Sunday, July 22, 2018

"The Schizophrenic Deep State is a Symptom, Not the Disease"

"The Schizophrenic Deep State is a Symptom, 
Not the Disease"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"If we consider the state of the nation from 40,000 feet, several key indicators of profound political disunity within the elites pop out:

1. The overt politicization of the central state's law enforcement and intelligence agencies: it is now commonplace to find former top officials of the CIA et al. accusing a sitting president of treason in the mainstream media. What was supposed to be above politics is now nothing but politics.

2. The overt politicization of the centralized (corporate) media: evidence that would stand up in a court of law is essentially non-existent but the interpretations and exaggerations that fit the chosen narrative are ceaselessly promoted--the classic definition of desperate propaganda by those who have lost the consent of the governed. The nation's elites are not just divided--they're exhibiting signs of schizophrenic breakdown: disassociation and a loss of the ability to discern the difference between reality and their internal fantasies.

I've been writing about the divided Deep State for a number of years, for example, "The Conflict within the Deep State Just Broke into Open Warfare." The topic appears to be one of widespread interest, as this essay drew over 300,000 views.

It's impossible to understand the divided Deep State unless we situate it in the larger context of profound political disunity, a concept I learned from historian Michael Grant, whose slim but insightful volume
The Fall of the Roman Empire" I have been recommending since 2009.

As I noted in my 2009 book "Survival+" this was a key feature of the Roman Empire in its final slide to collapse. The shared values and consensus which had held the Empire's core together dissolved, leaving petty fiefdoms to war among themselves for what power and swag remained.

A funny thing happens when a nation allows itself to be ruled by Imperial kleptocrats: such rule is intrinsically destabilizing, as there is no longer any moral or political center to bind the nation together. The public sees the value system at the top is maximize my personal profit by whatever means are available, i.e. complicity, corruption, monopoly and rentier rackets, and they follow suit by pursuing whatever petty frauds and rackets are within reach: tax avoidance, cheating on entrance exams, gaming the disability system, lying on mortgage and job applications, and so on.

But the scope of the rentier rackets is so large, the bottom 95% cannot possibly keep up with the expanding wealth and income of the top .1% and their army of technocrats and enablers, so a rising sense of injustice widens the already yawning fissures in the body politic.

Meanwhile, diverting the national income into a few power centers is also destabilizing, as Central Planning and Market Manipulation (a.k.a. the Federal Reserve) are intrinsically unstable as price can no longer be discovered by unfettered markets. As a result, imbalances grow until some seemingly tiny incident or disruption triggers a cascading collapse, a.k.a. a phase shift or system re-set.

As the Power Elites squabble over the dwindling crumbs left by the various rentier rackets, there's no one left to fight for the national interest because the entire Status Quo of self-interested fiefdoms and cartels has been co-opted and is now wedded to the Imperial Oligarchy as their guarantor of financial security.

The divided Deep State is a symptom of this larger systemic political disunity. I have characterized the divide as between the Wall Street-Neocon-Globalist Neoliberal camp - currently the dominant public face of the Deep State, the one desperately attempting to exploit the "Russia hacked our elections and is trying to destroy us" narrative - and a much less public, less organized "rogue Progressive" camp, largely based in the military services and fringes of the Deep State, that sees the dangers of a runaway expansionist Empire and the resulting decay of the nation's moral/political center.

What few observers seem to understand is that concentrating power in centralized nodes is intrinsically unstable. Contrast a system in which power, control and wealth is extremely concentrated in a few nodes (the current U.S. Imperial Project) and a decentralized network of numerous dynamic nodes.
The disruption of any of the few centralized nodes quickly destabilizes the entire system because each centralized node is highly dependent on the others. This is in effect what happened in the 2008-09 Financial Meltdown: the Wall Street node failed and that quickly imperiled the entire economy and thus the entire political order, up to and including the Global Imperial Project.

Historian Peter Turchin has proposed that the dynamics of profound political disunity (i.e. social, financial and political disintegration) can be quantified in a Political Stress Index, a concept he describes in his new book "Ages of Discord".
If we understand the profound political disunity fracturing the nation and its Imperial Project, we understand the Deep State must also fracture along the same fault lines. There is no other possible output of a system of highly concentrated nodes of power, wealth and control and the competing rentier rackets of these dependent, increasingly fragile centralized nodes."

"'It's All Fake'- Reality TV That Masquerades As American Politics"

"'It's All Fake'- Reality TV That 
Masquerades As American Politics"
by John Whitehead

“Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours... When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.”
- Professor Neil Postman

"Americans have a voracious appetite for TV entertainment, and the Trump reality show - guest starring outraged Democrats, power-hungry Republicans, and a hodgepodge of other special interest groups with dubious motives - feeds that appetite for titillating, soap opera drama.

After all, who needs the insults, narcissism and power plays that are hallmarks of reality shows when you can have all that and more delivered up by the likes of Donald Trump and his cohorts? Trump is inclined to denounce any news agencies and reports that paint him in a less than favorable light as “fake news,” which leaves only the Fox News channel to carry the president’s torch for media integrity.

Yet as John Lennon reminds us, “nothing is real,” especially not in the world of politics. In other words, it’s all fake, i.e. manufactured, i.e. manipulated to distort reality. Much like the fabricated universe in Peter Weir’s 1998 film "The Truman Show" in which a man’s life is the basis for an elaborately staged television show aimed at selling products and procuring ratings, the political scene in the United States has devolved over the years into a carefully calibrated exercise in how to manipulate, polarize, propagandize and control a population. Likewise, “The Trump Show” keeps the citizenry distracted, diverted and divided.

This is the magic of the reality TV programming that passes for politics today. As long as we are distracted, entertained, occasionally outraged, always polarized but largely uninvolved and content to remain in the viewer’s seat, we’ll never manage to present a unified front against tyranny (or government corruption and ineptitude) in any form.

The more that is beamed at us, the more inclined we are to settle back in our comfy recliners and become passive viewers rather than active participants as unsettling, frightening events unfold. 
Reality and fiction merge as everything around us becomes entertainment fodder. We don’t even have to change the channel when the subject matter becomes too monotonous. That’s taken care of for us by the programmers (the corporate media).

“Living is easy with eyes closed,” says Lennon, and that’s exactly what reality TV that masquerades as American politics programs the citizenry to do: navigate the world with their eyes shut. As long as we’re viewers, we’ll never be doers. Studies suggest that the more reality TV people watch—and I would posit that it’s all reality TV, entertainment news included—the more difficult it becomes to distinguish between what is real and what is carefully crafted farce.

“We the people” are watching a lot of TV. On average, Americans spend five hours a day watching television. By the time we reach age 65, we’re watching more than 50 hours of television a week, and that number increases as we get older. And reality TV programming consistently captures the largest percentage of TV watchers every season by an almost 2-1 ratio. This doesn’t bode well for a citizenry able to sift through masterfully-produced propaganda in order to think critically about the issues of the day, whether it’s fake news peddled by government agencies or foreign entities.

Those who watch reality shows tend to view what they see as the “norm.” Thus, those who watch shows characterized by lying, aggression and meanness not only come to see such behavior as acceptable and entertaining but also mimic the medium. This holds true whether the reality programming is about the antics of celebrities in the White House, in the board room, or in the bedroom.

It’s a phenomenon called “humilitainment.” A term coined by media scholars Brad Waite and Sara Booker, “humilitainment” refers to the tendency for viewers to take pleasure in someone else’s humiliation, suffering and pain.

“Humilitainment” largely explains not only why American TV watchers are so fixated on reality TV programming but how American citizens, largely insulated from what is really happening in the world around them by layers of technology, entertainment, and other distractions, are being programmed to accept the brutality, surveillance and dehumanizing treatment of the American police state as things happening to other people.

The ramifications for the future of civic engagement, political discourse and self-government are incredibly depressing and demoralizing. This not only explains how a candidate like Donald Trump with a reputation for being rude, egotistical and narcissistic could get elected, but it also says a lot about how a politician like Barack Obama—whose tenure in the White House was characterized by drone killings, a weakening of the Constitution at the expense of Americans’ civil liberties, and an expansion of the police state—could be hailed as “one of the greatest presidents of all times.”

This is what happens when an entire nation—bombarded by reality TV programming, government propaganda and entertainment news—becomes systematically desensitized and acclimated to the trappings of a government that operates by fiat and speaks in a language of force. Ultimately, the reality shows, the entertainment news, the surveillance society, the militarized police, and the political spectacles have one common objective: to keep us divided, distracted, imprisoned, and incapable of taking an active role in the business of self-government.

Look behind the political spectacles, the reality TV theatrics, the sleight-of-hand distractions and diversions, and the stomach-churning, nail-biting drama, and you will find there is a method to the madness. We have become guinea pigs in a ruthlessly calculated, carefully orchestrated, chillingly cold-blooded experiment in how to control a population and advance a political agenda without much opposition from the citizenry.

This is mind-control in its most sinister form. How do you change the way people think? You start by changing the words they use. In totalitarian regimes—a.k.a. police states—where conformity and compliance are enforced at the end of a loaded gun, the government dictates what words can and cannot be used.

In countries where the police state hides behind a benevolent mask and disguises itself as tolerance, the citizens censor themselves, policing their words and thoughts to conform to the dictates of the mass mind.  Even when the motives behind this rigidly calibrated reorientation of societal language appear well-intentioned—discouraging racism, condemning violence, denouncing discrimination and hatred—inevitably, the end result is the same: intolerance, indoctrination, infantilism, the chilling of free speech and the demonizing of viewpoints that run counter to the cultural elite.

Donald Trump is no exception to this Orwellian manipulation of language for dubious ends: labelling something as “fake news” is a masterful way of dismissing truth that may run counter to the ruling power’s own narrative. As George Orwell recognized, “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Orwell understood only too well the power of language to manipulate the masses. In Orwell’s "1984", Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish “thoughtcrimes.” In this dystopian vision of the future, the Thought Police serve as the eyes and ears of Big Brother, while the Ministry of Peace deals with war and defense, the Ministry of Plenty deals with economic affairs (rationing and starvation), the Ministry of Love deals with law and order (torture and brainwashing), and the Ministry of Truth deals with news, entertainment, education and art (propaganda). The mottos of Oceania: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

Orwell’s Big Brother relied on Newspeak to eliminate undesirable words, strip such words as remained of unorthodox meanings and make independent, non-government-approved thought altogether unnecessary. Where we stand now is at the juncture of Oldspeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). 

Truth is often lost when we fail to distinguish between opinion and fact, and that is the danger we now face as a society. Anyone who relies exclusively on television/cable news hosts and political commentators for actual knowledge of the world is making a serious mistake. Unfortunately, since Americans have by and large become non-readers, television has become their prime source of so-called “news.” This reliance on TV news has given rise to such popular news personalities who draw in vast audiences that virtually hang on their every word. In our media age, these are the new powers-that-be. Yet while these personalities often dispense the news like preachers used to dispense religion, with power and certainty, they are little more than conduits for propaganda and advertisements delivered in the guise of entertainment and news.

Given the preponderance of news-as-entertainment programming, it’s no wonder that viewers have largely lost the ability to think critically and analytically and differentiate between truth and propaganda, especially when delivered by way of fake news criers and politicians.

While television news cannot—and should not—be completely avoided, the following suggestions will help you better understand the nature of TV news.

1. TV news is not what happened. Rather, it is what someone thinks is worth reporting. Although there are still some good TV journalists, the old art of investigative reporting has largely been lost. While viewers are often inclined to take what is reported by television “news” hosts at face value, it is your responsibility to judge and analyze what is reported.

2. TV news is entertainment. There is a reason why the programs you watch are called news “shows.” It’s a signal that the so-called news is being delivered as a form of entertainment. “In the case of most news shows,” write Neil Postman and Steve Powers in their insightful book, How to Watch TV News (1992), “the package includes attractive anchors, an exciting musical theme, comic relief, stories placed to hold the audience, the creation of the illusion of intimacy, and so on.”

Of course, the point of all this glitz and glamour is to keep you glued to the set so that a product can be sold to you. (Even the TV news hosts get in on the action by peddling their own products, everything from their latest books to mugs and bathrobes.) Although the news items spoon-fed to you may have some value, they are primarily a commodity to gather an audience, which will in turn be sold to advertisers.

3. Never underestimate the power of commercials, especially to news audiences. In an average household, the television set is on over seven hours a day. Most people, believing themselves to be in control of their media consumption, are not really bothered by this. But TV is a two-way attack: it not only delivers programming to your home, it also delivers you (the consumer) to a sponsor.

People who watch the news tend to be more attentive, educated and have more money to spend. They are, thus, a prime market for advertisers. And sponsors spend millions on well-produced commercials. Such commercials are often longer in length than most news stories and cost more to produce than the news stories themselves. Moreover, the content of many commercials, which often contradicts the messages of the news stories, cannot be ignored. Most commercials are aimed at prurient interests in advocating sex, overindulgence, drugs, etc., which has a demoralizing effect on viewers, especially children.

4. It is vitally important to learn about the economic and political interests of those who own the “corporate” media. There are few independent news sources anymore. The major news outlets are owned by corporate empires. Moreover, even those “fake” news outlets denounced by Trump are enjoying significant sales and ratings boosts as a result of Trump’s so-called war on the media. Indeed, as one trade journal reports, “Trump, of course, has become the greatest source of lead generation the American press has ever seen.” In other words, to a dying news industry, the Trump presidency has been great for business.

5. Pay special attention to the language of newscasts. Because film footage and other visual imagery are so engaging on TV news shows, viewers are apt to allow language—what the reporter is saying about the images—to go unexamined. A TV news host’s language frames the pictures, and, therefore, the meaning we derive from the picture is often determined by the host’s commentary. TV by its very nature manipulates viewers. One must never forget that every television minute has been edited. The viewer does not see the actual event but the edited form of the event. For example, presenting a one- to two-minute segment from a two-hour political speech and having a TV talk show host critique may be disingenuous, but such edited footage is a regular staple on news shows. Add to that the fact that the reporters editing the film have a subjective view—sometimes determined by their corporate bosses—that enters in.

 

6. Reduce by at least one-half the amount of TV news you watch. TV news generally consists of “bad” news—wars, torture, murders, scandals and so forth. It cannot possibly do you any harm to excuse yourself each week from much of the mayhem projected at you on the news. Do not form your concept of reality based on television. TV news, it must be remembered, does not reflect normal everyday life. Studies indicate that a heavy viewing of TV news makes people think the world is much more dangerous than it actually is. 



7. One of the reasons many people are addicted to watching TV news is that they feel they must have an opinion on almost everything, which gives the illusion of participation in American life. But an “opinion” is all that we can gain from TV news because it only presents the most rudimentary and fragmented information on anything. Thus, on most issues we don’t really know much about what is actually going on. And, of course, we are expected to take what the TV news host says on an issue as gospel truth. But isn’t it better to think for yourself? Add to this that we need to realize that we often don’t have enough information from the “news” source to form a true opinion. How can that be done? Study a broad variety of sources, carefully analyze issues in order to be better informed, and question everything.

The bottom line is simply this: Americans should beware of letting others—whether they be television news hosts, political commentators or media corporations—do their thinking for them.   As I make clear in my book "A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State," a populace that cannot think for themselves is a populace with its backs to the walls: mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all.

It’s time to change the channel, tune out the reality TV show, and push back against the real menace of the police state. If not, if we continue to sit back and lose ourselves in political programming, we will remain a captive audience to a farce that grows more absurd by the minute."

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Musical Interlude: Gandalf, “Once in a Star-Brightened Night”

Gandalf, “Once in a Star-Brightened Night” 

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Massive stars, abrasive winds, mountains of dust, and energetic light sculpt one of the largest and most picturesque regions of star formation in the Local Group of Galaxies. Known as N11, the region is visible on the upper right of many images of its home galaxy, the Milky Way neighbor known as the Large Magellanic Clouds (LMC). 
Click image for larger size.
The above image was taken for scientific purposes by the Hubble Space Telescope and reprocessed for artistry by an amateur to win the Hubble's Hidden Treasures competition. Although the section imaged above is known as NGC 1763, the entire N11 emission nebula is second in LMC size only to 30 Doradus. Studying the stars in N11 has shown that it actually houses three successive generations of star formation. Compact globules of dark dust housing emerging young stars are also visible around the image.”

The Poet: Rolf Jacobsen, "When They Sleep"

"When They Sleep"

"All people are children when they sleep.
There's no war in them then.
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.

They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.

If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.
God, teach me the language of sleep."

- Rolf Jacobsen,
"The Roads Have Come to an End Now"

"What We Might Have Been..."

“No star is ever lost we once have seen,
We always may be what we might have been.”
- Adelaide Anne Procter 

Chet Raymo, “Under the Surface”

“Under the Surface”
by Chet Raymo

“Somewhere, in something I have written, I recall quoting with approval this passage from Edward Abbey's "Desert Solitaire": “For my own part I am pleased enough with surfaces - in fact they alone seem to me to be of much importance. Such things for example as the grasp of a child's hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of a friend or lover, the silk of a girl's thigh, the sunlight on rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind - what else is there? What else do we need?”

Pleased enough with surfaces. Yes, I know what I meant. Pleased enough with this world, here and now, this world of light and matter. Not wanting or needing that other world that occupies so many people, a world of supernatural agencies, spirits, disembodied presences. Give me a world I can see and hear and touch and taste. Give me a world with heft and substance, a world with surfaces that shine and shimmer. What else is there? What else do we need?

Well, maybe not. I was scanning issues of “Science” and “Nature,” with their usual illustrations of the molecules of life, the nuclei acids and the proteins. The elaborate machinery that unseen, under the surface, endow the apple's flavor, the silk of skin, the abrasion of sand. Think of it. Atoms that are mere whiffs of resonance, binding into molecules, twisting and turning into endless shapes, fitting together like hand and glove, endlessly spinning and weaving, all without the slightest conscious participation on our part. Abbey's world of surfaces spun out of the mysterious, endlessly active, subsurface stuff of the world.

Pleased enough with surfaces? Not really. I want to know what's under the surface, that world of molecular frenzy that cannot be touched or seen, a world that in its own way is as beautiful and as meaningful as the macroscopic world we consciously inhabit. We don't need to know it. We can live a fulfilling life without knowing it. But I want to know it. I want to know what goes on behind the curtain of the senses. I want to hear that silent and ceaseless music of creation.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"The Truth Will Set You Free..."

"The truth will set you free,
but first it will make you miserable."
- Jim Davis

"The Illusion of Truth"

Click image for larger size.
"The Illusion of Truth"
by PsyBlog

"We see ads for the same products over and over again. Politicians repeat the same messages endlessly (even when it has nothing to do with the question they've been asked). Journalists repeat the same opinions day after day. Can all this repetition really be persuasive?

It seems too simplistic that just repeating a persuasive message should increase its effect, but that's exactly what psychological research finds (again and again). Repetition is one of the easiest and most widespread methods of persuasion. In fact it's so obvious that we sometimes forget how powerful it is. People rate statements that have been repeated just once as more valid or true than things they've heard for the first time. They even rate statements as truer when the person saying them has been repeatedly lying (Begg et al., 1992). And when we think something is more true, we also tend to be more persuaded by it. Several studies have shown that people are more swayed when they hear statements of opinion and persuasive messages more than once.

Easy to understand = true: This is what psychologists call the illusion of truth effect and it arises at least partly because familiarity breeds liking. As we are exposed to a message again and again, it becomes more familiar. Because of the way our minds work, what is familiar is also true. Familiar things require less effort to process and that feeling of ease unconsciously signals truth (this is called cognitive fluency).

As every politician knows, there's not much difference between actual truth and the illusion of truth. Since illusions are often easier to produce, why bother with the truth? The exact opposite is also true. If something is hard to think about then people tend to believe it less. Naturally this is very bad news for people trying to persuade others of complicated ideas in what is a very complicated world.


Some studies have even tested how many times a message should be repeated for maximum effect. These suggest that people have the maximum confidence in an idea after it has been repeated between 3 and 5 times (Brinol et al., 2008). After that, repetition ceases to have the same effect and may even reverse. Because TV adverts are repeated many more times than this, advertisers now use subtle variations in the ads to recapture our attention. This is an attempt to avoid the fact that while familiarity can breed liking, over-familiarity tends to breed contempt.

When repetition fails: Repetition is effective almost across the board when people are paying little attention, but when they are concentrating and the argument is weak, the effect disappears (Moons et al., 2008). In other words, it's no good repeating a weak argument to people who are listening carefully. But if people aren't motivated to scrutinize your arguments carefully then repeat away with abandon—the audience will find the argument more familiar and, therefore, more persuasive. This suggests we should remain critical while watching TV adverts or the message will creep in under our defenses. You might think it's better to let the ads wash over you, without thinking too much, but just the reverse is true. Really we should be highly critical otherwise, before we know it, we're singing the jingle, quoting the tag-line and buying the product.

When the argument is strong, though, it doesn't matter whether or not the audience is concentrating hard, repetition will increase persuasion. Unfortunately I find it's often people with the best arguments who don't repeat them enough.

Persuading groups: When people are debating an issue together in a meeting, you can see a parallel effect. When one person in a group repeats their opinion a few times, the other people think that person's opinion is more representative of the whole group (see my previous article: loudest voice = majority opinion). The same psychology is at work again: to the human mind there is little difference between appearances and truth. What appears to be true might as well actually be true, because we tend to process the illusion as though it were the truth.

It's a depressing enough finding about the human ability to process rational arguments but recent research has shown an even more worrying effect. We can effectively persuade ourselves through repetition. A study has shown that when an idea is retrieved from memory, this has just as powerful a persuasive effect on us as if it had been repeated twice (Ozubki et al., 2010). The aspiring sceptic, therefore, should be especially alert to thoughts that come quickly and easily to mind—we can easily persuade ourselves with a single recall of a half-remembered thought."
Even idiots use this technique. Remember this?
"You have to keep repeating things to catapult the propaganda." 
- George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 13, 2003

"What Great Thing..."

"What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?"
- Robert H. Schuller

"How It Really Is"

"The Fed Can’t Stop What’s Coming"

"The Fed Can’t Stop What’s Coming"
by Bill Bonner

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – "The show is Donald Trump. And it plays to sold-out audiences, 24/7. Meanwhile, in the back of the crowd, the Deep State goes about its work – picking pockets. The political world thus unchanged… we move back to the financial world.

King of Debt: But wait… here comes politics again, sticking its big nose in. From CNBC: "Stocks fell on Thursday amid criticism of the Federal Reserve by President Donald Trump. The Dow lost 134 points. In a stinging and historically rare criticism, Donald Trump expressed frustration with the Federal Reserve and said the central bank could disrupt the economic recovery.

Fed officials, including Chairman Jerome Powell, have raised interest rates twice this year and have pointed to two more before the end of 2018. Trump, in an interview with CNBC, said he does not approve, even though he said he “put a very good man in” at the Fed in Powell. “I’m not thrilled…” said the man who once described himself as “the king of debt” and a “low interest” guy."

Donald Trump is the last person who wants to see interest rates go up. Not only does his personal business empire depend on low rates… so does his political empire.

Per The Wall Street Journal: "The Trump administration expects the annual budget deficits to rise nearly $100 billion more than previously forecast in each of the next three years, pushing the federal deficit above $1 trillion starting next year."

Just Numbers: Well, well… Who saw that coming? Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic advisor, said the tax cuts were going to light a fire under the U.S. economy. It would be a “supply-side” boost, he said. This would decrease the size of deficits, he forecast. Don’t worry about the debt, he assured us.

But you can do the calculation yourself: Lower tax receipts (because of the tax cuts) + rising spending (budget increases) + more borrowing (to cover the larger deficit) + higher interest rate expenses (more debt at higher rates) = $1 trillion deficits.

Over the next decade, the federal debt is already on track to rise from $21 trillion to $37 trillion.

It’s just numbers. More people retiring. More people drawing Social Security and medical benefits. More spending on the Warfare and Police States. But these numbers assume that nothing bad happens. And yet we know from experience that something bad always this way comes. More specifically, it will be almost impossible not to have a market crash/recession sometime over the next 10 years.

And then, all the calm and cooperative numbers lined up so carefully on the U.S. chart of anticipated accounts go into a pandemonium of panic and despair. The 5’s head for the exits. The 6’s collapse and cower in corners. The 7’s look for sharp objects or open windows.

And that’s when Mr. Trump (or whoever is in the White House at the time) might lean heavily on the Fed to come to the rescue. But, as we have maintained for years, there will be no need. Already, the Fed is preparing to intervene… in the only way it knows how.

Fed Mistakes:
As you’ll recall, Fed policy consists of the same three mistakes… The Fed is now making Mistake #2: It is raising rates to try normalizing the financial markets. Inflation is running at 2.9%. Its current fed funds target rate is between 1.75% and 2%. So it is still lending money at very un-normal, negative real rates. It claims it will make two more hikes this year to cut off the supply of EZ money and get ahead of inflation. But already, it is preparing for its Mistake #3 – cutting rates in a panic when Mistake #2 causes stocks to fall.

Here’s a report from Bloomberg: "Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will continue to gradually raise interest rates “for now’’ to keep inflation near target amid a strong U.S. labor market. Officials in June signaled they plan to continue to raise rates at a gradual pace, penciling in two more quarter-point hikes for 2018. Powell’s emphasis that gradual increases are the right path “for now’’ may suggest the committee’s debate about pausing those hikes once the rate gets closer to a level they consider neutral – neither adding stimulus nor hurting growth – is likely to intensify."

Yes, Jerome Powell is only admitting what we already knew… The Fed will never willingly revert to normal (market-discovered) interest rates. Instead, normalization will be forced upon it by a financial disaster – numbers that run amok. Stay tuned."

"Government's Already-Dismal Budget Forecast Just Got 106% Worse"

"Government's Already-Dismal Budget 
Forecast Just Got 106% Worse"
by Simon Black

"This week, the Office of Management and Budget released a new report called the “Mid-Session Review” of the US federal budget. It’s something they’re required by law to do – periodically review and update the government’s budget and track the changes.

The last government budget update was released in February. And according to the February budget, the government’s deficit for this fiscal year was going to be a whopping $873 billion. Now they’re projecting to close this fiscal year (which ends on September 30th) with a deficit of $890 billion… which means they’re over-budget by just under 2%.

2% is actually pretty good. But here’s the problem: when they first unveiled the FY2018 budget in March of last year, they projected the annual deficit to be ‘only’ $440 billion. So between their initial projections in March 2017, and their current projections in July 2018, this year’s budget deficit increased by more than 100%.

And that’s pretty pitiful. But it gets worse.

Last March, they projected a total budget deficit of $526 billion for Fiscal Year 2019. But according to the revised projections they published yesterday, the budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2019 will now be $1.085 TRILLION… 106% worse than projected.

And, whereas last year the government was forecasting DECLINING deficits in Fiscal Years 2020, 2021, etc., until miraculously reaching a positive budget SURPLUS of +16 billion in 2026, their updated projections now show TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICITS next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. Etc.

Bear in mind that even though this revised budget is a colossal train wreck, the projections still don’t factor in the possibility of a recession. War. Major emergency. Natural disaster. Financial crisis. These forecasts assume that all big picture and macroeconomic trends are going to be fantastic for the next decade.

We’ve lately been talking about the concept of assets being ‘priced to perfection’. ‘Priced to perfection’ is a financial term meaning that assets are valued as if business conditions will be perfect forever. Investors simply assume that the business plan will be successfully achieved without any difficulty, that sales will be strong, consumers will be happy, the economy will remain robust, etc. And as a result of these pie-in-the-sky assumptions, investors pay record high prices for assets.

Well, these budget projections are priced for perfection. They don’t take into account the possibility of any number of major risks that are looming, not to mention the enormous capital investments that are necessary in the United States. US infrastructure, for example, is in desperate need of serious multi-trillion dollar maintenance. Then there’s that pesky issue of Social Security, which presently has a funding gap of tens of trillions of dollars, according to the government’s own financial statements.

If you factor in even a fraction of these costs, the budget numbers… which are already gruesome… fall off a cliff.

The government has no Plan B. In fact, their Plan A, literally, is to have trillion+ dollar deficits and expect that there won’t be any consequences.

This is ludicrous.

There has never been a major superpower in the history of the world, from Ancient Rome to the French monarchy of Louis XIV, that has been able to run wild budget deficits without paying a serious toll… or passing those costs on to the people. Sooner or later these bills have to be paid, whether that means higher taxes, dramatically reduced benefits, serious inflation, a loss of confidence in the currency, etc.

There are hundreds of ways this could play out, and it’s impossible to predict precisely how or when. We only know for certain that there WILL be an impact. It will likely take several years. But expecting to be able to run trillion dollar deficits and an insolvent pension fund without any consequences forever and ever until the end of time is totally absurd."

X22 Report, “A Week To Remember, Dark To Light”

X22 Report, “A Week To Remember, Dark To Light” 
Related:
X22 Report, “The Agenda Is Set, Next Phase The Central Bank”

Fukushima Update 7/21/18: 17,311.8 Hiroshima Bombs Today, More Tomorrow"

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
- Shiva

Updated July 21, 2018: Fukushima Equals 17,311.8 Hiroshima Bombs Today, More Tomorrow; There is No Place On Earth to Escape the Rad: The 3 melted-through cores of the destroyed reactors, now melted together into a single "corium" totaling over 600 tons, at Fukushima daily release the radioactive equivalent of 6.45 Hiroshima bombs directly into the atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean. As of July 21, 2018 - 2,684 days since the disaster began - this equals the detonation of 17,311.8 Hiroshima atomic bombs and it is still going strong, with no end in sight, considering that the half-life of uranium-238 is about 4.47 billion years and that of uranium-235 is 704 million years. There is no technology on this planet to deal with this situation. Any "news" they allow you to see about "repairing" the damage is a LIE, and they know it. Now you do, too. 

There are only 336 cities on Earth with more than one million people. That is the equivalent of 51.52 Hiroshima atomic bombs apiece. Now add a minimum of 600 tons per day of highly radioactive ground and "coolant" water flowing directly into the Pacific Ocean, as it has for the last 2,684 days. This coolant water is not cooling down the reactor cores, since they've melted through already. What they are cooling is the many thousands of fuel rods stored in the ruined cooling pools directly above the now-empty reactor core chambers. If those rods are not cooled they will ignite and burn - a total catastrophe in itself.


You have an absolute right to be fully aware of this information, which is intended to inform, not frighten, you, though a full understanding of this situation is terrifying. Do your own research, consider and see with your own eyes the many mass Pacific die-off videos on YouTube. Verify all the information, and, as always, draw your own informed conclusions as to the consequences. - CP

"Your Radiation This Week, July 21, 2018"
by Bob Nichols

"First thing, grasp the difficult concept that this is an ELE or Extinction Level Event. The deadly meltdown and dispersion of radioactive fuel throughout the world is on-going to this day. There is no escaping our fate, there are no solutions. No one is exempt. The radioactive particles are all over the world now. The Rad lethality will continue to increase because that is what Rad lethality does. The simple reason is some of the uranium decays to plutonium. When that happens the Rad count increases. Once set free, the change cannot be altered or stopped by anyone or anything. The Rad is the ultimate power and its mission is to kill You.

Lethality: There are 1,946 radioactive isotopes according to the Oak Ridge Nuclear Weapons Lab. In the Earth’s atmosphere all are produced by nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants. There are no other sources. Lethality is the power to kill and injure. It exists and is measured by humans in deaths and in calculations. The perfectly odd thing about radiation is the Lethality goes up while the radioactivity goes down. That has killed many a person who only counted the radioactivity. This is perfectly logical when you recognize radioactive Isotopes change from one Isotope to another for billions of years. The Isotope Uranium changes to Plutonium and many others. Plutonium is the ultimate killing machine, so bad that the Medical Director of the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, Dr. John Gofman, said “Plutonium 239 is the most dangerous substance in the universe.”

All of life on Earth is radioactive by now and it only took about 70 years. This is a planetary Death Sentence for all. Everyone is included. There is no way out. There is nothing we can do to stop it. The Rad will take us all out. Yeah, that includes all of us; plus the life driving around in our air, lakes, rivers and oceans. The Rad also nails the long lived remnants of the dinosaurs; y’know, the birds. They don’t have a prayer. All of us are included; none are left out. That is reality, anything else is just wishful thinking or a purposeful lie. The amount of Rad in the air now dooms Humanity to a relatively quick extinction. Done in by our own war toys, how moronic is that?! I can’t say it any plainer than that." 


"I added a new measurement that will help residents understand the Rad. The Rad is with us all 24/7 constantly. It never goes away. It is better to know what the Rad level is than to not know. Be prepared for a shock, these Year to Date totals are really big radiation numbers. Colorado Springs, Colorado is number one in the US right now having endured 46,136,977 Gamma CPM, or Counts per Minute, since January 1, 2017." This is a Bad situation for all exposed to the Rad. Now included all cities above 12,000,000 CPM Year to Date [YTD] of deadly Gamma Radiation and its unpublished radioactive kin. A Count is One Radioactive Decay.

The United States is a very radioactive country. Records of Total Gamma Radiation are easily accessible with a computer at RadNet, a directorate of the EPA. RadNet simply presents the data. It is up to you to decide how much radiation is too much and what to do about it. Good luck on your efforts. As they say, “It’s complicated.”


I won’t try to kid you with good news lies and made up “facts.” Bottom-line, this is way too much radiation for humans to take. I despise the people-like animals responsible for this world wide calamity. I will continue the report as long as I am able. Continue to read and share as long as you are able. I will measure and characterize our shared demise to the best of my ability."

Click image for larger size.
“Your Radiation This Week”, Published July 21, 2018
(Posted as available. - CP)
"Table of Poisoned American Cities, Total Gamma Radiation Year to Date, 
CPM and nanoSieverts by City and State." 
"Million a Week Club: USA Total Gamma Rad, Plus Annual Rad Totals 
Since 2006 Table of Poisoned American Cities"
"Aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, 100 miles offshore of Fukushima: "During that March 13 phone call, Cleveland wrote, Troy Mueller - the deputy administrator for naval reactors at the US Department of Energy - said the radiation was the equivalent of “about 30 times what you would detect just on a normal air sample out at sea.” “So it's much greater than what we had thought,” Mueller reportedly warned other American officials after taking samples on the Reagan. “We didn't think we would detect anything at 100 miles.” After Mueller made that remark, according to Cleveland’s transcript, Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman asked him if those levels were “significantly higher than anything you would have expected.” He responded yes. When Poneman later asked Mueller, “How do the levels detected compare with what is permissible?” Mueller said those on the scene could suffer irreversible harm from the radiation within hours. “If it were a member of the general public, it would take- well, it would take about 10 hours to reach a limit,” he said. At that point, Mueller added, “It’s a thyroid dose issue.” If people are exposed to levels beyond the Protective Action Guideline threshold released by the Energy Department, Cleveland acknowledged in his report, radiation could have ravaged their thyroid glands."
"German Analysis of Certain Isotopes after Meltdown: Hold on to your hat. In 1992 Germany calculated that in reactor meltdowns like Fukushima Daiichi the radioactive isotope Strontium 90 would aggressively poison the environment for 109.2 years and then decline slowly over the next 273 years. Of course, we will ALL be long dead by then. Other deadly Rad isotopes put Strontium 90’s generous life span to shame. The German study is here for those brave enough to tackle it. Source: The IAEA: Dispersion of radionuclides and radiation exposure after leaching by groundwater of a solidified core-concrete melt by Bayer, A.; Tromm, W.; Al-Omari, I. (Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Germany)) from 8. International congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA8)"
"What We Know Now about Fukushima" 
by Bob Nichols

"Here is what was known 75 days after reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor Plant started a disastrous and lethal nuclear meltdown on March 11, 2011:

• March 11, 14:46, a One Million Kiloton Earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter Scale hammered Japan off-shore near the six Japanese reactors. The reactors attempted to shut down automatically when electronic sensors detected the earthquake. The huge earthquake dropped the reactors three feet, moved Japan 8 inches to the West and altered the tilt of the Axis of planet Earth.

• March 11, about 15:30, the giant Earthquake caused a tsunami up to 30 meters (98.4 Ft) high washed away all the fuel tanks for the reactors Emergency Generators and all the reactors’ outside electrical feeds. This was the Death Blow to the reactors. The Fukushima Daiichi reactors were dead in the water and their fate sealed. Without an external source of electricity for the water pumps and hot reactors, they are just so much radioactive scrap iron – good for nothing. The internal temperature of the reactors started climbing immediately.

• March 11, about 18:00, only two and a half hours later, multiple reactor cores started melting down as the reactors internal temperatures skyrocketed to the melting point of uranium and beyond – a measured 1,718 Deg C (3,124.4 Deg F) past the melting point. Uranium melts at 1,132.2 Deg C (2,069.9 Deg F.) The internal reactor temperatures reached at least 2,850 Deg C, (5,162 Deg F.) The millions of 1 mm Uranium fuel pellets in the reactors and in the core pools had no defense at all without the powerful water pumps and millions of gallons of cooling water against those temperatures.

The Uranium pellets simply melted forming a white hot lava-like radioactive uranium isotope blob that then burned through the high temperature steel around the graphite seals of the General Electric Mark 1 Reactor Control Rods at the bottom of the American submarine-based reactor design of US Navy Admiral Hyman Rickover, now deceased. (General Electric copied the US Government financed Navy nuclear reactor design for many commercial nuclear reactors.) The radioactive blobs trickled together to form a huge, highly radioactive, burning lava blob like that of Chernobyl, called a "corium".

• The corium is releasing as much as a TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) measured 10 Quadrillion (10,000 Trillion Bq) radioactive counts per second of deadly radioactive smoke particles into the Earth’s atmosphere. As of May, 2011, the invisible, killing radioactive smoke is already all over the Northern Hemisphere and everyone in it – each and every one – is radiologically contaminated. Note that the lethality of radioactive reactor cores goes up the first 250,000 years they are out of the reactor – not down.

• This much is known. All radioactive exposures are cumulative for each human, animal and plant. What’s more, mutated genetic codes are passed on to offspring forever. This means all Japanese and all Northern Hemisphere inhabitants are suffering internal radioactive contamination from Fukushima Daiichi reactors already."

Fukushima Equals 3,000 Billion Lethal Doses: Dr Paolo Scampa, a widely know EU Physicist, single handedly popularized the easily understood Lethal Doses concept. “Lethal Doses” is a world wide, well understood idea that strips Physics bare and offers a brilliant, understandable explanation for all the physics gobbledygook Intelligence agencies and their respective governments use to disguise the brutal truths of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster. Three thousand billion (3,000,000,000,000) (3 Trillion) Lethal Doses of Radiation means there are 429 Lethal Doses chasing each and every one of us on the planet, to put it in a nutshell."

A Search of this blog will reveal over 400 posts about Fukushima, covered since day one. This is to inform you, not frighten you, since there's nothing whatsoever we can do about it anyway, and you'll never in your life hear anything about it in the money-whore MSM. Believe what you will, and need to. I wish I didn't have to report this. I wish there was something optimistic I could offer... I wish. There is nothing...
- CP