Saturday, January 29, 2022

Musical Interlude: Foy Vance, Ed Sheeran, "Make it Rain"

Foy Vance, "Make it Rain"
The original, Ed Sheeran's version is the cover.
Ed Sheeran, "Make it Rain"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Why is the sky near Antares and Rho Ophiuchi so colorful? The colors result from a mixture of objects and processes. Fine dust illuminated from the front by starlight produces blue reflection nebulae. Gaseous clouds whose atoms are excited by ultraviolet starlight produce reddish emission nebulae. Backlit dust clouds block starlight and so appear dark.
Antares, a red supergiant and one of the brighter stars in the night sky, lights up the yellow-red clouds on the lower center. Rho Ophiuchi lies at the center of the blue nebula near the top. The distant globular cluster M4 is visible just to the right of Antares, and to the lower left of the red cloud engulfing Sigma Scorpii. These star clouds are even more colorful than humans can see, emitting light across the electromagnetic spectrum.”

"The Story Of Man"

“The sands of time blew into a storm of images... images in sequence to tell the truth! Glorious legends of revolutionaries, bound only by a desire to be true to themselves, and to hope! Parables of colliding worlds, of forbidden love, of enemies healing the wounds of circumstance! Projected myth of persecution through greed and selfishness... and the will to survive! The Will to survive! And to survive in the face of those who claim credit for your very existence! We survive not as pawns, but as agents of hope. Sometimes misunderstood, but always true to our story. The story of Man."
- Scott Morse
Vangelis, "Alpha"
This song always suggested the image of our relentless, idealized, noble, glorious March of Mankind through the ages. Despite it all, despite ourselves, we survive and march onward towards our unknown destiny.

Still, some wonder about our true nature as a species, as the Apex Predator of this planet, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did when he asked,“What can we know? What are we all? Poor silly half-brained things peering out at the infinite, with the aspirations of angels and the instincts of beasts.” Indeed, Angelic aspirations regardless, the historical record suggests a less benevolent but far more accurate and truthful view of the instincts of beasts within Humanity...
Steve Cutts, "MAN"
“What a chimera then is man, what a novelty, what a monster, what chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, yet an imbecile earthworm; depository of truth, yet a sewer of uncertainty and error; pride and refuse of the universe. Who shall resolve this tangle?”
- Blaise Pascal

"Pride and refuse," indeed...

The Poet: W.H. Auden, "September 1, 1939"

"September 1, 1939"

under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out
wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame."

- W.H. Auden
"On September 1, 1939, the German army under Adolf Hitler launched an invasion of Poland that triggered the start of World War II (though by 1939 Japan and China were already at war). The battle for Poland only lasted about a month before a Nazi victory. But the invasion plunged the world into a war that would continue for almost six years and claim the lives of tens of millions of people."

"The War Against Will"

"The War Against Will"
by Paul Rosenberg

"The modern world will allow you to join any of a thousand collectives, but it will punish you for standing on your own, as a self-willed entity. People who commit this crime understand that they are outlaws in the present world. And if at first they don’t understand that, the world makes sure they know.

The world as it is, then, is the enemy of will. This is nothing new, of course, governments have been at war against will since they began: How else can you get people to blindly obey you, to hand over half their income, and to thank you for it? People who possess a full and active will must be convinced to do things, and governments couldn’t function if they had to do that.

The present world is built around the restraint of will, and not just on the government level. Advertising, for example, is more or less devoted to implanting subconscious desires and subverting the will with them. In dysfunctional families, manipulating one another – whether by guilt, ridicule, being left out of Papa’s will or whatever – is the currency of the realm.

And so obedience, consumption and acquiescence have become cardinal virtues, and the avoidance of immediate pain the prime directive. As we might paraphrase an old apostle, this world’s God is the belly.

The Willful, For Whom Heaven And Earth Were Created: All human creativity functions on individual will. Everyone interested in creativity knows this, and here are just a couple of passages to make the point:

"Everything that is really great and inspiring is
created by the individual who can labor in freedom."
- Albert Einstein

"This I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the
individual human is the most valuable thing in the world."
- John Steinbeck

It is the active will of individuals that has created everything good in this world. Really, life comes down to a choice between creativity and entropy:

• The world (the realm of officialdom, acquiescence and so on) is an incarnation of entropy, winding down and collapsing once the fuel left to it by creative men and women of the past is burned out.
• The creatives, who are willing to take blows in defense of their willfulness, and who bless the world in myriad ways

The willful, then, are creativity incarnate; the universe is and ought to be dedicated to beings of their type. It should also be populated by beings of their type, and I think someday shall be. This is not to say that entropic people can’t make their way out of entropy and join the creatives; in fact they can, and do, on a daily basis. Still, it is a gulf that must be crossed, and the only way across is to act on one’s own will, alone, and for purely self-generated reasons. That is the price.

The Automated War On Will: The great threat of the modern world is a system I call Descartes’ Demon, the Big Data/AI personalized manipulation system that is already in daily use. I held back talking about this for years, seeing that it was too much for people to bear, but the beast has progressed so far that I can’t see holding back any further.

The Matrix, as it turns out, was all too true, and its world is now the world of Facebook, Twitter and especially Google. The real-life version of The Matrix is functional, right now. (See here for explanation, or here for illustration.) What personalized manipulation is really all about is the subversion of individual will. And if you don’t think it’s happening, pull up YouTube on your smart phone, then ask your friend to pull it up on his or hers: You’re already receiving personalized pages. The world is deeply committed to passing this off as trivial and ridiculing those that don’t. But it isn’t trivial; it’s a present and actual war against free will.

We Are Inherently Creative: Humans are inherently creative beings. We cannot create matter out of nothing, but we can mold it to an infinite number and variety of uses. We are the fountains of new and beneficial action in the universe. And we ought to function that way.

I’ll leave you with a few words from Albert Schweitzer: "Civilization can only revive when there shall come into being in a number of individuals a new tone of mind independent of the one prevalent among the crowd and in opposition to it… It is only an ethical movement which can rescue us from the slough of barbarism, and the ethical comes into existence only in individuals." This is what we need… and we need it now."
Full screen recommended.

"The New Normal is Empty Shelves and Runaway Inflation"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly, PM 1/29/22:
"The New Normal is Empty Shelves and Runaway Inflation"
"People are selling their cars back to their dealerships and getting out of high lease payments and car payments. We are seeing store shelves empty again and Inflation is out of control."

The Daily "Near You?"

Oaxaca, Mexico. Thanks for stopping by!

Rumi, "The Guest House"

"The Guest House"

"This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond."

~ Rumi
"Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi was a 13th century Afghan poet and philosopher who heavily influenced both eastern and western poetry. His poetry is divided into categories: the quatrains and odes of the "Divan," the six books the "Masnavi," the discourses, the letters and the "Six Sermons." Rumi's major poetic work is "Matnawiye Ma'nawi," a six-volume poem, considered by many literary critics to be one of the greatest works of mystical poetry ever written. Rumi's prose works included "Fihi Ma Fihi," "Majalese Sab'a" and "Maktubat." His prose work largely contains sermons and lectures given by Rumi to his disciples and family members. Following Rumi's death, his followers founded the Mevlevi Order, also known as the "Whirling Dervishes."
Free downloads:
Freely download "The Divan" and "The Masnavi" here:

"We Must Ask Ourselves..."

''As Americans, we must ask ourselves: Are we really so different? Must we stereotype those who disagree with us? Do we truly believe that ALL red-state residents are ignorant racist fascist knuckle-dragging NASCAR-obsessed cousin-marrying roadkill-eating tobacco juice-dribbling gun-fondling religious fanatic rednecks; or that ALL blue-state residents are godless unpatriotic pierced-nose Volvo-driving France-loving left-wing communist latte-sucking tofu-chomping holistic-wacko neurotic vegan weenie perverts?''
- Dave Barry

"In The Time Of Your Life..."

"In the time of your life, live - so that in good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding-place and let it be free and unashamed. Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart. Be the inferior of no man, nor of any man be the superior. Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man's guilt is not yours, nor is any man's innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand. Have no shame in being kindly and gentle, but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret. In the time of your life, live - so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it."
- William Saroyan

"The Bewildered Herd..."

“The bewildered herd is a problem. We've got to prevent their roar and trampling. We've got to distract them. They should be watching the Superbowl or sitcoms or violent movies. Every once in a while you call on them to chant meaningless slogans like "Support our troops!" You've got to keep them pretty scared, because unless they're properly scared and frightened of all kinds of devils that are going to destroy them from outside or inside or somewhere, they may start to think, which is very dangerous, because they're not competent to think. Therefore it's important to distract them and marginalize them.”
- Noam Chomsky
"Those who can make you believe absurdities
can make you commit atrocities."
- Voltaire

“In The Long Run… We Are All Alive”

“In The Long Run… We Are All Alive”
by MN Gordon

“In 1976, economist Herbert Stein, father of Ben Stein, the economics professor in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, observed that U.S. government debt was on an unsustainable trajectory. He, thus, established Stein’s Law: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” Stein may have been right in theory. Yet the unsustainable trend of U.S. government debt outlasted his life. Herbert Stein died in 1999, several decades before the crackup. Those reading this may not be so lucky.

Sometimes the end of the world comes and goes, while some of us are still here. We believe our present episode of debt, deficits, and state sponsored economic destruction, is one of these times.. We’ll have more on this in just a moment. But first, let’s peer back several hundred years. There we find context, edification, and instruction.

In 1696, William Whiston, a protégé of Isaac Newton, wrote a book. It had the grandiose title, “A New Theory of the Earth from its Original to the Consummation of All Things.” In it he proclaimed, among other things, that the global flood of Noah had been caused by a comet. Mr. Whiston took his book very serious. The good people of London took it very serious too. Perhaps it was Whiston’s conviction. Or his great fear of comets. But, for whatever reason, it never occurred to Londoners that he was a Category 5 quack.

Like Neil Ferguson, and his mathematical biology cohorts at Imperial College, London, Whiston’s research filled a void. Much like today’s epidemiological models, the science was bunk. Nonetheless, the results supplied prophecies of the apocalypse to meet a growing demand. It was just a matter of time before Whiston’s research would cause trouble…

Judgement Day: In 1736, William Whiston crunched some data and made some calculations. He projected these calculations out and saw the future. And what he witnessed scared him mad. He barked. He ranted. He foamed at the mouth to anyone who would listen. Pretty soon he’d stirred up his neighbors with a prophecy that the world would be destroyed on October 13th of that year when a comet would collide with the earth.

Jonathan Swift, in his work, “A True and Faithful Narrative of What Passed in London on a Rumour of the Day of Judgment,” quoted Whiston: “Friends and fellow-citizens, all speculative science is at an end: the period of all things is at hand; on Friday next this world shall be no more. Put not your confidence in me, brethren; for tomorrow morning, five minutes after five, the truth will be evident; in that instant the comet shall appear, of which I have heretofore warned you. As ye have heard, believe. Go hence, and prepare your wives, your families, and friends, for the universal change.”

Clergymen assembled to offer prayers. Churches filled to capacity. Rich and paupers alike feared their judgement. Lawyers worried about their fate. Judges were relieved they were no longer lawyers. Teetotalers got smashed. Drunks got sober. Bankers forgave their debtors. Criminals, to be executed, expressed joy.

The wealthy gave their money to beggars. Beggars gave it back to the wealthy. Several rich and powerful gave large donations to the church; no doubt, reserving first class tickets to heaven. Many ladies confessed to their husbands that one or more of their children were bastards. Husbands married their mistresses. And on and on…

The Archbishop of Canterbury, William Wake, had to officially deny this prediction to ease the public consternation. But it did little good. Crowds gathered at Islington, Hampstead, and the surrounding fields, to witness the destruction of London, which was deemed the “beginning of the end.” Then, just like Whiston said, a comet appeared. Prayers were made. Deathbed confessions were shared. And at the moment of maximum fear, something remarkable happened: the world didn’t end. The comet did not collide with earth. It was merely a near miss.

The experience of Whiston, and his pseudoscience prophecy, shows that predictions of the end of the world come and go while people still remain. Sometimes the fallout of these predictions, and the foolishness they provoke, is limited. Other times the foolishness they provoke leads to catastrophe. Here’s what we mean…

“In the long run we are all dead,” said 20th Century economist and Fabian socialist, John Maynard Keynes. This was Keynes rationale for why governments should borrow from the future to fund economic growth today. Of course, politicians love an academic theory that gives them cover to intervene in the economy. This is especially so when it justifies spending other people’s money to buy votes. Keynesian economics, and in particular, counter-cyclical stimulus, does just that.

U.S. politicians have attempted to borrow and spend the nation to prosperity for the last 80 years. Over the past decade, the Federal Reserve has aggressively printed money to fund Washington’s epic borrowing binge. The world as it was once known – where a dollar was as good as gold – has come and gone. Today, in life after the end of that world, we are witnessing the illusion of wealth, erected by four generations of borrowing and spending, crumble before our eyes. Moreover, contrary to Keynes, in the long run we are not all dead. In fact, in the long run we are all very much alive. And we are all living with the compounding consequences of shortsighted economic policies.”

"How It Really Is"


"Massive Shortages At Dollar General; Empty Shelves Everywhere!"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures with Danno, 1/29/22:
"Massive Shortages At Dollar General; Empty Shelves Everywhere!"
"In today's vlog we visit Dollar General, and witness massive food shortages! With stores struggling to get in products we are also dealing with another issue of skyrocketing prices. We will also check out the shelves as stores all across the country are having trouble."

Friday, January 28, 2022

Musical Interlude: Neil H, "Spellbound"; "Letting Go"

Neil H, "Spellbound"
Neil H, "Letting Go"

"Against All Odds..."

"There's a little animal in all of us and maybe that's something to celebrate. Our animal instinct is what makes us seek comfort, warmth, a pack to run with. We may feel caged, we may feel trapped, but still as humans we can find ways to feel free. We are each other's keepers, we are the guardians of our own humanity and even though there's a beast inside all of us, what sets us apart from the animals is that we can think, feel, dream and love. And against all odds, against all instinct, we evolve."
- "Grey's Anatomy"

"Our Time’s 1989 Moment, Maybe?"

"Our Time’s 1989 Moment, Maybe?"
by Eric Peters

"The good news is the wheels are finally coming off. It was the only way the runaway truck of Sickness Psychosis could ever be stopped. The Biden Thing’s heavy-handed attempt to force-medicate the entire country has been stymied by the courts – again! – which should make it much harder for the corporations to force-medicate employees. They now have both firmer ground to stand on as regards refusing to go along with it as well as the far more important pressure-relief valve of an alternative to it.

Without a government mandate, applicable everywhere, there will always be employers who don’t insist that employment is contingent upon being medicated. This makes it much more difficult for employers who do insist on it to continue so insisting. People can just quit – and go to work someplace sane. Leaving the insane other place without workers. It’s hard to get things done without them.

It’s kind of like having fifty different states,with some states having low (or even no) state income taxes and a more live-and-let-live culture. When there is a freedom option, most people will take it. And even if they don’t, the fact that they could applies a salutary pressure upon those who would take it away. Which is why the underlying theme of the Cult of Sickness Abiding was always and above all to take it away, everywhere. From “masks” to Jabs, the same for all – and everywhere.

Luckily for us, we do have fifty different states – including states like Florida, which provided not only an alternative but also an example. People there were not only free to show their faces, the fact that they did showed that not showing them wasn’t the magical talisman against sickness and death asserted by the Cult. It is certain that Florida’s example undermined the bogeyman assertions made by the Faucists, that failing to abide by the “guidelines” urged by them would guarantee death and doom.

When it didn’t, the Faucists began to look not merely like ridiculous hysterics but something more sinister. The apoplectic fury directed at Florida and especially at Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, makes no sense unless it is prompted by something other than “concern” for what is styled “public health” – an odd turn of phrase given there’s no such thing, except as a vague rhetorical abstraction. People are healthy or not. There is no such thing as collective (i.e., “public”) health.

By letting people breathe – and live – DeSantis established it was not necessary to force them to breathe through a “mask” – nor turn their lives upside down in order to continue living. Florida proved that normalcy is healthy. You’d think – if “concern” over people’s “health” were the driving motive – that the Faucists would have thanked DeSantis for proving them wrong. Perhaps even apologized for getting it wrong. Assuming they were well-intended. But admitting that DeSantis was right makes it harder to continue selling – imposing – what is wrong. What is evil.

People began to see the emperor’s new clothes. Rather, they began to see that the emperor was prancing around naked, his gray-haired man boobs flopping around in the breeze. The sight wasn’t – isn’t – pretty.

Now it looks like a whole country, Great Britain is going to follow Florida’s example. It will soon be legal for people in Great Britain to practice normalcy again, too. The whole show – all the Sickness Kabuki “practices” – is about to be shelved as far as being mandatory. No more “masking” – unless you want to. No more having to present paperwork documenting you’ve had your rabies shots to get a cup of coffee or shop, either.

This is going to make it harder for other European countries to continue practicing abnormalcy – for the same reason that Florida’s example is making it hard for other states in America to continue practicing it. Even in states where it is still technically expected – such as California – it is becoming harder to insist on it. This writer has family in Oceanside, CA – which is part of California, one of the states most firmly in thrall to the Cult of Sickness Abiding. And yet, even there, the rituals are losing their puissance because the mechanisms of the state aren’t insisting upon them. The city government says it is not going to enforce the state government’s decree that people “mask” in order to shop. And so, many don’t.

