Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 27 Nov 2020
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters

Light Sabers

Russia blacklists 25 British individuals in tit-for-tat move over UK's 'Magnitsky List'

© Sputnik / Valery Melnikov
Moscow has imposed sanctions on 25 British individuals, mirroring restrictions rolled out by London earlier this year over the case of Sergei Magnitsky, who died in Russian custody back in 2009.

The announcement was made by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Saturday.

"In response to the unfriendly actions of the British authorities and on the basis of the principle of reciprocity, the Russian side made a decision to impose personal sanctions against 25 representatives of Britain who are barred from entering Russia," Zakharova said in a statement, without naming the exact individuals to be blacklisted.

Comment: See also: US 'shot itself in the foot' by sanctioning us, Putin says amid reports that Russia has become 'bulletproof' for investors

And check out SOTT radio's: The Truth Perspective: Bill Browder, the Magnitsky Act, and anti-Russia Sanctions: Interview with Alex Krainer

Arrow Up

US court sides with Russia over oligarchs & suspends $50 billion Yukos legal battle

A federal court in Washington, DC has accepted a motion from the Russian government to suspend a case brought by the ex-shareholders of the collapsed oil giant Yukos over "the world's largest" legal settlement.

The case, part of a protracted 15-year legal battle brought by the oligarchs, won't be reviewed until 2022, or until a parallel judgement is settled at the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. Dutch courts previously awarded $50 billion in damages to former investors in the company, believed to be the largest legal bill in history, but Russia is appealing that decision and has even warned it could refuse to pay a settlement.

However, last week, the Dutch Advocate General recommended that the Netherlands' top court move to enforce the settlement in favor of the ex-shareholders. A decision by judges is expected soon.

Bad Guys

Trump presidency confirms the Pentagon & the CIA are in charge of foreign policy

Pentagon and CIA
President Trump has announced that he is ordering a partial withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq during the waning days of his administration.

Why only partial? And why now in the waning days of his presidency? After all, when Trump campaigned in 2016, his expressed aim was to bring all the troops home from those two countries. He repeatedly vowed to bring an end to America's "forever wars."

There is a simple explanation for Trump's failure, one that unfortunately so many Americans are loathe to consider: It's not the president who is in charge of foreign policy. Instead it is the Pentagon and the CIA that are in charge.

Trump had four years to bring home those troops. Clearly he wanted to. The reason he didn't — the reason he still can't — is because the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA won't let him.

Comment: The above quite simply is what so many Americans are coming to understand right now. After the claim made by "17 intelligence agencies" that there was 'Russian collusion' with Trump - only to have been proven to be a Big Lie - how on earth are thinking individuals to trust these institutions again?

Don't miss: What Trump is really about


'Killing for optics'? Obama claims he 'took no joy' in drone strikes, but ordered them to avoid looking 'soft on terrorism'

obama drone
© AFP / YURI GRIPAS; Getty Images / Ethan Miller
Former US President Barack Obama has sparked an anti-war backlash after saying in his new memoir he "took no joy" in ordering deadly drone strikes, reasoning that his administration "couldn't afford to look soft on terrorism."

The ex-president's new book 'A Promised Land' sheds some light on the Obama administration's controversial expansion of the US drone program, which was launched under his predecessor George W. Bush.

One of Obama's original campaign promises was for US withdrawal from middle-eastern conflicts. However, that promise was not fulfilled during his eight years in office, and the Democrat is now often accused of having further escalated violence in the region through his policies in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere.

Comment: See also:


Docs for sale: US government issues rare fraud alert as Big Pharma spends billions bribing medics to prescribe their drugs

HHS Secretary Alex Azar and President Donald Trump
© Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
Health officials hope the move will push the drug giants to end their lucrative, thinly veiled 'speaker programs' for favored doctors. Fat chance - it's too profitable a business for them, even though the social costs are huge.

For the first time since 2014, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a rare special fraud alert highlighting allegations that major pharmaceutical companies have been throwing billions at doctors as part of questionable 'speaker programs'.

These programs have been accused of offering thin cover for bribes to favored doctors in return for promoting and prescribing the companies' drugs and devices. In return, medical professionals were given lucrative speaking fees and expensive trips and dinners for themselves and their partners. The alert states that some high prescribing healthcare professionals were paid over $100,000 in speaking fees. These honoraria were sometimes attached to agreements that the speaker would write a minimum number of prescriptions per year for the companies' drugs.


Sweden REFUSES to recommend mask-wearing, "state of knowledge on this is uncertain"

© Reuters / TT News Agency / Fredrik Sandberg
People walk at the Drottninggatan shopping street in central Stockholm, Sweden. November 2020.
Sweden's senior medical official has argued the data on the effectiveness of mask-wearing amid the Covid-19 pandemic is thus far inconclusive. The country's academy of sciences, meanwhile, says the opposite is true.

"The use of masks is a controversial issue. The state of knowledge on this is uncertain," Karin Tegmark Wisell, who leads the microbiology department at the state-run Public Health Agency of Sweden, told reporters on Thursday.

"In Sweden, we aim to use social distancing as the number one tool. We don't see that we are at a point where we might recommend using masks on public transport."


Willing Slaves of the Covidian State?

covid emojis
When I wrote back in March that Britain as we knew it was finished, I did so for three main reasons:

Firstly, the mass quarantining of millions of healthy people for (almost) the first time in history, for a virus that is not remotely deadly to them (and yes this was known in March), could not possibly be a medical necessity and must instead be for some other reason. I say "almost", because there was one other short-lived attempt at the mass quarantining of healthy people in Mexico back in 2009, but that experiment ended after less than three weeks, when the Mexican Government came to its senses, realising the immense social and economic harm it would do to their country. We are not nearly so fortunate, and have now been subject to our Psychological, Economic and Social Trial (PEST) for 8 months, including two pointless national Lockdowns; Maskup, which is designed to perpetuate fear, test our compliance, and have us walking around like humiliated prisoners; along with utterly absurd diktats, such as the Rule of Fiddlesticks or whatever it is called. If anyone still seriously thinks this was done for health reasons, there are — I understand — a number of bridges going cheap on Ebay.

Secondly, the suppressions placed upon the people, under the absurd claim that we can control viruses, was bound to be far longer lasting than we were being told, since coronaviruses don't just disappear. And because they don't disappear, the changes to the social, economic and psychological state of people, families, communities and whole nations were bound to be seismic and even epochal in nature. And so it is turning out to be. 2020 is not just another year; it is the start of a new era, and a sinister start no less.

Thirdly, it became quite clear to me a long while ago that Western societies have moved from a state where people could be reasonably confident that what they were being told by Governments and the media had at least some basis in reality, to one where reality itself was being shape-shifted and manipulated to such an extent that it is now largely impossible to be sure of what is and isn't real in the civic sphere any longer. We now live in the World of Unreality, where truth is buried and obscured by a quite obscene mountain of lies and deception.


Election fraud updates: Trump withdraws MI lawsuit, AZ won't certify until lawsuits settled, PA invalidates some ballots, and more

Biden Trump
© AP Photos/Patrick Semansky, Andrew Harnik
The Trump campaign on Nov. 19 withdrew a lawsuit in Michigan after obtaining "relief" in Wayne County, said former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

"This morning we are withdrawing our lawsuit in Michigan as a direct result of achieving the relief we sought: to stop the election in Wayne County from being prematurely certified before residents can be assured that every legal vote has been counted and every illegal vote has not been counted," campaign lawyer and spokesman Giuliani said in a statement.

The statement came after two Wayne County canvassers signed affidavits saying they want to rescind their votes and alleged they were threatened on Nov. 17 to certify the Nov. 3 election in the county, which includes the Democratic stronghold of Detroit.

It's unclear if Giuliani was referring to the developments in Wayne County.

"I rescind my prior vote to certify Wayne County elections," canvasser Monica Palmer said in an affidavit signed on Nov. 18. "I fully believe the Wayne County vote should not be certified." The other canvasser, William Hartmann, also signed an affidavit, echoing Palmer's complaint.

The two argued that "intense bullying and coercion" forced them to vote to certify the results. They also said that officials promised that a full audit of the election would take place to address their concerns, but the pair later learned that no audit would take place.

Comment: Trump's electoral college candidates have filed an election contest lawsuit in Nevada, challenging around 40k ballots (Biden has a 33,596 lead). Over in Arizona, Governor Ducey said he won't accept the results until all ongoing lawsuits are settled (Biden leads by about 11,000 votes). Montgomery County commissioner Joe Gale (Pennsylvania) has refused to certify the county's results, citing litigation and irregularities. Montgomery is the third-most populous county in PA, with over 830k people.

In Pennsylvania, a court invalidated 2,349 absentee ballots that were undated.

But state judges have rejected some lawsuits in Arizona and Pennsylvania (see first tweet above) from both the Trump campaign and the GOP.
In Arizona, the Republican party filed a lawsuit seeking a new audit of ballots in Maricopa County, the most populous county in the state. Their lawsuit (pdf) filed last week had accused the county of having violated state law by not assigning voters polling places in their own precincts, as had been the traditional practice in prior elections. Voters were instead free to cast their ballots at any polling center in the county.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah rejected (pdf) the lawsuit with prejudice, thereby barring the Republican party from refiling the case. He denied the party's request for an injunction to block Maricopa County from officially certifying its results.

He had little explanation in this ruling, saying only that the GOP's request to amend its lawsuit was futile. He promised a full explanation of his reasons for the decision in the future.
A federal judge rejected Lin Wood's bid to delay Georgia's certification. Wood responded as follows:

The recount in Wisconsin is about to begin. The Trump lawyers will seek to have several ballots segregated during the count, including around 170k absentee ballots for "indefinitely confined" people, obviously obtained fraudulently.


The 'Dominion' of election fraud?

Map US voting machines
© Penn Warton
Locations of US voting machines: Dominion in orange; ES&S in blue
"The maintenance of Americans' constitutional rights should not depend on the good graces and sketchy ethics of a handful of well-connected corporations... who have stonewalled Congress, lied to Congress, and have questionable judgment when it comes to security..." -Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore)
Barely two weeks ago allegations that the 2020 US Presidential election had been rigged on behalf of DNC presidential spawn Joe Biden were met with almost universal skepticism. This past week may have changed that.

In the article of Monday, Nov 9 the author examined the problems with the mail-in ballot totals in the five key swing states and the legal and legislative challenges to them including re-counts and the SCOTUS intervention of the PA Supreme Court.

The subject of alleged DNC election fraud has now shifted to an examination of the machines that count each ballot and render the results. The voter is supposed to believe that Joe Biden defeated Trump and at the same time lost seats in the US House and state legislatures. This is possible but highly improbable.

Today, Nov 17, in preparation for a multi-state legal challenge to results created by these voting machines, lead Trump attorney and former Assistant US Attorney Sidney Powell, said:
"They need to investigate the likelihood that 3% of the vote total was changed in the pre-election voting ballots that were collected digitally by using the Hammer program and the software program called Scorecard. That would have amounted to a massive change in the vote."
Here, begins that examination. As shown, there is reason for concern.

Comment: Those convicted of high crimes against the people will find treason has no perks.


Trump's enduring legacy will be the fact he's changed the Republican Party forever

© Getty Images/Tascos Katopodis
People participate in the “Million MAGA March” from Freedom Plaza to the Supreme Court, on November 14, 2020 in Washington, DC.
If the Never Trumpers of the GOP establishment think Joe Biden's election will rid the party of Trumpism, they're in for a rude awakening. They need to embrace some of his ideas if they ever want to return to the White House.

President Donald Trump may have just two months left in office before Joe Biden takes over, but his impact on the Republican Party is likely to go down in history as the most significant and lasting aspect of his legacy.

The Republican Party has been hard-pressed for years to adapt its offering to attract new, younger supporters, particularly in light of shifting demographics. For years, the party has tried to, and failed, mainly because it insisted on a clinical approach rather than a humanistic one.

In other words, the party ignored former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's famous words: "The facts of life are conservative." Anyone trying to live an honest life made possible by their hard work understands basic values of classic conservatism - specifically, the notion that a person's efforts should translate into a means of self-sufficiency with minimal government interference, unless absolutely necessary as a last resort safety net.

Comment: The election show is not over and the best may be yet to come. Thanks to Trump, the Republican party - and its constituency - have revitalized ahead of the Democrats at the most vital juncture possible. The Dems will be hard-pushed to catch up - if ever.