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EU’s financial support for Ukraine now just shy of €50bn

By Jerome Hughes | Press TV | January 24, 2023

Brussels – Ukrainian officials took part in a meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers on Monday via video link. An additional €500m military aid package for Kiev was confirmed, but the EU is at pains to point out that’s just a drop in the ocean compared to what the bloc has already provided since last March.

Just a few days ago in the European Parliament, the strategy was condemned.

Workers have taken to the streets of Brussels to demand peace negotiations.

EU foreign ministers adopted a fresh round of sanctions against Iran on Monday over alleged human rights abuses. The grounds for such sanctions are vehemently rejected by Tehran. Critics say the West’s policy towards Russia and Iran is being driven by Washington.

Analysts say the EU’s access to markets in these countries is being hampered due to influence from the United States, and ultimately it is ordinary citizens who are paying the price.

Also on Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh updated EU foreign ministers on the appalling situation in the occupied territories. There was absolutely no discussion on the EU side regarding possible sanctions against Israel.

January 24, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Türkiye cancels visit of NATO hopeful’s defense minister

RT | January 21, 2023

Ankara has called off the planned visit of Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson, his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, revealed on Saturday. The move comes after members of the Kurdish community held an anti-Turkish protest in Stockholm.

“At this point, the visit of Swedish Defense Minister Jonson to Türkiye on January 27 has become neither important, nor meaningful. Therefore, we have canceled the visit,” Akar told reporters on Saturday. He added that his country was still “evaluating” how Sweden and Finland were fulfilling their obligations to Türkiye amid their bids to join NATO.

“We expect Sweden and Finland to do their homework,” the minister stated.

Jonson tweeted that the ministers “decided … to postpone the planned meeting in Ankara until later.”

Last week, Ankara summoned the Swedish ambassador after an effigy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was hung upside down on a lamp post in the Swedish capital on January 12. Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom condemned the act as “abhorrent.”

However, the Swedish authorities rejected Ankara’s call for an investigation, saying that the protesters had not violated any laws. The move caused further outrage in Türkiye, which considers Kurdish political and militant groups, such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), terrorist organizations.

Relations between Sweden and Türkiye deteriorated further after the Nordic country’s police permitted Rasmus Paludan, an anti-Islam activist and leader of a minor far-right Danish party, Stram Kurs (Hard Line), to burn a copy of the Koran near the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. The police said the act falls under freedom of expression. This prompted the Turkish authorities to summon the Swedish envoy for the second time, local media reported on Friday.

Left-wing Swedish newspaper Flamman launched a competition for the best satirical drawing of Erdogan on Tuesday, with a prize of 10,000 krona ($971). The paper accused the Turkish president of “trying to pressure Sweden to deport Kurds and restrict the freedom of expression.”

The spat takes place as Sweden and Finland hope that Ankara will not block their path to become NATO members. Last year, Türkiye greenlighted the start of the accession process in exchange for the two Nordic countries addressing requests to extradite people with suspected ties to the PKK and similar groups.

Türkiye has since accused Sweden of not fulfilling its obligations under the NATO deal, as the country’s courts rebuffed some extradition bids.

January 21, 2023 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

Serbian President Calls European Parliament’s Demands on Kosovo ‘Shameless’

Samizdat – 19.01.2023

BELGRADE – The resolution of the European Parliament, demanding Serbia recognize Kosovo as an independent state, is an example of the West’s “shameless” behavior, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Vucic met in Davos with EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Miroslav Lajcak to discuss current developments around Kosovo after the EU parliament adopted a resolution based on the report on the common EU foreign and security policy for 2022.

The report demands Belgrade start talks with Pristina on mutual recognition and condemns Serbia’s “continued low level of alignment” with the EU on such issues as the Ukrainian conflict and sanctions against Russia, making the country’s further integration in the bloc contingent on the progress in these areas.

“They organized violent secession of our territory [Kosovo and Metohija in 1999]. How far could this shameless behavior go? I do not have the words,” Vucic told journalists on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

“They [West] say it is necessary to condemn those who allegedly encourage secession of parts of Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are the ones who decided to bomb our country and take away a part of our territory in defiance of the laws of the mankind, the UN Charter and norms of the UN Security Council.”

According to Vucic, the West is only interested in the topics of sanctions against Russia and Kosovo’s independence when talking to Serbia, and is not willing to tolerate any other views on these issues.

The Serbian leader also stated that some representatives of Western countries only understand the language of force, which makes it harder for Serbia to conduct its foreign policy.

In 2008, the Kosovo-Albanian structures in Pristina unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia. Since then, Kosovo has been recognized by 100 UN member states. In mid-December, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti handed over the application to join the European Union, though out of the 27 EU countries, Kosovo’s independence still is not recognized by Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Slovakia, and Romania.

January 19, 2023 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

UK circumventing its own sanctions against Moscow to import Russian oil

By Drago Bosnic | January 18, 2023

It is now virtually common knowledge that the political West’s attempts to destroy the Russian economy through sanctions have failed spectacularly. However, what the Western mainstream propaganda machine is fighting tooth and nail to accomplish is suppressing the fact that the sanctions war has also backfired and is now ravaging Western economies, especially those whose prosperity was largely based on access to cheap Russian energy. This is particularly true for Germany, the European Union’s industrial powerhouse which is now suffering the consequences of its suicidal subservience to Euro-Atlantic Russophobia.

However, what’s much less commonly acknowledged is the fact that there are many countries that don’t seem to be too dependent on Russian energy, but are in fact suffering as a result of the sanctions war against Moscow. This is especially true for the United Kingdom, whose political establishment is one of the most fervently Russophobic in NATO. With London being one of the Kiev regime’s key backers, it would be expected to see the former colonial superpower much less dependent on any commodities coming from Russia. Still, Moscow’s status as the world’s premier energy superpower makes this extremely difficult (if not impossible) to achieve.

In order to tackle the mounting energy security issues, exacerbated not only by anti-Russian sanctions, but also by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK is now resorting to finding loopholes to circumvent its own sanctions against the Eurasian giant. The escalation of the Ukrainian crisis has led to a dramatic reshaping of European (and, indeed, global) energy markets, with the political West declaring its intention to cut dependency on Russian energy imports. Expectedly, the UK was at forefront of this effort and was even hailed as “one of the most successful countries” in achieving this after it officially stopped importing Russian oil and coal, while also imposing an outright ban on Russian natural gas.

By October last year, London’s imports of Russian energy were officially cut to almost nothing, with approximately $2.5 million of oil purchases and virtually no coal or natural gas from Russia. However, recent revelations cast serious doubt on these numbers, indicating that the UK’s claims mostly boil down to simple semantics. According to reports by various sources, the UK is not importing oil (directly) from Russia, but it still keeps importing Russian oil. This is possible thanks to third countries (India being one of them) that are now re-exporting Russian-sourced oil to the UK and others in the political West. This has provided a very convenient back door for imports of Russian oil into the country, while also being quite lucrative for third parties.

According to Kpler, India’s Jamnagar refinery, operating on the west coast of Gujarat, imported 215 shipments of Russian crude in 2022, which represents a 400% increase in comparison to 2021. At the same time, British companies have imported approximately ten million barrels of diesel and other refined oil products from Jamnagar since February 2022, which is an increase of more than 250% of what they bought from the Indian refinery during the previous year. The data indicates that this can only be explained by a much larger share of Russian oil being refined and then exported to the UK and elsewhere.

More importantly for Britain, this move is blunting the disastrous effects of energy shortages in the UK, a problem that is now affecting many other countries that have been forced to impose sanctions on Russia, often coerced into it by London itself. British companies have simply replaced imports directly from Russia with imports from third-party refineries that are buying Russian crude. Although there’s nothing illegal in such a framework, it’s still quite indicative of the UK government’s hypocrisy. London has been exerting tremendous pressure on others to stop importing Russian energy (Hungary perhaps being the best example of this), while secretly doing just the opposite.

Prior to Moscow’s counteroffensive against NATO aggression, India wasn’t particularly known for importing Russian energy, while it was even less common for its oil refineries to process Russian crude. Indian companies have always been oriented towards exporting refined oil to Europe, but their supplies to the old continent have skyrocketed as the demand is still there and someone needs to fill the gap. This is quite profitable for India, as prices in the EU are quite high, while Russia is supplying the Asian giant with record amounts of discounted crude. Meanwhile, British companies are turning a blind eye to this fact, as they need guaranteed energy supplies, so everybody seems content with this arrangement – except Kiev.

Oleg Ustenko, one of Volodymyr Zelensky’s advisers, is accusing the UK companies of “exploiting weaknesses in the sanctions regime”.

“The UK must close the loopholes that undermine support for Ukraine by allowing bloody fossil fuels to continue flowing across our borders. About one in five barrels of the crude oil that they process is Russian. A big chunk of that diesel they produce now will be based on Russian crude oil,” Ustenko stated.

It remains to be seen if the UK will ever respond to these demands, as they don’t seem to be particularly important to London. It’s quite clear that even if one of the Neo-Nazi junta’s top overlords were to proceed with closing the existing loopholes, the idea that the UK won’t find new ones is downright laughable, as it would’ve never tried bypassing its own sanctions in the first place.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

January 18, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

‘Escort agencies booked solid for Davos forum’

RT | January 16, 2023

The Swiss escort agencies near Davos are already fully booked ahead of this year’s World Economic Forum, the elite gathering that brings together heads of state, corporate executives, and influential non-profiteers, Austrian outlet Exxpress reported on Sunday, citing a missive purportedly sent from one such agency.

In a message to unnamed hospitality staff and published by Express, escort agency Sensuallounge Escort urges readers to book their “fine selection of ladies and gentlemen” ahead of time to ensure “the best possible care and company during the World Economic Forum.”

Sensuallounge reportedly offers “services for all sexual orientations,” and the outlet claims one night with one of their employees costs €2,350 (just over $2,500). The service does not appear to accept cash as payment, offering clients the option of paying with a major credit card or via PayPal.

Explaining that the WEF’s annual get-together is high season for Swiss prostitutes, Exxpress revealed the agencies set up dedicated websites for the conference. Their roster seemingly fully booked, Sensuallounge’s site had already disappeared as of Monday.

While the WEF invited about 2,500 people as accredited delegates this year, over 30,000 more are expected to descend upon the ski resort for the dinners, parties, and, according to a growing body of journalism documenting the “dark side of Davos,” sex for pay that occurs outside the forum.

Sex workers also lurk in hotels and bars frequented by guests, according to a 2020 report from the Times UK, and women – even if they are accredited WEF attendees – are “routinely harassed” by the men who dominate the conclave. Indeed, the event began warning women that year not to go out alone after dark, “because if something happens with some big CEO, who is going to be believed? You or them?”

Prostitution at Davos has caused controversy in years past, though the bigger concern appears to be keeping the working class under control. The Swiss Army has been authorized to deploy as many as 5,000 troops if needed to provide security to the billionaires.

The theme for 2023’s conference, which runs from January 16-20, is “Cooperation in a Fragmented World.” Protesters were already onsite ahead of the event’s official start on Monday, denouncing attendees’ use of private jets to deliver climate-change platitudes.

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | 3 Comments

Who designed global guidelines for puberty blockers?

Free West Media | January 13, 2023

Clinics around the world follow guidelines from the Netherlands for gender treatments in children. The basis for this is, among other things, a much-criticized study sponsored by a German hormone manufacturer.

More and more children and young people believe they have to question their gender identity. Some 60 minors were treated in the Netherlands in 2010, but the number has increased to around 1,600 last year. Another 1,800 people under the age of 18 were on the waiting list because gender clinics in the country are full.

Institutions around the world use a standard procedure developed in Amsterdam in the 1990s when it comes to the drug treatment of supposedly transsexual children.

A report by the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad has meanwhile cast doubt on the directive and the independence of gender research at the Amsterdam UMC hospital. As strict as the conditions for treatment may appear, several complications have been overlooked: The terrible side effects of the heavy drug has been brushed off by doctors as being the lesser evil.

Hormone manufacturer sponsored ‘puberty blocker’ study

The approach with puberty inhibitors has since been known internationally as the “Dutch protocol”. The protocol has become the basis for the “gender-affirming standard of care” used throughout the world. Tens of thousands of children are affected worldwide, and in the Netherlands certainly several hundreds, although no precise figures are available.

Scientists investigated whether hormone treatment in transsexuals is more successful if their puberty was initially suppressed with medication. The sponsor of the study was the German hormone manufacturer.

Ferring Pharmaceuticals, the company that markets the drug Triptorelin as a puberty inhibitor had a strong commercial interest in the outcome. Primarily, treatment relies on administering hormones from the opposite sex: men are given oestrogen to become more feminine, women testosterone to become more masculine. But teenagers are additionally administered puberty inhibitors, which prevent boys from developing a low voice and beard growth and girls from developing breasts and other feminine shapes.

There are many criticisms of the study. Questionnaires were inconsistent, there was no control group at all, and the researchers used random samples from the 196 treated children for the results.

Several countries are moving away from ‘puberty blockers’

In the meantime, there is objection in more and more countries to the treatment of children with “puberty blockers”. Not only are they said to impair the physical sexual development of minors, but they can also cause osteoporosis, anorgasmia and infertility. According to the NRC, the drug is said to sometimes even impair the ability to make rational decisions.

Worldwide, there is increasing criticism of the scientific content and non-existent empirical basis of the Dutch protocol developed at the gender clinic of the Free University of Amsterdam. In several countries, health authorities have already decided to treat children mainly psychologically and prescribe puberty inhibitors only exceptionally. In Sweden, they concluded that “the risks currently outweigh the possible benefits” and spoke of possibly the country’s “worst medical scandal”.

In the UK, criticism of the Dutch protocol was so serious that the Tavistock gender clinic, the largest in the world, was closed by the authorities.

Sweden, Finland and Great Britain only want to prescribe the drug in rare, particularly severe cases. Instead, they are increasingly relying on psychological support for patients.

Since February last year, Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare has followed the Karolinska Institute’s policy regarding hormonal interventions for gender-dysphoric minors. Karolinska’s pediatric gender services at Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital (ALB) has ended the practice of prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to gender-dysphoric patients under the age of 18.

Marketing redundant drugs for the wrong condition

In the US, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been investigating two pharmaceutical companies for advertising puberty blockers to children. This is a condition they are not approved to treat.

In December, Paxton announced investigations under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act into Endo Pharmaceuticals and AbbVie Inc., the two companies that sell puberty blockers. The drugs were approved to treat precocious puberty and forms of prostate cancer but were being marketed and prescribed off-label to treat gender dysphoria.

“These drugs were approved for very different purposes and can have detrimental and even irreversible side effects,” Paxton said. “I will not allow pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of Texas children.”

January 14, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

Top LNG Producer Qatar Predicts Return of Russian Gas to European Market Within Five Years

Samizdat – 14.01.2023

Gas prices began creeping up in 2021 amid underinvestment in production and fierce competition for limited supplies between European and Asian markets. The supply crunch was exacerbated in 2022, as European countries began rejecting gas from Russia – which accounts for 15 percent of global natural gas output – over the security crisis in Ukraine.

Global instability in natural gas prices and availability won’t be going anywhere in the near term, and Russia will inevitably resume supplying Europe to restore a sense of equilibrium to energy markets, Qatar’s energy minister has indicated.

“It’s going to be a volatile situation for some time to come. We’re bringing a lot of gas to the market, but it’s not enough,” Qatari Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi said, speaking at an energy forum on Saturday.

Al-Kaabi explained that global energy supply troubles actually started some time before the Ukraine crisis, “where the lack of investment in the oil and gas sector caused really a shortage in gas. And ahead of the Ukraine crisis, the oil and gas prices obviously were clearly going higher due to lack of supply. That lack of investment was driven by many factors, including the bigger push for the green [energy] without having a real plan in how the transition was going to happen. So there was a scarcity of investment over about 5-6 years, and then when the Ukraine situation happened, a big volume was taken out of the market and obviously that would take [prices] even further up.”

Al-Kaabi predicted that the next couple of years would be difficult for Europe, notwithstanding the reprieve granted amid a milder-than-usual winter for much of the region.

“The issue is what’s going to happen when they want to replenish their storages this coming year and the next year. There isn’t much gas coming into the market until 2025, 2026, 2027,” al-Kaabi warned.

The shortages would also mean higher prices, the Qatari official said.

“Prices are a factor of supply-demand. I think some people think that we are very happy for high oil prices and so on. The biggest worry that we would have as oil and gas producers is demand destruction. And you can see that there is demand destruction, whether it’s gas or oil,” he said.

Al-Kaabi also took a jab at Western countries who spent recent years condemning the use of coal for energy on environmental grounds, but turned to the highly polluting resource themselves amid the energy crunch, pointing out that “all the countries that were calling for coal to be stopped are using it at record levels today.”

Buyers Want to Have Their Cake and Eat It Too

Also speaking at the conference was UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei, who echoed al-Kaabi’s concerns about lack of financing in oil and gas, and a basic “lack of understanding what is the future for many countries when it comes to energy strategy – what contributions or what percentages they would have of gas or even the pace of reducing their coal.”

“It’s not clear… And that unclear long-term strategy by many countries put them in a situation where it’s very difficult for them to commit for long-term gas contracts, which has in return made the companies of those who are developing the gas at a very difficult position with their financiers, because they would like to see long-term contracts, and those long-term contracts are not there. Everyone wants to buy, but they want to buy over a two or three year span. And that is not enough for someone to develop gas,” al-Mazrouei said.

Addressing the energy shortages caused by European countries’ politicized decision to reject gas supplies from Russia, the UAE energy minister said the supply crunch was the natural outcome of these policies.

“Of course Russia is a major producer of gas and LNG, and when you shift from one location to another trying to adjust, that takes time. And that’s what happened in 2022 when some of that [Russian] gas had been relocated to another market, and other gas from other markets [was] coming to Europe, especially from the US. But is that sustainable in the longer run? I think you would need more collaboration between the European nations on agreeing on the optimization of the FSRUs [floating storage regasification units, ed.] that are also limited, and also agree on some pipelines. I think that one of the things that contributes to energy security is pipeline gas,” al-Mazrouei said.

Al-Kaabi expressed hope that an “equilibrium” in global energy markets could be achieved after “some kind of a mediation” over Ukraine between Russia and the West, “and the sooner the better.”

“This situation will not last forever, and I understand that the Europeans today are saying there’s no way we’re going back to Russian gas. We’re all blessed to be able to forget and forgive, and I think things get mended with time,” the minister said.

Al-Kaabi clarified that he doesn’t expect countries who relied on Russia for 50, 80, or 100 percent of their gas to return to these same levels of dependence, but emphasized that Russian deliveries will inevitably resume. “They will diversify and they’ll learn from that situation and probably have a much bigger diversity [of supply]. But the Russian gas is going to come back in my view, to Europe. Is it next year, is it in five years, I don’t know, but once this situation is sorted out, and that I think will be a big relief to the whole gas sector, and to the whole market in Europe and will stabilize prices.”

Hypocrisy on Africa’s Energy Needs

Al-Kaabi also addressed the historic underinvestment in energy resources in Africa by Western countries, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the grounds that they failed to meet the criteria of the global green agenda.

“We need growth. One billion people today are deprived of basic electricity that we all enjoy. So we need to be fair. And I think one point I’d like to just add to that on the investment side: it’s very, very unfair of some in the West to say that African countries should not invest in oil and gas and they should remain green or whatever you want to call it while this is God-given wealth that they can create for their national growth for their national growth and for their prosperity, and it is oil and gas that is needed for the world,” the minister said.

Qatar is the world’s fifth-largest producer of natural gas, and the second-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas after Australia, exporting over 106 billion cubic meters in 2021, behind Australia’s 108.1 billion. Doha has announced plans to invest some $45 billion in its maritime fields to more than double production by 2027. The Gulf state ramped up gas exports to Europe through 2022, but warned its European partners that supplies are limited, as much of the new production capacity being brought online has already been reserved by Asian clients.

Russian natural gas deliveries to Europe plummeted last year, with Moscow accusing the Royal Navy of blowing up the Nord Stream gas pipelines running through the Baltic Sea and their combined 110 billion-cubic-meter annual transit capacity. Poland shut down overland pipeline gas deliveries via the Yamal-Europe pipeline. Flows to Europe are now limited to supplies sent through the Soyuz pipeline network, which runs through Ukraine, but have been restricted to between 35 and 43 million cubic meters of gas per day.

January 14, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Biden’s Toxic January 6th Demonology

By Jim Bovard | The Libertarian Institute | January 12, 2023

Last Friday, President Biden held a White House ceremony commemorating the second anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riot. Biden showered a dozen Presidential Service Medals on people connected to the 2020 election or the January 6 events. Biden talked of the anniversary as a “day of remembrance”—perhaps echoing the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Many Americans would be happy to never hear about January 6 again. No such luck. Vice President Kamala Harris equated January 6 with 9/11 and threw in Pearl Harbor to score a trifecta. Biden endlessly invoked January 6 in his speeches supporting Democrats in the mid-term congressional elections. In August, Biden denounced Republicans for “semi-fascism.” In September, he claimed that MAGA Republicans (which effortlessly became all Republicans) “embrace political violence.” In a preview of Biden’s speech last week, Politico accurately forecast that Biden will “again put center stage the danger and chaos posed by election deniers… He will link Republicans to the extremists who attempted to forcibly overturn the results of Donald Trump’s defeat.”

Since Biden is running for re-election, he will likely be perpetually flogging January 6 in his speeches between now and November 2024. Thus, it is worthwhile to have a closer analysis of Biden’s speech and the continuing effort to exploit January 6 to vilify political dissent.

In his White House speech last week, Biden repeated his efforts to portray January 6 as a conspiracy to destroy American democracy. Biden declared that “a violent mob of insurrectionistsvandalized sacred halls,” seeking to “overthrow the will of the people and usurp the peaceful transfer of power.” Biden repeatedly slurred his pronunciation of “insurrectionists” and referred to the attacks on “July the sixth” (instead of January the sixth).

Exploiting the boundless historical illiteracy of his audience, Biden declared, “The U.S. Capitol was breached, which had never happened before in the history of the United States of America, even during the Civil War.” Actually, the British Army burned the Capitol down in 1814. But since none of the British were wearing furry horned hats, it would be unfair to compare their soldiers to the January 6 protestors.

Seeking to vivify the viciousness of the protestors, Biden lamented that a police officer he gave an award to “was tased.” Unfortunately, tasing only counts as a human rights abuse when law enforcement is on the voltage receiving end. Biden listed five police who had died (several by suicide) in the wake of January 6 but did not mention Ashli Babbitt, the only person who was gunned down and killed that day. The Capitol policeman who shot Babbitt (who was unarmed) was hailed as a hero.

Biden, staying on script, repeated his claim that the January 6 clash “was fueled by lies about the 2020 election.” And since the protestors were spurred by false claims, Biden was automatically exempted from any obligation for candor. The January 6 protestors magically become collectively guilty for anything bad that happened inside the District of Columbia for the rest of 2021.

Biden declared:

“Today is a ceremony to honor heroes of January 6th, but we also recognize the late U.S. Capitol Police Officer, Billy Evans. Three months after January 6th, while they were still cordoning off the Capitol because threats these—by these sick insurrectionists continued to be profligated on the Internet, again, all of America saw what happened, what Officer Evans was killed defending a checkpoint you had to go through to get up to the Capitol, because of these God-awful, sick threats that continue to move forth. And the whole world saw it.”

The whole world saw what? If someone relied on Biden’s spiel, they would assume some wacko wearing a MAGA hat brutally killed a cop on Capitol Hill. Actually, Evans was killed by Noah Green, a black 25-year-old Nation of Islam zealot who struggled with hallucinations and drug addiction. After Green smashed his car into a checkpoint, he leaped out with a knife and lunged at officers before he was shot and killed. The effort to blame Evans’ death on the January 6 protestors epitomized Biden’s “close enough for government work” demonology.

Biden claimed that the checkpoint was necessary “because of these God-awful, sick threats that continue to move forth.” The media has memory-holed the militarization of Washington that Biden and congressional allies ordered in 2021. More than 10,000 National Guard troops occupied much of Washington the following months and Capitol Hill was surrounded by fences topped with barbed wire. Some skeptics believed that the ominous trappings sought to frighten members of Congress to support sweeping new anti-terrorism legislation to vilify any American who distrusted Washington.

The so-called “Temple of Democracy” looked like a Beirut bunker. Some members of Congress favored permanently turning Capitol Hill into the equivalent of a supermax prison. The American Civil Liberties Union recognized that Congress hiding behind a fence projects “the kind of message that heads of autocratic regimes send by cloistering themselves away from their populaces in armored fortresses.” The closing off of the Capitol illustrated how far politicians would go to exploit one day’s violence for an extended shutdown of the trappings of democracy.

Some January 6 protestors were violent and destructive and deserve to be sent up the river. But the Biden January 6 narrative is bolstered by endless prosecutions of folks who were little more than hapless bystanders to the violence that day. Attorney General Merrick Garland boasted last Wednesday that the January 6 “investigation has resulted in the arrest of more than 950 defendants for their alleged roles in the attack.” The total arrests far exceed the number of violent private citizens at the Capitol that day. A Justice Department press release noted, “860 defendants have been charged with entering or remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds.” Shades of Lee Harvey Oswald!

“Trespassing plus thought crimes equals terrorism” is the Biden standard for prosecuting January 6 defendants. The FBI treats every individual charged with a January 6 offense “as domestic terrorists.” Prosecutors are not formally charging January 6 defendants with terrorism because that unsubstantiated charge would be laughed out of federal courtrooms. But for Biden scoring of January 6 federal triumphs, “parading without a permit” is close enough to terrorism.

While Biden paints all the January 6 arrestees as deadly perils to democracy, federal judges are scoffing at histrionic Justice Department claims. The Washington Post reported last week that “judges in U.S. District Court in Washington… have gone below federal prosecutors’ sentencing recommendations in more than three-quarters of the cases so far.” While the Justice Department boasts of the total number of arrests, “only 69 have been convicted and sentenced so far [for felonies], mostly for assaulting police or obstructing Congress.”

The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack conducted many hearings and issued an 845-page report on their findings. At the behest of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the committee’s final report expunged criticism of the failure of law enforcement, enraging Democratic committee staffers. This was a bizarre omission—considering that even the Washington Post condemned “one of the biggest security failures in the nation’s history.” The U.S. Capitol Police have almost 2,000 officers and a budget larger than that of Detroit and St. Louis. However, fewer than 200 Capitol police “were deployed to interior or exterior posts at the US Capitol” January 6 — as if the cops were prepping for the annual visit from the Future Farmers of America.

Nor did the House Select Committee show any interest in the role of federal informants or undercover agents in the Capitol clash. A year ago at a congressional hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked senior FBI official Jill Sanborn: “How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of Jan. 6?” She refused to answer.

Two months ago, it was revealed that the FBI had as many as eight informants inside the Proud Boys, a far right group that has been charged with seditious conspiracy for their January 6 violence. Suspicions have also been spurred by Ray Epps, an Arizona activist who urged people to go inside the Capitol building and boasted that he “orchestrated” January 6 has faced no criminal charges. Epps, a darling witness of the House Select Committee, has been accused of being an informant (which he denies). Nor did the Select Committee push to disclose the thousands of hours of videotape from the Capitol’s cameras that could resolve many of the J6 controversies. According to Darren Beatty, the founder of Revolver News, “Without federal involvement, that rally could not have turned into the riot that it did.” But we have not seen the evidence to confirm or rebut Beatty’s conclusion.

The January 6 prosecutions are part of a growing FBI onslaught against dissent. The FBI crackdown is skewed because “Washington is obsessed with threats to Washington itself,” as a senior government official recently told Newsweek’s William Arkin, one of the best investigative journalists in DC. “We’ve become too prone to labeling anything we don’t like as extremism, and then any extremist as a terrorist,” the official observed. The FBI is expanding its targeting of “Anti-Government or Anti-Authority Violent Extremists (AGAAVEs),” groups or individuals the feds claim “intend to commit violence or criminal activity.” And how will the FBI know their intentions? Trust thousands of FBI informants to gin up the evidence to keep propelling the prosecution juggernaut. And every anti-government “extremist” who is indicted can be portrayed by politicians as a co-conspirator with the January 6 traitors.

