Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Musical Interlude: Liquid Mind, “Serenity”

Liquid Mind, “Serenity”

"Alas..."

“Alas, regardless of their doom, the little victims play!
 No sense have they of ills to come, nor care beyond today.”
- Thomas Gray,
"Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College"

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than 
sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Greatest Depression 2.0 Unstoppable; Half Of US Is Jobless, Economy Is Closing”

Jeremiah Babe,
“Greatest Depression 2.0 Unstoppable; 
Half Of US Is Jobless; Economy Is Closing”

God help us...

Gerald Celente, "The Economy is Dead, Killed by the Politicians' COVID War"

Gerald Celente, "Trends Journal": 
"The Economy is Dead, Killed by the Politicians' COVID War"

"Covid-19 Report 6/30/20: Half A Million Dead, And Rising"

Chris Martenson, Peak Prosperity,
"Covid-19 Report 6/30/20: Half A Million Dead, And Rising"

Musical Interlude: Alan Parsons Project, “Ammonia Avenue”

Alan Parsons Project, “Ammonia Avenue”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Oh what a tangled web a planetary nebula can weave. The Red Spider Planetary Nebula shows the complex structure that can result when a normal star ejects its outer gases and becomes a white dwarf star. Officially tagged NGC 6537, this two-lobed symmetric planetary nebula houses one of the hottest white dwarfs ever observed, probably as part of a binary star system. 
Click image for larger size.
Internal winds emanating from the central stars, visible in the center, have been measured in excess of 1000 kilometers per second. These winds expand the nebula, flow along the nebula's walls, and cause waves of hot gas and dust to collide. Atoms caught in these colliding shocks radiate light shown in the above representative-color picture by the Hubble Space Telescope. The Red Spider Nebula lies toward the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius). Its distance is not well known but has been estimated by some to be about 4,000 light-years.”

"It's Ironic..."

 "It's ironic... here is life passing, like clouds drifting over the sky, 
yet they don't see what's in front of them. They believe there is 
something more substantial going on in that little screen in their hands."
- Katie Kacvinsky

“Manipulating the Mass Mind & Attention”

“Manipulating the Mass Mind & Attention”
by Fred Dodson

“In my 30 years as a self-improvement coach, the most important insight is that where you put your attention is where your energy goes. If you find that hard to believe, try this: Walk through a crowd. Put your attention on the people. Then walk through the same crowd again and put your attention on the gaps between the people. More of them will now make way. Try it. It never fails. Here’s another experiment: Stand at the corner of any city street and look upwards for a while. You will notice people around you also look upwards. They want to know what you are looking at, and for that brief period you determined the direction of their attention.

If I tell a group of people to think of a red car, there is a great likelihood that all of them will do it. And if I tell them not to think of a red car… they will also think of a red car! They could have chosen to think of a blue mountain instead. From that you realize how easy it is to steer mass attention.

Rarely will anyone form their own thought or choose different than what they are told. In fact, if you do not make decisions and intentions, someone else will do it for you. You know this from your own life: If your spouse asks you where you want to go for dinner and you don’t really have any specific preference, then they will decide where to go. The same applies on a mass-scale.

Due to a general weakness of will and awareness, most people have their reality decided for them, with merely the illusion of choice given – such as being able to choose whether you will pay your taxes by credit card or bank wire. In school, children do not learn how to think but what to think. They do not learn how to steer attention but instead various things they are supposed to steer attention to.

It is humbling to realize that most people on the planet do not practice focusing, guiding, re-directing, shifting, retrieving and un-sticking their own attention. Thus the life-experience of most of us is determined by external agendas as given by mass media, schools, our parents and countless other sources that have very little to do with our innermost heart’s truth.

We are lucky that at least some of the direction we get from outside is benign. We are lucky if we have parents who say, “You are highly talented, intelligent and beautiful,” thus directing our attention in the right direction. Have you ever heard a newscaster tell you, “You are safe, talented, intelligent, beautiful, empowered and able”? Not hardly. You’ll hear you are the victim of horrible circumstances that you can do nothing about.

Through directing attention, you become a mini-reality-creator. But the mass media is the grand sorcerer of reality manipulation as it directs the attention of millions. It’s not generally understood to what bizarre extent the news media actively participate in the creation of our reality. It is thought they only “report” what is “happening,” but that’s not the case.

The following are different levels of mass-reality-creation by the news media, sorted by the degree of manipulation:

Level 1: Filtering: When I create a movie for my work, I usually choose an outdoor location. I make sure to set up the camera in nature so the scenery looks really good. By choosing what to point the camera at, I am excluding everything I don’t want viewers to see, anything that does not fit my agenda.

I recently filmed breathtaking natural scenery… or at least that’s what it looked like in the final result. I excluded an adjacent parking place, trashcans, roaming dogs, public signs, ugly houses and anything else that disturbed the illusion of me being in paradise. Any filmmaker understands to which extent the filmmaker distorts reality.

From the millions of events that happen every day, the reporter filters which ones to report. This is a normal process. I do it for my own website by presenting only information relevant to its overall topic. People do it on Facebook by presenting themselves in a certain way and excluding pictures that might put them in a bad light.

News media, however, tend to apply several filters. The first one is the filter of negative bias. Why? Because at Earth’s current level of consciousness, fear, drama and hatred still capture more interest than peace, prosperity and harmony. Desperate to sell ad slots on their news program and their declining newspapers, most reports are filtered by how much upheaval and action they contain. In addition, televised news media follows the creed, “if there is no footage (video), it doesn’t matter.” When I was younger I worked for a well-known news station where I was told exactly that. I tried to get the editor to cover important angles of a story, but if there was no footage of it, it was as if it didn’t exist.

If they were to portray life on a day on Earth accurately, as it is for most people most of the time, it might appear “boring.” So the camera zooms in on places of the most mayhem and tragedy. This extreme filtering gives the audience the false impression that the whole world is mostly in a state of chaos, coupled with the implication there is absolutely nothing you can personally do about it. The sensationalist journalist never adds words of advice on improving your life, moving to peaceful surroundings or words of encouragement. He only cares about the sheer terror of explosions, debris, blood and destruction. If any of your relatives talked like a news anchor, you’d consider them mentally unstable.

A movie named "The Nightcrawler" (starring Jake Gyllenhaal) exposed the juvenile and sadistic mindset of some sections of modern “journalism.” No doubt, the last decade has seen a rise in terrorist attacks all over the world. And while these are horrific, they are still actually just localised events, pinpointed at certain buildings with a limited amount of people. They are not nearly as bad as the nation-to-nation all-out-wars we’ve had in decades before that.

I happened to be in the city of Munich on the day of a terrorist attack at the end of July 2016. The shooting of 9 people at the hands of a 19-year-old kid named Ali went around the world. And yet, I learned it from the news, not from being in Munich at the time. On that day I was riding my bike along the river and went for a swim. I received numerous text messages asking whether I’m still alive and sending blessings to me and my family. You see my point… things are bad, but rarely as bad as the news says they are.

On an odd note: The same journalist who happened to be at the Nice (France) terror attack only a week before, shooting live footage of it, also “coincidentally” happened to be pre-positioned at Munich on location and filming. His name is Richard Gutjahr and he is either magnetically attracted to such events for the sake of “terrortainment” or there is something more sinister going on.

When, if I may ask, is the last time you saw windsurfers in the Palestinian Gaza Territory or a happy family having a barbecue in their Jerusalem garden in the news? These events happen every day, by the hundreds, but they do not automatically come to your mind when I say “Gaza!” or “Israel!” I have been to both Palestine and Israel on numerous visits, both privately and for business, and I’ve always had a great time. Yet when I tell people I am traveling there, they tell me “Be careful! That’s dangerous!” They associate these places with the blood and gore the news showed them. They know virtually nothing about the realities of these places than what they have been shown.

I mean no disrespect to the suffering of people in the Middle East or anywhere else for that matter. I am merely using these extreme examples to make the point of filtered-realities. They cause a lack of balance in our perception of the world as well as desensitizing us toward violence.

Ideally, news media would have to not only show a nice segment at the end of their show, but more positive and interesting segments throughout. Then we learn that the world is a balance of light and darkness. Where are the news reports of hope, inspiration, everyday-heroes and human accomplishment? They are far and few between. If a proper balance of dark and light were given, the audience would become more involved in the healing of darkness rather than apathetic to it.

Level 2: Distortion: The next level of reality-manipulation is deliberate distortion by the journalists themselves because they wish to see something in a certain manner or are partial to some political, religious or philosophical ideology.

Of course, nobody is completely neutral and unbiased, nor is that expected. But one of the problems of our times is there is virtually no mass media outlet that is not widely known as being affiliated with some political, governmental, anti-governmental or philosophical “side” and a far shot from “neutral.” Latest statistics from my country (USA) show that the Top Ten most successful “news” outlets on the Internet are either “right-wing” or “left-wing” affiliated. The fact that we are able to determine whether an outlet is “left” or “right” is in itself problematic. It is disheartening how almost every story “top news outlets” carry is filtered through political bias. In other words, these are not “news” outlets and their employees are not “journalists,” they are unabashed propaganda outlets for one of the two political parties in the US.

Another form of distortion occurs when a journalist makes something better or worse than it is. He knows the editor will only accept a story if its interesting enough so he adds a few details here and there, knowing nobody will likely ever examine them more closely. From writing my own blog to a fairly large audience, I am somewhat familiar with the problem, but have always resisted the urge to exaggerate reports. I’d rather have some of my reports be understated (“boring”) than to report things that did not happen. Needless to say, I am not only blaming the mass media, as they only reflect the desires of the populace, who favor entertainment and excitement over reason and truth. When that audience goes to the cinema, they rarely pay to see peace, love and harmony, they usually pay to see death and suffering.

Another form of distortion is that most news stories are reported without wrapping them into a wider context. Most things that happen are part of a greater pattern, part of a history, part of a mindset. Yet, the way stories are reported is as separate pieces that have little or no relation to each other.

When I report on my blog, I frequently like to put what I wrote into context and comparison with other things I wrote in order to give a congruent overall big-picture. This is not the case in conventional news media where people think that the presidential elections in the US, the hurricane that happened just before, the resignation of the CIA-boss and the resurgent Israel-Palestine conflict (all having happened within a few weeks a couple of years ago) have nothing whatsoever to do with each other and are separate bits of information. But they are interconnected, not only metaphysically but geopolitically. Because the news reports too much and journalists write too quickly, ignoring context and connections, they breed ignorance of the depth and meaning of things.

Level 3: Deliberate Fabrication: This is the most intense form of reality-manipulation which hopefully does not occur too often. I recently spoke to someone who used to work for the British “Ministry of Defense.” He shared the following story: Some decades ago a group of reporters went to Northern Ireland to capture footage of the conflict. When they arrived everything was peaceful, so they went ahead and created some chaos, just so they could return home with footage. They bribed a local to make and throw molotov cocktails (amateur bombs) off rooftops into the streets, setting cars and trashcans ablaze. In this instance, the journalists literally created the news. They refused to go home saying “the streets of Belfast are peaceful at this time.” The guy who told me the story lamented that this scandal of sorts was never revealed or reported on to this day. It was covered up by the BBC to avoid embarrassment.

For a mature human being it is important to at least be aware of how news media manipulates reality. Mere awareness immunizes you. You can then read and watch the news without being dragged down to victim-mentality or desensitized apathy, and if you are interested in a story you can then read different news outlets to view the different viewpoints and versions of it and gain a birds-eye-view.

It’s better not to rely on only one news outlet. In my view, most of these stories are just the world-mind processing garbage, like in some kind of bad dream. None of it needs to have anything to do with you, your reality and the reality of those around you. You experience only what you attract through the contents of your own consciousness and subsequent decisions. In some cases you will have a friend or relative who gets way too caught up in news media, exaggerating the importance of various events.

Back in the 80s some believed AIDS would completely wipe out the entire planet by the year 2000. It didn’t happen. Then they thought “Swine-Flu” would “wipe out civilization as we know it”: It didn’t happen. Then they thought 2012 would enlighten humanity to a golden era of peace and bliss. Didn’t happen. And they thought 9/11 would mark the beginning of World War III. Didn’t happen. I dare say that for most of us, life went on like it did the 10 years before and progressed or regressed in accordance with our personal level of consciousness.

Those who take the news way too seriously very rarely do anything actively to help the situation. They’d prefer being worried and indignant to taking positive action. For them, daily preoccupation with the news is like an escape from their own lives which may lack movement or excitement. But when the time comes that their own lives pick up, their interest in daily news recedes. This means they have chosen to focus their precious attention to places that really matter in the development of their own spirit.

Attention is the currency of the 21st century and I recommend you use yours wisely. Be conscious of what you give your eyes to see, your ears to hear, your mind to think and your heart to feel."

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates PM 6/30/20"

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates PM 6/30/20" 
- Frequently Updated
Please visit these sites often for the very latest 
Covid-19 Pandemic and Economic news and information.
The Covid Tracking Project
"The public deserves the most complete data available about COVID-19 in the US. No official source is providing it, so we are. Every day, our volunteers compile the latest numbers on tests, confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and patient outcomes from every US state and territory."

The COVID Racial Data Tracker
"COVID-19 is affecting people of color the most. We’re tracking the data in real time. The COVID Racial Data Tracker is a collaboration between the COVID Tracking Project and the Antiracist Research & Policy Center. Together, we’re gathering the most complete race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 in the United States."

Click image for larger size.
6/30/20, 1:45:41 PM. For updates click here:

Gregory Mannarino, "You Think It's Getting Real Now? Well, You Haven't Seen Anything Yet!"

Gregory Mannarino,
"You Think It's Getting Real Now? Well, You Haven't Seen Anything Yet!"

The Daily "Near You?"

Sandnes, Rogaland, Norway. Thanks for stopping by!

Chet Raymo, “This View of Life, With Its Several Powers”

 “This View of Life, With Its Several Powers”
by Chet Raymo

“Somewhere in his "lost" notebooks Loren Eiseley writes of the pleasure of exploding a puffball in a woodland clearing, or shaking seeds out of their pods. As I recall, he takes a gleeful satisfaction in messing with evolution, in hurrying the process along. I remember identifying with that sentiment when I read it. I like exploding puffballs too. Dropping insects into spider webs. Picking up turtles that are half-way across a road and placing them in a ditch on the other side. Most of all I like breaking off the stalks of ripe milkweeds and shaking them gloriously in a meadow on a breezy day. Love that snowstorm of fecund parachutes blowing hither and yon. Love the idea that I am helping the monarch butterflies that feed and breed exclusively on milkweed.

Yes, I know, in the great scheme of things my random intrusions into the grinding engine of evolution won't make an iota's worth of difference. The problems besetting monarch butterflies won't be significantly alleviated by one more milkweed plant. And that turtle I put in the ditch may just turn around and head back across the road. Still, I take a childish pleasure in mixing it up. Of helping the natural in natural selection. Of kicking up a little dust on the tangled bank. We live in a creative universe, Eiseley said. Let's be creative."

"What Mark Will You Leave On The World?"

"What Mark Will You Leave On The World?" 
by Maria Rodale

"As some of you know, this time of year is my favorite time to truly reflect on the past and the future. Things seem to slow down enough that there's finally time to ponder and think and plan and dream. The questions and thoughts change as I get older. When I was younger, it was more about what I wanted to accomplish (although I still have a VERY ambitious list for that). Now, it's a little bit more of what do I want to leave behind?

The thing about life and reality is that it is so fleeting. Things that seem huge and vastly important can become footnotes to history or, like handprints in the sand - here today, gone tomorrow - washed away by wind or a wave. But I firmly believe that if we don't think about it - and aren't awake about it - we simply drift through life asleep and miss the best of it. In fact, I kind of believe that part of our purpose here in life is to create it, create change, push evolution forward, and improve things. To me, leaving a mark isn't about getting credit or recognition, but making sure that the things we do have a positive impact rather than a negative one, and I think that starts in our heads and our hearts.

So I urge you to take some time for yourself this week, carve out an hour or, better yet, a day when you can really open your heart and calm your head enough to dream about what you truly desire. If you can dream it, you can create it. And then your life will leave a wake of happiness and joy."
- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com

Chris de Burgh, "Carry Me (Like A Fire In Your Heart)"

"A Universal Law..."

"Here is a universal law: that when it comes to negative and positive, you will always thrive more powerfully in the positive if you have first been immersed in, and have heroically overcome, the polar opposite negative of that thing. To abide in the positive existence of something, without having known and overcome its polar opposite - that is to be only a frame of the real structure, easily toppled down and taken apart. True power is in the hands of the one who thrives in the positive, after having known and conquered the negative. Because when the demons come along, you will say to those demons: "I know you, I have owned you, but now you bow down to me."
- C. JoyBell C.

The Poet: Mary Oliver, "I Happened to Be Standing"

"I Happened to Be Standing"

"I don't know where prayers go,
     or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
     half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
     crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
     growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
     along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
     of little importance, in full
self-attendance. A condition I can't really
     call being alive
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
     or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that's their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.

While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don't know why. And yet, why not.
I wouldn't persuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don't. That's your business.
But I thought, of the wren's singing, what could this be
     if it isn't a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.”

- Mary Oliver

"Heaven Knows..."

"You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that."
- E.B. White, in "Charlotte’s Web"

"How It Really Is"

"The New Normal: Extremes of Neofeudalism, Incompetence, Authoritarianism and Relocalization"

"The New Normal: Extremes of Neofeudalism,
 Incompetence, Authoritarianism and Relocalization"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"The pendulum swung to an extreme of globalization, financialization, centralization and monopoly, all of which created extreme systemic fragility. Here's what to expect in the rapidly evolving New Normal: extremes become even more extreme as the status quo attempts to force compliance with its last-ditch schemes to preserve what was always unsustainable while painting a happy face on the stock market, the one thing they can push higher as the global economy unravels.

Mark, Jesse and I discuss this dynamic in Salon #10: "Remember when Maximum Pessimism and Irrational Exuberance were mutually exclusive?" (54 minutes): realistic pessimism is lashed to the mast with the irrational exuberance of stock market soothsayers, central bank cheerleaders and the organs of propaganda (Wall Street) and control of the narratives (social media and search monopolies).

Cognitive dissonance? Yes. Schizophrenia? Sure. Crazy-making? Undoubtedly. So the default "solution" is petty Authoritarianism to ensure we only see approved narratives, that we focus on the happy-happy signal of the glorious stock market (best rally ever!), that we pay higher taxes without complaint, and so on.

And of course, buy, buy, buy and borrow, borrow, borrow, lest the flimsy house of cards collapse.

As I explain in my book "Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform," the only possible output of central bank monetary stimulus is financialization, and the only possible output of financialization is unprecedented wealth and income inequality.

As Max Keiser, Stacy Herbert and I discuss in "Fractals of Incompetence" (15:30), the problem with pushing extremes is the system is incompetent at every level, from school boards to the Federal Reserve. Rather than solve problems, our institutions have devolved into mechanisms to protect clerisy / insiders from transparency and accountability.

In the New Normal, systemic incompetence isn't going to magically transform into competence, it's going to reach new extremes of incompetence and self-serving hubris.

My term for servitude via debt and taxes is neofeudalism, and neofeudalism is the default setting of the New Normal as the super-wealthy can buy even more of the nation's assets thanks to the Federal Reserve's free money for financiers, leaving the peasantry the owners of debt rather than assets.

The only way to escape neofeudal servitude is to figure out some way to live on a fraction of what the conventional lifestyle requires, i.e. radical frugality. Radical frugality will also be a permanent part of the New Normal, either voluntary or imposed by circumstances.

The silver lining in all this is the potential to relocalize essential elements of our economy, a subject Richard and I discuss in "The New Normal" (37 minutes). The pendulum swung to an extreme of globalization, financialization, centralization and monopoly, all of which created extreme systemic fragility.

In the New Normal, the pendulum will finally start moving away from globalization, financialization, centralization and monopoly to decentralized, relocalized economic activity, which is the core dynamic in doing more with less and regaining agency.

The New Normal has yet to fully impact the global financial system, which is still in the eye of the hurricane, magnificently confident that the Federal Reserve's money-printing is the most powerful force in the Universe. The stock market's hubris is begging the gods for retribution, and we may not have to wait too long for the karmic hammer to crush the hubris and the irrational exuberance, as Adam, Mike, John and I discuss in "Three major risks the markets are not pricing in yet" (39 minutes).
The winds are picking up, and the flimsy shacks of the Fed and Wall Street are no match for the real world."

"Bleach Our History and Move On"

"Bleach Our History and Move On"
by Bill Bonner

In this great future, you can’t forget your past; 
so dry your tears, I say.
– “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley

"Out with the old; in with the new! Forget the past! Let’s march into a glorious future… blind, deaf, and dumb to everything that came before us! Word reaches us that Princeton University is taking down Woodrow Wilson’s name. It’s about time. Wilson was a scoundrel and a fool. But his name is coming off the letterhead because of his “racist thinking.” Here’s ABC: "Princeton University announced the removal of Woodrow Wilson’s name from the University’s School of Public and International Affairs, which will now be known as the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs."

And over on the other coast, statues are coming down. From Newsweek: "Protesters in San Francisco, California, toppled a statue of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the U.S. who led the Union Army during the Civil War, among other monuments at Golden Gate Park on Friday. The statues of St. Junipero Serra, the first saint of the Roman Catholic Church to be canonized in the U.S., and Francis Scott Key, the author of the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” were also torn down at the park on the same day."

And the war against the past continues. Here’s more from Newsweek: "On Friday, protesters in Washington D.C. were reported to have torn down a statue of Confederate General Albert Pike and set it on fire near the Washington D.C. police headquarters.

Two Confederate monuments were also dismantled Friday in downtown Raleigh in North Carolina, including one which was dragged through the street before being abandoned on the courthouse steps.

On Thursday night, a statue of George Washington, the first president of the U.S., was torn down by a group of people in Portland, Oregon. A U.S. flag was seen burning at the head of the statue before it was toppled using a rope. Another U.S. flag was seen burning over the statue after it was pulled to the ground. The statue was spray-painted with the words “genocidal colonist.”

Out with the old; in with the new! Forget the past! Let’s march into a glorious future… blind, deaf, and dumb to everything that came before us!

No Doubt: But doubt is not something the monument-topplers will tolerate. After 5,000 generations of humans on Planet Earth, finally, they’ve got The Truth. So, hooray! Now, we can feel superior to our fathers, our grandfathers… and all of those many generations who erred and strayed like lost sheep. Now, we are free from our sordid past… like a new species, brought forth only in the 21st century. Now, we bathe in the bright, warm light of TODAY… unlike the morons who came before us.

What kind of idiots would put up a monument to Christopher Columbus? Didn’t they know that Columbus was a crypto-fascist, patriarchal, white-privileged imperialist, at least partially responsible for millions of deaths (from European diseases) in the New World? But that’s the point. They didn’t know. But now, we do, thanks to the many savants who walk among us… many of them carrying ropes and spray paint.

It is as if the millennial generation had suddenly gained 20 IQ points. And now, with the internet, they go online and, in seconds, discover just what low-lifes and fools their ancestors were. What kind of dumbbells would elect George Washington as their president, they ask themselves? Or Thomas Jefferson – he was a “rapist;” at least, that’s the rap laid on him by today’s all-knowing activists. And what about the two Adams, John and John Quincy? Weren’t they New England’s white privilege in the flesh?

Bleaching History: Yes, Dear Reader, we are so lucky to be living now, rather than back then, when humans had tails. Now, our voters walk upright and our presidents are paragons of wit, charm, and virtue… with none of the taint of sin and ignorance that marred the past.

Now, with knowledge at our fingertips and our hearts overflowing with goodness, like a clogged sewer, we can get out the brushes and soap and wash away the stains of colonialism, male domination, fascism, sexism, institutional racism, gold-backed money, mullets, and all the other things we no longer like. We can bleach our history… and, with the help of the public schools, make sure that no one ever comes in contact with those bad ideas again.

And, with the help of the Federal Reserve, we can print the money we need to right the wrongs of the past… shut down the economy to protect us from COVID-19… and otherwise make the world a better place. (What is really stunning is that our ancestors never realized the magic they could do by printing trillions of dollars. They must have been even dumber than we thought.)

Today’s Heroes: So, let’s begin by applauding our heroes. Not the nurses and doctors. Not the “warriors” in Iraq or Afghanistan. Not the old fuddy-duddies in bronze or granite. We’re talking about today’s heroes – the protestors. They’re right. It’s high time we gave the statues the heave-ho. Lincoln, Wilson, both Roosevelts – rascals and scalawags, every one of them. Take them all down!

But Padre Serra… Robert E. Lee… Chief Justice Taney… Ulysses S. Grant? Nobody is perfect. All are stained by sin and indelibly marked by the waters in which they swam. As far as we can tell, they were decent men who conducted themselves with grace and courage in difficult circumstances. Would any of us have done better?"

"Economic Fantasy Snapshot AM 6/30/20"

"Economic Fantasy Snapshot AM 6/30/20"
Chronicling the most enormous fraud and theft in human history,
down the rabbit hole of psychopathic greed and insanity...
No resemblance to reality is intended or claimed. Read at your own risk.
Only the consequences are real, to YOU, never them.
"The more I see of the moneyed classes, 
the more I understand the guillotine."
- George Bernard Shaw
6/30/20


Gregory Mannarino, 
AM 6/30/20: "MUST WATCH: 
The Fed. Is About To Enter Its Next Phase, And It Will Be EPIC"
https://traderschoice.net/

"Close To Half Of All Working Age Adults In The United States Do Not Have A Job Right Now"

"Close To Half Of All Working Age Adults In 
The United States Do Not Have A Job Right Now"
by Michael Snyder

"There is a lot of talk about the “unemployment rate” these days, but the way that it is calculated has become so convoluted that it is not really that meaningful anymore. Even during the so-called “good times”, more than 100 million U.S. adults were not working, but we were told that the unemployment rate was the lowest that it had been in decades. Of course now everything has changed. Since this pandemic began, more than 47 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and the mainstream media is going to make sure that fear of COVID-19 continues to paralyze our society for the foreseeable future.

In this article, I would like to discuss the employment-population ratio. According to Wikipedia, the employment-population ratio is “a statistical ratio that measures the proportion of the country’s working age population that is employed”. I believe that it is a far more accurate measurement than the “unemployment rate” is, and we have seen this ratio move quite dramatically over the past couple of months. According to CNBC, the employment-population ratio hit 52.8 percent in May, and that means that 47.2 percent of all working age Americans did not have a job…

Nearly half of the population is still out of a job showing just how far the U.S. labor market has to heal in the wake of the coronavirus.

The employment-population ratio - the number of employed people as a percentage of the U.S. adult population - plunged to 52.8% in May, meaning 47.2% of Americans are jobless, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the coronavirus-induced shutdowns tore through the labor market, the share of population employed dropped sharply from a recent high of 61.2% in January, farther away from a post-war record of 64.7% in 2000.

As you can see on this chart, we are definitely in uncharted territory. We have never seen a collapse of this magnitude in all of U.S. history, and it has been truly horrifying to watch so many people lose their jobs.

It would be difficult to overstate just how far we have fallen. One analyst has pointed out that it would take 30 million new jobs for the employment-population ratio to return to the peak that we witnessed all the way back in 2000: “To get the employment-to-population ratio back to where it was at its peak in 2000 we need to create 30 million jobs,” Torsten Slok, Deutsche Bank’s chief economist, said in an email.

Of course before we can start adding jobs we have got to stop the bleeding first, and at this point more than a million Americans continue to file new claims for unemployment benefits each and every week.

And more job losses are coming, because companies are shutting down at a staggering rate.  In fact, this week USA Today warned that “experts believe this is just the beginning of a bankruptcy tsunami that will wash over the country’s largest companies this summer”: "Twelve midsize to large corporations – all with more than $10 million in debt – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection during the third week of June, another consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and continued trouble in America’s oil industry.

The filings represent the highest weekly total of the year, and experts believe this is just the beginning of a bankruptcy tsunami that will wash over the country’s largest companies this summer and then drench both smaller businesses and individuals if government stimulus money dries up."

Those two paragraphs almost sound like something that I could have written. But at this point it is very difficult for anyone to deny how bad things have become. So many firms are suddenly going bankrupt that it is impossible to keep up with them all, and the energy industry is being hit particularly hard: "At least 24 oil and gas companies filed from April through June – nearly twice as many as during the first three months of the year, according to Haynes and Boone LLP, an international law firm based in Texas. Four of those companies – Texas-based NorthEast Gas Generation, Colorado-based Extraction Oil & Gas, and Chisolm Oil and Gas and Chesapeake Energy, which are both from Oklahoma – filed in the last two weeks of June.

“This trend should continue through the remainder of 2020 and into 2021,” said Charles Beckham, a partner in Haynes and Boone’s restructuring practice."

Of course it isn’t just the U.S. that is experiencing severe economic pain. COVID-19 has paralyzed economies all over the planet, and global trade has dropped precipitously: "World trade in goods plunged by 12% in April from March, after having already dropped 2.4% in March from February. This plunge of the Merchandise World Trade Monitor, released by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, was by far the largest month-to-month drop in the history of the data going back to 2000."

For such a long time, many were warning that “the next global depression” was coming, and now it is here. Many of the economic optimists had been hoping for a very short downturn followed by a “V-shaped recovery”, but now it has become clear that is simply not going to happen.

The primary factor dragging our economy down is fear of COVID-19, and the mainstream media continues to add to that fear day after day. Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen a surge of new cases in some portions of the U.S., and this has caused quite a few states to put a hold on their reopening plans: "At least 14 states have paused or rolled back their reopening plans as the United States sees a surge in coronavirus cases across the country. With July 4 celebrations approaching, officials are trying not to repeat scenes from Memorial Day, when thousands flocked to beaches, bars and parties while experts cautioned that crowds could lead to spikes in cases down the road."

I wish that I could tell you that things will soon get much better for the U.S. economy, but I can’t. Yes, there will be ups and downs during the months ahead, but a return to “normal” is certainly not in the cards. So I would definitely encourage everyone to use this window of opportunity to get prepared for rough times ahead, because we are about to see things happen that we have never seen before."