Saturday, January 20, 2024

Jeremiah Babe ,"Prepare For The Biggest Rug Pull In History, Things Are Much Worse Than You Think"

Jeremiah Babe, 1/20/24
"Prepare For The Biggest Rug Pull In History, 
Things Are Much Worse Than You Think"
Comments here:

Musical Interlude: Liquid Mind, "Velvet Morning"

Full screen recommended.
Liquid Mind, "Velvet Morning"
Liquid Mind ® is the name used by Los Angeles composer and producer
Chuck Wild of the best-selling Liquid Mind relaxation music albums.

"A Look to the Heavens"

"What's happening at the center of the Trifid Nebula? Three prominent dust lanes that give the Trifid its name all come together. Mountains of opaque dust appear near the bottom, while other dark filaments of dust are visible threaded throughout the nebula. A single massive star visible near the center causes much of the Trifid's glow. The Trifid, cataloged as M20, is only about 300,000 years old, making it among the youngest emission nebulas known.
The star forming nebula lies about 9,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius). The region pictured here spans about 10 light years. The featured image is a composite with luminance taken from an image by the 8.2-m ground-based Subaru Telescope, detail provided by the 2.4-m orbiting Hubble Space Telescope, color data provided by Martin Pugh and image assembly and processing provided by Robert Gendler."


“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be
insane by those who could not hear the music.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche

"We Do Choose..."

"All men and women are born, live suffer and die; what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things, and what we do to make them come about... We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live."
- Joseph Epstein
"George Harrison knew something most of us didn't and still don't: there is a reality beyond the material world and what we do here and how we treat others affects us eternally. As he sings in "Rising Sun":
"But in the rising sun you can feel your life begin,
Universe at play inside your DNA.
You're a billion years old today.
Oh the rising sun and the place it's coming from
Is inside of you and now your payment's overdue."
Lyrics here:
"Death twitches my ear. 'Live," he says, 'I am coming.'"
~ Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro)

The Daily "Near You?"

Crozet, Virginia, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"Be Careful..."


Canadian Prepper, "Alert! They Have A Plan, 99% Of People Don't Know This"

Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper, 1/20/24
"Alert! They Have A Plan,
 99% Of People Don't Know This"
Comments here:

Dan, I Allegedly, "When Will It Hit?"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, I Allegedly 1/20/24
"When Will It Hit?"
"We have two more financial experts that step forward and say that 
we are headed to very bleak times. The question is when? When will it hit?"
Comments here:

"How It Really Is"


"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." 
Sadly this blog has been deleted...

"He Is Under A Spell..."

“The fact that the foolish person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the foolish person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings. “

"Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Feb. 4, 1906 - April 9, 1945) was a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, theologian, and active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. Due to his opposition to the Nazi regime, Bonhoeffer was arrested and executed by hanging at the Flossian concentration camp, during the last month of the war."

Freely download “Letters and Papers From Prison”, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

"Permanent Adolescence: The Epidemic That Will Destroy America"

"Permanent Adolescence:
The Epidemic That Will Destroy America"
by Dr. Paul Kindlon

"As a Humanities professor I have had the opportunity to teach psychology and social psychology for more than 25 years. Occasionally the knowledge obtained in these areas allows me to analyze and understand social behavior and certain cultural trends. This is one those occasions.

If one is able to observe American society in an objective manner (granted no easy task) it becomes clear that the country is suffering from an epidemic of arrested emotional development (AED). This particular illness is characterized by some combination of: addiction, greed, immaturity, fear, blame, shame, resentments, anger, confusion and suffering. What it means is that the vast majority of Americans are stuck in adolescence exhibiting behavior like lying, negative attitudes, disobedience and disrespect, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, and issues of sexuality.

One has only to watch American movies or television shows to get a snapshot of juvenile, puerile, and base comedy characteristic of adolescent humor. It’s no accident that 48 year old Jimmy Fallon is essentially the “eternal teenager” performing comedy that mostly includes bathroom humor and gags that are based on and appeal to a silly sense of immaturity. The other darling of late-night shows in America is Stephen Colbert, age 58, who specializes in insulting public figues in an overtly adolescent display of negative attitude and disrespect.

Another hallmark of AED is to evade responsibility and blame others for failure. One had only to observe the millions of Hillary supporters to understand this phenomenon. Also common for AED sufferers is to show disrespect in sophomoric ways usually by damaging property as we see with monuments being defaced and destroyed.

Teenagers, of course, tend to have identity issues often involving sexuality which is another phenomenon all too apparent in contemporary America. It’s almost uncool not to be LGBT or confused about your gender nowadays. Soon there will be as many genders as ice-cream flavors for it’s all just a matter of taste!

In terms of cognitive activity AED is characterized by exaggeration and over-simplification. If you are angry with one of your parents you might refer to them as a Nazi or Fascist.

This negative attitude now is extended to anyone who disagrees with you and can be seen in slogans such as “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA”. Adults are an endangered species. The cognitive effect of exaggeration and over-simplification leads to irrationality and confusion. Witness the millions of people who think they are being anti-racist by opposing “White Supremacy”. No anthropologist on earth would claim that “White” is a race (although a Neo- Nazi would) It’s not even a primary color. The Irish were discriminated against for more than a hundred years in America due to Anglo-Saxon racism yet the Irish are considered “white”. There are millions of Americans of German, Polish, and Scandinavian extraction who have been working-class and lower for a very long time. Are these “white people” guilty of supremacy? Against whom? Themselves?

Of course, what the protestors should be focusing on is class and not race which is really an arbitrary term. Unfortunately. the progressive movement in America has gone from “Occupy Wall Street” to “occupy the public bathroom”. Lenin would be turning over in his grave – if he had one. With regard to alcohol and drug addiction in America, the statistics are startling. Opiod addiction alone is becoming a national health issue as is depression. Alcohol abuse, of course, is also quite high. Lying is also becoming commonplace. It used to be just politicians and lawyers who were known to “play with the truth”. Nowadays the mainstream media is widely seen as a mainstream of lies with CNN now wearing the title of FAKE NEWS.

The teenage attempt to rebel and show disobedience is often manifested through the use of profanity intended to shock the older generation. Gratuitous profanity is pervasive in American culture and has replaced the imagination as a form of creativity. It is not an accident that Pussy Riot – a group of “performance artists” using profanity in a Cathedral considered sacred to “shock” the Russian public and “disobey” authorities – has found a home in the United States and been befriended by Madonna, another symbol of eternal adolescence. Her AED was on full display when she publicly offered all men fellatio if they voted for Hillary Clinton. And as any rebellious teenager attempting to shock the “older generation” she had to announce that she “swallows”. Stay classy, Madonna. Keep in mind we’re talking about a then 63 year old mother of six.

You see…if everyone is a teenager there is no adult supervision. That is the problem. After an autopsy is conducted years from now to ascertain how and why the American Empire expired, the obituary will include multiple causes of death and AED will be listed prominently. Perhaps a precocious teenager will be allowed to write the epitaph that will read…”When extended, the bridge between adolescence and adulthood can take a heavy toll”.
“Most people don’t grow up. It’s too damn difficult. What happens is most people get older. That’s the truth of it. They honor their credit cards, they find parking spaces, they marry, they have the nerve to have children, but they don’t grow up. Not really. They get older. But to grow up costs the earth, the earth. It means you take responsibility for the time you take up, for the space you occupy. It’s serious business. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed."
- Maya Angelou

"The Child Within Is More Than 'The Child Within'"

"The Child Within Is More Than 'The Child Within'"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"There's a Hawaiian expression, "keiki o ka aina," child of the land or children of the land, that describes the Hawaiian culture's connection to the land, which is understood to be the entire biosphere, not just the soil, rivers, etc. The phrase expresses the view that humans are children of the land. Understood in this context, "the child within" describes our connection to Nature and the biosphere which sustains us.

Before we explore this further, let's consider the modern psychological context of "the child within." It's understood that our childhood experiences shape the familial and relationship templates, coping mechanisms, insecurities, vulnerabilities and sources of resilience that we carry into and throughout our adult life. In this sense, our childhood is always within reach, informing and shaping our adult responses.

By way of example, Orson Welles' classic film "Citizen Kane" uses the character's memory of his boyhood sled (Rosebud) to evoke what he lost and retained from his childhood until his dying breath.

The influence of childhood experiences is generally understood in the therapeutic context of health, wellness or psychology: if there is a problem, there must be a therapeutic solution, be it a medication, procedure or therapy. The goal of the therapeutic mindset is efficiency: find the fastest, most efficient solution, on the assumption that there will always be some effective therapy that speeds up the natural healing process or cures the disease.

We all understand that "big-T" childhood traumas such as physical / sexual abuse create emotional / psychological scars that the child carries into adulthood. Recent studies have found that even "small-t" traumas such as uncaring parents who subject the child to constant criticism, a.k.a. harsh parenting, neglect and bullying, also leave emotional scars that are visible as physiological changes in the child's brain.

Growing up in unstable households characterized by fear and insecurity has consequences that continue into adulthood. "The child within" is always present and within reach, whether the individual acknowledges it or not.

That the economy and society generate "small-t" derangement does not compute in the therapeutic mindset: the solution is for the troubled individual to take medications and /or learn cognitive-therapy coping mechanisms to manage the derangements created by the system they inhabit.

I discuss this blind spot--or shall we call it a taboo against identifying the system as the source of derangement? - in my book on burnout, as in my experience burnout is often exacerbated by the structure of work and the social order. In other words, it isn't just individual choices that lead to burnout - the system generates burnout by its very nature.

In the current social climate, there is a tendency for discussions of causation to veer into victimhood, to absolve the individual of responsibility by assigning the source of the difficulty to others or the prevailing conditions. This distorts the human condition, which as the Stoics understood, is a dynamic mix of conditions we don't control and our response to those conditions, which we do control.

Denial and suppression don't resolve distortions and derangement, but the social order favors those strategies because they paper over difficult problems. So when individuals burn out, no one looks to the system they inhabit or their childhood for answers; the "solutions" offered are powerful medications with side-effects or happy-story therapeutic salves such as suggestions to listen to meditation recordings or "take time to enjoy your hobbies"--as if the burnout has the time and energy to invest in hobbies, and calming music magically cures over-work and unbearable levels of stress.

In my view, the only real-world solution is to exit the conditions causing burnout and renounce the set of values and goals that lead people to stay in conditions that are eroding or destroying their health. These include the obvious conditions such as work environments and toxic relationships, but it also includes less obvious causal factors such as diet, fitness, the values and goals that were internalized without question and "the child within" who continues to influence our adult perceptions, emotions and responses.

Switching back to the other child within, the Child of the Land, I am struck by the divide between the world human beings were selected to thrive in over the past 800,000 years - the hunter-gatherer, low-impact community-centric agrarian lifestyle - and the modern urban environment that is largely devoid of any traces of the world that we were designed to thrive in.

Homo sapiens split off from our cousins the Neanderthals and Denisovans around 800,000 years ago and reached our current state as homo sapiens sapiens around 200,000 years ago. "Modern life" can be viewed as a progression from small, dense urban environments and intensive agriculture (from around 3,000 BC) to large cities and empires (from around 2,000 years ago) to the industrialized age that began about 200 years ago to the 20th century era of global communication, personal vehicles, highly processed foods and the decline of physical labor, and then to the recent explosion of the highly addictive technologies of mobile telephony, gaming and social media, a development that began a mere decade or two ago.

While we understand that our fellow primates might not be overjoyed to be imprisoned in dull gray concrete cages with iron bars (i.e. conventional zoos) because there is nothing natural about these "concrete jungles," we view humans as infinitely malleable, able to seamlessly adapt to any environment, from a space station to a steel high-rise or shantytown.

This confidence in our infinite adaptability is more magical thinking that science, and it seems to me the multiplying derangements of the modern world are evidence that our genetic heritage is not so easily erased and reprogrammed by cultural adaptations.

To take one example I discussed in a recent Musings, we are encouraged by ceaseless marketing to buy and consume food that hijacks our brain's pleasure centers, i.e. eat what tastes good, which is high in salt, fat and sugar, as these are scarce in nature. This highly processed food lacks the fiber and diversity of the diet we were selected to consume, just as our sedentary lifestyle is at odds with the active, mobile lifestyle were we selected for.

The only possible output of these changes is disease. (As the Chinese saying put it, "disease comes through the mouth.") Rather than question our infinite adaptability to a sedentary lifestyle of highly processed foods, we counter these sources of ill-health with medications, all of which have side-effects, either recognized and downplayed or as yet unrecognized because we don't really test medications for interactions or long-term consequences.

The same can be said of addictive technologies. The net results of our supposed adaptability are staggering: it seems a significant percentage of young American males forego work and sex to devote themselves to gaming, and up to 40% of the vast populations of China, India and Pakistan have metabolic disorders, i.e. are diabetic or pre-diabetic due to changes in diet and lifestyle.

In other words, it turns out we're not infinitely adaptable. Stripped of the world we were designed to thrive in, we sicken and become deranged, just like other creatures stripped of the world they were designed to thrive in. The keiki o ka aina is still within us, but in our god-like hubris, we ignore it.

The few long-term (multi-decade) studies that exist find that human happiness and good health are functions of positive, long-term relationships, not what we're constantly told are important (wealth, status, fame) nor what we're sold (processed food, addictions and distraction). Wealth, convenience and junk food do not register as the sources of contentment, longevity or health.

The Blue Zone books made quite a splash a few years ago. What struck me about the Blue Zone communities was their obvious ties to the keiki o ka aina, the child of the land within us all. The Greek islanders and Okinawans live in small communities, tending gardens and animals far into old age, sharing the bounty of their labor and enjoying conviviality. Yes, they have phones and TVs but the core activities of their lives are very clearly embedded in the natural world we were selected to thrive in. They eat real food, not the processed food that's packaged and presented as "real food."

The news media loves to highlight super-elderly individuals who claim their longevity is due to sipping scotch and eating French fries, but the longevity of the Blue Zone inhabitants is not due to eating processed foods, being sedentary and addicted to drugs, gaming, social media and "entertainment." Blue Zone inhabitants live in communities, not isolated cabins in the wilderness. (Per Isaac Asimov's story in which each planet has 5 residents who were freaked out when they had to see each other in person.)

I have long been struck by the depressing ugliness of many urban environments. Few others seem to notice this ugliness, and it's deemed perverse and negative to even mention it (come on, be positive!). But given what we know about genetics and epigenetics, it seems highly likely the Child Within sees the ugliness and is impacted by it, even though the awareness is repressed.

I understand that humans have favored the excitement, stimulation, variety, opportunities, comforts and conveniences of cities for thousands of years. But I also know that cities in the recent past (19th century) raised half of their food within city limits, and some cities are more livable than others. Towns and suburbs are also urban centers. In other words, there is a spectrum of livability that is generally viewed economically rather than in terms of ties to the world we were selected to thrive in.

The ignored/suppressed costs of living in an increasingly unlivable urban environment eventually overwhelm the benefits. It's certainly possible to eat real food and have an active lifestyle in a city, but as food production and supply chains break down, healthcare breaks down and the social fabric breaks down, maintaining private bubbles of wellness in a sea of derangement, illness and incoherence will become increasingly precarious.

I am also struck by the artificiality of shopping for food. The disconnect between nurturing plants and animals and what we eat is like the Grand Canyon, but very few seem to even see the divide. But the Child Within sees it, and this is why prison-reform programs engage hardened lifers in tending gardens and animals, to reconnect their shattered selves with something other than crime, violence and exploitation.

We ignore the sources of ill-health, derangement and increasingly, of social breakdown, because we've persuaded ourselves that we're infinitely adaptable and what matters is the growth of consumption/the economy, and assembling as much private financial wealth as we can manage. The child within is wiser, but unheard and unheeded."

Adventures With Danno, "'Crazy Expensive' Items At Kroger!"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures With Danno, 1/19/24
"'Crazy Expensive' Items At Kroger! 
What's Affordable And What's Not?"
"I do my shopping vlog at Kroger today for some non food items and show the different prices and sales on things. I can't believe how expensive things like toothbrushes, different medicines, and some other products have gotten. Follow me in this video and see if you are as shocked as I was."
Comments here:

Jeremiah Babe, "Stock Market Breaking Records As Home Sales Crash And Economy Goes On Life Support"

Jeremiah Babe, 1/19/24
"Stock Market Breaking Records As Home Sales Crash
 And Economy Goes On Life Support"
Comments here:

Friday, January 19, 2024

Musical Interlude: Dan Fogelberg, "Nether Lands"

Full screen recommended.
Dan Fogelberg, "Nether Lands"

"A Look to the Heavens With Chet Raymo"

“Learning And Yearning”
by Chet Raymo

“This photograph of the Eagle Nebula made by a rather modest telescope - the 0.9 meter instrument at Kitt Peak, Arizona - appeared on APOD. I sat in front of the computer screen for ten minutes, breathless. One tiny corner of the Milky Way Galaxy, one of tens of billions of galaxies that we can potentially see with our telescopes! At the center are the so-called "Pillars of Creation" from a famous Hubble photograph.

I recall when the Hubble photograph appeared in the media hundreds of viewers claimed to see the face of Jesus in the billowing clouds. Which prompted these observations from "Skeptics and True Believers": "In an article on the psychological basis of belief, the psychologist James Alcock proposed that two aspects of the human brain might be called the "yearning unit" and the "learning unit." He probably didn't mean these terms to be taken literally, as referring to separate compartments of the brain, but yearning and learning are certainly central to the way we interact with the world. It is hard to imagine how we can be fully human without a little of each. Finding the proper balance between the two is a task that can keep us occupied for most of our lives.

We yearn when we dream of fulfillment, of greater happiness, of knowing more. We yearn when we love, when we laugh, when we cry, when we pray. Yearning is wondering what is around the next bend, over the rainbow, beyond the horizon. Yearning is curiosity. Yearning is the driving force of science, philosophy, and religion.

Learning is listening to parents, wise men, shamans. Learning is reading, going to school, traveling, doing experiments, being skeptical. Learning is looking behind the curtain for the Wizard of Oz, touching the stove to see if it's hot, not taking anyone's word for it. In science, learning means trying as hard to prove that something is wrong as to prove it right, even if that something is a cherished belief.

Yearning without learning is seeing Elvis in a crowd, the fossilized footprints of humans and dinosaurs together in ancient rocks, weeping statues. Yearning without learning is buying tabloid newspapers with headlines announcing "Newborn baby talks of Heaven" and the like. Yearning without learning is looking for UFOs in the sky and the meaning of life in horoscopes.

Learning without yearning is pedantry, scientism, dogmatic belief. Learning without yearning is believing that we know it all, that what we see is what we get, that nothing exists except what can be presently weighed and measured. Learning without yearning is science without a heart, without a dream, without a hope of beauty. Yearning without learning is seeing the face of Jesus in a gassy nebula. Learning without yearning is seeing only the gas."

"No Ways Tired in A Sea of Lies"

"No Ways Tired in A Sea of Lies"
by Chris Floyd

"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies. One of the hardest things to accept is that the reality of our world is buried under so many layers of official deception and well-cultivated public ignorance about our history and our political system. Even if you break through somehow, momentarily, and hold up a fragment of the truth, most people have no context for dealing with it. It's like a bolt from the blue, they can't process the information. And so the sea of lies closes over us again, and again, and again. And yet the reality of our future appears on the horizon, denial be damned, an irresistible tsunami of destruction, changing all our lives forever.

These are the facts, and they can't be altered. But how to respond to this catastrophe? Shall we weep, moan, rend our garments, cover ourselves with sackcloth and ashes? Shall we sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of republics? Shall we cower in the shadows and sing glamorous dirges for the Lost Cause, for vanished glories and broken dreams?

Or shall we come out fighting, unbowed, heads high, laughing fools to scorn, rejecting at every turn the moral authority of murderers and thieves to rule our lives, determine our reality, act in our name? Let's dispense with lamentation - give not a single moment to that emotional indulgence - and get right back to work, more determined than ever to bear down harder, dig deeper and excavate the radioactive nuggets of truth still glowing beneath the slag-heap of ruin.

Let's fight, let's reject, let's resist - without violence, the weapon of the stupid, the hormonal secretion of evolutionary backsliders in thrall to the chemical soup in their heads, dull primitives dressing up their ape-lust for power with scraps of religion, philosophy and cant. Let's fight these pathetic, malfunctioning wretches who lay their hands on our world and rape it like beasts in a mindless rut. Fight them with the truths we find, exposing their crimes and deadly hypocrisies to the people they've suckered, perverted and betrayed.

This is not an insurmountable task, no matter how impervious the Machine - that monstrous conglomeration of judicial bagmen, Congressional rubber stamps, psychopathic media moguls, dopehead radio ranters, sex-crazed theocrats, war profiteers, think-tank bleaters, Wall Street sharks, oilmen, Moonies, and woman-haters - might appear at the moment.

I don't know what else we can do, except to keep on telling as much of the truth as we can find, to anyone who will listen: reclaiming reality, fragment by fragment, one person at a time. It's an endless task- maybe a hopeless task- but the alternative is a surrender to the worst elements in our society- and in ourselves. It's worth the fight. Let's take it on. In the words of the old spiritual, let us be in no ways tired. The road back to sanity starts now."

Adventures With Danno, "Shopping For Things At Dollar General"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures With Danno, 1/19/24
"Shopping For Things At Dollar General"
"I take you shopping with me to Dollar General, to check out some deals. "
Comments here:
Full screen recommended.
Travelling with Russell , 1/19/24
"Russian Typical (Soviet Style) 
Supermarket After 700 Days Of Sanctions"
Comments here:

Canadian Prepper, "Alert! N. Korea's Nuclear Test; 100,000 NATO Troops To Belarus; Drone Over Putin's House?"

Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper, 1/19/24
"Alert! N. Korea's Nuclear Test; 
100,000 NATO Troops To Belarus; Drone Over Putin's House?"
Comments here:

The Daily "Near You?"

Lakewood, Colorado, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"We Like To Think..."

“We like to think that we are rational beings; humane, conscientious, civilized, thoughtful. But when things fall apart, even just a little, it becomes clear we are not better than animals. We have opposable thumbs, we think, we walk erect, we speak, we dream, but deep down we are still routing around in the primordial ooze; biting, clawing, scratching out an existence in the cold, dark world like the rest of the tree-toads and sloths.”
- “Grey’s Anatomy”

Kahlil Gibran, “The Prophet: Freedom”


"And an orator said, “Speak to us of Freedom.”
And he (the prophet) answered:
" At  city gate and by your fireside I have seen you prostrate yourself
and worship your own freedom, Even as slaves humble themselves before
a tyrant and praise him though he slays them.
Aye, in the grove of the temple and in the shadow of the citadel I have
seen the freest among you wear their freedom as a yoke and a handcuff.

And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even
the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you,
and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfillment.
You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your
nights without a want and a grief, But rather when these things
girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.

And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights 
unless you break the chains
which you at the dawn of your understanding 
have fastened around your noon hour?
In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest of these chains,
though its links glitter in the sun and dazzle your eyes.

And what is it but fragments of your own self you would discard that
you may become free? If it is an unjust law you would abolish,
that law was written with your own hand upon your own forehead.
You cannot erase it by burning your law books nor by washing 
the foreheads of your judges, though you pour the sea upon them. 
And if it is a despot you would dethrone,
see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.

For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud,
but for a tyranny in their own freedom and a shame in their own pride?
And if it is a care you would cast off,
that care has been chosen by you rather than imposed upon you.
And if it is a fear you would dispel,
the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared.

Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace,
the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished,
the pursued and that which you would escape.

These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling.
And when the shadow fades and is no more,
the light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light.
And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters 
becomes itself the fetter of a greater freedom."

- Kahlil Gibran, “The Prophet: Freedom”
Freely download "The Prophet", by Kahlil Gibran, here:

"And There Are Times..."

"If the sun is shining, stand in it - yes, yes, yes. Happy times are great, but happy times pass - they have to - because time passes. The pursuit of happiness is more elusive; it is life-long, and it is not goal-centered. What you are pursuing is meaning - a meaningful life, and there are times when it will go so wrong that you will be barely alive, and times when you realize that being barely alive, on your own terms, is better than living a bloated half-life on someone else's terms."
- Jeanette Winterson

Dan, I Allegedly, "The Mall Is Dead"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, I Allegedly AM 1/19/24
"The Mall Is Dead"
"It is anticipated that 87% of all malls will close in 2024. It takes well over three years for the land to be reused on an average. But it makes no difference if you’re in a lower and city or a high-end city everyone is feeling the brunt of this."
Comments here:

"How It Really Is"

View it in horror...

Gregory Mannarino, "Biden: An Ominous Warning"

Gregory Mannarino, AM 1/19/24
"Biden: An Ominous Warning"
Comments here:

"The Recent Attack on Yemen... And Whether The US is Starting Another War" (Excerpt)

"The Recent Attack on Yemen... 
And Whether The US is Starting Another War"
by David Stockman

Excerpt: "Here we go again. The "Joe Biden" thing just started another war in Yemen without a constitutionally compliant declaration by Congress. And it/they did so against a rag-tag tribe of desert insurgents who cannot possibly harm the liberty or security of the American homeland. After all, the most fearsome missile possessed by the Houthi is the Burkan-3, which has a maximum range of 750 miles. Yet the last time we checked, the distance from Yemen to Washington DC was 7,200 miles. So why is the GOP leadership branch of the Uniparty saluting Sleepy Joe with a chorus of attaboys?

GOP Senate Leader, Mitch McConnel: "I welcome the U.S. and coalition operations against the Iran-backed Houthi terrorists responsible for violently disrupting international commerce in the Red Sea and attacking American vessels. President Biden’s decision to use military force against these Iranian proxies is overdue."

GOP House Speaker Johnson: "This action by U.S. and British forces is long overdue, and we must hope these operations indicate a true shift in the Biden Administration’s approach to Iran and its proxies that are engaging in such evil and wreaking such havoc. They must understand there is a serious price to pay for their global acts of terror and their attacks on U.S. personnel and commercial vessels. America must always project strength, especially in these dangerous times."

No, Speaker Johnson, America must not go abroad seeking monsters to destroy, as our sixth president, John Qunicy Adams, stated so cogently nearly 203 years ago on Independence Day. The Red Sea is not the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound or the Gulf of Catalina -meaning that the Houthi blockade on ships heading to Israel in retaliation for the latter’s genocidal assault on Gaza is Jerusalem’s business to treat with, not Washington’s.

Moreover, the US Navy has not been hired by the UN or any other global body to safeguard every sea lane on the planet. Nor should it take the assignment if offered because the homeland security of America does not depend upon Washington functioning as the gendarmerie of the world.

In fact, there are only two ways our liberty and security could be threatened in today’s world: Either by nuclear blackmail or by a conventional military invasion and occupation of US territory. Neither are even remotely possible; and, in any event, assurance of that impossibility does not require aircraft carriers and military bases strung around the planet.

As to nuclear blackmail, there is no nation on earth that has anything close to the First Strike force that would be needed to totally overwhelm America’s triad nuclear deterrent force, and thereby avoid a retaliatory annihilation of its own country and people. After all, the US has 3,800 active nuclear warheads and they are spread under the sea, in hardened silos and among a bomber fleet of 66 B-2 and B-52s—all beyond the detection or reach of any other nuclear power.

For instance, the Ohio class nuclear submarines each have 20 missile tubes, with each missile carrying an average of four warheads. That’s 80 independently targetable warheads per boat and at any given time 12 of the 14 Ohio class nuclear subs are actively deployed, and spread around the oceans of the planet within a firing range of 4,000 miles. So that’s 960 deep-sea nuclear warheads to find and neutralize before any would be blackmailer even gets started.

And then there are the roughly 1,200 nukes aboard the 66 strategic bombers, which also are not sitting on a single airfield Pearl Harbor style waiting to be obliterated, but are constantly rotating in the air and on the move. Likewise, the 400 minutemen missiles are spread out in extremely hardened silos deep underground. Each missile carries 3 warheads, providing another 1,200 nuclear warheads that must be taken out by would be blackmailers.

Needless to say, there is no way, shape or form that America’s nuclear deterrent can be neutralized by a blackmailer, and the best thing is that the nuclear triad costs only $65 billion per year to maintain, including allowances for periodic upgrades.

At the end of the day, the only other potential military threat to the homeland security of America is invasion by a massive conventional armada of land, air and sea-based forces many, many times larger than the military behemoth that is now funded by Washington’s $900 billion defense budget. The logistical infrastructure that would be needed to control the vast Atlantic and Pacific Ocean moats surrounding North America and to sustain an invasion and occupation force on the North American continent is so mind-bogglingly vast as to be scarcely imaginable.

At the least it would take a $50 trillion GDP to support such a thing. And if obviously not the mere $2 trillion GDP of Russia or even the $18 trillion GDP of the Red Ponzi, exactly what distant interstellar domain of the known universe might we be talking about?

Moreover, it’s not as if in an age when the sky is flush with high tech surveillance assets that such a massive conventional force armada could be secretly built, tested and mustered for surprise attack without being noticed in Washington. There can be no repeat of the Akagi, Kaga, Sōryū, Hiryū, Shōkaku, and Zuikaku strike force steaming across the Pacific toward Pearl Harbor sight unseen.

As a practical matter, Russia has only one aircraft carrier and China has just three - two of which are refurbished rust buckets purchased from the remnants of the old Soviet Union, and which carriers do not even have modern catapults for launching their strike aircraft.

Likewise, neocon knuckleheads like Nikki Haley have been jabbering about China’s growing Navy, which numbers 400 hulls compared to 305 ships in the US Navy’s fleet. But what she doesn’t say is that most of these Chinese units are coastal patrol boats, which likely couldn’t even make it to the coast of California, anyway.

In terms of Naval power projection capability, the proper measure of lethality is not the number of hulls, but the total displacement tonnage. In this connection, the US Navy has 4.6 million tons of displacement, averaging 15,000 tons per ship. By contrast, China’s Navy has but 2.0 million tons of displacement, averaging only 5,000 tons per boat. That is to say, the Chinese Navy is totally visible, assessable and trackable, and is not remotely of the size and lethality that would make an invasion of America remotely plausible.

In other words, all of the Uniparty prattle offered by McConnell and Johnson in the quoted remarks above makes sense only through the false lens of a Washington-based Global Hegemon. So, yes, if Washington is obliged to keep the peace everywhere on the planet and safeguard all the sea lanes and all the air space from quarrelling local parties, as in the extant case, then let the assembled legislators call a vote and declare yet another war, as did the hapless Woodrow Wilson in April 1917 to no avail except the resulting rise of Hitler, Stalin, World War II, the holocaust and the Cold War.

But the truth is, local wars like the extant spat between Israel and its Muslim neighbors do not threaten either the peace or even the commerce of the globe. If it did, then the most immediately impacted parties would be the heaviest shippers and neighbors on the Red Sea.

For instance, Saudi Arabia lives on the Red Sea, with major ports at Jeddah, Yanbu, Jubail and the massive futuristic investment at Neom. Likewise, China sends more containership cargo through the Red Sea by far than any other nation. And, of course, Egypt collects the tolls from the Suez Canel through which the Red Sea traffic transits. So, has Saudi Arabia, China or Egypt joined Washington’s coalition to bomb the daylights out of the Houthi? Hmmmm. We thought so. No they haven’t.

But what is especially rich is all the handwringing from the Washington neocons about the 9% of global seaborne oil traffic that traverses the Red Sea/Suez route. The fact is, however, the US is now a net energy exporter. So higher oil prices would actually be a slight benefit economically.

But actually, despite the entire kerfuffle over the Houthi interdiction of Israel bound traffic, there has been no visible impact on global oil prices, even if you make use of a magnifying glass. So what in the hell, exactly, are they talking about?"
Full, most highly recommended article is here:

"Humanity Crucified on a Cross of Iron"

"Humanity Crucified on a Cross of Iron"
by Paul Rosenberg

"A few people remember President Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, where he warned Americans about the rise of a military-industrial complex… a warning that was stunningly accurate and almost fully ignored.

What almost no one remembers was Eisenhower’s speech in 1953, when he said that under the pressures of fear and war spending, humanity was “hanging from a cross of iron.” Bear in mind that this was said by Dwight David Eisenhower, the five-star general who had been supreme allied commander. He was also the sitting president of the United States when he said it. So, there is absolutely no room for passing this off in the name of patriotism.

Precisely What He Said: Before I elaborate on this topic, I want you to read Eisenhower’s words for yourself. Here’s the core of Ike’s speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, on April 16, 1953: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people…

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."

Here’s one more line you should read: "God created men to enjoy, not destroy, the fruits of the earth and of their own toil." Obviously this speech was widely ignored.

The Cross of Iron: “Iron” is a reference to war materials: planes, bombs, guns, tanks, and so on. And what’s crucial about this iron is that it is purchased with money forcibly taken from the productive people of the world. And I’d like you to see the extent of these extractions. So, here are the world’s top nine military budgets from the year 2012, in billions of US dollars:

Altogether, that came to $1.328 trillion. Added to that are not just the expenses of the smaller militaries, but dozens of gigantic intelligence agencies. (The US Department of Homeland Security alone spent $44 billion per year.) And so a reasonably accurate figure is closer to $2 trillion per year… and given many other expenditures, often cleverly hidden, even that figure may be low.

This is properly a job for some young economist, but not having one handy, I’ll give you, in rough numbers, what that equates to:
14,000,000 modern houses with amenities, or
100,000,000 brand new cars, or
a year of quality food and drink for 600 million people,
And so on. Obviously the costs of cars and housing vary from place to place, but you get the idea.

That’s what’s taken from us – annually – to build and operate machines of destruction. In just the past 20 years this would cover housing, transportation, and food for 150 million families… not counting the value of everything destroyed by the war machines. Can we call this anything but an abject organizational failure? To be very blunt about it: Humanity is producing far more than was ever dreamed possible by our ancestors, but we’re pissing it away on machines of death and destruction. And there’s a clear reason for this. But it’s a reason that can be hard to face.

Forget Politics; It’s About the Structure: We’ve been trained to devote all our passion and attention to political fights. In other words, to spend all our energies on ephemera that come and go like the winds. What we haven’t been trained in – what we’ve been diverted from – is the analysis of structures: the things that actually matter and the things that endure.

The structures that dominate mankind are monopolistic, non-optional, and violence based. The central principle of their operations – the one they enforce millions of times every day – is this: Do what we say or we’ll hurt you. However offended people may be at these statements, it will not be because they are false. Rather, they will be offended that such things are discussed. It’s not pleasant to face the fact that our world’s base organizational structures are relics of the Bronze Age.

These systems are inherently offensive structures. They are designed to extract money from large populations, to consolidate those takings in the seat of the operation, and to use that money to become more powerful than every other such system. And their 6,000-year track record most certainly bears this out.

No one described this more honestly than Simone Weil, in "An Anthology": "What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war… What is called national prestige consists in behaving always in such a way as to demoralize other nations by giving them the impression that, if it comes to war, one would certainly defeat them. What is called national security is an imaginary state of affairs in which one would retain the capacity to make war while depriving all other countries of it."

The truth of the matter is that the ruling structures of our world are abject failures – relics of a brutal and ignorant past. And Eisenhower was right when he said they were crucifying humanity on a cross of iron. We can do better."
Full speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953
Freely download "An Anthology:, by Simone Weil, here: