Germany Roiled By “Political Earthquake”: Navy Chief Resigns After Saying “Putin Deserves Respect”, Warning China Is “Not A Nice Country”

Germany Roiled By “Political Earthquake”: Navy Chief Resigns After Saying “Putin Deserves Respect”, Warning China Is “Not A Nice Country”

Just as the covid narrative is slowly disintegrating even as its MSM propaganda powers “cancel” anyone who dares to speak out against the lies  – so the “Russia is about to invade Ukraine” plotline just suffered a major blow after the chief of Germany’s navy, vice-admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach , said on Friday that Crimea “will never come back”, and that what Putin “really wants is respect…and it is easy to give him the respect he really demands – and probably deserves.”

And sure enough, just one day later, on Saturday evening, he resigned from his post for having the temerity to speak out against conventional wisdom.

“I have asked Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht to relieve me from my duties with immediate effect,” Schoenbach said in a statement cited by the Reuters news agency.

“The minister has accepted my request,” he added.

Speaking at an event organized by the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses on Friday, the vice-admiral redpilled the shocked audience when he dismissed as “nonsense” the notion that Russia was “interested in having a small and tiny strip of Ukraine soil and integrating it into their country.”

“Does Russia really want a small and tiny strip of Ukraine soil to integrate into their country? No, this is nonsense. Putin is probably putting pressure because can do it and he splits EU opinion.”

Schönbach went on to claim that what President Putin really wanted was the West to “respect” Russia, adding “giving some respect is low cost, even no cost. If I was asked, it is easy to give him the respect he really demands and probably also deserves.

Addressing the issue of Crimea, the German Navy commander opined that the “peninsula is gone” and “will never come back — this is a fact.”

On Ukraine’s possible admission into NATO, Schönbach said, “Ukraine of course cannot meet the requirements because it’s occupied in the Donbas region by the Russian Army or by what they call as militias.” In this context, he also said the Crimea peninsula, which was annexed by Russia, is “gone” and is “not coming back”.

Then in an even greater transgression of conventional pro-China etiquette, the German had the temerity to point out the elephant in the room when he slammed China which is “not that nice country we probably thought” and added that that “Russia is an old country, Russia is an important country. Even we India, Germany, need Russia. We need Russia against China…” This, he said, is “easy” and “keeps Russia away from China” because China needs resources of Russia and they [Russia] are willing to give them because the sanctions sometimes do go the “wrong way”.

Describing China as a growing “hegemonic power” which is using its money and power to put pressure on the international order, Schönbach said China has behaved as an enemy to some and has a “hidden agenda” in dealings with countries.

Giving an example of Chinese attempts to steal technology, the German Navy Chief spoke of Kuka robotics, a German company which was taken over by a “private” Chinese company and the “whole technology was gone” and “China is not paying back”.

In the context of this and other developments, he recalled German politicians’ view of China and said they believe that, “China is not that nice a country we probably thought of.”

Schönbach’s comments, which he insists were made in a private capacity, stirred up a diplomatic scandal, with Ukraine’s foreign ministry summoning the German ambassador to the country, Anka Feldhusen, on Saturday. Kiev described his remarks as “unacceptable.”

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry also called on Germany to reject Schönbach’s comments regarding Crimea, saying they undermine the efforts to counter Russian aggression.

“Ukraine is grateful to Germany for the support it has already provided since 2014, as well as for the diplomatic efforts to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict. But Germany’s current statements are disappointing and run counter to that support and effort,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

“The German partners must stop undermining unity with such words and actions and encouraging (Russian President) Vladimir Putin to launch a new attack on Ukraine,” Kuleba added.

Kyiv also highlighted its “deep disappointment” at the German government’s position “on the failure to provide defense weapons to Ukraine.” The lack of weapons support is another point of contention between the two countries. On Friday, reports emerged about Germany blocking Estonia from sending its German-made weapons to Ukraine.

And while it is unclear if the establishment was more shocked by his comments about Putin, Russia and Ukraine or his brutal honesty about China, what followed has been no less than a “political earthquake” with the country’s defense ministry immediately distancing itself from the controversial statements, and its spokesperson saying that characterizing the vice-admiral’s comments as not reflecting “in any way the position” of the ministry, both “in terms of the content and choice of words.”

