Saturday, August 18, 2018

Musical Interlude: Liquid Mind, “Night Light”

Liquid Mind, “Night Light” 

"A Look to the Heavens"

“This beautiful telephoto composition spans light-years in a natural night skyscape from the island of Crete. Looking south, exposures both track the stars and record a fixed foreground in three merged panels that cover a 10x12 degree wide field of view. The May 15 waxing gibbous moonlight illuminates the church and mountainous terrain. 
Click image for larger size.
A mere 18 thousand light-years away, huge globular star cluster Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) shining above gives a good visual impression of its appearance in binoculars on that starry night. Active galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128) is near the top of the frame, some 11 million light-years distant. Also found toward the expansive southern constellation Centaurus and about the size of our own Milky Way is edge on spiral galaxy NGC 4945. About 13 million light-years distant it's only a little farther along, and just above the horizon at the right.”

"Believe in Yourself!"

"Believe in Yourself!"
by Jill Badonsky

“What you are is a question only you can answer.”
-  Lois McMaster Bujold

"We tend to be attracted to confident, bold, defiant people in the world. Many times audacity can go further than even talent. The talented person who does not show belief and confidence can flounder, when someone less talented but with assertive belief can flourish. Being convinced in the merit of ourselves is an attractive energy that sells and magnetizes attention as much for the product as for the belief itself. Spending time working on confidence, acting “as if” we are worthy, excellent, daring and courageous would be time well spent for the person desiring success. That is why one of the nine Greek Muses was upgraded to a Muse with moxie called Audacity.

The word “audacity” is a synonym for boldness, daring and courage. Other synonyms include grit, guts and, appropriately — patience. The Muse Audacity is here to inspire these qualities in order to endow Mortals with the courage they need to be creatively liberated, and to be themselves without explanation or apology. You have probably heard someone exclaim “WELL…THE AUDACITY!” about someone who had the nerve to do something bold and perhaps rude. Audacity in this case is not disrespect toward other mortals, or toward oneself. Audacity’s influence includes respect — yet this does not necessarily mean a positive public opinion is needed. In fact, one of the favorite things Audacity encourages mortals to believe is “Listen, if everyone likes what I’ve done, I haven’t gone far enough… it is not possible to be liked by everyone if I am deeply authentic and true to myself.” And this is perfectly okay.

How do you go about believing in yourself to the degree that magnetizes creative success? Any change in thought process has to be done with patience and persistence. The downfall of any self-help program is not informing the participant that results do not happen overnight. "The Secret", "The Power of Now", "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" inspire enthusiasm which can temporarily lift us out of our old habits of thinking, but if not practiced in small increments of time over several months, the old habits come back because the brain has not adopted the new habit. Many people are not that patient or do not realize the amount of time it takes to make progress down a new path and give up. The persistent ones rise to the top. Belief Strategies:

1. Dwell on being confident for at least 30 seconds a day. It seems like a ridiculously small period of time, but if we do not find 30 seconds a day to make a change we are in self sabotage. Very small periods of time prevent the fear mechanisms of our brain to be triggered so creativity can emerge to make a change. Fear turns off the cortex, the creative center of the brain which is one of the most common reasons people block.

2. Act “as if…“ This in itself is an act of creativity — you are creating a persona that will soon be matched with action. Feel the confidence in your body, relive empowered moments and apply their energy to the present.

3. Collect and post compliments you’ve received, empowering quotes, the names of audacious individuals as fortifiers — daily vitamins for your courageous soul. Here is a favorite quote from Terry Cole-Whittaker: “What other people think of me is none of my business.”

4. Get permission from audacious people not by asking them, but by thinking to yourself “They can do it, so can I,” but remember to expect small gains, not huge ones. Never give your power away.

5. Use creative license. You are an individual, and are allowed a margin of eccentricity, of individuality, of audaciousness. Claim yours. Define yourself with what triggers your intuitive joy not by what is popular with other people. A friend of mine once told me about an artist who exhibited his work and as people looked at his paintings he stood in a corner and hissed at them. He’s an artist, he can do that with freedom. And that’s one of the most wonderful things about the creative process — it is a synonym for freedom but only if we rise courageously to the task of authentically being ourselves."

About the Author: Jill Badonsky, M.Ed. is a nationally recognized workshop leader, artist, performer, humorist, and author of the book, "The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard): 10 Guides to Creative Inspiration for Artists, Poets, Lovers and Other Mortals Wanting to Live a Dazzling Existence." She teaches creativity lovers to facilitate classes and workshops based on her book and along with UCLA psychologist, Robert Maurer, she trains people to be Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaches. She can be found lurking at


"Sometimes this human stuff is slimy and pathetic... but better to feel it and 
talk about it and walk through it than to spend a lifetime being silently poisoned."
- Anne Lamott

"It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life."
- Elizabeth Kenny

X22 Report, “The Crime Syndicate Is Still Using The Same Economic Tricks”

X22 Report, “The Crime Syndicate Is Still Using The Same Economic Tricks”

The Daily "Near You?"

Málaga, Andalucia, Spain. Thanks for stopping by!

The Poet: David Whyte, "One Day"

"One Day"

"One day I will say
the gift I once had has been taken.
The place I have made for myself
belongs to another.
The words I have sung
are being sung by the ones
I would want.
Then I will be ready
for that voice
and the still silence in which it arrives.
And if my faith is good
then we'll meet again
on the road,
and we'll be thirsty,
and stop
and laugh
and drink together again
from the deep well of things as they are."

- David Whyte,
"Where Many Rivers Meet"

"The poem is a little myth of man's capacity of making life meaningful.
And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see -
it is, rather, a light by which we may see - and what we see is life."
- Robert Penn Warren

"So This Is Hell..."

"How It Really Is"

"Why America Hasn’t Had a Raise in Forty Years"

"Why America Hasn’t Had a Raise in Forty Years"
by Bill Bonner

POITOU, FRANCE – "Whoa! What’s this? The Dow popped up nearly 400 points Friday. It is now just 4% off its all-time high of 26,616, reached on January 26 of this year. And you know what that means. Markets are either going up or going down. According to Dow theory, a market goes down after it hits its high for the cycle. We had previously predicted that the high on January 26 would be the peak of the current cycle, and that the “primary trend” for stocks would, therefore, be down for the foreseeable future.

We’re not sure Dow theory makes any predictive sense. After all, you might just as well say, “Prices go up… until they go down.” But we like the drama of it… and the big-picture view it gives us. It helps us recognize the long, large sweeps in market history, and reminds us that the most important thing is to be in the right place at the right time.

The latest place to be was in U.S. stocks, which ran up from under 1,000 on the Dow in 1982 to the aforementioned all-time high in January. You didn’t have to know anything more. You didn’t have to do any real research. All you had to do was get on that train in August 1982 and stay on board.

Drunk Conductors: Of course, conductors get drunk… trees fall on the tracks… and trains run off the rails. And the Ol’ Cannonball that pulls out of Washington’s Union Station at 6:07 a.m. for the run to New York’s Pennsylvania Station then turns around and goes the other way at 12:02 p.m.

Markets are not so regular or predictable. Still, after January, it looked like we were headed for a long ride back down the line. But the financial press reports that two things emboldened investors yesterday and may have turned the train around – Walmart’s latest results and the upcoming trade talks with China.

Hmmm. We stop. We listen. We put our ear to the rail… trying to hear what’s coming down the track. Walmart’s sales were up 4.5% year-over-year. But where did these sales come from? People might spend more if they had more to spend. But despite the statistical noise on the subject, real wages – for the people who shop at Walmart – have gone nowhere. Or to be more precise, the real average wage has risen – are you sitting down? – by a grand total of 13 cents an hour annuallysince the beginning of this century. Looking more carefully at the numbers, we find that the best-paid workers (those in the top 10% of wage earners) made progress; their earnings rose 16% since 2000.

Pew Research has more details: "In seasonally adjusted current dollars, median usual weekly earnings rose from $232 in the first quarter of 1979 (when the data series began) to $879 in the second quarter of this year, which might sound like a lot. But in real, inflation-adjusted terms, the median has barely budged over that period: That $232 in 1979 had the same purchasing power as $840 in today’s dollars."

That means that most people – including most people who shop at Walmart – haven’t had a real wage increase in 40 years. And with a more honest accounting for inflation, many must have actually lost real purchasing power.

Large, Long Trend: This is part of a large, long trend, too. Perhaps the lack of real wage growth could be explained by stagnant productivity. If workers don’t produce more, why should they be paid more? But since the mid-1970s, employee productivity has doubled, according to the government’s own calculations. That is, the average worker can produce twice as much in an hour today as he did in 1976.

Until then, productivity increases were shared between workers and capitalists, with the larger part going to the employees. Since then, the workers have gotten none of the gains. Adjusted for inflation, wages are no higher today than they were in 1975.

Capitalists, meanwhile, are 25 times richer in gross terms (measured by the Dow)… and about three times richer in real terms. (More on those evil capitalists on Monday…) And that’s using the feds’ calculations of inflation. Using a more honest adjustment (without the “hedonic” flimflam), in most places in America, the typical man today earns less real money than he did 40 years ago.

Nothing has happened recently that would change that trend. Most of the new jobs created are part-time in low-paying industries. And the direct benefits from the tax cut went to the wealthiest part of the population. In fact, the trend has gotten worse. As reported previously in this space, prices are now increasing faster than wages. Wages were said to be increasing – on average – by just 2.2%. This leaves the typical working stiff with less purchasing power. Again, those are averages. For people who shop at Walmart, the numbers are probably worse.

So what’s behind Walmart’s higher sales? Why is it good news for investors, generally? Does it herald a stronger economy? A clue in the Walmart earnings report was e-commerce data. Walmart’s e-commerce sales had jumped 40% year-over-year. With no real rise in incomes, those sales, too, had to come from other retailers.

This Reuters report may help; while Walmart rose, J.C. Penney fell: "Shares of U.S retail chain J.C. Penney sank below $2 for the first time on Thursday after it forecast a wider-than-expected full-year loss and posted disappointing results on the back of price cuts across product lines. The company’s shares fell more than 20 percent to $1.92 in trading before the bell, its lowest since listing on the New York Stock Exchange a week before the launch of the Great Depression in 1929. The company said it now expected a loss of between $1 per share and 80 cents per share, much bigger than its previously estimated range of a 7 cent loss to a 13 cent profit." One goes up, another goes down. Overall, the economy won’t benefit. And it is no reason for a broad re-pricing of U.S. equities.

Everyday Low Prices: But there is something else going on… which brings us to the second alleged cause for joy: discussions with the Chinese. So far, Mr. Trump’s trade war has succeeded only in raising consumer prices and increasing global tensions. Walmart gets its “everyday low prices” from China. It doesn’t help that China is “enemy number one” in The Donald’s trade war.

Price increases alone probably account for half of Walmart’s reported 4.5% hike in same-store sales. Further evidence comes from the fact that the company’s gross margins are actually shrinking. Walmart is selling more… but making less on each sale. The company tries to keep customers happy and sales rising by squeezing its own margins.

But what if the Trump team actually does negotiate a better deal with China? Won’t that revive U.S. exporters? Aren’t the Chinese eager to buy “Made in America” Chevrolets and Fords? Will it help Walmart? Not likely. Here, too, the trade deficit with China is part of a long-term trend. The Chinese make things cheaper… and often better. If they see something really selling in China, they knock it off and make their own version of it.

A trade deal is unlikely to change the trend. Before Trump’s trade war started, the World Bank put China’s average trade-weighted tariff at just 3.5%. Even if that went to zero, it wouldn’t have a substantial impact on the U.S. economy (although lower prices might help prop up Walmart and household consumption).

Besides, in Trump’s mind, you only win by making someone else lose. And free trade might benefit China’s export machine more than America’s consumption-dependent economy. We doubt there will be any free trade agreement coming; we doubt Trump even wants one. For now, we stick with our prediction: the primary trend is down. (Subject to change without notice.)"

"My Own View..."

“My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilization, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can't prove it, but you can't disprove it either. It happens to be my view, but it doesn't challenge any of the findings of Darwin or Huxley or Einstein or Hawking.”
- Christopher Hitchens

"Fukushima Update 8/18/18: 17,492.4 Hiroshima Bombs Today, More Tomorrow"

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

Updated August 18, 2018: Fukushima Equals 17,492.4 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 August 18, 2018 - 2,712 days since the disaster began - this equals the detonation of 17,492.5 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 52.06 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 2,712 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

Click image for larger size.
"Your Radiation This Week, August 18, 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."
"Your Radiation This Week, August 18, 2018"

"Source RadNet Gamma radiation readings are taken hourly throughout the year. Radiation covers the US like a deadly blanket.The increase in Gamma radiation in the States this week, July 21, 2018, to July 28, 2018, was a high 80,308,895 cpm.This is an increase in only a week that is way too high a price to pay. See NEW DATA in the Colorado Springs, Colorado Radiation History 2006 – 2017, and the 2018 Annualized Rate of Gamma Rad.  Note: It is not really 11 years, just 9 years; Colorado Springs data was WITHHELD for 2006 and 2007, and continues to be WITHHELD by the PTB [Powers that Be]. I wonder what really happened around Colorado Springs in 2006 and 2007, don’t you?"

Read the entire article and see the sortable TABLE OF POISONED AMERICAN CITIES MILLION A WEEK CLUB – YRTW 30 – Plus More 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 lying MSM. Believe what you will, and need to. 
- CP

Friday, August 17, 2018

Musical Interlude: Adiemus, “Adiemus”

Adiemus, “Adiemus”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“The Sleeping Beauty galaxy may appear peaceful at first sight but it is actually tossing and turning. In an unexpected twist, recent observations have shown that the gas in the outer regions of this photogenic spiral is rotating in the opposite direction from all of the stars! Collisions between gas in the inner and outer regions are creating many hot blue stars and pink emission nebula. 
Click image for larger size.
The above image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2001 and released in 2004. The fascinating internal motions of M64, also cataloged as NGC 4826, are thought to be the result of a collision between a small galaxy and a large galaxy where the resultant mix has not yet settled down.“

The Poet: Edwin Muir, "The Way"

"The Way"

"Friend, I have lost the way.
The way leads on.
Is there another way?
The way is one.
I must retrace the track.
It's lost and gone.
Back, I must travel back!
None goes there, none.
Then I'll make here my place,
(The road leads on),
Stand still and set my face,
(The road leaps on),
Stay here, for ever stay.
None stays here, none.
I cannot find the way.
The way leads on.
Oh places I have passed!
That journey's done.
And what will come at last?
The road leads on."
~ Edwin Muir,
 "Collected Poems"

"We Have An Expectation..."

“It goes against the American storytelling grain to have someone in a situation he can't get out of, but I think this is very usual in life. There are people, particularly dumb people, who are in terrible trouble and never get out of it, because they're not intelligent enough. It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that man can always solve his problems. This is so untrue that it makes me want to cry - or laugh.”
- Kurt Vonnegut

The Economy 8/17/18: Gregory Mannarino, X22 Report

Gregory Mannarino, “Post Market Wrap Up 8/17/18: 
Market Rigging Is About To Get Worse”
X22 Report: “The Establishment Is Now Pushing The Economic Recession Agenda”

Chet Raymo, “Love In The Afternoon”

“Love In The Afternoon”
by Chet Raymo

“Oh, if only it were that simple. We human males must woo and coo and wash dishes and vacuum and buy roses and provide candlelight and wine and whisper "God, you look beautiful tonight" and who knows what else to entice our partners into bed. The male fruitfly need only sing. Well, not sing exactly. He vibrates one wing, just one, to make what one assumes is a pleading sort of noise. If the song is satisfactory, the female fly allows copulation.

Female fruitflies don't sing, which has long suggested that they lack the neural circuitry to produce the wing vibrations. Now, in a clever series of experiments reported in the journal Cell - involving photoactivation of neurons and the chopping off of heads - researchers have shown that females have the same song circuitry as males, located in the thorax. They can sing too. But their brains tell them not to. The difference in behavior has been traced to a dimorphic command center in the brain. Female fruitfly brains are different than male fruitfly brains.

As if that's telling us something we didn't already know.

Inhibition, the biologists call it. A cluster of neurons in the female's brain inhibits the wing-fluttering behavior. Male insect brains inhibit certain behaviors too. Some biologists believe the female praying mantis bites off her partner's head to improve his sexual performance. This seems a rather drastic way to overcome his inhibitions. Humans are more inclined to rely - counterproductively, perhaps - on alcohol.

Anyway, it's all rather complicated. The sexes will never understand each other, regardless of species. We have these packets of neurons all over our bodies urging us to do certain things, and other packets telling us not to. Someday biologists may figure it out, using brains scans, genomes, photoexcitation of neurons, and other techniques yet to come. For myself, I'd just as soon not know what's going on at all those synaptic centers of excitation and inhibition. Everything I know about sex, I learned at the movies."

The Daily "Near You?"

Botosani, Romania. Thanks for stopping by!

"A Refining Process..."

"Life is a refining process. Our response to it determines whether we'll be ground down or polished up. On a piano, one person sits down and plays sonatas, while another merely bangs away at "Chopsticks." The piano is not responsible. It's how you touch the keys that makes the difference. It's how you play what life gives you that determines your joy and shine."
- Barbara Johnson

"The Stability of America's Status Quo Is an Illusion"

"Interest Rates and Civilization"
by Brian Maher

"We have it on superb authority - the Institute of International Finance - that the world is presently $247 trillion in debt. That figure, dear reader, represents a record high. Global debt has surged $9 trillion since Jan. 1 alone… and $30 trillion since the close of 2016. Were you aware that global debt is rising nearly three times the rate of global wealth? Meantime, global interest rates remain near record lows - despite recent nods in the other direction. Never in history has debt scaled such heights… never have interest rates plumbed such depths. Each fact is remarkable in itself. But taken together?

Today we connect the dots… see how they all tuck together… and tease out the implications.

Richard Sylla professes economics at New York University. He is also co-author of "A History of Interest Rates" (available through Amazon at a bargain-bin $63 per). This book canvasses 5,000 years of interest rates, from ancient Babylonia to the glories of Greece and Rome, the Renaissance, the age of empires, all the way through to the 21st century.

Each historical epoch is distinct.

The investigator hunting meaningful comparisons between eras can be easily thrown off the scent, and end down a blind alley.

Yet despite the false leads and dead ends, Sylla believes he’s penetrated the mysteries of interest rate cycles throughout history: “It seems like there is a U-shaped cycle for each civilization.” Beginning at the top left of the “U,” interest rates begin a downward cycle. Critically, Sylla’s research shows that as interest rates fall, civilizations rise. Civilizations crest as interest rates near the bottom of the “U.” These civilizational heights bring heroic deeds… great achievements… and golden ages.

Sylla claims this pattern was visible with Babylon, Greece, Rome. In each case, Sylla observes “a progressive decline in interest rates as the nation or culture developed and throve.” Near the turn of the 20th century, famous Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk glimpsed the same phenomenon. Writes Sylla: "Böhm-Bawerk declared that the cultural level of a nation is mirrored by its rate of interest: The higher a people’s intelligence and moral strength, the lower the rate of interest." (Caveat: We speak here of market interest rates - before central banking in its current form.)

But eventually the gods grow anxious of man’s advancing knowledge, his increasing achievements, his ascent up Olympus. They know the solution… The gods begin to tinker with man’s interest rates. Rates start rising off the bottom of the “U,” up the right side of the slope. The burden of accumulated debt rises with them. The added weight throws chains upon civilization, the flame of achievement flickers, and it finally fades. In this manner, each civilization Sylla studied “declined and fell.”

The message, clear as gin: Civilization rises with falling interest rates. Fattened by debt… civilization falls with rising interest rates.

Now come home… The year is 2018. Interest rates have begun to rise recently - if slowly - and haltingly. They still remain at lows unseen in recorded history, besides a brief spell during the Great Depression: 
But all cycles end, and history will not be forever put off. Rates will return to “normal” one day. If rates rise meaningfully in the years to come, is civilization in for a sharp “decline and fall” as befell civilizations past? Sylla thinks yes, it’s possible: "We might say that our current low interest rates indicate that we’re at one of the high points of our civilization. Maybe things will get worse from now on."

Recall that civilizations gorge on debt in a falling rate environment, and collapse under that debt as interest rates rise. Let us now redirect our focus to a unique form of civilization - American civilization. U.S. interest rates have been in steady decline since their 1981 peak. Meantime, the national debt has exploded: today the national debt runs to $21 trillion - and counting.
How will America service that debt if rates return to historically normal levels? We hadn’t the heart to run the numbers. Financial analyst Daniel Amerman did: If the interest rate on that debt were to rise by even 1%, the annual federal deficit rises by $200 billion. A 2% increase in interest rate levels would up the federal deficit by $400 billion, and if rates were 5% higher, the annual federal deficit rises by a full $1 trillion per year. Incidentally… 5% higher are rates well within historical norms. If interest rates do rise to historical levels and their relationship to civilization holds true… Perhaps we should all light a candle for civilization…

Below, Charles Hugh Smith shows you why the stability of America’s status quo is an “illusion.” What comes next? Read on."
"The Stability of America's Status Quo Is an Illusion"
By Charles Hugh Smith

"One of the enduring mysteries of the past decade is why inflation has remained tame while the central bank and government have pumped trillions of dollars of newly created money into the economy. Millions of words have been written about this, and so some shortcuts will have to be taken to make sense of it in one essay.

Let's start with the basics. Adding newly created money but not generating new goods and services of the same value reduces the purchasing power of existing money. To keep it simple: say the economy of a country is $20 trillion. (Hey, the U.S. GDP is $20 trillion...) Say its money supply is $10 trillion.

So banks and/or the government create $2 trillion in new money but the value of goods and services only expands by $1 trillion. The "extra" $1 trillion of newly created money reduces the value of all existing money. In effect, the new money robs purchasing power from all existing money. Those holding existing money have lost purchasing power while the recipients of the new money receive purchasing power they didn't have prior to receiving the new money.

As debt has soared (and remember, debt is "new money" loaned into existence), GDP has risen at a much lower rate, so the ratio of debt to GDP has skyrocketed. So what if debt has blown past GDP? We've been paying our obligations with debt for the past decade. The debt to GDP ratio has skyrocketed as GDP has inched higher while debt has exploded. (Remove the fictitious "growth" in GDP and the picture worsens significantly.)

The steepening trajectory of debt is sustainable in a stagnating real economy with stagnating wages for the bottom 95% of the populace.

Federal, state and local governments pay interest on all the money they borrow to fund deficit spending, i.e. every dollar spent above and beyond tax revenues. All that interest is an increasing obligation that must be paid in the future. Borrowing more to pay interest increases the interest payments due in the future - a classic self-reinforcing runaway feedback loop.

Politicians get re-elected by increasing entitlements and obligations without regard to how they will be funded. "Growth" will effortlessly take care of everything - that's the centerpiece assumption of all conventional economics, free-market, Keynesian and socialist alike.

The core constituencies of politicians are government employees and contractors, as these interest groups are funded by the government, which is nominally managed by elected officials and their appointees.

Nobody's more generous (or demanding) than those feeding directly at the government trough. (By "contractors" I mean the vast array of Corporate America cartels that feed off government spending: defense, Big Pharma, Higher Education, etc.) The obligations that have been promised are expanding at a nearly exponential rate, as healthcare costs continue to soar and the number of government pensioners is rising rapidly. The tax revenues required to fund these obligations are far outstripping the income and wealth of the bottom 95% of the populace.

Here's the uncomfortable reality: the means to pay all these future obligations - the real-world economy, and the wealth and income of the vast majority of the populace - are far too modest to fund the fast-expanding obligations, which include interest due on the ever-increasing mountain of public and private debt.

Put these dynamics together and you get one outcome: the federal government cannot possibly pay all its obligations out of tax revenues nor can it raise taxes high enough to do so without gutting tax revenues via a recession. The only way to pay all these future obligation is by creating new money, which in a stagnant, dysfunctional economy can only reduce the purchasing power of the currency, in effect robbing every holder of the currency of wealth and income.

Where "inflation" shows up depends on who gets the newly created money: the wealthy few or the wage-earning many. Wage earners who receive new money tend to save some of it but they also spend some of it.

But in our system, all newly issued money goes to banks, financiers and corporations - the super-wealthy few. So what do already-wealthy people and companies do with trillions in new money? They buy assets - stocks and bonds and real estate.

The net result of giving all the new money to the wealthy is the inflation of an asset bubble, which is precisely what's happened in the past decade. Real estate: bubble. Corporate debt: bubble. Stocks: bubble. Real-world inflation is certainly higher than official inflation, but the real inflation is in assets, which have tripled or quadrupled in a mere decade. The inevitable consequence of asset inflation is rising income and wealth inequality. The wealthy few have gorged on assets with all the newly issued credit-money, and as the assets soared in value, they've become immensely wealthier.

But a funny thing happens on the way to extremes of wealth/income inequality: social unrest, disorder, revolt. The lackeys and apologists that serve the interests of the wealthy few label this "populism." But it's really just the inevitable response to extremes of wealth/income inequality generated by funneling trillions in new credit-money to the wealthy few at the expense of wage-earners and holders of existing money.

To quell the revolt of the many, the Powers That Be will create trillions in new money and helicopter-drop it to the masses. This mass distribution of newly created money will flow into the real-world economy, not assets, and so the inflation will manifest in goods and services. This helicopter drop of newly created money will be called pensions, Universal Basic Income, tax subsidies, negative tax rates, etc. There are a lot of names for distributing newly created money that's been borrowed into existence.

This is precisely what Venezuela has been doing for a decade: distributing newly created money that isn't matched by a corresponding increase in the production of goods and services. And as we know, the result of this has been the complete destruction of the purchasing power of Venezuela's money.

"That can't happen here" is just what the Venezuelans thought five years ago. But really, it boils down to math: creating money out of thin air and pumping it into a dysfunctional economy destroys the purchasing power of the existing money. Those receiving the new money are like a snake eating its own tail.

Real-world inflation will blow the doors off every forecast of low inflation forever.

From the point of view of the wealthy few who control the status quo in the U.S., they have a stark choice: either continue pushing wealth/income inequality to extremes that trigger social and political revolt, which puts their control at risk, or create and distribute trillions in "free money." They know this generates inflation, but the increases in the value of their assets have always far outstripped real-world inflation, so they don't care about inflation. That's for little people to worry about.

But what the wealthy few are forgetting is rip-roaring inflation destroys the system just as surely as wealth/income inequality. Just ask the Venezuelans how effective creating new money has been in terms of eliminating poverty: now their entire populace is impoverished, with the only exceptions being the wealthy few in control of the status quo.

The stability of America's status quo is illusory. ‘Can't happen here’ is going to ring mighty hollow in five years."