Saturday, December 19, 2020

"2020: The Year We Let Ourselves Be Infantilised And Dehumanised"

"2020: The Year We Let Ourselves Be Infantilised And Dehumanised"
by Rob Slane 

I recently wrote a satirical speech by our Prime Minister, in which I imagined him coming up with all sorts of absurd rules for the Christmas season. It was really hard. Not because I was unable to come up with hundreds of such rules, were I minded to do so, but because the whole point of satire is to raise the absurdities up a step or two, in order to highlight the ridiculousness of what is happening. But how do you do this when the real-life absurdities have already been turned up to 11 on the amplifier? I kid you not when I tell you that my original list included a rule against playing certain board games over Christmas - which I rejected - only to see a few days later SAGE coming out and advising against the playing of board games.

We have now had nearly nine months of being treated like utter imbeciles. A once great country with a once free people has been reduced to the level of being governed by pathetic, childish slogans. And for some reason we have allowed ourselves to be infantilised

I am utterly baffled as to how people can have sat through some of these slogans being introduced without responding with howls of laughter.

“Stay Alert. Control the Virus. Save Lives.”

What on earth is this actually supposed to mean? 

Stay Alert? For what? Are we supposed to be on our guard for a virus that is approximately 120 nanometres, or around 1,000th the width of a human hair? Are we to carry an electron microscope around with us wherever we go, just in case? One of my favourite signs is an electronic one I sometimes see on my occasional drives into the office. On one day, it says, “Stay Alert. Control the Virus.” On another, it says, “Stay Alert. Watch out for Cyclists.” It should be noted that cyclists are considerably bigger than 120nm and even often wearing the kind of hi-vis jackets that coronaviruses refuse to wear.

Control the Virus? Say what? You mean they actually think we’re stupid enough to think they’re clever enough to devise schemes that can actually control those little invisible 120 nm virus particles that are in the air and on surfaces. Apparently so.

Save Lives? I am yet to hear a convincing argument as to how I and my family, not having any symptoms and thus not being infected by the virus, can possibly stop the spread of said virus that we don’t have by staying at home or wearing a piece of cloth over or respiratory passages, such that we save lives.

More recently, it has been decided that the slogans were maybe a bit too high-brow and needed to be simplified further, this time into monosyllables: “Hands. Face. Space.” Although I tend to avoid watching Comrade Johnson and Co as they spout this nonsense at their regular stand-ups, on the occasions when I have had that misfortune, it has felt eerily like suddenly being thrust into the world’s largest Kindergarten with teacher talking down to his little charges as if they were really, really stupid.

I won’t sport with your intelligence by mentioning all the other mind-numbing slogans we’ve been fed this year, suffice it to say that phrases such as “social bubble” and “Covid-secure” would be deeply funny were it not for the seriousness of the situation into which those coming up with such tripe have placed us (as an aside, are such buildings for which it is claimed that they are “Covid-secure” also “Flu-Secure” and “Cold-Secure”?)

But the infantilising of an entire population is by no means the worst thing they have done to us. Worse by far has been the dehumanising of millions of people, which has been done via a number of enormously destructive methods.

Chief of them is the idea that we must all avoid each other. I cannot even begin to think how destructive this has become. In a normal society, if you or I have symptoms of a particularly nasty seasonal respiratory illness, which is what Covid-19 is, we would avoid one another. Obviously. But the idea of perfectly healthy people avoiding other perfectly healthy people must qualify as one of the most absurd concepts ever dreamt up. Not only is it self-evidently unnecessary, it is bound to have long-terms consequences for the way we view one another, the way we relate to one another, the way we behave around one another. It turns us from seeing one another as humans, made in the Image of God, to walking virus carriers and a potential risk. Some people now literally behave as if they are navigating their way through a crowd of potential terrorists, rather than simply walking through a group of fellow humans.

People avoidance is not just deeply destructive from a psychological and social perspective, it is also deeply cruel. The idea that a grandparent cannot have contact with their children or grandchildren is just obscene. And the very thought of the elderly being left to fester away in care homes, rather than being allowed contact with their families is sick. Yet that’s what we’ve done, or allowed to be done.

And of course, I cannot leave off talking about dehumanisation without mentioning masks. These wretched things were introduced in the Summer, long after the epidemic had waned, at a time when they could not possibly have done any good, even if they had been capable of doing any good. Why were they introduced? Partly to keep the fear-narrative going, even though there was extraordinarily little risk of dying of a seasonal respiratory virus at that time of the year. But even more important, they are a sign of submission. They are a, “we can do with you what we like moment.” They are nothing to do with health. They are a psychological mask, and even more than the social distancing, they have served to alter the way we see one another and are seen by others.

Millions of people humiliated by the Marketing Team of Covid-19 and their infantile slogans. Millions of people dehumanised by having their faces, their smiles, their laughter, their thoughtfulness etc covered to make them into expressionless drones. That was the year we just lived through. Will 2021 be the year a critical mass try to escape the Kindergarten and return to being human?"

