Douglas Macgregor, "Lies"
Saturday, November 12, 2022
Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly 11/12/22:
"Crypto To Take It All Down"
"The FTX exchange is going to affect banking like we never dreamed that it would. You start to see credit cards be frozen and you’re seeing that so many smart business people and athletes lost millions of dollars."
"When a bull is being lead to the slaughter, it still hopes to break loose and trample its butchers. Other bulls have not been able to pass on the knowledge that this never happens and that from the slaughterhouse there is no way back to the herd. But in human society there is a continuous exchange of experience. I have never heard of a man who broke away and fled while being led to his execution. It is even thought to be a special form of courage if a man about to be executed refuses to be blindfolded and dies with his eyes open. But I would rather have the bull with his blind rage, the stubborn beast who doesn't weigh his chances of survival with the prudent dull-wittedness of man, and doesn't know the despicable feeling of despair."
- Nadezhda Mandelstam
Full screen a must for this beautiful video!
Peder B. Helland,
"Dance of Life"
Relaxing Fantasy Music for Relaxation & Meditation
“Reaching For The Stars”
by Chet Raymo
“Here is a spectacular detail of the Eagle Nebula, a gassy star-forming region of the Milky Way Galaxy, about 7,000 light-years away. The Eagle lies in the equatorial constellation Serpens. If you went out tonight and looked at this part of the sky – more or less midway between Arcturus and Antares – you might see nothing at all. The brightest star in Serpens is of the third magnitude, perhaps invisible in an urban environment. No part of the Eagle Nebula is available to unaided human vision. How big is the nebula in the sky? Hold a pinhead at arm’s length and it would just about cover the spire. I like to think about things not mentioned in the APOD descriptions.
If the Sun were at the bottom of the spire, Alpha centauri, our nearest stellar neighbor, would be about halfway up the column. Sirius, the brightest star in Earth’s sky, would be near the top. Let’s say you sent out a spacecraft from the bottom of the spire that travelled at the speed of the two Voyager craft that are now traversing the outer reaches of the Solar System. It would take more than 200,000 years to reach the top of the spire.
The Hubble Space Telescope cost a lot of money to build, deploy, and operate. It has done a lot of good science. But perhaps the biggest return on the investment is to turn on ordinary folks like you and me to the scale and complexity of the universe. The human brain evolved, biologically and culturally, in a universe conceived on the human scale. We resided at its center. The stars were just up there on the dome of night. The Sun and Moon attended our desires. “All the world’s a stage,” wrote Shakespeare, and he meant it literally; the cosmos was designed by a benevolent creator as a stage for the human drama. All of that has gone by the board. Now we can travel in our imagination for 200,000 years along a spire of glowing, star-birthing gas that is only the tiniest fragment of a nebula that is only the tiniest fragment of a galaxy that is but one of hundreds of billions of galaxies we can potentially see with our telescopes.
Most of us still live psychologically in the universe of Dante and Shakespeare. The biggest intellectual challenge of our times is how to bring our brains up to speed. How to shake our imaginations out of the slumber of centuries. How to learn to live purposefully in a universe that is apparently indifferent to the human drama. How to stretch the human story to match the light-years.”
"When we are driving in the dark,
on the long road to Provincetown,
when we are weary,
when the buildings and the scrub pines lose their familiar look,
I imagine us rising from the speeding car.
I imagine us seeing everything from another place -
the top of one of the pale dunes, or the deep and nameless
fields of the sea.
And what we see is a world that cannot cherish us,
but which we cherish.
And what we see is our life moving like that
along the dark edges of everything,
headlights sweeping the blackness,
believing in a thousand fragile and unprovable things.
Looking out for sorrow,
slowing down for happiness,
making all the right turns
right down to the thumping barriers to the sea,
the swirling waves,
the narrow streets, the houses,
the past, the future,
the doorway that belongs
to you and me."
- Mary Oliver
"The American Empire at Sunset"
by Brian Maher
"The year is 1991… Contrary to Mr. Khrushchev’s boast decades prior, the United States had buried the Soviet Union. Its forces had just trounced the world’s fourth-largest army - Iraq’s - within weeks. America bestrode the world like a new colossus… and put all potential rivals in its shade. Its armies bossed the four corners of the globe. Its fleets commanded the Seven Seas. Declared India’s former Army Chief of Staff: “The lesson of Desert Storm is, don’t fight with the United States without a nuclear weapon.” It was the Pax Americana… the “end of history.”
American capitalism, American democracy represented civilization’s apex, its zenith, its perfection. Yet the gods are a jealous lot. They are hot to put down any mortal who has outgrown its britches. Hubris they will not abide...
The Worst Thing the Russians Ever Did To America: Perhaps Russian political scientist Georgi Arbatov divined their wicked intentions at the end of Soviet rule… As he sneered - with a sort of purring relish - “We are going to do the worst thing we can do to you.” Which was what precisely? “We are going to take your enemy away from you.”
We fear he was correct. A superpower needs an enemy as the policeman needs criminals… as the psychiatrist needs madmen… as the Church needs the devil. Absent an enemy it loses its direction. Its vigor. Its éllan vital. It flounders, adrift, aimless and rudderless. Between world wars, berserker Winston Churchill lamented "the bland skies of peace" that stretched above Earth. Those same bland skies of peace overhung Earth at the Cold War’s conclusion.
Now jump ahead 31 years… after heavy weather has rolled on through… after the gods have worked their mischievous will…
A Changed World: America has had another go at Iraq - to liberate it from its own ruler and introduce it to Thomas Jefferson. The result may represent its greatest foreign policy blunder yet - greater even than Vietnam.
And if Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires… the flags had come down to half-mast… and the pallbearers loaded America’s empire into the hearse. “You Americans have the watches,” said the Taliban. “But we have the time.” And they did - have the time.
Americans are a restless, fitful people. We are eternally on the jump, forever hunting the next opportunity, perpetually peeking over the next hill. That is, Americans are poor imperialists. We simply lack the requisite patience. We have the watches, yes. But not the time. The American founders studied their history… and knew the pitfalls of empire…
Destroying Monsters Abroad: America “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy,” said Adams (John Quincy). But the once modest American Republic took up the hunt at the end of the 20th century. It found its first monster in fiendish Spain… Americans remembered the Maine. And forgot their Adams. They have been forgetting their Adams ever since...
America has gone buccaneering around the globe, chasing down monsters during WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq (twice) and Afghanistan. For every one it scotched, another rose in its place. Hitler took over from the Kaiser. Stalin from Hitler. Osama bin Laden from Stalin. Perhaps Chairman Xi will take over from Osama bin Laden?
We do not know. But if not him, we hazard another monster will. There is always another. And another. What of American democracy and capitalism - the world’s envy three decades prior?
The Glory of American Democracy: The high glories of American democracy are presently displayed before a watching world… Americans are at each other’s throats, red-state America and blue-state America. American cities have been scenes of riot, of mayhem, of chaos. Statues of old heroes are down. The nation’s founding myths are called into contempt and ridicule. Millions and millions believe the elections was rigged and thieved, fraudulent and illegitimate.
Are they right? Are they wrong? We refuse to wade into the bog. We take no official stance. Yet if masses of American voters no longer trust the electoral process… what does it speak for American democracy?
Is this the alabaster city shining on the hill, glistening in the mists? Is this the model the world would mimic? Is this the cause American soldiers have killed and died for? As an American patriot in whose veins course the reddest blood, we hope it is not. Yet we begin to harbor grave doubts. China has ventured so far as to label American democracy a “joke.” But few appreciate the jest.
The Long, Withdrawing Roar of American Capitalism: Covid reduced American capitalism to a sad, sad caricature. But scroll the calendar backward, before the pandemic. The economy appeared healthy enough on the surface. But if you scratched the paint… and looked deeper… you would find: Gutted industries, stagnating growth, flat wages and a stock market that is captive of the central bank.
The entire system, meantime, is rotten through with unpayable debt — some $163.2 trillion and running. It is not sustainable.
When did the American economy go wrong? And why? Our own Charles Hugh Smith gives his answer: "In broad-brush, the post-World War II era ended around 1970. The legitimate prosperity of 1946-1970 was based on cheap oil controlled by the U.S. and the hegemony of the U.S. dollar. Everything else was merely decoration.
The Original Sin to hard-money advocates was America's abandonment of the gold standard in 1971, but this was the only way to maintain hegemony. Maintaining the reserve currency is tricky, as the nation issuing the reserve currency has to supply the global economy with enough of the currency to grease commerce and stock central bank reserves around the world.
As the global economy expanded, the only way the U.S. could send enough dollars overseas was to run trade deficits, which in a gold standard meant the gold reserves would go to zero as trading partners holding dollars would exchange the currency for gold.
So the choice was: give up the reserve currency and the hegemony of the U.S. dollar by jacking up the dollar's value so high that imports would collapse, or accept that hegemony was no longer compatible with the gold standard. It wasn't a difficult decision: who would give up global hegemony, and for what?
The elites have cannibalized the system so thoroughly that there's nothing left to steal, exploit or cannibalize. The hyper-centralized global money control has run out of rope as the cheap oil is gone, debts have ballooned to the point there is no way they'll ever be paid down, and the only thing staving off collapse is money-printing, which holds the seeds of its own demise."
Charles tells a woeful tale. Yet we believe there is good, hard sense in it. It is a competent autopsy.
“Empires have a logic of their own,” Bill Bonner and our intrepid leader Addison Wiggin wrote in "Empire of Debt", concluding: “That they will end in grief is a foregone conclusion.” It seems so. But if the American empire is ending in grief, we hope for a quiet grief, a whimpering grief - not a banging grief. Meantime, the gods watch the unfolding spectacle... munching popcorn… as the will of Zeus moves toward its ultimate end."
"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "Lord of the Rings"
Full screen recommended.
