"I can think of no human activity more pointless than to murder each other over myths and legends." -- Michael Rivero

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A 14-year-old Wyoming boy was stabbed to death with a kitchen knife while trying to protect his girlfriend from two balaclava-clad teens in a shopping mall, authorities said.

Bobby Maher was fatally knifed after he confronted the two 15-year-old boys for allegedly harassing his middle school sweetheart at the Eastridge Mall in Casper on Sunday afternoon, the Cowboy State Daily reported.

Maher had rushed to the mall after his girlfriend had called to say the two suspects — since identified as Jarreth Plunkett and Dominique Harris — were allegedly following her and a friend around the shopping complex, according to the criminal complaint.

Once he arrived, Maher tried to usher his girlfriend and her pal from the mall in a bid “to keep them safe” while repeatedly telling the two alleged perps to leave, the court papers charge.

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Russia launched a major missile and suicide drone offensive on Thursday, bombarding Ukraine's power grid and underground natural gas storage sites. 

Bloomberg reports Russia air-launched six hypersonic Kinzhal missiles that hit critical infrastructure near Kyiv and a region around western Ukraine's biggest city, Lviv. Ukraine's air defense system was not able to intercept the hypersonic missiles. However, 18 out of 42 more traditional and slower Russian missiles were downed, and only one of 40 drones. 

In a Facebook post, Energy Minister German Galushchenko wrote that power plants near Kyiv, the Kharkiv region in the east, Zaporizhzhia in the south, and Lviv in the west were damaged. Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Telegram that a power plant was damaged in Odesa. 

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As the NCAA finishes up March Madness, another type of madness is unfolding as the U.S. military retools its weapons of mass destruction response apparatus to focus not on attacks by familiar foreign terror groups like Al Qaeda or ISIS, but by American citizens. 

Late last month, for the first time ever, the National Guard conducted an exercise simulating a frantic search for a nuclear dirty bomb at a basketball and hockey arena in Trenton, New Jersey. What made the exercise different from hundreds of such similar war games held since 9/11 is that purely domestic terrorists were identified as the perpetrators.

“The FBI has just received intelligence that a well-resourced domestic terrorist group has planted bombs, including one with cesium-137 — a radioactive isotope — in the arena,” the military said about the scenario for the exercise. “The clock is ticking.”

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President Biden on Wednesday walked back a call for Israel to declare a six-to-eight-week ceasefire in Gaza, saying the truce must be tied to a hostage deal and that it was “up to Hamas.”

The comments came a day after an interview aired in which Biden appeared to say Israel should unilaterally declare a temporary ceasefire, which would have marked a major shift in policy. According to The Times of Israel, the White House already walked back his call, saying he was referring to a hostage deal that’s being negotiated.

“It’s now up to Hamas. They need to move on the proposal that has been made [so we can] get these hostages home where they belong,” Biden said during a press conference on Wednesday. “It also brings back a six-week ceasefire that we need now.”

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Late on Tuesday, the financial world was swept up by a report from Bloomberg according to which an unknown trader had put on single record-sized trade, betting that today's CPI print would come in dovish, and forcing the Fed to cut sooner. It did not work out quite as expected.

For those who missed it, a significant block trade in US short-term interest-rate futures, specifically in December 2024 SOFR futures, took place during market hours on Tuesday, marking the largest trade of its kind. This trade - which was widely publicized by Bloomberg - contributed to driving gains in the Treasury market. After all, nobody would gamble tens of millions if they didn't know something.

The trade, likely initiated by a buyer, coincided with expectations of benign March consumer price index data, potentially leading to a revival in expectations for Fed rate cuts. Confidence in this outlook was reinforced by State Street Global Advisors predicting an aggressive half-point Fed rate cut by June and remarks from US President Joe Biden’s economic aide, Lael Brainard. As of the time of the trade, the swaps market was pricing in approximately 65 basis points of Fed rate cuts by year-end. The December 2024 SOFR futures were trading slightly higher than the block trade’s price, indicating continued market activity and investor interest in hedging or speculating on interest rate movements.

In retrospect, it turned out that the trader really didn't know anything, and on Wednesday the trade blew up in spectacular fashion after a stronger-than-expected reading triggered a market rout.

According to Bloomberg calculations, moments after the CPI print, which came in hot on every possible metric, the position was roughly $50 million in the red, based on price moves in the underlying December 2024 futures.

