Saturday, August 14, 2021

"35 Survival Items Everyone Will Be Looking For After The Imminent Economic Collapse"

Full screen recommended.
"35 Survival Items Everyone Will Be Looking 
For After The Imminent Economic Collapse"
by Epic Economist

8/14/21: "If you can see that the world is at risk of facing a devastating economic and societal collapse, you know that getting ready before things start to spiral out of control is the best alternative to keep yourself protected when chaos takes over. If you have started prepping for a disaster, you might already have got the basic supplies covered. You're probably aware of the importance of having canned foods, generators, and lighters in your stockpile. But when we think about survival, we must think long-term, and that includes having items you can barter later on to get other supplies you might need. We haven't even experienced the worst of the ongoing global supply chain crisis yet and we're already witnessing extensive shortages while the price of pretty much everything has started to soar. If you keep up with our channel, then you know the outlook for the foreseeable future isn't looking good and shortages of several products are expected to persist for years, while the ravaging effects of inflation have just started to show on consumer prices.

Decades ago, experts predicted that the collapse of our civilization would occur before 2050, and a new study showed we're right on track to see an irreversible collapse in production that will lead us to the end of the world as we know it. With all that said, we must get ready not only for an apocalyptic scenario but also for a paradigm shift - a reset in human relations, that will probably make us resume ancient habits, such as trading and bartering, especially if our power grid goes down and banking and credit card systems become unavailable, which seems possible, given the outstanding number of cyberattacks happening all across the planet right now. That's why today, we gathered 35 survival items everyone will be looking for after an economic and societal collapse.

These are just some of the items people usually take for granted and forget to include in their pantries because they assume these products will always be available. However, an economic collapse can happen overnight and things can change incredibly fast, so it's important to note the importance of everyday items and to have plenty of them around to keep us protected during an emergency. Never forget to take the advice of experienced preppers such as those with Urban Survival, Ask A Prepper, and Modern Survival Blog. Most importantly, pay attention to the events unfolding around you, because disasters can happen when we least expect. So, without further ado, we invite you to check out this list."

"Food Shortages/Empty Shelves At Walmart: Weekend Update Dallas, Oregon"

Full screen recommended.
"Food Shortages/Empty Shelves At Walmart:
 Weekend Update Dallas, Oregon"
by NW Prepper

8/14/21: "Just wanted to give a first hand, visual update. Talking is great and all but people need to see it once in awhile. I may try and Do an update once a week if I find it needed. Where I live could take a considerable hit with the Fred Meyer warehouse workers going on strike. We have only two major stores, Safeway and Fred Meyer. When one takes a hit, the next closest one will feel it. Let me be clear this is not to scare but to educate and prepare people for future scenarios. Prep. Train. Survive. Take Care and stay safe!"

Reader Comment: Dylan Paul: "Hey guys, so I just talked to a manager at Walmart that I'm friends with, we talk every week when I go to pick up my groceries, lol, but anyways he was telling me to buy water and milk and eggs and meat and dried goods now because he got an email from corporate saying they will be putting limits on all water, eggs, meat and foods...stock up!"
Full screen recommended.
8/14/21:”Food Shortages/Empty Shelves At Walmart:
 Weekend Update.”
by TexasSurplusPro

A Rousing Musical Interlude! Outlaws, “Green Grass And High Tides”

Outlaws, “Green Grass And High Tides”
Turn it up!

"A Look to the Heavens"

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

"The Life You Have Left..."

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

Chet Raymo, “Examination of Conscience”

“Examination of Conscience”
by Chet Raymo

"I have been reading Stephanie Smallwood's “Saltwater Slavery,” a close examination of the trade in human beings between the coast of West Africa and the Americas in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is a sobering read, but if there is one thing I came away with, it was this: We have an enormous capacity to rationalize the most horrendous crimes. Everyone involved in the slave trade - the European owners of the ships, the masters of the trading companies, the ship captains and crews, the plantation owners in the West Indies and the Chesapeake, the African tribal chiefs who captured and sold their neighbors to the European merchants - knew in some part of their souls that what they were doing was wrong. All of them - good Christians among them, pillars of their communities - found ways to rationalize their participation.

Who among us is immune to self deceit? To what extent am I implicated in the horrendous tragedies that are Darfur and Iraq? What do I owe to the global environment? Is there such a thing as innocence when we are so intimately connected that people in Fiji and Japan will read these words only moments after I write them?

What about science, the favored subject of this blog? Here is Smallwood: “The littoral [of the West African coast]...was more than a site of economic exchange and incarceration. The violence exercised in the service of human commodification relied upon a scientific empiricism always seeking to find the limits of human capacity for suffering, that point where material and social poverty threatened to consume entirely the lives it was meant to garner for sale in the Americas.”

Even science, like religion and democratic politics, can be pressed into the service of evil. We are all of us to some extent in the grip of economic forces as powerful and sometimes as pernicious as those that drove the saltwater slave trade. Few of us are required to personally face the direst evils. We are saved from moral anguish only by the fact that our acts of commission and omission ripple outward until their consequences are diluted and lost in the general happiness or unhappiness of humankind.”

"Centering Ourselves: Gathering Our Straying Thoughts"

"Centering Ourselves:
Gathering Our Straying Thoughts"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"All too often our lives can be spread too thin and it becomes important to gather our thoughts and center ourselves to become whole again. When our thoughts are scattered in several directions at once and we are no longer conscious of what we are doing or why, it is time to center ourselves. When we center ourselves, we begin by acknowledging that we have become spread too thin and we are no longer unified inside. Our thoughts might be out of sync with our feelings, and our actions may be out of sync with both. The main signs that we need to center ourselves are scattered thoughts and a feeling of disconnection or numbness, as if we are no longer able to take anything in. In addition, we may feel unfocused and not present in our bodies. Centering ourselves is a way of coming to terms with all the different energies within us and drawing them back into ourselves.

