Saturday, May 18, 2024

Canadian Prepper, "I Almost Died"

Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper, 5/18/24
"I Almost Died"
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Musical Interlude: 2002, "Athena"

Full screen recommended.
2002, "Athena"

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Magnificent island universe NGC 2403 stands within the boundaries of the long-necked constellation Camelopardalis. Some 10 million light-years distant and about 50,000 light-years across, the spiral galaxy also seems to have more than its fair share of giant star forming HII regions, marked by the telltale reddish glow of atomic hydrogen gas. The giant HII regions are energized by clusters of hot, massive stars that explode as bright supernovae at the end of their short and furious lives.
A member of the M81 group of galaxies, NGC 2403 closely resembles another galaxy with an abundance of star forming regions that lies within our own local galaxy group, M33 the Triangulum Galaxy. Spiky in appearance, bright stars in this colorful galaxy portrait of NGC 2403 lie in the foreground, within our own Milky Way.”

"Yet Now..."

“Yet now, as he roared across the night sky toward an unknown destiny, he found himself facing that bleak and ultimate question which so few men can answer to their satisfaction. What have I done with my life, he asked himself, that the world will be poorer if I leave it?”
- Arthur C. Clarke, “Glide Path”
Full screen recommended.
Alan Parsons Project, "Old and Wise"

Khalil Gibran, "A Tear and A Smile"

Khalil Gibran, "A Tear and A Smile"
Read by Shane Morris

"A Hammer Blow..."

"Do as little harm to others as you can; make any sacrifice for your true friends; be responsible for yourself and ask nothing of others; and grab all the fun you can. Don't give much thought to yesterday, don't worry about tomorrow, live in the moment, and trust that your existence has meaning even when the world seems to be all blind chance and chaos. When life lands a hammer blow in your face, do your best to respond to the hammer as if it had been a cream pie."
- Dean Koontz

Jeremiah Babe, "The Decay Of America Cities Is Shameful; Millions Of Americans Trapped In Debt"

Jeremiah Babe, 5/18/24
"The Decay Of America Cities Is Shameful;
Millions Of Americans Trapped In Debt"
Comments here:
Full screen recommended.
"Streets of Philadelphia, 
Kensington Philadelphia, May 2024"

"The Daily "Near You?"

Halfweg, Noord-Holland, Netherlands. Thanks for stopping by!

"The Trick..."

The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable,
or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.
- Carlos Castaneda

John Wilder, "Don’t Fear The Reaper"

"Don’t Fear The Reaper"
by John Wilder

“No. Not like this. I haven't faced death. I've cheated death. I've tricked my way out of death and patted myself on the back for my ingenuity. I know nothing.”
- James T. Kirk, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"

“Death is the only wise advisor that we have. Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you're about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you that you're wrong; that nothing really matters outside its touch. Your death will tell you, 'I haven't touched you yet.'”
- Carlos Castaneda, "Journey to Ixtlan"

"When The Soon To Be Mrs. and I were just dating, I was cooking something or other. I think it was eggs. I like eggs sunny side up, and don’t particularly care if they’re cooked all the way. 

The Soon To Be Mrs.: “Aren’t you worried about salmonella?”
John Wilder: (Laughs in full Chad manifestation.)
The Soon To Be Mrs.: (Swoons.)

Seriously, she swooned. I’ve never seen it before in my life, but in that moment I think that was what sealed the deal, the moment in time that The Soon To Be Mrs. realized that this one is different. He’s not like the others. Here is a man who has zero fear of The Current Thing, and knows that salmonella won’t be the thing that punches his ticket out of having a functioning circulatory system.

No. I’m not afraid of salmonella. I would spit in its tiny little eyes or flagellum or tentacles and say, “Not today, my bacterium friend! My Danish-Scots-Germanic blood is far too strong for the likes of you!” And then I would attack Poland. Oh, wait, that’s been done.

I know I’m not going to die like Hemingway, and I’m not going to die like the comedy greats Belushi, Twain, or Nietzsche did. Nope. I think I’m gonna go out like Elvis. On a toilet after having eaten a fried peanut butter, jelly and bacon sandwich covered in cheddar cheese and mayo. Nope, I’m gonna die on a toilet. I mean, after all, a king should spend his last moments on the throne, right?

A lot of people worry about dying. I suppose I did, in my 20s, when I was worried about carrying out my responsibilities as a dad. Those are serious responsibilities – because those kids are going to be the legacy that I leave on Earth. That and my writing, collection of PEZ® dispensers and velvet Elvis paintings.

Again, a lot of people worry about dying. I’m not sure why. Of things that are more-or-less predetermined, that’s the big one. We’re all going to die. All of us. And I’m not sure I care.

Oh, sure, I want to live. I have no particular desire to die. If given the preference, I suppose I’m in favor of my continued heartbeat. But I don’t fear death. I don’t go to sleep at night wondering if this pain or that pain or that thing might be the symptom I look up on WebMD® that seals the deal that Wilder is going up to irritate Jesus in Heaven with bad puns.

I don’t worry about some future point when I’m going to enjoy life. I’ve achieved nearly every goal I’ve ever set for my life. End. Full stop. It’s like when a baseball game goes into extra innings, “Hey, free baseball.” And me? Free life. I’ve done nearly everything I’ve ever wanted to do.

