Saturday, November 4, 2023

MUST VIEW! Scott Ritter, "The Entire Israeli Forces Trapped in Russia's Crossfire"

Full screen recommended.
Scott Ritter, 11/4/23
"The Entire Israeli Forces Trapped in Russia's Crossfire"
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"Warning! Global Financial System Power Outage Next; Bank Glitch Yesterday, Your Paycheck Is Missing"

Jeremiah Babe, 11/4/23
"Warning! Global Financial System Power Outage Next;
Bank Glitch Yesterday, Your Paycheck Is Missing"
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Musical Interlude: 2002, "Kindred Spirits"

Full screen recommended.
2002, "Kindred Spirits"
"Once we sailed upon the seas. Now we sail among the stars. This song was composed as a tribute to our friend, harpist Hilary Stagg, who left us far too soon. Hilary loved the sea and he loved the stars."

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Few butterflies have a wingspan this big. The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth's night sky are often named for flowers or insects, and NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the central star of this particular planetary nebula is exceptionally hot though - shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. 
 Click image for larger size.
This dramatically detailed close-up of the dying star's nebula was recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope soon after it was upgraded in 2009. Cutting across a bright cavity of ionized gas, the dust torus surrounding the central star is near the center of this view, almost edge-on to the line-of-sight. Molecular hydrogen has been detected in the hot star's dusty cosmic shroud. NGC 6302 lies about 4,000 light-years away in the arachnologically correct constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius).”

"As I've Aged"

"As I've Aged"
Author Unknown

“You ask me how it feels to grow older. I’ve learned a few things along the way, which I’ll share with you...

As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging. Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of many years ago, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things. Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it). May our friendship never come apart especially when it’s straight from the heart!”

Chet Raymo, “Salt And Nerves”

“Salt And Nerves”
by Chet Raymo

“I like to think that every day offers at least one unique revelation, some one thing seen or experienced that has not been seen or experienced before, at least not in the same emotional state, in the same context, in the same slant of light. So I walk wary, as the poet Sylvia Plath says, "ignorant/ Of whatever angel may choose to flare/ Suddenly at my elbow." Nature seldom disappoints.

Let me introduce you to another poet, my colleague here at the college, Anna Ross. In the particular poem I want to share she is walking with a companion and comes upon the bleached skeleton of an elk, its upturned ribcage "picked white as crocus tips in the long grass." An animal skeleton, in a place where such an encounter is not unexpected. But this skeleton, "skull nosing/ the green suggestion of water/ in the run-off ditch" brings the walkers up short. They see their house in the distance, and the weather coming east, "skinning the gray jaw-lines of the ridges." The poet's language holds the elk in a context of earth and sky: "skinning," "jaw-lines.

The angel flares. "Do we find these things," asks the poet, "or are they in us like salt and nerves?" This of course is the fundamental question of philosophy: Do we perceive reality objectively, or do we create reality? The scientist and the poet stake out their claims somewhere along a spectrum of objectivity/subjectivity, and hone their tools accordingly. Anna Ross asks the question - do we find these things or are they in us? - and lets it hang there, unanswered, in the pregnant air, as she and her companion turn back toward home, encountering, as they do, a grouse in the path, "a frenzy of dust and wing-beat," and chicks that rise, "hang uncertain," and veer away.

The question goes unanswered, but the title of the poem tells us all we need to know: "Evidence." Those elk bones, the weather, the gray jaw-lines of the ridges, the grouse and her chicks - mute evidences of the only thing that matters, the angel, the revelation, the sudden gift of grace that comes unexpectedly - I quote Plath again - "thus hallowing an interval/ Otherwise inconsequent/ By bestowing largesse, honor/ One might say love."

"A Gathering of the Tribe"

"A Gathering of the Tribe"
by Charles Eisenstein

"Once upon a time a great tribe of people lived in a world far away from ours. Whether far away in space, or in time, or even outside of time, we do not know. They lived in a state of enchantment and joy that few of us today dare to believe could exist, except in those exceptional peak experiences when we glimpse the true potential of life and mind. One day the shaman of the tribe called a meeting. They gathered around him, and he spoke very solemnly. "My friends," he said, "there is a world that needs our help. It is called Earth, and its fate hangs in the balance. Its humans have reached a critical point in their collective birthing, and they will be stillborn without our help. Who would like to volunteer for a mission to this time and place, and render service to humanity?"

"Tell us more about his mission," they asked. "I am glad you asked, because it is no small thing. I will put you into a deep, deep trance, so complete that you will forget who you are. You will live a human life, and in the beginning you will completely forget your origins. You will forget even our language and your own true name. You will be separated from the wonder and beauty of our world, and from the love that bathes us all. You will miss it deeply, yet you will not know what it is you are missing. You will only remember the love and beauty that we know to be normal as a longing in your heart. Your memory will take the form of an intuitive knowledge, as you plunge into the painfully marred earth, that a more beautiful world is possible.

As you grow up in that world, your knowledge will be under constant assault. You will be told in a million ways that a world of destruction, violence, drudgery, anxiety, and degradation is normal. You may go through a time when you are completely alone, with no allies to affirm your knowledge of a more beautiful world. You may plunge into a depth of despair that we, in our world of light, cannot imagine. But no matter what, a spark of knowledge will never leave you. A memory of your true origin will be encoded in your DNA. That spark will lie within you, inextinguishable, until one day it is awakened.

You see, even though you will feel, for a time, utterly alone, you will not be alone. I will send you assistance, help that you will experience as miraculous, experiences that you will describe as transcendent. For a few moments or hours or days, you will reawaken to the beauty and the joy that is meant to be. You will see it on earth, for even though the planet and its people are deeply wounded, there is beauty there still, projected from past and future onto the present as a promise of what is possible and a reminder of what is real.

You will also receive help from each other. As you begin to awaken to your mission you will meet others of our tribe. You will recognize them by your common purpose, values, and intuitions, and by the similarity of the paths you have walked. As the condition of the planet earth reaches crisis proportions, your paths will cross more and more. The time of loneliness, the time of thinking you might be crazy, will be over.

You will find the people of your tribe all over the earth, and become aware of them through the long-distance communication technologies used on that planet. But the real shift, the real quickening, will happen in face-to-face gatherings in special places on earth. When many of you gather together you will launch a new stage on your journey, a journey which, I assure you, will end where it began. Then, the mission that lay unconscious within you will flower into consciousness. Your intuitive rebellion against the world presented you as normal will become an explicit quest to create a more beautiful one.

In the time of loneliness, you will always be seeking to reassure yourself that you are not crazy. You will do that by telling people all about what is wrong with the world, and you will feel a sense of betrayal when they don't listen to you. You will be hungry for stories of wrongness, atrocity, and ecological destruction, all of which confirm the validity of your intuition that a more beautiful world exists. But after you have fully received the help I will send you, and the quickening of your gatherings, you will no longer need to do that. Because, you will Know. Your energy will thereafter turn toward actively creating that more beautiful world."

A tribeswoman asked the shaman, "How do you know this will work? Are you sure your shamanic powers are great enough to send us on such a journey?" The shaman replied, "I know it will work because I have done it many times before. Many have already been sent to earth, to live human lives, and to lay the groundwork for the mission you will undertake now. I've been practicing! The only difference now is that many of you will venture there at once. What is new in the time you will live in, is that the Gatherings are beginning to happen."

A tribesman asked, "Is there a danger we will become lost in that world, and never wake up from the shamanic trance? Is there a danger that the despair, the cynicism, the pain of separation will be so great that it will extinguish the spark of hope, the spark of our true selves and origin, and that we will separated from our beloved ones forever?"

The shaman replied, "That is impossible. The more deeply you get lost, the more powerful the help I will send you. You might experience it at the time as a collapse of your personal world, the loss of everything important to you. Later you will recognize the gift within it. We will never abandon you." Another man asked, "Is it possible that our mission will fail, and that this planet, earth, will perish?"

The shaman replied, "I will answer your question with a paradox. It is impossible that your mission will fail. Yet, its success hangs on your own actions. The fate of the world is in your hands. The key to this paradox lies within you, in the feeling you carry that each of your actions, even your personal, secret struggles within, has cosmic significance. You will know then, as you do now, that everything you do matters. God sees everything."

There were no more questions. The volunteers gathered in a circle, and the shaman went to each one. The last thing each was aware of was the shaman blowing smoke in his face. They entered a deep trance and dreamed themselves into the world where we find ourselves today.

Who are these missionaries from the more beautiful world? You and I are surely among them. Where else could this longing come from, for this magical place to be found nowhere on earth, this beautiful time outside of time? It comes from our intuitive knowledge of our origin and destination. The longing, indomitable, will never settle for a world that is less. Against all reason, we look upon the horrors of our age, mounting over the millennia, and we say NO, it does not have to be this way! We know it, because we have been there. We carry in our souls the knowledge that a more beautiful world is possible. Reason says it is impossible; reason says that even to slow - much less reverse - the degradation of the planet is an impossible task: politically unfeasible, opposed by the Money Power and its oligarchies. It is true that those powers will fight to uphold the world we have known. Their allies lurk within even ourselves: despair, cynicism, and resignation to carving out a life that is "good enough" for me and mine.

But we of the tribe know better. In the darkest despair a spark of hope lies inextinguishable within us, ready to be fanned into flames at the slightest turn of good news. However compelling the cynicism, a jejune idealism lives within us, always ready to believe, always ready to look upon new possibilities with fresh eyes, surviving despite infinite disappointments. And however resigned we may have felt, our aggrandizement of me and mine is half-hearted, for part of our energy is looking elsewhere, outward toward our true mission.

I would like to advise caution against dividing the world into two types of people, those who are of the tribe and those who are not. How often have you felt like an alien in a world of people who don't get it and don't care? The irony is that nearly everyone feels that way, deep down. When we are young the feeling of mission and the sense of magnificent origins and a magnificent destination is strong. Any career or way of life lived in betrayal of that knowing is painful, and can only be maintained through an inner struggle that shuts down a part of our being. For a time, we can keep ourselves functioning through various kinds of addictions or trivial pleasures to consume the life force and dull the pain. In earlier times, we might have kept the sense of mission and destiny buried for a lifetime, and called that condition maturity. Times are changing now though, as millions of people are awakening to their mission all at the same time. The condition of the planet is waking us up. Another way to put it, is that we are becoming young again.

When you feel that sense of alienation, when you look upon that sea of faces mired so inextricably in the old world and fighting to maintain it, think back to a time when you too were, to all outside appearances, a full and willing participant in that world as well. The same spark of revolution you carried then, the same secret refusal, dwells in all people. How was it that you finally stopped fighting it? How was it that you came to realize that you were right all along, that the world offered to us is wrong, and that no life is worth living that does not in some way strive to create a better one? How was it that it became intolerable to devote your life energy toward the perpetuation of the old world? Most likely, it happened when the old world fell apart around your ears.

As the multiple crises of money, health, energy, ecology, and more converge upon us, the world is going to collapse for millions more. We must stand ready to welcome them into the tribe. We must stand ready to welcome them back home.

The time of loneliness, of walking the path alone, of thinking maybe the world is right and I am wrong for refusing to participate fully in it... that time is over. For years we walked around talking about how wrong everything is: the political system, the educational system, religious institutions, the military-industrial complex, the banking industry, the medical system - really, any system you study deeply enough. We needed to talk about it because we needed to assure ourselves that we were not, in fact, crazy. We needed as well to talk about alternatives, the way things should be. "We" should eliminate CFCs. "They" should stop cutting down the rain forests. "The government" should declare no fishing zones. This talk, too, was necessary, for it validated our vision of the world that could be: a peaceful and exuberant humanity living in co-creative partnership with a wild garden earth.

The time, though, for talking merely to assure ourselves that we are right is coming to an end. People everywhere are tired of it, tired of attending yet another lecture, organizing yet another discussion group online. We want more. A few weeks ago as I was preparing for a speaking trip to Oregon, the organizers told me, "These people don't need to be told what the problems are. They don't even need to be told what the solutions are. They already know that, and many of them are already in action. What they want is to take their activism to the next level."

To do that, to fully step into one's mission here on earth, one must experience an inner shift that cannot be merely willed upon oneself. It does not normally happen through the gathering or receiving of information, but through various kinds of experiences that reach deep into our unconscious minds. Whenever I am blessed with such an experience, I get the sense that some benevolent yet pitiless power - the shaman in the story - has reached across the void to quicken me, to reorganize my DNA, to rewire my nervous system. I come away changed.

Here I am, a speaker and a writer, going on about how the time for mere talk has ended. Yet not all words are mere talk. A spirit can ride the vehicle of words, a spirit that is larger than, yet not separate from, their meaning. Sometimes I find that when I bow into service, that spirit inhabits the space in which I speak and affects all present. A sacredness infuses our conversations and the non-verbal experiences that are becoming part of my events. In the absence of that sacredness, I feel like a smart-ass, up there entertaining people and telling them information they could just as easily read online. Last Friday night I spoke on a panel in New York, one of three smart-asses, and I think many in the audience left disappointed (though maybe not as disappointed as I was in myself). We are looking for something more, and it is finding us.

The revolutionary spark of our true mission has been fanned into flames before, only to return again to an ember. You may remember an acid trip in 1975, a Grateful Dead concert in 1982, a kundalini awakening in 1999 - an event that, in the midst of it, you knew was real, a privileged glimpse into a future that can actually manifest. Then later, as its reality faded into memory and the inertial routines of life consumed you, you perhaps dismissed it and all such experiences as an excursion from life, a mere "trip." But something in you knows it was real, realer than the routines of normalcy. Today, such experiences are accelerating in frequency even as "normal" falls apart. We are at the beginning of a new phase. Our gatherings are not a substitute for action; they are an initiation into a state of being from which the necessary kinds of actions arise. Soon you will say, with wonder and serenity, "I know what to do, and I trust myself to do it."

The Daily "Near You?"

Clarkston, Michigan, USA. Thanks for stopping by!


Americans, face-in-the-phone champions of willful ignorance.
They don't know because they don't want to know...
'One can fight evil but against stupidity one is helpless."
- Henry Miller
 "Alas, regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come,
Nor care beyond to-day..."
Oh, we so deserve what we get...

Canadian Prepper, "Stock Up Before The Panic!"

Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper, 11/4/23
"Stock Up Before The Panic!"
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Dan, I Allegedly, "Insiders Tell All - Get Ready"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, I Allegedly 11/4/23
"Insiders Tell All - Get Ready"
"Today I’m sharing some very alarming stories from the banking industry, the business service industry, and the auto industry. You need to get ready for what’s coming. It’s already happening."
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"How It Really Is"


"15 Biggest Retail Chains Are In Trouble, Prepare For A Massive Wipeout"

Full screen recommended.
The Atlantis Report, 11/4/23
"15 Biggest Retail Chains Are In Trouble,
 Prepare For A Massive Wipeout"
"A massive wipeout like never seen before is coming, and these companies know it. Yet, they continue to churn out promising reports to lure investors and keep the general public believing that all is well. We have reported in previous videos about giant retailers gradually downsizing under the guise of incessant theft cases, but we now know that this is far from the truth. These 15 biggest retail chains are in deep trouble, and it appears that they're going down fast and hard."
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Adventures With Danno, "Outrageous Prices At Publix! This Is Ridiculous!"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures With Danno, 11/4/23
"Outrageous Prices At Publix! This Is Ridiculous!"
"In today's vlog, we are at Publix and are noticing some outrageous price increases on groceries! Prices continue to rise due to a multitude of reasons, making it hard on many families to even put food on the table!"
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Friday, November 3, 2023

"Children Of Hope..."

"Children of Hope, to life we fondly cling,
Though woe on woe bitter hour may bring;
the spirit shrinks, and Nature dreads to brave,
The doubt, the gloom, the stillness of the grave.
But what is death? – a wing from earth to fee –
a bridge o’er time into eternity."

- Michelle, in “The Fear of Death Considered”

"World War III Update, 11/3/23"

Col. Douglas Macgregor, 11/3/23
"Woke Madness"
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Judge Napolitano - Judging Freedom, 11/3/23
"Intel Roundtable w/ RayMcGovern & LarryJohnson: 
Who is winning Hamas/Israeli war?"
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Judge Napolitano - Judging Freedom, 11/3/23
"Scott Ritter: How Do You See This Ending?"
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Scott Ritter, 11/3/23
"Israel Has Effectively LOST the War
 and Palestine Will Become a Recognized State!"
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Musical Interlude: Liquid Mind, "Dream Ten" (Black Holes and Quasars)

Full screen recommended.
Liquid Mind, "Dream Ten" (Black Holes and Quasars)

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Beautiful island universe M94 lies a mere 15 million light-years distant in the northern constellation of the hunting dogs, Canes Venatici. A popular target for astronomers, the brighter inner part of the face-on spiral galaxy is about 30,000 light-years across.
Traditionally, deep images have been interpreted as showing M94's inner spiral region surrounded by a faint, broad ring of stars. But a new multi-wavelength investigation has revealed previously undetected spiral arms sweeping across the outskirts of the galaxy's disk, an outer disk actively engaged in star formation. At optical wavelengths, M94's outer spiral arms are followed in this remarkable discovery image, processed to enhance the outer disk structure. Background galaxies are visible through the faint outer arms, while the three spiky foreground stars are in our own Milky Way galaxy.”

"15 Retail Stores Going Out Of Business Right Now"

Full screen recommended.
Epic Economist 11/3/23
"15 Retail Stores Going Out Of Business Right Now"

"Some of the most popular retailers in the United States are reducing their physical footprint right now as consumers batten down the hatches amid inflation and tighter credit conditions. Rising real estate costs, higher wages, and increasing expenses are leaving even the best-performing chains afraid of what can happen to their balance sheets in 2024. For example, Sprouts Farmers Market has been one of the fastest-growing retail chains in the U.S. in recent years, adding 30 locations to its store count in 2023. However, not all stores that opened in the past couple of years have succeeded in the U.S. market, and now the grocery retailer is getting rid of locations that are "underperforming financially," according to a press release. Executives said the closures would mostly impact larger-format Sprouts stores, as the chain transitions to "smaller, more productive" models. The company just revealed that stores on the chopping block were located in Texas, California, Georgia, Florida, and Washington, but did not provide specifics about how many stores will be impacted just yet.

Similarly, more Target stores are going out of business as the company faces its deepest crisis ever. In the first week of September, the Minnesota-based chain announced that it would close nine locations due to theft and inventory losses. By the end of October, that number jumped to 11. “In this case, we cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance,” Target said in the press release. “We know that our stores serve an important role in their communities, but we can only be successful if the working and shopping environment is safe for all.” The retail giant said that it doubled down on security to prevent this from happening, using third-party guard services and implementing theft-deterrent tools across its business, but also noted that the financial losses were simply too big to keep these locations open.

Brands are currently observing industrywide trends that suggest a tough period for businesses is ahead. That's why they are preparing accordingly by taking steps to eliminate underperforming locations and cut costs before sales drop even further. There's also a major shift towards online shopping that is rapidly changing the American retail landscape. While some brands are closing locations to weather the storm, others are already in their last legs and won't likely survive for another year. Since 2017, the sector has been experiencing a drastic shift in consumption patterns that has pushed brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors and constantly revaluate their businesses in order to remain profitable. The pandemic added even more stress to many companies, and the inflation crisis that followed has only made things worse as shoppers started to pull back and sales started to go down. Now, as another recession unfolds, the outlook for the sector is quite gloomy. Retailers have to act now, or risk being eviscerated by this downturn in 2024. As more shutdowns are reported each week, your local retailer may stop serving your community before you even notice. For that reason, we compiled the latest store closing announcements in the retail industry."
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"It's Getting Really Bad, Jobs Report Was Horrific; US Economy Is Atrocious and Getting Worse"

Jeremiah Babe, 11/3/23
"It's Getting Really Bad, Jobs Report Was Horrific;
 US Economy Is Atrocious and Getting Worse"
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"A Whorehouse of Damned Fools: Thought, If Any, in the Federal Bubble"

"A Whorehouse of Damned Fools: 
Thought, If Any, in the Federal Bubble"
by Fred Reed

"I expect my columns to be gems of lucidity and concision, such as to arouse despair in other writers. I have been expecting this for decades now. It may still happen. Meanwhile I fear today’s effort will be helterskelter, having the literary aspect of a tossed salad. I beg patience.

The Earth holds some eight billion people. It is interdependent with most relying, sometimes for life itself, on things from somewhere else: food, oil, gasoline, fertilizers, parts crucial to machines also crucial, electronics controlling the crucial machines and networks. A world war, even with conventional weapons, would kill incalculable numbers, if only by breaking supply chains. We don’t know how many since we haven’t tried it yet. Nuclear? Far worse.

Of the eight billion, how many would it take to start a world war? Who are they? Why do they hold the power of fdeath by burning or starvation over the rest of us? Why would they do it?

Biden, not very smart, pathologically aggressive, exploring early senility, desperate for reelection, might be able to do it alone. One man. In theory he could order a nuclear strike or Russia, though it is unlikely that he would do so and not clear that the military would obey. Simply ordering US fighters to attack Russian aircraft over the Ukraine, or Syria, might do the trick. He is commander-in-chief, after all..

And Washington is poking hard at Russia in the Ukraine, escalating and escalating, raising the ante. We now have troops on the ground in Gaza, America is preparing for war with China. Situations of this sort are not predictable. Say Hezbola attacks Israel with Iranian support, America bombs Iran, Russia downs American planes, the US is now at war with Iran, which destroys American bases in the region and the large Russian reserve forces in the Ukraine roll toward the Polish border. It’s nuke’m or lose’m.

Here let us consider the crucial role of blank ignorance in American foreign policy. We may use China as a convenient example. I have read that seventy-seven percent of Americans, or some such number, think that China is a dangerous enemy. This of course is a majority manufactured by the media. But how many Americans know anything about China? Can they name three Chinese cities other than Beijing, Hongkong, and Shanghai? Even those three? Can they name one date in Chinese history? Know what happened in 1976? But they are quite sure that China, wherever it is, constitutes a grave danger.

The foregoing applies almost as well to the Congress. A friend, a former US Senator, has estimated to me that ninety percent of the Senate doesn’t know where Myanmar is. Congressmen, usually negligible lawyers from somewhere, have neither the background, time, or interest to master multifaceted foreign countries. They vote as the wind blows, as the rest of their party votes, as lobbyists n donors wish, and as they think that their constituents. also comprehensively ignorant, will approve.

The media, often little better informed, throw softball questions to avoid embarrassing either the pols or the viewership. The typical question is vague and lets the politician ramble into his love of democracy, opposition to dictatorship, and passionate concern for human rights. No reporter would ask Senator Rubio whether he can tell semiconductores from possum droppings.

Thus is policy made.

In two decades in Washington, I covered the military and its political hangers-on for Army Times, the Washington Times, the Washington Post, Universal Press Syndicate, Harper’s, and other stations of the journalistic cross. I had a Pentagon Pass and spent long hours walking the E-ring, talking to officers. I mention these not to puff my imaginary importance but to make the point that I know the smell, the attitude that moves the city, especially as regards the military.

There is a sense of omnipotence, of a right to rule. We have heard the phrases, the world’s policeman, the Indispensable Nation, a Shining City on a Hill, the Exceptional Nation. People believed this, and still do. This is hard to describe, but real. America had a God-given right, not infrequently expressed in religious terms, to intervene anywhere. Importantly, the US was believed to have the power to do so. In 1955, it did. Many of our gerontocratic leftover political fossils in power are old enough to have grown up in this.

There was, in those days, the American Imperium, US hegemony, the Empire, now consisting of something like 750 military bases around the world, control of the IMF, the World Bank, the United Nations, SWIFT, and so on. Washington came to think of this dominance as natural, eternal, a deserved fruit of European superiority. This is now collapsing, and Washington is ready to do anything, anything at all, to preserve it.

The desperate desire to stay in the saddle shapes America’s foreign policy. The approach is heavily military, in part because realists know that America cannot compete commercially or, for long, technologically with Asia. Washington has a short window of opportunity, perhaps of ten years, in which to crush first Russia and then China. Thus the war against Russia, a likely war in the Near East, threats to invade Mexico, and the frequent talk, and planning for, a war against china by 2025. They actually specify the year..

The horrifying thing is how very few are the men and women who can bring about a war in which hundreds of millions could die. In a world of eight billion, fewer (I will guess) than a hundred can start a holocaust. Much is made by conservatives of the Jewish Neocons, Victoria Nulan, Blinken, Zelenski, Kristol, and the gang, but there are also Biden, Bolton, Pompeo, Graham, Rubio, various Pentagon generals, and the arms industry.

In Washington there is talk of putting US boots on the ground in Ukraine, this being thought of as something the Russians would find fearsome. It isn’t’. America is no longer a nation of tough country boys. The Army can’t meet recruiting quotas because the American young are obese. Physical and mental standards have been lowered. Recruits with felony records are accepted. For years the services have been laboratories for political indoctrination, feminized, larded with sexual curiosities, rotted with affirmative action hires. The Army has no troops or officers who have experience with combat against a serious enemy with massive artillery, tanks, helicopter gunships. In recent decades the American military has bombed goat herds armed with rifles from secure bases with PXs.

The Russians they would try to fight in the Ukraine are battle-hardened with over a year of experience of combat against a modern Ukrainian army. It would be a slaughter.

Here we come to a major element in Washington’s purported strategic thinking: Wars are containable and fought somewhere else, never in America. This curious delusion is palpable in all the threats of direct intervention. A mistake. If American soldiers fight Russian soldiers, America will be at war with Russia, whose submarines could easily torpedo American troop or supply ships. Today’s cruise missiles, such as those used by Russia in the Ukraine, are accurate and have in some cases ranges of 1,200 miles. Several of these launched from submarines and killing most of the people at the Pentagon would be a shock. The Pentagon, note, is a short bicycle ride from the Capitol and the White House.

What then would Washington do? Russia is a huge nuclear power, able to incinerate the US and Europe at the same time. Nuclear saber rattling by Washington won’t intimidate it. Russia is independent in both food and energy. Its air force is large and powerful. God help an aircraft carrierthat tried to fight continental Russia. What do America’s toy soldiers do now?

A very, very important point: Wars usually do not turn out as expected. Here i repeat myself but I ask regular readers, if I have one, to be patient. Let’s look at some actual wars and how well they matched expectations. The American Civil War was supposed to be over in an afternoon at First Manassas. Wrong by four bloody years and 650,000 dead, equivalent to about six and a half million today. Nobody had the slightest idea of what that war would be. When Napoleon invaded Russia, he had no idea that Russian troops would soon be marching in Paris. Which is what happened. When the Germans launched WWI, they expected a short, victorious war of maneuver. They got four years of bloody, losing trench warfare. When Hitler invaded Russia, having Russian and American GIs divide up Berlin was not a major war plan. It happened. When the Japanese army urged war with America, it did plan on American sailors doing the boom-boom, as the Vietnamese used to say, with its daughters in the bars of Tokyo. 

When the French recolonized Vietnam after WWII, they did not expect to be outfought and outsmarted at Dienbienphu. When the Americans repeated the French mistake, they also did not foresee being handed their ass, as is said in the military. It happened. When the Russians invaded Afghanistan, they did not expect to lose. But did. When the Americans, seeing the Russian defeat, also did not expect to lose. But did. The current war in the Ukraine goeth not as expected.

Now, regarding the Ukraine: Militaries are often as bad at predicting the kind of war as its outcome. The game changer, as we like to say, in this war has been the drone. For one thing it allows armies to make precise attacks on targets, such as tanks, without risking the lives of soldiers. Further, when a drone spots, say, an enemy battalion, it can instantaneously relay its coordinates back to the artillery which in three minutes can bring down fire on said battalion. This wasn’t foreseen.

Now, as Washington prepares to start a war with China, it probably lacks a gerbil’s idea of how that war will go. There are the usual complacency, self-assurance, belief in America’s superiority in weapons and their use, the expectation of a short, sharp, victorious war, with the continental US remaining an untouchable sanctum. I find officials in the Federal Bubble talking of using F-35s to fly deep into China to bomb command centers. They say this in the same casual tone they would use when speaking of bombing Guatemala.

China isn’t Guatemala. It is a country of huge population, vast resources, large numbers of excellent engineers and scientists who feature prominently in the world’s elite technical journals. It is a country that sent a combined orbiter, lander, and rover to Mars, successfully, on its first attempt. It leads the world in number of supercomputers. It is not a dragon casually to be poked by overgrown little boys in the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel.

And it is a country that over decades has crafted its armed forces specifically to fight America in its nearby waters. I have a hard time imagining a situation better designed to produce surprises."

The Daily "Near You?"

Padua, Veneto, Italy. Thanks for stopping by!

"10 Life Lessons You Should Unlearn"

"10 Life Lessons You Should Unlearn"
by Martha Beck

"In the past 10 years, I've realized that our culture is rife with ideas that actually inhibit joy. Here are some of the things I'm most grateful to have unlearned:

"1. Problems are bad. You spent your school years solving arbitrary problems imposed by boring authority figures. You learned that problems- comment se dit?- suck. But people without real problems go mad and invent things like base jumping and wedding planning. Real problems are wonderful, each carrying the seeds of its own solution. Job burnout? It's steering you toward your perfect career. An awful relationship? It's teaching you what love means. Confusing tax forms? They're suggesting you hire an accountant, so you can focus on more interesting tasks, such as flossing. Finding the solution to each problem is what gives life its gusto.

2. It's important to stay happy. Solving a knotty problem can help us be happy, but we don't have to be happy to feel good. If that sounds crazy, try this: Focus on something that makes you miserable. Then think, "I must stay happy!" Stressful, isn't it? Now say, "It's okay to be as sad as I need to be." This kind of permission to feel as we feel- not continuous happiness- is the foundation of well-being.

3. I'm irreparably damaged by my past. Painful events leave scars, true, but it turns out they're largely erasable. Jill Bolte Taylor, the neuroanatomist who had a stroke that obliterated her memory, described the event as losing "37 years of emotional baggage." Taylor rebuilt her own brain, minus the drama. Now it appears we can all effect a similar shift, without having to endure a brain hemorrhage. The very thing you're doing at this moment- questioning habitual thoughts- is enough to begin off-loading old patterns. For example, take an issue that's been worrying you ("I've got to work harder!") and think of three reasons that belief may be wrong. Your brain will begin to let it go. Taylor found this thought-loss euphoric. You will, too.

4. Working hard leads to success. Baby mammals, including humans, learn by playing, which is why "the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton." Boys who'd spent years strategizing for fun gained instinctive skills to handle real-world situations. So play as you did in childhood, with all-out absorption. Watch for ways your childhood playing skills can solve a problem (see #1). Play, not work, is the key to success. While we're on the subject...

5. Success is the opposite of failure. Fact: From quitting smoking to skiing, we succeed to the degree we try, fail, and learn. Studies show that people who worry about mistakes shut down, but those who are relaxed about doing badly soon learn to do well. Success is built on failure.

6. It matters what people think of me. "But if I fail," you may protest, "people will think badly of me!" This dreaded fate causes despair, suicide, homicide. I realized this when I read blatant lies about myself on the Internet. When I bewailed this to a friend, she said, "Wow, you have some painful fantasies about other people's fantasies about you." Yup, my anguish came from my hypothesis that other people's hypothetical hypotheses about me mattered. Ridiculous! Right now, imagine what you'd do if it absolutely didn't matter what people thought of you. Got it? Good. Never go back.

7. We should think rationally about our decisions. Your rational capacities are far newer and more error-prone than your deeper, "animal" brain. Often complex problems are best solved by thinking like an animal. Consider a choice you have to make- anything from which movie to see to which house to buy. Instead of weighing pros and cons intellectually, notice your physical response to each option. Pay attention to when your body tenses or relaxes. And speaking of bodies...

8. The pretty girls get all the good stuff. Oh, God. So not true. I unlearned this after years of coaching beautiful clients. Yes, these lovelies get preferential treatment in most life scenarios, but there's a catch: While everyone's looking at them, virtually no one sees them. Almost every gorgeous client had a husband who'd married her breasts and jawline without ever noticing her soul.

9. If all my wishes came true right now, life would be perfect. Check it out: People who have what you want are all over rehab clinics, divorce courts, and jails. That's because good fortune has side effects, just like medications advertised on TV. Basically, any external thing we depend on to make us feel good has the power to make us feel bad. Weirdly, when you've stopped depending on tangible rewards, they often materialize. To attract something you want, become as joyful as you think that thing would make you. The joy, not the thing, is the point.

10. Loss is terrible. Ten years ago I still feared loss enough to abandon myself in order to keep things stable. I'd smile when I was sad, pretend to like people who appalled me. What I now know is that losses aren't cataclysmic if they teach the heart and soul their natural cycle of breaking and healing. A real tragedy? That's the loss of the heart and soul themselves. If you've abandoned yourself in the effort to keep anyone or anything else, unlearn that pattern. Live your truth, losses be damned. Just like that, your heart and soul will return home."

Paulo Coelho, "The Law of Jante"

"The Law of Jante"
by Paulo Coelho

"'The Law of Jante?' Of course I had never heard of this, so he explained what it was. I continued on my journey and discovered it is hard to find anyone in any of the Scandinavian countries who does not know this law. Although the law exists since the beginning of civilization, it was only officially declared in 1933 by writer Aksel Sandemose in the novel “A Refugee Goes Beyond Limits.”

The sad truth is that the Law of Jante is a rule applied in every country in the world, despite the fact that Brazilians say that “this only happens here,” and the French claim that “unfortunately, that’s how it is in our country.” Now, the reader must be annoyed because he/she is already half way through the column and still does not know what the Law of Jante is all about, so I’ll try to explain it here briefly in my own words:

“You aren’t worth a thing, nobody is interested in what you think,
mediocrity and anonymity are your best bet.
If you act this way, you will never have any big problems in life.”

The Law of Jante focuses on the feeling of jealousy and envy that sometimes causes so much trouble for people. This is one of its negative aspects, but there is something far more dangerous. And this law is accountable for the world being manipulated in all possible manners by people who have no fear of what the others say and end up practicing the evil they desire. We have just witnessed a useless war in Iraq, which is still costing many lives; we see a huge abyss between the rich and the poor countries of the world, social injustice on all sides, unbridled violence, people being forced to give up their dreams because of unfair and cowardly attacks. Before starting the second world war, Hitler sent out several signals as to his intentions, and what encouraged him to go ahead was the knowledge that nobody would dare to defy him because of the Law of Jante.

Mediocrity may be comfortable, up to the day that tragedy knocks at the door and people start to wonder: “but why did nobody say anything, if everybody could see that this was going to happen?” Simple: nobody said anything because the others did not say anything either. So in order to prevent things from growing any worse, maybe this is the right moment to write the anti-Law of Jante:

“You are worth far more than you think. Your work and presence
 on this Earth are important, even though you may not think so." 

Of course, thinking in this way, you might have many problems because you are breaking the Law of Jante – but don’t feel intimidated by them, go on living without fear and in the end you will win.”

"A Lot Of People..."

“When science discovers the center of the universe,
a lot of people will be disappointed to find they are not it.”
- Bernard Baily

"The Road to Serfdom"

"The Road to Serfdom"
by Addison Wiggin

“There is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame?”
- V for Vendetta

“We have arrived,” assert John & Nisha Whitehead, “at the dystopian future depicted in the 2005 film V for Vendetta... which is no future at all.” You’ll have to forgive us. We didn’t sleep well last night, got up at 4am and made the mistake of following an X (formerly Twitter) feed that began with Joe Rogan’s latest 2hr 41min podcast with the zaniest richest guy on earth, Elon Musk. It’s not all that surprising what kind of ideas an early morning coffee and social media produce.

So… After a week of recent political and economic history from the perspective of our writing partner on "Empire of Debt", Bill Bonner, today we take a break… and spend a bit of time connecting dots from film, political philosophy and monetary economics.

A simple question to begin: What happens if we continue down our current economic path? The Whiteheads kick us off by summarizing the scene in "V for Vendetta": "Concentration camps (jails, private prisons and detention facilities) have been established to house political prisoners and others deemed to be enemies of the state. Executions of undesirables (extremists, deplorables, troublemakers and the like) are common, while other enemies of the state are made to “disappear.” Populist uprisings and protests are met with extreme force. The television networks are controlled by the government with the purpose of perpetuating the regime. And most of the population is hooked into an entertainment mode and are clueless."

With "Vendetta," whose imagery borrows heavily from Nazi Germany’s Third Reich and George Orwell’s "1984", we come full circle. The corporate state in V conducts mass surveillance on its citizens, helped along by closed-circuit televisions. Also, London is under yellow-coded curfew alerts, similar to the American government’s color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System. The film’s director, James McTeighe, observed: “V for Vendetta really showed what can happen when society is ruled by government, rather than the government being run as a voice of the people. I don’t think it’s such a big leap to say things like that can happen when leaders stop listening to the people.”

Civil libertarians have been fretting over state control since the fascist movements of the 1930s. One of our favorites hits the nail on the head. The Nobel Prize winning economist Friedrich Hayek was famously alarmed by Nazi Germany and the rise of national socialism in the 1930s. Hayek’s most famous work "The Road To Serfdom" was originally published in 1944. The book began as a “memo” to Sir William Beveridge, the director of the London School of Economics (LSE), where Hayek was then teaching. Hayek intended to refute the then-popular claim that fascism represented the “dying gasp” of a failed capitalist system.

It’s hard to conceive today, but Eleanor Roosevelt, the nation’s then First Lady, was said to publicly support the efforts of Josef Stalin. Albert Einstein and many of the scientists who had fled Nazi Germany for the United States, supported socialist policies “lock, stock, and barrel.” In "The Road To Serfdom," Hayek argued that Western democracies, including the United Kingdom and the United States, have “progressively abandoned that freedom in economic affairs without which personal and political freedom has never existed in the past.” Government planning of economies, Hayek asserts, by its very nature leads to arbitrary and unfair edicts and loss of individual liberty.

At the time, "The Road to Serfdom" was deemed heretical for its passionate warning against the dangers of state control over the economy. Later, in the 1960’s "The Constitution of Liberty," Hayek urged“all those who wish to stop the drift toward increasing government control, should concentrate their efforts on monetary policy.”

A fitting warning today following all the ink spilt trying to read between the lines of Jerome Powell’s explanation for the decision to maintain a “hawkish pause” on interest rate hikes on Wednesday. The stock market rallied on the Fed’s decision. The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq gained half a percent each in unison. The prevailing Wall Street consensus is still “higher for longer” interest rates. But the question financial journalists are trying to answer is not “if” the Fed will revert to cutting rates, but “when.”

The trouble for us, having recently published the 3rd Edition of "Demise of the Dollar," is not just errant policy decisions regarding the nation’s money… not just the historic inflation that was stoked by years of low to zero interest rates and a gush of stimulation checks during the pandemic… but the fact that if the Fed is even successful at reaching it’s arbitrary 2% inflation target, the money in your retirement account still loses purchasing power year-over-year—by design. Here’s what the dollar purchasing power looks like since 1971 when priced in gold:
Of course, Richard Nixon famously dismantled the Bretton Woods exchange rate system linking the dollar to gold in 1971. Up until 1971, the median price for a family home rose relatively consistent when priced in gold.
Since 1971, the amount of dollars it takes to buy - or finance - a home has risen, while the former dollar peg, gold, has remained within range. “Higher for longer” interest rates only make the burden of owning the largest asset in most American families’ portfolios more difficult over time.

In the 1970s my parents bought, rehabbed and sold old colonials in New Hampshire for a living. I recall vividly moving into one house originally built in the 1750s that had no plumbing. We moved into the house in February and had to put on our mukluks and heavy wool mittens to go to the outhouse. I think I was five at the time. That’s the kind of memory that can stick with you.

But, as we recount in our video "The Great American Shell Game", even on that small income we still lived a good life. We were able to go to school, had a couple cars and a truck… we took family vacations… and didn’t have any debt. That’s a lifetime ago. Fat chance anyone trying to buy a family home on a single income anymore.

“Reckless government spending,” reads an op ed in The Hill this week following the release of both glowing GDP and CPI numbers. “Incessant money printing. Historically high interest rates. The worst inflation in 40 years. Despite the Biden administration’s best efforts to deceive them, the American people know that Bidenomics isn’t working.”

Bidenonomics isn’t working in another facet either. The government is stuck managing a rising debt load… actively engaging in two expensive wars… and politically they can’t cut spending or raise taxes. The newly minted House Speaker, Mike Johnson, just proposed cutting Social Security to finance the spending bills for Ukraine, Israel and a secure Southern border. That’s a ballsy political stunt, if you think about it… he’s basically daring the warmongers to prefer Ukraine and Israel to their own obligation to the nation’s retirees.

“It’s clear where this is going,” wrote the monetary economist Judy Shelton, critiquing Bidenomics in September during a spate of White House press releases. “When the government is unconstrained by budgetary discipline and monetary-policy makers punish the private sector with high interest rates to rectify the errors of fiscal policy, democratic capitalism can’t last long.”

The worst-case scenario, in our view, is when otherwise productive middle and lower class workers get disgruntled and start finding less-than-productive uses of their time, like taking to the streets over political issues. Or worse, engage in all sorts of random and organized theft and violence. When experiencing economic anxiety and political disenfranchisement… people will do some very foolish things.

“People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people,” writes Alan Moore, in the original V for Vendetta. Check out Shell Game, here.

Follow your own bliss,

P.S. Earlier this week, we waited in line for a sales associate in Home Depot to unlock a glass panel over the selection of drill bits we wanted to buy. The guy next to us, a building contractor, had been waiting for 45 minutes to get a battery he needed on his job site. That can’t be good for business, we thought. Out of curiosity we wondered what the total (reported) cost of retail theft at stores like Target and Home Depot is… and discovered it’s astounding.
In 2023, losses from theft are projected to reach $122 billion; an amount of loss equal to the entire annual GPD of Ethiopia."

"How It Really Is"


"Grocery Prices That Are Going Up In Winter Of 2023-2024! Food Shortage Report"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures With Danno, AM 11/3/23
"Grocery Prices That Are Going Up In Winter Of 2023-2024!
 Food Shortage Report"
"We're going over all of the different foods that are going up in price for Fall and Winter of 2023 - 2024. We also cover some of the different food shortages that are popping up around the country. With prices continuing to rise, we have to prepare for the worst and plan accordingly. It's getting tough out here as many families continue to struggle to put food on the table."
Comments here:

Dan, I Allegedly, "There Will Be No Relief"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, I Allegedly, AM 11/3/23
"There Will Be No Relief"
"In this deep-dive, we examine the grim forecasts from the National Retail Federation, the struggles of ordinary people to keep up with soaring costs, and the radical changes in our education system. We also discuss the implications of the increasing wages in California, and the impacts on popular food chains."
Comments here:

"A Dangerous Place..."

"If I were to remain silent, I'd be guilty of complicity."
- Albert Einstein

"Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it.
Right is right even if only you are doing it."
- Author Unknown