Saturday, January 7, 2023

"Ukraine Was Not Built To Last" (Excerpt)

"Ukraine Was Not Built To Last" (Excerpt)
By David Stoclman

Excerpt: "The present disaster in Ukraine incepted in the Washington-sponsored Maidan coup of February 2014. Among other things it was a "revenge intervention" designed to punish Russia for being so bold as to thwart the neocon regime change adventure in Syria; and especially to haze Putin for persuading Assad to give up his chemical weapons, thereby removing any pretext for Washington military intervention.

As it happened, the Russian-friendly president of Ukraine at the time, Vicktor Janukovych, had at the last minute in late 2013 ditched a long-pending EU affiliation agreement and IMF stabilization plan in favor of a more attractive deal with Moscow. Under the so-called rule of law, that reversal would hardly seem outside the realm of sovereign prerogative.

But not by the lights of Washington, red-hot from being check-mated in Syria. Accordingly, the neocon operatives in the Obama national security apparatus, spear-headed by the horrid Victoria Nuland, insisted that the Russian deal not be allowed to stand and that Ukraine’s accession to NATO should be fast-tracked.

So doing, they demonstrated an immense ignorance about the 800-year history of the various territories which had been cobbled together in the artificial state of Ukraine, and the long-history of these pieces and parts as vassals and appendages of both Greater Russia and various eastern European kingdoms and empires that had marched back and forth across the pages of history.

In a word, they dove into a rabbit hole that has made Washington’s misadventures in the middle east small potatoes by comparison. But the War Party would be be stopped, encouraged to believe that its vast conventional military armada and the reach of its global economic sanctions could bring Putin to heel, as well.

In this context, however, it can be truly said that occasionally a few words are worth a thousand pictures–at least when it comes to Ukraine. Here’s one of them: The Ukrainian leader said that his country hadn’t been willing to cede territory from the beginning. "Had we been willing to give up our territory, there would have been no war," Zelensky said. He got that right!

So the question recurs. Why is it worth Washington’s sweeping Sanctions War on Russia, which is destroying the dollar-based global trading and payments system and triggering a worldwide inflationary calamity, to defend every inch of a sketchy map located on Russia’s doorstep? And that’s to say nothing of risking nuclear war!

Indeed, as we elaborate below, the present Ukrainian territorial map exists only due to the handiwork of Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev. Here is how and when these brutal tyrants attached each piece of today’s Ukrainian map (in purple, light blue and red, respectively) to the territories acquired or seized by the Russian Czars over 1654-1917 (yellow).
So the question recurs. Why is it worth Washington’s sweeping Sanctions War on Russia, which is destroying the dollar-based global trading and payments system and triggering a worldwide inflationary calamity, to defend every inch of a sketchy map located on Russia’s doorstep? And that’s to say nothing of risking nuclear war!

Indeed, as we elaborate below, the present Ukrainian territorial map exists only due to the handiwork of Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev. Here is how and when these brutal tyrants attached each piece of today’s Ukrainian map (in purple, light blue and red, respectively) to the territories acquired or seized by the Russian Czars over 1654-1917 (yellow)."
Full, highly recommended article here:

"What Happened to Made in America?"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly 1/7/23:
"What Happened to Made in America?"
"It is amazing to see such a beautiful American craftsmanship. What happened to Made in America? We are at the Shelby Museum in Las Vegas."
Comments here:

Musical Interlude: Deuter, "Endless Horizon"

Deuter, "Endless Horizon"

"A Look to the Heavens"

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

Chet Raymo, “Cosmic View”

“Cosmic View”
by Chet Raymo

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

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

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

Or maybe…

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

By the way…

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


The Poet: Maya Angelou, “Alone”


“Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home,
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone.
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong,
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, all alone,
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use,
Their wives run round like banshees,
Their children sing the blues.
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone,
But nobody,
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, all alone,
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know…
Storm clouds are gathering,
The wind is gonna blow.
The race of man is suffering,
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody,
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, all alone,
Nobody, but nobody,
Can make it out here alone.”

- Maya Angelou

The Daily "Near You?"

Robstown, Texas, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"No Smooth Road..."; "Benedicto"

"Life has no smooth road for any of us; and in the bracing atmosphere
of a high aim the very roughness stimulates the climber to steadier steps,
till the legend, over steep ways to the stars, fulfills itself."
- W. C. Doane
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets' towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you - beyond that next turning of the canyon walls."
- Edward Abbey

"The Very Idea..."

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

"Brain Differences in Psychopaths Identified"

"Brain Differences in Psychopaths Identified"
by Louise Pratt

"Professor Declan Murphy and colleagues Dr Michael Craig and Dr Marco Catani from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London have found differences in the brain which may provide a biological explanation for psychopathy. The results of their study are outlined in the paper 'Altered connections on the road to psychopathy', published in 'Molecular Psychiatry.'

The research investigated the brain biology of psychopaths with convictions that included attempted murder, manslaughter, multiple rape with strangulation and false imprisonment. Using a powerful imaging technique (DT-MRI) the researchers have highlighted biological differences in the brain which may underpin these types of behavior and provide a more comprehensive understanding of criminal psychopathy. Dr Michael Craig said: 'If replicated by larger studies the significance of these findings cannot be underestimated. The suggestion of a clear structural deficit in the brains of psychopaths has profound implications for clinicians, research scientists and the criminal justice system.'

While psychopathy is strongly associated with serious criminal behavior (eg rape and murder) and repeat offending, the biological basis of psychopathy remains poorly understood. Also some investigators stress mainly social reasons to explain antisocial behaviours. To date, nobody has investigated the 'connectivity' between the specific brain regions implicated in psychopathy.

Earlier studies had suggested that dysfunction of specific brain regions might underpin psychopathy. Such areas of the brain were identified as the amygdale, ie the area associated with emotions, fear and aggression, and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the region which deals with decision making. There is a white matter tract that connects the amygdala and OFC, which is called the uncinate fasciculus (UF). However, nobody had ever studied the UF in psychopaths. The team from King's used an imaging method called in vivo diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI) tractography to analyze the UF in psychopaths.

They found a significant reduction in the integrity of the small particles that make up the structure of the UF of psychopaths, compared to control groups of people with the same age and IQ. Also, the degree of abnormality was significantly related to the degree of psychopathy. These results suggest that psychopaths have biological differences in the brain which may help to explain their offending behaviors.

Dr Craig added: 'This study is part of an ongoing program of research into the biological basis of criminal psychopathy. It highlights that exciting developments in brain imaging such as DT-MRI now offer neuroscientists the potential to move towards a more coherent understanding of the possible brain networks that underlie psychopathy, and potentially towards treatments for this mental disorder."

Contact: Louise Pratt,, King's College London

"The Sociopath Next Door"

"The Sociopath Next Door"
by Martha Stout

"Imagine - if you can - not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken. And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools.

Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless. You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness. The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience, that they seldom even guess at your condition. In other words, you are completely free of internal restraints, and your unhampered liberty to do just as you please, with no pangs of conscience, is conveniently invisible to the world.

You can do anything at all, and still your strange advantage over the majority of people, who are kept in line by their consciences will most likely remain undiscovered. How will you live your life? What will you do with your huge and secret advantage, and with the corresponding handicap of other people (conscience)? The answer will depend largely on just what your desires happen to be, because people are not all the same. Even the profoundly unscrupulous are not all the same. Some people - whether they have a conscience or not - favor the ease of inertia, while others are filled with dreams and wild ambitions. Some human beings are brilliant and talented, some are dull-witted, and most, conscience or not, are somewhere in between. There are violent people and nonviolent ones, individuals who are motivated by blood lust and those who have no such appetites. Provided you are not forcibly stopped, you can do anything at all.

Maybe you are someone who craves money and power, and though you have no vestige of conscience, you do have a magnificent IQ. You have the driving nature and the intellectual capacity to pursue tremendous wealth and influence, and you are in no way moved by the nagging voice of conscience that prevents other people from doing everything and anything they have to do to succeed. You choose business, politics, the law, banking or international development, or any of a broad array of other power professions, and you pursue your career with a cold passion that tolerates none of the usual moral or legal encumbrances. When it is expedient, you doctor the accounting and shred the evidence, you stab your employees and your clients (or your constituency) in the back, marry for money, tell lethal premeditated lies to people who trust you, attempt to ruin colleagues who are powerful or eloquent, and simply steamroll over groups who are dependent and voiceless. And all of this you do with the exquisite freedom that results from having no conscience whatsoever.

You become unimaginably, unassailably, and maybe even globally successful. Why not? With your big brain, and no conscience to rein in your schemes, you can do anything at all. If you are born at the right time, with some access to family fortune, and you have a special talent for whipping up other people's hatred and sense of deprivation, you can arrange to kill large numbers of unsuspecting people. With enough money, you can accomplish this from far away, and you can sit back safely and watch in satisfaction. Crazy and frightening - and real, in about 6 percent of the population.

The high incidence of sociopathy in human society has a profound effect on the rest of us who must live on this planet, too, even those of us who have not been clinically traumatized. The individuals who constitute this 6 percent drain our relationships, our bank accounts, our accomplishments, our self-esteem, our very peace on earth.

Yet surprisingly, many people know nothing about this disorder, or if they do, they think only in terms of violent psychopathy - murderers, serial killers, mass murderers - people who have conspicuously broken the law many times over, and who, if caught, will be imprisoned, maybe even put to death by our legal system. We are not commonly aware of, nor do we usually identify, the larger number of nonviolent sociopaths among us, people who often are not blatant lawbreakers, and against whom our formal legal system provides little defense.

Most of us would not imagine any correspondence between conceiving an ethnic genocide and, say, guiltlessly lying to one's boss about a coworker. But the psychological correspondence is not only there; it is chilling. Simple and profound, the link is the absence of the inner mechanism that beats up on us, emotionally speaking, when we make a choice we view as immoral, unethical, neglectful, or selfish. Most of us feel mildly guilty if we eat the last piece of cake in the kitchen, let alone what we would feel if we intentionally and methodically set about to hurt another person. Those who have no conscience at all are a group unto themselves, whether they be homicidal tyrants or merely ruthless social snipers.

The presence or absence of conscience is a deep human division, arguably more significant than intelligence, race, or even gender. What differentiates a sociopath who lives off the labors of others from one who occasionally robs convenience stores, or from one who is a contemporary robber baron - or what makes the difference between an ordinary bully and a sociopathic murderer - is nothing more than social status, drive, intellect, blood lust, or simple opportunity. What distinguishes all of these people from the rest of us is an utterly empty hole in the psyche, where there should be the most evolved of all humanizing functions."

"How It Really Is"


"Shrinkflation At Family Dollar! What Now? What's Coming!?"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures With Danno, 1/7/23:
"Shrinkflation At Family Dollar! What Now? What's Coming!?"
"In today's vlog we are Family Dollar, and are noticing massive food products that have shrunk in size! We are also noticing a lot of empty shelves! It's getting rough out here as stores seem to be struggling with getting products!"
Comments here:

"7% Interest Rates? Is the Federal Reserve INSANE?"

