“Stars are sometimes born in the midst of chaos. About 3 million years ago in the nearby galaxy M33, a large cloud of gas spawned dense internal knots which gravitationally collapsed to form stars. NGC 604 was so large, however, it could form enough stars to make a globular cluster.
Many young stars from this cloud are visible in the above image from the Hubble Space Telescope, along with what is left of the initial gas cloud. Some stars were so massive they have already evolved and exploded in a supernova. The brightest stars that are left emit light so energetic that they create one of the largest clouds of ionized hydrogen gas known, comparable to the Tarantula Nebula in our Milky Way's close neighbor, the Large Magellanic Cloud.”
“You go up to a man, and you say, “How are things going, Joe?” and he says, “Oh fine, fine... couldn’t be better.” And you look into his eyes, and you see things really couldn’t be much worse. When you get right down to it, everybody’s having a perfectly lousy time of it, and I mean everybody. And the hell of it is, nothing seems to help much.”
- Kurt Vonnegut
"People are sad. People are broke. People are worried about money, people are worried that they're not enough and not amounting to anything and they don't feel good about themselves. People have rough times, and everybody's pretending it's not true, and we need to break that veneer."
“So, how do you beat the odds when it’s one against a billion? You’re just outnumbered. You stand strong, keep pushing yourself against all rational limits, and never give up. But the truth of the matter is despite how hard you try and fight to stay in control, when it’s all said and done, sometimes you’re just outnumbered.”
- “Meredith”, “Gray’s Anatomy”
"Our world is not safe. It is a toxic swamp populated by predators and parasites. The odds are stacked against us from the moment of conception. We survive only because we fight the elements, hunger, disease, each other. And, although civilization promises us safe harbor, that promise is a fairy tale. Only the storm is real. It comes for each of us. And we cannot win. We can only choose how we will suffer our defeat. We can meekly take our beatings, and die like lemmings, finding solace in the belief that we shall one day inherit the earth. Or, we can plunge into the chaos with eyes wide open, taking comfort instead from the bruises, scars, and broken bones which prove that we fought to live and die as gods."
- J.K. Franko, "Life for Life"
"The worst part is wondering how you'll find the strength tomorrow to go on doing what you did today and have been doing for much too long, where you'll find the strength for all that stupid running around, those projects that come to nothing, those attempts to escape from crushing necessity, which always founder and serve only to convince you one more time that destiny is implacable, that every night will find you down and out, crushed by the dread of more and more sordid and insecure tomorrows. And maybe it's treacherous old age coming on, threatening the worst. Not much music left inside us for life to dance to. Our youth has gone to the ends of the earth to die in the silence of the truth. And where, I ask you, can a man escape to, when he hasn't enough madness left inside him? The truth is an endless death agony. The truth is death. You have to choose: death or lies. I've never been able to kill myself."
- Louis-Ferdinand Celineo
In the movie “The Lion in Winter”, when the sons, in the dungeon, think they hear Henry coming down the stairs to kill them:
Richard: ”He’s here! He’ll get no satisfaction out of us! Don’t let him see you beg…Take it like a man!
Geoffrey: “You fool! As if the way one falls down matters!”
Richard: ”Well, when the fall is all that’s left, it matters a great deal.”
More 2020 Election Audits, Forced Vaccinations, Mega-Drought Update
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
"It is reported the Maricopa County Arizona 2020 Election audit is nearing completion. When finished, auditors will have hand counted and inspected 2.1 million ballots. Getting the audit started was months in the making as Democrats and their globalist overlords fought every step of the way. Now, other states have sent representatives to tour the audit location to see how the audit was done. States such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, Virginia and others have been on site in Arizona and are also talking about conducting their own 2020 Election audit. Many say there was massive fraud in the 2020 Election in America. Arizona will be the first state to verify that claim.
Some employers are forcing their workers to get the experimental CV19 vaccine. The federal government said it will not require the vaccine for federal workers, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says it’s okay to force private workers to get vaccinated or be fired. What gives? Can the EEOC allow forced vaccinations that is against federal law and not required by the federal government? Can the EEOC cancel the Nuremberg Code of 1947? The answer is clearly NO. Expect some huge court battles in the not-so-distant future. Here is a form you can use to fight forced vaccination from your employer and the home page with other forms you can print too.
The “Mega-Drought” in the Western U.S. is getting so bad that some western cities may run out of water if this drought continues much longer. The water for 25 million people is facing big problems with the worst drought in 1,200 years."
“To some, the outline of the open cluster of stars M6 resembles a butterfly. M6, also known as NGC 6405, spans about 20 light-years and lies about 2,000 light years distant. M6 can best be seen in a dark sky with binoculars towards the constellation of Scorpius, covering about as much of the sky as the full moon.
Like other open clusters, M6 is composed predominantly of young blue stars, although the brightest star is nearly orange. M6 is estimated to be about 100 million years old. Determining the distance to clusters like M6 helps astronomers calibrate the distance scale of the universe.”
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets' towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you - beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
"Frustrated Homebuyers Are Competing With Investment
Funds That Are Buying Up Entire Neighborhoods"
by Epic Economist
"Housing prices are facing meteoric rises all across the country, and that is making first-time buyers feel increasingly more frustrated as affordable homes have become impossible to find. The current housing buying frenzy is leading to fierce bidding wars where most homes end up selling for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars above the asking price. What most potential buyers don't realize is that they don't actually stand a chance of winning these competitions and finally purchase a home because more often than not the battle is between average American families versus big investment funds, billionaires, and wealthy foreigners.
Knowing that the market has been booming over the past year and that the epic price bubble is seen as a promise of sizable future returns, investors have been gobbling up all the homes they can find in the U.S. to either quickly flip them and put them back in the market for a huge profit or to rent those properties at very aggressive rates. But in the meantime, millions of Americans just can't find a place to live.
A recent estimate released by John Burns Real Estate Consulting indicates that as many as 1 in 5 houses sold in the top U.S. housing markets are being purchased by someone who has no intentions to ever move in. As a consequence, the consulting firm predicts prices will soon explode, climbing further 12% this year and at least 6% more in 2022.
“You now have permanent capital competing with a young couple trying to buy a house,” said company CEO John Burns. “That’s going to make U.S. housing permanently more expensive,” he warned. Burns also exposed that there are more than 200 big money companies and investment firms competing with families and first-time buyers for homes, including giants of finance such as J.P. Morgan and BlackRock Inc. This means the U.S. housing inventory is going through the process of financialization right before our eyes, but most people are completely unaware of it and do not realize how worrying this trend really is.
Those firms have been already paying much more than working Americans could ever afford for these homes, sometimes even more than the homes are worth, only adding more fuel to the housing market bubble. The price bubble is not expanding only due to a heated homebuyer demand, but mainly due to investors' speculation. Another concerning factor of this speculative rally is that most houses purchased by these companies are not going to be sold to potential homeowners, instead, they will be turned into rentals, which leaves even fewer available options for those who want to own a home.
In this sort of environment, if anyone still believes they will be able to find a decent home for a reasonable price, we're sorry to say these people will likely get bitterly disappointed. At this point, entire neighborhoods are being bought by Wall Street investors, with some companies taking these purchases to an entirely new level. Meanwhile, construction companies are in for the profits and it's evident they will keep following the path that leads to more money. As they try to extend their profit margins as much as possible, a smaller share of their inventories will be available for families to buy.
Even though real estate speculation is nothing new to American history, there's a major difference in scale and precision between the practices of local landlords and big financial institutions, which are now using residential properties as part of their speculative investment schemes. As real estate financialization is quickly growing around the U.S., local markets are getting exhausted by the soaring housing prices and facing acute affordability crises.
In times of growing inequalities between the top 1% and the rest of society, many experts have been arguing that a housing market crash isn't going to be the worst possible consequence of the ongoing crisis. In other words, although a crash will cause a devastating financial impact - even before it happens, the effects of surging housing and rent costs can spark chaos across America. The biggest worry right now seems to be the fact that such disparities are inciting social tensions all over the nation.
The bigger the gap between the rich and the poor, the more those at the bottom of the economic food chain resent those at the very top of the economic food chain. And as time passes by, this seems like another determinant that can fuel more turbulence and conflicts in this nation. For now, these companies are raking in the profits, but soon enough they might realize there will be a great price to pay down the road."
"The OFR Financial Stress Index (OFR FSI) is a daily market-based snapshot of stress in global financial markets. It is constructed from 33 financial market variables, such as yield spreads, valuation measures, and interest rates. The OFR FSI is positive when stress levels are above average, and negative when stress levels are below average. The OFR FSI incorporates five categories of indicators: credit, equity valuation, funding, safe assets and volatility. The FSI shows stress contributions by three regions: United States, other advanced economies, and emerging markets."
YOUGHAL, IRELAND – "Well… yesterday we got the news. If we have $100,000 in cash today… at the present rate of inflation, it will be worth only $95,000 by this time next year. Keep it up for 14 years, and half your money will be wiped out. Barron’s has the details: "On a year-over-year basis, consumer prices increased 5% in May, well above the prior month’s 4.2% rate and the 4.6% expected print. Core CPI was up 3.8% from a year earlier, up from a 3% pace in April and above the 3.4% rate economists predicted. Those are the fastest rates of consumer price inflation since June 2008 and June 1992, respectively."
But those are just numbers. Not even true numbers. After the feds finish torturing them, with their “hedonic” and “seasonal” adjustments… they’ll be ready to say anything. So, let’s just try to figure out what is really going on.
Not Just Numbers: This week, we’ve been exploring “inflation.” We noted that it is not just a matter of numbers. Or price increases. Prices are information. They are meant to put their hand on the Bible and swear to tell us the truth about what things are worth and what they cost. But when the feds “inflate” the currency, they suborn the witness.
Yet, despite the arm-twisting, bribery, and tomfoolery, the numbers are beginning to move forward. Durables were up more than 10% in May 2021 compared to May 2020. Nondurables rose 7.4%. Services, not including energy, gained 2.9%. And energy itself rose 28.5%. And now, say Federal Reserve governors, “Don’t listen to them; they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re just passing through… Things will be back to normal soon.”
Ulterior Motive: “Back to normal” for the Fed means something entirely different than what it means for us. For them, “normal” is a fantasy world in which they can inflate all they want… but the price increases stay on Wall Street. That is how “normal” has worked for the last 20 years. The Fed added $7 trillion to the nation’s monetary footing; the Dow more than tripled. Of course, there was nothing “normal” about it. The Fed was simply inflating the wealth of the top 10% of the population, while deflating (relatively) the wealth of everyone else. And therein, we have our motive.
To make a long story short, inflation is more like a handgun than a murder… more a means to an end – neither accidental nor unexpected – than an end in itself. You’ll recall our definition of government: It’s how the elite control other people in order to protect and enhance their own power, wealth, and status. In other words, government is always and everywhere a scam – in which the many are ripped off for the benefit of the few. Everything else is just detail.
Screwy and Absurd: And by the beginning of the 21st century, the coast was clear. The old “gold standard” was long forgotten. Alan Greenspan, a shrewd opportunist, had long since replaced Paul Volcker at the Fed. And the few remaining “conservatives” in Congress, who might have insisted on balanced budgets and honest monetary policy, were disappearing.
The Fed went to work. Over the next 20 years, it inflated the money supply (its balance sheet) some 10 times – that’s 10 times more than it had added to the system in the previous 209 years. And in the 12 months from March 2020 – with a Republican in the White House until January – the Fed added money at a 75% annual rate. In the last full fiscal year, the federal government spent $3.1 trillion more than it raised in taxes.
Elite Heist: A high price is not the same as a false price. And a “fraud” is not the same as an error. Over the last 20 years, the elite – who control the federal government and the Federal Reserve – used “inflation” like thieves use handguns, to shift wealth from other people to themselves. They inflated the elite sectors – Wall Street, government, education, medical care, big business… while earnings and household wealth for most people slumped. Wages in manufacturing (where they make things!) actually went down.
Here’s a little item that is making its way around the Twittersphere: "Since 1978, CEO compensation rose over 1,000% and only 11.9% for average workers." For many years, we’ve been mostly alone in noticing – a lonely kook, loquendo solo pro se. Neither conservatives nor liberals… Democrats nor Republicans… believed it. “The money will ‘trickle down,’” said Republicans. “It will stimulate the economy and help the poor,” said the Democrats. Besides, “if we can get control in the next elections,” they each told voters, “everything will be put right.”
Inflation Scam Continues: And the grift continued. Under George W. Bush, the Fed’s key interest rate was dropped 500 basis points in the recession/9-11 hysteria of 2001 – causing the housing bubble of 2005-2007. Next, the quantitative easing program – under Barack Obama – took it up a notch, putting $3.6 trillion of new money into Wall Street. Then along came the MAGA Man, with even bigger deficits… more spending… and an explosion of Fed money-printing.
It didn’t matter who was in the White House. The flimflam was deeper than partisan politics. More than just rising prices, inflation is a scam perpetrated by the elite of both parties… against the common man. Stay tuned…"
"Syllogism: Dr. Tony Fauci says he is The Science… Dr. Tony Fauci lied to the nation early and often about his relationship with the Wuhan lab and his role in the development of the Covid-19 virus… therefore, The Science is a liar! Say what…? Yet another revered institution bites the dust! At this rate, will America ever be able to get its mind right?
Let’s face it: the government has done everything wrong around the Covid-19 episode from the start, and continues to this day. For a whole year since the outbreak, The Science (Dr. Fauci) managed to evade and bury the fact that he helped fund the gain-of-function (GOF) research of a bio-weapon for China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The Science (Dr. Fauci) hid the fact that Dr. Fauci knew as early as 2012 that an Asian bat virus was in GOF development. In October, 2014, the Obama regime declared an official pause on funding for GOF research on influenza, MERS, and SARS viruses (though the Pentagon secretly kept funneling money into it). The Science (Dr. Fauci) got the official pause lifted on January 7, 2017, eleven days before Mr. Trump’s inauguration, unbeknownst to Mr. Trump. Development of the enhanced SARS Covid-19 variant disease continued.
In February, 2020, The Science (Dr. Fauci) said stringent travel restrictions imposed on inbound flights from China were irrelevant because “you can’t keep out the entire world.” In May 2021, The New York Times reported: 430,000 people had traveled from China to the US since the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020. Nearly 40,000 arrived in the two months even after Mr. Trump issued travel restrictions. Say what, plus huh…? How’d that happen? Not to mention the flights of Chinese nationals all over the rest of the world. Kind of seems like a “super-spreader” operation, don’t you think? Where was The Science on that? (We know where “Joe Biden” was on it — he said travel restrictions were “racist.”)
So, Covid-19 gets traction in the USA around January, 2020. The Science (Dr. Fauci) tells the people not to wear masks. Then The Science (Dr. Fauci) changes its mind and insists that people wear masks… then double masks. The Science (Dr. Fauci) promotes lockdowns of social and business activities. America obeys. Millions of businesses shut down, go bust. Millions of incomes are lost. Great chains of mortgages, rents, loans and financial obligations are suspended (but creditors are hung out to dry). Marriages collapse under the strain. Households dissolve. The US economy rots.
The Science (Dr. Fauci) makes the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test standard for diagnosing Covid-19, but calibrates the cycle threshold, either stupidly or on purpose, in such a way that it produces tons of false positives. The government gives higher cash subsidies to hospitals based on Covid-19 deaths, so that even motorcycle fatalities are declared Covid-19 deaths if the patient’s body tests positive on its way to the morgue. Was this a Covid-19 pandemic or a PCR pandemic?
After Mr. Trump says he’s learned that the old reliable anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine can help with treatment of the virus, The Science (Dr. Fauci) tells America that it’s not so and to ignore the president. Months later, news comes out that the common old, reliable, antiparasitic drug Ivermectin can effectively treat Covid-19 along with vitamin-D and zinc, and even works as a prophylactic against it (and also that, by the way, hydroxychloroquine does help in early treatment). The Science (Dr. Fauci) tells America to ignore that, too, and instead wait for vaccines in development.
In late 2020, big pharma companies start releasing mRNA compounds they call “vaccines.” They are not egg-zackly vaccines in the standard sense of what vaccines have been since the British doctor Edward Jenner first inoculated humans for smallpox in 1796 using a weaker cowpox live virus. The Covid-19 “vaccines” are miracles of genetic engineering. They deliver instructions via a lipid nano-particle for the body to manufacture spike proteins of the kind that form the corona of Covid-19, which, in turn prompts the immune system to fight the virus. Sweet!
Except they have not gone through the years-long trials usually required by the FDA. By spring of 2021, evidence emerges that the spike protein may have some toxic properties of its own. Uh-oh. It seems to interfere with women’s reproductive functions; it attacks the epithelial lining of blood vessels; it appears to induce blood clotting that can lead to strokes and infarction; it can produce neurological disorders; it gets into other organs and messes with them…. Yikes!
Ordinarily, vaccines that produce a very few cases of dangerous side-effects are held back from distribution. But under the emergency declaration for Covid-19, the mRNA “vaccines” are proffered even more aggressively. Through May, 2021, The Science (Dr. Fauci) presses to “vaccinate” as many Americans as can possibly be rounded up, including people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have developed their own natural antibodies. Lately, The Science (Dr. Fauci) has militated for children and teenagers to get “vaccinated.”
Only, now it turns out that scores of “vaccinated” young people are showing up with inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), otherwise extremely rare in that demographic. Say what, plus huh, plus WTF?
Does it not seem as if The Science (Dr. Fauci) has lurched from one blunder to the next, while also withholding the truth from the public, lying about the origin of the disease, and its (his) role in the development of the “vaccines,” and now rather desperately, it seems, trying to cover its (his) ass?
What does “Joe Biden” & Co. do about The Science (Dr. Fauci) now? More and more, it (he) looks like an albatross the size of Rodan the Flying Reptile around Mr. B’s withered neck. But if they throw it (him) to the wolves, they can no longer use Mr. Trump as the whipping boy for all the damage wreaked by Covid-19 and the government’s response to it (not to mention its role in creating the goshdarn thing.)
I guess we’ll have to stand by on all that. For the moment, “Joe Biden” is overseas, dazzling the leaders of foreign lands with his charm and perspicacity. I wonder if he’s heard the new caution from the CDC that people who have been “vaccinated” should not fly in airplanes for more than four hours at a time due to the possibility of developing harmful blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) at altitude. “Joe Biden” suffered a cranial aneurysm, 1988, requiring a 13-hour brain surgery. “Joe Biden” has been vaccinated. Just sayin’."
"Inflation is making headlines all over the country, but the mainstream media is not being honest about the true severity of the crisis. We are being told that the official rate of inflation is still in single digits, but what we aren’t being told is that the way inflation is calculated has changed dramatically over the years. In fact, according to Forbes “the government has changed the way it calculates inflation more than 20 times” over the past 30 years. The rate of inflation directly affects so many other things in our system, and the government would like to keep that number as low as possible. So they tinkered and tinkered with the formula until they got it just where they wanted it.
But even with the highly modified formula that they are now using, the rate of inflation still rose at the fastest pace in almost 13 years last month… "The consumer price index, which represents a basket including food, energy, groceries, housing costs and sales across a spectrum of goods, rose 5% from a year earlier. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting a gain of 4.7%. The reading represented the biggest CPI gain since the 5.3% increase in August 2008, just before the financial crisis sent the U.S. spiraling into the worst recession since the Great Depression."
We all remember what happened in the months following August 2008. Hopefully we will not have a repeat of that. Of course the truth is that consumer prices are not just rising at a 5 percent rate in the United States right now. According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if the rate of inflation was still calculated the way that it was back in 1990, it would be above 8 percent right now. And if the rate of inflation was still calculated the way that it was back in 1980, it would currently be sitting at about 13 percent. But 5 percent inflation sure sounds a whole lot better than 13 percent, doesn’t it?
One thing that I am keeping a very close eye on is food inflation. Earlier today, I came across a story from one CBS affiliate in which they used the term “sticker shock” to describe what consumers are now experiencing at the grocery store… "You may have noticed a significant jump in prices at the grocery store. More and more grocery shoppers are experiencing sticker shock every day. The price of food - especially meat, fruit and vegetables - is going up."
If prices were increasing at just a 5 percent annual rate, that wouldn’t be a big deal. Sadly, the reality is much worse than that, and that is especially true for meat prices. According to one deli owner, the true rate of inflation for meat prices is “probably closer” to 20 or 30 percent… "Jeff Cohen, a deli owner and meat wholesaler, said those factors are making the price of meat out of control. “They said on national news it’s 10 percent. But that’s not true. it’s probably closer 20, 30 percent,” Cohen said."
We will continue to get a lot of happy talk from the Biden administration and from the Federal Reserve, but this is becoming a real national crisis. When CBS News interviewed one shopper in Maryland, she said that she is now spending about twice as much on groceries as she did before… "Abby Walter said she started noticing her grocery bill creeping up earlier this year. Prior to January, the Maryland resident had typically spent about $75 a week on groceries. Now her bill is averaging about $150 or even more."
I still remember when I could get an entire shopping cart of food for just 25 dollars. Now if I can get an entire cart of food for less than 200 dollars, I consider that to be a monumental achievement. I try really hard to take advantage of sales and make every dollar stretch as far as I can. But these days some of the sale prices are higher than the old regular prices.
As global commodity prices have exploded higher in recent months, companies have been forced to pass those increases along to consumers, but they are attempting to use language that will not cause widespread alarm… "If you ask Pampers maker Procter & Gamble Co., it’s not raising prices, it’s “taking pricing.” Rival Unilever, known for Dove soap and Axe body spray, says it’s been “very active with pricing.” The prize for creativity - so far at least - has been home-improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos., whose finance chief told investors Wednesday that it was “elevating our pricing ecosystem.”
What in the world is a “pricing ecosystem”? I would love to have a representative from Lowe’s define that for me. Executives from General Mills are also using language that borders on the absurd… "Then there’s cereal maker General Mills Inc., whose jargon includes arcane phrases like “strategic revenue management” and “holistic margin management,” which is not language you’d ever find on the back of a box of Lucky Charms. The company uses those terms so often, in fact, that its CEO now just refers to them by the acronyms SRM and HMM."
Why can’t they just say that they are “raising prices”? These days, I cringe whenever I go down the cereal aisle. It is hard for me to believe that cereal prices are so high now, but I know that they will eventually get a whole lot higher.
We have way too many dollars chasing way too few goods and services, and instead of taking emergency measures to get inflation under control our leaders seem intent on making things even worse. The Biden administration wanted to spend 2 trillion dollars on infrastructure, but a group of U.S. Senators is currently working on a “compromise deal” that would only provide 1.2 trillion dollars in new infrastructure spending. This is on top of the trillions upon trillions of dollars that we have already borrowed and spent during this crisis.
We can’t do this anymore. It is complete and utter insanity. But our politicians in Washington don’t seem to care. They are going to continue to borrow and spend giant mountains of money that we do not have, and the Federal Reserve is going to continue to shovel enormous gobs of cash into the financial system. So more inflation is on the way, and the standard of living for most Americans is going to continue to go down."
“Massive stars, abrasive winds, mountains of dust, and energetic light sculpt one of the largest and most picturesque regions of star formation in the Local Group of Galaxies. Known as N11, the region is visible on the upper right of many images of its home galaxy, the Milky Way neighbor known as the Large Magellanic Clouds (LMC).
The above image was taken for scientific purposes by the Hubble Space Telescope and reprocessed for artistry by an amateur to win the Hubble's Hidden Treasures competition. Although the section imaged above is known as NGC 1763, the entire N11 emission nebula is second in LMC size only to 30 Doradus. Studying the stars in N11 has shown that it actually houses three successive generations of star formation. Compact globules of dark dust housing emerging young stars are also visible around the image.”
“What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the un-guessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!”
- Robert A. Heinlein
And always remember...
"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains,
"High Tax Rates For We The People, Billionaires Pay Peanuts"
"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."
Albert Einstein's Thoughts on the Meaning of Life”
by Paul Ratner
“Albert Einstein was one of the world’s most brilliant thinkers, influencing scientific thought immeasurably. He was also not shy about sharing his wisdom about other topics, writing essays, articles, letters, giving interviews and speeches. His opinions on social and intellectual issues that do not come from the world of physics give an insight into the spiritual and moral vision of the scientist, offering much to take to heart.
The collection of essays and ideas “The World As I See It”* gathers Einstein’s thoughts from before 1935, when he was as the preface says “at the height of his scientific powers but not yet known as the sage of the atomic age”.
In the book, Einstein comes back to the question of the purpose of life on several occasions. In one passage, he links it to a sense of religiosity. “What is the meaning of human life, or, for that matter, of the life of any creature? To know an answer to this question means to be religious. You ask: Does it many any sense, then, to pose this question? I answer: The man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unhappy but hardly fit for life,” wrote Einstein.
Was Einstein himself religious? Raised by secular Jewish parents, he had complex and evolving spiritual thoughts. He generally seemed to be open to the possibility of the scientific impulse and religious thoughts coexisting. "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind," said Einstein in his 1954 essay on science and religion.
Some (including the scientist himself) have called Einstein’s spiritual views as pantheism, largely influenced by the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza. Pantheists see God as existing but abstract, equating all of reality with divinity. They also reject a specific personal God or a god that is somehow endowed with human attributes.
Himself a famous atheist, Richard Dawkins calls Einstein's pantheism a “sexed-up atheism,” but other scholars point to the fact that Einstein did seem to believe in a supernatural intelligence that’s beyond the physical world. He referred to it in his writings as “a superior spirit,” “a superior mind” and a “spirit vastly superior to men”. Einstein was possibly a deist, although he was quite familiar with various religious teachings, including a strong knowledge of Jewish religious texts.
In another passage from 1934, Einstein talks about the value of a human being, reflecting a Buddhist-like approach: “The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.”
This theme of liberating the self is also echoed by Einstein later in life, in a 1950 letter to console a grieving father Robert S. Marcus: “A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish it but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.”
In case you are wondering whether Einstein saw value in material pursuits, here’s him talking about accumulating wealth in 1934, as part of the “The World As I See It”: “I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker in this cause. The example of great and pure characters is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus or Gandhi armed with the money-bags of Carnegie?”
“Using time, pressure and patience, the universe gradually changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls, and coal into diamonds. You’re being worked on too, so hang in there. Just because something isn’t apparent right now, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. It’s not until the end do you realize, sometimes your biggest blessings were disguised by pain and suffering. They were not placed there to break you, but to make you.”
- “The Angel Affect”
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.”
"Ranchers Sell Off Cattle And Farmers Idle Hundreds
Of Thousands Of Acres As America’s Drought Emergency Escalates"
by Michael Snyder
"In my entire lifetime, this is the worst that drought conditions have ever been in the western half of the country. During the past 20 years, the amount of territory in the West considered to be suffering from exceptional drought has never gone higher than 11 percent until now. Today, that number is sitting at 27 percent. The term “mega-drought” is being thrown around a lot these days to describe what is happening, but this isn’t just a drought. This is a true national emergency, and it is really starting to affect our food supply.
Just look at what is happening up in North Dakota. The vast majority of the state is either in the worst level of drought or the second worst level of drought, and ranchers are auctioning off their cattle by the thousands… “Normally this time of the year, we’re probably looking at 400-600 head and a lot of times would be every other week,” said former auctioneer Ron Torgerson. On Sunday and Monday, more than 4,200 head of cattle were sold at Rugby Livestock and Auction. Needless to say, ranchers in North Dakota don’t want to get rid of their cattle, but the drought has pushed prices for hay and corn so high that many of them simply have no choice.
One of those that has already been forced to sell a large number of cattle is rancher David Bohl… "As the drought continues, the price of hay and corn has gone way up. It’s more expensive for ranchers to try and supplement feed than it is to sell the cattle. Bohl has already sold 200 of his head in the last month. “Everybody is in the same situation, they’re going to have to sell probably 25 to 50% of them because there’s nowhere to go with them we just got no food to feed them,” Bohl said."
As cattle herds shrink all over the western half of the country, this is going to push beef prices significantly higher than they are right now. And in many areas, they are already at ridiculous levels.
Meanwhile, the drought continues to push the water level in Lake Mead into the danger zone. According to CBS News, Lake Mead will soon hit the “lowest level ever recorded”… "For more than eight decades, the iconic Hoover Dam has relied on water from Nevada’s Lake Mead to cover up its backside. But now, at age 85, it finds itself uncomfortably exposed. Much of the water the dam is supposed to be holding back is gone. “This is like a different world,” said Pat Mulroy, the former head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. She told CBS News senior national and environmental correspondent Ben Tracy that Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, is on track to soon hit its lowest level ever recorded.
Since the year 2000, the water level in Lake Mead has declined by a whopping 30 feet, and it is currently at just 37 percent of capacity. The dam’s hydropower output has already been reduced by about 25 percent, and once the water level gets low enough it will stop producing electricity completely.
In addition, many farmers that rely on water from Lake Mead are facing a very uncertain future at this point… "For the first time ever, the federal government is expected to declare a water shortage on the lower Colorado River later this summer. That will force automatic cuts to the water supply for Nevada and Arizona starting in 2022. Homeowners have higher priority and, at first, won’t feel the pain as badly as farmers.
Dan Thelander is a second-generation family farmer in Arizona’s Pinal County. The water to grow his corn and alfalfa fields comes from Lake Mead. “If we don’t have irrigation water, we can’t farm,” he said. “So, next year we are going to get about 25% less water, means we’re going to have to fallow or not plant 25% of our land.” Unless something changes, Thelander and other farmers in the region could potentially have all water cut off in 2023. That is just two years away.
Along with wildfire risks, short water supply is putting immense pressure on the state’s agricultural industry, which grows over a third of the country’s vegetables and supplies two-thirds of the fruits and nuts in the US. Already farmers are culling crops and fallowing fields in anticipation of water shortages. Karen Ross, California’s food and agriculture secretary, told the California Chamber of Commerce that she expected 500,000 acres would have to sit idle this year.
So what are we going to do if this mega-drought persists several more years and agricultural production in California is dramatically reduced for an extended period of time? I am sure that some wise guy will post a comment after this article about importing more fruits and vegetables from South America, but South America is experiencing a historic drought too. In fact, at this moment Brazil is experiencing the “worst drought in nearly a century”, and scientists are anticipating that it will not end any time soon.
Needless to say, the droughts that we are witnessing are setting the stage for many of the things that I have been warning about, and the future of agricultural production in the western hemisphere is looking quite bleak for the foreseeable future. In the short-term, this crisis is going to result in substantially higher prices at the grocery store. I know that grocery prices have already risen to painful levels, but the truth is that food prices will never be as low as they are right now. So I am encouraging everyone to stock up while they still can.
As I have said so many times, we really struggle to feed everyone in the world during the best of years, and 2021 is definitely not one of the best of years. Global food supplies are getting tighter and tighter, and this definitely has enormous implications for our future."