Saturday, August 12, 2023

Musical Interlude: The Moody Blues, “Blue World”

Full screen recommended.
The Moody Blues, “Blue World”

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Galaxies don't normally look like this. NGC 6745 actually shows the results of two galaxies that have been colliding for only hundreds of millions of years. Just off the below digitally sharpened photograph to the lower right is the smaller galaxy, moving away. The larger galaxy, pictured above, used to be a spiral galaxy but now is damaged and appears peculiar. Gravity has distorted the shapes of the galaxies.
Although it is likely that no stars in the two galaxies directly collided, the gas, dust, and ambient magnetic fields do interact directly. In fact, a knot of gas pulled off the larger galaxy on the lower right has now begun to form stars. NGC 6745 spans about 80 thousand light-years across and is located about 200 million light-years away."

"Im Rightly Tired Of The Pain..."

“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.”
- Stephen King, "The Green Mile"

“Gods dream of empires, but devils build them.”
- Jessica Cluess, "House of Dragons"

"Something Strange is Happening Right Now... You Need to Know"

Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper, 8/12/23
"Something Strange is Happening Right Now... 
You Need to Know"
Comments here:

"Tell Your Family To Prepare For Trouble, Now Things Are Accelerating"

Full screen recommended.
Jeremiah Babe, 8/12/23
"Tell Your Family To Prepare For Trouble, 
Now Things Are Accelerating"
Comments here:

"Bugs And Rocks Found In Food! Trader Joes Major Recall! Not Good!"

Adventures With Danno, PM 8/12/23
"Bugs And Rocks Found In Food
! Trader Joes Major Recall! Not Good!"
"In this video, we are checking out foods from Trader Joe's, as they have had multiple recalls on bugs & rocks being found in some of their products. This is not good as it appears this was no accident! Check your food, and be safe!"
Comments here:

The Daily "Near You?"

Pretoria, South Africa. Thanks for stopping by!

"FDA Drops Ivermectin Bombshell" (Excerpt)

"FDA Drops Ivermectin Bombshell"
By Zachary Stieber

Excerpt: "A little f*cking late, don’t you think? These motherf*ckers are mass murderers. They should ALL HANG!!!!

F*ck the FDA. F*ck Fauci. F*ck Birx. F*ck Pfizer. F*ck Biden. F*ck Trump. They all knew ivermectin would save lives, but that would mean the billions in clot shot profits would evaporate. They murdered millions around the world by lying about ivermectin. Doctors careers were ruined for prescribing a life saving safe and effective and cheap drug.

I purchased my first batch of ivermectin in May 2020 and it worked great when we got covid. Everyone involved in this scamdemic should be jailed, if not drawn and quartered. But nothing will happen. The FDA knowingly murdered Americans for profit. F*ck 'em all.

Doctors are free to prescribe ivermectin to treat COVID-19, a lawyer representing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said this week. “FDA explicitly recognizes that doctors do have the authority to prescribe ivermectin to treat COVID,” Ashley Cheung Honold, a Department of Justice lawyer representing the FDA, said during oral arguments on Aug. 8 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

The government is defending the FDA’s repeated exhortations to people to not take ivermectin for COVID-19, including a post that said “Stop it.”
In other statements, the FDA said that ivermectin “isn’t authorized or approved to treat COVID-19” and “Q: Should I take ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19? A: No.”

Command or Not: “FDA made these statements in response to multiple reports of consumers being hospitalized, after self medicating with ivermectin intended for horses, which is available for purchase over the counter without the need for prescription,” Ms. Honold said. A version of the drug for animals is available, but ivermectin is approved by the FDA for human use against diseases caused by parasites.

Ms. Honold said that the FDA didn’t purport to require anyone to do anything or to prohibit anyone from doing anything. “What about when it said, ‘No, stop it’?” Circuit Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod, on the panel that is hearing the appeal, asked. “Why isn’t that a command? If you were in English class, they would say that was a command.” Ms. Honold described the statements as “merely quips.”

“Can you answer the question, please? Is that a command, ‘Stop it’?” Judge Elrod asked. “In some contexts, those words could be construed as a command,” Ms. Honold said. “But in this context, where FDA was simply using these words in the context of a quippy tweet meant to share its informational article, those statements do not rise to the level of a command.”

The statements “don’t prohibit doctors from prescribing ivermectin to treat COVID or for any other purpose” Ms. Honold said. She noted that the FDA, along with the statements, said that people should consult their health care providers about COVID-19 treatments and that they could take medicine if it was prescribed by the provider. “FDA is clearly acknowledging that doctors have the authority to prescribe human ivermectin to treat COVID. So they are not interfering with the authority of doctors to prescribe drugs or to practice medicine,” she said.

Judge Elrod is on the panel with Circuit Judges Edith Brown Clement and Don Willett. All three were appointed under President Donald Trump."
Full article is here:

"A Strange Honey..."

"Bad things will happen and good things too. Your life will be full of surprises. Miracles happen only where there has been suffering. So taste your grief to the fullest. Don't try and press it down. Don't hide from it. Don't escape. It is life too. It is truth. But it will pass and time will put a strange honey in the bitterness. That's the way life goes."
- Ben Okri

"How It Really Is"


"That's Where It All Begins..."

"That's where it all begins. That's where we all get screwed big time as we grow up. They tell us to think, but they don't really mean it. They only want us to think within the boundaries they define. The moment you start thinking for yourself - really thinking - so many things stop making any sense. And if you keep thinking, the whole world just falls apart. Nothing makes sense anymore. All rules, traditions, expectations - they all start looking so fake, so made up. You want to just get rid of all this stuff and make things right. But the moment you say it, they tell you to shut up and be respectful. And eventually you understand that nobody wants you to really think for yourself."
- Ray N. Kuili, "Awakening"

“Thucydides in the Underworld”

“Master, what gnaws at them so hideously 
their lamentation stuns the very air?” 
“They have no hope of death,” he answered me…” 
- Dante Alighieri, “The Inferno”

“Thucydides in the Underworld”
by J. R. Nyquist

“The shade of Thucydides, formerly an Athenian general and historian, languished in Hades for 24 centuries; and having intercourse with other spirits, was perturbed by an influx into the underworld of self-described historians professing to admire his History of the Peloponnesian War. They burdened him with their writings, priding themselves on the imitation of his method, tracing the various patterns of human nature in politics and war. He was, they said, the greatest historian; and his approval of their works held the promise that their purgatory was no prologue to oblivion.

As the centuries rolled on, the flow of historians into Hades became a torrent. The later historians were no longer imitators, but most were admirers. It seemed to Thucydides that these were a miserable crowd, unable to discern between the significant and the trivial, being obsessed with tedious doctrines. Unembarrassed by their inward poverty, they ascribed an opposite meaning to things: thinking themselves more “evolved” than the spirits of antiquity. Some even imagined that the universe was creating God. They supposed that the “most evolved” among men would assume God’s office; and further, that they themselves were among the “most evolved.”

Thucydides longed for the peace of his grave, which posthumous fame had deprived him. As with many souls at rest, he took no further interest in history. He had passed through existence and was done. He had seen everything. What was bound to follow, he knew, would be more of the same; but after more than 23 centuries of growing enthusiasm for his work, there occurred a sudden falling off. Of the newly deceased, fewer broke in upon him. Quite clearly, something had happened. He began to realize that the character of man had changed because of the rottenness of modern ideas. Among the worst of these, for Thucydides, was that barbarians and civilized peoples were considered equal; that art could transmit sacrilege; that paper could be money; that sexual and cultural differences were of no account; that meanness was rated noble, and nobility mean.

Awakened from the sleep of death, Thucydides remembered what he had written about his own time. The watchwords then, as now, were “revolution” and “democracy.” There had been upheaval on all sides. “As the result of these revolutions,” he had written, “there was a general deterioration of character throughout the Greek world. The simple way of looking at things, which is so much the mark of a noble nature, was regarded as a ridiculous quality and soon ceased to exist. Society had become divided into two ideologically hostile camps, and each side viewed the other with suspicion.”

Thucydides saw that democracy, once again, imagined itself victorious. Once again traditions were questioned as men became enamored of their own prowess. It was no wonder they were deluded. They landed men on the moon. They had harnessed the power of the atom. It was no wonder that the arrogance of man had grown so monstrous, that expectations of the future were so unrealistic. Deluded by recent successes, they could not see that dangers were multiplying in plain view. Men built new engines of war, capable of wiping out entire cities, but few took this danger seriously. Why were men so determined to build such weapons? The leading country, of course, was willing to put its weapons aside. Other countries pretended to put their weapons aside. Still others said they weren’t building weapons at all, even though they were.

Would the new engines of destruction be used? Would cities and nations be wiped off the face of the earth? Thucydides knew the answer. In his own day, during an interval of unstable peace, the Athenians had exterminated the male population of the island of Melos. Before doing this the Athenian commanders had came to Melos and said, “We on our side will use no fine phrases saying, for example, that we have a right to our empire because we defeated the Persians, or that we have come against you now because of the injuries you have done us – a great mass of words that nobody would believe.” The Athenians demanded the submission of Melos, without regard to right or wrong. As the Athenian representative explained, “the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept.” 

The Melians were shocked by this brazen admission. They could not believe that anyone would dare to destroy them without just cause. In the first place, the Melians threatened no one. In the second place, they imagined that the world would be shocked and would avenge any atrocity committed against them. And so the Melians told the Athenians: “in our view it is useful that you should not destroy a principle that is to the general good of all men – namely, that in the case of all who fall into danger there should be such a thing as fair play and just dealing. And this is a principle which affects you as much as anybody, since your own fall would be visited by the most terrible vengeance and would be an example to the world.”

The Athenians were not moved by the argument of Melos; for they knew that the Spartans generally treated defeated foes with magnanimity. “Even assuming that our empire does come to an end,” the Athenians chuckled, “we are not despondent about what would happen next. One is not so much frightened of being conquered by a power like Sparta.” And so the Athenians destroyed Melos, believing themselves safe – which they were. The Melians refused to submit, praying for the protection of gods and men. But these availed them nothing, neither immediate relief nor future vengeance. The Melians were wiped off the earth. They were not the first or the last to die in this manner.

There was one more trend that Thucydides noted. In every free and prosperous country he found a parade of monsters: human beings with oversized egos, with ambitions out of proportion to their ability, whose ideas rather belied their understanding than affirmed it. Whereas, there was one Alcibiades in his own day, there were now hundreds of the like: self-serving, cunning and profane; only they did not possess the skills, or the mental acuity, or beauty of Alcibiades. Instead of being exiled, they pushed men of good sense from the center of affairs. Instead of being right about strategy and tactics, they were always wrong. And they were weak, he thought, because they had learned to be bad by the example of others. There was nothing novel about them, although they believed themselves to be original in all things.

Thucydides reflected that human beings are subject to certain behavioral patterns. Again and again they repeat the same actions, unable to stop themselves. Society is slowly built up, then wars come and put all to ruin. Those who promise a solution to this are charlatans, only adding to the destruction, because the only solution to man is the eradication of man. In the final analysis the philanthropist and the misanthrope are two sides of the same coin. While man exists he follows his nature. Thucydides taught this truth, and went to his grave. His history was written, as he said, “for all time.” And it is a kind of law of history that the generations most like his own are bound to ignore the significance of what he wrote; for otherwise they would not re-enact the history of Thucydides. But as they become ignorant of his teaching, they fall into disaster spontaneously and without thinking. Seeing that time was short, and realizing that a massive number of new souls would soon be entering the underworld, the shade of Thucydides fell back to rest.”

"No Way Out for the USA"

"No Way Out for the USA"
by Jeff Thomas

"On the surface, it would appear that the US is in the catbird seat: Since Bretton Woods in 1944, the US has been able to dictate the economy to its trading partners and, to a lesser extent, the rest of the world. Those countries that got on board the Bretton Woods Choo-Choo would be the world’s leaders in commerce, and the rest would take second shrift.

This was possible because, at the end of the war, the US had been supplying the allies with most of their armaments and materiel and had insisted on being paid in gold. By 1944, they held the great majority of the world’s gold and had the most productive manufacturing facilities. They were in a position to call all the shots, and the countries that subsequently made up the First World went along for the ride.

But by the 1970s, the US went off the gold standard and was paying for imports with US Treasuries. This was seen to be a boon at the time, as the Treasuries could be created from thin air, and the demands by the US became boundless. The US became the biggest house on the block, but it was, in fact, a house of cards, which was only as good as the currency it was built upon – not true money but debt.

To paraphrase Norm Franz, "Gold is the money of kings… debt is the money of slaves." The US was, from 1971 on, in the business of enslaving its partners. Along the way, it became more economical to outsource manufacturing, and, over the ensuing decades, the production of most goods came from countries other than the US.

But a wrinkle occurred in recent decades: some of the overseas suppliers of goods, and in particular, energy were now building up their ability for world trade to the point that the US itself was no longer essential. Indeed, better business could often be created between countries without going through the US, and the US was becoming an obstacle to the economic advancement of other nations.

In recent decades, China and Russia have emerged as the most essential providers of goods and energy, respectively, precisely at the time that the US had planned to establish globalism – dominance over the entire world by the US, with the backup support of the other First World countries, most notably, Europe. As long as the other First World countries continued to endorse American diktat to the world, US hegemony would not only continue but expand.

But then, Russia threw a rather major wrench into the works: the Nord Steam pipeline already supplied much of the natural gas to Europe, allowing it to heat its homes and run its factories. With the addition of Nord Stream II, a tipping point was reached: the great majority of Europe’s essential energy, which it was unable to produce itself, could be gotten from Russia and at a price that no other supplier could match.

What’s often overlooked in the discussion of the importance of Nord Stream II is that, from the first day that the tap was to be turned on to supply Europe, US hegemony would end. Although the US had succeeded in dominating European policy over the last half-century, that situation had now reversed. In a choice between pleasing the US and pleasing the eastern suppliers of goods and energy, Europe’s default position would now be with Asia, not the US.

In this one seemingly minor change in supply, the hegemony of the US would cease. And, more troublingly, US power had been a house of cards for decades. It was no longer a manufacturing titan; in fact, it now produced little besides debt. It had once used its manufacturing capacity to bully its trading partners, but now this power had become a mere remnant.

In recent decades, the US has been operating on its past laurels and the assumption that it was the big boy on the block and must be obeyed, no matter how unreasonable its demands were. When US federal and corporate leaders realized their dilemma, they understood that they had only one last-ditch option: war. Historically, this is always the last play of a dying empire: when you’re about to lose everything, a major war must be created as a distraction to buy time.

A small war is only a temporary respite. A major war serves to upset the world as a whole. If the world can be turned upside down, perhaps there’s a chance that the dying empire can actually survive with some of its power intact. If not, the empire goes the way of the dodo. It slips away into insignificance or even extinction. And this is where the US now finds itself. The shift to the Asian century is well underway. Quietly, one nation after another is shifting its trade and its deference to the Asian leaders. Those countries like Saudi Arabia, that can make dramatic shifts and do so safely, will be bolder in their shift. Less powerful countries will be a bit more subtle, tiptoeing away from their former master. And that, too, is now underway.

But again, the key ally of the US – the one without which it could not be an empire - has been Europe. The EU is already on the ropes; it was a misconceived experiment from the start and has now begun to splinter. Although no major breakup has begun, the rot is already beyond any possible salvage, and the dictates of Brussels are encountering refusals by some member countries.

With the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, it has become quietly apparent in Germany and other EU countries that they will be facing extreme hardships as a result. They can no longer back out of their support for the US push to create warfare in Ukraine. Additionally, they face the US attempt to draw all the NATO countries into war with Russia – a suicidal prospect for Europe.

The US, in its desperation to escalate the war, has begun to suggest that a "limited nuclear war" might be advisable, but Europe understands that a limited nuclear war is akin to being "a little bit pregnant." Europe would not survive such a war. And so, Germany has begun the pull away from the US. President Olaf Scholz has personally gone to Beijing to broker peace. In doing so, he also makes a clear statement: Germany is acknowledging that it is moving over to a new master.

To be sure, the US will not take this lightly. There will be collective nail-biting in the First World countries as the average man wonders and worries whether the US will do the sane thing and back away from warfare. What the average man does not understand is that, whilst this may be the best choice for the average man and the world in general, it would be the end for those who rule the US. The US would slide inexorably into a lesser state, or even fragment, leaving the US elite with no empire to rule.

This, above all, cannot be tolerated. And, so, it’s important to understand that, to the rulers of the US empire, this is an all-or-nothing game. And to be clear, it’s a game that cannot be won. The US no longer produces much; it no longer has a meaningful balance of trade; it’s the most indebted nation in world history; it’s broke, and it can no longer win a protracted war.

And, to reiterate, the US has no other option at this point. It has destroyed all its other options and has no way out of its dilemma – its modern-day Thucydides Trap. As such, it will not go quietly. Much like a cornered rat, it will make a last attempt to take down as many others as it can on its way out. That should give us pause. Those who wish to avoid becoming collateral damage as the behemoth falls would be advised to extricate themselves, economically and even geographically, from the dying empire."


“Knowing can be a curse on a person’s life. I’d traded in a pack of lies for a pack of truth, and I didn’t know which one was heavier. Which one took the most strength to carry around? It was a ridiculous question, though, because once you know the truth, you can’t ever go back and pick up your suitcase of lies. Heavier or not, the truth is yours now.”
- Sue Monk Kidd

Dan, I Allegedly, "Is This Just A Big Scam?"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, I Allegedly 8/12/23
"Is This Just A Big Scam?"
"This could be considered the biggest scam in our lifetime. A man bought a Ford F150 lightning and it spent more time in the shop than on the road. Plus, he couldn’t get a full charge on the vehicle."
Comments here:

"Frustrating Prices At Kroger! This Is Ridiculous & Overwhelming!"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures With Danno, 8/12/23
"Frustrating Prices At Kroger! This Is Ridiculous & Overwhelming!"
"In today's vlog, we are at Kroger and are seeing some very frustrating price increases! With products continuing to rise in costs, we take you with us on a journey to find the best prices possible and ways we can save as much as we can! Whether inflation is a factor or not, nothing seems to be stopping these supermarkets from raising their prices!"
Comments here:

"The Curse of Interesting Times"

"The Curse of Interesting Times"
Things are the most interesting they've been
 in 80 years, 250 years, and, well, ever.
by Contemplations on the Tree of Woe

"The Chinese curse their enemies with the phrase “may you live in interesting times.” Or, rather, Americans think that Chinese curse their enemies like that; according to Infogalactic, “despite being widely attributed as a Chinese curse, there is no equivalent expression in Chinese.”

Fortunately, there’s an actual Chinese phrase that’s much more interesting. It’s found in a 1627 short story collection by Feng Menglong called "Stories to Awaken the World," and it states "better to be a dog in a peaceful time, than to be a human in a chaotic times.” And to be a dog in 17th China didn’t mean being a beloved fur baby with your own YouTube channel. It meant being a workbeast that got eaten when times were lean. The Chinese still have an annual dog meat festival.

Whichever adage you prefer, our times are both chaotic and interesting. In fact, they are monumentally interesting - they are so interesting as to beggar coherent description, to put to shame historical comparison, so remarkable that every single one of us would be justified in screaming from the rooftops in shock and awe. And yet we don’t. We keep calm and carry on, sturdily gripped by our bias for normalcy, by our human ability to adapt to even the most bizarre circumstances. It’ll be fine, we tell ourselves. This is fine.

But what if we put aside our normalcy bias for a moment and look at how just how “interesting” our times really are? What do we see then?

Once Every 80 Years…Once every 80 years, a country enters a crisis. That is, at least, the assertion of Strauss-Howe Generational Theory. According to Strauss and Howe, human history is organized into repeating patterns marked by four “turnings”: the High, the Awakening, the Unraveling, and the Crisis. Each turning is approximately 20 years long, and an entire cycle of four turnings is therefore about 80 years long. According to Strauss and Howe, American history looks something like this:

○ American Revolutionary Crisis, 1765 - 1785
○ American Civil War Crisis, 1855 - 1875
○ Great Depression and World War II Crisis, 1930 - 1950
○ You Are Here, 2010 - 2030

If we believe Strauss-Howe Generational Theory, we are in the midst of what they call a Fourth Turning - a moment of Crisis.

Are we in a Fourth Turning? I certainly believe so. As I documented in "Running on Empty," the United States now stands at a financial precipice. US inflation is at its worst in 40 years because the monetary system we established under Truman and rejuvenated under Nixon is now about to collapse. With that crisis have come challenges from a resurgent Russia and burgeoning China that could lead to a Third World War or, at best, a post-American world order. The Thucydides Trap has never been so close to springing. It’s no wonder then that US fears of nuclear war have surged to levels not seen since the Cold War. But unlike the Cold War, no one wants to ‘ask what they can do for their country’ anymore. US Army recruitment is at its worst in 50 years. And why would they want to serve? Our nation is divided into warring camps. US partisan distrust of the opposing party is at its worst in 30 years.

All right. That all sounds bad. But if Strauss-Howe Generational Theory is true, the Fourth Turning will be over in about 5-10 years and we’ll move into the next Turning, the High. And those are awesome! But what if we won’t be heading into another high?"
Full, fascinating, most highly recommended article is here:
Freely download "Stories to Awaken the World", 
by Feng Menglong, here:

"Target Is Getting Wiped Out, This Is Really Bad"

Full screen recommended.
The Final Economy, 8/11/23
"Target Is Getting Wiped Out, This Is Really Bad"
"Target's recent financial performance has been a cause for concern, as fresh data highlights troubling trends. The retail giant experienced an unprecedented 90 percent drop in profits over the past year, signaling significant challenges within the company. Attempting to offset losses, Target implemented a strategy of raising prices in 2023; however, this move backfired as consumers showed little interest in purchasing 60 percent of the company's inventory, while the remaining 40 percent proved significantly more expensive."
Comments here:

Friday, August 11, 2023

"Ominous Warning Signs For US Economy; Things Are Much Worse Than You Think"

Jeremiah Babe, 8/11/23
"Ominous Warning Signs For US Economy; 
Things Are Much Worse Than You Think"
Comments here:

"15 Cheap Items That Will Double In Price This Fall"

Full screen recommended.
"15 Cheap Items That Will Double In Price This Fall"
By Epic Economist

"Inflation numbers may be down, but many products aren’t getting any cheaper at U.S. stores. A perfect storm of supply chain issues, shortages, and slower production are contributing to a new wave of price increases. In fact, several household items are set to double in price this fall, according to a new GOBankingRates analysis, and the changes may shock many Americans who haven't seen costs going up this fast in their lifetime.

For example, publishers around the globe are preparing for worst-case scenarios amid the soaring cost and scarcity of paper that threatens the future of their print newspapers and magazines. In the UK, Newsprint was priced at around 360 pounds ($426) per ton in the first quarter of 2023; now the price has almost doubled to around £710 ($841), said Rick Stunt, group paper director at DMG media, which prints The Daily Mail and dozens of regional titles. It represents a 40% premium on the historic high of 510 pounds per ton, he said. In the US, the price has risen by a similar percentage, to around $800 a ton, according to Stunt. "These are big increases. We don't usually get this over an 18-month period," said Stunt. "In the past, really big increases were about 20 to 25%." 

As the world became more digital, reduced demand for paper in the past three decades led paper mills across the world to shut down. Then the pandemic broke out and the labor shortages and supply chain disruptions followed. Added to an already stressed market, demand for cardboard packages soared amid the e-commerce boom. This year, ballooning energy costs will make an already bad situation worse for paper supply. "From an industry perspective it's a disaster because you've got no choice but to reduce the amount of pages you print, choose to increase your cover price, or a combination thereof — and that will reduce demand," said an executive at the New York Times, who said prices will go up between 35% and 40%.

Meanwhile, the cost of stationery supplies is about to go through a seasonal shift as we approach the back-to-school season. The shortage of paper can push the cost of some products -- including books, notebooks, writing pads, envelopes, and more, -- up by 50%, the data showed. Other items such as pens and markers are going up more slowly, but reduced plastic production can be a contributing factor to higher prices. At the same time, a shortage of plastic is being a catastrophe for toy manufacturers, who should already be shipping their products ahead of the holiday shopping season. Delivery delays are expected, and the category of toys and games is at risk of facing shortages during the busiest shopping season of the year. In other words, many popular products amongst kids will be harder to find and may cost from 17% to a whopping 68% more, according to the analysts.

The fact the retailers have sharply reduced inventory may collide with seasonal shifts in consumer demand. That means product stockouts will become more frequent from now on, and some cheap everyday essentials are likely to shoot up in price as well. That’s why today, we decided to list which household items going to become more expensive in the coming months."
Comments here:

Musical Interlude: Liquid Mind, "Shadows of White"

Liquid Mind, "Shadows of White"

"A Look.To The Heavens"

“The beautiful Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, is easy to find with a small telescope in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. About 5,000 light-years away, the colorful study in cosmic contrasts shares this well-composed, nearly 1 degree wide field with open star cluster Messier 21 (top right).
Trisected by dust lanes the Trifid itself is about 40 light-years across and a mere 300,000 years old. That makes it one of the youngest star forming regions in our sky, with newborn and embryonic stars embedded in its natal dust and gas clouds. Estimates of the distance to open star cluster M21 are similar to M20's, but though they share this gorgeous telescopic skyscape there is no apparent connection between the two. In fact, M21's stars are much older, about 8 million years old.”

Chet Raymo, “The (Unattainable) Thing Itself”

“The (Unattainable) Thing Itself”
by Chet Raymo

“Clear water in a brilliant bowl,
Pink and white carnations. The light
In the room more like a snowy air,
Reflecting snow. A newly-fallen snow
At the end of winter when afternoons return.
Pink and white carnations- one desires
So much more than that. The day itself
Is simplified: a bowl of white,
Cold, a cold porcelain, low and round,
With nothing more than the carnations there.”

"Simplicity. Morning. Forty minutes till sunrise. Coffee. An English muffin. Sit on the terrace. The sky a deep violet. Then rose. Then gold. Simplicity. The senses fill to overbrimming, displacing thought. The moment is sweet and pure. Distilled. The shackles of conscience fall away. One simply is.

“Say even that this complete simplicity
Stripped one of all one's torments, concealed
The evilly compounded, vital I
And made it fresh in a world of white,
A world of clear water, brilliant-edged,
Still one would want more, one would need more,
More than a world of white and snowy scents.”

Now I wait with my eyes fixed on that place along the horizon where the Sun will rise. The sky itself holds its breath, anticipates the flash of green. I try, I try to empty myself, Zenlike, to become an empty vessel for nature to fill. A gathering vessel, brilliant edged. To exist entirely in the moment, outside of time, this moment, just now, now, as the disk of the Sun bubbles up on the sea horizon, that orb of of molten gold.

“There would still remain the never-resting mind,
So that one would want to escape, come back
To what had been so long composed.
The imperfect is our paradise.
Note that, in this bitterness, delight,
Since the imperfect is so hot in us,
Lies in flawed words and stubborn sounds.”

It's no use, of course. No way to obviate the conscious mind. Perhaps a Zen master might do it, a mystic in transport, a drunken sailor who walks into a lamppost. Even as the Sun's disk inflates, swells, unaccountably huge, the mind parses, frames, construes. I close my eyes to shut out thought and the words fill up the space behind my eyelids. The thing itself is out of reach, the moment adulterated by mind. The blessing of consciousness. And the curse."

(The three stanzas are Wallace Stevens' "The Poems of Our Climate.")

"Meaningful Warnings..."

“There are meaningful warnings which history gives a threatened or perishing society. Such are, for instance, the decadence of art, or a lack of great statesmen. There are open and evident warnings, too. The center of your democracy and of your culture is left without electric power for a few hours only, and all of a sudden crowds of American citizens start looting and creating havoc. The smooth surface film must be very thin, then, the social system quite unstable and unhealthy. But the fight for our planet, physical and spiritual, a fight of cosmic proportions, is not a vague matter of the future; it has already started. The forces of Evil have begun their offensive; you can feel their pressure, and yet your screens and publications are full of prescribed smiles and raised glasses. What is the joy about?”
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The Daily "Near You?"

Tel Aviv, Israel. Thanks for stopping by!

Free Download: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”

“One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”
by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

“One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” is, as the title suggests, a simple story of one day in the life of Ivan Shukov Denisovich, a prisoner in a Soviet concentration camp. Shukov, a simple Russian peasant fighting for Stalin in WWII, is imprisoned for treason – a crime he did not commit – and has spent the last 8 years in concentration camps. Shukov’s day begins at 5.00 a.m. with the clang of the reveille – he is, along with the other prisoners, marched out into the bitter cold, stripped and searched for forbidden objects, and then sent to work until sundown, without rest, without a full stomach. In this slim 143 page-novella, we follow Shukov’s grueling routine and see how he struggles to maintain his dignity in small, subtle ways. On this day, he has scored some small triumphs for himself – he has swiped an extra bowl of mush at supper, found a piece of metal that can be used as a knife to mend things, replenished his precious tobacco supplies and also has had a share of a small piece of sausage before lights out. Thus, at the end of the day (and the novel), he thinks to himself that it has been “A day without a dark cloud. Almost a happy day.” He must survive only another 3653 days more.”
Freely download “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”,
by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, here:
"The Chain Of Obedience"
“The death squads and concentration camps of history were never staffed
by rebels and dissidents. They were run by those who followed the rules."


"I understand that fear is my friend, but not always. Never turn your back on Fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed. My father taught me that, along with a few other things that have kept my life interesting."
- Hunter S. Thompson
"I was as afraid as the next man in my time and maybe more so. But with the years, fear had come to be regarded as a form of stupidity to be classed with overdrafts, acquiring a venereal disease or eating candies. Fear is a child's vice and while I loved to feel it approach, as one does with any vice, it was not for grown men, and the only thing to be afraid of was the presence of true and imminent danger in a form that you should be aware of and not be a fool if you were responsible for others." 
- Ernest Hemingway, "True at First Light"

"McDonald's Bankruptcies Skyrocket As Thousands Of Stores Are About To Vanish!"

Full screen recommended.
The Atlantis Report, 8/11/23
"McDonald's Bankruptcies Skyrocket As 
Thousands Of Stores Are About To Vanish!"
"It is hard to think how a business of this size and scale could be suffering right now since its stock and menu prices are going up, which means that the average ticket price is going up a lot. The answer is not simple, though. Even though McDonald's is the best fast food company the world has ever seen, independent owners run 95% of its stores in the United States, and the fight between the company and its partners seems to worsen this year."
Comments here:

Bill Bonner, "God's Wrath"

"God's Wrath"
Pentagon alarm bells, primates on the loose, 
foreign policy quagmires and plenty more...
by Bill Bonner

Dublin, Ireland - "Inflation in the US is picking up slightly. El Pais reports: Inflation in the United States edged up in July after 12 straight months of declines. But excluding volatile food and energy costs, so-called core inflation matched the smallest monthly rise in nearly two years,…

We believe the financial world – or at least that part of it that is in the US – is in a confusing transition period. The Primary Trend, we think, is down. Ultimately, stocks and bonds are going down….in real terms. But that trend is going to take time. And it’s often going to feel like riding a bucking steer. It’s going to be hard to stay on top of it. While most central banks are raising rates to bring monetary inflation under control (deflationary), most central governments are running big deficits…increasing demand (inflationary) while actually lowering the output of desirable goods and services. The feds use our money for boondoggles, not for productive investment, making us all poorer.

Primate Warns Biden: One of the biggest ratholes of all is in the news today – foreign policy. Niger has just had a coup d’etat staged by disgruntled military men. The former president is said to be locked in his home…and starving. The new Junta says it will kill him if the US intervenes. As you know, no sparrow can fall anywhere in the world without setting off alarm bells in the Pentagon…hatching subversive plots in the CIA…and raising mansion prices in Northern Virginia, home of America’s ‘defense’ industry.

Niger is now eager to head off a US attack. The Daily Post Nigeria reports: "Leave Niger or face God’s wrath – Primate Ayodele tells US President Biden." The leader of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Ayodele has warned the United States, US, President, Joe Biden against invading Niger Republic following the coup that ousted President Mohammed Bazoum. Ayodele warned that invading Niger Republic would amount to fighting God, adding that it may lead to third world war.

The warning followed the US acting Deputy Secretary, Victoria Nuland’s comment asking the junta to return Bazoum back to power. However, Ayodele warned that the US invasion of Niger Republic is satanic and a terrorist move that would spark God’s anger. In a statement signed by his media aide, Oluwatosin Osho, Primate Ayodele warned Biden to allow the people of Niger Republic to decide their future rather than forcing the return of democracy on them.

There are already more than 1,000 US troops in the godforsaken country. Will Biden send more?

Menace to Civility: Telephones ring. Dogs lift their heads. ‘Foreign policy experts’ rush to offer their opinions. The public…the media…the State Department – all want to know what is going on. Who will get control of Niger’s uranium mines? Why are Russian flags such hot items on the streets of Niamey (not Miami!)? ‘Who lost Niger?’ the headlines already ask.

We imagine the conversation in the White House.

Acting Secretary Victoria Nuland: Mr. President, there’s been a coup d’etat in Niger.
Joe Biden: Good work, Toria.
Nuland: No, Mr. President. This is not our doing. Not this time.
Biden: Oh…too bad. Are we going to send more troops to restore democracy?
Nuland: Don’t know yet. The Primate is warning us to stay away.
Biden: What’s a primate?
Nuland, rolling her eyes: It’s someone who walks upright.

The foreign policy establishment can be divided into two camps, both a menace to peace and prosperity. One group, led by Henry Kissinger, John Mearsheimer and Edward Luttwak, call themselves neo-realists. The other – now dominating the State Department, in the persons of Anthony Blinken and Victoria Nuland – are best described as megalomaniacal crackpots and sometimes called ‘idealists.’ Former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, now dead, embodied the creed. She pointed out that it was no good simply having the most expensive military in the world; you had to put it to use.

 God’s Wrath: This latter group – the idealists – got us into Iraq and Afghanistan, and now have us backing our Ukrainian proxies in a war with Russia. This war has turned into another ‘quagmire.’ And now that their proxies seem to be losing the war, the nation builders are getting serious lip from the realists. ‘You shouldna, oughtna done that,’ they say. Yet, instead of backing off, Blinken, Nuland et all want to wade in further. CNN:

"Biden asks Congress for $24 billion in more Ukraine assistance." "The new funding request, which will be unveiled later Thursday, will be paired with a $12 billion request for new funding for disaster relief, potentially sweetening the package for skeptical Republicans who have voiced concern about approving more Ukraine aid."

Next week, let us look at the two schools of ‘expertise’ more carefully. We will see that one is a fraud…the other is a fantasy…and that they always converge, as do all our foreign policy muddles, in a fiasco. The Primate is right; God’s wrath awaits us all. Stay tuned… "

"How It Really Is"

"9 Signs That The US Consumer Is About To Break"

"9 Signs That The US Consumer Is About To Break"
by Michael Snyder

"When the U.S. consumer is in healthy financial shape, the outlook for the U.S. economy is generally positive. But just like we witnessed prior to the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, when the U.S. consumer is not in healthy financial shape, bad things tend to happen. Unfortunately, the numbers are telling us that current conditions are eerily similar to what we experienced during the run up to the Great Recession.

Households don’t have enough money coming in, debt levels are soaring, delinquency rates are rising, and tens of millions of us are just barely scraping by from month to month.The following are 9 signs that the U.S. consumer is about to break...

#1 After adjusting for inflation and taxes, household income in the United States has fallen 9.1 percent since April 2020…On the inflation issue, household income adjusted for inflation and taxes is running some 9.1% below where it was in April 2020, putting additional pressure on consumers, according to SMB Nikko Securities.

#2 Credit card debt has surpassed the one trillion dollar mark for the first time ever as struggling American households increasingly turn to credit cards to get by from month to month…Americans increasingly turned to their credit cards to make ends meet heading into the summer, sending aggregate balances over $1 trillion for the first time ever, the New York Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.

Total credit card indebtedness rose by $45 billion in the April-through-June period, an increase of more than 4%. That took the total amount owed to $1.03 trillion, the highest gross value in Fed data going back to 2003.

#3 The average rate of interest on credit card balances is over 20 percent, and that is financially crippling millions of our fellow citizens…The average credit card charges a near-record 20.53% interest rate, according to Bankrate.

#4 Credit card delinquency rates are hitting levels that we haven’t seen in more than a decade…The Fed’s measure of credit card debt 30 or more days late climbed to 7.2% in the second quarter, up from 6.5% in Q1 and the highest rate since the first quarter of 2012 though close to the long-run normal, central bank officials said. Total debt delinquency edged higher to 3.18% from 3%.

#5 The number of Americans that are making emergency withdrawals from their 401(k) plans is absolutely surging…More Americans are tapping their 401(k) accounts because of financial distress, according to Bank of America data released Tuesday. The number of people who made a hardship withdrawal during the second quarter surged from the first three months of the year to 15,950, an increase of 36% from the second quarter of 2022, according to Bank of America’s analysis of clients’ employee benefits programs, which are comprised of more than 4 million plan participants.

#6 Over the past year it has become much more expensive to purchase a home…Elevated mortgage rates and sales prices mean owning a home is about 20% more expensive than it was last year. The typical U.S. homebuyer’s monthly mortgage payment was $2,605 during the four weeks ending July 30, down $32 from July’s record high but up 19% from a year prior, according to a Friday report from real estate listing company Redfin.

#7 The nationwide average rent-to-income ratio has been over 30 percent for the past two years. This is the first time in U.S. history that this has ever happened.

#8 It is being reported that vehicle repair costs have gone up by almost 20 percent over the past year…Car repair costs are up almost 20% in the past year, according to the consumer price index — more than six times the national inflation rate and among the largest annual price increases of any household good or service. So, what’s driving up prices? It’s a combination of factors, experts said. Some emerged in the pandemic era while others are longer-term trends in the auto market, they said.

#9 A whopping 69 percent of all U.S. consumers that live in urban areas are currently living paycheck to paycheck…Sixty-nine percent of consumers in urban areas live paycheck to paycheck, which is 25% more than their suburban counterparts, 55% of whom live paycheck to paycheck. Additionally, 63% of rural consumers reported living paycheck to paycheck. These regional concentrations of paycheck-to-paycheck consumers could be attributed to the high percentage of millennials living in urban areas (48%) as well as the large share of baby boomers and seniors — many of whom are retired and living on a fixed income — living in rural areas (32%).

After seeing all those numbers, is there anyone out there that still wishes to argue that the average U.S. consumer is in good shape? The truth is that economic conditions are rough, and they are deteriorating a little bit more with each passing day.

On Tuesday, Moody’s decided to downgrade ratings for 10 different U.S. banks, and they are warning that more downgrades may be coming…"US bank stocks declined after Moody’s Investors Service lowered its ratings for 10 small and midsize lenders and said it may downgrade major firms including U.S. Bancorp, Bank of New York Mellon Corp., State Street Corp., and Truist Financial Corp. Higher funding costs, potential regulatory capital weaknesses and rising risks tied to commercial real estate are among strains prompting the review, Moody’s said late Monday."

And Tyson Foods has just announced that it will be shutting down four more chicken plants…Chicken prices are down. That’s good news for chicken eaters, but bad news for Tyson Foods. The meat processor, which supplies about a fifth of the beef, pork and chicken in the United States, said Monday that it is shutting down four chicken plants - two in Missouri, one in Indiana and one in Arkansas - following declining chicken revenue. The Arkansas-based company previously announced two separate closures in the spring.

But despite everything that has already happened, Fed officials are telling us that “multiple rate hikes” may still be necessary. Is this some kind of a sick joke?

The historic economic meltdown that we have long been warned about is unfolding right in front of our eyes, and they want to raise rates even higher? Either they are extremely incompetent, or they are doing this to us on purpose. In any event, much rougher times for the economy are on the horizon, and that is really bad news for the U.S. consumer."

Jim Kunstler, "August Psychodrama"

"August Psychodrama"
By Jim Kunstler

“"The idea that our Justice Department can indict someone, especially the sitting president’s main political rival, over speech that’s protected by the First Amendment is simply insane… Simply put, this indictment is nothing more than a declaration of war against American voters and their constitutional right to free speech.” - Alistair Crooke

"In August, the head-shrinkers notoriously abandon their posh clientele among the managerial elites, who are left to flounder in the flotsam of their disordered lives while their shrinks go off to body-surf and drink mojitos. And so, a month that ought to be a pleasant break from routine business leaves the managers of all that routine business awash in a rising tide of their own personal misery - the job-haters, the sexually tortured, the self-subverters, the hopeless obsessive-compulsives, the cringing masochists, the unloved and unlovable, the projectionists of animus, rancor, and loathing….

Among these are The People of the Blob, the folks infesting the high ranks of our government’s permanent bureaucracy, which has turned so viciously against the governed. Do you doubt any longer that this demographic in the USA is mentally ill? This malady of self-destructive bad faith and enmity afflicting especially the Democratic Party shoves us inch-by-inch and day-by-day toward something that looks like national suicide. Must we all follow?

Could this sick polity be better personified than by the tragi-comic figure at the head of it: “Joe Biden” along with the Biden family? The scope of this clan’s derangements is almost Shakespearean, lacking only that decorum of personal presentation on view in all the Bard’s plays. King Lear, tormented as he was, would never face-plant after a speech. His daughters had a lot to worry about, but as far as we know, they were not subjected to showering with the big guy. And, there were no known recordings of the Earl of Gloucester smoking crack with naked, under-age girls.

Yet, in the real-life of our nation, “JB’s” troubles mount as each day peels off the calendar. Only the most pathologically credulous might fail to notice the slime trail of bribery lately uncovered by congressional sleuths. “JB” obviously put himself in the service of interests outside the United States, and how is that working out now, notably in Ukraine, where he has levered us into the most perilously half-assed war imaginable - the losing of which will dash what’s left of America’s standing in the world?

One thing that has become clear in this cabbage soup of perfidy, is just how blobbed-up Volodymyr Zelensky was when President Donald Trump made that fateful phone call to him in August of 2019 inquiring about “JB’s” curious doings in Kiev over the years. Did Z follow-up that call immediately with one to Alexander Vindman in the National Security Counsel… who then called Eric Ciaramella of the NSC and CIA? Because, voilĂ , there was something supernatural about how fast we were off to Impeachment Number One!

And now the not-insane cohort of Americans is prompted to ask whether this war in Ukraine was provoked in any part to cover-up all the nefarious blobbery that preceded it - and not just Hunter and “Joe Biden’s” capers, but the machinations, too, of State Department blobette Victoria Nuland and her retinue in the Kiev embassy, Marie Yovanovitch, George Kent, and many others of the Blob persuasion. A review of all this suggests that “Joe Biden” is what has driven the Democratic Party insane. And now, of course, they can’t seem to get rid of him, like a demon riding them through an endless nightmare.

Instead, they have bent every last effort to get rid of “JB’s” supposed rival, Donald Trump, who has been inducted into a Lawfare-engineered chamber of horrors designed to slice-and-dice him into a million pieces and strew the shreds into the Potomac for the blue crabs to feed on. One can’t imagine a lamer case than the charges Special Counsel Jack Smith has cooked up against Mr. Trump for verbally expressing doubt about the probity of election 2020. Will Mr. Smith be able to prove any of this, assuming that it is now against the law in America to believe something and say so?

Logically, Mr. Trump’s defense might present reasons why he believed the election was rife with fraud, by introducing evidence of said fraud, of which there is actually an impressive amount now, despite whatever mendacious bullshit you see in The New York Times and on MSNBC. Do you suppose Judge Tanya Chutkan would do anything but allow that evidence to be introduced? And if she disallows it, is that not instantly grounds for a mistrial, since it would prove beyond a reasonable doubt there were good reasons, after all, for Mr. Trump to express what he believed?

Things are getting durned interesting. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FLA) offered a charming plan this week to counter this deceitful DOJ crusade. Here’s how it would work. First, the House Judiciary Committee calls Special Counsel Jack Smith to give transcribed testimony in the next fifteen days regarding the weaponization of the First Amendment. If he refuses, subpoena him. If he ignores the subpoena, the Committee holds him in criminal contempt of Congress, and issues a formal referral to Attorney General Merrick Garland. If Mr. Garland ignores the referral, impeach the SOB forthwith. At the same time, invite Mr. Trump to give testimony to the Committee as a whistleblower, conferring congressional immunity to him among the usual whistleblower protections as stated in law (under 18 U.S. Code 6002 and 6005).

Impeaching Mr. Garland would surely have a salutary influence on America’s current troubled mental state. And it would be a grand prelude to the more consequential impeachment of “Joe Biden” for selling out his country, a kind of political electroshock therapy for the Democratic Party, leaving them finally clear-headed enough to nominate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in the coming election of 2024."