Friday, July 21, 2017

Zombies R Us: ‘We the People’ Are the Walking Dead of the American Police State

By John W. Whitehead and originally published at rutherford.org
RIP George Romero (1940-2017).
Romero—a filmmaker hailed as the architect of the zombie genre—is dead at the age of 77, but the zombified police state culture he railed against lives on.
Just take a look around you.
“We the people” have become the walking dead of the American police state.
We’re still plagued by the socio-political evils of cultural apathy, materialism, domestic militarism and racism that Romero depicted in his Night of the Living Dead trilogy.
Romero’s zombies have taken on a life of their own in pop culture.
Zombies also embody the government’s paranoia about the citizenry as potential threats that need to be monitored, tracked, surveilled, sequestered, deterred, vanquished and rendered impotent.
Case in point: in AMC’s hit television series The Walking Dead and the spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, it’s not just flesh-eating ghouls and cannibalistic humans that survivors have to worry about but the police state “tasked with protecting the vulnerable” that poses some of the gravest threats to the citizenry.
Why the fascination with zombies?
Perhaps it’s because zombie fiction provides us with a way to “envision how we and our own would thrive if everything went to hell and we lost all our societal supports.” As Time magazine reporter James Poniewozik phrases it, the “apocalyptic drama lets us face the end of the world once a week and live.”
In other words, zombies are the personification of our darkest fears.
Fear and paranoia have become hallmarks of the modern American experience, impacting how we as a nation view the world around us, how we as citizens view each other, and most of all how our government views us.
The propaganda of fear has been used quite effectively by those who want to gain control, and it is working on the American populace.
Despite the fact that we are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist, we have handed over control of our lives to government officials who treat us as a means to an end—the source of money and power.
We have allowed ourselves to become fearful, controlled, pacified zombies.
Most everyone keeps their heads down these days while staring zombie-like into an electronic screen, even when they’re crossing the street. Indeed, a Nielsen study reports that American screen viewing is at an all-time high.
Psychologically, such screen consumption is similar to drug addictiontransforming viewers into a more passive, nonresistant state. Historically, television has been used by those in authority to quiet discontent and pacify disruptive people. Prisons officials actually use TV to keep inmates quiet.
We are being controlled by forces beyond our control.
This is how the police state takes charge.
As the Atlantic notes, “The villains of [Fear the Walking Dead] aren’t the zombies, who rarely appear, but the U.S. military, who sweep into an L.A. suburb to quarantine the survivors. Zombies are, after all, a recognizable threat—but Fear plumbs drama and horror from the betrayal by institutions designed to keep people safe.”
What we are experiencing is a betrayal of the very core values—a love of freedom, an adherence to the rule of law, a spirit of democracy, a commitment to accountability and transparency, and a recognition that civilian rule must always trump military methods—that have guided this nation from its inception.
The challenge is not whether we can hold onto our freedoms in times of peace and prosperity, but whether we can do so when all hell breaks loose.
Anyone who has been paying attention knows that it will not take much for the government—i.e., the military—to lock down the nation in the event of a national disaster.
The government is not out to keep us safe by monitoring our communications, tracking our movements, criminalizing our every action, treating us like suspects, and stripping us of our means of defense while equipping its own personnel with an amazing arsenal of weapons.
No, this is not security. It is an ambush. And it is being carried out in plain sight.
For example, for years now, the government has been carrying out military training drills with zombies as the enemy. In 2011, the DOD created a 31-page instruction manual for how to protect America from a terrorist attack carried out by zombie forces. In 2012, the CDC released a guide for surviving a zombie plague. That was followed by training drills for members of the military, police officers and first responders.
The zombie exercises appeared to be kitschy and fun—government agents running around trying to put down a zombie rebellion—but what if the zombies in the exercises are us, the citizenry, viewed by those in power as mindless, voracious, zombie hordes?
“We the people” or, more appropriately, “we the zombies” are the enemy in the eyes of the government.
So when presented with the Defense Department’s battle plan for defeating an army of the walking dead, you might find yourself tempted to giggle over the fact that a taxpayer-funded government bureaucrat actually took the time to research and write about vegetarian zombies, evil magic zombies, chicken zombies, space zombies, bio-engineered weaponized zombies, radiation zombies, symbiant-induced zombies, and pathogenic zombies.
However, in an age of extreme government paranoia, this is no laughing matter.
The DOD’s strategy for dealing with a zombie uprising using surveillance, military drills, awareness training, militarized police forces and martial law is for all intents and purposes a training manual for the government in how to put down a citizen uprising or at least an uprising of individuals “infected” with dangerous ideas about freedom.
If there is any lesson to be learned, it is simply this: as I point out in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, whether the threat to national security comes in the form of actual terrorists, imaginary zombies or disgruntled American citizens infected with dangerous ideas about freedom, the government’s response to such threats remains the same: detect, deter and annihilate.
It’s time to wake up, America, before you end up with a bullet to the head (the only proven means of killing a zombie).

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trump Cannot Improve Relations With Russia When Trump’s Government and the US Media Oppose Improved Relations

Trump Cannot Improve Relations With Russia When Trump’s Government and the US Media Oppose Improved Relations
By Paul Craig Roberts and originally published at paulcraigroberts.org
President Trump Has Been Contradicted by His Own Government, Which Has Lined Up Against Him in Favor of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, and the Russophobic Presstitute Media that serves the military/security complex and the neoconservatives.
I am afraid that The Saker and Finian Cunningham are correct. Nothing can come of Trump’s meeting with Putin, because, as Cunningham puts it, “Trump doesn’t have freedom or real power. The real power brokers in the US will ensure that the Russophobia campaign continues, with more spurious allegations of Moscow interfering to subvert Western democracies. Trump will continue to live under a cloud of media-driven suspicions. And thus the agenda of regime change against Syria and confrontation with Russia will also continue. Trump’s personal opinions on these matters and towards Vladimir Putin are negligible—indeed dispensable by the deep powers-that-be.” 
Cunningham points out that instead of lauding the meeting as the beginning of the process to defuse the high tensions between the two major nuclear powers, the US media denounced Trump for being civil to Putin in the meeting.
What is missing from the media in the entirety of the Western world and perhaps also in Russia is the awareness that the dangerous tensions are orchestrated not only by Hillary and the Democratic National Committee, the neoconservatives, the US military/security complex, and the presstitutes, but also by President Trump’s own appointees.
Trump’s own ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, and Trump’s own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, sound exactly like Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, the neoconservatives, the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN and the rest of the totally discredited presstitute media that is committed to raising tensions between the US and Russia to the point of nuclear war.
On the same day that President Donald Trump said “it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia,” and the day after he said “I had a tremendous meeting yesterday with President Putin,” the ignorant, stupid, Nikki Haley, who Trump appointed as US UN Ambassador, publicly contradicted her president, forcefully stating: “we can’t trust Russia and we won’t ever trust Russia.” https://www.rt.com/usa/395814-us-trust-russia-haley/?utm_source=spotim&utm_medium=spotim_recirculation&spotim_referrer=recirculation&spot_im_comment_id=sp_6phY2k0C_395814_c_rDCXsj 
The ignorant stupid Haley is still in office, a perfect demonstration of Trump’s powerlessness. 
The ignorant stupid Haley has gone far beyond Obama’s crazed UN Ambassador, neocon Samantha Power in doing everything in her power to ruin the prospect of normal relations between the two major nuclear powers. Why does Nikki Haley work in favor of a confrontation between nuclear powers that would destroy all life on earth? What is wrong with Nikki Haley? Is she demented? Has she lost her mind, assuming she ever had one? 
How can President Trump normalize relations with Russia when every one of his appointees wants to worsen the relations to the point of nuclear war?
How is President Trump going to improve relations with Russia when President Trump stands powerless in face of his dressing down by his UN Ambassador? Clearly, Trump is powerless, a mere cipher.
Joining Nikki Haley was Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Tillerson, allegedly a friend of Russia, is also working overtime to worsen relations between the two nuclear powers by publicly contradicting the President of the United States, thereby making it clear that Trump is barely even a cipher. Tillerson, a disgrace, said that Putin’s refusal to admit that Putin elected Trump by interfering in the US election “stands as an obstacle to our ability to improve the relationship between the US and Russia and it needs to be addressed in terms of how we assure the American people that interference into our elections will not occur by Russia or anyone else.”https://www.rt.com/usa/395814-us-trust-russia-haley/?utm_source=spotim&utm_medium=spotim_recirculation&spotim_referrer=recirculation&spot_im_comment_id=sp_6phY2k0C_395814_c_rDCXsj 
Trump’s incompetence is illustrated by his appointments. There is no one in “his” government that supports him. Everyone of them works to undermine him. And he sits there and Twitters.
So, what is President Putin’s belief that an understanding can now be worked out with Washington worth? Not a plugged nickel. Trump has zero authority over “his” government. He can be contradicted at will by his own appointees. The President of the United States is a joke. You can find him on Twitter, but nowhere else, not in the Oval Office making foreign or military policy. The president Twitters and thinks that that is policy.
The Trump administration was destroyed when the weak Donald Trump allowed the neoconservatives to remove his National Security Advisor, General Flynn. Trump has never recovered. “His” administration is staffed with violent Russophobes. Wars can be the only outcome.
We know two things about the alleged Russian interference in the Trump/Hillary presidential election. One is that John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, and Comey, Obama’s FBI director, implied repeatedly that Trump was elected by Russian interference in the election. The other is that the charge is false. Neither the CIA nor the FBI have provided any evidence whatsoever that any such interference occurred. Indeed, months into the case, the special prosecutor, the former FBI director, can produce no evidence. The whole thing is a sham, but it is ongoing. There will be no end to it as it is designed to undermine President Trump with the people who elected him. The message is: “Trump is not for America. Trump is for Russia.”
This is astounding! The NSA has intercepts of all transmitted data. If Russia interfered in the US presidential election the evidence would be obvious and immediately available. 
Despite the obvious lies told by Brennan and Comey, the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the scum, no one has been arrested and put on trial for their efforts to overthrow the elected president of the United States. This proves beyond all doubt that the President of the United States is a non-entity. A figurehead incapable of action independently of the Deep State that controls him.
If Vladimir Putin really believes from his meeting with Trump that all of the orchestrated false charges against Russia can now be removed and normal relations restored, Putin is in la-la land. Nikki Haley says that the US will NEVER trust Russia. If Putin trusts Washington, Russia will be destroyed. And the rest of the world with Russia.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Don't Be Fooled - The Federal Reserve Will Continue Rate Hikes Despite Crisis

By Brandon Smith and originally published at alt-market.com
Though stock markets in general are meaningless and indicate nothing in terms of the health of the economy they still function as a form of hypnosis, or a kind of Pavlovian mechanism; a tool that central bankers can use to keep a population servile and salivating at the ring of a bell. As I have mentioned in the past, the only two elements of the economy that the average person pays attention to in the slightest are the unemployment rate and the Dow. As long as the first is down and the second is up, they aren't going to take a second look at the health of our financial system.
Historians and economists often wonder after the fact how it was possible for so many "experts" and others to miss the flashing red lights leading into market implosions like that which occurred in 2008. Well, this is exactly how; within any casino there is an inherent bias towards false hope. Meaning, many people will invariably ignore all negative factors and past experience because positivism is more pleasant. Central bankers are keen to take advantage of this condition.
When observing from the outside-in, this attitude rings of desperation. Investors, with no positive fundamental data to turn to in the economy, have now been relegated to scouring press releases and speeches for ANY indication that the central bank might not take the punch bowl away as they have been doing slowly over the past few years. In fact, in most cases negative data has actually triggered spikes in equities because the assumption on the part of investors is that bad data will cause the Fed to second-guess its stimulus reduction policies. In this way, central bankers can, at least for now, fake-out investors with a simple word or phrase released in a strategic manner.
An example of this occurred last week as Fed Chair Janet Yellen threw investors and aglo-trading computers a bone with an admission (finally) that inflation (as the Fed measures it) may not be as strong as the Fed had hoped. Investors cheered. Their assumption now is that the Fed will not continue with its steady interest rate increases. But, if one examines the central bank's past behavior this is a foolish assumption.
The Fed will indeed continue its interest rate hikes unabated, and here's why...
The tone set by the central bank on interest rates has been overwhelmingly "hawkish" over the past six months. Minutes from the Fed's June meeting mention a concern over stocks being "too high," and the potential for "market risks." Fed officials also cite concerns that markets have been ignoring rate hikes with blind exuberance. The Fed has continued rate hikes through 2017 despite a constant barrage of negative data, causing confusion in the financial world.
I covered elements of this deluge of bad data in my article 'Peak Economic Delusion Signals Coming Crisis'.
First, it is important to understand that everything the Fed does and says publicly is highly calculated. When there is confusion surrounding Fed rhetoric, it is often strategic, not random. Yellen's admission to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee that low inflation is a concern conflicts with numerous Fed statements made previously.
For example, last month Yellen surprised analysts with her claim that she "expects no new crisis in our lifetimes." This is an extremely confident and hawkish sentiment on top of numerous other arguments in favor of interest rate hikes regardless of low inflation. Only weeks later, inflation is suddenly a concern?
Investors immediately interpreted Yellen's mention of low inflation to mean that the Fed was backing away from its hard stance on rate hikes, as well as its pursuit of reductions in its balance sheet. What they completely ignored was the fact that Yellen also reiterated to the same Financial Services Committee the Fed's intention to CONTINUE rate increases at the current pace.
The Fed has used this method of mixed messages before. During the lead up to the taper of quantitative easing, central bankers sent mixed messages to the investment world leading everyone to believe that the taper was a no-go. Investors, of course, celebrated, while many alternative analysts were patting themselves on the back for their prediction that the Fed would "never" taper QE.
In the midst of rising potential for interest rate increases, the Fed pulled a fast one on analysts once again. Citing growth concerns, Yellen bamboozled mainstream economists and alternative economists alike, sowing the seeds of assumption that rate hikes were going to fall by the wayside.
In every case, the Fed insinuated it had "doubts", while at the same time stating that the removal of stimulus will march onward. This time will be no different. Interest rates are going up up up, and the only question is, how long will it take before market investors accept this as reality and equities crash in response?
I believe that Yellen's latest pronouncement of "no new crisis within our lifetimes" is a signal that this reversal in the stock bubble will take place very soon. I am reminded immediately of these quotes from prominent names in the economic world just prior to the crash of 1929:
John Maynard Keynes in 1927: "We will not have any more crashes in our time."
H.H. Simmons, president of the New York Stock Exchange, Jan. 12, 1928: "I cannot help but raise a dissenting voice to statements that we are living in a fool’s paradise, and that prosperity in this country must necessarily diminish and recede in the near future."
Irving Fisher, leading U.S. economist, The New York Times, Sept. 5, 1929: "There may be a recession in stock prices, but not anything in the nature of a crash." And on Sept. 17, 1929: "Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as (bears) have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months."
McNeel, market analyst, as quoted in the New York Herald Tribune, Oct. 30, 1929: "This is the time to buy stocks. This is the time to recall the words of the late J. P. Morgan... that any man who is bearish on America will go broke. Within a few days there is likely to be a bear panic rather than a bull panic. Many of the low prices as a result of this hysterical selling are not likely to be reached again in many years." 
Harvard Economic Society, Nov. 10, 1929: "... a serious depression seems improbable; [we expect] recovery of business next spring, with further improvement in the fall."
Yellen seems to be echoing the bewildering rhetoric of past economic catastrophe; offering prophecies which she knows are false while purposely increasing instability through interest rate hikes. As I have noted many times, this is the classic modus operandi of the Fed. The Fed raises rates into economic decline and ignores all evidence that they are bursting a bubble they engineered — this is what they do.
During recessionary conditions in 1927, the Fed increased the money supply exponentially through open market purchases and a reduced discount rate, which many economists argue was a primary catalyst for the artificial liquidity that created the stock market bubble of 1929. Once the crash occurred and the depression set in, the Fed RAISED RATES and made matters worse (as openly admitted by Ben Bernanke decades later in 2002). The Fed thus prolonged the depression for years beyond the normal deflationary cycle.
Using history as our guide, central bankers like to conjure an environment of fiscal dangers, then they warn of those danger too little too late, and then claim ignorance of their own activities after the crash.
This is nothing new in our era. Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan publicly admitted in an interview that the central bank knew an irrational bubble had formed, but claims they assumed the negative factors would "wash out."
Once they are ready to allow their planned implosion to occur, the central bankers are more than happy to throw investors to the wolves. That is to say, the investment world's optimism is only useful to the Fed for a time. If rhetoric and behaviors previous to the crash of 1929 are any measure, today we are only meager months away from a similar event. For further explanation, I outline in detail the reasons why the globalists would instigate a fiscal crisis in my article 'The Federal Reserve Is A Saboteur — And The "Experts" Are Oblivious.'
I suspect that the central banks and the globalists that control them are hoping to bide their time in terms a complete equities crash in preparation for a geopolitical event — a distraction massive enough to draw attention away from the bankers and their culpability for any economic disaster. They certainly will not allow stocks to crash in a vacuum.
In conclusion, I would like to leave readers with a quote from Great Depression era Federal Reserve chairman Roy Young. Perhaps investors should consider that they are being duped by central bank ploys, and that they are useful idiots in a game designed to keep the public under control with fraudulent markets until the Fed is ready to pull the plug. When the crash takes place, the Fed will find a way to remove itself from any blame. In the meantime, make no mistake, the interest rate hikes will continue into next year and the Fed's balance sheet will be reduced.
Addressing the Indiana Bankers Association, before the Stock Market Crash of 1929, Fed Chairman Roy Young had this to say:
"Many people in America seem to be more concerned about the present situation than the Federal Reserve System is. If unsound credit practices have developed, these practices will in time correct themselves, and if some of the overindulgent get 'burnt' during the period of correction, they will have to shoulder the blame themselves and not attempt to shift it to someone else." 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Our Disneyland Economy

By Michael Snyder theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Disneyland is known as a place “where dreams come true” and where every story always has a happy ending.  But there is going to be no happy ending for the U.S. economy.  Wishful thinking has resulted in one of the greatest stock market rallies in history in recent months, but like all childhood fantasies, it won’t last.  The real economy continues to deteriorate, and we can see this even right outside of the gates of Disneyland.  Every night growing numbers of homeless people sleep on the pavement just steps away from “the happiest place on Earth”.  It can be fun to “play make believe” for a while, but eventually reality always catches up with us.
Without a doubt, the stock market has been on a tremendous run.  Since Donald Trump’s stunning election victory in November, the market has been setting record high after record high, and it is now up a total of 17 percent
The Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its 23rd all time high of 2017 yesterday closing at 21,532.  There have been a total of 120 days where the markets have closed since President Trump’s inauguration on January 20th.  The ‘DOW’ has closed at all time highs 23 of those days for nearly 20% or one-fifth of the days the market has been open.  The market is up 9% since the inauguration. 
Since the election on November 8th the DOW has closed at record highs an amazing 40 times!   Nearly one-fourth or 24% of the 168 days the markets have closed have been record highs since the November 8th election.  The market is up 17% since the election!
If this surge was supported by hard economic data, that would be something to greatly celebrate, but that has not been the case at all.
Instead, stock prices have become completely disconnected from economic reality, and now we are facing one of the greatest stock bubbles of all time.  As Graham Summers has pointed out, stocks are now trading at price to sales ratios that we haven’t seen since the very height of the dotcom bubble…
Earnings, cash flow, and book value are all financial data points that can be massaged via a variety of gimmicks. As a result of this, valuing stocks based on Price to Earnings, Price to Cash Flow, and Price to Book Value can often lead to inaccurate valuations.
Sales on the other hand are all but impossible to gimmick. Either money came in the door, or it didn’t And, if a company is caught faking its sales numbers, someone is going to jail.
So the fact that stocks are now trading at a P/S ratio that matches the Tech Bubble (the single largest stock bubble in history) tells us that we’re truly trading at astronomical levels: levels associated with staggering levels of excess.
There is no possible way that this is sustainable, and just like before the 2008 crisis a whole host of experts are warning that disaster is imminent.  One of them is John Mauldin
Looking with fresh eyes at the economic numbers and central bankers’ statements convinced me that we will soon be in deep trouble. I now feel that it’s highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest. Just a few months ago, I thought we could avoid a crisis and muddle through. Now I think we’re past that point. The key decision-makers have (1) done nothing, (2) done the wrong thing, or (3) done the right thing too late.
Having realized this, I’m adjusting my research efforts. I believe a major crisis is coming. The questions now are, how severe will it be, and how will we get through it?
And even though the stock market has been surging deeper and deeper into bubble territory in recent months, the middle class has continued to shrink and poverty has continued to grow all over the country.  In fact, because so many homeless people have been sleeping at bus shelters across from Disneyland lately authorities decided to completely remove the benches that they had been sleeping on
The vanishing benches were Anaheim’s response to complaints about the homeless population around Disneyland. Public work crews removed 20 benches from bus shelters after callers alerted City Hall to reports of vagrants drinking, defecating or smoking pot in the neighborhood near the amusement park’s entrance, officials said.
The situation is part of a larger struggle by Orange County to deal with a rising homeless population. A survey last year placed the number of those without shelter at 15,300 people, compared with 12,700 two years earlier.
But simply removing benches will not make the problem go away.
Homelessness has been growing so rapidly in Los Angeles that the the L.A. City Council actually asked Governor Jerry Brown to formally declare a state of emergency.
And in New York City, street homelessness is up 39 percent over the past year.
This is where the real economy is heading, but a rising stock market makes for much happier headlines.
Many major cities around the nation are passing laws to essentially make it illegalto be homeless.  Forcing homeless people to go somewhere else may mask the problem for a while, but it certainly doesn’t do anything to solve it.  In my new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters”, I talk about how real love is not just about loving those that are just like us.  Rather, real love is about caring for people no matter what they look like and no matter what they are going through.
Unfortunately, the economic suffering that we are seeing right now is just the beginning.
Just like in 2008, the major financial crisis that is coming is going to greatly accelerate our economic problems.  And just like last time, millions of people are going to lose their jobs, and millions of people are going to lose their homes.
Homelessness is already worse in many parts of the nation that it was during the depths of the last recession, and what we are going to see during the next economic downturn is going to be absolutely unprecedented.
So don’t look down on those that need a helping hand, because in the not too distant future you may find yourself needing some help.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Earth's Economy Glorifies Waste, Exploitation, Debt, Expediency and Magical Thinking

Humanity appears to default to magical thinking when faced with untenable situations that demand systemic change

By Charles Hugh Smith and originally published at charleshughsmith.blogspot.com
How would extraterrestrial anthropologists characterize Earth's dominant socio-economic system? It's not difficult to imagine their dismaying report:
"Earth's economy glorifies waste. Its economists rejoice when a product is disposed as waste and replaced with a new product. This waste is perversely labeled 'growth.'
Aimless wandering that consumes fossil fuels is likewise rejoiced as 'growth.'
The stripping of the planet's oceans for a few favored species of edible fish is also considered 'growth' as the process of destroying the ocean ecosystem generates sales of the desired seafood.
Even more perversely, the resulting shortages are also causes of rejoicing by the planet's elites, as their ability to purchase the now-scarce resources boosts their social status and grandiose sense of self-worth.
This glorification of waste is the same dynamic that destroyed the civilization on Zork.
Earth's economy also glorifies exploitation, as this maximizes profits, which appears to be the planetary equivalent of a secular religion that everyone believes as a Natural Law.
Thus slavery and monopoly are highly valued as the most reliable sources of profits. If ethical concerns limit the actual ownership of humans, Earth's economy incentivizes feudal arrangements that share characteristics of servitude and bondage. In the current era, the favored mechanisms are over-indebtedness (debt-serfdom) and taxation by the state, which extracts approximately 40% of all labor via threat of imprisonment.
Earth's elites exhibit a pathological preference for micro-managing the commoners via criminalizing much of everyday life and imposing extremely harsh punishments for any dissent or resistance to elite domination.
This is the same dynamic that doomed planetary civilizations in the Blug system.
Earth's economy is currently dependent on depleting fossil fuels and borrowing from the future to fund consumption in the present, i.e. debt. Rather than face the reality that this is not sustainable and pursue other arrangements, Earth's elites have chosen expediency, responding to the inevitable crises caused by depletion and dependence on debt with expedient but ultimately destructive policies that paper over the crises but at the cost of generating greater crises in the next iteration.
Humanity appears to default to magical thinking when faced with untenable situations that demand systemic change. This is eerily parallel to the now-lost civilization of Frum.
It seems Earth's dominant species has selected the most destructive policies and mindsets to glorify and worship. Earth's current civilization is doomed, with near-zero prospects for the necessary transition to a more sustainable, less exploitive arrangement.
Earth's decline is a tragi-comedy, much like the one on Ononon that entertained our home planet audiences for a time."
In case you missed it, here's a snapshot of total debt as a percentage of median household income: from 79% to 584%. If this strikes you as "healthy growth" because "debt doesn't matter"-- welcome to the Wonderland of Magical Thinking.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

God Is, God Remains

By Kethoser (Aniu) Kevichusa and originally published at rzim.org
My wife, Ono, is someone who has been through quite a bit of physical distress and lives with some measure of disability. In one of her old Bibles is a fading scrawl that she made during one of her bouts of illness. It is a quote by Joni Eareckson Tada: “When we learn to lean back in God’s sovereignty, fixing and settling our thoughts on that unshakable, unmovable reality, we can experience inner peace. Our trouble may not change, our pain may not diminish, our loss may not be restored, our problems may not fade with the new dawn. But, the power of those things to harm us is broken as we rest in the fact that God is in control.”(1)
As is well known, Joni Eareckson has lived with unimaginable handicap for the most part of her remarkable life. In the book Indelible Ink, where 22 prominent Christian leaders discuss the one book (apart from the Bible) that has most influenced each of their lives, Joni Eareckson’s pick was Loraine Boettner’s The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination.(2)
The epigraph that Joni Eareckson used for her chapter in Indelible Ink is also from Boettner’s book: “History,” Boettner says, “in all its details, even the most minute, is but the unfolding of the eternal purposes of God. His decrees are not successively formed as the emergency arises, but are all parts of one all-comprehending plan, and we should never think of Him suddenly evolving a plan or doing something which He had not thought of before.”(3)
For Boettner, God is in ultimate control of, and has decreed, everything—not just the larger scheme of things, but also the minutest details and the apparent happenchance of our lives, including the mad, the bad, and the sad. It is in knowing and believing this that lies the secret of rest and strength in the midst of life’s vicissitudes. This is the existential implication and practical application that Eareckson draws from Boettner’s work—and, presumably, Ono from Eareckson’s words. Stumbling upon Ono’s scribble of Eareckson’s words has, however, given me a different (not necessarily contrary) perspective on handling pain and suffering—a perspective that Eareckson or Boettner’s words do not exactly state or bear out.(4)

Vincent van Gogh, Sorrowing Woman, pencil and paper, 1887.
We humans, not least we Christians, often draw a straight, linking line between our lives—our conditions within and our circumstances without—and God. That is why, faced with suffering and misfortune, we are wont to ask: If God is good, why is my health failing? If God is great, why is my wealth flailing? If God is, why am I not?
But: No.
We need to learn to delink our existential realities and circumstantial instabilities from God’s eternal reality and essential stability. Why of course, sooner or later our health will fail; why yes, one time or another our wealth will flounder. We may be distressed when—not if—they do; but we should not be surprised. Indeed, we should expect them to fail: for they are not God. Only God will not fail. Only God is God.
That is why the prophet Habakkuk says:
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.(5)
For Habakkuk, the reality and stability of God is conceived wholly apart from our contingencies and variabilities. Preaching on this passage from Habakkuk, George Muller says:
What is it that brought this man of God [Habakkuk] to the decision that though he should lose everything, though he should be reduced to a state of the greatest poverty and difficulty and affliction, yet he would rejoice in Jehovah? What was it that brought him to this? Because the Living God has given Himself to every one of His children, so that whatever they may lose, in regard to the things connected with this life, God remains to them; in other words, their ALL remains to them. They are not, and they never really and truly can be, losers of anything that is worth anything, for God remains.(6)
When all is not, God is—“I AM WHO I AM.” When all is lost, God remains— “I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE.” The LORD, alone, is God. Realizing and remembering this must have helped Habakkuk and Muller. It helped me and my family too during the last three months or so.

Kethoser (Aniu) Kevichusa is a member of the speaking team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Nagaland, India.

(1) Ono is unfortunately unable to recall and pinpoint the book out of which the quote was taken.
(2) Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination in Scott Larsen, ed. Indelible Ink: 22 Prominent Christian Leaders Discuss the Books That Shape Their Faith(Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press, 2003).
(3) Cited by Eareckson Tada in Larsen, 5.
(4) The perspective I’m developing here is, it seems to me, subtly different from Joni Eareckson or Boettner’s in the following respect: If their emphasis is more on divine sovereignty and ability, mine is more on divine stability and reality; and if their words have a ring of divine fated-ness, I would like to think of mine as more inclined toward divine faithfulness.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Trump Jr. Treason – NOT, Russian Lawyer Worked for Democrats, Fed Rate Update


By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
There is still no there there with the Russian collusion story in its latest version featuring Donald Trump Jr. This looks more like an episode of “Punk’d,” but there is no crime and no treason according to renowned lawyer Alan Dershowitz.  What this really is all about is a fight between good and evil.  It’s that simple.  The Deep State and the MSM are doing everything they can to destroy Trump and his team.  This is why President Trump held a prayer meeting at the White House where ministers laid hands on him in a prayer circle.
Breitbart.com is out with a new story about how the Russian lawyer at the center of the Donald Trump Jr. Russian collusion hype has a long history of working with Democrats. Attorney General Loretta Lynch gave Natalia Veselnitskaya a “special” visa extension in 2015.  The question is why? The other question is how many traps are going to be set and debunked before the Deep State and the MSM accept that Donald Trump is the rightful elected President of the United States.
Fed Head Janet Yellen says the Federal Reserve may not raise rates much more, but that might not be enough to keep them from spiking when the Fed unloads its balance sheet of all the “toxic” mortgages it bought in the 2008 financial meltdown. Gregory Mannarino of TradersChoice.net says the Fed will not allow rates to rise because it would melt down the financial markets—again.
Join Greg Hunter as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.