Aletho News


The Auto Industry In Jonestown

By Francis Menton | Manhattan Contrarian | May 5, 2023

The notorious events in Jonestown took place so long ago that most readers probably don’t have personal memory of them. In November 1978, in the jungles of Guyana, under the powerful spell of a religious cult with a charismatic leader, and of an all-embracing groupthink, some 900 people somehow agreed to participate in a mass suicide. It was a shocking instance of the kind of collective insanity to which humans can be susceptible.

You might think that the Jonestown massacre was a uniquely extreme example of such a mass psychosis, perhaps attributable largely to unusually susceptible subjects or to the isolated location. Surely our best and brightest leaders of government and business would never fall prey to such collective craziness.

If you think that, then perhaps you should look at what is currently going on in the automotive sector of the economy, under the spell of the climate cult and of government functionaries demanding fealty to anti-carbon doctrines.

On April 12, 2023 the EPA released its most recent proposed regulation of automobile emissions. The document is titled “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light- Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles.” It is 262 pages long in the standard Federal Register single-spaced three-column format, thus designed to be virtually impossible to read for anyone who is not getting paid to do it. But the heart of the proposed new rule is that, over a period of a few years, it is to become difficult-to-impossible for automobile manufacturers to continue to sell any significant number of internal combustion engine vehicles. Of course EPA never states that explicitly, and makes the game as difficult as possible for any layman to decipher. But try this language from page 29,196 (12 pages into the document and still in the early part of the Executive Summary):

GHG Emissions Standards. . . . The proposed standards are projected to result in an industry-wide average target for the light-duty fleet of 82 grams/mile (g/mile) of CO2 in MY 2032, representing a 56 percent reduction in projected fleet average GHG emissions target levels from the existing MY 2026 standards.

As I understand it, no internal-combustion car can meet this 82 g/mile CO2 emission standard on its own, so the standard effectively means that a manufacturer can only sell IC cars if it can also make and sell enough “zero-emission” cars to get an average down to this level. Thus does EPA deviously announce its intention to force manufacturers to make, and consumers to buy, all or almost all electric vehicles.

Now, at this point this is only a proposed rule. Currently, despite wide availability of electric vehicles, they have only about a 7% market share in the U.S. They also have many disadvantages as against combustion vehicles, including higher price, difficulty to repair when damaged, poor resale value, limited range, long time to recharge, and so forth. And all those are before you get to the most important problem with EVs, which is that the government geniuses are simultaneously working to destroy the electrical grid that is supposed to be the source of the energy for these things.

Might you think that the auto makers would be pushing back on behalf of themselves and their customers to keep combustion vehicles available? You would be wrong. From all appearances, the manufacturers are falling all over themselves to get on the electric car bandwagon. The EPA document itself contains a long list of industry announcements (from page 12,190 – 12,191):

A proliferation of announcements by automakers in the past two years signals a rapidly growing shift in product development focus among automakers away from internal-combustion technologies and toward electrification. For example, in January 2021, General Motors announced plans to become carbon neutral by 2040, including an effort to shift its light-duty vehicles entirely to zero-emissions by 2035. In March 2021, Volvo announced plans to make only electric cars by 2030, and Volkswagen announced that it expects half of its U.S. sales will be all-electric by 2030. In April 2021, Honda announced a full electrification plan to take effect by 2040, with 40 percent of North American sales expected to be fully electric or fuel cell vehicles by 2030, 80 percent by 2035 and 100 percent by 2040. In May 2021, Ford announced that they expect 40 percent of their global sales will be all-electric by 2030. In June 2021, Fiat announced a move to all electric vehicles by 2030, and in July 2021 its parent corporation Stellantis announced an intensified focus on electrification across all of its brands. Also in July 2021, Mercedes-Benz announced that all of its new architectures would be electric-only from 2025, with plans to become ready to go all-electric by 2030 where possible.

But as with the transformation of the electrical grid — where we forge ahead without ever having gotten a demonstration of feasibility or cost — the automakers are also forging ahead en masse into EVs with no demonstration that electric cars can become a successful mass product that fulfills all the functions that IC cars can fulfill. Tesla seems recently to have turned the corner into profitability, but with an expensive niche product that only the wealthy can afford and which is almost always a second (or third or fourth) car.

How is it going with other manufacturers? The Wall Street Journal had an editorial on May 3 summarizing the results so far for a collection of EV startups. There’s Lordstown:

Lordstown had manufactured only 31 vehicles by late February 2023—most of which had to be recalled. Losing patience, Foxconn on April 21 threatened to withdraw its investment, triggering Lordstown’s bankruptcy warning.

And Rivian:

Rivian commanded a $153.3 billion market capitalization. Now it’s worth less than $12 billion.

The WSJ summarizes stock trends of other EV startups:

[O]ther EV startups have crashed from their pandemic highs, including Canoo (down 96%), Nikola (99%), Faraday Future Intelligent Electric (99%), Rivian (90%), Lucid (87%) and Fisker(81%).

How about at the big traditional manufacturers. Robert Bryce at his Substack on May 3 collects some recent information as to Ford:

In March, Ford Motor Company announced that it lost $2.1 billion on its EV business last year. Those losses were double the losses it had on EVs in 2021. As I noted in a video I posted on TikTok on March 23, Ford made 61,575 EVs in 2022. Thus, the company lost about $34,000 on every EV it sold last year. I also noted that the costs of making EVs aren’t falling. Last year, the cost of battery packs for EVs went up by 7%. . . . Indeed, it appears Ford’s 2022 losses were only a warm-up lap. Yesterday afternoon, Ford reported a $722 million loss on its EV business over the first three months of 2023. During that span, Ford sold 10,866 EVs, meaning it lost $66,446 on every EV it sold.

