Aletho News


Climate change is not making children obese


If you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And if you’re a media ecosystem with a fixation on hammers, you will do your best to make anything look like a nail.

This is the inescapable conclusion from the reporting around a recent study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Temperature, which looked at the relationship between climate change and children’s fitness — and reported the findings entirely backwards to fit a pre-existing political narrative.

The study pointed out that children’s aerobic physical fitness is 30% lower than that of their parents at the same age, arguing that this is a problem because aerobic physical fitness is vital for tolerating higher temperatures. This in turn means that where climate change is causing temperatures to increase, obese individuals will find it harder to cope.

This is sensible stuff — but the study was reported as stating that climate change had caused reduced fitness in children. The study itself pointed to Covid lockdown measures, among many other factors, as having exacerbated an already-existing issue of poor fitness in children. But headlines suggested children are staying indoors because it’s too hot and that this is why they’re less fit than their parents.

You don’t have to be a scientist to know that reduced aerobic fitness in this generation of children long precedes measurably rising outdoor temperatures of the kind that could be attributed to climate change. Here’s a report from 2013 on the topic, for example, that describes aerobic fitness in children decreasing every decade from 1975 onward.

Nor do you have to be a scientist to come up with multiple factors that are plausibly contributing to this unhappy situation. Anyone with young children, or just rudimentary powers of observation, needs only a moment’s reflection to think of multiple ways in which 21st-century life militates against physically active childhood, compared to the world just a few decades ago. But we mustn’t let minor considerations like the patent absurdity of a claim, or its rampant misreading of an actual scientific paper, get in the way of a clickbait mass-media narrative on a much-hyped topic.

A sensible paper discussing the importance of physical fitness in ensuring resilience in the face of changing climate has been reported entirely backwards. Obesity, discussed as a cause of difficulty in adapting to climate change, is reported as the effect of climate change itself, while ignoring politically inconvenient factors cited in the paper itself as contributing to poor fitness.

But this is only an especially egregious example of how even supposedly respectable media can’t be relied on to read even the abstract of a research paper, before editorialising on it in terms that align with established political narratives. And arguably whether or not such specious editorialising qualifies as “misinformation” mostly depends on your political priors.

Given this, the now-widespread cynicism that increasingly greets “expert” opinion in the press is perhaps understandable. It’s all very well saying “follow the science” – but the average Joe may be forgiven for concluding that “the science” is not so much a reliable source of truth as a pick n’mix array of talking-points for a pre-determined political agenda.

August 18, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | Leave a comment

White House “Climate Adviser” Banned from the National Academy of Science for Science Fraud

… while White House Officials Beg Social Media to Silence Opponents

By Igor Chudov | August 18, 2022

Climate change is a very important topic! According to Bill Gates-sponsored scientist Kari Nadeau, climate change is responsible for the recent rise in heart attacks, stillbirths, and cardiovascular disease, especially in children. So, knowing how important climate change is, I am paying attention to news about it, though with lesser intensity than I devote to Covid news.

Finally, we have a great climate change story! White House “climate official” Jane Lubchenco was just banned by the National Academy of Science (archive link) for science fraud. She was an editor of a paper written by her brother-in-law. Jane did not disclose this family relationship and promoted her brother-in-law’s article. The article itself contained false data that was known to be out of date at the time the article was written, and thus the paper was fraudulent.

Jane is now not allowed to participate in many scientific activities due to violating ethics rules meant to prevent fraud in science.

What is the White House’s biggest priority right now, when it comes to climate change? Perhaps it is cleaning up the place and making sure that we have honest science? Not really. The priority is demanding that major social networks silence climate change skeptics. Watch this video at 11:10:

The White House adviser says in the interview:

And frankly, the tech companies have to stop allowing specific individuals over and over again to spread disinformation.

I am not a big climate change skeptic — I do not care about climate change all that much right now — but coincidentally, Twitter recently suspended my dog’s account for 7 days.

So, I am not allowed to spread misinformation. The White House, on the other hand, has climate change advisors who perpetrate scientific fraud.

On a more serious note, my dog’s Twitter account was not alone and was suspended among hundreds of others last week, ostensibly for antivax misinformation. Why is this happening now? Why the urgency? It certainly is NOT about helping to vaccinate the public, as COVID vaccine uptake is at historic lows and everyone made up their mind already. Censorship would not help much with vaccination! Why, then, is it intensifying?

