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We assume that, because we were allowed to vote for our leader, he must actually be our leader.

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION

Consumer sentiment, a gauge of Americans’ economic perceptions, is at a six-month low, according to a closely watched index by the University of Michigan.

Tags: CONSUMER RIGHTS / PRODUCT REPORTS, CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY

Today, the world is dominated by ultra-powerful governments, ultra-powerful banks and ultra-powerful corporations.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION

Remember all the collusion stories we wrote about the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its efforts to control free speech through social media infiltration?

Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET/AI, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION

There’s no effort to track patterns. Even if there were, finding where a gun was originally purchased is only useful, at best, in a handful of cases.

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS

As the political climate heats up surrounding gun control and legislation, more Americans are buying firearms today than six years ago.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS

The net result is America’s working class is up against the wall, maxed out: whatever lines of credit that were available have been tapped (credit cards, “buy now, pay later” credit, etc.)…

Tags: CONSUMER RIGHTS / PRODUCT REPORTS, CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY

Historic inflation is causing declining living standards and a cost-of-living crisis. Under Biden’s presidency, grocery prices have increased by nearly one-third and gas has risen by 50…

Tags: CONSUMER RIGHTS / PRODUCT REPORTS, CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION

From this standpoint, America’s National Debt challenge constitutes a political iron cage for Democrat and Republican legislators alike.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION

I never imagined that we would ever see a time when it takes $177,798 for a family of four to live comfortably in the United States.  Unfortunately, that day has arrived.  Our leaders…

Tags: CONSUMER RIGHTS / PRODUCT REPORTS, CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION

Two Chicago men, Kawann Moore and Richard Pegue, face multiple charges after stealing chainsaws from a truck and leading police on a high-speed chase through the suburbs.

Tags: RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS

Maybe we should rephrase the slogan to you’ll appear to own things you don’t actually control and be happy. Does that generate the…

Tags: CONSUMER RIGHTS / PRODUCT REPORTS, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP

Under Biden, gun control has been an issue since before he was sworn into office in 2021.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS

They knew what we are experiencing today was inevitable. That government naturally evolves to seek unbridled growth and total power over the people.

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION

The Environmental Partnership Association (EPA) is seeking votes from the public to help them select the winner of the European Tree of the Year competition 2019.

Tags: GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, HIDDEN HISTORY, SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA

In today's world, we are well aware of the dangers of radium and the deadly dangers of radiation. But there was a time when radium was revered as a wonder substance that was believed to have…

Tags: GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, HIDDEN HISTORY, SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA

Embark on a journey through the transformative landscape of World War II, where ingenuity and innovation reshaped the course of history.

Tags: GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, HIDDEN HISTORY, SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES

The Victorian era was a time of contradictory ideals: they covered themselves fully but considered the female figure attractive, they were obsessed with cleanliness but practically lived in…

Tags: ASIA, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, HIDDEN HISTORY, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA

 The Imperial Shrine of Yasukuni in Chiyoda, Tokyo, is a beautiful spiritual place to remember those who died in the service of Japan. About 24 lakh men, women, children and even…

Tags: ASIA, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, JAPAN, KOREA, SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS

The animal kingdom is a vast and diverse group of creatures, many of which we will never get a chance to see up close. Thankfully, we have plenty of photos of the world's strangest animals…

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One-time outlaw Francisco "Pancho" Villa became one of the most famous generals of the Mexican Revolution and earned a reputation as a champion of the underprivileged.
 

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Step into a captivating journey through the annals of history, where we explore the most unique and surprising stories left behind by time.

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This unusual-looking gun, now on display in the Museum of Mourning Arts at Arlington Cemetery, once kept body snatchers away from cemetery grounds and discouraged them from digging up bodies…

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In the post-World War II era, the automotive industry was a center of innovation and opportunity.

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Marine lovers and shark lovers, welcome to the captivating realm of these magnificent marine predators!

Tags: ASIA, HIDDEN HISTORY, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE, SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA

Take off your shoes and step back to an era when resilience was forged in the furnace of hardship and character was defined by unwavering values.

Tags: ASIA, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, HIDDEN HISTORY, SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA

Perceptions of the collective group we know as 'Vikings' have changed significantly over the course of history, evolving from romantic figures of exploration and conquest in the 18th and…

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This captivating collection of color photographs provides a glimpse of daily life in Budapest between 1939 and 1944.
 

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If you listen carefully to the voice of history, echoes of despair echo from the abandoned corridors of abandoned institutions, where debt-laden souls were mercilessly put into cold prisons…

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 Step into the musical time machine and embark on a whimsical adventure through the fantastical world of one-hit wonders of the 1960s and 1970s.

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 Few things are as gratifying as a trip down memory lane – and it's even better when you find something you hadn't noticed before. Because as Ferris Bueller said – life moves too fast…

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 English inventor Sir Henry Bessemer, famous for his groundbreaking steelmaking process, which still bears his name, once lamented, "Few men suffer more seriously from seasickness than…

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More than a century ago, in the middle of bustling Hollywood Boulevard, a man with a dream and a passion for shoes opened a small, unassuming shop. Salvatore Ferragamo's journey began here, but his…
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There are over 100 million buildings in the world, a number that is absolutely staggering when you try to wrap your head around it.
Tags: ASIA, EUROPE, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA
Embark on a journey into the lesser-known areas of cinema, where hidden treasures await discovery. The vast archives of great filmmakers contain forgotten masterpieces that deserve a revisit.
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Killer blobs have been a fear for people for decades, with one becoming the terrifying threat of the 1958 film, The Blob. In such a situation, when a black spot mysteriously appeared on the streets…
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In the 19th century, access to medicine was like opening Pandora's Box – it brought both blessings and strange, sometimes dangerous, tricks. Some "cures" were harmless frauds, but many others were…
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In June 1867, James Glaisher, an English astronomer and meteorologist, and an avid balloonist, was floating over Paris in a balloon when he entered an area of dense cloud:

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 Until about a century ago, in the Western world, you couldn't tell whether a small child was a girl or a boy by her clothing.

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You've heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but pictures like the ones in the collection here have a lot of stories to tell.
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Testing Firepower: A Woman's Accuracy in Aberdeen, 1942 Amid the shadow of World War II, humanity faces its greatest test yet.
Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA
Forget what you learned in history books. Often they tell only one side of a nuanced story. The rare finds collected here show an aspect of history that we rarely get to see.
Tags: ASIA, FRANCE, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, HIDDEN HISTORY, SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA
In 1966, a small Welsh village is forever changed by a devastating event that shocks the nation. The Aberfan disaster, caused by the collapse of a colliery spoil tip, tragically resulted in the loss…
Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, HIDDEN HISTORY, SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA

 The rugged terrain of North Caucasus, nestled within the Russian Federation, is filled with ancient towers that stand as silent sentinels to an architectural tradition begun by the…

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Take a trip back in time to the 1970s with a look at the colorful and dynamic world of television.
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US ambassador 'developed poor relationships' with Singapore ministries, threatened embassy staff: State Department audit

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Jonathan Kaplan (left), during a Senate confirmation hearing on Oct 20, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo: AFP)

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02 Mar 2024 12:14PM (Updated: 02 Mar 2024 01:26PM)

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SINGAPORE: A report by the US State Department's internal watchdog has revealed several shortcomings by the US ambassador to Singapore, including unauthorized spending and ineffective dealings with the Singapore government.

The audit by the Office of Inspector General found the Ambassador Jonathan Kaplan did not "model integrity, plan strategically, collaborate, or communicate" and recommended a review of his conduct and performance.

The report, dated February 2024 and released on Friday (Mar 1), also uncovered morale issues at the US embassy in Singapore, many of which the report directly attributed to Mr Kaplan.

Embassy staff cited by the report described fear and direct threats of reprisal from Mr Kaplan. Employees described his mannerisms as "belittling and intimidating" and also accused him of speaking "disparagingly about US government employees and the (State) Department".

On foreign policy, Mr Kaplan was said to have "developed poor relationships" with some Singapore government ministries to the extent that, in some cases, his actions "hurt progress" on State Department goals and objectives.

"Specifically, it was described that the Ambassador often was unprepared on issues and made statements that were counterproductive to a section’s work," said the report.

It described staff noting that Mr Kaplan ought to have held more meetings at Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to which the ambassador told the Office of Inspector General that such meetings were "unproductive with only an exchange of talking points and no real discussions".

The audit also found that Mr Kaplan had limited contacts with Singapore's traditional media. It said that at the time of inspection, he had held only two press events since arriving in Singapore in December 2021.

Mr Kaplan's response was that there was "no need" to deal with Singapore's traditional media and that he preferred to use social media. The report noted that his official Instagram account had 825 followers as of March 2023, a number that has since grown to 4,770.

Claire's Observations:  how, in the name of Heaven, did this guy get his job?!?  Is complete tone-deafness a requisite to deal with foreign dignitaries and your own staff?!?  Was he a major Biden contributor whose money exploits as a fund raiser landed him his position?

I found the answer this morning with a Google search:  "According to the Campaign Legal Centre, he (Kaplan) donated more than US$100,000 to Democratic campaigns in the 10 years before his appointment."  That's $10,000 per year.

Looks like money - wisely spent in campaign donations- can "earn" one an ambassadorship, in the US of A.  Forget any nuances in language, culture, or history of the country to which you are assigned; this is "pay for play", writ large.