Saturday, December 9, 2023

Musical Interlude: 2002, "Believe"

Full screen recommended.
2002, "Believe"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Massive stars, abrasive winds, mountains of dust, and energetic light sculpt one of the largest and most picturesque regions of star formation in the Local Group of Galaxies. Known as N11, the region is visible on the upper right of many images of its home galaxy, the Milky Way neighbor known as the Large Magellanic Clouds (LMC).
The above image was taken for scientific purposes by the Hubble Space Telescope and reprocessed for artistry by an amateur to win the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures competition. Although the section imaged above is known as NGC 1763, the entire N11 emission nebula is second in LMC size only to 30 Doradus. Studying the stars in N11 has shown that it actually houses three successive generations of star formation. Compact globules of dark dust housing emerging young stars are also visible around the image.”

"Hope In a Time of Hopelessness"

"Hope In a Time of Hopelessness" 
by Washingtons Blog

"Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage;
anger at the way things are, and courage 
to see that they do not remain the way they are."
- Augustine of Hippo

"Several long-time activists have told me recently they are overwhelmed, worried, and think that we may be losing the struggle. One very smart friend asked me if there is any basis for hope.

Hope is an act of will, not a passive mood. Admittedly, things are easier when circumstances bring hope to us, and we can just receive the hopeful and inspiring news. But if we care about winning, we have to be able to decide to have hope even when outer circumstances aren't so positive.

I have children who are counting on me to leave them with a reasonably safe and sane planet. As I've said elsewhere, I care too much about my kids and my freedom to be afraid. I care enough about them that it gets my heart beating, connects me to something bigger than myself, and that gives me courage, even when the chips are down. 

If I allowed myself to lose hope about exposing falsehoods, about protecting our freedom and building a hopeful future, I would be dropping the ball for my kids. I would be condemning them to a potentially very grey world where bigger and worse things may happen, where their liberties and joys are wholly stripped away, where every ounce of vitality is beholden to joyless and useless tasks.

Many of us may be motivated by other things besides kids, and only you can know what that is. But we each must dig down deep, and connect with our most powerful motivations to win the struggle for freedom and truth.

I don't know about you, but I don't have the luxury of giving up hope. When I get depressed, overwhelmed or exhausted by the stunning acts of savagery, treason, and disinformation carried out by the imperialists, or the willful ignorance of far too many Americans, I will myself into finding some reason to have hope. Because the struggle for life and liberty is too important for me to give up." 
Full screen recommended.
Jason Mraz, "I Won't Give Up"

And don't you ever give up...

Jeremiah Babe, "The Purge Is About To Happen; Stagflation Will Be A Disaster"

Jeremiah Babe, 12/9/23
"The Purge Is About To Happen; Stagflation Will Be A Disaster; 
Living In A Fake World Of Wealth"
Comments here:

"My Task..."

“My task, which I am trying to achieve, is by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel; it is, before all, to make you see. That and no more, and it is everything. If I succeed, you shall find there, according to your deserts, encouragement, consolation, fear, charm, all you demand – and, perhaps, also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask.”
- Joseph Conrad

Adventures With Danno, "Preparing For A Nightmare Scenario! It's Getting Ugly!"

Adventures With Danno, PM 12/9/23
"Preparing For A Nightmare Scenario!
 It's Getting Ugly!"
"We are preparing for the future as these events happening around the world could easily turn into a nightmare scenario! Conflicts are erupting everywhere, and we need to prepare accordingly!"
Comments here:

The Daily "Near You?"

Big Rapids, Michigan, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"On These Faces..."

“The barbarian hopes, and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too. He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being. We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles.“
- Hilaire Belloco

"15 Great Depression Foods We Will All Be Eating Again Soon"

Full screen recommended.
"15 Great Depression Foods 
We Will All Be Eating Again Soon"
By Epic Economist

"The reality of millions drastically changed after the 1929 stock market crash. All of a sudden, affluent Americans lost everything, middle-class families became poor, and poor households fell into misery. For over a decade, our citizens struggled to make ends meet and many of them didn’t have enough to eat.

Parents would skip meals to feed their children as they were forced to survive on next to nothing. Bread lines extended for miles, and food insecurity became an epidemic. Fast forward to today, and we have what experts call the biggest stock market bubble in history just ready to burst. Even though we have learned a lot since the 1930s, our leaders continued to make the same mistakes. And now more than ever, it’s looking like history is about to repeat itself. The question is: when everything collapses will you be prepared?

According to a very detailed article published on Ask A Prepper by Katherine Paterson, for us to be truly ready for the challenges that are coming for us, we will all need to get creative with our meals. To understand how Americans survived the dark times of the Great Depression, we need to understand how to make our resources last. Back then, essentials including meat, eggs, and milk were in extremely short supply, and people often had to make a little go a long way, as explained by Paterson.

We are already seeing the same shortages happening today. And it’s just a matter of time before another financial disaster throws our economy into disarray. With a little bit of preparation, you won’t have to panic when staples start disappearing from store shelves if you know how to adapt. You don’t need many different ingredients, and you definitely don’t need expensive foods to cook delicious dishes.

Culinary is something very important for our culture. It was through such hearty meals that people had the drive to keep fighting to get out of such challenging situations. Food connects us and gives us a sense of purpose and identity. That’s why it is so crucial to make preparations for when the essentials we rely upon aren’t available anymore. The warning signs of an impending financial and economic meltdown are everywhere. And once it happens, vulnerable supply chains can be broken in a snap of fingers.

Our leaders may have made the same wrongful decisions that put us where our grandparents and great-grandparents were almost a century ago. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make more conscious choices this time around. So get ready now while we’re still experiencing the calm before the storm, because when start to spiral out of control, it may be too late. That’s why in today’s video, we listed some very popular meals that previous generations used to eat during that era because those recipes may soon become handy for all of us as well."

"The Massive Banking Crisis We've Been Hearing About Just Started…"

Full screen recommended.
The Atlantis Report, 12/9/23
"The Massive Banking Crisis We've 
Been Hearing About Just Started…"

"People are withdrawing money from smaller banks due to branch closures and digital banking trends. The recent closure of 64 bank branches in the United States in the last few days demonstrates the panic among them trying to retain deposits. Provident National Bank has closed 203 branches this year and JP Morgan Chase is closing 18 which indicates a widespread trend. There is a possibility of a chain reaction of bank implosions while they are actively trying to hold on to as much cash as possible. Banks are crucial for holding up the economy in the United States. The depositors have essentially become investors and if the bank faces trouble, people will have to face implications. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is a safety net but the process of retrieving insured money is difficult. Moreover, China's shadow banking sector is facing investigations about its involvement in troubled investments and its property sector is undergoing ripple effects. Issues in China's property market raise concerns about insolvencies and contagion risk in the global financial network. The global economy, particularly regarding dollar denominated bonds, is impacted by China's property market troubles.

The Federal Reserve is taking emergency actions to support struggling banks. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase have a significant percentage of deposits uninsured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation which is raising concerns about losses in the event of a downturn. This lack of insurance coverage will pose additional risks especially in the context of a liquidity crisis. The US needs to address the deficit to avoid a snowballing crisis."
Comments here:

"How It Really Is"


”The 5 Stages of Economic Collapse”

”The 5 Stages of Economic Collapse” 
by Dmitry Orlov

“Elizabeth Kübler-Ross defined the five stages of coming to terms with grief and tragedy as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, and applied it quite successfully to various forms of catastrophic personal loss, such as death of a loved one, sudden end to one’s career, and so forth. Several thinkers, notably James Howard Kunstler and, more recently John Michael Greer, have pointed out that the Kübler-Ross model is also quite terrifyingly accurate in reflecting the process by which society as a whole (or at least the informed and thinking parts of it) is reconciling itself to the inevitability of a discontinuous future, with our institutions and life support systems undermined by a combination of resource depletion, catastrophic climate change, and political impotence.

But so far, little has been said specifically about the finer structure of these discontinuities. Instead, there is to be found continuum of subjective judgments, ranging from “a severe and prolonged recession” (the prediction we most often read in the financial press), to Kunstler’s evocative but unscientific-sounding “clusterf**k,” to the ever-popular “Collapse of Western Civilization,” painted with an ever-wider brush-stroke.

For those of us who have already gone through all of the emotional stages of reconciling ourselves to the prospect of social and economic upheaval, it might be helpful to have a more precise terminology that goes beyond such emotionally charged phrases. Defining a taxonomy of collapses might prove to be more than just an intellectual exercise: based on our abilities and circumstances, some of us may be able to specifically plan for a certain stage of collapse as a temporary, or even permanent, stopping point.

Even if society at the current stage of socioeconomic complexity will no longer be possible, and even if, as Tainter points in his “Collapse of Complex Societies,” there are circumstances in which collapse happens to be the correct adaptive response, it need not automatically cause a population crash, with the survivors disbanding into solitary, feral humans dispersed in the wilderness and subsisting miserably. Collapse can be conceived of as an orderly, organized retreat rather than a rout.

For instance, the collapse of the Soviet Union – our most recent and my personal favorite example of an imperial collapse – did not reach the point of political disintegration of the republics that made it up, although some of them (Georgia, Moldova) did lose some territory to separatist movements. And although most of the economy shut down for a time, many institutions, including the military, public utilities, and public transportation, continued to function throughout. And although there was much social dislocation and suffering, society as a whole did not collapse, because most of the population did not lose access to food, housing, medicine, or any of the other survival necessities. The command-and-control structure of the Soviet economy largely decoupled the necessities of daily life from any element of market psychology, associating them instead with physical flows of energy and physical access to resources. Thus situation, as I argue in my forthcoming book, Reinventing Collapse, allowed the Soviet population to inadvertently achieve a greater level of collapse-preparedness than is currently possible in the United States.

Having given a lot of thought to both the differences and the similarities between the two superpowers – the one that has collapsed already, and the one that is collapsing as I write this – I feel ready to attempt a bold conjecture, and define five stages of collapse, to serve as mental milestones as we gauge our own collapse-preparedness and see what can be done to improve it.

Rather than tying each phase to a particular emotion, as in the Kübler-Ross model, the proposed taxonomy ties each of the five collapse stages to the breaching of a specific level of trust, or faith, in the status quo. Although each stage causes physical, observable changes in the environment, these can be gradual, while the mental flip is generally quite swift. It is something of a cultural universal that nobody (but a real fool) wants to be the last fool to believe in a lie.

Stages of Collapse:

Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in “business as usual” is lost. The future is no longer assumed resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. Financial institutions become insolvent; savings are wiped out, and access to capital is lost.

Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that “the market shall provide” is lost. Money is devalued and/or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down, and widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.

Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that “the government will take care of you” is lost. As official attempts to mitigate widespread loss of access to commercial sources of survival necessities fail to make a difference, the political establishment loses legitimacy and relevance.

Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that “your people will take care of you” is lost. As local social institutions, be they charities, community leaders, or other groups that rush in to fill the power vacuum, run out of resources or fail through internal conflict.

Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in the goodness of humanity is lost. People lose their capacity for “kindness, generosity, consideration, affection, honesty, hospitality, compassion, charity” (Turnbull, "The Mountain People"). Families disband and compete as individuals for scarce resources. The new motto becomes “May you die today so that I die tomorrow” (Solzhenitsyn, "The Gulag Archipelago"). There may even be some cannibalism.

Although many people imagine collapse to be a sort of elevator that goes to the sub-basement (our Stage 5) no matter which button you push, no such automatic mechanism can be discerned. Rather, driving us all to Stage 5 will require that a concerted effort be made at each of the intervening stages. That all the players seem poised to make just such an effort may give this collapse the form a classical tragedy – a conscious but inexorable march to perdition – rather than a farce (“Oops! Ah, here we are, Stage 5.” – “So, whom do we eat first?” – “Me! I am delicious!”) Let us sketch out this process.

Financial collapse, as we are are currently observing it, consists of two parts. One is that a part of the general population is forced to move, no longer able to afford the house they bought based on inflated assessments, forged income numbers, and foolish expectations of endless asset inflation. Since, technically, they should never have been allowed to buy these houses, and were only able to do so because of financial and political malfeasance, this is actually a healthy development. The second part consists of men in expensive suits tossing bundles of suddenly worthless paper up in the air, ripping out their remaining hair, and (some of us might uncharitably hope) setting themselves on fire on the steps of the Federal Reserve. They, to express it in their own vernacular, “f**ked up,” and so this is also just as it should be.

The government response to this could be to offer some helpful homilies about “the wages of sin” and to open a few soup kitchens and flop houses in a variety of locations including Wall Street. The message would be: “You former debt addicts and gamblers, as you say, ‘f****d up,’ and so this will really hurt for a long time. We will never let you anywhere near big money again. Get yourselves over to the soup kitchen, and bring your own bowl, because we don’t do dishes.” This would result in a stable Stage 1 collapse – the Second Great Depression.

However, this is unlikely, because in the US the government happens to be debt addict and gambler number one. As individuals, we may have been as virtuous as we wished, but the government will have still run up exorbitant debts on our behalf. Every level of government, from local municipalities and authorities, which need the financial markets to finance their public works and public services, to the federal government, which relies on foreign investment to finance its endless wars, is addicted to public debt. They know they cannot stop borrowing, and so they will do anything they can to keep the game going for as long as possible.

About the only thing the government currently seems it fit to do is extend further credit to those in trouble, by setting interest rates at far below inflation, by accepting worthless bits of paper as collateral and by pumping money into insolvent financial institutions. This has the effect of diluting the dollar, further undermining its value, and will, in due course, lead to hyperinflation, which is bad enough in any economy, but is especially serious for one dominated by imports. As imports dry up and the associated parts of the economy shut down, we pass Stage 2: Commercial Collapse.

As businesses shut down, storefronts are boarded up and the population is left largely penniless and dependent on FEMA and charity for survival, the government may consider what to do next. It could, for example, repatriate all foreign troops and set them to work on public works projects designed to directly help the population. It could promote local economic self-sufficiency, by establishing community-supported agriculture programs, erecting renewable energy systems, and organizing and training local self-defense forces to maintain law and order. The Army Corps of Engineers could be ordered to bulldoze buildings erected on former farmland around city centers, return the land to cultivation, and to construct high-density solar-heated housing in urban centers to resettle those who are displaced. In the interim, it could reduce homelessness by imposing a steep tax on vacant residential properties and funneling the proceeds into rent subsidies for the indigent. With plenty of luck, such measures may be able to reverse the trend, eventually providing for a restoration of pre-Stage 2 conditions.

This may or may not be a good plan, but in any case it is rather unrealistic, because the United States, being so deeply in debt, will be forced to accede to the wishes of its foreign creditors, who own a lot of national assets (land, buildings, and businesses) and who would rather see a dependent American population slaving away working off their debt than a self-sufficient one, conveniently forgetting that they have mortgaged their children’s futures to pay for military fiascos, big houses, big cars, and flat-screen television sets. Thus, a much more likely scenario is that the federal government (knowing who butters their bread) will remain subservient to foreign financial interests. It will impose austerity conditions, maintain law and order through draconian means, and aid in the construction of foreign-owned factory towns and plantations. As people start to think that having a government may not be such a good idea, conditions become ripe for Stage 3.

If Stage 1 collapse can be observed by watching television, observing Stage 2 might require a hike or a bicycle ride to the nearest population center, while Stage 3 collapse is more than likely to be visible directly through one’s own living-room window, which may or may not still have glass in it. After a significant amount of bloodletting, much of the country becomes a no-go zone for the remaining authorities. Foreign creditors decide that their debts might not be repaid after all, cut their losses and depart in haste. The rest of the world decides to act as if there is no such place as The United States – because “nobody goes there any more.” So as not to lose out on the entertainment value, the foreign press still prints sporadic fables about Americans who eat their young, much as they did about Russia following the Soviet collapse. A few brave American expatriates who still come back to visit bring back amazing stories of a different kind, but everyone considers them eccentric and perhaps a little bit crazy.

Stage 3 collapse can sometimes be avoided by the timely introduction of international peacekeepers and through the efforts of international humanitarian NGOs. In the aftermath of a Stage 2 collapse, domestic authorities are highly unlikely to have either the resources or the legitimacy, or even the will, to arrest the collapse the dynamic and reconstitute themselves in a way that the population would accept.

As stage 3 collapse runs its course, the power vacuum left by the now defunct federal, state and local government is filled by a variety of new power structures. Remnants of former law enforcement and military, urban gangs, ethnic mafias, religious cults and wealthy property owners all attempt to build their little empires on the ruins of the big one, fighting each other over territory and access to resources. This is the age of Big Men: charismatic leaders, rabble-rousers, ruthless Macchiavelian princes and war lords. In the luckier places, they find it to their common advantage to pool their resources and amalgamate into some sort of legitimate local government, while in the rest their jostling for power leads to a spiral of conflict and open war.

Stage 4 collapse occurs when society becomes so disordered and impoverished that it can no longer support the Big Men, who become smaller and smaller, and eventually fade from view. Society fragments into extended families and small tribes of a dozen or so families, who find it advantageous to band together for mutual support and defense. This is the form of society that has existed over some 98.5% of humanity’s existence as a biological species, and can be said to be the bedrock of human existence. Humans can exist at this level of organization for thousands, perhaps millions of years. Most mammalian species go extinct after just a few million years, but, for all we know, Homo Sapiens still have a million or two left.

If pre-collapse society is too atomized, alienated and individualistic to form cohesive extended families and tribes, or if its physical environment becomes so disordered and impoverished that hunger and starvation become widespread, then Stage 5 collapse becomes likely. At this stage, a simpler biological imperative takes over, to preserve the life of the breeding couples. Families disband, the old are abandoned to their own devices, and children are only cared for up to age 3. All social unity is destroyed, and even the couples may disband for a time, preferring to forage on their own and refusing to share food. This is the state of society described by the anthropologist Colin Turnbull in his book “The Mountain People.” If society prior to Stage 5 collapse can be said to be the historical norm for humans, Stage 5 collapse brings humanity to the verge of physical extinction.

As we can easily imagine, the default is cascaded failure: each stage of collapse can easily lead to the next, perhaps even overlapping it. In Russia, the process was arrested just past Stage 3: there was considerable trouble with ethnic mafias and even some warlordism, but government authority won out in the end. In my other writings, I go into a lot of detail in describing the exact conditions that inadvertently made Russian society relatively collapse-proof. Here, I will simply say that these ingredients are not currently present in the United States.

While attempting to arrest collapse at Stage 1 and Stage 2 would probably be a dangerous waste of energy, it is probably worth everyone’s while to dig in their heels at Stage 3, definitely at Stage 4, and it is quite simply a matter of physical survival to avoid Stage 5. In certain localities – those with high population densities, as well as those that contain dangerous nuclear and industrial installations – avoiding Stage 3 collapse is rather important, to the point of inviting foreign troops and governments in to maintain order and avoid disasters. Other localities may be able to prosper indefinitely at Stage 3, and even the most impoverished environments may be able to support a sparse population subsisting indefinitely at Stage 4.

Although it is possible to prepare directly for surviving Stage 5, this seems like an altogether demoralizing thing to attempt. Preparing to survive Stages 3 and 4 may seem somewhat more reasonable, while explicitly aiming for Stage 3 may be reasonable if you plan to become one of the Big Men. Be that as it may, I must leave such preparations as an exercise for the reader. My hope is that these definitions of specific stages of collapse will enable a more specific and fruitful discussion than the one currently dominated by such vague and ultimately nonsensical terms as “the collapse of Western civilization.”
Download "The Collapse of Complex Societies", 
by Joseph A. Tainter, here:

"We're Starting To Find Out What's Beneath The Thin Veneer Of Civilization That We've All Been Taking For Granted"

"We're Starting To Find Out What's Beneath The Thin 
Veneer Of Civilization That We've All Been Taking For Granted"
By Michael Snyder

"Unlike so many people around the world, those of us that live in the United States were fortunate enough to grow up in a relatively civilized society. Unfortunately, we have turned our backs on the values that our forefathers handed down to us, and so now we are starting to find out what is beneath the thin veneer of civilization that we have all been taking for granted all these years.

Our society is absolutely teeming with predators, crime rates are soaring all over the nation, millions of Americans are afraid to leave their own homes, and hordes of drug addicts are literally pooping in the middle of our streets whenever they feel like it.

In some of our largest cities, highly organized groups of criminals are constantly invading homes. Of course when these thieves encounter a homeowner that is actually armed it can result in a deadly confrontation…"A homeowner shot and killed a home invasion suspect in Los Angeles early Saturday morning while a grandmother and toddler were in the house in the fifth such crime reported in the area in the space of 10 days.

Officers were called to a home in the Granada Hills section of the San Fernando Valley, north of Beverly Hills, around 5am on Saturday after someone reported a ‘hot prowl’ – a burglary where the homeowner is present. ‘The officers’ preliminary investigation determined that approximately three to four armed males in their 20s entered the home with the intent to burglarize the location,’ according to LAPD officials."

Once upon a time, Los Angeles was such a beautiful city. But now it is covered from one end to the other in filth, trash and drug paraphernalia. Imagine as a store owner coming to your store one morning to open shop and this is what greets you. Welcome to Los Angeles.— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) November 26, 2023

Of course much of this degradation is being fueled by drug addiction. We are in the midst of the worst drug crisis in the entire history of our country, and many addicts have made theft a lifestyle in order to fund their addictions. In addition to robbing homes, these addicts are constantly smashing into vehicles, and they are one of the biggest reasons why retail theft has soared to unprecedented heights

"New York City has led the US with the sharpest increase in the number of reported shoplifting incidents since before the pandemic, according to a study. The Big Apple saw a 64% increase in reported incidents of retail theft during the four-year period between mid-2019 and June of this year, while Los Angeles experienced a 61% surge in the same metric, according to the Council on Criminal Justice."

This is not what a civilized society looks like.

In Bellevue, Washington, so many vehicles are being stolen that the police are literally giving away steering wheel locks in a desperate attempt to bring auto theft down…"The Bellevue Police Department is giving away steering wheel locks Sunday, December 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bellevue Crossroads Substation. “The effort comes as auto thefts have been on the rise in Bellevue and across the region,” said BPD. BPD said Bellevue has had a 29% increase in car thefts in 2023 through October. BPD has seen a 762% and 730% increase in theft of Kias and Hyundais."

I honestly do not understand why people still want to live in these big cities. According to one recent survey, 40 percent of Americans are now “afraid to walk alone at night near their home”. Millions of Americans live in a constant state of fear because our nation is absolutely teeming with predators and drug addicts.

During his recent debate with Gavin Newsom, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pulled out the infamous “poop map” that shows reports of human feces on the streets of San Francisco…"During Thursday night’s debate between Gavin Newsom (D) and Ron DeSantis (R), the Florida governor busted out the San Francisco ‘poop map’ created by OpenTheBooks. The map, created in 2019, plotted nearly 120,000 case reports of human feces on the streets of San Francisco between 2011 and 2019 using the city’s open records portal and 311 call information posted by city officials."

Well, now that map has been updated, and despite everything officials have tried reports of human feces in the streets have been coming in faster than ever…It’s been updated… According to Adam Andrzejwski of OpenTheBooks, here it is in all it’s brown glory – only now it’s got an additional 125,506 cases in just three years – more than double the amount reported in the initial eight-year period.

This is our country now.

We live in a country where hordes of mindless drug addicts pull down their pants and defecate in the streets whenever they feel like it. And thanks to the open border policies of our leaders in Washington, more drug dealers and more drug addicts are pouring across our borders with each passing day. It is being reported that the foreign-born population in the U.S. has now reached a whopping 49.5 million people…"The nation’s foreign-born population has hit an unprecedented 49.5 million, the largest ever recorded in American history, under President Joe Biden. Analysis by Steven Camarota and Karen Zeigler at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) revealed that in October the foreign-born population reached almost 50 million, increasing by 4.5 million foreign-born residents since Biden took office in January 2021."

How do you think the drug cartels in Mexico make so much money? They make millions upon millions of dollars by selling drugs to us. And our leaders refuse to secure our borders year after year. It is infuriating.

We are literally committing national suicide, and the stage is set for an epic eruption of societal unrest in our major cities which will be so bad that it will shock the entire planet. Decades of incredibly bad decisions have brought us to this point, but even at this late hour our leaders continue to make some of the stupidest decisions imaginable."
Full screen recommended, if you can stomach it.
Drones R Eagles, 12/9/23
"Xylazine Horse Tranquilizer
 Epidemic In Philly On Kenzo Ave"
Comments here:

Dan, I Allegedly, "No One Wants To Work"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, I Allegedly AM 12/9/23
"No One Wants To Work"
"We are told that the economy is unbelievable, the job market is absolutely amazing. But, we got a want ad that truly shows the state of the average worker. No one wants to work."
Comments here

"Israel - Palestine War Update, 12/9/23"

Full screen recommended.
Scott Ritter, 12/9/23
"Israel Will Never Beat Hamas"
Comments here:
Full screen recommended.
Hindustan Times, 12/9/23
"Al Qassam's Deadly M-90 Rocket Dare For Israel;
 'Tel Aviv Will Be Burnt...'"
"Hamas' Al-Qassam brigades have released a new video flaunting M-90 rockets. The deadly multiple rocket launcher (MLR), M-90, can hold up to eight rockets at a time. The video is Hamas' show of strength and warning as Israel expands its operation in south Gaza. The footage was titled "Tel Aviv will be burned to the ground; Al-Quds will be liberated."
Comments here:
Full screen recommended.
Hindustan Times, 12/9/23
"Hezbollah's 'Revenge' ATGM Attack On IDF; 
Israeli Army Barracks Gutted"
"A ferocious fight between Hezbollah and Israel is underway at the borders. The Lebanese group has launched ATGM attacks on Israeli army barracks near the border. In a video by Hezbollah, a loud boom can be heard after an ATGM is launched. The Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) can then be seen hitting the Israeli army barracks. The multi-floor barrack was razed to the ground in the ATGM attack. Hezbollah claims that IDF soldiers were present inside the barrack during the attack."
Comments here:

Stipendium peccati mors est, Israel...

"Restaurant Service Bad, No Tip; $20 Hamburgers Is The New Normal; Prices Are Out Of Control"

Jeremiah Babe, 12/8/23
"Restaurant Service Bad, No Tip; 
$20 Hamburgers Is The New Normal; Prices Are Out Of Control"
Comments here:

Friday, December 8, 2023

"Scott Ritter: Hamas/Hezbollah - Israel War Update, 12/8/23"

Full screen recommended.
Judge Napolitano, 12/8/23
"Scott Ritter: Hamas/Hezbollah - 
Israel War Update, 12/8/23"
Comments here:

Musical Interlude: Ludovico Einaudi, “Life”

Full screen recommended.
Ludovico Einaudi, “Life”
"What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs 
across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."
- Crowfoot, Blackfoot Warrior and Orator

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Two stars within our own Milky Way galaxy anchor the foreground of this cosmic snapshot. Beyond them lie the galaxies of the Hydra Cluster. In fact, while the spiky foreground stars are hundreds of light-years distant, the Hydra Cluster galaxies are over 100 million light-years away.
Three large galaxies near the cluster center, two yellow ellipticals (NGC 3311, NGC 3309) and one prominent blue spiral (NGC 3312), are the dominant galaxies, each about 150,000 light-years in diameter. An intriguing overlapping galaxy pair cataloged as NGC 3314 is just above and left of NGC 3312. Also known as Abell 1060, the Hydra galaxy cluster is one of three large galaxy clusters within 200 million light-years of the Milky Way. In the nearby universe, galaxies are gravitationally bound into clusters which themselves are loosely bound into superclusters that in turn are seen to align over even larger scales. At a distance of 100 million light-years this picture would be about 1.3 million light-years across."
"In this galaxy, there's a mathematical probability of 3 billion Earth-type planets. And in all of the universe, 2 trillion galaxies like this. And in all of that...and perhaps more, only one of each of us."
- "Dr. Leonard McCoy"

"Humanity Today..."

"Humanity today is like a waking dreamer, caught between the fantasies of sleep and the chaos of the real world. The mind seeks but cannot find the precise place and hour. We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology. We thrash about. We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life."
- Edward O. Wilson

The Poet: Mary Oliver, "Mysteries, Yes"

"Mysteries, Yes"

"Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads."

~ Mary Oliver

The Daily "Near You?"

Fernley, Nevada, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"It Is Common To Assume..."

"It is common to assume that human progress affects everyone - that even the dullest man, in these bright days, knows more than any man of, say, the Eighteenth Century, and is far more civilized. This assumption is quite erroneous. The great masses of men, even in this inspired republic, are precisely where the mob was at the dawn of history. They are ignorant, they are dishonest, they are cowardly, they are ignoble. They know little if anything that is worth knowing, and there is not the slightest sign of a natural desire among them to increase their knowledge."
- H. L. Mencken, 1929
"It is extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut,
 with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it's just as well; 
and it may be that it is this very dullness that makes
 life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome."
-Joseph Conrad, "Lord Jim"

Bill Bonner, "When the Money Goes..."

"When the Money Goes..."
Hardship withdrawals, barbarians inside 
the gates and the burden of phony fiat.
by Bill Bonner

Baltimore, Maryland - "From ZeroHedge comes this update: 'More Americans Tapping Into Retirement Savings As 'Hardship' Withdrawals Rise.' "A new report from Fidelity, the nation's largest provider of 401(k) plans, reveals a troubling withdrawals and loans. The report shows that 2.3 percent of U.S. retirement plan participants took a hardship withdrawal in the third quarter of 2023, up from 1.8 percent in the third quarter of 2022.

Top reasons given for taking a hardship withdrawal were avoiding foreclosure or eviction and covering medical expenses. Besides hardship withdrawals, there was also an increase in the number of Americans taking loans from their retirement savings accounts, with this share growing from 2.4 percent in the third quarter of 2023 to 2.8 percent in the comparable period in the prior year.

Among employed Americans, 60 percent said their incomes haven't kept up with increases in household expenses due to inflation over the past 12 months, according to a new survey from Bankrate. That's up from 55 percent last year. Meanwhile, less than one-third (29 percent) said their pay has kept up with or exceeded inflation this year compared to 33 percent last year, and 11 percent say they don’t know."

Yesterday, through the eyes of former ambassador Jack Matlock, we looked at how US foreign policy changed dramatically from 1982 to today. After rolling along on a highway of high ideals and aspirations, the US took the low road exit towards bombing and bullying all over the world Today, we look at domestic policy.

Inside the Gates: The most notable change in our domestic situation is the one we follow almost daily. “When the money goes, everything goes,” we say here at BonnerPrivateResearch headquarters. We don’t pretend to have the cause and effect of it perfectly worked out; but the correlation is hard to miss.

In the space of the two periods – 1950-1980…and then 1980 to 2020 – we went from a nation that had real money, backed by gold (the actual change was made in 1968/1971…but it took a few years kick in) to a nation that relied upon paper money managed by a crew of bankers and economists. We were a nation of creditors…and became a nation of debtors. We made money – by selling goods and services; now, when we need an extra trillion, we just “print it” up. We went from a nation that ran a surplus in its national accounts, to one that pays $1 trillion per year just on the interest on its past deficits. We also went from being an export powerhouse to being a country with a trade deficit of nearly $1 trillion annually.

We saw yesterday that in 1955 we were on what Bishop Fulton Sheen called the “Way to Happiness.” The roadblocks and obstacles had been removed. No more war. No more deficits. Eisenhower had cut the defense budget; WWII debt was being paid off. And when France and England wanted the US to get involved in an ugly war in the Mideast, he told them that not only would Americans not participate; he said he’d cut off their military aid too. (The Suez war ended within hours.)

And for the next two and a half decades…millions of families found happiness in their own ways; with their higher wages, they could buy new automobiles…and new houses…and send their children to college.

That ‘70s Show: But those wage gains ended in the mid-70s. The reasons are widely debated, but our leading suspect is the post-1971 dollar. In 1971 the US Treasury changed the money system and things promptly began to get out of whack. A single dollar from 1955, for example, would be worth $11.48 today.

We have already served up this dish so often, our long-suffering Dear Readers are no-doubt gagging at the thought of another serving. So…we’ll rush along and settle into leather chairs for an after-dinner drink.

The most important feature of the new money system was that it favored debt over real wealth. Simply, it was easier to borrow money (often below the rate of inflation) than to make it honestly. Result? When Bishop Sheen saw the unencumbered roadway ahead as the ‘way to happiness’ in 1955, total US debt, even after WWII, was only $300 billion or 70% of GDP. Today, it’s almost $34 trillion; that’s 100 times more…and twice as much compared to GDP.

This debt, we remind ourselves, is the burden of yesterday’s expenses that yesterday’s public didn’t want to pay for. So now, tomorrow’s public gets the bill. And by our calculations, the annual interest alone represents about 15% of family income each year – a hefty price to pay for things you didn’t want and never will get. And it leads, inevitably, to an economy in which today’s workers are so burdened by the legacy rip-offs of the past…they can make little headway in the present.

Year after year, the burdens of the past accumulate…and become heavier and heavier. And it’s not just a matter of money itself. Laws, regulations, policy decisions – bought and paid for with fake money – distort and confuse the whole society. Bribery, corruption, incompetence, grift, waste and scam – the money that pays for them may be fake; but their effects are real…disastrous…and almost impossible to erase."

Scott Ritter, "Geopolitical Reality"

Full screen recommended.
Scott Ritter, 12/8/23
"Geopolitical Reality"
Comments here:

"How It Really Is"


Jim Kunstler, "The New National Pastime: Blob-ball"

"The New National Pastime: Blob-ball"
by Jim Kunstler

“The similarities between the late 1980s USSR and present day USA are uncanny - the endless lies, the corruption, the hollowing out of institutions, the censorship, and the decrepit leadership that is despised by the public.” - Dr. Toby Rogers

"The blob ran a clever third down lawfare play deep in its own territory Thursday night, a sort of double-reverse statue of liberty counter-switcheroo in its game-plan to “save our democracy,” as it calls its agenda of suppressions, persecutions, swindles, bad trips, and mind-fucks laid on the sore-beset people of this land. Blob special prosecutor David C. Weiss finally managed to indict Hunter Biden on tax evasion charges so flagrant and obvious that all the ham sandwiches convicted for the Jan 6 “insurrection” watched in awe from their prison cells.

You understand, this was months after Mr. Weiss concocted a cream puff plea deal for the president’s beloved son that blew up embarrassingly in the Delaware federal court when Judge Maryellen Noreika discerned a lifetime get-out-of-jail-free clause buried deep in the document, at about the same time that two IRS whistleblowers revealed the malfeasant incompetence of Mr. Weiss’s initial five-year-long dawdling investigation that, oops, let the statute of limitations run out on many of the pending charges.

That fiasco was followed by Mr. Weiss and AG Merrick Garland contradicting each other in House testimony about who had investigative authority where in the federal court matrix. And finally, the tax evasion matters landed in the Biden-friendly Los Angeles federal district, where Hunter officially lives (when not hiding out in the Lincoln bedroom), emerging from a grand jury Thursday night as a bill for three felonies and six misdemeanors.

The indictment, a public document, contains some interesting particulars, such as Hunter attempting to write off as business expenses $683,212 in fees for the unspecified services of “various women” (much as the services rendered by Hunter’s Owasco PC shell company were never specified in million-dollar legal retainer agreements made with Chinese “clients”). The curious can consult the website, a.k.a. “Marco Polo” for a photographic record of Hunter B’s sex trafficking capers, such as:
Click image for larger size.
Of course, buried in this hairball of sleaze is another cute dodge that will permit Hunter to take a pass on his subpoenaed closed-door deposition scheduled for December 13th with Rep. James Comer’s House Oversight Committee on the grounds that he is under indictment and would only repeat his 5th Amendment rights ad infinitum. Smooth move, DOJ. While it confers a short-term field advantage to the DC blob, few will misunderstand that behind all of this procedural stagecraft is the somewhat greater matter of Hunter’s dad, President “Joe Biden,” being a paid agent of the Chinese Communist Party (and several other entities not favorably disposed to the USA’s national interests). That is: hanging over all this is the question of treason, attending the question of bribery, both being gold-standard impeachable offenses, and one them a capital crime.

That is the place to which all this rigmarole is tending, and so the pretense that “Joe Biden” is actually running for reelection grows more preposterous by the day. But it is just one of a thousand other things that the DC blob - i.e., our government - lies about incessantly to the peril of the people suffering its governance. What’s actually happening is that “Joe Biden,” our Flying Dutchman president, is barely clinging to office long enough to pardon his son and accomplices in the influence-peddling racket he ran at the center of which was “Joe Biden’s” strangely fortuitous blobular selection as Democratic Party nominee and subsequent “victory” by blatant fraud in the 2020 election. Some people knew the fix was in.

The pathetic thing about the Biden family business is that for all that trouble and all those jet plane rides, and tedious dinners with men reeking of too much cologne, and all the cozying up to foreign poohbahs and kissing their hirsute asses, shlepping the family brand from one sad-sack national capital to the next: Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Romania, the Biden clan only grossed about $25-million, maximum, over many years - which is to say about equal to one year’s salary-and-bonus of a mid-level shlub at the commodities desk of a hedge fund. I mean, when you consider the billions accumulated by the likes of Larry Fink at BlackRock, or Bezos at Amazon, or the obscene fortunes of the wonder boys at Google and Facebook.

Side note: Senator John Kennedy, usually witty and agile, had a go at FBI Director Christopher Wray this week in a Judiciary Committee session. Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Wray how come, in the fall of 2020, with the election on, and The New York Post’s scoop on the existence of a Hunter Biden laptop, and the subsequent psy-op by 51 former intel maestros saying the laptop story was Russian disinfo - Mr. Kennedy asked, “Why didn’t the FBI just come out and say, hey, the laptop’s real?” Mr. Wray gave a bullshit answer of course… “an ongoing investigation, blah, blah….”

I have a better question that Senator Kennedy might put to Christopher Wray about this matter. In fact, the FBI had the Hunter Biden laptop hard-drive in its possession as early as December 2019, just as the first Trump impeachment trial commenced. Had they bothered at that time to examine its contents, and if not, why not? And if they had looked around inside and seen the multitudinous emails concerning Hunter Biden’s business dealings with other countries, Ukraine especially, and in particular with Mykola Zlochevsky’s Burisma company, why did Mr. Wray not alert President Trump’s attorneys that he was in possession of possibly exculpatory evidence regarding the president’s supposedly nefarious phone call to newly elected Ukraine President Zelensky that kicked off the impeachment? Huh? Just wondering."

Dan, I Allegedly, "ATM Scammers Steal Millions - Protect Your PIN Now!"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, I Allegedly, 12/8/23
"ATM Scammers Steal Millions - 
Protect Your PIN Now!"
The FBI just arrested a credit card scam ring. They stole over $8 million and made bogus debit cards once they got people’s account and PIN numbers.
Comments here:

"Stocking Up At Kroger! Buying What We Can Afford! What's Coming?"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures With Danno, 12/8/23
"Stocking Up At Kroger! 
Buying What We Can Afford! What's Coming?"
In today's vlog, we are at Kroger and are stocking up on items we can afford. Grocery prices have gotten so expensive that we are only shopping the bargains to help save money. It's getting rough out here as many families are struggling to put food on the table!
Comments here:

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Jeremiah Babe, "The Financial System Must Collapse; California Exodus; Subprime Car Loan Tsunami"

Jeremiah Babe, 12/7/23
"The Financial System Must Collapse; 
California Exodus; Subprime Car Loan Tsunami"
Comments here:

Canadian Prepper, "Breaking: Article 99 Invoked; US Troops To Europe; White House Panics; Middle East Exploding"

Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper, 12/7/23
"Breaking: Article 99 Invoked; US Troops To Europe; 
White House Panics; Middle East Exploding"
Comments here:

"These Are Stressful Times! Food Prices Are Getting Beyond Ridiculous!"

Adventures With Danno, PM 12/7/23
"These Are Stressful Times! 
Food Prices Are Getting Beyond Ridiculous!"
"These are some stressful times as grocery prices are becoming unaffordable for a lot of people. Adding the holiday season as well doesn't help and many struggle to put food on the table!"
Comments here:

Musical Interlude: Deuter, "Memories of an Angel"

Full screen recommended.
Deuter, "Memories of an Angel"