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EU chief, Italian PM Head to “Israel” for Energy Talks

Al-Manar | June 14, 2022

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi were scheduled to visit the Israeli occupation on Monday as the EU seeks to reduce its reliance on Russian fossil fuel imports.

Both leaders were scheduled to hold energy talks in “Israel”, which has transitioned from a natural gas importer to an exporter in recent years due to large offshore discoveries.

Von der Leyen was to meet Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Monday and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday, with talks projected to focus “in particular on energy cooperation,” a commission statement read.

Mario Draghi, who is on his first Middle East trip since taking office last year, will also discuss energy and food security during his two-day trip, according to Italian media.

Both leaders will meet Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.

The EU formally adopted a ban on most Russian oil imports this month, the EU’s toughest sanctions yet against Russia over the war in Ukraine.

It is worth noting that Von der Leyen has proposed that the EU phase out its reliance on Russian hydrocarbons, including gas, by 2027.

Draghi and other EU leaders have warned that as energy prices rise, European customers may require protection. Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar and other officials have stated that if “Israel” can deliver gas from occupied Palestinian offshore reserves, which are estimated to be worth nearly 1,000 billion cubic meters, it could help meet EU demand.

Before Von der Leyen’s visit, European Commission spokesperson Dana Spinant told reporters to “stay tuned for announcements on energy cooperation with Israel and other partners in the region.”

For the time being, supplying gas to Europe would be difficult and would necessitate significant and long-term infrastructure investments.

With no pipeline connecting its occupied Palestinian offshore fields to Europe, one option for the Israeli occupation is to pipe natural gas to Egypt, where it could be liquefied and shipped to Europe.

Another possibility is the construction of a pipeline to Turkey.

The EastMed project, a proposal for a seafloor pipeline connecting “Israel” with Cyprus and Greece, is option three.

Experts have raised concerns about the project’s cost and viability, while “Israel” has stated that it would like to see Italy sign-on.

June 14, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

US policies led to ‘new G8’ – Moscow

Samizdat | June 11, 2022

The United States “with its own hands” pushed the countries, which are not participating in “sanctions wars,” to form a “new Big Eight” group with Russia, the Russian State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Saturday.

Following the launch of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine in late February, the US, EU, UK and many other countries imposed hard-hitting restrictions on Moscow, making Russia the most sanctioned country in the world.

In a Telegram post, Volodin included a table with IMF data on GDP based on purchasing power parity of countries he calls the “new G8” and of countries forming the current G7 (after Russia’s participation in the bloc was suspended over Crimea’s vote to join the country in 2014, the G8 effectively turned into the G7).

“The group of eight countries not participating in the sanctions wars – China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Iran, Turkey – in terms of GDP at PPP is 24.4% ahead of the old group,” Volodin wrote.

In his opinion, the economies of the G7 members – the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada – continue “to crack under the weight of sanctions imposed against Russia.”

Putin blames Western ‘mistakes’ for global inflationREAD MORE: Putin blames Western ‘mistakes’ for global inflation
“The rupture of existing economic relations by Washington and its allies has led to the formation of new points of growth in the world,” Volodin claimed.

While having serious economic difficulties, the US, according to the Duma speaker, continues “doing everything to solve their problems at the expense of others.” Creating tensions will “inevitably” lead the US to lose its world domination, Volodin stressed.

“The United States created the conditions with its own hands for countries wishing to build an equal dialogue and mutually beneficial relations to actually form a ‘new Big Eight’ together with Russia,” he said.

Meanwhile, on Friday, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eric Woodhouse said that Washington and its allies had realized that they would get “spillovers” of anti-Russia sanctions into their own economies. Their determination in imposing sanctions on Moscow, he claimed, has demonstrated a willingness to “accept those costs.”

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted on the same day that the anti-Russia sanctions have made a “huge difference to food and energy prices,” amid record-setting inflation. The remarks followed the statement by the Russian President Vladimir Putin who said that “many years of mistakes made by Western nations” in their economic and sanctions policies have caused “a global wave of inflation, disruption of established logistical and manufacturing chains, a surge in poverty and a deficit of food.”

June 11, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anti-war demonstrations held in Italy on Republic Day

By Max Civili | Press TV | June 3, 2022

Rome – Anti-war demonstrations were held in Italy with protesters calling on the government to stop sending weapons to Ukraine and leave NATO.

It came as the Italian authorities were celebrating the 76th anniversary of the Republic.

June 2 is the day Italy celebrates becoming a Republic. On this day, in a referendum held in 1946, Italians opted to abolish the country’s short-lived monarchy and adopt a Republican form of government.

Every year, the celebrations feature large military and official parades along with the ancient Roman Forum in the presence of the highest offices of the State.

Never before have controversies over the military parade been this contentious with anti-war demonstrations held in a number of Italian cities including Bologna, Padua, and Bari.

One of the anti-war protests was held in central Rome, 500 meters away from the Republic day celebrations. The initiative had been called by the base union USB and political party Power to the People.

Since the start of the Ukraine conflict, opinion polls have steadily shown over half of the Italians oppose sending weapons to Kiev and believe sanctions against Russia are useless.

The protesters are angered not only over Mario Draghi government’s military spending on Ukraine, which they say would be better spent on raising workers’ wages. They are also opposing officials’ decision to raise military expenditure from 1.4 to 2% of the country’s GDP.

According to studies carried out by a number of Italy-based think tanks, Italians have never been eager to increase defense expenditures.

Based on data from the 1950s to date, on average, less than 20% of respondents believe that military spending is too low or should be increased.

June 3, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | , | Leave a comment

Italy’s Matteo Salvini Speaks Out Against Finland, Sweden Joining NATO, Arms Deliveries to Ukraine

By Tim Corso | Samizdat | May 15, 2022

The leader of Lega, Italian ruling coalition’s party, Matteo Salvini has stood up against the idea of accepting Sweden and Finland in NATO as the former is considering to make this step in the nearest future and the latter have already decided to file a bid to join.

“Not now. Everything that delays the process of achieving peace should be put on a waiting list,” he argued.

His position was backed by a fellow party member, Economic Development Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, who argued that the accession to NATO of the two new countries located near Russia’s borders, “will definitely not help to reduce the [duration of the Ukrainian] conflict”.

This stance contradicts the official policy declared by Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio – a member of the Five Stars Movement. He stated at the G7 countries’ meeting that Rome would back Finland and Sweden’s bids to join the alliance.

The two countries, which have long maintained their neutral status, changed their tune following the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February. Sweden has yet to make the final decision on the matter and announce its bid, but NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg already stated that the alliance will gladly welcome both states in its ranks.

Meanwhile, the president of Turkey, a NATO member-state, expressed concern over Finland and Sweden’s bids to join the alliance. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Ankara can’t consider the prospect of the two countries joining the alliance as positive at the moment.

Lega Leader Against Arms Deliveries to Ukraine

Head of the Lega party Matteo Salvini also has spoken against sending more weapons to Ukraine, arguing that it does not help to stop the conflict.

“It is one thing to send economic and military assistance at the beginning [of the conflict…], it is another thing to do it now. Peace must be achieved, and sending weapons will not help,” Salvini said.

Former Italian Prime Minister and leader of the Five Stars Movement, Giuseppe Conte, holds a similar stance, calling on more efforts to be made in the field of diplomacy instead of arms supplies to Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly urged the Western countries to stop supplying weapons to Ukraine, but these calls fell on deaf ears as these states started to ship heavy weaponry to Kiev. The Kremlin argued that such steps only perpetuate the conflict and delay the signings of an agreement that ends the Russian special operation. Moscow accused the West of waging a hybrid war against Russia and using Ukraine for its goals, trying to fight “until the last Ukrainian standing”.

May 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Is a Social Credit System Coming for Us?

By Tessa Lena | May 13, 2022

A Social Credit Score System Is Piloted in Bologna, Italy

The city administration of Bologna, Italy, is piloting a program that brings the beast of the Fourth Industrial Revolution straight to the citizens. It’s an early reiteration of Klaus’ Schwab’s Fourth Industrial Revolution, the honey moon, so to speak — so it comes to the citizens wrapped in gift paper, with balloons, prizes, and party language. But make no mistake: underneath, there is cruel man-eating machine that wants to mine your data and control your behavior!

So, what exactly is happening in Bologna? The administration is “digitizing” their relationship with the citizens. For starters, they are launching an app — with a catch — that will provide an interface to get access to various local services. Without saying it, the they are implementing the “digital governance” aspect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Quoting the Italian source:

“We will give citizens services based on their needs – says the Mayor – and this will allow us to personalize their experience. People will be able to find everything the administration will do on their mobile phones or computers. The physical branches, however, will not disappear.

“We will maintain a ‘physical’ support for all people who do not use the web, especially the older ones,” assures Lepore [Mayor of Bologna]. But the goal is computer literacy that leaves no one behind.”

If we read this announcement with innocent eyes, it sounds like yet another initiative that the bureaucrats are launching, perhaps benevolently, to keep up with the times and with the buzzwords. And in an ideal world — a world filled with flowers, butterflies, rainbows, and harmless, caring bureaucrats — there would be nothing wrong with adding on a little extra convenience via technology.

Technology can be very helpful if done right, and if it comes to us without Trojan horses. But alas, at the moment, we don’t live in such a world!

We live in a world where Klaus Schwab and his buddies and masters are fighting with each other over who gets to eat the most peasants! We live in a world where those who already have great power are seeking even more power — and that world is quickly going back to the feudal-time psychological standards (while, ironically, keeping the modern standards for the levels of industrial poisons in everything around us.)

As far as Trojan horses, the Bologna municipal app actually comes with a social credit system! The “virtuous citizens,” doing nice things, such as using public transport, keeping their energy use low, etc., get “perks,” like points in gaming. For those points, they may be able to get discounts or prizes or access to additional services. Nice Trojan horse, right?

“Among the most innovative interventions is the smart citizen wallet [emphasis mine]. ‘The wallet of the virtuous citizen,’ explains Bugani, who had worked on the project with the Raggi [Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome from 2016 to 2021] administration (in Rome today the platform is active in an experimental phase). The idea is similar to the mechanism of ‘a supermarket points collection,’ as the councilor himself points out.

‘Citizens will be recognized if they separate waste, if they use public transport, if they manage energy well, if they do not incur sanctions from the municipal authority, if they are active with the Culture Card.’ Virtuous behaviors that will correspond to a score that the Bolognese will then be able to ‘spend’ on prizes, such as discounts, cultural activities and so on.”

In other words, it’s the “nice” face of digital control. Nice, for now. But we need to be clear: we are looking at the digital control of everything we do in the end of that journey!

Integrated Citizen Relationship Management in Rome

The Italian news source mentions that this approach is already in experimental use in Rome, Italy. In March 2022, Salesforce published the following announcement:

“Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, today announced that the Municipality of Rome has chosen Salesforce to create an Integrated Citizen Relationship Management platform …

Leveraging Salesforce Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud will deliver omni-channel self-service capabilities, seamless collaboration between local government departments, and empower citizens to receive the information they need faster through AI-powered chatbots.

