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"The cost of being presented as a 'responsible and serious candidate' by the media [is] usually to show fundamental agreement with the existing distribution of wealth and power." -- Michael Lerner, from the book The Politics of Meaning, 1997, p99
We already know that the Biden administration and the BLS are ignoring the massive layoffs happening across corporate America in favor of pushing some asinine narrative that 'Bidenomics', whatever that even means, is somehow creating jobs other than 2nd and 3rd jobs for senior citizens driving Uber when they should be retired.
Now, it's becoming clear that 2024 could be the year when corporations continue 'cost cutting', which could mean a number of strategies, almost all of which result in less employees and less pay instead of more.
Executives from various industries, including toy, cosmetics, and technology sectors, are cutting costs and jobs, even in profitable companies such as Mattel, PayPal, Cisco, Nike, Estée Lauder, and Levi Strauss, CNBC wrote this week.
Macy's plans to shut five stores and cut over 2,300 jobs, while airlines like JetBlue and Spirit offer buyouts, and United reduces in-flight services. This trend is driven by consumer caution and investor pressure for companies to adapt to changing demand and higher expenses, the report says.
But any decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions won’t have an effect for hundreds to thousands of years—even under the most restrictive circumstances, according to some experts.
“If emissions of CO2 stopped altogether, it would take many thousands of years for atmospheric CO2 to return to ‘pre-industrial’ levels,” the Royal Society states in a report on its website. The organization describes itself as a “fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists.”
“Surface temperatures would stay elevated for at least a thousand years, implying a long-term commitment to a warmer planet due to past and current emissions,” the report states. “The current CO2-induced warming of Earth is therefore essentially irreversible on human timescales.”
A frequently asked questions page on NASA’s website holds the same position.
It’s only natural that Israel is looking to revamp its military-industrial complex, especially “in moments of war”, Mehran Kamrava, a professor of government at Georgetown University in Qatar, told Sputnik.
The Israeli Defense Ministry has announced plans to buy “tens of thousands” of assault rifles from local businesses as part of a “requirement to renew” the military’s stockpile of weapons. The goal is to replace the rifles worn out in the Israel Defense Forces’ ongoing conflict against the Palestinian militant group Hamas. These include, among others, the M16 and Tavor TAR-21 rifles.
As for the weapons to be purchased, they are expected to be assault rifles from the AR-15 family, similar to the M4 carbine, which are due to be manufactured by the Israeli companies EMTAN Karmiel and Israel Weapon Industries.
"Remember how aggressively Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interview with Tucker Carlson, which revealed the truth that Western elites keep back from their voters, was met in the West," the minister said at a meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Rio de Janeiro.
In this context he noted that the West often employs double standards, hypocrisy and outright lies, sacrificing diplomatic methods of peaceful settlement of disputes to power struggle, 'hybrid wars,' total confrontation, the strive to inflict a strategic defeat to the opponent.
Farm lands in Ukraine have been appropriated by the US business, while the Ukrainians themselves have been turned by President Vladimir Zelensky into "expendable material," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
The West-announced investments toward the effort of sustainable development and climate have been sacrificed to multi-billion sponsors’ flows for Ukraine’s militarization and boosting of NATO members’ military budgets, he noted. "Energy and food supply chains are being broken, which triggers hunger, poverty and inequality that is being fairly noted by Brazil’s chairmanship. External management ‘chips’ are being installed into national governments. The result is evident: farm lands in Ukraine have been appropriated by American business, while the Ukrainians have been turned into expendable material, which Vladimir Zelensky’s regime sends to death in exchange for Western loans," the minister said at a meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Rio de Janeiro on the issue of G20’s role in overcoming the current international tension.
Over the past few months, multiple major legacy media outlets have announced decisions to drastically downsize their news departments, including CNN, LA Times and Vox, among others. The latest series of layoffs is part of a larger pattern going back years of former media institutions being gutted, closed or sold off.
Historian and author Dr. Gerald Horne told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Tuesday that the decline of mainstream Western media was accelerated by the press' narratives on the conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine.
“I think that an astute historian would point out that the Ukraine crisis helped to trigger or helped to accelerate the continuing decline of the news media,” Horne said, adding that the media crisis was “accelerated on October 7, 2023, because it’s no secret that the Zionist lobby has a stranglehold over a good deal of the US media.”
The United States is grooming Asia for a war with China, peace activist and political analyst KJ Noh told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Tuesday.
