Patriot vs. S300

Western SAM systems are, for the most part DIRECTIONAL, i.e., unlike the Russian S300 and later, they have a limited angle on which to act. The Russian systems go out vertically and then in flight, they take direction (360 degrees coverage).

This means that a Patriot battery, in a location like Dnipro, will have to have launchers pointing south, others west, others even east. Coverage is therefore less dense, and even easier to saturate by the adversary.

In this way the Yemenis, choosing poorly covered routes, attack Saudi Arabia, which uses Patriot systems (and that is why they want to buy S400s).

In the same way, the loss of a launcher system in the battery is a major damage, as there will be gaps in coverage.

Tucker Carlson: The Deep State Removed Nixon, The Most Popular President Ever, To Cover Up CIA’s Murder Of JFK

Posted By Tim Hains 

TUCKER CARLSON: Joe Biden alone is responsible for this crime. He alone took home classified documents. He didn’t have help in doing that, but allowing the country to be invaded, that’s not something you can do by yourself. So, if Biden were to be taken down for opening the southern border, a lot of other people would go with them. He had a lot of accomplices. Permanent Washington doesn’t want that and ultimately and here’s the point: Permanent Washington is in charge. It’s not the democracy you imagined. We’re seeing that now.  

So, if you want to understand, if you really want to understand how the American government actually works at the highest levels, and if you want to know why they don’t teach history anymore, one thing you should know is that the most popular president in American history was Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon. Yet somehow, without a single vote being cast by a single American voter, Richard Nixon was kicked out of office and replaced by the only unelected president in American history. So, we went for the most popular president to a president nobody voted for. Wait a minute, you may ask, why didn’t I know that? Wasn’t Richard Nixon a criminal?  

Wasn’t he despised by all decent people? No, he wasn’t. In fact, if any president could claim to be the people’s choice, it was Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon was re-elected in 1972 by the largest margin of the popular vote ever recorded before or since. Nixon got 17 million more votes than his opponent. Less than two years later, he was gone. He was forced to resign and in his place, an obedient servant of the federal agencies called Gerald Ford took over the White House.  

How did that happen? Well, it’s a long story, but here are the highlights and they tell you a lot. Richard Nixon believes that elements in the federal bureaucracy were working to undermine the American system of government and had been doing that for a long time. He often said that. He was absolutely right. On June 23, 1972, Nixon met with the then–CIA director, Richard Helms, at the White House. During the conversation, which thankfully was tape-recorded, Nixon suggested he knew “who shot John,” meaning President John F. Kennedy. Nixon further implied that the CIA was directly involved in Kennedy’s assassination, which we now know it was. Helms’s telling response? Total silence, but for Nixon, it didn’t matter because it was already over. Four days before, on June 19, The Washington Post had published the first of many stories about a break-in at the Watergate office building.  

Unbeknownst to Nixon and unreported by The Washington Post, four of the five burglars worked for the CIA. The first of many dishonest Watergate stories was written by a 29-year-old metro reporter called Bob Woodward. Who exactly was Bob Woodward? Well, he wasn’t a journalist. Bob Woodward had no background whatsoever in the news business. Instead, Bob Woodward came directly from the classified areas of the federal government. Shortly before Watergate, Woodward was a naval officer at the Pentagon.  

He had a top-secret clearance. He worked regularly with the intel agencies. At times, Woodward was even detailed to the Nixon White House, where he interacted with Richard Nixon’s top aides. Soon after leaving the Navy, for reasons that have never been clear, Woodward was hired by the most powerful news outlet in Washington and assigned the biggest story in the country. Just to make it crystal clear what was actually happening, Woodward’s main source for his Watergate series was the deputy director of the FBI, Mark Felt, and Mark Felt ran — and we’re not making this up — the FBI’s COINTELPRO program, which was designed to secretly discredit political actors, the federal agencies wanted to destroy — people like Richard Nixon. And at the same time, those same agencies were also working to take down Nixon’s elected vice president, Spiro Agnew. In the fall of 1973, Agnew was indicted for tax evasion and forced to resign. His replacement was a colorless congressman from Grand Rapids called Gerald Ford.  

