"There is so much happening in the coming week with the economy. From bank closures, supply chain issues and economic earnings that will dramatically affect the stock market. We have a very busy week ahead."
"If you thought last year's shortages were bad, and the price increases were absurd, you'll probably be very upset to know that the situation is going to get a whole lot worse this year. Our global supply chains are broken, and there isn't a simple solution to fix it. One of the biggest problems we had last year were the lack of enough containers in the right places and the excess of empty containers in the wrong places, which has exacerbated port congestion and delivery delays, and contributed to long lead times, surging freight and transportation costs, increasingly empty retail shelves, and higher prices at the stores.
The problems associated with the shortages will continue to grow as the new wave of virus cases spreads around the globe. We're already witnessing a new round of lockdowns, disruptions in production, and widespread factory shutdowns in major manufacturing countries. And as our issues at ports compound, industry executives are reporting that there's a huge buildup of empty containers in the wrong places right now, and travel and movement restrictions are only aggravating the problem. As a result, ocean freight skyrocketed by 121.2% from a month ago, with the cost of a single shipping container rising by a further 16.3% in December. The increase is sparking outrage amongst shippers, who already had to cope with a more than 400% surge in freight rates over the past two years.
Some shipping companies and freight forwarders have seen their net profits rise to unprecedented levels, as they dealt with increased cargo volumes and benefit from higher freight rates in 2021. Amongst them, Cosco Shipping Holdings recorded a profit surge of a staggering 1651% last year. All in all, revenues rocketed by 117.5% to $33.24 billion across the shipping industry over the past 12 months. On the other hand, millions of businesses worldwide are deeply struggling to pay higher transportation costs to ship their products or get imports delivered. The rate hikes are effectively making it harder for them to stay afloat.
On top of all that, road transport prices are also spiking. In the U.S., a shortage of truckers and rising fuel costs are making it significantly more expensive to move goods around the country. According to Joel Fierman, president of New York-based Joseph Fierman and Sons Inc., when companies finally find available truckers, they're having to pay exorbitant fees. “It’s really a pity when your cost for transportation pretty much is as high as your cost for goods,” he said. “It’s a terrible, terrible thing that this country is experiencing right now. Nothing in the industry has gone up at the same rate as freight has," he continued.
As it gets harder and harder to move goods around the planet, companies are bracing for more steep increases in shipping and logistics prices in the months ahead, and much of these higher costs will be absorbed by consumers. The emergence of a new virus variant is only adding more stress to our domestic supply chains, given that some workers are leaving their jobs and others are getting sick. In the food industry, this means trouble for the processing of perishable food items, and most worryingly, it means that more shortages at grocery stores are all but certain. Just like two years ago, lockdowns are being reinstituted and panic buyers are clearing store shelves of food staples, such as canned goods, rice, pasta, flour, and - of course - toilet paper. Only this time, things are different. Local supermarkets are struggling to get their products into stores because so many staff members have been calling in sick.
Given that energy prices jumped by 33.3% in December, while gasoline is up by 58.1%, and food prices already rose 31.4% since 2020, inflationary pressures will hit American workers particularly hard in 2022. Even though gross pay has increased 4.8% over the past year, real average hourly earnings accounting for inflation dropped another 2%, according to data released by the Labor Department. In short, people's wages aren't keeping up with the sharp increases in the price of consumer goods. Right now, at least $24 billion in goods are still stuck outside the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach alone, according to Goldman Sachs estimates, and our domestic supply chain crisis is likely to persist "at least" through the middle of the year, in the best-case-scenario. Unfortunately, given the chaos going on on a global level, these problems will stay with us for a long time. So we should all prepare accordingly."
"Streets of Philadelphia, After Snowstorm, January 07, 2022"
Full screen recommended.
"Code Blue in Kensington!" 1/8/22:
"See what it's like when Philadelphia officials issue a Code Blue emergency. The temp is dropping and so are the homeless. We apologize in advance for the breaks in play on this video. We decided to post it in spite of to show there is still compassion for human life."
“Point your telescope toward the high flying constellation Pegasus and you can find this expanse of Milky Way stars and distant galaxies. Centered on NGC 7814, the pretty field of view would almost be covered by a full moon. NGC 7814 is sometimes called the Little Sombrero for its resemblance to the brighter more famous M104, the Sombrero Galaxy.
Both Sombrero and Little Sombrero are spiral galaxies seen edge-on, and both have extensive central bulges cut by a thinner disk with dust lanes in silhouette. In fact, NGC 7814 is some 40 million light-years away and an estimated 60,000 light-years across. That actually makes the Little Sombrero about the same physical size as its better known namesake, appearing to be smaller and fainter only because it is farther away. A very faint dwarf galaxy, potentially a satellite of NGC 7814, is revealed in the deep exposure just below the Little Sombrero.”
"The image that comes to mind is a boxing ring. There are times when... you just want that bell to ring, but you're the one who's losing. The one who's winning doesn't have that feeling. Do you have the energy and strength to face life? Life can ask more of you than you are willing to give. And then you say, 'Life is not something that should have been. I'm not going to play the game. I'm going to meditate. I'm going to call "out". There are three positions possible. One is the up-to-it, and facing the game and playing through. The second is saying, Absolutely not. I don't want to stay in this dogfight. That's the absolute out. The third position is the one that says, This is mixed of good and evil. I'm on the side of the good. I accept the world with corrections. And may [the world] be the way I like it. And it's good for me and my friends. There are the only three positions."
- Joseph Campbell
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact,
it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are,
what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
- Maya Angelou
“How Buster Douglas Beat Mike Tyson”
“Going into the fight, Mike Tyson was the undefeated and undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. He held the WBC, WBA, and IBF titles. Despite the several controversies that marked Tyson’s profile at the time, such as his notorious, abusive relationship with Robin Givens; the contractual battles between longtime manager Bill Cayton and promoter Don King; and Tyson’s departure from longtime trainer Kevin Rooney, Mike Tyson was still lethal in the ring, scoring a 93-second knockout against Carl “The Truth” Williams in his previous fight. Most considered this fight to be a warm-up bout for Tyson before meeting up with then-undefeated number 1 heavyweight contender Evander Holyfield (who was ringside for the fight). Tyson was viewed as such a dominant heavyweight that he was not only viewed as the world’s top heavyweight, but often as the number one fighter in the world pound-for-pound (including by “Ring Magazine”), a rarity for heavyweights.
Buster Douglas was ranked as just the #7 heavyweight by Ring Magazine, and had met with mixed success in his professional boxing career up to that point. His previous title fight was against Tony Tucker in 1987, in which he was TKO’d in the 10th round. However, a string of six consecutive wins gave him the opportunity to fight Tyson. In the time leading up to the fight, Douglas faced a number of setbacks, including the death of his mother, Lula Pearl, 23 days before the fight. Additionally, the mother of his son was facing a severe kidney ailment, and he had contracted the flu on the day before the fight.”
“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back.
That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.”
- Vince Lombardi
At 2:40 of this video Douglas takes a tremendous uppercut and goes down, kneeling to clear his head; you can see him wondering to himself if he should get up. No one at all expected him to, but he reached for something deep inside himself, found an inner strength perhaps even he was unaware of, and got back up to continue the fight. The rest, as they say, is history… and real glory.
“In the early days of this blog I published what I thought was a throwaway post, entitled “88 Important Truths I’ve Learned About Life”. It was nothing but 88 sweeping aphorisms I had collected as they occurred to me, delivered with a bit of snark. But it was a huge hit and still brings new people to Raptitude. Today I can’t bear to look at it. It’s just too preachy. But I understand the appeal. It’s fun to throw down an aphorism, and ask yourself if you really believe it. Here’s what I’ve learned (I think) in the seven years since. Also quite preachy.
1. Growth means doing things that are hard for you right now. There’s no other way.
2. The news doesn’t show you how the world is. It shows you whatever will make you watch more news.
3. Metal tools and utensils cost a lot more, but last about twenty times as long as plastic ones.
4. Good listeners are rare. When you find one, keep them in your life. And pay it forward.
5. Nobody sees you the way you see yourself, which should probably come as a relief.
6. Often nobody wants to make decisions for the group. Everyone appreciates the person willing to propose a time or a place.
7. Every generation thinks the one that came before them and the one that came after them are the worst.
8. For whatever reason, everywhere in the world human beings are willing to spend enormous amounts of money and time on alcohol.
9. Almost all casual photos would be improved simply by getting closer. You don’t need to get people’s entire bodies in the frame.
10. You don’t really know someone until you know what they struggle with most.
11. Not long ago, tea, sugar and spices were really hard for ordinary people to get. But they’re still as delicious as they always were. So enjoy!
12. If you spend a week tracking how you actually spend your waking hours, you will probably be shocked.
13. Friendships take work to maintain, and it's possible the other person is doing all the work.
14. One way to add hours to your week, and months to your life, is to put your phone somewhere beyond arm’s reach.
15. Often, to make a breakthrough with something, you just need to stick with it a little longer than you usually do. Even five or ten minutes.
16. You can shave a decade or two off your working life by understanding compound interest and the long-term value of your purchases.
17. It’s almost impossible to convince someone of something once they see you as being on the “other side”.
18. Losing weight really is as simple as reducing the number of calories you eat. Not easy, but very simple.
19. Often we convince ourselves that we have less freedom than we really do, so that we don’t have to be responsible for doing the right thing.
20. Listening to the blues really does help when you have the blues.
21. I said this last time, but as a reminder: it’s worth retrying foods you didn’t like the first time.
22. We all have unconscious biases, even nasty ones about race, class and sex. Don’t believe anyone who says they don’t have any.
23. We are all thinking and ruminating nearly all day long, which is why we constantly seek activities that can relieve us from it, like music, TV, drinking, sex and death sports.
24. Romantic love might be a pretty recent invention, so don’t get too bent out of shape if your experience doesn’t fit the mold.
25. When you quit smoking you immediately realize how bad you stank all those years.
26. Daily meditation has a way of making solutions to many of your problems suddenly obvious.
27. “Comfort zone” is an annoying term but it sure is useful. It’s the only place to find solutions to your longest-running problems.
28. Everything has more detail to be found, if you take some time to look even closer. Especially plants.
29. The main reason we argue online is because it feels good, but we like to imagine it’s also somehow noble or helpful.
30. “Act the way you want to feel” actually works a lot of the time.
31. One thing nobody regrets is becoming a fit, active person.
32. Our beliefs about right and wrong come from mostly from intuitions and gut feelings, not logic.
33. We evolved to go days without food. Missing a meal shouldn’t be a big deal, but if you skip the odd lunch people will assume you have an eating disorder.
34. New York City is a pretty neat place. Don’t die without visiting, if possible.
35. Pretty much all double albums would have been better as single albums. Except maybe The Wall.
36. Propaganda’s effects can last forever. Two hundred years later, most people still think Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake”.
37. It’s really liberating, after trying to look smart for so many years, to start freely admitting when you’re wrong and when you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
38. Every household should have an aloe plant. Don’t wait until you burn yourself to go get one.
39. We’re all going to die, and on the whole that is definitely a good thing. Wouldn’t it be terrible if all of this never ended? It would also get very crowded.
40. John Waters was on to something when he said, “If you go home with someone, and they don’t have any books, don’t f**k them.”
41. Voting is only one of many avenues individuals have for shaping the direction of society, and it’s an extremely low-leverage one.
42. The ability to make good art depends a lot on your willingness to make lots of bad art in between.
43. We tend to think more than negative events than positive ones. Knowing that is helpful, in case you think there’s something wrong with you.
44. A decent definition for self-love is “Doing for yourself what you would want your kids to do for themselves.”
45. Not making your bed in the morning sets the bar kind of low for the rest of the day.
46. Having a defensible opinion, on any topic at all, actually requires a ton of work. Mostly reading.
47. Everything you own has an effect on your psyche. Less stuff makes for a less disturbed mind in general.
48. Bachelors, if you want to class your place up a bit, a few plants goes a long way.
49. We are all atheists, in a sense. Every person denies the existence of either most or all of the gods that have been proposed.
50. The most insightful news source in America is The Onion.
51. Meeting and/or staying with locals completely changes the travel experience.
52. The best and worst thing about life is all the other people. Well, mostly.
53. Becoming exceptional at something is probably just a matter of making #15 your normal way of doing things.
54. Going for a walk almost always alters the mood, at least a little.
55. One quality everyone finds attractive is competence, at anything really. Experts are super sexy.
56. We would probably be more moral creatures if we acknowledged how fairness and compassion actually is for members of our species.
57. Lasting habit changes always involve some kind of identity shift. Running every day stops being a grind only once you begin to feel like a runner.
58. To pass easily through crowded sidewalks, stare just above everyone’s hairline and keep your speed up. They will get out of the way.
59. Not hiding it when you’re wrong commands more respect than always appearing to be right.
60. We are all selfish, to a pretty alarming degree. If you’ve ever bought a cocktail, you bought it instead of eyeglasses or medicine for some poor kid somewhere.
61. Whoever invented the zipper was a goddamn genius.
62. When a party has degenerated into people showing each other their favorite YouTube videos, it’s time to call a cab.
63. Future societies will laugh at us for how we let advertising cover nearly every available public space.
64. Other people, generally, can see solutions to your problems more clearly than you can. (Use this to your advantage.)
65. Fears get stronger whenever you heed them, and weaker whenever you act in spite of them. This is a simple law you can depend on.
66. Most of the difficulty and awkwardness associated with a task is stacked right at the beginning, so it’s over with quickly unless you chicken out really early on.
67. Listening attentively to someone’s problem without trying to solve it is a skill that’s greatly appreciated, and is worth practicing.
68. Humans are too complex for everything in their lives to run smoothly at once; it’s probably normal to be a mess in at least a few areas.
69. Lots of people you know are hiding addictions, and you’d never guess who.
70. There will always be enough suffering in the world to horrify you a million times over, so it may not be worth dwelling on at times when you’re not doing anything about it.
71. There’s a kind of low-brow pleasure we get from being angry and indignant, and very often there’s nothing else we gain from it.
72. Most classic novels are very readable, but we think of them as dry and awful because of the ones forced on us in high school.
73. There is a paradoxical relationship between ease and difficulty; sticking to easy things makes life hard, while doing hard things makes life easy.
74. Posture has a predictable and immediate effect on mood.
75. Goals have to improve your life in the short-term in order for you to keep at it all the way to the long-term rewards.
76. It can be really freeing to see a given present moment as though it’s the beginning of your life. In a sense, it is.
77. People usually like it when you ask them for advice in their areas of expertise. Also, #64 makes this a smart thing to do.
78. How free you feel in day-to-day life depends a lot on your willingness to open up to discomfort when it happens. That can be practiced.
79. There’s no need to eat iceberg lettuce in a world with available romaine, baby spinach, arugula and endive. Branch out!
80. By the time voices are raised, communication has stopped.
81. A few fancy, high-quality grocery purchases are still way cheaper than even a crappy restaurant experience, and there will be leftovers.
82. People that lie to others in your presence would probably lie to you just as easily.
83. We overvalue pithiness because it’s immediately gratifying, and we undervalue nuance because it takes too much work. But you should share this post anyway.
84. Keeping secrets is really hard for almost everyone. The secret-keeper eventually confides in one other person, thinking they won’t do the same thing.
85. We tend to think the person we are is the person we’ve been so far.
86. Self-doubt is hard to deal with but it does keep our standards high. The worst art is made by people who think everything they do is great.
87. We always think that our latest dilemma is is the one that will destroy us, but so far none of them have. The sky has fallen a thousand times already.
“What happens to people living in a society where everyone in power is lying, stealing, cheating and killing, and in our hearts we all know this, but the consequences of facing all these lies are so monstrous, we keep on hoping that maybe the corporate government administration and media are on the level with us this time. Americans remind me of survivors of domestic abuse. This is always the hope that this is the very, very, very last time one’s ribs get re-broken again.”
"If man were relieved of all superstition, and all prejudice, and had replaced these with a keen sensitivity to his real environment, and moreover had achieved a level of communication so simplified that one syllable could express his every thought, then he would have achieved the level of intelligence already achieved by his dog."
"There's a fancy word for cutting out the Middleman: disintermediation. Removing intermediaries who take a cut but neither produce nor add value makes perfect sense, reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Maybe it's time to eliminate the politicians who soak up hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions from corporations and the super-wealthy and just elect Pfizer, Merck, Amazon, General Dynamics, etc. directly. Since corporate lobbyists write most of the legislation anyway, why not cut out the intermediaries in the process?
The super-wealthy buy political power via Political Action Committees (PACs and Super-PACs), think tanks and philanthro-capitalist foundations (Gates Foundation, et al.). Now that it takes tens of millions of dollars to buy the conventional "winning campaign," the political class spends much of its time fund-raising, i.e. lavishing kisses on the derrieres of corporations and the super-wealthy, implicitly promising to do their bidding better than the alternative candidates that the corporations and super-wealthy could buy.
Politics has been reduced to claiming to serve the public while serving as handmaidens to a neofeudal autocracy. The public would be well-served by stripping away the obfuscating artifice and fakery and revealing just who's in charge.
Our "democracy" is nothing but an invitation-only auction of political power cloaked with fine-sounding excuses. Politics has always been about money, so this is nothing new; I would love to serve the public interest but gosh-darn it, I need to raise $30 million pronto or I'll lose my seat at the banquet; we're the party of noble idealism and public service, blah blah blah....
America is nothing but a vast moral cesspool that the public is told is a pristine pond of wonderfulness. The secular religion is self-interest cloaked as caring, profiteering sold as "value," fraud packaged as "finance" and rapacious monopolies marketed as "enterprise."
Many wonder why the nation is fracturing, but few bother to look at the collapse of moral legitimacy as a primary factor. Does anyone ask why trust in institutions and government has collapsed? The reason is these institutions have become little more than rackets enriching insiders and middleman-grifters; they have lost moral legitimacy which is the fundamental foundation of democracy and a market-based economy.
Those waiting around for campaign finance reform to actually have any positive consequences are delusional. The system serves the Corporatocracy and the super-wealthy, period, and those in power have zero incentive to do more than present threadbare simulations of "reform" to generate a short-lived illusion that we're not living in a neofeudal autocracy.
All we will have is a neofeudal autocracy until we stop voting for candidates who accept contributions from corporations and the shills and front organizations of the super-wealthy. Nothing will change for the better in America until only candidates who accept zero dollars from corporations and the super-wealthy win elections and every candidate who accepted corrupt money and tried to hide it loses by a landslide.
We don't need more toothless campaign reform; we need a populace who starts voting exclusively for candidates who only accept small contributions from the public and accept absolutely zero dollars from corporations and the super-wealthy. All the tiresome political theater serves to obscure what really matters: the difference between hard-earned moral legitimacy and the self-serving corruption of the neofeudal autocracy.
If we no longer have the capacity to distinguish between moral legitimacy and self-serving corruption, then we might as well eliminate the Middleman and vote directly for Pfizer or Merck. At least the corruption, neofeudalism and autocracy would finally be transparent. Come on, Merck: fund a new stadium for our gladiators and you'll get my vote."
"As many of you know, I have spent time researching and speaking about mass psychosis theory. Most of what I have learned has come from Dr. Mattias Desmet, who realized that this form of mass hypnosis, of the madness of crowds, can account for the strange phenomenon of about 20-30% of the population in the western world becoming entranced with the Noble Lies and dominant narrative concerning the safety and effectiveness of the genetic vaccines, and both propagated and enforced by politicians, science bureaucrats, pharmaceutical companies and legacy media.
What one observes with the mass hypnosis is that a large fraction of the population is completely unable to process new scientific data and facts demonstrating that they have been misled about the effectiveness and adverse impacts of mandatory mask use, lockdowns, and genetic vaccines that cause people’s bodies to make large amounts of biologically active coronavirus Spike protein.
These hypnotized by this process are unable to recognize the lies and misrepresentations they are being bombarded with on a daily basis, and actively attack anyone who has the temerity to share information with them which contradicts the propaganda that they have come to embrace. And for those whose families and social networks have been torn apart by this process, and who find that close relatives and friends have ghosted them because they question the officially endorsed “truth” and are actually following the scientific literature, this can be a source of deep anguish, sorrow and psychological pain.
It is with those souls in mind that I included a discussion of the mass formation theory of Dr. Mattias Desmet during a recent talk I gave in Tampa, Florida to an audience of about 2,000. As I looked out into the audience and spoke, I could see relief on many faces, and even tears running from the eyes of stoic men.
Unknown to me, someone recorded the speech and appended the vocal track to a series of calming images of natural landscapes, producing a video that has gone viral throughout the world. The video below video, as well as some notes to clarify and supplement the talk are appended below. Many have told me that they find it very healing. I hope it may help you also.
Full screen recommended.
A brief overview of Mass Formation, which was developed by Dr. Mattias Desmet. He is a psychologist and a statistician. He is at the University of Ghent in Belgium. I think Dr. Mattias is onto something about what is happening and he calls this phenomena:
Mass Formation Psychosis: So, when he says “mass” formation, you can think of this as equivalent to “crowd” formation. One can think of this as: crowd psychosis. The conditions to set up mass formation psychosis include lack of social connectedness and sensemaking as well as large amounts of latent anxiety and passive aggression. When people are inundated with a narrative that presents a plausible "object of anxiety" and strategy for coping with it, then many individuals group together to battle the object with a collective singlemindedness. This allows people to stop focusing on their own problems, avoiding personal mental anguish. Instead, they focus all their thought and energy on this new object.
As mass formation progresses, the group becomes increasingly bonded and connected. Their field of attention is narrowed and they become unable to consider alternative points of view. Leaders of the movement are revered, unable to do no wrong.
Left unabated, a society under the spell of mass formation will support a totalitarian governance structure capable of otherwise unthinkable atrocities in order to maintain compliance. A note: mass formation is different from group think. There are easy ways to fix group think by just bringing in dissenting voices and making sure you give them platforms. It isn’t so easy with mass formation. Even when the narrative falls apart, cracks in the strategy clearly aren’t solving the issue, the hypnotized crowd can’t break free of the narrative. This is what appears to be happening now with COVID-19. The solution for those in control of the narrative is to produce bigger and bigger lies to prop up the solution. Those being controlled by mass formation no longer are able to use reason to break free of the group narrative.
Of course, the obvious example of mass formation is Germany in the 1930s and 40s. How could the German people who were highly educated, very liberal in the classic sense; western thinking people… how could they go so crazy and do what they did to the Jews? How could this happen? To a civilized people? A leader of a mass formation movement will use the platform to continue to pump the group with new information to focus on. In the case of COVID-19, I like to use the term “fear porn.” Leaders, through main stream media and government channels continuously feed the “beast” with more messaging that focus and further hypnotize their adherents.
Studies suggest that mass formation follows a general distribution:
● 30% are brainwashed, hypnotized, indoctrinated by the group narrative.
● 40% in the middle are persuadable and may follow if no worthy alternative is perceived.
● 30% fight against the narrative.
Those that rebel and fight against the narrative, become the enemy of the brainwashed and a primary target of aggression. One of the the best ways to counter mass formation is for those against the narrative to continue to speak out against it, which serves to help break the hypnosis of some in the brainwashed group as well as persuade the persuadable middle to choose reason over mindlessness.
Dr. Desmet suggests that for something as big as COVID-19, the only way to break the mass formation psychosis is to give the crowd something bigger to focus on. He believes that totalitarianism may be that bigger issue. Of course, after COVID-19, global totalitarianism may be the biggest issue of our time."
"I’m now looking again at the polls of Biden’s popularity. They are shocking, even devastating. We are looking at nearly a 12-point split between approval and disapproval. I’m assuming that the reality is much worse, given that everyone knows what one is supposed to tell the pollsters. They are not looking for disapproval. They are looking for compliance. That so many are willing just to say what they think is striking.
To me, these numbers represent far more than the unpopularity of one guy. They are but a sign - a slight one but one we can see - of something far more fundamental going on. What we see here is a deeply dangerous loss of trust not only in government, but in everything, including tech, media, experts in general, and a growing cultural perception that truth is no longer accessible to us.
We are living amidst the rising of information chaos, the late stages of what Robert Malone has called mass formation psychosis. Where it ends up cannot be known in advance, but that something is coming and will hit us very hard is no longer in doubt. I’m still astonished that all of this happened in a mere two years. We went from the feel of peace, prosperity and contentment to absolutism and chaos so quickly. Every time it has seemed like it was ending, there has been another round of awful. And as I’m writing now, the nation is awash in sickness, despite all the measures, the vaccinations, the obsessions, the mitigations with masks and you name it. It has all failed.
What’s Next? The pandemic will end as they always do: with the arrival of herd immunity. That stage becomes the point at which the virus is a normal part of life, breeding with other viruses and becoming normal and seasonal like any sickness. My experts tell me that we are about a month away from that point in the Northeast, but that it has yet to make the rounds in the South, which could be facing a tough spring and summer.
Regardless, it comes to an end, with or without vaccination. What does not end so easily is the statism, the monitoring, the despotism, the urge to control, the rules, the threat that it could all happen again. Getting rid of the pandemic is something nature takes care of. Getting rid of the pandemic controls and the urge to bludgeon people into compliance is a much harder task. It will not likely be accomplished by any political movement.
The answer is likely to be bound up with noncompliance. Many people are already there. They are done obeying. Many people have quit their jobs. They have moved. They have upended their lives in shocking ways. They have completely rethought their relationships to civic institutions and leaders. And they are ready for something entirely new.
The psychologist who is the world’s leading scholar on mass formation psychosis said something interesting in a recent interview. He is Dr. Mattias Desmet of the University of Ghent. He says that the answer is not merely to go back to the previous normal we used to enjoy. It was that old normal that set the stage for the upheaval. We cannot go back because then we risk repeating what we just lived through.
Instead, he says, the entire culture and all countries need to discover a new way of living and thinking, a new relationship with our civic leaders and a new relationship with each other. He declines to say precisely what that looks like. I will say it, however.
Freedom Is the Answer: It must be rooted in the traditions of freedom. We need to learn to find happiness in human choice, tolerance and peace with our neighbors. We need to again find joy in work and fulfillment in prosperity and health. That is a rebuilding exercise that will consume the dominant part of the rest of our lives.
It will likely have to take place in the midst of a growing economic crisis. Inflation might calm down a bit in the first quarter, but the money sloshing around the country and the world has to end up somewhere. It will eventually convert to a much different price level that we have right now. All our savings are at risk. All the things we took for granted in the past could come into question as people look desperately for a way out.
What Can We Trust? People masked up. They distanced. They curbed their social activities. They complied with the shots, one, then two, then the booster. They did everything right. And they got the virus anyway. It is impossible to underestimate the implications of this for millions of people. They trusted the experts. The experts were wrong. Now people have to ask themselves what is next.
Above all else, this is going to be about regaining health. Eat right. Exercise. Get sun. Stop the junk food. Focus on fundamentals. Eat fresh things. Stay as stress-free as possible. Stop playing games with substances that are unhealthy. If we really do all intend to live past the age of 80, we are going to have to rethink many aspects of our lives.
In addition, some of the most astute cultural observers out there are predicting a widespread return to religious faith. Sadly, many of the religious institutions of our past acquiesced to the tyranny. They did not resist. They even preached compliance with practices pushed by Fauci and others, surrendering their leadership in the spiritual realm.
The ones that did not were the oddballs out there, the Amish, the Orthodox Jews and the independent evangelicals. They kept their integrity. They are likely to thrive in the future.
The Crypto Moment: Other institutions that sailed through this crisis will thrive as well. It is impossible not to notice that Bitcoin and associated cryptos paid almost no attention at all to the pandemic, to the shutdowns, to the crackdowns and controls. Blockchain applications continued to function beautifully, without a hitch.
Friends of mine are careful these days to put away as much as 20% of their paycheck into Bitcoin and other cryptos. They leave them there, not spending them unless absolutely necessary. They keep them in cold wallets, holding them and guarding them for the days ahead. This makes sense.
We once imagined that cryptocurrency would become the hand-to-hand currency that would replace fiat money. That day may be coming, but it is a very long way off. The economic function of crypto has been in fact to serve as the safe haven in a world gone mad, an uncorrupted and incorruptible source of value that ignores the nation-state and the madness of political culture.
I never wanted to live in a world with mass loss of trust in everything that so many generations worked so hard for so long to build. But that is where we are. Now is the time for resilience and fortitude, and all the other virtues taught to us by the ancients. Despite all our modern technologies and conveniences, in the end what will save us are not our gadgets, but our values."
"Welcome to 2022! Or as some have been saying on social media "2020, too". The first few days of the year were enough to show us that we have some major challenges are ahead. Way before our reality started to be shaped by a global health crisis, economists were already warning about economic collapse, financial, and geopolitical threats that have been gradually worsening, and that could potentially lead us to the collapse of the world as we know it. The many crises that erupted in 2020 have disrupted our most basic institutions and created imbalances that might take decades to resolve. The economic and financial trends set back then defined the next year, and in 2021, it became crystal clear how global events can accelerate at record speed. Last year, we all have witnessed many of our economic problems being severely aggravated, while ravaging natural disasters led to unprecedented destruction, and our global supply chains faced catastrophic damages, which have been compromising the flow of goods around the planet up until this day.
To make it worse, we ended the year recording another wave of virus cases right when everyone was ready to come back to normal life. And we started 2022 with another round of lockdowns in major manufacturing economies, congested ports, skyrocketing freight rates, widespread business shutdowns, store closures, and a persistent shortage of workers in every corner of the global and domestic industry. Meanwhile, conditions in our financial markets have never looked so risky. Some asset bubbles have already burst and that is triggering a silent chain effect under the surface of the market as billionaire investors strategize to get out of the rally before this gigantic bubble explodes and wipe out trillions of dollars in earnings.
Market insiders and corporate CEOs have been dumping their stocks at an alarming pace, literally selling off billions in stocks at a time, but many investors still don't see this as a signal that something bigger is coming for us. Soon, the Federal Reserve will start tapering its bond purchase program and hiking interest rates to fight inflation, and if you are a regular on our channel, you already know what that means: A massive crash is only a matter of time. The economic outlook doesn't look any more promising. US consumers are getting increasingly frustrated with the acute price increases they've been facing, while store shelves continue to get emptier and emptier. Food prices are spiking to levels we have only seen during the Great Depression of 1929. Living expenses are surging must faster than people's wages can keep up.
And that's not the end of it. The whole world is on the verge of a disastrous energy crisis that is already resulting in prolonged power outages and interruptions in output in some European and Asian countries. The Earth is exhausted. It is losing its capacity of producing enough energy supplies for the entire global population, especially with the extraordinary boost in consumption we have seen over the past two years. There's a huge shortage of raw materials and extreme weather and natural disasters may make this shortage ever worse this year.
With all that said, it is safe to say that an impending societal and economic collapse has never been nearer. In essence, many of the short and long-term trends are starting to spiral out of control, and the least we can do is to get prepared for some extremely troubled times. We must face the fact that there's no turning back anymore. Our leaders have put us in this mess and they won't come to save us when things go from bad to worse. That's why today's video focuses on practical advice for the challenges we will be facing in 2022 and on. We gathered a list of 50 things we should start stockpiling for the year ahead.
Always keep in mind that getting fully prepared for an economic collapse is not something that can be done overnight. In fact, no one can be “fully prepared” for all possible scenarios, but the supplies on this list may be helpful in covering many of the basics. Preparedness is going to be different for everyone and it also depends on where you live or where you plan to go. Just never forget to evaluate your long-term needs during a prolonged period of crisis. We all depend on food, water, power, and shelter to live comfortably. So make sure you pay extra attention to all of those four major areas. And don't forget to share the message. Many people out there are going to need a lot of practical advice as our society starts to fall apart all around us."