Saturday, July 31, 2021

Greg Hunter, "Fed Trying to Keep Economy from Collapse – John Williams"

"Fed Trying to Keep Economy from Collapse – John Williams"
By Greg Hunter’s

"Economist John Williams, founder of, says the economy is much weaker than it appears. Williams cuts through the phony gimmicked government numbers to give a true economic picture. His analysis shows the economy is already slowing down anew. This is why the Fed just announced it will not be ending the massive money printing and start the so-called “taper” anytime soon. Williams explains, “What they are doing right now is trying to keep economic activity from collapsing. At the same time, all that they are doing in the way of spending and what the Fed is doing with all this money creation is triggering inflation. Inflation in the GDP was at a 40 year high. This is not a good sign because the inflation is difficult to bring under control once it’s out of control. We are getting very close to that. Inflation is around 13% the way I measure it.”

Is the inflation going to be “transitory” as the Fed keeps telling us? Williams says “No,” and goes on to say, “Inflation keeps going up. In Social Security, you might get a 7% bump, but you might be at 20% inflation next year. I think we are still at high risk of this evolving into a hyperinflation. Fed Head Powell just said inflation could be more serious than they are projecting, but if the Fed was convinced of that, they would take action to bring it under control. We will see what happens.”

If the Fed actually had to start fighting inflation, would they crash the economy? Williams says, “Probably. This is why the Fed is doing what it is doing because they don’t want to crash the economy. The economy is not as advertised. The Fed sees two things: One, they still see a very weak economy despite the happy GDP numbers this week. They also want to see full employment, and they don’t see that until 2022 or 2023. So, they are going to keep their easy money policies in effect. They are going to keep printing the money. They are putting the money into the system to keep the system liquid. It’s not a stable circumstance. We do not have a normal economy yet, and we don’t have normal financial markets. It’s unstable times. I would protect myself and I would be holding silver and gold. The reason I suggest this is if we get into a really bad inflation here, something like a hyperinflation, which I think is a real risk, the precious metals will tend to maintain their purchasing power. Weimar Germany in the early 1920’s effectively devolved into a barter system. Gold and silver will retain their value.”

Williams is still predicting “In early 2022, I am looking for something close to a hyperinflationary circumstance and effectively a collapsed economy.”

Join Greg Hunter on Rumble as he goes One-on-One 
with John Williams, founder of

"One Lockdown From Disaster"

"One Lockdown From Disaster"
by MN Gordon

"The popular economic tune being played by the popular press drones on. You know the melody by now…That the post-pandemic boom is alive and well. That growth is enduring. That blue skies are here to stay. If you listen closely, however, several notes ring sour.

The Commerce Department reported on Thursday that second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annualized rate of 6.5 percent. This may sound good, initially. But economists with Dow Jones had estimated an 8.4 percent Q2 GDP increase. Once again, extreme fiscal stimulus, at the expense of a long term debt burden, drifted off key.

The monetary policy refrain was also lacking. This week, at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting press conference, Fed Chair Jay Powell remarked that, “we’re some way away from having had substantial further progress toward the maximum employment goal.”

Thus the Fed will continue to hold the federal funds rate near zero and will continue creating credit from thin air at a rate of $120 billion per month to purchase Treasuries and mortgage backed securities in the amounts of $80 billion and $40 billion, respectively. By now these damaging actions have become exceedingly mindless. The aim for maximum employment will ultimately prove to be a shortsighted calamity.

If the economy was really strengthening, the Fed would be tapering back these security purchases and even normalizing its balance sheet. At the very least, it would be talking about tapering. But the economy’s not really strengthening at all. Rather, the economy and financial markets, handicapped by extreme intervention, are entirely dependent on this monetary stimulus. And there’s no easy way out…

Woke and Enlightened:The Fed’s predicament tightens by the day. Take away the monetary crutches and the Fed risks a catastrophic financial meltdown. Yet keep them in place for too long and the Fed risks a significant dollar devaluation. These, no doubt, are the disagreeable options that remain following decades of the Fed’s erudite handiwork.

The promise of planning the economy via monetary policy, like the promise of gun control or mandatory mask mandates, is a farce. The body of empirical evidence – the science – shows that monetary policy fails to smooth out the ups and downs of the business cycle. Moreover, by intervening in credit markets, the Fed actually intensifies the booms and busts.

Still, central planning via the Fed is not the only madness one must contend with. There’s a whole army of planners in Congress and dispersed throughout the government’s countless agencies and bureaucracies working overtime to steal your wealth and freedom. Today’s central planners and social engineers are especially special. They’re woke…and progressive.

They slog away in home offices with central air conditioning, as they swig chilled seltzers and munch on fresh, refrigerated grapes. Their privilege is both sweet and juicy. Yet all the while, they bemoan the cruelty of unequal outcomes. "Why can’t others get paid by the government to munch on grapes from home too?” they ask.

These wokesters jump from one zoom call to the next, figuring new legislation to redirect the flow of money to somehow make society more equitable. You see, equality under the law is not good enough. Charges of systemic racism and white privilege must be overcome with government directed outcomes that are, somehow, morally equitable. Partiality centered on an extreme fixation upon micro gradations of skin color is the great cause of the woke and enlightened.

One Lockdown from Disaster: Implicit to the planner’s toils, is a shared sense that they know how to spend your money better than you. At best, the central planners call your money to Washington so they can then distribute it back to your friends and neighbors. In reality, the lawmakers call your money to Washington where they distribute it to their friends and neighbors – not yours.

