Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"How Stress Makes You Sick, and Easier to Control"

"How Stress Makes You Sick, and Easier to Control"
by The Daily Bell

"Stress will kill you. Most people know this intuitively. Stress weakens your immune system. Stress allows your body to be more easily controlled by pathogens. A recent study compared two sets of mice. One set had a certain stress receptor cell, and one set did not. Normal mice exposed to stress had a higher rate of disease than mice exposed to stress who lacked the stress receptor cell. This held true for both psychological and physiological stress.

Mental and physical stress caused the same harmful reaction in the cells and led to disease. The cells trigger allergic reactions which cause inflammation. This can lead to heart disease, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and lupus. But it also weakens the immune system’s ability to fight off things like common colds and flu.

Think about it. Don’t you always seem to get sick at the worst time? You have a big meeting, presentation, or event coming up. Maybe you are getting ready for a vacation, stressed about flying, traveling, or making sure you get everything done before leaving. Psychological stress makes it easier for germs and viruses to harm you, to control your cells in the way that benefits them.

The Government is a Virus: Viruses take over a cell and use it to replicate themselves. They cannot reproduce on their own without infecting and taking over a host cell. The government does the same thing. It cannot fund itself. It has to take over productive businesses, and generate “revenue” based on taxation. The more a government infects a society the sicker it gets, the harder it is to fight off the disease. Venezuela’s virus is killing itEstonia’s virus is manageable, perhaps even trending towards a cure!

The government induces stress in you by design. The mainstream media helps them. Your infected peers help them. When you’re stressed about terrorism, the government wants more power in the name of security, and the virus grows. When you’re stressed about poverty, the government wants more power in the name of equality, and the virus grows.

When you’re stressed about the environment, healthcare, immigration, and the economy, that opens up vast opportunities for the government to insert and grow itself, at your expense. The government embeds itself based on the amount of stress, taking advantage of fear and weakness to take hold.

Being stressed about government overreach does the same. And there is a difference between being concerned and stressed. We should absolutely be concerned about government oppression. But to let it add stress to our daily lives actually increases their control over us. It gives them the opportunity to play into our fears when they control online discourse. It helps them paralyze us with inaction by making resistance seem futile.

Strategy for Health is the Same: The best solution is to find ways to control your own mind and reduce stress levels internally. Germs and viruses exist, there is nothing you can do about that. Yes, you can wash your hands, clean the house, and avoid sick people. That helps. But stress gives the virus the opportunity to attack, and embed itself in your cells.

Government exists, there is nothing immediate that you can do about that. You can strategize to legally reduce the tax bill and you can avoid the most oppressive jurisdictions. That helps. But the government’s psychological tricks give them the opportunity to get inside you and take control.

First and foremost, you’ve got to get rid of the stress that the government depends on. This doesn’t mean ignore all the typical ways to stay healthy. I don’t run out and get antibiotics for a cold because I am concerned about drug-resistant bacteria. And some responses to the government only feed the problem. I also don’t lock myself in a bubble to avoid any contact with germs. Avoiding all government is equally impossible. To attempt it would place me in a bubble and prevent me from experiencing things about the world that I enjoy.

So yes, I am going to wash my hands, avoid government when I can, eat antiviral and antibacterial food, and continue my efforts to fight against the worst government abuses. But I am also going to take a deep breath, calm my mind, and let the stress melt away. If there is one thing I refuse to allow the government to infect, it is my mind.”

Musical Interlude: James Taylor, "You Can Close Your Eyes"

James Taylor, "You Can Close Your Eyes"

X22 Report, “Everything Is In Motion, The Agenda Has Been Set”

X22 Report, “Everything Is In Motion, The Agenda Has Been Set”
Related followup report:
X22 Report, “Deep State Strikes Back And Sends A Clear Message, What's Next”

"The Gods Send Trump a Message"

"The Gods Send Trump a Message"
by Brian Maher

"The gods’ sense of humor is vastly under-appreciated... For the past year President Trump has shimmied and crooned about the roaring stock market. He has made America Great Again… and the stock market has made America Rich Again.

Sample quote, dated Jan. 5, 2018: "Dow goes from 18,589 on November 9, 2016, to 25,075 today, for a new all-time Record. Jumped 1000 points in last 5 weeks, Record fastest 1000 point move in history. This is all about the Make America Great Again agenda."

But Mr. Trump fails to appreciate the capricious nature of gods. Just as the president was warming for his first State of the Union address, they hatched a plan, went to work, and sent the stock market crashing with a mighty thud. The Dow tumbled 177 points Monday. Then yesterday, the president’s big day, it plummeted 362 points. It was the market’s worst day in eight months.

Taken together, Monday and Tuesday witnessed the Dow’s largest consecutive loss since June 2016 -when Britain voted for “Brexit.” Meantime, the VIX, Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” crested 14 yesterday - for the first time since August.  Against this tossing backdrop did the president address the nation last night...

We certainly took no pleasure in the business. But neither did we grieve for whatever money it cost us. We accept the nature of gods, and their Olympian capacity for mischief. Besides, it’s a dippy thing, when a president grabs too much credit for the stock market. The market that rises, we would remind the president, is also the market that falls. And the crowd that toasts him today is the mob that hauls him to the gallows tomorrow. (See the public near-hanging of the Hon. Herbert Clark Hoover, Nov. 8, 1932.)