The launch of the MyRhome platform is another step on the Municipality’s path to creating a ‘smart city’ [emphasis mine] — an ecosystem of public and private stakeholders serving citizens wherever they are”.

Of course! We can’t expect any less from Salesforce, given that Marc Benioff is on WEF Board of Trustees!

Also, remember the famous “lockstep scenario” document released by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Global Business Network? The document that the Rockefeller Foundation says today has been misinterpreted by the conspiracy theorists — because the good and virtuous Rockefeller Foundation totally didn’t mean to predict what actually happened in 2020 (and also probably had nothing to do with eugenics)?

Well, keeping in mind that “lockstep scenario” document, here is Peter Schwartz, the Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning at Salesforce and “an internationally renowned futurist and business strategist, specializing in scenario planning and working with corporations, governments, and institutions to create alternative perspectives of the future … Prior to joining Salesforce, Peter was co-founder and chairman of Global Business Network [emphasis mine].” In the words of George Carlin, “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it! You and I are not in the big club!”

Their Motive for the “Digital Governance” Model? It’s the Data, Stupid!

At first, it’s the data (to train our future boss, the robot) — and then, increasingly, it’s mainly about control!

Let’s look at a very “interesting” 2017 write-up on digitizing governments on the World Economic Forum’s website. It talks about the importance of collecting data to build and train their beloved AI. It also complains about the fact that a lot of the data kept by governments just sits there in paper format and, dammit, is not making itself useful to the sacred goal of training the AI! Not good, they say, what a waste!

Therefore, to “open” that data to the AI beast, they want the governments to digitize their services — sorry that was the quiet part — what they actually say is that the citizens are craving those digital government systems because, who doesn’t know that the elimination of privacy is … good for us?

The World Economic Forum also suggests that the governments should develop new legal frameworks and data management systems to make data available for free. What a great idea! In 2017, the World Economic Forum mouthpieces were more upfront that today, so it is useful to read exactly what they said back then:

“Need for data is quickly becoming a central theme that applies to all aspects of our evolving digital society. A case in point is the field of artificial intelligence, which promises to revolutionize society (governments included). Companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft are using AI-related techniques to train computers to recognize objects in photos and understand human language.

It is possible to train computers to perform these difficult feats because we have the enormous quantities of data that is required. The same applies to all forms of machine learning, smart manufacturing and every other tech-driven trend shaping the future. They are all reliant on data, and are only as good as the data they crunch. In this context, data has been described as the new oil.'”

“Today, a large majority of the world’s data is in the hands of the private sector … The remainder of the global data sits in government hands, mostly stored in paper format, or legacy systems. To maximize the societal benefits of the data age, a new movement started promoting open data.

While government data is all data or information that government entities produce or collect, making it open refers to publishing and sharing data that can be readily and easily consulted and re-used by anyone with access to internet with no fees or technological barriers.

Most of this data currently remains locked up and proprietary (private property of companies, governments and other organizations). This severely limits its public value.

Data is now a new social good and governments will need to think of some form of data responsibility legislation that guides the private sector and other data owners on their duties in the data age: the duty to collect, manage and share in a timely manner [emphasis mine], as well as the duty to protect.

This legislation is needed over and above a government’s own open and big data management systems, and will need to cover all data stakeholders (irrespective of ownership or other governing rules).”

“Once a clear legal framework is in place, governments need to develop, and quickly master, a new core capability: data curation … Most governments around the world still struggle with legacy databases that are incompatible with each other, and work against any kind of data-sharing or data-driven design. Laws and regulations are still in their infancy and struggling to cope with the pace of change …”

“Governments must review a vast number of laws and regulations [emphasis mine]. From harmonizing and enforcing privacy regulations and protecting against data-breaches, to regulations that ensure net neutrality and data flows. Today’s debates over the future of big data are based on the assumption that the internet will remain a series of open networks through which data easily flows.

Some countries have begun to harden their internet systems, and the concept of net neutrality is uncertain. If the internet becomes a network of closed networks, the full potential of big data may not be realized.”

“Governments must also improve their capabilities when it comes to citizen engagement to effectively and actively engage with both providers and users of data. This requires governments to create a culture of open data [emphasis mine] – something governments are starting to do with various degrees of success.

The level of citizen engagement is not the typical government communication function, but a more open, horizontal, and fast-paced G2C platform.”

Must, must, must. So I am guessing, national sovereignty is a sore thumb in the way of our aspiring Davos masters because in their minds, they have already decided that they want our data (but not theirs) to be openly available, and that they don’t want any questions from the peasants.

A tangential comment: As a musician, I am remembering with some bitterness how Big Tech was pushing for “open data” and “open access” back in the day, selling it as “free expression” and “democracy,” and as a result — since buying music became unfashionable — musicians lost much of their income … and nobody cared!

I am glad that now at least, a lot more people are realizing what liars whose Big Tech companies are, and what liars they have always been all along, when they were talking about “free expression”! Look at them now, with their “free expression”! They are quite happy to censor! So it’s only our data that they want to be open — not our opinions!

And Here Is Another Curiosity From the World Economic Forum

They published this article in 2018:

Could robots do better than our current leaders

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to wreak havoc on labour markets, with AI and robots replacing various white-collar jobs. One job category largely excluded from scientific reports is that of government leaders, despite being one of the most critiqued, scrutinized and ridiculed jobs of all.”

“However, commentators from countries as diverse as India, the UKNew Zealand and Japan have started to suggest that robots as government leaders could drastically improve decision-making, by being much less irrational and erratic than their inherently flawed human counterparts.”

After freaking us out, the World Economic Forum writers chuckle and let us continue being governed by human politicians, at least for now:

“For the time being, it seems neither possible nor optimal for robots to replace government leaders, despite the clear imperfections displayed by the latter group … Ultimately, a more realistic and desirable scenario is one in which AI and automation are neither competitors nor substitutes to humans, but tools that government leaders can engage effectively and sometimes defer to, in order to make better, fairer and more inclusive decisions.”

Phew, it’s almost like … you know, when a street robber first tells us to give him all of your money but then agrees to take only half! Such a kindly, generous robber! We are so lucky!

World Economic Forum’s “Agile Nations”

The 2017 WEB write-up about digital governance reads like a “wish list” and a blueprint for the governments to act upon. (I guess, given the bribing and coercive power of the people who’ve composed the wish list, their wish list had a strong chance of becoming the bureaucrats’ blueprint the moment it was written.) So in 2020, seven nations got together and signed an agreement to essentially implement it. A quote from “Agile Canada“:

“In November 2020, seven countries signed on to the Agile Nations Charter, establishing Agile Nations as a forum for countries to collaborate on creating a global regulatory environment in which innovation can thrive.

Member countries include: Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) also participate as observers.”

“Priority areas for cooperation are: data and communications, transportation, medical diagnosis and treatment, clean technology, legal and professional services, pro-innovation regulatory approaches.”

And here’s from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought economic and social disruption worldwide. As people and businesses focus on recovery, governments must ensure that innovation, which will power economic growth and solve the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges, is not held back by outdated regulations [emphasis mine].”

Translation from Orwellian to English: “We want your data, including your medical and biometric data — and we want it now. Look at how lovely our AI is … my precious! (Sorry couldn’t help it!) The so called national laws and regulations interfere with the speed at which we can get a hold of your data.

Like we said, we want it now, and so we would very much like it if so called national laws and regulation got replaced with a digital framework that we write and that we can update any time we like! Sounds like a good idea or what? Who wants some funding? You know what you need to do to get that funding, don’t you?” The quote continues:

“As part of the development of the OECD principles on Effective and Innovation Friendly Rule-Making in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have been co-operating to look deeper into the interlinkages between regulation and emerging technologies …

Ministers from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom announced their plan to lead the world in fostering responsible innovation and entrepreneurship.”

“In addition, in support of the mission of the Agile Nations, representatives of Facebook also offered to launch a call for research – overseen by an independent steering committee of experts in the field of law, regulation and entrepreneurship – into what approaches to rulemaking (e.g. regulatory sandboxes, policy prototyping) were the most effective for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

As this initiative continues to develop, other businesses will be encouraged and invited to co-sponsor this initiative, and to venture their own ideas to support the work of the Agile Nations.”

“In sum, the Agile Nations Charter sets out each country’s commitment to creating a regulatory environment in which new ideas can thrive. The agreement paves the way for these nations to cooperate in helping innovators navigate each country’s rules, test new ideas with regulators and scale them across the seven markets.

Priority areas for cooperation include the green economy, mobility, data, financial and professional services, and medical diagnosis and treatment.”

“Scientific Management”

The World Economic Forum’s agenda is a strange mix of religious fundamentalism and “scientific management.” As I wrote earlier in an article about the mind of a technocrat, scientific management is a “method of industrial optimization developed by Taylor in the late 19th and early 20th century. The essence of his method was extreme fragmentation and compartmentalization of the production process.”

It required taking a complex process, breaking it down into very simple tasks, timing each task, optimizing it to the maximum using the stopwatch, and then assigning each of those simple tasks to different workers, while insisting that the workers should only use the pre-optimized motor patterns and work as efficiently as possible. Under scientific management, there was no room for workers’ creativity.

And while Taylor and Ford intended the scientific management method for the purpose of streamlining industrial production, the Davos charlatans aim to manage our entire lives, and justify it with some bogus “public good” and “community values”!

Whose “Community Values” Are Those, Anyway?

Here is the elephant in the room: It’s the Davos charlatans — and I want to repeat the word “charlatans” because that’s who they are underneath their bank accounts and their important speeches — who are writing our so called “community values”! They are trying to latch onto our natural social instincts and weaponize our good instincts against us!

They want us to be unassuming, guilty “good citizens” who put a limit on our carbon footprint and on the number of children we have — while they, the self-appointed “guardians” of the world, fly private jets to climate change conferences and have as many kids as they damn like!

And here’s the thing. There is nothing wrong with real community values! We are social creatures, and it benefits us to live together well. However, community values are only as good as the people who propose them — and community values turn into a pumpkin the moment someone like Schwab touches them!

As Good as the People

Let’s even forget about Schwab for a second and think how community values work in principle. Let’s imagine a small village. If the people living in that village are mostly healed and grounded, they will raise their children to seek wisdom and live well with others — from the heart, not from the letter.

However, if the people in the village have been abused, and abused, and abused again — and never healed — then even the authentic community values in that village could end up being anxious, rigid, and detrimental to freedom.

Hurt people tend to teach their children that life is meant to be joyless. They tend to slap their children’s wrists for wanting to be free, saying it’s a selfish folly. Hurt people hurt people! And at one point, the rigid rules might have been an invention of a cunning predator — but after prolonged abuse, people might have internalized them and passed them on to their children! (And look at how many people in the West sincerely adopted the religion of the Mask … they have internalized it!)

Another example: in my birth homeland of Russia, there are many small communities where the people carry so much hurt and sadness that the gloom is almost palpable in the air. I am saying this from personal experience, and with much pain and love for my people. I ran away from that gloom and immigrated to America because the “community values” felt too joyless!

