Friday, March 31, 2023

Deweaponizing The Dollar

 Captive Audience,

   Did Big Banks Take Over the US Treasury? Michael Hudson and Radhika Desai (with transcript , extensively excerpted here) Thanks Christine.
  Hudson.. The banking system is now a branch of the US Treasury with the whole value of the US Treasuries behind the banking deposit — there’s no more risk essentially.
  It would appear at first glance that she’d (Yellen) nationalized the banks.
  But really what happened was that — it wasn’t reported in the newspaper, [but it’s almost as if she’d] just taken a mid-level job at Wells Fargo — maybe it was at Citibank — saying the Treasury is now a subgroup of Wells Fargo, Chase Manhattan, and the large banks, [pledging all its credit so that uninsured depositors will not take a loss.]
  The banking system has cannibalized the Treasury and mobilized the whole of Treasury for its banking.
  People had, for a long time, wanted the idea of public banking. They wanted banking to be a public utility. But now the Treasury itself has become privatized as a banking utility...
Desai.. Michael. You put it so well. Because basically, when you can’t have banking as a public utility, then inevitably what happens is the government becomes a private utility. That’s exactly what’s going on...
Hudson.. It’s as if the whole objective of corporate industry today is to get consumers to run into debt and make money off the interest that you charge for consumers rather than to make profits...
..That’s why we’ve been deindustrializing and painted the US economy into the corner that it really can’t re-industrialize without replacing the banking system that is in the middle of showing that it doesn’t work...
..And of course it’s very hard to have a huge financial superstructure [without] an industrial base. And if you have a superstructure on a teeny base, at a certain point it’s going to collapse.
  And that’s finally what we’re saying today. The idea of a post-industrial economy making money purely on financial engineering instead of industrial engineering ends up with more claims for payment than the economy can pay.
  That’s been the theme of all of our shows and that’s exactly what you’re seeing today. Ponzi schemes work until somebody wants to withdraw their money..
..You’re seeing [Rothschild banker] Mr. Macron in France facing riots when he’s trying to say, “Well, we can’t afford to pay social security because the banks needed more money for the bailout, so we’re going to extend the retirement age.” ...
..Ever since Obama bailed out the banks and not the economy — ever since he didn’t write down the debts to what can be paid —ever since he refused to let the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation take over Citibank and refused to declare that the largest banks — Wells Fargo, Chase — all these banks were insolvent — that refusal led to the whole debt overhead — what they called the “jobless recovery”...
..Their policy is to put the financial sector first, and the job of the entire economy is to reduce its living standards, cut back its corporate investment, cut back any spending except the flow of money into the financial sector...
..The houses of eight million American families were bought out by private capital companies and turned from owner-occupied housing into rental housing. The shape of the economy changed.
  This is much more than lower interest rates. It was a transformation of the American economy from a homeowner’s economy to a rental economy — from an industrial economy to a financial economy.
  The Obama administration ended permanently any hopes for an American industrial takeoff until such time as his acts can be undone and you wipe out the debt overhead that is the same thing as the savings overhead of the banks in the financial sector...
Desai.. I should also say that the voices that have been talking about that also go back to the 1980s. I mean, remember Ross Perot and him saying that if the United States wants to have an economy as competitive as Japan’s, it’s going to need industrial policy, and that implies a very different financial system...
Hudson.. Well Obama did something much worse. The Federal Reserve in 2009 started the practice of actually paying interest on bank reserves held at the Fed.
  So a bank could borrow from the Fed at a low rate of interest, redeposit the money at the Fed and actually make an arbitrage gain.
  This is, again, a transformation in the structure. It’s not just a lower interest rate — it’s not just that. It’s lowering interest rates in a way that gives banks a way to make free money by borrowing cheap from the government and lending back to the government.
  This was a gigantic $9 trillion subsidy to the banks at the same time that the Democrats said, “We cannot afford to forgive student debt"... "We can afford to forgive the debts of the banks that have gone under. But not the students, not the homeowners that couldn’t pay, not the victims of junk mortgage loans.”
  This is the choice that both the Democrats and the Republicans are following, and that is what makes a recovery impossible for the United States without a change in policy. I don’t see how it can occur without a revolution...
..Well you could say it goes back to the founding of the Federal Reserve. That was the fatal detour that the American economy took.
  If you read the government reports of the National Monetary Commission at the time, the purpose of the Federal Reserve was to take monetary power out of Washington and put it in the financial centers in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. And the Treasury was not even allowed as a board member on the Federal Reserve. The idea was to privatize finance and essentially replace the Treasury with the private banking system...
..We have an economy slowed down. The function of the central bank today isn’t to provide money to the economy, it’s to provide money for the banks to make money financially at the economy’s expense...
..So if Janet Yellen now says, “Well the Treasury will make good all of the bank’s losses that have been a result of raising interest rates from Obama’s zero interest rates” — then there’ll have to be another $9 trillion.
  Well with $9 trillion you can forget Social Security, forget Medicare, forget social spending — you’ll only have a government doing military spending and paying money to the banks...
..We can’t restructure the banking and credit system and leave the current bailouts in place, and the current debts in place.
  The enormous amount of debts that have grown as a result of the Obama bailouts — the huge $9 trillion in debts — cannot remain in the economy without [preventing the economy from developing].
  This whole buildup of debt, sponsored by zero interest rate policy, has to be wiped out.
  If you keep that debt, if you don’t let the banks go under, if you do not wipe out this debt, there is no way that the economy can afford to be competitive [with] other countries.
  And all that will be left [with] to relate to the international economy will be military power. There’s no way that it’ll have export power, or even a financial power that is viable...
Desai.. There has to be a root and branch reform of the financial system. Only that is going to solve the dilemma which we are in today.

