"These two mighty galaxies are pulling each other apart. Known as the "Mice" because they have such long tails, each spiral galaxy has likely already passed through the other. The long tails are created by the relative difference between gravitational pulls on the near and far parts of each galaxy. Because the distances are so large, the cosmic interaction takes place in slow motion - over hundreds of millions of years.
NGC 4676 lies about 300 million light-years away toward the constellation of Bernice's Hair (Coma Berenices) and are likely members of the Coma Cluster of Galaxies. The featured picture was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys in 2002. These galactic mice will probably collide again and again over the next billion years so that, instead of continuing to pull each other apart, they coalesce to form a single galaxy."
“Life is a refining process. Our response to it determines whether we’ll be ground down or polished up. On a piano, one person sits down and plays sonatas, while another merely bangs away at “Chopsticks.” The piano is not responsible. It’s how you touch the keys that makes the difference. It’s how you play what life gives you that determines your joy and shine.”
"We Are All. Free. To Do. Whatever. We Want. To Do.”
by Richard Bach
“We are all free to do whatever we want to do,” he said that night. “Isn’t that simple and clean and clear? Isn’t that a great way to run a universe?” “Almost. You forgot a pretty important part,” I said. “Oh?” “We are all free to do what we want to do, as long as we don’t hurt somebody else,” I chided. “I know you meant that, but you ought to say what you mean.”
There was a sudden shambling sound in the dark, and I looked at him quickly. “Did you hear that?” “Yeah. Sounds like there’s somebody…” He got up, walked into the dark. He laughed suddenly, said a name I couldn’t catch. “It’s OK,” I heard him say. “No, we’d be glad to have you… no need you standing around… come on, you’re welcome, really…”
The voice was heavily accented, not quite Russian, nor Czech, more Transylvanian. “Thank you. I do not wish to impose myself upon your evening…” The man he brought with him to the firelight was, well, he was unusual to find in a midwest night. A small lean wolflike fellow, frightening to the eye, dressed in evening clothes, a black cape lined in red satin, he was uncomfortable in the light.
“I was passing by,” he said. “The field is a shortcut to my house…” “Is it?” Shimoda did not believe the man, knew he was lying, and at the same time did all he could to keep from laughing out loud. I hoped to understand before long.
“Make yourself comfortable,” I said. “Can we help you at all?” I really didn’t feel that helpful, but he was so shrinking, I did want him to be at ease, if he could. He looked on me with a desperate smile that turned me to ice. “Yes, you can help me. I need this very much or I would not ask. May I drink your blood? Just some? It is my food, I need human blood…”
Maybe it was the accent, he didn’t know English that well or I didn’t understand his words, but I was on my feet quicker than I had been in many a month, hay flying into the fire from my quickness. The man stepped back. I am generally harmless, but I am not a small person and I could have looked threatening. He turned his head away. “Sir, I am sorry! I am sorry! Please forget that I said anything about blood! But you see…”
“What are you saying?” I was the more fierce because I was scared. “What in the hell are you saying, mister? I don’t know what you are, are you some kind of VAM-?” Shimoda cut me off before I could say the word. “Richard, our guest was talking, and you interrupted. Please go ahead, sir; my friend is a little hasty.” “Donald,” I said, “this guy…” “Be quiet!” That surprised me so much that I was quiet, and looked a sort of terrified question at the man, caught from his native darkness into our firelight.
“Please to understand. I did not choose to be born vampire. Is unfortunate. I do not have many friends. But I must have a certain small amount of fresh blood every night or I writhe in terrible pain, longer than that without it and I cannot live! Please, I will be deeply hurt – I will die – if you do not allow me to suck your blood… just a small amount, more than a pint I do not need.” He advanced a step toward me, licking his lips, thinking that Shimoda somehow controlled me and would make me submit.
“One more step and there will be blood, all right. Mister, you touch me and you die…” I wouldn’t have killed him, but I did want to tie him up, at least, before we talked much more. He must have believed me, for he stopped and sighed. He turned to Shimoda. “You have made your point?” “I think so. Thank you.”
The vampire looked up at me and smiled, completely at ease, enjoying himself hugely, an actor on stage when the show is over. “I won’t drink your blood, Richard,” he said in perfect friendly English, no accent at all. As I watched he faded as though he was turning out his own light… in five seconds he had disappeared.
Shimoda sat down again by the fire. “Am I ever glad you don’t mean what you say!” I was still trembling with adrenalin, ready for my fight with a monster. “Don, I’m not sure I’m built for this. Maybe you’d better tell me what’s going on. Like, for instance, what… was that?”
“Dot was a wompire from Tronsylwania,” he said in words thicker than the creature’s own. “Or to be more precise, dot was a thought-form of a wompire from Tronsylwania. If you ever want to make a point, you think somebody isn’t listening, whip ‘em up a little thought-form to demonstrate what you mean. Do you think I overdid him, with the cape and the fangs and the accent like that? Was he too scary for you?”
“The cape was first class, Don. But that was the most stereotyped, outlandish… I wasn’t scared at all.” He sighed. “Oh well. But you got the point, at least, and that’s what matters.”
“What point?” “Richard, in being so fierce toward my vampire, you were doing what you wanted to do, even though you thought it was going to hurt somebody else. He even told you he’d be hurt if…”
“He was going to suck my blood!” “Which is what we do to anyone when we say we’ll be hurt if they don’t live our way.”
I was quiet for a long time, thinking about that. I had always believed that we are free to do as we please only if we don’t hurt another, and this didn’t fit. There was something missing.
“The thing that puzzles you,” he said, “is an accepted saying that happens to be impossible. The phrase is hurt somebody else. We choose, ourselves, to be hurt or not to be hurt, no matter what. Us who decides. Nobody else. My vampire told you he’d be hurt if you didn’t let him? That’s his decision to be hurt, that’s his choice. What you do about it is your decision, your choice: give him blood; ignore him; tie him up; drive a stake of holly through his heart. If he doesn’t want the holly stake, he’s free to resist, in whatever way he wants. It goes on and on, choices, choices.”
“When you look at it that way…”
“Listen,” he said, “it’s important. We are all. Free. To do. Whatever. We want. To do.“
"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,
but of respect and joy in each other's life.
Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof."
“Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”
by Richard Bach
“Born in 1936, Richard Bach is an American author who has written many excellent books. His quotes are inspirational and motivational. “Jonathan Livingston Seagull;” “Illusions;” “The Bridge Across Forever;” to name only a few of his books."
Notice: This electronic version of the book has been released for educational purposes only. You may not sell or make any profit from this book. And if you like this book, buy a paper copy and give it to someone who does not have a computer, if that is possible for you.
“I have been in the service of the Vorlons for centuries, looking for you. Diogenes, with his lamp, looking for an honest man, willing to die for all the wrong reasons. At last, my job is finished. Yours is just beginning. When the darkness comes, know this; you are the right people, in the right place, at the right time.” – "Babylon 5"
"What is the most common question asked by philosophers nowadays? “Do you want fries with that?” Diogenes is dead. When he was up and kicking around, he lived in a wine barrel at the end of town, and often was caught on the streets stark naked. Sometimes he was, um, enjoying himself. Oddly, he was also thought of as a respected philosopher. When I try to emulate him, though, all I get is a restraining order and some embarrassing YouTube® videos.
The reason we remember Diogenes is for two reasons: First, he invented the chicken nugget, but sadly was unable to invent any tasty dipping sauces. Second, he walked around making pithy little statements like this: “We sell things of great value for things of very little, and vice versa." It’s a very short, and very wickedly to the point piece of advice. Frankly, it points out many of the problems we are facing as a society today.
Let’s take consooming for today’s topic.Billions of dollars are spent attempting to convince people to purchase one product or another. These advertisements are hard to avoid – and they have one thing in common – a desire to get the consoomer to spend money. In some cases, the ads provide the ability to match a need with a product. If I’m cutting down trees using axes and handsaws, knowing that a thing called a chainsaw exists is providing me a real value. So, ads inform.
But ads also are used to create desire in customers, playing on emotions to drive purchase decisions for things that aren’t needs, but frivolities. I have plenty of those! I’m a sucker for some things in particular. In the sitting room (where I’m typing this now) I look around and see a map I bought as artwork a few years ago. It shows all the undersea telegraph cables in around 1871. So very cool! I walked into the store, saw it, and bought it. I consoomed. I can’t cut down a tree with it. I can’t drive it to work. It’s just... there, stuck to my wall.
Is the map of great value? No. It’s a print. It doesn’t make me better, more complete, important, or accomplished. We can look in terms of multiple ways to value things. Dollars are only one. In this case, the picture cost about what I made in about an hour or two. Was it worth an hour of my life to own that map? Yeah, I guess so. But when I start to value objects that I own, and look at how much of my life I traded for them, my equation starts to change.
If I didn’t spend that hour at work, what could I have spent that hour on? How could I have changed my life? Could I have spent more time brushing my teeth, so they were 2.3% brighter? Should I have spent that time waxing my dog? What did I overlook or not spend time on? And which of those things might have been more valuable?
I understand that money is important – those who say that money isn’t important haven’t gone without it. But money isn’t the goal, it’s what can be done with it that’s important. The true currency of our lives isn’t gold, silver, or even PEZ™. It’s time. Each of us on this planet have a finite number of hours left on this rock, and that number goes down by one each hour that we spend. It goes down by one if I spend it at a job I don’t like. It goes down if I spend it writing the best post I’ve ever written. It goes down by one if I’m sleeping. It goes down by one every hour.
Yes, I know, exercising and other positive things might extend that life, but I’m still going to die. In the endless summer of a life when I was, say, 12, I didn’t think much about time and how I spent it. Even then, though, I didn’t try to just “pass the time” since there was so much to do and see and learn in the world. Now as I’m on the back side of life, I can see that those hours I have left cannot be wasted.
They’re all I have. And learning is great, but now it has to have purpose. Will it help me write? Will it help me crack a puzzle that I can share? Will it help me with some project I’m working on? Can it help me change the world?
Again, as I get older, it ceases to be about me. It’s now about what I can do to help others, how I can help make the world a better place. Thankfully, during my career I’ve been able to do work on things that matter, and have made the world a slightly better place. If I’m trading my life for my work, I’m glad that it’s work that matters.
Diogenes? He’s still dead, but he changed the world, just a little bit. And I can, too. And so can you. Time is still all we have, but it’s up to us to make the most of it, each and every day, just like Diogenes showed us. But, I don’t recommend you do it naked. Now, I wonder how Diogenes dealt with the restraining orders?"
"There are a multitude of fuses affixed to dozens of powder-kegs and little kids with matches are on the loose. I don’t know which of the fuses will be lit and which powder-keg will blow, but someone is bound to do something stupid, and then all hell will break loose. It could happen at any time. One military miscue. One assassination. One violent act that stirs the world. And the dominoes will topple, setting off fireworks not seen on this planet since 1939 – 1945. I can see it all very clearly."
"Cannot undo the cascading series of cataclysmic events..."
Full screen recommended.
Stanley Kubrick, "Dr. Strangelove Ending" (1964)
"Through a series of military and political accidents, a pair of psychotic senior military officers -- U.S. Air Force Commander Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) and Joint Chiefs of Staff General "Buck" Turgidson (George C. Scott) - hatch an ingenious, foolproof, and irrevocable plan to unleash a wing of B-52 bombers and their nuclear payloads on strategic targets inside Russia. And when the brains behind the scheme, Dr. Strangelove (Peter Sellers), a wheelchair-bound nuclear scientist with bizarre ideas about man's future, accidentally activates the bombing mission, the President of the United States (Peter Sellers) is unable to stop it.
Although he knows the secret code to stop the mission, the Royal Air Force's Group Captain Mandrake (Peter Sellers) isn't much help since he's come under attack at a U.S. Air Force base by a group of U.S. paratroopers who've been accidentally activated, too. So, despite all efforts to recall him, Major T. J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) personally sees his bombing mission to its fateful conclusion, even as the Russian Ambassador (Peter Bull) is summoned to the White House in hopes of averting a crisis and preventing the activation of the "Doomsday" machine. But the inevitable comes to pass as the efforts of the Pentagon brass and all the politicians in Moscow and Washington cannot undo the cascading series of cataclysmic events."
"A visual journey into mankind's favorite pastime throughout the ages."
"Of Army Ants and Pit Bulls:
The Biological Roots of War"
by Fred Reed
"The biological–that is, genetic—roots of human behavior have been a disputed matter at least since The Bell Curve, most heatedly regarding race. The measure of racial intelligence has been the sharpest focus with psychometrists universally, as far as I can determine, ranking races by IQ as Ashkenazi Jews, East Asians, whites, Latinos, and blacks. While these findings have been used by demagogues, those making them are serious researchers, and the ranking parallels the levels of achievement of those ranked.
In support of these findings many have pointed out that human races are subspecies of Homo sapiens just as Border Collies and pit bulls are subspecies of dog. They differ in intelligence. So might human subspecies.
Racialists touting the superiority however defined of the white race point to achievements of whites to buttress this theory. These achievements do suggest high intellectual ability. Among the said achievements are: Euclidean geometry. Parabolic geometry. Hyperbolic geometry. Differential geometry. Calculus: Limits, continuity, differentiation, integration. Physical chemistry. Organic chemistry. Biochemistry. Classical mechanics. The indeterminacy principle. The wave equation. The Parthenon. The Anabasis. Air conditioning. Number theory. Romanesque architecture. Gothic architecture. Information theory. Entropy. The telephone. Almost every symphony ever written. Pierre Auguste Renoir. The twelve-tone scale. The mathematics behind it, twelfth root of two and all that. S-p hybrid bonding orbitals. The Bohr-Sommerfeld atom. The purine-pyrimidine structure of the DNA ladder. Single-sideband radio. All other radio. Bearable dentistry. The internal-combustion engine. Turbojets. Turbofans. Heart surgery. Doppler beam-sharpening. Penicillin. Airplanes. The mammogram. The Pill. The condom. Polio vaccine. The integrated circuit. The computer. Football. Computational fluid dynamics. Tensors. The Constitution. Euripides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aeschylus, Homer, Hesiod. Broad-spectrum antibiotics. Rubber. Nylon. Skyscrapers. X-rays. Elvis. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. (OK, that’s nerve gas, and maybe we didn’t really need it.) Silicone. The automobile. Really weird stuff, like clathrates, Buckyballs, and rotaxanes. Telecivion. Helicopters. Bug spray. Diffie-Hellman, public-key cryptography, and RSA. RISC V. EUV lithography. Field-programmable gate arrays. The EPR Paradox. Et cetera.
These examples and thousands of others leave little doubt of the intellectual abilities of whites. The rapid ascent of the Chinese in matters technological and scientific further suggests the validity of the IQ rankings.
Less studied are the biological roots of aggressiveness: Pit bulls are more aggressive than Border Collies. In explanation of extremely high levels of violent crime among blacks, racialists have pointed to levels of testosterone, highest in blacks and lowest in East Asians. Men, they note, have higher levels than women, and are more aggressive. Other biological markers that I am incompetent to judge are said to support the hierarchy.
Yet among races it is whites, not blacks, who stand out for predatory and destructive aggressiveness. They—we—exist in a constant state of hostility, attacking each other and other peoples. Just now white Americans use white Ukrainians to fight white Russians, with help from white Europeans in a pointless war. A Eurowhite coalition prepares for war with China. Similar coalitions in various combinations attacked Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, on and on, with white Russians taking part in opposition. Earlier there was the bombing of Yugoslavia and, remembered by grayhairs, the devastation of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
The list could go on almost without end. Both world wars consisted of whites fighting whites for no reason of any rationality. These interalbionic conflicts often seem insane. In the Battle of the Somme in 1916, England lost 20,000 dead in one day. It continued the war. The senselessness suggests an inherent combativeness not amenable to reason.
Other races fight wars but most of them with nothing resembling the single-minded aggressiveness or scale. In China the Taiping Rebellion of 1850-1864 was as ghastly as anybody else’s best wars. Yet on the whole China has preferred commerce, Southeast Asia is not always at war, Latin America has had wars but not with the constancy or destructiveness of those of the white world. Correlation, as they say, is not causation, but enough correlation begins to look like it.
Throughout the colonial period, Eurowhites attacked most of the earth in an orgy of aggression. All or most of South America, India, Mexico, Southeast Asia, Africa were militarily invaded and often brutally mistreated. Go to Zacatecas in Mexico and see the conditions of the Indian slaves used by the Spanish to work the silver mines. While there, check out the instruments of torture—they are in a museum– used by the Spanish. You will be sickened.
The aggression is not always military. At the moment whites try to strangle Chinese development by cutting off technology. Venezuela is sanctioned to get control of its petroleum, Cuba for no reason, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and so on. American politicians and nativists threaten Mexico with military incursion and the US President says he will sanction the country to get control of its energy sector.
The aggressiveness is so consistent, so great, over so much time that a genetic component becomes plausible. We seem to be dealing with pit bulls. Or army ants.
Slavery, as pure a form of aggression as exists, has been the common practice of humanity through much of history, practiced with varying degrees of barbarity. Yet under Eurowhites it grew to be a trade of unexampled scale and enormous cruelty. Figures are shaky, but a common accounting puts the number of slaves extracted from Africa (captured by other Africans and sold to white slavers) at eleven million. It was not especially Southern in America, the trade being run by New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. It was a Eurowhite thing, as we say, with much of Europe involved—Portugal, Spain, England, Holland, most of these calling themselves Christian, and the slaves were hideously treated by white owners in the British West Indies, Latin America, and the United States. White nationalists furiously deny much of this, but the record is solid, voluminous, and undeniable. Read The Atlantic Slave Trade, by Hervert Klein, on Amazon.)
The unrestrained aggressiveness of Eurowhites has, and has had, consequences. Eurowhites are unloved across the world. All through Mexico there are monuments to and streets named for los Niños Heroes, the Heroic Boys who died fighting the Americans invading Mexico. Mexico of course is helpless under the American boot but other Latin countries are less helpless and welcome China and Russia as the first possible alternatives they have ever had.
We now see Indian movies, very hostile to England, about the years of British occupation. India now leans toward Russia and China. The Chinese remember their ports being occupied beneath the threatening cannon of gunboats, the opium trade forced on them, American and other Eurowhite troops rampaging through the streets of Beijing, looting, raping, and killing for sport.
I was in Vietnam and Cambodia as a correspondent during the war there, and saw what Eurowhites—in this case American and French—did to those countries. Years later in Vientiane I was chatting with a young woman who mentioned in passing her father’s death. “What happened to him?” I foolishly asked. “He died fighting the Americans,” she said.
Aggression. Unending aggression. Combined with superior technology, it produced colonialism. It produces today’s wars. Is it genetic? I don’t know, but it sure looks that way. Eurowhites have done a great deal for the world, but also to it. Let us hope that they do not give us another world war that no one else wants.
“I'm rightly tired of the pain I hear and feel, boss. I'm tired of bein' on the road, lonely as a robin in the rain. Not never havin' no buddy to go on with or tell me where we's comin' from or goin' to or why. I'm tired of people bein' ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. I'm tired of all the times I've wanted to help and couldn't. I'm tired of bein' in the dark. Mostly it's the pain. There's too much. If I could end it, I would. But I can't.”
“NGC 253 is not only one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, it is also one of the dustiest. Discovered in 1783 by Caroline Herschel in the constellation of Sculptor, NGC 253 lies only about ten million light-years distant.
NGC 253 is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of Galaxies, the nearest group to our own Local Group of Galaxies. The dense dark dust accompanies a high star formation rate, giving NGC 253 the designation of starburst galaxy. Visible in the above photograph is the active central nucleus, also known to be a bright source of X-rays and gamma rays.”
"Causes do matter. And the world is changed by people who care deeply about causes,about things that matter. We don't have to be particularly smart or talented. We don't need a lot of money or education. All we really need is to be passionate about something important; something bigger than ourselves. And it's that commitment to a worthwhile cause that changes the world."
- Steve Goodier
"Find the things that matter, and hold on to them,
“At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal force in the heart of man: one very reasonably tells the man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of avoiding it; the other, even more reasonable, says that it is too painful and harassing to think of the danger, since it is not a man’s power to provide for everything and escape from the general march of events; and that it is therefore better to turn aside from the painful subject till it has come, and to think of what is pleasant. In solitude a man generally yields to the first voice; in society to the second.”
- Leo Tolstoy, “War and Peace”
“All our mortal lives are set in danger and perplexity: one day to prosper,
and the next – who knows? When all is well, then look for rocks ahead.”
- Sophoclese, “Philoctetes”
A little light reading from Tolstoy…
Freely download “War and Peace”, by Leo Tolstoy, here:
"15 Signs A Massive Car Market Crash Is Already Upon Us"
By Epic Economist
"A devastating car market crash is now in motion, and it will trigger brutal consequences for buyers, sellers, and dealers. The U.S. auto market entered 2023 in a massive bubble, with average new car prices hitting an absolute record high while used car prices were almost 42% higher compared to 2019 levels. But now several factors are contributing to a collapse in the value of cars. At the same time, auto loan debt levels are shooting up and even borrowers with good credit scores are becoming unable to afford car payments and having their vehicles repossessed. A famous industry executive said this could lead the country to the next great financial crisis, and considering the pace at which this downturn is unfolding, it looks like his warning is spot on.
In February 2023, the average cost of a new car climbed to $50,000 in the United States, up from just $38,948 in December 2019. That marked the highest price for a new car in history, according to data compiled by Edmunds. At the same time, a growing number of consumers are having to stretch their budgets to afford a new vehicle. The average monthly payment for a new car is up 26% since 2019 to $718 a month, and nearly one in six new car buyers is spending more than $1,000 a month on vehicles, also a record. Other costs associated with owning a car have also shot up, including insurance, gas, and repairs. "With new car prices as high as they are, it's getting more and more difficult for most Americans to stomach these payments," stresses Ivan Drury, Edmunds director of insights.
After the pandemic broke out, automakers expected car demand to collapse, which led them to reduce output, and microchip manufacturers followed suit. With a shortage of new cars hitting the market in 2020, consumers started to use their stimulus checks and took advantage of low-interest rates to purchase used cars instead, driving up prices four times faster than the growth seen in the inventory of new cars. “The perfect storm of supply and demand created a temporary and unsustainable spike in used car prices, says Motley Fool’s analyst Sean Williams. A huge bubble was formed, but a reckoning has just arrived.
The repercussions of the car market collapse can throw the entire country in disarray. We must consider that the U.S. car industry is a significant contributor to the country's economy, accounting for millions of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue. A crash in this market can result in a significant economic downturn, leading to widespread job losses, bankruptcies, and a sharp decline in consumer spending. It can also disrupt the supply chain for many other industries. Given that car manufacturers rely on a vast network of suppliers to produce their vehicles, when the crash finally occurs, it will trigger a domino effect on these suppliers, leading to mass disruption in many sectors. When Musk says this could turn into a financial nightmare, he isn't bluffing. We should all pay very close attention to the next developments of this crisis because it will ultimately impact all of us. That’s why in today’s video, we compiled several facts that prove that the U.S. auto market is in huge trouble."
“I can’t convince myself that it does much good to try to challenge the everyday political delusions and dementias of Americans at large. Their contained and confined mentalities by far prefer the petty and parochial prisons of the kind of sense they have been trained and rewarded for making out of their lives (and are punished for deviating from them). What it costs them ultimately to be such slaves and infants and ideological zombies is a thought too monstrous and rending and spiky for them even to want to glance at.”
San Martin, Argentina - "When we left you yesterday, we were describing how the theories of Richard Lachmann suggested that there may be a way to avoid the coming catastrophe. Backtracking… The US has $50 trillion in ‘excess’ debt. It is a huge burden…making it almost impossible to return to a ‘normal,’ healthy economy. The Fed must increase rates to fight inflation. And higher rates threaten to bring the debt pile crashing down, like an avalanche after a heavy snowfall.
The Fed is trapped. It has to fight inflation (or appear to fight it). But it also has to save the banks. And it will soon have to save the biggest, most woebegone bank of all – itself. Bloomberg: "For the First Time, the Fed Is Losing Money." "Thanks to interest-rate risk exposure, the central bank will soon have negative equity capital.
Like all central banks, the Federal Reserve was designed to make money for the government from its monopoly on issuing currency. The Fed did generate profits, which it sent to the Treasury, every year from 1916 on - until last fall. In a development previously unheard of, the Federal Reserve has suffered operating losses of about $42 billion since September 2022."
“Good luck,” says colleague Dan Denning. Trying to save the banks while also fighting inflation “is like spinning plates on sticks…while jumping up and down on a trampoline…that’s bolted to a roller coaster.”
Restricting the Future: On the flip side of the excess debt is $50 trillion in excess, paper “wealth” – stocks, bonds, real estate – that was inflated by Fed’s ultra-low lending rates. If the debt went away – by default – so would the asset values it supports. The elites have power, status, and wealth – including almost all of the aforementioned $50 trillion; that’s what makes them the elite. And they’re not dumb. They know that tomorrow has a way of writing down today’s assets and scrambling today’s hierarchies (the last shall be first!). Their number 1 priority is always to prevent tomorrow from happening.
Is China gaining on us? Gotta stop it! Are banks going bust? Gotta bail them out! US GDP growth falling? Gotta stimulate it! Are the natives getting restless? Pass a law to keep them from getting any ideas!
Yes, the newly proposed RESTRICT ACT will allow the ruling class to decide what you can access on the internet. Have your doubts about the Covid vaccine? Skeptical about the ‘threat to democracy’ posed by the Jan. 6 demonstrators…or the need to continue the war in the Ukraine? Well….you can just keep it to yourself!
Single Mind Diversity: Every new technology (except for those that can be used to kill our enemies or control the masses) is a threat to the Establishment. Untamed politicians (Donald Trump!) are a danger to our democracy. Foreign nations that are not loyal allies (Russia! China! Iran!) are rogue countries that must be brought to heel. Everything is a threat. And every threat is an opportunity to spend the public’s money.
But the deciders are not all of one mind. There are, after all, Republicans as well as Democrats…White Supremacists as well as Woke Ideologues…and those who insist on saving the planet as well as those who would let Earth take care of herself.
Richard Lachmann argues that a fractured elite is less able to prevent change than a unified elite. Spain, for example, was once the richest country in Europe. But after its empire collapsed, the elite closed ranks so tightly that it was able to suppress any and all innovation. Then it became the most backward nation in the Old World.
In England, by contrast, the elite was divided. The King competed with the local aristocracy…and with the clergy…and with the landowners…as well as the upstart capitalists. Unable to lock arms to prevent it, the Industrial Revolution took hold and upended the old order.
At least, that is Lachmann’s telling of the story. We pass it along, not as Truth, but simply as another way of understanding a vastly more complex history. But what can we learn from this? Anything?
One way or another, the future is gonna happen. And Lachmann is probably right; if the political fractures are wide enough, they may let in enough air to allow a new status quo to develop. Today’s elites desperately want to prevent deflation, which would mark down their asset values quickly. They also aim to keep the empire going – with its billion-dollar payoffs to the ‘defense’-related industries…and the politicians who support them. Inflation is the answer to both of these priorities – the new money would pump up asset prices…and allow the boondoggles to continue.
But what if left and right cannot agree? What if the next debt ceiling debate, for example, ends in a stalemate? What if there were a large enough alternative faction…of marginal ‘influencers’ and ‘conservatives’ …to gum up the works? What if Jerome Powell really serious about taming inflation….or De Santis really would stop the forever wars?
“Chainsaw Plan” Here in Argentina, would you believe it!, an unconventional politician and former rock ‘n’ roll singer, Javier Milei, is proposing to dismantle the entire predatory Establishment. In almost any other country…at almost any other time…he would be regarded as a quirky footnote in the political process. But here, after 70 years of heavy government fumbling in the economy…where there is widespread poverty, and where people have more trust in aluminum siding salesmen than in government…Milei has come into presidential contest like an avenging angel. He’s already third in the presidential polls…and rising.
His ‘Chainsaw Plan’ would eliminate the departments of Health, Education, Public Works and Social Development. His budgets would be balanced. His currency would be as solid as the US dollar (he proposes to use the dollar as Argentina’s currency…perhaps unaware that the greenback is probably going the way of the peso!)
We doubt America is ready for this kind of future. In politics, scoundrels always resort to war and inflation to keep themselves on top…and they get away with it for a long time. The Democrats are fully behind the whole ‘war and inflation’ program. And the Trumpified Republicans too. They gave up the Old Time religion – balanced budgets at home, non-intervention abroad – long ago. And then, in 2020, led by Mr. Trump, they went along with the biggest breach of fiscal discipline in the history of the US, with $6 trillion of stimmies, PPP loans, unemployment boosters and other giveaways.
Republicans may disagree with Democrats on many issues…but not on the important ones. They, too, want to protect the status quo. Like an alcoholic, America has to ‘hit bottom’ before she can bounce back. She has a long way to go. And for now, the deciders will stick with war and inflation. They’ll benefit…the rest of the country can go to Hell."
"We are seeing that Southern California real estate is at its lowest level in 35 years. The man who called the Lehman Brothers debacle is at it again. He says there are 21 warning signs for the stock market and a crash is coming."
San Martin, Argentina - "Caution: the following may contain non-graphic sexual content. Just like everything else. Parental guidance advised, as always.
In the news yesterday was a smallish note, in which America’s Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, asserted that “peace [in the Ukraine] could be a cynical trap.” Really? Killing people is better than not killing them? To stop killing would be ‘cynical?’ Whence cometh such a strange idea; and how could you explain it to the widows? The answer came to us as we awoke this morning: Doing it! Like all of our ideas, this one was surely rehearsed by a thoughtful Greek more than 2,000 years ago. But we never met the Greek. We see no copyright. And so, it’s ours. Useful? You decide.
Need vs Want: Humans have two major impulses. Need and want. Everything else can be derived from them. We need to eat…or we will die. This is a purely practical matter. It leads us to practical actions…and material progress. We develop better hunting techniques (including cooperation)…and then we learn to plant tomatoes and cabbages…and finally, we’re able to harness fossil fuels to power our tractors, factories and homes.
Solving the need issue led to Pythagoras, pi, science, math and engineering. Adding 2 plus 2. Identifying plants. Figuring out how to string a bow or throw a boomerang…then to the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution. Calculators, foot warmers, atom colliders, double-entry bookkeeping, coat racks and chainsaws – all are derived from our practical, needs-based thinking.
But there is a second impulse – desire. After we get enough food to survive, our main want (speaking socio-biologically, not necessarily from personal experience) is to reproduce. Were it not so, our species would have disappeared long ago. Desire is an entirely different thing from need. It is sex…and the world is full of it.Trojan Tik Tok
Fantasy, phallacy and fiction. The ‘big man’ in the tribe brings back a young deer. He shares it with his friends and relatives…and gets the best piece for himself. Mating is infinitely complex, nuanced and fanciful. It is pouty lips and an enhanced penis…a successful novel or a souped-up Chevy. It is full of lies and myths…deception and contraception…political slogans and great power competition…exaggerations on Facebook…breast augmentation and WWIII. It is hours in the gym and botox... ‘Gone With The Wind’ and the Madonna della Pieta.
We began thinking about this when we were reading the headlines. One urged us to beware of Tik Tok, because the Chinese might be using it to gather ‘intelligence.’ Another told us that the Chinese were ‘getting ahead of us’ because they were subsidizing their technology companies. Still another urged us to support a bigger Pentagon budget lest the ‘Chinese dominate the South China Sea.’
Probably the dumbest of this genre came from TIME, the once-half-intelligent popular magazine: "These 5 Facts Explain Why China Is Pulling Ahead of the West."
"1. It has the world’s most powerful leader." Really? Stalin was powerful. Hitler was powerful. Did they ‘pull ahead?’ Generally, the more powerful the leader, the weaker the nation.
"2. It reaps global benefits from a state-controlled economy." Huh? Since when is a ‘state-controlled economy’ a benefit? It is always a disaster.
"3. It keeps the population in line with state-created jobs…" This is absurd. People enter the workforce at 18 or later. Do the geniuses in Beijing know how many workers the country will need 20 years down the pike?
"4. …and by leveraging advances in technology." Leveraging? China’s entrepreneurs leverage. Its central planners misallocate, misconstrue and mislead…just like central planners everywhere.
"5. Others are following in its footsteps." How does that help China ‘pull ahead?’ China only pulls ahead by innovating and growing faster than the US. The number of nations trailing behind is completely irrelevant.
But, most puzzling is that TIME thinks we should care if China “pulls ahead.” Why? Win-Win vs Win-Lose.
Why do we care if China dominates the South China Sea? So what if it has a stronger economy…more people…more technology…or whatever? Logically – drawing on that part of the brain that concerns itself with ‘need’ – the stronger, richer, and more advanced China becomes…the better off we all are. Americans like Tik Tok; let China give us more of them.
But in the ‘want’ category is another way to look at it. Americans don’t only desire to live better…have more to eat…and to be richer. They also want to live better, have more to eat, and be richer than their neighbors. That is, they want to be Number Uno. The lead dog. The hegemon.
We want our team to win the Super Bowl. Whether our team wins or not is no reflection on us personally; we had nothing to do with it. But in the hall of mirrors of the ‘want’ mind, all we see is ourselves. There is no joy in Mudville if the home team loses. For then, we are all losers.
The ‘need’ part of the brain is rational, expansive and generous. It is the optimistic, win-win part that recognizes that more for anyone is more for everyone. But the ‘want’ part is jealous and fearful; in order to win, someone else must lose. Ergo, making someone else lose is the way to win. It makes perfect sense. The wealth of the world is unlimited. Tractors and chemicals have increased farm output by 5 times since 1910 and the ratio of farmer-to-consumer has dropped from 1 farmer for every 13 consumers to 1 to 159.
But the ‘desire ratio’ of girl-to-boy is still the same – about one to one. So, if you’re going to get the girl…or the boy…or the trans or undecided person…you’re gonna have competition. Supplies are limited. You can only ‘win’ by making someone else ‘lose.’ It’s always been that way…and always will be. Need is absolute. Desire is relative.
You can build as many skyscrapers as you want. But if the home team is going to win, it must defeat the visitors. What does this mean for US foreign policy…for the future of the dollar and your investments? Give us the weekend to think about it…and stay tuned."
"President Donald J. Trump has been indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for 34 counts of fraud. Legal scholars are calling this “prosecutorial misconduct,” “sad” and “a legal disaster.” Many, including President Trump, the 2024 GOP front-runner for the White House, says it is nothing more than “political persecution.” Trump says it is really “election interference at the highest level” because Dems cannot beat him fair and square. Harvard legal expert Professor Alan Dershowitz says the case is really “foolish.”
The amount of people who “died suddenly” from the CV19 bioweapon/vax is increasing every month. The number of people who are permanently injured is also increasing at a rapid rate. Financial analyst Ed Dowd says the bioweapon/vax has caused $148 billion in economic damage and caused 26 million injuries in the U.S. in 2022 alone. Stunning supply chain problems are coming, according to Dowd, and there is really no way to stop it.
De-dollarization is coming to the world, and that means many countries are planning on using the U.S. dollar far less in trade. The President of Kenya, William Ruto, just told his citizens to ditch the dollar, and there was a “big change coming in a few weeks.” CNN, FOX and even Goldman Sachs are all warning about de-dollarization and the end of the dollar as the reserve currency. When this happens, many are predicting big inflation and even hyperinflation."
“Reading all the 2016 warnings from the Normalcy Guardians and self-professed Democracy Protectors about how there’s literally nothing more corrupt or dangerous than craving the prosecution of your political opponent - especially for trivial crimes - is really quite something.” - Glenn Greenwald
"The New York Times enjoyed its long-delayed tantric Trumpgasm so much today that it rolled out the full-page banner headline format usually reserved for the commencement of world wars. (They took the banner down before seven o’clock this morning.) For many of the cat-ladies employed as “reporters” at the once-august paper, it was the first Trumpgasm they’ve ever experienced in a lifetime of emotional displacement, over-eating, and furious knitting of pink polyester hats for the crusade to root out patriarchal wickedness.
This fulfillment of a years-long psychodrama, starring the feared and loathed occult persona of a gold-coiffed “Daddy” figure who once presided in the political household, came at the hands of dragon-slayer Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, archetype of the many long-oppressed victims worked to death in the bilges of our slave ship of state - now turned righteous Woke deliverer of cosmic vengeance!
This, of course, is brought to you by the party of hoaxes, flimflams, and mandated death shots, so it’s amusing here on the sidelines to see The Times’s op-ed writers squirm with post-coital pleasure underneath the full-page Trumpgasmic headline. The lead editorial declares: “Even Donald Trump Should Be Held Accountable”- overlooking the utter absence of accountability that has been the norm in every recent insult to the nation’s dignity from wholesale and repeat election fraud, to six years of lawless depravity in the FBI, to overt support of Antifa and BLM street havoc, to the forced, deceitful administration of deadly “vaccines.”
“How a President’s Arrest Can Strengthen a Democracy,” honorary cat-lady Nicholas Kristoff opined, repeating the bad-faith trope that his legions of Wokery have an interest in political rectitude - when, in fact, they are solely preoccupied with coercing, censoring, cancelling, persecuting, punishing, and defenestrating anyone who objects to their grifts and hustles. “Only love and a leap of faith can break through distrust. That is why a credible form of patriotism is so important right now,” explained The Times’s official Superintendent of Platitudes, David Brooks, to soothe consciences grated by this loutish gambit to shove a political adversary off the game board in advance of an election. “Joe Biden may not be your cup of tea,” Mr. Brooks summed up his civics lesson, “but he’s restored sanity, effectiveness and decency to the White House.”
Oh, really? That will surely come as news to casual observers who are watching the “Joe Biden” wrecking crew in wonder and nausea as they dismantle every institution and undermine every norm in American life. A more credible form of patriotism would be, say, a general strike against this cabal of degenerates, serving to remind them that at least half of the public still cares about the Constitution, the rule of law, and actual decency (not a depraved simulacrum of it). Otherwise, why would “Joe Biden’s” DOJ lock-up scores of Jan 6 protesters in the DC Jail for years on misdemeanor charges without taking them to law? Why does the “Joe Biden” State Department persist in destroying Ukraine and pounding billions in taxpayer money into the place to accomplish it? Why has the “Joe Biden” regime adopted the drag queen as its mascot? What part of all that evinces “sanity, effectiveness and decency?”
It’s a little early to assess the knock-on effects of the Left’s ecstatic Trumpgasm. A common theme flying across the Web is that Alvin Bragg’s jerry-rigged case will only make a martyr of Mr. Trump, neatly illustrating and personifying the government’s apparent war against its own citizens - making it clear that they will stop at nothing and no one to enforce the corrupt bureaucracy’s will against the public - and that the net result will be to ensure Mr. Trump’s reelection in 2024.
This comes at a time when that government - the “Joe Biden” regime - presides over the collapse of what’s left of America’s economy, the crack-up of the banking system, and the shocking loss of our country’s influence in the geo-political arena. All of that is manifesting as increased general hardship across the US population: a whole lot of citizens going broke, going hungry, losing their property and chattels to bankruptcy, losing their children to Woke-induced psychopathology, and - the final insult - being subjected to a medical racketeering operation that ruins and murders them when they get sick.
The Party of Chaos looks pretty smugly secure for the moment. If Alvin Bragg’s flimsy case in New York falls apart, as many expect, they have grand juries lined up against Mr. Trump in other jurisdictions, waiting patiently to take their turns at the political assassination of this supposed “threat to our democracy.” Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared yesterday that Mr. Trump “has the right to prove his innocence.” She apparently forgot how our legal system works, which is that defendants are presumed innocent and it’s the government’s task to prove someone guilty.
As to qualifications to be president, the Constitution simply states: a presidential candidate must be a natural born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older. There is no language in Article II that might legally prevent someone convicted of a petty crime, fairly or otherwise, from running for the job."
"Massive Price Increases At Dollar General! What's Next?"
"In today's vlog we are at Dollar General and are noticing massive price increases! We are here to check out skyrocketing prices, and the empty shelves situation! It's getting rough out here as stores seem to be struggling with getting products!"