Monday, February 28, 2022




The Russian sanctions that President Biden announced at his press conference yesterday (White House transcript here) are a joke. Weren’t sanctions intended to deter Putin’s invasion of Ukraine? Why, yes, they were. Isn’t it a bit late to deter the Russian invasion of Ukraine? Why, yes, it is.

So Biden prevaricated: “[N]o one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening. That has to sh- — this is going to take time. And we have to show resolve so he knows what’s coming and so the people of Russia know what he’s brought on them. That’s what this is all about.” Ooh, scary.

And this: “This is going to take time. It’s not going to occur — he’s going to say, ‘Oh my God, these sanctions are coming. I’m going to stand down.’” Now he tells us. What a buffoon.

Sorry, but Putin discounted these sanctions in his planning long ago. I’m not sure of much, but I am sure of this. Our enemies are laughing at us and licking their chops when they quit laughing.

Another quotable quote: “[Putin’s] ambitions are — are completely contrary to the place where the rest of the world has arrived.” He is apparently undeterred by the disapproval of “the world” — “the world” of fiction, anyway.

And note the blatant lie: “Specifically, the sanctions we’ve imposed exceed SWIFT. The sanctions we imposed exceed anything that’s ever been done. The sanctions we imposed have generated two thirds of the world joining us. They are profound sanctions. Let’s have a conversation in another month or so to see if they’re working.” He’ll get back to us on that.

Philip Wegmann’s RCP column on the China syndrome includes this fitting postscript to my observations:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki insisted China was not capable of countering the sum of allied sanctions. All the same, she said Biden was “certainly open” to a conversation with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Then, for the second time this week, the White House spokeswoman appealed to the better nature of the Chinese communist regime: “This is really a moment for China, for any country, to think about what side of history they want to stand on.”

China means to shape that history and, unlike Biden and his spokesmen, they are serious about it.

Did Trudeau Create a Dangerous Run on Canadian Banks by Freezing Protesters' Bank Accounts?

Did Trudeau Create a Dangerous Run on Canadian Banks by Freezing Protesters' Bank Accounts?

AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis

According to the Canadian financial blog Armstrong Economics, the emergency powers activated by Justin Trudeau to cripple the trucker protests have sparked panic among citizens, which could lead to a devastating financial crisis. On Feb. 14, Trudeau enacted the Emergencies Act, which enabled Canadian banks to freeze the assets of anyone who donated to protests against the vaccine mandates — without due process or any court action.

Trudeau then ordered the banks to unfreeze the accounts after the protesters had been cleared away. But what is reported to have happened after that is being ignored by the corporate press. Armstrong Economics says there was a stunning run on banks across Canada, as scared citizens are withdrawing their life savings and transferring it to foreign banks in the United States and elsewhere.

The sheer amount of money withdrawals from Canadian banks was massive. There appears to have been a 500% increase just in the previous 24 hours. This is the problem with politicians. They are simply UNQUALIFIED to make such decisions. They have no idea that freezing accounts will undermine the confidence in the banking system,

Trudeau has created a very serious crisis and just rescinding his Emergency Act is not going to make it all better. Trudeau has driven a stake through the heart of the Canadian economy and that means that international capital will be skeptical about trusting Canada as long a Trudeau is in power.

Personal anecdotes responding to the Twitter thread below also show that Canadians are having trouble removing their money from the banks, and that the feeling at the banks is very strange. One user said, “The bank TD; told me to come back Monday, my Daily cash withdrawal was denied Friday. I have taken out larger amounts everyday.” Another said, “It is absolutely true. The lines were out the doors and a bank teller told me at one branch not to visit a specific branch because they had run out of funds that day. It’s very real. The energy inside the bank was clearly not good.”

One of the protesters whose accounts were frozen announced his intention to withdraw all of his money from the Canadian banking system. “My bank accounts have been unfrozen,” wrote Tom Marazzo. “Tomorrow I’ll close all of my BMO accounts after withdrawing my money.” Several people have responded that they are doing the same.

RELATED: Democracy Dies in Canada: Trudeau Government to Make Some of Their New Authoritarian Measures Permanent

PJ Media reached out to Scotia Bank to ask if they have put a $2,000 limit on withdrawals, as is being reported by customers on Twitter, but received no response by the time of publishing.

If it’s true that Canadians are panicking and withdrawing all their money from Canadian banks, then this is a huge story, and yet it’s one that the corporate media doesn’t seem interested in at all. There isn’t one report in any corporate press about any of this.