What was Ford’s qualification for the job? Well, he had served on the Warren Commission, which absolved the CIA of responsibility for President Kennedy’s murder. Nixon was strong-armed into accepting Gerald Ford by Democrats in Congress. “We gave Nixon no choice but Ford,” Speaker of the House Carl Albert later boasted. Eight months later, Gerald Ford of the Warren Commission was the president of the United States. See how that works? So those are the facts, not speculation. All of that actually happened. None of it’s secret. Most of it actually is on Wikipedia, but no mainstream news organization has ever told that story. It’s so obvious, yet it’s intentionally ignored and as a result, permanent Washington remains in charge of our political system. 

Unelected lifers in the federal agencies make the biggest decisions in American government and crush anyone who tries to rein them in and in the process, our democracy becomes a joke. Now, you may have noticed that the very first person in the Trump administration the agencies went after was Gen. Michael Flynn. Why Flynn? Because Mike Flynn was a career Army intel officer who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency. In other words, Mike Flynn knew exactly how the system worked, and as a result, he was capable of fighting back. Four days after Donald Trump’s inauguration, the FBI lured Mike Flynn into a meeting without his lawyer, concocted a series of fake crimes and forced him to resign.  

So, that’s how things actually work in Washington. Let’s stop lying about it. Joe Biden, meanwhile, whooped like a hyena when the Justice Department destroyed Mike Flynn. So, there is, we have to say, a certain perverse justice in watching something very similar happen to Joe Biden himself six years later. Joe Biden does not deserve our sympathy. He’s being shafted, but don’t weep for him, and yet, the rest of us do deserve a better system, an actual democracy. When people nobody voted for run everything, you are not living in a free country.

Joe Biden: “all to help counter Ukraine’s brutal aggression” !

US President Joe Biden in his own words: “and I shipped an air defense system all to help counter Ukraine’s brutal aggression”. Really, that’s what he said.

Then, more: …”Secretary of State … hm… of the military… hm, the man behind me…”

On to victory! I mean defeat.

Ukraine Expands Its Cannon Fodder at Gunpoint

The utter desperation is evident in Ukraine and in the West.

Ukraine is toast.

Here is more.

Mobilization in Cherkasy.

The residents of Lvov report in social networks that the city is practically under a blockade. The police and military have blocked all exit roads, checking every vehicle that leaves the village.

The law enforcers are looking for men of conscription age. If such are found, they turn the vehicle back.

“They stop every car to hand over the summons,” noted one of the residents of Lvov in Telegram.

Journalist Ruslan Ostashko noted that the mobilization of Lvov residents is a great gift for Poland. When the time comes to take over Western Ukraine, the Poles will not meet any resistance.

NATO’s Best Tanks are going to Ukraine, What Will it Mean on the Battlefield?

By Mikhail Khodaryonok, military observer, retired colonel, and air defense specialist, via RT

Tank supplies to Ukraine from NATO members is the top news story this week. Kiev has been calling for these weapons from its western sponsors since the beginning of the Russian offensive, and it looks like now, eleven months into the fighting, these demands are being met.

The US has announced it will send 31 Abrams main battle tanks. In a hastily scheduled speech on Wednesday, President Joe Biden noted that they are complicated to operate and maintain, so the US will provide Kiev with “parts and equipment necessary to effectively sustain these tanks on the battlefield.”

It was also confirmed, the same day, that the German government will send Leopard 2A6 tanks from its own stock and will allow other nations, such as Poland, to transfer German-made machines, to Ukraine. On January 14, London announced plans to ship its Challengers 2s to Kiev, while it now seems inevitable that Paris will supply AMX-56 Leclerc vehicles.