Travelling with Russell, 11/12/22:
"Russian Typical Supermarket 9 Months After Sanctions"
"Let's walk in a Russian TYPICAL Supermarket in Moscow, Russia to find out how 9 months of sanctions have affected this Russian Supermarket. How does it look, how have Sanctions affected the Food industry in Russia in 2022?" (A ruble is 0.016 United States Dollars.)
Full screen recommended.
Travelling with Russell, 11/12/22:
"Russian's Largest Perfume Supermarket
After 9 Months of Sanctions"
"Take a walk in Russia's Best Perfume shop, "Gold Apple" How does the store look, which brands do they sell? Let's take a look at a Russia's largest perfume supermarket in Moscow City, Russia." (A ruble is 0.016 United States Dollars.)
For comparison, sadly:
Full screen recommended.
Adventures with Danno, 11/12/22:
"Strange Prices At Kroger! This Is Ridiculous!"
"In today's vlog we are at Kroger, and are noticing very strange prices! We are here to check out skyrocketing prices, and the empty shelves situation! It's getting rough out here as stores seem to be struggling with getting products!"
Look at the buildings; look at the people, how they're dressed, how they seem emotionally, do they seem content compared to the people around you? Do they seem so very different from you? Look at the stores... and all this is typically normal. What are your thoughts? And how are things where you are, Good Citizen? Truth is truth whether you like it or not...
Canadian Prepper, 11/12/22:
"Something Isn't Right Here..."
"Russia Is Fighting A Land War In Asia"
by Raúl Ilargi Meijer
"I was thinking all day about Kherson, and how the re-capture of the city is presented in our media. Thinking, also, about the 2,500 kilometer (1,500 miles, give or take) frontline. And of course if you focus troops and material at any single given point along a line of that size, you can make some advances. But does that mean anything, really? Other than PR? Dr. D. today adds the historic etc. perspective to this.
The adagium is: never fight a land war in Asia. Napoleon and Hitler found this out, along with many millions of their young men. But Russia IS Asia. Which means they have no choice but to fight there, and also that they have – deep-rooted – experience. Those 1,500 miles, meanwhile, are an indication of why Russia called up 300,000 reservists.
At the heart of it: you can take some land, but you can’t take our men, they have much more value: “Land is utterly worthless without the men, and Slavic men are precious and few.” Something Russia and Ukraine appear to view differently.
Dr. D.: "Out on a limb for Kherson. Anyone want to take up the issue that Ukraine will blow the dam if anyone gets in there? A human rights crime? They’ve been shelling it for weeks?
Okay, Russia moves across, with a huge plain in front and a river crossing in the back. They should just lazily do this? What’s the solution? General Armageddon said “he would make uncomfortable choices”. Withdrawing would seem to fit that bill. We’ve seen him non-stop, and perhaps even ham-fistedly attempt to feint the Ukrainians – actually, why bother? – Feint the Brits and Americans into attacking at points of his choosing, aka “A Trap”.
They have not jumped at them, but Kherson is the biggest wounded bird they’ve ever flapped. How can London ignore it? They MUST have it to make a mess of Crimea, but as it’s a Steppe on a river bridge, instead or Russia, London and the Poles would be in the artillery fire and dam floodplain. And this is a Russian defeat? At the same time, Putin isn’t taking a political hit for it, despite the wounded bird routine.
Wait: unless you BELIEVED what reporters, the news media said. They said it? Russian news, which is known to be the most Western infiltrated or influenced of any body in Russia? And you took what they said seriously? How’s this: “They said it, therefore it is a lie.” That better?
Russia is fighting A Land War in Asia. I don’t know how many times I have to say this. You do not use Kentucky rules, or Melbourne rules, who basically never fought a war. Russia has a tactic, had it for 1,000 years, and it always works so why change it? You trade men for territory. Because there is so much territory, the land is worthless. However, Slavs are few, and the front line is huge.
Over time, almost a year now, Russia instantly, constantly withdraws to cede territory in exchange for men. They lost so much doing this, they now own 1/4 of the country! Oh noes! Because with “A Land War in Asia”, there’s nothing out there. Just open plains. They only thing stopping any movement is 1) the other army 2) rivers. Once the army has no men, Russia can go wherever they like.
If Russia loses no men, because they trade land to save men, they can fight this for 500 years. Ukraine is doing the opposite: trading battalions to gain cow pasture. #Winning! Am I crazy here? What is the single Russian defense measure? That they have enormous territory between them and the idiots in the West who like attacking Russia and losing. That’s why they keep Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine in front of them, and exactly why NATO wanted to encroach all these countries and remove this safety. …While, as we just admitted, change to first-strike nuclear protocol.
Surely Russia would NEVER trade territory for men, always R E T R E A T before an advancing army? That would be LOSING, wouldn’t it?
History Lesson: Russia RETREATED East of MOSCOW for Napoleon. Napoleon had the entire empty city of Moscow for his leisure. It was sacked freely, Russia gave no defense. Yay Leon! Did they lose then? How was Napoleon doing? Do they speak French in St. Petersburg now? No. The combined Western army of Napoleon, the entire combined forces of Europe minus Britain CEASED TO EXIST. That settled anyone going to war for a while and they didn’t try anything so stupid with Moscow for 100 years after.
If you have a Land War in Asia, trade Men for Land. Land is utterly worthless without the men, and Slavic men are precious and few. Russia agrees and is behind Putin on this move. They can only DREAM that London will be so idiotic and suicidal as to move their army into Kherson, where Russia can shell them at will from far across the river. If I can shell them, but they can’t advance and stop me, is that losing? How, exactly?
What would I do, retreating, getting my hyperventilating 5th column Russian Press to lose their minds at home? Like this: Ukraine moves forward. They have success, the shelling is not so bad! Surovikin amasses forces out of range but can’t cross the river. Russia is losing! All expected. Then because of the maneuvers and feints of two big armies, Surovikin is able to ACTUALLY amass an army without Ukraine “noticing” – a thing he could not do right now. This army is amassed to the north, above the dams, perhaps by Zap, floods through, and not only can’t be stopped, it therefore cuts off the now-amassed London army from Kiev and their supplies out of Poland. Depending on the men tied up, they reach Odessa from the center of the country, not the south. Either quickly — or more likely, eventually.
For just one scenario. But you understand they can’t amass 300,000 Russians at Kherson without 1) Proving exactly what their plan is and 2) having the army be shot up more or less constantly as they attempt to trickle across the river…WHILE Ukraine definitely drops a dam on them. Was that your war plan and idea? Of what they should do, are required to do according to Anglos sitting safely 10,000 miles away? ‘Cause it sure ain’t mine. And apparently not General Surovikin’s either.
It’s just plain stupid. Russia is 10x Ukraine’s size. Spoiler alert: Russia wins. So should they be reckless, put half an army in harm’s way just because they’re annoyed, impatient and English bloggers tell them to? No. Get them the h– out of harm’s way, and keep on reducing home casualties, every day. If only our Anglo armies would do the same. But this is Biden’s Slavic genocide, after all. Why help London by killing your own Slavs?"
Friday, November 11, 2022
Jeremiah Babe, 11/11/22:
"Day Of Reckoning Is Knocking At Your Door;
Getting Fired Tomorrow With No Plan; Shipping Crash"
"The landing of Roger Williams in 1636" by Alonzo Chappel
"The Soul of Liberty"
by Addison Wiggin
“Human nature being what it is in the world is always going
to face challenges, especially in preserving freedom.”
- Steve Forbes
"A short history lesson for a kindly Friday. In 1636 the English-born American theologian Roger Williams landed in what is now the state of Rhode Island. Having fled the Puritan-led Massachusetts colony, Roger Williams founded a city upon a hill and called it Providence. The new town’s mantra: Hope.
Simple, resounding, and looking to the future. Full of hope, Roger Williams created Providence on the grounds that: "No person within the said colony, at any time hereafter, shall be in any wise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any differences in opinion, in matter of religion, who do not actually disturb the civil peace of our said colony; but that all and every person and persons may, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, freely and fully have and enjoy his own and their own judgments and consciences, in matters of religious concernments, throughout the tract of land hereafter mentioned, they behaving themselves peaceably and quietly and not using this liberty to licentiousness and profaneness, nor to the civil injury or outward disturbance of others."
He called it “soul freedom.” At the time it was the largest liberty event in the New World, setting the standard in our blessed Thirteen Colonies for what civil liberties in America should look like – not to mention his fair treatment of the native peoples.
Almost a century later the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America echoed Williams’ declarations, reading: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
By now we have the First memorized… If you don’t, you ought to, for it is our God-given, Madison-written, Franklin-scrawled right!"
Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper, 11/11/22:
"Nuclear Weapons Expert: Prepare Your Family Now!"
"I interview a nuclear weapons expert about the current
state of things, they offer a sobering analysis of the situation."
Full screen recommended.
"20 Items That Are Impossible
To Find At Grocery Stores Right Now"
by Epic Economist
"Grocery shortages are becoming one of the most immediate concerns for consumers all across the nation. The rate of product stock-outs has continued to grow throughout the entire year, but a confluence of factors is making supplies even tighter during this final stretch of 2022 and into the winter. Food manufacturers are dealing with a lot of pressure to ramp up production to meet the growing demand, but many of these producers are facing challenges that do not allow them to do so at such short notice.
“Aluminum availability is still a concern. It may be more difficult to find those canned, ready-to-eat items on store shelves," said Oklahoma State University food economist Rodney Holcomb. Since the final quarter of 2021, a global shortage of aluminum has been impacting the U.S. manufacturing sector and resulting in a reduced supply of products like tomato paste, canned vegetables, beverages, teas, and soda. The canned goods you may still find are also likely to be far more expensive. "Aluminum prices have increased considerably over the course of this year, increasing over 40% since January and almost 9% in the past month," explained Jayson L. Lusk, a distinguished professor and head of the department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. That's why the best and cheapest option is always to buy glass jars and sturdy lids to do the canning yourself at home.
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Dr. Pepper, and Charmin are just a few of the brands reporting shortages and cutbacks on the production of some flavors to maintain supplies of their best-selling items. The carbon dioxide shortage and the squeezed supply of aluminum cans hit the supply of carbonated drinks particularly hard. Now we have fewer options available at the stores and we're seeing prices go through the roof. According to IRI, store stocks of carbonated drinks dropped by 15% in the third quarter, which represents a shortfall of 12 million cans and bottles of soft drinks.
On top of that, crop failures have been widespread this year, affecting a whole host of product categories at the stores. A lack of labor is also one of the reasons why we're still seeing so many empty shelves. According to Jim Dudlicek, a representative for the National Grocers Association, "there simply aren’t enough people to make the goods, move the goods and sell the goods." He also noted that supply is being affected by more people cooking and eating at home, especially now that the rising prices of restaurant menus are out of the reach of many financially-strained Americans. Demand remains very high, that's why we're having trouble finding grocery staples and some of our favorite products at our local supermarkets.
If there is something that you want to get your hands on, go out there and buy it while you still can because, given the pace at which things are disappearing from our stores, tomorrow it might be too late. Stockpile with conscience and kindness because your neighbor needs supplies to feed their family, too. This crisis is much more complex than it looks, and stocks will remain dramatically lower at the stores for quite some time. In 2023, a perfect storm of events may lead us to a far more nightmarish supply chain crisis than the one we saw in 2020, so we must be prepared for the worst."
"A Tribute to Sgt. Henry Gunther"
by Brian Maher
"104 years ago today - at the 11th month, 11th day and 11th hour - the guns went quiet on the Western Front…And the white doves of peace took wing. Today we turn from the hurly-burly of the present. We turn from the world of manna, from the election, from the Bitcoin exchanges and the rest. Instead we reflect upon that morning of Nov. 11, 1918, so many years distant - a neglected chapter of history.
It is a tale of waste. It is a tale of tragedy. It is a tale of ambition. That is, it is a tale all too human...By 5 a.m. on Nov. 11, official word came down. Hostilities would cease at 11 a.m. The news went immediately fanning out across the Western Front. It would ultimately reach the remotest switch trench. The long, homicidal nightmare, beginning in August 1914, was ending - to the relief of all. More accurately, to the relief of most…
Not all were so eager to spike the guns and lay down the rifles that morning. Who were these recalcitrants? And why their reluctance? Historian Joseph Persico: "Allied commanders wanted to punish the enemy to the very last moment, and career officers saw a fast-fading chance for glory and promotion. Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing, boss of American forces— for example - considered the armistice terms far too lenient. He was hot to teach the hell-sent Hun “a lesson.”
Thus Black Jack and his glory dogs reached for their lesson planners, grabbed the chalk and took to the blackboard…They chose to invade German positions that morning — clear through to 11. Not until the referee blew the whistle would they call a halt. One divisional commander promised court-martial for any artillery chief who hadn’t emptied out his entire magazine by 11.
They were claw-mad for battle. Near 8 a.m. the furious assaults commenced…American forces took a severe trouncing crossing the River Meuse that morning - a river they could have conquered unmolested had they only waited until 11.
Meantime, men of the 89th Division were ordered to seize the pinprick village of Stenay. Why? So the men could bathe. That is correct - so the men could bathe. The village housed public bathing facilities. And the 89th’s senior officer decided his grimy men should take the waters of the charming French village. You may not believe it. Yet that was the explanation on offer.
The attack commenced. Perplexed and disbelieving German gunners attempted to wave off the marauding Americans: “Der Krieg ist vorbei!”
But the men of the 89th steeled their nerves, lowered their chins and advanced, as if proceeding into sheets of hail…The reluctant Germans responded as they must. The war ended three hours later. Yet 61 men of the 89th would not see it. Another 304 would take their baths in a hospital… where they licked their needless wounds.
We hazard all 365 would have happily waited until 11:01 that morning — when the baths would have been theirs for the asking. In all: At least 320 Americans fell dead that needless and crimson morning of Nov. 11, 1918. More than 3,240 suffered grievous wounds.
Why the needless bloodspilling… when peace was but hours away? Careers hung in balance. As did ambition…Recall the divisional chieftain who condemned 61 of his men to the grave that morning so that others might bathe - a certain William Mason Wright. This human gem received promotion to Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Army after war’s end. He could claim the distinction, after all, of capturing the final American objective of the war.
A less gaudy distinction fell to a young man under this man’s command that morning of Nov. 11, 1918. We refer here to Sgt. Henry Gunther, aged 23 years, of our former city of Baltimore. This poor fellow was the last allied fatality of that fateful morning - and of the Great War itself. His time of death: 10:59 a.m.
The United States Army was so decent as to decorate Sgt. Gunther for “exceptional bravery and heroic action that resulted in his death one minute before the Armistice.” Yet true decency would demand a formal apology from the same United States Army. True decency would demand a formal apology, that is, for ordering Baltimore’s Sgt. Henry N. Gunther, aged 23 years, needlessly into battle that morning… True decency would demand a formal apology, that is, for placing this man’s life beneath the career ambitions of a Gen. Wright - the subsequent Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Army.
You deserved far better, Sgt.Gunther. You deserved a chance in life… the chance denied you that morning of Nov. 11, 1918…One minute before the doves flew."
Full screen recommended.
"It's Over! Rent Prices Just
Started Dropping, Investors Panic"
by Epic Economist
"For the first time in what feels like forever, rent prices are actually going down! While housing costs are still far greater than what they were pre-pandemic, this might be the first time in a long while that the landlord market has shifted to being a renter’s market. Meaning that landlords are actively seeking out renters through sales, schemes, and such.
It feels a little too good to be true, right? Well, you might be right to be skeptical, because some analysts believe it won’t last for too long. Has the housing market crashed? What’s the cost of renting an apartment in metropolitans? And why aren’t analysts more enthusiastic? Let’s find out!"
“What's happening behind those houses? Pictured here are not auroras but nearby light pillars, a nearby phenomenon that can appear as a distant one.
In most places on Earth, a lucky viewer can see a Sun-pillar, a column of light appearing to extend up from the Sun caused by flat fluttering ice-crystals reflecting sunlight from the upper atmosphere. Usually these ice crystals evaporate before reaching the ground. During freezing temperatures, however, flat fluttering ice crystals may form near the ground in a form of light snow, sometimes known as a crystal fog. These ice crystals may then reflect ground lights in columns not unlike a Sun-pillar. The featured image was taken in Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks in central Alaska.”
"That life. This life. It looks as if you can have both. I mean, they're both right there, one on top of the other, and it looks as if they'll blend. But they never will. So, you take this thing. You take this thing you want, and you put it in a box and you close the lid. You can let your fingers trace the cracks, the places where the light gets in, the dark gets out, but the lid stays on. You don't look inside. You don't look at this thing you want so much, because you Can. Not. Have. It. So there's this box, you know, with the thing inside, and you could throw it away or shoot it into space; you could set it on fire and watch it burn to ashes, but really, none of that would make a difference, because you cannot destroy what you want. It only makes you want it more. So. You take this thing you want and you put it in a box and you close the lid. And you hold the box close to your heart, which is where it wants to go, and you pretend it doesn't kill you every time you feel yourself breathe."
- Megan Hart
"Quit Your Addiction"
"Quit your addiction
to sneer and complaint.
Try a little flaunt,
Call for comrades
who bolster your vim
and offer you risk.
Corral the crones,
Goose the nice nellies,
Hunt the bear that hugs
and the raven that quoths.
Stay up all night
to devise a new dawn..."
- James Broughton,
"Little Sermons of the Big Joy"
"Life Comes At You Fast, So You Better Be Ready"
by Ryan Holiday
"In 1880, Theodore Roosevelt wrote to his brother, “My happiness is so great that it makes me almost afraid.” In October of that year, life got even better. As he wrote in his diary the night of his wedding to Alice Hathaway Lee, “Our intense happiness is too sacred to be written about.” He would consider it to be one of the best years of his life: he got married, wrote a book, attended law school, and won his first election for public office.The streak continued. In 1883, he wrote “I can imagine nothing more happy in life than an evening spent in the cozy little sitting room, before a bright fire of soft coal, my books all around me, and playing backgammon with my own dainty mistress.” And that’s how he and Alice spent that cold winter as it crawled into the new year. He wrote in late January that he felt he was fully coming into his own. “I feel now as though I have the reins in my hand.” On February 12th, 1884 his first daughter was born.Two days later, his wife would be dead of Bright’s disease (now known as kidney failure). His mother had died only hours earlier in the same house, of typhoid fever. Roosevelt marked the day in his diary with a large “X.” Next to it, he wrote, “The light has gone out of my life.”As they say, life comes at you fast. Have the last 12 months not been an example of that? In December of 2019, the Dow was at 28,701.66. Things were good enough that people were complaining about the “war on Christmas” and debating the skin color of Santa Claus. In January, the Dow was at 29,348.10 and people were outraged about the recent Oscar nominations. In February 2020, when the Dow reached a staggering 29,568.57, Delta Airlines stock fell nearly 25% in less than a week, as people argued intensely over a message from Delta’s CEO about passengers reclining their seats. Even in early March, there were news stories about Wendy’s entering the “breakfast wars” and a free stock-trading app outage that caused people to miss a big market rally.And that was just in the news. Think about what you busied yourself with at home during that same period. Maybe you and your wife were looking at plans to remodel your kitchen. Maybe you were finally going to pull the trigger on that Tesla Model S for yourself - the $150,000 one, with the ludicrous speed package. Maybe you were fuming that Amazon took an extra day to deliver a package. Maybe you were frustrated that your kid’s room was a mess. And now? How quaint and stupid does that all seem? The global economy has essentially ground to a halt.Life comes at us fast, don’t it? It can change in an instant. Everything you built, everyone you hold dear, can be taken from you. For absolutely no reason. Just as easily, you can be taken from them. This is why the Stoics say we need to be prepared, constantly, for the twists and turns of Fortune. It’s why Seneca said that nothing happens to the wise man contrary to his expectation, because the wise man has considered every possibility-even the cruel and heartbreaking ones.And yet even Seneca was blindsided by a health scare in his early twenties that forced him to spend nearly a decade in Egypt to recover. He lost his father less than a year before he lost his first-born son, and twenty days after burying his son he was exiled by the emperor Caligula. He lived through the destruction of one city by a fire and another by an earthquake, before being exiled two more times.One needs only to read his letters and essays, written on a rock off the coast of Italy, to get a sense that even a philosopher can get knocked on their ass and feel sorry for themselves from time to time.What do we do? Well, first, knowing that life comes at us fast, we should be always prepared. Seneca wrote that the fighter who has “seen his own blood, who has felt his teeth rattle beneath his opponent’s fist… who has been downed in body but not in spirit…” - only they can go into the ring confident of their chances of winning. They know they can take getting bloodied and bruised. They know what the darkness before the proverbial dawn feels like. They have a true and accurate sense for the rhythms of a fight and what winning requires. That sense only comes from getting knocked around. That sense is only possible because of their training.In his own life, Seneca bloodied and bruised himself through a practice called premeditatio malorum (“the premeditation of evils”). Rehearsing his plans, say to take a trip, he would go over the things that could go wrong or prevent the trip from happening - a storm could spring up, the captain could fall ill, the ship could be attacked by pirates, he could be banished to the island of Corsica the morning of the trip. By doing what he called a premeditatio malorum, Seneca was always prepared for disruption and always working that disruption into his plans. He was fitted for defeat or victory. He stepped into the ring confident he could take any blow. Nothing happened contrary to his expectations.Second, we should always be careful not to tempt fate. In 2016 General Michael Flynn stood on the stage at the Republican National Convention and led some 20,000 people (and a good many more at home) in an impromptu chant of “Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up!” about his enemy Hillary Clinton. When Trump won, he was swept into office in a whirlwind of success and power. Then, just 24 days into his new job, Flynn was fired for lying to the Vice President about conversations he’d had with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. He would be brought up on charges and convicted of lying to the FBI, and eventually pardoned by President Trump.Life comes at us fast… but that doesn’t mean we should be stupid. We also shouldn’t be arrogant.Third, we have to hang on. Remember, that in the depths of both of Seneca’s darkest moments, he was unexpectedly saved. From exile, he was suddenly recalled to be the emperor’s tutor. In the words of the historian Richard M. Gummere, “Fortune, whom Seneca as a Stoic often ridicules, came to his rescue.” But Churchill, as always, put it better: “Sometimes when Fortune scowls most spitefully, she is preparing her most dazzling gifts.”Life is like this. It gives us bad breaks - heartbreakingly bad breaks - and it also gives us incredible lucky breaks. Sometimes the ball that should have gone in, bounces out. Sometimes the ball that had no business going in surprises both the athlete and the crowd when it eventually, after several bounces, somehow manages to pass through the net.When we’re going through a bad break, we should never forget Fortune’s power to redeem us. When we’re walking through the roses, we should never forget how easily the thorns can tear us upon, how quickly we can be humbled. Sometimes life goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t.This is what Theodore Roosevelt learned, too. Despite what he wrote in his diary that day in 1884, the light did not completely go out of Roosevelt’s life. Sure, it flickered. It looked like the flame might have been cruelly extinguished. But with time and incredible energy and force of will, he came back from those tragedies. He became a great father, a great husband, and a great leader. He came back and the world was better for it. He was better for it.Life comes at us fast. Today. Tomorrow. When we least expect it. Be ready. Be strong. Don’t let your light be snuffed out."
"Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love. "
- Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Brothers Karamazov"
Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly 11/11/22:
"People Are Tapped Out Of Money"
"The stock market can do anything at once because it doesn’t reflect reality. People are going through a very difficult time right now. Companies are laying people off and people are not buying anything. People are tapped out."
Full screen recommended.
Adventures with Danno, 11/11/22:
"What To Stock Up On At Sam's Club!"
"In today's vlog we are at Sam's Club, and are stocking up. We take you shopping with us so we can show you what products are coming in, and what's not. With food prices on the rise again we have to save money any way we can!"
"A Middle Class Massacre"
One by one, the pillars of American wealth begin to wobble and give way...
by Bill Bonner
Baltimore, Maryland - "Wow…Wall Street popped up yesterday after the latest inflation number came in at 7.7%...only 50 little basis points below the last inflation reading. But watch out. Mr. Market is a trickster. During a long bull market – say, from 1982 to 2021 – his occasional sell-offs shook out investors. Later, they had to buy back in at higher prices. Those that did best were those that just stuck with the program, ignoring the sell-offs.
And now that the buy-and-hold lesson has been learned, the primary trend seems to be going in the other direction. Mr. Market lures investors into the falling market with occasional rallies. They ‘buy the f*ing dip’ and then Mr. Market takes prices down again. Then, they lose even more money.
But our focus today is not on the ups and downs of the stock market. Yes, the current downturn hits 401ks, pension funds, and family portfolios. But it is just a part of something bigger – a Middle Class Massacre.
CNBC: "Dow pops 1,200 points, S&P 500 jumps 5% in biggest rally in two years after light inflation report. Stocks mounted their biggest rally since 2020 after October’s reading of consumer prices raised investor hopes that inflation has peaked."
Falling inflation readings will give the Fed reason to ‘pause’ on its drive to normalcy – or, so investors believe. Perhaps they’re right; if inflation keeps falling, as it might, the Fed will let down its guard…and ease off. Then again, it may not. But investors are a pollyannish lot, at least for now. And with no recent memory of a prolonged bear market, it will take a number of disappointments to squeeze the ‘buy-the-f*ing-dip’ reflex out of them. In the meantime…
Doomed Dow: Stocks and bonds still aren’t cheap. Nor are the Chinese still turning millions of peasants into cheap factory labor. Nor is the oil and gas industry adding new, cheap sources of energy. And by the way, real interest rates are still at record lows, with a long way to go before they come close to ‘normal.’
We elaborate: With a Fed Funds rate of 4% and a CPI of 7.7%, the Fed is still lending money at more than 3 percentage points BELOW inflation. As far as we know, consumer price hikes have never been brought under control by lending out money at negative real rates. So, we have to believe that either inflation will persist…or the Fed will have to continue to raise rates, “until something breaks.”
Either way, the rally in the stock market is doomed. At best it will be scrawny and short-lived…like the runt of a litter. But something else also dooms Dow earnings…the Dow itself…and America’s middle class. Three things determine the financial health for middle class families – their houses, their jobs, and the value of their money. On all three scores, they are getting killed.
After-inflation wages began going down in April of last year. They’ve been negative ever since. That’s why savings are down too – with a household savings rate of 3.1%, less than half what it was a year ago. So far, the official statistics show jobs still available. But Elon Musk just fired half of the Twitter staff. Many other companies are following his lead. Fortune Magazine: "The jobs that built America’s middle class are disappearing, intensifying its downfall." "A lurking recession is now threatening the livelihoods of white-collar workers: Those higher-salaried management roles - the jobs once heralded in American society as the key to obtaining the middle class American Dream - may be axed in waves.
As these jobs vanish in favor of blue-collar workers at more manageable costs, that pipeline to the middle class could be chopped at the knees, reports The Financial Times: "But at least middle class households still have a roof over their heads, right? And at least they have accumulated wealth as house prices rose, right? And at least they can take out some of that ‘equity,’ if they need to, right?"
Oh dear reader – thanks for the softball pitch. The answer is no! BusinessInsider: "US home sales will keep falling…Redfin said it expects home sales to keep falling through 2023, as it laid off 13% of its workforce. Rising mortgage rates and high inflation are key pressures pulling down the number of home sales.
Many families took advantage of the lower interest rates to refinance their houses, often ‘taking out equity’ for new kitchens or baths. But now they have to refinance once more – at much higher rates, while house prices are falling. Mortgage payments have more than doubled since July 2020."
Submerging Markets: Let’s see – incomes going down…jobs disappearing…house prices falling… Fortune Magazine draws a conclusion: "The middle class is in a tight spot, squeezed between the disappearing wealth Americans squirreled away during the pandemic and projected layoffs at the hands of a looming recession."
But wait. It’s just ‘transitory,’ right? Not exactly; Bloomberg: "Once-in-a-Generation Wealth Boom Ends for America’s Middle Class." "In March of this year, the average real wealth of the American middle class - including home equity and other physical assets as well as retirement and other savings - peaked at $393,300, the highest it’s ever been, according to data assembled by economists at the University of California, Berkeley.The March pinnacle for middle-class wealth capped a five-year period of accumulation - spanning two presidencies and made possible by historically low interest rates - that has been the most remarkable in the past half-century."
But that era is fading, if not over. The average wealth of adults in what the Berkeley economists call the “middle 40%” - the population whose wealth falls in the 50th to 90th percentile - had by the close of business Oct. 25 fallen about 7%, or by more than $27,000 to $366,100, since that March peak, they estimate. That’s already the biggest hit seen since the 2007-09 global financial crisis.
Transitory? If this is a serious bear market, stocks may not recover for 15 to 20 years. If Powell pivots (as we think he will) the economy will go into a period of inflation, recession and chaos that could last for 20-50 years. And house prices? Who knows? It took generations of hard work to build America’s middle class wealth. It will only take a few years of delusion and incompetence to tear it down."