My own guess is that these suspensions are not so much related to Covid, but are happening due to the fact that the White House and the woke social networks are preparing for the November elections and want to silence dissent in advance. Why?

  • to influence the election, and
  • to prevent people from questioning election conduct and fairness afterward

They — the White House, Twitter, Facebook and Google — know that they will have to face very uncomfortable questions about their role in forcing the so-called “Covid vaccine” onto young people, as they “own” the outcome of this. They want to postpone that moment of reckoning and thus are deleting as many dissenting voices as they can.

August 18, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

The CDC Failed, So Spin It Off and Make It More Powerful?


The failure of the CDC to manage Covid-19 was baked in from the first moments of its response. A government agency was never going to mitigate much less get rid of this sort of pathogen. This is because the virus never cared a whit about prestige degrees, job descriptions, big budgets, high-end connections, media agitprop, or polls. It went on its merry way, hit everyone, and immune systems adapted as they always have done.

The great experiment was an enormous flop.

The costs of the experiment we know: it is the catastrophe that Donald Henderson predicted it would be in 2006.

Thus does it make sense that the present overlords of the agency have admitted at least partially to have made some errors. The question is what were these errors. From the latest news concerning some impending shakeup, I see no evidence of any serious rethinking of the crazed and cockamamie lockdown orders it issued from March 2020 onward. Not even preposterous mandates like plexiglass at retail counters, two years of school closures, “six feet of distance,” one-way grocery aisles, band members in bubbles, mask mandates, and limits on how many people you can have in your home have prompted remorse.

Instead, every indication is that the CDC believes the real problem was that it did not have a high-enough budget and enough power. Plenty of lawmakers are willing to go along – not that anyone is asking them. Therefore, its tremendous pandemic powers need to be tweaked and invested mainly in a division known as the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, or ASPR.

Says The Washington Post :

The Biden administration is reorganizing the federal health department [HHS] to create an independent division that would lead the nation’s pandemic response, amid frustrations with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The new head of this high-level division (same level as FDA/CDC) is Dawn O’Connell who has a background in literature (Vanderbilt) and law (Tulane), not science or medicine. She is a political appointee who took the reins as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Preparedness and Response, as confirmed by the Senate in 2021. She is now elated to report that her division will be elevated to become just as important as the CDC and the FDA.

Here is her memo to the staff:

ASPR Team:

As you know firsthand, ASPR is at the forefront of many of HHS’s and the Biden-Harris Administration’s top priorities. Whether your work involves strengthening our core preparedness and response capabilities, tackling new and emerging challenges, or providing essential support services to the team, please know that the work that you do matters and that it is making a big difference.

In recognition of the tremendous value this team brings to the Department and the American people – and due to the increasing size and scope of what we do – I asked Secretary Becerra to consider making us an Operating Division and I am pleased to report that Secretary Becerra has made the critically important decision to elevate our team from a Staff Division to an Operating Division (OpDiv)!

This change allows ASPR to mobilize a coordinated national response more quickly and stably during future disasters and emergencies while equipping us with greater hiring and contracting capabilities. As an OpDiv, we are now in the same category as other large HHS teams with core operational responsibilities such as CDC, NIH, FDA, CMS, and ACF. This change is an important next step for our organization which has continued to grow and evolve since its creation in 2006 – the pace of which has quickened over the past year. This change is also a recognition of the good work you all have been and continue to do on behalf of the American People

Along with this reclassification, moving forward we will be known as the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR). The adjustment to our name signals our elevation to an OpDiv, while maintaining the equity and brand recognition we have built with key internal and external stakeholders, particularly over the course of the pandemic.

Thus must we ask: what the heck is going on here? The Biden administration has no idea. Indeed the Washington Post reports that “some senior Biden administration officials said they were unaware of the plan to reorganize the department, which was approved by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and has been held close by his deputies.”

This point is crucial. This is how the administrative state works. It cares nothing for the elected officials who come and go. It moves on its own, fueled by money baked into the budgets and with power hardly anyone dares to challenge. There is never any accountability. There is only one path forward: more power. Elections be damned.

The most important part of the memo here is the idea of mobilizing a “coordinated national response.” It drove these people utterly bonkers that during the pandemic, several states went their own way. South Dakota never shut down. Georgia opened a month after the shutdowns. Florida and Texas were next. Finally all the states with Republican governors opened while most states with Democratic governors remained closed to some degree.

