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US Intel Assisted In Sinking Russian Flagship Vessel: Officials Claim Bombshell Escalation

US Intel Assisted In Sinking Russian Flagship Vessel: Officials Claim Bombshell Escalation

Less than 24 hours after The New York Times issued a provocative report citing unnamed US officials who are celebrating that American intelligence-sharing with Ukraine’s military has helped take out multiple Russian generals since the Feb.24 invasion, NBC News is out with yet another bombshell claim sourced to the deep state US intel officials.

Amid what seems escalation after escalation, and new revelations of Washington’s deepening and perhaps increasingly direct role in fighting Russia in Ukraine, NBC brings us this doozy… “Intelligence shared by the U.S. helped Ukraine sink the Russian cruiser Moskva, U.S. officials told NBC News, confirming an American role in perhaps the most embarrassing blow to Vladimir Putin’s troubled invasion of Ukraine.”

Image later leaked of the April 15 sinking of the Moskva

As a reminder of just how hugely significant the claim is – and just how dangerous in terms of representing a massive escalation – the Moskva was considered the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, had 510 crewmen on board before Neptune anti-cruise ship missiles scored a direct hit in mid-April, and was the most embarrassing single blow to President Putin’s war effort of the whole conflict thus far.’

“The attack happened after Ukrainian forces asked the Americans about a ship sailing in the Black Sea south of Odesa, U.S. officials told NBC News,” the report continues. “The U.S. identified it as the Moskva, officials said, and helped confirm its location, after which the Ukrainians targeted the ship.” This comes after the NY Times revealed in a report the night prior that much of the intel-sharing is focused on Russian troop and equipment movements.

According to further details based on anonymous US senior officials:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

It’s Not Just High Oil Prices. It’s a Full-Blown Energy Crisis.

In Peru, protests that began in March against rising fuel and fertilizer costs spread throughout the country.
Credit…Sebastian Castaneda/Reuters
Americans are worrying about their gas prices. Germans are turning down their heating. Peru has seen violent protests — and a violent crackdown on them — over rising fuel costs. Nigeria’s national energy grid recently collapsed. And that’s just this spring. Focused on the future, the United Nations Intergovernmental Planet on Climate Change warned in a report on April 4 that too much investment is going into fossil fuels and too little into the energy transition that could prevent a devastating increase in global temperatures.

This persistent, simmering crisis around energy, its cost and the politics around it will not end soon.

Vladimir Putin has escalated this crisis. His invasion of Ukraine has pushed up prices and forced Europe — until now the largest importer of Russian natural gas — to begin an attempt to end its longstanding dependence on Russian gas. But Mr. Putin didn’t cause this crisis alone. For nearly a year before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supply struggled to meet demand, causing prices to surge. For the best part of a decade, the American shale boom met the world’s rising energy needs, but in 2020 shale oil output slumped and the rate of growth of shale gas fell.

President Biden’s hope that he could focus his presidency on the climate, not fixing the world’s oil supply, shattered. Unable to resurrect a nuclear deal with Iran that would have restored Iranian oil to world markets, Mr. Biden began last year to ask other producers to increase their output. His pressure was to no avail. Meanwhile, China’s demand for gas imports grew by 20 percent over 2021, helping push European gas prices up nearly sixfold between March and December.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Oil Producers Aren’t Keeping Up With Demand, Causing Prices to Stay High

OPEC Plus, the United States and others have been slow to ramp up output, lagging production goals.

An oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. Lagging production of oil worldwide has been sending prices to seven-year highs and driving inflation.
Credit…Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times

Nearly two years ago the world’s oil producers slammed on the brakes and drastically cut production as the pandemic gripped the world’s economies. The sharp pullback came with an implicit promise that as factories reopened and planes returned to the air, the oil industry would revive, too, gradually scaling up production to help economies return to prepandemic health.

It isn’t exactly turning out that way. Oil producers are finding it harder than expected to ramp up output. Members of the cartel OPEC Plus, which agreed to cut output by about 10 million barrels a day in early 2020, are routinely falling well short of their rising monthly production targets.

“In a lot of places, once output has been reduced, it is not easy to bring it back,” said Richard Bronze, the head of geopolitics at Energy Aspects, a London-based research firm.

Production in the United States, the world’s largest oil producer, has also been slow to recover from its one-million-barrel-a-day plummet in 2020, as companies and investors are wary of committing money amid climate change concerns and volatile prices. The Energy Information Administration forecasts that U.S. crude output in 2022, while rising, is likely to average half a million barrels a day below 2019 levels.

This global pattern of lagging production has helped push oil prices to seven-year highs, stoking inflation, which has become a political issue in the United States and elsewhere. Brent crude, the international standard, is close to $84 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate, the American benchmark, is selling for close to $82.

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Former New York Times Editor: “I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That.”

Former New York Times Editor: “I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That.”

Wolfe was fired by the Times after she expressed the joy of watching the arrival of then-President-elect Joe Biden at Joint Base Andrews ahead of his inauguration by writing “I have chills.”

Now, in her column in the Washington Monthly, Wolfe insists that the is nothing incompatible with being biased and being a journalist.  Indeed, she noted ever since she began as a journalist “angry people come out of their hidey-holes to yell at me.”  It is certainly true that writers today are constantly barraged by trolls and critics. However, Wolfe then proceeded to fulfill that very stereotype by embracing bias as right and good in journalism.  She attacks the very notion of objectivity that was once the touchstone of modern journalism.

“I’ve always believed it is better to be open about my views on the issues I cover, which for a long time have been war and international human rights. And yes, I often do write with an agenda—with an eye toward creating change. So yes, I am biased, and consciously so when it comes to certain subjects—especially when I’m reporting on criminality. But I don’t see that as a bad thing.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Criticizing Public Figures, Including Influential Journalists, is Not Harassment or Abuse

Criticizing Public Figures, Including Influential Journalists, is Not Harassment or Abuse

As social media empowers uncredentialed people to be heard, society’s most powerful actors seek to cast themselves as victims and delegitimize all critiques.

A view of The New York Times Building Headquarters. (Photo by John Nacion/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The most powerful and influential newspaper in the U.S., arguably the west, is The New York Times. Journalists who write for it, especially those whose work is featured on its front page or in its op-ed section, wield immense power to shape public discourse, influence thought, set the political agenda for the planet’s most powerful nation, expose injustices, or ruin the lives of public figures and private citizens alike. That is an enormous amount of power in the hands of one media institution and its employees. That’s why it calls itself the Paper of Record.

One of the Paper of Record’s star reporters, Taylor Lorenz, has been much discussed of late. That is so for three reasons. The first is that the thirty-six-year-old tech and culture reporter has helped innovate a new kind of reportorial beat that seems to have a couple of purposes. She publishes articles exploring in great detail the online culture of teenagers and very young adults, which, as a father of two young Tik-Tok-using children, I have found occasionally and mildly interesting. She also seeks to catch famous and non-famous people alike using bad words or being in close digital proximity to bad people so that she can alert the rest of the world to these important findings. It is natural that journalists who pioneer a new form of reporting this way are going to be discussed.

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The Journalistic Tattletale and Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows

The Journalistic Tattletale and Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows

The NYT’s Taylor Lorenz falsely accuses a tech investor of using a slur after spending months trying to infiltrate and monitor a new app that allows free conversation.

New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz and Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen

A new and rapidly growing journalistic “beat” has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance. It is half adolescent and half malevolent. Its primary objectives are control, censorship, and the destruction of reputations for fun and power. Though its epicenter is the largest corporate media outlets, it is the very antithesis of journalism.

I’ve written before about one particularly toxic strain of this authoritarian “reporting.” Teams of journalists at three of the most influential corporate media outlets — CNN’s “media reporters” (Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy), NBC’s “disinformation space unit” (Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny), and the tech reporters of The New York Times (Mike Isaac, Kevin Roose, Sheera Frenkel) — devote the bulk of their “journalism” to searching for online spaces where they believe speech and conduct rules are being violated, flagging them, and then pleading that punitive action be taken (banning, censorship, content regulation, after-school detention). These hall-monitor reporters are a major factor explaining why tech monopolies, which (for reasons of self-interest and ideology) never wanted the responsibility to censor, now do so with abandon and seemingly arbitrary blunt force: they are shamed by the world’s loudest media companies when they do not.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

glenn greenwald, media, journalism, new york times, censorship, media ban, big tech

NY Times Calls For Biden to Appoint “Reality Czar” to Fight “Misinformation”

NY Times Calls For Biden to Appoint “Reality Czar” to Fight “Misinformation”

Here comes the Ministry of Truth.

Drew Angerer via Getty Images/Composite

The New York Times has amplified claims by “experts” who are calling for Joe Biden to appoint a “reality czar,” prompting critics to compare the idea to the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1984.

In an article entitled ‘How the Biden Administration Can Help Solve Our Reality Crisis’, the NYT’s Kevin Roose cites “experts” who are calling on “the Biden administration put together a cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism, which would be led by something like a “reality czar.”

The job of this “reality czar” would be to head up “a centralized task force could coordinate a single, strategic response” to things like COVID-related and election fraud “conspiracy theories.”

“This task force could also meet regularly with tech platforms, and push for structural changes that could help those companies tackle their own extremism and misinformation problems. (For example, it could formulate “safe harbor” exemptions that would allow platforms to share data about QAnon and other conspiracy theory communities with researchers and government agencies without running afoul of privacy laws.) And it could become the tip of the spear for the federal government’s response to the reality crisis,” states the article.

“Ah, the Ministry of Truth. I’ve been waiting for this one,” responded Raheem Kassam.

While the Orwell comparison has become something of a cliché, in this instance its the best available.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Demanding Silicon Valley Suppress “Hyper-Partisan Sites” in Favor of “Mainstream News” (The NYT) is a Fraud

Demanding Silicon Valley Suppress “Hyper-Partisan Sites” in Favor of “Mainstream News” (The NYT) is a Fraud

The corporate news organizations masquerading as reliable and non-partisan are, in fact, as hyper-partisan as any sites on the internet, and spread as much misinformation.

The most prolific activism demanding more Silicon Valley censorship is found in the nation’s largest news outlets: the media reporters of CNNthe “disinformation” unit of NBC News, and especially the tech reporters of The New York Times. That is where the most aggressive and sustained pro-internet-censorship campaigns are waged.

 

Due in part to a self-interested desire to re-establish their monopoly on discourse by crushing any independent or dissenting voices, and in part by a censorious and arrogant mindset which convinces them that only those of their worldview and pedigree have a right to be heard, they largely devote themselves to complaining that Facebook, Google and Twitter are not suppressing enough speech. It is hall-monitor tattletale whining masquerading as journalism: petulantly complaining that tech platforms are permitting speech that, in their view, ought instead be silenced.

In Tuesday’s New York Times, three of those censorious tech reporters — Kevin Roose, Mike Isaac, and Sheera Frenkel — published an article on Facebook’s post-election deliberations over how to alter its algorithms to prevent the spread of what they deem “misinformation” regarding the election. The most consequential change they implemented, The New York Times explained, was one in which “hyperpartisan pages” are repressed in favor of promoting “a spike in visibility for big, mainstream publishers like CNN, The New York Times and NPR” — a change the Paper of Record heralded as having fostered “a calmer, less divisive Facebook.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

New York Times Job Listing Shows How Western Propaganda Operates

New York Times Job Listing Shows How Western Propaganda Operates

People who are only just beginning to research what’s wrong with the world often hold an assumption that mainstream news reporters are just knowingly propagandizing people all the time. That they sit around scheming up ways to deceive their audiences into supporting war, oligarchy and oppression for the benefit of their plutocratic masters.

Once you’ve learned a bit more you realize it’s not quite happening that way. Most mainstream news reporters are not really witting propagandists–those are to be found more in plutocrat-funded think tanks and other narrative management firms, and in the opaque government agencies which feed news media outlets information designed to advance their interests. The predominant reason mainstream news reporters say things that aren’t true is because in order to be hired by mainstream news outlets, you need to jack your mind into a power-serving worldview that is not based in truth.

A recent job listing for a New York Times Russia Correspondent which was flagged by Russia-based journalist Bryan MacDonald illustrates this dynamic perfectly. The listing reads as follows:

Vladimir Putin’s Russia remains one of the biggest stories in the world.

It sends out hit squads armed with nerve agents against its enemies, most recently the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. It has its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony in the West to tarnish its democratic systems, while promoting its faux version of democracy. It has deployed private military contractors around the globe to secretly spread its influence. At home, its hospitals are filling up fast with Covid patients as its president hides out in his villa.

If that sounds like a place you want to cover, then we have good news: We will have an opening for a new correspondent as Andy Higgins takes over as our next Eastern Europe Bureau Chief early next year.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Keynesian Ideas Can Only Make Things Worse

In the New York Times on September 8, 2020, Paul Krugman suggested that

“The CARES Act, enacted in March, gave the unemployed an extra $600 a week in benefits. This supplement played a crucial role in limiting extreme hardship; poverty may even have gone down”.

For Krugman and many economic commentators, it is the duty of the government to support the economy whenever it falls into an economic slump. Following in the footsteps of John Maynard Keynes, most economists hold that one cannot have complete trust in a market economy, which is seen as inherently unstable.  If left free the market economy could lead to self-destruction. Hence, there is the need for governments and central banks to manage the economy. Successful management in the Keynesian framework is done by influencing overall spending.

It is spending that generates income. Spending by one individual becomes income for another individual according to the Keynesian framework of thinking. Hence the more that is spent the better it is going to be. What drives the economy then is spending. If during a recession, consumers fail to spend then it is the role of the government to step in and boost overall spending in order to grow the economy.

In the Keynesian framework of thinking the output that an economy can generate with a given pool of resources (i.e. labour, tools and machinery, and technology) without causing inflation, is labelled as potential output. Hence the greater the pool of resources, all other things being equal, the more output can be generated.

If for whatever reasons the demand for the produced goods is not strong enough this leads to an economic slump. (Inadequate demand for goods leads to only a partial use of existent labour and capital goods).  In this framework then, it makes a lot of sense to boost government spending in order to strengthen demand and eliminate the economic slump.

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Tens Of Millions Of People Displaced By The ‘War On Terror’, The Greatest Scam Ever Invented

Tens Of Millions Of People Displaced By The ‘War On Terror’, The Greatest Scam Ever Invented

new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project has found that at least 37 million people have been displaced as a result of America’s so-called “war on terror” since 9/11, a conservative estimate of a number that may actually be somewhere between 48 million to 59 million.

That number, “at least 37 million”, happens by pure coincidence to be the exact same number of Americans reported to suffer from food insecurity because their government spends their wealth and resources killing and displacing people overseas.

This inconvenient revelation, which was actually reported on by The New York Times for once, is causing conniptions for all the right people, with The Washington Post‘s neoconservative war propagandist Josh Rogin ejaculating, “The @nytimes should be ashamed for running this as ‘analysis.’ Blaming the U.S. for the displacement of 7 million Syrians is crazy and dishonest. Way to launder anti-American propaganda.”

Sure Josh, it’s not like the extremist forces who flooded Syria with the goal of toppling Damascus were backed by the US and its allies and sprung into existence as a direct result of the regional destabilization caused western interventionism in the name of fighting terror. Oh wait no that’s exactly what happened.

“This has been one of the major forms of damage, of course along with the deaths and injuries, that have been caused by these wars,” the lead author of the report David Vine told The New York Times. “It tells us that U.S. involvement in these countries has been horrifically catastrophic, horrifically damaging in ways that I don’t think that most people in the United States, in many ways myself included, have grappled with or reckoned with in even the slightest terms.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

This Russia-Afghanistan Story Is Western Propaganda At Its Most Vile

This Russia-Afghanistan Story Is Western Propaganda At Its Most Vile

All western mass media outlets are now shrieking about the story The New York Times first reported, citing zero evidence and naming zero sources, claiming intelligence says Russia paid out bounties to Taliban-linked fighters in Afghanistan for attacking the occupying forces of the US and its allies in Afghanistan. As of this writing, and probably forevermore, there have still been zero intelligence sources named and zero evidence provided for this claim.

As we discussed yesterday, the only correct response to unsubstantiated claims by anonymous spooks in a post-Iraq invasion world is to assume that they are lying until you’ve been provided with a mountain of hard, independently verifiable evidence to the contrary. The fact that The New York Times instead chose to uncritically parrot these evidence-free claims made by operatives within intelligence agencies with a known track record of lying about exactly these things is nothing short of journalistic malpractice. The fact that western media outlets are now unanimously regurgitating these still 100 percent baseless assertions is nothing short of state propaganda.

The consensus-manufacturing, Overton window-shrinking western propaganda apparatus has been in full swing with mass media outlets claiming on literally no basis whatsoever that they have confirmed one another’s “great reporting” on this completely unsubstantiated story.

“The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post have confirmed our reporting,” the NYT story’s co-author Charlie Savage tweeted hours ago.

“We have confirmed the New York Times’ scoop: A Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan,” tweeted The Washington Post‘s John Hudson.

“We matched The New York Times’ great reporting on how US intel has assessed that Russians paid Taliban to target US, coalition forces in Afg which is a pretty stunning development,” tweeted Wall Street Journal’s Gordon Lubold.

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NYT Finally Gets Around to Reporting OAS Fraud Election Claims in Bolivia Were Bogus

NYT Finally Gets Around to Reporting OAS Fraud Election Claims in Bolivia Were Bogus

The Times only covered the problems with the OAS analysis after a study from three independent researchers found flawed data and analysis.

