Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Greg Hunter, "Gerald Celente, '2018 Predictions – Trump, Clintons, Economy, Gold, World'"

"Gerald Celente, '2018 Predictions – 
Trump, Clintons, Economy, Gold, World'"
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

"Top trends researcher Gerald Celente says he sees strong trends shaping up for 2018. First up, the embattled President Trump. Celente says, “There’s not been one shred of evidence, period, paragraph, that Russia had anything to do with tapping into or hacking the DNC information and going into their computers. It has nothing to do with Trump, but what it does is it’s taking the people’s minds off the major issues. It’s also building that military industrial complex even bigger. We’ve got to watch out for those Russians. Russia’s GDP is about 7% of America’s. Trump has increased our military budget $54 billion. The entire Russian military budget is $48 billion. You talk to the average person, and they hate the Russians. It’s working perfectly. We don’t see Trump being impeached.”

On the Clintons, Celente contends, “Going back to the Uranium One deal. Yes, it is going to fall back on the Clintons. The hundreds of millions of dollars given to the Clinton Foundation by Russians as they did the uranium deal. Those are facts. We don’t see anything happening to Trump."

On the economy, Celente says, “We are now going into almost a year going into the Trump rally. I was negative on the stock market until Trump got elected. What happened? We did a 180 (degree turn) a week after he got elected and said this rally is real. Trump is pro-business, it’s good for the markets and that sector.”

But what about the 2018 economic forecast? Celente says, “For the economy, we see a slowdown. Interest rates are going up. That’s the bet. Interest rates are going to go up another 25 basis points in December. So, we believe by the 2nd quarter of 2018, you are going to start to see a slowdown because the only thing that has pumped up the markets is the cheap money. The fish rots from the head down, the markets are going to melt from the head down. The head being the very rich. The top 10% of the rich own 96% of the stock. So, this thing rots down, and we are seeing it now on research. It’s going to fall from the top.”

Celente also predicts China will make big headlines in 2018. Celente points out, “China is not using petro-dollars. They are buying Russian oil, their biggest supplier, with yuan. You can cash in the yuan for gold. It’s the same with Iran and with Saudi Arabia. This is another reason that China is going to go further. You can start bringing your dollars to Walmart in a wheelbarrow because that’s what they will be worth. What kept the dollar alive as the world reserve currency is that all the oil being traded is being bought in dollars. If you are paying for oil in other currencies, the Federal Reserve can’t keep printing up all the money that they want. They won’t have it out there as a reserve currency. You will see inflation skyrocket in this country, and gold will hit like a Bitcoin high. We believe it’s starting to happen."
"Join Greg Hunter as he interviews the Publisher of the Trends Journal, 
Gerald Celente, and hear about multiple other trends and predictions for 2018.”

Musical Interlude: 2002, “Even Now”

2002, “Even Now”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is truly a majestic island universe some 200,000 light-years across. Located a mere 60 million light-years away toward the chemical constellation Fornax, NGC 1365 is a dominant member of the well-studied Fornax galaxy cluster. 
Click image for larger size.
This sharp color image shows intense star forming regions at the ends of the bar and along the spiral arms, and details of dust lanes cutting across the galaxy's bright core. At the core lies a supermassive black hole. Astronomers think NGC 1365's prominent bar plays a crucial role in the galaxy's evolution, drawing gas and dust into a star-forming maelstrom and ultimately feeding material into the central black hole. Discovered on October 27, the position of a bright supernova is indicated in NGC 1365. Cataloged as SN2012fr, the type Ia supernova is the explosion of a white dwarf star.”

"All That Is Life..."

Click image for larger size.

"You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life."
- Jiddu Krishnamurti

Chet Raymo, “Sanctus”

by Chet Raymo

“Early in Claire Messud's new novel, “The Woman Upstairs”, the narrator asks herself and others whether they would rather be able to fly or be invisible. I suspect most who visit this blog would prefer to fly. Me too. Until lately. More on that later. For now I want to ask a less frivolous question, one more likely to split down the middle: Do you prefer, as a matter of personal taste, Romanesque or Gothic?

Gothic aspires, Romanesque inspires. Gothic soars. Romanesque hunkers. Gothic seeks to let go of the earth. Romanesque grips like a barnacle. Gothic favors light over matter. Romanesque uses matter to contain light. Gothic flys, heavenward in spires and ribs and buttresses. Romanesque makes the world beyond the walls invisible.

I have visited the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe, admired their beauty, and stood astonished at their engineering. But it is the Romanesque abbeys and monastic houses, such as the Cistercian Abbey of Le Thoronnet in Provence, that most deeply stir my soul. It is an architecture of inward turning, of silence, of rest. Of the subtle play of light on stone. Of firmness. Rootedness. An architecture of the circle, diurnal and annual, where every prayer is a whisper, and every whisper echoes infinitely along a corridor or vault.

There, I've had my say. Let the Gothicists among you have yours.