Russian experts and journalists have been locked in a heated debate over the differences between these western main battle tanks and the Russian T-90s, comparing their armor, guns, accuracy, active and passive protection systems, maneuverability, fire-control systems, ammunition, and many other attributes.

At the end of the day though, these discussions lack any practical value. The battlefield is the only litmus test for the advantages and drawbacks of any type of weapon or military equipment. Reliable statistics on combat use are all that is required for a comparative analysis of modern main battle tanks, if it is to be credible.

Another thing to remember is that all tanks are vulnerable to modern anti-tank systems, so the question is, how many NATO tanks are going to make their way to Ukraine?

FILE PHOTO. A Leopard 2A6 main battle tank drives across the training area during preparations for the ‘Land Operations 2017’ information training exercise in Munster, Germany. © Philipp Schulze/dpa via AP

How many tanks does Kiev need?

To simplify calculations, we’ll be using an armored division, the main structural and tactical unit of armored forces in the former Soviet republics, as our yardstick. According to Soviet manuals, an armored division must have 296 tanks, 230 infantry fighting vehicles, 54 self-propelled artillery systems, over 2,000 regular vehicles, and almost 12,000 soldiers and officers.

How many divisions does Kiev need? At least one per each of the three main fronts — in Lugansk, Donetsk, and Zaporozhye. The line of contact in the special military operation zone right now is 815 km long, making three divisions too modest an amount to make a difference, but let’s disregard this for the time being.

Three armored divisions combined would have a total of about 900 tanks. Apart from that, another armored division may be necessary on the Belarusian front, which could see some very heavy fighting. In case of an escalation there, an armored division or a similar unit in reserve is a must, which drives the number of required tanks up by 300 to 1,200.

Finally, no commander-in-chief can do without his own reserve, the so-called reserve of the supreme high command. Without at least one armored division, this reserve cannot really count as such, which means another 300 tanks for a required total of 1,500.

Another thing to consider is probable Ukrainian losses during offensive operations. The average daily losses of an armored unit in this case stand at 10 to 15%. About 15 to 20% of incapacitated tanks are typically irrecoverable losses, while the rest require repairs (general maintenance for 30 to 50%, medium-level repairs for 15 to 30%, and an overhaul for 10 to 20%).

Simply put, at least another 300 tanks are required to offset losses during combat operations. This gives us a figure of 1,800 tanks, which must be considered an absolute minimum.

These are very approximate and somewhat simplistic calculations, yet they give us ballpark figures.

FILE PHOTO. A Challenger 2 tank at a training area near Tapa in Estonia, as 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh takes part in ‘Exercise Winter Camp’. © Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images

How many tanks will Kiev get?

So far, NATO countries have earmarked tanks for Ukraine numbered in the dozens. This is only a fraction of the hypothetical minimum.

Great Britain and Poland have officially pledged an armored company each, respectively consisting of up to 14 tanks. Germany will supply a similar amount, while the US is preparing the supply of 31 Abrams heavy weapons.

At a recent meeting of the US-led Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, officials from 12 countries discussed sending a total of about 100 tanks to Kiev, if Berlin were to give the green light, which, according to an ABC report, it has done.

Rheinmetall could additionally supply a total of 139 tanks to Ukraine, including 88 Leopard 1s and 51 Leopard 2A4s, yet the German manufacturer concedes that only 29 of them could be shipped before the summer of 2023.

What impact will NATO’s tanks have?

Will all these tanks see combat any time soon? Let’s consider the example of the M1 Abrams, which is seen as one of the symbols of US military power.

A small number of these tanks manned by poorly trained crews and lacking full-scale maintenance and supply infrastructure support would most likely yield negative results. They will fail to change Ukraine’s fortunes on the battlefield, while images of burning American tanks will likely hurt US public opinion.

Thus, one of America’s premier weapons, the pride and joy of its defense industry, will be humiliated on the battlefield for a long time. This is something the Pentagon can’t allow to happen under any circumstances.

