Saturday, June 25, 2022

Canadian Prepper, "This is Gonna be Bad and They Know it!"

Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper, 6/25/22:
"This is Gonna be Bad and They Know it!"
Comments here:

Musical Interlude: Kevin Kern, "Above The Clouds"

Full screen recommended.
Kevin Kern, "Above The Clouds"

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Fans of our fair planet might recognize the outlines of these cosmic clouds. On the left, bright emission outlined by dark, obscuring dust lanes seems to trace a continental shape, lending the popular name North America Nebula to the emission region cataloged as NGC 7000. To the right, just off the North America Nebula's east coast, is IC 5070, whose avian profile suggests the Pelican Nebula. The two bright nebulae are about 1,500 light-years away, part of the same large and complex star forming region, almost as nearby as the better-known Orion Nebula. At that distance, the 3 degree wide field of view would span 80 light-years.
This careful cosmic portrait uses narrow band images combined to highlight the bright ionization fronts and the characteristic glow from atomic hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen gas. These nebulae can be seen with binoculars from a dark location. Look northeast of bright star Deneb in the constellation Cygnus the Swan."

"In The Last Few Years..."

"In the last few years, the very idea of telling the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth is dredged up only as a final resort when the
alternative options of deception, threat and bribery have all been exhausted."
- Michael Musto

"Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive"
- Sir Walter Scott, "Marmion"

"Banks Took a Stress Test - Should You Be Worried?"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly 6/25/22:
"Banks Took a Stress Test - Should You Be Worried?"
"Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 the banks have to meet certain requirements for financial viability. Now they run a yearly test to see the soundness of these institutions. Recently 33 banks were put under these test here in the United States to see how they would fare against high unemployment, a stock market drop or other natural disaster."
Comments here:

The Daily "Near You?"

Fife Lake, Michigan, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"The Pretender's Dilemma"

"The Pretender's Dilemma"
by The Zman

"Critics of modern liberal democracy often repeat Juvenal's line about the populace being pacified with bread and circuses. In the modern usage it means the public is easily bought off with free stuff and mindless entertainment. While the average guy is watching television sports and adding to his waistline, he does not care that the political class is looting the country. Just as long as he has a steady stream of new products, he is happy to abandon his duties as a citizen.

Juvenal had a different meaning, as he was writing in the second century. He was criticizing the Roman political class for their lack of heroism and virtue. They cared more for holding office than tackling the challenges of the day. They would corrupt the people with free grain and elaborate public spectacles, if that is what it took to win favor and gain power. The ruling class was mortgaging the civic virtue of Rome in order to get short term profit from the political system.

Of course, the culture of liberal democracy forbids the idea of a ruling class, so the blame must always fall on the people for the problems with the rulers. After all, the people picked the office holders. If they are unhappy with the choices, they should find new ones that they prefer. The civic religion of liberal democracy is like a spell cast on even the most jaded. It prevents them from accepting that there is not a democratic solution to the inherent defects of liberal democracy.

The irony is the cynical will often quote de Maistre and say that the people get the government they deserve. This is ironic in several ways. One is that de Maistre was no fan of democracy or popular government. He also meant that a people, as in a biologically connected people, will get the ruling class that reflects their temperament and talents, regardless of the system. This is something that no modern liberal democratic could possibly accept and remain a liberal democrat.

Putting that aside, the problem with the Juvenal quote is that bread and circuses is the only peaceful and predictable solution to the large society problem. Bringing large numbers of people together under a single ruler, whether it is the farce of democracy or the force of a despot, goes against man's nature. Humans can only know and trust about 150 people at one time. Once a group breaks what is called the Dunbar number, no one person can know everyone well enough to trust them.

The solution long ago was a code, a set of rules for the group. A set of rules to govern relations between all people within the group solved this problem. The members did not have to trust one another or even know one another very well. They just had to trust that the rules made sense for the group and that the people enforcing the rules could be trusted to predictably enforce the rules. The proof of these two pillars of society would be the peace and prosperity of the group.

Of course, once you get to very large groups, like city-states and countries, you end up with lots of dissimilar people in the same society. A large group of related people will come with the habits of mind to make cooperation natural. Have a large diverse group of people and those habits of mind will inevitably conflict. This is the large society problem and we have just two solutions. One is a great mission to focus the public's attention and the other is bread and circuses.

The great mission or crusade, like a war, comes with an expiry date. You can rally the most diverse and uncooperating people against some crisis. In a war, for example, people put aside their grievances to fight the common enemy. Yankee New England dropped their secession drive, for example, because of the War of 1812. The trouble is, people tire of war and every crisis losses its sense of urgency. Even the communists figured this out eventually.

This is the fork in the road the American ruling class faces now. The pretender Biden also adds the complication of being seen as illegitimate by most people. Many of those people may be glad Trump is gone, at least for now, but they also know that Biden has no business on the throne. He is just a shuffling corpse, animated by players operating in the shadows. Like all pretenders, Biden will be limited by the fact that the rest of the ruling class is looking to exploit him, rather than support him.

Compounding his dilemma is that the people who engineered his ascent to the throne started a proxy war with Russia and and want to start a war with Iran. They also seek to impose the Chinese social model on Americans. Speech and movement will be sharply curtailed with the help of the corporate oligarchs. In other words, the new regime tilts heavily toward a holy crusade to rally the people, like a war against the virus and a war against Iran, rather than a new round of bread and circuses.

This is something that was overlooked in the Trump years. After eight years of the dreary preaching of Obama, Trump's antics were a relief. His style was not everyone's cup of tea, but he kept things lively. He also focused on the economy, which did rather well until the Covid panic. The stock market doubled in value during his time in office, which is something that matters a lot to people. In other words, Trump gave the people four years of bread and circuses.

Finally, the other dilemma for the Pretender Biden is that he will have Trump out there reminding people of how Biden got on the throne. In the old days, Biden's first order of business would be to have Trump assassinated. By removing the old ruler, there was no chance for him to return to power. That's unlikely to happen with Trump, although one cannot rule it out, so Biden will have to operate in the shadow of what many will view as the rightful President.

This is the dilemma facing the Pretender Biden. He cannot go for the bread and circuses route, as that would be a concession to the hated Trump. That means going along with the warmongers and scaremongers. The trouble there is that requires trust and exactly no one trusts a pretender. The only solution may be to forge ahead with a manufactured crisis like a war with Iran and the proxy war with Russia and hope the people are gullible enough to fall for it like they did in the Bush years."

"Grave Faults..."

"Only the following items should be considered to be grave faults: not respecting another's rights; allowing oneself to be paralyzed by fear; feeling guilty; believing that one does not deserve the good or ill that happens in one's life; being a coward. We will love our enemies, but not make alliances with them. They were placed in our path in order to test our sword, and we should, out of respect for them, struggle against them. We will choose our enemies."
- Paulo Coelho

"The Quest to Beat High Gas Prices"

"The Quest to Beat High Gas Prices"
by Lora Kelley

“I SOLD MY GIRLFRIENDS CAR CAUSE GAS PRICES ARE HIGH,” reads the caption on the video Justice Alexander posted online this spring. In the clip, Alexander, a content creator in Los Angeles, sits atop a horse and declares that he will now travel on horseback. The video, which has been viewed nearly 10 million times so far on TikTok, struck a nerve. While Alexander later said that it was a stunt - an Instagram follower lent him the horse and his household still drives - the sight of him in stirrups, staring defiantly off into the distance, captured a once-in-a-generation moment of angst. Gas prices are at record highs. Even when adjusting for inflation, they are on average at levels rarely seen in the past half-century.

Beyond posting absurd public displays of frustration, many Americans are grasping for ways to save money by changing work hours or by weighing the algebraic trade-offs of driving farther to find a cheaper pump. Some recognize they have few options to avoid paying more, especially when commuting is a matter of keeping a job or not, but others have been learning to make new trade-offs and crafty calculations. “It’s all about doing the math,” said Ava Patterson, a 25-year-old server at a seafood restaurant in East Peoria, Illinois.

When she notices her tank running low, Patterson gets out her phone and starts strategizing. Before she leaves her home about 30 minutes from work, she checks GasBuddy, an app that shows prices at nearby stations. She then calculates what the total price at a given station will be to fill her tank when she stacks one of her three gas rewards accounts on top of the listed price. Patterson also stops at pumps in small farming towns on her route, where gas tends to be a bit cheaper, she said, and reports rates to GasBuddy to earn points to be entered in a raffle for free fuel. All told, these workarounds can save her up to $2.30 per tank. These days, it generally costs her about $80 to completely fill her 2017 Hyundai Sonata.

Patterson has recently been trying hard to cut down on driving. She does not attend practices for her recreational softball league about an hour away. She has also been rethinking her work schedule. “I started doing more doubles because I want to make sure that it’s worthwhile to drive the distance to work,” Patterson said. “I’m a waitress, so the money that I make fluctuates. It’s made me hesitate on when I want to leave the house.”

According to a survey from AAA conducted earlier this year, 75% of American adults said they would start changing their lifestyles and habits when gas hit $5 a gallon. Andy Gross, a spokesperson for AAA, said demand for gas dipped the week of June 18 for the first time in three weeks, possibly because of increased prices. Those who didn’t drive much before, for environmental or lifestyle reasons, are cutting back further. But for the most part, people are still driving as much as they had been. For some, that has meant, paradoxically, driving farther to find cheaper places to fill up - even if it’s a matter of only saving a few dollars.

Tawaine Hall, 36, a network engineer in Fort Worth, Texas, said he has driven 45 minutes from his home to take advantage of gas prices that were around $1 less than those near where he lives. He said he also buys Walmart gift cards, which provide a discount at Walmart gas stations.

Jordan Rowe, 27, has driven 25 minutes out of his way to go to a station that accepts the Exxon Mobil rewards app that he downloaded this year, to earn points toward future purchases. An assistant general manager at a McDonald’s near Richmond, Virginia, he commutes about 45 minutes each day to work. He has started giving friends rides to work, as well.

In some cases, the high costs have given rise to carpooling and other shared commuting options. Jennifer Gebhard, executive director of the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority, said that during the pandemic, her team operated a fleet of 10 vans. Now, there are 30. “Especially in the Midwest, we’re a very drive-by-yourself community,” she said. But many local employers have reached out to her office about setting up van pools for their staffs in recent months. Passengers split the cost.

“A hack I would love to have is carpooling,” Alexa Lopez said. But she has not found a viable option near where she lives in Kissimmee, Florida. She has a long commute: 51 miles each day from her home to her job at a plumbing supply company in Melbourne, Florida. So to save money on gas, she has cut down on extracurricular driving, as well as some more essential activities.

Lopez, 30, used to make trips to the grocery store without thinking twice. Now, because of inflation and the high price of getting herself to the store, she goes only every two weeks. Previously, she said, she would buy “anything and everything,” including snacks like chips for her son. “I can’t really buy too much of those anymore.” She added, “I’m feeling like pretty much the average American right now: struggling.”

