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Thu, 23 Sep 2021
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The world is still short of everything. Get used to it!

© Tim Gruber/NYT
Kirsten Gjesdal stopped ordering some products for her kitchen supply store.
Like most people in the developed world, Kirsten Gjesdal had long taken for granted her ability to order whatever she needs and then watch the goods arrive, without any thought about the factories, container ships and trucks involved in delivery.

Not anymore.

At her kitchen supply store in Brookings, S.D., Ms. Gjesdal has given up stocking place mats, having wearied of telling customers that she can only guess when more will come. She recently received a pot lid she had purchased eight months earlier. She has grown accustomed to paying surcharges to cover the soaring shipping costs of the goods she buys. She has already placed orders for Christmas items like wreaths and baking pans.

"It's nuts," she said. "It's definitely not getting back to normal."

The challenges confronting Ms. Gjesdal's shop, Carrot Seed Kitchen, are a testament to the breadth and persistence of the chaos roiling the global economy, as manufacturers and the shipping industry contend with an unrelenting pandemic.

Comment: This dire global supply-demand crisis is a direct result of mandated lockdown measures, not the virus. The focus was on calculated maneuvers to produce just such an outcome in order to cripple industry and reduce access to goods and services. Who does this serve? Not industry. Who benefits? Not the people.


Russian elections: Pro-Putin party loses support but keeps supermajority; Communists get big boost but allege count was rigged

© Sputnik/Alexey Maishev
United Russia political party's supporters
Leader of Russian Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov speaking to media
The votes are in and the results are out. Russians have cast their votes in parliamentary elections and, with almost all of the votes counted, there is little doubt that the governing party will be returned with a supermajority.

Half the seats in the State Duma are awarded by proportional representation, while the others are assigned by 'first-past-the-post' results in single member constituencies. United Russia, the ruling party, has officially received close to 50% of all votes cast, while sweeping the overwhelming majority of constituencies, with 99% of votes counted.

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), the largest opposition grouping, has come in a distant second in the local races. It did, however, significantly extend its share of the overall vote, gaining about a quarter more ballots than it did in the 2016 elections and taking its support to around 19%.

Comment: Russia's Communists claim falsification and won't recognize result:
Russia's Communist Party has revealed that it will refuse to recognize the votes of electronic voting in the single-mandate constituencies in Moscow, and will instead ask for an investigation, believing that votes were falsified.

Russia introduced electronic voting this year in select regions. Although all of the other areas using the technology reported their results shortly after the polls closed, Moscow's declaration was delayed. The Communists, along with some other opposition figures, believe that this time was used to rig the election.

According to Yuri Afonin, the first deputy chairman of the party's central committee, his candidates "confidently won" parliamentary elections in Moscow but were robbed by the online portion of the election. Afonin believes that Moscow's results are fake. For example, in the city's District 196, outspoken communist politician Valery Rashkin was leading by 1.35%, with just 0.41% of the votes left to be counted. Once all ballots were totaled, he ended up losing by a whopping 13.87%.
"They would have won if that notorious e-voting system had not been introduced. We do not recognize the e-voting system. In Moscow, this system has only started to come together now since morning, although in other regions, all the results were known last night,"
Party leader Gennady Zyuganov also decried the results, calling for experts to "investigate."

The city's officials have denied the party permission to protest the result, citing Covid-19 restrictions.

Throughout the three days of voting, many videos shared online appeared to show voters and officials filling ballot boxes with multiple voting slips. According to Central Election Commission Chairperson Ella Pamfilova, "12 cases of ballot stuffing have been confirmed."

Oil Well

Skyrocketing energy prices could cripple Europe's economy

oil refinery
© Unknown
Surging energy prices in Europe are hurting more than just consumers. The price spikes have started to hit industrial activities, threatening to deal a blow to the post-COVID recovery in European economies with a triple whammy of reduced consumer purchasing power, lower industrial production, and higher operating costs.

Giant European firms, from chemicals and mining to the food sector, say sky-high gas and electricity prices are hitting their profit margins and forcing some of them to curtail operations.

Some factories have shut down because of record natural gas prices. More idling of industrial activity across Europe is likely in the coming weeks, analysts say.

Meanwhile, the record European natural gas prices are sending Asian spot prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to record levels for this time of the year — between peak summer demand and ahead of the winter heating season.

Europe's tight gas market, low wind speeds, abnormally low gas inventories, and record carbon prices have combined in recent weeks to send benchmark gas prices on the continent and power prices in the largest economies to record highs. Almost daily, gas and power prices in Europe surge to fresh records, putting pressure on governments as consumers protest against soaring power bills.

Comment: Biden administration wonders why oil prices are rising...could it be supply can't reach the demand? That's what happens when the economy is disrupted, the population sequestered, transport is banned and you look for someone else to blame:
The Biden administration is looking into prices at the pump and why they are higher than they are supposed to be. Quoted by Bloomberg, Biden said on Thursday:
"There's lots of evidence that gas prices should be going down -- but they haven't. We're taking a close look at that. We're also going after the bad actors and pandemic profiteers in our economy."
U.S. gas prices have risen by as much as 50 percent since the start of the year. Earlier this week, the average reached $3.19 per gallon, Bloomberg noted, citing data from the AAA, which is the highest since October 2014. The reason for the rise appears to be a strong rebound in fuel demand as the U.S. reopened after pandemic lockdowns. Still, the Biden administration has signaled it had its suspicions about other factors at play.

Last month, the director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, has approached FTC head Lina Khan with a request to monitor the U.S. gasoline market and address any illegal conduct that might be contributing to price increases for consumers at the pump. At the time, President Biden also acknowledged the climbing prices at the pump, saying he wanted to make sure that there was nothing preventing gas prices from falling:
"Recently, we've seen the price that oil companies pay for a barrel of oil begin to fall, but the cost of gasoline at the pump for more American people hasn't fallen. That's not what you'd expect in a competitive market."
Also last month, the Biden administration called on OPEC+ to boost oil production in order to help U.S. retail gas prices to fall. The call caused a sour reaction in Alberta, which is the biggest supplier of foreign oil to the United States, and no reaction from OPEC+.
Meanwhile in Lebanon, gas prices rise...again:
The Lebanese energy ministry hiked petrol prices again on Friday - this time by almost 38 percent - as the country continues to dial back fuel subsidies to tackle crippling shortages. The price of 20 litres of 95-octane and 98-octane gasoline increased to 174,300 ($11.24) and 180,000 ($11.64) Lebanese pounds respectively. That is equivalent to just over a quarter of the country's minimum wage.

Mikati has said that lifting fuel subsidies is a crucial step towards pulling the country out of an economic crisis that the World Bank has ranked among the world's three worst over the past 150 years.

George Braks of the Petrol Station Owners' Syndicate told Al Jazeera that Lebanon is heading towards lifting all fuel subsidies by the end of the month.
"Hopefully, we will not be moving from one problem to a new one with whatever new pricing mechanism is adopted. If they decide to price the dollar at the market rate, then this is something we would welcome, because we would continue with the Lebanese pound and not struggle to find US dollars."
Fuel subsidies had allowed importers and distributors to sell fuel at an officially pegged rate of 1,500 Lebanese pounds to the US dollar. But as the value of the pound plummeted by roughly 90 percent, the pegged rate was replaced by an informal rate in the wider market. Economists and analysts say keeping the subsidies ultimately incentivised smuggling, notably into Syria, to sell at a profit. So far, diesel fuel subsidies have officially been lifted, as power cuts plague homes, hospitals and businesses.

Iran-backed Hezbollah delivered the first shipment of diesel fuel from Tehran on Thursday, to be donated to some institutions and sold to others at a discounted price in the local currency. It was one of four vessels of fuel expected to dock in Syria and be delivered to Lebanon.

Laury Haytayan, a gas and oil policy expert, fears that if gasoline is priced in dollars after subsidies are lifted, there would be greater demand for the gasoline distributed by Hezbollah and its web of institutions. He said:
"I don't know how the government would take care of that - having one product in Lebanese pounds and the other in dollars, one is smuggled the other is legitimate. Maybe next we'll see a monopoly in the Iranian product ... because it's priced in Lebanese pounds and discounted as we understood from Nasrallah, and the others are in the market price."


Polish-Belarusian row intensifies as four found dead near the border

migrants poland belarus border
© REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
Polish border guard officers stand guard next to a group of migrants stranded on the border between Belarus and Poland near the village of Usnarz Gorny
Three people have died after crossing into Poland from Belarus, and a fourth person has been found dead on the Belarusian side of the border following a surge in illegal migration that has caused a diplomatic row.

Polish officials, who announced the three deaths inside Poland, gave no cause of death on Monday. The Belarusian border service identified the person found inside Belarus as "a woman of non-Slavic appearance" but did not say how she died.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said there had been almost 4,000 attempts to illegally cross Poland's border in September and nearly 7,000 over the last two months, and put the blame for the increase in migration on Minsk.



The Gates/Rockefeller 'Green Revolution' Scam Exposed

James Corbett
© Corbett Report
You've got to hand it to the globalists: they know how to take advantage of our better instincts. They have designed an entire international institutional infrastructure around the issues that the average non-psychopath cares about (or at least pretends to): helping the poor and the downtrodden, caring for children, ending inequities, taking care of the planet, etc.

This is why Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, just released his report on "Our Common Agenda," which purports to provide a road map for "rebuilding our world and mending the trust in one another we need so desperately at this moment in history." Not because he actually cares about saving the world, of course, but because he knows that we do, and that many people can be persuaded to "make sacrifices" — up to an including relinquishing their personal sovereignty, as this report ultimately calls for — for the "greater good."

And, as viewers of this week's New World Next Week will know, this is why the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and a gaggle of their Big Agra cronies are teaming up in a billion dollar alliance to "elevate the single coordinated African voice" in a United Nations summit on food security in Africa. Not because they care about feeding starving African children or raising up poor African farmers, but because they know that we do.

Specifically, the Gates-Rockefeller-Big Ag monstrosity known as the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and their associated fundraising vehicle, the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) is seeking to "elevate the single coordinated African voice" at the UN Food Systems Summit in New York this week. But, as the Alliance for Food Safety in Africa (AFSA) and literally dozens of other groups are pointing out, the AGRA-promoted approach to farming — monocultural commodity production heavily reliant on chemical inputs — is great for the big agribusiness corporations who make up the AGRA alliance but terrible for actual African farmers, not to mention terrible for long-term soil fertility and human development.

This is not by accident. In fact, the entire premise behind the "green revolution" from which AGRA and AGRF derive their name is that Big Ag is the saviour of the world and the only way to provide food security for the masses. This is a lie, of course, but it's one that plays nicely on our better instincts. After all, who wants to see African farmers living in poverty and African children starving?

But in order to better understand the scam that is being perpetrated on the people of Africa (and the people of the world), we need to look beyond this billion-dollar corporate alliance to discover the sordid history of the "green revolution" itself. As usual, the real history of this event is completely opposite to the history you will read about it in the mainstream textbooks.


'AUKUS' is Anglo-Imperialism resurrected

© Collage: www.navalnews.com/
For many, it came as a complete surprise. 'AUKUS' as it is to be known, announced somewhat out of the blue last night, is a security pact between the UK, US and Australia, focused on countering China in the Indo-Pacific. Britain and the US will aid their partner in building nuclear-powered submarines, which will be faster and harder to detect than the conventional submarines Australia currently possesses. In addition the three allies will cooperate in the areas of cyber security and artificial intelligence.

None other than the French Foreign Minister was visibly angry at the announcement of the brand new Trilateral Alliance when he spoke to French media on Thursday, referring to the move as a 'stab in the back' and a 'betrayal of trust' by the Australians. His indignation is understandable given in a few short minutes last night it was revealed that the pact will effectively replace the €50 billion 'Future Submarine Program' Australia had been working on with France for years. It speaks volumes about the disregard which these allies have for their European ally, the fact that an announcement of this proportion could be made without any consultation with their NATO partner.

One can see where the alliance has evolved from. It is a strictly 'Anglo' pact, excluding other European allies and fits in with Boris Johnson's idea of a 'Global Britain' widening its reach in the Indo Pacific. Now that Johnson has removed Britain from the security ties that came with European Union membership, he can pursue his own geopolitical strategy, which as I have written before, is reminiscent of nineteenth century British imperialism. Britain is simply itching to play policeman in the Indo-Pacific, and Australia enables it to do so.

Comment: As if things weren't bad enough. See also:


Biden confirms 30 percent global methane reduction goal, urges 'highest possible ambitions

© Getty
President Biden on Friday confirmed a goal of reducing global methane emissions 30 percent by the end of the decade while speaking at a White House summit and touted congressional infrastructure packages as vital to achieving domestic climate goals.

Meeting the methane target "will not only rapidly reduce the rate of global warming, it will also produce a very valuable side benefit like improving public health and agricultural output," the president said while hosting a summit of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate.

The attendees of the forum, including the U.S., make up about 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The president did not specify what the U.S. contribution to the methane reduction target would be, and American options to compel international cooperation on the goal are limited.

"We believe the collective goal is both ambitious but realistic ... and we urge you to join us in announcing this pledge," the president said.

Biden emphasized the need for contributions beyond simply those of the U.S. to the targets in his remarks, saying "I look forward to continuing this work together, and hearing how you plan to contribute to the climate ambition the world so desperately needs."

Comment: Naturally, Biden's policy is exactly the wrong one since it is:

1. Based on fake science.

2. Doesn't put any viable sources of energy in place of fossil fuels (wind and solar energy are not reliable).

3. Further monetizes the energy industry putting more money and power in the hands of the select few.

4. Feeds into the ideologically possessed activists' belief in lies about climate change.

Stock Down

France says Biden acted like Trump as UK & US steal huge Aussie submarine deal in 'brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision'

Naval Group facility Cherbourg, France
© REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
The Naval Group facility in Cherbourg, France.
France's foreign minister has spoken of his "anger" and "bitterness" and has criticized the US and Britain, after the allies agreed a deal to supply nuclear submarines to Australia, undoing Paris' $40-billion deal for French subs.

"I am angry and bitter. This isn't done between allies," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told franceinfo radio on Thursday morning, after the leaders of Australia, the UK and US convened a virtual press conference on Wednesday night, announcing the AUKUS pact and the delivery of conventionally-armed nuclear-power submarines to Canberra.

The delivery of the nuclear subs under the AUKUS (Australia, UK, US) pact means Canberra will scrap a 2016 deal with French firm Naval Group to upgrade its fleet with more diesel submarines. The scrapped deal was reportedly worth $40 billion.

Comment: See also:

Eye 1

Fauci insists 3 shots needed for 'full vaccination', wants to inject babies of 6months+, FDA advisory panel REJECTS boosters

moderna pfizer vaccine
© REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has claimed that "ultimately" people will need at least one booster shot to be considered properly vaccinated against Covid-19, despite the FDA's hesitancy over universal boosters.

"I believe, when all's said and done, it's going to turn out that the proper regimen, at least for an mRNA vaccine [such as Pfizer], is the two original doses, the prime followed in three-to-four weeks by a boost, but also followed several months later by a third shot," Fauci told The Telegraph in an exclusive interview.

Comment: Israel is a Pfizer laboratory and it mandates FOUR jabs in total; why the discrepancy?

"So I think that ultimately, when we look back on this, it's going to be that the proper regimen, to have a complete and full regimen, will be a third shot boost. "

Comment: Where exactly has 'the science' gone? We have dubious institutions reaching one conclusion whilst we have compromised individuals and representatives in government and business claiming another. However we've also seen that these same institutions either don't challenge the agenda, or worse, they later endorse the insidious scheming:

Light Sabers

'Lying, contempt & crisis in relations': French FM says NATO must take note as he lashes out at US & Australia over AUKUS deal

Macron Biden
© Brendan Smialowski/Pool via REUTERS
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron talks with US President Joe Biden before a plenary session at a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium on June 14, 2021
French FM Jean Yves-Drian has continued to criticize the US and Australia for the AUKUS submarine deal, meant to go to Paris, insisting there may be major consequences to French-US relations and for the transatlantic alliance.

"There has been lying, duplicity, a major breach of trust and contempt. This will not do," Foreign Minister Le Drian told the press on Saturday.

Paris' ambassadors to Canberra and Washington have been recalled in response to the deal, and Le Drian had previously described Australia ditching the pact between the two countries as a "stab in the back."

Comment: Of particular note is the seemingly unrelated point about reviving the ominous idea of an EU army: