Surge of Americans Renouncing US Citizenship

It seemed like there was exponential growth in the number of expatriates from 2008 until the end of 2016. However, the numbers seem to be leveling off, or even dropping. __ Source via TaxProf

A large number of US citizens said that they would reject US citizenship and residency in the US if President Trump was elected in 2016. Here is a short list of celebrities that made such a promise. I am acquainted with several others who made similar claims. Certainly there must have been hundreds of thousands of US citizens who promised to leave the US if Donald Trump became president?

Sure, the list of “celebrities who didn’t leave” above represents a sample of stupid people who think they are smart, who happen to have achieved celebrity status. But now they can also be seen as unreliable, in other words liars. The same can be said for the hundreds of thousands (or millions) of more common folk who say things they are unwilling to back up.

Politics is Ideology; Ideologues are Perpetual Liars

Anyone who actually believes in a particular political ideology, is committing himself to a path of chronic and repetitive dishonesty and a stubborn blindness to the inconvenient realities of the larger world. Making promises or predictions based upon a political ideology reveals either an utter stupidity or a deep and determined ignorance.

In “Philosophy is for Thinkers; Ideology is for Stinkers,” we pointed out the crucial distinctions between ideologies and philosophies. Ideology is a sticky trap that holds its adherents, once caught. Ideology shuts believers away in blinded cages that prevent outside light from getting in. Philosophy welcomes all light, using logical filters to get at what is most true and most probable.

In Europe and the Anglosphere of the modern day, popular news & entertainment media have been taken over by propagandists and ideologues. Unfortunately the same can be said for most educational systems and institutions in the west. This being the case, most of today’s young are unable to distinguish philosophy from ideology, since ideology is the only approach to thought that they have ever known.

It is Never Too Late for a Dangerous Childhood ©

The Dangerous Child Method is one of the few known methods of child-raising which exposes ideology for what it is, from the earliest years of the child’s existence and training. Children learn to think for themselves, which is something that ideologies can never allow them to do, by definition.

Today’s young, on the other hand, are explicitly trained and shaped to fit into the popular herd, like sheep or cattle. The list of “leavers who didn’t leave” above are good examples of people who are both herd-leaders and members of the herd. Dangerous Children can be either wolves or sheepdogs, depending upon what the situation calls for. More

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. The vast numbers of young are being indoctrinated into a dominant ideology of groupthink conformity in the quest for a nonexistent utopia. The entire history of the 20th century reveals where that kind of thinking will take a society, and the world at large.

President Trump is giving the Americans who stayed enough time to make provisions for what is likely to come. Don’t waste it.

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Posted in Donald Trump, Ideology, Philosophy, Politics | Tagged | 4 Comments

Universities: Destroying Lives for Ideology and Profit

Student loan debt has grown to overwhelm all other categories of non-housing consumer debt in this nation. __ Source

The general public is slowly becoming aware that colleges and universities are destroying young lives. Corrupt university officials are raking in high salaries while providing youth and young adults with mostly worthless degrees, and putting them into perpetual debt slavery. What should be done?

If the quality of a college education cannot be improved, we should concentrate on encouraging at least half of those who now go to college not to go, adjusting requirements for jobs and professional schools accordingly, and make provisions for an orderly shutdown or shrinking of most of our colleges and universities.

__ https://www.mindingthecampus.org/2018/07/26/the-sad-state-of-higher-education/

College Presidents Living Privileged Lives While Committing Mind Murder

Check out this list of college presidents making seven figure (and high six figure) salaries. Consider how many lives of youth are being destroyed via debt slavery and a disgusting academic indoctrination that leaves young people without useful skills and virtually lobotomised. Meanwhile, administrative salaries and staff sizes are ballooning to outrageous and inexcusable levels.

Six figure salary for “faculty diversity” recruiter

What Do Americans Think About the Academic Value of Higher Ed Today?

The more that concerned citizens learn about the situation, the less they like it.

A solid majority of all adults (61 percent) believe that higher education is headed in the wrong direction, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

… When Pew analyzed why those who believe higher education is headed in the wrong direction hold that view, the answers were different (generally) for Democrats and Republicans. For both groups, concerns were evident about tuition and about whether students are being trained with the skills they need for the workplace, with Democrats more concerned about the former and Republicans about the latter. __ https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/07/27/survey-most-americans-think-higher-ed-headed-wrong-direction

Sad State of Higher Ed

Student loan debt has passed $1.5 trillion and is easily outpacing most other forms of consumer debt.

Around 25 percent of those admitted to four-year colleges and around 58 percent of those admitted to two-year colleges require remedial courses, and fewer than half of these students pass all the remedial courses they need; even a large number of those who manage to pass the remedial courses fail to graduate later. Whether because of a lack of ability, lack of preparation, lack of effort, or a combination of all three, students’ college completion rates are poor. Almost a third of the students who enroll in (supposedly) four-year colleges fail to graduate within eight and a half years, and almost two-thirds of those who enroll in (supposedly) two-year colleges fail to graduate within six years.

… While the amount of money spent on American education is obviously too high, concentrating on cutting costs seems questionable when the product is of such minimal value for so many students. For instance, what is the point of having professors teach a larger number of courses from which students learn little or nothing? Even if the average price for a public college education could be cut by a third, $50,000 is still far too much to pay for students not to learn anything. If all students want is to enjoy themselves on a break from studying and working, and the rest of us for some reason consider this desirable, they should be able to enjoy themselves for much less money, perhaps for a year at a pleasant place where they can live in comfortable dormitories and party, sunbathe, or ski with no classes to feel guilty about skipping.

If the quality of a college education cannot be improved, we should concentrate on encouraging at least half of those who now go to college not to go, adjusting requirements for jobs and professional schools accordingly, and make provisions for an orderly shutdown or shrinking of most of our colleges and universities. __ https://www.mindingthecampus.org/2018/07/26/the-sad-state-of-higher-education/

Higher Education: The cesspit that is becoming a graveyard

More:

College Campuses are Propaganda Machines for the Left, According to this Professor

Universities Boosting Socialism and subsequent decline of society.

Purging universities of free speech advocates in the faculty

As a wise man said: Burn them to the ground! Figuratively speaking, of course.

Or otherwise put them out of our misery.

Note: Higher ed’s destruction of the young comes not only from exorbitantly expensive administrative bloat and ideological fanaticism. The deepest and most damnable rot emanates from the classrooms, where professors actively indoctrinate young minds in failed ideologies — instead of helping students to grow and prosper in their minds and in the world around them. Instead of learning to think for themselves and solve real world problems, they leave college as drone-like hive minds. From all appearances, many of them never grow beyond that stage.

Posted in Education, University | Tagged | 1 Comment

Open Source Innovation: From Out of Nowhere

The Disruptive Innovation That Knocks You On Your Ass

These types of innovations often come from out of the blue. The more open the society, the more types of financing can be discovered to take a blockbuster innovation from new idea to trailbreaking enterprise.

Venture Capital Funding

Venture capital funding is one well-known approach to growing the seed of a business into a living money tree. From 2017 into 2018, venture funding has experienced a renaissance in the US. With the US government under new management — and showing a more friendly face to businesses of all types — investors are willing to take more chances.

The latest PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor report shows $57.5 billion invested across 3,997 deals for U.S. venture-backed companies thus far in 2018. The most recent quarter was the fifth consecutive with more than $20 billion invested.

“To say capital availability is high would be putting the true state of the U.S. VC industry lightly,” the report notes.

This follows a record 2017, when venture deal value surpassed $80 billion for the first time since the dot-com era. Pitchbook CEO John Gabbert said “the sheer amount of capital available across the entire venture landscape is reaching unprecedented levels.”

… Angel and seed-stage financing rounds are also seeing higher deal sizes… Exit activity is on pace to match results from last year … there is now a healthy IPO market, particularly for enterprise tech … __ Geekwire

Venture capital is most active in North America, Asia, and Europe:

… the world is experiencing staggering global growth. In 2017, we saw new records set in venture investing:

In the US, venture investments reached $84 billion
In Asia, venture peaked at $48 billion
European venture reached a new all-time high of $19.1 billion
__ Peter Diamandis

The stages of venture capital leading to an IPO are important for most companies that eventually break through into the big leagues. But many of the best ideas start out small, and for them it is useful to find small means of financing.

Crowdfunding

When first moving from concept to reality, it sometimes helps to approach a lot of small investors at a time. The internet is useful for this type of funding strategy. Crowdfunding uses the internet to find small investors for all kinds of early stage startup projects — from movies to small business to music to scientific projects to real estate to a political campaign to agricultural projects and more. The sky is the limit when it comes to crowdfunding ideas.

The total worldwide volume of crowdfunding, inclusive of peer-to-peer lending, was $34 billion in 2017, with 375 crowdfunding platforms in North America alone. But this too, like many digital platforms, is experiencing double-digit growth. Experts project crowdfunding to reach $300 billion by 2025. __ Peter Diamandis

And then there is the fascinating middle ground between crowdfunding and venture funding, where individual “angel” investors are matched to entrepreneurs and new projects based on definite criteria and vetting. A few examples of such financial matchmakers are listed here, near the bottom of the article.

A Surplus of Money is Chasing Likely Investments

Worldwide, large portions of populations of advanced nations are growing older and approaching retirement. Affluent people from all kinds of work backgrounds are looking for good places to invest their savings. Some investors are looking for a combination of safety and good return. Others are more concerned about “making a difference” in the world. Every type of investor you can imagine — and more — are out there. You can’t see them, but if you go on the internet with your idea, there is a good chance that they will be able to see you.

Where is the investment money going? The safest places to invest are places where the rule of law and the rules of investing are straightforward and universally applied. The Anglospheric countries, countries of northern Europe, some parts of East Asia.


Places to avoid would be high-corruption nations, where the rule of law is applied creatively, if at all. Africa, much of Latin America, much of the Muslim world, Russia, and China should all be viewed cautiously by smart investors.

Bigger is Not Necessarily Better

Columnist David Goldman has been quite bullish on China, based upon macro-statistics of numbers of STEM graduates and money investments in advanced technologies. A close analysis of Goldman’s reasoning reveals a man most impressed by “top-down” innovation-to-order, on a very large scale. Call it “The Manhattan Project” approach to disruptive innovation. But that is not how most of the world’s great enterprises began or grew into giants.

Peter Thiel has likewise taken an interest in China, and is considering ways that he might invest in Chinese tech/internet startups. Clearly someone will make a lot of money in new Chinese enterprises. But Thiel’s obvious caution and reluctance to simply leap into the fray, suggests an awareness on Thiel’s part that the Chinese game is rigged, and only insiders with clout will walk away with the loot.

China is big and in great turmoil beneath the surface. A lot of money is won and lost in China on a daily basis, with almost all of the winners being quite well connected with the Party.

What is true for China is true on a smaller scale for Russia, Africa, parts of Latin America, and parts of the Muslim world. Corruption rules those lands, and only one who is well connected with the ruling classes can expect to hold on to what he earns or innovates.

Why Do Men Dominate in Venture Funding and Crowdfunding?

The vast majority of venture capital goes to companies founded by men. Just 7% of the 2,005 founders on our list are women. Companies founded by women also get less money—an average of $77 million compared with $100 million for male-led startups.

… more founders of companies on our list dropped out of school than graduated from top universities. __ Bloomberg

The same dominance by men is also seen in crowdfunding. It is likely that the much higher levels of testosterone in males contributes to the higher sustained levels of time and effort which men tend to put into achieving their career goals over time — without the “mother pause” that causes so many women to step away from the rat race in the middle of the game.

Of course we see this phenomenon when looking at top levels of most careers where high-quality work and competence are the determining factors in top-level placement, rather than affirmative action or figurehead placement. Even in many areas such as fashion design, creative literature, and cuisine — where women might be expected to dominate outright — we see the hardworking male pushing his way to the top.

In the end it is hard work, competence, a certain level of vision and clarity of thought, and a logical working through of the possibilities, which allows one to move from a good idea to a workable project to a thriving enterprise. If one has all of those, the money is likely to be found.

More interesting ideas on this topic

Beyond that: Massive Transformative Purpose

Posted in Creativity, Economics, innovation | Tagged | 2 Comments

Empty Towers on Debt Mountains: China’s Vulnerability

Until now, China has managed to keep its huge raft of nonperforming debt afloat thanks to capital inflows, as successive waves of quantitative easing pushed dollars into the world. A tighter dollar would seem to make the bursting of China’s credit bubble an inevitability. When that happens, the renminbi will have to depreciate sharply… It will … lead to a decline in China’s share of global GDP, dramatically reduce the nation’s demand for commodities, and diminish its role on the international political stage. __ BQ

Cataclysmic Effect of Tariffs on China’s Economic Structure

US President Trump’s proposed tariffs on Chinese-made goods will have the effect of reducing US dollar flow into the Chinese economy.

  • Fewer purchases of Chinese goods will be made in dollars.
  • Investment (in dollars) by American companies in China will decline.

In their current highly-leveraged state, many of China’s important economic entities (banks, local governments, state-owned enterprises etc.) cannot survive a significant and sustained loss of income from the world’s largest importer. Trump’s tariffs — if fully implemented — will have the effect of bringing China’s debt to a crisis.

The chorus of anxiety about debt is reaching a crescendo, with daily press reports on governments that can’t pay their employees or meet pension obligations. Property prices are tumbling in some cities and frozen in others whose governments have placed a finger in the dyke by halting transactions.

That the massive burden of debt will drag the economy into recession is as obvious as the empty towers that rise on every landscape. Precise estimates are difficult, since the government’s dedication to the optics of invincibility induces financial institutions to push debt into alternate, opaque channels. But on any metric, the amount of new lending each year grows faster than the economy, and the interest newly owed exceeds the incremental rise in GDP. In other words, the whole economy is a Ponzi scheme. __ BloombergQuint

Trade Interventions and Tariffs — Not What You Think

We are seeing a mass insanity in the media in reaction to President Trump’s proposed trade intervention policies. We often hear claims such as “in a trade war everybody loses” and such obvious nonsense. In the real world that cliche has been put to the lie multiple times.

The idea that all countries lose in a trade war is unintelligible. This cannot possibly be true, not just because there is overwhelming historical evidence that countries have benefitted from trade intervention but also because the claim is logically impossible. Whether countries benefit or lose from trade intervention depends on the underlying institutions that mediate trade and capital flows, the extent of existing trade and capital flow imbalances, and the types of intervention employed.