For the first time in years, some who had been doing relatively well are facing hard trade-offs. As the war in Ukraine and the pandemic continue to roil the economy, concerns are growing that the U.S. economy may be on the brink of a recession. People are moving to ease their commutes. Family visits are being minimized. Future savings are being funneled toward ballooning grocery prices. It has been a hard jolt.

Elizabeth Hjelvik, 26, a graduate student in materials science at the University of Colorado at Boulder, watches her budget closely. She recently started riding her bike to campus. She has also started working from home more often, using her parents’ Kroger fuel points to fill up the tank of her 2005 Honda and cutting back on spontaneous weekend trips. Hjelvik recalled saying, as she and her partner were recently driving back from a trip to Fort Collins, Colorado, about 50 miles away, “This drive is so beautiful, but it might be something we can’t do in the future.” Her family lives in New Mexico, within driving distance of Boulder. “Ideally we would be able to go see them more often, but it’s a lot of gas,” she said.

Kaitlyn Thomas, 25, a medical resident living in Horseheads, New York, said she sometimes Googles gas prices in nearby Pennsylvania. She also has a running note on her phone where she tracks what’s advertised at the stations she passes on her commute. Next week, she is moving to Sayre, Pennsylvania, to live within walking distance of work.

Laura Romine, 22, took the balancing act a step further: She moved into her van two years ago to save money and to travel. “Now it’s really not saving that much money,” she said. She keeps her van parked more and avoids traveling.

Gas prices have started to inch down across the United States in the past week, AAA data shows. As of Friday, the average was $4.93 a gallon, compared with $5 a week ago. But economists and industry analysts predict that prices will stay high in the near term, especially as the summer travel season continues and the global energy market remains uncertain. High prices are reaching every corner of the American consumer economy, and fuel costs are having a similar effect.

The cost of diesel, which fuels many commercial buses, vans and trucks, has also risen this year. That has forced companies to rethink how they conduct their business. Near Scottsdale, Arizona, where Eddie Perez owns a party bus company, it’s common to have vehicles idling while customers are at bars or dinner, partly to keep them cool during blazing hot months. He has told his drivers to turn off the buses when possible, and he has raised his prices.

George Jacobs, CEO of Windy City Limousine and Bus Worldwide in Chicago, said that rising diesel prices have “just decimated us.” To try to save fuel, his team has closely monitored software that shows if any of his buses are idling, and that flags whether the buses are traveling at the most efficient speeds. He is exploring the idea of adding electric buses to his fleet, as well as other ways to make his operation more efficient. In the meantime, he said that his drivers try to purchase gas out of state, like in Indiana, when they are on the road. “Any time we can fuel up outside of Cook County we do that,” he said. “It’s very serious money.”
Today’s AAA National Average $4.908. 
Price as of 6/25/22.

"A Wise Man Once Said..."

“A wise man once said you can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it. What he meant is nothing comes without a price. So before you go into battle, you better decide how much you’re willing to lose. Too often, going after what feels good means letting go of what you know is right, and letting someone in means abandoning the walls you’ve spent a lifetime building. Of course, the toughest sacrifices are the ones we don’t see coming, when we don’t have time to come up with a strategy to pick a side or to measure the potential loss. When that happens, when the battle chooses us and not the other way around, that’s when the sacrifice can turn out to be more than we can bear.”
- “Dr. Meredith Grey”, “Grey’s Anatomy"

"The Landfill Economy"

Editor’s note: Sustained economic growth requires cheap energy. But today, Charles Hugh Smith shows you why he believes the era of cheap energy is over, and why there are no viable replacements for fossil fuels.

"The Landfill Economy"
Charles Hugh Smith

"Our economy is in a crisis that's been brewing for decades. The Chinese characters for the English word crisis are famously - and incorrectly - translated as danger and opportunity. The more accurate translation is precarious plus critical juncture or inflection point. Beneath its surface stability, our economy is precarious because the foundation of the global economy - cheap energy - has reached an inflection point: From now on, energy will become more expensive.

The cost will be too low for energy producers to make enough money to invest in future energy production, and too high for consumers to have enough money left after paying for the essentials of energy, food, shelter, etc., to spend freely.

For the hundred years that resources were cheap and abundant, we could waste everything and call it growth: When an appliance went to the landfill because it was designed to fail (planned obsolescence) so a new one would have to be purchased, that waste was called growth because the gross domestic product (GDP) went up when the replacement was purchased. A million vehicles idling in a traffic jam was also called growth because more gasoline was consumed, even though the gasoline was wasted.

The Landfill Economy: This is why the global economy is a "waste is growth" landfill economy. The faster something ends up in the landfill, the higher the growth. Now that we've consumed all the easy-to-get resources, all that's left is hard to get and expensive. For example, minerals buried in mountains hundreds of miles from paved roads and harbors require enormous investments in infrastructure just to reach the deposits and extract, process and ship them to distant mills and refineries. Oil deposits that are deep beneath the ocean floor are not cheap to get.

Does it really make sense to expect that the human population can triple and our consumption of energy increase tenfold and there will always be enough resources to keep supplies abundant and prices low? No, it doesn't.

The Nuclear Option: Many people believe that nuclear power (fusion, thorium reactors, mini reactors, etc.) will provide cheap, safe electricity that will replace hydrocarbons (oil and natural gas). But nuclear power is inherently costly, and there are presently no full-scale fusion or thorium reactors providing cheap electricity to thousands of households. Reactors take many years to construct and are costly to build and maintain. Cost overruns are common. A new reactor in Finland, for example, was nine years behind schedule and costs tripled. The U.S. has built only two new reactors in the past 25 years.

The world's 440 reactors supply about 10% of global electricity. There are currently 55 new reactors under construction in 19 countries, but it will take many years before they produce electricity. We would have to build a new reactor a week for many years to replace hydrocarbon-generated electricity. This scale of construction simply isn't practical. Supplying all energy consumption globally - for all transportation, heating of buildings, etc., would require over 10,000 reactors by some estimates - over 20 times the current number of reactors in service.

The Green Energy Delusion: Many believe so-called renewable energy such as solar and wind will replace hydrocarbons. But as analyst Nate Hagens has explained, these sources are not truly renewable, they are replaceable. All solar panels and wind turbines must be replaced at great expense every 20–25 years. These sources are less than 5% of all energy we consume, and it will take many decades of expansion to replace even half of the hydrocarbon fuels we currently consume.

To double the energy generated by wind/solar in 25 years, we'll need to build three for each one in service today: one to replace the existing one and two more to increase the energy being produced. All these replacements for hydrocarbons require vast amounts of resources: diesel fuel for transport, materials for fabricating turbines, panels, concrete foundations and so on.

Past Isn’t Always Prologue: Humans are wired to want to believe that whatever we have now will still be ours in the future. We don't like being told we'll have less of anything in the future. The current solution is to create more money out of thin air in the belief that if we create more money, then more oil, copper, iron, etc., will be found and extracted. But this isn't really a solution. What happens if we add a zero to all our currency? If we add a zero to a $10 bill so it becomes $100, do we suddenly get 10 times more food, gasoline, etc., with the new bill? No. Prices quickly rise tenfold so the new $100 bill buys the same amount as the old $10.

Adding zeros to our money (hyper-financialization) doesn't make everything that's scarce, expensive and hard to get suddenly cheap. It's still scarce, expensive and hard to get no matter how many zeros we add to our money. Many people feel good about recycling a small part of what we consume. But recycling is not cost-free, and the majority of what we consume is not recycled.

The Truth About Recycling: The percentage of lithium batteries that are recycled, for example, is very low, less than 5%. We have to mine vast quantities of lithium because we dump 95% of lithium-ion batteries in the landfill. There are many reasons for this, one being that the batteries aren't designed to be recycled because this would cost more money. The majority of all manufactured goods - goods that required immense amounts of hydrocarbons to make - are tossed in the landfill.

Goods and services are commoditized and sourced from all over the world in long dependency chains (hyper-globalization): If one link breaks, the entire supply chain breaks. Our economy is precarious because it's in a lose-lose dilemma: Resource prices can't stay high enough for producers to make a profit without impoverishing consumers. Prices can't stay low enough to allow consumers to spend freely without producers losing money and shutting down, depriving the economy of essential resources.

Easy Money Isn’t the Answer: Playing hyper-financialized games - creating money out of thin air, borrowing from tomorrow to spend more today and inflating speculative bubbles in stocks, housing, etc. - won't actually create more of what's scarce. All these games make wealth inequality worse (hyper-inequality), undermining social stability.

The economy has reached an inflection point where everything that is unsustainable finally starts unraveling. Each of these systems is dependent on all the other systems (what we call a tightly bound system), so when one critical system unravels, the crisis quickly spreads to the entire economic system: One domino falling knocks down all the dominoes snaking through the global economy.

Those who understand how tightly interconnected, unsustainable systems are basically designed to unravel can prepare themselves by becoming antifragile: flexible, adaptable and open to the opportunities that arise when things are disorderly and unpredictable."

"How It Really Is, Heaven Help Us"


"Biden Given 'Cheat Sheet' That Instructs 
Him How To 'Say Hello' And 'Sit Down'"
by Paul Joseph Watson

"Joe Biden was photographed holding a “cheat sheet” given to him by his advisers instructing him on how to enter a room, say “hello,” sit down, talk to other people and then depart. Yes, really.
“YOU enter the Roosevelt Room and say hello to participants,” states the bullet point list before going on to tell Biden, “YOU take YOUR seat.” “Press enters,” the cheat sheet continues. “YOU give brief comments (2 minutes). Press departs (t). YOU ask Liz Shuler, President, AFL-CIO, a question. Note: Liz is joining virtually. YOU thank participants. YOU depart.”

'YOU take YOUR seat.' @POTUS given cheat sheet on how to enter a room.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 23, 2022

Why on earth does the leader of a free world require an instruction manual on how to behave like a normal human? This is like something you would give to an autistic child doing a high school presentation. “How mentally out of it is this geriatric patient that he needs to be told to sit down and say hello?” asks Chris Menahan. “He’s already the least popular president in American history and yet they just continue to use and abuse him for all he’s worth.”

As we have exhaustively highlighted, Biden’s mental frailties, which routinely manifest themselves in the form of verbal gaffes and confused, befuddled behavior, are of real concern to Democrats given that Biden will be 82 years old by the time he begins a second term. Another example occurred earlier this month when Biden appeared baffled as to whether or not he was visiting Saudi Arabia. Last week, he also mistakenly made reference to the “L-G-B-T-Q-L” community.

According to a report by the New York Times, Democrats are panicking at the thought of Biden once again going up against Trump for the 2024 presidential election. “They have watched as a commander in chief who built a reputation for gaffes has repeatedly rattled global diplomacy with unexpected remarks that were later walked back by his White House staff, and as he has sat for fewer interviews than any of his recent predecessors,” reported the newspaper."

"Crazy Price Increase At Kroger! What's Next? What's Coming?"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures with Danno, 6/25/22:
"Crazy Price Increase At Kroger!
 What's Next? What's Coming?"
"In today's vlog we are at Kroger Marketplace, and are noticing a crazy amount of price increases! This is not good as we are seeing skyrocketing prices everywhere, and a lot of empty shelves! It's getting rough out here as stores seem to be struggling with getting products!"
Comments here:

"Prepare For A Tidal Wave Of Evictions"

"Prepare For A Tidal Wave Of Evictions"
by Tyler Durden

"A tidal wave of evictions could be ahead. More than eight million Americans are behind on rent payments, and the CDC's series of eviction moratoriums has long since expired. In other words, the government safety net to keep people off the streets is gone. With no federal eviction moratorium in place, 8.4 million Americans, or about 15% of all renters, who are behind on rent, are at risk of being evicted. The new figures were part of a Census Bureau survey conducted between June 1 to June 13 of households and was first reported by Bloomberg.

The survey found that 3.5 million households were somewhat likely to leave their rented spaces (homes/apartments) within the next two months because of an eviction. Most of these folks are of the working poor class and situated in large metro areas from New York to Atlanta, where the cost of living, including shelter, food, and fuel, has skyrocketed.
About 6.7 million households said their rents increased, on average, $250 per month over the last year. The increase doesn't sound like a lot but remember that many of these folks are being crushed under the weight of the highest inflation in four decades. Their credit cards are maxed out, and savings are drained as wages fail to keep up with soaring consumer prices. This shocking revelation is a reminder that today's current economic backdrop, which some say is stagflationary, could quickly morph into recession and surging jobless.

So who will the Biden administration blame for the coming tidal wave of evictions? He can't keep blaming "Putin."

Friday, June 24, 2022

"Something Is Very Wrong As FED Buys Up The Market And Americans Go Broke. It's About to Get Scary"

Jeremiah Babe, 6/24/22:
"Something Is Very Wrong As FED Buys Up The 
Market And Americans Go Broke. It's About to Get Scary"

"15 Signs That America Is In Much Worse Trouble Than We All Thought"

Full screen recommended.
"15 Signs That America Is In Much 
Worse Trouble Than We All Thought"
by Epic Economist

"Today, we brought you some numbers that may be hard to digest. Even though most of us know by now that America is in trouble, many people out there don't have any idea of how deep in trouble we really are. Offense rates are shooting up tremendously right now. As the cost of basic necessities escalates, more people are stealing to feed themselves today than in any other period in the past decade. Gas theft rates are skyrocketing, as prices rise above the $5-dollar-mark. Since January, the number of carjackings has gone up by over 300% in some cities. Officers say that it's not just a few gallons being siphoned from vehicles. Now, thieves are pumping thousands of dollars' worth of fuel from gas stations and selling it for a profit. CNN reported that, in Orlando, Florida, authorities are looking for two people who they say stole more than 1,000 gallons of fuel from a gas station. In Las Vegas, Nevada, highly modified vehicles are being used to steal tens of thousands of gallons from local gas stations. And in Greenville, South Carolina, several arrests for gas thefts have been made since January. Last week, in North Carolina last week, almost 400 gallons of gas were stolen by thieves who were able to bypass the payment system. The list goes on and on, and given that gas prices are expected to continue to rise, we’re going to see many more similar cases happening until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, on dividedness, the U.S. ranks No. 1. A Pew Research Center Survey of 20 developed nations found that Americans were the most likely to say their society was split along partisan, racial, and ethnic lines. The U.S. also reported more religious division than almost any other country surveyed. The truth is that our country is rapidly falling apart. Since the 1970s, economic inequality in the U.S. has skyrocketed, leaving many Americans living paycheck to paycheck while the nation’s top earners hoard all the gains from economic growth.

It's actually been 11 years since the last federal minimum wage hike, the longest span the baseline wage has gone without an increase since it began in 1938. Since the last federal minimum wage hike — to $7.25 an hour, starting July 24, 2009 — the cost of living has shot up by 20%, while the price of essentials such as housing and health care have increased even faster. The average rent back in 2009 was about $1,132, adjusted for inflation.

On top of all that, the U.S. manufacturing sector is facing a historic slowdown right now, which is quite alarming given that about 12% of the nation’s total output comes from manufacturing. And the supply chain disruptions we’ve seen so far are just a hint of the chaos we are going to witness this year. As we enter peak shipping season, shipping information company Frieghtos estimates that by August the price to ship one 40-ft container from China to the US East Coast will shoot up to more than $20,000, almost twice as high as shipping rates were in January, and a 500% increase from 2019 levels.

Our living standards are decaying and, at this point, we all can see our quality of life evaporating right before our eyes. That's why we compiled some sobering statistics that reveal that the crises we're facing are far more severe than most of us imagine."
Comments here:

Gregory Mannarino, "Epic! QE On Steroids! Massive Debt Market Manipulation. Will It Ever End

Gregory Mannarino, PM 6/24/22:
"Epic! QE On Steroids! Massive Debt
 Market Manipulation. Will It Ever End?"

"I Know Why You Did It..."

"There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the government. They promised you order, they promised you peace, and all they demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent."
- "V For Vendetta", slightly modified.

Musical Interlude: Vangelis, “Hymn”

Full screen recommended.
Vangelis, “Hymn”

"A Look to the Heavens

"In silhouette against a crowded star field along the tail of the arachnalogical constellation Scorpius, this dusty cosmic cloud evokes for some the image of an ominous dark tower.
In fact, clumps of dust and molecular gas collapsing to form stars may well lurk within the dark nebula, a structure that spans almost 40 light-years across this gorgeous telescopic portrait. Known as a cometary globule, the swept-back cloud, is shaped by intense ultraviolet radiation from the OB association of very hot stars in NGC 6231, off the upper edge of the scene. That energetic ultraviolet light also powers the globule's bordering reddish glow of hydrogen gas. Hot stars embedded in the dust can be seen as bluish reflection nebulae. This dark tower, NGC 6231, and associated nebulae are about 5,000 light-years away."

Chet Raymo, “Cosmic View”

“Cosmic View”
by Chet Raymo

“When writing about Philip and Phylis Morrison’s “Powers of Ten” the other day I found I had made the following notation in the flyleaf, perhaps a dozen or more years ago:

 32 volumes
 1000 pages per vol
 1200 words per page
 5 letters/wd
 = 200 million letters. So, 200 million letters in the 32 volume set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Why was I making that estimate? I can think of several possibilities. Perhaps…

1. I was making a comparison with the number of nucleotide pairs in the human DNA; that is, the number of steps- ATTGCCCTAA, etc.- on the double-helix. If the information on the human genome- an arm’s length of DNA in every human cell- were written out in ordinary type, it would fill 15 sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Nearly 500 thick volumes of information labeled YOU. Think of that for a moment. Fifteen 32-volume sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica in every invisibly-small cell of your body. And every time a cell reproduces, all of that information has to be transcribed correctly. Did I say the other day that it took a semester to stretch the imagination to grasp the universe of the galaxies? It could take another semester to stretch the imagination to grasp the scale of the molecular machinery that makes our bodies work.

Or maybe…

2. I was trying to give an insight into the complexity of the human brain. There are something like 100 billion nerve cells in the brain. That’s equivalent to the number of letters in 500 sets of the Britannica! Each many-fingered neuron connects to hundreds of other neurons, and each synaptic connection might be in one of many levels of excitation. I’ll let you calculate the number of potential states of the human brain. We’ve left behind the realm of Britannica. Even talking of libraries would be insufficient. I was marveling here recently about the amount of digital memory Google must command to store all of those 360-degree Street View images from all over the planet, all of it instantly retrievable by anyone with access to a computer and the internet. I imagined banks and banks of electronics in some cavernous building in California. Big deal! I’m sitting here right now in the college Commons and I can bring to mind street views of every place I’ve lived since I was three or four years old.

By the way…

3. The number of letters in 500 sets of the Britannica is about the number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.


The Poet: Mary Oliver, "There Is Time Left"

"There Is Time Left"

"Well, there is time left –
fields everywhere invite you into them.
And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?
Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!
To put one's foot into the door of the grass, which is
the mystery, which is death as well as life,
and not be afraid!
To set one's foot in the door of death,
and be overcome with amazement!”

~ Mary Oliver

"Too Often..."

"The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt."
- Leo Buscaglia

"The 2008 Crisis is Going to Repeat - Only Worse This Time"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly 6/24/22:
"The 2008 Crisis is Going to Repeat - Only Worse This Time"
"No matter what the Fed tells us they are not stopping the asset purchases. The real estate market is tanking and even economists in Orange County, California say that it’s going to drop 14% this year. The auto industry is finally starting to see a downturn."
Comments here:

The Daily "Near You?"

Vail, Arizona, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"I'd Still Swim..."

“If I were dropped out of a plane into the ocean and told the nearest land was
a thousand miles away, I'd still swim. And I’d despise the one who gave up.”
- Abraham Maslow

"Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade"

"Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade"
Presented with no comment. - CP
Complete articles here:

"Roe v Wade: US Supreme Court 
Ends Constitutional Right To Abortion"
Judge Napolitano - Judging Freedom, 6/24/22:
"Roe v Wade Overturned - What's It Mean?"
Comments here:
Poplar Preparedness, 6/24/22:
"Rioting To Start Tonight - Roe v. Wade Overturned"
"The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade (Federally Protected Abortions) and protests are planned for this evening. Protect yourself and your home from attacks and vandalism. SHTF is here and it is dangerous."
Comments here:

And here it comes... brace for impact.

"Summer Preview: Rolling Blackouts, Higher Gas Prices, Natural Gas Rationing In Europe And A Historic Diesel Crisis"

"Summer Preview: Rolling Blackouts, Higher Gas Prices,
Natural Gas Rationing In Europe And A Historic Diesel Crisis"
by Michael Snyder

"Almost everyone has heard about the rapidly growing global energy crisis by now, but most people assume that this crisis will eventually go away because they think that authorities have everything under control. Unfortunately, that is not true at all. This crisis has taken our leaders by surprise, and now many of them have shifted into panic mode because they realize that there will be no easy fixes. Decades of neglect and foolish decisions have brought us to the precipice of a nightmare, and many of us are going to be absolutely astonished by some of the things that happen in the months ahead.

Here in the United States, we have neglected to properly invest in our power grids for a very long time, and now they are at a breaking point.

We are being warned that there could be widespread “rolling blackouts” this summer, and the situation is particularly dire in Midwest states such as Michigan…"The Lansing Board of Water and Light, or BWL, warned in a press release on Tuesday that the company is preparing for potential ‘rolling black-outs’ this summer.

The Mid-Continent Independent System Operator, or MISO, is Michigan’s power grid regulator. MISO will have to ‘load-shed’ if they see expected energy shortages during peak usage times due to hot weather. Load-shedding is purposefully shutting down electric power in some areas of a power-distribution system to prevent the entire system from failing when it is strained by high demand."

Meanwhile, the price of gasoline is likely to continue to go up. For quite some time, the amount of oil that is being produced around the world each day has been lower than the amount of oil that is being used around the world each day, and as a result supplies have been getting tighter and tighter…"Fast forward to today, and where are we? Intrinsic demand is thought to be around 103 million barrels a day now, owing to 1% per year global population growth, plus increased wealth–and demand should keep growing at roughly that pace. But supplies aren’t nearly keeping up. We’re currently producing around 100.6 million barrels (reflecting the loss of about a million barrels from Russia), and the resulting spike in prices is already constraining demand to around 101 million barrels, according to Majcher."

When demand is greater than supply, either prices go up or eventually you have shortages. And sometimes both things happen. Bank of America is telling us that oil inventories have reached a “dangerously low point”, and until that changes prices are likely to continue to rise…"The result is a market that for the second straight year is under-supplied, and drawing down inventories as a result – on top of the drawdown in strategic reserves approved by political leaders to try and lower prices. Bank of America is already warning that global oil inventories have fallen to a “dangerously low point,” with certain gasoline and diesel supplies in particular at “precarious levels” as we head into peak U.S. driving season. U.S. oil inventories are already 14% below their five-year average, BofA notes, while distillates (like diesel) are 22% below."

I wish that I could tell you that there is hope that things will turn around eventually. But at this point the CEO of Exxon is actually warning us to expect “up to five years of turbulent oil markets”…"Consumers must be prepared to endure up to five years of turbulent oil markets, the head of ExxonMobil said Tuesday, citing under-investment and the coronavirus pandemic."

Energy markets have been roiled by the Ukraine war as Russia has reduced some exports and faced sanctions while Europe has announced plans to wean itself off dependency on Russian fossil fuels in coming years. If you think that things are bad now, just wait until you see what happens after a major war erupts in the Middle East. Then things will really start getting crazy.

Speaking of war, over in Europe a looming natural gas shortage due to the war in Ukraine is likely to cause immense economic problems in the months ahead. Now that Russia has significantly reduced the flow of natural gas to Germany, it looks like the Germans will soon be forced to ration it, and the Wall Street Journal is telling us that authorities expect “a gas shortage by December”…"The German government moved closer to rationing natural gas on Thursday after Russia cut deliveries to the country last week in an escalation of the economic war triggered by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Berlin triggered the second of its three-step plan to deal with gas shortages after the Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom, the country’s biggest gas exporter, throttled delivery via the Nordstream pipeline by around 60% last week. Germany’s gas reserves are at 58% capacity, and the government now expects a gas shortage by December if supplies don’t pick up, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said."

It would be difficult for me to overstate the seriousness of this problem. Energy prices have already gone completely nuts in Europe, and one German official is actually comparing this crisis to the collapse of Lehman Brothers…"With energy suppliers piling up losses by being forced to cover volumes at high prices, there’s a danger of a spillover effect for local utilities and their customers, including consumers and businesses, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Thursday after raising the country’s gas risk level to the second-highest “alarm” phase. “If this minus gets so big that they can’t carry it anymore, the whole market is in danger of collapsing at some point,” Habeck said at a news conference in Berlin, “so a Lehman effect in the energy system.”"

Needless to say, it isn’t just Germany that is being affected…"The crisis has spilled far beyond Germany, with 12 European Union member states affected and 10 issuing an early warning under gas security regulation, Frans Timmermans, the European Union’s climate chief, said in a speech to the European Parliament. “The risk of a full gas disruption is now more real than ever before,” he said. “All this is part of Russia’s strategy to undermine our unity.” If the war in Ukraine could be brought to a peaceful resolution, that would greatly help matters. But we all know that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

On top of everything else, global supplies of diesel fuel get squeezed a little bit more with each passing day. The price of diesel fuel is 75 percent higher than it was a year ago, and here in the United States we have been warned that the Northeast “is quietly running out of diesel”…"The upward pressure on diesel and jet fuel prices in particular is getting attention in the White House, Amrita Sen of Energy Aspects told Squawk Box yesterday. Diesel prices are up a whopping 75% from a year ago, and the spread between diesel and gasoline prices has also widened considerably. The high cost is creating huge strains on truckers and the supply chain; the Northeast “is quietly running out of diesel,” FreightWaves warned two weeks ago."

Even though there could be a historic supply crunch, we won’t completely run out of diesel fuel. However, as I detailed in an article that has gone extremely viral, we are potentially facing really severe shortages of both diesel exhaust fluid and diesel engine oil if solutions cannot be found.

Urea is required to produce diesel exhaust fluid, and the U.S. doesn’t produce enough. We are normally one of the largest importers of urea in the entire world, and Russia and China are two of the largest exporters. Our leaders have decided that we don’t want urea from Russia, and China has restricted exports. So that puts us in a really tough position. If you have a diesel vehicle, I would highly recommend stocking up on diesel exhaust fluid while you still can.

As for diesel engine oil, there are several key additives that are in short supply right now due to major problems at several manufacturers. An article that Mike Adams just posted goes into the details. This is a very serious situation that is not going to be resolved any time in the near future. The bottom line is that supplies of diesel fuel are going to get very tight, and there may be times when diesel exhaust fluid and diesel engine oil are not available at all.

All three are required in order for diesel vehicles to operate, and as I explained yesterday, the U.S. economy runs on diesel. If we were suddenly unable to use our diesel vehicles, all of our supply chains would collapse and we would no longer have a functioning economy. So hopefully our leaders are working really hard to find some solutions. Because it looks like this summer could be quite difficult, and the outlook for the months beyond is even less promising."

"Here's A Question..."

“Here’s a question every angry man and woman needs to consider: How long are you going to allow people you don’t even like – people who are no longer in your life, maybe even people who aren’t even alive anymore – to control your life? How long?”
- Andy Stanley

“That goes for old wounds, too, you know. I really wish we’d had the chance to talk before this,” he says, cracking the window so the smoke can escape. “There’s a Longfellow quote I have stuck on my bulletin board at the church office – ‘There is no grief like the grief that does not speak’ – and it’s true. I’ve found that keeping pain inside doesn’t give it a chance to heal, but bringing it out into the light, holding it right there in your hands and trusting that you’re strong enough to make it through, not hating the pain, not loving it, just seeing it for what it really is can change how you go on from there. Time alone doesn’t heal emotional wounds, and you don’t want to live the rest of your life bottled up with anger and guilt and bitterness. That’s how people self-destruct.”
- Laura Wiess

Jim Kunstler, "When the Wicked Try to Flee"

"When the Wicked Try to Flee"
by Jim Kunstler

"You may be wondering these days if our country can get any crazier. The FDA and the CDC seem bent on killing and maiming as many Americans as possible. Proof (not just evidence, you understand) abounds that Pfizer and Moderna mRNA “vaccines” don’t work and are grossly unsafe. If the people who run these agencies don’t know that, then there has never been a lazier, less competent, worse-informed executive crew running anything in the history of Western Civ.

So, they press on now with shots for little children that are certain to harm the kids’ immune systems and produce an array of consequent serious disorders ranging from hepatitis to myocarditis to sterility to brain damage. You’d think that if mere rumors of these things reached their ears and eyeballs, these executives would at least pause their injection program to investigate. There is really no analog in history for authorities who act this blindly homicidal.

The Nazis murdered targeted groups for deliberate eugenic purposes, vicious as they were, and made it clear why they were doing it - at least among themselves - while they did it. Stalin killed his perceived political enemies and then killed masses randomly to hold the Soviet populace in thrall to his rule. There’s a name for that: despotic cruelty. Mao Zedong revved up his murder campaigns and cultural revolutions to desperately hold on to his slip-sliding autocratic power. Pol Pot killed people who wore eyeglasses and read books because they were capable of figuring sh*t out - like, what Pol Pot was up to.

Dr. Anthony Fauci (White House Medical Advisor), Dr. Rochelle Walensky (CDC), and Dr. Robert M. Califf (FDA) are killing and harming Americans because… apparently, they don’t know why. As the old saw goes: they know not what they do. Or is that so? Is it even possible anymore? One must suppose it is possible if they are insane, which, you also understand, does not preclude them from being evil, too.

Ms. Walensky says repeatedly that they are looking at or waiting on “the data.” No, she’s not. She’s just saying that, as if reciting a magic incantation that can deflect culpability. The data are in plain sight, not even hiding. The data are all over the world: this country, the UK, Denmark, France, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Portugal, Israel, Cuba, South Africa, Australia, name a country. The data are turning up now in respected medical journals, many news websites, substacks, and blogs, as well, even, here and there, in what we call mainstream media. A lot of the data until very recently were getting published in the agencies own collection organs, but they deliberately stopped it.

The data tell us that people who got “vaccinated” and “boosted” are turning up with broken immune systems that leave them extra-specially open to repeated Covid-19 re-infection, and that each reiteration of the illness breaks down their immune systems even more - which suggests that over time (think: the months ahead) more and more of them are going to die from all kinds of opportunistic viral and bacterial diseases, not to mention cancers, structural damage due to blood clots, heart tissue injury directly from spike proteins, and brain-and-neuro illness, ditto.

Do you believe that the authorities somehow missed all this? Are they trying to pretend that they didn’t (take your pick): 1) fecklessly promote the biggest compound medical blunder in history? 2) conspire with pharma companies in a dastardly racketeering scheme? 3) carry out the orders of some shady, malevolent elite to cull the human population under a depraved, messianic, crypto-eco ideology? or 4) just…reasons.

Before too much longer they’ll have to tell us. At this point, resigning in order to just slink away from the scene of the crime is probably not possible. Francis Collins tried to step down from the National Institutes for Health (NIH) late last year, but we’ll know how to find him, and we certainly know what he did in enabling the creation of the Covid-19 pandemic and then its supposed savior “vaccines.” This is true, by the way, across the entire medical profession, including doctors, hospital directors, and, of course, the pharma executives. They’ll have to answer for why they continued vaxxing the public when caution was indicated (primum non nocere - first do no harm), and how come they stupidly and/or maliciously suppressed cheap and effective early treatment drugs.

The absurd grifting machine of American medicine is collapsing anyway, along with just about every other system we depend on. So maybe the doctors and the public health officials think that if they can delay acknowledging the obvious a few months longer, there will be no institutions left standing in the USA to adjudicate their crimes. Possible but not likely.

There’s already plenty of data showing an abnormal rise of all-causes deaths in many countries. The life-insurance companies have been reporting it for months. But the acquired immunodeficiency of the “vaccinated” will become too tangible and visible as the network effect takes hold and evermore Americans realize that people are dying all around them, loved ones, friends, friends of friends, celebrities in the news. Inevitably that would produce some kind of social panic - and at exactly the same time that gasoline and diesel fuel grow unaffordable or scarce, every conceivable product vanishes from the store shelves, the financial markets crater, and the Party of Chaos sends its shock troops into the streets to riot, loot, and burn."
Related, must read:
"The Destruction of Future Generations is on Full Speed"
by Chris Black

"Covid is over, right? These children are being sterilized, poisoned, their perfect DNA is being destroyed and mixed with chimera (animal and human hybrid) DNA, so they are no longer pure human.

NEW – Toddler tears as the nation’s children begin to receive mRNA injections. This is the end of humanity in progress. Protect your DNA and your loved ones while you still can. The satan worshipping billionaires want to destroy all that was created by God and create a slave race they can fully control and that will serve/obey them. Not an intelligent, free thinking human race created by a divine higher power they despise.

Toddler tears as the nation's children begin to receive COVID shots.
- New York Post (@nypost) June 22, 2022"

Stipendium peccati mors est...