Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fukushima: "TEPCO Drops Bombshell About Sea Releases; 8 Billion Bq Per Day"

"TEPCO Drops Bombshell About Sea Releases; 8 Billion Bq Per Day"
by SimplyInfo


5 billion bq of strontium 90
2 billion bq of cesium 137
1 billion bq of tritium * (later corrected to 150)

This is the ongoing daily release to the Pacific. These release numbers are also within the realm of what some oceanographers have been warning about since last year, that there was an ongoing and considerable leak to the sea. According to journalist Ryuichi Kino TEPCO said this may be due to failings of some sort within the “glass” wall at the sea front. This is an underground wall made in the soil by injecting a solidifying agent to block water flow.

This daily release would add up to 11,680,000,000,000 = 11 terabequerels over 4 years time in addition to the initial sea releases during the meltdowns. 

With a translation of a related portion of a TEPCO document released to METI just yesterday the total releases of this new admission are even higher than the 11 Tbq mentioned. The chart, that can be seen here, shows the releases until 2014 were considerably higher. Releases dropped in 2014, likely due to work underway to try to block leaking water. TEPCO also has a section of where they think they will get once remediation work is finished that is lower yet, but that is not achieved yet based on the TEPCO document. This drastically changes the estimated releases to the sea in total. We came up with a rough estimate of about 673 Tbq for 3 years at the 2013 rate, this would be in addition to any initial sea releases during the meltdowns.

It was pointed out last night that the tritium number quoted by TEPCO in the press conference does not match the graph they released to METI. The TEPCO rep gave the verbal reading of 1 billion bq per day. The chart shows 150 billion bq per day of tritium. The other numbers stated by the TEPCO rep seem to match the chart. This change increases the total numbers to 4710 billion bq per month at the current 2014 rate. The bulk of this is tritium. This number change would make one year at the 2014 rate 1,719,150 billion bq for an annual total 1.7 Petabecquerels in a year at this rate.”
Related:
Japan Researchers: Models show North America hit with ‘very high’ levels from Fukushima plume — Radioactive material in ocean off West Coast was up to 500 times more than expected (VIDEO) - http://enenews.com/

Study: Fukushima airborne plumes “caused significant deposition of radioactivity over North America” — Especially for West Coast and eastern U.S. — Around 13% of all radioactive iodine released into atmosphere was deposited over USA and Canada (MAP) - http://enenews.com/

Map shows Fukushima fallout in U.S. — Radiation dose in Northeast and Great Lakes equal to West Coast.  -http://enenews.com/
A comment: The Pacific Ocean is DEAD, and so are we all, in slow motion...

“Fukushima Equals 6,000 Hiroshima Bombs Today, More Tomorrow;
 There is No Place On Earth to Escape the Rad”
“First thing, grasp the difficult concept that this is an ELE or Extinction Level Event. There is no escaping our fate, there are no solutions.” Read this post:
Do you really understand what an extinction level event is? That doesn't just mean sea life, it means US, too, slowly... Do a Search on this blog for "Fukushima", it's all there if you want it. Nobody "wants" it, including me, but there's no escape, no technology to deal with it, and it cannot be stopped or "fixed." God help us all... - CP

"A Look to the Heavens"

"What caused this outburst of V838 Mon? For reasons unknown, star V838 Mon's outer surface suddenly greatly expanded with the result that it became the brightest star in the entire Milky Way Galaxy in January 2002. Then, just as suddenly, it faded. A stellar flash like this had never been seen before- supernovas and novas expel matter out into space. 
Click image for larger size.
Although the V838 Mon flash appears to expel material into space, what is seen in the above image from the Hubble Space Telescope is actually an outwardly moving light echo of the bright flash. In a light echo, light from the flash is reflected by successively more distant rings in the complex array of ambient interstellar dust that already surrounded the star. V838 Mon lies about 20,000 light years away toward the constellation of the unicorn (Monoceros), while the light echo above spans about six light years in diameter.”

Chet Raymo, “The Maintenance of Self”

“The Maintenance of Self”
by Chet Raymo

"Ah, yes, the pitcher plant. Those devouring goblets. Those caldrons of digestive juices. And now naturalists have found the biggest one yet, as big as a chalice, on a mountaintop in the Philippines, its punch bowl filled with beetles, flies and wasps.

Come hither, ye who flitter. Admire my colors. Sip my nectar. Yes, yes, just like that, 
touch my milky pool. I'll be your Tar Baby. Your flypaper paramour. That's it. 
Sniff my irresistible scent. My buffet waits. Sip. Lap. Gorge yourself. 

Gotcha!

Countless plants use insects to consummate the business of sex, and some, that generally live in nutrient-deficient soils, have turned to carnivory. Alastair Robinson, who was part of the team that discovered the gargantuan pitcher, says the plant is "akin to an open stomach." Which is miracle enough. But what I want to know is: Why don't its dissolving juices dissolve the plant itself?

Oh, wait. My closed stomach does the same thing, digesting plants and animals but not itself. How can that be? Well, as we all learned in school, it does. The gastric juices eat away at the stomach's mucus lining, which has to be constantly replaced. Somewhere I read that the stomach lining sacrifices half-a-million cells a minute, completely replacing itself every three days. Digestion of food is a work in progress, a delicate balance between the dissolver and the dissolved. The stomach lining works like like an ablative heat shield on a space craft, except it is perpetually regenerating. 

Pitcher plants, apparently, use a variety of mechanisms to turn their prey into useful nutrients-enzymes, bacteria, mutualistic insect larvae- but they too must have some way of maintaining the integrity of self. Maintaining the integrity of self! That's what it's all about, isn't it. We need to eat. Other organisms want to eat us. Ablating stomach walls. Immune systems. Repair mechanisms. Our bodies are winds of molecules, torrents of cells. Blowing in and blowing out. And somehow a self remains.

The biological integrity of self, upon which depends utterly the intellectual integrity of self. Astonishingly resourceful- for the pitcher plant and for ourselves. But not unlimited. We are all doomed to die. Let's give the last word to one of William Blake's Songs of Innocence:

"Little fly,
Thy summer's play
My thoughtless hand
Has brushed away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink and sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength and breath,
And the want
Of thought is death,

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.”

Free Download: Charles Haanel, “The Master Key System”

Free Download:
Charles Haanel, “The Master Key System”
by Moya Mulvay

“What the Master Key System can do for you- transform your life and discover how:

    * The structure of the book is very much geared around a working manual each chapter is a short weekly lesson with a practical exercise, successively building upon the previous one, to take you logically through the total growth process. I found this structured pace very easy to work into my normal life. By the end you will understand how to use your power within to improve your life permanently.

    * The Master Key System, this is not just a book, it is really a system. It is a system that will change your view on life and then will consequently change your life too. I have found it to be the most practical spiritual book I have ever read!

    * Understanding the principles of your conscious mind and its power and advances to utilizing these principles.

    * The Master Key System is simply one of the finest studies in personal power, metaphysics, and prosperity consciousness ever written. Covering everything from how to create abundance and wealth to how to get healthy. Charles F Haanel leaves no stone unturned. With precision, he elucidates on each topic with logic and rigor that not only leaves you feeling good, but also thinking good.

    * Teaching you the Law of Concentration by providing exercises on how to control your mind, body and emotions. They are arranged so that you will notice an improvement from the very start, and this will give you encouragement. They point out ways in which you can help yourself.

    * Law of Attraction. How successful people become successful, how they focus their minds, and he gives you the tools you need to achieve success, and reach your dreams and goals. How to create an “achievement mind”. I love how he logically and factually explains the law of attraction, and explains through the cause and effect how it all works.

      The Master Key System is built on a single, powerful premise: That the world you see around you is created by you in the world inside of you. It's all manifestation, and to add another modern buzz word, "The Law Of Attraction."

    * Haanel writes "We cannot express powers that we do not possess. The only way by which we may secure possession of power is to become conscious of power, and we can never become conscious of power until we learn that all power is from within."Haanel argues that everyone's subconscious is a part of the Universal Consciousness. This gives the individual access to great creative power, in any aspect of life. Anything that manifests in your external world, Haanel argues, has been manifested first in the inner world of your mind. The trick, therefore, is to learn how to discipline your inner world, in other words, to channel your thinking, so that inner creation is positive.

    * In The Master Key, he provides 24 lessons all related to the power of thought.
      The lessons cover such topics as: the proper use of the subconscious mind the power of nonresistant thought the real nature of the "I" is spiritual how visualization works the 3 things all mankind desires (health, wealth & love) what it means to know the "Truth" the effortlessness of concentration and many more lessons on the power of thought.

    * Haanel also makes the very important point that the only value to any principle is in its application. So simply reading this book won't have any impact. You have to apply the principles. He helps you to do that by providing exercises at the end of each of the 24 lessons in the book. Through the exercises, he brings you from an intellectual understanding of the principles to an actual experience of the principles.

The Master Key System has all the basic, detailed, logical and fundamental truths it is the “Law Of Attraction” it will help you change your life for the better, give you mental development, financial success and personal health.

Does it work? Yes it does. Why do some people fail? Well, they just read this book but don't put it into practice. The bottom line to the message in this critically important book is that it's within our power to live the life we choose to live.We take this at face value, yet fail to apply this great truth to mold our lives. Why is this so? Perhaps we've been too jaded by messages and suggestions that we're not worthy, and are 'destined' to be less than we can dream. The sources of such messages is not important, eliminating their negative influence is all-important. This book will help you accomplish this and much, much more.

If you're serious about going to the source of your potential, then get this ebook. Study it and make it a part of you and you'll never second guess what lies ahead for you. This is a very powerful book, which I would highly recommend to anyone seeking a more meaningful life."
Freely download “The Master Key System” here:
- http://www.inspirational-quotes-and-thoughts.com/the-master-key-system.html
(near page bottom)

Black Elk, "I See His Face..."

"The Sun, the Light of the world.
I hear him coming.
I see his face as he comes.
He makes the beings on earth happy
And they rejoice.
O, Wakan Tanka, I offer to You this world of Light."

- Black Elk, "The Sacred Pipe"

"The First Rule Of Life..."

"The first rule of life is to reveal nothing, to be exceptionally cautious in what you say, in whatever company you may find yourself. If you have a secret, you have only to whisper it to your dearest friend with the strictest injunction that it will go no further, and within half a day the story is all over town, and when you do make what would seem to be a perfectly sensible remark, you will find it reported in the most grotesque form, thus incurring no end of criticism to rebound upon you."
    - Elizabeth Aston

The Daily "Near You?"

Frodsham, Cheshire, United Kingdom. Thanks for stopping by.

Wendell Berry, "Remembering Now"

“You think you will never forget any of this, you will remember it always just the way it was. But you can't remember it the way it was. To know it, you have to be living in the presence of it right as it is happening. It can return only by surprise. Speaking of these things tells you that there are no words for them that are equal to them or that can restore them to your mind. And so you have a life that you are living only now, now and now and now, gone before you can speak of it, and you must be thankful for living day by day, moment by moment, in this presence. But you have a life too that you remember. It stays with you. You have lived a life in the breath and pulse and living light of the present, and your memories of it, remember now, are of a different life in a different world and time. When you remember the past, you are not remembering it as it was. You are remembering it as it is. It is a vision or a dream, present with you in the present, alive with you in the only time you are alive.”
~ Wendell Berry

"A Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness"

 "If I have harmed anyone in any way, either knowingly or unknowingly
through my own confusions, I ask their forgiveness.

If anyone has harmed me in any way, either knowingly or unknowingly
through their own confusions, I forgive them.

And if there is a situation I am not yet ready to forgive
I forgive myself for that.

For all the ways that I harm myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself,
judge or be unkind to myself through my own confusions,
I forgive myself."

"A Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness"

"Releasing Guilt: Permission to Forgive Ourselves"

"Releasing Guilt: Permission to Forgive Ourselves"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"Dwelling in guilt is like living your life with an anchor tied to your ankles dragging you down. Learning to accept the things that we perceive as wrong can be a difficult task for many of us. Often we have been brought up to accept that it is normal to feel guilty about our actions and that by doing so we will make everything seem alright within ourselves. Even though we might feel that we have a reason to make up for the choices we have made, it is much more important for us to learn how to deal with them in a healthy and positive way, such as through forgiveness and understanding.

When we can look back at our past and really assess what has happened, we begin to realize that there are many dimensions to our actions. While feeling guilty might assuage our feelings at first, it is really only a short-term solution. It is all too ironic that being hard on ourselves is the easy way out. If we truly are able to gaze upon our lives through the lens of compassion, however, we will be able to see that there is much more to what we do and have done than we realize. Perhaps we were simply trying to protect ourselves or others and did the best we could at the time, or maybe we thought we had no other recourse and chose a solution in the heat of the moment. Once we can understand that dwelling in our negative feelings will only make us feel worse, we will come to recognize that it is really only through forgiving ourselves that we can transform our feelings and truly heal any resentment we have about our past.

Giving ourselves permission to feel at peace with our past actions is one of the most positive steps we can take toward living a life free from regrets, disappointments, and guilt. The more we are able to remind ourselves that the true path to a peaceful mind and heart is through acceptance of every part of our lives and actions, the more harmony and inner joy we will experience in all aspects of our lives."

"How It Really Is"

“The Coming U.S. Economic Collapse Will Trigger a Revolution”

“The Coming U.S. Economic Collapse Will Trigger a Revolution”
by Harry Dent

“When the next economic collapse comes, and it’s inevitable, the revolution against the upper class will kick into higher gear! Let me explain using my long-term economic cycle — the new 80-year, four season, Generation Wave — and an important 250-year cycle.

Just like the weather, the economy shifts through four seasons as generations pass through it: spring, summer, fall and winter. There are dynamic fluctuations that favor innovation… then efficiency… then inflation… then deflation… all through different booms and busts. A boom in the fall follows the summer inflationary season. During this fall boom, new technologies move into the mainstream and entrepreneurs and financiers gain the most (as we have witnessed since the late 1970s). That, in turn, creates a longer-term trend, that is, everyday people gain as well, thanks to higher wages and increased productivity.

These trends occurred frequently from 1933 to 1972. Everyday people adopted the technologies that enabled a rise in productivity, and so enjoyed an increase in their wages, bringing lower-cost products and a better standard of living.

In fact, we saw the last broad, middle-class boom during the spring season of the economic revolution from 1942 to 1968. During that time, overall income of the average household grew faster than the income of the top 1% and top 10%! In 1929, the top 1% held 50% of the wealth, but they lost their grip on it. By 1976, they only held 24% of the wealth. Then they regained some of that lost wealth, holding 50% again by 2007.

During normal cycles, 2007 would have been the peak of such income inequality. But not this time. Since 2000, the middle class in developed countries like America and Europe has seen their wages stagnate as emerging countries like China take over the manufacturing and office tasks at lower prices. We call it “The Great Asian Deflation.” And the cost of education has inflated so fast that it’s increasingly out of reach of the average person (but that’s a whole other topic for a future article).

However, entrepreneurs have done well, as they create long-term gains for the economy and everyday people through their innovations, new industries and business models. And financial engineering on Wall Street has accelerated (unfortunately), creating greater speculation and leverage in the economy and generating greater profits for those invested (along with the potential for bubbles to burst like in the 1930s).

The Federal Reserve and central banks around the world have also done some engineering of their own, artificially maintaining stock and debt bubbles. They’ve poured free money into the economy, benefiting the banks, financial institutions and the top 1%.

But here’s the rub. All of this “engineering” has altered the natural cycle. Instead of peaking in 2007, as it should have, the rich have continued to prosper while everyday people have stagnated or declined. The thing is, when you fight against nature, you eventually lose. And I believe that all the manipulations and engineering that has distorted the natural cycle will eventually be the Western world’s undoing.

This extended bubble is now (belatedly) reaching its peak, a fact we know because income inequality has become so extreme. We’re rapidly approaching the point where, unless something changes, everyday people will start to revolt. This is a fact further supported by the larger political and social revolutionary cycle that occurs about every 250 years, when the average Joe rises up against the excessive gains and tyranny of the rich.

In the past we had the Protestant Revolution (early to mid-1500s) against the tyranny of the Catholic Church and the American and French Revolutions in the mid- to late-1700s…


And now it’s time for the next one. I think that income inequality and special interests have created such an extreme situation today that everyday people will begin to revolt in developed countries. It won’t just be those in the dictator-driven economies of the emerging world trying to make themselves heard and force democracy for the first time.

Sure, the coming “Western” revolution won’t be pretty, but it will usher in the next great resurgence of the middle class in developed countries, and it will accelerate the new middle-class surge in emerging countries. This revolution will raise the everyday person up and bring the upper class back down to size — as has every economic revolution in history. And as new technologies move mainstream and become less exclusive, the uprising will gather momentum.

So if you’re rich, protect your gains now before Rome falls. If you’re middle class, hunker down and wait for your day in the sun. It will be well worth it when that time comes.”

The Economy: “The Impending Catastrophe”

“The Impending Catastrophe”
by Karl Denninger

“It's not difficult to see this coming, if you bother to look. There is no rule of law any more if you're a government employee - or one of those protected by same. Let's put together just a partial list:

Health care. Monopoly and/or cartel behavior of any sort is supposed to be illegal under 15 USC (Sherman and Clayton Acts) if market power exists. When you're flat on your ass with a heart attack in process there is no market; ergo, it exists. Ditto when you were just stung by a scorpion, or when the so-called "treating facility" refuses to present you with a price before they have you on the operating table - and they told you that the operation was immediately necessary to save your health and/or life. That's essentially all procedures except for elective, cosmetic ones - where there is actual competition and prices have fallen over time. All of this behavior, from charging $60,000 for two $100 vials of scorpion antivenom, charging someone $9,000 to bandage a finger or billing a routine $10-30 test at $10,000 is part and parcel of this, and in any unprotected line of business everyone involved would do 10 years of prison time and be fined $1 million each.

Government agencies, such as the IRS and NSA. The number of times that have been documented in which perjury has been committed, a crime, (cough-Clapper-cough!) is too long to list. We now find out that in the IRS targeting investigation not only is there a backup of Lerner's computer (as I originally asserted there had to be) but IRS lawyers admitted to the intentional destruction of the data on her BlackBerry after the investigation began. For you or I that would immediately result in an obstruction of justice felony charge leveled against everyone involved - including Lerner herself. Well, where is it?

Education. Cartel behavior at its finest. You can find virtually any sort of knowledge and lectures on any topic you wish online nowadays. Yet without obtaining them at a price infinitely higher than those freely available, the exact same material I might add and often delivered by the exact same professors, your knowledge is deemed immaterial and worthless. This occurs due to cartel behavior between universities and businesses - again, something that should bring immediate prosecution under 15 USC. Well, where is it?

Education again. Not content to try to force you to pay them something they also conspire to force you to pay more. Once you're a captive sucker you get hammered on all sides; you are first told to file a FASFA in which your parents must disclose their assets and income, never mind that you're an adult.  Then, if you're not poor, despite this being sold to you as being a means of obtaining "aid", you are offered only loans, which are not aid at all. This particular cartel behavior includes the government as they will attempt to force you to file one even to claim things they say are earned, such as "Bright Futures" scholarships! Once you get to class it's even worse; your son or daughter who paid the full price (and had to borrow the money and thus pay interest too!) is sitting next to a kid who paid little or nothing. How? Your son or daughter was effectively forced to buy his tuition!  Communism at its finest, all at gunpoint.

So-called "law enforcement." Point a gun at another person when you are not legally permitted to shoot (e.g. to stop a forcible felony in process) and you are arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon (or aggravated assault in some jurisdictions.) The identical behavior was documented on video and still camera images all over Ferguson by the police; where are the indictments?

Banks. Swindle someone out of $10,000 and it's grand theft, extortion, fraud or any one of a dozen other crimes, all serious felonies. Hell, all you have to do is a pass a bad check in many jurisdictions to wind up on the wrong end of a felony indictment! It has been proved that myriad large banks sold securities to customers representing them as "good investments" when in fact their own internal emails document that their staff called them "vomit" (and other similar names) - that is, they knew they were worthless. Where are the indictments?

The Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve Act specifically charges the FOMC with regulating both money and credit so as to maintain stable prices, moderate long term interest rates and maximum employment. Maximum employment may be a loosely-defined goal as may "moderate" long-term interest rates but stable is not a fuzzy word. The Federal Reserve has willfully and intentionally violated this mandate serially since its inception. You have about 3-4% of your earnings power stolen every single year as a consequence. Where are the indictments?

Ben Bernanke has admitted that (in his view) virtually all systemically important financial firms were on the edge of collapse in 2008. This, he cites, is justification for his extraordinary policy moves. There's a problem - his mandate is to regulate said money and credit systems all the time, not just in a crisis. That filing is an admission that both he and the NY Fed failed to do so; that is, they failed to perform their statutory duty. Why aren't both he and Tim Geithner in prison, seeing as he made this admission before a court in a sworn filing?

Here's the problem with this sort of behavior and the protection of same: Civility in general only exists because you, I, and most of the rest of society willingly conform our behavior to the law. There are not enough cops, no matter what sort of badge and uniform they wear, to enforce the law otherwise. If any material percentage of the population decides to behave as these people in their protected circumstances have and do the entirety of law and order collapses instantly.

Well, why is it that you permit the above to occur? Why did you allow it to develop? Why do you still allow it? And how long will it before all of this theft and fraud renders you unable to keep your head above water?

Let me explain that for you: For most people you're already unable.

Look at the stock market, as one example. There is more margin debt outstanding than cash in accounts as of today, and in fact this margin is worse than ever before in history (yes, even worse than in 2007.) In other words, but for the claimed paper value of said certificates the market is factually bankrupt right now on a gross, "every man" basis!

Almost 20% of the gross domestic product of this nation (that is, everything produced) is siphoned off by the health care "system" with its grift, extortion and abuse. That's nearly one dollar in five! A look at other developed, first-world nations (e.g. Japan) discloses that we should be able to buy our health care for somewhere between 1/10th and 1/5th of what we pay today. Were that to be the case there would be no need for Medicare, Medicaid or health insurance - Obamacare or otherwise! Medicare is a great example; you're responsible for 20% of the cost, by default, and you must pay a premium to the government. But if your care was anywhere from 1/5th to 1/10th of today's price you would actually pay less than the co-pay and deductible you pay today and you wouldn't pay any premium at all! In other words, even for the old guy or gal that currently is "on the dole" and allegedly "getting something" you'd be better off financially without Medicare were all of these acts to be prosecuted instead of protected! Whether you're rich, poor, young or retired, this scam steals from you each and every day without delivering any more value than it would without the theft.  

Take the scam out of education and the cost collapses. Now you could flip pizzas to pay for college as you could in the 1970s and early 80s before those schemes were instituted. Prosecute The Federal Reserve Board and Banks and the price of assets, including houses would collapse - probably by 75% or more. Not only does this mean you could buy a house for far less but for those who choose not to or who can't rents would come down by 3/4 as well!

Why do you need Section 8 and other similar programs when your cost of housing is cut to a tiny fraction of what it is today? You don't! If you believe that the cost of food hasn't skyrocketed in the last five years you're not paying attention. It has. Ditto for energy. Oh yes, those are "excluded" from "inflation" numbers, but you have to buy them anyway.

So what happens when you can't make the income balance against the outflow? You borrow money in some form or fashion.Yet that simply puts you further in the hole. And that's what's been going since roughly 1980:

Click image for larger size.

Of course borrowing against nothing, that is, creating credit with nothing behind it, looks good initially because it makes it appear you can keep buying things. Unfortunately that credit comes with both a requirement to repay it and interest; the latter is a huge problem because over time it compounds just as do earnings.

The usual chestnut is that borrowing stimulates production and is of net benefit. But the facts are that when borrowing accumulates faster than output that assertion is proved false; what is really going on is that people are borrowing to either consume or speculate. The former permanently destroys value and the latter leaves you exposed to instant insolvency since the alleged "price" of what you speculate on has been disconnected from its value and is now largely (or even entirely!) predicated only on what someone else will pay.

The majority opinion appears to be that as long as you can get your little piece of the grift, whether it be Medicare, Food Stamps, Section 8 or a rising stock market it's all ok. Ask yourself - is that actually true or are you deluding yourself? Are you falling behind despite getting your little piece of the grift or are you getting ahead? What about your children? Are they able to get ahead? Is the same sort of investment you made 20 or 30 years ago credible as a means for them to obtain results similar or superior to what you obtained, or are they staring down a black hole of indebtedness while pulling coffees at Starbucks? How about that "new car"; nearly $40,000 today as a "median" price and loan terms extending toward eight years - when just a little while ago the normal term was four. How's the job market in your area? More importantly than the number of jobs - how's the pay and how does that compare against the increase in health care, food, fuel and insurance expenses you must pay every day just to remain solvent?

Think about it for a while. Then once again contemplate this: For how long as you going to allow all of the above to continue? Will you allow it to continue right up until civility is lost entirely or will you demand that it stop and that those committing these acts face the same charges and penalties that you or I would for the same offenses?”

The Economy: “The Committee to Blow Up the World!”

“The Committee to Blow Up the World!”
by Bill Bonner

“All over the world stocks are rising. In the US, the S&P 500 rose over the 2,000 mark for the first time in history. The Dow is over 17,000. And if you want to buy a share of online TV network Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), you will pay $144 for every dollar the company earned over the last 12 months. If you bought the company outright, in other words, you'd have to wait until 2158 to earn your money back. 

But this story is playing out from Timbuktu to Taiwan to Texas. Here's the latest from Bloomberg: "Shares worldwide added more than $2.2 trillion in value since Aug. 7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Optimism that central banks will support economic growth sent the MSCI All-Country World Index up 3.8 percent from its low this month. The S&P 500 has risen for 10 of the last 13 days and the Nasdaq Composite Index is about 10 percent from an all-time high."

Stocks Up... Growth Down: What has happened during the last 10 years to make stocks so much more valuable? We remind readers that shares are titles to ownership of real assets and the earnings they produce. And in a competitive economy, they shouldn't be able to diverge too far from the cost of creating those assets. Typically, investors have paid from 10 to 20 times annual earnings for shares. But when they are bearish, as they were in 1982 and again in 2009, they will want to pay less than 10 times earnings. And when they are bullish, the sky's the limit... but seldom more than 20 times. 

Currently – except for China and Russia – almost all major country stock markets are closer to the top of the range than the bottom. With the S&P 500 now trading on a Shiller P/E (which looks at the average of 10 years of inflation-adjusted earnings) of 26.5. What would make investors so bullish? And why would this bullishness extend to practically the entire globe? 

After all, corporate incomes depend on corporate sales. And one corporation's sales can only increase if a) it takes business from other corporations (which would mean no net increase for the world's sales) or b) the world economy is growing. But that's the curious thing. As stocks have gone up... growth rates have come down, from a high of nearly 5% in 2009 to just 2% last year. Last year, in the US, stocks rose 10 times faster than the economy beneath them. 

Go figure. The old-timers tell us that "the stock market always knows more than we do." If that is so, what is it that the market knows that we don't? Is there another Industrial Revolution coming? Are birth rates exploding? Not as far as we can tell. 

Global markets are surmounting crises in Ukraine, the Gaza Strip and Iraq as investors renew bets that stimulus will revive growth. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index posted its biggest two-day gain since April after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled policy makers may consider introducing an asset-buying plan. Japan's Topix index is near its highest level since January, rebounding from losses earlier this year.

Put them all together, and publicly traded equities are now worth more than $66 trillion – just shy of total world GDP. That's $12 trillion more than they were worth in the beginning of 2013... and it's $30 trillion more than they were worth 10 years ago.

Ready for Mischief: So, what's behind the big run-up in asset prices? Here's our guess: Janet Yellen, Mario Draghi and Shinzo Abe. As Chris wrote yesterday: At the recent central bank meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Janet Yellen let it be known she was in no particular hurry to let markets discover prices on their own again. Instead, she'll put prices where she wants them. And that means setting interest rates at vanishingly low levels... and asset prices at in-your-face new highs. 

Mario Draghi, meanwhile, is faced with a triple-dip recession in Italy, a flat economy in France and negative growth in Germany. From Bloomberg: "Said Patrick Spencer, head of US equity sales at Robert W. Baird & Co. in London. "Draghi gave clear indication that he's standing ready with further measures to stimulate growth and that's helping overall sentiment."

As for Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, he seems ready for any sort of mischief in the name of increasing inflation and GDP – including encouraging women to cut down trees! Shhh.... No need to accuse us of male chauvinism, as though we had something against women doing hard labor. We don't. In fact, we're in favor of it. But if you could raise prosperity by increasing the number of female lumberjacks, half the world's women would already be wearing plaid shirts. 

Shinzo, Janet, Mario... Surely there is a clever magazine somewhere readying a cover story... "The Committee to Blow Up the World," is the headline we propose.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Musical Interlude: Liquid Mind, “Through My Eyes (Nebulae)”

Liquid Mind, “Through My Eyes (Nebulae)”

"Being Human: A Personal Credo"

 
"Being Human: A Personal Credo"
by John Robbins

"There is so much pain and death in our times. This is not an easy time to be a person of conscience and feeling. It can be terribly hard today to stay in touch with your deep soul. It can seem all but impossible to keep your love alive. The world has a way of blowing relentless hurricane winds at our little flickering candles of faith.

This is what I have to say at this time in history. I stand here in the face of the anguish of our time, and I affirm that it is possible to see it all, to gaze fully into the abyss, and yet not become bitter and broken.

I stand for this. We are not here to be defeated. Our hopes are not empty vessels holding no truth. I stand for this. Our dreams and prayers are rooted in something greater than the forces of death.

I stand for this. Our despair and fury at the world’s brutalities are part of our awakening. There is something mysterious taking place in this world that is part of our healing.

I stand for this. This world is not a tragic and terrible mistake. With all its flaws, it is still a sacred path to our destiny as human beings. There is horror and agony here, yes, and it can be overwhelming. But there are also infinite opportunities for new life, beauty, and the learnings of love.

Bitter winds are howling. Let them howl. We can shelter each other and put our little flames together. Maybe then we will find ourselves better able to face adversity. Maybe then we will find that the pain we feared would destroy us rather brings us back to what gives us life.

I stand for this. There are sources of joy here, and we are here to protect them and cherish them.

I stand for this. If we meet the world with eyes that do not flinch and hearts that are open, we will find ourselves capable of what is asked of us.

I stand for this. We who are alive, with breath in our bodies and love in our hearts, have much to be thankful for.

I stand for this. In our connection with each other we are more than strong and brave. We are humble enough to be human in this world."

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Here is one of the largest objects that anyone will ever see on the sky. Each of these fuzzy blobs is a galaxy, together making up the Perseus Cluster, one of the closest clusters of galaxies. The cluster is seen through a foreground of faint stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy. 
 Click image for larger size.
Near the cluster center, roughly 250 million light-years away, is the cluster's dominant galaxy NGC 1275, seen above as a large galaxy on the image left. A prodigious source of x-rays and radio emission, NGC 1275 accretes matter as gas and galaxies fall into it. The Perseus Cluster of Galaxies, also cataloged as Abell 426, is part of the Pisces-Perseus supercluster spanning over 15 degrees and containing over 1,000 galaxies. At the distance of NGC 1275, this view covers about 15 million light-years.”

"Where They Went..."

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, 
then when I die I want to go where they went."
 - Will Rogers

"How Could You? A Dog's Story"

 
"How Could You? A Dog's Story"
by Jim Willis

"When I was a puppy I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" - but then you'd relent and roll me over for a bellyrub.

My housetraining took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed, listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" - still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."

As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them, especially their touch - because your touch was now so infrequent - and I would have defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams. Together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being your dog to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.

Now you have a new career opportunity in another city and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family.

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog or cat, even one with "papers."

You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?"

They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you - that you had changed your mind - that this was all a bad dream... or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table, rubbed my ears and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.

She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself - a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. With my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not meant for her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty."
Folks, I know times are hard for many of us. Times are hard for animals, too, and the shelters are overflowing with lost and abandoned pets. Please, if you can, consider adopting a new family member, or helping out in any way you can. It's a desperate time to be a pet, too... - CP

The Poet: David Wagoner, "Getting There"

 "Getting There"

"You take a final step and, look, suddenly
You're there. You've arrived
At the one place all your drudgery was aimed for:
This common ground
Where you stretch out, pressing your cheek to sandstone.

What did you want to be? 
You'll remember soon.
 You feel like tinder under a burning glass,
A luminous point of change.
 The sky is pulsing against the cracked horizon,
Holding it firm till the arrival of stars
In time with your heartbeats.
Like wind etching rock, you've made a lasting impression
On the self you were,
By having come all this way through all this welter
Under your own power,
Though your traces on a map would make an unpromising
Meandering lifeline.

What have you learned so far? You'll find out later,
Telling it haltingly like a dream,
 That lost traveler's dream under the last hill
Where through the night you'll take your time out of mind
To unburden yourself
Of elements along elementary paths
By the break of morning.

You've earned this worn-down, hard, incredible sight
Called Here and Now.
Now, what you make of it means everything,
Means starting over:
The life in your hands is neither here nor there
But getting there,
So you're standing again and breathing, beginning another
Journey without regret
Forever, being your own unpeaceable kingdom,
The end of endings."

~ David Wagoner

Chet Raymo, "That Cottage of Darkness"

"That Cottage of Darkness"
by Chet Raymo

"Theresa asked those of us who count ourselves agnostic to comment on Julian Barnes' new book "Nothing To Be Frightened Of," reviewed by Garrison Keillor in the New York Times Book Review. Barnes, a professed agnostic, writes about his obsessive preoccupation with death at age sixty-two. Apparently (according to Keillor) it is a rather gloomy book, redeemed by affectionate family reminiscences. Since I have not read the book, I cannot comment on it, but I think what Theresa wants from us is testimony as to how agnostics deal with the prospect of personal oblivion.

Death is the great black bear that looms in everyone's path. In my experience, believers and unbelievers face death with about equal equanimity or disquiet. I would guess it has more to do with temperament than belief. Barnes would appear to have a particularly morbid cast of mind. I'm ten years older than Barnes and the black bear doesn't keep me awake at night. What is the message Barnes takes from science? Our brains are lumps of meat and the soul is merely "a story the brain tells itself." There is no evidence of a self, nothing in a grim material landscape that offers hope.

This, I would submit, is an unnecessarily morose telling of the scientific story. It is certainly true that science sees no evidence of a self that can exist independently of our physical bodies. But what a thing is the physically-embedded self! It begins as a fertilized egg that carries within it four billion years of ancestral experience. It grows into a teeming organism of ten trillion cells, contrived of stardust, protected by an immune system finely attuned to tell self from non-self. It accumulates memories of a lifetime of experience. A self is dynamic, always changing, seeking, striving. And death? Personal mortality is the price we pay to exist at all as unique, complex, multicelled, sexually active, thoughtful individuals. Death is life's necessary partner; together they are endlessly creative.

A self is like a fruit on the tree of life. Without fruit the tree must die. Each of our selves leaves the world different than we found it. It is a unique characteristic of a human self to decide what makes the world a better place. The nudge we give to the good is our truest immortality.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Grays, Thurrock, United Kingdom. Thanks for stopping by.

"You Ever Wonder?"

“Centuries ago, sailors on long voyages used to leave a pair of pigs on every deserted island. Or they'd leave a pair of goats. Either way, on any future visit, the island would be a source of meat. These islands, they were pristine. These were home to breeds of birds with no natural predators. Breeds of birds that lived nowhere else on earth. The plants there, without enemies, they evolved without thorns or poisons. Without predators and enemies, these islands, they were paradise. The sailors, the next time they visited these islands, the only things still there would be herds of goats or pigs. Does this remind you of anything? Maybe the ol' Adam and Eve story? You ever wonder when God's coming back with a lot of barbecue sauce?”
- Chuck Palahniuk

Paulo Coelho, “What’s The Price?”

“What’s The Price?”
by Paulo Coelho

“Is the price of living a dream much higher than the price of living without daring to dream?” asked the disciple. The master took him to a clothes store. There, he asked him to try on a suit in exactly his size. The disciple obeyed, and was very amazed at the quality of the clothes. Then the master asked him to try on the same suit – but this time a size much bigger than his own. The disciple did as he was asked. “This one is no use. It’s too big.” “How much are these suits?” the master asked the shop attendant. “They both cost the same price. It’s just the size that is different.” When leaving the store, the master told his disciple, “Living your dream or giving it up also costs the same price, which is usually very high. But the first lets us share the miracle of life, and the second is of no use to us.”