Friday, November 30, 2018

Musical Interlude: Deuter, “Waves of Light”

Deuter, “Waves of Light”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Near the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy some 200 thousand light-years distant, lies 5 million year young star cluster NGC 602. Surrounded by natal gas and dust, NGC 602 is featured in this stunning Hubble image of the region. 
 Click image for larger size.
Fantastic ridges and swept back shapes strongly suggest that energetic radiation and shock waves from NGC 602's massive young stars have eroded the dusty material and triggered a progression of star formation moving away from the cluster's center. At the estimated distance of the Small Magellanic Cloud, the picture spans about 200 light-years, but a tantalizing assortment of background galaxies are also visible in the sharp Hubble view. The background galaxies are hundreds of millions of light-years or more beyond NGC 602.”

The Poet: Maya Angelou, “Alone”

“Alone”

“Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home,
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone.
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong,
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone,
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use,
Their wives run round like banshees,
Their children sing the blues.
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone,
But nobody,
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone,
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know...
Storm clouds are gathering,
The wind is gonna blow.
The race of man is suffering,
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody,
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone,
Nobody, but nobody,
Can make it out here alone.” 

- Maya Angelou

"Isochronic Tones: Cognition Enhancer For Clearer and Faster Thinking"

"Isochronic Tones: 
Cognition Enhancer For Clearer and Faster Thinking"
by Jason Lewis 

“HEADPHONES REQUIRED - Note: As this session stimulates each ear with different frequencies, you will need to use headphones to experience the full effect. Alternative background sounds available on Mp3 here: Orchestral, Hybrid, World Music, Rain, Brown Noise.

What does this track do? This session stimulates Beta, SMR and Alpha, alternating in 2 minute increments to help keep the user relaxed and engaged. Note: SMR (sensorimotor rhythm) relates to the frequency range between 12 - 15Hz. It's associated with sensory processing and motor control. Stimulating this can result in relaxed focus and improved attention. This session is meant to speed up the brain while keeping the left hemisphere dominant (good for attention, concentration and reducing emotional response and hyperactivity). ADD and similar disorders are often characterized by "slow-wave" EEG patterns, particularly in the left frontal region. As such, this session stimulates the left brain hemisphere with Beta frequencies and the right with SMR.

Can it be used to help with studying and if so, when should you listen to it? Yes, it can be helpful to use while studying, and if you read through the many comments about this track, you'll see that many people have successfully used it for studying. You can either listen to it while you are studying, to get your brain into a good mental state when you need it. Or if you are someone that gets a bit distracted by music while studying, listen to it just before you begin.

How Loud Should The Volume Be? There is varying advice and opinions on the impact of volume with brainwave entrainment, with some saying the louder it is the more impact it has. From my own experience, my advice is to play it at a volume level you feel comfortable with. The main thing to consider is that it should be loud enough to hear the repetitive isochronic tones, so you don't want it so quiet you can hardly hear them. But you also don't want it so loud that its uncomfortable for you. Somewhere in the middle is my recommendation. 

Use this session in the morning or afternoon, to train your brain for better cognition, such as clearer and faster thinking. You can either sit somewhere quiet and comfortable with your eyes closed and give your brain a nice workout, or you can also listen to this while doing an activity that requires a boost in concentration, like studying. 

How long should you listen for to get a good effect? It takes around 6 minutes for your brainwaves to fall in step with the tones and become entrained. It then takes time to be guided along the frequency range used in the track. Listening to about half way through is the minimum in my opinion, but 30 minutes is the optimum and preferred length to listen for. 

IMPORTANT RECOMMENDATIONS:

Drink some water - Make sure you are well hydrated before listening to brainwave entrainment.
WHY? Your brain is made up of around 75% water, so it needs plenty of water to function well. When you stimulate your brain in this way, you're increasing electrical activity and blood flow in the brain and giving your brain a good workout, so it can be a good idea to drink before listening, so that your brain can fire on all cylinders.

It is not recommended to listen to this while driving or operating machinery. 
WHY? Brainwave entrainment involves a process of stimulating your brainwaves and changing your mental state. While this is safe to do and use in normal situations, it can sometimes zone you out during the track, as you focus in on the sound of the tones. This could result in you being distracted temporarily, which is not a good thing while you're driving or operating machinery. Some people also experience tingling and other sensations from the stimulation. While that might feel quite nice sitting in a comfortable chair at home, it could cause you to be distracted while driving and result in an accident.

It is not recommended to listen to this while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or any mind altering substance.
WHY? When your brain is under the influence of drugs or alcohol it's not operating to it's full capacity, and you react differently to stimulation and situations, compared to when you are sober. So as a precaution and because I don't know how you will react in that situation, I recommend you do not use it in that situation.

Who Should NOT listen to this audio? Those who should not listen to this video/audio include: Those who are prone to or have had seizures, epilepsy, pregnant or wear a pacemaker should NOT listen to this video/audio. 
WHY? There is insufficient research data in this area, so as a precaution, if you are among the categories listed above, I would recommend you consult a doctor or medical professional before listening to this video/audio.”

"No Price Is Too High To Pat..."

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you’ll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
- Arthur Gordon

Free Download: "William Butler Yeats, 427 Poems"

"The Second Coming"

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

- William Butler Yeats, January 1919

Biography: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet, dramatist and prose writer, one of the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century. Yeats received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. William Butler Yeats was born on June 13, 1865 in Dublin. His father was a lawyer turned Pre-Raphaelite painter. In 1867 the family followed him to London and settled in Bedford Park. In 1881 they returned to Dublin, where Yeats studied at the Metropolitan School of Art. Reincarnation, communication with the dead, mediums, supernatural systems and Oriental mysticism fascinated Yeats through his life. In 1886 Yeats formed the Dublin Lodge of the Hermetic Society.

As a writer Yeats made his debut in 1885, when he published his first poems in The Dublin University Review. In 1887 the family returned to Bedford Park, and Yeats devoted himself to writing. He visited Mme Blavatsky, the famous occultist, and joined the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society, but was later asked to resign. In 1889 Yeats met his great love, Maud Gonne (1866-1953), an actress and Irish revolutionary who became a major landmark in his life and imagination. However, she married in 1903 Major John MacBride, and this episode inspired Yeats's poem "No Second Troy".

Yeats was interested in folktales as a part of an exploration of national heritage and for the revival of Celtic identity. His study with George Russell and Douglas Hyde of Irish legends and tales was published in 1888 under the title "Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry." Yeats assembled for children a less detailed version, "Irish Fairy Tales," which appeared in 1892. "The Wanderings Of Oisin And Other Poems" (1889), took its subject from Irish mythology.

In 1896 Yeats returned to live permanently in his home country. He reformed the Irish Literary Society, and then the National Literary Society in Dublin, which aimed to promote the New Irish Library. In 1897 he met Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory, with whom he founded the Irish Literary Theatre. Yeats worked as a director of the theatre to the end of his life, writing several plays for it. His most famous dramas were "Cathleen Ni Houlihan" (1902) and "The Land Of Heart's Desire" (1894).

In early 1917 Yeats bought Thoor Ballyle, a derelict Norman stone tower near Coole Park. After restoring it, the tower became his summer home and a central symbol in his later poetry. In 1917 he married Georgie Hyde-Lee. During their honeymoon Yeats's wife demonstrated her gift for automatic writing. Their collaborative notebooks formed the basis of "A Vision" (1925), a book of marriage therapy spiced with occultism. In 1932 Yeats founded the Irish Academy of Letters and in 1933 he was briefly involved with the fascist Blueshirts in Dublin. In his final years Yeats worked on the last version of "A Vision," which attempted to present a theory of the variation of human personality, and published "The Oxford Book Of Verse" (1936) and "New Poems" (1938). Yeats died on January 28, 1939 at the Hôtel Idéal Séjour, in Menton, France."
FREELY download, in PDF format, 427 poems by William Butler Yeats here:

The Daily "Near You?"

Suwanee, Georgia, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"We Would Rather..."

 "We would rather be ruined than changed;
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die."

~ W.H. Auden

Gregory Mannarino, "Post Market Wrap Up 11/30/18: Falsehoods, Lies, and Deceptions"

Gregory Mannarino,
 "Post Market Wrap Up 11/30/18: Falsehoods, Lies, and Deceptions"
Related:
“The Great Reset” Is Coming"

"Kass Calls the Next Black Swan, and It’s Derivatives Death Star Deutsche Bank"

"Deep Quandaries of the Deep State"

"Deep Quandaries of the Deep State"
by James Howard Kunstler

"Watergate had tragic Shakespearean overtones, with Nixon as King Lear, but Russia-Gate — perhaps the last gate America goes through on its giant slalom run to collapse — is but a Chinese Fire Drill writ large. The reason? In 1973, we were still a serious people. Today, the most lavishly credentialed elite in history believe the most preposterous “stories,” or, surely even worse, pretend to believe them for political advantage.
Now, an epic battle of wills is setting up as Robert Mueller’s investigation concludes its business and its primary target, the Golden Golem of Greatness, girds his loins to push back. Behind the flimsy scrim of Russia collusion accusations stands a bewildering maze of criminal mischief by a matrix of federal agencies that lost control of their own dark operation to meddle in the 2016 election.