As duly noted earlier, after Wednesday’s red hot report, expectations for the first full quarter-point rate cut this year wilted and shifted to November from September, with the market now pricing in less than two 25 basis-point moves for all of 2024.

Claire's Observations:  OUCH!!  Talk about "betting on the wrong horse", in SPADES!!!!

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Authored by John & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

The government wants your money.

It will beg, steal or borrow if necessary, but it wants your money any way it can get it.

This is what comes of those $1.2 trillion spending bills: someone’s got to foot the bill for the government’s fiscal insanity, and that “someone” is the U.S. taxpayer.

The government’s schemes to swindle, cheat, scam, and generally defraud taxpayers of their hard-earned dollars have run the gamut from wasteful pork barrel legislation, cronyism and graft to asset forfeiture, costly stimulus packages, and a national security complex that continues to undermine our freedoms while failing to making us any safer.

Americans have also been made to pay through the nose for the government’s endless wars, subsidization of foreign nations, military empire, welfare state, roads to nowhere, bloated workforce, secret agencies, fusion centers, private prisons, biometric databases, invasive technologies, arsenal of weapons, and every other budgetary line item that is contributing to the fast-growing wealth of the corporate elite at the expense of those who are barely making ends meet—that is, we the taxpayers.

According to the number crunchers with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, in order to spend money it doesn’t have on programs it can’t afford, the government is borrowing roughly $6 billion a day.

Basically, the U.S. government is funding its existence with a credit card.

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The Biden administration has admitted that it massively undercounted what it has spent on the proxy war in Ukraine, The American Conservative reported on Tuesday.

The report said the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had previously estimated the US has spent $111 billion on the war. For over a year, a group of members of Congress pressed the OMB to figure out the real number and recently found that it was $125 billion, $14 billion more than what the White House had previously claimed.

In a letter sent to the director of the OMB on Tuesday, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and 15 other members of Congress said that they “now have confirmation from OMB that the total Ukraine spending figure is significantly higher than the administration has ever admitted.”

The lawmakers asked OMB Director Shalanda Young to answer a series of questions about US spending on the proxy and gave her a deadline of April 30.

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Authored by Thomas Brooke via ReMix News,

The European Parliament has approved the controversial EU Asylum and Migration Pact, which will see countries forced to accept their fair share of new arrivals into the bloc or pay a fine for every migrant they reject.

The new asylum and migration package was passed largely with votes from lawmakers affiliated with the European People’s Party, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D), and Renew Europe, with MEPs being urged to swallow their criticisms of the scheme and vote for the compromise legislation.

“History made,” tweeted European Parliament President Roberta Metsola as she praised what she described as a “robust legislative framework on how to deal with migration and asylum,” noting it had been “10 years in the making” but the EU had kept its word.

Some MEPs on both the left and the center-right revealed they voted through the pact despite its many flaws.

“The new legislation is not perfect but we can only make migration manageable and humane with one European solution,” said Hilde Vautmans, foreign affairs coordinator for Renew Europe.

Nationalist politicians across Europe expressed their anger at the passing of the pact, which they claim cedes sovereignty to an ever-centralized European Union.

“The Migration Pact organizes the tutelage and control of nations, the legal impunity of NGOs complicit with smugglers,” tweeted Marine Le Pen of France’s National Rally

Claire's Observations:  These are the kinds of outcomes George Soros buys and sells, as though they were commodities, like hog bellies.  Europeans can now expect massive outbursts of crimes, from which they, and their families will be unable to defend themselves, unless they very quickly learn what weapons are legal in their countries, and learn to use them to maximum effect.

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A group of 19 House Republicans bucked GOP leadership and voted with Democrats against a bill that would extend Section 702, the law that allows for mass surveillance and the collection of Americans’ data. 

On Wednesday, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) brought the legislation up for a procedural vote, and it failed 193-228. The Republican opposition was made up of a group of freedom-oriented Representatives led by Matt Gaetz (R-FL). 

“The reauthorization lacks essential reforms to protect Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights, such as requiring the FBI to obtain a warrant before searching Americans’ data and a prohibition on the government purchasing Americans’ data from third-party data brokers,” the Flordia congressman said in a statement. “FISA authorities have been used to violate the law more than 278,000 times by the national security state, and there has yet to be any consequences for this illegal activity by our government.”

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Israel has killed 14,350 Palestinian children between October 7 and April 4. This means children account for 44% of all Palestinians killed in Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a press release ahead of Palestinian Children’s Day.

Women and children constitute nearly 70% of over 7,000 additional persons missing in the same period, and the majority of the over 75,000 wounded Palestinians are women and children.

Out of a total of 455 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank by the Israeli forces in the same period, 117 were children.

Over 17,000 Palestinian children have also been orphaned or separated from their parents as a result of Israel’s genocidal attacks, according to UNICEF data, after either both or one of their parents were killed in the Israeli bombings and ground offensives since October 7.

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Amid a significant use of missiles in Ukraine and the Middle East, customers are ramping up independent production of some of the weapons the Patriot air defense system can launch at an unprecedented scale.

The United States, where Patriot manufacturer RTX is based, is trying to contend with the rapid use of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles in its military operations while ensuring it has enough stockpiled in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. (Beijing considers the island nation a rogue province and has threatened to take it back by force.)

Missile production is increasing in the U.S., particularly the Lockheed Martin-made PAC-3 MSE missiles, the most capable variant. The company is making hundreds of them over the next two years.

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After 12 crashes and 10 deaths in the past six months, the Army has ordered its aviation units to undergo mandatory safety training that will “reinforce” pilot skills like spatial awareness and power management, service officials told reporters on Wednesday.

Crashes involving Army and Army National Guard aircraft have killed nine soldiers and one Border Patrol agent since last fall. The Army has not said what caused any of those crashes as investigations continue, but the Army’s top commander of aviation units said Wednesday that fundamental pilot skills will be an emphasis of the safety review.

“We must reinforce how to revert back to knowing where you are and where your aircraft is with respect to the ground,” said Maj. Gen. Walter T. Rugen, director of Army aviation. “We are working very hard on effective power management across a host of flight altitudes, higher temperatures and wind conditions.”

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Drones from American startups are glitchy and expensive prompting Ukraine to turn to alternatives from China.

The Wall Street Journal comments American Drones Failed to Turn the Tide in Ukraine

   The Silicon Valley company Skydio sent hundreds of its best drones to Ukraine to help fight the Russians. Things didn’t go well. Skydio’s drones flew off course and were lost, victims of Russia’s electronic warfare. The company has since gone back to the drawing board to build a new fleet.

   Most small drones from U.S. startups have failed to perform in combat, dashing companies’ hopes that a badge of being battle-tested would bring the startups sales and attention. It is also bad news for the Pentagon, which needs a reliable supply of thousands of small, unmanned aircraft.

   “The general reputation for every class of U.S. drone in Ukraine is that they don’t work as well as other systems,” Skydio Chief Executive Adam Bry said, calling his own drone “not a very successful platform on the front lines.”

   Ukrainian officials have found U.S.-made drones fragile and unable to overcome Russian jamming and GPS blackout technology. At times, they couldn’t take off, complete missions or return home. American drones often fail to fly at the distances advertised or carry substantial payloads.

   Ukraine has found ways to get tens of thousands of drones as well as drone parts from China. The military is using off-the-shelf Chinese drones, primarily from SZ DJI Technology.

   The U.S. has called DJI a Chinese military company and a surveillance tool for Beijing, which DJI denies. The Pentagon banned DJI drones in the U.S. military, and congressional legislation would ban new DJI products in the U.S.

   Skydio employees went back to Ukraine 17 times to get feedback, Bry said. Its new drone is built around Ukraine’s military needs and feedback from public-safety agencies and other customers, he said, rather than U.S. Defense Department requirements that are sometimes divorced from battlefield realities.

Claire's Observations:  It is very apparent to anyone who has NOT been living under a rock for the last 75 years, that all the billions poured into the US's military/industrial complex, have not left us better off in terms of weaponry, compared to that of Russia and China. 

This is absolute national insanity, writ large, over generations!!

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Authored by Egon von Greyerz via VonGreyerz.gold,

"The desire of gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom and benefit."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gold is now in a hurry and silver even more so. 

The price moves in the coming months and year are likely to be spectacular. The combination of technical and fundamental factors can easily drive gold well above $3,000 and silver to new highs above $50. 

Forecasting gold is a mug’s game, as I have often stated. 

But that is in the short term.

In the medium to long term, forecasting the Gold price is a cinch

How can I be so certain?

Well, since the history of gold and money began, gold has always increased in value measured against fiat money. 

Voltaire gave us the formula in 1729 when he said:


So why has no investor or layman ever heeded the simple fact that –


What most people, including experienced investors, don’t understand is that gold doesn’t  increase in value. 

