Thursday, June 29, 2023

Moral Agency In The Days Of COVID

Moral Agents,

Wikipedia: "Moral Agency is an individual's ability to make moral choices based on some notion of right and wrong and to be held accountable for these actions." 
                  "A Moral Agent is 'a being who is capable of acting with reference to right and wrong.'"

  A moral-agent will be at odds with an autocrat at the point where the autocrat commands the moral agent to perform an immoral act. This antagonism between individual morality and hierarchy was examined at the Nuremberg Trials and at the Trial of Lieutenant William Calley, following the Mai Lai Massacre in Vietnam.

  For a hierarchy or an autocrat to gain powers over life, death, property and to enslave free people it is necessary for moral agents to relinquish their decision-making about the morality of commands to the commanding authority. The commanding authority, such as a government or religious organization typically cites a "higher moral purpose" or "divine authority" to absolve the subservient-moral-agent of responsibility for actions which would be immoral in typical human interactions.

  Murder has historically been justified on religious grounds, with the souls of the murdered either being "saved" or remitted to "god" for judgement of their "sins against god". Murder and theft of property and land are also justified by nation-states by saying that the human victims were plotting the murder of the citizens of the nation-state, and had also stolen what was rightfully-theirs. The crimes are cast as "self defense".

  These calls upon higher-authority absolve the former-moral-agent of responsibility for selfish and unjust actions, because they are not-personally selfish, but are "unselfish", serving the "highest good", which happens to profit the hierarchy. The moral-hazard to actors in the hierarchy, autocrats and bureaucrats, is that they profit from immoral acts, which are abstracted in their thoughts, far removed from any personal experience of their horrors. 

  Human moral-agents may resist calls to higher moral authority, particularly if they are accustomed to acting morally, valuing the freedom, well-being and personal possessions of others as highly, and in the same way as they would value their own.

  Hierarchies typically seek to diminish human moral agency by abstracting it, and reducing it to bureaucratic protocols, which appear arbitrary, if not strictly "fair". "Just-going-by-the-book" is the position of a human who has relinquished moral agency in the work setting. Another technique to disengage moral agency is to nudge humans towards dishonest acts, perhaps as trivial as marking a 20 page legal document as "read", when given 30 seconds to do so.

  Within a rules-based bureaucracy, some humans may be re-defined as "suspects", a form of sub-human, devoid of usual  human rights, or as "unvaccinated", and therefore subject to firing and exclusion from society. 

  The naming of classes of sub-humans, to be shunned, disparaged by upright citizens, then denied basic rights to due-process under the law, and bodily autonomy, become critical when a member of society is forced to choose a favorable designation, or to accept losses for choosing the unfavorable designation. 
With the COVID vaccine-mandates, people were subjected to a greater-good moral argument for a year before the blaming of "the unvaccinated" began. This was phased in faster in some places than others, but media virtue-signalling of the "vaccinated" was pervasive. 

  The "unvaccinated" were guilt-tripped for "killing grandma", and were blamed as leper-pariahs when the "vaccines" failed to protect good "vaccinated" people from the COVID contagion. In the US people with jobs were more likely to receive COVID "vaccines", often offered to them at work, or as a condition of continued employment, and without "informed consent" regarding side effects including myocarditis, miscarriage, autoimmune disease, neurological disorders, bleeding disorders and death, which were already well known to the manufacturers, the CDC and the Defense Department in the US. This was a nudge to relinquish bodily autonomy as if accepting a "gift". 

  Once the decision had been made to accept the injections, the recipient was made to feel more moral than those selfish cowards who had rejected the "gift" through moral weakness. This was broadly effective, particularly in the medical professions, except for a small minority who chose to be fired for the principle of bodily-autonomy. These people, like the Nurses at Methodist Hospital in Houston, took a Gandhian stance of principled civil-disobedience. Overnight they went from being "heroes" to "deplorables". Many people who had reservations about the rush to "get a needle in every arm" saw this as unjust, which weakened the control-narrative of the bureaucracy and the media. 

  Also weakening the vaccine-only control-narrative was the growing population of people who had received ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine based early treatment for COVID, or the cases when courts forced hospitals to allow ivermectin provision to hospitalized patients on ventilators, who "were expected to die anyway", and they survived to return home. 

  Tractor Supply Company sold vast quantities of ivermectin "horse paste" since fall of 2021, and is still selling it, for all of those 160# horses that Americans love so much. This silent civil-disobedience illustrates a strong undercurrent of growing distrust of governmental control-narratives, perhaps similar to that which formed against the Vietnam War in 1968. The Tet offensive in Vietnam at the beginning of that year crystallized the resolve of quiet Americans who had been suspicious that the war was immoral, and that they were being lied to by President Johnson. Will another morally crystallizing event arise this year?

  Dr. Marian Laderoute asks "When will the Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) End?"  and adds that "the excess all-cause mortality remains high even when by June 19, 2023 there are zero COVID-19 deaths per million for these 5 countries".

Charles Hugh Smith asks (and explores in detail)  How Did Someone Like Me Get Shadow-Banned?
  Given my adherence to journalistic standards, I wonder: how did someone like me get shadow-banned?
  The standard cause (or excuse) for being overtly banned is "distributing misinformation." This charge is never specific; something you posted "violates our community standards," or equivalent broad-brush language.
  Shadow-banning is even more pernicious because you're not even notified that your visibility to others has been restricted or dropped to zero. You see your post, but nobody else does.

​  ​The European Media Freedom Act envisages installing spyware on journalists' phones for the sake of "national security".

​  ​"There is no legitimate reason to spy on journalists," Lucy Komisar, an investigative journalist based in New York, told Sputnik.
​  ​"Remember, this law targets people identified as journalists, not as spies or terrorists or criminals. Journalism is not a crime, unless Julian Assange does it. The real reason is to protect government officials from journalists reporting on officials’ misguided policies, abuses and corruption. It’s quite ironic in view of the EU’s self-congratulatory rules trumpeted as protecting peoples’ data from tech companies.