The empirical results are incredibly obvious. The open states performed as well and often better on disease demographics. Meanwhile their economies did not suffer nearly as much. The kids stayed in school. The churches functioned. There were live musical performances. The museums, libraries, and playgrounds opened. People are less traumatized.

The migration of people from blue to red tells the whole story. Masses of people fled the lockdown states for the open states.

A “coordinated national response” would make such federalist solutions impossible. Forget the 9th and 10th Amendments. These agencies and these people care nothing for them, nor actual science which would encourage a plethora of experiments in the management of a pathogen. These bureaucrats in Washington think they have all the answers, and they demand complete compliance.

Meanwhile, the CDC itself is being reorganized. But don’t be fooled by any appearance of contrition. They still have a legal appeal in process that would put a mask back on your face when traveling. The new agency to which some of its pandemic responsibilities will be transferred will have a 1,000-person staff to start, people paid the big bucks to sit around coming up with new ways to whip up disease panic and start another crackdown.

A better solution would be to abolish the CDC. States can handle all its responsibilities. It did not even exist until 1947. Its purpose was mosquito control, spraying a now-banned chemical (DDT) everywhere. These days we handle that by going to Home Depot.

The CDC as an agency grew out of the 1944 Public Health Services Act that permitted nationally ordered quarantines for the first time. The legislative history of that thing remains a mystery to me. Regardless, it is nowhere justified in the US Constitution. This act needs to go too. So too all the federal agencies to which it gave rise. This is the only real solution.

Certainly creating a new agency is not the answer. And note that ASPR has its roots in 2006 as an outgrowth of the Bush administration’s obsessive panic over bioterrorism. It was also the first year that anyone imagined that lockdowns could be an appropriate path for any free society. It was the year that “social distancing” was invented by a cabal of computer scientists with zero experience in infectious disease.

These fanatics need to be out of power completely, and the regulations, laws, and agencies that enabled them to ruin the country and its freedoms must be ended. This is what any responsive government in a modern society would do. It would see failure and call it and then do something about it. It certainly would not go in this new direction and reward the disease planners with more power and money!

We must learn real lessons and act on them.

Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He writes a daily column on economics at The Epoch Times, and speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.

August 18, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 1 Comment

CDC’s Ludicrous Makeover


CDC announced that the institutes have done an external/self-study and proposed a makeover “to restore public trust.” Dr. Walensky said that she “plans to remake the culture to help the agency move faster when it responds to a public health crisis. She also wants to make it easier for other parts of the government to work with the CDC, and wants to simplify and streamline the website to get rid of overlapping and contradictory public health guidance.”

The CDC’s announcement covers everything except the fundamental problem to which the director and the external reviewer are blind: industry subservience and epidemiologic incompetence.

CDC has published numbers of fatally flawed study reports over the last two years in MMWR, its captive journal. No amounts of “moving faster” will fix this problem. It took CDC two years to figure out that the vaccines are not an effective public health tool for reducing infection spread, something that I and numerous colleagues have been saying for more than a year.

CDC has still not recognized that for Covid, masks are useless, that distancing is useless, that general population testing is virtually useless for managing the population pandemic.

That the CDC has reviewed itself and only found trivialities and not the systematic problems that caused it to produce repeatedly failing policies shows that this review exercise was only window dressing. It was not a serious review.

The CDC needs a completely different independent external review to understand how it as a public health agency with MD and PhD epidemiologists could get so much science wrong for so long. The current makeover plans are ludicrous, will fool no one, and will not restore any of the large amount of public trust that has been lost by its poor performance over the last 2.5 years.

Harvey Risch is Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Risch received his MD degree from the University of California San Diego and PhD from the University of Chicago. After serving as a postdoctoral fellow in epidemiology at the University of Washington, Dr. Risch was a faculty member in epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Toronto before coming to Yale.

August 18, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

(Yet) more worrying data on myocarditis in children

Thai data shows alarming signal

Health Advisory & Recovery Team | August 18, 2022

HART recently published an article summarising the results of a study performed in the US military which found that nearly 3% of those vaccinated with smallpox vaccine developed subclinical myocarditis (defined by an increased troponin level – which was prospectively measured in all subjects).

It should be emphasised that no “safe” level of increased troponin has been identified. Any increase is a potential cause for concern in any age group, let alone young people.

In that article, we expressed alarm that – given the worrying data regarding myocarditis and Covid mRNA vaccination – a simple prospective before and after study of troponin levels had never been performed in any age group.

It turns out that we weren’t the only people suggesting such a study needs performing. The FDA thought so too.

As Vinay Prasad writes – apparently the FDA made it a condition of the Emergency Authorisation.

The agreed dates for such a study are frankly bizarre, given how simple and quick such a study would be to perform and how many billions of doses of this product have / are being injected into people of all ages, with no (official) abatement in enthusiasm yet apparent.

However, such a study has in fact now been performed. Not by any investigators in the wealthy Western world, for whom carrying out such an exercise would have been like a proverbial “cake-walk”.

No, instead we have had to rely on a publication out of Thailand, which can be found here. In this study, they measured troponin levels in ~300 teenagers aged 13 to 18 in 2 schools, both before and after their second dose of Pfizer mRNA vaccine.

A lot has now been written about this study already, and we will therefore refer you to the best summaries published to date, which are those from Vinay Prasad and Brian Mowery although the former analysis is, in our opinion, far too muted given the gravity of the situation.

The bottom line is that troponin elevation or cardiac symptoms indicative of myocarditis/pericarditis were identified in 7 (3.5%) of 200 boys, 5 of whom (2.5%) had elevated troponin levels.

(Troponin is a substance released from heart cells which is indicative of damage to heart muscle cells, which have no repair mechanism. Testing for its presence is commonly performed when patients present with chest pain suggestive of a possible heart attack.)

There was a zero signal (for either symptoms or raised troponin) in girls.

John Campbell – who has around 2.5m followers and had previously been extremely enthusiastic about the mRNA covid vaccines – appears visibly shocked by this data in his video covering it.

He points out that anyone with a raised troponin level would ordinarily be ordered to rest due to the association between myocardial damage and fatal arrhythmia on exertion. The implication must surely be that the administration of these agents to children and young people must cease, since the notion that all will routinely be troponin-tested is clearly ridiculous.

Worse still: this 2.5% (which is bad enough) only represents the cases where the troponin levels exceeded a specific threshold of 13 pc/mg. The authors have not provided the raw data and it is perfectly possible that there were many more boys (and possibly girls) in whom some clinically relevant elevated troponin might have been evident but not to this level.

It is to be noted that as described here the cut-off of 13 pc/ml (based on the 99th percentile for a normal reference population) appears to relate to the use of troponin levels to determine a differential diagnosis of chest pain when a myocardial infarction (“heart attack”) is suspected – ie to answer the typical question facing ER doctors (and one which is not as easy to answer merely based on symptoms as many might imagine): “has there been cardiac involvement, or is this just indigestion?”

Because of the mechanism of a typical heart attack (blockage of an artery) you’d actually expect a heterogeneous response – either an amount of heart muscle has been damaged sufficient to result in high troponin elevation, or not (resulting in no elevation). Hence the use of a certain cut-off can reasonably reliably rule out an incident such as heart attack.

However, with myocarditis, we should surely be concerned with identifying any myocardial damage at all, not screening for MI as a differential diagnosis.  In this context, a completely safe level is unknown.  It may be that any elevation means there has been myocardial damage.  Depending on where this is, it may be associated with an increased chance of suffering a fatal arrhythmia.

We don’t know the answers to these questions.  Given where we are, that’s alarming.

In the absence of comorbidities, young people were never at risk from covid and certainly are not at risk from omicron.  Most have been infected and have natural immunity.  The mass administration of these agents to the young was always completely unjustifiable; this latest data brings the decision to continue with this program into the more serious realm of malfeasance.

August 18, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Israeli Forces Storm, Seal Offices of Seven Palestinian Human Rights and Humanitarian Organizations in Ramallah

Al-Manar – August 18, 2022

The United Nations Human Rights Office today expressed alarm at Israel’s arbitrary closure of seven Palestinian human rights and humanitarian organizations and called on Israel to immediately reverse these decisions, reiterating the High Commissioner’s call to revoke the designations of the organizations as “terrorist” and “unlawful.”

At dawn today, Israeli occupation forces broke into, searched and sealed the offices of seven Palestinian human rights and humanitarian organizations in Ramallah. Their property was confiscated and destroyed. Israeli forces left copies of military orders to close the offices of the organizations.