Therefore, before any actual fighting happens, evacuation teams, tank repair units, and spare part supplies must be in place, while crews must receive superior training to handle American tanks.

FILE PHOTO. US Marines drive an M1 Abrams to take part in an exercise to capture an airfield as part of the Trident Juncture 2018, a NATO-led military exercise near the town of Oppdal, Norway. © Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

Last but not least, the first deployment of US main battle tanks in Ukraine must be accompanied by a significant Ukrainian army success, at least at the tactical level, which would necessitate no fewer than 200–300 (maybe even 400–500) tanks.

Otherwise, supplying the M1 Abrams to Ukraine makes neither military nor political sense. Transferring them one company (10 to 15 tanks) at a time would only mean that this equipment will burn on the battlefield without making any significant impact or even catching anyone’s attention.

So far, according to known data, Russia has not had any significant trouble dealing with enemy equipment. This is something on which both the Russian Ministry of Defense and most Western analysts seem to agree.

Since the launch of the military operation, according to Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman, Russian forces have destroyed 376 planes, 203 helicopters, 2,944 UAVs, 402 anti-aircraft missile systems, 988 MLRVs, and 3,898 field artillery guns and mortars.

As well as 7,614 tanks and other armored vehicles.

No room for complacency

It’s very likely that the first NATO tank companies will be used as training units for Ukrainian crews, while Poland will initially provide maintenance and repair capacity for servicing German or American tanks.

One shouldn’t think, however, that training will stretch over a very long time. It can take just weeks to do a full training program, while teaching T-64/84 crews to fight in the M1 Abrams or the Leopard 2A5 could be completed in a matter of days.

What matters in the reports about the West mulling tank supplies to Ukraine is not the tanks themselves as much as the breaking of a taboo, which, until recently, prevented the transfer of heavy western-made armored vehicles to Ukraine.

Once this taboo is broken, there is every reason to assume that, sooner or later, Kiev will receive not only the 1,800 western main battle tanks it badly needs, but much more than that.

At that point in time and maybe even earlier, Ukraine will be able to create a strike force on the Zaporozhye front for example. If a force like that succeeds in breaching Russian defenses, it could cover the 82 km to Melitopol in less than three days, which would dissect the whole depth of the Russian defense in this region.

With this in mind, the Russian armed forces must achieve tangible military and political results long before western arms supplies reach their full potential.

German General Kujat Warns the Ukraine War Is Lost

Revives the stab-in-the-back charge against the US and Nato for “exposing Germany to Russia”

By John Helmer, Moscow

A fresh German general has issued a public warning that the war on the Ukrainian battlefield by the US and NATO armies is lost, and that Germany will be lost next if the advance of the Russian forces toward Kiev and Lvov isn’t halted quickly by an armistice, partition and demilitarization of the Ukraine, and time to rebuild the German army.

Retired Major General Harald Kujat — son of a Wehrmacht soldier killed fighting the Red Army who grew up to become chief of the German army and then of the NATO military staffs — is the author of a military assessment in which he blames the German press, ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel, British prime minister Boris Johnson (lead image, right centre), and other NATO allies he doesn’t name for a new German version of the stab in the back (lead image, left).

In this scheme, according to Kujat, the NATO allies have aimed at sabotaging Germany’s power in Europe. This is being carried out, he said, by escalating the “risk of a conventional attack on Germany”, and “pursuing the goal of exposing Germany to Russia in particular”. Without explicitly targeting the US, Kujat blames Washington for establishing a direct nuclear threat to Russia in the Aegis missile batteries now installed in Poland and Romania; for making Germany a direct party to the war in the Ukraine by allowing “the US [to] train Ukrainian soldiers in Germany”; and for destroying the Nord Stream gas pipelines to Germany.

Kujat’s assessment was published in Switzerland on January 18; German publication followed on January 20. Attacked in the past by mainstream German media, and by US government officials, Kujat’s new statement has been ignored in Germany and the US.

