Wednesday, March 29, 2023

"You're Not Ready For What's Coming! Don't Be Fooled, This Is Just Beginning"

Jeremiah Babe, 3/29/23
"You're Not Ready For What's Coming! 
Don't Be Fooled, This Is Just Beginning"
Comments here:

"Middle Class Families Can No Longer Afford Rent As Prices Hit Astronomical Levels"

Full screen recommended.
"Middle Class Families Can No Longer Afford
 Rent As Prices Hit Astronomical Levels"
By Epic Economist

"A decent, safe, and affordable home is something all Americans need to thrive. For decades, low-income families have struggled to have access to affordable rental homes, but now this is a huge problem for the middle class, too. Millions of middle-income earners can’t afford rent in major U.S. cities due to the steep rise in prices recorded since the pandemic. Without significant pay raises or government assistance, these middle-class households are being shut out from typical middle-class neighborhoods, and this is triggering a chain reaction that leads to systemic poverty and lingering inequality. In other words, housing costs are squeezing the life out of middle-class Americans.

The typical home now costs about $80,000 more than it did just two years ago, and the average rent in the U.S. is over $1,000 more expensive than in 2020. Rents are climbing an average of 3.5% annually, the study found, while middle-class renters’ incomes have declined 9% over the past decade. In most metropolitan areas across the country, the American middle class has been spending far more on housing than they can afford, researchers found. The study highlights that 21.2% of middle-class homeowners and 46.3% of middle-class renters in the United States are either moderately or severely burdened by housing costs — defined as spending more than 30% or more than 50% of their income on housing, respectively.

"Ultimately, we're in a rental affordability crisis," noted Whitney Airgood-Obrycki, a research associate with the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. Believe it or not, 15 years ago, more than two-thirds of people who rented an apartment or a single-family home in the U.S. earned less than $30,000 a year, the study shows.

Every year that passes by, it gets even harder for middle-class renters who cannot qualify for subsidized housing to find affordable apartments on the market. Renters need to earn $21.21 an hour to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in the U.S., according to the National Low Income Housing Council, significantly more than the average national hourly wage of $16.38. This is why 51% of renters in the middle class are unable to afford a place to live in most U.S. cities.

The savings that used to be associated with the middle class have dried up in the past few years, as wage growth stagnated. Not only does this make it harder for people to stay in the middle class, but it makes coming up with high sums to rent or buy city apartments impossible. “If there aren’t enough cheaper options, it becomes a chain, with a middle-class person living in an apartment a lower-income person might have occupied, and so on,” Apartment List Senior Research Associate Sydney Bennet said. “If you miss that gap in the middle for housing, it has a chain reaction.”

And the aftermath of that is systemic poverty and an increasingly unequal America, where only those at the very top of the economic chain can own their homes and build equity through properties while the middle class is hollowed out. This isn’t only a housing and rental crisis, this is the reflection of the crumbling foundations of a broken society. And nothing that our leaders are doing is making things any better. The financial meltdown that we’re witnessing today is a reminder that more distress is coming for everyday Americans. And sadly, it looks like real estate will be the next domino to fall."
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Musical Interlude: 2002, "Courting the Moon"

Full screen recommended. Beautiful!
2002, "Courting the Moon"
"This song is from our latest album, 'Hummingbird.' A Mayan legend says that the hummingbird is actually the sun in disguise, and he is trying to court a beautiful woman, who is the moon."

"A Look to the Heavens"

“What will become of these galaxies? Spiral galaxies NGC 5426 and NGC 5427 are passing dangerously close to each other, but each is likely to survive this collision. Typically when galaxies collide, a large galaxy eats a much smaller galaxy. In this case, however, the two galaxies are quite similar, each being a sprawling spiral with expansive arms and a compact core. As the galaxies advance over the next tens of millions of years, their component stars are unlikely to collide, although new stars will form in the bunching of gas caused by gravitational tides.
Close inspection of the above image taken by the 8-meter Gemini-South Telescope in Chile shows a bridge of material momentarily connecting the two giants. Known collectively as Arp 271, the interacting pair spans about 130,000 light years and lies about 90 million light-years away toward the constellation of Virgo. Recent predictions hold that our Milky Way Galaxy will undergo a similar collision with the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy in a few billion years.”

Chet Raymo, “At Home In An Infinite Universe”

“At Home In An Infinite Universe”
by Chet Raymo

“They are questions that bedeviled thinkers for thousands of years: Is the universe infinite or finite, eternal or of a finite age? It is certainly hard to imagine a universe that extends without limit in every direction, or a universe without a beginning or end. It is equally difficult to imagine a finite universe; what is beyond the edge? Or a beginning or end in time; how can something come from nothing? how can what is cease to be?

The problems are so intractable philosophically that their resolution has generally been left to the theologians, which from a philosophical (or scientific) perspective offers no solution at all. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for proposing a philosophical resolution (an infinite universe) that offended theology.

An escape from befuddlement is provided by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which - for example - can describe a finite universe without a boundary, as the “two-dimensional” surface of a sphere is finite and without an edge. Unfortunately, multi-dimensional curved space-time is so counterintuitive that it is difficult to get one’s head around it without mastery of the mathematics. Given a choice between the ancient myths of your local preacher and the obtuse mathematics of the physics professor, it’s not hard to guess what most folks will opt for.

I have reviewed a book by physics professor Chad Orzel called “How To Teach Relativity To Your Dog.” It’s a fun romp, and clever pedagogy, but I can’t imagine it making the best seller list, much less displacing “Heaven Is For Real.”

Meanwhile, I’m reading a meditation on infinity by physics professor Anthony Aguirre, in a collection of essays called “Future Science.” He discusses contemporary cosmological theories based on general relativity, and in particular the rehabilitation of the idea of an infinite and eternal universe, or, more precisely, that our universe might be just one of an infinity of infinite universes. He writes in conclusion: “What seems clear, however, is that infinity can no longer be safely ignored; beautifully constructed, empirically supported, self-consistent theories have brought infinity from idle curiosity to central player in contemporary cosmology. And if correct, the worldview these theories represent constitutes a perspective shift unlike any other: in comparison to the universe, we would be not just small but strictly zero. Well, I can’t imagine many folks racing to embrace that conclusion."

Oh, but wait. Aguirre adds one final sentence: “Yet here we are, contemplating – if not quite understanding – it all.”

"Few Really Ask..."

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

"The Pursuit Of Happiness Is An American Lie"

Gerald Celente, The Trends Journal 3/29/23
"The Pursuit Of Happiness Is An American Lie"
"The Trends Journal is a weekly magazine analyzing global current events forming future trends. Our mission is to present Facts and Truth over fear and propaganda to help subscribers prepare for What’s Next in these increasingly turbulent times."
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The Daily "Near You?"

Ravena, New York, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

The Poet: Robert Frost, "Acceptance”


“When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud
And goes down burning into the gulf below,
No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud
At what has happened.
Birds, at least must know
It is the change to darkness in the sky.
Murmuring something quiet in her breast,
One bird begins to close a faded eye;
Or overtaken too far from his nest,
Hurrying low above the grove, some waif
Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.
At most he thinks or twitters softly, ‘safe!’
Now let the night be dark for all of me.
Let the night be too dark for me to see
Into the future. Let what will be, be.”

- Robert Frost


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

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

"Be Dignified, as a Rule"

"Be Dignified, as a Rule"
by David Cain

"Much of what you’ve read on this blog has been written in pajama pants. Writing directly follows meditation in my morning routine, so I’ve often gone right from the cushion to the coffeepot to the desk. Occasionally life would remind me that there are practical reasons to put on socially acceptable pants before beginning the workday. Someone could knock on the door, for example. But for the most part it seemed like an unnecessary formality that only added friction to the getting-to-work process.

Today I do get properly dressed before going to my desk, because it’s simply more conducive to productivity. Changing into leaving-the-house clothes gives me a “going to work” feeling, which is the kind of feeling you want whenever you’re going to work, even if your office is just across the hall.

Recently I noticed that this effect is stronger the better I dress. Jeans and a pullover are better than PJs and a hoodie. Proper slacks and a button-up shirt are even better. I’m sure an Edwardian waistcoat and tie would generate an even stronger feeling of being a dignified writer getting to work.

I thought it was interesting that this feeling of dignity often follows when you discover a better way to do a thing. Decent pants don’t just inspire a productive mentality, they also elevate the writer’s self-respect. Dusting a shelf after clearing it entirely, rather than by shuffling its contents around, improves the quality of the dusting but also just feels more dignified. Dutifully assembling your tools and ingredients before cooking, a practice known as mise en place, improves the food but also dignifies the cooking process, as well as the person doing it, because you’re no longer scrambling like Ricky Ricardo to find the right spices while your rice boils over.
It only recently occurred to me that it actually works the other way around. Dignity doesn’t follow effectiveness as much as effectiveness follows dignity. We’re more engaged while reading from a beautiful hardcover than from a computer printout, or in a lamplit armchair rather than a plastic patio chair. Wine tastes better out of a spotless wineglass than from a paper cup. Perhaps we should have dignity foremost in mind whenever we do anything, because it’s an intuitive sense we all have, and it points the way to a thing done well.

It might sound like I’m equating my own aesthetic preferences to dignity. I like lamps and armchairs and wine, maybe you don’t. What feels dignified depends on the person, but we can always sense our own dignity, or lack thereof, in how we do a thing, even when nobody else is there to see it. Dignified doing has always spoken to me, although I haven’t known what to call it. I once wrote a post on Raptitude’s Patreon feed specifically about the dignity of looking up words in a real, paper dictionary — or rather the corrosive indignity of using an ad-riddled online one that you don’t even own.

Exudes purpose There are dignified and undignified ways to do everything. You might have noticed a subtle difference in how it feels to gently push a jar onto a crowded fridge shelf, forcing the other jars back and to the sides, and how much better it feels to make a space intentionally and then put the jar in it. A little more intentionality, a lot more dignity.

Technology tends to pull us away from this way of being, eroding dignity in the quest for speed, variety, or convenience. I find it more dignified, for example, to listen to music by playing a single album, rather than an AI-generated playlist. Instead of an infinite stream of algorithmically-similar songs, you get a coherent work as its artist intended. I have no vinyl collection, but anyone who does knows there is something spiritually superior about setting an LP onto a turntable rather than thumbing over to the same album on Spotify, sound fidelity aside.

I’m sure some proportion of our modern malaise comes from this sort of technology-induced dignity loss. The more our tools automate once-manual actions, and the more we access them all through the same lifeless touchscreen, the less intentionality and resolve there is behind whatever we’re doing. Maybe some friction and formality is a good thing, because it keeps our values in charge of the action, leaving less to momentum.

Ultimately it’s a choice though, and the dignified way is there whenever you look for it. I have a folding steamer basket I use almost daily. For a while one of the petals would come off if you held the thing sideways, so I made sure to handle it gingerly and keep it level. Finally I did the dignified thing: I got out a flathead screwdriver, sat down at the table, and carefully re-bent the metal flap that held the loose petal in place. Now it stays. The steaming of vegetables is a little easier of course, but the greater gain was in becoming the person who fixed the thing that needs fixing, and no longer the person oppressed by his faulty steamer basket.

Dignity isn’t only a matter of the tools, clothing, or the method with which you do a thing. It’s in the way of doing: the earnestness, the uprightness, the respect for the task and its doer. I’m endlessly inspired by a particular entry in Marcus Aurelius’s journal, in which he admonishes himself to do everything this way, to “do what comes to hand with a correct and natural dignity,” and to regard this way of being as the only thing the gods require of him.
Dignified to the end.
There have been periods, lasting hours or sometimes days, when I’ve settled into this dignified groove of doing one thing at a time, with undivided intention, devoting the whole self to each task, rather than applying just “enough” of the self to deal with it.

The sensation of being in this groove is like a calm version of surfing - you’ve caught a certain exhilarating momentum, you have to make frequent, intuitive adjustments to maintain it, and the roiling sea still surrounds you, but there’s no thought whatsoever of wanting to be anywhere else."

How It Really Is"

Hey, they have something big for you too, Good Citizen...
Same as it ever was, same as it ever will be...

"How Inflation Precipitates Societal Collapse"

Full screen recommended.
Academy of Ideas,
"How Inflation Precipitates Societal Collapse"
Comments here:

"It's ALL Collapsing And They Don't Know How To Stop It"

Full screen recommended.
Redacted 3/29/23
"It's ALL Collapsing And They Don't Know How To Stop It"
Comments here:
Gregory Mannarino, 3/29/23
"Alert! Hundreds Of Billions Being Pumped Into
 A Dead System. This Entire Thing Is Fake"
Comments here:

"Strange Prices At Target! This Is Ridiculous! What's Next?!"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures With Danno 3/29/23
"Strange Prices At Target! This Is Ridiculous! What's Next?!"
"In today's vlog we are at Target, and noticing some very confusing prices. Like every store right now, we are finding more, and more price increases on most products, including groceries! It's getting rough out here as prices continue to skyrocket!"
Comments here:

"This is 2008 All Over Again"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly 3/29/23
"This is 2008 All Over Again"
"We are getting a warning from Elon Musk, saying that this is 2008 all over again. He is talking about the high price of interest-rates and that we are going to see a commercial real estate apocalypse."
Comments here:

"Middle Class Blues"

"Middle Class Blues"
Plus, sinking real estate, Marx vs. Lachmann,
 dividing the elites and plenty more...
by Bill Bonner and Joel Bowman

San Martin, Argentina - "Uh oh. More bad news for the middle class. Fortune: "National home prices fall for the seventh straight month. On Tuesday, we learned that U.S. home prices as measured by the seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller National Home Price Index fell for the seventh straight month in January. Since peaking in June, U.S. home prices have fallen 3% on a seasonally adjusted basis, and 5% without seasonal adjustment. That 3% drop in single-family house prices marks the second-biggest home price correction of the post–World War II era."

And this from the Wall Street Journal: "Most Americans Doubt Their Children Will Be Better Off, WSJ-NORC Poll Finds."An overwhelming share of Americans aren’t confident their children’s lives will be better than their own, according to a new Wall Street Journal-NORC Poll that shows growing skepticism about the value of a college degree and record-low levels of overall happiness."

Today and tomorrow, we look at it from a different angle…and see why it is likely to get whacked even harder.

“Don’t Fight the Fed” Karl Marx believed the driving force of social/political/economic history was the struggle between the classes. Richard Lachmann believed it was the struggle within various elite groups. Lachmann is probably more right than Marx. The masses pay taxes. They vote for their leaders. They die in wars. But they are not the deciders. Even revolutions are usually led by disenchanted members of the elite, not by the common man.

Lachmann is probably right, too, when he says the actual course of events is an accident…the product of competition between elite factions, along with unpredictable technological and social developments.

Not interested in macro, socio-historical blah-blah? We aren’t either. But ‘don’t fight the Fed’ has been good advice for the last 40 years. Will it be good advice for the next 40? The Fed controls monetary policy. And the federal government controls fiscal policy. Between the two of them, they decide the future of the US dollar…and the US economy. Naturally, we want to know what they’re up to.

Remember, is not by guessing, one day to the next, about stock prices, that you really make money on Wall Street. Instead, it is by being in the right place at the right time…and staying there as the Primary Trend runs its course. Recall, too, that the Primary Trend reversed itself – after 4 decades – in two turnarounds. The bond market hit a record high in July 2020. The last time it had done that was around the time we were born – in 1948. Since 2020, it has been going down.

And the stock market topped out at the end of 2021. The Dow rose over 36,000. It has been dropping ever since…with tempting bounces along the way. (One of the endearing features of a bear market is that it tries to take as many investors as possible down with it. Over the 40 years, 1982-2922, investors learned to BTFD [buy the dip]; now, every bounce leads them back into dip-buying…and then the market dips again.)

But back to Lachmann…Divide the Conquerors. In short, he may be on to something. And it may help us understand what is coming next. The elite have approximately $50 trillion in new wealth, thanks to the policy choices of their compadres at the Fed and the federal government over the last 30 years. Congress spent money it did not have. And the Fed financed the deficits at ultra-low interest rates. Those low rates were responsible for an orgy of borrowing and spending that 1) raised corporate profits and asset prices, 2) provided vast funds for elite projects (such as stock buybacks…the invasion of Iraq…the Covid Lockdown…), and 3) led to today’s $90 trillion debt burden.

Historically, the US could comfortably carry debt equal to 1.5 times GDP. That is, for every dollar of output (GDP) we could afford $1.50 worth of claims against it (debt). But the Fed’s way-too-low, for way-too-long interest rate policy distorted the old relationships. Had normal interest rates produced normal debt levels, we’d have total debt today of about $40 trillion. Instead, we have $90 trillion…or $50 trillion too much.

Who will decide what happens to the excess? Not the voters! The deciders will decide. And there are only two broad possibilities. Deflation or inflation. Either the excesses are reckoned with in the traditional, honest way – with bankruptcies, defaults, and market crashes. Or, they are inflated away.

Clearly, the elite prefer inflation, because much of the ultimate cost will fall on the public, not on themselves. But here is where it gets interesting. Lachmann tells us that when the elite is divided, it often cannot get what it wants. Republicans vs. Democrats…conservatives vs. liberals…left vs. right – are the internal divisions so deep that the elite cannot stick together… and stick it to the common man? Tune in tomorrow for more…"

Joel’s Note: "While residential real estate prices continue their downturn, analysts have their noses to the screens monitoring the looming crisis in the $20 trillion commercial real estate market. Here’s the Washington Post: "The initial banking crisis is easing. Another may be around the corner. Commercial real estate could become a problem for midsize banks. Federal authorities still grappling with the banking crisis caused by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank are already beginning to worry about the next potential bomb to go off in the nation’s financial system.

In the White House, Treasury Department and Federal Reserve, policymakers are examining the potential risks posed by the approximately $20 trillion market for commercial real estate, which some analysts project is heading for a crash over the next two years, according to four people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reflect private conversations."

Bonner Private Research readers will be familiar with this theme… one we’ve covered on and off for the past few months. Here’s Bill, musing just last week…"The banking sector that saw the most growth over the past 10 years was commercial real estate. In the Bubble Epoch, it paid to borrow money at very low interest rates – from banks – in order to buy commercial buildings.

But then, what happened? At first, prices rose nicely and speculators made money. Cometh the Covid Hysteria, however, the bets went bad. Buildings emptied out. And still, 3 years after Trump’s emergency decree, they’re far from back to normal. Our employees in Baltimore, for example, have learned to work from home. They don’t want to come back to the office. And as a result, we have buildings that are half empty…and some that are completely empty.

And BPR investment director, Tom Dyson, from his January report to members…"The entire commercial real estate industry operates at massive leverage. What do owners do when an asset appreciates in value? They borrow more money against it, as the owners of this building must have done. Then, because owners always seek to maximize leverage, any significant fall in property values ensures huge swathes of the industry turns into negative equity.

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle this week reports that San Francisco’s largest landlord, Veritas, has just defaulted on a $448m loan. The loan is secured by a portfolio of 1,734 rent-controlled units in 62 buildings across San Francisco." Here’s another story, from Globe St, published yesterday. A company called Chetrit Group from New York is looking to sell a portfolio of 43 buildings in order to pay off a floating rate $481m loan that it can no longer afford.

Are these stories just random misfortunes or are they the tip of an iceberg that hasn’t been revealed yet? I’m inclined to think it’s an iceberg, but we’ll have to wait and see... In San Francisco, office vacancy rates hit 30% for the first quarter of 2023. Back east, meanwhile, brokerage firm Savills calculates that close to 19% of all high-end office space in Manhattan was available for lease in the fourth quarter of 2022, up from just 11.5% in early 2019.

The pandemic sent the kids home to work… now they don’t want to come back. The situation is such that, earlier this week, the world’s sometimes-richest man, Elon Musk called the state of the commercial real estate debt market ‘by far the most serious looming issue.’ Translation: Iceberg ahead!"

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

"The American Way: No Peace, Only War. U.S. Track Record Proves It"

Full screen recommended.
Strong language alert!
Gerald Celente, "Trends Journal" 3/28/23
"The American Way: No Peace, Only War. 
U.S. Track Record Proves It"
"The Trends Journal is a weekly magazine analyzing global current events forming future trends. Our mission is to present facts and truth over fear and propaganda to help subscribers prepare for what’s next in these increasingly turbulent times."
Comments here:

"Kroger Hit By A Flood Of Store Closures As A Nightmarish Scenario For Retail Bankruptcies Begins"

Full screen recommended.
"Kroger Hit By A Flood Of Store Closures As A 
Nightmarish Scenario For Retail Bankruptcies Begins"
by Epic Economist

"Now one of the most famous grocery chains in the U.S. is getting hit by a massive wave of store closings as a nightmarish scenario for retail bankruptcies starts to unfold. Earlier this month, a spokesperson confirmed that Kroger is shuttering multiple stores, and by early 2024 over 400 locations could go dark permanently. Thousands of jobs will be slashed and many communities may lose their main grocer. And the worst part is that Kroger will not be the only one.

The news came as a surprise to many, given that Kroger has been a staple in the grocery industry for decades. "As part of a recent real estate portfolio review, we expect to close 11 stores in April," Teresa Dickerson, a Kroger spokesperson, said in a March 2 press release. "The closing stores, on average, are approximately 30% larger than our current prototype and are underperforming financially."

But according to the source, these initial closings will pale in comparison to what is coming in the months ahead. The compounding effects of lower demand and the rise of online grocery shopping and delivery services are hurting traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. The looming closures are also part of a larger restructuring plan for the struggling company.

As it attempts to save its business and snap a bigger market share in the U.S., Kroger is merging with Albertsons. However, the merger will not be completed without some deep cost-cutting efforts. The grocers will be forced to sell and close hundreds of locations. The firm reports that the merger will see between 250 and 300 Kroger and Albertsons stores sold by November 2023. On top of that, another 400 locations are going to be shuttered so that both companies can pass regulatory guidelines.

The loss of these locations combined will result in a financial hit of approximately $5 billion for the retailers. And the final number of closings could be even higher due to the fact that the grocery chains are being sued by government officials and consumers in California, Texas, and Florida, who filed a lawsuit against the deal, alleging the merger would cause increased grocery prices and fewer choices for customers.

Unfortunately, they’re not alone. There is evidence that consumer spending is falling faster than during the 2008 recession, savings are also declining and debt levels are surging at a breathtaking pace. All of this is worsening the outlook for retail. The industry has seen over 2,600 store closures in the past 12 months. In total, 391 retail companies filed for bankruptcy in 2022, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. But this year, the situation could be much more alarming.

A nightmare scenario for bankruptcies has been forming since December last year when companies reported the lowest holiday sales in over a decade. With economic activity gradually freezing, interest rates deteriorating credit conditions for businesses, and the threat of a deep recession at our door, companies should brace for expect considerably more distress in the months ahead. All signs point to a real bloodbath for the sector, and the recent store shutdowns are proof that the carnage has only just begun."
Comments here:

Musical Interlude: Procol Harum, "A Salty Dog"

Procol Harum, "A Salty Dog"

"There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me -
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads - you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

- Alfred, Lord Tennyson 

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Gorgeous spiral galaxy NGC 3521 is a mere 35 million light-years away, toward the constellation Leo. Relatively bright in planet Earth's sky, NGC 3521 is easily visible in small telescopes but often overlooked by amateur imagers in favor of other Leo spiral galaxies, like M66 and M65. It's hard to overlook in this colorful cosmic portrait, though. Spanning some 50,000 light-years the galaxy sports characteristic patchy, irregular spiral arms laced with dust, pink star forming regions, and clusters of young, blue stars.
Remarkably, this deep image also finds NGC 3521 embedded in gigantic bubble-like shells. The shells are likely tidal debris, streams of stars torn from satellite galaxies that have undergone mergers with NGC 3521 in the distant past."


"There is much asked and only so much I think I can or should answer, and so, in this post I would like to give a few thoughts on what seemed to be the overwhelming question: "WHY?" And here is the best answer I can give: Because. Because sometimes, life is damned unfair. Because sometimes, we lose people we love and it hurts deeply. Because sometimes there aren't really answers to our questions except for what we discover, the meaning we assign them over time. Because acceptance is yet another of life's "here's a side of hurt" lessons and it is never truly acceptance unless it has cost us something to arrive there. Why, you ask? Because, I answer. Inadequate yet true."
- Libba Bray

A Must View! Gerald Celente, "The Crash That Will Change A Generation"

Full screen recommended.
Gerald Celente, "Trends Journal"
"The Crash That Will Change A Generation"
"In this video, Gerald Celente discusses how governments and central banks have created an unprecedented bubble with cheap money, resulting in rising housing and equity markets that should have crashed. Although there will be a correction, he does not predict a 40% decline in housing prices. Celente highlights two wild cards that could affect the economy: inflation and military conflicts, particularly between Israel and Iran. If such conflicts occur, oil prices will rise and economies and equity markets will crash. Furthermore, the commercial office sector is likely to experience a decline, given the low occupancy rates, with businesses going bankrupt due to less commuting and business travel."
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"Douglas Macgregor: 'Russia Is Wiping Them Out, This Is It'"

Red Pilled TV, PM 3/28/23
"Douglas Macgregor:
 'Russia Is Wiping Them Out, This Is It'"
"Douglas Macgregor is back on the show to talk about the war in Ukraine. Macgregor gives his assessment of where things stand on the ground. They talk about the astounding casualty numbers and the horrifying nature of the battle over Bakhmut. Macgregor then gives some predictions for the next stages of the war. They talk about the rising tension with China. They agree there is no need to go to war with China but discuss what may explain the sudden attention shift towards Beijing. Lastly, they talk about the effects of cronyism in the weapons industry and the probability of a nuclear war."
Comments here:

Gregory Mannarino, "Credit Freeze! We Are In A Full-On Liquidity Crisis Right Now!"

Gregory Mannarino, PM 3/28/23
"Credit Freeze! We Are In A Full-On Liquidity Crisis Right Now!"
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The Daily "Near You?"

Winder, Georgia, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

The Poet: Mary Oliver, “Evidence”


“Where do I live?

If I had no address, as many people do not,
I could nevertheless say that I lived in the 
same town as the lilies of the field,
and the still waters.

Spring, and all through the neighborhood 
now there are
 strong men tending flowers.
Beauty without purpose is beauty without virtue.

But all beautiful things, inherently, have this function -

to excite the viewers toward sublime thought.

Glory to the world, that good teacher.

Among the swans there is none 
called the least,
 or the greatest.
I believe in kindness. Also in mischief.
Also in singing, 
especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.

As for the body, 
it is solid and strong and curious and full of detail;
it wants to polish itself; it wants to love another body;

it is the only vessel in the world that can hold,
in a mix of power and sweetness:

words, song, gesture, passion, ideas,
devotion, merriment, vanity, and virtue.
Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”

- Mary Oliver
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for! To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life! of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless - of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer: That you are here - that life exists, and that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
- “Dead Poets Society”


"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back."
- Carl Sagan

"The Things We Did Not Do..."

"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time;
it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable."
~ Sydney J. Harris

Bill Bonner, "Crossing the Calchaqui"

"Crossing the Calchaqui"
Plus, a few words for the preppers, 
alarmists and deniers alike...
By Bill Bonner

“I was thinking maybe instead of building houses, 
we could live in tepees because it’s better in a lot of ways”
~ Richie Norris, "Mars Attack"

San Martin, Argentina - "The dreaded ‘climate change’ is upon us already. We drove from our farm in the Calchaqui Valley up to Salta, taking our daughter and her husband back to the airport. All along the way, the roads were ‘feo,’ ugly. In many places, mud covered the road. In others, the road was washed out, forcing us to back up and find a way around the chasm that the water had opened up.

That this was ‘odd’ barely begins to describe the oddity of it. In our area, we say it ‘never rains.’ That was always an exaggeration. But with annual rainfall of less than 2 inches, “never” is within the range of normal linguistic tolerances. And now…suddenly, it is raining! It is raining so much that the grass is greener than ever…and the roads are practically impassible.

Almost Underwater: On the weekend, we went to visit a neighbor. His farm is very close to ours…and on the same side of the river. Normally, this time of year, we can cross the river with no problem. We don’t even need 4-wheel drive. But this time, we saw the water was higher than usual, so we went for “low 4x4” and plunged in. The water splashed over the hood. We thought we were in trouble, but the Toyota pick-up kept going and got us to the other side.

Then, we needed to cross the river again to get to our neighbor’s house. That is, we could see the house, but the river shifts and the way to cross it changes too. A local man, Domingo, showed up at the crossroads and volunteered to show us the way across. Here again, we sank deeper than ever before and wondered if we would make it across. But Domingo, in a pick-up ahead of us, kept going; we guessed that we could do it too. Sure enough, we got to the other side, had lunch, and then repeated the ordeal in reverse.

What’s going on? Is this ‘climate change?’ Or just a wet spell? The deciders and influencers in the rich and powerful G-7 countries want us to believe that this is not ‘normal.’ They say the world’s HVAC system is out of order…and we’re to blame for it. If it is too hot, the cause is ‘global climate change.’ If it is too cold, again, the culprit: global climate change. Too wet? Too dry? Too windy? Too many bugs or hurricanes? Yes, ‘global climate change,’ GCC is the explanation.

The planet…poor, distressed Mother Earth…is overburdened, the activists believe. She is like a boat with too many passengers. She is already taking on water…and soon will be sinking. GCC is not good. Climate activists know that. Here in the high valleys, we may appreciate the extra warmth. But the activists know GCC will not end well. They know the future. And they think we would all be a whole lot better off, if we could prevent it from happening.

Sinking Ships: But how? In general, GCC enthusiasts live in the rich countries. They already have the benefits that fossil fuels bring. On the great ship Earth, they have the upper, first-class cabins – with all the conveniences, including room service.

Down below decks, the common people aspire to reach the upper decks some day. And to get there, they know they have to use more energy…energy to build things…energy to produce more food…energy to move products and people. But the only kind of energy with that kind of cost/benefit payoff is the old-fashioned kind. Oil and gas, that is…the very stuff that puts out CO2 as well as usable energy…and the very thing that the elite ‘experts’ say may turn the earth into a red-hot cinder.

How to keep the ship afloat? How about heaving the poor overboard? Not literally, of course. But if the masses could only agree not to want what we’ve got, disaster might be averted. They could live in teepees, rather than energy-gobbling suburban homes. They could ride bicycles to work…and labor in un-airconditioned factories…where maybe they could produce synthetic food made out of insects. It doesn’t sound very attractive to us, but we’re talking about avoiding the extinction of our species; surely, they could make some sacrifices.

Here on the farm, we hang our heads. We have no doubt that we contribute more than our share to the world’s CO2. Our electricity all comes from solar panels. And our irrigation system works on gravity, with water running long distances through canals and eventually getting to the corn and alfalfa below.

Armageddon Ahead? But you can’t run a farm without plows, planters, rakes, balers, and combines – all of which get pulled by tractors…all of which run on diesel fuel. From 4 in the morning until 6 at night, the tractors do their work…usually, three of them at a time. One cuts. One rakes up the grass. And another spins it into large, round bales.

All of this CO2-generating work is intended to feed a herd of 500 cattle. And every one of those animals emits CO2 of its own…a by-product of its own planet-destroying digestive system. And despite the armageddon ahead, selfish people still want to eat beef. They want to drive cars, too. And turn on the AC when it gets hot.

Whether this brings the end of the world or not, we don’t know any better than anyone else. But with our pastures flush with green grass, our cattle fat…and water running abundantly in our irrigation canals, all we know for sure is that, if this is the ‘climate change’ we’ve heard about…so far, it is going our way."

"How It Really Is


"Stop Pretending Nothing is Wrong"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly 3/28/23
"Stop Pretending Nothing is Wrong"
"So much is happening globally. People don’t have money. 
People are looking at alternatives to restart. 
Can you see an entire continent go bankrupt?"
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"At A Time Like This..."

"At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation's ear, I would, today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced."
- Frederick Douglass

"The Russian Sledgehammer is Falling in Ukraine"

Col. Douglas Macgregor, Straight Calls 3/28/23
"The Russian Sledgehammer is Falling in Ukraine"
"Analysis of breaking news and in-depth discussion of current 
geopolitical events in the United States of America and the world."
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Full screen recommended.
Redacted, 3/27/23
"'Oh SH*T, We're Out Of Bullets!'
 Ukraine Admits The Truth In The War"
"In an interview with Japanese newspaper journalist Yomiuri Shimbun Zelensky talked about a lot of things. But the biggest item that he let slip is that Ukraine is out of bullets. And then he kind of drew a line in the sand, he told the newspaper that Ukraine won’t launch a counteroffensive until the West sends more weapons and ammunition."
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"Russian 'Secret Weapon Will Destroy USA'. Russian Diplomats Expelled. US Embassy Warning"

Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper 3/28/23
"Russian 'Secret Weapon Will Destroy USA'. 
Russian Diplomats Expelled. USEmbassy Warning"
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Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper, 7/10/22
"A Chilling Warning From A Wise 
Old Man About What's Coming..."
"J. Skousen predicted the exact year the conflict with Russia would start, now he has an even more dire prediction, watch the whole video if you want to see what the future may have in store for us. We don't agree with all his ideas, but he makes some compelling arguments."
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Full screen recommended.
Vera Lynn, "We'll Meet Again"
This is the final scene from the Stanley Kubrick classic 
"Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb"

"I Know..."


"Stock Up At Meijer! Massive Price Increases Are Coming!"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures With Danny 3/28/23
"Stock Up At Meijer!
 Massive Price Increases Are Coming!"
"In today's vlog we are at Meijer, and are noticing massive price increases! We are here to check out skyrocketing prices, and a lot of empty shelves! It's getting rough out here as stores seem to be struggling with getting products!"
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"Stock Market And Banks Get Bailed Out, You Go Broke. Car Lots Flooded With Empty Spaces"

Jeremiah Babe 3/28/23
"Stock Market And Banks Get Bailed Out, You Go Broke. 
Car Lots Flooded With Empty Spaces"
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"The Biggest Inflation Wave Ever Is Going To Hit. Global Economic Free-Fall Picks Up Speed"

Gregory Mannarino, AM 3/28/23
"The Biggest Inflation Wave Ever Is Going To Hit. 
Global Economic Free-Fall Picks Up Speed"
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Monday, March 27, 2023

"Deutsche Bank Is On The Brink Of Collapse: Get Prepared For The Next Lehman Brothers Moment"

Full screen recommended.
"Deutsche Bank Is On The Brink Of Collapse: 
Get Prepared For The Next Lehman Brothers Moment"
by Epic Economist

"Hordes of small and mid-size banks are now in trouble, and that is really bad news because those institutions issue most of the mortgages, auto loans and credit cards that our economy runs on. The other day, I asked my viewers to “imagine what our country will look like if the banking system implodes and the economy plunges into a depression”, because if our banks continue to collapse that is precisely where we are headed.

JPMorgan Chase & Co analysts estimate that the “most vulnerable” U.S. banks are likely to have lost a total of about $1 trillion in deposits since last year, with half of the outflows occurring in March following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

There are more than 4,000 banks in the United States right now, and the vast majority of them are rapidly losing deposits. As a result, U.S. banks are being forced to turn to the Fed for help at a very frightening rate…

"Banks have been flocking to emergency lending facilities set up after the failures of SVB and Signature. Data released Thursday showed that institutions took a daily average of $116.1 billion of loans from the central bank’s discount window, the highest since the financial crisis, and have taken out $53.7 billion from the Bank Term Funding Program."

Meanwhile, the banking crisis in Europe has taken another very alarming turn. Deutsche Bank shares fell on Friday following a spike in credit default swaps Thursday night, as concerns about the stability of European banks persisted. The Frankfurt-listed stock was down 14% at one point during the session but trimmed losses to close 8.6% lower on Friday afternoon. The German lender’s Frankfurt-listed shares retreated for a third consecutive day and have now lost more than a fifth of their value so far this month.

The emergency rescue of Credit Suisse by UBS , in the wake of the collapse of U.S.-based Silicon Valley Bank, has triggered contagion concern among investors, which was deepened by further monetary policy tightening from the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday. But what is going to happen to our economy when the flow of mortgages, auto loans and credit cards is greatly restricted?

Our country is already being torn to shreds like a 20 dollar suit, and economic conditions are still relatively stable. So what is going to happen when we do fall into a very deep economic depression? These are such perilous times, and they are only going to get more difficult in the months ahead."
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