… There are often cases in which mercantilist or interventionist policies in one country create trade and capital flow imbalances that must be absorbed by another country, usually in the form of unwanted trade deficits. According to both economic and trade logic, large deficits or surpluses cannot persist over many years unless significant policy distortions keep them in place. This is because trade imbalances alter economic conditions, especially monetary conditions, in ways that automatically cause them to be reversed.

In other words, to the extent that imbalances have persisted for many years, or even decades, they must be sustained by policy distortions in either the surplus or the deficit country. In such cases, if a country is forced to absorb the distortions generated by another country, and it implements trade intervention policies aimed at reversing the effects of these distortions, these policies benefit both the first country and the global economy, although usually at the expense of the country where the distortions originated.

This has become an especially important argument in recent years. Distortions in the distribution of domestic income in several countries (most importantly, in China, Germany, and Japan) have led to huge savings imbalances, which are automatically absorbed by countries that have deep, flexible, and completely open capital markets with strong legal and governance institutions (mainly the United States and, to a lesser extent, the UK and other so-called Anglo-Saxon economies). The result has been that the former countries have run large, persistent surpluses for decades, while the latter have run large, persistent deficits. Policies among the trade-deficit countries aimed at reversing these imbalances can be justified as economically efficient and to the benefit of the deficit countries. __ Michael Pettis

The article linked above is somewhat dense and semi-technical, but what the excerpt above is saying is that countries such as China, Germany, and Japan have been using trade policy to take advantage of the open policies of countries such as the US and the UK for many decades. In such cases the threat of tariffs — or the actual institution of a “tit for tat” set of trade policies — can be justified by the more open countries.

More

The Lady Doth Protest Too Much

Both the cries of indignant protest by China and the EU, and the wails of woe by the mainstream media, are largely meant to influence public sentiment and sway the ignorant and gullible.


The US is unique in its low levels of dependence on foreign imports and exports as a percent of overall GDP. This makes the US somewhat less vulnerable to trade retaliation from export-dependent nations such as China and Germany.

Importantly, a significant portion of US exports and imports involve trade with Canada, and Mexico.

It is unclear how far the “trade reset” under President Trump will move things away from the current status quo. But Mr. Trump certainly has valid reasons for wanting to shake things up. Under the Bretton Woods agreement, the US has carried the burden of international trade — at great expense. In the interest of international stability, the US has tolerated many trade transgressions against it, as well as spending massive amounts of funding to provide military protection for allies, and to provide military protection of global trade routes to the benefit of friend and foe alike.

Back to the Effect of New Trade Policies on China

China is particularly vulnerable to a re-equilibration of trade with the US. Particularly if the US tightens security against Chinese theft of industrial and military secrets, and begins to more closely scrutinise Chinese imports in terms of consumer safety and covert criminal activities.

Many analysts point out that the Chinese government owns everything, including the banks, and can just issue renminbi to infinity to keep the economy solvent. The flaw in that argument is China’s role in the global economy: It’s the world’s biggest exporter and second-biggest importer. The currency acts as the interface between the domestic and international economies, and its value is a matter of supply and demand.

The Ponzi economy has been sustained by cheap dollars coming in through legitimate or illegitimate channels, and the problem now is that structural surpluses are disappearing and there is less “hot” money from the U.S. seeking yield. When dollars enter, the central bank buys them and issues renminbi. If it has to issue more than is justified by the amount of inflows, it creates inflation, and inflation, which has toppled or almost toppled governments from the Ming dynasty to Tiananmen, is the third rail of Chinese politics.
__ BQ

China is living in a rapidly expanding bubble, courtesy of large numbers of chump investors and trading partners in Europe and the Anglosphere. In such a parasitic relationship, tit for tatt tariffs and other equalising trade policies seem among the mildest and most justifiable strategies.

More:

Apple Bends Over, Begs to be Buggered

Credit Suisse has China Concerns

Another scandal in Chinese pharmaceutical safety

Check Out “The China Hustle”

The China Hustle documentary reveals how business is too often done in China — especially when foreign investors are involved. Netflix has been streaming the full video, and clever surfers can find it available elsewhere. For those who want to understand how tragically an investment “opportunity” can contrast with the public relations presentation, let this documentary open your eyes. The trailer is below:

The documentary “The China Hustle,” which premiered recently at the Toronto International Film Festival, shows how hundreds of Chinese companies listed on North American stock exchanges can cause billions of losses to investors due to lack of proper oversight.

These Chinese firms enter the U.S. stock market through reverse takeovers with American companies and report revenues and assets that have no base in reality, thus inflating the companies’ stock value. __ https://www.theepochtimes.com/china-hustle-a-horror-story-about-chinese-firms-listed-on-north-american-stock-exchanges_2298943.html

More:

The unraveling described below may throw a wrench in Xi’s “OBOR Take Over the World” project.

http://www.atimes.com/chinas-new-woes-unravel-xis-personality-cult/

Posted in China, Economics | Tagged ,

Russia Could Use Some Help

The economy continues to have problems. GDP growth is currently about one percent a year which, combined with many other negative economic indicators, confirms that despite optimistic government propaganda, living standards and employment opportunities continue to decline, along with manufacturing activity and so much more.

… deficit spending and poor infrastructure have made Russia less attractive to economic partners (even China). The lower standard of living comes with higher unemployment and a growing number of younger and well educated Russians are unable to find work and emigrating … Russia still has one of the worst road networks in the world and the railroad system is still awaiting delayed (for decades) maintenance and upgrades. __ Don’t Mention It

Table 1. Out-Migration from Russia, 1997-2016.

———————————————————-

Year .                     Number Emigrating

———————————————————-

1997                               232,987

1998                               213,337

1999                               214,963

2000                               145,720

2001                               121,166

2002                               106,685

2003                                 94,018

2004                                 79,795

2005                                 69, 798

2006                                 54,061

2007                                 47,013

2008                                 39,508

2009                                 32,458

2010                                 33,578

2011                                 36,774

2012 .                             122,751

2013                               186,382

2014                               310,496

2015                               353,233

2016 .                             313,210

—————————————————–

SOURCE: See ‘Mezhdunarodnaya Migratsiya”, http://www.gks.ru/wps/wcm/connect/rosstat_main/rosstat/ru/statistics/population/demography/#.

The Kremlin’s failure to provide competitive opportunity and lifestyle for Russian youth is driving a massive Russian brain drain abroad. Russia’s discontented, highly educated, highly skilled university graduates tend to move abroad to find suitable work. __ Source

It is estimated that at least 40,000 Russian scientists and engineers have emigrated yearly since 2012. But as the best of the best leave, those that remain tend to be second rate.

Even the Russian Military is Hurting

As mentioned in the article excerpted at the top of the page, the Russian military has been given the lion’s share of government funding during the ongoing Russian economic crisis. But that hasn’t prevented the armed forces from suffering some crucial setbacks in critical weapons systems.

Look over the excerpted articles below, and see if you can make a connection between the hundreds of thousands of Russian scientists, engineers, and technicians who have been leaving Russia since 2012 . . . and the problems that Russia is having fielding advanced weapons systems.

The cancellation of the Su-57 comes as no surprise… two Su-57 stealth fighters sent to Syria conducted two days of testing their sensors and countermeasures over Syria and returned to Russia by the end of February. The reality was that all the Su-57s could do was land and take off. There were no sensors and countermeasures to test.

The Su-57 design was flawed and fixes were not available. __ https://www.strategypage.com//qnd/russia/articles/20180713.aspx

Besides the cancellation of the much-vaunted Su-57, Russia is having problems supplying its Navy with the new stealth frigates it had been promised. The first of the Admiral Gorshkov-class stealth frigates will be over a year delayed due to ongoing problems experienced during sea trials. The second of the same class will likewise be delayed — probably by another year or more. And those two are the only Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates on the horizon, because Russia only had two left-over Ukrainian-made gas turbine engines on hand — and is still unable to make the engines in Russian factories.

The Admiral Gorshkov-class has had to deal with various technical issues, including performance and compatibility problems with its Polimut Redut air defense missile system and with its propulsion system. The entire Project 22350 program also suffered from periodic funding shortages since its inception.

… Two additional Project 22350 frigates have been laid down in 2012 and 2013 respectively. However, given that the Russian defense industry is still struggling with designing a new propulsion system for the Russian Navy’s surface combatants as it can no longer rely on Ukraine-made gas turbine engines (it still had two Ukrainian engines for Gorshkov-class destroyers in stock), it is unclear when or if either of the two ships will enter service. __ The Diplomat

Russia Needs Help

Russia has been getting some help from China during the last few years of “hard times.” But help from China always comes with strings attached. If the Putin misery continues much longer, Russia may not have credible claim to much of the Far East remaining. China needs Siberian resources desperately, and has Putin over the barrel economically as long as western sanctions hold.

In an article on AsiaRussia.ru yesterday, [Aleksandr] Khramchikhin argues that a Chinese invasion of Russia is almost inevitable because “objectively” China cannot survive “in its current borders. It must become much bigger if it does not want to become much smaller” and it needs resources Russia and Kazakhstan have but Southeast Asia does not (asiarussia.ru/articles/4864/). __ via WO2

Russians Should Hope for Best and Prepare for Worst

After Russia’s brain drain and womb drain continue to plateau and then subside — because no other country will take those who remain — what is left of a formerly impressive ethnic Russian population will barely be able to make a pretense of defending current national borders.

China already wields greater economic influence in Central Asia than does Russia, and as the One Belt One Road loans come due, China will begin exerting military influence there as well. Chinese business interests are taking over financial control of Russian cities in the Far East and across the Siberian border. Lake Baikal is slowly becoming a Chinese water supply for all intents and purposes. China is insinuating itself deep inside Russia’s oil & gas infrastructure — the very life’s blood of the Russian economy.

It has taken Putin roughly 20 years to accomplish this. And through it all, Russophiles have defended him in a staunch and stubborn manner. How easily they have been played. Time to pay the piper.

More:

Young Russian Men Dying at Historically High Rates

Is Donald Trump Putin’s Puppet?

Shame Mr. Trump! You are straying from the official media script

Posted in Brain Drain, Russian Decline, Russian Womb Drain | Tagged | 2 Comments

Reaming Texas Bloody w/ Wind Turbines

Texas Fell Head Over Heels for Wind Farms

Nothing proclaims a politician’s virtue better than legions of hundred-metre high steel whirly-gigs marching off into the horizon. How green! How climate friendly! How . . . scatter-brained?!?

Giant wind turbines begin to break down within 10 years of installation. Unfortunately, most warranties on giant wind monstrosities only last 5 years. Most wind farms neglect maintenance on machines, voiding their warranties from the outset. And they are not putting aside enough money to pay for the cleanup of these looming junkyards of lost virtue.

Estimates put the tear-down cost of a single modern wind turbine, which can rise from 250 to 500 feet above the ground, at $200,000.

Texas is by far the leading wind energy producer in the United States, generating more than 20,000 megawatts of electricity each year. That is about one-fourth of the nation’s wind-energy production.

We can expect the Texas winds to blow forever, but the colossal turbines which capture the breeze and transform it into electricity will not turn forever. Like all mechanical things devised by man, no matter how clever, they eventually wear out.

“We don’t know with certainty the life spans of current turbines,” said Lisa Linowes, executive director of WindAction Group, a nonprofit which studies landowner rights and the impact of the wind energy industry…

… “So we’re coming in on 10 years of life and we’re seeing blades need to be replaced, cells need to be replaced, so it’s unlikely they’re going to get 20 years out of these turbines,” she said.

Estimates put the tear-down cost of a single modern wind turbine, which can rise from 250 to 500 feet above the ground, at $200,000. __ EnergyCentral

Canada’s province of Ontario just got itself a brand new business-friendly premier. Suddenly Ontario is seeing the light, and is cancelling 758 renewable energy projects, including at least one giant windfarm that nobody wanted. A reduction of over 10% in power bills off the top, will be the result.

The new Ontario government is canceling or winding down 758 renewable energy contracts that will see more than 200 projects killed off in southwestern Ontario as the newly sworn-in government follows through with its pledge to bring hydro bills down by 12 percent. __ https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Ontario-Kills-Renewable-Energy-Projects-To-Bring-Bills-Down.html#comment_added

Unreliable Wind & Solar are a Green Curse on the Gullible

In Australia, grid-scale wind and solar energy installation have created a gruesome electric power crisis. Prices for electric power are skyrocketing, at the same time that reliability is crashing.

… [electricity] prices, which 20 years ago were among the world’s lowest, soared to levels that were not only three times those in the US but substantially above those in Europe, which lacks our abundant, high-quality coal.

And as prices rose, a massive transfer of wealth occurred, from low-income households that could not afford rooftop solar panels to investors in renewables, who luxuriated in rates of return about 50 per cent greater than those earned by their US counterparts. __ Stop These Things

Hard Justice In the Wildlands of Montana and the Australian Outback

Giant noisy windfarms are hazardous to the health of bats, raptors, and human beings. Bats and raptors can do little about the bloody assaults on their persons, but human beings are another matter.

… there are plenty of wind farm victims who are keen to see them end up in bits; lots of little bits.

One of the turbines located in the Glacier County portion of the Glacier Wind 2 farm was shot sometime in mid-April. The bullet punched through the outer shell of the turbine and damaged a major cable leading to the generator, causing more than $100,000 in damage.

… STT has heard a few reports of Australian farmers letting loose on turbines with shots fired in frustration and anger. One shootist apparently decided to stop firing at the blades, because the holes made caused them to emit a ‘whistling’ sound, only adding to the acoustic torture.

The fact of the matter is that rural communities cannot abide these things. When asked fairly and squarely, more than 90% of threatened and affected communities are bitterly opposed:

Wind Industry Keeps Losing ‘Hearts and Minds’: Community Opposition Rolls & Builds

While only a few have taken up arms in response (so far), there’s been plenty of self-directed action from threatened and/or harmed communities around the world… __ Stop These Things (STT)

Wind turbines sometimes burst spectacularly into flames, sometimes turbines are smashed to bits when towers fall, but mostly the massive and unpredictable wastes of resources just wear out — prematurely.

Giant wastelands of dead wind towers dot landscapes across the US west. But that is just the beginning of the blight. On land, it is a matter of ugly, somewhat dangerous industrial waste. But at sea — where many of the most expensive wind projects are being built — we will see navigational hazards of a deadly and long-lasting nature, as the projects are abandoned for lack of upkeep.

