Monday, July 6, 2015

"How It Really Is"

The Economy: Greg Hunter, “Gregory Mannarino: Frankenstein Debt Monster Has Peaked”

“Gregory Mannarino: Frankenstein Debt Monster Has Peaked”
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

“Stock trader Gregory Mannarino says Greece is the tip of the debt iceberg. Mannarino explains, “Never in history have we been so overwhelmed and buried underneath a mountain of debt. I believe we are at a top in regard to the debt. What does this mean? We could see a domino effect where all this starts cascading down and correct to fair market value. It will, whether it’s today, tomorrow or next week. There is no way out of it, and that is what people need to keep in mind.”

Mannarino goes on to say, “I think people are being distracted by the mainstream media saying this is just a Greek problem or this is just a Puerto Rico problem. This is a global problem. It is insurmountable. It can never be paid back in any possible way. It’s too huge. It’s the mechanism of the system that simply demands the relentless acquisition of debt in perpetuity. Once we admit we can’t borrow anymore, we have a debt crisis. That is what we are seeing here. How are they trying to fix it? The same old way by fueling it with debt. All this is doing is growing the Frankenstein, the monster of debt even larger.”

The take away here from Mannarino is the days of ever expanding debt are numbered.  Mannarino contends, “The system is ending, and we are going to see a massive correction in bond yields.  Debt is going to reprice itself to fair market value, and that is going to change the spectrum of every asset class because every asset class is based off of the bond market. The bond market is going to light up. What do I mean by that?  We are going to see a spike in bond yields. The entire system is based on the premise that it will function on confidence. It’s a belief that the system will work. Once that confidence is shaken, then it’s party over, that’s it. So, we have confidence in the financial system now being shaken. We have the credibility of central banks being put on the line by the central bank of central bankers. Once the confidence is lost, it is party over and that is really what the issue is here with Greece.”

Think the US is in good shape?  Mannarino says, “The US is in debt beyond the point of beyond. We are all going to be facing this issue here. This is a global problem that has no solution. There is no way you can continue to inflate the debt and the problem be fixed. Again, it is the mechanism of the system that is being called into question, and I believe we have to be close.  Just look at the writing on the wall everywhere.”

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Gregory Mannarino of TradersChoice.net. (There is much more in the video interview.)”

The Economy: "The Next Stage in the Global Monetary Crisis..."

"The Next Stage in the Global Monetary Crisis..."
by Bill Bonner

London, England – “Over the weekend… it rained! As we predicted, the Greeks voted against their creditors’ conditions for further aid. When you ask a debtor if he’d prefer not to pay, what else would you expect? And imagine what would happen if he had never gotten the money in the first place. When government elites borrow, the money rarely gets to the voters. Small wonder they don’t want to pay the bills. 

So, Europe holds its breath, waiting to see what will happen next. We are sitting in the lounge at the Hilton Hotel in London, having just flown over from the U.S. An airport TV tells us “Markets Fall.” (More on this below in Market Insight…)  And in China, the stock market has lost nearly 30% in the last three weeks – wiping out $3 trillion in “wealth” that never really existed. 

Pulling Strings and Plotting Chicanery: Earlier in Baltimore… A drum-and-fife group marched up Charles Street in the pouring rain. Dressed in 19th-century military uniforms, they made their way to the crowd waiting at the Washington Monument in the heart of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon district. It was Independence Day. Young and old gathered under umbrellas. Banners proclaimed the bicentennial of the monument. 

The day before the celebration we had gotten a private tour. The monument is a marvel of masonry. A vaulted foundation of brick and stone supports the central shaft. There are 225 steps from bottom to top. Recognizing the contributions of his trade, the head of the local Masonic lodge was handed the microphone to blab the usual felicitations. He was dressed in a black outfit, with medals aplenty and a top hat. Having no familiarity with the Freemasons, we weren’t sure whether his garb was current or antique. 

“You’d never see anything like this in France,” whispered Elizabeth. “You mean his uniform?” “No… I mean a Freemason at a government event.” The Freemasons are feared and despised in France. They are believed to be in league with the devil… or worse – the Anglo-Saxons! Like the Bilderberg Group or the Council on Foreign Relations, in France the Freemasons are thought to be pulling strings and plotting chicanery. How that distinguishes them from Democrats and Republicans, we don’t know. But when the hidden danger stepped down, the obvious one took the podium: Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. 

Mountains of Debt: “She so completely mishandled the riots,” said a friend. “She’s working hard to redeem herself.” Politicians ensure reelection by giving away things that don’t belong to them. They dedicate a bridge, built with stolen money. They promise lavish pensions to firemen and policemen – and pay for them by squeezing the pensions of bakers and bricklayers. 

But political redemption is based mostly on amnesia... and debt. After a few years of dedicating monuments and bribing public employees, most people will have forgotten the dirty dealing and civic disasters. And heavy borrowing allows them to push the cost onto people with no memories at all – many of whom aren’t even born yet. By the time the bills come payable, most people have forgotten who contracted them or what they were for. 

The renovation of the Washington Monument takes place once every 100 years. This was the first monument built to honor George Washington. Built in 1815, it was begun with private financing; later, the state of Maryland helped out. As far as we know, no debt was involved. 

But today, debt is everywhere… mountains of it. And the more it rains bad news, the greater the danger of mudslides and avalanches. “Governor pushes for bankruptcy as default could still be a reality,” USA Today informed us last week. It was not talking about Greece, but about another small economy – this one under the protection of the United States of America. 

Puerto Rico has plenty of debt too. Here’s how colleague Chris Lowe described it last week: "The situation in Puerto Rico is 100 times more worrying for U.S. investors than Greece. The governor of Puerto Rico says the island’s $73 billion in debt is “not payable”… and that it’s in a “death spiral” as a result. That amount is more than 70% of Puerto Rico’s GDP. For perspective, there’s not a single state in the U.S. with debt of more than 20% of its GDP. Also, Puerto Rico’s debt load is about half of the entire debt of the state of California… even though the population of Puerto Rico is only one-tenth the size."

Small potatoes? So is Greece. But that’s the problem with a mudslide. You never know which drop of rain will set it off."

Rightwing Nuthouse: “5 Despicable Right-Wing Moments This Week"

“5 Despicable Right-Wing Moments This Week:
 Bill O’Reilly's Stupidest Statement Ever”
by Janet Allon

"1. Bill O’Reilly and colossal jackass colleague humiliate homeless people to score political points. Bill O’Reilly does not like “ultra-liberal” New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, and this week he demonstrated that there is no low to which he will not go to make up bad shit about the mayor. In a despicable segment, O’Reilly sent smarmy young reporter Jesse Watters to stroll around Penn Station, shove microphones into homeless people's faces and ask them where they slept and whether they had drinking problems. This was not about humanizing a population that needs help and kindness; it was about exposing them as the supposed con artists O’Reilly and Fox demand the public see them as.

After about five minutes of barraging various down-on-their-luck people with rude questions, Watters got some mostly white commuters to say how scary the homeless people are. He had to ask one little girl repeatedly, because at first she expressed some compassion for the homeless. Watters returned to the studio to discuss his findings and how this is all de Blasio’s fault. Homeless people knew their place under Giuliani and Bloomberg, O'Reilly and Watters agreed.

“In Penn Station, you’re not allowed to loiter, sleep on the floor, or panhandle,” Watters said. “These violations should get you either kicked out, fined, or thrown in jail.” O’Reilly agreed that criminalizing homeless people was an excellent use of cops’ time. People should not sleep in Penn Station, he reasoned, “because there are homeless shelters where people can go in New York City.” Eager young disciple Watters agreed. “Why can’t they get these guys in really plush homeless shelters?” he asked.

He really said that. Plush. Homeless. Shelters. Where do you find people who put words like that together in one sentence?

2. Geraldo Rivera finds yet another creative way to blame black people for racism.

Everyone on the Fox News program, "The Five," totally agreed that Kendrick Lamar’s performance at the BET Awards was not their cup of tea. Kimberly Guilfoyle was “not feeling it,” a criticism sure to make Lamar wail and rend his hair. “Personally, it doesn’t excite me, it doesn’t turn me on,” Guilfoyle continued, as if anyone in the entire world gives a crap about her views on hip hop.

Lamar had conjured up the unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, by dancing atop a police cruiser and rapping, “We hate the po-po, wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho.”

Tsk tsk, Geraldo Rivera said, “not helpful, to say the least.” Then he seized the opportunity to advance his familiar and absurd theory that black people’s clothing styles and art forms are to blame for racism and police violence against unarmed African Americans. “This is why I say that hip-hop has done more damage to young African Americans than racism in recent years,” Rivera said. “This is exactly the wrong message.”

That’s a hell of a statement. Exactly how many unarmed African Americans have been killed by hip-hop, Geraldo? Got some stats on that?

Remember, kids, hoodies kill and so do sagging pants.

3. Megyn Kelly, “the sane, smart one at Fox,” cites Ann Coulter in support of Trump’s anti-immigrant racism. So Donald Trump said a totally crazy, deeply offensive thing that is even hurting his own business success, and he immediately apologized and realized the error of his ways.

Oh. Hahahahahahahahaha. Equally haha. Fox News repudiated the vulgar billlionaire’s racism. At least that reasonable, pretty, smart one, Megyn Kelly, did. Right? Oh, you poor poor naive thing.

No, Trump continues to dig in, maniacally defending the indefensible. And Fox and various GOP candidates like Ted Cruz keep willfully misunderstanding Trump’s actual comments. Some of them even defend him. Enter Megyn Kelly, who had the following dialogue with Howard Kurtz and Geraldo Rivera:

KURTZ: What a lot of people hear — even when Trump goes over the top— they like the fact that he doesn't apologize. They like the fact that he doesn't parse his words like most politicians. The average politician would have backed off and clarified many times by now. But Trump gets away with it because he strikes a chord.

KELLY: Well, I mean, Ann Coulter has got a whole book out right now that makes this point. Now granted, she's not running for president. But she —

RIVERA: Nor would she ever be elected with that point of view—

KELLY:  But she cites data that does support the fact that some, obvious, immigrants who come across the borders do turn out to be criminals, and that's —

RIVERA: I researched it tonight —

KELLY: None? No immigrants turn out to be criminals?

RIVERA: I never said that. Undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the citizen population of the United States.

You know you are in uncharted a-hole territory when Geraldo Rivera sounds way more reasonable than you do. 

4. Fox Newsian argues — with a straight face— that overtime pay actually hurts workers. Despite the obvious fairness and decency of the Obama administration's proposal to extend overtime protections to five million workers this week, not everyone was celebrating.As it stands now, only workers who make less than $23,660 are eligible for overtime pay. The new rules would extend those protections to workers making as much as $50,440 a year.

About time.

But Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt said this is a bad idea, because, personally she loved being exploited and not paid overtime. Or she did when she was younger. “I was making 20-some-odd-thousand dollars with my first job as a reporter, and I always said yes to everything that they asked me to do,” she recalled on a trip down memory lane that no one invited her to take. She especially loved working until 2am. It’s what enabled her to climb the ladder of success! Co-host Sandra Smith chimed in that former McDonald CEO Ed Rensi had told Fox News that “these jobs are not careers.”

And why would the McDonalds CEO have any interest in distorting the reality of his workforce, and the fact that many of them support families on their meager wages? Giving people raises will “encourage them to stay as an hourly employee flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s.” No one wants that. High turnover is what everyone wants. Fox Business Network stocks editor Elisabeth MacDonald worried that paying overtime would create a “permanent minimum wage club” in America.

Bet you did not know it is a club. With really fun, really cheap outings and everything.

5. GOP rep. has quite possibly the most bizarre objection to SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision ever. As we all know, a huge number of completely insane things have been said about the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the land. But one very creative GOP-er came up with another spin on that hysteria this week, that managed to stand out from the crowd.

Wisconsin Representative Glenn Grothman told a local radio host that the decision was an offense to those killed in the Civil War. How did he manage to connect those two things, you ask? One word: Christianity. Turns out that contrary to what any historian has ever said, and contrary to history itself, the Civil War in this hose-bag’s mind was a religious war. “A strong religious war to further a Christian lifestyle by getting rid of slavery.”

Huh?

So, by that token, the Court’s reasoning, based as it was on the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, was an affront to the war dead.

We can’t, we just can’t.”

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Post # 30,000: Frank Sinatra, “My Way”

Frank Sinatra, “My Way”

30,000 posts... first one on August 14, 2008.
1,799,021 unique visitors from all over the world,
3,456,730 all time Pageviews.

 Unbelievable... I know, get a life! lol
Thank you all sincerely for stopping by, it's been a hell of a ride!
- CP

Musical Interlude: Isaac Shepard, “Letting Go”

Isaac Shepard, “Letting Go”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“M7 is one of the most prominent open clusters of stars on the sky. The cluster, dominated by bright blue stars, can be seen with the naked eye in a dark sky in the tail of the constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius). M7 contains about 100 stars in total, is about 200 million years old, spans 25 light-years across, and lies about 1000 light-years away. 
 Click image for larger size.
The above deep exposure was taken from Hakos Farm in Namibia. The M7 star cluster has been known since ancient times, being noted by Ptolemy in the year 130 AD. Also visible are a dark dust cloud and literally millions of unrelated stars towards the Galactic center.”

Chet Raymo, “Spooked”

“Spooked”
by Chet Raymo

“The word everyone uses is "spooky." What they are talking about is entanglement, the spooky heart of quantum mechanics. You create a pair of subatomic particles, photons say, and send them on their separate ways. The particles seem to know what is happening to each other on their separate journeys. An activity performed on one particle can instantaneously change the properties of the other particle, no matter how far apart. And -this is the kicker- apparently instantaneously. Their fates are "entangled."

In the latest test of entanglement (reported in the August 14, 2008 issue of “Nature”), physicists entangled photon pairs using a source in Geneva, Switzerland, then passed them through fiber-optical cables of exactly equal length to receiving stations in the villages of Jussy and Satigny, which lie respectively east and west of Lake Geneva, 18 kilometers apart. "Here, the photons' entanglement was checked by an identical pair of interferometers. As they had travelled identical distances, the photons would have reached the interferometers simultaneously, as best as modern optics and electronics allows."

The effect does not seem to diminish with distance. Eighteen thousand kilometers? Eighteen milllion kilometers? Acrosss the universe? Instantaneous action-at-a-distance? The new experiments in Switzerland suggest that "any signal passing between the entangled photons is, if not instantaneous, travelling at least ten thousand times faster than light." Is the universe itself entangled at the subatomic level from a big bang source? And what, pray, would it mean if this were so?

I'm being somewhat whimsical about an entangled universe, but clearly nature is trying to tell us something with the quantum entanglement experiments, but no one knows quite what. Einstein and Schrodinger, two of the founders of quantum mechanics, admitted to being baffled by entanglement, an effect that seems to violate our common notions of physical causality. Spooky? Oh, yes, spooky, indeed.”
Related:

"Give Us Courage..."

"Give Us Courage"

"Give us courage, gaiety and the quiet mind.
Spare us to our friends, soften to us our enemies.
Bless us, if it may be, in all our innocent endeavors.
If it may not, give us the strength to encounter
that which is to come, that we be brave in peril,
constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath,
and in all changes of fortune and down to the gates
of death, loyal and loving to one another."

- Robert Louis Stevenson

"What Life Requires..."

“Life does not require us to be consistent, cruel, patient, helpful, angry, rational, thoughtless, loving, rash, open-minded, neurotic, careful, rigid, tolerant, wasteful, rich, downtrodden, gentle, sick, considerate, funny, stupid, healthy, greedy, beautiful, lazy, responsive, foolish, sharing, pressured, intimate, hedonistic, industrious, manipulative, insightful, capricious, wise, selfish, kind or sacrificed. Life does, however, require us to live with the consequences of our choices.”
- Richard Bach, "Running From Safety"

Paulo Coelho, "Relax And Pay Attention"

"Relax And Pay Attention"
by Paulo Coelho

"Sometimes we keep on waiting – with patience, resignation, courage – and still, things around us don’t move. But since this is the path we chose, it seems impossible that life’s blessings are not working in our favor. It provokes, therefore, a deep reflection about what we call “results:” our destiny is manifesting itself in a way we are not able to fully comprehend.

Jorge Luís Borges wrote a masterly short story about this issue. He describes the birth of a tiger that spends great part of its life in the African wildness but ends up being captured and taken to a zoo in Italy. From then on, the animal thinks his life has lost sense and there is nothing left to do but wait for the day he dies. One fine day, poet Dante Alighieri passes by this zoo, looks at the tiger, and the animal inspires a verse – in the midst of thousands of verses – of “The Divine Comedy.” “The entire battle for survival that tiger went through was only so that it could be at the zoo on that morning and inspire an immortal verse,” says Borges.

Just like this tiger, we all have a reason – a very important reason – to be here, at this moment, this morning. So relax. And pay attention.”

"A Chime Of Words..."

"Yes there is a meaning; at least for me, there is one thing that matters-
 to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious people."
- Logan Pearsall Smith

The Daily "Near You?"

Waynesville, North Carolina, USA. Thanks for stopping by.

“Life's Crossroads: How To Thrive in Times of Change”

“Life's Crossroads: 
How To Thrive in Times of Change”
by Linda Durnell

“Life's crossroads create opportunity for us to choose between different options, and when we see someone embracing the moment when choices are decided upon, it can be awe-inspiring. A crossroads is about change. Choices must be made - not just when things are not working out as we had planned, but also during positive moments when we must choose to continue the course or veer off into something new. When we experience an ending in a marriage, a change in careers, political upheavals, the end of childrearing, or challenges with our health, the crossroads we find ourselves facing can either inspire us to choose differently, or during these moments of change we can paralyze ourselves with fear. Making a crossroads a moment of profound and lasting change and learning how to thrive when life's changes descend upon us can be learned. The key to weathering life's crossroads:

1. Do not settle for normal. When our habitual response leads us to what is expected and customary - when we choose ordinary - we can expect the unremarkable.

2. Do not resist. Attempting to control, manipulate or force things to happen is a typical response to the fear that comes with change. Some of us will be so fearful that we refuse to make a change without understanding that even if we choose not to make a decision or take action, this in and of itself is a choice. Our learned way of coping with stress and uncertainty should be reevaluated constantly as we evolve in this world. Move with the changes instead of against them.

3. Trust your deepest feelings for guidance. We all know, deep within ourselves, what we need to do - what we know, how to think, when to trust - during times of crisis. We can learn to access and trust our innate wisdom; it is personal and always available. Through this, we will know how to adjust our course, move toward our personal destiny. When we don't follow our inner guidance, we feel a loss of power and energy.

4. Dream bigger. Change what you expect from life and then create a plan and work to cultivate the right conditions for your growth and success.

5. Limit distractions and strive to create balance in the midst of chaos. When we let go of our own or other's agendas and when we push away the demanding concerns of the moment, we are able to hear our own thoughts. Do less at the moments of crossroads and give yourself the gift of time - time to be in the present moment. Respect the value of being here and now. Ask yourself, "What is the one area of my life that needs more balance?"

6. Failure is just another way to start again. When we face a crossroads with fearlessness and the choice turns out to be prosperous, we are hailed as a genius or visionary. When our choice creates failure, then we are judged harshly, ridiculed and diminished, and it has the potential to make being fearless more difficult when we face the next crossroads. We must remember that failing creates not only additional opportunities for success, but fosters courage and determination in those of us who are brave enough to attempt it.

When I'm faced with fear at life's inevitable crossroads, I have learned to "let it rip" and charge "no holds barred" into the abyss - if for no other reason than to see what is there. I have emerged out the other side bloody and battered at times, but I'm stronger for having risked, taken a stand, trusted and believed.”

The Poet: John Glenday, "Concerning the Atoms of the Soul"

"Concerning the Atoms of the Soul"

"Someone explained once how the pieces of what we are
fall downwards at the same rate as the Universe.
The atoms of us, falling towards the centre
 of whatever everything is. And we don't see it.
We only sense their slight drag in the lifting hand.

That's what weight is, that communal process of falling.
Furthermore, these atoms carry hooks, like burrs,
 hooks catching like hooks, like clinging to like,
that's what keeps us from becoming something else,
and why in early love, we sometimes
feel the tug of the heart snagging on another's heart.

Only the atoms of the soul are perfect spheres
with no means of holding on to the world
or perhaps no need for holding on,
and so they fall through our lives catching
 against nothing, like perfect rain,
and in the end, he wrote, mix in that common well of light
at the centre of whatever the suspected centre is, 
or might have been."

~ John Glenday

"7 Steps to Treat Depression Without Drugs"

"7 Steps to Treat Depression Without Drugs"
Why Antidepressants Don't Work for Treating Depression
by Dr. Mark Hyman

"Here's some depressing recent medical news: Antidepressants don't work. What's even more depressing is that the pharmaceutical industry and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have deliberately deceived us into believing that they DO work. As a physician, this is frightening to me. Depression is among the most common problems seen in primary-care medicine and soon will be the second leading cause of disability in this country.

The study* I'm talking about was published in "The New England Journal of Medicine." It found that drug companies selectively publish studies on antidepressants. They have published nearly all the studies that show benefit - but almost none of the studies that show these drugs are ineffective. That warps our view of antidepressants, leading us to think that they do work. And it has fueled the tremendous growth in the use of psychiatric medications, which are now the second leading class of drugs sold, after cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The problem is even worse than it sounds, because the positive studies hardly showed benefit in the first place. For example, 40 percent of people taking a placebo (sugar pill) got better, while only 60 percent taking the actual drug had improvement in their symptoms. Looking at it another way, 80 percent of people get better with just a placebo. That leaves us with a big problem - millions of depressed people with no effective treatments being offered by most conventional practitioners. However, there are treatments available. Functional medicine provides a unique and effective way to treat depression and other psychological problems. Today I will review seven steps you can take to work through your depression without drugs. But before we get to that, let's take a closer look at depression.

What's in a Name? "Depression" is simply a label we give to people who have a depressed mood most of the time, have lost interest or pleasure in most activities, are fatigued, can't sleep, have no interest in sex, feel hopeless and helpless, can't think clearly, or can't make decisions. But that label tells us NOTHING about the cause of those symptoms. In fact, there are dozens of causes of depression - each one needing a different approach to treatment. Depression is not one-size-fits-all, but it is very common.

Women have a 10 to 25 percent risk and men a five to 12 percent risk of developing severe major depression in their lifetime. (2) One in ten Americans takes an antidepressant. The use of these drugs has tripled in the last decade, according to a report by the federal government. In 2006, spending on antidepressants soared by 130 percent. But just because antidepressants are popular doesn't mean they're helpful. Unfortunately, as we now see from this report in "The New England Journal of Medicine," they don't work and have significant side effects. Most patients taking antidepressants either don't respond or have only partial response. In fact, success is considered just a 50 percent improvement in half of depressive symptoms. And this minimal result is achieved in less than half the patients taking antidepressants. That's a pretty dismal record. It's only made worse by the fact that 86 percent of people taking antidepressants have one or more side effects, including sexual dysfunction, fatigue, insomnia, loss of mental abilities, nausea, and weight gain. No wonder half the people who try antidepressants quit after four months.

Now I want to talk to you about the reasons why doctors and patients have been deceived by the "antidepressant hoax." Despite what we have been brainwashed to believe, depression is not a Prozac deficiency!

How We have Been Deceived by the Antidepressant Hoax: Drug companies are not forced to publish all the results of their studies. They only publish those they want to. The team of researchers that reported their findings in "The New England Journal of Medicine" took a critical look at all the studies done on antidepressants, both published and unpublished. They dug up some serious dirt ...

The unpublished studies were not easy to find. The researchers had to search the FDA databases, call researchers, and hunt down hidden data under the Freedom of Information Act. What they found was stunning. After looking at 74 studies involving 12 drugs and over 12,000 people, they discovered that 37 of 38 trials with positive results were published, while only 14 of 36 negative studies were published. Those that showed negative results were, in the words of the researchers, "published in a way that conveyed a positive outcome." That means the results were twisted to imply the drugs worked when they didn't.

This isn't just a problem with antidepressants. It's a problem with scientific research. Some drug companies even pay or threaten scientists to not publish negative results on their drugs. So much for "evidence-based" medicine! I recently had dinner with a step-uncle who runs a company that designs research for drug companies. He designs the study, hires the researcher from an esteemed institution, directs the study, writes up the study and the scientist just signs his or her name after reviewing it. Most of the time, we only have the evidence that the drug companies want us to have. Both doctors and patients are deceived into putting billions of dollars into drug companies' pockets, while leaving millions with the same health problems but less money.

The scientific trust is broken. What can we do? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. But I do think functional medicine, on which my approach of UltraWellness is based, provides a more intelligent way of understanding the research. Rather than using drugs to suppress symptoms, Functional Medicine helps us find the true causes of problems, including depression. I see this in so many of the patients I have treated over the years. Just as the same things that make us sick also make us fat, the same things that make us sick also make us depressed. Fix the causes of sickness - and the depression takes care of itself. Consider a few cases from my practice ...

• A 23-year-old had been anxious and depressed most of her life and spent her childhood and adolescence on various cocktails of antidepressants. Turns out, she suffered from food allergies that made her depressed. Food allergies cause inflammation, and studies now show inflammation in the brains of depressed people. In fact, researchers are studying powerful anti-inflammatory drugs used in autoimmune disease such as Enbrel for the treatment of depression. After she eliminated her IgG or delayed food allergies, her depression went away, she got off her medication - and she lost 30 pounds as a side effect!

• Here's another story ... A 37-year-old executive woman struggled for more than a decade with treatment-resistant depression (meaning that drugs didn't work), fatigue, and a 40-pound weight gain. We found she had very high levels of mercury. Getting the mercury out of her body left her happy, thin, and full of energy.

• Or consider the 49-year-old man with severe lifelong depression who had been on a cocktail of antidepressants and psychiatric medication for years but still lived under a dark cloud every day, without relief. We found he had severe deficiencies of vitamin B12, B6, and folate. After we gave him back those essential brain nutrients, he called me to thank me. Last year was the first year he could remember feeling happy and free of depression.

These are just a few of the dozens of things that can cause depression. The roots of depression are found on my website in the 7 keys to UltraWelless and the 7 fundamental underlying imbalances that trigger the body to malfunction. Taking antidepressants is not the answer to our looming mental health epidemic. The real cure lies in rebalancing the underlying systems in your body that are at the root of all healthy and illness. Here are a few things you can do to start treating your depression today:

7 Steps to Treat Depression without Drugs:

1. Try an anti-inflammatory elimination diet that gets rid of common food allergens. As I mentioned above, food allergies and the resultant inflammation have been connected with depression and other mood disorders.
2. Check for hypothyroidism. This unrecognized epidemic is a leading cause of depression. Make sure to have thorough thyroid exam if you are depressed.
3. Take vitamin D. Deficiency in this essential vitamin can lead to depression. Supplement with at least 2,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day.
4. Take omega-3 fats. Your brain is made of up this fat, and deficiency can lead to a host of problems. Supplement with 1,000 to 2,000 mg of purified fish oil a day.
5. Take adequate B12 (1,000 micrograms, or mcg, a day), B6 (25 mg) and folic acid (800 mcg). These vitamins are critical for metabolizing homocysteine, which can play a factor in depression.
6. Get checked for mercury. Heavy metal toxicity has been correlated with depression and other mood and neurological problems.
7. Exercise vigorously five times a week for 30 minutes. This increases levels of BDNF, a natural antidepressant in your brain.

Overcoming depression is an important step toward lifelong vibrant health. These are just of few of the easiest and most effective things you can do to treat depression."
- http://www.sott.net/
* Turner EH et al. 2007. Selective publication of antidepressant trials and its influence
on apparent efficacy. New England Journal of Medicine. 358: 252-260.
Related:
“9 Natural Treatments You Didn’t Know Actually Work on Depression”
- http://time.com/

"How It Really Was, Is, and Will Be"

"You know, I've been around the ruling class all my life, and I've been
 quite aware of their total contempt for the people of the country."
- Gore Vidal

“The Pentagon’s 2015 Strategy For Ruling the World Through Endless War”

“The Pentagon’s 2015 Strategy 
For Ruling the World Through Endless War”
By Mike Whitney

“On Wednesday, the Pentagon released its "2015 National Military Strategy," a 24-page blueprint for ruling the world through military force. While the language in the report is subtler and less incendiary than similar documents in the past, the determination to unilaterally pursue US interests through extreme violence remains the cornerstone of the new strategy. Readers will not find even a hint of remorse in the NMS for the vast destruction and loss of life the US caused in countries that posed not the slightest threat to US national security. Instead, the report reflects the steely resolve of its authors and elite constituents to continue the carnage and bloodletting until all potential rivals have been killed or eliminated and until such time that Washington feels confident that its control over the levers of global power cannot be challenged.

As one would expect, the NMS conceals its hostile intentions behind the deceptive language of “national security”. The US does not initiate wars of aggression against blameless states that possess large quantities of natural resources. No. The US merely addresses “security challenges” to “protect the homeland” and to “advance our national interests.” How could anyone find fault with that, after all, wasn’t the US just trying to bring peace and democracy to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria?

In the Chairman’s Forward, Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey attempts to prepare the American people for a future of endless war: “Future conflicts will come more rapidly, last longer, and take place on a much more technically challenging battlefield. … We must be able to rapidly adapt to new threats while maintaining comparative advantage over traditional ones. The application of the military instrument of power against state threats is very different than the application of military power against non state threats. We are more likely to face prolonged campaigns than conflicts that are resolved quickly. That control of escalation is becoming more difficult and more important.” (Document: 2015 U.S. National Military Strategy, USNI News)

War, war and more war. This is the Pentagon’s vision of the future. Unlike Russia or China which have a plan for an integrated EU-Asia free trade zone (Silk Road) that will increase employment, improve vital infrastructure, and raise living standards, the US sees only death and destruction ahead. Washington has no strategy for the future, no vision of a better world. There is only war; asymmetrical war, technological war, preemptive war. The entire political class and their elite paymasters unanimously support global rule through force of arms. That is the unavoidable meaning of this document. The United States intends to maintain its tenuous grip on global power by maximizing the use of its greatest asset; its military.

And who is in the military’s gunsights? Check out this excerpt from an article in Defense News: “The strategy specifically calls out Iran, Russia and North Korea as aggressive threats to global peace. It also mentions China, but notably starts that paragraph by saying the Obama administration wants to “support China’s rise and encourage it to become a partner for greater international security,” continuing to thread the line between China the economic ally and China the regional competitor.

“None of these nations are believed to be seeking direct military conflict with the United States or our allies,” the strategy reads. “Nonetheless, they each pose serious security concerns which the international community is working to collectively address by way of common policies, shared messages, and coordinated action.” (Pentagon Releases National Military Strategy, Defense News)

Did you catch that last part? “None of these nations are believed to be seeking direct military conflict with the United States or our allies. Nevertheless, they each pose serious security concerns.”

In other words, none of these countries wants to fight the United States, but the United States wants to fight them. And the US feels it’s justified in launching a war against these countries because, well, because they either control vast resources, have huge industrial capacity, occupy an area of the world that interests the US geopolitically, or because they simply want to maintain their own sovereign independence which, of course, is a crime. According to Dempsey, any of these threadbare excuses are sufficient justification for conflict mainly because they “pose serious security concerns” for the US, which is to say they undermine the US’s dominant role as the world’s only superpower.

The NMS devotes particular attention to Russia, Washington’s flavor-of-the-month enemy who had the audacity to defend its security interests following a State Department-backed coup in neighboring Ukraine. For that, Moscow must be punished. This is from the report: “Some states, however, are attempting to revise key aspects of the international order and are acting in a manner that threatens our national security interests. While Russia has contributed in select security areas, such as counternarcotics and counterterrorism, it also has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors and it is willing to use force to achieve its goals. Russia’s military actions are undermining regional security directly and through proxy forces. These actions violate numerous agreements that Russia has signed in which it committed to act in accordance with international norms.” (2015 NMS)

Russia is an evildoer because Russia refused to stand by while the US toppled the Ukrainian government, installed a US stooge in Kiev, precipitated a civil war between the various factions, elevated neo Nazis to positions of power in the security services, plunged the economy into insolvency and ruin, and opened a CIA headquarters in the Capital to run the whole shooting match. This is why Russia is bad and must be punished.

But does that mean Washington is seriously contemplating a war with Russia? Here’s an excerpt from the document that will help to clarify the matter: “For the past decade, our military campaigns primarily have consisted of operations against violent extremist networks. But today, and into the foreseeable future, we must pay greater attention to challenges posed by state actors. They increasingly have the capability to contest regional freedom of movement and threaten our homeland. Of particular concern are the proliferation of ballistic missiles, precision strike technologies, unmanned systems, space and cyber capabilities, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) technologies designed to counter U.S. military advantages and curtail access to the global commons.” (2015 NMS)

It sounds to me like the Washington honchos have already made up their minds. Russia is the enemy, therefore, Russia must be defeated. How else would one “counter a revisionist state” that “threatens our homeland”? Why, with Daisy Cutters, of course. Just like everyone else.

The NMS provides a laundry list of justifications for launching wars against (imaginary) enemies of the US. The fact is, the Pentagon sees ghosts around every corner. Whether the topic is new technologies, “shifting demographics” or cultural differences; all are seen as a potential threat to US interests, particularly anything related to the “competition for resources.” In this skewed view of reality, one can see how the invasion of Iraq was justified on the grounds that Saddam’s control of Iraq’s massive oil reserves posed a direct challenge to US hegemony. Naturally, Saddam had to be removed and over a million people killed to put things right and return the world to a state of balance. This is the prevailing view of the National Military Strategy, that is, that whatever the US does is okay, because its the US.

Readers shouldn’t expect to find something new in the NMS. This is old wine in new bottles. The Pentagon has merely updated the Bush Doctrine while softening the rhetoric. There’s no need to scare the living daylights out of people by talking about unilateralism, preemption, shrugging off international law or unprovoked aggression. Even so, everyone knows that United States is going to do whatever the hell it wants to do to keep the empire intact. The 2015 National Military Strategy merely confirms that sad fact."

The Economy: “Stop Lying, Or We Will All Start Dying”

“Stop Lying, Or We Will All Start Dying”
by Karl Denninger

“We have long passed the point where you can simply lie more often, more-outrageously and with greater emphasis and hope for good things to come of it. The "paper it over and pretend it never happened" nonsense has gutted economies worldwide.

Here is the truth and it cannot be evaded: If you spend more than you take in you create debt. That debt must be serviced and ultimately must be paid down.  The servicing of the debt requires that you spend somewhat less in the next period of time, and the paying of the debt requires that you spend exactly as much less as you overspent previously; between these two you must spend materially less than you overspent previously.

This is true no matter if you're a government, a company, or an individual. There is no way around this.  It is simple arithmetic.

There is exactly one way that spending more than you take in will create a better future for whatever entity does it. That requires borrowing to build something that will return a greater output than the cost of the debt plus its servicing costs. Whether that is worth it on an analytical basis requires determining how long it would take to save the money first instead of using debt to fund it; you then have two scenarios which can be analyzed in totality; one in which the asset can produce in a shorter time frame (because you can build it right now) and the second in which it produces in a longer time frame (because you save to build it somewhere down the road.) In both of these analysis one must also take into account the risk that the asset fails to produce more than it costs.

Take a college education. If you save (or earn) the money to attend and you either fail to complete the course of study or are unable to find a job that requires your degree when you graduate while your funds are lost you have no future burden as a consequence. That is, you expended the money (that could have been spent on something else) but you are no worse off, other than the lost labor and time to accumulate the funds to attend.

If, on the other hand, you borrow to attend college and either fail to complete the course of study or are unable to find a job that requires the degree you are screwed; you now have a forward obligation to pay for something that has little or no real-world value in improving your quality of life.

Which is the correct choice to make given that when you begin college you have two unknowns, neither of which you control: The first is the risk of an unforeseeable incident disrupting your education (e.g. illness, accident, etc) and the second is that despite diligent application of your talents the market for your degree will shift out from under you in the intervening time or the value of the degree (e.g. the expected salary) will fail to materialize. How can you possibly know what the market is for a given profession four, five, six or eight years into the future? That's 20% of your life when you graduate college; think back on that time and how much has changed in the world during it!

Worse, most overspending, especially by governments (but also to a large degree by people) is not spent on productive assets. The person who borrows to buy a Corvette isn't buying a productive asset in doing so. Oh sure, they may need a car, but a $20,000 sedan is a car; the other $50,000 was borrowed for the explicit purpose of consumption, which produces nothing.

Likewise government spending on social programs produces nothing. It is therefore always more expensive to borrow for such spending than to tax and save. It simply allows the government (or person) to pretend they can fund some sort of consumption today that in fact they are unable to fund.

And this brings forward my central point both on Greece and the rest of the horsecrap in the media and so-called "economists: "This isn't just semantics. There's no reason, in law or logic, why a Greek default necessitates an exit from the euro. The European Central Bank pulls this trigger by choosing- choosing, please note- to withhold its services as lender of last resort to the Greek banking system. That is what it did this week. That is what shut the banks and, in short order, will force the Greek authorities to start issuing a parallel currency in the form of IOUs."

You're not lending if the money was borrowed to consume. You're financing with no hope of ever getting an honest repayment of principal and interest- which means you are stealing by depreciating the value of everyone's holdings and that theft continues forever due to interest expense; it is not a one-time thing that happens when the deficit is incurred and then stops.

A truly independent ECB, willing to do whatever it takes to defend the euro system, could have announced that it would keep supplying Greek banks with liquidity. If the Greek banks are deemed in due course to be insolvent (which hasn’t happened yet), that doesn't have to trigger an exit, either. Europe has the wherewithal and a bank-rescue mechanism that would allow the banks to be taken over and recapitalized. These options are foreclosed because the supposedly apolitical ECB has let Europe's finance ministers use it as a hammer to extract fiscal concessions from Greece.

It now appears from exit polls that the Greeks have voted "NO", which means the charade now has to be unwound.  And make no mistake, that was coming anyway as the end of the rope was clearly in sight and there was no knot to stop you from falling off the end either.

But the first key to sustainable fiscal policy is to stop lying, both to ourselves and others. The simple fact of the matter is that deficit spending is unsustainable always and everywhere and is particularly so when it goes to consumption, whether through pensions, medical care, food stamps or similar programs. We're headed down Greece's road in the United States despite claims to the contrary, and if we don't cut it out we're going to find out exactly how bad- and how soon-  their problems can be repeated here.”

Saturday, July 4, 2015

"How It Really Is"

Abraham Lincoln, “The Gettysburg Address”

“The Gettysburg Address”
by Abraham Lincoln

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."
George F. Root, “Battle Cry of Freedom”
From the Original Soundtrack Recording of "The Civil War". A film by Ken Burns.

Ken Burns, “The Civil War, Episode 4: “Simply Murder, 1863”

Ken Burns, “The Civil War, Episode 4: “Simply Murder, 1863”

Ken Burns, “The Civil War”, “Sullivan Ballou’s Letter Home”

Ken Burns, “The Civil War”, “Sullivan Ballou’s Letter Home”

Confederate National Anthem, "Dixie Land"

Confederate National Anthem, "Dixie Land"
The national anthem of the Confederate States of America.

"January 1, 1863: The Emancipation Proclamation”

“The Emancipation Proclamation”

"President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."

Despite this expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war. After January 1, 1863, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom. Moreover, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom. (And over 600,000 soldiers of both sides had been killed. - CP)

From the first days of the Civil War, slaves had acted to secure their own liberty. The Emancipation Proclamation confirmed their insistence that the war for the Union must become a war for freedom. It added moral force to the Union cause and strengthened the Union both militarily and politically. As a milestone along the road to slavery's final destruction, the Emancipation Proclamation has assumed a place among the great documents of human freedom.

The original of the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, is in the National Archives in Washington, DC. With the text covering five pages the document was originally tied with narrow red and blue ribbons, which were attached to the signature page by a wafered impression of the seal of the United States. Most of the ribbon remains; parts of the seal are still decipherable, but other parts have worn off.

The document was bound with other proclamations in a large volume preserved for many years by the Department of State. When it was prepared for binding, it was reinforced with strips along the center folds and then mounted on a still larger sheet of heavy paper. Written in red ink on the upper right-hand corner of this large sheet is the number of the Proclamation, 95, given to it by the Department of State long after it was signed. With other records, the volume containing the Emancipation Proclamation was transferred in 1936 from the Department of State to the National Archives of the United States."

Free Download: “The Declaration of Independence”

“The Declaration of Independence”
Action of Second Continental Congress, July 4, 1776
The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

"When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. 

But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World."

Free Download: “The Constitution of the United States of America”

“The Constitution of the United States of America”

“We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
- http://www.gpo.gov/

"The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band, John Philip Sousa, "The Stars and Stripes Forever"

"The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band,  
John Philip Sousa, "The Stars and Stripes Forever"

"The President's Own" United States Marine Band recorded John Philip Sousa's march "The Stars and Stripes Forever" on March, 3, 2009, in the John Philip Sousa Band Hall at Marine Barracks Annex in Washington, D.C. This video was recorded for the National Museum of the Marine Corps gallery titled "A Global Expeditionary Force 1866-1916," where visitors will find an interactive Marine Band exhibit."

Happy 4th of July

Have a safe and happy holiday, folks!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Greg Hunter, "Weekly New Wrap-up, 7/3/2015"

"Weekly New Wrap-up, 7/3/2015"
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

"Whether it is Greece or Puerto Rico, the story is the same—the debt is unpayable. Greece is going through a referendum and they are taking a que from the Clash song “Should I Stay or Should I Go.”  Meaning, should Greece stay or leave the European Union? I say it is not going to make much difference. The Greeks, as everybody else in the world, have been living beyond their means. There are going to be big cuts to everything no matter what. The Greeks want a debt cut. The Greek Finance Minister says he’d rather “cut off his arm” than sign a bailout deal without a debt cut. Now, folks in Spain and Italy are telling the IMF they, too, want a debt cut because the debt is unpayable.

Closer to home, Puerto Rico wants to file bankruptcy using something called “Chapter 9.” This US territory is $75 billion in debt with a population of only 3.5 million people. How reckless and irresponsible is the leadership there? You mean they did not know they were heading for trouble five years ago? How about two years ago? You mean all of a sudden they can’t pay and “poof.” This is what happens when you run out of other people’s money.

More phony jobs numbers were produced by the government this week in the ongoing so-called recovery story. The MSM always focuses on the jobs created but fails to tell you they are part- time jobs or more than 400,000 just left the work force. 5.3% unemployment with 93.6 million no longer in the workforce. That’s a recovery?  NOT.

From coast to coast, there is either too much water or not nearly enough. Let’s start in California. It is ground zero in in the western drought. All of California is in some sort of drought. Most of California has never seen a drought this bad. This is a state of 38 million people, and about four months ago, NASA estimated that California had about a year’s worth of water left–8 months and counting, folks. Here in the Midwest, there is too much water, way too much water. Missouri and other states had record breaking rainfall amounts."

"Join Greg Hunter as he covers these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.”

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Musical Interlude: Mythos, “Solstice”

Mythos, “Solstice”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“It's the dim star, not the bright one, near the center of NGC 3132 that created this odd but beautiful planetary nebula. Nicknamed the Eight-Burst Nebula and the Southern Ring Nebula, the glowing gas originated in the outer layers of a star like our Sun.
 Click image for larger size.
In this representative color picture, the hot blue pool of light seen surrounding this binary system is energized by the hot surface of the faint star. Although photographed to explore unusual symmetries, it's the asymmetries that help make this planetary nebula so intriguing. Neither the unusual shape of the surrounding cooler shell nor the structure and placements of the cool filamentary dust lanes running across NGC 3132 are well understood.”