A post at The Last Refuge (which used to be The Conservative Treehouse) speculates that yes, it’s happening, and the powers that be don’t want you to know about it.

If I was a betting person, I would bet half my stake that something very serious is happening in the background of the Canadian financial system, and it appears the leaders inside government, as well as leaders in the international financial community, are reacting and trying to keep things quiet.

The writer suggests that Trudeau’s heavy-handed approach to citizen control was a big mistake. He alerted the public to the power of the bankers, and the bankers didn’t like that one bit.

These tools of citizen control are things well known to the central bankers and control agents of finance, but they are never spoken about in polite company – let alone publicized, promoted and openly bragged about.

Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland essentially broke the financial code of Omerta, by highlighting how easy it is for government to seize your bank accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts, insurance, mortgages, loan access and cut you off from money.

Jordan Peterson, famed Canadian philosopher, says he’s been in contact with a “reliable source” in the Canadian military who advised him to take his money out of the Canadian banking system because the situation is “far worse” than anyone is being told.

1:00 / 1:00

Will the corporate press do its job and investigate this? If it’s true, this is a financial disaster that will push inflation even higher and could collapse the financial system in Canada. Where is the corporate media? They haven’t even run any “this isn’t happening” fact checks on this. That fact alone makes me nervous that it is happening. Radio silence is our biggest clue.

Woke America Just Took Our Culture to the Bermuda Triangle

Woke America Just Took Our Culture to the Bermuda Triangle

This June 25, 2019 photo shows the sign outside a McDonald's restaurant in Pittsburgh. McDonald's is reporting its 16th consecutive bump in comparable-store sales globally. The company on Friday, July 26, posted earnings of $1.52 billion, or $1.97 per share. Earnings, adjusted for restructuring costs, came to $2.05 per share, which was a penny shy of expectations, according to Zacks Investment Research. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

“Well, this is fate! What do they call it when everything intersects?” Rob Reiner asks Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle. Hanks, with a decidedly different take on events, responds, “The Bermuda Triangle.” Welcome to the woke culture version of the Bermuda Triangle.

Smart PJ Media readers know that wokeness has sent American culture circling the drain for quite some time. But seldom are we treated to so many examples of dumbness mixed with wokeness and synthesized into one cultural moment.

What depths will the crazies go to further debase our culture? Wonder no more. This story out of Utah has it all:

  • Oversized sense of entitlement
  • Blame shifting
  • Cop hatred
  • Parental irresponsibility
  • Child abuse
  • Lack of manners
  • Lack of empathy
  • Violent behavior

People Magazine reported, “A Utah man is facing criminal charges for allegedly encouraging his 4-year-old child to shoot at police after officials say he received the wrong order at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Midvale.”

See? Told you so.

Cops were left sputtering when they learned the details of this horrific story, which occurred at 1:30 in the morning.

CNN reports that the father-of-year candidate, 27-year-old Sadaat Johnson, placed his order in the drive-thru with his four-year-old and three-year-old in the back seat. Dad got the wrong order, blew his stack, and immediately — and literally — went to guns. He didn’t fire his pistol but did let the employees see it.

McDonald’s employees apologized and promised to make his order properly. They asked him to pull up to a special parking spot to wait for his food.

They called the police.

Police say the unidentified man informed his children that he would be arrested and instructed his four-year-old to shoot the cops. He handed the gun over to the four-year-old.

CNN reported:

When officers arrived, they asked the man to get out of the vehicle several times, but he did not comply, the UPD release said. Officers pulled him out of the vehicle.

While the man was being taken into custody, an officer turned around and saw a gun pointing out the back window, the release said.

Police say one officer saw the barrel of the gun pointing out the back window. The officer yelled “gun!” and “kid!” and managed to redirect the firearm. A shot “injured an officer” and hit an awning on the McDonald’s building.

Police say dad told the kid to shoot cops.

“The person that pulled that trigger was four years old,” said the exasperated Salt Lake County Sheriff, Rosie Rivera. “Just think of the gravity of that.” She continued in disbelief, “This is a child who thought it was okay to pull a firearm and shoot that firearm at police. I’ve never seen anything like this in my 28 years in law enforcement.”

WRAL-TV talked to psychologist Dr. Douglas Goldsmith, who was stunned by the story. “[Children] respond with fear. They respond with anxiety. They respond by crying. We have never seen a child, I have never seen a child try to harm or yell at or be angry with a policeman as retribution for arresting their parent.”

He said the child learned this at home.

Related: A New Woke Low! Eating Meat Is EVERY Lib Buzzword EVER!

The Unified Police Department of Salt Lake City spokeswoman, Sgt. Melody Cutler, told CNN that dad is up on “felony child abuse” and “threatening with the use of a dangerous weapon” charges.

And a final cultural footnote in blame-shifting: we all know that if the four-year-old had shot his toddler sibling, it would be the gun’s fault.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Biden and EU Refuse to Do This One Thing That Would Nearly Destroy the Russian Economy

Biden and EU Refuse to Do This One Thing That Would Nearly Destroy the Russian Economy

AP Photo/Andriy Dubchak

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is a global network for payments between banks. International trade and finance would be next to impossible without it.

Indeed, cutting off a country from the SWIFT system would be a death sentence for its economy. There just isn’t a good alternative that a nation could use.

So why doesn’t Biden lower the boom on Putin and really make invading Ukraine not worth it?

Kicking Russia out of the SWIFT network could lead to mass unemployment as well as shortages of everything from food to electronics.

Except for vodka. Russia will always have enough vodka to see them through any crisis.

GZero Media:

It would swing a wrecking ball through the Russian economy and financial system, making it almost impossible for Russians and Russian companies to do electronic business with banks or companies in other countries. Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin once estimated that losing access to SWIFT alone would cause Russian GDP to shrink 5%. Crucially, losing SWIFT access could complicate Russia’s ability to take payment for natural gas shipments to Europe. Virtually overnight, the Kremlin would lose its largest gas consumer, and the Europeans would lose their largest source of energy imports. (This is why some Europeans are skittish about booting Russia from SWIFT.)

The only problem is that Russia is part of an interdependent and interlocking system of finance and trade. Without natural gas payments, Russia may sink into a depression. But Europe would freeze.

Several EU sources had told Reuters before the sanctions were announced that the EU was unlikely to agree to the move, despite calls from various quarters to do so.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany – a key trading partner of Russia – opposed cutting off Russia’s access to the payment system at this point, but also suggested such a step could still follow at a later stage.

“It is very important that we agree those measures that have been prepared – and keep everything else for a situation where it may be necessary to go beyond that,” Scholz told reporters, responding to a question on SWIFT, as he arrived to an emergency summit set to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The continent of Europe is on fire, Russian troops are on the march, Ukrainians are getting slaughtered, and tens of thousands — soon to be hundreds of thousands — of refugees are clogging the roads of eastern Europe.

But allowing Russia to continue using SWIFT is a sanction that can be saved for a “situation where it may be necessary to go beyond that”?

For God’s sake, man. How much farther can Russia go before Germany wakes up? What “later stage” is there going to be that would be more serious than what’s happening now?

Perhaps Scholz wants to wait until Putin sets up a guillotine in the middle of Kyiv and starts taking heads?

This is why Biden and U.S. allies are not serious about stopping Putin. Biden has not done everything possible short of war to halt the Russian invasion. There were other actions he could have taken — admittedly, more provocative and more dangerous. But if Biden isn’t willing to take risks to stop Putin, why should our NATO allies?

Unless Putin has lost all touch with reality, he will stop to digest his Ukraine conquest before moving on to his next target. There, it is hoped he will meet more resistance than the milquetoast responses from Biden and NATO.

Remember When Biden Promised to 'Restore the World Order'?

Remember When Biden Promised to 'Restore the World Order'?

(AP Photo, File)

Rarely in political history has a candidate’s campaign rhetoric been shown to be so spectacularly wrong in such a short period of time.

When Joe Biden was running for president, he promised to “fix” everything that Donald Trump had broken. All of the damage Trump had done to America’s alliances, all the feelings Trump had hurt with his mean tweets about world leaders, all the harm he had done to our friends, and all the help he had given our enemies — all of these wrongs would be righted if voters would only elect Joe Biden.

Voters elected Joe Biden, and instead of restoration, America finds itself on the precipice of disaster with nothing less than the post-World War II international order at risk of being completely upended by a Cossack thug in Vladimir Putin.

But perhaps it’s good to recall what Joe Biden promised prior to the election:

The world does not organize itself. American leadership, backed by clear goals and sound strategies, is necessary to effectively address the defining global challenges of our time. In order to lead again, we must restore our credibility and influence. From day one of a Biden administration, other countries will once again have reason to trust and respect the word of an American president.

How’s that workin’ out for ya, Joey?

Putin had Biden down for the count before he even got into the ring with him. Biden put a lot of stock in America’s “moral leadership,” but what happens if Putin doesn’t recognize our “moral leadership”?

Biden’s presidential website explains:

In a Biden administration, America will lead by example and rally the world to meet our common challenges that no one nation can face on its own, from climate change to nuclear proliferation, from great power aggression to transnational terrorism, from cyberwarfare to mass migration. Donald Trump’s erratic policies and failure to uphold basic democratic principles have surrendered our position in the world, undermined our democratic alliances, weakened our ability to mobilize others to meet these challenges, and threatened our security and our future.

If you’re keeping score, Biden is 0 for six.

  • Climate change negotiations are stalled out and China — the world’s number one greenhouse gas emitter — has declared it’s not slowing its emissions down one iota.
  • The Biden administration is facilitating nuclear proliferation by making it possible for Iran to get the bomb as fast as they can enrich the uranium.
  • “Great power aggression”? See “Ukraine.”
  • Transnational terrorism has gotten new life with the Biden bug-out of Afghanistan.
  • There have been at least two major cyber attacks since Biden became president.
  • Has “mass migration” slowed down any at all?

Way to restore the international order, Joe.

Is Biden’s first term any better than a Trump second term would have been? It’s hard to see how another term for Donald Trump could have been any worse.

Biden Killed The Israel-Europe EastMed Gas Pipeline, How’s That Looking Now?

Biden Killed The Israel-Europe EastMed Gas Pipeline, How’s That Looking Now?

Why is the U.S. continuing to pursue a policy that strengthens Russia and weakens our allies?

Like life, a presidency is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

Joseph Biden intended his presidency to be about tackling the climate crisis – his most urgent priority after containing Covid-19. On his very first day in office, President Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline project, which was to carry millions of gallons of oil from Canada to refineries in the United States. The executive order canceling Keystone also revoked oil and gas development at national wildlife monuments.

A few months later, Biden lifted sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline planned to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany, and ultimately approved it. Previous administrations opposed it as increasing German dependence on Russia and letting Russia deprive Ukraine of revenue by circumventing existing gas-transit networks. As of 2020, Russia supplied roughly 65% of Germany’s natural gas imports and 40% of European Union imported gas. Italy, which imports some 90% of its gas, is also heavily dependent on Russia.

Finally, citing environmental concerns, Biden withdrew support for the EastMed Pipeline in January 2022. According to an accord between Israel, Greece, and Cyprus, the underwater pipeline was planned to stretch 1,180 miles across the Mediterranean Sea, connecting Israeli gas to Cyprus and Greece, and on to Italy. It was expected to cost about $7 billion, and would have carried 10 billion cubic meters of gas a year initially, with the possibility of eventually doubling capacity. Biden’s withdrawal killed the project for practical purposes.

In the buildup to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, two of Europe’s largest economies – Germany and Italy – worked hard to weaken preemptive sanctions. Germany refused to terminate the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Even after Putin purported to recognize Ukrainian provinces as independent countries, while essentially rejecting Ukraine’s independence, Germany merely halted certifying the pipeline. But, it refused to commit to canceling it altogether. Italy fought to limit threatened sanctions to a few narrow sectors – excluding energy in particular. Even now, with Russian troops all over Ukraine, the E.U. continues to fight stronger sanctions like excluding Russia from the SWIFT banking system.

Add to this Biden’s poor foreign policy judgment. As former defense secretary Robert Gates put it, Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

The upshot is that, despite threats of punishing if not crippling sanctions, the U.S. and its allies have actually done little.

“And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” -Winston Churchill, October 5, 1938

In a world where energy dependence is strategic weakness, Biden’s policies hamper efforts to keep the United States energy independent, and hamper if not hamstring our allies’ efforts to export energy while lessening other allies’ dependence on Russian oil and gas. Biden, Germany, and the European Union in general thought they could will a hydrocarbon-free future into being by legislating it, and sacrificed security and freedom of action in the present to that goal. Putin’s threats were a mere distraction from their high-minded priorities.

Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine wasn’t part of the plan.

Great leaders, like Lincoln, were able to shift gears from their plans to confront real-world crises. They had greatness thrust upon them, and accepted the mantle.

Should President Biden suddenly develop strategic wisdom and the resolve to act on it, he should reverse his reversal on EastMed. Canceling it was a mistake. Building a pipeline to transport natural gas from Israel to Europe would be a win-win for Israel and for our European allies, who need gas from a friendly source now and in the immediate future.