Costly Consequences of Idiotic Virtue Signaling

Wind energy production tripled thanks to the Obama administration’s aggressive green energy agenda, going from 8,883 megawatts in 2005 to around 82,183 megawatts today, which is about 5.5 percent of the nation’s total power generation. __ https://www.energycentral.com/news/retiring-worn-out-wind-turbines-could-cost-billions-nobody-has

US taxpayers are on the hook for tens of $billions and more after Obama’s friends and campaign bundlers failed to pay back their green energy loans. This is politics as usual among the high-flying faux environmental crowd — stiffing the taxpayer for virtue and profit.

They Can Never Pay for Themselves — Why Were They Built?

The stated rationale for the large-scale construction of huge wind & solar projects was to fight global warming. But more carbon was released in building these idiocies than will ever be “spared the environment” by unreliable intermittent prone-to-break-down-prematurely grid-scale wind turbines and solar arrays.

The real reason for building these ruinously expensive nonsensical failures of logic, was financial payback to politically connected donours and “bundlers.” In other words, corruption on a massive scale, done in the name of virtue-signaling.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

We are not recommending a wholesale attack on these corrupt and ugly contraptions, but if you feel you or someone you love may be harmed by them, try to use minimal force in retribution. Do not harm humans, even if some of the foremost backers of green energy — such as Tom Steyer — have been suggesting that a nuclear war may be the only way to fight the good green fight.

But the turbines themselves? If turbines are causing harm to humans — directly or indirectly — they should not be there in the first place.

More: Offshore turbine farms cost more to maintain and decommission than they are worth

Posted in Green Quagmire, Wind | Tagged | 5 Comments

What Does Full Employment Look Like?

We can get a good picture of full employment by looking at Midland, Texas, where the unemployment rate hovers near 2%. Finding workers to do ordinary jobs as teachers, restaurant cooks, bus drivers, city workers, prison guards, etc. is getting much harder. Why? Because they have all gone to work for the oil companies and oil services, where they can make much more money.

Truck Drivers Make $140 K per Year

In the country’s busiest oil patch, where the rig count has climbed by nearly one-third in the past year, drillers, service providers and trucking companies have been poaching in all corners, recruiting everyone from police officers to grocery clerks. So many bus drivers with the Ector County Independent School District in nearby Odessa quit for the shale fields that kids were sometimes late to class.

… schools that teach how to pass the test for a CDL — commercial driver’s license — are packed.

“A CDL is a golden ticket around here,” said Steve Sauceda, who runs the workforce training program at New Mexico Junior College. “You are employable just about anywhere.”

And you can make a whole lot more money than waiting tables at Gerardo’s Casita. Jeremiah Fleming, 30, is on track to pull down $140,000 driving flatbed trucks for Aveda Transportation & Energy Services Inc., hauling rigs.
__ LA Times

Welders, pipefitters, electricians, experienced oil rig workers, engineers, and other highly skilled workers make more than the truck drivers, of course. Almost all of the skilled trades are in short supply near the Permian Basin, as are most of the unskilled trades like truck drivers and pump checkers.

“It is crazy,” said Jazmin Jimenez, 24, who zipped through a two-week training program at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, about 100 miles north of Midland, and was hired by Chevron Corp. as a well-pump checker. “Honestly I never thought I’d see myself at an oilfield company. But now that I’m here — I think this is it.”

That’s understandable, considering the $28-a-hour she makes is double what she was earning until December as a guard at the Lea County Correctional Facility in Hobbs. __ LATimes

Oil prices are high enough now to allow drillers to begin paying off debts, and to allow the oil service companies to charge more for their indispensable services. And oil prices are not likely to drop back to the $40 bbl range any time soon.

Near-full employment brings higher wages. We see this not only in the Texas oil field regions, but in parts of North Dakota, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and other places where oil & gas are booming. This “skills drain effect” flowing to the oil & gas field areas, leads to skills and jobs shortages in other parts of the country where skilled (and unskilled) workers can then demand higher pay.

When a high tech economy is booming, there are many jobs paying between $20 and $40 per hour that can be learned in a matter of weeks or months. For an 18 year old right out of high school, such quickly learned and relatively high paying jobs (for their age) offer an opportunity to save a nest egg for longer-term goals.

Too bad that so many youth are routed toward college and university where they often go deeply into debt — only to drop out, or to graduate with a degree that gives them no advantages whatsoever in the job market. Perhaps only then, such young people can wake up out of their cultural dysphoria and begin to face the realities that no one prepared them for — not their parents, teachers, friends, or culture at large.

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

Posted in careers, Economics, Energy, Shale Oil & Gas Revolution | Tagged

You Don’t Always Get What You Want

Two years ago in the summer of 2016, Donald Trump was everyone’s favourite clownish buffoon and laughingstock. As a political novice and long-standing butt of many jokes, Trump had no chance of being elected US president against the formidable and accomplished Clinton political machine.

When Trump announced he was running for president, I admit that I didn’t take this millionaire, hotel magnate, reality TV show celebrity as a serious candidate. I doubted his ability to do the job. So I drew him as a clown. In fact, my cartoons were as critical of him as many of my liberal cartoonist friends.

__ From Clown to Construction Foreman

In July of 2016, Trump was a clown to almost everyone. It was only when he began making substantive personnel choices and policy decisions that most members of the public became capable of seeing the mostly coherent vision of reclamation and rebuilding behind the gruff and buffoonish exterior.

But two years later, the social engineers of the radical left are in full panic mode. They have pulled out all the stops in their “shock and awe” propaganda campaign being waged from broadcast and cable news to late night “comedy” shows … to leftist-mogul controlled publishing empires and internet vox in the boxes.

Unfortunately for the radical leftist social engineers, almost all of their efforts are having either no effect — or the opposite effect to that intended. Trump’s first 500 days seem to represent a mere warmup to the main act in the making.

The election of Trump combined with his many substantive actions while in office, seem to be acting as triggers for broader-scale societal effects. In a previous posting here, I pointed to the Trump-enabled expansion of free speech and thought taking place on the internet, on campuses, and across North America and beyond.

As people discover that important knowledge and seminal ideas exist in society-at-large and not just in universities, think tanks, foundations, media, government, and large corporations — the bolder among them will begin to take some bigger chances, some of which are likely to pay off under the current regime.

As we have seen in the fields of microprocessors, telecomm, biotechnologies, robotics, space launch and technologies, nanotech, additive manufacturing, etc. etc. … core innovations can lead to interacting explosive and disruptive innovations in other areas.

Anything that expands risk taking in society at large, is likely to spur new and unexpected innovation of a generative nature.

For all his faults, Donald Trump is a walking representative of risk-taking and constructive enterprise. One of the few US Presidents of the last 100 years who was not merely a career politician, Trump brings skills and competencies to the table which most journalists, professors, and late night “comics” could never comprehend in 10 lifetimes.

Mr. Trump is taking the world on a wild ride. This ride is nothing like what is represented in the news and entertainment media, and shares almost no resemblance to what students are being taught about it by their professors. But that is the way of many genuinely constructive revolutions. Most people don’t even know what is happening until they feel the thing slipping into the dark spaces between their legs.

You can’t always get what you want. But if you try some times, well you might find . . .

Posted in Donald Trump | Tagged | 3 Comments

Saving the US from the Obama Decline

The Obama Economic Decline


One reflection of the Obama economic decline was the stark drop in labor participation rate over the 8 years of the Obama presidency. Under Obama, Americans exhausted themselves in the search for opportunity, and millions of them simply gave up. This is why the official “unemployment rates” gave a deceptively mild impression of the US employment picture under Obama.

Although the unemployment rate declined between 2008 and 2016, had the labor-force-participation rate in 2016 been at its 2008 level, the unemployment rate would have been far higher. People simply dropped out of the labor force. The unemployment rate is measured as a share of people in the labor force, so when unemployed people drop out of the labor force, the unemployment rate drops — but the employment-to-population ratio does not. __ Source

Since the 2016 US national elections, public and business optimism have risen — as have the labor participation rates.

Reversing Obama’s Economic Curse

Trump Boom vs. Obama Decline
US BLS Data via NRO

Obama embraced the stagnating policies of a proto-socialist economy and regulatory/taxation scheme. As a result, the US economy stagnated, entrepreneurs had fewer opportunities, and workers had to search long and hard for the jobs that would have been readily available under a different bureaucratic regime.

Under Trump, paradoxically even the population groups which rejected the Donald wholesale at the polls have benefited in the job markets (see table above).

Since then, unemployed people have reentered the labor force — driving labor-force participation up in virtually all groups. The difference is that many of those people have found jobs. The unemployment rate rose in June only because more people rejoined the labor force. (The only exception is white males, where the employment rate held steady.) __ Source

Obama’s Curse Hurt the US Across All Sectors and Spheres

Socialist stagnation in the age of postmodernism hurts every aspect of a society — from its economy to its education to its culture to its future goals and aspirations. The Obama path was a dead-end road, which was clear to the brighter and more observant contingent of observers from 2008 onward. Tying an entire society up in chains of regulations designed to suffocate free thought, free enterprise, and freedom of association and action, is no way to bring about prosperity and expansive innovation.

The biggest win for the US in 2016 was the defeat of Hillary Clinton in a tacit rebuke to the Obama dead-end path. That was a lucky strike in itself — but even more, Trump has proven himself to be a remarkably clear headed manager of ground-level economic activity. The US president seems to intuit the nuts and bolts of the bureaucratic policies that need tweaking, adjusting, and abolishing outright.

Hope for the Best. Prepare for the Worst

There is no such thing as clear sailing ahead for the seas which Barack Obama (and Bush and Clinton and Bush) prepared for the future of the US. We should expect storm after storm after storm.

Many highly influential billionaires in the US and abroad were able to profit handsomely from the Obama policies, even as the US people languished. These billionaires and their lackeys in the media would like a return to those halcion days of corruption.

For US workers, the best bet is to make yourself multi-competent in ways that cannot be easily outsourced to low wage countries. Develop practical skills of both high tech and low tech varieties, in order to be prepared for several eventualities.

It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .

More: More becoming aware of Obama as loser

Posted in Donald Trump, Economics, Obama | Tagged , ,

US: Too Many Jobs; Not Enough Workers

US Labour Shortages Intensify Across All Sectors

For all areas of the US economy — from small businesses to giant corporations — a growing shortage of workers is beginning to be felt. The unemployed labour pool (6 million) is now smaller than the number of job openings (6.7 million), and the gap is only growing wider as the Trump reforms to the US economy begin to have an impact.

Truck drivers are in perilously low supply, Silicon Valley continues to struggle to fill vacancies, and employers across the grid are coping with a skills mismatch as the economy edges ever closer to full employment.

“Business’ number one problem is finding qualified workers. At the current pace of job growth, if sustained, this problem is set to get much worse,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said in a statement. “These labor shortages will only intensify across all industries and company sizes.”

__ Source

The Problem is Greatest for Skilled Jobs

Skilled trade workers average near 55 years in age, and as the baby boomers retire, so do the skilled workers — and they are not being replaced. Why not? According to “Dirty Jobs” TV personality Mike Rowe:

• High school curriculum: Most U.S. high schools have eliminated shop classes and other vocational training opportunities, as budget cuts claimed a traditional pathway into a career in the trades.

• College vs. the trades: In many cases, students are counseled that going to college (and often taking on thousands of dollars of debt) is the only way to become successful, despite the fact that there is a surplus of solid, good-paying career opportunities in the trades that do not require a bachelor’s degree.

• Family businesses: Many trades contractors are family businesses, in which the next generation may not want to continue the tradition.

… Today’s students are given the idea that obtaining four-year college degree is the only path to success, despite the fact that there are millions of good job openings that do not require a degree. “You have to make (skilled trades work) aspirational,” said Rowe. “You have to change the image of the opportunity.”

• Training programs: More training programs are needed for the next generation of electricians, plumbers and HVAC technicians. __ Skilled Labour Shortage

Food and Hospitality Services Also Hard-Hit

More people are employed, and eating out. But where are the food service workers?

A tight labor market and an explosion of new restaurants have made finding and keeping help ever more difficult across the country.

In 2017, the National Restaurant Association reports, 37 percent of its members said labor recruitment was their top challenge, up from 15 percent two years ago. With low profit margins leaving little room to do what most businesses do in tight labor markets — increase wages — restaurant owners are having to find other ways to attract and hold onto workers.

… “Everybody eats out,” said Gerri Mason Hall, the head of human resources at Sodexo in North America, the giant food service company and cafeteria operator, which also vies for restaurant workers. “We are competing for executive chefs, front line cooks, the entire talent pool.”

… Restaurant industry experts say the recent crackdown on undocumented workers has sent a further chill through the business. Dishwashers and other low-wage restaurant workers have long been recruited from the nation’s undocumented work force, but many restaurateurs are wary now of going to that well. __ New York Times

Blame Trump for scaring the undocumented restaurant workers away, but also give him credit for boosting the underlying economic activity that is pushing the greater demand for services.

Skills shortages in the oil industry include shortages of engineers, welders, rig workers, and on and on and on . . . Similar skills shortages in construction, manufacturing, health care, transportation, utilities, etc. etc.

The fierce competition for hiring has led to both a drop in the unemployment rate and a rebound in the prime-age employment-to-population ratio in Iowa. It has also raised the specter of labor shortages, with businesses simply unable to find experienced workers to fill their positions. “There are not a lot of welders sitting around looking for work. The construction trades, the roofers, the framers, the dry-wallers,” said Dan Culhane, the president of the Ames Chamber of Commerce. “Those are [workforce] challenges that Ames and Story County and Des Moines face.” __ https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/07/hello-full-employment/564527/?utm_source=feed

More on Retiring Baby Boomers

The US is not the only country that is losing skilled workers and gaining huge numbers of retirees. In fact, most developed nations are worse off in that regard than the US:

One reason the U.S. is in better shape is its comparatively high rate of immigration. Since people tend to migrate when they are younger, immigrants tend to bring down the age of the population as a whole…

The U.S. also has another trend working in its favor: Baby boomers are retiring just as their children — sometimes known as the “echo boomers” — are entering their prime working years. Boomers are no longer even the largest age cohort; more of today’s Americans were born in the 1980s and 1990s than in the postwar years. As today’s teens and 20-somethings enter the workforce, they will partly offset their parents’ exit. __ Source

Under Obama, Millions Gave Up Looking for Jobs

The US Obama administration seemed custom-made to sabotage the US economy and US industry. Millions of workers abandoned the search for work, discouraged by the pessimism across the economic sectors.

