Saturday, May 8, 2021

Musical Interlude: John Mellencamp, "Ain't That America"

Full screen recommended.
John Mellencamp, "Ain't That America"

What we once were...

"A Look to the Heavens"

“NGC 253 is not only one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, it is also one of the dustiest. Discovered in 1783 by Caroline Herschel in the constellation of Sculptor, NGC 253 lies only about ten million light-years distant.
NGC 253 is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of Galaxies, the nearest group to our own Local Group of Galaxies. The dense dark dust accompanies a high star formation rate, giving NGC 253 the designation of starburst galaxy. Visible in the above photograph is the active central nucleus, also known to be a bright source of X-rays and gamma rays.”

"The Time You Have Left..."

“The life you have left is a gift. Cherish it.
Enjoy it now, to the fullest. Do what matters, now.”
~ Leo Babauta

The Poet: Mary Oliver, "Coming Home"

"Coming Home"

"When we are driving in the dark,
on the long road to Provincetown,
when we are weary,
when the buildings and the scrub pines lose their familiar look,
I imagine us rising from the speeding car.
I imagine us seeing everything from another place -
the top of one of the pale dunes, or the deep and nameless
fields of the sea.
And what we see is a world that cannot cherish us,
but which we cherish.
And what we see is our life moving like that
along the dark edges of everything,
headlights sweeping the blackness,
believing in a thousand fragile and unprovable things.
Looking out for sorrow,
slowing down for happiness,
making all the right turns
right down to the thumping barriers to the sea,
the swirling waves,
the narrow streets, the houses,
the past, the future,
the doorway that belongs
to you and me."

- Mary Oliver

The Daily "Near You?"

Grasse, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France. Thanks for stopping by!

"Never Regret Anything..."


"The Water Pitcher"

"The Water Pitcher"
by Paulo Coelho

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

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

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

"You Better Decide..."

“A wise man once said you can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it. What he meant is nothing comes without a price. So before you go into battle, you better decide how much you’re willing to lose. Too often, going after what feels good means letting go of what you know is right, and letting someone in means abandoning the walls you’ve spent a lifetime building. Of course, the toughest sacrifices are the ones we don’t see coming, when we don’t have time to come up with a strategy to pick a side or to measure the potential loss. When that happens, when the battle chooses us and not the other way around, that’s when the sacrifice can turn out to be more than we can bear.”
- “Dr. Meredith Grey”, “Grey’s Anatomy"

"How It Really Is"

“The Truth Hurts, But The Lack Of Truth Hurts More”

“The Truth Hurts, But The Lack Of Truth Hurts More”
by Mark Manson

“Each week, I send you three potentially life-changing ideas to help you be a slightly less awful human being. This week, we’re talking about: 1) our inability to be objective about, well, anything, 2) the death of expertise, and 3) opinions are overrated. Let’s get into it.
1. What you see is who you’re with – A few years ago, I wrote an article about the ways our minds fail at interpreting what is objectively true about the world around us. I discussed cognitive biases, heuristics, false memories, and the ways that our neurological machinery is terribly limited. But I might have missed another factor: group identities. Psychologists have long known that 1) our minds warp our perceptions to fit our prior beliefs and self-interests and that 2) our deep need to feel like we belong to a larger group drives a lot of our behavior and reasoning.

Well, these two concepts collided in an interesting new paper by researchers in Denmark and the US. The paper suggests that similar to the way we distort our perceptions to fit our own interests, we might do the same to satisfy the interests of the groups we identify with. Money quote: “In sum, there are several reasons to believe that the human mind prioritizes false over true information in the context of group-conflict. This prioritization is not because the human mind is actively considering and evaluating the veracity of the information and choosing false over true. Rather, it is because that veracity is not the relevant dimension of evaluation; instead, the relevant dimension is mobilization-potential. And here false and extreme information is often more useful.”

In the age of online outrage, I’ve long wondered how it was possible that people of completely opposite belief systems and ideologies could see the same video or image and both come to conclusions that support their prior beliefs. I used to think that people had to be willfully lying about what they saw, or at the very least, so clueless that they couldn’t interpret the information correctly.

But this research suggests that no, it’s not ignorance or willful lying. In the same way some people see this dress as black and blue and other people see it as white and gold, something similar may be occurring when people of two different group identities hear the same speech or see the same news event or read the same article. They see the truth that confirms their group affiliations, but only because their minds unconsciously screen out information and interpretations that might conflict with them.

The paradox of the internet has always been that the thing that’s connecting all of us also seems to be driving us apart. This cognitive blip in our evolutionary machinery could explain why hundreds of millions of people can be given the same information and instead of uniting us under exposure to universal knowledge, it only gives us more opportunities to perceive divisions.

2. The death of expertise – But there’s something else that bothers me about all of the kibitzing that happens online these days, and the events of 2020 have definitely shone a light on it. I’m coming to believe that there’s something about the ability to post something online that gives people a false sense of importance. Maybe there’s an unconscious assumption that just because many people can see what I’m posting, I erroneously believe whatever I post must be important. Call it the, “Sniffing Your Own Farts Theorem” of social media usage… where the more people post stuff, the more likely they are to feel like what they say is terribly important.

In the spring, everyone and their dog became an epidemiological expert overnight. Who knew that Carl the electrician knew so much about contagious viruses! It got so bad that I eventually wrote a long piece in April imploring people to shut the f**k up so scientists could do their work. I see similar trends today, where people I went to grade school with have suddenly become legal experts and are now conducting forensic analyses of cell phone videos. Or where random family members apparently find themselves privy to the back-dealings of the world economy.

A couple of years ago, a book came out called ‘The Death of Expertise.’ It looked at the many ways that, more and more, experts in their fields are either ignored or simply go unheard for various political, social, or economic reasons. In the book, the author points out that the internet gives people the illusion of expertise by flooding them with useless facts and irrelevant information. He argues that true expertise is not in knowing lots of stuff, it’s in the ability to sort the useful from the useless.

But I think there’s something else at work, too – something more subtle and pernicious. The internet is so big and noisy, it is biased towards surprising and unexpected information. As a result, we tend to only hear about laypeople when they say or do something particularly extraordinary – something we would expect from someone much more prominent or famous.
Similarly, we tend to only hear about experts when they make a terrible mistake. You don’t hear about the millions of scientists quietly doing good science each week. You hear about the doctor who f**ked up and who killed a bunch of kids.

Similarly, you don’t hear about the hundreds of millions of Average Joes and Janes going about their lives doing dumb shit. No, you hear about the one extraordinary exception who stood up to tyranny or oppression or the system and turned out to be right.

Play this pattern out enough times and you start to generate a culture that distrusts experts, authority, and traditional systems as people are overexposed to their inevitable flaws. Similarly, you start to see an exaltation of random Joes and Janes who, whether by audacity or plain luck, happened to command a lot of attention for a brief period of time. The result: welcome to 2021.

3. You don’t have to have an opinion – There’s an alternative that’s worth considering here. It’s an alternative rarely discussed. It’s not a popular option. It won’t win you any awards or attention or admiration from anyone. But that’s to simply not have an opinion. It’s easy to forget: you don’t have to have an opinion about everything. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t have many strong opinions about many things for the simple reason that it’s so difficult to be led astray these days.

One thing I’ve been trying to do this year is create an imaginary threshold for myself – to not really have a strong opinion about something until a) I’ve been exposed to at least two different perspectives on it, and b) enough time has passed that people who have actual expertise have analyzed what’s going on to some extent. It’s hard to maintain this, of course. The usual advice about informational exposure and cutting out bullshit news is quite helpful. But it’s a constant work in progress.

But then I also remind myself that events that seem cataclysmic at the moment often end up being hugely positive decades later. That small things that go unnoticed can have big effects and huge events that are impossible to ignore can sometimes be nothing more than a pitiful distraction. I try to remind myself that in the full scope of human history, most of the trends are (still) headed in the right direction, even if I’m not terribly happy with how fast they’re moving at the moment. Because progress often takes detours, hits speed bumps, and sometimes engages in the old loop-de-loop before resuming its course. That maybe I just don’t know what the f**k is going on. And to a certain extent, that can be all right. Until next week…”

"The Grandest Human Experiment In History"

"The Grandest Human Experiment In History"
by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

"Let’s not beat around the bush any longer, but call things for what they are: we are in the middle of the grandest medical and genetic experiment in the history of mankind, by a mile and a half. The experiment is already so advanced that we can only wait and see its consequences. We don’t know what these will be, and that is exactly the problem with it: we normally run elaborate tests in advance of such experiments to minimize their potential negative effects and their adverse outcomes for our species. This time around, we did not.

There are well-established procedures to test novel substances before they are used in human experiments, which take years – for good reason. We have decided to almost entirely neglect these procedures in the case of Covid “vaccines”, in the same way that we have neglected to look for alternative ways to defend ourselves from the virus. And these two things are closely connected: in case ivermectin or Budesonide or even just vitamin D had shown efficacy in Covid trials, the vaccines could not have received emergency authorization.

Moreover, you will now be punished – in access to travel, work, other activities- for NOT having received a dose of never approved chemicals. The world is upside down, but after months upon months of lockdowns, people think upside down is just how they like it. Anything is better than being locked up/down. Stockholm syndrome writ large.

And now, as we survey the landscape, we see that the proponents of the experiments are already dreaming of much bigger adventures - and profits. The emergency authorization was all they needed, a full approval was not necessary. Some people behind the companies behind mRNA techniques, such as Moderna and Pfizer, may tell themselves that they are doing mankind a big favor, but they would be the first to know that the well-established procedures are there for good reasons. But yeah, they threaten their short-term profits, we get that.

In 1947, a world disgusted by Joseph Mengele’s medical experiments on German prisoners said: never again. Yes, sounds familiar. The Nuremberg Code was drafted: The ten points of the code were given in the section of the judges’ verdict entitled “Permissible Medical Experiments”:

1. The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.

2. The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.

3. The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.

4. The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.

5. No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.

6. The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.

7. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.

8. The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment.

9. During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.

10. During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide to which extent the mRNA - and other unapproved vaccines - experiment abides by that code. Which in 1964 was further extended and formalized in the Helsinki Declaration. Meanwhile, there are tons of stories like these: There are so many tragic stories now of loved ones dying after taking an experimental COVID injection, that one has to wonder if people are now starting to become desensitized by all these stories as the public is perhaps being conditioned to accept “death by lethal injection” as part of the “new normal?” A 50-year-old woman in Canada, a 61-year-old woman in Orange, California, and a 58-year-old man in Minnesota are three more casualties following COVID-19 injections.

[..] Lisa Basiuk-Stonehouse passed away May 3, 2021 after her AstraZeneca vaccine. According to her Aunt Shari, blood clots caused a stroke and the matter is still being investigated. Lisa’s husband Morrie passed away two years ago, according to the Facebook post by Lisa’s Aunt Shari Turner. Lisa and Morrie’s daughter Jordan, is now 19 years old. A gofundme account has been created, and as of May 3, 2021 the fundraiser had generated 19k of the 25k goal. It appears Lisa and her family are very loved.

[..] HIBBING, MINNESOTA — A 57-year-old trucker and avid fisherman is dead in one of the more heartbreaking stories we’ve covered on this blog. Mr. John Medved received the experimental Johnson & Johnson viral vector shot on April 1, according to his daughter, Mrs. Rachel Weise. Twelve days later, Mr. Medved was in the emergency room due to extreme shortness of breath. Doctors diagnosed him with a pulmonary embolism, aka blood clots in his lungs. He was placed on a ventilator and in a medically-induced coma the next day as his condition rapidly deteriorated. Doctors then discovered that Mr. Medved had a stroke that damaged the entire left side of his brain. The doctor told Rachel that it was the worst stroke he’d seen in his career.

[..] The Orange County Coroner’s office is investigating the death of a woman who died just days after she received her second dose of the Moderna vaccine. The family says the grandmother was healthy before she got her shot, and that her sudden death came as a shock. A conversation with staff at the Orange County Coroner’s office about Griselda Flores’ death, raised red flags for her son Richard Cardenas and the family. “They made it seem like this was not the first call that they had,” Cardenas said. Assistant Chief Deputy Coroner Brad Olsen says that’s right. Olsen told Eyewitness News a handful of deaths, including Flores’, are under investigation because they happened one to three days after the person got a COVID-19 vaccine dose.

But yeah, the fact that those well-established procedures were ignored completely for the Covid vaccines, leads scientists and drug makers to believe they have a lot more leeway now for the next series of experiments. Some of which are truly unsettling, to me at least. Experimenting on human embryo cells which were never meant to come to full growth is right up there with Mengele in my mind:

"CRISPR Madness: Welcome to the Age of Genetic Chaos": Body cell, or “somatic,” modification is in line with traditional medical practice, where a sick person undergoes a procedure or takes a drug that may be the best means for saving their life or sparing them a life of misery. It might or might not be successful but is a risk a patient or those responsible for them can reasonably assume. In embryo modification, in contrast, the tissues of the body are pervasively altered as it is taking form in ways that are poorly understood.

Even so-called single-gene traits are established with the participation of dozens or hundreds of other genes often acting in compensatory fashions, leading to the situation that in some individuals a double dose of the most threatening cystic fibrosis or sickle cell gene variants leads to no adverse symptoms at all. Under such circumstances, a single gene change, no matter how accurately administered, is an uncontrolled experiment on a prospective person that may do more harm than good. While errors can be propagated to future generations (leading to the misleading claim that the hazard is primarily through the reproductive cells or “germ line”), damage would also be incurred by the initial experimentally produced person.

All the books under review, from the frankly promotional ones of Isaacson, Kevin Davies and Jamie Metzl, to the more balanced one of Françoise Baylis, accept the baseless premise propounded by many CRISPR researchers that gene modification of embryos can be done safely, as does the reviewer herself. “[I]n ten years or so, we will probably meet the minimum conditions of safety and predictability for editing out single-gene diseases,” de Souza writes, and there is no indication that any of the authors disagrees.

Baylis, the book author most critical of the technology, is similarly concerned with ensuring that the fruits of this powerful, perfectable technology will be distributed equitably, and that enough disparate voices participate in deciding whether the endeavor (i.e., making experimental changes in prospective children; irreversibly changing the human gene pool; bringing human production into the commodity system) is what “we” really want.

And wouldn’t you know, as Whitney Webb describes, there a major convergence in this field, with the US government involved, and the Pentagon, Silicon Valley, Big Tech and Big Pharma (and of course the media). All for the benefit of mankind, wouldn’t you know. The mRNA technology, for which Moderna could never get any approval prior to the Covid era, now looks set to be used in many other fields. Cancer and terrorism and preventing crime and reading minds, it’s all here: "This Biden Proposal Could Make the US a “Digital Dictatorship”:

"Last Wednesday, President Biden was widely praised in mainstream and health-care–focused media for his call to create a “new biomedical research agency” modeled after the US military’s “high-risk, high-reward” Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. As touted by the president, the agency would seek to develop “innovative” and “breakthrough” treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes, with a call to “end cancer as we know it.” Far from “ending cancer” in the way most Americans might envision it, the proposed agency would merge “national security” with “health security” in such as way as to use both physical and mental health “warning signs” to prevent outbreaks of disease or violence before they occur.

[..] ARPA-H will likely heavily fund and promote mRNA vaccines as one of the “breakthroughs” that will cure cancer. Some of the mRNA vaccine manufacturers that have produced some of the most widely used COVID-19 vaccines, such as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, stated just last month that “cancer is the next problem to tackle with mRNA tech” post-COVID. BioNTech has been developing mRNA gene therapies for cancer for years and is collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create mRNA-based treatments for tuberculosis and HIV.

[..] the flagship program of HARPA would be SAFE HOME, short for Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes. SAFE HOME would suck up masses of private data from “Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo, and Google Home” and other consumer electronic devices, as well as information from health-care providers to determine if an individual might be likely to commit a crime. The data would be analyzed by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms “for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence.”

The Department of Justice’s pre-crime approach known as DEEP was activated just months before Trump left office; it was also justified as a way to “stop mass shootings before they happen.” Soon after Biden’s inauguration, the new administration began using information from social media to make pre-crime arrests as part of its approach toward combatting “domestic terror.” Given the history of Silicon Valley companies collaborating with the government on matters of warrantless surveillance, it appears that aspects of SAFE HOME may already be covertly active under Biden, only waiting for the formalization of ARPA-H/HARPA to be legitimized as public policy.

[..] While nominally focused on “bioterrorist attacks,” TIA’s Bio-Surveillance project also sought to acquire early detection capabilities for “normal” disease outbreaks. Bio-Surveillance and related DARPA projects at the time, such as LifeLog, sought to harvest data through the mass use of some sort of wearable or handheld technology. These DARPA programs were ultimately shut down due to the controversy over claims they would be used to profile domestic dissidents and eliminate privacy for all Americans in the US.

[..] This most recent effort to create ARPA-H/HARPA combines well with the coordinated push of Silicon Valley companies into the field of health care, specifically Silicon Valley companies that double as contractors to US intelligence and/or the military (e.g., Microsoft, Google, and Amazon). During the COVID-19 crisis, this trend toward Silicon Valley dominance of the health-care sector has accelerated considerably due to a top-down push toward digitalization with telemedicine, remote monitoring, and the like.

One interesting example is Amazon, which launched a wearable last year that purports to not only use biometrics to monitor people’s physical health and fitness but to track their emotional state as well. The previous year, Amazon acquired the online pharmacy PillPack, and it is not hard to imagine a scenario in which data from Amazon’s Halo wellness band is used to offer treatment recommendations that are then supplied by Amazon-owned PillPack.

[..] The military is currently being used to pilot COVID-19–related biometric wearables for “returning to work safely.” Last December, it was announced that Hill Air Force Base in Utah would make biometric wearables a mandatory part of the uniform for some squadrons. [..] While of interest to the military, these wearables are primarily intended for mass use—a big step toward the infrastructure needed for the resurrection of a bio-surveillance program to be run by the national-security state."

We continue to forget the lessons of the past. We worship “science” now. Decades of diligence and actual science, which were carefully crafted by our parents and grandparents, have been swept under the carpet under the guise of emergency in matter of months, and “science” takes that to mean all limits are off. Yes, governments and armies etc. would love to experiment on you and I, and tell us it’s for our own best sake. If we just wear a ring or a watch or an app, we will all benefit from centralized medical systems checking our symptoms 1000 times a second and beaming it all into some database, what could be better for us?

And maybe this is indeed inevitable, but it also contradicts a lot of what we, until now, consider to be freedom and liberty, of our decisions about our own existence, without anyone else interfering. And then on top of that they will try to force you into getting another mRNA jab, and then another, until you have very obviously no longer the genetic make-up that you were born with.

We are born into this world as healthy people, and we use our healthcare systems to correct in the still rare instances that we are not. But we will lose that presumption if and when we will be monitored 24/7 from the day we are born. Even while we are as healthy as our ancestors were when they were born. Do we benefit from this? Well, not as long as we remain healthy. Then it’s just more centralized crap.

You might say that we benefit when we get old or sick, sure, but then we must ask ourselves if we want some entity checking on us all the time while we’re just living a life like our parents did. You think that idea, of just living your life, independent from centralized powers, will disappear? I guess it’s possible, but it scares the heebees out of me.

And then you get back to asking what the logic is behind injecting perfectly healthy people, children even for g-d’s sake, with an untested chemical substance. Shouldn’t we leave healthy people alone? Oh, but they can’t prove they’re healthy… That’s the world upside down. And that’s what the mRNA manufacturers count on us to believe. That no-one is a normal healthy human being anymore until and unless they have been injected with an experimental substance. Governments, the Pentagon, Silicon Valley, Big Tech and Big Pharma want nothing more than for you to think that. Because then they got you for life. YOUR life."
"COVID Vaccines: Necessity, Efficacy and Safety"
by Doctors for Covid Ethics

"Abstract: COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers have been exempted from legal liability for vaccine-induced harm. It is therefore in the interests of all those authorizing, enforcing and administering COVID-19 vaccinations to understand the evidence regarding the risks and benefits of these vaccines, since liability for harm will fall on them. In short, the available evidence and science indicate that COVID-19 vaccines are unnecessary, ineffective and unsafe."
Please view this complete article here:

"Inflation Be Damned!"

Deputy Wendell: "It's inflation, ain't it Sheriff?"
Sheriff Ed Tom Bell: "Well, if it ain't, it'll do till inflation gets here."
Apologies to "No Country For Old Men"

"Inflation Be Damned!"
By Bill Bonner

"Yes, inflation is here. It is showing up all over the place – in commodities, food, housing, and fuel. I recently received this list from my Bonner-Denning Letter coauthor Dan Denning. It shows the increases over the last 12 months in these commodities:

• Lumber: +265%
• West Texas Intermediate Crude: +210%
• Gasoline: +182%
• Brent Crude: +163%
• Heating oil: +107%
• Corn: +84%
• Copper: +83%
• Soybeans: +72%
• Silver: +65%
• Sugar: +59%
• Cotton: +54%
• Natural gas: +43%
• Platinum +52%
• Palladium: +32%
• Wheat: +19%
• Coffee: +13%

Of course, if you don’t eat, live in a house, or go anywhere, you might not even notice. But the rest of us should prepare."

All Under Control: One of the things we’ve been thinking about is how hard it is to think about inflation. Everywhere you look, there is someone telling you not to bother. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has the economy figured out. The Federal Reserve has the financial system under control. The Biden team is busy building a better world for us to enjoy. And if you want to get rich, you just wait for Elon Musk (the business-mogul-turned-Twitter-sensation) to mention something… and you buy it. What a surprise it will be to us all when the whole fantasy collapses in a heap.

No Ordinary Downturn: And yes, that’s what you should expect. Coming soon is no ordinary, cyclical downturn… in which interest rates head up and stock prices head down. In a healthy economy, you might expect that. Things to go up and down. With stock prices at or near an all-time high, a bear market should come along in the normal course of business. Nothing to get alarmed about.

So should the bond market begin a long trend of rising yields. They’ve been going down for the last 40 years… It’s about time they turned around. What we’re looking at now is something much more sinister. Many years ago, we guessed that no pure-paper currency could survive a full interest rate cycle. From bottom to top and back to bottom, a full cycle puts the monetary system… as well as the moral strength of the people who run it… to the test.

As for the latter, we have low hopes. We’ve already seen the authorities pump up the money supply in three panics so far this century. They’ve brought the Fed’s balance sheet to a total of $7.8 trillion. Each time, they were able to drive yields down a little further. But the bull market in bonds seems to have hit bedrock on August 4, 2020, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond at 0.51%. Since then, yields have been rising. And now, the 10-year trades around 1.6%.

Moment of Truth: Whether last August was the final bottom for yields, we don’t know yet. But sooner or later, yields will rise further, and things will start to get tough. The U.S. has total debt of more than $80 trillion. Even a small increase in interest rates will make it hard to refinance. Consumer prices will rise, too, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) headed over 5%… and then over 10%. Not necessarily tomorrow, but it will happen. Meanwhile, stocks will fall. The economy will go into a recession/depression. And then, the moment of truth will be at hand.

In another panic, with all Hell breaking loose around them, the feds will have a choice to make…They can protect the dollar and let the correction continue. Or they can pump more money into the system and let the dollar (and the current paper-money system) die.

Money-Printing Spree: This is the sort of choice that a gold-backed currency (as the dollar was until 1971) was meant to avoid. People found out centuries ago that humans couldn’t be trusted with money. In a moment of stress or greed, they would “print” more of it. But you can’t readily increase the supply of gold. So in a crisis, the authorities would have no choice. They’d have to forgo their hopes of being lauded as a “hero,” and ignore the cries for help. They’d have to admit they have no help to give.

But this time is different. With a few keystrokes, the Fed can create trillions in new money. And in the next crisis – as in the last – they will not hesitate. Even fairly routine setbacks for the stock market (in 2008 and again in 2020) were enough to send the Fed into a money-printing paroxysm. Worldwide, over the last 12 months alone, central banks and central governments provided some $27 trillion in additional liquidity through deficits and money-printing credits.

Inflation Be Damned! So try to imagine what will happen next. The next crash could wipe out the crypto market – for $2 trillion in losses. And merely bringing U.S. stock prices down to historically more “normal” price-to-earnings (P/E) levels would mean a loss of at least $15 trillion.

Imagine how Wall Street would shriek and howl. Imagine how Congress would demand action. Imagine the columnists… the economists… the lobbyists… and the wags, all screaming for more money. Imagine Yellen and Fed chief Jerome Powell, their knees quaking, their backs limp, and their minds mushy… Could they defy the financiers and the federales and stand behind the greenback, like former Fed chair Paul Volcker did? Would they “stop the presses” and let the chips fall where they may?

Not a chance. They would print more money. Inflation be damned! And soon, the graveyard of fake money would open its gates. There, greeting the post-1971 dollar, will be the German mark, the Zimbabwe dollar, the Argentine austral, and hundreds of other failed currencies."

Friday, May 7, 2021

"If We Are Experiencing Severe Shortages Now, How Bad Will Things Get When The Economy Tanking Again?"

Full screen recommended.
"If We Are Experiencing Severe Shortages Now, 
How Bad Will Things Get When The Economy Tanking Again?"
by Epic Economist

"Soaring prices, shortages, and inflation are the biggest stories making the headlines recently as the supply chain crisis continues to get worse by the day. As we already discussed inflation in previous videos, today we will be focusing on the widespread shortages the US is facing and how they are impacting American consumers in 2021. Even though we have been witnessing scarce supplies at the stores since the early stages of the health crisis, at the moment, our supply chains are experiencing more shortages than they did at any point during 2020. Last year, when toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and Clorox were completely wiped out from grocery shelves, supply shortfalls were thought to be temporary. But now, there are critical shortages across many sectors of the economy, and quite a few of those shortages will not be so temporary.

Just yesterday, Business Insider listed the most severe shortages we are going through at the moment, and according to the report, as the economy reopens American consumers will see several other items vanishing from the shelves. Amongst the most serious supply shortfalls is the ongoing computer-chip shortage, which has affected the production of cars, smartphones, appliances, and even dog-washing technology. Automakers have been hit the hardest by the semiconductor shortage as new cars feature navigation pannels that need up to 50 chips to properly run. The consulting firm Alix Partners estimated the automotive industry would lose $61 billion in revenue just this year due to the shortage, and industry experts are warning it could persist well into 2022.

The heated demand for vehicles and the vaccine rollout are also expected to contribute to further fuel shortages this summer as Americans resume their traveling plans. Gas prices have shot up 22.5% in March as compared to the same period last year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index. The massive surge in gas prices started with the extreme Texas freeze, which shut down critical oil refineries in the state for weeks. The ravaging Texas storms also disrupted the plastics industry. As Insider's Natasha Dailey reported, "the state is a key plastics exporter - and the storms made many plants, which are difficult to reactivate, press pause".

Moreover, skyrocketing shipping costs are causing companies to push delivery dates back by months, and, consequently, several household goods including toilet paper, diapers, and tampons are also experiencing supply problems, and prices are jumping in face of the new round of shortages and shipping delays. The global shipping-container shortage, as well as delays at key ports in Southern California, have sparked a furniture shortage too. And considering that many US furniture stores use parts from China, customers are having to wait up to six months to receive their orders.

In the food industry, major fast-food chains, including KFC, Wingstop, and Buffalo Wild Wings are saying they are paying steep prices for scarce poultry and those increased costs are being passed on to consumers. Similarly, pork products, such as bacon and hot dogs, have seen supply dwindling since the onset of the health crisis when outbreaks were registered in at least 167 meat-processing plants forcing almost 40 plants to shut down. As people have started to prepare for the summer vacations and cookouts, analysts with Business Insider alerted demand will outstrip supply and these items will become incredibly hard to find.

