Saturday, April 10, 2021

Musical Interlude: Deuter, "Atmospheres"

Full screen, and relax... beautiful.
Deuter, "Atmospheres"
00:00​ ⋄ Uno
05:45​ ⋄ Deux
11:58​ ⋄ Drei
18:27​ ⋄ Four
25:15​ ⋄ Cinque
31:58​ ⋄ Sei
36:33​ ⋄ Sieben
42:22​ ⋄ Huit
50:55​ ⋄ Nine
57:27​ ⋄ Dieci

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Big, beautiful, barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300 lies some 70 million light-years away on the banks of the constellation Eridanus. This Hubble Space Telescope composite view of the gorgeous island universe is one of the largest Hubble images ever made of a complete galaxy.
NGC 1300 spans over 100,000 light-years and the Hubble image reveals striking details of the galaxy's dominant central bar and majestic spiral arms. In fact, on close inspection the nucleus of this classic barred spiral itself shows a remarkable region of spiral structure about 3,000 light-years across. Unlike other spiral galaxies, including our own Milky Way, NGC 1300 is not presently known to have a massive central black hole.”

"A Lot Of People..."

“When science discovers the center of the universe,
a lot of people will be disappointed to find they are not it.”
- Bernard Baily

"There Comes A Time..."

"Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency ask the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But, conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right." 
 - Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Daily "Near You?"

Prineville, Oregon, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"Restaurant Prices Soar; Small Business Not Rebounding; Debt Fueled Spending; Worst Trade Deficit"

Jeremiah Babe,
"Restaurant Prices Soar; Small Business Not Rebounding; 
Debt Fueled Spending; Worst Trade Deficit"

Gregory Mannarino, "Crypto And Decentralized Finance"

Gregory Mannarino,
"Crypto And Decentralized Finance"

"How It Really Is"

 
And if you think that will ever happen...

"Cultural Revolution in America?"

"Cultural Revolution in America?"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"There is a whiff of unease in the air. Beneath the cheery veneer of free money for almost everyone, growing inequality and polarization are rapidly consuming what's left of common ground in America. Though there are many systemic differences between China and the U.S., humans in every nation are all still running Wetware 1.0. So it is instructive to consider what can be learned from China's Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and see what applies to the U.S. today.

The Cultural Revolution is not an approved topic in China today, and that alerts us to its importance. China's Cultural Revolution was remarkably different from Mao’s communist military-political victory in 1949 over the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek. The political revolution was managed by the centralized hierarchy of the Communist Party (CCP). But the Cultural Revolution quickly morphed from a movement launched by Mao into a decentralized mass movement against all elites, including Party and state elites who had been sacrosanct and untouchable.

The important point here is that the Cultural Revolution was not controlled by the political authorities. They did maintain control of the Party and central government hierarchy in Beijing. But this was nothing more than an illusion of control.

The Irony of Cultural Revolution: The forces of the Cultural Revolution had broken free of central command and control, even as the Red Guards expressed their loyalty to Mao and the principles of the Party. But those expressions were only the politically approved cover for their rampage. That's the irony of Cultural Revolution.

The authorities cannot claim it is a political counter-revolution because the cultural revolutionaries proclaim their loyalty to the very ideals and principles the authorities themselves claim to be upholding - but have failed to do so. Cultural Revolutions in effect claim the higher ground. They bypass the political process and take direct action to further the ideals that the authorities have abandoned or betrayed. Given the fragmentary nature of China’s Cultural Revolution, the history is equally fragmentary - especially given the official reticence to discuss it.

A recent academic book, "Agents of Disorder: Inside China's Cultural Revolution", provides granular detail on the fragmented, decentralized, rapidly evolving dynamics of the movement: (The author) devoted decades to examining the local records of nearly all of China's 2,000-plus county-level jurisdictions. He found that factions emerged from the splintering, rather than the congealing, of class-based groups. Small clusters of students, workers, and cadres struggling to respond to Mao's shifting directives made split-second decisions about whom to align with. Political identities did not shape the conflict; they emerged from it. To explain this process of identity formation, he offers a theory of 'factions as emergent properties' and suggests that similar dynamics may characterize social movements everywhere.

In other words, groups modified their alliances, identities and definitions of "class enemies" on the fly, entirely free of central authorities. Factions splintered, regrouped and splintered again. In the chaos, no one was safe. Those who lived through The Cultural Revolution are reticent about revealing their experiences. Even in the privacy of their homes in the U.S., their voices become hushed and their reluctance to give voice to their experiences is evident.

What Cultural Revolutions Share in Common: Here’s the unifying thread in my view: The accused belonged to some "counter-revolutionary" elite - or they were living vestiges of a pre-revolutionary elite (children of the landlord class, professors, etc.) - and it was now open season on all elites, presumed or real. What generates such spontaneous, self-organizing violence on a national scale? My conclusion is that cultural revolutions result from the suppression of legitimate political expression and the failure of the regime to meet its lofty idealistic goals.

Cultural revolutions are an expression of disappointment and frustration with corruption and the lack of progress in improving everyday life. These frustrations have no outlet in a regime of self-serving elites who view dissent as treason and/or blasphemy. By 1966, China's progress since 1949 had been at best uneven, and at worst catastrophic. The Great Leap Forward caused the deaths of millions due to malnutrition and starvation, and other centrally planned programs were equally disastrous for the masses. Young people found there was no avenue for dissent within the Party, and no way to express their frustration with the Party's failure to fulfil its idealistic goals and promises.

When there is no relief valve in the pressure cooker, it's eventually released in a Cultural Revolution that unleashes all the bottled-up frustrations on elites which are deemed politically vulnerable. These frustrations have no outlet politically because they threaten the status quo. All these repressed emotions will find some release and expression, and whatever avenues are blocked by authorities will channel the frustrations into whatever is still open.

A Cultural Revolution gives the masses permission to criticize the abstract class that "deserves" whatever rough justice is being delivered by the Cultural Revolution. As the book review excerpt noted, the definition of who deserves long overdue justice shifts with the emergent winds. So those at the head of the Revolution might find themselves identified as an illegitimate elite that must be unseated. I submit that these conditions exist in the U.S. today.

The Falcon Will No Longer Hear the Falconer: The systemic failure of the status quo to deliver on idealized promises and the repression of dissent outside "approved" (i.e. unthreatening to the status quo) boundaries. What elite can be criticized without drawing the full repressive powers of the central state? What elite will it be politically acceptable to criticize? I submit that "the wealthy" are just such an abstract elite.

To protect itself, a repressive status quo implicitly signals that the masses can release their ire on an abstract elite with indistinct boundaries - a process that will divert the public anger, leaving the Powers That Be still in charge. But just as in China's Cultural Revolution, central authorities will quickly lose control of conditions on the ground. They will maintain the illusion of control even as events spiral ever farther from their control. The falcon will no longer hear the falconer.

In other words, once the social pressure cooker valve gives way, then the unleashed forces soon grasp that there are few limits on what they can criticize as long as they do so within an implicitly approved narrative. For example, "the wealthy" hoarded wealth and power and so it is just to claw it back by whatever means are available. Since the government failed to do so, the people will have to do so.

The Pressure Cooker Is Getting Hot: The extreme inequalities of wealth and power that are now the dominant dynamic in America are heating the cultural pressure cooker. When the pressure can no longer be contained, then being recognized as wealthy will shift very quickly from something desirable to something to avoid at all costs.

The lesson of China's Cultural Revolution in my view is that once the lid blows off, everything that was linear (predictable) goes non-linear (unpredictable, fragmented, contingent, emergent, prone to extremes, uncontrollable). If America experiences a Cultural Revolution, the outcome won't lend itself to tidiness or predictability.

To use an analogy, if the pendulum is pushed to an extreme, when it's released, it will reach an equivalent extreme (minus a bit of friction) at the opposite end. That could be an unexpected but entirely foreseeable Cultural Revolution. Those who claim that can't happen in America are safely outside the pressure cooker, protected by a delusional confidence that ‘since I'm doing great, everyone is doing great.’ Since real political agency is no longer allowed, then the pressure will find release outside the political system. And yes, it could happen here."
"Cultural Revolution?"
"BLM Founder Branded 'Fraud' After Buying 
Million-Dollar Home In Mostly-White LA Enclave." 
"The co-founder of the polarizing Black Lives Matter movement is under fire for buying a $1.4 million home in a posh California neighborhood that’s 88 percent white. It’s an interesting decision for Patrisse Cullors, a self-professed Marxist and race-baiting activist who has paid lip service to promoting black pride. According to Dirt.com, the home is located in Topanga Canyon, an idyllic rustic neighborhood about 48 minutes outside of Los Angeles and less than 30 minutes from tony Malibu."

"Social justice warrior", huh? Right...
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you! Oh no I'm not...

"The Long Run..."

 

"Today’s Inflation Is Deliberate… and Disastrous"

"Today’s Inflation Is Deliberate… and Disastrous"
by Bill Bonner

"As I’ve been describing in recent Diaries, the financial markets are beginning to realize that the coming inflation is not “cyclical”… It is structural. The distinction is important. Cyclical inflation is more or less benign. It is a feature of the business cycle. As the economy heats up, demand grows for consumer products and the raw materials to make them. This is a healthy trend, but it engenders an immediate feedback loop. That is, the demand for financing increases.

Businesses need financing to boost output and meet the rising demand. Consumers need financing, too. They enhance their lifestyles – with new houses and new cars – counting on rising incomes to help pay for them. This increasing demand for credit raises interest rates, which tends to cool down appetites for both credit and further consumption. Price inflation subsides… interest rates decline… and growth rates cool.

Related to and concurrent with this phenomenon is the government’s need for credit. In an economic expansion, the government also expands. And it tends to absorb credit like a sponge. In a healthy and honest financial system, this is self-limiting, too. Excess government borrowing “crowds out” private borrowing (because the feds are the most reliable borrowers in the world). This raises interest rates even further… thus putting the kibosh on the expansion… and usually leading the Chamber of Commerce, among others, to call on the feds to back off.

Fake Money and False Pretenses: But cometh the Federal Reserve’s fake money, and the whole cyclicality of it collapses. Prices rise, not because a robust economy has increased demand… but because the government has created fake dollars that bid for goods and services just as if they had been gotten honestly. Then, too, consumers, businesses, and the government itself can borrow as much as they want – because the Federal Reserve, through the banking system, is creating new credit at will.

Interest rates do not necessarily rise… because the feedback loop has been severed. The Fed provides fake savings, indistinguishable from real savings… which keeps lending rates low. Even the ever-alert financial press cannot tell the difference. Hardly a day passes without a report that the “U.S. savings rate is soaring” or that “Americans are sitting on a huge pile of savings.”

How could savings increase when GDP is down… unemployment is up… and millions of small businesses are going broke? How is that possible? It is possible because a crisis – especially one where millions of people are under house arrest – always reduces consumer spending. But this time, the savings rate is altogether a different thing. Much of what people “save” today is money they never earned. It is money given to them by the generous folks at the U.S. government. It is fake money, given away on false pretenses. And now, it is fraudulently described as “savings.”

These ersatz savings help depress interest rates, until people realize how it works. Then, they see that the incipient inflation is not cyclical. It is structural. It is part of the government’s program… a program that the feds can’t stop.

Intentional, Deliberate, and Disastrous: Prices are beginning to rise, in other words, not because a real boom is increasing demand for goods and services. Instead, fake demand – a bigger supply of dollars – is driving up prices, with no offsetting increase in goods or services. This phenomenon has a feedback loop of its own. But it’s not self-correcting… It’s self-destructive.

Instead of increasing interest rates and thereby reducing demand for credit, the fake money increases debt loads, dependency, and the need for more cheap credit – more money-printing – to keep up with it. This time, governments are not encouraged to cut back on their programs to prevent “crowding out” private borrowers.

Instead, they’re begged to step up their money-printing, to spend more money, to buy more bonds (or, later, stocks too), to provide more “stimmy” money, to build more highways, to control the planet’s temperature, to right the wrongs of the past, and to look into the changing future and make sure it never happens.

Investors soon figure out that this means higher prices and less output. They take steps to protect themselves… And the government takes steps to prevent them from protecting themselves. “Structural inflation,” in other words, is not a natural feature of the business cycle. It is government policy. Intentional. Deliberate. And disastrous."

"The Life Of The Mind..."

"All of the available data show that the typical American citizen has about 
as much interest in the life of the mind as does your average armadillo."
- Morris Berman

Apologies to armadillos for the comparison...

Friday, April 9, 2021

"Jim Rickards Warns America: War On Cash Has Started, Prepare Your Self For Digital Dollar"

Full screen recommended.
"Jim Rickards Warns America: War On Cash Has Started, 
Prepare Your Self For Digital Dollar"
by Epic Economist

"A dangerous war on cash has started and it is threatening to eliminate all paper dollars forever. According to the economist James Rickards, plans that once seemed too absurd to be true and might have been dismissed as baseless speculation or conspiracy theories are now being publicly enforced by people who occupy the highest levels of power. The ongoing development of central bank digital currencies is going to be the next blow on our personal freedom, as governments will start to collect people's private information to impose punitive measures, negative rates, automatize the deduction of taxes and increase surveillance on all of our banking transactions. The United States is now facing a critical moment as rising inflation is putting the dollar's leading position as the world's reserve currency at risk and that, according to the expert, is going to be the perfect cue for our leaders to justify implementing digital dollars and abandoning paper money. But the consequences of this change will be obscure and will be many. And that's what we're going to discuss in this video.

Economist, investment banker, and financial writer James Rickards recently published an article on the Daily Reckoning warning that the global financial system is experiencing a structural reform that will change money as we know it forever. The Great Reset, as most specialists call it, is finally here, and it is rapidly and silently developing on the dark backstage of central banks all around the world. The health crisis has undoubtedly ravaged economies all over the planet, but it also allowed governments, particularly the U.S. government, to engage in massive spending, expanding our money supply by the trillions. That, however, is putting our position as the world's reserve currency at risk, as rising inflation is threatening to sharply collapse the value of our currency.

The more our deficits grow and our purchasing power declines, the less people will trust in our currency. Knowing that the narrative of a decaying dollar scares most Americans, the central bank has been quietly working on the perfect solution. So when things go downhill and the imminence of severe financial losses sparks panic and chaos across broad swaths of the US population, the federal government and policymakers will arise with a life-changing proposal: digital money. Arguing that in order to reverse runaway inflation and major wealth losses the only logical move would be to completely abandon paper dollars and fully embrace an entirely digital currency, world leaders - who, by the way, unleashed inflation through the staggering monetary response to the health crisis - will come up with what will look like a helpful and progressive plan to get us out from the mess they created themselves.

The truth is that the total elimination of cash has been the global elite's pet project for decades, and now they finally found the ultimate chance to get started. For the wealthy 1%, digital currencies make the dream of infinite money come true, but for the average person, it means that central banks will have access to all of our private banking transactions, and more concerningly, it gives authorities a free pass to directly impose negative interest rates in our banking accounts. The European Central Bank agrees that negative rates will be applied as a “penalty” against “hoarding” cash.

Although the roll-out of the new digital dollar is being kept a secret, the consequences of its imminent issuance are already raising many eyebrows in the financial sector. Considering that banks and other financial institutions are the very foundations of today's stock market, determining valuations alongside the tech sector, CBDCs may represent the end of traditional banks, which also implies that the stock market would either have to significantly shrink in size or cease to exist as a whole. On top of all that, there's an even more obscure side to CBDCs. With no cash, there's no anonymity, and therefore, governments will be allowed to track your whereabouts and habits at all times only by analyzing your use of funds through the CBDC payment system. A central bank digital currency can also result in the automatic deduction of taxes with no alternative for holders to escape.

Given that our country has already started the process of enabling inflation and eliminating cash, anyone who is concerned about the prospect of being pushed into the new digital currency regime trap should make it a high priority to turn to hard money to preserve their savings outside of the financial system. Tough times are ahead for our nation in many different ways, and you should closely watch the next series of developments of the financial world, here, on Epic Economist."

Musical Interlude: Ludovico Einaudi, "Oltremare"

Ludovico Einaudi, "Oltremare"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Close to the Great Bear (Ursa Major) and surrounded by the stars of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici), this celestial wonder was discovered in 1781 by the metric French astronomer Pierre Mechain. Later, it was added to the catalog of his friend and colleague Charles Messier as M106. Modern deep telescopic views reveal it to be an island universe - a spiral galaxy around 30 thousand light-years across located only about 21 million light-years beyond the stars of the Milky Way. 
Along with a bright central core, this stunning galaxy portrait, a composite of image data from amateur and professional telescopes, highlights youthful blue star clusters and reddish stellar nurseries tracing the galaxy's spiral arms. It also shows off remarkable reddish jets of glowing hydrogen gas. In addition to small companion galaxy NGC 4248 at bottom right, background galaxies can be found scattered throughout the frame. M106, also known as NGC 4258, is a nearby example of the Seyfert class of active galaxies, seen across the spectrum from radio to X-rays. Active galaxies are powered by matter falling into a massive central black hole.”

Chet Raymo, "Lessons"

"Lessons"
by Chet Raymo

"There is a four-line poem by Yeats, called "Gratitude to the Unknown Instructors":

"What they undertook to do
They brought to pass;
All things hang like a drop of dew
Upon a blade of grass."

Like so many of the short poems of Yeats, it is hard to know what the poet had in mind, who exactly were the unknown instructors, and if unknown how could they instruct. But as I opened my volume of "The Poems" this morning, at random, as in the old days people opened the Bible and pointed a finger at a random passage seeking advice or instruction, this is the poem that presented itself. Unsuperstitious person that I am, it seemed somehow apropos, since outside the window, in a thick Irish mist, every blade of grass has its hanging drop.

Those pendant drops, the bejeweled porches of the spider webs, the rose petals cupping their glistening dew - all of that seems terribly important here, now, in the silent mist. There is not much good to say about getting old, but certainly one advantage of the gathering years is the falling away of ego and ambition, the felt need to be always busy, the exhausting practice of accumulation. Who were the instructors who tried to teach me the practice of simplicity when I was young - the poets and the saints, the buddhas who were content to sit beneath the bo tree while the rest of us scurried here and there? I scurried, and I'm not sorry I did, but I must have tucked their lessons into the back of my mind, a cache of wisdom to be opened at my leisure.

Whatever it was they sought to teach has come to pass. All things hang like a drop of dew upon a blade of grass."

"In Ordinary Times..."

"In ordinary times we get along surprisingly well, on the whole, without ever discovering what our faith really is. If, now and again, this remote and academic problem is so unmannerly as to thrust its way into our minds, there are plenty of things we can do to drive the intruder away. We can get the car out or go to a party or to the cinema or read a detective story or have a row with a district council or write a letter to the papers about the habits of the nightjar or Shakespeare's use of nautical metaphor. Thus we build up a defense mechanism against self-questioning because, to tell the truth, we are very much afraid of ourselves."
- Dorothy L. Sayers

"God Grant Me The Courage..."

“God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right,
even though I think it is hopeless.”
- Adm. Chester W. Nimitz


"We said together, wistfully, 'Life, eh?' It says everything without having to say anything: that we all experience moments of joyful or painful reflection, sometimes alone, sometimes sharing laughs and tears with others; that we all know and appreciate that however wonderful and precious life is, it can equally be a terribly confusing and mysterious beast. 'Life, eh?"
- Miranda Hart

"How to Spot Your Own Self-Delusion"

"How to Spot Your Own Self-Delusion"
by Pamela Meyer

"What if deception is in the eye of the beholder? And what if lies can help us tell the truth? The biggest lies are the lies we tell ourselves. S.E. Hinton wrote in "The Outsiders", "I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me." Maybe she was onto something. We've trained ourselves to accept certain truths about where we find fulfillment, where we find joy, and where we find success. But should we challenge that conventional wisdom? Recent studies show that much of what we know about leading a rewarding life is wrong. Some of it is delusional, and some of those delusions are self-inflicted. Here are 5 lies we tell ourselves that we should cleanse from our brains.

Lie #1: Idle Hands are the Devil's Workshop: A hard day's work is great. Mindless busy work is not. The greatest threat to success isn't an hour lunch break or a seven-hour day. Everyone's had a boss that believes working hard is the same as working smart. Take this 2013 study from the New Zealand Productivity Commission (yes, that's a thing). In it, experts draw a sharp contrast between work and productivity. The two are not interchangeable. Productivity, notes the study, is the efficient use of both labor and capital. You shouldn't waste labor, just like you shouldn't waste money. We're hardwired to equate quantity of work with quality of work. So we admire and promote the co-worker who puts in the longest hours, when we should be rewarding the co-worker who puts out the best work. We trick ourselves into emphasizing inputs instead of outputs.

Lie #2: "Winners never quit, and quitters never win." Vince Lombardi immortalized that can-do spirit, and has the creds to back it up. Today, we accept his cliché blindly. But quitters can win, and win big. Einstein was a patent clerk in his first gig. Lombardi's wisdom would've had Einstein working to be the best darn patent clerk in Germany. He quit, and traded a fulfilling civil service career for the theory of relativity. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg quit Harvard, Steve Jobs quit Reed College - how significantly has our world changed thanks to their quitting spirit?

Winning strategies don't come from the senseless pursuit of bad ideas. To wit, that's precisely what this fascinating psychological report concludes. In an exhaustive study of 12,000 young people's progress over their lifetime, the University of Florida's Timothy Judge found a beguiling little demographic of successful individuals. Their success didn't come from their backgrounds, but from their ability to collective, analyze, and reject -quit, if you will--certain paths in front of them. Not only did they succeed, they succeeded at higher levels than peers who had greater advantages in pedigree and education.

Lie #3: "Money for Nothing": There's no such thing as a free lunch. This data from The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), read: a bunch of rich countries, found that working hours have gone down since 1991 while wages have gone up. Along with that trend comes the perception that success comes easy and money comes quick.We live in a world of miracle weight loss, fast cash and no-hassle loans. This is an era where people actually believe a Nigerian Prince is willing to pay them millions in exchange for a social security number. The reality is that if you want to make it, you need to get gritty and you need to get dirty. There's no quick, clean fix, there's rarely an easy set path, and there are no free rides. Richard Branson had a little record shop before he started signing bands like The Sex Pistols and founding Virgin Airways (no, not that kind of dirty.) He said: "You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over."

Re: the grit and dirt part, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point is a good place to find both. Two West Point professors, along with two of their colleagues, confirm the bad news: "grit" and determination towards achieving a goal is just as important as your individual talent.

Lie #4 "I will win at all costs. I can do it." That philosophy worked so well for Lance Armstrong... But losing isn't just an option; it's the breeding ground for resiliency. And we shouldn't fear it. Harvard's Rosabeth Moss notes "the difference between winners and losers is how they handle losing." Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper gig for lacking "imagination" and "original ideas." Michael Jordan was cut from his High School basketball team. Oprah was demoted from her news gig because she "wasn't fit for television." Losing, writes Kanter in her book, is the building block of confidence. As the self-esteem generation rises -with its noted intolerance for criticism and defeat- the biggest winners will be the best losers.

Lie #5: Note to self: "You are my best friend: You are special": It sounded so good when Mr. Rogers said it. But we're not all special. Not until we do something to prove it. Psychologist Jean Twenge has studied what she calls the "Narcissism Epidemic" that courses through our society. It's a look at how an infatuation with ourselves is chipping away at the foundations of success and mental health. This self-deception, says John Reynolds of Florida State University, has engendered inflated ambitions and expectations, which -surprise!- leads to depression and feelings of failure.

So what's the antidote for all the special snowflakes out there? In "The Pyschology of Success", Carol Dweck speaks to the importance of having a "growth mindset" rather than a "fixed mindset." Put plainly, you can be special and you can be talented. But it isn't divinely appointed. Act mediocre, lead a mediocre life, and you'll be as special as a glass of lukewarm milk. Per Dweck, you either grow personally and professionally to fulfill your aspirations, or your stubbornly expect your aspirations to come to you.

All of this, of course, is easier said than done. The logistician Ludwig Wittgenstein said "nothing's so difficult as not deceiving ourselves." Clear heads are hard to come by, common sense is rarely common, and perception isn't always reality. True honesty isn't limited to the way you talk to your neighbors. It can also come from the way your heart talks to your brain.”

Gregory Mannarino, PM 4/9/21: "Central Banks Gone Wild! Expect A Tsunami Of Inflation To Hit"

Gregory Mannarino, PM 4/9/21:
"Central Banks Gone Wild! Expect A Tsunami Of Inflation To Hit"

The Daily "Near You?"

Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"The Ironic, The Tragic Thing..."

“One can fight evil but against stupidity one is helpless… I have accepted the fact, hard as it may be, that human beings are inclined to behave in ways that would make animals blush. The ironic, the tragic thing is that we often behave in ignoble fashion from what we consider the highest motives. The animal makes no excuse for killing his prey; the human animal, on the other hand, can invoke God’s blessing when massacring his fellow men. He forgets that God is not on his side but at his side.”

“There is no salvation in becoming adapted to a world which is crazy.”
- Henry Miller

“Sheeple”

“Sheeple”
by CCRider

“I get so disgusted with people at times I can barely control my emotions. Standing in line at a grocery store earlier today there was a young mother and her daughter I would guess to be about three years old, both (of course) wearing masks. I have no doubt the mother was of normal intelligence and cared deeply for her child. I pitied them both. In front of her was a lady in a powered shopping cart who was morbidly obese. Her cart was loaded with processed foods, high-fructose corn syrup soda and other poisons. She was wearing a mask and surgical gloves.

How often have you wondered how people will so instinctively follow absurd and self-destructive dictates? Why does propaganda work so well? It can’t be stupidity. Hitler led Germany to slaughter and dismemberment and the Germans are among the smartest people in the world. It boggles the mind and depresses the spirit. It’s not enough to simply call them sheeple. That doesn’t satisfy the intellect. There has to be a reason. It turns out there is a good reason and it’s uncomplicated and the answer has been available for hundreds of years.

Only Murray Rothbard could have found an obscure original thinker five hundred years earlier who explains in the simplest terms why people can be made to so slavishly adhere to the ridiculous and dangerous dictates of a single ‘authority’ figure. Frenchman E’tienne de La Boe’tie wrote a book that explains this phenomenon. Its title is ‘Discourse on Voluntary Servitude”. I came across it when I was first enthralled by Rothbard’s writings 40 years ago. It played a major role in my hatred of government ever since.

The following interview gets into the details of this book. Like Rothbard himself, James Corbett has the ability to fix laser-like on the most logical path to understanding. Here he is interviewed by Keith Knight on the subject. Knight is a wonderful interviewer who did his homework. It’s 45 minutes long but if you listen to the first 6 minutes I think you will be hooked.

Keith Knight of “Don’t Tread on Anyone” interviews James Corbett about “The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude”, the 16th century treatise on tyranny and obedience by Étienne de La Boétie. James and Keith highlight some of the book’s key insights and detail how they apply every much to our situation today as they did when they were written.”
Freely download “The Politics of Obedience:
The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude”, by Étienne de la Boétie, here:

"Time to Get Out of Dodge?"

"Time to Get Out of Dodge?"
By Bill Bonner

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – "A German movie, title long forgotten, showed a group of children whose parents were killed near the end of World War II. The four children were orphaned into chaos, ruins, and hunger. With no family nearby, no functioning government, no communications or social services available, and neither law nor order to protect them, what could they do? The children set off, making their way across Germany in 1945 – amid scenes of desperation, violence, and depravity.

The redeeming thing was not only that the children were resourceful and intrepid, and succeeded in reaching their grandmother’s house… but that when they got there, they found it just as they remembered it – an oasis of tranquility… untouched by five years of brutal warfare. When things fall apart, in other words, is a good time to be where they don’t fall apart.

On the Move: Suppose you were in Russia in 1917… or in Germany in 1933… or in Venezuela in 2010. If you were clever or lucky, you might have found a way to prosper safely. But the better strategy was to get out when the going was still good.

Two million Russians emigrated during the Civil War, 1917-1922. 130,000 Jews fled Germany between 1933-1937. And more than four million people have left Venezuela in the last 10 years. And now… partly in response and partly in anticipation… Americans seem to be on the move, too. Some are fed up with politics… with their neighbors… or just with the weather. Others, like animals moving to higher ground before a tsunami, may be sensing danger. “Zoom Towns” are booming. And prices in some areas are soaring.

Curiously, if masking up, closing down, and staying away help reduce death rates from COVID-19…Americans must not fear death. Because last year, they moved from places with fairly strict control measures to places without them.

This remark should not be confused with “the science.” It’s just an observation passed along by a French colleague, Simone Wapler. She reports that 16 million Americans packed up last year, and sent us the latest figures compiled by moving company, United Van Lines. They show, on the left, the states people abandoned… and on the right, where they went.
Writes Simone: "People left the towns where local taxes were high, and states where people were locked down – such as California, New York, and Illinois. They found more moderate taxation and less confinement in states such as Florida, Idaho, and Tennessee."

Getting Out: Others seem to be moving out of the U.S. completely. Yesterday, we talked with a colleague, Ronan McMahon, an expert on real estate in the resort communities of Central America. “Most of the buyers used to be older people,” Ronan explained. “American retirees.” “I’m in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Here in my building, it used to be very quiet, with a couple of common rooms for meetings and cocktail parties. Now, the place is full of families – some with young children. And the meeting rooms have been turned into digital workstations. And over on the East Coast of Mexico, I’ve never seen so much activity. Restaurants are full. Beaches are crowded. Americans are buying places sight unseen. They seem almost desperate to get out of the U.S.”

Trouble Ahead: The U.S. is clearly headed for trouble. Deeply in debt already, it proposes to solve its problems – real and imagined – by borrowing (and printing) more money. Eventually, the whole money system will blow up. Most likely, the supermarket shelves will empty… and the headlines will fill up with reports of violence, corruption, and jackassery.

How bad will it get? We have no way of knowing. Maybe we will muddle through with only financial losses. Or maybe millions will die in a coming “Dark Age” of starvation and civil war. When will things get rough? We don’t know that, either. Typically, disasters take much longer to begin than you expect. Then, they happen faster than you expect. And finally, they get worse than you ever imagined. Whatever happens, some places are less likely to fall apart than others.

Find Your Bolthole: In the meantime, we are “locked down” in our own little bolthole in Ireland… waiting for the country to open up again… and for the birth of a grandchild. (Any day now!) But you don’t have to leave the U.S. to find relative safety. America’s small towns still provide some of the easiest and most agreeable living opportunities in the world.

Colleague Dan Denning has prepared a “bolthole” report for our Bonner-Denning Letter subscribers. You may want to take a look at it. [Paid-up subscribers can download the report here. To subscribe, click here.]

Or you could sign up for colleague Tom Dyson’s Postcards From the Fringe free e-letter. Tom and his family are “hobos,” with no fixed home address. In his Postcards, he explores the places he visits – his current residence is in Driggs, Idaho – and describes the transient life he leads. [Go here to sign up.]

Until next week…"

"How It Really Is"

"The only difference between the Republican and Democratic 
parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when
 corporations knock on their door. That's the only difference."
- Ralph Nader

"Number of COVID Vaccine Injuries Reported to VAERS Surpasses 50,000, CDC Data Show"

"Number of COVID Vaccine Injuries Reported to 
VAERS Surpasses 50,000, CDC Data Show"
By Megan Redshaw 

“When you don’t have the data and you don’t have
 the actual evidence, you’ve got to make a judgment call." 

"Data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the number of injuries and deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) following COVID vaccines revealed steadily rising numbers, but no new trends. VAERS is the primary mechanism for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a causal relationship can be confirmed.

Every Friday, VAERS makes public all vaccine injury reports received to the system as of Friday of the previous week. Today’s data show that between Dec. 14, 2020, and March 26, a total of 50,861 total adverse events were reported to VAERS, including 2,249 deaths - an increase of 199 over the previous seven days - and 7,726 serious injuries, up 631 over the same time period.

Of the 2,249 deaths reported as of March 26, 28% occurred within 48 hours of vaccination, 19% occurred within 24 hours and 43% occurred in people who became ill within 48 hours of being vaccinated. In the U.S., 136.7 million COVID vaccine doses had been administered as of March 26.

This week’s VAERS data show:
• 19% of deaths were related to cardiac disorders.
• 45% of those who died were male, 43% were female and the remaining death reports did not include gender of the deceased.
• The average age of those who died was 77.7 and the youngest death was an 18-year-old.
• As of March 26, 341 pregnant women had reported adverse events related to COVID vaccines, including 104 reports of miscarriage or premature birth.
• Of the 578 cases of Bell’s Palsy reported, 63% of cases were reported after Pfizer-BioNTech vaccinations - almost twice as many as reported (36%) following vaccination with the Moderna vaccine. Seven cases of Bell’s Palsy were reported with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine (1%).
• There were 2,578 reports of anaphylaxis, with 53% of cases attributed to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 44% to Moderna and 3% to J&J vaccine, which was rolled out in the U.S. on March 2.
• Using a broadened search for any reference to anaphylaxis in chart notes resulted in 15,193 reports, with 52% of cases attributed to Pfizer’s COVID vaccine, 45% to Moderna and 3% to J&J. With each vaccine, nearly 42% of anaphylactic reports occurred in people aged 17-44.

According to the CDC’s website, “the CDC follows up on any report of death to request additional information and learn more about what occurred and to determine whether the death was a result of the vaccine or unrelated.” To date, the only information the CDC has published related to the investigation of COVID vaccine-related deaths and how those investigations were conducted is a COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Update via the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, published Jan. 27.

An interview in MedPage Today highlighted the shortfalls of the post-marketing surveillance of the COVID vaccine. Aaron Kesselheim, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said we are seeing a lot of spontaneous reporting, a lack of formal post-approval studies because vaccines have only received Emergency Use Authorization and vaccines being given outside the healthcare systems - interfering with the ability to rigorously collect observational data.

Although the CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have various systems in place to monitor the safety of vaccines, they are not “up and running” and do not have adequate resources behind them, Kesselheim said. According to Kesselheim, there’s essentially nobody keeping track of COVID adverse reactions in the U.S. and no long-term safety data, but emphasized that this new mRNA technology is “extremely effective and extremely safe.”

On March 8, The Defender contacted the CDC with questions about reported deaths and injuries related to COVID vaccines. We provided a written list of questions about how the CDC conducts investigations into reported deaths, the status of investigations on deaths reported in the media, if autopsies are being done and the standard for determining whether an injury is causally connected to a vaccine. We also inquired about whether healthcare providers are reporting all injuries and deaths that might be connected to the COVID vaccine, and what education initiatives are in place to encourage and facilitate proper and accurate reporting.

It took the CDC 22 days to respond to our repeated inquiries. When someone did, the person told us the agency had never received the questions - even though the employees we talked to several times said their press officers were working through the list of questions and were reviewing the email we sent. We provided the questions again yesterday, and requested a response by April 7.

Breakthrough cases: On March 31, The Defender reported on the increasing number of “breakthrough cases” of COVID in fully vaccinated people. Washington, Florida, South Carolina, Texas, New York, California and Minnesota have all reported breakthrough cases of COVID, some of which have resulted in hospitalization and death. Investigations are underway to determine if there were problems with the vaccines or if people had been infected with a variant. When asked about the increasing number of breakthrough cases during a White House press conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical advisor, said it is something they will take seriously and follow closely, but breakthrough infections happen with any vaccination.

CDC issues new travel guidance, vaccine passports stir controversy. The CDC today issued new travel guidance stating that fully vaccinated Americans traveling within the U.S. do not have to get tested for COVID before or after their trip, and do not need to self-quarantine when they return home.

On March 29, The Defender reported that the Biden administration and private companies are working to develop vaccine passports that would require Americans to prove they’ve been vaccinated against COVID as the country opens. Dr. Naomi Wolf, founder and CEO of Daily Clout, said the passport system really isn’t about the vaccine. It’s about your data, and “once this rolls out you don’t have a choice about being part of the system.”

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said that vaccine credentials are a complete government overstep that will undermine public trust and substantially limit normal day-to-day essential activities. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) said “vaccine passports are unconstitutional. Period.”

On March 26, New York launched a digital vaccine passport system known as Excelsior Pass that residents can use to prove they’ve been vaccinated or recently tested negative for infection. The New York system, built on IBM’s digital health pass platform, will be used at dozens of events, including arts and entertainment venues.

J&J makes headlines with manufacturing mix-up, report of severe allergic reaction: As The Defender reported April 1, 15 million doses of J&J’s vaccine failed quality control after workers at a Baltimore manufacturing plant negligently put an AstraZeneca ingredient in J&J’s COVID vaccine. The mix-up forced regulators to delay authorization of the plant’s production lines and prompted an investigation by the FDA.

On March 31, Business Insider reported that a 74-year-old Virginia man suffered a rare reaction to J&J’s vaccine that caused a painful rash to spread across his entire body and skin to peel off. Richard Terrell told local news station WRIC he began suffering strange symptoms four days after receiving the vaccine. “I began to feel a little discomfort in my armpit and then a few days later I began to get an itchy rash, and then after that I began to swell and my skin turned red,” Terrell said. The rash spread to his entire body and his skin peeled off. He went to the emergency room, where doctors determined that he had experienced an adverse reaction to the COVID vaccine.

AstraZeneca suspended in Germany and Canada: On March 31, The Defender reported that Germany indefinitely suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for anyone under 60 following advice from STIKO, the country’s independent vaccine committee and external experts. The committee investigated reports of blood clots, some fatal, in people who received the vaccine and decided to give the vaccine only to people 60 or older unless they belong to a high-risk category where the benefits outweigh the risk of a serious side-effect.

As The Defender reported on March 30, several regions of Germany, including Berlin and Munich, had temporarily paused the vaccine for people under 60 after Germany’s vaccine regulator disclosed 31 cases of a rare brain blood clot, nine of which resulted in deaths. The decision was made as a precaution ahead of a meeting with national medical regulators scheduled for later in the day where it was decided to indefinitely suspend the vaccine.

On March 30, Canada announced it was suspending AstraZeneca’s vaccine for people under age 55 following concerns it might be linked to rare blood clots, The Defender reported. Health Canada demanded AstraZeneca conduct a detailed study on the risks and benefits of its COVID vaccine across multiple age groups, and suspended the vaccine for younger groups pending the outcome of that review. On March 24, Health Canada updated the product information for AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccines to warn of the risk of rare blood clots associated with low levels of blood platelets following vaccinations - a stark reversal from Canada’s former position.

Children’s Health Defense asks anyone who has experienced an adverse reaction, to any vaccine, to file a report following these three steps."

"Economic Market Snapshot AM 4/9/21"

"Economic Market Snapshot AM 4/9/21"
"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will
do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone."
- John Maynard Keynes
"Down the rabbit hole of psychopathic greed and insanity...
Only the consequences are real - to you!
Your guide:
Gregory Mannarino, AM 4/9/21:

"The FReaKShoW Continues! 

(But You Are Not Supposed To Know About It)"

"The more I see of the monied classes, 
the better I understand the guillotine."
- George Bernard Shaw
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