“The longer the war lasts, the greater the risk of expansion or escalation,” Kujat warned, adding the German army, German territorial security, and German industrial might will be the loser because “Russia could surpass the Western escalation at any time with its own.” Kujat meant this to include the use of nuclear weapons.

Kujat is the most senior German officer to make public an attack on the German and allied war to defeat Russia in Europe.

He follows Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach, head of the German Navy, who was forced to resign in January 2022, after a public speech in which he said that “the Crimea Peninsula is gone: It will never come back — this is a fact”; and that Russian security concerns should be addressed with “respect”. “What [Putin] really wants is respect. And, my God, giving someone respect is low cost, even no cost. … It is easy to give him the respect he really demands — and probably also deserves.”

After Schönbach’s ouster, no serving German officers have dared to risk public criticism of the war policy in Germany. Instead, they are expressing themselves through retired officers. Brigadier General Erich Vad, the ex-head of the military group in Merkel’s chancellery, issued a detailed attack earlier this month; read the details here.

Left to right: Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach, Brigadier General Erich Vad, and Major General Kujat.

Referring to the resistance by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (lead image, right right) to sending German Leopard tanks to the Ukraine, Kujat says “the debate over the supply of certain weapons systems clearly shows the intention of many media outlets to make policy themselves. It may be that my unease about this development is a consequence of my many years of service in NATO, including as chairman of the NATO-Russia Council and the NATO-Ukraine Commission of Chiefs of Staff. I find it particularly annoying that German security interests and the dangers to our country posed by an expansion and escalation of the war are given so little attention. This shows a lack of responsibility or, to use an old-fashioned term, a highly unpatriotic attitude.”

Kujat claims to “have always believed that this war must be prevented and that it could have been prevented”. That this has not been the outcome he blames on Merkel for her policy of deceiving Russia, calling that “a blatant breach of trust” and “a breach of international law, that is clear.”

The turning point in the Russian-German security balance of forces began in Washington in 2002, Kujat says, when US President George W. Bush cancelled the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty, and then in 2008 when Bush “tried to push through an invitation from Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO”. The Obama Administration’s decision in 2009 to deploy “NATO’s ballistic missile defense system in Poland and Romania” was a new escalation “because Russia is convinced that the US could also eliminate Russian intercontinental strategic systems from these launch Facilities and thus endanger the nuclear strategic balance.”

Germany’s survival is imperiled by this nuclear imbalance, according to Kujat, because Russian nuclear arms are now directly threatened by the US, and by the escalation of conventional US and NATO weapons on the Ukrainian battlefield. “You have to reckon with that. The longer the war lasts, the greater the risk of expansion or escalation. [Question: We already had this in the Cuban Missile Crisis?] It was a comparable situation.”

Like Vad, Kujat has been obliged to publish through a small-circulation Zurich magazine, Zeitgeschehen im Fokus (“Current Events in Focus”), and then in an obscure German publication based in Frankfurt; called Overton, an English revolutionary name, this magazine reveals nothing about itself except that it is “a voice against debate constriction and moralism. It questions the general narratives and is decidedly not an ideological mouthpiece or organ of pronouncement, but feels committed to the Enlightenment.” Vad published his military analysis in Emma, a Cologne feminist magazine.

Vad was explicit in his criticism of Merkel and the current German foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock. Despite being asked about her in his interview, Kujat avoids attacking Baerbock by name. He also claims the US media have been less deceptive in their reporting of the war than the German press, citing an “article in Foreign Affairs…by Fiona Hill, a former senior White House National Security Council official. She is very competent and absolutely reliable.”

Left, Henriette Hanke Güttinger, editor in chief of Zeitgeschehen im Fokus; centre: Alice Schwartzer, publisher and editor-in-chief of Emma; right, Fiona Hill, former US intelligence analyst and Russia policy director on President Trump’s National Security Council.

