Thursday, November 30, 2017

Musical Interlude: Ludovico Einaudi, “Lady Labyrinth” & “Nightbook”

Ludovico Einaudi, “Lady Labyrinth” & “Nightbook”

"Ten Rules For Being Human"

 "Ten Rules For Being Human"
by Cherie Carter-Scott

Rule One:
You will receive a body. You may love it or hate it, 

but it will be yours for the duration of your life on Earth.

Rule Two:
You will be presented with lessons. 

You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called 'life.'
Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. 

You may like the lessons or hate them, 
but you have designed them as part of your curriculum.

Rule Three:
There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of experimentation,
a series of trials, errors, and occasional victories. The failed experiments
are as much a part of the process as the experiments that work.

Rule Four:
A lesson is repeated until learned. Lessons will be repeated to you in various
forms until you have learned them. When you have learned them,
you can then go on to the next lesson.

Rule Five:
Learning does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain lessons.
If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

Rule Six:
'There' is no better than 'here'. When your 'there' has become a 'here,' you will
simply obtain a 'there' that will look better to you than your present 'here'.

Rule Seven:
Others are only mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another
person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

Rule Eight:
What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need.
What you do with them is up to you.

Rule Nine:
Your answers lie inside of you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

Rule Ten:
You will forget all of this at birth. You can remember it if you want by
 unravelling the double helix of inner knowing.

- Cherie Carter-Scott,
From "If Life is a Game, These are the Rules"

"I Learned This, At Least..."

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
- Henry David Thoreau

“Epidemic Of Hunger: Report Says 49 Million Americans Are Dealing With Food Insecurity”

“Epidemic Of Hunger: 
Report Says 49 Million Americans Are Dealing With Food Insecurity”
by Michael Snyder

“If the economy really is "getting better", then why are nearly 50 million Americans dealing with food insecurity? In 1854, Henry David Thoreau observed that "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation". The same could be said of our time. In America today, most people are quietly scratching and clawing their way from month to month. Nine of the top ten occupations in the U.S. pay an average wage of less than $35,000 a year, but those that actually are working are better off than the millions upon millions of Americans that can't find jobs. The level of employment in this nation has remained fairly level since the end of the last recession, and median household income has gone down for five years in a row. Meanwhile, our bills just keep going up and the cost of food is starting to rise at a very frightening pace. Family budgets are being squeezed tighter and tighter, and more families are falling out of the middle class every single day. In fact, a report by Feeding America (which operates the largest network of food banks in the country) says that 49 million Americans are "food insecure" at this point. Approximately 16 million of them are children. It is a silent epidemic of hunger that those living in the wealthy areas of the country don't hear much about. But it is very real.

The mainstream media and our politicians continue to insist that "things are getting better", and that may be true for Wall Street, but the man who was in charge of the new Feeding America report says that the level of suffering for the tens of millions of Americans that are food insecure has not changed: “Nothing is getting better,” said Craig Gundersen, lead researcher of the report, “Map the Meal Gap”, and an expert in food insecurity and food aid programs. “Let’s stop talking about the end of the Great Recession until we can make sure that we get food insecurity rates down to a more reasonable level,” he added. “We’re still in the throes of the Great Recession, from my perspective.” In fact, a different report seems to indicate that hunger in America is actually getting worse:

"Children's HealthWatch, a network of doctors and public health researchers who collect data on children up to 4 years old, says 29% of the households they track were at risk of hunger last year, compared with 25% the year before. If someone tries to tell you that "the economy is getting better", that person is probably living in a wealthy neighborhood. Because those that live in poor neighborhoods would not describe what is going around them as an "improvement".

In particular, many minority neighborhoods are really dealing with extremely high levels of food insecurity right now. The following comes from an NBC News article: "Minorities are facing serious hunger issues. Ninety-three percent of counties with a majority African-American population fall within the top 10 percent of food-insecure counties, while 60 percent of majority American Indian counties fall in that category." But if you don't live in one of those areas and you don't know anyone that is facing food insecurity, it can be difficult to grasp just how much people are actually suffering out there right now.

For example, consider the story of a young mother named Tianna Gaines Turner: Tianna Gaines Turner can't remember the last time she went to bed without worrying about how she was going to feed her three children. She can't remember the last time she woke up and wasn't worried about how she and her husband would make enough in their part-time jobs to buy groceries and pay utilities on their apartment in a working-class section of Philadelphia. And she can't remember the last time she felt confident she and her husband wouldn't have to skip meals so their children could eat.

Have you ever been in a position where you had to skip meals just so that other family members could have something to eat? I haven't, so it is hard for me to imagine having to do such a thing. But there are millions of parents that are faced with these kinds of hard choices every day.

Things can be particularly hard if you are a single parent. Just consider the story of Jamie Grimes: After Jaime Grimes found out in January that her monthly food stamps would be cut again, this time by $40, the single mother of four broke down into sobs - then she took action. The former high school teacher made a plan to stretch her family’s meager food stores even further. She used oatmeal and ground beans as filler in meatloaf and tacos. She watered down juice and low-fat milk to make it last longer. And she limited herself to one meal a day so her kids - ages 3, 4, 13, and 16 - would have enough to eat.

I have such admiration for working single mothers. Many of them work more than one job just so that they can provide for their children. It can be absolutely frustrating to work as hard as you possibly can and still not have enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month.

Those that believe that the economy has gotten "back to normal" just need to look at the number of women that have been forced to turn to government assistance.  As I mentioned the other day, a decade ago the number of American women that had jobs outnumbered the number of American women on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin. But now the number of American women on food stamps actually exceeds the number of American women that have jobs.

The truth is that we are nowhere close to where we used to be. The last major economic downturn permanently damaged the middle class, and now the next major economic downturn is rapidly approaching. Right now, there are nearly 50 million Americans that are facing food insecurity. When the next economic crisis strikes, that number is going to go much higher.”
Millions, including at least 16 million children, go to bed every night hungry in the glorious land of the free and the home of the brave. But we do this? We are a disgrace!

"Senate Passes $700 Billion Defense Policy Bill,
 Backing Trump Call For Steep Increase in Military Spending"

"The Internecine Deep State Conflict Moves to Stage Two"

"The Internecine Deep State Conflict Moves to Stage Two"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"It now seems evident that the Neoliberal Camp of the U.S. Deep State is highly vulnerable on an individual basis. I tend to notice things like a year-old blog entry suddenly getting thousands of page views. The essay that received a surge of recent interest: "Is the Deep State at War - With Itself?" (December 13, 2016). Please view that article, as nothing has emerged to change the conclusions.

That in itself reveals that the internecine war within America's Deep State is if anything heating up as those attempting to hang a "Russian collusion" narrative on their Deep State opponents have failed to produce any proof of this collusion despite a year of effort.

Then all of a sudden big political donor Harvey Weinstein gets taken down for behaviors that have been well-known within the circles of power for 20+ years. So what changed? Why did Mr. Weinstein's protective wall suddenly fail after serving him so effectively for decades? But Mr. Weinstein was only the first to fall. Now high-profile figures across the mainstream media are toppling like dominoes. Doesn't it seem a bit peculiar that all these Protected Privileged are suddenly being exposed, disgraced and removed from positions of influence and power?

Maybe it's just random coincidence, but I doubt it. It has the scent of an intentional covert campaign. It's well known that the mainstream media and Hollywood has been in bed with the security agencies for decades, and so it seems non-random that suddenly all these big-shots have lost their Protected Privileged Status more or less at once.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it looks like those who played on the losing side's team (or cheered from the sidelines) just had their privileges revoked.

Were we to speculate on the meaning of this first-sweep of the media: how about a campaign to strip the failed narrative of its media supporters? Now that everyone sees the lay of the land, the Second Stage will be to collect all the dirty laundry that's been hidden away out of fear, and then methodically expose, disgrace and remove the next layer of media/entertainment supporters of the failed narrative.

Stage Three will be to collect and release the same sort of evidence against the political class. We can discern evidence for this campaign in the number of candidates who suddenly declare they won't be running for re-election for personal reasons, or to "move on to other projects," etc.

As this campaign moves up the wealth-power pyramid, we'll see more big shots resigning or retiring. Those that resist will find all their dirty laundry is suddenly being made public.

Isn't it interesting that PBS and the rest of the mainstream media went all out to support Hillary Clinton's recent media campaign to revive the "Russian collusion" narrative via her new book, yet the campaign fell flat with the American public? This is remarkable: a highly coordinated, massive media campaign failed to re-energize the "Russian collusion" narrative, and may have actually backfired by drawing renewed interest in Russian dealings with the Clinton Foundation during Hillary's term as Secretary of State.

I hesitate to draw a military analogy, but it certainly feels like a replay of the Battle of Midway, in which an over-confident Japanese Imperial Navy was poised to declare victory until the cream of its fleet, four aircraft carriers, were sunk or disabled in the space of a few moments by U.S. Navy dive bombers.

The grand attack that was supposed to reverse these catastrophic losses - Hillary's book and accompanying media blitz - fizzled, and that failure clearly eroded the defenses of those who supported this counter-attack by the demoralized but still powerful Neoliberal Camp of the Deep State.

It now seems evident that the Neoliberal Camp of the U.S. Deep State is highly vulnerable on an individual basis: all too many over-confident big-wigs appear to have counted a bit too much on their Protected Privileged Status being permanent. Collectively, they appear to have forgotten, perhaps as a result of their titanic hubris, that only the paranoid survive.

Various cliques within the 3-Letter Agencies are frantically trying to protect their satraps and benefactors, but the tide has turned and all the threats and pay-offs that defended the Protected Privileged so effectively for decades are no longer working. Now the Protected Privileged are running scared, as well they should, for the opposing camp within the 3-Letter Agencies has all the dirty laundry it needs to bring down the Neoliberal Camp, one disgraced big-shot at a time.

The way of the Tao is reversal.”

X22 Report Spotlight, “Prepare Yourself: Your Way Of Life In The US Is About To Change”

X22 Report Spotlight, 
“Prepare Yourself: Your Way Of Life In The US Is About To Change”

“Five Charts That Show We Are on the Brink of an Unthinkable Financial Crisis”

"The Return of American Hunger"

"Food Insecurity in The United States"

X22 Report, “It's About To Get A Lot Worse For Retail, The Economy Will Decline Rapidly In 2018”

X22 Report, “It's About To Get A Lot Worse For Retail, 
The Economy Will Decline Rapidly In 2018” 
Related followup report:
X22 Report, “The Cabal Is Firing Everything They Have, The End Is Approaching”

Musical Interlude: Liquid Mind, “Night Light”

Liquid Mind, “Night Light” 

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Namibia has some of the darkest nights visible from any continent. It is therefore home to some of the more spectacular skyscapes, a few of which have been captured in the below time-lapse video. We recommend watching this video at FULL SCREEN (1080p), with audio on. The night sky of Namibia is one of the best in the world, about the same quality of the deserts of Chile and Australia. 
Visible at the movie start are unusual quiver trees perched before a deep starfield highlighted by the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. This bright band of stars and gas appears to pivot around the celestial south pole as our Earth rotates. The remains of camel thorn trees are then seen against a sky that includes a fuzzy patch on the far right that is the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy to the Milky Way. A bright sunlight-reflecting satellite passes quickly overhead. Quiver trees appear again, now showing their unusual trunks, while the Small Magellanic Cloud becomes clearly visible in the background. Artificial lights illuminate a mist that surround camel thorn trees in Deadvlei. In the final sequence, natural Namibian stone arches are captured against the advancing shadows of the setting moon. This video incorporates over 16,000 images shot over two years, and won top honors among the 2012 Travel Photographer of the Year awards.”

Paulo Coelho, "The Good Fight"

"The Good Fight"
by Paulo Coelho

"In 1986, I went for the first and only time on the pilgrimage known as the Way to Santiago, an experience I described in my first book. We had just finished walking up a small hill, a village appeared on the horizon, and it was then that my guide, whom I shall call Petrus (although that was not his name), said to me: "We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body. Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered and our desires frustrated, but we have to continue dreaming. If we don’t, our soul dies.

The Good Fight is the one we fight because our heart asks it of us. The Good Fight is the one that’s fought in the name of our dreams. When we are young our dreams first explode inside us with all of their force, we are very courageous, but we haven’t yet learned how to fight. With great effort, we learn how to fight, but by then we no longer have the courage to go into combat. So we turn against ourselves and do battle within. We become our own worst enemy. We say that our dreams were childish, or too difficult to realize, or the result or our not having known enough about life. We kill our dreams because we are afraid to Fight the Good Fight.

The first symptom of the process of killing our dreams is lack of time. The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short. The truth is, they are afraid to Fight the Good Fight…

The second symptom of the death of our dreams lies in our certainties. Because we don’t want to see life as a grand adventure, we begin to think of ourselves as wise and fair and correct in asking so little of life. We look beyond the walls of our day-to-day existence, and we hear the sound of lances breaking, we smell the dust and the sweat, and we see the great defeats and the fire in the eyes of the warriors. But we never see the delight, the immense delight in the hearts of those engaged in the battle. For them, neither victory nor defeat is important; what’s important is only that they are Fighting the Good Fight.

And, finally, the third symptom of the passing of our dreams is peace. Life becomes a Sunday afternoon; we ask for nothing grand, and we cease to demand anything more than we are willing to give. In that state we think of ourselves as being mature; we put aside the fantasies of our youth, and we seek personal and professional achievement. We are surprised when people our age say that they still want this or that out of life. But really, deep in our hearts, we know that what has happened is that we have renounced the battle for our dreams- we have refused to Fight the Good Fight.

When we renounce our dreams and find peace, we go through a period of tranquility. But the dead dreams begin to rot within us and to infect our entire being. We become cruel to those around us, and then we begin to direct this cruelty against ourselves. What we sought to avoid in combat- disappointment and defeat- came upon us because of our cowardice. And one day, the dead, spoiled dreams make it difficult to breath, and we actually seek death. It’s death that frees us from our certainties, from our work, and from that terrible peace of Sunday afternoons."

"The Future..."

"We do not rest satisfied with the present. We anticipate the future as too slow in coming, as if in order to hasten its course; or we recall the past, to stop its too rapid flight. So imprudent are we that we wander in the times which are not ours, and do not think of the only one which belongs to us; and so idle are we that we dream of those times which are no more, and thoughtlessly overlook that which alone exists. For the present is generally painful to us. We conceal it from our sight, because it troubles us; and if it be delightful to us, we regret to see it pass away. We try to sustain it by the future, and think of arranging matters which are not in our power, for a time which we have no certainty of reaching. Let each one examine his thoughts, and he will find them all occupied with the past and the future. We scarcely ever think of the present; and if we think of it, it is only to take light from it to arrange the future. The present is never our end. The past and the present are our means; the future alone is our end. So we never live, but we hope to live; and, as we are always preparing to be happy, it is inevitable we should never be so."
- Blaise Pascal

The Poet: Langston Hughes, "Dreams"


"Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow."

- Langston Hughes

"Consider The Following..."

"Consider the following. We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others' actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others' activities. For this reason it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.

Nor is it so remarkable that our greatest joy should come when we are motivated by concern for others. But that is not all. We find that not only do altruistic actions bring about happiness but they also lessen our experience of suffering. Here I am not suggesting that the individual whose actions are motivated by the wish to bring others' happiness necessarily meets with less misfortune than the one who does not. Sickness, old age, mishaps of one sort or another are the same for us all. But the sufferings which undermine our internal peace- anxiety, doubt, disappointment- these things are definitely less. In our concern for others, we worry less about ourselves. When we worry less about ourselves an experience of our own suffering is less intense.

What does this tell us? Firstly, because our every action has a universal dimension, a potential impact on others' happiness, ethics are necessary as a means to ensure that we do not harm others. Secondly, it tells us that genuine happiness consists in those spiritual qualities of love, compassion, patience, tolerance and forgiveness and so on. For it is these which provide both for our happiness and others' happiness. A good motivation is what is needed: compassion without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their human rights and dignities. That we humans can help each other is one of our unique human capacities"
- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Chet Raymo, “Then To The Elements Be Free”

“Then To The Elements Be Free”
by Chet Raymo

“Be cheerful, Sir.
Our revels are now ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on: and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”

“Surely one of the most beautiful passages in all of dramatic literature, these lines of Prospero in Shakespeare's "Tempest." They have a particular resonance with me because I was once involved in staging the "insubstantial pageant" and playing a part- Ariel, that tricksy spirit.

And now the actual pageant fades. The actors- friends and contemporaries- are melting into thin air. Hardy a week goes by that word does not come of another acquaintance slipping away. A sadness, yes. But Prospero whispers, "Be cheerful, Sir." And then those tender lines, so sweet and reassuring: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little lives are rounded with a sleep."

The sea. The air. The teeming creatures. Of dust and sunlight we are conjured up. A dream, each one of us, brief and fleeting and beautiful. Like flowers, like mayflies, like the Sun itself, we flourish and fade. No pageant without us. No cloud-capp'd towers, palaces or temples. We are the dream of the Earth. In us the Earth become self-aware, the universe becomes conscious.”

The Daily "Near You?"

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

"Life, eh?"

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

"Absolute, Obvious, Unacknowledged Disaster: A Racial Snapshot of America"

A Comment: Mr. Reed's opinions are of course his own, agree or disagree as you will. Race, like religion, is not discussed on this blog to prevent the inevitable comment wars and chaos. There's zero tolerance for racial or religious bigotry here. But as Mr. Reed says, "But these are things we must never think, never ask." View this article as I do, food for thought. Then... think.
- CP

"Absolute, Obvious, Unacknowledged Disaster: 
A Racial Snapshot of America"
by Fred Reed

"Let us look into the abyss. It will do no good. First, another page in the sordid comic book of American race relations. In Beijing, three black basketball players from UCLA were arrested for shoplifting. They faced jail time. Ten years, actually. The theft was so stupid that it demands explanation. It was too stupid for stupidity to be responsible. They did not need to steal. They were  pampered babies of semi-pro basketball, infinitely privileged. They are not expected to meet academic standards, to study, or be able to read. Something other than conventional stupidity must be involved. Is it that blacks, as various psychologists have said, lack impulse control, cannot readily envision the future? I don’t know. It fits, though.

There is a curious pattern here. Scoreboard Baby is a book tracking the careers of black football players at the University of Washington. UW is a big-time football school and these players were on track  to be millionaires in the NFL. Yet their record in the university is one of rape, armed robbery, assault, wife-beating, endlessly repeated drunk driving, drug use, and parole violation.  Criminality is understandable: You want those tennis shoes, or your life is so screwed up that you just don’t give a damn. These guys, with everything going for them, apparently could not control themselves even in their own interest.

But, back to the basketball players: As they awaited a decade in a Chinese slam, Donald Trump - drum roll, trumpets - drops from the sky like a thunderbolt, weaning a red, white, and blue cape. He  intervenes to save three two-bit semi-literate boosters. The President of the United States acting like a starveling PD, public defender, the bottom-rung lawyers who hang around court houses in cheap suits to keep bottom-feeding crooks on the street. Possibly I was wrong about the manner of Mr. Trump’s arrival. Anyway, I am thinking that when he leaves office, he could start a firm, Shoplifters Redemption International and get federal outreach money.

OK, next. Baltimore has passed three hundred murders for the year. The figure is so astonishing that one almost begins to see it as like a batting average: Can they make it to four hundred? Are we doing better than last year?

You will probably have assumed that the killers were Chinese math majors from Johns Hopkins. Right? You racist dog.

In response to its Bizarro world chaos, the black government of Ballmer tears down Confederate statues. Yes. These cause crime. The correlation is undeniable: Japan has no Confederate statues, and no crime. See?

These offensive sculptures commemorate a war that Baltimore’s cadavers, strewn about like flower  petals in autumn, couldn’t spell. Do you doubt this? Go into the schools of Baltimore and see how many can spell “Confederate.” Which brings us to:

Next: Another Baltimorean triumph: Fox News: “Project Baltimore  analyzed 2017 state testing data and found one-third of High Schools in Baltimore, last year, had zero students proficient in math.”  In six other high schools, only 1 percent tested proficient in math.  Only 15 percent of Baltimore students passed the state’s English test.  Bear in mind that the  schools, and their policies, are entirely under control of a black government. 

It is hard to decide whether these revelations are astonishing or boring. Accustomed to such numbers by long exposure, we forget that  scholastic catastrophe of this magnitude would be unthinkable in any other civilized society. Can you imagine a Baltimore in Japan? Finland? South Korea? Germany before African immigration? Ah, but Baltimore is getting rid of those oppressive statues. That will fix things.

Absolute, obvious, unacknowledged disaster.

Next: More advances in the homicide competition: Chicago, the City that Works, has hit six hundred dead! Zingo! Those pikers in Ballmer don’t have a chance. There is good news, of a sort. There have been 2045 shootings in Chicago to the end of October. This comes to 3.41 attempts per murder. Oh blessed inaccuracy. In poor marksmanship lies our hope. 

Chicago’s educational statistics do not differ markedly from those of Baltimore, Detroit, Newark, or New Orleans. All of these cities turn out young blacks who will have no chance at all in a techno-industrial society. Reckon this happens in Beijing?

Absolute, obvious, unacknowledged disaster.

And hopeless. Even if we believed that better schools would help, a proposition for winch there is no evidence, or earlier intervention, perhaps in the womb, or special tutoring, or tweaks to self-esteem, even free Air Jordans, it would take twelve years to have effect - the length of a high-school education. Politicians do not look beyond the next election.

Anyway, there is no point in talking about education. Blacks lack interest. Have you ever heard of a black school telling mothers - there apparently are no fathers in what seems to have become a sprawling parthenogenetic ecosystem - to help their kids with their homework? Of black Boards of Education asking for thicker textbooks with bigger words and smaller pictures? It is semi-illiteracy by choice. We are doomed.

Absolute, obvious, unacknowledged disaster.

Next. The war goes on. We have black football players refusing to stand for the national anthem. They think that young black males are being hunted down by cops. Actually of  course black males are hunting each other down in droves but black football players apparently have no objection to this. They do not themselves convincingly suffer discrimination. Where else can you get paid six million green ones a year for grabbing something and running? Maybe in a district of jewelers.

The non-standing is racial hostility to whites.The large drop in attendance of games, of television viewership, is racial blowback by whites. Millions of whites are thinking, that, if America doesn’t suit them, football players can afford a ticket to Kenya. While this line of reasoning is tempting, it doesn’t really address the problem and so would be a waste of time.

But what, really, is the problem? It is one that dare not raise its head: that blacks cannot compete with whites, Asians, or Latin-Americans. Is there counter-evidence? This leaves them in an incurable state of resentment and thus hostility. I think we all know this: Blacks know it, whites know it, liberals know it, and conservatives know it. If any doubt this, the truth would be easy enough to determine with carefully done tests. The furious resistance to the very idea of measuring intelligence suggests awareness of the likely outcome. You don’t avoid a test if you expect good results.

So we do nothing while things worsen and the world looks on astounded. We have mob attacks by Black Lives Matter, the never-ending Knockout Game, flash mobs looting stores and subway trains, occasional burning cities, and we do nothing. Which makes sense, because there is nothing to be done short of restructuring the country. 

Absolute, obvious, unacknowledged disaster.

Regarding which: Do we really want, any of us, what we are doing? In particular, has anyone asked ordinary blacks, not black pols and race hustlers, “Do you really want to live among whites, or would you prefer a safe middle-class black neighborhood? Do your kids want to go to school with whites? If so, why? Do you want them to? Why? Would you prefer black schools to decide what and how to teach your children? Keeping whites out of it? Would you prefer having only black police in your neighborhood?”

And the big one: “Do you, and the people you actually know in your neighborhood, really want integration? Or is it something imposed on you by oreo pols and white ideologues?”

But these are things we must never think, never ask.

It isn’t working. Absolute, obvious, unacknowledged disaster.”

"Only Two Things..."

"Consumer Debt Roulette: Debt Is Up $605 Billion BEFORE $682 Billion Is Spent on Christmas"

"Consumer Debt Roulette: 
Debt Is Up $605 Billion BEFORE $682 Billion Is Spent on Christmas"
by Daisy Luther

"The last time American consumer debt was this high was.. well…NEVER. But now, it seems we are engaged in a high stakes game of consumer debt roulette. And the House is the only one who will win this game. Last summer, it was reported that people owed more on loans, credit cards, and payment plans than ever in history. The country surpassed the spike that led to the crash of 2008 back in March when debt reached a mind-boggling $12.73 trillion in the first quarter of the year. Here’s the breakdown, via ZeroHedge:

Total household indebtedness stood at $12.73 trillion as of March 31, 2017. This increase put overall household debt $50 billion above its previous peak set in the third quarter of 2008 and 14.1 percent above the trough set in the second quarter of 2013.
Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, reached $8.63 trillion as of March 31, a $147 billion uptick from the fourth quarter of 2016.
Balances on home equity lines of credit fell slightly in the first quarter, down $17 billion to $456 billion.
Non-housing debt saw mixed changes—an increase of $10 billion in auto loans and $34 billion in student loan balances, and a $15 billion drop in credit card balances.
And we have exceeded the terrible record even more. This year, the debt for American households has grown by 605 billion dollars. THIS YEAR.  That is on top of the insane numbers mentioned earlier.

And it’s causing serious issues. From extended lines of cash-strapped consumers at New York food pantries to a rise in mental health problems, the latest New York quarterly Fed data paints a dire picture: US household debt has grown by $605 billion in the past 12 months, with $116 billion, or nearly 1 percent, hitting in the latest quarter. Debt is mushrooming everywhere — on mortgages, student loans, auto loans. Credit card debt, meanwhile, has jumped by 3.1 percent in the latest quarter. (source)

You’d think that people would suddenly begin to worry that their debts were outstripping their income, but you’d be wrong. It hasn’t slowed down Christmas shoppers one bit. Let’s delve into some crazy statistics about the money spent this past weekend. Don’t let the word “statistics” make your eyes glaze over – you’ll want to read this.

Picture everyone sitting around after turkey dinner in front of the game ignoring each other and shopping on their phones. That’s a pretty accurate picture when you learn that online sales on Thanksgiving day hit $2.9 billion.

Mobile accounted for 61% of all website traffic on Thanksgiving Day, Adobe reported. Shoppers placed 51% more orders on smartphones than last year, according to a Salesforce report emailed to Retail Dive (source)

Isn’t family togetherness wonderful?

Of course, that was only the beginning. At the peak of Black Friday madness, it wasn’t just the brawls over bath towels and toy cars that was jaw-dropping. People spent ONE MILLION DOLLARS A MINUTE shopping at retail outlets and online.

To sum it up, starting out on Thanksgiving Day and continuing through Black Friday all the way to Cyber Monday, shoppers shopped. And they shopped BIG. 70% of Americans shopped over the holiday weekend, spending an average of $335 per person. Let’s break that down a little.

The 174 million Americans who shopped between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday spent an average of $335 per person during that five-day period, the trade group said. The biggest spenders, millennials aged 24 to 35, paid out an average of $419.52 per person. (source)

But it won’t stop there. The eerily accurate National Retail Federation predicts that, despite our record high consumer debt, we’ll still see up to 4% higher spending this year over last year’s insanely high numbers. "The National Retail Federation announced today that it expects holiday retail sales in November and December – excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion, up from $655.8 billion last year." (source)

People are planning to spend an average of nearly a thousand dollars PER ADULT – not household. The exact number that one survey shows is $983, which is up dramatically from a more reasonable $417 back in 2000. (I must be stuck in the year 2000 because I can’t fathom spending much more than that. If that. Here’s some info on how WE do budgets.)

And guess how they plan to pay for it all. You guessed it already. With more consumer debt. Credit cards are the most popular form of payment this year, used by 40 percent of shoppers, up from 39 percent last year. That’s tied with debit cards, which will also be used by 40 percent, the same as last year; 18 percent plan to pay with cash and 2 percent will use checks. Of emerging payment methods, PayPal will be used by 36 percent, Apple Pay by 7 percent, Samsung Pay and Google Wallet by 4 percent each and Venmo by 3 percent. (source)

So that debt I mentioned above? The 605 billion dollars extra in American consumer debt this year? That was only year-to-date. We could be adding roughly another 271.5 billion dollars to that debt.


When we already personally owe $605,000,000,000.

Everyone likes to blame the bankers for the crash in 2008 that sent us spiraling into a recession but in reality, it was caused by consumer debt. No one is forcing us to max out our credit cards or buy houses we can barely afford. But in 2008, banks pushed up the cost of homes and loaned out tons of money to people who really didn’t qualify. Then, unsurprisingly, they couldn’t make their mortgage payments.

Lending large sums of money into the property market pushes up the price of houses along with the level of personal debt. Interest has to be paid on all the loans that banks make, and with the debt rising quicker than incomes, eventually some people become unable to keep up with repayments. At this point, they stop repaying their loans, and banks find themselves in danger of going bankrupt. (source)

Here’s another explanation of the scenario from 2008. For almost a decade now, since 2007, we have been living a lie. And that lie is preparing to wreak havoc on our economy… The lie I am referring to is the idea that the financial crisis of 2008, and subsequent “Great Recession,” were caused by profligate government spending and subsequent public debt. The exact opposite is in fact the case. The crash happened because of dangerously high levels of private debt (a mortgage crisis specifically). And – this is the part we are not supposed to talk about—there is an inverse relation between public and private debt levels.

If the public sector reduces its debt, overall private sector debt goes up. That’s what happened in the years leading up to 2008. Now austerity is making it happening again. And if we don’t do something about it, the results will, inevitably, be another catastrophe. (sourceClearly, this is unsustainable but people are blithely ignoring it.

Americans are in trouble. Currently, the issue that could be the head domino that starts the chain reaction of all the others falling is the sub-prime auto loan industry. We could see exactly the same situation we saw in 2008 when people begin defaulting on car loans they should never have gotten. Analysts have been warning for years that subprime car loans pose a threat to lenders as delinquency rates have edged higher since reaching a post-recession low in 2012. But it wasn’t until last quarter that the least creditworthy borrowers started to show the kinds of late payment profiles that accompanied the start of the financial crisis.

 “We’re seeing an increase in delinquencies across all credit scores, but in the highest credit quality, it’s just a basis point or two,” Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts said in an email Tuesday. “In deep subprime, the rise is more substantial. What stood out to me was the issuers. Those that have been doing this for a decade or more were showing the ‘better’ performance, while those that were relative newcomers were in the ‘worse’ category.”

“As soon as lenders (and the investors behind them) get overconfident that they have better models and can make excess profits by disrespecting credit risk, they always get their hats handed to them sooner or later,” Cutts said. “The mortgage market learned this lesson at the expense of the entire global financial system, and it is playing out now in a micro-level, in the ABS market for subprime auto loans.” (source)

But we have the student loan crisis, the mind-blowing amounts of credit card debt (more than a trillion dollars), the ever-growing cost of living and stagnant wages. Add rising healthcare coverage costs that can cost more than all your other living expenses put together (plus a pending 37% increase in 2018) and at some point not too far away, a crash is inevitable.

There is only one way to survive the consumer debt crisis. You just have to refuse to participate. The solution has to be undertaken personally. You can’t expect the government or the bankers to do what is right – that’s who got us into this mess in the first place.

Resolve now to lower your monthly expenses, get rid of your debt as fast as you can, and learn to live within (or better yet, beneath) your means. There are many variables out of your control, like healthcare costs, inflation, and the job market, but you can absolutely control your spending and your debt level. I have done this myself and I can help you to do the same.(Go here for more information)

You can keep your holiday spending back in the year 2000 and you can resolve not to play consumer debt roulette. You can’t do anything about the rest of the country’s poor spending habits, but you can make yourself more recession-proof.”
"US Household Debt Is Rising 60% Faster Than Wages, 
And One Rating Agency Is Worried"

Oh, don't stop now...