Thought for the day
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." -- MAHATMA GANDHI
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to take up a case that challenges legal protection for big tech companies over user-generated content that could potentially usher in a new era of moderating freedom of expression on the Internet.
It is increasingly clear that the European people are not willing to follow the policy of automatic alignment with NATO planned by their political leaders. Amid the wave of protests spreading across the continent, Germany has been the scenario of recent unrest against high gas prices, arms supply to Kiev and the risks posed by the energy security crisis. More than that, German internet users have organized to make virtual protests against NATO due to the evident American participation in a sabotage operation against the Nord Stream’s gas pipelines.
On this first weekend in October, German citizens took to the streets in Berlin and other major cities to protest against the supply of arms to Ukraine. The local population seems dissatisfied with spending money to support Kiev in this conflict amid the serious social crisis affecting the country. The main requirement is that the German government revert such expenses to social improvement projects, expanding public policies that serve the interests of the people instead of acting in an interventionist way in armed conflicts that do not concern German interests. There is still no concrete data about the precise number of protesters involved in the weekend’s demonstrations.
The Polish Foreign Ministry tried to recruit the Russian ambassador in WArsaw. Russian ambassador, Sergei Andreev said that during a call to the Polish Foreign Ministry he was asked to condemn the recent referendums in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. In exchange, the Russian diplomat was promised assistance and support.
The demand of the Polish Foreign Ministry to the Russian Ambassador to condemn the referendums is a provocation, an unprecedented case, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Ivanov.
“This is an obvious provocation, a completely unprecedented case in diplomatic work,” the deputy Foreign Minister told reporters.
The Polish provocation is another example of the dead Western diplomacy.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of excess deaths in 2022 has already increased which is more than the average for previous years.
As recession and even depression haunts the EU, in the post-Nord Stream world, the UK in turn has its own problems. Prime minister Liz Truss has said that “Britain’s economy needs a reset”. Supposedly, it all started with the £45bn “mini budget” which was presented last week. The markets did not respond well: investors’ reaction was to sell the pound and to offload government bonds, thereby increasing the interest bill paid by the British Treasury.
All hell has broken loose: the pound fell to a record low against the US dollar, banks unprecedentedly pulled thousands of mortgage products from the shelves (thereby hurting Britain’s housing market), gilts sold off quickly (yields on five-year gilts went up by 50 basis points). The Bank of England in turn even launched an unprecedented £65bn emergency bond-buying programme to stabilize government debt markets and to stop pension funds collapsing.
Meanwhile, markets are betting Britain’s interest rates could peak at 5.8 per cent by next spring, thus creating what some have described in anticipation as an “embarrassment of riches”. Bankers however certainly have not lost sight of the fact that, amid a recession, businesses bust and therefore loan losses go up. Ironically, the rising interest rates are the very thing that in all likelihood shall bring on the British recession. And, according to Tim Worstall (a trader and a Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute), the Bank of England is raising interest rates precisely to bring on a recessionary situation so as to “wring inflation out”.
A letter from Ofgem, the UK's power regulator, warned about the "significant risk" of a natural gas shortage this winter because of disruptions to energy markets following the war in Ukraine and undersupply of Europe.
Bloomberg Opinion's Javier Blas tweeted a photograph of the letter focusing on technical changes in the UK electricity market. Blas highlighted the critical parts of the letter in the "background" section that detailed a dark and cold winter for the UK could be just ahead.
Here's what Blas outlined:
"Due to the war in Ukraine and gas shortages in Europe, there is a significant risk that gas shortages could occur during the winter 2022/23 in Great Britain ('GB'). As a result, there is a possibility that GB could enter into a Gas Supply Emergency."
... "In the event that GB reaches Stage 2 in this procedure, Firm Load Shedding of gas would be applied to the largest gas users connected to the gas system. This will likely be large gas-fired power stations which produce electricity to the National Electricity Transmission System ('NETS')."
The War of Economic Corridors has entered incandescent, uncharted territory: Pipeline Terror.
A sophisticated military operation – that required exhaustive planning, possibly involving several actors – blew up four separate sections of the Nord Stream (NS) and Nord Stream 2 (NS2) gas pipelines this week in the shallow waters of the Danish straits, in the Baltic Sea, near the island of Bornholm.
Swedish seismologists estimated that the power of the explosions may have reached the equivalent of up to 700 kg of TNT. Both NS and NS2, near the strong currents around Borholm, are placed at the bottom of the sea at a depth of 60 meters.
The pipes are built with steel reinforced concrete, able to withstand impact from aircraft carrier anchors, and are basically indestructible without serious explosive charges. The operation – causing two leaks near Sweden and two near Denmark – would have to be carried out by modified underwater drones.
Every crime implies motive. The Russian government wanted – at least up to the sabotage – to sell oil and natural gas to the EU. The notion that Russian intel would destroy Gazprom pipelines is beyond ludicrous. All they had to do was to turn off the valves. NS2 was not even operational, based on a political decision from Berlin. The gas flow in NS was hampered by western sanctions. Moreover, such an act would imply Moscow losing key strategic leverage over the EU.
The traffic light coalition has agreed on a gas price brake. When presenting the new “defense shield” against high energy prices, the chancellor called the federal government’s initiative a “double boom”.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) gave a joint press conference in Berlin, at which Scholz was connected digitally due to his corona infection. When presenting the decisions of the previous round of talks, the Chancellor summarized the results. Included modified he said about the past state aid in the Corona crisis in 2020:
“Now we are creating the strength to do this with the defense shield, so that electricity prices, so that gas prices fall. Dramatically. So that they can be managed by citizens and companies (…) I said on another occasion, the actions we are taking are a bang.
You could say it’s a double boom here.”
Berlin dropped an economic thermonuclear bomb. A 200 billion euro missile that serves to protect the German economy from high gas bills. Is it a coincidence that the government led by Olaf Scholz announced the economic shield just as news of the collapse of the two Nordstream gas pipelines came from the Baltic? Obviously not, because in geopolitics every move is connected. Berlin has split Europe and on gas it does it by itself.
Germany is grappling with devastating inflation: on an annual basis the index has risen to 10%, with energy prices rising by 50%. So he decided to run for cover quickly, and he does it with real firepower. The increase in energy costs will also be partially addressed with the economic stabilization fund created in the two-year pandemic. The other European countries, grappling with an internal budget crisis, do not have the necessary resources to meet the demands of citizens and businesses.
The 200 billion put on the table by the German government show how Berlin has finally understood the “profound” objectives of the hybrid war being fought in the heart of the West. Cutting off gas supplies between Russia and Germany is a declaration of informal warfare, a blow to the heart for the chemical and mechanical engineering industry, the real driving force of Europe.
“Star Wars” star Mark Hamill has been made an ambassador for the UNITED24 fundraising platform, where he will work in support of the Army of Drones project to benefit Ukraine.
His introduction as an ambassador took place during an online call on Thursday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who expressed his gratitude for Hamill’s support since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Mark, you have become the first ambassador to help Ukraine raise funds to support its defenders,” Zelenskyy said. “For Ukrainians, this means a lot. As in ‘Star Wars,’ good will triumph over evil and light will overcome darkness. With you in the team, there’s no other way around it.”
UChicago United, a woke student organization at The University of Chicago, has announced their upcoming events for the academic year. One such event, “Race @ UChicago” has made it clear….no whites allowed. The event emphasizes that the event is “A BIPOC-ONLY space.”
Kamala Harris over the weekend ignored a reporter asking about her racist promise to provide Hurricane Ian relief to communities based on race.
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone to King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Kremlin's press service stated.
The Russian leader informed the king about having signed on Friday the agreements on admission of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions to the Russian Federation, the service said. "It was noted also that the Russian side, if the Kyiv authorities are interested, is ready for a resumption of the negotiation process with them," the statement said.
The pair also "discussed pressing issues of bilateral cooperation. Both sides expressed their determination further to develop Russian-Bahraini relations in their traditionally friendly, mutually beneficial and constructive fashion. The two countries acknowledge the proximity of their approaches to the key aspects of the situation in the Middle Eastern and North Africa region. There also will be established interaction through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in light of the procedure started at the recent summit in Samarkand for Bahrain to receive the status of SCO partner in dialogue," the statement said.
Many parents around the country were shocked last year when they became aware of the illegal porn books their local schools are pushing on kids in the student libraries.
The volume of Ukrainian agricultural products transported through Poland to the Port of Klaipeda has reached 15,000 tonnes per month, Lithuanian Railways CEO Egidijus Lazauskas told BNS.
Grain is predominantly being transported to Klaipeda and fuel back from it at present, Lazauskas said. "The Ukrainians are transporting grain to Lithuania as an alternative to Odesa, and they transport diesel fuel home from Klaipeda, because there's enormous demand for it in Ukraine right now, and there are problems with supplies," he said.
Around 50,000 tonnes of agricultural products had been transported by September after transport company LTG Cargo began transporting agricultural products from Ukraine to the Port of Klaipeda through Poland in May, Lazauskas said. "The amount of this cargo has increased in recent months and reached approximately 15,000 tonnes per month, and around 200,000 tonnes could be transported per year," he said.
Lithuanian Railways told BNS that 31 trains arrived in Lithuania from Ukraine between the beginning of May and the end of August.
Contrary to all polls, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made it into the runoff in yesterday’s Brazilian elections, his Liberal Party became the strongest force in Parliament. Massive irregularities seem to confirm Bolsonaro’s warning about the purely electronic voting system.
In the years leading up to the 2019 general election, the British media ran a powerful and unremitting campaign that questioned the fitness for office and motivation of Jeremy Corbyn. The most damaging claim was that he turned a blind eye or tolerated antisemitism inside the Labour Party.
This narrative often dominated front pages for days on end, and occasionally led coverage on the BBC and other news channels. There is little doubt that these charges inflicted real and lasting damage on the Labour leader, and played an important role in his crushing defeat in the last general election.
Over the past week, the Qatar-based media network Al Jazeera has challenged conventional wisdom about the Corbyn years by broadcasting a three-part documentary series alleging that many of the claims made against Corbyn's Labour Party were either false, fabricated or twisted against him. At the same time, it vindicates those around Corbyn against claims that they were lax in dealing with antisemitism.
No-one, least of all Corbyn, denies this was a problem inside Labour at the time. But the overriding message of the Al Jazeera series is that a great deal of British media reporting during the Corbyn era was false, particularly the terrible claim that members of the Labour leader's inner team intervened in disciplinary processes to protect friends and allies from antisemitism charges.
Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell can move forward after the Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider Lindell’s attempt to block the case.
No vote count was made public. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson did not take part in consideration of the case.
Dominion is seeking $1.3 billion in damages, claiming it was harmed by unfounded statements from Lindell and other allies of former President Donald Trump that Dominion rigged its machines in favor of Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
My columns have turned rather apocalyptic of late, but for a valid reason. Just this week, we got confirmation that our financial system is, again, on the brink of collapse, when the Bank of England (BOE) was forced to enact, de facto, a bailout of the pension funds of the United Kingdom.
On Sept. 28, around noon, the Bank of England stepped (back) into the gilt markets and started buying government bonds with longer maturities to stop the collapse in their value, which could have caused the financial system to become unhinged. Pension funds were faced with major margin calls, which threatened to cause a rapidly cascading run on their liabilities, as trust in their liquidity and solvency would have become questioned by a widening circle of investors and customers.
Without the BOE intervention, mass insolvencies of pension funds, with about $3 trillion worth of assets—and thus most likely other financial institutions—could have commenced on that afternoon. It’s obvious that if one of the major financial hubs of the world, the City of London, would face a financial panic, it would spread to the rest of the world in an instant.
On Monday the Pentagon announced that a successful airstrike over the weekend in Somalia has killed a top leader of the al-Shabaab terror group. The airstrike happened on Saturday outside the city of Jilib, roughly 370 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu.
"Al-Shabaab is the largest and most kinetically active al-Qaeda network in the world and has proved both its will and capability to attack U.S. forces and threaten U.S. security interests," an Africom statement revealing the operation said.
"US Africa Command, alongside its partners, continues to take action to prevent this malicious terrorist group from planning and conducting attacks on civilians," the statement continued.
The Pentagon claimed that there were no civilian casualties as a result of the airstrike. Interestingly, US officials did not name the particular terror commander who had been taken out.
Nadir, who the Somali government said had been wanted for a "long time," had a $3 million U.S. bounty on his head.
There have been reports of high-profile acts of political violence against Republicans and conservatives since President Joe Biden’s controversial “MAGA Republicans” speech last month.
“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden said during a politically charged speech on Sept. 1 in Philadelphia.
While speaking in front of a dimly lit red backdrop and flanked by two U.S. Marines, Biden alleged that “MAGA Republicans” also promote “authoritarian leaders” and “fan the flames of political violence” to target rights and the “very soul of this country.”
While it isn’t clear if Biden’s speech motivated acts of vandalism or politically motivated attacks, several Republican offices across the country have been vandalized since then, including the Larimer County Republican Party in Fort Collins, Colorado; the Ottawa County Republican Party in Hudsonville, Michigan; and the Nebraska Republican Party headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Republican Party office in Seminole County, Florida, was vandalized after Biden claimed days before his Philadelphia speech that Republicans engaged in “semi-fascism.”
“[Officials] came out and found that all of the signs had been hacked to pieces, our building had been vandalized, our permanent sign on the outside of the building had been torn up,” Keith den Hollander, chairman and vice chairman for Ottawa County Republican Party, told local media outlets last week. “Really disappointed to see this.”
A pregnancy center in Oakland County, Michigan, also was targeted by vandals, who scrawled pro-abortion threats on its front door. It’s the second time that the facility was targeted in the past year, according to local media outlets.
Swedish seismologists reported that one of the three explosions measures 2.3 on the Richter Scale of earthquake intensity, but this was no earthquake. It was explosion—like a gigantic undersea mine.
After it joined the World Trade Organization in 2000 and anchored the Chinese yuan (a.k.a. renminbi) to the U.S. dollar, China linked its economy to the United States. Enforcing a fixed exchange rate regime with strict capital controls, China benefited from large inflows and relatively low-interest rates due largely to the low-interest rate environment in the United States. What happens to the Chinese economy when interest rates increase in the United States?
Sovereign currency policy faces the intractable dilemma of what economists call the “impossible trinity.” Countries can have a fixed exchange rate, free capital flow, or sovereign monetary policy but must choose only two of three. Economics textbooks give clean and clear definitions of each. Still, in reality, China tried to manipulate each and come out worse due to its attempts to manipulate the laws of economics.
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) technocrats attempted to create a system where they could enjoy the best of the three options and leave behind the worst parts. China implemented a quasi-fixed exchange rate, which is effectively a U.S. dollar index, with tightly controlled capital flows, and a semi-sovereign monetary policy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Friday that Cholera outbreaks have increased after years of steady decline.
New British PM Elizabeth Truss has been touted by many including the mainstream media as a “far-right” politician with wide appeal to British conservatives. This is fast becoming a prerequisite ideological position to take in Europe as the open border/socialist policies of leftist political leaders are leaving the EU in economic ruins and as they approach an energy based catastrophe not seen since WWII.
Boris Johnson revealed himself to be nowhere near as conservative as many initially believed with his support of draconian covid mandates, stopping just short of enforcing vaccine passports but still requiring proof of vaccination for major venues. All this while holding lavish parties at his official residence during the lockdowns he helped enforce. Adding to the problem were Johnson's tax increases in the midst of an inflationary crisis, which led to widespread public discontent and his eventual resignation.
When Truss became a potential candidate to replace Johnson some in the alternative media warned that her ongoing associations with the World Economic Forum and attendance at Davos events might be a red flag of another political pretender playing at being conservative while actually serving the interests of globalist institutions. This was, of course, called conspiracy theory by “fact checkers” in the MSM.
Kari Lake, the Republican running for governor in Arizona, recently turned the tables on a journalist who was trying to ask her a gotcha question on abortion.
A news statement from the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday stated that several USPS employees were arrested in connection with an identity theft scheme that resulted in the loss of $1.3 million.
German authorities have issued another dire warning about a possible shortage of natural gas over the winter, with fears that German households might be left in the cold, driving sales of electric heaters to soar in a spree of panic shopping.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck told Deutschlandfunk radio on Sept. 30 that the country is in an “extremely tense situation” when it comes to energy supply.
Webmaster addition: The problem is that those small portable heaters are not very efficient, meaning more electricity will be used to keep people warm.
Update (9:40pm): According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missile flew ~4,500km with an apogee of ~970km, reaching a speed of Mach 17 before splashing in the Pacific ocean, some 2800 nautical miles east of Korea, having traveled above Japan. The JSC added that South Korea and US intelligence authorities are still analyzing more details.