Saturday, July 3, 2021

Happy Independence Day!

Have a safe and happy holiday folks!

Full screen recommended.
John Philip Sousa, "Stars and Stripes Forever"
National march of the United States of America.

"Ominous Times Ahead For Consumers; Is Your Money Safe From Cyberattacks; AI Will Replace You"

Jeremiah Babe, PM 7/3/21:
"Ominous Times Ahead For Consumers; 
Is Your Money Safe From Cyberattacks; AI Will Replace You"

Musical Interlude: Ludovico Einaudi, "Una Mattina"

Full screen recommended.
Ludovico Einaudi, "Una Mattina"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“The Flame Nebula is a stand out in optical images of the dusty, crowded star forming regions toward Orion's belt and the easternmost belt star Alnitak, a mere 1,400 light-years away. Alnitak is the bright star at the right edge of this infrared image from the Spitzer Space Telescope. About 15 light-years across, the infrared view takes you inside the nebula's glowing gas and obscuring dust clouds though. It reveals many stars of the recently formed, embedded cluster NGC 2024 concentrated near the center. 
The stars of NGC 2024 range in age from 200,000 years to 1.5 million years young. In fact, data indicate that the youngest stars are concentrated near the middle of the Flame Nebula cluster. That's the opposite of the simplest models of star formation for a stellar nursery that predict star formation begins in the denser center of a molecular cloud core. The result requires a more complex model for star formation inside the Flame Nebula.”

"Life is A Journey - Don't Be Afraid"

"Life is A Journey - Don't Be Afraid"
Author Unknown

"Life is a journey filled with lessons, hardships, heartaches, joys, celebrations and special moments that will ultimately lead us to our destination, our purpose in life. The road will not always be smooth; in fact, throughout our travels, we will encounter many challenges. Some of these challenges will test our courage, strengths, weaknesses, and faith. Along the way, we may stumble upon obstacles that will come between the paths that we are destined to take. In order to follow the right path, we must overcome these obstacles. Sometimes these obstacles are really blessings in disguise, only we don't realize that at the time.

Along our journey we will be confronted with many situations, some will be filled with joy, and some will be filled with heartache. How we react to what we are faced will determine what kind of outcome the rest of our journey through life will be like. When things don't always go our way, we have two choices in dealing with the situations. We can focus on the fact that things didn't go how we had hoped they would and let life pass us by, or two, we can make the best out of the situation and know that these are only temporary setbacks and find the lessons that are to be learned.

Time stops for no one, and if we allow ourselves to focus on the negative we might miss out on some really amazing things that life has to offer. We can't go back to the past, we can only take the lessons that we have learned and the experiences that we have gained from it and move on. It is because of the heartaches, as well as the hardships, that in the end help to make us a stronger person.

The people that we meet on our journey, are people that we are destined to meet. Everybody comes into our lives for some reason or another and we don't always know their purpose until it is too late. They all play some kind of role. Some may stay for a lifetime; others may only stay for a short while. It is often the people who stay for only a short time that end up making a lasting impression not only in our lives, but in our hearts as well. Although we may not realize it at the time, they will make a difference and change our lives in a way we never could imagine. To think that one person can have such a profound effect on your life forever is truly a blessing. It is because of these encounters that we learn some of life's best lessons and sometimes we even learn a little bit about ourselves.

People will come and go into our lives quickly, but sometimes we are lucky to meet that one special person that will stay in our hearts forever no matter what. Even though we may not always end up being with that person and they may not always stay in our life for as long as we like, the lessons that we have learned from them and the experiences that we have gained from meeting that person, will stay with us forever.

It's these things that will give us strength to continue with our journey. We know that we can always look back on those times of our past and know that because of that one individual, we are who we are and we can remember the wonderful moments that we have shared with that person. Memories are priceless treasures that we can cherish forever in our hearts. They also enable us to go on with our journey for whatever life has in store for us. Sometimes all it takes is one special person to help us look inside ourselves and find a whole different person that we never knew existed. Our eyes are suddenly opened to a world we never knew existed- a world where time is so precious and moments never seem to last long enough.

Throughout this adventure, people will give you advice and insights on how to live your life but when it all comes down to it, you must always do what you feel is right. Always follow your heart, and most importantly never have any regrets. Don't hold anything back. Say what you want to say, and do what you want to do, because sometimes we don't get a second chance to say or do what we should have the first time around.

It is often said that what doesn't kill you will make you stronger. It all depends on how one defines the word "strong". It can have different meanings to different people. In this sense, "stronger" means looking back at the person you were and comparing it to the person you have become today. It also means looking deep into your soul and realizing that the person you are today couldn't exist if it weren't for the things that have happened in the past or for the people that you have met. Everything that happens in our life happens for a reason and sometimes that means we must face heartaches in order to experience joy."
- Author Unknown, 

Paulo Coelho, "Be Like a River"

"Be Like a River"
by Paulo Coelho

“A river never passes the same place twice,” says a philosopher. “Life is like a river,” says another philosopher, and we draw the conclusion that this is the metaphor that comes closest to the meaning of life. Consequently, it is always good to remember during all the year to come:

A] We are always doing things for the first time. While we move between our source (birth) to our destination (death), the landscape will always be new. We should face these novelties with joy, not with fear – because it is useless to fear what cannot be avoided. A river never stops running.

B] In a valley we walk slower. When everything around us becomes easier, the waters grow calm, we become more open, fuller and more generous.

C] Our banks are always fertile. Vegetation only grows where there is water. Whoever comes into contact with us needs to understand that we are there to give the thirsty something to drink.

D] Stones should be avoided. It is obvious that water is stronger than granite, but it takes time for this to happen. It is no good letting yourself be overcome by stronger obstacles, or trying to fight against them – that is a useless waste of energy. It is best to understand where the way out is, and then move forward.

E] Hollows call for patience. All of a sudden the river enters a sort of hole and stops running as joyfully as before. At such moments the only way out is to count on the help of time. When the right moment comes the hollow fills up and the water can flow ahead. In the place of the ugly, lifeless hole there now stands a lake that others can contemplate with joy.

F] We are one. We were born in a place that was meant for us, which will always keep us supplied with enough water so that when confronted with obstacles or depression we have the necessary patience or strength to move forward. We begin our course in a soft and fragile manner, where even a simple leaf can stop us. Nevertheless, as we respect the mystery of the source that gave us life, and trust in eternal wisdom, little by little we gain all that we need to pursue our path.

G] Although we are one, soon we shall be many. As we travel on, the waters of other springs come closer, because that is the best path to follow. Then we are no longer just one, but many – and there comes a moment when we feel lost. However, “all rivers flow to the sea.” It is impossible to remain in our solitude, no matter how romantic that may seem. When we accept the inevitable encounter with other springs, we eventually understand that this makes us much stronger, we get around obstacles or fill in the hollows in far less time and with greater ease.

H] We are a means of transportation. Of leaves, boats, ideas. May our waters always be generous, may be always be able to carry ahead everything or everyone that needs our help.

I] We are a source of inspiration. And so, let us leave the final words to the Brazilian poet, Manuel Bandeira:
“To be like a river that flows
silent through the night,
not fearing the darkness and
reflecting any stars high in the sky.

And if the sky is filled with clouds,
the clouds are water like the river, so
without remorse reflect them too.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Brevard, North Carolina, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"The Problem Is That We Are All Stupid"

"The Problem Is That We Are All Stupid"
by David Cain

"The question “What’s wrong with the world?!” is usually more of a statement of exasperation than a question. But it can be treated like a question, and it is a good question. Clearly something is wrong, at least with the human world. Even if you don’t trust the news to tell you how the world really is, we all witness too much pettiness, unfairness, and dishonesty to say with a straight face that nothing’s wrong.

However, I’m not sure you could rewind us to a point in the last 10,000 years when we wouldn’t feel the same way. Our complaints today are about corrupt leaders, unfair systems, unscrupulous merchants, religious demagoguery, and everything else that has happened perpetually since we freed ourselves from picking berries all day.

In a recent article about the “What’s wrong” question, Masha Gessen got me thinking that the answer is quite straightforward: we’re all stupid. Contrary to popular belief, stupidity isn’t only present in some of us, it’s a universal human trait. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t also smart—we simply exhibit both qualities. As intelligent as we are in certain ways, each of us is also very stupid in other certain ways, and the powers conferred by the intelligent, inventive part can increase the amount of damage the stupid part can cause.

Among other signs of the times, she mentioned the comedy of Sacha Baron Cohen, who seems able to draw the pettiness and stupidity out of virtually anyone, on camera. His approach is very simple: get people talking about their strongest beliefs, while pretending to agree, and watch the ridiculous pronouncements pour out. Most recently he was able to get several congressmen to apparently state their support for issuing firearms to “highly trained” kindergarten students to keep classrooms safe.

I have always found his comedy difficult to watch, and I think Gessen might have articulated the main reason: "Every segment of every episode is designed to leave the viewer feeling not so much appalled - something a sentient being in today’s America experiences many times a day - as finally enlightened: the ultimate explanation for what’s happened to us is that everyone is a moron."

The idea that everyone is stupid seems a little stupid itself. Clearly only some people are stupid. Otherwise how did we figure out DNA sequencing and particle physics, or design the Rubik’s Cube (let alone solve one)? Well, because stupidity can co-exist with smarts in the same person. The human world is so often portrayed as a noble battle between the stupid and the rest of us, each of us drawing our own smart-stupid line in some way or another between individuals, often corresponding to political, religious, or sports team fanship boundaries, as we see them.

This is the classical way to think about the distribution of human intelligence and human idiocy - each person is mostly a concentration of one or the other. But maybe that simplistic view is a good example of our stupid-aspect at work. Perhaps every single one of us is stupid, just not completely. Clearly there are variations in what we can call “personal style,” but nobody is so smart that they are not also frequently stupid, and vice versa.

The same person can design an award-winning public building and still be defeated by a parking meter with perfectly clear instructions on the side. A hobby chess player can visualize a tree of possible moves five or six deep, but cannot anticipate running out of toilet paper until the moment he does. I somehow created my own dream job, but I’ve had winter tires on my vehicle for at least 48 consecutive months, and I cannot seem to make a doctor’s appointment.

Solzhenitsyn famously wrote - or so the smart people tell me - that the line between good and evil runs “not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either but right through every human heart.” This seems true with the line between smart and stupid, and each human mind. We are complex apes, with innate abilities to be both profoundly clever and powerfully stupid. This isn’t a contradiction, just two complementary talents.

Of course, stupidity can’t comprehend itself—that’s one of its most interesting properties—which is why we overlook our own so easily. When it comes to my stupidest beliefs, I’m likely to think they’re my smartest ones. I easily fall in love with strongly-worded arguments that make me feel good but which I didn’t examine very well. (Am I writing stupid things at this very moment? How would I know?)

This may be why we often feel wholly smart when we witness some apparent evidence of our own intelligence (good grades, completed crosswords) and wholly stupid when that second quality becomes more obvious (such as when it’s your turn to tell the group a little about yourself). We evaluate others even more readily, with even less evidence, probably because we tend to assess a person’s smart and/or stupid qualities moments after they’ve just impressed us with one or the other.

Meanwhile, privately, we all know that much of life consists of trying to hide the extent of our own stupid-aspect, while accentuating the smart stuff so that others might think we’re made of it through and through.

Despite our varying personal styles of intelligence and stupidity, there are species-wide patterns. Humans are generally good at untangling contained problems with definite parts, but bad at doing things we’re emotionally averse to doing. We’re good at separating things into lists, labels, patterns, blacks and whites, and not so good at interpreting grey areas and patternless data.

Research suggests we’re atrocious at weighing moral questions objectively, an important skill for any meaningful “What’s wrong with the world” discussion. We make our moral judgments very reflexively and emotionally, and we seldom re-examine them. (Related: "Why The Other Side Won’t Listen To Reason") Above all, we’re notoriously susceptible to confirmation bias: scanning for evidence that we’re smart and already informed, and ignoring evidence that we’re dumb and/or wrong.

It’s not hard to see that whether we deem someone smart or stupid has a lot to do with whether or not we identify with that person in some way—whether they sit in our own political or social wheelhouses, or seem to be an outsider to them. We’re quick to point out this sort of bad faith in others, even though we’d see, if we looked for it, the same motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, and selective hearing in ourselves. No matter how smart we are in some ways, humans are universally susceptible to those types of stupidity at least.

Probably. That’s my hypothesis anyway. It seems like a smarter bet than the traditional view: stupidity is a defining quality of certain people and not others. And I think that’s my smart side talking. I’m pretty sure."

Free Download: Charles Mackay, "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds"

"Extraordinary Popular Delusions 
and the Madness of Crowds"

"Every age has its peculiar folly: Some scheme, project, or fantasy into which it plunges, spurred on by the love of gain, the necessity of excitement, or the force of imitation. Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
- Charles Mackay

"'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" is an early study of crowd psychology by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. The book chronicles its subjects in three parts: "National Delusions", "Peculiar Follies", and "Philosophical Delusions". MacKay was an accomplished teller of stories, though he wrote in a journalistic and somewhat sensational style.

The subjects of Mackay's debunking include alchemy, crusades, duels, economic bubbles, fortune-telling, haunted houses, the Drummer of Tedworth, the influence of politics and religion on the shapes of beards and hair, magnetizers (influence of imagination in curing disease), murder through poisoning, prophecies, popular admiration of great thieves, popular follies of great cities, and relics. Present-day writers on economics, such as Michael Lewis and Andrew Tobias, laud the three chapters on economic bubbles. Scientist and astronomer Carl Sagan mentioned the book in his own discussion about pseudoscience, popular delusions, and hoaxes.

In later editions, Mackay added a footnote referencing the Railway Mania of the 1840s as another "popular delusion" which was at least as important as the South Sea Bubble. Mathematician Andrew Odlyzko has pointed out, in a published lecture, that Mackay himself played a role in this economic bubble; as leader writer in the Glasgow Argus, Mackay wrote on 2 October 1845: "There is no reason whatever to fear a crash."
Freely download "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds"
by Charles Mackay, here:

"I Find It..."


"How It Really Is"

"It Is This..."

“The fact that the foolish person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the foolish person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings. “
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Letters and Papers From Prison”

Full text of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Letters and Papers From Prison”:

"Was the American Revolution a Mistake?"

"Was the American Revolution a Mistake?"
by Gary North

"Editor’s note: Tomorrow is Independence Day. So today, we republish a controversial article by former Daily Reckoning hand Gary North that is sure to ruffle many a feather. He argues the American Colonies were the freest society on Earth in 1775, and that the American Revolution was economically disastrous. Was the American Revolution a mistake? Here’s the minority view."

"I will not be celebrating the Fourth of July tomorrow. This goes back to a term paper I wrote in graduate school. It was on Colonial taxation in the British North American Colonies in 1775. Not counting local taxation, I discovered that the total burden of British imperial taxation was about 1% of national income. It may have been as high as 2.5% in the southern Colonies.

In 2008, Alvin Rabushka's book of almost 1,000 pages appeared: "Taxation in Colonial America" (Princeton University Press). A review published in the Business History Review summarizes the book's findings.

"Rabushka's most original and impressive contribution is his measurement of tax rates and tax burdens. However, his estimate of comparative transatlantic tax burdens may be a bit of moving target. At one point, he concludes that in the period from 1764–1775 "the nearly 2 million white Colonists in America paid on the order of about 1% of the annual taxes levied on the roughly 8.5 million residents of Britain, or 1/25th in per capita terms, not taking into account the higher average income and consumption in the Colonies" (p. 729). Later he writes that on the eve of the Revolution, "British tax burdens were 10 or more times heavier than those in the Colonies" (p. 867). Other scholars may want to refine his estimates, based on other archival sources, different treatment of technical issues such as the adjustment of inter-Colonial and transatlantic comparisons for exchange rates or new estimates of comparative income and wealth. Nonetheless, no one is likely to challenge his most important finding: the huge tax gap between the American periphery and the core of the British Empire."

Was the Declaration of Independence Built Upon a Lie? The Colonists had a sweet deal in 1775. Great Britain was the second-freest nation on Earth. Switzerland was probably the most free nation, but I would be hard-pressed to identify any other nation in 1775 that was ahead of Great Britain. And in Great Britain's Empire, the Colonists were by far the freest.

I will say it, loud and clear: The freest society on Earth in 1775 was British North America, with the obvious exception of the slave system. Anyone who was not a slave had incomparable freedom.

Jefferson wrote these words in the Declaration of Independence: "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States." I can think of no more misleading political assessment uttered by any leader in the history of the United States. No words having such great impact historically in this nation were less true. No political bogeymen invoked by any political sect as "the liar of the century" ever said anything as verifiably false as these words.

The Continental Congress declared independence on July 2, 1776. Some members signed the Declaration on July 4. The public in general believed the leaders at the Continental Congress. They did not understand what they were about to give up. They could not see what price in blood and treasure and debt they would soon pay. And they did not foresee the tax burden in the new nation after 1783.

In his book, Rabushka gets to the point: "Historians have written that taxes in the new American nation rose and remained considerably higher, perhaps three times as much, than they were under British rule. More money was required for national defense than previously needed to defend the frontier from Indians and the French, and the new nation faced other expenses." So as a result of the American Revolution, the tax burden tripled.

The debt burden soared as soon as the Revolution began. Monetary inflation wiped out the currency system. Price controls in 1777 produced the debacle of Valley Forge. Percy Greaves, a disciple of Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises and for 17 years an attendee at his seminar, wrote this in 1972: "Our Continental Congress first authorized the printing of Continental notes in 1775. The Congress was warned against printing more and more of them. In a 1776 pamphlet, Pelatiah Webster, America's first economist, told his fellow men that Continental currency might soon become worthless unless something was done to curb the further printing and issuance of this paper money.

The people and the Congress refused to listen to his wise advice. With more and more paper money in circulation, consumers kept bidding up prices. Pork rose from 4 cents to 8 cents a pound. Beef soared from about 4 cents to 100 a pound. As one historian tells us, "By November 1777, commodity prices were 480% above the prewar average."

The situation became so bad in Pennsylvania that the people and legislature of this state decided to try "a period of price control, limited to domestic commodities essential for the use of the Army." It was thought that this would reduce the cost of feeding and supplying our Continental Army. It was expected to reduce the burden of war.

The prices of uncontrolled imported goods then went sky-high, and it was almost impossible to buy any of the domestic commodities needed for the Army. The controls were quite arbitrary. Many farmers refused to sell their goods at the prescribed prices. Few would take the paper Continentals. Some, with large families to feed and clothe, sold their farm products stealthily to the British in return for gold. For it was only with gold that they could buy the necessities of life which they could not produce for themselves.

On Dec. 5, 1777, the Army's quartermaster-general, refusing to pay more than the government-set prices, issued a statement from his Reading, Pennsylvania, headquarters saying, "If the farmers do not like the prices allowed them for this produce, let them choose men of more learning and understanding the next election."

This was the winter of Valley Forge, the very nadir of American history. On Dec. 23, 1777, George Washington wrote to the president of the Congress "that, notwithstanding it is a standing order, and often repeated, that the troops shall always have two days' provisions by them, that they might be ready at any sudden call; yet an opportunity has scarcely ever offered, of taking an advantage of the enemy that has not been either totally obstructed, or greatly impeded, on this account... We have no less than 2,898 men now in camp unfit for duty, because they are barefoot and otherwise naked… I am now convinced beyond a doubt, that, unless some great and capital change suddenly takes place, this Army must inevitably be reduced to one or other of these three things: starve, dissolve or disperse in order to obtain subsistence in the best manner they can."

“There Was No British Tyranny, and Surely Not in North America”: Only after the price control laws were repealed in 1778 could the Army buy food again. But the hyperinflation of the Continentals and state-issued currencies replaced the pre-Revolution system of silver currency: Spanish pieces of eight.

The proponents of independence invoked British tyranny in North America. But there was no British tyranny in North America. In 1872, Frederick Engels wrote an article, "On Authority." He criticized anarchists, whom he called anti-authoritarians. His description of the authoritarian character of all armed revolutions should remind us of the costs of revolution. "A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon - authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists."

After the American Revolution, 46,000 British Loyalists fled to Canada and other places controlled by the crown. They were not willing to swear allegiance to the new Colonial governments. They retained their loyalty to the nation that had delivered to them the greatest liberty on Earth. They had not committed treason. The revolutionaries are not remembered as treasonous. The victors write the history books.

The Boston Tea Party: A Protest Against Lower Tea Prices: What would libertarians - even conservatives - give today in order to return to an era in which the central government extracted 1% of the nation's wealth? Where there was no income tax? Would they describe such a society as tyrannical?

That the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence was signed by the richest smuggler in North America was no coincidence. He was hopping mad. Parliament in 1773 had cut the tax on tea imported by the British East India Co., so the cost of British tea went lower than the smugglers' cost on non-British tea. This had cost Hancock a pretty penny. The Tea Party had stopped the unloading of the tea by throwing privately owned tea off a privately owned ship - a ship in competition with Hancock's ships. The Boston Tea Party was, in fact, a well-organized protest against lower prices stemming from lower taxes.

So once again, I will not be celebrating the Fourth of July tomorrow."
Gary Kilgore North is an American economic historian and author who writes from an “Austrian” perspective. North is a prolific writer who has authored or coauthored over fifty books, including "Mises on Money", and has written a prodigious amount of articles.

Friday, July 2, 2021

"People are Ignoring Reality as our Economy is Decimated"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, IAllegedly, PM 7/2/21:
"People are Ignoring Reality as our Economy is Decimated"
"Sometimes you need a walk in the park to clear your head. I feel 
that people are ignoring reality as they walk through this decimated economy."

“Waiter/Bartender Jobs Will Save The Economy; Christmas Sales Will Be Tragic; Job Numbers Are A Joke”

Jeremiah Babe, PM 7/2/21:
“Waiter/Bartender Jobs Will Save The Economy; 
Christmas Sales Will Be Tragic; Job Numbers Are A Joke”

"20 Must-Have Items for the Coming Chaos"

Full screen recommended.
"20 Must-Have Items for the Coming Chaos"
by Epic Economist

"Let's be honest: we are living in extremely dark times and every day it goes by, more threatening events rise on the horizon. The United States already went through the first stage of the economic collapse last year, after the health crisis turned our lives upside down. And believe it or not, things will never be the same. Even though during some short periods of time the situation may seem relatively stable, don't be mistaken by thinking everything will be just fine because these moments are essentially the calm before the storm. One thing that we learned the hard way during the last 12 months was that our supply chains are incredibly vulnerable to disruptions, and by now, we all can surely tell that those vulnerabilities considerably increase the likelihood of shortages and skyrocketing prices. To make matters worse, our in-home production has slowed down and never returned to previous levels.

Today, we consume more supplies that come from overseas than supplies entirely produced in our country, and the fact that our geopolitical tensions with other global superpowers are getting more intense, doesn't help us at all. Oh, and let's not forget about cyberattacks. After the first one has shut down the largest gasoline pipeline of the country and sparked severe gasoline shortages, hackers realized that entering our key systems isn't that difficult and they have been attacking several other companies in recent days. This means that our internal systems are exposed and also vulnerable to suddenly face major interruptions, and those interruptions will undoubtedly trigger chaos all over the nation. That's why, now more than ever, we should get ready for the coming chaos and the next stages of the economic collapse. What we've experienced so far is nothing like what we're going to experience in the near future, but if you're prepared in advance you might be able to stay safe and survive during the end of the world as we know it.

Realistically speaking, when we consider all the factors at play, we should brace for some painful years of hyperinflation and extensive shortages, so getting ready for the next stages of the economic collapse is the most responsible thing you can do in order to protect yourself and your family from the coming chaos. The first thing you need to ensure your survival during an emergency is a well-stocked pantry. Food is an absolute necessity and you don't want to wait until things start to become turbulent to start stockpiling it. At the end of the day, adding staple foods to your pantry is the best investment you can make for an economic collapse. We can already see how inflation is pushing prices to sky-highs. But when hyperinflation is here, it's going to be a very different story, so be prepared. Make sure you take the word of experienced preppers into consideration, such as those with Urban Survival Website, Ask A Prepper, American Preppers Network, Offgrid Survival, and many others. And keep tuned to our channel, because if things start to rapidly spiral out of control, you'll be the first ones to know. For that reason, today, we selected 20 must-have items for you to stockpile before widespread panic takes over. So let's check this list!"

Musical Interlude: Kevin Kern, “Above The Clouds”

Full screen recommended.
Kevin Kern, “Above The Clouds”

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Why does this galaxy have such a long tail? In this stunning vista, based on image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive, distant galaxies form a dramatic backdrop for disrupted spiral galaxy Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy. The cosmic tadpole is a mere 420 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation of the Dragon (Draco). Its eye-catching tail is about 280 thousand light-years long and features massive, bright blue star clusters. 
One story goes that a more compact intruder galaxy crossed in front of Arp 188 - from right to left in this view - and was slung around behind the Tadpole by their gravitational attraction. During the close encounter, tidal forces drew out the spiral galaxy's stars, gas, and dust forming the spectacular tail. The intruder galaxy itself, estimated to lie about 300 thousand light-years behind the Tadpole, can be seen through foreground spiral arms at the upper right. Following its terrestrial namesake, the Tadpole Galaxy will likely lose its tail as it grows older, the tail's star clusters forming smaller satellites of the large spiral galaxy."


“Knowing can be a curse on a person’s life. I’d traded in a pack of lies for a pack of truth, and I didn’t know which one was heavier. Which one took the most strength to carry around? It was a ridiculous question, though, because once you know the truth, you can’t ever go back and pick up your suitcase of lies. Heavier or not, the truth is yours now.”
- Sue Monk Kidd

The Poet: Mary Oliver, “Some Questions You Might Ask”

“Some Questions You Might Ask”

“Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?
Who has it, and who doesn’t?
I keep looking around me.
The face of the moose is as sad
as the face of Jesus.
The swan opens her white wings slowly.
In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.
One question leads to another.
Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
Like the eye of a hummingbird?
Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
Why should I have it, and not the anteater
who loves her children?
Why should I have it, and not the camel?
Come to think of it, what about the maple trees?
What about the blue iris?
What about all the little stones, sitting alone in the moonlight?
What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?’
What about the grass?”

- Mary Oliver

The Daily "Near You?"

Montgomery, Alabama, USA. Thanks for stopping by!


“Bad things don’t happen to people because they deserve for them to happen. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s just… life. And no matter who we are, we have to take the hand we’re dealt, crappy though it may be, and try our very best to move forward anyway, to love anyway, to have hope anyway… to have faith that there’s a purpose to the journey we’re on.”
- Mia Sheridan

"Economic Market Snapshot PM 7/2/21"

"Economic Market Snapshot PM 7/2/21"
"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will
do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone."
- John Maynard Keynes
"Down the rabbit hole of psychopathic greed and insanity...
Only the consequences are real - to you!
Your guide:
Gregory Mannarino, PM 7/2/21:
"Hyper-Inflating Debts And Deficits - 
The FED Will Do The Opposite Of What They Are Saying!"
"The more I see of the monied classes,
the better I understand the guillotine."
- George Bernard Shaw
MarketWatch Market Summary, Live Updates

CNN Market Data:

CNN Fear And Greed Index:
A comprehensive, essential daily read.
July 2nd to 6th, Updated Daily
Financial Stress Index
"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."
Daily Job Cuts
Commentary, highly recommended:
And now, the End Game...
Oh yeah...

"More Than 72 Million Americans Are Living Paycheck To Paycheck"

"More Than 72 Million Americans Are 
Living Paycheck To Paycheck"
by Tyler Durden

"Imagine you lost your job tomorrow. How long would you be able to sustain your current lifestyle? A week? A month? A year? As we await Friday's labor market update, Finder has just published the results of a recent survey attempting to gauge the financial stability of the average American in the post-pandemic era.

More than 2K adults to were interviewed to try and ascertain how long they could survive without income. It turns out that approximately 72.4MM employed Americans - 28.4% of the population - believe they wouldn't be able to last for more than a month without a payday.

Another 24% said they expected to be able to live comfortably between two months and six months. That means an estimated 133.6MM working Americans (52.3% of the population) can live off their savings for six months or less before going broke.

On the other end of the spectrum, roughly 8.7MM employed Americans (or 3.4% of the population) say they don't need to rely on a rainy day fund since they have employment insurance which will compensate them should they lose their job.

Amusingly, men appear to be less effective savers than women. Some 32.4MM women (26.7% of American women) say their savings would stretch at most a month, compared to 40MM men (29.9% of American men) who admit to the same. Of those people, 9.7MM women (8% of American women) say their savings wouldn’t even stretch a week, compared to 15.5MM men (11.6% of American men) who admit to the same.

A majority of employed Americans over the age of 18 say their savings would last six months at most. About 70.7MM men (52.8% of American men) and 62.8MM women (51.8% of American women) fear they'd be in dire straits within six months of losing their livelihood.

Unsurprisingly, younger people tend to have less of a savings buffer - but the gap between the generations isn't as wide as it probably should be. While increasing one's income is perhaps the best route to building a more robust nest egg, Finder offered some suggestions for people looking to maximize their savings.

1. Create a budget and stick to it: Look at your monthly income against all of your monthly expenses. Add to them expenses you pay once or twice a year to avoid a surprise when they creep up. After you know where your money is going, you can allot specific amounts to different categories and effectively track your spending.

2. Start an emergency fund: The goal is getting to a point where you’ve saved enough money to cover expenses for a month, and then six months and then ultimately a safer nine months. Consider setting up automatic deposits from your checking into savings for a set-it-and-forget-it nest egg.

3. Put money where it’s difficult to access: To reduce the temptation of tapping into your savings, consider tucking away your automatic deposits into an online bank account or somewhere other than your main bank. Look for an account without a debit card for insurance against easy indulging.

4. Pay off or consolidate your debts: Use any leftover cash from your budget to chip away at your debts. Many people claim success with the snowball, avalanche and other methods of paying down debt. Compare 0% APR balance transfer credit cards or debt consolidation loans to save on interest and simplify your bills.

5. Take up a side hustle: You may be able to turn extra time into extra money by:
• Driving for Uber or Lyft
• Putting your skills towards freelancing
• Selling your stuff online
• Doing odd jobs
• Renting out your apartment on AirBnb
• Participating in paid surveys

6. Invest in your future: If the company you work for offers a 401(k) or investment alternative, sign up for the opportunity to passively save for retirement - especially if there’s a company match. Start small with 4% and increase your contribution with future salary increases.

7. Shop around for stronger deals: Compare cheap car insurance rates to see if you’re paying too much in monthly premiums. See if you can keep your grocery budget under a set amount by sticking to buying what’s on sale. If you get creative, you may find you’re squirreling away enough extra cash to get ahead of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.

8. Teach your kids strong financial literacy: Start early by teaching your children healthy financial habits to set them up for success, helping them avoid the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle altogether. There are plenty of debit cards for kids designed to teach them finances, and some are even free."

"How it Really Is"

That'll be the day...

Greg Hunter, "Weekly News Wrap-Up 7/2/21"

"Weekly News Wrap-Up 7/2/21:
Delta Biden, VAERS Lie People Die, Spending $1 Trillion a Night"
By Greg Hunter’s

"Vice President Biden’s Administration is using the so-called “Delta variant” of CV19 to get even more people to get jabbed with the experimental gene therapy that they are calling a vaccine. No talk of half of Americans already having natural immunity. This is according to Johns Hopkins MD Marty Makary. Why the push for more vaccines when 160 million or so Americans already have natural immunity? Why force or scare people to get an experimental vaccine when there are so many reports of death and injury from them? This is not about medicine folks!

I have always said the death and adverse reaction numbers to the CV19 vaccines have to be extremely inaccurately low. The CDC, NIH and Dr. Fauci have lied about everything. According to a report done by Harvard Health Care back in 2011, the reporting for Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is notoriously low. The report says less than 1% of adverse vaccine reactions are reported. So, does this mean the 6,000 people that VAERS says died as a result of the CV19 vaccine is really more like 600,0000 deaths?? The numbers are way off, and this Harvard study backs that idea up.

This past week, the Fed spent nearly $1 trillion in one night in the reverse repo market. The Fed does not want rates to fall below zero, and on the other end, it is spending $120 billion a month (at least) not allowing rates to rise too much in the repo market. Got that? Just know something is very wrong at the Fed when they have to spend $1 trillion in a single night. There is no fix that is going to happen. They are just going to keep it going until it blows sky high. Cut back on risk is my best advice."

Join Greg Hunter on Rumble as he talks about these 
stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up 7/2/21.

Gregory Mannarino, AM 7/2/21: "Alert! Eyes On The Yield Curve As The FED Continues To Buy It All"

Gregory Mannarino, AM 7/2/21:
"Alert! Eyes On The Yield Curve As 
The FED Continues To Buy It All"

"Stumbling Toward Reality"

"Stumbling Toward Reality"
by Jim Kunstler

"Dr. Anthony Fauci, who answers to the title “The Science” in certain circles, said this week that there are going to be two Americas, the vaxed and the unvaxed. Earth to Fr. Fauci: we are already two Americas: the reality-onboard and the reality-optional.

One reality is that vaccines developed at “warp speed” appear to have gnarly side-effects that can outweigh the risk of the disease they’re engineered to protect against. Another reality is that the Delta variant of SARS-Covid-19 is more contagious, but also weaker, less likely to result in hospitalization among the unvaxed. Yet another reality is that the Delta variant also infects the fully-vaccinated. Oh, what to do?

Consider not allowing yourself to be jerked around by US health officials who have trouble keeping their story straight, for instance, Dr. Anthony Fauci (a.k.a. The Science) who, records show, apparently assisted the bio-warfare division of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at the Wuhan lab in the development of a world-beating, gain-of-function bat virus - which, halfway through year-two of its run, seems to be following the usual trajectory of viral epidemics by growing weaker before it disappears altogether. And then we’ll see what happens longer-term among the vaxed, who were subjected to flurries of toxic spike proteins.

It’s the opinion of some - though not myself - that the Covid-19 episode was unleashed upon the world to allow “the elite” to execute a “controlled demolition of the global economy” so as quash climate change (by reducing carbon emissions), and therefore ensure a brighter future for said elite, while cruelly throwing the rest of the world’s population overboard. Oh, I dunno…. Klaus Schwab and his minions of The Great Reset seem more like hapless control freaks than persons actually able to control anything, least of all the whole world. Dr. Fauci’s role looks like a species of generic egomania with a top hat of greed (considering his financial interests in vaccines). The reality is that the global economy, such as it’s a high-tech industrial economy, is shooting its own wad very nicely without a whole lot of assistance from alleged nefarious parties.

Meantime, the Fourth of July is upon us and the nation is not quite half-vaxed-up, and yet we are about to celebrate the meaning of Independence Day, which is freedom from getting jerked around by tyrants. The idea! And so, you see, the USA also seems to be divided between those who take liberty and its associated values to heart, and those who seek to coerce, dominate, censor, cancel, and punish those who show signs of wishing to enjoy liberty in the pursuit of happiness.

Since the mythic figure known as “Trump” appears to represent the group that favors liberty, it has been necessary for the latter group of Woke tyrants to find some way to punish him. And so, after much sedulous digging and rooting through every record vaulted in the earth’s mantle, the Manhattan district attorney’s office, conducting an investigation alongside the New York attorney general, has lodged a 15-count indictment against the Trump organization and its CFO, a Mr. Allen Weisselberg, for a conspiracy to commit criminal tax fraud, falsifying business records, and omitting to pay taxes on employees “indirect compensation” (i.e., fringe benefits) amounting to $1.7-million over 15 years.

Cue Dr. Evil… with pinky finger inserted in corner of mouth. One-point-seven million!!! Over 15 years… equals about $113,000 a year! The New York state tax upon which might be in the neighborhood of $10,000! (That is, on the fringe benefits of company cars, parking spaces, and college tuition for company employees.) Now, there is a powerful case for malfeasance! Do you know what $1.7-million will get you: I’ll tell you: the raised ranch house that my parents bought in the Long Island suburbs for about 20-K in 1954. (Note, rather severely updated since then.) Just sayin….

Notice that the complaint against the Trump Org was not brought by the state tax authorities. Why not? Perhaps because it is beneath the dignity of even calling it a Mickey Mouse case. Instead, this is the sum total of what Democratic Party Lawfare ferrets could dig up in five years, including two years and $33-million spent by Robert Mueller’s investigators, plus the extra exertions of the DOJ’s Southern District federal attorneys. Well, done, Lawfare warriors! It will be fun to watch the prosecution of this case, if it isn’t peremptorily laughed out court. It was especially rich to see the way The New York Times played the story in Friday’s morning edition - a giant banner headline, taken down, by the way, sometime after 9:00a.m. EDT, but we screen-capped it just prior:
Finally, in this trifecta of clanging unrealities, Democratic Party efforts to promote endless, widespread election fraud were dealt a knockdown blow Thursday in the US Supreme Court’s decision upholding a new Arizona election reform law that prohibits “ballot harvesting” and voting out of one’s own election district. The SCOTUS decision kind of moots the DOJ’s more recent hustle to undermine Georgia’s new election reform law, which includes similar prohibitions against ballot shenanigans. In short, states now can take reasonable steps to ensure fair elections - a hard concept to grasp, I’m sure, but there it is. Now let’s see how many states seek to unravel previous election shenanigans, for instance what went down on November 3 2020. Happy July Fourth everyone. Don’t hurt anyone… or yourselves!"