Saturday, December 10, 2022

"People Will Come Knocking On Your Door For Help; Grid Down, No Power"

Jeremiah Babe, 12/10/22:
"People Will Come Knocking On Your Door For Help; 
Grid Down, No Power"
Comments here:

"Trader Joe's Stores Are Out Of Thousands Of Grocery Items As Shortages Intensify"

Full screen recommended.
"Trader Joe's Stores Are Out Of Thousands 
Of Grocery Items As Shortages Intensify"
by Epic Economist

"At this point, we have all gotten used to seeing empty shelves when grocery shopping. But when you’re talking about a store that is about one-fourth of the size of the typical Walmart, and whose product line is nearly 20 times smaller than big-box retailers’, when an item we love is out of stock, we notice it immediately. And that’s the case with Trader Joe’s. The company is very secretive about its suppliers and often discontinues products without any notice, something that Trader Joe's loyalists have been noticing that’s happening far more frequently in recent months. Every day, there’s a flood of social media posts published by disappointed customers complaining about stockouts and inventory holes at their local Trader Joe’s. And even though the grocery retailer has previously said that it keeps its product catalog lean to always ensure lower prices, it turns out that the truth behind the bare shelves we’re now seeing at this beloved chain is far more complex than that.

As opposed to other big retailers, Trader Joe’s doesn’t overorder items in anticipation of higher consumer demand or potential stockouts, and that sometimes leaves its stores with too few products available for shoppers. Even though its store layout makes us feel like we’re buying at a local market, and its brand-name items seem to be more sustainable compared to those of other grocery chains, Trader Joe’s is actually a multi-billion-dollar privately-held corporation and leaked documents show that the chain gets its products from the same food makers as other big-box retailers do. Actually, some consumer favorites including its Dry and Roasted Salted Pistachios and its Smooth and Creamy Classic Hummus are produced by no one less than Pepsico and Frito-Lay.

This small grocery chain is silently suffering from the same issues as bigger players, and customers are now seeing with their own eyes that the impact can be harder. The rate of out-of-stocks at Trader Joe’s is actually almost 40% higher than the rate of bigger competitors like Whole Foods, according to estimates released by Investopedia. Although the company says it’s all about offering the best quality product at the lowest price when the whole industry is facing supply and demand issues, that’s a promise they may not be able to keep.

Many of the store’s superfans lament the growing habit of panic buying that helps to keep shelves bare and worsen shortages in the long-run. Others say that if you’re not hoarding at Trader Joe’s, you’re not doing it right. With online shoppers documenting everything they see, a new rush of grocery hoarding at the retailer’s locations isn’t improbable. In fact, when people start realizing that inventory holes are only growing larger, they’re likely to take the chance to stock up on food staples before prices jump even higher and products become impossible to find.

In an environment where food manufacturers are dealing with higher costs of energy, raw materials, and commodities and a sizable reduction in the global food supply, it’s getting virtually impossible for them not to pass along those costs for retailers to offset their own losses. And that’s a hazard for Trader Joe’s business model.. On top of all that, Trader Joe’s might also be left at the end of the list of big food suppliers when shortages really start to sting in the coming months, and other retail titans, which are better positioned financially, are likely to snatch the available supply and raise prices accordingly. All the evidence we have found points to even more product stockouts, discontinuances, and persistent shortages for this adored retailer. Its supply chain may be leaner and more practical than other major grocers, but the problems it faces are just as big."

Musical Interlude: 2002, "Land of Forever"

Full screen recommended.
2002, "Land of Forever"

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 1055 is a dominant member of a small galaxy group a mere 60 million light-years away toward the aquatically intimidating constellation Cetus. Seen edge-on, the island universe spans over 100,000 light-years, a little larger than our own Milky Way galaxy. The colorful, spiky stars decorating this cosmic portrait of NGC 1055 are in the foreground, well within the Milky Way. But the telltale pinkish star forming regions are scattered through winding dust lanes along the distant galaxy's thin disk.
With a smattering of even more distant background galaxies, the deep image also reveals a boxy halo that extends far above and below the central bulge and disk of NGC 1055. The halo itself is laced with faint, narrow structures, and could represent the mixed and spread out debris from a satellite galaxy disrupted by the larger spiral some 10 billion years ago."

"I Wish You Enough"

"I Wish You Enough"
by Bob Perks
"At an airport I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her plane’s departure and standing near the door, he said to his daughter, “I love you, I wish you enough.” She said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.” They kissed good-bye and she left.

He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes, I have,” I replied.

Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man was experiencing.

“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?” I asked. “I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, her next trip back will be for my funeral, ” he said.

“When you were saying good-bye I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?” He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.

“When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with enough good things to sustain them,” he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final 'Good-bye.'” He then began to sob and walked away."

The Poet: William Stafford, “Starting With Little Things”

“Starting With Little Things”

“Love the earth like a mole,
fur-near. Nearsighted,
hold close the clods,
their fine-print headlines.
Pat them with soft hands -
Like spades, but pink and loving; they
break rock, nudge giants aside,
affable plow.
Fields are to touch;
each day nuzzle your way.
Tomorrow the world.”

- William Stafford

“In The Long Run… We Are All Alive”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. politicians have attempted to borrow and spend the nation to prosperity for the last 80 years. Over the past decade, the Federal Reserve has aggressively printed money to fund Washington’s epic borrowing binge. Fed Chair Jay Powell confirmed that the Fed will pursue policies of dollar destruction to, somehow, print new jobs.

The world as it was once known – where a dollar was as good as gold – has come and gone. Today, in life after the end of that world, we are witnessing the illusion of wealth, erected by four generations of borrowing and spending, crumble before our eyes. Moreover, contrary to Keynes, in the long run we are not all dead. In fact, in the long run we are all very much alive. And we are all living with the compounding consequences of shortsighted economic policies.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Ellensburg, Washington, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"This Is The Best Economy Ever!"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly 12/10/22:
"This Is The Best Economy Ever!"
"Things are not good right now. We are continually being told that everything is looking up. We are being told that the labor sector is doing great! We are told that manufacturing is up! And now we have just been told that the service industry is thriving. All you need to do is look outside and understand that this is completely false."
Comments here:

Jim Kunstler, "Some Lights Go Out, Some Lights Go On"

"Some Lights Go Out, Some Lights Go On"
by Jim Kunstler

“The DNC and Biden Team knew they had friends at Twitter who would do their bidding during the election. And Twitter lied to the FEC [Federal Election Commission] about that influence… But that’s just at the surface.” - TechnoFog on Substack

"Have Americans grokked that virtually all of the mis-and-dis-information bombarding them lo these many years actually comes from the government and the news media channels that serve it? What we’ve got now in this country is a Mind-F**kery Industrial Complex waging a psy-ops war on the people of this land. Why is that?

Essentially, to cover-up crimes against the country by public officials that have already occurred. Twitter, pre-Musk, was a major accomplice and enabler of all that, and suddenly it’s not - to the horror of everyone in charge at our nation’s seat of government. The main crimes revolve around selling-out America’s future one way or another - “Joe Biden” and Company being only the most blatant perps in the big picture.

Before them was Hillary Clinton, with her purchase of the Democratic National Committee and previous lucrative ops during her turn as Secretary of State, like the Uranium One deal, the Skolkovo military tech transfer op, and then the Russia Collusion op to insure none of that would ever come to light. The whole Intel Community behemoth was neck deep in it, too, amping up the Russia prank into a four-year coup d’état. Remember, The New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting that Hillary’s little hoax was for-real. It’s all just gotten more grotesque since Mr. Trump was ejected in the souped-up 2020 election, with sideshows such as the ongoing race-and-gender hustles, the climate con, and the Green New Deal bullshit.

Covid-19, surely released on-purpose, was, as Ed Dowd avers, a cover for global bankruptcy. Nothing else explains the astounding coordination of so many governments acting the same way against their own citizens: lockdowns, vaxx mandates, vaxx passports, and all. The icing on that poison cake, of course, is that everything the public health officialdom told you about Covid-19 was patently untrue, and dishonestly so, not via omission or plain incompetence. In fact, the virus was made in a Chinese lab with the help of Dr. Fauci and colleagues. Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine did work effectively against it. The “vaccines” were not tested properly and turned out to be harmful. And now the Covid-19 melodrama is ending in a discernable death-of-the-vaxxed and the reveal of all those aforesaid lies, while, anyway, the global bankruptcy approaches its nauseating climax.

Watching the post-election political vaudeville during the lame-duck Christmas intermezzo, one can’t escape perceiving that just about everything in the USA is now heading south toward breakdown and ruin. The on-the-ground economy craters, inflation rages at the supermarket, supply lines break, the oil and gas industries get strangled, health care goes down smoking and burning, public education folds in disgrace and failure, Wall Street ends with a bang and a whimper, and John Fetterman prepares for his place in history.

Our government’s Ukraine op is ending in disaster for that sad-sack former Russian province and, surprise-surprise, for the European Union, NATO, and us, too. We finally played the Russia card like we’re the proverbial patsy at the poker table. Our hand turns out to be a pair of deuces with the five-of-diamonds high. Russia rakes in the chips with its massive natural resources and the world’s most stable currency, soon to be backed by gold. How’d that turn out, Victoria Nuland?

The EU was already functionally bankrupt. Now it has lost its entire industrial base for a lack of fuel to run it - self-Epsteined, shall we say, on the national scale - and faces not just a return to the medieval standard-of-living but also to the competitive savagery of many small nations soon to be fighting among themselves, making bad conditions worse. So sad. Euroland was a nice place to visit at the turn of the millennium and now the lights will blink out, like seeing a fond relative expire, eyes going vacant, on her deathbed.

Western Civ is, after all, a kind of family. And now the family is disintegrating - as old families will - in a malodorous fog of receivership, vice, and imbecility. Here in the USA, it’s hard to have faith in the supposed political opposition, the Republican Party. Not with Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy still riding herd. They preside over their own coterie of extravagant grift and disgusting privilege. Don’t be shocked… shocked… if they just stand by while America collapses at the hands of “Joe Biden.” If there is any saving of this nation these two must be defenestrated, and, anyway, saving the nation from penury, depravity, and senility looks increasingly improbable, at least in the form of our old federal republic.

The macro trend is quite clear, as laid out in "The Long Emergency:" What’s coming is the opposite of global government; rather, national governments become increasingly impotent and illegitimate, and smaller regions by necessity must retreat into autarky to keep anything going. For us that means Washington DC sinks into irrelevance while the states, or perhaps mere parts of the states, have to take charge of their own affairs.

That process might have been jump-started by the Elon Musk revolution at Twitter. It will be a lot harder for the Mind-F**kery Industrial Complex to operate with this key player in revolt. Lies will be contested now on the grand scale in ways that were formerly subverted. Things blurry will come into focus. Fresh air will blow in on chill winter winds. New ops against the people, such as the threatened central bank digital dollar, will be laughed off the stage. Some lights go out, but others get turned on."

"How It Really Is"

“We'll know our disinformation program is complete 
when everything the American public believes is false.”
- William Casey, former director of the CIA

"Major Price Increases At Kroger! Not Good! This Is Crazy!"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures with Danno, 12/10/22:
"Major Price Increases At Kroger! Not Good! This Is Crazy!"
"In today's vlog we are at Kroger, and are noticing major price increases on groceries! 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!"
Comments here:

Friday, December 9, 2022

"Blackrock Sends Ominous Message; No One Coming To Rescue You; Credit Card Rates Explode"

Jeremiah Babe, 12/9/22:
"Blackrock Sends Ominous Message; 
No One Coming To Rescue You; Credit Card Rates Explode"
Comments here:

"20 Food Items Americans Can't Afford Anymore"

Full screen recommended.
"20 Food Items Americans Can't Afford Anymore"
by Epic Economist

"It's pretty evident to everyone that things are hard out there. With consumer prices at the highest level they've ever been this entire generation, desperately low wages, and persistent supply chain problems, it seems like we're all struggling to make ends meet and trying to stretch our dollars as far as we can these days. A brand new survey released yesterday by retail technology platform Swiftly found that nearly 70% of Americans are struggling to pay their grocery bills, and around 83% are currently relying on some form of coupons or loyalty program to put food on the table.

Over the past year, food inflation rose by 12.4%. But we're all seeing much steeper price increases at our local stores. Some grocery items have doubled or tripled in price in recent months. For example, eggs, one of the most versatile foods we can find out there can be prepared in a number of ways or incorporate them into many different recipes. Plus, they’re an important source of protein and collagen – two substances that are essential for the good functioning of our bodies. But who could ever imagine that in a couple of years eggs prices would rise up to 125% in some stores? Official inflation numbers say that on average egg prices rose by almost 40% this year, but many of us are seeing the cost of this staple going even higher at our local supermarkets, and that’s because consumer demand is oftentimes outpacing the available supply. Unfortunately, the era of cheap eggs is over, and more price increases are expected in 2023.

And now several food manufacturers are warning that a new round of price hikes is coming in 2023. Sadly, millions of families out there are already having to make some tough decisions and cut some of their favorite foods from their grocery lists as their monthly budgets continue to shrink. With the cost of basic staples rising to such unreachable levels, it’s getting harder and harder to find ways to save on food costs. Research conducted by food retail company My Patriot Supply earlier this year revealed that 4 in 10 Americans are already skipping meals to be able to provide food for their kids. If anyone told us back in 2020 that things would get to this point in a span of less than three years, we would think that person was out of their mind. 

But reality has become too hard to believe, and yet we’re seeing things getting even more complicated with each passing day. All food that wasn’t planted and harvested in 2022 due to soaring costs of fertilizers, diesel, farming equipment, and extreme weather will be translated into extensive shortages in the year ahead. We are being warned about this for months, and now we’re starting to witness just how bad conditions are about to get for all of us. We should all brace for even higher food prices in 2023, folks. What we’ve seen so far is just the start. Today, we compiled some of the products that experienced the highest spikes in prices and that are becoming increasingly unaffordable for virtually all Americans."

"The Slow Strangulation of the World Economy"

"The Slow Strangulation of the World Economy"
by Jeffrey Tucker

"I was visiting with a friend recently and she was recounting her early panic over COVID. She has kids and loves them. As a mom, she believed her first duty was to protect them from the bad virus that was floating around. She went into full freak-out mode, keeping the kids indoors and spacing them out. Her heart never stopped racing.

One day, she looked out her window and saw that her neighbor’s dog was loose on her front lawn. She ran outside and started screaming at her neighbor to get that dog off her lawn immediately and never allow such an outrage again. Why? Because she had heard on CNN that dogs carry Covid. She believed that the dog was spreading Covid around and that this would waft through her windows and infect her kids. Now, this is a brilliant woman, educated at a prep school that no normal person could afford and attended a top school before becoming a partner in a firm that serves only high-end clients. Moreover, she is herself brilliant and stable, and not politically left-wing at all. She is sober and strong. But Covidophobia snagged even her. Simply amazing.

I had not remembered the weeks during which we were supposed to hate on people's pets. We can add that to the endless litany of nonsense we’ve been through.

The Fauci Effect: Why the attack on pets? Well, the frightening Fauci in August took a day or two to work with his co-author from the National Institutes of Health on an academic article explaining the bigger picture. The problem, they explained, began 12,000 years ago. That’s when humankind started farming, killing land animals, and moving around from place to place.

That caused disease to spread! So they say. It only got worse once we got to cities. Then everyone started mixing. Icky germs were everywhere. Next thing you know, we spread smallpox and cholera and god knows what else. Humankind was dooming itself with its ridiculous ambition to do more than live in a hut by the river and grab fish to eat! We are very, very bad.

That’s the origin of COVID, they wrote, which is why we need a “new infrastructure of human existence.” This will require emptying out the cities, getting rid of pets, abolishing large events, and forbidding people from meeting in groups in restaurants and things. Only once we massively reduce the population and go back to a state of nature can we fully conquer disease.

This is their vision. It’s pure insanity. Worse than Marx. Worse than anything even the nuttiest philosopher from the ancient world ever wrote. Worse than the devil himself. And yet this was the guy who was practically running the world for the better part of two years. He was not only scripting the pandemic response. He was in charge of social media. He was in charge of economics. He was in charge of technology. He was the totalitarian dictator for the U.S. and really for the whole world by influence.

Nonstop Wreckage: It’s truly hard to imagine how it came to be that this pest ended up dismantling the whole of the Trump administration. He was the terrifying guru that even Trump could not swat away. As a result, Trump fell in the polls and lost, taking the House and Senate with him. The economy was wrecked. The Constitution was abolished.

Now we have terrifying inflation without end. In many parts of the world, people are having to choose between eating and heating. School kids are behind by two years. We’ve lost three years of lifespan just in the U.S. The whole country is utterly bankrupt. Trade is wrecked. Business is demoralized. 5.8 million people are missing from U.S. labor rolls right now.

What an unspeakable disaster. Even writing this, it sounds like fiction. It’s not. It’s our reality, and it is getting worse by the day. Media won’t discuss the fullness of the calamity. Mostly we just pretend as if life is normal. What else can we do? Well, there are substances we can take, and millions take them if only to lessen the pain. They lead to early death. Excess deaths are through the roof right now, as ill-health spreads across the land.

Oh, but won’t the Fed save us? They are raising interest rates. The 30-year mortgage is at 6%. The demand side of the housing market is in free fall. The supply side is suddenly flat. Prices are still rising. This is what an inflationary recession looks and feels like.

Faucian Economics: I’ve never been one for conspiracy theory but one would have to be stupid not to see that there is something of a plan here. They are attacking cities, enterprise, economic growth, and even procreation too. How? In every conceivable way. I’ve given up trust, all trust, in these people, their plans, and even their products. They are dangerous. Their vision of the world is even more so.

We used to say that socialism cannot work. What does that mean? It means that it will only make people poorer and more miserable. But what if you have an ideology that is actually intended to do that? Can Faucian economics work? Yes, if you mean to reduce the population, spread misery, end progress, abolish all comforts, empty the cities, cause people to freeze to death, and only allow what’s left of the population to live off bugs.

We need to get real. These people are truly up to no good. They have gotten their way. What’s more, the gang that did this is not subject to the voters, so elections might not make a bit of difference, even if they turn out well.

The Root of the Problem: The real problem is much more fundamental. It is structural. It is philosophical. It can be defeated but not through the usual ways. In the meantime, we really need to wake up, all of us, and recognize that nothing is normal anymore. Surviving this period in history will require cleverness and courageous action. We simply cannot ignore the trends all around us and expect to survive.

It’s bad enough to realize the utter stupidity of the policies that are wrecking the world. It’s worse suddenly to realize that they are not stupid at all but rather the product of a diabolical mission to ruin civilization itself. But in truth, it is all deliberate, I’m sorry to say. The people who run the world today have no interest in a thriving social order and civilization. The means to survive them is to outsmart them."

"Moscow on Fire, Putin Threatens Preemptive Nuclear Strike"

Canadian Prepper,12/9/22:
"Moscow on Fire, Putin Threatens Preemptive Nuclear Strike"
"NATO and Russia relations have hit a new low with new accusations about Angela Merkel war preparations emerge. Massive conflagration in Moscow as more attacks on US power grid are waged. Inflation artificially suppressed, the bubble bursts in 2023."
Comments here:

Musical Interlude: Deuter, "Endless Horizon"

Full screen recommended.
Deuter, "Endless Horizon"

"A Look to the Heavens"

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

"Don't Wonder..."

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

Greg Hunter, "Weekly News Wrap-Up 12/9/22"

"Weekly News Wrap-Up 12/9/22"
By Greg Hunter’s 

"In a very rare occurrence, Congress halted the military from continuing a widespread program of CV19 vaccination. Stopping it was part of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) that gave the military $858 billion to spend on its operations. This sort of legislation is unprecedented and clearly shows members of Congress know the CV19 vax is unsafe, deadly, debilitating and is not a vaccine. They also know what is coming in terms of death and injuries from this bioweapon, and I think they are wanting some cover. This is yet another sign the vax hoax is ending. It is being revealed as a genocidal attack on America and the world. Nothing can stop the truth from coming out. Severe repercussions are in store for the people responsible for this murder program.

The so-called “Twitter Files” Elon Musk is leaking out show huge national security concerns. The suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story by the FBI and Twitter was a huge operation just before the 2020 Election. The laptop contains documented bribes and deals with foreign enemy powers. It was falsely called Russian fake news to discredit it. Shame on the FBI for not acting and gaslighting the public. It is also coming out the government of the United States was suppressing free speech using back door channels in Twitter. This is the biggest First Amendment violation in history, and lawsuits by the hundreds are sure to follow. The coming out party is just getting started.

Everywhere you look this week, you can see the economy not just slowing down but plunging. Housing is tanking, used car prices are collapsing at the fastest pace on record and unemployment is surging. Meanwhile, the Fed is going to continue raising interest rates to fight inflation and support the U.S. dollar. There is not going to be a “pivot.” Buckle up, it’s going to be a rough 2023!" There is much more in the 55-minute newscast.

Join Greg Hunter on Rumble for these stories
 and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up for 12/09/22.

Jim Kunstler, "The Tool of Tools"

James A. Baker
The Tool of Tools"
by Jim Kunstler

“The DNC and Biden Team knew they had friends at Twitter who would do their bidding during the election. And Twitter lied to the FEC about that influence… But that’s just at the surface…” - TechnoFog on Substack

"At what point in his arduous take-over of Twitter did Elon Musk realize that the package came with a joker in the deck: James A. Baker, formerly general counsel of the FBI? Did he wonder: what is this guy doing here? Were there any conversations between the two? Or did Mr. Musk just quietly observe his presence at a remove in nervous wonder, as one might, say, upon discovering a scorpion in the corner of his hotel room?

Mr. Baker, you understand, was notoriously at the center of the FBI’s FISA court f**kery that got the ball rolling in the Crossfire Hurricane operation, Act One of RussiaGate, as well as the Alpha Bank caper concocted by Hillary Clinton (disclosed this year by special counsel John Durham), and probably every other sedition pie the FBI cooked in its oven in those years, considering Mr. Baker’s position as chief legal advisor to Director Chris Wray. When the alt-news media caught onto Mr. Baker’s nefarious activities, he became inconvenient to the agency, was re-assigned to some nebulous task (polishing Mr. Wray’s cuff links?), and quit in May, 2018. He landed temporarily - or was he, rather, parked out-of-sight? - at the shadowy R Street Institute, an Intel Community cut-out, one of its countless PR channels in the DC Swamp.

But then, mysteriously, Mr. Baker got hired by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in June of 2020 - the heat of a presidential election - to work under Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s general counsel (and chief of “legal, policy, and trust” [ha!]), where he remained until just the other day. Is it a stretch to imagine Mr. Baker’s former employer, the FBI - which, let’s face it, operates as a sort of blood-brotherhood - purposely installed Mr. Baker in that sensitive job at Twitter to help “moderate” the national conversation in the central forum that public debate had moved to in our time?

If so, he apparently did a crackerjack job, and just at the right time, too, after the FBI discovered, in emails they ripped off Rudolf Giuliani’s purloined cloud account, that Donald Trump’s attorney possessed of a copy of the laptop hard-drive of one Hunter Biden, son of presidential candidate Joe Biden - said computer (the FBI knew full-well by then) being stuffed not just with pornographic photos of crack orgies and other personal infelicities, but also a trove of emails and deal memos laying out a bribery and money-laundering scheme that the younger Biden was running all over Eurasia as a family business.

Of course, the FBI had that selfsame computer in its possession for the better part of a year when The New York Post broke the news of its existence days before the election of 2020. In fact, the Bureau had had possession at the very time that Mr. Trump was busy getting impeached for daring to suggest to the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, that the Bidens were involved in some shady business worth investigating with the Kiev-based Burisma gas company. Evidence of that and much much more - including way-bigger shady deals with CCP cut-outs - lay moldering in the laptop the FBI just silently sat on. Isn’t it a little strange that during the dragged-out impeachment ordeal neither Attorney General William Barr nor FBI chief Chris Wray volunteered to Mr. Trump’s legal defense that they held exculpatory evidence on that laptop for the very thing he was impeached on?

That was January, 2020, many months before The New York Post took the laptop’s existence public. And whaddaya know… by June of that year, James A. Baker was in place at Twitter, ready to serve! As election day approached, he apparently succeeded in stifling transmission of the Post’s laptop story plus any-and-all conversation about it in the Twitterverse, and was careful not to leave a memo trail of his heroic interventions. Do you suppose he might have had some conversations about all that with his old colleagues at the FBI? At the same time, you understand, the FBI was leaning successfully on that other social network giant, Facebook, to likewise smother the laptop story. And Google, too, having become an Intel Community tool, was avid to tailor its search algorithms to steer the curious away from Hunter’s laptop. And so was fortune’s fool Joe Biden inserted into history…

Amazingly, after all that huggermugger, James A. Baker still remained in place last week at Twitter - even as his putative boss, censor-in-chief Vijaya Gadde got drop-kicked out the door - just as Elon Musk prepared to release a trove of information detailing Twitter’s censorship activities of recent years. Yes! And, evidently, Mr. Baker functioned as a sort of one-man clearing house for all the documents getting shoveled to independent reporter Matt Taibbi, whom Mr. Musk had designated to be the news conduit for these awaited revelations. And, yes, there is every reason to suspect that Mr. Baker censored, or perhaps even tried to destroy, the very documents that Mr. Musk ordered released.

Was that not like leaving a wolverine in Twitter’s henhouse? How could Mr. Musk not know how absurd it was for Mr. Baker to moderate that release? Well, the chatter is that Mr. Musk was seeking a way to encourage Mr. Baker to inculpate himself, so as to foreclose any lawsuits he might think to bring against Twitter for wrongful termination. I have to say, Mr. Musk would be an idiot if he did not have copies of the server that James Baker had access to and had the opportunity to delete stuff from. I guess we’ll find out.

But there is one other matter that has been left out of all the sound and fury about the Twitter doc release: the meta story of the US government’s rogue agencies’ greater war against the public interest. Not just the Intel Community but all the public health agencies under the Department of Health and Human Services: the FDA, CDC, NIAID, NIH, and more.

