Category Archives: Governments

Russia ‘Defaults On Foreign Debt’ For First Time Since Bolshevik Revolution Amid Western Sanctions, by Katabella Roberts

Is it really a default if your creditor refuses payment or makes it impossible for you to repay, but you are ready, willing, and able to do so? From Katabella Roberts at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:

Russia on Sunday defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time since 1918 after the grace period on its $100 million payment expired, according to reports.

The $100 million interest payment deadline due to be met by the Kremlin had initially been set to May 27 but a 30-day grace period was triggered after investors failed to receive coupon payments due on both dollar and euro-denominated bonds.

Russia said that it had sent the money to Euroclear Bank SA, a bank that would then distribute the payment to investors.

But that payments allegedly got stuck there amid increased sanctions from the West on Moscow, according to Bloomberg, meaning creditors did not receive it.

Euroclear told the BBC that it adheres to all sanctions.

The last time Russia defaulted on its foreign debt was in 1918 when the new communist leader Vladimir Lenin refused to pay the outstanding debts of the Russian Empire during the Bolshevik Revolution.

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BRICS Summit Reaffirms That Russia Not As Isolated As NATO Suggests, by Tyler Durden

You’ve got something when you’ve got over half the world’s population and well over half the world’s natural resources either tacitly or explicitly on your team. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The recent BRICS summit managed to run its course this past week with very little fanfare, despite the fact that Russia is in the midst of a conflict with Ukraine that has led to a worldwide economic war. China is edging towards a potential invasion of Taiwan, and much of the planet is in the middle of a stagflationary crisis in the meantime.

The one major takeaway from the summit was the reaffirmed stance of the BRICS that they would continue to work closely with Russia in economic terms.

Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, there has been a running narrative in the western media that sanctions and the removal of Russian access to the SWIFT network would crush the country within a few months, leaving them penniless and unable to project military power.  This has not happened.

A picture was painted by journalists and politicians of a completely isolated Russia, destroyed by a global cancel culture campaign that would de-nation them.  In reality, Russian trade, specifically their oil trade, has actually expanded.  Both China and India have increased their purchases of Russian oil while enjoying discounted prices.  Simultaneously, Europe and the US are suffering from oil and gas inflation and the EU is cutting vital oil and gas supplies from Russia.

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Another Food Processing Plant Shutters Operations, Adding To Long List Of Closures, by Tyler Durden 

This is getting weirder and weirder, and there’s something nefarious and sinister behind it all. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

A top food processing plant will be closing down one of its facilities in Campbell County, Tennessee, adding to the long list of closures over the last year.

George’s Prepared Foods announced its chicken processing plant in the small town of Caryville would be shuttering operations by the end of the summer.

The reason for the closure was not disclosed and has caught local officials by surprise. Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton told local news WVLT that he’s trying to keep the plant open to save hundreds of jobs.

“I have contacted the Tennessee Economic and Community Development staff to request assistance in keeping the plant open or facilitating a sale to another operator

“I have requested Governor Lee’s assistance as well. My primary concern is for the welfare of the dedicated workers who have been the backbone of this operation. Our prayers go out to them as well as our very best efforts to keep them employed in Campbell County,” Morton said.

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Anatomy of a Philanthropath: Dreams of Democide & Dictatorship, by Margaret Anna Alice

Part Two of Margaret Anna Alice’s study of the psychopaths who want to rule the world. From Margaret Anna Alice at margaretannaalice.substack.com:

Part 2: Downloadable Digital Dictatorships

This is Part 2 of Anatomy of a Philanthropath. Read Part 1: A Mostly Peaceful Depopulation for context:

Margaret Anna Alice Through the Looking Glass
Anatomy of a Philanthropath: Dreams of Democide & Dictatorship
“Tyranny is a habit which may be developed until at last it becomes a disease. I declare that the noblest nature can become so hardened and bestial that nothing distinguishes it from that of a wild animal. Blood and power intoxicate; they help to develop callousness and debauchery. The mind then becomes capable of the most abnormal cruelty, which it reg…

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Anatomy of a Philanthropath: Downloadable Digital Dictatorships; Person Trapped Inside Screaming to Get Out

“Regulation mania, as manifested in government bureaucracy, attempts to render social interactions rational and logical by squeezing them into performed templates. In this respect, the ideal bureaucrat is identical to a computer. They strictly adhere to the logic of their system without being ‘distracted’ by the individuality of the people they ‘assist.’ For this reason, a bureaucratic system generates exactly the same frustration as a computer. We are confronted with a mechanical Other who is in no way sensitive to our individuality as human beings. A computer is not so much an unfair or unjust Other; it is an Other who imposes a relentless logic.… In this respect, the computer resembles the ideal totalitarian leader: He strictly and ruthlessly imposes his logic on the population.”

—Mattias Desmet, The Psychology of Totalitarianism (Kindle, hardcover, audiobook, audio CD)

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How Bad Will the Food Shortage Get? by Dr. Joseph Mercola

If you haven’t already, start stocking up. From Dr. Joseph Mercola at theburningplatform.com:

food shortage 2022

Story at-a-glance

  • It’s becoming increasingly clear that severe food shortages are going to be inevitable, more or less worldwide, and whatever food is available will continue to go up in price
  • The cost of agricultural inputs such as diesel and fertilizers is skyrocketing due to shortages — caused by a combination of intentional and coincidental events — and those costs will be reflected in consumer food prices come fall and next year
  • Mysterious fires, alleged bird flu outbreaks and other inexplicable events are killing off livestock and destroying crucial infrastructure. Since the end of April 2021, at least 96 farms, food processing plants and food distribution centers across the U.S. have been damaged or destroyed
  • The global food price index had risen 58.5% above the 2014-2016 average as of April 2022, due to a convergence of post-pandemic global demand, extreme weather, tightening food stocks, high energy prices, supply chain bottlenecks, export restrictions, taxes and the Russia-Ukraine conflict

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The Entire World Order Has Changed, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Are we seeing the death knell of the West and the emergence of a multi-polar order? From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

It was Jim O’Neill, Goldman’s chief economist at the time, who coined the term BRICS in 2001 for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Little did he know. He was talking about emerging economies. 13 years later, they no longer are. They are good for about 40% of the world population, and some 25% of global GDP. The world has not stood still since 2009, and it’s moving faster now.

Ironically, the BRICS countries never looked to be as prominent economically as they are today, they were happy to build up one step at a time. But then NATO decided to move east at a pace that Russia found intolerable, and now the BRICS have taken on a whole new meaning. 25% of global GDP may not seem that much, but the 5 countries hold a much bigger share of -essential- global resources and/or raw materials than that, and China moreover delivers an outsize part of finished products.

And we now know that they won’t be BRICS for much longer. Many countries choose to be affiliated, in one form or another, with the BRICS rather than the “west”. They see that Russia is winning in Ukraine, and they see the damage the sanctions do. It’s just practical considerations. Saudi Arabia and Argentina are interested in joining BRICS. So are Uruguay, Iran, Egypt, Thailand, and a number of post-Soviet States. They see where the real economic power resides.

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The Age of Discord, by Charles Hugh Smith

We’re sure not living through the Age of Sweetness and Light. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

It’s very difficult to find common ground that supports cooperation in the disintegrative stage of scarcities, rising prices, catastrophically centralized power and social discord.

Today’s topic echoes Peter Turchin’s 2016 book, Ages of Discord, which I have often referenced in blog posts.

I’ll also discuss two other books I’ve often referenced, Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century by Geoffrey Parker and The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History by David Hackett Fischer.

Turchin proposes repeating cycles of history of social integration (people finding reasons to cooperate) and disintegration (people finding reasons to not cooperate).

Clearly, we’re in a disintegrative stage.

Fischer proposed a repeating cycle of history in which humans expand their numbers and economy to consume all available resources.

Once all the low-hanging fruit has been consumed, scarcities arise, pushing prices above what commoners can afford, and the result is economic stagnation and social/political revolution.

Either humans exploit a new energy source at scale to provide for the larger population and higher consumption per person, or the population and consumption decline to fit available resources.

Parker covers the mutually reinforcing climate, political, social and economic crises of the 17th century. A long cycle of cold, wet summers reduced crop yields, leading to hunger and strife.

Parker also identifies another cause of the tumultuous, war-plagued 1600s: political leaders had consolidated too much power, enabling them to pursue disastrous wars without any restraint from competing domestic social-political interests.

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The Causes and Consequences of the Ukraine Crisis, by John J. Mearsheimer

This is an excellent in-depth analysis of the Ukraine situation. From John J. Mearsheimer at nationalinterest.org:

The war in Ukraine is a multi-dimensional disaster, which is likely to get much worse in the foreseeable future.

Let me now turn to the matter of escalation. It is widely accepted among international relations scholars that there is a powerful tendency for protracted wars to escalate. Over time, other countries can get dragged into the fight and the level of violence is likely to increase. The potential for this happening in the Ukraine war is real. There is a danger that the United States and its NATO allies will get dragged into the fighting, which they have been able to avoid up to this point, even though they are already waging a proxy war against Russia. There is also the possibility that nuclear weapons might be used in Ukraine and that might even lead to a nuclear exchange between Russia and the United States. The underlying reason these outcomes might be realized is that the stakes are so high for both sides, and thus neither can afford to lose.

As I have emphasized, Putin and his lieutenants believe that Ukraine joining the West is an existential threat to Russia that must be eliminated. In practical terms, that means Russia must win its war in Ukraine. Defeat is unacceptable. The Biden administration, on the other hand, has stressed that its goal is not only to decisively defeat Russia in Ukraine, but also to use sanctions to inflict massive damage on the Russian economy. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has emphasized that the West’s goal is to weaken Russia to the point where it could not invade Ukraine again. In effect, the Biden administration is committed to knocking Russia out of the ranks of the great powers. At the same time, President Biden himself has called Russia’s war in Ukraine a “genocide” and charged Putin with being a “war criminal” who should face a “war crimes trial” after the war. Such rhetoric hardly lends itself to negotiating an end to the war. After all, how do you negotiate with a genocidal state?

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President Biden Asks the Saudis to Bail Him Out, by Benjamin Zycher

Even if you can’t stand Biden, it hurts to see a U.S. president kowtow to the Saudi regime to help alleviate the consequences of his own idiocy. From Benjamin Zycher at realclearenergy.org:

President Biden Asks the Saudis to Bail Him Out

President Biden will attend the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Saudi Arabia next month, with the explicit goal of convincing the GCC — that is, the Saudis — to increase production of crude oil as a tool with which reduce gasoline prices in the U.S. From a recent press conference:

Q: And my question on Saudi Arabia: Why not have the President go there and just not meet with the Crown Prince?

MR. KIRBY:  The President is going to Saudi for the GCC — the GCC+3, to be honest.  It’s nine states in the region.  There’s a big agenda there, Kaitlan, on the Gulf Cooperation Council.  It’s counterterrorism.  It’s climate change.  Certainly, it’s — oil production, obviously, is going to be on the agenda.

OPEC production of crude oil and other liquids is about 34-35 million barrels per day (mmbd), of which Saudi output is about 10 mmbd, out of global production of around 100 mmbd. OPEC surplus production capacity is about 3 mmbd, of which the Saudi share is about 1 mmbd.

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Explosive Report Confirms Expansive CIA ‘Stealth Network’ Of Spies & Commandos Inside Ukraine, by Tyler Durden

Why would Russia regard Ukraine as anything but a U.S. proxy war with all the U.S. intelligence agents who are in Ukraine doing who knows what?  From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

A fresh New York Times report has confirmed what many already suspected – that the CIA is still very active inside Ukraine – especially with training as well coordinating weapons among its Ukrainian allies. The Times report details “a stealthy network of commandos and spies rushing to provide weapons, intelligence and training,” based on US and European intelligence officials with knowledge of the operations. The report says Ukrainian forces are reliant on this Western clandestine network “more than ever” while outgunned by the Russians.

This comes months after investigative journalist Zach Dorfman’s bombshell expose in Yahoo News which detailed how a prior 8-year long CIA covert program to train Ukrainian fighters helped provoke the Russian invasion. The only question that remained after that March report was the extent to which the CIA was still active in the ongoing fight against the invading Russians.

Special operations file image, via Sandboxx

The new Times reporting confirms that the US program is not only active and ongoing, but appears larger in scale than previously thought given the CIA’s close cooperation with the Ukrainians is happening both inside and outside the country, across multiple locations.

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