  Saudi Arabia makes move towards Russia-China bloc  
  King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has signed the documents granting Saudi Arabia the status of “dialog partner” with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – the political, economic and security bloc currently chaired by China.
  The Saudi state agency also said that Iran was set to join the bloc “soon.” Tehran had applied for membership in 2021.
  The SCO was created in 2001 by Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. It has since expanded to India, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan as full members. The status of dialog partner was created in 2008, and includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Egypt, Nepal, Qatar, Sri Lanka and Türkiye.
  The bloc initially focused on security concerns, primarily terrorism, separatism and extremism. It has an agreement with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on jointly addressing security, crime and drug trafficking.​  (CIA activities.)​ ​

  Brazil and China sign pact to abandon dollar
  Beijing and Brasilia have signed an agreement on trade in mutual currencies, abandoning the US dollar as an intermediary, and are also planning to expand cooperation on food and minerals...
..“The expectation is that this will reduce costs... promote even greater bilateral trade and facilitate investment,” AFP quoted the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency as saying on Wednesday.
  The countries also reportedly announced the creation of a clearinghouse that will provide settlements without the US dollar, as well as lending in national currencies.

  The deals were waiting for the agreements to be signed. More will come on their heels.
  In a quick succession this week, Beijing unveiled ground-breaking deals to further its efforts to promote the yuan and ditch the US dollar.
  To be sure, the yuan’s market share in the global system remains minuscule. But the direction is clear. 
As Victor Xing at Kekselias Inc. put it: “The key characteristic of the present geopolitical development is ideological, rather than based on economic calculus. Therefore, it is harder to de-escalate, and it means the disruptions and decoupling has momentum to go on for a longer period of time.”

  Warehouses of hundred dollar bills shored up Russian banking, and they barely touched those piles. (I'm entertaining the thought that Russia left that $300 billion where the west could iimpound it, just to tempt them, like FDR tempted the Japanese in Pearl Harbor, but secretly removed the aircraft carriers and modern ships ahead of their attack.)
  Moscow stockpiled gold, yuan and foreign currency in cash to offset Western sanctions, the regulator has revealed
  Amid “increasing geopolitical risks” the central bank ramped up investments in assets “that cannot be blocked by unfriendly nations” and transferred part of its reserves to gold, Chinese yuan and foreign currency in cash, the regulator announced in its annual report.
  The central bank managed to stash billions of imported dollars “in volumes limited by logistics capabilities.

​  ​The European Union is in danger of “criminalising” the use of physical cash with its new anti-money laundering laws, an MEP has warned.
​  ​Dr Gunnar Beck, a representative for the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, has warned that the EU appears to be pushing for the “criminalisation” of the use of physical cash with its new anti-money laundering (AML) laws.
​  ​Politicians in Brussels have long been pondering an upper legal limit on the value of cash transactions within the bloc, with lawmakers detailing plans to ban Europeans from spending over €10,000 in physical tender as part of a single transaction.

  Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo saved a man’s life Tuesday at the Florida Capitol.
  Willie James Davis Jr. on Tuesday morning suffered a cardiac event during a children’s event near the Capitol Courtyard.
  Ladapo, passing through the area, rushed to aid the 57-year-old. He performed chest compressions and stabilized Davis using a defibrillator, according to the incident report.
  “I’m grateful I was at the right place at the right time,” said Ladapo. “I love being a doctor and I especially appreciate times when my experience makes a difference.”
  Ladapo visited Davis at the hospital the following day.
“A perfect stranger made a decision to give aid and saved my life,” said Davis. “I believe he already has his wings. Again, I thank God for the blessing of continued life and the angel He sent me.”    

  Ben Gvir's Militia
  More worrying is the difficulty Netanyahu faced in even arriving at such a temporary “pause.” In order to prevent the government from collapsing, under the threat of resignation by Itamar Ben Gvir, Netanyahu agreed to Ben Gvir’s demand for the creation of a private militia under his direct control.
  The creation of this private militia has long been a goal for Ben Gvir, and his desire for it only grew after being told that his position as Minister of Police was not enough. He was specifically informed that the Minister of Police only sets policy and must leave the actual implementation of policies to the police.
..The prospect of directly channeling vast amounts and resources to thugs and violent settlers, granting them official sanction and authority is truly frightening. For many years, these elements have enjoyed the tacit support of the army and its complicity. To grant them now direct authority is frightening not only for Palestinians but for the army and the police authorities themselves, who have often viewed Ben Gvir as a convicted terrorist, inciter to violence, and a problematic agitator who creates headaches for them. He was rejected for army service, convicted for terrorism and incitement. He was a politician who has built a reputation for openly calling for near-genocidal practices. He famously went to Sheikh Jarrah, promising a Second Nakba (referring to the ethnic cleansing of 1948) while waving his pistol around. He promised greater violence once he joined the government. It was bad enough that he became Minister of Police and his equally dangerous colleague Bezalel Smotrich was given control over COGAT with direct responsibility for security in the West Bank, but now Ben Gvir is being given his own militia with direct operational authority over its members. Smotrich publicly stated that the recent pogrom at Huwara, and even erasing it (employing a biblical phrase), should have been done not by private citizens but by the government itself. Maybe he had Ben Gvir’s militia in mind.

  Amal Oraby is usually a fixture at street protests. But as tens of thousands of Israelis have demonstrated for months against a contentious government plan to overhaul the judiciary, Oraby is sitting this one out.
  An activist and lawyer, Oraby is one of the many Palestinian citizens of Israel who have stayed on the sidelines of some of the country’s largest and most sustained demonstrations — a glaring absence in a movement that says it aims to preserve the country’s democratic ideals.
  “I don’t see myself there,” Oraby said...
..“In this demonstration, we don’t talk about occupation. We don’t talk about racism. We don’t talk about discrimination,” said Sami Abou Shehadeh, a former legislator in Israel’s parliament. “And they call it a struggle for democracy.”

  Israeli Airstrikes Hit Damascus for Second Night in a Row  (Can Israelis cooperate on another war against Syria for awhile?)
  The intensified Israeli airstrikes in Syria come as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing a political crisis at home. After massive protests and dissent within the Israeli government, Netanyahu delayed his controversial judicial overhaul, but unrest in the country continues.

  Rare Rebuke Of Israel By White House Riles Republicans 
 The political fallout continues after President Biden's controversial and rare criticisms of Israel, which included on Tuesday his urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to abandon his governing coalition's judicial overhaul policy which critics say will destroy any semblance of checks and balances and thus is a threat to Israeli democracy itself. The plan is now on "pause" as deep divisions in Israel simmer.
  Biden had said he hoped Netanyahu "walks away from" the plan which has brought hundreds of thousands of Israeli protesters into the streets over the last couple weeks. But he really riled Israel-supporters by emphasizing that he has no intention of welcoming Netanyahu to the White House "in the near term." Typically newly elected Israeli prime ministers can expect to meet with the US president fairly quickly after entering office.
  "Like many strong supporters of Israel, I’m very concerned, and I’m concerned that they get this straight. They cannot continue down this road," Biden had told reporters.

  The liberal justices all supported the corporate lynching.
  The US Supreme Court Just Legalized Private Corporate Prosecutions. Activists Beware.  Steven Donziger
  In a major blow to the rule of law, the US Supreme Court this week let stand Chevron's private prosecution and 993-day detention of me after I helped Amazon communities in Ecuador win the historic $9.5 billion pollution case against Chevron. There was a great dissent by Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh who declared: “Our Constitution does not tolerate what happened here.” While I am dealing with a major disappointment on a personal level, I want people to know that the underlying environmental case against Chevron is still alive after being affirmed unanimously by Ecuador’s highest court and Canada’s Supreme Court for enforcement purposes.

  RFK, Jr. to Buttigieg: Airline Safety Is ‘Not a Partisan Issue,’ FAA Must Investigate Spike in Pilot Health Emergencies
  Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. called on U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to investigate the spike in near-misses and narrowly averted airline accidents resulting from pilots incapacitated by health emergencies since 2021, coinciding with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the U.S.

​Heart Healthy (pictured harvesting first onion and putting in a zucchini plant)​

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Free To Follow Orders

 Complying Reluctantly,

  Andrew Korybko presents this case that the US deep state is driving the longstanding tension between Israeli factions into open, sustained confrontation. I had thought that it was the opportunistic Netanyahu aligning with the far right Jewish Nationalists in a power play to remove the checks on his power.
The US-Backed Color Revolution In Israel Just Reached Crisis Proportions

​No news stories on this for 24 hours. What's up?
​  Despite Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to delay the planned judicial reforms that have so destabilised Israeli society, the country’s crisis of democracy is far from over.
  Protests at Netanyahu’s plan, which have rocked Israel for weeks, redoubled in intensity last weekend after Netanyahu sacked his Likud colleague and defence minister, Yoav Gallant, for calling on him to freeze the reform.
  Within hours Netanyahu announced that the plan would be delayed until May. But he ignored advice from the US president, Joe Biden, to “walk away” from the judicial overhaul, insisting he doesn’t make decisions based on pressure from abroad.
  The government’s plans to weaken the powers of Israel’s supreme court have been savaged by opponents as a major attack on the checks and balances within Israel’s unwritten constitutional system – an attack in democracy itself...

..Netanyahu has blamed everyone but himself for delaying the judicial reforms. Listening to him announce the pause, it wasn’t the provocative nature of the changes that his far-right government wanted to steam-roller through the Knesset (parliament) that was to blame for the protests. Rather it was what he called “a minority of extremists that are willing to tear our country to shreds … escorting us to civil war and calling for refusal of army service, which is a terrible crime”.​..
​..The speech had been delayed from the morning as the prime minister first needed to secure his coalition’s support. The ultra-Orthodox parties had already fallen behind Netanyahu, but it was his far-right flank that proved more difficult.
​  I​n the end, Bezelal Smotrich, the finance minister and leader of the Religious Zionist party caved in, realising that his resignation could end the coalition and with it the far-right’s first taste of power. National security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, the leader of the Jewish Power Party, held out for more: the creation of a national guard under his command, something many have described as a “private militia”.​     
[Wolfsangel or swastika insignia?]

Strikes Cripple France’s Fuel Supply​   (It is feeling like 1968 to me. Remember 1968?)

France Buys 65,000 Tons Of LNG From China In First Ever Yuan-Denominated Trade

​  ​Hungary and Poland have both voted against the European Commission’s new proposal to extend a regulation that requires a 15 percent reduction in the use of natural gas from member states, said Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó at the EU Energy Council in Brussels on Tuesday.
​   ​According to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Szijjártó said at a press conference at the summit that the European Commission has come up with a proposal that would again require a reduction in natural gas consumption instead of pursuing more worthwhile goals like investing in infrastructure.
​  ​Such a regulation was already adopted last year despite Hungarian and Polish opposition, but this one poses a greater threat to Europe’s economy. The previous reduction was during the winter period.

​  ​This week Honduras delivered a shock to Taiwan and its powerful backer Washington, as the Honduran government ordered Taiwan to vacate its embassy in the country within 30 days. As Reuters underscored in its biting headline Tuesday, Taiwan was told to 'pack up and leave' Honduras after ties severed. Adding insult to injury, driving President Xiomara Castro's decision are efforts to gain more Chinese investment and jobs, at a moment diplomatic ties have been formally established with Beijing.

​  ​TUCKER CARLSON: This is about introducing flat out totalitarianism
  ​But election interference from TikTok is totally unacceptable. OK. But in reality, and you should know this, if you're opposed to TikTok as we are, This bill isn't really about banning TikTok. It's never about what they say it is.
​  ​Instead, this bill would give enormous and terrifying new powers to the federal government to punish American citizens and regulate how they communicate with one another. For example, the bill would regulate "certain transactions between persons in the United States and foreign adversaries." Now, what's a foreign adversary and who gets to decide? The secretary of commerce and the department and the DNI, not the Congress, get to decide what foreign adversaries are. Well, that ought to trip a switch in your brain and then the transactions with foreign adversaries would include "any acquisition, importation, transfer, installation, dealing in or use of any information and communications technology, product or service, including ongoing activities such as mandated services, data transmission, software updates, repairs, or the provision of data hosting services." Well, that's pretty broad.
​  ​Under this bill, if you engage in any of that with a so-called foreign adversary as determined by, in this case, the Biden administration, that would allow the Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimando, and the director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, to decide whether you're acting in the "interest of a foreign adversary."
​  ​Again, that's another term that the executive branch, the secretary of commerce, gets to define without the interference of Congress. So, if the Biden administration decides that you're doing this, then the secretary of commerce can then enforce "any mitigation measure to address any risk arising from any covered transaction with any person or with respect to any property subject to the jurisdiction of the United States." Oh, these covered transactions can involve "current past or potential future transactions" and the mitigation measures include, but are not limited to, throwing American citizens in prison for 20 years.

RESTRICT Act Is Orwellian Censorship Grab Disguised As Anti-TikTok Legislation​   (Abbreviated version)

​  In Britain, and envisioned for everyone, everywhere...
​  Smartphones, under the two years of lockdown, were the instrument onto which the COVID-faithful downloaded the software applications (or app) that connected them to the Test and Trace tracking programme that identified and recorded their location, movements, associations and personal contacts.
​  ​In the imminent future, smartphones are the instrument onto which, in the guise of the digital verification of our identity — the Government’s ‘consultation’ on which closed this month — the compliant will upload their biometric data (fingerprints, photograph and DNA swab) to a centralised database to which the 32 public authorities presiding over the UK biosecurity state will have access.​..
..Smartphones are the instrument that will monitor whether their owners are up-to-date with what the UK biosecurity state decides is fully ‘vaccinated’ with whatever our Government and its partners in the pharmaceutical industry decide we must inject into our bodies as a condition of access to the rights of citizenship.
​  ​Smartphones are the instrument that will monitor and record how many times we leave or enter our 15-minute grazing range currently being implemented by our public authorities to restrict and limit our freedom of movement on the justification of ‘saving the planet’.
​  ​Smart phones are the instrument that will track our carbon footprint in order to monitor and control the quantity of meat, dairy products, energy, oil, petrol and other products to which the UK biosecurity state — under the terms of the agreements of Agenda 2030 signed by the UK Government in 2015 — will progressively cut off our access between now and 2030.
​  ​Smartphones are the means by which our compliance with lockdowns, masking mandates and programmes of gene therapy dictated by the World Health Organization’s Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Treaty and enforced by the UK biosecurity state will be monitored, recorded and enforced by, among other recourses, cutting off our access to the electronic and digital grid.
​  ​And, within the next few years, smartphones will become the digital wallet through which the Bank of England will have complete control over how much, on what and where we spend its Central Bank Digital Currency...
..Smartphones, therefore, are the technology of our enslavement, and the fact that, knowing all this as more and more of us do, we still — still — won’t discard them, shows how addicted we are to this technology, how deep it has penetrated into our psychology, and in effect into our biology.​..
..The truth is, we don’t programme smartphones and we don’t use them. They programme us, they change how we use them. They use us.​..
..A smartphone is not a tool. It is not a ‘convenience’. It is biotechnology, and the fact that it isn’t yet implanted into our bodies doesn’t mean it hasn’t already become a part of us — and a part of us you have just demonstrated you are ready to sacrifice your freedom to rather than discard.​//
..Compliance with the UK programme of gene therapy was not — as was claimed by those who willingly complied — a personal and individual choice to be ‘vaccinated’ against a deadly virus, and therefore none of the business of those who opposed the national programme. It was, and is, an act of collective obedience that created the consensus with which the non-compliant were and are socially ostracised, demonised in the media as murderers, fired from our jobs and treated under newly-made laws as citizens without rights and freedoms, prisoners in our own country and homes.
​  ​In the same way, using a smart phone is not an individual choice — whether chosen freely or out of habit or addiction; it is a collective act of compliance that is creating the digital camp in which all of us will one day be imprisoned. Only when millions of us stop using the instruments of our enslavement will we escape this camp.

​  ​It’s a war for the dollar—and the big banks. The rest of us better hold on tight. , ​By James K. Galbraith   Thanks Christine.
​  ​So why did the Federal Reserve invert the yield curve? To fight inflation? To kill jobs and stall wages? If so, the stupidity—or the economistic groupthink—is shocking. Most price increases have already faded from the economy (for now). Though job growth is strong, wage increases lag prices: Real wages have fallen. The Fed obviously operates in total disregard of its full-employment mandate—nothing new in that—and indifference even to the textbook logic of labor markets. Why is that? Among specialists, opinions differ on how smart top officers of the Federal Reserve actually are. Personally, I vote for dishonest over stupid.
​  ​The Fed works—as a wise Republican monetarist told me many years ago—for the biggest banks. The big banks are not the friends of smaller banks, even if they scramble to help out when the smaller ones are in danger. And the big banks, which operate across the globe, depend on the God-almighty dollar. The Fed raises interest rates, first and foremost, to defend the dollar. Paul Volcker in 1981 raised interest rates to the skies and established a dollar-based world system that is now beginning—just beginning—to unravel. I believe that this, above all, lies at the heart of the inverted yield curve. SVB and the US regional and community banks are only the beginning of the consequences.
​  ​What happens next? Obviously, Europe and Japan must match US rate increases and deposit guarantees, and as all those interest rates rise, a global slump will follow. If they don’t follow suit—and perhaps even if they do—hot money will flow massively out of European and other foreign banks, notably Japan, and out of commodities, such as oil and copper. The money will flow into the United States. Into the money market funds and the biggest banks. Enhanced swap lines—to keep dollars available to foreign central banks—were trotted out on Sunday. They signal that the dollar is still boss.

​  ​Russia’s deputy foreign minister has listed the steps Kiev must take before hostilities can end​.
​  ​For Ukraine to bring about peace, its military forces must stand down and the West must halt all deliveries of weapons to Kiev, Galuzin told the outlet RTVI.
​  ​Several other conditions he listed have been on the table since the hostilities escalated in February 2022, such as Ukraine’s demilitarization and “denazification,” a pledge to never join the EU or NATO, and the affirmation of Kiev’s non-nuclear status. Another was added in October 2022, and involves the recognition of “new territorial realities” – commonly understood to mean the decision of Kherson, Zaporozhye and the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk to join Russia.
​  ​Ensuring the protection of the Russian language and the rights of Russian-speaking citizens, as well as all other ethnic groups in Ukraine also made Galuzin’s list.

