Sunday, July 23, 2017

X22 Report, “Current Economic Collapse 'News Brief'”

X22 Report, “Current Economic Collapse 'News Brief'”

Musical Interlude: Cusco, “Native American, Power Drums, Spirit Pride”

“Native American, Power Drums, Spirit Pride”
"Not authentic or traditional Native American music, but fast paced, heart pounding new age sound. “Apurimac III: Nature- Spirit- Pride” is an album by the German cross-cultural new age band Cusco. All tracks on this album are related to the Native American cultures of North America. The beats, chants, and flute works depict a Native American musical style, though are made more accessible to modern ears through the use of overtly synthesized instrumentation and percussive rhythms. Beautiful art are images of paintings by J.D. Challenger, Frank Howell, and Howard Terpning.”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Stunning emission nebula IC 1396 mixes glowing cosmic gas and dark dust clouds in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Energized by the bright central star seen here, this star forming region sprawls across hundreds of light-years, spanning over three degrees on the sky while nearly 3,000 light-years from planet Earth. 
Click image for larger size.
Among the intriguing dark shapes within IC 1396, the winding Elephant's Trunk nebula lies just below center. Stars could still be forming inside the dark shapes by gravitational collapse. But as the denser clouds are eroded away by powerful stellar winds and radiation, any forming stars will ultimately be cutoff from the reservoir of star stuff. The gorgeous color view is a composition of image data from narrowband filters, mapping emission from the nebula's atomic oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur into blue, green, and red hues.”

Chet Raymo, “Moments of Being”

“Moments of Being”
by Chet Raymo

“A passage from the "Pensees" of Teilhard de Chardin: "Though the phenomena of the lower world remain the same- the material determinisms, the vicissitudes of chance, the laws of labor, the agitations of men, the footfalls of death - he who dares to believe reaches a sphere of created reality in which things, while retaining their habitual texture, seem to be made out of a different substance. Everything remains the same so far as phenomena are concerned, but at the same time everything become luminous, animated, loving..."

Whatever we think of Teilhard's Christocentric phenomenology, however much we are baffled by his vague and gushy prose, it is clear from his writing that he was a man who was in love with the world and experienced it as luminous, animated, and loving. Certainly, the experience he describes is not restricted to "he who dares to believe," by which Teilhard means a specifically Christian faith, or at least a faith which for him involved an image of the "cosmic Christ." No, I would suggest that the interior experience of the world he describes- as luminous, animated, and loving- is an predisposition of the human condition, part of our evolutionary makeup. It finds expression in religion, certainly, but also in art, music, poetry, scientific discovery, and in even in the quiet contemplation of a single flower or grain of sand.

It is an experience we all consciously or unconsciously seek, with varying degrees of success. For certain people- an artist like Kandinsky or a mystic like Teilhard - the interior rhapsodic state seems more or less permanent. For most of us, its achievement is a struggle against the humdrum and superficial, the "habitual texture" of things.

The challenge is not to abjure the world of immediate sensation, but to experience the world as fully as our present knowledge allows - not just earthworms and nematodes, wind and weather, Sun, Moon and stars, but also the ineffable flow of atoms, the ceaseless dance of the DNA, the whirling of the myriad galaxies, the infinite and the infinitesimal - to see in the mind's eye and feel in the mind's heart the fire and the flow that animates all things. We may not experience the universe as "loving," but we might certainly find it lovable.

"The whole universe is aflame," wrote Teilhard. His vision was partly informed by his science and partly by his religious faith. And partly, surely, because he was born with a particularly acute sensitivity to the ineluctable wholeness of things. Those of us of a less sensitive nature will settle for the occasional moments when the gates of our senses unaccountably fling themselves open to the unspeakable and unspoken mystery of the world."

The Poet: Eugene O'Neill, "Free"

 "Free"

"Weary am I of the tumult, sick of the staring crowd,
Pining for wild sea places where the soul may think aloud.
Fled is the glamour of cities, dead as the ghost of a dream,
While I pine anew for the tint of blue on the breast of the old Gulf Stream.

I have had my dance with Folly, nor do I shirk the blame;
I have sipped the so-called Wine of Life and paid the price of shame;
But I know that I shall find surcease, the rest my spirit craves,
Where the rainbows play in the flying spray,
'Mid the keen salt kiss of the waves.

Then it's ho! for the plunging deck of a bark, the hoarse song of the crew,
With never a thought of those we left or what we are going to do;
Nor heed the old ship's burning, but break the shackles of care
And at last be free, on the open sea, with the trade wind in our hair."

- Eugene O'Neill

"I Pity You, Too..."

"Said a philosopher to a street sweeper, “I pity you. Yours is a hard and dirty task.” And the street sweeper said, “Thank you, sir. But tell me, what is your task?” And the philosopher answered saying, “I study man's mind, his deeds and his desires.” Then the street sweeper went on with his sweeping and said with a smile, “I pity you, too.”
- Kahlil Gibran

The Daily "Near You?"

Acerra, Campania, Italy. Thanks for stopping by!

"The Next Credit Crisis Has Already Started"

"The Next Credit Crisis Has Already Started"
by Bill Bonner

‘My father told me to plant trees,’ said a neighbor last night. ‘It was right after I bought this place. Of course, I was young…I was busy…I didn’t have time to plant trees. Now, I tell my sons to plant trees while they’re still young. So they can enjoy them later. Funny, as you get older, and the less future you have available, the better you know it.’

Closed book: What follows is a meditation on something we cannot know - tomorrow. The future is a closed book, insofar as it is possible to know what will happen. But that doesn’t mean the future won’t happen. And although it is terra incognita - a place you’ve never been before - that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pack your old familiar toothbrush and a warm sweater; it might be a lot like home.

Aesop wrote his fables. The French have added to them with a few of their own. Here’s one about the future: ‘Long ago, an old man decided to turn his farm over to his son and his wife. ‘“I have just one condition,” he told them. “You have to let me stay with you as long as I live.” This was readily agreed. But the son’s wife and the old man didn’t get along. Finally, the wife persuaded her husband to throw him out. And so he did. But taking pity on the old man, the younger man turned to his own son: “Go and get a horse blanket for your grandfather so he’ll at least have something warm to wrap around him.” A few minutes later, the young boy came with a blanket, but his father could see that it was only half a blanket. "Why did you cut the other half off?” he asked. ‘“Oh…” replied the boy. “That’s for you when you get old.”’

All of a sudden, a pattern came into view. And the future didn’t seem so unknowable. Like a tall tree, the future casts its shadow backward over the present. If you think it will rain later in the day, you take an umbrella in the morning. If you think stocks will go up, you buy now. If you think you have only two years to live, there is no point buying a refrigerator with a 20-year guarantee.

Gift to the future: The invention of money greatly increased man’s interest in tomorrow. You could grow tomatoes, sell them for gold coins, and enjoy your harvest years into the future. Or you could borrow the coins now, and pay for them with next year’s tomato crop. But what if there was a drought next summer? What if you didn’t live through the winter? What if a fungus or a swarm of locusts attacked the crop?

Savings are always a gift to the future. Debt is always a burden on it. Suppose you were to plant black walnut trees. It could take 50 years before they mature. It will be a gift to your children. But what if a pest kills them? What if people no longer want natural wood a half-century ahead? What if you borrowed the money to plant them?

The further ahead you look, the more risks you can’t see. Logically, the farther out you go, the more you are likely to run into something that will upset your plans. So the longer term the debt…the less likely you are to be paid back. Logically, too, the more debt there is outstanding, the more likely that some will never be paid back.

Treacherous path: Which brings us back from the future… And there, in front of us, is the heaviest ton of bricks the future has ever had to shoulder - nearly $20 trillion of US government promises, not counting the roughly $200 trillion of off-the-books obligations. No one seems to be worried about it. The stock market is going through one of the periods of lowest ‘volatility’ - price swings - ever recorded. Stocks are hitting record highs, and interest rates are still at epic lows.

But ahead, the path - poorly lit and strewn with rocks and banana peels - is treacherous. Somewhere in mid-September, for example, lies a major trap - a debt ‘ceiling’ Congress imposed on itself. But it’s not just the feds who face obstacles. Consumer debt to disposable personal income is at an all-time high. Mortgage payment to disposable personal income is also at an all-time high.

Over in the auto sector, used car prices - the chassis on which auto credit rests - are losing their bolts. Subprime auto defaults are already soaring. Bloomberg: ‘It’s classic subprime: hasty loans, rapid defaults, and, at times, outright fraud. Only this isn’t the U.S. housing market circa 2007. It’s the U.S. auto industry circa 2017. A decade after the mortgage debacle, the financial industry has embraced another type of subprime debt: auto loans. And, like last time, the risks are spreading as they’re bundled into securities for investors worldwide.’

Student debt, meanwhile, has doubled since 2009; it now totes to $1.4 trillion. What kind of way is this to treat them? Alas, the future has cast a dark shadow over America’s young people. And according to a study by the New York Fed, student debt is having consequences far beyond just transferring wealth from young people to the old cronies in the education sector.

It’s undermining America’s most important industry: housing. How so? Burdened with student debt, young people cannot afford to buy houses. This leaves the bottom rung of the housing ladder unoccupied. There are starter homes available but few solvent starters to take them, which makes the whole housing market weak and vulnerable. August, September, October…shadows lengthen. Someone stumbles.”

"The Time You Have Left..."

 “The life you have left is a gift. Cherish it.  
Enjoy it now, to the fullest. Do what matters, now.”     
~ Leo Babauta

"The Piri Reis Map: Antarctica Without Ice"

 "The Piri Reis Map: Antarctica Without Ice" 
by World-mysteries.com
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"In 1929, a group of historians found an amazing map drawn on a gazelle skin. Research showed that it was a genuine document drawn in 1513 by Piri Reis, a famous admiral of the Turkish fleet in the sixteenth century, whose passion was cartography. His high rank within the Turkish navy allowed him privileged access to the Imperial Library of Constantinople. The Turkish admiral admits in a series of notes on the map that he compiled and copied the data from a large number of source maps, some of which dated back to the fourth century BC or earlier.
Click image for larger size.
The Controversy: The Piri Reis map shows the western coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America, and the northern coast of Antarctica. The northern coastline of Antarctica is perfectly detailed. Most puzzling is how Piri Reis managed to draw such an accurate map of the Antarctic region 300 years before it was discovered, and that the map shows the coastline under the ice. Geological evidence confirms that the latest date Queen Maud Land could have been charted in an ice-free state is 4000 BC. Officially, science claims that the ice-cap which covers the Antarctic is millions of years old.

The Piri Reis map shows that the northern part of that continent had been mapped before the ice did cover it. The last period of ice-free condition in the Antarctic ended about 6000 years ago. There are still doubts about the beginning of this ice-free period, which has been put by different researchers between year 13000 and 9000 BC. The question is: Who mapped the Queen Maud Land of Antarctic 6000 years ago? Which unknown civilization had the technology or the need to do that? It is well-known that the first civilization, according to traditional history, developed in the Mideast around year 3000 BC, soon to be followed within a millennium by the Indus Valley and the Chinese ones. Accordingly, none of the known civilizations could have done such a job. Who was here 4000 years BC, able to do things that only NOW are possible with modern technologies?
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On 6th July 1960 the U. S. Air Force responded to Prof. Charles H. Hapgood of Keene College, specifically to his request for an evaluation of the ancient Piri Reis Map:

"6, July, 1960
Subject: Admiral Piri Reis Map
TO: Prof. Charles H. Hapgood
Keene College, Keene, New Hampshire

Dear Professor Hapgood,

Your request of evaluation of certain unusual features of the Piri Reis map of 1513 by this organization has been reviewed. The claim that the lower part of the map portrays the Princess Martha Coast of Queen Maud Land, Antarctic, and the Palmer Peninsular, is reasonable. We find that this is the most logical and in all probability the correct interpretation of the map. The geographical detail shown in the lower part of the map agrees very remarkably with the results of the seismic profile made across the top of the ice-cap by the Swedish-British Antarctic Expedition of 1949. This indicates the coastline had been mapped before it was covered by the ice-cap. The ice-cap in this region is now about a mile thick. We have no idea how the data on this map can be reconciled with the supposed state of geographical knowledge in 1513.

Harold Z. Ohlmeyer, Lt. Colonel, USAF Commander"

All through the Middle Ages were circulating a number of sailing charts called "portolani", which were accurate maps of the most common sailing routes, showing coastlines, harbors, straits, bays, etc. Most of those portolani focused on the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas, and other known routes, just as the sailing book which Piri Reis himself had written. But a few reported of still unknown lands, and were circulating among few sailors who seemingly kept their knowledge of those special maps as hidden as they could. Columbus is supposed to have been one of those who knew these special sailing charts.

To draw his map, Piri Reis used several different sources, collected here and there along his journeys. He himself has written notes on the map that give us a picture of the work he had been doing on the map. He says he had been not responsible for the original surveying and cartography. His role was merely that of a compiler who used a large number of source-maps. He says then that some of the source-maps had been drawn by contemporary sailors, while others were instead charts of great antiquity, dating back up to the 4th century BC or earlier.

Dr. Charles Hapgood, in his book "Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings" (Turnstone books, London 1979, preface), said that: "It appears that accurate information has been passed down from people to people. It appears that the charts must have originated with a people unknown and they were passed on, perhaps by the Minoans and the Phoenicians, who were, for a thousand years and more, the greatest sailors of the ancient world. We have evidence that they were collected and studied in the great library of Alexandria (Egypt) and the compilations of them were made by the geographers who worked there.

Piri Reis had probably come into possession of charts once located in the Library of Alexandria, the well-known most important library of the ancient times. According to Hapgood's reconstruction, copies of these documents and some of the original source charts were transferred to other centers of learning, and among them to Constantinople. Then in 1204, the year of the fourth crusade, when the Venetians entered Constantinople, those maps begun to circulate among the European sailors. Most of these maps were of the Mediterranean and the Black sea. But maps of other areas survived. These included maps of the Americas and maps of the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. It becomes clear that the ancient voyagers travelled from pole to pole. Unbelievably, the evidence nevertheless indicates that some ancient people explored Antarctic when its coasts were free of ice. It is clear too, that they had an instrument of navigation for accurately determining the longitudes that was far superior to anything possessed by the peoples of ancient, medieval or modern times until the second half of the 18th century.

This evidence of a lost technology supports and gives credence to many of the other hypotheses that have been brought forward of a lost civilization in remote times. Scholars have been able to dismiss most of those evidences as mere myth, but here we have evidence that cannot be dismissed. The evidence requires that all the other evidence that has been brought forward in the past should be re-examined with an open mind."

In 1953, a Turkish naval officer sent the Piri Reis map to the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Bureau. To evaluate it, M.I. Walters, the Chief Engineer of the Bureau, called for help Arlington H. Mallery, an authority on ancient maps, who had previously worked with him. After a long study, Mallery discovered the projection method used. To check the accuracy of the map, he made a grid and transferred the Piri Reis map onto a globe: the map was totally accurate. He stated that the only way to draw a map of such accuracy was aerial surveying: but who, 6000 years ago, could have used airplanes to map the earth?

The Hydrographic Office couldn't believe what they saw: they were even able to correct some errors in the present days maps! The precision on determining the longitudinal coordinates, on the other hand, shows that to draw the map it was necessary to use spheroid trigonometry, a process supposedly not know until the middle of 18th century. Hapgood has proved that the Piri Re'is map is plotted out in plane geometry, containing latitudes and longitudes at right angles in a traditional "grid"; yet it is obviously copied from an earlier map that was projected using spherical trigonometry! Not only did the early map makers know that the Earth was round, but they had knowledge of its true circumference to within 50 miles!

Hapgood had sent his collection of ancient maps to Richard Strachan, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hapgood wanted to know exactly the mathematical level needed in order to draw the original source maps. Strachan answered in 1965, saying that the level had to be very high. In fact Strachan said that in order to draw such maps, the authors had to know about spheroid trigonometry, the curvature of the earth, and methods of projection, knowledge that is of a very high level.

The way the Piri Reis map shows the Queen Maud land, its coastlines, its rivers, mountain ranges, plateaus, deserts, bays, has been confirmed by a British-Swedish expedition to Antarctic (as said by Olhmeyer in his letter to Hapgood); the researchers, using sonar and seismic soundings, indicated that those bays and rivers etc, were underneath the ice-cap, which was about one mile thick.

Charles Hapgood, in 1953, wrote a book called "Earth's Shifting Crust: A Key to Basic Problems of Earth Science," wherein he developed a theory explaining that the Antarctic had been ice-free until year 4000 BC. The theory summed up: The reason the Antarctic was ice-free, and therefore much warmer, it is to be found in the fact that, at one time, its location wasn't the south pole. It was located approximately 2000 miles further north. Hapgood says this "would have put it outside the Antarctic Circle in a temperate or cold temperate climate." The reason the continent moved down to its present location is to be found in a mechanism called "earth-crust-displacement". This mechanism, not to be confused with the plate-tectonics or the continental drift, is one whereby the lithosphere, the whole outer crust of the earth "may be displaced at times, moving over the soft inner body, much as the skin of an orange, if it were loose, might shift over the inner part of the orange all in one piece". (Charles Hapgood, "Maps of the Ancient Sea-Kings") 

This theory was sent to Albert Einstein, which answered to Hapgood in very enthusiastic terms. Though geologists did not seem to accept Hapgood's theory, Einstein seemed to be as much open as Hapgood saying: "In a polar region there is a continual deposition of ice, which is not symmetrically distributed about the pole. The earth's rotation acts on these unsymmetrically deposited masses, and produces a centrifugal momentum that is transmitted to the rigid crust of the earth. The constantly increasing centrifugal momentum produced in this way will, when it has reached a certain point, produce a movement of the earth's crust over the rest of the earth's body..." (Einstein's foreword to "Earth's shifting crust" p.1)

Anyway, whether Hapgood's theory is correct, the mystery still thrills. The Piri Reis map is something which is not supposed to exist. I mean that by no means there was supposed to be anyone that far back in time able to draw a map of such precision; in fact the relative longitudinal coordinates are totally accurate, as stated by Official studies on the map that we saw above. And this is a demonstration of impossible technology: the first instrument to calculate the longitude in a approximately correct way has been invented in 1761 by the Englishman John Harrison. Before there was no way to calculate the longitude in an acceptable way: there could be errors of hundreds kilometers. And the Piri Reis map is just one of several which show supposedly unknown lands, impossible knowledge, precision which still today would surprise.

In fact Piri Reis himself admitted he based his map on much older charts; and those older charts had been used as sources by others who have drawn different maps still of great precision. Impressive is the "Dulcert's Portolano", year 1339, where the latitude of Europe and North Africa is perfect, and the longitudinal coordinates of the Mediterranean and of the Black sea are approximated of half degree.
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An even more amazing chart is the "Zeno's chart", year 1380. It shows an area in the north, going up to Greenland; its precision is flabbergasting. "It's impossible" says Hapgood "that someone in the fourteenth century could have found the exact latitudes of these places, not to mention the precision of the longitudes..." Another amazing chart is the one drawn by the Turkish Hadji Ahmed, year 1559, in which he shows a land stripe, about 1600 Km. wide, that joins Alaska and Siberia. Such a natural bridge has been then covered by the water due to the end of the glacial period, which rose up the sea level.

Oronteus Fineus was another one who drew a map of incredible precision. He too represented the Antarctic with no ice-cap, year 1532. There are maps showing Greenland as two separated islands, as it was confirmed by a polar French expedition which found out that there is an ice cap quite thick joining what it is actually two islands.

An amateur scientist by the name of Captain Arlington Mallery made it his mission to determine the age of the source maps used by Piri Reis. So radical were Mallery’s conclusions that he hesitated to reveal them. In August 1956, he finally decided to reveal his findings on a radio show sponsored by Georgetown University. He explained that in June 1954 he was working in the map room of the Library of Congress when his friend “… the Chief Engineer of the Hydrographic Office handed me a copy of a map which had been sent to him by a Turkish naval officer. He suggested that I examine it in the light of the information we already had on the ancient maps. After making an analysis of it, I took it back to him and requested that the Officer check both the latitude and longitude and the projection. When they asked why, I said, ‘There is something in this map that no one is going to believe coming from me, and I don’t know whether they will believe it coming from you.’ That was the fact that Columbus had with him a map that showed accurately the Palmer Peninsula in the Antarctic continent.”

Mr. Warren, the host of the radio show, interviewed Mallery and M.I. Walters of the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office:
“Host: You say that these maps have been checked by the Hydrographic Office of the U.S. Navy?
Walters: Yes.
Host: As far as you are concerned, are they accurate?
Walters: Yes, they are.
Host: How old are the maps?
Walters: These maps go back 5,000 years and even earlier. But they contain data that go back many thousands of years previous to that.”

Walters remarked on the comparisons between the Piri Reis Map and the newly (1954) discovered sub-glacial features of the Queen Maud region of Antarctica: “We have taken the old charts and the new charts that the Hydrographic Office produces today and made comparisons of the soundings of salient peaks and mountains. We have found them to be in astounding agreement. In this way, we have checked the old work very closely. We put very much confidence in what Captain Mallery has disclosed."

Host: Mr. Mallery, this must then lead to the conclusion that there were competent explorers and map makers along the coast of the Atlantic long before Columbus.
Mallery: Several thousand years before. Not only explorers, but they must also have had a very competent and far-flung hydrographic organization, because you cannot map as large a continent as Antarctica as we know they did – probably 5,000 years ago. It can’t be done by any single individual or small group of explorers. It means an aggregation of skilled scientists who are familiar with astronomy as well as the methods required for topographic surveying.”

As we see, many charts in ancient times depicted accurate earth geography. They seem to be pieces of a very ancient world wide map, drawn by unknown people using use technology that we consider modern. When human beings were supposed to primitive, someone "put on paper" the whole geography of the earth. And this common knowledge somehow fell into pieces, then gathered here and there by others who had lost the knowledge and just copied what they could find in libraries, bazaars, and markets.

Hapgood made a disclosure which amazingly lead further: he found out a cartographic document copied by an older source carved on a rock column, China, year 1137. It showed the same high level of technology of the other western charts, the same grid method, the same use of spheroid trigonometry. It has so many common points with the western ones that it makes one think that there had to be a common source: could it be a lost civilization, perhaps the same one which has been speculated about for thousands of years?"

"The Road We Choose..."

"We live in perilous times and at crossroads. On the one hand, we risk our extinction and that of our planet because of the devastating combination of ancient tribal habits and modern technologies that have the ability to obliterate every living being on the planet several times over. On the other hand, we also possess a nervous system through which the universe is becoming self-aware. More than ever, we have the means and insight to create a brave new world in which our current stage of survival of the fittest can evolve to one of survival of the wisest. The road we choose will determine our future."
- Deepak Chopra

"The Reign Of Propaganda"

"The Reign Of Propaganda"
If truth has a chance it is in a different country than America...
by Paul Craig Roberts

"Masters of propaganda from its inventor, public relations expert Edward Louis James Bernays, to the Nazi Minister of Propaganda Paul Joseph Goebbels, agree that a lie can be turned into truth by constant repetition. The more pure the lie, the more complete the success in turning it into The Truth. Lies partly based in fact or half-truths open themselves to factual challenge. For a propagandist the best lie is a lie unfettered by even a distant relationship to truth. Such a lie can be turned into such self-evident truth that no evidence is necessary. As Nikki Haley and Hillary Clinton put it: “Evidence! We don’t need any stinking evidence. We know Russia hacked our election!”

For the typical American, who doesn’t know anything, the confidence of the former Secretary of State and “rightful President of the USA” and the confidence of President Donald Trump’s own Ambassador to the United Nations are sufficient to convince them that the lie that Russia stole the US presidency for Trump is true. We all know it. Why? Because we have all heard it endlessly repeated for many months. As one acquaintance said: “If it were false, surely the media would have exposed it.” This insouciant naivete is characteristic of Western populations.

As Bernays and Goebbels knew, one good propagandist can control the opinion of the targeted group, whether it is a gender or a nation. Initially for Bernays the targeted group was American women. As a propagandist for an American tobacco company, “the father of spin” promoted female smoking as a sign of feminist independence. He called cigarettes “Torches of Freedom.” He also provided the propaganda that enabled the United Fruit Company to have the US Government overthrow the elected government of Guatemala in 1954.

Goebbels turned Germans into servants of the Third Reich, an accomplishment the neoconservatives have yet to attain in the United States, but they are still working at it. The neoconservatives, the military/security complex, the Israel Lobby, and the US presstitutes have succeeded in blocking Trump from withdrawing from Syria and from normalizing relations with Russia. They have succeeded in this by using their fabrication, “Russia-gate,” to put President Trump in a box. If Trump now normalizes relations with Russia, it will be presented to the world by the presstitutes as proof that the Putin/Trump conspiracy against Western democracy is real. If Trump were to normalize relations, thereby removing “the threat” that justifies the power and profit of the military/security complex’s budget, he would likely be impeached as a traitor to the USA. Trump’s tweets would be overwhelmed by the onslaught of the presstitutes.

Americans, British, Europeans, Russians, Chinese, Indians, and everyone else need to understand that Washington’s hostility toward Russia is in the service of powerful interest groups. These interest groups are more powerful than the President of the US. Israel and its design on the Middle East is one of these powerful interest groups. As Admiral Tom Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “No American president can stand up to Israel.”

The neoconservatives, who serve both the Zionist state of Israel and the US military/security complex, are another of the powerful interest groups that constrain the American government. That the neocons are firmly allied with Israel and the military/security complex increases their power and influence. President Eisenhower warned Americans in 1961 in his last public address to the American people that the power of the military/industrial complex made it a threat to American democracy:
Eisenhower’s warning was 56 years ago. With the President of the United States concerned about the military/industrial complex 56 years ago, try to imagine how much more this power is entrenched after the decades of the Cold War and “Soviet Threat.” The power of the military/security complex is the premier power in Washington.

Eisenhower’s speech is the best speech any American President has ever delivered. It is only 14 minutes and 4 seconds long; yet it covers everything. There is awareness that we can be victims of our own success. Whatever their public position, neoconservatives have no alternative but to hate President Eisenhower with a passion, because he compared the threat to America from the military/industrial complex to the threat from the Soviet Union.

Americans need to wise up, as do the Russians, Chinese, Europeans and everyone else over whom the neoconservatives intend to exercise hegemony regardless of the cost. The total budget of the US military/security complex has been estimated at $1.1 trillion, a figure that is 70% of Russia’s estimated 2017 GDP. It is larger than the GDP of Mexico and Turkey. It is 45% of the GDP of France or England, and 32% of the GDP of Germany. There are 195 countries in the world. Only 14 of them have A Gross Domestic Product larger than the budget of the US military/security complex.

Washington’s wars in the Middle East involve many interests, including mundane ones such as who controls pipeline locations and energy flows. It also involves Israel’s interests. Twice Israel has sent its army into southern Lebanon for the purpose of occupying and annexing the water resources of southern Lebanon, and twice the militia Hezbollah has defeated and driven out the Israeli army, the fighting capability of which is overrated. Hezbollah receives financial and military support from Syria and Iran. Using their neoconservative allies and the orchestrated-by-propaganda American hatred of Muslims, Israel intends to use the US military to put Syria and Iran in the same state of chaos as Iraq and Libya. If deprived of outside support, Hezbollah can finally be defeated by the Israeli army. With Syria and Iran in chaos, the Russophobic neoconservatives can send jihadism into the Russian Federation to break up the biggest constraint on US unilateralism.

If we consider the combined power of these interest groups - the US military/security complex with an annual budget greater than the GDP of most countries, the neoconservatives with their ideology of US world hegemony and alliance with both Democratic and Republican parties, and Israel which has the US government in its pocket and brags about it - how is it possible for President Trump to do as he said he would do and normalize relations with Russia and withdraw from the US interventions in the Middle East? The prospect of Trump succeeding is remote.

If the Russian government fails to understand that President Trump is not the one who is in charge, Russia will be destroyed along with America and the rest of the world."
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.” 
- "Propaganda"

Freely download "Propaganda", by Edward Bernays, here:

Musical Interlude: Ludovico Einaudi, "Brothers"

Ludovico Einaudi, "Brothers"

"Scars..."

"People have scars in all sorts of unexpected places like secret road maps of their personal histories, diagrams of all their old wounds. Most of our old wounds heal leaving nothing behind but a scar. But some of them don’t. Some wounds we carry with us everywhere and though the cut’s long gone, the pain still lingers. What’s worse? New wounds which are so horribly painful or old wounds that should have healed years ago and never did? Maybe our old wounds teach us something. They remind us where we’ve been and what we’ve over come. They teach us lessons about what to avoid in the future. That’s what we like to think but that’s not the way it is, is it? Some things we just have to learn over and over and over again."
“Meredith Grey”, “Grey’s Anatomy”

"How It Really Is"

"Surely, You Did Something..."

"It's 3:23 A.M.
And I'm awake because my great great grandchildren won't let me sleep.
They ask me in dreams,
'What did you do while the planet was plundered?
What did you do when the earth was unraveling?
Surely you did something when the seasons started flailing?
As the mammals, reptiles and birds were all dying?
Did you fill the streets with protest?
When democracy was stolen, what did you do once you knew?
Surely, you did something...'"

- Drew Dellinger

"The Hound In The Kennel"

"The Hound In The Kennel"
by  John James

"In my experience most of us take whatever frightens us or makes us uncomfortable and push it out of sight. This puts it into the unconscious. It does not disappear, but just lies in waiting like a faithful hound until let out. Meanwhile the conscious part can go on living as if nothing had happened. But as Carl Jung pointed out so perspicaciously, the hound keeps howling from the depth and thereby influences all that we do. So we can’t go on as before. We may try to carry on as always, but in truth everything we do is influenced by the unseen and suppressed feelings from the hound in the kennel. There being no escape, we act out this unconscious material, but pretend we are still being normal.

It is an essential aspect of growing up that we suppress who we really are in order to be accepted and loved by mum and dad. This means we actually push our real needs away in order to cope with their demands. It is as if we have sacrificed our original selves to get their love, and it leaves a trail of sorrow.

We call it Existential Grief because it’s about our very existence. It is about us being ’socialized’ by the family and school so that we forget who we truly are. This leaves an enormous grief that is too difficult to confront, and we hide it in the kennel of the unconscious, leaving the howls from the kennel to undermine our self-confidence.

In our society we use material goods and social roles to cover up the black hole of grief. By surrounding ourselves with pretty and expensive things we tell everyone else that we are really OK. This is, so I learn from my clients, the major cause of going shopping, going on buying sprees and being consumers. We have come to believe that bright new things will fill the empty spaces inside. This seems to be why we cannot really confront the devil of global warming that is being fed by every dollar we spend. For our own safety as a species we should all be consuming less and sharing more and striving to make life simple, whereas we are literally hell-bent on getting the most while we still can.

The hound sitting in the kennel of our emptiness makes it too hard for us to look at the truth and change our ways. We cannot alter the terminal path we are on, because to do so would expose our deepest fears that underneath all the tinsel and stuff we really are not worth much at all. Not even the protection we should be giving to our beautiful children is enough to move us to confront this terrifying personal fear.

A four-year analysis of the world’s ecosystems sponsored by the Worldwatch Institute found that over-consumption has pushed 15 out of 24 ecosystems essential to human life “beyond their sustainable limits”. Our insatiable desire for more is moving the planet toward a state of collapse that may be “abrupt and potentially irreversible”. Since we all know that, can we not go beyond the fear to follow David Attenborough, who said in an interview, “How could I look my grandchildren in the eye and say I knew and did nothing?”

"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
Freely download “Walden” and “On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience” here:

“A Brief And Crucial History of the United States”

“A Brief And Crucial History of the United States”
by Information Clearing House

"Nightmare and insanity are akin: mysterious and involuntary states that skew and distort objective reality. One wakens from nightmare; from insanity there is no awakening. Whether Americans live in the one state or the other is the paramount question of this era. For two hundred years Americans have been indoctrinated with a mythology created, imposed and sustained by a manipulating cabal: the financial elite that built its absolute control on the muscle and blood, good will, ignorance and credulity, of its citizenry.

America began with the invasion of a populated continent and the genocide of its native people. Once solidly established, it grafted enslavement of another race onto that base. With those two pillars of state firmly in place it declared itself an independent nation in a document that nobly proclaimed the equality of all mankind. In that act of monumental hypocrisy America’s myth had its beginning.

A Constitution was written that came to be regarded as American Holy Writ. Its central purposes were to defend private property and suppress mass democracy. It has fulfilled both those mandates beyond the wildest dreams of its creators. Once the existing oligarchy was secure in law and native people largely exterminated, the ruling class increased its wealth and power fantastically in the 19th century, using the government as its enabler, exploiting to the limit the device of chartered corporations. With its phenomenal money power, the financial elite began to use the military to expand its sway beyond the continent. Regions, territories, islands, and whole countries were annexed, invaded, and possessed outright, their peoples crushed, suppressed, and ruled.

Because ordinary Americans, like any people, need to believe that whatever the ruling elite undertakes in their nation’s name must be essentially benevolent, noble in purpose and justified in fact, the myth had to be radically modified for imperial expansion. The foundational story was that Americans had come to a howling wilderness teeming with godless savages and, through invincible strength of character and purity of purpose, had tamed the land and honorably earned the right to possess their bountiful home. In the era of extra-territorial expansion that version was polished to justify and ennoble imperialism. The new corollary was that America could not ignore colonialist brutality but was obliged, by the Manifest Destiny that led us to civilize our own continent, to carry our mission into barbaric darkness wherever tyranny created abuse and suffering.

A national myth that absolutely binds the loyalty of a people to its government must be a subtle and powerful elixir that elevates and aggrandizes that people’s self-regard. National policy will then appear to be an extension of its superior citizenry’s inchoate will, and the basis for a justified arrogance toward the lesser world. The simple, powerful myth of America’s altruistic and heroic benevolence, shaped and maintained by the financial/political power elite, infused Americans with a deep and outrageously hubristic sense of racial superiority that, mobilized behind various imperial enterprises, has given all such adventures the character of a quasi-religious crusade. In this way insatiable imperialism acquires the apparent moral perfection of a syllogism.

With WWII, the world was reconfigured. American Capitalism emerged supreme from the horror that had virtually wrecked its capitalist partners. The Soviet Union, though, having absorbed by far the greatest devastation from Nazi Germany, had astonishingly risen above its ruin to become the leading challenger to America as a world power. This challenge was not competitive, it was systemic: Soviet Communism was a direct threat to American hegemony in that it categorically refuted the philosophical basis of Predatory Capitalism. Grounded in Marx and Lenin, it attacked Capitalism’s inherent evils, monstrous inequities and flagrant injustices that, exacerbated by speculation, exploitation and fraud, would destroy it. And it promoted world revolution to that end.

This face-off of giants in the Cold War necessitated further refinement of the American myth. Now, instead of simply intervening in situations where despotism or tyranny required America to forcefully implant our just and ethical democracy, America had to become the shield and bulwark of the sacred capitalist system in which “free enterprise” was magically and increasingly identified with democracy and equally to be defended. This version prevailed through many surrogate confrontations around the globe in the era of Mutually Assured Destruction and survived even the debacle of Vietnam, lasting until the collapse of the Soviet Union, as the propaganda stream became ever more intense and pervasive. On radio and television Americans were subjected to an unrelenting barrage of hyper-patriotism in which American moral superiority was a given, and America’s self-touted courage, generosity and decency were its unchallengeable proofs.

The implosion of the Soviet Union left America, in its own terminology, the “Sole Superpower in a Unipolar World”. This, however, did not result in diminution of the myth. The practical effect of having no doomsday enemy- China couldn’t plausibly be cast in that role then- was to supercharge it by increasing its element of pure, hubristic ego. America was no longer just called upon to defend the “Free World” from monstrous heresy; it was now, by virtue of its universally acknowledged, beatific “exceptionalism”, required to oversee and police it in the interests, and for the benefit, of lesser nations.

“Power corrupts”, said Lord Mahan, “and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” When the only rival and counterweight to American power disintegrated there was a sense within the American power elite that the opportunity existed, for the first time in history, for one country to absolutely dominate and effectively control the entire world. This consensus was expressed in a policy statement composed by a cadre of major right-wing political players representing massive corporate capitalist interests called the Project for a New American Century. This triumphalist manifesto laid out a plan for absolute American access and control of essential resources and raw materials worldwide, to be guaranteed by the military which would enforce Full Spectrum Dominance.

The American Myth, which had seemed to have lost momentum and its animating principle in the totally unexpected so-called Cold War “victory”, was now re-energized with a less defensive and reactive essence, and given the glowing radiance and patina of a true and, for the first time, self-professed and articulated, imperial mission. The attack on the Towers, an unimaginable provocation, was the trigger mechanism for the explosive launch of the effort to impose that imperial model in practice on the world.

It has been without question the most spectacular failure in the history of American misadventure. After a decade marked by the waste of trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of American lives, the stunning bankruptcy of our internally burglarized nation, and a consequent recession more fundamentally damaging than the Great One, Imperial America has nothing to show for the botched folly of its arrogant overreach but unequivocal disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, and Syria, with no end of madness in sight.

An impartial observer would have to say that the hypnotic hold of the American Myth on the loyalty of the people has led only to disgrace and disaster, and set a direct course to inevitable imperial decline and ruin. That would be inarguable on any rational basis, but it entirely mistakes the motive for, and the purpose of, the myth. The American Myth was never intended to serve the interests either of our country or of our people: it was created solely to buttress, shield, and exalt the ruling financial class. It has done that with astonishing and unbroken success that staggers the imagination from our earliest days.

The massive looting of Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan/Libya/Syria war funding to enrich the Corporate Tyranny - for that is what it has become - is on an unique scale of its own, without anything remotely comparable to its flagrant obscenity in the whole long history of war. Neither the Pentagon nor any branch of the U.S. government can give any accounting whatever of the many trillions of tax-generated dollars that have vanished, evaporated. There is no doubt but that beyond the outrageously inflated, no-bid contracts handed to giant corporate favorites with their preposterous guaranteed profits, much of the money was simply stolen in bulk by, through, or in spite of the military, and distributed among thieves and accomplices, some of it on huge pallets… for convenience, presumably.

While this wholesale robbery was going on under the oversight of the military abroad, the Corporate Tyranny had evolved a whole set of impenetrably complex devices for the generation of money without any economically productive source or result at home. The sole driving force and purpose of Capitalism is the realization of profit. According to that calculus, reducing production costs increases profit margin. This leads to the obvious conclusion that as production costs near zero, profit is maximized.  There is no provision for social good in Capitalist theory. Corporations, created to optimize business opportunity through efficient specialization, were originally required to operate for public benefit but that provision was quickly finessed and forgotten.

American law courts have always favored corporate concentrations of wealth since they, like the Congress, exist to serve the moneyed interests. The American Myth was created to provide cover for the financial oligarchy to exploit the country and the citizenry, and the judiciary has consistently cooperated in ruling for corporations against the people. Indeed, without ever considering the question in law, the Supreme Court long ago endowed corporations with “personhood”, that is with all rights of human beings under our Constitution. The way this travesty occurred - the slipshod by-product of an obliquely related case- shows that the court preferred to incorporate this perversion of the plain intent of the 14th amendment as an unexamined assumption rather than risk an eventual test which would unquestionably have created violent public outrage.

Given the collusion of Congress and the courts in securing legal invulnerability for the Corporate Tyranny and the principle that the only duty of corporations is maximization of profit, it was not surprising that megabanks, huge brokerage houses, giant insurance conglomerates, gilded hedge funds and the credit agencies pretending to certify their work, all engaged in massive and systemic fraud and deception for just that purpose. The result was the crash of ’08, the recession, and the stunning and unprecedented rescue and bailout of the biggest banks, investment houses, and insurance and credit conglomerates with taxpayer dollars. So much for the hallowed Invisible Hand of the Free Market

The last decades have seen two related megatrends in American geopolitical mechanics, both with dire effects on the power of the American Myth. First, what belief the world at large had in it has been shattered by a catastrophic series of imbecile and irretrievable military failures and disasters, which has caused erosion of its efficacy at home. Second, in response to this, the State has made increasingly crude efforts to boost the Myth’s waning power by the imposition of totalitarian methods of surveillance, intimidation and coercion on the American people to a degree unprecedented in scope and scale.

The whole clanking, medieval apparatus of Homeland Security that has sprouted like an enormous poison fungus since 9/11 with its brutal police state mindset; the odious Patriot Act with its flagrant subversions of the Bill of Rights; the endless, fantasy-based terror-peddling of the prostitute corporate media with its clowns and harpies churning irrational fear and anger in the uninformed: all this grim, repressive endeavor is a concerted attempt to distract Americans from the real causes of their injury, abuse, and oppression.

And yet, even with the American Myth now totally and irreparably blown full of holes and exposed demonstrably for the tissue of lies, deceptions and frauds that it has always been, it somehow keeps its phenomenal hold on the great mass of the American people. The tragic reality is that, for the majority, their own identities have been so deeply and thoroughly infused with the myth that to disbelieve it is to disbelieve in themselves.

So the American Myth is dead, and yet it lives on in its deadness, horribly masking our crapshot economy, our bankrupt debtors prison of a society, our Ghost Dance charade of kabuki democracy, while typhoons of impending social, economic and ecological disaster build their enormous, lightning-charged thunderheads above the dark future before us.

And what is it that the dead Myth still imperfectly obscures for Americans? What is outside and beyond the opaque wall of faltering, failing dishonesty and deception? What is the horror that the shoddy, tattered Myth has so long and so effectively concealed? It is the world that has suffered unrelieved exploitation by the violence of our imperialist mania. It is the many wrecked and pillaged economies financially looted by our imposed predatory capitalist austerity regimes. It is the teeming hundreds of millions of starved, deprived and dying children sacrificed to Wall Street commodities gaming. It is the multitudes of humble, innocent, ignorant people, barely surviving in absolutist and dictatorial regimes propped up in their barbaric cruelty by our military while our banks siphon off the profits left after arming their brutal police and armies and bribing their ruling Kings, Sheikhs or Generals. It is the millions of dead and maimed in the raped populations of simple tribal people whom our indiscriminately murderous juggernaut has left in its bloody wake in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Pakistan. It is the appalling legacy of hate and repulsion, disdain and fear, that America has earned with its appalling hegemonist villainy in every corner of the world.

And at home, what is it we Americans have been so complicit in hiding from ourselves in our devotion to the perverse legend that has come to inhabit our souls like a succubus? It is the millions of us with no work and no hope in middle age whose jobs and homes have been devoured by the heartless fraud machine of Wall Street. It is the trashed and demolished weed lots of our major cities eroding in crumbling, fire-gutted ruin. It is the many towns and cities with industries shut down and factories deserted or dismantled and shipped overseas. It is our decaying, disintegrating public schools, our bankrupt states and counties, our overtaxed, antiquated public transportation systems, our obsolete, dissolving infrastructure, our bloated, irrational prisons complex, our punishing and inadequate health care disaster, and over it all, the repressive mechanism of our police state, armed and empowered, ready for use against the American people themselves.

This is where we are. The great question now is whether we as a nation can awaken from this long historic nightmare and face the terrifying and exhilarating prospect of living in the full light of reality without the false props and dishonest constructs of a hoodwinked, herded and dishonored people or, whether we have internalized the falsity and disease to such an extent that it has become an organic, overmastering form of insanity?

In 1846, Henry David Thoreau, offended to his soul by the injustice of the American government’s invasion of Mexico, protested it and went to jail for his convictions. Later, in his essay "On Civil Disobedience," he said this: “If injustice is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.”

To attempt to break the hold of the American Myth will be a titanic, daunting challenge. To even begin to openly rebel against the might of the National Security State will require the courage to face much more than official disapproval and denunciation. Imperial America will not respond to even the most peaceful and orderly protest with anything less than hard police repression and the level of punishment will rise in relation to the scope and seriousness of the action undertaken.

Small protests will have no effect and will be meaningless. Organized mass events, when they occur, will draw the whole fiercely and brutally motivated National Security State apparatus down upon themselves. Americans, excepting those of our underclass who have felt it, have no experience with violent police or military repression. Those who commit peaceful civil disobedience, a first and innocent tactic of serious protest, will swiftly find out to their cost how it works. In a National Security State that has excised and eradicated all defensive laws and regulations intended to prevent abuse of the public, whatever the State does is legal. To such a pass have we in America come as a result of our long historic indoctrination in serving our financial elite, our Ruling Class.

To achieve any redemption for Americans, to make possible any more just, humane and life-honoring society, will require complete abandonment of the system of Predatory Capitalism. If offers no prospect of reform or improvement and we have all been witness to the idiocy of the so-called “democratic process” in action for generations now.

America is nearing the greatest crisis point in its history and the terrific cataclysm, when it happens, will determine the future our country is to have. If we cannot, in dominating numbers, rise to reject the heartless, mindless, soulless machine of Imperial Predatory Capitalism, we will be condemned to a fascistic command and control horror in which human beings are mere possessions of the State, units of production or service, and then perhaps not even that, as excess population in that brave, new world nay be eliminated.

That end is not inevitable. We are not lost. We are not even defeated because to this moment we have not engaged. We have not honored our responsibility as human beings. We have not risen to defend our humanity. We have let ourselves be ruled, trapped and encapsulated, frozen like a fly in amber in a false religion of state idolatry. 

It is up to those who know and care to lead. As Thomas Paine said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Nothing is guaranteed us. That can’t matter. We cannot be concerned with odds or outcomes. We cannot let the Machine of Injustice grind on. We must oppose it with all the moral force we own. We must act with quiet courage to confront a vicious tyrannical system that is destroying the earth, its life, and its people. We must put our lives on the line to oppose it. The Nightmare Machine of rapacious exploitation has overthrown humanity’s decency and reason and its bloody inhuman treason flourishes over us. This must be ended. Let your life be a friction now to stop the Machine.”