Friday, February 5, 2021

"How It Really Is"


"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, gun nuts 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."


Gregory Mannarino,

"The Fire This Time"

"The Fire This Time"
by Jim Kunstler

"Can’t we just all get along? No, apparently. Branding everyone to the right of Woke a “terrorist” and an “insurrectionist,” as is the style these days with the sore winner party, will probably not warm a whole lot of hearts and minds among the politically disenchanted. It comes with an odor of desperation, too, as if Joe Biden’s consolidated Deep State is so lacking in confidence, even in victory, that it can’t distinguish policy from punishment - and so the beatings will continue until morale improves.

Outside the razor-wired DC perimeter, with its bomb-proof bureaucracy, the economy is in freefall. This has not quite come to the attention of a new regime aroused over systemic racism and the pressing need to expand athletic opportunity for transsexuals. But an inferno is racing across the land like a prairie fire and the remaining American buffalo out there may be inclined to stampede before long. Can Ol’ White Joe hear their distant hoofbeats from the Oval office? Maybe not with Nancy Pelosi and AOC screaming in his ears.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 779,000 people filed for first-time unemployment the week ended January 30. The news media called that “a beat” because it was under the 830,000 expected. It’s been that way week-after-week this year of Covid-19. Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, the largest quarterly decline in the measure since the second quarter of 1981. Yes, forty years ago, when the US population was 226 million (it’s now 330 million). The stock market responded by smashing new all-time- highs. Bad “optics?”

How do you think the value of shares manages to go up, up, up, and away, day-after-day, while the value of the economic activity goes down, down, down day-after-day? Must be Modern Monetary Magic, like the Federal Reserve purchasing $80-billion a month in US Treasury bond issues and another $40-billion in mortgage-backed securities for a grand total of $140-billion a month. The real monetary magic, of course, is that it’s possible to have a Wall Street boom while the economy collapses. The nation’s assets have already been stripped, so where is all this “value” actually coming from? Answer: from the false expectation of enormous future American productivity. It’s false because it’s based on the creation of debt that can’t possibly be paid back…ever. It’s not based on investment in future productive enterprise.

The economy won’t be fixed by policy because the things that have to happen to fix it will be resisted to the death by the parasitical entities feeding on what little remains. For instance, Walmart. Do you think it’s unhealthy that all the profit in American commerce is funneled into Bentonville, Arkansas? It used to be distributed in hundreds of thousands of small businesses in tens of thousands of US towns and cities. What do you think will die first: Walmart or the organism its feeding on?

Since the dynamic at work is emergent and non-linear, other forces can come between these relationships and change things. We are already in conflict with China, the land that supplies most of the merchandise in Walmart. The conflict right now is mostly playing out in the capture of US corporate and cultural enterprise, and in cyberwarfare, and it’s liable to hotten up around the continued sovereignty of Taiwan (America’s China). It’s difficult to assign intentions to another country but it appears that China’s China wishes to cancel the USA as the fading hegemon on the world stage, at least neutralize us, and perhaps dominate us. Mr. Trump is no longer in place to resist that, and the country might be forced to consider all those deals that our new president, “China Joe” enjoyed from the Biden family’s business ventures there over the years.

Emergently, then, the Big Box business model could fail, and in fairly short order, which would at least give Americans a chance to self-reorganize the production and distribution of goods in our own country. It sure won’t be like 1957 again, but it would give an awful lot of idle people more to do when they get up in the morning. Wait for it, and plan accordingly.

In the meantime, we are treated to the sordid spectacle of Democratic Wokesters endeavoring to destroy what remains of American cultural life. It’s an incomparably stupid and malign distraction from the imperatives of this historical moment. They will not succeed in cancelling those who object to the systematic disassembly of our national language, myth, and meaning, even if we have to go back to the mimeograph machine to keep these things alive. They will not turn a republic into a psychopathic despotism. Politics, they say, is downstream from culture. Truth is the antidote to a culture of lies. The upcoming impeachment trial of former president Trump will be a showcase for that, and it may prove to be a hoax too far."

"And There Comes A Time..."

“Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

"What Will It Take?"

"What Will It Take?"
by Ray Jason

"Wake up, Humanity! What will it take before you snap out of your trance and realize that this Wuhan Virus “pandemic” is the most malicious fraud ever devised. It is the only psychological operation that has been attempted on a global scale. Even World War I and World War II did not bludgeon the entire planet.

What will it take before you realize that when the “experts” look into the TV cameras and tell you that this is about your health, they are lying. This is about submission and domination. This is about confusing you and demoralizing you and completely breaking your spirit. How else do you explain their latest gleeful atrocity… anal swabs.

Our Malignant Overlords have been carefully monitoring our reactions to this scamdemic, and they now believe that the masses are so docile that they will accept almost any level of degradation. The lunacy of detecting a respiratory ailment with a digestive system test, is obscenely absurd. It’s like treating constipation by putting a cast on somebody’s arm.

Perhaps being forced at an airport to bend over for “The Swab,” might be the “What will it take” moment. Maybe this perverted invasion of human privacy and dignity, will be the catalyst for a tsunami of justified resistance. Might the people finally arise and say, “We will no longer submit or comply or let you destroy us with your imaginary disease!”

But if it is “imaginary,” the Karens exclaim, how do you explain all of the WuFlu deaths? The answer is that they are the result of deliberate deception. The average “deaths per 1,000” numbers around the world did not increase in 2020. Had there truly been some ghastly plague, these figures would have been significantly higher.

The deaths attributed to C-19 are in fact “reclassification deaths.” Notice that influenza and pneumonia and tuberculosis have practically disappeared from the charts of annual deaths. Was this because miracle cures for all three of these were suddenly discovered?

No, it was because they were reported as WuVi deaths. And there were major financial incentives to do so. For example, in the U.S., if the death certificate said C-19 was the cause, the hospital would receive a government payment of tens of thousands of dollars. But they received zero for other respiratory diseases.

Another motivating factor for falsifying the death statistics, was the power that it granted to petty tyrants. Most people, due to their “decency bias,” have a difficult time believing that some humans are just born with the desire to dominate others.

Such damaged individuals seek careers that allow them to exercise that craving for power. Politics and bureaucracy offer immense opportunities to actualize their Napoleonic perversions. And the more soulless and ruthless they are, the higher they climb in the domination hierarchy.

I have found myself wondering what will it take so many times during the last year. Here are some examples that might have astounded you as well.

When the “two weeks to flatten the curve” turned into months and months and months. When the cheap and amazingly effective therapy using hydroxichloroquine was demonized and then banned in many places.

When 1,000s of years of medical protocols were forsaken in favor of a policy that locked-down everyone instead of the sick, the elderly and the vulnerable. When anyone questioning this medical strategy was ridiculed and silenced.

When masks were made mandatory, even though it actually says on the side of the box that such masks do not protect a person from viruses. When the experts started claiming in one voice that we would never return to “the Old Normal”… almost as though they had a secret agenda fully mapped out for us.

When even the transition to their “New Normal” became as shifting and dangerous as quicksand. They told us that when herd immunity was reached, the lock-downs and masks would be discarded. That was soon changed to when enough people were vaccinated. But then we were told that even after vaccinations, masks and lock-downs would still be required.

So, what will it take, before you realize that these people are stealing your freedom and your dignity and your future? Will the anal swabs finally jolt you into peaceful insurrection? Or will you just continue watching and believing your TVs… but from the bent-over position?"
An essential Must Read:

Musical Interlude: Flash And The Pan, "Hey, St Peter"

Flash And The Pan, "Hey, St Peter"

The Poet: Wendell Berry, "Circles of Our Lives"

"Circles of Our Lives"

"Within the circles of our lives
we dance the circles of the years,
the circles of the seasons
within the circles of the years,
the cycles of the moon
within the circles of the seasons,
the circles of our reasons
within the cycles of the moon.

Again, again we come and go,
changed, changing. Hands
join, unjoin in love and fear,
grief and joy. The circles turn,
each giving into each, into all.

Only music keeps us here,
each by all the others held.
In the hold of hands and eyes
we turn in pairs, that joining
joining each to all again.
And then we turn aside, alone,
out of the sunlight gone
into the darker circles of return."

- Wendell Berry

"Holding On To Something..."

Sam: "It's like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."

- Samwise Gamgee, 
"Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"


"Truth: the most deadly weapon ever discovered by humanity. 
Capable of destroying entire perceptual sets, cultures, and realities. 
Outlawed by all governments everywhere.
Possession is normally punishable by death."
- John Gilmore

A comment: According to statistics compiled by the UN, by the time the sun rises tomorrow morning 30,000 children world wide will have died overnight from malnutrition, disease, lack of potable water, and lack of basic medical care. That's every night, all year long, 30,000 children dying because no one cared. Trillions of dollars wasted on insane wars, economies destroyed by psychopathic greed, the environment dying in front of our eyes, and no one cares. No wonder Sir Arthur Conan Doyle described humanity as, "Poor silly half-brained things peering out at the infinite, with the aspirations of angels and the instincts of beasts." The "instincts of beasts" is evident for all to see... sometimes all this wears me down, and I look around, hoping to see the "aspirations of angels," hoping desperately that we can somehow awaken from the madness crushing us all, that together we can still rise above the despair and hopelessness and make a better world, where no child dies from hunger, where wars are a distant memory, where everyone can live full, dignified and honorable lives in peace. An impossible, hopeless struggle? Perhaps, but how dare we call ourselves "Human" if we don't try to make that vision real, in any way we can, no matter the price? A dream, you say? Yes, that's all it is... but without those dreams, those aspirations, all that's left is the "instincts of beasts", and we all see very clearly what those have brought this world to... - CP

Chet Raymo, “The Spark of Life”

“The Spark of Life”
by Chet Raymo

"In a previous post I quoted Teilhard de Chardin referring to the discovery of electromagnetic waves as a "prodigious biological event." A biological event? What could he mean? The universe was awash with electromagnetic waves long before life appeared on Earth, or anywhere else in the universe. The cosmic microwave background radiation- the residue of the big bang- is electromagnetic. Starlight is an electromagnetic wave. You can "discover" electromagnetic waves by opening your eyes.

Of course, what Teilhard referred to was the conscious control of electromagnetic radiation by sentient biological creatures. Electromagnetic waves were predicted theoretically by the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1864, as he played with equations describing electric and magnetic fields. Then, twenty-two years later, electromagnetic waves were experimentally demonstrated by Heinrich Hertz, who in effect made the first radio broadcast and reception. At Hertz's transmitter a spark jumped back and forth between two metal spheres 50 million times a second. Across the room a similar spark was instantly produced at the receiver. Invisible electrical energy had passed through space at the speed of light.

A spark dancing between two spheres- an unpretentious beginning for the age of radio, television, mobile phones and wireless internet. That first transmitter and receiver had a basement-workshop simplicity about them. Hertz demonstrated the nature of electromagnetic waves with constructions of wood, brass and sealing wax.

Wood, brass, sealing wax and conscious intelligence. Here on Earth- perhaps throughout the universe- stardust gave rise to living slime. The slime complexified, became conscious. Invented mathematics, experimental science. Caused sparks to jump between metal spheres. Sent the signature of biological activity across a room. Across a planet. Across the universe."

"Needed: A 'Reality Czar'?”

"Needed: A 'Reality Czar'?”
by Brian Maher

"The United States confronts a “reality crisis.” This we know because The New York Times - the Newspaper of Record - informs us it does. Subversive conspiracies are amok. The internet is a sewer of disinformation...Some even call the infallibility of the New York Times into question… as some heretics still call the infallibility of the Pope into question.

The results are atrocious. Times technology reporter, Mr. Kevin Roose: "In the past year alone, we have seen conspiracy theorists cause Covid-19 vaccine delays, sabotage a wildfire response and engineer a false election fraud narrative. We have also seen that if left unchecked, networked conspiracy theories and online disinformation campaigns can lead to offline violence, as they did during last month’s deadly Capitol riot…"

Democracy itself dangles in the balance: "Unless the Biden administration treats conspiracy theories and disinformation as the urgent threats they are, our parallel universes will only drift further apart, and the potential for violent unrest and civic dysfunction will only grow."

A “Reality Czar”: As toxic chemicals poison a body, conspiracies and disinformation poison a democracy. What - then - is to be done? The drug crisis required a drug czar. The climate crisis requires a climate czar… And so the reality crisis requires a reality czar… to flush the demon toxins that poison American democracy. Mr. Roose: "Several experts I spoke with recommended that the Biden administration put together a cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism, which would be led by something like a “reality czar.”

This Roose fellow concedes a reality czar “sounds a little dystopian.” He hears the shade of George Orwell razzing him. The very thought of it tortures him. But the nation is down with a dire disorder - a reality crisis. And the needs of the hour are the needs of the hour. The hour needs the man. They will revoke his czarship once the crisis blows through… as wartime powers are lifted once the war winds blow through.

Here is why we need him today: The government’s approach to disinformation and domestic extremism is scattered. It lacks direction... focus… thrust. It is a dull blade. A reality czar must therefore sharpen the point: Right now, these experts said, the federal government’s response to disinformation and domestic extremism is haphazard and spread across multiple agencies, and there’s a lot of unnecessary overlap.

Do you question the experts?

Americans Need a Reality Check: The Daily Reckoning is heart and soul for reality. Each day we face reality with unflinching stoicism… and a stiff top lip. Thus we throw in for a reality czar. Too many Americans harbor deluded and fantastical beliefs. They must be shaken by the shoulders… set to rights… and returned to their senses. You may believe it or you may not believe it... but many among us reject these bedrock facts:

• That the stock market is a mirror of the economy. That it “discounts the future.” That the stock market booms because the future is flush. That fundamentals are king…
• That stocks - like redwoods - can grow to the sky…
• That “buy and hold” is the royal road to stock market riches...
• That the Federal Reserve exerts little gravity upon the stock market.
• That the same Federal Reserve can and should dictate the value of money for hundreds of millions of independent economic actors. That it should dictate the price of time itself...
• That bow-tied experts from ivied institutions can repeal the iron laws of economics...
• That negative interest rates are positives.

Again - there are primitives among us who reject these obvious realities. As well deny the nose upon the face, you say. Yet nothing goes home. These are impenetrable hunks of granite.

More Abominations: They may even deny the obvious fact that Washington axed the cherry tree… or that spacemen constructed the pyramids of Giza. But horror succeeds horror. For example, these fantasists further deny the truths that:

• Deficits do not matter…
• That gold is a relic truly barbarous…
• That prosperity springs from the printing press, that money and wealth are identical twins, to have money is to have wealth.

Can you believe the dullards? Should they mention the hyperinflations of Venezuela or Weimar Germany, please turn a deaf ear. What is more, they deny that rising consumer prices are economically healthful...

• That diluting the purchasing power of money yields more money, that adding water to milk equals more milk…
• That a nation indebted is a nation enriched… that a nation sunk in debt is risen in wealth…
• That the individual is a dunce, yet 300 million dunces glued together are Einstein. That is, there are dolts among us who fail to perceive democracy’s obvious genius.

We could continue. But mercy forbids it. You have had enough. But lo, a shaft of sunlight penetrates the gloom. Reality may prevail yet…

Dangerous Algorithms: The “Protecting Americans From Dangerous Algorithms Act” was introduced in October. No greater menace exists than dangerous algorithms. The desperately needed legislation would, in Mr. Roose’s telling: "Remove large tech platforms’ legal immunity for violent or violence-inciting content that their feed-ranking and recommendation systems amplified, while preserving their immunity for other user-generated content".

Thus you would be protected from dangerous algorithms. With God’s grace, this legislation will clear all hurdles. But the legislative process is lengthy. Tangled. Fraught. The nation cannot wait. It needs its reality czar immediately.

The question next arises: Who should bear the title? We can immediately eliminate Mr. John Kerry from consideration. He is occupied czaring the climate. Hillary Clinton? Bill Clinton? Robert Mueller? James Comey? Additional candidates spring to mind... Rudolph Giuliani? Sidney Powell? John Bolton? Perhaps… Donald Trump? We are spoiled for choice. Yet we trust President Biden will tap the right man’s shoulder. Much is at stake. We must resolve to end this reality crisis afflicting American democracy… even if it requires an undemocratic czar..."

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Stars are sometimes born in the midst of chaos. About 3 million years ago in the nearby galaxy M33, a large cloud of gas spawned dense internal knots which gravitationally collapsed to form stars. NGC 604 was so large, however, it could form enough stars to make a globular cluster. 
Many young stars from this cloud are visible in the above image from the Hubble Space Telescope, along with what is left of the initial gas cloud. Some stars were so massive they have already evolved and exploded in a supernova. The brightest stars that are left emit light so energetic that they create one of the largest clouds of ionized hydrogen gas known, comparable to the Tarantula Nebula in our Milky Way's close neighbor, the Large Magellanic Cloud.”

Gregory Mannarino, Post Market 2/4/21: "Today The Stock Market Hits New Record Highs As The Economy Freefalls"

"Down the rabbit hole of psychopathic greed and insanity...
Only the consequences are real - to you!
Your guide:
Gregory Mannarino, Post Market 2/4/21:
"Today The Stock Market Hits New 
Record Highs As The Economy Freefalls"

Must Watch! “Stock Market Euphoria Ignores Reality; Big Trouble Coming; Inevitable Is Imminent; Debt Crisis”

Jeremiah Babe,
“Stock Market Euphoria Ignores Reality; 
Big Trouble Coming; Inevitable Is Imminent; Debt Crisis”

"Dumbing Down"

"Dumbing Down"
By Bill Bonner

WEST RIVER, MARYLAND – "Bits and bobs, as the English say, while we’re “on the road” again. Today, we ramble… We forget what we were talking about… We get distracted… Our stay in the USA has been enjoyable. We saw a few friends, a few colleagues, and a few family members. But mostly, we kept to ourselves, social distancing – which suits us… and which seems to be “The Way We Live Now.” We’ve been here for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years, Epiphany… We even had a snow holiday. The grandchildren came over to go sledding down the hill. And we gathered in front of the kitchen fire for tea and hot chocolate… bouncing children on our knee…

Age of Zoom: But what does a Hallmark granddad do in the Age of Zoom? So much of our lives – business and pleasure – now takes place via the internet… A news report this week told us that Santa Fe, New Mexico, had become such a prized “Zoom Land” that the local people were being priced out of the real estate market there. Grandparents are moving in! That may be true of a lot of places. But not where we’re going…

The U.S. State Department says to “reconsider” travel plans to Nicaragua. But we’re going anyway. We want to see what happens to a travel resort when nobody is traveling. (For newer readers, every year, we like to spend some time at our holiday home in Rancho Santana, a resort and residential community in Nicaragua.) But what about the people who aren’t traveling – families who want a good place to Zoom from?

A young friend framed our research: “I spend $40,000 a year to put my two girls in private schools in Baltimore. I can’t send them to public school because the schools in Baltimore are terrible. And I live in Baltimore because my job is there. But I don’t go into the office anymore. The company wants me to ‘commute’ via Zoom. I spend almost all day on it… I could move to Rancho Santana… send my girls to the school on the ranch… keep working as usual… and go surfing in the evening. We’d save $40,000 a year on school fees. I can rent a house on the beach for less than that.”

Reload: Meanwhile, news from Washington tells us that the feds are reloading. They shot the nation in the foot with their War on Terror… then in the head with their Wall Street bailout… and then in the heart with their “stimmy” checks for everyone. But so long as this economy still has a pulse, they’ll keep shooting.

Remember, as we said yesterday, the Big Story of the 21st century is the grand delusion offered by trillions of dollars of fake money… and the subsequent real-world, real-time butt-kicking Americans will get as a result. We’re just in the early stages. But the story is developing as expected. Here’s Business Insider:

"Senate Democrats on Tuesday took the first step to secure the passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue package, advancing a budget resolution in a maneuver that could allow them to approve it without any Republican support. It was a 50-49 party-line vote. Every Democratic senator supported it, and all Republicans were united in their opposition. GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania was absent. “We’re not going to dilute, dither, or delay because the needs of the American people are just too great,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said at a news conference before the vote. “Time is of the essence.”

Don’t ask any questions, in other words, just print. But who could believe in such a miracle? That fake dollars, printed up by the Federal Reserve, could somehow transform themselves into new cars, new houses, vacations, gourmet meals, and memberships at the Mar-a-Lago country club? And if this is true, why didn’t somebody think of it sooner?

Well, because it’s idiotic. But just because it is stupid doesn’t mean it is unpopular. And there’s a line of research that helps explain why…

Outside Brain: For many years, psychologists have warned that heavy use of digital media – Facebook, Twitter, etc. – could make people dumber. Now, there’s a French savant, whose name we forgot to memorize, who says that recent testing shows IQ levels are falling in many countries. This will be the first generation ever to test lower on standardized IQ tests than its parents, he says.

We thought this was impossible. Reading the news… watching the “insurrection” at the Capitol… listening to the opinions of the “influencers”… and observing the leadership of the politicians – we figured IQs were already at some cyclical bottom. Sad to think that they may go lower still.

But a growing number of intelligence testers and psychologists believe that cellphones and iPads actually weaken the brain. One explanation: People just don’t have to think so hard anymore. Every problem has a solution – just a click or a tap away. No need to figure it out yourself. No need to memorize facts, phone numbers, or directions. No need to do math. All you have to do is learn to use your “outside brain” – your enhanced, hand-held telephone.

Cartoon Education: We watched our grandson going to “school” online yesterday. The teacher gamely tried to keep the children on the Zoom call focused on their schoolwork. But it was almost impossible to hold a six-year-old’s attention over the internet. He only really paid attention when she put on an “educational” video that looked more like entertainment – or indoctrination – than real education. It featured cartoon figures… and a storyline almost indistinguishable from other kids’ shows.

Whatever else may be said about the COVID-19 school shutdowns, it should be added that they have probably taken a few IQ points off the next generation. “The kids only do this for a couple hours a day,” our daughter explained. “They’re supposed to go back to school physically later this month. The school requires masks, of course, and has the kids sitting at desks with plastic barriers between them.” “Sounds like child abuse,” we opined."

Musical Interlude: Richard Harris, "MacArthur Park"

Richard Harris, "MacArthur Park"

Oriah Mountain Dreamer, "The Invitation"

"The Invitation"

"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have
become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful,
to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself;
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul;
if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty,
every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair,
weary and bruised to the bone,
and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like
the company you keep in the empty moments."

- Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Tecumseh, "Live Your Life...:

"Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about his religion.
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting
or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Touch not the poisonous firewater that makes
wise ones turn to fools and robs their spirit of its vision.
When your time comes to die, be not like those
whose hearts are filled with fear of death,
so that when their time comes they weep and pray
for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home."

- Tecumseh, Shawnee

“A Short Course in Get-a-Life Science”

“A Short Course in Get-a-Life Science”
by Lore Sjöberg

“There are about 250 million U.S. internet users, according to something I read on the internet, and about a quarter of them use discussion boards, according to something I read on some discussion board. And yet, I’m not seeing much evidence that the corpus of comments clogging the commons is going to produce the next Bertrand Russell, or for that matter the next Nipsey Russell.

There seems to be a certain desperation in the tone of your typical bile-posting poster child. They obsessively stomp from site to site, from article to article, fuming and chafing to share their opinion with the world. Oddly enough, often as not that opinion is “get a life.” I’m not exactly sure what “a life” is in this context, but it’s apparently impossible to capture on video, because I’ve never seen a YouTube comment saying, “Ah, this person truly has a life! Good show!” I was, however, able to isolate the Three Laws of Getting a Life:

1. Life is inversely proportional to time: People who need to get a life invariably, according to online comments, have too much time on their hands.

2. The best way to tell that someone lacks a life is that they are doing something just because they want to. This strikes me as a bit like defining “starvation” as “a bellyfull of homemade ice cream with chocolate sauce,” but you can’t argue with science.

3. Life-deficit is communicable. If you tell someone to get a life, that will often inspire a third party to impress upon you the importance of a life, and your current lack of same.

This led me to wonder: Who has less of a life, the person who needs to get a life, or the person who says “get a life” to the person who needs to get a life?

According to the Second Law, the more self-indulgent and less practical an activity, the less of a life the participant has. While skydiving in a Bulbasaur costume is clearly both fun and pointless, it does require some sacrifice (hours spent sewing, plane rental fees) and it has some benefits (free drinks, casual sex with Pokégroupies). By comparison, telling someone to “get a life” is as easy as it is useless. But then, telling someone who just told someone “get a life” to get a life is clearly even more pointless. That implies that life-deficity can increase infinitely. Shouldn’t there be a lower limit where one has no life at all? (Or, to be more exact, where one has only zero-point life due to quantum fluctuation?)

That’s when it struck me, an insight worthy of a Hendrik Lorentz or a Florence Henderson: Needing to get a life isn’t the result of lacking life; life is the result of lacking the need to get a life! The scales were lifted from my eyes and set back in the eye-scale cabinet. Of course! If you spend every waking minute of your limited lifespan doing something drearily important, then you don’t have an abundance of life, you have zero “get-a-life.”

On the other hand, as I’ve learned from either chaos theory or Elliott Smith lyrics, meaninglessness is infinite. There’s always a way to make your actions more pointless and less purposeful. This is easily proven: If you post “Get a life!” you need to get a life less than someone who posts “Get a life!!” Thus, adding an exclamation point makes any activity more, well, pointless. Because there’s an infinite supply of exclamation points (at least according to classical typographic theory), there is no limit to the amount of get-a-life one can reach.

The Universal Get-a-Life Formula: I’ll be publishing the details of my work in an upcoming issue of “The Journal of Cretinology and Loser Science,” but suffice to say I have worked out the Universal Get-a-Life Formula. Here it is:

g’ = (g + 1)cue

…where g is the amount of get-a-life of the individual being commented on, c is the number of words in the comment that suggests that that individual get a life, u is the number of all-uppercase words in the comment, e is the number of exclamation points in the comment and g’ is the resulting amount of get-a-life exhibited by the commenter.

I have arbitrarily decided on Tron Guy as the international standard for one unit of get-a-life. Thus, by definition, Tron Guy has a get-a-life factor of 1 TrG. Most people who spend less than an hour a day using the internet have a get-a-life factor of 0.2 to 0.4 TrG. Charlie Sheen, by comparison, tops out at 6.351 TrG.

Now say someone using the handle “halokillr” visits a video of Tron Guy — or a photo of Tron Guy, or an article about Tron Guy — and leaves the following comment: “GET A LIFE!!!!! ha ha SO DUMB and y r u DOING?!?!!!” According to my calculations, halokillr now boasts a get-a-life factor of 212 times 69, or just over 41 billion.

I await my Nobel Prize.”