While discussing reports that the US will have nearly half of its aircraft carriers deployed in the Pacific, Noh noted that it is the largest gathering of US naval forces in the Pacific since World War Two. “Remember, it's not just five aircraft carriers. It's at least five to ten attack submarines, plus 30 service combatants, including Aegis destroyers and three to 500 planes, [including] F-18s and F-35s. So it's an extraordinary projection of firepower, and it has a very, threatening message,” he summarized.
“This also serves to normalize aggressive shows of force. It’s like grooming Asia for war and, of course, there’s the ratchet effect from that normalization … It just signals that the escalation is coming.”
But running a picture of one of the Super Bowl parade shooters is the kind of thing a local if-it-bleeds-it-leads news operation would do. In contrast, the august New York Times news section has determined that Mr. Mays’ photo is not fit to print
Aluminum Prices Soar After Biden Says "Major" Sanctions Package Against Russia Is Imminent
Aluminum and nickel futures rose on Wednesday after President Biden's announcement that the US is planning to introduce a fresh round of sanctions against Russia in response to the sudden death of opposition leader Alexey Navalny in a Russian jail.
On Tuesday, Biden told reporters at the White House about plans for a "major" sanctions package against Moscow set to be unveiled on Friday but didn't comment on targeted industries or other specifics.
According to Bloomberg, commodity traders have been waiting for a new round of trade restrictions on Russian metals since the UK moved in December to block British individuals and entities from trading physical metals from Russia, including aluminum, copper, and nickel. The UK has hinted at a coordinated action with Western partners against Russian metals
Governor Maura Healey continues to turn Massachusetts into a Migrant Magnet by relying on the state’s “Right to Shelter” law, which was passed in 1983 to guarantee housing to anyone in the state who needed it. Back then, most people assumed this law applied to Americans in dire financial need, but the Soros Left has been pretending that the law applies to every individual on planet Earth. If anything, the Americans in dire financial need are being ignored.
The good news is that things have gotten so bad that even the local CBS affiliate has started to notice the hefty price tag that comes with housing migrants in hotels across the Commonwealth. [How much is Massachusetts Spending to Shelter and Feed Migrants and Homeless, by Cheryl Fiandaca, WBZ News, February 16, 2024] The WBZ News report shows that the state has contracts totalling $116 million for the first six months of 2024. The real eye popper is the $64 a day cost to feed the migrants:
In some cases, the hotels are collecting money from the state for three meals a day, $16 for breakfast, $17 for lunch and $31 for dinner. That means $64 dollars a day per person.
Russian forces may have captured up to 1,000 Ukrainian troops during the chaotic retreat from Avdeevka over the weekend, the New York Times has reported, citing anonymous Ukrainian and Western sources. The newspaper described the withdrawal from the former Ukrainian stronghold in Donbass as a “devastating loss” for Kiev that “could deal a blow to already weakening morale.”
On Friday, Ukraine’s newly appointed top military commander, General Aleksandr Syrsky, revealed that his forces had retreated from the strategic town located less than 10km from the outskirts of Donetsk. The following day, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the capture of Avdeevka, claiming to have inflicted massive casualties on Kiev’s military in the process.
Reporting on Tuesday, the NYT quoted two unnamed Ukrainian service members as putting the number of POWs and missing soldiers at anywhere between 850 to 1,000. Anonymous Western officials have characterized this range as accurate, the newspaper claimed.
The cabinet of Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is filled with religious extremists who believe that Israel’s brutality in Gaza is at God’s command. According to the Book of Joshua in the Hebrew Bible, dated by scholars to the 7th century BC, God promised the land to the Jewish people and instructed them to destroy the other nations living in the promised land. This text is used by extreme nationalists in Israel today, including by many of the 700,000 or so Israeli settlers living in occupied Palestinian lands in violation of international law. Netanyahu pursues the religious ideology of 7th century BC in the 21st century.
Of course, the vast majority of the world today, including the vast majority of Americans, are certainly not in line with Israel’s religious zealots. The world is far more interested in the 1948 Genocide Convention than in the genocides supposedly ordained by God in the Book of Joshua. They don’t accept the Biblical idea that Israel should kill or expel the people of Palestine from their own land. The two-state solution is the declared policy of the world community, as enshrined by the UN Security Council, and of the U.S. government.
President Joe Biden is therefore caught between the powerful Israel Lobby and the opinion of American voters and of the world community. Given the power of the Israel lobby, and the sums it expends in campaign contributions, Biden is trying to have it both ways: supporting Israel but not endorsing Israel’s extremism. Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken hope to entice the Arab countries into yet another open-ended peace process with the two-state solution as the distant goal that is never reached. Israeli hardliners would of course block every step of the way. Biden knows all of this but wants the fig leaf of a peace process. Biden also hoped until recently that Saudi Arabia could be lured into normalizing relations with Israel in return for F-35 fighter jets, access to nuclear technology, and a vague commitment to an eventual two-state solution… someday, somehow.
All those obnoxious pharmaceutical commercials that get laced into just about every television and cable “news” program that airs in the United States these days might seem like they are simply about selling more drugs and getting people hooked, but Big Pharma’s true agenda is actually much more sinister than that.
Former pharmaceutical industry insider Calley Means spoke to Tucker Carlson recently about what he described as an “open secret” within the pharmaceutical industry. In essence, Means says that Big Pharma is buying the media with all those ads, which allows the drug industry to control what gets broadcasted on television and across the internet.
“You’re saying that pharma buys TV spots not to convince people to ask for specific drugs from their physicians, but to subvert the news business?” Carlson asked Means during the segment.
“This is an open secret working for pharma,” Means responded. “The kind of silly ads you see between the news breaks, the point of that is not – it’s largely to impact the customer. But pharma has already got that. They’ve already bought off the doctors. They’re good on that.”
The U.S. Federal Reserve and its central banking allies are engineering unprecedented changes in the financial system. How do we know this? Because they speak openly about what they intend to do.
I want to show you three 1-minute videos today that describe the vision of total central control currently being implemented by the central banks.
The first is a clip from an IMF panel in October 2020. The speaker is Agustín Carstens, the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland. The BIS is the central bank of central banks, which enjoys the powers of sovereign immunity. The Federal Reserve is one of 63 central banks which are BIS members, including the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of China.
this clip, Mr. Carstens is describing the nature of central bank digital currency or CBDC. The BIS is leading a global effort to implement CBDC, including a partnership with the Federal Reserve.
Let's see what Mr. Carstens says about where he hopes our money is going. (video)
So, what did he just say?
He just said that our bank deposits are not ours--our bank deposits are an "expression of central bank liabilities"--in other words, it is their money, not ours.
The website Downdetector has detected a surge in outage reports from users of AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Boost Mobile, US Cellular, and Straight Talk.
Outage reports for the carriers began around 0345 ET. Geographically, the outages have been reported across some major US cities.
Users of Downdetector began reporting AT&T outages around 0345ET.
Claire's Observations: One has to wonder what is causing this, and why?!? Why all 3 major networks, plus a couple of others?!? Could this be a "test" of some kind?!? Sorry, but the timing is stretching the long arm of "coincidence" .... into a major dislocation right now.
The Coming Collapse Of El Nino And Flip To La Nina
Above-normal sea surface temperatures continue this month across most of the equatorial part of the Pacific Ocean, but there are signs that this El Nino episode which began about a year ago will flip to La Nina conditions (colder-than-normal) by the early part of the 2024 summer season in the Northern Hemisphere. A flip from El Nino to La Nino across the equatorial Pacific Ocean can have big implications on the upcoming 2024 Atlantic Basin tropical season. In fact, this expected dramatic change in sea surface temperatures across the Pacific Ocean may be a major contributor to a very active tropical season in the Atlantic Basin as atmospheric conditions are typically more favorable (lower wind shear) during La Nina episodes for the development and intensification of tropical storms. A second favorable factor for a very active tropical season in the Atlantic Basin is the likely continuation there of widespread warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures. Finally, as oceanic cycles play a critical role in global temperatures, a flip from El Nino to La Nina in the world's largest ocean could mean a return to closer-to-normal levels following a spike during the past year or so
Back in early 2022 just weeks into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Western officials began raising suspicions that the Islamic Republic of Iran was supplying arms, and especially kamikaze drones, to Moscow for use on the Ukrainian battlefield. This proved true, and allegations of Tehran supplying ballistic missiles soon followed.
Now, just days away from the grim two-year mark of the start of the major war, there are fresh reports of a dramatic escalation in Iran's military supply pipeline to Russia. Reuters reports Wednesday that Tehran has provided Moscow with a "large number of powerful surface-to-surface ballistic missiles."
The report alleged an estimated 400 missiles, mostly from the Fateh-110 family of short-range ballistic weapons, have been provided. These are mobile-launched and have a range of up to 435 miles.
"The shipments began in early January after a deal was finalized in meetings late last year between Iranian and Russian military and security officials that took place in Tehran and Moscow, one of the Iranian sources say," according the report.
“There will be more shipments,” one Iranian official has boasted. "There is no reason to hide it. We are allowed to export weapons to any country that we wish to."
Claire's Observations: Unfortunately, President Trump got "intel-bushwacked" on the Iran Missile Deal, and ended it. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/issues/foreign-policy/iran-deal As those of you know who have followed this website for awhile, I was very critical of most of the policy directives which came out of the Obama Administration, but thought that this was a very intelligent move, and said so, publicly, on this site.
Unfortunately, when a country geopolitically repudiates a treaty with another (as the Trump Administration did with Iran), this throws that country into the waiting arms of another country which doesn't like us particularly well. This is precisely what happened with Russia and Iran. Had the Trump Administration demonstrated the horse-sense to remain with the Obama era treaty, this most likely would never have happened in the first place!!
The Israeli parliament approved on Wednesday by a vast majority of votes a draft government resolution rejecting the recognition of a Palestinian state by Israel under international pressure.
During the voting, which was broadcast by the parliamentary channel, 99 out of 120 lawmakers supported the resolution.
Commenting on the results of the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he did not recall many occasions when the decision had been made by a majority of 99 out of 120. The prime minister has repeatedly said that there is a broad public consensus in the country regarding any attempts from the outside to impose the recognition of a Palestinian state on Israel.
Webmaster addition: United Nations Charter Article 1, paragraph 2 recognizes the right of people to self-determination. Israel, as a member of the United Nations, is ignoring yet again a UN directive. While Israel cannot be expelled from the UN, it's membership can be terminated for repeated violations. Unfortunately, enforcement is done by the Security Council where Israel's poodle, the United States, has veto power.
Germany's policies implemented in the wake of the Ukrainian conflict escalation in February 2022 translated into serious losses for the German economy.
Under the leadership of Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his government, Germany did its best to sever itself from cheap Russian energy and to cut all economic ties with Russia regardless of how beneficial they were to the German economy.
The shutdown of the last three German nuclear power plants in 2023 was unsurprisingly followed by it ceasing to be a power exporter and becoming a power importer instead, even as Scholz boasted that his country is done with nuclear power generation.
The data recently presented to media by the German Institute for Economic Research suggest that Germany’s economy lost some €200 billion amid the Ukrainian conflict, primarily due to soaring energy prices.
Shehab, 19, stands looking uncertainly at the camera, as if unsure if it will hurt him or whether he wants to share his pain.
“My name is Shehab Omar Abu al-Hanud,” he begins. “My mother died. Her name is Ghada Youssef Ahmed Abu al-Hanud.”
He is very slim and barely out of boyhood, with sparse facial hair, uneven teeth, and a prominent Adam’s apple that he has yet to grow into. His gaze wavers as he delivers the line that is the reason for this interview.
The Julian Assange extradition appeal hearing concluded on Wednesday, with no date yet set for a verdict. The entire thing was plagued by media access issues, which has been a constant in every Assange court hearing in every courtroom I can remember. This is a historic case and they’re given months of notice to prepare, and yet the errors persist and always fall on the side of limiting transparency. At a certain point you have to rule out incompetence and assume it’s deliberate.
It’s wild to think we could be close to seeing Assange whisked away and disappeared from public view for the rest of his life because he committed the crime of good journalism.
Keep in mind when you read that the US is attempting to jail a journalist for exposing war crimes, that because of Gaza you actually now know what war crimes look like in real life. War crimes are the absolute worst of crimes where the most powerful prey on the most vulnerable. We absolutely must be able to expose them.
Update (1645ET): Having been busted on some very clear race bias in the image generation segment of their new AI, Gemini Experiences Senior Director of Product Management Jack Krawczyk addressed the responses from the AI that had led social media users to voice concern.
Dolton, Illinois Mayor Tiffany Henyard is now under FBI investigation for abusing her power after she shut down businesses that didn’t donate to her campaign.
Tiffany Henyard, who unsuccessfully ran a hamburger joint before becoming a mayor, attends meetings dressed like a movie gangster.
According to Dolton citizens, Henyard uses local police to target businesses that don’t contribute to her.
One business owner told The New York Post that he made one contribution to Henyard and her minions kept coming after him demanding more money. Whe he didn’t comply, Henyard shut down his trucking business.
Tiffany Henyard reportedly used the police as her personal Gestapo to shut down more than a dozen businesses after they refused to give her money.