Gold just maintains stable purchasing power. A Roman toga 2000 years ago cost 1 ounce of gold and a tailored suit today also costs 1 ounce of gold. 

So it is really totally wrong to talk about gold going up when it is the unit we measure gold in that goes down. Just as all fiat money has done 

Just take gold measured in US dollars. As the illustration below shows, the value of the dollar since 1971 has crashed, measured in real terms which is gold. 

As the picture shows, 1 ounce of gold cost $35 in 1971. Today 53 years later 1 ounce of gold costs $2,300. So has gold increased in value 66x since 1971?

No of course not, it is the dollar which has declined in value and purchasing power by 98.5% since 1971

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Authored by Tilak K. Doshi via RealClear Politics,

On March 28, President Mohamed Irfaan Ali of the South American country of Guyana became an instant hero to many as he refused to take lectures on climate change from a BBC reporter during an interview. In a two-minute video clip that went viral on X (formerly Twitter) and other social media, President Ali turned the tables on the BBC’s Stephen Sackur when the reporter accused Guyana of worsening the “climate crisis” by allowing the exploitation of its newly found oil and gas reserves.

“Over the next decade or two, it’s expected that there will be $150 billion worth of oil and gas extracted off your coast,” Sackur told the president. “It’s an extraordinary figure. But think of it in practical terms. That means – according to many experts – two billion tons of carbon emissions will come from your seabed from those reserves and released into the atmosphere.” Guyana’s head of state quickly rebutted: “Let me stop you right there. Did you know that Guyana has a forest that is the size of England and Scotland combined, a forest that stores 19.5 gigatons of carbon, a forest that we have kept alive?

When the reporter asked President Ali whether the rainforest gave him the “right” to release the carbon, the Guyanese leader retorted: “Does that give you the right to lecture us on climate change? I’m going to lecture you on climate change.” Being lectured by the BBC on climate change is not a new development; it’s what the state-supported media service often does, and in hectoring tones. But is the BBC correct in its proclamations about what the “climate science” says?


Claire's Observations:  This gentleman has just become one of my new heroes!! :-)

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Iranian Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that the Zionist regime made the mistake of attacking the Iranian diplomatic mission in Syria during his comments Wednesday during Eid al-Fitr prayers.

Khamenei told supporters, “The evil regime made a mistake and it should be punished and will be punished.”

This could escalate quickly. Israel already announced an attack on Iran in response to any attack from Iranian territory.

Webmaster addition: 

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Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, has come under fire after saying in a recent interview that it's not "necessarily a bad idea" to make African Americans exempt from paying taxes "for a certain amount of time" as a form of reparations.

In an interview on the "Black Lawyers Podcast" released Tuesday, Crockett, who is Black, was asked about recent pushes in New York and California on reparations and about her general thoughts on the subject.

Crockett said that if reparations happen on a federal level or a state level, "there has to be continuity across the board" in how such a policy would be implemented.

She added: "This is something that definitely needs to be thought through … We have to do the research" and "figure out what this would look like in cost."

Webmaster addition: Democrats are pushing reparations in an effort to buy the black vote, but the truth is you will never see a penny of that promised cash. 

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Cmdr. Cameron Yaste, the Commanding Officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), was recently photographed shooting a 5.56×45mm M4 carbine with the optics installed backward. 

The now-deleted image and press release on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service website featured Yaste shooting the M4 with the Trijicon VCOG scope installed backward while pointed at a giant target balloon.

Here's what the press release said before it was deleted: 

Cmdr. Cameron Yaste, the Commanding Officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), fires at the "killer tomato" during a gun shoot. The ship is in US 7th Fleet conducting routine operations. 7th Fleet is the US Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with Allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific Region.

Here's how to properly use the scope...

The website Internet Archive saved a snapshot of the press release: 

Netizens mocked the Navy commander, and that's probably why the service deleted the image and text. 

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Cities across the country are dealing with an exploding problem of homelessness, but places like Los Angeles and San Francisco in California are among the worst.

In a shocking turn of events, an audit has found that California has spent $24 billion on homeless programs yet the problem persists and in some places is getting worse.

Would California have seen better improvements if they just gave this money directly to homeless people? Could the outcome have been any worse?

Webmaster addition:  Those millions of illegal immigrants pouring in are not helping the problem.

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Markets, advisors, economists, all seemed to see the light: Inflation is here for the long haul.
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