Thought for the day
"The more shocking a news story is, the more likely it's bullshit!" -- Michael Rivero
At least since the 2002 book IQ and the Wealth of Nations by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen, social scientists have been publishing rankings of countries by average cognitive test scores and pointing out how closely these figures correlate with gross domestic product per capita.
The mere existence of this data causes outrage among the growing numbers of science denialists, who are increasingly calling for banning all scientific research touching upon differences in cognitive capabilities among populations.
On the other hand, investors want to know these numbers because they are closely linked to national prosperity. So, I’ll present below my three-part graph of the World Bank’s “Harmonized Learning Outcomes” for 174 countries.
“Who knows where giant Nigeria would really fall? The Nigerians don’t.”
Two main types of cognitive exams contribute to the various lists: IQ and school achievement.
Intelligence testing has been one of psychology’s biggest success stories for the past 117 years but is much denounced by the ignorant. In contrast, school achievement exams, such as the OECD’s PISA test, are (or were) highly respectable. They even were briefly fashionable during the school reform craze of a decade ago.
Investors are becoming increasingly bearish on stocks as persistently high inflation has compelled the Federal Reserve to hike rates aggressively, with Bank of America analysts and the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) both saying that investor pessimism has hit levels not seen since around the time of the financial crisis of 2008–09.
The latest sentiment survey from AAII shows that the percentage of individual investors describing their six-month outlook for stocks as “bearish” rose sharply by 14.9 percentage points, to 60.9 percent. The last time the AAII investor pessimism gauge was higher was in March 2009, when it hit 70.3 percent.
Bank of America analysts said in a recent research note that investors are flocking to cash as they shun risk assets, with investor sentiment “unquestionably” the worst since the financial crisis.
Bullish sentiment, meanwhile, remained below its historical average of 38 percent for the forty-fourth consecutive week, AAII said. The organization said its bullish sentiment measure fell by 8.4 percentage points, to 17.7 percent, which is among the 20 lowest readings in the history of the survey.
August’s job report was as usual vigorously spun by the Regime Media and the Biden White House [US hiring slows but remains strong, as economy adds 315,000 jobs, by Max Zahn, ABC News, September 2, 2022].But data released since then— illegal border crossings, inflation, Federal Reserve interest rate hike—has been a series of hammer blows. Basically, American workers are earning less and facing recession. And, as usual unreported by anyone except VDARE.com, the fact is that those vigorously-spun jobs numbers also contain the news that immigrants are continuing to edge out American workers.
Et tu, Breitbart? Even the generally excellent Breitbart Business Digest echoed the Regime Media’s endless flow of Democrat talking points after the September 2 release of August’s jobs data: “The morning after President Joe Biden delivered his Dark Brandon at the Gates of Hell speech, the Labor Department delivered a jobs report that was pretty close to perfect.” [Breitbart Business Digest Dark Brandon vs. the Labor Market, by John Carney, September 2022]
In a rare plea before the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Syria's top diplomat demanded compensation for oil and gas stolen by the United States, as well as its monumental energy losses over the course of the 11-year long war.
"The war against Syria, ultimately, was an attempt by the West to maintain control over the world," Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told the assembly on Monday, demanding further that the continuing US military occupation in the oil and gas rich northeast "should end immediately, without conditions."
He informed UN leaders that "direct and indirect" oil and gas sector losses over the course of the conflict have reached $107 billion, stressing further that Damascus is demanding compensation.
"Fighting terrorism does not happen through an illegitimate international coalition that violates Syria’s sovereignty and destroys towns and villages," Mekdad asserted. He said that any 'counterterror' campaign or foreign presence on sovereign Syrian soil must be done in direct coordination with President Bashar al-Assad.
Less than two weeks ago we cited Freddie Mac according to which the average 30 year US mortgage just rose above 6% for the first time since 2008, with real-estate brokerage Redfin commemorating the move by saying that "This Is The Sharpest Turn In The Housing Market Since The 2008 Crash." Well, just a few days later, Jeff Gundlach was so kind to point out this evening...
...that the national average 30 year mortgage rate just soared above 7.0%, hitting 7.08% and the highest since December 11, 2000.
This was the fastest 1% increase in mortgage rates in history; and the fact that it took place inside of a month is even more remarkable.
New data out last week in the latest Forbes Advisor-Ipsos Consumer Confidence Weekly Tracker had shed some light on just how much Americans have been dipping into their savings as economic conditions worsen in the country.
While the survey showed that economic sentiment amongst Americans is unchanged, it still sits at levels that are "significantly lower than it did to start the year", the report says.
While some indices contained in the survey pertaining to investments, expectations and jobs remain relatively stable (expectations declined slightly), it's of note that the survey showed "a significant increase in the number of Americans who are withdrawing from their savings more than usual and investing or saving money less than usual."
Overall confidence still remains 3.4 points below the pandemic average, the report showed.
Not all open-borders subversives hide behind black bandanas and hurl Molotov cocktails. Sometimes, they wear three-piece suits or silk dresses. Most insidiously, the saboteurs of American justice wear black robes, wield gavels and enlist other officers of the court to help them perpetrate crimes instead of punish them.
Nothing shocks me anymore after 30 years of covering immigration anarchy, but my disgust with American apathy toward the erosion of this once-sovereign nation deepens every day. Take the case of United States v. Shelley M. Richmond Joseph and Wesley MacGregor. She's the Massachusetts state court judge and he's the former court deputy who collaborated to hide and free an illegal alien criminal being sought by a federal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Joseph's Newton, Massachusetts, courthouse in 2018.
The US military revealed Monday that earlier this month a US Coast Guard had ship embarked on a routine patrol in the Bering Sea and its crew was surprised to come across a Chinese PLA Navy guided missile cruiser.
But more rare and unexpected was that the Coast Guard soon discovered the Chinese ship wasn't alone as it sailed off Alaska's coast, but was accompanied by two additional Chinese military ships and four Russian naval vessels, including a destroyer. The Chinese-Russian patrol group was described as being "in single formation".
The Coast Guard in releasing a photo of the encounter stated, "The Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew on a routine patrol in the Bering Sea encountered a People’s Republic of China Guided Missile Cruiser, Renhai CG 101, sailing approximately 75 nautical miles north of Kiska Island, Alaska, September 19, 2022."
According to more details by the Coast Guard and reported in the Associated Press:
The Honolulu-based Kimball, a 418-foot vessel, observed as the ships broke formation and dispersed. A C-130 Hercules provided air support for the Kimball from the Coast Guard station in Kodiak.
The unseasonable return of avian influenza or bird flu continues to devastate egg production in the US. As a result, retail prices for a dozen eggs at the supermarket have soared to record highs, fueling breakfast inflation.
Bird flu's return comes as more than 40 million birds were culled in the first half of the year. The disease usually abates during the hot summer months. The current death toll of birds stands at a whopping 45 million and could dramatically worsen, Beth Thompson, South Dakota's state veterinarian, told Bloomberg. She said the virus is being fueled this fall by the migration of wild birds that fly above commercial farms and leave droppings that get tracked into poultry houses.
Thompson said bird flu "doesn't seem to have been affected by that hot summer, and in the next probably four to six weeks, we're going to see those migrating birds coming back from Canada, flying over the US." She added, "that may increase the viral load that's out in the environment."
The culling of millions of birds has dented egg supplies, sending prices sky-high and above 2015 outbreak levels (last major bird flu) to now $3.16 per dozen at the supermarket. Retail prices have doubled since August 2020, straining consumers' wallets as breakfast inflation soars.
Update (1625ET): Hours after Bloomberg reported on the Wall Street WhatsApp settlement, the outlet reported that Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are among a group of 16 banks that have agreed to pay $1.1 billion in penalties for failing to monitor employees using unauthorized messaging apps.
The banks, along with Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley, are among the 16 financial firms that reached agreements with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the regulator said in a statement Tuesday. -Bloomberg
Financial regulators require firms to closely monitor employee communications to minimize improper conduct.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy helped sabotage Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s re-election campaign as part of an effort to purge the loudest pro-Trump lawmakers, according to a new report.
This is Biden’s America. A report out of San Antonio claims that Venezualian soldiers are living homeless on the streets of San Antonio.
I look forward to Professor Rozado extending his analysis of terms denoting “far right” and “far left” in the news media to 2020, when leftists rioted hundreds of times (but mostly peacefully!), and to 2021 when January 6 no doubt caused coverage of “far right” to go to infinity and beyond.
The biggest limitation of this work is that we cannot elucidate whether the media’s increasing use of terms denoting political extremism is driving, exaggerating or merely responding to concomitant rising political extremism in society. It is conceivable that far-right activity in society could have increased more markedly than far-left activity, justifying news media concern about it. It is, however, challenging to establish an Archimedean point of political neutrality to use as a reference for determining precisely what counts as political extremism.
While it is indisputable that groups which are labeled hard-right have been increasingly prominent in U.S. and European politics, it is also plausible that the center of gravity in established media newsrooms, as in other elite professions, has been shifting leftwards, especially as prestige news media is increasingly organized and edited by graduates from elite universities who tend to hold increasingly socially liberal beliefs. Therefore, a plausible explanation for the asymmetry in the prevalence of terms denoting left and right political extremism in news media content could be due to the ideological imbalance in newsrooms that might shape journalists’ choices of political adjectives.
It is becoming more and more apparent that even the fake news media will not be able to run cover for the Democrats as the November election approaches.
Another day, another yield-driven market shock, and another down day for the S&P which is now lower for 6 consecutive days, the longest stretch since February 2020 when the world was about to shut down (worse, as the last chart at the bottom of this post show, stocks are now officially in meltdown pattern mode... read on).
For those who don't see the pattern yet, it's simple: with central banks seeing who can outhawk each other the most every day, even as their governments vow to go into a debt-funded fiscal overdrive at a time of rising rates and QT, yields are predictably surging, and real yields are surging even more with real 10Ys hitting 1.63% today, the highest since April 2010. And since real yields track fwd PEs, it's getting uglier and uglier in risk land. Alas, it will likely get much uglier, as fwd PEs could drop as low as 12x.
Trump-Endorsed Arizona Attorney General Nominee Abe Hamadeh shredded his opponent, radical pro-defund the police leftist Kris Mayes, during the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Attorney General Candidate Forum on Thursday, September 15.
A Monday story in the Washington Post entitled “Putin grants citizenship to Edward Snowden, who exposed U.S. surveillance’” began:
Russian President Vladimir Putin granted citizenship on Monday to Edward Snowden, a former security consultant who leaked information about top-secret U.S. surveillance programs and is still wanted by Washington on espionage charges.
The story added:
Snowden’s disclosures, published first in The Washington Post and the Guardian, were arguably the biggest security breach in U.S. history. The information revealed top-secret NSA surveillance as part of a program known as PRISM and the extraction of a wide range of digital information.
Snowden is America’s most famous revealer-of-secrets, and the way he’s talked about has evolved to an extreme degree in less than a decade, showing how quickly a story about security overreach can be flipped into an argument for more vigilance. The press, which once worked with Snowden in its proper role as a bulwark against government excess, is effectively an arm of the state now, as is shown again in this absurd episode.
This article began as an aggressive rewrite of history and the Post’s own views, but underwent numerous alterations after it attracted criticism online yesterday.
This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog.
If you love to cook, this upcoming Thanksgiving may be a real challenge for you. Thanks to a resurgence of the bird flu, supplies of turkey are getting tighter and tighter. Sadly, the same thing is true for eggs.
And as you will see below, reduced milk production is sending the price of butter into the stratosphere. Thanks to soaring prices, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be out of reach for millions of American families this year, and that is extremely unfortunate. Of course, all of this is happening in the context of a horrific global food crisis that is getting worse with each passing day. Yes, things are bad now, but they will be significantly worse this time next year.
The bird flu pandemic that has killed tens of millions of our chickens and turkeys was supposed to go away during the hot summer months, but that didn’t happen. And now that the weather is starting to get colder again, there has been a resurgence of the bird flu and this is “devastating egg and turkey operations in the heartland of the country”…
This article was originally published by The Daily Exposé under the title: Europe Suffers Horrifying 755% Increase in Excess Deaths Among Children Since EMA Approved COVID Vaccine for Kids
At the end of August, we exclusively revealed that official mortality figures for Europe showed a shocking 691% increase in excess deaths among children up to week 33 of 2022 since the European Medicines Agency extended the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12 to 15 in May 2021.
Our investigation has since forced the European Union’s official statistics department to begin a Europe-wide investigation into why there has been a significant increase in excess deaths among children aged 0 to 14.
However, upon announcing the investigation, EuroMOMO, the organization that published the figures, altered the baseline by which excess deaths are measured against. This questionable act resulted in the number of excess deaths being artificially reduced.
In a major victory for members of the NYPD’s largest police union, a judge ruled Friday cops who were fired for not getting vaccinated against the coronavirus have to be reinstated.
In the stunning decision, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lyle Frank wrote that the city’s vaccine mandate on the Police Benevolent Association was invalid “to the extent it has been used to impose a new condition of employment” on the union.
The mandate was also invalid because it issued enforcement beyond “monetary sanctions” prescribed in the law, Frank wrote — ordering that all PBA members put on leave or canned be reinstated.
It would be a “gross overstatement” of the city’s Department of Mental Health and Hygiene to say it could enforce the vaccine mandate through termination, unpaid leave or suspension, Frank said.
Former President Donald Trump's original political adviser Roger Stone was caught on tape making shocking statements in the days before the presidential election
'F**k the voting, let's get right to the violence,' Stone is heard saying in footage captured by documentary filmmakers Christoffer Guldbrandsen and Frederik Marbell on November 2, which was handed over to the January 6 House select committee and obtained by CNN.
In a second clip, aired on CNN Monday night, Stone is heard telling the Danish film crew on November 1, two days before the election, that Trump should claim victory before the votes are tallied - something the then-president later did.
Webmaster addition: Given the current sophistication of deep fake technology, we need to carefully examine that video for signs of alterations!
The EU has threatened the 'strongest possible response' to Putin for the 'deliberate' sabotage of the Nordstream gas pipeline amid fears that Kremlin frogmen blew it up off the coast of Sweden — causing a 3,000ft-wide bubble plume and sending prices spiking.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday said that the leaks of the Nord Stream pipelines were caused by sabotage, and warned of the 'strongest possible response' should active European energy infrastructure be attacked.
'Spoke to (Danish Prime Minister Mette) Frederiksen on the sabotage action Nordstream,' von der Leyen said on Twitter, adding it was paramount now to investigate the incidents to get full clarity on the 'events and why.'
Webmaster addition : This is total USDA choice bovine excrement! Russia has no motive to blow up the pipeline. They have the valves if they want to cut off oil. But Russia has been sending a clear message to Europe that oil and gas will be restored if they abandon the US agenda of sanctions and wars. That is a lot of leverage Russia has over Europe.
However, with the pipelines destroyed, Russia's leverage over Europe vanishes. Thus, it is the US that has the strongest motive to cut off that flow from Russia to Europe, to keep Europe in the US' sphere of influence, even if it means extreme suffering for the people of Europe!
With the peak gift-giving season of the year just around the corner, big box retailers are responding to increases in product theft with fewer items on the shelf and more stored under lock and key, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
A Best Buy store in suburban Houston served as an example of this phenomenon with “hundreds of items” stored away from customers’ hands and signage in the aisles replacing the products, which were previously secured through anti-theft devices such as plastic product cases or security wire wraps, the report said.
The new signs inform customers, “This product kept in secured location,” and direct shoppers to locate an employee to assist them.
The Western media is a collection of liars in a propaganda ministry, and its so-called “Russian experts” are for the most part Russophobes operating on grants from the US military/security complex.
Consequently, Westerners have no valid understanding of the conflict in Ukraine, how it arose, and how the West’s involvement together with extraordinary provocations, has created in the Russian leadership the conviction that the goal of the West is to destroy Russia.
As this conviction hardens, the Russian leadership is abandoning hope of peaceful coexistence with the Western world and is preparing for war.
In his speech Putin begins the preparation of the Russian people for the hard reality. Putin doesn’t like the hard reality and did his best to avoid it by ignoring provocations and insults until it became impossible because, as Putin says, “the West has crossed every line.”
The West, of course, is Washington. The rest of the Western world reports to Washington as I learned from a US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. “How,” I asked him, “do we get the other countries to do what we want?” “Money,” he replied. “You mean foreign aid?” “No, we give the leaders bagfuls of money. They report to us. We own them.”
Did you think there was something wrong with the 2020 election? If you do, did you say anything on Facebook about your doubts? You could be in big trouble with the FBI. According to a story in the New York Post, September 14, 2022, “Facebook has been spying on the private messages and data of American users and reporting them to the FBI if they express anti-government or anti-authority sentiments — or question the 2020 election — according to sources within the Department of Justice.
Under the FBI collaboration operation, somebody at Facebook red-flagged these supposedly subversive private messages over the past 19 months and transmitted them in redacted form to the domestic terrorism operational unit at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, without a subpoena.
‘It was done outside the legal process and without probable cause,’ alleged one of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
‘Facebook provides the FBI with private conversations which are protected by the First Amendment without any subpoena.’
These private messages then have been farmed out as ‘leads’ to FBI field offices around the country, which subsequently requested subpoenas from the partner US Attorney’s Office in their district to officially obtain the private conversations that Facebook already had shown them.
‘It was a waste of our time,’ said one source familiar with subpoena requests lodged during a 19-month frenzy by FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, to produce the caseload to match the Biden administration’s rhetoric on domestic terrorism after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen confirmed the Nord Stream pipeline system leaks were caused by "sabotage," and warned of the "strongest possible response" should active European energy infrastructure be attacked.
Earlier, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen described the three separate leaks on NS1 and NS2 as "deliberate acts," adding: "It’s hard to imagine that it’s accidental."
On Monday, Swedish seismologists reported the detection of underwater explosions - shortly after which large patches of roiling gas could be seen on the surface in the same area.
As rumors swirl over who is responsible for the incident, one message it sent was clear - vital systems are vulnerable to attack.
"The most important message that somebody wants to send, is what one is capable of doing with an offline pipeline can also be done with active pipelines, or undersea cables, or other infrastructure," said Julian Pawlak, a researcher at the German Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies, in a statement to the NY Times.
In response, Denmark and Norway announced increased security around their energy infrastructure, and Norway, now Europe’s most important producer of gas and oil, called for “increased vigilance by all operators and vessel owners.” In a statement, Norway’s energy minister, Terje Aasland, cited “reports of increased drone activity” around its coast, and said that much of what he had learned of the Nord Stream incidents “indicates acts of sabotage.” -NY Times
A former Polish Defense Minister, Radek Sikorski, has attributed to the United States the sabotage of two pipelines, Nord Stream 1 and 2, which carry natural gas from Russia to Germany. “Thank you, USA,” Sikorski wrote on Twitter. Sikorski was Minister of National Defense from 2005 - 2007 and served as Deputy Minister of National Defense and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, previously. He is currently an elected member of the European parliament.
Nord Stream 1 and 2 lie on the bed of the Baltic Sea. Nord Stream 2 was finished last year but Germany never opened it because Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
The notion that right-wing candidate Georgia Meloni’s victory in Italy represents a threat to Italian democracy or the return of fascism is “absolutely fake news,” according to the country’s leftist former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Whoops, narrative fail.
Meloni’s center-right coalition swept to victory in Sunday’s elections, easily defeating her left-wing opposition.
This prompted a wave of hysterical media coverage, with numerous publications warning of the “return of fascism in Italy,” due to the far-right origins of Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party.
However, such concerns were dismissed by an unexpected figure, former leftist Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
A group working for peaceful relations between the United States and China on Monday sent a letter to leaders of both countries imploring them to end or limit "dangerous and provocative military maneuvers" in the South China Sea and near Taiwan that could lead to all-out war.
Writing to U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Committee for a SANE U.S.-China Policy co-chairs Joseph Gerson and Michael Klare warned that "combative" U.S. and Chinese naval and aerial maneuvers "could result in the outbreak of accidental or unintended conflict with unforeseeable and possibly catastrophic consequences."