Thursday, October 19, 2017
"Weekly News Wrap-Up 10/20/2017"
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
"The mainstream media refuses to cover the real Russian collusion and treason story. If you watch the MSM, you will not hear that President Obama and Hillary Clinton signed away one-fifth of U.S. uranium production with what looks like bribes to the Clinton Foundation in the form of “donations.” The FBI, under Robert Mueller, knew all about the shady Russia deal and ignored it. The second in command at the Justice Department, Rob Rosenstein, also knew about it as he investigated part of the kickbacks and bribes surrounding the deal. Fast-forward to today, and you have Rosenstein hiring Robert Mueller to investigate Trump and collusion with the Russians in the 2016 election. There has not been a single person charged after a year and a half of “investigating” by Mueller. There are calls for these people to step down and an investigation be started on all involved in this uranium deal. You cannot make this stuff up.
The U.S. Navy and South Korea are conducting war games around the Korean peninsula. North Korea has slammed the warship gathering as a “rehearsal for war.” Meanwhile, Russia is warning the U.S. not to “back North Korea into a corner.”
There is one all-time high after another in the markets these days. Why are the markets so exuberant since the economy is not growing at a rate above 2%? It’s so crazy it’s like a cartoon. Is it because the Fed will have a new and even more dovish Chairman soon when Janet Yellen’s term ends? Are things about to turn up because of Trump, or is it a super nova stock market top getting ready to blow into a black hole? Renowned Yale economics professor Robert Shiller is warning 1987 could “happen again.”
"Join Greg Hunter as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up."
X22 Report, “The Economic Indicators Are Piling Up &
They Are Pointing Towards A Collapse”
“Find the Big Dipper and follow the handle away from the dipper's bowl until you get to the last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you'll come upon this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messier's famous catalog.
Click image for larger size.
Perhaps the original spiral nebula, the large galaxy with well defined spiral structure is also cataloged as NGC 5194. Its spiral arms and dust lanes clearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy (bottom), NGC 5195. The pair are about 31 million light-years distant and officially lie within the angular boundaries of the small constellation Canes Venatici. Though M51 looks faint and fuzzy to the eye, deep images like this one can reveal striking colors and the faint tidal debris around the smaller galaxy.”
“Finding Stillness in the Storms”
by Christina Feldman
"We are emotional beings living in an emotional world. Stillness is rarely our first response to the waves of emotion that sweep through us. Feeling helpless within emotional storms, we come to believe that expression and action are the only means to alleviate the tensions of anger, fear, and panic. Even happiness and love appear to require action or expression for us to believe in their validity. The many forms of rage that scar our communities- road rage, supermarket rage, surf rage, institutional rage- all bear witness to the compelling power of our emotions. In the grip of an emotional storm, we feel we must do something to express it, but we are just seeking to rid ourselves of the tension surrounding the emotion. Catharsis is effective in alleviating this tension, but it is a poor substitute for freedom. We honk our car horns, shout at our colleagues, feud with our neighbors, and then feel a welcome relief, yet we must also live with the consequences of our actions. We feel despair as the temporary relief wears off and we revisit the familiar patterns of tension and conflict.
Is it possible for us to find that quality of unshakeable balance in the complexity of our emotional landscape? Can we question the assumption we carry that the world and the ten thousand things in it hold the power to enrage and depress us, or make us happy, and acknowledge that all our emotional waves begin in our own hearts and minds? If we do not question this belief, then we are a prisoner of those ten thousand things. We delegate to them the authority to govern our emotional life and freedom.
Someone told me the story of the gamut of emotions he experienced in the aftermath of being mugged. Rage, anxiety, feelings of powerlessness, and the desire for vengeance arose in a crescendo of intensity. After a time he realized that the mugger was in charge of his life. He thought about him, obsessed about him, feared him, and opened the door for the mugger to govern his heart. As he began to explore the depth of those feelings, to accept them and befriend them, he began to reclaim his heart and freedom. Vaclav Havel, the poet and statesman, wrote, "Hatred has much in common with desire. With both comes fixation on others, dependence on them, and, in fact, a delegation of a piece of our own identity to them. The hater longs for the object of his hatred, just as the lover longs for the object of his love."
Probing beneath the Surface: The second step in discovering emotional integrity and freedom lies in our willingness to probe beneath the concepts we use to define the emotional process. We use the words "angry," "sad," "happy," "jealous," and "fearful" to describe a many-textured experience that is impossible to describe by a single word. It is akin to describing a painting by its title. Our concepts, imposed upon a fluid, unfolding process, refer to the past and serve to interrupt the quality of attention we bring to that process in the present. We are tempted to define our identity by the concepts we impose upon our emotional life. We might refer to ourselves as an "angry" person, a "fearful" or "anxious" type, and come to believe these definitions to be the truth.
Probing beneath our concepts and descriptions, we come to understand that emotion is not a fixed preordained state arising from nowhere. All our emotions involve our bodies, feelings, memories, associations, and thoughts in an unfolding interaction that is so rapid it takes remarkable attention to perceive. Some time ago, I was about to get into a taxi, when another cab roared up. The driver jumped out and began berating my cabdriver for stealing his fare. Within moments the two men were shoving each other fighting for my suitcase, and throwing racial insults, and ended up grappling on the ground. After the fight had broken up and I was installed in the taxi, the driver began to pour out the story of his life; the endless injustices he'd been exposed to, the insults he'd endured, his struggles to support himself. He told me, "I am an angry man." Where was the beginning of his anger? It probably began before he was even born, an inherited legacy. Where did his anger live- in his body, in the feelings provoked by the encounter in his thoughts and perceptions? The anger passed and another wave of emotion began- hurt, fear, and anxiety- another unfolding process.
It is the very speed with which our emotions rise and overwhelm us that makes them so daunting. Feelings, memories and associations, thoughts, reactions, and words cascade upon each other, leaving us stunned and helpless. Into this process we learn to introduce interest, investigation, and mindful awareness. The closer we can come to the beginning of an emotional wave, the greater the degree of balance and understanding we will discover. We learn to bring an alert, calm presence to the sounds, sights, thoughts, and sensations that touch us, to sense the feelings that are evoked. We notice that small feelings lead to small thoughts that arise and fade away without effort. The intense feelings we describe as loneliness, fear, anger, and excitement lead to an equal intensity in our thoughts and the degree of imprisonment we experience.
The feelings we experience determine how we feel about the world, other people, and ourselves. In the same way that we insist on being "someone" through our self-definition, we are also prone to categorizing the world in terms of "friends" and "fiends." If we feel isolated from the world we will tend to be hostile or suspicious. If we feel happy and secure within ourselves there is little that threatens us and we tend to touch the world with kindness. In freeing ourselves from the burden of self-definition, we also liberate others from the images we have formed about them. There is the possibility of seeing anew, approaching each moment of feeling as if for the first time, and each encounter with the willingness to learn. When we cease to conceptualize ourselves or others, healing can begin. Letting go of the concepts through which we attempt to define our experience, we can explore the interwoven threads of an emotion. Sensing the changing nature of our feelings, we have the possibility of stepping away from the extremes of succumbing and overcoming to a simpler relationship of exploration and connection.”
"Making Your Best Guess"
by Arthur Silber
“We are not gods, and we are not omniscient. We cannot foretell the future with certainty. Most often, cultural and political changes are terribly complex. It can be notoriously difficult to predict exactly where a trend will take us, and we can be mistaken. We do the best we can: if we wish to address certain issues seriously, we study history, and we read everything that might shed light on our concerns. We consult what the best thinkers of our time and of earlier times have said and written. We challenge everyone's assumptions, including most especially our own. That last is often very difficult. If we care enough, we do our best to disprove our own case. In that way, we find out how strong our case is, and where its weaknesses may lie.
Barring extraordinary circumstances, we cannot be certain that a particular development represents a critical turning point at the time it occurs. If we dare to say, "This is the moment the battle was lost," only future events will prove whether we were correct. We do the best we can, based on our understanding of how similar events have unfolded in the past, and in light of our understanding of the underlying principles in play. We can be wrong.”
Barring extraordinary circumstances, we cannot be certain that a particular development represents a critical turning point at the time it occurs. If we dare to say, "This is the moment the battle was lost," only future events will prove whether we were correct. We do the best we can, based on our understanding of how similar events have unfolded in the past, and in light of our understanding of the underlying principles in play. We can be wrong.”
“Telling Stories: ‘Real’ Life”
by Chet Raymo
by Chet Raymo
"If the doors of perception were cleansed everything
would appear to man as it is, infinite."
- William Blake
"I have just finished reading Brian Greene's new book, “The Fabric of the Cosmos”. As with his earlier book, “The Elegant Universe”, he does a damn good job explaining the almost unexplainable - string theory, braneworlds, multiple universes, and all that. None of this stuff has an empirical basis, and is not likely to for the foreseeable future. So does it qualify as science? Well, yes, barely. Because in principle at least experiments are possible. We should value the wild speculations of the theoretical cosmologists precisely because they are pushing the limits of what is imaginable.
We live in an imagined world. Some parts of that imagined world are so tightly bound to sense perceptions that we call them "real." The chair I'm sitting in is real. Atoms are real. The common ancestry of humans and raccoons is real. Strings and branes and multiple universes are not yet real, but they spring from the same storytelling tradition. Democritus and Lucretius told stories of atoms long before atoms were real.
It is ever for us as it was for the singer in a famous poem by Wallace Stevens:
"Even if what she sang was what she heard...
there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang, and singing made."
So, what is the real? My own views on the matter were given shape when I was young by the poet Wallace Stevens. More influential was a book I read as a graduate student, the physicist-philosopher Henry Margenau's "The Nature of Physical Reality" (1950). Margenau uses a simple diagram to illustrate the conceptual maps we make of the world. Down the middle of the page he draws a vertical line that he calls the "perception plane." It is the locus of our immediate sensations of the world - sights, tastes, odors, touches, sounds - the interface between the world as it is and the world as we know it. To the left of the line is the world "out there," which we know only through the windows of our senses. To the right of the line Margenau draws circles representing "constructs" - names, descriptions, or ideas we invent to make sense of our perceptions. The more abstract the construct, the farther the circle from the line.
Immediately adjacent to the perception plane are constructs that correspond to direct sensations: "blue," "bitter," "pungent," "brittle," "shrill." The construct "dragonfly" is a bit further from the perception plane, but not very far away. I feel a sensation on my finger ("tingle"), I see a color ("blue"), a quality of light ("iridescent"), a shape ("long and narrow"). I name this ensemble of sensations "dragonfly,"
As my experience of the world increases, the construct "dragonfly" becomes enmeshed in a web of other constructs at varying distances from the plane: "insecta," "Jurassic," "mitochondrial DNA," etc. Resilience and interconnectivity of the web are the defining characteristics of the real. "Atom" is bound to the perception plane by a dense and sturdy web of constructs. "Cosmic strings" and "branes" are way out there, far from the perception plane, dangling by a gossamer thread.
Perception and cognition are hugely complex processes, endlessly debated by psychologists, neurologists and philosophers. Margenau's simple schematic of connected constructs is itself only a construct, a useful way of describing the devilishly complex business of perception and cognition. The important thing is to realize that our ideas about the world are not the same as the world itself (a point often missed by true believers). Nevertheless, only the most obtuse idealist would hesitate to call "dragonflies" or "atoms" real."
"Why the Imp in Your Brain Gets Out”
by Benedict Carey
"The visions seem to swirl up from the brain’s sewage system at the worst possible times - during a job interview, a meeting with the boss, an apprehensive first date, an important dinner party. What if I started a food fight with these hors d’oeuvres? Mocked the host’s stammer? Cut loose with a racial slur?
“That single thought is enough,” wrote Edgar Allan Poe in “The Imp of the Perverse,” an essay on unwanted impulses. “The impulse increases to a wish, the wish to a desire, the desire to an uncontrollable longing.” He added, “There is no passion in nature so demoniacally impatient, as that of him who, shuddering upon the edge of a precipice, thus meditates a plunge.”
Or meditates on the question: Am I sick? In a few cases, the answer may be yes. But a vast majority of people rarely, if ever, act on such urges, and their susceptibility to rude fantasies in fact reflects the workings of a normally sensitive, social brain, argues a paper published in the journal Science. “There are all kinds of pitfalls in social life, everywhere we look; not just errors but worst possible errors come to mind, and they come to mind easily,” said the paper’s author, Daniel M. Wegner, a psychologist at Harvard. “And having the worst thing come to mind, in some circumstances, might increase the likelihood that it will happen.”
The exploration of perverse urges has a rich history (how could it not?), running through the stories of Poe and the Marquis de Sade to Freud’s repressed desires and Darwin’s observation that many actions are performed “in direct opposition to our conscious will.” In the past decade, social psychologists have documented how common such contrary urges are - and when they are most likely to alter people’s behavior.
At a fundamental level, functioning socially means mastering one’s impulses. The adult brain expends at least as much energy on inhibition as on action, some studies suggest, and mental health relies on abiding strategies to ignore or suppress deeply disturbing thoughts - of one’s own inevitable death, for example. These strategies are general, subconscious or semiconscious psychological programs that usually run on automatic pilot.
Perverse impulses seem to arise when people focus intensely on avoiding specific errors or taboos. The theory is straightforward: to avoid blurting out that a colleague is a raging hypocrite, the brain must first imagine just that; the very presence of that catastrophic insult, in turn, increases the odds that the brain will spit it out. “We know that what’s accessible in our minds can exert an influence on judgment and behavior simply because it’s there, it’s floating on the surface of consciousness,” said Jamie Arndt, a psychologist at the University of Missouri.
The empirical evidence of this influence has been piling up in recent years, as Dr. Wegner documents in the new paper. In the lab, psychologists have people try to banish a thought from their minds - of a white bear, for example - and find that the thought keeps returning, about once a minute. Likewise, people trying not to think of a specific word continually blurt it out during rapid-fire word-association tests.
The same “ironic errors,” as Dr. Wegner calls them, are just easy to evoke in the real world. Golfers instructed to avoid a specific mistake, like overshooting, do it more often when under pressure, studies find. Soccer players told to shoot a penalty kick anywhere but at a certain spot of the net, like the lower right corner, look at that spot more often than any other.
Efforts to be politically correct can be particularly treacherous. In one study, researchers at Northwestern and Lehigh Universities had 73 students read a vignette about a fictional peer, Donald, a black male. The students saw a picture of him and read a narrative about his visit to a mall with a friend. In the crowded parking lot, Donald would not park in a handicap space, even though he was driving his grandmother’s car, which had a pass, but he did butt in front of another driver to snag a non-handicap space. He snubbed a person collecting money for a heart fund, while his friend contributed some change. And so on. The story purposely portrayed the protagonist in an ambiguous way.
The researchers had about half the students try to suppress bad stereotypes of black males as they read and, later, judged Donald’s character on measures like honesty, hostility and laziness. These students rated Donald as significantly more hostile - but also more honest - than did students who were not trying to suppress stereotypes. In short, the attempt to banish biased thoughts worked, to some extent. But the study also provided “a strong demonstration that stereotype suppression leads stereotypes to become hyperaccessible,” the authors concluded.
Smokers, heavy drinkers and other habitual substance users know this confusion too well: the effort to squelch a longing for a smoke or a drink can bring to mind all the reasons to break the habit; at the same time, the desire seemingly gets stronger.
The risk that people will slip or “lose it” depends in part on the level of stress they are undergoing, Dr. Wegner argues. Concentrating intensely on not staring at a prominent mole on a new acquaintance’s face, while also texting and trying to follow a conversation, heightens the risk of saying: “We went to the mole - I mean, mall. Mall!”
“A certain relief can come from just getting it over with, having that worst thing happen, so you don’t have to worry about monitoring in anymore,” Dr. Wegner said. All of which might be hard to explain, of course, if you’ve just mooned the dinner party.”
“The Military instinct: The Human Race as Feral Dogs”
by Fred Reed
"As Washington bombs Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, and Syria, militarily threatens Russia, Venezuela, North Korea, and China, sanctions Cuba, North Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Iran...one may wonder: Why? Are wars about anything, or just wars? In modern times, a reason of sorts is thought decorous, yes: Ruritania is threatening us, or might, or does something wrong, or Ruritanians don’t think rightly about the gods. We must kill them. And yet everywhere in all times, almost miraculously, some reason for a war is found. It would seem that wars are not about anything, but just what we do.
Recently the collapse of the Soviet Union appeared to offer a prospect of extended peace. There seemed nothing left to fight about, at least on any scale. Yet the United States quickly launched a half dozen wars of no necessity and threatened others. Why?
Because wars are what we do.
It may surprise many people to learn of evidence for a genetic foundation of human behavior. This should not be surprising. Dogs form packs, mark territory, and bark furiously at strange dogs. So, it seems, do people. An empire is just the result of these canine instincts.
Consider conservatives, as they are more relevant to the fighting of wars. (Liberals appear as genetically determined) Conservatives tend to be tribal, intensely loyal to their group– race, country, ethnicity, religious faith– which in national terms becomes patriotism. They lack empathy. They see the world in terms of threats, conflict, and dominance. They favor capitalism and the Second Amendment, revere the military, speak of blood and soil, oppose taxation of themselves to give to the less fortunate.
An important point here is that these traits clump together, although there is no logical connection. For example, one might rationally favor ownership of guns as necessary to self-defense yet oppose having a large military as unnecessary. One might favor a large military in what appeared a dangerous world, yet favor extensive governmental charity as what one might see as common decency.
Yet this almost never happens. If you tell me that you oppose abortion, with confidence I can predict that you fit the description above of a conservative. If you tell me that you oppose the Second Amendment, I can be pretty sure that you favor abortion, acceptance of immigrants, marriage of homosexuals, and so on.
We all have access to the same information about the world, to the internet, the same books and newspapers, and we all live in very much the same society. Yet liberals and conservatives arrive at sharply differing conclusions from identical evidence. This suggests an innate predisposition.
Soldiers invariably fit the conservative pattern, prizing loyalty to their units and to their country, seeing threats everywhere, and becoming alarmed easily. For example, if an ancient Russian prop-driven recon plane, technically a bomber in the Fifties, flies near England, fighters will leap into the air to intercept it, grrr, woof, though the idea that the Russians would send one ancient bird to bomb Britain is lunatic. It is very like dogs barking frantically at a passing pedestrian.
People in general seem designed to think about small groups, not countries of millions of people. It is impossible to think of, say, Russia as millions of individuals, especially when we have never seen even a single Russian. The almost invariable response is to compress a whole nation mentally into a sort of aggregate person. As I write, America is barking at North Korea, said to be a rogue state threatening several other countries. Countless men from the President through Congress to growling patriots in bars are saying angrily that “We can wipe North Korea of the face of the earth.” We’ll show the bastards.
North Korea consists of twenty-five million people of whom perhaps fifty might want to attack anybody at all. The let’s-nukem men– almost always men, who are genetically more truculent than women, which is also true of dogs– think of the whole country as one pudgy man with a bad haircut. “We must punish North Korea” makes sense to them in these terms. Exactly why several million children in kindergarten need to be burned to death does not enter their minds.
A great deal of international behavior makes sense, or at least makes no sense but does it in a consistent manner, if you look at the history of empire. This too appears to be instinctive, and therefore presumably genetic. Throughout history men– again, always men– have formed armies and set out to conquer, usually at the price of unspeakable bloodshed, lands they didn’t need. Sometimes the plunder brought a degree of benefit, seldom commensurate with the cost, but often not.
Over and over and over, one country conquers its neighbors, sometimes forming large empires but often small ones almost lost to history. Then a new one arises and bursts the bubble of the first. This is instinctual as a dog peeing on a hydrant.
We see this now. The United States has no need for an empire of perhaps eight hundred military bases around the globe or to fight constant and exhausting wars for places it doesn’t need or even like. America has no need of Afghanistan, for example, and is there only to keep China out– that is, from the instinct for empire. Again, peeing on hydrants.
The lack of empathy usual in conservatives, in soldiers, appears all through military history, from the practice of putting cities to the sword to today’s indiscriminate bombing. It results from the tribal instinct. A fighter pilot will in time of peace be a good citizen, perhaps a good father, obey the laws and, should an earthquake occur, work tirelessly to save the trapped. Yet order him to bomb a crowded city in a country that has done nothing to deserve it– Baghdad, for example– and he will do it and pride himself on having done it.
The behavior is innate and immutable, unchanged over the millennia, but today we seem to need to pretend to decency. Militaries and “intelligence” agencies, the chief vessels of brutal behavior, have become very sensitive to revelations of what we now call “atrocities.” Actually atrocities are what militaries normally do. The norm now is to employ euphemistms– collateral damage- and to insist that atrocities are “isolated incidents.” Today governments, to maintain public support for the wars, or as least to discourage attention, carefully censors photos of disemboweled children or the CIA’s torture chambers. But the butchery continues as it did among stone-age savages. Pilots still bomb cities. The CIA tortures and probably enjoys it. Plus ca change, plus ca doesn’t.
There is a slight difference. Militaries now know they are doing wrong, This is why soldiers become furious when persistently asked about atrocities. They would rather you not know. Yet the bombing continues and from the less politically careful conservatives come cries of, “Untie the hands of our soldiers,” and “Let the military do its job.”
It is innate. We do what we do because it is how we are.”
"One Last Smile For My Old Friend"
by Iain Burns
"This is the magical moment a dying chimpanzee recognizes her old friend and gives him an emotional farewell.
Mama, the 59-year-old former matriarch at Royal Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands, was curled up in a ball and refusing food until the arrival of Professor Jan van Hooff, who she had known since 1972. At first she did not realize that her old friend had come to see her and remained on the floor as he stroked her. But her bond with Professor van Hooff - who co-founded her chimp colony at the Arnhem zoo - was deep enough to shake her from her gloom. The terminally ill chimp, who was fast approaching the end of her life, can be seen reacting with pure joy when she realizes who has come to see her. Mama screeched with delight and beamed with a smile while greeting the professor. Screeching with pleasure and smiling in delight, Mama can be seen stretching out her hand and stroking Professor van Hooff's head in greeting. The video was filmed in April 2016. Mama died just a week after giving her old friend a heartfelt farewell.”
"I don't believe in 'original sin.' I don't believe in 'guilt.' I don't believe in villains or heroes - only right or wrong ways that individuals have taken, not by choice but by necessity or by certain still-uncomprehended influences in themselves, their circumstances, and their antecedents. This is so simple I'm ashamed to say it, but I'm sure it's true. In fact, I would bet my life on it! And that's why I don't understand why our propaganda machines are always trying to teach us, to persuade us, to hate and fear other people on the same little world that we live in."
- Tennessee Williams
"The Real Deep State Candidate"
by Bill Bonner
"Yesterday, we described what we believe is the true source of today’s bubbly markets: fake money from the Deep State’s finance arm, central banks. Today, we connect more dots. Specifically, we explore why the stock market celebrated after ‘The Donald’ was elected…what role he plays in the Greatest Show on Earth…and what to expect next. We also want to look at how America’s form of government has changed, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.
Fake Dollar Finance: Why did voters and investors turn their lonely eyes to a reality TV star, and put their trust and faith in a bombastic huckster, rather than a more conventional scallywag? Why did stocks rise after he was elected? What did they see that we didn’t? In short, the fix was in, and Mr Market knew it.
Fake dollar finance has been an abiding theme here at the Diary. Few others - apart from economist George Gilder and President Reagan’s first budget chief David Stockman - seem to care about it. But for us, it is the biggest financial scam in the history of the world. It has moved at least $10 trillion from the people who earned it to the rich and the Deep State elite. It has corrupted our institutions, our culture, our markets, and our government.
This system is supported by almost everyone - by Republicans and Democrats, by the mainstream press, by academic economists, by international organizations such as the UN, the IMF, and the World Bank, by the ‘defense’, ‘education’, and ‘medical care’ industries (all in quotations to signal our deep scepticism that they are doing what they claim to be doing), and perhaps more importantly, by Wall Street.
What is this system? It is the system of creating ‘money’ out of thin air, controlled by the government and central banks, which ends up in the hands of Deep State cronies and the elite. It creates an economy that runs on credit, not real wealth or real output. It can only grow by increasing the level of debt, and is thereby damned to its own destruction.
Disruptive Personality: There are only two major threats to this system. The first is the obvious one: economics. You can’t increase debt levels infinitely. Sooner or later, the whole kit and caboodle will blow up. The second is political: A determined, disruptive politician might be able to slow it down, or even reform it.
Last year at this time, there was some hope that Donald J Trump might be such a man. He was clearly a ‘disruptive’ personality. Perhaps he had a disruptive program? It was hard to know. What he said publicly was so incoherent and undisciplined that many people believed he must be smarter than he looked, with a hidden agenda, a plan of action that he dared not divulge for fear of bringing the entire weight of the Deep State crashing down upon him.
Hillary Clinton was clearly on the dark side. She favored more spending, both on social programs and military meddling. She was so deep in the pockets of lobbyists, big banks, and corporate America there was no chance she could ever climb out.
Mr Trump was different. He seemed more independent. He was too rich to steal. And too dumb to lie. He seemed to be not beholden to anyone - even the powerful Israeli lobby. ‘I don’t need your money,’ he told them.
Trump’s Greatest Trick: Yesterday, we glanced at a magazine sitting on the table in our hotel room. Inside was a picture of a skinny young guy wearing a tight green suit, with some kind of fleur-de-lis pattern on it, pants hiked up to the calf, with bright orange socks filling in the distance to shoes no less outrageous than the rest of the get-up.
We didn’t understand brand advertising until Mr Trump came along. We had always wondered: What’s the point of advertising clothes no one would want to wear? Now, we know. The idea is not to move the rags, but to fix the brand in the minds of the readers. The absurd outfits are just a way of getting attention. They plant the brand in your mind - provocative, clever, cutting edge, innovative, or whatever you want.
That was the genius of Donald Trump: He ran as a brand. But his important achievement, historically, was to silence the vestigial opposition to the Deep State.
Clownish Squabbles: Ms. Clinton would have had the whole constellation of ‘right wing’, evangelical, Tea Party, and establishment Republicans - responsible conservatives and rabid nut-jobs - against her. They would have blocked her every move and hounded her every step. They would have connected her, and her program, to the Deep State, and gnawed away at both.
For Mr Trump, on the other hand, the coast is clear. If there is any opposition to the Deep State program, it is now confused by conflicted loyalties, and distracted by Mr Trump’s clownish squabbles. We are supposed to care about whether football players stand or kneel, and not notice the $1.4 trillion given to Lockheed Martin to build and maintain a fleet of planes that experts say may never be combat-ready.
Likewise, it is supposed to matter whether Mr Trump calls the families of the boys who get killed doing the Deep State’s military mischief. But no one seems to know or care about the latest price tag for Obamacare, or that the nation is on track to add $10 trillion to its debt over the next 10 years. And we are kept so busy wondering about a war with North Korea or a feud with Senator Corker that we don’t even have to time wonder where all this money bidding up stocks is coming from.
The money flows…and the show goes on. And now we see what Mr Market, in his wisdom, must have seen a year ago: Mr Trump, not Ms Clinton, was the real Deep State candidate all along."
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
X22 Report, “It's All About To Hit The Fan,
The Cabal's Next Move Will Cover It All Up”
Related followup report:
X22 Report, “Did Russia Just Issue A New Eurasian Currency?”
by Jim Quinn
“In America, the criminally insane rule and the rest of us,
or the vast majority of the rest of us, either do not care, do not know,
or are distracted and properly brainwashed into acquiescence.”
- Kurt Nimmo
“What are the facts? Again and again and again– what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the un-guessable “verdict of history”– what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!” - Robert A. Heinlein
Facts are treasonous and dangerous in an empire of lies, fraud and propaganda. It is maddening to watch the country spiral downward, driven to ruin by a psychotic predator class, while the plebs choose to remain willfully ignorant of reality and distracted by their lust for cheap Chinese crap and addicted to the cult of techno-narcissism. We are a country running on heaping doses of cognitive dissonance and normalcy bias, an irrational belief in our national exceptionalism, an absurd trust in the same banking class that destroyed the finances of the country, and a delusionary belief that with just another trillion dollars of debt we’ll be back on the exponential growth track. The American empire has been built on a foundation of cheap easily accessible oil, cheap easily accessible credit, the most powerful military machine in human history, and the purposeful transformation of citizens into consumers through the use of relentless media propaganda and a persistent decades long dumbing down of the masses through the government education system.
This national insanity is not a new phenomenon. Friedrich Nietzsche observed the same spectacle in the 19th century: “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”
The “solutions” imposed by the supposed brightest financial Ivy League educated minds and corrupt bought off political class upon people of the United States since the Wall Street created 2008 worldwide financial collapse are insane and designed to only further enrich the crony capitalists and their banker brethren. The maniacs are ruling the asylum. John Lennon saw the writing on the wall forty five years ago: “Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends, and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.” – John Lennon, Interview BBC-TV (June 22, 1968)
The world is most certainly ruled by a small group of extremely wealthy evil men who desire ever more treasure, supremacy and control, but the vast majority of Americans have stood idly by mesmerized by their iGadgets and believing buying shit they don’t need with money they don’t have is the path to happiness and prosperity, while their wealth, liberty and self-respect were stolen by the financial elite. Our idiot culture, that celebrates reality TV morons, low IQ millionaires playing children’s sports, egomaniacal Hollywood hacks, self-promoting Wall Street financiers, and self-serving corrupt ideologue politicians, has been degenerating for decades.“We are in the process of creating what deserves to be called the idiot culture. Not an idiot sub-culture, which every society has bubbling beneath the surface and which can provide harmless fun; but the culture itself. For the first time, the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norm, even our cultural ideal.” - Carl Bernstein, 1992
The examples of our national insanity are almost too vast to document, but any critical assessment of what we’ve done over the last one hundred years reveals the idiocracy that has engulfed our collapsing empire.
The Madness of Crowds: “In reading "The History of Nations", we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.” – Charles MacKay, "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds"
We have become a nation that seamlessly goes mad every five years in pursuit of some new delusionary fantasy sold to us by the ruling class, only to see those dreams shattered like a wooden ship on the reef of reality. You can never underestimate the power of human stupidity. Ben Bernanke and now Janet Yellen and their Federal Reserve cronies have printed $4.6 trillion of new money out of thin air since September 2008 in order to prop up their Wall Street owners, who had engineered the largest control fraud (mortgage debt/housing bubble) in world history, recklessly gambled in their ravenous appetite for sordid profits, and drove their firms into insolvency. It took the Federal Reserve 95 years to accumulate a balance sheet of $900 billion of safe U.S. Treasuries.
They have insanely quadrupled their balance sheet in the last 8 years by accumulating toxic mortgage debt from Wall Street banks and purchasing the majority of new Treasury debt being issued to fund the Federal government’s insane trillion dollar annual deficits. Bernanke, the corporate media, government apparatchiks, and captured political class act as if this is normal, when it is clearly the act of a desperate ruling class in its final death throes. The Fed has leveraged its balance sheet 60 to 1. Lehman and Bear Stearns were leveraged 30 to 1 when they collapsed. A 100 basis point move in rates over the space of two months resulted in losing $200 billion and effectively wiping out his $55 billion of capital.
Of course, in a corrupt regime accounting fraud is encouraged and applauded by the status quo. Just as the spineless accountants on the FASB buckled to threats from Bernanke and Paulson in early 2009 and reversed the requirement that assets be marked to market so the felonious Wall Street banks could fraudulently hide their insolvency, the Federal Reserve has decided their losses don’t matter. The Federal Reserve classifies their losses as an asset. Don’t you wish you could classify your 401k losses and your home value losses as an asset? The tapering bullshit storyline is just another attempt to distract the masses from focusing on the fact that the Fed will never stop expanding it's balance sheet because if it stops the financial system will collapse in a catastrophic implosion. The Ponzi scheme will continue until loss of faith leads to a scramble away from the U.S. dollar.
Since the infamous creation of the Federal Reserve by a secretive cabal of bankers and politicians in 1913, the ultimate destination of the American empire was set. Every fiat currency in world history has collapsed. Our entire system has been based on infinite exponential growth. The fallacy of American exceptionalism has been built on an underpinning of pure stupid luck and the issuance of more and more debt. The American empire grew to epic proportions due to the discovery of cheap easily accessible oil in the late 19th century and the physical and economic destruction of Europe, Russia and Japan during World War II. The accumulation of debt was fairly moderate during the glory years after World War II, but began to accelerate after the fateful year of 1971 when U.S. oil production peaked and Tricky Dick Nixon removed the last vestiges of restraint from central bankers and politicians by closing the gold window. With the shackles removed from the wrists of corruptible knaves and shysters, America’s future depended upon the wisdom, honest and financial acumen of Washington politicians and Wall Street financiers. Once the citizens realized they could vote for more bread and circuses, our ultimate demise was set in motion. A nation that had produced real annual growth of 4% during the 1950’s and 1960’s has seen a steady decline for the last four decades.
The term pushing on a string describes the Quantitative Easing (literally money printing) and Keynesian debt financed pork spending efforts of our increasingly frantic owners. The insanity of what we’ve done since 1971 is almost too crazy to comprehend. In the first 182 years of our existence the leaders we elected to steward the nation accumulated $400 billion of national debt. By 1981, unleashed from any semblance of spending control, the politicians and bankers had added another $600 billion of debt, a 150% increase in 10 years. By 1991 our beloved leaders had added another $2.6 trillion of debt, another 160% increase in 10 years. By 2001 another $2.2 trillion had been accumulated, only a 60% increase due to the end of the Cold War and a one-time tax surge from the Dot.com stock bubble. Bush’s worldwide War on Terror, expansion of the police state, tax rebate stimulus idiocy, and expansion of the welfare state (Medicare Part D) drove the national debt up by another $2.2 trillion in just eight years, a 40% increase.
The insane amassing of debt since 2008 has put a final nail in the coffin of the ridiculous Keynesian theory, as the Federal government has increased annual spending by 35% over the last five years and the economy is still moribund. Our fearless leaders have driven the national debt from $7.8 trillion to $20.8 trillion in less than five years, a 110% increase. The country continues to add $2 to $3 billion of debt per day. Consider how insane it is that we now accumulate more debt in half a year than we did cumulatively over the first 185 years of our existence as a country. And our elected, or should I say selected, leaders, cheer on the intellectually bankrupt academics like those leading the Fed, whose only solution to every crisis is to print more and then lie to the American people about his true purpose, act as if annually spending $1 trillion more than we collect while knowing there are over $240 trillion of unfunded promises to fulfill is a reasonable and realistic way to manage the national finances. Any sane person knows our current path will lead to ruin. When you need to issue new debt in order to honor old debt, the end is in sight.
The multitude of insane responses to a financial crisis created by a few greedy psychopathic bankers will be looked upon by historians with contempt and scorn. Future generations will wonder “What were they thinking?” Trillions in wealth were vaporized due to the actions of a small secretive league of highly educated, egocentric psychopaths whose warped sense of morality led them to pillage the wealth of the nation through fraudulent financial products, bribing regulatory agencies, stabbing clients and competitors in the back, and peddling lies, propaganda and misinformation to the public through their captured media mouthpieces. Not only haven’t any predator bankers been thrown in jail, but these villains have grown their parasitic entities to enormous proportions while paying themselves obscene billion dollar bonuses. Jon Corzine stole $1.2 billion directly from the accounts of his customers to cover his gambling losses and he remains free to laze about in one of his five gated mansions. The largest banks on earth have been caught red handed forging mortgage documents, rigging LIBOR, front running the muppets with non-public economic information, insider dealing, and using their HFT supercomputers to manipulate the markets at their whim. Government spy agencies regularly use the U.S. Constitution like toilet paper while accumulating electronic dossiers on every citizen in the country. The rule of law does not exist for the ruling class.
Only in a world gone insane would we be celebrating Wall Street generating all-time high profits through the use of accounting fraud and the Fed filling their coffers with trillions of interest free money while bilking senior citizens out of $400 billion per year of interest income through his dastardly ZIRP “save a Wall Street banker” scheme. The Federal Reserve has stolen close to $2 trillion from the bank accounts of little old ladies since 2008 and given it to Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfien and the rest of the Wall Street scumbags. While Wall Street and the crony capitalist mega-corporations report record profits, Main Street is left with 5 million less full-time jobs than they had in 2007 and a real unemployment rate exceeding 24%. While the government has insanely reported a recovering economy since mid-2009, the food stamp rolls have grown from 33 million to 47 million. The ruling class cheers the record highs in the stock market that overwhelmingly benefit the top .1% because they are the .1%. Meanwhile, the average schmuck out in the hinterlands is paying double the price they were paying for gas in 2009 and their everyday living costs are rising by greater than 5% annually. Luckily for the financial elite, the average American would rather watch the Kardashians than try to understand the evilness of Federal Reserve created inflation. The economic recovery storyline is obliterated by the fact that real household income is still 9% below its 2008 peak and amazingly 8% below its 2000 level.
Since the 2009 low, the household net worth of the wealthiest 7% has grown by 48%, while the other 93% have seen their net worth decline by a further 14%. The profits accrue to those who run the show, buy the politicians, write the laws, command the media propaganda machine and control the currency. As a sane person in this insane world I’m flabbergasted that there is virtually no outrage at the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity. Americans have earned the moniker – ignorant masses. Bread and circuses have won the day in our declining empire. The oligarchs thank you.
The blame doesn’t rest solely on the shoulders of the evil men running the show. They have only done what we allowed them to do. From top to bottom our society has hopped on the crazy train. The lack of national morality, sense of civic duty, inter-generational responsibility, and willful ignorance regarding sensible financial policies has led us to a tipping point. Decades of feckless self-serving political leadership making entitlement promises they could never honor to win votes, combined with a parasitic financial class peddling debt to millions of witless, narcissistic, math challenged, materialistic morons, has left the country in debt up to its eyeballs with no escape other than cataclysmic default. Michael Lewis documents the bleeding out of our society in his recent book:
“The people who had the power in the society, and were charged with saving it from itself, had instead bled the society to death. The problem with police officers and firefighters isn’t a public sector problem; it isn’t a problem with government; it’s a problem with the entire society. It’s what happened on Wall Street in the run-up to the subprime crisis. It’s a problem of taking what they can, just because they can, without regard to the larger social consequences. It’s not just a coincidence that the debts of cities and states spun out of control at the same time as the debts of individual Americans. Alone in a dark room with a pile of money, Americans knew exactly what they wanted to do, from the top of the society to the bottom. They’d been conditioned to grab as much as they could, without thinking about the long-term consequences. Afterward, the people on Wall Street would privately bemoan the low morals of the American people who walked away from their subprime loans, and the American people would express outrage at the Wall Street people who paid themselves a fortune to design the bad loans.” – Michael Lewis, "Boomerang"
The insanity of our debt accumulation in relation to our pathetic economic growth is clearly evident to even an Ivy League educated economist or a bubble headed CNBC anchorwoman. Since 1971 nominal GDP has grown by a factor of 14. Over this same time frame total credit market debt (household, corporate, government) has grown by a factor of 32. Real GDP (even using the fraudulent BLS manipulated CPI) has only expanded by a factor of 3.5 since 1971. The exponential growth model is clearly failing, with debt going hyperbolic, while GDP has stagnated.
Since 2007 real GDP has gone up $500 billion while total credit market debt has gone up by $9 trillion. Only an insane society would allow itself to be convinced by the perpetrators of the financial crimes that collapsed our economic system that accelerating the level of debt in our system will resolve the dilemma of Too Big to Trust banker insolvency. Transferring the immense losses of greedy sham capitalist gambling addicts from their insolvent balance sheets onto the balance sheets of the taxpayer has allowed the criminals to retain and expand their wealth, while sovereign states shift the pain and suffering onto the backs of the sinking middle class. This is a worldwide phenomenon perpetuated by central bankers at the behest of their crony capitalist co-conspirators. They call it capitalism when the scams, dodges and swindles work and the profits accrue to the schemers. When the gamblers and extreme risk addicts roll craps they use their crony capitalist connections, bought with blood money, to socialize their losses. The game is rigged and your owners don’t care about your hopes and dreams or your children’s future. They care about their own wealth and lifestyles of luxury. When the richest 300 people in the world have a greater net worth than the poorest 4 billion people on earth, a sane person realizes a chaotic end of the existing social order beckons.
“All over the world people borrowed vast sums of money they could never repay. The honest toting up, and taking, of the losses is being delayed. There’s a reason for this. The bad debts are owed, largely, to big banks. The big banks (even bigger than they were at the start of this crisis) and the people who own them enjoy a wildly disproportionate amount of political influence. And so, even now, nine years into this mess, we remain at the mercy of the failed financial institutions that sit at the center of our capitalism. The Fed, along with their European counterparts, are doing everything in their power to prevent banks from failing. But the effect of this new financial order is bizarre: capitalism for everyone but the capitalists. Ordinary workers remain fully exposed to the increasingly harsh collisions in the marketplace while the highest paid financial elites ride protected by a passenger airbag.” – Michael Lewis, "Boomerang"
Clearly we’ve entered the final phase of our debt financed orgy of narcissistic materialism and self-absorbed avarice. The unsustainability of our course is a fact. Our society has gone mad en-masse but we are only recovering our sanity one by one. The global financial system is insolvent. A fractional reserve fiat money based system requires continuous growth or it collapses. The global banking system is over- leveraged and real global growth is stagnant. Central bankers are not smart men. They have one response to every crisis – print!!! The Fed is printing at hyper-speed in order to prop up the terminally ill mega-banks. They feign confusion at the fact that QE to infinity and ZIRP have only benefitted their banker puppet masters and the richest .1%, while further impoverishing senior citizen savers and the working middle class.
The anger at the true Wall Street malefactors manifested itself in the Tea Party movement and Occupy Wall Street movement, but both efforts were quickly hijacked by neo-con right wingers and socialist left wingers for their own ideological purposes. The existing social order continues to hold the reins of power, but their grip is growing precarious. The anger, dismay and resentment in the country simmer beneath the surface. The average person senses that all is not well, but most absurdly continue to believe the lies and propaganda spewed at them on a daily basis by the ruling class and their corporate media pawns. When the next shoe drops and billions of stock market and housing wealth are wiped out again, the national anger will sweep away the corrupt social order in a torrent of blood and retribution. Innocent and guilty alike will suffer the consequences. Michael Lewis is somewhat perplexed by the lack of outrage and violence so far.
“A lot has happened. And yet, given the provocation, it’s amazing how little has happened. No one on Wall Street has been shot, or even jailed – and the existing social order has not been seriously challenged. There’s a reason for this, too. The anger arising from the financial crisis finds no natural channel. In another era – an era before catastrophic experiments with radical socialism and nationalism – we would be watching market capitalism being displaced by something far uglier. But today there is no natural place for anger to flow, and so the anger flows haphazardly, like raindrops down a windowpane. The only political ideology that anger benefits these days is anarchy. From the point of view of those who enjoy political stability, it’s a stroke of luck that anarchists have no natural talent for organizing themselves. But how long will it take them to learn?” – Michael Lewis, "Boomerang"Staying sane in a society gone mad is not easy. Millions of people believe themselves to be sane, but they have really just adapted to an insane society, so they appear sane within the warped paradigm of that insane society. The truly sane people appear to be insane in an insane society. It’s enough to drive a man crazy. The immense forces of normalcy bias and social inertia have led millions to refuse to understand the mathematical certainty of the coming collapse. The worldwide banking system is like a great white shark that needs to keep moving or it dies. Exponential growth and continuous credit expansion have been the essential ingredients to expanding the American empire, but the growth has stopped, while the debt keeps growing. Infinite growth on a finite planet is impossible. As natural resources deplete and become more expensive to obtain, while the planet’s population continues to grow, the fractional reserve banking system and the nation states who continue to pile up trillions in debt will suddenly suffer a catastrophic collapse. We are in the end stages of a confidence game. Your government will not give you warning. We need to come to our senses one by one, until there are enough sane people to tip the scales in our favor. I’ve concluded that I live in a dishonest, insane, intolerable world and consider it my duty to spread discontent among those I can reach. I’m a dangerous man in the eyes of our corporate fascist surveillance state. So be it."
“The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is apt to spread discontent among those who are.”
– H.L. Mencken