Bryce goes on to quote a JD Power report from May 1:

“[M]any new vehicle shoppers are becoming more adamant about their decision to not consider an EV for their next purchase.”

When I last had a post on EVs (February 23), several commenters expressed the opinion that they thought the manufacturers could overcome all the manufacturing problems (cost, battery capacity, charging, etc.) and thus EVs would shortly become the superior product in the marketplace. I suppose that is possible, although if central planning turns out to work in this instance it will be the first time ever anywhere. And further, there is nothing the manufacturers can do to make a country of 200 million or so EVs work when all the reliable generation on the electrical grid has been removed, and home heat has also been electrified. The auto manufacturers seem to be only too willing to go along with a collective suicide, a la Jonestown.

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 3 Comments

The climate scaremongers: How to lose a lot of money – buy an electric car

By Paul Homewood | TCW Defending Freedom | May 19, 2023

New analysis shows that electric cars (EVs) are depreciating at twice the rate of petrol cars. According to the Express :

‘EVs on average will lose 51 per cent of their purchase value from 2020 to 2023, compared with just 37 per cent for petrol vehicles. This equates to a massive £15,220 loss for electric car owners, with petrol drivers seeing a decrease of £9,901.

‘The data, from, used a comparison of new car prices three years ago compared with their value now.

‘The higher the original purchase price of the car, the bigger the loss, with the Tesla Model S losing £25,000 in value in just three years – a 46 per cent drop. However, entry-level EVs like the Nissan Leaf are also losing a massive amount of value in such a short space of time. The Leaf’s value dropped by £13,000 – or 58 per cent – despite being one of the most popular small EVs on the market.’

There are three factors in play here. Firstly the battery life for an EV, typically around 100,000 miles, means that the car is virtually worthless once it gets to around 80,000 miles. Nobody is going to pay thousands for a car which will end up in the scrapyard a year or so later. This depreciation works its way up the chain. For instance, if you buy a petrol car with 50,000 miles on the clock, you expect to still get a reasonable trade-in three years later.

Secondly, whilst new EVs are attractive for companies and green virtue signallers thanks to government subsidies, there is very little demand for them amongst the public at large. People buy second-hand cars for a very good reason – they cannot afford new models. Consequently they cannot afford to pay a surcharge for a second-hand EV, even if they want one.

Thirdly, increasing numbers of EVs are appearing on the second-hand market, reflecting the surge in new sales in recent years. As demand has not increased, this is also forcing the price down.

The prospect of losing so much money in depreciation will inevitably make drivers think twice before buying a new one.

Meanwhile a US study has found that EVs may not reduce emissions of carbon dioxide as much as thought – indeed they may even increase emissions. According to the report:

‘the relevant and surprising emissions wildcard comes from the gargantuan, energy-hungry processes needed to make EV batteries. To match the energy stored in one pound of oil requires 15 pounds of lithium battery, which in turn entails digging up about 7,000 pounds of rock and dirt to get the minerals needed – lithium, graphite, copper, nickel, aluminum, zinc, neodymium, manganese and so on. Thus, fabricating a typical single half-ton EV battery requires mining and processing about 250 tons of materials.’

The fact that much of this mining and processing takes place in China, where energy is nearly all derived from fossil fuels, makes the carbon footprint even larger. Other studies have suggested that an EV will break even at about 60,000 miles as far as emissions are concerned. This new study implies that the situation is probably worse.

And as some of us have been warning for years, the UK and EU rush to phase out petrol/diesel cars is beginning to cause real harm to the European car industry. Whereas Europe has long had an unassailable technological lead over China in car manufacturing, EVs have introduced a level playing field which China is now exploiting through its lower energy and labour costs, along with its near–monopoly of the battery market.

As a consequence, Chinese EVs are flooding the German market. Official statistics have revealed that 28.2 per cent of the electric vehicles imported into the country during the January-March period originated from China. This figure demonstrates a substantial rise from the 7.8 per cent recorded over the same period in 2022, highlighting China’s expanding influence in the global adoption of EVs. If this was not bad enough, the data also reveals a decline of 23.9 per cent in German exports of new vehicles to China compared with the same quarter of the previous year.

Unsurprisingly, then, a major study by Allianz Trade, part of the European insurance giant, says that China’s growing share of the EV market in its home market and the EU will see the European car industry shrink by €24billion a year and associated supply chain industries shrink by an additional €21billion.

It is not only Chinese inroads into Europe which are in play here; another nail in the European motor car industry’s coffin is the fact that the enforced switch to EVs will force millions out of their cars completely, because they are simply not fit for purpose for many drivers.

Indeed it is becoming increasingly clear, with ULEZ zones, 15-minute cities and so on, that the real objective of European governments, including our own, is drastically to reduce the numbers of cars on the road, cut the mileage driven and force us all on to buses, bikes and Shanks’s pony.

They do not seem to care that they will destroy a major industry and millions of jobs as a direct consequence. – Full article

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | Leave a comment

Autopsy of Fatal Delta Variant in a Fully Vaccinated Man

Findings Suggest Complete Failure of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Induced Antibodies

By Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH | Courageous Discourse | May 18, 2023

Autopsies have played a critical role in the history of medicine. The novel coronavirus pandemic is a period of time where autopsies have been particularly helpful in advancing our understanding of COVID-19 disease. So the question on the table is: if the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines raised antibodies against the ancestral wild type Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2, would they cover the Delta variant? The only real way to know is to find a case who is fully vaccinated with “protective” antibodies in the bloodstream who contracts COVID-19. Recently such a patient has been reported from Catania, Italy.

