Monday, June 17, 2024

Bill Bonner, "Rotten Roots"

"Rotten Roots"
Great empires rise…and fall. And when the time comes, leaders must step up to 
the challenge. Corruption and dysfunction get worse. They must not stand in the way.
by Bill Bonner

Paris, France - "Just before we left Ireland, one of the magnificent old oak trees on the other side of the road toppled over. There it lay, branches broken, jumbled together on the ground... its rotten roots in the air, for all to see. We had no idea it was dying; until the roots were exposed, we saw only the healthy leaves and majestic, spreading limbs.

The politics of the 2024 election are simple enough. The Republicans are behind their man Trump. They’d probably prefer a different champion, but Trump has strong appeal among a large part of their voters. He’s not a conservative... but then, neither are Republican voters. The Democrats are behind their man Biden. They too would prefer to have a different standard bearer. But for better or worse, Biden is what they’ve got. Trump seems like a con man. Biden, like a doddery old fool.

The press is eagerly trying to catch one or the other in a ‘senior moment.’ The Telegraph: "Another off-day seemed to take place during this week’s G7 summit in Italy when he [Biden] appeared to wander off during a photoshoot with world leaders. As the president, who once again appeared to be completely frozen, turned to face the wrong direction, Italian prime minister Georgia Meloni intervened to usher him back in the direction of the photographer. Some may think that it’s cruel to point out these obvious frailties - but surely it is even more cruel to let him run again in his current state?"

The Mirror fires back: "Donald Trump grips railing for dear life in embarrassing video as he walks down stairs."

Both rascals are too old. Neither has a strong sense of where the country should go or a coherent agenda to get it there. Neither is likable or personally attractive. Neither seems very smart. Neither has a sense of history... nor a solid grasp of economics. Neither is suited to the challenge of the White House.

But both are perfect for the mega-political challenge... helping the US towards its rendezvous with catastrophe. Great empires rise…and fall. And when the time comes, leaders must step up to the challenge. Corruption and dysfunction get worse. They must not stand in the way. Arguably, America’s two geriatric nincompoops are just what history needs.

We sympathize with Biden. He’s only six years older than we are. But there’s a time to lead, and a time to let others lead. After watching a few video clips of Biden, appearing to be ‘out of it,’ we are left with the impression that the democrats will probably try a switcheroo before the election. At this stage, Biden is probably a negative for them.

Nobody has a bumper sticker with a heart and ‘I love Biden’ on it. Democratic voters just want him to win, either because they distrust Trump... or because they want to see the elites’ agenda continue without interruption.
 
A Real Leader: A real leader would have original ideas. He would suggest new approaches. He would propose solutions to the nation’s problems. He might go into a meeting and say “here’s what I think we should do.” While we have never been in a meeting with Joe Biden, we have a hard time imagining him doing that.

Biden, the man, is just a cut-out... a place-holder. We’ve never heard an original thought pass his lips, nor an insight worth remembering. Instead, his pens√©e is just much-rehearsed blah-blah, sticking with whatever talking points his handlers suggest.

After 50 years of blah-blah, Biden can do it without thinking. He may be fine in the presidential debates, for example, ‘a battle of wits between two unarmed opponents,’ where no honest thoughts are allowed. But there are times when something unexpected happens and you have to think; one of those times is bound to come sooner or later...

And if we’re right, Democratic party insiders won’t want Biden, the man, getting in the way of Biden, the sham. So, they must be looking for some relatively obscure, vaguely presentable substitute - much like Obama in 2008 - who will reliably keep the grift going without stumbling down the steps.

They needn’t worry. Donald Trump had four years to ‘drain the swamp’ and balance the budget. Instead, the swamp got deeper than ever... and the budget was never more out of balance. No agencies or departments or programs were shut down. Not a dollar of spending was cut. The Donald cut taxes (a cut the Democrats now preserve) but did nothing to diminish the power or wealth of the Imperial City.

At least Trump is what he appears to be - a genuine sleazeball. He craves attention and power... but has no idea what to do with it. No ideology. No philosophy. No plan. That’s what makes him acceptable, in a mega-political sense, to the elites of both parties. He has no ideas that will get in the way.

Yes, dear reader, both candidates are corrupt impostors. One promises more of the same. The other promises something different. But both, witlessly or willingly, will keep the jig up - more war overseas, more spending at home - transferring even more money and power to key, elite lobbies. The stock market looks healthy. GDP is positive. Unemployment is low. And the roots rot."

Jim Kunstler, "The Unites States of Go Figure"

"The Unites States of Go Figure"
by Jim Kunstler

"You realize, don’t you, that everything going on around the Ukraine fiasco on the NATO side is completely insane? The folks running the US government - Barack Obama and his witches’ coven - started the whole thing over there in concert with a gang of corporate players (BlackRock, sundry oil-and-gas companies, Haliburton types, arms-makers, bunch of big banks), plus the dastardly WEF for “guidance” (ha!), looking to grab the mineral wealth of Ukraine and, ultimately, of Russia itself. Nice try. Didn’t work out. Tons of money pounded down a rat hole.

Now, the chatter is that we (NATO) “can’t afford to lose.” Yeah? But we’re losing. Russia will hold the eastern Ukraine provinces and what’s left in the rest of Ukraine will be a failed state drained of men under sixty able to work at anything, bankrupt, broken. It will take a century, if ever, for Ukraine to recover from all that and the West will have gained nothing. Anyway, that’s the true prospect. And so, the West’s “solution” to that humiliating quandary appears to be: start a bigger war, right up to and including nukes. That’s good thinking there, Butch, said Sundance.

Why the European members of NATO wanted to go along with this nickel-plated clusterfuck is an abiding puzzle of history now, like who exactly bumped off JFK in 1963. Germany, the Euro club’s biggest economy, stood by listlessly while America blew up its supply of affordable natgas (the Nord Stream pipelines), which was an act of war by us against Germany. Apparently, Olaf Scholz went to our CIA station in Berlin for a haircut one day and came out with a lobotomy, staring blankly through the whole affair like a Hinterw√§lder steer on the killing floor. Meanwhile, goodbye industrial economy! Nice knowing you. Looks like it’s back to the fourteenth century, living on rough black bread, sleeping with the cattle under your house for heat in winter, fighting jihadis inside your town walls...

What is the purpose, you ask yourself, of this new world war we’re itching to start? And why now, exactly? The stupid answers may be the correct ones. To furnish an emergency pretext allowing “Joe Biden” (Barack Obama & Co.) to “postpone” the election? If so, I guess they want a hot civil war even more than WWIII, because that’s what they’ll get. Or is it just to complete the destruction of the USA, turning us into a failed state run by a tranny Mamluk-ocracy? Or is it, as Ed Dowd has averred, to cover up the imminent implosion of the US/ Euroland debt debacle?

To provide cover for all that, the West held a fake peace conference at a five-star resort in Switzerland last week - flutes of Louis Roederer Cristal Brut with langoustine mousse in puff pastry boats...to die for! (and you just might) - and you know how serious the USA was because we sent our ace problem-solver Veep Kamala Harris, who cackled and hee-hawed her way through a session or two and then...just...split the scene, mysteriously. Russia, was conspicuously not invited, by the way. Whose idea was that?

Mr. Putin marked the occasion by issuing a sane proposal to commence peace negotiations so plain, simple, and straightforward that even “Joe Biden” might have gotten the drift: 1) withdraw Ukrainian troops from Donbas territory that has joined the Russian Federation, and 2) agree that Ukraine not join NATO. The US and NATO instantly rejected it, on grounds unspecified. According to The New York Times own search engine this very morning (June 17), the newspaper hasn’t published a news story on the Ukraine War for the past five days. Go figure . . .
Click image for larger size.
While Veep Kamala Harris was yukking it up over the peace hilarity in Switzerland, “Joe Biden” went to the far more important celebrity fundraiser out in Hollywood, headlined by the likes of actors George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and late-nite snarkist Jimmy Kimmel, that is, certified experts on geopolitical conflict, united in the cause of “saving our democracy” from “the dictator Trump.”

“Joe Biden” declared that Donald Trump was bent on “retribution...he’s gonna get back at the people.” Roger that. But I think he meant that Mr. Trump might open some inquiries into how come the Democratic Party and its Intel blob ran one debilitating lawless hoax after another on our country for the past eight years while bankrupting it and destroying the medical system, the legal system, the currency, higher education, and the US military, not to mention jailing thousands on fake criminal charges and letting ten billion alien mutts into the country, many of them jihadis with dubious intentions.

But never mind all that. $30-million got raised in Hollywood to continue the game of pretend that “JB” is running for reelection. Pretend is what actors actually do, you see. They’re really good at it, and your job is to play along, suspend your disbelief. That’s the essence of showbiz. Of course, that chunk of the US population no longer mesmerized by CIA-sponsored disinfo ops is somehow rising implacably in every poll. World War Three might be the only answer for that, after all. In any case, Barack Obama himself even came out of the woodwork to lead the cheerleading among the stars in LA. And when the time came, he took the dazed, vacantly grinning “President Joe Biden” gently by the elbow and assisted him in shuffling offstage, demonstrating to the whole world how things really work in the United States of America."

"Economic Market Snapshot 6/17/24"

"Economic Market Snapshot 6/17/24"
Down the rabbit hole of psychopathic greed and insanity...
Only the consequences are real - to you!
"It's a Big Club, and you ain't in it. 
You and I are not in the Big Club."
- George Carlin
o
Market Data Center, Live Updates:
Comprehensive, essential truth.
Financial Stress Index

"The OFR Financial Stress Index (OFR FSI) is a daily market-based snapshot of stress in global financial markets. It is constructed from 33 financial market variables, such as yield spreads, valuation measures, and interest rates. The OFR FSI is positive when stress levels are above average, and negative when stress levels are below average. The OFR FSI incorporates five categories of indicators: creditequity valuationfunding, safe assets and volatility. The FSI shows stress contributions by three regions: United Statesother advanced economies, and emerging markets."
Job cuts and much more.
Commentary, highly recommended:
"The more I see of the monied classes,
the better I understand the guillotine."
- George Bernard Shaw
Oh yeah... beyond words. Any I know anyway...
And now... The End Game...
o

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Canadian Prepper, "Alert! NATO Places Nuclear Weapons On Standby"

Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper, 6/16/24
"Alert! NATO Places Nuclear Weapons On Standby; 
Emergency Meeting Over Another Nuke Sub Near UK"
Comments here:

Jeremiah Babe, "The Economy Is In A Full Blown Collapse, Just Look Around"

Jeremiah Babe, 6/16/24
"The Economy Is In A Full Blown Collapse, Just Look Around; 
You May Get Drafted For WW 3"
Comments here:

"Moscow, Russia at Night is Mesmerizing!"

Full screen recommended.
Sly's Life, 6/16/24
"Moscow, Russia at Night is Mesmerizing!"
Comments here:

Viewer comment:
@mikemiami7841: "No graffiti, no garbage, streets are clean, and people are happy and friendly. What a great country!"

"People Will Rush To Take Their Money Out Of The System As 50% Of US Banks Face Risk Of Collapse"

Full screen recommended.
Epic Economist, 6/16/24
"People Will Rush To Take Their Money Out Of 
The System As 50% Of US Banks Face Risk Of Collapse"
"The U.S. banking system is literally hanging by a thread. Official data shows that half of all banks across the country are at risk of insolvency right now. In other words, your money may not be safe at these financial institutions anymore. And we all should start looking for alternatives on how to preserve our wealth. Today, we will give you the details about the devastating crisis that is threatening people's deposits, and explain why we could soon be facing a meltdown worse than the 2008 subprime collapse."
Comments here:

A Blues Musical Interlude: Foy Vance, Ed Sheeran, "Make it Rain"

Foy Vance, "Make it Rain"
The original, Ed Sheeran's version is the cover.
Ed Sheeran, "Make it Rain"

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Is this one galaxy or two? The jumble of stars, gas, and dust that is NGC 520 is now thought to incorporate the remains of two separate disk galaxies. A defining component of NGC 520 - as seen in great detail in the featured image from the Hubble Space Telescope - is its band of intricately interlaced dust running vertically down the spine of the colliding galaxies. A similar looking collision might be expected in a few billion years when our disk Milky Way Galaxy to collides with our large-disk galactic neighbor Andromeda (M31). 
The collision that defines NGC 520 started about 300 million years ago. Also known as Arp 157, NGC 520 lies about 100 million light years distant, spans about 100 thousand light years, and can be seen with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Fish (Pisces). Although the speeds of stars in NGC 520 are fast, the distances are so vast that the battling pair will surely not change its shape noticeably during our lifetimes."

The Poet: Mary Oliver, "Mysteries, Yes"

"Mysteries, Yes"

"Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads."

~ Mary Oliver

“24 Life Lessons By An Old Greek Shepherd”

“24 Life Lessons By An Old Greek Shepherd”
by George Giotis, Greece by Greeks

1. “The road to the destination is never straight. To reach out to the winter shelter someone must take a lot of turns, travel along rough roads, suffer losses. You have to make sure that you always take food supplies with you.

2. Leave the past behind. If a wolf eats your goat, you can’t do anything about it. Just make sure that next time you will be more careful.

3. Don’t live just for saving money and don’t be stingy. Don’t postpone the tasting of joy for future times. Do it now, while you are still young. Make your hard work worth even more.

4. Struggle, fight. You are the only one in charge of yourself. Don’t be truant, don’t expect your dogs to do all the work in herding the sheep.

5. Ask for the respect you deserve, don’t let others use you as a doormat. Set limits, put up fences, protect your animals.

6. Blessed are the ones who make mistakes. Make mistakes. These are life lessons, we call these experience. Don’t forget who you were until yesterday. Start today and define with your actions who you are going to be from now on.  Learn to forgive, starting with yourself. Don’t feel guilty, you have no time for that.

7. Blessed are those who doubt. Don’ t let your life be ruled by dogmas. Remember that if some people hadn’t doubted previous knowledge, mankind would have still lived in caves. Examine the information, be skeptical, think critically, think rationally, revise. You haven’t seen any fairies and ghosts in the forest, just wolves.

8. Be careful. Observe others. Look them in the eyes. Like a Greek saying, “If it is not shown in the goat, it is shown by the horn.”

9. Life is a journey, not a destination. And it is valuable. The previous word you read already belongs to the past.

10. Don’t advise the young constantly, it’s a waste of time. There is no right way to teach them pain or misery, solely experience will do that.

11. Go travel! Trips are experiences that stay with us forever. Get out, try, taste, savor images greedily. Let your senses free. Expose yourself, let it go, crumble, lose your self-control from time to time. Not just your self-control, but stop controlling others too.

12. You have been isolated enough in your winter shelter, get out. Go find your friends and companionship.

13. Do not try to control others. You condemn in anxiety and suffering not only yourself, but also those who you try to control. Let others live, and live for yourself. Leave the other flocks to their shepherds, take care of yours. 

14. Life is not fair. The universe does not owe you any solace, and it is certain that at the end of the road you die. Hurry up.

15. You can be a winner. Learn from those around you. Become a child with children, play with them, but also go to the cafe and talk to the elderly. You can learn from their accumulated experience.

16. Do not take everything into account. Do not take everything seriously. You are probably overreacting today. What bothers you or you are afraid of now, most likely tomorrow will seem lukewarm or insipid. Try to see yourself from a distance, take a look at the sight of your flock from the hill.

17. Have patience. The goats do not give birth every month. But when that happens you need to be there because they need you.

18. Quarrel with your partner if necessary, it is not terrible, let the feelings be defused. Make decompression in anger. The fire is sometimes beneficial. If an area of kermes oak get burnt, spring will give again vegetation, fine food for goats and their young. Careful though, the words you say you can’t take them back. Watch what your goats eat, they don’t know how to pick. If they eat the shoots of trees, the forest cannot be created again, the place will be left bare fallow.
  
19. Be balanced. Enjoy the food and your drink. Do not forget that the world’s poor walk miles for their daily food while the rich walk miles to digest it.

20. There is no perfect time, the circumstances and conditions will never be ideal. Start from where you are now! Do not postpone.

21. Be polite. A smiling face reflects similar behavior. Make gifts. Even the gift of a good word is important. Behave well to the elderly, you will soon be like them. Behave well to animals, they are not mean or envious, they have no obsessions or selfishness. They forgive without limit.

22. If you know how to read, read a lot! Those who read live extra lives. Not only their own but also all of those who you have read about.

23. Be bold. The fear keeps you tied but it is not real, it just comes from the unknown which is not in your head.

24. Do not get attached to things. Life is like the path of the pastures and the shepherd’s bag. The more you fill it, the harder you will walk. Take only the necessary things with you. The flock keeps walking, it will not wait for you if you can’t move because of too many heavy things. Let them go, release them, feel more flexible and free.”
Translated by Eleni Vafeiadou

Free Download: "The Essential Rumi"

"All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there. Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking. If I could taste one sip of an answer, I could break out of this prison for drunks. I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way. Whoever brought me here, will have to take me home."
- Rumi, "The Tavern," Ch. 1:, p. 2, from "The Essential Rumi"

Freely download "The Essential Rumi" here:
https://littlethingsaboutmeeh.files.wordpress.com/

"Be Like the Bird"

"Be Like the Bird"

"What matter if this base, unjust life
Cast you naked and disarmed?
If the ground breaks beneath your step,
Have you not your soul?
Your soul! You fly away,
Escape to realms refined,
Beyond all sadness and whimpering.
Be like the bird which on frail branches balanced
A moment sits and sings;
He feels them tremble, but he sings unshaken,
Knowing he has wings."

- Victor Hugo

"The Essence Of Life..."

"It was the essence of life to disbelieve in death for one's self, to act as if life would continue forever. And life had to act also as if little issues were big ones. To take a realistic attitude toward life and death meant that one lapsed into unreality. Into insanity. It was ironic that the only way to keep one's sanity was to ignore that one was in an insane world or to act as if the world were sane."
- Philip Jose Farmer

The Daily "Near You?"

Waltham Cross, Hertford, United Kingdom. Thanks for stopping by!

"Unknown Unknowns..."

"There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we do not know."

"Simply because you do not have evidence that something
 exists does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn't exist."

"Learn to say 'I don't know.' If used when appropriate, it will be often."
- Donald Rumsfeld

"He Cannot Help Doubting..."

"A person who has not been completely alienated, who has remained sensitive and able to feel, who has not lost the sense of dignity, who is not yet for sale, who can still suffer over the suffering of others, who has not acquired fully the having mode of existence briefly, a person who has remained a person and not become a thing, cannot help feeling lonely, powerless, isolated in present-day society. He cannot help doubting himself and his own convictions, if not his sanity."
- Erich Fromm

"In The Old Days We Had “Slumlords”, But In 2024 We Have “Vanlords”

"In The Old Days We Had “Slumlords”, 
But In 2024 We Have “Vanlords”
by Michael Snyder

"If you live in a major city, you can see them all around you. I am talking about aging vans, RVs and trailers that are parked on the side of the road for months at a time and that obviously have people living in them. There is an entire class of people that live in such conditions, and there is an entire class of “businessmen” that prey on such people. When I was growing up, there were lots of headlines about “slumlords” that were taking advantage of the poor. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a “slumlord” is “a landlord who receives unusually large profits from substandard, poorly maintained properties”. Today, we have a different sort of a problem. “Vanlords” are parking vans, RVs and trailers along the streets of the worst parts of our major cities, and they are renting them out to people that cannot afford regular homes. 

 Sadly, we live at a time when lots and lots of people cannot afford regular homes because homelessness is absolutely exploding all over the nation. In some areas there have been efforts to crack down on the “vanlords”, but when things get too hot in one area they just move somewhere else. As long as there are vast hordes of homeless Americans that are deeply suffering, there will be “vanlords” that are eager to take advantage of them.

Matt Feely just authored a very interesting piece about this phenomenon. He says that things are particularly bad in the poorest sections of Oakland…"The most familiar and ominous form of homelessness in Oakland, however, has become the vehicle encampment. A few small clusters of vehicles have gathered in my North Oakland neighbourhood, lines of dirty campers and battered cars seeking shade under an elevated freeway, but poor East Oakland has it the worst. There, such encampments have taken over long stretches of busy street, visiting already-distressed neighbourhoods with huge living sculptures of ugliness and disorder - cars filled with clothes and junk; hulking RVs parked for months at a time, drug and sex deals conducted streetside; trash gathering around and between the vehicles, and lots of new crime. Recently, the city had to replace traffic lights at an East Oakland intersection with stop signs, because people, presumably from the vehicle encampment close by, were constantly stealing the cables to sell the copper wire inside."

All over the country, this is how vast numbers of people are living now. Unfortunately, most of the people that are living in RVs don’t even own them. Instead, most of them are owned by the “vanlords”…"But the people in those RVs don’t own them. They rent them, from people who’ve come to be called “vanlords”. These energetic businesspeople buy up old trailers and RVs and either drive or tow them to unfortunate neighbourhoods in cities like Oakland. There they enter into informal rental agreements with homeless people."

This is also happening on a very large scale in southern California. In fact, it is being estimated that the number of people living in RVs in Los Angeles County actually increased by 31 percent from 2020 to 2023…"The number of people living in RVs across L.A. County has jumped 31% from 2020 to 2023, according to the annual homeless counts. About 11,500 people are estimated to live in roughly 6,800 RVs."

With each passing day, more impoverished people are being forced out into the streets. And with each passing day, more formerly middle class Americans are joining the ranks of the poor. Our standard of living has declined so much that we have reached a point where even most middle class Americans are struggling financially…"A majority of middle-class Americans are experiencing financial hardship that they expect will continue for the rest of their lives, according to a new poll. Findings published by the National True Cost of Living Coalition show that 65% of Americans whose incomes are 200% above the national poverty line – which is about $62,300 for a family of four, often considered middle class – said they are struggling financially."

In many cases, a single accident or a single bad break is enough to push someone over the edge. The vast majority of us are just barely scraping by from month to month, and that is because the cost of living has been rising much faster than paychecks have…"The typical U.S. household needed to pay $227 more a month in March to purchase the same goods and services it did one year ago because of still-high inflation. Americans are paying on average $784 more each month compared with the same time two years ago and $1,069 more compared with three years ago."

If you are still doing well, please don’t look down on those that are hurting. Many of them were once just like you. Sadly, many more Americans will be dumped out into the streets soon as economic conditions continue to deteriorate. This week, we learned that initial claims for unemployment benefits have hit the highest level in 10 months…"The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week unexpectedly jumped to the highest level in 10 months, the latest sign that the labor market is starting to cool in the face of high interest rates.

Figures released Thursday by the Labor Department show initial claims for the week ending June 8 increased by 13,000 to 242,000, above the 2019 pre-pandemic average of 218,000 claims. It marks the highest level for jobless claims since August 2023. Continuing claims, filed by Americans who are consecutively receiving unemployment benefits, also rose to 1.82 million for the week ended June 1, an increase of 30,000 from the previous week."

Virtually all of the economic numbers that we have been getting lately tell us that the economy is rapidly heading in the wrong direction. So if you think that things are bad now, just wait until you see what is coming. Personally, I fully expect conditions to get steadily worse throughout the rest of 2024. All of the “vanlords” out there will soon have even more potential customers to prey on, and that is not good news for any of us."

"Hezbollah vs IDF: Iran's Proxy Aims 200,000 Missiles as Israel-Lebanon Border Burns? Who Will Win?"

Full screen recommended.
Times Now, 6/16/24
"Hezbollah vs IDF: Iran's Proxy Aims 200,000 Missiles 
as Israel-Lebanon Border Burns? Who Will Win?"
"Eight months into a brutal and unrelenting war, Hezbollah has intensified its aggression against Israel, boasting a force of 100,000 fighters and an arsenal of 200,000 missiles, including advanced rockets like Burkhan and Fajr. In response, Israel has mobilized its military, with 170,000 active troops, 360,000 reservists, and a range of sophisticated weaponry, including F-35 jets and Arrow-3 missile defense systems. The escalating conflict raises questions about each side's military capabilities and the potential for further widespread death and destruction."
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Pepe Escobar, "False Flags And Perfect Symmetry"

"False Flags And Perfect Symmetry"
by Pepe Escobar

"By several metrics, Europe is about to implode/explode not with a bang but an agonizing whimper anytime within the next few months. It’s crucial to remember that the snap elections in France and Britain will also coincide with the NATO summit on July 11 – where Russophobia-fueled warmongering will reach paroxysm.

Among possible scenarios, some kind of false flag to be squarely blamed on Russia should be expected. It could be a Franz Ferdinand moment; a Gulf of Tonkin moment; or even a USS Maine before the American-Spanish war moment. The fact remains that the only way these “leaders” across NATOstan plus their lowly MI6 agent in a green sweaty T-shirt in Kiev will survive is by manufacturing a casus belli.

If indeed that happens, a date can be advanced: between the second week of July and the end of August; and certainly no later than the second week of September. October will be too late: too close to the U.S. elections. So be prepared for the Summer of Living Dangerously.

Meanwhile, The Bear is not exactly hibernating. President Putin, before and during the St. Petersburg forum, elaborated on how “symmetric” Moscow’s response will be to attacks by Kiev using NATOstan missiles – already ongoing. There are three NATOstan members which are supplying missiles with a range of 350 km and more: U.S., UK and France.

So a “symmetric” response would imply Russia providing Global South nations with advanced weaponry – capable of causing serious damage to nodes of the Empire of Bases. And here are the top candidates to receive these weapons – as extensively debated not only on Russian TV channels but also in the St. Petersburg forum corridors.

West Asia: Iran (which already has them); Syria (badly needs them); Yemen; Iraq (would be very helpful to Hashd al-Shaabi) and Libya.

Central, Northeast, Southeast Asia: Afghanistan, Myanmar (these two were present in St. Petersburg) and North Korea.

Latin America: Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua (just look at the current Russian foray in the Caribbean).

Africa: Central African Republic, Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Southern Sudan and Zimbabwe (just look at Lavrov’s recent African tour).

Mr. Zircon says hello: And that brings us the jolly matter of a Russian naval force hangin’ out in the Caribbean, headed by the hypersonic missile-armed frigate Admiral Gorshkov and the Kazan nuclear submarine. The indispensable Andrei Martyanov has noted how the Gorshkov “carries 32 Onyx, Zircon, Kalibrs and Otvet. These are the most advanced and deadly cruise missiles in history, with a serious combat pedigree. Kazan, which is Yasen-class SSGN carries also 32 VLS and, in addition, has 10 torpedo tubes which can shoot not just torpedoes.”

Well, this naval force is obviously not there to launch WWIII. Martyanov explains that “while both can strike all of the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. and Canada, they are there not for that reason. God forbid if it comes to real WWIII there are plenty of Bulavas, Avangards, Sarmats and Yarses to deal with this horrifying business. No, both Gorshkov and Kazan are there to show that they can reach any combat ship or strategic sea lift vessel carrying any military combat set from North America to Europe in case of some nutjob deciding to try to survive a conventional war with Russia.”

What’s even more intriguing is that after spending time in Havana, the naval force will remain in the Caribbean for a series of exercises – and will be joined by other Russian Navy vessels. They will remain in these waters until the end of The Summer of Living Dangerously. Just in case some nutjob has fancy ideas.

Meanwhile, the possible escalation towards Hot War in Europe proceeds unabated, with NATO via its epileptic slab of Norwegian wood radically changing the established rules of proxy wars with one nonsense outburst after another. The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are already capable, via NATO, to destroy both military and civilian Russian assets – oil storage, airports, energy facilities, railway junctions, even concentration of troops.

Everyone and his neighbor will be waiting for the “symmetric” responses. For all practical purposes the crucial decision has been made by the rarified plutocracy which really runs the show: force Europe into war on Russia. That’s the rationale behind all the rhetorical kabuki about a “military Schengen” and a New Iron Curtain from the Arctic through the Baltic chihuahuas all the way to rabid Poland. The plutocracy actually believes that afterwards they can buy the whole thing for a pittance while flies are still laying eggs in radioactive European carcasses."

Travelling with Russell, "I Went to a Brand-New Russian Shopping Mall"

Full screen recommended.
Travelling with Russell, 6/16/24
"I Went to a Brand-New Russian Shopping Mall"
What does a Russian Shopping Mall look like in 2024? Come along on a tour of Liner Shopping Center in Moscow, Russia. Opened in June 2024, this is a brand new shopping mall. How have sanctions affected the Russian retail market?
Comments here:

So refreshing to see what a sane, sober, civilized society can achieve.
Not that we'd know...

Dan, I Allegedly, "Why NO ONE is Buying Homes Right Now"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, I Allegedly, 6/16/24
"Why NO ONE is Buying Homes Right Now"
People were sitting on the sidelines when it came to selling their home. 
Now they’re regretting that decision. Now they can’t sell.
Comments here:

"How It Really Is"

 

Greg Hunter, "AI is Digital Control, You’ve Been Warned"

"AI is Digital Control, You’ve Been Warned"
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

"Catherine Austin Fitts (CAF), Publisher of The Solari Report, financial expert and former Assistant Secretary of Housing (Bush 41 Admin.) is sounding the alarm about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it will impact your world in very negative ways. It’s all in a new report called “The AI Revolution: The Final Coup d’Etat.” CAF explains, “This is a very serious look at Artificial Intelligence and how it’s going to be used to implement control. This past week, there was this huge open board meeting at OpenAI. There were board members put there to make sure OpenAI and its products were in alignment with the best interests of the human race. Some of them got booted out. Now, we see the former head of the NSA (National Security Agency) get put on the board. I just realized it today, and I had not realized it before. Edward Snowden just tweeted out and said you should never use any of these products, which include ChatGBT. Snowden also said, ‘You have to understand where this is going. You have been warned.’

“The AI Revolution” also warns that AI “Will alter the prospects for a free society, even free will, and attempt to seed the idea human-only decision-making will become a rarity and, in time, cease to exist.”

Don’t think sophisticated AI is some idea that is far into the future. AI is here now, and CAF points out, “I just see more and more companies using this type of technology to institute financial fraud and make money from financial fraud in their pricing. You also have thousands of companies to track you for their benefit. It is trying to extract data from you to accomplish whatever its goal is. It’s like a swarm of invisible locusts that are all trying to surveil and track, and none of them are trying to optimize your life and give you a free and inspired life. They are just trying to get their piece.”

AI will also be used to ignore and break all laws. After all, it’s robotic and can’t be held accountable. CAF says, “By removing moral obligations and legal and obedient respect for laws, the speed at which you can do evil is extraordinary. One of my concerns, and I have said this for many years, I think this kind of technology allows interdimensional intelligence to act as material reality so that, literally, demonic intelligence can have far more influence and impact in our world. It operates at such high speed, and then you combine that with the payment systems in the financial system, the things that can go wrong are phenomenal. One of the main problems that we have seen in the past year is artificial intelligence takes off on its own, and it starts functioning in a way it makes no sense, and it’s just lying. It’s just making stuff up and lying. It’s literally like it’s under demonic possession.”

CAF says, no matter what, “AI can’t beat God.” And instead of worshiping Jehovah and Jesus (like you should), the creators of AI want you to trust whatever this tech tells you to do. CAF says, “They want an AI Religion Revolution.” Don’t buy into this crap because AI is a disaster for humanity and your freedom.

CAF thinks the Democrats will be forced to replace Joe Biden come November, and she explains why. Now, more than ever, CAF thinks physical gold and silver are good investments. She encourages people to expand the use of cash. CAF thinks two of the best weapons against this sort of artificial intelligence used for control and tyranny is to enforce the US Constitution and, above all, do not lose your faith in God the Father and Christ Jesus. There is much more in the 61-minute riveting in-depth interview."

Join Greg Hunter on Rumbleas he goes One-on-One with
 the Publisher of The Solari Report, Catherine Austin Fitts"