All of the price increases companies are having to absorb are being quietly translated into higher consumer prices. These determinants are starting to alarm economists because if widespread shortages and price hikes are taking place during a so-called recovery, what is going to happen in our economy when things inevitably start to tanking? At the moment, it seems like most Americans remain unbothered as we're experiencing the calm before the storm. Inflation is enabling price bubbles to run wild. For now, consumers are still numbed by stimulus money and slowly assimilating the effects of rising prices, while speculators are feeling like geniuses, profiting from the decay of our economy. Well folks, enjoy while it lasts, because an epic bubble bust will arrive sooner than people think, and then the real pain will begin."

“An Economy Of Waiters And Low Paying Jobs; Workforce Decimated; Benefits Begin To End; Food Crisis”

Jeremiah Babe,
“An Economy Of Waiters And Low Paying Jobs;
 Workforce Decimated; Benefits Begin To End; Food Crisis”

Musical Interlude: Paul Simon, "Slip Slidin' Away"

Paul Simon, "Slip Slidin' Away"

"A Look to the Heavens, With Chet Raymo"

“Reaching For The Stars”
by Chet Raymo

“Here is a spectacular detail of the Eagle Nebula, a gassy star-forming region of the Milky Way Galaxy, about 7,000 light-years away. The Eagle lies in the equatorial constellation Serpens. If you went out tonight and looked at this part of the sky – more or less midway between Arcturus and Antares – you might see nothing at all. The brightest star in Serpens is of the third magnitude, perhaps invisible in an urban environment. No part of the Eagle Nebula is available to unaided human vision. How big is the nebula in the sky? Hold a pinhead at arm’s length and it would just about cover the spire. I like to think about things not mentioned in the APOD descriptions.
If the Sun were at the bottom of the spire, Alpha centauri, our nearest stellar neighbor, would be about halfway up the column. Sirius, the brightest star in Earth’s sky, would be near the top. Let’s say you sent out a spacecraft from the bottom of the spire that travelled at the speed of the two Voyager craft that are now traversing the outer reaches of the Solar System. It would take more than 200,000 years to reach the top of the spire.

The Hubble Space Telescope cost a lot of money to build, deploy, and operate. It has done a lot of good science. But perhaps the biggest return on the investment is to turn on ordinary folks like you and me to the scale and complexity of the universe. The human brain evolved, biologically and culturally, in a universe conceived on the human scale. We resided at its center. The stars were just up there on the dome of night. The Sun and Moon attended our desires. “All the world’s a stage,” wrote Shakespeare, and he meant it literally; the cosmos was designed by a benevolent creator as a stage for the human drama. All of that has gone by the board. Now we can travel in our imagination for 200,000 years along a spire of glowing, star-birthing gas that is only the tiniest fragment of a nebula that is only the tiniest fragment of a galaxy that is but one of hundreds of billions of galaxies we can potentially see with our telescopes.

Most of us still live psychologically in the universe of Dante and Shakespeare. The biggest intellectual challenge of our times is how to bring our brains up to speed. How to shake our imaginations out of the slumber of centuries. How to learn to live purposefully in a universe that is apparently indifferent to the human drama. How to stretch the human story to match the light-years.”

“Complexity Theory: the Avalanche and the Snowflake”

“Complexity Theory: the Avalanche and the Snowflake”
by James Rickards

“One of my favorites is what I call ‘the avalanche and the snowflake’. It’s a metaphor for the way the science actually works, but I should be clear: it’s not just a metaphor. The science, the mathematics and the dynamics are actually the same as those that exist in financial markets.

Imagine you’re on a mountainside. You can see a snowpack building up on the ridgeline while it continues snowing. You can tell just by looking at the scene that there’s danger of an avalanche. It’s windswept… it’s unstable… and if you’re an expert, you know it’s going to collapse and kill skiers and wipe out the village below. You see a snowflake fall from the sky onto the snowpack. It disturbs a few other snowflakes that lie there. Then, the snow starts to spread… then it starts to slide… then it gains momentum until, finally, it comes loose and the whole mountain comes down and buries the village.

Question: What do you blame? Do you blame the snowflake, or do you blame the unstable pack of snow? I say the snowflake’s irrelevant. If it wasn’t the one snowflake that caused the avalanche, it could have been the one before, or the one after, or the one tomorrow. The instability of the system as a whole was the problem. So when I think about the risks in the financial system, I don’t focus on the ‘snowflake’ that will cause problems. The trigger doesn’t matter.

A snowflake that falls harmlessly – the vast majority of all snowflakes – technically fails to start a chain reaction. Once a chain reaction begins, it expands exponentially, can ‘go critical’ (as in an atomic bomb) and release enough energy to destroy a city. However, most neutrons do not start nuclear chain reactions, just as most snowflakes do not start avalanches.

In the end, it’s not about the snowflakes or neutrons. It’s about the initial critical state conditions that allow the possibility of a chain reaction or an avalanche. These can be hypothesized and observed at large scale, but the exact moment the chain reaction begins cannot be observed. That’s because it happens on a minute scale relative to the system. This is why some people refer to these snowflakes as ‘black swans’, because they are unexpected and come by surprise. But they’re actually not a surprise if you understand the system’s dynamics and can estimate the system scale.

It’s a metaphor, but really the mathematics behind it are the same. Financial markets today are huge, unstable mountains of snow waiting to collapse. You see it in the gross notional value of derivatives. There is $700 trillion worth of swaps. ($2.5 Quadrillion by other reputable estimates. – CP) These are derivatives off balance sheet, hidden liabilities in the banking system of the world. These numbers are not made up. Just go to the IS annual report and it’s right there in the footnote.

Well, how do you put $700 trillion into perspective? It’s ten times global GDP. Take all the goods and services in the entire world for an entire year. That’s about $70 trillion when you add it all up. Well, take ten times that, and that’s how big the snow pile is. And that’s the avalanche that’s waiting to come down.”

Gregory Mannarino, PM 5/7/21: "Be Ready! The FED Is About To Unleash The Debt Flood Gates From Hell!"

Gregory Mannarino, PM 5/7/21:
"Be Ready! The FED Is About To Unleash
 The Debt Flood Gates From Hell!"
"The Fed has created a bubble – with perhaps $30-$50 trillion in bad, or merely overpriced, “investments.” The bubble threatens to pop. But the Fed dasn’t raise interest rates – or it will bring itself under fire and trigger the very disaster it has sworn to avoid. The only way to keep the bubble world from popping now is to blow in more air. Then, the bubble gets bigger… and investors become even more deranged. Any dope – even a Federal Reserve governor – can see that this will end badly. But the damage will be much deeper and longer-lasting than most people realize."
- Bill Bonner,

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

"Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind"
 The past is a bucket of ashes.


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


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

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


It has happened before.
Strong men put up a city and got
a nation together,
And paid singers to sing and women
to warble: We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.
And while the singers sang
and the strong men listened
and paid the singers well
and felt good about it all,
there were rats and lizards who listened
and the only listeners left now
are the rats and the lizards.

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

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


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

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

- Carl Sandburg, 1878 - 1967

The Daily "Near You?"

League City, Texas, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"Are They Purposely Trying To Make The Streets Of America 'Abnormally Violent' In The Summer Of 2021?"

"Are They Purposely Trying To Make The Streets
 Of America 'Abnormally Violent' In The Summer Of 2021?"
by Michael Snyder

"Have you noticed that the corporate media has been repeatedly using the word “violent” to describe what the summer of 2021 is going to be like? Many Americans believed that once Joe Biden was in the White House that all of the civil unrest that we have been witnessing would magically disappear and that violent crime rates would go back to normal. Of course neither of those things has happened. We continue to see civil unrest erupt in major U.S. cities such as Portland, and murder rates are even higher in 2021 than they were in 2020. This is a fact that was highlighted in a recent Axios article entitled “It’s set to be a hot, violent summer”

"A sample of 37 cities with data available for the first three months of 2021 collected by the crime analyst Jeff Asher indicates murders are up 18% over the same period in 2020. The continued increase comes after a year in which major U.S. cities experienced a 33% rise in homicides, and 63 of the 66 largest police jurisdictions saw an increase in at least one category of violent crime, according to a report from the Major Cities Chiefs Association."

In this instance, Axios is right on the money. Murder rates were way, way up all over the nation last year, and this year murder rates are shooting even higher. It is also true that we tend to see a spike in violence over the summer, and one expert that was interviewed by Axios is warning that this upcoming summer will be “abnormally violent”… “Summer 2021 is going to be abnormally violent,” John Roman, a senior fellow at the economics, justice and society group at NORC at the University of Chicago, wrote this year. “It is the new normal.”

There is that word “violent” again. It is almost as if they are trying to mentally condition us for something. Once you are alert to it, you will start noticing the corporate media using it constantly. And actually this is one point in which I am in full agreement with the corporate media. There will be tremendous violence during the summer of 2021, and certain decisions that our political leaders are now making will contribute to that violence.

For example, it was just announced that 76,000 inmates could soon be permanently released in California, and we are being told that 63,000 of those inmates have actually been “convicted of violent crimes”… "California is set to release at least 63,000 inmates convicted of violent crimes in an effort to create “safer prisons.” Yes, the prisons will most definitely be safer if all of those criminals are released. But the mean streets of California will become even more dangerous.

I have no idea why California Governor Gavin Newsom would do such a thing. Releasing tens of thousands of violent criminals just in time for the summer is incredibly foolish, and he is being strongly criticized by Republicans for choosing to do this… "A number of Republican lawmakers in the state have opposed the move and criticized Gov. Gavin Newsom for acting “on his own authority, instead of the will of the people.” “This is what I call Newsom’s time off for bad behavior. He’s putting us all at greater risk, and there seems to be no end to the degree to which he wants to do that,” Republican state Sen. Jim Nielsen said."

Murder rates in California are already threatening to spiral out of control. Is Governor Newsom purposely trying to make things even worse?

On a national level, it has been announced that there are no plans to bring the federal inmates that were released during the COVID pandemic back to prison… "The U.S. Bureau of Prisons has no immediate plans to send thousands of inmates released during the COVID-19 pandemic back to prison, but to prevent that from happening in the future, Congress needs to change the law, its head said Thursday. “We’re going to use good judgment and common sense and work within the law,” said BOP Director Michael Carvajal in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, noting the agency has no desire to “arbitrarily” disrupt peoples’ lives by forcing them to return to prison.

I have an idea. Let’s just release all of the inmates in all of the prisons and see what happens. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

For a long time I have been warning that crime rates would spike dramatically and that we would see tremendous civil unrest in our cities, and now it is happening right in front of our eyes. The elite can see what is happening too, and they have been purchasing very large chunks of real estate in very remote areas.

For instance, billionaire Mark Walter recently bought up large sections of a very small town in Colorado called “Crested Butte”… "But Walter’s activity in Crested Butte has drawn lots of local attention among its population of about 4,700. This year alone, Walter purchased six commercial properties, including several historic buildings downtown and a family resort called the Almont, which sits at the intersection of the East and Taylor rivers. Walter closed the deals under limited liability companies registered to his work address in Chicago. “He’s been very - I wouldn’t say ‘secretive’ - but certainly not forthcoming with what he’s going to be doing with the buildings,” Crested Butte Mayor Jim Schmidt told The Daily Beast. Realtor Eric Roemer echoed the uneasy feeling: “Nobody really knows what his game plan is.”

And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made headlines when he gobbled up another 600 acres in Hawaii for 53 million dollars… "Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have nearly doubled their controversial land holdings in Hawaii, after buying almost 600 acres on Kauai from a non-profit for $53 million. The deal, which closed on March 19, according to deeds first reported by Pacific Business News, comprises three parcels, including the remote northern waterfront known as Larsen’s Beach."

It must be nice to have an extra 53 million dollars lying around. Do you ever wonder what Mark Zuckerberg would be doing today if Facebook had not worked out? Of course Facebook and the other major social media platforms are also helping to fuel the civil unrest and violence that we have been witnessing. There is so much anger and frustration in our society today, and all of that anger and frustration is constantly being magnified by the corporate media and the major social media platforms.

Yes, this will be a long, hot summer filled with violence, but that won’t be the end of it. Because the truth is that this party is just getting started, and it is going to rip this country to shreds."

"The Truth Is Surely Baseless"

"The Truth Is Surely Baseless"
by Jim Kunstler

MADDOW: … "I think we should see this as the Justice Department putting these whack jobs in Arizona, forgive me, on notice, that what they`re doing is something they`re not going to be allowed to do for very much longer."
O`DONNELL: "I think ‘whack jobs’ is now in The New York Times style sheet for describing what`s happening in Arizona."
- MSNBC 5/5/21

"What you’re seeing now with the DC establishment are desperate moves to keep the suspicious and yet more pissed-off public from understanding the government crime spree of the past five years that started with the Obama gang using the Department of Justice to disable and terminate Donald Trump and the threat he represented to the network of special privilege and money known as the Swamp, which has managed to put a deep-fake president in office as a last resort to protect itself.

The urgent problem: how to squash the Arizona vote audit by branding it as an outlaw action, even though it was ordered under law by the Arizona State Senate. Having failed to stop it so far using the Swamp’s Lawfare cadres in the Arizona courts, the DOJ has called in its Civil Rights Division to get’er done, pretending that it will be an offense against people-of-color if auditors seek to know whether write-in votes correspond to actual addresses, and other particulars of election procedure that may have been violated.

Of course, the Arizona business is only one leak in a giant dike of official deceit built-up over the years to keep any truth from deluging the DC lowlands. Other leaks are springing in New Hampshire and Michigan, with a wormhole opening up in Georgia. It will be interesting to see if cable TV news can keep painting the truth as something against the public interest. As many times as they style election fraud “a conspiracy theory” and “baseless,” the public relations arm of the Democratic Party still has a hard slog convincing at least 80-million Americans that a detailed review of a contested vote is bad thing.

Meanwhile, other breaches in the dike threaten to flood the low-lying Swamp zone with existential threats. The DOJ, the FBI, and other agencies are so saturated in crime that the only feasible damage control they can do is to haplessly commit more crimes against the common decency of the republic to cover up their old crimes. Hence, the seizure of Rudy Giuliani’s phones and computers in a 6 a.m. raid last week, leading to the incriminating disclosure that the FBI secretly accessed Giuliani’s iCloud account to spy on his correspondence with Mr. Trump in the fall of 2019 during the first impeachment preliminaries. Are you kidding me? Who gave the order for that? To violate basic attorney-client privilege during a legal proceeding of the highest order? And what was behind the Giuliani raid?

Among other things, the horror show of corruption in Ukraine, starring (but not limited to) Joe and Hunter Biden in their ceaseless quest for grift, but also featuring many of the origins of the RussiaGate hoax and its spin-offs, plus the involvement of State Department personnel such as Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and deputy George Kent, double-plus the shady activities of George Soros and his Atlantic Council in seditious activity working hand-in-hand with the CIA’s “whistleblower” (Eric Ciaramella) to damage Mr. Trump - who was impeached for simply inquiring about what was going on in Ukraine.

Mr. Giuliani had to conduct his own investigation into all that for the obvious reason that the usual US agencies who would ordinarily investigate official misconduct were actually perpetrating it: the DOJ, FBI, CIA, and State Department. And who, at the DOJ now, might be behind the current effort to neutralize Mr. Giuliani? Try Lisa Monaco, the new Deputy Attorney General, formerly one of Barack Obama’s chief White House fixers - i.e., an attorney detailed to shutting down investigations and covering the tracks left by questionable operations - and a protégé of former CIA Director John Brennan. Is the weak and pliable AG Merrick Garland fronting for her running the DOJ now? Joe Biden is going to need a whole lot of fixin’. And, is Lisa Monaco actually still reporting to Barack Obama? He can also probably use a fix or two. Who knows what’s coming down pike? Just maybe a loaded semi driven by the nearly forgotten John Durham?

MSNBC might have made an unforced error on Wednesday scripting 10 o’clock troll Lawrence O’Donnell to diss former AG William Barr - some jive about Mr. Barr trying to mess with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s efforts back in 2018 to nail Mr. Trump on an obstruction of justice rap. Is this the time to piss-off Mr. Barr? You have to wonder. Is it possible that the FBI concealed its possession of the Hunter Biden laptop from Mr. Barr during those 2019 days of impeachment, when Mr. Trump was attempting to mount a defense for making a phone call to Ukraine? Who might be responsible for hiding that, if it were so? By the way, it was Mr. Barr who, just before resigning in late 2020, made John Durham a Special Counsel, whose work - whatever that might be, maybe nothing at all, maybe something consequential, nobody knows - can’t be blocked by Merrick Garland (or Lisa Monaco)."