Biden will continue to invoke January 6 (or July 6, depending on how he is doing that day) to portray himself as the only thing standing between America and utter chaos. But the Biden storyline hinges on keeping Americans blindfolded on many details that occurred at the Capitol before, during, and after that day. Biden’s pitch also hinges on Americans acquiescing to federal agencies and prosecutors vilifying ever more dissenters. Unfortunately, there is no reason to presume that the coverups and the demagoguery will cease working any time soon.

Jim Bovard is the author of Public Policy Hooligan (2012), Attention Deficit Democracy (2006), Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (1994), and 7 other books.

January 12, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

How the EU constructs Israel impunity

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | January 12, 2023

The EU could have availed itself of an opportunity to hold Israel accountable for its violations but, instead it opted for the lesser value of requesting financial reparation for the structures funded by the bloc in the Occupied West Bank and destroyed by the settler-colonial enterprise. Neither is the EU’s request a novelty, since demanding financial compensation from Israel has happened in the past, without any compliance, of course.

Recent focus on Israel’s planned forced displacement of Palestinians living in Masafer Yatta prompted 24 European Parliament members to contact the European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, regarding financial reparation. The bottom line is that, while the EU is within its rights to demand financial compensation, the issue at stake – which is the Palestinian people being forcibly displaced by Israel – is nowhere on the EU’s agenda.

Lenarcic’s response, partially quoted by Haaretz, confirms the EU’s repetitive requests for financial compensation and that “the European Union is continuing to work in this regard through a range of diplomatic and political channels”. Of little to no consequence was Lenarcic’s reminding that EU representatives often visit areas in the Occupied West Bank that are slated for demolition, ostensibly “to warn against”. Yet, besides the opportunistic exploitation, keeping tally of EU-funded destroyed dwellings is more a case in point and futile, too. As Lenarcic stated, “The list of possible steps to ensure compensation from Israel for European financing that went down the drain in demolitions has not yet come up for discussion.”

If holding Israel accountable for something as basic as a financial transaction for damages it caused prompts so much caution in the EU’s official statements, it is safe to say that human rights in the EU’s repertoire, when it comes to Israel, descends into still silence. The EU still has not addressed the fact that, without holding Israel accountable for forcibly displacing Palestinians, its humanitarian projects for Palestinians is also financing Israel’s violations. Yet it is precisely what the humanitarian project which the international community imposed upon Palestinians intended. By investing a fragment of humanitarian aid aimed at alleviating the suffering caused by Israel’s colonial existence and violence, the international community can bypass the actual violations which go against international law.

The EU is no exception to this imposed rule. Advocacy by EU representatives does not work to hold Israel accountable but to extend a permanent contract of silence which, in turn, also silences Palestinians. Despite having political means at their disposal, EU representatives prefer playing the amateur activists when it comes to Palestine. Funds for travelling to the Occupied West Bank, after all, form part of the humanitarian project which Palestinians are forced to fit into. In the same way, EU-funded dwellings play a role in the humanitarian project but fail to sustain Palestinian autonomy. The latest purported concern has nothing to do with Palestinians, and is only marginally related to the EU-funded dwellings that Israel routinely destroys. Detracting from Israel’s settler-colonial expansion and the EU’s role in maintaining it, however, is a major part of what the humanitarian paradigm constitutes.

January 12, 2023 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Where Have the Voices for Liberty Gone?

By Michael Lesher | Brownstone Institute | January 4, 2023

In early 2020, when American liberals wailed in unison that the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right of free assembly was a prescription for national suicide – and not one significant American civil rights organization protested – I should have known where we were headed.

Still, almost 3three years later, I am dumbfounded by how rapidly a nation that once boasted of its attachment to “liberty” has succumbed to the priorities of totalitarianism. Thought policing on social media, once a dystopian fantasy, is now taken for granted.

So is the massive electronic surveillance system that was hawked to Americans (and others around the world) as a “health” measure, but which actually gives Big Brother a convenient way to monitor people’s whereabouts and which has already been turned against political dissidents in Israel, India and elsewhere. Health care workers – once the heroes of the fear propaganda that rationalized illegal mass quarantines in 2020 – have now been forced from their jobs in alarming numbers for refusing to be injected with experimental drugs that demonstrably protect no one.

Mass media, far from raising questions about all this, are cheering on the juggernaut. CNN’s Michael Smerconish has confessed with chilling directness that the COVID drug experiment is essentially a lesson in Gleichschaltung:

“This is really about which people in this country are going to control virus-related behavior – the unvaccinated or the vaccinated…. [A]llowing the unvaccinated to control virus policy, that’s unjust and unhealthy.”

After all, as Congressman Jamie Raskin put it (in conversation with ex-poisoner-in-chief Deborah Birx), the most important thing for the State is to ensure “social cohesion” – even if it takes some official lying to coax the population into lockstep. Hitler could hardly have put it better.

I might readily fill this column with a catalog of the false statements about COVID-19 that have been peddled to the public over the last three years. But the chicanery of the muzzle-and-lockdown propagandists is not limited to scientific malfeasance.

I do not minimize the importance of demonstrating that we have been fed a steady diet of lies about COVID-19 since the beginning of 2020 (a task that has been ably shouldered by many other Brownstone contributors). But what’s at stake here is not just a debate about medical policy. What is happening involves nothing less than the fundamental reshaping of our body politic, a massive assault on the constitutional system of civil liberties and on the presuppositions undergirding that system.

Add to this the shameful silence of American liberal institutions as the tentacles of a police state wind ever more tightly around us all, and you will understand why my call to the incoming year is: when will I hear more voices raised in resistance?

Or, to put it more bluntly: what are you waiting for, America?

Where were your voices when the suspension of representative democracy made virtual dictators out of some four-fifths of America’s governors in 2020 – an arrangement which, according to Anthony Fauci, could be reimposed at any time?

Where were your voices when state after state discarded the Bill of Rights in favor of some version of the Emergency Health Powers Act – a bill that, when first proposed in 2001, was sharply criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union, along with conservative groups like the Free Congress Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council, as “a throwback to a time before the legal system recognized basic protections for fairness?”

Where were your voices when the President of the United States defied the Nuremberg Code by ordering 3.5 million federal employees to submit to the injection of untested drugs, while his administration did its level best to ensure that what little information was available about the safety of those drugs would be concealed from the public for as long as possible? Where were your voices when those who objected to this embrace of a repurposed Nazi war crime were purged from our government?

Where were your voices when the State shuttered your children’s schools, forced muzzles onto two-year-olds, and terrorized young people to the point that fully a quarter of them contemplated suicide? When as many as 23 million children were placed by American school systems under computerized surveillance that monitored their every keystroke and tracked their internet contacts, a 1984-ish scenario for which COVID-driven school closures served as the pretext?

If you ask me, the most important word in the preceding sentence is “pretext:” COVID-19, though in medical terms never nearly as dangerous as we were told it was, has been extremely effective as a battering ram to civil liberties. Once upon a time, government health policy was fashioned to achieve medical goals. Today, factitious medical “goals” are deployed on behalf of a policy aimed at dismantling American democracy.

So please remember: this is not about your health. It’s about your country, whose highest aspirations are under unprecedented assault. If you don’t object now, you may lose your right to object at all.

And don’t think the vaunted liberal media, or civil rights “advocates,” or high-minded academics, or self-aggrandizing “progressive” politicians will speak up for you if you don’t speak up for yourselves.

A few years ago, CNN’s Jim Acosta made his reputation posing as a champion of press freedom (supposedly under mortal threat because Donald Trump had said some unflattering things about American reporters). Yet by the summer of 2021 Acosta was out-Trumping Trump, claiming that Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis had caused the COVID-19 Delta variant and denouncing people who dared to think they had a right to breathe in public.

Have Acosta’s fellow liberals objected to his hypocrisy? On the contrary: his public media profile is a virtual hagiography, even while he’s attacking the free speech rights of press outlets like Fox News for airing commentary he doesn’t agree with. Trusting such people with defending the Bill of Rights is like leaving your wallet with Bernie Madoff.

Nor can you plead a lack of adequate knowledge. Even if you ignore the sources of genuine information about COVID policy – and several are available via internet – there have been epiphanic moments when the propagandists have actually exposed themselves, as when New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul told a megachurch audience that God had commanded Americans to take the COVID-19 “vaccines,” or when an unrepentant Colonel Birx admitted to Congress that she had misrepresented facts when ordering the public to submit to the same experimental drugs.

Do you really need any more evidence of the megalomaniac lust for power driving these democracy-haters, as they dismantle the US Constitution piece by piece?

There can be no doubt about where State power is drifting – if we do nothing to stop it. Writing as far back as 1935, Albert Jay Nock predicted the future of the accelerating centralization of authority:

What we… shall see is a steady progress in collectivism running off into a military despotism of a severe type. Closer centralization; a steadily growing bureaucracy; State power and faith in State power increasing;… the State absorbing a continually larger proportion of the national income…. Then at some point in this progress, a collision of State interests… will result in an industrial and financial dislocation too severe for the asthenic social structure to bear; and from this the State will be left to “the rusty death of machinery”…

As we enter 2023, we don’t need to read deeply into political theory to understand the threat we face. We only have to review the record of the previous three years.

An accurate assessment of that record, it seems to me, will tell us that we are quite possibly on the cusp of the dissolution of the American republic. Maybe it is already too late to resist the authoritarian Zeitgeist. But I suggest we all ponder the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn about the failure of the Soviet public to resist the repression that had included his own arrest in the 1940s: “If only we had stood together against the common threat, we could easily have defeated it. So, why didn’t we? We didn’t love freedom enough.”

For us, that “common threat” is much weaker than the one Solzhenitsyn had in mind. We don’t need weapons to fight it; in fact, weapons would only get in the way. What we need are voices – lots of them – raised in protest every time a bureaucrat or a tame Ivy League “expert” or a lying “journalist” or a shyster in sheep’s clothing tries to rob us of one more bit of our human dignity, one more inch of our civil rights.

Then we need to clamor for all we’re worth. While there is still time.

Do we love freedom enough for that?

Michael Lesher is an author, poet and lawyer whose legal work is mostly dedicated to issues connected with domestic abuse and child sexual abuse. A memoir of his discovery of Orthodox Judaism as an adult – Turning Back: The Personal Journey of a “Born-Again” Jew – was published in September 2020 by Lincoln Square Books. He has also published op-ed pieces in such varied venues as Forward, ZNet, the New York Post and Off-Guardian.

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Leave a comment

The Net Zero death cult taking over ‘our’ NHS

By Stephen McMurray | TCW Defending Freedom | January 3, 2023

The climate change cult is insidious in every government department or institution it infiltrates. However, it is at its most dangerous when those people it infects are members of the medical community. When their apocalyptic hysteria starts affecting their decisions regarding patient care, urgent action is needed.

A disturbing document was recently published in the Lancet, entitled The Report of the Lancet Commission on the Value of Death: bringing death back into life. It was written by numerous medical professionals in the palliative care sector. It is nothing less than a propaganda piece promoting the idea that people who are suffering from possible life-shortening illness should not be given any potential life-saving treatments but, to help reduce our carbon footprint, should be allowed to die and actively encouraged to do so.

The authors make their feelings clear when they say: ‘The commission believes it is healthy to die . . . We are embodied creatures who are ultimately no more important than lizards or potatoes.’

It soon becomes obvious that their Net Zero zeal is driving this agenda when they state: ‘Treatment at the end of life will be an important contribution to the carbon footprint of health care . . . Everything, and especially death, must be thought of in the context of the climate crisis . . . In the report we explore the many values of death.’

The article is replete with climate change apocalyptic rhetoric, saying humanity is near extinction, one of the reasons being overpopulation, so we had better change our ways and stop trying to cure patients with potentially fatal illnesses and let them die.

As is common with the climate change cult, the document is replete with extreme left-wing ideology, promulgating the idea that expecting to be treated in hospital with life-prolonging drugs is a concept founded in racism. As only rich Westerners can afford proper health care, it is an example of a colonialist mindset and to achieve equity we should abandon this idea and die willingly like poor people in less developed countries.

Throughout the report they state how important it is to die at home surrounded by friends and family rather than in a hospital bed. This is not out of compassion but out of their desire to reduce the carbon footprint of end-of-life medication. The same medical profession that ardently supported the closure of hospitals to relatives of dying patients during Covid now pretend to advocate for having loved ones at the dying patient’s bedside. Their hypocrisy is breathtaking.

The authors also have the temerity to infuse the document with references to religious practices and spirituality to convince the reader that death is nothing to fear and that, by medicalising it, we are not having our spiritual and emotional needs met. If this was coming from the head of a religious institution it would possibly be understandable, but this is from a medical establishment who vehemently adhere to the reductionist view that our bodies are mere machines of flesh and bone.

When extolling the virtues of other religions’ treatment of the dying, the report cites a ritual practised by some Indian sects, which ‘entails a person coming to the realisation that they have no responsibilities or desires left. With the consent of religious elders, the person enters a slow process of fasting, where they give up one item of food a time, so that hunger pangs are tolerable. Over a few weeks or months, the person dies, often amid chants’.

Here the commission are implying that once you have supposedly nothing left to offer society, it is perfectly reasonable to want to die. Moreover, they don’t object to the cruel method of causing death by slow starvation. One can only assume that the relatives of those who have starved to death in our own NHS hospitals would be outraged by this callousness.

The document encourages carers to implant a sense of hopelessness in their patients so they more readily accept the idea of dying. ‘There is evidence that the will to live can keep people alive. But the tyranny of “positive thinking” can lead to ambivalence, guilt, and bad decisions . . . Hope increases the likelihood that people will believe that their illness is less serious than objective data might support, allowing patients to hold on to a low possibility of a favourable outcome and disregard the much greater probability of an unfavourable outcome.’ Clinicians sometimes ‘recommend additional treatments as a way for the patient to maintain hope, despite the clinical futility’.

What if treatment is not futile? Cases where patients are wrongly diagnosed with a terminal illness do occur.  If we have learned one thing from the Covid era, it is that medical experts are far from infallible.

Their obsession with Net Zero and their disdain for human life is even focused on the patient after death: ‘While the dead consume no carbon, the disposal of bodies does. About three quarters of people in Britain are cremated after death, releasing carbon into the air. Alkaline hydrolysis, in which the body is dissolved, has about a seventh of the carbon footprint of cremation, and the resulting fluid can be used as fertiliser.’

The writers try to justify withholding treatments from patients who are potentially dying by saying the money could be better spent on treating others. This is totally disingenuous. Given vast sums of money for patient care, the NHS chose to spend it instead on pursuing the climate cult’s agenda of Net Zero.

They are going to spend £492million on changing all NHS light bulbs into LED ones. To put that into perspective, take the current outbreak of Streptococcus A infections spreading amongst children. We are being told there is not enough penicillin to go around. The cost of a 14-day course of amoxicillin is £0.18. There are approximately 12.7million under-16s in the UK. Therefore, it would cost under £2.5million to make sure there is enough antibiotics available to protect the entire childhood population.

It will come as no surprise that the report is in favour of legalising ‘assisted dying’. One of its main authors, Richard Smith, chairs the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change. In 2017 he wrote an article in the British Medical Journal which began: ‘We should accept that humanity is dying and switch from cure to palliation – just as wise patients do at the end of their lives.’ Smith agrees with another palliative care physician who finds ‘acceptance of our mortality, unimportance, ephemeral nature, infinite ignorance, and futility to be very liberating’. Do we really want people who suffer from existential nihilism and think human life is unimportant and futile, treating anyone, let alone people who may be dying?

The fact that the climate hysteria with its accompanying left-wing, extremist ideology has infected the NHS could have serious consequences for people with potentially life-shortening illnesses. What criteria would the doctors use to decide which patients, if any, are worthy of receiving treatment? Would their decision be based solely on medical grounds or their ideology?

Most people who are diagnosed as being near the end of life are the older generation. It is exactly this demographic that the eco-zealots blame for the so-called climate crisis. What if the doctor or nurse was so indoctrinated by the climate crisis propaganda that their decision to withdraw treatment was based on their radical views rather than purely medical reasons?

Last April, an Extinction Rebellion activist called for the baby boomer generation to be euthanised. A sick joke, maybe, but the UK Health Alliance for Climate Change which is promoting this agenda acknowledges it works with Doctors for Extinction Rebellion.

The Lancet report highlights how deeply the Net Zero cult has infiltrated our health system. The obsession with reducing our carbon footprint is now such an integral part of many medical professionals’ mindset that they openly promote death as a healthy outcome. Do we really want anyone who thinks human life is unimportant and futile, least of all doctors in whom we are meant to put our trust, treating anyone, let alone those who may be dying? Surely such declared inhumane intent, running directly counter to the Hippocratic Oath, should automatically be grounds for being struck off by the General Medical Council.

January 3, 2023 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 3 Comments