccines necessary, effective or safe?

Would the Covid Vaccines stop hospitalizations or deaths?

Was evidence of harm and serious adverse events from the clinical trials covered up?

Why did the media maintain silence about potential dangers of the Covid vaccine?

Were people given proper informed consent for the Covid vaccines?

What did multiple studies as early as 2020 say about the Covid vaccines and microvascular injury?

Why weren’t independent scientists allowed to examine the mRNA vaccine vials?
Was there a connection between heart inflammation and the Covid vaccines?

Why were kids targeted for vaccination when it was known they were at zero risk from the disease in question?

Were there doctors calling for a halt to the COVID vaccine program?

Ultimately a comprehensive and complete reckoning with the ‘COVID Story’ is not possible without a thorough examination of the policies which unfolded in hospitals and nursing homes and the catastrophic consequences.

While hospital workers were feted as heroes, reports began to leak out hinting that what actually occurred inside these medical institutions was contrary to the sustained media narrative. As more stories surfaced, suspicions escalated that this too was part of the Covid mythology.

Questions concerning treatments in hospitals and nursing homes emerged and allegations about monied interests materialized.

Were hospitals incentivized to manufacture COVID patients?

What were the COVID hospital treatment protocols?

Were hospitals incentivized to put COVID patients on ventilators and to use Remdesivir?

Did these incentives and protocols endanger people?

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In the early chapters of the Covid Story, perhaps no other storyline trapped our imaginations and pulled on our heartstrings quite like the “Saving Grandma” shibboleth.

We were told that “COVID-19” targeted the old and the sick and multiple reports from across the globe revealed a consistent pattern of how ghastly situations in long-term care facilities unfolded.

As more information on this piece of the sordid COVID puzzle surfaced more questions came to light.

Did thousands of elderly die because of COVID or was the management of their end-of-life treatment withdrawn actively putting them in a situation that ensured their death?

What did they mean when they said “taking care of the elderly?”

How did they “take care of the elderly in Canada?” In the UK? In France? In Maryland?In Massachusetts?In Washington DC? In Mississippi? In NewYork? In New Jersey? In Minnesota? In Indiana? In Louisiana? In Michigan? In Rhode Island?

Were conditions for high death rates at Care Homes created on purpose?

I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of “Admin.” The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.

C.S. Lewis

All intricate stories require a cast of characters and the COVID Chronicle was no different. Neil Ferguson and Christian Drosten played significant supporting roles behind the scenes while others, like Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates, took center stage. As we moved through the COVID narrative we “came to know” these personalities through the portraits painted by a uniformly deferential media.

Were these images of our COVID cast of characters accurate depictions? How much about them did we really know?

What did Neil Ferguson’s original computer models predict about COVID deaths and what was his well documented track record?

How did his calamitous and inaccurate predictions play such a central role in determining government policy?

Who is Christian Drosten and how did he develop the now famous COVID PCR test?

Who is The Real Anthony Fauci?

What role did Anthony Fauci play in the HIV/AIDS crisis?

Given that Bill Gates has no medical training, why did he play such a central role in determining government policy?

How did Bill Gates know in 2019 that vaccines would be “one of the best buys” in 2020?

How did Bill Gates use medical investments to turn $10 billion into $200 billion?

Why did the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invest $55 million in the shares of BioNTech in August of 2019?

They failed to see that globalisation was merely a tactic to prise power from nation states towards international conglomerates. Once the power was siphoned from the people and democratic control was circumvented, the ability to assert global governance without any democratic restraint was available.

-James Tunney

Finally, to understand the totality of the COVID Story it’s necessary to understand how the public health industry is inextricably linked to global financial markets and operates based on the demands of those financial conglomerates. Manufactured pandemics are now considered one of the biggest investment opportunities to increase the wealth of billionaires and consolidate their power.

The medical industry is no longer a system whose primary focus is to serve the health and well-being of the public. It is a system whose primary function is as a financial instrument for investors. The present-day policies that define the medical industry are designed to serve socioeconomic and political agendas which benefit these same financial elites.

Was the entire ‘COVID Crisis’ a genuine health emergency or was it an agenda rooted in fear to enrich the pockets of Big Pharma and their monied investors.

Here again the mainstream media remain dutifully silent, refusing to ask the most basic of questions:

Who owns Big Pharma?

Is it a coincidence that the COVID Public Health Emergency created over 500 new billionaires and coincided with one of the largest upwards transfers of wealth in human history?

Why were Big Banks being bailed out during the COVID era while small businesses were being pushed out?

How did workers around the world lose $3.7 trillion in the pandemic while billionaires around the world gained $3.9 trillion in the pandemic?

Is it possible to “follow the science” if the science is controlled by money?

What did the Head of the IMF say about the fate of the world’s economy and vaccines?

What is the “Great Reset?”

What is the Great Reset?

What are Central Bank Digital Currencies?

After a deeper dive into the COVID Hall of Mirrors one wonders if even a single strand of the story withstands scrutiny. Three years on and the wreckage from the fusillade of COVID policies continue to pile up. With every passing day more holes appear in the official narrative and more admissions come to light as officials scurry to avoid accountability.

As the dust settles in the aftermath of the COVID carnage we are left asking one final question:

“Was the entirety of the COVID Story a lie?”

Source: Michael Bryant – Off-Guardian

Header: Health care worker takes swab samples from Israelis at a Covid-19 Clalit testing sample center, June 28, 2022. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90 *** Local Caption ***

Western hegemony is coming to an end, and the world is about to enter a very dangerous period

The most dramatic and unique aspect of the current state of affairs in international politics is that we cannot count on the ability of a single state, or a group of sufficiently powerful countries, to play a leadership role in the future.

This means it is difficult for us to imagine who will be able to force states to comply with the rules of conduct in their foreign policy, and how such strictures can even be enforced.

Indeed, the question of why individuals, or in this case countries, should abide by regulations is the most fundamental one in political philosophy. And despite all the imperfections of the power method, humanity has not yet invented any other way of achieving such goals, even in minimal amounts, other than by force.

  • Over the last 500 years, the rules of international communication have been created within the narrow community of Western countries, first in Europe, before in the 20th century the US joined in, providing the power needed to enforce the system.

At first, this was done through the balance of power of leading European states, joined by Russia in 1762.

  • After the international order that had emerged in the mid-17th century came under attack from revolutionary France, control of the rules became a matter for a small group of major empires. They, led by Russia and Britain, defeated Napoleon and in 1815 created an order which had at its heart a general agreement that mutiny in international affairs was unacceptable.

By the end of the nineteenth century, politics had become global, but the European powers, including Russia, could still control the rest through brute force and their colossal military-industrial superiority.

The dramatic events of 1914-1945 brought the US to the forefront of global politics, as the leader of the Western community on a global scale.

International institutions, starting with the United Nations, were established with the primary objective of preserving the monopoly position of the West.

  • This, however, required the emergence of formal institutions of justice in the form of international law, or the participation in the highest UN body, the Security Council, of the Soviet Union and China, which were inherently hostile to US and Western European interests.

The institutional form of Western power dominance has become overbearing and the main question now is whether it can be preserved.

Therefore, the collapse of US and Western European power positions in international politics entails not just a change of leadership, but a revision of the existing institutions and rules at the global level.

In other words, the entire formal international order that has emerged after World War II (and in reality over the last few centuries) will cease to exist.

It was based on a special system of rights and privileges for a limited group of great powers, and later the illusion of fairness of which was created by international institutions led by the UN.

  • It was this system that played the role of the main legitimizing principle of the existing world order, although in practice it was often replaced by the West’s ability to exert a decisive influence on world affairs.

Thus, the collapse of international political institutions will very probably prove to be a consequence of the disappearance of their power base, whose presence has been unchallenged for several centuries.

We are now witnessing the destruction of both the formal and the real basis of the international order. In all likelihood, this process can no longer be stopped.

The coming period will be a time of defining the new global power base, and it is difficult to say yet which players, and to what extent, will become part of it.

What is important is that the top states of the present time – the US, Russia, China and India – are not close to each other, especially in terms of values and understanding of the basic principles of international rules.

  • The greatest problem so far is the behaviour of the US and certain Western European countries, which, for internal reasons, are pursuing an aggressive policy towards the outside world.

These states have embarked on a very troubling path of qualitative changes in the basic things that make up the social, gender and, consequently, political structures of society. For most other civilizations, this path is a challenge and will be rejected.

We also do not know the extent to which the internal development of the West depends on the spread of its ideals, as it did in previous periods.