So when it comes to Klaus Schwab and friends, they are only as powerful as we let them. I believe that that healing ourselves and our relationships is at the top of our priorities list in the battle against transhumanism — because anything we do from a place of love has more power than anything we do from the place of fear!

Why Will Transhumanism Fail?

This system, the entire man-eating beast, will eventually fail, I have no doubt — but we don’t know when, and we need to stay humble, brave, and very patient. The cruel beast may fail very soon, or it may take a while to fail. I think it depends on how quickly we remember to relate to each other in spirit, with love and happy humility — instead of labeling and judging each other based on ancestry, politics, or differences in opinion.

I think it depends on how quickly we realize that the freedom taken away from the people everywhere, throughout history, has been as existentially precious as the freedom that is being taken away from us right now — because there is no fundamental difference between us and other people, and never has been.

We, here and now, are dealing with the same dilemma that many in the past have dealt with, and some have died from. Spirit is spirit, and freedom is freedom! And I think that when we remember to stand together and honor each other and each other’s love and each other’s courage, we’ll be undefeatable. No Klaus Schwab can do anything to us if we refuse to betray our fellow human beings for any reason.

And sooner or later, spiritual clarity will prevail, and this transhumanist beast, the culmination of abuse, will fail. The reason why it will fail is simple. We are not machines, and when we are managed like machines — increasingly so over the centuries — our souls bleed badly. When we are managed like slaves, we suffer unbearably — and suffering, while it’s not a preferred way of obtaining clarity, still mysteriously leads to spiritual clarity. Life puts no suffering to waste!

And when the pain gets unbearable, and there is nowhere to go but toward our heart of hearts, our souls scream to the skies, and we pray for answers with no arrogance and no talking points, and then something magical happens. When our fear and pain become too much but we keep pushing, we grow our souls to where solutions show up out of nowhere.

And then we cry, laugh, and pray more for healing, and more solutions show up, and we look back and we suddenly know why we had to suffer, and why the sweetness was worth it. And then we start living well because, after all this suffering, we finally remember that everything in the world, everything-everything, has always been about love — and that living well with each other is not just pleasant but also very practical.

May 13, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Humanitarian flights for Ukraine loaded with weapons, protesting airport workers claim

Samizdat | March 15, 2022

One of Italy’s largest trade unions has called for a protest outside the Pisa airport on Saturday, after receiving a tip from some employees that Ukraine relief flights were transporting weapons and ammunition, not food and medicine.

Several workers at the Galileo Galilei airport refused to load one of the cargo flights advertised as carrying humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The crates did not contain food and medication but weapons, ammunition and explosives instead, the Unione Sindacale di Base (USB) said in a statement on Monday evening.

“We strongly denounce this outright falsification, which cynically uses ‘humanitarian’ aid as cover to fuel the war in Ukraine,” the USB said.

The union said the workers refused to load the military supplies as that would lead to the deaths of their colleagues in Ukraine – namely, those working at the bases targeted by Russian missile strikes, where the weapons processed through US and NATO bases in Poland get delivered.

Francesca Donato, an Italian member of the European Parliament, commented on the union’s statement by calling on the government in Rome to “clarify” what is happening.

Meanwhile, dockworkers at the nearby port of Livorno joined the protest on Tuesday, praising their airport colleagues for standing up for their values.

“We stand alongside the Ukrainian peoples, the Donbass and Russia and we do not want to be complicit in this conflict,” the Porto Livorno chapter of USB said in a statement.

USB is calling for air traffic control of the Pisa airport to “immediately block these flights of death disguised as humanitarian aid.” A protest under the slogan “bridges of peace, not flights of war” is scheduled outside the airport for Saturday, March 19.

The union also called on all workers to refuse to load weapons and explosives, and for an immediate ceasefire and peace talks to end the conflict in Ukraine.

March 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | , | 2 Comments

Europe is Forcing Ukrainian Refugees to Be Vaccinated

By Thorsteinn Siglaugsson | The Daily Sceptic | March 10, 2022

According to a speech made by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on March 9th, Ukrainian refugees arriving in Italy will be forced to “either agree to have a swab every 48 hours or agree to be vaccinated“ against the coronavirus. A transcript of the speech has been published by the Italian daily Il Tempo. Some Italians have complained that Italian citizens have not been given the swab option, saying that the country’s citizens either get vaccinated or are suspended from work without a salary.

In Iceland, where all Covid-related restrictions have been abandoned, both internally and at the border, the refugees are still required to be tested for COVID-19 infection, according to the General Manager of the Primary Care of the Capital Area. As other travellers are not subject to this requirement, this is clear discrimination against Ukrainian refugees. While no plans of forced vaccination have yet been confirmed nor denied, according to the General Manager, “an emphasis is put on vaccinating them”.

As it has already become clear the vaccination does not protect against the Omicron variant now prevalent, and that the protection against infection may even be negative, there is no medical justification for forcing refugees to get vaccinated, as in Italy, or for cajoling them into it, as seems to be the intention in Iceland.

Only 35% of the Ukrainian population are vaccinated against COVID-19. Scepticism towards the vaccines is high in Ukraine and in August 2021, 56% of the population said they would not get vaccinated against the disease. Being forced to leave your war-torn homeland is bad enough. Being forced or pushed to accept a useless medication you do not trust when you finally arrive at your destination could hardly be described as kind hospitality, or free consent.

Thorsteinn Siglaugsson is an economist who lives in Iceland. Find him on his blog.

March 11, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Uninvited foreign troops must leave, African nation says

RT | January 24, 2022

Denmark must “immediately withdraw” some 90 troops it deployed to Mali last week “without [the government’s] consent and in violation of the protocols” allowing European nations to intervene in that African country, the government in Bamako said on Monday.

Some 91 Danes from the Jaeger Corps special forces arrived in Mali on January 18, as part of Task Force Takuba, a French-led counter-terrorism mission in the West African country. According to the Danish defense ministry, their job will be to reinforce the border with Niger and Burkina Faso, train Malian Armed Forces, and provide medical services to the peacekeepers.

While the government of Mali is grateful to “all its partners involved in the fight against terrorism,” it stressed “the need to obtain the prior agreement of the Malian authorities” before sending any troops to the country, says the communique signed by Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, spokesman for the Ministry of Administration and Decentralization.

Announcing the deployment of the force last week, the government in Copenhagen said it had been scheduled in April 2021, as France sought to withdraw some of its troops from Mali.

Their objective was “to stabilize Mali and parts of the border triangle between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, and to ensure that civilians are protected from terrorist groups,” the Danish military said.

The Jaegers are also experienced in “training and educating” local militaries, a job they have previously performed in Afghanistan and Iraq. They were sent shortly after Sweden withdrew its contingent from Mali. The French-led operation also involves forces from Belgium, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.

Task Force Takuba has operated in Mali since March 2020, when Paris decided to wrap up the previous Operation Barkhane. France has maintained a military presence in its former West African colony since 2013, to help the government in Bamako deal with a Tuareg rebellion in the northwest of the country and subsequent terrorist insurgency loyal to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

Relations between Bamako and Paris have grown chilly since the latest military takeover in Mali in 2021, and France has since closed three of its military bases there, in Kidal, Tessalit, and Timbuktu.

January 24, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

As Protests Erupt, Some Countries Backtrack on COVID Mandates While Others Double Down

By Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D. | The Defender | January 14, 2022

As protests grow in EU countries and worldwide against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and so-called “vaccine passports,” some countries appear to be backtracking or at least harboring second thoughts about enforcing such measures.

Some policymakers point to evidence COVID is here to stay and we need to live with it, since Omicron is similar to the common cold or seasonal flu. Others appear more willing to accept natural immunity in lieu of vaccination.

Still, other governments are digging in their heels and moving forward with punitive restrictions on the unvaccinated.

Here’s a look at the latest shifting policies outside the U.S.

Austria, citing ‘technical complications,’ won’t enforce mandates until at least April

Austria garnered much attention in November 2021 when it became the first country in the world to impose an all-encompassing vaccine mandate for its entire adult population and minors 14 years old and up.

This mandate, set to take effect in February, would be accompanied by fines of up to 3,600 euros per quarter. To that end, Austria recently reportedly began hiring “headhunters” to track down those who continue to remain unvaccinated.

The mandate has resulted in frequent large-scale protests against the mandate, as well as a political movement opposing this policy.

An open letter recently sent to Austria’s Interior Minister, Gerhard Karner, signed by 600 police officers, also expressed opposition to mandatory vaccination.

This opposition may be having an impact. Recently, the firm responsible for the technical implementation of the mandate announced that due to “technical complications,” the mandatory vaccination law cannot be enforced until at least April.

This news came amidst calls in Austria that the mandate should be reevaluated in light of the spread of the Omicron variant.

Germany struggling with mandate implementation; support not unanimous

Similar concerns over the feasibility of rapid implementation of a vaccine mandate have been raised in Germany, which has also mulled the implementation of compulsory vaccinations and has already approved such a mandate for healthcare workers.

In December 2021, Germany’s Ethics Council also gave its stamp of approval for vaccine mandates.

Nevertheless, concerns have been raised in Germany that parliamentary debate and subsequent technical implementation of a vaccination database cannot be completed before June at the earliest, calling into question the feasibility of the mandate in light of rapidly changing conditions.

Such hesitation comes despite renewed calls from German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for an immediate full parliamentary debate on a potential vaccine mandate, and from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for COVID vaccines to be mandated.

Similarly, German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach recently suggested vaccine mandates, not natural herd immunity stemming from the rapid spread of the Omicron variant — which he described as “dirty vaccination” — represent the only way “out” of the crisis.

In November 2021, Lauterbach’s predecessor, Jens Spahn, publicly predicted that by the end of the coming winter, everyone would be “vaccinated, recovered, or dead” — due to the Delta variant.

Soon thereafter, in December 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden made a similar warning, predicting a winter of “severe illness and death” for the non-vaccinated.

Despite these public proclamations from German politicians though, recent reports suggest support for a vaccine mandate in Germany’s three-party governing coalition is far from unanimous.

Nevertheless, some localities in Germany are moving ahead with their own innovative means of confirming individuals’ vaccination status.

The city of Saarbrücken will soon launch a system where individuals who received a COVID vaccine or who have recovered from infection can voluntarily wear a colored wristband to indicate their status.

Greece pushes ahead with age 60+ mandate policy, threatens fines for unvaxxed

Greece was one of the first countries in Europe to implement a vaccine mandate for a portion of its general population when, in December 2021, it imposed such a policy for everyone age 60 and over.

The policy is set to take effect Jan. 16, with fines of 100 euros per month levied against anyone who doesn’t comply.

Despite this policy, which has received broad and highly sensational media attention in Greece, and despite the burden the policy would place on pensioners in a country where the average pension is just over 700 euros per month, a significant number of individuals 60 and older appear to have opted to remain unvaccinated.

In late December 2021, it was reported that 400,000 people in this age group had not received the COVID vaccine.

In a televised appearance on Jan. 11, Greek government spokesperson Giannis Oikonomou stated that 200,000 people aged 60 and over had gotten vaccinated as a result of this mandate, touting this as a “big success.”