The local media also went ballistic, and the biggest woke German tabloid Bild, asked Schönbach to step down. “Treten Sie zurück, Herr Vize-Admiral!”, says the paper.

In a bid to diffuse the situation, the (now former) Navy commander took to Twitter earlier on Saturday, saying that he “should not have done it that way,” and describing his remarks as a “clear mistake.”

“My defense policy remarks during a talk session at a think tank in India reflected my personal opinion in that moment. They in no way reflect the official position of the defense ministry,” he wrote.

But several hours later, his name and photo disappeared from the official Navy chief’s Twitter handle and its bio was changed to “currently vacant”.

Moscow, which views any NATO expansion into Ukraine as an existential threat to its national security, has consistently rebutted claims made by Western media and senior officials, according to which Russia is allegedly planning to invade its neighbor any day now. The Kremlin has called the idea “fake news,” while raising issue with the fact that some Western nations are sending weapons to Ukraine. Last month, Russia sent proposals to the US and NATO for treaties with security guarantees, but so far negotiations were unsuccessful in finding terms for an agreement.

Meanwhile, so-called “progressive, liberal” powers in the west are actively pushing for “kinetic” intervention, one which could quickly spiral out of control and escalate into a global war.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 01/22/2022 – 21:18

Majority Of Millennials, Gen Zers Want Limits On Abortion; New Poll Finds

Majority Of Millennials, Gen Zers Want Limits On Abortion; New Poll Finds

 Authored by Kristan Hawkins via RealClear Politics (emphasis ours),

By the time the midterm elections take place, targeted campaign ads and outreach will have littered the virtual American landscape, as politicians attempt to persuade voters that they have something to offer. In today’s partisan setting, abortion will be one of the issues raised. While the pro-life position once encompassed people of all political persuasions, the two parties today generally stand as polar opposites, making a new poll on the views of almost one-third of the electorate important news for the army of campaign consultants gearing up to make their pitch.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Far from being pro-abortion/straight-ticket voters without nuance, Millennials and Gen Zers share concerns about the extremes of abortion. They also desire to have a voice and a vote on life, and thoroughly reject the reckless and deadly policy pursued by the Biden administration and its corporate abortion allies on chemical abortion pills, according to a poll taken in early January and reported by Students for Life of America’s Demetree Institute for Pro-Life Advancement.

Consider Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that almost 50 years ago stripped abortion policy away from the states, setting up almost limitless abortion and making ordinary political engagement almost impossible. An extraordinary 8 in 10 Millennials and Gen Zers want to vote on abortion policy, up from 66% in 2021, while 3 out of 4 want limits on abortion and 4 in 10 want either no abortion or abortion only for the traditional exceptions – in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger.

On taxpayer-funded abortion, a top policy position of the Democrat-controlled White House, Senate and House, 55% opposed using those resources to pay for abortions worldwide, and 54% support Hyde Amendment protections that limit taxpayer funding of abortion to the exceptions.

Education is key in working with these voters, which is the central mission of SFLA’s in-person, 50-state operation. A 10-percentage point shift in Millennial and Gen Z views on Roe, from positive to negative, took place after respondents learned more about its impact. For example, almost 6 in 10 opposed Roe after learning that it allows for abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

All of this means that if Roe becomes a historical footnote and the issue of abortion is returned to the states – possibly through the Dobbs v. Jackson case under consideration now – that’s a positive for most voters. In fact, the poll found that 65% of Millennials and Gen Zers oppose people in power deciding who is fully human and deserving of legal rights.

But the biggest news comes from Millennial and Gen Z’s response to cutting-edge policy being discussed at the state level, from chemical abortion pill limits to “heartbeat” legislation. In fact, more than half of Millennials and Gen Zers would support a limit on abortion after a preborn baby’s heartbeat is detected.

The poll also shows that the real losers in the abortion policy debate of our day are those pushing no-test, online sale of chemical pills, which can lead to injury, infertility and even death for the women taking them, as well as the obvious termination of the baby’s life.