Consider that James A. Baker — formerly the FBI’s consiglieri - was in that job at Twitter most of the time that Covid-19 was raging across the land. How much did he have to say about censoring the life-and-death information surrounding the pandemic? Did he stifle debate about the early treatment medications - ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, Vitamin D, etc. - that could have saved many thousands of lives otherwise sacrificed to the medical establishment’s Moloch of intubation-and-remdesivir?

Did he advise the blackballing, silencing, and cancellation of doctors who opposed Dr. Fauci’s regime of lockdowns, masks, and “vaccines”? Did he prevent the public from learning how ineffective and harmful the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA shots are? Did he help promote every government-sponsored untruth about Covid-19, meaning just about everything public officials have uttered about it for three years? Did he, in sum, in his machinations at Twitter, so pervert the national conversation through an epic crisis that he has contributed to the collapsing US economy and a genocide-like campaign against the people of this country. I think he probably did. That’s how serious this matter is."

Gonzalo Lira ,"Unconditional Surrender Is Now Russia's Goal"

Gonzalo Lira, 12/9/22:
"Unconditional Surrender Is Now Russia's Goal"
Comments here:

The Daily "Near You?"

Oaxaca De Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico. Thanks for stopping by!

"Something Like Reverence..."

"When I see the blind and wretched state of men, when I survey the whole universe in its deadness, and man left to himself with no light, as though lost in this corner of the universe without knowing who put him there, what he has to do, or what will become of him when he dies, incapable of knowing anything, I am moved to terror, like a man transported in his sleep to some terrifying desert island, who wakes up quite lost, with no means of escape. Then I marvel that so wretched a state does not drive people to despair." 
- Blaise Pascal

Ahh, but it does...
“When the pain of leaving behind what we know outweighs the pain of embracing it, or when the power we face is overwhelming and neither flight nor fight will save us, there may be salvation in sitting still. And if salvation is impossible, then at least before perishing we may gain a clearer vision of where we are. By sitting still I do not mean the paralysis of dread, like that of a rabbit frozen beneath the dive of a hawk. I mean something like reverence, a respectful waiting, a deep attentiveness to forces much greater than our own.”
- Scott Russell Sanders

Folks, I fear our time for such reverence is rapidly approaching.
God help us, God help us all...

"The Long Dark"

"The Long Dark"
by Chris Floyd

"We are in the Long Dark now. Both hope and despair are the enemies of our survival. We must live in the awareness that we might not see the light come back, without ceasing to work - with empathy, anger and knowledge - for its return.

We must be here, in the moment, experiencing its fullness (whatever its horrors or joys), yet be elsewhere, removed from the madness pouring in from every side, the avalanche of degradation. We must be here, now, but also in a future we can’t see or even imagine.

We must see that we are lost, with no clear way forward, no sureties or verities to cling to, no roots to anchor us, no structures within or without that will always keep their coalescence in the chaotic, surging flow.

We must live in discrete moments of illumination and connection, pearls hung on an almost invisible string winding through the darkness. Striving, always striving, but not expecting; striving without hope, without despair, without any certainty at all as to the outcome, good or bad.

These are the conditions of the Long Dark, this is what we have to work with, this is where we find ourselves in the brief time we have in this vast, indifferent, astounding universe. As I once wrote long ago, quoting the old hymn: “Work, for the night is coming.”

So do we counsel fatalism, a dark, defeated surrender, a retreat into bitter, curdled quietude? Not a whit. We advocate action, positive action, unstinting action, doing the only thing that human beings can do, ever: Try this, try that, try something else again; discard those approaches that don't work, that wreak havoc, that breed death and cruelty; fight against everything that would draw us down again into our own mud; expect no quarter, no lasting comfort, no true security; offer no last word, no eternal truth, but just keep stumbling, falling, careening, backsliding, crawling toward the broken light.

And what is this "broken light"? Nothing more than a metaphor for the patches of understanding – awareness, attention, knowledge, connection – that break through our darkness and stupidity for a moment now and then. A light always fractured, under threat, shifting, found then lost again, always lost. For we are creatures steeped in imperfection, in breakage and mutation, tossed up – very briefly – from the boiling, chaotic crucible of Being, itself a ragged work in progress toward unknown ends, or rather, toward no particular end at all. Why should there be an "answer" in such a reality?

What matters is what works – what pulls us from our own darkness as far as possible, for as long as possible. Yet the truth remains that "what works" is always and forever only provisional – what works now, here, might not work there, then. What saves our soul today might make us sick tomorrow.

Thus all we can do is to keep looking, working, trying to clear a little more space for the light, to let it shine on our passions and our confusions, our anger and our hopes, informing and refining them, so that we can see each other better, for a moment – until death shutters all seeing forever."
Full screen recommended.
Leonard Cohen, "Anthem"

"No Ways Tired in A Sea of Lies"

"No Ways Tired in A Sea of Lies"
by Chris Floyd

"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies. One of the hardest things to accept is that the reality of our world is buried under so many layers of official deception and well-cultivated public ignorance about our history and our political system. Even if you break through somehow, momentarily, and hold up a fragment of the truth, most people have no context for dealing with it. It's like a bolt from the blue, they can't process the information. And so the sea of lies closes over us again, and again, and again. And yet the reality of our future appears on the horizon, denial be damned, an irresistible tsunami of destruction, changing all our lives forever.

These are the facts, and they can't be altered. But how to respond to this catastrophe? Shall we weep, moan, rend our garments, cover ourselves with sackcloth and ashes? Shall we sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of republics? Shall we cower in the shadows and sing glamorous dirges for the Lost Cause, for vanished glories and broken dreams?

Or shall we come out fighting, unbowed, heads high, laughing fools to scorn, rejecting at every turn the moral authority of murderers and thieves to rule our lives, determine our reality, act in our name? Let's dispense with lamentation - give not a single moment to that emotional indulgence - and get right back to work, more determined than ever to bear down harder, dig deeper and excavate the radioactive nuggets of truth still glowing beneath the slag-heap of ruin.

Let's fight, let's reject, let's resist - without violence, the weapon of the stupid, the hormonal secretion of evolutionary backsliders in thrall to the chemical soup in their heads, dull primitives dressing up their ape-lust for power with scraps of religion, philosophy and cant. Let's fight these pathetic, malfunctioning wretches who lay their hands on our world and rape it like beasts in a mindless rut. Fight them with the truths we find, exposing their crimes and deadly hypocrisies to the people they've suckered, perverted and betrayed.

This is not an insurmountable task, no matter how impervious the Machine - that monstrous conglomeration of judicial bagmen, Congressional rubber stamps, psychopathic media moguls, dopehead radio ranters, sex-crazed theocrats, war profiteers, think-tank bleaters, Wall Street sharks, oilmen, Moonies, and woman-haters - might appear at the moment.

I don't know what else we can do, except to keep on telling as much of the truth as we can find, to anyone who will listen: reclaiming reality, fragment by fragment, one person at a time. It's an endless task- maybe a hopeless task- but the alternative is a surrender to the worst elements in our society- and in ourselves. It's worth the fight. Let's take it on. In the words of the old spiritual, let us be in no ways tired. The road back to sanity starts now."

Bill Bonner, "A Sea of Lies"

"A Sea of Lies"
Mistruths, whoppers, pretenses and delusions...
by Bill Bonner

Baltimore, Maryland - "We float on a “sea of lies,” says Harvard professor Jeffrey Sachs. “Most of them come from the government,” he says. Remember how Donald Trump claimed he had created ‘the best economy ever?’ It was a lie. The economy was getting worse and worse – especially after ‘The Donald’ pumped an extra $5 trillion into the economy to offset the effects of his Covid Lockdown policies.

And then, along came Joe Biden. “The U.S. is in a better economic position than almost any other country,” says the big spender. But the US economy is an abstraction…what really matters is how the people in it are doing. And here’s the latest from CNBC: The share of retirement savers who withdrew money from a 401(k) plan to cover a financial hardship hit a record high in October, according to data from Vanguard Group.

That dynamic - when coupled with other factors like fast-rising credit card balances and a declining personal savings rate - suggests households are having a tougher time making ends meet amid persistently high inflation and need ready cash, according to financial experts. Nearly 0.5% of workers participating in a 401(k) plan took a new "hardship distribution" in October, according to Vanguard, which tracks 5 million savers. That's the largest share since Vanguard began tracking the data in 2004.

Fleeced by the Feds: Staggered by falling real wages. Walloped by rising real prices. America’s middle class families are raiding retirement accounts just to keep up. But here comes the left hook. Markets Insider: "A recession is imminent but central banks won't be able to support markets this time by loosening policy…"Recession is foretold as central banks race to try to tame inflation. It's the opposite of past recessions," BlackRock strategists said."

What? Nobody told you that Fed bailouts just lead to more debt…and more problems, down the road? And didn’t someone tell you…that the feds’ stimmies…giveaways…and unemployment boosters would have to be paid for somehow?

And how about all this help we’re giving the Ukrainians? Who was supposed to pay for that? Nobody mentioned that the middle class would pick up the bill? Must have slipped through a crack in the news cycle. Because, surely, the feds wouldn’t lie to us. They’re “public servants,” doing their level best for the benefit of “The People,” right? Wrong. Sachs is right. We live with so many lies, we wouldn’t know what to do without them. Covid…the Ukraine…terrorism…the economy – every subject is so fattened on lies it can barely move.

Intended Consequences: What these lies all have in common is that they are a nuisance to the common man. All the lies are designed to support ‘policies.’ All the policies cost money. And the poor middle class, salt-of-the-earth citizens must pay for them.

Should the Donbass be governed by Ukrainians? Or by Russians? Or by the Donbassians themselves? The typical American could care less. But the ‘defense’ industry grows richer and richer by throwing its weight around…and he pays for it.

Was there really any reason to shut down the whole economy to stop the covid virus? Did it make sense to flood the economy with money so that ‘The People’ didn’t mind being locked up in their own houses? No, it didn’t. And now, the middle class is paying the price for those policies too.

And what does the average US citizen gain by cutting off the flow of Russia’s energy to Europe? The Europeans still need energy. And when they buy America’s gas, it just raises the price of fuel for Americans.

Professors of political science talk about ‘man’s relationship with the state (government),’ but that is the biggest lie of all. The ‘government’ or ‘the state’ is just another abstraction. What counts are our relationships with other people – such as the people who run the government. Yes, there are the governors…and the governed. Nowhere, except maybe in the smallest township, do ‘the people’ rule. Instead, the people are ruled by a bullying elite. And when these public servants become the masters…with too many laws, programs, policies and lies… the middle classes pay dearly."

"More Houses Are Upside Down"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly 12/9/22:
"More Houses Are Upside Down"
"Over 450,000 houses are worth less than what’s owed on them right now. This is officially worse than it was in 2009. This is growing in the wrong direction each month."
Comments here:

"Hundreds Of Thousands Of U.S. Homeowners Are Now Underwater On Their Mortgages As The Housing Crash Accelerates"

"Hundreds Of Thousands Of U.S. Homeowners Are Now 
Underwater On Their Mortgages As The Housing Crash Accelerates"
by Michael Snyder

"Here we go again. When the housing market crashed in 2008 and 2009, large numbers of U.S. homeowners ended up owing more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. When the Federal Reserve started to aggressively hike interest rates earlier this year, I warned that it would happen again, and now that day has officially arrived. During the third quarter alone, U.S. homeowners lost an all-time record 1.3 trillion dollars in equity as home values plummeted, and a new analysis conducted by Black Knight has found that approximately 450,000 of those homeowners are now underwater on their mortgages

As the housing market continues to implode – marking a record drop in pending home sales last month amid canceled deals and price cuts, there are around 450,000 homebuyers who owe more than their house is worth as of the end of the third quarter, according to a new analysis from Black Knight. Of those, around 60%, or 270,000, bought their homes in the first nine months of 2022. In total, around 8% of mortgages taken out in 2022 are now marginally underwater, with another 20% having a low equity position.

As I have stated in previous articles, I feel so sorry for those that purchased homes at or near the peak of the market. If the Federal Reserve continues to raise rates, it won’t be too long before millions of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, and that would truly be a nightmare scenario. When you owe much more than your home is currently worth, that makes it exceedingly difficult to sell it. Ultimately, many homeowners that were underwater on their mortgages in 2008 and 2009 simply defaulted and walked away, and that created enormous headaches for Wall Street.

Right now, we are already in a “housing recession”, and the Federal Reserve is threatening to turn it into a “housing depression”. Earlier today, we got yet another number that indicates that the housing market is in incredibly bad shape at this moment…"This has been a year of watershed moments in real estate, and not the good kind.

The Housing Market Index, a closely watched industry metric that gauges the outlook for home sales, declined to 33 in November on a hundred-point scale, its lowest level in a decade, save for the first dystopian month of the pandemic. Anything under 50 spells trouble. 14 years after the last housing crash started, another one has arrived.

Interestingly, the housing crash that began in 2008 also began 14 years after the previous one. In the brand new book that I just released, I have an entire chapter about how the housing crashes have been following a very odd pattern. And just like 2008, layoffs are starting to surge all over America

Layoffs are picking up, just in time for the holidays. At first it was the job-slashing in tech that gobbled up all the attention. From Twitter to Amazon, tech firms have cut more than 146,000 jobs in 2022 after years of seemingly unlimited hiring, according to tracker Yet with each passing day, the unemployment gloom spreads. It’s reached Wall Street, real estate, crypto, and even the food and beverage industry.

We haven’t seen anything like this since the Great Recession, and one industry that is being hit particularly hard is the media…"In an environment where legacy media is collapsing — in the past week, CNN has started a massive round of layoffs, NPR is responding to a $20 million shortage in corporate grift with a hiring freeze, the Washington Post has folded its magazine and is contemplating widespread layoffs, and the New York Times newsroom will go out on strike on December 8, and we all know how well a strike works when you’re overpaid and have a skill set that can be replaced by sending a van to the Texas-Mexico border — this would be a wake-up call."

I can’t say that I am sad to see these establishment media companies fall on hard times. They have been relentlessly feeding the public disinformation for years, and the American people are fed up with them. But I do feel very badly for all of the hard working Americans out there that are suddenly losing their jobs during this holiday season.

On Thursday, we learned that initial claims for unemployment benefits were up last week, and we also learned that continuing claims have shot up to the highest level in 10 months…"Figures released Thursday by the Labor Department show initial claims for the week ended Dec. 3 rose to 230,000 from the upwardly revised 226,000 recorded a week earlier. That is above the 2019 pre-pandemic average of 218,000 claims. Continuing claims, filed by Americans who are consecutively receiving unemployment benefits, rose to 1.671 million for the week ended Nov. 26, up by 62,000 from the previous week’s revised level."

The fact that continuing claims have now reached such an alarming level prompted one economist to declare that the “recession sky is darkening”…"An economist is warning that, under Joe Biden’s economic leadership, the “recession sky is darkening.” That’s according to Chris Rupkey, chief economist at Fwdbonds, who commented after reports that continuing unemployment claims at the end of November rose by 62,000 to 1.7 million."

Sadly, he is quite correct. Economic conditions are going to continue to deteriorate in the months ahead, and this comes at a time when so many U.S. consumers are already living on the edge of financial disaster…"The savings rate is now near an all-time low whilst credit card debt is at an all-time high. Clearly, U.S. consumers are, in aggregate, flying very close to the sun."

I know that I have covered a lot of information very rapidly in this article. But I want to keep my regular readers updated on what is really going on out there. In so many ways, what we are witnessing right now is a repeat of what we experienced in 2008 and 2009. It certainly appears that 2023 is going to be an exceedingly painful year for the U.S. economy, and the U.S. population is not at all prepared to handle any sort of a severe economic downturn."