Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"How It Really Is"

"Tell Me, And Tell The Truth..."

"Tell me yourself, I challenge you— answer. Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature... and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears: would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth.”
- Dostoevsky, "The Brothers Karamazov"

"A Darkness Is Spreading Across the US”

"A Darkness Is Spreading Across the US”
by Bill Bonner

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
- George Orwell, “1984”

"Today, a darkness spreads across the country. From coast to coast, we are benighted…in a total eclipse of good sense. We ended yesterday wondering what future generations will think of us. We take away our monuments in the dead of night, and spit on the graves of our ancestors in the light of day.

Smashing statues: A now-famous photo shows a stout young woman in North Carolina stomping on a statue of a Confederate soldier:

It is not a monument to the Confederacy or to the generals or to slavery. It is merely a statue remembering the sacrifices and suffering of ordinary soldiers. The common man in the South had no truck with slavery. He owned no slaves. Instead, his earnings were reduced because he had to compete with slave labor. But when the call went out to defend his country, he took the patriotic bait, as men always do. More than a quarter of a million soldiers died on the Southern side alone - killed by bullets or disease, hunger or cold.

You’d think that people today - comfortable in their air-conditioned apartments, fed to a fault, and succored by student loans, Obamacare, unemployment comp, and disability - could find it in their plump little hearts to forgive the mistakes of their forebears and honor their suffering.

Nope. Instead, we trash our grandfathers’ heroes, kick their gods, and smash their statues. Yes, dear reader, today we are under assault, too. We suffer neither cold nor hunger. We take up arms not to protect our homeland, but to inflict murder and mayhem on people half a world away who can do us no real harm. But today, we are attacked by one preposterous thing after another, each of them even more absurd than the last.

Doom update: Before we get to that, we promised to revisit our Doom Index. You’ll recall that our research department has put together 11 indicators that - when aggregated - have coincided with the last two major blow-ups. Has doom come closer? We asked our chief researcher, Joe Withrow: ‘U.S. junk bond prices - one of our 11 indicators - have fallen nearly 2% since our last update. The ISM Manufacturing Index and railcar use - two of our other indicators - have fallen as well. None of these moves are extreme enough to warrant the crash flag prior to getting third-quarter data, but they are worth mentioning.'

‘And on a side note relating to your Diary entries this week: I got a call from family in western Virginia. Rumors are the young lefties are planning to march on the historic Robert E Lee Hotel in Lexington. The fruits of an American education, I suppose. It is beginning to look as though there is an inverse correlation between total student loans outstanding and total logic outstanding. If we could only figure out how to make that a Market Insight!’ Yes, Joe is onto something. The more time people spend in schools, the dumber they get. And now, the typical American’s brain has been so dulled by the internet and education that he can’t think straight.

Bigger storm: We were supposed to believe, for example, that the Russians hijacked the US presidential election, putting Donald J Trump in the White House. Congress imposed stiffer sanctions on Russia by an almost universal vote in favor, despite a lack of evidence the hack ever happened. Even if it had happened, it is hard to see how disclosing the internal deliberations of the Democratic National Committee would have made voters less able to make an informed choice!

Then we were supposed to believe that the president of Syria had attacked his own people with chemical weapons. In response, Team Trump committed an act of war against a foreign nation, even though many experts thought it unlikely that the Syrian government was behind the chemical attack.

And now, we are supposed to believe that Mr Trump is a ‘racist’ and a ‘white supremacist’. His Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin - a Jew - was urged by his Yale classmates to resign. No more proof that today’s education system turns its students into morons is needed. These are Yale graduates…hundreds of them: ‘We call upon you, as our friend, our classmate, and as a fellow American, to resign in protest of President Trump’s support of Nazism and white supremacy. We know you are better than this, and we are counting on you to do the right thing.’

What? There is no evidence of any kind showing Trump to be a Nazi supporter. A fool? An imbecile? An opportunist? Maybe. But with all his obvious and egregious faults, why accuse him of being something he isn’t?

But behind the flurries lies a much bigger storm. There, the howling winds of fake finance blow up so much dust that the typical person cannot see clearly. If he is ready to believe that we can all get rich by borrowing money that never existed from people who never earned it…and never pay it back…he is ready to believe anything! Today, the sun hides its face in shame and embarrassment.”

"US Gross National Debt to Spike by $800 Billion in October?"

"US Gross National Debt to Spike by $800 Billion in October?"
The other option: too ugly to even imagine.
by Wolf Richter

“There is zero chance, no chance we won’t raise the debt ceiling,” swore Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) at an event in Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday. He who couldn’t get his Republican ducks all lined up in a row to get any major legislation passed this year was confident that the Senate would pass a bill that would raise the debt ceiling so that the government could continue to pay for things that Congress told the Government to pay for, and so that the government could service its debts, rather than default on them.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was there with him, pleading once again for a “clean” debt-ceiling increase, according to the Wall Street Journal. His “magic super Treasury powers” that allow the government to conserve cash to avoid having to issue more debt will expire at the end of September, he said. “This is not about spending money,” he said. “This is about paying for what we’ve spent, and we cannot put the credit of the United States on the line.”

The debt ceiling is just under $20 trillion. While the government can issue bonds to redeem maturing bonds – and it does this all the time – it cannot allow the gross national debt to go beyond the debt ceiling. But because it has to continue to pay for things that Congress mandated in its various spending bills over the years, the Treasury scrounges up the money from other government accounts, robbing Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. For example it temporarily short-changes the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. These “extraordinary measures,” as they’re called, or the “magic super Treasury powers,” as Mnuchin called it, run out after a while. Mnuchin said in his last letter to Congress that the out-of-money-date is September 29. But as in the past, the real out-of-money date can probably be stretched into October.

These shenanigans make the entire world shake its collective head and pray that Congress, after going through its charade, will for the umpteenth time raise the debt limit. The other option is a US default. Its global consequences are too ugly to even imagine.

But this charade has some peculiar effects, beyond its entertainment value: for months on end, it covers up the true extent of US government debt, and the current surge of this debt. This chart shows the gross national debt going back to 2011, including the last two debt-ceiling fights. Note the long flat lines leading into October or November, followed each time by an enormous spike:

On October 17, 2013, the day after the debt ceiling was raised, gross national debt jumped $328 billion in one day and then continued to surge.
On November 2, 2015, the day after the debt ceiling was raised, gross national debt jumped $340 billion and then continued to surge. In the two weeks after the debt-ceiling increase, it soared by $520 billion.

This year, the show is going to be even more magnificent. My guess is that the debt will spike $420 billion a business day or two after the debt ceiling is lifted and then continue to surge, and that it will jump by close to $800 billion in the 30 days following the debt-ceiling increase. This will put the US gross national debt at around $20.6 trillion before the year is up. And there will be debt out the wazoo going forward.

If Congress doesn’t raise the debt limit to allow the Treasury to issue bonds to bring in this cash, the US will default on its debts and/or fail to make other payments that it is obligated to make. So, as one former Treasury official told the Washington Post in July, officials are now “brushing up on options in the ‘crazy drawer.’”

Lawmakers will return to Washington after Labor Day to tackle the debt ceiling. If there were a good chance they’d fail, I – who no longer shorts anything anymore – would short everything and curl up into a fetal position until the dust settles. However, I’m confident that the drama queens, after going through maximum theatrics and bluster, will manage to raise the debt ceiling. They managed each time before. And they’ll manage this time too. They’re political animals, but they’re not stupid. I’m sure of that, knock on wood, fingers crossed.

So what happens when the Fed begins to unwind QE? The bank advisory panel told the Treasury Department that the accompanying decline in stocks and bonds will be “a financial engineering shock,” but it won’t be “systemic.” So just “let markets clear,” they said. Read…  "Stock & Bond Markets in Denial about QE Unwind, but Banks, Treasury Dept. Get Antsy."

Monday, August 21, 2017

Petition: Formally Recognize AntiFa As A Terrorist Organization

Petition to the Federal Government:
Formally Recognize AntiFa As A Terrorist Organization

We The People ask the Federal Government to call on Congress to act on an issue: Formally recognize AntiFa as a terrorist organization. Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims”. This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups as terrorist organizations. AntiFa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States. It is time for the government to be consistent in its actions – and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare AntiFa a terror group – on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety.

Sign the petition here:

“Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.”
- Robert F. Kennedy

Musical Interlude: Kevin Kern, “Remembering the Light - Sea (Mar)”

Kevin Kern, “Remembering the Light - Sea (Mar)”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Sprawling across almost 200 light-years, emission nebula IC 1805 is a mix of glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds. Derived from its Valentine's-Day-approved shape, its nickname is the Heart Nebula. 
Click image for larger size.
About 7,500 light-years away in the Perseus spiral arm of our galaxy, stars were born in IC 1805. In fact, near the cosmic heart's center are the massive hot stars of a newborn star cluster also known as Melotte 15, about 1.5 million years young. A little ironically, the Heart Nebula is located in the constellation Cassiopeia. From Greek mythology, the northern constellation is named for a vain and boastful queen. This deep view of the region around the Heart Nebula, cropped from a larger mosaic, spans about 2.5 degrees on the sky or about 5 times the diameter of the Full Moon.”

"The Dreamers Of The Day..."

The Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “Solitude”


“Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For this brave old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded.
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.”

~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"The Time Will Pass anyway..."

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something
stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; 
we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”
- Earl Nightingale

"The Time of Your Life: Learning to Slow Down"

"The Time of Your Life: Learning to Slow Down"
 by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOm

"Throughout our lives, we are taught to value speed and getting things done quickly. We learn that doing is more valuable than merely being, and that making the most of life is a matter of forging ahead at a hurried pace. Yet as we lurch forward in search of some elusive sense of fulfillment, we find ourselves feeling increasingly harried and disconnected. More importantly, we fail to notice the simple beauty of living. When we learn to slow down, we rediscover the significance of seemingly inconsequential aspects of life. Mealtimes become meditative celebrations of nourishment. A job well-done becomes a source of profound pleasure, no matter what the nature of our labors. In essence, we give ourselves the gift of time—time to indulge our curiosity, to enjoy the moment, to appreciate worldly wonders, to sit and think, to connect with others, and to explore our inner landscapes more fully.

A life savored slowly need not be passive, inefficient, or slothful. Conducting ourselves at a slower pace enables us to be selective in how we spend our time and to fully appreciate each passing moment. Slowness can even be a boon in situations that seem to demand haste. When we pace ourselves for even a few moments as we address urgent matters, we can center ourselves before moving ahead with our plans. Embracing simplicity allows us to gradually purge from our lives those commitments and activities that do not benefit us in some way. The extra time we consequently gain can seem like vast, empty stretches of wasted potential. But as we learn to slow down, we soon realize that eliminating unnecessary rapidity from our experiences allows us to fill that time in a constructive, fulfilling, and agreeable way. We can relish our morning rituals, linger over quality time with loved ones, immerse ourselves wholeheartedly in our work, and take advantage of opportunities to nurture ourselves every single day.

You may find it challenging to avoid giving in to the temptation to rush, particularly if you have acclimated to a world of split-second communication, cell phones, email and overflowing agendas. Yet the sense of continuous accomplishment you lose when you slow down will quickly be replaced by feelings of magnificent contentment. Your relaxed tempo will open your mind and heart to deeper levels of awareness that help you discover the true gloriousness of being alive." 

The Daily "Near You?"

Roswell, Georgia, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

X22 Report, “Will The Deteriorating Economy Be Blamed On The Eclipse, Seems That Way”

X22 Report, “Will The Deteriorating Economy Be Blamed On The Eclipse, Seems That Way”
Related Followup Report:
X22 Report, “Can Evil Be Pushed Out Of The US, We Will Soon See”

“The Color Revolution Is Coming Home”

“The Color Revolution Is Coming Home”
by Rob Slane

“When I watched the following video for the first time, one word kept on flitting it’s way in and out of my mind: Demented. Judge for yourselves:

There they are shouting and spitting and kicking at a statue. A statue! As they do so, no doubt they’re congratulating themselves on their goodness, tolerance and liberal values, not to mention their enlightened views. Is this Monty Python? It’s almost comedic, until it hits you that the line between people doing this to a statue and doing it to a living person runs much closer than we might like to think.

“You want a vision of the future,” wrote Orwell, “imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.”

I could sort of understand how Jews, for instance, after being liberated from a concentration camp, and upon seeing a statue of Hitler, might tear it down and spit on it. There would be a sort of sense in that. But the people in these videos? What did that unknown confederate soldier ever do to them to make them so enraged? Did he torture them? Did he kill their families? Did he lock them in concentration camps or gulags and work them to exhaustion? As far as I can tell he did none of those things, but the deranged mob went for him anyway.

So what did he do to them to make them act in this deranged way? Simple. He made them feel really good about themselves. Because he represents the South, and because the mob think that the Civil War was fought over the issue of slavery (er, no), they get to feel morally superior to him. He is bad, and because they have the “right” opinion about him, they are automatically good. The more kicking and screaming and spitting and hollering they do towards this image of badness, the more their own innate goodness shines through. So goes the thinking, if you can call it that.

Perhaps you’re of the opinion that these statues should come down. Okay, that may well be a reasonable viewpoint. But the problem with this sort of thing is not whether statues come down, but how they come down. There are three ways it can happen, and only one of them bodes well. The first is that the central government decrees that all such statues be removed. The second is that the mob, latching on to the whiff of revolution in the air, takes it upon itself to remove it, and perhaps adds some kicking the living daylights out of it for good measure. And the third way is that the issue is decided on at a local level, with local people consulted and even given the chance to vote on whether a statue should stay or go.

One of these is practically guaranteed to produce resentment among many. Another of these is practically guaranteed to produce mob rule, and as you ought to be aware, once the mob gets the bit between its teeth, it is very hard to get it to put the brakes on. Statues today, books tomorrow, people and Presidents the day after. Orwell again: “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

And the third, whilst not guaranteed to produce peace, at least has the advantage of taking into account the views of local people and the rule of law. In other words, unlike the others it has a chance of producing peaceful resolution, rather than resentment and anarchy.

But what about the white supremacists? What about them? They are evil and stupid, and yet their numbers are (thankfully) such that you need a zero and then a lot more zeros after the decimal point in order to count their percentage. It’s the mob that you want to watch out for. They have been well trained in the art of hating anyone who disagrees with them and calling it love, and of believing that they are life’s perennial victims.

And now they are being emboldened, egged on by the Deep State and mainstream media who are more than happy to use these poor saps as pawns in their drive to topple the elected President. They’ve been slowly strangling him since his election victory last year, with their lunatic claims that he is somehow in the pocket of the Kremlin. But so far they’ve only succeeded in hamstringing the administration, especially in the foreign policy realm (Important Note: This is not me showing any sympathy with Mr Trump whatsoever. He has done more than enough to aid them in their aims, pouring gasoline on his own administration by his unhinged Tweets, his disloyalty to those who could have helped him, and his generally breath-taking ability to rub almost everyone up the wrong way).

But now they sniff their chance. Having now neutered Mr President, they’re now neutering his supporters. Yet it doesn’t stop there. What they’re doing is also neutering anyone who believes in the rule of law rather than anarchy. Object to statues being pulled down by the mob? You’re a fascist. Object to those balaclava-clad goons as they face down white supremacists? You’re practically a fully paid up member of the KKK. Object to people trying to destroy the legitimate President? Neo-Nazi sympathizer! Doesn’t matter if you are any of these things or not, nor whether you voted for Donald Trump, you all get lumped in the same bag of bad eggs.

People, have you not seen these tactics played out time and time and time again? The Deep State, George Soros handbook is written large for all to see, having been played out in color revolution after color revolution the world over. Divisive leader? Check. People with grievances? Check. Talk about democracy being threatened by divisive leader? Check. Affixing of derogatory labels to any who oppose the ousting of the divisive leader? Check. Airbrushing out the views and violence of the opponents of divisive leaders, be they neo-Nazis in Kiev, Wahhabis in Syria, or Soros-sponsored Antifa goonthugs in the US? Check. Excusing their throwing of Molotovs, or their terrorizing whole communities, or their smashing up university campuses, as the work of “freedom fighters” or “moderate rebels” or “champions of democracy/freedom/liberty.” Check.

And so the USA, home of the color revolution, is now moving inevitably and inexorably towards its own color revolution and very probably civil war. The extremists on the liberal-left side are emboldened, since they now know that even their violence will be portrayed with sympathy by the media and the Deep State. The ordinary citizen who believes in the rule of law and the constitution is now neutered, since any opposition they have to this color revolution will see them branded as racists, haters, white supremacists or terrorists - whatever the Soros handbook decides to throw at them. And the Deep State is rubbing its hand at the prospect of useful idiot KKK types providing fuel for the fire on the one side, liberal-left pawns unwittingly doing their bidding on the other, and neutered citizens in the middle wondering what on earth is going on.

All that is missing is John McCain egging on the mob with a speech encouraging them to “take control of their destiny” and Victoria Nuland to pass around the cookies.”

Consider the top graphic. Really? Who's in that video?
Something wicked this way comes... for them, and it will not be pretty.

"How It Really Is"

"Diminishing Returns"

"Diminishing Returns"
by James Howard Kunstler

"These two words are the hinge that is swinging American life - and the advanced techno-industrial world, for that matter - toward darkness. They represent an infection in the critical operations of daily life, like a metabolic disease, driving us into disorder and failure. And they are so omnipresent that we’ve failed to even notice the growing failure all around us.

Mostly, these diminishing returns are the results of our over-investments in making complex systems more complex, for instance the replacement of the 37-page Glass-Steagall Act that regulated American banking, with the 848 page Dodd-Frank Act, which was only an outline for over 22,000 pages of subsequent regulatory content - all of it cooked up by banking lobbyists, and none of which replaced the single most important rule in Glass-Steagall, which required the separation of commercial banking from trafficking in securities. Dodd-Frank was a colossal act of misdirection of the public’s attention, an impenetrable smokescreen of legal blather in the service of racketeering.

For Wall Street, Dodd-Frank aggravated the conditions that allow stock indexes to only move in one direction, up, for nine years. During the same period, the American economy of real people and real stuff only went steadily down, including the number of people out of the work force, the incomes of those who still had jobs, the number of people with full-time jobs, the number of people who were able to buy food without government help, or pay for a place to live, or send a kid to college.

When that morbid tension finally snaps, as it must, it won’t only be the Hedge Funders of the Hamptons who get hurt. It will be the entire global financial system, especially currencies (dollars, Euros, Yen, Pounds, Renminbi) that undergo a swift and dire re-pricing, and all the other things of this world priced in them. And when that happens, the world will awake to a new reality of steeply reduced possibilities for supporting 7-plus billion people.

The same over-investments in complexity have produced the racketeering colossus of so-called health care (formerly “medicine”), in case you’re wondering why the waiting room of your doctor’s office now looks exactly like the motor vehicle bureau. Meanwhile, it’s safe to say that the citizens of this land have never been so uniformly unhealthy, even as they’re being swindled and blackmailed by their “providers.” The eventual result will be a chaotic process of simplification, as giant hospital corporations, insurance companies, and overgrown doctors’ practices collapse, and the braver practitioners coalesce into something resembling Third World clinics.

We’re still struggling to even apprehend the damage being done to people by cell phones - and I’m not even referring to whatever microwaves actually do to brain cells. Many find it amusing to see whole streets and campus byways filled with young people staring into their phones. Whatever they’re gaining in endorphin hits from “being connected” is undermined by the immense losses they’re suffering in real social skills and the sinister effects of behavioral conditioning by the programmers of web-based social networks. These failures are being expressed in new social phenomena like flash mobs and the manipulation of college students into Maoist thought police - and these are only the most visible manifestations. A more insidious outcome will be a whole generation’s failure to develop a sense of personal agency in a long emergency of civilization that will require exactly that aptitude for survival.

Among the more popular and idiotic strains of diminishing returns is the crusade to replace gasoline-powered cars with electric-powered vehicles. And for what? To promote the illusion that we can continue to be car-dependent and live in suburbia. Neither of those wishful notions is supported by reality. Both of them will soon yield to the fundamental crisis of capital scarcity. In the meantime, hardly anyone is interested in the one thing that would produce a better outcome for Americans: a return to walkable communities scaled to economic reality.

The convulsions over President Trump’s vivid clowning are just a symptom of the concealed rot eating away at the foundations of American life. What they demonstrate most of all is the failure of this society’s sensory organs - the news media - to ascertain what is actually happening to us. And the recognition of that failure accounts for the current state of the media’s disrepute, even if its critics are doing a poor job of articulating it.”

"Never Give In, Never Give Up..."

"Failure is inevitable, unavoidable, but failure should never get the last word. You have to hold on to what you want. You have to not take no for an answer and take what’s coming to you. Never give in, never give up. Stand up. Stand up and take it."
- "Meredith Grey", "Gray's Anatomy"

"NASA Unveils Plan To Stop Yellowstone “Supervolcano” Eruption, There’s Just One Catch”

"NASA Unveils Plan To Stop Yellowstone “Supervolcano” Eruption, 
There’s Just One Catch”
by Tyler Durden

"A NASA plan to stop the Yellowstone supervolcano from erupting, could actually cause it to blow… triggering a nuclear winter that would wipe out humanity. As we have detailed recently, government officials have been closely monitoring the activity in the Yellowstone caldera. However, as SHTFplan.com’s Mac Slavo details, scientists at NASA have now come up with an incredibly risky plan to save the United States from the super volcano.

"A NASA scientist has spoken out about the true threat of super volcanoes and the risky methods that could be used to prevent a devastating eruption. Lying beneath the tranquil and beautiful settings of Yellowstone National Park in the US lies an enormous magma chamber, called a caldera. It’s responsible for the geysers and hot springs that define the area, but for scientists at NASA, it’s also one of the greatest natural threats to human civilization as we know it.

Brian Wilcox, a former member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense, shared a report on the natural hazard that hadn’t been seen outside of the agency until now. Following an article published by BBC about super volcanoes last month, a group of NASA researchers got in touch with the media to share a report previously unseen outside the space agency about the threat Yellowstone poses, and what they hypothesize could possibly be done about it.

“I was a member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense which studied ways for NASA to defend the planet from asteroids and comets,” explains Brian Wilcox of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology.  “I came to the conclusion during that study that the supervolcano threat is substantially greater than the asteroid or comet threat.”

Yellowstone currently leaks about 60 to 70 percent of its heat into the atmosphere through stream water which seeps into the magma chamber through cracks, while the rest of the heat builds up as magma and dissolves into volatile gasses. The heat and pressure will reach the threshold, meaning an explosion is inevitable. When NASA scientists considered the fact that a super volcano’s eruption would plunge the earth into a volcanic winter, destroying most sources of food, starvation would then become a real possibility.  Food reserves would only last about 74 days, according to the UN, after an eruption of a super volcano, like that under Yellowstone.  And they have devised a risky plan that could end up blowing up in their faces.  Literally.

Wilcox hypothesized that if enough heat was removed, and the temperature of the super volcano dropped, it would never erupt. But he wants to see a 35% decrease in temperature, and how to achieve that, is incredibly risky. One possibility is to simply increase the amount of water in the supervolcano. As it turns to steam the water would release the heat into the atmosphere, making global warming alarmists tremble.

“Building a big aqueduct uphill into a mountainous region would be both costly and difficult, and people don’t want their water spent that way,” Wilcox says. “People are desperate for water all over the world and so a major infrastructure project, where the only way the water is used is to cool down a supervolcano, would be very controversial.”

So, NASA came up with an alternative plan. They believe the most viable solution could be to drill up to 10km down into the super volcano and pump down water at high pressure. The circulating water would return at a temperature of around 350C (662F), thus slowly day by day extracting heat from the volcano. And while such a project would come at an estimated cost of around $3.46 billion, it comes with an enticing catch which could convince politicians (taxpayers) to make the investment.

“Yellowstone currently leaks around 6GW in heat,” Wilcox says. “Through drilling in this way, it could be used to create a geothermal plant, which generates electric power at extremely competitive prices of around $0.10/kWh. You would have to give the geothermal companies incentives to drill somewhat deeper and use hotter water than they usually would, but you would pay back your initial investment, and get electricity which can power the surrounding area for a period of potentially tens of thousands of years. And the long-term benefit is that you prevent a future supervolcano eruption which would devastate humanity.”

Of course, drilling into a super volcano comes with its own risks, like the eruption that scientists are desperate to prevent. Triggering an eruption by drilling would be disastrous. “The most important thing with this is to do no harm,” Wilcox says. “If you drill into the top of the magma chamber and try and cool it from there, this would be very risky. This could make the cap over the magma chamber more brittle and prone to fracture. And you might trigger the release of harmful volatile gases in the magma at the top of the chamber which would otherwise not be released.” The cooling of Yellowstone in this manner would also take tens of thousands of years, but it is a plan that scientists at NASA are considering for every super volcano on earth.

“When people first considered the idea of defending the Earth from an asteroid impact, they reacted in a similar way to the supervolcano threat,” Wilcox says. “People thought, ‘As puny as we are, how can humans possibly prevent an asteroid from hitting the Earth.’ Well, it turns out if you engineer something which pushes very slightly for a very long time, you can make the asteroid miss the Earth. So the problem turns out to be easier than people think. In both cases it requires the scientific community to invest brain power and you have to start early. But Yellowstone explodes roughly every 600,000 years, and it is about 600,000 years since it last exploded, which should cause us to sit up and take notice.”
"What could possibly go wrong?"

"George Washington: What an Imbecile!"

"George Washington: What an Imbecile!"
by Bill Bonner

"George Washington: What an imbecile! He owned 317 slaves. Couldn’t he see that slavery was bad?Jefferson, too. And Madison. And Monroe. Jackson. Van Buren. Tyler. Harrison. Polk. Taylor. Johnson. And Ulysses S Grant. Didn’t they smell the squalor of the slave quarters and hear Simon Legree’s whip in the fields? Didn’t they see the gentle hearts yearning for liberty? What a bunch of blind idiots!

We interrupt the finale of our look at gods, heroes and statues only to note that the Dow dropped 274 points Friday. In a brief conversation with colleague David Stockman, a Wall Street veteran who watches the market more closely than we do, he told us he thought it was ‘ready to collapse at any moment’. We’ll check our ‘Doom Index’ on Monday. In the meantime…

The killing of ‘Little Nellie’: Even the slaves must have been numbskulls. Here’s what Robert E Lee’s wartime servant, William Mack Lee - who had been freed 10 years before the war started - said of his master: ‘I was raised by one of the greatest men in the world. There was never one born of a woman greater than General Robert E. Lee, according to my judgment.’

William Lee accompanied General Lee - or ‘Marse Robert’, as he called him - throughout the entire war. He was with him at Cheat Mountain, the Seven Days, Manassas, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Deep Bottom, and finally the Appomattox Court House - practically all the blood-soaked disasters of the War Between the States. He cooked. He cleaned. He brought Marse Robert his horse. He served visiting Confederate generals. He was wounded in the head and in the hip and walked with a limp the rest of his life.

In his memoirs, he recalled only one incident in which General Lee was angry with him - on 3 July 1863. A group of generals was coming for a meeting. They had to be fed. But there was no food other than Lee’s favorite laying hen. Seeing no alternative, the cook put the hen in the pot. A 19th-century scribe recorded a tear in William Lee’s eye as he recounted the incident 30 years later: ‘I jes’ had to go out and cotch little Nellie. I picked her good; and stuffed her with breod stuffin’, mixed wid butter. Nellie had be gwine wid us two years, and I hated fer to lose her. We had been gettin’ all our eggs from Nellie.

Well, sir, when I brung Nellie inter de commissary tent and set her fo’ Marse Robert he turned to me right fo’ all dem gimmin and he says: “William, now you have killed Nellie. What are we going to do for eggs?” ‘“I jes’ had ter do it, Marse Robert,” says I. ‘“No, you didn’t, William; I’m going to write Miss Mary about you. I’m going to tell her you have killed Nellie.”’

Cranes and dynamite: What did William Lee know of Robert E Lee? He worked for him closely throughout the four years of the bloodiest war in America’s history. They lived in tents through bitter cold winters, muddy springs, and stifling summers. They saw men die, thousands of them, with no medicines to save them and no morphine to ease the pain.

William Lee saw his master up close and under pressure. He knew him well, but only as a man, not a god. But like all the people who lived before us, William Lee must have been a fool. We are all so much wiser, so much smarter, so much better now. We know now that his master deserved no honors, no praise, and no fond remembrance. All the statues of Robert E Lee will have to come down. So will practically all those of America’s antebellum presidents.

And while we are rooting out symbols of slavery, let’s take the cranes and dynamite to those slave-built monuments in Europe and North Africa, too. The pyramids in Egypt. The Parthenon and the Acropolis in Greece. The Colosseum in Italy.

And why stop there? What about the Kaaba in Mecca, the Taj Mahal in India, the Mayan pyramids, the Great Wall of China, and Angkor Wat? And what about the works of Plato, Aristotle, Archimedes, Marcus Aurelius, Sun Tzu, Dante, and Virgil?

Who brought them tea? Who cleaned their houses? Surely their books - monuments to these dumbbells (didn’t they know better?) - should be burned. All vestiges of the evil past should be razed to the ground. Yes, that’s it. We will rid the world of every trace of slavery once and for all,and finally live in the perfection that we - practically gods ourselves, all-knowing, never erring - deserve.

Gods and devils: We began the week bowing to our gods but bending to our bricks. We end with our head hanging low…looking at our feet - there, the ground on which we stand, is the hell into which we have fallen. Donald Trump - for all his balderdash and flimflam - is right: The news is fake. But that is the way it always is.

William Lee knew his master as a mason knows a granite rock - as a real man. We know him only as a cartoon character, a fake man, a god or a devil, depending on which way the media winds are blowing. And today blows a gale of self-congratulation. For now, finally, after so many centuries, we have reached some peak of moral and intellectual superiority. We know the Truth.

Now we know that yesterday’s heroes were traitors and terrorists. Yesterday’s gods were mere devils. And yesterday’s great thinkers were morons. But wait… What will tomorrow’s saints and geniuses think of us?

What will they think of the 2.2 million people in our prisons? That’s more than anywhere else on Earth; only the Soviet-era gulags and Nazi concentration camps had more. 

What will they think of our murderous wars - more than two million dead in the Middle East in America’s ‘War on Terror’? ‘What was that all about?’ they will ask.

What will they think of our phony-baloney money system - leading to the biggest debt bubble in world history, sure to be followed by the biggest blow-up ever?

What will they think of robbing our middle-class producers to make Wall Street and Deep State insiders richer?

And what will they think of the hubris…the intolerance…the gall…of people who judge their fathers and grandfathers so harshly and earnestly believe they are smarter and better than the 10,000 generations that preceded them?

As always…more to come…"

"I've Learned That..."

"The Long Lost Thrill of Doing Nothing“

"The Long Lost Thrill of Doing Nothing“
by David Cain

"Many text messages between my friends and me take roughly this form: “Are you busy tomorrow? We should do something.” That something often isn’t defined at the time. But when we arrive in each other’s physical presence, after we’ve caught up, eventually one of us has to ask: “So… what do you wanna do?” Then we have to decide. We could for a walk, go eat, play a board game, check out what’s happening in the city, just chat, or something else.

One of my friends - and only one - sometimes throws me a curveball here, and suggests that we don’t do anything, at least not yet. We can just lounge here in the living room. Or not quite lounge, but just relax and do nothing. I’m struggling to pick a verb for it. “Laze” and “lounge” both have moral connotations, as do “chill” or “veg.” “Hang out” is too general, and could mean switching on the TV, opening a bottle of something, or catching up.

I’m talking about just being in the room and not doing anything in particular, usually while reclining your body in some way, with no regard for the time and no idea of what to do next. Real idleness.  You might absently study the joins in the drywall, bathe in the sounds of the neighborhood, put your feet up on something, or get down on the floor and put your legs up the wall. Or none of those things.

The first time I agreed with this suggestion, I expected it to feel contrived. I was worried that I might worry about how well I’m doing at not worrying about what to do. This apprehension quickly gave way though, as the feeling of doing nothing in particular began to feel extremely familiar. I had forgotten that I’m fairly experienced at exactly this kind of idleness. As a kid and then a teenager, before I started to think of time as a scarce resource, I did a lot of this.

Back then, I had much less awareness of the passage of time, or at least of the numbers on clocks. Time was something you referred to occasionally, when you needed to meet someone, or see a particular movie. There was so much less emotion tied up in what the clock said. I certainly hadn’t yet linked it to any kind of self-evaluation.

It seems like the introduction of adult responsibilities destroys the freedom to be only occasionally aware of how you’re using your time. After all, much of adult life concerns striving to make certain numbers work - having your income exceed your expenses, and spending enough (but not too much) time on physical fitness, paid labor, creative work, and leisure.

Doing nothing in particular, for however long it was that first time (maybe 15 or 20 minutes - but I don’t want to know), gave me a glimpse of what it was like when time wasn’t so predominant in my thinking. It was wonderful to discover that just by stepping away, briefly, from the stream of serial decision making, it was still possible to experience life with at least some of that freedom.

My friend has since convinced me to be idle by myself on a regular basis. I have been. When I’m finished with one thing and don’t immediately move on to another, I’ll tip myself back on the couch, and let the planlessness of the moment take over. I stop deciding altogether - even about what time I’ll start deciding again.

I should be clear that this kind of doing nothing is entirely different from meditation, which I do a lot of. Even though meditation is all about abiding in present moment experience, and refraining from entertaining thoughts about past and future, it does require a specific intention, and enough self-oversight to keep yourself on track. True idleness is intentionless time, and it fulfills something that meditation doesn’t.

I also don’t want to confuse true idleness with leisure. Parties, vacations, walks in the park and flea-market excursions do return us to the moment from our planning and striving. But these activities are themselves planned and budgeted for. We can even have a certain anxiety about them not going as planned - a vacation not feeling carefree enough, for example.

Spontaneous idleness challenges an urge that’s deeply ingrained in many of us, especially in modern, secular societies: the persistent need to feel like we’re making something of our time. This urge has many names and styles - the Protestant work ethic; the American Dream; the Bucket List; the Examined Life; any form of “Get busy living or get busy dying.” Each of these ideas can drive some pretty incredible lives, however, and create a lot of enriching experiences. There’s a reason we so often think of time as an investment. The way you spent your time in the past is largely what created your present, and that mechanism is always operating.

Completely ignoring efficiency probably doesn’t lead to a fulfilling life. But letting that efficiency urge drop occasionally, by punctuating our doing with idleness, challenges that faint but persistent sense that the moment we stop doing, our precious lives begin slipping away. That belief, which has largely motivated my adult life, is starting to seem completely backwards. Maybe life is slipping away in every moment we’re afraid to stop doing stuff. After all, nothing detracts from the enjoyment of your life like a creeping fear that you’re doing it wrong.

I don’t want to think of idleness as another investment—time exchanged for more wellness. So instead of thinking of it as an activity, we can think of it as an insight worth remembering: the end of one activity doesn’t need to be the start of another. You can simply remain where you are for a bit, without setting a course. If you’re a compulsive planner like me, going idle feels something like letting go of the side of the pool. It’s not disorienting for long, and the confidence rushes in once you realize you’re not going to drown.”