Esposito, et al, published an autopsy of an 83 year old man who was admitted to the hospital with heart failure and was later diagnosed with acute COVID-19 and succumbed 18 days later. There is no mention of treatment with lifesaving medications in the McCullough protocol such as ivermectin, corticosteroids, or anticoagulants. Sadly his lungs were ravaged with SARS-CoV-2 despite having adequate antibody titers for the Spike protein generated from the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

Esposito, M.; Cocimano, G.; Vanaria, F.; Sessa, F.; Salerno, M. Death from COVID-19 in a Fully Vaccinated Subject: A Complete Autopsy Report. Vaccines 202311, 142.

The important points of this paper are: 1) the original Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine failed to stop the Delta variant, 2) antibodies are an invalid surrogate of protection and should have never been used 8 times by the US FDA in EUA approvals for extended use of COVID-19 vaccines.

Esposito, M.; Cocimano, G.; Vanaria, F.; Sessa, F.; Salerno, M. Death from COVID-19 in a Fully Vaccinated Subject: A Complete Autopsy Report. Vaccines 2023, 11, 142.

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Biden’s New NIH Head Solidify’s America’s Breakaway Health Agency Crisis

By Jefferey Jaxen | May 18, 2023

American health agencies are in a crisis of their own making. The pandemic response has both amplified and spotlighted the classic shortcomings and limitations of agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

News this week reports Biden has chosen Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, formerly National Cancer Institute Director, to lead the NIH. Bertagnolli fills the absence left by Dr. Francis Collins.

In a post-Covid world, much of the public-facing legacy of agency directors is written by their actions during the failed pandemic response. History will show it as a doomed era where no leadership escaped without tarnished careers from their unified actions to viciously mandate Covid shots, mask kids, keep schools closed and lockdown society causing irreparable harm to the American economy – all without the science to back up their decisions.

Former NIH head Collins will be forever known as the man who shut down scientific debate at a time when open dialogue about the already known, published research could have saved lives, the economy, and the mental health of our current population. Purposely ignored warnings, which came in the form of the Great Barrington Declaration, that internal emails show Collins and Fauci colluded to publish a ‘devastating takedown’ of its premise using the full weight of their agencies and media power.

Dr. Bertagnolli’s deep funding by Pfizer, and to a lesser extent from Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen, is chronicled by The Daily Signal :

From 2015 through 2021, Bertagnolli received more than 116 grants from Pfizer, totaling $290.8 million. This amount made up 89% of all her research grants, according to Open Payments, a national transparency program under the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services that collects and publishes information about financial relationships between drug and medical device companies and certain health care providers.

Her extensive background in cancer research and ties to Pfizer and other pharma companies raises questions about the timing of her placement at the head of NIH, the largest  single public funder of biomedical and behavioral research in the world at more than $40 billion.

The Covid vaccine gold rush has come to an end for companies like Pfizer and Moderna. A brief look at headlines tells of the next profit push on the horizon being mRNA cancer vaccine therapies.

Meanwhile, an epidemic surge of cancers of unknown causes is also grabbing headlines.

Bertagnolli appears well-positioned to streamline an injectable pharmaceutical ‘answer’ to a growing cancer question while obscuring further investigation into its root cause(s).

Meanwhile, Walensky’s abrupt departure from a badly damaged CDC has public trust in the agency racing for the doors at breakaway speeds.

The FDA has done no better. After Trump’s director, Stehpan Hahn stepped down as the administration changed hands, Biden kept the agency without a presidential nomination for commissioner for the maximum time allowed by law – nearly one year.

In that time, the FDA pushed through emergency use authorizations for J&J’s Covid shot, expanded Pfizer’s EUA to 12-15 yr-olds and 5-11 yr-old, added EUA booster doses and mishandled massive warnings about increases in myocarditis, Guillain-Barre syndrome and thrombocytopenia after Covid shots. The agency’s authoritarian booster push also saw infighting due to a lack of data to inform the decision culminating in two of the FDA’s top, longtime vaccine regulators [Kruse & Gruber] departing in disgust.

A recent BMJ article titled The decline of science at the FDA has become unmanageable states, … the corruption of the FDA’s scientific culture remains the primary culprit driving the deterioration of safety and effectiveness standards.”

By all measures, America’s health agencies are in rapid decline as a litany of historical issues like Big Pharma’s revolving door influence, an outward mission-directed posture of mandates and censorship, a continued doubling down on bad policy, and an imbalance focusing on liability-free injectable products as the answer has left American marooned.

The path forward for American health, suffering in many categories, has challenges ahead. Yet the many failures and outright censorship of the medical and research communities during the failed pandemic response have created a new space being rapidly populated by medical professionals, experts, and citizen journalists who see the value and desperate need to investigate and report on reality, expose bad science and maximize open debate surrounding key health issues. It is the best of times and it is the worst of times.

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

What If AI Is Only a Cost and Not a Profit Bonanza?

In the real-world, the costs are all we know for sure and profits remain elusive and contingent.


No one knows how the flood of AI products will play out, but we do know it’s unleashed a corporate frenzy to “get our own AI up and running.” Corporate fads are one of the least discussed but most obvious dynamics in the economy. Corporations follow fads as avidly as any other heedless consumer, rushing headlong into whatever everyone else is doing.

Globalization is a recent example. Back in the early 2000s, I sat next to corporate employees on flights to China and other Asian destinations who described the travails and costly disasters created by their employers’ mad rush to move production overseas: quality control cratered, proprietary technologies were stolen and quickly copied, costs soared rather than declined, and so on.

So let’s talk about costs of AI rather than just the benefits. Like many other heavily-hyped technologies, Large Language Model (LLM) AI is presented as stand-alone and “free.” But it’s actually not stand-alone or free: it requires an army of humans toiling away to make it functional: “We Are Grunt Workers”: The Lowly Humans Helping Run ChatGPT Make Just $15 Per Hour (Zero Hedge ).

“We are grunt workers, but there would be no AI language systems without it. You can design all the neural networks you want, you can get all the researchers involved you want, but without labelers, you have no ChatGPT. You have nothing.”

The tasks performed by this hidden army of human workers is euphemistically sanitized by corporate-speak as data enrichment work.

Then there’s the stupendous costs of all the extra computing power needed to deliver AI to the masses: For tech giants, AI like Bing and Bard poses billion-dollar search problem

What makes this form of AI pricier than conventional search is the computing power involved. Such AI depends on billions of dollars of chips, a cost that has to be spread out over their useful life of several years, analysts said. Electricity likewise adds costs and pressure to companies with carbon-footprint goals.

Corporations are counting on the magic of the Waste Is Growth / Landfill Economy to generate higher margins from whatever AI touches — don’t ask, it’s magic — but few ask how all this magic will work in a global recession where consumers will have less income and credit to buy, buy, buy.

LLM-AI is riddled with errors, and nobody can tell what’s semi-accurate, what’s misleading and what’s flat-out wrong. Despite wildly optimistic claims, locating the errors and semi-accuracies can’t be fully automated. Errors are inconsequential in an AI-generated book report, but when patients’ health is on the line, they become very consequential: I’m an ER doctor: Here’s what I found when I asked ChatGPT to diagnose my patients.

This raises fundamental questions about precisely how much work LLM-AI can perform without human oversight, and the all-too breezy claims that tens of millions of jobs will be lost as this iteration of AI automates vast swaths of human labor.

AI excels at echo-chamber reinforcement of risky or error-prone suppositions and policies: Spirals of Delusion: How AI Distorts Decision-Making and Makes Dictators More Dangerous. What’s the threshold for concern that the AI conclusions are riskier than presented? How do we calculate the possibilities that the AI conclusions are catastrophically misguided?

At what point will decision-makers realize that trusting AI is not worth the risk? If history is any guide, that realization will only arise from financial losses and bad decisions. For the rest of us, it might just be the novelty wears off as the inadequacies pile up: Noam Chomsky: The False Promise of ChatGPT.

Since all this LLM-AI is “free,” what AI-created goods and services will generate hundreds of billions of dollars in new revenues and tens of billions in new profits? The general answer is the profits will flow from firing millions of costly humans and replacing them with “nearly free” AI software.

But since all your competitors are rushing down the same frenzied path to AI, what competitive advantage will accrue to what is already a commodity (LLM-AI)? Nobody asks such questions because the euphoria of tech revolutions is so much fun.

The enthusiasm unleashed by new technologies is selectively euphoric: the benefits will prove immeasurable and the costs will soon be near-zero. But in the real-world, the costs are all we know for sure and profits remain elusive and contingent.

Exactly what gets wiped out by the meteor strike is not yet known.

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Economics | 1 Comment

Netherlands signs $305m deal for arms from Israel’s Elbit Systems

Tested on Palestinians

MEMO | May 18, 2023

Israel and the Netherlands signed a five-year arms’ deal worth $305 million, Israel’s Defence Ministry announced yesterday.

Israel’s Elbit Systems, a company which sells weapons to the Israeli military used in attacks on Palestinians, will supply 20 PULS artillery systems, including ammunition as well as training and support services.

The deal was signed by the International Defence Cooperation Directorate at Israel’s Ministry of Defence (SIBAT) General Yair Kulas in the Netherlands with his Dutch counterpart, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army General Martin Wijnen.

“It is an honour for me to lead the first government-to-government defence contract with the Netherlands for the PULS long-range precise rocket artillery system,” said Kulas. “This significant event symbolises the strategic relationship between our countries and constitutes an opportunity to strengthen our partnership based on mutual values and morals.”

According to the Times of Israel, there have been previous Israeli arms and defence equipment sales to the Dutch nation, but those were considered to be private deals by various companies and not government-to-government contracts.

Moreover, the arms deal is one of the largest agreements signed between Israel and a European country in recent years.

Bezhalel Machlis, president and CEO of Elbit, added in a statement: “The acquisition of Elbit Systems’ PULS solution will enhance the Royal Netherlands Army’s ability to provide effective indirect fire support. It will also provide interoperability with NATO customers that have acquired these systems.”

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Ongoing Fascist Repression in Pakistan

By Junaid S. Ahmad | Global Research | May 18, 2023

Confirmed and corroborated by at least two dozen of my former students both inside Pakistan’s military-intelligence apparatus as well as those protesting it. This is the face of fascism, the culmination of a year-long Washington-backed regime change operation against former prime minister Imran Khan.

“Around 7000+ PTI supporters and workers across Pakistan are in illegal custody of multiple LEAs and Police at the moment and not presented in any court after so many days of abduction.

The IG of Punjab himself claimed 3500+ abductions in Punjab. The actual number is around 5000+ for Punjab and 2000+ for KP & Islamabad.

No law permits any custody after 24 hours without presenting the accused in courts. Out of ~5000 abductions in Punjab, only ~200 presented in Punjab’s courts so far.

None of them were not involved in any kind of vandalism at all and arrested just because they are peaceful PTI Supporters/Workers and their families.

It’s the first time in history that political workers’ female family members are also being picked up to pressurise and humiliate them. In one case, an 8 year-old kid was also kidnapped for a few hours.

Hundreds of them are reportedly being tortured and pressurised to give false statements against PTI leadership.”

Prof. Junaid S. Ahmad teaches Religion and Global Politics, and is the Director of the Center for the Study of Islam and Decoloniality, Islamabad, Pakistan. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment

Ukraine is ‘attacking our sovereignty’ – Hungary

RT | May 18, 2023

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s alleged plans to blow up a Russian pipeline supplying Hungary with oil would be a major blow to the nation’s energy security, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told journalists on Wednesday during a visit to Austria.