Kujat blames the British, not the Americans, for disrupting the ceasefire terms he believes the Kremlin was ready to sign following the Istanbul negotiations at the end of March 2022. Follow what happened in Moscow and in Istanbul at the time in this report.

In Kujat’s version, “Russia had apparently [sic] agreed to withdraw its forces to the level of February 23, i.e. before the attack on Ukraine began. Now the complete withdrawal is repeatedly demanded as a prerequisite for negotiations… Ukraine had pledged to renounce NATO membership and not to allow any foreign troops or military installations to be stationed. In return, it should receive security guarantees from states of its choice. The future of the occupied territories should be resolved diplomatically within 15 years, with the explicit renunciation of military force… According to reliable information [sic], the then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson intervened in Kiev on 9th April and prevented a signing. His reasoning was that the West was not ready for an end to the war.”

Kujat did not reveal the “apparent” and “reliable” sources for his claims. He also appears to signal that US officials were not behind Johnson’s action, and what Kujat also calls President Vladimir Zelensky’s “repeatedly chang[ing] the strategic objectives of Ukrainian warfare”.

Kujat has misrepresented and misreported Hill’s role in escalating US war aims against Russia for several years; for evidence of this, click to read the archive. Kujat has done the same in claiming Johnson, not US officials, have controlled Zelensky.

Like Vad earlier this month, Kujat appeals to the Pentagon, US military officers, and US weapons makers to stop the escalation of the war on the Ukrainian battlefield as Russian strategic objectives harden, and the tactical defeat of US, German and NATO weapons becomes inevitable. “According to the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley,” Kujat says, “Ukraine has achieved what it could achieve militarily. More is not possible. That is why diplomatic efforts should be made now to achieve a negotiated peace. I share this view… it is questionable whether the Ukrainian armed forces still have a sufficient number of suitable soldiers to be able to use these weapons systems in view of the large losses of recent months. In any case, [Ukrainian Chief of Staff General Valery] Zaluzhny’s statement also explains why Western arms supplies do not enable Ukraine to achieve its military objectives, but only prolong the war. In addition, Russia could surpass the Western escalation at any time with its own. In the German discussion, these connections are not understood or ignored. The way in which some [sic] allies are trying to publicly urge the federal government to deliver Leopard 2 battle tanks also plays a role. This has not happened in NATO so far. It shows how much Germany’s reputation in the alliance has suffered as a result of the weakening of the Bundeswehr and the commitment with which some allies are pursuing the goal of exposing Germany to Russia in particular.”

Kujat implies that Chancellor Olaf Scholz is being secretly pressured by the US for reasons Kujat does not want to reveal now — except for his hint that the Americans and British aim to weaken Germany politically in Europe, and supplant the German arms industry with their own companies. “The current efforts of the USA to induce the Europeans to supply further arms may have something to do with this situation. A distinction must be made between the publicly expressed reasons and the concrete decisions of the Federal Government. It would go too far [sic] to go into the whole spectrum of this discussion. However, I would like the Federal Government to receive really competent advice on this issue and – perhaps even more importantly – to be receptive and capable of judgement in accordance with the importance of this issue.”

Left: Baerbock campaigning in Kiel, September 26, 2021; Right: Scholz campaigning in Kiel on May 5, 2022, before the SPD’s defeat by the CDU and Greens in the Schleswig-Holstein state election.

Kujat also omits to mention Baerbock’s and the Green Party’s alliance with Germany’s aerospace and defence industry to secure Green votes in Kiel, Dusseldorf, Munich, and other city and state (Bundesland) electorates where the Greens aim to draw large vote swings from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Kiel is home to Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Maschinenbau, builder of the Leopard tank. In the Kiel parliamentary vote of 2021, the Greens gained almost 14% to score 28% of the total, while the SDP lost ground but held on to the seat with 29.5%. Just over two thousand votes separated them. The anti-war Left and Alternative for Germany (AfD) candidates lost ground in Kiel, ending up with 5% and just over 7,000 votes each. In Dusseldorf, headquarters for the Rheinmetall group, the Greens gained 13% in 2021 from the SDP and CDU, losing narrowly to the CDU. Similar vote switches to the Greens were recorded in Essen and Duisburg, where Thyssen-Krupp directs its military industrial complex.

Kujat’s links to these leading German arms makers are indicated by his chairmanship of the advisory council of the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium, an association of US, German and other European weapons makers. For more on the prospects of the German corporations he and the consortium represent, read this.

Kujat is warning that defeat of the US and NATO by the Russian forces in the Ukraine puts the future profitability of this business in jeopardy. “This is the current situation in which modern Western weapons systems are used in the Ukraine war. In December, Russia launched an extensive program to evaluate the technical and operational-tactical parameters of captured Western weapons, which should increase the effectiveness of its own operations and weapon effectiveness.”

What Does this Look Like 10 Years From Now?

by Simon Black via Sovereign Research

On March 2, 1629, after years of escalating tensions with his own government, King Charles I of England dissolved parliament and ordered all the politicians to go home.

He was only in the fourth year of his reign, but Charles was already a very unpopular king. One of his worst habits was frequently abusing his power and taking unilateral executive actions– raising taxes or passing new regulations– which would ordinarily require the approval of parliament.

But Charles hated going through parliament, and he routinely found ways to bypass them; often he would creatively interpret obscure passages of ancient laws as justification to do whatever he wanted.

In one instance, Charles decided that a 400+ year old law, which had first been decreed under Henry III in the early 1200s, gave him the authority to demand payment from everyone in the country making more than 40 pounds per year. It did not.

In another example, he claimed that ‘tradition’ entitled him to collect customs and duties on various imports, even though English law clearly required parliamentary approval on all imposts.

Charles also famously demanded money from wealthy merchants and banks, calling them “forced loans”. He even seized literally TONS of silver from the Royal Mint that was being stored on behalf of wealthy individuals and foreign governments.

Parliament made attempts to block Charles; when he asked for money to raise an army and go fight in the Thirty Years War (which had been raging in Europe since 1618), parliament refused. When he wanted funds to bail out a close relative in Denmark, parliament again refused him.

Sometimes their disputes even spilled into the courts, where judges had to determine the legality of the king’s taxes and regulations.

But nothing was ever settled, and no compromises reached. In fact the conflict continued to escalate, until Charles finally dissolved parliament in 1629… effectively shutting down the government.

This is an often-repeated story throughout 5,000+ years of human history; there have been countless examples of dysfunctional governments and terrible leadership that fail to reach a rational compromise over the nation’s finances.

And such examples tend to be a hallmark of a nation in decline.

In the case of Charles, he would go on to be arrested, tried, and executed, and England plunged into a civil war.

Louis XV of France, and his successor Louis XVI, also routinely fought with their parliaments over royal finances. France would soon go bankrupt and dive head-first into revolution.

These are lessons worth noting, given that the United States government is once again at the precipice of default.

The national debt now stands at nearly $31.5 trillion. This is the current statutory ‘debt ceiling’,

meaning that the Treasury Department no longer has the legal authority to borrow more money.

This means that yet another government shutdown is potentially on the table, as is a default on the national debt.

If this story sounds familiar it’s because this has already happened in recent history– in 2011. And 2013. And 2018. And 2019.

Now it’s happening again. And unsurprisingly, both sides have dug in and claim they are unwilling to negotiate their demands.

To say this is yet another humiliation for the United States is a massive understatement. The entire world can see that, not only is the US government incapable of managing its finances… but also that its politicians cannot rationally solve problems. It’s pitiful.

What I really want to focus on today, however, is the future: what do you think this problem will look like 10 years from now?

Today it’s already a terrible embarrassment… and a major problem.

The national debt is so big that, this fiscal year, the Treasury Department will spend close to $1 TRILLION just to pay INTEREST.

This is happening at a time when:

1) Interest rates are rising (which means that the government’s annual interest bill will increase)

2) The economy is slowing (so tax revenues will decrease)

3) Government spending is still outrageous, with a $1+ trillion deficit expected this fiscal year

This is a pretty disastrous scenario. And if you plot this trend line starting from where we are today, it’s easy to imagine what might happen over the next decade.

If deficits are already $1 trillion per year right now, how high will they be in a decade? If the national debt is $31.5 trillion today– roughly 120% of US GDP– how high will it be a decade from now?

It’s silly to assume that the United States can simply keep growing the national debt forever without consequence. It’s silly to assume they can run trillion dollar deficits every year without consequence.

Today those consequences are just embarrassments and minor inconveniences. Ten years from now they may be major catastrophes.

This is the entire point of having a Plan B. The future is far from certain– and it’s possible that voters finally elect competent leadership who act responsibly and arrest the nation’s decline.

And that’s a nice hope, and it would be great if it happens.

But it’s a lot more rational to focus your energy on things that you can control. And that’s a Plan B.

If your government is on a clear path to more humiliation and fiscal ruin, it makes sense to ensure you don’t have all of your eggs in one basket.

Wagner Founder Explains US Hostility

The Wagner Group scares the US because it is willing to oppose American atrocities around the world, the private military company’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed on Monday, answering a question from RT.

Washington said last week that it would designate the Russian PMC as an international criminal organization, accusing it of “widespread atrocities and human rights abuses.”

“Unlike American paramilitary structures,” Prigozhin said in a written response to RT, “Wagner PMC only goes after the enemies of peace, and does not commit crimes. Of course, if you’re doing a reversal of concepts, you can make anyone look bad.”

The US is the only country to use nuclear weapons in history, and “organized wars and revolutions” in “Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Mozambique, Central Africa and so on,” Prigozhin noted, adding that in some of those countries Wagner came in and “stopped the wars with an iron fist.”

Calling the US “a powerful criminal syndicate subsisting on the money of the entire world,” Prigozhin said Wagner was “more like the vice police” in relation.

Washington “trained bandits and terrorists all over the world so that there would be unrest everywhere,” while the “fantasy island called the USA” lives in peace, he added. Used to people not fighting back or getting intimidated by name-calling, the Americans don’t know what to do with Wagner, who “looks into the eyes of the personification of world evil without fear.”

Prigozhin said the US objective is to break up Russia just as it did to the USSR, then take on China, in order to maintain its global hegemony.

The Wagner Group was originally established in 2014. Over the past year, its fighters have taken part in battles against the Ukrainian military in the Donbass. Earlier this month, the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged Wagner’s role in capturing the key town of Soledar.

US authorities have accused the PMC of unspecified “human rights violations” in Syria and the Central African Republic, where Wagner helped the government against jihadist insurgents. Last month, the State Department declared Wagner an “entity of particular concern” for religious freedom in Africa, in the same category as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

via RT

Violent Collection of Cannon Fodder

Violent collection of cannon fodder in the Kirovograd region. Volunteers have long ended, there are only such ways to replenish the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The increasing pace and depth of conscription intakes (l iterally old men and cripples now) combined with the collapsing situation on the front lends credence to all the reports since December of just how bad casualty rates have become for the AFU. This shouldn’t be a surprise though for those who have being keeping a keen eye on the situation.

It was recently reported in the Wall Street Journal that the AFU now fires just 40,000 shells a month. This is a stunning admission because the rate was previously 5,000-6,000 shells a day, or 150,000 a month; they changed the metric to attempt to hide this fact. The RuF meanwhile has stayed consistent at around 20,000 shells a day since late Summer.

This means the Russian firepower advantage has increased from around 3:1 to an almost 19:1 rate. Add in the mobilization resolving manpower difficulties, and it’s clear why Russian successes have been developing in quick succession lately.

The battle on the Svatovo-Kremennaya front does not subside: APU officers are being taken in droves to hospitals and in black bags to morgues.

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