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Sat, 10 Dec 2022
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Stock Down

US household wealth falls for 3rd consecutive quarter

us stock exchange
© Getty
U.S. household wealth fell by $400 billion in the third quarter as a drop in U.S. stock prices outpaced gains in real estate values, a Federal Reserve report showed Friday.

Household net worth declined to $143.3 trillion at the end of September from $143.7 trillion at the end of June, the Fed's quarterly snapshot of the national balance sheet showed. It was the third consecutive quarter household wealth has declined.

During that period, an index that covers 95% of the market capitalization of U.S. stocks lost almost $2 trillion in value on worries about stubbornly high inflation and the Fed's outsized interest rate increases to try and bring it to heel.

Newspaper

South Africa to decriminalise sex work in response to rise of violent attacks and murders of women

sex workers south africa
© Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
According to advocacy groups, there are more than 150,000 sex workers in the country
South Africa has said it will decriminalise sex work, hoping to tackle high levels of crime against women in a country with one of the world's highest HIV caseloads.

The sale and purchase of sexual services will no longer be treated as a crime under the proposed legislation put forward by the justice ministry.

According to advocacy groups, there are more than 150,000 sex workers in the country.

Mr. Potato

Mainstream archeologists beclown themselves over Graham Hancock's Netflix doc in hilariously hypocritical letter

Graham Hancock ancient apocalypse netflix
© Screenshot/Youtube/Netflix
Author Graham Hancock
The Society for American Archaeology officially called the fun police on Netflix's documentary series Ancient Apocalypse in an open letter published Nov. 30.

The SAA's letter accuses the show's host and creator, Graham Hancock, in part, of promoting racist theories. Said "theories" referenced by Hancock (who is in a mixed race marriage, has mixed race children and grandchildren) are not theories at all. Hancock, as a journalist, simply presented the indigenous myths, legends, and religious stories written in history books as data supporting his hypothesis that human society was more evolved than we realized somewhere prior to the Younger Dryas period (11,700 - 12,900 years ago).

He also never mentions race.

The rest of the SAA letter is one big temper tantrum because Hancock is making its entire industry look foolish by failing to explore any of the physical and literary evidence for his hypothesis of a precursory civilization. After trying to speak to the SAA to get their side of the data to back-up the claims made in their letter, I tend to think they are an inherently foolish bunch headed toward the wrong side of history (IRONY! LOL).

Comment: Smythe's previous article on Hancock's documentary:
Illiberal idiots are having full-blown meltdowns over journalist Graham Hancock's new Netflix series, Ancient Apocalypse, instead of heeding the caution presented in this epic investigation.

For those of you who haven't binged this epic show yet, it's essentially a journalistic investigation into ancient sites across the world that suggest the human species reached some form of developed civilization prior the last mini-Ice Age (known as the Younger Dryas period). It's beautifully shot, wonderfully written, and hosted by the utterly unthreatening and coolest grandfather ever, Graham Hancock.

Despite the tepid and largely BBC-esque nature of the series, the illiberal media is having a freaking meltdown over it's content, and for literally no good reason. "Archaeologists and their friends in the media are spitting nails about my Ancient Apocalypse series on Netflix and want me cancelled..." Hancock tweeted about two weeks after the show first premiered, attaching screenshots of some of the most hysterical headlines one could possibly read.


WalesOnline said the series "promotes racist conspiracy theories." It doesn't, not even a little bit. The Guardian called it "the most dangerous show on Netflix." For faux-liberals who actually hate freedom of thought and speech, and love governmental tyranny and dependence on the state for survival, I can see why this show is incredibly dangerous.

The greatest takeaway from Hancock's investigation, in my opinion, is not the evidence supporting a near-extinction event against the human species some 11,700 - 12,900 years ago, but how remarkable the future development of our species was should Hancock's theories be proven correct.

Recent discoveries suggest that the elite, educated members of our species had to work with hunter-gatherer societies in order to keep the species going during the Younger Dryas period of history. To me, this says that those folks stuck inside of cities, detached from the natural world, are most at-risk should the world face a cataclysmic natural (or unnatural) disaster... just like those railing against Hancock.

Ignore the details and data presented by Hancock at your peril. As the old adage goes, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. With globalized crises reaching fever pitch, wouldn't you feel more comfortable knowing that you can take care of yourself and your loved ones with what nature provides you, so that when the lights go out, the internet shuts off, and the stores close down, you can help yourself and not be lost to history like almost all of humanity before us?
Joe Rogan has no problem with controversy:





Eye 2

Project Veritas uncovers a Chicago hive of stunning groomer madness...

Veritas sting elite school child grooming
© Project Veritas/Screenshot
An elite Chicago-area public school has officially TRIPLED down on teaching children gay sex after the schools Dean of Students was exposed using a Drag Queen teaching children how to use dildos and butt plugs, and whether or not "spit" was better than "lube" for use in gay sex.

Project Veritas broke the story of this disgusting, mincing teacher bragging about how how much school money and resources he has at his disposal to teach children gay sex.

Comment: Project Veritas follows up on Bruno (with a little commentary):





Francis W. Parker High School leaves the chat:



Eye 1

Twitter 'kept a secret blacklist of accounts and topics to stop them trending'

bongino charlie kirk shadow ban twitterfiles
© Getty
Conservative commentators Dan Bongino (left) and Charlie Kirk (right) were were among those censored by Twitter, according to Bari Weiss
Fury at Twitter's 'secret blacklist' and 'visibility filtering' as new tranche of files reveal conservatives were marked 'do not amplify' and COVID lockdown skeptics 'shadow banned'

Twitter kept a 'secret blacklist' of topics and accounts to prevent them from trending, according to data obtained by journalist Bari Weiss - with conservative commentators deliberately downplayed in what one called 'Soviet-style bulls***',' while another said he was treated 'with more censorship than Hamas'.

Specialist teams were put to work dealing with 200 cases a day.

Conservative commentators, including Dan Bongino and Charlie Kirk, were deliberately put on a 'search blacklist' in Bongino's case or tabbed 'do not amplify,' in the case of Kirk.

'They're treating my Twitter account with more scrutiny and censorship than the prime minister of Iran, than Hamas, than people who do actual terroristic type damage,' said Kirk. 'Now we have evidence to show that's exactly why my Twitter account the last couple years has been down 95 percent in engagement.'

Bongino said it was 'Soviet-style bulls***.'

Comment: Weiss' full thread starts here:




Bad Guys

UK 'money expert' Martin Lewis' charity highlights mental toll of cost of living crisis

man sad
© Damir Samatkulov
The shocking impact that soaring bills are having on mental health has been laid bare by a report that highlights how money worries are driving many people to thoughts of suicide.

The Money and Mental Health policy institute, a charity founded and chaired by the consumer champion Martin Lewis, reported that 17% of respondents to a survey said they had experienced suicidal ideation over the past nine months owing to the rising cost of living.

About three in 10 of the 2,049 UK adults selected by YouGov said they had fallen behind with at least one bill. The polling found harassment by debt collectors was playing a big role in the mental health of those in arrears. At least 11% of those questioned said they now "dread" opening the post from banks, energy companies and other creditors.

Comment: While stopping the debt collectors from harassing the public is a step in the right direction, it seems to avoid the core issue- why are people being driven into debt in the first place? Currently, it's the crippling costs of food and energy caused by covid lockdowns, Russia sanctions, and the total incompetence and greed of our leaders. See also:


Cowboy Hat

Musk promises Twitter 'shadow ban' reform

twitter
Twitter owner Elon Musk has said users will eventually be able to see their "shadowban" status, after reporters published internal company documents showing that the company engaged in the practice despite years of denials under its prior management.

On the heels of the second installment of the 'Twitter Files' - which revealed that the platform previously engaged in concerted efforts to reduce the "visibility" of some users and limit their reach - Musk vowed to create new tools offering more transparency into their account.

"Twitter is working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you've been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal," he said on Thursday.

Published on a rolling basis by journalists Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss and others, the Twitter documents have uncovered a number of explosive revelations about the tech giant following Musk's multi-billion buyout deal, completed in October.


Comment: It's been a frustrating feature of social media platforms for years to have strikes and shadowbans for things one is not quite clear on. It's always the same stock message without clarification of what rule one broke, why, or how to remedy the situation. If Musk can change this dynamic to something more transparent and reasonable, well. It's likely that Twitter engagement and usage will only continue to grow. See also:


Clipboard

Have 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers really died in the war?

coffin
© Getty Images
Ukrainian soldiers carry a coffin during a funeral service in Lviv, Ukraine
On 30th November, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated in a video posted on her Twitter account, "it is estimated that more than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed so far". Minutes later, the tweet was deleted and a new video was posted with the preceding statement removed.

This has led many sceptics to claim that von der Leyen accidentally let slip the true number of Ukrainian military deaths - "more than 100,000" - before scrambling to delete the evidence, possibly at the behest of the Ukrainian government.

We're assuming here that when she said "military officers", she really meant "soldiers", since most soldiers are not officers, and the number of officers in the Armed Forces of Ukraine isn't even close to 100,000.

In this case, though, I'm sceptical that the sceptics are right.

About half an hour after the original tweet was posted, a spokeswoman for the EU Commission thanked those "those who pointed out the inaccuracy regarding the figures", and clarified that "the estimation used, from external sources, should have referred to casualties, i.e. both killed and injured".

Comment: Without documented proof, all probabilities and rationalizations are fudged numbers for effect - no matter the source.


Brick Wall

Border patrol agent KILLED in incident with illegals, White House says NOTHING

us border patrol badge
© SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images
More important things going on?

A 38 year old Border Patrol agent has died after a high speed chase with illegal immigrants on the border in Mission, Texas resulted in a fatal crash.

Yet the Biden White House has said nothing about the incident, prompting more accusations that the administration isn't looking out for agents trying to protect the border.

Comment: See also:


Family

FBI: Polygamous leader had 20 wives, many of them minors

Bateman fam
© Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune/AP
The leader of a small polygamous group near the Arizona-Utah border had taken at least 20 wives, most of them minors, and punished followers who did not treat him as a prophet, newly filed federal court documents allege.

Samuel Bateman was a former member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or FLDS, until he left to start his own small offshoot group. The FLDS is itself a breakaway sect of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, widely known as the Mormon Church. Polygamy is a legacy of the early teachings of the mainstream church, but it abandoned the practice in 1890 and now strictly prohibits it.

Bateman started his own small group in recent years, in in which he was supported financially by male followers who also gave up their own wives and children to be Bateman's wives, according to an FBI affidavit.
Bateman
© AP/Coconino County Sheriff's Department
Samuel Bateman, polygamist, cult leader