Saturday, June 5, 2021

“Disturbing Signs Point To Big Trouble; Economy Melting Down; Venice Beach Homeless”

Full screen recommended.
Jeremiah Babe,
“Disturbing Signs Point To Big Trouble; 
Economy Melting Down; Venice Beach Homeless”
“LA is Starting to Look Post-Apocalyptic”
by IWB
"It is difficult to comprehend how truly apocalyptic the homeless 
epidemic in Los Angeles is unless you see it with your own eyes." 
View video here:

Musical Interlude: 2002, "Secret Shores"

Full screen recommended.
2002, "Secret Shores"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Can the night sky appear both serene and surreal? Perhaps classifiable as serene in the below panoramic image are the faint lights of small towns glowing across a dark foreground landscape of Doi Inthanon National Park in Thailand, as well as the numerous stars glowing across a dark background starscape. Also visible are the planet Venus and a band of zodiacal light on the image left.
Unusual events are also captured, however. First, the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, while usually a common site, appears here to hover surreally above the ground. Next, a fortuitous streak of a meteor was captured on the image right. Perhaps the most unusual component is the bright spot just to the left of the meteor. That spot is the plume of a rising Ariane 5 rocket, launched a few minutes before from Kourou, French Guiana. How lucky was the astrophotographer to capture the rocket launch in his image? Not lucky at all- the image was timed to capture the rocket. What was lucky was how photogenic- and perhaps surreal- the rest of the sky turned out to be.”

"Making Your Best Guess"

"Making Your Best Guess"
by Arthur Silber

"We are not gods, and we are not omniscient. We cannot foretell the future with certainty. Most often, cultural and political changes are terribly complex. It can be notoriously difficult to predict exactly where a trend will take us, and we can be mistaken. We do the best we can: if we wish to address certain issues seriously, we study history, and we read everything that might shed light on our concerns. We consult what the best thinkers of our time and of earlier times have said and written. We challenge everyone's assumptions, including most especially our own. That last is often very difficult. If we care enough, we do our best to disprove our own case. In that way, we find out how strong our case is, and where its weaknesses may lie.

Barring extraordinary circumstances, we cannot be certain that a particular development represents a critical turning point at the time it occurs. If we dare to say, "This is the moment the battle was lost," only future events will prove whether we were correct. We do the best we can, based on our understanding of how similar events have unfolded in the past, and in light of our understanding of the underlying principles in play. We can be wrong."

"COVID, Learned Helplessness, And Control"

"COVID, Learned Helplessness, And Control"
by Peter Van Buren

"In the post-vaccination era, why don’t people remove their masks? Learned helplessness, employed as a control tool.

Learned helplessness is well-documented. It takes place when an individual believes he continuously faces a negative, uncontrollable situation and stops trying to improve his circumstances, even when he has the ability to do so. Discovering the loss of control elicits a passive reaction to a harmful situation. Psychologists call this a maladaptive response, characterized by avoidance of challenges and the collapse of problem-solving when obstacles arise. You give up trying to fight back.

An example may help: you must keep up with ever-changing mask and other hygiene theatre rules, many of which make no sense (mask in the gym, but not the pool; mask when going to the restaurant toilet but not at your table, NYC hotels are closed while Vegas casinos are open, Disney California closed while Disney Florida was open) and comply. You could push back, but you have been made afraid at a core level (forget about yourself rascal, you’re going to kill grandma if you don’t do what we say) and so you just give in. Once upon a time we were told a vaccine would end it all, yet the restrictions remain largely in place. You’re left believing nothing will fix this. Helpless to resist, you comply “out of an abundance of caution.”

American psychologists Martin Seligman and Steven Maier created the term “learned helplessness” in 1967. They were studying animal behavior by delivering electric shocks to dogs (it was a simpler time.) Dogs who learned they couldn’t escape the shock simply stopped trying, even after the scientists removed a barrier and the dog could have jumped away.

Learned helplessness has three main features: a passive response to trauma, not believing that trauma can be controlled, and stress. Example: you are being stalked by a killer disease which often has no outward symptoms. There is nothing you can do but hide inside and buy things from Amazon. The government failed to stop the virus initially, failed to warn you, failed to supply ventilators and PPE gear, and failed to produce a vaccine quick enough. You may die. You may kill your family members along the way. You have lost your job by government decree and are forced to survive on unemployment and odd stimulus check, manufactured dependence. It is all very real: WebMD saw a 251 percent increase in searches for anxiety this April.

Americans, with their cult-like devotion to victimhood, are primed for learned helplessness. Your problems are because you’re a POC, or fat, or on some spectrum. You are not responsible, can’t fix something so systemic, and best do what you are told.

The way out is to allow people to make decisions and choices on their own. This therapy is used with victims of learned helplessness such as hostages. During their confinement all the important decisions of their life, and most of the minor ones, were made by their captors. Upon release, many hostages fear things as simple as a meal choice and need to be coaxed out of helplessness one micro-choice at a time.

Example: you cannot choose where to stand, so follow the marks on the floor. Ignore the research saying three feet apart is as useful/useless as six feet apart. Don’t think about why the rules are the same inside a narrow hallway and outside in the fresh air but don’t apply at all on airplanes.

Kin to learned helplessness are enforcers. Suddenly your waitress transitions from someone serving you into someone ordering you to wear a mask, sit alone, eat outside, etc. Flight attendants morph from delivering drinks to holding the power to have security haul you to jail for unmasking when not actively eating. Companies once run by entrepreneurs are today controlled by the harassment stalking undead from HR. We’ve become a republic of hall monitors. And there it is. The wrong people are in charge.

