Friday, November 17, 2017

X22 Report, “The Central Banks Are Now Preparing For The Financial Crisis”

X22 Report, “The Central Banks Are Now Preparing For The Financial Crisis”

“Government Explained By A Fictional Conversation With An Extra-Terrestrial”

“Government Explained By A Fictional Conversation With An Extra-Terrestrial”
by Vic Bishop

“What if you had to explain government to an extra-terrestrial? It would probably sound pretty absurd. An inquisitive alien visits the planet to check on our progress as a species, and gets into a conversation with the first person he meets.  The alien discovers that we live under the rule of a thing called "government", and wants to understand more about what "government" is, what it does, and why it exists.

You: A group of people makes the rules for everyone else. They hang out in buildings with flags in front. They punish you if you break the rules, but they themselves don’t have to follow the rules. One of the rules they have is that you have to pay them money. They often use this money for stuff you’d never support, such as war.

Alien: “You think it’s necessary for your survival to have a system where some humans among you, for a short while get to call themselves the government. And they get to order everyone else around like slaves and, if they want, commit mass murder overseas, using money they stole, using threats of violence. Politicians get to kill, enslave and steal because if they didn’t someone else might. And you try to elect good, honest people to be politicians, but what happens every time is that the people you elect turn out to be corrupt, evil, lying, crooks. That’s your system?” 

It’s rather strange that this point is most easily digested when presented by a cartoon alien in a very simplified hypothetical conversation, yet we spend so much of our real-time and energy debating about the merits of particular political parties and hoping for the system to change itself.”

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

Liquid Mind, “Through My Eyes (Nebulae)”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“South of Antares, in the tail of the nebula-rich constellation Scorpius, lies emission nebula IC 4628. Nearby hot, massive stars, millions of years young, radiate the nebula with invisible ultraviolet light, stripping electrons from atoms. The electrons eventually recombine with the atoms to produce the visible nebular glow, dominated by the red emission of hydrogen.  
 Click image for larger size.
At an estimated distance of 6,000 light-years, the region shown is about 250 light-years across, spanning an area equivalent to four full moons on the sky. The nebula is also cataloged as Gum 56 for Australian astronomer Colin Stanley Gum, but seafood-loving astronomers might know this cosmic cloud as The Prawn Nebula.”

"That Bleak And Ultimate Question..."

“Yet now, as he roared across the night sky toward an unknown destiny, he found himself facing that bleak and ultimate question which so few men can answer to their satisfaction. What have I done with my life, he asked himself, that the world will be poorer if I leave it?”
- Arthur C. Clarke, “Glide Path”

The Poet: Derek Mahon, "Everything Is Going to Be All Right"

"Everything Is Going to Be All Right"

"How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right."

~ Derek Mahon,
"Collected Poems"

Chet Raymo, "Tenderness and Silence"

 
"Tenderness and Silence"
 by Chet Raymo

“It's been a long, long time since I read “Justine”, the first volume in Lawrence Durrell's “Alexandrian Quartet”, but one phrase sticks in my mind. As I recall, Justine, the woman with whom the narrator is having an affair, is questioning him as to why he doesn't take seriously their friends' philosophical conversations. You always sit there smiling, she chides, or something to that effect. He tells her that anyone who takes really seriously the inextricable tangle of human thought can only respond with "ironic tenderness and silence."

What she took as condescension or disinterest was actually bemused detachment.

The more passionately the friends debated politics, religion, human relationships, the meaning of it all, the more they became attached to fragments of the whole. The more they saw clarity, the more they missed nuance. The more they corralled truth into mutually exclusive categories, the more the oneness of things escaped their grasp. I didn't sufficiently appreciate this thought when I was a young man. Perhaps I still don't. The fact that I am writing these posts is an offense against silence, but hopefully they embrace a certain ironic tenderness.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Round Rock, Texas, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

The aforementioned "round rock"...

"Ironic, huh?”

“Thought is real. Physical is the illusion. Ironic, huh?”
- Robin Williams, “What Dreams May Come”

"At Least My Generation Will Have Our Revenge On The Millennials"

"At Least My Generation Will Have Our Revenge On The Millennials"
by Kurt Schlichter

"With all the awful things happening now – the discord, the anger, the stupidity – at least those of my generation can rest easy knowing that the Millennials are going to suffer after we’re gone. Sure, I’m going to die a lot sooner than them – unless someone invents some sort of expensive life extension potion that I can buy but they can’t because they will still be paying off their degrees in Oppression Studies and Virtue Signaling Arts until the year 2083. But at least I’ll know that we left them a suitably terrible world, since they are a terrible generation.

Millennials are the spawn we deserve – annoying, posturing, and frequently pierced. They are utterly convinced of their own moral superiority, and yet they don’t even believe in morals. Well, that’s not quite true – they just confuse morals with the increasingly bizarre patchwork of taboos and fetishes of the social justice weirdos they use as their moral compasses. When you ask people, “What’s the world’s biggest problem,” and they answer, “The structural paradigm imposed by cisgender Western males,” and you reply, “How about, I dunno, ISIS?” and they answer “Well, who are we to judge their culture?” it’s slappin’ time.

We warned them to stay off our figurative lawns, and now it’s time to figuratively tackle them like Kentucky libertarians.

I was born during the last week of the Baby Boom, making me…older than the Millennials. So I straddle that useless generation and the useless one that followed. It used to be called Generation X, but no one calls it that anymore because it made no lasting impression. Obama was in my generation. We’ll never live that down. In any case, I remember when calculators were newfangled, phones were attached to walls, and Showtime was the bomb.

OK, so we dug this country $20 trillion into debt, we have a world full of enemies and a military that’s collapsing, and we saddled Millennials with Obamacare, a magical system that makes healthcare worse, but at least it costs more. Yet they seem cool with it. Oh, and politically, the country is divided as never before, at least not since Lincoln, who you Millennials think owned slaves because… sheesh, you nitwits think Lincoln owned slaves.

There was a time when liberals and conservatives didn’t segregate themselves into different bubbles and hate at each other. Recently, Time magazine ran an article about some liberal chick who dumped a guy during a date because he voted for Trump. That never would have happened years ago. Instead, they would have finished their encounter, and he would have given her a fake number so he never had to deal with her pinko nagging again.

But we seem to be losing everything that made us great. Back in the day, we crushed uppity Russian empires, no thanks to commie-hugging liberals who told us that the Reds loved their children too. You Millennials know that awful Sting song – your mom used to listen to it in the Volvo while carting you to soccer or whatever other sick, soul-killing enrichment activities she forced you into instead of letting you run free in the streets and woods like we did. But now we cower at the same losers Reagan stripped of their Ural Mountain oysters in fear of them posting some super-persuasive Facebook ads targeted at making autoworkers in Michigan fall out of their deep and abiding love for Hillary.

Yeah, we messed up, but you Millennials reading this on your smartphones, which you can see without glasses or squinting, shouldn’t act so high and mighty. You had a chance to fix all of this and instead you’ve chosen to never move out of your parents’ houses and to just sit around and invent new pronouns for genders that don’t exist. A couple decades down the road, when I’m dead from chronic bitterness and drinking too much expensive cabernet that I buy with the Social Security money you’ll be toiling to pay me, you won’t have families or careers. You’ll be my age and still making coffee for the next generation of ingrates, the children of the immigrants and super-religious Christians who represent the only portion of America still making babies. You’ll come home to your used Mitsubishi love robot named Olive, reheat some Sara Lee avocado toast sticks, and watch Saturday Night Live as it tries to make fun of President Donald Trump, Jr.

But while we’re still here together, with me owning stuff and you struggling to afford your daily kombucha smoothie, we face many shared challenges. There’s that giant debt, and there are those foreign people who want to kill us, and there is the terrifying fact that we are at each others’ throats here at home. We know how this plays out if we don’t fix it – bad for me, but super-bad for you. Maybe we should try and square things away. Maybe we should stop assuming the worst about each other, start thinking about what unites us instead of what divides us, and work together to make a better tomorrow. Maybe.

But I guess that’s kind of up to you though, because as so many of you on Twitter like to point out, I’m going to die a lot sooner than you are. And that kind of makes the future your problem.”

"How It Really Is"

"Silicon Valley Exec Has Created A New Religion That Will Worship A ‘Godhead’ Based On Artificial Intelligence"

"Silicon Valley Exec Has Created A New Religion That
 Will Worship A ‘Godhead’ Based On Artificial Intelligence"
by Michael Snyder

"I know that the headline sounds absolutely crazy, but this is actually a true story. A Silicon Valley executive named Anthony Levandowski has already filed paperwork with the IRS for the nonprofit corporation that is going to run this new religion. Officially, this new faith will be known as “Way Of The Future”, and you can visit the official website right here. Of course nutjobs are creating “new religions” all the time, but in this case Levandowski is a very highly respected tech executive, and his new religion is even getting coverage from Wired magazine: "The new religion of artificial intelligence is called Way of the Future. It represents an unlikely next act for the Silicon Valley robotics wunderkind at the center of a high-stakes legal battle between Uber and Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous-vehicle company. Papers filed with the Internal Revenue Service in May name Levandowski as the leader (or “Dean”) of the new religion, as well as CEO of the nonprofit corporation formed to run it."

So what will adherents of this new faith actually believe? To me, it sounds like a weird mix of atheism and radical transhumanism. The following comes from Way of the Future’s official website: "We believe in science (the universe came into existence 13.7 billion years ago and if you can’t re-create/test something it doesn’t exist). There is no such thing as “supernatural” powers. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

We believe in progress (once you have a working version of something, you can improve on it and keep making it better). Change is good, even if a bit scary sometimes. When we see something better, we just change to that. The bigger the change the bigger the justification needed.

We believe the creation of “super intelligence” is inevitable (mainly because after we re-create it, we will be able to tune it, manufacture it and scale it). We don’t think that there are ways to actually stop this from happening (nor should we want to) and that this feeling of we must stop this is rooted in 21st century anthropomorphism (similar to humans thinking the sun rotated around the earth in the “not so distant” past)."

But even though Way of the Future does not embrace the “supernatural”, they do believe in a “God”. In this new religion, the worship of a “Godhead” that will be created using artificial intelligence will be actively encouraged: "The documents state that WOTF’s activities will focus on “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.” That includes funding research to help create the divine AI itself. The religion will seek to build working relationships with AI industry leaders and create a membership through community outreach, initially targeting AI professionals and “laypersons who are interested in the worship of a Godhead based on AI.” The filings also say that the church “plans to conduct workshops and educational programs throughout the San Francisco/Bay Area beginning this year.”

So how “powerful” will this newly created “God” actually be? Well, Levandowski says that he envisions creating an artificially intelligent being that will literally be “a billion times smarter than the smartest human”: “What is going to be created will effectively be a god,” he said. “It’s not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it?” He added, “I would love for the machine to see us as its beloved elders that it respects and takes care of. We would want this intelligence to say, ‘Humans should still have rights, even though I’m in charge.’”

But what if this “super-intelligence” gets outside of our control and turns on us? What then? I am not sure that Levandowski has an answer for that.

Other transhumanists also believe that artificial intelligence will grow at an exponential rate, but instead of AI ruling over us, they see a coming merger between humanity and this new super intelligence.  In fact, world famous transhumanist Ray Kurzeil believes that this will enable us to “become essentially god-like in our powers”: "Kurzweil and his followers believe that a crucial turning point will be reached around the year 2030, when information technology achieves ‘genuine’ intelligence, at the same time as biotechnology enables a seamless union between us and this super-smart new technological environment. Ultimately the human-machine mind will become free to roam a universe of its own creation, uploading itself at will on to a “suitably powerful computational substrate”. We will become essentially god-like in our powers."

And prominent transhumanist Mark Pesce takes things even further. He in absolutely convinced that rapidly advancing technology will allow ordinary humans “to become as gods”“Men die, planets die, even stars die. We know all this. Because we know it, we seek something more - a transcendence of transience, translation to incorruptible form. An escape if you will, a stop to the wheel. We seek, therefore, to bless ourselves with perfect knowledge and perfect will; To become as gods, take the universe in hand, and transform it in our image - for our own delight. As it is on Earth, so it shall be in the heavens. The inevitable result of incredible improbability, the arrow of evolution is lipping us into the transhuman - an apotheosis to reason, salvation - attained by good works.”

Throughout human history, there has always been a desire to create our own gods or to become our own gods. But no matter how hard these transhumanists try to run from death, it will eventually find them anyway, and at that point all of their questions about who God really is will be answered once and for all.”
http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/
Related:

 to effectively process this information overload? Looking around, I believe not...
"What can we know? What are we all?
Poor silly half-brained things peering out at the infinite,
with the aspirations of angels and the instincts of beasts."
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Meanwhile...

“Another One Bites the Dust”

“Another One Bites the Dust”*
by James Howard Kunstler

"If only abortion were retroactive, we could suitably deal with monsters like Senator Al Franken (D – MN), who apparently ventured to apply a breast adjustment to a female colleague asleep on the military airplane winging them home from USO duty in Afghanistan. This was back in the day when Senator Franken was a professional entertainer, a clown to be precise, but his career shift to politics has rendered all his prior clowning anathema.

Will he slink out of the senate in disgrace with (ahem) his tail between his legs? Or will he bunker in and wait until the mega-storm of sexual accusation roars on to strand some bigger, flashier fish on the shoals of ignominy? Perhaps we’ll soon learn that Warren Buffet repeatedly shagged his notoriously over-taxed secretary in the Berkshire Hathaway janitor’s closet. Or that Mike Pence once bought a diet Dr. Pepper for a woman who was not his wife!

Seems to me this storm could roar and roil on until ninety-plus percent of the men in America are exposed as sex monsters and expelled from every workplace in the land. And then America can feel good about itself again. At least until the bond market blows up, or Kim Jung Fatboy sends a rocket over Rancho Cuckamonga.

But in the meantime, this scourging of male wickedness raises some interesting questions about human dynamics vis-a-vis workplace dynamics. I (for one, apparently) find it amusing that people are shocked to learn that sexual favors are swapped for career advancement in show business, where sheer narcissism buys more than Bitcoin. The remedy, I suppose, will be to put an end to show business — except its doing a pretty good job of accomplishing that itself, especially the art-form formerly known as the movies. But what about the gazillion other less-glamorous business activities out there: the actuarial suites, the dental offices, the WalMart middle management departments?

I would begin with the recognition that human sexuality is a pretty potent and mischievous component of basic biology. In, say, the much maligned “cis” world of gender relations, people in the workplace surely feel a fairly constant cognitive tug of awareness that they are in the presence of the opposite sex. If nothing else, there is the pheromone thing: the involuntary wafting about of hormonal chemicals that signal sexual possibility, though not necessarily opportunity. It may be considered primitive and inconvenient, but it’s there anyway.

That being so, one obvious question is: what happened to manners, the once-conventional device for managing impulse control. Narcissism does explain a lot, since that mental state prompts the treatment of other people as mere objects of utility rather than persons on a transect of mutual respect. But in the new sexual harassment workplace regime, a mere polite inquiry of romantic interest might provoke punishment, so that even an unmarried true gentleman asking a female co-worker out for a drink after work might be construed as a firing offense.

Offendedness has gone viral in America these days. The rewards are a pretty sure thing for the offendee, ranging from simple brownie points to the offendedness powerball lottery of a $32 million payoff for getting seriously roughed up by a wealthy mug such as Bill O’Reilly. My guess is that the suppression of even gentlemanly approaches to women only pushes things to that darker and harsher edge of the gradient of male behavior, where the latent chimpanzee lurks.

It’s inconceivable to me that we are going to eliminate sexual mischief on-the-job as long as men and women are mixed together in work that can be done by anybody. The situation would be less toxic if genuine misbehavior was reported to bosses or to the police directly, instead of waiting twenty years to call up MSNBC, and if asking for a date, or proffering a compliment, were not treated as vile and inexcusable.

Of course, once all the predators are cleaned out of the corporate C-suites, we’ll still be stuck with a spectacularly trashy contemporary culture, saturated with inducements for all kinds of theoretically decent people to behave badly. Mainly what’s being accomplished in the current hysteria is reinforcement of the idea that the weaker sex is just that, but with a raging denial that they require some kind of protection.”
* If you insist...

"When the Robots Take Over”

"When the Robots Take Over”
by Bill Bonner

"How about those techs! The eight most valuable tech companies in the world - Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google parent Alphabet, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent - have added $1.7 trillion in market value this year. That’s more than Canada’s entire economy. And it exceeds the worth of Germany’s biggest 30 companies put together.

Rise of the machines: There are two major reactions to the future: Some people are excited…and some are alarmed. Oil production began to recover last year. But the number of oil-rig workers did not. Why? New technology automated much of the work. Now it takes only five roughnecks to do the work that 20 did just a couple of years ago. Oil-rig workers were well-paid. That’s why rig owners are so eager to replace them. The machines don’t sue you when they break their legs. They don’t smoke on the job. And they don’t spend Saturday and Sunday with their families. But since the machines are taking the place of high-wage jobs, that leaves the formerly well-paid workers with nowhere to go but down market.

That helps explain, too, why the only real growth in the job market has occurred in the service sectors - where bartenders and car parkers earn low wages in low-skilled jobs. Humans are forced to take the jobs the robots don’t want. And the number of robots in the workforce is expected to quadruple by 2025. By 2030, one estimate - widely circulated — is that half of all existing jobs will have disappeared.

Human pets: Then, smarter than we are, the robots will help us in every aspect of our lives. They’ll tell us when to brush our teeth and whom to vote for. They’ll correct our grammar, diagnose problems with our cars…and suggest remedies for itchy skin, too. They will take out the trash, make stew out of tree moss…and unlock the gates of paradise.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman was asked recently at the Council of Foreign Relations: What’s ahead? Will millions of people become ‘superfluous’, as Yuval Harari suggests, with nothing to do? Will these super-smart computers keep them as pets? Big ‘social changes’ are coming, says Kahneman: ‘This could be happening within the next few decades, and it’s going to change the world to, you know, an extent that we can’t imagine. And you don’t need singularity [a state of virtually instantaneous progress driven by intelligent machines] for that. You need a set of advances that are localized. And we can see those happening…self-driving cars, you know, that’s just one example.’ 

Blowing a fuse: Here at the Diary, we’re neither worried nor wonderstruck. First, all humans are superfluous. Always have been. We make work for ourselves; it isn’t given to us by the economy or the government. Second, we suspect the promise of artificial intelligence is largely nonsense. Machines can learn to do simple tasks, such as driving a truck. Yes, and you can get one to vacuum your carpet - big deal. And yes, they will be able to write dumb articles for lazy journalists…make smart calculations for engineers…and eliminate the need for most doctors. But so what?

In the 19th Century, machines took over the routine work. People fretted and whined when the automobile put the manure handlers out of work. But the more machines were able to do, the more people wanted things that were ‘handmade’. The more they made physical work unnecessary, the more people wanted personal trainers. And now, the more robots do, the more humans will want what they can’t do.

In a world full of self-driving cars, we will be tortured to madness by the dream of taking control of the steering wheel ourselves. And when we all have robot valets, who make sure our ties are always at ease with our jackets, we will find some combination of colours so vile and shocking that the machines will blow their fuses and refuse to work for us.

The world today does not lack computing power. Neither natural nor artificial. There are plenty of smart people around. More PhDs…more patents…more think tanks - more brain cells than ever before are applied to the pressing challenges of our day. And more computers, too, working at processing speeds that would have knocked our socks off just 10 years ago.

The Apollo space program used a computer with the processing power of a single Nintendo NES game console from 1985. The iPhone 6 (released in 2014; we’re now on the iPhone 8) has the same processing power as a Cray supercomputer from the 1980s. And the total computing power available to mankind is now about a quadrillion times more than it was when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

And so what? Are we happier? Are we richer? Is the world a better place? And if such a huge increase in computing power has failed to improve our lives, what can we expect from more?

Too much intelligence: Our phones give us the time to within a tenth of a second, but people are still late. Our computers correct our misspellings and verb tenses, but half of what we read is still senseless or trivial. The fancy new New Holland tractor we bought for the ranch just a year ago broke down for no apparent reason, while our old Ford from 1972 is still going strong.

Is the music better than The Beach Boys in 1965 or Chopin’s Nocturne No. 8 from 1837? Are the cops more level-headed than they were on The Andy Griffith Show? Are the judges wiser…the girls prettier…or the politicians more honest than when Ike was in the White House?

The problem today…as it always has been…is not that we have too little intelligence. In fact, with so much additional computing brain power coming online…we may have too much. Our hearts can’t keep up. Still, our advice is to relax. Let the robots take over. Be gracious. And dignified. Let them vacuum the carpet. And kick them down the stairs when they aren’t looking.”

Musical Interlude: Moody Blues, “The Voice”

Moody Blues, “The Voice”

Greg Hunter, “Weekly News Wrap-Up 11/17/2017”

“Weekly News Wrap-Up 11/17/2017”
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

“The saga of Roy Moore continues with twists and turns and dirty tricks by the Deep State. It’s been revealed that a so-called robocall campaign to try and find dirt on Senate candidate Roy Moore happened after he won the GOP primary. Now, the only piece of evidence in multiple accusations that Roy Moore committed sexual misconduct has been called into question. Moore and his attorney are charging a yearbook inscription from the 1970’s, that proves contact with one of the alleged victims, is a forgery and a fraud. Moore denies any and all wrongdoing and is going to sue two women with the most damaging claims.

President Donald Trump is back from Asia and, by all accounts, it went very well. Trump got agreements of nearly $300 billion in new business for America, and Trump says, “The future has never been brighter.”

The recent purchase of a rare Da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ just went for $450 million at auction. Is this crazy, or is it a sign that the rich are trying to protect their money from inflation by compressing it into a rare work of art? Some say this is just a sign of the beginning of much higher inflation that is coming globally."
"Join Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com as he looks at
 these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.”

Thursday, November 16, 2017

"'Welfare for the Wealthy': 227 House Republicans Pass $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut for Corporations and the Rich"

"'Welfare for the Wealthy': 227 House Republicans Pass 
$1.5 Trillion Tax Cut for Corporations and the Rich"
by Jake Johnson

"By a vote of 227-205, House Republicans on Thursday passed a tax bill that would permanently cut taxes for massive corporations, reward the extremely wealthy by eliminating the estate tax, trigger billions of dollars in automatic cuts to Medicare, and raise taxes on millions of middle- and working-class families. 

"With this bill, the House GOP is moving to rig the system further for the powerful and elite against everyday Americans," Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, said in a statement following Thursday's vote. "It's immoral that many hardworking families will pay a higher tax bill or lose access to critical services like healthcare so that some CEO can get a bigger bonus and buy a bigger yacht. Millions of Americans in the middle and at the bottom will be the losers from this tax plan, while the wealthiest will benefit."

According to an analysis released by the Joint Committee on Taxation, everyone earning under $75,000 a year would on average see their taxes rise by 2027 under the House's plan. The wealthiest Americans and the largest corporations, by contrast, would see their taxes fall drastically.

As the Washington Post notes, the House bill - which calls for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts - "delivers more than 80 percent of its overall cuts to corporations, business owners, and wealthy families who are subject to the federal estate tax."
It is these facts that led Terrence Meehan of the Patriotic Millionaires to label the House GOP's plan "welfare for the wealthy" in a video published following Thursday's vote. The House's approval of the tax plan was a major step toward President Donald Trump's expressed goal of ramming through tax cuts by the end of the year.

The Senate Republicans are expected to vote on their own plan before Thanksgiving. In addition to providing similarly enormous tax cuts to the rich while hiking taxes on millions of middle class and poor families, the Senate bill also includes a provision that repeals the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, which the Congressional Budget Office has estimated would strip healthcare from 13 million Americans."
Aren't you tired of this yet?

X22 Report, “Déjà Vu, We Are Seeing The Same Signs Now As We Saw Back In 2008”

X22 Report, “Déjà Vu, We Are Seeing The Same Signs Now As We Saw Back In 2008”
Related followup report:
X22 Report, “Are The Globalists Moving Forward With Their One Currency Agenda?”

Musical Interlude: Kevin Kern, “Another Realm”

Kevin Kern, “Another Realm” 

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Have you ever seen the Milky Way's glow create shadows? To do so, conditions need to be just right. First and foremost, the sky must be relatively clear of clouds so that the long band of the Milky Way's central disk can be seen. The surroundings must be very near to completely dark, with no bright artificial lights visible anywhere. Next, the Moon cannot be anywhere above the horizon, or its glow will dominate the landscape. Last, the shadows can best be caught on long camera exposures.
Click image for larger size.
In the above image taken in Port Campbell National Park, Victoria, Australia, seven 15-second images of the ground and de-rotated sky were digitally added to bring up the needed light and detail. In the foreground lies Loch Ard Gorge, named after a ship that tragically ran aground in 1878. The two rocks pictured are the remnants of a collapsed arch and are named Tom and Eva after the only two people who survived that Loch Ard ship wreck. A close inspection of the water just before the rocks will show reflections and shadows in light thrown by our Milky Way galaxy."

"I've Learned..."

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
- Maya Angelou

Black Elk, "Earth Prayer"

"Earth Prayer"

“Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice. You lived first, and you are older than all need, older than all prayer. All things belong to you - the two-legged, the four-legged, the wings of the air, and all green things that live. You have set the powers of the four quarters of the earth to cross each other. You have made me cross the good road and road of difficulties, and where they cross, the place is holy. Day in, day out, forevermore, you are the life of things.
    Hey! Lean to hear my feeble voice.
    At the center of the sacred hoop
    You have said that I should make the tree to bloom.
    With tears running, O Great Spirit, my Grandfather,
    With running eyes I must say
    The tree has never bloomed
    Here I stand, and the tree is withered.
    Again, I recall the great vision you gave me.
    It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives.
    Nourish it then
    That it may leaf
    And bloom
    And fill with singing birds!
    Hear me, that the people may once again
    Find the good road
    And the shielding tree.

I think I have told you, but if I have not, you must have understood, that a man who has a vision is not able to use the power of it until after he has performed the vision on earth for the people to see... It was even then only after the heyoka ceremony, in which I performed my dog vision, that I had the power to practice as a medicine man, curing sick people; and many I cured with the power that came through me. Of course it was not I who cured. It was the power from the outer world, and the visions and ceremonies had only made me like a hole through which the power could come to the two-leggeds. If I thought that I was doing it myself, the hole would close up and no power could come through. Then everything I could do would be foolish...

    Revealing this, they walk.
    A sacred herb - revealing it, they walk.
    Revealing this, they walk.
    The sacred life of bison - revealing it, they walk.
    Revealing this, they walk.
    A sacred eagle feather - revealing it, they walk.
    Revealing this, they walk.
    The eagle and the bison - like relatives they walk.

The Six Grandfathers have placed in this world many things, all of which should be happy. Every little thing is sent for something, and in that thing there should be happiness and the power to make happy. Like the grasses showing tender faces to each other, thus we should do, for this was the wish of the Grandfathers of the World."
- Black Elk, Oglala Sioux

The Universe

"A main "Criterion of Consciousness" for the human experience is never having all you want. For as one dream comes true, another swiftly takes its place. Not having all you want is one of life's constants. And learning to be happy while not yet having all you want is the first "Criterion of Joy." Nail it, and for the rest of your life people will be asking what it is about you. Yeah, as if they weren't already asking."
"Desire is a beautiful thing."

    The Universe

"Thoughts become things... choose the good ones!"
www.tut.com

Chet Raymo, “Strange”

 
“Strange”
by Chet Raymo

“In a review in the “New York Times” Book Review, Daniel Handler writes: “And strange? Well, let's get this straight: All great books are strange. Every lasting work of literature since the very weird "Beowulf" has been strange, not only because it grapples with the strangeness around us, but also because the effect of originality is startling, making even the oldest books feel like brand new stories.”

Strange: Out-of-the-ordinary, unusual, curious. "The strangeness around us," says Handler. There is a paradox here. What could be less strange than the world around us? It is the same world that was here yesterday, and the day before that. More to the point: It is a world ruled by law. Inviolable causal bonds. That's what makes science possible.

And yet, and yet. I walk wary. Strangeness lurks on ever side. Strangeness leaps out of every pebble in the path, every wildflower, every spider web flung between weedy stalks. In the midst of the utterly ordinary the extraordinary abounds. Nothing is so commonplace as to be common.

The strangeness of the world, as in literature, has its source in the head, in the convoluted interaction of mind with world. Strange, that we should be here, strangers in a strange land, pilgrims on our own yellow brick roads where nothing is ordinary because everything is perceived through the filter of a unique consciousness.

And strange? Well, let's get this straight. I hope never to loose the capacity to see the strangeness in the familiar, the curious in the everyday, the exception in the unexceptional. "I do not expect a miracle/ or an accident/ to set the sight on fire," wrote Silvia Plath. Just being here is enough. Just being here is surpassing strange."

The Daily "Near You?"

Brookings, Oregon, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"A Meter Is Running..."

"The monstrous thing is not that men have created roses out of this dung heap, but that, for some reason or other, they should want roses. For some reason or other man looks for the miracle, and to accomplish it he will wade through blood. He will debauch himself with ideas, he will reduce himself to a shadow if for only one second of his life he can close his eyes to the hideousness of reality. Everything is endured- disgrace, humiliation, poverty, war, crime, ennui- in the belief that overnight something will occur, a miracle, which will render life tolerable. And all the while a meter is running inside and there is no hand that can reach in there and shut it off."
- Henry Miller, “Tropic of Cancer”

“Mexico, as It Is and Wasn’t: Some Stuff Worth Knowing”

“Mexico, as It Is and Wasn’t: Some Stuff Worth Knowing”
by Fred Reed

"For Americans concerned about  Mexico and Mexicans, and what sort of wights they be, a little history may help. We seem to know almost nothing  about a bordering nation of 130 million. It is not what most of us think it is. It is certainly not what the Loon Right would have us believe.

For many years, until 1910, Mexico was run by Europeans, lastly under Porfirio Diaz, for the benefit of Europeans. Literacy was extremely low with economic conditions to match. The country was indeed, to borrow a favorite phrase of those hostile to Latin Americans, a Third-World hellhole. Many nations then were, to include China.

In 1910 the Revolution broke out. It was godawful, as civil wars usually are. It ended in 1921, followed shortly by the Cristero religious war until 1929. This had the usual hideousness favored by religious wars. It left the country devastated. It hadn’t been much to start with, but now it was a wreck. Aldous Huxley, writing in 1934, saw no improvement. ("Beyond the Mexique Bay") At least until 1940 much of Mexico was barely civilized, unlettered, lawless, and poor. Things were not all that swell in 1970.

Today, seventy-six years later (says the CIA Factbook), literacy is at 95%; the economy at $2.2 trillion, 12th  in the world in PPP; median age, 28; population growth rate, 1.12%; mother’s mean age at first birth, 21.3; total fertility, 2.24 children per woman; life expectancy at birth, 76 years.

Mexico today has a large number of universities (the Technológico of Monterrey, a premier engineering school, has some thirty campuses in as many cities: Is that one university or thirty?) Mexico graduates well over 100,000 engineers a year, including 13,000 in software, and has a rapidly growing high-tech industry  with centers in Guadalajara and Mexico City. Major American firms, to include IBM, Oracle, and Intel, come here to hire them.

And of course internet, airlines, computerized everything, and teenagers pecking at smartphones. This is a lot of change in less than a man’s lifetime. Those hostile to Latin Americans do not want to know this, and usually manage not to.

In many ways Mexico remains a mess, mostly because of organized crime and corruption. Distribution of wealth is badly unequal, being now what the US is becoming. Books could be written about what is wrong with the country. Finland it isn’t. But neither is ti remotely a “Third-World hell hole” despite the squalling of such authorities as Ann Coulter, Manhattan’s premier she-ass.

It would be a good idea to retire the phrase, “Third World.”  Any designation that includes both Buenos Aires and Haiti (I have spent time in the slums of Cite Soleil with the US Army) is so broad as to be without meaning. In 1930, China, Mexico, Thailand and so on could reasonably have been called hellholes. None of these even comes close today. The slums of India do, as does much of Africa, yes.

To grasp the degree of educational advance between the Mexico as it was and as  of 1940 and today, look at what is visible on the ground:

Go into an ordinary bank, with which Mexico is littered. The clerks have to understand exchange rates, intermediate banks, SWIFT codes. They sit at computers, which are networked within the bank and with national headquarters, requiring network engineers and software weenies. Multitudinous ATMs require network people and maintainers. Telmex, the quite good telephone monopoly, needs people to program and maintain  switches and associated software. So do TelCel and ATT, cell-phone providers. Airlines need pilots and trainers of pilots, people to run and maintain high-bypass turbofans and avionics, the instrument-landing systems (ILS). The internet needs software people, router techs, help-line techs when someone’s modem fails (the techs are good). Also doctors and dentists, universities to train them, people who understand and maintain MRI gear, the usual elaborate diagnostic instrumentation, mechanics to run the diagnostic computers at car dealerships and understand what lurks under the hoods of today’s cars (which would baffle Stephen Hawking). And so on at great length. Similar observations could be made of many Latin American and Asian countries. Starting from roughly zero a few decades ago.

Anyone who actually lives here can see that the country continues to change at a high rate. The middle class grows. Internet speeds keep going up. Despite the ardent hopes of many web sites of the Loon Right, you do not come down with exotic diseases, or any diseases, by eating in restaurants. Schooling increases. Common is a mother, age forty with ten siblings, who has two children, both in university or tech schools. None of this is universal, but increasingly common. This in not up there with, say, a manned landing on Mars, but it is hardly consistent with stone-age hell-holedom.

What Mexican are not, yet anyway, is driven in the sense that Americans often are. Young Mexican engineers are more so more so, but not the general population. A Mexican girl – to use an example I know – will go to dental school and then stay in her home town, however small, marry, fix teeth, and raise children. Mexicans seem less entrepreneurial than Americans. They tend to regard a job as a way of supporting a family instead of the other way around.

There is considerable social mobility, at least around the cities. Women start businesses here, often restaurants , stores, bars, or maybe assisted-care homes in regions favored by retired Americans (e.g., Lakeside Care, down the street), but seem content with enough. “Enough” means something to them that it often does not to Americans. Whether this is good or bad can be debated, but it makes for contentedness but not commercial empires.

How will the new Mexican-American population adapt to the United States? I don’t know. Neither does anyone else, though many who know nothing about it have firm opinions. Will the government turn them into a sprawling class of welfare dependents? Doubtless if it can. Will furiously hostile anti-immigrant lobbies make them into internal enemies? They want to, and it would be the end of the US.

Or will they clamber, rapidly or otherwise, into the middle class and cease to be of much interest? The latter, I think. An intelligent policy would be to encourage them, but we can do it anyway. They are pretty good people, not given to terrorism or mutilating their daughters or the knockout game,  and they burn a minimum of cities. Everywhere I have been – LA, San Fran, DC, Houston, San Antonio, Pilsen and Berwyn in Chicago – they have seemed to be settling peacefully in. They have the potential to make it. We had better hope they get there.”