The Evening Blues - 1-23-23



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Buster Brown

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features r&b singer and harmonica player Buster Brown. Enjoy!

Buster Brown - Lost In A Dream

Critics of the US empire have spent months compiling mountains of evidence showing that the empire knowingly provoked the war in Ukraine. Supporters of the US empire have spent months posting dog memes and accusing strangers of being paid by Putin. It’s clear who’s in the right.

-- Caitlin Johnstone


News and Opinion

Let’s Nuke The World Over Who Governs Crimea

So does everyone else in the world get a vote on whether their lives should be risked in an offensive to control who governs Crimea? Or will the Biden administration just be making that call on behalf of all living creatures?

It’s so crazy how the fate of everyone alive and everyone who could potentially be born in the future is riding on the way two governments choose to navigate a conflict in Ukraine, just because those two governments have most of the world’s nuclear weapons. It’s like two people in a bar getting into a brawl that kills everyone in their city. Nobody else in the world gets a vote on the decisions being made that could kill everyone alive and end humanity forever; just a few people within those two governments and their militaries.

The US empire is telling Moscow “I’m the craziest motherfucker around, I’ll keep ramping up the brinkmanship looking you right in the eye and daring you to use nukes,” while telling the rest of the world “I am the voice of sanity that you should all look to for leadership.”

'Putin will never press the nuclear button': Top Ukrainian official Danilov

NATO chief: "Weapons are the way to peace"

US pledges to “go on the offensive” against Russia

On Friday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley gave a briefing at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where they pledged the United States to the military defeat of Russia. Milley announced the commitment of the United States and NATO to “go on the offensive to liberate Russian-occupied Ukraine.” He repeated that Ukraine would use NATO armored vehicles and tanks to go on the “tactical and operational offensive to liberate the occupied areas.”

With this declaration, the entire prestige of the NATO alliance has been staked on the reconquest of all Ukrainian territory, which, according to the United States, includes both the entire Donbas and the Crimean Peninsula. As the immense challenges posed by the new American strategy emerge in the coming months, and as the death toll among Ukrainian troops rises, the demand will inevitably be made for the direct deployment of NATO troops in the war. This would mean that American and Russian soldiers would be shooting at each other in the first general engagement between nuclear-armed states in history. ...

The explicit assertion by Milley and Austin that the weapons being provided by the US and NATO are of an offensive, not defensive, character is a 180-degree reversal of public statements by the Biden administration, which justified the escalation of US involvement in the war with the declaration that it would not provide “offensive” equipment. “The equipment that we’ve provided is defensive, as you know, not offensive. And we see that as being a difference,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said at a briefing in May. “The idea that we’re going to send in offensive equipment,” Biden said that same month, “and have planes and tanks and trains going in with American pilots and American crews, just understand—and don’t kid yourself, no matter what you all say—that’s called ‘World War III.’”

Late last month, Biden declared, “The idea we would give Ukraine material that is fundamentally different than is already going there, would have the prospect of breaking up NATO, and breaking up the European Union.” He added, “They’re not looking to go to war with Russia, they’re not looking for a third world war.”

If one accepts both the public statements of Milley and the repeated assertions of Biden, it means that the United States is in reality at “war with Russia.” This undeclared war is being waged without congressional authorization or any effort to seek the approval of the American people.

The announcement by NATO that it is sending offensive weapons to Ukraine has exposed the Biden administration’s entire narrative of US involvement in Ukraine as a fraud. It has repeatedly claimed that the US and NATO are not involved in the war. But NATO is not only a party to the conflict, it is its driving force. As in all wars, as the fighting progresses the debate over “who fired the first shot” fades away, and the real, complex social forces driving the war come into view.

Lavrov, 'War with west no longer hybrid, but almost real'

Germany ‘would not stand in way’ of Poland sending tanks to Ukraine, says minister

Germany would not “stand in the way” of Poland sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine, foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, has said, in what appeared to be the clearest signal yet from Berlin that European allies could deliver the German-made hardware.

Asked in an interview with French television station LCI what would happen if Poland sent its Leopard 2 tanks without German approval, Baerbock replied through a translator: “For the moment the question has not been asked, but if we were asked we would not stand in the way.”

Heavy diplomatic pressure has been building on Berlin to send its tanks, or at least allow countries that bought them from German to re-export them. As the producer of the Leopard tanks, Berlin has a veto on their transfer.

‘Extremely Dangerous’: Russia Reacts to US Plans to Help Attack Crimea

Russian officials on Thursday reacted to a report from The New York Times that said the US was warming to the idea of helping Ukraine strike Crimea despite the risk of a Russian escalation.

When asked about the report on Wednesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price didn’t deny its contents and said, “Crimea is Ukraine,” as the US hasn’t recognized Crimea as Russian since Russia took control of it in 2014.

Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the US, responded to Price’s comments and the reports, likening the plans to potential “terrorist attacks” and warning of escalation. ...

Over in Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the US delivering weapons for attacks on “Russian soil” was “extremely dangerous.” The Times report said that the Biden administration previously avoided supporting strikes on Crimea due to the risk of escalation, but that concern of Russia resorting to nuclear weapons has waned in Washington even though the risk clearly still exists.

Germany: Ukraine Losing Hundreds of Soldiers Every Day

The German foreign intelligence service assesses that Kiev is losing a "three-digit number" of soldiers daily, according to a report in Der Spiegel. Berlin informed politicians of the assessment during a secret meeting this week.

Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is "alarmed" by the high number of losses Ukraine is suffering. The report says Berlin believes Ukraine was losing a three-digit number of soldiers every day during the battle of Bakhmut with Russian forces. The BND informed German politicians of the high number of injured and killed Ukrainian forces during a covert Bundestag meeting last week.

The BND believes the Ukrainian casualties will have severe consequences during future battles.

Huge protest in Israel over rightwing government’s judicial changes

An estimated 100,000 people took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Saturday night in what protesters described as a “fight for Israel’s destiny” over sweeping judicial changes proposed by the new far-right government. ...

The new administration has accused Israel’s supreme court of leftwing bias and overstepping its authority, and is seeking to curb the court’s powers by giving the Knesset more control over judicial appointments and severely restricting its ability to overturn laws and government decisions.

The Tel Aviv protest, along with smaller demonstrations in Jerusalem, Haifa and Beersheba, were sparked by fears that the far-reaching proposals undermine democratic norms. Since Israel has no formal constitution, the supreme court plays an important role in keeping government ministers in check.

Netanyahu – himself on trial on corruption charges, which he denies – has defended the plans. His opponents say the proposed changes could help the prime minister evade a conviction or even see the case dropped altogether.

Free Julian Assange: Noam Chomsky, Dan Ellsberg & Jeremy Corbyn Lead Call at Belmarsh Tribunal

Demockery continues in Peru:

Police violently raid Lima university and shut Machu Picchu amid Peru unrest

Scores of police raided a Lima university on Saturday, smashing down the gates with an armoured vehicle, firing teargas and detaining more than 200 people who had come to the Peruvian capital to take part in anti-government protests. Images showed dozens of people lying face down on the ground at San Marcos University after the surprise police operation. Students said they were pushed, kicked and hit with truncheons as they were forced out of their dormitories. ...

Many of those arrested in Saturday’s raid had travelled from southern Peru to the capital to take part in a demonstration last Thursday labelled the “takeover of Lima” which began peacefully but descended into running battles between protesters and riot police amid stone-throwing and swirls of teargas. ...

Videos seen by the Guardian showed confused and terrified students massed outside their halls, some still in pyjamas, as riot police shouted orders and insults. Young men were forced to stand against a wall or kneel in a row. “They pointed their guns at us, and shouted: ‘Out out.’ We didn’t even have time to get our IDs,” said Jenny Fuentes, 20, a student teacher. “They forced us to kneel. Many of the girls were crying but they told us to shut up. They didn’t tell us why we were being forced out of our rooms.”

The group of about 90 students, who had remained on campus during the summer holidays to work and study, were then marched to the main patio, a 10-minute walk, where the other people had been detained. Several hours after the raid, they had not been allowed to return to their rooms which were being searched by police.

Worth a full read. See what the U.S. Demockery is all about ...

Peru’s Natural Resources: CIA-Linked US Ambassador Meets With Mining and Energy Ministers to Talk ‘Investments’

The US ambassador in Peru, Lisa Kenna, is a CIA veteran who supported a parliamentary coup in December 2022 that overthrew the South American nation’s democratically elected left-wing president, Pedro Castillo. Castillo was subsequently imprisoned for 18 months without due process, setting off massive protests across Peru. The unelected government responded with extreme violence, killing approximately 50 protesters in just over a month.

One day before the December 7 coup, the former CIA officer turned US ambassador met with Peru’s defense minister, who then told the country’s powerful military to turn against President Castillo.

Since then, Kenna has been quite busy, regularly meeting with top officials in Peru’s coup government, including unelected President Dina Boluarte and her ministers.

On January 18, the US ambassador sat down with Peru’s minister of energy and mining, as well as its vice minister of hydrocarbons and vice minister of mining. Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines boasted that they discussed “investment” opportunities and plans to “develop” and “expand” the extractive industries.

Peru is a country rich in natural resources, especially minerals. Spanish colonialists exploited the South American nation’s substantial silver and gold reserves, and today transnational corporations see it as a very profitable resource hub. One of Earth’s top producers of copper, lead, zinc, tin, silver, and gold, Peru’s economy relies heavily on the mining sector, which represents more than half of total national exports and over 10% of GDP.