Recently, Biden’s FDA drastically reduced health and safety standards for chemical abortion pills, and the president nominated Dr. Robert Califf to be commissioner of the agency, a role he held during the Obama administration – when he also weakened standards. This appointment will further expose women to the drugs’ risks. Califf joins HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, who took legal action against the FDA during the Trump administration, forcing it to drop health and safety standards for the pills. This is leading to a state-by-state push for health and safety standards.

The new poll examined Millennial and Gen Z views on the separate harms women are now exposed to as a result of this deadly shift in policy. The Biden administration supports none of these protections in its new FDA-approved protocols.

More than 6 in 10 opposed no-test, online distribution of chemical abortion pills, with strong support for each of the screenings and protocols once in place. More than 6 in 10 support screening for a mother’s blood type, as Rh-negative women (15% of the population) can become sterile if not treated properly; 59% supported an ultrasound exam before selling the pills to prevent death from complication from an ectopic or late-term pregnancy; and 62% supported required follow-up exams so women didn’t die from infection.

Concern for women in dangerous situations motivated Millennial and Gen Z voters: 65% supported in-person purchase to prevent abusers or sex traffickers from using the drugs against women without their knowledge and consent, while almost 6 in 10 opposed young girls being left alone with an abortion sales team or coercive sexual partner without adult engagement from a judge, parent or guardian.

And for politicians looking for a winning issue, consider this: Almost 7 in 10 Millennials and Gen Zers said they are more likely to vote for a politician who supports health and safety standards for chemical abortion.

There is common ground to be found on the abortion issue for people of all parties, beginning with putting the opinions and needs of “We the People” over a handful of judges. Once Roe is gone, a long overdue debate will truly begin.

Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America, with more than 1,225 chapters on college and high school  campuses in all 50 states. Follow her @KristanHawkins or subscribe to her podcast, “Explicitly Pro-Life.”

Tyler Durden
Sat, 01/22/2022 – 21:00

‘Smart’ Gun Mocked After Demonstration Fail

‘Smart’ Gun Mocked After Demonstration Fail

Smart guns are being pushed in mainstream media to prevent unauthorized people from firing guns in the hopes of preventing mass shootings. 

Biometric recognition technology using fingerprints and or RFID technology is used to activate the high-tech pistols. 

However, as outlined by the pro-gun website Bearing Arms, smart guns aren’t so smart after a possible demonstration failure.

Smart guns could be prone to reliability issues in life in death situations. 

* * * 

Submitted by Bearing Arms

Over the last week or so, so-called smart guns have been everywhere in the mainstream media. In the Second Amendment community, there’s been a ton of talk about them as well. Especially since we all know it’s just a matter of time before lawmakers try to mandate smart guns as the only guns.

However, there are problems with these kinds of firearms. We all know it. I’ve talked about a few of them.

One of the big ones is reliability. The more whizzbangs you put in a device, the higher the likelihood of failure becomes.

Firearms are a technology that has more than a century of development. While there are tweaks here and there, the core of a semi-automatic firearm hasn’t changed all that much. As a result, it’s reliable.

Smart guns don’t have that. What makes them “smart” is a technology that exists elsewhere, but also has problems just about everywhere.

And, as John Boch over at The Truth About Guns notes, it seems they can’t even handle the “gun” part that well, either.

Last week, we lambasted reports of a new “smart gun” that Reuters raved about in a glowing “exclusive.” Reuters reporter Daniel Trotta wrote that the third-generation prototype fired “without issue” during a live-fire demonstration for investors and the media.

Now though, additional footage of the event has since surfaced that shows the LodeStar Works gun couldn’t manage to fire two rounds without an issue during one of the exercises.

Whoops.

Here’s another recording that is embeddable from a local TV reporter. It shows the LodeStar not-so-smart gun can’t even fire two rounds back-to-back.

We can clearly see the shooter state he’s going to fire two rounds. He fires one, then pulls the trigger several more times, only the weapon does fire.

Yeah, that’s the reliability thing we were talking about.

The truth of the matter is that smart guns aren’t ready for prime time. Not by a mile. But, companies working on them know they can gin up publicity–and likely some degree of investment–by sending out a few press releases and telling the media about how awesome their new firearms are.

Yet I have yet to see one of these smart gun folks who is actually a gun person. They seem to generally be technology people who decide to build a smart gun, rather than a gun person who wants to build one.

Of course, gun folks know that there’s not really much of a market for these kinds of guns. We’ve heard about them for years. They’re always just around the corner, and yet absolutely no one seems the least bit interested in them. I have yet to find a gun person who is excited by the concept, though some such as myself are ambivalent about the technology itself. Others, however, are downright hostile to it, mostly because they figure someone will try to mandate them for everyone.

Luckily for those folks, smart guns look like they’re at least another decade out at a minimum.

If these companies think they’ve got something, they need to stop turning to the anti-gun mainstream media and start looking at the gun media instead. Let us test and evaluate the weapons. We’ll tell you if they’re ready or not.

I’m not holding my breath on that, though.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 01/22/2022 – 20:40

Don’t Believe The Democrats’ “Medical Bankruptcy” Narrative

Don’t Believe The Democrats’ “Medical Bankruptcy” Narrative

Authored by Sally C. Pipes via RealClear Health (emphasis ours),

Americans collectively have about $140 billion in outstanding medical debts, according to a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Alyssa Keown/Battle Creek Enquirer via AP

Those hefty bills are driving many people into bankruptcy – at least according to prominent progressives. Left-wing leaders have long stoked fears of “medical bankruptcy” to boost support for government-run, single-payer healthcare.

During his last run for president, Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., declared that enormous medical bills force a staggering 500,000 people to declare bankruptcy each year – a fact that, if true, would justify drastic reforms to the healthcare system.

But the dystopian portrait painted by Sanders and his allies doesn’t reflect reality. Medical bills can certainly be onerous to many families. But they’re rarely the sole, or even the main, cause of personal bankruptcies.

Sanders based his numbers on a 2019 editorial published by the American Journal of Public Health. The authors conducted a study in which about two-thirds of the 700,000 debtors surveyed said medical expenses contributed “somewhat” or “very much” to their bankruptcy.

That’s not exactly a direct, causal relationship. A more accurate conclusion would be that medical expenses played a role in families’ deteriorating finances.

Often, the main cause of bankruptcy isn’t a surge in debt – it’s a precipitous drop in income. Someone diagnosed with cancer may certainly face burdensome medical bills. But the far bigger threat to one’s finances comes from no longer being able to work full-time – or at all – during a treatment regimen.

Other research confirms that healthcare bills alone rarely drive people into bankruptcy. A 2018 study in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed the percentage of people with medical bills who went bankrupt, rather than how many bankruptcy filings included some level of medical debt. The study concluded that medical bankruptcies, specifically those caused by hospitalization, make up just 4% of all bankruptcies.

Facts like these haven’t slowed the push for single payer. Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, seized upon the JAMA study’s $140 billion statistic soon after it was published, tweeting that the solution was Medicare for All.

The thinking goes that enrolling most Americans in a fully government-run healthcare system funded by tax dollars – rather than the current mix of public and private money – will prevent people from going bankrupt.

But once again, the math doesn’t check out. Government-sponsored, single-payer healthcare isn’t “free.” It’s funded by enormous, broad-based taxes on businesses and workers alike. Those taxes constrain economic growth and, by definition, leave people with less cash on hand to meet their other financial obligations.

Consider Canada, which has a single-payer system revered by American progressives. A family making the average income of 75,300 Canadian dollars – about US$59,700 – pays $6,500 in taxes just to cover its share of the national health insurance tab, according to a September 2021 report from the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank. An average family of four pays an estimated $15,039 in healthcare taxes. Those figures are on top of all the other taxes Canadians pay to support everything from education to national defense.

Canadians pay a higher share of their total compensation to the government than Americans, according to OECD data.

That explains, in part, why Canadians declare bankruptcy at higher rates than their U.S. counterparts. In 2019 – the year before the pandemic and its ensuing flood of stimulus programs caused a marked decrease in bankruptcies in both countries – about 137,000 Canadians sought protection from insolvency, out of a total population of almost 38 million, a rate of 3.6 bankruptcies per 1,000 residents.

That same year, slightly more than 770,000 Americans declared bankruptcy, out of a total population of 329 million at the time – a rate of 2.3 bankruptcies per 1,000 residents.

Medical bills don’t cause nearly as many bankruptcies as progressive lawmakers want people to believe. And single payer certainly wouldn’t prevent people from going insolvent.

Sally C. Pipes is President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Healthcare Policy at the Pacific Research Institute. Her latest book is False Premise, False Promise: The Disastrous Reality of Medicare for All (Encounter 2020). Follow her on Twitter @sallypipes.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 01/22/2022 – 20:20

‘Russia Secretly Plotting Regime Change In Ukraine’: UK Govt Issues Astounding Charge

‘Russia Secretly Plotting Regime Change In Ukraine’: UK Govt Issues Astounding Charge

update(7:58pmET): On Friday we observed that something is in the air, as the tit-for-tat ratcheting allegations being traded between the West and Russia are getting more and more brazen and bizarre. Indeed it’s feeling like a false flaggy weekend

And now enter a Saturday evening UK government statement that’s absolutely extraordinary as far as grand narrative accusations go. An official GOV.UK press release says Russia is secretly plotting regime change in Ukraine, with the aim of installing a pro-Kremlin political leader in Kiev:

“We have information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine,” the UK statement begins. Though without offering anything in the way of specific proof for the bombshell claims, we are even told who specifically Moscow has in mind to install as a pro-Russia puppet, according to the unprecedented accusations.

Below is the official UK government statement, almost in full:

“We have information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine. The former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Murayev is being considered as a potential candidate.

We have information that the Russian intelligence services maintain links with numerous former Ukrainian politicians including:

  • Serhiy Arbuzov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2012-2014, and acting Prime Minister in 2014
  • Andriy Kluyev, First Deputy Prime Minister from 2010-2012 and Chief of Staff to former Ukrainian President Yanukovich
  • Vladimir Sivkovich, former Deputy Head of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (RNBO)
  • Mykola Azarov, Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2010-2014

Some of these have contact with Russian intelligence officers currently involved in the planning for an attack on Ukraine.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:

The information being released today shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking.

Russia must de-escalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy. As the UK and our partners have said repeatedly, any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake with severe costs.”

Some pundits were quick to note that the alleged plot sounds eerily familiar to events centered in Kiev in 2014, but in reverse…

Journalist Aaron Mate reviews the evidence anonymous officials say allegations…

And a key question would further remain…

* * *

The Pentagon and US intelligence is said to be watching Ukraine’s northern neighbor Belarus very closely, given Moscow’s recent statements confirming it is currently moving more S-400 missile systems into the allied country. 

Russia is moving two divisions of its S-400 Triumph air-defense systems, designed to take down enemy warplanes, into neighboring Belarus to take part in military exercises, the Ministry of Defense confirmed on Friday,” Russian state sources report.

S-400 missiles are reportedly being transported to Belarus all the way from Russia’s far east. While it comes as tensions are on edge, as the world’s eyes are watching the Russia-Ukraine border, the transfer of major military hardware to Minsk is said to be part of preparations for joint Belarus-Russian war drills set to run February 10 through 20.

The exercises will in part be aimed at “reinforcing the state border.” This is also likely intended as a response to this week’s White House-ordered “lethal aid” delivery to Ukraine’s military. The UK has also been flying in repeat plane-loads of weaponry, most likely including anti-tank missiles.

According to Pentagon officials cited in Fox News, there’s concern that Russia can much more easily target Kiev if it wants, given all its military assets in Belarus:

Advanced Russian fighter jets have now arrived in Belarus, north of Ukraine.  The Pentagon is concerned that Ukraine’s capital is “now in the crosshairs,” another official added.

But Russia has repeatedly sought to assure the West that there are no “invasion plans” – as has been the charge over the last two months. 

But both sides are now accusing the other over the potential for a provocation which could quickly result in a shooting war on the ground. Likely any conflict should it erupt would center in Donbass, in Ukraine’s east.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 01/22/2022 – 20:03

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