Saturday, December 12, 2020

Greg Hunter, "Second Great Depression Starts in 2021"

"Second Great Depression Starts in 2021"
By Greg Hunter’s

"Analyst, professional trader and financial writer Rick Ackerman likes gold and silver too, but not because he sees explosive price rises. He likes precious metals because they are solid core investments. They work well in inflation or deflation. They are rugged and will work no matter what comes. Ackerman thinks what is coming will be far worse than the Great Depression, “I call it the ‘Second Great Depression.’ What are we going to have? A zombie apocalypse? I use the example of somebody riding to the soup kitchen on an $8,000 graphite trail bike. We are going to find out how many of the jobs are completely unnecessary, like 95% of people who work for government. That’s coming. It’s coming sooner or later, and we are going to have a time or day of reckoning. How long can this con go on? We are in a very unstable position and, financially speaking, we have stimulus not stimulating anymore in a meaningful way.”

Join Greg Hunter of as he goes 
One-on-One with analyst and financial writer Rick Ackerman.

Musical Interlude: Hilary Stagg, "Pleasant Dreams"

Hilary Stagg, "Pleasant Dreams"
Full screen highly recommended.

"A Look to the Heavens"

Riding high in the constellation of Auriga, beautiful, blue vdB 31 is the 31st object in Sidney van den Bergh's 1966 catalog of reflection nebulae. It shares this well-composed celestial still life with dark, obscuring clouds recorded in Edward E. Barnard's 1919 catalog of dark markings in the sky. All are interstellar dust clouds, blocking the light from background stars in the case of Barnard's dark nebulae. For vdB 31, the dust preferentially reflects the bluish starlight from embedded, hot, variable star AB Aurigae. 

Exploring the environs of AB Aurigae with the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed the several million year young star is itself surrounded by flattened dusty disk with evidence for the ongoing formation of a planetary system. AB Aurigae is about 470 light-years away. At that distance this cosmic canvas would span about four light-years.”

"Do You Want..."

"Do you want to live life, or do you want to escape life?"
- Macklemore

"It's True Object..."; "Benedicto"

"The summit is believed to be the object of the climb. But its true object - the joy of living - is not in the peak itself, but in the adversities encountered on the way up. There are valleys, cliffs, streams, precipices, and slides, and as he walks these steep paths, the climber may think he cannot go any farther, or even that dying would be better than going on. But then he resumes fighting the difficulties directly in front of him, and when he is finally able to turn and look back at what he has overcome, he finds he has truly experienced the joy of living while on life's very road."
- Eiji Yoshikawa

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets' towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you - beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
- Edward Abbey

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 12/12/20"

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 12/12/20"

Dec. 12, 2020 

 Dec. 12, 2020 2:05 PM ET: 
The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 70,427,600 
people, according to official counts, including 16,067,449 Americans.
At least 1,595,300 have died.

"The COVID Tracking Project"
Every day, our volunteers compile the latest numbers on tests, cases, 
hospitalizations, and patient outcomes from every US state and territory.

The Poet: Carl Sandburg, "Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind"

"Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind"

“The past is a bucket of ashes.”

"The woman named Tomorrow 
sits with a hairpin in her teeth 
and takes her time 
and does her hair the way she wants it 
and fastens at last the last braid and coil 
and puts the hairpin where it belongs 
and turns and drawls: Well, what of it? 
My grandmother, Yesterday, is gone. 
What of it? Let the dead be dead. 

The doors were cedar
and the panels strips of gold 
and the girls were golden girls 
and the panels read and the girls chanted: 
We are the greatest city, 
the greatest nation: 
nothing like us ever was. 

The doors are twisted on broken hinges. 
Sheets of rain swish through on the wind 
where the golden girls ran and the panels read: 
We are the greatest city, 
the greatest nation, 
nothing like us ever was. 

It has happened before. 
Strong men put up a city and got 
a nation together,
And paid singers to sing and women 
to warble: We are the greatest city, 
the greatest nation, 
nothing like us ever was. 

And while the singers sang
and the strong men listened 
and paid the singers well 
and felt good about it all, 
there were rats and lizards who listened 
…and the only listeners left now 
…are…the rats…and the lizards. 

And there are black crows 
crying, “Caw, caw,” 
bringing mud and sticks 
building a nest 
over the words carved 
on the doors where the panels were cedar 
and the strips on the panels were gold 
and the golden girls came singing: 
We are the greatest city, 
the greatest nation: 
nothing like us ever was. 

The only singers now are crows crying, “Caw, caw,” 
And the sheets of rain whine in the wind and doorways. 
And the only listeners now are…the rats…and the lizards. 

The feet of the rats 
scribble on the door sills; 
the hieroglyphs of the rat footprints 
chatter the pedigrees of the rats 
and babble of the blood 
and gabble of the breed 
of the grandfathers and the great-grandfathers 
of the rats. 

And the wind shifts 
and the dust on a door sill shifts 
and even the writing of the rat footprints 
tells us nothing, nothing at all 
about the greatest city, the greatest nation 
where the strong men listened 
and the women warbled: Nothing like us ever was."

- Carl Sandburg

The Daily "Near You?"

Los Angeles, California, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

Oh! Had I The Ability..."

"Oh! Had I the ability, and could I reach the nation's ear, I would today pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced."

“I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued.”
- Frederick Douglass

"Secession? Texas GOP Calls For New 'Union Of States That Will Abide By Constitution' In Wake Of Supreme Court Defeat"

"Secession? Texas GOP Calls For New 'Union Of States 
That Will Abide By Constitution' In Wake Of Supreme Court Defeat"
by Tyler Durden

"Texas Republican Party Chairman Allen West is fuming after the Supreme Court denied the state's bid to challenge Joe Biden's wins in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Washington and Michigan - and has suggested what sounds a lot like secession.

In a Friday night statement, West - a former Congressman and Iraq war veteran - said: "The Supreme Court, in tossing the Texas lawsuit that was joined by seventeen states and 106 US congressmen, have decreed that a state can take unconstitutional actions and violate its own election law. Resulting in damaging effects on other states that abide by the law, while the guilty state suffers no consequences. This decision establishes a precedent that says states can violate the US constitution and not be held accountable."

West then added: "This decision will have far reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic. Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution."

In a further statement, West repeated his suggestion - writing "If we are living in Texas, and we were joined with, you know, some 20-some-odd other states, the 1065 different members of Congress that say, 'we do not want to stand by and allow four states to have unconstitutional practices,' and when we see states such as ourselves following the law, but yet the Supreme Court says that's perfectly fine, then maybe we should have a union of states that believe in the Constitution  and will abide by that rule of law, and let these other states go out on their own separate way and let them, not be supported by these other states such as ourselves."

More from @AllenWest tonight - this time less 'we're outta here' and more 'actually, they're the ones who should secede.' "...let these other states go out their own separate way and let them not be supported by these other states such as ourselves." - December 12, 2020

Friday's decision marked the second time Republicans were denied this week by the Supreme Court, and has largely been considered the 'end of the road' for overturning the results of the election."
Secession? YES

"For The First Time Ever, Millions Of Working-Poor Americans Forced To Turn To Food Banks"

Click image for larger size.
"For The First Time Ever, Millions Of Working-Poor
 Americans Forced To Turn To Food Banks" 
by Tyler Durden

"For the first time, millions of Americans waited in food bank lines this year, unlike anything seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. According to AP, as the pandemic rages on, with more than 20 million still claiming unemployment benefits, food banks are dishing out more meals than ever.  The one place millions of Americans found themselves this year, as readers may recall, really starting in mid-March, have been food bank lines. We highlighted this phenomenon sweeping across the country as the pandemic wrecked the working poor as they grappled with food insecurity. 
Among some of the most memorable sights this year, reminiscent of the Depression-era, were mile-long food bank lines. Huge traffic jams captured by civilian drones documented large lines in San Antonio, Texas to Toledo, Ohio to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Orlando, Florida, where thousands of vehicles carrying hungry people waited for care packages. 
Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, was overwhelmed with demand as 20% of the organization's food banks were at severe risk of running out of food earlier this year. Demand at food banks has been so high, that Feeding America handed out 4.2 billion meals from March through October, the most ever. The organization reported a 60% average increase in food bank users during the pandemic - and at least 30% are first-timers. 
Data from Feeding America showed 181 food banks in its network distributed nearly 57% more food in the third quarter than the same period in 2019.  Estimates from the food bank suggest 1 in 6 Americans, from 35 million in 2019 to more than 50 million by the end of this year, will have food insecurity problems. The problem is worse for children - nearly 1 in 4 will go hungry as the pandemic deeply scarred the economy.

Shockingly, Feeding America found that 1 in 5 residents in Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, and Louisiana could not put food on the table. AP interviewed Duerr, 56, who said she must "either pay bills or get food." She said food bank donations have greatly helped her as she struggles to survive. 
Many of the folks attending food bank lines are the working poor who once had jobs in the service industry. Because of permanent job loss, many of their jobs will be completely wiped out. For communities of color, such as those in the inner cities, the pandemic has been disastrous. Blacks and Latinos are dealing with high rates of infections and deaths from the virus, along with high joblessness. If food demand continues to soar - Feeding America, in a separate report from October, warned that it could face a deficit of "10 billion pound shortfall between now and June of 2021 – the equivalent of 8 billion meals."
A Comment:
"The problem is worse for children - nearly 1 in 4 will go hungry." Yes, my fellow Americans, we are truly exceptional - we are the biggest disgrace in the history of Mankind for allowing this atrocity, while THIS is happening:

$9 TRILLION to bail out these psychopaths since September, 
while children go hungry in this God-damned country?!!

Trillions for the criminal banks and corporations, 
and NOTHING for the people... nothing!
Shame! Shame and disgrace on us all...
- CP

"Dreaming of a Christmas Without Stuff Nobody Wants or Needs"

Click image for larger size.
"Dreaming of a Christmas Without Stuff Nobody Wants or Needs"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"Did you see the new "gotta-have" coffee-pod flavors this Christmas? Crayfish, Spanish Moss, Pumpkin Spicy Radish and Jungle Rot. Yowza, it doesn't get any better than this... Future archeologists will marvel not just at the enormous quantity of stuff left by our late-oil-boom frenzy of consumption but by the peculiar concentrations of never-used stuff in closets, basements and strange (possibly religious in nature) immense structures comprised of endless rows of small rooms crammed to the ceiling with stuff without any apparent utility or value.

When can we finally admit that Christmas gift-giving no longer serves any purpose other than the purchase of vast quantities of stuff nobody wants or needs? Generations ago, before everyone could buy whatever they wanted on credit, Christmas was the one time when some portion of the savings that had been painfully accumulated by sacrifice would be doled out for small gifts, typically a consumable treat, modest toys for children or a necessity.

Compare that tradition with today's frantic frenzy to find something new that recipients don't need or want and retailers' equally frantic search for new markets: your gerbil doesn't have a plush new bed? Shame on you! Imagine its anguish when everyone else is surrounded by piles of shredded wrapping paper and your poor pet didn't get a single present... where's your Christmas spirit (and credit card)?.

The most appreciated gift you can give is a suggestion to end the obligation to exchange gifts. To state the honest truth - we don't want or need anything else, and don't have space for anything else, thank you - is a gift few are willing to risk saying, but everyone heaves a sigh of relief when one brave person asks to be relieved of the burden of buying another mountain of stuff nobody wants or needs.

There is a long tradition of consumable homemade gifts - Christmas cookies, fruitcake, etc. -that awaits rediscovery. Freeing ourselves of unwanted/unneeded gift-giving is not just heresy in a debt-funded consumerist economy - it is tantamount to treason. (The lines from an old Errol Flynn movie come to mind: "You speak treason!" "Fluently.") But why should an honest appraisal qualify as both heresy and treason?

The honest truth is hearts don't leap with joy at receiving another unwanted, unneeded thing; hearts sink at the task of moving the gift into some corner of the already-stuffed closet or donating it. What was the point of all this costly frenzy again? To keep a debt-dependent consumer economy from imploding? Is that what Christmas has become?

What's scarce isn't more stuff. What's scarce is time, reflection and the generosity of spirit. We're so busy loading the conveyor belt of unwanted, unneeded stuff in and out of our homes that we have no time to actually spend on what is valuable. But here, try this new coffee-pod flavor, miso-kumquat-kimchee, I got you the bulk quantity at Costco, you're gonna love it."
Well of course we need, 40, 50,1,000 different coffee flavors!
Peasants, meh... sniff, 'tsk 'tsk...

"How It Really Is"


Don't hold your breath...

Friday, December 11, 2020

Must Watch! “Economy Crushed; Real Estate Crisis; Restaurant Industry Gone; Palm Springs Depression - Part 2”

Jeremiah Babe,
“Economy Crushed; Real Estate Crisis; 
Restaurant Industry Gone; Palm Springs Depression - Part 2”

Brutal, real-world honesty. See for yourself...

Musical Interlude: Moby, "Why Does My Heart Feels So Bad (Ben-E.dit)"

Moby, "Why Does My Heart Feels So Bad (Ben-E.dit)"
Full screen recommended.

Musical Interlude: Mecano, "Hijo de la Luna"

Mecano, "Hijo de la Luna"

"48% Of U.S. Small Businesses Fear That They May Be Forced To “Shut Down Permanently”

"48% Of U.S. Small Businesses Fear That 
They May Be Forced To “Shut Down Permanently”
by Epic Economist

"What would the U.S. economic landscape look like without half of its small businesses? That's what we're going to discuss in today's video. Roughly 48% of all small business owners in the entire country have revealed in a recent survey their companies are on the brink of extinction. This is a very alarming rate, even considering the enormous economic deterioration experienced throughout this year. It means that while corporate giants will easily navigate through the new round of lockdowns, after this is all over, half of our beloved local businesses might be gone forever. As a result, mass lay-offs and much more financial pain are expected, but millions of Americans are already struggling to stay afloat during this very dark winter, and some have been resorting to shoplifting to have what to eat. The whole scenario is terrifying. 

Based on this week’s Alignable Q4 Revenue Poll, 48% of all small businesses are likely to shut down for good before the year’s end. The survey also provided some statements from small business owners that are truly heart-wrenching. One of them said that at the current stage, the sanitary outbreak has raised its ugly head again. "I’m a caterer and I’ve had no work in November and my clients are canceling for December. This is so sad. I have worked so hard to build my business for the last 14 years. My business has gone from half a million to not even 200,000. This is devastating for any business," he disclosed. 

Some sectors, such as spas and salons that require proximity between the service providers and the customers have been particularly hard hit by the new regulations. An owner of one of these establishments stated that because therapeutic massage is so ‘up close and personal,’ he has only come back to about 40% of his previous clientele, while affirming to be afraid that the governor will shut his business down again, which in his view, it would be the end. "I also believe the ‘ruling elite’ does not care about small businesses,” he said. 

Honestly speaking, the elites don't care at all. And every time one of these small companies close and lay-off their workers, the unemployment crisis only gets worse. Last Thursday, the Labor Department reported the highest weekly surge in unemployment claims since September 19. The report indicates that first-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 853,000 - an acute growth compared to the 716,000 total figure from a week before. “This recent surge suggests that claims are not just stagnating, they’re actively worsening,” highlighted Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor. “The surge in initial claims is especially concerning when claims are still above levels near the peak of the Great Recession,” he completed.

The fact is that economists, analysts, and experts have been warning for months that the new lockdowns would make the numbers worse, and that is exactly what is happening now. And one financial strategist that was interviewed by CNBC is saying that this is just the beginning. 

As government authorities remain deadlocked about the passing of a new relief bill to support its businesses and citizens, millions of Americans have been unemployed for so long that they are no longer eligible to collect benefits. And in a matter of weeks, over 12 million Americans and their families will lose all federal benefits that kept them afloat. Right now, the situation is so dire that many are already becoming very desperate. Consequently, some have been turning to shoplifting to get essential supplies and have enough to eat.

Since the burst of the outbreak, shoplifting has been registered at higher levels than in past economic recessions. Retailers and security experts signaled that this time around the products that have been taken aren't highly-priced merchandise, but staples like bread, dried food, and baby formula.

According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, 1 in 8 Americans, which accounts for approximately 26 million adults, reported that they currently don't have enough to eat. And projections alert that this number might escalate to a whopping 54 million after the expiration of federal aid. 

Everywhere we look, our country's economy is crumbling all around us. Americans have been suffering like never before. It's lamentable to see so much pain and desperation in a season that was traditionally marked by celebrations and festivities. And despite the claims that everything is going to be okay as soon as a vaccine is widely distributed, the damages done won't be reversed overnight. At this point, all hopes are merely a mirage, and everything will continue to deteriorate as we head into 2021."

"Supreme Court Tosses Texas Bid To Overturn Election"

"Supreme Court Tosses Texas Bid To Overturn Election"
by Tyler Durden

FRIDAY, DEC 11, 2020 - 18:38: "The Supreme Court on Friday tossed a last-minute bid by the state of Texas to overturn the 2020 election by challenging the results of four battleground states. Citing a lack of standing, Justice Samuel Alito wrote in a brief order that the state "has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections," adding "All other pending motions are dismissed as moot."

Justices Clarence Thomas joined Alito in stating that they do not believe the court has the authority to outright reject Texas's request, writing instead "I would therefore grant the motion to file the bill of complaint but would not grant other relief, and I express no view on any other issue."

In doing so, the justices shut down a long-shot bid for Texas to challenge Biden's wins in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin - which was joined by 17 other states and over 100 House Republicans."
“When on death ground, you must fight relentlessly.”
- Sun Tzu, "The Art Of War"

"Market Fantasy Updates PM 12/11/20"

"Market Fantasy Updates PM 12/11/20"
Down the rabbit hole of psychopathic greed and insanity...
Only the consequences are real - to you!
Gregory Mannarino, PM 12/11/20:
"Situation Critical!
Central Banks Are Literally Buying It All"
"48% Of U.S. Small Businesses Fear That They 
May Be Forced To 'Shut Down Permanently' Soon"

Excerpt: "What would the United States look like if we lost half of our small businesses? The reason I ask that question is because approximately half of all small business owners in the entire country believe that they may soon be forced to close down for good. Not even during the Great Depression of the 1930s did we see anything like this. The big corporate giants with extremely deep pockets will be able to easily weather another round of lockdowns, but for countless small businesses this is literally a matter of life and death. Every day we are seeing new restrictions being implemented somewhere in the nation, and the politicians that are doing this are killing the hopes and dreams of countless small business owners. According to a recent Alignable survey, 48 percent of U.S. small business owners fear that they could be forced to “shut down permanently” in the very near future: "Based on this week’s Alignable Q4 Revenue Poll of 9,201 small business owners, 48% could shut down permanently before year’s end."
Please view this complete article here:
"The more I see of the monied classes, 
the better I understand the guillotine."
- George Bernard Shaw
Updated live.
Daily Update (Dec. 10th to 11th)
And now... The End Game...

"If It’s Bread and Circuses the People Want…"

"If It’s Bread and Circuses the People Want…"
By Bill Bonner

"Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt."
- Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, in English "Juvenal"

WEST RIVER, MARYLAND – "This week, we’ve seen that real science… with its doubts and limitations… is easily brushed aside in favor of fake science. “The science” allows people to “know” things they can’t possibly know… or believe things that aren’t true… And – much like religion before it lost favor – it’s used by the elite to bludgeon the masses and keep them in their place.

Fantasyland: Nowhere is this more in evidence than in “economic science,” where, ex cathedra, smart people give themselves up to fantasies that even a child can see are nonsense. One of those fantasies took center stage in the news cycle this week – another bailout. It is the idea that you can help a starving man by giving him Styrofoam cookies.

The feds have no real money. All they have is fake money, which, even in the best of times, distorts crucial price signals, lowers real savings rates, reduces long-term investment, and undermines the health of the economy. There’s never been a case in history where an economy has been helped by it. But, heck, the Federal Reserve has more than 400 Ph.D. economists on staff. Those guys must know what they’re doing, right?

In Agreement: Alas, this week, the bailout bosses flubbed their lines. The Democrats wanted more money. The Republicans wanted less. This was bad news for the voters. If there’s anything Democrat and Republican voters can agree on, it’s this: They all want a bailout. Here’s Newsweek: "The vast majority of Republican and Democrat voters want a second stimulus bill to be approved by the end of this year, with millions of Americans facing unemployment and the threat of deep rent arrears.

A new poll from Data for Progress and Vox found that 81 percent of all voters either strongly or “somewhat” agreed that Congress needed to pass another COVID-19 relief bill before the end of the year. By comparison, 11 percent of polled voters said they disagreed that a fresh stimulus bill needed to be passed in the coming weeks. A further 9 percent told pollsters they didn’t know how they felt."

Yes, if there’s one thing that now unites left and right, blue and red, it’s that they all want more of each other’s money. What other possible source is there? Every dollar is now in someone’s hands. If it goes to Paul, it must have come from Peter. Which just goes to show how low the Great Republic has sunk… to the point where four out of five voters are craven mooches, ready to live at someone else’s expense.

But the quacks tell us that they have some magic… some knowledge that surpasseth human understanding… that makes it possible to conjure up wealth – out of nowhere. “Don’t worry about Peter,” they say. “Paul neither. This money is free!”

Free-Money Habit: Many of the feds’ giveaway programs are scheduled to come to an end at the end of the month. People will have to begin paying their rent, for example. But they’ve gotten used to the free money. They think the feds have their backs. Like stock market investors, they expect a “bailout” when it is needed. What a mess it would be if the bailouts didn’t come! Stock prices would fall – probably by half – and not come back. And the proletariat – some of whose members are still enjoying more money from unemployment than they were getting when they were on the job – would have to go back to work fast.

Damaging Rescue: This week, too, we saw what happened when the feds didn’t come to the rescue. In the 1921 depression, they more or less let people figure it out themselves. So the U.S. economy quickly shucked its weak businesses, its obsolete industries, and its bad investments. Within 24 months, it was thriving again.

By comparison, the feds’ rescue after the 2008-2009 mortgage finance crisis boosted stock prices and made the rich richer. But manufacturing – the backbone of the working class economy – never recovered. And the bailouts added some $20 trillion in new debt – to households, businesses, and the government – which now makes a vigorous recovery almost impossible.

Hard at Work: Over the last 11 years, those Ph.D.s at the Fed have been hard at work. Using tools that had never been fully operational – such as quantitative easing (QE) – they were able to do more stimulating than ever before. They quintupled the nation’s monetary foundation – the Fed balance sheet.

They took their key interest rate – which they charge member banks when they lend them money – down to zero. In real terms, it stayed there for more than a decade.

They bailed out Wall Street so well that the Dow went from a low of 6,547 in March 2009 to over 30,000 this year.

And yet, in terms of what it did for Main Street and the typical working family – measured by GDP growth – the bailout was a flop. All that stimulus produced the weakest recovery since World War II.

Bread and Circus: What is clear to us from this experience is that “stimulus” measures are a fraud. The “science” behind them is quackery. The theory is preposterous. In practice, stimulus never works. And, in the end, both Peter and Paul are going to be robbed by inflation. But no matter… if it’s bread and circuses the people want… bread and circuses they will get. They have been trained to expect a clownish – but bountiful – government. Now, they depend on it. If the political impasse continues, we will most likely see a panic – either on Main Street or Wall Street. Maybe both. Then… bring out the Styrofoam cookies!"


"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 12/11/20"

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 12/11/20"
Dec. 11, 2020 

 Dec. 11, 2020 2:10 PM ET: 
The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 69,995,000 
people, according to official counts, including 15,815,949 Americans.
At least 1,589,400 have died.

"The COVID Tracking Project"
Every day, our volunteers compile the latest numbers on tests, cases, 
hospitalizations, and patient outcomes from every US state and territory.

Musical Interlude: 2002, “Deep Still Blue”

2002, “Deep Still Blue”

"A Look to the Heavens"

"A gorgeous spiral galaxy some 100 million light-years distant, NGC 1309 lies on the banks of the constellation of the River (Eridanus). NGC 1309 spans about 30,000 light-years, making it about one third the size of our larger Milky Way galaxy. Bluish clusters of young stars and dust lanes are seen to trace out NGC 1309's spiral arms as they wind around an older yellowish star population at its core.
Not just another pretty face-on spiral galaxy, observations of NGC 1309's recent supernova and Cepheid variable stars contribute to the calibration of the expansion of the Universe. Still, after you get over this beautiful galaxy's grand design, check out the array of more distant background galaxies also recorded in this sharp, reprocessed, Hubble Space Telescope view.”

"The Future..."


"The Dead Man Who Wore Pajamas "

"The Dead Man Who Wore Pajamas" 
by Paulo Coelho

"I remember reading a piece of news on the Internet that a man was found dead in Tokyo on 10 June 2004, dressed in his pajamas. So what? I imagine that most people who die wearing their pajamas either a) died in their sleep, which is a blessing, or b) were in the company of their relatives or on a hospital bed, death did not come quickly, so they all had time to grow used to the undesirable one, as Brazilian poet Manuel Bandeira called it. The news goes on: when he died, he was in his room. So, the hospital hypothesis is out and we are left with just the possibility that he died in his sleep, without suffering any, without even realizing that he would not see the light of day. But there is still another possibility: assault followed by death.

Those who have visited Tokyo know that the gigantic city is at the same time one of the safest places in the world. I remember once stopping to eat with my editors before taking a trip to the interior of Japan all our suitcases were in sight on the rear seat of the car. Immediately I said that it was very dangerous, someone was sure to come along, see all those bags and make off with our clothes, documents and so on. My editor just smiled and told me not to worry, he knew of no such incident in all his long years of life (in fact, nothing happened to our suitcases, although I kept tense all through dinner).

But to return to our dead man in pajamas: there was no sign of struggle, violence or anything of the sort. In an interview, a Metropolitan Police officer stated that it was almost certainly a case of a sudden heart attack. So the hypothesis of homicide was also eliminated. The body had been found by workers of a construction company on the second floor of a building in a housing complex that was about to be torn down. Everything led to the idea that the dead man in the pajamas, unable to find anywhere to live in one of the most densely and expensive cities in the world, had simply decided to settle where he did not have to pay any rent.

And now for the tragic part of the story: our dead man was only a skeleton dressed in pajamas. At his side was an open newspaper dated 20 February 1984; a calendar on the table nearby gave the same date. In other words, he had been there for twenty years. And nobody had noticed his absence.The man was identified as a former employee of the company that had built the housing complex, where he had moved to in the early 80s soon after his divorce. He was just over fifty years on the day that all of a sudden, reading the newspaper, he left this world.

His ex-wife never sought for him. It was discovered that the company where he worked had gone bankrupt right after the building had been finished, since no apartment was sold, and so they did not find it odd that the man never turned up for his daily activities. His friends were looked up, and they put his disappearance down to the fact that he had borrowed some money and could not pay it back.

The news ends informing us that the mortal remains were delivered to the ex-wife. I finished reading the article and wondered at the last sentence: the ex-wife was still alive, and for twenty years had not even looked up her husband. What must have gone through her head? That he no longer loved her, that he had decided to remove her for ever from his life? That he had met another woman and disappeared without a trace? That life is like that, once the divorce procedures are over there is no point in carrying on a relationship that has been legally terminated. I imagine what she must have felt upon finding out the fate of the man with whom she had shared a good part of her life.

Then I thought of the dead man in his pajamas, of solitude so utter and abysmal that for twenty years nobody in this whole wide world had realized that he had simply disappeared without leaving a trace. And my conclusion is that worse than feeling hunger and thirst, worse than being jobless, suffering for love, in despair over some defeat, worse than all this is to feel that nobody, absolutely nobody in this world, cares for us. Let us at this moment say a quiet prayer for this man and let us offer him our thanks for making us reflect on how important our friends are." 

The Poet: Henry Austin Dobson, "The Paradox Of Time"

“The Paradox Of Time”

“Time goes, you say? Ah no! 
Alas, Time stays, we go; 
Or else, were this not so, 
What need to chain the hours, 
For Youth were always ours? 

Time goes, you say? – ah no! 
Ours is the eyes’ deceit 
Of men whose flying feet 
Lead through some landscape low; 
We pass, and think we see 
The earth’s fixed surface flee - 
Alas, Time stays, – we go! 

Once in the days of old, 
Your locks were curling gold, 
And mine had shamed the crow. 
Now, in the self-same stage, 
We’ve reached the silver age; 
Time goes, you say? – ah no! 

Once, when my voice was strong, 
I filled the woods with song 
To praise your ‘rose’ and ‘snow’; 
My bird, that sang, is dead; 
Where are your roses fled? 
Alas, Time stays, – we go! 

See, in what traversed ways, 
What backward Fate delays 
The hopes we used to know; 
Where are our old desires? 
Ah, where those vanished fires? 
Time goes, you say? – ah no! 

How far, how far, O Sweet, 
The past behind our feet 
Lies in the even-glow! 
Now, on the forward way, 
Let us fold hands, and pray; 
Alas, Time stays, – we go!”

- Henry Austin Dobson
“Time passes in moments. Moments which, rushing past, define the path of a life, just as surely as they lead towards its end. How rarely do we stop to examine that path, to see the reasons why all things happen? To consider whether the path we take in life is our own making, or simply one into which we drift with eyes closed? But what if we could stop, pause to take stock of each precious moment before it passes? Might we then see the endless forks in the road that have shaped a life? And, seeing those choices, choose another path?”
- Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully, “The X-Files”
The Alan Parsons Project, "Time"

"Do You Believe..."

“Do you believe,’ said Candide, ‘that men have always massacred each other as they do today, that they have always been liars, cheats, traitors, ingrates, brigands, idiots, thieves, scoundrels, gluttons, drunkards, misers, envious, ambitious, bloody-minded, calumniators, debauchees, fanatics, hypocrites, and fools?”

“Do you believe,” said Martin, “that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they have found them?”
- Voltaire

The Daily "Near You?"

Grand Blanc, Michigan, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"I Know..."

“I know the world seems terrifying right now and the future seems bleak. Just remember human beings have always managed to find the greatest strength within themselves during the darkest hours. When faced with the worst horrors the world has to offer, a person either cracks and succumbs to ugliness, or they salvage the inner core of who they are and fight to right wrongs. Never let hatred, fear, and ignorance get the best of you. Keep bettering yourself so you can make the world around you better, for nothing can improve without the brightest, bravest, kindest, and most imaginative individuals rising above the chaos.”
- Cat Winters