But what implements of havoc did the gods employ this week? “The main catalysts for the steep drop this week,” USA Today informs us, “were investors opting to lock in profits after the big early-year rally and a sharp rise in long-term interest rates.” Many investors simply took their money and ran as January winds to an end.

And the sharp rise in long-term interest rates? “The yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped as high as 2.74% Tuesday, its highest level since April 22, 2014. Wall Street is worried that higher borrowing costs could slow economic growth.” Many experts believe a 3% yield on the 10-year Treasury is the proverbial line in the sand. At 2.74%... markets are beginning to notice (more on that in the days ahead).

Also, health care stocks fell 2.1% on the day, dragging the overall market lower. Why? Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan are evidently angling to create an independent company to reduce health care costs for employees. And reduced health care costs subtract from the industry’s bottom line.

But the larger question: Were the past two days a one-off bolt from Olympus… or the beginning of a tempest? A one-off bolt, say the experts: "I think this is your run-of-the-mill, brief pullback that's limited to 3–5%," says technical analyst Ari Wald of Oppenheimer. "We think the assumption is the bull market is intact and the pullbacks are a buying opportunity," he adds. Joseph Quinlan, chief market strategist at U.S. Trust, calls the last two days’ action a "much-needed midwinter pause after the lightning bolt-like performance of stocks" earlier this month. “In the scheme of things, it's nothing,” adds Mr. Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors.

Just so.

But what do the past two days mean for our “melt-up” theory? Regular readers know we believe stocks are entering the final dizzied stage, a delirium that could last six months to two years. Is our theory sunk? The two-day rout offers evidence that the market “is not in a melt-up or euphoric state,” says Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors. “Should we not have seen something like this,” adds Mr. Arone, “I would have been more concerned.”

A point to ponder of a winter evening… as we will. Markets returned to form today after last night’s presidential stemwinder. The Dow was up 73 reassured points. The S&P and Nasdaq both posted green. All is peace.

The gods have had their laugh… the stars are once again in their courses… and the president sits secure in his saddle. For now, at least. We caution that hubris has ultimately brought low even history’s greatest men. Remember, Mr. President: There but for the grace of gods go I..."

Musical Interlude: Chuck Wild, Liquid Mind, “When Time Slows (Born Star)”

Chuck Wild, Liquid Mind, “When Time Slows (Born Star)”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“The spiral arms of bright galaxy M106 sprawl through this remarkable multiframe portrait, composed of data from ground- and space-based telescopes. Also known as NGC 4258, M106 can be found toward the northern constellation Canes Venatici. The well-measured distance to M106 is 23.5 million light-years, making this cosmic scene about 80,000 light-years across. 
Click image for larger size.
Typical in grand spiral galaxies, dark dust lanes, youthful blue star clusters, and pinkish star forming regions trace spiral arms that converge on the bright nucleus of older yellowish stars. But this detailed composite reveals hints of two anomalous arms that don't align with the more familiar tracers. Seen here in red hues, sweeping filaments of glowing hydrogen gas seem to rise from the central region of M106, evidence of energetic jets of material blasting into the galaxy's disk. The jets are likely powered by matter falling into a massive central black hole.”


“Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.” 
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Poet: Langston Hughes, "Mother To Son"

"Mother To Son"

"Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair."

- Langston Hughes

Chet Raymo, “The Burden Of Thinking”

“The Burden Of Thinking”
by Chet Raymo

“Let me speak for gray. Not black or white. Good or evil. Truth or falsity. Yes or no. Let me speak for maybe. Sort of. More or less. I think so. I am reluctant to speak for gray for fear of being considered wishy-washy. Indecisive. Unprincipled. But lately it seems as if we are surrounded on every side by zealots, and it's not a pretty sight. We are surrounded by people who are so certain of their Truth that they are willing to strap bombs to their chests and walk into crowded pizza parlors. Or fly airplanes into towers. Or bomb abortion clinics. Or subvert American principles of civil liberties to fight those who have no principles of civil liberty. There's an ugly stridency in the air, too many people who are certain God is on their side. Too much certainty with a capital C. 

So why does the world look gray to me? After all, I was raised in a tradition of Absolute Truth. I was taught that infidels will burn in hell, at least those guilty of "culpable ignorance." "Armies of youth flying standards of Truth," we sang.

But I was studying science, too, and the history and philosophy of science. I discovered truth with a lower-case t. Evolving truth. I encountered people who held their most cherished beliefs to the refining fire of experience, and who changed their minds when their tentative truths failed the test. When a group of Englishmen established the first modern scientific society in the 17th century, they took as their motto, "Take no one's word." They believed the only reliable guide to truth was the evidence of the senses. And even the senses can be deceiving. Which is why they embraced the experimental method. Reproducibility. Observations that can be repeated by anyone, and that always give the same result. 

Many people think of science as a body of knowledge- the germ theory of disease, evolution by natural selection, Newton's laws of motion, that sort of thing. Well, yes, it is. But these things are tentatively held, with varying degrees of certainty. More fundamentally, science is a way of thinking. A way that rejects absolutes. Of course, one can't blow hither and yon on a sea of uncertainty. To be useful, any system of knowledge must be confident of itself. To do scientific work at all, one must start with firm convictions. But every good scientist must be radically open to marginal change, and marginally open to radical change. 

Black and white is easy. It relieves us of the burden of thinking, of learning, of experiencing the other. Gray is more difficult- but it's the planet's best hope for a civilized future.”

"Panic Grips U.S. Financial Markets As The Dow Falls 362 Points – Worst Drop In More Than A Year"

"Panic Grips U.S. Financial Markets As The Dow Falls 362 Points – 
Worst Drop In More Than A Year"
 By Michael Snyder

"It isn’t going to be a surprise when U.S. stock prices fall 50, 60 or 70 percent from where they are today. The only real surprise is that it took this long for it to happen. Even after falling 362 points on Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average is still ridiculously high. In fact, the only two times in our entire history when stocks have been this overvalued were right before the stock market crash of 1929 and right before the dotcom bubble burst. Not even before the financial crisis of 2008 were stock valuations as absurd as they are right now.

At one point on Tuesday, the Dow had declined by more than 400 points, and we have not seen this sort of panic in the stock market in a very long time. In fact, we have to go all the way back to June 24, 2016 to find the last time that the Dow fell by at least this much. The Dow has dropped by triple digits on back to back days for the first time since last April, and a lot of analysts are wondering what is coming next.

Of course most in the financial community have been waiting for some sort of a decline, because even mainstream analysts are openly admitting that what we have been witnessing is “not sustainable”… “We’ve had a unilateral move higher [in stocks] to start things off and people are realizing this is not sustainable,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. “You’re also seeing some cracks in the global story with interest rates rising.”

But where will things go from here? Some believe that this is just a bump in the road and that the markets still have room to grow. But others are warning that this “is not the time to take on more risk”… Howard Marks warned investors about investing more funds in the stock market at its current level. “We are living in a low return world, characterized by significant uncertainty,” Marks said on CNBC’s “Halftime Report” Tuesday. “This is not the time to take on more risk. Things have been going awful well for almost 10 years. That’s not the time to turn up the wick.”

And then there are the bears such as John Hussman that are warning that we are on the precipice of one of the worst stock market crashes in American history: "I expect the S&P 500 to lose approximately two-thirds of its value over the completion of this cycle. My impression is that future generations will look back on this moment and say “… and this is where they completely lost their minds.”

I agree with John Hussman’s assessment.  Stock prices would need to decline by at least 50 percent from current levels in order for stock valuations to get back to their long-term averages. And even though it may take a while, stock prices always return to their long-term averages.

Nothing about the long-term outlook has changed. I have been warning about a devastating stock market crash for a very long time, and I will continue to warn my readers about one. Because whether it happens next week, next month or next year, the reality of the matter is that all throughout our history stocks have always crashed after stock valuations have soared to these kinds of irrational levels."
"Fear & Greed Index"


The Daily "Near You?""

Truro, Cornwall, United Kingdom. Thanks for stopping by!

“Trying To Stay Sane In An Insane World”

“Trying To Stay Sane In An Insane World”
by Jim Quinn

“In America, the criminally insane rule and the rest of us,
or the vast majority of the rest of us, either do not care, do not know,
 or are distracted and properly brainwashed into acquiescence.”
 - Kurt Nimmo

"A sane person to an insane society must appear insane.” 
– Kurt Vonnegut, "Welcome to the Monkey House"

"I have to admit to being baffled by the aptitude of the Wall Street and K Street financial elite to keep their Ponzi scheme growing. I consider myself to be a rational, sane human being who understands math and bases his assessments upon facts and a sensible appraisal of the relevant information obtained from trustworthy sources. Of course, finding trustworthy sources is difficult when you live in a corrupt, crony-capitalist, fascist state, controlled by banking, corporate and military interests who retain absolute control over the mainstream media and governmental propaganda agencies. Those seeking truth must pursue it through the alternative media and seeking out unbiased critical thinkers who relentlessly abide by what the facts expose. This is no time for wishful thinking, delusions and fantasies. In the end, the facts are all that matter. As Heinlein noted decades ago, the future is uncertain so facts are essential in navigating a course that doesn’t lead you to ruin upon the shoals of ignorance.

“What are the facts? Again and again and again– what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the un-guessable “verdict of history”– what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!” - Robert A. Heinlein

Facts are treasonous and dangerous in an empire of lies, fraud and propaganda. It is maddening to watch the country spiral downward, driven to ruin by a psychotic predator class, while the plebs choose to remain willfully ignorant of reality and distracted by their lust for cheap Chinese crap and addicted to the cult of techno-narcissism. We are a country running on heaping doses of cognitive dissonance and normalcy bias, an irrational belief in our national exceptionalism, an absurd trust in the same banking class that destroyed the finances of the country, and a delusionary belief that with just another trillion dollars of debt we’ll be back on the exponential growth track. The American empire has been built on a foundation of cheap easily accessible oil, cheap easily accessible credit, the most powerful military machine in human history, and the purposeful transformation of citizens into consumers through the use of relentless media propaganda and a persistent decades long dumbing down of the masses through the government education system.

This national insanity is not a new phenomenon. Friedrich Nietzsche observed the same spectacle in the 19th century: “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”

The “solutions” imposed by the supposed brightest financial Ivy League educated minds and corrupt bought off political class upon people of the United States since the Wall Street created 2008 worldwide financial collapse are insane and designed to only further enrich the crony capitalists and their banker brethren. The maniacs are ruling the asylum. John Lennon saw the writing on the wall forty five years ago: “Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends, and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.” – John Lennon, Interview BBC-TV (June 22, 1968)

The world is most certainly ruled by a small group of extremely wealthy evil men who desire ever more treasure, supremacy and control, but the vast majority of Americans have stood idly by mesmerized by their iGadgets and believing buying shit they don’t need with money they don’t have is the path to happiness and prosperity, while their wealth, liberty and self-respect were stolen by the financial elite. Our idiot culture, that celebrates reality TV morons, low IQ millionaires playing children’s sports, egomaniacal Hollywood hacks, self-promoting Wall Street financiers, and self-serving corrupt ideologue politicians, has been degenerating for decades.

“We are in the process of creating what deserves to be called the idiot culture. Not an idiot sub-culture, which every society has bubbling beneath the surface and which can provide harmless fun; but the culture itself. For the first time, the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norm, even our cultural ideal.” - Carl Bernstein, 1992

The examples of our national insanity are almost too vast to document, but any critical assessment of what we’ve done over the last one hundred years reveals the idiocracy that has engulfed our collapsing empire.

The Madness of Crowds: “In reading "The History of Nations", we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.” – Charles MacKay, "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds"

We have become a nation that seamlessly goes mad every five years in pursuit of some new delusionary fantasy sold to us by the ruling class, only to see those dreams shattered like a wooden ship on the reef of reality. You can never underestimate the power of human stupidity. Ben Bernanke and now Janet Yellen and their Federal Reserve cronies have printed $2.6 trillion of new money out of thin air since September 2008 in order to prop up their Wall Street owners, who had engineered the largest control fraud (mortgage debt/housing bubble) in world history, recklessly gambled in their ravenous appetite for sordid profits, and drove their firms into insolvency. It took the Federal Reserve 95 years to accumulate a balance sheet of $900 billion of safe U.S. Treasuries.

They have insanely quadrupled their balance sheet in the last 5 years by accumulating toxic mortgage debt from Wall Street banks and purchasing the majority of new Treasury debt being issued to fund the Federal government’s insane trillion dollar annual deficits. Bernanke, the corporate media, government apparatchiks, and captured political class act as if this is normal, when it is clearly the act of a desperate ruling class in its final death throes. The Fed has leveraged its balance sheet 60 to 1. Lehman and Bear Stearns were leveraged 30 to 1 when they collapsed. The 100 basis point move in rates over the space of two months has resulted in Bernanke losing $200 billion and effectively wiping out his $55 billion of capital.

Of course, in a corrupt regime accounting fraud is encouraged and applauded by the status quo. Just as the spineless accountants on the FASB buckled to threats from Bernanke and Paulson in early 2009 and reversed the requirement that assets be marked to market so the felonious Wall Street banks could fraudulently hide their insolvency, the Federal Reserve has decided their losses don’t matter. The Federal Reserve classifies their losses as an asset. Don’t you wish you could classify your 401k losses and your home value losses as an asset? The tapering bullshit storyline is just another attempt to distract the masses from focusing on the fact that the Fed will never stop expanding it's balance sheet because if it stops the financial system will collapse in a catastrophic implosion. The Ponzi scheme will continue until loss of faith leads to a scramble away from the U.S. dollar.

Since the infamous creation of the Federal Reserve by a secretive cabal of bankers and politicians in 1913, the ultimate destination of the American empire was set. Every fiat currency in world history has collapsed. Our entire system has been based on infinite exponential growth. The fallacy of American exceptionalism has been built on an underpinning of pure stupid luck and the issuance of more and more debt. The American empire grew to epic proportions due to the discovery of cheap easily accessible oil in the late 19th century and the physical and economic destruction of Europe, Russia and Japan during World War II. The accumulation of debt was fairly moderate during the glory years after World War II, but began to accelerate after the fateful year of 1971 when U.S. oil production peaked and Tricky Dick Nixon removed the last vestiges of restraint from central bankers and politicians by closing the gold window. With the shackles removed from the wrists of corruptible knaves and shysters, America’s future depended upon the wisdom, honest and financial acumen of Washington politicians and Wall Street financers. Once the citizens realized they could vote for more bread and circuses, our ultimate demise was set in motion. A nation that had produced real annual growth of 4% during the 1950’s and 1960’s has seen a steady decline for the last four decades.

The term pushing on a string describes the Quantitative Easing (literally money printing) and Keynesian debt financed pork spending efforts of our increasingly frantic owners. The insanity of what we’ve done since 1971 is almost too crazy to comprehend. In the first 182 years of our existence the leaders we elected to steward the nation accumulated $400 billion of national debt. By 1981, unleashed from any semblance of spending control, the politicians and bankers had added another $600 billion of debt, a 150% increase in 10 years. By 1991 our beloved leaders had added another $2.6 trillion of debt, another 160% increase in 10 years. By 2001 another $2.2 trillion had been accumulated, only a 60% increase due to the end of the Cold War and a one-time tax surge from the stock bubble. Bush’s worldwide War on Terror, expansion of the police state, tax rebate stimulus idiocy, and expansion of the welfare state (Medicare Part D) drove the national debt up by another $2.2 trillion in just eight years, a 40% increase.

The insane amassing of debt since 2008 has put a final nail in the coffin of the ridiculous Keynesian theory, as the Federal government has increased annual spending by 35% over the last five years and the economy is still moribund. Our fearless leaders have driven the national debt from $7.8 trillion to $19.437 trillion (as of July 22, 2016.- CP). The country continues to add $2 to $3 billion of debt per day. Consider how insane it is that we now accumulate more debt in half a year than we did cumulatively over the first 182 years of our existence as a country. And our elected, or should I say selected, leaders, cheer on the intellectually bankrupt academics like Bernanke whose only solution to every crisis is to print more and then lie to the American people about his true purpose, act as if annually spending $1 trillion more than we collect while knowing there are over $200 trillion of unfunded promises to fulfill is a reasonable and realistic way to manage the national finances. Any sane person knows our current path will lead to ruin. When you need to issue new debt in order to honor old debt, the end is in sight.

The multitude of insane responses to a financial crisis created by a few greedy psychopathic bankers will be looked upon by historians with contempt and scorn. Future generations will wonder “What were they thinking?” Trillions in wealth were vaporized due to the actions of a small secretive league of highly educated, egocentric psychopaths whose warped sense of morality led them to pillage the wealth of the nation through fraudulent financial products, bribing regulatory agencies, stabbing clients and competitors in the back, and peddling lies, propaganda and misinformation to the public through their captured media mouthpieces. Not only haven’t any predator bankers been thrown in jail, but these villains have grown their parasitic entities to enormous proportions while paying themselves obscene billion dollar bonuses. Jon Corzine stole $1.2 billion directly from the accounts of his customers to cover his gambling losses and he remains free to laze about in one of his five gated mansions. The largest banks on earth have been caught red handed forging mortgage documents, rigging LIBOR, front running the muppets with non-public economic information, insider dealing, and using their HFT supercomputers to manipulate the markets at their whim. Government spy agencies regularly use the U.S. Constitution like toilet paper while accumulating electronic dossiers on every citizen in the country. The rule of law does not exist for the ruling class.

Only in a world gone insane would we be celebrating Wall Street generating all-time high profits through the use of accounting fraud and Bernanke filling their coffers with trillions of interest free money while bilking senior citizens out of $400 billion per year of interest income through his dastardly ZIRP “save a Wall Street banker” scheme. The Federal Reserve has stolen close to $2 trillion from the bank accounts of little old ladies since 2008 and given it to Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfien and the rest of the Wall Street scumbags. While Wall Street and the crony capitalist mega-corporations report record profits, Main Street is left with 5 million less full-time jobs than they had in 2007 and a real unemployment rate exceeding 20%. While the government has insanely reported a recovering economy since mid-2009, the food stamp rolls have grown from 33 million to 47 million. The ruling class cheers the record highs in the stock market that overwhelmingly benefit the top .1% because they are the .1%. Meanwhile, the average schmuck out in the hinterlands is paying double the price they were paying for gas in 2009 and their everyday living costs are rising by greater than 5% annually. Luckily for the financial elite, the average American would rather watch Honey Boo Boo than try to understand the evilness of Federal Reserve created inflation. The economic recovery storyline is obliterated by the fact that real household income is still 9% below its 2008 peak and amazingly 8% below its 2000 level.

Since the 2009 low, the household net worth of the wealthiest 7% has grown by 28%, while the other 93% have seen their net worth decline by a further 4%. The profits accrue to those who run the show, buy the politicians, write the laws, command the media propaganda machine and control the currency. As a sane person in this insane world I’m flabbergasted that there is virtually no outrage at the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity. Americans have earned the moniker – ignorant masses. Bread and circuses have won the day in our declining empire. The oligarchs thank you.

The blame doesn’t rest solely on the shoulders of the evil men running the show. They have only done what we allowed them to do. From top to bottom our society has hopped on the crazy train. The lack of national morality, sense of civic duty, inter-generational responsibility, and willful ignorance regarding sensible financial policies has led us to a tipping point. Decades of feckless self-serving political leadership making entitlement promises they could never honor to win votes, combined with a parasitic financial class peddling debt to millions of witless, narcissistic, math challenged, materialistic morons, has left the country in debt up to its eyeballs with no escape other than cataclysmic default. Michael Lewis documents the bleeding out of our society in his recent book:

“The people who had the power in the society, and were charged with saving it from itself, had instead bled the society to death. The problem with police officers and firefighters isn’t a public sector problem; it isn’t a problem with government; it’s a problem with the entire society. It’s what happened on Wall Street in the run-up to the subprime crisis. It’s a problem of taking what they can, just because they can, without regard to the larger social consequences. It’s not just a coincidence that the debts of cities and states spun out of control at the same time as the debts of individual Americans. Alone in a dark room with a pile of money, Americans knew exactly what they wanted to do, from the top of the society to the bottom. They’d been conditioned to grab as much as they could, without thinking about the long-term consequences. Afterward, the people on Wall Street would privately bemoan the low morals of the American people who walked away from their subprime loans, and the American people would express outrage at the Wall Street people who paid themselves a fortune to design the bad loans.” – Michael Lewis, "Boomerang"

The insanity of our debt accumulation in relation to our pathetic economic growth is clearly evident to even an Ivy League educated economist or a bubble headed CNBC anchorwoman. Since 1971 nominal GDP has grown by a factor of 14. Over this same time frame total credit market debt (household, corporate, government) has grown by a factor of 32. Real GDP (even using the fraudulent BLS manipulated CPI) has only expanded by a factor of 3.5 since 1971. The exponential growth model is clearly failing, with debt going hyperbolic, while GDP has stagnated.

Since 2007 real GDP has gone up $500 billion while total credit market debt has gone up by $6 trillion. Only an insane society would allow itself to be convinced by the perpetrators of the financial crimes that collapsed our economic system that accelerating the level of debt in our system will resolve the dilemma of Too Big to Trust banker insolvency. Transferring the immense losses of greedy sham capitalist gambling addicts from their insolvent balance sheets onto the balance sheets of the taxpayer has allowed the criminals to retain and expand their wealth, while sovereign states shift the pain and suffering onto the backs of the sinking middle class. This is a worldwide phenomenon perpetuated by central bankers at the behest of their crony capitalist co-conspirators. They call it capitalism when the scams, dodges and swindles work and the profits accrue to the schemers. When the gamblers and extreme risk addicts roll craps they use their crony capitalist connections, bought with blood money, to socialize their losses. The game is rigged and your owners don’t care about your hopes and dreams or your children’s future. They care about their own wealth and lifestyles of luxury. When the richest 300 people in the world have a greater net worth than the poorest 3 billion people on earth, a sane person realizes a chaotic end of the existing social order beckons.

“All over the world people borrowed vast sums of money they could never repay. The honest toting up, and taking, of the losses is being delayed. There’s a reason for this. The bad debts are owed, largely, to big banks. The big banks (even bigger than they were at the start of this crisis) and the people who own them enjoy a wildly disproportionate amount of political influence. And so, even now, five years into this mess, we remain at the mercy of the failed financial institutions that sit at the center of our capitalism. Geithner & Bernanke, along with their European counterparts, are doing everything in their power to prevent banks from failing. But the effect of this new financial order is bizarre: capitalism for everyone but the capitalists. Ordinary workers remain fully exposed to the increasingly harsh collisions in the marketplace while the highest paid financial elites ride protected by a passenger airbag.” – Michael Lewis, "Boomerang"

Clearly we’ve entered the final phase of our debt financed orgy of narcissistic materialism and self-absorbed avarice. The unsustainability of our course is a fact. Our society has gone mad en-masse but we are only recovering our sanity one by one. The global financial system is insolvent. A fractional reserve fiat money based system requires continuous growth or it collapses. The global banking system is overleveraged and real global growth is stagnant. Central bankers are not smart men. They have one response to every crisis – print!!! Bernanke and his fellow banker cronies are printing at hyper-speed in order to prop up the terminally ill mega-banks. Bernanke feigns confusion at the fact that his QE to infinity and ZIRP have only benefitted his banker puppet masters and the richest .1%, while further impoverishing senior citizen savers and the working middle class.

The anger at the true Wall Street malefactors manifested itself in the Tea Party movement and Occupy Wall Street movement, but both efforts were quickly hijacked by neo-con right wingers and socialist left wingers for their own ideological purposes. The existing social order continues to hold the reins of power, but their grip is growing precarious. The anger, dismay and resentment in the country simmer beneath the surface. The average person senses that all is not well, but most absurdly continue to believe the lies and propaganda spewed at them on a daily basis by the ruling class and their corporate media pawns. When the next shoe drops and billions of stock market and housing wealth are wiped out again, the national anger will sweep away the corrupt social order in a torrent of blood and retribution. Innocent and guilty alike will suffer the consequences. Michael Lewis is somewhat perplexed by the lack of outrage and violence so far.

“A lot has happened. And yet, given the provocation, it’s amazing how little has happened. No one on Wall Street has been shot, or even jailed – and the existing social order has not been seriously challenged. There’s a reason for this, too. The anger arising from the financial crisis finds no natural channel. In another era – an era before catastrophic experiments with radical socialism and nationalism – we would be watching market capitalism being displaced by something far uglier. But today there is no natural place for anger to flow, and so the anger flows haphazardly, like raindrops down a windowpane. The only political ideology that anger benefits these days is anarchy. From the point of view of those who enjoy political stability, it’s a stroke of luck that anarchists have no natural talent for organizing themselves. But how long will it take them to learn?”  – Michael Lewis, "Boomerang"

Staying sane in a society gone mad is not easy. Millions of people believe themselves to be sane, but they have really just adapted to an insane society, so they appear sane within the warped paradigm of that insane society. The truly sane people appear to be insane in an insane society. It’s enough to drive a man crazy. The immense forces of normalcy bias and social inertia have led millions to refuse to understand the mathematical certainty of the coming collapse. The worldwide banking system is like a great white shark that needs to keep moving or it dies. Exponential growth and continuous credit expansion have been the essential ingredients to expanding the American empire, but the growth has stopped, while the debt keeps growing. Infinite growth on a finite planet is impossible. As natural resources deplete and become more expensive to obtain, while the planet’s population continues to grow, the fractional reserve banking system and the nation states who continue to pile up trillions in debt will suddenly suffer a catastrophic collapse. We are in the end stages of a confidence game. Your government will not give you warning. We need to come to our senses one by one, until there are enough sane people to tip the scales in our favor. I’ve concluded that I live in a dishonest, insane, intolerable world and consider it my duty to spread discontent among those I can reach. I’m a dangerous man in the eyes of our corporate fascist surveillance state. So be it."

“The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is apt to spread discontent among those who are.”
 – H.L. Mencken
“Trying To Stay Sane In An Insane world- Part 2”

"Sheeple Envy: My Self-Defeating Obsession With The TRUTH"

"Sheeple Envy: My Self-Defeating Obsession With The TRUTH"
by Dan W

"I have a genetic flaw. (OK, I have several genetic flaws, but here I am referring to one flaw in particular.) And the flaw to which I refer has, to a great extent, ruined my life. Ruined my damned life! I am utterly obsessed with the truth. I simply cannot allow the liars to lie without saying something. When the liars lie, whoever they are, I have to open my big mouth and call them on their bullshit. I have to! It's a damned obsession, and it's destroying my life! God how I wish I was more like them.

Several years ago I "outed" my boss on HIS lies and it cost me my career. My entire career, done. History. All because I couldn't keep my mouth shut. What a fool I was! So what if his lies were putting the very lives of people at risk. People's lives are put at risk everyday! Why the hell should I give a rats ass about other people's lives, dammit? I should have kept my mouth shut and just played right along with his lies. I mean hell, I'd probably be rich by now if I'd just let him lie. I might even have a big house and a yacht, just like he does!

And now as I watch my country go right down the tubes- as I watch the banks steal every last penny that they can from the citizens of the nation, and as I watch my political leaders pave the way for these crimes, and as I listen to the lies proffered day in and day out by the great men of Wall Street and Capitol Hill, I am driven into utterly self-defeating fits of rage. Dammit!

So what that the nation is run by Goldman Sachs and the Federal Reserve? So what that we elect leaders who have no real power to change a bought-and-sold system- a system in which the increasingly impoverished middle class exists mired in perpetual debt-slavery and in which representative democracy has become nothing more than a highly-rehearsed reality T.V. show. So what! If I could just deal with the fact that the whole thing is one big lie, than maybe I could get in on the goodies! Goodies, goodies, goodies!

But no! My stupid damned obsession with the truth is killing me. Dammit!

I mean, if I could just be more like them, more able to lie and cheat and steal and think nothing of it, I'd probably be rich like them! If I could sell people stuff that I know is worthless but still make a profit, wouldn't life be grand? Then I'd get to drive in Hummers! If I could not only not give a damn about poor people and hungry people, but if I could pretend that I actually do care but really just use my pretend caring to make myself rich and powerful, I'd be able to eat caviar and drink bottles of Opus One every day. Dammit! I hate myself! Dammit, dammit!

I wonder. I wonder if I changed my Mantra from "Om Mani Padme Hum" to "Madoff", if maybe after a few years with my new Mantra maybe I could be more like Bernie! I mean, it might be worth a try, right? Jeez, anything is better than honesty and truth!

The truth is totally over-rated. Gandhi said, "...there is no god higher than truth..." But if that is the case, than I wish, like Nietzsche, that I thought that god was dead. And look at Gandhi for Christ's sake! The guy starved himself and spent half his life in prison and for what? Have you noticed how well the Hindus and the Muslims are getting along these days? Damn, the first modern day nuclear war will probably take place between India and Pakistan: a moving ode to Gandhi's memory.

Someone once said, "...the truth will set you free." Bullshit! That's just total bullshit! You know what sets you free? Not giving a damn about the truth! I know lots of people who don't give a damn about the truth, and they appear quite content. Those of us who have this self-defeating genetic predisposition to being honest and truthful- and expecting it of others- are not free!! We live in a prison- usually in poverty too because we've told all the rich people who have made their millions through dishonest actions to go screw themselves- a self-styled prison from which we can never escape because to escape would mean we'd have to lie about why we we're leaving the prison in the first place! Dammit!

Once, just once, I'd like to hear any of these dishonest bastards lie through their highly-polished straight teeth...and not give a damn. Seriously. Now that would be freedom my friends."

"They Have The Right..."

"I think it's unfair, but they have the right as fallible, 
screwed-up humans to be unfair; that's the human condition."
- Albert Ellis

"Intelligent People All Have One Thing In Common: They Stay Up Later Than The Rest"

"Intelligent People All Have One Thing In Common: 
They Stay Up Later Than The Rest"
by Lauren Martin

"There’s an electricity in the moon. A pulse, a magic, an energy. A bewitching entrancement unlike that of the sun. The moon is for things unseen, things done in the shadows and beneath the fog. Under bridges and beneath bed sheets - it’s for wild hearts and unconcerned minds. It’s where plans are made in dark alleyways and secrets revealed under the soft haze of light coming through the cracks of closed shutters.

It’s when fugitives escape and kids run away. It’s when girls lose their virginities on torn leather seats and boys get into trouble. It’s when the suffering take their lives and the lonely seek comfort.

It’s when we fall in love - that passionate, all-consuming, purposeful love that always looks a little different in the light of day.

It’s by night that we see our true desires. We reflect on our moments of unhappiness and those yearnings that are momentarily blinded by the sun. It’s when we become poets and philosophers, martyrs and murderers.

It’s when we form regrets of days past and that profound hatred for those who hurt us. It’s when we choke on our tears through deep sobs that can only pour onto dark pillowcases.

The night is for passion. It’s for fanaticism, romance and trouble. It’s when your most tender, authentic and suppressed sides come out to play under the nonjudgmental eyes of the stars.

It’s for all those things you could never dream of doing by day, under the watchful eyes of the sun.

It’s no wonder night owls are more intelligent than those who hit the hay early. It makes sense that those who absorb the energy of the moon are more creative and open-minded than those who like to catch the early worm. It’s only natural that those who go to bed earlier never experience the psychological and emotional changes that occur under the blanket of darkness.

According to “Psychology Today,” intelligent people are more likely to be nocturnal than people with lower IQ scores. In a study run on young Americans, results showed that intelligent individuals went to bed later on weeknights and weekends than their less intelligent counterparts.

In “Study Magazine,” Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist at the London School Of Economics And Political Science, reported that IQ average and sleeping patterns are most definitely related, proving that those who play under the moon are, indeed, more intelligent human beings. His analysis goes back to ancient times, asserting the idea that even in primitive years, people have been known to rise and fall with the sun. Average brains were conditioned to follow this sleep pattern, while the more inquisitive, intellectual ones want to defy that pattern and create their own. It’s an unconscious defiance that comes from refusal to acquiesce to the idea of mass appeal. These findings are reported by “Study Magazine” as such:

Bedtimes and wake-up times for Americans in their 20s by IQ:

Very Dull (IQ < 75)
Weekday: 11:41 pm -7:20 am
Weekend: 12:35 am -10:09 pm

Normal (90 < IQ < 110)
Weekday: 12:10 am -7:32 am
Weekend: 1:13 am -10:14 am

Very Bright (IQ > 125)
Weekday: 12:29 am -7:52 am
Weekend: 1:44 am -11:07 am

Those with IQs less than 75 went to bed by 11:30 pm on weeknights in early adulthood, whereas those with IQs over 125 went to bed around after 12:30 am. This is no coincidence.

The data supports the notion that all night owls feel: the only real time for living is after everyone’s gone to bed. Only after dark can we learn, absorb and study the effects of the day. It’s a necessary self reflection that few humans take the time to make. There’s something to be said about those who fight the urge to sleep and explore that block of uncharted time that so many who always have their eyes closed will never see.

They Get Time To Daydream: All those dreams you can’t have during the day, when you’re snapped out of them by friends, family and work, are finally given time to run around. Free to play in the open spaces of your mind, you can swim in all those thoughts you hid under your desk or behind mounds of paper work. It’s the most creative time of day, along with the most liberating.

It’s by the nightfall that your most uninhibited and passionate sides are explored. It’s the time to unleash your innermost desires and allow yourself the freedom that’s masked behind the taunting exposure of sunlight.

The night is for testing your limits and challenging yourself. It’s for discovering those passions you suppress all day and breaking down all those rules your parents made to protect you. It’s the time to dig into those hidden corners of your mind and unknown trails of your subconscious. It’s a time of self-expression that can only be unlocked at night and evaluated by day.

They Are Anti-Establishment: Staying up late has been, and always will be, an act of rebellion. A defiance of the nine-to-five, the very habit of staying up late is revolutionary. Since ancient times, there is evidence that society condoned the night owls. In the academic paper, “Why The Night Owl Is More Intelligent,” published in the journal “Psychology And Individual Differences,” it’s widely assumed that for several millennia, humans were largely conditioned to work during the day and to sleep at night.

Those who defy the trend are more likely to “acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel values and preferences than less intelligent individuals.” These “novel values” become the building blocks of leaders. They are the makings of revolutionaries, inventors and explorers. They are the ones who makes sacrifices and defy the societal pressure to follow the masses.

It’s no surprise that those willing to stay up late, to explore the uncharted territory of night, are more inquisitive. They are more apt to make discoveries and challenge authority. They want to expand their mind, not shut it off just because people tell them it’s time for bed.

They Are More Open-Minded: Things that happen at night are things you can’t get away with during the day. It’s the time of utter licentiousness, of underhanded transactions and unseemly occupations. It’s when the bars are opened and the poets write. It’s when musicians pore over instruments, geniuses have their breakthroughs and artists come alive. According to “Esquire,” it’s also when you have the most sex. Healthy sex lives and late curfews are indeed, positively correlated. Those reported to have later bedtimes were buying more sex toys and having more sex than their sleepier counterparts. One sex shop worker believes that intelligence is correlated with open-mindedness, which in turns correlates with a more open sex life.

Those who are willing to stay awake, who yearn for the mysteries of nightfall, are exposed to an array of discoveries that those who stay asleep will never know. It’s those who are willing to test their limits and explore in the dark who will bring more light to the day.

They Are Proactive: The early bird may get the worm, but the night owl gets the whole jar. While the early risers may get up to see the first worm crawl its way to the wet surface, the night owl gets to them before they burrow under. Getting up early is most definitely proactive, but staying up late is just as fruitful. Those who stay up get hours ahead, rather than the one or two an early riser gains.

There are things to be explored at night that early risers will never experience. There are ideas formulated and tasks completed that early risers never get to finish. Because at night, there is dawn and a new day in front of you. But by morning, there’s just the bleakness of night and the daunting end of another day.”