Thursday, August 13, 2020

“Lyft/Uber Drivers Doomed; Retail Stores Crushed; Jobless Americans; Real Estate Warnings”

Jeremiah Babe,
“Lyft/Uber Drivers Doomed; Retail Stores Crushed; 
Jobless Americans; Real Estate Warnings”

"Face The Facts"

"Face The Facts"
by Southern Sage

“If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” – Attributed to Sir Winston Churchill

"November 3, 2020, will decide the fate of this country. if Trump wins we will still have a chance to save what is left of America and, hopefully, begin the long, hard road to recovery. if the Left, the Globalists and the Democrats are allowed to steal the election (there is no question of a Biden victory except through massive fraud), it is over. Civil war will be almost inevitable and God knows what misshapen monsters will emerge from that wreckage. If the last one is any guide, they will be hideous.

Trump must make up his mind now that he will not allow this cabal to steal the election and carry out the coup they attempted in 2016 and 2017. There can be no question of a repeat of the George W. Bush farce of 2000. The enemy is far more organized, determined, and ruthless now than they were then. The pitiful Bush was no threat to them, their power, and their money. Trump is and they know they will not survive another four years of him, especially if the Republicans retake the House.

President Trump has to start laying the groundwork now to deal a knockout blow to the treasonous Left and all of its friends. It will involve the nationalization of the Internet and major news media, the removal of disloyal Federal judges without ceremony or apologies, the seizure of all of the assets of the wealthy Democrat donors, and a systematic purge of our institutions of Leftist and their allies. Let that sink in.

The military will play a role in this. Its role will be to stay in the barracks and obey the lawful orders of the Commander-in-Chief. As the crisis builds he will need to order the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the commanders of all troops in the Washington area, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the directors of the CIA and FBI, as well as other key officials, to remain at or near the White House. When Trump gives orders, any hesitation on the part of these officials will result in their immediate dismissal and arrest.

Trump will have to make a nation-wide address to explain to the people that there is a conspiracy to overthrow the republic and that he is going to take any and all actions necessary to suppress it. As for the military, he should announce that any officer, NCO or serviceman who fails to obey lawful orders will be considered an armed rebel and deserter and dealt with accordingly, full stop. All Federal and state officials will be told that if they support in any way the Leftist conspiracy they will be guilty of treason and dealt with accordingly.

With the regular military in barracks, Trump should federalize the National Guard and call on Red state governors to call out the unorganized militia, as provided by law; there will be plenty of veterans ready to carry out this order and you will be surprised how many men will rally once they know they have legal authority to do so. The militia would be the sword hanging over local Leftists thinking of raising their heads. The Blue state governors who do not support the president will be given a choice: resign immediately or be deposed by force.

Needless to say, both the Internet and the major media outlets will be placed under total government control until they can be purged. The Silicon Valley Hindus will be on airliners back to Bombay so fast it will make their heads spin.

The assets of the wealthy Leftist and Democrats donors will have to be seized (and never returned to them) and the CEO’s of major corporations and heads of major institutions who have played along with the Left will be similarly treated and forced to resign their posts.

As for those who were witting elements in the conspiracy to overthrow the government, there will be no long, drawn-out “legal” process.

I know the above sounds extreme to most of you. It is extreme, but that is where we are now. If Trump allows the Left to play by their rules, this country is finished. If he decides to take the approach taken by Abraham Lincoln in 1861 (which included almost all of these measures) he may yet save the country.

Make no mistake. This is the point we have reached. Only a slobbering idiot believes that there is any peaceful, legalistic way to defeat forces bent on the destruction of America. As for the tactics needed to prevail, there is nothing new in them. Iron control of the armed forces and police, total control of the media, taking away the means of resistance from the enemy within, and the merciless treatment of the conspirators are all absolutely necessary.

We had all better hope Trump gets it and rids himself of the dithering pantywaists who have so harmed this first four years. He will need tough, hard men around him who understand the true situation and are not swayed by sentimental nonsense from an American past that no longer exists. No Judge Napolitano’s need apply.

If you believe that we can “trust the system” to ensure that the election is not stolen through legal chicanery, then tell me how you explain the General Flynn case, or the failure to arrest and convict a single Russiahoax criminal? Or the mad black DA in St. Louis charging law-abiding citizens for defending their home? Or the madness that reigns in Chicago, Seattle, New York and Portland? 

There is no more law in this country except that, as Mao said, comes out of the barrel of a gun. Face the facts or stick your head in the sand. The choice is yours."

Musical Interlude: Mike Oldfield, “Tubular Bells Finale”

Mike Oldfield, “Tubular Bells Finale”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“From Sagittarius to Carina, the Milky Way Galaxy shines in this dark night sky above planet Earth's lush island paradise of Mangaia. Familiar to denizens of the southern hemisphere, the gorgeous skyscape includes the bulging galactic center at the upper left and bright stars Alpha and Beta Centauri just right of center. About 10 kilometers wide, volcanic Mangaia is the southernmost of the Cook Islands. Geologists estimate that at 18 million years old it is the oldest island in the Pacific Ocean.
 Click image for larger size.
Of course, the Milky Way is somewhat older, with the galaxy's oldest stars estimated to be over 13 billion years old. (Editor's note: This image holds the distinction of being selected as winner in the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition in the Earth and Space category.)“

"Albert Camus on Strength of Character and How to Ennoble Our Minds in Difficult Times"

"Albert Camus on Strength of Character 
and How to Ennoble Our Minds in Difficult Times"
by Maria Popova

"In 1957, Albert Camus (November 7, 1913–January 4, 1960) became the second youngest laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature, awarded to him for work that “with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times.” (It was with this earnestness that, days after receiving the coveted accolade, he sent his childhood teacher a beautiful letter of gratitude.)

More than half a century later, his lucid and luminous insight renders Camus a timeless seer of truth, one who ennobles and enlarges the human spirit in the very act of seeing it - the kind of attentiveness that calls to mind his compatriot Simone Weil, whom he admired more than he did any other thinker and who memorably asserted that “attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”

Nowhere does Camus’s generous attention to the human spirit emanate more brilliantly than in a 1940 essay titled “The Almond Trees” (after the arboreal species that blooms in winter), found in his "Lyrical and Critical Essays" (public library) - the superb volume that gave us Camus on happiness, despair, and how to amplify our love of life. Penned at the peak of WWII, to the shrill crescendo of humanity’s collective cry for justice and mercy, Camus’s clarion call for reawakening our noblest nature reverberates with newfound poignancy today, amid our present age of shootings and senseless violence.

At only twenty-seven, Camus writes: "We have not overcome our condition, and yet we know it better. We know that we live in contradiction, but we also know that we must refuse this contradiction and do what is needed to reduce it. Our task as humans is to find the few principles that will calm the infinite anguish of free souls. We must mend what has been torn apart, make justice imaginable again in a world so obviously unjust, give happiness a meaning once more to peoples poisoned by the misery of the century. Naturally, it is a superhuman task. But superhuman is the term for tasks we take a long time to accomplish, that’s all.

Let us know our aims then, holding fast to the mind, even if force puts on a thoughtful or a comfortable face in order to seduce us. The first thing is not to despair. Let us not listen too much to those who proclaim that the world is at an end. Civilizations do not die so easily, and even if our world were to collapse, it would not have been the first. It is indeed true that we live in tragic times. But too many people confuse tragedy with despair. “Tragedy,” [D.H.] Lawrence said, “ought to be a great kick at misery.” This is a healthy and immediately applicable thought. There are many things today deserving such a kick."

In a sentiment evocative of the 1919 manifesto "Declaration of the Independence of the Mind" - which was signed by such luminaries as Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein, Rabindranath Tagore, Jane Addams, Upton Sinclair, Stefan Zweig, and Hermann Hesse - Camus argues that this “kick” is to be delivered by the deliberate cultivation of the mind’s highest virtues: "If we are to save the mind we must ignore its gloomy virtues and celebrate its strength and wonder. Our world is poisoned by its misery, and seems to wallow in it. It has utterly surrendered to that evil which Nietzsche called the spirit of heaviness. Let us not add to this. It is futile to weep over the mind, it is enough to labor for it.

But where are the conquering virtues of the mind? The same Nietzsche listed them as mortal enemies to heaviness of the spirit. For him, they are strength of character, taste, the “world,” classical happiness, severe pride, the cold frugality of the wise. More than ever, these virtues are necessary today, and each of us can choose the one that suits him best. Before the vastness of the undertaking, let no one forget strength of character. I don’t mean the theatrical kind on political platforms, complete with frowns and threatening gestures. But the kind that through the virtue of its purity and its sap, stands up to all the winds that blow in from the sea. Such is the strength of character that in the winter of the world will prepare the fruit.

Elsewhere in the volume, Camus writes: “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Each time our world cycles through a winter of the human spirit, Camus remains an abiding hearth of the invisible summer within us, his work a perennial invitation to reinhabit our deepest decency and live up to our most ennobled nature.

Complement this particular excerpt from the thoroughly elevating "Lyrical and Critical Essays" with Nietzsche on what it really means to be a free spirit and Susan Sontag on how to be a moral human being, then revisit Camus on happiness, unhappiness, and our self-imposed prisons and our search for meaning."

"Life Is An Illusion: Playing Your Part"

"Life Is An Illusion: Playing Your Part"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"Having the wisdom to know that life is but a dream does not mean that we ignore living. As children, most of us sang that mesmerizing, wistful lullaby that ends with the words, “Life is but a dream.” This is a classic example of a deep, sophisticated truth hiding, like an underground stream, in an unlikely place. It winds its way through our minds like a riddle or a Zen koan, coming up when we least expect it and asking that we consider its meaning. Many gurus and philosophers agree with this mysterious observation, saying that this world we perceive as real is actually an illusion, not unlike a film being projected on a screen. Most of us are so involved in the projection that we don’t understand it for what it is. We are completely caught up in the illusion, imagining that we are in a life and death struggle and taking it very seriously.

The enlightened few, on the other hand, live their lives in the light of the awareness that what most of us perceive as reality is a passing fancy. As a result, they behave with detachment, compassion, and wisdom, while the rest of us struggle and writhe upon the stage in the play of our life. Having the wisdom to know that life is but a dream does not mean that we ignore it or don’t do our best with the twists and turns of our fate. Rather, like an actress who plays her role fully even as she knows it’s only a role, we engage in the unfolding drama, but with a little more freedom because we know that this is not the totality of who we are.

And life is more of an improvisation than it is like a play whose lines have already been written, whose end is already known. Like an improviser, we have choices to make and the more we embrace the illusionary quality of the performance, the lighter we can be on the planet, on others, and on ourselves. We can truly play with the shadows cast by the light of the projector, fully engaging without getting bogged down."
“We are game-playing, fun-having creatures, we are the otters of the universe. We cannot die, we cannot hurt ourselves any more than illusions on the screen can be hurt. But we can believe we’re hurt, in whatever agonizing detail we want. We can believe we’re victims, killed and killing, shuddered around by good luck and bad luck.”
“Many lifetimes?” I asked.
“How many movies have you seen?”
“Films about living on this planet, about living on other planets; anything that’s got space and time is all movie and all illusion,” he said. “But for a while we can learn a huge amount and have a lot of fun with our illusions, can we not?”
- Richard Bach, 
“Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”

"You Think They're Nice..."

"That's why crazy people are so dangerous. 
You think they're nice until they're chaining you up in the garage."
- Michael Buckley

The Poet: Anne Sexton, "Courage"


"It is in the small things we see it.
The child's first step,
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike,
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien,
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
cover your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off your heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways,
each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen,
those you love will live in a fever of love,
and you'll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you'll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out."

~ Anne Sexton

The Daily "Near You?"

Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Thanks for stopping by!

Gregory Mannarino, "Post-Market Report 8/13/20: Critical Alert Now!"

Gregory Mannarino,
"Post-Market Report 8/13/20: Critical Alert Now!"

“4 Things You Can Do to Cheer Up, According to Neuroscience”

“4 Things You Can Do to Cheer Up, According to Neuroscience”
by Robby Berman

"For everyone, there are times when a dark cloud just seems to be following you around. You may not even even know why. While we don’t mean to minimize the value of medication for those who experience this on a daily basis, UCLA neuroscientist Alex Korb, author of "The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time," has some insights that might just get you back on the sunny side. It’s all got to do with neuroscience.

Getting Your Brain’s Attention: Your brain has some unhelpful ideas of its own on how to feel good. If you’re experiencing guilt or shame, it may be because your brain’s trying - ineffectively - to activate its reward center. Wait, what? According to Korb, “Despite their differences, pride, shame, and guilt all activate similar neural circuits, including the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, insula, and the nucleus accumbens. This explains why it can be so appealing to heap guilt and shame on ourselves - they're activating the brain's reward center.“

A similar thing may be going if you just can’t seem to stop worrying. Korb says worrying stimulates the medial prefrontal cortex and lowers activity in the amygdala, thus helping your limbic system, your emotions, remain copascetic. His theory is that, even though worry is widely recognized as a pointless thing to do from a tactical point of view, apparently the brain considers it better than doing nothing at all when you’re anxious.

So the obvious question is how you can take positive control of this destructive little dance? Korb suggests asking yourself: “What am I grateful for?” His reasoning is chemical: “One powerful effect of gratitude is that it can boost serotonin. Trying to think of things you are grateful for forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. This simple act increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex.”

Even more intriguingly, actually coming up with something you’re thankful for - not always an easy thing to do in a dark mood - isn’t even required. Just the acts of remembering to be thankful is the flexing of a type of emotional intelligence: “One study found that it actually affected neuron density in both the ventromedial and lateral prefrontal cortex. These density changes suggest that as emotional intelligence increases, the neurons in these areas become more efficient. With higher emotional intelligence, it simply takes less effort to be grateful.”

He-Who-Actually-Must-Be-Named: So, okay, you’re still down. Try and get more specific. What, exactly, is the bad feeling you have? Anger? Stress? Sadness? Loneliness? Neuroscience says that just giving your darkness a name defuses it.

Author David Rock’s book "Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long" explains: “To reduce arousal, you need to use just a few words to describe an emotion, and ideally use symbolic language, which means using indirect metaphors, metrics, and simplifications of your experience. This requires you to activate your prefrontal cortex, which reduces the arousal in the limbic system. Here's the bottom line: describe an emotion in just a word or two, and it helps reduce the emotion.”

Korb notes that fMRI studies support this idea, like one in which “participants viewed pictures of people with emotional facial expressions. Predictably, each participant's amygdala activated to the emotions in the picture. But when they were asked to name the emotion, the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activated and reduced the emotional amygdala reactivity. In other words, consciously recognizing the emotions reduced their impact.”

FBI negotiators use labeling to try and calm hostage negotiators, and it’s also an important tool in mindfulness.

You’re the Decider: Worried and anxious? One thing to try is making a decision about what’s got you worked up. It doesn’t even have to be the perfect decision; just a good one will do. As Korb notes: “Trying for the best, instead of good enough, brings too much emotional ventromedial prefrontal activity into the decision-making process. In contrast, recognizing that good enough is good enough activates more dorsolateral prefrontal areas, which helps you feel more in control.” Korb: “Actively choosing caused changes in attention circuits and in how the participants felt about the action, and it increased rewarding dopamine activity. Making decisions includes creating intentions and setting goals - all three are part of the same neural circuitry and engage the prefrontal cortex in a positive way, reducing worry and anxiety. Making decisions also helps overcome striatum activity, which usually pulls you toward negative impulses and routines. Finally, making decisions changes your perception of the world - finding solutions to your problems and calming the limbic system.”

A key thing here is that you’re making a conscious decision, or choice, and not just being dragged to a resolution. Your brain gets no reward for that. If you’re still reluctant to make a choice between one option or another, the science suggest don’t worry, you’re likely to gain a positive bias toward the decision you make anyway. As Korb notes, “We don't just choose the things we like; we also like the things we choose.”

The Power of Touch: Okay, so let’s be clear right up front: You should only be touching others who want to be touched. All right, then… Got someone to hug? Go for it. Korb says “A hug, especially a long one, releases a neurotransmitter and hormone oxytocin, which reduces the reactivity of the amygdala.”

Hand holding, pats on the back, and handshakes work, too. Korb cites a study in which subjects whose hands were held by their partners experienced a reduced level of anxiety while waiting for an expected electrical shock from researchers. “The brain showed reduced activation in both the anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex - that is, less activity in the pain and worrying circuits.” And if you have no one handy to touch, guess what? Massage has also been shown to be an effective way to get your oxytocin flowing, and it reduces stress hormones and increases your dopamine levels. Win win.

The value of touching shouldn’t be overlooked when you’re down. According to Korb: “In fact, as demonstrated in an fMRI experiment, social exclusion activates the same circuitry as physical pain; at one point they stopped sharing, only throwing back and forth to each other, ignoring the participant. This small change was enough to elicit feelings of social exclusion, and it activated the anterior cingulate and insula, just like physical pain would.”

Nobody’s in a good mood all the time, so hopefully these insights will be of use if there comes some dark and stormy day."

Greenred Productions,
"Binaural Beats Happiness Frequency:  
Serotonin, Dopamine, Endorphin Release Music"
"Happiness frequency music with binaural beats alpha waves. Alpha waves will help to release serotonin, dopamine and endorphin during your relaxation session. Binaural beats meditation music is a powerful tool for relaxation and stress relief. Use this track with headphones and in a quiet environment."

“The "New Normal" Is De-Normalization”

“The "New Normal" Is De-Normalization”
by Charles Hugh Smith

"Everyone talks about the "New Normal," as if there's a guarantee that life will return to normal. But the "New Normal" is De-Normalization, which I define as everything that was normal is gone and will not be replaced with some new normal. In other words, normal is gone, done, over: old normal, new normal, doesn't matter: normal is history.

Denormalization is currently used to describe a database optimization process, but it's too valuable a concept to be limited to a narrow geekspeak term. What I mean by Denormalization is the complete dismantling of what was taken for granted as normal and the loss of any future version of normal. Consider sports as an example. We all know the Old Normal that millions hope will magically return: $100 million player contracts, millions in TV ad revenues, pro franchises worth billions of dollars, NCAA playoffs, etc.: a dominant kingdom in the nation's media and mindshare.

The dirty little secret that troubled the kingdom long before Covid-19 was a steady erosion in attendance at live games and in the viewing audience. Younger generations have relatively little interest in all the trappings and habits of Boomer sports manias. They'd rather watch the 3-minute highlight video on their phones than blow half a day watching games that are generally lacking in drama and are largely replaceable with some other game.

What few seem to notice is that the Old Normal had become insanely expensive, irksome and boring, activities that were habits coasting on momentum. Those embedded in the Old Normal acclimatized to the absurdly overpriced seats, snacks, beer, parking, etc. of live events and the insanely long commutes required to get to the venue and then back home, as their happy memories of $5 seats decades ago is the anchor of their lifelong devotion and habits.

The old fans coasting on ritual habituated to the cookie-cutter nature of the games, while those who never acquired the habit look with amazement at the seemingly endless dull progression of hundreds of interchangeable sporting events.

Advertisers will eventually notice that younger generations never acquired the habit of worshipping sports and so there is nothing to stem the collapse of the Old Normal but older fans, some percentage of whom will find they don't miss it once they fall out of the habit.

Some other percentage will find they can no longer afford to attend live games, or they'll realize they no longer feel it's worth it to grind through traffic or public transit just to sit for additional hours and then repeat the entire slog back home.

Another percentage will suddenly awaken to the artifice of the whole thing; they will simply lose interest. Others will finally realize the corporate machine (which includes college sports) has long since lost any connection to the era that they remember so fondly.

This same Denormalization will dismantle fast food, dining out, air travel, healthcare, higher education and innumerable other iterations of normal that have become unaffordable even as the returns on the lavish investments of time and money required diminish sharply.
How many of you deeply miss air travel? You're joking, right? Only certifiably insane people would miss the irksome hassle and discomfort, from the endless delays due to mechanical problems (don't you people keep any spare parts, or is it all just in time like every other broken system in America?), the seats that keep getting smaller as the passengers keep getting larger, the fetid terminals, and so on. Like all the other iterations of normal, the entire experience has been going downhill for decades, but we all habituated to the decline because we were stuck with it.

What few seem to understand is all the Old Normal systems can't restabilize at some modestly lower level of diminishing returns; their only possible future is collapse. Just as fine-dining restaurants cannot survive at 50% capacity because their cost structure is so astronomical, the same is true of sports, airports, airlines, cruise lines, fast food, movie theaters, healthcare, higher education, local government services and all the rest of the incredibly fragile and unaffordable Old Normal.

None of these systems can operate at anything less than about 80% of full capacity and customers paying 80% of full pop, i.e. full retail. Since their fixed cost structures are so high, and their buffers so thin, there's nothing below the 80% level but air, i.e. a quick plummet to extinction.
Here's what denormalization means: there was no New Normal for the dinosaurs. A few winged species survived and evolved into the birds of today, but that is by no stretch of the imagination a New Normal that included all the other dinosaur species. For them, denormalization meant extinction.