Bolivia’s Evo Morales in 2008. (Joel Alvarez, Wikimedia Commons)

More than seven months after claims of fraudulent elections sparked an undemocratic coup that led to the ouster of Bolivian President Evo Morales, The New York Times late Sunday reported on new research showing the U.S.-led Organization of American States used flawed data and analysis to support its widely cited contention the voting was rigged.

“It was clear from the start, but now even the NYT is admitting: what happened in Bolivia was nothing short of a coup by the U.S. and its OAS puppet, deposing one of the most successful democratically elected leaders in modern Latin American history,” tweeted journalist Glenn Greenwald in response to the Times reporting.


Progressive International@ProgIntl

It was a coup.

It was — then as now — clearly a coup.

The @ProgIntl was founded to break the myths and counter the misinformation that has justified right-wing regime change around the world.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/07/world/americas/bolivia-election-evo-morales.html …A Bitter Election. Accusations of Fraud. And Now Second Thoughts.A close look at Bolivian election data suggests an initial analysis by the O.A.S. that raised questions of vote-rigging — and helped force out a president — was flawed.nytimes.com


As Common Dreams reported in November, U.S. officials cited the OAS report on the election as a justification for backing the coup that deposed Morales, the left-wing Indigenous former president.

Despite reporting from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) casting doubt on those claims within 24 hours of the OAS making them, the Times only covered the problems with the U.S.-dominated organization’s analysis after a study (pdf) from three independent researchers found the same results. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Anonymous sources and the guys and gals who made the Iraq war a reality are now claiming that the Kremlin is at it again!

Anonymous sources and the guys and gals who made the Iraq war a reality are now claiming that the Kremlin is at it again!

Those hapless individuals who run the United States are again slipping into a fantasy world where Americans are besieged by imaginary threats coming from both inside and outside the country. Of course, it is particularly convenient to warn of foreign threats, as it makes the people in government seem relevant and needed, but one might recommend that the tune be changed as it is getting a bit boring. After all, there are only so many hours in the day and Russian President Vladimir Putin must pause occasionally to eat or sleep, so the plotting to destroy American democracy must be on hold at least some of the time.

Yes, anonymous sources and the guys and gals who made the Iraq war a reality are now claiming that the Kremlin is at it again! Hints over the past year that Putin might try to replay 2016 in 2020 only do it better this time have now been confirmed! Per one news report the enemy is already at the gates: “U.S. intelligence officials told lawmakers last week that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election campaign by aiming to cast doubt on the integrity of the vote and boost President Donald Trump’s re-election.”

And there’s more! In a New York Times article headlined “Same Goal, Different Playbook: Why Russia Would Support Trump and Sanders: Vladimir Putin is eager both to take the sheen off U.S. democracy and for a counterpart who is less likely to challenge his territorial and nuclear ambitions,” it was revealed that the Kremlin is intending to also help Bernie Sanders, so whichever way the election goes they win.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NYT: “The Coronavirus Is Not A Civilization-Ender But…”

NYT: “The Coronavirus Is Not A Civilization-Ender But…”

Just because the New York Times Opinion Section is a perennial object of ridicule by both the right and the left doesn’t mean its writers don’t occasionally make a good point.

And today, we’d like to draw our readers’ attention to a column published Tuesday by Ross Douthat, a member of the NYT’s editorial board.

As Douthat points out, the outbreak has put Democrats, and liberals more broadly, in a difficult position. Eager to jump at every opportunity to criticize President Trump, many are secretly hoping the outbreak gets worse in the US because it could hurt Trump’s chances of reelection. Many, including top Dems like Schumer, Pelosi etc., have already accused the administration of being unprepared and not doing enough.

But if the outbreak does get worse, it could deal another savage blow to the system of global frictionless exchange of people, goods, services and capital, by making countries more suspicious of allies and enemies alike.

This is why liberals are bashing Trump while arguing that pointing out China’s failures is “racist.”

Republicans also have an incentive to play down the outbreak, as Trump is doing: They need to keep the market buoyant and stave off a recession that could tilt the election in favor of the insurgent socialists backing Bernie Sanders.

In other words: The virus may not be a civilization-ender, as Douthat points out. But it could be the straw that breaks globalization’s back. 

* * *

Investors who figured this out last week are already cleaning up. But maybe there’s still something to be learned here:

Read the text below: 

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