The US intel community (CIA, NSA, FBI, etc), with the Department of Justice, all colluded with the Hillary Clinton campaign and the intel agencies of the UK and Australia, to derail Mr. Trump as a stooge of Russia and, when he shocked them by getting elected, mounted a desperate campaign to cover their asses knowing he had become their boss. The Obama White House was involved in all this, attempting to cloak itself in plausible deniability, which may be unwinding now, too. How might all this play out from here?

One big mystery is how long will Mr. Trump wait to declassify any number of secret files, memoranda, and communications that he’s been sitting on for months. My guess is that this stuff amounts to a potent weapon against his adversaries and he will wait until Mr. Mueller releases a final report before declassifying it. Then, we’ll have a fine constitutional crisis as the two sides vie for some sort of adjudication.

Who, for instance, will adjudicate the monkey business that is already on-the-record involving misdeeds in the Department of Justice itself? Will the DOJ split into two contesting camps, each charging the other? How might that work? Does the Acting Attorney General Mr. Whitaker seek indictments against figures such as Bruce Ohr, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, et al. Will he also rope in intel cowboys John Brennan and James Clapper? Might Hillary find herself in jeopardy — all the while on the other side Mr. Mueller pursues his targets, characters like Mr. Manafort, Michael Cohen, and the hapless Carter Page?

Or might Mr. Mueller, and others, possibly find themselves in trouble, as spearheads of a bad-faith campaign to weaponize government agencies against a sitting president? That might sound outlandish, but the evidence is adding up. In fact the evidence of a Deep State gone rogue is far more compelling than any charges Mr. Mueller has so far produced on Trump-Russia “collusion.” An example of bad faith is former FBI Director James Comey’s current campaign to avoid testifying in closed session before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees — he filed a motion just before Thanksgiving. Mr. Comey is pretending that an open session would be “transparent.”

His claim is mendacious. If he were questioned about classified matters in an open session, he would do exactly what he did before in open session: decline to answer about “sensitive” matters on the basis of national security. He could make no such claims in a closed session. The truth is, his attorneys are trying to run out the clock on the current composition of the house committees, which will come under a Democrat majority in January, so that Mr. Comey can avoid testifying altogether.

There are other dicey matters awaiting some kind of adjudication elsewhere. For instance, who is going to review the chain of decisions among the FISA judges who approved of warrants made in bad faith to spy on US citizens? Perhaps the shrinking violet, Mr. Huber, out in the Utah Prosecutor’s Office of the DOJ, is looking into all that. He’s been at something for most of the year (nobody knows what). He has to answer to Mr. Whitaker now, or the permanent AG who replaces him. And why is Mr. Trump dragging his heels on nominating a permanent AG? I suppose the FISA court matter will fall to the Supreme Court, but how does that process work, and how long might it take?

The potential for a stand-off exists that will confound any effort to untangle these things, and I can see how that might lead to an extraordinary crisis in which Mr. Trump has to declare some form of emergency or perhaps martial law to clean out this suppurating abscess of illegality and sedition. That can only be the last and worst resort, but what if the US judicial system just can’t manage to clean up the mess it has made?"

"How It Really Is"

"3 Things That Happened Just Before The 2008 Crisis Are Happening Again Right Now"

"3 Things That Happened Just Before The 
2008 Crisis Are Happening Again Right Now"
by Michael Snyder

"Real estate, oil and the employment numbers are all telling us the same thing, and that is really bad news for the U.S. economy. It really does appear that economic activity is starting to slow down significantly, but just like in 2008 those that are running things don’t want to admit the reality of what we are facing. Back then, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke insisted that the U.S. economy was not heading into a recession, and we later learned that a recession had already begun when he made that statement. And as you will see at the end of this article, current Fed Chair Jerome Powell says that he is “very happy” with how the U.S. economy is performing, but he shouldn’t be so thrilled. 

Signs of trouble are everywhere, and we just got several more pieces of troubling news. Thanks to aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, the average rate on a 30 year mortgage is now up to about 4.8 percent. Just like in 2008, that is killing the housing market and it has us on the precipice of another real estate meltdown. And some of the markets that were once the hottest in the entire country are leading the way down.  For example, just check out what is happening in Manhattan: "In the third quarter, the median price for a one-bedroom Manhattan home was $815,000, down 4% from the same period in 2017. The volume of sales fell 12.7%."

Of course things are even worse at the high end of the market.  Some Manhattan townhouses are selling for millions of dollars less than what they were originally listed for. Sadly, Manhattan is far from alone.  Pending home sales are down all over the nation.  In October, U.S. pending home sales were down 4.6 percent on a year over year basis, and that was the tenth month in a row that we have seen a decline: "Hope was high for a rebound (after new-home-sales slumped), but that was dashed as pending home sales plunged 2.6% MoM in October (well below the expected 0.5% MoM bounce). Additionally, Pending Home Sales fell 4.6% YoY – the 10th consecutive month of annual declines."

When something happens for 10 months in a row, I think that you can safely say that a trend has started.
Sales of new homes continue to plummet as well.  In fact, we just witnessed a 12 percent year over year decline for sales of new single family houses last month: "Sales of new single-family houses plunged 12% in October, compared to a year ago, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000 houses, according to estimates by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. With an inventory of new houses for sale at 336,000 (seasonally adjusted), the supply at the current rate of sales spiked to 7.4 months, from 6.5 months’ supply in September, and from 5.6 months’ supply a year ago."

If all of this sounds eerily similar to 2008, that is because it is eerily similar to what happened just before and during the last financial crisis. Up until now, at least the economic optimists could point to the employment numbers as a reason for hope, but not anymore. In fact, initial claims for unemployment benefits have now risen for three weeks in a row: "The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits increased to a six-month high last week, which could raise concerns that the labor market could be slowing. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 for the week ended Nov. 24, the highest level since the mid-May, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims have now risen for three straight weeks."

This is also similar to what we witnessed back in 2008. Jobless claims started to creep up, and then when the crisis fully erupted there was an avalanche of job losses. And just like 10 years ago, we are starting to see a lot of big corporations start to announce major layoffs. General Motors greatly upset President Trump when they announced that they were cutting 14,000 jobs just before the holidays, but GM is far from alone.  For a list of some of the large firms that have just announced layoffs, please see my previous article entitled “U.S. Job Losses Accelerate: Here Are 10 Big Companies That Are Cutting Jobs Or Laying Off Workers”.

A third parallel to 2008 is what is happening to the price of oil. In 2008, the price of oil shot up to a record high before falling precipitously. Well, now a similar thing has happened.  Earlier this year the price of oil shot up to $76 a barrel, but this week it slid beneath the all-important $50 barrier: "Oil’s recent slide has shaved more than a third off its price. Crude fell more than 1% Thursday to as low as $49.41 a barrel. The last time oil closed below $50 was in October 4, 2017. By mid morning the price had climbed back to above $51. Concerns about oversupply have sent oil prices into a virtual freefall: Crude hit a four-year high above $76 a barrel less than two months ago."

When economists are asked why the price of oil is falling, the primary answer they give is because global economic activity is softening. And that is definitely the case. In fact, we just learned that economic confidence in the eurozone has declined for the 11th month in a row: "Euro-area economic confidence slipped for an 11th straight month, further damping expectations that the currency bloc will rebound from a sharp growth slowdown and complicating the European Central Bank’s plans to pare back stimulus."

In addition, we just got news that the Swiss and Swedish economies had negative growth in the third quarter. The economic news is bad across the board, and it appears to be undeniable that a global economic downturn has begun.

But current Fed Chair Jerome Powell insists that he is “very happy about the state of the economy”: Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve’s chairman, has also taken an optimistic line, declaring in Texas recently that he was “very happy about the state of the economy.”

That is just great. He can be as happy as he wants, and he can continue raising interest rates as he sticks his head in the sand, but nothing is going to change economic reality. Every single Fed rate hiking cycle in history has ended in a market crash and/or a recession, and this time won’t be any different.
The Federal Reserve created the “boom” that we witnessed in recent years, but we must also hold them responsible for the “bust” that is about to happen."

Thursday, November 29, 2018

"An Excellent Question!"

Greg Hunter, "Weekly News Wrap-Up 11/30/18"

"Weekly News Wrap-Up 11/30/18"
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 


"Trump tweeted out a cartoon with some of the people behind bars that failed in taking him out of office in a soft coup. The cartoon asked “When do the trials for treason begin?” Could a release of the FISA documents laced with outright fraud used to spy on President Trump and prove a phony witch hunt be far away? People will go to jail over this.

Meanwhile, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and his team of Democrats seem to be panicked to tie President Trump to the failed Russian collusion case of the 2016 election. Some being prosecuted and questioned claim Mueller’s team are asking them to lie to get a reduced sentence and to finger President Trump. It ain’t working.

The Fed is looking like it’s going to raise interest rates one more time and stop. Wall Street loves this, but is the Fed signaling the economy is starting to get into trouble?"

"Join Greg Hunter as he gives his take on the top 
stories of the past week in the Weekly News Wrap-Up."

Musical Interlude: Liquid Mind, “Velvet Morning” ("Void of the Stellar Winds")

Liquid Mind, “Velvet Morning” ("Void of the Stellar Winds")

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka, are the bright bluish stars from east to west (lower right to upper left) along the diagonal in this cosmic vista. Otherwise known as the Belt of Orion, these three blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more massive than the Sun. 
Click image for larger size.
They lie from 800 to 1,500 light-years away, born of Orion's well-studied interstellar clouds. In fact, clouds of gas and dust adrift in this region have some surprisingly familiar shapes, including the dark Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula near Alnitak at the lower right. The famous Orion Nebula itself is off the right edge of this colorful starfield. This well-framed, 2-panel telescopic mosaic spans about 4 degrees on the sky.”

The Poet: May Sarton, "Now I Become Myself"

 
"Now I Become Myself"

“Now I become myself. It's taken
Time, many years and places,
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people's faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
"hurry, you will be dead before -----"
(What? Before you reach the morning?
or the end of the poem, is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move,
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the Sun!”

~ May Sarton,
 "Collected Poems, 1930-1993"

"What Was 'Little Ease'?"

“'Little Ease': One Of The Most Feared Devices
 in the Tower of London Was Its Tiniest Cells"
by Nancy Bilyeau

"The story of Little Ease begins with a prison break from the Tower of London. In 1534, a man and woman hurried past a row of cottages on the outer grounds of the Tower. They had almost reached the gateway to Tower Hill and, not far beyond it, the city of London, when a group of yeomen warders on night watch appeared in their path.

In response, the young couple turned toward each other, in what seemed a lover’s embrace. But something about the man caught the attention of a yeoman warder. He held his lantern higher and within seconds recognized the pair. The man was a colleague, fellow yeoman warder, John Bawd, and the woman was Alice Tankerville, a condemned thief, and prisoner. So ended the Tower’s first known escape attempt by a woman. But Alice’s accomplice and admirer, the guard John Bawd, was destined to enter the Tower record books too: he is the first known occupant of a peculiar torture cell used during the reigns of the Tudors and early Stuarts.

The windowless cell measured 4 square feet (1.2 meters) and bore the faintly prim name of Little Ease. Its effect was simple. The prisoner within it could not stand nor sit nor lie down but was forced to crouch over, in increasing agony, until freed from the suffocating, dark space.

In 1215 England outlawed torture through the passage of Magna Carta, except by royal warrant. The first king to authorize it, and he did so reluctantly, was Edward II. He submitted to intense pressure from the Pope to follow the lead of the king of France and demolish the Order of the Knights Templar, part of a tradition begun during the Crusades.

King Philip IV of France, jealous of the Templars’ wealth and power, had charged them with heresy, obscene rituals, idolatry, and other offenses. The French knights denied all, and were duly tortured. Some who broke down and “confessed” were released;  all who denied wrongdoing were burned at the stake.

Tower of London at sunset, England, Famous Place, International Landmark

Once Edward II ordered imprisonment of members of the English chapter, French monks arrived in London bearing their instruments of torture. In 1311 the Knights Templar “were questioned and examined in the presence of notaries while suffering under the torments of the rack” within the Tower of London as well as the prisons of Aldgate, Ludgate, Newgate, and Bishopsgate, according to The History of the Knights Templar, the Temple Church, and the Temple, by Charles G. Addison. And so the Tower—principally a royal residence, military stronghold, armory, and menagerie up until that time—was baptized in torture.

Did the instruments remain after the Knights Templars were crushed, to be used on other prisoners? We cannot be certain, although there is no record of it. The next mention of a rack within the Tower is a startling one—an unsavory nobleman made Constable of the Tower pushed for one to be installed. John Holland, third duke of Exeter, arranged for a rack to be brought into the Tower. It is not known if men were stretched upon it or if it was merely used to frighten. In any case, this rack is known to history as the "Duke of Exeter’s Daughter."

It was in the 16th century that prisoners were unquestionably tortured in the Tower of London. The royal family rarely used the fortress on the Thames as a residence; more and more, its stone buildings contained prisoners. And while the Tudor monarchs seem glittering successes to us now, in their own time they were beset by insecurities: rebellions, conspiracies and other threats both domestic and foreign. There was a willingness at the top of the government to override the law to obtain certain ends. This created a perfect storm for torture.

“It was during the time of the Tudors that the use of torture reached its height,” wrote historian L.A. Parry in his 1933 book The History of Torture in England. “Under Henry VIII it was frequently employed; it was only used in a small number of cases in the reigns of Edward VI and of Mary. It was whilst Elizabeth sat on the throne that it was made use of more than in any other period of history.”

Yeoman Warder John Bawd admitted he had planned the escape of Alice Tankerville “for the love and affection he bore her.” Unmoved, the Lieutenant of the Tower ordered Bawd into Little Ease, where he crouched, in growing agony. The lovers were condemned to horrible deaths for trying to escape. According to a letter in the State Papers of Lord Lisle, written on March 28,  Alice Tankerville was “hanged in chains at low water mark upon the Thames on Tuesday. John Bawd is in Little Ease cell in the Tower and is to be racked and hanged.”

Today no one knows exactly where Little Ease was located. One theory: in the dungeon of the White Tower. Another: in the basement of the old Flint Tower.  No visitor sees it today; it was torn down or walled up long ago. Besides Little Ease, the most-used torture devices were the rack, the manacles, and a horrific creation called the Scavenger’s Daughter. For many prisoners, solitary confinement, repeated interrogation, and the threat of physical pain were enough to make them tell their tormentors anything they wanted to know.

Often the victims ended up in the Tower for religious reasons. Anne Askew was tortured and killed for her Protestant beliefs; Edmund Campion for his Catholic ones. But the crimes varied. “The majority of the prisoners were charged with high treason, but murder, robbery, embezzling the Queen’s plate, and failure to carry out proclamations against state players were among the offenses,” wrote Parry.

The monarch did not need to sign off on torture requests, although sometime he or she did. Elizabeth I personally directed that torture be used on the members of the Babington Conspiracy, a group that plotted to depose her and replace her with Mary Queen of Scots. But usually these initiatives went through the Privy Council or tapped the powers of the Star Chamber. It is believed that in some cases, permission was never sought at all.

Over and over, names pop up in state papers of those confined to Little Ease: “On 3 May 1555: Stephen Happes, for his lewd behavior and obstinacy, committed this day to the Tower to remain in Little Ease for two or three days till he may be further examined.”

“10 January 1591:  Richard Topcliffe is to take part in an examination in the Tower of George Beesley, seminary priest, and Robert Humberson, his companion. And if you shall see good cause by their obstinate refusal to declare the truth of such things as shall be laid to their charge in Her Majesty’s behalf, then shall you by authority hereof commit them to the prison called Little Ease or to such other ordinary place of punishment as hath been accustomed to be used in those cases, and to certify proceedings from time to time."   

After the death of Elizabeth and succession of James I came the most famous prisoner of them all to be held in Little Ease, Guy Fawkes. Charged with plotting to blow up the king and Parliament, Fawkes was subjected to both manacles and rack to obtain his confession and the names of his fellow conspirators. After he had told his questioners everything they asked, Fawkes was still shackled hand and foot in Little Ease and left there, though no one knows how long.

And after that final burst of savagery, Little Ease was no more. A House of Commons committee reported the same year as Fawkes’ execution that the room was “disused.” In 1640, during the reign of Charles I, torture was abolished forever; there would be no more forcing prisoners to crouch for days in dark airless rooms, no more rack or hanging from chains. And so, mercifully, closed one of the darkest chapters in England’s history."
Well, it's a very good thing that we Americans are far too enlightened and civilized to ever torture anyone, right? What? Abu what? Abu Ghraib? Hey! We bring them...

Freedom and Democracy!
We're the Good Guys, the Exceptional People, right?
 We would never do these things...but we do, and always have...
and always will.

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble.
 It's what you know for certain that just ain't so."
- Mark Twain

"We Never Know..."

"We never know when our last day on earth will be. So, love with full sincerity, believe with true faith, and hope with all of your might. Better to have lived in truth and discovered life, than to have lived half heartedly and died long before you ever ceased breathing."
- Cristina Marrero

The Daily "Near You?"

Roosevelt, Utah, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"A Grindstone..."

 
"Life is a grindstone.
Whether it grinds us down or polishes us up depends on us."
- L. Thomas Holdcraft

Free Download: Friedrich Nietzsche, "Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book For All And None”

“In individuals, insanity is rare; 
but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche

"Friedrich Nietzsche went mad after allegedly seeing a horse being whipped in the Italian city of Turin. It is believed that Nietzsche lost his sanity, with one particular event in 1889 often highlighted as the definitive moment of his mental collapse.

The story goes that on the morning of January 3, 1889, while Nietzсche was taking a long walk through the city streets, he saw a horse being whipped by its owner. The merchant apparently had difficulty getting his the stubborn horse to move, so in frustration began to flog the animal. Distraught at the sight, Nietzsche rushed toward him in a flight of rage, threw his arms around the horse’s neck in order to defend it from the vicious blows, only to break into tears and collapse to the ground right after.

Nearly arrested for this unexpected outburst, the philosopher was quickly ushered away by his friend and landlord, David Fino, who took him home. He spent the next two days on a couch in a complete vegetative state. At least, this is one version of the events, used as a premise in a movie about the horse, and his life after.

He was sent to a mental asylum in Basel and on January 18, only two weeks later, he was transferred to the Jena mental asylum, where he was given a diagnosis of tertiary cerebral syphilis based on the fact that he was displaying signs of paralytic dementia, a neuropsychiatric disorder associated with the later stages of syphilis."
Full article here: https://www.thevintagenews.com/
"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does 
not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, 
the abyss will gaze back into you."*
 - Friedrich Nietzsche

"'Thus Spoke Zarathustra" is the classic full text work by Friedrich Nietzsche. The book is considered among his most well-known and important works. The book is a dense and esoteric treatise on philosophy and philosophy, featuring as a fictionalized prophet descending from his recluse to mankind, Zarathustra. 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra" also contains the famous dictum “God is dead.

Freely download "Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book For All And None” here:
*"We work in the dark. We do what we can to battle with the evil that would otherwise destroy us. But, a man's fate is defined as not a choice but a calling. Yet sometimes the weight of this burden causes us to falter, breaching the fragile fortress of our mind, allowing the monsters without to turn within and we are left alone, staring into the abyss... into the laughing face of madness."
- David Duchovny as "Fox Mulder"

Gregory Mannarino, "Post Market Wrap Up 11/29/18: Beyond The Realm Of Stupid"

Gregory Mannarino, "Post Market Wrap Up 11/29/18:
 Beyond The Realm Of Stupid"
MarketWatch Market Summary
CNN Market Data:

CNN Fear And Greed Index:

"Why Growth Won’t Last"

"Why Growth Won’t Last"
by Brian Maher

“One martini is alright,” counseled the late James Thurber. “Two is too many”... “and three is not enough.” As with the martini, so with debt. Today we tell a woeful tale of substance abuse...  Assume an economy in doldrums. Debt appears to offer a hand up. The initial dose of debt brightens the economic spirits, livens the pace of commerce, sets the idle machines of industry awhir. The customer rapidly yields to debt’s liquidy charms… as a man yields to the womanly charms of the enchantress.  He is hot for more and orders a second round.  The first — after all — set things swinging.

But this second dose of debt dizzies the senses, and fogs the judgment. In an economy prodded by debt, projects are undertaken that would not otherwise be. Popular industries are targets of over-investment. A spree of debt-fueled consumption is soon underway. But a cardinal fact soon emerges. This business is unsustainable in the absence of more debt. The preceding boom will collapse in a heap without additional debt to hold it up.

“If Only He Had Declined That Second Martini” The barman is instructed to mix another libation — the third.  It keeps the night going. But this dose lacks the stimulating effects of the second, much less the first. That is, the third drink is “not enough.” Only a fourth round of debt — an even stiffer round — can work the trick. Down the gullet it goes. But a fifth, stronger round is required to hold the previous four together. And so a fifth, stronger round it is.

By now the poor fellow is 100% out of his wits, all senses deranged.  But he demands more. Comes a point when the barman will serve him no longer. He is presented with a tab — and what a tab. The roughneck manning the door then drags him outside and heaves him upon the pavement. He is a man undone. If only he had declined that second martini... 

“A Worldwide Debt Default Is a Real Possibility” “A worldwide debt default is a real possibility,” laments Daily Reckoning affiliate John Mauldin. Total global debt has increased an alcoholic $57 trillion since 2007. But is the globe $57 trillion wealthier? Alas... it is not.

The world’s leading economies — America, Europe, Japan and China — are brewing up debt at a rate 10 times greater than economic growth. Ten times! But let us keep to the American saloons for the moment… The national debt pre-financial crisis was roughly $9.5 trillion. The United States government has since borrowed some $11.6 trillion. And to show for it? The American economy expanded only $5.1 trillion these past 10 years. That is, while GDP has increased 35% since 2008, the national debt has increased 122%.

The Keynesian “Multiplier” Is Broken: A dollar of debt just doesn’t carry the load it once did. Fifty years ago, $1 of debt yielded perhaps $4 of economic growth, real or otherwise. And today? Every borrowed dollar since 2008 has generated a mere 44 cents of output. Last year it churned out even less. Lacy Hunt is executive vice president of Hoisington Investment Management Co. His researches reveal that $1 of debt returned 40 cents of U.S. growth in 2017. That is, last year’s borrowed buck wielded 1,000% less whizbang than 50 years ago — if our English major mathematics do not betray us. And so the Keynesian “multiplier” is reduced to a sad, sad caricature. It lives on mainly in the economics departments of ivied institutions and castles high in the sky.

The lesson, visible to eyes able and willing to see: Debt-based consumption is a dreadful addiction. It ultimately reduces the blood to sludge and the liver to rubble.  It steals from the future to satisfy today. It brings tomorrow’s consumption forward to today, that is to say… and leaves the future empty.

Daily Reckoning contributor Charles Hugh Smith: "Debt has one primary dynamic: Borrowing money to consume something in the present brings forward consumption and income. If we choose to consume now, we have less income to save for future consumption or investments. If we sacrifice consumption today, we have more money in the future for consumption or investing. Those who brought their consumption forward can no longer add to present consumption, as their future income is already spoken for."

Debt to the Farthest Horizon: Meantime, federal debt is rising perhaps three times the rate of revenue coming in. And trillion-dollar annual budget deficits are on tap through the next decade. Economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have demonstrated that annual economic growth falls 2% per year when the debt-to-GDP reaches 60%. When it hits 90%, growth is “roughly cut in half.”

What is America’s current debt-to-GDP ratio?
Roughly 105%.

For your viewing pleasure, the projected trajectory of the national debt as a percentage of GDP, compliments of the Congressional Budget Office:


For the long-term consequences we turn to the Brookings Institute: "Sustained federal deficits and rising federal debt, used to finance consumption or transfer payments, will crowd out future investment; reduce prospects for economic growth; make it more difficult to conduct routine policy, address major new priorities or deal with the next recession or emergencies; and impose substantial burdens on future generations."

To simply hold current debt levels even, CBO estimates Congress would have to increase revenues 11% each year… while simultaneously hacking the budget 10%. Will Congress spend 10% less each year?Some questions answer themselves. Here you have one.

Meantime, CBO currently projects economic growth to limp along at an average 1.9% per annum the next decade. That 1.9% stands in contrast to the 3% average annual rate common before the great gale of 2008 blew on through. One percentage point may not appear dramatic — and one year to the next it is not. But multiply it by five years, 10 years, 20 years… and you acquire a grim lesson in the meaning of negative compounding interest.

Ah, but we have omitted one central element from our tale…Interest rates are rising.

One Martini Was Enough: The cost of debt is increasing… and beginning to bite. Interest payment on the debt is rising faster than any other federal outlay. The United States spent $523 billion servicing its debt in fiscal year 2018 — a record. And CBO projects debt service will rise to $915 billion by 2028 — nearly 25% of the entire budget. $915 billion roughly approximates this year’s combined Medicare and Medicaid costs… for perspective.

We suspect Nemesis will come calling one day… and exact her full payment.  When, we cannot say. One martini was alright. Two was too many. Unfortunately, three was not enough. And the hangover will be a migraine for the ages..."