To fly or be invisible? My days of flying, or wanting to fly, are over. Now, at age 80, I would choose to be invisible. To watch unseen. To walk like a specter in a Romanesque cloister, listening to the wind and the voices of the monks leaking from the abbey choir. To feel the coolness of rough-hewn stone against my invisible palm, to trace shadows that I do not cast myself. To discard the cloak of my skin, to dissolve my bones in the moted air, to become as insubstantial and surrendering as a Te Deum chanted at Matins end.”

"You Are Not Crazy: Taking a Time Out"

"You Are Not Crazy: Taking a Time Out"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"Sometimes as adults, we just need a time out to refocus and gather ourselves before starting out again. Most of us feel a little crazy from time to time. Periods of high stress can make us feel like we’re losing it, as can being surrounded by people whose values are very different from our own. Losing a significant relationship and moving into a new life situation are other events that can cause us to feel off kilter. Circumstances like these recur in our lives, and they naturally affect our mental stability. The symptoms of our state of mind can range from having no recollection of putting our car keys where we eventually find them, to wondering if we’re seeing things clearly when everyone around us seems to be in denial of what’s going on right in front of their eyes. For most of us, the key to survival at times like these is to step back, take a deep breath, and regain our composure. Then we can decide what course of action to take.

Sometimes a time-out does the trick. We take a day off from whatever is making us feel crazy and, like magic, we feel in our right mind again. Talking to an objective friend can also help. We begin to see what it is about the situation that destabilizes us, and we can make changes from there. At other times, if the situation is particularly sticky, we may need to seek professional help. Meeting with someone who understands the way the human mind reacts to stress, loss, and difficulty can make us feel less alone and more supported. A therapist or a spiritual counselor can give us techniques that help bring us back to a sane state of mind so that we can affect useful changes. They can also mirror our basic goodness, helping us to see that we are actually okay.

The main purpose of the wake-up call that feeling crazy provides is to let us know that something in our lives is out of balance. Confirm for yourself that you are capable of creating a sane and peaceful reality for yourself. Try to remember that most people have felt, at one time or another, that they are losing it. You deserve a life that helps you thrive. Try and take some steps today to help you achieve more balance and a little less crazy."

The Daily "Near You?"

Tijeras, New Mexico, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

X22 Report, “All Roads Lead To The Cabal, Death Is Knocking At Their Door”

X22 Report, “All Roads Lead To The Cabal, Death Is Knocking At Their Door”
Related followup report:
X22 Report, “The IMF Is Pushing The Media To Play Up Their
 Warning About The Collapsing Economy”

"When Did Americans Become the Bad Guys?"

"When Did Americans Become the Bad Guys?"
by Bill Bonner

‘I found my thrill’
‘On Blueberry Hill’
‘On Blueberry Hill’
‘When I found you’
‘The moon stood still’
‘On Blueberry Hill’
‘And lingered until’
‘My dream came true’

- "Blueberry Hill," Fats Domino
Fats Domino died last week. RIP.

"Everything changes. A generation gives way. A new one takes over. The moon doesn’t stand still for long. Fresh milk in the bucket goes sour. And the bright young man becomes a grumpy old coot. He finds his thrill. And then he loses it. One shocking change came to light last week. We introduce it with a question: When did Americans become the ‘bad guys’?

Country gone bad: When President Wilson went to war with Germany for no apparent reason other than his personal glory?

When President Truman committed the worst wartime atrocity in history: bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, intentionally killing 130,000 civilians in less than three days?
When the US Army massacred 160 Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians (mostly women and children) at Sand Creek in 1864…or when Lieutenant Calley led a slaughter of 500 at Mỹ Lai in 1968?
No point in asking the question now; we’re just doing future historians a favor. In their simple-minded telling of our time, the question is bound to come up.
All we know for sure is that the winners are always the good guys and the losers are always bad. But that’s the problem. As the world turns, winners become losers. When the US loses its next serious war - probably with China - when America’s lard-loaded military is humiliated by a leaner, more technologically advanced enemy - historians will look back to figure out when the country went bad.
Murderous plans: It was probably before 1962. That was when the feds were concocting absurd and murderous plans to kill innocent Cuban refugees in the US so they could blame it on Fidel Castro. The Miami New Times reports: "Donald Trump’s bold promises earlier this week to finally blow the lid off the JFK assassination mystery by declassifying reams of secret documents turned out to be a gigantic tease. The National Archives ended up making public only a fraction of the JFK documents last night."
Still, the 2,800 papers included in the new document dump confirm some salacious details of America’s decades-long quest to kill or depose Fidel Castro - including a fairly shocking plan by the CIA to sow terror in Miami.
The paper was sent by Gen. Edward Lansdale, a top Cold War officer who worked with the CIA to plot out Operation Mongoose; he sent the report, which included nine other “pretexts,” on April 12, 1962, to Gen. Maxwell Taylor, who would soon become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Here’s how the report described the plan:
We don’t know how seriously anyone took this memo. But if this is in the documents that were released, we have to wonder what is in those that weren’t released.
Burst of oxygen: Donald Trump, bless his heart, promised to open the files from the Kennedy era to put to rest the many conspiracy theories around the Kennedy assassination. That was until the Deep State gave him a serious talking-to. What was said, we can only imagine: ‘Are you crazy? Let people see what we actually do? We’ve got a pretty sweet gig here. Let’s not blow it…better to let the voters think we are protecting the country.’

Instead of putting conspiracy theories in an airtight tomb, he has given them a burst of oxygen. After all, why withhold records from more than half a century ago? What have they got to hide? There is no plausible ‘national security’ reason to keep them under wraps. Is there anything in them they don’t want foreigners to know? Much more likely, there’s something they don’t want Americans to know.

We have a theory of our own: The feds are conspiring to keep people in the dark. They don’t want us to know how murderous, incompetent, and corrupt they are. We might start asking questions ourselves…about how and when the bad guys took over…and why those bad guys are still running the place.”

Musical Interlude: Kevin Kern, “Remembering the Light - Sea (Mar)”

Kevin Kern, “Remembering the Light - Sea (Mar)”

"37 Percent Rate Increase In 2018??? Obamacare Is Imploding And It Must Be Repealed Now!"

"37 Percent Rate Increase In 2018??? 
Obamacare Is Imploding And It Must Be Repealed Now!"
by Michael Snyder

"Are you ready to pay 37 percent more for health insurance in 2018? Obamacare is imploding faster than most of us imagined, and these rate increases are absolutely killing hard working middle class families all across the country. I wrote about the steady erosion of the middle class yesterday, and health insurance is one of the main reasons why the cost of living is increasing at a much faster rate than our paychecks are. It greatly frustrates me that we have given the Republicans control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives and Obamacare still has not been repealed. The truth is that should have happened on day one of the Trump presidency.

Monday’s news was dominated by headlines about the indictments of Paul Manafort and Robert Gates, but a new round of Obamacare rate increases is going to have much more of a direct impact on the lives of ordinary Americans. According to CNN, premiums for silver Obamacare plans will increase by an average of 37 percent next year: "Premiums for the benchmark silver Obamacare plan will soar 37%, on average, for 2018, according to federal data released Monday."

And remember, this 37 percent increase is on top of all of the other yearly increases that we have seen so far. Many families have already seen their health insurance premiums more than double since Obamacare became law, and now things are going to get even worse.

The silver plans are the most popular, and this is especially true among younger people. According to that same CNN story, a 27-year-old will now be paying almost five thousand dollars a year for one of these silver plans: "The steep rate hike means a 27-year-old will pay nearly $5,000 a year, on average, for the benchmark silver plan, upon which premium subsides are based. That’s up from $2,600 when the Obamacare exchanges opened in 2014. This is before subsidies are factored in, however. "Premiums are skyrocketing for a second year in a row. Rates rose 24% this year in the states using healthcare.gov.

Do you know any 27-year-old that can afford to pay $5000 a year for health insurance? I don’t. And because deductibles are so high, most of them are quite afraid to go to the hospital anyway.

As Obamacare plan premiums go up, so do the subsidies. At this point more than 80 percent of all those enrolled in Obamacare plans receive subsidies, and that means that much of the burden for paying these rate increases ultimately falls on the taxpayers. And by taxpayers, I mean you and me.

Here in Idaho, the rate increases are going to be even higher than the national average. In fact, it is being reported that silver plan rates will be going up by an average of about 50 percent in 2018: "Idaho Statesman reporter Audrey Dutton reports that the largest increases are proposed in the “silver” plans, which are the most popular ones on the exchange, falling mid-range in pricing and benefits between the lower-level “bronze” plans and the high-end “gold” plans. Silver plans are showing average increases of 50 percent in premiums; they range from a low of 40 percent at Blue Cross to 69 percent at SelectHealth."

Needless to say, Idaho families cannot afford these sorts of rate increases, and I am for a 100 percent repeal of Obamacare immediately.  In my new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters”, I touch on some of the things that we need to do to start fixing our deeply broken healthcare system. We once had the greatest system of healthcare on the entire planet, and I believe that we can get there again, but we desperately need to return to free market principles. I am very much in favor of the kinds of association buying groups that Rand Paul has proposed, and I would like to see exciting new concepts such as direct primary care implemented much more extensively.

Doing nothing is not an option. The longer that Obamacare is allowed to exist, the more financial damage it will do to middle class families. Today, we learned that the U.S. savings rate has fallen to a 10 year low. Most families cannot save much money because they are just scraping by from month to month. The middle class is now a minority of the population, and as health insurance rates continue to rise the financial stress on American families is only going to intensify.

We also just learned that real disposable income per capita has been declining since May. The following comes from Wolf Richter: "But consumers don’t feel that. What they feel is their slice of the pie, but that pie got cut into more slices as the US population expanded. And this leaves disposable income “per capita,” which the BEA also discloses, but mercifully buried in the data. This real disposable income per capita - a function of income, taxes, inflation, and population growth - peaked in May and has been declining ever since."

A 37 percent rate increase is going to be absolutely devastating to those that are on silver plans. We were promised that Obamacare would make healthcare cheaper and more affordable, but instead the exact opposite has been true. By the time the 2018 mid-term elections roll around, there are going to be tens of millions of Americans that are deeply angry about health insurance rates, and many believe that they will take that anger out on Democrats and on establishment Republicans that blocked the repeal of Obamacare.

But the Democrats are hoping for a different result. They are hoping to retake either the House or the Senate in 2018, and if Republicans have not repealed Obamacare by then the Democrats will completely block any further attempts to do so. The clock is ticking, and the Republicans need to get something done. Up to this point they have completely fumbled the football, but there is still time to recover if they can get their act together.”

“Thar She Blows!”

“Thar She Blows!”
by James Howard Kunstler

“I’m obliged to file this blog before Robert Mueller’s office releases the name of the first winner in the Russian Election Meddling tribunal indictment lottery. Most of the betting is on Paul Manafort, the Swamp-creature-fixer-lobbyist-grifter who spent his summer vacation of 2016 managing Donald Trump’s election campaign.

Before that unfortunate summer internship, Manafort was just a shadier-than-average influence-peddler. It happened that many of his clients were bigshots in foreign lands - Mobuto Sese Seko (Congo), Jonas Savimbi (Angola), and Ferdinand Marcos (Philippines), as well as interests in Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ukraine, and other world beauty spots. Also, most notably, Russia where the wicked Mr. Putin dwells and incessantly plots evil against our shining city of a republic.

Over the years, Manafort took large sums of money to the DC laundry room and then distributed bales of it around town to other lobbyist subcontractors, but he left quite a trail. And he overlooked the requirement to register as an agent for foreign interests. So, indicting him looks like a no-brainer. An entry-level US Attorney could, figuratively speaking, hitch him up to the rear bumper of a Chevy Yukon and drag him over five miles of broken Coke bottles.

If I am right, his indictment will provoke a five-column headline in The New York Times, Don Lemon will have a multiple orgasm on CNN, and by Halloween the whole Manafort matter will be as forgotten as Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Las Vegas Country Music Massacre. That’s how we roll in Attention Deficit Nation. I suppose Mueller’s team next will want to charge fired National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn for failing to register as a foreign agent prior to a having conversation with the Russian ambassador - but mightn’t it be a little absurd to outlaw dialogue between incoming White House officials and foreign ambassadors who, after all, are here to have conversations with our people? That’ll be an interesting precedent. Why would other countries even bother to send an ambassador here if that’s our policy?

There’s an outside chance, of course - outside, say as far away as the planet Mars - that Mr. Mueller will just flop his whole hand on the table and indict President Trump. Wouldn’t that be a jolt? And it would instantly prompt a constitutional crisis, so my money says ain’t gonna happen.

It’s hard to see where it goes from there. The standard plot-line is to net these smaller fish and use them as bait to harpoon the Big White Whale. Give them immunity and let them sing their hearts out to avoid getting sent to ping-pong camp in the Poconos for a five-year stretch. Or else these two schnooks go bankrupt paying hotshot DC lawyers to get them off the hook. Does Mueller go after Donny Junior for having a conversation with a Russian lawyer? Or son-in-law Jared Kushner for flying to Russia and having meetings with Russians? Hey, does anyone remember that A) We’re not at war with Russia, and B) the soviet regime there folded up twenty-five years ago?

The casual observer can’t avoid dragging Hillary into this. It appears that, among other things, the Clinton Foundation received over a $100 million in “charitable donations” from various Russian companies and individuals over the years. Gosh, they’re a big-hearted people! Maybe it’s all the vodka they guzzle. No doubt, the newly-converted Russian capitalists were yearning to support “impact entrepreneurs” who are creating “new enterprises to generate both social impact and financial returns” by addressing market gaps in developing countries, or to “strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence” - as the Clinton Foundation described their activities.

More likely they wanted to grease their access to the sure-thing It’s-My-Turn Madam President. Except then she went and lost the election… all because of Russian meddling.”

Monday, October 30, 2017

"Stand Up While You Read This!"

"Stand Up While You Read This!"
By Olivia Judson

"Your chair is your enemy. It doesn’t matter if you go running every morning, or you’re a regular at the gym. If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting — in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home — you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you.

That, at least, is the conclusion of several recent studies. Indeed, if you consider only healthy people who exercise regularly, those who sit the most during the rest of the day have larger waists and worse profiles of blood pressure and blood sugar than those who sit less. Among people who sit in front of the television for more than three hours each day, those who exercise are as fat as those who don’t: sitting a lot appears to offset some of the benefits of jogging a lot.

So what’s wrong with sitting? The answer seems to have two parts. The first is that sitting is one of the most passive things you can do. You burn more energy by chewing gum or fidgeting than you do sitting still in a chair. Compared to sitting, standing in one place is hard work. To stand, you have to tense your leg muscles, and engage the muscles of your back and shoulders; while standing, you often shift from leg to leg. All of this burns energy.

For many people, weight gain is a matter of slow creep — two pounds this year, three pounds next year. You can gain this much if, each day, you eat just 30 calories more than you burn. Thirty calories is hardly anything — it’s a couple of mouthfuls of banana, or a few potato chips. Thus, a little more time on your feet today and tomorrow can easily make the difference between remaining lean and getting fat.

You may think you have no choice about how much you sit. But this isn’t true. Suppose you sleep for eight hours each day, and exercise for one. That still leaves 15 hours of activities. Even if you exercise, most of the energy you burn will be burnt during these 15 hours, so weight gain is often the cumulative effect of a series of small decisions: Do you take the stairs or the elevator? Do you e-mail your colleague down the hall, or get up and go and see her? When you get home, do you potter about in the garden or sit in front of the television? Do you walk to the corner store, or drive?

Just to underscore the point that you do have a choice: a study of junior doctors doing the same job, the same week, on identical wards found that some individuals walked four times farther than others at work each day. (No one in the study was overweight; but the “long-distance” doctors were thinner than the “short-distance” doctors.) So part of the problem with sitting a lot is that you don’t use as much energy as those who spend more time on their feet. This makes it easier to gain weight, and makes you more prone to the health problems that fatness often brings.

But it looks as though there’s a more sinister aspect to sitting, too. Several strands of evidence suggest that there’s a “physiology of inactivity”: that when you spend long periods sitting, your body actually does things that are bad for you. As an example, consider lipoprotein lipase. This is a molecule that plays a central role in how the body processes fats; it’s produced by many tissues, including muscles. Low levels of lipoprotein lipase are associated with a variety of health problems, including heart disease. Studies in rats show that leg muscles only produce this molecule when they are actively being flexed (for example, when the animal is standing up and ambling about). The implication is that when you sit, a crucial part of your metabolism slows down. Nor is lipoprotein lipase the only molecule affected by muscular inactivity. Actively contracting muscles produce a whole suite of substances that have a beneficial effect on how the body uses and stores sugars and fats.

Which might explain the following result. Men who normally walk a lot (about 10,000 steps per day, as measured by a pedometer) were asked to cut back (to about 1,350 steps per day) for two weeks, by using elevators instead of stairs, driving to work instead of walking and so on. By the end of the two weeks, all of them had became worse at metabolizing sugars and fats. Their distribution of body fat had also altered — they had become fatter around the middle. Such changes are among the first steps on the road to diabetes.

Conversely, a study of people who sit for many hours found that those who took frequent small breaks — standing up to stretch or walk down the corridor — had smaller waists and better profiles for sugar and fat metabolism than those who did their sitting in long, uninterrupted chunks.

Some people have advanced radical solutions to the sitting syndrome: replace your sit-down desk with a stand-up desk, and equip this with a slow treadmill so that you walk while you work. (Talk about pacing the office.) Make sure that your television can only operate if you are pedaling furiously on an exercise bike. Or, watch television in a rocking chair: rocking also takes energy and involves a continuous gentle flexing of the calf muscles. Get rid of your office chair and replace it with a therapy ball: this too uses more muscles, and hence more energy, than a normal chair, because you have to support your back and work to keep balanced. You also have the option of bouncing, if you like. Or you could take all this as a license to fidget. But whatever you choose, know this. The data are clear: beware your chair."

"Ben Garrison Halloween Cartoon Perfectly Sums Up Current Events"

Click image for larger size.
"Ben Garrison Halloween Cartoon Perfectly Sums Up Current Events"

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution: 5G, A.I., Augmented/Virtual Reality And The Internet of Things”

“The  Fourth Industrial Revolution: 
5G, A.I., Augmented/Virtual Reality And The Internet of Things”
 Most People Don't Even Realize What's Coming

"A Revision Of Belief..."

"Consider a turkey that is fed every day. Every single feeding will firm up the bird's belief that it is the general rule of life to be fed every day by friendly members of the human race 'looking out for its best interests,' as a politician would say. On the afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, something unexpected will happen to the turkey. It will incur a revision of belief."
Nassim Taleb

“This Market Bubble Is So Overblown, A Specific Trigger Is Not Necessary To Start The Disintegration”

“This Market Bubble Is So Overblown, 
A Specific Trigger Is Not Necessary To Start The Disintegration”
by Jim Quinn

“So the modern world may be increasing in technological knowledge, but, paradoxically, it is making things a lot more unpredictable.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder"

“Success brings an asymmetry: you now have a lot more to lose than to gain. 
You are hence fragile.” 
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder"

I had read Nassim Taleb’s other best-selling tomes about risk, randomness and black swans – “Fooled by Randomness” & “The Black Swan.” They were not easy reads, but they were must reads. He is clearly a brilliant thinker, but I like him more because he is a prickly skeptic who scorns and ridicules academics, politicians, and Wall Street scumbags with gusto. There were many passages which baffled me, but so many nuggets of wisdom throughout each book, you couldn’t put them down.

When his "Antifragile" book was published in 2012, the name intimidated me. I figured it was too intellectual for my tastes. When I saw it on the shelf in my favorite used book store at the beach, I figured it was worth a read for $9. I’m plowing through it and I haven’t been disappointed.

His main themes are more pertinent today than they were in 2012. He published "The Black Swan" in 2007, just prior to one of the biggest black swans in world history – the 2008 Federal Reserve/Wall Street created financial collapse. His disdain for “experts” like Bernanke, Paulson, and Wall Street CEOs, and their inability to comprehend the consequences of their actions and in-actions as the financial system was blown sky high, was a bulls-eye.

As usual, all of Taleb’s warnings and rational analysis of how the world really works have been forgotten or ignored, as the actions of the captured Fed, corrupt DC politicians, and greedy Wall Street shysters propel the nation and the world toward another historic financial collapse. The “experts” will be proven to be knaves and fools once again.

“The problem with experts is that they do not know what they do not know”– Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder"

As I was reading passages of his "Antifragile" analysis of the real world, I was struck by how his concepts of fragility and antifragility become more relevant as this relentless bull market in stocks, bonds, real estate and government debt reaches nose bleed heights only seen twice before in financial history. When something is fragile it breaks easily.

Interventionist monetary actions by the Federal Reserve, non-enforcement of financial regulations by the Federal Reserve, introduction of unregulated indecipherable derivatives, repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, mass Wall Street collusion in the largest control fraud in history, and delusional expectations of ignorant investors created extremely fragile housing and stock markets which were certain to break.

“Complications lead to multiplicative chains of unanticipated effects.” 
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder"

And break they did. There was no specifically particular catalyst which caused national housing prices to fall 30% or the stock market to fall 50%. Their extreme fragility made it certain they would break. The “experts” who declared the housing market strong and the stock market not overvalued provided a myriad of retrospective causes after the financial system collapsed.

They never provide prospective warnings before things break. Their job is to mislead, while the Wall Street pillaging machine does its work. Were lessons learned from this horrific man-made debacle? Based on the actions taken by those in power, no lessons have been absorbed. The authorities have done the exact opposite of what needed to be done to make the financial system less fragile. Their reckless self-serving debt spawning scheme has guaranteed another far worse collapse.

“If something is fragile, its risk of breaking makes anything you do to improve it or make it “efficient” inconsequential unless you first reduce that risk of breaking.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder"

As the ill-gotten profits of criminal Wall Street banks evaporated during late 2008 and early 2009 the very survival of these Too Big To Prosecute behemoth owners of the Federal Reserve was in question. They were effectively bankrupt, as the toxic mortgage debt and busted derivatives blew gaping holes in their balance sheets. With 30 to 1 leverage, they were dead shysters walking.

It was at this point the captured central bankers, crooked politicians, and feckless government apparatchiks across the globe colluded to prop up the existing elite establishment at the expense of the people they had just got done screwing out of $700 billion, after they had absconded with trillions in middle class wealth.

The plan has been to introduce massive doses of central bank and government debt into an already debt saturated fragile global economic system and artificially suppress interest rates in order to prop up stock markets and high end real estate markets, while impoverishing senior citizens, savers and the working middle class. A few million middle class eggs must be broken to make a gold plated oligarch omelet.

“The world as a whole has never been richer, and it has never been more heavily in debt, living off borrowed money. The record shows that, for society, the richer we become, the harder it gets to live within our means. Abundance is harder for us to handle than scarcity.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder"

It was reported with great fanfare by the mouthpieces for the establishment in the corporate mainstream media the net worth of U.S. households has reached an all-time high. The Fed has successfully elevated the net worth of the top 10%, with the majority of the benefits accruing to the top .1%. This debt engineered faux recovery has benefited only Wall Street sycophants and the parasites feeding off their wealth, while throwing 80% of the population under the bus. There has been no recovery for the average working class American. Wall Street has gorged on debt and rigged markets, while Main Street has seen their savings eviscerated and depleted by soaring healthcare costs, skyrocketing rents, mounting tax burden, and everyday living expenses.

The fraud of GDP growth since 2009, as pitiful as it has been, is completely dependent upon trillions of dollars of deficit spending by the government, Federal Reserve money printing, and massive forced spending created by Obamacare. The powers that be decided their own well-being, power, control and wealth superseded any civic obligation to future generations.

“As to growth in GDP, it can be obtained very easily by loading future generations with debt – and the future economy may collapse upon the need to repay such debt.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder"

Their actions have guaranteed economic collapse, but as long as the stock market remains elevated all is well in Elitist-ville USA. As long as we pretend the $20 trillion national debt and $200 trillion of unfunded welfare liabilities don’t matter, the party can continue. As long as a dumbed down populace chooses to willfully ignore basic mathematical facts, the propaganda spewing corporate media’s narrative of economic expansion and strong jobs market will be believed.

As long as the American people allow themselves to be distracted by a tweeting reality president, bloated hog Hollywood sexual predators, mysterious video poker playing mass shooters, kneeling overpaid low IQ athletes, and the usual Washington bullshit about budgets, tax cuts, and healthcare plans, the oligarchs will keep their raping and pillaging of the national wealth machine running at hyper-speed.

“More data means more information, but it also means more false information.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder"

Never has there been more false information disguised as data in world history. Technology instantaneously disseminates data, as governments, central banks and corporations issue economic narratives and financial reports designed to mislead, confuse, obfuscate and hide the truth from the public.

The government reports “strong” GDP of 3% while somehow ignoring the impact of two devastating hurricanes. The number is a pure guess based upon models designed to show it in the best light possible. It will be revised dramatically lower in the future with little fanfare, but its PR effect has already done the job of elevating stock markets higher. Mission accomplished.

The brainless bimbos and talking head twits peddled as financial experts on the corporate fake news channels gushed about the strong economic results without even questioning the basis of the number. Consumer spending accounts for 69% of GDP. Some critical thinking might make you question the validity of that 3% GDP number. The massive increase in healthcare spending forced upon the public by the Obamacare cataclysm is counted as a great big positive for GDP. So is the jump in gasoline expenditures and food costs.

A supposed large increase in auto purchases gave a boost to GDP. If automakers are reporting lower sales and reducing production, how could this be? Plus virtually all auto “sales” are nothing but easy money debt based rentals through 7 year $0 down, 0% interest loans or low payment 3 year leases.

A full 17% of GDP ($3.4 trillion) is generated by the Federal, state and local government spending money they have absconded from you at gunpoint. Only a deeply dishonest disgraceful captured bureaucracy could count money taken from its citizens and then miss-allocated in epic proportions as an increase in GDP. The GDP calculation is fake data used to mislead the masses.

If consumer spending was really robust it would be based upon strong wage growth from a vibrant jobs market. That’s the other outrageous fake data narrative being spun by the masters of propaganda within the Deep State. The government and politicians need to keep the sheeple calm and sedated during their never ending sheering, so they falsely report a 4.2% unemployment rate and the bloviator in chief takes credit for all the new jobs.

In reality, there were 2.6 million new jobs added last year and the trend over Trump’s first eight months is 2.7 million new jobs – and most of them continue to be low paying service jobs. If the unemployment rate was really 4.2%, wages would be soaring as demand exceeded supply. But we all know real wages are stagnant and consumer debt has reached new all-time highs, as average middle class Americans are clinging to their credit cards to survive.

A few basic facts obliterate this strong jobs market false narrative. Since 2007 (before the Fed created financial crisis) the working age population has grown by 24 million, while the number of employed Americans has increased by 8 million (only 3.6 million men), but somehow the unemployment rate is the same. Of those 8 million new jobs, 2.5 million are part-time.

There are currently 2 million less men between the ages of 35 and 54 employed than there were in 2007. Those are considered prime working years for men. According to your lying government, 16 million working age Americans voluntarily left the workforce because they don’t need a job. Only an Ivy League professor or a 75 IQ moron could actually believe the drivel fed to the American public by these government apparatchiks.
Ask yourself whether the real situation on Main Street America matches a 4.2% unemployment rate or a 20% unemployment rate. Ask yourself whether your real world inflation rate is 2% or in excess of 5%. If rising consumer expenditures reflect the health of the consumer, why are JC Penny, Sears and Macys dead retailers walking? Why are there more store closings and retail bankruptcies in 2017 than the depression year of 2009?

Why has restaurant traffic been declining for over a year? Why do putrefying ghost malls haunt the suburban landscape like a scary apparition? We are living in zombieland, with the only an extraordinary amount of debt being pumped into the diseased veins of the global economy by central banker mad scientists giving this cadaver the appearance of life.

With real median household income still at 1999 levels, the middle class (aka the deplorables) in flyover country is lifeless and barely surviving on their credit cards. This supposed recovery has passed the deplorables by, as it has been specifically engineered for the wealthy oligarchs. The pliant academic puppets running the Federal Reserve, ECB and the Bank of Japan on behalf of billionaire oligarchs, Wall Street bankers, government bureaucrats, mega-corporation CEOs, and corrupt politicians had a moral obligation to take actions which would have made the global financial system more resilient and less fragile. After the near death experience in 2008/2009 for the financial elite, central bankers and their co-conspirator government lackeys decided they would do whatever it took to elevate stock, bond and real estate markets.

These traitors to their citizens have printed tens of trillions of currency out of thin air to elevate stock markets, buy bad debt to artificially suppress interest rates, and colluded with Wall Street hedge funds to drive real estate prices higher by purposefully reducing supply. Their actions have benefitted the haves at the expense of the have nots, while providing the deceitful appearance of stability when they are steadily introducing instability and vulnerability into the system.

“But the larger point is that we can now see that depriving systems of stressors, vital stressors, is not necessarily a good thing, and can be downright harmful.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder"

They have created an eight year bull market in everything, while increasing global debt by a mere $70 trillion. This long period of faux prosperity has encouraged rampant risk taking and speculation utilizing leverage to supercharge returns. The lack of volatility and unquestioned belief central bankers will bail them out, has led arrogant swashbuckling MBA hotshots to program their supercomputer high frequency trading machines to buy every dip.

Many of these 30 somethings have never experienced a terrifying plunge or a real bear market. By eliminating fear of losses and suppressing volatility, central bankers have created a landscape where a buildup in risk and fragility guarantees a Minsky Moment.

The speculative juices have now reached epic levels. The appropriate cautiousness of respected financial minds like Shiller, Hussman, Mauldin, Stockman, and Taleb is scorned and ridiculed by the egotistical big swinging dicks on the trading desks of the criminal Wall Street banks. Their belief in their statistical models is only outdone by their faith markets will never crash again. They believe central bankers have figured out how to levitate financial markets for all eternity. With the markets overvalued on par with 1929 and 2000, bullishness and margin debt have never been higher.

The FANG stocks are the new Dotcom bubble stocks. Last week’s Amazon earnings release tells you everything you need to know about the outrageous hype and false narratives spun by Wall Street and their media mouthpiece pawns. The hyperbolic headlines screamed “HUGE EARNINGS BEAT”. At the start of the year earnings projections for the 3rd quarter were $2.00 per share. The company and their Wall Street analyst minions guided that down to 2 cents per share and then “beat” that by announcing 52 cents per share. Wow!!

Meanwhile, their gross margins fell for the 4th quarter in a row, chiming in at NEGATIVE 18% or a $5.2 billion loss. That’s right. They lose 18% on every sale. That was enough to propel the stock over $1,000 per share, with a PE ratio of 250. This certainly isn’t irrationally exuberant. Right?

No one on Wall Street dares to question the narrative about Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, or Google. The corporate propaganda media dutifully reports what they are told to report. Financial metrics, valuations, GAAP earnings, and common sense have left the building. The “professionals” on Wall Street are fully invested because they want those year-end bonuses.

The little guys are entering the market. ETFs dominate on the way up and will lead the way down. Everything is being bought by the machines and everything will be sold when the machines revolt. The confidence level for future gains is off the charts. The herd of lemmings is stampeding towards the cliff. Skeptics and contrarians are getting flattened.

“There is something like a switch in us that kills the individual in favor of the collective when people engage in communal dances, mass riots, or war. Your mood is now that of the herd. You are part of what Elias Canetti calls the rhythmic and throbbing crowd” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder"

Central bankers have succeeded in convincing virtually everyone they have everything under control, when in reality they have introduced far more risk and fragility into the financial system than existed in 2007. Curing a debt problem with far more debt is like treating a gunshot wound to the leg with a gunshot to the head. This cycle of greed and fear will end just as every previous cycle has ended.

The debt financed speculative frenzy will cease when cash flow becomes insufficient to service the debt taken on to make the speculative investments. Even relatively small losses on the speculative assets will cause lenders to call their loans, which will begin a multiplicative chain of ferocious selling and unanticipated consequences. The sell-off will lead to a sudden and precipitous collapse in market-clearing asset prices, a sharp drop in market liquidity, and a severe demand for cash. Minsky will be smirking.

The suppression of volatility by central bankers has lulled the masses into a false sense of security as the everything bubble grows ever larger and less stable beneath the surface. If they had allowed corrections over the last few years to periodically release the buildup of speculative pressures, the financial system would not be nearly as fragile.

The all-knowing “experts” see nothing on the horizon which could derail this bull market. Trump has taken ownership of this bubble by taking credit for the surge since Election Day, after previously calling it a huge bubble during the campaign. He will rue his decision to own this over-priced market.

This market bubble is so overblown, a specific trigger is not necessary to start the disintegration of this bubble. In retrospect, as in the case of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers in 2008, the financial press will need to blame the inevitable collapse on something tangible such as a military conflict, political indictment, financial institution failure, natural catastrophe, or surge in interest rates. This house of cards built on a foundation of dodgy debt and mass delusions of grandeur will come toppling down, with societal implications which will propel this Fourth Turning towards its bloody climax.

The overconfidence and hubris being exhibited by the ruling class and the parasites feeding off their leftover scraps is palpable. There is no fear. They’ve got this thing. The suckers not getting rich in this market are to be disparaged and derided as losers. They remind me of the turkey who has been fed like a king for a thousand days by the butcher and every day turkey “experts” report with unequivocal statistical confidence that butchers love turkeys and will treat them like kings forever. Then on the 1,001st day the turkey experiences a fatal surprise. The Wall Street turkeys should note Thanksgiving is approaching rapidly.

No one knows when or how this collapse will appear, but we do know Bernanke, Yellen, Draghi, Kuroda, Wall Street, Washington DC, and the fake news corporate media are culpable in weakening our economic and financial systems through their reckless, arrogant, corrupt solutions to the last collapse caused by their irresponsible, greedy, fraudulent schemes designed to enrich their wealthy oligarch constituents. They’ve created a supremely fragile financial system. When the losses begin to mount, we (the deplorables) will need to get in touch with our inner butcher. These turkeys will need to pay for their evil miss-deeds.
“Not seeing a tsunami or an economic event coming is excusable; building something fragile to them is not.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder"