"Investment legend Jeremy Grantham is warning for a spectacular stock market crash in the next few months. Fueled by the Federal Reserve's unprecedented money printing policies and unsustainable investor speculation, the stock bubble is worrying several market watchers that have been alerting for a steep market correction of at least 50 percent. As Wall Street keeps registering record highs, Main Street remains stalled, and the disconnection between markets and the economy will likely weigh upon the risky stock price bubble since the staggering overvaluation isn't supported by real economic output.
Even Bank of America analysts are signaling that volatility events are about to be triggered as a result of the massive inflation launched by the Fed, which will likely push asset prices into a secular free-fall that could last for decades before stock growth is resumed. That's what we discuss in this video.
That's the same warning Investing icon Jeremy Grantham has stated in a recent Bloomberg interview that the bursting of this great, epic bubble will be the "most important investing event of your lives". Despite the market's bullish-run, Grantham affirms that this will soon end in tears. Now, Citi Bank, BofA, and Goldman are all warning for a looming sell-off, which is being prompted by investors' risk-taking behavior in view of the latest stimulus package.
Although some investors may affirm that the current valuations are backed by the growth potential of transformative technologies and new business models, the investing legend dismisses that justification, arguing that the popular belief that the Fed will always be able to cushion or even the next crash with even more QE or easing is just impractical. But, apparently, the stock market keeps disregarding all warnings of a crash and just keeps on rising.
Bank of America strategists have also indicated that the “extreme rally” on Wall Street was being fueled by the dramatic U.S. policy stimulus, consequently, forming the bubble in asset prices. “D.C.’s policy bubble is fueling Wall St’s asset price bubble,” the strategists wrote in a recent note. “When those who want to stay rich start acting like those who want to get rich, it suggests a late-stage speculative blow-off".
"Soaring market prices as investors boost inflation-linked trades will drag “Main St inflation” higher, risking a taper tantrum, tighter financial conditions and volatility events," the strategists revealed on a cautionary note. BofA is anticipating the Fed balance sheet to reach 42% of the U.S gross domestic product by the end of 2021 while projecting that the nation's budget deficit will hit 33% of GDP. Echoing BofA's note, Grantham claims after a crash finally happens, investors “will not make a handsome 10- or 20-year return from U.S. growth stocks,” which describes how the next crash will be a secular correction that will take decades for the markets to recover from.
Grantham’s assessment also reflected upon the founder of the Baupost Group hedge fund Seth Klarman's outlook for the markets. In a recent letter to his clients, he said investors have been convinced that risk has “simply vanished”. Klarman stressed that the Fed's decision to aggressively reduce rates since the burst of the outbreak has left the market in a "topsy-turvy" state. Just as Grantham, he also emphasized that the constant Fed intervention has made investors blind to the many risks that have been accumulating throughout the economic recession, while also worsening inequality. "The recovery will be “K” shaped," Klarman added, which means, “the fortunes of those already at the top bounding swiftly upward, while those at the bottom remain on a downslope without end”.
Indeed, the next imminent market crash will likely be the worst on record for both markets and the economy. But while investors can find ways to profit from the downfall of the financial system, the economy does not have the same ability. The most alarming aspect of the current financial bubble is precisely the fact that it has been inflated in the face of the worst recession since the Great Depression. All previous major bubbles happened during periods of speedy growth, which made a fairly swift recovery still possible. But that's not the case right now. More concerningly, asset prices are incomparably higher now than they were in the final stages of previous bull markets and higher than their already exuberant levels seen just before the eruption of the sanitary outbreak. To simply put, we're headed to a catastrophe. One that will likely reset the course of the whole financial system and devastate our struggling economy. And yet, that will be just the start of the collapse."
"Former Assistant Treasury Secretary and award winning journalist Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (PCR) says the country has changed dramatically since the massively fraudulent and rigged 2020 Election that put Joe Biden in the White House. Dr. PCR says, “First, consider there is now an organized war by the establishment against anyone who takes exception to their explanation of the election. We see, for example, free speech is now dead. Many of the institutions in the United States no longer believe in it. You can’t protest what you perceive as a stolen election without being called an enemy of democracy. Well, someone who is protesting what they perceive as a stolen election is defending democracy. Now, that means they are an enemy because the narrative can’t be challenged. You can’t say anything is wrong with the 2020 Election even if you have enormous evidence. So, you don’t have free speech. Also, a lot of people who attended the Trump rally (in Washington D.C. 1/6/21) have been fired simply for attending the rally. So, you don’t have freedom of association. You cannot do anything that is seen as opposition to the establishment. Biden was demanding personal allegiance from the troops who defended the inauguration. So, it looks more and more like a dictatorship.”
Dr. PCR goes on to say, “The evidence is overwhelming that the election was stolen. There is no doubt about it. Let’s assume we don’t really know if the election was stolen. We do know everybody who voted for Trump believes it was stolen. We also know from the polls that 30% of Democrats believe it was stolen. So, if that many people believe it was stolen, the government has an obligation to investigate and tell the people we looked at the evidence, and say it was or was not stolen, but they refuse to look at the evidence. They had the explanation ready, and the explanation was ‘there’s no evidence.’ They failed, we have a divided country and they just let the country be divided. Now, they are going to pass a domestic terrorism law, and the purpose is to further control any dissent. This is why I say we have crossed a line. This is like Caesar crossing the Rubicon. That was the end of the Roman Republic. This is the end of democracy. The Republican Party is dead because they failed Trump voters.”
Dr. PCR, who holds a PhD in Economics, says the Biden Administration policies are going to tank the U.S. economy. For example, on Biden’s first day in office, he canceled the XL Pipeline and re-entered the Paris Climate Accord. That killed tens of thousands of U.S. jobs with the stroke of Biden’s pen. Again, this was on the very first day in office. Dr. PCR says, “The economy is already wrecked, and so Biden is going to wreck a wrecked economy.”
The biggest problem Dr. PCR sees is not the federal debt. Dr. PCR says, “The federal debt is not the problem, the real problem is the private debt. The debt burden of the population has gone up over the last 25 years, and this is the difficult problem. Income now is completely utilized in debt service. This is what is meant by debt deflation. Since the consumer is utilizing their money in debt service, there is no money for discretionary spending. Therefore, there is nothing to support the rest of the economy. Then, the lockdowns come, and they further restrict the income flow to the people who are already drowning in debt. The debt needs to be written off, but that is hard to do. So, when people talk about a collapse, this will be the cause of the collapse. We will have a debt deflation collapse and not hyperinflation.”
"No, hamburgers are not this big. What is pictured is a sharp telescopic view of a magnificent edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 3628, a puffy galactic disk divided by dark dust lanes. Of course, this deep galactic portrait puts some astronomers in mind of its popular moniker, The Hamburger Galaxy.
The tantalizing island universe is about 100,000 light-years across and 35 million light-years away in the northern springtime constellation Leo. NGC 3628 shares its neighborhood in the local Universe with two other large spirals M65 and M66 in a grouping otherwise known as the Leo Triplet. Gravitational interactions with its cosmic neighbors are likely responsible for the extended flare and warp of this spiral's disk.”
“Over the years you get to see what a struggle life is for most people, how tough it is, how easy it is to be judgmental and criticize and stand outside of situations and impart your wisdom and judgment. But over the decades I've got more tolerant of people's flaws and mistakes. Everybody makes a lot of them. When you're younger you feel: "Hey, this person is evil" or "This person is a jerk" or stupid or "What's wrong with them?" Then you go through life and you think: "Well, it's not so easy." There's a lot of mystery and suffering and complication. Everybody's out there trying to do the best they can. And it's not such an easy business.”
"The ancient Greek aphorism, attributed to Socrates and others. Good advice, I'm sure. If only we knew what it means. Is it the same as the "examination of conscience" we were asked to perform as young Catholics? "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned." Well, yes, it is good to ask ourselves if we have lived up to our highest moral aspirations. But surely "Know thyself" means more than that.
Does it mean to be aware of our self-awareness? That is to say, not to act impulsively, but reflectively. Thoreau's "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
Or perhaps it means to apply the method of scientia to the problem of consciousness, treat the mind like a fish that can be dissected at the lab bench, watch the brain flickering on the display of a scanning machine as the subject is stimulated with love, sex, fear, music, pain. Neuroscience. Daniel Dennet's book audaciously titled "Consciousness Explained." There is a line from a poem by Jane Hirshfield, in which she questions herself: "A knife cannot cut itself open/ yet you ask me both to be you and to know you."
Is it hopeless then? Is there an essential absurdity in a thing knowing itself? Does knowing necessarily imply a knower more complex than the thing known? Is it possible that we might fully understand, say, the neurology of the sea slug Aplysia, that favorite subject of experimental neurobiologists with only 20,000 central nerve cells, big nerve cells, ten times bigger than human neurons, but not the workings of the human brain, with its 100 billion nerve cells, each one connected to thousands of others?
Hirshfield's poem is titled "Instant Glimpsable Only For An Instant." Perhaps that is the best we can do. To know ourselves in those fleeting moments of recognition than come now and then, often unbidden, sometimes as the result of a chance encounter with beauty or with ugliness, sometimes bidden out of the silence and solitude of meditation - a flash upon one's inward eye that is, perhaps, all the ancients were asking for when they asked us to "know ourselves."
"It’s over everyone, you can sleep easy again - the party of peace, tolerance, and reconciliation is back in power. Amen. And Awomen. They claim they want to heal and unify the nation. But clearly the only way to do so is to create enemies lists and silence anyone with dissenting opinions.
For example, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked, “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future?”
Robert Reich, Labor Secretary under Clinton, and adviser to Obama, Tweeted, “When this nightmare is over, we need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission [to] name every official, politician, executive and media mogul whose greed and cowardice enabled this catastrophe.”
Chris Hayes, an MSNBC host agreed saying, “The most humane and reasonable way to deal with all these people, if we survive this, is some kind of truth and reconciliation commission.”
And Dick Costolo, the former CEO of Twitter, said, “Me-first capitalists… are going to be the first people lined up against the wall and shot in the revolution. I’ll happily provide video commentary.”
Clearly social media companies like Twitter are a big part of the efforts to unify the nation. Twitter deleted 70,000 accounts using the trespassing of the Capitol as an excuse. Amazon Web Services removed the alternative social media site Parler from its servers, while Apple and Google deleted Parler from their app stores.
Facebook and Reddit joined the purge, feverishly removing content that they don’t want their users to see. Stripe, PayPal, and Visa announced they would stop processing payments to certain politicians and non-profits guilty of thought crimes.
Yesterday I read in the completely fair and objective media that simply acknowleding this tech purge makes one a conspiracy theorist. Axios news wrote a segment titled, Right wing’s new conspiracy: “The silencing”. They went on to say that only crazy conspiracy theorists believe that there are efforts to silence conservative voices. In other words, if you believe what you can see with your own eyes, you’re a conspiracy theorist.
Most recently, for example, Harvard has purged Congresswoman Elise Stefanik from its advisory board. Stefanik’s crime? She publicly questioned voting irregularities in the 2020 election. Now, some people may think that she’s a terrible person because of her beliefs. And in fairness it’s Harvard’s right to choose whoever they want for their board. But now there’s a petition from the woke Harvard mob to revoke her degree, effectively erasing her existence from the institution. They want to cancel her. Yet even merely acknowledging that this is happening now makes you a conspiracy theorist according to the media.
The left’s cries of “de-fund the police” have turned to “fund the secret police,” as lawmakers reintroduce “domestic terror” bills to create new units under the Department of Homeland Security to monitor American “extremism”. But the #assassinatetrump and #killtrump hashtags that Twitter has allowed since 2016 - that’s totally fine free speech!
During the summer BLM/Antifa riots, looting Target stores and burning down police stations were acts of courage. They even literally declared an independent autonomous zone and took over government buildings. Yet no one in the media ever used the words insurrection, sedition, or treason. AOC praised these mostly peaceful protests and said the entire point of them is “to make people feel uncomfortable.” But if you feel the slightest bit uncomfortable that 25,000 troops are in the nation’s capital, along with tanks and attack helicopters, then you’re a (you guessed it!) conspiracy theorist.
Remember, though, ignorance is strength, so we should probably just obey the experts. Trust in Social Security to provide retirement. Trust the Federal Reserve to improve the economy. Trust the media to tell the truth. Trust that the tech companies will continue to allow your free speech."
"The German city of Ulm has unveiled futuristic insulated sleep pods for the homeless on cold winter nights. Two of these "Ulm nests" were positioned in Ulm, 75 miles west of Munich, earlier this month. The pods give homeless people an emergency place to sleep as colder weather has blanketed much of Germany. These small shelters are positioned in parks and other strategic areas. Each pod can accommodate two occupants and is made of wood, steel, and plastics. Thermal insulation surrounds the pod's interior while fresh air circulates, allowing occupants to survive cold winter nights.
From the initiative's official Facebook page, they said Ulm nests "are equipped with solar panels, which allows (at least) energy neutral use during the day."
The initiative said each Ulm nest is connected to their internet of things network that alerts the Caritas Ulm-Alb-Donau charity association or Ulmer Nest about overnight stays. The next day, charity members will direct occupants to the city's homeless service, ensuring they will have the care to get them off the streets.
We suspect the popularity of Ulm nest could increase over the coming quarters as the global economy stumbles amid severe virus-related impacts. As BofA's Michael Hartnett points out, the bursting of the bubble remains the most significant bull risk, the "decade-long backdrop of maximum liquidity and technological disruption has caused maximum inequality and massive social and electoral polarization…value of US financial assets (Wall Street) now 6X size of GDP."
This means that more and more people across the Western world are becoming homeless as central banks have no other choice but to inflate assets to the moon to save what is left of the badly bruised economy. In Europe and the US, the deep economic scarring has resulted in millions of jobs permanently lost and the middle class left in ruins.
While these emergency pods could become popular among the homeless, there's a possibility that down the line, those who can no longer afford tiny homes will find coffin-like pods a cheap alternative."
"Speaking of the inauguration, I don’t know what was more peculiar: Lady Gaga sweeping out onto the capitol dais in Hunger Games drag - and I mean but exactly, down to the golden mockingjay pinned above her left breast - or Garth Brooks post-hymn dash to the exit as though he just heard the repo man was coming for his Gulfstream jet parked across the Potomac at Reagan National Airport.
The immense field of ranked American flags deployed silently down the mall in place of annoying US citizens lent a funereal vibe to the proceedings (as in the death of your country), while the thousands of massed national guard troops signaled the paranoia crackling under the surface as Ol’ White Joe Biden stepped forward to commence his party’s punishments against the unWoke (disguised as a call for “unity”). He was surrounded by a virtual wax museum of Deep Staters salivating for the upcoming blood-feast: The Obamas, Hillary and Bill (nodding off), Nancy, Chuck, Mitch… but just who was the Asian chap sitting behind the man-of-the-hour? Secret Service? Or his new minder (courtesy of Uncle Xi)?
As for Mr. Trump, he departed as he had arrived in 2016: stridently contemptuous toward the parasitical oligarchy that finally expelled him like a bladder-stone. The threatened impeachment trial will be a marvel of casuistry - a procedure for removing someone from office who is no longer in office - and also for the transparently flimsy charge of “inciting the insurrection” at the capitol. As if to underscore the absurdity of that, Antifa squads rioted in Portland and Seattle on inauguration night. Their banners expressed less-than-jubilant sentiment for the new regime. The Portland outfit broke windows and spray-painted the city’s Democratic headquarters, faking-out pols who had warned against an uprising of “white supremacists.” Of course, all those arrested would be promptly released without charges - demonstrating just how serious the Wokester officials running those cities really are about criminal anarchy. The grannies swept into the capitol rotunda by Antifa incursionists January 6th won’t be so lucky.
Neither did a much chattered-about military takeover happen during the tension-filled transition hours, though kibitzers on the web insist days later that it remains secretly underway. On his way out, Mr. Trump failed to pardon either Julian Assange or Edward Snowden, a disturbing failure, while he commuted the sentences of a couple of two-bit rap-stars, based on their contributions to advancing human dignity. And whatever Mr. Trump finally rooted out in the way of declassified FBI documents has already disappeared into the DC quicksand.
Much adored as he is for valiantly opposing everything swampish, it might be best now for Mr. Trump to just retire from the political scene and leave the battle to others. He made his point, colorfully and often bravely, considering the astounding bad faith of his adversaries, though he certainly could have articulated the stakes better and with more decorum. He leaves not merely a vacuum but a sucking chest wound of leadership opposing hysterical and tyrannical Wokery. Who will step forward in his absence? Probably someone we haven’t heard from yet. That’s how these things work.
The narrative instructs us that the election is resolved - so shut up about it already. But the election is not resolved. Enterprising gumshoes will be sifting through the evidence, interviewing witnesses, and combing through the thickets of fraud for a long time to come. Crime will be outed, if not prosecuted. Mr. Biden moves under a cloud of illegitimacy. Beyond the lingering election dispute lies all that evidence about the Biden family’s money-grubbing operations in foreign lands, clear down to the money-laundering records. Think that won’t bite eventually?
Nothing else is resolved about the national drift toward the Niagara of woe just downstream of here. Mr. Biden couldn’t have asked for trouble more loudly on Day One than by shutting down deportations of foreign nationals here illegally and signaling an open borders policy. The legions of newly unemployed and financially ruined US small business owners and workers may take a dim view of that. Rent and mortgage moratoria are extended as far ahead as June, as if landlords and mortgage-lenders don’t need to be paid to keep the banking system running. The new president has promised further, and even more severe, Covid-19 lockdowns. The Democratic Party apparently wants to utterly destroy what’s left of the real on-the-ground economy. No incoming US president has gotten off to a more feckless and ill-fated start."
“What happens to people living in a society where everyone in power is lying, stealing, cheating and killing, and in our hearts we all know this, but the consequences of facing all these lies are so monstrous, we keep on hoping that maybe the corporate government administration and media are on the level with us this time. Americans remind me of survivors of domestic abuse. This is always the hope that this is the very, very, very last time one’s ribs get re-broken again.”
Economic Collapse Since The Great Depression Of The 1930s"
by Epic Economist
"We cannot say that we haven't been warned that an economic collapse was coming, and now that it has arrived it's even worse than one could have imagined. From the burst of the sanitary outbreak last March up until now, over half of the American population has suffered acute financial setbacks, and roughly 12 million U.S. renters are at least $5,850 behind in rent and utilities payments, according to the latest projections. A recent study has signaled that up to 40 million people could face eviction as soon as moratoriums and the forbearance period finally ends, which puts the world's most powerful country on the verge of a homelessness crisis.
Over 70 million claims for unemployment benefits have been filed so far, and numbers keep climbing as hundreds of thousands of businesses are closing their doors for good. Our economy is undergoing damages only comparable in size and extent to what was witnessed during the Great Depression of the 1930s and, unfortunately, there's no end in sight to the nightmare we're living in right now. That's what we discuss in this video
The latest data show that another 900,000 Americans filed new unemployment claims last week, a clear indication of the challenges ahead for the labor market. Before 2020 had started and the whole idea of an economic collapse was still just a possibility, the all-time record for new weekly unemployment claims was only 695,000, registered during the Early 1980s Recession. At this stage of the crisis, the number of new claims for jobless benefits has been surpassing 695,000 for almost 44 weeks in a row. That is to say, we're nearing a full-year of record-breaking unemployment rates, and the most worrying thing is that this is just the start.
Low-wage workers have been particularly hard hit by the crisis, many of them used to be employed in the hospitality industry, whose segments were severely affected by the many rounds of restrictions. The restaurant industry, for its part, is facing the worst meltdown it has ever endured. According to an OpenTable study, the number of “seated diners,” a daily measure that tracks walk-ins and diners with reservations, was down on average by 57% all across the U.S. just this week compared to the same period last year.
Likewise, according to STR, Inc, a hotel industry market data firm, 2020 was unquestionably the worst year on record for hotels as industrywide profits were down to zero, as a consequence of government-mandated social distancing measures that kept travelers at home. The STR report revealed that the industry has now one billion unsold room nights for the first time, exceeding the record of 786 million in 2009.
It's not possible to accurately foresee a timeline of when corporate travelers will start booking hotel rooms again, especially with the popularization of work-at-home arrangements and Zoom meetings, which could imply that there will be a permanent decline in traveling, possibly resulting in an unprecedented wave of hotel foreclosures. Numerous small business owners are also at the brink of seeing their business hit rock bottom, as the ramifications of the forced shutdowns have been absolutely devastating their prospects of a recovery.
What our businesses desperately need is to resume the pace of economic activity, but instead, it seems that we're trapped in a never-ending stimulus path that doesn't effectively support owners, workers nor the economy. In fact, the new administration has already launched some questionable plans that will likely impair small truckers. Trucking industry experts have been debating over new laws on transportation that are about to be passed under the new presidency, which could seriously endanger many small American trucking companies.
Ultimately, the results of this law will enable big corporations to seize even more of the trucking market share. It's important to keep in mind that truck drivers' work is essential to keep providing food and material necessities to the nation. But these workers have been feeling disrespected and ignored by the political elite, which could trigger another halt on transportation just as we've seen in November. Consequently, that could potentially lead to another supply chain disruption, and send prices of several goods remarkably up.
Apparently, it is going to be another dark year in U.S. history. The American dream has turned into an economic nightmare and it seems that every day it passes, we're only waiting to see what the next trigger event will be. So many people are suffering at this point, it is just gut-wrenching to watch our great nation's continual decay. Millions of citizens and hundreds of thousands of businesses keep hanging by a thread, and all we can do at this point is hoping for it not to break."
“Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is truly a majestic island universe some 200,000 light-years across. Located a mere 60 million light-years away toward the chemical constellation Fornax, NGC 1365 is a dominant member of the well-studied Fornax galaxy cluster.
This impressively sharp color image shows intense star forming regions at the ends of the bar and along the spiral arms, and details of dust lanes cutting across the galaxy's bright core. At the core lies a supermassive black hole. Astronomers think NGC 1365's prominent bar plays a crucial role in the galaxy's evolution, drawing gas and dust into a star-forming maelstrom and ultimately feeding material into the central black hole.”
"We do not rest satisfied with the present. We anticipate the future as too slow in coming, as if in order to hasten its course; or we recall the past, to stop its too rapid flight. So imprudent are we that we wander in the times which are not ours, and do not think of the only one which belongs to us; and so idle are we that we dream of those times which are no more, and thoughtlessly overlook that which alone exists. For the present is generally painful to us. We conceal it from our sight, because it troubles us; and if it be delightful to us, we regret to see it pass away. We try to sustain it by the future, and think of arranging matters which are not in our power, for a time which we have no certainty of reaching. Let each one examine his thoughts, and he will find them all occupied with the past and the future. We scarcely ever think of the present; and if we think of it, it is only to take light from it to arrange the future. The present is never our end. The past and the present are our means; the future alone is our end. So we never live, but we hope to live; and, as we are always preparing to be happy, it is inevitable we should never be so."
“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.”
"Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish?
– Epictetus, the Greek philosopher
WEST RIVER, MARYLAND – "Does a wolf know he’s a carnivore? Does a brown bear know when it is time to thicken his fur for winter? And did George W. Bush know he was making the biggest foreign policy blunder in U.S. history when he launched the “War on Terror”? Did he know he was preparing the nation for “domestic terrorism”? As we put it earlier this week, fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly. And late, degenerate emperors gotta be incompetent morons.
No-Win Situation: And here, we put today’s events in a simple, tight frame. Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden are like the last leaders of the Roman Empire… Anthemius, Glycerius, Olybrius, and Nepos… no-accounts and imbeciles… playing their roles without really understanding what was going on. All faced a no-win situation. In 5th century Rome, tax revenues were falling while costs rose; the empire was failing. And now, so is America’s empire of fake money and unpayable debt.
At this stage in the degenerates’ progress, the U.S. elite have no choice. They must further foul the economy with more fake money… and suppress dissent. The only other choice would be to renounce the empire. Bring the troops home. Cut spending. Balance the budget. And stop printing money. Easy peasy. But that would require real courage, intelligence, and honesty… Not gonna happen.
Simpler Times: We went to Ronald Reagan’s first inauguration. What a grand time! The Gipper was later captured by Deep State hacks… but in 1980, his famous campaign theme, “Morning in America,” still had the dew on it. We were still young and naïve, too… and hoped for a better future with less government involvement. And even among those who disagreed with Reagan, there was no bitterness towards him.
It was a cold night, but hearts were warm and spirits were high. Washington was packed… with eight separate invitation-only Inaugural Balls. There was music, champagne, and dancing. No troops patrolled the streets. There were no crowd-control fences. No razor wire or armed personnel carriers. There were simply thousands of people celebrating an election victory and looking forward to better things to come.
The new president and his wife, Nancy, had to go from one party to the next… giving short words of encouragement and thanks… often including a joke or two. We only remember one of them… An American and a Russian are sitting in a bar, arguing over whose country is better. The American argues… “See, in America, I am free to do whatever I want. If I wanted to, I could walk right into the White House, slam my fist on the President’s desk, and say, ‘Mr. President, I don’t like the way you are running our country.’” The Russian then said, “I can do the same thing.” “Really? You can?” asks the American. “Yes,” continues the Russian. “If I wanted to, I could walk right into the Kremlin, slam my fist on the General Secretary’s desk, and say, ‘Mr. General Secretary, I don’t like the way President Reagan is running his country.’”
But those were happier days… America was still on the way up. You could still criticize the president without being de-platformed.
Power Grab: This year, however, marks two decades of America on the way down. For it was in 2001 that the feds began the misbegotten War on Terror and passed George W. Bush’s “Patriot Act.” When the feds call something a Patriot Act, you can be sure they’re up to no good. Had advertising standards been enforced in the Capitol, they might have named it the “Ignore the Bill of Rights and Create a Police State” Act. But honesty was going out of fashion at the start of the 21st century.
The Patriot Act was a rascally, Deep State power grab. In it, the feds not only neglected their solemn duty to protect the delicate freedom of their citizens, they took a hammer to it themselves. It gave them tools to pry and eavesdrop on a scale never before seen in America. It expanded the meaning of “terrorism” and allowed them to beat down their “enemies” however they pleased.
Even then, 20 years ago, we saw it as a dress rehearsal for a “War on Terror” in the U.S. itself. People were being trained to stand in line (without protest!) while the TSA patted down grandmothers and Girl Scouts. Neither the grandmothers nor the Girl Scouts posed any real risk to commercial aviation… and everybody knew it. But hey… you can’t be too safe! Americans were also encouraged to rat each other out – “See something; Say something.” Most important, they got used to the government bossing them around in the name of public safety.
Unstoppable Patriotism: We don’t for a minute think George W. Bush intended to turn America into a police state. But perhaps there is some inchoate instinct in humans. When it is time for an empire to decline… they vote for Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden. Then, each plays his part – unconscious of his historical role in bringing the empire to its knees.
The Patriot Act created a whole industry – centered in Northern Virginia – with 17 different spook agencies, billion-dollar budgets, and no way to know what they are spending it on – it’s a secret! The Act prefigured the rise of “insurgents” in the U.S. And now, razor wire, body armor, soldiers, armored vehicles, artillery, snooping, and data collection – all the dark arts once used for protecting the U.S. embassy in Baghdad from terrorists – can be recycled to protect the U.S. Capitol from the American people.
The courts have found parts of the Patriot Act unconstitutional, but the bulk of it remains. And even if it were judged unconstitutional by the courts, it is almost impossible to stop. In 2005, for example, a Stanford Law graduate student was arrested. She was boarding an airplane when she was told she was on the “No Fly” list. How did she get on the list? What was going on? The feds wouldn’t say. “State secret,” they claimed. In fact, it was a mistake… But it took the young woman several years and $3 million in legal fees to get off the list.
Punishment Without Crime: And earlier this month, Senator Chuck Schumer said he wanted to expand the “No Fly” list by adding the names of all the people involved in the unlawful entry into the Capitol, whether they are ever convicted of a crime or not. That’s the beauty – from the Deep State’s point of view – of “terrorism.” It doesn’t require a crime. Anyone you don’t like can be designated a “terrorist.”
What about all those people who contributed to conservative causes? They doubted the accuracy of the election results and demanded a recount. Drawing on the marvelous precedent provided by the Bush team, can’t they now be charged with providing material support to terrorists? Can’t they be put on “No Fly” lists… locked away forever in Guantanamo… or sent to Saudi Arabia for waterboarding? Stay tuned…"
Economic Crisis Since The Great Depression Of The 1930s"
by Michael Snyder
"I warned that an economic collapse was coming, and an economic collapse is exactly what we got. 2020 was a “personal financial disaster” for 55 percent of all Americans, approximately 12 million U.S. renters are “at least $5,850 behind in rent and utilities payments”, the Aspen Institute is projecting that up to 40 million people could be facing eviction when the rent and mortgage moratoriums finally end, and more than 70 million new claims for unemployment benefits have been filed since the COVID pandemic began.
Nobody can point to a time since the Great Depression of the 1930s when the U.S. economy was in worse shape than it is right now. Unfortunately, there are no indications that this nightmare is going to end. Last week, another 900,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits: "Another 900,000 people filed new unemployment claims last week, President Donald Trump’s last in office, a snapshot of the significant labor market challenges facing President Joe Biden. An additional 423,000 people in 47 states filed new claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the program created to help gig and self-employed workers."
Prior to 2020, the all-time record for new unemployment claims in a single week was just 695,000, and that old record was set all the way back in 1982. We shattered that old record early in 2020, but the bigger story is what has happened since we broke it. At this point, the number of new claims for unemployment benefits has been above 695,000 for 44 weeks in a row. That is starting to come close to a full year.
If that does not qualify as a “collapse”, then you are probably using a completely different definition of the word than I am using. This unemployment crisis has hit low wage workers particularly hard. At this point, even Fed officials are being forced to admit that the unemployment rate for low wage workers “is above 20%”.
Many of those low wage workers used to be employed in the restaurant industry, but the restaurant industry continues to be mired in the worst stretch that it has ever encountered: "The number of “seated diners,” a daily measure with which OpenTable tracks walk-ins and diners with reservations, in the week through January 20 in the US was down on average by 57% from the same period last year."
The hospitality industry also typically employs large numbers of low wage workers, and we are being told that last year was the “worst year on record” for that industry: "According to STR, Inc, a hotel industry market data firm, 2020 was absolutely the worst year on record for hotels as industrywide profits fell to zero, as the virus pandemic and resulting government-enforced social distancing measures kept travelers at home.
STR’s latest report said the US hotel occupancy rate was 44% for the year, down from 66% in 2019. This was the lowest occupancy rate on record. In an earlier STR report, we noted weeks ago that the industry had one billion unsold room nights for the first time, surpassing the record of 786 million in 2009."
Countless numbers of small business owners have also been absolutely devastated by this economic downturn. Each month, thousands of small businesses die a permanent death, and the outlook for the months ahead is not good at all. The Epoch Times recently interviewed one small business owner in Minnesota who admitted that “the fallout by this time next year will be shocking”: "The ramifications of the forced shutdowns on thousands of small businesses in Minnesota is going to be huge, says Julie Schroeder, who owns two craft stores in the Minneapolis metro area. “The fallout by this time next year will be shocking,” she told The Epoch Times on Dec. 30, 2020."
Meanwhile, north of the border small businesses are being destroyed at a staggering rate as well: "The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is warning that more than 220,000 businesses across the country are at risk of permanently closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFIB, a lobby group that represents small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Canada, released a new report on Thursday that surveyed 4,129 members about business prospects through the pandemic. The survey found that 181,000 businesses – or one in six – are seriously contemplating permanently closing. That’s up from a similar survey conducted in July, which found that 158,000 businesses were at risk of closing."
In the end, if we can keep the amount of small businesses in the U.S. and Canada that go under to less than 20 percent that should be considered a major victory. Because I have a feeling that the final number is going to be well above that threshold.
And the Biden administration does not seem too sympathetic to the needs of small businesses at this point. For example, one new law that Biden is likely to sign would absolutely cripple small truckers: "Trucking industry experts expect Joe Biden’s presidency to seriously jeopardize many small American trucking companies, and the prospects of truck drivers who work as independent contractors. Biden is poised to sign a transportation law passed in the Democratic House and stalled in the then-Republican Senate in 2019. The Moving Forward Act had required commercial motor vehicles to maintain more than $2 million in insurance liability, more than doubling the existing $750,000."
So many people out there are really hurting right now, and it is not just financial pain that they are dealing with. The past several months have been excruciatingly painful for tens of millions of Americans, and the truth is that there are countless people out there that are emotionally shattered at this moment. If you are one of those people, just keep hanging in there. It will take some time, but you will get through this and you will recover. And I will continue to be here pumping out articles as I do my very best to try to help everyone make sense of a world that is going completely mad."
"Life is truly a ride. We're all strapped in and no one can stop it. When the doctor slaps your behind, he's ripping your ticket and away you go. As you make each passage from youth to adulthood to maturity, sometimes you put your arms up and scream, sometimes you just hang on to that bar in front of you. But the ride is the thing. I think the most you can hope for at the end of life is that your hair's messed, you're out of breath, and you didn't throw up."
- Jerry Seinfeld
"Time, Life, and the Roller Coaster"
Remember when you were 10 years old, and summer felt like it lasted forever? Got a little older, not so bad, still plenty of time to do everything you wanted. Someone told me back then that time speeds up the older you get. Being young, and knowing everything as the young do, I of course ridiculed this idea. But guess what- it’s true. Now I view life, and time, as a roller coaster with just one enormous riser. As you climb the beginning towards the top time is slower to pass. At 30 or so you’re at the very top, then you start the fall towards the bottom. Faster and faster you go, as time goes by ever quicker. Weeks and months flash by, and you wonder where it all went, and as you descend ever faster you suddenly realize that somewhere on the tracks below there’s a solid brick wall or some other disaster awaiting your arrival. The only things you don’t know is where on the tracks ahead of you it is, or how soon you'll arrive. So, while you still can, you'd better appreciate even more the things you can enjoy, and the people whom you love and that love you, because the ride isn’t going to last forever... - CP
"The human race is a herd. Here we are, unique, eternal aspects of consciousness with an infinity of potential, and we have allowed ourselves to become an unthinking, unquestioning blob of conformity and uniformity. A herd. Once we concede to the herd mentality, we can be controlled and directed by a tiny few. And we are."
“Let's be clear about this folks: We deserve to be eaten. Yes, I said eaten. As in caused to assume room temperature. Then skinned. Then slathered in BBQ sauce (to cover the bad taste.) Then grilled. And consumed. And the people who should do it to you? Your children.
Now granted, that's harsh. And no, I'm not advocating it, I'm saying we deserve it. The people of this nation have no right to the love and respect of their offspring. None. Quite the contrary, we deserve to treated as food. We have managed to extract promises that cannot be kept and what's worse the attempt to do so is guaranteed to essentially enslave our younger generation.
I have for a long time lamented that the younger folks in our country seem to be very unmotivated, striving only to do what they have to in order to get by rather than being innovators and making a true effort to excel. I no longer hold this against them. I understand it. Their response to these abuses is non-violent and cannot be assailed - it is in fact logical. Let me ask you the obvious but damned uncomfortable question: Would you prefer the violent - yet still logical, considering what we've done to them - alternative?
We, the older people in this country who not only refused to act over the last four decades of financial fraud and abuse in both the private sector and government but in addition continue to refuse to act to stop it to this very day deserve it.
Even though this attitude and passive refusal by our youth has destroyed our nation's competitiveness, the root cause of it is our pig-headed acts and the demand to write checks we cannot cash, insisting that they cash them instead so we can feast while they starve.
We lose the fundamental right to do that with our offspring when our children reach 18 and no longer have a claim on our assets and earnings power in exchange for their sustenance and protection. Note that from birth to 18 while the relationship may have an essentially parasitic character to it there is a quid-pro-quo that we return to our kids. You can argue over whether this is just but not whether it's necessary, since an infant is physically incapable of survival and growth without outside assistance. That transition from a power relationship to one of equals, even friends, is one that is supposed to happen over time from birth to emancipation. It is in fact our jobs as parents - our only job - to execute on that.
But we've become pigs. We're not content to perform that task and discharge our responsibilities. When we discovered that we can't force our now-18 year olds to mow the lawn any more in exchange for an allowance, we then passed laws that tax them to cover our health care after we chose to be gluttonous jackasses, poisoning our bodies and then demanding the latest, most-expensive medical care that we cannot pay for ourselves. Worse, we let government and the "educational monopoly" design a system that is utterly rapacious and designed to screw our youth through uneconomic options sold to them as the "essential" educational background necessary for success.
Sure, there are exceptions. Some can claim those exceptions personally, but damn few can claim them socially. While you may claim you don't want to burden your children you still continue to vote for, support and allow government to continue to **** the next door neighbor's kid to get what you claim you deserve.
And don't tell me it matters if you're Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or otherwise. It does not. The fact of the matter is that no government can exist without the consent of the governed and no government can issue debt successfully if the people refuse to provide something that creditors can rely on for repayment.
We have the ability to stop all of this stupidity, from top to bottom. But we won't do it because we are afraid. And in response to that fear, instead of standing up to what we've done and accepting that we must take risk in order to right the wrongs we committed we instead choose to financially enslave those young adults we brought into this world, as if we bred them to be our slaves from the outset.
If you're wondering why I believe we deserve to be eaten - or our youth simply shut down and refuse to make their best effort - read the above paragraph as many times as you need to until it sinks in.
"Aside from a breathless stream of headlines and a few random inputs, I haven’t seen many facts regarding the events of January 6th. Circumstances made things that way for me, and now I’m glad they did, because it set me up for the really important issue: Am I allowed to ask questions about this, or am I not?
Bear in mind that I haven’t voted for or otherwise championed Mr. Trump. (Nor did I support his opponents.) More than that, I really want to know the answers to these questions. Especially given the fallout from January 6th, honest answers to these questions matter a great deal. So, I’m going to stick my neck out and ask questions about this event that seem pertinent.
Question #1: What was the actual time line? As I was driving on the 6th, I flipped on the radio and heard Mr. Trump speaking. I was aware that there was going to be a rally in the capitol, and so I listened for a minute or so, just enough to get the tone of it; a rally on the same day electoral votes were counted concerned me. What I actually heard from Mr. Trump, however, was less than his strongest, and included something like, “I know you’re going to go down there…” combined with “patriotically and peacefully.” Hearing him mention “peacefully” comforted me. (Plus the fact that American conservatives take pride in being peaceful and courteous.)
And so I was rather shocked, not many minutes later, when a friend called and said something about the capitol. I responded along the lines of, “it sounds harmless enough”… whereupon I learned that protesters were already inside the building. Since then I’ve seen claims that Mr. Trump was a mile away, in the middle of his speech, when the capitol building was being broken into. So, between my own observations and the claims, I’d like to know what really happened when. Again, I honestly don’t know. What troubles me is that I haven’t seen the claim refuted, only ignored.
Question #2: Were agents provocateur involved? One of the random things I came across was a report from Michael Yon, perhaps the most experienced war reporter in the world, claiming BLM and Antifa agents provocateur led the break-in. This is a guy who should be able to tell. I’ve further seen reports that someone named Sullivan was a known BLM leader, and was at the vanguard of people entering the building. So, I don’t actually know that BLM and Antifa were involved with this, but I’d very much like to know. And once again, I haven’t seen this question addressed. Perhaps I’ve missed something conclusive on this, but the question deserves to be addressed with facts.
Question #3: Is thinking an election was rigged considered insane? This is the impression I get from about half of my headline stream: That anyone believing the recent election was rigged is flat-out insane. But for me, that’s a real problem, because I’ve experienced election rigging, personally. On top of that, I’ve known a lot of inside players in my home state, giving me many more reasons to believe in election rigging. That’s not proof that the November election was rigged, of course, but it’s clearly a reason for me to take seriously the possibility. And if I’m not allowed to ask, I have to wonder why.
As best I can tell, none of the loud voices (news networks, etc.) have analyzed what has been claimed as evidence. Again, I may have missed something, but I simply haven’t seen it. So far as I know, the courts have never examined it (they got rid of the cases on procedural grounds in every case I recall), nor did congress: the “insurrection” interrupted that, after which it was ignored. That sounds very convenient to me, but again, I could have missed a lot. So again I’d like to know: Is such a question permissible, or will I be punished for asking it?
Question #4: Aside from trespassing and a few broken windows, what harm was done?So far as I know, the answer is “not much,” though I may have missed something. A lady named Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed, but she was killed by the police, not the protesters. And details about other reported deaths are spotty. So, I think my question is valid.
Several hundred politicians were inconvenienced, of course, but that’s hardly a major issue. A congressional baseball team being murderously shot up not too long ago was a big deal, but that came and went with almost none of the fanfare and fallout we’ve seen since January 6th. So again I ask, precisely what harm was done? And I ask especially because I’ve seen words like “sacred” applied to this, and to me that reeks of idolatry and dogma, the opposites of reason and proportion.
Question #5: Where are the civil libertarians? I’ll admit that this one rather ticks me off. Tens of thousands of people have been ejected from the public square, not because they caused actual harm, but because someone thinks they’re part of an “insurrection.” Bear in mind that almost none of these people were anywhere near Washington, DC on the 6th. All they did was to fall within some algorithm produced by a surveillance capitalism company. (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
I’ve further heard that people have lost jobs and financing in precisely the same manner: They had nothing to do with the event, but were somehow associated with it. Either that’s a witch hunt or there’s massive and direct evidence against all those people… and it sure doesn’t seem like that’s the case. Since when do we impose penalties for insurrection without a serious finding of fact? And Ron Paul, for goodness sake? He’s a congenitally polite doctor, now old and retired. Disagree with him all you like, but to eject him from the public square is naked thuggery.
So again, I ask: Where are all the civil libertarians? They’re absent without leave, as best I can tell. Either that or it was always a charade, and their high-sounding rhetoric was just sucker-bait for the rubes.
If These Things Can’t Be Asked… Here’s where the rubber meets the road: If we cannot ask these questions, confident that we’ll be met with reason and proportion, we’re living in a tyranny.
What appears to be happening is an illogical statement being writ very large. This is the statement: Some people broke into the capitol and a few windows were broken, therefore our lives are in danger and we must stomp out all evildoers. Any connection between the first part of that sentence and the second is uncertain and (as best I can tell) unproven. And yet, the responses to January 6th treat it as completely verified.
And so, if these questions are not permissible, we are living in tyranny, and particularly under the tyranny of those who punish the asking. So many times we see the true importance of things only once we lose them, and this moment has been revelatory in just that way: We can now see why free speech must be held sacrosanct. Free speech is inherently oppositional to tyranny. It’s the canary in our coal mine. When we see free speech abandoned and punished, we can be certain that tyranny is upon us."