There is no such thing as a Ministry of Truth and why it is important to challenge conventional “wisdom” - A personal view

Philippe Brouqui, Michel Drancourt, Didier Raoult​ MD​   (journal)​ ​​ ​​​New Microbes and New Infections

​  ​To justify censorship, some official statements, such as the FDA's tweet that “if you are not a horse or cow, do not take ivermectin, which is an animal medicine” are false information. This is obviously not ignorance on the part of the FDA, since it is well known that ivermectin is one of the most widely used human antiparasitic drugs in the world, but rather pure propaganda that legitimizes censorship over the use of ivermectin.
​  ​Censorship applies not only in social networks and in the usual media, but also apply in scientific journals. The first article on HCQ efficacy came from China, and we published preliminary results showing a faster decrease of the viral load in patients treated with HCQ combined with azithromycin [2]. Since then, 476 studies testing HCQ, have been released. Only studies reporting a lack of efficacy were published in highly impacted journals. However, these studies conclusions were not supported by the data. The data support a notable difference in favor to HCQ, but it was erroneously concluded that this was not, because this difference was not significant. A scientific impartial conclusion of these studies should have been that HCQ showed positive efficacy, but the inconclusive (not significant) results suggest that the studies might be underpowered.

​  Mark Crispin Miller , ​Patriot Front unmasked as FEDS pretending to be white supremacists, to help the state crack down on (what they call) "the right"—the latest twist on Operation Gladio, which did that to the left

​  ​The FBI is very busy doing with "white supremacy" exactly what it did with "Islamic terrorism," and, before that, the "communist threat"—i.e., creating the ILLUSION of a clear and present danger​.

​  ​FDIC accidentally reveals bailout recipients – Bloomberg​    ["Your tax dollars..."]

​  ​The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation accidentally released the identities of the Silicon Valley Bank clients it bailed out following the bank’s collapse in March in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, Bloomberg News revealed on Friday.
​  ​Upon realizing their mistake, the FDIC reportedly pleaded with Bloomberg to destroy the client list...

​..​The SVB clients who recovered their deposits thanks to a “systemic risk exception” declared by the FDIC included Sequoia Capital, the world’s most prominent venture capital firm, with $1 billion stored with the failed bank, and Beijing-based tech firm Kanzhun Ltd, which got its $902.9 million in deposits back. Life sciences startup Altos Labs’ $680.3 million were safe, as were payments startup Marqeta Inc.’s $634.5 million.
​  ​SVB’s largest depositor according to the FDIC document was crypto stablecoin company Circle Internet Financial Ltd., which had $3.3 billion in deposits there.

Biden Picks Up After Journalist Calls Secret Burner Phone Revealed In Hunter Scandal

  J​ournalist John Solomon called the phone, and President Joe Biden picked up!
"One of those documents got leaked to me and it had a cell phone number that Hunter Biden was paying for, so I figured this was my chance. I’ve been trying to get fair comment from Hunter Biden, so I’m gonna call the cell phone!" Solomon told Real America's Voice. "So I called the cell phone, and guess who picked up the phone? Joe Biden!"
"Joe Biden! Boy was he shocked when he got – when he picked up the phone and found out it was me," Solomon continued, adding "He hung up pretty quickly!"

​  ​'This Is Not A Normal Court' - Biden Slams Color-Blind SCOTUS' Decision To End Affirmative Action​  (Discrimination is discrimination.)
​  ​In Thursday's 6-3 decision (along ideological lines), the justices rejected arguments by Harvard College and the University of North Carolina that their admissions programs are warranted to ensure campus diversity.
​  ​The high court majority effectively overturned a 2003 decision, known as Grutter v. Bollinger, that had reaffirmed the right of universities to consider race as one of many admissions factors.
​  ​In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas said that ruling “is, for all intents and purposes, overruled.”

Overseas payments to Biden family could exceed $40M, Comer says: ‘This was organized crime’

​  ​Got Any Nude Selfies? Do You Like Porn? Bill Gates' Private Office Asked Women Sexually Explicit Questions
​  The private office of billionaire Microsoft founder (and Jeffrey Epstein pal) Bill Gates put women through an extensive screening process which included sexually explicit questions in order to determine whether they might be vulnerable to blackmail.

