Saturday, January 6, 2024

Jeremiah Babe, "Shadow Aliens (Nephilim) At Miami Mall? The Year Of Chaos Has Begun"

Full screen recommended.
Jeremiah Babe, 1/6/24
"Shadow Aliens (Nephilim) At Miami Mall?
The Year Of Chaos Has Begun"
Comments here:

Musical Interlude: Deuter, "Endless Horizon"

Full screen recommended. Feel it...
Deuter, "Endless Horizon"
"I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colors and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, not any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.

That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur: other gifts
Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompense. 

For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue." 
- William Wordsworth,
"Lines Written A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey"
“Some feelings sink so deep into the heart that 
only loneliness can help you find them again. 
Some truths are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. 
Some things are so sad that only your soul can do the crying for them.”
- Gregory David Roberts, "Shantaram" 

"A Look to the Heavens"

"These two mighty galaxies are pulling each other apart. Known as the "Mice" because they have such long tails, each spiral galaxy has likely already passed through the other. The long tails are created by the relative difference between gravitational pulls on the near and far parts of each galaxy. Because the distances are so large, the cosmic interaction takes place in slow motion - over hundreds of millions of years. 
NGC 4676 lies about 300 million light-years away toward the constellation of Bernice's Hair (Coma Berenices) and are likely members of the Coma Cluster of Galaxies. The featured picture was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys in 2002. These galactic mice will probably collide again and again over the next billion years so that, instead of continuing to pull each other apart, they coalesce to form a single galaxy."

"A Refining Process..."

“Life is a refining process. Our response to it determines whether we’ll be ground down or polished up. On a piano, one person sits down and plays sonatas, while another merely bangs away at “Chopsticks.” The piano is not responsible. It’s how you touch the keys that makes the difference. It’s how you play what life gives you that determines your joy and shine.”
- Barbara Johnson

"The Last Time Always Happens Now"

"The Last Time Always Happens Now"
by David Cain

"William Irvine, an author and philosophy professor I’m a big fan of, often tries to point people towards a little-discussed fact of human life: "You always know when you’re doing something for the first time, and you almost never know when you’re doing something for the last time."

There was, or will be, a last time for everything you do, from climbing a tree to changing a diaper, and living with a practiced awareness of that fact can make even the most routine day feel like it’s bursting with blessings. Of all the lasting takeaways from my periodic dives into Stoicism, this is the one that has enhanced my life the most. I’ve touched on it before in my Stoicism experiment log and in a Patreon post, and I intend to write about it many more times in the future (but who can say?)

To explain why someone might want to start thinking seriously about last times, Bill Irvine asks us to imagine a rare but relatable event: going to your favorite restaurant one last time, knowing it’s about to close up for good.

Predictably, dining on this last-ever night makes for a much richer experience than almost all the other times you’ve eaten at that restaurant, but it’s not because the food, decor, or service is any different than usual. It’s better because you know it’s the last time, so you’re apt to savor everything you can about it, right down to the worn menus and tacky napkin rings. You’re unlikely to let any mistakes or imperfections bother you, and in fact you might find them endearing.

It becomes clearer than ever, in other words, how great it was while it lasted, and how little the petty stuff mattered. On that last dinner, you can set aside minor issues with ease, and appreciate even the most mundane details. Anything else would seem foolish, because you’re here now, and this is it. It might even occur to you that there’s no reason you couldn’t have enjoyed it this much every time you dined here – except that all the other times, you knew there would be more times, so you didn’t have to be so intentional about appreciating it.

That’s an exceptionally rare situation though. Almost always, we do things for the last time without knowing it’s the last time. There was a last time – on an actual calendar date – when you drew a picture with crayons purely for your own pleasure. A last time you excitedly popped a Blockbuster rental into your VCR. A last time you played fetch with a certain dog. Whenever the last time happened, it was “now” at the time.

You’ve certainly heard the heart-wrenching insight that there’s always a last time a parent picks up their child. By a certain age the child is too big, which means there’s always an ordinary day when the parent picks up and puts down their child as they have a thousand times before, with no awareness that it was the last time they would do it.

Ultimately there will be as many last times as there were first times. There will be last time you do laundry. A last time you eat pie. A last time you visit a favorite neighborhood, city, or country. For every single friend you’ve ever had, there will be a last time you talk, or maybe there already has been.

For ninety-nine percent of these last times, you will have no idea that that’s what it is. It will seem like another of the many middle times, with a lot more to come. If you knew it was the last-ever time you spoke to a certain person or did a certain activity, you’d probably make a point of appreciating it, like a planned last visit to Salvatore’s Pizzeria. You wouldn’t spend it thinking about something else, or let minor annoyances spoil it.

Many last times are still a long way in the future, of course. The trouble is you don’t know which ones. The solution, Irvine suggests, is to frequently imagine that this is the last time, even when it’s probably not. A few times a day, whatever you’re doing, you assume you’re doing that thing for the last time. There will be a last time you sip coffee, like you’re doing now. What if this sip was it? There will be a last time you walk into the office and say hi to Sally. If this was it, you might be a little more genuine, a little more present.

The point isn’t to make life into a series of desperate goodbyes. You can go ahead and do the thing more or less normally. You might find, though, that when you frame it as a potential last time, you pay more attention to it, and you appreciate it for what it is in a way you normally don’t. It turns out that ordinary days are full of experiences you expect will keep happening forever, and of course none of them will.

It doesn’t matter if the activity is something you particularly love doing. Walking into a 7-11 or weeding the garden is just as worthy of last-time practice as hugging a loved one. Even stapling the corner of some pages together can generate a sense of appreciation, if you saw it as your final act of stapling in a life that’s contained a surprising amount of stapling.

Irvine uses mowing the lawn as an example, a task he doesn’t love doing. If you imagine that this is the last time you’ll mow the lawn, rather than consider it a good riddance, you might realize that there will be a time when you’ve mown your last lawn, and that there were a lot of great things about living in your lawn-mowing, bungalow-maintaining heyday. A few seconds later, it dawns on you that you still are.

You can get very specific with the experiences you do this with. The last time you roll cookie dough between your palms. The last time you get rained on. The last time you sidestep down a crowded cinema aisle. The last time your jeans smell like campfire smoke. The last time your daughter says “swannich” instead of “sandwich.” Virtually everything is a worthy candidate for this reflection.

It always brings perspective to your life as it is now, and it never gets old. It’s an immensely rewarding exercise, but it not a laborious one. It takes only two or three seconds - allowing yourself “a flickering thought,” as Irvine put it - to notice what you’re doing right now, and consider the possibility that this is indeed the last escalator ride at Fairfield Mall, the last time you put on a Beatles record, the last time you encounter a squirrel, or the last time you parallel park in front of Aunt Rita’s building."
"If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say?  And why are you waiting?"
~ Stephen Levine
Rolling Stones, "The Last Time"

The Daily "Near You?"

Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"It May Be Necessary..."

"You may encounter many defeats, but you must 
not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to
 encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, 
what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it."
- Maya Angelou

"Decline of Empire: Parallels Between the U.S. and Rome"

"Decline of Empire: 
Parallels Between the U.S. and Rome, Part V"
by Doug Casey

"Despite all our similarities with Rome, and even equipped with our understanding of why Rome collapsed, we can’t avoid Rome’s fate just by trying to avoid Rome’s mistakes. Yes, we have an analogue of early Christianity chewing away at our civilization’s foundations. And yes, we have a virtual barbarian invasion to contend with. But there’s another factor, I think, that worked against the Romans and is working against us… one Gibbon didn’t consider.

We can’t evade the second law of thermodynamics, which holds that entropy conquers everything and that over time all systems degrade and wind down. And that the more complex a system becomes, the more energy it takes to maintain it. The larger and more complex, interconnected, and interdependent it becomes, the more prone it is to breakdown and catastrophic failure. That includes countries and civilizations.

The Romans reached their physical limits within the confines of their scientific, engineering, economic, and other areas of knowledge. And the moral values of their civilization, their founding philosophies, were washed away by a new religion. We may reach our technological limits. And our founding values are certainly being washed away.

Our scientific knowledge is still compounding rapidly - because more scientists and engineers are alive today than have lived in the previous history of mankind put together. That statement has been true for at least the last 200 years - and it’s been a gigantic advantage we’ve had over the Romans. But it may stop being true in the next few generations as the population levels off and then declines, as is happening in Japan, Europe, China, and most of the developed world. It’s compounded by the fact that U.S. universities aren’t graduating Ph.D.s in engineering, mathematics, and physics so much as in gender studies, sociology, English, and J.D.s in law. As it degrades, the U.S. will not only draw in fewer enterprising foreigners, it will export its more competent natives.

My solution to America’s decline and fall? The solution for declining civilizations is less command and control, less centralization, and less legal and regulatory complexity. And more entrepreneurship, free minds, and radically free markets. Unfortunately, although a few might agree with that, it’s not going to happen. Not even if most people agree.

Why? Because there are immense governmental institutions that exist, with many millions of employees - at least 20 million in the U.S. And many tens of millions more in their families and throughout the private sector that depend on them. And many tens of millions more that rely directly on the state for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other direct payments. And millions more associated with quasi-state institutions like NGOs, think tanks, law firms, lobbying groups, and the like. The parasitic mechanism of the state has become key to their survival. Even if many in their ranks see the dysfunction now planted in America, they’re hardly going to break their own well-filled rice bowls.

Every institution, like every living thing from an amoeba on up, has one thing in common: they all obey a prime directive - survive! They will try to do so at any cost to society at large. They intuitively know that, as a corollary, you either grow or you die. So you’re not going to see any dysfunctional organization dissolve itself. It’ll keep trying to grow until it self-destructs or an outside force destroys it. Beyond a certain stage, any serious reform is impossible. In the case of the U.S., it’s now host to a completely inoperable cancer, as the government and its satellites grow faster than ever, while the productive economy contracts.

The second law of thermodynamics is a concept of physics, but it has applications in most areas of human action, including what’s been called "imperial overstretch" - the point where the resources gained from growing is less than the energy expended in the process. Rome ran up against imperial overstretch. So did Alexander, Napoleon, and Hitler. The Spanish, French, British, and Soviet empires all did as well. It’s a natural thing with all living organisms, to try to grow until they can’t grow any further, until their energy expenditures exceed their inputs, and/or they’re too large and complex to be controllable, at which point they either rot from within or fall to external predators. It’s as though the Peter Principle applies to all of nature: everything rises to its level of incompetence, at which point it becomes vulnerable.

But does it really matter if the U.S. declines? It’s already morphed from America - which we all loved - into something else. And it’s morphing even more in the wrong direction, at an accelerating rate, as did Rome. The U.S. is declining in all the areas I’ve touched on. But it’s not unique; it’s following the course of all states and all things.

Rome was arrogant and thought it was unique, the center of the world, and eternal. Just like the U.S. Or China, for that matter.

Rome was corrupt; it departed from the values that made it great and so deserved to collapse. The U.S. is increasingly corrupt. That’s completely predictable, for exactly the reason Tacitus cited - a profusion of laws. In market-based systems, corruption is rare and occasional. But in large, complex, politically based systems, it’s not only commonplace, it’s salubrious, because it allows workarounds. Corruption becomes like an oxygen tank to an emphysema victim - awkward but needed. Rulers, however, never attempt to cure the underlying disease by simplifying the complex systems they’ve built. Instead they pass more laws, making the system ever more like a Rube Goldberg machine, with even more complexities and inefficiencies. That’s always counterproductive, since compounded complexity makes the eventual collapse even worse. And harder to recover from. And more nearly inevitable.

Conclusion: So what’s your takeaway from all this, assuming you agree with my thinking? There are several possibilities to consider, based on what we know about Rome.

One is that you stay put as civilization declines around you and barbarians - of whatever kind - take over. That may be your only, or best, option—perhaps because of your age or financial circumstances or family obligations. If so, it nonetheless may be a mistake to stay in Detroit or Chicago, because there could be easy and much better alternatives. We have evidence that life in parts of the Roman Empire - parts of rural Portugal and Mauretania, for instance - actually improved even as things were collapsing in Italy, Britain, and Gaul, largely because the taxation and regulation infrastructures collapsed, but the roads, aqueducts, and cities stayed intact. So you might improve your own situation considerably just by moving down the road a bit.

A second possibility is that you consider what Priscus and Salvian said and get away from the storm’s epicenter by leaving the empire.

A third is more philosophical: you simply recognize that the rise and fall of societies has been going on since Day One. Don’t be too stressed by mega events. Life isn’t just full of problems: it is problems. We’re looking at a giant crisis, but a crisis is a combination of both danger and opportunity. Look at the bright side while you try to dodge the negative effects. See it as an adventure, an education, and even free entertainment.

I hope seeing America reflected in the distant mirror of Ancient Rome helps to put things in perspective"

The Poet: William Stafford, ”Today”


“The ordinary miracles begin. Somewhere
a signal arrives: “Now,” and the rays
come down. A tomorrow has come. Open
your hands, lift them: morning rings
all the doorbells; porches are cells for prayer.
Religion has touched your throat. Not the same now,
you could close your eyes and go on full of light.
And it is already begun, the chord
that will shiver glass, the song full of time
bending above us. Outside, a sign:
a bird intervenes; the wings tell the air,
“Be warm.” No one is out there, but a giant
has passed through town, widening streets, touching
the ground, shouldering away the stars.”
- William Stafford

"How It Really Is"

Jethro Tull, "Locomotive Breath"

"All We Really Need..."

"Causes do matter. And the world is changed by people who care deeply about causes,about things that matter. We don't have to be particularly smart or talented. We don't need a lot of money or education. All we really need is to be passionate about something important; something bigger than ourselves. And it's that commitment to a worthwhile cause that changes the world."
- Steve Goodier

"Find the things that matter, and hold on to them,
and fight for them, and refuse to let them go."
- Lauren Oliver

"Honey Badgers"

Full screen recommended.
Col. Douglas Macgregor, 1/6/24
"Houthi Continue Red Sea Attacks Targeting US, Israel"
Comments here:
"Honey Badgers"
Scott Ritter has humorously described the Yemeni Houthis as "the honey badgers of the Middle East, absolutely fearless and relentlessly ferocious." They just simply don't care. They've declared war on Israel while all the other Muslim states except Algeria just talk, and daily send missiles and drones to attack Israel and attack any ships connected to Israel in any way. They totally control the 12 mile wide Bab-el-Mandab ("Gate of Grief") strait connecting the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, which transits 40% of the world's oil. Closing that would have catastrophic consequences on global economies, and the Houthis know it. And so it is...

Full screen recommended.
"Honey Badger Takes Savagery to a Whole New Level"
"Honey badgers are the Italian mafia of the animal kingdom. No one, and I mean no one, wants to mess with these savages. They literally woke up and chose violence on the daily. They are regarded as the most fearless animal in the wild and they back that up every day, all while looking like a ferret on steroids.

Honey badgers woke up and chose violence. They'll combat anything from lions, leopards, hyenas and even cobras and pythons. But how did they become so fearless? How do these compact sized danger-weasels take on the deadliest predators like it was a regular Sunday’s brunch with the girls? These are moments of honey badgers being straight up savages. Let's get into it."
Comments here:

"War: Geopolitical Ukraine and Middle East Update 1/6/24"

Full screen recommended.
Scott Ritter, 1/6/24
"Gaza War To Burn Middle East - 
Houthi Terror In Red Sea, Hezbollah vs Israel"
Comments here:

Comments: Some valid factual Middle East contextual observations: Game over!

•  Gaza: 22,000 innocent men, women, old people and 11,000 children have been killed by the IDF dropping over 6,000 2,000 lb. bombs supplied by the United States. The entire 2 billion Muslim world is absolutely and rightfully enraged.

• Turkey has a 2 million man totally modern and equipped professional military, whom Scott Ritter describes as "ferocious fighters" which includes a powerful air force and navy, and huge missile stockpiles. They could very rapidly eliminate the IDF.

• Syria can and will retake the occupied Golan Heights. The IDF has neither the troops or the resources to stop this.

• Hezzbollah has 100,000 very well trained and equipped professional soldiers, battle hardened by 10 years of involvement in the Syrian civil war. Doug Macgregor states they have 140,000 missiles which can reach anywhere in Israel.

• Hamas in Gaza has fought the IDF to a standstill and withdraw while only using a fraction of their reported 30,000 fighters.

• The entry of Iran into a wider regional war is a distinct probability, adding it's huge military and  10's of thousands of missiles stockpiles to the mix.

• The Yemeni Houthis, whom Ritter describes as the honey badgers of the Middle East, absolutely fearless and ferocious, have closed the Red Sea to all shipping causing enormous financial losses not only to Israel but the global economy. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates dare not attempt to intervene under threat of Houthis completely destroying their petroleum facilities.

• The Egyptian government, while reluctant, may be forced into the conflict by the political pressure of their absolutely enraged population which is demanding action.

• Israel's only ally is the United States, which is totally impotent to assist them, lacking the troops and ability to intervene. The US Navy fleet are useless sitting ducks, targets for precise missile strikes, and would very rapidly be destroyed, including the aircraft carriers.

Your thoughts and comments?

Dan, I Allegedly, "Do You See It?"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, I Allegedly 1/6/24
"Do You See It?"
"The economy is crashing all around us. Now PepsiCo is getting kicked out of 12,000 stores in France because they’re just raising prices too much. My insurance man lost his agency because he was fighting for clients and wanted to make sure that they were getting a fair settlement. What’s next?"
Comments here:

Canadian Prepper, "Here We Go, End Game Begins"

Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper, 1/5/24
"Here We Go, End Game Begins"
Comments here:

Friday, January 5, 2024

"Zombies Flood Target Stores For Stanley Cup; FED Has Crushed The Middle Class; Living In Your Car"

Jeremiah Babe, 1/5/24
"Zombies Flood Target Stores For Stanley Cup; 
FED Has Crushed The Middle Class; Living In Your Car"
Comments here:

"Things Just Went From Bad To Worse, It's Shocking How Bad This Is"

Full screen recommended.
The Atlantis Report, 1/5/24
"Things Just Went From Bad To Worse,
 It's Shocking How Bad This Is"
"In the unfolding narrative of America's economic landscape, the situation has taken a distressing turn, progressing from bad to worse in ways that have left many stunned. As we delve into the intricacies of this disconcerting scenario, a cascade of alarming developments reveals a nation grappling with financial hardships, social unrest, and a deepening sense of economic precarity. Things just went from bad to worse, and it's shocking how bad this is."
Comments here:

Musical Interlude: The Moody Blues, "The Voice"

The Moody Blues, "The Voice"

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Who knows what evil lurks in the eyes of galaxies? The Hubble knows -- or in the case of spiral galaxy M64 - is helping to find out. Messier 64, also known as the Evil Eye or Sleeping Beauty Galaxy, may seem to have evil in its eye because all of its stars rotate in the same direction as the interstellar gas in the galaxy's central region, but in the opposite direction in the outer regions. Captured here in great detail by the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope, enormous dust clouds obscure the near-side of M64's central region, which are laced with the telltale reddish glow of hydrogen associated with star formation. 
M64 lies about 17 million light years away, meaning that the light we see from it today left when the last common ancestor between humans and chimpanzees roamed the Earth. The dusty eye and bizarre rotation are likely the result of a billion-year-old merger of two different galaxies."

"No Smooth Road..."

"Life has no smooth road for any of us; and in the bracing atmosphere
of a high aim the very roughness stimulates the climber to steadier steps,
till the legend, over steep ways to the stars, fulfills itself."
- W. C. Doane

Free Download: Kahlil Gibran, “The Prophet”

“The Farewell”

“Farewell to you and the youth I have spent with you.
It was but yesterday we met in a dream.
You have sung to me in my aloneness,
and I of your longings have built a tower in the sky.
But now our sleep has fled and our dream is over,
and it is no longer dawn.
The noontide is upon us and our half waking has turned to fuller day,
and we must part.
If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more,
we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song.
And if our hands should meet in another dream
we shall build another tower in the sky.”

- Kahlil Gibran, “The Prophet”
“The Prophet: On Good and Evil”
by Kahlil Gibran

“Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.
For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?
Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, 
and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.

You are good when you are one with yourself.
Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.
For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.
And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among
perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom.

You are good when you strive to give of yourself.
Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.
For when you strive for gain you are but a root
that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.
Surely the fruit cannot say to the root,
“Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance.”
For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.

You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,
Yet you are not evil when you sleep 
while your tongue staggers without purpose.
And even stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.

You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.
Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.
Even those who limp go not backward. 
But you who are strong and swift, 
see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.

You are good in countless ways, 
and you are not evil when you are not good,
You are only loitering and sluggard.
Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.

In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: 
and that longing is in all of you.
But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, 
carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.
And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and 
bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.
But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little, 
“Wherefore are you slow and halting?”
For the truly good ask not the naked, 
“Where is your garment?” 
nor the houseless, “What has befallen your house?”

Freely download “The Prophet” here:

"The War Within"

"The War Within"
by Ben Bartree

"I fantasized in elaborate detail about killing myself today, an occurrence far more common than I would prefer. This obsessive-compulsive demon has a hold of me, whether literal or figurative. I don’t mean OCD in the colloquial sense that people use it to describe an anal-retentive need for paintings to be straight on the wall or tax records neatly filed.

I mean OCD in the sense of a demon, literal or figurative, hijacking my mind and running it into a wall with nonstop, invasive, recurring, unwanted obsessive thoughts from dawn until dusk, with never anything close to a resolution, followed by soul-crushing, ritualistic compulsions in a vain attempt to exorcise the demon. Since I was ten years old, every waking moment has been spent with this monster. Sometimes it’s quieter than other times, but there are no vacations. I am a prisoner in an invisible prison.

No volume or variety of self-medication - and I’ve tried them all, short of renouncing the world and relocating to a monastery on a Himalayan mountaintop - have thus far yielded any lasting relief. To this demon I attribute years of substance abuse - including a hellish alcohol and Xanax addiction that took years of effort to overcome - and various other coping mechanisms in a desperate attempt at escape, but which have only extended and enhanced the misery.

I remember vividly - the most vivid memory I have, perhaps - like it was yesterday the moment it got ahold of me. The most striking aspect of its onset is that it came apparently apropos of nothing. At ten years old, circa 1997, I sat watching "2001: A Space Odyssey" on the television in the living room. The day was overcast; a drizzle fell outside all around the Georgia pine trees right outside the window. Then it came over me in a flash: existential dread; something was very wrong. I felt sure that tragedy was imminent. But the damnedest thing was that there was no environmental stimulus to cause it.

This was my first panic attack, but I lacked the knowledge or vernacular to understand what was happening. It was far from the last. Maybe if someone had been there with me to nip it in the bud, I might have foregone a lot of pain. But they weren’t, and it festered.

Does writing this down make me weak? Am I supposed to figure this shit out on my own in a closet like old times? It certainly gives ammunition to my enemies. C’est la vie.

I want nothing more than to vanquish it, but at times, like today, I come to the end of my rope. A poet or a philosopher or someone once observed that “irony is the song of the bird that has come to love its cage.” I know the tune - and if you read Armageddon Prose you’ve seen it sung - but I don’t want to sing it anymore. It’s a rotten, dead-end hymnal.

Among such many attempts in vain to fix this, I’ve talked to a Ukrainian psychoanalytic therapist located in Lviv for a while now, whom I digitally met by way of a tangential connection to my wife. While I’ve gained some insights, it hasn’t helped much, which I don’t necessarily fault her for. Anyway, my wife once asked me not to talk about it with her parents - which I wouldn’t have anyway, as I would wish them to believe they’ve given their only daughter over to competent hands - because, in Slavic culture, talking to a shrink is considered a mark of shame.

A guy in her village killed himself a few years ago over some psychological/spiritual affliction, and as a consequence, he was buried in the corner of the cemetery - a tainted soul, even in death. It’s healthy to socially disincentivize self-indulgent navel-gazing and suicide to some extent, which I respect. But that no one got to him before he took the ultimate trip is a tragedy.

Is there a point to all of this suffering, or at least a merciful end to it that doesn’t involve the end of everything? I hope so. What I hope to get out of sharing this intensely personal albatross with you, I surely don’t know - but not pity, a drug as poisonous as fentanyl. Perhaps it’s to feel a little less alone in this prison. Maybe someone can relate. Maybe you. Here’s hoping I summon some better answers in 2024."

The Daily "Near You?"

Frisco, Texas, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"Could Be Worse..."

"I'd been in hairier situations than this one. Actually, it's sort of depressing, thinking how many times I'd been in them. But if experience had taught me anything, it was this: No matter how screwed up things are, they can get a whole lot worse."
- Jim Butcher
Dig your way out, they said...

"So You Remember..."

So, you look around in horrified astonishment at how totally insane it all really is, how the never ending bad news is everywhere you look, how truly hopeless it really is, and know there's nothing at all you can do about it, can't save anyone, can't even save yourself. So you remember what they said and how you need to be, and carry on...

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority,
but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
- Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

“That millions of people share the same forms of
mental pathology does not make these people sane.”
- Erich Fromm, "The Sane Society"

“Laugh whenever you can. Keeps you from killing
yourself when things are bad. That and vodka.”
- Jim Butcher, "Changes"

And yet, sometimes, at the end of another long day,
your defenses are just worn out and it feels like you're losing your mind,
and you lose control and feel like this...
Full screen recommended.
The Trashmen, "Surfin Bird - Bird is the Word," 1963

Until tomorrow, when you do it all over again...
And so it is, lol...

Jim Kunstler, "Replacement Theory"

"Replacement Theory"
by Jim Kunstler

“When DEI is under attack, what do we do? 
Stand up, fight back!!! We stand for Claudine Gay.” 
- The Rev. Al Sharpton

"Wondering about who the Harvard Board of Trustees might consider for president of that august outfit once Claudine Gay moves to her new professorship in the graduate program for creative writing? The no-brainer, in more ways than one, has got to be Ibram X. Kendi, the founding director of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research, launched in 2020, then un-launched in September, 2023, after BU auditors disclosed that $43-million in donations, endowments, and grants to the center could not be accounted for.

Mistakes were made, BU conceded, mostly by white people seeking to discredit the antiracism movement, proving the persistence of structural racism. Dr. Kendi explained to The New York Times that critics were using the situation “to settle old scores and demonstrate that I’m a problem or that antiracism is a problem,” because blaming the victim is one of the core techniques of those behind structural racism. “Unfortunately, we live in such a polarized, spiteful sort of reactionary moment,” he said.

Surely, the firing of President Gay at Harvard was just such a case of spitefully settling old scores, and Dr. Kendi is the best-qualified candidate to root out the remaining reactionary racists on Harvard’s payroll, who pose the gravest threat to democracy, hate-speech elimination, and equity in academia. We could expect President Kendi to double-down on the institution’s commitment to advancing marginalized people at all costs. Also, consider: Boston U is less than a mile across the Charles River from Harvard, so at least no moving costs to get Dr. Kendi on-board — what with some of the school’s biggest donors (e.g., Wall Street’s Bill Ackman) threatening to withhold future giftings to Harvard’s hedge fund, a.k.a., its endowment.

Perhaps a shrewder hire would be Admiral Rachel (née Richard) Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS, one of the chief overseers (whoops), I mean, administrators of America’s official Covid-19 policies, and chief promoter of mRNA vaccine mandates. Wikipedia tells us: “Levine was commissioned as a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, becoming the first openly transgender four-star officer in any of the United States uniformed services as well as the first female four-star admiral in the Commissioned Corps,” evading the fact that s/he is not actually a female, but rather a male pretending to be a female, with scrupulous attention to hair and costume.

Readers can argue as to whether female is interchangeable with the word woman and whether imagining oneself to be a woman is the same as being a woman. But you see this would be exactly the advantage of putting Dr. (pediatrician) Levine in the president’s chair at Harvard: the nation’s attention would shift dramatically from the quandaries of racism and anti-racism to the even richer perplexities of gender identity, while exposing the baleful influence of men who remain on the Harvard faculty in promoting intransigent patriarchy, often tinged with toxic whiteness.

As president of Harvard, Dr. Levine could elevate and emphasize the importance of pretending in higher education. Of course, pretending is already well-established in academic journals and publishing, and especially lately in the medical science surrounding one of Dr. Levine’s specialties, Covid-19 (and its remedies). One can only hope that the admiral will recruit Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, Chief of the Covid Task Force at the New England Complex Systems Institute, as her chief of staff. As recently as three days ago, Dr. Feigl-Ding tweeted (or X’ed): “Anti-vax campaigns are fueled by disinformation army. Your friends and family are pummeled with disinfo to the point they start to believe it — but don’t fall for it!” Meaning: for goodness sake, go out and get more mRNA booster shots! Especially because, as Dr. F-D also declares on X, “a raging inferno of Covid is surging nationwide.”

One is tempted to ask: if Harvard renewed its Covid vaccine mandate, would Harvard students be intelligent enough to decline the injections? Granted, Harvard’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging policy (DEIB) has front-loaded matters beside intelligence in its admissions procedures. Parents might ask: in the case of a student’s death from myocarditis before the end of a semester, would Harvard refund any or all of the $55,000 tuition? These are some of the perplexities that Dr. (Admiral) Levine is well-equipped to resolve.

Anyone else have some nominations? (hints: Nikole Hannah-Jones, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? Mika Brzezinski? Ilhan Omar, Megan Rapinoe...?)

"How It Really Is"


"The Obedient..."


"Once Upon a Time, The End"

"Once Upon a Time, The End"
by Martin Zamyatin

"Those that can make you believe absurdities
can make you commit atrocities."
- Voltaire

"The small group of devoted followers gathered around Chicago housewife Dorothy Martin sat in stunned silence as the clock on her suburban living room wall struck midnight on the twentieth of December, 1954…and nothing happened. Many had left jobs and spouses and given away all their money and possessions in order to await the arrival of alien beings from the planet Clarion, who Martin had assured them would descend at that appointed hour, carrying the faithful few off in their flying saucers just before huge floods engulfed the planet Earth. Finally, four hours after their scheduled departure time, Martin broke her silence.

As the group readjusted their bras, belts, and zippers - having been instructed to discard any metal objects which might interfere with the aliens’ telepathic radio transmissions - their tearful host revealed the reason why their intergalactic rescuers had failed to appear: Apparently it had all been only an elaborate test of faith, and the group’s advanced state of enlightenment had saved the entire planet from a watery destruction!

Surprisingly, only one or two of Martin’s followers were unconvinced by this perfectly rational explanation. Among them, however, was social psychologist Leon Festinger, who had secretly infiltrated the group. Festinger would later write about Martin - using the pseudonym of Marian Keech - in his groundbreaking 1958 book, "When Prophecy Fails." (Not surprisingly, Festinger is credited with coining the psychological term ‘cognitive dissonance.’)

Following publication of Festinger’s book, the group predictably collapsed under the weight of public ridicule. Martin fled to Peru to warn the clueless natives about the imminent re-emergence of Atlantis, before later resurfacing in Arizona, where she joined crackpot L. Ron Hubbard’s nascent pseudoscientific movement, Scientology.

It seems that for as long as people have inhabited the world, they have anticipated its imminent demise. (In fact, the oldest known apocalyptic prediction is depicted on Assyrian tablets from 2800 BC.) In what may be the earliest example in European folklore, a Frankish villager wandered off into the forest in 591, only to be accosted by a swarm of ravenous flies. Overwhelmed, the poor fellow completely lost his mind and returned to his village clothed in animal pelts, claiming he was Jesus Christ, sent to gather his flock before the coming Rapture. (Perhaps resenting the competition, a local bishop hired a gang of thugs to capture the Lord of the Flies, who they rapturously hacked into little bits.)

The failure of one apocalyptic prophecy not only failed to deter its devoted followers but in fact spawned several entirely new religions. When the world failed to end as predicted in the ‘Great Disappointment’ of 1843-44, Massachusetts preacher William Miller’s tens of thousands of followers splintered off to found the Seventh Day Adventists, as well as the obnoxious doorknockers known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. When the next fateful year of 1874 passed without the desired fireworks, the latter’s charismatic founder, Charles Taze Russell, explained that Jesus had indeed returned, but was invisible to all except the truly devout. (Predictably, few dared admit to being lacking in the requisite level of faith.)

The founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, had declared way back in 1832 that 1890 would be the year of Jesus’s long awaited return engagement. (Later jailed for fraud, Smith somehow failed to predict his own deliverance by an angry mob at age 39.) Russell revised the fateful year to 1881…then 1914…and finally, 1918. (The latter dates spanned World War I and the Spanish Flu epidemic, events that while apocalyptic for many, fell short of being world ending.)

Our own time has seen the horrors of the Peoples Temple - in which 914 adults and children committed suicide in the jungles of Guyana in 1978; the Branch Davidians, an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists - 75 of whom died in the FBI standoff at Waco in 1993; Aum Shinri Kyo -whose poison gas attacks on the Tokyo subway in 1994-95 left 19 innocent people dead; and -neither least nor unfortunately, last - Heaven’s Gate, 39 of whose members committed suicide in 1996, fully expecting (like Dorothy Martin) their spirits to be carried away by aliens hiding in the wake of an approaching comet.

It was probably no coincidence that all of these cults were acting in anticipation of an impending Bible-inspired Day ofJudgement. One is tempted to blame these kinds of incidents on the delusions of a small minority of misguided religious fanatics, except that millions of people alive today are expecting an imminent Biblical apocalypse. In a 2012 global poll, fully one out of 7 people said they thought the world would end during their lifetime - and rather ominously, Americans topped the list of doomsayers at 22%. Since their government has the means to fulfil their death wish many times over, one can only hope their gloomy prediction won’t one day become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Just call it a bedtime story for humanity."