What do you give a man who has everything? I mean, besides another bottle of wine. You give that man: Today. I’ve got Today. The only moment I live in is right now. And right now isn’t all that bad. I’m sitting in the sitting room (question: is any room I sit in, by definition, a sitting room? Discuss.) with the cool night air blowing in the window, some songs I love playing on the laptop, a cold beer by the keyboard, and the knowledge that at this moment, everything is fine.

Literally, in my life, Every Single Thing Is Fine. I could go into details, but you already know how awesome I am. So, I live for today? Hell no.

That’s YOLO. The idea that “You Only Live Once” is a free pass to act in any fashion has corroded society. It’s really at the root of many of the problems we have today. It is, in many ways, the absolute inverse of the philosophy I’m trying to describe. YOLO seeks to elevate hedonism and the passions of the moment as the highest good. YOLO is Tinder® times Planned Parenthood© times SnapFaceGramInstaChat® times Rwanda®.

t’s the inversion of beauty: it consists of being positive about, well, any old thing that feels good. I could list these “pleasures”, but you know the list as well as I do. We see it every day, with vice being paraded as virtue, and the continual demand going out for people to celebrate it, because, “Can’t you see? This horrid abomination that no healthy society or people in the entire history of the world has tolerated, iS BeAuTIfUL!” No, I think living a life built on YOLO is one doomed to fail – inevitably it will fail based on two reasons: it is materialism or a faith based on the nihilism of the material world writ large, and it is based on needs, like youth, wealth, sensation, or, yes, even life. So, not YOLO.

One thing I’ve tried to preach is outcome independence. Indeed, since the final outcome of life on Earth is fixed, all the intermediate steps lead there. Instead, I try to focus on virtue and faith. I write not because of YOLO, and not because it’s easy. Some nights it’s hard as hell to get the post to “close” and feel right. There are dozens of posts where, even after 1600 words, I still didn’t say exactly what I meant to say. That’s okay, it’s on me. I’m learning, and if I were perfect at this, I wouldn’t have more work to do.

For me, it’s the work. It’s getting better. It’s finding ways to add value to those people around me. There are those who pull their weight in the world, and those that don’t. I want to be one that pulls his weight, who has contributed as much as I can to helping my family and the wider world.

I don’t always do it. And I’m not always right, either. I’ve produced some stuff in my life that was really, really good, but not perfect. Thankfully, that’s not my mark, either, since just like immortality here on Earth, searching for perfection is a lonely and silly pastime. I want to make the world a better place with my family (first) and my work (now second) guided by God. And I want people to laugh hard while learning and thinking about the things I write.

The beauty of this is to win, all I have to do is the best that I can do every day. To win? All I have to do is be the best person I can be every day. See? Each night, I go to bed and sleep soundly if I know, in that day, that I gave it my all. Do I take time for me? Sure. But that’s not the goal – I serve a higher purpose.

So, what do I fear? Not death. It’s coming whether I like it or not, and, honestly, I’d rather not return my body in factory-fresh condition – I’d like all the parts to fail at once. On the toilet. I think Elvis would have wanted it that way. Oh, wait... I wonder if Elvis ate eggs sunny-side-up? Hang on, I’m sure he did. Elvis ate everything."
Blue Oyster Cult, "Don't Fear The Reaper"


Problems? "Dig you way out," they said...

"Bad Things Do Happen..."

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have - life itself.” 
- Walter Anderson 

"How It Really Is"

VERY strong language alert!
George Carlin, "The American Dream"

"That's All There Is..."

"Angel: Well, I guess I kinda worked it out. If there's no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters... then all that matters is what we do. 'Cause that's all there is. What we do. Now. Today. I fought for so long, for redemption, for a reward, and finally just to beat the other guy, but I never got it.
Kate Lockley: And now you do?
Angel: Not all of it. All I wanna do is help. I wanna help because, I don't think people should suffer as they do. Because, if there's no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world.
Kate Lockley: Yikes. It sounds like you've had an epiphany.
Angel: I keep saying that, but nobody's listening."

"Rules Versus Righteousness"

"Rules Versus Righteousness"
by Paul Rosenberg

"Yes, we’ve seen a string of irrational, malicious and even murderous rules lately, but that’s not what I’m addressing in this post. Today my point is that rules by themselves – rules by their essence – are the opponents of righteousness. I know this strikes most people as impossible, but I’m convinced that it’s correct and important. I expect this concept to take root slowly; human psychology is just that way: It takes time to absorb and sift ideas that are not only new, but which stand against basic assumptions. So, if this seems like it’s “too far out there,” please try to let it remain in your mind as a possibility, even if a far-fetched one. Thanks.

It Nearly Always Comes Back To Structure: There are multiple ways to analyze almost anything, but the one that stands out to me is analyzing the structure of things. As it happens, this type of analysis is rarely done for human affairs, which I think accounts for a significant share of our problems.

What I want to do, briefly, is explain the structure of righteousness, and show you why rules oppose it. So, let’s start with a definition: Righteousness is not merely doing the right thing, or even knowing that you are doing the right thing. It is doing the right thing by your own will.