​  Thanks for this, Christine. John Helmer has the story of last weekend pretty well fleshed-out here.​
  Political Power Out of the Gun Barrel, Billions of Dollars, Too
​  ​When Yevgeny Prigozhin​ ​arrived at Southern Military District headquarters in Rostov, announcing to Lieutenant-General Vladimir Alexeyev that he was on his way Moscow to remove Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff, Alexeyev told him “Go get them.”
​  ​Prigozhin didn’t take the road to Moscow. The thin column of Wagner men began to disperse enroute, while those who pressed on were stopped at the Oka River.  While Prigozhin was announcing, and western media megaphoning, that he had taken control of Rostov, Prigozhin didn’t know that Shoigu was in Rostov; controlled the city; and with the General Staff decided on the tactics which quickly scattered the Wagner forces, halted Prigozhin’s public relations campaign,and cut off his money supply.
​  ​For the General Staff, this was a tactic of giving Prigozhin enough rope to hang himself. He did.  The General Staff defeated him handily;  the military engagement was concluded almost bloodlessly. Politically, the General Staff won much more.
​  ​For President Vladimir Putin it was a replay of October 25, 2003. That was the day, at Novosibirsk Airport Mikhail Khodorkovsky (lead image, left), owner of the Yukos oil group, was arrested, charged with fraud, tax evasion, criminal conspiracy, and other offences. That story, and the reorganisation of Yukos under state control, are well-known. Prigozhin’s story is just beginning.​..
..To save himself under house arrest in Belarus, Prigozhin has appealed to Putin for release: “we did not aim to overthrow the existing regime and the legitimately elected government.” Prigozhin also wants cash back “so that PMC [private military company] Wagner would continue to work in a legal framework.”
​  ​Putin’s answer has been to delegate the political power to the barrel of the gun; that’s the General Staff. The investigation of Prigozhin’s fraud, tax evasion, criminal conspiracy and other offences go now to the security services, the Interior Ministry, and state prosecutors.​..
..For a semi-official Russian account of what happened in Rostov when Prigozhin was there last Saturday,  read this piece published yesterday in Vzglyad. This reports Shoigu’s presence in the city at the time; the advance knowledge at the General Staff of Prigozhin’s threats, intentions,  plans, and force capacities.  
​  ​The inventory of the initial official searches of Prigozhin’s St Petersburg offices and vehicles uncovered five kilogrammes of cocaine, about Rb4 billion in cash, gold bullion bars, barrels of US dollars, several false passports, pistols, and records of offshore transactions in the Central African Republic and elsewhere. Prigozhin, speaking before Putin made public his comment on stealing,  confirmed the cash and told Fontanka, a St. Petersburg publication, he saw “nothing terrible”.

Alastair Crooke, The Negotiator's Nightmare (of trying to negotiate a settlement in Ukraine at this point) Thanks Christine.
​ The western public has not been conditioned to expect the possibility of a stronger Russia emerging. On the contrary, they have endured western ‘experts’ sneering at the Russian military; denigrating the Russian leadership as incompetent; and being presented on their TVs with the ‘horrors’ of the Russian ‘invasion’.
  ​It is – to say the least – a highly adverse environment for any interlocutor to ‘venture foot’. Dr Kissinger (a year ago at Davos) was ‘roasted’ when he tentatively suggested that Ukraine might have to yield up territory to Russia.
​  ​What would be the mission? Well, clearly it would be to find that ‘off-ramp’ to which Kissinger alluded. But the first problem would be how to frame a prospective mediator’s mission from the perspective of a U.S. public that has experienced a year of propaganda (much of it delusional) and much of which is hostile towards Moscow (the intended dialogue partner).

Witnessing History (pictured with a ripe melon from the garden yesterday morning)

Monday, June 26, 2023

Spy vs Spy

 Under Surveillance,

  What kind of a "mutiny" is managed by allowing mutinous troops and leaders to join the regular army or move to the allied country next door without formal charges?
  Trick question, right? It's not how any country handles mutiny. The traditional management is either bullet or noose, so it might have been a trick mutiny, right?
(Jenny and I had a busy weekend driving to Dallas and back to pick up our older son from his first (engineering) work trip to Japan, then helping him move, as did his brother. We got all of the large items moved and a lot of the other items, too. I have been catching up.)

  It's easy to see this now that the facts are present, but it was not possible to know what was happening Saturday morning. There were charges brought by Vlademir Putin about the mutiny, but they named no names. We all assumed that they pointed towards Prigozhin and Wagner, but we had known for months that the Russian military was quite compromised since the Defense Department leaks of Airman Jack Teixeira, which showed detailed knowledge of the internal workings of the Russian military. They were vague and grainy about anything going on in Ukraine. They were fed to Jack, who was sternly told 2-3 times in 2022 to "stop looking at intelligence unrelated to your job", as he kept doing so and reporting it to his private-chat buddies.
  Jack was a leak who was being fed certain classified information, so that others (Russia) would see it, while not knowing that they were being fed selected information. This information would worry them about traitors in their ranks at high levels. How could they identify traitors and flush them out?
  I was suspicious of Prigozhin loudly and emotionally calling the heads of the Russian military "traitors" for months on TV. How could that be allowed, even if his forces were managing the Bakhmut-meat-grinder stoically, and taking high losses? Was this part of an operation to flush out traitors with a decoy?
  In recent days Prigozhin made statements that might have been scripted, about Ukraine causing much higher Russian casualties, as his actions reached a crescendo, taking the Russian military command headquarters near the 3 way border of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, then marching a column of men north to Moscow with heavy military armor. At the same time, Saturday, he was talking with BelarussianPresident Lukashenko, "negotiating amnesty for his men and himself". Russians at all levels were convinced this was real, and barricaded the road to Moscow, removing Wagner recruiting ads from Russian billboards.
  There were numerous calls for Prigozhin's execution from all levels of Russian society and the military. There were reports of Russian army attacks on Wagner forces, and of Wagner forces shooting down Russian helicopters. There were videos, but those videos were never substantiated as being what was reported, and there have been denials of these fraternal killings. President Putin made it very clear that Russian fraternal killings served the west and harmed Russia.
  As things stand today there are no charges against Prigozhin or his men. Many Russian military forces seem to have moved North and west, to striking range of Kyiv, across the Belarusian border, and the world is split between believing that Prigozhin was serious, and believing that Prigozhin was playing a carefully crafted role to unify and purify Russian military and civilian leadership, while flushing out traitors. 
  I think it was a counter-scam against the west. MI-6 was supposedly running the western coup-plot. Prigozhin played along. At some point other coup-participants would be activated, and they could be identified by their actions, or by the intercept of messages to them with orders. If this is correct, we will see reshuffling in the Russian halls of power, and some elites losing power, and probably some holdings.

