Chick-fil-A Faces Growing Backlash Over ‘Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion’ Efforts

Chick-fil-A Faces Growing Backlash Over ‘Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion’ Efforts

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Some conservatives have suggested a boycott of Chick-fil-A after the fast-food chain was discovered to have a vice president of “diversity, equity, [and] inclusion,” or DEI.

A view of Chick-fil-A on Austell Road as customers pull around for their drive-thru orders on March 18, 2020 in Austell, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

In a previously issued Chick-fil-A news release, the company said that Erick McReynolds serves as its vice president of DEI, saying: “Chick-fil-A restaurants have long been recognized as a place where people know they will be treated well. Modeling care for others starts in the restaurant, and we are committed to ensuring mutual respect, understanding, and dignity everywhere we do business.”

DEI is a set of principles that large corporations, government agencies, and schools have increasingly incorporated into their work environments, often mandating employees receive such training. However, these principles are rooted in Marxism, according to prominent critics including Christopher Rufo and James Lindsay, that are essentially vehicles for “left-wing racialist ideology and partisan political activism.”

They are designed to replace the system of academic merit with a system of race-based preferences and discrimination—which, in many cases, explicitly violates federal civil rights law,” wrote Rufo for his Substack page earlier this year.

The Chick-fil-A announcement was highlighted this week by several prominent conservative accounts. According to McReynolds’s LinkedIn page, he was hired as Chick-fil-A’s vice president for “Diversity, Equity [and] Inclusion” in late 2021.

“We have a problem,” wrote Joey Mannarino, a conservative host in highlighting Chick-fil-A’s prior announcement, on Twitter Tuesday morning. “Chick-Fil-A just hired a VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This is bad. Very bad. I don’t want to have to boycott. Are we going to have to boycott?”

He also wrote: “The Left is going crazy again over the Chick-fil-A boycott that conservatives are considering. They’re mad because we’ve FINALLY gotten effective at boycotts. Any company that is pushing the trans stuff on our kids or the DEI stuff, we are going to pick the worst offenders.”

So Chick-fil-A has a diversity, equity and inclusion division,” added columnist Todd Starnes on Tuesday. “Well, that explains the fried cauliflower sandwiches and kale salad.”

By Tuesday afternoon, Lindsay wrote on Twitter that he agreed with the boycott calls and made demands. “We must demand that Chick-fil-A fire their entire ESG and Sustainability staff and partners (including DEI), referring to the left-wing environmental, social, and governance framework.

Ideally we get them to confess how they got caught up in the racket, and then we return support,” he added. “Conservatives might actually be able to pull this one off.”

The chicken-based fast-food chain has been generally well respected among conservatives due to the company’s religious values and its prior support for religious groups. In the McReynolds DEI announcement, Chick-fil-A makes reference to its corporate purpose, which is “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us” and “to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”

The Epoch Times has contacted Chick-fil-A for comment.

Backlash Growing

In recent weeks, a number of companies have faced backlash for embracing what critics say are left-wing values or a pro-LGBT agenda. Since early April, Bud Light has seen a significant backlash after it produced a beer can with transgender activist and influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s face and as Mulvaney suggested a partnership with the brand.

Read more here…

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/31/2023 – 19:25

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

“See You In The Hague!”: Lindsey Graham Snarks Back After Russia Issues Arrest Warrant

“See You In The Hague!”: Lindsey Graham Snarks Back After Russia Issues Arrest Warrant

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has hit back after Russia issued a warrant for his arrest – calling it a “badge of honor.”

“Here’s an offer to my Russian ‘friends’ who want to arrest and try me for calling out the Putin regime as being war criminals: “I will submit to [the] jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if you do,” Graham said in a May 29 press release.

“Come and make your best case. See you in The Hague!” he continued, adding “To know that my commitment to Ukraine has drawn the ire of Putin’s regime brings me immense joy.”

“I will continue to stand with and for Ukraine’s freedom until every Russian soldier is expelled from Ukrainian territory.”

Graham, a massive proponent of the Ukraine war, stated in a video of his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that “the Russians are dying,” adding that the US military aid provided to Ukraine was “the best money we’ve ever spent.

While Graham appeared to have made the comments at separate points in the conversation, the brief video produced by Ukraine’s presidential office juxtaposed them, sparking outrage in Russia.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on Sunday that it was hard to imagine a greater shame for the United States than having individuals like Graham as senators. –Epoch Times

In February, Graham said that the US shouldn’t be worried about provoking Russia by helping Ukraine.

“The British are training Ukrainian pilots. I believe a decision will be imminent here when we get back to Washington that the administration will start training Ukrainian pilots on the F-16. They need the weapons system,” he told ABC‘s “This Week” on Feb. 19.

Graham has urged his fellow politicians to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, and has advocated for the US to begin training Ukrainian pilots on F-16s

“They need the weapons system,” said Graham in the above interview, which echoed VP Kamala Harris’ claim that Russia was guilt of “crimes against humanity.”

“So, we need to do two things quickly,” said Graham. “Make Russia a state sponsor of terrorism under U.S. law, which would make it harder for China to give weapons to Russia, and we need to start training Ukrainian pilots on the F-16 now.”

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/31/2023 – 19:05

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

University Of Colorado Declares Misgendering An “Act Of Violence”

University Of Colorado Declares Misgendering An “Act Of Violence”

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

The University of Colorado Boulder (Boulder) is under fire this week for a statement on the “Pride Office” website stating that misgendering people can be considered an “act of violence.”

The guide on pronouns is reportedly the work of students associated with the office and states that “choosing to ignore or disrespect someone’s pronouns is not only an act of oppression but can also be considered an act of violence.”

It is a familiar position for many in higher education.

Opposing viewpoints are now routinely declared to be violence. That allows professors and students to rationalize their own act of violence or censorship.

The most vivid example was recently seen at Hunter College, which is part of the CUNY system. Professor Shellyne Rodríguez recently was fired after holding a machete to the neck of a New York Post reporter and threatened to “chop you up.” However, Hunter College decided not to fire her over a prior incident in which she trashed a pro-life table run by students.

Rodríguez spotted students with pro-life material at the college. She was captured on a videotape telling the students that “you’re not educating s–t […] This is f–king propaganda. What are you going to do, like, anti-trans next? This is bulls–t. This is violent. You’re triggering my students.” Even after a remarkably polite student said that he was “sorry,” Rodríguez would have nothing of it. After all, espousing pro-life views is now “violence.” Rodríguez rejected the apology and declared “No you’re not — because you can’t even have a f–king baby. So you don’t even know what that is. Get this s–t the f–k out of here.”