De-Normalization: everything that was normal is gone and will not be replaced with some new normal. Normal is gone, done, over: goodbye to all that."

"In Order To Act..."

“When a man asks himself what is meant
by action he proves that he isn't a man of action.
Action is a lack of balance.
In order to act you must be somewhat insane.
A reasonably sensible man is satisfied with thinking.”
- James Baldwin

"Nothing Is Off the Menu"

"Nothing Is Off the Menu"
By Bill Bonner

SAN MARTIN, ARGENTINA – "The news this morning tells us that the Republicans and Democrats are still “$1 trillion apart” in their negotiations. Both favor more “stimulus.” That is, both favor taking more money from people who earned it and giving it to people who didn’t. They’re just dickering over the price.

But there are lots of ways of ripping people off. And the nice thing about the feds’ counterfeiting is that it is more like a white-collar embezzlement than sticking up a liquor store in a bad neighborhood. Often, the victims never even find out that they’ve been scammed. That is why there is such widespread support for more “stimulus.” The voters see the money coming their way; they don’t see where it comes from.

Simple Solution: Yesterday, we looked at why the “eat the rich” doctrine is likely to catch on. The feds corrupted the whole economy – and society itself – with their fake money, fake interest rates… and trillions of dollars given to Wall Street. The fake interest rates increased debt and cut growth rates in half. And they twisted the economy away from Main Street (where most people earn their living) and toward Wall Street (where the top 10% of the population owns nearly 90% of the assets.)

This “financialization” made the rich richer, but it left most people (relatively) poorer. People don’t understand how it works. And they don’t want to understand. But they feel cheated. Many want revenge. The solution, as we pointed out yesterday, is very simple: Just say “no” to the fakery and the larceny. No more stimulus. No more deficits. No more Federal Reserve support for Wall Street. No more counterfeiting.

Simple Truth: If Mr. Trump really wanted to “make America great again,” and had any idea what was really going on, he’d have a “fireside chat” with the voters and explain it to them. He’d look them in the eye and tell them the truth: that printing money does not bring them new wealth; it merely shifts it from those who earned it to those who didn’t… and that every penny of real wealth that comes their way from the federal government must sooner or later come from them.

He’d describe how American capitalism has been perverted by fake money. And he’d show how money-printing has slowed down the economy… and transferred trillions in real wealth to the people who need it least – the rich.

There are only two kinds of money – real or fake. (The president is welcome to draw on our Diaries to help voters understand…) Real money is created by providing real goods and services to others. Traditionally, it is represented by gold or silver tokens… or pieces of paper backed by gold or silver. Take out the gold or silver, and you just have pieces of paper – which can be printed in any quantity the authorities choose… regardless of the real wealth involved… and used for whatever claptrap purpose they want.

Easy Way Out: Forty years ago, then Fed chief Paul Volcker held the line. Instead of printing more fake money, he printed less… and saved the fake-money system. But historically, at least since the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero, the temptation to create “too much” fake money has been irresistible. And today’s leaders – in Congress and the Federal Reserve – are hewn from softer wood than Volcker; they bend easily. Faced with a “crisis,” they don’t rise to the challenge – they stoop to it.

What a delight it would be for The Donald to call out one of the biggest hinds in the whole jackass herd – former Fed chief, Ben Bernanke. In the long, tawdry story of central banking, no better illustration of malfeasance and economic quackery can be found than in his book, "The Courage to Act." He applauds himself – as if he were Horatio at the bridge – for having the “courage” to take the easy way out.

Instead of stiffening his backbone and letting the markets do what they do best – sort out the feds’ errors – he “printed” trillions of dollars in order to keep speculators from getting what they deserved. And thus, did he make the rich richer… and hasten the arrival of the barbarians, now gathered at the gates, knives and forks in hand, ready to eat them.

Bernanke “printed” $3.6 trillion over a five-year period – an unprecedented increase in America’s monetary base. Today’s Jerome Powell-led Federal Reserve, however, printed nearly that much in just 90 days. And it’s just getting started… Last week, there was a $4 trillion deficit to fund. Next week, the deficit may be $5 trillion or $6 trillion. Neither conservatives nor liberals offer any objection. They, too, have the courage to spend other people’s money. Don’t ask; don’t tell. Just print!

Cold Turkey: Then, after describing the slimey hole into which the republic has fallen, speaking in a low, solemn voice, carefully reading from the teleprompter, President Trump could finally rise to the role he was elected to play. As if his brain had suddenly come to life, he could announce a program that might actually “make America great again.”

He’d let it be known that he was planning to set things right – first, by removing the Fed chairman, and then, by vetoing all spending bills for which no funds were available. In other words, if America was going to continue down this long, dark road to inflation, bankruptcy, and social suicide, it would be over his dead body. Which is probably how it would turn out.

Immediately, Wall Street would crash. The problem of “inequality” would be solved in minutes. Interest rates would rise. Bad businesses would go broke. Bad managers would lose their jobs. The share buybacks would end. And anyone who had to refinance a house or a business loan would be in big trouble. Desperate for real money, entrepreneurs, businessmen, and ordinary citizens would have to get to work immediately to earn it.

The next day, there would be a full-page editorial in The New York Times, signed by hundreds of leading economists, telling us that the president had lost his mind and should be impeached. The entire elite establishment – the Swamp, the press, the universities, the bureaucrats, the do-gooders and world-improvers, the cronies, and the military/industrial/Wall Street/medical/educational/prison complex – would be against him.

Going cold turkey wouldn’t be easy. Probably impossible. But what fun for us! Finally, there would be something true… straight… and honest to write about.

Fantasy World: As it is, there are many different messages in the press. And they are almost all fraudulent. The Trump Team wants more stimulus. Trump – the biggest spender in U.S. history – proposes another unfunded tax cut. Meanwhile, the Biden-Harris team promises even more financial mayhem… The Democrats’ current bid for the next stimulus program is $3.4 trillion. Harris’ “LIFT the Middle Class” proposal would add $2.8 trillion to the debt over the next eight years. Taken together, Biden and Harris’ proposals could cost as much as $10 trillion.

In this fantasy world, no proposal… no idea… no program is so outrageous or so stupid that it is out of the question. Eat the rich? Sure, why not?"

"How It Really Is"

Well of course it does...

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 8/13/20"

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 8/13/20" 
- Frequently Updated
Please visit these sites often for the very latest information.
By Sanam Yar and Ian Prasad Philbrick

The pandemic’s true toll: The number of U.S. residents who have died since March is now more than 200,000 higher than it would be in a normal year, a Times analysis found. Those “excess deaths” most likely reflect the true cost of the pandemic - and suggest that the official death toll may be a substantial undercount.
"As the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. has moved south from its early epicenter in New York, so have the unusual patterns in deaths from all causes. Many of the recent coronavirus cases and deaths in the South may have been driven largely by reopenings and relaxed social-distancing restrictions."

In other virus developments:
• Britain’s economy, which relies heavily on consumer spending, has suffered a deeper recession than any other European or North American country during the pandemic.

• The owners of gyms and health clubs in New York and New Jersey are suing to reopen their facilities, which both states have ordered to remain closed to avoid spreading the virus.

• The sheriff in Marion County, Fla., ordered his deputies not to wear masks while on duty, and he also barred visitors to his offices from wearing them.

Updated Aug 13, 2020, 8:32 AM E.T.
Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak
More than 20,626,300 people around the world have been infected
 with Covid-19; 5,208,773 of them are Americans. Here is the latest map/case count.

The number of daily tests conducted in the U.S. is only 45 percent of the level considered necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus. See how your state’s testing compares to others.
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 And 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.
8/13/20, 6:27:18 AM

"Such Cunning Disguise..."

"History repeats itself, but in such cunning disguise that 
we never detect the resemblance until the damage is done."
- Sydney J. Harris

"Economic Fantasy Update AM 8/13/20"

"Economic Fantasy Update AM 8/13/20"
Chronicling the most enormous fraud and theft in human history,
down the rabbit hole of psychopathic greed and insanity...
Deceptive resemblances to reality by these arch-criminals are total lies.
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

Gregory Mannarino, AM 8/13/20:
Updates: Stocks, Gold, Silver, Bitcoin, More
MarketWatch Market Summary, Live Updates
CNN Market Data:

CNN Fear And Greed Index:
Latest Market Analysis, Updated 8/13/20
A comprehensive, essential daily read.
Aug 12th to Aug 14th
Daily Job Cuts

Commentary, highly recommended:
And now, the End Game...