In these pages we have frequently paid tribute to the lone scholarship of John Daly. His most recent observation of apparent shenanigans strikes an even more alarming note than previous instances. It appears that the recent historic temperature data from the Darwin station have been gratuitously altered and (surprise, surprise) in a direction that favours the establishment dogma. But for the unique alertness of Daly, this desecration would have passed unnoticed. How many others are there?
Meanwhile the establishment media are trotting out the same old scares based on selections and the extreme value fallacy. We remarked last month on the contrast between the pronouncements of the global warming gurus and the experience of an unusually savage and lethal winter. Now another international body is proclaiming records that favour the dogma. We are expected to gasp at the deaths from tornadoes in June, but quietly forget the deaths from bitter cold a few months before. It is in the nature of records that they always increase and selections according to convenience fall into the extreme value fallacy.
If, however, primary scientific data are being deliberately contaminated we are taking part in a whole new ball game. Science stands or falls by the integrity of data upon which it is based. In an earlier age of scientific integrity, such an unexplained tampering with recorded facts would have raised a stink to high heaven. There might, of course, be a perfectly rational explanation for the adjustment, but in the absence of one being offered, we can only assume the worst. As it stands, the data from Darwin must be discarded as scientifically worthless, but how many other instances are there? Are any of the temperature records free from political correction? Any number watchers who have saved earlier records should guard them with care, lest they be adjusted by international Orwellian Ministries of Truth.
Incidentally, there has been much correspondence on the question of averages
and differences between averages, which is relevant to this debate. Your bending
author was upbraided on another website for a facetious remark in March
about measuring women's thighs to a precision of 1mm. "Has he never taken
an average?" was the comment. Well, he has, and his thoughts on the matter
have been put into one of the Number Watch FAQs.
Alternative views are welcome.
Footnote: It appears that the above just represents the tip of a very large iceberg of temperature fiddling. See here, for example.
Knights of the long lies
The medical establishment has been hammering away at public smoking, hoping to force an emulation of the diktats in California and New York. Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, has now joined in. "But Sir Liam firmly identified smoking as the most important issue facing public health. Passive smoking caused lung cancer, heart disease, cot death, asthma and ear infections, he said." This is a massive lie, created from junk epidemiology, or in the case of the EPA pure multiple fraud.
What has the nation come to when the President of the Royal Society, the
Astronomer Royal and the Chief Medical Officer all routinely spout junk science?
Déjà vu (all over again)n
Caption in the business section of the Sunday Times July 6, 2003:
The big issue: with obesity reaching epidemic proportions, food is becoming the new tobacco.
From Number Watch February 2002:
As we suggested last month, obesity has become the new tobacco for the scare industry.
From Number Watch January 2002:
Obesity is the new cause célèbre among the health fascists of the Nanny State. Watch out for dutiful epidemiologists “proving” that it causes every known ill of mankind, as do tobacco and alcohol.
Déjà vu (all over again)n+1
From the Sunday Times July 6, 2003
From Number Watch February 2002
The tragedy and farce of New Labour is that what they think are the solutions constitute a major part of the problem. The more initiatives, auditing, targets, league tables, layers of bureaucracy, unelected advisers, boards of cronies etc. they apply, the worse things get. No matter how much money they wrench from the suffering taxpayers (watch the next budget) to throw at the problems, they can only get worse. We remember with affection the New Labour election signature tune “Things can only get better.”
Déjà vu (all over again)n+2
Actor Anthony Andrews was rushed to hospital this month, ill through drinking too much water. We trust he has been advised the appropriate charity to which he should direct his substantial donation.
The scaremongers would like us to forget the fundamental principle of toxicology: the poison is in the dose, which leads us to Margot, the patron saint of doom:
Déjà vu (all over again)n+3
Well, it leaked out at last. None other than the establishment journal, the Guardian, has discovered the grotesque ban on garden chemicals that our fathers used all their lives without harm; and a whole two weeks before the axe falls.
Regular readers of Number Watch might remember Ve haf vays of making you green or Government policy is try to pretend that these things are not happening, but people tend to notice when their crops are being devoured and there is nothing available to save them.
Was there ever a time in the so-called democratic era when a reporter could quote a paragraph like this:
"What the public do not know is that products bought before that date must be used up by December 31 or they will have to hand them in. Our information is that gardeners do not even know there is a regulation and local authorities do not yet know they have this responsibility."
Kafka, Orwell and Lewis Carol knew a thing or two.
And there's more
Anyone who thinks that Number Watch was indulging in a bit of fanciful hyperbole in assigning to the European Environmental Commissar the sobriquet Mad Margot had better think again. The latest excess to emerge from the fetid think tank in Brussels was even noticed by the British press. Having disposed of hundreds of mainly harmless yet valuable chemicals, they have now turned their attention to 30,000 man-made chemicals, including (would you believe?) salt, baking soda and vinegar. A few thoughts immediately come to mind:
It is, however, the apparatus and mind set that can produce such grotesqueries that is the truly disturbing phenomenon. Such policies emerge from the European Commissioners, all (failed) politicians, who face no opposition or effective debate. The European Parliament was deliberately emasculated at its birth and mainly comprises obedient functionaries who are bought and sold by the gravy train on which they find themselves. The whole European structure ponders the puzzle of why the continent is in the economic doldrums, witless of the fact that it is an effect of which they are the cause.
Which brings us to Neil Kinnock. The picture on the left actually shows him on his first engagement as leader of the opposition in 1983. Believe it or not, the figure on the right is your bending author, whose duty it was to show the distinguished visitor round the electronics laboratories at the University of Southampton (the suits are clean-room gear, but the hats were waived in deference to the status of the visitor and the public relations department). In private he is modest, reasonable and willing to listen. Perhaps because of inherent shyness, in public he can be bombastic, repetitive and seemingly insincere.
Anyway, our Neil is Vice President of the European Union. Along with regular Number Watcher Dennis Ambler, we cannot remember the election that produced this apotheosis, but his particular brief has been to sort out the graft and corruption that for many is the hallmark of EU. After some eight years of prevarication, in which his main action seemed to be in punishing whistle-blowers, he has suddenly made a move. The rumours of the rackets going on in Brussels would make your hair curl, but they are only hearsay and cannot be repeated in print.
Your bending author once made a comfortable trip on expenses to Brussels to take part in an EU committee, but put his foot in it by offering the opinion that the whole thing was a total waste of time. Mysteriously, he was never re-invited. That strain again! It had a dying fall.
So there we have it: twenty unelected dictators issuing diktats without the first idea of what the economic consequences are; a whole continent descending into the economic abyss. It would be funny if it were not so serious.
Lack of progress
July 13th and the anniversary of Number Watch; also the birthday of its author. No flowers please, just large donations to charity. A reader has noted the discontinuation of progress reports. The only reason for this is that the statistics have become less and less meaningful. Three years ago one could identify individuals logging on and off, but now almost everyone reads via a cache or proxy machine. The number of hits in the week ending July 12th was 5,171, but the actual readership is entirely unknown. Some of the hits are from web crawlers, while others are from various forums where contributors have borrowed illustrations. Also the origins of hits are rather suspect. When the author logs on from rural Wiltshire it can be recorded as coming from France, the Netherlands or even Tonga.
Bare faced or what?
The sheer chutzpah of the global warming propagandists and their ratchet reporting of the weather is enough to take your breath away. At the bottom of the January page, for example, we gave just a selection of a dozen cold weather stories that the British readers were not allowed to see. In February we highlighted a report of the record snowstorm that the BBC inadvertently failed to censor. Even as late as April we linked to half a dozen stories about freak snowstorms.
Now, however, it is July when, to the astonishment of the media, the weather gets warm in the Northern hemisphere. In the old days, we just had the inevitable headline in the tabloids Phew what a scorcher!, but now there is a different agenda so the Sunday Times headline yells
simmers in a tropical heatwave
HOLIDAYMAKERS in the Mediterranean were last week sweltering in the hottest weather for more than 200 years, with bathers enjoying sea temperatures similar to those in the Caribbean.
Records that have stood for centuries have been falling across southern Europe as temperatures have risen to above 40C (104F)…….
The message from our sponsors comes at the end:
Simon Brown, climate extremes research manager at the Met Office in Bracknell, said average temperatures around the Mediterranean would continue to rise.
“Our projections for the Mediterranean show significant increases in summer temperatures under virtually every scenario. We are looking at an increase in average temperatures of 7-8 degrees over the next 80 years,” said Brown.
“We think the rate of warming will accelerate through the century compared with what we have seen. There will be significant increases in the whole Mediterranean basin.”
Many scientists believe the dramatic rises in temperatures are the result of pollution.
The American government, which had previously stated there was not enough evidence to support this theory, last year admitted climate change was related to human influence.
A report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency stated: “Greenhouse gases are accumulating in the earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing global mean surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise.”
There are growing concerns among scientists about the impact of rising temperatures. The World Meteorological Organisation revealed earlier this month that average sea temperatures in May this year were the second highest since records began in 1880.
“As the global temperatures continue to warm due to climate change, the number and intensity of extreme events might increase,” the organisation concluded.
Note this as an example of the extreme value fallacy in three dimensions (area and time). You can always find somewhere in the world that is experiencing a record. This time it is the turn of Europe. Just make sure that no cold weather records leak out. If they do, you can fall back on the ad hoc explanation that global warming causes more extreme weather, but even the most credulous punters are getting wise to that one. It is perhaps a good time to remind ourselves of Langmuir’s Laws (yet another quotation from Sorry, wrong number!):
These were identified by Nobel Laureate Irving Langmuir, who formulated them to provide a means of identifying bad science. It is truly astonishing how often they apply.
1.The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause.
2.The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability, or many measurements are necessary because of the low level of significance of the results.
3.There are claims of great accuracy.
4.Fantastic theories contrary to experience are suggested.
5.Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment.
6.The ratio of supporters to critics rises to somewhere near 50% and then falls gradually to zero.
When Langmuir wrote this, the world had not experienced a myth being sponsored by virtually the whole of the political and media establishment, and it was unthinkable that anyone would alter primary scientific data, so we now have a whole new ball game. Watch this space.
On the other hand
Here are some alternative records supplied by our man in Puerto Rico:
Well below normal June temperatures in Tennessee
The coldest June since 1941 in Moscow
Below normal temperatures in all twelve states of Northeast US
Colder June temperatures signal colder wetter summer in Illinois
Cool, wet weather hurts retail sales in The US
The eighth coldest June in the history of Denver, Colorado
And there's more
From Miceal O'Ronain
20 kids die in Peru's freeze
Death toll rises to 60 in Peru cold spell
Peru cold claims 40 more kids
It's cold to the max
And even ice cold in Harare
Funny, didn't read all that in The Times.
Fries with that, or heroin?
We repeated above the injunction to watch out for dutiful epidemiologists proving that obesity causes every disease under the sun, but not for the first time we underestimated their dedication. Their latest offering must have stirred worldwide the hearts of scumbag lawyers with dollar signs before their eyes. Once again in the Sunday Times
are as addictive as drugs
SCIENTISTS have discovered that high doses of fat and sugar in fast and processed foods can be as addictive as nicotine — and even hard drugs…….
As the man said “Believe that, Sir, and
you will believe anything.” <material removed>
The bible code
The search statistics for Number Watch show that the most popular search item by a long way is the "bible code". Some propositions are just too daft to be worth sacrificing brain cells. This is one of them. So if that is how you got here, you are in the wrong place. There is a more than adequate treatment in the Skeptic's Dictionary.
An ill wind
Oh I see said the Earl but my own idear is that these things are as piffle before the wind.
The Young Visiters
Future generations will come to curse the green governments of modern Europe for many reasons, but none more than when they are sitting in the cold and dark. Keynes once said “Lenin was right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency.” The same applies to markets. Can you think of a surer way of destroying a market than intermittently flooding it with heavily subsidised goods? They are already finding this in Northern Europe, where energy is almost unsalable when the wind blows, but the price goes through the roof when it stops.
New Labour Britain, however, is determined to out-lune everyone else in the field. From The Times on July 15th:
Power hungry Britain will reach for the sky
Nearly four million households could switch to energy from new coastal installations
THE Government fired the starting gun yesterday for a scramble between power companies for offshore wind power projects.
Under plans announced by Patricia Hewitt, the Trade and Industry Secretary, Britain is to have the biggest capacity in the world within seven years for the production of energy from coastal installations. One in six homes in Britain, or nearly four million households, will switch to wind power
Ms Hewitt says that the market has the potential to create a business boom similar to the growth of oil exploration in the 1970s and gas in the 1980s.
The North Sea oil industries are worth £5 billion to the economy and represent 0.5 per cent of gross domestic product. Ms Hewitt says that British manufacturing companies will also gain, using their oil and gas offshore expertise……
Campaigners from Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace said they hoped that this was just the start of a new energy industry to harness opportunities offered by the wind, tides and waves.
Alan Moore, chairman of the British Wind Energy Association, said: “This is a truly historic moment for the UK. Cleaner electricity and tens of thousands of jobs are there to be won.” .......
The wind scam is no more an industry than were the big heads on Easter Island and it will have a similar effect. It is not mining a resource, it is mining the resources of millions of individual groaning taxpayers and suffering companies. Oil and gas production facilities exist because they are economically viable; wind farms only exist because they are heavily subsidised. The subsidies only exist because of the myth of global warming and the Kyoto accord, which would make virtually no difference even if the myth were true.
When the wind fails to blow, which is two thirds of the time, Britain will have to try to buy electricity from the French nuclear industry, but so will the rest of Northern Europe.
Note the early use of the household as a unit of energy. This was one of the many arcane units identified by Howard Hayden as the means of obfuscation used to cover up The Solar Fraud. Translate it into the SI units of Joules and the case collapses.
By 2010 the number of jobs in “the industry” is forecast to rise from 2,000 to 20,000. They will bestow just as much benefit to the ailing economy as the thousands of Gay and Lesbian Cycling Officers and the like, who have helped fake the employment figures, while piling on the impositions on the dwindling portion of the economy that is actually creating wealth. Whom the gods would destroy etc....
Give The Times their due, though, they did give space in the Thunderer column to Philip Stott, who injected a little bit of common sense into the increasingly hysterical media coverage:
folly of a policy is powered by windy thinking
by Philip Stott
Buy stocks in candlemaking companies and prepare to share your bath with your nearest and dearest. The coming “wind farm revolution” could take us back to 1974 when the lights flickered out………
Number Watch paid a visit to Bandolier, which is a site devoted to evidence based medicine. This was as a result of a few hits being received from a link there. This is what they had to say about Number Watch:
Not sure about this yet, but it does have some interesting material about how information can be misinterpreted.
There is a lot of sound scientific stuff, but the criticisms of some of the statistical methods employed are rather muted by Number Watch standards, or even entirely absent. For example, a study of taping as a treatment of arthritis in the knee (and here your painfully bending author must declare an interest) relied on just fourteen cases and a 25% improvement of anecdotal pain experience. This results in advice to professionals “Will increase quality or effectiveness. Likely to reduce costs.” Based on a study of one anecdotal case, Number Watch recommends an elastic bandage.
On the other hand, for a study of ultrasound for the same condition, we have:
Three trials were found with 294 patients. There was no difference between ultrasound and placebo, or galvanic current or short wave diathermy for the outcomes of pain and patient-assessed improvement.
Neither galvanic current or short wave diathermy are exactly rivetingly good therapies, and probably don't work. There is no evidence that ultrasound has any effect whatever. Patients who pay for it are being cheated.
There are some telling comments, but again suffused with ambivalence. Why interpolate the words even and can in the following?
We have to be vigilant. Even meta-analysis can be useless if trials themselves are useless. Gathering small piles of junk together gives one large pile of junk. Systematic review and meta-analysis should be about picking the nuggets of gold from the dross.
There is a nice discussion of bias, though it does tend to play down publication bias. This is a difficult subject, as it is essentially anecdotal in nature, but sometimes epidemiologists accidentally let the cat out of the bag. Unless you accept that almost every substance causes almost every disease, but especially those on the epidemiologists’ hit list (tobacco, alcohol, deprivation and, now, obesity), then you need an explanation in addition to the abuse of relative risk and significance. There have been rather fanciful hypotheses (such as the use of funnel plots) about ways to detect publication bias, but anyone who has moved in the circles involved in any particular research topic knows there is a vast well of unpublished data. The question is, when there is so much pressure to publish, why? The answer, more often than not, is failure to agree with the prevailing theory. Examples were given in Sorry, wrong number!
Carping aside, this is a useful and
informative site, not only for medical professionals, but also for those
interested in the abuse of numbers.
Letting the cat out of the bag
There has been some correspondence about the nature of funnel plots and whether they can actually reveal the presence of publication bias. Number Watch, as is its wont, is inclined to the sceptical view. Building statistics on statistics on statistics (all featuring the mandatory 95% significance level) seems to be the way of creating a modern Tower of Babel, which adds nothing to human communication and knowledge.
Meta-analysis, even without actual fraud, as occurred in the notorious case of the EPA study of Environmental Tobacco Smoke, appears to the cynical observer to be an attempt to forge a strong chain out of weak links.
In a funnel plot, some measure of precision (reciprocal of the standard error, sample size etc.) is plotted against the logarithm of the claimed RR (The log has to be used, as the RR is bounded at zero, which enforces asymmetry, so any RR is the same distance away from unity as its reciprocal). It is hypothesised that, in the absence of publication bias, the plot takes the form of an isosceles triangle or inverted funnel. A critical review of meta-analyses, based on funnel plots, shows a variety of shapes and deductions are made from them.
Of greater interest to number watchers, however, is what the bases of these towers have to tell us. The small studies included in these meta analyses, which are supposed to be investigating the same phenomena, show a truly extraordinary range of variability, such as RRs from about 0.2 to about 3.0. P values aside, such numbers would be accepted, even grudgingly by sceptics, as significant. Yet in that particular case (streptokinase in myocardial infarction) when a large study was conducted it showed no effect at all.
This would tend to imply that small studies are quite useless. This is not quite true. They are worse than useless. They are positively malign. These are the studies that make the headlines in the popular media, are seized on by SIFs to aid their propaganda and used by authoritarian politicians and bureaucrats to impose draconian regulation. They build up the publication portfolios of third-rate academics, who become professors on the strength of them and corner precious research money that ought to go to real science. They belittle science in the eyes of the general public by continually contradicting each other.
Not everything can be reduced to statistics. Appreciation of the fact that publication bias is rife is essentially an anecdotal exercise. Go to any scientific conference and you will hear endless references to unpublished results. Why, when there is so much pressure to publish? Results countering an establishment myth that actually do get published are immediately met by a hail of abuse from an organised claque of establishment figures who make their living out of maintenance of the myth. Like latter day Gallileos, scientists who publish data inconvenient to the establishment are forced to recant. Journals actually apologise for publishing them.
These thoughts have led your bending author to add a personal experience of bias and censorship in a bit and piece.
"When I use a word" Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.".....
......."Impenetrability! That's what I say!"
Through the Looking-Glass
Got the timing wrong again! Just as your bending author foolishly chose to cast doubt on the efficacy of meta-analysis, it delivered its ultimate triumph. It has now been applied to a serious mental disease, conservatism. Furthermore it has now suddenly extended its purview to include non-numerical data. Habitual number watcher John S Baltutis noticed this one, from the leading university in the Dark (and bankrupt) State of Insanity.
British readers will require a little guidance as to vocabulary here. Liberal, which they associate with the marshmallow middle ground of party politics, means in the USA socialist (and a pretty illiberal and intolerant brand of socialism at that). The term conservative is more familiarly abused to incorporate right wing radicals such as Hitler, Mussolini, Reagan and Thatcher.
Just so that we are all clear about it, here is how the pious professors define conservatism:
Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:
Fear and aggression
Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity
Need for cognitive closure
Socialists, it goes without saying, exhibit none of these unfortunate symptoms. Conservatives, because of their blinkered vision, take the view that all revolutions, both major and minor, produce results other than those intended by the revolutionaries, often diametrically opposite.
Concerns with fear and threat, likewise, can be linked to a second key dimension of conservatism - an endorsement of inequality, a view reflected in the Indian caste system, South African apartheid and the conservative, segregationist politics of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-South S.C.).
Followers of Disraeli, who defined the goals of Conservatism as preservation of institutions and amelioration of the condition of the people, might not recognise themselves in this description, but this, of course, is all part of their delusion. Acceptance of the inevitability of inequality is construed as an endorsement; though the privileges enjoyed by the wealthy and powerful, such as Al Gore or the New Labour multimillionaires who were granted control of the BBC, are not relevant to the case.
There are short passages of equivocation followed by The message from our sponsors
The latest debate about the possibility that the Bush administration ignored intelligence information that discounted reports of Iraq buying nuclear material from Africa may be linked to the conservative intolerance for ambiguity and or need for closure, said Glaser.
So, perhaps they lied. Well, they are politicians aren’t they? Might as well complain that the leopard still has spots.
Some researches tell you more about the researchers than they do about the subjects. This is one of them.
Incidentally, there is some misunderstanding about the war that has broken out between the Blair Government and New Labour BBC, over the said massaging of intelligence reports. The dispute is one between the New Labour Establishment, who would have preferred to keep the bloody tyrant in place, and the Blair enclave, who decided to join in the grasping of the nettle. The Murdoch empire, which has a hegemonic agenda of its own, fans the flames enthusiastically.
Our rush out and buy section
Ever eager to improve our already superb service to readers, Number Watch seeks to draw attention to the latest life-enhancing products, so when a large glossy leaflet was delivered through the portcullis at Numeric Towers, we could not wait to tell you about the Pain®gone. Just look at this specification:
|Suitable for any physical pain|
|Can be used on the point of pain|
|Can be used on acupuncture points|
|Can be used through light clothing|
|No leads, pads, wires or gels|
|Powered by crystals|
|Lasts on average 2 years or 100,000 clicks|
|Does not need to be recharged|
|CE marked as medical device Class IIa 0543|
And how does it work? By delivering a controlled electronic frequency to the point of pain. So now you know.
Your bending author has been somewhat bemused by the lack of contrary correspondence. After all, if you are not upsetting anyone, you are not doing a very good job as a sceptic. Anyway, John Hunter from Oz has rectified the deficiency, which has enabled Number Watch to introduce a new section.
Ornament is but the guiled shore
To a most dangerous sea......
The Merchant of Venice
It was back in February 2001 that Number Watch declared a moratorium on emissions from the IPCC, because of the noxious and polluting effect they have on science, but that does not mean that we have to ignore those who seek to provide an antidote. There have been several responses to the correspondence received above. One was from seasoned number watcher Simon Scott. He draws attention to the contribution of the President of the INQUA Commission on Sea Levels and Coastal Evolution, the doyen of world sea level researchers, Nils-Axel Morner. Samples of his take on the IPCC fakery on sea levels can be found here and here.
Heading for the rocks
The headline article in The Times Business section for July 30th was Soaring debt fuels fear of consumer crisis. The increase in personal debt in the UK was £10 billion for June alone. It was just two years ago that Number Watch raised the question of the growing consumer and national debts in the UK and the USA. The problem has increased at an accelerating rate. If it carries on, disaster is the only possible outcome.
Later in the same article is another figure, which gives us our Number of the Month. The New Labour Government has hired an extra 344,000 people for the state sector since it came to power in 1997. Mainly unproductive bureaucrats, these parasites need the taxes of over a million of their fellow citizens to keep them in employment. It would not be quite so bad if they were unproductive, but they are in fact counterproductive. The need to respond to their targets and snooping represents a massive drain on the resources of the diminishing wealth-creating sector. They produce 15 new working regulations every day. Business taxes have increased by nearly £50 billion and business investment is the lowest for a decade.
In order to pay for Gordon’s army, the tax take has had to increase by 50%, mainly in stealth taxes but also direct assaults, such as the wicked raid on pensions and the national insurance hike.
As a result of all this, the average family is about £6,000 worse off. It is human nature to try to maintain one’s lifestyle, which is where the burgeoning debt pushers come in. Judging by the spam that comes into the Number Watch Inbox, the debt pushing situation is even worse in the USA, where they are going for tax cuts, but without concomitant expenditure cuts. The world must hope that the American gamble works. Europe is falling into an abyss created by its own unelected bureaucracy, the central bank has been deflating like mad and the likes of Mad Margot do not come without a massive cost, again mostly borne by industry. This is the age of the professional politician, who does not live in the real world, and the insulated bureaucrat, who does not understand the concept of cost. So we have:
Number of the month 344,000