Just a week earlier, a professor stopped another “violent” display of pro-life views in New York. Professor Renee Overdyke of the State University of New York at Albany shut down a pro-life display and then resisted arrest.

At the University of California at Santa Barbara, feminist studies associate professor Mireille Miller Young criminally assaulted pro-life advocates on campus, and later pleaded guilty to the crime. She was defended by faculty and students, including many who said she was “triggered” by a pro-life display and that pro-life advocates were “terrorists” who did not deserve free speech.

It is that easy. You simply declare opposing views “violent” and then you can justify your own violence as a matter of self-defense.

The Colorado controversy does not involve acts of violence over misgendering. Moreover, the guide reflects a deep-felt concern that using someone’s pronouns incorrectly, even unintentionally, leads to “dysphoria, exclusion and alienation.” There are also some positive recommendations in dealing with these difficult situations.

However, this is a university site and there are countervailing free speech costs to characterizing of opposing views on pronouns as violence. As have previously discussed how other countries are prosecuting those who “misgender.” Schools in the United States have promised disciplinary action against any misgendering despite some court cases ruling for faculty with opposing views on pronouns. Even passing out “he/his” candies can result in a university investigation.

Conservative sites like Campus Reform have reported on the Colorado controversy and sought clarification.

Universities are often presented with difficult countervailing interests. On one hand, it must maintain a welcoming and tolerant environment. On the other hand, it must protect free speech values, including the right to express unpopular views or values.

Colorado students have every right to declare misgendering as violence in their eyes, even if many of us disagree. However, the university has an obligation to clearly establish that such views are not the policy or approach of the university itself.  The site states “This information was created by students, for students. The university supports an inclusive environment.” It should state that “while the university supports an inclusive environment, the statements on this site are not official statements or policies of the university.” Otherwise, the university should address the free speech implications of declaring misgendering as a violent act.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/31/2023 – 18:45

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

WTI Extends Losses After API Reports Big Surprise Crude Build

WTI Extends Losses After API Reports Big Surprise Crude Build

Despite Saudi threats to the shorts, oil prices ended significantly lower to cap an ugly month ahead of OPEC’s meeting this weekend after a weak China PMI print overnight and nothing from US data to spur any excitement.

Prices “remained on the defensive after China’s manufacturing PMI showed more signs of weakness in May, adding to concerns about the outlook for demand from the world’s biggest importer. Lower prices ahead of the OPEC+ weekend meeting may raise the temperature in the room with Russia continuing to pump while key Middle East producers have shown constraint”, Saxo Bank noted.

After last week’s surprise (and large) draw in official crude stocks, it appears API is playing catch up with expectations of another large drop.


  • Crude +5.2mm (-5.1mm exp)

  • Cushing +1.777mm

  • Gasoline +1.89mm (-900k exp)

  • Distillates +1.849mm (+500k exp)

API reports a big surprise crude build – exactly opposite of what was expected. All the cohorts saw sizable builds last week…

Source: Bloomberg

WTI was hovering just above $68 ahead of the API print and extended losses on the build…

US demand for oil and diesel was more robust in March than previously thought, but remained below levels seen at the same time a year ago.

Finally, we note that a DOE report Monday indicated that the Biden admin sold another 2.6 million barrels of crude last week from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to the commercial side.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/31/2023 – 16:37

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Quinn: Fall Of American Empire & Descent Into A New Dark Ages

Quinn: Fall Of American Empire & Descent Into A New Dark Ages

Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

“The story of its ruin is simple and obvious; and, instead of inquiring why the Roman Empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted so long. The victorious legions, who, in distant wars, acquired the vices of strangers and mercenaries, first oppressed the freedom of the republic, and afterwards violated the majesty of the purple. The emperors, anxious for their personal safety and the public peace, were reduced to the base expedient of corrupting the discipline which rendered them alike formidable to their sovereign and to the enemy; the vigor of the military government was relaxed, and finally dissolved, by the partial institutions of Constantine; and the Roman world was overwhelmed by a deluge of Barbarians.” — Edward Gibbon. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 38 “General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West”

“After a diligent inquiry, I can discern four principal causes of the ruin of Rome, which continued to operate in a period of more than a thousand years. I. The injuries of time and nature. II. The hostile attacks of the Barbarians and Christians. III. The use and abuse of the materials. And, IV. The domestic quarrels of the Romans.” — Edward Gibbon. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 71 “Four Causes of Decay and Destruction.”

The moniker of my website originated from a quote by David Walker, then Comptroller General of the U.S., in 2007. I wholeheartedly endorsed Walker’s viewpoint and become politically active in trying to get Ron Paul elected as president in 2008 and 2012. It was a fruitless effort, as the uni-party in Washington DC, controlled by the dark forces of the Deep State, do not allow men and women who truly want to reduce the size and scope of government to ever get elected. His warning sixteen years ago is a perfect example of being right but being early. When talking about the decline of empires, you are really deliberating about a process, not an event. The Roman Empire did not fall on a specific day due to a specific cause. It collapsed in stages over hundreds of years due to numerous reasons, each triggering events which compounded upon each other and ultimately led to the final collapse.

Walker said, “The US government is on a “burning platform” of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon.” He believed we were resting on the laurels of being the sole superpower, as our empire built on debt was slowly and methodically crumbling. He cited three reasons for the fall of the Roman Republic that resonated in 2007 regarding the American Empire (formerly a republic):

  • There has been a decline in moral values and political civility at home. Examples include the devaluation of life, greater self-centerdness by individuals and increased partisanship and ideological divides in Congress.

  • We now have an overextended military around the world. While the US military is unmatched as to its capabilities, it is under stress and stretched very thin.

  • There is fiscal irresponsibility by the central government. Our debt ratios are set to increase dramatically when the baby boomers retire.

It’s almost humorous Walker was issuing these dire warnings when the 2007 annual deficit was $160 billion. At our current rate of debt accumulation, it takes only one month to reach $160 billion. In 2020 and 2021 it only took 20 days to accumulate $160 billion. The national debt in 2007 was $9 trillion, up from $5.6 trillion in 2000. Today it stands at $31.8 trillion. Interest on the national debt will approach $900 billion this year, exceeding defense spending.

Walker warned about our debt ratios skyrocketing when the baby boomers retired. Well, the debt to GDP ratio has doubled from 62% in 2007 to 124% today, and most boomers can’t even afford to retire. U.S. unfunded liabilities total $188 trillion. Personal debts total $25 trillion, with $1.8 trillion of student loan debt and $1.3 trillion of credit card debt. The fiscal irresponsibility of our government and its citizens is breathtaking, unsustainable, and ultimately fatal to our empire. Walker may have been early, but he certainly was not wrong.

The current Kabuki theater farce regarding the raising of the debt limit is a perfect example of how spineless politicians blatantly deceive the public, with the full support of the regime media, in proclaiming spending cuts and fiscal responsibility, when the CBO projections show the national debt growing to more than $50 trillion in the next ten years, as most of the spending is on automatic pilot. And this is before the coming recession/depression provokes the usual political response of fiscal stimulus, which will drive the debt higher.

Threats of government default, hysterical articles in the regime media, and last-minute deals are nothing but a show for the ignorant masses, while the true globalist agenda of one world order, where the peasants will own nothing and be happy, is rolled out at an accelerated pace. They know the fiscal sustainability of the western world is dire, therefore they are acting in a reckless manner, which imperils the world with a potential global war.

Walker’s first point about the decline in moral values and political incivility has reached civil war instigating levels of degradation, deviancy, and treasonous political activity. Not in Walker’s wildest dreams did he envision the grooming and trafficking of children, drag queen story hour for toddlers, pushing children to be mutilated and propagandized into believing they are the opposite sex, promoting deviancy, and having this degenerate behavior jammed down our throats by the government, corporations, and the media.

Destroying our culture, promoting abnormality and sloth, tearing the fabric of our society to shreds, encouraging lawlessness, looting and murder, and persecuting normal white Americans who dissent, is actively promoted, and funded by Soros, Gates, and the rest of the Davos – WEF globalist psychopaths. The devaluation of our lives was never more evident than during the covid plandemic, where the annual flu was weaponized to lockdown the world, create havoc and chaos, institute totalitarian measures to abscond with our liberties and freedoms, destroy the lives of vaxx dissenters, and ultimately destroy the lives of millions who obeyed and were injected with the untested, gene altering, spike producing, Big Pharma enriching concoction.

To put a Roman Empire slant on it, what has been wrought by Clinton, Obama, Comey, Wray, Brennan, Clapper, Pelosi, and their gaggle of treasonous co-conspirators since 2016 has marked our current day crossing of the Rubicon. Politics has always been a dirty game, but the machinations to bring down a duly elected sitting president, which continue to this day under the direction of Biden’s handlers, is reminiscent of the plots, coups, and murders as the Roman empire descended into corruption, madness, and deviant behavior.

The Durham report documented the unequivocal facts regarding the relentless coup attempt against Trump, but the complete coverup by the regime media and the toothless non-existent prosecution of the criminal Deep State characters involved in this treasonous act proves there no longer is a representative government looking out for the citizens of this country. We are a corporate fascist oligarchy, ruled by the few, for the few. We are nothing more than serfs, peasants, and useless eaters to the ruling class, as they continue to pillage and plunder what remains of the Treasury.

Walker thought our military was stretched thin in 2007, as the neo-cons had us fighting a two-front war in Iraq and Afghanistan to enrich the military industrial complex, based on false WMD claims and a fruitless effort to find our CIA created global terrorist mastermind – Osama bin Laden. Little did he know that twenty years after invading Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban, we would conduct a disastrous retreat and hand the country back to the Taliban, with a gift of about $10 billion in military hardware.

“The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.” ― George Orwell, 1984

The defense budget in 2007, while fighting two wars, was $700 billion. Today the budget approaches $900 billion when we are supposedly not at war with anyone. With the Deep State firmly in control of both political parties, the arms dealers will always be swimming is your tax dollars, whether they are shipping their murderous wares to Zelensky, Israel, Taiwan, or any other country fighting our current mortal enemies – Russia, China, Syria, and Iran.

Mr. Walker was naïve in his assessment about the U.S. military’s strength. Winning wars to protect America has never been the goal. War is big business and keeps the politicians on both sides of the aisle satiated with political donations (aka bribes). The ruling class had no issue using a few hundred thousand poor patriotic useless eaters as cannon fodder in Iraq and Afghanistan to further enrich themselves. But it is much easier to create chaos and war in other countries and let their poor suckers die for a forlorn false cause, while providing weapons to both sides. I wonder if Walker was blindsided by Obama’s creation of wars in both Libya and Syria in 2011.

We killed Ghaddafi and left Libya a smoking chaotic ruin, with Islamic terrorists running rampant. Obama created ISIS so we had a reason to destroy Syria and Assad. Russia obliterated ISIS and has successfully kept Assad in power, infuriating the neocons and provoking the next move on the global chessboard. All the NPC Ukrainian Flag waving dolts who believe everything the regime media regurgitates, as instructed by their masters, are clueless as to why Biden and his neocon handlers are pushing us towards a direct conflict with Russia. Obama, Clinton, Victoria Nuland, John Brennan, McCain, Graham, and a slew of other Deep State lackeys overthrew the democratically elected president of Ukraine in 2014, because he was friendly towards Russia, initiating a domino effect in the Ukraine which has left us at the doorstep of World War III.

The Roman economy was basically a rapine economy. Like all slave-owning societies, Rome had no middle class, a debased currency, and no export production – it lived by conquests, slave trade, and plundering the conquered provinces. Such economies can exist only as long as they expand; when the expansion ends, downfall is inevitable. See any resemblance to the American economy? When the Fed stops printing, it all comes crashing down. By the third century their currency was worthless, and a barter economy sprung to life.

By 451 AD the empire was bankrupt, taxes were 40% to 60%, and there was nothing left in the coffers to pay the military or keep the infrastructure from crumbling. The barbarians applied the final blow with the sacking of Rome, and the Dark Ages were born. Slavery and serfdom were the fate of Roman peasants. The collapse of Mediterranean trade meant the collapse of papyrus imports, and the means of writing disappeared. Literacy dissipated. The Roman civilization was kept alive only in churches and monasteries, which could afford parchment and vellum. What will the bankruptcy of the American empire entail and how will the city dwelling welfare recipients’ fare? My guess is not very well.

Just as the Romans became fat and happy, enjoying the fruits of efforts, innovation and sacrifices put forth by prior generations, Americans have grown to believe they are the richest, freest, and most powerful nation on earth. They believe it is their privilege to rule the world. Just as the Romans hired mercenary armies to fight their wars because it was beneath their citizens to defend their vast empire, the U.S. used paid mercenaries (Blackwater) in Iraq and Afghanistan to fight their wars. Now we just outsource the dying to Ukrainians, Libyans, Syrians, and Somalis, while providing them the weapons, technology, and logistics to wage endless war on our behalf.

Next up will be the Taiwanese, as we provoke China into our next war. As documented earlier, the fiscal trajectory of our empire is on a course towards Armageddon, and the tens of billions in weapons being handed to the most corrupt nation on earth – Ukraine – is simply insane. Biden acts like a Roman emperor dictator (with dementia) during the final stages of Rome’s collapse, while the feckless politicians in the House & Senate sit idly by, cheering on our descent into national bankruptcy.

The final collapse of the Western Roman Empire was mainly triggered by the weakness of its late-stage emperors, failure of its civil administrators, disease, epidemics, and the unceasing invasion of its lands by the barbarian Visigoths and Vandals. Military failure and monetary weakness were the final nails in the coffin. The parallels with the American empire’s late stages are uncanny.

Can anyone conceive of a weaker emperor than Dementia Joe Biden? He is a low IQ, lying, corrupt to his core, bumbling, child sniffing fool, acting on behest of the Deep State and their globalist cabal. His administration is crawling with deviants, dopes, and those seeking the destruction of our country. The barbarian hordes are streaming across our southern border and being ushered into communities across the country by government sanctioned flights and bus rides. These mostly male Hispanics, Haitians, Somalis, Muslim terrorists, and Chinese nationals are not going to strengthen our country, but contribute greatly to its fall. But at least the ruling class will have maids and gardeners, while Big-Agra will have cheap labor to pick their crops.

Edward Gibbon’s discernment that the number one cause for the ruin of Rome was “The injuries of time and nature”, is more profound than it might seem. Its ability to be sustained for almost one thousand years is remarkable, but as with all large entities it succumbed to entropy, currency debasement, deviancy, corruptibility of its ruling class, and apathy of its citizenry. Everything trends towards disorder, chaos, and ultimately collapse. Pleasure without pain, glory without sacrifice, indolence without work, degeneracy disguised as creativity, and treason portrayed as politics, led to a slow spiraling disintegration of their society and culture over the course of centuries.

These exact same characteristics are rearing their ugly head in the late stages of the American Empire decline. It is fascinating that Roman historian Tacitus was documenting traits of a declining nation state during the first century, while it took until the fifth century for the Western Roman Empire to finally collapse. The timing of the downfall is always in doubt, as grains of sand are added to the pile until entropy wins and all comes crashing down.

“You have not tasted servitude. There is no land beyond us and even the sea is no safe refuge when we are threatened by the Roman fleet. We are the last people on earth, and the last to be free: our very remoteness in a land known only to rumor has protected us up till this day. Today the furthest bounds of Britain lie open—and everything unknown is given an inflated worth. But now there is no people beyond us, nothing but tides and rocks and, more deadly than these, the Romans. It is no use trying to escape their arrogance by submission or good behavior. They have pillaged the world: when the land has nothing left for men who ravage everything, they scour the sea. If an enemy is rich, they are greedy, if he is poor, they crave glory. Neither East nor West can sate their appetite. They are the only people on earth to covet wealth and poverty with equal craving. They plunder, they butcher, they ravish, and call it by the lying name of ’empire’. They make a desolation and call it ‘peace” ― Tacitus

It’s as if Tacitus lived among us today. His description fits perfectly in describing the psychopaths controlling the U.S. Empire, along with most of the western world, as they rape, pillage, plunder, and desolate foreign lands in the name of freedom and call it peace keeping. The U.S. Empire is willing to fight Putin until the last Ukrainian is dead on the battlefield. How noble. Slaughter and seizing natural resources under false pretenses (WMD) are hailed as spreading democracy to third world countries.

It took the Roman Empire about 1,000 years to fall. The British Empire fell in approximately 300 years. The United States has been around for 234 as a nation, but only an empire since 1946, a mere 77 years. Has the advancement of technology, speed of communications, monetary manipulations, and level of military firepower coalesced into accelerating the demise of empires? It certainly appears so, as the American Empire is on course to fall by the end of this Fourth Turning, within the next ten years.

It is commonly believed the Dark Ages began with the fall of the Roman Empire. Of course, the definition of the Dark Ages has been debated for centuries, with the time frame sometimes set from 500 AD to 1000 AD, and sometimes until 1500 AD. They overlapped with the Middle Ages and some scholars contend they weren’t even that dark. I find it interesting as we enter a new Dark Ages, the regime media is busy writing articles contending the previous Dark Ages weren’t so bad after all.

The level of gaslighting produced on a daily basis by the propaganda peddlers doing their assigned task of keeping the masses ignorant and confused, is beyond the comprehension of average Americans trying to make a living and trusting their government. In reality, the Dark Ages coincided with the cultural decay and decadence of Rome in its late stages, as the vices of gluttony, lust and greed became the root of their civilization and functioned as chains enslaving and weighing down their culture.

During the glory days of the Roman Empire, they achieved tremendous advancements in the areas of science, literature, philosophy, government, and architecture. The fall of the empire left a vacuum in these areas for centuries. The death of a culture is not an easy event to recover from. Record keeping during the Dark Ages was minimal, leaving historians in the dark as to what happened. After the fall, feudalism emerged, and the Catholic Church gained increasing power.

The intermingling of the church and state contributed to the lack of cultural advancement. The uneducated peasants were fearful and superstitious, living lives of subsistence and want. The Renaissance Age of enlightenment, which followed the Dark Ages, provided the inverse paradigm to the Dark Ages. Italian scholar Petrarch, who lived in the 14th century referred to the time period as ”those men of intellectual prowess as living cloaked in darkness”.

I would contend we have already entered a new Dark Ages, based upon the collapse of our culture, ignorance of the masses, failure of our educational system, celebration of deviancy, lack of civility, and lawlessness in our cities. Most Americans would scoff at the notion we have already entered a new dark age. Everyone (including the desperately “poor” illegal aliens swarming across our border) has a super-computer phone in their hands 24/7. Every piece of knowledge ever conceived is available at our fingertips through the internet.

We spend tens of thousands of dollars per student per year in our public schools to educate our children. Our universities are world renowned. We are the wealthiest nation in history. We have tens of thousands of laws, regulations, and rules, to keep us safe. And supposedly, the American dream is attainable by everyone born in this country. Sounds like we should be living in a new age of enlightenment. But nothing could be further from the truth. Mistaking technological advancement and passage of laws with cultural and societal advancement is a complete fallacy, as described by Albert Einstein and Aldous Huxley almost a century ago:

“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” ― Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means

In case you haven’t noticed, our culture has descended into the gutter, societal norms which kept the country relatively cohesive since its inception are being attacked and obliterated by deviants and degenerates, and any semblance of a unified vision of what America stands for is actively being destroyed by the globalist Davos crowd seeking to implement their Great Reset agenda of technocratic control over the lowly peasants, while they feast, plunder and pillage the planet – the true psychopath barbarian billionaire horde.

The perversion of normalcy into glorifying pedophiles, drag queens, transgender freaks, drug addict felons, race hustlers, and organizations promoting lawlessness, looting, and killing, while persecuting and prosecuting normal, hard-working, civilized white people has left the country on the brink of chaos. Technology has done nothing but make us dumber, distracted and easily manipulated by the Bernaysian masters of manipulation.

Multiple generations have now been socially indoctrinated by government schools to obey, emote, believe, and fear whatever (Covid) and whoever (Putin) they are commanded to fear. What they are not taught is how to think critically, question everything, and make their own decisions based upon actual facts. Test scores in reading, writing and math are at all-time lows. The solution is to continually lower the standards and never hold anyone accountable for results.

We are a nation of morons led by a cadre of psychopaths. Children are encouraged by their parents and doctors to cut off their breasts and penises due to peer pressure and deviants controlling the schools and media. Groomers make toddlers watch transgender freaks perform sex acts on stage. Library books for 8-year-olds describe anal sex, masturbation, and other perverted acts.

Statues portraying our history are torn down by mobs, while what passes for art and architecture today is perverted, frivolous and inconsequential. There are no masterpieces of literature created in our rotting society. The only thing that matters is monetizing content and number of eyeballs. Quality is non-existent, overridden by quantity and replaceability. Movies and television programs are created by untalented hacks, responding to focus groups, and required to insert the required racial and homosexually woke storylines into every program.

There are no Godfathers or Casablancas being produced. There are no novelists writing masterpieces on par with Steinbeck or Hemingway. But we do have Cardi B belting out her best-selling song WAP (acronym for Wet-Ass Pussy) and Sports Illustrated with transgender and obese swimsuit models. Based on TV commercials, 90% of Americans are either black, in an interracial relationship, gay, or transgender. We are an epically unserious society. Anyone observing America and most of the western world in an impartial manner would have to conclude we are already living in a new Dark Age of ignorance, superstition, and degradation, even before the final collapse of empire.

While doing research on the Dark Ages I was surprised to stumble across some climate related information which puts the current hysterical climate change narrative in perspective. The current war on CO2, cow farts, petroleum powered vehicles, farmers, and human beings living in peace, is nothing more than an agenda to depopulate the planet, make our lives miserable, and further enrich those controlling the narrative, flying on private jets, vacationing on enormous yachts, and living in 50 room mansions in the Hamptons.

The green agenda is built on taxing you more, with zero impact on climate, while virtue signaling success. Meanwhile, the sun and power within our earth’s core will dictate our climate, despite all fruitless manmade efforts to have an impact. George Carlin’s The Planet is Fine diatribe captures the hypocrisy of humans thinking they matter at all when it comes to the planet.

“The planet is fine; the people are fucked! The planet isn’t going anywhere; we are! We’re going away! Pack your shit, folks! We’re going away and we won’t leave much of a trace either, thank God for that.” – George Carlin

As you can discern, Rome flourished during a warming period and the Dark Ages coincided with a cooling period. Neither was due to human activity, petroleum products, not recycling enough, or cow farts. It was due to solar and volcanic activity, which may have gone hand in hand in creating the dynamics that made the Dark Ages dark. The Little Ice Age coincided with the Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1715 when sunspots were at a minimum. Major volcanic eruptions in the 13th century, dimming sunlight across the planet also contributed to the cooling of the planet.

It seems recent studies of ice cores by real scientists confirm the period around 536 AD may have been the worst time to live on our planet in history. A cataclysmic volcanic eruption in Iceland in 536 AD   spewed ash across the Northern Hemisphere, producing a mysterious fog plunging Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness, day and night—for 18 months. Snow fell during the summer in China. Two other massive eruptions followed, in 540 and 547. The repeated blows, followed by Bubonic plague, plunged Europe into economic stagnation that lasted until 640.

Humans will always be at the mercy of Mother Nature, the sun, and the volcanic activity within the bowels of our planet. Taxes, recycling, and electric cars won’t have one iota of impact on the future of the planet. The impact of little or no sun over the course of years led to crop failures, famine and plague, bathing sixth-century Europe in darkness and despair. Crops cannot grow without sun. Hunger and lack of vitamin D left the populations susceptible to disease. The bubonic plague killed half the inhabitants of the Eastern Roman Empire during these dark days, hastening its collapse.

With no wheat, there was no bread, a staple of the diet in those days. The people of Europe were occupied with survival, living a brutish existence, leaving little time for cultural advancement. The trials and tribulations documented throughout history are determined by a combination of controllable human actions and uncontrollable natural causes.

Under dark skies, St Augustine brings a message of Christian hope to 6th-century King Ethelbert of Kent. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Our helplessness at the hands of nature happens every day across the globe, with the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami deadly reminders of our vulnerability and powerlessness. We already know Schwab, Soros, Gates, Tedros, and the rest of the Great Reset New World Order cabal are actively attempting to bring down the American Empire and replace it with a global oligarchy, where we own nothing, and they own it all. Using climate change as their cudgel, they are already conducting a war on farmers, purposely restricting the output of food for the masses.

Combined with rampant raging central bank created inflation across the world, wars being conducted in breadbasket regions of the globe, and extreme drought conditions in key agricultural regions, the landscape is already in the danger zone. With Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano showing signs of a major eruption, and hundreds of other dormant volcanoes around the world capable of eruptions on par with the 536 AD eruption, it’s only a matter of when, not if. Many scientists postulate the Sun has entered into the modern Grand Solar Minimum (2022–2053) that will lead to a significant reduction of solar magnetic field and activity like during Maunder minimum, leading to noticeable reduction of terrestrial temperature. We have zero control or influence over these events.

Quotes from Tacitus nearly 2,000 years ago are proof human nature never changes and the cycles of history repeat themselves across empires. Biden’s illegal executive orders, disregard of the Constitution, and blatant corruption, along with the regime media suppressing legitimate dissent about Fauci’s lies, Pfizer’s falsification of trial data, and the FDA colluding with Twitter to censor doctors, fit perfectly into Tacitus’ view of the world.

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”  Tacitus

“If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticize.” ― Tacitus

The traitorous acts of Obama, Biden, Clinton, Comey, Brennan and the entire FBI and CIA complex in conducting a coup against a duly elected president and then covering up their treason with the full cooperation of the regime media was and still is an audacious crime. These crimes are fully detailed in the Durham Report and on Hunter Biden’s laptop, but no one will go to jail, because half the country supports the crime the other half is apathetic and uninterested, and our elected leaders are in on it. Two thousand years and nothing changes.

“Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity.” ― Tacitus

“The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more and tolerated by all.” ― Tacitus

The American Empire is displaying all the worst attributes of Rome in its death throes, as the oligarchy grows more audacious, knowing they are illegitimate, but unconcerned with being brought to justice because they control the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government. They fear no one and dare the peasants to try and stop them. The oligarchs provoke crisis, chaos, fear, and strife. They hide in the shadows, functioning as an invisible governing power, manipulating the minds of the masses, in their psychotic belief they can control and rule the world because they are superior in intellect, integrity, and ability to envision the future.

This relatively small circle of psychopaths, who have gotten the empire into this mess, grow ever more powerful as they lead us on a path to disaster. Their hubris and an arrogant disregard for the wishes of the people, belief in their own invincibility, and not fearing any retribution for their crimes of treason, leave them at the top of a crumbling empire – so they will have the farthest to fall.

Everything about our empire is unsustainable. Ultimately it will collapse financially under the weight of its unpayable debts. With psychopaths running the show who believe they can win a two front war against Russia and China, we will be lucky if our empire isn’t just a pile of smoldering ruins when they are done with it. There is absolutely no way to vote ourselves out of this because the Deep State counts the votes.

The dissenters are not united enough to shoot our way out of this. You can run, but you can’t hide from the impact of the coming collapse. The unknown ingredient to this toxic mixture of death is nature’s influence. If a volcanic eruption, or several volcanic eruptions on par with the 536 AD occurrence, were to happen concurrently with economic collapse, the earth’s population of 8 billion would be drastically reduced in short order.

At this point, the best we could hope for is a relatively non-violent collapse where the critical thinking self-reliant people would migrate to rural regions and learn to live off the land again. The simple life of thriving day to day based on your own efforts, along with the efforts of your small homogeneous community, is the likely destiny for millions. No one is coming to save us. We’ll have to save ourselves. We happened to be born at a juncture of history where a Fourth Turning crisis ended an empire. We didn’t choose our fate, but we need to prepare and make the best of our situation.

I find nothing more appropriate to visually represent our clownworld empire falling than a picture of a dwarf clown, smoking a cigarette while holding a bouquet of wilted flowers in the pouring rain in front of a defunct circus tent. If the clown shoe fits, wear it. The season is turning.

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything turn, turn, turn
There is a season turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under Heaven

 – The Byrds

The Fourth Turning could mark the end of modernity. The Western saecular rhythm – which began in the mid-fifteenth century with the Renaissance – could come to an abrupt terminus. The seventh modern saeculum would be the last. This too could come from total war, terrible but not final. There could be a complete collapse of science, culture, politics, and society. Such a dire result would probably happen only when a dominant nation (like today’s America) lets a Fourth Turning ekpyrosis engulf the planet. But this outcome is well within the reach of foreseeable technology and malevolence.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

*  *  *

It is Jim’s sincere desire to provide readers of his site with the best unbiased information available, and a forum where it can be discussed openly, as our Founders intended. But it is not easy nor inexpensive to do so, especially when those who wish to prevent us from making the truth known, attack us without mercy on all fronts on a daily basis. So each time you visit this site, he asks that you consider the value that you receive and have received from The Burning Platform and the community of which you are a vital part. I can’t do it all alone, and I need your help and support to keep it alive. Please consider contributing an amount commensurate to the value that you receive from this site and community, or even by becoming a sustaining supporter through periodic contributions.

To donate via Stripe, click here.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/31/2023 – 16:20

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

AI-Mania Meltup In May Hides Recession Signals From Commodities & Credit Curves

AI-Mania Meltup In May Hides Recession Signals From Commodities & Credit Curves

Early in the day (and overnight) The Fed’s Barkin and Mester profused their usual hawkish mantras, expressing no need to pause yet, but later in the day .

  • Barkin – No Pause – “I’m looking to be convinced that demand is in fact coming down, and that that will then start to bring inflation down… However I look at it, it just looks like inflation is too high.”

  • Mester – Hike – “I would see more of a compelling case for bringing [rates] up … and then holding for a while until you get less uncertain about where the economy is going.”

  • Collins – No Pause – “…the Fed is intent on reducing inflation that’s just simply too high.”

  • Jefferson – Pause – “…skipping a rate hike at a coming meeting would allow the Committee to see more data before making decisions about the extent of additional policy firming.”

  • Harker – Pause – “I am definitely in the camp of thinking about skipping any increase at this meeting.”

But combining all that with Beige Book and rate-hike expectations dropped today…

However, on the month, rate-change expectations are basically unchanged (modestly more hawkish at the longer-end), with The Fed’s statement driving a dovish dive early on but all the FedSpeak since has reversed that entire move, with a 25bps hike by July now fully priced in…

Source: Bloomberg

Weak Chicago PMI was trumped by strong JOLTS data on the day and pushed US Macro surprise data higher for May…

Source: Bloomberg

Debt-Ceiling drama is fading fast with USA CDS compressing…(though still elevated)

Source: Bloomberg

Nasdaq is the only major US equity index to end higher in May (up around an astonishing 8%) while The Dow was the big laggard, down around 4%. The S&P ended unchanged…

Source: Bloomberg

Energy stocks were clubbed like a baby seal in May while Tech took off. Today saw significant bank weakness which pulled them notably lower on the month…

Source: Bloomberg

May also saw a massive divergence between cap-weight and equal-weight portfolio performance as breadth narrowed dramatically…

Source: Bloomberg

Meme-stock mania struck in May with Goldman’s ‘high retail sentiment’ basket soaring 18%…

Source: Bloomberg

But it was AI that dominated with NVDA the darling, soaring around 40% in May (though we note today’s decline from yesterday’s record high is the biggest daily drop since early Feb). NVDA is down almost 10% from yesterday’s highs…

That weakness dragged all US majors into the red for the week with small caps weakest…