Under Trump, the opposite problem is emerging. Too many jobs and not enough workers will lead to a certain amount of wage inflation as employers are forced to bid for new workers against all other potential employers. Wage inflation will lead to higher prices for goods, and then interest rates will slowly rise to compensate. It is the typical business cycle in a capitalist economy.

The greatest challenge for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” crusade is to contain and reduce government spending, regulation, legislation, judicial activism, and taxation to levels that will not bring back the damaging malaise and pessimism that narrowed US economic horizons in the 70s under Jimmy Carter and in the 2008-2016 span under Obama.

Trump only has a few years to try to reverse many decades of engineered decline.

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

For some excellent thoughts on the liberating psychology of working with one’s hands, see Matthew Crawford’s “Shop Class as Soulcraft” and other writings.

Posted in Competence, Donald Trump, Economics | Tagged , | 5 Comments

This is Why Women are not Allowed to Drive Bulldozers

Topless Woman Drives Dozer Into Apartment Building

Women Need Not Apply
Source

Heather Houston has been charged with two felonies after allegedly stealing a front-end loader and driving it into an apartment complex in Great Falls.

The Great Falls Police Department responded to the Fox Hollow Apartment Complex on Sunday morning where they found 34-year-old Houston had stolen the loader from the 3100 block of Rainbow Dam Road and drove it across town to the apartments.

GFPD said Houston then ran over a fence, damaged a car, and hit the side of the complex. She was reportedly topless as she elevated the front end to the second floor and crawled into an apartment before coming back out. __ http://www.krtv.com/story/38550755/woman-crashes-through-fence-with-excavator-in-great-falls

Police are charging Houston with felony criminal mischief and felony endangerment.

According to unverified reports, police are also charging Ms. Houston with causing 3 separate traffic accidents while driving from Rainbow Dam Road to the Fox Hollow Apartment Complex. The accidents were a result of gawkers staring at the topless bulldozer driver, instead of watching the road in front of them.

A woman onlooker commented that if a man takes off his shirt and drives a bulldozer, nobody gives a second glance. If a woman does that, all hell breaks loose!

Comment:

It is the opinion of our editorial board that half-naked women should stay in strip clubs where they belong, not out driving bulldozers in full public view. We the editors fervently hope that no people of colour or LGBTQs were offended by the events portrayed in the news report above.

While we as feminists would ordinarily support the right of women to choose any career, we now see that there should be some exceptions.

Note: Some literary license was taken with the news report above, in the spirit of satire and the dominant mainstream ethic of fake news.

Posted in satire, Sex Differences | Tagged

Entering the New Chinese Warlord Era

Chinese warlords have appeared all throughout China’s history, springing up in times of turmoil to gain power, and sometimes establishing their own dynasty. Warlords are normally aggressive and ambitious, they want to gain power and will use any means necessary to get it. This is a list of 10 ruthless Chinese warlords. __ http://eskify.com/10-ruthless-chinese-warlords/

China’s Modern Conundrum
Chokepoints of Supply

The fear of chaos has often been prevalent throughout history in China. For thousands of years, one Chinese dynasty has followed another. But not every dynasty has been able to control all or most of Chinese territory, and between the fall of one dynasty and the rise of another there has periodically been chaos. The Chinese Communist Party is just the latest Chinese dynasty, which itself emerged following a long period of war and chaos. __ Robert D. Kaplan

China is Always Driven by “Fear of Chaos“

China’s dynasties almost always seem to be interrupted by “warlord eras,” with bloody chaotic warfare between competing warlords. China’s most recent warlord era took place between the years 1916 and 1927, China once more divided into warring regions.

The Warlord Era (1916-27) was a period when national authority in China disintegrated and the country broke apart into a jigsaw of regions, each controlled by powerful local leaders. Warlordism was to some extent a culmination of internal divisions that emerged in late Qing China. As Qing authority waned, local leaders moved to increase their own power. __ http://alphahistory.com/chineserevolution/warlord-era/

Global Chinese Expansion Invites a Grander Warlord Era

Chinese expansion is inevitable due to the risk of Chinese supply lines being cut off (see map above). China has only one coastline, which is hemmed in by multiple island chains — many of them occupied by unfriendly or unreliable nations. China has moved to acquire control of foreign territories, seaports, and facilities for food, energy, and raw materials supplies.

The new “One Belt One Road” initiative is an attempt to create multiple supply lines — over land and sea — and multiple bases of support for maintaining those supply lines. The seizing of contested seaspace and building of artificial islands and military bases off the Chinese shoreline is a further attempt to prevent foreign warships from blocking Chinese supply lines, or interfering with any aggressive Chinese moves against its neighbors (including Taiwan).

As the Chinese expand into significant industrial/agricultural/mining/energy holdings in Africa and Latin America; as they move to control important seaports in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Greece, Africa, Latin America and beyond; and as the Chinese diaspora of both loyal and disaffected mainland Chinese continues, new centres of power will emerge.

New centres of Chinese power threaten Xi, who has just spent several years destroying all other centres of Chinese power within the nation’s borders.

How Can Xi Stop New “Warlords” from Emerging?

Difficult to say, since it has been in China’s very nature to unite and divide into perpetuity.

“Here begins our tale: The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been.” This opening adage of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, China’s classic novel of war and strategy, best captures the essential dynamism of Chinese geopolitics. At its heart is the millennia-long struggle by China’s would-be rulers to unite and govern the all-but-ungovernable geographic mass of China. It is a story of centrifugal forces and of insurmountable divisions rooted in geography and history – but also, and perhaps more fundamentally, of centripetal forces toward eventual unity.

___ Zhixing Zhang

It is not in the nature of Chinese strongmen to want to submit to a distant “emperor,” regardless of the ideology under which China pretends to operate at any given time. Xi will attempt to place only loyal strongmen in control of these dozens of new and farflung overseas Chinese power centres, but there is no room for failure. In such constrained circumstances, Murphy’s law ultimately prevails.

China Already Has Serious Problems

There is no need to rehash China’s debt mountain, its ongoing banking train wreck, its multiple economic, financial, and industrial bubbles, its poisoned land/water/air/food/medicine etc. crises, and so on. Other posts here deal with such issues in detail.

For most people to understand the undercurrents of events, they will need to cultivate aspects of their minds which largely sit unused.

It is not enough to read the summaries and “see” the basic outlines. Making sense of what one sees requires a deep substructure of understanding which requires years and decades to acquire.

Few China observers have the ability to look beneath the powerful facade to the underlying corruption and decay. We live in a dumbed down world, suckled on the 15 second attention-span internet and social media. People are no longer capable of reading books — or even extended articles or blog postings. Almost no one can hold all of the many ideas in his mind simultaneously for a long enough period of time to achieve a meaningful synthesis.

And so superficial facades are the only things that most people can see and understand. This is useful for propaganda states such as China and Russia, and for propaganda industries such as the mainstream news and entertainment medias of Europe and the Anglosphere.

But for those who can see, the future is falling apart and falling together at the same time, in virtual full view. It requires the ability to follow several dozen trend lines at the same time, while understanding the fundamentals that are driving those trends. But it can be done by those who cultivate their minds in the right way.

What is True for China is Doubly True for Russia

China and Russia are in a quiet but intense struggle for Eurasian resources and political influence. As Putin ages, several strongmen of Russia have begun to wonder “what comes after Putin?” Few of them have an answer that would satisfy them or any other Russian.

The question is more critical every day because China’s need for Siberian resources grow more critical every day. Soon China will need far more than the Kremlin will want to supply. Then, China will call in its markers.

China Will Reclaim Siberia NYT
Source

And Siberia will provide would-be Chinese warlords with rich training grounds for their rebels and warriors. Interesting times, Mr. Xi.

Posted in China, Siberia | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Rich Romp to the Stars: Fueling the $Trillion Space Economy

Planetary Resources
via Source

Trillions, High and Low

The transition from a $hundreds of billions space economy to a $trillions space economy may be quicker than anyone thought. Cheap access to space opens all kinds of doors which were expected to stay closed for the next few decades at least. Everything is changing.

Space is already a $350 billion economy, or roughly half a percent of the world’s GDP, [Morgan Stanley] estimates. And as more investments pour into technologies like reusable rockets that make space exploration cheaper, that economy could grow to $1 trillion, especially as countries recognize the need for a space presence to maintain national security. __ https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-apos-apos-space-force-140000121.html?

The internet satellite business is expected to earn up to $1 trillion per year worldwide, in roughly a decade or two. SpaceX is in line to eat a significant piece of that pie.

Asteroids worth more than a quadrillion dollars are floating free, waiting for ambitious space miners to strike paydirt. Several earth-based companies are already scanning the skies for likely prospects.

The space tourism business is already worth over $1 billion, just for earth-based space tourism such as “the Air and Space Museum, the Kennedy launch site, space camps, etc“. Moving space tourism into outer space — sub-orbital flights, orbiting space hotels, lunar resorts, etc. could easily boost the industry into the $trillion range.

An emerging cis-lunar economy that will service lunar bases, orbiting habitats and hotels, and orbiting fuel and supply basis supporting missions to Mars, the asteroids, and deeper space, could easily be worth $1 trillion even in the early stages of development.

Another factor playing into the space equation is US President Trump’s proposed national “Space Force” which Morgan Stanley says can fuel a “$1 trillion intergalactic economy.”

Morgan Stanley has been bullish about investing in outer space enterprises ever since the new private companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin began testing their rockets.

In the last fifteen years, the business of space exploration has changed substantially, with private corporations joining governments in creating and launching rockets and satellites. The recent advent of reusable rockets is drastically cutting the cost of sending satellites into space, and the potential for mass production of satellites could slash those costs further. __ Morgan Stanley

The two quickest ways for a $billionaire to become a $trillionaire are through the energy business or the outer space enterprises. We were discussing this topic back in 2010 and 2012 on the original Al Fin blog. Since then, Elon Musk has developed SpaceX into a viable satellite launch company worth perhaps $50 billion. Not far behind is Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin space launch enterprise. Bezos is pouring $1 billion per year or more into his company and is planning to sell sub-orbital space tourism flights beginning next year.

If you have a good idea for a space enterprise, consult this list of US billionaires for possible backers or collaborators. It is never too early to begin lining up your capital.

No one knows what these first steps will lead to. But we do know that a lot of people will pay a good sum for just a taste of outer space. And we know that people will pay for broadband internet that can follow them anywhere on Earth. And we know that $trillion and $quadrillion asteroids are orbiting just within reach — if we set up the infrastructure to find them, then mine them.

In fact, we already know about significant possibilities for valuable resources on the moon, on Mars, in the asteroid belt, and beyond. All we need is a reliable and affordable way to get there, and the experience and expertise to do the job safely and profitably.

There is room on Earth for a trillion people to live in a pristine environment — but only if the people are smart people. Since the people currently on Earth are not particularly intelligent, we had best keep their numbers under 20 billion.

In outer space there is room and plenty of resources for several trillions of humans to live safely and abundantly — if they are smart people. Living in an island of atmosphere surrounded by a sea of vacuum, stupid people are likely to stumble drunk out the airlock. Best to ship anyone born stupid in space back groundside. 😉

Asteroids: Path to riches, path to ruin. Humans need to learn how to find the one and avoid the other.

Some interesting space musings from the original Al Fin blog

Posted in Asteroids, Space Future | Tagged | 16 Comments

Jordan Peterson Read All of Sam Harris’ Books

The respective philosophies of Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson have not intermeshed smoothly so far. In two separate hour-length podcasts, the two men could not agree on a common concept of “truth” or an agreed upon method for the discovery of truth. Things have gone downhill from there. But it is in the nature of both men to continue to try. And so they meet in public appearance for the first time tonight in Vancouver.

Clash of the Cognitive Titans

Harris has a PhD in neuroscience, and Peterson has a PhD in clinical psychology. Both are popular authors who have also published scientific research that falls into the realm of “cognitive science.” Both men are philosophically inclined and seemingly comfortable speaking before large crowds. They are meeting tonight and tomorrow night in the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver. But what are the odds that they will be able to get past the epistemological obstacles that tripped up both their previous efforts to gain common philosophical ground?

In light of their previous two failures to meet on the same wavelength, Jordan Peterson took it upon himself to read all of Sam Harris’ published books. This is what Peterson does: He reads a lot of books and articles — many of which are bound to contradict each other — and attempts to achieve a deep set of meanings by combining what he has read with what he had read, heard, and known in the past.

In fact, that is how Peterson came to write his first book “Maps of Meaning,” which is a massive synthesis of many scores of deep tomes, myths, fables, and tales.

Did Harris Watch All of Peterson’s Videos?

I suspect not. Peterson’s Maps of Meaning videos dig deeply into the mines of truth that the Canadian professor, researcher, and clinician has discovered over the past 30 + years. Like a sculptor, he has brought together a wildly diverse set of ideas, and synthesised something useful for today’s thinking people.

Peterson is a clinical psychologist who cares about helping people to move beyond their personal fears and shortcomings, to build a purposeful life. Peterson wants to learn something from Harris, and to hopefully add to his own grand synthesis.

Peterson is Serious About Learning from Harris

Peterson is a clinical psychologist who has seen troubled clients on a regular basis. Doing this for decades allowed him to become a master at getting inside other people’s heads. We can get a hint of this in the Cathy Newman interview on UK Channel 4.

Peterson is better at this empathetic feat when he is not being distracted by a lot of ideas flying at him from different directions all at once. A master therapist needs to focus on the person’s thoughts-behind-the-words, and ignore most everything else. From there, the therapist’s own subconscious will supply what is needed to move the person past the rut that is stopping progress.

Harris Matured as a Public Persona Much Earlier

Sam Harris has become famous using his incisive intellect, which is capable of cutting through logical tangles to expose the presence or absence of inner cores of logical meaning. This is a substantial part of his public image, much of what he is known for.

Sam Harris is also known as a proponent of meditation to achieve inner peace and clarity. This is important, since any public intellectual who regularly wades into deep controversies is going to need a peaceful place to recuperate.

Defending the Public Throne

Harris was born into an entertainment media family. His father an actor, his mother a TV producer. Harris himself has been in the limelight — more or less — for more than a decade and a half. When he looks at Peterson, he sees a newcomer, an interloper on his own territory who threatens to provide an alternative approach to truth than Harris’ own.

In the two podcasts where Harris hosted Jordan Peterson, Harris’ frustration at being unable to make the “fatal cuts” of logic, was palpable. And the same frustration at Peterson has been clear in Harris’ subsequent interviews, podcasts, and public appearances whenever Peterson’s name is mentioned.

On the other hand, Peterson is also frustrated at Harris, but in a different way. Peterson wants to learn from Harris, and to hopefully add something important from Harris’ ideas, to his grand synthesis. Harris just wants to make Peterson go away.

Neither Man is Going Away

To most people it is inconceivable, why Harris and Peterson would be willing to interact with — and be interviewed by — personalities in media or academia who are openly trying to contradict their ideas. In the case of media personalities, some are actually trying to destroy the careers of public intellectuals who do not toe the public line of what is politically correct.

Of the two, Harris is distinctly more mainstream — and generally works to stay that way. His podcast with Charles Murray was a bold step into the unknown, which met significant backlash from the mainstream. When Harris brought Ezra Klein onto his podcast, he met a clever enemy inside his own “house” for an open discussion. Harris was wise to meet Klein on his own territory, rather than going to Klein’s “house” for a meeting where he would no doubt have been stabbed repeatedly in the back.

Peterson, on the other hand, goes everywhere, heedless of the danger. He has received his share of backstabbing. But for the most part — as in the Cathy Newman interview — all of the efforts of the media to destroy Peterson have only brought Peterson more fame, more followers, and more influence.

Sam Harris’ Truth is Negative; Peterson’s is Positive

Sam Harris’ fame was based upon his logical destruction of religious faith. Like a surgeon excising a tumour, Harris set about removing the roots of faith. He takes great pleasure in the task, like a happy surgeon.

Jordan Peterson has devoted his life to providing an approach to life that provides deep purpose — whether or not any religious faith is present.

Harris Sees Peterson as a Threat

Peterson talks extensively about religion — and draws deeply from concepts and “archetypes” which are found in religious writings. Although Peterson does not promote religious faith as such, the very fact that Peterson gives religious writings a certain level of respect and value is a fact that Harris (and the other career atheists) seem to resent very deeply.

Harris does not seem to feel that his work with Peterson is truly done until he destroys Peterson’s credibility — at least in front of the audience that Harris values.

But that is not the way that Peterson seems to be approaching Harris.

Peterson Just Wants to Learn and Add to the Synthesis

One of Peterson’s 12 Rules is (paraphrased): “Always assume the person you are speaking with has something to teach you.” By taking the time to read all of Harris’ books, Peterson demonstrates that ethic clearly.

We will see whether Peterson can get to the core of Harris’ ideas which might prove useful in building a purposeful life, in Peterson’s view. Peterson must find in Harris the things that Peterson finds admirable and potent, and develop those things in ways that can be incorporated into a larger approach to a purposeful life.

The Two Men Do Not Need to Like Each Other

Career atheists are unlikely to admire anyone who seems to move too closely to the orbits of religious or quasi-religious concepts or themes. It is in the nature of a career atheist to destroy belief in god(s) and to destroy faith. If another person’s ideas threaten to provide solace to any religious person’s faith, then those ideas must also be attacked and destroyed. This is a negative approach to truth, which cuts and cuts until nothing “threatening” is left.

But can the emotional guidance systems of the career atheists be trusted to judge and distinguish the “threatening” from the “non-threatening?” Probably not. But humans are only human.

Harris does not need to like Peterson, and Peterson does not have to like Harris. They only need to be honest, open, and articulate — in the context of clashing epistemologies.

In fact, for those who understand these things, it is better that the two men have no special regard for each other when their ideas clash. We are not judging the outcome of this clash by a few interactions. Neither man seems inclined to bow to the other’s established epistemology.

The confrontation is not for the two men. It is for the observers who must make up their own minds.

If only today’s mainstream culture could understand the need for such open and honest confrontations of opposing ideas and traditions. Instead, we are drowning in a monoculture of politically correct strait-jacketed idiocy.

Three cheers for Harris and Peterson. And for Brett Weinstein, appearing tomorrow night with Peterson and Harris at the Orpheum.

Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson Meet Tonight in Vancouver

Posted in Jordan Peterson, Knowledge, Philosophy | Tagged | 7 Comments

Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, and Brett Weinstein… Where They Belong

I Am Not Talking About Vancouver

Tomorrow, 23 June 2018, Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris will attempt another futile debate on the relative merits of their divergent epistemologies. The event at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver is sold out.

The next day, 24 June 2018 — again at the Orpheum — Harris and Peterson will have a moderated debate, with Brett Weinstein presiding as intercessor.

The fact that both events have been sold out for some time highlights the public interest in both Harris and Peterson — as well as for Weinstein, in the second event.

They Are Where They Should Be On the Larger Stage

Beyond Vancouver and all the other cities where these men are individually sharing their ideas with an interested public, their presence is being felt around the world on podcasts, YouTube videos, books, media interviews, and even testimony before the US Congress.

Where Were They Two Years Ago?

Two years ago, Weinstein was teaching biology at Evergreen State, Peterson was teaching psychology — doing research — seeing clients at U. of Toronto, and Sam Harris was writing books, practising meditation and Brasilian jiu jitsu, and attempting to refine his podcasts to reach a wider public.

But over the past two years the public has been taking greater note of these three — along with others who have been christened members of a group known as “The Intellectual Dark Web (IDW).”

People such as Camille Paglia, Christina Hoff Sommers, Jonathan Haidt, Eric Weinstein, etc. have been around for a long time — but are suddenly receiving more popular attention for their outspoken viewpoints, which often clash with the dominant politically correct postmodern neo-Marxist vision that guides most of the media, academia, foundations, activist groups, and many of the deep government states of the world.

Individuals who were first drawn to these independent points of view by Jordan Peterson or Sam Harris, are beginning to branch out and read the works of Sommers, Haidt, Paglia, and more.

It is not important that these persons are not perfect avatars of truth or deep intellect. Each is human and has significant flaws of both a personal and intellectual nature. If you are looking for a messiah perhaps you should convert to messianic Judaism.

In a world drowning in the stifling suppression of free thought and speech — especially in academia, media, and many governmental jurisdictions — the willingness of individuals such as those in the “IDW” to take public stands in person and on new & old media, holds the door to daylight and fresh air open — if just a crack.

Donald Trump is Something Else That Changed

Two years ago, Donald Trump was campaigning through a fierce primary schedule in the quest for the Republican nomination for US President. His chances were slim and no one knew what they might expect from a “President Trump,” however unlikely the prospects for such a thing might have been.

Two years later and Trump continues to be full of surprises, keeping his critics in frantic confusion, off balance. By keeping the news and entertainment media fixated on his tweets and other public statements, Trump has opened considerable room in the back spaces of the public sphere for new voices — including the voices of people who thoroughly hate the US President.

But it is not so very important, exactly, what all of these people are saying word for word. As long as they are openly giving thinking people around the world more choices in what they are able to think about and talk about.

Universities, media outlets, foundations, corporate bureaucracies, and deep states have been thoroughly infiltrated by the stifling ideologies of political correctness and a painful hobbling of speech and inquiry. It will take much more than is being done to bring about a renaissance of ideas, visions, and launchpads for new cultural freedoms and human potentials.

But in just two years, a lot has already changed. After you finish cleaning your room, consider what you might do to assist in the cultural blossoming and transformation.

More:

NYT on the Intellectual Dark Web

It’s about the audience, stupid.

Posted in Jordan Peterson, Knowledge, Philosophy | Tagged , | 2 Comments

You Can’t Have My Car, But I Can Spare You a Few Bullets

56% of carjackers were identified by victims as black, 21% white, 16% Asian or Native American, and 7% mixed race or unknown.[20] Some 93% of carjackings occurred in urban areas.[20][21] __ Wikipedia “Carjacking”

In Some Locations, Carjacking is a Popular Crime

In Walmart parking lots, for example, carjacking is becoming something of a spectator sport. Two days ago in a Walmart parking lot in Tumwater, Washington, a lone man went on a carjack/shooting spree — finally being shot dead by an armed civilian bystander.

The Thurston County Coroner’s Office on Monday identified the dead carjack suspect as Tim Day, 44, of McCleary, Grays Harbor County. Day has a criminal history, including violations of a domestic-violence protection order, felony assault and making death threats. __ Seattle Times

Mr. Day had already carjacked one vehicle that day, then critically injured a man in the attempted carjacking of a second vehicle, and finally was shot dead in his final attempt that day — the third carjacking attempt being the “charm.” He had also fired shots inside the Walmart store, before firing random shots into parked vehicles outside. In other words, Mr. Day was likely drunk, belligerent, and in search of a reckoning.

Parking lots, shopping centres, and petrol stations are popular carjack locations — with Walmarts being among the most common targets.

A Few Walmart Carjackings in Recent Years

Granite City, Illinois 13March 2018

Lauderdale Lakes, Florida 15January 2018

Bainbridge, Georgia 17November 2017

Greensburg, Pennsylvania 2016

Kenner, Louisiana 2016

Leesburg, Florida 2015

And so on . . .

Situational Awareness plus Rapid Reaction are Key

Carjackings are obviously “crimes of opportunity.” If the perpetrator can sense when an opportunity arises, then so should you. Be particularly alert in the types of public places where carjackings are most common. But you can also be carjacked in your own neighborhood, so be aware.

Among Some Populations, Carjacking is Done for Fun

Johnson noted an incident in which a police officer was carjacked on a Friday by a group of juveniles, who were locked up overnight, appeared before a judge the next day and were immediately released to their parents. Within 48 hours, one of the offenders was arrested for another carjacking. “The current catch-and-release system isn’t working,” Johnson said. “The victims are begging me to do something.” __ Chicago Under Siege

Carjackings are particularly popular in Detroit, and in South Africa.

In the US, both open carry and concealed carry of firearms among civilians are becoming more common. This makes the practise of violent person-on-person crime a trickier proposition.

Imagine how many schoolchildren — to say nothing of postal workers — might have been saved had employees of schools and postal facilities been both trained and well armed, instead of trapped in gun-free zones.

Are Walmart Parking Lots “Free-fire Zones?”

Probably not yet, although a touch of caution might be warranted. Consider whether that particular trip to Walmart is truly necessary before jumping into your car. If so, consider a spare magazine.

Posted in Crime | Tagged

Venture Startups and Disruptive Innovations

The election of Donald Trump as US President in November 2016 sent a signal to investors that the Obama government sabotage of business was coming to an end.

Following 4 straight quarters of decreasing investment, investors poured a record-breaking $5 billion dollars into enterprise technology startups in the first quarter of 2017 alone – a nearly 80% increase from the previous quarter – across a record number of 237 deals. __ https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/17/breaking-records-enterprise-fundings-are-up-nearly-80-in-q1-2017/

Venture capitalists expect to obtain returns equivalent to 10X their investment, over the first five years of a successful startup. To that end, they typically take an active role in how startups are run and how funding is disbursed.


Some nations and cities are friendlier to businesses, and encourage startups. Venture capital is drawn to such nations and cities. The map above and the table below provide a general overview of the most business-friendly places.

The map below shows the world’s leading centers for venture-capital investment globally. The largest dots, indicating the largest levels of venture capital investment, are located in the East and West Coasts of the United States, Western Europe, and around the mega-cities of China and India. The U.S. is the world’s dominant center for venture capital, accounting for nearly 70 percent (68.6 percent) of total global venture capital, followed by Asia and Europe with roughly 14 percent each (14.4 percent for Asia and 13.5 percent for Europe). __ https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/01/global-startup-cities-venture-capital/429255/

The 2016 table below shows the top 20 global cities by venture capital investment.

Source for table below: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/01/global-startup-cities-venture-capital/429255/
Venture-Capital Investment by City

Rank Metro Venture Capital Investment (millions) Share of Global Venture Capital Investment
1 San Francisco $6,471 15.4%
2 San Jose $4,175 9.9%
3 Boston $3,144 7.5%
4 New York $2,106 5.0%
5 Los Angeles $1,450 3.4%
6 San Diego $1,410 3.3%
7 London $842 2.0%
8 Washington $835 2.0%
9 Beijing $758 1.8%
10 Seattle $727 1.7%
11 Chicago $688 1.6%
12 Toronto $628 1.5%
13 Austin $626 1.5%
14 Shanghai $510 1.2%
15 Mumbai $497 1.2%
16 Paris $449 1.1%
17 Bangalore $419 1.0%
18 Philadelphia $413 1.0%
19 Phoenix $325 0.8%
20 Moscow $318 0.8%
Top 20 Total $26,790 63.6%
Total – All Metros $42,121 100.0%

Disruptive Innovation Comes from Venture Startups

It is no accident that much innovation originates in North America, including the shale revolution. Encouraging today’s venture startups is the best way of setting the stage for future innovations.

Tech billionaires such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Paul Allen, Peter Thiel, Bill Gates, and the founders of Google, are driving innovations in space launch and development, advanced nuclear fission and fusion, artificial intelligence, robotics, and other potentially disruptive innovations. By re-investing their profits from past successes, they push the boundaries of what is possible in the quest for even greater successes.

This doesn’t just happen anywhere in the world, against heavy odds and in such a relatively short time. It happened here, demonstrating that freedom, hard work, innovation, and courage — quintessential American values — are perhaps the most important resources of all.

__ https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-natural-gas-revolution-is-a-uniquely-american-story

We Desperately Need Investments in Rational Education

Perhaps the most disruptive innovation that could be achieved is to optimise each person’s ability to set purposeful goals and to achieve them, starting from a very early age onward throughout their lives. To give each person rational and productive purpose. Few high-profile billionaires have expressed a serious interest in pursuing such human innovations.

The closest I have seen to that is Jordan Peterson’s self-authoring and self-testing products, along with the ideas sketched out in his 12 Rules for Life. Peterson has also expressed an interest in creating an online system of learning based upon principles of genuine education and growth — as opposed to the current university systems that are built upon indoctrination and brainwashing.

Jordan Peterson is not a billionaire, of course. He is only a clinical psychologist, research scientist, professor, author, public speaker, corporate consultant, software developer, and family man. Imagine, though, if he could obtain the backing of an actual billionaire to pursue the goal of building a positive system of education and purpose-building.

Most Billionaires Would Rather Build Intelligent Robots

No matter. It will only take a relatively small investment to create a groundswell of purposeful individuals willing to break away from the mainstream in the pursuit of a more expansive and abundant human future.

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

Posted in Economics, innovation | Tagged

Sprucing Up Your Brain With Potent Psychedelics

This figure shows the effects of three psychedelics and one control (VEH) on cortical neurons.

… A new study, published June 12 in the journal Cell Reports, found psychedelics, specifically DOI, DMT, and LSD, can change brain cells in rats and flies, making neurons more likely to branch out and connect with one another. The work supports the theory that psychedelics could help to fight depression, anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

… “One of the hallmarks of depression is that the neurites in the prefrontal cortex — a key brain region that regulates emotion, mood, and anxiety — those neurites tend to shrivel up,” says Olson. These brain changes also appear in cases of anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. __
https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/cp-pdp060718.php

Psychedelics are not the most popular drugs for treating depression, but as we better understand how they promote the growth of new dendrites and synapses, we should be better able to develop safer and more effective antidepressants to accomplish the same effect.

More from Cell 12 June 2018:

Neuropsychiatric diseases, including mood and anxiety disorders, are some of the leading causes of disability worldwide and place an enormous economic burden on society (Gustavsson et al., 2011, Whiteford et al., 2013). Approximately one-third of patients will not respond to current antidepressant drugs, and those who do will usually require at least 2–4 weeks of treatment before they experience any beneficial effects (Rush et al., 2006). Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction share common neural circuitry (Arnsten, 2009, Russo et al., 2009, Peters et al., 2010, Russo and Nestler, 2013) and have high comorbidity (Kelly and Daley, 2013).

… Atrophy of neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a key role in the pathophysiology of depression and related disorders. The ability to promote both structural and functional plasticity in the PFC has been hypothesized to underlie the fast-acting antidepressant properties of the dissociative anesthetic ketamine. Here, we report that, like ketamine, serotonergic psychedelics are capable of robustly increasing neuritogenesis and/or spinogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. These changes in neuronal structure are accompanied by increased synapse number and function, as measured by fluorescence microscopy and electrophysiology. The structural changes induced by psychedelics appear to result from stimulation of the TrkB, mTOR, and 5-HT2A signaling pathways and could possibly explain the clinical effectiveness of these compounds. Our results underscore the therapeutic potential of psychedelics and, importantly, identify several lead scaffolds for medicinal chemistry efforts focused on developing plasticity-promoting compounds as safe, effective, and fast-acting treatments for depression and related disorders.

__ Psychedelics Promote Structural and Functional Neural Plasticity https://www.cell.com/cell-reports/fulltext/S2211-1247(18)30755-1

The neuroplasticity described in the 12 June 2018 paper in Cell consists of “neuritogenesis,” or the growth of dendrites and synaptic buttons — providing a denser connectivity between neurons.

Another form of neuroplasticity which may take place under some conditions is “neurogenesis,” or the growth of stem cells which develop into neurons. In adults, this may occur in the hippocampus and along the ventricular lining of the brain.

The hippocampus is the region of the medial temporal lobes thought to play a prominent role in the retention of long term memories. More on hippocampal (DG: dentate gyrus) neurogenesis:

… Here we assessed whole autopsy hippocampi from healthy human individuals ranging from 14 to 79 years of age. We found similar numbers of intermediate neural progenitors and thousands of immature neurons in the DG, comparable numbers of glia and mature granule neurons, and equivalent DG volume across ages. Nevertheless, older individuals have less angiogenesis and neuroplasticity and a smaller quiescent progenitor pool in anterior-mid DG, with no changes in posterior DG. Thus, healthy older subjects without cognitive impairment, neuropsychiatric disease, or treatment display preserved neurogenesis. __ https://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(18)30121-8

It is possible that some psychedelic mixtures may stimulate the transition of neural stem cells into functioning neurons:

When grown with ayahuasca compounds, the stem cells in the neurospheres also began to differentiate (change their properties) to resemble neurons more effectively than under control conditions. This means that the stem cells started to lose their stem-cell-like properties, and started making proteins that are found in adult neurons.

Overall, it seems that exposing neural stem cells to harmine, THH, and harmaline encourages them to grow and change into new neurons more effectively than under control conditions.

__ https://thepsychedelicscientist.com/2018/04/15/ayahuasca-neurogenesis/

This is All Very Controversial

Many neuroscientists still doubt that adult human brains can generate new neurons past adolescence. Proving that psychedelics can promote the growth of new neurons in the brain (eg hippocampus) will take some time, and perhaps a somewhat different perspective on neuropharmaceutical ethics than is dominant at this time.

It is less controversial to pursue the use of ketamine derivatives to promote new “branching” of existing neurons. But ketamine does not seem to be as effective at neuritogenesis as LSD, DMT, or psilocybin. In other words, some old prejudices may need to fall in order to achieve a better solution to an age-old scourge of the human spirit.

Here at the Al Fin Institutes of Neuroscience, we prefer the use of occasional treatments for chronic ailments over the everyday medication of persons. As people age, their ailments may tend to accumulate — as do the number of treatments required. Many persons may take as many as 10 to 20 medication doses per day. The use of psychedelics or psychedelic analogs for treating depression would likely be of an intermittent nature, rather than daily, and would help to cut down on the total daily dosage regimen.

We Actually Prefer to Avoid Medication Altogether

If possible, the avoidance of pharmaceuticals is best. Electromagnetic or photic approaches to treating depression are preferred, as are other alternatives such as advanced neurofeedback, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioural therapies.

Still, some people have experienced relief from depression lasting 6 months or longer from a single psychedelic experience, if well designed and overseen.

We have barely begun to understand all the productive approaches to functional neuroplasticity in the treatment of neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Renewed scientific interest in the use of psychedelics to treat disorders of the spirit can be seen as a positive sign.

Posted in Biomedicine, Human Brain | Tagged | 2 Comments

How Can We Explain the Coming European Idiocracy?

This post is a follow-on to yesterday’s article on the recent PNAS finding of a “reverse Flynn Effect” in Norway. IQs appear to be similarly falling in France, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, and elsewhere in Europe.

Yesterday we looked at the recent paper in PNAS by Bernt Bratsberg and Ole Rogeberg which reveals a significant generational drop in IQ in Norwegian male cohorts — a “reverse Flynn effect.” Other researchers have found similar results in the UK and in several European nations. An IQ decline of roughly 7 IQ points per generation was seen by Bratsberg & Rogeberg in Norway.

More:

Instead of getting smarter, humans have started getting dumber.

The study by the team consisted of analyzing IQ test results from young men entering Norway’s national service (compulsory military duty) during the years 1970 to 2009. In all, 730,000 test results were accounted for. In studying the data, the researchers found that scores declined by an average of seven points per generation, a clear reversal of test results going back approximately 70 years. __ Source

PNAS paper abstract:

Population intelligence quotients increased throughout the 20th century—a phenomenon known as the Flynn effect—although recent years have seen a slowdown or reversal of this trend in several countries. To distinguish between the large set of proposed explanations, we categorize hypothesized causal factors by whether they accommodate the existence of within-family Flynn effects. Using administrative register data and cognitive ability scores from military conscription data covering three decades of Norwegian birth cohorts (1962–1991), we show that the observed Flynn effect, its turning point, and subsequent decline can all be fully recovered from within-family variation. The analysis controls for all factors shared by siblings and finds no evidence for prominent causal hypotheses of the decline implicating genes and environmental factors that vary between, but not within, families. __ PNAS

We know that previous research from the UK had already discovered the problem:

The drop has been calculated to be between 2.5 and 4.3 points every ten years, according to two British studies. __ Decline in IQ Ongoing

The causes for this IQ decline in European populations will certainly be multi-factorial. Despite what is claimed in the abstract, one of the many factors involved is apt to be genetic or epigenetic in nature. Mating and procreative choices within the indigenous Euro populations have a distinct genetic component — even though the authors and editors of the PNAS paper above would consider those effects to be entirely cultural and environmental.

Adding the Dysgenic Effect from Immigration Makes it Worse

Lower IQ immigrants coming to Europe from Africa and the middle east can only add to the depressant effect on average IQ levels in European populations. The combination of both internal and external causes for declines in average IQs speed the coming of idiocracy in government, economy, scientific development, and the maintaining of high tech critical infrastructures.

Given the close correlation between national average IQ and GDP, economic prosperity for the future of Europe depends upon the honest addressing of this problem.

For a period of time — perhaps several decades — the residual effect of the “smart fraction” of indigenous Europeans and more gifted immigrants may well carry the economic prosperity and technological infrastructure on its backs. Eventually the combination of declining aptitude and increasingly bad governance will tip the balance toward rapid decline and collapse — unless precautions are taken.

First, Identify the Causes of the “Dumbing Down” Effect

The “reverse Flynn Effect” phenomenon is still new, and has barely been comprehended by most cognitive researchers. Teasing out all the genuine effects from confounders and artifacts will take time. Then, finding the causal agents for these genuine effects will likewise take time. Finally, finding effective counter-measures that are politically acceptable to the increasingly “dumbed down” populations will take time and political capital.

Bad government can destroy everything far more quickly than any dysgenic effect. But a combination of bad government and a dumbed down population — a far more likely outcome of the processes mentioned above — is especially pernicious, since it is likely to lead to bloody insurgencies, civil wars, and serial revolutions leading to long term decline.

Which Brings Us to the “Islands of Competence” Concept

Islands of competence are reasonably well-functioning high tech jurisdictions that exist in a sea of badly governed incompetence and idiocracy. Competence Islands can only exist by a careful maintenance of boundaries and constant internal training at all levels — to fend off the surrounding entropy. Trade with the outside can be maintained, but must be to the advantage of the competent party, without any undue altruism.

Each generational cohort must be carefully trained to optimise its skills and talents — as well as resilience and creativity — in the face of unstable and high entropy surrounding conditions.

Science and technology can continue their development within islands of competence, even while progress is largely shut down in the surrounding socialist dysgenic idiocracies.

Take Care of Your Own Corner

While university students are being taught to solve the world’s problems according to an already discredited cookbook of bloody revolution into utopia — the people who will have to build structures of resilience and anti-fragility that can withstand the coming waves of entropy — will need to ignore most of the outside noise and set about their building.

Think along the lines of parallel infrastructures at the same time as you consider ways to make existing infrastructures more anti-fragile.

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

More:

Review of literature on “negative Flynn Effect” (PDF) reveals scientific documentation of IQ declines in Finland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, France, and other nations.

More on recent PNAS paper: http://www.theweek.co.uk/94224/why-iq-levels-are-falling

Posted in Cognition, Demographics, Idiocracy, IQ | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Dumb and Dumber: Flynn Effect Retreats in Earnest

Why Are Children Now Less Intelligent?

“Take 14-year-olds in Britain. What 25% could do back in 1994, now only 5% can do,” Shayer added, citing maths and science tests.

__ Why IQ Levels Are Falling

Multiple studies have demonstrated a reversal of the so-called “Flynn Effect”, with the result that youngsters in the west are growing less intelligent on IQ tests, rather than more.

The following extended excerpt is from an article in The Times (UK), providing more detail.

… Now that [the Flynn effect] appears be going backwards. The IQ scores of young Britons born after 1975 are declining roughly as quickly as they used to rise. Why? __ Times UK

Dumb and dumber: why we’re getting less intelligent

Oliver Moody, Science Correspondent

June 12 2018, 12:01am, The Times

The IQ scores of young people have begun to fall after rising steadily since the Second World War, according to the first authoritative study of the phenomenon.

The decline, which is equivalent to at least seven points per generation, is thought to have started with the cohort born in 1975, who reached adulthood in the early Nineties.

… The turning point marks the end of a well-known but poorly understood trend known as the Flynn effect, in which average IQs have risen by about three points a decade for the past 60 or 70 years.

“This is the most convincing evidence yet of a reversal of the Flynn effect,” Stuart Ritchie, a psychologist at the University of Edinburgh who was not involved in the research, said. “If you assume their model is correct, the results are impressive, and pretty worrying.”

There had been signs that IQ scores might have fallen since the turn of the millennium. Two British studies suggested that the decline was between 2.5 and 4.3 points per decade. This has not been widely accepted owing to the limited research to date. A study has now shown, however, that Norwegian men’s IQs are measurably lower today than the scores of their fathers at the same age.

Ole Rogeberg and Bernt Bratsberg, of the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Oslo, analysed the scores from a standardised IQ test of more than 730,000 men who reported for national service between 1970 and 2009. The research appears in the journal PNAS.

The vast majority of young Norwegian men are required to perform national service and take a standardised IQ test when they join up.

The results, published in the journal PNAS, show that those born in 1991 scored about five points lower than those born in 1975, and three points lower than those born in 1962.

The reasons behind the Flynn effect and its apparent reversal are disputed. Scientists have put the rise in IQ down to better teaching, nutrition, healthcare and even artificial lighting.

Some academics suggest the recent fall could be down to genetics. Their argument is, crudely, that less intelligent people have more babies, and so over time the gains are cancelled out by the spread of genes linked to low-intelligence….

“Intelligence researchers make a distinction between fluid and crystallised intelligence,” he said. “Crystallised intelligence is stuff you have been taught and trained in, and fluid intelligence is your ability to see new patterns and use logic to solve novel problems.”

Robin Morris, professor of neuropsychology at King’s College London, said IQ scores probably had hit a ceiling in the west, but there was not yet any reason to be unduly concerned.

… Now that [the Flynn effect] appears be going backwards. The IQ scores of young Britons born after 1975 are declining roughly as quickly as they used to rise. Why?

… is it just that the digital age demands from young people a new kind of intelligence that IQ tests designed half a century ago are not very good at capturing? Nobody knows. This is only the beginning of what will be a vicious and protracted debate.

End of excerpt from The Times

Abstract of new PNAS paper by Bratsberg and Rogeberg

Comment: The author of the above piece in The Times appears too eager to rule out all possible explanations for this trend for fear of being seen as politically incorrect. Fortunately, real science looks beyond PC boundaries and questions inconvenient dogmas. Journalists cannot typically be trusted on matters of science. They have neither the training nor the integrity for the task, it seems.

This matter is far too important for the human race at large to be swept under the rug. Every possible explanation must be carefully examined and tested.

The findings have been replicated in the UK and now have been extended to Norway. These results seem to support the long-term decline in “reaction times” found by Jensen and others.

The Genius Famine by Bruce Charlton and Edward Dutton describes the modern dearth of high IQ geniuses and has some suggestions for how to reverse the decline.

Stupid and unaccomplished people in high places — such as government, media, academia, foundations, corporate human resources departments, etc. — can do untold damage to the future of the human enterprise.

The modern left seems to make a fetish of low intelligence, diverting scarce resources away from competent and productive enterprises toward groups and collectives bent on squandering the human capital of the world.

The first step toward finding a remedy to this planned murder of human genius and potential from the left, is to shine a bright light on exactly what is happening. With exposure of the true nature of the problem, genuine solutions should present themselves.

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

Posted in IQ | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Russia: Who Will Pick Up the Pieces?

Nature abhors a vacuum, and a country that occupies 11% of the planetary mass while producing roughly 1.2% of its GDP is the very definition of vacuum.

__ Source

If current trends continue, Yury Krupnov says, Russians will be condemned to “disappear from history” with the population of their country declining to only 50 percent of what it is today by the end of this century and changing in its ethnic composition to the point where it will not be Russia anymore.
__ https://www.business-gazeta.ru/article/385156 (Russian) __ quoted in WOE2

The population of ethnic Russians is shrinking alarmingly, to the point that there will not be enough Russians left to defend the huge land mass from interlopers on all sides.

Putin has had roughly 20 years to reform Russia’s Tsaresque thugocracy, to make Russia a decent place to live and raise a family — and he squandered all of it. Rather than reforming and diversifying Russia’s economy, Putin divvied it up between loyal cronies, guaranteeing that Russia would lose the global technology race. As a result, Russia’s economy is just as dependent on its oil & gas resources as it was in the 1990s.

Big countries, big nations do not disappear; they do, however, become the vassals of more powerful and dynamic forces, often for many centuries

… the Russian Empire, the USSR, or the Russian Federation, is now officially dead. It is fresh road kill, carrion, ready to be creatively destructed, plundered, by whoever can get to her riches first. The extremities, the low hanging fruit, have already fallen, as they should, to their rightful masters. Eastern Europe, the Baltics, are in Western hands. Vast swaths of southern Siberia, with their magnificent but soon to be clear cut virgin forests now belong to China. __ Choosing the Liege Lord

Russia cannot keep up with SpaceX in the commercial space business, she cannot keep pace with China in the global weapons trade, and without western foreign oil services companies Russia could not sustain its oil & gas production which underpins its entire economy. On its own, Russia is competitive only in terms of electronic warfare, propaganda, organised crime, and human trafficking.


The number of ethnic Russian women of child-bearing years has fallen off a cliff, although even those who remain are not too keen on marrying Russian men and having Russian babies. And who can blame them?

Other than in its largest cities, Russia is “hollowing out” of people — particularly of ethnic Russians. China is moving its people into the vacuum that is resulting, particularly in the Far East. But using its growing Central Asian launching pad, China is likely to take over more of Russia’s fertile farmland in the South — and there is very little that Putin or anyone else can do about it, short of nuking the only “friend” of substance that Russia has left.

Russia’s best people have either left already or are making preparations.

Before long, the only people left in Russia will be the ones for whom there is no use in the more advanced nations to the west and southeast. This is entirely Putin’s fault, for squandering the last 20 years on mere power games.

Western nations are in a bad spot, certainly, due to suicidal government policies of immigration and globalisation.

Western politicians at the highest levels are no different… They play to win, but mostly they play to reach an outcome that would allow them to bamboozle their constituents into believing that they had won, thus reelecting them or whomever they wish to be elected. These leaders negotiate to generate outcomes that are at best acceptable for their countries, while at the same time optimizing the outcomes that reinforce their status as a supranational group of jet-setters who are above the laws of any country both while in office and for their entire lives thereafter. __ https://tsarizm.com/analysis/2018/06/10/the-hi-tech-traditionalist-the-g6-will-be-brought-to-heel-it-will-be-fun-to-watch/

Effects of globalisation on western workers:

While the forces of globalization battered America’s middle class, they largely benefited the country’s emerging urban professional elite—managers, consultants, lawyers, and investment bankers enriched by booming international investment and by the cheapening of imports. And as multinational corporations and their bosses gained political clout, the interests of the middle class faded.

Two decades of complacency among US leaders gave companies in Asia and other emerging export bases time to create world-class factories and robust supply chains. __ Quartz

Until US President Trump was elected, no one in the rich countries of the west (outside of Germany) seemed to act as if manufacturing mattered. Now Germany has chosen suicide by immigration and energy starvation, leaving the US with its newfound energy riches and a born again interest in manufacturing and more equitable trade policies.

In other words, Putin’s choice is stark: mend relations with the US while reforming Russia’s economy, or double down on a China that seems destined to steal “hollow” Russia blind.

Posted in Demographics, Russia | Tagged | 1 Comment

Why Do Blacks Destroy Almost Everything They Inherit?

Is it really true that African blacks leave a trail of violence, poverty, and destruction wherever in the world they go? And if it is true, why?

no one will talk about the painful fact that most African and Caribbean nations have either failed or are about to collapse. __ Source

From South Africa to Zimbabwe to Jamaica to Detroit to much of London, African blacks are destroying their inheritances for the lack of ability to manage and maintain complex infrastructures. Why does this happen?

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelethini “History will judge black people harshly as they have failed to build on the successes of the Afrikaners,” he said, before continuing to explain that “black people loved to use matches to burn down infrastructure” built by the white government. Source

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelethini
“History will judge black people harshly as they have failed to build on the successes of the Afrikaners,” he said, before continuing to explain that “black people loved to use matches to burn down infrastructure” built by the white government.
Source

King of the Zulus, Goodwill Zwelethini, despairs of how South African blacks have done nothing but destroy the once impressive infrastructure built by white South African immigrants and their descendants. But on the larger world stage, no one will talk about how there are almost no successful black-led countries in the entire world.

Black People Shame Themselves

it is no surprise that in the absence of any healthy black nation — in the midst of chaos, senseless wars, corrupted religiosity, violence, and economic collapse — African and Caribbean people leave home en masse. They beg on the streets of Greece, prostitute in the red-light zones of the Netherlands, and make up 40 percent of the migrants flocking to Europe. As they turn up in these countries, helpless, unwanted, starved, or maimed, they are treated like dogs. … Everywhere from Ukraine to India, nearly every day, black indignity, black helplessness, stares us in the face. And all we do, we who hold the platform can do, is scream “racism!” and court the sympathy of others. __ Chigozi Obioma in Foreign Policy

Why is it that Africans can never seem to rule themselves, or build a successful nation — or even a city? When blacks emigrate to the west they bring their dysfunction, poverty, underachievement, violence, and angry victimhood with them.

More than 2/3 s of the world’s poorest nations are located in sub Saharan Africa or are populated by people of African descent. Africa and African-populated nations are at the forefront of global corruption, violence, poverty, instability — and fertility.

Economic Success Correlates With National Average IQ More at VDare

Economic Success Correlates With National Average IQ
More at VDare

Blacks who get jobs thanks to Affirmative Action, almost never carry out their duties with the same level of competence as the whites who came before them. I see this day after day, repeating itself thousands of times over – and not just in South Africa today. This has been going on in lots of other African countries. And it is clear that the problem is not with white people – the problem is with the blacks themselves. But how many black people are willing to admit it?

Source

Blacks of African descent have little or no basis for pride or sense of achievement. As long as they beg, harangue, and demand that others do everything for them, this will continue to be the case.

“As soon as we have problems, we ask someone else to take care of them for us,” Isaac continued. “We ask the Europeans. We ask the Americans. We ask the Chinese. We will run this train into the ground, and then we will tell the Chinese we need another one. This is not development.” I thought of the wreckage by the tracks. In China, there is no such thing as metallic waste. Armies of migrant workers scour the countryside with hammers and chisels, collecting and selling every scrap to the insatiable smelters that feed the country’s industries. Here, by contrast, was a land without industry. __ Atlantic

Power outages were not a problem before majority rule swept over South Africa like a dysfunctional flood. But now they are commonplace, like over most of the rest of the devastated dark continent.

White rule in South Africa ended in 1994. It was about ten years later that power outages began, which eventually reached crisis proportions. The principle reason for this is simply lack of maintenance on the generating equipment. Maintenance is future-oriented, and the Zulu entry in the dictionary for it is ondla, which means: “1. Nourish, rear; bring up; 2. Keep an eye on; watch (your crop).” In short, there is no such thing as maintenance in Zulu thought, and it would be hard to argue that this is wholly unrelated to the fact that when people throughout Africa say “nothing works,” it is only [a slight] exaggeration.
__ How Africans Differ from Westerners

The article linked above describes how Africans typically have no concept of obligation, or maintenance. Lacking the concepts, they are never expected to follow through with the necessary work required to keep machinery working, to show up to work on time, or to support a family. These same failures one sees in native Africans have somehow transplanted themselves into African immigrants in Europe, North America, and elsewhere. More

Average IQs in sub Saharan African blacks range between 60 and 80, depending on the methods of measurement. The most repeatable estimates centre on an average IQ of 70 to 75 for African blacks. Whether this low level of average intelligence is mostly due to inheritance or to environmental factors remains to be completely proven. This cannot be done for reasons of political correctness. But measurements of the African diaspora to western countries suggests that black African average IQs will remain at least 1 standard deviation below those of Europeans and East Asians, regardless of the quality of education, nutrition, and intellectual enrichment provided.

IQ Distributions

IQ Distributions

Average intelligence tells us much less than the distributions at the upper and lower ends of the curve. It is at the upper end of the IQ curve where one finds Nobel Prize winners and the great innovators and managers in their fields. As you can see from the curve above, one finds almost no black Africans at extreme upper levels of IQ, and very few diaspora blacks. It is at the lower end of the IQ curve where one finds those unable to cope with ordinary mental challenge and responsibility. African populations have high numbers of these, who tend to burden social systems and law enforcement agencies to the breaking point.

Without sufficient numbers of bright innovators, planners, managers, scientists, engineers, medical leaders, technologists, craftsmen, law enforcement detectives and forensic specialists, and mid-level professionals etc., black majority countries (and cities) don’t stand a chance to transcend the natural levels of crime, corruption, violence, underachievement, dysfunctional lifestyles, and low intelligence that plague populations of African descent wherever they may go to live.

At the same time, being overburdened by large numbers of dependent — but very fertile — adults reduces productivity and increases poverty to untenable levels.

In truth, Africans have little hope that things will change for the better, on their own. African hopes generally rest on outsiders, from the Chinese to the Indians to the Europeans and so on.

On the scales of violence, intelligence, corruption, rule of law, disease rates, life expectancy, poverty, and almost any other measure of nation against nation, black African states show themselves in a bad light.

Special Note:

Personality traits such as impulse control and conscientiousness may be better predictors of neglect and decline than any measures of ethnicity or nationality. If these traits vary statistically between members of various ethnicities and different nationalities, they may in fact be responsible for much of the statistical difference in achievement, violence, savings, and decline that is seen between various countries and various population groups within any given country.

As we get better at measuring different personality traits (and executive functions) reliably, it will be easier to stratify out particular subgroups from the larger groups, and perhaps trace evolutionary lineages of traits (extracting genotype from phenotype).

Doing the same thing for IQ — which can be measured far more reliably at this time — would be similarly helpful, if it were not so politically incorrect as to make such a project almost impossible at this time. Political correctness is the enemy of truth, and thus the enemy of the future.

More on South Africa:

South Africa is experiencing an electric power shortage, a water shortage, a jobs shortage, and a population boom — despite the exodus of large numbers of former citizens of European derivation. A population boom of people with average IQs of roughly 72 means that the ability of South Africans in the future to solve their critical technological infrastructure problems will be strained even further.

Without a high average-IQ population, a nation needs a large number of high-IQ “market dominant minorities” in order to run its critical technological infrastructure — food, power, transportation, health care, education, etc. South Africa’s corrupt ANC government has made a point of forcing the high-IQ populations out of the country — worsening the multiple infrastructure crises. The experiences of countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa should be instructive to the nations of Europe which have opened their doors to large numbers of low IQ immigrants.

Affirmative Action and the South African Water Crisis

Affirmative Action and the failure of South African sewage treatment plants: There is no substitute for competence, even in a multicultural world that values political correctness and ideologically justified graft

More:

Black Africa is not the only part of the world that is squandering its inheritance and destroying its conquests, of course.

Sadly, the once-proud Russian people are likewise losing hope:

“There are no hopes,” says Alexei Levinson, the lead researcher of the Levada Center. “If there are hopes, they are meaningless, not so different from despair. Social conscience is equally — and simultaneously — ready to feel both.”

The future is perceived as “murky, deformed, inspiring fear,” wrote Denis Volkov, also from the Levada Center, in the Vedomosti newspaper on Aug. 8. One might take that thought a step further: In today’s Russia, there is only one thing that unites — or, to put it more accurately — fragments the whole nation. It is the lack of any vision of the future, shared by everyone, with no exception. __ No Hope in Russia

Africa and Russia are both marred by corrupt dictatorial rule, crippling brain drain, and a failure to live up to grand hopes.

The above article was first posted here in 2016. It is re-posted in slightly modified form.

Posted in Africa, IQ, Maintenance, Russia | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Lord of the Flies: World Without Men

William Golding’s 1954 novel Lord of the Flies is a glimpse into how quickly a world of boys — without men to guide their development — can degenerate into unbelievable savagery. It is one of those books which should be required reading for all educated persons. Set as a hypothetical result of a plane crash near a deserted island, in reality the plot of this novel is played out in gang infested ghettos, barrios, impoverished banlieues, and in prisons across both developed and undeveloped worlds.

Lord of the Flies full text PDF read online or download

Lord of the Flies in Public Education

Modern government schools can resemble prison environments — particularly schools with student populations largely derived from groups with high illegitimacy rates. No fathers at home — and increasingly no male role models at school — creates a perfect environment for Lord of the Flies savagery to emerge. In many school districts, riots and gang fights are relatively common — although under-reported.

The connection between fatherlessness and school shootings has been commented upon recently, suggesting that the lack of a male role model is just as much to blame for a murderous state of mind as the use of psychiatric medications.

… one common and largely unremarked thread tying together most of the school shooters that have struck the nation in the last year is that they came from homes marked by divorce or an absent father. From shootings at MIT (i.e., the Tsarnaev brothers) to the University of Central Florida to the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., nearly every shooting over the last year in Wikipedia’s “list of U.S. school attacks” involved a young man whose parents divorced or never married in the first place. __ https://ifstudies.org/blog/school-shootings-fathers-divorce-family-structure

Without a stable male role model, young boys look to their peers, to cultural icons, and to “local heroes” who may achieve their notoriety and success outside the limits of legal activity. The code of ethics which boys are likely to adopt under these circumstances can be remarkably similar to the code of ethics practised by prison inmates in the yard. Without exposure to more mature and wise male influence, there will be no competing codes of ethics to act as barriers to the descent into the hells of ghettos or prisons (or inner city government schools).

If the boys are additionally under the influence of their mothers’ boyfriends who may physically or mentally abuse them, they may exhibit symptoms that lead family or authorities to send them to mental health professionals, who often put them on psychiatric medications. And unless these potent drugs are given appropriately under close supervision, serious behavioural problems may emerge from the influence of the drugs themselves.

CCHR International’s investigation into school violence reveals that at least 36 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 172 wounded and 80 killed (in other school shootings, information about their drug use was never made public—neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs or undergone other behavioral therapy.)[2] At least 27 international drug regulatory agency warnings have been issued on psychiatric drugs being linked to mania, violence, hostility, aggression, psychosis, and homicidal ideation (thoughts or fantasies of homicide that can be planned). __ https://www.cchrint.org/2018/02/20/school-shootings-mental-health-watchdog-says-psychotropic-drug-use-by-school-shooters-merits-federal-investigation/

The Taliban and ISIL Exhibit Similar Savagery

Troubled boys and young men can easily become cannon fodder for violent and destructive groups — including religious groups. Any strong emotions that sway the human mind and heart can prod boys to take part in group violence. Hamas in Gaza is a textbook example of young boys and men soaking in the swamp of nonstop hatred and appeal to group violence.

Fraternities and Armed Forces

Anyplace where boys and young men practise hazing can become a Lord of the Flies environment. Mild hazing is common in certain initiation proceedings for boys’ clubs and fraternities, but in some militaries such as in Russia, hazing can often become deadly. When young men from violent backgrounds are put in the same place as weaker and more vulnerable boys and men, it can be difficult to distinguish hazing from torture.

At Evergreen State College and many other institutions of “higher learning,” episodes of “Lord of the Flies” type encounters between undisciplined adult-sized children and clueless faculty and staff of universities, should frighten intelligent people when considering the future of higher education in North America.

Graduates of Politically Correct Schools Carry Lord of the Flies Thinking With Them

When social justice snowflakes and antifa thugs move on to society at large, they take their hyper-sheltered groupthinking exclusionary ways with them. If they go on to occupy positions of authority over others, they are likely to do untold harm by acting out the mob-like mentality of the group in order to punish anyone seen as an outsider or an “other.”

The Culturing of Wise and Mature Masculinity is the Cure

The cure for masculinity gone amok is not to feminise boys and men. The cure is to inculcate practises of wise and mature masculinity in place of the wild and immature masculinity that leads to savagery when unchecked.

In Golding’s story of Lord of the Flies, the nightmarish adventure ended for the boys when they were rescued by men, and order was restored. Such a happy ending rarely occurs in juvenile detention centres, neighborhood gangs, prisons, or public schools. Inmates and members of dysfunctional groups and institutions, if they graduate, will graduate into similarly dysfunctional neighborhoods and settings which shaped their bad habits from the beginning.

Women Can Be Just As Bad

But women typically use men and institutions to commit their violence for them. The cure for women who go too far in groupthink and mob violence by proxy, is wise and mature men and women who make and enforce rules that punish false accusations and that allow free thought and speech in public places under penalty of substantive punishment to those who infringe on such freedoms.

Since such wise and mature men and women are in rather short supply these days, one must often seek out particular settings and locations which provide microcosms of wisdom and maturity within which the young may mature and grow disciplined, and adults may function in cooperation and harmony with each other, for the most part.

Such places may need help being constructed and maintained.

Posted in Childhood Development, Crime | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Vibranium Asteroid Disappears Over Wakanda

Warning: The following is a work of plagiaristic satire. Read at your own risk!

According to the mainstream narrative, the asteroid “disintegrated” over southern Africa. But our overseas correspondents report that it actually disappeared under mysterious circumstances in tightly controlled Wakandan airspace.

Here is what the mainstream media is saying:

The [vibranium] asteroid, dubbed 2018 LA, was discovered out near the moon’s orbit early Saturday morning, aiming straight for Earth. NASA reported the latest episode Sunday night.

Asteroid trackers at NASA and elsewhere quickly determined the rock — about 6 feet across — was too small to pose any danger. It burned up in the Saturday evening sky over [Wakanda], eight hours after first being noticed. __ NYPost

But we know that vibranium does not burn up during re-entry. It is made of far tougher stuff than that. According to our correspondents, what was seen was a routine shipment of vibranium to Wakanda — from the moon!

Wakanda Begins Selling Vibranium to China

Ever since the existence of Wakanda was confirmed in “The Black Panther” movie, global powers have been scrambling to obtain rights to the previously unknown power-packed material known as vibranium. China seems to be the first nation to win vibranium rights, and plans to use the material to replace its highly polluting coal power plants.

Replacing the electricity generation provided by 1 gigawatt of coal in China would require the installation of 2.3 GW of wind or 4.5 GW of solar. Vibranium, on the other hand, is on par with coal when it comes to capacity factor, making it a more efficient use of capital for time-constrained direct replacement of coal-fired power in the grid and industrial base. And that’s exactly what China is doing. __ Motley Fool

Vibranium would be a much better energy source than unreliable wind or solar. China is smart to choose the more reliable source of power.

Meanwhile, the US is Sticking to Fossil Fuels and Nuclear

According to US President Trump, fossil fuels and nuclear are tried and true energy sources, unlike vibranium — “which we first heard about from a comic book, for God’s sake!” Trump went on to congratulate China on its new vibranium franchise, but stated that the US has plenty of fossil fuels and uranium.

Supporting the president’s claims, US oil production just keeps on rising:

U.S. crude oil output rose above 10 million bbl/d late last year for the first time since the 1970s, overtaking top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, but it still lags behind top producer Russia, which pumps just below 11 million bbl/d. __ Oil&Gas Investor

Can Vibranium Save China?

China is beginning to experience something of a “debt avalanche.” The People’s Bank of China is beginning to get spooked by all of the bad debt flying around, and is starting to take measures to deal with extreme financial fallout.

The power of vibranium may just barely balance the extreme economic risk of outlandish toxic debt that China currently labours under. Vibranium is still poorly understood outside of Wakanda, but is said to hold mystical powers of national vitality and rejuvenation. Dictator-for-life Xi seems confident that all will be well with the Middle Kingdom.

Watch for More Asteroids Over Wakanda

If more asteroids are routed from lunar orbit to Wakandan airspace, we may see larger sales of vibranium on global markets. If so, it may prove the salvation of several other economically distressed nations — including Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, and Haiti.

And can we dare wish that humanity can be saved from climate change by this mysterious material from a previously cloaked nation in Africa? We can only hope.

Notice: The above is a work of satire. Selected words in the excerpted links were changed to suit the satirical theme.

Posted in Africa, Energy, satire | Tagged

What Has US President Donald Trump Been Doing These 500 Days?

60 of Trump’s Accomplishments so Far:

Taken from an article in the Washington Examiner:

500 DAYS: In his first 500 days in office President Donald J. Trump has achieved results domestically and internationally for the American people.

  • Since taking office, President Trump has strengthened American leadership, security, prosperity, and accountability.
  • After 500 days, the results are clear: the American economy is stronger, American workers are experiencing more opportunities, confidence is soaring, and business is booming.
  • President Trump has re-asserted American leadership on the world stage, secured vital investments in our military, and stood up against threats to our national security.

President Trump has put the American people first and made government more accountable.

AMERICA’S ECONOMY IS STRONGER: The American economy is stronger today and American workers are better off thanks to President Trump’s pro-growth agenda.

Nearly 3 million jobs have been created since President Trump took office.

304,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since President Trump took office, and manufacturing employment stands at its highest level since December 2008.

337,000 construction jobs have been created since President Trump took office, and construction employment stands at its highest level since June 2008.

Under President Trump, the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.8, the lowest rate since April 2000, and job openings have reached 6.6 million, the highest level recorded.

67 percent of Americans believe now is a good time to find a quality job, according to Gallup.

Only under President Trump have more than 50 percent of Americans believed it is a good time to find a quality job since Gallup began asking the question 17 years ago.

President Trump prioritized job training and workforce development to empower workers to seize more opportunities, signing an Executive Order to expand apprenticeship opportunities.

President Trump has restored confidence in the American economy, with confidence among both consumers and businesses reaching historic highs.

Consumer confidence in current conditions has reached a 17-year high, according to the Conference Board.

Optimism among manufacturers has hit record highs under President Trump, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

Small business optimism has sustained record-high levels under President Trump according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

President Trump signed the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, cutting taxes for American families and making American business more competitive.

American families received $3.2 trillion in gross tax cuts and saw the child tax credit double.

The top corporate tax rate was lowered from 35 percent to 21 percent so American businesses could be more competitive.

President Trump has rolled back unnecessary job-killing regulations beyond expectations.

In 2017, President Trump far exceeded his promise to eliminate regulations at a two-to-one ratio, issuing 22 deregulatory actions for every new regulatory action.

The Administration rolled back rules and regulations harming farmers and energy producers, such as the Waters of the United States Rule and the Clean Power Plan.

Regional and community banks and credit unions got relief after President Trump signed legislation reducing harmful requirements imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act.

Since taking office, President Trump has advanced free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals that protect American workers, ending decades of destructive trade policies.

Days after taking office, the President withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and agreement.

President Trump’s Administration is working to defend American intellectual property from China’s unfair practices through a range of actions.

The President improved the KORUS trade agreement with the Republic of Korea, which will allow more U.S. automobile exports to South Korea with lower tariffs and increase U.S. pharmaceutical access to South Korea.

American agriculture has gained access to new markets under President Trump.

AMERICA IS WINNING ON THE WORLD STAGE: President Trump has re-asserted American leadership on the world stage and is achieving results for the American people.

President Trump followed through on his promise to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

President Trump ordered an end to United States participation in the horrible Iran deal and immediately began the process of re-imposing sanctions that had been lifted or waived.

The President has taken action to confront aggression by Iran and its proxies.

The Department of the Treasury has issued a range of sanctions targeting Iranian activities and entities, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force.

Under President Trump, the United States has led an unprecedented global campaign to achieve the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

President Trump’s leadership has contributed to the return of 17 Americans held overseas.

In May 2018 alone, Venezuela released one American and North Korea released three Americans who came home to the United States.

The President has secured historic increases in defense funding in order to rebuild our Nation’s military with the resources they need, after years of harmful sequester.

President Trump signed legislation to provide $700 billion in defense spending for fiscal year (FY) 2018 and $716 billion for FY 2019.

The United States has worked with international allies to decimate ISIS.

President Trump ordered strikes against Syria in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons in April 2017 and April 2018.

The Trump Administration has imposed a range of sanctions on the Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela, including sanctions targeting Maduro and other senior government officials.

AMERICA’S COMMUNITIES ARE SAFER AND MORE SECURE: President Trump has worked to secure our borders, enforce our immigration laws, and protect the safety and security of American communities.

Despite limited resources and obstruction from Congress, President Trump has worked to take control of our border and enforce our immigration laws.

President Trump has called on Congress to provide the resources needed to secure our borders and close loopholes that prevent immigration laws from being fully enforced.

President Trump authorized the deployment of the National Guard to help secure our borders.

President Trump’s Administration has carried out immigration enforcement efforts based on the rule of law.

From the start of President Trump’s Administration to the end of FY 2017, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) made 110,568 arrests of illegal aliens.

Arrests made in this timeframe represented a 42 percent increase from the same timeframe in FY 2016.

Of the 110,568 arrests made, 92 percent had a criminal conviction, pending criminal charge, were an ICE fugitive, or had a reinstated final order of removal.

President Trump has made clear that his Administration will continue to combat the threat of MS-13 in order to protect communities from the horrendous violence the gang has spread.

In 2017, the Department of Justice worked with partners in Central America to file criminal charges against more than 4,000 members of MS-13.

The Trump Administration has cracked down on the import and distribution of illegal drugs in order to stop them from reaching our communities and causing even more devastation.

As of April 2018, U.S. Border Patrol has seized 284 pounds of fentanyl in FY 2018, already surpassing the total of 181 pounds seized in FY 2017.

The President has launched a nationwide effort to fight the opioid crisis, which has devastated communities across America.

The President’s Opioid Initiative seeks to reduce drug demand, cut off the flow of illicit drugs, and save lives by expanding treatment opportunities.

President Trump signed an omnibus spending bill which provides nearly $4 billion to address the opioid epidemic.

The bill included $1 billion for grants focused on the hardest hit States and Tribes and provided funding for a public-private research partnership on pain and addiction.

AMERICA’S GOVERNMENT IS MORE ACCOUNTABLE: Since taking office, President Trump has worked to ensure government is more accountable to the American people.

President Trump has confirmed the most circuit court judges of any President in their first year, and secured Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the United States Supreme Court.

President Trump has signed legislation to bring more accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs and provide our veterans with more choice in the care they receive.

President Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, improving processes for addressing misconduct.

President Trump signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act into law, authorizing $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program.

President Trump successfully eliminated the penalty for Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate.

The President’s Administration is seeking to provide more affordable health coverage and broader access to affordable alternatives to Obamacare plans.

President Trump has released a blueprint to lower drug prices for Americans.

President Trump has ensured that the religious liberties and conscience of Americans are protected and respected by the Federal government.

President Trump signed an Executive Order to protect the free speech and religious liberties of groups such as the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Department of Justice issued guidance to all executive agencies on protecting religious liberty in federal programs.

Source of 60 Point List Above

Remember: Every day of Trump is a day without Hillary. And that alone is a reason to smile! Every other dividend is just icing on the cake. As for the tweets, they’re child’s play to ignore altogether. Let the haters hate, and everyone else attend to his own business.

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