Job Cuts, Shortages on Horizon, Market’s Paradox

Ure has turned over a new leaf:  shorter reports. Just not today.

Job Cuts First

Second horse pick in the weekly financial trifecta:  Challenger Job Cuts:

Job Cuts Rise 15% in March 2023, Up 319% from Same Month Last Year, Highest Q1 Since 2020 | Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. (

Source Challenger Gray and Christmas

Which then continues with bad news about Tech:

“Technology companies have announced 102,391 cuts so far this year, up 38,487% from the 267 cuts the sector announced in the first quarter of 2022. It is already up 5% from the annual total of 97,171 in 2022. It is on pace to surpass the highest annual total for the sector announced in 2001. The only years during which Tech announced more job cuts than the current year are in 2001, when 168,395 cuts were announced, and 2002, when 131,294 Tech cuts were recorded.”

Not impacting the weekly UI filins data, though:

In case you missed it, two other weighty numbers have already dropped this week.  The Tuesday JOLTS report told us that “job openings decreased to 9.9 million.” While separations were sort of stable, quits were up and layoffs were down.  Wednesday’s ADP job report was an off-note +145,000.  Not the “smoking economy” political hypsters predict.  But, not sailing off the edge of the World, either.

Planning for the weekend and three days of no stock trading.  Not much to move markets Monday except China’s CPI data.  Ours will be out Wednesday of next week.  NFIB report Tuesday shouldn’t be that big.  We’ll just see about that.

Still, Shortages Loom

As you know, inbound West Coast Port container volumes in SoCal are way down. True, there has been some “redirecting” to lesser ports due to off-loading issues.  When we line up the data points, though, the news is bad and worse.

  1. The Association of American Railroads data says intermodal (container) traffic is way down:  “Total U.S. carload traffic for the first three months of 2023 was 2,993,492 carloads, down 0.3 percent, or 9,068 carloads, from the same period last year; and 3,023,563 intermodal units, down 10.3 percent, or 346,349 containers and trailers, from last year.”
  2. The U.S. Dollar is weakening.  Although not clear to many people, the effects of this will be disastrous.  Not that we don’t like Gold climbing over $2,000 and silver knocking on $25-dollars.  It’s that the “metals to paper” ratio is changing. When it “takes more paper” (money) to buy a physical “thing” than experientially (out shopping) prices appear to be going up.  But. this is where you need to update your “Mental Acuity Plugin” to a version of thought-tool that supports prices being different “floating declared variables” than values.
  3. The leading-edge of Future is sensed when these trends are explicitly extended to year end.  If a 3-month decline of containers is 10.3 percent, might a year-end down 20-40 percent be possible?  Sadly, yes.  With that will come shortages. Lots of them.  What we’re spending time planning for are overseas made appliances and electronics.  America has vulnerabilities in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and emerging Asian manufacturing centers in China’s shadow.

Depending on game speed, we can already get a pretty good sense of how Year-End 2023 might look.

  • Grocery prices are likely to be another 7 to 11 percent higher, based on an eyeball of trajectories and food producer forecasts.
  • Clothing for next winter might be up 10-20 percent compared with the one (theoretically) ending.  Inflation works through the system slowly.
  • Oil on a per barrel basis seems likely to be over $100/barrel.  This would be a combination of OPEC+ cuts, stupid energy policy by the Biden regime, and baked in the cake Fed/Treasury monetary inflation plus effects of “higher for longer” the Fed’s being forced into by pernicious inflation.  Which – like pregnancy – is problematic once begun.
  • Spot shortages of electronics may be around as soon as this summer.  While new U.S. fine pitch semiconductor plants are under construction…

Among these, Taiwan Semi has already expanded its plans for the Phoenix area (TSMC to up Arizona investment to $40 billion with second semiconductor chip plant) as of January.  And the talent search is on for the massive Samsung plant at Taylor, Texas which will come to $17 billion before additions, expansions, and inflation.  This plant is near Austin, is measured in square miles, and may take up to 10-years to reach final configuration.

UNTIL these plants come online, and others like the LFAB plant in Utah and others, we are in a “risk window” that deserves some “thinking about.”

On the demand side, the supply chain is already sketchy on new products.  And on the supply side, it’s nearly impossible to “model ahead” on demand because technology changes along with economic outlooks.  Then, toss in the whole run of the political/leech class upcoming in 2024 and solid action plans are likely to be even less reliable than outlooks early in the game.

A Topology of Prepping Emerges

Very little work has been done on laying out a “tiered prepping” plan.  Upcoming on the subscriber site.  We have multiple models out and about in World; just not too many deep thinkers in the prepping community.  Which is why, after almost 25-years (in September) we have been hugely imitated. Mainly by goods marketers.

Point is topological outlooks vary by which “caste” or “tier” you plan to live in. And that’s not nearly as simple (or laden with doo-dad marketing opportunities) as lifestyles analysis, location risks, and supply analysis.

More on that in our Focus section on the PN side next Wednesday.

The Market’s Paradox

One way to think about “ahead” is to borrow a concept from language studies and consider the “split-infinitive” design.  Colloquially the most famous of which is Where no man has gone before – Wikipedia.

If you think of “the future” as a “destination” but where the routes to it are confused, disordered, and poorly understood, THEN we can assert (and plan to) and end-point without tripping out over the baby steps to get there. Boldly.

Easy if you have a warp drive.  A little harder with filthy lucre on the line.

A FASCINATING day trading gamble is shown.  In one scenario, we rally into the close today and after some follow-through early Monday (US stock market is closed tomorrow) we get creamed next week.  CPI to drive? For this to happen, though, the market must not rally any higher than recent highs.

After that, a trip down to the ascendant trend channel and that’s where we either Crater or Rally like Hell.

Headline writers are stuck with this elsewhere, too.  Bank Failures. High Inflation. Rising Rates. Is the Resilient Jobs Market About to Crack? – WSJ

Federal job numbers drop tomorrow and with no market worries (stock market closed for Good Friday, bond traders will be working for a few minutes) we expect perhaps a dialing back of joy juice.

We’ll be watching from the sidelines.  Texas Hold ‘Em ain’t our style.  Small 1-2 percent per week trades (lots of ’em!) spreads out risk and is more like KENO than investing.  Which (played seriously) might hit 50 percent per year, or more.  It’s the stress of getting there.

The good news is that all this “bank sloshing” of late (paying off Bankster greed) has driven the likely End of the Financial World several months further into 2024.  More time to prep but higher prices to do so, if you want and can live with that juxtaposition.

Steamy Thursday


As in Stormy Daniels says she doesn’t believe Trump deserves jail time over hush money payments?

Or as in China’s PLAN is steamy around Taiwan? China deploys warships near Taiwan after its president meets U.S. House speaker.

Or, as in steamed up about vaccines Anti-Vaxx Robert F. Kennedy Jr Makes Longshot 2024 Challenge to Biden.

