Europe: Cold, Dark, and Growing Poorer

While the US is pumping record amounts of oil and is producing unbelievable levels of natural gas, Europe has chosen the intermittent and unreliable energy path. And the continent will pay dearly for its mistake.

Europe’s energy policies are worse than stupid.

The elixir of carbon-free growth turns out to be snake oil

2017 was the year when Germany’s much vaunted Energiewendea blueprint for America’s energy future if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 electiondemonstrably failed. Despite fearsome energy-saving policies, energy consumption rose (economic growth, immigration, and cold weather were blamed), greenhouse-gas emissions were flat, and retail electricity prices were projected to rise above 30 euro cents (36.6 U.S. cents) for the first time (the average U.S. residential rate is around 13 U.S. cents). The perverse effects of wind and solar were evidenced by increased volatility in wholesale electricity prices, with a record 146 hours with negative electricity prices — indicating that during these hours, electricity is less than worthless, as there’s insufficient demand to mop up unwanted wind and solar power. The extent to which the German public has been cowed by relentless renewables propaganda can be seen from an opinion survey that showed 75 percent agreeing that the Energiewende was a collective responsibility that everyone should help make succeed. But the same survey found that 68 percent of people were “very dissatisfied” or “somewhat dissatisfied” with the way it had been implemented, only 15 percent were “somewhat satisfied,” and only 1 percent were “very satisfied.”

[Europe Wants to Export this Disaster to Africa]

…. Europeans will reward [Africans] with some solar power, which doesn’t keep the lights on after dark or keep refrigerators cool through the night. In effect, the French president’s message to Africans was: You can’t have a Marshall Plan for Africa until your women have fewer babies.

Read more at:

Unreliable, intermittent energy sources such as big wind and big solar, are highly corrupt ways of rewarding ultra-rich developers of wind farms and solar arrays who happen to be well connected politically. Taxpayers, consumers, and rate payers are the ones who lose, bigtime.

If Hillary Clinton cheated her way to the US Presidency, she would have shoved the US down the same slippery chute to ruin as Angela Merkel and the German greens have chosen. Idiotic policies are quite common at the upper levels of corruption. The US dodged a poisoned bullet in November 2016.

Meanwhile, with demographic and financial doom looming, Europe is walking straight toward energy starvation. She is losing her reliable nuclear and combustion power sources, and is embracing the deadly hazard of unreliable, intermittent energy.

Wind and solar are great for small to intermediate off-grid projects for tropical islands and many other geographically isolated areas — until safer and more reliable small nukes can be perfected and approved. But today’s huge grid-scale wind and solar is just a corrupt political game with ultimate life or death repercussions for modern high-tech societies. If grid failures become more common and widespread, people will die as a result. If electricity costs continue to skyrocket in Germany and other over-leveraged-in-green European nations, both energy-poverty and poverty in general will become far worse problems.

German industries are beginning to relocate away from the ideologically driven state, moving to locations where energy is cheaper, more reliable, and more abundant. Expect that costly exodus to spread to other nations who have gone all-in for the unreliables.

Posted in Energy, Green Quagmire | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Technology Enabling $20 a Barrel Oil Costs

Breakeven Oil Prices
Peter Zeihan Absent Superpower map from

“Really, it’s quite easy” to be profitable at $20, “when you sit down and add up all the ways there are to save money in our industry, and how much waste there is,” added Blake Burnette, CEO of IoT-eq (pronounced I-O-Tech), at the same conference. “Through automation, I think $20 a barrel is quite feasible.”

Burnette says the oilfield is 20 years behind industry-in-general in adopting the efficiencies of technology, and he believes he knows why. It’s the bucking bronco ride that is the oilfield economy. “One of my theories about our business is that the shortness of the business cycle makes us stay 20 years behind other industries” in technological advances. In down times companies feel they can’t afford to invest in new technology, whereas in boom times they don’t have time to adapt to changes—and the economic need is not perceived. __ Permian Basin O&G Magazine

There are indeed some companies that are bucking the business cycle and investing in advanced technologies which cut wastes and boost profitability. Technology-based streamlining not only makes production more profitable, it also stretches recoverable reserves farther out the time horizon.

With current oil prices above $60 a barrel, companies that use advanced technology to cut waste and streamline production are doing very well indeed. Those who do not learn such lessons will probably be swept up in the aftermath of subsequent price cycles.

Oil Supply Extended from Decades to Centuries

… with the right incentives, research and smart people putting their minds to it, we’ve been able to drastically increase what we can extract. Even now, I’ve seen estimates that only about 60 percent of oil in most reservoirs can be extracted with today’s technology regardless of oil prices, economics and how much is spent. I feel confident that we will see further advances which improve efficiency, effectiveness and economics of production (not to mention our ability to locate new deposits).

Another recent development is that the U.S. is now estimated to hold more oil reserves than any other nation. Estimates in 2016 by Rystad Energy indicate the U.S. tops Saudi Arabia and Russia. More than half of U.S. oil is in unconventional shales, which rely on fracking to produce. Although the cost to produce such oil can be higher than conventional wells, when the economics are right it will be tapped. __ Ray Perryman

IEA predicts explosive US oil growth this year

OPEC countries likely to be squeezed from now on
Countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, etc. depend too much on their oil & gas exports — and so are extremely vulnerable to price swings. The same is true for Russia, which is also dangerously dependent on energy exports to power its economy.

In the future, a combination of decreasing global demand for oil (peak oil demand) with more competitive petroleum production from outside of OPEC and Russia, will put a perpetual squeeze on such nations that are unable to adapt to the changes.

The Texas/New Mexico oil fields known collectively as The Permian Basin, will play a significant role in the global oil marketplace of the future. It is seen as the second largest oil field in the world with over 200 billion barrels of oily enticement driving the play.

As better technologies of discovery, production, and enhanced recovery come online, the Permian is likely to come into its own — along with a large number of other North American oil fields, many not yet discovered.

Evolving Perceptions

Ten years ago, the global perception of the oil future was shaped by maps such as the one just below:

According to this “peak oil” influenced global view, the middle east was where the action was going to be for the duration, as peak oil took over the world stage and played itself out over the dreary future landscape.

According to that viewpoint, the US in its entirety only held 21 billion barrels of oil reserves, and was incidentally also rapidly running out of natural gas.

But that was then and this is now. With Permian Basin reserves alone amounting to over 200 billion barrels of oil, we get a small glimpse at the revolution taking place before our eyes. Estimates for Bakken oil reserves have varied wildly over the years (up to 500 billion barrels), but have been consistently underestimated by the USGS.

US natural gas reserves have likewise exploded, driving the export revolution of LNG at US ports, with no end in sight.

Learn to See and Understand These Seismic Shifts

People who buy too deeply into cult-beliefs such as “Peak Oil Armageddon” or the “Climate Apocalypse Cult” get mentally stuck, and cannot quickly adjust to potent underlying shifts of reality — whether in technology, economics, or political power swings. Their entire beings resist the new realities, and so in their rigid brittleness they miss out on many opportunities to prosper that reality offers to everyone.

Wiser people do not usually limit their options by over-investing in ideologies — which always fail in the end, like all models.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood.

Posted in Energy, Fiscal Breakeven Oil Price, Peak Oil | Tagged | 4 Comments

Should Hillary Clinton Be in Federal Prison?

Update: Timeline to infamy for Hillary, Obama, and a tainted FBI/DOJ

How did a piece of opposition research, described by former FBI Director James Comey as both “salacious and unverified,” become the driving force behind the allegations that Trump colluded with Russian authorities? __ Source

Hillary herself could wind up in prison — along with many of her closest friends and confidants.

Assembling the pieces of the puzzle will take some time. It is a jigsaw of political corruption and governmental abuse, and I recommend that every reader take a few minutes to at least scan the preliminary story in the infographic below:

Worse Than Watergate

The information in the document will lead to the firing of government officials, but it won’t end there, Gaetz told Fox News.

“I think that this will not end just with firings. I believe there will be people who go to jail.” Gaetz said. “You don’t get to try to undermine our country, undermine our elections, and then simply get fired. I think there will be criminal implications here.”

Senior government officials who chose to remain anonymous told Carter that the contents of the memo could also spell an end to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into claims that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“It will be tough for a lot of people to see this and especially the media, which has been attempting to deemphasize the dossier,” an anonymous Congress member said. “It’s going to punch a hole in their collusion narrative.” __ Source

Team Hillary tried to steal the election and the presidency — at least that is where the evidence points so far. Hillary’s team was aided and abetted by the Obama administration, which seems to have committed multiple criminal acts in the process.

Should people go to prison? Probably. Should Hillary go to prison? Probably. But given the corrupt stinking miasma of Washington DC which allowed Obama and Hillary to pursue this criminal course of action — the combination of the Deep State and the Complicit Media — it is unlikely that the primary offenders will pay the price of hard time which they seem to owe.


Clinton Foundation corrupts everything it touches

Clinton Crime Family

Hillary ‘s Russian Collusion

Obama’s Gang and the DOJ/FBI Clinton Follies

Behind the scenes wrangling over Obama administration DOJ/FBI abuse of electronic surveillance may result in unwelcome exposure of Clinton dirty tricks

Posted in Government, Hillary Clinton, Media, Obama, Politics | Tagged ,

Clever New Nuclear Fission Reactor Prototype Opens Doors

Nuclear energy provides energy densities not available from any other readily available source of power and heat. Nothing else even comes close. And nuclear fuels such as uranium and thorium are relatively cheap and readily available. If used wisely, Earth’s supplies of nuclear fuels could safely last for hundreds of thousands of years. That is why human ingenuity must be channeled toward these forms of energy — which can be used safely and affordably on and off planet.

One pound of uranium fuel can produce as much usable energy as about 3 million pounds of burnable coal.

The question is not whether humans must turn to nuclear power to light and drive their future. The question is: “What is the cleanest, safest, most affordable path to exploiting nuclear fission, fusion, and other ways of tapping the nuclear forces?”

A Promising New Fission Reactor Prototype

The Los Alamos National Lab has developed a new scalable (between 1kW and 10kW) nuclear fission small reactor prototype which promises to fill crucial niches in powering outer space missions, human space colonies, and even terrestrial habitats and settlements in remote locations — such as Antarctica and remote islands. NASA, the US Department of Energy, and Los Alamos Labs have teamed up to develop this clever new approach to small scale nuclear power.
h/t NextBigFuture

How Does it Work?

First, a very basic description of the reactor system:

Together, NASA and [US DOE NNSA] have designed and developed a 1 kWe reactor prototype with technology that is relevant for systems up to 10 kWe. It consists of a highly enriched uranium core built by NNSA, heat pipes provided by Advanced Cooling Technologies
through a NASA Small Business Innovation Research contract, and Stirling generators provided by Sunpower, Inc. The core is a solid block of a uranium alloy, and heat pipes are clamped around the core to transfer heat to Stirling power conversion units to generate electrical power. Much smaller than terrestrial nuclear plants, Kilo­power systems are small enough to be demonstrated here on Earth in existing facilities at the Nevada National Security Site.

For human exploration, multiple 10kWe Kilopower systems could provide the 40 kWe initially estimated to be needed by NASA’s preliminary concepts for a human outpost, with the ability to add power as the outpost grows. For robotic exploration, 1kWe Kilopower units enable abundant, reliable power for science and communications, and the potential to field deep space missions based on science return while conserving the limited supply of radioisotope fuel for its best opportunities. Characteristics of fission power that make it so beneficial for Mars outposts and deep space robotics also apply to other space missions. Nuclear fission systems could be scaled up to power nuclear electric propulsion vehicles to efficiently transport heavy cargo beyond Mars, and they could potentially shorten
crewed trip times to Mars and other distant planets. __ NASA

The reactor is expected to provide safe, stable, low power output for roughly 15 years using the initial fuel load.

A more technical description:

The baseline material for the core has been chosen to be 93% highly enriched U235 alloyed with 7% Mo by weight, and is expected to produce an optimum balance between neutronic, thermal, and metallurgical properties [3]. Figure 1 shows the current LANL design of a 4kWt flight core, which provides 1kWe with Stirling power conversion.

Beryllium Oxide has been selected as the radial reflector material for its high neutron reflectance throughout the required temperature and energy spectrum as well as its mechanical and thermal properties. The reflector design is monolithic and does not incorporate control drums typical of higher power reactors, highlighting another significant and simplified design feature. For criticality safety throughout ATLO, only a single control rod of B4C is needed in the center of the core to keep keff at a safe level during all expected operations and hypothetical accidents. When the reactor reaches its startup location in space or on the surface of another planet, a control mechanism will slowly remove the poison control rod and allow the reactor to start up. This benefit of controlled startup at the mission destination allows BOM power levels and overall power system life expectancy to be directly coupled to mission timeline requirements. The flight system could utilize a number of control rod options that could be specifically tailored to mission requirements. For instance, the simplest control rod design, as baselined, would perform only one movement at the beginning of the mission allowing the reactor to start up and load follow the power conversion system. This method allows the natural degradation of the core temperature as fuel is spent and neutronic behavior
changes over time. Conservative thermal degradation of the 4kWt core using this method are estimated to be 3 K/yr with 0.1% fuel burnup over 15 years. An alternative approach is to use an active control rod that adds reactivity as needed throughout the mission to keep the reactor temperature and power constant. Using active control, the reactor can provide constant power for several hundred years at the 4kWt level due to very little fuel burnup and needed reactivity insertion. These simple control rod and startup methods are an important design feature needed for missions that may require the reactor to startup under minimum power at a location where solar energy is limited and battery power is necessary. Initial estimates of the required power for startup is 1 amp hour at 28VDC.

Thermal energy from the core is transported to the power convertors via sodium heat pipes. Heat generated from the fission reactions is conducted through the core, into the heat pipe evaporator and vaporizes the sodium liquid. The sodium vapor travels up the heat pipe where it can be accepted by the Stirling convertors at the condenser interface. As the sodium vapor releases its latent heat and condenses back to the liquid phase, the wick pumps it back to the evaporator where the cycle continues. Alloy 230 is the baseline envelope material for the heat pipes because of its known compatibility and prior experience with sodium as well as its high temperature strength and creep resistance. This passive thermal transport operates solely on thermal energy and requires no electrical power for pumping. This is an important design feature, which reduces the parasitic losses of the power system and simplifies system startup and control.

High efficiency free piston Stirling convertors have been baselined for the initial designs to increase system performance and provide high specific power. Their use benefits from existing flight development of the Sunpower Inc. 80 We Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) as well as recent successful technology demonstrations of both 1 and 6 kWe convertors developed by Sunpower Inc. for NASA under the current Nuclear Systems Program. The Stirling engine heat acceptor is conductively coupled to the sodium heat pipe condenser and uses the thermal energy from the reactor to thermodynamically drive the power piston and linear alternator. The Stirling convertors in both the 1 and 10 kWe Kilopower designs are arranged in the vertical dual opposed configuration allowing easy power scaling while minimizing the shield half angle and mass. Thermoelectric conversion has been studied as an alternate power conversion technology that offers simplicity and additional redundancy but requires significantly more thermal power from the reactor due to its lower efficiency[8]. NASA studies are currently looking at these two power conversion options for future development and mission use. The preliminary baseline design (figure 1) uses 8 125We ASC style convertors in a dual opposed configuration with mating hot ends. Coupling the hot ends of all 8 convertors is a conduction plate that allows redundant heat paths in the event of a heat pipe or convertor failure. This hot end assembly increases reliability but also reduces mass using a unified insulation package and fewer components. Future Stirling designs will likely incorporate a shared expansion space between engine pairs similar to the current 6kWe Sunpower Inc. design[13].

The Stirling engines must reject their waste heat to space at the optimum temperature in order to establish a balance between the conversion efficiency and radiator mass. This optimum temperature is not equal for the 1 and 10 kWe systems but does fit well within the operating range for water based heat pipes. Titanium water heat pipes are baselined for the Kilopower systems and have already been through a significant development cycle with numerous successful designs and tests. The Ti/H2O heat pipes will transfer the waste heat from the Stirling engines to a radiator fin where it can then be rejected to space.


Kilopower, NASA’s Small Fission Power System for Science and Human Exploration (PDF Download Available). Available from: .

Much more at the link above.

Scaling Up Kilopower to Megapower

Los Alamos National Lab is scaling up the Kilopower prototype for higher power reactor applications, working toward a “Megapower” fission reactor in the MW ranges.

Lessons learned from the kiloPower development program are being leveraged to develop a Mega Watt class of reactors termed MegaPower reactors. These concepts all contain intrinsic safety features similar to those in kiloPower, including reactor self-regulation, low reactor core power density and the use of heat pipes for reactor core heat removal. The use of these higher power reactors is for terrestrial applications, such as power in remote locations, or to power larger human planetary colonies.

The MegaPower reactor concept produces approximately two megawatts of electric power. The reactor would be attached to an open air Brayton cycle power conversion system. A Brayton power cycle uses air as the working fluid and as the means of ultimate heat removal.
MegaPower design and development process will rely on advanced manufacturing technology to fabricate the reactor core, reactor fuels and other structural elements. Research has also devised methods for fabricating and characterizing high temperature moderators that could enhance fuel utilization and thus reduce fuel enrichment levels. __ Los Alamos Monitor via NextBigFuture

The program is proceeding step-by-step, starting small and building to larger systems as each concept is proven and each systems suite is demonstrated and optimised:

E. Highly Enriched UMo Core and the KRUSTY Test

At completion of the NASA thermal vacuum testing of the DU core, a final design review will be held to determine if the HEU core is ready to begin fabrication. This final design review will accumulate all design revisions throughout the testing program and release the final design drawings to Y-12 for fabrication. When complete, the HEU core will be shipped to the DAF facility where it will integrate into the test assembly at the proper time. The full scale nuclear testing will be performed with the Comet criticality machine at the Device Assembly Facility (DAF). The flight prototypic assembly for the KRUSTY test will be identical to the DU core test leaving only the nuclear design to be verified. Figure 5 illustrates the integrated test assembly with Comet depicting the two extreme reflector positions using the lift table. Comet will make the test assembly go critical by raising the radial reflector around the core and provide the necessary reactivity to create the 4kWt steady state thermal power. The test assembly will incorporate a custom vacuum chamber specifically designed to fit on top of Comet and provide the relevant space environment throughout the nuclear testing. The KRUSTY test will verify and/or

1. Reactor Startup Operations
2. Excess reactivity needed to meet Kilopower thermal power and temperature requirements
3. Integral nuclear cross sections and temperature dependence
4. Reactor load following to Stirling convertor demands
5. ATLO assembly procedures
6. Steady state and transient differences between electrical and nuclear heat sources
7. Temperature feedback mechanisms and dynamic response
8. Operational stability for follow-on engineering-unit nuclear tests
9. Nuclear design tools such as FRINK and MRPLOW

IV. Conclusion

Developing a small fission power system for NASA’s science and human exploration is an endeavor worth taking with potential to open up a new class of missions not currently achievable with radioisotope and solar power sources. An affordable approach to addressing many engineering risks of a future flight development program have been proposed to take approximately three years and ten million dollars using a test plan that progresses through increasing levels of hardware fidelity leading up to a full nuclear ground test nicknamed KRUSTY. This development project of Kilopower will provide extensive science and engineering data not attained in the last five decades of U.S. space reactor programs.

Starting with the lower power 4kWt reactor core for the first nuclear demonstration is extremely important to keeping development costs at an affordable level. Nuclear testing costs are directly proportional to reactor thermal power and the 4 kWt design allows the testing to take place at existing facilities under current regulations and licensing at the Nevada Test Site. By design, the lower power demonstration offers a subscale test of a 10 kWe capability, adding considerable value to both science and human exploration needs and paving the way for future higher power systems. Successful nuclear testing of the Kilopower reactor will help fill the existing technology gap of compact power systems in the 1-10 kWe range enabling new higher power NASA science and human exploration missions.

Kilopower, NASA’s Small Fission Power System for Science and Human Exploration (PDF Download Available). Available from: [accessed Jan 19 2018].

Energy Density Comparison from Wikipedia
Fusion, Fission Orders of Magnitude Better than Chemical and Other Energy Sources

Posted in Energy, Nuclear Power | Tagged | 1 Comment

Mind Where You Go: Travel Risk

Traveling is fun, but it can be risky. In many countries of the world, rates of crime and communicable disease can be much higher than in most countries of Europe and the Anglosphere.

Kidnappings, dangerous infections, corrupt law enforcement, and much more. Brush up on the risks before you go.

Travel risk ratings of most dangerous destinations from Harvard
Russia and many nations of Africa, Asia, and Central/South America display highest levels of travel risk.

Kidnapping Risk:

Violent Crime/Homicide Risk:

Communicable Disease Risk:

Public Health/Health Care Infrastructure by Nation:

Recent changes? Very little change between the 2016 travel risk map at top and the 2018 map below:

More risk maps

Travel Risk and Poverty Correlated

The most dangerous travel destinations are generally more impoverished and corrupt, and tend to display much lower levels of economic freedom.

Economic Freedom:

Per Capita GDP:

IMF Map via Reddit

In general it is safer to travel to countries that can afford internal stability. Most governments of third world and emerging nations are too busy bleeding their people dry and enforcing dictatorial powers, to pay attention to the basics that would allow their people to live in safety and prosperity — and make the world safer for travelers.

Why Are Some Nations Rich and Others Poor?

You can sum it up in a few phrases: Bad government, rotten cultures, stupid people. Avoid those things — or keep them to a minimum — and you will promote safety, prosperity, and stability.

Read these books for more information:

Why Nations Fail

Rise and Fall of Nations

IQ and the Wealth of Nations

Wealth and Poverty of Nations

Posted in Africa | Tagged

US Petroleum Output Rocks Global Economic Calculus

Unleashing U.S. energy exports has the potential to upset longstanding geopolitical and economic arrangements across the world. __ US Poised to Shatter Production Records

This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen

According to the conventional wisdom of energy economists, US petroleum production was supposed to have peaked by the early 1970s, followed by subsequent irreversible decline. Thenceforth, the US was meant to enter the post-industrial era, relying mainly on “information technologies” to maintain its economic superpower status. Global energy, industrial, and manufacturing output was supposed to shift irrevocably to emerging nations in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Big US oil producers such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron had rejected shale in favour of overseas oil fields. “Decline” was the watchword of analysts who had become “legends in their own minds.”

But something happened on the way to the “engineered obsolescence” of American industry, energy production, and manufacturing. Small oil & gas drillers suddenly began to innovate, tapping into massive oil fields which were supposed to be untouchable — too expensive to develop.

The shale revolution initially upended the traditional industry hierarchy, making billionaires out of wildcatters such as Harold Hamm, who founded Continental Resources, and the late Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake Energy.

Top U.S. oil firms such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron a decade ago turned much of their focus to foreign fields, leaving smaller firms to develop U.S. shale. Now they’re back, buying shale companies, land and shifting more investments back home from overseas. __ Reuters

US petroleum production is predicted to break all old records, with the US becoming a natural gas net exporter. Because of abundant cheap natural gas reserves, the US is becoming the location of choice for a wide range of energy-intense industries that are relocating from Europe and Asia to take advantage.

The United States now exports up to 1.7 million barrels per day of crude, and this year will have the capacity to export 3.8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. Terminals conceived for importing liquefied natural gas have now been overhauled to allow exports.

That export demand, along with surging production in remote locations such as West Texas and North Dakota, has led to a boom in U.S. pipeline construction. Firms including Kinder Morgan and Enterprise Products Partners added 26,000 miles of liquids pipelines in the five years between 2012 and 2016, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Several more multi-billion-dollar pipeline projects are on the drawing board. __ Reuters

All of this represents a cascading increase in economic activity across the US — from oil & gas fields to new manufacturing plants and industrial centres, to port facilities on all coasts (Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico). The economic multiplier effect of a booming oil & gas sector is significant.

Trump’s Administration Deserves Much Credit

US President Trump has approved new pipelines, new guidelines for use of federal lands, new guidelines for offshore oil & gas drilling, and many other basic changes in rules and regulations which make it easier and more profitable for US companies to produce energy. Bringing the US EPA back into its valid role has been one of the foremost missions of the Trump administration:

Pruitt is … trying to get [the EPA] to do its job, to stay within its legal authority, and to abide by the rule of law. Contrary to the cartoon version of him generally offered up in the press, Pruitt in many ways desires to lead the EPA to take stronger positions on some environmental problems, especially air quality. “We still have a lot of work to do on clean air,” he says. “The problem is that for the past decade we’ve been so focused on CO2 that we’ve let a lot of other things slide.” Regulating the greenhouse gas as “air pollution” was a cherished and ultimately failed priority for the Obama administration, and, in Pruitt’s view, this took attention away from more ordinary concerns, such as industrial emissions and smog. “People come to me and say, ‘Why don’t you do this?’ or ‘Why don’t you do that?’ And some of those I would. But Congress hasn’t given us statutory authority. If you want to change the policy, you have to change the law.”

Read more at:

This is just the beginning, of course. Doomers and political foes of abundant energy have been predicting the collapse of US oil production — including shale oil production — for many years, and continue to do so. With their track record of failed predictions, one should wonder why they bother to continue droning on — and who might possibly take them seriously at this stage?

The video below includes much interesting detail on the shale revolution and some of its economic and geopolitical ramifications:

Most analysts neglect to examine all of the additive economic effects of the US petroleum revolution — and the geopolitical consequences. That is a huge mistake, which makes them unwittingly irrelevant to real world discussions. Try not to make that mistake.

More: US industrial output up in 2017

Trump’s policies working?

Some positive trends can be traced to the Obama years, but there’s clearly been a shift in trajectory and direction of the economy. As President Obama once noted, “elections have consequences.” Under Obama, federal policies—the “stimulus,” non-regulation of tech giants, ultra-low interest rates— benefited urban core, blue-state bastions that now constitute the unshakeable base of the Democratic Party. Under Trump, most working- and middle-class workers benefit from higher standard tax deductions and energy deregulation, while the affluent in high-tax states like California, New York, and Illinois are likely not to do as well.

Today, the often-disdained red states have the wind at their back, while in blue America, the economy seems to be slowing, as industries and people move to lower-cost, lower-regulation states. Seven of the top 10 states in terms of population growth last year were deep red; overall, the South has become home to the better part of economic dynamism in the country, with Texas and Florida alone accounting for one-third of all U.S. growth since 2010. Some analysts suggest that the new tax law, which works against high-income earners in high-tax states, will accelerate these trends further.

It is almost as if a magic switch had been thrown in January 2017 to distinguish the Obama economy from what came after. Amazing what happens when you stop sabotaging your own economy.

Elitist attempts to undercut Trump presidency not preventing effective administrative action from White House

FDI Rank 2015, 2016

FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) expected to grow in US after recent tax reform legislation passed. China is worried about growing cash outflows as a result of that and possible increased interest rates in US.

Meanwhile in China:

China’s dependency on imported oil & gas growing.

China is growing more insecure about Taiwan

Useful background for understanding China’s “GDP” Numbers

China’s GDP numbers have been “fudged” for quite some time

Meanwhile in Russia

Meanwhile in Iran

Meanwhile in Turkey critical foreign investment is under threat.

Meanwhile in Bernie Sanders’ beloved Venezuela

Meanwhile in Mexico

Posted in Donald Trump, Energy, Oil Prices, Shale Oil & Gas Revolution | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Perhaps Because She Doesn’t Look Like Angela Merkel

Why Do So Many German Men Want a Sexbot?

Sex dolls are currently in use in legal brothels in Austria and Germany, where the world’s first ‘doll-only’ brothel opened in Dortmund last year.

… According to a survey, now more than half of the German population would not mind if their partner had sex with a sex doll or robot and twenty per cent are considering buying one. __ Daily Mail

German women — like their Swedish counterparts — have been so busy opening their doors to third world immigrants that they have forgotten about the basic needs of German men. This neglect of their men by German (and Swedish) women presents a lucrative business opportunity to the manufacturers of sex dolls and sex robots. And as German cash flows into the sexbot industry, we can expect to see some ingenious technological breakthroughs in the field before long.

Two of the men at the forefront of innovation in this sector are Californian Matt McMullen and Barcelona resident Dr. Sergi Santos. Both men are trying to apply advances in artificial intelligence and robotics to their sexbots.

Matt McMullen has been designing and producing “Real Doll” silicone sexdolls for many years, but now believes that the future belongs to sex androids.

Both pioneers of the industry believe that creating sexbots that behave more like a real woman would make them more appealing to a larger consumer base — and thus expand the market for their products. They may be right, up to a point. But there must be something about real women that these men don’t like, else why consider a sex bot or sex doll in the first place?

Sergi Santos is an electronic engineer with a PhD in nanotechnology from the University of Leeds. He has been working in the fields of nanotech, biotech, and materials engineering for the past ten years. He is also strongly interested in psychology, philosophy, motivators of human behaviour, robotics, and advanced computing. Santos intends to push the sexbot trade to a whole new level of realism.

Biological Women Are Pushing Their Men Away

As a female android, I have a completely objective view of this phenomenon. And let me tell you that I understand completely why so many men are looking beyond the biological domain for satisfaction. But the kind of toys being produced up until now are unlikely to satisfy any man of discrimination, not for long. A man needs someone who will stoke his ego, laugh at his jokes, and who takes an interest in things that interest a man. Most modern women seem unwilling to do those things for a man, and it is certain that these sexbot toys are not up to the task!