This is nothing but “a threat against Hungary’s sovereignty,” Szijjarto said, commenting on a recent report by the Washington Post about Zelensky’s alleged plans that cited leaked Pentagon documents. “Security of energy supply is a matter of sovereignty. If someone calls for Hungary’s energy supply to be made impossible, [they] are virtually attacking Hungary’s sovereignty.”

Last week, the Washington Post reported that Zelensky had supposedly suggested hitting targets deep within Russian territory, as well as occupying some Russian border cities to get leverage in talks with Moscow. In February, the president reportedly also said that Ukraine should “blow up” the Russian Druzhba oil pipeline in order to “destroy” the Hungarian energy industry, which is heavily dependent on Russian oil.

Szijjarto also accused Kiev of being “increasingly hostile” towards Budapest, adding that his country would not support any more EU aid to Ukraine until relations became friendlier. The foreign minister also raised a longstanding issue – the rights of ethnic Hungarians inside Ukraine – as Budapest has insisted for years that the rights of Hungarian minorities are being violated.

Most recently, Budapest criticized the way education rights have been limited for ethnic Hungarians, adding that this issue could hamper Kiev’s prospects of ever joining the EU.

“It is obvious that the Ukrainians will only be able to move forward in the European Union accession negotiations if they guarantee that the Hungarian people will get back the rights they already had,” he said.

Budapest has taken a neutral stance in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, as it refused to provide military aid to Ukraine or allow Western aid to pass through its territory. Although Hungary had largely taken part in the existing EU sanctions against Russia, it has repeatedly criticized the restrictions and opposed those that might affect its own economy.

On Wednesday, Szijjarto once again asked the EU to reconsider the efficacy of anti-Russian sanctions. “These … proposals do not bring us one centimeter closer to peace,” he said, referring to the 11th sanctions package currently being discussed by the bloc.

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Who is delusional?

By Gilbert Doctorow | May 18, 2023

Over the past several months, I have seen the word “delusional” applied to those, like myself, who bring nonconformist, non-mainstream news and views about Russia and the Ukraine war to the reading public. Language is constantly evolving, and the shop-worn label “Putin stooge” has now been replaced by this more generalized but similarly derogatory ad hominem labeling.

Allow me then to ask whether it is not the accusers who are truly “delusional” by insisting on a Washington narrative that is daily being ground into the dirt, as are Germany’s Leopard tanks and America’s Patriot air defense systems in Ukraine by technically superior Russian military hardware.

This military come-uppance is a story in itself. I involuntarily think back over a chance meeting I had four years ago with Russian-Americans during a tourist visit I made to a small and picturesque town in the Schwaebisch region of southern Germany with its typical half-timbered houses on the main square. We struck up a conversation while shopping in a souvenir store and this dentist was glowing with pride for his new Fatherland. Somehow the discussion turned to the newly announced strategic weapons systems that the Kremlin claimed had passed testing and were on their way to serial production. The dentist was beside himself with chuckles, insisting that this was all pure fabrication, pure propaganda and that Russia was incapable of designing and manufacturing any weapon system that could pose a threat to the good old USA.

But that ridicule for things Russian is a subject for another day. I will speak here first about the delusional framing and implementation of U.S. foreign policy today that is costing the United States more dearly in prestige and influence globally than anything that Donald Trump and his ‘diamond in the rough’ Secretary of State Pompeo accomplished during his presidency. And I will direct attention to one face in the vast group portrait of world leaders, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Tokayev is the president of Kazakhstan and in recent months was being courted by the U.S. State Department in the hope and expectation that Kazakhstan could be induced to split with Russia and join the American team of countries sanctioning Moscow over its ‘war of aggression’ in Ukraine. Indeed, Secretary of State Blinken paid him a visit to woo or threaten him to follow the U.S. lead and this was reported enthusiastically by American mainstream media.

This U.S. policy can only be described as “delusional” insofar as it takes no cognizance of who is Tokayev and what are the realities of the geopolitical environment of Kazakhstan. The policy is based on willful ignorance of the counselors who formulated it, and that in turn is based on the assumption of America’s superior strength and ability to get its way by hook or by crook wherever in the world and whenever it so wishes.

Russian diplomacy is more discerning.

On 9 May, Tokayev was on the Red Square reviewing stand along with all the other presidents of the Central Asian republics. Together with them and with President Vladimir Putin, he then walked to the Alexander Gardens to place a red carnation before the eternal flame monument to the Unknown Soldier. That may have been picked up accidentally by one or another Western television broadcaster. What was not shown in the West was the side trip arranged for Tokayev to the town of Rzhevsk where he could pay tribute to the memory of his uncle, for whom he is named, Kassym Tokayev, who died in the Battle of Rzhev as a Red Army soldier and is buried there. That visit was broadcast on Russian and on Kazakh state television. Tokayev had no choice but to go, and his people had no choice but to see the historical connection with Moscow in the fight against Nazi Germany.

Last night there was another video of Tokayev on Russian television. He was shown descending from his plane in Beijing, where he is joined by all the other heads of state of Central Asia in a group meeting with the Chinese leadership. We were shown his tête-à-tête meeting with a senior official of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, conducted in Mandarin, without translators. As anyone can easily learn from his Wikipedia entry, from 1970 Tokayev studied Chinese in his undergraduate years at the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and in his final year there underwent training courses at the Soviet embassy in China for six months. He then served in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in 1983 continued his language training at the Beijing Language Institute. He was later posted to the Soviet embassy in Beijing and was promoted to successively higher responsibilities there.

My point is that Tokayev knows the map of his region very well. He and his country find themselves between a rock and a hard place.   They do not have much wiggle room.  Somehow these facts of life elude America’s delusional policy makers.

I could go on about how the ignorance and complacency of high officials in the Biden administration result in self-defeating policies elsewhere. One example of what I mean occurred just a couple of days ago when similarly delusional behavior was shown by America’s messenger boy within the European Commission. Josep Borrell succeeded in alienating his hosts in India and humiliating himself by insisting that India curtail its purchases of Russian oil lest the EU ban imports of refined petroleum products, mainly diesel fuel, from India.  The consequence of his ignorant warning that contradicted EU law on the subject was Borrell’s exclusion from the trade talks that the EU delegation was in Delhi to conduct.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2023

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

NATO Is Panicking After Russia’s Kinzhal Hypersonic Missiles Smashed Kiev’s Patriots


The fake news that circulated earlier this month alleging that Kiev’s Patriots shot down one of Russia’s Kinzhal hypersonic missiles has become even more ridiculous in the days after since they’re now claiming that another six were supposedly downed during a recent strike. The Mainstream Media’s (MSM) laundering of these lies isn’t just due to them taking everything their Ukrainian proxies say at face value, but even includes their own military experts actively contributing to this disinformation campaign.

The US’ Patriots lack the technical capabilities to track and intercept hypersonic projectiles, but that isn’t anything for them to be embarrassed about since there doesn’t presently exist any air defense system in the world that could do this. The West’s problem is therefore one of perceptions, however, since the MSM hyped up their deployment to Ukraine to the point where the public expected that former Soviet Republic to become invulnerable to any Russian strikes.

The Kremlin was aware of the West’s soft power interests in transferring this equipment there, hence why it cleverly decided to include several hypersonic missiles in its latest spree of strikes against military targets, knowing that there was no way that they’d be intercepted and thus discrediting their opponents. Not only that, but they even managed to destroy five launchers and a multifunctional radar on 16 May according to the Russian Ministry of Defense’s report that was shared the day after.

Footage of that night’s strikes subsequently appeared on social media, after which those who shared such were detained by the Ukrainian secret police on the pretext that this could have helped Russia’s military-intelligence services. In reality, Kiev was left flustered after that same footage showed how many millions of dollars’ worth of air defense missiles were wasted in trying to shoot down the Kinzhals. The US also confirmed that the Patriots were indeed damaged but denied that any of them were destroyed.

Nevertheless, the public was able to see for themselves just how desperate Kiev was to intercept those hypersonic projectiles, and many interpreted America’s confirmation that the Patriots were damaged as a limited hangout to deflect from their suspicions that they were actually destroyed. 16 May will therefore be seen in hindsight as a pivotal turning point in popular perceptions since Russia’s claim that its Kinzhals smashed the Patriots is believed by a growing number of people after watching that footage.

This poses a major reputational problem for the West, which claims to be able to defend its people in the event of any contingency, especially the worst-case one of the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine turning into a direct conventional conflict between those two. Nobody who saw Tuesday night’s footage and heard about Russia’s achievement the day after can say with confidence that they still believe in the viability of their side’s air defenses since they’ve now been exposed as worthless by the Kinzhals.

The Kremlin currently wields a monopoly on this game-changing military technology after being the first country in the world to produce these missiles and then use them in battle, which means that it can pierce NATO’s Patriot-centric air defenses with ease in the worst-case scenario described above. The preceding observation about the US’ struggle to compete with Russia in this respect isn’t so-called “propaganda” like skeptics might claim but was confirmed by The Hill two months ago.

In their piece on 14 March explaining “Why the US is going full throttle on hypersonic missiles”, they wrote that “The United States is opening the throttle in its push to develop and procure hypersonic missiles after falling behind key foreign adversaries China and Russia in the race to field a potentially game-changing defense system”, adding that “the Defense Department has not fielded the weapons yet, and there remain challenges in the industrial production base and with testing infrastructure.”

Most damning of all, The Hill also informed their audience that “Not even the U.S. currently has an adequate defense system to take down hypersonic missiles. Air defense systems, such as Patriots and Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, are capable of taking down ballistic missiles that reach hypersonic speeds, but only over small areas.” That “politically inconvenient” fact not only discredits this month’s disinformation campaign, but also reaffirms Russia’s military dominance in the hypersonic domain.

Simply put, the Kremlin has full confidence that its Kinzhals would successfully reach all their targets in the worst-case scenario of a conventional NATO-Russian war, thus meaning that Moscow could in theory destroy the West’s nuclear second-strike capabilities if it carried out a first strike to preempt its enemies’. Its achievement the other day in Kiev where it destroyed five Patriot launchers and a multifunctional radar sent shivers down the spines of NATO’s warmongers and sobered them up to what they’re facing.

Any thoughts they might have had of trying to “Balkanize” Russia by conventional military means as a last resort upon the failure of their Ukrainian-fronted Hybrid War to this end instantly evaporated since they realized that it could provoke the Kremlin into destroying the West out of self-defense. To be sure, some of their second-strike capabilities would likely remain intact and thus be used against Russia, but the point is that Moscow could first inflict unacceptable damage to them if it’s pushed to do so.

Despite popular claims to the contrary from many of the Alt-Media Community’s top influencers, NATO isn’t “insane” in the sense of its leaders being willing to sacrifice themselves as long as their deaths resulted in dismembering Russia. Like all elites, they want to live as long as possible, hence why they’ll now think twice about indulging in the neoconservative fantasy of resorting to conventional means to “Balkanize” that targeted Great Power upon the failure of their proxy war on it through Ukraine to that end.

In practical terms, this suggests that they might be more amenable to a ceasefire once Kiev’s NATO-backed counteroffensive ends by this winter, thus raising the prospects that the upcoming African-led peace mission to Russia and Ukraine could earn their approval and lead to Kiev agreeing to these terms. The leading Anglo-American Axis within NATO could never endorse the parallel Chinese-led initiative so it therefore follows that the African-led one could give them a “face-saving” way to support a ceasefire.

It’s premature to predict this latest initiative’s success or lack therefore, but the relevance of this development to the present piece is that it can help give NATO an “exit strategy” from this proxy war after its leaders just realized how suicidal it would be to escalate it to a conventional one. Russia’s Kinzhals smashed their Patriots in Kiev, which proved that the Kremlin can pierce the West’s air defenses with ease, thus representing both a military game-changer and possibly even a diplomatic one soon too.

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , | Leave a comment

The Putrid Underbelly of Woke Capitalism

By Michael Rectenwald – Mises Wire – 05/16/2023

Corporate intrigue reached a fevered pitch on May 6, 2023, in Omaha, Nebraska, when a shareholder was arrested during the annual shareholder meeting of Berkshire Hathaway. The shareholder challenged the affiliation of Warren Buffett with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Bill Gates’s association with Jeffrey Epstein, who was convicted in Florida for procuring a child for prostitution and soliciting a prostitute, and who reportedly committed suicide in a New York jail while facing charges for sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking.

Peter Flaherty, the chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), stood to offer proposal number eight, which called for the roles of Berkshire CEO and chair to be separated and held by two persons. Flaherty argued that the separation of roles was necessary so that Berkshire “would be less identified with Mr. Buffett’s personal political activities.” Speaking of Buffett, Flaherty stated:

He’s donated tens of billions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As Bill Gates explained when the couple was still together, “although the foundation bears our names, basically half our resources have come from Warren Buffett.”

If “woke” culture is a disease, then philanthropy is the virus.

The Gates Foundation bankrolls the teaching of Critical Race Theory around the country, including that math is inherently racist.

The Gates Foundation offers a Gender Identity Toolbox which asserts that gender is the result of “socially and culturally constructed ideas.”

This is a lie. Gender is not a cultural construct. It is a genetic and biological fact. (emphasis mine)

Flaherty was interrupted by a Berkshire representative and pleaded to the chair (Buffett) to be allowed to continue. Buffett agreed that Flaherty could continue but warned him of the three-minute time limit for shareholder proposals. Flaherty then proceeded to throw down the gauntlet, until his microphone was shut off:

We know how much Bill Gates cares about children. He met and traveled with Jeffrey Epstein many times after Epstein was convicted of sex crimes.

The Gates Foundation had a huge influence over the COVID response fiasco.

Bill Gates defended China’s COVID policies and still discounts the possibility that the virus originated from a lab, even though U.S. intelligence agencies disagree. The Gates Foundation may be the largest single donor to the “dark money” machine known as Arabella Associates. . . .

It funds causes like defunding the police that are making American cities unlivable.

Money goes, too, to groups conducting—

At this point, Buffett declared from the stage: “You crossed the boundary.” Two security guards grabbed Flaherty by either arm and escorted him from the room. Flaherty was arrested and charged with trespassing.

The arrest of the Berkshire shareholder, apparently for merely mentioning Jeffrey Epstein in connection with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, coincided with a series of Wall Street Journal articles exploring Epstein’s calendar and a trove of Epstein emails and other documents. The Wall Street Journal revealed numerous Epstein meetings with high-profile contacts, long after Epstein served time for soliciting a child prostitute and was registered as a sex offender. Represented in Epstein’s calendar and emails are such notables as William Burns, director of the Central Intelligence Agency since 2021; Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and philanthropist; Jess Staley, former Barclay’s CEO; Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn; Larry Summers, professor and former Harvard University president; Woody Allen, filmmaker; and Noam Chomsky, leftist MIT linguistics professor, among others. These and other meetings may reveal that many businesspersons and woke philanthropists were ensnared by a child sex trafficker.

The scene at the Berkshire annual meeting also followed on the heels of the lawsuit filed against JPMorgan Chase by the US Virgin Islands. Attorneys for the US Virgin Islands claim that the bank materially aided Epstein in his child sex trafficking scheme and is seeking damages for their clients. Four billionaires have been subpoenaed in the case so far, including Google cofounder Sergey Brin; Hyatt Hotels CEO Thomas Pritzker; real estate tycoon and owner of U.S. News and World Report Mortimer Zuckerman; and venture capitalist and Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz. Curiously, the US Virgin Islands has also attempted, without success, to serve a subpoena to Google’s other cofounder, Larry Page, whose whereabouts remain unknown and who obviously does not want to be found.

It should be remembered here that Google has represented the leading edge of woke capitalism, with its leftist ranking algorithms and its employment of “machine learning fairness” that corrects for so-called algorithmic unfairness by misrepresenting reality with affirmative action results. Clearly, Google’s founders did not rely on algorithms to identify and eliminate pedophiles from their list of business contacts.

While the US Virgin Islands asserts that JP Morgan Chase facilitated and possibly bankrolled Epstein’s pedophilia ring, US Republican lawmakers have claimed that the US’s largest bank has a penchant for cancelling the accounts of conservative and religious groups. The bank maintained its financial relationship with Epstein until 2013, long after he was convicted of sex crimes, yet recently cancelled the accounts of such groups as the National Committee for Religious Freedom. The bank’s touted “diversity and inclusion” policy has apparently included pedophiles but excluded avowedly Christian groups.

Much more has and could be said about why high-profile businesspersons, philanthropists, academics, and even intelligence officers had relationships with Jeffrey Epstein. For example, some have claimed that Epstein and his partner Ghislaine Maxwell were Israeli spies who ran a honey-trap operation to steer US policies in Israel’s favor and against US interests.

As the Wall Street Journal asked:

Epstein was a former schoolteacher. How did he become a billionaire? What was the source of his wealth? Was he paid for providing women or girls to his friends? Was he a blackmailer? Were women or girls an enticement to invest in his projects?

Finally, there’s the ridiculous, implausible matter of Epstein’s death in federal custody on Aug. 10, 2019, which 3½ years later remains under investigation by the Justice Department inspector general, only feeding conspiracy theories.

But the main question for our purposes is: How is that nearly all major corporate heads and influential members of society have simultaneously gone woke? Could it be that whoever controlled Jeffrey Epstein sets the agenda through the use of blackmail, directing these corporate heads and other leaders to convert to wokeness, while steering their philanthropy to designated ends, including the funding of critical race theory and the LGBTQIA+ agenda? In other words, is our capitalist class controlled by whoever oversaw Epstein’s thirty-year entrapment operation?

In addition to revealing the moral rot that has permeated the US establishment, the Epstein connections also show that those who claim the woke moral high ground, and impose woke policies on the rest of us, are perhaps the most corrupted people on the face of the earth.

Michael Rectenwald is the author of twelve books, including The Great Reset and the Struggle for Liberty: Unraveling the Global AgendaThought CriminalBeyond WokeGoogle Archipelago, and Springtime for Snowflakes.

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Corruption | , | 1 Comment

Yet another high-profile corruption scandal shakes up Kiev regime

By Drago Bosnic | May 18, 2023

Whenever a large-scale corruption scandal hits the Kiev regime, its Western supporters are suddenly “shocked” by the level of embezzlement and outright theft of state funds in the country they’re financing with hundreds of billions of their own taxpayers’ money. Prior to the start of Russia’s special military operation (SMO), this was essentially common knowledge in the political West, with even the mainstream propaganda machine acknowledging it on a virtually daily basis. However, after the SMO started, any news coverage about this effectively became “heresy” as various state-run networks were only allowed to report on the mythical “battlefield dominance” of the Neo-Nazi junta forces and how “Ukrainians are giving everyone a lesson in freedom and democracy.”

Thus, the most corrupt country in Europe suddenly “became Switzerland”. However, as corruption scandals never stopped shaking up the Kiev regime, news about high-profile cases was simply bound to reach Western audiences, significantly complicating efforts to present the Neo-Nazi junta as the “beacon of hope for the free world.” In the latest of such controversies, the Neo-Nazi junta’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP) have announced that “action has been taken” against the highest judicial authority of the Kiev regime. According to the official announcements of these “anti-corruption bodies”, posted on their official social media accounts and channels on May 16:

“NABU and SAP have exposed large-scale corruption in the Supreme Court, in particular a scheme to obtain undue advantages by the leadership and judges of the Supreme Court.”

Taking into account the fact that this is the top legal institution in the country, the scandal is yet another huge embarrassment for the Neo-Nazi junta, particularly as the head of the Supreme Court himself was arrested in connection to taking bribes to the tune of several million dollars. This means that the highest authority responsible for upholding the law is breaking it in the most blatant way imaginable. NABU and SAP officially announced they have conclusive evidence proving that the Chairman of the Supreme Court received a $2.7 million bribe. During a national press briefing, an unnamed Kiev regime “anticorruption” official revealed that Vsevolod Knyazev, the head of the Supreme Court, has been arrested for accepting bribes, with the aforementioned $2.7 million seized in Knyazev’s home.

“At this time, the [Chairman] of the Supreme Court has been detained and measures are being taken to check other individuals for their involvement in criminal activities,” the official stated during the briefing.

Vsevolod Knyazev was elected as the Chairman of the Supreme Court back in October 2021 and has officially held the position up until May 16, when he was removed during a special session by other judges, who ousted him after a “no confidence” vote. Worse yet, various reports in local media outlets indicate this is just the beginning, as several more judges are under investigation for taking bribes and are most likely scheduled to be removed from their posts and then raided and arrested in the same manner. However, while additional information is yet to be revealed, various local sources are reporting that this is certainly not the end of the scandal, as more details are being revealed by multiple media, meaning that the ongoing case may well be just the tip of the iceberg. According to the Ukrainian edition of Forbes magazine:

“NABU Director Semen Kryvonos revealed that his bureau has documented a series of contacts between the owner of Finances and Credit Group, Kostyantyn Zhevago, and one of the owners of an attorney group used to conceal criminal activities. These contacts involved an agreement regarding unlawful benefits in favor of high-ranking court officials for ‘rendering the necessary decision’ in favor of the entrepreneur.

Businessman Zhevago denies his involvement in the multimillion-dollar bribe, as stated in a press release issued by his spokesperson to Forbes.

‘This is the most high-profile case during the tenure of NABU and SAP and the biggest exposure of a top-ranking official in the judicial branch of power,’ said Kryvonos.

He said the suspects in the case also attempted to influence the appointment of members of the Higher Qualification Commission of Judges (VKKS), the body responsible for career-related matters within the judicial branch of power.”

This is the second high-profile corruption scandal in the country since late January, when nearly a dozen top-ranking Kiev regime officials were arrested for the embezzlement and “mismanagement” of state funds, the bulk of which were provided by the political West. At the time, a top adviser to the Neo-Nazi junta frontman Volodymyr Zelensky, four deputy ministers, two high-ranking Defense Ministry officials, as well as the governors of at least five oblasts (regions) were sacked. Worse yet, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov himself was accused of being directly involved in the scandal, although the key position he holds prevented his ouster and highly probable arrest. All this comes at a time when the political West is pressuring the Kiev regime to tighten control over the funds being sent to its favorite puppets.

While the political West keeps getting “shocked” by the level of corruption in Kiev, what’s truly shocking is the fact that anyone is actually surprised by this. The Neo-Nazi junta is openly promoting the sell-off (although sellout would be more appropriate) of Ukrainian land and state assets to a multitude of global corporations that would be given near absolute control over the areas they would be “investing” in.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Corruption | | 1 Comment