"30,000 Quakes In 4 Months! Melting Antarctic Ice Heading To Planetary Disaster Of Epic Proportions"

"30,000 Quakes In 4 Months! Melting Antarctic Ice
 Heading To Planetary Disaster Of Epic Proportions"
by Epic Economist

"In a year devastated by natural disasters, the melting of Antarctic ice has been worrying the scientific community. NASA has recently discovered that under the continent of Antarctica, there is a mantle plume producing almost the same amount of heat as the Yellowstone supervolcano. Consequently, ice plates have been melting at an extraordinary pace and the results of it could generate an apocalyptic catastrophe all around the planet. That's what we are going to discuss in this video. 

It's no news that 2020 has been marked by tragedies. So far we have had a health crisis that fast spread around the globe, taking millions of lives and harming millions of others. Floods, droughts, and pests decimated crops and created a worldwide food shortage of grains, also contributing to the break of food supply chains. And now, a recent report has featured warnings of researchers of the University of Chile that revealed more than than 30,000 tremors have been registered in Antarctica since the end of August. 

Scientists stated that although the majority of the quakes had small proportions, some of them hit magnitude 6. The shakes were detected in the Bransfield Strait, and although the surroundings of the strait have numerous tectonic plates and microplates, the center's experts say that such a staggering incidence of tremors in the area has been utterly unusual. 

Trembling episodes have become so recurrent the strait itself, which used to increase in width at a rate of roughly 7 or 8 mm - or 0.30 inch - a year, now has been expanding 15 cm - or 6 inches - a year, the center informed. “It’s a 20-fold increase, which suggests that right this minute the Shetland Islands are separating more quickly from the Antarctic peninsula,” described Sergio Barrientos, the center’s director. 

The peninsula is one of the fastest-warming places on the entire planet, and scientists have been carefully watching the impact of climate change on icebergs and glaciers. What is happening in Antarctica right now has become a very relevant and rather alarming discussion amongst experts. Especially because the melting of Antarctic ice could impact on the quick rise of sea levels and provoke cataclysmic accidents all around the world. 

Massive ice shelves have been melting from underneath for quite some time now. NASA has discovered a mantle plume almost as hot as the Yellowstone supervolcano that appears to be responsible for melting part of West Antarctica from beneath. Experts say the existence of an immense mantle plume could be the reason why this land is so unstable today, and why it collapsed so fast 11,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age. 

Analysts the continent's conditions are starting to become unsettling. If that's the case we could soon be witnessing a scenario we have only seen before in dystopian movies. Live Science has reported that "half of Antarctica’s ice shelves could collapse in a flash". In fact, the rise in sea level is a phenomenon that has been preoccupying academic circles for decades. Considering the average expansion of all the seas on the planet, the land is being gradually swallowed up by ocean water and the tendency is that this situation will only worsen. 

If you're wondering what could happen if Antarctica's ice melting process vastly accelerated and suddenly pushed sea levels up, National Geographic has published a projection on how the world would look like if all the ice melted, and their study uncovered that "the entire Atlantic seaboard would vanish, along with Florida and the Gulf Coast". That is to say, every city that sits along the east coast of the United States would disappear. In California, San Francisco’s hills would become a cluster of islands and the Central Valley a giant bay. The Gulf of California would stretch north past the latitude of San Diego - not that there’d be a San Diego.

These changes are about to affect our lives in ways we could never have imagined. And no place on the planet will remain untouched by the calamities brought by environmental catastrophes. We are just at the start of a process that will alter the Earth's landscape and all of our lives forever. That's why experts say that if the ice in Antarctica starts to melt much more quickly, nothing will ever be the same." 
You know, folks, I could barely force myself to post this. This is the last thing we need to hear right now, on top of everything else, but it's reality ... God help us. See Comments below...
- CP

Musical Interlude: 2002, "Land of Forever"

2002, "Land of Forever"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“From Sagittarius to Carina, the Milky Way Galaxy shines in this dark night sky above planet Earth’s lush island paradise of Mangaia. Familiar to denizens of the southern hemisphere, the gorgeous skyscape includes the bulging galactic center at the upper left and bright stars Alpha and Beta Centauri just right of center. About 10 kilometers wide, volcanic Mangaia is the southernmost of the Cook Islands. Geologists estimate that at 18 million years old it is the oldest island in the Pacific Ocean.

Of course, the Milky Way is somewhat older, with the galaxy’s oldest stars estimated to be over 13 billion years old. (Editor’s note: This image holds the distinction of being selected as winner in the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition in the Earth and Space category.)“


“I think humans might be like butterflies; people die every day without many other people knowing about them, seeing their colors, hearing their stories… and when humans are broken, they’re like broken butterfly wings; suddenly there are so many beauties that are seen in different ways, so many thoughts and visions and possibilities that form, which couldn’t form when the person wasn’t broken! So it is not a very sad thing to be broken, after all! It’s during the times of being broken, that you have all the opportunities to become things unforgettable! Just like the broken butterfly wing that I found, which has given me so many thoughts, in so many ways, has shown me so many words, and imaginations! But butterflies need to know that it doesn’t matter at all if the whole world saw their colors or not! What matters is that they flew, they glided, they hovered, they saw, they felt, and they knew! And they loved the ones whom they flew with! And that is an existence worthwhile!”
- C. JoyBell C.

"A Message From the Hopi Elders"

"A Message From the Hopi Elders"

"You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.
Here are the things that must be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift, that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.
And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personal. Least of all, ourselves.
For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word "struggle" from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we have been waiting for!"

- Oraibi, Arizona, Hopi Nation

The Daily "Near You?"

Derby, Kansas, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

Free Download: R.D. Laing, "The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness"

"The Divided Self: 
An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness"
by R.D. Laing

"Ronald David Laing (7 October 1927 – 23 August 1989), usually cited as R. D. Laing, was a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness – in particular, the experience of psychosis. Laing's views on the causes and treatment of serious mental dysfunction, greatly influenced by existential philosophy, ran counter to the psychiatric orthodoxy of the day by taking the expressed feelings of the individual patient or client as valid descriptions of lived experience rather than simply as symptoms of some separate or underlying disorder. Laing was associated with the anti-psychiatry movement, although he rejected the label. Politically, he was regarded as a thinker of the New Left..”

"First published in 1960, this watershed work aimed to make madness comprehensible, and in doing so revolutionized the way we perceive mental illness. Using case studies of patients he had worked with, psychiatrist R. D. Laing argued that psychosis is not a medical condition but an outcome of the 'divided self', or the tension between the two personas within us: one our authentic, private identity, and the other the false, 'sane' self that we present to the world.”

Freely download “The Divided Self: An Existential 
Study in Sanity and Madness”, by R.D. Laing, here:
"Insights Of R.D. Laing"

"Decades ago, psychiatrist R.D. Laing developed three rules by which he believed a pathological family (one suffering from abuse, alcoholism, etc.) can keep its pathology hidden from even its own family members. Adherence to these three rules allows perpetrators, victims, and observers to maintain the fantasy that they are all one big, happy family. The rules are: Rule A: Don't talk about the problems and abject conditions; Rule A1: Rule A does not exist; Rule A2: Do not discuss the existence or nonexistence of Rules A, A1, and/or A2."

“From the moment of birth, when the stone-age baby confronts the twentieth-century mother, the baby is subjected to these forces of violence, called love, as its mother and father have been, and their parents and their parents before them. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its potentialities. This enterprise is on the whole successful.”

“Children do not give up their innate imagination, curiosity, dreaminess easily. You have to love them to get them to do that.”

“We are all murderers and prostitutes - no matter to what culture, society, class, nation one belongs, no matter how normal, moral, or mature, one takes oneself to be.”

“Insanity - a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.”

“We are bemused and crazed creatures, strangers to our true selves, to one another, and to the spiritual and material world - mad, even, from an ideal standpoint we can glimpse but not adopt.”

"Life is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is one hundred percent.”

"A Real Church Sign"

"Oh yeah, we're doing fine. Thanks for asking..."

"A World Without the Fed"

"A World Without the Fed"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"What would happen if the Federal Reserve ceased to exist? We all know the answer: global markets would instantly collapse. And the global financial system, now entirely dependent on Fed stimulus, intervention, manipulation, free money for financiers and endless printing of trillions of dollars out of thin air, would crash, leaving nothing but a steaming, fetid pile of corruption infested by the cockroaches scurrying around gobbling up the few crumbs left.

What would happen if the Federal Reserve ceased to exist? The Treasury would sell its bonds on the open market, where buyers and sellers would set the yield on the bonds. Private banks would take deposits and lend money at rates set by supply and demand.

We all know what would happen: yields and interest rates would explode higher in response to risk having to be priced in and every flimsy, worm-eaten enterprise that depended on zero-interest rates would collapse in a heap. Every putrid, staggering zombie corporation would crumble to dust, and its phantom assets, illusions generated solely by the artificial spew of the Fed, would fall to their real value, i.e. near zero.

Let's modify the question slightly: what would happen if the Fed's policies stopped working? In other words, what if the Fed's spew no longer created the illusion of risk-free gambling in bubble-valuation assets? What if risk raised its Gorgon-like head despite every intervention, every manipulation, and every foul burp of propaganda from the Fed?

You Can’t Eliminate Risk: The faith in the Fed's omnipotence that magically reduces the perception of risk to zero is ultimately a faith in incremental change: the Fed tweaks the dials of bond purchases and its spew of free money for financiers, and voila, risk is banished and risk assets get another rocket booster.

Alas, risk cannot be banished, it can only be transferred to others. The Fed's endless spew and its constant tinkering with incremental adjustments have created a delusional faith that these tweaks will work forever and ever.

All that's actually happened is the Fed's spew has transferred the skyrocketing risks generated by its policies to the entire economy. The economy has been capacious enough to absorb the astronomical risks generated by Fed policies, but the economy has been stuffed to the gills with Fed-generated risk, and now the bursting of the risk bubble is upon us.
Put another way, there's no closets left to hide the risk in. Now the risk will escape the Fed's rusting, hubris-soaked chains and decimate the financial sector, which is now the dominant force in the economy. Once the delusions of no-risk gambling and phantom valuations implode, the real economy with undergo a devastating cold turkey withdrawal from the Fed's malevolent spew of free money for financiers masquerading as "stimulus."

Extremes get more extreme until risk breaks out; then the reversal will be as extreme as the bubble expansion. Delusions, illusions, phantoms of value: these are not real. Want to know what's real? Risk.

20 Years of Deflation: The absolutely last thing anyone expects is a collapse of all the asset bubbles, i.e. a deflation of assets that reverses the full 20 years of bubble-utopia since 2000. The consensus is universal: assets will continue to lift ever higher, forever and ever, because the Fed has our back, i.e. central banks will create trillions out of thin air without any consequence other than assets lofting ever higher.

This research paper from the San Francisco Federal Reserve begs to differ. Here is an excerpt from Longer-Run Economic Consequences of Pandemics (San Francisco Federal Reserve): "Measured by deviations in a benchmark economic statistic, the real natural rate of interest, these responses indicate that pandemics are followed by sustained periods -- over multiple decades -- with depressed investment opportunities, possibly due to excess capital per unit of surviving labor, and/or heightened desires to save, possibly due to an increase in precautionary saving or a rebuilding of depleted wealth. Either way, if the trends play out similarly in the wake of COVID-19 then the global economic trajectory will be very different than was expected only a few months ago."

Allow me to translate: wars launch 20-year booms of rebuilding, pandemics launch 20 years of deflation. Oops! Not only do wars destroy physical assets that must be rebuilt, they also tend to kill off a consequential percentage of the labor force, generating a labor shortage that pushes up wages. So capital wins funding the rebuilding and labor wins because workers are scarce and in demand: win-win baby! Pandemics are considerably less warm and fuzzy, especially Covid-19. Pandemics are like neutron bombs, they leave the built environment intact so there's no impetus to invest.

Unlike the Black Death that decimated the human workforce from China to Europe in the 1350s, Covid disproportionately takes the lives of the elderly, most of whom have already left the workforce. So the Covid pandemic's reduction of the workforce is too modest in scale to create labor scarcities consequential enough to push wages higher. In other words, lose-lose: capital earns low returns in a low-demand environment and labors' wages stagnate in this low-demand economy.

Fantasies and Delusions: Cue 20 years of asset deflation. Bu-bu-but the Fed is omnipotent, godlike in its powers! The Fed can push stocks to the moon, never mind history, fundamentals or reality! Yes, well, um, fantasies are nice, and delusions are fun, but reality inevitably intrudes and diminishing returns on the Fed's neo-feudalist feast for the super-wealthy are about to grab markets by the throat, regardless of what the Fed bleats.
There are a couple of funny little things called reversion to the mean, bubble-symmetry and non-linear dynamics that the Fed doesn't actually control (gasp!) because they are not fully controllable by human policies. Statistical outliers/extremes have a strong propensity to reverse, regardless of human manipulation.

And these reversals are not "buy the dip" wiggles; they completely reverse the entire bubblicious move to the stars via bubble-symmetry: so markets that go from 1,000 to 30,000 retrace all the way back down to 1,000, no matter how many humans shout, scream, plead and whine "that's not possible!"

Oh yes it is. Hubris weighs heavily on our faith in the "right" human policies to work magic forever and ever. So as long as the Fed follows the "right policy" and continues printing trillions of dollars out of thin air and buying bonds (and whatever else needs to be bought up to lift markets higher) then Dow 100,000 is in the bag.

Or not. The idea that human don't control everything is anathema to a technocrat elite, and so when the inevitable reversal crashes assets, everyone will rush around looking for the human-action cause of the disaster and the human-action fix, so we can get back on track to Dow 100,000.

The Pendulum Has Swung Too Far: But the search for causes will be in vain, for extremes pendulum swings reach a limit and then swing back, eventually reaching the opposite extreme minus a bit of friction, which is minimal in a frictionless financial sector of printing trillions with keystrokes. If you want evidence that the pendulum has swung as far as it can go, consider that billionaires have gained $1 trillion since the pandemic started.

Can 20 years of asset deflation be compressed into a mere two years? Absolutely. The global financial system has been running a 20-year experiment in extremes that's close to producing interesting results. Extremes become more extreme right up until they reverse, a reversal no one believes possible here in the waning days of 2020. If we could measure hubris, it would be near-infinite. And the reversal of that near-infinite extreme will be one for the ages."

"How It Really Is"


"When Deplorables Become Ungovernables"

"When Deplorables Become Ungovernables"
by Pepe Escobar

"China, Russia and Iran are the top three existential “threats” to the U.S., according to the National Security Strategy. Three features distinguish the top three. They are all sovereign powers. They are under varying degrees of sanctions. And they are the top three nodes of the 21st century’s most important, evolving geopolitical process: Eurasia integration.

What do the three sovereigns see when they examine the dystopia that took over Exceptionalistan? They see, once again, three – discombobulated – nodes in conflict: the post-historic Pacific and Atlantic coasts; the South – a sort of expanded Dixieland; and the Midwest – what would be the American heartland.

The hyper-modern Pacific-Atlantic nodes congregate high-tech and finance, profit from Pentagon techno-breakthroughs and benefit from the “America rules the waves” ethos that guarantees the global primacy of the U.S. dollar.

The rest of America is largely considered by the Pacific-Atlantic as just a collection of flyover states: the South – which regards itself as the real, authentic America; and the Midwest, largely disciplined and quite practical-minded, squeezed ideologically between the littoral powerhouses and the South.

Superstructure, though, is key: no matter what happens, whatever the fractures, this remains an Empire, where only a tiny elite, a de facto plutocratic oligarchy, rules. It would be too schematic, even though essentially correct, to assert that in the presidential election, invisible campaigner Joe Biden represented the Pacific-Atlantic nodes, and Trump represented the whole South.

Assuming the election was not fraudulent – and that remains a big “if” – the Midwest eventually swung based on three issues:

1. Trump, as much as he relied on a sanctions juggernaut, could not bring back manufacturing jobs home.

2. He could not reduce the military footprint across the Greater Middle East.

3. And, before Covid-19, he could not bring down immigration.

Everything that lies ahead points to the irreconcilable – pitting the absolute majority that voted Dem in the Atlantic-Pacific nodes versus the South and a deeply divided Midwest. As much as Biden-Harris is bound to isolate the South even more, their prospects of “pacifying” the Midwest are less than zero. Whose ground control? Beyond the raucous altercations on whether the presidential election was fraudulent, these are the key factual points:

• A series of rules in mostly swing states were changed, through courts, bypassing state legislatures, without transparence, before the election, paving the way to facilitate fraud schemes.

• Biden was de facto coronated by AP, Google and Twitter even before the final, official result, and weeks before the electoral college vote this past Monday.

• Every serious, professional audit to determine whether all received and tabulated votes were valid was de facto squashed.

• In any Global South latitude where the empire did “interfere” in local elections, color revolution-style, this set of facts would be regarded by scores of imperial officials, in a relentless propaganda blitz, as evidence of a coup.

On the recent Supreme Court ruling, a Deep State intel source told me, “the Supreme Court did not like to see half the country rioting against them, and preferred the decision be made by each state in the House of Representatives. That is the only way to handle this without jeopardizing the union. Even prominent Democrats I know realize that the fix took place. The error was to steal too many votes. This grand theft indicts the whole system, that has always been corrupt.”

Dangers abound: On the propaganda front, for instance, far right nationalists are absolutely convinced that U.S. media can be brought to heel only by occupying the six main offices of the top conglomerates, plus Facebook, Google and Twitter: then you’d have full control of the U.S. propaganda mill.

Another Deep State source, now retired, adds that: “The U.S. Army does not want to intervene as their soldiers may not obey orders. Many of these far right nationalists were officers in the armed forces. They know where the nuclear missiles and bombers are. There are many in sympathy with them as the U.S. falls apart in lockdowns.”

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden’s dodgy dealings simply will not be made to vanish from public scrutiny. He’s under four different federal investigations. The recent subpoena amounts to a very serious case pointing to a putative crime family. It’s been conveniently forgotten that Joe Biden bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations "that he forced Ukraine’s chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin to be fired exactly when he was investigating corruption by Burisma’s founder." Of course, a massive army of shills will always invoke another army of omniscient and oh so impartial “fact checkers” to hammer the same message: “This is Trump’s version. Courts have said clearly all the evidence is baseless.”

District Attorney William Barr is now out of the picture (see his letter of resignation). Barr is a notorious Daddy Bush asset since the old days – and that means classic Deep State. Barr knew about all federal investigations on Hunter Biden dating back to 2018, covering potential money laundering and bribery. And still, as the Wall Street Journal delightfully put it, he “worked to avoid their public disclosure during the heated election campaign”.

A devastating report (Dems: a Republican attack report) has shown how the Biden family was connected to a vast financial network with multiple foreign ramifications.

Then there’s Barr even daring to say there was not enough reason for the Department of Justice to engage in a far-reaching investigation into voting fraud, finally putting to rest all “baseless” conspiracy theories. Move on. Nothing to see here. Even if an evidence pile-up featured, among other instances, ballot stuffing, backdated ballots, statistical improbabilities, electronic machine tampering, software back doors, affidavits from poll workers, not to mention the by now legendary stopping the vote in the dead of night, with subsequent, huge batches of votes miraculously switching from Trump to Biden. Once again an omniscient army of oh-so-impartial “fact checkers” will say everything is baseless.

A perverse blowback: A perverse form of blowback is already in effect as informed global citizens may now see, crystal clear, the astonishing depth and reach of Deep State power – the ultimate decider of what happens next in Dystopia Central. Both options are dire.

1. The election stands, even if considered fraudulent by nearly half of U.S. public opinion. To quote that peerless existentialist, The Dude, there’s no rug tying the room together anymore.

2. Was the election to be somehow overturned before January 20, the Deep State would go Shock and Awe to finish the job.

In either case, The Deplorables will become The Ungovernables.
It gets worse. A possible implosion of the union – with internal convulsions leading to a paroxysm of violence – may even be coupled with an external explosion, as in a miscalculated imperial adventure.

For the Three Sovereigns – Russia, China and Iran – as well as the overwhelming majority of the Global South, the conclusion is inescapable: if the current, sorry spectacle is the best Western liberal “democracy” has to offer, it definitely does not need any enemies or “threats”.

Friday, December 18, 2020

"2020: The Year We Lost The Plot"

"2020: The Year We Lost The Plot"
by Rob Slane

"“Our Government, along with Governments around the world will shortly announce the quarantining of whole populations for a seasonal respiratory virus which leaves 99.8-99.9% of those who get it in the land of the living. What is more, they will also announce a shutdown of the entire economy for months and then, when the epidemic has actually gone, will mandate that you cover the lower half of your face with a bit of cloth. They will do this by frightening people into compliance with a barrage of propaganda, slogans, data entirely taken out of context, and the threat of massive fines.”

Anyone making this claim at the beginning of the year would rightly have been thought to have mislaid the plot and their marbles, long ago. But here we are, at the end of that same year, and it is precisely what has happened. Only it is much worse than that.

Had you somehow been persuaded to give credence to this insane prophecy, you would probably have been comforted by the following thought: “They’ll never get away with it. The people will never stand for it.”

Not a bit of it. Somehow, millions of people across the country, and in fact across the world, were persuaded to accept it. By far the majority somehow thought that quarantining whole nations of healthy people for a virus, for the first time in history, was a good idea. Well, actually the second time in history to be precise. It was tried in 2009 by the Mexican Government during the Swine Flu outbreak, but they had the good sense to end it after a couple of weeks after realising how much it would devastate the country.

Yet not only do we have our imaginary conspiracy loon’s mad ravings come true, but those same people who have accepted it look upon those of us who have been pointing out the madness of it all as if we were those who had taken leave of our senses. Oh irony, thou hast had a field day in 2020. As St. Antony the Great put it: “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’”

To cut to the chase, we have gone and thrown out reason, rationality and proportionality this year. A coronavirus, which posed a danger to a very small proportion of our society, but which actually has an Infection Fatality Rate of around 0.2% – 0.26% (not too dissimilar to a bad seasonal flu), and which could thus have been dealt with proportionality, somehow became the catalyst for the biggest mass hysteria in the history of the human race. Indeed, many were so taken in by the great hypnotic spell set in motion by charlatans with their “hard-hitting emotional messaging,” that they adopted practices so irrational and disproportionate to the threat, one wonders how they managed to live before this year.

The history books tell of one of our great Kings, Canute, demonstrating to his courtiers that contrary to their supposition, he could not in fact control the waves. In our day, it’s like King Canute has gone rogue, telling his subjects that he can control the waves and viruses, and his subjects have responded by not only believing him, but by taking any action he tells them they must do to stop the waves or the virus, including confining themselves to their homes, closing their businesses, wearing cloths on their faces, along with umpteen other truly bizarre and wholly useless diktats. Then, when the waves or the virus continue doing what waves and viruses do, a wave of Covidian Logic bursts over us and we find it is our fault that they have not been controlled. We didn’t shut down hard enough or long enough, or we played board games at Christmas.

In the real world, the only thing that got controlled this year was not a virus, but people. That all went off spiffingly, or spaffingly as Comrade Johnson might put it. People were suppressed, people were controlled, people were - you might say - owned. And by and large they acquiesced in putting their hand to this National Suicide Plan.

Of course, the reply that comes the way of anyone who points this out is: “Ah, but if we hadn’t locked down and masked up, the deaths would have been in the hundreds of thousands.” To which the answer is simply: “Nope. Lockdown cannot be shown to have saved a single life.”

Sweden, by not turning itself into a basketcase, failed to have the anything like wave of mass deaths predicted by the Enthusiasts for Lockdown. Nor did other nations that took a similar approach. A recent peer-reviewed study from France, looking at 188 countries, has confirmed what should have been obvious all along: “Stringency of the measures settled to fight pandemia, including lockdown, did not appear to be linked with death rate.”

Then of course there was the Danish RCT study, which showed no significant statistical difference between infection rates of those wearing surgical masks, and those with no masks. Imagine that!

Imagine that we were put under house arrest for months, made to cover our respiratory passages with bits of cloth, forced to alter our lives, and threatened with fines for non-compliance - and none of it made any difference to mortality.

Imagine that this Government and Parliament caused the complete shutdown of the economy for months, putting millions on the dole, wrecking 1,000s of businesses, causing the worst recession for 300 years, and piling up a future of debt, poverty, mental health issues and reduced life expectancy - and none of it saved any lives.

Imagine that we are still in this situation, with people still acquiescing in the destruction of their own country, the Government and media still feeding us lies, and with no real plausible end to this madness.

Actually, you have no need to imagine it. Even though it is so outlandish that even the most unhinged, basement-dwelling “conspiracy nut” on the planet could not have come up with this, it is indeed the year you just lived through. We lost the plot in 2020, and the most pressing question is: will we get it back in 2021?"

“A Super-Depression Is Coming; US Economy Is Crashing Now; Economic Diversification; Dollar Is Dead”

Jeremiah Babe,
“A Super-Depression Is Coming; US Economy Is Crashing Now;
 Economic Diversification; Dollar Is Dead”

"Once Americans Get Desperately Hungry Is When We Will See Absolutely Insane Economic Riots"

"Once Americans Get Desperately Hungry Is When 
We Will See Absolutely Insane Economic Riots"
by Epic Economist

"The events we all witnessed throughout this year have changed our perception of what is considered normal. We have gotten so used to bad news, that many of us can already anticipate that what is coming ahead are even more hardships. Our optimism isn't based on future achievements anymore, but instead coming back to where we were before this whole meltdown has started. Since the burst of the crisis, in every month and every week that passes by we've seen some part of our economy collapsing, we've experienced the damages of this crisis in our lives, we have come to expect the unexpected. 

At this point, it feels like another major disaster might happen at any moment, but as so many issues are being unfolded at once we can't tell for sure what's going to be the pivot of the next breakdown, but as we wait for “the other shoe to drop”, the state of economics in America continues to rapidly deteriorate. That's what we're going to discuss in this video. 

It seems that as we reach the final stretch of 2020, the pace of economic deterioration has considerably intensified. Amid a spike in confirmed viral cases and a new round of lockdowns, U.S. business owners are getting increasingly desperate with the effects of the restrictions, and the lack of revenue and financial support. Consequently, massive waves of layoffs are being recorded during this holiday season. For instance, last week, the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits was the highest in four months. 

At this stage of the crisis, this upward trend indicates that things are going to get even worse as winter gets closer. As a result, closures and bankruptcies will continue to impact the labor market. Last Wednesday, the Commerce Department reported that retail sales declined 1.1 percent in November, which used to be the start of the all-important holiday shopping season, but instead, in Black Friday month we registered the biggest drop in retail sales in seven months. 

Currently, according to data published by a Daily News report, the number of unemployed people who are receiving aid from the federal extended-benefit program, which offers coverage to gig workers and others who don´t qualify for traditional benefits, surged to 9.2 million. 

Additionally, the number of people receiving aid under a second program, which provides 13 weeks of federal benefits to those who have exhausted their assistance, also increased to 4.8 million. However, both of these programs and many others are scheduled to expire by year's end, leaving over 12 million jobless workers and their families without a financial safety net to afford their bills and expenses. 

Some may argue that the biggest share of job losses was driven by the downfall of small businesses while large corporations are still thriving and leading our economy, which is partly true. However, major companies keep letting workers go at an astounding pace. Yesterday, Coca-cola announced plans to cut 2,200 jobs, which accounts for nearly 12 percent of their entire U.S. workforce, as it faces declining sales during the recession. What this highlights to us is that these big corporations are massively laying off their staff because they can predict what is about to happen, so they are trying to slim payrolls to survive the coming storm.

Meanwhile, the debate regarding another stimulus package is getting heated amongst representatives and policymakers in Congress. And considering authorities are being forced to choose between unemployment benefits and $600 weekly stimulus checks, apparently the new trillion-dollar relief bill is mostly going to support the financial markets while leaving people fighting for the crumbles. Dealing with the current crisis by launching unprecedented amounts of printed money instead of restrengthening our economy will only lead us to a different crisis. 

As our money supply has been increasing at an almost vertical rate this year, hyperinflation is now on the horizon, and the effects of it can already be seen in food prices. According to Zero Hedge experts are panicking about surging food prices and we should all be worried about the coming food inflation.

On the same note, SocGen's Albert Edwards has outlined how even in the richest country in the world, food poverty has become a real problem during this crisis. And, in short, this means that we should all be carefully watching for mounting social agitation regarding access to food. As economic collapse expert Michael Snyder has perfectly summarized in his latest article: "once millions upon millions of Americans get desperately hungry, that is when we will see absolutely insane economic riots in this country. All of these things are coming, and we definitely will not have to wait very long at all for “the other shoe to drop.”

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 12/18/20"

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 12/18/20"

 Dec. 18, 2020 3:13 PM ET: 
The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 75,357,400 
people, according to official counts, including 17,401,776 Americans.
At least 1,668,500 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.

"Come, My Friends..."

“The long day wanes; 
the slow moon climbs;
 the deep
Moans round with many voices. 
Come, my friends,
’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars...”

~ from “Ulysses,” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Musical Interlude: Liquid Mind, "My Orchid Spirit (Extragalactic)"

Liquid Mind, "My Orchid Spirit (Extragalactic)"
Full screen mode highly recommended!
Rest, relax a little...

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Globular clusters once ruled the Milky Way. Back in the old days, back when our Galaxy first formed, perhaps thousands of globular clusters roamed our Galaxy. Today, there are less than 200 left. Many globular clusters were destroyed over the eons by repeated fateful encounters with each other or the Galactic center. Surviving relics are older than any Earth fossil, older than any other structures in our Galaxy, and limit the universe itself in raw age.
There are few, if any, young globular clusters in our Milky Way Galaxy because conditions are not ripe for more to form. Pictured above by the Hubble Space Telescope are about 100,000 of M72's stars. M72, which spans about 50 light years and lies about 50,000 light years away, can be seen with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Water Bearer (Aquarius).”

"We Never See..."

“You know, we never see the world exactly as it is. We see it as we hope it will be or we fear it might be. And we spend our lives going through a sort of modified stages of grief about that realization. And we deny it, and then we argue with it, and we despair over it. But eventually - and this is my belief - that we come to see it, not as despairing, but as vitalizing. We never see the world exactly as it is because we are how the world is.”
- Maria Popova

"Feeling Overwhelmed: Breathing into Order"

"Feeling Overwhelmed: Breathing into Order"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"Always know, the Universe works in perfect order and you are never given more thank you can handle. Sometimes we may feel like there is just too much we need to do. Feeling overwhelmed may make it seem like the universe is picking on us, but the opposite is true: we are only given what we can handle. Difficult situations are opportunities to be our best selves, hone our skills and rise to the occasion.

The best place to start is to take a deep breath. As you do, remind yourself that the universe works in perfect order and therefore you can get everything done that needs to get done. As you exhale, release all the details that you have no control over. The universe with it‘s infinite organizing power will orchestrate the right outcome. Anytime stress begins to creep up, remember to breathe through it with these thoughts. Then, make a list of everything you need to do. Note what needs to be done first, and mark the things others may be able to do for you or with you. Though we often think no one else can do it correctly or well, there are times when it is worth it to exhale, let go of our control, and ask for help from professionals or friends. With the remaining things that feel you must do yourself, take another breath and determine their true importance. 

Sometimes they are things we’d like to do, but aren’t really necessary. After taking these quick steps, you will find you have a plan laid out, freeing you from frenzied thoughts circling in your head. With calming deep breaths, you are now free to focus more fully on our priorities. Herbal teas or flower remedies along with wise choices about caffeine and food can help keep us from becoming frantic too. But with nothing further from us than our breath, we can breathe in our best intentions and let the rest go with an exhale. Keeping ourselves centered and breathing into and through life’s challenges helps us learn what we are truly capable of doing, and we will find we have the ability to rise to any occasion. Remember you aren’t being picked on, and you are never alone."

Chet Raymo, “Thinking About Thinking”

“Thinking About Thinking”
by Chet Raymo

“It is not easy to live in that continuous awareness of things which alone is true living," wrote the naturalist Joseph Wood Krutch. And, of course, he was right. Our brains are separated from the world by a permeable membrane. Attention flows outwards. Sense impressions flow inwards. Of this two-way traffic- this awareness- we create a soul.

At this moment, as I sit at my desk on a hillside in the west of Ireland, I try to be aware. Sunlight streams across my computer keyboard; eight minutes ago these photons were on the surface of the sun. A Pholcus phalangioides spider spins its web under the shelf above the desk; I touch the web with a pencil point and the spider does a dervish dance. Outside the window, clouds scud in from the Atlantic; there will be rain in the afternoon.

Continuous awareness: It can be exhausting. Which is why, I suppose, we sometimes wish for the mind to go blank, for the windows of the soul to close, for darkness to fall.

Fortunately, the one thing we don't have to attend to is awareness itself. The brain does its thing without the least bit of conscious control on our part. And a good thing, too; if we had to attend to what is going on in the brain when we attend to the world, we'd... We'd go nuts.

Nothing we know about in the universe approaches the complexity of the human brain. What is it? A vast spider web of neurons, cells with a thousand octopuslike arms, called dendrites. The dendrites reach out and make contact at their tips with the dendrites of other cells, at junctions called synapses. A hundred billion neurons in the human brain, with an average of 1,000 dendrites each. A hundred trillion octopus arms touching like fingertips, and each synapse exquisitely controlled by the cells themselves, strengthening or weakening the contact, building webs of interlinked cells that are knowledge, memory, consciousness- self.

A hundred billion neurons. That's more brain cells than there are grains of salt in 1,000 one-pound boxes of salt. A roomful of salt grains, floor to ceiling. Each in contact with hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of others. The contacts flickering with variable strength. Continuously. Unconsciously. Never ceasing. Remembering. Forgetting. Feeling joy. Feeling pain. Thinking. Speaking. Lifting a foot, moving it forward, putting it down again. Flickering. A hundred trillion flickering synapses. Just thinking about it is exhausting.

Neuroscientists are busy trying to figure it all out. Some folks would say that bringing the scrutiny of science to bear upon the human soul is the height of presumption. Others would say that the more we learn about what makes our brains tick, the more we stand in awe at the mystery of soul.

The sheer complexity of the human brain makes any adequate description a daunting task. Which is why some neuroscientists choose to work with simpler organisms- sea snails, for example- to get a grip on the basic structure and chemistry. In recent years, new scanning technologies enable neuroscientists to watch live human brains at work. Active neural regions flicker on the screens of computer monitors as subjects think, speak, recite poems, do math. Continuous awareness, displayed on the screen of a scanning monitor, can look like a grass fire exploding across a prairie.

Still other scientists attempt to model the brain in silicon, building electronic circuits called neural networks that mimic the activity of the brain as it creates constantly changing webs of neurons. So far, no electronic network begins to approach the complexity of the human brain, but the time is not far off when silicon brains will rival brains of flesh and blood. Just trying to make it happen teaches us a lot about how human brains work.

Perhaps the most exciting research is that of the scientists who study the biochemistry of neurons: How do the cells regulate synaptic connections to build new neural webs? One big surprise is just how much of the "thinking" of neurons is done by the dendrites, those hundreds of spidery arms that connect neurons to one another. DNA in a neuron's nucleus sends messenger RNA down along the dendrites to active synapses, where they are translated into proteins that regulate the strength of synaptic connections. Tiny protein factories in the dendrites are apparently key to learning and memory. Once the regulation of these protein factories is understood, drugs that ameliorate some kinds of hereditary mental retardation might be possible. As will drugs that help all of us to learn and remember. Are we ready for "smart" pills? Memory pills?

What all this amounts to is awareness of awareness. For the first time in the history of consciousness, the machinery of awareness has been turned upon itself. As neuroscientists have discovered, thinking about thinking is not easy. Thank goodness we don't have to think about thinking to think.”

"Tell Yourself..."

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
- Louise Erdrich