One of the better examples of learned helplessness is "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest", a great book made into an impressive movie starring a lean Jack Nicholson. Nurse Ratched cows a group of mentally ill men into complete learned helplessness, encouraging them to rat each other out for small offenses, and to follow her every order no matter how absurd. The kicker comes near the end when we learn all of the men (except Nicholson) are free to leave the hospital at any time. They just… can’t.

It is amazing how fast people stepped into the Nurse Ratched roll. Within moments of COVID’s arrival in the national conscience, officials like California’s Gavin Newsom, and New York’s power bottom twins Andrew Cuomo and Bill De Blasio raced to assume dictatorial emergency powers. They spent not one moment assessing the impact of their decisions to lock down against the effects of the lockdown. They ignored information questioning the value of lockdown. They turned topsy-turvy the idea in a free society the burden of proof is on those who would restrict freedom and not on those who resist such restrictions.

They were aided in manufacturing learned helplessness by the most sophisticated propaganda operation ever created. Already engorged with the coin of three years of fake news, the legacy media saw the value of a new crisis toward their two real goals: make as much money as possible garnering clicks, and defeating Donald Trump. Previous shows, Russiagate with a hat tip to 9/11 when Americans demanded fewer freedoms to feel safer, illustrated the way. On a 24/7 basis America were injected: you are helpless and Donald “COVID” Trump will kill you. Your only hope is to comply fully with the people at CNN who are administering the electric shocks.

Truth is useless to propagandists, actually a threat. Look at what turned out to be false (in addition to Russiagate): we never ran out of ventilators or PPE or nurses or ICU beds or morgues. Masks were not really needed outdoors. We did in fact develop a vaccine, several in fact, in less than a year. Almost everyone who died was elderly or had serious comorbidities but we salivated over “new case numbers” as the primary metric anyway because they went up so much faster. When people questioned the real world view against the media portrayal, they were told about “asymptomatic COVID” or shunned as hoaxers. Everyone makes mistakes. But just as with Russiagate, all the media mistakes swung one way.

It worked. Condo boards boarded up their gyms. Restaurants forced diners to eat outside in the rain. Entire industries, such as tourism and hospitality, disappeared overnight. New groups were shoved into poverty and unemployment. Children were denied education, criminals released from jails. People were told not to hug their loved ones. Saving Grandma meant she died untouched in a hospital room. The government denied you the chance to say one final goodbye to the person who raised you and you didn’t fight back? Now that’s control.

Every time a bit of dissenting information popped up - Florida opening its beaches for Spring Break, for example - the media rushed in to declare everyone was gonna die. Texas was declared dead, South Dakota was declared dead, and Americans believed it all even when reports of survivors started drifting out of Disney World. Learned helplessness is hard to unlearn. One Harvard professor explains our brains evolved to encode fear so well, it’s hard to turn off.

Americans are not comfortable accepting their lives being manipulated at this level, the way for example many Russians assume it to be so. We tend to dismiss such things as conspiracy theories and make an Oliver Stone joke. But ask yourself how many of the temporary security and surveillance measures enacted after 9/11 are still controlling our lives almost 20 years later. Is the terror threat still so real the FBI needs to monitor our social media in bulk? Was it ever?

Nothing here is to say vaccines don’t work, or are themselves dangerous. That’s another debate. This is about the politics of mass control. Add up the “doesn’t really make sense but we do it anyway” COVID rules and try to make sense of them. Why would otherwise smart leaders implement such rules, for example in New York’s case, purposely impoverishing a city or seeking to defund the police in the midst of triple digit rises in crime? Every time your answer is “it just doesn’t make sense” consider a scenario beyond coincidence where it would make sense however out there that might be. It might be the most important thing you can do.

Then look out the window. Remember “10 days to flatten the curve?” With no voting or debate, a system based on a medical procedure capable of controlling our travel, which businesses we can visit, which hotels we can stay in, what jobs we can hold, what education we can access, at which point it is no more “voluntary” than breathing, was put into place. We no longer need to ask what is happening. The real question is always why."

"College Towns Are Not Immune From An Economic Collapse"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, IAllegedly,
"College Towns Are Not Immune From An Economic Collapse"
"I traveled to Arizona to the Tempe area. Even college towns are not immune to the economic devastation that is affecting other cities. I show you some of the sites as we tour the city."

The Daily "Near You?"

Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Thanks for stopping by!

"Why The Other Side Won’t Listen to Reason"

"Why The Other Side Won’t Listen to Reason"
by David Cain

"At some point during your first year as a human being, the adults throw a real curveball at you. They expect you to start understanding what right and wrong mean. These lessons come in the form of mysterious reactions that follow certain things you do. After you pull all the books from the bottom shelf onto the floor, quite a feat for a one year-old, they scold you for some reason. When you pee in the correct place, they praise you. It’s completely baffling, but over time you get a sense that adults are extremely preoccupied with classifying actions into two broad categories: okay and not okay, or good and bad.

You quickly gather this is how the world works. And there is some logic behind what’s rewarded and what’s punished: “bad” actions are usually (but not always) ones that hurt, annoy or inconvenience other people, and “good” actions usually (not always) help in some way, or at least don’t hurt anyone.

This classification system is so strongly emphasized by the adults that you develop a keen sense of it yourself. You see rights and wrongs everywhere, particularly where you stand to gain or lose something personally: in the fair distribution of treats, in acknowledgement for chores done, in which cartoon characters deserve to be happy (or in a police wagon) at the end of the episode. 

Seemingly everything is morally relevant. There are right and wrong ways to speak, play, fidget, ask for things, touch people, and express your feelings. The rules are endlessly detailed and idiosyncratic. There are right and wrong places to sit or stand, things to wear, things to stare at, even expressions to have on your face. Some acts are okay in one place and very bad somewhere else. The adults insist that navigating this sprawling bureaucracy is simple: just be good.

You make use of this system. You argue your case to your parents when your sibling takes something of yours, or plays with a coveted toy too long—if you feel slighted, there must be wrongdoing, and you say so, perhaps listing reasons why you’re right. You petition teachers to take action against other kids who are being greedy, annoying, or mean, and you defend yourself when you’re the one being accused.

There’s Something Fishy About the Way We Judge: By adulthood, morality has become such an intuitive part of our thinking that we barely realize when we’re making a moral judgment.

Hundreds or thousands of times a day we assess the character of another person. We feel we know enough to commend or condemn (usually condemn) a person from the way they park, a word they chose to use in their comment, the state of their front lawn, how they stand in a queue, what they laugh at, where and when they look at their mobile phones, how long they take to get to the point of their anecdote, or any of ten thousand other morally salient micro-actions.

Our moral sense works with great speed and force. Every news article - even the headline alone -gives us a strong, immediate, and seemingly unmistakable sense of which are the good and bad parties involved. Virtually every time we feel annoyed, we reflexively assert some wrongdoing on the part of another human being, even if it’s someone we’ve never seen. If service is slow, some employee is being lazy or inconsiderate. If traffic is crawling it’s because the city always schedules construction work at such stupid times. If an item’s price is unexpectedly high, some greedy CEO is getting paid too much.

There’s something fishy about all this moralizing. We treat our moral feelings and judgments as though they’re truly all-important; seemingly, nothing deserves as much energy and attention as determining the right and wrong of everything done and said in the human world, and lamenting that world’s failure to meet our idea of what’s right. (For endless examples, just check Twitter.) Yet for all their importance, we’re extremely flippant with our moral judgments. We make them all day long, with ease and even a kind of pleasure, and very little second-guessing. Maddeningly, other people have almost perfectly opposite positions on the same moral issues - drug policy, immigration, pornography, whether mayo belongs in guacamole - and they cast their judgments with the all the same ease and certitude.

You’d think that if determining right and wrong were truly what’s important to us, we’d be far more careful about making judgments. We’d want to gather a lot of information before saying anything. We’d seek opposing viewpoints and try to understand them. We’d offer people the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. We’d be very wary of our initial emotions around the topic, and very interested in how our personal interests might be skewing our conclusions. We’d refrain from making conclusions at all if we didn’t need to.

In other words, we’d employ the same reserved, dispassionate, self-scrutinizing ethic we use to examine questions about anything else: physics, history, biology, engineering, business, or any other arena of understanding where premature conclusions can create a big problem. We’d have a keen, ongoing interest in learning how we might be wrong.

But we’re not like this at all. We make moral conclusions freely, immediately, and without self-scrutiny, recruiting as much emotional tilt as possible. We dismiss counterpoints reflexively, as though it’s dangerous to even consider changing our minds. We only rarely admit that an issue is too opaque or complex to be sure what to think.

Why are we so smart and careful when it comes to figuring things out in most areas of inquiry, and so dumb and impulsive when it comes to moral questions, which are supposedly the most important ones to get right?

Why We’re So Stubborn: Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt sheds a lot of light on our confused moral psychology in his book, "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion."  It’s a fascinating read, but the main punchline is that our moral sensitivity didn’t evolve in order to make us good at determining right and wrong. It evolved to help us survive and thrive in highly social environments.

Our moral feelings are quick and reactive because they developed to aid us in real-time social interactions, not in careful, solitary periods of reflection. These feelings are often conflicting and illogical because they adapted to meet a number of different social goals:

• Our desire to protect the vulnerable, and our hatred for cruelty and carelessness, adapted to motivate us to keep children safe at all costs, and keep potentially dangerous people away
• Our resentment for cheating and unfairness adapted to help us avoid getting exploited by the rest of our group
• Our respect for loyalty, and our fear of betrayal, evolved to help us form coalitions, and identify disloyal people before they make trouble
• Our attitudes towards authority, and those who subvert it, conferred an advantage at positioning ourselves within social hierarchies
• Our moralizing around cleanliness and the sanctity of bodies, sex, and bodily functions, adapted to help us avoid infection and disease 
• It’s no wonder our moral intuitions are so strong, quick and often thoughtless. They are essentially survival reflexes, conditioned by our upbringing and our instincts.

Our moral reasoning - our capacity to explain why something is right or wrong - comes only after our emotional intuitions, if at all, and is tuned for persuading others of our value to the tribe, not for helping us find the most sensible moral stances. Haidt describes our moral reasoning as working much like a press secretary or company spokesperson - its purpose is to justify positions and actions already taken, using any explanation that sounds passably good in the moment, true or not.

Note that none of the above social goals require our moral feelings to be fair or logically sound, and in fact, that can be disadvantageous - a tribe that viewed all outsiders as predators likely would have protected its children better than a tribe that was most concerned with never falsely accusing someone of being dangerous.

In other words, our moral intuitions are strongly tuned to make us groupish and tribal, not even-handed and insightful. And our moral reasoning is tuned more for soliciting approval from others than for actually discovering moral truths.

This explains why we’re so susceptible to rhetoric, prejudice, selective hearing, and fake news. It also explains why it’s strangely pleasurable to take hard moral stands, no matter how poor or nonexistent the reasoning behind them - hard stands, declared publicly, reliably generate a small flood of praise and approval from the tribe that shares those positions.

You can see what a powder keg this moral psychology is liable to create in an increasingly global, internet-connected society, composed of people from many different backgrounds, all of whom enjoy getting Retweeted, Liked, and Favorited.

It’s why, when it comes to politics, the other side simply doesn’t listen to reason. Of course, all of us are on someone’s other side."

"Never, Ever Forget..."

"Never, ever forget that nothing in this life is free. Life demands payment in some form for your "right" to express yourself, to condemn and abuse the evil surrounding us. Expect to pay... it will come for you, they will come for you, regardless. Knowing that, give them Hell itself every chance you can. Expect no mercy, and give none. That's how life works. Be ready to pay for what you do, or be a coward, pretend you don't see, don't know, and cry bitter tears over how terrible things are, over how you let them become."
- Ernest Hemingway, "For Whom the Bell Tolls "

"How It Really Is"



Friday, June 4, 2021

Greg Hunter, "Weekly News Wrap-up for 6/4/21"

"Weekly News Wrap-up for 6/4/21"
By Greg Hunter’s

"It’s not a stretch to say Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), lied and people died. It’s now been revealed, through release of Dr. Fauci’s emails, that he lied about the virus escaping from a lab in China. Even Fauci’s own boss, Dr. Francis Collins (Head of the NIH) admitted that tax dollars paid for virus experiments in Wuhan, China. There were even more lies exposed with the emails that stopped people from getting treatment that would have saved lives. Now, many are calling for his firing and some for criminal prosecution. Fauci said Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was not effective in treating CV19 and was dangerous for treating it when the exact opposite was true. Peer reviewed science says HCQ is effective when given early on, and it was very safe. Look for Fauci to be out of a job by the end of the month.

The election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, is 60% finished. The audit is looking at the 2.1 million ballots from the 2020 election, and now other states, such as Pennsylvania and Georgia, are looking at Arizona to see how it’s being done. This election audit wave is not going to be stopped, and it appears to be picking up steam.

It looks like the public is finally seeing the inflation genie being released out of the bottle. It’s not going to be easy to put it back in. Everything is now going up in price, and you can see it in food, energy, shipping and even in the price of precious metals. The dollar is under pressure, and foreign countries like Russia are dropping the buck to buy gold."

Join Greg Hunter on Rumble as he talks about 
these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-up for 6/4/21

Evenings LALATE, PM 6/4/21: "Monthly BIG 4th Stimulus Check + Big Vote Coming"

Evenings LALATE, PM 6/4/21:
"Monthly BIG 4th Stimulus Check + Big Vote Coming"

"Chaos Sweeps Across Supply Chains As Freight Crisis Sends Shipping Prices To Sky-Highs"

Full screen recommended.
"Chaos Sweeps Across Supply Chains As 
Freight Crisis Sends Shipping Prices To Sky-Highs"
by Epic Economist

"Extreme weather, cyberattacks, heated demand, local and global inflation are just a few reasons why U.S. consumers are seeing prices going through the roof. The price of pretty much everything - from food to furniture to electronics to lumber - continues to soar to new highs with each passing day. And adding all these factors to a historic shipping container shortage, it seems that there's no relief in sight for the global supply chain crisis. The shortage is not only delaying the delivery of millions of products but also sending freight costs to sky-highs. And at the end of the day, those increased costs for the transportation of our consumable goods are going to be felt right in our wallets. The United States uses those containers to import goods such as TVs, refrigerators, and clothes from overseas factories to domestic store shelves. However, what many may not know is that our national agriculture producers rely on such containers to trade with international partners too. For instance, Scoular, an Omaha-based agricultural company is the third-largest shipper of agricultural products using containers, and now the company is seeing shipping costs going up by 50% compared to pre-health-crisis prices - and they are not the only ones.

"We're seeing freight rates that are double, triple, quadruple in some cases what they were a year ago," revealed Peter Tirschwell, a senior content officer at the Journal of Commerce. For Scoular, an ideal choice would be transporting an order of soybeans meant for human consumption in a single standard shipping container, as the order is perfectly suited for that specific container size. But the shortage is forcing companies to divide their shipments into smaller containers, as standard ones are becoming harder to find, and that oftentimes means that the ship is going to carry cargo from other customers on the remaining space so that the container leaves the port carrying its full capacity. That has sparked tensions between Asian manufacturers and U.S. agriculture producers. However, ship operators aren't paying much attention to our producers' complaints, instead, they're following the money.

"The ocean carriers are private companies, they're regulated to a very limited degree," explained Tirschwell. And as they're looking for the most profitable deals, those shipping giants know they can set up premium prices to import consumer products destined to U.S. stores. Therefore, as soon as they unload their cargoes in American ports, they rapidly return to Asia to get new products. That leaves them with little time to waste waiting for cheaper U.S. agriculture exports to arrive at ports. So many of our national producers are collectively losing billions in profits they would collect from those transactions, and that affects how much they will be able to reinvest over the next agricultural cycle, and as a result, food prices get even more vulnerable to sharp increases.

The imbalances between supply and demand have already led freight costs to explode in recent days. According to the Marine Transportation Company Alphaliner, charter rates for short-term freight contracts "have gone out of control". “Depending on the sources, the ship would have obtained anything between $100,000 and $145,000 per day, an absolute historic high," Alphaline executives said in a recent report. The source also disclosed that demand for shipping containers is growing larger every day, with many traders "panicking amid such unprecedented times". Needless to say, this is a huge red alert for cargo shippers. With freight rates this high, only big corporations will be able to afford to send their products overseas as they will be the only ones who can make enough profit despite the increasing transportation costs.

In a time when global food prices have soared to their highest levels in a decade, fears of an epic inflationary spike are now more real than ever. “The rise in the transport cost base with oil price increases and shipping bottlenecks, there is a lot of upward price pressure in the system,” outlined Caroline Bain at Capital Economics. Moreover, increased labor costs and looming crop failures are also expected to push food prices higher in the coming months. American consumers should brace for very painful years of food inflation. With each passing day, new crises seem to be erupting in our country, and by the end of the year, our economic conditions will likely be much worse than they were at the beginning of 2021. These are undoubtedly very, very dark times. But things can be a lot less difficult if you prepare in advance for the coming chaos, so you should start taking action right now."

Musical Interlude: Chuck Wild, Liquid Mind, “My Silent Knowing”

Full screen recommended.
Chuck Wild, Liquid Mind, “My Silent Knowing”

"A Look to the Heavens"

"In the lower left corner, surrounded by blue spiral arms, is spiral galaxy M81. In the upper right corner, marked by red gas and dust clouds, is irregular galaxy M82. This stunning vista shows these two mammoth galaxies locked in gravitational combat, as they have been for the past billion years. The gravity from each galaxy dramatically affects the other during each hundred million-year pass.
Last go-round, M82's gravity likely raised density waves rippling around M81, resulting in the richness of M81's spiral arms. But M81 left M82 with violent star forming regions and colliding gas clouds so energetic the galaxy glows in X-rays. This big battle is seen from Earth through the faint glow of an Integrated Flux Nebula, a little studied complex of diffuse gas and dust clouds in our Milky Way Galaxy. In a few billion years only one galaxy will remain."
"When observing the stars, you should see them in another perspective. Take into account what they really are: the mothers of the atoms from which we are constituted, the atoms that constitute the mortal and thinking species that admire the sun as a god, a father or a nuclear power station. The particles that were composed at the beginning of the Universe, the atoms that were forged in the stars, the molecules that were constituted on Earth or in another place… all that is also inside us."
- Michel Cassé, French astro-physicist, "Desafio do Século XXI"

"The Very Idea..."

"In the last few years, the very idea of telling the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth is dredged up only as a final resort when the
alternative options of deception, threat and bribery have all been exhausted."
- Michael Musto

Chet Raymo, "As Time Goes By"

"As Time Goes By"
by Chet Raymo

"Is time something that is defined by the ticking of a cosmic clock, God's wristwatch say? Time doesn't exist except for the current tick. The past is irretrievably gone. The future does not yet exist. Consciousness is awareness of a moment. Or is time a dimension like space? We move through time as we move through space. The past is still there; we're just not there anymore. The future exists; we'll get there. We experience time as we experience space, say, by looking out the window of a moving train. Or is time…

Physicists and philosophers have been debating these questions since the pre-Socratics. Plato. Newton. Einstein. Most recently, Lee Smolin. Without resolution. What makes the question so difficult, it seems to me, is that time is inextricably tied up with consciousness. We won't understand time until we understand consciousness, and vice versa. So far, consciousness is a mystery, in spite of books with titles like "Consciousness Explained". Will consciousness be explained? Can consciousness be explained? If so, will it require a conceptual breakthrough of revolutionary proportions? Or is the Darwinian/material paradigm enough? Are we in for an insight, or for a surprise?

As I sit here at my desk under the hill, looking out at a vast panorama of earth, sea and sky, filled, it would seem, infinitely full of detail, so full that my awareness can only skim the surface, I have that uneasy sense that it's going to be damnably difficult to extract consciousness, as a thing, from the universe in its totality. I think of that word "entanglement," from quantum theory, and I wonder to what extent consciousness is entangled, perhaps even with past and future.

Who knows? Perhaps consciousness, or what I think of as my consciousness, is just a slice of cosmic consciousness, in the same way that the present is a slice of cosmic time. As a good Ockhamist, I am loathe to needlessly multiply hypotheses. But time will tell. Or consciousness will tell. Or something.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Antelope, California, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"There Is No Economic Comeback; Venice Beach Homeless Apocalypse; US Businesses Are Still Closing"

Full screen recommended.
Jeremiah Babe,
"There Is No Economic Comeback; 
Venice Beach Homeless Apocalypse; US Businesses Are Still Closing"

"Even the Best Areas Will be Affected by This Economic Downturn"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, IAllegedly,
"Even the Best Areas Will be Affected by This Economic Downturn"

"How It Really Is"


"What If the “Big Lie” Is the Big Lie?"

"What If the “Big Lie” Is the Big Lie?"
by Jim Kunstler

"Maybe now that Dr. Tony Fauci has begun to spill the beans on his doings in service to the Wuhan virology lab, the phrase “conspiracy theory,” flogged by the media as jauntily and incessantly as by the soviet kommissars of yore, will have worn out its welcome.

In a sane polity, Dr. Fauci would be cooked. He looks circumstantially like an epic villain of history, who promoted and funded dangerous research activities knowingly, which led to an international disaster that killed millions of people and destroyed countless livelihoods and households, perhaps even the whole global economy, when all is said and done — and he appears to have lied at every step along the way.

As a practical matter, what is the “Joe Biden” admin going to do about him? Throw him under the bus? I don’t think they can at this point. Dr. Fauci has come to represent not just the falsehoods employed around the Covid-19 fiasco but more generally the long campaign against truth itself by a grossly illiberal Jacobin Democratic Party seemingly out to punish and destroy Western Civ.

Whether the Covid-19 pandemic was an overt tactic in that campaign, or just the result of Dr. Fauci’s catastrophic bad judgment, remains to be revealed. But at least half the country will conclude that there’s some connection between the terrible losses suffered in the pandemic year and the political bullshit they were force-fed in the four-year effort to defenestrate Donald Trump. All Joe Biden’s handlers can do now is fade Dr. Fauci out, keep him off the cable channels, and hope the public can be distracted with some new nonsense. You also have good reason to doubt that Merrick Garland will do anything but look the other way and whistle.

The downfall of Dr. Fauci is a watershed moment. There were so many more authorities caught lying over the past five years, but who got off scot-free — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, James Comey (actually, the whole FBI and DOJ E-suites), John Brennan, James Clapper, Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissman, Adam Schiff, and the editors and producers of the news media, plus the execs of social media — who not only disabled the truth at every opportunity, but just about destroyed the public’s grip on reality.

The result has been an utter collapse of authority in this land, so that now nobody who runs anything is credible, from the current pitiful president of the USA, to most elected and appointed officials, judges, corporate CEOs, college deans and presidents, and now “The Science” itself. Just remember: there is still a sizable faction in America of people who are deeply interested in ascertaining the truth about a lot of things. They are aiming to get at it, too, for example, the truth about the 2020 election. Maybe now you can begin to see why this is important.

Yet the cable news channels were really at it last night (Thursday) with Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper of CNN, and the slippery crew at MSNBC, strenuously assailing the Arizona election audit with their usual battery of opprobrious slogans: it’s a “conspiracy theory,” “baseless,” a “Big Lie.” Is it perhaps more likely now that their Big Lie is the Big Lie? It looks like we are going to find out. And perhaps not just in Arizona, because other states are warming to the audit idea.

“Joe Biden’s” DOJ may yet try to quash the AZ audit. But one subsidiary truth to be gleaned in all this is that the audit is solely a state prerogative as a constitutional matter and if the DOJ tries to lay some horseshit ruse about “civil rights” on the operation, they’ll end up with their pants on fire, maybe even an official nullification of federal action. Sound a little civil war-ish?

So, we can see that the disclosures over Dr. Fauci’s role in the origins of Covid-19 and the potential discovery of 2020 election fraud are converging toward a deep constitutional crisis this summer. If a growing number of Americans come to believe that the pandemic was a number run on them by the authorities, they may be more disposed to going forward with election audits in several states. And what happens if solid evidence is discovered and fraud is proven? Whu-oh…! Does the country perhaps have to call a re-do of the election, this time without mail-in ballots and with a more serious effort to substantiate the votes? That’s a tall order. Or does “Joe Biden” just keep ridin’ out for ice cream cones? Geopolitics may determine that. Can the nation afford to keep such a weak and illegitimate regime in power?

I’ll tell you something that could happen: “Joe Biden” (his handlers and their factotums, anyway) may try something else, another ruse to distract the public’s attention from a constitutional crisis: how about crashing the financial markets? That would do the trick, I’m sure. In fact, it looks like the Federal Reserve is already tuning that frequency in by announcing it’s “tapering” its bond buying activities, starting with corporate “junk” bonds. You know what will happen if they ramp up tapering of more bond purchases (currently around $120-billion-a-month)? Interest rates will rise — because who else will buy that paper at near-zero interest rates? (And, by the way, Russia just announced it’s about to sell off all its sovereign holdings in US dollars). And when interest rates rise quickly, Wall Street’s current business model goes south. Wait for that!"

"As Police Brace For A 'Summer Of Violence', Murder Rates Are Absolutely Exploding All Over America"

"As Police Brace For A 'Summer Of Violence', 
Murder Rates Are Absolutely Exploding All Over America"
by Michael Snyder

"It appears that the violence in major U.S. cities is about to escalate even further. Summer is usually the worst season for violent crime in America, and authorities are openly warning us that a “summer of violence” is approaching. But at this point it is difficult to imagine things getting worse because we are already in the midst of a horrific crime wave. According to the New York Times, homicide rates were up by an average of “more than 30 percent” in 2020, and on average they are up “another 24 percent” so far in 2021. Never before in U.S. history have we seen homicide rates rise so quickly on a nationwide basis.

Sadly, it appears that George Floyd’s tragic death was the spark that set off this crime wave. If you doubt this, just check out these numbers from Chicago… "The year before Mr. Floyd’s death — from May 25, 2019, to May 25, 2020 — there were 2,885 shootings in Chicago that resulted in 521 deaths. From May 25, 2020, to May 25, 2021, there were 818 deaths from 4,562 shootings, an increase of almost 60 percent in both categories, according to Christopher Herrmann, a professor of law and police science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice."

You would think that things would settle down after a while, but homicide rates all over the nation have surged even higher here in 2021. For example, the homicide rate in Houston is up 27 percent so far in 2021… "On Friday, the city had a total of 178 homicides for 2021, according to HPD. That number is a 27% increase from 2020. Now, with 10 more so far this weekend, the number is on the brink of 190. “It’s not going to get better anytime soon,” said Mike Knox, Houston City Council Member and Vice-Chair of the council committee."

In other large cities, things are even worse. In Los Angeles County, the homicide rate has risen more than 95 percent up to this point in the year… "LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has bad news about crime. “So, for crime statistics, we don’t have good news – unfortunately. We’re looking at a 95.24% increase in homicides. That is comparing the same time frame this year to that time frame in 2020.” Villanueva says many other types of violent crimes are also up, including aggravated assault up 13% and grand theft auto up 40%. Sheriff Villanueva accuses the Board of Supervisors of not addressing the issue and called it an ‘existential threat’.

In New York City, subway riders are increasingly becoming targets of violent crime. In some cases the criminals are after money, but in other cases there doesn’t seem to be any particular motive for the attacks. Overall, the number of transit-related crimes that were reported in one recent week was more than twice as high as the number reported in the same week last year… "Citywide statistics show that subway crimes are occurring drastically more frequent this year than they were in 2020. Fifty-five transit-related crimes were reported in the past week alone – compared with just 21 in the same period last year, according to NYPD CompStat." For the first time in decades, many New Yorkers are afraid to ride the subway, and that isn’t going to change for the foreseeable future.

In other parts of the country, Uber drivers have become prime targets for criminal predators. Criminals know that Uber drivers are almost certainly not going to be armed, and they are often driving very nice vehicles. So we have seen an epidemic of Uber drivers getting carjacked, and in some instances they are even being murdered… "FOX 32 obtained Ring doorbell video that captures four males with hoods up approaching a blue Ford four-door car. One male gets in the back. Inside, there was a struggle with Uber driver 38-year old Joe Schelstraete from Indiana. The video shows a suspect open the door, but it stops right as the father of three was shot in the head."

Before all of this craziness started, being a driver for Uber or Lyft was a way to make some decent money on the side, but now I am recommending that all of my readers avoid this kind of work from now on. A little bit of extra money is not worth the potential risk.

These days, even kids are turning into violent criminals. In fact, two kids just got into a terrifying gun battle with police in Florida…"A 14-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy fled from a Florida juvenile home and broke into a house, where they found a small arsenal — a shotgun, an AK-47 and plenty of ammunition. When confronted by sheriff’s deputies, the pair opened fire, sparking a gunbattle. The gunfire ceased only after deputies wounded the girl, who was in critical but stable condition Wednesday, a day after the violence unfolded near Deltona, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Orlando. The boy then surrendered."

The thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted on a daily basis is steadily disappearing, and we have entered a time when cities across the nation are descending into chaos. When I look around, I don’t even recognize the country anymore. Millions of our young people have seemingly gone completely nuts, but of course this is a direct result of how we have raised them. I wish that I could offer you some hope that things will turn around, but as one of the officials that I quoted above openly admitted, “it’s not going to get better anytime soon”.

Gregory Mannarino, AM 6/4/21: "ALERT: The Economy Continues To CRATER"

Gregory Mannarino, AM 6/4/21:
"ALERT: The Economy Continues To CRATER"

Thursday, June 3, 2021

"How Are Those Face Masks Working Out for You?"

"How Are Those Face Masks Working Out for You?"
by Bill Bonner

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – "Talk about transformations! The whole of U.S. society is being zombified… turning into a slouching wreck… with a hollow-headed, self-serving elite at the top – enriched and corrupted by three decades of stimmy money and fake interest rates… and the masses below, rendered nearly brain-dead by social media, TV, fake news, fake money, stimmy checks, and fraudulent politics.

Zombie Shuffle: And look at this… Remember how airline travel was transformed in the early 2000s? We recall from the 1980s and 1990s that taking a flight was a pleasant adventure back then. We even looked forward to it. Suspected terrorists might occasionally be stopped and searched. Everyone else got on board like civilized people… saying goodbye to their friends at the gate. And mostly, we arrived at our destinations in one piece.

Now, everyone is considered a threat. We’ve taken hundreds of flights over the past 20 years. And we’ve been x-rayed and frisked many times. But not once did we intend to blow up a plane. Sure, once or twice, we considered hijacking a plane to take us to Cuba – who hasn’t? – but never did we pose any real threat to commercial airline traffic. As far as we know, there are no more people today who want to blow themselves up in the business section than there were in the 1980s. Yet, like zombies, we all shuffle through “security,” removing belts and shoes… emptying pockets… obeying shouted orders – all to prove that we are innocent of a crime we’ve never even contemplated.

Doctor’s Orders: Back then, it was the fear of terrorism that led to the transformation. Now, it’s the fear of a virus. Sick people used to be told to stay in bed. “Doctor’s orders,” they told their employers. Now, the doctors are giving orders to healthy people, too.

Doctors used to make suggestions. Perhaps you should give up smoking… or maybe lose weight. But now – backed by armed police – they insist. They tell us when we can go outside… when we have to cover our faces, like bank robbers… and when we need to close the schools, the churches, and the shopping malls. And without their approval – their passepartout vaccine – they and their “follow the science” politicians threaten to block you from going to the theater… entering a public building… flying on a commercial airline… or crossing a border!

Public Policy: Note that we’re talking about public policy, not private policy. If you don’t want to get a communicable disease, there is no mystery. Get a vaccine. Go to an uninhabited island. Put on a face mask and latex gloves. Stay there. You may want to slit your wrists out of boredom or loneliness. But you won’t get COVID-19!

In private policy, people check the odds and take their chances. In public policy, they get in line… and follow orders. That is, they are zombified. All we know is what we read in the papers. But on the evidence so far, the public policies designed to contain the wicked virus have failed.

Looking at the vaccines first, CNN Health presents the rates of vaccination for most of the world’s countries. There we find that the U.S. has administered 89 doses of vaccine per 100 citizens. Sweden has given only 52 per 100. Uruguay, which we will look at more closely in a minute, 82. And Nicaragua has hardly vaccinated anyone – just 3 per 100.

Which of these countries has the lowest reported rate of COVID-19 deaths? Nicaragua, with fewer than 3 deaths per 100,000 of population. But maybe Nicaragua is an outlier… a weirdo. Even so, there is no correlation between vaccination rates and deaths. The U.S. has a death rate of 183 (per 100,000). Sweden, 142. And Uruguay… 126.

Follow the Science: As a matter of curiosity, in a few countries, the death toll in the Plague Year was actually lower than other years. According to the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, and Norway all had fewer deaths in 2020 than in a normal year. Uruguay and Sweden are worthy of a closer look because they followed radically different public policy approaches. That is, one zombified; the other didn’t.

In the wake of the initial terror, in March of last year, Uruguay went into Full Lockdown mode. Face masks, closures, contact tracing, social distancing, roadblocks – the works. And guess, what? It was a great success. At least, that is what the New York Post reported in June 2020: 'Uruguay and Paraguay achieve near-total victory over coronavirus."

And here’s the Latin America Report a month later: "Uruguay has recorded the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths per capita in South America, if not the entire western hemisphere. The small but progressive country has done that despite sitting right next door to Brazil – which has the world’s second-highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities behind the U.S."

And here’s the Open Journal of Political Science in January 2021, announcing the victory of “the science:” "Until now in Uruguay, COVID-19 has been very much under control. Evidence-based policies, a strong public health care system, and scientific innovations are believed to be the main factors of success. Uruguayan evidence-based policies consider several inputs, including scientific, medical-epidemiological, economic, and educational aspects."

Unstoppable Virus: But wait… What’s this? Barely two weeks ago, The New York Times reported: "For most of the past year, Uruguay was held up as an example for keeping the coronavirus from spreading widely as neighboring countries grappled with soaring death tolls. Uruguay’s good fortune has run out. In the last week, the small South American nation’s Covid-19 death rate per capita was the highest in the world."

At the end of the day… it didn’t seem to matter how many evidence-based policies you followed… or whether you danced to the tune of your scientific experts or not. Uruguay delayed the virus… but it could not stop it. Its final death toll will, most likely, be little different from any other country.

Follow the Numbers: The same lesson might be learned by looking at the U.S. states. In February 2021, Iowa lifted its COVID-19 restrictions, including the use of face masks, social distancing, and limitations on social gatherings. Michigan did not. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said of Michigan’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, that she was a “really good governor,” because she was “following the science.” Of Iowa, The Washington Post did the talking for the political/health/media elite. “Welcome to Iowa,” its editorial declared, “a state that doesn’t care if you live or die.”

Wrong again! The COVID-19 death rate in both states had been going down. But after Iowa opened up in February, the number of COVID-19-related deaths reported daily went down… while Michigan’s went up, leaving the latter with a slightly higher body count (per million).

Meanwhile, how did those face masks work out for you? In April 2020, Georgia lifted its COVID-19 restrictions. Amanda Mull at The Atlantic was aghast. An “experiment in human sacrifice,” she called it. Then, in July 2020, Alabama ordered a cover up. Everyone had to wear a mask. In Georgia and Florida, they didn’t. Again, the know-it-alls were sure the two non-mask states were flirting with disaster.

Well, guess what the experiment showed? The virus must not have been reading the mainstream press. It didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to treat people in Alabama any differently from those in Georgia or Florida. In the end, the death toll in Alabama was higher than either Georgia or Florida, with 2,277 deaths per million, compared to 1,965 and 1,719, respectively.

Fascinating History: What a fascinating episode in human history! Surely, it will be studied, dissected, and analyzed thousands of times. But we will give you our preliminary findings here: Zombifying the U.S. in the name of “keeping us safe” – whether from terrorists or viruses – is a scam."

Musical Interlude: Ludovico Einaudi, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, "Nightbook"; "Choros"

Full screen recommended.
Ludovico Einaudi, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, 
Full screen recommended.
Ludovico Einaudi, "Choros"

Musical Interlude: Dire Straits, "Private Investigations"

Dire Straits, "Private Investigations"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Riding high in the constellation of Auriga, beautiful, blue vdB 31 is the 31st object in Sidney van den Bergh's 1966 catalog of reflection nebulae. It shares this well-composed celestial still life with dark, obscuring clouds recorded in Edward E. Barnard's 1919 catalog of dark markings in the sky. All are interstellar dust clouds, blocking the light from background stars in the case of Barnard's dark nebulae. For vdB 31, the dust preferentially reflects the bluish starlight from embedded, hot, variable star AB Aurigae.
Exploring the environs of AB Aurigae with the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed the several million year young star is itself surrounded by flattened dusty disk with evidence for the ongoing formation of a planetary system. AB Aurigae is about 470 light-years away. At that distance this cosmic canvas would span about four light-years.”

"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

"The Monstrous Thing..."

"The monstrous thing is not that men have created roses out of this dung heap, but that, for some reason or other, they should want roses. For some reason or other man looks for the miracle, and to accomplish it he will wade through blood. He will debauch himself with ideas, he will reduce himself to a shadow if for only one second of his life he can close his eyes to the hideousness of reality. Everything is endured - disgrace, humiliation, poverty, war, crime, ennui - in the belief that overnight something will occur, a miracle, which will render life tolerable. And all the while a meter is running inside and there is no hand that can reach in there and shut it off."
- Henry Miller, “Tropic of Cancer”

"Trends Journal: Dollar Crash? Russia Going Gold"

Gerald Celente, PM 6/3/21:
"Trends Journal: Dollar Crash? Russia Going Gold"

"The Trends Journal is a weekly magazine analyzing global current events forming future trends. Our mission is to present Facts and Truth over hype and propaganda to help subscribers prepare for What’s Next in the increasingly turbulent times ahead."