You don’t improve your inner workings by following rules. Rather, you surrender them to an exterior command. That insults your inner parts rather than using and upgrading them. Once, however, you generate your own desire to do beneficial and courageous things, you both strengthen your inner parts and know that you are a source of benefit in the universe. That is righteousness, and it’s a massively beneficial thing.

The great difference in the two models is that in one of them our inner parts are subsidiary and inferior to something external… our actions are derived from something outside… our goodness is not inherent, but subsidiary. In the other model, our inner parts generate goodness, making us primary and potent beings; beings who continually improve. Once we begin to see and accept this, we become objectively better beings… we grow and expand… and we very certainly become more confident and reliable beings.

Still, it’s notable that the best human actions arise where rules are absent or disregarded. The human who surrenders his or her judgment to rules is highly unlikely to show courage and to stand up for the oppressed. The man or woman who summons the courage to act beyond the rules is the actual hero. As Martin Luther King noted:"We should never forget that everything Adolph Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.”

One final point: Humans have promoted rules as a path to goodness for millennia, with a doggedness to rival any compulsive disorder. If rules worked, we’d be a race of angels by now.
So…Rules do not engender human progress, rather they hinder it. Again, I know that this seems strange and even threatening, but I submit to you that while the concept may be foreign, it is true all the same. Rules displace and disgrace our inner mechanisms. We and our entire world will be far better off once we stop treating them as idols. Thanks for considering it."

"It Becomes Sad..."

"Why does truth carry such a dreadful face? Why does subjugation carry
such a happy mask? It becomes sad when people understand that they
can lead a better life as long as they bow their heads, ignoring the truth."
- Lionel Suggs

Dan, I Allegedly, "Fenway Park and a Bad Economy"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, I Allegedly, 5/18/24
"Fenway Park and a Bad Economy"
"Today we visit Fenway Park in Boston and cover everything that’s going on in the economy. Walmart is boasting that rich people have decided to shop there to save money."
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Adventures With Danno, "Kroger Items Everyone Should Be Buying Right Now!"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures With Danno, AM 5/18/24
"Kroger Items Everyone Should Be Buying Right Now!"
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Meanwhile, elsewhere...
Full screen recommended.
Travelling with Russell. 5/18/24
"Belarus Supermarkets are Secretly Taking over Russia"
What does a Russian typical (Belarus Owned) Supermarket look like? Join me at the Grand Opening of Chesnok Supermarket in Oryol, Russia to find out. Belarusian Supermarket chains are slowing taking over Russian, one store at a time."
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Friday, May 17, 2024

Canadian Prepper, "Breaking! US Troops Are 100% Going To Ukraine; Nuclear Strike Drills"

Full screen recommended.
Canadian Prepper, 5/17/24
"Breaking! US Troops Are 100% Going To Ukraine; 
Nuclear Strike Drills; Russian Rocket On US Coast"
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Judge Napolitano, "INTEL Roundtable w/ Johnson & McGovern: Weekly Wrap Up"

Judge Napolitano - Judging Freedom, 5/17/24
"INTEL Roundtable w/ Johnson & McGovern: Weekly Wrap Up"
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Jeremiah Babe, "This Is The Scariest Economy Of Your Life"

Jeremiah Babe, 5/17/24
"This Is The Scariest Economy Of Your Life;
  Ray Dalio Ominous Warning"
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Adventures With Danno, "Foods That Are Tasteless Or Packed With Chemicals!"

Adventures With Danno, PM 5/17/24
"Foods That Are Tasteless Or Packed With Chemicals!"
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Musical Interlude: Supertramp, “The Logical Song”

Supertramp, “The Logical Song”

"A Look to the Heavens"

"This popular group leaps into the early evening sky around the March equinox and the northern hemisphere spring. Famous as the Leo Triplet, the three magnificent galaxies found in the prominent constellation Leo gather here in one astronomical field of view. Crowd pleasers when imaged with even modest telescopes, they can be introduced individually as NGC 3628 (right), M66 (upper left), and M65 (bottom). All three are large spiral galaxies but tend to look dissimilar, because their galactic disks are tilted at different angles to our line of sight.
NGC 3628, also known as the Hamburger Galaxy, is temptingly seen edge-on, with obscuring dust lanes cutting across its puffy galactic plane. The disks of M66 and M65 are both inclined enough to show off their spiral structure. Gravitational interactions between galaxies in the group have left telltale signs, including the tidal tails and warped, inflated disk of NGC 3628 and the drawn out spiral arms of M66. This gorgeous view of the region spans over 1 degree (two full moons) on the sky in a frame that covers over half a million light-years at the trio's estimated distance of 30 million light-years. Of course the spiky foreground stars lie well within our own Milky Way."

"The Free and the Brave"

"The Free and the Brave"
by Todd Hayen

"Whatever happened to that (the free and the brave)? Whatever happened to the attitude that had Patrick Henry at the Virginia convention in 1775 say “give me liberty, or give me death”?

Whatever happened to the patriotic fervor and the uncanny commitment to face suffering and death that resulted in over two million young men volunteering for service in World War I, and five times that number volunteering to serve in World War II?

Whatever happened to the ability to conquer fear and ride on the excitement for adventure and potential for immeasurable success that drove hundreds of thousands of men and women into the wild, and dangerous, frontiers of the American West?

Whatever happened to the spirit that filled the souls of those that faced stark adversity, danger to life and limb, that lead over 50,000 hapless men and women (mostly men) into the jungles of Central America to build the Panama Canal? - ultimately killing over 5,000 of them as a result of accidents, all manner of diseases including malaria and dysentery?

What happened?

Yeah, this is about us, guys (me included!) Sure, women can be brave - any biological sexual orientation can activate the warrior archetype - but more commonly it is the gendered male that falls into this archetypal constellation. Bravery - a compulsion to protect those he loves, have a critical and logical assessment of a difficult situation, and the force and power, at the very least a potential force and power, ready to inflict whatever necessary to protect partner and family, community and nation. We, us men, have seemed to have lost much of that. Have we become a bunch of puss-balls?

Dr Mark McDonald, a prominent medical doctor with a speciality in psychiatry, doesn’t mince words when he says while describing the psychological state of men and women during this crises: "We essentially have men with no balls, and then we have histrionics, women who have no emotional containment, because there are no men to contain them anymore.”

Sexist? Maybe some will think so, but McDonald is not putting all the blame on one sex, or exclusively on the masculine or feminine archetypes, the responsibility here is rather well balanced.

What does this mean? Very basically it means we have created a culture that has done a pretty good job of emasculating men - the radical feminist movement, as well as a general lack of situations where men can express their “man-ness” in a healthy way, has been a big part of the problem.

“Toxic Masculinity” is a phrase and concept that has taken the world by storm, and contributes quite a bit to the confusion that men are experiencing while trying to ascertain what a “real man” is in today’s “anti male” culture. “Oh boo hoo” some of you may be saying. “Men, through their powerful patriarchal history of abusing women and treating them as inferior partners in relationships deserve a little pull back!” There certainly is truth to that, but two wrongs don’t make a right. You can’t carve out an essential part of being a “man” without some collateral damage, all the way around.

So what does being a “real man” have to do with bravery? A lot, actually. Facing adversity and danger, primarily in order to protect the physically weaker, is a very important attribute of the masculine archetype of warrior, or even king if you want to get more detailed about it. Historically and traditionally the man has been the protector, the physical, and sometimes intellectual (intelligence that is present in logic reasoning and critical thinking) found in masculine archetypes (again, archetypes both men and women have access to).

These attributes are primarily directed toward protection and outwardly projected as strength and resolve. This often stabilizes the more emotional feminine archetypal factors that again, typically, are activated by the female, or woman, in a relationship.

As a psychotherapist, and an archetypal psychologist at that, I see these archetypal powers and influences playing out in my clients every day. Most of the problems I find in a couple’s therapy stems from an imbalance, or a dysfunction, in these energies of masculine and feminine. Again, the “man” in a couple can be activating both masculine and feminine archetypes, as well as the “woman.” The problem comes in if the archetypes activated are inappropriate, out of balance, and create a result that is unexpected, undesired, or not beneficial. Most of these influences run in the unconscious, so very seldom are they consciously manipulated.

It wasn’t until I met Dr McDonald that I connected some very important dots. McDonald recently wrote and released a book titled "United States of Fear." The subtitle of the book, “How America Fell Victim to a Mass Delusional Psychosis” is the primary focus.

McDonald holds nothing back when he addresses what he believes to be a fundamental cause of this mass psychosis. He believes that women (feminine archetypes driving the woman’s behavior) need a strong, and masculine man, to contain her emotionality (due to the unfettered expression of her feminine archetypes.) McDonald, in an interview given on Jerm Warfare, said:

"Do you think men with masks on make women feel safe? It only shows they have no balls. I’ve spoken with female police officers who see men in camouflage, tattooed, driving around in trucks with gun racks - wearing masks. They tell me, ‘this does not make me feel safe. This makes me afraid. If they are this scared of a virus, how will they react to a real threat - what’s going to happen when the bear comes out of the woods? What’s going to happen when a rapist tries to attack me? What’s going to happen when my children are going to be kidnapped by the man in the park, what are they going to do? With their mask on are they going to say, “Please stop. Please. Please.” They’re not going to put their lives on the line. They won’t even put their mouth on the line.’”

Harsh words, my brothers. Harsh words, but I think quite on the money. Is this the only thing that is driving the collapse we are seeing in those that cannot stand up to this current tyranny, and say “Enough is enough, step back!” No, of course not, but, in my opinion, it is a large part of the problem.

Our culture, at least in the West, has been set up for this to happen. We have become more and more dependent on government taking care of us, thus losing our own personal drive to develop character and strength. We depend on government and authority to think for us, and tell us what is best for us to, in a word, parent us. We comply, we stay children, and we ultimately suffer.

The brave hold onto what makes them free and are willing to fight for it. Freedom is a God given right, not one bestowed upon us by any other authority. The healthy masculine archetypes of warrior and king have at their side the symbolic sword representing their power over adversity and danger.

There is a time for the warrior to pull the sword from its scabbard just a few inches to allow the sun to glint off of its polished surface, flashing in the eyes of a potential enemy, letting them know who they are dealing with. And then there is the time to pull the sword completely free from its confines and slash what is seriously threatening the warrior and those he loves. Now is the time to fight."
“You cannot kill me here. Bring your soldiers, your death, your disease, your collapsed economy because it doesn’t matter, I have nothing left to lose and you cannot kill me here. Bring the tears of orphans and the wails of a mother’s loss, bring your God damn air force and Jesus on a cross, bring your hate and bitterness and long working hours, bring your empty wallets and love long since gone but you cannot kill me here. Bring your sneers, your snide remarks and friendships never felt, your letters never sent, your kisses never kissed, cigarettes smoked to the bone and cancer killing fears but you cannot kill me here. For I may fall and I may fail but I will stand again each time and you will find no satisfaction. Because you cannot kill me here.”
- Iain S. Thomas

"The Essence Of Human Existence..."

"Curiosity is the essence of human existence. 
'Who are we? Where are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?'
I don't know. I don't have any answers to those questions.
I don't know what's over there around the corner. But I want to find out."
- Eugene Cernan

"Reflect On What Happens..."

“Reflect on what happens when a terrible winter blizzard strikes. You hear the weather warning but probably fail to act on it. The sky darkens. Then the storm hits with full fury, and the air is a howling whiteness. One by one, your links to the machine age break down. Electricity flickers out, cutting off the TV. Batteries fade, cutting off the radio. Phones go dead. Roads become impassible, and cars get stuck. Food supplies dwindle. Day to day vestiges of modern civilization – bank machines, mutual funds, mass retailers, computers, satellites, airplanes, governments – all recede into irrelevance.

Picture yourself and your loved ones in the midst of a howling blizzard that lasts several years. Think about what you would need, who could help you, and why your fate might matter to anybody other than yourself. That is how to plan for a saecular winter. Don’t think you can escape the Fourth Turning. History warns that a Crisis will reshape the basic social and economic environment that you now take for granted.” 
– Strauss & Howe, “The Fourth Turning”

Gerald Celente, "Dragflation Dragging Down Plantation Workers Of Slavelandia"

Strong language alert!
Gerald Celente, 5/17/24
"Dragflation Dragging Down Plantation Workers Of Slavelandia"
"The Trends Journal is a weekly magazine analyzing global current events forming future trends. Our mission is to present facts and truth over fear and propaganda to help subscribers prepare for what’s next in these increasingly turbulent times."
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The Daily "Near You?"

Blue River, Wisconsin, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"Something Like Reverence..."

"When I see the blind and wretched state of men, when I survey the whole universe in its deadness, and man left to himself with no light, as though lost in this corner of the universe without knowing who put him there, what he has to do, or what will become of him when he dies, incapable of knowing anything, I am moved to terror, like a man transported in his sleep to some terrifying desert island, who wakes up quite lost, with no means of escape. Then I marvel that so wretched a state does not drive people to despair." 
- Blaise Pascal

Ahh, but it does...
“When the pain of leaving behind what we know outweighs the pain of embracing it, or when the power we face is overwhelming and neither flight nor fight will save us, there may be salvation in sitting still. And if salvation is impossible, then at least before perishing we may gain a clearer vision of where we are. By sitting still I do not mean the paralysis of dread, like that of a rabbit frozen beneath the dive of a hawk. I mean something like reverence, a respectful waiting, a deep attentiveness to forces much greater than our own.”
- Scott Russell Sanders

Folks, I fear our time for such reverence is here...
God help us, God help us all...

"Out Of Control Inflation: It Now Takes At Least $177,798 For A Family Of 4 To Live Comfortably In The US"

"Out Of Control Inflation: It Now Takes At Least $177,798 
For A Family Of 4 To Live Comfortably In The US"
by Michael Snyder

"I never imagined that we would ever see a time when it takes $177,798 for a family of four to live comfortably in the United States. Unfortunately, that day has arrived. Our leaders have been pursuing highly inflationary policies for many years, and now we have reached a point where inflation is wildly out of control. In fact, the latest wholesale inflation figure that was released on Tuesday came in much higher than expected. Sadly, this is just the beginning and we are in far more trouble than most people realize.

According to an incredibly shocking new study, most Americans do not make enough money to “live comfortably” in the highly inflationary environment that we find ourselves in today…"A recent study has revealed the incomes needed for families to live comfortably across the United States – and the stark contrast in the cost of living between states is startling. The study revealed that in the most expensive states, families need nearly $300,000 to simply live ‘comfortably.’ The least expensive state requires about half that salary – still over $100,000."

Meanwhile, the average annual salary in the US is $59,428, or $28.34 per hour, as of May 2024. The study determined that Massachusetts is the most expensive state. It takes a whopping $301,184 a year for a family of four to “live comfortably” there. The least expensive state is Mississippi.In the Magnolia State, it only takes $177,798 a year for a family of four “to cover their expenses and maintain a satisfactory quality of life.”

This is our country now. I feel like I have been banging my head into a wall. For more than a decade I have warned that this would happen, and now it is here. And even more inflation is on the way… Americans already contending with persistent and stubbornly high inflation just got more unwelcome news on Tuesday: There are more price hikes likely coming down the pike.

Wholesale inflation picked up in April to its highest rate in a year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday. In April, inflation at the wholesale level jumped 0.5 percent in just one month…"Inflation at the wholesale level rose much more than expected in April, the latest sign that price pressures within the economy remain elevated and difficult to tame. The Labor Department said Tuesday that its producer price index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level before it reaches consumers, rose 0.5% in April from the previous month."

If you multiply that figure by 12 months, you get 6 percent. And of course you need to approximately double any number that the Biden administration gives us in order to come up with a figure that is anywhere close to accurate. By now, just about everyone realizes that the rate of inflation in this country is massively understated.

For example, Joe Biden insists that the rate of inflation has been “low” for quite some time, but home prices have risen by more than 47 percent since the start of this decade…"Home prices have surged 47.1% since the start of 2020, easily outstripping the gains seen in recent decades. That’s according to a recent analysis by ResiClub of the Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which showed that house prices in the 1990s and 2010s grew a respective 30.1% and 44.7%."

Let’s all be honest with one another. The truth is that we are in the midst of a raging cost of living crisis that has no end in sight. And this should not surprise any of us. Our politicians continue to borrow and spend trillions upon trillions of dollars, and all of this borrowing and spending is extremely inflationary…

An economic specter haunts America. It’s also one that many American politicians – Republican and Democrat – say a great deal about but are reluctant to address. The name of that shadow is the United States National Debt: what the US Treasury Department defines as “the amount of money the Federal Government has borrowed to cover the outstanding balance of expenses incurred over time.”

If you go to the Treasury’s website, you can see just how big that debt is. In mid-May, it was 34.5 trillion dollars. The pace of the growth in that debt is equally stunning. Approximately 1 trillion dollars is being added to America’s National Debt every 100 days. Borrowing and spending another trillion dollars every 100 days is a completely and utterly insane thing to do. We really are in the endgame. Real time data of national debt:

Earlier this week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned that interest rates may have to stay high for an extended period of time in order to fight inflation…"Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday that “it may take longer than expected” for high interest rates to lower inflation and gave no hint that a recently slowing labor market could mean earlier rate cuts. “We’ll need to be patient and let restrictive policy do its work,” Powell said during a session at a Foreign Bankers Association meeting in Amsterdam. “It may be that (high interest rates) take longer than expected to do its work and bring inflation down.”

So far, higher rates have not solved our cost of living crisis, and that is because our politicians continue to spend money like drunken sailors. But higher rates are crushing the overall economy.

Yesterday, I wrote about the “restaurant apocalypse” that is starting to sweep across America. This week, it got even worse. We just learned that at least 99 Red Lobster locations have been shut down and will be auctioned off…"At least 99 locations of Red Lobster are being auctioned off amid questions about the stalwart seafood chain’s long-term future.

In a post Monday on LinkedIn, Neal Sherman, founder and CEO of TAGeX Brands, a liquidation firm, announced he was leading the closure of more than 50 Red Lobster locations, with the restaurants’ equipment to be auctioned off. A web page dedicated to the liquidations showed closure locations across the U.S. including in Denver; Indianapolis; Rochester, New York; Sacramento, California; San Antonio; and San Diego."

On Tuesday, Restaurant Business Magazine reported 99 locations were closing. For the Red Lobster workers that just lost their jobs, the end came very suddenly…"A third Red Lobster employee took the news in stride, posting: ‘red lobster just laid all of us off without notice and closed for good LMAOO.’ The employee added in replied that Red Lobster didn’t tell managers until 8am yesterday.

Of course it isn’t just restaurant chains that are closing locations. In fact, even Walmart is closing stores and auctioning off inventory…"After announcing that it would be shutting its doors for good, one Ohio Walmart auctioned off its remaining inventory, including flat-screen televisions, laptops and furniture, for a bargain. The Walmart at 3579 S. High St. in Columbus opted not to renew its lease in a once-bustling strip plaza. Representatives announced the closure in February, claiming the store had failed to ‘meet financial expectations’. Last week, the store offloaded its merchandise through a liquidation auction. Bidding closed the morning of May 10, with some items like laptops going for under $20."

If interest rates stay high, we are going to see a lot more of this sort of thing. But the Federal Reserve is very hesitant to cut rates at this point because of the cost of living crisis. Officials at the Fed really are caught in a “deer in the headlights” moment right now. But no matter which way they ultimately choose to go, in the short-term more “stagflation” is ahead. And in the long-term, the exceedingly foolish policies that our leaders have been pursuing are going to result in a systemic collapse of absolutely epic proportions."

Dan, I Allegedly, "1 in 5 Are Financially Doomed!"

Full screen recommended.
Dan, I Allegedly, 5/17/24
"1 in 5 Are Financially Doomed!"
"Today, we're diving into a shocking reality: 1 in 5 Americans are financially doomed! With credit card debt skyrocketing by $117 billion in 2024 alone, the financial landscape is looking grim. Inflation is out of control, and everyday expenses are pushing people to their limits. Restaurants are closing, and it's getting harder to make ends meet."
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Adventures With Danno, "Massive Price Increases At Dollar General!"

Full screen recommended.
Adventures With Danno, AM 5/17/24
"Massive Price Increases At Dollar General!"
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Manwhile, elsewhere...
Full screen recommended.
Travelling With Russia
"Russian Typical (7-Eleven Style) Supermarket: Eurospar"
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"How It Really Is"


Bill Bonner, "Organic Corruption"

"Organic Corruption"
​​This is a natural, organic kind of corruption, a normal part of life. 
Like gray hair or age spots, it can be creamed over. But the decay continues below.​
by Bill Bonner

Dublin, Ireland - "What a wonderful, wacky world. The Dow crossed the 40,000 mark yesterday. But, adjusted for inflation, it is still well below a genuine, new all-time high. If we’re right, stocks will become less valuable in the years ahead, in real terms, not more valuable. We’ll see. And there’s something funny about it... something phony... that we’re trying to understand. Are our companies really becoming more profitable? If real wages aren’t really going up, where are the buyers coming from? Is the nation really getting richer? Still not clear what is going on, we’ll keep plodding forward, looking at how corruption is self-limiting... and what it means.

William Pesek in the Asia Times, writing on Tuesday: "This week, Biden will unveil plans to quadruple taxes on Chinese electric vehicle (EV) imports and slap huge tariffs on other key industries. The new levies on mainland EVs will reportedly skyrocket to 102.5%. Other priority industries could see tariffs double or triple." It’s Biden’s latest ploy to out-Trump Trump, and ultimately a losing ticket in terms of raising American living standards. It also risks provoking China to retaliate in ways that backfire on US consumers and investors. Trying to out-Trump Trump may not be a wise move. But it follows the familiar pattern of corruption... making things worse for nearly everyone.

Michael J. Hicks comments: "Today’s tariff announcements will raise prices for consumer goods in the months to come." Of course, they will. But why raise consumer prices? Because consumers won’t realize it until after the election?? And in the meantime, there are powerful special interests - the auto industry and the United Auto Workers - who would like to be protected from competition.? And Michigan just happens to be one of the ‘swing states’ that will determine the election’s outcome? Just askin’...

In the long run, protecting US automakers from competition will almost guarantee that Detroit’s EVs will never be competitive. And so... say goodbye to another US industry.

‘We Think, They Sweat’: But wait, bending steel (as in, making autos) is an ‘old’ industry; it’s something for other countries, not us, isn’t it? We think, they sweat, right? But what if the product of so much thinking isn’t so smart after all?

For illustration, let us turn back to Ukraine, where bending steel is extremely popular right now. The Russians bend it around tanks, and guns, and artillery shells... and seem to be winning the war. A question: how come ‘the West’ cannot win... even when the adversary is outnumbered (in GDP terms) 30 to 1? The US and its allies have 30 times the GDP of Russia. And yet, it is the Russkies who are gaining ground, not America’s proxy warriors. As we will explore next week, maybe bending steel is important after all... and maybe much of America’s stock market... its GDP... its ‘wealth’... and its military power is as phony as its fake dollar.

Recall that back in May 2022, Zelensky and Putin almost had a deal to end the war. Last month Foreign Affairs magazine published the results of its investigation into how the peace deal got derailed. Kit Klarenberg reports that it failed because: “British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offer[ed] President Volodymyr Zelenskyy the blankest of blank cheques to keep fighting.” The US and its allies wanted to keep the war going. They said it ‘weakened Russia.’ There has been no evidence of that; Russia has actually grown stronger, economically and militarily. But one thing NATO aid accomplished for sure was to move more of the public’s wealth to the firepower industry and its many fans in Congress and the media.

​​This is a natural, organic kind of corruption... a normal part of life. Like gray hair or age spots, it can be creamed over... but the decay continues below.​ And now, victory seems unattainable. But the Biden team surely won’t permit a settlement now... not before the November election. It would be bad ‘optics’ for the re-election campaign. Alas, more Ukrainians and Russians will have to die to keep the chimera of victory alive.

​​Looking more closely, we see that the Pentagon and its firepower industry partners prefer big budgets. They also prefer expensive, sophisticated weapons; the margins are bigger... the follow-up ‘support’ and ‘training’ and ‘maintenance’ bills are bigger... and when they fail, which is often, the replacements are another huge source of profit.​

National security concerns take second place. Andrew Cockburn: "Successive “game changing” systems - such as the Switchblade drone, the M-1 Abrams tank, Patriot air defense missiles, the M777 howitzer, the HIMARS precision missile, GPS-guided bombs, and Skydio drones endowed with artificial intelligence, were all dispatched to “the fight,” as the military like to call it, with fanfare and high expectations. All were destined to fail... The $60,000 Switchblade drone, produced in limited numbers due to cost, proved useless against armored targets and was quickly discarded by Ukrainian troops in favor of $700 Chinese commercial models ordered online. The $10 million Abrams tank not only proved distressingly vulnerable to Russian attack drones but in any case broke down repeatedly and was soon withdrawn from combat..."

Gustav C. Gressel adds detail: "This is why Ukraine holds back the heaviest western fighting equipment like the M1 Abrams main battle tank. It is too heavy, and if it gets stuck in the mud, recovering this vehicle takes too long, and necessitates the assistance of at least two other main battle tanks. Such an assembly would be immediately targeted by the Russians."

The corruption that leads Washington to misspend money it doesn’t actually have leads it to undermine the ‘services’ - such as national security - that it is supposed to provide. It also seems to distort the whole economy into a strange, unnatural thing - like a sinister lover, who flatters her victim, and leads him to his ruin. More to come..."

Jim Kunstler, "An Urgent Matter"

"An Urgent Matter"
by Jim Kunstler

“If the government can suspend your rights anytime it deems 
something is a crisis, you don’t have rights. You have permissions.” 
- “Pismo” on “X”

"While our country sleepwalks through the deadly aftermath of the evil Covid-19 operation, the World Health Organization (WHO) puts the final touches on a nice bit of f*ckery called its Pandemic Treaty on International Health Regulations (IHR) or “One Health” initiative, a Globalist power grab disguised in the saintly white robes of public health medicine. The agreement, to be finalized at the end of this month, will cede what’s left of your liberty to this unelected bureaucracy for the sake of global “equity and inclusivity,” meaning more lockdowns, constant surveillance, forced “vaccinations,” restrictions on medications, and censorship of anyone who voices a contrary opinion of these actions.

Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s Covid-19 all over again, a second crack at controlling everything you do and every choice you might make by a cabal of governments and corporations, in other words, an international gang of fascists. The WHO is an agency of the United Nations, run out of Switzerland. You might recall this is the same place where the World Economic Forum (the WEF, a.k.a. “Davos”) has its headquarters. For years, the WEF has been issuing blueprints for a techno-fascist global regime under which, they state baldly, “you will own nothing and be happy.” (And eat bugs.)

These birds are not kidding around, though anyone can see the megalomania on display, the grandiose will-to-power that seeks to subjugate the plebes of the world - and radically decrease our numbers - so that a remaining tiny elite can enter into a post-modern, techno-transhuman utopia uncluttered with us “useless eaters.” The corporate money and organizational mojo out of Davos is behind what amounts to a homicidal racketeering scheme masquerading as disease prevention.

Of course, the pharmaceutical companies are front-and-center in the mix. They stand to make hundreds of billions of dollars distributing their mandated “vaccines” - which, you know by now, will not be properly tested, and, as currently being demonstrated by the Covid shots, are covertly designed to kill as many people as possible over a long period of time by switching off the natural defenses of your immune system, guaranteeing bewilderment and compliance by the hoodwinked masses. This might sound like a paranoid sci-fi movie, but, alas, the first phase has already happened starting in 2020. And since the pharma companies provide most of the advertising revenue for cable news media, you have been successfully mind-f*cked into not seeing what is going on all around you: a whole lot of sickness and death.

Fortunately, it is the nature of megalomania that it always thinks too highly of its power and reaches too far. For one thing, this WHO “treaty” has to be signed by its member nations. Not all of them are eager to do that. One was Slovakia, who’s prime minister, Robert Fico, was gunned down a few days after he announced his country would opt out. The coterie of the USA behind the senile and incompetent “Joe Biden,” is avid to sign us onto the treaty, largely because much of global Big Pharma operates out of our country, and rents so many members of Congress, especially most of the Democratic Party.

Under the US Constitution, the president can’t follow through on an international treaty without the Senate’s approval by two-thirds of its members. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has been the most active figure in that body investigating the crimes of the Covid-19 op and organizing votes against the treaty, which he declares to be all 49 Republican senators. Thus, there can be no two-thirds majority ratification of the WHO treaty.

But note that the shadow government running “Joe Biden” has been doing all kinds of things in overt defiance of the Constitution and the rulings of the US Supreme Court on what is permissible under the Constitution, for instance, cancelling colossal sums of college loan debt. The “Joe Biden” regime is lawless. Anyone following the malicious prosecutions of candidate Donald Trump and the mass round-up of J-6 protestors can see how that works. So, you are advised to call and write your elected representatives in Congress to make sure that the executive branch (the White House and its agencies) gets the message: no deal on the WHO treaty.

There are other trends underway at this time that may assist us in escaping what amounts to a globalist coup d’état. One is that the economic and political crack-up of Western Civ is tending in the opposite direction of the extreme centralization of power that the WHO represents. Things are breaking down, especially things organized at the gigantic scale. Just look at the chaos overtaking corporatized doctor practices and conglomoratized hospitals in America. The corruption and degeneracy of national governments, with their colossal bureaucracies, has reached the stage that few among the people subject to them can fail to notice. That has sapped their legitimacy and prompted citizens to non-compliance with their increasingly insane diktats.

Under the Constitution, the duties not spelled out under federal authority are left to the states. Public health is one of these. Accordingly, the attorney-generals of twenty-two US states have declared their objection to the WHO treaty in a letter to “Joe Biden,” and their intent to ignore its commands. What remains to be seen is whether the Globalists can use a new engineered pathogen out of their many bioweapons labs to stir up another pandemic scare to terrorize the world population into being pushed around. Don’t doubt that they will try it, especially in a year when many nations will be holding elections. And don’t get fooled again when they do."