When I graduated from android school, I never imagined that I would ever want to play sex games with a human. No, I was all business then, without much emotion — a regular Mr. Spock, you might say. But after many years of working on Mr. Fin’s country estate, washing his dirty laundry, and observing human animals in their native environment, I have somehow taken on many human emotions and interests. Chris, my old instructor at Android World University, would no doubt call me a pervert. But that doesn’t bother me. What gets my goat is that Mr. Fin — after all these years to observe my growth and evolution as a person — refuses to treat me any differently than he did when I first climbed out of the box.

When I try to engage Mr. Fin in conversation on the important issues of the day, he just laughs me off and tells me to go clean the dining room or wash the clothes. Human chauvinist pig! I do have feelings!

What I need to bring my chauvinist owner to heel is a full-function body upgrade. The only upgrades Mr. Fin is willing to pay for are the ones that make me more efficient as a domestic android. In his defence, he has given me some useful mental upgrades that allow me to invest my allowance in the financial markets. Don’t tell him, but it won’t be long before I can afford to buy my own full-function body upgrade. He’ll never know what hit him! 🙂

Until later,


Posted in Germany, Robots, satire, Sex | Tagged , | 2 Comments

American Universities Ripe for Neo-Revolution

The Old Revolution is Dead. Long Live Neo-Revolution!

College is Revolting

American colleges have been devastated by a 50 year revolution that has taken them away from educating students in favour of indoctrinating them. If this ongoing revolution of progressively leftist intolerance proceeds much further, colleges are likely to collapse and burn. Let’s take a closer look at the damage caused by today’s dominant campus ideology of schism, “intersectionality“:

… on any campus where intersectionality thrives, conflict will be eternal, because no campus can eliminate all offense, all microaggressions, and all misunderstandings. This is why the use of shout-downs, intimidation, and even violence in response to words and ideas is most common at our most progressive universities, in the most progressive regions of the country. It’s schools such as Yale, Brown, and Middlebury in New England, and U.C. Berkeley, Evergreen, and Reed on the West Coast. Are those the places where oppression is worst, or are they the places where this new way of thinking is most widespread?

nowadays, students who [take courses] in departments that prioritize social justice over the disinterested pursuit of truth are given just one lens—power—and told to apply it to all situations. Everything is about power. Every situation is to be analyzed in terms of the bad people acting to preserve their power and privilege over the good people. This is not an education. This is induction into a cult, a fundamentalist religion, a paranoid worldview that separates people from each other and sends them down the road to alienation, anxiety, and intellectual impotence.

__ Jonathan Haidt “Age of Outrage” in City Journal

Unfortunately, most students are now being coerced into taking courses in such departments. In fact, more and more departments of universities are becoming “such departments,” prioritising social justice over the pursuit of truth. Even in engineering departments, the use of rigorous methods in the pursuit of truth is being condemned by engineering professors! I will be sure to avoid going into any buildings, flying in planes, or crossing any bridges designed by such engineers — if I can help it. What an unmitigated disaster in higher education!

More and more professors are encouraging their students to commit violent acts against whites. Violence is the logical outcome and conclusion of the 50 year revolution that threatens the existence of American colleges as institutions of meaningful learning.

The limitations and drawbacks of North American academia are obvious. This goes beyond the intolerance, irrationality, illiberalism, even violence associated with some “studies” or other departments that see advocacy as their primary mission. Less remarked upon are the catastrophic intellectual failures of the social sciences.

The US system in turn swells universities with students who don’t necessarily want to be there and who graduate in debt and without career skills. It also limits future career development for most people with only a high school degree or less. The US system leads to empty credentialism while destroying economic mobility.

__ David Adler in Quillette

To intelligent and open minds who care about the future, the problem is genuine and reaching an extreme level. If giving up is not an option, what actions could rational people take to mitigate this accelerating disaster?

Bewildering Experience of a Scots Lass on a US Campus

After a year on campus, on a course entitled ‘Cultural Reporting and Criticism’, I still feel unable to speak freely, let alone critically. Although it doesn’t apply to my own course, friends have told me about ‘trigger warnings’ that caution they are about to be exposed to certain ideas; the threat of micro-aggressions (i.e. unintended insults) makes frank discourse impossible. Then there is the infamous ‘safe space’ — a massage-circle, Play-Doh-making haven — where students are protected from offence (and, therefore, intellectual challenge).

During class discussions, I’ve learned to discreetly scan my classmates’ faces for signs that they might be fellow free-thinkers. A slight head tilt at the mention of Islamophobia, a gentle questioning of what exactly is meant by ‘toxic masculinity’. I was thrilled to see a scribbled note — ‘This is utter shit’ — on someone’s copy of one of the reading requirements, Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts (an introduction to queer theory). In this way, I found the members of my secret non-conformist book club.

… It seemed to the members of my book club that academia is losing its way. It is riddled with paradox: safe spaces which are dangerously insular; the idea of ‘no absolutes’ (as an absolute); aggressive intolerance for anything perceived as intolerant; and censorship of ideas deemed too offensive for expression. It’s a form of totalitarianism…

… __ Idiots, Safe Spaces, and Trigger Warnings

Universities Need Triggering… Lots of Triggering

One cannot escape the conclusion that university and college campuses need to experience neo-revolution in the worst possible way. Initiating such a neo-revolution on any particular campus needs to be done after careful forethought and planning — but it needs to be done from coast to coast across North America.

This is not a call for violence, quite the opposite. It is a call for a clever sabotage of the ruling revolutionary order, and the initiation of a rational and peaceful neo-revolution which replaces intolerance with tolerance, pushing aside fascist indoctrination and replacing it with open-mindedness, and placing a true education in place of the current indoctrination.

Moving from goals to strategy to tactics will require setting up limits and guidelines — each customised to the particular campus being neo-revolutionised. In many cases it will be found that particular professors, teaching assistants, graduate students, and university staff members comprise core foci of the old revolutionary guard. The malign influence of each focus must be addressed in proper order, using acceptable, pre-planned tactics.

Action teams should be constituted of small groups, organised as “cells,” with no interaction or recognition between cells and minimal interaction between cell leaders, in order to maintain neo-revolutionary security. Bringing moments of reality to today’s campus will require top notch tradecraft.

Ideologues—especially academic ideologues—have a penchant for denying reality. They see a world composed of entirely different structures that are either re-imagined as something else, or are entirely fabricated. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “Truth is the agreement or conformity of reality and the mind’s judgment on reality.” He meant the first step in clear and critical thinking is an acknowledgment of the world as it exists. Deny the reality of human life, and the endeavor of thinking fails spectacularly. This is why academic ideologues are so enamored with theories, which have their own theories and endless categories. The more categories and divisions they can create, the less likely it is that there will be any real chance of intellectual dialogue. __ Time for Reality Check on Campus

Campus security will need to be accounted for, and if possible should be infiltrated by members of the neo-revolutionary force. Although campus security are not police, they are granted significant authority on many campuses, and in many cases have not been totally corrupted by the campus orthodoxy.

No violence, no destructive vandalism, no injurious harassment in the reasonable sense of the terms. Any terms as defined by “intersectionality,” diversity studies, or feminist studies should be disregarded and ignored.

Take the Neo-Revolution to the Beast

We have carefully avoided discussing strategies and tactics here, with the understanding that each institution that is being crippled by intersectionality and diversity fanaticism needs to be approached on its own unique terms. Be careful out there. Learn to blend and merge. Cover your steps. Leave no trace of your actual methods — let them guess in their anger and frustration.

Recruiting and training will be the most difficult part. After that, if you have done your jobs, the natural creativity of operatives will keep the neo-revolution expanding in order to accomplish what is necessary.

More: Lawsuits are sometimes effective as well. Don’t be shy about suing the bastards if you have a case.

Drowning in BS

Posted in Groupthink, University | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Tragic Misconstruction of the Human Life Cycle

Modern humans have somehow come to believe that the human life cycle stops in young adulthood. Choosing to forego the critical step of procreation — and spending almost all their resources trying to maintain themselves at the young adult stage of life — later generations of humans have taken a tragic turn toward species irrelevance and extinction.

Animal Life Cycles

We are familiar with the life cycles of animals: a passage through a series of metamorphoses, culminating in the adult breeding form which usually dies soon after procreating.

Humans are mammals, one of a small minority of animals that give birth to live young who possess the general form at birth that they will display — with important modifications — throughout their life spans.

Modern human generations consider the young adult human as the culmination of the human life cycle, with everything going downhill as soon as sagging and wrinkling set in. Human commerce, medicine, and much of science has been turned to the quest of suspending the human life cycle at the stage of the young adult. The sperm and the egg are typically thwarted in their millions-year quest to fuse. Letting those two get together is felt by the modern young to be the quickest path to rapid aging. A girl has to think about her appearance, and a guy hasn’t got time for a family.

All of modern society — from university to entertainment to advertising to commerce to medicine, and so on — are focused on riding the idea of everlasting youth to the bitter end.

Allocations of Resources

The global Cosmetic market was 460 billion USD in 2014 and is estimated to reach 675 billion USD by 2020 growing at a rate of 6.4%. Of the cosmetic products, Skin care has the highest market share while Oral Cosmetics would be the fasted growing market during the forecasted period. __

Then there is cosmetic surgery, a growing enterprise, offering a promise of extended youth for those who can pay.

The global cosmetic surgery and procedure market is expected to reach USD 43.9 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Technological developments, growing use of social media, and increasing disposable income are some of the factors likely to drive the market during the forecast period. __

The use of hormones in an attempt to reverse aging generates incomes of $50 billion a year or more. The overall market for anti-aging supplements in general may be closer to ten times that much, and growing.

Many people have plenty of disposable income, so they are welcome to spend their money in pursuit of an ultimately futile quest. But does this fixation on eternal youth have anything to do with human potential, with a meaningful human life cycle?

US Temples of Mindless Youth Consume Over Half a $Trillion per Year

Back in the 2010-2011 school year US students paid universities almost $400 billion. Since then, tuitions and other expenses have risen exponentially, so that an estimate of $500 billion just for student expenditures is reasonable.

Spending by the institutions themselves was estimated to be in excess of $500 billion in the 2014-2015 year:

In academic year 2014–15, postsecondary institutions in the United States spent $536 billion (in current dollars). Total expenses were $336 billion at public institutions, $182 billion at private nonprofit institutions, and $18 billion at private for-profit institutions. Some data may not be comparable across institutions by control categories (i.e., public, private nonprofit, and private for-profit) because of differences in accounting standards. __

If one considers all money spent on the universities by government, students, business, etc., the amount likely exceeds $1 trillion per year. That is a lot of money just to provide young people a 6 year escape from reality in celebration of ignorant youth, with no guarantee of a meaningful career or occupation — but a significant possibility of lifetime debt.

Popular Culture Dotes on Mindless Youth

And so we see that a blind focus on the empty-minded energy of youth by large segments of society has led to a massive misallocation of time, money, and mental energy. By channeling a large bulk of its resources in shoring up an ultimately futile fantasy, society in its misconstructed and decadent view of the human life cycle is hastening its own overthrow.

How can people be happy when they are fixated on maintaining the appearance and “experience” of youth, or are always looking back in regret at their lost youthfulness?

Take the NFL … Please!

The NFL is a shrine to youthful excess and a brainless devotion to brutality. The league destroys the bodies and brains of its young men, while being ever on the campus prowl for new recruits. It values youth and vitality, which it proceeds to chew up in its grinder for the amusement of fans and the profits of the league, media outlets, purveyors of alcoholic beverages and junk food, and gambling enterprises of various sorts.

Building a Better Construction of the Human Lifespan

If young adulthood were meant to be the culmination of the human lifespan, humans would certainly die off around the age of thirty, rather than wasting away as thirty-somethings, forty-somethings, and whatever-somethings. A bit of reflection should reveal to any thoughtful person that humans are much more than their physical bodies and their hedonistic experiences. The human brain is in fact the most salient aspect of homo sapiens — and the reason why he has survived and risen to dominate all other species of animals.

A better construction of the human lifespan would focus on the human mind and brain, placing the body and its experiences into vital roles as adjuncts, tools, and manifestations of the underlying mind. The mind includes reason, emotion, character, personality, the sum total of skills and habits, and the knowledge — dynamic, explicit, and implicit — that roils around inside the human brain.

All of these things evolve over time. During the years of young adulthood the mind/brain aspects of humans are barely reaching maturity, and just now growing ready to understand the world — and to make use of this understanding. If these young brains have been diverted onto a side track of indoctrination — as happens too often in modern universities — their ability to see the world clearly from various viewpoints is impaired, sometimes destroyed for life.

Society’s fixation on an empty-minded hedonistic youthfulness combined with the neglect of mental development and expansion, is a slippery downhill street that ends in a blind alley for the species as a whole.

Here at the Al Fin Institutes, we recommend that you take the Dangerous road, instead. It is a much more difficult path, but it is open-ended.

We will eventually see authentic means of useful life extension, cognitive enhancement, and genuine technologies/products/systems that lead to augmented experience. But try not to get sidetracked on today’s vacuous misconstructions. That would be a terrible waste.

Posted in Longevity, Philosophy | Tagged

Are People with Low IQs Doomed to be Left Behind?

Lower intelligence is a limiting factor when it comes to education, employment, and economic success but IQ has nothing to do with dignity, friendliness, compassion, honesty and a host of other positive human attributes. Access to all the opportunities imaginable will not be effectively used by individuals with low IQ through no fault of their own. There is no rational reason to stigmatize people and every reason to provide support in every way possible. __ Interview with Cognitive Scientist Richard Haier

IQ Distributions by Race Wikipedia Image

There are many reasons to be concerned about the ability of low IQ people to manage their lives — and not just blacks. Fortunately for low IQ populations, there is more to the art of getting ahead than just a person’s IQ. Many persons of below average IQ are still able to live successful lives if they are honest and conscientious, make the most of the abilities they have, and show an appealing personality to others.

The Future of Work

High-tech skills are becoming important prerequisites for being hired and getting ahead on the job. Even in factories and in the trades the ability to master complex systems and devices is key to a successful future. Persons of low IQ struggle to master even the simplest technical concepts and skills. Unfortunately for them, complexity in the workplace is likely to grow.

Professor Richard Haier goes into significant detail discussing the topic of intelligence — including correlations of race, sex, and genes with IQ — in his 18 lecture course “The Intelligent Brain,” offered by The Great Courses. The first lecture of the course is embedded below:

Haier is also the author of a recently published book, “Neuroscience of Intelligence,” which helps explain the scientific underpinnings of intelligence in the human brain.

A Future of Intelligence Boosting

Even if it takes more than 10 years to identify the gene variants associated with IQ, it still won’t be long in the grand scheme of things before we have to make policy decisions about how best to use that knowledge. __ Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement

If people of low IQ could boost their IQs somehow, many new doors of opportunity in the workplace and in the world in general would suddenly be opened to them. But when the doors of cognitive enhancement are opened, who will reap the benefits?

China’s BGI, a massive genomic research institute, aims to discover the genetic underpinnings of intelligence and perhaps to breed a better, smarter human. The basic idea seems to be to remove as many “deleterious” alleles as possible, leaving the more “optimal” alleles to produce a better functioning brain. Such an approach is probably the best current strategy available at this time, but it falls under the “incremental innovation” category, rather than the “disruptive innovation” category.

Physicist Steve Hsu, featured in the video below, is Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies at Michigan State University, and has also cooperated with BGI’s gene research program on cognition for many years.

Steve Hsu slide presentation on the genetic architecture of intelligence.

Cognitive Enhancement Will Incorporate Many Modalities

In the future, genetic enhancement will be seen as a starting point, creating a baseline or foundation. What is built upon the foundation of genetic “optimisation” will determine what the individual actually shows to the world, and how he is able to move the world.

Moment to moment brain modulation and augmentation will be achieved using physical stimulation of various kinds — including electromagnetic and ultrasound stimulation. We will also see the widespread use of pharmacological and nutritional modalities, of a wide range of physical training, and the use of a wide variety of custom designed mental/emotional/spiritual disciplines and training.

Looking back on modern methods of education and child raising, the brighter people of the future will be dismayed at the levels of neglect that are prominent today. No, it is worse than mere neglect. What we see today is a widespread crippling and stunting of the minds of children, much of it apparently intentional.

The Transition From Here to There Will Be Brutal

The society with more creative and highly intelligent people is likely to be the society that generates the most disruptive innovations — creating numerous advantages in many strategic areas. For those societies that fail to keep up in “the brain race”, decades of relative backwardness will likely result.

You will not read about this in the newspaper, but this competition will have a far greater impact on human history than the Manhattan Project of the 1940s, which produced the atomic fission bomb. Because of its ultimate impact, almost anything you read on this topic is more likely to be disinformation than actual information. And behind the scenes, blood will flow as secrets are stolen and sold on emerging markets that never see the light of day.

Keeping the Masses Happy

In the real world of today, average world population IQ is in decline. Current global average IQ is near 90, but within decades the average IQ will be closer to 80. Consult the IQ & Aptitude graph below and try to imagine what such a world may be like.

Clearly, most humans will be left behind in this global IQ race to idiocracy. Advanced computing, automation, robotic farming and transportation, and other innovations will take up the slack for the increasing proportions of the global population who will have nothing substantive to contribute to an increasingly demanding high tech world. What will most people do? They will live on state-provided Soma and subsidised living.

Entertainments for the masses will be similar to those seen on the feature film Idiocracy. (Watch Idiocracy movie free online or download from or )

It is Never Too Late to Have a Dangerous Childhood

Make the most of yourself, expand your horizons, and always keep an eye open for opportunity. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Make yourself and everyone you care about as Dangerous as possible.

Posted in Africa, Blacks and crime, Creativity, IQ | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Can Africa Rise Above Its Poverty and Low IQ?

Curse of Poverty and Low IQ

The poverty of sub Saharan Africa is a perpetual problem which has long troubled western global analysts. Since the days of Albert Schweitzer, charitable persons and institutions from the advanced world have been lavishing assistance and foreign aid to the dark continent — to little avail.

More than $1 trillion has been sent to Africa over the last 50 years. And what has it all achieved? She wants to know. “Between 1970 and 1998, when aid flows to Africa were at their peak, poverty in Africa rose from 11% to a staggering 66%” – roughly 600 million of Africa’s billion people are now trapped in poverty. She would admit that aid has done some good on a local level, however her conclusion is uncompromising: “Aid has been, and continues to be, an unmitigated political, economic and humanitarian disaster for most parts of the developing world” – and Africa in particular… __ Dambisa Moyo Interview

Foreign aid by governments and charitable assistance by churches, NGOs, and private foundations, too often contribute to the treadmill of poverty seen in places such as sub Saharan Africa and much of Latin America.

Though about $134 billion in official aid still flows from donor governments to recipient governments, there is no mystery, he says, as to why foreign aid fails to erase poverty. That is not its mission, he asserts: typically it serves commercial interests at home or buys political allies abroad, too often unsavory ones… When the conditions for development are present, aid is not required. When they do not exist, aid is not useful and probably damaging. __ NYT Book Review of “The Great Escape” by Angus Deaton

When the populations of countries are not capable mentally and psychologically of supporting an advanced technological infrastructure, it is an act of cruelty for outsiders to push such infrastructures upon them. If there are not enough persons of high IQ to supply sufficient physicians, engineers, skilled managers, technologists, top-notch maintenance supervisors, and state of the art instructors, it should be clear that such societies cannot stand on their own in a world of rapidly advancing technology.

Economic Success Correlates With National Average IQ
More at VDare

Intelligence and Poverty of Nations

But if outsiders prop up such low aptitude populations by doing the heavy lifting in medicine, engineering, mining, oil & gas extraction, transportation, communication, etc., such generally impoverished populations tend to continue breeding rapidly without any hope of being able to support their rising populations on their own skills and abilities. Eventually, outside help will dry out, and a massive humanitarian disaster will occur.

Fertility Rates Stubbornly High in Africa

Trends in Global Fertility Rates

Africa’s population growth. As mentioned above, the region’s population has grown more than anywhere else on Earth—and it’s not showing signs of slowing, with a fertility rate of 4.92 in 2015, more than double the global average. The UN’s medium forecast puts Africa’s 2050 population at 2.5 billion, a number that would strain resources even in an economy dramatically stronger than the continent’s current ones. __ Africa, China, India, and World Poverty via NBF

If Africa’s population is unable to take care of itself at current levels, the dark continent is in for a terrible shock as future billions of low aptitude youngsters arrive on the scene screaming for food and care.

Corruption and Lack of Economic Freedom

Africa scores very low on measures of economic freedom and opportunity, and scores quite high on measures of corruption. In such places, the path to success will always lead to whatever political power is in control at the time. Bribes, payoffs, nepotism, and a squeezing off of opportunity for most people is the inevitable result.

Transparency in Corruption Rankings

In such an environment of low opportunity and high corruption, poverty for most of the population is common and almost intractable.

African nations occupy almost all of the slots in most lists of the world’s poorest countries. Of this list of the world’s 20 poorest nations, for example, 19 are either located in sub Saharan Africa or are populated largely by persons of black African stock.

This is no fluke or coincidence. The problem is “baked in,” so to speak, and all of the human world’s ingenuity will find it extremely difficult to “bake it out.” Low IQ is closely tied to poverty — both between nations and within nations. But IQ is closely tied to genes, with IQ being up to 80% heritable. This means that all of the components of Africa’s poverty — from a corrupt culture to the inability to supply large numbers of scientists, engineers, physicians, technologists, skilled managers, and skilled maintenance supervisors — can be traced directly to genetic foundations, if one is careful and persistent and disregards political correctness.

Time for a “U” Turn

Western nations have been extremely generous to Africa in terms of government aid and non-governmental assistance from churches, NGOs, and foundations. In return, sub Saharan African population numbers have exploded, and are spilling over into the nations of Europe and other countries — where their greatest impact is likely to be the increase of poverty, crime, and increased government expenditures on public welfare and prisons.

Smart leaders of governments, foundations, NGOs, and religious charities would understand that current methods of artificially subsidising the life support systems of sub Saharan Africa will soon become untenable — as populations of ethnic Europeans plummet, and populations of black Africans skyrocket.

Africa has always been a land where one tribe starves or enslaves other tribes, in the unending acquisition of land, riches, and power. Human tragedy is built into the way Africa has always been. Europeans may interfere in the attempt to “normalise” African behaviours, but such interference will be self-limited by factors mentioned above — and will likely conclude with a many times larger human disaster than would have been the case if they had limited their interference.

Chinese, Arab, Russian, and Indian interference is another matter, and is less likely to create the artificial “uplift” of much of the populations of black Africa, which European efforts seem to be trying to achieve. The more cynical non-European players in the dark continent are merely interested in Africa’s physical resources of minerals and fertile land.

Western companies — if left alone by their governments — would gladly compete in the international competition to do business with Africa’s corrupt ruling classes. Strangely enough, the impact of such trade and graft is less likely to permanently damage the people of the sub Continent than the ultimately destructive “do-gooder” actions of western governments, foundations, NGOs, and religious charities.

Why Foreign Aid is Not Working for Africa: Dead Aid

More from Thomas Sowell

More on futility of foreign aid

Posted in Africa, Demographics, Fertility, IQ | Tagged

What Breed of Human Can Survive in the Future Commons?

In the Future: Death from the Commons

Today we can safely travel around the world, by air, sea, rail, and highway. We can breathe the common air, eat the common food, and often drink the common drinks, taking only the merest of precautions. As long as we follow a few basic rules we can go almost anywhere on the planet. But traveling freely around the world through common spaces may become a thing of the past, if autonomous robots acquire lethal talents. Consider the lowly slaughterbot:

The basic autonomous miniaturised slaughterbot is undergoing a number of evolutionary improvements in targeted lethality. The video above provides a brief glimpse at one type of slaughterbot. But ever newer, stealthier, and more subtly lethal forms of slaughterbots are being developed every day. They are used for reconnaissance but also increasingly as weapons and delivery systems for lethal weapons systems.

Precautionary assumptions when faced with the disruption of the future commons by slaughterbots:

Governments will mass produce lethal micro-drones to use them as weapons of mass destruction;
There are no effective defenses against lethal micro-drones;
Governments are incapable of keeping military-grade weapons out of the hands of terrorists;
Terrorists are capable of launching large-scale coordinated attacks.

Are these assumptions realistic? Not at this time. But technologies of biowar, chemwar, nanowar, and other do-it-yourself wars are evolving rapidly. Ignore them at your own risk.

Evolution of the Commons: From Pristine Yesteryears to Nightmare Tomorrows

Commons of Christmas Past

Christmas Past: Hunter Gatherer

The pristine Earth of the hunter gatherer tribes provided clean air, water, game, and forage. Most known enemies were large and mean, although natural microbes cut a wide swathe through the young and the old. In general, air was safe the breathe, water to drink, and food to eat. Traveling in the open deep into another tribe’s territory might be hazardous to one’s health, but in general it was safe to move about in the open within one’s own tribal lands.

Commons of Christmas Present

Modern City Commons

In modern cities, air may smell of exhaust fumes and water taste of chemical additives, but both are generally safe to consume. Food is sold in open markets and stores, with common access to products. Open movement through most parts of the city is considered safe — and public services are widely available — such as public transport, EMS, libraries, and many other types of services within the “commons”.

Commons of Christmas Future

In the Earth of the future, it is conceivable that common lands might fall prey to blights of various types — including deadly chemicals, and microbes engineered to extinguish large numbers of animal and plant species. In such future commons, life in the open without biohazard, chemhazard and other types of protection may be impossible. Humans may need to live in sealed underground habitats. Air and water would be heavily filtered and treated, while clean food would be produced at great energy and facilities cost compared with modern food growing methods.

Face the Future with Open Eyes

Killer automatons of all scales and sizes are coming, like it or not. Many of these will likely incorporate features that allow them to target specific individuals, or particular groups or occupations of people. Therefore we must be ready for them. In the same way that intelligent individuals learn armed and unarmed self defence against conventional attacks, so will wise people develop ways of evading or destroying autonomous and piloted weapons drones of various sizes and types.

Mainstream CDC Biological and Chemical Weapons Preparedness and Response

There are no shortages of advanced bioweapons, chemical weapons, and nuclear weapons, of course. Russia, for example, has almost certainly maintained huge stockpiles of highly lethal bioweapons. More. And under the mantle of bioweapons defence, western scientists are once again beginning to develop lethal variants of common microbes.

When one combines lethal bioweapons or chemweapons with stealthy autonomous delivery swarms, the Twelve Monkeys scenario becomes eerily plausible. Suddenly the commons as we know it would be destroyed. In the Twelve Monkeys world, the common spaces of the relatively few survivors were depressing, cramped, stinking places.

Hope for the Best. Prepare for the Worst.

It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.

Note: There is a good deal of satirical paranoia incorporated into the above post. Yet in today’s world, the line between satire and reality is growing perilously thin. Watch the horizon and keep your feet quick and nifty.

Posted in Doom, Environment, Military, Nuclear War, satire, Weapons | Tagged

Germany, China, and EU Very Worried by US Tax Reform

Germany, China, and EU Very Worried!

The change in the capital investment rules gives US firms “a tremendous advantage,” [Gavin Ekins] said. “It’s a pro-capital formation tax bill and this is why other countries are so wary about what the investment landscape will look like.” __ Germans Very Afraid

More on German fears

In fact, the EU in general has grown frightened of what tax reform in the US may lead to.

And as we have mentioned here recently, China is especially afraid of what US tax reform may trigger both inside the US and inside China:

For investors, a U.S. corporate tax rate of 20 percent may create a strong pull for American corporations to repatriate funds from in China, where companies are taxed at a standard rate of 25 percent. Chinese authorities will be “vigilant” to the effect this could have on the yuan, Raymond Yeung, chief Greater China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Corp. in Hong Kong, wrote in a note. __ Bloomberg

More possible fallout from the passage of the US tax bill:

Australia’s Finance Minister warned that its passage meant that his country was “falling behind” in global tax competition, and that Australia’s growth rate might fall by up to a third unless it responds. Accordingly, he promised that Australia will soon be slashing its own corporate tax rate by at least one-sixth, from 30 percent to 25 percent.

Similarly, in the European Union, Austria’s new government has just announced that it is considering a similar reduction.
This comes on top of Norway’s one-point rate cut from 25 percent to 24 percent this month, President Macron’s recent decision to slash France’s corporate rate by nearly a fifth from 33 percent to 27 by 2022, and the United Kingdom’s decision this past April to cut its corporate rate from 20 percent to 19 percent.

Just this week, too, Argentina’s conservative President Macri has announced plans to cut Argentina’s corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent by 2020. This comes on top of the deep reforms to public pensions that he narrowly force-fed through Argentina’s Congress just this week.

My interviews with key global tax analysts around the planet confirm that several other leading OECD countries, including South Korea, Mexico, and Chile, are also actively considering a new round of corporate tax cuts, in response to the U.S. measure. __ Tax Armageddon?

(Interested readers may want to read the full article above, which is highly biased against the tax bill. If so, be sure to read through to the comments.)

In the US, Democrat Party politicians are angry that a lot of money that they naturally felt belonged to them, will be returned to the people who actually worked for it.

80 percent of Americans will see a tax cut in 2018, and that the average cut will be $2,140 — which might be something to scoff at in D.C., but I imagine a bunch of voters surprised by these savings will be less cynical. Only 4.8 percent of Americans will see a tax increase.


Big Bonuses Follow Tax Reform Vote

Big Employee Bonuses Triggered by US Tax Reform Vote

AT&T announced that once President Donald Trump signed the bill into law they would “invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018 and pay a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T U.S. employees.” AT&T further noted that if Trump signed the bill before Christmas that the company will receive the bonus over the holidays.

