Thursday, April 18, 2024

Payments to America's Physicians - A Potential Conflict of Interest

A recent Research Letter published in The Journal of the American Medical Association or JAMA provides us with insight regarding the functioning of the American medical system, particularly, the relationship between physicians and Big Pharma.  In the article, the authors examined data from the federal government's Open Payment platform which records payments to physicians from the health care industry, focusing on physicians in specialty practices.  Open Payments was established under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act in August 2013 in an effort to ensure that patients would have the ability to discern whether financial conflicts of interest may influence physicans' prescribing histories.  Data for physicians are available in a searchable database by either physician name or hospital and, over the past two years includes payments to physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, anesthesiologist assistants and certified nurse midwives. Payments include but are not limited to research, meals, speaking fees, travel, entertainment, education, grants, charitable donations, honoraria and gifts noting that there is an absence of data on certain types of payments like free drug samples..  


For 2022 alone (the latest year for which data is available), industry made 14.11 million payments totalling $12.58 billion US to physicians as shown here:


Going back to the study as a whole, the authors found that between 2013 and 2022, 85,087,744 payments were made by industry to 826,313 of 1,445,944 eligible physicians across 39 specialties with the median payment of $48 per physician.  The highest annual total value was $1.60 billion in 2019 and the lowest was $863.93 million in 2020.  Let's look at some details:


1.) Highest sum of payments by specialty:


- orthopaedic surgeons - $1.36 billion (31,620 recipients)


- neurologists/psychiatrists - $1.32 billion (58,688 recipients)


- cardiologists - $1.29 billion (33,074 recipients)


- hematologists/oncologists - $825.8 million (17,025 recipients)


- general internal medicine - $588.2 million (97,542 recipients) 


Payments were highly skewed with the payments to median physicians ranging from $0 to $2339 compared to $194,933 for the top 0.1 percent of hospitalists and $4,826,944 for the top 0.1 percent of orthopaedic surgeons.


2.) Highest sum of payments by drug:


- Zarelto - $176.34 million


- Elequis - $102.62 million


- Humira - $100.17 million


Other drugs associated with high payments include Invokana, Jardiance, Farxiga, Dupixent, Botox and Keytruda. 


3.) Highest sum of payments by medical device:


- da Vinci Surgical System - $307.52 million


- Mako SmartRobotics - $50.13 million


- CoreValve Evolut - $44.79 million


Other devices with high payments include Natrelle Implants, Impella, Sapien 3 and Arthrex Devices.


During the pandemic, it became quite obvious that many physicians had very close relationships with the medical industry, in particular, the pharmaceutical arm of the business.    It is quite apparent that the health care industry directs payments of various types to physicians to influence their practices and preferences; by directing payments to physicians and other medical professionals, the health care industry is anticipating greater profits.  After all, they aren't making billions of dollars of payments to their customers without expecting a significant return on their "investments".  Unfortunately, these investments have the potential to create conflicts of interest with some physicians potentially making life and death decisions for their patients based on the influence of their benefactors.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Comparing the Military Strength of Israel and Iran

With outright hostilities between long-term enemies Iran and Israel now in full bloom, I thought that it would be an interesting exercise to compare the military capabilities of both nations.  For the purposes of this posting, I will be using data supplied by Global Firepower.


Let's look at some key military metrics:


1.) Manpower - 


a.) Total Population - Israel - 9,043,387  Iran - 87,590,873


b.) Available Manpower - Israel - 3,798,223  Iran - 49,050,889


c.) Fit-for-Service - Israel - 3,156,142  Iran - 41,167,710


d.) Active Personnel - Israel - 170,000  Iran - 610,000


e.) Reserve Personnel - Israel - 465,000  Iran - 350,000


f.) Annual Military Age - Israel - 126,607  Iran - 1,401,454


When it comes to manpower, Iran is clearly ahead of Israel, particularly when it comes to the number of citizens that are fit-for-service and those who are reaching military age on an annual basis.


2.) Airpower - 


a.) Total Aircraft - Israel - 612  Iran - 551


b.) Fighter Aircraft - Israel - 241 Iran - 186


c.) Dedicated Attack Aircraft - Israel - 39  Iran - 23


d.) Helicopters - Israel - 146  Iran - 129


e.) Attack Helicopters - Israel - 48 Iran - 13


3.) Land Power - 


a.) Tanks - Israel - 1,370 Iran - 1,996


b.) Armoured Vehicles - Israel - 43,407 Iran - 65,765


c.) Self-propelled Artillery - Israel - 650 Iran - 580


d.) Mobil Rocket Projectors - Israel - 150 Iran - 775


4.) Naval Power - 


a.) Fleet Strength - Israel - 67 Iran - 101


b.) Submarines - Israel - 5  Iran - 19


c.) Frigates - Israel - 0  Iran - 7


d.) Corvettes - Israel - 7 Iran - 3


e.) Patrol Vessels - Israel 45 Iran - 21


There is another key aspect of Iran's strength that Israel does not share; its massive oil reserves.  Iran produces 3.45 million barrels of oil per day compared to none for Israel and consumes 1.935 million barrels of oil per day compared to 235,000 barrels per day for Israel.  This leaves Israel vulnerable to fuel shortages should a long-term military operation take place.  Israel does have 12.7 million barrels of oil reserves however this is dwarfed by Iran's 210 billion barrels of oil reserves, putting it in third place in the world.  When it comes to natural gas, Israel is once again dwarfed by Iran which has the second largest natural gas reserves in the world compared to Israel which ranks at number 41 and has the third largest natural gas production in the world compared to Israel which ranks at number 40.  


Iran also has the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East many of which are capable of carrying nuclear payloads.  Here is a table showing Iran's missiles that are most likely to be used for conventional strikes against high-value targets or as a nuclear delivery system:


Overall, according to Global Firepower, when all aspects of each nation's economy and military inventory and considered, Israel's military ranks at number 17 out of 145 nations in the world compared to Iran which ranks at number 14.


When comparing the military strength of both nations, we have to keep in mind that the United States is basically an endless supplier of military equipment to Israel through long-term formal agreements thanks to a bought and sold United States Congress whereas Iran relies to a lesser extent on its growing military relationship with Russia and China.  In any case, should all-out hostilities occur, it will be a long and bloody confrontation between two well-armed nations that represent the growing divide in the global post-American hegemonic world.


Saturday, April 13, 2024

Washington's Unsustainable Fiscal Future

The United States Department of the Treasury recently released the 2023 year end version of the Financial Report of the United States which provides decision makers and citizens with a snapshot of the nation's fiscal health.  Needless to say and not overly surprisingly, the situation looks rather dire.  In this posting, I'll provide you with some summary graphics and commentary from the report and let you decide for yourself what the fiscal future of the United States looks like.


The first table outlines Washington's overall fiscal reality noting that the dollar amounts are in billions (i.e. $1000 billion equals $1 trillion):


The budget deficit for fiscal year (FY) 2023 increased by 23.2 percent or $319.7 billion to $1.695 trillion from the previous fiscal year.  Taxes and other revenues decreased by 9.3 percent or $460.3 billion to 4.466 trillion from the previous fiscal year. thanks to a decline in individual income tax and tax withholdings, a decline in corporate income taxes and decreased deposits of earnings for the Federal Reserve due to increased interest rates as you can see on this chart:


Total liabilities excluding Medicare and Social Security shortfalls grew by 9.9 percent or $3.876 trillion on a year-over-year basis, reaching $42.898 trillion.  Here is a chart showing the breakdown of Washington's liabilities:

Again, it is important to remember that this total liability of nearly $43 trillion does not include the shortfall in funding of both Medicare and Social Security which looks like this in the case of Social Security:


It also does not include intergovernmental debt which, when added to the total liabilities of $42.898 trillion would add an additional $7.09 trillion to the total debt as shown here (with a comparison to 2014):



Here is a chart showing the U.S. budget deficit and net operating costs (revenues vs. costs) for the past five fiscal years:


Here is a very sobering chart showing the projected federal spending and receipts out to 2098 observing that the analysis includes no recessionary periods in the future:


The growth in spending on net interest in the debt is frightening to say the least with net interest costs rising to roughly the same level as all other government spending over the next 75 years.

Lastly, here is a chart showing the historical and projected debt-to-GDP levels between 1980 and 2098:



At the end of fiscal 2023, the debt-to-GDP level was approximately 97 percent and, under current fiscal policies and the projections based on assumptions in the report, will reach 531 percent in 2098.  Here is a table showing the 75-year fiscal gap (i.e. how much primary deficits must be reduced or how much primary surpluses must grow over the next 75 years to make fiscal policy sustainable) and how delays will make the spending decreases and tax increases even more painful and time passes:


Let's close with two quotes taken directly from the report:


"The projections in this Financial Report show that current policy is not sustainable."


"The longer policy action to close the fiscal gap is delayed, the larger the post-reform primary surpluses must be to achieve the target debt-to-GDP ration at the end of the 75-year period.  Future generations are harmed by a policy because the higher the primary surpluses are during their lifetimes, the greater is the difference between the taxes they pay and the programmatic spending from which they benefit."


In other words, all that decision makers in Washington are doing today is kicking the federal debt crisis further and further down the road without making the difficult decisions necessary for responsible spending.  No one in bought and sold Congress is willing to do the heavy lifting and force the federal government to live within its means.  As the authors of the report note, Washington's current fiscal reality is nothing more and nothing less than unsustainable.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Our mRNA Vaccine Future - The Cure-All For Whatever Ails Us

During the pandemic, mRNA vaccine technology took centre stage in the battle against the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, the first time that the technology was used in anything but relatively small laboratory trials.  Despite the growing evidence that these vaccines were responsible for a significant number and variety of adverse side effects and that they weren't terribly effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19, this would appear to have opened the door to even wider use of mRNA vaccines.


Here is a screen capture from Moderna's clinical trials website recalling that Moderna was the purveyor of the Spikevax COVID mRNA vaccine:


This Phase 1/2 clinical trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the company's mRNA-4359 vaccine which is being designed to slow or prevent the growth of solid tumour cancers in adults.  Apparently, preclinical testing in both cell and animal models of cancer provided initial evidence that the mRNA-4359 vaccine had an impact on the immune system which provided the rationale necessary for it to be offered in Phase 1/2 clinical trials.


Participants in the study must:


1.) Be 18 years of age or older


2.) Have confirmed locally advanced or metastatic cancer - Includes: cutaneous melanoma, NSCLC, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, MSS CRC, basal cell carcinoma, or triple-negative breast cancer - Also includes: confirmed locally advanced or metastatic melanoma or NSCLC who have received previous checkpoint inhibitor therapy


3.) Have experienced disease progression after receiving standard-of-care therapies or be intolerant to standard-of-care treatment


Participants that have active central nervous system tumours or metastases are excluded from the study.


Participants are expected to attend 17 visits to the trial site over three years with a treatment period of approximately 6 months followed by a 90 day safety followup and a two year followup period.  The vaccine will be administered as an intramuscular injection and pembrolizumab will be administered intravenously.  I found it interesting that this Phase 1/2 trial is taking three years to complete (not including a further Phase 3 trial) whereas the trials prior to the rollout of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines took place in less than a year.


Participants will be assigned to one of three treatment Arms as follows:


1.) Arm 1a

This group will aim to treat adults who have locally advanced or metastatic cancer (cutaneous melanoma, non-small-cell lung carcinoma [NSCLC], non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, microsatellite stable colorectal cancer [MSS CRC], basal cell carcinoma, or triple negative breast cancer) who have previously received treatment for their cancer.

Participants assigned to Arm 1a will receive the investigational treatment.

The goal of Arm 1a is to determine a safe dose of the investigational treatment.

2.) Arm 1b

This group will include adults who have locally advanced or metastatic melanoma or NSCLC who previously received immunotherapy (called checkpoint inhibitor therapy) for their cancer.

Participants assigned to Arm 1b will receive the investigational treatment in combination with pembrolizumab.

The goal of Arm 1b is to determine a safe dose of the investigational treatment in combination with pembrolizumab.

3.) Pharmacodynamic Arm

In addition to the goals of Arm 1b, researchers will also be evaluating how the investigational treatment and pembrolizumab affect the immune system and the cancer in a group called the Pharmacodynamic (PD) Arm. 

Participants enrolled in the PD Arm will receive the investigational treatment and will also be asked to provide additional blood and tissue samples.

Here is the study overview from the U.S. government's Clinical Trials website:

The study is a non-randomized trial meaning that all patients receive the same treatment.  It is also open-label meaning that clinicians and patients know what Arm of treatment that they are receiving unlike blinded trials where patients do not know their course of treatment.  You'll also note that there is no placebo group.


Imperial College in the United Kingdom, home of COVID-19 pandemic modeller Professor Neil Ferguson, author of a flawed report which led directly to the global pandemic lockdown, recently announced the following:


In the United Kingdom, the trial is being run in partnership between Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.  The first patient to receive the mRNA-4359 vaccine was injected in late October 2023

In late March 2024, Modern also announced that it was advancing three of its mRNA vaccines to late-stage clinical trials including vaccines for cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), herpes simplex virus (HSV) and Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV) (i.e shingles).  Among the trials for additional mRNA vaccines, we find the following:


1.) CMV - CMVictory is a pivotal Phase 3 trial evaluating mRNA-1647 against primary CMV infection in women 16 to 40 years of age. The trial is a randomized, observer-blind, placebo-controlled study designed to evaluate the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of mRNA-1647. The trial is fully enrolled with approximately 7,300 participants from 290 clinical sites globally.


2.) EBV - Moderna's EBV vaccine candidates are designed to tackle multiple EBV-associated conditions, including prevention of IM (mRNA-1189) and MS and post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, a subcategory of lymphoma in solid organ transplant patients (mRNA-1195). The Phase 1 trial for mRNA-1189 was designed to test the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of four different dose levels in participants 12 to 30 years of age in the U.S. The randomized, observer-blind, placebo-controlled study showed mRNA-1189 was immunogenic and generally well tolerated across all dose levels. The Company is advancing mRNA-1189 toward a pivotal Phase 3 trial.

The Phase 1 trial for mRNA-1195 was designed to test the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of two drug products at four different dose levels in healthy EBV seropositive participants 18 to 55 years of age in the U.S. The randomized, observer-blind, placebo-controlled study is fully enrolled.


3.) HSV - The first in human, fully enrolled Phase 1/2 trial of mRNA-1608 is designed to test safety and immunogenicity and to establish a proof-of-concept of clinical benefit in adults 18 to 55 years of age with recurrent HSV-2 genital herpes. The randomized 1:1:1:1, observer-blind, controlled study is fully enrolled with 300 participants in the U.S.


4.) VZV - Moderna's VZV vaccine candidate mRNA-1468 has initial data available from a Phase 1/2 trial, which was designed to test safety and immunogenicity in healthy adults 50 years of age and older in the U.S. The randomized 1:1:1:1:1, observer-blind, active-controlled study of mRNA-1468 elicited strong antigen-specific T cell responses at one month after the second dose and was generally well tolerated. Results of the first interim analysis support the further clinical development of mRNA-1468 for the prevention of shingles. Additional results from the ongoing Phase 1/2 study will be available later this year, including persistence data. The Company is planning for a pivotal Phase 3 trial.


Modern is also awaiting regulatory approvals for mRNA-1345, the company's Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine candidate which is currently undergoing at Phase 2/3 randomized, observer-blind, placebo-controlled, case-driven trial.


Looking at human illness through the Moderna lens, one can see that the mRNA vaccine experiment on humanity will continue unabated.  Moderna would have us believe that this newly commerciallized technology is the solution to whatever ails us and seems quite capable of ignoring the long list of potential adverse health effects of this technology that are being observed by clinicians and physicians around the world.  Nonetheless, it's full speed ahead when it comes to mRNA technology.

Friday, March 29, 2024

How Washington May Have Shown Its Complicity in the Moscow Terror Attack

A recent article on TASS:


...provides us with a glimpse into the Russian mindset when it comes to Washington's meddling in the recent Crocus City Hall terrorist attack which took the lives of 140 Russian civilians just after 20:00 hours Moscow time (1:00 pm EDT) on March 22, 2024.


The TASS article quotes a Sputnik radio interview with Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.  Here are some quotes with my bolds throughout:


"The very fact that within the first 24 hours [after the attack], even before the fire was put out, the Americans started screaming that it wasn't Ukraine, I think, is a piece of incriminating evidence. I can't classify it otherwise; it is evidence in and of itself....


The second fact to note concerns the clamor by the US that this assuredly was the work of ISIS (former name of IS - TASS).  Of course, the speed with which they were able to [come to such forthright conclusions] is astonishing. It took them only a few hours to get to a microphone, turn on the lights, summon the press and draw a conclusion about who is to blame for this horribly bloody terrorist attack.


"I think they’ve boxed themselves into a corner, because as soon as they started screaming that it was ISIS, all those people who work in international relations, who are political scientists and experts, recalled and reminded everyone else what ISIS really is.  You are behind all those ISIS-type structures, you - the United States, Great Britain - yourselves brought them into being."


For your information, the press briefing referred to in Zakharova's comments took place at 2:08 pm EDT on March 22, 2024, slightly over 24 hours after the attack began:


In that briefing, White House Security Advisor John Kirby makes the following comments:


"MR. KIRBY: — because I do you have a few things I — I’m going to try to get through here. Let me put my cheaters on.


First, before I go through what I had prepared to talk about, obviously, we’ve all seen the reports and the video coming out of Moscow — this violent shooting at a — looks like a shopping mall. Can’t speak much to the details of it. I mean, this was all just breaking before I came on out here.


So, we’re trying to get more information but really would refer to Russian authorities to — to speak to it. The images are just horrible and just hard to watch. And our thoughts, obviously, are going to be with the — the victims of this terrible, terrible shooting attack.


And I think, you know, you look at that video, if you have, and you got to recognize that there’s some moms and dads and brothers and sisters and sons and daughters that haven’t gotten the news yet. And this is going to be a tough day. So, our thoughts are with them."


This is followed by this exchange:


"Q Thanks, Karine. Thanks, Admiral. On the attack in Moscow, I know you’re still gathering information, but do you have any sense whether this could be linked at all to the conflict in Ukraine?


MR. KIRBY: There is no indication at this time that Ukraine or Ukrainians were involved in the shooting. But, again, this just broke. We’re taking a look at it. But I would disabuse you at this early hour of any connection to Ukraine."


As Zakharova stated, within 24 hours, the White House was already informing the world that it had decided that, even though they admitted that they had very little information, Ukraine was not connected in any way to the attack.  This is the narrative that was then propagated by the Western world's media.


Kirby also said this:


"Q On — wait. Real quick, the follow-up on Russia is: Is there any indication — there has been speculation that it shows that the protest that was brought up with Aleksey’s death, that there is some pattern of instability now in the Russian regime. Would you confirm that? Or do you think it’s too early to say that?


MR. KIRBY: I — I think it’s difficult with the news today to make some broader point about instability in Moscow or in Russia. Clearly, you know, there are people in — in Moscow and in Russia that object to the way Mr. Putin is governing the country.


But I don’t think we’re — at this early hour, we can make a link between the — the shopping mall attack and — and political motivations. I think we just — we just need to — we need more time, and we need to learn more information."


That's twice in a few minutes that John Kirby admits that they have little information about the attack.


In a March 27, 2024 press briefing, Zakharova stated this and please excuse the length of the quote but there is a lot to be unpackaged:


"The response of countries of the collective West to the terrorist attack (that killed and injured hundreds of civilians, including women and children) speaks volumes. This outrage was unequivocally branded as a terrorist attack. What was the initial response of the collective West countries? They started choosing words in order to avoid making direct assessments and to make it clear that they are not evaluating the tragedy in our country in line with the very same standards used to judge themselves. Subsequent developments are more than telling.


After realising that the Global Majority’s response is different, they understood that they would no longer be able to “sit it out” and to “juggle with words.” The Anglo-Saxons and their European allies began to make restrained statements condemning terrorists. They followed a path trodden by the “Skripals’ case,” “Novichok” and incidents involving the Nord Stream pipelines, without waiting for the results of the investigation and more or less verified official reports. They immediately found the culprit. This time, they found it inappropriate to accuse Russia. They realised that they would then turn into real global outcasts. The Kiev regime stepped in on their behalf. No one could think that these minutes and days someone would blame Russia for the grief that befell it. Such people surfaced on Bankovaya Street. I am talking about the regime of Vladimir Zelensky and the Kiev-based neo-Nazism; the collective West has been providing political and media support to this well-paid and armed regime for many years. Consequently, they told it to do this extremely dirty work once again and to blame our country. For 24 hours, Western representatives made different statements saying that they were watching, that they were not ready to make the relevant assessments so far or that they were simply feeling sad, while responding to the condemnation of terrorist attacks, words of encouragement and condolences to the victims. As I have already said, the banned ISIS terrorist organisation was selected as the culprit.


I would like to inform those who have “suddenly” forgotten that high-ranking German officers admitted preparing another act of sabotage against Russia two weeks ago. The media published a recording of the conversation between four persons. They were high-ranking and empowered representatives of the German armed forces who discussed the best options for destroying civilian Russian infrastructure, specifically, the Crimean Bridge. We will discuss this issue today in more detail. Following the publication of this recording, no one in Berlin was able to officially explain to German citizens and the entire international community the reasons why Germany considers it possible to discuss acts of sabotage, terrorist attacks and extremism at state level. These outrages were to be perpetrated by proxies, just as they planned it on the territory of other states. Today, we will also talk about the response of the international community to terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Zelensky regime over all these years. 


To divert suspicion away from the collective West, from Washington, London, Berlin (as I have said, Berlin almost expressly discussed the possibility of committing terrorist attacks in our country), Paris and other NATO countries, they needed to find some explanation, anything at all, and quickly. That’s where they decided to use ISIS. So to speak, they pulled that ace from their sleeve.


Just a few hours after the attack, the Anglo-Saxon mainstream media (CNN, the New York Times, and many others) began to peddle their versions, which essentially boiled down to this: the Islamic State was fully responsible. According to the Western mainstream media reports, the United States obtained intelligence as far back as early March that Wilayat Khorasan (IS-Khorasan is the terrorist group’s subdivision in Afghanistan) was planning an attack in Moscow. However, it is extremely difficult to believe that a group of 4,000-6,000 people (according to the UN) has such extensive capabilities. Even if it does, it would be advisable to wait until the investigation is completed. But no, once again, we’ve seen this linkage between the Western political establishment, including special services, and the Western media....


White House spokesman John Kirby’s statement, made in Washington shortly after the attack, raised eyebrows even at home, not only outside the United States. At first, he said he needed “more time, and we need to learn more information” on the Crocus City Hall attack for the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place. Finally, one would think, someone sees reason – we need to wait for at least some preliminary examination results, for interrogations and investigative actions. But no, after just a couple of hours, the pieces must have clicked together. The White House and the State Department declared that Ukraine had no role in the attack. What grounds or what information did they have to draw this conclusion? This was absolutely unclear. One thing was clear though. They started finding excuses for the Kiev regime in order to get themselves off the hook. Everyone is perfectly aware that there is no independent Kiev regime without Western financial support or military aid.


As a reminder, American liberal Democrats have been financing the terrorist activities of the Kiev crime ring for a long time, not a year or two, or even five. It began under the Obama Administration, when Joe Biden, who is now President of the United States, was Vice President. In ten years, Ukraine has been transformed by the West into a centre for the spread of terrorism. However, ignoring this “dancing on the graves” organised by Ukrainian propagandists, people from all continents are extending their heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims, wishing a speedy recovery to the injured and strongly condemning this terrible attack against innocent civilians.


We are thankful to everyone worldwide who responded with compassion to the tragic terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall. Heads of state and government, heads of government agencies, international organisations, non-profit organisations, religious groups, and concerned citizens have all shown their sympathy in the face of this terrible tragedy. In moments like these, the true nature of a person is revealed. However, we cannot overlook the monstrous and misanthropic remarks made by Ukrainian professional propagators of terrorism. The actions and statements of the Kiev regime adepts underscore their moral decline and ugly Nazi nature. Unfortunately, the mainstream Western media fail to shed light on this dark side of modern blatant neo-Nazism in Ukraine, which is rooted in hatred towards all things Russian. They are not ridiculed in caricatures, nor are they held accountable by international human rights organisations, or subjected to “cancel culture” for their reprehensible statements and actions. Instead, they are rewarded with even more financial support. But for what purpose? As George W. Bush once remarked, to enable them to kill even more Russians. It appears that the representatives of the White House and the current Biden administration have embraced this notion, deeming it a beneficial arrangement."

If you sit down and think about Maria Zakharova's comments about Washington's haste to declare Ukraine not guilty of the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack even though they admitted that they had little information, at the very least, it looks suspicious.  How could the White House unequivocally decide that their allies in the Kiev regime were innocent less than 24 hours after the attack took place when no evidence had been gathered...unless, of course, they were complicit in its planning.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The World Economic Forum, the Fear of Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace and Your Unnecessary Existence

Over the past five years, the global public has become increasingly aware of the World Economic Forum, a collection of global elites who believe that they have the solution to every problem that ails humanity.  With the growth in the importance of artificial intelligence (AI), it's not surprising that the WEF weighs in on this global phenomenon.


In this posting:


...the WEF makes the following observations (with my bolds throughout):


1.) Emerging technologies including AI will disrupt jobs and employees’ skills in the coming years.


2.) Around a fifth of workers in the US say they fear AI will make them obsolete, a phenomenon dubbed “FOBO” (fear of obsolescence).


3.) The World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs report finds that some roles will never be replaced and that AI will lead to job growth in some areas, while upskilling will be key.


The author of the piece, Kate Whiting, Senior Writer for the WEF, then goes on to provide us with the following:


"Imagine waking up one day and finding your job has been automated overnight by intelligent machines. Then you discover even the career you dreamed of pursuing next has already been mastered by AI. 


Quickly, more and more human domains once thought impossible to replicate – art, music, emotion – fall prey to advancing algorithms until all uniquely human talent and purpose dwindles in the face of superior robotic counterparts. Soon your very existence becomes trivial … unnecessary."


It would appear that if anyone should be experiencing FOBO, it's Ms. Whiting because she goes on to inform us that the preceding paragraphs were written by AI.


Here is a graphic from Gallup that shows us the growing percentage of American workers that are concerned about becoming obsolete because of technological advancements:


Gallup and the WEF also note that certain demographics are more concerned about a technological takeover than others:


The author goes on to state the following:


"Is FOBO justified? It largely depends on the profession you’re in as to how many tasks can be automated, but humans will always need to be kept in the loop to some extent – with their work augmented by AI. 


Routine and repetitive tasks are the ones AI is most likely to automate, according to the World Economic Forum’s Jobs of Tomorrow whitepaper, whereas critical thinking and complex problem-solving could be augmented by the technology.


Only 16.1% of an HR manager’s job, for example, shows potential for automation and 22.2% for augmentation, according to the report.


But there are some roles AI will never be able to replace, and in fact, careers in agriculture, education and supply chain and logistics will likely see growth."


I'm not sure about your personal work experience but during my career, I found human resource departments to be an essentially useless appendage with many companies that I worked for totally abandoning the use of HR personnel.


Being the provider of solutions to all problems facing humanity, the WEF provides a solution to the problem of becoming obsolete:


"In the next five years, employees estimate that 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted, meaning upskilling and life-long learning are now more essential, says the Future of Jobs Report 2023.


The skills most in demand are those that AI can’t replace, including analytical thinking, empathy and active listening, and leadership and social influence.


AI will also create new fields of work, with growing opportunities for: “trainers”, “explainers” and “sustainers”, the Forum’s white paper, Jobs of Tomorrow: Large Language Models and Jobs, found."


Here two summary graphics from the aforementioned WEF white paper on the jobs of tomorrow showing which jobs have the highest potential for large language automation and augmentation:



In an "Editor's Picks" from its website, the WEF makes the following observations about the fear of becoming obsolete in the age of AI:


"As generative AI rapidly evolves, a new fear grips the workforce: FOBO, the Fear of Becoming Obsolete. A recent Gallup survey reveals a 7-point increase since 2021 in US workers who believe new technologies threaten their jobs, reflecting a growing sense of anxiety about AI's impact on the job market. Experts predict that 44% of skills will be disrupted within the next five years, further fueling these concerns.


AI brings opportunities amidst the disruption


However, the rise of AI presents a double-edged sword. While some fear job losses, 50% of organizations anticipate AI-driven job growth. Companies are rapidly adopting generative AI, with specialists in AI and Machine Learning topping the list of fast-growing professions. This suggests that workers can leverage the situation by upskilling themselves in AI.


Human skills remain key


Despite the AI wave, human faculties hold their ground. AI fluency ranks only third on the list of desirable skills by 2027, trailing behind analytical and creative thinking. This underscores the enduring value of uniquely human capabilities, even in an increasingly automated world.


Cautious optimism among workers


Despite the anxieties surrounding FOBO, the overall sentiment towards AI remains positive, as revealed by a global study by PwC. While some express concerns, a third believe it will enhance their productivity and efficiency by freeing them from routine tasks and allowing them to focus on developing more complex and marketable skills."


So, the global ruling class's solution to becoming obsolete is for workers to "upskill".  Is a college graduate worker in their fifties really going to have the ability or desire to upskill when the potential for retirement is only ten to fifteen years away?  Is a worker who didn't graduate from high school going to have the capability or financial resources to upskill in artificial intelligence technology?


Welcome to the WEF's AI-based dystopian future which the global elite claim is the "steam engine of the Fourth Industrial Revolution" as shown here:

You'll do nothing, own nothing and be happy.  Just put up, shut up and eat your insects.