The more who don’t, the more who won’t. Sanity re-asserts itself. People see it’s ok to show their faces. More faces show. Color and life returns. This could be our time’s 1989 Moment – the reference being to the fall of the old Soviet Union and the coming down of the wall between East and West Berlin. As long as there was a West Berlin as a counterpoint to East Berlin, people wanted to get out of East Berlin. As long as there is something other than the Soviet Union, people will know that living in a Soviet Union isn’t the only way to live. With Florida leading the way, here – we may be on our way back to America, too."

"Apple Saves Stock Market Today; Economic Depression On Deck; FED Still Buying Assets"

Full screen recommended.
Jeremiah Babe, PM 1/28/22:
"Apple Saves Stock Market Today; Economic Depression On Deck;
FED Still Buying Assets"

"Chaos At Ports: Cargo Theft Soars 356% As Container Crisis Worsens In California"

Full screen recommended.
"Chaos At Ports: Cargo Theft Soars 356% 
As Container Crisis Worsens In California"
by Epic Economist

"Thieves have been raiding cargo containers every day and taking thousands of products that belong to consumers from all over the country. Shocking new images and footage published by CBS LA this week show debris ‘as far as the eye can see’ laying outside ports and across rail yards as massive package theft accelerates due to a record backlog of containers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Cargo is being stolen at ports way before dockworkers have a chance to unload the containers. And in rail yards, when trains stop in the downtown section of Union Pacific tracks to unload their wares, often staying overnight, thieves target them and take away all valuable merchandise they can find in the hauls. Giant piles of opened packages and torn cardboard boxes can be seen tossed along the train tracks and right off the twin California ports. And it’s more than just a pain – it’s costing a lot of money for everyone in the supply chain, including end consumers.

Many companies have reportedly lost millions of packages, in particular retail giants who ship high volumes of cargo on a daily basis. “Doesn’t matter what time it is. It could be broad daylight and they just don’t care,” Union Pacific subcontractor Louis Barosas said of the thieves while crews were working at the site of the derailment. CargoNet, a company that tracks cargo theft across the country for retailers and insurance companies, explains that this is happening partly because of the historic shift to e-commerce and the extraordinary uptick in consumer demand over the past few years. Ports have never handled such a high volume of cargo, and with a shortage of labor plaguing the supply chain sector, it’s never been harder to move all of those goods around the nation until they get to the stores.

Union Pacific data suggests that cargo theft has soared 160% in Los Angeles since December 2020, and that on average, more than 90 containers are compromised every day. In several months of 2021, the increase from the previous year surpassed 200%, according to the company. For the month of January 2022, the increase is estimated to surpass 356% compared to the year before. In a recent letter sent by companies to L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón, retailers urged action to deal with “the spiraling crisis of organized and opportunistic rail theft.”

“Organized retail theft is one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the world due to the dramatic growth of business-to-consumer online sales, which rose from $4.2 trillion in 2019 to $5.3 trillion in 2020 due to [the health crisis],” explained Matt Albence, a spokesperson for United to Safeguard America from Illegal Trade, also known as USA-IT. Albence’s organization is a private-public partnership created to fight against the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods. “The looting of packages from trains like those seen in Los Angeles County are tied to the same networks connected to the ‘smash and grabs’ happening across the country – and for good reason: it is a low-risk, high-reward offense,” he highlighted.

The biggest issue is the lack of space to process all of the incoming cargo. Crowded container yards prevent ships from unloading efficiently, which gives the offenders numerous targets to choose from. On the other hand, the rising level of cargo theft means that it is consumers who will ultimately feel the impact, with theft now being added to a myriad of other supply chain problems and weighting as an inflationary factor. "Any time you have a theft you're going to have a shortage of certain items," Cornell said. "There will be even fewer things on the shelves when you go out to shop.”

At least 150 container ships are loitering within 40 miles from the ports, plus another 95 slow speed steaming outside the Safety and Air Quality Area. Port congestion is actually worse now than during the holiday season, given that many foreign shippers have sent their goods too late last year. At this point, Americans’ expectations of rising prices are becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. And slower production, slower shipping, and massive cargo theft are only going to make shortages worse. That’s to say, a lot more turbulence is coming for us, and we should definitely start getting ready for the worst because this crisis is far from over."

"The Backlash Is Here"

"The Backlash Is Here"
by Jeffrey Tucker

"The national press barely covered the anti-mandate, anti-lockdown rally in D.C. last Sunday, and when they did, they mostly described it as an “anti-vaccine rally.” That’s a ridiculous thing to say about an event involving some 10K-plus people who have had enough of the coercive impositions of the last nearly two years. To be there, they braved the cold, the cruelties of today’s plane travel, the D.C. vaccination and mask mandates, the prospect of being doxxed from facial recognition technology, plus the financial strains that have hit so many families due to business closures and inflation.

All differences of opinion aside, the main message was that everyone has a right to freedom. Let’s get back to the progress we were experiencing in our lives before this great disruption. Why did it take so long for Americans finally to hit the streets in protest? For one thing, it was mostly illegal to do so from March 13, 2020, onward. States imposed stay-at-home orders and limited gatherings to 10 people. People couldn’t meet for civic clubs, church, family reunions, much less anything vaguely political. They forcibly separated people for many months. When the George Floyd protests began, they got the green light but that light later turned red again.

The Backlash Is Here: Today there is massive pent-up frustration out there, alongside depression, ill health, financial hardship and generalized shock to discover that we live in a country where freedom can no longer be taken for granted. We know now that at any moment, they can close our businesses and our churches and take away our right to travel or even to show a smile. On any pretext. Absolutely astonishing.

Is a backlash coming? It is here. It is a bit quiet for now but it will not stay that way. The ruling class absolutely overplayed its hand this time. In the coming few years, they will rediscover that rulers in every society must acquiesce to the consent of the governed over the long term. When that consent is withdrawn, the results can be wildly unpredictable, but they generally mitigate against the rulers and in favor of a new way of doing things. How can I be confident about this? It comes down to three different ways to view the course of history.

Is There a Direction to History? One, history is on one long trajectory headed toward one great culminating moment. Every moment in history points toward that end state. That is Hegel and Marx and a slew of crazy ideologues who think in that millenarian tradition. Also, some apocalyptic religions’ traditions hold that view. This worldview – the perception of inevitability somehow baked into the stream of events – has made a great deal of mischief over time.

Two, history is just one thing after another with no particular rhyme or reason. Anyone who tries to make sense of it is inventing mirages of meaning that do not exist in reality. That view was generally held by English philosopher David Hume (but it’s a crude summary). There is something to this idea, but it doesn’t quite take account of certain observable ebbs and flows.

Three, history is cyclical, with overlapping rounds of error and truth, good and evil, liberty and power, progress and reaction, bull and bear markets, recession and recovery, centralization and decentralization, and these cycles are powered by the ebb and flow of forces within the population that shape them.

From my description, you can probably tell that this is the view I hold. It strikes me as realistic and fits most known facts about the shape of history. In light of this idea, please permit me some wild speculations about the bigger picture here.

Reality Check: The last two years have been defined by a theme: centralization of power. It’s happened in technology. It’s affected politics. It’s taken place within financial markets. To some extent it is even true in media culture, despite the rise of the internet. This centralization has overwhelmed all of us: We previously believed that there was some integral relationship between private life and political life, such that the aspirations of the ruled (due to democracy and so on) were somehow impactful on the rulers, until suddenly we were shown that this is not the case

We previously believed that our social-media and digital spaces were our own, until we were taught that they are not

We previously believed that the Bill of Rights protected us, that our court systems more or less worked, that there were certain things that simply could not happen to us due to law and tradition, and then suddenly there were no limits to power.

Why did all of this happen when it did? Precisely because all these old-world institutions have been on the ropes for the previous 10–20 years. The internet has been a massive force for decentralization in every area of life: technology, media, government and even money.

Goodbye to the Old Order: We’ve seen over the last decade or perhaps two a gradual melting away of the old order and the emergence of a new one with a great deal of promise for empowering individuals and all social classes in new ways we had not previously seen. Think what this means for the old order. It means a massive loss of power and profit. It means the transformation of the relationship between the individual and the state, plus what media we consume, what money we use, what rules we obey, how our children are educated, what businesses with which we trade and so on.

In other words, the ruling class - a big term but it describes something very real - faced the biggest and most disruptive threat in generations or perhaps in many centuries. This was the state of the world in 2019. It wasn’t just about Trump but he symbolized the possibility of dramatic change even at the highest levels. The main point is that he was never one of “them”; in fact, he hated “them.” Of all people, he was not supposed to be president and yet there he was, tweeting and disregarding protocol and generally behaving like a loose cannon. And his presidency coincided with a growing restlessness in the population.

“Shut up and Obey!” Something had to be done. Something big. Something had to happen to remind the unruly masses who precisely is in charge. Therefore, the most powerful interest groups set to lose in the newly decentralized order of the future decided to act. They would reassert their power in ways that would inspire shock and awe. They had to convince the president to go along and they finally did.

The result was what we’ve lived through for 22 months. It has been nothing less than a display of power and control. We have all been traumatized in ways we’ve never imagined possible. Our workplaces have been disrupted or shut. They managed to end religious freedom for a time. The freedoms we all believe we had and which were growing by the day came to a dramatic and stunning halt. We “went medieval” exactly as The New York Times called for on Feb. 28, 2020.

Who is in charge? In the spring of 2020, the entire ruling class shouted in unison, not just here, but all over the world: “We are!” I do not mean that there was a “plot” in some crude sense. I do not believe there was one. There was a coming together of interests, and this was born of fear and frustration that the world was changing too quickly and the wrong people were going to land on top.

The Reactionary Impulse: In retrospect, it seems obvious that the great decentralization would not be a soft landing from the old order. There would be, shall we say, bumps along the road. That is precisely what they created and what happened to us. Lockdowns and mandates ultimately stemmed from reactionary impulses, the same ones we saw in history when royals and religious establishments set out unsuccessfully to crush the rise of liberalism. But there’s just one major problem with the whole thing: It did not actually achieve its aims.

Let me explain that. If you think of the aim as “take back our power,” it did accomplish that, however temporarily. But that’s not how they pitched it. They said they would stop and crush a virus and that all your sacrifice would be worth it because otherwise you would die or have your life wrecked. That agenda, that propaganda, has been a tremendous flop. In other words, the whole thing is being exposed as a massive error at best, and a complete lie at worst.

Elites Have Earned Our Distrust: Lying has consequences. When you are discovered, people do not believe you in the future. This is the situation currently faced by Big Tech, Big Media, Big Government, Big Pharma and big everything. They display their power but they do not display their intelligence and they have not earned our trust. Quite the opposite.

This is why the seeds of revolt have been so deeply planted and why they are growing so mightily now. The driving goal here will be to restart the engine of progress back to what it was only two years ago, back to the push for the decentralist paradigm. The technology that was pushing that paradigm is not only still with us but it has been tested and dramatically advanced during lockdowns and mandates. We have more tools than ever before to confront and finally defeat the ruling class that seized so much power over two years.

So yes, we’ve lived through an enormous setback, pushed by reactionary elements among the ruling class, but it is likely a prequel to what comes next: a backlash against reaction and toward a new stage of progress. Cycles within cycles. Forces of centralization have had a field day, and a good run of it, but the forces of decentralization are fighting back again with good odds of regaining the narrative again. It’s real progress. But the battle is far from over."

The Traveling Wilburys, "End Of The Line"

Full screen recommended.
The Traveling Wilburys, "End Of The Line"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Magnificent island universe NGC 2403 stands within the boundaries of the long-necked constellation Camelopardalis. Some 10 million light-years distant and about 50,000 light-years across, the spiral galaxy also seems to have more than its fair share of giant star forming HII regions, marked by the telltale reddish glow of atomic hydrogen gas. The giant HII regions are energized by clusters of hot, massive stars that explode as bright supernovae at the end of their short and furious lives.
A member of the M81 group of galaxies, NGC 2403 closely resembles another galaxy with an abundance of star forming regions that lies within our own local galaxy group, M33 the Triangulum Galaxy. Spiky in appearance, bright stars in this colorful galaxy portrait of NGC 2403 lie in the foreground, within our own Milky Way.”

"Be That Thing..."

“In Rome just as America, in the forum just as on Facebook, there was the temptation to replace action with argument. To philosophize instead of living philosophically. Today, in a society obsessed with content, outrage, and drama, it’s even easier to get lost in the echo chamber of the debate of what’s “better.” We can have endless discussions about what’s right and wrong. What should we do in this hypothetical situation or that one? How can we encourage other people to be better? (We can even debate the meaning of the above line: “What’s a man? What’s the definition of good? Why doesn’t it mention women?”) Of course, this is all a distraction. If you want to try to make the world a slightly better place, there’s a lot you can do. But only one thing guarantees an impact. Step away from the argument. Dig yourself out of the rubble. Stop wasting time with how things should be, would be, could be. Be that thing.”
- Ryan Holiday

"How Easy It Seems..."

“A craven can be as brave as any man, when there is nothing to fear. And we all do our duty, when there is no cost to it. How easy it seems then, to walk the path of honor. Yet soon or late in every man’s life comes a day when it is not easy, a day when he must choose.”
- George R.R. Martin

"Empty Shelves; Supply Chain In Crisis or Not?; Food Shortage"

Full screen recommended.
"Empty Shelves; Supply Chain In Crisis or Not?; Food Shortage"
by "Tommy Bites Homestead - Prepping"

"Inflation is Already Here, Why They Didn't See It Coming?"

Full screen recommended.
"Inflation is Already Here, Why They Didn't See It Coming?"
by The Atlantis Report

"I saw inflation coming the second they locked down the world .Especially after all the bailouts during 2020. Infinite QE, money printing, bond buying, Increased spending, printing billions, running up debt... Eventually the FED was going to run out of bullets.

Nah! Who could see inflation coming? The biggest economies in the world were paying people not to produce goods and services (or just boarding them into their homes in China) yet no idea why this inflation fell out of the sky. People often don’t see what they don’t want to see. Because people were so blindly taking handouts.

Because 99% of people trusted their government and their fake consumer price index. Because political pressure to keep the false economy afloat is significantly more important than a solid currency that doesn't rob the middle and lower class via cost of living. Hell, make them more dependent on the government while you're at it - more votes!

Because they have to print. If they stop, the house of cards falls. They literally can’t stop printing now. It’s too late. And it’s been too late for a while. But Biden just said inflation is an asset . This is what dumbing down a population looks like. The ending of the destabilization phase and entering the chaos phase. It’s called how to communize a nation through central banking. The Fed created the word "Transitory" then removed it from existence.

Who? Who didn't see this coming? Who is responsible? Who benefits? Only those doing as they were told and following orders wouldn't have "seen it coming". They're still wearing the masks which have been effective as both a muzzle and blinders. Doesn't really matter whether they saw it or not as they have chosen to keep the poor poorer and the rich richer by keeping rates at 0%. I would not be surprised if the federal reserve pushes back on interest rate rises tomorrow and blames it on the economy while carrying on printing trillions.

Treason has infested our republic as government laughs behind our backs! They are all GUILTY! The classic definition of inflation “ increasing money supply “ has been hijacked also to mean rising prices… we knew inflation (classic) happened and were simply waiting for it to affect prices.

They saw it coming. Their aim is to collapse the currency. This is intentional. We are being moved into a CBDC slave system. Anytime they print trillions of counterfeit dollars, we're going to have huge inflation!!! Anybody with two brain cells to rub together who wasn't blinded by mainstream media garbage saw inflation coming.

The most laughable part of this whole ordeal is that the Fed literally set a policy to pursue inflation. Jerome Powell said they would begin seeking a multi year average CPI that is 2%, instead of an annual CPI of 2%. He was quite clear that this policy would result in inflation that was substantially higher than 2% for a period of time.

Only War will save the Feds from having to raise interest rates. This inflation is not transitory. This is here as long as rates are low and money is printed. Largest debtor in the world is the US government and they will not let rates go up that much, and Wall Street survives on that printed dollars. So guess who get screwed? Middle-class and poor. Like always.

Inflation hidden is a tax and a way to punt responsibility. So convenient that when the war talk is kicking up right when We are discounting all the dollars that have been created out of thin air through deficit spending, and all those coming down the pork barrel pipe. As depression sets in, asset classes will deflate because people can’t service the debt, consumable commodities like food and clothing are only going to skyrocket.

They saw it coming and they didn't care. It gives them the chance to steal everyone else's property and money. Inflation is taxation without representation, legalized stealing by the government. Pretty soon no one will own their own home in this country, we will be a nation of renters, beholden to the government. for every part of our lives, in other words, Tax Slaves."

Gregory Mannarino, "Stock Market Crash! Or Normal Correction? You Decide"

Gregory Mannarino, PM 1/28/22:
"Stock Market Crash! Or Normal Correction? You Decide"

The Daily "Near You?"

Sherman, Texas, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"To Really Ask..."

“Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world – few really ask. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds – justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can’t go on. To really ask is to open the door to a whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner.”
- Anne Rice, “The Vampire Lestat”

"Things Are Much Worse Than They Appear - Heed The Warnings"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly, 1/28/22:
"Things Are Much Worse Than They Appear -
 Heed The Warnings"
"There are so many professionals coming out with Market Warnings. They all can not be right and they are not all wrong. Heed the warnings. Things are much worse than they appear."

"Young Dr. Frankensteins"

"Young Dr. Frankensteins"
by Bill Bonner

Youghal, Ireland - "The tendency of an inconvertible paper money is to create fictitious wealth, bubbles, which by their bursting produce inconvenience." ~ Lord Liverpool

Cool, schmool. Fair, schmair. What really makes the world a better place? A ‘New Deal?’ A Republican? A Democrat? A master race? Stimulus spending? An Inquisition? Fair Trade? The Rights of Man? Vax mandates? Slavery? Prohibition? Low interest rates? A cheap currency? Diversity? Price controls? Defending Ukraine from the Russians? Or Russia from the Ukrainians?

Blah, blah, blah… what really makes the world a better place is a stable currency and an honest profit. This week, we laughed at the super rich who wish to trade their dollars for cool. We mocked Larry Fink for pushing his own anti-carbon agenda. We ridiculed Abigail Disney for wanting to give more money to a corrupt and wasteful government.

A Mischievous Insight: If they were serious about making things better for others, they’d put their talents, energy and money to work… to earn more money! Because, as far as we know, money is the only measure of how much time, energy (human… and carbon-based) and resources go into a product. Profits are the only measure of whether what comes out is worth the effort. Each dollar earned honestly is a sign that someone else’s life has been improved by at least $1.

That was the un-cool, contrarian, and mischievous insight we left you with yesterday – that making honest profits, rather than cool pronunciamientos, moral awakenings, or ‘The Science’, was really the only way for a company to do any good. Thus, completely out-of-step with the do-gooders, we stumble forward.

In the real sciences, new experiments allow us to probe deeper and deeper into the way the world works. Electrons, photons, interplanetary space – we know more each year. But real scientists also know that they never know the whole story. If only politicians and central bankers were as modest. Instead, they think they have the final word on how things work… and run the same experiments, over and over, to prove it.

We know from many painful trial runs, for example, that price controls don’t work. But get ready for more proof! The Fed has been controlling, indirectly, the most important price in capitalism – the price of capital itself – for the last two decades. It’s created a nightmare economy, hooked on zero cost (free!) money. Now, it can’t ‘normalize’ interest rates… or half the country will go broke.

Meanwhile, French president Emmanuel Macron says he’s going to control the price of energy. In Argentina, as we noted, they’ve been controlling the price of energy for decades – with the all-too-predictable result: shortages.

And here’s the New York Times, urging another experiment in the US; what else – price controls! "America’s recent inflation spike has prompted renewed interest in an idea that many economists and policy experts thought they had long ago left behind for good: price controls."

The NYT, voice of the Elite Establishment is desperate to rehabilitate a disgraced idea: Few economists today defend the Nixon price controls. But some argue that it is unfair to consider their failure a definitive rebuttal of all price caps.

Hey, let’s run the experiment again! Argentina is practically a constant lab experiment. Control prices. Currency and capital controls. Protect key industries from foreign competition. Print more and more money, with an inflation rate currently around 50%. Of course, all of these things have been tried before. The results are hardly a surprise to anyone. But, bless their hearts, the gauchos keep heating up their beakers and letting their hair grow, until their concoctions blow up in their faces.

The biggest and most costly experiment in modern history took place in the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1991. For more than 70 years the lab rats kept at it… even though the result was a foregone conclusion. Central planning – with its thorough price, capital, wage, job, rationing and supply chain controls, from top to bottom – was never going to work. And the Soviets proved it.

Modern Monetary Turkeys: But the experiments go on. Now, Turkey is conducting a goofy test to see if it can become an export powerhouse simply by devaluing its currency. The Turks’ lira lost about half of its value last year. Sure enough, the orders are coming in. Too bad Turkish companies are going broke before they can fill them. Their costs rise… they go out of business.

In this jackassery, Turkey is being advised by none other than Warren Mosler himself, one of the mad Mengeles behind ‘Modern Monetary Theory.’ As the Turks’ economy goes down, Mosler advises the central bank to do the exact opposite of what common sense and experience suggests. He told them to cut their policy rate to zero.

Wow. That ought to help. Already at 50% inflation… Mosler wants the central bank to lower rates… not raise them. Another experiment! How will that work out? We suspect it will go the way of all such experiments and end a bit like Wernher von Braun’s 1977 obituary in the Economist: “He aimed for the stars…and hit London.”

"How It Really Should Have Been"

"Old Man, Look at Your Life…"

"Old Man, Look at Your Life…"
by Jim Kunstler

"Rock’n’roller Neil Young’s conniption over having to share the Spotify platform with Joe Rogan affords a glimpse into the glutenous mire that is a mind bethinking itself “progressive” these drear days of American unraveling. For those of you not tuned in: Joe Rogan is a comedian and martial arts maven who runs the most popular podcast in the world, renowned for long-form interviews (three hours sometimes!) often with high-powered intellectuals. A month ago, he interviewed the mRNA developer Dr. Robert Malone, who has become an outspoken opponent of the Covid-19 mRNA “vaccines,” and of the US-led world pandemic policy in general under Dr. Anthony Fauci, going as far as to call for an immediate end to the world-wide vaxxing program because, Dr. Malone says, the vaxxes don’t work and they kill and disable people. Hearing that, Mr. Young called for Joe Rogan to be cancelled for spreading “misinformation.”

It’s worth paying attention to just how disordered Mr. Young’s thinking is because it summarizes everything that has gone awry on the political Left: He is wrong two ways: 1) morally, and 2) on the facts of the matter = which is as wrong as you can be. Like virtually everyone on the Democratic Party/Woke/Progressive axis, he is obviously in favor of suppressing free speech. Since when did that become okay for old hippies?

If I remember correctly (cuz I was there) the youth movement of the 1960s was all about freedom to say pretty much anything, except yell “fire” in a crowded theater - based on the idea that ordinary people were equipped to sort out the truth. During the War in Vietnam, we hippies were especially averse to the official lying that emanated from the Department of Defense, the FBI, the CIA, and the White House under both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. We founded “alternative” newspapers in defiance of the establishment’s propaganda. We applauded Daniel Ellsberg’s purloined Pentagon Papers, revealing the mendacity of the war effort. Altogether, this activity made it more difficult for the government to prosecute that war, and to defend the strategy behind it.

Today the Left is not only all-in on speech suppression, but also censorship of print and broadcasting, and is especially avid for the diverse punishments of cancellation - ruining careers, reputations, livelihoods, and families of anyone who opposes Woke right-think. Alternate views are not tolerated, labeled “unacceptable” (Mr. Young put it exactly that way), and flagged as “misinformation” (ditto Mr. Young). It’s gotten to the point where the word misinformation has acquired a distinct odor that signals bad faith in everyone who flogs it. These days, the charge of misinformation is deliberate misinformation.

Today, the Left is all-in for FBI home invasions, DOJ malicious prosecutions, CIA manipulations of public opinion, a fake president fronting for an unseen cabal, and a news media that wouldn’t know the actual shape and substance of reality if it jumped up and bit Jim Acosta on the lips. Ideas and principles don’t really matter to the Left; they’re just window-dressing for their sole interest, which is pushing other people around, in a word: coercion. That is the moral quagmire the Left is in and, having captured so many institutional transmitters of our polity, that is the nature of the evil they represent.

On the facts of Dr. Malone’s public statements about Covid-19 public health policy and the “vaccines,” Neil Young doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s just dead wrong, uninformed, possibly ignorant. The vaxxes have been a disaster from the start and the damage gets worse every week that the insane policy of coercing more vaxxes goes on. The vaxxes are a false magic talisman for a psychotic cargo cult of disordered minds who cannot face the actual quandaries in this momentous Fourth Turning of our foundering civilization - namely, our dwindling energy resources, the economics based on them, the malfunctioning operations of money, our over-investments in techno-complexity, and the out-of-scale dynamics of just about everything in daily life.

Fortunately, enough Americans now see through this matrix of bad faith and mendacity that the opposition is poised to wipe up the floor with the Left in next November’s election. The Left has screwed things up so completely that the end of Covid will expose every broken thing on the landscape - and now it’s up to others to try to repair it all, if possible. One thing is certain to happen a little less than a year from now, the day a new Congress is sworn in: “Joe Biden,” if he is still alive, and still in office, will be impeached. And unlike his several predecessors - Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump - “Joe Biden” will be convicted in the Senate, too, and of serious crimes against his country, not just trivialities because the evidence is there. He’ll be convicted of the very things spelled out in the constitution: treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

The laptop computer belonging to the Biden family bag-man, Hunter Biden, is not only still in the negligent possession of the FBI, but many faithful copies of its hard-drive were mindfully distributed to safe hands outside the agency. The email, contracts, and memoranda on it contain a clear record of bribery from foreign nations and money laundering to conceal the trail of all that grift. “Joe Biden’s” deliberate open border policy, and the purposeful transport of unvetted illegal aliens from scores of foreign countries to cities all over the USA, certainly represents an arrant and treasonous failure to uphold the law. It remains to be seen what kind of fiasco his misadventures in Ukraine may foment, but we’ll know presently."

Must Watch! "Why America Is HURTLING Toward Economic Collapse"

"Why America Is HURTLING Toward Economic Collapse"
by BlazeTV

"Thanks to FOIA requests, we now know the 2008-2010 bank bailout didn't cost us $5 trillion, as we've been told. The real number is closer to $29 TRILLION (at 27:00), and it didn't just go to American banks. Gee, I wonder why we're talking about inflation.

When Biden was given the keys to the Oval Office in January 2021, gas was $2.50 a gallon and the inflation rate was 1.4%. Today gas is at $3.32 a gallon and the inflation rate is at 7%, and still rising. These are just 12 months of numbers, but we’re clearly in a worrying decline. While the economy has opened up more post-COVID, it’s not just getting worse - we’re going in reverse.

Glenn heads to the chalkboard (and the very top of his studio ceiling) to explain what’s happening to inflation and why it’s so hard for your family to afford basic goods and groceries. It’s not “corporate greed,” as Democrats have been telling you. The Biden administration wants to continue to spend trillions of dollars to “reinvent capitalism,” but that’s in addition to the trillions that are being pumped out in the shadows. Glenn exposes what the Fed has been doing behind closed doors and shows us the tidal wave that’s about to hit. He’s looked at the numbers, and they're frightening. Carol Roth, former Wall Street investment banker and author of “The War on Small Business,” gives advice to Americans who want to protect their checking and savings accounts before it’s too late."
"$29,000,000,000,000: A Detailed Look at the 
Fed’s Bailout by Funding Facility and Recipient"

"There have been a number of estimates of the total amount of funding provided by the Federal Reserve to bail out the financial system. For example, Bloomberg recently claimed that the cumulative commitment by the Fed (this includes asset purchases plus lending) was $7.77 trillion. As part of the Ford Foundation project “A Research and Policy Dialogue Project on Improving Governance of the Government Safety Net in Financial Crisis,” Nicola Matthews and James Felkerson have undertaken an examination of the data on the Fed’s bailout of the financial system - the most comprehensive investigation of the raw data to date. This working paper is the first in a series that will report the results of this investigation.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a descriptive account of the Fed’s extraordinary response to the recent financial crisis. It begins with a brief summary of the methodology, then outlines the unconventional facilities and programs aimed at stabilizing the existing financial structure. The paper concludes with a summary of the scope and magnitude of the Fed’s crisis response. The bottom line: a Federal Reserve bailout commitment in excess of $29 trillion."