However, this would suggest approximately half of the relevant population in question had chosen to remain unvaccinated, despite the looming threat of a financial penalty.

It is perhaps, for this reason, the Greek government reportedly “froze” any further discussion of expanding the mandatory vaccination policy to those aged 50 and over, while it has been suggested the measure is unconstitutional and may eventually be struck down judicially.

However, despite rumors that the enforcement of fines against individuals 60 and older who have not been vaccinated would be postponed, Greece’s far-right Interior Minister Makis Voridis announced the policy would be enforced as originally planned.

Nevertheless, the Greek government will now extend existing measures, which include a midnight curfew and ban on music for dining and entertainment venues, and a 1,000-spectator capacity limit at sporting events, for at least an additional week past the original sunset date of Jan. 16.

In Balkans, protests lead to standstill on mandates

Major protests against the so-called “Green Pass,” or vaccine passport, took place recently in both Bulgaria and Romania.

In Bulgaria, protesters on Jan. 12  stormed the parliament building in opposition to the “Green Pass” and other restrictions. Attempts to enter parliament resulted in clashes with police and multiple arrests.

Similar events transpired recently in Romania, where on Dec. 21, 2021, protesters attempted to enter Romania’s parliament as part of a protest against proposed legislation making the “Green Pass” mandatory for workers.

Disagreements that have since followed between the parties which comprise Romania’s governing coalition have resulted in talks on this proposed policy coming to a standstill.

Notably, Bulgaria and Romania have the lowest and second-lowest COVID vaccination rate in the EU as of this writing.

Herd immunity as official policy?

As attempted moves toward wide-ranging vaccine mandates and broader implementation of vaccine passports appear to be floundering in Europe, such hesitation has increasingly been accompanied by ever more vocal suggestions that a form of herd immunity, via natural infection stemming from the rapid spread of the milder Omicron variant, should be considered at the policymaking level.

In Israel, for instance, a country that was among the first to move forward with a mass vaccination and booster campaign against COVID, health officials are mulling a “mass infection model.”

On Jan. 11, EU regulators, who had previously supported the administration of COVID booster shots every three months, had a sudden about-face, warning about the dangers the continued administration of boosters could pose for the human immune system.

That same day, the World Health Organization issued a remarkably similar warning, stating that “a vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable.”

Just one day prior, on Jan. 10, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez suggested European officials should move towards treating COVID as an endemic illness, calling for a debate on the issue and for a move away from the detailed pandemic case tracking system in place since early 2020.

Dr. Clive Dix, former chairman of the UK’s vaccine task force, Nick Moakes, chief investment officer of the Wellcome Trust (Britain’s largest independent funder of medical research) made similar remarks. Moakes suggested coronavirus be treated like the common cold.

Meanwhile, certain European countries appear to be shifting away from considering a mandatory vaccination policy for their populations. Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin said his country will maintain a system of voluntary vaccination, while Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said his intention to give people a “free choice” on the matter.

This shift is occurring despite remarks made on Dec. 1, 2021, by Ursula von der Leyen, president of the EU Commission, who said it is time to “potentially think about mandatory vaccination within the European Union” and to have a “discussion” about this possibility.

Punitive measures continue elsewhere

The gradual shift away from vaccine mandate policies in Europe and elsewhere is far from uniform, with punitive restrictions and policies continuing to be implemented in several countries.

In Italy, for instance, mandatory vaccination was expanded on Jan. 5 to everyone age 50 and older. The unvaxxed will face a potential fine ranging from 600 to 1,500 euros.

French President Emmanuel Macron made waves in an interview with the Le Parisien newspaper on Jan. 4, justifying the implementation of his country’s “Green Pass” by stating “I really want to piss them off, and we’ll carry on doing this — to the end” and that “irresponsible people [the unvaccinated] are no longer citizens.”

Despite uproar and protests that his comments generated, Macron later doubled down on these remarks.

On Jan. 11, the premier of the Canadian province of Quebec, Francois Legault, stated adults who refuse the COVID vaccine will face a “significant” financial penalty.

This statement came on the heels of remarks made on Jan. 7 by Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos. When asked whether mandatory vaccination was on the horizon in Canada, Duclos stated, “I personally think we will get there at some point.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously stated, in May 2021, that “[w]e’re not a country that makes vaccination mandatory.”

Other countries have resorted to more extreme, albeit “temporary,” measures.

Non-vaccinated individuals in one Australian state, the Northern Territory, were recently required to stay home for a four-day period, with limited exceptions. The conclusion of this four-day ban coincided with the launch of vaccine passports in the territory.

And in the Philippines, the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, called for the arrest of non-vaccinated citizens who venture outside their homes, in light of what he described as the “galloping” spread of the coronavirus.

This nevertheless may represent a milder stance on the part of Duterte, who in April 2020, empowered the police and military with shoot-to-kill orders against lockdown violators.

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., is an independent journalist and researcher based in Athens, Greece.

© 2022 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.

January 15, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EU, a Human Rights Basketcase

Francesca Donato | January 5, 2022

January 9, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 3 Comments

Turning point

eugyppius | January 8, 2022

Where’s the vaccine mandate they promised us?” whines Daniel Brössler, reporter for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, disappointed because yesterday’s Corona summit of German minister presidents returned nothing but some adjustments to quarantine and sharpened testing rules. The double vaccinated will now have to submit negative tests if they want to eat at restaurants. Markus Söder, lockdown- and vaccine mandate-loving minister president of Bavaria, criticised even these milquetoast restrictions, with some bluster about how he’d already taken a hard line against bars and discos. This is after leading German Corona astrologer, Christian Drosten, used his state media podcast to suggest that Germany should start tolerating some of degree of SARS-2 transmission, and that breakthrough infections among the vaccinated should be considered normal. Such statements, which almost surely reflect sentiments within the coalition government, destroy most of the rationale for ongoing restrictions and vaccine mandates.

