Thursday, June 30, 2016

Greg Hunter, "Weekly News Wrap-Up 7/1/2016"

"Weekly News Wrap-Up 7/1/2016"
By Greg Hunter’s

"Attorney General Loretta Lynch, along with the FBI, is investigating the biggest political scandal in American history with Presidential presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton. Allegations include: a private server that jeopardized national security, charity fraud and bribes paid in donations for favors from Clinton while she was Secretary of State. Against that backdrop, Lynch took a private meeting with Mrs. Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, on Lynch’s private jet in Phoenix. We are supposed to believe this was a chance meeting, and we are also supposed to believe they talked about golf and grand babies.  That is preposterous, and I think somebody called a meeting. It was so important that Lynch put her reputation and credibility on the line. This was a powerful meeting, and it is impossible to believe that they talked about grand babies and golf when the most explosive political case in U.S. history hangs in the balance in an ongoing FBI criminal investigation.

The 800 page Benghazi report is out, and we find out that a rescue mission was never launched. We also see the mainstream media will not cover the case and not show presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lied about the cause of the attack that murdered four Americans. She told America and the victims’ families the cause was outrage about an internet video that insulted Islam. She knew, the night of the attacks, that it was a terror attack by Islamic terrorists and yet lied to save her legacy as Secretary of State. The biggest thing that did not come out in the report is how the Clinton State Department was knowingly allowing gun running to ISIS terrorists in Syria.

The most dangerous bank in the global financial system is Germany’s Deutsche Bank. The stock price is at 30 year lows, and it failed the most recent Fed stress test. Other banks that did well in the test are now allowed to buy back their own stock with money they got for free from the Federal Reserve. Gregory Mannarino from says this is a “backdoor bailout” that helps enrich bankers and keeps the financial system going a little longer. Instead of loaning money to businesses to create jobs, Mannarino says they are inflating the stock prices of the banks and turning their backs on helping the overall economy." Join Greg Hunter as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.”

“Elites Called to 'Rise-up Against the Ignorant Masses’- The Masses Reply: ‘Bring It On’, See What Happens To You!”

“Elites Called to 'Rise-up Against the Ignorant Masses’-
 The Masses Reply: ‘Bring It On’, See What Happens To You!”
by NewRoom

"And so it’s on…

In a column for Foreign Policy Magazine, Council on Foreign Relations member James Traub argues that the elite need to “rise up” against the “mindlessly angry” ignorant masses in order to prevent globalization from being derailed by the populist revolt that led to Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump. In a spectacular display of the very ignorance against which he issues his call to arms, Traub shows how thoroughly infected the establishment is with their group-think. God forbid the ‘fist shaking’ rabble would actually think for themselves and effect an “utter repudiation of the bankers and economists and Western heads of state who warned voters against the dangers of a split with the European Union.” If there was a miscalculation on the part of David Cameron, it was “how utterly he misjudged his own people‘s ability to think for themselves.”

Rise up against the ignorant masses? Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Traub… Your intellectual nakedness just might end up on full, public display.

The Foundational Issue: The Most Significant Unit of Society: Traub shows himself ignorant of both British and American history when he concludes: “Maybe we have become so inclined to celebrate the authenticity of all personal conviction that it is now elitist to believe in reason, expertise, and the lessons of history.”

Philosophically, ‘Scottish Common Sense Realism’ provides a framework for understanding how someone’s thinking would begin with ‘personal conviction’. This framework lies at the heart of the thinking of authors like John Locke, on whom Thomas Jefferson depended heavily when writing the Declaration of Independence. Locke’s philosophy of government and economics expresses this framework and stands in stark contrast to that of Thomas Hobbes. Between the two of them we can drive the difference down to a single question: What is the most significant unit of society?  The answer for those who would follow Hobbes is the State. For those who would follow Locke it would be the individual.

Money and Monetary Policy: The Scaffolding of Society: At the heart of debates over economics, then, lies the matter of money. If you are inclined to build on Hobbes’ premises, money is a tool of the State for ordering the affairs of society. If you build on Locke’s foundation, money is a utility contrived first by individuals to facilitate commerce. If we revisit the debate between Keynesian and Austrian economics, these two presumptions about the nature of money animate each philosophy. Keynes presumed an essentially Progressive, statist understanding of human government. His prescriptions for monetary policy follow quite logically.

The problem with Keynesian economics at this point in history (which Traub at least recognizes to be singular) is he could not have foreseen either the computer or how it has changed banking on the one hand and supply-chain management on the other. Neither could he have entertained the deployment of massive amounts of capital to essentially speculative financial products– most of which would have been illegal in his time. These two things have conspired to elevate what Keynes called the “Zero Level Boundary” to a point above zero where money has been made so cheap that the actual creation of new wealth (by improving things) cannot compete with speculation and stock buy-backs for available capital. Or in other words: when the chips are free, who wouldn't gamble?

But putting that otherwise necessary debate aside, Traub believes the elites are on the side of Madame History, so let’s consult with her.

The First and Second Bishops Wars (late 1630s- early 1640s) revolved around church order and leadership. Today it is hard to appreciate the degree to which social order broadly speaking depended on church order in this time. Charles I tried to enforce ecclesiastical uniformity throughout his kingdom, but the Scots were not having it. Charles assembled an army to impose his order despite difficulty raising the needed money. The First Bishops War resulted in further negotiations. The resulting repudiation of Anglican order resulted in the calling of a Parliament, which subsequently demanded redress for both ecclesiastical and economic (tax) grievances.

Charles responded by dissolving Parliament. This time, to raise the needed funds to pay his soldiers, he confiscated the gold held in the Royal Mint as a forced loan. This gold did not belong to the Crown but to English merchants. While the loans were paid back, as a result of this monetary impunity merchants began depositing their gold with trusted goldsmiths. They received a receipt in return. These receipts then began to circulate in place of the gold as a medium of exchange for goods and services. The goldsmiths also realized that not all receipts would be presented for redemption at once and began issuing ‘extra’ receipts, lending them out at interest. ‘Fractional reserve banking’ was born and these receipts became a forerunner to paper money (e.g. the Federal Reserve Note).

There are two things about this history which are instructive for us today: The first is the confiscation of the money supply by a ‘sovereign’ to enforce his preferred order on society. Those who understand Hobbes’ philosophy also understand that a ‘sovereign’ need not be a monarch. A bureaucracy, or an assemblage of them such as the European Union, can wield the power of a sovereign just as can a monarch and its palace. And that bureaucratic sovereign can rule with the same impunity which eventually drove matters to the English Civil Wars. But that impunity is not possible without control of the money supply. Second, this history clearly validates the premise that money is (and always will be) first a utility contrived by individuals to engage in everyday commerce.

It also exposes the underlying problem of monetary policy we face today: It should be clear that those (Traub and his elites) who espouse a Hobbesian philosophy of government would view money as a tool of the State. Too bad history is not on their side. And those Traub so artfully calls 'ignorant fist shakers’– well, they just want their money back.

Money and ‘Globalization’: Traub believes ‘globalization’ to be the root of the problem and caricatures the ‘fist shakers’ as older, xenophobic rabble pining for the cultural homogeneity of the past. This is a convenient straw man, as it does not account for the underlying stream of Scottish Common Sense Realism that continues to animate the thinking of ordinary people and, rather inconveniently, undermines the superiority complex of the elites.

The arguments for globalization generally claim a net economic gain for ‘free trade’ agreements.  But let’s look at the underlying data: First, these claims require that we treat all jobs alike. For those who work in close proximity to the money supply– controlled as it is by what I will call (deliberately evoking echoes of Dwight Eisenhower) the ‘political/financial complex’– a service-sector job and a manufacturing job are counted the same. But when counted separately we see a dramatic shift away from manufacturing jobs toward lower paying, service-sector jobs. The problems with this are both social and economic.

Economically, we become further and further removed from the creation of wealth. A manufacturing job is, by definition, a job in which raw materials– which by themselves would be useless– are turned into useful things. The difference between the value of that useful thing and the value of the underlying raw materials is what wealth is. A service sector job, on the other hand, merely provides a needed or desired service to a consumer and does not directly contribute to the creation of wealth.

As a result, socially, we become an economy of mansions, butlers and maids. What is especially maddening about this is it reflects the very income inequality we constantly hear about from the elites. But if equality were really what the elites were after, they would insist we bring the regular population back into closer proximity to the creation of wealth.

But this is not what is being demanded; the rabble is required to assent to the redistributionist wisdom of the elites who view government, and as a result money, in a way that is fundamentally opposite to the traditions of individual freedom which form the foundation of what it means to be American. The elites are fundamentally demanding sovereign control over the social order. Just as did King Charles I. And the ‘fist shakers’ are saying no.  Just as did the Scots and the English merchants after them.

Money and the ‘Fabrication of Reality’: Traub’s claim that the ‘nativist’ forces on the right– both on the matter of Brexit and here in the United States– are ‘fabricating reality’ is especially rich. The British population was apparently subject to lies about the dangers of immigration. Yet in Germany, a citizens’ group is using Google Maps to tag by location the instances of sexual crimes reported as being committed by migrants from the Middle East. With other parts of the ‘elite’ telling us that women claiming sexual abuse should be believed, Traub and his tribe have some explaining to do: Who, it might be asked, is doing the ‘fabricating’?

And that question only gets more pressing when we look at economic series here in the U.S. Starting with unemployment: In the late 1970s the U.S. Congress was faced with the hot potato of high unemployment. Instead of making tough fiscal choices to keep the government from consuming resources which would have been more efficiently deployed by the private sector, they tossed the hot potato over to the Federal Reserve. The Humphrey-Hawkins Act of 1977 added “full employment” to the Federal Reserve’s original mandate of consumer price stability.

Now if we were to return to the calculation methodology for unemployment prior to the passage of Humphrey-Hawkins, and then plug in the data available from then until now, the utter failure of the Fed to foster full employment would become painfully obvious. But this would also mean Congress would have to come to terms with a simple fact: the Federal Reserve does not have– and has never had– the necessary tools to foster full employment. This has always been about Congress hiding from its fiscal responsibilities. And the ‘reality’ of employment in America has been ‘fabricated’ ever since by changing the calculation methodologies to hide the truth. Again, it must be asked, who is doing to fabricating?

Then we move to inflation. In the early 1990s the Clinton administration and the Republican Congress led by Newt Gingrich were faced – again – with having to make tough fiscal choices principally to keep Social Security solvent. And, again, they copped out. This time they decided to change the manner in which the Consumer Price Index was calculated in order to suppress the growth of government benefits and the costs of borrowing. It is important here to understand that interest rates are a function of the rate of inflation, which is reported as the Consumer Price Index. While that might seem arcane, the following is not: No one refinances a debt at a higher interest rate.

So, having copped out on making tough fiscal choices, Clinton-Gingrich sent us down an unsustainable path of borrowing to the point where the United States Treasury, after paying for government programs, does not have enough money to even make the ‘coupon payments’ (also known as interest) on its bonds, to say nothing of redeeming the maturing bonds– the very textbook definition of ‘bankrupt’. As a result, the reported rate of inflation has to be ‘fabricated’ to support ever-lower interest rates and the ‘debt ceiling’ constantly raised to enable serial refinancing of the national debt.

Thus something as fundamental to consumer prices as rent– which is rising at around eight percent a year– is not counted in the CPI. Prices such as food and energy– as if the consumer is not impacted by these either– are also not counted. The ‘experts’ Traub thinks so highly of tell us this is because of the ‘volatility’ of these prices. Yet even a rudimentary understanding of economics is enough to know that this same volatility is exactly the data which should be warning us of a problem with monetary policy. But Congress does not want to hear the truth, and so the elites must ‘fabricate reality’.

Be Careful What You Wish For: Traub’s call is for the ‘elites’ to rise up against the ‘ignorant masses’.  Yes, indeed, please do. But be careful what you wish for. You just might discover that we are having the very same argument had between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton at the beginning of the Republic. Consider the following comment from Jefferson, especially in light of the last financial crisis and its wave of foreclosures: "If the American People ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied. The issuing power of money should be taken from the bankers and restored to Congress and the people to whom it belongs. I sincerely believe the banking institutions having the issuing power of money are more dangerous to liberty than standing armies."

What is happening today has been brewing for a long time. The elites will be exposed for their fabrication of reality and the Scottish Common Sense Realism that forms the philosophical foundation of the American idea of self-government will be vindicated. The British have struck the first blow in an epic battle that will return us to sound money and the creation of vast amounts of new wealth– and eventually to freedom itself over debt slavery. And it will be this return to creating wealth measured by sound money that will return us to an economy where that wealth is broadly and justly enjoyed by a thriving and growing middle class who are actually making things again.”

Madame Defarge, where are you now that we need you?

"The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats"

Musical Interlude: Rudy Adrian, “Of Clouds And Mountains”

Rudy Adrian, “Of Clouds And Mountains”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Why do many galaxies appear as spirals? A striking example is M101, shown above, whose relatively close distance of about 27 million light years allows it to be studied in some detail. Observational evidence indicates that a close gravitational interaction with a neighboring galaxy created waves of high mass and condensed gas which continue to orbit the galaxy center. These waves compress existing gas and cause star formation.
Click image for larger size.
One result is that M101, also called the Pinwheel Galaxy, has several extremely bright star-forming regions (called HII regions) spread across its spiral arms. M101 is so large that its immense gravity distorts smaller nearby galaxies.”

Chet Raymo, “Beyond The Porch- Light of Language”

“Beyond The Porch- Light of Language”
by Chet Raymo

"The title of this post is another phrase from the poet Pat Boran. A lovely image, evoking friends in rocking chairs sipping ice tea or gin-and-tonics on a drowsy summer night. Out there in the darkness lightnin' bugs flash their sleepy semaphores. Somewhere afar off heat lightnin' illuminates the horizon. Our language drifts into the dark. We have words too for stars, for black holes and quasars, for the cosmic microwave background radiation. Our words leak off the porch into the summer darkness, bringing some small part of the darkness into our circle of light. And so we sit and sip and talk, and our language eases back the darkness, hallows an interval, makes "a dwelling in the evening air, In which being there together is enough."

We sit and we sip and we are content to let the darkness embrace us. No, we are more than content. The darkness is a positive presence, a soft and fragrant backdrop for our conversations. Without the darkness there would be no lightnin' bugs, no heat lightnin', no stars. We rock and sip and the darkness enfolds us like a shawl.

There are a those who are less comfortable with the darkness. They want language to light up the darkness to the farthest horizon, to the beginning and end of space and time, turn night to day. They shout into the dark- "God," "Father," "Person," "Friend." The miracle of language becomes the language of miracles. "I am the Light of the World, I expel the dark."

Well, fair enough. But here on the porch, in our circle of friendship and faint light, we rock and sip and talk. And the lightnin' bugs flash, and the stars come on one by one, and now and then, afar off, the horizon shimmers with a soundless light. And we talk, with measured voices. And our words drift off into the darkness. And sometimes they never come back.”

"It's Better..."

"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

The Economy: "Janet Yellen Warms Up The Helicopters"

"Janet Yellen Warms Up The Helicopters"
Introduction by Brian Maher

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” That deathless phrase of Rahm Emanuel, former Obama stooge and current Chicago mafia boss, could soon be vindicated. Enter Brexit, the crisis du jour… Gold bug, tireless pessimist and Gloom, Boom & Doom Report editor Marc Faber was on Bloomberg yesterday. Here’s what he had to say about Brexit and not letting a serious crisis go to waste: “Global growth has contracted... growth rates have been reduced and many countries are in recession already. That has nothing at all to do with Brexit.” But here’s the meat: “If Brexit is used as an excuse, the central banks will print more money [and] QE4 in the U.S. is on the way.”

Whoa! Could Faber be right? Will the Fed take another handsome fling at quantitative easing, using Brexit as an excuse? (Added bonus: They could point at Brexit voters and sputter, “Look what you ninnies made us do! It’s all your fault!”)

Maybe it is coming. Morgan Stanley just hiked their odds of a global recession within the next 12 months to 40%. But unlike Faber, the folks at Morgan Stanley are not sold on another round of QE. The central banks are out of rope. And now populist movements are seizing territory in Europe and the U.S. So they think politicians might start trying to spend their people into prosperity: “Such a step would fit with the fact that monetary policy is very close to its limits and that most populists are promising to bring back a bigger government sector.”

On that note, our friend Chuck Butler raised an interesting point in this morning’s Daily Pfennig that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention: "This was something that slipped under the radar screens this week, and is just now being talked about… The Federal Reserve “might legitimately consider” using public money creation in “extreme circumstances,” when there is “very weak growth” or “deflation,” Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said earlier this week at a press conference."

“Public money creation.” En Anglais: “helicopter money.” Continue, Chuck: "Public money creation, using central bank money to directly finance spending in the real economy, has been taboo for over 50 years. In accepting that the central bank of the world's biggest economy might have to create money to stimulate the real economy, Yellen is implicitly suggesting that central banks might need to update their tool kits. Uh-oh."

Uh-oh is right: When a central banker "mentions something," they do it to grease the tracks. At some point down the road, the Fed is going to implement helicopter money (they won't call it that, but we all will know what it really is). And when they do, Yellen will be able to say, "Well, I told you several months ago that we could use this if we needed to. And we need to."

Jim Rickards already ran that flag to the top of the mast. He’s been saying for months that helicopter money is coming. Will Brexit be the catalyst? Below, Michael Covel shows you why Janet Yellen is already warming up the helicopters. Read on..."

"Janet Yellen Warms Up the Helicopters"
By Michael Covel

"Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s… it’s… Janet Yellen in a helicopter with bags of cash. No kidding. That’s the Fed’s plan when the next recession hits. The Fed’s Dear Leader coming to the rescue with airdrops of free cash for everyone. What could possibly go wrong?

At a recent press conference, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Yellen admitted that the Fed would consider using “helicopter money” in an extreme downturn. What’s “helicopter money”? It’s a phrase used to describe when governments print massive sums of money and then “drop” them on the economy… hoping for the best. Sound insane? It is. But they’re just trying to help by “stimulating” the economy… or what you could call their “Friends and Family Plan.”

But doesn’t economic growth come from savings and investment? Silence. Today, you can supposedly create real economic growth right out of thin air. Just print the money and start giving it away for free. It’s fake money of course, but we pretend it’s real. See how easy it is to hoodwink the masses?

To comfort the proletariat, Yellen said that “helicopter money” would only happen in “abnormal” circumstances. Kind of like the “abnormal” zero interest rates (soon to be negative) that we’ve had for an “abnormally” six-plus years. Abnormal is clearly the norm now. In other words, count on it. Helicopter money is coming the moment the S&P 500 takes a serious downturn.

Ever since the dotcom bubble, the Fed and other central banks have tried to force banks to lend more to spur economic growth coming out of financial crises. What if the growth is fake or unsustainable? No matter. Pay for it another decade. They started with zero interest rate policy (ZIRP). But that money hasn’t gone out into the real economy. It’s remained with the banks. And what a great deal for them! They borrow for zero then use the cash to make billions scalping every day using high-frequency trading.

When ZIRP didn’t force people to invest in Timbuktu condos, central banks in Europe and Japan moved to negative interest rate policy (NIRP). The thinking goes that NIRP would surely force people to borrow, spend and buy those Timbuktu condos instead of paying interest on their savings. Think about how crazy all this is. Force average citizens to choose between paying interest on their savings or investing in casino investments engineered by the central banks to collapse at any moment. But none of this is working — whatever the hell “working” means to people like Yellen.

Savings rates in NIRP countries are actually going up. And in Japan, fearful citizens have started hoarding cash. The Japanese are buying safes in record numbers? You bet. So what do you think people will do when Yellen makes like Santa Claus and starts handing out free money? Do you think that will instill confidence in consumers to spend more as opposed to saving for what they instinctively know is a coming meltdown? Do you think the Fed’s actions will encourage companies to make additional capital investments in their businesses instead of hunkering down for the collapse they also know is coming?

“Helicopter money” is the Fed signaling to the world: “Yeah, we’ve lost control. We have no idea what the hell we’re doing.”

Since the financial crisis in 2009, central banks have printed $12.3 trillion of money and made 654 interest rate cuts to support the global economy. What do we have to show for it? Well, it’s obviously been great for Wall Street billionaires and stock indexes. But the rest of the experiment has been a huge bust. It’s devastated those who rely on interest income for survival. Plus, we now have $200 trillion in worldwide debt, asset bubbles galore and stagnant global economic growth. Usually, when the sink is overflowing, smart people turn off the faucet. But the Fed is looking to increase the water flow.

And if the Fed doesn’t come up with a new scheme to artificially goose the economy after NIRP failure, what’s the alternative? A massive deleveraging of credit, a stock market collapse and a prolonged recession. A clearing out of the excesses of the business cycle used to be normal. But do you think Yellen & Co. are going to let “normal” happen on their watch? As soon as the U.S. economy slips into recession, it’s only a matter of time before the debasement of paper money will continue unabated. And more people will be looking for the safety of gold as they have in recent months. Gold surged to a three-year high last week.

I don’t prefer chaos. But if it’s going to happen, you should be ready… long before you hear the sound of helicopters in the sky.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff, United Kingdom.
Thanks for stopping by!

"It Is Not Our Part..."; "For This Is What We Do..."

"It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Lord of the Rings” 

Sam: "It's like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing, this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."
- Samwise Gamgee,
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"

For this is what we do... and why.
“For this is what we do. Put one foot forward and then the other. Lift our eyes to the snarl and smile of the world once more. Think. Act. Feel. Add our little consequence to the tides of good and evil that flood and drain the world. Drag our shadowed crosses into the hope of another night. Push our brave hearts into the promise of a new day. With love: the passionate search for truth other than our own. With longing: the pure, ineffable yearning to be saved. For so long as fate keeps waiting, we live on. God help us. God forgive us. We live on.”
- Gregory David Roberts, “Shantaram”

The Poet: Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses”


"It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink
Life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea. I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known- cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honored of them all,
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
   This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the scepter and the isle,
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill
This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
   There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me,
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads- you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done, 
Not unbecoming men that strove with gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

-  Alfred, Lord Tennyson 

FREELY download, in PDF format, the poems of Alfred, Lord Tennyson here:

"Brexit Signals the End of the Neocon's "End of History"

Emerson explained it all 150 years ago. Today his words ring as true as ever

"Brexit Signals the End of the Neocon's "End of History"
by Vladimir Golstein 

"Every experiment that has a sensual and selfish aim, will fail. As long as our civilization is essentially one of property, of fences, of exclusiveness, it will be mocked by delusions. Our riches will leave us sick; there will be bitterness in our laughter, and our wine will burn our mouth. Only that good profits which we can taste with all doors open, and which serves all men."  
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world history knows plenty of rulers who wanted to conquer and united the world: Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Rome, Catholic Church, Napoleon, British Empire, World Communism. Yet, their efforts always come to naught. Like a coil of a spring, the conquered rebel and try to re-assert their will, precisely because the conquerors, despite their rhetoric of peace and prosperity imposed their will upon others; their visions of harmony came at the at the price of violence and exploitation.

It is easy to recognize the attempts to accomplish a similar task in the efforts of the American Empire. “The exceptional nation” and “world-pre-eminent power” has been rather explicit about its desire to end history and impose its enlightened and beneficial rule all over the world. This process began in earnest with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of Cold War. Similar to Marxists, the end of history was announced. The truth, in the form of liberal democracy and laissez faire capitalism was formulated, and the world was made to confirm to that truth. Anyone resisting was bombed, as the examples of Yugoslavia and various Middle Eastern countries revealed.

Well, it is clear, that Francis Fukuyama triumphant pronouncement was a bit premature, to say the least. The stubborn world balked immediately, yet, those who resisted it were located at the outskirts of the new empire. Their concerns were dismissed, while they themselves were demonized and destined to be conquered. Looked objectively, the amount of demons popping up all over the world was pushed beyond any credibility: Milosevic, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Assad, Hugo Chavez, Putin. The presence of these demons did not challenge the narrative of the end of history in a meaningful way. Demons are viewed as historical aberration; their fate is to be exorcised.

The Brexit, on the other hand, announced the renewal of history loud and clear. The message was delivered from within. Not from the backward barbarians trying to resist the enlightened and beneficial rule, but from very heart of the new empire. This time, it is the populace of the empire that have resisted, and decided that the imposition of the will of some faceless bureaucrats in Brussels serving the interests of Washington and its misguided rulers was too getting too heavy and burdensome.

British citizens recognized that, which was long clear to the conquered barbarians. They saw that despite the rhetoric, the empire does not really serve them, that it serves the notorious 1% instead. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, and with the onslaught of the shock capitalism and globalism, all hell broke lose. It became fashionable to promote greed, unscrupulous careerism, and blatant disregard for others. Who cares? And if the workers complained, the ideological apparatus was ready to point to the sad example of the Soviets: do you want this drab, bleak socialism, without toilet paper and consumer goods? Is that what you want?

This dismissal of common men’s concerns, this peddling of naïve hope that the new rulers would somehow take care of the weak and the poor, rather than the rich and the powerful, has finally began to sink in the minds of the British voters, at least in the minds of “the weak and poor” part of it, which, thanks to the efforts of the elites has been multiplying exponentially.

People in England understood that the consumer driving economy needs consumers rather than the dole recipients, the slaves who are silenced by bread and circus. It is becoming clearer by the day that the taxes and profits should go for the development of science, technology, new jobs, rather than acquiring private islands, beating the drums of war and demonizing foreign countries. People sensed it. They might be not always sophisticated enough to understand the academic arguments about foreign policy or bond yields, but they know well enough that with the lack of competition, it is the incompetent, greedy and well-connected people who get on top, that this situation generates incompetence, that the new elite is becoming way too cozy with the equally incompetent bankers and equally incompetent military industrial complex.

What makes significant and meaningful progress is the competition. Competition does not just improve products and productivity. It is the competition of systems, parties, corporations that enable little man, developing company or developing nation to survive and to find its niche. All the traditional engines of development– like rivalry and competition has been thrown out of the window with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The history has ended. The rest became technicality. What anyone with the ability to see clearly has witnessed during the last quarter of the century is the slow merging of politicians, industrialists, media –into one giant “end of the history elite,” the rise of the global elite.

This emergence of the global elite spreading its rule from Washington to Brussels is the most significant phenomenon of the recent history. What the common people, that is, the people without any hope of entering the ranks of the elite, found disturbing is in your face merging of the traditional competitors and rivals. It is clear for any common man that while The Labor is fighting Tories, while British bureaucrats are challenging European ones, France challenges Germany, Europe challenges America, Soviet System challenges the Western one, while press is challenging business, Pepsi is challenging Coke, rock stars are challenging the establishment –in other words, while these rich and powerful are fighting each other, the common man has a chance to fend for his own, mind his business and find some useful employment with one of the rivaling competitors.

But what nobody really wants to see, is the dreaded merging of all these rivals into one scary elite, united by their greed, by their contempt of common man, and by their calculators that tells them how to maximize the prophet and squeeze the workers, natural, resources, or countries, in the most efficient and ruthless way. If finally sank it to the people of England that Tony Blair and David Cameron are the different face donned by same corrupt and incompetent elite. One hopes that their American cousins across the ocean would recognize in their turn interchangeability of Clintons and Bushes, and that it is the high time to restart the history in earnest.

So all glory to the British people, who, inspired by their great sense of history and tradition, have decided to get the engine of history going again. Common men want their bureaucrats serve them and challenge the bureaucrats of other parties. They want their businessmen and politicians challenge other countries on behalf of them. They want their press challenge the elites on behalf of them. And if the current leaders are not capable to do so, if their minds are too befogged by the fake harmony, fake unity, and fake globalism, it is clear, that the new leaders would replace them soon, the leaders who wouldn’t be afraid to introduce separation and divisions. Because it is becoming more and more clear that those who argue for accord and harmony and unity, are being disingenuous. Theirs is the unity of the one percent. Can we blame 99% of the population for not wanting this unity?

Napoleon’s efforts to impose his will upon the whole world and bring the end the history by ushering his thousand-year rule were brilliantly summarized by the visionary American, Ralph Waldo Emerson. This great writer pronounced his verdict on the fate of such efforts. It now fell on the British citizens to redeliver this point to the myopic Napoleons of Washington, since they, obviously don’t read their own classics, preferring ridiculous policy papers, delivered by their agenda-driven think tanks and its subservient intellectuals:

"Here was an experiment, under the most favorable conditions, of the powers of intellect without conscience. Never was such a leader so endowed and so weaponed; never leader found such aids and followers. And what was the result of this vast talent and power, of these immense armies, burned cities, squandered treasures, immolated millions of men, of this demoralized Europe? It came to no result. All passed away like the smoke of his artillery, and left no trace. He left France smaller, poorer, feebler, than he found it; and the whole contest for freedom was to be begun again. When men saw that after victory was another war; after the destruction of armies, new conscriptions; and they who had toiled so desperately were never nearer to the reward,- they could not spend what they had earned, nor repose on their down-beds, nor strut in their chateaux,- they deserted him. Men found that his absorbing egotism was deadly to all other men…

It was not Bonaparte's fault. He did all that in him lay to live and thrive without moral principle. It was the nature of things, the eternal law of man and of the world which baulked and ruined him; and the result, in a million experiments, will be the same. Every experiment, by multitudes or by individuals, that has a sensual and selfish aim, will fail. As long as our civilization is essentially one of property, of fences, of exclusiveness, it will be mocked by delusions. Our riches will leave us sick; there will be bitterness in our laughter, and our wine will burn our mouth. Only that good profits which we can taste with all doors open, and which serves all men."

The author is a professor of Slavic studies at Brown University, Rhode Island, USA. He is an expert on 19th - 20th century Russian literature.

"Life, eh?"

"We said together, wistfully, 'Life, eh?' It says everything without having to say anything: that we all experience moments of joyful or painful reflection, sometimes alone, sometimes sharing laughs and tears with others; that we all know and appreciate that however wonderful and precious life is, it can equally be a terribly confusing and mysterious beast. 'Life, eh?"
-  Miranda Hart

"'Unprecedented': Scientists Declare Global Climate Emergency After Jet Stream Crosses Equator"

"'Unprecedented': Scientists Declare Global 
Climate Emergency After Jet Stream Crosses Equator"
It's something that "would not happen in a normal world."
By David Edwards 

"Climate scientists this week expressed alarm after “unprecedented” data showed the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream crossing the Equator. In a column on Tuesday, environmental blogger Robert Scribbler noted that the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream had merged with the Southern Hemisphere Jet Stream. “It’s the very picture of weather weirding due to climate change. Something that would absolutely not happen in a normal world,” he wrote. “Something, that if it continues, basically threatens seasonal integrity.”

“Like many extreme events resulting from human-forced climate change- this co-mingling of upper level airs from one Hemisphere with another is pretty fracking strange,” Scribbler explained. “Historically, the Tropics- which produce the tallest and thickest air mass in the world- have served as a mostly impenetrable barrier to upper level winds moving from one Hemisphere to another. But as the Poles have warmed due to human-forced climate change, the Hemispherical Jet Streams have moved out of the Middle Latitudes more and more. ”

“That’s bad news for seasonality,” he continued. “You get this weather-destabilizing and extreme weather generating mixing of seasons that is all part of a very difficult to deal with ‘Death of Winter’ type scenario.”

University of Ottawa climate scientist Paul Beckwith called the new behavior “unprecedented.” “Our climate system behaviour continues to behave in new and scary ways that we have never anticipated, or seen before,” Beckwith observed. “Welcome to climate chaos. We must declare a global climate emergency.” In a YouTube video, Beckwith said that the jet stream behavior signaled “massive hits to the food supply” and “massive geopolitical unrest.” Watch Beckwith’s YouTube video below:

How It Really Is"

Oh yeah, plenty of experience...

"Gerald Celente: Globalists Will Collapse the Entire World Economy As 'Currency War Has Begun'”

"Gerald Celente: Globalists Will Collapse the
 Entire World Economy As 'Currency War Has Begun'”
by Mac Slavo

"Major financial storms are coming, and they may cause a great deal of damage. There is every indication that what has now starting in Europe could end up on the dollar’s doorstep, and upend the whole house of cards. As economic forecaster Gerald Celente told the Alex Jones Show, the Brexit campaign was something of a launching point for what is going to become a total collapse scenario. Though it isn’t completely clear yet, this could be the reverberations of the big one. But what Celente sees coming is severe indeed… and quite ominous.

Markets have rattled with major currency swings surrounding the Pound Sterling, and everyone is in for a devastating sequence of events. The future of the EU, and its tenuous relationship with Britain is unclear, and the financial reaction is significant. Immigration pressure is creating social chaos, and the population is becoming fed up with the establishment and their abuse of power. Europe faces an even larger threat of further concentrated and more heavy-handed government power, through a more desperate EU regime.

If populism spreads along with anti-EU sentiment, there could a return to national currencies, and the destruction of the Euro itself. Under such conditions, gold might be expect to gain in value, and a global currency may attempt to emerge. As Celente says, “The war has begun.” Exactly how it plays out remains to be seen. Here’s what Gerald Celente has to say:"

"World's Most Systemically Dangerous Bank Crashes Back To Record Lows"

"World's Most Systemically Dangerous Bank Crashes Back To Record Lows"
by Tyler Durden

Jun 30, 2016 8:17 AM  "Despite all the exuberance over the Brexit bounce in US (and UK) equities, never minds bonds, FX, and credit being far less enthusiastic, Deutsche Bank is plunging once again this morning. Having failed The Fed's stress test for the second year running and been diagnosed by The IMF as the world's most systemically dangerous financial entity, the giant Germanbank is getting slammed down almost 4% today, back near record lows as its 'Lehman-esque' path to devastation continues. This is far from over!

And if DB goes...

Then who's next?
Click image for larger size.
As we previously concluded, considering two of the three most "globally systemically important", i.e., riskiest, banks just saw their stock price scrape all time lows earlier this week, we wonder just how nervous behind their calm facades are the executives at the ECB, the IMF, and the rest of the handful of people who realize just close to the edge of collapse this world's most riskiest bank (whose market cap is less than the valuation of AirBnB) finds itself right now.”

The Universe

“You don't have to take everything so seriously. Life isn't black and white, answers aren't always yes or no, and absolutely nothing has to happen today. Act when you're ready. Be led by your feelings. And the next time someone wants to fit you into a mold, just tell 'em that your jeans are in the wash, your angels are at the mall, and Oprah's on the other line. You're a spiritual being on an eternal quest in a love-adventure you get to design. Do it your way.”

“Fuzzy as dice”, 
    The Universe

“Thoughts become things... choose the good ones!”

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

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.”

Chet Raymo, "The Avid Pursuer"

"The Avid Pursuer"
by Chet Raymo

"In his autobiography, "Speak Memory," the novelist and lepidopterist Vladimir Nabokov writes of the joys of butterfly collecting: "The highest enjoyment of when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants. This is ecstasy, and behind the ecstasy is something else, which is hard to explain. It is like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love. A sense of oneness with sun and stone. A thrill of gratitude..." The possibility of learning more and more about butterflies - those tiny truths - drew Nabokov, the avid pursuer, ever deeper into the world of the senses, through layer upon layer of concrete details, receding into inexhaustible mystery. This, it has always seemed to me, is the proper trajectory of a life: from the concrete to the ineffable, from the particular to the universal. The opposite trajectory is fraught with idolatry and self-deception. Begin with answers, as many of us do, and the commonplace becomes shallow, shabby, and uninteresting. But begin with a mourning cloak butterfly resurrected from its winter sleep, flagging its magnificent wings of purple velvet trimmed with gold, and maybe - just maybe - one might catch an intimation of the Mystery that shines in the face of creation.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life," wrote Thoreau famously in Walden. The trick, of course, is knowing what is essential. What was essential for Thoreau - the pond, the bean patch, the sounds of night - might not be essential for, say, the ballerina, or the contemplative monk, or the doctor in Darfur. It is what Thoreau said next that unites us all, the medieval mystic and the hermit of Walden: "I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms."

To live deliberately. The word has at its root the Latin libra, a balance or scales, as in the zodiacal sign. A scientific instrument. To weigh, to measure, to trust only what can be reliably, reproducibly, quantitatively discerned by the senses. To shave close. To cut away the phantasmagoria of superstition that has accumulated culturally over millennia, and to find those things that have a universal empirical basis, the things that bind me in a respectful unity with those who have been born into different cultures and traditions. Drive life into a corner and reduce it to its lowest terms, said Thoreau. Sights, sounds, tastes, smells, touches. Food, clothing, shelter. Sex. The need to give and receive love. Altruism. Curiosity. Awareness of mystery. Awareness of how little we really know and understand.

The avid pursuit, the universal human pursuit, the pursuit that impassioned the medieval mystics and that impassions the scientific skeptic too, is the quest for what critic Edmund Gosse called "all the tender, indulgent affections, all the genial play of life, all the exquisite pleasures and soft resignations of the body, all that enlarges and calms the soul."

"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

The Poet: Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day"

"The Summer Day"

"Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down,
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"

- Mary Oliver

The Daily "Near You?"

Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom.
Thanks for stopping by!

"To Others And To Ourselves: Obligations"

"To Others And To Ourselves: Obligations"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"When we schedule too much in our lives trying to meet our obligations, we only end up draining our energy. We all encounter obligations in life, from spending time with family and friends to being present at important functions in the lives of the people who form our community. Many times, the obligations are actually fun and fulfilling, and we want to be there. At the same time, we all sometimes experience resistance to meeting these obligations, especially when they pile up all at once and we begin to feel exhausted, longing for nothing so much as a quiet evening at home. At times like these, we may want to say no but feel too guilty at the idea of not being there. Still, our primary obligation is to take care of ourselves, and if saying no to someone else is what we have to do, then we do not need to feel bad about it.

There is a skill to balancing our obligations, and it starts with simply becoming aware of our schedule. We may notice that three invitations have arisen in one weekend, and we know that we will pay energetically if we attempt to fulfill all three. At this point, we can take the time to weigh the repercussions of not going to each event, considering how we will feel if we miss it and how our absence might affect other people. Most of the time, it will be clear which obligation we can most easily let go and which one we simply can’t miss. Sometimes we have to miss something really important to us, and that can be painful for everyone concerned. At times like this, reaching out with a phone call, a thoughtful card, or a gift lets people know that you are there in spirit and that your absence is by no means a result of you not caring.

Meeting our obligations to others is an important part of being human and not one to take lightly. At the same time, we cannot meet every obligation without neglecting our primary duty to take care of ourselves. We can navigate this quandary by being conscious of what we choose to do and not do and by finding concrete ways to extend our caring when we are not able to be there in person."