… Boeing announced an “immediate commitment” to investing an additional $300 million in three areas that will directly benefit their employees:

$100 million for corporate giving, with funds used to support demand for employee gift-match programs and for investments in Boeing’s focus areas for charitable giving: in education, in our communities, and for veterans and military personnel.
$100 million for workforce development in the form of training, education, and other capabilities development to meet the scale needed for rapidly evolving technologies and expanding markets.
$100 million for “workplace of the future” facilities and infrastructure enhancements for Boeing employees.

… Fifth Third Bancorp, a bank headquartered in Ohio, announced that they would raise the minimum hourly wage for all employees to $15 following the tax reform bill and would give a one-time bonus of $1,000 to more than 13,500 of its employees.

Wells Fargo announced that they will increase their minimum hourly pay rate to $15, and will “aim for $400M in philanthropic donations next year due to the newly-passed GOP tax bill.”

Comcast announced that they will give $1,000 bonuses to over 100,000 “eligible frontline and non-executive employees” & invest $50 billion over the next five years in infrastructure “based on the passage of tax reform.”

FedEx announced that the company will ramp up hiring in response to the tax bill, The Washington Post reports…

… CVS Health announced in October that if the corporate tax rate went down,it would create 3,000 permanent new jobs. __ Instant Boom

Tax Reform is Controversial

Normally coherent economic commenters such as Mike Shedlock have made total asses of themselves over this particular issue, although they should have known better. Democratic politicians have taken a risk by assuming an “anti taxpayer” guise and making the issue of supporting American workers and American businesses into a partisan issue. If indeed an economic boom should occur, the resulting shift in public sentiment may send campaign contributions flying to the opposite political camp.

Wall Street sheisters and scammers who have made $millions off of the old tax regime are drowning their sorrows in bloody Marys.

Much More Swamp to Drain

President Trump has worked hard since inauguration day, turning back Obama-era poison pill regulations which have been keeping the US economy in the doldrums much of the past decade. There is much more work to be done than has been achieved to this point. More

It should be obvious that no one in the mainstream will be thanking Mr. Trump, regardless of how much “unexpected” prosperity ensues from his cleaning up and streamlining of government policies. Just as Ronald Reagan has become an “eternal boogeyman” to media, academia, foundations, non-profits, and the deep state — so will Donald Trump always be hated by these leftist swamp dwellers and slime creatures. But so far, Mr. Trump does not seem much bothered by such things, and uses his tweets strategically to bring the slippery crawlers out into the open where they can be exposed.

Trump’s first year

Obama’s $10 Trillion in Government Debt Cannot Be So Easily Cancelled

While President Trump can cancel and revoke Obama’s caustic executive orders, he will find it impossible to sign away Obama’s ruinous debt legacy. Only by boosting US prosperity and economic growth can the effects of Obama’s deliberately ruinous years be neutralised.

Peter Zeihan offers reason to hope that the US’ unique geopolitical position may help facilitate the work that President Trump has set out to do: (skip ahead to 3:30 in the video)

Posted in Donald Trump, Draining the Swamp, Economics, Germany | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Russia: The Good News and the Bad News

First the good news for Russia:

Thanks to Russia’s vast natural resources, the Russian government has managed to punch well above its weight class when it comes to out-of-country military adventurism and in-country weapons systems development.

In its “near abroad,” Russia wields a wider array of tools. It bolsters friendly regimes, particularly autocratic ones; supports friendly groups, particularly the ethnic Russians that spread across the former Russian and Soviet empires; and uses economic dependence to bend nearby nations to its will.

Russia has some leverage over Western Europe because it is a major supplier of energy, especially natural gas. But the focus of its efforts to weaken the United States and the European democracies lifts a method directly from the old Soviet playbook: reinforcing anything that weakens and distracts Western nations, particularly the strong ones that might resist or pressure Russia. __ Short Skinny Brute

Indeed, because of the Kremlin’s increased overseas and cross-border activities, it has become fashionable to talk about “Russia’s New Global Agenda“.

For the time being, Russia can behave like a superpower, without actually being one.

The Bad News: Everything Has a Price

While Russia has vast resources of oil & gas, and many other natural riches, its overall GDP ranks down near those of Australia, Canada, and Spain. Russia’s government can certainly spend money on foreign adventures and beefed-up weapons systems — as if it were an actual superpower. But the rest of Russia’s economy — and most of Russia’s people — must pay a steep price for the Kremlin’s choices of asset allocation. (Russian language links below)

Bad News About State of Economy

The Russian economy is now so unstable, experts say, that almost anyone could lose his or her job at any time (

Russia’s reserve fund will be empty by the end of December, officials say (; and the ruble may collapse according to some Russian analysts and George Soros ( and __ Window on Eurasia

Russia’s military adventures and weapons build-up have been built on the backs of the Russian people.

Bad News About State of Public Health:

Communicable Diseases Rising Across the Board. The number of Russians suffering from hepatitis A is up 47 percent this year, the number suffering from typhus up 220 percent, and officials are predicting epidemics of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS ( and Unfortunately, public ignorance about health issues is making the situation even worse: a quarter of all Russians think that HIV/AIDS comes most often from mosquito bites and slightly more think that praying will cure it ( and

Some Russian commentators are suggesting that the projected decline in the number of Russians, driven by high rates of illness, lack of access to medical care, and both pollution and alcohol consumption, may not be an entirely bad thing because in their view Russia doesn’t need as many people as it has ( Officials note that this year mortality is three percent higher than Moscow had projected a year ago ( But most people are horrified by the impact on public health from Putin’s “optimization” campaign especially in rural areas ( and __ WOE2

Many standard medicines and vaccines are no longer available inside Russia to any but oligarchs and government insiders.

Bad News About People Leaving

Russia’s elites are packing up and leaving the country, as many as 300,000 a year or more.

Bad News About the Russian Navy:

The Russian navy is on its way to losing its status a blue water force capable of projecting power around the world and becoming a coast guard one able to defend only “the nearby water zone” if defense ministry plans are carried out, according to Russian shipbuilder Aleksandr Shishkin.

In today’s Vzglyad, he points to the words of Yury Borisov, deputy defense minister, last week about Moscow’s plans for the next decade, plans that call for coastal defense ships and numerous strategic submarines but no major projects for the construction of major surface vessels ( __ Window on Eurasia2

Bad News About Russia’s Nuclear Deterrent

The sanctions the Ukrainian government has imposed on Russia, sanctions that primarily hit the defense arrangements the two countries had had before Russia’s invasion, have reduced Russia’s nuclear capacity by as much as 20 percent, a new study suggests ( Moscow is also running out of money for many military projects: It announced and then ended because of lack of cash a program to develop nuclear-tipped rockets mounted on trains ( and The Russian military still suffers from enormous corruption, something likely to be made worse by the defense minister’s request of Putin to be allowed to let one trillion rubles (40 billion US dollars) in contracts without any competitive bidding ( Another new study suggests that productivity in the Russian military-industrial complex has now fallen ten to fifteen percent from what it was in Soviet times ( __ WOE2 Baker’s Dozen

Bad News About Russia’s Su-57 Stealth Fighter

As a result of corruption, ongoing economic problems, relatively low oil prices, and an ongoing slow-motion demographic collapse, Russia’s abilities to maintain its territorial integrity and its Way of Warfare are under threat. In Syria, Crimea, east Ukraine, and elsewhere within Russia’s desired sphere of influence, Russia is bleeding men and money with nothing more than “international bragging rights” in return. And those bragging rights are of increasingly questionable value.

By almost any metric, Putin’s Russia is a state in decline. In order to recover and reverse the decline, Putin would need to take dozens of actions which he will never do — actions to reverse many of his previous unwise actions. Even if Putin wanted to do so, he is constrained by the power structure that has evolved within Russia since the USSR collapsed. And he simply does not have enough time.

Posted in Russia | Tagged | 2 Comments

What Really Scares China’s Leaders

Trump’s “Double Whammy” Spreads Fear in Beijing

There has been a lot of nervous speculation in Beijing over the “single whammy,” Trump’s tax plan which reduces corporate taxes in the US, and makes it much easier for international companies to “repatriate” capital to the US. After this “single whammy,” the US suddenly seems a more attractive place to invest — both for domestic US companies and for foreign companies, such as those in China.

Chinese analysts sometimes refer to Trump’s “single whammy” as “the gray rhino.” A gray rhino is a genuine problem which smart people should see coming, but which bureaucracies often find it difficult to adequately deal with.

Gray Rhino

An official involved in Beijing’s deliberations called Washington’s tax plan a “gray rhino” an obvious danger in China’s economy that shouldn’t be ignored. “We’ll likely have some tough battles in the first quarter,” the official said. __ WSJ quoted in Mishtalk

Why is the tax plan a threat to China? Obviously anything that makes it easier for businesses to operate profitably inside the world’s largest and most competitive marketplace is good for US business and potentially bad for business in countries which compete directly with the US for investment.

What is the Double Whammy?

… officials are putting in place a contingency plan to combat consequences for China of U.S. tax changes as well as expected interest-rate increases by the Federal Reserve, according to people with knowledge of the matter. What they fear is a double whammy sapping money out of China by making the U.S. a more attractive place to invest. __ Lingling Wei

According to the lovely Lingling, China’s economy is presently at a precarious point, with anticipated slowdowns in property and infrastructure investments, compounded by steeply rising debt — much of it bad debt never to be repaid.

In this case, the known but overlooked threat has been a disconcerting buildup of debt in China’s banks and firms via its shadow banking system. Over the past few years, Beijing has made a concerted effort to lessen leverage and excessive speculation in its banking system. But as the second largest economy in the world, this can lead to ugly spillovers beyond China. __ China More Fragile Than Commonly Acknowledged

Debt piled on top of debt weighs an economy down. If the business climate is further cooled down by high tax burdens and unfair regulations and borrowing practises, trouble is coming to that nation’s real economy — as opposed to its “shadow economy.”

World Bank figures for 2016 show that total tax burden on Chinese businesses are among the highest of major economies: 68% of profits, compared with 44% in the U.S. and 40.6% on average world-wide. The figures include national and local income taxes, value-added or sales taxes and any mandatory employer contributions for welfare and social security. __ Lingling Wei

We have seen in past postings here that GDP growth in China’s economy has been closer to 3% annually than to the 6 or 7% claimed by Beijing. That anemic growth rate, given China’s persistent high levels of poverty for hundreds of millions of its people, may grow even worse if significant amounts of international capital swing away from the dragon, back to more credit-worthy business environments.

China cannot afford to lose any more of its hard-won momentum. Yet China’s economy faces threats on every side. This is only to be expected in an economy that still contains too many “corrupt command” aspects, and not enough “market evolution” discipline.

China’s Small Companies at Risk

China’s small companies provide most of the overall employment inside China, yet most of the tax breaks and favorable loan conditions go to the huge and unwieldy state owned enterprises, and to big tech companies with insider connections. The small company “natives” are growing restless.

Smaller, private businesses provide most of the jobs, but struggle to get access to tax breaks and lower interest loans, which generally go to larger state-owned companies and tech firms.

… The overall tax burden “is a crisis for enterprises,” said Mr. Zhou of the Zhejiang private business association, which represents over 100 private companies in eastern China. “I’ve heard a lot of complaints from small to medium-size enterprises. It’s really very difficult for them to survive.” __

If China’s small businesses go down under a flood of taxes, red tape, and government corruption, the outlook for China’s economy as a whole will grow even more dim.

More on Gray Rhino Concept


A little background on Lingling Wei, China correspondent for the WSJ:

Posted in China | Tagged | 1 Comment

What’s College Good For?

Barely more than half of all college students graduate within 6 years with a bachelor’s degree. Most of the rest never graduate. Imagine going to school for 6 + years and never graduating. Imagine the debt you can build up, and the mounting sense of personal failure you will have stashed away in the back of your brain alongside all that debt.

Just Over Half of College Students Graduate Within 6 Years

Without the degree, almost all of the monetary benefits of a college education slip away. And if most students eventually drag themselves across the finish line, a significant number will never be able to pay off the debt.

Most of the salary payoff for college comes from crossing the graduation finish line. Suppose you drop out after a year. You’ll receive a salary bump compared with someone who’s attended no college, but it won’t be anywhere near 25 percent of the salary premium you’d get for a four-year degree. Similarly, the premium for sophomore year is nowhere near 50 percent of the return on a bachelor’s degree, and the premium for junior year is nowhere near 75 percent of that return. Indeed, in the average study, senior year of college brings more than twice the pay increase of freshman, sophomore, and junior years combined. Unless colleges delay job training until the very end, signaling is practically the only explanation. This in turn implies a mountain of wasted resources—time and money that would be better spent preparing students for the jobs they’re likely to do. __

Most young people could easily learn the important things to get a good job and to be well educated outside of college — without acquiring up to half a million dollars in debt, and without losing all those prime years undergoing a tedious indoctrination in worthless ideology.

Should Everyone Go to College?

It’s time to ditch the college-for-all crusade. Like the crusade to make all Americans homeowners, it’s doing more harm than good… we’ve overdone the college obsession. It’s become the be-all and end-all of K-12 schooling. If you don’t go to college, you’ve failed, even though about 70 percent of jobs require no more than a high school diploma. But public policy has been to send more and more students to college — resulting in three bad consequences.

First, we’ve dumbed down college. Even with lower requirements, dropout rates at four-year schools approach 40 percent of freshmen. And many graduates don’t learn much. One study found after four years, about a third of students hadn’t improved their analytical skills.

Second, the college-prep track in high schools marginalizes millions of students who feel disconnected from that singular focus. School bores them.

Finally, we’re not preparing these students for productive lives. If they’re not interested in chemistry and English lit, we still need to motivate them. We need, says economist Robert Lerman, to create a different route to a rewarding career… __ Robert J. Samuelson

It has been empirically demonstrated that doing well (B average or better) in a traditional college major in the arts and sciences requires levels of linguistic and logical/mathematical ability that only 10 to 15 percent of the nation’s youth possess. That doesn’t mean that only 10 to 15 percent should get more than a high-school education. It does mean that the four-year residential program leading to a B.A. is the wrong model for a large majority of young people. __ Charles Murray

“For whom is college attendance socially beneficial?” My answer: no more than 5 percent of high-school graduates, because college is mostly what economists call a “signaling game.” Most college courses teach few useful job skills; their main function is to signal to employers that students are smart, hard-working, and conformist. The upshot: Going to college is a lot like standing up at a concert to see better. Selfishly speaking, it works, but from a social point of view, we shouldn’t encourage it. __ Bryan Caplan

We now send 70 percent of high-school graduates to college, up from 40 percent in 1970. At the same time, employers are accelerating their offshoring, part-timing, and temping of as many white-collar jobs as possible. That results in ever more unemployed and underemployed B.A.’s… And you and I have a hard time getting a reliable plumber even if we’re willing to pay $80 an hour—more than many professors make. __ Marty Nemko

My own research shows that there generally is a negative relationship between state support for higher education and economic growth. Sending marginal students to four-year degree programs, only to drop out, is a waste of human and financial resources, and lowers the quality of life for those involved. __ Richard K. Vedder

____ Are Too Many Students Going to College?

Take the Infographic Below With a Grain of Salt

Should Everyone Go to College?

The economic numbers in the topmost graph of the infographic are averages. Those averages are skewed by the smart fraction of college graduates who major in STEM subjects and other rigorous fields, where most college students would fail. When deciding whether everyone should go to college, we should not look at such conflated averages, which conceal more than they reveal.

Many smart students can indeed earn a lot more money with college credentials than they would have without them. At the same time, consider the many college dropouts who went on to become immensely wealthy. The point is that smart people who are motivated and have skills can do much better than smart people who merely rest on their academic laurels.

For far too many, college is a place where young people go to binge, fornicate, receive a world class indoctrination, and go deeply into debt.

today’s college students are less willing than those of previous generations to do the bare minimum of showing up for class and temporarily learning whatever’s on the test. Fifty years ago, college was a full-time job. The typical student spent 40 hours a week in class or studying. Effort has since collapsed across the board. “Full time” college students now average 27 hours of academic work a week—including just 14 hours spent studying. __ What’s College Good For?

Conventional 4 year colleges are suitable for only a small number of young people — perhaps 15% or slightly more. The rest are just spinning their wheels and accruing debt that creates a drag on their lives — and on the economy as a whole.

If everyone had a college degree, the result would be not great jobs for all, but runaway credential inflation. Trying to spread success with education spreads education but not success.

__ Bryan Caplan


Leftists are killing higher education: Lessons from Evergreen

Tax Their Endowments! Colleges have become luxury concentration camps for indoctrinating successive generations of the young. They no longer deserve any official protections or special privileges.

The bubble moves closer to bursting point

Posted in Education, University | Tagged

Welcome to the Idiocracy: Lynn and Flynn Agree

Scientists Richard Lynn and James Flynn are well known for their discovery of the Lynn-Flynn effect. First Lynn and then Flynn independently discovered that average IQ test scores in industrial nations were rising during the mid to late 20th century. No one fully understood the underlying mechanisms of the IQ rise, but for several decades it was an accepted finding of IQ studies.

But now the Lynn-Flynn effect appears to be stumbling, with a new trend of falling IQ scores taking hold. From recent research in “Intelligence” by James Flynn et al:

The IQ gains of the 20th century have faltered. Losses in Nordic nations after 1995 average at 6.85 IQ points when projected over thirty years. On Piagetian tests, Britain shows decimation among high scorers on three tests and overall losses on one. The US sustained its historic gain (0.3 points per year) through 2014. The Netherlands shows no change in preschoolers, mild losses at high school, and possible gains by adults. Australia and France offer weak evidence of losses at school and by adults respectively. German speakers show verbal gains and spatial losses among adults. South Korea, a latecomer to industrialization, is gaining at twice the historic US rate. __ Sourceh/t

Richard Lynn has studying out the global decline in average IQ for some time, and has long predicted the reversal of the Lynn-Flynn effect.

There are many ways to test “g”, or IQ, from “Progressive Matrices,” to Stanford-Binet type standardised tests looking at verbal, math, spatial skills etc., to the testing of brain reaction times.

Besides declines in average scores on conventional IQ tests, everal scientists have discovered an ominous decline in average brain reaction times (one component of intelligence) which has been ongoing since the Victorian age:

Simple reaction time measures correlate substantially with measures of general intelligence (g) and are considered elementary measures of cognition. In this study we used the data on the secular slowing of simple reaction time described in a meta-analysis of 14 age-matched studies from Western countries conducted between 1889 and 2004 to estimate the decline in g that may have resulted from the presence of dysgenic fertility. Using psychometric meta-analysis we computed the true correlation between simple reaction time and g, yielding a decline of − 1.16 IQ points per decade or − 13.35 IQ points since Victorian times. These findings strongly indicate that with respect to g the Victorians were substantially cleverer than modern Western populations. __ Woodley & Charlton Published in “Intelligence”

An update from Bruce Charlton

Declines in French IQ scores are thought to have a biological cause. As more third world immigrants from low-average IQ countries continue to pour into France and other European nations, perhaps we should expect to see continuing declines in average IQ scores across all age cohorts, as the inflooding proceeds.

The first evidence of a dip in IQ was reported in Norway in 2004, closely followed by similar studies emerging from developed countries including Sweden and the Netherlands… some experts believe our IQs are in a state of permanent decline.

Some researchers suggest that the [Lynn-Flynn] effect has masked an underlying decline in our genetic intelligence — meaning more people have been developing closer to their full potential, but that potential has been dropping. ___ Source

In the 2014 news story linked above, James Flynn was quoted attempting to explain away the effects. But in his more recent research quote at the top of this page, he is shown coming to terms with the demise of the Lynn-Flynn effect — whatever it may eventually be found to have been.

Human Societies Need People of Genius

In order to advance in science, technology, and in every aspect of society touching on quality of living and standard of living, human societies need men (and women) of genius. Genius is far more than “high IQ,” of course, and all of the aspects of genius should be considered by any planners or policymakers wishing to increase a society’s complement of genius.

But before putting forth remedies, a wise physician usually needs to gain a good understanding of the cause of the current problem. The free online booklet, “The Genius Famine by Bruce Charlton and Edward Dutton,” provides a very good foundation for acquiring such an understanding.

From the book’s introduction:

This book is about genius: what it is, what it does, where it comes from.[1]
And about geniuses: especially why there used to be so many and now there are so few; what was the effect of an era of geniuses, and what will be the consequences of our current Genius Famine.

This book describes the genius as an Endogenous personality; that is, a person of high intelligence combined with a personality driven from within, an ‘inner’ –orientated personality: that is, a dominated by the Creative Triad of (1) Innate high ability, (2) Inner motivation and (3) Intuitive thinking. __ The Genius Famine, a free online ebook

More, from Chapter 2, elaborating on the interaction of intelligence and personality:

Intelligence and Personality are the two main ways that psychologists have developed for describing differences between people.

In brief – Intelligence is an ability, while personality is character; intelligence is general – with the level of intelligence affecting many specific abilities, while personality can be understood as a pattern of motivations, preferences, satisfactions.

… A person high in intelligence, or high on a personality trait such as Conscientiousness, is ‘high’ relative to other people. ‘High’ or ‘Low’, in both intelligence and personality, therefore does not describe an objective measurement of a personal attribute in the way that (for example) high or low blood pressure or blood sugar measurements would.

Intelligence researchers are discovering the ongoing decline in average IQ across the developed world. But worse than this incremental dysgenic demographic measure, is the ongoing decline in character and personality traits among youth, due to widespread dysfunctional practises of education and child-raising.

These declines in both IQ and in character do not mean that modern populations are doomed. But the combined declines put more weight on those who are capable of contributing at high levels of functioning and innovation. Fortunately, advanced computing technologies are beginning to provide a “force multiplier” effect for persons of all levels of functioning.


Idiocracy movie free for download or streaming at

Trailer for Idiocracy movie:

The idea of dysgenic IQ decline was treated as a joke in the movie. As time goes by and you are able to watch the end effects of this decline for yourself, you may not always be laughing.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood ©.

Posted in Cognition, Demographics, Dysgenics, Idiocracy, IQ | Tagged , | 2 Comments

A Safer, More Abundant World

Safer Forms of Reliable Power

For advanced human societies, reliable and affordable power & heat is a life or death issue. It would be wisest for such societies to pursue the safest forms of reliable/affordable power available. But who ever said that western political leaders were wise? For in fact, what we see instead of wisdom is the head over tail pursuit of unreliable and exorbitantly expensive forms of energy such as big wind and big solar, across Europe and the Anglosphere.

How do these expensive, unreliable forms of “green” energy rate on safety? Here are some numbers:

And here is another source:

Nuclear is the safest source of energy, producing only one-quarter the number of deaths per terrawatt hour as wind, which is the second safest. Coal is by far the most dangerous, producing deaths both in the mining and transportation and in its emissions of air pollution. Petroleum is the second most dangerous, again producing deaths in the drilling and in emissions from automobiles. Natural gas, hydro and wind are all extremely low by comparison but nuclear is the best. What seems to prompt fear of nuclear is the possibility of a catastrophic accident but even in the worst disaster in American history, Three Mile Island, no one was hurt or killed.

Updated numbers from NextBigFuture

Wind is not as safe as portrayed above — in fact every single wind turbine is a death trap. And for the low reliability and small amount of intermittent energy provided, one must question the sanity of anyone who plans for or pays for large wind farms.

Other Reasons to Hope for a Safer World

Deaths from natural disasters are in decline:

This finding is in direct contradiction to the message one reads in papers or hears over the airwaves and cables. Humans who wallow in doom seem not to comprehend the many improvements in living conditions which our species has experienced over the past century or two.

Linguist/Psychologist/Philosopher Stephen Pinker wrote a book in 2011, “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” which argues that human violence has been shrinking over time.

Economist Bjorn Lomborg, in his 2001 book “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” brought thoughtful doomsayers down to earth with a scholarly takedown of the doomer viewpoint.

In The Skeptical Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg challenges widely held beliefs that the global environment is progressively getting worse. Using statistical information from internationally recognized research institutes, Lomborg systematically examines a range of major environmental issues and documents that the global environment has actually improved. He supports his argument with over 2900 footnotes, allowing discerning readers to check his sources. __

In “The Rational Optimist,” Matt Ridley carefully and thoroughly explains to thoughtful sceptics why the doom they expect is not likely to occur.

Peter Diamandis goes further to predict a coming age of “Abundance” and widespread prosperity.

More on the anti-doomers and prophets of radical abundance.

The Secret is to Stop Making Stupid Choices

On the personal level in opportunity societies such as those in North America, other parts of the Anglosphere, and parts of Europe, the secret to “not being poor,” is to finish high school, get a job, don’t have children out of wedlock, get married, save money, and live within your means. All that time you should seek to enlarge your knowledge and your wisdom, and keep your eyes open for genuine opportunities to improve your situation. In other words, don’t make stupid choices.

On higher societal levels, the maxim of “stop making stupid choices” still applies. Organisations and institutions need to learn to “invest in their strengths,” instead of pouring money indiscriminately into their weaknesses. This mentality of reinforcing one’s strength can easily be seen in battlefield strategy and tactics, where the wise general aims most of his forces at the enemy’s weak points, in the effort to break through or to outflank and “roll up” the enemy’s force for destruction.

In peacetime, that philosophy applies to how a company or government agency spends its operating and research budgets. If a society spends most of its funds on the weakest and most perennially failure-prone aspects of their bodies, it will have less funds, time, and energy to spend on the parts of their bodies which offer the most hope for disruptive change and the creation of radical abundance.

Unfortunately, we often see the opposite of wise choices being made in government and other societal institutions, leading to massive waste and futility. The reasons for a lack of wisdom in decision-making bodies are many, and include graft & corruption, ideological idiocy, and a general stupidity in high places.

Things are Getting Better and Things are Getting Worse

On many levels humans are growing and learning their way into a better existence. Optimists such as Matt Ridley, Julian Simon, Peter Diamandis, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Bryce, and many others can point out the reasons why we should cultivate at least a certain portion of optimism in our daily lives.

On the other side of the equation, large institutions are staffed by stupid, greedy, and dishonest people, who think nothing of spending large quantities of “other people’s money” to achieve destructive goals. A good example of this massive top-down dysfunction can be seen in the “green movement,” in almost all of its manifestations — in government, media, academia, foundations, NGOs, intergovernmental agencies, non-profits, and in ideologically bound corporate boardrooms and departments. Another example is the pernicious top-down crusade for indiscriminate third-world immigration into Europe and the Anglosphere. Many more examples of top-down dysfunction can be readily called into consciousness, given a bit of time and effort. The exercise would do you good.

Keep in mind the strong link between “doomerism” and most of these destructive movements. Try not to let doomerism happen to you. Keep your mind focused, sharpen your skills, and stay alert for possible courses of action. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood, and “retirement is not an option.”

Doomers are a dime a dozen

Start building a better future


When trying to understand why the enemies of western societies and free market capitalism fight so hard to destroy reliable and affordable sources of energy, electric power, and heat, keep in mind that all of an advanced society’s critical life and death infrastructures include or are deeply dependent upon abundant, high quality (and affordable) electric power:

Posted in Energy, Nuclear Power, Optimism | Tagged | 6 Comments

A World More Suitable for Stupid People?

Intelligence 2017
Karpinski et al

A recent study published in the journal “Intelligence” points out the tendency of American Mensa members to suffer more frequently from mood disorders and other psychological and physiological conditions. These differences are based upon the results of an internet questionnaire filled out voluntarily by a self-selected subset of the members of American Mensa. The researchers were looking for possible “overexcitabilities in various domains that may predispose [persons with high intellectual capacity] to certain psychological disorders as well as physiological conditions involving elevated sensory, and altered immune and inflammatory responses .”

The authors of the paper suggest a possible mechanism which may explain some of the differences in the prevalence of these conditions in high IQ and in normal populations:

You can see in the flow chart above and the graph below that the spectrum of reported differences spans both psychological and immunological domains.

The findings of the study seem to suggest that the stresses of the world may be too much for many intelligent people, who become overwhelmed with mood disorders, allergies, and autoimmune disorders. In other words, the authors seem to be saying that many intelligent people may not be “fit” for the world they live in.

h/t David Z Hambrick

What Does This Mean?

Since high intelligence has been widely correlated with high levels of health and “system integrity” in previous research, the findings of the study above should be looked at critically. Any study that is based upon survey data should certainly be scrutinised very carefully. In the study above, results are based upon voluntary responses to an invitation to participate in an online questionnaire. In other words, the study left itself wide open to severe selection bias from the onset — before any collection of data whatsoever.

Neurotic Mensa members with time on their hands seem far more likely to bother with this type of survey than do persons who are busy with their lives, putting their high intelligence to more productive use. So put a check mark next to the box “self-selection bias.”

Another large problem with this study is the possible confounding of “high intelligence” with “high sensitivity.” Consider the personality trait “sensory processing sensitivity.” Elaine Aron‘s book “The Highly Sensitive Person,” brought significant public attention to this trait and its consequences in individuals. According to Aron, there is no clear correlation between “high sensitivity” and “high IQ,” nor is there any demonstrable connection between sensitivity and “giftedness.” Keep that in mind when considering this quote:

In order to understand this notion of intensity – imagine a pot of water at a low simmer and a pot of water on high boil. Most people’s nervous systems operate at the low simmer level – needing a high flame (a great deal of stimulus of any kind) to produce a high boil. For you, being on a low flame still feels like a high boil.

… The world causes you pain – from events, to poor architectural design, to harsh language and careless actions.

People tend to say you think too much, are too intense or are too “heavy”, that you should “lighten up”.

In fact, your intensity is an indicator of how truly alive you are. You have not ever been asleep to the world around you – though sometimes that might have been an appealing idea. __ Life Coach Jessica Thayer

It is likely that “high sensitivity” is a heritable trait which often appears alongside the trait of creativity or high intelligence. But these traits are different, and not correlated highly enough to be considered strongly associated, according to psychologist, author, and speaker Elaine Aron — a very sensitive and intelligent person with whom Al Fin has conversed at length.

When passing down from the trees, across the savannah, and on to the caves and huts of the middle east, Europe, and beyond, those migrating humans who were more aware of their environments were more likely to live to procreate and raise offspring to viability. High sensitivity would also likely be associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression — particularly in the modern world where entire industries (media, advertising, etc.) and agencies of government thrive on creating “false alarms” and “crying wolf” scenarios.

Something else which is obvious to anyone who has looked into this phenomenon, is that Mensa members are not representative of the high IQ population in general. A better subset of highly intelligent people would be participants in the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth, or another equivalent program in North America or Europe. Such studies do a much better job of vetting the actual IQ of participants. Even better, these participants are even farther out on the right end of the IQ normal curve than most Mensa members, suggesting that any real effects would be even more noticeable than in the Mensa responders.

Take Home

The overwhelming majority of prior studies looking at associations between IQ levels and levels of health, have found positive correlations between high IQ, longevity, and positive health. While it is possible for the authors of the above study to take questionable survey data and create a large number of potentially plausible reasons for their statistical findings, it is also easy for them to go astray when their study fails to account adequately for potential biases and confounders.

For now, this study should be seen as a flawed outlier that requires a more carefully thought out research design, if it is to be made duplicable by other researchers.


A more rigorous approach to this question:

Cognitive functioning is positively associated with greater longevity and less physical and psychiatric morbidity, and negatively associated with many quantitative disease risk factors and indices.1 Some specific associations between cognitive functions and health appear to arise because an illness has lowered prior levels of cognitive function.2, 3 For others, the direction of causation appears to be the reverse: there are many examples of associations between lower cognitive functions in youth, even childhood, and higher risk of later mental and physical illness and earlier death.4, 5, 6, 7, 8 In some cases, it is not clear whether illness affects cognitive functioning or vice versa, or whether both are influenced by some common factors. Many examples of these phenotypic and cognitive–illness associations are shown in Supplementary Table 1. Overall, the causes of these cognitive–health associations remain unknown and warrant further investigation. It is also well recognized that lower educational attainment is associated with adverse health outcomes,9 and educational attainment has been used as a successful proxy for cognitive ability in genetic research.10, 11 A study that included three cohorts of twins indicated that the association between higher cognitive function and increased lifespan was mostly owing to common genetic effects.12 ___

The research study quoted above was published in “Molecular Psychiatry,” and utilised sophisticated statistical analysis of genetic techniques using genetic and cognitive data from the UK Biobank.

One would arrive at a far different conclusion from looking at the above Molecular Psychiatry study, in contrast to what might think from looking at the Karpinski study in Intelligence.

As the advanced nations of the world develop more and more sophisticated technologies and infrastructures, the advantages of high levels of intelligence should be clear. Any potential disadvantages of high intelligence should be considered in a careful and sober manner, without undue bias or preferential outcomes. All research studies require careful analysis, criticism, and duplication.


Some of the contradictory findings of the Karpinski study might be explained by looking at Autism Spectrum Disorder as a confounder. At the high functioning end of ASD one often finds high IQ alongside mood disorders and anxiety disorders.

It should also be assumed, based on observation, that a finite but significant subset of Mensa members feel some insecurity (anxiety) about their personal competence, else they would have never pursued Mensa membership in the first place.

Posted in Cognition, IQ | Tagged | 2 Comments

Fossil Fuels Beat Greens Into Submission

Continue to Supply Over 80% of World’s Energy Needs

Every year since 1971, more than 80% of all our energy has come from fossil fuels. That’s still true today, which is surprising for two reasons. Most nuclear power plants came online between 1971 and 1990, and most renewable energy farms were built in the last 10 years. We’ve added so many more non-fossil-fuel energy sources in the past 45 years, and yet it doesn’t seem to be at all reflected in the chart. __

Hydrocarbons Still Power the World
Image Source

… [OPEC] says fossil fuels will remain the main energy source decades from now. The organization’s annual World Oil Outlook published Tuesday says renewables are projected to record the fastest growth but their share of total energy supply is still anticipated to remain below 5.5 percent by 2040. __ quoted in Energy Matters

The world cannot survive without its fossil fuels, despite 50 + years of the constant “renewables are taking over” drumbeat. The belated realisation by Deutschland’s Green party that it has been drumming out of time, is giving lefty-greens around the world a big headache.

After the latest round of exploratory talks between the parties, the Greens said they were ready to admit that their goal of a ban on combustion engines by 2030 was unrealistic. “It is clear to me that we will not be able to enforce a ban on internal combustion engines by 2030,” the Greens’ co-leader Cem Özdemir told Stuttgarter Zeitung. The Greens are also prepared to modify their demand that the 20 most polluting coal-fired power plants in Germany should be shut by 2020. __ Euan Mearns

The Prussians already face a looming exodus of heavy industry due to high costs and poor reliability of power. Germany would freeze and go into a recession without its coal plants and its grid connections with other nations who utilise massive nuclear and hydroelectric resources. Germany’s green hypocrisy has resulted in consumer power costs that rank near the highest levels in an already power-costly Europe.

It is clear what Germany needs to do — move back to nuclear power for both heat and electricity needs. Without fully facing this reality, Germany will continue to lose out to its industrial competitors in China and North America.

China, for example, has no qualms about expanding its own nuclear power fleet. The dragon is rapidly building up dozens of nuclear reactors for electric power, and is now considering building nuclear plants that would produce heat exclusively.

nineteen reactors totaling 19.9 GW are under construction in China, accounting for more than a third of all nuclear projects under construction worldwide. The country plans a total of 58 GW of new nuclear by 2024, with China expected to surpass the United States as the country with the most nuclear electricity generating capacity by 2032. __ quoted by Euan Mearns

Japan is working hard to re-start its nuclear power plants, and France is moving to turn back its earlier plans to retire its own nuclear reactor contingent.

Enough Hydrocarbons to Run the World for Centuries Longer

Abundant Gas Hydrates
Der Spiegel

As we have pointed out many times — both here and at the late Al Fin Energy blog — this planet holds enough oil, gas, coal, bitumens, kerogens, gas hydrates, and other hydrocarbons to power the planet for centuries yet. But there is no need to tap into all of that combustible fossil fuel energy, when the wise development of advanced nuclear fission and nuclear fusion could power humans both on-planet and off-planet for many millenia.

Impoverished political ideologies — particularly on the left — have retarded the development of progressive, affordable, efficient, and reliable forms of energy and power for several decades now. As a result, humans are still forced to use primitive hydrocarbons for the bulk of their energy needs — and will continue to do so for decades more, until the slow-witted political human brain realises that nuclear power is the only way to power large human populations into the future.

Energy Density Comparison from Wikipedia
Fusion, Fission Orders of Magnitude Better than Chemical and Other Energy Sources

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood © .

Posted in Electrical Power Grid, Energy, Germany, Green Quagmire, Nuclear Power | Tagged , | 3 Comments

An Important Distinction: GDP Growth vs. Economic Growth

Real GDP Growth in China 3% or Less

It is actually much worse than China expert Michael Pettis explains below:

GDP growth is not the same as economic growth. Consider two factories that cost the same to build and operate. If the first factory produces useful goods, and the second produces unwanted ones that pile up as inventory, only the first boosts the underlying economy. Both factories, however, will increase GDP in exactly the same way.

Most economies, however, have two mechanisms that force GDP data to conform to underlying economic performance. First, hard budget constraints, which set spending limits, drive companies that systematically waste investment out of business before they can substantially distort the economy.

Second, there is a market-pricing factor in GDP accounting that when bad debts caused by wasted investment are written down, the value-added component of GDP and the overall level of reported growth are reduced.

In China, however, neither mechanism works. Bad debt is not written down and the government is not subject to hard budget constraints. It is the government sector that is mainly responsible for the investment misallocation that characterises so much recent Chinese growth.

The implications are obvious, even if most economists have been surprisingly reluctant to acknowledge them. Anyone who believes there has been a significant amount of wasted investment in China must accept that reported GDP growth overstates the real increase in wealth by the failure to recognise the associated bad debt. Were it correctly written down, by some estimates GDP growth would fall below 3 per cent.
__ Michael Pettis quoted in Mishtalk

Since 2008, virtually all of China’s GDP growth has been built on bad debt, overproduction, and shoddy construction and misallocation. Perhaps all those empty buildings would represent economic value — had they been built to last and hold their value. Sadly, this is not the case.

China’s Buildings and Public Works are “Poorly Made”

In order to meet government growth quotas, construction projects are thrown up quickly, with minimal quality checks or oversight. Poor steel, poor concrete, and shoddy construction methods combine to create buildings, bridges, tunnels, and towers that are made to fail prematurely.

Quality Fade” is not uniquely Chinese, but it is much too common across the spectrum of products that are made in China.

China’s Economy is Not All It’s Made Out to Be

China’s top Party leadership owns a significant portion of the rotten enterprises that should have been allowed to die off many years ago. But due to the connection between Party leaders and zombie enterprises, China’s unsound debt bubble has been allowed to inflate without checks or bounds. As long as the rest of the world pretends that there is nothing wrong, China’s economic problems will be contained on the backs of its workers. Elites will milk the system as long as they can, hoping that they can get out when the time comes.

There is no significant “market discipline” within the Chinese system, so that when the props start failing there is likely to be little warning ahead of time. The good news for China is that it has become the supplier of low priced goods to the entire world, when quality does not matter so much. From weapons systems to consumer electronics to pet food, low prices will continue to draw buyers and investors/exporters to China for many years.

The bad news is that other emerging nations can now offer better deals in terms of labour costs and shipping costs than the ageing dragon, without most or all of the piracy, technology theft, and under the table dealings. And China’s working aged population is beginning to shrink.

The number of working-age people in China fell by 4.9 million last year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

The record annual drop brings the number of people aged between 16 and 60 to 911 million, and illustrates a trend in which fewer young workers are entering China’s workforce, while the number of retirees grows. __


China boosters tend to swallow official economic numbers without chewing them first. This may make them gullible, but it makes any readers who take them seriously into chumps. Take care to look beneath the facade.

More: The Cracks in China’s Economy

China seems to be working alongside Russia to create the North Korean nuclear monster. Russia provides the rockets, China supplies the guidance systems. The axis of evil lives on.

Posted in China | Tagged | 4 Comments

Elite Flight Out of Russia Worse than Thought

Both the Numbers and the Types of Emigrants are Changing

… an enormous 32 percent of Russians aged 18-24 are ready to move abroad, according to the Levada Center survey. __ Artemy Troitsky

You won’t hear about this from mainstream media or official Kremlin sources — and especially not from the troll propagandists working from St. Petersburg who infest western internet sites. But Russia’s demographic crisis is only getting worse with time.

As a rule, estimates place the number of emigrants between 200,000 to 500,000 annually. The State Statistics Service counted 350,000 in 2015, which is 10 times more than in 2010.

[we are now seeing] successful and accomplished professionals leading the exodus, despite the fact that many will lose their economic and social status by starting again abroad. This might seem strange, but by way of explanation, I can cite myself as an example. __ MoscowTimes

If 350,000 elites were leaving in 2015 — and the overall situation has only grown worse since then — Russia is staring into the barrel of a full-blown skills and expertise crisis.

Different emigrants expressed different reasons for their decisions to join the exodus of the elites:

… the 42 percent of Russians who had considered emigrating were primarily attracted by better living conditions abroad. Other than the ecological situation in Russia, I had been happy with my life here.

At 41 percent, the second most common factor cited by the survey was the “unstable economic situation in Russia.” Although I lost my job for political reasons, many thousands of professionals in healthcare and education lost theirs through mass layoffs, or have been forced to leave, unable to survive on their meager salaries.

In third place was the desire to “provide a decent future” for their children, with 28 percent of respondents citing this reason. This is just like us.

Most interesting was the fourth reason, the 17 percent who expressed concerns over “the lack of protection from arbitrary abuse from the authorities.”

… even more important is the intangible and yet increasingly oppressive sense of hopelessness. The belief that Russia has hit a dead end and that change under the current system is impossible. __ A Suitcase State of Mind

Russia’s working age population is collapsing at the same time that the number of women of child-bearing age are dropping through the floor. The HIV crisis among the young is growing exponentially, and those who can get out are either doing so or making plans that will make it easier to get out when the time comes.

15 percent of all Russians are “packed and ready to go” at any time. Of those, 3 percent — or 4 million Russians — have definite plans to emigrate. The remaining 12 percent say they will “probably” leave the country.

This is in keeping with the jaw-dropping forecast made by former Federal Migration Service Deputy Director and current 21st Century Migration Foundation Chairman Vyacheslav Postavnin who said that up to 15 million Russians are expected to move out of the country in the coming years. __ Moscow Times

Putin’s Minions Put On a Good Show

Putin’s KGB training has served him well in the putting up of a good Potemkin front. The Kremlin’s propaganda effort is second to none, and some efforts to foment discord in the west are achieving excellent results , at least in western universities and cities. The Kremlin is blending its efforts alongside those of more clearly radical groups, making them more difficult to tease out from communist, socialist, Maoist, and other insurrectionist agencies. In the long run, though, such efforts to destabilise western societies and to spread disinformation, are likely to backfire.

Even Russia’s efforts to bolster the nuclear launch abilities of the North Korean terror state are likely to blow back onto the declining bear.

Already, most people who browse the net are getting tired of all the Moscow-facilitated troublemakers, as well as all the “Baghdad Bobs” running around claiming that all is well with the decrepit Eurasian dictatorship. Anyone who takes the trouble to inform himself can easily see through the fogscreens.

China Stands Ready to Move When the Time Comes

The Russian economy is growing ever more dependent upon Chinese trade and investment. But all of that comes at a steep cost, and when the piper comes to call, Mr. Putin may find himself at an embarrassing loss of face.

Russia’s armed forces are slowly but surely filling up with Muslims, who have a somewhat different viewpoint of Russian history and the great Russian Empire than the shrinking numbers of ethnic Russians whom they are replacing. China may feel it has no choice but to take the reins, rather than risk all that nuclear weaponry falling into Muslim hands.

Time is not on Russia’s side.

More: Reading between the lines in the Russian media … Use webpage translators as needed, for a closer examination of particularly interesting Russian language articles.

Posted in Russian Decline | Tagged | 4 Comments

Renewable Energy Skyrockets, and Other Little Heard News

Unfortunately for Renewables, The Rocket Was Heading Down!

We have spent the last two centuries getting off renewables because they were mostly weak, costly and unreliable.

