Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Is this what will become of our Milky Way Galaxy? Perhaps if we collide with the Andromeda Galaxy in a few billion years, it might. Pictured below is NGC 7252, a jumble of stars created by a huge collision between two large galaxies. The collision will take hundreds of millions of years and so is effectively caught frozen in time in the above image. The resulting pandemonium has been dubbed the Atoms-for-Peace galaxy because of its similarity to a cartoon of a large atom. 
Click image for larger size.
The above image was taken recently by the MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope in Chile. NGC 7252 spans about 600,000 light years and lies about 220 million light years away toward the constellation of the Water Bearer (Aquarius). Since the sideways velocity of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is presently unknown, no one really knows for sure if the Milky Way will ever collide with M31."

The Poet: Langston Hughes, "Dreams"

"Dreams"

"Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow."

- Langston Hughes

"When One Grasps The Irony..."

“How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.”
- Barry Lopez

Chet Raymo, "In the Cave"

 "In the Cave"
by Chet Raymo

"I have mentioned here before the ospreys that patrol our beach - or "fish hawks," as they call them here - generally in the afternoon at about the time I take my long walk to the palm point. Magnificent birds with broad wings that glide seemingly effortlessly on the wind. And here's the thing: As often as not I am startled by a bird's shadow before I see the bird itself. That wide-winged shadow, sweeping across the white sand, sometimes across me. That flicker of chill as the osprey blocks the sun.

And generally when it happens I think of Plato's allegory of the cave. Prisoners in a cave are constrained to look only at a blank wall. Somewhere behind them there is a fire, and people come and go in front of the fire, casting shadows on the wall. The shadows are the only reality the prisoners know. They have no idea of the flesh-and-blood people behind them or the blazing fire. The prisoners know only what presents itself to their senses.

Forget for the moment Plato's point, which has to do with the duty of the philosopher to enlighten the benighted. There is a humbling moral to the story for all of us: We can only know what our senses- directly or indirectly- can perceive.

Who, a century ago, could have imagined the universe of the galaxies, or the marvelous dance of the DNA in every cell of our bodies? By cleverly extending our senses- limited as they are- with technological enhancements a whole new universe has opened up to us. Who can imagine what we might know a century from now? Plato's "real" world is like a shadow compared to the universe we inhabit today. Our own universe may be a shadow of a reality vastly more wonderful than anything we have so far dreamed.

Never mind. We live in the world we have. Even the osprey's shadow is magnificent in its own way. I am privileged to lift my eyes and see the feathered bird. And I have an intuition that there is more- much more- yet to see.”

"I Hope I End Up..."

"I don't want to pass through life like a smooth plane ride. All you do is get to breathe and copulate and finally die. I don't want to go with the smooth skin and the calm brow. I hope I end up a blithering idiot cursing the sun- hallucinating, screaming, giving obscene and inane lectures on street corners and public parks. People will walk by and say, "Look at that drooling idiot. What a basket case." I will turn and say to them, "It is you who are the basket case! For every moment you hated your job, cursed your wife and sold yourself to a dream that you didn't even conceive. For the times your soul screamed yes and you said no. For all of that. For your self-torture, I see the glowing eyes of the sun! The air talks to me! I am at all times!" And maybe, the passers by will drop a coin into my cup."
- Henry Rollins

The Daily "Near You?"

León, Castilla y Leon, Spain. Thanks for stopping by!

Free Download: Eckhart Tolle, “The Power of Now”

“The Power of Now” (Excerpt)
by Eckhart Tolle 

• "Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace? 
Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not.

• Is it not possible to attract only positive conditions into our life? If our attitude and our thinking are always positive, we would manifest only positive events and situations, wouldn't we? 
Do you truly know what is positive and what is negative? Do you have the total picture? There have been many people for whom limitation, failure, loss, illness, or pain in whatever form turned out to be their greatest teacher. It taught them to let go of false self-images and superficial ego-dictated goals and desires. It gave them depth, humility, and compassion. It made them more real.

Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time. Even a brief illness or an accident can show you what is real and unreal in your life, what ultimately matters and what doesn't.

Seen from a higher perspective, conditions are always positive. To be more precise: they are neither positive nor negative. They are as they are. And when you live in complete acceptance of what is — which is the only sane way to live— there is no "good" or "bad" in your life anymore. There is only a higher good— which includes the "bad." Seen from the perspective of the mind, however, there is good-bad, like-dislike, love-hate. Hence, in the Book of Genesis, it is said that Adam and Eve were no longer allowed to dwell in "paradise" when they "ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

• This sounds to me like denial and self-deception. When something dreadful happens to me or someone close to me— accident, illness, pain of some kind or death— I can pretend that it isn't bad, but the fact remains that it is bad, so why deny it?
You are not pretending anything. You are allowing it to be as it is, that's all. This "allowing to be" takes you beyond the mind with its resistance patterns that create the positive-negative polarities. It is an essential aspect of forgiveness. Forgiveness of the present is even more important than forgiveness of the past. If you forgive every moment— allow it to be as it is— then there will be no accumulation of resentment that needs to be forgiven at some later time.

Remember that we are not talking about happiness here. For example, when a loved one has just died, or you feel your own death approaching, you cannot be happy. It is impossible. But you can be at peace. There may be sadness and tears, but provided that you have relinquished resistance, underneath the sadness you will feel a deep serenity, a stillness, a sacred presence. This is the emanation of Being, this is inner peace, the good that has no opposite.

• What if it is a situation that I can do something about? How can I allow it to be and change it at the same time?
Do what you have to do. In the meantime, accept what is. Since mind and resistance are synonymous, acceptance immediately frees you from mind dominance and thus reconnects you with Being. As a result, the usual ego motivations for "doing"— fear, greed, control, defending or feeding the false sense of self— will cease to operate. An intelligence much greater than the mind is now in charge, and so a different quality of consciousness will flow into your doing.

"Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?" This was written 2000 years ago by Marcus Aurelius, one of those exceedingly rare humans who possessed worldly power as well as wisdom.

It seems that most people need to experience a great deal of suffering before they will relinquish resistance and accept— before they will forgive. As soon as they do, one of the greatest miracles happens: the awakening of Being- consciousness through what appears as evil, the transmutation of suffering into inner peace. The ultimate effect of all the evil and suffering in the world is that it will force humans into realizing who they are beyond name and form. Thus, what we perceive as evil from our limited perspective is actually part of the higher good that has no opposite. This, however, does not become true for you except through forgiveness. Until that happens, evil has not been redeemed and therefore remains evil.

Through forgiveness, which essentially means recognizing the insubstantiality of the past and allowing the present moment to be as it is, the miracle of transformation happens not only within but also without. A silent space of intense presence arises both in you and around you. Whoever or whatever enters that field of consciousness will be affected by it, sometimes visibly and immediately, sometimes at deeper levels with visible changes appearing at a later time. You dissolve discord, heal pain, dispel unconsciousness— without doing anything— simply by being and holding that frequency of intense presence."
- Eckhart Tolle, “The Power of Now”
- http://www.eckharttolle.com/eckharttolle
"Perhaps once in a decade, or even once in a generation, a book like "The Power of Now" comes along. It is more than a book; there is a living energy in it, one you can probably feel as you hold it. It has the power to create an experience in readers, and change their lives for the better.

"The Power of Now" was first published in Canada, and the Canadian publisher, Connie Kellough, told me she heard repeated stories of positive changes and even miracles that have happened once people got into the book. "Readers call in," she said. "And so many of them tell me of the wonderful healings, transformations, and increased joy they are experiencing because they have embraced this book." The book makes me aware that every moment of my life is a miracle. This is absolutely true, whether I realize it or not. And "The Power of Now," over and over, shows me how to realize it.

From the first page of his writing, it is clear that Eckhart Tolle is a contemporary master. He is not aligned with any particular religion or doctrine or guru; his teaching embraces the heart, the essence, of all other traditions, and contradicts none of them- Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, indigenous, or anything else. He is able to do what all the great masters have done: to show us, in simple and clear language, that the way, the truth, and the light is within us."

Download "The Power Of Now, A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment," by Eckhart Tolle, here:

"Spectacular Drone Footage Captures Northern Lights Over Iceland"

"Spectacular Drone Footage Captures Northern Lights Over Iceland"
by Ozzo Iceland

"It seems that the Northern Lights season– which typically runs from September to mid-April – has reached Iceland a little early this year, treating islanders to a spectacular celestial display. One minute and 46 seconds of pure serenity, the drone captures every magnificent streak of color as the phenomenon stretches across the night sky. f you ever felt unmotivated to witness the dancing aurora in person, this video is sure to make you reconsider. Shot in Reykjanes, south west Iceland, the only thing left to do is book a ticket." 

"Not a Drill: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space"

"Not a Drill: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space"
by Robin Seemangal

"An international team of scientists from the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) are investigating mysterious signal spikes emitting from a 6.3-billion-year-old star in the constellation Hercules–95 light years away from Earth. The implications are extraordinary and point to the possibility of a civilization far more advanced than our own.

The RATAN-600 Radio Telescope in Russia

The unusual signal was originally detected on May 15, 2015 by the Russian Academy of Science-operated RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia but was kept secret from the international community. Interstellar space reporter  Paul Gilster broke the story after the researchers quietly circulated a paper announcing the detection of “a strong signal in the direction of HD164595.”

The mysterious star’s designation is HD164595 and it’s considered to be sun-like in nature with a nearly identical metallic composition to our own star. So far, a single Neptune-like (but warmer) planet has been discovered in its orbit–HD 164595 b. But as Gilster explained, “there could, of course, be other planets still undetected in this system.”

Decorated Italian SETI researcher and mathematician Claudio Maccone along with Russia’s Nikolai Bursov of the Special Astrophysical Observatory are the principal scientists working on the apparent discovery. They claim that “permanent monitoring of this target is needed.” “The signal conceivably fits the profile for an intentional transmission from an extraterrestrial source,” says Alan Boyle, author of “The Case for Pluto” who reported thestory for Geekwire. “ In any case, the blip is interesting enough to merit discussion by those who specialize in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI.”  

The signal’s strength indicates that if it in-fact came from a isotropic beacon, the power source would have to be built by a Kardashev Type II civilization (The Kardashev scale is used to determine the progress of a civilization’s technological development by measuring how much energy was used to transmit an interstellar message.)  An ‘Isotropic’ beacon means a communication source emitting a signal with equal power in all directions while promoting signal strength throughout travel.

In his acclaimed work “Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations,” Soviet Astronomer Nikolai Kardashev explained that a Type II civilization would be able to harness the energy of their entire host star. The most common hypothetical example of this would be a Dyson Sphere–which is a massive artificial structure that could completely encapsulate a star and transfer the energy to a nearby planet. 

Basically, if the signal was beamed out into the galaxy without aim or direction, that would require an enormous amount of power to actually be detected. But what if the signal was beamed specifically at our solar system? Well, that would require less energy and could indicate the presence of a Kardashev Type I civilization–meaning that it could be a highly-technological, contemporary society that harnesses the solar energy emitted by its local star, much like our planet does with solar panels. This particular civilization’s social structure is theorized to be completely globalized and interconnected.

“The signal is provocative enough that the RATAN-600 researchers are calling for permanent monitoring of this target,” said Gilster. And that’s exactly what is transpiring. As of last night, the SETI institute is diverting its Allen Telescope Array in northern California to investigate while their counterparts at METI International (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) will utilize Panama’s Boquete Optical Observatory.

The detection of the mysterious signal and the ensuing investigations will be discussed at the IAA SETI Permanent Committee during the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, on September 27th."
Related:
Cosmology: "The WOW Signal"

Morning's Musical Interlude: The Moody Blues, “The Story In Your Eyes”

The Moody Blues, “The Story In Your Eyes”

“Russia Update: Now Mobilization of 300,000 Troops!”

“Russia Update: Now Mobilization of 300,000 Troops!”
by Newsroom

"On Monday, August 29, we reported that Russia had mobilized Reserve Army Troops for the first time since the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. Today, Tuesday August 30, we have found that the total mobilization is actually 80 mobilization brigades. About 10 tank brigades, 30 motor rifle brigades, 20 artillery and 20 other support brigades. So about 300,000 men. Our original story appears HERE.

SuperStation95 has reached out to our contacts in the Pentagon, The Intelligence Community and the State Department and the answers we're getting are very serious. According to the Pentagon, there has never been a mobilization like this in Russia before. The shear size of it is described by seasoned Pentagon officials as "staggering!" According to two separate sources in the Intelligence Community, various intel sources indicate the Russians intend to take action- but they are not certain if that action will be in Ukraine, Syria or... Turkey. The fear is that the size of this mobilization may mean "all of the above."  

Our source in the Pentagon put it this way: “Russia has also mobilized divisions of the National Guard, and the NAF is mobilizing its reserves to go from 35,000 men to 95,000. Russia has assured this will be a coalition war by sending its CSTO allies to the Belarussian-Polish border. So that includes units from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. When you count it all up, Russia and allies now have something like half a million men on alert opposite Ukraine, the Baltics and Poland. I've never seen anything like it.”

Let's recap a little as to how things got so bad. In Ukraine, the lawfully and democratically elected President, Yanukovich, was overthrown after tens of thousands of Ukraine citizens protested- often violently- for months. It turned out that it was the United States and its NATO allies who bankrolled the protesters, to the tune of five Billion dollars! This was proven when Russian intelligence tapped a phone call between Deputy Secretary of State Gloria Nuland and her staff in the US State Department.  Recordings of that conversation were made public by Russia and contained the infamous comment by Nuland "F**k Europe."

The reason the US and NATO bankrolled the overthrow of the Ukrainian government was due to the fact that Yanukovich was aligned with Moscow. The US and NATO wanted Ukraine to be more aligned with the West, but Yanukovich wouldn't budge. So the US and NATO bankrolled protests and ultimately, Yanukovich had to flee for his life into Russia. That allowed the US and NATO to set up a puppet government in Ukraine's capital, Kiev, which is now favorable to the west.

When the former Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, Russia sought- and was given- a guarantee by the US: NATO would "not move even one inch east" toward Russia. That promise, by then Secretary of State James Baker, turned out to be totally false. In a short time span, the former Soviet states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania applied for membership in NATO and it was granted. Next came Poland and Romania. Granted.

Left in all this change was Ukraine, until the west moved to overthrow that government. This overthrow was intolerable by the Russians.  For years, Moscow watched as NATO not only moved one-inch further east, but made giant leaps and was now positioning troops and armor along Russia's western Border. When the Ukraine government was overthrown, Russia took action.

They began by moving about twenty thousand troops to their Black Sea Naval Fleet base in southern Ukraine; a peninsula called Crimea. Within days, those troops moved out into Crimea and annexed the peninsula. They claimed that Crimea was once part of Russia- it was- but was given to Ukraine by Khruschev. They also claimed that ethnic Russians inside Crimea were being discriminated against by Kiev and they wanted to return to being part of Russia. A Referendum was held and more than 80% of the voters in Crimea voted to return to Russia.

The US and NATO countries claimed the referendum was fraught with fraud and will not recognize the movement of Crimea back into Russia. The US and NATO imposed economic sanctions upon Russia until Crimea is given back to Ukraine. Russia has made clear, Crimea is now a permanent part of Russia and it is not going anywhere.

After Crimea was annexed, Ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, near Donbas and Luhansk, reported they were being "ethnically cleansed" by the Kiev government. They called to Russia for help.  Shortly thereafter, "little green men" in brand new, unmarked army uniforms, armed with state of the art weapons systems including tanks, missile launchers and the like, began appearing in eastern Ukraine and forcing the Ukraine authorities out. Thus began a proxy war in eastern Ukraine between Russia and Ukraine/US/NATO. But the US and NATO have to move cautiously because Ukraine is NOT a member of NATO.

The Ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine have made great strides and fighting in that part of Ukraine tends to be fierce. The fighting has now gone on for a couple years, and given developments around the world, it appears that this fight will be brought to a violent conclusion by a massive Russian invasion.  

Intel analysts believe the invasion will take place in September, after the G-20 Summit in China. They also know that the Russians can move with so much power, so many troops and so much armor, that Ukraine would fall within days, with NATO utterly powerless to do anything about it.

In the interim, Syria has been faced with US (and NATO) backed "rebels" trying to overthrow its democratically elected President, Bashar Assad. The trouble began with a memo written by then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who wrote that Assad needed to be overthrown "to help Israel." In fact, it was Assad's refusal to allow a gas pipeline from Qatar to traverse Syria to supply Europe with natural gas, that actually caused the trouble.

Syria is- and has always been- an ally of Russia. Europe does not like being so dependent upon Russian gas supplies, so the Arabs in Qatar agreed to run a huge gas pipeline from Qatar through several countries, including Syria, then on to Europe. But Assad in Syria knew this would harm Russia, so he refused the pipeline. That's when a whole slew of  "Friends of Syria" started calling Assad a "brutal dictator" and also began arming "rebels" to overthrow him.

When things got bad for Syria, Assad pleaded with Russia for military assistance, and Russia agreed. The Russians made incredible strikes throughout Syria, clobbering both ISIS Terrorists and US-Backed Rebels. This did not sit well with US and NATO ally, Turkey, which was caught accepting stolen oil from ISIS, and supplying ISIS with weapons to overthrow Assad! So Turkey asked Russia to stop attacking the rebels and Russia refused. Turkey then shot down a Russian Fighter jet. Big mistake.

Turkey then made moves to get back into the good graces of Russia, which lead to an alleged military coup attempt to overthrow Turkish President Erdogan. The Turkish president was quick to blame the United States for the attempted Coup and relations between the US and Turkey got so bad, so fast, that the US had to remove its 50-80 nuclear weapons from Turkey's Incirlik air base because the US no longer trusts Turkey.

Throughout these affairs, Turkey has pushed to introduce its ground troops into Syria under the guise of "fighting ISIS." But since everyone now knows that ISIS is pals with Turkey, and that Turkey supports ISIS, it is clear to everyone who pays attention, that Turkey's real goal is to assist ISIS and overthrow Bashar Assad of Syria to get the Qatar pipeline built.

Prior to Turkey sending in its troops, both the Syrian and Russian governments announced to the entire world "If any foreign troops enter Syria without the permission of the Syrian government, those troops will be attacked." Turkey has now flatly ignored that warning and sent troops and tanks into northern Syria.

According to a source in the US State Department, negotiations between the US and Russia for resolution of "the Syria problem" have failed. With no Diplomatic solution in sight, the State Department is terrified that Russia is going to settle the Syria problem by force by attacking and destroying the remaining Rebels (and ISIS) and by totally smashing the Turksh Army units inside Syria.

Turkey is a member of NATO and would likely try to invoke the NATO defense Treaty if their troops were attacked. But Turkey won’t be able to invoke that Treaty because Turkish troops illegally entered Syria! So it look as though Turkey is going to be left swinging in the breeze by NATO as Russia comes in and stomps them out of Syria. In order for Russia to accomplish operations in both Ukraine and Syria, they would need about two hundred thousand to three hundred thousand men. Exactly the numbers they have just mobilized.

The China Surprise: The 2016 G20 Hangzhou summit will be the eleventh G20 meeting. It is planned to be held on 4–5 September 2016 in the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang. It is also the first ever G20 summit to be hosted in China and the second international summit after Xi Jinping succeeded the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (China's paramount leader) in 2012.   

However, looming in the background of this important meeting is the ongoing trouble in the South China Sea. We have information that China may move militarily to seize Scarborough Shoal off the coast of the Philippines after the G-20 meeting because they believe the US will be too distracted by internal politics to respond. This would create a military conflict in the South China Sea. After September 5, look for an outbreak of hostilities.

See where this is going? World War 3. After the G-20 Meeting in China. The 11th G20 Summit will be held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang on September 4 and 5. Watch for it.

Suprised? The US mass-media is the ONLY mass-media worldwide which is NOT covering all these developments. Everyone else around the world knows things are coming to a fight; it's just folks in the USA being kept ignorant. Must be the Obama "transparency" at work.”

"How It Really Is"

“Retired Green Beret Rages: "How Can Hillary Still Be In The Running For President?"

“Retired Green Beret Rages: 
"How Can Hillary Still Be In The Running For President?"
by Jeremiah Johnson

“It is literally amazing how an individual so crooked, so duplicitous, and with so many chargeable offenses can actually stay in the running for the presidency of the United States. Mac Slavo recently penned a piece on the $32-million-dollar donation from the Prince of Bahrain to Hillary Clinton (indirectly), via the Clinton Foundation. The battle for the presidency is won with the bank account, and Clinton is leaving Trump behind in the starting gates. Just in the month of July, Clinton raised $90 million for her campaign.

$90 million.

Now her new television ad campaign, coincidentally, is running her a cool $80 million. She has a virtually unlimited amount of cash to throw into this election, and remember the beauty of it all…anything she takes in at this point, she keeps, whether she wins the election or not, and it’s not taxable income. She’s operating in the green, and it’s all going to be profit at this point.

There is a list of donors to Hillary Clinton that is circulating on the internet. Among these (and these are ones that are known, mind you) are such notables as Chelsea Handler, the comedienne, donating $100,000. There’s nothing funny about that. Peter Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, giving Clinton $500,000. The Tulalip [Indian] Tribe of Washington, $125,000. The list has individuals, unions, PAC’s… a “smattering” of virtually every demographic.

There’s a Muslim fanatic by the name of Kase Lukman Lawal of Nigeria, an oil billionaire with known operations and ties to known and well-established terrorist individuals and organizations, such as Bosco Ntaganda and Al Shabaab respectively. This Lawal bundled more than $100,000 for Clinton for her 2008 run. She returned the favor when she was Secretary of State by blocking any charges of association with known terrorists from reaching him, charges that could have meant 20 years on a conviction.  Ready for the punch-line?

This guy is living in Houston and is a Commissioner for the Port Authority of Houston. You can read more about it in an article dated July 28, 2016 by IWB entitled "HIGH TREASON: Hillary Sells Arms to Qatar, Transfers 20% of US Uranium Production To Russia, Sides With BLM Over Land Grab, Receives TONS of Money from Nigerian Terrorist Billionaire."

You can also read about the $2.35 million given in four donations from a Russian Uranium mining concern to the Clinton Foundation, signed off and shifted by Clinton when she was Secretary of State and headed the State Department. These donations came between 2009 to 2013.

Trump is a “penny ante” operator in comparison to Clinton. He backed a deal to keep the Ukrainian administration intact prior to the U.S. Victoria Nuland-led coup, and allowed his campaign manager to get “sucked” into public view, necessitating his resignation.

Clinton?  She practically orchestrated the whole “Arab Spring,” and threw all of Egypt into turmoil, was one of the “jeering” principals involved in killing Kaddafi in Libya, and managed to allow the “removal” of the American ambassador in Libya and his staff… no real questions asked.

If Clinton’s leaked classified e-mails pertaining to the defense and national security of the United States were ignored, then how many e-mails listing her donations from foreigners and foreign entities were swept under the rug?

We haven’t even touched on some of her more well-known “big” backers, such as Soros, Warren Buffet, and (recently announced) CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Meg Whitman. How much are they donating under the table in addition to what they’re giving that is visible? Even more: how much of an effect unable to be measured in dollars are their influences having to generate both opportunities and support for her?

The media is firmly in her pocket. The polls (not much different from polling regarding the removal of horns from cattle) are manipulated and skewed, and all of the printed drivel, the blathering over the airwaves, and the scripted circus of the television stations are all in her corner.  She has the funds to “recreate” herself in the “mom and apple-pie” image… an image that appeals to women, minorities, and liberals… an image they are gobbling up in the manner of the “TV parlor-watchers” of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.”

She generates more and more money every day, and spends more of it every day. One thing about the Clintons: they know how to spend money to make more of it.  As the Secretary of State, she sold this country down the river. Now she’s buying it back, but for her own possession. The ironic thing is she’s buying it back on the backs of the American taxpayer with her tax-free campaign funds.

Trump may have his Trump Towers and his casinos, but the true tower is the “towering inferno” that Clinton created with her destabilization of the Middle East and the former Soviet republics that she profited from greatly. And the casino she’s vying for is the United States, where the cards are all marked and the deck is stacked in her favor. The gamble she’s betting on is whether the American people are dumb enough to make her the “pit boss.” She’s winning that gamble… by buying their votes long before the ballots are cast. In the battle of funds, she’s riding into the sunset (of the U.S., that is) and leaving Trump in the dust. In the end, only the American people lose the whole shooting match.”

“Wake Up America- It's Time To Eliminate The 'Pusher'”

“Wake Up America- It's Time To Eliminate The 'Pusher'”
by Charles Hugh-Smith

"Central banks can only do one thing, and that's provide monetary welfare for the wealthy. The fact that central banks provide welfare for the wealthy is now entering the mainstream. The fact that all central bank policies since 2008 have dramatically increased wealth and income inequality is now grudgingly being accepted as reality by mainstream economists and the financial media.

The central banks' PR facade of noble omniscience on behalf of the great unwashed masses has cracked wide open. Even The Wall Street Journal is publishing critiques of Federal Reserve policies that suggest the Fed has no idea how the U.S. economy actually works because their policies have failed to help the bottom 95%.

The grudging admission that central bank policies have enriched the rich while failing to benefit the bottom 95% is a breakthrough- the stone wall of denial has finally been pierced. The mainstream media and the Establishment have resolutely clung to the self-serving fantasy that the Federal Reserve 1) knows what's it's doing and 2) is boosting a "recovery" that will soon achieve self-sustaining "escape velocity"- that is, the economy will generate its own growth and the Fed can dial back its zero-interest rate policy and all its other unprecedented monetary easing measures.

But like a strung-out junkie that needs ever-stronger injections of smack just to stay alive, the U.S. economy is now totally and completely dependent on central bank heroin to keep from crashing. Rather then wean the economy of central bank largesse, the Fed has made the entire economy dependent on zero interest rates, central bank asset purchases and quantitative easing.

At the mere hint that rates might rise or the Fed might cease buying assets and goosing liquidity, the stock market swoons and every sector that's dependent on cheap, abundant credit faints dead away.

We now have the charade of Chief Heroin Pusher Janet Yellen claiming the addict is "recovering" while she shoves another needle of monetary smack into the comatose U.S. economy. The Fed fantasy was that boosting the wealth of the obscenely wealthy would "trickle down" to the bottom 95% via "the wealth effect"- as stocks and bonds rose in value, households would feel wealthier and happily plunge deeper into debt.

Apparently the hordes of PhDs and "professional" economists in the Fed were incapable of observing that 3/4 of all financial wealth is held by the top 5%: the top 1% owns 43% and the next 4% own another 30%. The upper-middle class owns 15% and the bottom 80% own what little is left: "wealth" such household belongings and equity in homes that can no longer be extracted:
Globally, the top .7% (less than 1%) own 45% of all wealth and the top 8% own 85% of all wealth:
While the spending of the bottom 95% stagnates, spending by the top 5% that have benefited from the Fed's welfare for the rich has soared:
If you glance at this chart, it's no longer a mystery why most of the new jobs in the "recovery" are low-paying service-sector jobs waiting on the top 5%: bussing their dishes in fancy bistros, delivering meals to their luxe condos/homes, walking their dogs, etc.

As for "reforming" the central bank or the status quo- real reform is impossible, as I explain in my book "Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform." All "reform" is just PR cover for more of the same.

Central banks can only do one thing, and that's provide monetary welfare for the wealthy. Now that the central bank has enriched the obscenely wealthy, distorted markets globally and addicted the economy to cheap credit, the servile toadies and lackeys in the mainstream media and the Cargo Cult of economic "professionals" is finally admitting that it was all a fraud, a racket that favored the rich.

Wake up, America. The only way to stop widening wealth and income inequality and kick your smack addiction is to eliminate the pusher.”
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Do you really want more of this? How much more can you stand?!

Steppenwolf, "The Pusher"

“Read The Opposite of What You Believe”

“Read The Opposite of What You Believe”
by Steve Saville

“People are naturally attracted to viewpoints that are similar to their own and to information that supports what they already believe. In fact, most people go out of their way to find articles and newsletters that are biased towards their pre-existing views of the world. However, they should do the opposite.

If you seek-out information that supports what you already think you know and exclusively read authors whose opinions match your own, you will never learn anything. All you will do is increase your comfort in, and therefore entrench, views that may or may not be correct. You will never find out if your views are incorrect because you are refusing to objectively consider any alternatives.

Even when a particular belief leads to a decision that, in turn, leads to a devastating loss, you probably won’t accept the possibility that the premise behind your decision was wrong. Instead, you will assume that the decision was soundly based but that unforeseeable external factors intervened to bring about the bad result. Rather than acknowledge that your premise was wrong you might, for example, conclude that a nefarious force manipulated events such that a logically prudent course of action on your part was made to look ill-conceived.

Seeking out and focusing on information, analyses and opinions that mesh with your existing beliefs is called confirmation bias. An antidote is to go out of your way to read articles and other pieces of literature that challenge your dearly-held beliefs.

For example, if you strongly believe that financial Armageddon lies around the next corner then the last thing you should do is devote a lot of your finance-related reading time to the Zero Hedge web site. Instead, you should seek-out sites that present less-bearish analyses and conclusions. This way you can make decisions based on a wider range of information, not just information that has been carefully selected to support one particular outcome.

If you can keep an open mind while reading articles and assessing information that does not agree with your current beliefs, then you have a chance of learning something and avoiding pitfalls. After all, as Mark Twain said, ‘It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.’”

Politics/Government: “Trending”

“Trending”
by James Howard Kunstler

“Would fate permit it, the election of Hillary Clinton will be the supreme and perhaps terminal act in an Anything-Goes-And-Nothing-Matters society. Yet, even with the fabulous luck of running against a consummate political oaf, she struggles to get the upper hand, and she may land in the White House with the lowest voter turnout in modern history. And then her reward in office may be to dodge indictment for four years while the nation crumbles around her. This is the way the world ends: not with a bang or a whimper but with a cackle.

Imagine the scene following Hillary’s election. In order to salvage the last shred of its credibility, the Federal Reserve raises its overnight funds rate another quarter percent and crashes the last Potemkin semblance of a “recovering” economy, that is, the levitated stock markets. Tens of millions of retired individuals previously driven into them by zero interest rate policy are wiped out. Even more gravely, pension funds and insurance companies are destroyed, but not before their troubles trigger derivative contracts with big banks which then explode and expose the inability of counterparties to make good on their ends of the bet.

In a blind panic, the Federal Reserve reverses its policy in December, drops the Fed Funds interest rate back to 25 basis points and announces the grandest new round of “quantitative easing” (money printing) ever, while congress is coerced into voting for the greatest bailout of institutions the world has ever seen, along with a “one time” helicopter drop of a cool trillion dollars in the form of combined tax cuts and “shovel-ready infrastructure projects.” The media rejoices. The US Dollar tanks. Absolutely nobody wants US treasury bonds, bills, and notes. The pathetic remnant of the American middle class stares into the abyss. (If it looks hard enough, it sees the US government down there.)

We’re now living in the setup for this, treating the election shenanigans so far as just another sordid television entertainment. It’s more than that. It’s an engraved invitation to the worst crisis since the Civil War. The crisis may even feature events like a civil war with identity groups skirmishing around our already-ruined “flyover” cities just like the factions in Aleppo and Fallujah. Thank the “Progressive” Left for that. Believe me, history will blame them for chucking the idea of a unifying common culture onto the garbage barge.

And yes, for all our tribulations here in America, the rest of the world will be struggling with its own epic disorders. It remains to be seen whether they will lead to war as, say, the Chinese ruling party attempts to evade the crash of its own rickety banking system, and the inflamed millions of ruined “investors,” by starting a brawl with Japan over a few meaningless islands in the Pacific. Could happen. And, oh, is North Korea for real with its right out front nuclear bomb-and-missile program? What does the rest of the world plan to do about that?

You don’t even want to look at the Middle East. The grisly conflicts there of recent decades are just a prelude to what happens when the House of Saud loses its grip on the government. That will happen, and then the big question is whether Aramco can continue to function, or whether the critical parts of it end up damaged beyond repair as competing tribes fight over it. In any case, the world will begin to notice the salient fact of life in that part of the world: namely, that the Arabian desert, and much of the great band of arid territory on either side of it, cannot support the populations that mushroomed in the nutrient bath of the 20th century oil economy. And they won’t all be able to self-export to Europe either.

Speaking of that interesting region, around the same time Hillary sets up for intensive care in the third floor of the White House, the old order will be swept away across Europe. Farewell Merkel and Monsieur Hollandaise. Farewell to the squishy Left all over the place. Enter the hard-asses. You’d think if anything might unite that continent it might be the wish to defend secular freedom under the rule of law, but even that remains to be seen.

Yes, the world following 3Q 2016 is looking like one hot mess. If you remember anything, let it be this: the primary mission of your cohort of the human race is managing contraction. The world is getting wider and poorer again and the outcome everywhere will be determined by the success of people to manage their lives locally. The big things of this world- governments, corporations, institutions- are losing their traction and whatever we manage to rebuild will get done locally. In victory, Hillary may utterly cease to matter.”

"In This Life..."

"Many people don't fear a hell after this life and that's because hell is on this earth, in this life. In this life there are many forms of hell that people walk through, sometimes for a day, sometimes for years, sometimes it doesn't end. The kind of hell that doesn't burn your skin; but burns your soul. The kind of hell that people can't see; but the flames lap at your spirit. Heaven is a place on earth, too! It's where you feel freedom, where you're not afraid. No more chains. And you hear your soul laughing."
- C. JoyBell C.

"USA Debt Pig: ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Society, ‘Pay Later’ Is Rapidly Approaching"

"USA Debt Pig: ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Society, 
‘Pay Later’ Is Rapidly Approaching"
By Michael Synder

"If you really wanted to live like a millionaire, you could start doing it right now. All you have to do is to apply for as many credit cards as possible and then begin running up credit card balances like there is no tomorrow. At this point, I know what most of you are probably thinking. You are probably thinking that such a lifestyle would not last for long and that a day of reckoning would eventually come, and you would be exactly right. In fact, anyone that has ever had a tremendous amount of credit card debt knows how painful that day of reckoning can be. To mindlessly run up credit card debt is exceedingly reckless, but unfortunately that is precisely what we have been doing as a nation as a whole. We are a “buy now, pay later” society, and our national day of reckoning is approaching very, very quickly.

Often we like to focus on our exploding national debt, but household debt is out of control too. In fact, the total amount of household debt in the United States is now up to a whopping 12.3 trillion dolllars: "In the second quarter, total household debt increased by $35 billion to $12.3 trillion, according to the New York Fed’s latest quarterly report on household debt. That increase was driven by two categories: auto loans and credit cards."

We throw around words like “trillion” so often these days that they often start to lose their meaning. But the truth is that 12.3 trillion dollars is an astounding amount of money. It breaks down to about $38,557 for every man, woman and child in the entire country. So if you have a family of four, your share comes to a grand total of $154,231, and that doesn’t even include corporate debt, local government debt, state government debt or the gigantic debt of the federal government. That number is only for household debt, and there aren’t too many Americans that could cough up their share right at this moment.

Do you remember when I wrote about how credit card companies are specifically targeting less educated and less sophisticated consumers? Well, that is where much of the credit card debt growth has come lately.  Just check out these numbers: "Now, credit cards are returning among individuals with low credit or subprime credit scores below 660. Among people with credit scores between 620 and 660, the share that had a credit card rose to 58.8% in 2015 from a low of 54.3% in 2013. Among those with scores below 620, the number of people with a credit card increased to 50% from a low of 45.6% two years ago. Both figures for 2015 are the highest since 2008."

In America today, we are enjoying a standard of living that we do not deserve. We consume far more wealth than we produce. The only way we are able to do that is by going into debt. Debt takes future consumption and brings it into the present. In other words, we are damaging the future in order to make the present a little bit better. On an individual level, we may enjoy the big screen television we buy with a credit card today, but we are taking away our ability to spend money later. And on a national level, what our unprecedented debt binge is doing to future generations of Americans is beyond criminal.

In this article I haven’t even talked about corporate debt yet. Instead of learning their lessons from the last financial crisis, big corporations have gone on the biggest debt spree of all time. If you can believe it, corporate debt has approximately doubled since the last financial crisis. In other words, since the last recession we have essentially matched the total amount of corporate debt that we accumulated from the beginning of the country up to 2009.

Unfortunately, a lot of that debt is now going bad. In previous articles I have documented that corporate debt delinquencies are now the highest that they have been since the last financial crisis, and corporate debt defaults are also the highest that they have been since the last financial crisis. At this point, even the mainstream media is acknowledging that we have a corporate debt “crisis”. The following comes from an article that was just put out by the Denver Post: "The number of companies that have defaulted so far this year has already passed the total for all of last year, which itself had the most since the financial crisis. Even among companies considered high-quality, or investment grade, credit-rating agencies say a record number are so stretched financially that they’re one bad quarter or so from being downgraded to “junk” status.

Companies whose debt is already deemed “junk” are in the worst shape in years. To pay back all they owe, they would have to set aside every dollar of their operating earnings over the next eight and a half years, more than twice as long as it would have taken during the 2008 crisis, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch."

Are you starting to get the picture?

And I haven’t even started talking about our national debt yet. When Barack Obama entered the White House, we were 10.6 trillion dollars in debt. Today, we are 19.4 trillion dollars in debt. That means that we have added 8.8 trillion dollars to the national debt under Obama, which breaks down to an average of 1.1 trillion dollars of additional debt a year.

We have been taking more than 100 million dollars of future consumption and bringing it into the present every single hour of every single day during the Obama administration. That is why I am constantly referring to our “debt-fueled standard of living”. We do not deserve to live the way that we do, but since we are able to steal from our children and our grandchildren we are able to enjoy a standard of living that most people in the world can only dream about.

Of course we are literally destroying the future of America in the process, but very few people seem to care about that these days.

Without all of this debt, we would be in a very deep economic depression right now. But even with all of this “stimulus”, we are still mired in the worst economic “recovery” since 1949. In fact, Barack Obama is actually on track to be the very first president in all of American history to not have one single year when U.S. GDP grew by 3 percent or better, and he has had two terms in which to try to get that accomplished. The percentage of working age Americans that actually have a job is way down from where it was just prior to the last recession, and the employment numbers put out by the government are not nearly as good as the administration would have us believe.

If the American people would have been willing to sacrifice and make some very hard choices a long time ago, maybe we could have gotten a handle on all of this debt. But instead we continue to rack up debt as if there is no tomorrow, and in the process we are literally destroying tomorrow. Every dollar of debt that we accumulate now makes life worse for our children and our grandchildren.

Unfortunately, we are a bunch of debt pigs, and we just can’t help ourselves. We have come to believe that it is “normal” to go into so much debt, and as a society we continue to race toward economic oblivion."

The Economy: “How Does It All End? Part II: The Fed”

“How Does It All End? Part II: The Fed”
by Bill Bonner

‘We’re not hunting for sport,’ explained the woman in charge of the hunt. ‘We’re hunting for necessity.’ Each hunt has a person who is responsible to the government. Not necessarily a hunter. In our case, it is a woman of 80 years, still spry and attractive. She stopped by yesterday afternoon to bring us a choice cut…a ham.

Our farm is one of several farms included in the area she oversees. It is customary to give each owner a piece of the animals that have been killed. ‘It’s so hot that nobody really wants to go out,’ she explained. ‘And the dogs…running through the briars and brambles in this heat…are completely exhausted. But the pigs [wild boars] are doing so much damage to the corn. We have to try to control them. The dogs flushed nearly 20 of them out of the woods. We killed four. Not too bad. But we’re going to have to stay on the job.’

We’re on the job here at the Diary too…after we finish our household chores, of course. But nothing much is happening in the money world. The press reports that traders are hanging loose, wondering what dumb thing the Fed will do next. Rumor has it that, at [last Saturday’s] meeting, it may decide to raise rates in October…or maybe November…or maybe not at all.

It hardly matters. The Fed has created an unnatural, hothouse economy. Neither banks, nor business, nor investors fear a frost. None suffers drought or flood. The feds have worked so hard, for so long, to protect them from the real, outside world…now, they can only survive in the strange world where light, water, and temperature are all controlled…and they can get the Miracle-Gro of money at the lowest rates in 5,000 years.

Open the doors? Turn off the water? No chance. The Fed will never, ever return to normal market-discovered interest rates- at least, not willingly. There are too many precious orchids in that hothouse. They vote. They make campaign contributions. They employ millions of workers. And they can’t survive in the outside world.

Just look at the numbers… The US has total debt of about $65 trillion. Even at a super-easy 2%, it means that it costs $1.3 trillion a year to pay the interest. Or, about 7% of GDP. That leaves the economy in a precarious balance- where it has just enough income to pay expenses. Growth, if you believe the figures, is less than 2%. Now, add just 1% to interest rates. What do you get? Another $650 billion of GDP that must be devoted to interest payments…or more than one out of every 10 dollars’ worth.

Suddenly, billions- perhaps trillions- of investments, speculations, capital improvements, households, small businesses, and major corporations would be in trouble. Many would go broke. And the whole financial system could freeze up, just like it did in 2008.

Open the window in October? Maybe. But only a crack. And then shut it fast when the weather turns cold! How does this all end? We continue to wonder in Part II of our foreword to Jim Davidson’s new book, "The Breaking Point": You can catch up on Part I in yesterday’s Diary.

The final form of human government: When Francis Fukuyama wrote his landmark essay ‘The End of History?’ in 1989, the battles of the 20th century seemed to be over. We had reached the ‘endpoint of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of western liberal democracy as the final form of human government,’ he wrote.

With the Cold War over, modern democratic capitalism could now be perfected. US companies could hustle their products to 1.5 billion more consumers, recently come out from behind the former Iron Curtain. And the US wouldn’t need to spend so much on defense. That was the most obvious and immediate benefit to the US- a ‘peace dividend’. Billions of dollars could now be liberated from the defense budget and put to better use elsewhere. Things were looking up. As China and the Soviet Union went, so went the rest of the world.

Soon, everyone was trying to learn the latest buzz words from globalized business schools…setting up factories to make things for people who really couldn’t afford them…gambling on Third World debt (with a guarantee from the feds in their back pocket)…trading stocks of companies that used to belong to the government… and aiming to get their sons and daughters into Stanford so they would be first in line for a job at Goldman Sachs.

Google it! Things got even better when, in the late 1990s, it looked as though the Information Age had freed us from the constraints of the Machine Age. Forget axles and drive trains. Forget oil wells. Two things held back growth rates, or so it was said at the time: ignorance and resources. You needed educated scientists and trained engineers to design and build a railroad. You also needed material inputs. Iron ore, copper, steel, and so on…and most important: energy.

Education took time and money. And Stanford could only handle a few thousand students. Most people- especially those in Africa, Asia, and Oklahoma- had no easy access to the information they needed to get ahead. The Internet changed that. You want to build a nuclear reactor? Google it! You want to know how Say’s Law works? Or Boyle’s Law? Or the Law of Unintended Consequences?

It’s all there. With enough imagination you can almost see an Okee in a trailer in Muskogee, studying metallurgy online. You can almost see him driving up to Koch Industries in Wichita with a plan for a new way to process tungsten.

And if you drink enough and squint hard, you can almost bring into focus a whole world of people, studying…comparing…inventing…innovating… which leads- at the speed of an electron bouncing around a hard drive- to a whole, fabulous universe of hyper-progress.

Gassy ideas: MIT has only 11,319 students. But with the Internet, millions of people all over the world now have access to more or less the same information. There are even free universities that package learning, making it easy to study and follow along.

Now, there are an almost unlimited number of scientists and engineers- not to mention the shrinks, bone crackers, and social scientists ready to put on their thinking caps to make a better world. Surely, we will see an explosion of new patents, new ideas, and new inventions.

As for resources, the lid had been taken off that pot, too. In the new Information Age, you shouldn’t need so much steel or so much energy. It only takes a few electrons to become a billionaire. After all, how much rolled steel did Bill Gates make? How much dirt did Larry Ellison move? The capital that really matters is intellectual capital, not physical resources. Or so they said.

If you used your brain you could disrupt traditional businesses, disintermediate the middlemen, and reduce the need for energy and resources. The new economy was light, fast-moving, and infinitely enriching. There were no known limits on how fast this new economy could grow! Those were the gassy ideas in the air in the late-1990s. Investors were intoxicated. They drove up the prices of dot-com companies to dizzy levels. And then, of course, the NASDAQ crashed.

Sullen teenager: One by one, the illusions, scams, and conceits of the late 20th century- like pieces of bleak puzzle- came together:

No ‘peace dividend’… The military and its crony suppliers increased their budgets.

No ‘End of History’… that was all-too-obvious on Sept. 9, 2011.

No ‘hyper-progress’… no ‘Great Moderation’… no ‘Goldilocks’ economy — all of that came to an end Sept. 15, 2008, when Lehman Bros. declared bankruptcy.

And as far as producing real, measurable wealth- the Internet, too, was a dud. By 2015, the World Wide Web had already been around for two decades. And economic growth rates were averaging only half those of a half-century before.

As the new century matured into a sullen teenager, the ground was littered with scales, fallen from the eyes of millions of parents. The entire 21st century was a flop. People hadn’t gotten richer at all. Instead, they had gotten poorer. Depending on how you measured it, the typical white man had lost as much as 40% of his real earnings since the century began.

People rubbed their eyes and looked harder; the picture came into sharper and more ghastly focus. Now, they saw that the promise of material progress and political freedom was a sham. In the US, economic growth rates fell in every decade since the 1970s. Real wage growth slowed, too…and even reversed. And so twisted had the financial system become that the least productive sector- government- was the only one with easy access to capital. Government now was more powerful, more intrusive, and more over-bearing than ever…and able to borrow at the lowest rates in history.

Deeper breakdown: There were signs of a deeper breakdown, too. Soldiers returning from the Mideast were killing themselves in record numbers. The fellow in the trailer in Muskogee was likely to be a minimum-wage meth addict watching porn on the Internet rather than studying metallurgy. Debt had reached a record high- at 355% of GDP. Real peace seemed as remote as real prosperity.

And then…in June of 2016…the Republican Party chose New York real estate developer (and former Democrat) Donald Trump as their presidential nominee- the most unlikely standard bearer for a major political party in US history.

For most Republicans, Mr. Trump had only one qualification of importance: He was not Hillary Clinton. Ms. Clinton, perhaps more than any other politician, was the face of The Establishment. She had her fingerprints on every piece of the dark puzzle- the decline in wages and GDP…the rise of Wall Street and ‘The One Percent’…the wars…the debt…and the Deep State itself.

How these things came to be, and where they lead, is the subject of much speculation. And it is the subject of James Dale Davidson’s "The Breaking Point." The delight of the book is that it approaches these issues in an original and interesting way. Thomas Piketty (the rich get richer), Robert Gordon (the important innovations are already behind us), Joseph Tainter (it’s too complicated)- all have theories about why the 21st century is such a disappointment.

Davidson connects the dots, too…but more dots…and more unexpected dots…than perhaps anyone. In the end, writes Davidson, ‘the long run meets the present [where] systems that no longer pay their way exhaust their credit and go broke. "The Breaking Point" is a nonlinear departure on the road to nowhere. It occurs when collateral collapses, burying the public’s faith in fiat money and the institutions that create and regulate it.’

That is why Donald Trump stood confidently before the American people in the summer of 2016 promising to ‘make America great again’. His listeners knew something was deeply wrong. And they wanted desperately to believe that Mr. Trump could fix it.”