Centering yourself means that you are working from or being aware of the core of your being in the solar plexus area of your body. At first it may not make sense, but as you progress you will understand what this feels like. We naturally know how to center ourselves when we take a deep breath, for example, before making a big announcement or doing something big. Another way to center ourselves is to sit down and engage in breath meditation. We can start by simply getting into a comfortable upright position and noticing as our breath enters and leaves our bodies. Our breath flows into our center and out from our center, and this process can serve as a template for all of our interactions in the world. In conversations, we can take what our friends are saying into the center of our beings and respond from the center. Our whole lives mirror this ebb and flow of energy that begins and ends at the center of ourselves. If we follow this ebb and flow, we are in harmony with the universe, and when we find we are out of harmony, we can always come back into balance by sitting down and observing our breath.

When we sit down to center ourselves we can imagine that we are gathering our straying thoughts and energies back into ourselves, the way a mother duck gathers her babies around her. We can also visualize ourselves casting a net and pulling all the disparate parts of ourselves back to the center of our being, creating a sense of fluid integration. From this place of centeredness, we can begin again, directing ourselves outward in a more intentional way."
Michael Sealey, 
"Guided Meditation for Detachment From Over-Thinking

"Cognitive Dissonance And the Human Mind"

"Cognitive Dissonance And the Human Mind"
by Dan Eden

"When “Robbie” the robot was told to shoot a weapon at a man in the movie Forbidden Planet, his electronic brain sparked and short-circuited. His creator had programmed him to never harm a human and so the conflicting ideas paralyzed him. Human beings often are presented with opposing thoughts also, but our brains have developed a way of resolving these conflicts through a process call cognitive dissonance. We are taught, like “Robbie,” that killing is prohibited - but what about war? And many anti-abortionists support the death penalty… conflicting behavior is all around us. So how exactly does that work?

Simply put, congitive dissonance theory states that when you have two opposing ideas (or ideologies) at the same time, you will act upon the one that causes the less distortion to your ego. According to Wikipedia: "Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The “ideas” or “cognitions” in question may include attitudes and beliefs, and also the awareness of one’s behavior. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Cognitive dissonance theory is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

Dissonance normally occurs when a person perceives a logical inconsistency among his or her cognitions. This happens when one idea implies the opposite of another. For example, a belief in animal rights could be interpreted as inconsistent with eating meat or wearing fur. Noticing the contradiction would lead to dissonance, which could be experienced as anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, embarrassment, stress, and other negative emotional states. When people’s ideas are consistent with each other, they are in a state of harmony or consonance. If cognitions are unrelated, they are categorized as irrelevant to each other and do not lead to dissonance.

Let me give you some examples. There are lots of schemes and con-artists trying to get your money these days. Almost every day I receive dozens of e-mails from people like Abada Muzoola from Nigeria, who just happened to get my e-mail address and wants me to help him transfer 70-million dollars to my bank in return for a 10 percent commission. Wow, I could use 7-million dollars! All he needs is my bank account number and pin-code. He is even willing to transfer the total amount to my account because he trusts me so much. I continue to receive variations of this scheme every day. Why? Because they work. Somewhere in the world is a victim who will have cognitive dissonance.

On a more sophisticated scale, Bernie Madoff bilked hundreds of wealthy people out of an estimated 50-billion dollars by manipulating the same mental process (and would have continued doing so had he not bragged to his sons, who turned him in). So how is it that people are able to convince others to give them access to their funds or to willingly give them their cash? First, one more example: You’re walking down a busy street deep in your own private thoughts. All of a sudden a smiling woman jumps out of somewhere, stands in front of you, and puts a flower in your hand. “Hello dear… isn’t it a wonderful day today? I want you to have this flower!,” she says. Now you have a beautiful flower in your hand. It’s a nice gift and she seems friendly. She begins to walk with you, telling you that you have nice, kind eyes. She says she noticed right away that you were special and so wanted to meet you. You forget your previous thoughts about work, bills or your own life. Suddenly you feel good… appreciated… uplifted. Then, in the same friendly voice and bright smile, she says, “I know you are a good person and you can help me by giving me a something for the beautiful flower - right?”

What happens inside your head at that moment is cognitive dissonance. The dissonance or dis-harmony comes from two conflicting ideas or decision paths. One path tells you that you should just say “No thanks!” and keep on walking; maybe return the flower and feel insulted even if it means she will become disappointed with you. The other path tells you that she has made you feel good and has earned your friendship and a couple of bucks. She has been friendly and you don’t want to ruin the brief relationship you have formed. Heck, you should probably even give her back the flower so she can use it on the next victim. Which decision will cause the least damage to your ego?

In cognitive dissonance theory the outcome of these opposing thought paths will be the one that requires the least emotional stress. Most victims will pay up rather than feel they are being cruel or disrespectful to someone who has made them feel so good. In the case of the Nigerian philanthropist, Abada Muzoola, it is often less stressful to believe that you are the lucky “chosen” beneficiary than to believe you are one of the thousands of e-mails he has sent this offer to. Later, after their bank account has been cleaned out, most people realize that they should have known better and are puzzled by their own vulnerability. Many feel so embarassed that they don’t report the crime to the authorities.

Psychologists refer to this vulnerability as the “willful suspension of disbelief,” where one can easily see the potential manipulations and evil motives of ther perpetrator, but, because they have already made some prior committment to go along with this, it is easier to continue than to back out. The investors of Mr. Madoff knew that a 10% to 12% annual return on an investment, especially in the current bear market, was impossible. Something dishonest or illegal had to be going on. But because they had been made to work so hard to let him take their money - often begging him to please allow them to invest millions of dollars - they had made the psychological investment that “locks in” the cognitive dissonance. After that, it was more stressful to admit that this was a ponzi scheme than to just avoid worrying about it.

In Festinger and Carlsmith’s classic 1959 experiment, students were asked to perform boring and tedious tasks (e.g. turning pegs a quarter turn, over and over again). The tasks were designed to generate a strong, negative attitude. After an hour of working on the tasks, participants were asked to persuade another subject (who was actually a confederate) that the dull, boring tasks the subject had just completed were actually interesting and engaging. Some participants were paid $20 for the favor, another group was paid $1, and a control group was not asked to perform the favor. When asked to rate the boring tasks at the conclusion of the study, those in the $1 group rated them more positively than those in the $20 and control groups. This was explained by Festinger and Carlsmith as evidence for cognitive dissonance. The researchers theorized that people experienced dissonance between the conflicting cognitions, “I told someone that the task was interesting”, and “I actually found it boring.” When paid only $1, students were forced to internalize the attitude they were induced to express, because they had no other justification. Those in the $20 condition, however, had an obvious external justification for their behavior, and thus experienced less dissonance.

Are you beginning to understand how this works now? Cognitive dissonance has been used to control larger groups and populations also. In World War II there was a famous campaign where citizens were asked to donate all their old pots and pans, supposedly to be melted down to make tanks, munitions and war planes. The collection was highly effective and the psychological “investment” initiated solidarity and nationalism for the war effort. Of course, all those pots and pans ended up buried in landfills.

Here’s a modern day example: When the US invaded Afghanistan, ex-President Bush came on the television asking families to donate whatever they could to help the school children in Afghanistan who needed paper and pencils. Thousands of school kids collected coins in classrooms across the nation and sent the donations to the White House. The funds ended up being put in to some vague account that never did what it was donated to do. But the “investment” was enough to gain support for a far-away war in an obscure land for vague reasons. Sometimes, as with the tragic collapse of the World Trade towers on 9-11, the “investment” is made for us. In this way an entire nation can be made to feel that they have already sacrificed something and that they should choose the path of war over peace forgetting about the Iraqi civilian casualties - or even that Iraq was not responsible. I once belonged to an Episcopal church in New Mexico that collected oil for M-16s to send to the troops in Iraq! They also invested the church funds with Raytheon and Haliburton.

Cognitive Dissonance in Advertising and Marketing: In advertising there is a theory that a consumer may use a particular product because he or she believes the advertising for that product, which claims that the product is the most effective of its kind in the job that it does. Then the consumer may see a competitor’s advertisement that seems to prove conclusively that this competitive product is better. This creates dissonance. The consumer must now relieve the uncomfortable feeling that the dissonance brings about and will often do so by switching products. The theory acts as a double-edged sword, though, because while advertisers want to create dissonance for nonusers of their product, they do not want to create it for those who do use their product. This is why advertisers use their logos on things like NASCAR and sports arenas. They want you to become loyal to their brand. This will create distrust when you see the same product - even an apparently better product - with a different and unfamiliar brand.

Cognitive dissonance most often occurs after the purchase of an expensive item such as an automobile. A consumer who is experiencing cognitive dissonance after his or her purchase may attempt to return the product or may seek positive information about it to justify the choice. If the buyer is unable to justify the purchase, he or she will also be less likely to purchase that brand again. Advertisers of high-priced durable goods say that half of their advertising is done to reassure consumers that in purchasing their product the right choice was made.

Some good uses of cognitive dissonance: Congitive therapists use this technique to change bad behavior and decisions. The technique is called a “yes set.” Getting a patient to agree to treatment for addiction or to initiate some beneficial behavior is difficult. There is often a fundamental “batting of heads” between the patient and people trying to help. The breakthrough is achieved when the therapist purposely initiates a series of statements to which the patient can agree. After repeatedly agreeing with the therapist on a multitude of minor decisions, the patient begins to feel good and the therapist allows the patient to “invest” in this positive relationship. Then, with skill, the therapist introduces the crucial decision. “So don’t you think it’s really time for you go to rehab?” Faced with the option of agreeing or offending the therapist, the patient often continues the “yes” response. The example above is highly effective because the patient not only agrees to change the bad behavior but is immediately rewarded by the continuation of their positive self-esteem and good feeling.

Cognitive dissonance requires some skill to work: The concept doesn’t always work. Especially if it’s poorly executed. I was once shopping for a car and, after selecting a possible make and model, found myself sitting in the little room with the salesman, haggling about the price. At one point he asked me for my driver’s license or credit card and told me it was a “gesture” so that I would trust him. At the time, I just said “No way,” and split. For many customers, this simple act would be enough to form a psychological “investment” with the dealer, who could then use this to manipulate and close the sale. It might be more difficult for the customer to demand his license or credit card and storm out of the office than to sit there and be intimidated until they signed the sales contract.

Eliminating Cognitive Dissonance: There are several key ways in which people attempt to overcome, or do away with, cognitive dissonance. One is by ignoring or eliminating the dissonant cognitions. By pretending that ice cream is not bad for me, I can have my cake and eat it too, so to speak. Ignoring the dissonant cognition allows us to do things we might otherwise view as wrong or inappropriate. Another way to overcome cognitive dissonance is to alter the importance (or lack thereof) of certain cognitions. By either deciding that ice cream is extremely good (I can’t do without it) or that losing weight isn’t that important (I look good anyway), the problem of dissonance can be lessened. If one of the dissonant cognitions outweighs the other in importance, the mind has less difficulty dealing with the dissonance - and the result means that I can eat my ice cream and not feel bad about it.

Yet another way that people react to cognitive dissonance is by adding or creating new cognitions. By creating or emphasizing new cognitions, I can overwhelm the fact that I know ice cream is bad for my weight loss. For instance, I can emphasize new cognitions such as “I exercise three times a week” or “I need calcium and dairy products” or “I had a small dinner,” etc. These new cognitions allow for the lessening of dissonance, as I now have multiple cognitions that say ice cream is okay, and only one, which says I shouldn’t eat it.

Finally, perhaps the most important way people deal with cognitive dissonance is to prevent it in the first place. If someone is presented with information that is dissonant from what they already know, the easiest way to deal with this new information is to ignore it, refuse to accept it, or simply avoid that type of information in general. Thus, a new study that says ice cream is more fattening than originally thought would be easily dealt with by ignoring it. Further, future problems can be prevented by simply avoiding that type of information - simply refusing to read studies on ice cream, health magazines, etc.

Cognitive dissonance is all around us. We live in a world full of contradictions. Children are killed in Gaza in the name of peace. Feminists wear makeup, short skirts and high heels. Conservationists like Al Gore fly around in private, fuel guzzling jets. Anti-gay Christians tap their feet in public bathroom stalls… these opposing ideologies are all resolved somehow, somewhere, deep in our human psyche with cognitive dissonance."



"What If..."

"What if when you die they ask, "How was Heaven?"
~ Author Unknown

A truly terrifying thought..

"The 11 Nations Of The United States"

Click image for larger size.
"The 11 Nations Of The United States"
by Andy Kiersz and Marguerite Ward

"This map above shows how the US really has 11 separate 'nations' with entirely different cultures. Author and journalist Colin Woodard identified 11 distinct cultures that have historically divided the US. His book "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America" breaks down those cultures and the regions they each dominate.

From the utopian "Yankeedom" to the conservative "Greater Appalachia" and liberal "Left Coast," looking at these cultures sheds an interesting light on America's political and cultural divides. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, some governors are acting among these factions - like California, Oregon, and Washington, of all which have parts comprising of "The Left Coast" group."
Please view this complete and fascinating article here:

The Daily "Near You?"

Garrettsville, Ohio, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"Cognition Enhancer For Clearer and Faster Thinking - Isochronic Tones"

"Cognition Enhancer For Clearer and Faster Thinking - 
Isochronic Tones"
by Jason Lewis - Mind Amend

Headphones Required - Note: As this session stimulates each ear with different frequencies, you will need to use headphones to experience the full effect.

"Play during long study sessions, especially if you're feeling stressed or under pressure. Helps to clear your mind of distraction and keep you in a relaxed focused mental state. Includes low-intensity beta and alpha wave isochronic tones plus amplitude entrainment effects embedded into the music.

How does it work? This is a brainwave entrainment music track using isochronic tones combined with music. The music has also been embedded with amplitude entrainment effects, where the music is subtly distorted and vibrates in unison with the same frequency of the isochronic tones. This helps to add further strength to the entrainment effect. This brainwave entrainment session cycles through a frequency range of between 10Hz in Alpha, (which can help with memorization and learning), and up to 14Hz in the Beta range, (which will help with increasing focus and concentration)." 

How To Use This? Use this session in the morning or afternoon, to train your brain for better cognition, such as clearer and faster thinking. You can either sit somewhere quiet and comfortable with your eyes closed and give your brain a nice workout, or you can also listen to this while doing an activity that requires a boost in concentration, like studying.

How long should you listen for to get a good effect? It takes around 5 minutes for your brainwaves to fall in step with the tones and become entrained. It then takes time to be guided along the frequency range used in the track. Listening to about half way through is the minimum in my opinion, but 30 minutes is the optimum length to listen for."

If brainwave entrainment is a new concept for you, there is information about it here:  -

Mind Amend YouTube Website:
Full screen suggested.
Headphones are NOT required for this video.
"Clear Focus Ambient Space Music for Concentration - Isochronic Tones"

I use these daily, and suggest you do, too. This one is particularly excellent.
- CP

"A Little Late..."

"Most of one's life is one prolonged effort to prevent oneself from thinking.
People intoxicate themselves with work so they won't see how they really are."
- Aldous Huxley

"Banks Have a Playbook to Close Accounts and Credit Lines - It’s Game On"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly AM 8/14/21:
"Banks Have a Playbook to Close
 Accounts and Credit Lines - It’s Game On"

The Daily "Near You?"


"Dear Fed: Are You Insane?"

"Dear Fed: Are You Insane?"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"History definitively shows that speculative bubbles always pop—always. Every speculative bubble mania, regardless of its supposed uniqueness- "it's different this time"- pops. No speculative bubble has ever "reached a permanently high plateau" and then remained on the plateau for years. So what does the Federal Reserve do? It inflates the biggest speculative bubble in modern history and then implicitly promises it will never pop.

Dear Fed, are you insane? You might as well make a public pronouncement that stocks have "reached a permanently high plateau" that will be followed by a permanent ascent to ever-higher plateaus, as that is the implicit message you've been sending punters and pundits.

Is The Fed Trying to Accelerate Revolution and Collapse? To promise a speculative mania that never ends is insane, yet that is precisely what the Fed is doing. Nothing else matters except "the Fed has our back." The Fed is also effectively promising that debt, leverage and wealth/income inequality will also all ascend higher forever. Once again history moots this happy story, as soaring wealth/income/ political power asymmetries that serve the interests of the few at the expense of the many inevitably generate revolution or regime collapse.

Dear Fed: is your "plan" to accelerate revolution and collapse? If so, you are insane. Has your hubris reached new extremes in la-la-land or are you so disconnected from reality that you're closing your eyes and going to your happy place where it all magically works out without the extremes you've single-handedly created reverting to the mean?

So sorry, America, but your central bank is certifiably insane, and it's not going to magically work out. The speculative bubbles in credit, leverage and assets will pop and the extremes of wealth/income/political power inequality will swing to the opposite extreme. The Fed is so fixated on “demand” and Keynesian economics, it can’t conceive of any realistic alternatives. But let’s compare the world of the 1930s to today…

Demand, Demand, Demand: To the degree that we inhabit an economic order dominated by Keynes and "demand," then any discussion of inflation has to circle round to Keynes and his magic solution to all economic ills: "demand," otherwise known as money burning a hole in your pocket.

Keynes' solution to depression, unemployment and virtually every other economic ill was to stimulate demand for goods and services by giving people more money and making it easier for them to borrow more money, with the key incentives being to promote more spending, not more savings and investment. The more people were encouraged to borrow and spend, the more demand for goods and services would increase and this growth would solve all economic ills.

Productivity and supply aren't issues in the magical world of Keynesian economics: Keynes famously suggested that paying people to dig holes and then fill them was one way to get more money into pockets for people to spend. In this economic order, inflation is a useful incentive to nudge people into spending their money rather than saving and investing it, as all cash will buy less next year in an inflationary regime.

1932: Here's the problem with the Keynesian economic order: it stopped the gold watch in 1932 when the world's supply of oil and other resources could still be viewed as semi-infinite: supply was just waiting for more demand as a signal to increase. If demand increased, supply would always magically increase in parallel. In this magical kingdom of Keynes, any scarcity shortage would be transitory for two reasons:

1) stuff was basically infinite; there was always some new source to mine, drill, extract, etc., and
2) there is always a substitute for whatever is temporarily scarce: if the beef supply can't be ramped up to meet demand, then people can buy a substitute, which is presumed to be in unlimited supply.

In 1932, the world was still awash in oil, and hydrocarbons and minerals seemed abundant beyond measure. The human population was growing but nowhere near utilizing the planet's agricultural and fresh water supplies. Everything was essentially infinite; scarcities were transitory or localized.

2021: Set the gold watch for 2021 and none of these conditions apply. The human populace has roughly quadrupled from 2 billion to 8 billion, the energy consumed per capita in developed nations has skyrocketed, resources are limited by depletion and costs of extraction, and as a result, scarcities are not transitory, they're permanent.

Inflation isn't just a mechanism to incentivize borrowing and spending now rather than later, it's a policy of impoverishment of the bottom 90%. The wealthy have income and capital gains from assets which bubble higher in the magical kingdom of Keynes, while those who depend on wages for their living lose ground every second the watch ticks forward in time.

Keynesian magic can't conjure substitutes for fresh water, wild fisheries, cobalt or even semiconductor-grade sand. In the world of 2021, demand is not the issue; supply is the issue, and the Keynesian magicians are literally blind to the consequences of this change.

It’s the Supply, Stupid: The problem isn't there isn't enough money burning a hole in consumers' pockets; the problem is the price of goods extracted from the physical world and shipped across the world is rising far faster than the Keynesians can stuff money into pockets. The other problem is that there are no substitutes for what is scarce, and unless the Keynesian conjurers can magically turn dirt into cobalt, make heat and pollution vanish and provide magic carpets for moving stuff around frictionlessly, then the economy will increasingly be dominated by scarcities and shortages of resources and other inputs for which there are no substitutes.

It's a different world, people, so move your gold watches from 1932 to 2021, or suffer the consequences of delusional faith in fake magic. Demand isn't the problem, supply is the problem, and it can't be resolved by printing more currency or lowering interest rates or cranking up inflation."

"We Can Only Choose.."

"Our world is not safe. It is a toxic swamp populated by predators and parasites. The odds are stacked against us from the moment of conception. We survive only because we fight the elements, hunger, disease, each other. And, although civilization promises us safe harbor, that promise is a fairy tale. Only the storm is real. It comes for each of us. And we cannot win. We can only choose how we will suffer our defeat. We can meekly take our beatings, and die like lemmings, finding solace in the belief that we shall one day inherit the earth. Or, we can plunge into the chaos with eyes wide open, taking comfort instead from the bruises, scars, and broken bones which prove that we fought to live and die as gods."
 - J.K. Franko, "Life for Life"
"The worst part is wondering how you'll find the strength tomorrow to go on doing what you did today and have been doing for much too long, where you'll find the strength for all that stupid running around, those projects that come to nothing, those attempts to escape from crushing necessity, which always founder and serve only to convince you one more time that destiny is implacable, that every night will find you down and out, crushed by the dread of more and more sordid and insecure tomorrows. And maybe it's treacherous old age coming on, threatening the worst. Not much music left inside us for life to dance to. Our youth has gone to the ends of the earth to die in the silence of the truth. And where, I ask you, can a man escape to, when he hasn't enough madness left inside him? The truth is an endless death agony. The truth is death. You have to choose: death or lies. I've never been able to kill myself."
- Louis-Ferdinand Celineo
"In the movie 'The Lion in Winter', when the sons, in the dungeon, think they hear Henry coming down the stairs to kill them:
Richard: "He's here! He'll get no satisfaction out of us! Don't let him see you beg! Take it like a man!"
Geoffrey: "You chivalric fool! As if the way one falls down matters!"
Richard:  "Well, when the fall is all that's left, it matters a great deal."

"Who Lost America's Longest War?"

"Who Lost America's Longest War?"
by Pat Buchanan

"In April, President Joe Biden told the nation he would have all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack ever on the continental United States. Given the turn of events of the past week, that 20th anniversary may be celebrated by a triumphant Taliban, now on the cusp of victory over the Americans and their Afghan allies, with gruesome public executions of their surrendered and captured enemies.

Sept. 11, 2021, could see U.S. Marines and diplomats fleeing Kabul to escape the retribution of the Taliban whom we ousted in 2001.

Consider. From Friday, a week ago, to today, the Taliban have overrun 10 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals. Mazar-e-Sharif in the north is now surrounded. Kandahar and Herat, second and third largest cities, are under siege. The Kandahar-Kabul road has been cut. The defense minister escaped assassination in the capital. The government’s media director did not. The Taliban now control half of the 400 regions of Afghanistan and two-thirds of its territory.

Some Afghan soldiers have fought bravely. Others have retreated into their bases, surrendered, or fled into neighboring countries such as Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. An entire Afghan army corps with its U.S. weapons, equipment and vehicles was surrendered in Kunduz city.

U.S. military say the fall of Kabul could come within 90 days, with some saying privately the regime could fall to the Taliban within a month. Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut has summarized the situation: “The complete, utter failure of the Afghan national army, absent our hand-holding, to defend their country is a blistering indictment of a failed 20-year strategy predicated on the belief that billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars could create an effective democratic central government in a nation that has never had one.”

The reality of that grim assessment raises many questions. Who is responsible for the colossal U.S. failure in Afghanistan? Who is responsible for America’s impending defeat in her longest war? Over the last 20 years, the U.S. lost 2,500 troops with 20,000 wounded and invested $1 trillion to create an Afghan army, only to see that army crumble and disintegrate as soon as we departed.

Wednesday, Biden conceded that truth: “Look, we spent over $1 trillion over 20 years; we trained and equipped … over 300,000 Afghan forces. Afghan leaders have to come together. They’ve got to fight for themselves.” We are facing in Afghanistan a wipeout of the investment of a generation to convert Afghanistan into a democracy with the ability to hold the allegiance of its people and to defend itself.

Why did we fail? Did the U.S. generals, statesmen, politicians and journalists who went to Afghanistan during these last two decades, and came back to testify to our steady progress, delude themselves? Or did they deceive us? How many U.S. generals knew what was going on but declined to risk their careers by telling Congress or the country that the Afghan army and regime we had stood up would likely collapse like a house of cards once the Americans departed and they had to face the Taliban alone?

Today, the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, is in Qatar threatening the Taliban that if they overrun the country and impose a victor’s peace, they risk being denied diplomatic recognition by the U.S. and its Western allies and a forfeiture of future foreign aid. But to brand the Taliban terrorists and pariahs is not new to them. What they seek is something for which they have proven they are willing to die.

What is critical for them is to restore the Taliban to their previous dominance; to create an Islamic Emirate; to make themselves the moral, social and political arbiters of a more purely Islamic Afghanistan. And to be rid of the outsiders and their alien values. They want to be able to stand up and say to the Muslim world: “We have shown you how to do it. We fought America, the world superpower, for 20 years until we forced the Americans, tails between their legs, to get out of our land, and then put their puppets up against a wall.”

While our strategic defeat will leave Americans reluctant to attempt any such future imperial interventions, there needs to be an accounting. The questions that need answering:

• Was not the attempt to transplant Madisonian democracy into the soil of the Middle and Near East a fool’s errand from the beginning?
• How many other U.S. allies field paper armies, which will collapse, if they do not have the Americans there to do the heavy lifting?

• Is what we have on offer - one man-one vote democracy - truly appealing in a part of the world where democracy seems to have trouble, from the Maghreb to the Middle East to Central Asia, putting down any deep roots?

The Taliban’s God is Allah. The golden calf we had on offer was democracy. In the Hindu Kush, their god has proven stronger."
Related, highly recommended:

Friday, August 13, 2021

Musical Interlude: Adiemus, "Adiemus"

Full screen recommended.
Adiemus, "Adiemus"

"Hyperinflation Next, Then The Greatest Depression 2.0"

Jeremiah Babe, PM 8/13/21:
"Hyperinflation Next, Then The Greatest Depression 2.0"

"The Greatest Stock Market Bubble In Financial History Is About To Burst"

Full screen recommended.
"The Greatest Stock Market Bubble 
In Financial History Is About To Burst"
by Epic Economist

"Amid one of the craziest bull runs in stock markets in all of our history, calling out a bubble can be quite scary for many investors, but not for Jeremy Grantham. In a frenetic era of meme stocks, cryptocurrencies, and bidding wars, most people tend to overlook the risks and focus on the promise of future gains. However, there is an imminent and growing danger that this unprecedented mania might end up triggering the greatest stock market crash ever recorded. That's what the chairman of the board of famed asset managers GMO has been warning, stressing that we're in the middle of the greatest financial bubble ever seen. Grantham, an experienced investor who spent decades analyzing how bubbles are formed, has lived through and called numerous modern booms and bursts, including the dot-com crash in 2000, the market peak in 2008, and the market collapse of 2009. Now, he says that we're headed to a similar fate.

To identify a bubble, it doesn't take much, he argues. You can see something is terminally wrong in the market when it makes the front pages instead of the financial pages when the news is full of stories of people getting cheated when new coins are being created every month. "The scale of these things is so much bigger than in 1929 or 2000," he stresses. The current stock market bubble has been fueled by artificial government policies that led many investors to believe overvalued assets could be justified by a booming economy. But as Grantham highlights, the economy isn't actually booming because there was no real growth in production, and very soon investors will have to confront that reality. And when they do, things will start to rapidly change in the market, leading this bubble to an epic burst.

Grantham believes that the next stock market crash will cause an enormous negative wealth effect, bigger than it has ever been, compared to any other previous bubble burst. "It's the first time we have bubbled in so many different areas – interest rates, stocks, housing, non-energy commodities. On the way up, it gave us all a positive wealth effect, and on the way down it will retract, painfully," he warns. "This bubble is the real thing, and everyone can see it. It's as obvious as the nose on your face. Today, it is clear to me that this is the most dangerous package of overpriced assets we have ever seen in the US,” says Jim Grant, describing that we have the most overpriced fixed-income market in the history of the world.

At this point, bubbles are emerging everywhere. Housing, equity, bonds, stocks, crypto. If they simultaneously crash, as most economists predict they will, this will undoubtedly be the sharpest collective loss of wealth ever recorded. That's why, Grantham is sounding the alarm to the greatest bubble in financial history, warning investors that history is about to repeat itself, and this time, the stage is set for an apocalyptic financial meltdown.

Sharing a similarly dire forecast, finance, and economic expert, Alasdair Macleod, affirms that one of the biggest catalysts to the coming inflationary collapse were government policies that recklessly expanded our money supply, downgraded our living standards, our currency, and left Americans struggling with runaway inflation in that process.

The expert emphasizes that “this has gotten to a point where we can’t go any further. We are at the top of the bubble. What happens when this market tops out? The dollar goes down with it”. Macleod adds to the predictions that the everything bubble burst is fast approaching: “Look at the fundamentals in the economy. They are talking about economic recovery, but look at all the shops that are closed and never to be reopened. This is not a healthy economy. This is a very bad economy. The reason why prices are rising is you’ve got all this money being put into the consumers’ hands. This is the middle class here, and they are spending this money, and where is the production to satisfy the spending? It’s not there, it’s closed down. There is no solution. We are getting to the point that there is actually no exit from this mess,” he warned. A financial disaster of unprecedented proportions seems just a matter of time. With so much debt, and so little resilience, our over-leveraged financial system is doomed to face a reckoning and everyone that have seen this happening before is telling us right now that conditions in the markets are increasingly unsustainable. Those who have chosen to ignore the dark clouds that rising on the horizon will soon find themselves amidst the most devastating financial catastrophe of our lifetime."

Musical Interlude: 2002, “Deep Still Blue”

Full screen recommended.
2002, “Deep Still Blue”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“What powers are being wielded in the Wizard Nebula? Gravitation strong enough to form stars, and stellar winds and radiations powerful enough to create and dissolve towers of gas. Located only 8,000 light years away, the Wizard nebula, pictured above, surrounds developing open star cluster NGC 7380. Visually, the interplay of stars, gas, and dust has created a shape that appears to some like a fictional medieval sorcerer.
The active star forming region spans 100 about light years, making it appear larger than the angular extent of the Moon. The Wizard Nebula can be located with a small telescope toward the constellation of the King of Aethiopia (Cepheus) Although the nebula may last only a few million years, some of the stars being formed may outlive our Sun.”

Chet Raymo, “Telling Stories”

“Telling Stories”
by Chet Raymo

"When the pulse of the first day carried it to the rim of night, First Woman said to First Man, "The people need to know the laws. To help them we must write the laws for all to see"... And so she began, slowly, first one and then the next, placing her jewels across the dome of night, carefully designing her pattern so all could read it. But Coyote grew bored watching First Woman carefully arranging the stars in the sky: Impatiently he gathered two corners of First Woman's blanket, and before she could stop him he flung the remaining stars out into the night, spilling them in wild disarray, shattering First Woman's careful patterns."

This episode from the Navajo creation story of is from "How the Stars Fell Into the Sky", a children's book by Jerrie Oughton. It is a lovely story, full of ancient wisdom. For centuries, Navajo children heard the story at an elder's knee. The story was taken literally, or at least accepted with a willing suspension of disbelief. I heard a similar creation story in my youth - of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Serpent. I accepted the story with a willing suspension of disbelief.

All cultures, everywhere on Earth, have stories, passed down in scriptures, traditions or tribal myths, that answer the questions: Where did the world come from? What is our place in it? What is the source of order and disorder? What will be the fate of the world? Of ourselves? No people can live without a community story. The problem comes when the community story becomes so disconnected from empirical experience that it no longer commands a suspension of disbelief. For many of us in the West, that is the case with the creation stories that have undergirded Western civilization.

Today, a New Story exists for those who choose to accept it. It is the product of thousands of years of human curiosity, observation, experimentation, and creativity. It is an evolving story, not yet finished. Perhaps it will never be finished. It is a story that begins with an explosion from a seed of infinite energy. The seed expands and cools. Particles form, then atoms of hydrogen and helium. Stars and galaxies coalesce from swirling gas. Stars burn and explode, forging heavy elements - carbon, nitrogen, oxygen - and hurling them into space. New stars are born, with planets made of heavy elements.

On one planet near a typical star in a typical galaxy life appears in the form of microscopic self-replicating, carbon-based ensembles of atoms. Life evolves, over billions of years, resulting in ever more complex organisms. Continents move. Seas rise and fall. The atmosphere changes. Millions of species of life appear and become extinct. Others adapt, survive, and spill out progeny. At last, consciousness appears. One of the millions of species on the planet looks into the night sky and wonders what it means. Feels the spark of love, tenderness, responsibility. Makes up stories - of First Woman and Coyote, of Adam, Eve and the Serpent - eventually making up the New Story. The New Story places us squarely in a cosmic unfolding of space and time, and teaches our biological affinity to all humanity. We are inextricably related to all of life, to the planet itself, and even to the lives of stars.

It has been the task of many of us gathered here on this cyber porch to help wed the New Story to the spiritual quest, to create what Thomas Berry calls an "integral story." In his introduction to Kathleen Deignan's collection of Thomas Merton's nature writing, Berry writes: "Today, in the opening years of the twenty-first century, we find ourselves in a critical moment when the religious traditions need to awaken again to the natural world as the primary manifestation of the divine to human intelligence. The very nature and purpose of the human is to experience this intimate presence that comes to us through natural phenomena. Such is the purpose of having eyes and ears and feeling sensitivity, and all our other senses. We have no inner spiritual development without outer experience. Immediately, when we see or experience any natural phenomenon, when we see a flower, a butterfly, a tree, when we feel the evening breeze flow over us or wade in a stream of clear water, our natural response is immediate, intuitive, transforming, ecstatic. Everywhere we find ourselves invaded by the world of the sacred."

Berry reminds us that we will neither love nor save what we do not experience as sacred. The older creation stories locate the source of the sacred outside of the creation. The New Story, the scientific story of creation, provides unique opportunities to experience the creation itself as holy and good.

We should treasure the ancient stories for the wisdom and values they teach us. We can praise the creation in whatever poetic languages and rituals our traditional cultures have taught us. But only the New Story has the global authority to help us navigate the future. Of all the stories, it is certainly the truest. It is the only story whose feet have been held to the fire of exacting empirical experience.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Brainerd, Minnesota, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

The Poet: William Stafford, "You Reading This, Be Ready"

"You Reading This, Be Ready"

"Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life.

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?"

- William Stafford

"A Sad Fact..."

"A sad fact, of course, about adult life is that you see the very things you'll never adapt to coming toward you on the horizon. You see them as the problems they are, you worry like hell about them, you make provisions, take precautions, fashion adjustments; you tell yourself you'll have to change your way of doing things. Only you don't. You can't. Somehow it's already too late. And maybe it's even worse than that: maybe the thing you see coming from far away is not the real thing, the thing that scares you, but its aftermath. And what you've feared will happen has already taken place. This is similar in spirit to the realization that all the great new advances of medical science will have no benefit for us at all, thought we cheer them on, hope a vaccine might be ready in time, think things could still get better. Only it's too late there too. And in that very way our life gets over before we know it. We miss it. And like the poet said: The ways we miss our lives are life."
- Richard Ford

"Don't Wonder..."

"Don't wonder why people go crazy. Wonder why they don't.
In the face of what we can lose in a day, in an instant,
wonder what the hell it is that makes us hold it together."
- "Grey's Anatomy"

"How It Really Is"


"Return Of The Wolfman"

"Return Of The Wolfman"
by Bill Bonner

"Homo homini lupus."
– Latin proverb, meaning “Man is wolf to man.”

POITOU, FRANCE – "We saw a strange beast early this morning. Driving to the train station, an animal slouched onto the road ahead of us. At first, we thought it was a wild boar. There are a lot of them in the area. Then, it saw us coming and dashed back into the woods. But it was taller and longer than the typical boar, and it moved more like a dog than a pig. “It was a wolf,” concluded a neighbor. “We found one dead on the railroad tracks a few months ago. They’re all over France now.”

In the mid-20th century, this area became a major producer of sheep. But only after wolves were exterminated. Now, with the wolf making a comeback, will the sheep be next to go? Readers may want to keep that in mind… as we consider the affairs of men in the next few hundred words. In short, the wolfman is back…

Lunar Lunacy: Usually, civilized life goes on in a give-and-take, live-and-let-live kind of fashion. But sometimes, when the moon is full, people go a little mad; they grow furry ears and long teeth. That’s what happened in the early 20th century… first with the Bolsheviks… then the National Socialists (Nazis). In each case, a determined group – often very small at the beginning – believed that it had the one and only TRUTH… and that all others must bend to it. Or else…

Then, as the howling grows louder, and the predators get control of the government, other groups are eager to join. The media is first; it wishes to be part of the glorious new future. Politicians, bureaucrats, opinion mongers, view shapers – none wants to be left behind. Religious groups and nonprofits join the pack; they begin to see how the new faith connects to their old one. And business – partly trying to protect itself… and partly trying to gain special privileges – soon takes its place among the beasts.

Even ordinary people, who might otherwise get on with their own honest and dignified lives, are inspired to snarl and yelp. And then, the whole lot of them are headed for trouble. And now, as the moon grows brighter… is that a dog we hear… or a wolf?

Cancel Culture: Let us begin with the supposition that almost everything we hear in the news is either a lie or a fraud. Of course, we will be wrong occasionally, but probably not often. The public has better things to do (idly scrolling through Facebook!) than trying to understand the issues in any depth. Besides, reporters are too lazy – and have little incentive – to dig beneath the popular narrative to find out what is really going on. And anyone who dares try to put forward a contrary view is quickly censured.

Recall that Donald Trump – who won more votes than any Republican in history – was cut off from Twitter; the company didn’t like his views of the election results. (Note that we offer no opinion as to the election results themselves… We just call attention to the extraordinary situation in which a major public figure is censured for his views.)

Just in the last few days, Senator Rand Paul was cut off from YouTube after he cited studies critical of mask mandates… and blasted the censors for cutting others off. The video sharing platform also tried to remove Dr. Dan Stock’s speech on the virus to the Mount Vernon Community School Corporation in Indiana after it went viral. That is to say, YouTube tried to take it down because people wanted to see it… and because it had the wrong point of view.

You might say, “YouTube is a private company. It can do what it wants.” Which is perfectly okay with us, too. We’re just exploring a phenomenon here, not arguing about the law. If we’re right, America’s “private” sector and its most important institutions have been corrupted by public sector money. The press asks no “hardball” questions. The universities no longer teach people how to think; they teach them WHAT to think. Businesses have figured out that it’s the feds who butter their bread.

Preposterous Policies: Returning to the legal issue, last year, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz made the remarkable claim that people “have no right not to be vaccinated.” What kind of Brave New World is this? People have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but not to decide what is put into their bodies? What kind of world is it where private companies act as censors for the feds?

And how come the press goes along with some of the most intrusive and preposterous government policies in history – the trillion-dollar deficits… stimmy checks… the invasion of Iraq… the COVID-19 shutdowns…?

Real Mischief: Yes, Dear Reader, people seem to go mad from time to time. And now, you can start a war and kill thousands of women… and then go on to a comfortable retirement berth as an elder statesman (George Bush Jnr.). But pinch just one woman (or more) on the derrière, and your career is sunk (Andrew Cuomo).

You can tell all the lies you want (Petraeus, Flynn, Milley, Mattis, et al.)… and move on to a rich reward at Raytheon or Lockheed Martin… but tell the truth just once, and you’ll go to jail (former National Security Agency intelligence analyst Daniel Hale).

You can print trillions of fake dollars and you will become the most admired public servant since Pontius Pilate (Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell)…but try to pass off just one fake $20 bill, and the police will kill you (George Floyd).

The media condemned Floyd’s killer – even before trial! – but it never once raised doubts about the system that was fatal to him. Instead, it went after the soft target – the alleged “racism” of others, the Trumpian white trash – and gave a pass to the furry elite’s real mischief – militarizing the police… the War on Drugs… the War on Poverty… punishing savers… eliminating good-paying jobs… and shifting $30 trillion to itself by backstopping the stock market and funding its pet projects.

Today, we come to no conclusion. We just note that the moon, big and yellow already, is waxing…and trouble is afoot."