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Supply Chain Failures Prove Growing Need for Localized Economies

What we never hear is the fact that these crises are, in fact, connected. They are symptoms of a global economic system that is not only driving up resource use and pollution; it is squeezing people financially, undermining democracy, concentrating wealth and power in the hands of unaccountable global corporations, and exacerbating conflict and violence.

In addition, recent events have highlighted how vulnerable we are because of our dependence on the global economy. Long-distance supply chains are failing around the world, and the cost of living is skyrocketing as a result.

This is clearest when it comes to our most basic need of all: food. At the grocery store, Americans are paying 10 percent more for food than a year ago, while the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports that global food prices hit record highs in March. In the United Kingdom, the price of chicken is set to soon match the price of beef.

Why? Largely because economic globalization — which, in short, involves using public monies and government regulations to favor exports over self-reliance — has ensured that we source our food from ever farther away, via ever longer, more complicated supply chains.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Big Questions We Should All Be Asking Geopolitically

The Big Questions We Should All Be Asking Geopolitically

To say that current events are ‘messy’ today would be the height of understatement. Everyday the headlines blare at us some new set of contradictory data points convincing us of some lie that serves someone’s purpose.

No matter how hard we try to keep up with things, cutting out the extraneous to find the nuggets of signal from the jungle of noise is more than a full-time job.

Sometimes, however, it’s best to take a few steps back, fall back on first principles and remind ourselves who the players are, what they want and then ask the big question of each of them… are they succeeding?

But to even ask that question we have to ask ourselves honestly the following question:

“What will they be willing to do to survive under present circumstances?”

This is the most uncomfortable question you can ever ask anyone. What would you do to survive? To protect your family? Your position? Your conception of yourself?

Everyone’s morality has limits. Everyone. Everyone has a shadow, a dark side, a place where they retreat to their Hobbesian self and see the world purely in terms of ‘a war of all against all.’ Anyone who refuses to admit this to themselves is someone you should run screaming from.

Those that always claim the moral high ground, who are always “the goodies!” are those without limits on their behavior. As the great H.L. Mencken proclaimed nearly 70 years ago:

The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. This is true even of the pious brethren who carry the gospel to foreign parts.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why OpSec Has NEVER Been More Important

If you’ve been in prepper circles for long, you’ve probably heard the term OpSec. It is taken from military jargon and it’s short for Operations Security. In the preparedness and survival world, it generally means not letting other people know that you are prepped, or if they know, they definitely don’t know the specifics of what you have.

Not only do we want to keep the level of our preparedness private, these days, keeping our opinions private might be likewise beneficial from a security perspective. More on that in a moment.

Trigger Warning: There’s no way I can write this article without ticking somebody off. Some readers will feel that I’m siding with the right and others will feel like I’m siding with the left. I’m not because I am not a Democrat or a Republic, nor am I a conservative or a liberal. I’m a critical thinker with diverse opinions that fall into all sorts of categories. Yet others will feel I didn’t go far enough or that there’s some “fact” or conspiracy that I didn’t reveal. I’m not an ice cream cone. I can’t make everyone happy. Also, there may be some swearing.

What is OpSec?

Here’s a definition for those who aren’t familiar with the concept.

Operations security (OPSEC) is a process that identifies critical information to determine if friendly actions can be observed by enemy intelligence, determines if information obtained by adversaries could be interpreted to be useful to them, and then executes selected measures that eliminate or reduce adversary exploitation of friendly critical information.

In a more general sense, OPSEC is the process of protecting individual pieces of data that could be grouped together to give the bigger picture (called aggregation). OPSEC is the protection of critical information deemed mission-essential from military commanders, senior leaders, management or other decision-making bodies…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Struggle For What’s Essential

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. 

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

 Arundhati Roy, April 2020

Just over two years ago when lockdowns were being declared like dominoes around the world, there was a brief moment when the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to hold the potential for much-needed reflection. Could it lead to a reversal away from the profit-driven ecological and socio-economic dead end we’ve been propelling toward?

Arundhati Roy’s call to critical reflection was published in early April 2020. At the time, she was observing the early evidence, on one hand, of the devastating toll of the pandemic as a result of extraordinary inequality, the privatized health care system, and the rule of big business in the U.S., which continued to play out along lines of class and race.

She was also writing with horror at how the Modi government in India was enacting an untenable lockdown on a population of over a billion people without notice or planning, in a context of overlapping economic and political crises…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

We’re in It Now for Sure

We’re in It Now for Sure

Now, we’re finding out the hard way how much daily life must change, and is changing, and how disorderly that process is in every way from the imperative daily life adjustments to our spiritual
When I wrote The Long Emergency nearly twenty years ago, I never thought that, once it got going, our government would work so hard to make it worse. My theory then was just that government would become increasingly bloated, ineffectual, impotent, and uncomprehending of the forces converging to undermine our advanced techno-industrial societies. What I didn’t imagine was that government would bring such ostentatious stupidity to all that.

Obviously, there was some recognition that ominous changes are coming down. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have heard so much chatter about alt energy, “sustainable growth,” “green” this-and-that. But the chatter was more symptomatic of wishful thinking for at least a couple of reasons: 1) mostly it ignored the laws of physics, despite the fact that so many people involved in enterprises such as wind and solar energy were science-and-tech mavens; and 2) there was a dumb assumption that the general shape and scale of daily life would remain as it had been — in other words, that we could still run suburbia, the giant cities, Disney World, WalMart, the US military, and the Interstate highway system just the way they were already set-up, only by other means than oil and gas.

Now, we’re finding out the hard way how much daily life must change, and is changing, and how disorderly that process is in every way from the imperative personal adjustments to our spiritual attitudes about them. As with so many things in history, this disorder expresses itself strangely, even prankishly, as if God were a practical joker. Who would’ve imagined that our politics would become so deranged?…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Social tipping points of the 2020s

Social tipping points of the 2020s

Anyone who reads the news and walks the earth with open eyes sees that in this day and age “all that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned.” But we are only at the beginning of epochal changes. Our ecosystem and socio-economic system are already flickering and it’s not hard to see that the 2020s are going to be a rough ride.

In the following I wand to look at some social tipping points that are likely to trigger societal change in the years to come. I do not use the term social tipping point here in a scientific-mathematical way, but as a conceptual metaphor for a point that triggers a rapid qualitative regime shift in a socioeconomic system, such as a shift from democracy to authoritarian rule. Of course, it is impossible to predict the future, but I see four social tipping points for developing and developed countries as a plausible unfolding of events in the coming years. The four social tipping points are: climate protests, food riots, fuel riots, and inflation unrest.

Climate protests

For many, climate protests that cause social tipping points are the only hope to generate sufficient political mobilization to avert catastrophic climate change. Research on critical mass for social change has shown that the opinion of the majority can be tipped by a committed minority of about 25%. Since the launch of Fridays for Future in 2018, a number of climate protest movements have emerged, including Scientist Rebellion, Extinction Rebellion and Last Generation (Letzte Generation – a German-Austrian movement). For the time being these movements are mainly a Western phenomenon and are still far from reaching a critical threshold of 25% of the national population, let alone the world population…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A surprising benefit to owning gold– especially now

By the year 41 BC, just a few years after the assassination of Julius Caesar, Rome was under the strict rule of a three-person dictatorship known as the Tresviri rei publicae constituendae.

Historians today refer to this committee as the Triumvirate, and it included a general named Aemilius Lepidus, as well as Gaius Octavius– who would eventually become Emperor Augustus.

But the leader of the group, at least at first, was Marcus Antonius, also known as Mark Antony.

Mark Antony was not especially popular. Many Romans rightfully suspected that Mark Antony had been involved in Caesar’s assassination. Plus he was sleeping with Caesar’s widow, Cleopatra.

But Antony’s power through the Triumvirate’s was absolute. He could raise taxes, establish new social and religious traditions, regulate daily life, seize private property, and even condemn people to death… all without any oversight or due process.

And he wasn’t shy about using this power to squash his opposition.

Antony put several of his political enemies to death– including the much beloved Cicero, who was trying to escape Rome when Antony’s goons killed him.

Antony also threatened to kill another Senator named Nonius. But unlike Cicero, Nonius managed to escape Rome… bring with him about $1.5 million worth of gold and jewels.

People in the ancient world knew that precious metals (and precious stones) were pretty much the only portable forms of wealth.

Human civilization at the time was completely agrarian, so most productive assets like land and crops were impossible to move. Gold was almost the singular option to move large sums of wealth, and it remained this way for centuries.

These days there are much better options. Many forms of wealth– financial securities, intellectual property, bank deposits, and cryptocurrency– are completely portable. So gold is no longer necessary as a way to move money abroad.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Let Them Eat Bugs… How Out of Touch Elites Reveal Their Contempt and What Comes Next

Let Them Eat Bugs… How Out of Touch Elites Reveal Their Contempt and What Comes Next

Let Them Eat Bugs

Upon being told that the people had no bread, Marie Antoinette reportedly responded, “let them eat cake.”

These infamous words were a stark illustration of the French elite’s careless indifference to the plight of ordinary people. Moreover, they likely fueled the anger that sparked a revolution that overturned the French ruling system.

Had Marie Antoinette not been so out of touch, she might have had a better choice of words.

Although history doesn’t repeat itself, it does rhyme.

I am bringing this up because recently, modern political, financial, and media elites have made numerous “let them eat cake” remarks.

They similarly reveal how oblivious they are to the average person’s problems as inflation spirals out of control, shortages spread, the stock market crashes, and economic prospects look dimmer by the day.

Let’s look at them and examine what they could mean for the social and political environment in the future… and what you can do about it.

Example #1: Inflation Is Good

First central bankers, the mainstream media, and academia tell you there is no inflation.

Then, when inflation becomes undeniable, they tell you not to worry because inflation is only “transitory.”

Then, when it becomes apparent that it’s not merely transitory, they tell you not to worry because inflation is actually a good thing.

It’s not uncommon to see ridiculous headlines like this:

Example #2: No More Turkey at Thanksgiving

After inflation broke through multi-decade highs, it’s no longer possible to maintain the farce that “inflation is good.”

So the elite’s messaging has pivoted to ways the plebs can cope with ever-decreasing living standards.

Last Thanksgiving, it was impossible for the Federal Reserve to ignore the soaring costs of turkey. So, instead, the St. Louis branch had a helpful suggestion for those struggling—substitute delicious turkey for cheaper heavily-processed industrial sludge.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation”: Nicolle Wallace. Nobody Spreads it More Relentlessly.

“The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation”: Nicolle Wallace. Nobody Spreads it More Relentlessly.

From her days as Bush/Cheney propagandist, to her stint on The View, to her role as beloved-by-Democrats MSNBC host, Wallace has perfected the art of sociopathic lying. Watch our original video.

Screen shot from our new original video about Nicolle Wallace, “The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation” (credit: Matt Orfalea)

The most blatant and shameless liars from the first term of the Bush/Cheney administration have, revealingly, enjoyed great success in media and journalism. That is because serial deceit is not a liability for a thriving career in corporate journalism but rather a vital asset — provided that the lies are in service of ruling class policies. Tawdry propagandists who helped drive post-9/11 America into a bottomless pit of lies and self-destruction have become the most highly-paid and beloved stars of liberal media. They include:

  • Former Bush White House speechwriter David Frum of The Atlantic and CNN;
  • Bush/Cheney CIA and NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden of CNN;
  • Ubiquitous amoral neocon warmonger Bill Kristol of MSNBC and various #NeverTrump groups;
  • Al-Qaeda/Saddam conspiracy theorist Jeffrey Goldberg, now editor-in-chief of The Atlantic;
  • The various scumbagscon artistspredator-protectors and fraudsters of the Lincoln Project, drowning in #Resistance cash and frequent MSNBC appearances;
  • Pro-war Florida GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough, now a multi-million host of MSNBC’s flagship morning show and anchor of its corporate brand; and,
  • Rep. Liz Cheney, long-time vocal supporter of her father and now a literal “hero” to American media liberals.

But few Bush-era propagandists have thrived more, made more money, and developed a more devoted and swooning liberal fan base than the official Communications Director of the Bush/Cheney White House and 2004 Bush/Cheney-reelection campaign, Nicolle Wallace…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Gold As Cheap Today As In 1971 At $35

GOLD AS CHEAP TODAY AS IN 1971 AT $35

“Specie (gold and silver coin) is the most perfect medium because it will preserve its own level, because having intrinsic and universal value, it can never die in our hands, and it is the surest resource of reliance in time of war.”  – Thomas Jefferson

Since no current President or Prime Minister nor any Central Bank Chairman understands what money is or the relevance of gold, we turn above back to history and Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president for a proper definition.

Jefferson also understood that “Paper is Poverty, It is only the Ghost of Money, and not Money itself.”

As the world economy goes towards an inflationary depression exacerbated not only by epic debts and deficits but now also by war, the significance of gold takes on a whole different dimension.

So let’s dissect Jefferson’s statement:

“(GOLD) Will preserve its own level”

Gold is Constant Purchasing PowerAs such, gold doesn’t go up in real terms. An ounce of gold today buys a good suit for a man just like it did in Roman times.

The graph below shows gold as constant purchasing power at the 100 line whilst all the currencies are crashing to the bottom.

All currencies are continuing to lose value against real money although it never takes place in a straight line. With higher interest rates & inflation, higher deficits & debts, poverty, cost of wars and increasing pressures in the financial system, the currency debasement will now accelerate.

Gold is not an investment. Gold is eternal money. As such gold maintains its REAL value whereas paper money loses all its value over time. For 5000 years gold has outlived all other forms of money including paper money.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If you thought the Coinbase bankruptcy disclosures were bad…

Just wait ’til you see your government’s bail-in rules

One of the subplots that made for a bad week in crypto included a largely manufactured crisis around “The Coinbase bankruptcy disclosure”.  After posting an earnings miss, the next shoe to drop was the discovery in the latest version of the Coinbase Terms of Service, the addition of text that included the following:

“Custodially held crypto assets may be considered to be the property of a bankruptcy estate, in the event of a bankruptcy, the crypto assets we hold in custody on behalf of our customers could be subject to bankruptcy proceedings and such customers could be treated as our general unsecured creditors”

This verbiage became a big deal with every corporate media outlet dumping all over it. It trended on Twitter and quickly went viral, almost as if this was some sort of revelation.

It’s not. It’s basically the oldest adage in crypto, “not your keys, not your coins” spelled out in writing.

Do you really think if you’re holding your crypto on some exchange that suddenly becomes insolvent it’s going to make a difference if a paragraph to that effect appears in the ToS or not? Good thing Mt Gox or QuadrigaCX didn’t have that in their ToS otherwise everybody with assets in either exchange would have been really screwed, right?

You’re screwed no matter what. At least Coinbase is calling your attention to it.

Don’t hold your crypto on the exchange, any exchange, full stop. Even the largest crypto exchange CEOs will tell you that.

But if you’re one of those people for whom this is something to be up in arms about, I’ve got news for you:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Real Reason Behind the EU’s Drive to Embargo Russian Oil

The Real Reason Behind the EU’s Drive to Embargo Russian Oil

This week the European Union is expected to announce a complete import ban on Russian oil. Hungary, in its first real act of defiance, is threatening to veto this; Germany, after some hemming and hawing, has finally decided it can survive such a ban.

Assuming Hungary’s objections are eventually overcome, at first blush this looks like yet another energy “own goal” by the people obsessed with soccer. The U.S. has already issued this ban.

Because European industry is heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas, the conventional wisdom is that the EU Commission is just petulant and incompetent.

Are they petulant? Yes. Incompetent? Possibly? But only if you think in conventional terms of doing the right thing for their people. What is clear to any serious observer of EU politics is that they are not interested in what their people have to say or want.

Theirs is an agenda which will brook no opposition, even if it means destroying its own economy to bring a rival to its knees.

That said, I sincerely doubt there will be a “buyers embargo” on natural gas because there is no viable substitute for it.

Hungary is using the need for unanimous consent within the European Council to block any ‘gas ban’ in any new economic sanctions package. There are at least three other countries which are happy Hungary is willing to suffer Brussels’ wrath.

But banning Russian oil, on the other hand, is different.

So, it is interesting that Hungary would do this, given they import no oil from Russia. {Ed. this is wrong, Hungary imports 65% of its oil through the Druzhba pipeline} This veto was predicted by me the morning after the Hungarians overwhelmingly rejected George Soros’s anti-Viktor Orban coalition and handed it an ignominious defeat.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Leftists Hate Free Speech Because They Fear Dissent, Not “Disinformation”

Leftists Hate Free Speech Because They Fear Dissent, Not “Disinformation”

I think one of the most bizarre social developments of the past 10 years in the US has been the slow but steady shift of the political left as supposed defenders of free speech to enemies of free speech. The level of mental gymnastics on display by leftists to justify their attacks on freedom and the 1st Amendment is bewildering. So much so that I begin to question if liberals and leftists ever actually had any respect for 1st Amendment rights to begin with? Or, maybe the only freedom they cared about all along was the freedom to watch pornography…

One can see the steady progression of this war on speech and ideas, and the end game is predictable: Is anyone really that surprised that the Biden Administration is implementing a Ministry of Truth in the form of the DHS Disinformation Governance Board? Can we just accept the reality at this point that leftists are evil and their efforts feed into an agenda of authoritarianism? Is there any evidence to the contrary?

Before I get into this issue, I think it’s important to point out that it’s becoming tiresome to hear arguments these days suggesting that meeting leftists “somewhere in the middle” is the best and most desirable option. I see this attitude all over the place and I think it comes from a certain naivety about the situation we are facing as a country. Moderates and “normies” along with people like Bill Maher and Russell Brand are FINALLY starting to realize how bag-lady-crazy leftists are and the pendulum is swinging back slightly. But, it was conservatives that were calling out the social justice cult and their highway to hell for years.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Health Authorities Tracked Movements of Canadians via Cellphones During Pandemic

Health Authorities Tracked Movements of Canadians via Cellphones During Pandemic

PHAC claims data was anonymized.

Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

Health authorities in Canada tracked people’s movements via their cellphones during the pandemic, with trips to pharmacies and liquor stores being logged, it has been revealed.

“BlueDot, an intelligence analysis company, prepared movement reports for PHAC using anonymized data acquired from mobile devices. The reports helped the public health agency understand movement patterns during the pandemic,” reports Reclaim the Net.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) was able to obtain detailed insights into people’s movements and recorded their visits to liquor stores, pharmacies, visits to friends and trips to other provinces, also collecting information on time spent in each location.

“Questions remain about the specifics of the data provided if Canadians’ rights were violated, and what advice the Liberal government was given,”said Conservative MP Damien Kurek.

The ethics committee asserted that the PHAC should have told Canadians their movements were potentially being monitored and given them the option to opt out.

The PHAC claimed the program was “not about following individuals’ trips to a specific location, but rather in understanding whether the number of visits to specific locations have increased or decreased over time.”

As we highlighted last week, the CDC purchased tracking data for millions of Americans’ mobile phones with an intention of monitoring their movements to see if they were complying with lockdowns, curfews and travel restrictions during the COVID pandemic.

During the first winter lockdown in January 2021, a poll found that a plurality of people in Britain supported giving the government powers to spy on people’s movements via cellphone tracking to enforce lockdown.

In the same month, Conservative MP Jeremy Hunt called for the government to use GPS tracking technology to ensure Brits were complying with COVID quarantine measures.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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