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Derangement And Danger On The Potomac

Derangement And Danger On The Potomac

undefinedThe horrific shooting spree on the practice field of the GOP’s congressional baseball team happened early yesterday morning, but it was hardly the end of Wednesday’s madness on the Potomac.

As it happened, the former was apparently another random eruption by of one of America’s sicko lone wolves — a wretch in the same league as South Carolina church killer, Dylann Roof. Notwithstanding that the latter had littered the nether regions of the internet with racist rantings while the former was apparently a prolific Never Trumper left-winger, neither represented a real threat to the nation’s equanimity — even if they did bring a savage rain of violence to bear on those unfortunate dozens caught in their immediate line of fire.

Not so for the 325 million American citizens who were pounded upon during the balance of the day by the allegedly “sane” Imperial City officialdom which rules the roost in America.

Specifically, we have in mind Janet Yellen’s hideous presser in which she declared “mission accomplished” and that the US economy is blessed with “solid fundamentals” that are getting ever stronger. And in the same vein of unreality, there soon came the Senate’s 97-2 vote to smack the Donald in his ample jaws and impose even more sanctions on Russia, thereby bringing the nation another step closer to the brink of war and bankruptcy.

Let us unpack this. The American people are being brought to ruin by three institutions that are mortal threats to liberty and prosperity. To wit, the Federal Reserve, the military/industrial/surveillance complex and a sinecured Congress that is burying unborn generations in debt — even as it sanctimoniously presumes that it is doing god’s work by servicing the beltway racketeers who keep it perpetually in office.

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The Calm Before The Storm

The Calm Before The Storm

Storm - Public DomainHave you noticed that things have gotten eerily quiet in the month of October?  After the chaos of late August and early September, many had anticipated that we would be dealing with a full-blown financial collapse by now, but instead we have entered a period of “dead calm” in which things have become exceedingly quiet in almost every way that you can possibly imagine.  Other “watchmen” that I highly respect have made the exact same observation.  Even though the economic numbers are screaming that we have entered a global recession, they aren’t really make any headline news.  A whole host of major financial institutions around the planet are currently in danger of collapsing and creating the next “Lehman Brothers moment”, but none of them has imploded just yet.  And of course Barack Obama seems bound and determined to start World War III.  On Monday, it was announced that he is sending a guided missile destroyer into Chinese waters in the South China Sea.  The Chinese have already stated that they might just start shooting if this happens, but Barack Obama doesn’t seem to care.  But until the shooting actually begins, that is not likely to upset the current tranquility that we are enjoying either.

To me, what we are experiencing at the moment would best be described as “the calm before the storm”.  If you are not familiar with this concept, this is how it is defined by How Stuff Works

Have you ever spent an afternoon in the backyard, maybe grilling or enjoying a game of croquet, when suddenly you notice that everything goes quiet? The air seems still and calm — even the birds stop singing and quickly return to their nests.

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How Our Aversion To Change Leads Us Into Danger

How Our Aversion To Change Leads Us Into Danger

The deeply embedded, genetically determined aversion -or resistance- to change that we are all born with is an important survival tactic. Since change equals potential danger, our aversion to it keeps us out of danger.

We are ‘programmed’ to prefer familiar surroundings, to first look at what we recognize, and to ignore what we do not until we feel comfortable enough about what we do know.

Ironically, though, the aversion to change can also lead us into danger. Because it prevents us from preparing for change, and therefore preparing for danger.

Yes, people can adapt, they have that ability too, but we don’t fully adapt to change until and unless we’re forced to. And while it may not be too late then, it certainly tends to make adaptation much more difficult.

We prefer to focus on those things that stay the same, or seem to stay the same, ignoring those that don’t, even if they change in -comparatively- radical ways, until we no longer can. But by then we have most often missed a significant part of the time and the opportunity to adapt to them. Our resistance to change causes us to miss those changes that happen despite our efforts at keeping things the same.

The deeper problem, as every thinking human can recognize, is that things always change, life changes, the world does. Nothing ever stays the same. Change itself is the only constant. Life equals change. Without change, there would be no life.

And arguably -since time is perhaps not a constant-, changes come even faster today than they have historically, in the perception of our ancestors, both in human designed systems and in natural systems. And the faster the changes come, the more vulnerable our inborn aversion to change makes us. Which in turn reinforces that aversion all the more.

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The Lowest Interest Rates in 5,000 Years…

The Lowest Interest Rates in 5,000 Years…

A Dangerous Spot

SANTORINI, Greece – “Gods were gods. Men were men,” explained our tour guide, Spiros.

“The ancient Greeks thought there was a difference. Men had to realize they weren’t gods. They couldn’t do the things gods could do. If they tried, it provoked a disaster. The gods got jealous and punished them.”

What has changed? There are still things humans can and can’t do. When men get too big for their britches, the gods still punish them. The disaster we were looking at had nothing to do with the hubris of mankind. The problem was geological.

santoriniSantorini – world improvers from Hollywood have apparently found housing there.
Photo via kiklamino.com

Having built their city over the fault line between the African and European tectonic plates, the ancient Cycladians were in a dangerous spot. Every few thousand years there were bound to be fireworks. As it turned out, trouble came – big time – in about 1650 B.C. The earth trembled. A huge volcano rose from the sea near Akrotiri and blew up.

akrotiriThe remains of Akrotiri, which was buried in a massive volcanic surprise eruption in 1640 BC.
Photo credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis

“The people had plenty of warning,” Spiros went on. “There are no human bones in the town. No one was killed by the eruption. They were a seafaring people. They were fishermen. They probably got in their boats and headed for Crete, which you can see from here on a clear day.

“These people were not Minoans, like the people of Crete. But they traded with one another and knew one another.”

akrotiri-4More Akrotiri leftovers. Archaeologists love sites that have been buried in volcanic ash – usually a lot of stuff turns out to be preserved quite well.
Photo credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis

 

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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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