On the Nasdaq's march to new highs, a curious thing has happened - they've become the "safe" stocks.
As the Wall Street Journal noted, starting during the pandemic, many stocks that would be considered highflying flipped their usual patterns. As indexes like the S&P 500 rose and fell, these stocks rose or fell less than the S&P or even moved in the opposite direction.
Over the past 20 sessions, its beta has plunged to 0.74 relative to the S&P 500, its lowest in more than 100 days.
This has been a modest negative for the Nasdaq 100 going forward, with below-average returns and a poor risk/reward ratio, especially up to three months later.
Over the next 1-3 months, the ratio consistently dropped as the S&P outperformed the NDX. There have been other signs in recent weeks that incessant outperformance of these stocks might start to falter, and this is another (minor) one.
This is an abridged version of our recent reports and notes. For immediate access with no obligation, sign up for a 30-day free trial now.
We also looked at:
- A more in-depth look at what happens in the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 when its beta falls even as it hits new highs
- The Cumulative Advance/Decline Line has hit a new high, but the S&P and the stocks-only A/D Line are lagging
- The Nasdaq's new high / new low ratio is the highest it's been in years
- The gold / silver ratio has plunged like it has only 4 other times in history
Culture And Military Suicide: A Willful Blindspot
Culture And Military Suicide: A Willful Blindspot
Authored by Seth Allard via RealClear Wire,
“If the Marine Corps is mostly white males,…
“If the Marine Corps is mostly white males, why do we need to understand culture?”
I was shocked by the Defense Suicide Prevention Office pushback on exploring the role of culture in military suicide. But not surprised.
The study of suicide continues throttling towards the statistical and biomedical, leaving culture in the dust amid a continuing suicide epidemic. The prevention and research landscape resembles “Dragnet” – Psychiatrists, psychologists, epidemiologists, and AI-tech experts seeking ‘just the facts.’ But our ‘facts’ are incredibly incomplete.
“I think,” said researcher Craig Bryan, addressing the scarcity of cultural research, “one issue involves assumptions about the causes of suicide. I would argue that contemporary thinking about suicide is very biomedical in orientation and has become increasingly so over time. This bias almost certainly influences the availability of funds. A good portion of the research dollars have focused on developing and testing treatments and interventions to be delivered within healthcare systems. One could therefore argue that biomedical and clinical researchers have better access to resources to pursue such work.” Rajeev Ramschand at RAND echoed this sentiment in my article “Cultural Problems Require Cultural Solutions”, with three focus points for future research:
“What is the mental health culture in military settings and how does it vary? This would address questions beyond individual questions about stigma to understand how military personnel perceive mental health treatment, how leaders perceive treatment, how other support personnel (e.g., chaplains) see mental health treatment, and even how mental health providers perceive military-sponsored mental health treatment. What does the culture of mental illness look like in military settings?
“What is the culture of support in military settings? Beyond mental health, how strong and where are these deficiencies in cultures of support? Do people know when each other is struggling (relationally, alcohol use, financially) and do they offer support or ignore problems until they reach crisis points?
“How have needs changed? Does the new cohort of military recruits have norms and expectations that will require changing the ways the military “does business” and how? Is the current structure and operations across the military supportive for helping new recruits function well, thrive, and does it promote health and well-being?”
Bryan and Ramschand served on the Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee, providing 117 recommendations to DOD, duplicating many previous recommendations. Despite several mentions of culture – “greater care in the promotion and leadership selection process at all levels of the military could create a culture and environment that reduces vulnerability to suicide” – SPRIRC did not recommend shifting research from the biomedical and clinical to the cultural, which is tantamount to a trauma center treating gunshot victims while ignoring bullet holes.
“Suicide,” said Matt Miller, Executive Director of VA Suicide Prevention, during a Senate Committee hearing on Veteran suicide, “is a complex problem with a multifaceted interweaving of potential contributing factors. In addition to mental health risk factors for suicide, we must look at a broader array of other contributing factors such as sociocultural risk factors and health related social needs that are also associated with suicide ideation and attempts.” Despite acknowledgement of the complexity of suicide, academia, military leadership, and government institutions that oversee research and policy are deeply resistant to studying culture. Thomas Joiner, head of the federally funded Military Research Suicide Consortium – billed as “multidisciplinary,” despite being restricted to one profession – and editor of a top academic journal, actively prioritizes quantitative, clinical research to the detriment of less “rigorous” and therefore less valuable qualitative and cultural approaches to understanding suicide. Conventional suicidologists boil down suicide to statistically relevant risk and protective factors, seeking the “gold standard” of research – randomized control trials – to test clinical interventions. Such research removes “confounding factors” or messy aspects of behavior and environment that challenges accepted theories, making it less valid (or publishable).
The hyperfocus on clinical settings and interventions, to the exclusion of cultural perception and context, clearly explains our 20-year losing battle with military suicide. This willful blindness to cultural research is couched in academia’s culture of “publish or perish.” Obsessed with seeking grants, publishing papers in high impact factor journals, and getting tenure at major universities, most academics do not prioritize solving chronic health disparities. Like suicide itself, the burgeoning field of biomedically and risk centered suicide research shows no sign of slowing, presenting a disturbing correlation with increases in suicide.
This trend is aided by the Institutional Review Boards, oversight bodies that review research proposals in a highly complex and bureaucratic process of evaluating risks and benefits of research involving human subjects. Though refuted, DOD and VA IRB bodies make it extremely difficult to implement novel research and interventions. While the “Not Just A Number Act,” requires VA to provide “more comprehensive data regarding those who have committed suicide” and holistic picture of suicidal veterans’ interactions with the VA, this policy fails to incorporate the cultural perspective and lived experience of veterans, families, and even healthcare providers, let alone the culture of the VA itself.
While there are programs that attempt to prevent toxic climates from continuing, such as the Collaborative Assistance Team program stood up to “prevent 'Another Fort Hood',” these programs largely exclude in-depth cultural analysis and individuals with appropriate training, education, and aptitude for ethnography, the primary method for gaining in depth, contextual understanding of cultures and societies. Rather, such projects take an ‘organizational psychology’ tack and utilize SMEs with valuable, but limited awareness of ethnographic methods, confusing their results, (which can still be highly valuable), for ‘cultural research.’ It is also questionable how independently such projects and personnel operate or are seen by servicemembers.
Some leaders in the military and veteran community, however, step strongly into this cultural breach using creativity and organic resources and knowledge. Senior enlisted conduct service wide “listening sessions” and utilize social media and Reddit. Equipped with cultural experience and language, hundreds of Veteran-led nonprofits reach out directly to Veterans. Many Veterans enter government, administrative and public health roles to provide leadership from within. Such initiative, more than anything, holds suicide at bay, and highlights the bureaucratic and risk averse nature of military, healthcare, and policy arms of government. Real change in suicide prevention challenges the status quo, defies dysfunctional power structures – a missing piece of the puzzle also seen in military sexual assault.
My attempt to ‘give back’ by providing free culturally adapted Mental Health First Aid training to SOI (West) and prepare Marines to respond to mental health crises, was defeated by a risk averse climate, an excuse being that similar training exists in UMAPIT 3.0 training. Yet, MHFA is provided to civilian personnel, but not Marines, a reason being, one senior civilian personnel reviewing the proposal disclosed, “what if we talk about suicide and a Marine kill themselves?” It did not help that another leader at SOI East accused me of attempting to “experiment” on Marines. Despite support from two Chaplains, one high ranking in a nearby command, and the suicide prevention specialist, and facilitation by education and training staff, the proposal died. Yet, risk averse leadership torpedoed the training with unclear explanation. As for UMAPIT training – why would alternative training be supported on the ground if the current training were effective enough to prevent suicide? Could the answer be that required training are commonly designed and delivered as “check the box bull****” that fails to empower Marines and prevent suicide? Let the reader view a clip of UMAPIT 3.0 to see how inspirational and skills based the training is.
In 2018 I approached Joiner at a conference, a veteran speaking to someone with great influence over suicide research and advocating for more focus on servicemembers’ lived experience and perspective on mental health and suicide. His response? About a minute-long silent stare down. The need to understand culture did not register with a leading suicidologist, just as servicemembers’ and veterans’ experiences are not registered by bureaucrats or academics. Working with America’s Warrior Partnership, I learned that Veteran suicides themselves often do not register, instead chalked up as overdoses. We are seen through the sanitized lens of statistics and genetics, a walking infographic of risk and protective factors, data to be mined, not as complex, ever evolving, highly social creatures who possess strengths. Bryan described his experience with the SPRIRC changing his view of suicide and the contributing quality of life issues in the military as a “death by a thousand paper cuts.” The only force that causes death by a thousand paper cuts is culture. It is the ethical responsibility of researchers and policy makers, when their framework for understanding and solving problems is proven ineffective and the problem is out of their scope, to include new working strategies and people who do have the right tools.
As retired General Steve Salazar, president of leadership training organization 360MVP, says, we must focus on “Making the Strong Stronger.” During a visit by Senator Angus King’s staff, an airman and self-described “wrench turner,” emphasized that mental health challenges are unique to specific occupations and environments. This insight informed provisions backed by King that requires suicide reporting by branch and occupation. What a retired General and a serving “wrench turner” recognize, which we must recognize, is that lived experience, cultural context, and our strengths must be incorporated proactively to produce working solutions. As one of my teachers, Jessica Harrington, from the Health Policy Research Scholars program at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says, “Policy without people becomes politics.” What culturally centered and collaborative research can accomplish, and clinical approaches cannot, is realignment of suicide prevention and research with a humanistic approach that is not beholden to a risk-averse or stuck mindset.
It is past time to look into the mirror, face the ugliness of dysfunctional institutions and their cultural antecedents, become conscious of problems and our participation in them, and do the work of change, which reflects a time-honored tradition of ethical and disciplined warrior practice. I do not know if those in authority possess the courage to accomplish this task. With a legislative requirement to incorporate cultural research and collaborative partnerships with troops on the ground, and a working system to ensure that policies like “Not Just a Number” are implemented with intent and effect, we can save lives. Until then, it is up to us as the military and veteran community to save ourselves.
Seth Allard is a former Marine Infantryman (2004 - 2009, active), a PhD student of social work at Wayne State University, and a member of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Seth’s focus is on both Native American and Military/Veteran suicide and mental health, and cultural approaches to understanding and preventing suicide and improving mental health. He has published with Marine Corps University Press, Marine Gazette, Routledge Press, and the Havok Journal. He is also a Health Policy Research Scholar with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is continuing his education in clinical social work intern with the Veterans Justice Outreach program at the VA Ann Arbor.
Leftist Media Call Trump-Supporters “Far-Right”… For What?
Leftist Media Call Trump-Supporters "Far-Right"… For What?
Authored by Jack Hellner via AmericanThinker.com,
As far as I can tell, anyone…
As far as I can tell, anyone who supports Trump - say, Jim Jordan - is labeled hard right.
So which policies made Trump far-right, according to the media and other Democrats?
Enforcing border laws that Congress passed and building a wall? The public seems to support that, so that would be a middle-of-the-road policy.
Opposes sanctuary cities and states. It appears that the leftists who claimed they were sanctuaries are rethinking their disastrous policies.
Being tough on crime instead of supporting soft-on-crime D.A.s. That is not unpopular.
Supporting limits on abortion. Two thirds of Americans support limiting abortion to the first thirteen or fifteen weeks, just like Europe.
Supporting lower tax rates and fewer regulations. Those are not unpopular positions. In fact, they lifted up the people at the bottom of the economic ladder. Real wages rose rapidly, and poverty hit a record low at the end of 2019. How can that be hard right?
Opposing the teaching that the U.S. is a racist country.
Trump repeatedly denounced white supremacists just like almost all Americans.
Trump didn’t want people to be fired for refusing to take a vaccine just like most Americans.
Trump moved rapidly to get schools and businesses back open after the initial shutdown. That is certainly not a far-right position.
Trump supports school choice for the poor, just like the majority of Americans, especially minorities.
Trump opposes allowing men to compete against women, just like most Americans. He opposes allowing men to expose themselves in women’s locker rooms.
Trump supported drilling and energy independence. That kept inflation low and helped the poor, the middle class, and small businesses.
Trump does not believe that climate change is the greatest existential threat.
Trump sought to make NATO pay what they were supposed to. Why would that be an unpopular policy or far-right?
Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, just as Congress and previous presidents had promised.
Trump put a squeeze on Iran. Why would it be far-right to cut off funding from a country that pledges death to America and death to Israel?
Trump and his son-in-law made great progress in the Middle East with the Abraham accords. That certainly is not hard-right.
Trump challenged the 2020 election, just like how Democrats challenged the 2000, 2004, and 2016 election. There is nothing far-right about challenging elections.
Trump told people to march peacefully and patriotically to the capital to protest the election. What is far-right about peace and patriotism?
Trump told the Germans they were stupid to rely on Russia for their energy. He was right.
Putin has attacked Ukraine while Obama and Biden were president, not Trump.
Trump asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens for corruption. It would be a dereliction of duty for a president to learn of corruption and not investigate. Sadly, the media and other Democrats impeached him for doing his job.
Basically, Republicans like Trump and Jordan are called far-right by the media and other Democrats to intentionally mislead the public, just as they did with the fictional Russian collusion story.
Democrats don’t want to debate their leftist policies because they are unpopular so they always go to the same playbook. Call Republicans sexists, bigots, racists, and far- or hard-right. They sure don’t care that the corrupt Clintons and Bidens have lined their pockets with illegal kickbacks for years.
Deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust spurs a crisis of confidence in the idea of Israel – and its possible renewal
Israel’s foundational social contract – that the government would keep Israelis safe – was severed with the deadly attacks by Hamas on Oct. 7, 2…
Living for 75 years within a hostile neighborhood has required the state of Israel to provide security against external threats to all its citizens.
That responsibility is a social contract between citizens and the state: The state is obligated to provide security for its people, especially those who live near its borders, that makes living there safe. In return, young Israelis must serve in the army.
That unwritten contract was abruptly shattered for Israelis in the morning hours of Oct. 7, 2023. And with it, the very premise and promise that led to the establishment of the state was suddenly put in doubt.
That Saturday, when a surprise assault by Hamas stunned Israel, has been recognized as a date that will live in infamy – recalling U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s memorable words about Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor – in the annals of the state of Israel, indeed even in the annals of much older Jewish history.
Over 1,300 Israelis lost their lives in acts of mass killing on that day, mostly civilians. They were all murdered – executed, slaughtered, tortured, burned – by Hamas terrorists who launched a pogrom-like onslaught on Israeli villages on a scale never seen before. About 150 people, mostly Israeli civilians, were brutally kidnapped on that day by the attackers.
I am an Israeli historian, specializing in Israel’s nuclear history. I believe that to recognize the full meaning of Oct. 7, 2023, for Israel and Israelis, it must be placed in historical perspective, both Israeli and Jewish. There are other perspectives, including historical ones, but this essay is an attempt to portray the events of Oct. 7, 2023 – and their profound significance – as Israelis experienced them.
‘Never again’ was the state’s promise
Almost every Israeli citizen now is only one degree of separation from the victims of Oct. 7, 2023. For Israel, this is truly a national calamity in Biblical terms.
During the Holocaust, the Nazi killing machine executed thousands of Jews every day for years. But since then, there has never been a day in the 75 years of Israeli history that such a large number of Jews were killed, including the most horrific days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Zionism as a national-political movement to establish a Jewish homeland came into being due to the pogroms – violent, usually murderous attacks in Europe – and the antisemitism of the late 19th century. By 1939, nobody could tell whether Zionism would succeed or fail. But it was the Shoah – Hebrew for “Holocaust” – that decisively unleashed the impetus among the Jewish people and internationally to create the state of Israel as a Jewish state, which stood as the triumph of Zionism.
The raison d'être – the purpose, justification, and international legitimacy – of the creation of Israel in 1948 was that it would be a safe homeland for the Jews as a fundamental response to the lesson of the Holocaust: Jews should no longer be victims.
So Israel came into being along with the national avowal “Never Again,” made by both the survivors and their rescuers, as its founding ethos. For Israelis and their supporters around the world, the triumph of Israel is the extraordinary transformation from Holocaust to national revival or, in Hebrew, from Shoah to Tekuma.
Over its life as a new state, Israel has built itself as a blend of the pen and the sword. On the sword side, Israel is the region’s military powerhouse. On the pen side, Israel has become a cultural force both within and beyond its borders, a hub of academic excellence and perhaps most known as a “startup nation,” a center of high-tech innovation.
Government fails its part of the contract
By now it is clear that the multi-faceted surprise Hamas onslaught – by sea, air and land – along the entire 40-mile long Gaza barrier demonstrated the colossal failure of all elements of the vaunted Israeli defense systems, including intelligence collection and warning, military deployment and readiness, command and control systems.
Israel’s supposedly formidable border wall – a ground barrier that cost over a billion dollars and was completed in 2021 – was rendered useless almost instantly. Within minutes, the attackers overwhelmed some 30 sites on the other side of it – civilian settlements, military bases and even an outdoor concert site.
There were almost no Israeli troops deployed in the area in the first place to defend the many points of attack, in part due to the holiday and lack of advanced warning, and in part due to the complacent confidence in the wall and its high-tech support system.
Furthermore, since almost all military communication was cut off by Hamas knocking out the communication towers, Israeli military and political leaders for hours had only a vague idea of the unfolding calamity.
That colossal military failure reminded many Israelis of the dismal shock the country experienced in the 1973 Yom Kippur war. The resemblance seems obvious – then and now, Israelis witnessed catastrophic intelligence and operational blunders that cost so many lives due to complacency and arrogance.
But in some key respects, the catastrophe in 2023 seems even more traumatic – it shakes the very foundations of Israel as the embodiment of Zionism, a safe Jewish homeland. In 1973, the casualties of the blunder were almost all soldiers; the civilians were kept far from the fighting and safe.
Yet on Oct. 7, this was not the case.
‘We are being slaughtered’
If the founding commitment of the state to its citizens was “Never again,” the brutal new reality that emerged on Oct. 7 was “Never before.”
For long hours on that day, countless Israeli civilians were crying for help that in too many cases didn’t arrive in time. Never before in Israeli history had so many civilians been left for so long without the help of the army.
“We are being slaughtered. There is no army. It has been six hours,” one kibbutz resident said in desperation. “People are begging for their lives.”
Never before had Israelis found themselves whispering desperately to TV studios and social media, not knowing who else to call, while terrorists were inside their houses.
Now, Israel has mobilized the largest reserve army it has ever amassed – a response that reflects its attempt to re-commit to the idea, and the reality, of never again being so vulnerable.
Yet this national trauma will be reckoned for in generations to come. How could such a calamity happen? Who is responsible for such a catastrophe? How is it possible that a powerful nation was so complacent?
The official Israeli response to those soul-searching questions is that for now the nation must wage war and those questions must and will be thoroughly studied. But, they say, not now. Investigate this later, after the war is won.
Yet those questions are simmering and boiling within the Israeli psyche; it is impossible to resist them. There is clarity and confidence that once the war is over, professional and judicial investigations will be thoroughly conducted, but some have already accepted moral responsibility. This movement toward both demanding and accepting responsibility demonstrates a renewed faith among Israelis about the future for their country.
Most prominently, the Israeli military’s Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, has acknowledged publicly the failure of the army and took responsibility for that failure to provide security to the citizens of Israel.
The sole Israeli national figure who has acknowledged nothing about responsibility is the one on whose watch it all happened, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Indeed, except for a few taped statements, in the week after the war began, Netanyahu had avoided meeting members of the public as well as taking questions from the press.
Avner Cohen does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.army europe
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