In the event that the trends emerging in the West will, like revolutionary France, the Bolshevik regime or Nazi Germany, demand not just recognition from others, but expansion globally, the future will become very worrying.

We can already see that the conflict between the values favored by the West and the foundations of domestic legitimacy in a number of countries, is becoming a ground for aggravated political relations.

It would, however, be a mistake to hope that the other great and middle powers confronting the West are completely united in their understanding of the foundations of justice at the domestic level.

Even if Russia, India, China or Brazil now demonstrate a common understanding of the basic principles of a “proper” world order, this does not mean that they have the same vision of a better domestic order.

This is all the more true of the states of the Islamic world and other major developing countries. Their conservative values are often in conflict with those of the West, but this does not mean that they can create unity between themselves.

In other words, the new international order will, for the first time, be without a reliable link with the domestic ambitions of the leading powers, and this is indeed a qualitative change compared to all the historical eras we discussed. Such a phenomenon seems very important because we have no experience of understanding how relations between states will develop under such conditions.

Brute force could become the only relatively tangible basis to assert the order, but this may not be enough to make the conditions imposed by it sustainable, even in the short term.

Another unique feature of today’s revolutionary situation is that the revision of the international order is not being carried out by one or a few powers – it has now become the business of the world’s majority.

The countries that make up about 85% of the world’s population are in one way or another no longer prepared to live with conditions created without their direct involvement.

  • That said, their resistance is often expressed without direct intention and depends on the power capabilities of the particular power.

What from the point of view of Russia or Iran looks like lack of resolve in dealing with the US may seem like a great challenge for Kazakhstan or another young sovereign country – after all, their entire socio-economic system was created to exploit a liberal world order.

The fragile states of Africa, or the former Soviet space, are far less capable of behaving consistently than the prosperous monarchies of the Persian Gulf.

China, though now the second most powerful economic power, is also aware of its weaknesses. But all this does not change the most important thing – even if the destruction of the existing status quo takes the form of soft sabotage rather than decisive military action, it does not simply reflect a general discontent with Western authoritarianism, but creates a new order, and the basic features of this are as yet undetermined.

In the coming years, most countries in the world will seek to make the most of the weakening of the power base of international politics in their self-interest.

So far, these actions constitute a constructive conflict, since they objectively undermine a system based on fantastic injustice.

  • However, as time goes on the US-EU bloc will weaken and lock itself away, and Russia or China will never be strong enough to take their place. And in the perspective of the next 10 to 15 years, the international community will face the problem of replacing the power monopoly of the West with new universal instruments of coercion, the nature and content of which are still unknown to us.

Source: Timofey Bordachev – RT

As winter approaches, both Russia and Ukraine bulk up their forces in preparation for decisive battles

  • Russia’s failures on the frontlines of its conflict with Ukraine in September were followed by organizational conclusions: A partial mobilization was announced on September 21; on October 8, all Russian forces in Ukraine were united under General Sergey Surovikin; and on October 19, a kind of defense committee headed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin was created and elements of martial law were introduced in a number of western and southern regions.
  • The effect of these measures, however, has yet to manifest itself, so since early autumn, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have had the initiative on almost the entire front, except in the area of Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), where the Wagner Group’s forces have continued their leisurely offensive.

As we anticipated, in the north of the front, at the junction of Kharkov Region and the DPR, the enemy built upon its September success, and by the start of October, had taken the strategically important town of Krasny Liman, which had fallen under Russian control back in May.

Although the Ukrainian army’s offensive stalled and the Russians managed to counterattack and liberate several settlements afterwards, the event was symbolic.

For the first time, not just a major city, but a Russian city was surrendered to the enemy – on the very day after the four new regions were incorporated into our country.

On the Kherson front, after a month of bloody failures, Kiev’s forces eventually unlocked the Russian defenses.

The direction of the main strike shifted to the northeast, where a strike was launched on October 2-4 along the Dnieper riverbank, forcing Russian troops to retreat 20-30km to the Dudchany-Davydov Brod line.

  • Again, the same tactics used in Kharkov worked: Taking advantage of the numerical edge and the fact that Moscow did not have a solid front but rather a number of garrisons on the line.

The Ukrainians broke through to the rear, flooded the area, and forced a Russian retreat.

For the Ukrainians, this style of attack is a double-edged sword: If successful, it means a very quick breakthrough; but if unsuccessful, it leads to very heavy losses.

Since then, the front has been stabilized, but the position of the Russians here remains vulnerable.

  • All supplies for the group, and the regional center, depend on road transport via the Kakhovskaya Dam, which has been subjected to missile attacks by Kiev on more than one occasion.
  • Temporary military bridges have been erected to replace the broken passes over the sluice, which itself has been backfilled to allow passage, but this does not fully solve the supply problem.

At dawn on October 8, there was a high-profile attack on the Crimean Bridge – a truck bomb was detonated, collapsing one of the two roads, and a parallel train carrying oil products caught fire, damaging one of the railway lines.

The surviving lanes were restored to road traffic on the same day, while the rest required major repairs.

With this act of sabotage, as well as his calls for a preemptive nuclear strike, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky gave his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, an excuse to up the ante.

Russia responded by launching massive strikes on Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure. This was the first time since the beginning of the military operation that systematic work of this nature was seen.

According to various estimates, in less than two weeks of daily attacks, Ukraine’s power grid deteriorated by 10-30%.

  • A strict regime of light saving was introduced across the country, as water supplies, street lighting, and electric transport were cut off to varying degrees. So far, only thermal power plants, their electrical substations, and power grid control rooms have been attacked. Hydropower plants, for example, much less nuclear power plants, have not been targeted.

In addition to Kalibr cruise missiles, Geran-2 kamikaze drones have been widely used in the strikes.

  • They are equipped with a simple piston engine (for which they are nicknamed ‘mopeds’) and use a satellite guidance system.
  • Because of their mass application and the lack of a jet stream at which anti-aircraft missile heads can be aimed, Ukrainian air defense is powerless against the Gerans: it is more often possible to shoot down a drone with small arms as it approaches its target, which, in turn, leads to explosives-laden drones dropping on civilian objects, residential buildings and so on in dense urban areas.

Ukraine has responded by stepping up the shelling of Belgorod Region, also targeting electrical substations.

This has caused power outages in Belgorod, which, however, cannot be compared to the blackouts in Ukraine.

In addition, Kiev has started targeting power centers in the new Russian regions – in recent days, facilities in Donetsk and Energodar have been hit.

Western reactions to Moscow’s latest actions have been surprisingly sluggish.

In response to the acceptance of new regions into Russia, the partial mobilization, and strikes on the energy sector, Washington only promised to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses to combat the Kalibrs and Gerans.

Accelerated accession to NATO was not offered, nor was a sharp increase in arms deliveries. Thus, it is clear that the West intends to continue fighting by proxy – at least as long as the offensive potential of the AFU remains.

So what’s next? It appears that Kiev is preparing a major offensive on Kherson with the aim of taking both the city itself and the entire right bank part of the region. General Surovikin has openly admitted the gravity of the situation, not ruling out “difficult decisions.” In recent days, Russia has been conducting a hasty evacuation of the right bank, and it appears that the main battle of the autumn is about to begin here.

  • In addition, we should expect an attack by the AFU in the north, in Svatovo and Rubezhnoye-Severodonetsk. A large Ukrainian grouping has also assembled in the area, and the Russian Armed Forces are actively setting up defensive lines.

So what’s next? It appears that Kiev is preparing a major offensive on Kherson with the aim of taking both the city itself and the entire right bank part of the region.

General Surovikin has openly admitted the gravity of the situation, not ruling out “difficult decisions.”

In recent days, Russia has been conducting a hasty evacuation of the right bank, and it appears that the main battle of the autumn is about to begin here.

In addition, we should expect an attack by the AFU in the north, in Svatovo and Rubezhnoye-Severodonetsk. A large Ukrainian grouping has also assembled in the area, and the Russian Armed Forces are actively setting up defensive lines.

Another area under threat is Energodar and the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant.

New attempts at landing via the Kakhovka Reservoir and an overland strike via Vasilievka along the southern bank of the Dnieper can be expected here, but the latter does not appear to be realistic at the moment.

Ukraine needs to hurry. Time is working against it.

As mobilized troops from Russia arrive at the front, the AFU’s advantage in numbers will come to an end and the tactic of breaking through with light units will no longer work.

In addition, in November, the last of the green grass will vanish, snow will fall, and the troops will become more vulnerable from the air.

Russia will apparently continue its strikes on infrastructure while reinforcing the front. The immediate task is to repel an offensive by the AFU, inflicting maximum defensive damage.

A joint Russian-Belarusian grouping in Belarus has also been announced.

  • It can hardly be expected to launch an offensive from the north, but instead, its aim is probably to draw in as many Ukrainian forces as possible from the front to cover the border.

Kiev seems to be well aware of the limits of its capabilities, as in recent days, there have been reports of new waves of mobilization in Ukraine.

  • Whether Russia will have to respond in the same manner, or whether the first autumn draft will be enough, we will see in the coming months.

Source: Sergey Poletaev – RT

Ruxandra Dragomir, reacție aspră în cazul Simona Halep: „Cine vrea pe piedestal o trișoare e liber să o facă! Nici de Sharapova sau Lance Armstrong nu ne închipuiam”

Fosta jucătoare de tenis Ruxandra Dragomir, ocupanta locului 15 mondial în cel mai bun moment al carierei, august 1997, spune că „nu-mi vine să cred că Simona ar fi făcut așa ceva”, dar în același timp o compară cu Maria Sharapova și Lance Armstrong, sportivi celebri prinși dopați de-a lungul timpului.

Ruxandra Dragomir, despre situația Simonei Halep: „Convingerea oamenilor nu scade vinovăția Simonei”

„Cine vrea să păstreze pe piedestal un sportiv care trișează este liber să o facă”, este concluzia aspră a fostei jucătoare de tenis.

„Simona Halep a fost depistată pozitiv cu o substanță interzisă, din categoria EPO, unde pedeapsa este foarte aspră: 2-4 ani de suspendare. Din pacate și a doua analiză, testul B, a relevat prezența aceleiași substanțe interzise.

Roxadustat nu poate fi administrat din greșeală. Nu se regăsește în nurofen sau în alte medicamente. Din păcate, sportivii poartă responsabilitatea substanțelor pe care le iau sau li se dau.

Simona poate fi suspendată pentru dopaj, categoria EPO. Dar poate primi o pedeapsă mai blândă, dacă va avea o echipă bună de apărare și dacă va invoca motive serioase. Dar chiar și o scurtă suspendare la vârsta ei îi poate afecta definitiv cariera.

În rest, putem reacționa sentimental și emoțional. Convingerea multora că «și alții se dopează, dar nu sunt prinși» nu scade vinovăția Simonei. Cine vrea să păstreze pe piedestal un sportiv care trișează este liber să o facă. Timpul va lămuri dacă Simona a trișat sau nu”, a opinat fostul președinte al FRT.

Ruxandra Dragomir: „Nici de Sharapova și Armstrong nu ne închipuiam că ar putea fi depistați pozitiv”

„Până atunci, Simona, pe care de altfel o iubesc, este o sportiva depistată pozitiv la două teste doping. Și căreia i s-a retras dreptul de a mai concura. În rest, cine dorește să-și consume energia și timpul cu speculații și conspirații e liber să o facă.

Eu o cunosc pe Simona de aproape 20 ani și nici mie nu-mi vine să cred că ar fi făcut așa ceva. Cum mulți nu și-ar fi închipuit niciodată că Sharapova sau Armstrong… sau mulți alții ar putea fi depistați pozitiv. Dar realitatea a arătat altceva… Din păcate pentru Simona”, a încheiat Ruxandra Dragomir interviul acordat Q Magazine.

  • Folosirea acestei substanțe face ca sportivul să FURE în competiție. Nu poate fi o greșeală. Această substanță nu poate fi ingerată accidental, poate fi doar administrată. E pentru situații grave, nu poți să iei acest medicament pentru orice. Nu există medic care să prescrie de bună voie așa ceva, dar antrenori da! Se poate să fi fost o greșeală a staff-ului. Se practică în mai multe sporturi și la mai multe nivele ca antrenori să recurgă la astfel de metode pentru a crește performanțele jucătorului și a-și mări reputația lor. La banii care se fac la acest nivel – nu e ca la Foresta Fălticeni -, nu se poate greși! Greșeala e exclusă! Simona poate invoca imixtiunea antrenorului, unul care a vrut să-i crească performanța prin furt. Niciun medic din lume nu ar putea prescrie un asemenea medicament unei sportive.

– Pompiliu Popescu pentru GSP.ro

Source: GSP