​  Nobody can tell where that 20% goes after that, either.​
​  ​Washington hands over only about 20% of financial aid allocated for Ukraine directly to Kiev, with about 60% of this money being received by the US side itself, head of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Michael McCaul said during Committee hearing Wednesday.
​  ​"Of the $113 billion appropriated across four supplementals, approximately 60% is going to American troops, American workers and modernizing American stockpiles. In fact, only 20% of the funding is going directly to the Ukrainian government in the form of direct budgetary assistance," the lawmaker said.

Ecological Data Point to COVID-19 Vaccines as a Determinant of Increased All-Cause Mortality
Countries Must Urgently Merge Vaccine Administration and Death Databases​, ​
Peter A. McCullough, MD
​  ​The biggest global news story in 2021, 2022, and now in 2023 is that people around the world are dying in ever great numbers as the pandemic winds down. This is just the opposite of what was expected since COVID-19 mortality was largely in the elderly and those with many medical problems, the viral illness should have had a “culling” effect leaving 2022 and now 2023 to have decreased mortality.
​  ​Multiple sources of data suggest the swell in mortality occurring is not just among the elderly. Edward Dowd’s book "Cause Unknown": The Epidemic of Sudden Deaths in 2021 & 2022 numerous sources of insurance data are cited suggesting death claims among working age persons are skyrocketing.
​  ​Aarstad et al have published an ecological analysis demonstrating that deaths tracked with increased COVID-19 vaccination rates.

​  ​The United States has a census counted population of 332 million. Thus, if even a small percentage of these people are injured or killed from COVID-19 vaccines, it’s still a frightful number.
​  ​Consider that 58,000 men were killed in ten years of fighting in Vietnam. This was just a tiny percentage of the 100 million American men counted in the 1968 census, but it was still a huge number of men to die in their early twenties.
​  ​Yesterday, former BlackRock portfolio manager Ed Dowd and his analysts at the research firm, Phinance Technologies, published a report on the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine program in the United States for the year 2022....​  ​26.6 million injuries; 1.36 million disabilities; 300,000 excess deaths. Note that this death count in one year is 5.2 times the number of 
[American]​ men killed in ten years of combat in Vietnam.
​  ​Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about this state of affairs is that most Americans don’t know it’s happening. Every day, young people are dying from heart attacks, strokes, and seizures caused by COVID-19 vaccines.

​  Meryl Nass MD,  ​I cite 4 papers (2 by USG scientists) which showed in 2004, 2005 and 2014 that repurposed drugs could kill SARS-1 and MERS at usual safe doses. This should have prevented the EUAs for COVID vaccines

​  ​A new report estimates that 26.6 million people were injured, 1.36 million disabled, and 300,000 excess deaths can be attributed to COVID-19 vaccine damages in 2022 alone, which cost the economy nearly $150 billion.​   (same report)​

  Pierre Kory MD,  ..Policymakers must recognize that snap crisis decisions can leave people hurt. No one expects a perfect public response, but there must be safety net for those who get caught up in the single-minded approach. Consider vaccine associated enhanced disease (VAED), the ghastly scenario where a vaccine not only fails to prevent transmission but creates a more serious illness in a vaccinated person than one who is unvaccinated.
  According to the CDC’s “V-safe” safety monitoring system, 33% of people who received a COVID vaccine experienced severe adverse effects, and 7.7% have required hospitalization. I have never in my career prescribed any medicine or administered any therapy which even came close to a 1% risk of requiring medical attention as a result of that therapy. This risk of a treatment is unprecedented in the history of modern medicine.

​  ​The Decades of Evidence That Antidepressants Cause Mass Shootings  , A Midwestern Doctor​
​  ​As we have seen with the vaccines, almost no social cost can keep a lucrative pharmaceutical off the market

Actively Fighting Depression (pictured handling garden soil and plants)

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Fragmenting Dollar Empire

 Wage Earners,

  Sasha Latypova presents On US Dollar and Debt,  reviewing the workings of the vast fake-reality which is composed, in order to maintain the imperial system of wealth extraction through lending US dollars at low interest "loosely", then "tightening" with high interest rates, to gobble up factories, farms, mines and oil wells across the world. This cycling of deer-corn and hunting-season is on top of the steady return of lending fiat money at interest.  [Notably, the "going direct" actually began in September 2019, "before" COVID, even before Event 201, when around a $US trillion got injected into the repo crisis, because JPM, BoA, Goldman, Deutsche Bank and BlackRock couldn't trust each other overnight any more. They knew...]
​  ​Why a “Plandemic” Was a Convenient Method to Prop Up Failing US Currency in the Global Context
​  ​As previously described, the US was piling on debt that was becoming unsustainable for the economy as well as for the reserve currency status of the US dollar.  Traditional measures of stimulating the economy, such as interest rate decreases, were no longer possible as interest rates had already hit rock bottom by 2019.  At this point, clever central bankers and Blackrock had determined that going ‘direct’ to stimulate the economy, strengthen the dollar, and increase inflation to reduce the debt burden were the only solution to all of their problems.  However, some external event was needed in order to be able to justify these unusual steps.
​  ​As the pandemic was declared, the US went all-in on the going ‘direct’ approach.

​  ​US congressmen game out war with China in 2025​   (Thanks Christine. China knew this timeline in 2017, and it was already a few years old.)
​  ​At the Republican Party policy retreat in Orlando, Florida, retired US Navy Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery oversaw a simulated war with China that led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans and the potential sinking of US aircraft carriers.
​  ​While the exercise was presented as a defensive response on the part of the United States to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the US is systematically working to provoke a conflict with China by ending the one-China policy, arming Taiwan and expanding the presence of US troops on the island.

​  Indian Punchline, Bhadrakumar, Thanks Eleni. Russia's answer to DU from British tanks is to even the old score of the US arming NATO countries with American nuclear warheads. Bhadrakumar thinks the UK might have a specific motive for its provocation.
​  ​Moscow calls out US’ rules-based order in Europe
​  ​Why is Britain behaving like an outlier? Britain appears to be creating conditions in Europe to justify the basing of nuclear-armed US bombers at Lakenheath in Suffolk, which were removed in 1991 in line with the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty.

​Poland suddenly cancels the transfer of 28 Mig 29s to Ukraine. What underlies that decision.?
The Mig 29 is a capable and versatile early 1980s Soviet fighter jet.​ Will Poland need them soon?

​  Mexico sees this as a good moment to openly refuse to capitulate to Washington. This is like 1937, when Mexican President Cardenas (a military general) nationalized the railways and oilfields, just ahead of WW-2, while FDR's America was secretly preparing to join it.​ Is this presaging the US/China war?
​  ​President Joe Biden’s administration has reportedly opted to escalate a trade dispute with Mexico, making plans to demand that its neighbor to the south opens up its power and oil markets to US suppliers or face an arbitration and the threat of retaliatory tariffs...
..At issue is Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s decision to roll back reforms aimed at opening Mexican energy markets to outside competitors – allegedly in violation of the 2018 US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USCMA), a trade deal that requires the countries to curtail protections of state-owned enterprises...
..The White House had held off on pushing forward with the trade dispute, trying to avoid an escalation of tensions as Biden sought Mexico’s help in addressing an illegal immigration crisis and drug trafficking, Reuters said. Relations between the two governments have deteriorated in recent months. Just last week, Lopez Obrador blasted US officials as “liars” after Biden’s administration accused Mexico of human rights abuses. “That’s just how they are,” he said. The US believes “it’s the government of the world.”

​  Bibi Netanyahu is such a wily weasel... Thanks Christine. 
​  While backing off of the controversial judicial reforms may be seen as a chink in the armor of Netanyahu that was once thought to be impermeable, a deeper examination into the recent on-goings in the Knesset proves the contrary. Veiled beneath the spectacle of civil unrest, Israel's legislature recently passed a law which dramatically limits the circumstances in which the nation's prime minister can be deposed. The new law may further insulate the embattled prime minister who only just reclaimed his title for the sixth time following an ouster not even two years ago.

​  The United States Embassy in Jerusalem has told Americans to "Leave Israel Immediately." The country of Israel is descending rapidly into what some have called "Civil War."
​  ​Unions have gone on strike.  The airports have all shut down.  Restaurants, banks, shopping malls, have all joined in a national strike against proposed changes to the government that would basically gut the Judiciary of Israel.
​  ​Members of the Israeli military are openly DESERTING after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu FIRED the Defense Minister for opposing judicial reforms.
​  ​Former Prime Minister Ehud Barack says Netanyahu and his "gang" are "acting insane and bringing civil war to the country."
​  ​Israel's Counsel General in New York has resigned.
​  For almost a whole week, hundreds-of-thousands of protestors have taken to the streets in every major city of the country.
​  ​There are now open calls from the far right inside Israel, for people to "take up arms" against left-wingers in the country.

M. K. BHADRAKUMAR​  ​US is stirring up the Syrian cauldron​   
Thanks Eleni​  ​​ [Israel sure could use a quick war next door to forestall civil war at home.]
  Saudi Arabia has established an air bridge with Syria to send relief supplies for those affected by the devastating earthquake in February.
  The backdrop is that the normalisation of relations between Syria and its estranged Arab neighbours has accelerated. It must be particularly galling for Washington that these regional states used to be active participants in the US-led regime change project to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad. The Saudi-Iranian rapprochement badly isolates the US and Israel.
  From such a perspective, it stands to reason that the US is once again stirring up the Syrian cauldron...
..Israel too is a stakeholder in keeping Syria unstable and weak. In the Israeli narrative, Iran-backed militia groups are increasing their capability in Syria in the last two years and continued US occupation of Syria is vital for balancing these groups. Israel is paranoid that a strong government in Damascus will inevitably start challenging its illegal occupation of Golan Heights.
(The source of critical water for Israeli agriculture.) ...
 ..Syria is an exception as a battleground against “terrorism.” The US is vastly experienced in using extremist groups as geopolitical tools.
  The US’ real intention could be to confront Iran on Syrian soil — something that Israel has been espousing — taking advantage of Russia’s preoccupations in Ukraine. The Russian-Iranian axis annoys Washington profoundly.
  The spectre that is haunting Washington is that the stabilisation of Syria following Assad’s normalisation with the Arab countries and with Turkiye will inexorably coalesce into a Syrian settlement that completely marginalises the “collective West.”
  In retrospect, the unannounced visit by General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff to northern Syria in early March falls into perspective. Milley told reporters traveling with him that the nearly eight-year-old US deployment to Syria is still worth the risk!  

​No, no, it really is an even-break this time. Go ahead!​
BioNTech comes to Jerusalem: Mayor Moshe Lion announces new mRNA vaccine center
Israeli govt signs agreement with BioNTech to build R&D center for mRNA-based vaccines in Jerusalem.

​  Yeah, but Pfizer never claimed their product would not cause excess deaths; never claimed that, and never studied it...​
​  ​We were all told that the vaccine itself was supposedly 95% effective against hospitalizations and deaths, if not against transmission. Yet a new preprint study estimates that Aussie excess deaths in 2021 were seven times higher than during the pre-vaccine pandemic year of 2020 and an unfathomable 19 times higher in 2022. That was the year of mild Omicron, and everyone was boosted. Checkmate.

​Gardening definitely helps, too, partly by improving your microbiome. This meta analysis looked at over 1000 review papers.
Study Confirms Physical Exercise Should Be First Choice For Mental Health Treatment
​  ​Anxiety is the most common problem—and seems to be becoming more pronounced among children and younger adults—while depression poses the greatest burden to normal life function.
​  ​The Australian researchers discovered that exercise provided the best results when used for treating depression. More specifically, exercise was 150 percent more effective than pharmaceuticals or Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
​  ​It was also better than psychological consultation or “talk therapy.” In fact, exercise was shown to reduce depressive symptoms by 42 to 60 percent, whereas talk therapy and pharmaceuticals only reduced symptoms between 22 percent and 37 percent.
​  ​Exercise was shown to be the best treatment for both anxiety and depression, even though pharmaceuticals are the most commonly recommended treatment for both.
​  ​Every kind of exercise worked.

​Bagging Lettuce (pictured with bags of lettuce)​

Monday, March 27, 2023

Alternative Analysis

 Analytically Minded,

  Thanks for this, Eleni. I had suspected that Russian diplomacy lay quietly beneath the surface.
  The Middle East Frees Itself From the West
​  ​The reconciliation between Saudi Arabia, leader of the Sunni Muslim world, and Iran, leader of the Shiite Muslim world, finally makes possible an era of peace in the Middle East. It was made possible by Russia, ally of the two enemy brothers, and negotiated first in Iraq and Oman before being concluded by China, Iran’s millennial ally, acting impartially. This agreement closes eleven years of wars and Western influence.​..​
..For 7 years, the Middle East has been paralyzed. No conflict can evolve because it always opposes the two sides of Islam. This is exactly what the West wanted and what Israel has maintained. It is not surprising, therefore, that the only people who have been outraged by the Saudi-Iranian peace are Israelis.
  The agreement just signed was negotiated by China on the basis of non-interference in internal affairs. The Iranians might have feared that the Saudi Shiites would pay the price, as they did six years ago with Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. But Tehran has understood that times have changed. Riyadh will respect its Shiite minority, because it too has an interest in peace.

​  This military assessment of global finance and economics by the lead general of the Chinese military college, published in Italian in 2017, reflects a major theme in long term Chinese strategic assessment of global economy and finance. It looks at the $US taking over the imperial currency baton from the British Empire after Bretton Woods, then leveraging that to the Petrodollar regime in 1973, after having to default on the gold standard because of expensive wars in Korea and especially Vietnam. 
  Tying the dollar-dominance to the flow of oil, the most critical economic resource in the world, without having to "own" the oil, facilitated the rapid growth of an imperial regime of resource extraction, part of it through cycling 10 years of cheap/easy dollars to fund industrial expansion, such as in Mexico and Thailand, then following with a crisis, and 6 years of expensive, high interest dollars, to crash the businesses and buy up their assets for pennies on the dollar.
  China played along, while carefully guarding against victimhood. Meanwhile, the productive economy of the US hollowed out, which happens with any global reserve currency over time, due to "Triffin's Paradox".​
​  The $US financial regime has made financial attacks on the Euro, Iraq, Libya, and has limited Chinese regional trade potential by creating crises in the islands of the South China Sea​. Crises are used by the empire to deprive rivals of the ability to take $US financial hegemony. Having global trade currency hegemony allows users of the currency to be forced into losing positions. The wars of choice the US has engaged in have not been for oil or specific resources. The general makes the case that all of the wars have served the currency hegemony, which is the wealth-extraction tool.
  China has long maintained that it did not want the Yuan/Renminbi to be a global reserve currency, a wise position, in order to avoid attack. This paper makes clear that General Liang sees the global reserve currency status as the prize for having the biggest, most dynamic economic engine, and that the Chinese Yuan/Renminbi should logically have that status, when Chinese and linked economies achieve critical mass. 
  The contest between the US and China was already seen as inevitable in 2017, and that was not new. The US military had seen it approaching, expected around 2024 - 2025, which is what the US military has recently said again.  Thanks Noirette. Google translate works.
​One Belt,One Road , General Qiao Liang​

  Christine sends this recent piece by Michael Hudson, an outline of his recent book, The Collapse of Antiquity: Greece and Rome as Civilization’s Oligarchic Turning Point, about the history of debt and war in the west over the past few thousand years, beginning with the rise of financial oligarchs, more interested in power gains, than in societal stability and cohesion. (Michael Hudson is highly regarded in Washington for his book "Super Imperialism", which provided the analytical framework for the Nixon-Kissinger "petrodollar" deal in 1973. He is highly regarded in China for this same and subsequent analysis of global capital movements. General Liang drew liberally on Hudson's work in the analysis above.)
  The aim is to make governments borrow from bankers and bondholders, giving them interest as well as control over what gets funded.
​  ​The ideological umbrella for this power grab is to accuse governments of interfering with “free markets,” that is, with the financial sector’s ability to act as society’s central planner in allocating credit. Debt creation is seen only as helping economies grow, not as inflating asset prices for housing, stocks and bonds, obliging homebuyers and retirees to run further into debt to afford access to housing and retirement income. Society’s economic ideology is transformed to accept the concentration of wealth in creditor hands as a natural phenomenon, not a predatory power grab at the expense of society’s overall prosperity.
​  ​Automatic stabilizers are said to make government regulation unnecessary, and credit (that is, debt creation) is depicted as productive, not corrosive. What really is at issue is not whether governments are strong or weak as such, but whether they act in the broad public interest to limit creditor claims on the increasingly indebted economy, or protect creditor privileges as “rights” over those of debtors. It is as if business “cycles” do not recur in the context of steadily rising debt/income and debt/asset ratios.
​  ​Credit can finance economic growth best when organized as a public utility. But private creditors and bankers seek financial gains for themselves, maximizing claims on debtors without limit. A jockeying for dominance ensues as the magnitude of debt grows to exceed the ability of debtors to pay. Private creditors translate their economic gains into political power, polarizing the distribution of wealth and income by deregulating and untaxing financial gains. These laws of motion produce an oscillation between financial drives gaining dominance over society and a reaction by society as it realizes that the “cleanup costs” of debt are much like those of physical environmental pollution, pushing the overall social balance into deficit.
​  ​The interaction between financial dynamics and the economy at large has changed the character of government throughout history. Mesopotamian rulers annulled grain debts, but classical antiquity’s oligarchies used state power to prevent debt cancellation. Christianity took the side of debtors, but the medieval papacy supported English kings, excommunicating advocates of parliamentary checks and balances. Subsequent creditors pressed for parliamentary reform to make entire nations responsible for paying debts, but pressure is rising today to restore public control to subordinate debts – and hence their counterpart creditor claims on debtors – to social needs.

​  But when, Charles, WHEN? (Is the Powell Fed raising interest rates until something breaks, then patching what it wants, to impose losses on non-allies?)
​  The Everything Bubble and Global Bankruptcy
​  ​Sorry, but global bankruptcy is already baked in. Too much debt has been piled on phantom-collateral and income streams derived from bubble assets rising (for example, capital gains, development taxes, etc.). The asymmetry is now so extreme that even a modest decline in asset valuations/collateral due to a garden-variety business-cycle recession of tightening financial conditions will trigger the collapse of The Everything Bubble and the mountain of global debt resting on the wind-blown sands of phantom collateral.
​  ​There are persuasive reasons to suspect global debt far exceeds the official level around $300 trillion, most saliently, the largely opaque shadow banking system. When assets roughly double in a few years, bubble symmetry suggests that valuations will decline back to the starting point of the bubble in roughly the same time span.
​  ​The resulting erosion of collateral will collapse the global credit bubble, a repricing/reset that will bankrupt the global economy and financial system.

​  ​The secretive Israeli think tank behind Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul​    Thanks Christine. Lots of details of Israeli domestic politics are elucidated here.
​  ​The Kohelet Policy Forum, founded by an American Israeli and funded by a U.S. libertarian billionaire, quietly authored and helped introduce the far-reaching package of judicial changes that has sparked a national crisis and driven hundreds of thousands of Israelis into the streets.
​  ​Likud member Keti Shitrit, in a recent interview with Israel’s Channel 13, said Netanyahu’s party never internally discussed the judicial overhaul bills supplied by Kohelet before fast-tracking them through the parliament.

​  ​Netanyahu Pauses Judicial Overhaul To "Avoid Civil War" As Rival Protest Groups Clash
​  ​[Who comprises the "extremist minority", "tearing Israel apart", ​Mr. Prime Minister​?​ Your enforcers are deserting now. That has gotten your attention.​]
​  ​In a much anticipated 8pm (local) speech, at a moment hundreds of thousands of protesters are in the streets, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed in a televised speech that he will pause his ultra-controversial judicial overhaul plans which many say would destroy Israeli democracy and court independence.
​  ​He emphasized that he is aware of the deepening divide and tensions in society as a result of the legislation, but called the anger in the streets the product of an "extremist minority" that is "tearing Israel apart." The crisis not only resulted in massive national strikes on Monday, but escalated to the point of growing numbers of refusals of recruits and soldiers to serve in the Israeli Defense Force's reserve units, putting the country's security in peril.

  ​It was established forensically that the rapid downloads of the emails had to be from a memory device attached to a computer, not a "hack"​, but a leak.
Seth Rich was working for the DNC, and was murdered on his way home from a work party at a bar, leaving his smartphone and credit cards on him.
  The analysis has been that Seth Rich, deeply offended at the disenfranchisement of Sanders voters in 2016, sent the Clinton-Podesta emails to wikileaks.
Seth was Jewish, and might have also provided the information to the Mossad. The Mossad seems to have had it, and used it to influence the 2016 election.
(Is this why Biden won't invite Netanyahu for a state-visit?)  The FBI still has a couple of Seth Rich's computers. Can we see the contents, please? 
Moon of Alabama has the story.
​  ​There was no 'Russian intervention' in the 2016 election but an Israeli intervention that was all over the place. As usual the deep state covered that up:
​  ​Throughout this chain of events—including the trial, the Mueller Report, and the nearly 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee Report—no hint of the involvement of Israel was made public. Despite the clear violations of US law and months of clandestine, high-level attempted interference in the presidential election, no details were released, and no congressional hearings or investigations took place. Nor was there ever a hint in the press, which remained transfixed by Russia.
​  ​The evidence, however, suggests that throughout the summer and into the fall of 2016, Israel illegally interfered in the US presidential election. A top agent of Netanyahu was secretly offering intelligence and other covert assistance to Trump to get him elected—all with virtually no oversight or scrutiny by the FBI or the US media, though both had numerous personnel in Israel at the time.
​  ​Finally, nearly 8 years after it happened, we have for the first time a reasonable explanation for the 'hacks' and releases of the Clinton, DNC and Podesta emails. Natanyahoo's agents did that in exchange for political concessions to Israel by Trump.
​  ​Those Israeli agents will have had a great time laughing about the 'Russian intervention' nonsense the U.S. public has fallen for.

  ​Thanks Eleni in Athens:  Poll shows several NATO members would feel safer under Russian military alliance
​  ​A new poll reveals that NATO's controversial eastward expansion hasn't really gone according to plan. Former Warsaw Pact member Bulgaria and former Yugoslav Republic Slovenia, which both joined NATO in 2004, say that they would feel safer being defended by the Russian military in the event of war than they would by NATO.
​  ​Perhaps more worryingly for NATO top brass are Turkey and Greece. Both joined the alliance in 1952 and have a history of being at odds with each other (to put it mildly) say that they too would feel safer being defended by Russia in the event of war.

​  The mud might be dry in May, but if there are not enough men and equipment, there can be no spring offensive. The west cannot send what it does not have, so is this a prelude to capitulation?​ Who will get blamed, if so?
President Volodymyr Zelensky has said Ukraine's counter-offensive against Russia cannot start until Western allies send more military support.

​  ​Seymour Hersh Accuses US of 'Cover Up' Over Nord Stream Sabotage​   (Blaming Biden w​ould be easy. Then what?)
​  ​The veteran investigative journalist alleged that Biden administration officials have been "feeding" the press false stories to "protect a president who made an unwise decision and is now lying about it."

​  Things like this are usually whitewashes, like the 9/11 Commission, and the Warren Commission, but young athletes keep "dying suddenly".​ Limited hang-out?
​  ​The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has appointed a committee to review evidence on the relationship between the vaccines and specific adverse events that have occurred after vaccination, including infertility and sudden death.
The committee’s process includes establishing methods, reviewing literature, drawing conclusions, and preparing a report.
“The committee will make conclusions about the causal association between vaccines and specific adverse events,” the NASEM website states.
​  ​While their work is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the sponsors will not be able to examine the report before it is published to the public, Kathleen Stratton, a NASEM official, said during a recent meeting.
​  ​“What that means is that if a sponsor doesn’t like what the committee has to say—the conclusions of the committee—… the sponsor can’t prevent the report from being made public,” Stratton said. “This is a very powerful tool that we have.”

​Drawing Independent Conclusions (took this picture of Jenny with vegetables)​