Lance Roberts & Adam Taggart, Wealthion, 1/7/23:

"7% Interest Rates? Is the Federal Reserve INSANE?"
"St Louis Fed CEO James Bullard recently claimed the Fed Funds Rate may need to rise as high as 7% to tame inflation. True or not, 7% interest rates would be absolutely brutal to today's highly-leveraged economy. In this week's Market Recap, financial advisor Lance Roberts and I dissect what life under such conditions would look like. Spoiler alert: it ain't pretty..."
Comments here:

"It’s Worse Than it Looks: Beneath the Surface the Bottom is Falling Out, and People are Jumping Out of Windows" (Excerpt)

"It’s Worse Than it Looks: Beneath the Surface the Bottom
 is Falling Out, and People are Jumping Out of Windows" (Excerpt)
by David Haggith

Excerpt: "Surveying just the news that started this year in The Daily Doom, things look bad for the US economy. Worse still, if you dig beneath the few rosy headlines that did greet the year in lighter tones, the bottom falls out quickly, as it does when stepping out of a high-rise window.

This weekend, for example, I’m going to be working on a deep dive in one of my special posts for patrons into the confusing swirl of conflicting employment news that sent stocks soaring skyward today. It was really far shakier than the market wants to believe it heard. (Later this month, I’ll be giving my predictions for the upcoming year in another Patron Post.)

With the ghost of Christmas past, the Santa Clause rally fizzled into what looked like stocks were simply trying to edge upward. Stocks, finally, took a leap today; but that bolt upward was expected by many prognosticators I read on the unsustainable basis that there were a lot of losses intentionally captured during December by investors who had plenty of losses to capture from last year’s stock-market crash in order to, at least, benefit from the tax write-offs. That usually results in a quick, albeit short, rebound as the surface recoils to normal after the losses have been taken off."
Full , highly recommended, article is here:

Friday, January 6, 2023

Greg Hunter, "Weekly News Wrap-Up 1/6/23"

"Weekly News Wrap-Up 1/6/23"
By Greg Hunter’s

"Minority House Leader in the GOP, Kevin McCarthy, failed in the votes to put him in as Speaker – 11 times. Looks like the back-room deals, threats and pleas are not working for RINO McCarthy. According to one poll, McCarthy has less than half of GOP voters in his corner. There are 20 Representatives who are a firm NO vote, and it looks like there is no path forward with McCarthy, who is now being asked to step aside. This has not happened in the House since 1859.

My prediction for 2023 was people would finally wake up to the CV19 bioweapon/vax that did not save a single life. It was only meant to hurt and kill the people who fell for the CV19 psyop. Now, there is a new poll out that says approximately 73 million Americans know someone who was killed by the CV19 bioweapon/vax. If this is the case, what will the awakening be like come April, May or the end of 2023? When will the arrests and lawsuits be starting? That is the only question now.

The Fed keeps fighting inflation, and that means it’s going to keep raising interest rates and hold them higher for longer than anyone has been forecasting. At some point, the Fed will pivot, but lots of damage will be done between now and then. What is the one thing central banks all over the world are buying now? It’s gold. They are getting ready for the so-called Fed pivot for lower rates and the return of easy money sometime between now and the end of 2023. When it happens, experts say get ready for another big inflation spike. It has long been said in financial circles that gold does well in the extremes. Meaning, it will be a good investment in both times of deflation and inflation. Looks like we are going to be seeing both pretty strong in 2023 and beyond. Oh, almost forgot, Goldman Sach is loving gold for a 2023 investment." There is much more in the 47-minute newscast.

Join Greg Hunter on Rumble as he talks about these 
stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up for 1/6/23:

"The Retirement Crisis Will Economically Destroy The Middle Class"

Full screen recommended.
"The Retirement Crisis Will Economically 
Destroy The Middle Class"
by Epic Economist

"The U.S. retirement savings crisis is not on the horizon - it's already here, and the middle class is going to be decimated by it. The erosion of incomes in America is ultimately going to deteriorate the quality of life of millions of middle-class workers when they reach retirement age, and according to a new study, almost half of them are at risk of falling into or below the poverty line. Over the course of many decades, middle-class Americans have been induced to believe that our current retirement system can provide the security and stability they need when they reach their golden years, but that can’t be farther from the truth.

Just like food and housing, retirement is a necessity. Eventually, we’re all going to get to the point where we can’t work anymore, and society tells us that it is our duty to make arrangements for when that happens because, at some point, we will no longer be able to earn an income. However, the cost of retirement has risen exponentially, and middle-class Americans are going to be disproportionally impacted by this looming crisis. A new report released by Economic Policy Research found that the percentage of pay middle-income earners have to save to finance an adequate retirement has ballooned over the past two decades.

Research shows 31% of middle-income Americans are reportedly saving money for their future, of those only 9% of middle-income workers save 15% or more of their income for retirement, according to Pew Research Center data. At the same time, 42% are not currently saving for retirement. Meanwhile, 27% of middle-class workers have empty nest eggs. No wonder why a quarter of them expect to never retire, according to the Cuna Mutual Group 2022 Middle-Class Survey.

Against this background, a recent study by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School has uncovered that nearly half of middle-class Americans will face a slide into poverty as they enter their retirement. The paper exposed that roughly 40% of Americans who are considered middle-class will fall into poverty by the time they reach age 65, while an additional 8% are likely to fall below the poverty line.

Our society makes us believe that only through financial discipline and individual effort we will be able to enjoy our senior years without major concerns. But the retirement crisis in America is less due to personal failure than structural failures. At the end of the day, savings are not the root of the problem with our retirement system. The main problem is that our wages have been steadily dropping for decades.

Corporations have been largely hoarding profits, giving CEOs generous bonuses, and barely readjusting what they pay to their employees so that their salaries can keep pace with inflation. While corporate executives have seen their pay skyrocket by 876% in the past forty years, our salaries have increased by just 41% over that same span.

Government policies and the underfunding of Social Security are a clear demonstration that authorities aren’t taking care of people’s interests. Instead, they’re making life harder for many of us. The mere mention of the idea that corporations should be held responsible for the impact they have on the lives of the 99% can make the elites hysterically complain that this is an attack on “wealth creators.” But what does that make the rest of us? If only we could impose the same kind of financial discipline on corporate executives and government leaders as we do on the middle class, then we would have a real answer to the retirement problem."

"Stock Market Soars As You Go Broke And Jobless; Choose Your Friends Carefully"

Jeremiah Babe, 1/6/23:
"Stock Market Soars As You Go Broke And Jobless;
 Choose Your Friends Carefully"
Comments here:

"Is He Coming Back?"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, iAllegedly 1/6/23:
"Is He Coming Back?"
"We’ve heard from other CEOs that do a return. Who is next? Will it make a difference in the economics of the company? Is AI the future of everything?"
Comments here:

Judge Napolitano, "Scott Ritter, Ceasefire in Ukraine - Is It Real?"

Full screen recommended.
Judge Napolitano - Judging Freedom, 1/6/23:
"Scott Ritter, Ceasefire in Ukraine - Is It Real?"
Comments here:
Full screen recommended.
TeleTruth, 1/6/23: "Bakhmut Update"
"Russian forces expand advancing from the north and south. Russian Armed Forces continued their offensive along the entire Bakhmut front, developing advances from the north and south, as well as minor advances on the outskirts of the city. Ukrainian troops blew up a bridge on Bakhmutivka river to prevent Russian troops from advancing to the city center. So far, the fierce battle is still ongoing. Russian direct attacks cause Ukraine to suffer colossal losses of both servicemen and military equipment every day."
Comments here:
Full screen recommended.
Hindustan Times, 1/6/23:
"Russian Choppers Hunt, Drones ‘Sting’ Ukrainian Soldiers"
"The Russian Defense Minister has released two dramatic videos of Ka-52 'Alligator' attack helicopters and Made-In-Russia drones decimating enemy positions in Ukraine. The footage of 'Alligator' in action comes a day after TASS news agency reported that first batch of the upgraded attack helicopters was handed over to the Russian Army."
Comments here:

Musical Interlude: 2002, "Memory of the Sky"

Full screen recommended.
2002, "Memory of the Sky"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“M13 is one of the most prominent and best known globular clusters. Visible with binoculars in the constellation of Hercules, M13 is frequently one of the first objects found by curious sky gazers seeking celestials wonders beyond normal human vision. 
M13 is a colossal home to over 100,000 stars, spans over 150 light years across, lies over 20,000 light years distant, and is over 12 billion years old. At the 1974 dedication of Arecibo Observatory, a radio message about Earth was sent in the direction of M13. The featured image in HDR, taken through a small telescope, spans an angular size just larger than a full Moon, whereas the inset image, taken by Hubble Space Telescope, zooms in on the central 0.04 degrees.”

Chet Raymo,“Examination of Conscience”

“Examination of Conscience”
by Chet Raymo

"I have been reading Stephanie Smallwood's “Saltwater Slavery,” a close examination of the trade in human beings between the coast of West Africa and the Americas in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is a sobering read, but if there is one thing I came away with, it was this: We have an enormous capacity to rationalize the most horrendous crimes. Everyone involved in the slave trade - the European owners of the ships, the masters of the trading companies, the ship captains and crews, the plantation owners in the West Indies and the Chesapeake, the African tribal chiefs who captured and sold their neighbors to the European merchants - knew in some part of their souls that what they were doing was wrong. All of them - good Christians among them, pillars of their communities - found ways to rationalize their participation.

Who among us is immune to self deceit? To what extent am I implicated in the horrendous tragedies that are Darfur and Iraq? What do I owe to the global environment? Is there such a thing as innocence when we are so intimately connected that people in Fiji and Japan will read these words only moments after I write them?

What about science, the favored subject of this blog? Here is Smallwood: “The littoral [of the West African coast]...was more than a site of economic exchange and incarceration. The violence exercised in the service of human commodification relied upon a scientific empiricism always seeking to find the limits of human capacity for suffering, that point where material and social poverty threatened to consume entirely the lives it was meant to garner for sale in the Americas.”

Even science, like religion and democratic politics, can be pressed into the service of evil. We are all of us to some extent in the grip of economic forces as powerful and sometimes as pernicious as those that drove the saltwater slave trade. Few of us are required to personally face the direst evils. We are saved from moral anguish only by the fact that our acts of commission and omission ripple outward until their consequences are diluted and lost in the general happiness or unhappiness of humankind.”

The Poet: Mark Strand, "The End"

"When the Sky Is No More Than Remembered Light: 
Mark Strand Reads His Poignant Poem 'The End'”
- by Maria Popova

“Not every man knows what is waiting for him, or what he shall sing, 
when the ship he is on slips into darkness, there at the end.”

“It’s such a lucky accident, having been born, that we’re almost obliged to pay attention,” the Pulitzer-winning poet Mark Strand (April 11, 1934–November 29, 2014) observed in contemplating the artist’s task to bear witness to the universe. And yet this universe in which we live is predicated on impermanence, and the lucky accident of our existence is crowned with the certitude of its end from the start. Why, then, are we always so shocked by the finitude of all we hold dear and, above all, by our own mortality? Few are those who can say with sincerity, like Rilke did an exquisite 1923 letter, that “death is our friend precisely because it brings us into absolute and passionate presence with all that is here, that is natural, that is love.” Instead, we spend our lives shuddering at any reminder of our inevitable end, unsalved by the miracle of having lived at all.

Montaigne articulated the central paradox of being perfectly in 16th-century meditation on death and the art of living: “To lament that we shall not be alive a hundred years hence, is the same folly as to be sorry we were not alive a hundred years ago.” Still, lament we do, and some of our greatest art gives voice to that lamentation.

That paradox is what Strand explores with transcendent courage and curiosity in his poem “The End,” found in his "Collected Poems" (public library) - the trove of truth and beauty that gave us Strand’s love letter to dreams.

In this hauntingly beautiful recording, courtesy of The New York Public Library, an aged Strand reads his poignant poem shortly before he repaid his own debt to mortality:
"The End"
by Mark Strand

"Not every man knows what he shall sing at the end,
Watching the pier as the ship sails away, or what it will seem like
When he’s held by the sea’s roar, motionless, there at the end,
Or what he shall hope for once it is clear that he’ll never go back.

When the time has passed to prune the rose or caress the cat,
When the sunset torching the lawn and the full moon icing it down
No longer appear, not every man knows what he’ll discover instead.

When the weight of the past leans against nothing, and the sky
Is no more than remembered light, and the stories of cirrus
And cumulus come to a close, and all the birds are suspended in flight,
Not every man knows what is waiting for him, or what he shall sing
When the ship he is on slips into darkness, there at the end."

Complement with the lyrical "Duck, Death and the Tulip", Marcus Aurelius on mortality and the key to living fully, and the great Zen master Seung Sahn Soen-sa’s explanation of death and the life-force to a child, then revisit Strand’s celebration of clouds and everything they mean."

"The Ironic, The Tragic Thing..."

“One can fight evil but against stupidity one is helpless… I have accepted the fact, hard as it may be, that human beings are inclined to behave in ways that would make animals blush. The ironic, the tragic thing is that we often behave in ignoble fashion from what we consider the highest motives. The animal makes no excuse for killing his prey; the human animal, on the other hand, can invoke God’s blessing when massacring his fellow men. He forgets that God is not on his side but at his side.”

“There is no salvation in becoming adapted to a world which is crazy.”
- Henry Miller


"It’s forgiveness that makes us what we are. Without forgiveness, our species would’ve annihilated itself in endless retributions. Without forgiveness, there would be no history. Without that hope, there would be no art, for every work of art is in some way an act of forgiveness. Without that dream, there would be no love, for every act of love is in some way a promise to forgive. We live on because we can love, and we love because we can forgive."
- Gregory David Roberts, "Shantaram"
"A Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness"
"If I have harmed anyone in any way
either knowingly or unknowingly
through my own confusions
I ask their forgiveness.
If anyone has harmed me in any way
either knowingly or unknowingly
through their own confusions
I forgive them.
And if there is a situation
I am not yet ready to forgive
I forgive myself for that.
For all the ways that I harm myself,
negate, doubt, belittle myself,
judge or be unkind to myself
through my own confusions
I forgive myself."

The Daily "Near You?"

Moscow City, Russian Federation, Russia
Thanks for stopping by!

Jim Kunstler, "Repentance"

By Jim Kunstler

“You must trust and believe in people 
or life becomes impossible.” 
- Anton Chekhov

"The doctors of this country - of all Western Civ, really - owe their citizens an apology and an explanation, and even then, they might not be able to save modern medicine. The doctors have dishonored and disgraced their profession. They promulgated a Covid- 19 vaccination program that is now clearly killing a lot of people early in life and unnaturally. To this day, no established professional group of doctors, or formal association, or major journal, has called for an end to the vaxx program.

The signal has been clear for the better part of a year. The mRNA products made by Pfizer and Moderna did not stop transmission of Covid-19 and were causing widespread harm, especially in the working-age population between 25 and 64 who were forced to take the shots to keep their jobs. For the whole population all-causes deaths and disabilities were still rising at the end of 2022.

The trend appeared to start with the unnatural deaths of professional athletes dropping dead on their playing fields. Then, in early 2022, life insurance companies issued reports that the death rates of policy-holders employed by companies with insurance plans were up 40 percent. The numbers were confirmed in mid-2022 by the Society of Actuaries - the professional org of people who actually parse the statistics that the insurance industry bases its business model on. In fact the number of excess deaths in younger age groups had grown dramatically - Covid vaccination produced a 78-percent increase in excess deaths among the 25-34 age group, a 100-percent increase in excess deaths among the 35-44 age group, and a 80-percent increase in excess deaths among the 45-54 age group.

These signals arrived special-delivery and gift-wrapped to the medical profession and, amazingly, no corresponding warning to the public came back out. The doctors continued to push the vaccines. The public health officials (many of them doctors) in all the agencies under the US Dept. of Health and Human Services withheld information about the harms that were being done and continued to run advertisements promoting the vaccines at the same time these officials must have noticed the alarming news incoming. As late as this new year, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky appeared in TV ads promoting mRNA booster shots.

In short, a professional class the public depends on to define reality have done everything possible to conceal and distort reality. The cable news networks and the newspapers amplified the distortions to prevent the public from understanding what was happening to them in an epic world health crisis. Social media, managed backstage by government intel agencies, reinforced the information blackout. The crisis was coming not so much from the Covid-19 virus itself, which had a death rate well under one percent of those infected; the crisis came from the supposed remedy for the virus, the vaccines pushed on the uninformed and misinformed citizens.

Outside a small circle of apostate doctors - Malone, McCullough, Kory, Cole, Risch, Bhattacharya, and others - the practicing physicians of America went blindly and stupidly along with the government’s vaccination program. My own primary care physician told me he was “a hundred percent confident in the vaccines” when he attempted to persuade me to take the shots. (I declined.) In the next year’s physical exam he didn’t even mention the vaccines. How about your doctors? Do you wonder what they’ve learned? Or if they’ve learned anything.

And what are they going to do now? Pretend that none of this is happening? Continue to demonize, discredit, and punish the few doctors who won’t pretend? My PC doc doubles as Chief Health Officer of his group practice. He’s fired doctors and others on the staff who refused to take the shots his company mandated. He’s dishonored his Hippocratic oath. He’s in mid-life with, one would assume ordinarily, many working years ahead of him. The information about vaccine deaths and disabilities is going to get worse, and his own behavior around the crisis is going to look worse, probably even to himself. There are hundreds of thousands of doctors like him. As of now, early 2023, there is no general movement among them to explain or apologize for their actions. What will happen?

I’ll tell you what will happen: medicine as we’ve known it is going to collapse, along with most other activities in our society. Apart from ethical offenses against the public in the single instance of the Covid-19 emergency, doctors and their administrative cohorts have stealthily surrendered to a racketeering business model that had already badly damaged the practice of medicine before Covid-19 came on the scene.

Remember: as a general principle, organisms and systems often assume their greatest size just before they go extinct or fail. That’s exactly what you’re seeing in the conglomeratization of hospitals in the USA. If the idea was to remove redundancies for the sake of “efficiency,” then they did exactly what destroys ecosystems. Anyway, the net effect of all that hospital consolidation was just to make access to health care much more difficult for the average citizen, and the only benefit was to make multi-millionaires of the executives who run the hospitals.

Then Covid-19 came along and they decimated their own workforce with vaccine mandates. Now, many hospitals can barely function, and many have had to shut down specific services. Quite a few hospitals are going bankrupt, which only feeds the predatory consolidation still ongoing. When the financial, banking, and insurance disorders ahead start to bite later this year, hospitals will be shutting down. In the meantime, a lot of people will lose their lives to the disastrous side-effects of the vaccines. It is already the case, that the vaccine-injured who seek help from the medical system are lied-to, mis-treated, or ignored. Some of these are the doctors themselves and other health professionals who collide with reality the hard way.

Something will emergently replace this monster we call “health care.” Maybe it will still think of itself medicine, but it will operate at a much smaller scale, minus a lot of the expensive and rather miraculous high-tech developed in our time, but also minus a lot of hazardous high-tech interventions, especially pharmaceuticals, that were used as revenue streams despite the adverse blowbacks they induced.

Will the doctors recover the trust of the public? It’s going to be a slog for them. They’ll have a long way to go just to recover their own honor and self-respect. Some sort of organized act of apology and repentance will have to happen first."
"The more I see of the monied medical classes,
the better I understand the guillotine."
- George Bernard Shaw