“The closure orders are a step to enforce previous Israeli declarations of these organizations as “unlawful” and as “terror organizations” in 2021,” said the Human Rights Office in a statement. “Despite offers to do so, Israeli authorities have not presented to the United Nations any credible evidence to justify these declarations. Several Member States have also stated that the evidence shared with them does not justify the designations. As such, the closures appear totally arbitrary.”

The UN office said the shutting down of the organizations represents the latest in a series of attacks that are further drastically shrinking space for human rights and humanitarian work in the occupied Palestinian territory, affecting all institutions working on human rights, including the UN Human Rights Office. “Human rights defenders must be immediately protected from these unjustified attacks,” it said.

The organizations affected are Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association; Al Haq; Bisan Center for Research and Development; Defense for Children International – Palestine; Health Work Committees (HWC); Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC); the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC).

August 18, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 2 Comments

‘Call to Boost Arm Supplies to Kiev by Former US Officials Violates UN Charter, US Laws’

By Ekaterina Blunova – Samizdat – 18.08.2022

Nearly 20 national security officers and former diplomats have claimed that Washington must further arm Kiev in an open letter to US President Joe Biden. According to them, the US’ “vital interests are at stake” as the Russian special operation in Ukraine allegedly poses “a clear danger to US security and prosperity.”

“The United States has no interest in Ukraine other than to avoid war with Russia,” explained Michael Springmann, a political analyst and former US diplomat with postings in Germany, India and Saudi Arabia. “That country is the holder of half the supply of atomic bombs in the world. This is extremely unprofessional, extremely dangerous, and shows the horrible ties between the military, big business and the American government. They all control the government rather than the politicians or the people.”

According to Springmann, it is especially troubling that former diplomats, national security professionals and State Department officials openly called to intensify weapons supplies to a third country.

“It’s a violation of the UN Charter and America’s own regulations and laws,” he said. “This is an absolute outrage (…) It’s dangerous nonsense.”

Among the open letter signatories are 17th Supreme Allied Commander for Europe General Philip Breedlove, former State and Defense Department official Debra Cagan, 12th Supreme Allied Commander for Europe General (Ret.) Wesley K. Clark, former Ambassador to Finland and Turkey Eric Edelman, and former Ambassador to Ukraine, Uzbekistan and others John Herbst.

The former officials urged the US president to provide Kiev with more ammunition, spare parts, short- and medium-range air defense systems and, most notably, ATACMS munitions fired by High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) “with the 300km range necessary to strike Russian military targets anywhere in Ukraine” as well as in Crimea. Previously, the Biden administration ruled out delivering long-range munitions for HIMARS.

Moreover, the authors of the open letter also cited the nuclear card as a possible option.

“The US is also a nuclear power, and it is a strategic mistake to suggest that nuclear deterrence no longer works. Nuclear deterrence still works,” they argued.

US Record of Subversive Actions Against Russia

If the letter’s signatories think that they can win a war against the Russian Federation, they are completely detached from reality, argued Springmann. Still, the letter’s agenda does not surprise him: the crux of the matter is that the US has a long record of subversive actions against Russia, he explained.

“The United States has been at war with first the Soviet Union and now the Russian Federation for the past century,” he said. “In 1919, Peace President Woodrow Wilson sent 13,000 American soldiers to fight the Bolsheviks after the Russian Revolution, and in 1940s and 50s and really into the 60s and 70s, the CIA worked closely with Nazi collaborators such as [Ukrainian nationalist leaders] Stepan Bandera and Micola Lebed, who had engaged in murder, war crimes and human rights violations.”

Much in the same vein, the former diplomat claimed that the United States staged a coup in Ukraine in 2014 and “had done their best to ensure that former CIA officials had gone to Ukraine to help set up NGOs and other government agencies.” He warned that the Biden administration is currently arming Kiev and neo-Nazi battalions, thus prolonging the conflict.

“Biden and his predecessors had advanced NATO up to the very frontier of the Russian Federation and now has NATO members stretching from the Baltic to the Balkans,” Springmann said. “They have American bases in these countries and there are other American bases encircling the Russian Federation and other countries.”

Who Benefits From Ramping Up the Russo-Ukraine Conflict?

While US military contractors like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon have benefitted from Biden’s arming of Ukraine, US and European economies have already suffered from the anti-Russia strategy, according to Springmann. Anti-Russia sanctions and the energy embargo have backfired on the US and Europe by sending food and gasoline prices higher and accelerating already soaring inflation.

“The result, of course, has been a collapse of the American economy, a collapse of the European economy,” said the former diplomat. “I’ve seen articles in Germany about how the country is cutting back its lighting systems, telling people not to use hot water for showers and not to use the heating system in their homes and apartments. What Biden and his neocon crazies have done is essentially destroy the European and the American economies.”

According to Business Insider, the US has already provided Kiev with roughly $10 billion in security assistance under Joe Biden. The aid packages included HIMARS, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, Javelin anti-armor systems, drones, small arms, and attack helicopters, among other systems.

On August 8, the Pentagon detailed the content of a $1 billion assistance package for Ukraine provided under presidential drawdown authority, the 18th drawdown so far. According to the DoD’s official website, among the items included in the latest package are additional ammunition for HIMARS; 75,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery ammunition; twenty 120 mm mortar systems and 20,000 rounds of 120 mm mortar ammunition; munitions for the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, or NASAMS; and 1,000 Javelin and hundreds of AT4 anti-armor systems.

August 18, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

German Official Trashes Cost of Living Protesters as “Enemies of the State”

Says they’re extremists who want to overthrow the government

Getty Images
By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | August 17, 2022

A top German official has trashed people who may be planning to protest against energy blackouts as “enemies of the state” and “extremists” who want to overthrow the government.

The interior minister of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Herbert Reul (CDU), says that anti-mandatory vaxx and anti-lockdown demonstrators have found a new cause – the energy crisis.

In an interview with German news outlet NT, Reul revealed that German security services were keeping an eye on “extremists” who plan to infiltrate the protests and stage violence, with the unrest being planned via the Telegram messenger app, which German authorities have previously tried to ban.

“You can already tell from those who are out there,” said Reul. “The protesters no longer talk about coronavirus or vaccination. But they are now misusing people’s worries and fears in other fields. (…) It’s almost something like new enemies of the state that are establishing themselves.”

Despite the very real threat of potential blackouts, power grid failures and gas shortages, Reul claimed such issues were feeding “conspiracy theory narratives.”

However, it’s no “conspiracy theory” that Germans across the country have been panic buying stoves, firewood and electric heaters as the government tells them thermostats will be limited to 19C in public buildings and that sports arenas and exhibition halls will be used as ‘warm up spaces’ this winter to help freezing citizens who are unable to afford skyrocketing energy bills.

As Remix News reports, blaming right-wing conspiracy theorists for a crisis caused by Germany’s sanctions on Russia and its suicidal dependence on green energy is pretty rich.

“Reul, like the country’s federal interior minister, Nancy Faeser, is attempting to tie right-wing ideology and protests against Covid-19 policies to any potential protests in the winter.”

“While some on the right, such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD), have stressed that the government’s sanctions against Russia are the primary factor driving the current energy crisis, they have not advocated an “overthrow” of the government. Instead, they have stressed the need to restart the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, end energy sanctions against Russia, and push for a peaceful solution to end the war.”

Indeed, energy shortages and the cost of living crisis are issues that are of major concern to everyone, no matter where they are on the political spectrum.

To claim that people worried about heating their homes and putting food on the table this winter are all “enemies of the state” is an utter outrage.

As we highlighted last week, the president of the Thuringian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Stephan Kramer, said energy crisis riots would make anti-lockdown unrest look like a “children’s birthday party.”

“Mass protests and riots are just as conceivable as concrete acts of violence against things and people, as well as classic terrorism to overthrow it,” Kramer told ZDF.

August 18, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | , , | 2 Comments

UNSC Sanctions on Hiring of Workers From North Korea Do Not Apply to Donbas

Samizdat – 18.08.2022

The UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea do not apply to the Donbas republics, Director of the Department of International Organizations at the Russian Foreign Ministry Pyotr Ilyichev said in an interview with Sputnik.

Earlier, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, said the republic is negotiating with Pyongyang on the arrival of builders from North Korea. In July, North Korea recognized the independence of the DPR and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR).

“The recruitment of labor from North Korea is subject to international restrictions established by UN Security Council resolutions. However, it must be taken into account that they apply to the member states of the world organization, which the people’s republics of Donbas are not,” Ilyichev said.

He said Russia will not force Donbas and North Korea to avoid cooperation.

August 18, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

No longer a pariah? Russia and China could be about to ‘normalise’ North Korea

By Timur Fomenko | Samizdat | August 18, 2022

At the beginning of this week the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin had exchanged letters with Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.

The report stated both countries had agreed to “expand the(ir) comprehensive and constructive bilateral relations with common efforts”.

Matching the anniversary of Korean independence on August 15th, Putin’s outreach comes as Russia seeks new partners away from the West. It also follows reports that North Korean expatriate workers would be assisting in the reconstruction of liberated territories in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, to which it recently granted diplomatic recognition.

But it’s also an indication that the world has changed, significantly. Only a few years ago Russia, as well as China, were at least somewhat willing to cooperate with the United States in imposing sanctions on the DPRK in the bid to curb its nuclear and missile development.

That situation no longer exists. The outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, combined with America’s bid to try and contain the rise of China, now means we exist in a multipolar international environment where multiple great powers are competing for influence.

This breaks down the space for cooperation over common issues, but also increases the need for strategic thinking among the competitors. In the eyes of Moscow, this makes their calculus concerning North Korea even more important than it was before, drawing parallels to the Cold War era.

We should not forget that it was the Soviet Union that enabled the creation of the DPRK in the first place. It was following the closing days of World War II that a strategic contest for influence in East Asia began to emerge between the US and the USSR over the former territories of Imperial Japan. As the Red Army marched south, an agreement was made to divide the Korean Peninsula at the 38th parallel.

Although the original agreement was designed only to make the division temporary, geopolitical frictions soon saw it become permanent, and rival Korean states emerged. The US-backed Republic of Korea in the South, and the Soviet- and China-supported Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the North, headed by former Red Army captain and guerrilla fighter Kim Il-sung.

The two young nations went to war in 1950, again supported by their respective superpower backers. Active fighting in that conflict ended three years later, but a formal peace agreement has not been signed to this day. And while Koreans on both sides of the divide wish for reunification, the scale of foreign involvement in the 1950s war stands as a reminder the peninsula is seen as a strategically critical landmass linking the continent of mainland Eurasia to the eastern seas.

Great powers have always seen it as a chess piece in the bid to dominate North East Asia. This had led to a tug of war which over the centuries has included the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Russian Empire, the Empire of Japan and the United States, the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union.

But for the last three decades, since the end of the original Cold War, North Korea found itself increasingly isolated as China and Russia, for a period of time, both sought ties with the West, as well as the much more lucrative and successful South Korea. US unipolarity meant there was little interest from Moscow or Beijing in opposing America’s wishes to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear trajectory, which it sees as its last hope for regime survival.

But now a new paradigm is emerging, and just like in the times of old the DPRK, it’s seen yet again as a strategically indispensable bulwark against American power and military hegemony on Russia’s own border periphery, not least against its US-backed neighbors such as Japan.

In such an environment, there is no longer any benefit for Russia in cooperating with the US on the North Korean issue. The horse of “North Korea denuclearization” has long bolted, and instead the presence of a nuclear armed DPRK with ICBM capability is another thorn in Washington’s side, which if removed, only expands US power.

Thus, when America demanded another sanctions resolution against North Korea at the UN Security council earlier this year, both Russia and China vetoed it for the first time in over 15 years. It is a sign of the world we live in.

Moving on from here, Russia is likely to deepen its military and economic ties with North Korea, primarily because of its strategic and political worth.

In this view, history has completed a full circle and as the US shores up its allies to confront Moscow and Beijing, the theme of “bloc politics” re-emerges.

August 18, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Europe decreasing support to Ukraine

Data shows that European countries did not offer new military aid to Kiev in July

By Lucas Leiroz | August 18, 2022

Apparently, European countries are understanding that the path to peace in Ukraine requires stopping military aid. Data show that in July the six major European powers abstained from making new military agreements with Kiev. It was the first month without European aid pledges to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian special military operation, in February. In fact, this indicates that Western support is on decline, leaving only Kiev to decide whether or not to continue with the conflict.

The news was announced by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy – more specifically through Ukraine Support Tracker, which operates within the Institute. According to the researchers, European authorities have become unable to keep up with the speed with which the US, UK and Poland send military aid. This situation has led to a slow decline in the supply of money, weapons and equipment, resulting in July’s absolute absence of support contracts. 

The decline has been occurring since April. Looking from a realistic point of view it is possible that the Russian advance may have discouraged European leaders from maintaining high spending on the conflict, considering it as simply “lost”. Also, the discouragement may have been intensified especially after the Russian victory at the battle of Azovstal in May, when Western analysts finally began to admit that Kiev is losing the conflict.

More than geopolitical realism, there is also the direct pragmatic factor: Europe cannot promise Kiev more than it currently promises simply because it cannot give Kiev more than it currently does. Americans, British and Poles are managing to fulfill their promises because they have taken the Ukrainian situation as a national emergency and are mobilizing their productive forces to meet this demand. However, the EU has many other priorities that make it impossible to give more help to Kiev. In other words: whatever is happening at the front, Europe is not promising Kiev any more aid simply because it can no longer help.

Obviously, the situation will not lead to an abrupt interruption of aid, but a gradual decline. Certainly, the end of support will not be definitive or linear, having expectations for modest resumptions and new interruptions again. For example, at the beginning of August, there was a meeting between European authorities in Copenhagen to re-discuss aid strategies. It was decided that an amount of 1.5 billion euros would be sent. Although the act somehow means that Europeans still “care” about Ukraine, the number is far lower than previous conferences’ packages.

Commenting on the topic, Christoph Trebesch, head of the team compiling the Ukraine Support Tracker, said: “Despite the war entering a critical phase, new aid initiatives have dried up. (…) When you compare the speed at which the checkbook came out and the size of the money that was delivered, compared to what is on offer for Ukraine, it is tiny in comparison (…) I would say [current European support is] surprisingly little considering what is at stake (…)“. 

Trebesch believes that the correct European stance would be to invest in the Ukrainian conflict the same amount of money invested in overcoming previous events, such as the eurozone crisis and the new coronavirus pandemic. Trebesch’s opinion reiterates that of many other pro-Kiev activists, who believe that a Russian victory would be an absolute disaster for the entire Europe and lead to the bloc’s collapse, which is why every possible effort should be made now in order to prevent Moscow from reaching its goals.

And even though political realism is growing among Europeans, many authorities still think like Trebesch. For example, Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks asked: “If we are wanting the war to end as soon as possible, they need to ask themselves, are they doing enough?”. 

In fact, realism may overcome ideological or humanitarian arguments. The EU certainly has other priorities to address. The conflict itself brings with it many problems, such as the energy and food supply crisis. Thinking about solutions to problems that affect Europeans should be a priority over thinking about strategies to reverse the military scenario.

Furthermore, the argument that the current crisis should receive the same investment funds from previous crises is unfounded. The conflict in Ukraine, as much as it worries the EU, is a foreign matter and cannot be a priority now. If the US, UK and Poland keep Ukraine as a priority, it is because these countries maintain a geopolitical and ideological rivalry against Russia, which is not the case in Europe.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

August 18, 2022 Posted by | Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

EU gas prices are seven times higher than in US

Samizdat | August 18, 2022

European natural gas prices are trading at levels equivalent to about $70 per million British Thermal Unit (BTUs), which is roughly seven times higher than prices in the United States, CNN reported on Wednesday, citing Lipow Oil Associates.

Analysts told the outlet that Europe’s natural gas crisis is contributing to higher prices in America, noting however that it’s not the main driver. US natural gas prices have surged to levels unseen since 2008, closing at $9.33 per million BTU on Tuesday.

“Higher global prices are trickling down to the US. Natural gas has become a global commodity with the emergence of LNG,” said Rob Thummel, senior portfolio manager at Tortoise Capital Advisors.

The United States has stepped up its exports of LNG to Europe in an effort to mitigate the impact of declining flows from the continent’s major natural gas supplier, Russia.

“Every spare molecule we can find, we are shipping to the Eurozone,” Robert Yawger, vice president of energy futures at Mizuho Securities, said.

European gas prices have quadrupled since the start of the year on thinning Russian flows. This week, the cost of gas futures on the TTF hub in the Netherlands exceeded $2,600 per thousand cubic meters for the first time since March. Prices are forecast to spike 60% this winter, exceeding $4,000 per thousand cubic meters.

August 18, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , | 2 Comments