Lula accuses Bolsonaro of genocide against Yanomami in Amazon

Brazil’s new president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has accused Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right administration of committing genocide against the Yanomami people of the Amazon, amid public outrage over a humanitarian catastrophe in the country’s largest Indigenous territory. Lula visited the Amazon state of Roraima on Saturday to denounce the plight of the Yanomami, whose supposedly protected lands have been plunged into crisis by government neglect and the explosion of illegal mining.

“More than a humanitarian crisis, what I saw in Roraima was a genocide. A premeditated crime against the Yanomami, committed by a government impervious to the suffering of the Brazilian people,” Lula tweeted on Sunday, one day after visiting an overcrowded clinic for Yanomami patients in Roraima’s capital, Boa Vista.

Lula’s justice minister, Flávio Dino, said he would order a federal police investigation into “strong indications” the Yanomami had suffered crimes including genocide – meaning the deliberate attempt to partially or completely destroy an ethnic, national, racial or religious group.

Horrifying photographs of emaciated Yanomami children and adults emerged on the eve of Lula’s trip, laying bare the scale of the health crisis facing the territory’s estimated 30,000 Indigenous inhabitants.

Lula, who became president on 1 January, blamed his far-right predecessor for forsaking Indigenous communities and emboldening the thousands of wildcat miners who flooded the Portugal-sized Yanomami enclave during Bolsonaro’s 2019-2022 government. Those miners contaminated rivers and wrecked forests, depriving remote Yanomami communities of key food sources – fish and other animals such as monkeys and wild boars – while simultaneously spreading malaria and hampering the efforts of government health workers.

New Data: Labor Hits HISTORIC Lows Despite Wins

Joseph Stiglitz: tax high earners at 70% to tackle widening inequality

Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize-winning Keynesian economist, has called for the super-rich to be subjected to taxes as high as 70% to help tackle widening inequality.

Stiglitz, who won the Nobel prize in economics in 2001 and pioneered many ideas about globalisation and inequality, said introducing a special worldwide income tax rate of 70% on the highest earners “would clearly make sense”.

“People at the top might work a little bit less if you tax them more. But on the other hand, our society gains in having a more egalitarian, cohesive society,” the former World Bank chief economist, 79, told Oxfam’s Equals podcast.

Currently, the top rate of income tax in the UK is 45% on annual earnings above £150,000. In the US, the highest rate of tax is 37% on earnings above $539,901.

Stiglitz said that while an increase in the top rate on income would help lead to a more equal society, introducing wealth taxes on the fortunes accumulated by the world’s wealthiest over many generations would have an even bigger impact.

Analysis Shows Corporate Prosecutions Hit Record Low in 2022 Under Biden

Despite the Biden administration's pledge to crack down on corporate crime, a new analysis of Justice Department data shows that business prosecutions fell to a record low in fiscal year 2022 even as there appeared to be no shortage of wrongdoing—from healthcare fraud to large-scale price gouging.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a nonprofit data-gathering outfit, noted Thursday that out of the more than 4,000 federal white-collar prosecutions last year, "under 1% or only 31 of these defendants were businesses or corporate entities."

"This is the lowest number of criminal prosecutions of business entities for white-collar offenses since federal prosecutor tracking began for these in FY 2004," TRAC observed. "The decision to criminally charge a business in contrast to an individual for engaging in white-collar criminal activity is exceedingly rare (just 1%)."

TRAC also found that "the prosecution of white-collar offenders in FY 2022 reached a new all-time low since tracking began during the Reagan administration."

Atlanta Police Kill Forest Defender at Protest Encampment Near Proposed “Cop City” Training Center

‘Assassinated in cold blood’: activist killed protesting Georgia’s ‘Cop City’

Belkis Terán spoke with her child, Manuel, nearly every day by WhatsApp from her home in Panama City, Panama. She also had names and numbers for some of Manuel’s friends, in case she didn’t hear from the 26-year-old who was protesting “Cop City”, a planned gigantic training facility being built in a wooded area near Atlanta, Georgia. ...

Terán wound up discovering that on Wednesday around 9.04am, an as-yet unnamed officer or officers had shot and killed her son. The shooting occurred in an operation involving dozens of officers from Atlanta police, Dekalb county police, Georgia state patrol, the Georgia bureau of investigation and the FBI. The killing has stunned and shocked not only Tortuguita’s family and friends, but also the environmental and social justice movement in Georgia and across the United States. Circumstances surrounding the incident are still unclear and there are demands for a thorough investigation into the killing and how it could have happened.

The police apparently found Manuel in a tent in the South River forest south-east of Atlanta, taking part in a protest now in its second year, against plans to build a $90m police and fire department training facility on the land and, separately, a film studio. Officials say Manuel shot first at a state trooper “without warning” and an officer or officers returned fire, but they have produced no evidence for the claim. The trooper was described as stable and in hospital Thursday.

The shooting is “unprecedented” in the history of US environmental activism, according to experts. The GBI, which operates under Republican governor Brian Kemp’s orders, has released scant information and on Thursday night told the Guardian no body-cam footage of the shooting exists. At least a half-dozen other protesters who were in the forest at the time have communicated to other activists that one, single series of shots could be heard. They believe the state trooper could have been shot by another officer, or by his own firearm.

Meanwhile, both Terán and local activists are looking into legal action, and Manuel’s mother told the Guardian: “I will go to the US to defend Manuel’s memory … I’m convinced that he was assassinated in cold blood.”



the evening greens


Biden Admin Refuses to Shield Right Whales From Lethal Vessel Strikes

The Biden administration on Friday denied an emergency petition aimed at protecting critically endangered North Atlantic right whales from being struck and killed by ships in their calving grounds off the southeastern coast of the United States.

Conservation groups in November asked the National Marine Fisheries Service to establish a rule that mirrors the agency's yet-to-be-finalized proposal to set speed limits for vessels longer than 34 feet and expand the areas where speed limits apply.

As the petitioners—the Center for Biological Diversity, the Conservation Law Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, and Whale and Dolphin Conservation—explained, such a regulation "would have helped prevent incidents like the 2021 boat collision that killed a right whale calf off Florida and likely fatally injured its mother."

The species' precipitous population decline has continued year after year. Scientists recently estimated that only 340 North Atlantic right whales remain, including just 70 reproductive females that give birth every three to 10 years.

"I'm outraged that the Biden administration won't shield these incredibly endangered whales from lethal ship strikes," said Kristen Monsell, oceans legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "This is an extinction-level emergency. Every mother right whale and calf is critical to the survival of the species."

According to the petitioners, the federal agency responsible for stewarding the nation's marine resources said that it lacks the funds and staff necessary "to effectively implement the emergency regulations."

Officials from the fisheries service, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), claim that "they are working with vessel operators to get voluntary slow-downs," the petitioners added, "but voluntary efforts have not proved effective in the past."

Defenders of Wildlife senior attorney Jane Davenport noted that "right whales have journeyed to the Southeast since time immemorial to birth and nurse their calves in the safety of warm, shallow waters."

"But the calving grounds have become killing grounds," said Davenport. "NOAA has dragged its feet on updating the vessel speed rule for over a decade; right whale mothers and calves have paid for this delay with their lives. The agency's decision not to take emergency action to protect mothers and calves puts the species' entire future at risk."

The ‘carbon pirates’ preying on Amazon’s Indigenous communities

A number of Indigenous communities in the Amazon say that “carbon pirates” have become a threat to their way of life as western companies seek to secure deals in their territories for offsetting projects. Across the world’s largest rainforest, Indigenous leaders say they are being approached by carbon offsetting firms promising significant financial benefits from the sale of carbon credits if they establish new projects on their lands, as the $2bn (£1.6bn) market booms with net zero commitments from companies in Europe and North America.

A huge global expansion of protected areas during this decade was agreed by governments at last month’s Cop15 biodiversity summit with a target to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030. The agreement puts respect for Indigenous rights and territories at its heart amid fears of land grabs.

Proponents of carbon markets, especially those that aim to protect rainforests, say that carbon credits are a good way to fund the new areas and pay Indigenous communities for the stewardship of their lands, as they have been shown to be the best protectors of forest and vital ecosystems. The resulting credits could then be used for climate commitments by western companies. ...

While some leaders recognised the potential benefits from well designed carbon markets, they warn that Indigenous communities are being taken advantage of in the unregulated sector, with opaque deals for carbon rights that can last up to a century, lengthy contracts written in English, and communities being pushed out of their lands for projects. Examples include Peru’s largest ever carbon deal involving an unnamed extractive firm, where the Kichwa community claim they have been forced from their land in Cordillera Azul national park and received nothing from the $87m agreement. The park authorities say everything has been done in “strict compliance with current legal regulations and with special respect for the rights of Indigenous peoples”.

Several Indigenous communities spoke of training themselves in carbon market regulation and organising global exchanges to help others avoid falling victim to “carbon pirates”. Fany Kuiru Castro, an Indigenous Uitoto leader from the Colombian Amazon, says the issue is affecting nearly every community across the Amazon river basin. ... Wilfredo Tsamash, from the Awajun community in northern Peru, says organisations are teaching themselves to understand the mechanics of carbon markets so they do not get ripped off in deals, and says he does not think extractive companies should be able to buy credits due to their role in global heating.

Colombia announces halt on fossil fuel exploration for a greener economy

Colombia’s leftwing government has announced that it will not approve any new oil and gas exploration projects as it seeks to shift away from fossil fuels and toward a new sustainable economy. Irene Vélez, the minister for mines told world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the time had come for the Andean nation to move away from its reliance on oil and gas and begin a new, greener chapter in the country’s history.

“We have decided not to award new oil and gas exploration contracts, and while that has been very controversial, it’s a clear sign of our commitment in the fight against climate change,” Vélez said during a panel in Davos on Thursday. “This decision is absolutely urgent and needs immediate action.”

Colombia’s president, Gustavo Petro, made ending the country’s long history of economic reliance on oil a key part of his campaign before becoming the country’s first leftist leader in August last year.

But a fractured congress, increasingly bleak economic outlook and a series of policy U-turns from the government have put Petro’s ambitious environmentally friendly pledge in doubt. The country’s finance minister, José Ocampo, has stepped in on several occasions to contradict government ministers and reassure financial markets after their comments sent the value of the Colombian peso tumbling.

Ocampo has repeatedly told reporters that the country remains open to new oil and gas projects as it relies heavily on the sector’s revenue.


Oil wells guzzle precious California water. Next door, residents can’t use the tap

Towering refineries and rusty pumpjacks greet visitors driving along the highways of Kern county, California. Oil wells sit in the middle of fields of grapevines and almond trees. The air is heavy with dust and the scent of petroleum. The energy fields here are some of the most productive in the US, generating billions of barrels of oil annually and more than two-thirds of the state’s natural gas. And in a drought-stricken state, they’re also some of the thirstiest, consuming vast quantities of fresh water to extract stubborn oil.

But in the industry’s shadow, nearby communities can’t drink from the tap. One of those communities is Fuller Acres, a largely Latino town in Kern county where residents must drive to the nearest town to buy safe water. There is no proven link between the unsafe drinking water and the oil industry that surrounds the town, but there is a history of big businesses polluting the resources they share with their neighbors. For instance, nearby farming has left a dangerous pesticide known as 1,2,3-TCP in the drinking water.

Advocates say the dichotomy highlights deep-seated inequities in a state where water is a precious resource. The western US is in the midst of a once-in-a-millenium megadrought driven by the climate crisis. California officials have imposed restrictions on domestic water use and residents face fines for breaking the rules. But as the state begins to phase out fossil fuels and usher in a sustainable economy, it has yet to limit the use of fresh water by oil companies.

Between 2018 and 2021, oil and gas companies in California consumed nearly 3bn gallons of fresh water for drilling operations – water that could otherwise have supplied domestic systems, according to Food & Water Watch, an NGO that focuses on corporate and government accountability. That’s equivalent to more than 120m showers. Caroline Wren, a researcher with Food & Water Watch, calls it grave misuse that benefits the very companies that are exacerbating global heating. “California cannot afford to waste water on industries like the fossil fuel industry that are unequivocally worsening the climate crisis and the water crisis,” she said.


Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Ukraine - Russian Army Activates Southern Front

Nord Stream attacks: Pressure mounts on German government to disclose investigation findings.

US Extends 101st Airborne Deployment in Southeastern Romania

Viewing Ukraine Through the Davos Lens

Multiple Drone Attack Hits US Base in Southern Syria

Killing the messenger: Joe Biden's disturbing hypocrisy on Julian Assange

Demockery again in Neoliberal MacronLand: France protests: man lost testicle after clashes with police – lawyer

Manchin-Romney Attack on Social Security Is 'Last Thing We Need': Sanders

New search of Biden’s home turns up more classified documents

‘I hope this triggers outrage’: surprise Brett Kavanaugh documentary premieres at Sundance

Lost photos from Warsaw Ghetto Uprising reveal horror of Jews’ last stand

Ex-Arizona governor’s illegal makeshift border wall is torn down – but at what cost?


A Little Night Music

Buster Brown - Fannie Mae

Buster Brown - Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby

Buster Brown - Good News

Buster Brown - Crawlin King Snake

Buster Brown - Gonna Love My Baby

Buster Brown - Slow Drag Pt. 1

Buster Brown - Madison Shuffle

Buster Brown - John Henry

Buster Brown - Doctor Brown

Buster Brown - Sugar Babe


Share
up
20 users have voted.

Comments

ggersh's picture

Incrementally starting w/Raygun to suddenly w/Joementia

up
9 users have voted.

Why is it amerika's the only country in the world who
has a military that's based on a profit motive.

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

the cast, it is cursed? the drawn are lined?

i think so.

up
7 users have voted.

authorization. WTF, once again, I call bullshit. Congress has authorized almost unlimited billions of US dollars to fight Russia thru their vassal Ukraine (Natokraine). This maybe an declared war, thru sanctions, propaganda and weapons. Paper the whole affair over if you must for the benefit of the MSM hypnosis, but the reality is we are at war with Russia. Declared or otherwise.
Attaching bombs to every proposal is not peace.
Whew

thanks for the blues massa joe

up
16 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

this war is being waged with congressional deniability. i'm sure that if an untoward outcome emerges, members of congress will be shocked to find out the things that they were not informed of.

up
6 users have voted.

https://www.cato.org/commentary/whitewashing-ukraines-corruption

Brief excerpt:

Statements from U.S. and other Western officials, as well as pervasive accounts in the news media, have created a stunningly misleading image of Ukraine. There has been a concerted effort to portray the country not only as a victim of brutal Russian aggression, but as a plucky and noble bulwark of freedom and democracy. The conventional narrative would have us believe that Ukraine is an Eastern European version of Denmark.

The promoters of that narrative contend that the ongoing war is not just a quarrel between Russia and Ukraine over Kiev’s ambitions to join NATO and Moscow’s territorial claims in Crimea and the Donbas. No, they insist—the war is part of a global struggle between democracy and authoritarianism, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a leader worthy of nothing less than Winston Churchill’s legacy. President Biden, in his March 26 remarks on the war, said the conflict was “a battle between democracy and autocracy, between liberty and repression, between a rules‐​based order and one governed by brute force.”

https://www.politico.eu/article/defense-minister-reznikov-ukraine-corrup...

The whole article is quite revealing.

Defense minister Reznikov under fire as corruption probes rock Ukraine.
The deputy infrastructure minister has been fired, and the defense ministry is facing the heat over a military catering contract.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov — one of the most prominent faces of the war against Russia — is now under fire on the home front as investigations into government corruption rocked the country over the weekend.

Kyiv’s officials have been at pains over the course of the war to attempt to show that the nation is pulling together and cleaning up its act on corruption in a bid to chart a course toward the EU, so the revelations of two probes into top-level graft have come as a severe blow.

Both of the inquiries are related to war profiteering, and triggered an immediate pledge of action from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday night. The case involving the defense ministry involved purchases of military rations at inflated prices — a topic that has snowballed into top news in Kyiv. Almost simultaneously, the deputy infrastructure minister was fired in a case linked to an overpriced public purchase of electrical generators. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine said it was investigating both matters.

While Reznikov is vigorously defending the ministry’s contract, Deputy Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development Vasyl Lozynskiy was fired almost immediately. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) reported the deputy minister was busted while accepting a $400,000 bribe for facilitating an overpriced power-generating equipment purchase.

This comment is not complete without adding a bit of SNARK

10% for the Big Guy!

up
13 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

it's good to see reporting of the corruption in ukraine showing up in somewhat more mainstream publications. the googly-eyed wonderment at the awesome democratic beacon that is ukraine was wearing a bit thin.

up
9 users have voted.

Breaking News

My own observation is that Russia has the West bewitched and befuddled.

OMG---Are they coming South from Belarus? Look at the well publicized buildup there.

Oh, no, the Russians are coming to Karkov and Sumy next.

Zaporishia is East and the Russians are there and have broken Ukrainian front lines.

Here is a hint. All of the above. With missiles and drones. From the air. From the land. From the sea.

The Bear was poked one too many times. Whining about "war crimes" and accidents cannot save you now.

up
12 users have voted.

NYCVG

joe shikspack's picture

@NYCVG

yep, the west through it's mendacity and bad faith dealings have freed putin to take the gloves off should he care to do so. putin no longer needs to care for the opinion of the west or its captive institutions.

up
9 users have voted.

@joe shikspack Your observation that Putin has given up on the West reflects my own view of what we see unfolding.

The Merkel admissions about Minsk, even though Putin probably understood what the West was doing, erased any shreds of doubt.

up
11 users have voted.

NYCVG

Hopefully that there are better days ahead.

up
12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

and i would be remiss if i didn't thank you for your many contributions to the information base here. thanks!

have a great evening!

up
8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

I learned that anyone who doesn’t support Ukraine is a fcking tankie and the chief tankie on DK is Caitlin so I’m sure that this tweet will make the next ‘checking in on the tankies' essay.

Critics of the US empire have spent months compiling mountains of evidence showing that the empire knowingly provoked the war in Ukraine. Supporters of the US empire have spent months posting dog memes and accusing strangers of being paid by Putin. It’s clear who’s in the right.

But let’s see who is actually doing mental gymnastics.

It’s a bizarre worldview. Daily Kos rose to prominence on an anti-war platform, as we are clearly anti-imperialists. It just never dawned on me that there would be people who’d think that some imperialism is okay, so long as it’s not the American variety. Those sorts of mental gymnastics lead to some serious mental contortions, hence the entertaining nature of this irregular feature.

There is tons of evidence showing that we indeed did provoke Russia into Ukraine over the years and most recently with Obama’s coup in Ukraine and the supporting of the Nazis. Lots and lots of media sites actually wrote about the Ukraine Nazis problem until they were told to stop and give them cover instead. But that’s all fake news for some and Ukraine is just a plunky little country trying to save its democracy by banning opposition parties and arresting opponents and outlawing speaking the Russian language and, and, and. But thank gawd they have a president that can play the piano with his junk.

Kos has turned into Bagdad Bob! Anti imperialists who are livid with Biden for not sending everything he can including jets and Abram tanks and maybe actual US troops to defeat Russia and with Germany for not okaying or sending their tanks. Yeah real anti imperialists.

up
13 users have voted.

Rhett Butler contemptuously reminded Southern secession hot heads “There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.”

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

heh, it looks like kos's big purge was the end of the anti-war and anti-imperialism at the great orange satan. kos has liberated himself to pursue agendas of war and domination.

up
11 users have voted.

This is from his Telegram channel.

The meeting in Ramstein and
the allocation of heavy weapons to Kiev leave no doubt that our enemies will indefinitely try to wear us down, or better, destroy us. And they have enough weapons. If necessary, they will start producing new ones. Therefore, there is no need for illusions. What are the conclusions from this? First, it will be very difficult. Secondly, in the event of a protracted conflict, at some point a new military alliance will form from those countries that the Americans and their pack of castrated dogs got. This has always happened in the history of mankind during long wars. And then the States will finally throw old Europe and the remnants of the unfortunate Ukrainians, and the world will again come to a state of equilibrium.

Unless, of course, it's too late.

up
10 users have voted.

@joe shikspack @humphrey that if Russia hits Ukraine as hard as it can that the US will turn its attention to China and let Ukraine twist in the wind ?

Kabul redux

up
9 users have voted.

NYCVG

joe shikspack's picture

@NYCVG

yep, it's possible.

i suspect at this point, russia recognizes that in order to keep this war from dragging out for generations, they need to create spectacular, undeniable facts on the ground - a quick, highly dramatic coup-de-grace that will leave the u.s., europe and (whatever is left of the) ukro-nazis sputtering and frothing at the mouth, but unable to respond short of unacceptably dangerous actions.

the question then will be to commit forces or pick a new enemy?

anyway, that is the scenario that i think would produce the result you stated.

up
7 users have voted.

@joe shikspack The White House may have their own plan.

"Pivot to China"

Where have we heard that before? Obama's Pivot to Asia and how did that go.....

Kevin MaCarthy is reportedly going to Taiwan in the spring.

up
6 users have voted.

NYCVG

dystopian's picture

Hi all, Hey Joe! Hope it's all good out there!

That Lightning Hopkins was great on your Sat. albums post, thanks! He was great.

Can't believe there was another coup in So. America and the see-eye-eh of all are being fingered. Wink

The Resnicks own most of the water under Kern Co soil. The Teleflora, Pomegranite, and Fiji water people. It will surprise you to know it was a crooked deal too. Putting their people on the Kern Co. water board, etc. But the people seem F'd. They treat all the little people the same, 18 communities in Fiji on the flanks of their big mountain on main big island don't have good drinking water, but there is plenty to bottle and ship away in plastic bottles that will probably show back up in Fiji some day. I have a good friend that sold a big wholesale fish business to them. They destroyed it in a couple years, my friend says they are ruthless bastards. Imagine, billionaires, ruthless bastards?

I think all the carbon credit and capture schemes are just that, schemes.

Thanks for the news and blues!

Be well all!

up
10 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

joe shikspack's picture

@dystopian

yep, i'll have to see if i can dig out some other lightnin hopkins albums from the basement, he was a classic in a lineage that goes back to blind lemon jefferson and his cousin texas alexander.

heh, i was wondering how long it would take for the details of the cia's dirty deeds to start popping up and we could start referring to what's going on in peru as a "u.s.-backed coup."

ruthlessness is what our system selects for. so, i suspect that in the billionaire cohort, the resnicks have a lot of ruthless bastard company.

have a great evening!

up
6 users have voted.

documents is revealing.

I wasn't only a recent occurrence or an inadvertent accident.

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/01/21/search-of-bidens-home-by-doj-finds-6-mor...

The FBI found more classified documents at the Wilmington, Delaware, home of President Joe Biden during a consensual search Friday that lasted nearly 13 hours, his personal lawyer and a prosecutor said Saturday evening

The discovery was the fourth time since November that classified records or material has been found at a private address of Biden’s.

His personal lawyer Bob Bauer, in a statement, said the Department of Justice seized “six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding material.”

Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, told NBC News: “I can confirm that the FBI on Friday executed a planned, consensual search of the President’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware.”

Some of the items dated from Biden’s tenure in the Senate, where he represented Delaware from 1973 to 2009, Bauer said. And some of the items were from his tenure as vice president in the Obama administration, from 2009 through 2017.

In addition to those records, FBI agents, who did not have a warrant for the search, also seized some notes that Biden wrote by hand as vice president, according to the lawyer and the White House.

up
9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

i bet if you searched the homes and hangouts of all the people that have had access to classified documents over the years, the national archives would have to build a new annex to hold them all.

up
9 users have voted.

@joe shikspack

make was that it wasn't simply an singular accident but a pattern that has been going on for year dating back to his time in the Senate.

It blows a hole is his recent defence "that there is nothing there".

up
8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

heh, i'm completely on board with you. i'm probably going to post this in tomorrow night's eb, but i think you'll get a kick out if it.

up
4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

transparent about them finding classified documents at numerous Biden abodes and I say phooey on that. If they were being transparent then why didn’t we hear about them before the election since they were found a few days before it? Biden refused to vote for someone that Carter wanted to appoint to a high position because he got caught having classified documents and Biden was his arrogant self by adamantly spouting harsh words against the guy for foolishly having them. You know just like he did when Trump had some.

But if Biden and Trump get in trouble for them then so should Hillary for not only having them, but for refusing to give them to congress after they subpoenaed them and then for deliberately destroying them. And her transgressions were much worse because the FBI knew that China had hacked into her server. Shitlibs are bitching that the media is treating this like "Her emails!" and making a big deal out of Biden having them, but damn right her emails. Comey got it right when he called it gross negligence. Remember when a guy who worked on a submarine got caught having 1 picture of his sub and went to prison for 5 years?

up
9 users have voted.

Rhett Butler contemptuously reminded Southern secession hot heads “There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.”

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

enhydra lutris's picture

The Moon of Alabama article is interesting, but seems a bit premature. I can't say that I really understand what is happening especially suing the various maps provided. It could, in fact, be a new offensive, but just as possibly, just some tidying up.

be well and have a good one

up
5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

while i am not able to say if this is the long awaited offensive or not, it certainly has the look of something that might just be pretty devastating to the ukro-nazis. perhaps this is not the moment for a massive attack, but given that there is a huge bunch of ukro-nazis surrounded on three sides by russians, it sure looks like something is going to happen.

anyway, have a great evening!

up
7 users have voted.

went out of fashion 70 years ago, and if Russia simply went home that war would end tomorrow. I've posted on here before that Ukraine will take back Crimea. It's not too complicated.

Also I wouldn't be surprised if the US and Europe don't end up giving Ukraine all the tanks and aircraft they need to bring this thing to an end as quickly as possible. The sooner this war is over, the sooner Ukraine and Russia can begin to recover and the economies worldwide can also.

up
1 user has voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@ban nock

ah, so invading your neighbors is unfashionable, so that's why the u.s. has to go all over the world engaging in wars of choice in countries that are very much not our neighbors.

thanks for the explanation!

up
4 users have voted.

@joe shikspack You are quite welcome. Do you remember When Iraq took over Kuwait? That looked so retro, like Russia invading Hungary or something, oops, I believe there is an expression built around that invasion and tanks he he. Russia's Afghanistan invasion was more like our Iraq invasion, install a puppet, keep troops around, it never ends well, but it's different than simply invading a place and saying now that is our country.

up
0 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@ban nock

Overlooking every invasion your country has done so you can slam other ones. It must be nice living in your reality that you just make up. Not a word about our invasions of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or Syria where we are still there so that we can steal their oil and wheat. Or is that acceptable for you for some reason?

You think that if Russia just goes home that Ukraine will know peace, but that will never happen. America will send its military into Ukraine and bring a lot of weapons including nuclear ones that can hit Moscow in just minutes which was one of the reasons why Russia crossed the border to begin with. That and to stop the slaughter of Ukrainians living in the Donbas that you keep ignoring happening for 8 years. And if Russia goes home then Biden will start his war against China and I’m looking forward to how you are going to spin that and make it seem like it’s China’s fault that he did.

Hey do you remember that when Russia went into Afghanistan we funded Osama Bin Laden and created Al Qaeda that eventually attacked us here at home and then started killing our troops in those countries we invaded. Or didn’t your corporate media sources tell you that those things happened?

up
6 users have voted.

Rhett Butler contemptuously reminded Southern secession hot heads “There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.”

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

mimi's picture

get some chicken, two pigs (male and female, and hope for lovely piglets), three sheeps, no goats, and may be, may be, a cow, dependent on my own health to handle a cow.

I will get a Rottweiler dog and two German Shepards. who will bark and scare away any one, who wants to take me off my property. Or I will emigrate to a tropical African country and starve to death in the company of other poor folks who have nothing to eat.

Bingo, isnt' that a plan?

Good night from my crazy bush folks in our woods to yours.

up
5 users have voted.

mimi