Meanwhile, in Austria, the thrice-vaccinated chancellor Karl Nehammer has tested positive for Corona. The news comes as Austria announces they will delay implementing their vaccine mandate by two months. It will now take effect in April, if at all. Gerald Gartlehner, an epidemiologist and sometime governmental adviser, suggested that mandates (or at least their enforcement) might have to be re-evaluated in light of Omicron and the widespread immunity the new variant will elicit across the Austrian population. There is every reason to think that Austria will be past the peak of the Omicron wave in April, and that a majority of Austrians will have SARS-2 antibodies by then.

In the United States, former Biden advisers have published a series of editorials in the Journal of the American Medical Association, arguing that it is time to normalise containment and begin managing SARS-2 as one of various seasonal respiratory infections.

It is obvious that we are at a turning point, even if everyone has yet to realise it – even if France is sharpening vaccine requirements, even if Italy has imposed vaccine mandates for everyone over 50, and even if Canada is for the moment determined to remain a prison state. This is the first time since the Floyd riots in America, that major political leaders and public health authorities have said that preventing Corona can no longer be the highest goal of western society.

It is a commonplace observation, but a true one: Since the vaccines began to fail in August, the vaccinators have been progressing through the proverbial five stages of grief. They spent a lot of time in denial, before becoming very angry and punitive. Then they began bargaining, hoping that SARS-2 would go away after four doses, or after five, with just the right dosing intervals, with a return to double masking, with child vaccinations. Now they appear to be drifting finally into depression and acceptance. They have realised, not a second too soon, that there is nothing to be done [outside of improving personal health and early treatment protocols].

Omicron is a highly contagious variant with immune escape features. The vaccinators can vaccinate all they want, but their vaccines will not stop the waves of infection to come. A lot of the hyperbolic rhetoric about Corona was put about in the hopes that most everyone wouldn’t be infected. They thought they could terrify people for a few years, vaccinate them, and harvest their gratitude for saving them from the worst respiratory virus since SARS. Now, though, it’s clear that everyone will have personal experience with Corona infection, whether or not they are vaccinated. This will destroy popular faith measures, it will erode their confidence in the vaccines, and it will do away with their fear of the virus. Maybe a few people somewhere will still support containment, after two years of heavy restrictions, mandated vaccinations, and infection, but I doubt there will be very many of them. It’s the beginning of the end.

January 8, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Postcard from Genoa

By Roger Watson | Reflections on life and religion | November 9, 2021

If anyone who is unvaccinated is considering visiting Italy soon, I would strongly advise against it. Britain seems very civilised in comparison, despite having a run in with a BA official who questioned me about my lack of a mask on leaving the first class lounge in Heathrow, seemingly unaware that we were still on British soil. But, as reported in a Postcard From Istanbul, once the curtain was drawn behind us in BA Club Class, the masks were off and not donned again until arrival in Milan. From Milan I took the train to Genoa to work at the University of Genoa, where I teach regularly, for a week. It is worth noting that I completed the European Passenger Location Form using details from my British passport but, to avoid the queue at the border, I used my Irish passport to enter Italy. I expected to be questioned about the lack of congruence between this passport and the one used to complete the online form which, I assumed, would have to match at immigration. I was through like the proverbial dose of pesto thus indicating, beyond reasonable doubt, that the completion and submission of passenger location forms is a complete waste of time.

You may enter Italy unvaccinated after the requisite Covid tests and then a period of quarantine. But, thereafter, freedom does not beckon as, wherever you step out of quarantine, you will remain… indefinitely. No form of public transport such as trains, buses and internal flights is permitted without displaying a euphemistically named ‘Green Pass’ (Italy’s vaccine passport). If anyone from the U.K. wants to see what the introduction of vaccine passports will be like, then Italy is already there. Mask wearing is strongly enforced on public transport with repeated ‘mascherina’ messages over the PA system.

Social distancing is requested too but the one exception was taxis where, ironically, you can be squeezed into very close proximity with your fellow passengers without the benefit of any social distancing. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that passengers are not allowed to travel in the front of the taxi beside the driver, so it was common for three people to be arse cheek by jowl in the back. On one journey I was asked to mask up in a taxi that had no functioning seat belt.

To be fair to most restaurateurs and bar owners, who are supposed to demand your vaccine passport, they were not doing this. I was never once asked to don a mask. In typical Italian fashion, the rules are selectively applied. But the Italians have bought into the mask mandate to an incredible degree. Mask wearing is not required outside but no self-respecting Genovese would be seen without a mask at the ready, mainly under the chin at all times, or draped on the wrist like an adornment.

Of course, being Italian, the men can look stylish in a mask and the women still look elegant, but it is the sheer mass scale anticipatory obedience on entering public buildings, bars and restaurants and the 100% compliance that is shocking – and all without any apparent enforcement. In some ways compliance is worse when it is self-imposed.

My small class of doctoral students always insisted on remaining masked when meeting with me but made no comment about my facial nudity. They refused to remove their masks at my request and when challenged, could only refer to “the rules”. Despite attending my class on systematic reviewing and evidence assessment, not one had ever considered the evidence regarding masks and, even more distressing, was their complete lack of interest. I had to wonder, Godwin-like, whether this is how Mussolini started? Or am I just a bad teacher?

Roger Watson is a Professor of Nursing at Hull University. 

November 10, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment