Saturday, November 28, 2020

"Dark Winter Has Begun: Millions Of Americans Are Expected To Lose Their Homes"

"Dark Winter Has Begun: 
Millions Of Americans Are Expected To Lose Their Homes"
by Epic Economist

"The worst economic catastrophe that ever happened in the U.S. since the Great Depression of the 1930s continues to leave millions of workers jobless, and coping with food and housing insecurity. A very dark winter is arriving for the American working-poor, one that will likely lead 6 million households to homelessness. Latest studies forecast that a tidal wave of evictions could push up to 40 million people to the streets as soon as the CDC's eviction moratorium expires on January 1st. 

As rental delinquencies continue to soar, landlords are already filing eviction requests, and in the absence of further federal aid, deep-in-debt renters might end up in the streets in the coldest season of the year when a highly contagious respiratory infection is rapidly spreading and fatally affecting hundreds of thousands of Americans. For that reason, in this video, we expose one of the most tragic and calamitous situations our citizens are about to face. 

The U.S. Census Bureau conducted a survey that found that up to 6 million households are on the brink of eviction or foreclosure. As soon as the CDC's eviction moratorium expires on January 1st,  32.5% of the 17.8 million adults currently behind rent or mortgage payments could be pushed to the streets. Additionally, according to research by the Aspen Institute, nearly 40 million Americans could face eviction over the next several months. 

Considering that the CARES Act is set to expire on December 31st, 12 million workers are about to lose access to their emergency unemployment benefits, consequently they will likely become unable to afford their rental payments and add to the already colossal rate of delinquent renters. Also, a recent Bank of America report indicated that the end of the assistance could be a drag of up to 1.5% to growth in 2021 first-quarter. 

The eviction moratorium, mortgage forbearance programs, and suspension of student loan payments have helped to ease the financial stress of the American working-poor. The most worrying effect that will be brought by the expiration of the many CARES programs is the removal of financial safety nets for them. 

The flawed CDC protections haven't actually stopped landlords from expelling families to try to find paying renters, because eventually, someone has to pay for this immense debt. That is to say, the CDC's policy doesn't translate into debt forgiveness, and billions in back rent and late fees piled up throughout the current economic recession, and now the alarming rates of default are also acting as a catalyst to the severe housing crisis that started to unfold this year. Nevertheless, the biggest suffering isn't being experienced by big corporations, private equity, and banks but by average Americans.

Millions of them could potentially end up on the streets very soon. However, this complex problem could be solved with simple measures, but economists are arguing that the new administration may not look at this issue with the urgency needed. After meeting with corporate executives, Democratic President-elect Joe Biden clarified in his speech that the top concern that will be addressed as the first action of his mandate is “to get the economy back on track”. 

Not once did he mentioned a pressing need to stop the spread of the virus, feed the hungry, provide relief, or house the homeless. He didn't make any declarations regarding a renewal of the unemployment benefits in the CARES Act or extending eviction moratoriums. That's because, no matter who enters the White House, all policies target ensuring the flow of profits to big corporations and Wall Street. 

At the end of the day, both parties see unemployment benefits as a “disincentive” for workers to get back on low-paying jobs amid a raging sanitary outbreak. But the only real solution to this rental crisis and many other financial crisis Americans are undergoing is more assistance from the federal government. That means the issuance of stimulus money that instead of getting swallowed by the financial markets actually assists people to pay off their debt. 

If renters have money to pay off their landlords, this tidal wave of evictions could be stopped. Eviction is an expensive, frustrating, and emotionally fraught step that damages both renters and landlords, particularly considering that finding a replacement paying tenant amid a deteriorating economic collapse can be incredibly hard.

Unfortunately, millions are soon going to be caught up by this unprecedented catastrophe that is about to leave our citizens on the streets, vulnerable to a fatal disease, and in the middle of a tragic hunger crisis. And all of it could have been avoided."

Musical Interlude: 2002, "Memory of the Sky"

2002, "Memory of the Sky"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“To some, the outline of the open cluster of stars M6 resembles a butterfly. M6, also known as NGC 6405, spans about 20 light-years and lies about 2,000 light years distant. M6 can best be seen in a dark sky with binoculars towards the constellation of Scorpius, coving about as much of the sky as the full moon. 

 Click image for larger size.
Like other open clusters, M6 is composed predominantly of young blue stars, although the brightest star is nearly orange. M6 is estimated to be about 100 million years old. Determining the distance to clusters like M6 helps astronomers calibrate the distance scale of the universe.”

"All Sins..."

"All sins, of course, deserve to be treated with mercy: we all do what we can, and life is too hard and too cruel for us to condemn anyone for failing in this area. Does anyone know what he himself would do if faced with the worst, and how much truth could he bear under such circumstances?" 
- Andre Comte-Sponville
Joe South, "Walk A Mile In My Shoes"

The Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke, "I Want A Lot"

"I Want A Lot"

"You see, I want a lot.
Perhaps I want everything:
the darkness that comes with every infinite fall
and the shivering blaze of every step up.

So many live on and want nothing,
and are raised to the rank of prince
by the slippery ease of their light judgments.
But what you love to see are faces
that so work and feel thirst...

You have not grown old, and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out its own secret."

- Rainer Maria Rilke

The Daily "Near You?"

Weatherford, Texas, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"The Cure For Boredom..."

Paulo Coelho, "The Water Pitcher"

"The Water Pitcher"
by Paulo Coelho 

"A legend tells of a man who used to carry water every day to his village, using two large pitchers tied on either end of a piece of wood, which he placed across his shoulders. One of the pitchers was older than the other and was full of small cracks; every time the man came back along the path to his house, half of the water was lost. For two years, the man made the same journey. The younger pitcher was always very proud of the way it did its work and was sure that it was up to the task for which it had been created, while the other pitcher was mortally ashamed that it could carry out only half its task, even though it knew that the cracks were the result of long years of work.

So ashamed was the old pitcher that, one day, while the man was preparing to fill it up with water from the well, it decided to speak to him. "I wish to apologize because, due to my age, you only manage to take home half the water you fill me with, and thus quench only half the thirst awaiting you in your house."

The man smiled and said: "When we go back, be sure to take a careful look at the path." The pitcher did as the man asked and noticed many flowers and plants growing along one side of the path. "Do you see how much more beautiful nature is on your side of the road?" the man remarked. "I knew you had cracks, but I decided to take advantage of them. I sowed vegetables and flowers there, and you always watered them. I've picked dozens of roses to decorate my house, and my children have had lettuce, cabbage and onions to eat. If you were not the way you are, I could never have done this. We all, at some point, grow old and acquire other qualities, and these can always be turned to good advantage."

“How are things going, Joe?”

“You go up to a man, and you say, “How are things going, Joe?” and he says, “Oh fine, fine… couldn’t be better.” And you look into his eyes, and you see things really couldn’t be much worse. When you get right down to it, everybody’s having a perfectly lousy time of it, and I mean everybody. And the hell of it is, nothing seems to help much.”
- Kurt Vonnegut

"Moral Decay Leads to Collapse"

"Moral Decay Leads to Collapse"
by Charles Hugh Smith

A very strong case can be made that America is now a moral cesspool. Consider just three cases: Jeffrey Epstein, the CEO of Pfizer and JPMorgan Chase.

Sadly, Epstein is the epitome of America's elite: getting away with abusing children for years, if not decades; when finally caught a few years ago, escaping with a legal wrist-slap; acquiring a fortune of $200 million without creating any jobs, innovations or value; buying his way into the good graces of Harvard, MIT and a seemingly endless parade of celebrities, politicians, scientists, etc.

And very par for the course in America's elite: Epstein's crimes were known by America's intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but rather than indict him, they made him an "intelligence asset" that had to protected from exposure to the consequences of the rule of law. 

When some tiny sliver of light was shed on his decades of blatant corruption and exploitation, a sliver that implicated the wealthy and powerful, then Epstein was dispatched in classic Deep State fashion, in a manner that speaks volumes about the banana "republic" nature of America.

Pfizer's CEO arranged a massive sale of Pfizer stock and then timed the release of overhyped vaccine data to maximize his private gains.

 Nothing illegal here, just another example of what I call legalized looting. 

JPMorgan Chase manipulated markets to maximize its gains, and its $1 billion fine is just the cost of doing business in a pervasively corrupt society and economy. Nobody ever goes to prison for these billion-dollar skims, scams, frauds amd embezzlements; financial criminals get a get out of jail free card with every crime.

These three examples are just a few of thousands of examples of insider skimming and gaming the system, abuse of power, fraud, pay-to-play, embezzlement, racketeering and other forms of corruption that enrich the few at the expense of the many.

 Whenever I mention America's moral decay, somebody is always quick to discount the decay with cliches such as "there's always been corruption" or "it's human nature, you'll never get rid of it."

 These pathetically flimsy excuses mask the reality that America's moral decay has reached extremes that eventually trigger collapse in the financial, social and political realms.


The decay of civic virtue and the social contract is so gradual that only the few who recall specific set-points from previous generations even notice the advancing rot.

 A third of the Roman Senate was killed in combat during the disastrous defeat at Cannae; can we imagine a third of the U.S. Senate putting their own lives at risk? No, we cannot; that level of sacrifice is unthinkable in America today. The protected elites have no real skin in the game. The consequences of their mismanagement fall on the unprotected many.

Can we imagine the two eldest sons of a present-day political scion volunteering for combat overseas, with one killed in combat and the other severely wounded? (Joe Kennedy, Jr. and John F. Kennedy in World War II.) Such elite sacrifice is unimaginable in today's America.

As for the social contract: to saddle young people with highly uncertain prospects with $1.7 trillion in student loan debt would have been unimaginable, If not criminal, two generations ago. 

Now this ruthless exploitation of students - in essence, punitive debt-serfdom that enriches the wealthiest few who own the student loans - is now the norm. Parasitic elites sucking the powerless dry is now the status quo in America.

This academic paper (via A.P.) sheds light on the severe consequences of moral decay: "Moral Collapse and State Failure: A View From the Past".

 In summary, the authors examined premodern states/empires with an eye on socio-economic systems that generated a social environment which provided real benefits to citizens via a moral code and good government practices.

 (I would include the early Tang and Song dynasties in China of examples of such systems that were not democratic but which offered a judiciary of recourse, investment in infrastructure and other forms of public good, rule of law and social mobility.)

Yes, elite corruption is ever-present, but good governance requires limiting elite corruption as part of the social contract in which citizens support the state (paying taxes, etc.) because the state provides for the common good.

 The authors point out that citizens expect relatively little of autocracies in the way of public good because the citizenry know the autocracy is a self-serving, corrupt elite. But governments that earned the consent of the governed by providing for the common good are held to a higher standard. 

When the moral code that requires service to the public good decays, the legitimacy of the state collapses. Here is a quote from the paper:

 "Moral failure of the leadership in this social setting brings calamity because the state's lifeblood - its citizen-produced resource-base - is threatened when there is loss of confidence in the state, which brings in its wake social division, strife, flight, and a reduced motivation to comply with tax obligations.

 In the resulting weakened fiscal economy, services that citizens have come to depend on fail, including public goods and administrative control of corruption.


To realize and sustain good government is especially difficult owing in large part to the importance of shared moral obligations between citizens and the state. "

In other words, a strict moral code that requires elites to devote resources and leadership for the public good is the critical foundation of the entire social, economic and political order. When this moral code decays, the state and its elites both lose legitimacy and the consent of the governed.

 Put another way: once the elites have decayed to exploitive, self-serving, profiteering parasites, the public has no interest in supporting the state or its elites. Rather, they will cheer the collapse and ruin of the parasitic elites.


The explosive rise of elites' wealth and power in the past few decades has been documented and charted, and I've repeatedly posted charts showing that virtually all the real income gains of the past 20 years have flowed to the top 0.1%. This RAND study found that America's elites siphoned $50 trillion into their own pockets in the past two generations: "Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018."


This is the chilling summation of America's terminal moral decay from "Moral Collapse and State Failure: A View From the Past": 

"Many citizens perceive that they have little stake in what should be a democratic society.


Decline in citizen confidence is compounded by a great economic transition in the US, a U-turn over the last five decades in wealth and income inequalities.

These economic shifts are undergirded by a new ethos and practices that enshrine shareholder value, personal freedom, nepotism, cronyism, the comingling of state and personal resources, and narcissistic aggrandizement in ways rarely seen in the early history of our Republic."

Our national claim of moral superiority is no longer plausible: America is a moral cesspool that cannot be drained."

"How It Really Is"


You didn't really think you'd ever see any of that, did you?

"'A Horrifying Future' - WEF's Vision For A Post-COVID World"

"'A Horrifying Future' - 
WEF's Vision For A Post-COVID World"
by Peter Koenig

"The World Economic Forum (WEF) has just published (October 2020) a so-called White Paper, entitled “Resetting the Future of Work Agenda – in a Post-Covid World”. This 31-page document reads like a blueprint on how to “execute” – because an execution (or implementation) would be – “Covid-19 – The Great Reset” (July 2020), by Klaus Schwab, founder and CEO (since the foundation of the WEF in 1974) and his associate Thierry Malleret.

They call “Resetting the Future” a White Paper, meaning it’s not quite a final version. It is a draft of sorts, a trial balloon, to measure people’s reactions. It reads indeed like an executioner’s tale. Many people may not read it – have no awareness of its existence. If they did, they would go up in arms and fight this latest totalitarian blueprint, offered to the world by the WEF.

It promises a horrifying future to some 80%-plus of the (surviving) population. George Orwell’s “1984” reads like a benign fantasy, as compared to what the WEF has in mind for humanity. The time frame is ten years – by 2030 – the UN agenda 2021 – 2030 should be implemented."

The complete, and absolutely MUST READ article is here:

"'Life Won't Ever Be Completely Normal Again' - Renowned Infection/Immunity Expert Warns COVID Is Not Going Away"

"'Life Won't Ever Be Completely Normal Again' - 
Renowned Infection/Immunity Expert Warns COVID Is Not Going Away"
by Damir Mujezinovic

"In a Thursday interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, said that the novel coronavirus may never go away. Per Newsweek, which published a translation of the interview, Lipkin said that the public will have to adapt and learn how to “live the rest of our lives with this virus.” “It is going to be a recurring problem. I don’t think life will ever be completely normal again.”

Lipkin said that it is likely future generations will be vaccinated against COVID-19, but noted that additional booster doses may be necessary. The expert described the progress in vaccine development as “staggering,” suggesting that vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer will be able to significantly reduce the spread of the virus. However, Lipkin pointed out that there could be logistical challenges and that distribution will not be easy. “We will be able to distribute these vaccines in most of Europe and the U.S. But getting them to developing countries will be a daunting challenge,” he said.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced earlier this month that their candidate is 95 percent effective at stopping coronavirus, while Moderna said that its mRNA-1273 had an efficacy of 94.5 percent. However, neither of the vaccines can be stored at standard refrigeration temperatures, which could be a major issue in some parts of the world. Achieving “global group immunity” is the end goal, according to Lipkin, who explained that between 60 and 80 percent of the world’s population needs to be immune before normalcy is restored.

Governments across the globe have implemented public health measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, some more successfully than others. China, where the virus is thought to have originated, has been very successful in controlling the pandemic.

Lipkin - who assisted the Chinese government during the 2003 SARS epidemic and advised Saudi Arabia during the MERS outbreak - suggested that it is unrealistic to expect western governments to achieve the same results. “In China, if the government decides to do something, it is done. It is not like in Spain or the United States where there can be debate about confinements and closures,” he said. The expert concluded the interview on a more optimistic note, saying that the coronavirus crisis “has also demonstrated our ability to respond with science, compassion and a common goal.”

According to the population data site Worldometers, more than 61 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in the world so far and nearly 1.5 million people have died from complications caused by the disease."

Friday, November 27, 2020

"WalMart Abuse; The Crash Will Be Biblical; Americans Keep Spending; Massive Debt Bubbles"

Jeremiah Babe,
"WalMart Abuse; The Crash Will Be Biblical; 
Americans Keep Spending; Massive Debt Bubbles"
"This is it! The party is over. The world is now facing the gravest economic and social downturn in Modern Times (18th century). We are now entering a period of global crisis that will change the world for a very long time to come. This should come as no surprise to the people who have studied history and also read my articles for the last few years. Many others have also warned about the same thing. But since MSM never talks about the excesses in the world or the risks, 99.9% of people are totally unprepared for what is coming next.

The coming downturn will not take 40 years. When bubbles burst, everything unravels very quickly. It could take say 3-7 years for the Dow to come down 90% or more. In 1929-32 it took less than 3 years for the Dow to fall 90%. And the situation today is much more serious when it comes to overvaluations, debts, deficits etc.

So the coming economic downturn will see all bubble assets like stocks, bonds and property decline at least 90% in real terms. But although markets might bottom within say the next 5 years, the world economy might go along the bottom for a very long time, which could be decades. As always, historians will let the world know afterwards the extent of the coming downturn."
- Egon von Greyerz,

"A Perfect Storm Is Brewing: Stock Market Crash Like No Other Coming In Weeks Or Months"

"A Perfect Storm Is Brewing: 
Stock Market Crash Like No Other Coming In Weeks Or Months"
by Epic Economist

"A catastrophic stock market crash is on the horizon. A new analysis pointed out that stocks can collapse 40% by April and will not rebound for decades. Many determinants will be crucial to prompt the burst of this major bubble, which has been fueled by mass bankruptcies and debt delinquencies. The economic deterioration and the ongoing developments of the health crisis might add extra pressure to the financial markets in the coming months. And it seems there's no way to avoid a major correction to the overpriced assets that have taken the lead of the markets recently. That's why, in this video, we gathered the latest expert's and economist's assessments for the next stock market crash. 

Despite having recovered from all of its bear market losses and hit new highs, the S&P 500 still has several challenges to deal with, particularly now that more businesses are falling apart every day. That's why market strategists have been arguing that the near all-time high S&P 500 valuation is unsustainable. Even with the arrival of a vaccine, the wounds opened on the economy throughout this recession aren't going to heal overnight. 

Some may argue that the doomsday predictions for a crash never come through, but the market has been silently crashing all along. Many catalysts were set in place during this crisis, and have been quietly sparking a market deterioration that is being constantly mended by the Federal Reserve's stimulus relief. Since Jay Powell stated that the Fed will do "whatever it takes" not to let the stock market crash, which would consequently make the whole economy implode, several investors have been blindingly relying on the Fed's promises, but there is only so much liquidity that could effectively avert a market catastrophe.

However, the U.S. stock market is a house of cards and there's a limit to what can be done to keep the market away from its natural fluctuations. Pumping money on it endlessly isn't a viable option, despite what the Fed says. At some point, credit will run dry and the market will inevitably go down to its correction level. What we should all be wondering is how long do we have before the U.S. debases all its credit and loses all its credibility. Every country that has ever passed that breaking point has sunken into a dramatic crisis.

With the continual emission of Quantitative Easing, the system will only become more fragile and more dependent on liquidity to mend the gaps brought by its inherent volatility. Any major catalyst that comes into play can tear apart the whole progress that has been solely based upon speculation and break the liquidity spell.

The fact is that they can try to avoid the downfall and print as much money as it takes to fill in the market gaps. But, in essence, nothing can impede the crash from happening. Historical evidences are also signaling that a stock market crash 2.0 is imminent. Even though investment advisors always highlight that that past performance is no guarantee of future results, history has a way of repeating itself on Wall Street. Every single recovery from a bear market bottom has been marked by one or two significant declines. And, in most of the cases, these crashes or corrections occurred way before the three-year mark was up.

By looking beyond rallies from a bear market bottom, we can see how regular crashes and corrections truly are. Of course, history alone cannot be able to precisely tell us when a market crash will happen, but it can show us how unexceptional it is for investor sentiment to suddenly change on Wall Street. Right now, many determinants can operate this shift fairly quickly. With the CBOE Volatility Index largely above its standards and the secular multi-year stock market decline beginning right after December, ending the cyclical bull market for equities, experts say that a 40% correction is expected to happen by April. 

Mass bankruptcies are likely to put the stock market over the edge. Financial stocks, which are the anchors of the U.S. economy, are inclined to struggle in face of lower interest income and increasing loan delinquencies. Meanwhile, stocks are being priced for perfection. Simply put, such high speculative valuations are assuming that an effective vaccine will be widely distributed and Congress and the Fed will eventually make a comeback and launch trillions more in liquidity. But for that to happen, every step of the way has to unfold smoothly. Needless to say, that it's quite an unrealistic idea. The reality is that another stock market crash is inevitable."

Musical Interlude: 2002, "Realms of Splendor"

2002, "Realms of Splendor"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, a magnificent interstellar dust cloud by chance has assumed this recognizable shape. Fittingly named the Horsehead Nebula, it is some 1,500 light-years distant, embedded in the vast Orion cloud complex.

About five light-years "tall", the dark cloud is cataloged as Barnard 33 and is visible only because its obscuring dust is silhouetted against the glowing red emission nebula IC 434. Stars are forming within the dark cloud. Contrasting blue reflection nebula NGC 2023, surrounding a hot, young star, is at the lower left. The gorgeous color image combines both narrowband and broadband images recorded using three different telescopes.”

The Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke, "A Walk"

"A Walk"

"My eyes already touch the sunny hill,
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance -
and changes us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave...
but what we feel is the wind in our faces."

- Rainer Maria Rilke

"Lockdowns Destroy What Makes Us Human"

"Lockdowns Destroy What Makes Us Human"
by Zachary Yost 

"While GMU economist Tyler Cowen may have dismissed the idea of more pandemic lockdowns as being “a straw man” and saying that the extreme measures that started in March of this year “are now behind us,” it seems that governors and other politicians around the country have failed to get the message.

More and more states have begun to once again impose ruinous lockdowns. The media and Twitter are filled with self-righteous scolds shrieking about the impending doom of families gathering together for Thanksgiving. CNN host Jake Tapper suggested that “Christmas is probably not gonna be possible.” 

If such people had their way, everyone would remain under veritable house arrest and not see anyone else for months or even years, as the duration of such onerous impositions has gone from “fifteen days to slow the spread” to months or even years into the future. That such ideas are even being considered demonstrates just how out of touch with human reality much of our “expert” class and their hordes of lemming-like followers are.

Things have not changed much from when I addressed some of the disastrous unintended material consequences of lockdowns in April of this year. However, as 2020 has dragged on, it has made clear that at least some of the lockdown logic is rooted in a fundamentally flawed and relatively recent conception of human nature.

Nearly every culture and religion throughout human history has held that humans are both material and spiritual beings. However, living in the secular age as we do, the material aspect of our existence has supplanted the spiritual to such an extent that it is barely recognized to exist.

Russell Kirk goes so far as to claim that the dividing line in contemporary politics hinges on this difference in understanding, stating that “on one side of that line are all those men and women who fancy that the temporal order is the only order, and that material needs are their only needs, and that they may do as they like with the human patrimony. On the other side of that line are all those people who recognize an enduring moral order in the universe, a constant human nature, and high duties toward the order spiritual and the order temporal.”

A purely material outlook on human existence will of course lead to certain policy prescriptions, especially in the face of a pandemic. To deny the spiritual existence of man is to deny the possibility of life after death—only the void of annihilation awaits. From this perspective, it makes sense that one might conclude that earthly life must continue on at any cost—that no tradeoff is too high to put off the coming oblivion.

In contrast, those who retain a more traditional conception of human nature, no matter the specific religion or creed to which they belong, can easily see an entire world of costs to lockdowns that those with a purely materialist perspective are not even capable of understanding.

Humans are social beings. Our very existence and development as human persons rests upon this social nature. Social contract thinkers like Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau may fantasize about a solitary human existence, but all evidence from feral or isolated children indicates that without other humans a solitary individual would swiftly perish, not to mention fail to develop self-awareness or the ability to think and speak with language.

Some personalist scholars, such as political theorist David Walsh, argue that our entire conception of self can only be formed in relation to other persons. In contrast to Descartes’s famous line that “I think, therefore I am” a personalist would argue that we are not even capable of understanding the existence of “I” until we have first understood the existence of an “I” in others. Much like we can never truly see our own face, but only the faces of others, which in turn allows us to understand our own unseen face, we cannot become aware of ourselves until we find ourselves in the context of others, and through them recognize the mutual nature of our interior lives that makes us persons.

Many religions, in some form or another, speak of the interconnectedness of the world and of people and of the illusion of separation. While most often associated with Eastern religions such as Buddhism, this spiritual unity is not foreign to Christianity and the West. Indeed, the Christian Trinity is understood to be one God in three persons. Jesus Christ references this unity in the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John when he prays “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you…that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.”

Leaving the specific religious implications aside, humans have recognized for millennia that when persons gather together we enter into one another on a spiritual level through the recognition of our mutual personhood. However, this spiritual unity that is so essential to our very existence as human persons does not occur in a vacuum, but rather in the context in which we gather in the material world.

Humans could acquire all the nutrients we need by imbibing Soylent Green in solitude, but instead, we often turn our meals into ritualistic social occasions. Shared meals not only provide material nourishment but spiritual sustenance as well. Dancing alone in your kitchen is all well and good, but it pales in comparison to experiencing a crowd of thousands moshing at an electronic dance music festival or the pounding feet of a Sufi sect dancing the dhikr. We are fortunate to be able to access great art at the click of a mouse, but watching Swan Lake home alone on YouTube is no substitute for the experience of seeing it live in a crowded hall as every person is moved to tears.

There are few events more brimming with the spiritual unity of the attendees than a wedding, a celebration of the literal unity of two persons as one in the presence of their friends and loved ones with feasting, singing, and dancing. Yet how many weddings have been canceled or celebrated in private this year thanks to lockdowns? How many shared meals have not been eaten? Dances left undanced, songs left unsung, conversations not had? How many parents and grandparents in nursing homes did not get to see their loved ones before they departed this earth? How many children have suffered in front of a screen alone all day? These are not mere frivolous luxuries that we humans can do without. The dual material and spiritual contexts of our personhood cannot be separated. These contexts of our families and communities are not nice additions to life, they are human life itself.

There is no denying that during a pandemic there will be a need to alter one’s behavior, but just as no state bureaucrat can successfully plan the economy, no public health official is capable of centrally planning a response for hundreds of millions of people who are all in different conditions of life, with different material and spiritual needs.

Every person must decide for himself what the proper course of action is in light of his unique life circumstances. Ripping these decisions from every person and placing them in the hands of public health bureaucrats has yielded disaster.

Suicide rates are up all around the country, in some places as much as 70 percent compared to the same time last year. Military suicides are up 20 percent. Drug overdose deaths are on track to reach an all-time high. The RAND Corporation has found an upswing in heavy drinking this year. The Associated Press reports on the horrific conditions in nursing homes around the country that may have led to the deaths of tens of thousands of residents in excruciating and horrific circumstances, as their families have been forbidden from caring for them. What’s more, it seems many patients simply withered away, their spirits broken from being locked in veritable solitary confinement with no contact with friends or family for months.

Medical central planning that doesn’t even recognize the spiritual and social aspect of human existence has caused the deaths of untold numbers of people around the country, perhaps more than the virus itself in the long run.

Our vaunted leaders may act like pure materialists when it comes to their dictatorial decrees obliterating society and our very humanity, but on some level they obviously understand the importance of their own spiritual health. Why else would the leaders of California be breaking their own rules to dine at luxurious restaurants or flying to Hawaii for meetings and not be content with takeout and Zoom like the rest of us peasants? But what else can be expected from a system of top-down control?

Humans are both material and spiritual beings. Just as we have material needs that central planners cannot anticipate, so too do we have spiritual needs that can only be filled in a myriad of ways that central planners cannot plan for, especially when they don’t even recognize they are needs at all. When they are not fulfilled, our physical health suffers just as assuredly as if we had a virus. The social and communal aspects of human life, whether a holiday dinner with family, going to church, having a wedding, or even the mundane relations of everyday life are not mere luxuries that can be dispensed with, they are human life itself. People must be free to navigate these difficult times armed with the knowledge of their circumstances that only they possess."

"It Is Only When..."

"Happily men don't realize how stupid they are, or half the world would commit suicide. Knowledge is a will-of-the-wisp, fluttering ever out of the traveller's reach; and a weary journey must be endured before it is even seen. It is only when a man knows a good deal that he discovers how unfathomable is his ignorance. The man who knows nothing is satisfied that there is nothing to know, consequently that he knows everything; and you may more easily persuade him that the moon is made of green cheese than that he is not omniscient."
- W. Somerset Maugham
“It takes considerable knowledge just to 
realize the extent of your own ignorance.” 
- Thomas Sowell

"Market Fantasy Updates 11/27/20"

"Market Fantasy Updates 11/27/20"
Down the rabbit hole of psychopathic greed and insanity...
Only the consequences are real - to you!
"The more I see of the monied classes, 
the better I understand the guillotine."
- George Bernard Shaw
"Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens... Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of over-turning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."
- John Maynard Keynes
Gregory Mannarino, PM 11/27/20:
"New Record High For Stocks!"
Updated live.
11/27/2020 - 18:30: "'Dark Winter' - Millions Of Americans Are Expected To Lose Their Homes". "A dark covid winter is descending on the working-poor of America as millions of adults face eviction or foreclosure in the next few months. Bloomberg, citing a survey that was conducted on Nov. 9 by the U.S. Census Bureau, shows 5.8 million adults face eviction or foreclosure come Jan. 1. That accounts for 32.5% of the 17.8 million adults currently behind rent or mortgage payments."
Daily Update (Nov. 25th to 30th)
And now... The End Game...

The Daily "Near You?"

Asmara, Eritrea. Thanks for stopping by!

"A Dimly Lit Thanksgiving"

"A Dimly Lit Thanksgiving"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"A public expression of gratitude by victorious sports stars, lottery winners, etc. is now the convention in America: coaches, teammates, family and mentors (or agents) are recognized as an expression of the winners' humility and gratitude for everyone that contributed to the success.

As sincere as each individual's gratitude may be, there's something forced and phony about this public ritual of virtue-signaling that has transformed it into an empty cliche. There are various drivers of this ritual - we like our heroes to be humble - but it may also be the result of our increasingly winner take most economy: as the winners are boosted into the orbit of wealth and influence, placating everyone still bound by gravity with platitudes dissipates the envy and rancor that results from such immense asymmetries.

The same can be said of public thanksgiving platitudes in general. We're thankful for the vaccines and the trillions of dollars in new stimulus that will soon flood the land, for these will usher in the final defeat of our invisible foe, Covid-19. Is this actually gratitude or is it just a veiled expression of hubristic confidence in the overwhelming power of our technology and money?

There are three fatal strategic mistakes one can make:

1. Overestimate one's own powers.
2. Underestimate one's vulnerabilities.
3. Underestimate one's foe.

I suspect we're doing all three.

I recently expressed my worries for the nation to a correspondent. His reply was thought-provoking: "I know you may be nervous about the coming 5 months, but I'd say don't. Collapse is inevitable but doesn't have to be unsurvivable. I've always thought it better to live with purpose and what better way then to pass on to my children skills and survival techniques as we pass through the fires of change."

You might assume this correspondent is just another doom-and-gloomer in a remote log cabin. He is not. He is a physician in an overwhelmed Covid ward, dealing with more death than he's seen in his entire medical career, watching the most experienced nurses quit due to exhaustion with the workload and with a hospital administration that blames the nurses for every shortcoming and takes credit for every small victory.

I find wisdom in his response. It is the wisdom of recognition of fate, or destiny, of a long-put off reckoning finally coming to fruition, a reckoning we cannot put off with our vaunted technology and money-printing which we worship as the ultimate powers in the Universe.

Our overweening faith and confidence in our wealth and power make this a dimly lit Thanksgiving. We seek an evasion or an excuse from any reckoning, for deep down we feel it is our birthright to taste victory and prosperity without the bitterness of a reckoning of our hubris, greed and corruption.

The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote a short commentary on The Sermon on the Mount, "The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air." This passage speaks to the reckoning ahead: "...for the child understands the frightful truth that there is no evasion or excuse, there is no hiding place, neither in heaven or on earth, neither in the parlor or the garden."

I am also reminded of Chapter 58 of the Tao Te Ching:
"When the country is governed through simplicity and leniency,
The people are genuine and honest.
When the country is governed through harshness and sharp investigation,
The people are more deceitful and dishonest.

And Chapter 9:
"To hold things and to be proud of them is not as good as not to have them,
Because if one insists on an extreme, that extreme will not dwell long.
When a room is full of precious things, one will never be able to preserve them.
When one is wealthy, high ranking, and proud of himself, he invites misfortune."

"In These Downbeat Times...

“In these downbeat times, we need as much hope and courage as we do vision and analysis; we must accent the best of each other even as we point out the vicious effects of our racial divide and pernicious consequences of our maldistribution of wealth and power. We simply cannot live in the twenty-first century at each other’s throats, even as we acknowledge the weighty forces of racism, patriarchy, economic inequality, homophobia, and ecological abuse on our necks. We are at a crucial crossroad in the history of this nation - and we either hang together by combating these forces that divide and degrade us or we hang separately. Do we have the intelligence, humor, imagination, courage, tolerance, love, respect, and will to meet the challenge? Time will tell. None of us alone can save the nation or world. But each of us can make a positive difference if we commit ourselves to do so.”
- Cornel West

"Life Has No Victims..."

“Life has no victims. There are no victims in this life. No one has the right to point fingers at his/her past and blame it for what he/she is today. We do not have the right to point our finger at someone else and blame that person for how we treat others, today. Don’t hide in the corner, pointing fingers at your past. Don’t sit under the table, talking about someone who has hurt you. Instead, stand up and face your past! Face your fears! Face your pain! And stomach it all! You may have to do so kicking and screaming and throwing fits and crying – but by all means – face it! This life makes no room for cowards.”
- C. Joybell C.

"President Swamp"

"President Swamp"
by Jim Kunstler

"Donald Trump found out the hard way how illusory his powers as POTUS really were, conditioned against the inertia, malice, and bad faith resistance of the bureaucratic establishment, a.k.a. the Swamp. He also knows that the Swamp just worked the system it created to elect itself president as (it likes to think) a final act of revenge against the orange interloper who threatened to drain it and, alas, failed to. All hail President Swamp!

Unless that doesn’t pan out, and there’s a fair chance it won’t, since a 2020 election fraud case will eventually land in the Supreme Court where at least five justices might not be so inclined to let what remains of the Republic roll into a Woke sludge of lawlessness. Do you suppose Clarence Thomas & Co haven’t been paying attention the past four years to the swampish doings in the other branches of government? And that they are, just perhaps, good and goddam sick of it?

Everything from RussiaGate and the manipulation of the FISA court through the attempted character assassination of Justice Kavanaugh, to the Eric Ciaramella “whistleblower” impeachment caper starring Rep. Adam Schiff, plus all the side dishes of Antifa / BLM street anarchy, Covid-19 lockdown tyranny, French Laundry hypocrisy, and the gaslighting of America by the news-and-social media, with a transexual reading hour cherry-on-top?

I hope the justices are pissed off a little bit at the hijacking of this country by a party that laughs at the law the way, for one example, DC District Judge Emmet J Sullivan blew raspberries at the Department of Justice and the DC Circuit Court of Appeals when they both told him to drop the Flynn case. The deadline for adjudicating the janky election is soon upon us, and upon the SCOTUS justices, so the country will know shortly whether it has become the Honduras of the north.

In a just universe, the SCOTUS would invalidate the election results in several states and send the matter into the House of Representatives as the constitution stipulates. Heads would explode from sea to shining sea as heroes of the Resistance - Brennan, Comey, Weissmann, Strzok, and many more - realize they will not be getting their get-out-of-jail-free cards after all. Hunter B would retreat to the Chateau Marmont with his crack pipe for one last lost weekend. Nancy Pelosi would melt into a puddle of rage, prednisone, and hairspray in the capitol rotunda. And for Ol’ White Joe Biden it would be just another day of fog and stillness.

And then, of course, the punishments will begin, or, at least, be attempted. By which I mean the Democrats would let loose their street mobs to burn down, loot, and destroy whatever is still left to ruin in select Democratic-run cities. That will polish the party’s image fer sure (not). And this time, the national guard may do a bit more than just stand by.

But then, suppose the election is not overturned and Joe Biden glides into the Oval Office on those marvelously greased skids set up for him, propelled by a mighty tail-wind of Woke hopes and dreams for a golden era of work-optional free stuff and renewed overseas nation-building. Be careful what you wish for DNC. Unlike Mr. Trump in 2016, Joe Biden will not even enjoy the perception that he was somehow legitimately elected, if only by a fluke.

In fact, the Swamp gang’s credibility will erode daily because independent, entrepreneurial investigators will be out in the swing state thickets figuring out exactly how the election was managed, and how all those Dominion voting machines were gamed, and how exactly this shady company, with origins and operations all around the world, won state contracts with money changing hands. A day will not pass when Joe B is off-the-hook for all that, and meanwhile he will not evade being revealed as the empty shell of what he was before the axons in his brain-pan demyelinated - a third-rate grifting pol available to all comers with an open checkbook.

Gonna be an exciting few weeks ahead. Mr. Trump is not going to concede until he plays the hand that the law allows him to play. He’ll indulge his adversaries in the playacting of a transition. I confess, it’s already entertaining to see the laughable cast-of-characters that Mr. Biden’s managers have picked to run the various federal agencies: slithering millipedes, reptiles, and poisonous invertebrates from the rankest dense-emergent backwaters of the Swamp: John Kerry (the haircut-in-search-of-a-brain), RussiaGate shill Jake Sullivan, John Brennan disciple Avril Haines, open border activist Alejandro Mayorkas, and K-Street catamite Ron Klain to run the show. I hope they enjoy their rehearsals for a pageant that may never happen. And, if things don’t work out as you expect, don’t pee on the rugs on your way out."

"How It Really Is"


"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 11/27/20"

Nov. 27, 2020 at 10:25 AM ET: "U.S. sets record of more than 90,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals and health-care workers warn situation is dire." ‘We are, quite simply, out of time. Without immediate change, our hospitals will be too full to treat all of those with the virus and those with other illnesses or injuries,’ say Wisconsin health-care workers."
Nov. 27, 2020 7:51 AM ET:
The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 61,131,300 
people, according to official counts, including 12,954,324 Americans.
At least 1,434,200 have died.

      Nov. 27, 2020 7:51 AM ET: 
Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count
Updated 11/27/20, 7:25 AM ET
Click image for larger size.


If they'll do this for a TV, what happens when there's no food?

"Helpless People"

"Helpless People"

“Almost all Americans have had an intense school experience which occupied their entire youth, an experience during which they were drilled thoroughly in the culture and economy of the well-schooled greater society, in which individuals have been rendered helpless to do much of anything except watch television or punch buttons on a keypad.

Before you begin to blame the childish for being that way and join the chorus of those defending the general imprisonment of adults and the schooling by force of children because there isn’t any other way to handle the mob, you want to at least consider the possibility that we’ve been trained in childishness and helplessness for a reason. And that reason is that helpless people are easy to manage.

Helpless people can be counted upon to act as their own jailers because they are so inadequate to complex reality they are afraid of new experience. They’re like animals whose spirits have been broken. Helpless people take orders well, they don’t have minds of their own, they are predictable, they won’t surprise corporations or governments with resistance to the newest product craze, the newest genetic patent - or by armed revolution. Helpless people can be counted on to despise independent citizens and hence they act as a fifth column in opposition to social change in the direction of personal sovereignty.”
- John Taylor Gatto,
“Some Reflections on the Equivalencies 
Between Forced Schooling and Prison.”

And so it is…
Big Brother & The Holding Company, "Heartache People"

Me either...