This is not a matter of opinion. It’s a matter of fact. Could it really be a coincidence that the top three wealthiest counties in the country are in the shadow of the Capitol in the D.C. suburbs? What it is exactly that the residents of these counties do that’s of tangible value is unclear. However, what is clear is that phony government jobs in Loudoun County, Falls Church, and Fairfax County, Virginia, pay big bucks.

This week a bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement to advance a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, of which $550 billion is in new spending. The rest of the package uses previously approved spending, though we can’t tell if this is for infrastructure or something else.

Regardless, this government-directed stimulus will further the economy’s dependence on federal spending. Workers will base their livelihoods on these projects. Many will be boondoggles. Some may provide useful assets. They will all contribute to an economy that’s ultimately doomed, where debt well outpaces GDP.

But wait, there’s more… Navigating its way through Congress after the infrastructure bill is the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan, which focuses on something called ‘human infrastructure.’ This plan is slated to include complete giveaways for health care, paid family leave, education and climate change, among other things. Make of it what you will. Physical infrastructure. Human infrastructure. Debt. Deficits. Nonstop money printing. Price inflation. Woke central planners. Economic stagnation. Delta variant. Perpetual dependency.

If that’s not enough, with each passing day it appears more and more likely the CDC will goad the Biden administration into another lockdown. And at this point, we may just be one lockdown from disaster."

"How Taiwan Will Fall Into Beijing’s Lap, Like an Overripe Mango"

"How Taiwan Will Fall Into Beijing’s Lap, 
Like an Overripe Mango"
by Fred Reed

"I will now explain war, or some of it. If you wonder how some mutt in Mexico with a computer thinks he knows about strategy, well, look at what we have in Washington. How could I be worse?

In geopolitical circles, blather swirls over whether the United States can defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion in a regional war. Sez I, it doesn’t matter whether it can if it won’t, and China will likely get the island without invading. The key is to think about how things look from Taiwan.

Washington is vague about whether it would militarily defend Taiwan. Taiwan presumably has noticed. Further, America does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country. More waffling. The implication is that Washington might, or might not, do something, or something else, depending on unspecified things, probably or at least possibly.

This sounds like hedging, a disguised American recognition that this isn’t 1955, and China is no longer a bamboo republic that makes pencils and cheap plastic buckets for Walmart. As China’s military power grows, and thus the cost of a war, America’s equivocation will likely become more equivocal. Throw in that America does $550 billion in commerce annually with the Middle Kingdom, including countless things America doesn’t make but can’t do without, and war with China doesn’t look real feasible. This too has probably occurred to Taipei.

The fashion in naval circles is to talk about the First Island Chain, which is a sort of barrier along the coast of China, the Kuriles, Japan, Okinawa in the Ryukyus, Taiwan, the Philippines, and even Borneo. The idea, apart from some fairly silly notions about “containing China,” is that these islands will want to join with Washington, which is somewhere else, to fight China, which is right there, to defend Taiwan, which also is right there.

Now, who would actually defend Taiwan - that is, go to war with China? Japan? Note that Japan is within missile range of China, and probably does not want missiles of large warhead raining down on Tokyo. Japan gets ninety percent of its petroleum from the Persian Gulf and, If Tokyo’s reserves of oil run out, Japan stops. All of it. China has pretty good submarines these days. The beltway Hawklets might say, “Don’t worry. We have magic anti-submarine stuff, no prob.” Given America’s military record, would you buy a used car from these people?

Do you suppose the Japanese have thought of this? Washington might say, not to worry, we have antimissile gadgets, THAAD, and Patriot, and Aegis, and we can escort your tankers. But none of these weapons has much of a track record, and neither does America.

Further energizing Japan’s likely unenthusiasm for fighting Washington’s wars is that trade with China is crucial to the Japanese economy, and that Taiwan isn’t all that valuable to Tokyo. Today Japan trades with Taiwan, and with China. If Taiwan became part of China, this trade would probably continue with nothing changing but the letterhead.

Lastly, Japan may have noticed America’s propensity for getting its vassals (or allies, clients, or poodles, take your choice) into wars and then leaving them in the lurch. Think Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Afghanistan and, soon, Syria and Iraq. This would leave Japan in a shooting war with China, all by itself. If the gringos lose a war, they can just go home. Japan is not mobile.

The Japanese might whisper into American ears, “All cool, Round Eye. But it’s just your empire on the line. It’s our ass. we’ll sit this one out.” South Korea might think similar thoughts regarding use of its air bases, especially given that the Korean peninsula has a land border with China. Washington doesn’t. Seoul needs a war with the Middle Kingdom like it needs smallpox. “Tell you what, Round Eye, bugger off….”

Taiwan would get wind of this through back channels if not by sheer deduction. How would a regional war over the Taiwan Strait look to an adult commander of an aircraft carrier? He might think, “Hmmm. Squinty-eyed rascals good engineers. Make’m Mars probe, worke’m. Train go three hundred sixty miles hour. Work’em. Maybe make’m missiles work’em good too. Hmmmm. Bad juju.”

The Navy’s PR operation will say that Chinese missiles don’t really amount to anything, this to protect the budget for its favorite bathtub toys and the only surface ship that justifies the existence of the Navy. But of course China can build swarms of missiles to arrive simultaneously.

Further, realists in Washington might ask themselves what would happen if the war didn’t go as planned, as wars usually don’t, and a carrier and three destroyers became marine barbecues before sinking. War games and Pentagon studies suggest that this is quite likely. To save face, the hawks would have to turn a regional war into a world war, which America would win. “Win.” Millions would die and the world economy stop. Never underestimate the influence of vanity in world affairs.

Taiwan could divine all of this. It could also divine that the Navy had divined it. In recent years China has shown itself to be very good at engineering all manner of things, and has emphasized antiship missiles, including but not limited to terminally guided ballistic missiles of range far greater than that of carrier aviation. Do they work as advertised? We don’t know. A carrier captain would probably want someone else to find out.

Despite growly aphasic pronunciamientos from the White House, and chirpy assurance from Navy PR, grownups in the Pentagon might think, “You know…maybe a war with China isn’t a great idea. How about lunch instead at a really good rib joint on the Hill?” Taiwan would know of these doubts. This would further undermine hope of American defense.

Now, suppose that China keeps on doing what to all appearances it is doing: increasing its amphibious- assault assets, improving and enlarging its already highly non-negligible air force, building missiles and increasing its number of marines. Meanwhile the Chinese navy grows like kudzu on a Georgia road cut. China can increase its forces across the Strait virtually without limit. The US cannot. At some point, past or future, Taiwan will face assault forces it has no chance whatever of repelling by itself. Taipei would notice this.

Further suppose that China keeps doing what else it has been doing for some time: practicing amphibious assaults that could at any moment become real assaults. Thus no one- read, America - would know whether the attack would come in two months, five years, or never. This would require keeping defensive forces, such as carriers, on station constantly and at a high state of readiness. Militaries do not do this well, and it is expensive. Moreover, after long periods of peace militaries do not mobilize quickly as it is discovered that there aren’t many of things there ought to be lots of because of some budget cut, or something, and the whole enterprise turns into a gargantuan goat-rope.

What kind of attack might Taiwan expect? I haven’t talked to the Chinese General Staff for weeks now, and so am making this up. But the goal would probably be to get the war over before America had time to react. Keeping invaders out is one thing, getting them out another. So, maybe a sudden attack with ballistic missiles to crater runways with simultaneous mass missile attack on air defenses with amphib ships simultaneously setting sail. At fifteen knots it would take about eight hours to reach the island. With heavy air support from China’s highly non-negligible air force, Chinese troops might well get ashore and into cities before America’s hypergalactic indomitable military could get its thumb out of…well, never mind. The Americans would be caught flatfooted by a fait accompli. Washington would face the joyful choice of bombing Chinese soldiers inside Taiwanese cities, or - this is Saturday Night Live territory -undertaking a land war in Asia against China.

It may be that Taiwan has thought of this.

Finally, there is TSMC, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. While little known in America, TSMC makes most of the world’s high-end chips, including those of Apple and…the Pentagon. America currently is not able to make its own.

This throws a fascinating wild card into things. If in an attack, TSMC were destroyed, by either side, or captured and held hostage, the effects would be no end entertaining. Today’s world, perhaps more than most people know, depends on chips. An astonishing proportion of advanced chips come from the island. Replacing its fab lines somewhere else would take years. The other, though lesser, source of chips is Samsung in South Korea, also in Chinese missile range. Washington is trying to cripple China’s tech by not allowing it access to advanced chips. Presumably this increases Beijing’s incentive to annex Taiwan.

Anyway, Biden couldn’t risk losing Taiwan as it would affect the midterms. But what it comes to is that with China being the largest trading partner of something like 165 countries, war isn’t real practical. The Taiwanese have probably figured this out.

So what does Taiwan do, seeing an overwhelming invasion force looming and not believing that Washington is really going to go to war to defend it? The choice would be to fight, be devastated as it lost, and face harsh conditions after - or to come to the best agreement it could and surrender without fighting. Anyone want to make bets?"

"The Homeless Have Been Cleared from Venice Beach - Unbelievable Results"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly, PM 7/31/21:
"The Homeless Have Been Cleared from Venice Beach - 
Unbelievable Results"

Musical Interlude: Neil H., “Candlelight Dreams”

Neil H., “Candlelight Dreams”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“This colorful skyscape features the dusty, reddish glow of Sharpless catalog emission region Sh2-155, the Cave Nebula. About 2,400 light-years away, the scene lies along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the royal northern constellation of Cepheus. 

Astronomical explorations of the region reveal that it has formed at the boundary of the massive Cepheus B molecular cloud and the hot, young, blue stars of the Cepheus OB 3 association. The bright rim of ionized hydrogen gas is energized by the radiation from the hot stars, dominated by the bright blue O-type star above picture center. Radiation driven ionization fronts are likely triggering collapsing cores and new star formation within. Appropriately sized for a stellar nursery, the cosmic cave is over 10 light-years across.”



“Life Lessons From a Psychiatrist Who’s Been Listening to People’s Problems For Decades”

“Life Lessons From a Psychiatrist Who’s Been
Listening to People’s Problems For Decades”
by Thomas Oppong

“How you approach life says a lot about who you are. As I get deeper into my late 30s I have learned to focus more on experiences that bring meaning and fulfilment to my life. I try to consistently pursue life goals that will make me and my closest relations happy; a trait that many individuals search for their entire lives. Nothing gives a person inner wholeness and peace like a distinct understanding of where they are going, how they can get there, and a sense of control over their actions.

Seneca once said, “Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.” “No people can be truly happy if they do not feel that they are choosing the course of their own life,” states the World Happiness Report 2012. The report also found that having this freedom of choice is one of the six factors that explain why some people are happier than others.

In his best-selling first book, “Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now”, Dr Gordon Livingston, a psychiatrist who’s been listening to people’s problems for decades, revealed thirty bedrock truths about life, and how best to live it. In his capacity as a psychiatrist, Dr Livingston listened to people talk about their lives and the many ways people induced unhappiness on themselves. In his book, he brings his insight and wisdom to the subjects of happiness, fear and courage.

“Life’s two most important questions are “Why?” and “Why not?” The trick is knowing which one to ask.” Acquiring some understanding of why we do things is often a prerequisite to change. This is especially true when talking about repetitive patterns of behavior that do not serve us well. This is what Socrates meant when he said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” That more of us do not take his advice is testimony to the hard work and potential embarrassment that self-examination implies.”

Most people operate on autopilot, doing the same things today that didn’t work yesterday. They rarely stop to measure the impact of their actions on themselves and others, and how those actions affect their total well-being. They are caught in a cycle. And once you get caught in the loop, it can be difficult to break free and do something meaningful. Past behavior is the most reliable predictor of future behavior.

If your daily actions and choices are making you unhappy, make a deliberate choice to change direction. No matter how bleak or desperate a situation may appear to look, you always have a choice. “People often come to me asking for medication. They are tired of their sad mood, fatigue, and loss of interest in things that previously gave them pleasure. ”…“Their days are routine: unsatisfying jobs, few friends, lots of boredom. They feel cut off from the pleasures enjoyed by others.

Here is what I tell them: The good news is that we have effective treatments for the symptoms of depression; the bad news is that medication will not make you happy. Happiness is not simply the absence of despair. It is an affirmative state in which our lives have both meaning and pleasure.” “In general we get, not what we deserve, but what we expect,” he says.

Most people know what is good for them, they know what will make them feel better. They don’t avoid meaningful life habits because of ignorance of their value, but because they are no longer “motivated” to do them, Dr Livingston found. They are waiting until they feel better. Frequently, it’s a long wait, he says. Life is too short to wait for a great day to invest in better life experiences.

Most unhappiness is self-induced, Dr Livingston found. “The three components of happiness are something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to. Think about it. If we have useful work, sustaining relationships, and the promise of pleasure, it is hard to be unhappy. I use the term “work” to encompass any activity, paid or unpaid, that gives us a feeling of personal significance. If we have a compelling avocation that lends meaning to our lives, that is our work, ” says Dr Livingston.

Many experiences in life that bring happiness are in your control. The more choices you are able to exercise, and control, the happier you are likely to be. “Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life,” says Mandy Hale. Many people wait for something to happen or someone to help them live their best lives. They expect others to make them happy. They think they have lost the ability to improve their lives.

The thing that characterizes those who struggle emotionally is that they have lost, or believe they have lost, their ability to choose those behaviors that will make them happy, says Dr Livingston. You are responsible for your own life experiences, whether you are seeking a meaningful life or a happy life. If you expect others to make you happy, you will always be disappointed.

You can consistently choose actions that could become everyday habits. It takes time, but it’s an investment that will be worth your while. “Virtually all the happiness-producing processes in our lives take time, usually a long time: Learning new things, changing old behaviors, building new relationships, raising children. This is why patience and determination are among life’s primary virtues,”

Most people are stuck in life because of fear. Fear of everything outside their safe zones. Your mind has a way of rising to the occasion. Challenge it, and it will reward you. Your determination to overcome fear and discouragement constitutes the only effective antidote to that feeling on unhappiness you don’t want. Dr Livingston explains. “The most secure prisons are those we construct for ourselves. I frequently ask people who are risk-averse, “What is the biggest chance you have ever taken?” People begin to realize what “safe” lives they have chosen to lead.”

“Everything we are afraid to try, all our unfulfilled dreams, constitute a limitation on what we are and could become. Usually it is fear and its close cousin, anxiety, that keep us from doing those things that would make us happy. So much of our lives consists of broken promises to ourselves. The things we long to do — educate ourselves, become successful in our work, fall in love — are goals shared by all. Nor are the means to achieve these things obscure. And yet we often do not do what is necessary to become the people we want to be.”

As you increasingly install experiences of acceptance, gratitude, accomplishment, and feeling that there’s a fullness in your life rather than an emptiness or a scarcity, you will be able to deal with the issues of life better.

Closing thoughts: Dr Livingston’s words feel true and profound. The real secret to a happy life is selective attention, he says. If you choose to focus your awareness and energy on things and people that bring you pleasure and satisfaction, you have a very good chance of being happy in a world full of unhappiness, uncertainty, and fear."

The Daily "Near You?"

Fairmont, Nebraska, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"The Brutal Truth About Violence When The SHTF"

"The Brutal Truth About Violence When The SHTF"
Selco interviewed by Daisy Luther

"Are you prepared for the extreme violence that is likely to come your way if the SHTF? No matter what your plan is, it’s entirely probable that at some point, you’ll be the victim of violence or have to perpetrate violence to survive. As always, Selco is our go-to guy on SHTF reality checks and this thought-provoking interview will shake you to your core.

If you don’t know Selco, he’s from Bosnia and he lived through a year in a city that was blockaded with no utilities, no deliveries of supplies, and no services. In his interviews, he shares what the scenarios the rest of us theorize about were REALLY like.  He mentioned to me recently that most folks aren’t prepared for the violence that is part and parcel of a collapse, which brings us to today’s interview.

How prevalent was violence when the SHTF in Bosnia? It was wartime and chaos, from all conflicts in those years in the Balkan region Bosnian conflict was most brutal because of multiple reasons, historical, political and other. To simplify the explanation why violence was common and very brutal, you need to picture a situation where you are “bombarded” with huge amount of information (propaganda) which instills in you very strong feelings of fear and hate. Out of fear and hate, violence grows easy and fast, and over the very short period of time you see how people around you (including you) do things that you could not imagine before.

I can say that violence was almost an everyday thing in the whole spectrum of different activities because it was a fight for survival. Again, whenever (and wherever) you put people in a region without enough resources, you can expect violence.

We were living a normal life, and then suddenly we were thrown in a way of living where if you could not “negotiate” something with someone, you solve the problem by launching a rocket from an RPG through the window of his living room. Hate stripped down the layers of humanity and suddenly it was “normal” to level an apartment building with people inside with shells from a tank or form private prisons with imprisoned civilians for slave work or sex slaves.

Nothing that I saw or read before could have prepared me for the level of violence and blindness to it, for the lives of kids, elders, civilians, and the innocent. Again, the thing that is important for readers is that we were a modern society one day, and then in few weeks it turned into carnage. Do not make the mistake of saying “it cannot happen here” because I made that mistake too. Do not underestimate power of propaganda, fear, hate, and the lowest human instincts, no matter how modern and good your society is right now and how deeply you believe that “it can not happen here”.

You’ve mentioned warlords and gangs in several of your articles. Were they responsible for the majority of the violence or was it hungry families? Fighting of the armies through the whole period of war brings violence in terms of constant shelling from a distance from different kind of weapons. For example a few multiple rocket launchers (VBR) could bring in 30 seconds the destruction in an area of 3-4 apartment buildings, and being there in that moment and surviving it gives you a completely new view on life. Snipers were a constant threat and over time you simply grow a way of living that you constant scan area in front of you where your next steps gonna be. Are you gonna be visible and from where? Etc.

Most brutal violence was actually lawlessness and complete lack of order between different factions and militias, so in some periods there were militias or gangs who simply ruled the cities or part of the city where they were absolutely masters of everything in terms of deciding of taking someone’s life. In lawlessness, you as one person could be really small and not interesting, or join some bigger group of people to be stronger, some family or militia or gang.

An example of a gang would be group of people of some 300 or 500 people who “officially” were a unit or militia and operate for some faction, but in reality they operate mostly for themselves. That included owning part of the black market, having prison (for forced labor or ransom), attacking people and houses for resources, smuggling people from dangerous areas. Violence from those kinds of group was the most immediate violence, the most visible in terms of SHTF talking. If those people came on your door you could obey, fight, or negotiate, but mostly you could not not ask for help from any kind of authority, because there was no real authority.

In any society, no matter where you are living, there are a great number of people who are waiting for the SHTF to go out and do violent things. Small time criminals or simply violent persons who are not openly violent because system is there to punish them for that. It is like that. Some gang leaders that I knew were actually completely sick people with a strange type of charisma that makes people follow them, weird situations that can happen only in a real collapse. They are people who just waited for their time to rise. Those kinds of people together with criminal organization that are already there in any city in the world will be the backbone of SHTF gangs.

Who were the most likely victims? A very simple answer would be that the most likely victims were people who had interesting things without enough defense. But it was not always that simple. For example one of the first houses that got raided in my neighborhood, right at the beginning of collapse while there was still some kind of order, was a rich family’s home. They had a nice house with bars on the windows, a pretty good setup for defense, and they had enough people inside so they could give pretty good resistance to the mob. But they got raided simply because they were known that they are rich, so they were attacked with enough force to be overwhelmed.

It was not only about how much manpower you had and how well-organized defense of your home was, it was also about how juicy a target you were. If you are faced with 150 angry people attacking your home because they are sure you have good stuff inside your chances are low, no matter how good and tough you are. People who were alone were a pretty easy target and old people without support of family or friends.

It was not always about killing someone or violence. For example, if you were alone and without resources but you had something else valuable like some kind of skill or knowledge you could easily be “recruited” for some faction or group, not by your will of course.

What were some ways to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of violence? How do you recommend that people prepare themselves for the possibility of violence? It can be done in steps, or in layers:

• Do not be interesting (or attract attention) when the SHTF. This means a lot of things, for this article I can give a few examples with shortened explanations because it is a huge topic:

• Do not look like a prepper (before or after SHTF). There is no sense in announcing that you are prepping for EMP, civil collapse, apocalypse, or whatever. With that you are risking the probability that when the SHTF, people will remember that you have interesting things in your home. Your home should look ordinary. For example, if you are living in the city on a street where all houses look similar, there is not  much sense in making your home look like a fortress. You’ll just attract attention.

Your defense should be based on more subtle means. Some examples are having means to reinforce doors and windows quickly when you need it, or to reinforce them from inside. Make changes in your yard to funnel possible attackers where you want them to be (trees, fence, bush…). You can make your home look abandoned or already looted.

• Think about what survival is! Survival is about staying alive, it is not about being comfortable at the expense of losing your life. I have seen many times people lose their lives simply because they were too attached to their belongings (house, car, land, goods…) so they simply did not want to leave something and run in a particular moment.

• Everything can be earned and bought again except life. Forget about statements like “I will defend it with my life” or “over my dead body” or similar because the real SHTF is usually not heroic or noble. It is hard and brutal. When you are gone you are gone and there might be nobody to take care of your family just because you have been stubborn or trusted in movies when it came to violence. To rephrase it: Be ready to leave your home in a split second if that means you and your family will survive, no matter how many good things you have stored there.

• Be mentally ready for violence: In a way, it is impossible to be ready for violence, especially widespread violence when the SHTF, but you can minimize shock when that happens with some things. If you are not familiar with what violence is, you can try to get yourself close” to it today (in normal times). It can be done, for example, by doing some voluntary work for example in a local hospital, ER or similar… or simply by working with homeless people. Sounds maybe strange but activities like this can get you a bit of a feeling of what it is all about, not to mention that you can learn some practical and useful skills for SHTF.

• Have means and skills  (physically) to defend – or to do violence: No matter how old or young you are, your gender or religion I assure you that you are capable of doing violence. It is only a matter of the situation and how far you are going to be pushed. It is not just “some people are capable of violence.” Everybody is capable. Not everybody enjoys doing it or is willing to do it so easily.

In today (normal times) you can learn some violence skills and you should do it, again no matter if you are a woman or old or young. You should own a weapon and know how to use it. You should practice with it, or have at least some basic knowledge about hand-to-hand combat. The worst case scenario is to have a weapon that you try for the first time when SHTF.

Be familiar with your means for defense, let your family members know what they need to do in case of attack of your home, have plan, and go through it. Only through practice will you minimize chances for mistakes.

• Use common sense: I know lot of survivalists almost dream about how they are going to use weapons against bad guys when SHTF, and that they will be something like super heroes from movies, saving innocents and killing villains. Truth is that in a real collapse, a lot of things are kind of blurred and you are not sure who the bad guys are. Good guys turn out to be lunatic gang members who want to bring food to their kids. There are no super heroes when SHTF, and if some of them show up they end up dead quickly.

There is only you and your skills and mindset and what you prepared. Use violence as a last resort because of the simple fact that by using violence you are risking of getting killed or hurt. Remember when SHTF there is maybe no doctor or hospital to take care of your wound. It is a time when even a small cut can eventually kill you through infection and lack of proper care.

I’m a single mom with a household full of girls. In an SHTF situation, what would our best strategies be to remain safe? Just like I have mentioned before, strategy is always same for any part of survival, and shooting from the rifle is pretty similar no matter are you man or woman. Being single mom with household full of girls on first look make you as a ideal target in some situations, but we are talking here in prepper terms so there is no reason not to be perfectly well prepared as a single mom with girls.

But yes I admit it is not perfect situation, even if you are prepared well, some things are sure, you need to connect with other people even more. House with couple of girls will always look like easy prey for some people. It is like that.

Were people in the city safer than people in the country? Can you tell us more about rural living during this time? In my case definitely no. In the essence it always come to the resources and people. City meant more people less resources, country (rural) meant less people more resources, and because that level of violence simply was lower. That was most important reason.

There are few more reasons why it was much better in the country. People in the country (rural settings) were much more “connected to ground”  they were more tough if you like, they grew their own food, had cattle, lived more simple life prior SHTF and when everything collapsed they had less problems getting use to it. Yes they also did not have electricity and phones, running water or connection to other places but they adapted easier to the new life because they had more useful skills then people in the city. Life was harder for them too than prior to the collapse, but they had means to get resources: land, woods, river…

Another thing is that people in small rural communities “in the country” were more connected to each other, people knew their neighborhood and some things were easier to organize, like community security watch, help in case of diseases and similar.

What types of weapons did people have for self-defense? It was different political system prior the collapse where it was not so usual to own a weapon legally. And to own one illegally could mean a lot of troubles. Right prior to SHTF, it became possible to buy different weapons on the black market but still, a majority of people did not own weapons. When it all collapsed, it was possible to get a weapon through trade.

Because of the military doctrine here prior to the collapse, we used “East Bloc” weapons. A favorite was AK-47 in all different kind of editions, or older weapons like M-48 rifle, SKS rifle, 22 and similar. People used what they had, so in one period you would be lucky if you had any kind of pistol and knife. Later through the different channels weapon become more available so people had them more. A lot of that was actually junk that some warlords somehow “imported”. Weapons 50-60 years old without proper ammunition, or not in operating condition. A lot of people simply did not have a clue how to use any kind of weapon so a lot of accidental deaths happened.

I remember people storming abandoned army barracks that was mostly looted, but they found in one building a lot of RPGs while other part of the same building was burning. Two guys were trying to figure out a single-use RPG, and while they were messing with it clearly not knowing how that thing worked, they accidentally armed it and launched a rocket that flew through the crowd, not hurting anyone and exploding in wall 100 meters from where they stood. They were smiling, clearly happy because they thought they figured out how that thing worked.

What weapons do you suggest to have for SHTF? It is a never-ending discussion and a favorite prepper topic, and I must say that whole discussion is overrated. I have used them in a real situation, and tried and tested lot of different kind of weapons and what works for me may simply not work for you. For example, here for me good choice is AK-47 rifle, maybe for you wherever you are it is very bad choice.

Good advice is: you need to have a weapon that most people have around you because of multiple reasons: spare parts, repairing, ammunition availability, possibility that you can pick that rifle from other people and you know how to use it. What caliber and similar is a matter of discussion again. I am talking from the point of owning a rifle. Another thing is that you need to know how that weapon works. Luckily, most of my readers live in an area where gun laws are great comparing to region where I am. You have much more choices when it comes to owning a weapon and practicing with it. Use that.

And do not forget that using a weapon in a real life situation is not like shooting at beer bottles with your friends after a barbecue. In real life you might be in a situation to use a weapon while you are tired, dirty, and hungry and while someone is screaming next to you. It is going to be maybe when you are not ready to do that, maybe in pitch dark, maybe after you have been awake for 48 hours. At least think about that.

When should you use violence? Contrary to some popular beliefs in the prepper community, the point is to use violence only as a last solution. The reason is as I mentioned already, the risk that you can be hurt or killed too, but also once you do violence you change your own rules, or push it more forward, and it is easy to get lost in violence. There are consequences to that, and you are not going to be the same person ever again.

Violence is a tool, not a toy. You need to know how to use it as best as possible, but also to avoid using it when it is not necessary. It is a good idea to set up a clear set of rules (mentally too) when you are gonna use violence and to try to stick to it. For example you will use weapon if someone tries to break your home and attack you, and you need to be ready to do that without hesitation.

What else should we know about post-collapse violence? Think with your head and research. One thing that is absolutely important when it comes to understanding how violent it is going to be and what can you expect in your own case of SHTF, is to understand how much media can influence people in making their decisions about violence.

In my case, the media built up situation where people feared so much from other people that they actually hated them. They hated them so much that they actually strip them down from humanity. In a real-life example, it works in a way that people killed other people, including kids and women, because they hated them so much because media told them.

It may look ridiculous and not possible to you, and you might again think “that can not happen here” but please trust your own resources, look for independent information, not mainstream media, in order to get the right information about what is really happening in the beginning of collapse. Do not be pulled into “popular opinion” just because the “man from TV” (whoever he might be) told you so. It is easier today. Because of the internet, you have much more choices for correct information than in my time. But still be careful, you might find yourself rioting together with 500 people just because you trusted some media."
More information about Selco: Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today. He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations like Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months. Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.
Read more of Selco’s articles here: -
Laurence Gonzales, "The 12 Rules of Survival"


"Sometimes even to live is an act of courage."
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

"How It Really Is"

Deputy Wendell: "It's a mess, ain't it, Sheriff?"
Sheriff Ed Tom Bell: "If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here."

Oh, it'll do alright... and it's here.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Musical Interlude: Yanni & Samvel Yervinyan, "Until The Last Moment"

Full screen recommended.
Yanni & Samvel Yervinyan, "Until The Last Moment"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Here is one of the largest objects that anyone will ever see on the sky. Each of these fuzzy blobs is a galaxy, together making up the Perseus Cluster, one of the closest clusters of galaxies. The cluster is seen through a foreground of faint stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy.
 Click image for larger size.
Near the cluster center, roughly 250 million light-years away, is the cluster's dominant galaxy NGC 1275, seen above as a large galaxy on the image left. A prodigious source of x-rays and radio emission, NGC 1275 accretes matter as gas and galaxies fall into it. The Perseus Cluster of Galaxies, also cataloged as Abell 426, is part of the Pisces-Perseus supercluster spanning over 15 degrees and containing over 1,000 galaxies. At the distance of NGC 1275, this view covers about 15 million light-years.”

"10 Million Face Evictions And Foreclosures In 2021 As Federal Moratorium Ends"

Full screen recommended.
"10 Million Face Evictions And Foreclosures 
In 2021 As Federal Moratorium Ends"
by Epic Economist

"Tomorrow, the national CDC eviction moratorium expires and housing advocates are warning that the U.S. is about to see a massive flood of evictions and a devastating surge of homelessness, as the ban was the only barrier protecting millions of jobless tenants all across the country. The CDC order has been in place since March 2020, first issued in order to prevent people from living in the streets during the peak of the health crisis. But in many cases, due to legal loopholes in the CDC document, many people were not covered by the moratorium and were left without a home anyway. Now, millions of American families who financially struggled throughout the past year are at risk of losing their homes and possibly facing another painful strike in their finances as they are expected to pay thousands of dollars in back rent. “We’re expecting a wave of evictions, eviction apocalypse, eviction tsunami, whatever you want to call it,” said Amara Lang, a member of an Autonomous Tenants Union.

Over the last 18 months, the moratorium allowed tenants to only pay what they were able to pay, but as of Saturday, all renters will be required to cover their full rent. Some workers who lost their jobs or had to stop working due to health issues, or to take care of their children and relatives, managed to get a temporary reprieve. But in a couple of days, they will have a massive debt hanging over them. Hayden Harwood, another member of the Autonomous Tenants Union, highlighted that the end of the moratorium will disproportionately affect the country's most vulnerable and low-income communities. “Essentially we’re preparing for the worst because, despite the eviction moratorium, rent has been accruing,” Harwood said.

In recent months, the US living expenses soared to the highest levels in nearly three decades, with housing costs leading that hike. Home prices jumped 20% compared to the same period a year ago. And in some major US cities, rents shoot up by an even higher percentage than housing, having surged by 24% year-on-year. In South Carolina, for example, renters in more than 119,000 households across the state could be forced to move starting tomorrow. A national study indicated that 30% of South Carolinian tenants fell behind on rent, with an average rent debt of $4,798 compared to a national average of $3,800.

By having such an elevated debt, many of these tenants are not only on the verge of losing their homes for good but also at the brink of a poverty spiral. Evictions are not exclusively a symptom of poverty, they can make someone who always had a comfortable lifestyle face a hurtful collapse in their living standards. The consequences of eviction can be extremely traumatic and it can push an entire family down to a financial cliff. However, many extensions to the moratorium were already put in place, and after it expired on July 31, the new administration said it won't grant any further extensions, which puts roughly 12.7 million people in deep uncertainty regarding their housing situation.

Even in states that received billions in federal aid to prevent an eviction crisis, the outlook isn't any good. For instance, in Washington, the state that has some of the strongest protections for renters across the nation, 319,816 people said to have "no or slight confidence they could make next month’s rent payment in late June and early July," according to the Census. While 1.4 million people said they had difficulty paying for their usual household expenses just in the past week. On the other hand, for landlords, filing an eviction notice is frequently an act of financial despair -- one of the last resorts they have to regain some financial control after over a year of non-payment. A report from the Washington Post published this week, underscored that from the 10 million to 11 million small landlords in the U.S., at least one-third are at risk of bankruptcy or foreclosure because of unpaid rents.

Eventually, a reckoning would have to occur. But at this very moment, when virus cases have started to tick up again all over the country due to the more contagious variant of the virus, the end of the moratorium may mark the beginning of a new wave of confirmed cases, which will not only derail the reopening of the economy but also threaten millions of lives. The question is how does this thing ultimately end? If America witnesses an eviction avalanche we will face a humanitarian, economic, and health crisis that will have a huge cost to our society."

“Realtors Want Your Money; Mortgage Crisis Will Be Catastrophic; Consumers Burn Through Cash”

Jeremiah Babe, PM 7/30/21:

“Realtors Want Your Money; Mortgage Crisis Will Be Catastrophic; 

Consumers Burn Through Cash” 

The Daily "Near You?"

South Boardman, Michigan, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"Creepy Missions"

"Creepy Missions"
by Bill Bonner

NORMANDY, FRANCE – "'CovertAction' magazine reports: “Our Mission is to Lead the White Races of the World in a Final Crusade… Against Semite-led Untermenschen [subhumans]” That is a quote, allegedly from members of the Azov Battalion – a National Guard unit in the Ukraine – who didn’t like their country’s cozy association with Russia. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power, top members of Obama’s foreign policy team, had a mission, too – to turn the Ukraine away from Russia and towards the U.S. They lost patience with the democratically-elected government and threw American support behind the anti-Semite insurgents.

Dogs of War: Everybody’s got a mission. And here’s Thomas Dobbs… another man with yet another mission. He’s running out of patience, too: “I’m frustrated, I’m mad, I’m upset. I’m depressed…” he told Bloomberg. The poor man sounds like he may soon become an active shooter, too. He’s upset because the people of Mississippi are doing what they want to do, not what he wants them to do.

The story begins with a now-familiar line: "U.S. Doctors Lose Patience as They Confront Vaccine Hesitancy." "In Mississippi, for example, which has the lowest vaccination rate in the country – 36% – nearly a quarter of the doses go unused. Thomas Dobbs, an officer in the state’s health department, told a press conference in late July of feeling helpless as the delta variant spreads."

This week, we’ve been hacking through the weeds and willows to get a glimpse of the Brave New World of tomorrow. It is a “mission economy,” we fear… where the customary rules of a consensual, win-win, live-and-let-live society are suspended. You’re either with us… or against us. Friend or enemy.

The elite in Macron’s France… as well as “Biden’s America”… believe they have the TRUTH. It gives them a sense of “public purpose”… a mission. And like “abracadabra,” the mission opens the checkbook… gone are the normal concerns of matching income to outgo… challenge to response… and punishments to crimes. Cry havoc… and let slip the dogs of war!

Stones on a Blasphemer: The elites are running out of patience. No more letting people do what they want. They call in the police… the military… taxes… student loans… and firehoses – everything can be brought to bear, coming down on the nay-sayers like stones on a blasphemer. And the mission creeps.

French president Emmanuel Macron and Christine Lagarde, head of the European Central Bank, have been very clear. No more trying to return to normal. They aim to “transform” the economy from one that serves the interests of individual citizens to one that serves their mission.

An interview with the leader of France’s Green party, Delphine Batho, helps us understand what comes next. The Figaro reports: "I want to start a new approach that connects ecology to security, that assumes an [intentional] anti-growth and makes ecology one of the core functions of government [along with courts and police]. We must assume a vision for government that is completely ecologist, feminist, antiracist, and secular."

Anti-growth is the reduction of production and consumption for goods and services in order to get back to an equilibrium. …today we are in a situation of dis-equilibrium between the necessities of life and the preservation of the climate …and this can lead us to catastrophes and even a collapse. This is not a menace for the future. It’s a menace now. Anti-growth is a clear rupture with consumerism and productivity. What’s her mission? To make us all poorer!

Mission Mongers: In other words, Dear Reader, you will have to watch your step. Cut down a tree and you could be accused of terrorism (“ecology is security”)… and you’ll have to learn to walk backward… with a lower standard of living… accepting less of what you want so that Ms. Batho can get more of what she wants.

And what if the mission fails? So what if your troops get chased from Vietnam… your armies leave Afghanistan to the Taliban… poverty kicks your butt… and drugs take a victory parade? What do the mission mongers care? So what if an “anti-growth” agenda makes poor people poorer and reduces lifespans? The elite will be just fine.

So what if the industrial heartland has turned into a wasteland? They still have their comfortable homes in prosperous Bethesda or Falls Church. Five percent inflation? Their stocks are up 50%! And who cares if Black neighborhoods become zombie zones? The mission mongers can still get their cappuccinos and sink into their cushy desk chairs at the Center for a New American Security… or the Center for American Progress…making plans for the next campaign… and the next creepy mission."