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Spirits in the Material World

SPIRITS IN THE MATERIAL WORLD

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There is no political solution
To our troubled evolution
Have no faith in constitution
There is no bloody revolution 

The Police – Spirits in the Material World

As I was driving home from work last week, an almost forty-year-old song began emanating from my radio. I’ve always appreciated the music of The Police, but was never a huge fan. Spirits in the Material World was a relatively minor hit from their 1981 Ghost in the Machine multi-platinum album. I’ve probably heard it hundreds of times over the last four decades, but the lyrics struck me as particularly apropos at the end of a week where lunatic left-wing politicians staged a battle royale of ineptitude, invective, and idiotic solutions, in front of a perplexed public in a Vegas casino. Sting wrote the lyrics to this song in 1981 at the outset of the Reagan presidency. It is less than 3 minutes in length, but says much about humanity and the world we inhabit.

The interpretation of Sting’s (Gordon Sumner) lyrics depends upon your position in the generational kaleidoscope of history. As a boomer, Sting came of age during the 1960s and 70s. He was thirty years old in 1981 as the Second Turning (Awakening) was winding down and Reagan’s Morning in America was about to launch the Third Turning (Unraveling) in 1984.

His passionate idealism and search for spiritual solutions to the problems of the day had not been extinguished. The raging inflation of the 1970s had led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. The Cold War was at its coldest. Politicians had been discredited as criminal (Nixon) or incompetent (Carter). Sting and many others of his generation had lost faith in the political system. His viewpoint fit perfectly into the Strauss and Howe assessment of our last Awakening period (1964 – 1984).

Image result for awakening strauss and howe

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No One Gets Out Of Here Alive

NO ONE GETS OUT OF HERE ALIVE

“The seasons of time offer no guarantees. For modern societies, no less than for all forms of life, transformative change is discontinuous. For what seems an eternity, history goes nowhere – and then it suddenly flings us forward across some vast chaos that defies any mortal effort to plan our way there. The Fourth Turning will try our souls – and the saecular rhythm tells us that much will depend on how we face up to that trial. The saeculum does not reveal whether the story will have a happy ending, but it does tell us how and when our choices will make a difference.”  – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

As we wander through the fog of history in the making, unsure who is lying and who is telling the truth, seemingly blind to what comes next, I look to previous Fourth Turnings for a map of what might materialize during the 2nd half of this current Fourth Turning. After a tumultuous, harrowing inception to this Crisis in 2008/2009, we have been told all is well and are in the midst of an eleven-year economic expansion, with the stock market hitting all-time highs.

History seemed to stop and we’ve been treading water for over a decade. Outwardly, the establishment has convinced the masses, through propaganda and money printing, the world has returned to normal and the future is bright. I haven’t bought into this provable falsehood. Looking back to the Great Depression, we can get some perspective on our current position historically.

The Dow is up 450% since its 2009 low, which is the metric used by the establishment to prove their money printing solutions have succeeded in lifting the country from the depths of despair and depression.

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Surf’s Up!

Surf’s Up!

The wave of change is finally here. Are you prepared to ride it?

Nothing seems right anymore.

In whichever direction we choose to look, things are unraveling at a quickening pace.

Welcome to the Fourth Turning; and with it, a profound loss of trust in institutions and government.

Such lack of social cohesion is a hallmark of a Fourth Turning. Sadly, it’s happening at a time when society desperately needs to pull together, set aside our differences, and make some really big decisions.

Dirty Hands Everywhere

For my own part, my loss of trust in what is termed the ‘mainstream media’ (MSM) is nearly complete.  Its sins of omission and commission have piled up too high to forgive – the bank of trust I once had in it has lost every penny and is now in deep overdraft.

In my opinion its gravest sin is the willful and deliberate fracturing of society into many disparate warring camps. The MSM has a lot to answer for in that regard.

Similarly guilty is our political system.  The core power players are unable to hold each other accountable, revealing that we don’t have two parties after all, but rather a uniparty organized around power and money.

The rules are increasingly re-written to benefit a smaller and smaller group of elites at the expense of everyone else — and that’s now becoming increasingly crystal clear to the 99.9% who are getting screwed. The corrosive effects of that are going to take decades to resolve.

As a result, the social fabric is rending apart.  Stress is epidemic with more people than ever reporting being unhappy, unfulfilled, isolated and alone.  Suicide is the second leading cause of death.  It’s worse than just depression, it’s something far more insidious — it’s demoralization. There’s no hope left any more for too many of us.

A Dying Ecosphere

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Personal Politics, Public Impeachment, Persuasion and Post-Apocalyptic Planning

Personal Politics, Public Impeachment, Persuasion and Post-Apocalyptic Planning

One of my primary concerns regarding the forthcoming economic chaos and societal breakdown is that there will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. As normalcy bias evaporates like tears on dehydrated sunken cheeks, hungry neighbors and pre-collapse friends and acquaintances will soon assimilate into zombie hoards and come knocking like its Halloween.

What are you going to do? Shoot them?

Regardless, saying “I told you so” or “I tried to warn you, but you didn’t listen” will not be an effective deterrent. Furthermore, the resultant chaos will also deliver local strongmen and gangs ready to thieve and plunder amidst widespread violence and starvation.

In such a scenario, any lone bananas are sure to be skinned.

Are you ready?

Because very few will have the opportunity to bug out to a remote location and surprisingly, an isolated cabin in the woods, or a fenced-off hidden homestead in a rural area may not be best after all.  Take it from Fernando Ferfal Aguirre, who survived the economic collapse in Argentina.  In his book, “Surviving the Economic Collapse”, he described geographic areas as like organisms dying; where the extremities perish first. Aguirre identifies the urban areas as the safer places to work, trade, and live; with the rural areas as targets for roving gangs to raid and set up camp out of the reach of city services, police, and fire departments.

Therefore, since we know the endgame, what if we could parlay that into building trust with others now?   Perhaps entire regions could be fortified in a balkanized America, simply by reorganizing current civil administrations.  All that would be required would be for the heads of select institutions and agencies to work in coordination, quickly, and decisively as the proverbial excrement collides into the whirling flabellum. Roving bands, gangs, cartels, and feral feds, might then decide to move on to easier targets.

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In Memoriam: Reality

In Memoriam: Reality


The Golden Golem of Greatness shifted into mad bull overdrive for last night’s Minneapolis fan rally, cussing and bellowing at the picadors of the Left who have been sticking lances in his neck for three years. Decorum is not Mr. Trump’s strong suit, but then the bull is not sent into the ring to negotiate politely for his life. The narrative of the bullring is certain death. The bull must do what he can within his nature to dispute it.

It’s in Mr. Trump’s nature to act the part of a reality TV star, and, of course, it is the nature of reality TV shows to be unreal. That is perhaps the ruling paradox of life in the USA these days. Saturated in unreality, the spectators (also called “voters”) flounder through a relentless barrage of narratives aimed at confounding them, with the unreal expectation that they can make sense of unreal things. In a place like Minneapolis of an October evening, you can go see the Joker movie or take in the President’s rally — and come away with the same sense of hyper-unreality. We’re no longer the nation we pretend to be and we don’t know it. Jokers are wild and the joke’s on us.

So it goes in these dangerous autumn days of The Fourth Turning. Something’s got to give, and all indications are it will happen where few are looking at the moment: the sideshow of money and banking. When things start slip-sliding away over in that alternative universe, Mr. Trump will be propelled into the role he was cast for in 2016: bag-holder for economic collapse.

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Fourth Turning Economics

Fourth Turning Economics

“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe 

Image result for total global debt 2019

The quote above captures the current Fourth Turning perfectly, even though it was written more than a decade before the 2008 financial tsunami struck. With global debt now exceeding $250 trillion, up 60% since the Crisis began, and $13 trillion of sovereign debt with negative yields, it is clear to all rational thinking individuals the next financial crisis will make 2008 look like a walk in the park. We are approaching the eleventh anniversary of this crisis period, with possibly a decade to go before a resolution.

As I was thinking about what confluence of economic factors might ignite the next bloody phase of this Fourth Turning, I realized economic factors have been the underlying cause of all four Crisis periods in American history.

Debt levels in eurozone, G7, US and Germany

The specific details of each crisis change, but economic catalysts have initiated all previous Fourth Turnings and led ultimately to bloody conflict. There is nothing in the current dynamic of this Fourth Turning which argues against a similar outcome. The immense debt, stock and real estate bubbles, created by feckless central bankers, corrupt politicians, and spineless government apparatchiks, have set the stage for the greatest financial calamity in world history.

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2019 From a Fourth Turning Perspective

2019 FROM A FOURTH TURNING PERSPECTIVE

“An impasse over the federal budget reaches a stalemate. The president and Congress both refuse to back down, triggering a near-total government shutdown. The president declares emergency powers. Congress rescinds his authority. Dollar and bond prices plummet. The president threatens to stop Social Security checks. Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling. Default looms. Wall Street panics.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe

Image result for budget impasse trump schumer

Strauss and Howe wrote their book in 1996. They were not trying to be prophets of doom, but observers of history able to connect events through human life cycles of 80 or so years. Using critical thinking skills and identifying the most likely triggers for crisis: debt, civic decay, and global disorder, they were able to anticipate scenarios which could drive the next crisis, which they warned would arrive in the mid-2000 decade. The scenario described above is fairly close to the current situation, driven by the showdown between Trump and the Democrats regarding the border wall.

It has not reached the stage where all hell breaks loose, but if it extends until the end of January and food stamp money is not distributed to 40 million people (mostly in urban ghettos) all bets are off. The likelihood of this scenario is small, but there are numerous potential triggers which could still make 2019 go down in history as a year to remember.

As we enter the eleventh year of this Fourth Turning, the fourth Crisis period in U.S. history, the mood of U.S. citizens and citizens around the globe continues to darken. Fourth Turnings are driven by generational configuration and the emotional reaction to events by the Prophet generation leaders, Nomad generation spearheads, and Hero generation cannon fodder.

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The Fourth Turning & War of the Worlds

THE FOURTH TURNING & WAR OF THE WORLDS

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Image result for bomb hoax Image result for fourth turning war

“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe

The paragraph above captures everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen during this Fourth Turning. It was written over two decades ago, but no one can deny its accuracy regarding our present situation. The spark was a financial crash. The response to the financial crash by the financial and governmental entities, along with their Deep State co-conspirators who created the financial collapse due to their greed and malfeasance, led to the incomprehensible election of Donald Trump, as the deplorables in flyover country evoked revenge upon the corrupt establishment.

The chain reaction of unyielding responses by the left and the right accelerates at a breakneck pace, with absolutely no possibility of compromise. A new emergency or winner take all battle seems to be occurring on a weekly basis, with the mid-term elections as the likely trigger for the next phase of this Fourth Turning.

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Winter is Coming (Part Three)

WINTER IS COMING (PART THREE)

“The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.” – Strauss & Howe The Fourth Turning 

Image result for swirling fog game of thrones

In Part One of this article I laid out the reasons for Gray Champions arising to meet challenges during crisis periods in history. In Part Two of this article I assessed the configuration of Gray Champions throughout the world and the potential impact on the course of this Fourth Turning.

The swirling fog of confusion enveloping the globe as the high lords of the universe play their game of thrones has even the most critical thinking individuals baffled by the course of events. The desperation and blatant lawlessness of the Deep State players in their endeavor to preserve their hegemony over the course of global affairs is palpable with every attack, false flag, accusation, and ratcheting up of their propaganda media machine.

Like Game of Thrones, the behind the scenes machinations, subterfuge, and deceptions taking place outside the purview of the common folk are designed to only benefit the rich and powerful players undertaking these traitorous actions. Open warfare will not happen until it is thought to be in the best interests of those manipulating the levers of society and the narrative produced by their perpetual propaganda media machine. But, in the end, it will be the innocent common people who will suffer the consequences, while the lords reap the riches, glory and power.

“Why is it always the innocents who suffer most, when you high lords play your game of thrones?”Lord Varys – George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones

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Winter is Coming

WINTER IS COMING

“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.” – George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones

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“Reflect on what happens when a terrible winter blizzard strikes. You hear the weather warning but probably fail to act on it. The sky darkens. Then the storm hits with full fury, and the air is a howling whiteness. One by one, your links to the machine age break down. Electricity flickers out, cutting off the TV. Batteries fade, cutting off the radio. Phones go dead. Roads become impassible, and cars get stuck. Food supplies dwindle. Day to day vestiges of modern civilization – bank machines, mutual funds, mass retailers, computers, satellites, airplanes, governments – all recede into irrelevance.

Picture yourself and your loved ones in the midst of a howling blizzard that lasts several years. Think about what you would need, who could help you, and why your fate might matter to anybody other than yourself. That is how to plan for a saecular winter. Don’t think you can escape the Fourth Turning. History warns that a Crisis will reshape the basic social and economic environment that you now take for granted.” – Strauss & Howe The Fourth Turning

I’m always a little behind when it comes to popular TV, especially when the shows are on premium cable channels. Being cheap, I’ve refused to pay for any premium cable channels, plus I’ve spent much of my life on baseball fields and in hockey rinks, rather than watching TV. When my kids recently signed up for HBO Now, I finally got to watch The Sopranos, eleven years after its final episode aired. Now I’m finally able to watch Game of Thrones, after it has been on the air for seven seasons. In the opening episodes I was impressed by the theme which permeates the series. Numerous characters stated “Winter is Coming”. I was immediately struck by the parallels with the Fourth Turning theory about the cyclical nature of our world.

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Keep Going. This Too Shall Pass.

Keep Going. This Too Shall Pass.

Like the weather when a storm approaches, or as the seasons turn, or waves pounding on a shoreline, any deviations are measured and compared by speed and intensity.  The same can be said for headlines:  Omnibus, discouraged Deplorables, rumors of war, prospects of peace, economic bubbles, fluctuating markets, and political intrigue.  Round and round it goes; when it ends, nobody knows. It’s a time of transition; and when traveling over mountaintops, through valleys, and on rough seas, no one has all of the answers.

Even when looking at maps.

The books, Generations (1992) and The Fourth Turning (1997), were written by the historians William Strauss and Neil Howe. These recent explorers identified recorded cycles of history and categorized them across multiple cultures and eras.  In both books, historical timelines were analyzed and populations were correlated to specific life-cycles labeled as generational types.  Strauss and Howe additionally addressed the concept of time in the context of both circular and linear perspectives and defined what is called a “saeculum” as a “long human life” measuring roughly 80 to 90 years.  Every saeculum is comprised of four turnings, each lasting around 20 years.

Just as there are four seasons consisting of spring, summer, fall and winter, there are also four phases of a human life represented in childhood, young adulthood, middle age and elderhood.  As each phase of human life represents approximately 20 years, so is each generational archetype identified within the historical cycles, or turnings, as follows.

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Fourth Turning’s Neil Howe: “Today’s Demographics Defy Conventional Wisdom”

John Mauldin interviewed Fourth Turning best-selling author and demographics expert, Neil Howe about generational changes and their effect on the markets, during a session at the Strategic Investment Conference 2018.  Howe said that demographics and generational factors have a huge impact on equity prices in the long run. Not only that, he thinks that there’s now a generational shift in wealth distribution that could spark major political and economic disruption.

Today’s Demographics Defies Conventional Wisdom

The main example Howe shared is that people in the 75+ age bracket still dominate stock ownership by far. This defies conventional wisdom that people reduce risk as they retire and leave the workforce. Meanwhile, Millennials have lower income and stock ownership levels than previous generations did at the same age.

This is a key change as senior adults once had the highest poverty rates. Younger people are now challenging that once-safe assumption.

Neil Howe

Howe also pointed out striking differences between early and late Baby Boomers. Those born in the mid/late 1940s inherited some of the Silent Generation’s wealth and good fortune. Late-stage Boomers born in the early 1960s score lower in all kinds of metrics.

Major Political and Financial Disruption Is Ahead

Neil Howe ended  with an update on his Fourth Turning generational theory. He thinks we are about midway through it. From an economic standpoint, he foresees inflation fear and Fed tightening, which will be followed by a painful recession.

Politically, Millennials desperately want civic re-engagement. They are seeking to completely restructure institutions. The right wing is a brick wall on this subject and numbers have let them hold off the pressure so far. This will change as Millennials grow older and Boomers die.

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Muck’s Minute #48 Future of Mankind Part III

Muck’s Minute #48 Future of Mankind Part III

Authors’ note: The response to the first few parts of this series show that the vast majority of readers are myopic in their view point. This series is about l-o-n-g t-e-r-m consequences of currently occurring happenings. It is not intended to be thought of as a One Turning forecast or even multiple 4TH Turnings. A turning is between 80-100 years and I’m talking about a thousand years and specie survival. I’ll try and rein in my long term view after this series and get back to talking about next month.

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Start Part III

The higher productivity of agriculture is the reason why population density and growth has fallen off the table as a popular subject to debate. Additionally, religion that espouses moral opposition to birth control in any fashion (including abortion) is spreading throughout undeveloped areas of the world ( as well as the USA’s swing to evangelical prominence) so we can be sure that more and more of the extra food production technology makes possible will be swallow up faster and faster. Worse luck, that, and our greatgrandchildren will live to regret it. True, this must be balanced against the fact that the more education women get, the fewer children they tend to have. You can also have a problem like they have in China with their “one child” policy that had led them to a demographical time bomb about to go off. On balance, population will still increase with time.

What is far more likely the result of continuing population expansion is war. Wars are fought over possession and control of land. There are, of course, other excuses for fighting a war, such as wars based on religious or cultural differences, but throughout the history of human conflict, fighting over the control of land and the resources thereon is the basis for war.

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The Unbearable Slowness of Fourth Turnings

THE UNBEARABLE SLOWNESS OF FOURTH TURNINGS

“The next Fourth Turning is due to begin shortly after the new millennium, midway through the Oh-Oh decade. Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation and empire. The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.” – Strauss & Howe The Fourth Turning 

This Fourth Turning was ignited suddenly in September 2008 as the housing bubble, created by the Federal Reserve and their criminal puppeteer owners on Wall Street, collapsed, revealing the greatest control fraud in world history. A crisis mood was catalyzed as the stock market dropped 50%, unemployment surged to highs not seen since 1981, foreclosures exploded, and captured politicians bailed out the criminal bankers with the tax dollars of the victims.

The mood of the country darkened immediately as average Americans flooded their congressmen’s websites and phone lines with a demand not to bailout the felonious Wall Street banks with $700 billion of TARP. But they ignored their supposed constituents and revealed who they are truly beholden to.

Trust in the political and financial system disintegrated and has further deteriorated as the ruling elite continue to loot and pillage as if the 2008/2009 global financial meltdown never happened. From the perspective of the archaic social order there is no longer a crisis. The recovery narrative, flogged ceaselessly by the crooked establishment and their propaganda fake news corporate media mouthpieces, has convinced millions of willfully ignorant Americans progress is occurring.

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Fourth Turning’s Neil Howe Fears “Strong Parallels” Between 1930s And Today: “It’s Going To Be A Rollercoaster Ride”

Fourth Turning’s Neil Howe Fears “Strong Parallels” Between 1930s And Today: “It’s Going To Be A Rollercoaster Ride”

This week on the MacroVoices podcast, host Erik Townsend interviewed Neil Howe, co-author of The Fourth Turning, an investing tract that’s found renewed relevance thanks to White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who’s cited it as an inspiration for his (and by extension, President Donald Trump’s) worldview.

According to the New York Times, which published a story earlier this year explaining the theories encapsulated in the book, the Fourth Turning was “written by two amateur historians, making the case that world events unfold in predictable cycles of roughly 80 years each, and that they can be divided into four chapters, or turnings: growth, maturation, entropy and destruction. Western societies have experienced the same patterns for centuries, the book argues, and they are as natural and necessary as spring, summer, fall and winter.”

Few books have been as central to the worldview of Mr. Bannon, a voracious reader who tends to see politics and policy in terms of their place in the broader arc of history.”

Turner shares Bannon’s enthusiasm, saying in his preamble that he believes the Fourth Turning is “the most important investing book of our time…I am such a big fan of this book personally that I literally named my own investment management company Fourth Turning Capital Management after Neil’s work.”

During the interview, Turner and Howe discussed Howe’s conclusion that America is presently in the middle of a 20-year-long period of social, economic and political upheaval.  

Howe begins by explaining how the first book written by himself and William Strauss, with whom he also collaborated on the Fourth Turning, introduced him to the idea that America’s economy and culture follow distinct patterns.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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