Say, why didn’t we think of this: Facts largely ineffective in countering conspiracy theorists, research says –

ATR:  Easter Line Up

Ure’s personal game film of this week:

  • Planned dental work didn’t happen due to scheduling error.  Staff booked time for an X-ray, not two units for a rework of an old filling.
  • Prime rib was in stock at Wal-Mart again (for the holiday) but the ones we stocked up on were tiny.  Like 4.25 pounds instead of the usual 6-7 pounds.
  • Too much rain to put the belt tensioning spring back on the lawnmower.  We can wait for drier weather. Writhing like a pig in mud ain’t my thing. Meantime, though, we have a decent collection of spring-pulling tools now.
  • Buddy The Major picked up an Icom 9700 to go with his IC-7300.  Wanted to get one before supply chain issues.  I’m still on the list for an IC-7100, but that radio is on the rarium/unobtanium list either due to supply chain issues or a fire at a key plant.  Depends which rumor mill you dial up.
  • Shop work, a mile deep, looms.
  • But little sleep last night as thunderstorms rolled through most of the night. Tornado coming east.
  • And one science project is on tap:  Going to find out if baking bread with distilled water (plus a tablespoon of tap) will improve my bread.  Begun to suspect that pH 8.2 super hard water may be impinging on my work product.  Which,  says the belt, ain’t necessarily a bad thing…

If you get the day off tomorrow, enjoy.  If not?  Welcome to Reality.

Write when you get rich (or holidays off),

author avatar
George Ure
Amazon Author Page: UrbanSurvival Bio:

76 thoughts on “Job Cuts, Shortages on Horizon, Market’s Paradox”

  1. Just curious George. With A.I. replacing millions of jobs, do you worry at all about Peoplenomics? It seems that A.I. will be able to predict stock market moves and everyone will become millionaires without even trying!

    • “Skills that were once common are now performed by specialists. We seem to have all the time in the world to stare at hundreds of cooking programs on TV but how many people actually prepare three meals a day, week in, week out, month in, month out, year in, year out? How many people know how to repair anything, build anything, or maintain a machine?”
      “My direct experience is that many young people don’t know how to put air in the tires of the vehicle Mom and Dad gave them. Young people with graduate-level diplomas don’t know what a green bean plant looks like. (Eeew, gross, it grows in dirt?) The cultural value system that only values wealth, regardless of its source, and minting money from staring at screens has generated a fundamental mismatch between the skills that will be needed going forward and the skills being presented as oh-so-valuable. Yes, there are many young workers with sharp real-world skills. The question is, are there enough?”

      “Who’s going to do all the real-world work going forward? A few people talk about it as an abstraction, but it’s not an issue to everyone focused on Federal Reserve policy or GDP. But eventually, the real world will matter more than staring at screens and day-trading, because when the systems break down due to lack of truly qualified employees, we’ll all wake up. But by then it will be too late. We’ll be staring at dead screens begging for somebody somewhere to restore power so we can continue playing with ChatAI to trade zero-day options.”

      • An excellent analysis JC. Thank you for sharing.

        So many times in my career, I saw companies hire a top executive that knew “business” but did not know “the business.” A Harvard MBA does not qualify you to run a business any more than watching a cooking channel qualifies you to run a successful restaurant.

        Before I started my own businesses, I worked as VP for a company that was in the specialty chemical manufacturing and sales business. The salespeople were all paid on a commission basis and some made more than the CEO. The company thrived. The Board of Directors hired a new CEO with an MBA and a few years experience running a newspaper. He decided that the sales people were overpaid and put them on salary. I saw the inevitable and left. Within 8 years, sales went from $55 million to $15 million and after 12 years the company went out of business.

        A.I. may operate with high IQ but many businesses continue to need dirt under finger nails and SQ (social quotient) leadership to survive.

        • BIC,

          Hobart Corporation, based in Ohio, leader in commercial food equipment.

          Their WM-5 under-counter dishwasher was very popular in small diners and restaurants. In the early 80’s, bean counters took control of the company. Cost cutting measures resulted in using a cheap safety door switch, not appropriate for a commercial application.

          Result? Massive failures nationwide. Saving pennies resulted in a massive retrofit operation that included not only replacing the switch, but the entire door as well. Total financial disaster.

          It was a private family owned business at one time, but then Kraft bought it. All downhill after that.

        • “So many times in my career, I saw companies hire a top executive that knew “business” but did not know “the business.” ”

          This is why I don’t like “Indeed,” “Zip Recruiter,” or even “Monster.” These online headhunters fit a new hire into your company for you, at any level from mailroom to top-floor corner — finding you the “RIGHT person for your job.”

          My idea for the RIGHT person is the one who started somewhere between the mailroom and junior VP, and worked his(her) was up the ladder. That guy(gal) who started by sorting mail is the person who knows the business better than anyone else, including everyone in the board room.

          When you hire off a headhunter’s recommendation is when you get a corporate whore — someone who knows how to run a company, but not how to run yours, doesn’t know your employees, and probably doesn’t care to know either, because (s)he is going to be gone in a couple years when someone offers a bigger parachute than yours.

          (Do I sound like I favor internal hires? ‘Wonder why…)

        • “A Harvard MBA does not qualify you to run a business any more than watching a cooking channel qualifies you to run a successful restaurant.”

          Or read a book on how a surgical proceedure was done .. or a mechanics manual to repair a car.. I will tell you my google mechanic story sometime.. went in with a leaking brake line .. and had to get a different car.. if they don’t have grease around the finger nail they don’t have a clue..
          engineer to build a cabinet that has never held a saw..

    • Part of Goerge’s content is stock market, but the bigger part is his lifestyle content and his unique hobbies and writing of his hobbies and health content. I have no doubt most writers for CNN or other similar sites could easily be replaced by AI. Hey AI I need a 1000 word article on why we should all praise the trans-gendered and work in why Trump is racist. Probably half the content that passes for news is the exact same information from the same perspective. AI should be pretty good at that. I read George to get a unique perspective on items I might never be exposed or a slant on the news that is unique. The investment stuff is a nice addition, but like you said there are probably 10K content providers that are in that arena. But saying all that if you are in those kinds of generic fields providing content or art, you need to watch and pivot to more value add roles.

      I could probably replace most help desks tomorrow with AI systems, as they would be more efficient and telling people to do flow chart stuff and probably be less annoying to my customers while doing it.

      • Art of the Jump. AI can try but only humans are real – emo connected, at least 4 now.
        Jumps and screaming Boo!! at the right moment is a human thing, hard to reduce to algos.

        • My Comcast wires were pulled down by a passing truck and in the street. Called Comcast and AI said that to get my service working, I just needed to reboot the modem. Argh! I had to go to their store and talk of a human to get repair service. I was one angry person!

  2. RE: China and its amped-up Taiwan rhetoric:
    ?This article mentions China’s diplomatic lashing out at a cooperative strategic nuke ‘fast attack’ submarine agreement between the U.S., Australia and the UK.

    China accuses the three nations of having a ‘Cold War mentality.’ What does that really mean? Well, the U.S., Aussies and Brits are essentially following a foreign policy of ‘containment,’ which was first put forth in the 1950s by U.S.arms control ambassador Paul Nitze. Cold War containment used all instruments of power – economic, military, diplomatic – to encircle and isolate the USSR under the theory that the communist state would eventually collapse under its own internal incompetence. All NATO members fully embraced the concept. The strategy/policy of containment took over 30 years to finally achieve its goal, when the Soviet Union finally collapsed under its own enormous and unsustainable bureaucratic weight in the late summer of 1991.

    From where I sit, the West slowly began collectively migrating to a more progressive/socialist society in the 1960s, pushing the Cold War victor nations toward that very thing they feared decades ago – Marxism/communism. Russia and China kept their communist heritage intact but under the radar, so to speak, embracing enough capitalism and democratic principles to placate the West and lull the victorious collective to sleep.

    This sub deal give hope that the West is finally waking up to the clear and present global danger of a Russia/China alliance. But hope is not a winning strategy. Deliberate, unified action of all Western allies to implement a strategy against Russia and China is the only viable way forward. But China has played a smart hand. It holds much of our tech and industry production (and financial debt), embraced capitalism and is presently on the verge of becoming the global currency of choice. It’s a fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into!

    • No, No, No… Warhammer. Respectfully, the Control Group is completely fascist and Nazi based. Why do you think we are supporting Nazis in Ukraine?

      Real history revolves around the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. It was a coup d’état all conducted by the same group, and we all better stop believing in the Phony Tale.

      I have the info at my fingertips… I just wanted to know. I have gone down into the weeds and mud with this stuff. The Control Group is selling Communism as the false front. Psychological Warfare is where you win first.

      Most people do not even know who the enemy is.


      Two years after World War II, when the Office of Strategic Services became the Central Intelligence Agency, eight powerful men joined with the monarchies of Europe to control the entire foreign policy of the West. They were part of a Washington social group known as The Georgetown Set.

      In 1948, Frank Wisner Sr. took charge of the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). For the CIA’s espionage and counter-intelligence operations, he hired some very shady people.

      Immediately after World War II, the Office of Strategic Services recruited former Nazi General Reinhard Gehlen. Using the exiled white Russian aristocracy and former German intelligence officers, Gehlen eventually became the director of West German intelligence during the Cold War and set up The Gehlen Organisation.

      Frank Wisner Sr. became the liaison between the OSS and The Gehlen Organisation.

      Tom Braden, one of the former CNN commentators on the show Crossfire (former OSS) and a former member of The Georgetown Set, was a journalist working for the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird Program during that period; he once stated, “Wisner brought in a whole load of fascists after the war, some really nasty people.

      Three of The Georgetown Set sat on the Warren Commission, and another founded Area 51.

      At their quarters at a New Mexico ranch house, the conscripted Nazi scientists of Operation Paperclip carved a swastika into the flying saucer-shaped sign that hung over the front porch.

      At the newly created CIA, Frank Wisner Sr. seems to have been responsible for providing employment to many fascist mercenaries leftover from World War II. The CIA has used people like them ever since.

      One particular individual stands out during this historical period; it is the Italian financier, Licio Gelli. (

      So, let us return again to Licio Gelli of Tuscany; whose life story is part of the public record. Licio Gelli was always a committed fascist. He volunteered for Mussolini’s Black Shirt expeditionary forces and fought in Spain to support Francisco Franco while also working with the Third Reich and Hermann Göring.

      (Operation GLADIO (NATO stay behind forces) “Propaganda Due Masonic Lodge” and “Italy’s Years of Lead”; Italian false-flag terrorism by Gelli and fascists blaming Communists: See Vatican Bank and Banco Ambrosiano Scandal. All connected to Kissinger’s Operation Condor in South America.)

      (South and Central America are where the CIA constructed and worked out the bugs on the future social model. Think Death Squads and Trump Circus Courts where law is a joke, brought to you courtesy of Ted Shackley, George H. W. Bush, and the CIA.)

      After World War II, he gained notoriety by supporting the ratlines that fleeing Nazis were using to escape to South America.

      In 1951, Gelli and Croatian Roman Catholic Priest Krunoslav Draganovic helped Klaus Barbie, the “Butcher of Lyon” escape to Argentina. Klaus Barbie was himself working for the 66th Detachment of the United States Army Counter Intelligence Corps.

      As you will read, Klaus Barbie appears to have also worked with the Central Intelligence Agency while in exile in Argentina until his extradition to France in 1983.

      …CIA agent, Ted Shackley was there for it all, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cuban Project, the Bay of Pigs, the Vietnam War’s Phoenix Program, and the Iran-Contra Affair. This was probably much to Lyndon B. Johnson’s regret.

      …Nicolas Sarkozy is the son of a Hungarian Catholic father. After his father divorced his second wife, Christine de Ganay, she eventually married Frank Wisner Jr. He is the son of the founder of The Georgetown Set, who incidentally, killed himself with Frank junior’s shotgun.

      Frank Wisner Jr. was deeply involved in Barack Obama’s Arab Spring. Sedition and treason seem to be a family affair.

      • Operation Gladio.

        In 2009, 2I was walking in the hills of Vicenza, Italy.

        I noticed a plaque on an old stone wall, that my wife translated for me in English. It was in memory of two Italian priests that were stabbed to death at that very spot. All part of Operation Gladio.

        There is no record of it that I can find on the internet unfortunately.

      • I yield to you, Stu. But I stand by my belief that a frosting of democracy overlays the Nazi layered cake. It is clear that the U.S. longingly coveted Nazi science and the scientists behind the various breakthroughs, including, but not limited to:
        – V-2 rockets (Von Braun)
        – genetics and human experimentation (Mengele)
        – aviation breakthroughs by the Horton Brothers, specifically the H.IX./Ho229 flying wing, the B-2 prototype
        – acoustic torpendos
        – anti-ship missiles

        It can be argued that the 1947 National Security Act (NSA) adopted elements of the Nazi SS, creating:
        – The CIA
        – National Security Council
        – The giant tri-service DoD bureaucracy (formerly the War Department)
        – splitting the Army Air Corps from the Army to create the U.S. Air Force

        After Kennedy was assassinated, Harry Truman publicly stated he regretted signing the NSA into law, specifically lamenting the creation of the CIA. It is not coincidence that Truman made his statement coincident with JFK’s killing.

  3. RE: China and its amped-up Taiwan rhetoric:
    ?This article mentions China’s diplomatic lashing out at a cooperative strategic nuke ‘fast attack’ submarine agreement between the U.S., Australia and the UK.

    China accuses the three nations of having a ‘Cold War mentality.’ What does that really mean? Well, the U.S., Aussies and Brits are essentially following a foreign policy of ‘containment,’ which was first put forth in the 1950s by U.S.arms control ambassador Paul Nitze. Cold War containment used all instruments of power – economic, military, diplomatic – to encircle and isolate the USSR under the theory that the communist state would eventually collapse under its own internal incompetence. All NATO members fully embraced the concept. The strategy/policy of containment took over 30 years to finally achieve its goal, when the Soviet Union finally collapsed under its own enormous and unsustainable bureaucratic weight in the late summer of 1991.

    From where I sit, the West slowly began collectively migrating to a more progressive/socialist society in the 1960s, pushing the Cold War victor nations toward that very thing they feared decades ago – Marxism/communism. Russia and China kept their communist heritage intact but under the radar, so to speak, embracing enough capitalism and democratic principles to placate the West and lull the victorious collective to sleep.

    This sub deal give hope that the West is finally waking up to the clear and present global danger of a Russia/China alliance. But hope is not a winning strategy. Deliberate, unified action of all Western allies to implement a strategy against Russia and China is the only viable way forward. But China has played a smart hand. It holds much of our tech and industry production (and financial debt), embraced capitalism and is presently on the verge of becoming the global currency of choice. It’s a fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into!

  4. George
    I get to replace an upstairs Heat Pump Unit.
    Going now for about $5600 installed and going from 1.5ton to 2.0ton.
    This is a balancing act. Higher capacity will run shorter time to set point. BUT will it run long enough to dehumidify the space.
    I think we can go that far.
    The higher capacity will mean the downstairs in the basement (2,5 ton) will run less as well because the cold air will settle downward through the house and keep that set point satisfied longer too.
    But the question then is, both units were installed together, and have a 10 year warrantee, which is about exhausted. The downstairs unit will probably go up to another $10K. I am thinking I need to replace it as well, if I can scrape up the cash. A concern is to replace it While I Still Can.
    Art are you reading this?

    • You will find the mfgr. was really actuarially close to lifespan. Most manufacturers, even the American ones, use Chinese bits now (my A/C compressor used an American motor with a Chinese starter capacitor.) The idea is for the unit to shit itself every other year, on the hottest day of the year, until the homeowner gets frustrated and springs for a whole new HVAC system. The manufacturer “retires” part numbers every few years, just in case the homeowner doesn’t open his checkbook: “Sorry sir, I can’t fix it. I can no longer get spare parts for that unit. Would you like to go with a new one? If so, let me know within the next couple of days, so we can get you on the schedule before the end of the month. The manufacturer is having a sale right now, and the boss will let me cut you a deal, but only ’till the end of the month…”

      IOW: $4000 sale, for a $40 capacitor, of which Surplus Sales has 5000 on its shelf & ready for overnight delivery.

      • This is the proverbial “Waste As Growth” model..the “throw away” economy filling the landfills is leading right into Commodity Shortages – which will only get Worse or increase in frequency..

        I have seen the enemy,and it is “Them” “They” ..da bloodsuckas of davos. Hows the move of US manufacturing to Chynah been working out 4 youse porcine producers of profitsandloses ?
        yeah yeah we export a lil pollution and import a lot of trash(chykneesium) – curious algebra that.
        As One of my favorite pointy eared peeps is famous for saying “Life and Death are seldom logical,but attaining a desired goal is.” -Spock

        – Roj

      • “The manufacturer “retires” part numbers every few years, just in case the homeowner doesn’t open his checkbook: “Sorry sir, I can’t fix it. ”

        that is exactly what happened to us.. they came out said I am sorry we aren’t able to get the parts.. you have to put in a whole new system.. and the cost of the whole new system and ducting.. was twenty grand…
        the other issue.. is getting someone to come out.. HVAC technicians will not come out to do repairs.. plumbers will not come out and do repairs.. getting someone to come out is almost in impossibility.. you can get them to come out and give you a bid.. fifty dollars and mileage.. then you get the .. we are really busy.. it will be a couple days.. they just never mention which couple days.. it took four years to get someone to come out and look at the furnace control board. The problem is.. there is to much new construction going on.. they only want new installs. it won’t flip over until new housing slows down. I have told all the grand kids.. get you education in the field.. pick one plumbing and air conditioning is my pet peave.. then .. sell service contracts.. ten bucks a month you’ll be there in fourty eight hours.. they get thirty percent discount on parts or labor.. ( then just raise the cost of parts thirty percent) easily in the wastelands you would get a thousand people to sign up in a heartbeat.. getting someone to repair something is next to impossible.. they will do new install just not repair..
        My MAYTAG story..
        I bought the top of the line professional dishwasher.. I paid fourteen hundred for it.. but I bought it from a big box store.. they delivered it installed it and left..
        the thing leaked.. called them.. you need to call the company for the company warranty blah blah blah.. Now.. Maytag doesn’t have a service rep anywhere close in the wastelands.. they got someone from 350 miles away to come.. oh it is the four dollar gasket.. they didn’t put one in at the factory.. he didn’t have one.. so he had to drive back.. ordered it.. and three weeks later made atrip back to put it in.. a month later.. the circuit board goes out.. this time the guy from the big city said.. no way Jose…so they venture out.. get someone from Chicago.. he drives out.. its the circuit board.. it takes three months before he returns to install it.. three months later that circuit board burns out.. after a year.. they just gave me my money back
        Now.. I only go to one place to get my appliances.. and they handle all the service work. the companies don’t even send a guy out because of cost.. they just replace it instantly no matter what is wrong..

    • Al, I suggest you find out who sells American-made HVAC units in your area (there are about eight heating & air conditioning companies, most of whom you haven’t heard, which are All-American (I’m including Carrier, which is American for some, but not for others.) Then weight your vendor/installer selection by honesty, or long-term satisfaction. I walked out nearly 200 miles to give myself a reasonable selection of potential installers (yes LOOB, you’re not the only one who lives in the boonies!) but haven’t pulled the trigger because I’ve been able to zone with window units and save money.

      After you locate the vendor and the product, make a note of things like starter capacitors and (if you go with a hydrostatic filter or some such gizmo) the filter elements, jot down the part numbers, then find out exactly what they are. Once you’ve done that, bookmark Surplus Center, and Surplus Sales of Nebraska (they’re both in the “big list of links” I supplied to George’s UltraMake website.) Purchase spares (or not) as you desire, but keep them in mind, because one or t’other is likely to have spare bits for your purchase, long after the manufacturer has “retired” the part numbers…

      Window A/Cs are different. The last window A/C unit I bought was a Danby. I bought it specifically because it’s a top-shelf brand, and Danby is the only N.A. manufacturer of window air conditioners (they’re Canadian, although they have a factory/outlet/service center in Findlay? Ohio.) They migrated their manufacturing to China several years ago, then migrated it back to N.A. when they got a taste of Chinese “business practices.” They built a factory in Mexico for air conditioners and, humidifiers & dehumidifiers, but are now migrating these back to Canada and Ohio, and their refrigerators back from China to Mexico…)

      • its similar to AED’s.. every couple of years they change the shape or size of the box.. then quit selling the three hundred dollar batteries. the batteries even though they don’t get used have a count down chip in them..
        the HVAC shops around here.. don’t want to repair them.. there is to much new construction going on.. you can only get them to come out and give you a bid.. fixing the problem.. like the Maytag corporation they don’t have repairmen to service their products.. you have to buy from a company that services what they sell.. or its toss away buy new..
        We had an electrolux front load washing machine.. top of the line.. I bought it from a company that services what they sell.. but I didn’t buy the top of the line extended warranty.. it was more than I could afford..( I thought ) eleven months.. I either had a screw or a dime penny whatever get into the pump.. stopped the pump impellar.. to get the company to come out and service it.. the cost to me would be just shy a grand.. it was one week past the company service plan..
        I tell all the kids.. learn to do it.. become an appliance service tech.. a plumber or hvac.. then sell service contracts for ten bucks a month, they will have thousand people sign up in less than a week.. a medical clinic did that when the hospitals were playing physician rhoulette the hospitals seeing a drop in business bought them out…. this is a real problem here .. unitl the plumbers are scaping for business they will not do repairs. my old boss lives in a mansion.. anyway they had the same thing.. they did get someone out to cut a hole in their ceiling and stop a leak.. but after six months they couldn’t get them or anyone to come fix it.. I am on six years now waiting on a plumber that was going to put in a new wheel chair accessible shower stall or a walk in tub to actually show up.. I quit calling about four years ago.. see it will be a couple days..
        my grandson is an engineer for housing.. he says they are finishing a house every three days.. million dollar homes to not the cheap regular homes..
        Now because of the cost of sending out a service technician.. after I had the top of the line maytag and they just gave me my money back.. I had bought the cheapest on the line.. so far they have replaced it four times.. the cheaper circuit boards burn out before the extended warranty goes out.. the one I have now is only two years old and the circuit board is acting up.. rather than switch the board and send a guy out.. they just bring out a new unit rather than do repairs..

  5. What I have been hours are being cut by the we live from paycheck to paycheck crowd.. no extra hours or pay

  6. China could setup a blockade so NATO has to do a Taipei airlift. An endless jet loop from SORK then the Saudis cut production again.

    Over a month from Iran being ’12 days away’.

    • 1. I generally disagree and point out that Amazon is simply filling its niche.

      2. Very little of Amazon is “new” because in many ways (as we have written over the years” what Amazon has done is very similar to what Sears Roebuck did. Granted, live body pick, but main order distribution is a time honored cornerstone of Americana since th3 1800’s. Amazon simply got there first marrying online with existing delivery channels.

      3. Recall government at the birth of the republic was insignificantly small. No? Government spending in the United States was last recorded at 37.0 percent of GDP in 2022, according to initial estimates. source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

      4. The main book, going deeper is The Diffusion of Innovation (Everett Rogers)
      This is a dated article (2021) and ignores the fact that Amazon will change and evolve as Asia sourcing changes, declines. It’s a whine about someone else’s success. We’ve written a good deal on topic and about the Amazon v. Wal-Mart battle on the subscriber side.

      To your point: Typically, people are quick to judge and offer criticism of Amazon or any other large disruptive economically impacting enterprise. Amazon is what it purports (good prices, fast delivery, excellent customer service). Other innovators (like Bitcoin) are not. E.G. they are not “money” in the “legal tender for all debts public and private” way. All subject to change over time.

      I tend to watch new companies come and grow. I bought my first Amazon goods in about 1990, or so. 2005 adopter of Prime, as well.

      Any other retailer could push back on Amazon with the right mix of assets – which Wal-Mart has.

      For now, Amazon prevails because their entry into air cargo was fully rationalized by delivery and supply chain demands.

      As for it being a predatory monster? No more so than Microsoft, Apple, or the US Government, for that matter. The consumer picks the animal for the fight. The predators – which tend to win at disproportionately higher rates than junior and incompetence competition, are usually the safer bets.

      That said, were all things equal (they are not) I WOULD spend less money on Amazon and more somewhere else, if the challenger was staying “in their lane” and providing ONLY goods and services. I grew up on the edge of “the ghetto” in Seattle. I don’t need Amazon’s DEI woke and racial policies reducing customer savings and shareholder values in a direct way.

      When I shop for goods, politics and causes be damned, it’s a supply chain decision on my part. Price and availability.

      Mush-Minded People today want to make everything about “unrelated issues” – like your article. Amazon may be successful and that WILL scare people. But would I trust them for keen social and political insight? Hell no. But that’s not what I’m shopping for.

      • Thanks for your reply George. I can agree with some of your points but one area where we are different is when I am shopping for goods I do care about politics and causes. I try very hard not to give my money to companies that support causes that I don’t approve of. Gets hard to do though as there are more huge monopolies out there.

        I will also spend more on a product if it will help a local business.

        Thanks again for your well reasoned response.

        • The temptation is to confuse politics and causes with physical goods. I will, at every chance, buy a nonpoliticized company’s goods, or one that isn’t spreading a social agenda or an equal purchase that IS. I won’t read the socialist NY Times anymore, for example, since they jumped the shark with their 1619 revisionist history and have yet to be held to account.

          Ditto, we see the attack starting today on Clarence Thomas (for having rich friends) as being the next yellow journo attack on the high court. Inuendo and inference but no legal allegations – the protypical leftwing smear campaign. Facts don’t matter to em. Just the agenda.

        • Scott, I always shop local first. With that said, I shop Amazon daily, but I will find what I’m after, then search alternative sources, and the manufacturer/marketer, to see if anyone can come close to beating Amazon’s [price+shipping] total dip out of my wallet. If the mfgr/mktr is cheaper, I buy it; if someone else is cheaper, I research their reliability as a vendor, and if it’s good, I buy from them. Amazon will be significantly cheaper, 50% of the time and significantly more-expensive, 30% of the time, hence, they end up with my business about 70% of the time — usually for stuff my local stores should carry (or say they carry), but don’t.

          I don’t like Amazon’s (or Bezos’) politics or many of their policies, but I’m not going to punish myself because a majority of Amazon’s Board are bloomin’ fools or groomin’ idiots.

          I’m not buying their politics…

        • Went to 3 hardware stores to find replacement wheels for my kitchen island. Zilch! 10 minutes on Amazon, found what I needed and they were on the way.

          At 85 years old it is so much easier for me to shop Amazon than drag my old body around a store trying to find an item, plus I have to ride the bus to do so. I consider Amazon a life saver for me.

        • BUT we *as a senior who also shops Amazon* don’t figure we need radial “months” jammed on us.
          Just the goods, please. I mean, that is the business, right? Not to be a woke- agenda, earning dilution machine?

      • “When I shop for goods, politics and causes be damned, it’s a supply chain decision on my part. Price and availability.”

        That is why I shop on eBay first. Comparative pricing from many suppliers in many locations. I only go to Amazon as a second choice. Most times I can beat Amazon pricing by going to eBay.

        • Not to argue with a (code impaired) brother Ham, but the majority of deals on eBay lately seem to be Amazon resellers on the cheap who get product and fulfilled by the Zon – at similar price and delivery. Could just be that’s from shopping power tools, though

        • “but the majority of deals on eBay lately seem to be Amazon resellers on the cheap who get product and fulfilled by the Zon”

          People multiple-list and sell off an Amazon storefront. They can do this by stating in their eBay (Craigslist, Kijiji, Mercari, etc.) listing that the item they’re selling is being advertised for sale elsewhere, too. The ones who really annoy me are those assholes who build a listing on a drop-ship.

      • exactly G…. Amazon is a huge drop shipper for multiple smaller companies.. like stocking a shelf.. small companies have drop shippers.. they buy the product then distribute it to the stores.. the more products you can supply and the better those products are kept in stock.. the shelf space widens.. if you quit stocking the shelves they relocate and shorten the shelf space .. to make way for industries that can supply the products to fill that space.
        take Snapple and 7-up great products.. but the store chains cannot acquire the products.. both of them that once commanded shelf space are now in a one or two space spot in an area of the shelfs that gets little or no attention..
        the alcohol the company sells is what they push.. and they still have a good spot on the shelves.. its all in the business model.

    • symbols will be their down fall,,, look at AMAZON’s logo, that ain’t no arrow, it is a man’s ,,, they want to shove it in ure AZO, I treat Amazon like an ex, I want to forget, no more money for u, ex,,,
      had my fill of bozos the clowns
      Wow , even your link says it, I just notice as I glanced through,, I never read this before, but it was obvious,,, to my eyes.
      “Even its logo resembling an upturned penis resembles a smile letting people know it is their friend.”

      Amazon is a great idea, like Sears, Roebuck and Co, but built a better E-commerce platform. It is the evil ownership, I must not help them.

    • Disagree:

      Wal-Mart was the EVIL that destroyed the locally owned small town stores starting long before Amazon even had a business plan let alone sold a single book.

      A more efficient retailing method has always been a way to seize the retailing dollars. Look at the rise of Shopping Malls and Strip Centers replacing downtowns during the 1950’s through 1980’s. Massive changes in WHERE and HOW people bought their more specialized merchandise. Wal-Mart then came along took care of the general merchandise arena as it replaced the various sundry stores (Five and Dimes) with a more efficient model.

      Amazon just replicated Sears & Roebuck with their direct sales model of the 1890’s just updating the catalogue to an internet interface vs a HUGE paper catalogue and then adding the wrinkle of their own distribution network which wasn’t new since it was what Sears had already been doing in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

      The US consumer has always been a fickle beast. Huge buying power … but willing to redirect their dollars on short notice if somebody is selling the same product at a cheaper price or at the same price but with a faster delivery time (or more convenient delivery). That is why the history of retail is littered with a grave yard of formerly BIG names (WT Grant, Kresge – which closed it’s department stores but kept the smaller discount chain, Gold Circle, numerous large NY City retailers, multiple Department Stores such as Shottenstein’s, Kaufman’s, Goldwaters, Jacobson’s, JL Hudson, Higbee’s) … I could go on and on listing now defunct formerly HUGE retailing entities but here is a list of HUNDREDS of multi location LARGE retail chains that no longer exist … most going out of business after WW2 but BEFORE Amazon came along:

      As to what the retailing giant’s owner does with the money they make … that has always been THEIR choice and in that industry those owners have often engaged in political activity, often spending into the many Millions and even sometimes reaching into the BILLION$. Just the nature of the retailing beast and the strong willed type of people who are successful in that business.

      • Amazon provides marketing and transport for the smaller retailers and manufacturing that the Sears and Wally World business models once wrecked. eBay provides markets for the still smaller vendors and garage-scale manufacturing. This has reestablished some level of economic efficiency to business segments that the giant corporate brown shirt retail monopolies have goose-stepped into near extinction.
        Amazon and eBay are both at the mercy of fuel availability and prices, along with national communication infrastructure, the same as their competition. I would like to see regional competition spring up. I want to see more Amazon’s and eBay’s in fly-over land, not less.

  7. “Ure has turned over a new leaf: shorter reports.”

    Sounds like Déjà vu all over again. -Yogi Berra

  8. 10:18am
    “Fed’s Bullard downplays concern over financial stress on economy.”

    See how simple it is? No matter how serious a problem is, just “downplay” it and everything will be ok!

    Monty Python and The Holy Grail.
    Remember the Black Knight?
    He knew how to downplay it.

  9. Regarding those chip plants planned for Arizona, if they are relying on water from the Colorado river they may find them to be over before they begin production.

    • Desal plant proposed at the north end of the Sea of Cortez by a French company who will fund it all. Cool six billion per plant. Two hundred mile pipeline to Maricopa County. Effectively ends all need for water from the Colorado. Sure, the water may be more expensive, but at least they will have some.

      • When the US was fighting Mexico in the 1840’s and seizing it’s land it made a HUGE mistake (if you don’t care about morality … but heck was stealing California, New Mexico, and Arizona away from Mexico moral?).

        The US while on it’s bent of CONQUEST and LAND ACQUISITION it failed to move the US border 70 miles south and seize the mouth of the Colorado River from Mexico … a place where the US could have put a Pacific Ocean Port!! that was EAST of the Coastal Mountains of California.

        Of course that was in the days BEFORE railroads got going and nobody saw much value to the deserts of the Southwest, never thought anybody but Indians would live there, so the country (ie: DC politicians) didn’t care about the fact that they were giving up the potential for a Pacific Ocean Port EAST of California.

        What happened later when the US was building the Transcontinental Railroads was that the ONLY potential rail passage through the California coastal range into the beautiful natural port of San Diego ended up being in Mexico, and not by just a mile or two (the Pacific Coast has very very few natural harbors, unlike the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico Coast so getting the natural harbor at San Diego was getting a GEM).

        VOILA by not seizing that land in addition to NOT having a Pacific Ocean Port in Arizona the US also ended up NOT having a direct working railroad from the US to the natural harbor in San Diego – instead one must go into the LA basin and then go South along the coast.

        A railroad was eventually built across Arizona that went direct to San Diego … but via Mexico. With all the problems of crossing the border a couple of times, the Mexican Central Government putting all sorts of obstacles in the way of it being built and then operating, and Mexico’s Socialist mindset wrt building and maintaining the trackage and crewing the trains, it became a nightmare. It was both poorly built and then ran only sporatically before it totally stopped carrying cargo and passengers about 40 – 50 years ago after only very limited off and on service for the many years after it was built.

        Of course if the US had seized Mexican Land all the way to the mouth of the Colorado River (about 60 miles south of where it is today in Yuma Arizona) it would have cut off the Baja Peninsula from Mexico so that too may have become part of the US (again the US saw NO benefit to having the Baja Peninsula, another piece of desert wasteland).

        AH … to think how the development of the US would have been radically different if it had a Pacific Ocean Port in southern Arizona at the mouth of the Colorado River … AND a working first class railroad along the southern tier of the US direct into the Port of San Diego bypassing the railroad choke points further north.

  10. A copy of Satoshi Nakomoto’s original ‘bitcoin manifesto’ has been hidden in every modern version of Apple’s operating system since 2018. [ Discovered by accident.]
    – Why?

    • Coin of da REALM..G -eniuses.

      Like poor Gadot, we’ll keep the lights on, waiting on youse all to get up to speed.

      Nerp – times up , moving on…maybe you can pick up some shatoshi’s on da sly, and no one will be the wiser..except for everybody doing on-chain analysis..

      Up On Ripple creek, she sends me
      If I spring a leak, she mends me
      I dont have to speak, she defends me
      A bankers dream if I ever did see one.

  11. Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas may have just stepped into a heaping, steaming pile…,
    – This could get nasty real fast.

    • Just the long awaited attack on the Court to let Joe have a shot at packing because they can’t lie their way into a court expansion.
      Lefty’s ought to be lining up to take Thomas’ spot. He’s Black and hangs with rich Whites. Ergo, he must be sacrificed to the socialist mob.
      What chickenshit logic.
      There’s not the least whiff of influence on a specific case. Just playing the richg White shame and laying it on the Black man. Racism – it’s the demagogue game!

      • Yep – they have been waiting in the wings with the hot tar and feathers for a couple of years now. The push to force Thomas to resign, I think, will be epic.

  12. Based on Rick’s comment above, I realized that I have not checked-in on Lake Mead & Lake Powell in a while.., here ya go…….,
    As of Monday, Lake Mead’s water level was at 1,045.91 feet above sea level, almost 3 feet above the level of 1,043.06 feet predicted in the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s “Most Probable 24-Month Study,” released at the start of March,
    However, based on the projections for April, the lake’s water levels are forecast to fall to around 1,036 feet above sea level by the end of April. This would break the lake’s previous record lowest water level of 1,040.71 feet above sea level, which occurred in late July 2022.
    Lake Mead provides essential water for drinking and agriculture for around 25 million people across the U.S. southwest.
    Bureau of Reclamation study published in January predicted that Lake Mead’s water levels could reach unprecedented lows in 2023, dropping as low as 1,024.47 feet by November.
    Lake Mead’s dead pool levels are 895 feet above sea level, but power generation may cease at 950 feet, according to the National Parks service. Which provides electrical power for around 2 million.
    Lake Mead’s water levels have been forecast to drop as low as 992 feet by the end of July 2024, with experts predicting that dead pool may be reached by the end of 2024.
    – One ‘scientist’ stated that this is the worst drought in the region in 1,200 years. I have not seen that number before – so I take that with a shot of bourbon. It is the worst drought in a long time., but 1,200 years? Hhhmmm….,
    – Snow pack in the Rockies, which feeds the Colorado River is currently 20% above normal. Nothing fantastical., but at least – beneficial.

  13. G -have You got the fever?

    The full moon, night sweats, freight train running thru the middle of Ure head fever?

    ..the clock on the wall says 2 o’clock, last call 4 Portal Opening.

    ..ya gotz less than a 60 minutes..if in you know where to look.
    Darker than dark, like the world ends into that lil black “hole” – tonight’s the night if you want to travel great distances in “No Time”.
    Not sure where to look – ask a teacher from a mystery school..thye know..or look within Ureself, hard 4 U 2 know what has been forgotten, till U look and ask.

    • Maundy Thursday
      mandate, in English,
      Today’s my daughter’s b’day and mine as well,
      Have a happy Easter weekend
      pre-sliced boneless honey glazed ham for Good Friday,
      tacos tonight, with salad &cake.

  14. IC-7100. Receiver Type:
    “Triple conversion superheterodyne”
    The pinnacle of analog ‘wave twisters’. Old technology.
    When are you going to get an IC-7300 with direct RF digitization, slice & dice Software Defined Radio with no analog artifacts? State of the art, my friend. Try it. (If you can still get it) You’ll like it.

  15. The Fed should keep raising rates as overblown credit fears make a recession unlikely, Fed President Bullard says.
    The Fed should remain focused on bringing inflation back to 2%, as it will become more difficult to handle if not addressed.

  16. Every day now – it seems to be great worse each time;
    – Israeli planes struck targets in the Gaza Strip overnight after Hamas fired at least 16 rockets into Israel. The latest conflict began on the Temple Mount in the heart of Jerusalem.
    Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system knocked down the rockets while Israel struck at Hamas’s rocket manufacturing sites inside Gaza. Hamas fired the rockets after Palestinians rioted on the Temple Mount and in some streets outside Jerusalem’s Old City.

    • the scary part for me.. is there is nothing new in the news.. the stories being displayed are over a week old now..

    • “Tucker Carlson Sounds Alarm Over De-Dollarization, Slams Biden Admin For Pissing Off World”

      With our military being directed by the oligarch string pullers that own our politicians.. and our activities over in their countries..
      The Biden administration just pushed the envelope.. just go back through the Obama administration and how many countries had started to switch alliances and sign agreements with the Russian and Chinese Govt. they were flocking over to them…. as bought and paid for politicians that are being trafficked because of their greed. all Biden do is consider the business model and following what they want from him to gain the number..
      I believe that is why you never hear anything being said from either side about the corruption allegations of the family business.. they are all in bed with it. and lets face it.. you don’t bite the one that feeds you.

    • Now during the Trump administration.. the rush to switch changed and slowed down considerably because he wasn’t bought.. was he doing what he was doing for profit more than likely its always about the business model.. but he wasn’t following the destructive path we were on.

      • “was he doing what he was doing for profit more than likely”

        You DO realize he was the first President since Washington to leave office poorer than when he became Prez, right?

  17. Putin explains cause of tensions with US

    “I cannot but say today that the US use of such foreign policy tools as ‘color revolutions’, and support in this regard for the coup d’état in Kiev in 2014, ultimately led to the current Ukrainian crisis and made an additional contribution to the degradation of Russian-American relations,” Putin said.

    Moscow has repeatedly pointed to the Western-backed Maidan as the root cause of the turmoil in Ukraine. Officials believe it created a threat to Russia’s security. Speaking at an event in November 2022, Putin said that “none of this would have happened” if not for the events in the winter of 2013-2014.

    The violent overthrow of a democratically elected government, ‘midwifed’ by US diplomat Victoria Nuland and then vice-president Joe Biden, brought to power anti-Russian nationalists and gave Washington “total control” of Ukraine, according to the Russian president.

    • Ignored in 100% of all Western “news” “media” including such “conservative bastions” as FoxNews, NewsMax, and OAN (with the single occasional exception of Tucker Carlson):

      This is 100% accurate, based on what I read and saw happening in Ukraine and in Greater Kiev, between 2009 and 2014.

      Putin names Nuland, but does not name Soros. Nevertheless, if’fn Soreass were to venture into Russian territory, it is incredibly likely he would die in a Siberian gulag. I believe, if they no longer have them, Mr. Putin would have one outfitted specifically for that S.O.B. – enemy of all people.

      Russia actually has an arrest warrant out on Vichy, but they suspended it for her offishul “State visit” some months back. Seeing those two as cellmates would be wonderful for the entire world, although very few would understand why…

  18. US Air Force to allow obese recruits – media

    The US Air Force has reportedly opted to help ease its recruiting struggles by allowing fatter Americans to join the military branch, making potentially millions of obese young people eligible to enlist.

    • Ah, a branch of the Service, specifically for lardasses. Once Tom Cruise gains 90 pounds, he’ll be able to do “Top Gun 3” ;-)

      • why not.. there is enough canned footage that heck he probably wouldn’t need to even show up or say a line..

  19. Caitlyn Jenner starts PAC to oppose ‘radical gender ideology,’ biological men in women’s sports

    Olympian, Republican and transgender Caitlyn Jenner announced the start of a political action committee to support parents and children “rejecting radical gender ideology” – including that biological men can compete against women in sports. On Tuesday, Jenner, a 2021 California GOP gubernatorial candidate, announced the start if the Fairness First PAC. “We will continue all aspects of protecting women in sports and put our parents back in charge of their child’s education!”

  20. How ’bout a little Russia and China news, from RT…

    China issues warning to US and NATO over Ukraine

    On Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned China to curtail its “growing alignment” with Moscow, accusing Beijing of “prop[ping] up Russia’s economy” and “refus[ing] to condemn Russia’s aggression.”

    China’s response:

    NATO, not China, is responsible for the crisis in Ukraine and has no moral standing from which to criticize Beijing, foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said during a press conference on Thursday. “The US and the military bloc of NATO shoulder unshirkable responsibilities on the Ukraine crisis,” Mao continued, arguing that NATO “is in no position to criticize or pressure China” to take its side.

    Mexico turns to China for assistance

    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has called on Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help crack down on fentanyl trafficking amid “deceitful and irresponsible” claims by US officials that Mexico is to blame for Washington’s drug crisis. “Unjustly, they are blaming us for problems that in large measure have to do with their loss of values, their welfare crisis,” Lopez Obrador wrote to Xi in a March 22 letter that he revealed to reporters on Tuesday. “These positions are in themselves a lack of respect and a threat to our sovereignty, and moreover they are based on an absurd, manipulative, propagandistic and demagogic attitude.”

    China is winning the diplomatic struggle against the US

    The past few weeks have seen a comprehensive show of diplomatic force by China. Shortly after Xi Jinping completed a successful trip to Moscow, where he met with Vladimir Putin, Beijing announced it had brokered a deal to normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The breakthrough was widely regarded as a blow to US influence in the Middle East. Then China persuaded Honduras to switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing, and now high-ranking Western politicians and EU officials, including French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and the prime minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, are piling in to visit Beijing.

    US ally welcomes Russian Navy frigate

    Russian Navy ships have paid a visit to Saudi Arabia for the first time in around a decade, the Russian military said on Wednesday. In late March, the detachment, which consists of the frigate Admiral Gorshkov and the medium sea tanker Kama, dropped anchor off the coast of the East African nation of Djibouti. According to a statement released by Russia’s Western Military District, the two vessels “made a working visit to the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.”

    Newest NATO member’s government resigns

    Finnish President Sauli Niinisto has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Sanna Marin just days after the country became the 31st member of NATO, the president’s office has announced. Marin submitted her request to step down during a meeting with Niinisto at the Mantyniemi presidential residence in Helsinki on Thursday. The president asked her to continue in a caretaker role until a new government is formed, the statement read.

    Just in case someone was so-engrossed while considering our loss of reserve-currency status, they failed to consider the politics of Russian and Chinese diplomacy…

    • In case nobody noticed it, the U.S. is being dealt out of foreign policy and policy negotiations, worldwide.

      There are exactly three reasons for that, and none involve either Russia or China. The reasons are:

      1) Our pullout from Afghanistan, leaving at least 281,000 people behind, to die at the hands of the Taliban.

      2) President Biden’s blatantly obvious inability to fulfill the office to which he’s been installed, his inability to lead, with respect to anything, and his exceptionally poor judgement.

      3) The arrest of the principal challenger to Mr. Biden’s rule as President, Chief Executive, and CiC.

      While we’re incredibly stupid and imperceptive, in general, the rest of the world sees that we’ve descended to the level of Middle Eastern and Central American pocket-dictatorships, and accordingly, are now unreliable as either a military or trade partner, and as soon as a new financial infrastructure is in place, will cease having what has been a viable trade vehicle since 1918.

      Suddenly Joni Mitchell is in me head:

      Don’t it always seem to go
      That you don’t know what you’ve got
      Till it’s gone

      This will be us, in less than five years, assuming we don’t blow ourselves (and everybody else) up in the interim…

  21. BREAKING: White House says there should be no age limit on child sex changes—up to child, parents to decide

    During a White House press conference on Wednesday, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was questioned on what age Biden thinks medicalized gender transitions are appropriate for minors, to which she said that it was up to the “child and their parents to decide.”

    It seems to me, since children of any age are now responsible enough to elect to have irreversible, sterilizing sexual mutilation done to their own bodies, in many cases and places without parental permission (or even notification), they are now responsible enough to own and carry firearms, drive automobiles, smoke tobacco, and consume intoxicants.

    I would personally like to see State legislatures from Idaho to Florida introduce bills to this effect. Have y’all seen the movie “The Kingsmen?” I can close my eyes and hear Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance,” just thinking about it…

  22. Re: Paradox Refresh
    feat. Ctrl + F5


    Here’s some food for thought if anyone is putting together a future Bureau director cut. A woman flees a St. Petersburg cafe after a black-hatted statue she was allegedly patsied to deliver detonates. She takes refuge in the apartment of a mother of her husband’s former classmate where she is apprehended by authorities. Perhaps the classmate shares credit of the Russian short film “Cry Havoc”. Meanwhile across the ocean a twin-monikered Russian speaker registers the film name llc on 5/2/22 to a residential address situated in an east Seattle suburb twice featured in this fine publication. However their keyboard works not for journalism but linked in as one “bringing order from chaos”. On Thursday the SEC website was updated with a 13G form reflecting that Blackrock had bought 10.6% of the company shares last week.

    Now let us rejoin with Bard coverage of a watershed moment in a dictator-for-life vignette:

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