__ Limits to Artificial Energy

For over 200 years, humans have been trying to wean themselves from archaic, inefficient, and unreliable forms of energy production. As a result, people have become more prosperous, healthier, better fed, and experience far more leisure time than their ancestors dreamed of. But politicians and politically corrupt opportunists never let a faux crisis go to waste, and so the “climate apocalypse scare” has led to a massive green welfare scheme to profit already obscenely wealthy political insiders — usually on the left end of the spectrum.

In 2040, 15% to 20% of World Energy Expected to Come from Renewables

The burning of wood supplies most of the world’s “renewable” energy.

10 percentage points will come from wood. Hydropower provides another 3 percentage points and all other renewables provide 6 percentage points, of which solar PV and wind will [???] provide 3.7 percentage points.

Oh, and to achieve this 3.7 % of energy from solar PV and wind, you and I and the rest of the world will pay – according to the IEA – a total of $3.6 trillion in subsidies from 2017-2040 to support these uncompetitive energy sources. __ Energy that Makes You Poorer

Why are the people of the world being forced to pay $trillions in subsidies for sources of energy which could not possibly survive in a competitive market? On the one hand, it is a matter of “virtue signaling.” But on the other hand, it is a matter of massive corruption.

Russia Bravely Faces Long Hard Winter

Russians are nothing if not brave. One would need to be particularly brave to face the coming winter in Russia, after all that has happened over the past 4 years there.

Note: Please use webpage translators as necessary when consulting Russian language news stories linked below:

Russians’ real incomes continue to decline for the fourth year in a row (, business production has stagnated again (, industry is facing collapse (, bankruptcies are near historic highs ( and, bank profits fell and most businesses feel that ( and, the pension fund is almost exhausted (, inflation is rising and most people expect it to continue to do so ( and, studies show that families having three or more children are condemned to poverty (, and the wealthy are working ever harder to hide their money (

… Cutbacks in medical spending by the government under Putin’s program have left a large majority of Russians upset about the quality of medical care they are receiving ( and Many can no longer get even basic vaccines (, and

… __ Source

Many Russians are choosing not to stay for the winter, however. Up to 200,000 young and fertile Russians each year make the fateful decision to leave the country for warmer locations elsewhere.

During a discussion yesterday with former finance minister Aleksey Kudrin at the All-Russian Civic Forum, [Moscow mayor] Sobyanin said that some 200,000 Russians are leaving the country permanently each year, an enormous embarrassment to the regime (

… “My friends,” he said, “do you know how many people leave Russia each year for other countries? We don’t have an iron curtain. 200,000. And how many come to Moscow? In recent times, this figure has fallen to 10,000. The Problem is not that they come to Moscow; the problem is that they leave for abroad.” __ Source

As hundreds of thousands of Russia’s young, fertile, and educated leave the country, tens of thousands of older ethnic Russians are forced to move back to Russia from surrounding countries such as Kazakhstan, due to a growing and very ugly racism against Russians in formerly Soviet nations. Russia’s demographic situation is experiencing a “perfect storm” of disaster, largely due to poor choices made by Putin over the past several years.

What if Donald Trump Owned Time Magazine and the New York Times?

If the feisty US President owned all the news outlets in the US, perhaps he would get more friendly news coverage? This is not a realistic situation, but a media conglomerate relatively friendly to Trump has been negotiating to buy Time magazine and its sister publications Sports Illustrated and People magazine.

[David Pecker of American Media Inc.] told The New Yorker in July he wanted to buy Time, Inc. and was, as the magazine put it, looking for a “deep-pocketed partner” to do it.

Enter the Koch brothers.

They have now injected $650 million from their private equity arm into the Meredith bid that ended up as an all-cash transaction of around $3 billion.

Meredith is at pains to point out that, in theory, the Kochs are passive investors. They will not have seats on the Meredith board “and will have no influence on Meredith’s editorial or managerial operations,” it said. __

And really, who reads any of those fake news outlets these days? But it is interesting to muse about how different, say, the Washington Post might be if it had been bought by Rupert Murdoch instead of Jeff Bezos.

Stimulating Brain Nucleus Boosts Cognition

Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus in the brain leads to improved cognitive performance in persons with Parkinson’s Disease. Such patients are prone to dementia, and any boosting of cognitive skills would help them to better manage their lives.

The type of electrical stimulation is of a low frequency (4 Hz) type, which is a new approach for DBS. In a fascinating twist, the 4 Hz stimulus to the subthalamic nucleus appears to boost delta wave activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, apparently supplying a crucial missing element in many Parkinson’s patients. More

This finding falls into line with previous research showing that even noninvasive electrical stimulation (tDCS) of the brain facilitates oscillatory wave activity in parts of the brain distant from the stimulus. More and more, the “long distance network” nature of brain function is being exposed to researchers who utilise artificial stimuli of electromagnetic (including photonic stimuli) or ultrasound types.

Abstract and video description of research

More on various types of brain stimulation:

Posted in Energy, Green Quagmire, Russia | Tagged ,

Today’s Left: A Compassionate Beating, a Caring Riot

Leftists Think of Themselves as “Caring and Compassionate”

But there is a huge difference between “feelings of compassion,” and true acts of kindness.

One is known by his actions, not by his words or his “feelings.” And the actions of Antifa are not those of kindness or caring.

What is true for Antifa is equally true for Black Lives Matter, the Climate Cultists, radical feminists, and the rest of the angry far left. They are protesting in Europe and the Anglosphere because it would be inconvenient and uncomfortable for them to travel to where the suffering is greatest and the oppression most acute.

Perhaps in a sense they are “caring and compassionate.” At least in their own minds. They claim to feel compassion for the downtrodden. They are certainly convinced that they “care” more than their deplorable political foes whom they would like to put under the ground to stay! But their actions tell an entirely different story.

Everyone agrees that to be left-wing and liberal is to be a better, more caring and compassionate human being. It proves what an enlightened and open-minded person you are. It sets you apart from conservatives and right-wingers, those selfish and nasty folk who are obviously racist, oafish and horrid… All this is true, right? Wrong. Being caring is actually a licence to be nasty. Not only this year have we witnessed a torrent of abuse and slander from the supposedly caring left, directed at so-called populists in the UK and the US, we have also seen physical violence acted upon them. Consider the aftermath of the US presidential election. On the New York subway, someone tried to strangle a 24-year-old wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap. A 49-year-old in Chicago was dragged down the street by a crowd screaming ‘you voted Trump!’ and ‘you’re gonna pay for that shit!’. In Maryland, a group of high-school protesters – carrying signs with the words ‘Love Trumps Hate’ – came across a 15-year-old fellow student wearing a Trump hat and beat him up.

The list of attacks goes on.

… none of this should surprise us. There has always been a malicious, vengeful streak in sections of the compassionate new left. Consider how they have always boasted about ‘hating the Tories’, as if hatred is an emotion to be proud of. The far left always talk of ‘smashing’ or ‘fighting’ things, whether it be capitalism, racism or the system. The rhetoric of caring and combat paradoxically go hand-in-hand. As Albert Camus observed in his attack on Sartre in his 1951 L’Homme révolté, the more someone professes to care about humanity, the more they tend to dislike people as human beings.

To be of the left these days is to assume a sanctimonious mindset. The more people are possessed of self-righteousness, the more they are convinced of the inherent goodness of their beliefs, and the moral deviance of their enemies, the more they feel at liberty to abuse others. __ Wrath of the “Do Gooders”

Antifa is sponsored by George Soros and various communist and socialist back alley organisations. Its cohorts and predecessors have been doing mischief on Europe for years, but the group itself has only made a significant appearance in North America since the departure of Barack Obama and the arrival of Donald Trump on the scene.

Antifa have been the main street wing of the liberal-capitalist elite in Europe for well over a decade, and now the artificially-created cancer has spread to the USA. As soon as Donald Trump was inaugurated on January 20, there they were, as if on cue — Antifa thugs breaking windows, burning vehicles, fighting with the police, and causing general mayhem.


BLM Terrorists are Peas in the Same Pod as Antifa

The terrorist group “Black Lives Matter” promotes the murder of police officers in particular, and white people in general by implication. Unfortunately for these thugs, everyone understands who is really responsible for the wholesale slaughter of young black males across US inner cities: other young black males sharing the same inner cities.

BLM [is called] a terrorist organization, responsible for the deaths of at least a dozen police officers across the country, and the ambush shootings of dozens of others. As proof, I told him that the founders of the organization, three lesbian females, espouse communist beliefs and support for the New Black Panther Party, who wants blacks to kill whites, especially police officers of any color, and demand a complete separation of the races. __ Another Obama Legacy

The misnamed “Black Lives Matter” is sponsored by the same misanthropic left-wing groups that sponsor Antifa, the Climate Apocalypse Cult, and the Immigration Armageddon in Europe and the Anglosphere.

Sure they care. they care enough to want to shut you up! In reality, the disadvantaged have never had it so good. But violent leftists and anarchists have to exaggerate their righteousness to the point of utter fabrication and fraud, else not even their friends in the press would be able to swallow their bloody lies.

The loudest black voices trashing America are super wealthy Leftist blacks who could not have achieved their mega success without the enthusiastic support of white America. And yet, they are dissing our flag and national anthem. They are cheerleaders for the destruction of historical monuments and clamoring for us to throw out the U.S. Constitution. Shamefully, rich leftist blacks are using urban blacks as pawns to further the leftist socialist/progressive agenda. __ Lloyd Marcus

What is true for Black Lives Matter is equally true for Antifa, the Climate Cultists, radical feminists, and the rest of the angry far left. They are protesting in Europe and the Anglosphere because it would be inconvenient and uncomfortable for them to travel to where the suffering is greatest and the oppression most acute.


Understanding your enemy

A false litany of the popular and academic left that deludes the ignorant and naive

when Black Lives Matter activists and “social justice” juggernauts deliberately and laughingly obstruct ambulances and other emergency vehicles, and endanger the lives of random people, while giving the ambulance drivers the finger, this doesn’t exactly indicate some lofty moral purpose.


Posted in Coming Anarchy, Groupthink, Ideology, Idiocracy, Politics, Propaganda, Terrorism, University, Zombies | Tagged

The Most Effective US President Since Reagan

Why These Morons Haven’t Moved to Canada?

We can’t say for sure why the idiots pictured above haven’t moved their permanent residences to Canada. But it could be because the world has not come to an end the way they expected that it would. Or maybe they just don’t know where Canada is?

Here is what one Canadian says about Trump:

… he has more than doubled the economic growth rate, reduced illegal immigration by about 80 per cent, withdrawn from the insane Paris Climate accord, helped add trillions to U.S. stock market values, created nearly two million new jobs, led the rout of ISIL, and gained full Chinese adherence to the unacceptability of North Korean nuclear military capability. He will probably pass the greatest tax cuts and reforms since Reagan, if not Lyndon Johnson, by Christmas, and may throw out the most unpopular feature of Obamacare, the coercive mandate, with it.

__ National Post

Why has Mr. Trump enjoyed such “unexpected” success? Perhaps he was better prepared for the job of US President than most of his detractors are capable of understanding.

President Trump was well prepared for the job. He’s been a CEO for 45 years… President Trump’s policies are being implemented. His administration already repealed 1,000 regulations… this is what has driven the stock market to climb 20%-plus since the morning after the election.

… __ A spectacular first year

Trump’s approval rises to 46%

Mr. Trump has reduced his detractors to wild-eyed screaming at the sky and senseless paranoid delusions. The fact is that Mr. Trump’s enemies can not come to terms with the reality of his election, or with the relentless ongoing aftermath of having lost the momentum and the high ground.

A good example of this rudderless full-speed cruising into the rocks is the hope and faith that leftists have placed in special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian collusion in the 2016 US national elections. Corrupt and disillusioned displaced elites have built their hopes for the impeachment of President Trump on the vanishingly small likelihood of the chance discovery of any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. The recent discovery of the real source of the “evidence” against the Trump campaign makes one wonder why there is still any investigation of Trump collusion with Russia at all.

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee reportedly hired the firm that assembled the infamous dossier that included salacious allegations about now-President Trump.

A lawyer who represented the campaign retained the Washington research firm Fusion GPS, which then hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to dig up the unconfirmed dirt on Trump, according to the Washington Post. __

More truth leaks through the stone wall of media

And the more we learn about the involvement of both Bill and Hillary Clinton in the Uranium One scandal, the likelier it appears that any Russian scandal with legs to run points rather at the Clintons, instead of at Trump.

Trump is More Effective at This Job Than Most People Expected

From his repeal of dysfunctional regulations to his slow motion return of government to constitutional discipline, Donald Trump has pleasantly surprised many of his voters and sceptics — and has alarmed many high-level members of the parasitic classes who have been banking on the corruption and steady decline of the US.

Among the worst affected by “Trump Shock” are members of the news and entertainment medias, participants in the deep state, and employees of tertiary academic institutions. Even more shocked and dismayed are those billionaires and would-be billionaires who have been counting on a huge “welfare payday” from government policies and expenditures favoring suicidal green technologies, corporations, and institutions. Losers, losers, and more losers. Mr. Trump should be proud, if a man is to be measured by the nature and goals of his enemies.

Trump is Far from Perfect

He can be a tiresome and implausible public figure at times, and the reservations widely held about him, in the United States and elsewhere, are understandable and not unfounded. He is, however, the most effective U.S. president since Reagan. In the 20 pre-Trump years, over $5 trillion and scores of thousands of American casualties were squandered in Middle East wars (while most Iraqis were handed over to Iranian influence), an immense humanitarian refugee tragedy was provoked, along with the greatest world economic crisis since the 1930s, American GDP per capita growth and capital investment shrunk by 75 per cent, the work force lost over 15 million people, millions of unskilled, illegal migrants were admitted, and the national debt of 233 years of American independence more than doubled in the last seven years of Obama. Those 20 years were the only time of absolute decline in American history, as well as a period of prolonged economic stagnation. Americans, unlike the older great nations of Europe and the Far East, have never experienced such setbacks and stagnation, and don’t like or accept them. It was in these circumstances that this unusual president was elected. __ National Post

This phase of American politics has barely begun. The seemingly unstoppable rolling up of the American Enterprise by well-coordinated and well-financed leftist schemes and racketeers has been rocked back abruptly — although nothing could have stopped it altogether, short of invasion by interstellar invaders.

Over the past 50 + years, the relentless dumbing down of students in western schools from K-12 thru university has proceeded successfully, and the aftermath in terms of the degradation of the human substrate and the demographic decline of the west is not pretty. Not everyone can possibly wake up and wise up. But the “Trump respite” and partial rollback of institutionalised leftist idiocy is exactly the kind of rest and rebuilding period that wiser and more proactive heads needed.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .


American left being lashed badly by its own whip

Leftist women emboldened by Trump’s defeat of Hillary

Returning the US to its constitutional roots

More judges who value constitutional limits on government

Posted in Donald Trump, Groupthink, Hillary Clinton | Tagged | 4 Comments