Thought for the day
"I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...<p>The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance" -- Carl Sagan
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg dropped from the top ten richest people in America list.
The FBI admitted in court yesterday that it had misrepresented the number of documents that it had taken from the home of President Trump.
Ji Chaoqun, 27, a Chinese citizen living in Chicago was arrested in 2018 for spying on U.S. engineers, including defense contractors.
What’s the connection between cakes and leftism? Until last week, I would have found it impossible to give a good answer to that question. Then I picked up a new book by the British mathematician Ian Stewart (born 1945) and read the following:
The classic example [of fair division], from which everything else flows, is that of two children arguing over a cake. The problem is to divide the cake between them using a good protocol — a set of rules specified in advance — that is provably fair. The classic solution is “I cut, you choose.” … When I mentioned this method in an article, one reader wrote in to say that he’d tried it on his children, and Alice (not her real name) had promptly complained that Bob (not his) had the bigger piece. When her father pointed out that this was her fault for cutting badly, the news didn’t go down terribly well — in her eyes it amounted to blaming the victim — so her father swapped the two pieces. Only to hear her wail: “Bob’s piece is still bigger than mine!” (Ian Stewart, What’s the Use? The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics, Profile Books, 2021, chapter 2)
“…the monthly average number of deaths between January 2021 and April 2022 is 1,700% higher than the monthly average between 1966 and 2004, and the current trend for 2022 so far shows this could increase to 4,120% if the increased number of deaths continues..” Yournews
In July 2018 Michael Hein penned an article called, “Professional Athletes Who Have Tragically Passed Away on the Field.” He wrote:
“…there is nothing more devastating than witnessing the loss of an athlete on the field in play. When an athlete passes away on the field, they transcend into an inimitable status of legends. While millions of fans mourn their loss… [and then] Here’s a look at some of the most memorable pro athlete deaths that happened on the field.
I expected them to be medical issues, but several are car crashes.
The FBI is scheduled to finally release its 2021 crime stats this week, almost nine months after the end of the year.
Fortunately, we have had the CDC’s provisional estimates for 2021 causes of death since July. The FBI tracks murders and the CDC homicides. All murders are homicides but some homicides (e.g., self-defense) are not murders. But the two numbers track pretty closely over time. The CDC tracks the identity of victims but not of perpetrators.
We know from the CDC that homicide deaths were 4.1% higher than in 2020 and 36.0% higher than in 2019: e.g., rather than a homicide spike, we have a homicide plateau, a New Normal.
Dear Readers, I have explained to you that there has been no Russian defeat in Ukraine and will not be a Russian defeat. I informed you that Putin and the Kremlin are committed to one important thing that differentiates Russia from the US and that is that Russia follows international law and the US does not. This is why there has been no “Russian invasion of Ukraine” as proclaimed by Western propagandists. Kiev, the functioning of the Ukraine government, and the cities and infrastructure of western Ukraine have not been attacked. The Kremlin has limited its military operations to the areas in Ukraine where the majority Russian population was being shelled, occupied, and murdered by Ukrainian forces and which faced last February an invasion of a large Western-trained Ukrainian army and neo-Nazi militias intended to overthrow the two independent Donbass republics recognized by the Russian government. The republics requested Russia’s intervention, which made the “limited military operation” legal under international law.
As my readers know, I regard the limited operation a mistake as it has drawn out the conflict and allowed the West to get deeply involved, thus promising a wider war that would likely turn nuclear. I thought and still do that Russia was emphasizing legality at the risk of nuclear war.
The Kremlin has now acted to remove the constraint of international law with the referendums in the four areas whether the inhabitants wish reunification with Russia. It is clear that the vote will be yes, and that the Duma and the Kremlin will proceed rapidly to reincorporate the former Russian territory back into Russia.
At that point Ukraine’s continuation of the war involves direct Ukrainian aggression against Russia herself. This frees the Kremlin’s hands as the war becomes Russia’s response to Ukrainian aggression. At this point it will be clear to all involved that Kiev, the Ukraine government, and the cities and infrastructure of western Ukraine no longer have immunity. In other words it becomes a real war with devastating consequences for Ukraine and possibly as well for all Western suppliers of weapons and intelligence.
Americans are not prepared for this, because all they have heard about the conflict is Russophobic propaganda and false reporting of the reality.
Remember three weeks ago when Putin and the Russian military were on the ropes and the Ukrainian army was steamrolling through Kharkov? That was then and Urkaine’s promised victory failed to materialize. With the benefit of hindsight, it appears that Russia abandoned the strategically meaningless territory in the Kharkov Oblast of Ukraine and re-deployed forces to the Donbas, Zaporhyzhia and Kherson. Why? To be in position for the referendum–i.e., to defend the Ukraine oblasts that would be given the chance to vote whether or not to reunite with mother Russia. Putin’s subsequent announcement of the referenda, which began last Friday, was not a Hail Mary pass nor an act of desperation. The planning for this had been in the works for at least a month, maybe longer.
While Ukraine continued to throw its troops against the Russian lines and launched artillery strikes on civilian targets, it paid a terrible price in terms of human casualties and destroyed tanks and combat vehicles, and failed completely to disrupt the vote. There have been international observers monitoring the vote throughout the four oblasts. I wish at least one reporter would ask these observers when they were first contacted and asked to come to the Russian controlled territory and do the monitoring. That detail would provide some insight into the extent of the pre-planning for the referenda.
It appears that the vote to reunite with Russia will be overwhelming in favor of becoming Russian republics. Once the results are certified the Russian Duma will act to accept the decision and Putin will put the cherry on the sundae and make it official. At that point–this Friday–the special military operation in Ukraine will end and Russia will be in position to defend its new territory.
The Public Referendums in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye oblasts (states) in what was Ukraine, have now been completed. The ballots have been hand counted. By overwhelming majority, all four oblasts have voted to return home to Russia. All four are, at this very moment, now "Russian Territory" and they will be defended by the Russian Army.
Germany was forewarned ahead of this weeks attack on gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, Der Spiegel claimed on Tuesday.
The CIA told Berlin "weeks ago" that the Russian Nord Stream infrastructure was vulnerable, according to the magazine.
Officials are now investigating after a massive gas leak appeared off the Danish island of Bornholm and seismologists confirmed detecting explosions on the sea floor.
A tip from the US spy agency was “received in Berlin during the summer,” the outlet said, citing “several people familiar with the matter.” Officially, however, the federal government declined to comment on intelligence-related matters.
German security services are currently examining satellite imagery of the area where the explosions occurred, but see only “unremarkable” naval traffic, according to Spiegel. They are also convinced that only a state actor could have done this, suggesting “divers or a mini-submarine” could have installed mines or explosives on the pipeline.
President Joe Biden is under the influence of a group tightly tied to communist China.
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a group that has tied itself to China, and they significantly influence Biden’s administration.
Fox News reported that “The NRDC, a non-profit organization based in New York City with total assets exceeding $450 million, has worked on climate issues extensively in China since the mid-1990s, and several of its top officials have worked for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) or government-sponsored institutions.”
The NRDC sends regular updates to Biden’s climate czar John Kerry and how the red country is working on doing its part
to become a green nation. But their influence over John Biden is excellent as he sets his environmental policies.
Pig farmers are heading to the Supreme Court on October 11 to challenge California’s attempts to regulate production methods out of state.
If they lose, it will have an impact on the entire industry. Previously, California could look at things like product safety, but they did not have the power to control methods of out-of-state products.
WND reports, “The legal question brought before the justices will be the constitutionality of California’s 2018 initiative-passed Proposition 12. This case could make or break the pig farming industry. If the farmers lose, California will be allowed to enforce regulations on out-of-state production methods. Historically, states could regulate only the quality and character of products made elsewhere.”
Just a few days ago we wrote that "Something Is About To Break" and prompt a capitulation from one or more central banks, which oddly was met with mockery in the comment gallery. Also, a few week ago, we said that we are nearing a moment in time when central banks will do QE and rate hikes at the same time.
Finally, for much of the past year we have said it is only a matter of time before the coming market crash and economic collapse forces central banks everywhere, not just in one or two countries, to pivot as the price of economic collapse and tens of millions unemployed is far, far greater than simply shifting the inflation target from 2% to 3%.
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.