Some other notables include BUD getting slammed

Source: Bloomberg

And Target was trounced…

Source: Bloomberg

Treasury yields were all higher in May with the short-end notably underperforming (flattening the yield curve significantly)…

Source: Bloomberg

The dollar rallied hard in May (after an initial drop) up to two month highs…

Source: Bloomberg

Crypto was mixed with Ethereum down 8% in May and Biotcoin down 1.5% as Ripple rallied…

Source: Bloomberg

Bitcoin’s suffered its worst month since Nov 2022 (after 4 monthly gains in a row)…

Source: Bloomberg

Copper and Crude were the ugliest commodities in May – yelling recession. NatGas was lower as were PMs…

Source: Bloomberg

WTI suffered its biggest monthly drop since Nov 2021 as China’s rebound disappointed

Gold ended back below $2000, but well above the March lows…

Finally, one has to wonder how long this divergence can last with commodities, real yields, the Treasury curve, and dollar all opposing the exuberance of the AI-driven mega-cap tech-gasm…

Source: Bloomberg

Don’t they realize that the other companies in the world – that are not seeing their share price rise – are the clients from which the future revenues for AI firms are supposed to come?

Are we near peak AI-bubble (echoing the COVID-supply-chain/crypto craze from 2021)…

Source: Bloomberg

Can’t be, right?

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/31/2023 – 16:00

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Apollo’s Top Economist Says Supply Chain Roller Coaster Over

Apollo’s Top Economist Says Supply Chain Roller Coaster Over

According to a new report from Apollo’s chief economist Torsten Sløk, the global supply chain crisis appears to be over, as there are indications of normalization in shipping rates, delivery capacity, and retailer inventory. 

Sløk presents a chart pack that shows the supply chain roller coaster ride of the last three years is over. He shared several charts showing cheaper shipping costs and fewer bottlenecks, which might support disinflation trends. 

Price of transporting a container from China at pre-pandemic levels

Container freight rates falling: Inflation pressures are easing

Container ships at America’s largest ports return to pre-pandemic levels 

Amount of time a container waits to get picked up at a marine terminal after being unloaded from a vessel

Supply chains have normalized 

Sløk then argues supply chain normalization has put downward pressure on inflation. 

Inventory to sales ratio normalizing

Inflation pressures are gradually easing

More evidence of supply chain normalization puts downward pressure on inflation 

Supply chain bottlenecks correlated with corporate bond yields

Sløk’s chart pack aligns with Goldman Sachs’ latest data on tracking supply chains showing barely any congestion. 

Considering the importance of supply chains, its return to normalcy is more positive news that could help subdue inflation.

In terms of what’s next, A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world’s biggest shipping company, issued a warning several weeks ago about a potential global slowdown.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/31/2023 – 15:45

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Nasdaq Triggers A New Volatility Correlation Sell Signal

Nasdaq Triggers A New Volatility Correlation Sell Signal

Authored by Jesse Felder via,

A few years ago, I was studying the relationship between the major stock market indexes and their volatility indexes and I came across and an intriguing phenomenon. The vast majority of the time these indexes move in opposite directions from one another.

If stock prices are rising, volatility indexes are usually falling and vice versa. It’s when this relationship inverts that things get interesting. And that’s exactly what happened again last week.

A new Nasdaq Volatility Correlation sell signal triggered last week when the 10-day correlation (the bottom panel in the chart below) of the NDX and VXN turned positive because both had risen together over that span. Previous sell signals are marked on the chart below by a vertical red line. Buy signals occur when the 10-day correlation turns positive because both the index and its volatility index are falling together. These are marked by vertical green lines in the chart.

Why these signals are, at times, effective is anyone’s guess but it’s clear that disconnects like this between equities and options markets can be important signals of impending trend reversals. The two previous buy signals late last year proved to be effective in that regard. The last sell signal in early-February also proved effective as stocks struggled over the following month or so.

Time will tell if this most recent sell signal will also prove effective in this way. It’s interesting to note, however, that it also culminated in an even more rare signal on Friday when both the NDX and VXN rose more than 2% on the day (last seen on 2/2). This is a pretty strong indication that the options market is not nearly as sanguine as the equities market at this stage of the rally. And that in itself may be an important development to pay attention to.

Find this chart and many more like it in my free public chart list at

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/31/2023 – 15:25

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Beige Book Shows US Economy Turning More Sluggish

Beige Book Shows US Economy Turning More Sluggish

The Fed’s latest beige book released this afternoon was a boring affair, one signaling the US economy remained sluggish at best, and describing economic activity as “little changed overall in April and early May.” Four Fed districts reported small increases in activity, six no change, and two slight to moderate declines. Expectations for future growth deteriorated a little, though contacts still largely expected a further expansion in activity. A summary of the big picture:

  • Consumer expenditures were steady or higher in most Districts, with many noting growth in spending on leisure and hospitality.
  • Education and healthcare organizations saw steady activity on balance.
  • Manufacturing activity was flat to up in most Districts, and supply chain issues continued to improve.
  • Demand for transportation services was down, especially in trucking, where contacts reported there was a “freight recession.”
  • Residential real estate activity picked up in most Districts despite continued low inventories of homes for sale.
  • Commercial construction and real estate activity decreased overall, with the office segment continuing to be a weak spot.
  • Outlooks for farm income fell in most districts, and energy activity was flat to down amidst lower natural gas prices. Financial conditions were stable or somewhat tighter in most Districts.
  • Contacts in several Districts noted a rise in consumer loan delinquencies, which were returning closer to pre-pandemic levels.
  • High inflation and the end of Covid-19 benefits continued to stress the budgets of low- and moderate-income households, driving increased demand for social services, including food and housing.

Turning to labor markets, the Beige Book notes that “employment increased in most Districts, though at a slower pace than in previous reports.” Overall, the labor market continued to be strong, with contacts reporting difficulty finding workers across a wide range of skill levels and industries. That said, contacts across Districts also noted that the labor market had cooled some, highlighting easier hiring in construction, transportation, and finance. Many contacts said they were fully staffed, and some reported they were pausing hiring or reducing headcounts due to weaker actual or prospective demand or to greater uncertainty about the economic outlook. Staffing firms reported slower growth in demand. As in the last report, wages grew modestly.

And turning from wage inflation to broader inflation, the report notes that prices rose moderately over the reporting period, though the rate of increase slowed in many Districts. Contacts in most Districts expected a similar pace of price increases in the coming months. At the same time, consumer prices continued to move up due to solid demand and rising costs, though several Districts noted greater price sensitivity by consumers than in the prior report. Overall, nonlabor input costs rose, but many contacts said cost pressures had eased and noted price declines for some inputs, such as shipping and certain raw materials. Home prices and rents rose slightly on balance in most Districts, after little growth in the prior period.

Turning to the specific regional Feds, we found the summaries:

  • Boston: Business activity was flat on average. Modest revenue increases were reported among retail, restaurant, and manufacturing contacts. Labor demand weakened for a wide range of positions but headcounts declined only slightly. Wage and price pressures eased further on average but some sizable price increases were reported. The outlook was cautiously optimistic.
  • New York: Regional economic activity declined at a moderate pace, with ongoing weakness in the manufacturing sector. Still, the labor market has remained solid, though there have been scattered signs of cooling due to heightened uncertainty. Inflationary pressures remained persistent. Conditions in the broad finance sector continued to worsen.
  • Philadelphia: Business activity continued to decline slightly during the current Beige Book period. Contacts reported positive consumer sales, but that relatively high profit margins mean that volumes may be down. Labor availability improved, and employment grew slightly. Wage growth and inflation continued to subside. Contacts worried about the debt ceiling and bank failures but maintained positive expectations for growth over the next six months.
  • Cleveland: Economic activity and employment were generally stable in the Fourth District, while cost and price pressures were little changed. Most firms indicated they were somewhat concerned about the standstill in Congress over raising the debt ceiling; however, these concerns did not appear to impact firms’ outlooks for activity in the coming months.
  • Richmond: The regional economy was little changed in recent weeks. Consumer spending on retail goods declined slightly but spending on travel and tourism picked up moderately. A lack of inventory ordering by retailers was felt in the manufacturing and transportation sectors. Commercial real estate activity and lending softened. Employment increased modestly and price growth eased slightly but remained robust, overall.
  • Atlanta: Economic activity grew gradually. Labor markets became less tight, and wage pressures eased. Nonlabor costs moderated, on balance. Retail sales softened. Sales of new autos were solid. Leisure travel softened to pre-pandemic levels, and business travel increased. Housing demand was strong. Transportation activity declined. Energy demand was robust. Agriculture conditions slowed.
  • Chicago: Economic activity was little changed. Employment increased moderately; nonbusiness contacts saw a small increase in activity; consumer and business spending were flat; and activity decreased modestly both for manufacturing and for construction and real estate. Prices and wages rose moderately, while financial conditions tightened modestly. Expectations for farm incomes in 2023 decreased some.
  • St. Louis: Economic conditions have remained unchanged since our previous report. Labor markets remained tight, but reports of easing increased. Firms reported margin compression due to an inability to pass on input price increases. Residential real estate was largely unchanged, but demand for commercial properties weakened. The outlook worsened slightly due to concerns about weakening demand and macro uncertainty.
  • Minneapolis: The region’s economy grew slightly since early April. Labor demand was healthy, and wage pressures were high, but there were also significant layoffs. Price increases were generally modest, but levels remained high. Some manufacturers said input costs decreased, but most reported no change. Consumer spending rose modestly, and travel was strong. Minority-and women-owned firms saw a slight decrease in activity.
  • Kansas City: Total economic activity across the Tenth District changed little during May. Job growth continued to slow, despite the number of job openings remaining elevated, as businesses were reportedly more selective in their hiring. Most businesses indicated price growth for finished products will likely moderate over the coming year. Growth in housing rental rates was also expected to moderate, even though it remains elevated in many parts of the District.
  • Dallas: Modest growth continued, with revenue gains in the service and retail sectors. Housing contacts noted a decent spring selling season and stable prices. Credit conditions tightened further, and loan demand continued to decline. Payrolls rose moderately, and wage growth remained stubbornly elevated. Outlooks continued to worsen, and contacts voiced concern over waning demand, rising interest rates, and the overall health of the economy.
  • San Francisco: Economic activity expanded somewhat. Employment levels were stable amid tight labor market conditions, while wage and price growth moderated further. Retail sales grew modestly, and activity in the services picked up somewhat. Manufacturing activity was robust, while conditions in the agriculture sector weakened slightly. Residential and commercial real estate activity fell, and conditions in the financial sector worsened modestly.

As for the cause of the recent apprehension about loans, lending standards and tightening conditions, one look at the chart above showing the frequency of mentions of one key word in recent Beige Books should be sufficient at just how much more comfort the Fed now has.


Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/31/2023 – 15:13

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Russia Evacuates Children From Border Villages As Ukrainian Shelling Escalates

Russia Evacuates Children From Border Villages As Ukrainian Shelling Escalates

In what’s now becoming an alarming pattern of cross-border escalation, multiple civilians were injured in Russia’s Belgorod region, just kilometers from Ukraine, due to large-scale shelling on Wednesday, presumably from Ukrainian forces.

Local governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said at least four people had been injured. He described that situation in the border town of Shebekino has been “deteriorating” due to the “massive strike” from Ukrainian forces.

Aftermath of recent cross-border shelling, which has happened with increased regularity. Image: BBC

One among the casualties was described as being in “serious” condition after being hit by shrapnel. A school as well as some dozen buildings had minor damage from the attack. The governor said the cross-border attack was from Soviet-era Grad multiple rocket launcher systems. “Nobody, thank God, died,” Gladkov said.

Russia now says it is in the process of evacuating families and hundreds of children from villages in the border region, calling the situation “alarming”. 

“We are starting today to evacuate children from the Shebekino and Graivoron districts,” Gladkov said in a notification posted to Telegram.

Per the AFP, “The governor said the first 300 children will be taken to Voronezh, a city around 250 kilometers (155 miles) further into Russia.” The report details that “He posted photographs of blackened burned cars lying in the grass near a playground, and a rocket that had apparently landed on a road.”

The past days and weeks have seen sporadic shelling and drone attacks on the region which borders northern Ukraine, and follows a dramatic cross-border raid from a militia earlier this month.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday complained that Western officials have yet to condemn these actions from Ukraine that Moscow has deemed “terrorism”. 

“We have not heard a single word of condemnation from the West so far,” Peskov said, stressing that “measures are being taken.”

President Putin himself has lately warned of “mirror actions” in retaliation against Ukraine. Over the weekend Russian forces stepped up drone attacks on Kiev; however, Ukrainian forces said they intercepted most of the dozens of inbound drones, in what was the largest Russian UAV attack on the capital thus far.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/31/2023 – 14:40

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden