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    Are You Infuriated Yet?

    You should be. I certainly am...
    by Chris Martenson

    Saturday, October 21, 2017, 12:27 AM

More and more, I'm encountering people who are simply infuriated with how our "leaders" are running (or to put it more accurately, ruining) things right now. And I share that fury.

It’s perfectly normal human response to be infuriated when an outside agent hurts you, especially if the pain seems unnecessary, illogical or random.

Imagine if your neighbor enjoyed setting off loud explosives at all hours of the day and night. Or if he had a habit of tailgating and brake-checking you every time he saw your car on the road. You’d been well within your rights to be infuriated.

Or to use a much more common example from the real world : When your politicians repeatedly pass laws that hurt you in favor of large corporations — that, too, is infuriating. Especially if those actions run directly counter to their campaign promises.

There’s a lot of be infuriated about in the world today, so go ahead and embrace your rage. By doing so, you’ll be in a better mindset to understand things like Brexit, Catalonia, and Trump, each of which is a reflection of the fury of your fellow citizens, who are finally waking up to the fact that they've been victims for too long.

An easy prediction to make is that this simmering anger of the populace is going to start boiling over more violently in the coming years. Welcome to the Age of Fury.

'Over The Top' Dumb

Do you ever get the sense that, as a society, we're being dangerously reckless? Perhaps so dumb that we might not recover from the repercussions of our stupidity for many generations, if ever?

There are economic and financial idiocies in motion that are, by themselves, unsolvable predicaments without a peaceful solution. But when combined with resource depletion and declining net energy, they're positively intractable.

Take for example the hundreds of trillions of dollars-worth of underfunded entitlement and pension promises. Those promises cannot be kept and they cannot be paid. Everybody with a basic comprehension of math can conclude as such.

Yet we continue to operate as if the opposite were true. We comfort ourselves that, somehow, all the promised future payouts will be made in full — even though the funds are insolvent, their returns are much lower than the actuarial projections require, and payout demand mercilessly rises each year.

Spoiler alert: This isn’t some future disaster lying in wait. It’s unfolding right now.

Take these headlines spanning the past several years:

When it comes to broken retirement promises, the future is now. It will be with us for a very long time.

Why? Because the math simply doesn’t work. It’s broken, it’s been broken for a long time. You can't put too little in the piggy bank at the start, then raid it over time, and still expect to have enough at the end.

And yet we, as a society, have preferred to pretend as if that weren’t the case. Which, it turns out, was a terrible “strategy.”

But if you think that's bad, you’re going to positively hate this chart:

S&P 500 chart

The pension liabilities now blowing up are contained within the thin green smear in the middle of this chart. Think on the nation's inability to handle that single crisis, and now reflect on how overwhelmed it's going to be by the far larger predicaments that lie elsewhere on the chart.

The Infuriating Plunder-fest That Is Health Care

The Medicare liabilities (the orange and largest band on the above chart) are immense, and will only become more so as our largest demographic, the baby boomers, further ages. But they become especially infuriating when seen in the larger context of the racketeering that drives the health care system in the United States.

Instead of doing anything constructive about the high number of IOUs building up within Medicare, Washington DC politicians are sidestepping the most obvious elements that contribute the most to the problem. Enormously wasteful, the “healthcare” system is entirely out of control and spiraling deeper into an abyss that threatens to literally destroy the most productive segment of the US social structure: the middle and upper middle classes.

That should be a topic of serious discussion in the halls of power. But none is being had.

Literally each day brings worse news on the skyrocketing costs of healthcare. But, as with most topics,  the media mostly focuses on the symptoms (prices) rather than the causes of the issue.

The real culprits here are the insurance cartel and a hospital system that has the most unfair, incomprehensible, and inhumane billing process ever devised. One easy to grasp feature of both the insurance companies and conspire to pay the executives far more than they actually deserve or are truly worth.

Health care premiums for 2018 set to go up by as much as 50 percent

Oct 5, 2017

Several states have announced rates for health insurance premiums on the Obamacare exchanges for 2018. Topping the list is Georgia, with rates that are 57 percent higher than last year, while Florida said some premiums will be 45 percent higher.

Among the reasons for these increases is the uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act. President Donald Trump has vowed to repeal and replace the health care law, which was passed under his predecessor President Barack Obama.

Insurers are raising premiums in the face of repeated threats from President Trump to stop funding so-called cost-sharing reductions, payments to insurers that cover out-of-pocket costs for some low-income consumers. Trump previously referred to these payments as “bailouts” for insurance companies and threatened to stop making the payments so as to “let Obamacare implode”.

(Source)

That’s the story the health insurers are going with: they have to raise rates because they're uncertain whether they will get AS MUCH LOOT under the new rules being considered as they did under the utterly disastrous Obamacare provisions.

How much loot are we talking about? Look at this chart of the stock price of United Healthcare (UNH) since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare):

S&P 500 chart

If this chart showing massive near-4x gains in just 5 years, coupled with your steep annual premium increases, doesn’t infuriate you, you are just not getting it.

Even if your employer pays for your health care (somewhat obscuring the true impact of premium increases), the cost to you is fewer and lower pay increases, as well as steady yearly reductions in covered services along with higher co-pays and deductible amounts.

Still not infuriated? Ok, maybe this will do the trick. Here how much executive compensation at the major insurers was last year:

S&P 500 chart

(Source)

The average family health care insurance premium in 2016 was $18,764, meaning that Mark Bertolini from Aetna alone required 100% of the premiums from more than 2,200 families just to pay him in 2016. Of course, the “C-suite” of these health care insurers are loaded with other high-paid parasites who are just as busy gouging the young and old alike.

This is a complete travesty and joke. Congress and the Senate, sitting on their deservedly low approval ratings, pretend they cannot do anything about it. Too complicated they say. Bullshit I say. Go after the obscene pay packages and profits of the insurance industry as a first matter of business. Then make it a crime for hospitals to bill people differently for the exact same services.

That’s a no-brainer. Can you imagine if your mechanic had a secret pricing formula for every customer that was, literally, based on their maximum ability to pay? Nobody would stand for it, it’s disgusting that we tolerate this when it comes to something as vital and necessary as our health and even lives.

Fury, not tolerance, is what's needed now.

Conclusion (to Part 1)

The future has arrived. The pension losses are here and just getting started and the future will have a lot more of those sorts of broken promises.

The health care insurance crisis has been with us for 20 years or so now and Obamacare just put some extra accelerant on that fire, which is now consuming middle class households by the tens of thousands.

Both the pension and health care crises are infuriating and self-inflicted wounds. We could have avoided them by making wiser choices in the past. We didn't. We could limit their damage by making better choices today. We almost assuredly won't.

Current conversations and proposals are thinly disguised sleight-of-hand movements whose purpose is to deflect attention from the thefts underway. Anybody who studies the system and its math comes to the same conclusion: the corporations have all the power and they are misusing it for private gain.

Why there aren’t more politicians willing to call a spade a spade and actually protect their constituents is a real mystery. But the next wave of populist candidates certainly won’t be. People are sick and tired of being asked to give more and more while corporations and wealthy elites keep taking more and more.

It’s simply infuriating.

But that’s not the worst of it. The mistakes we are making right now in terms of energy policy and ecological destruction are far more dangerous to your personal health, liberty and future prospects than a simple market crash.

In Part 2: It's Time For Action, we uncover the hidden downside risks in today's financial markets and explain how, as destructive as a coming market crash will be, the longer-term damage to society and risks to your well-being are rooted in the potential breakdown of the systems we depend on to live.

As with pensions and health care, we are pursuing similar dangerously misguided policies in our farming & food systems, extraction of industrial resources, and ecological management — to name just a few. 

There's an appropriate time for fury. And that time is now — provided we use the anger to spur us into constructive action. Get your fury on.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

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64 Comments

  • Fri, Oct 20, 2017 - 5:52pm

    #1

    scribe

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 19 2011

    Posts: 25

    But not furious about the orange idiot?

    I’m still waiting to hear about your anger at the climate denying orange moron running your country. Tick tock, tick tock …. no balls?

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  • Fri, Oct 20, 2017 - 7:33pm

    #2

    Stabu

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 07 2011

    Posts: 96

    Furious from 2014, Depressed as of Late

    I’ve been furious for so long already that I’m worn out of being angry. While I’m concerned about a huge swath of things including unfunded entitlements, increasing healthcare expenditures, possible nuclear war with North Korea, disappearing insects, approaching peak oil etc. what infuriates me the most is this relentless money printing conducted by virtually all central banks world over. No matter the asset class everything imaginable – except those few things deliberately manipulated downwards – is going to the moon, regardless of how crazy or overvalued. Since I started investing right after the original Nasdaq bubble, I used to make a comfortable 30% per year in the markets until I finally threw in the towel in 2011. I haven’t touched stocks or virtually any other investable assets since then. Nothing makes sense to me except through this stupid lens of endless money printing. These days I put all my extra money into paying down my mortgage (I don’t have other debt), buying short-term US bonds, and investing in small shares of selected local businesses. The reason, I think, I’m feeling depressed is both because of missing out on all these insane gains since 2011, and because I’m starting to seriously doubt my own skill and intellect. What if this thing just goes on forever and never ends? So what if they add 10%, 20% or 50% more money into the money supply every year – what if this just increases asset prices by a similar amount and nothing else is ever affected by this?

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  • Fri, Oct 20, 2017 - 8:46pm

    #3

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 465

    What Stabu said!

    I’ve gone from angry to numb and depressed.

    The insanity has been going on for decades and it only seems to become more absurd.

    Talk about fake news.  When the MSM talkes about it, they are talking about a specific piece of news.

    What’s false is the universal lack of focus on issues of crucial global importance.  We are feed endless daily articles on “news” such as Weinstein and virtually nothing on the global flying insect collapse.  Global flying insect populations are down 75% in 27 years and we are supposed to consider Weinstein’s behavior to be more news worthy?  It’s simply insane.

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  • Fri, Oct 20, 2017 - 9:17pm

    #4

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    This might help (infuriate you).

    Here’s the Dickinson, Tx website.

    http://www.ci.dickinson.tx.us/627/Hurricane-Harvey-Information

    Here’s the grant request form/contract (while it’s still up).

    http://www.ci.dickinson.tx.us/DocumentCenter/View/2016

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 12:59am

    #5

    Grover

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 15 2011

    Posts: 691

    Beyond Fury

    Well said, Stabu! I’m also in the “worn out” category. I know that I can only vote against 3 members of CONgress – 2 Senators and 1 Representative. Unfortunately, many in my State think these 3 people are doing great things for the State by bringing federal dollars home to do needed projects. I’m sure it is the same way in the other 49 States. When you add it all up, all 50 States are feeling that they’re getting more from the federal coffers than they are contributing in taxes. That’s why we have the federal debt. That’s why we have underfunded pensions. That’s why SS and Medicare are such a mess. No politician ever got reelected by proposing severe austerity. That’s what it would take to get the finances in order. It ain’t gonna happen. The system is doomed – eventually.

    I still vote, but only to remove the incumbents. It’s not that I expect the person who receives my vote to do a good job. The system is too ingrained for a newcomer to fix. Reelection is always on a politician’s mind. They need campaign money for their reelection bid. The lobbyists offer great incentives and only ask for a teeny weeny loophole for the clients. Multiply that a few million times and we get the spaghetti legislation we get. Why should we be surprised?

    It is best to focus on what is best for your loved ones and your eventual community. Figure out where it would be best to be while the system is intact and also when the system collapses. That advice varies for each of us. What is best for me may not suit your needs. If there isn’t enough local food and water available to the local populace, there will be huge problems when the system fails. Ask yourself what will happen when the trucks stop delivering goods to the stores? It won’t matter what causes the stoppage. People will help strangers only if the problem is perceived to be temporary – a hurricane, flood, fire, earthquake, etc. As soon as the problem appears to be permanent, attitudes will change drastically. Cooperation works best when bellies are reasonably full and hydrated.

    Grover

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 2:28am

    #6

    paulanders

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2013

    Posts: 6

    Why be infuriated?

    I honestly do see your side of the coin, and yes, there are a boatload of people that will be screwed out of their pensions in the end. But there’s a flip side to the coin. I am in no way condoning what they do but really, why not take advantage of the never ending inflating that’s going on, because one day, it truly does have to end. Ride that market higher, ride that Bitcoin higher, keep stacking that cheap silver, hell,  ride all of it higher while you can and reap the free money they are giving away.

    Sitting around worrying about it will only put you further behind the curve…

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 3:16am

    Reply to #6

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4504

    Because...here's why.

    paulanders wrote:

    I honestly do see your side of the coin, and yes, there are a boatload of people that will be screwed out of their pensions in the end. But there’s a flip side to the coin. I am in no way condoning what they do but really, why not take advantage of the never ending inflating that’s going on, because one day, it truly does have to end. Ride that market higher, ride that Bitcoin higher, keep stacking that cheap silver, hell,  ride all of it higher while you can and reap the free money they are giving away.

    Sitting around worrying about it will only put you further behind the curve…

    Why become infuriated?  Because along the way we are doing irreversible damage to the world’s ecosystems and our future prospects.  If we don’t activate and change that trajectory, and console ourselves with Bitcoin gains and stock market returns, then we’ll be majorly disappointed with what comes to pass.

    Now if said emotions are not rocket fuel for positive change, then by all means don’t go there.

    Or, if you can achieve that same change while in a happy-go-lucky state, that seems better as well.

    But for most people nothing changes until we first confront the issue and go through the usual process of emotional adjustment.  Why?  because decisions and actions remain rooted in our emotional centers (the Amygdala), not our rational cortical areas.

    Biology still rules.

    As I noted in part II of this report, the flying insects in Germany have been recorded as declining by nearly 80% over the past 25 years.  That really ought to worry the bejeezus out of everyone.

    I’m not sure that saying we should just sit back and enjoy the (illusory) gains offered by thin-air money printing while they last is really the best course of action here.  We need to change the story and we need to do it really quickly.  So the real question for me isn’t should we be infuriated or Zen-like, but what’s the best way to get people to (finally) pay attention to what really matters?

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 3:23am

    Reply to #2

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4504

    I'll go on

    Stabu wrote:

    I’ve been furious for so long already that I’m worn out of being angry. 

    Yep.  I share that with you, along with a lot of other people.

    This has gone on so long that I have to wonder if they cannot keep doing this right up too the moment that it all is simply inescapably ruined.

    Their tactics involve complete control of the financial “markets” and distractive propaganda beamed at the populace 24/7.  Its really hard to get people to focus on the important things via social media because that route supports a short attention span, twitchy reactivity, and is heavily infested with bots, unaware individuals, corporate shills,and government agents posing as ordinary people ready to deflect any real conversations straight into the nearest ditch.

    So it feels like there’s no positive movement.  But there really is.  As the person holding the center of this site I am as weary as anybody, but I’ve got to keep going to see this through to the end, whatever that is.  

    The podcast with Stephen Jenkinson had a powerful moment for me when he said this:

    Samuel Beckett, great Irish writer. He has a book title. And the book title says what you and I are talking about right now. The name of the book is, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.  Now, if you do not pay attention to how he has phrased it, you think what he is saying is I cannot go on; I can go on. But he doesn’t say that. See, that is hopeful and hopeless again. He says I cannot go on; I will go on. And at the risk of cheapening an elaborate and well accomplished book just by making a phrase of the title, I believe his title says this:

    I have an obligation in a troubled time to go on, not being able to.

    If you let that stand and you do not try to resolve that, and you recognize the inability to go on is no more predicting of the outcome than the ability to go on is. Neither one of these foreclose on what may yet come to pass. However, the depths of the trouble mean that there is such thing… there is such a thing as not being able to go on and you turn away from that at your peril. The recognition that you cannot go on is a real time in people’s lives. It is not a failure, moral or otherwise, it is not a collapse.

    It is a true thing, and it takes courage to know that you are at a time when you cannot go on. And what Beckett is saying is, there come times in our lives when we go on not being able to. Where you are not obliged to choose between those two realities that both of them are your companions now; and I think the degree of trouble that we are seeing beginning to crest now, requires both of those skills. The skill of not being able to go on and the skill of doing so at the same time and not being obliged to choose between them. And pretending that because you read or watched Bucket List enough times, you know how to get on the other side of being defeated.

    There is nothing on the other side of being defeated. When you lose, you lose. And what we have done to that which has sustained us, we’ve done it long enough now, that the losing has begun. That is a nonnegotiable situation. You can have as many politicians as you want try to get your vote from you by claiming they are going to make something great again. But there is no again to go back to, you see. That is what grownups know about a troubled time and that is… there is a degree of courage in that absolutely, but it is a courage that has no promise in it. That if you are courageous secretly, it is going to be okay.

    (Source

    So I’ll go on.

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 7:06am

    #7
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 199

    How to wake them up?

    Chris asked,

    what’s the best way to get people to (finally) pay attention to what really matters?

    I ask myself this same question many times a day. My stock answer is that nobody will do anything serious until something breaks, but by then it’ll be too late to do anything useful.

    I am not alone in this glum opinion.

    Some people complain about the lumpenproletariat and why must they be so lumpen, but it’s not them: it’s far more the lumpeneconomists and their acolytes, the lumpenpoliticians, who together are wilfully blind.

    (You MUST read the book of the same name by Margaret Heffernan; your education is incomplete until you do. Astonishing case studies of the emotional inability of highly-placed people to recognise and adjust to reality.)

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 7:20am

    #8

    kaimu

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 20 2013

    Posts: 161

    DEBT IS DEBT

    Aloha! I understand central bank debt but debt is debt. Debt has been part of the American Empire on all levels. You want to buy a house then get into debt. You want a credit card then get into debt. You want a masters degree then go into debt.

    Are central banks a reflection of society or is society a reflection of central banks?

    The American Dream is a dream made on debt!

    Condemning central banks? Look in the mirror!

     

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 8:01am

    #9
    gkcjrrt

    gkcjrrt

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 20 2016

    Posts: 14

    Mendacity

    What gets me the most angry is the institutional lying that is going on – and no one, well almost no one save a few, either point it out or object.

    Look at this from the Wall Street Journal – does anything seem amiss, like the actual PE of the Russell 2000 and its estimated PE.  The people paying attention do not object b/c they get rich by the system – justice and fairness be damned … the love of money is the root  of the lies.   I fear I have become a misanthrope over the past decade

     

     

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 9:12am

    Reply to #6

    paulanders

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2013

    Posts: 6

    Chris, that is where you have

    Chris, that is where you have it and I think me wrong. WE are not doing irreversible damage, THEY are doing the irreversible damage. GMO foods, vaccinations, insecticides (straight up poisons on your food), the list is long and will not stop at this point. I truly believe we are past the point of no return on this one so while it sounds like I don’t care, I do, it’s just that you might as well do what you can while you can. You of all people knows how the system works. It doesn’t change because it’s not right, or not working. First it has to bankrupt us, then fail us miserably, then fall off a cliff, and then lay there and smolder before somebody even mentions that maybe we should try another way (think Obozo care).  All I’m saying is chances are a person will not have this opportunity again in their lifetime to make this money. Money that they will need no matter what the future brings us. 

    Keep up the good work, I do enjoy it!

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 9:14am

    #10
    Mazman

    Mazman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 20 2017

    Posts: 1

    Developing

    I tried joining the cohort of small scale developers with the idea that we could build small infill projects, right after I got out of college. I wanted to build rentals and other housing that was at least affordable to the middle class. It’s not really possible in the cities that are ‘booming’ or seems insanely risky at this point. The instability of real estate in the last 20 years is crushing.

    http://www.multpl.com/case-shiller-home-price-index-inflation-adjusted/

    If this posts correctly, you can see we haven’t reached the insanity of 2005 when adjusted for inflation. Prices seem to be accelerating though and we’ll be back at crazy town in a year and half at the current rate.

    It feels like the whole real estate industry has lost their minds.

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 11:29am

    #11

    Stabu

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 07 2011

    Posts: 96

    Cryptos and the Stock Market

    I actually own a few Bitcoin that I got for about $10 end of 2012. I accepted those reluctantly as a form of payment for minor debt. I’ve actively followed the crypto currency market since, but never purchased more, because the market has always felt overvalued. Fundamentally I object the anti-social way most cryptos are designed that majorly benefits early adopters. I also suspect that cryptos themselves will be less successful in the long-run for a number of reasons including a relatively slow adoption rate compared to other recent phenomenon such as the rise of Facebook. While crypto networks are pretty much undefeatable, cryptos come with other downsides, primarily the need to convert them into real money (e.g. dollars or pounds). If governments want to ban these things the only thing they have to do is to shut down a handful of exchanges. Pure information businesses with online only presence can work fine with cryptos, but businesses in the real world operate with supply chains that rely on real money in the end. Government fiat is still fundamentally based on the government’s assets, most significantly its ability to tax, while the value of cryptos is almost entirely based on the size of the crypto network. If cryptos catch on in a major way I suspect that they will be banned due to similar reasons authorities are waging a war on cash and on gold, and the reasons for banning cryptos are even stronger than for cash or gold, since conducting illegal activities with cryptos is far easier. My speculation is that the main reason this hasn’t happened yet is because governments would want to form their own cryptos in order to virtually seal their destruction of human liberty. All this being said, I’m bullish on the blockchain technology with it’s abilities for e.g. triple bookkeeping, but I believe it’s future is in private rather than public ledgers.

    The problem with the stock market is that the PE valuations are simply insanely high and those valuations have gone up for quite a long time. Stock markets around the world are trading more in unison than ever before and hence it’s almost pointless to try to do any international diversification. I’ve found several natural resource companies, a few utilities, and a few consumer staples businesses that have fair valuation. The reason I’m not investing in them is because they are still part of a stock market and if any form of accident would ever occur, we could see these fair valuations to still halve overnight. The difference between a stock that’s lost 80% and a stock that’s lost 90% of it’s value is that the stock that’s lost 90% first lost 80% and then an additional 50% of it’s value. Therefore the only “safe” investments are small privately held businesses you can physically visit that have solid foundations and very few connections with anything financial (debt included).

    So why not simply ride the stock market and cryptos higher? Well, even if we assume that this thing will go on forever, let’s say, doubling every single year starting 2018, continuing on 2019, then 2020 etc. etc. without a single crash, sooner or later – to Chris’ point – the financial markets will uncouple from reality. The longer this goes on and the more insane all valuations become, the larger and faster the uncoupling will likely be. I would not be surprised – but I would be very socked – if I woke up tomorrow to find out that land and every item in the grocery store cost 10 times as much as it did the night before. I’m not even sure if such a single uncoupling event could be characterized as a hyperinflation, since the revaluation happened literarily overnight and become to a halt soon thereafter. The process is fairly similar to what would happen when a country with fixed exchange rates suddenly decides to devalue the fixed exchange rate by, in this case, 90%.

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 12:30pm

    #12

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4504

    Buried in cucumbers...

    Cases like this one are easy to find.  

    In the middle of the night in March of 2012, NYPD officers burst into the Bronx home of Gerald Bryan, ransacking his belongings, tearing out light fixtures, punching through walls, and confiscating $4,800 in cash.

    Bryan, 42, was taken into custody on suspected felony drug distribution, as the police continued their warrantless search. Over a year later, Bryan’s case was dropped. When he went to retrieve his $4,800, he was told it was too late: the money had been deposited into the NYPD’s pension fund.

    (Source)

    And then the big boyz and girlz get off scott-free on major felonies while Goldman Sachs gets 100 cents on the dollar for blown CDOs that they themselves wrote and sold.

    These things matter…

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 12:33pm

    #13

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 448

    Chris - Daring Greatly

    Thank you to ezlxq1949 for mentioning Margaret Heffernan!  I dedicate her video below to Chris who is daring greatly by asking questions and pointing out the silence.

    AKGrannyWGrit

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  • Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 4:37pm

    #14
    Rodster

    Rodster

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 22 2016

    Posts: 17

    More Bad News !

    “Ecological Armageddon”

    https://www.rt.com/news/407215-insect-population-decline-study/

     

    Side note: I live in sunny/humid SW Florida and I can recall twice a year when “lovebugs” would make their appearance and you knew it because driving anywhere would result in a dirty windshield within minutes. I haven’t seen lovebugs in the last 5 years and that goes for butterflies. We have royally screwed up this planet and Elon Musk wants us to inhabit Mars? I say we first learn how to take care of our own planet before we screw another one up.

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  • Sun, Oct 22, 2017 - 6:48am

    #15
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 514

    In·fu·ri·ate

    Seems somewhat appropriate, given our current global situation, not to mention the NYPD:

    “a spirit of punishment, often represented as one of three goddesses who executed the curses pronounced upon criminals, tortured the guilty with stings of conscience, and inflicted famines and pestilences. The Furies were identified at an early date with the Eumenides.

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  • Sun, Oct 22, 2017 - 9:37am

    #16

    charleshughsmith

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 15 2010

    Posts: 683

    worshiping TINA

    At some point the whole perverse charade becomes a tragi-comedy.  So now China’s government (via local governments tapping the infinite-credit machine of the central govt) is buying 24% of all those overpriced empty flats that constitute “the China miracle”:

    China’s Government Is Expected To Buy 24% Of All Residential Real Estate For Sale In 2017
     
    In the current Mode of Production, TINA (there is no alternative) rules.
    As I’ve noted many times: if you don’t change the way “money” is created and distributed, you change nothing. 

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  • Sun, Oct 22, 2017 - 9:52am

    #17
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    White people are the new Black people

    The treatment white people are getting now has been going on for ages in the black community. Systemic corruption is very hard to control once it is firmly embedded, particularly if there is a profit motive. The idiot msm plays a role here too.  

    I read an interesting story about the numbers around police apprehension of drug offenders in B.C a couple of years ago.  (Vancouver is now one of the politically dirtiest cities in N.America, due to Asian criminals laundering money through casinos and then through real estate)

     

    The story, appearing in the Vancouver Sun, was about how the volume of drugs seized by police had surged and was at historical highs. The reporter followed this up with words to the effect, “what nobody can figure out is how drug seizures have doubled while the amount of cash seized during these arrests is half what it used to be.”  

    Anybody who knows anything about cities that are propped up by drug revenues, understands every level of govt and law enforcement are involved to some degree.  When police seize drugs, they seize cash too, and keep it themselves. How hard is it to put 2 and 2 together? 

    Recently, it was discovered that B.C’s fentanyl can be traced directly to China.  Moreover, the money made from the drugs has been laundered through casinos and then ends up purchasing homes. This along with the Air B and B disaster places Vancouverites on the street, living in their cars and pushed out to the boonies where they live in tinder dry areas and cook food over campfires —  hugely risky  

    The media have finally started to report these disasters  and not because they are having a twinge of conscience, but because print media is dying and nobody reads them anymore UNLESS they are relevant. While these problems were building, they ignored them, preferring their fish wrap to make money from their corporate real estate developer advertisers.  

    The U.S is a vast criminal enterprise and Canada is right behind you. 

    Enraged? I was for a time.  Now I am trying to put as much distance as I can between myself and evil and stupidity. That takes a certain measure of calm.  

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  • Sun, Oct 22, 2017 - 10:38am

    #18
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    Stabu

    Stabu,

    There is nothing wrong with your intellect and reasoning skill. The problem is govt interference in the markets, which is clearly a form of soft Fascism, or a corporatocracy.  It is pretty hard to predict what is going to happen when you have this form of partnership. What can’t be gleaned from the surface is stealth movement beneath the surface  

     

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  • Sun, Oct 22, 2017 - 10:42am

    Reply to #17

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 394

    agitating prop

    agitating prop wrote:

    Enraged? I was for a time.  Now I am trying to put as much distance as I can between myself and evil and stupidity. That takes a certain measure of calm.  

    This.  Rage takes too much energy and paralyzes the higher thinking centers.  Rage is useful, or can be.  But not a sustainable or intelligent long-term strategy, IMO.

    A metaphor:  if, say, one was chained to a wall in a dungeon, rage-given strength might help one pull those chains free from the wall.  But to actually escape the dungeon (avoiding guards, picking locks or figuring out how to climb out a window), a calm and quiet mind is a must.

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  • Sun, Oct 22, 2017 - 12:56pm

    #19
    agitating prop

    agitating prop

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 28 2009

    Posts: 282

    Environment versus humanity

    One of the problems I am currently studying and developing a work around for is one that will affect me directly.  I live in a place that is SO pro-environment, it is strangling the community. There is nowhere for anybody in the service community to live and affordable housing initiatives just can’t get any traction.

    The underlying but unstated goal is to turn the place back to a pristine Eden. In other words, the nimbys in control go beyond wanting the population to stabilize.  They want the population to shrink. 

    How does one square an environmental conscience that is at odds with humanitarian values that include providing basic shelter for working class people?  

    Some people here would embrace a tree and spit in the eye of someone forced to sleep in the street.

    i understand it and I value the environment too, but what is making me angry these days, is I feel I am being forced to choose between people and nature.  And I think many people are feeling the same way, so the never ending barrage of info about our degrading environment places them in an awkward position with regards their human values.  So they, unfortunately, give up  

     

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  • Mon, Oct 23, 2017 - 1:17am

    #20
    skipr

    skipr

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 09 2016

    Posts: 122

    decisions decisions

    Don’t worry, the collapsing ecosphere will eventually decide for you.  The rapidly collapsing economy will be the good old days in comparison.

    Edward Abbey said it perfectly:  “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”

    What blows my mind is how this society of ours has defined reality (food, water, air, all species) an abstraction (externalities, etc) and abstractions (money, economy, etc) a reality.

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  • Mon, Oct 23, 2017 - 5:51am

    #21

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1435

    But we can always hope

    …that a really thorough, foundation-rattling economic collapse will at least stop us in our tracks enough (resource depletion, etc) to give Nature a chance to recover for a few decades while we lick our wounds.

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  • Mon, Oct 23, 2017 - 7:06am

    #22

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    There will come a day

    “When we raise our true flag”

    “There will come a day
    (and it won’t be long now)
    when the mandible-mouthed liars cease their death song,
    and ivy grows over the bunkers of the Bank Boys,
    and the cannons all sprout mushrooms,
    and fireflies fill the air once more.

    When that day comes,
    we will lower the flag of the marching machine
    (once used as wrapping paper for dead teenagers with rifles,
    once hung over buildings full of men with red eyes,
    once emblazoned upon flying robots that rained fire),
    and we will raise our true flag at long last.

    It will be woven from the prayers of our grandmothers
    who will never see it raised but knew one day it would be.
    It will be dyed in the blood of the media martyrs
    who stared the Bastards in the eye and sang life songs.
    It will have a traditional image of Michael the Archangel,
    except instead of him stepping on the Devil
    they are laughing together over a drink at the pub
    while a man with a pipe looks on and smiles.
    It will be based on a drawing made in crayon long ago
    by a chain-smoking dryad who lurks in your brain pan.

    We will all salute it in our own unique way:
    with fart jokes and whale songs,
    with unearthly ululations,
    with runed glossolalia,
    with lightning from our fingertips,
    with air guitar karate,
    with lava dance lovemaking,
    with a single tear from someone who still misses you,
    with an uplifting of the heart toward the sky.

    And then we’ll all curl up together
    and we’ll sleep unafraid
    for the very first time,
    and we will dream of the ones
    who helped walk us home.”

    – Caitlin Johnstone

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  • Tue, Oct 24, 2017 - 8:15am

    Reply to #20

    dcm

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 14 2009

    Posts: 106

    If I were a dog

    I’d curse the day the alpha male approached their fire pits

    I wonder what they tell the other animals

    We just hang out

    we’re not their accomplice

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  • Tue, Oct 24, 2017 - 12:31pm

    #23
    Geedard

    Geedard

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 13 2014

    Posts: 56

    Dow - going exponential...?

    Wow!!!  

    1’000 point gains are accelerating hard. 

    Only last week the DOW breaks 23’000 and in just a few trading days since, it’s now at 23’440… 

    Jeez… It’s kinda shocking to witness, but also no great surprise. What a disconnect from reality… 

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  • Tue, Oct 24, 2017 - 1:36pm

    #24
    DennisC

    DennisC

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2011

    Posts: 101

    If I Were a Dog

     

    I would trot down this road sniffing
    on one side and then the other
    peeing a little here and there
    wherever I felt the urge
    having a good time what the hell
    saving some because it’s a long road

    but since I’m not a dog
    I walk straight down the road
    trying to get home before dark

    if I were a dog and I had a master
    who beat me I would run away
    and go hungry and sniff around
    until I found a master who loved me
    I could tell by his smell and I
    would lick his face so he knew

    or maybe it would be a woman
    I would protect her we could go
    everywhere together even down this
    dark road and I wouldn’t run from side
    to side sniffing I would always
    be protecting her and I would stop
    to pee only once in awhile

    sometimes in the afternoon we could
    go to the park and she would throw
    a stick I would bring it back to her

    each time I put the stick at her feet
    I would say this is my heart
    and she would say I will make it fly
    but you must bring it back to me
    I would always bring it back to her
    and to no other if I were a dog

    If I Were a Dog – Richard Shelton (http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2013/07/11)

    I would be this dog.

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  • Tue, Oct 24, 2017 - 1:46pm

    Reply to #23
    DennisC

    DennisC

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2011

    Posts: 101

    Too Early or Too Late...

    to order custom printed Dow 25,000 caps?

    https://www.amazon.com/SW-IM-Baseball-Graphic-American/dp/B06XSJVX4V/ref

    Must be made in the USA right? It’s got a flag on it.

     

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  • Tue, Oct 24, 2017 - 2:09pm

    #25

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4504

    I'd be this dog

    …jumped just a weeeeee bit too early:

    https://i.imgur.com/5lBl5GH.gifv

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  • Wed, Oct 25, 2017 - 9:46am

    #26

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 394

    Humanity is this dog?

    Trying to outrun the converging predicaments we face?

     

    https://i.imgur.com/wY5BZ.gif

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  • Wed, Oct 25, 2017 - 12:37pm

    #27

    dcm

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 14 2009

    Posts: 106

    If I was a dog

    I’d have these problems licked

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  • Wed, Oct 25, 2017 - 1:32pm

    Reply to #16
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 49

    charleshughsmith wrote:At

    charleshughsmith wrote:

    At some point the whole perverse charade becomes a tragi-comedy.  So now China’s government (via local governments tapping the infinite-credit machine of the central govt) is buying 24% of all those overpriced empty flats that constitute “the China miracle”:

    China’s Government Is Expected To Buy 24% Of All Residential Real Estate For Sale In 2017
     
    C H Smith? THE C H Smith?  Hey, Brother! 
     
    Surely you know better than to cite zerohedge for anything about China. They’ve been (like so many others) predicting China’s inevitable (?) hard landing for  many years now, and of course they are always wrong. They’ve got a bug up their asses about China, and simply refuse to admit that the Chinese have found a better way to do things — as they obviously have.
     
    If you want some good briefings about China and its economy, check out Godfree Roberts:
     
    http://www.inpraiseofchina.com/is-chinas-debt-exaggerated/
    Is China’s Debt Exaggerated?
    May 29, 2017

    https://www.unz.com/article/chinas-financial-debt-everything-you-know-is
    China’s Financial Debt: Everything You Know Is Wrong
    Godfree Roberts     July 5, 2017
     

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  • Wed, Oct 25, 2017 - 3:47pm

    #28

    Snydeman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2013

    Posts: 480

    I sense

    A shiv. Likely of the corporate variety.

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  • Wed, Oct 25, 2017 - 5:01pm

    Reply to #7

    Matt Holbert

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 03 2008

    Posts: 67

    Thanks ezlxq1949...

    I just picked up the book today from WSU-Spokane. The depressing reality is that the book has only been checked out twice. Both in the date of publication: 2011. As someone who has been infuriated for 20 plus years I look forward to reading the book. So far (p. 44) it has not disappointed.

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  • Wed, Oct 25, 2017 - 6:10pm

    #29
    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 112

    Sound Familiar?

    “The next twenty years are going to be completely unlike the last twenty years”

    Chris Martenson

    So why be infuriated when the paradigm predicted is playing out as predicted?

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  • Wed, Oct 25, 2017 - 7:24pm

    Reply to #16
    Edwardelinski

    Edwardelinski

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 23 2012

    Posts: 316

    Chinas Red Flag

    Since May Godfree may have missed the warning from Chinas own chief central banker,the IMF,The Bank for International Settlements,(the bankers bank)the Feds warning on the The Industrial Commercial Bank of China,S&P,Moody’s and Fitch..

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  • Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - 6:05am

    Reply to #16
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 49

    Yes, their credit rating was

    Yes, their credit rating was in free-fall there, alllllllll the way down from very very very very VERY good to very very very VERY good. Quite a collapse!  Same as their slowing GDP growth rate, from nose-bleed double-digit levels in 2004-2008 alllllllll the way down to a very robust (and much faster than OECD countries and world average) ~7% today.

    This is the kind of “news” that died-in-the-wool doomers sometimes take as signifier of imminent collapse.    I am not saying you are one, Edward. But I am familiar with the general nature of argument. Anything even SLIGHTLY bad (or slightly not-so-good) that happens is taken to indicate imminent doom. After a few decades (my own period of observation), this style gets old.

    Oh btw, Moody’s recently downgraded a bunch of countries, including UK, South Africa and others. Credit ratings changes happen frequently. Especially small, trivial ones like the recent ones re China.

    Oh btw II, Minsky Moments are not the end of the world. China might have an asset value collapse at some point. So what? There have been hundreds of such events in history. They  look terrible while in progress, but they are not the end of the world. Often, things are better after the resolve (cold shower effect) — which is what we can expect from China, because of the high quality of their national management.

     

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  • Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - 7:02am

    Reply to #29

    Snydeman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2013

    Posts: 480

    Mohammed Mast wrote: "The

    Mohammed Mast wrote:

    “The next twenty years are going to be completely unlike the last twenty years”

    Chris Martenson

    So why be infuriated when the paradigm predicted is playing out as predicted?

    Because many of us were hoping against all hope that raising the awareness of these issues might have led to some substantial dialogue about them, and possible action to stave off disaster. That is, hoping that pointing out how much different the next 20 years might be would cause more people to take steps to make the next 20 years a little less different. 

     

    Alas.

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  • Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - 7:11am

    Reply to #16
    Edwardelinski

    Edwardelinski

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 23 2012

    Posts: 316

    Please See

    18 Trillion in corporate debt and shadow banking.The credit agencies are the fox-hen house scenarios..

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  • Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - 7:11am

    Reply to #16
    Edwardelinski

    Edwardelinski

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 23 2012

    Posts: 316

    Please See

    18 Trillion in corporate debt and shadow banking.The credit agencies are the fox-hen house scenarios..

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  • Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - 8:38am

    Reply to #16
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 17 2008

    Posts: 362

    Feck it, it's Beckett.

    Just a note. I also love the line ” I can’t go on. I’ll go on ” but Beckett doesn’t have a book of that title though these words are from a larger piece of his work.  My take on Beckett is he’s probably the ultimate pessimist and would probably say to us, were he still around, ” I told you so! “

    I recommend perhaps the most accomplished and entertaining biography on him ” Samuel Beckett the Last Modernist ” by that wonderful fellow Dublin writer Anthony Cronin. For me Cronin is the real star of the book in his efforts to describe Beckett and his world

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  • Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - 11:07am

    Reply to #16
    Cornelius999

    Cornelius999

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 17 2008

    Posts: 362

    I have since cheered myself a

    I have since cheered myself a little by the thought that it’s still free to have a pee in my house – pending water-charges are in political suspension. Let us be grateful for small mercies. I can’t remember if Beckett allowed small mercies; though severe I think he was an honourable and decent fellow.

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  • Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - 11:43am

    Reply to #16
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 49

    Edwardelinski wrote: 18

    Edwardelinski wrote:

    18 Trillion in corporate debt and shadow banking.The credit agencies are the fox-hen house scenarios..

    Edward: suggest you go back and actually READ the articles I Iinked.

    A couple snippets:

    “China’s Debt is vastly over-exaggerated. China’s net debt to GDP is considerably lower than that of Japan, the U.K., France, USA, Korea and Australia, as this chart from former US Treasury official and World Bank country director for China and Russia, Yukon Huang, makes clearI referenced World Bank figures because the Bank is consistent in what it counts as ‘debt’ when comparing countries. The World Bank is forced – by virtue of its charter and its staffing – to be relatively neutral and it has direct, collegial access to every member country’s books and has used the same formulae for decades to calculate national debt.”

    “China has NONE of the conditions that led to Japan’s debt buildup. China has $4 trillion in foreign reserves; $3 trillion in personal savings; close to zero net corporate debt and an economy growing 400% faster than ours. Their investment-dependent infrastructure is an asset that’s paying off handsomely and more than covering its costs. The Chinese economic model cleverly captures some of that payoff to retire the debt.”

    …………………….

    The very last point there, re infrastructure as asset, is extremely important and is not often mentioned in these discussions. Aside from $4 trillion in foreign reserves; $3 trillion in personal savings, close to zero net corporate debt, etc.,  they also have VAST ASSETS that their investments (note the distinction from mere spending) have bought. Most of these assets are actual current income-generating ones, though some of them are rainy-day assets (e.g. their probable ~30,000 tons of gold).   It is possible for two huge debt figures to be identical — say, China vs. U.S. — but there is a world of difference because in one case the party invested the money wisely in productive assets, and in the other case the party pissed-away the money on stupid consumption. I’m sure you can guess which is which.  (Right?)

    another snippet, same article:

    “Ultimately all growth is investment dependent. China’s investments are extremely profitable at present. The St Louis Federal Reserve estimates that the multiplier on Chinese government spending is two. In other words, the economy is creating surplus capital to replace that which is destroyed.”

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  • Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - 1:45pm

    Reply to #16

    Snydeman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2013

    Posts: 480

    alan2102

    alan2102 wrote:
    Edwardelinski wrote:

    18 Trillion in corporate debt and shadow banking.The credit agencies are the fox-hen house scenarios..

    Edward: suggest you go back and actually READ the articles I Iinked.

    A couple snippets:

    “China’s Debt is vastly over-exaggerated. China’s net debt to GDP is considerably lower than that of Japan, the U.K., France, USA, Korea and Australia, as this chart from former US Treasury official and World Bank country director for China and Russia, Yukon Huang, makes clearI referenced World Bank figures because the Bank is consistent in what it counts as ‘debt’ when comparing countries. The World Bank is forced – by virtue of its charter and its staffing – to be relatively neutral and it has direct, collegial access to every member country’s books and has used the same formulae for decades to calculate national debt.”

    “China has NONE of the conditions that led to Japan’s debt buildup. China has $4 trillion in foreign reserves; $3 trillion in personal savings; close to zero net corporate debt and an economy growing 400% faster than ours. Their investment-dependent infrastructure is an asset that’s paying off handsomely and more than covering its costs. The Chinese economic model cleverly captures some of that payoff to retire the debt.”

    …………………….

    The very last point there, re infrastructure as asset, is extremely important and is not often mentioned in these discussions. Aside from $4 trillion in foreign reserves; $3 trillion in personal savings, close to zero net corporate debt, etc.,  they also have VAST ASSETS that their investments (note the distinction from mere spending) have bought. Most of these assets are actual current income-generating ones, though some of them are rainy-day assets (e.g. their probable ~30,000 tons of gold).   It is possible for two huge debt figures to be identical — say, China vs. U.S. — but there is a world of difference because in one case the party invested the money wisely in productive assets, and in the other case the party pissed-away the money on stupid consumption. I’m sure you can guess which is which.  (Right?)

    another snippet, same article:

    “Ultimately all growth is investment dependent. China’s investments are extremely profitable at present. The St Louis Federal Reserve estimates that the multiplier on Chinese government spending is two. In other words, the economy is creating surplus capital to replace that which is destroyed.”

     

    And how are those Chinese demographics looking? Fresh water availability? Pollution?

     

    China has its own problems that will come to bite it on the ass, whether debt does or not.

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  • Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - 4:55pm

    Reply to #16
    Edwardelinski

    Edwardelinski

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 23 2012

    Posts: 316

    You are correct Snydeman

    Our family became members a few years ago.My visits were to learn about the environment.I have a decent handle on the economy.Not having been in some time you reminded me of why we left.The thing is,I would have been the one to tell you when it was the time for your family to run to the bank….

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  • Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - 4:59pm

    Reply to #16
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 49

    Snydeman wrote: And how are

    Snydeman wrote:

    And how are those Chinese demographics looking? Fresh water availability? Pollution?

    China has its own problems that will come to bite it on the ass, whether debt does or not.

    Demographics?  Looking pretty good, I would say, with a fertility rate of 1.5, far below replacement. Actually, if they have a demographic problem it is one of too-low fertility and a possible population bust later in the century (too small of a working age population relative to aged population).  But generally looking pretty good.

    Water? Looking better and better as the South-to-North water diversion project continues. As you know, it is a 50-year project, which will eventually deliver ~45 billion cubic meters of water from the wet south to the dry north, annually.   It is not even half done, yet. But portions are in operation, and Beijing’s water supply has improved dramatically, resulting in sharp reductions in groundwater drawdown and other favorable changes.  Much more to come, all in good time. It takes TIME to build effective, ultra-modern infrastructure for a country of 1.4 billion, ya know!  A century would be a reasonable time frame, but they will probably do it in 3/4s of a century.

    Pollution? Big subject!  This is not the place to take it on in detail. But, suffice to say, Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China have indicated very clearly their intent to build an Ecological Civilization in the coming decades; listen to the relevant portion of Xi’s address at the 19th Congress last week. And it is not just talk. They are putting huge investments into it, in the form of renewable energy conversion, backing-away from coal burning, commitment to all-electric transport, build-out of high-speed rail (20,000 miles by 2020!) , and much more. They have huge eco-restoration projects both underway and in planning. Their energy and CO2 intensity per unit GDP is decreasing, absolute CO2 emissions are falling,  water consumption per unit of industrial value is falling, etc., etc.  Their 5-year plans outline all the specifics, which are increasingly green and sustainability oriented.  They are on their way. It is a PROCESS, not an event. It will take some decades. Big deal.  All big things that are worthwhile take some decades.  The U.S. was a filthy polluted mess, too, at one time, and it took many decades to clean it up. I suspect the Chinese will do it in half the time.

    “China has its own problems that will come to bite it on the ass”? The Chinese, you will note, are damned good  (energetic, and dedicated, and persistent, and etc.) at solving their problems.  That would be unlike certain other parties whose names I will not mention, America.

     

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  • Fri, Oct 27, 2017 - 5:12am

    Reply to #14

    kaimu

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 20 2013

    Posts: 161

    TEXAS BUGS

    Aloha! Seems as if your Florida love bugs moved to Texas because here we have much larger swarms than usual. We had to stop four times to clean bugs off the windshield on a four hour drive.

    http://www.kbtx.com/content/news/Love-bugs-bugging-drivers-making-mess-4

    I do not think “we” have royally screwed up the planet as much as government wants us to think. I think we have a population problem in the Third World that is being exported to the First World. I also think the First World has a “consumption” problem. There is no reason for this tech addiction and this disposable society to exist at the levels it has reached. 

    The USA is 5% of the global population but consumes 25% of global energy resources, mainly fossil fuels. 

    There are so many painless ways to cut back on consumption.

    I have no doubts that the planet will out live the human race.

     

     

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  • Fri, Oct 27, 2017 - 6:22am

    Reply to #16

    Snydeman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2013

    Posts: 480

    Edwardelinski wrote: Our

    Edwardelinski wrote:

    Our family became members a few years ago.My visits were to learn about the environment.I have a decent handle on the economy.Not having been in some time you reminded me of why we left.The thing is,I would have been the one to tell you when it was the time for your family to run to the bank….

    Well, if I spoke in such a way as to turn you off to the site, I apologize. I’m stressed, fearful, and tired. Nonetheless, dislike or disagree me and my comments, but please don’t hold the rest of the community as being represented by me. 

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  • Fri, Oct 27, 2017 - 6:42am

    Reply to #16

    Snydeman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2013

    Posts: 480

    alan2102

    alan2102 wrote:

    Demographics?  Looking pretty good, I would say, with a fertility rate of 1.5, far below replacement. Actually, if they have a demographic problem it is one of too-low fertility and a possible population bust later in the century (too small of a working age population relative to aged population).  But generally looking pretty good.

    Water? Looking better and better as the South-to-North water diversion project continues. As you know, it is a 50-year project, which will eventually deliver ~45 billion cubic meters of water from the wet south to the dry north, annually.   It is not even half done, yet. But portions are in operation, and Beijing’s water supply has improved dramatically, resulting in sharp reductions in groundwater drawdown and other favorable changes.  Much more to come, all in good time. It takes TIME to build effective, ultra-modern infrastructure for a country of 1.4 billion, ya know!  A century would be a reasonable time frame, but they will probably do it in 3/4s of a century.

    Pollution? Big subject!  This is not the place to take it on in detail. But, suffice to say, Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China have indicated very clearly their intent to build an Ecological Civilization in the coming decades; listen to the relevant portion of Xi’s address at the 19th Congress last week. And it is not just talk. They are putting huge investments into it, in the form of renewable energy conversion, backing-away from coal burning, commitment to all-electric transport, build-out of high-speed rail (20,000 miles by 2020!) , and much more. They have huge eco-restoration projects both underway and in planning. Their energy and CO2 intensity per unit GDP is decreasing, absolute CO2 emissions are falling,  water consumption per unit of industrial value is falling, etc., etc.  Their 5-year plans outline all the specifics, which are increasingly green and sustainability oriented.  They are on their way. It is a PROCESS, not an event. It will take some decades. Big deal.  All big things that are worthwhile take some decades.  The U.S. was a filthy polluted mess, too, at one time, and it took many decades to clean it up. I suspect the Chinese will do it in half the time.

    “China has its own problems that will come to bite it on the ass”? The Chinese, you will note, are damned good  (energetic, and dedicated, and persistent, and etc.) at solving their problems.  That would be unlike certain other parties whose names I will not mention, America.

     

    Alan,

    Well, I’ll let other, more technical-expertise types here at PP comment on individual programs, but let me say that I wholeheartedly agree with two major things you seem to be saying: Yes, China is far advanced in terms of tackling these issues head-on, and yes they will be in better shape when these major global crises hit than we here in the United States will be. So, I agree with you!

     

    Where we might diverge is that I am less certain China will have such programs and improvements in place at a large enough scale in time. I’m also dubious of any data that comes out of China from official Chinese sources, since the CCP has a history of “padding the numbers.” I’m skeptical by nature, though.

     

    -S

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  • Fri, Oct 27, 2017 - 4:40pm

    Reply to #16
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 49

    Snydeman:  In time for...

    Snydeman:  In time for… Armageddon?  Well, who knows. I’ve been reading doomer stuff for 50 years (literally), and it could turn out to be right any year now. I’m waiting. cool

    As for jiggering with the numbers: the West is much worse than the Chinese. Please cite any specific example you know of where the CCP has padded the numbers.

     

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  • Sun, Oct 29, 2017 - 6:03am

    Reply to #16
    alan2102

    alan2102

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 31 2013

    Posts: 49

    Snydeman: kidding aside,

    Snydeman: kidding aside, there are two very real existential risks, in my view: 1) nuclear war, and 2) near-term catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.  Both are real possibilities, and are frightening, and would render most or all other discussion moot. Though both are, thank heaven, low-probability.

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  • Tue, Oct 31, 2017 - 6:06pm

    #30

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    And Hello Red Meme

    Netanyahu: Israel Must Become a World Power (IsraelNationalNews)

    Red Meme Flag:

    Quote:

    No one makes alliances with the weak,’ says Prime Minister shortly after meeting Putin.

    Quote:

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered a glimpse into his strategic aspirations Thursday at a Jewish New Year’s reception at Mossad headquarters, which also marked 65 years since the intelligence arm’s founding.

    “We cannot solve the basic problems of the Middle East,” he said. “They are revealing themselves in their full force, and today our enemy is a double enemy: it is radical Shi’ite Islam that is led by Iran and its proxies, and the Sunni one, currently led by ISIS (Islamic State).” “They fight each other, but they agree that we have no place in this Muslim region, as they see it. The alliances change, they rise and fall and rise again and send arms in various directions, including ours.”

    “There is one certain rule,” Netanyahu intoned: “No one strikes an alliance with the weak. Our true defense in the years of the state’s existence and the 65 years that the Mossad is marking now, is the strength of the state of Israel. It is this strength that we maintain.”

    “In the face of this changing world, Israel must be a power. Not just a regional power, but in some spheres, a world power.”

    Ever wonder whose land they’ll be coming after next?

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  • Tue, Oct 31, 2017 - 6:27pm

    #31

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    Risk#3: Walls and Militarized Police

    Walls And Militarized Police: Israel Exports Occupation To American Streets (MPN)

    Quote:

    In recent years, Israel has become an integral part of American life, even if most people do not spot the Israeli influence. “In the aftermath of 9/11, Israel seized on its decades-long experience as an occupying force to brand itself as a world leader in counter-terrorism,” reported Alice Speri in the Intercept.

    The successful branding has earned Israeli security firms billions of dollars. The massive payouts are the result of the exploitation of American fear of terrorism while presenting Israel as a successful model of fighting terror. In the last two decades, hundreds of top federal agents and thousands of police officers have, thus far, received training in Israel or through seminars and workshops organized on Israel’s behalf. Groups like AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs are, to various degrees, involved in turning the US police force into militarized units similar to the structure of the Israeli police.

    As an occupying power, Israel has blurred the lines between the police and the army. In areas like occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem, both apparatus behave in a similar pattern. They “shoot to kill” as a result of the slightest provocation or suspicion. Sometimes, for no reason at all.

    Alex Vitale, an author and a Brooklyn College professor of sociology, described the nature of the regular trips made by federal agents and police officers to Israel. “A lot of the policing that folks are observing and being talked to about on these trips is policing that happens in a non-democratic context.”

    Israeli riot police aim their rifles at protesters outside of Jerusalem’s Old City, July 28, 2017. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

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  • Wed, Nov 01, 2017 - 9:57am

    #32

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1837

    Again, Israel deep-state involved in totalitarian transformation

    Again, the posts above by Time2Help point to a deep connection between the Israeli deep-state/military/intelligence apparatus and the global transformation of the west into a police state.

    The transformation uses the mechanism of the creation of fear, then offering the frightened population security in the arms of ever greater police/surveillance control.  Called the strategy of tension by Daniele Ganser.

    It is also based on crushing dissent both with physical force, and the psychological trick of equating dissent against TPTB with terrorism.  In this way, anti-terrorism legal constructs can be used to crush the dissent.  The police state is thus, just maintaining law and order.

    The next psychological trick is equating awareness of Israeli military / economic ascendance activity with bigotry.  This trick works well with GREEN Meme thinkers who abhor bigotry and always come to the defense of the underdog. (Israel is always the underdog.)  Whenever you turn around, you find a GREEN Meme thinker calling on “the authorities” to ban offensive (hate) speech.  So the prohibition of criticism gains traction via the GREEN Meme part of the western population.

    Wisconsin becomes the 24 state to prohibit state business with companies who boycott Israel.  This continues the trend of prohibiting criticism or analysis of Zionism. 

    Maintaining the Russia and Muslims are evil association  

    Expect ongoing “events” to keep this clear in the public mind.  Recall that Leo Strauss felt that the ruling class had the obligation to disseminate myths.  These myths need not be factually correct, but simply widely believed.  They must establish who is good and who is evil.  Expect more Arabs shouting Allah Akbar and militarized, heavily armed police protecting the public.  (Thank God for those armored vehicles with machine guns to protect us from evil Muslims!)

    I know little of Israeli politics, but am told that Moshe Sharett, Foreign Minister from 1948 to 1956 and Prime Minister from 1954 to 1955, advocated a moderate Zionism respectful of international rules.  Israeli politics shifted into the RED/BLUE Meme with David Ben-Gurion.  I add this to point out that not all of the Israeli deep state is on board with this “dominate the world” approach.

     

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  • Wed, Nov 01, 2017 - 10:50am

    Reply to #32

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1435

    Yes, but...

    Expect more Arabs shouting Allah Akbar and militarized, heavily armed police protecting the public.  (Thank God for those armored vehicles with machine guns to protect us from evil Muslims!)

    You’re not saying Zionists are somehow behind all/most of the Muslims committing acts of terror in the west in the last few years, are you?  I’m assuming you’re saying the Zionists will use these co-occuring events to their advantage if they can.  I could agree with that, but not that Zionists or anybody else besides Muslims are committing these atrocities.  Islamic true believers have been consistently for 1,400 years using terror, warfare, slaving, theft, etc. to expand the portion of the world controlled by Islam with the ultimate goal being total subjugation of the world.  That is their official policy, both theological and political.  This was going on centuries before there was Zionism or a “militarized police state.”  Recent events related to Islamic terror are just the latest manisfestations of Islam’s “normal” behavior in the world, not some shocking new dynamic we have to investigate.  So, yes, I expect the Islamic terrorism to continue and increase until the West takes effective steps to decrease it, but I put that on the Muslims.

    I would also say it would be an interesting debate as to whether Western police forces are becoming more heavily armed and deployed like an occupying army, or whether their responses have been more designed to appease Muslims and the enforcers of “political correctness,” while economic weakness causes staffing, equipment and training to slowly decline while being hidden behind public “happy talk.”  I’m sure things would be different from country to country and city to city, but I can most assuredly tell you from personal experience what’s happening in my city.  In the last two years, we have had weapons taken away from us, not given to us to deal with the terror threat.  Every. Single. Day. Since Trump’s election anti-Trump and Black Lives Matter protests have dangerously siphoned off police manpower to control them.  Neigborhoods have had significant portions of their regular patrol officers sent downtown every day to deal with the protests.  It’s probably not a coincidence that run of the mill homicides unrelated to terrorism are up 10% city wide this year.  Our tiny anti-terrorism unit has not been increased in size.  The big new development here regarding anti-terrorism is that we now deploy city trash trucks and other large vehicles manned by civilian employees (not police) at key intersections to try to prevent vehicle terrorism on pedestrians during large outdoor events.  That’s very visible, but it hardly strikes fear in the heart of freedom-loving Americans due to police overreach.

    Of course, what is going on with local police forces in the West is a separate issue from what Federal police forces and intelligence agencies are doing as they have more discretion in what issues they tackle, when, and what resources they will expend on them.  Some of them in some ways are looking like the militarized police forces of which you speak, not to mention the all-seeing eyes of ubiquitous surveillance. For whatever good that does anybody.  When was the last time (which would be the first time) we’ve heard of a terrorist being arrested just as he rented his pedestrian-killing truck weapon but before he could hurt anybody?

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  • Wed, Nov 01, 2017 - 10:01pm

    #33

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1837

    Triangular Structure of a False Flag. Setting the world on fire.

    Suppose you were Group A and wanted to rule the world.  First, you would want Groups B and C to destroy each other while you watched quietly on the sidelines.  Then, when the smoke cleared you could reenter as the only remaining power.

    This approach was actually taken by England, Portugal and Spain in their competition for dominance of the seas and trade routes.  If English ships flying the flag of the Portuguese,  attacked a Spanish armada, they could ignite a war between Portugal and Spain.   This was the ideal outcome:  inducing their enemies to destroy each other.  England would sit on the sidelines and emerge from the ashes to dominate the seas for the next generation.  Hence the strategies name, false flag.

    It is very true that most the Middle East is primarily BLUE Meme.  Muslims there are BLUE and RED/BLUE to a large extent.  Monarchies are based on the inherent inequality of people, the domination of women by men (also based on inequality), brutal treatment of those who violate the religious rules of dress, worship, speech and sex.  Skirt too short?  50 lashes. Fornication?  Execution.  “Our way is the only correct way declared by God.”  Hallmarks of RED/BLUE society.

    Remember that Christianity has its BLUE Meme factions too.  The Puritans and other conservative sects with rigid dress codes and brutal punishments for “unrighteous” behaviors. The Scarlet Letter.  Execution of women who ‘beguile’ men with those magical sideways glances (witches).  You should have seen the cold shoulder given to a friend who is covered in tattoos and piercings, when she visited a rural Mormon town in Utah. She was shunned for unrighteousness by this BLUE Community.

    Christianity has had its RED/BLUE episodes–remember the Crusades.  Killing Muslims by the thousands for the glory of God (and all the loot you could carry).

    There are many examples of great Muslim thinkers –one example are the Sufi mystics/poets like Rumi, Hafez and Kabir.  These were dedicated to the unity of all life and all peoples.  I work with western professional Muslims (Iranian physicians, Iraqi college professors living in the US for example) who are mostly ORANGE, GREEN and YELLOW.  What do they care about?  Getting the best violin teachers for their kids and good camping locations for summer vacations.  They were indistinguishable from professionals of other religions.

    Every religion can be “done” from every Meme.

    So, lets imagine that you wanted to rule the world and needed the Muslims and Christian West to destroy each other.  How might you do this?  Well, you could infiltrate the largest western military power and have them:

    1.  Drop 23,144 bombs on Muslim nations in 2015.  Similar numbers for other years.

    2.  Invade Iraq under obviously fabricated pretenses.  Kill 1.1 million Iraqis.  Make homeless 3-5 million more.  Destroy bridges, road, electricity generation capacity, water purification system. Reduce the nation to gang dominated chaos that destroyed families, schools, neighborhoods and any sense of safety.

    3.  Bomb the crap out of Libya.  Kill 40,000 people.  Destabilize.

    4.  Shoot hellfire missiles from drones into schools, public gatherings and weddings across the Muslim world.  Randomly.  Not even pretending to have any legal process or evidence for its justification.  1,000+ murdered by drones.  This is the international equivalent of firing a machine gun into a crowd attending a music festival in Las Vegas.  Random, wholesale mass murder of Muslims.

    5.  Let it be known that it was Group B who killed all of these people from Group C.  Direct the blowback to Group B.   Amplify the conflict with the blowback phase.

    6.  Produce millions of homeless people from the Muslim world.  Then, cause those millions of traumatized Muslims to migrate TO THE COUNTRIES THAT DESTROYED THEIR HOMES AND KILLED THEIR FAMILIES.  The NATO coalition countries.  Can anyone imagine the potential for some problems with this?  Force mix thousands of BLUE Muslims with GREEN Christians and Secular Humanists in small European communities.   Advocate for unlimited immigration and fund NGOs that pick up migrants from the shores of Libya and deliver them to Europe.

    8.  Then, actively nurture outrage in western societies against Muslims with articles produced by the Gatestone Institute.  This is John Bolton’s Neocon group.  Tell westerners over and over about the atrocities being committed by Muslims.  Keep it big, bold, front page, dramatic.  Show that it is Muslims who are bringing violence.

    9.  Somehow, leave the western public unaware of the wholesale death it reins down on the Muslim world.    

    This is how the Neocons set Group B against Group C.  

     

     

     

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  • Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - 12:52am

    #34
    skipr

    skipr

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 09 2016

    Posts: 122

    triangles

    Hey SP,  Your triangular structure reminds me of the Iran-Iraq war.  The US kept it going for years by feeding intelligence to the day’s loosing side.  The plan was obviously to weaken them both in order for the “cake walk” to be a cake walk.  As usual, it didn’t work out as planned.

    Your A, B, and C circles had me initially confused since there was also a neocon “Team B” in the CIA.  When there was no evidence of an undetectable Russian nuclear sub, Team B claimed that it was PROOF that the sub actually did exist.

    Then there was the interview of the neocon Richard Perle that I watched in the 80s.  He was one of Reagan’s advisors.  He described how it would be a cake walk (not his actual words) to defeat the USSR with nothing more than a fleet of aircraft carriers that sailed over to their arctic shore.

    This is the insanity that driving the US and the world over the edge.

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  • Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - 12:51pm

    Reply to #33

    Grover

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 15 2011

    Posts: 691

    Silence Speaks Volumes

    sand_puppy,

    I agree with your assessment of false flag operations to allow enemies to destroy each other. It helps if groups B and C have mutual animosity as well. It is easy to fan embers and create a roaring fire.

    I have Muslim friends who fit your description of western professionals. They want to live their lives in peace and work toward a brighter future. I can respect that. (I don’t care to which god people pray as long as it doesn’t affect me.) What bothers me most is when a “Muslim extremist” kills others in the name of Islam and nobody from the Islamic community publicly decries that action. Imagine if someone drove a truck into a crowd of people in the name of Catholicism. Wouldn’t people up and down the Catholic hierarchy publicly say that this is not what we’re about? Yet, I don’t hear a peep from anyone in the Islamic community – and they’ve had plenty of opportunities to peep.

    When I ask my friends the reason for being silent, I never get a satisfactory answer. The best (not good enough) answer is “that things happen only with Allah’s consent. If it happened, Allah wanted it to happen. Questioning his wisdom is sacrilege.” The majority are complicitly silent while a few who take fate in their own hands ruin it for all. Meanwhile, those with hidden agendas fan the flames of hate to get groups B and C to duke it out. The ploy should be obvious, but we fall for it every time.

    Grover

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  • Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - 11:46am

    #35

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    .

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  • Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - 6:20pm

    #36

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1837

    November 4th: Antifa protests and EMP Drill

    It is so hard to know how much emphasis to put on this stuff! 

    Daisy Luther, a blogger very much aware of the dark side of things (conspiracy theories) gives a primer to stay out of the way of civil unrest should the Antifa protests scheduled for Nov 4th get out of hand.

    Protest locations are here.

    This may be another big nothing-burger.  Just don’t know.

    Do any of you know about the DOD National Blackout Drill (and here)?   I can’t find much on it and similarly, don’t know if I should get my juices flowing over this….

     

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  • Sat, Nov 04, 2017 - 3:07pm

    Reply to #36

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1435

    Big nothing burger in Philly

    One measley arrest when protestor and counter-protestor got into it. I think we have passed “peak Antifa.”

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  • Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - 7:29pm

    #37
    Nate

    Nate

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 05 2009

    Posts: 316

    Infuriated

    We all are.  I think it would be good for all of us to step back and count our blessings.  My turn.

    My wife is at the top of the list.  When I met her thirty-five-plus years ago my friends said ‘she is too you for you’.  They were right.  My gain.  Our gain.

    Two great kids.  Really great kids.

    Good health.  I’ll take that over PM’s or farmland any day.  Period.

    Lifestyle. Tonight, as most nights the past 2 months, our meal was home grown.  As in 100%.  My wife has adjusted to the ebbs and flows of our garden and we have become very efficient at aligning ourselves with nature’s bounty. I love it.

    This nation, with all its warts, is still the best horse in the glue factory.  Where would you prefer to live?

    I love this web site.  Bright people, on top of issues, pointing me to the truth.  Shut off the political non-sense that floods us and focus on what we can change.  Then make the needed changes.

    Post less and prep more.  Walk the talk.  Show the path forward for others.

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