Simplicus has this (and so much more):
​  ​In the background of all this, the Lukashenko negotiations were being carried out and they ended up reaching an agreement. At the time of this writing there are rumors that Shoigu (and possibly Gerasimov) are in fact getting the axe, but this could be completely fake. For instance:
​  ​A source close to PMC Wagner: In addition to the resignation of Shoigu, it is also planned to change a number of FSB generals, including the head of the FSB for Moscow and the Moscow Region Alexei Dorofeev, today the Moscow defense system passed a stress test in case of a sudden invasion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the direction of Moscow, none of the heads of regional The UFSB, including the capital, did not pass this test, and if Prigozhin had not turned around, then shedding blood, as he puts it, he would have entered Moscow. Further, with such a leaky defense system, the war with Ukraine cannot be continued, now there will be serious reshuffles, both in the Ministry of Defense and in the FSB.
​  ​In fact, some are theorizing that the entire operation was to root out traitors in Moscow​.

​John Helmer in Russia had this Saturday evening:
​  ​Without the public support of any political figure in Russia, military or police unit, regional governor, or the officers of his Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin and his thousand rank-and-filers have agreed to return to their base camps on terms negotiated late on Saturday afternoon between Prigozhin and Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarus President.
​  ​The one-armed rebellion has failed with recriminations, immunity from prosecution, and  almost no bloodshed.
..​Before the radio broadcast began, Putin made his 5 minute, 34 second speech to the country at 10 am. Unusually,  he addressed the camera on his feet. Read the speech in full here.  
​  ​There have been no personal statements from either Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu or chief of the General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, the targets of Prigozhin’s public attacks.​..​
​   During the hours of the rebellion on Friday and Saturday, along the line of contact in the Ukraine there appears to have been no breakthrough by Ukrainian forces. Instead, the Russian Defense Ministry has reported: “Tonight, the Russian Aerospace Forces launched a group strike with high-precision long-range weapons at the centres of radio intelligence and aviation equipment of the Ukrainian Air Forces at the Kanatovo airfields in the Kirovograd region, as well as the Dnipro.  All assigned objects are hit. The target of the strike has been achieved.”  
​  ​“In addition, on June 23, in response to a strike on a road bridge across the Chongar Strait, a warehouse with Storm Shadow cruise missiles was destroyed at a Ukrainian airbase near the settlement of Starokonstantinov in the Khmelnitsky region. During the day, the armed forces of Ukraine continued unsuccessful attempts of offensive actions in the South Donetsk, Zaporozhye, Donetsk and Krasno-Limansk directions.”
​  ​A total of 515 Ukrainian forces were reported killed in action. French Caesar howitzer and US M-777 howitzer units were reported hit.
​Aleks at Black Mountain Analysis (Serbia) has this: United Russia summation:
 The news came out that a deal has been reached between Prigozhin and President Lukashenko of Belarus. I do not want to speculate too much about that deal. Yes, there are circulating suggestions what the detail entails. But we can be sure, whatever information reaches the surface, it is only for the public. We will need to wait some time (days/weeks) to see the impact on the ground.
​  ​Bottom line is: Prigozhin goes to exile to Belarus with some of the Wagner fighters. Most Wagner fighters will be disarmed, interrogated and if they did not commit any major crime, incorporated into the Russian army. The march on Moscow is over.

​Andrei Martyanov (Russian ex-military) still takes the mutiny at face value:​

US military analyst, Larry Johnson sees this: 
​  ​It appears that the roots of the narrative that Prigozhin was going to betray Russia starts in 2022. Someone with ties to Western intelligence had a relationship with Prigozhin and began sounding him out about collaborating with the West. Prigozhin let his Russian intel bosses know about the pitch and the Russians decided to build an op that would present Prigozhin as a disgruntled patriot, boiling in anger at the incompetence of Russian leaders. The Russians fed this by letting Prigozhin launch vicious verbal attacks on Shoigu and Gerasimov and, if we are to believe the Jack Teixeira discord leaks, even passed intel on the locations of Russian troops to his intel handler.
​  ​Here is the interesting part of this hypothesis — who made the decision to launch Prigozhin? A credible argument can be made that the Prigozhin’s Western handlers decided that Friday was the day and ordered him into action. But I think this was stage managed in the Kremlin. Putin and his intel chiefs knew what the West was trying to foment in Russia and realized that Ukraine and NATO were reeling from their feckless counter offensive and its attendant massive losses in men and materiel. Why not use the coup attempt as a good cover story for the mass movement of troops all along the line between Moscow and Rostov on Don?

​  John Helmer has this about Jack Teixeira's case, which started Friday, but there are no reports. Thanks Christine.
​  ​Jack Teixeira (lead image, left), the US Air Force national guardsman arrested on espionage allegations in April, is scheduled to appear in a Boston federal court for his arraignment on the prosecution’s charges this Wednesday, June 21.  
​  ​Six counts were listed in the grand jury indictment filed in court on June 15. The 10-page paper reveals new evidence contradicting the case against Teixeira which has been published in the mainstream media based on official government leaks to the Bellingcat propaganda organization and the New York Times, which are working together against Teixeira and against the intelligence disclosures attributed to him.  
​  The new court evidence is now pointing to the likelihood that Teixeira’s access to highly classified documents prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (lead image, right) at the end of February this year had been facilitated for him by senior US Air Force (USAF) officials.
​  ​If provable, Teixeira will plead not guilty and his lawyers will prepare the defence case of entrapment. If embarrassing to the Pentagon and the Justice Department, Teixeira may be offered a plea bargain of guilty in exchange for no trial of the evidence and a reduced jail sentence.
The section of the Espionage Act which is the basis of Teixeira’s prosecution, 18 United States Code Section 793(e ), provides ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for  conviction  on each count. The 21-year old is facing the equivalent of a life sentence.

​  Big Serge has a late day synthesis:​ Russo-Ukrainian War: The Wagner Uprising , Yevgeny Prigozhin's Wild Ride
​  ​The events of the past weekend (June 23 - 25, 2023) were so surreal and phantasmagorical that they militate against narration and defy description. On Friday, the infamous Wagner Group launched what appeared to be a genuine armed insurrection against the Russian state. They occupied portions of Rostov on Don - a city of over 1 million people, regional capital, and headquarters of Russia’s Southern Military District - before setting off in an armed column towards Moscow. This column - replete with heavy military equipment including air defense systems - came within a few hundred miles of the capital - virtually unmolested by Russian state forces - before abruptly stopping, announcing that a deal had been brokered with the aid of Belorussian President Aleksandr “Uncle Sasha” Lukashenko, turning around, and heading back to Wagner bases in the Ukrainian theater.​..​
..It sounds weird, of course. You’ve heard of gunboat diplomacy - now we get to see tank-based contract negotiations. Yet it is clear that the dispute over Wagner’s independence and status vis a vis Russian military institutions was at the heart of this. Earlier this month, Prigozhin announced his intention to disobey a presidential order that required his fighters to sign MoD contracts by July 1.
  Prigozhin’s statement this morning (Monday, June 26), however, was extremely instructive. It focused almost exclusively on his central grievance: Wagner was going to be absorbed into the institutional military. He doesn’t take this to its conclusion and note that this would nationalize his highly profitable business, but his comments leave no doubt as to his motivation. Here are a few key points that he makes:
  Wagner did not want to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense
  Absorption into the MoD would mean the end of Wagner: “This unit was supposed to cease its existence on July 1.”
“The goal of our campaign was to prevent the destruction of Wagner Group.”
  But what did Prigozhin think would happen? What was his optimistic scenario? Likely, he hoped that general anti-bureaucratic and anti-corruption sentiments, combined with Wagner’s popularity and fame, would lead to an upswell of support for the group which would put the government in a position to acquiesce to Wagner’s independence.
  It was a bold decision. Facing institutional absorption, Prigozhin gambled on a measured destabilization campaign that would rock the country just enough to spook Putin into cutting him a deal. Prigozhin might have convinced himself that this was a clever and decisive roll of the dice that could turn things in his favor. I rather think that they were not playing dice at all. They were playing cards, and Prigozhin had nothing in his hand...
​..​Russia handled the Wagner uprising extremely well, and its management of the crisis points to a high degree of state stability.
​  ​Now, what I am not saying is that the uprising was good for Russia. It was clearly a net-negative in several ways. Russian aircraft were shot down by Wagner and Russian pilots were killed. Prigozhin was then allowed to walk away after causing these deaths - a stain on the government. There was widespread confusion which does nothing good for morale, and operations in the Southern Military District were disrupted by Wagner’s occupation of Rostov.

​  Gilbert Doctorow reports that discussions in Russian media continue to take this mutiny in dead-earnest:​
​  ​For these reasons, Simonyan said, such a possibility of armed conflict on the home front had to be avoided at all costs. And to those who object that the terms of the settlement violate the legal norms of the Russian Federation, her answer is that laws are not God-given but are written by men to regulate relations and maintain order in the country. The legislators cannot foresee extraordinary circumstances wherein strict observance of legal norms would have exactly the opposite effect and cause complete disorder and chaos. Therefore the settlement of the crisis as it turned out deserves our support.
​  ​A diametrically opposite opinion, also very well argued, was made by Lieutenant General in retirement and State Duma member Andrei Gurulyov, who, like Simonyan, is an occasional panelist on the Solovyov  show, where he may be said to represent hardliners on issues of patriotism and civic duty. Gurulyov said flatly that treason such as Prigozhin committed must be punished by the physical elimination of the perpetrators, by a bullet to the head.

​  Simplicus has this about the next desperate step by NATO/Ukraine.
​  ​Nuclear Falseflag on Zaporozhye NPP Heats Up + Major Wagner Updates and More
​  ​The situation can only be considered urgent as Ukraine has now made their full intentions crystal clear. If before we suspected with high confidence, now it is plain fact. They intend to destroy the ZNPP plant as a last ditch attempt to ‘activate NATO’ by blaming Russia.
​  ​A completely coordinated campaign over the last few days has affirmed this. Not only was Budanov’s maiden speech after reappearing from his Kalibrated cranial trepanation centered on Russia’s alleged ‘mining of the ZNPP’ basement, but now several new instances of highly coordinated messaging have been released by Ukraine and its Western controllers.

​  Matt Taibbi: ​ The Elite War on Free Thought
  This is straight out of Orwell. Instead of having “ambiguities” and “shades of meaning” on Covid-19, they reduced everything to a binary: vax and anti-vax.
  They eliminated ambiguities by looking into the minds of users. In the Virality Project if a person told a true story about someone developing myocarditis after getting vaccinated, even if that person was just telling a story – even if they weren’t saying, “The shot caused the myocarditis” – the Virality Project just saw a post that may “promote hesitancy.”
  So, this content was true, but politically categorized as anti-vax, and therefore misinformation – untrue...
​..​They also applied the binary to people.
​  ​This was new. Old-school speech law punished speech, not the speaker. As a reporter I was trained that if I commit libel, if I wrote something defamatory that caused provable injury to someone, I would have to retract the error, admit it, apologize, and pay remuneration. All fair!  But the court case wouldn’t target me as a person. It wouldn’t assume that because I was wrong about X, I would also be wrong about Y, and Z.
​  ​We saw NGOs and agencies like the FBI or the State Department increasingly targeting speakers, not speech. The Virality Project brought up the cases of people like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. The posts of such “repeat offenders,” they said, are “almost always reportable.” They encouraged content moderators to make assumptions about people, and not to look on a case-by-case basis. In other words, they saw good and ungood people, and the ungood were “almost always reportable.”​...
​..​If you apply these techniques fifty million, a hundred million, a billion times, or a billion billion times, people will soon learn to feel how certain accounts are deamplified, and others are not. They will self-sort and self-homogenize...
​..​One last note. As Michael and I found out recently with regard to the viral origin story, things deemed politically good often turn out to be untrue, and things deemed ungood turn out to be true...
​.​.Not long ago we were told in no uncertain terms the Russians blew up their own Nord Stream pipeline, that they were the only suspect. Today the U.S. government is telling us it has known since last June that Ukrainian forces planned it, with the approval of the highest military officials. But we’re not expected to say anything. We’re expected to forget...
​..​We have been complaining about censorship, and it’s important to do that. But they are taking aim at people in a way that will make censorship unnecessary, by building communities of human beings with no memory and monochrome perception. This is more than a speech crisis. It’s a humanity crisis. I hope we’re not too late to fix it.

​  ​Confidential’ documents released by BioNTech to the European Medicines Agency reveal tens of thousands of serious adverse events and thousands of deaths among people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during a time period when the vaccine makers insisted they saw no “safety signals.”

  Sasha Latypova on COVID "bioweapon countermeasures":  I un-archived some key posts which I am including into this Summary of Everything:
​  ​Overall characterization of what is going on: the federal and most of the state governments are gone and captured. Whatever is running the federal gov agencies (e.g. HHS) really intends to kill you, or at least substantially injure you, damage your reproductive capacity and repossess your assets in the process. The aim is to reduce the population and terrorize the survivors enough to establish a totalitarian control over much of the world’s territory. Nobody is coming to save you, your survival and that of your children is in your hands only. Do not comply.

​Out of the Loop (pictured with family yesterday after moving adventure)

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Who Owns My Flesh

 Exquisite Creatures,​

‘PEAK OIL’ AND THE UNFOLDING INFLEXION​  , Surplus Energy Economics​
 ​  ​According to Goehring & Rozencwajg – who are as good as it gets where energy analysis is concerned – Hubbert’s peak is finally here. Only hindsight, of course, can conclusively determine the moment at which “peak oil” became a reality, but G&R are very probably right.​​
​  ​With conventional oil production in decline since 2016, the only source of unconventional supply which remains capable of further increase is the Permian basin, located in six counties in West Texas. This basin, say G&R, is within a year of its own peak, and we know how rapidly shale production declines once a basin slips onto the down-slope of the ‘drilling treadmill’. The rates of decline of individual shale wells tend to be very rapid, and a point inevitably arrives at which operators can no longer drill enough new wells to stop overall output declining...
..The peaking and impending decline of oil supply is sky-writing dramatic changes to activities hitherto taken for granted. It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of oil for so many aspects of daily life...
..We have indeed taken enormous technological strides over the past two centuries, but that has been possible because the supply of low-cost energy has always, hitherto, been abundant. Technologies evolve to suit the energy available to power them, and the contrary proposition is ludicrous.
  The critical issue, so often dismissed or ignored by the high priests of the new and shiny, is that the capabilities of technology are bounded by the laws of physics...
..This is where the term “renewable” ought to be subjected to far more critical examination than it has tended to receive so far. We can’t source the plastics required for the renewables sector without hydrocarbon feedstocks. Renewables can’t, of themselves, power the extraction, processing and delivery of the vast amounts of concrete, steel, copper, cobalt, lithium and a host of other resources required for the development, maintenance and eventual replacement of wind and solar power.
  In short, “renewables” would merit that label only if they were capable of renewing – that is to say, replacing – themselves over time...
..Any pilot worth his or her licence knows that “Isaac (Newton) is always waiting” if they get something wrong. The starry-eyed visionaries of energy transition need to develop an equivalent awareness of the hard limits of physics...
..The coming decline in oil and broader fossil fuel supply, coupled with continuing cost increases and the lack of full-replacement alternatives, provides significant visibility on future trends. The world’s average person will become gradually less prosperous, a process exacerbated by rises in the real costs of energy-intensive necessities including food, water, housing and essential travel.
  The result will be a leveraged contraction in the affordability of discretionary (non-essential) products and services. Labour intensity in the economy will reverse its long decline, absorbing workers released by contraction in the discretionary sectors.
  To this extent, economic contraction is capable, at least in theory, of happening gradually. The same, though, cannot be said of the financial system...
..As you may know, I believe that we can only seek to understand economic trends effectively if we embrace the concept of “two economies” – a “real economy” of material products and services, and a parallel “financial economy” of money and credit.
  From this, it follows that money, having no intrinsic worth, commands value only as a ‘claim’ on the goods and services made available by the “real economy”. These “claims” exist in two forms – those that we exercise, transactionally, in the present, and those which we set aside for exercise in the future. Measured in relation to material prosperity, the exercise of excessive claims in the present is mediated by inflation, but the real problem resides in a huge excess of monetary ‘claims on the future’...
..It may seem obvious that less oil means less driving and less flying, but the real significance of oil contraction lies in what it means for ‘behind the scenes’ activities such as food production, petrochemical supply, and the distribution of products and raw materials.
  The moment, as well as the implications, of “peak oil” have been debated over decades, and there is no particular practical significance attached to the precise date of its arrival. Moreover, surplus oil – that is, supply less its ECoE-cost of delivery – has already turned down, both on an aggregate and a per-capita basis.
  But the symbolic meaning of the peak oil “moment” could hardly be more profound.

​  ​C​harles Hugh Smith , ​Doom-Loop I: "Bringing Demand Forward" Will No Longer Save Us
​​  The fantasy is that inflation will plummet to zero and we can all go back to "Bringing Demand Forward." The reality is what's plummeting is demand.
​  ​The US economy has been saved time and again over the past two decades by this one weird trick: "Bringing Demand Forward" by lowering interest rates and lending standards so Americans could continue to buy stuff they didn't really need because the monthly payment dropped as interest rates were pushed toward zero.​..
​..Nothing "Brings Demand Forward" like a speculative bubble and so inflating credit-based bubbles is all part of the plan to encourage people to buy stuff they don't need on credit to keep GDP expanding.
​  ​"Bringing Demand Forward" with speculative bubbles is joyous until the bubble pops--and all bubbles pop. When bubbles deflate, gains are replaced by losses and the reverse wealth effect kicks in.
​  ​The solution for the past two decades has been to drop interest rates even further and expand credit even more to generate a new bubble in one asset class or another.
​  ​Now that central banks have pumped up the Everything Bubble and unleashed inflation, the weird trick of dropping interest rates / juicing liquidity no longer works.​..
​.."Bringing Demand Forward" always had an expiration date. You can't bring demand forward forever. Eventually consumers tap out, bubbles pop, speculative gambles go bust, debt service eats up consumers' disposable income, credit cards get maxed out and enterprises bloated by decades of bubbles and credit-funded spending implode under their fixed costs and debt loads.​..
..It's going to hurt when we hit the rocks at the bottom and unfortunately few are taking measures to reduce their risk while such measures are still within reach.

  ​Pepe Escobar , If you're counting on Asia's many new power centers to compete and clash – don't. The Greater Eurasia Partnership is set to integrate them all – from the SCO, EAEU, and BRICS, to emerging new currencies – in order to replace the 'rules-based order.'
​  ​On July 4, at a New Delhi summit, Iran will finally become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).​..
..In parallel, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk has confirmed that Iran and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) should sign a free trade agreement (FTA) by the end of 2023...
..Russia and Iran – two key poles of Eurasia integration – have been getting closer and closer geoeconomically since the west’s sanctions tsunami that followed Russia’s February 2022 Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine..
​.​.In a parallel track, the members of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), during a recent summit in Iran, decided to launch a new cross-border financial messaging system this month as a rival to the western-centric SWIFT.
​  ​The ACU comprises the Central Banks of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Iran: a healthy mix of West Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.
​  ​It was the Central Bank of Iran – still under harsh sanctions – that developed the new bank messaging system
, so new it’s not yet known by its own acronym.
​  ​Crucially, the Governor of Russia’s Central Bank took part in the ACU summit as an observer, along with officials from Belarus, which applied for ACU membership two weeks ago.​.
..As Iran’s first Vice President, Mohammad Mokhber summed it up: “De-dollarization is not a voluntary choice by countries anymore; it is an inevitable response to the weaponization of the dollar.”...
​..Iran is now at the heart of all things multipolar. The recent discovery of a massive lithium field holding roughly 10 percent of the world’s reserves, coupled with the quite possible admission of Iran into the expanded BRICS – or BRICS+ – as early as this year, has bolstered scenarios of an upcoming BRICS currency backed by commodities: gold, oil, gas and – inevitably – lithium...
,,The Global South has had enough of the US sanctioning and banning whoever, whatever, and whenever they like, in defense of a hazy, arbitrary “rules-based international order.”​ ...
​..All interlinked developments concerning SCO, BRICS, EAEU, and other multilateral mechanisms – now happening at breakneck speed – are converging in practice into a concept formulated in Russia back in 2018: the Greater Eurasia Partnership.​..
..As Lavrov routinely explains now in all of his important meetings, this includes “interlinking the complementary development plans” of the EAEU and China’s BRI; expanding interaction “within the framework of the SCO with the involvement of SCO observer states and dialogue partners;” “strengthening the strategic partnership” between Russia and ASEAN; and “establishing working contacts” among the executive bodies of the EAEU, SCO, and ASEAN.
​  ​Add to it the crucial interaction between the upcoming BRICS+ and all of the above; literally, everybody and their neighbor all across the Global South is queuing up to enter Club BRICS.

​  Gilbert Doctorow watches Russian TV so he sees things we don't see in the 'states. 
​  Thanks to the Vladimir Solovyov talk show last night, I have heard a recent speech by Kennedy in which he sets out the insightful and entirely sane thoughts of his uncle on managing relations with the Russians.  Yes, I did not hear RFK Jr. on the BBC or on CNN. It had to be Solovyov who understood that this speech must be disseminated widely...
​..Kennedy’s speech was instead based on objective reasoning: recognizing that the other side is also human, that it also has national interests which it holds as dear as we do ours and that compromises must be made to preserve the human race.  This is a starting point that deserves the full and enthusiastic support of everyone who values peace and abhors the thought of a coming nuclear war. It trumps all other partisan concerns of Left and Right and Middle in the United States. Those other partisan concerns, which include identity politics, minority rights, environmentalism may be important in their own right, but have been used cynically by those in power to distract the electorate from the fundamental issues of politics, which concern the share of the economic pie enjoyed by each stratum in society and a peaceful world in which to enjoy the prosperity.​..
​..A candidate who has said he would immediately pardon Snowden and Assange, as RFK Jr. has said, is a man who deserves the support of every enlightened citizen in the land.

​  ​Robert Kennedy Jr calls for a new peace movement: "We have been immersed in a foreign policy discourse that is all about adversaries and threats and domination. Is this really who we are? Is that what America's founders envisioned?"​ (Two and a half minutes)

​  One must wonder what people are actually making the military decisions in the West/US/NATO, where they physically exist, what their personal "skin in the game" is, and what they expect to lose or gain in this global conflict. This World War 3 is primarily over control of global resources, finance and production. 
  The old glbal trade and financial system is decaying and will be superseded by the developing Eurasian and Global South alliances. 
  This is "existential" for the owners as regards their positional status controlling western finance, trade and politics. However, as long as they do not feel personally threatened with death, they will be willing to take very high risks with the lives of the rest of the humans in the world.​

​  ​Professor Sergey Karaganov’s “Tough-but-necessary decision” article – which claims that by using its nuclear weapons, Russia could save humanity from a global catastrophe – has provoked plenty of reaction both at home and abroad. Partly because of the author’s status – he has been an advisor to both President Boris Yeltsin and President Vladimir Putin – and also due to the belief that his opinion may possibly be shared by some people in positions of power.
​  ​Dmitry Trenin, an extremely respected Russian expert who served in the Soviet military gives his response.​..
..The fear of the atomic bomb, present in the second half of the twentieth century, has disappeared. Nuclear weapons have been taken out of the equation. The practical conclusion is clear: there is no need to be afraid of such a Russian response.
  This is an extremely dangerous misconception. The trajectory of the Ukrainian war points to an escalation of the conflict both horizontally (by expanding the theater of military action) and vertically (by increasing the power of the weapons used and the intensity of their use). It must be soberly acknowledged that this momentum is heading towards a direct armed confrontation between Russia and NATO....
​..So far, Moscow’s strategy has been to allow the enemy to take the escalatory initiative. The West has taken advantage of this, trying to wear down Russia on the battlefield and undermine it from within. It makes no sense for the Kremlin to go along with this plan. On the contrary, it’s a better idea to clarify and modernize our nuclear deterrence strategy, taking into account the practical experience of the Ukrainian conflict...
​..The main adversary should be given an unambiguous signal that Moscow will not play by the rules set by the other side. Of course, this should be accompanied by a credible dialogue with both our strategic partners and neutral states, explaining the motives and objectives of our actions. The possibility of using nuclear weapons in the current conflict must not be concealed...
​ Regarding Russian nuclear strikes against NATO countries, as raised by Professor Karaganov: Hypothetically speaking, Washington would most likely not respond to such an attack with a nuclear response of its own against Russia – for fear of a Russian retaliatory launch against the US itself. This would dispel the mythology that has surrounded Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty for decades and lead to a profound crisis for NATO – possibly even the dissolution of the organization. It is possible that, in such circumstances, the Atlantic elites of NATO and the EU would panic and be swept aside by patriotic forces that would see for themselves that their security does not in fact depend on a non-existent US nuclear umbrella, but on building a balanced relationship with Russia. It is also possible that the Americans could decide to leave Russia alone.
  It could well be that the calculation just described would ultimately be correct. But it is unlikely.
  Yes, a US nuclear strike on Russia would probably not follow immediately. It is unlikely that the Americans would sacrifice Boston for Poznan, just as they were not going to sacrifice Chicago for Hamburg during the Cold War. But there will probably be some sort of response from Washington. Perhaps of the non-atomic type, which, without speculating too wildly, could be sensitive and painful for us. It is likely that with it, Washington would try to pursue a goal similar to ours: paralyzing the Russian leadership's will to continue the war and creating panic in our society.  Moscow’s leadership is unlikely to capitulate after such a blow, since, at this stage, Russia's very existence would be at stake. It is more likely that a retaliatory strike would follow, and this time, one can assume, against the main adversary rather than its satellites...
..The war in Ukraine has become protracted. As far as we can tell from the actions of the Russian leadership, it expects to achieve strategic success by relying on Russian resources, which are many times greater than those in Ukraine. It also relies on the fact that Moscow has much more at stake in this war than the West. This calculation is probably correct, but it should be taken into account that the opponent assesses Russia's chances differently than we do and may take steps which could lead to a direct armed clash between Russia and the US/NATO.
  We must be prepared for such a development. To avoid a general catastrophe, it is necessary to put fear of armageddon back into politics and the public consciousness.

Rep. Gaetz Wants to Give Biden Military Authorization to Take Out ‘Chinese Assets’ in Cuba
​  ​Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Thursday told the House Armed Services Committee that he wants to give President Biden the authority to intervene militarily in Cuba to “take out” Chinese assets that are allegedly on the island.
​  ​“I support an Authorization for Use of Military Force to take out the Chinese assets in Cuba,” Gaetz said. He wanted to add the AUMF as an amendment to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) but had to withdraw it for procedural reasons.
​   ​“To my hawk friends on the committee who think I’m too much of a dove, this amendment is an authorization to use military force given to President Biden to take out the Chinese assets in Cuba,” he said.
​  ​Gaetz’s comments came after The Wall Street Journal reported Beijing and Havana are negotiating to establish a joint military training facility in Cuba, which cited unnamed US officials who based the claim on “convincing but fragmentary” intelligence.​..
..The Journal report said that some US intelligence officials say “that Beijing sees its actions in Cuba as a geographical response to the US relationship with Taiwan: The US invests heavily in arming and training the self-governing island that sits off mainland China and that Beijing sees as its own.”

​  Sasha Latypova and some of my friends are on this 848 pages, but I gave up looking for myself at 124 pages​. It's not searchable, just a PDF. I've been censored intermittently since 2016, and some other things have happened which cannot be explained in terms of who could have known what, and how.
Verified on a government watchlist, at last!
​  NYC Department of Health is Spending Taxpayers' Money to Spy on Racially Profiled Communities Using Federal Intelligence Affiliates as "Private Contractors"

​  ​Here is a link to the 900-page FOIAed document [404 now] ​which collates numerous reports spanning June 3, 2021 to September 26, 2022. I invite my colleagues in the wrongthink community to check if they are on this list, too. I only scanned a few pages and found many familiar names: Drs. Rose, McCullough, Nass, Kory, Ruby, Yeadon, late Dr. Zelenko, Steve Kirsch, Igor Chudov, El Gato Malo as well as The Epoch Times and Children’s Health Defense. Of course, Robert Kennedy Jr. is there, too, with numerous mentions.

​Skin in the Game (took this picture of Jenny picking green beans)​

Thursday, June 22, 2023

NATO F-16 Questions

 Watching Elites Twitch,