March 14, 2023 at 6:58 pm #131247hexadecParticipant
“It’s AI! It’s AI!” Artificial Intelligence, whatever happened to genuine intelligence?March 14, 2023 at 7:01 pm #131248upstateNYerParticipant
Stockman on Brownstone: “The Administrative State Strikes Again: Monetary Edition”March 14, 2023 at 7:15 pm #131249RedParticipant
@john-day very interesting story on the Arkansas crash!?
RT news is now saying that the reaper drone was in the “no fly zone” designated by Russia. Here we go another he said she said merry-go-round.
The Russians are saying the drone had a malfunction and crashed. It was also flying with its transponder turned off. The Russian stance is it was in a no fly zone that is officially registered with the appropriate agencies.March 14, 2023 at 7:18 pm #131250RedParticipant
As usaul add the (.) between rumble and comMarch 14, 2023 at 7:27 pm #131251
Money Is Political https://drjohnsblog.substack.com/p/money-is-political
Dr. Tim Morgan, Surplus Energy Economics, The Everything Crisis looks at where we now are, in a global economy in absolute decline because the percent of the economy that now has to be spent getting energy sources like oil and gas, is now such a heavy economic price that economies are shrinking in real terms. the ECoE, energy cost of Energy is like an everything tax. There is no truthful economic framework to explain this, so excuses like COVID-lockdowns, War and Russian-sanctions.
Global trend ECoE (from all sources of primary energy) has risen from 2.0% in 1980 to almost 10% now, and is likely to reach 13% by 2030, and 17% by 2040. What this means is that, from every 100 units of accessed energy, the ‘available for use’ or surplus component has decreased from 98 units in 1980 to 90 units now, and is likely to have fallen to 83 units by 2040.
It’s important to remember that surplus energy isn’t used just to supply products and services to consumers, but to maintain and replace productive and social infrastructure as well. This means that sensitivity to rising ECoEs is an inverse function of complexity – the more complex an economy is, the greater is the surplus energy required just to sustain the system.
Complexity is highest in the Advanced Economies of the West which has meant, in practice, that prior economic growth in these countries went into reverse first, happening once their ECoEs reached about 5%, a climacteric which was traversed in the early 2000s. EM (emerging market) economies, by virtue of their lesser complexity, have been able to carry on expanding at ECoEs above 5%, but most of these countries have now hit their own inflexion-points, which occur at ECoEs of around 10%.
Accordingly, global prosperity per capita peaked in 2019, and preliminary data indicates that world aggregate prosperity may have peaked in 2022.
#251: The Everything Crisis
A snippet from Michael Hudson from the presentation he did with Radhika Desai about financial imperialism, and alternatives. “Since Money Is Political” is the first part coming second. Forgive me.
What is money, and how is it used? Hudson mentions this option, which the US did before WW-2, and Japan did, and China and South Korea have done, and Germany did under Bismark and much of the time since… (and the Bank of North Dakota still does.)
What you say, about finance living in the short run, is very important. There was an alternative and I have a chapter about that in my Killing the Host. And the alternative was Germany and central banks. The banks worked with the government and heavy industry to take a long term view of the economy. And this isn’t something abstract.
When WWI broke out in 1914, there were articles written in the British press about why Britain was likely to lose the war, and it was likely to lose because they said, “Our financial system is quasi-feudal. It lives in the short run. When a stockbroker in England buys stock, they want to use the company to pay out all of its income and dividends. They don’t want the company to reinvest. They want to make the stockholders rich by paying out dividends and stock buybacks.”
The Germans, with the government, use their dividends to reinvest in capital formation, and they said that because of the Reichsbank in Germany and other Central European practices, it’s likely that Germany and its allies are going to be able to outlast England because English finance is self-destructive.
The difference you’re talking about is between industrial capitalism and the old feudal finance capitalism. But after WWI, it turned out that instead of having the productive, socialized German system, you had finance capitalism or neo-feudal money under the direction of the United States, which has always followed the British system, short term, hit-and-run, grab. The more you can impoverish the debtor, the more money you have in your own hand — as opposed to public banking.
This is all important, as is money and credit. We’re back to: Is it going to be a public utility run in the public interest by governments, or is it going to be run by bankers (whose objective is to impoverish the economy in order to enrich themselves)?
Simon Black writes, “If SVB is Insolvent,So Is Everybody Else”, then he proves it. In 2008, junk mortgage backed securities were the toxic paper that forced banks into massive losses; now it is US Treasury debt, at low long-term interest rates, which is losing value precipitously as interest rates rise. The Fed holds a lot of it. All of the banks that hold it are either insolvent, or nearly insolvent now. Silicon Valley Bank was audited in January. It was exemplary.
Michel Hudson, Why The Banking System Is Breaking Up [Well, not quite yet, I think.]
..Interest rates, which spiked last Thursday and Friday to close at 4.60 percent for the U.S. Treasury’s two-year bonds. Bank depositors meanwhile were still being paid only 0.2 percent on their deposits. That has led to a steady withdrawal of funds from banks – and a corresponding decline in commercial bank balances with the Federal Reserve.
Most media reports reflect a prayer that the bank runs will be localized, as if there is no context or environmental cause. There is general embarrassment to explain how the breakup of banks that is now gaining momentum is the result of the way that the Obama Administration bailed out the banks in 2008 with fifteen years of Quantitative Easing to re-inflate prices for packaged bank mortgages – and with them, housing prices, along with stock and bond prices.
The Fed’s $9 trillion of QE (not counted as part of the budget deficit) fueled an asset-price inflation that made trillions of dollars for holders of financial assets – the One Percent with a generous spillover effect for the remaining members of the top Ten Percent. The cost of home ownership soared by capitalizing mortgages at falling interest rates into more highly debt-leveraged property…
..But in serving the banks and the financial ownership class, the Fed painted itself into a corner: What would happen if and when interest rates finally rose?
In Killing the Host I wrote about what seemed obvious enough. Rising interest rates cause the prices of bonds already issued to fall – along with real estate and stock prices. That is what has been happening under the Fed’s fight against “inflation,” its euphemism for opposing rising employment and wage levels. Prices are plunging for bonds, and also for the capitalized value of packaged mortgages and other securities in which banks hold their assets on their balance sheet to back their deposits…
..Any bank has a problem of keeping its asset valuations higher than its deposit liabilities. When the Fed raises interest rates sharply enough to crash bond prices, the banking system’s asset structure weakens. That is the corner into which the Fed has painted the economy by QE.
The Fed recognizes this inherent problem, of course. That is why it avoided raising interest rates for so long – until the wage-earning bottom 99 Percent began to benefit by the recovery in employment. When wages began to recover, the Fed could not resist fighting the usual class war against labor. But in doing so, its policy has turned into a war against the banking system as well…
..There is an even larger elephant in the room: derivatives. Volatility increased last Thursday and Friday. The turmoil has reached vast magnitudes beyond what characterized the 2008 crash of AIG and other speculators. Today, JP Morgan Chase and other New York banks have tens of trillions of dollar valuations of derivatives – casino bets on which way interest rates, bond prices, stock prices and other measures will change.
For every winning guess, there is a loser. When trillions of dollars are bet, some bank trader is bound to wind up with a loss that can easily wipe out the bank’s entire net equity.
There is now a flight to “cash,” to a safe haven – something even better than cash: U.S. Treasury securities. Despite the talk of Republicans refusing to raise the debt ceiling, the Treasury can always print the money to pay its bondholders. It looks like the Treasury will become the new depository of choice for those who have the financial resources. Bank deposits will fall. And with them, bank holdings of reserves at the Fed.
So far, the stock market has resisted following the plunge in bond prices. My guess is that we will now see the Great Unwinding of the great Fictitious Capital boom of 2008-2015.
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/hudson-why-banking-system-breakingMarch 14, 2023 at 7:28 pm #131252
The Federal Reserve Launches Program to Bail Out Banks
On Sunday, the FDIC created “bridge banks” to handle both insured and uninsured customer deposits. Banking regulators assured depositors that they would have full access to all of their funds.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve announced a loan program that will allow other banks to easily access capital “to help assure banks have the ability to meet the needs of all their depositors.”
The Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP) will offer loans of up to one year in length to banks, savings associations, credit unions, and other eligible depository institutions pledging US Treasuries, agency debt and mortgage-backed securities, and other qualifying assets as collateral. Banks will be able to borrow against their assets “at par” (face value).
According to a Federal Reserve statement, “the BTFP will be an additional source of liquidity against high-quality securities, eliminating an institution’s need to quickly sell those securities in times of stress.”
The US Treasury will provide $25 billion in credit protection to the Fed from the Exchange Stabilization Fund…
..As interest rates rise, bond prices fall. With interest rates rising so quickly, banks have not been able to adjust their bond holdings. As a result, many banks have become undercapitalized on paper. The banking sector was buried under some $620 billion in unrealized losses on securities at the end of last year, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The BTFP gives banks a way out, or at least the opportunity to kick the can down the road for a year. Instead of selling bonds that have dropped in value at a big loss, banks can go to the Fed and borrow money at the bonds’ face value.
In effect, the Fed will print money out of thin air to loan to banks. This is the very definition of inflation.
Also, the Fed is putting its thumb on the bond market by incentivizing banks and other institutions to hold Treasuries instead of selling them into the market. In effect, it creates an artificial limit on the supply of Treasuries, which will artificially keep prices higher than they otherwise would be…
..The plan creates a mechanism for banks to acquire capital they couldn’t otherwise access under normal market conditions. Meanwhile, uninsured depositors will get their money back.
The government can plausibly claim it is not bailing out SVB or Signature Bank. Both institutions appear to be doomed. But the government is bailing out uninsured depositors and it is setting the stage to bail out other banks that would have suffered the same fate without the loan program…
These articles present an economic picture where notional economy and real economy a badly mismatched, and the assumptions about future economy are based on growth, when it must actually continue to contract. This contraction has to spare the necessities, so it must take place in non-necessities, “discretionary spending”.
Debts are based on the assumption that the economy will grow in the future, so debts are much greater than the real economy, and that reality-gap is growing.
For an economy to work best, the reality of the physical economy should be reflected in the structure and assumptions of the notional economy, represented by money. A debt is an asset, and equivalent to money in the current system. A lot of the stock market gains mentioned above, fed by money at low or effectively-negative interest rates since 2008, do not correspond to company value or dividend payment. They have just been bid-up. Reducing these valuations is possibly the easiest way to bring more realism into the correlations between notional wealth and physical wealth.
General price inflation, reducing the notional value of money/debt, also brings the notional economic representation closer to the physical wealth in existence. House prices may not fall much, but the dollars will be worth less, a replay of the stagflation of the 1970s and early 1980s, which was a similar adjustment phase.
A big challenge is to keep a functioning financial system, so that the real economy can keep working, because if it fails, then society has lost its life support system. Nothing would have trade-value beyond a bag of potatoes, water and a propane tank. Cannibalism was widespread in Ukraine during the famine called the “Holodomor”. Families ate family members bodies. Parents ate their dead children. Stalin needed money for tank factories and sold too much of Ukraine’s grain. The hate engendered drove Western Ukraine, Galicia, into an alliance with the Nazis.
As financial losses and monetary inflation bring the notional economy of money closer in valuation to the physical wealth in existence, ownership is critically important. There are easy levers to pull to protect bank-ownership, and to protect bank deposits, though they create money to place into some specific gaps, which is inflationary, difffusing losses to everybody who spends money.
When people can’t keep up payments on a mortgage, the lienholder takes the whole house, even if it is 90% paid-off. Is that fair? The rich get richer, and the middle class gets poor. How might something like that be arbitrated. The Obama administration said they would help the homeowners, but actually wiped them out and gave their houses to Wells Fargo, instead. Everybody knows that now. Assignement of economc losses will need to be open and fair to maintain a social contract through hard times. The gap between rich and poor is already greater than at any time in US history. Creating an Americn Holodomor would be a gross error. Assignment of most losses of real wealth to the wealthiest could preserve function in American society. How will that be approached and managed, or even discussed, after the banking and equity-market losses are assigned? Roosevelt managed such a task. There were 3 assassination attempts on him, wherein several other people were killed, before he was inaugurated. Then came the “businessman’s coup” that USMC ret. General Smedley Butler revealed.
Countries run by oligarchies, as the US is, still need a powerful executive to act independently in times of rapid and critical economic change. The US oligarchs have not been willing to give up their decision-making power so far, and have held to the failed unipolar-world model within the $US and Eurodollar global financial system. Russia, China, Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia and Iran all have such executives now….
We can see a lot of systemic blame being tallied-up now, which will be placed on the outgoing political administration, not on the oligarchic “owners”, who they serve. The very big question is whether a real executive will be allowed into the office of POTUS, which JFK was, until various oligarchs had him eliminated. After WW-2 was all but over, FDR, having had Truman forced upon him as running-mate, against his will and better judgement, died-suddenly. Stalin was sure that he had been poisoned by “Churchill’s gang”, who certainly had the means and motive to maintain their empire, or maybe just graft its head from the City of London to New York City. We can see that potential real-executives for POTUS 2024 include Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, and potentially RFK Jr. , who is in discussions about a presdential run. It would need to be a “different” Democratic Party to allow him to run. Kennedy is much more independent than Bernie Sanders, and Sanders was fraudulently kept from the Democratic nomination twice. Kennedy knows the stakes. He could follow his father and uncle (& maybe cousin John Jr.).March 14, 2023 at 7:31 pm #131253
In a country run by bankers: 10,000 Dutch Farmers Protest Govt’s Crippling Nitrogen Emissions Target In The Hague
Protesters claim the Dutch government is lying about the extent of the emissions problem in order to grab privately owned land…
Xi Jinping will go to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin, presumably to announce something together. The exact date remains secret, so maybe they await an ideal geopolitical moment to make an announcement. Xi will teleconference with Zelinsky after meeting with Putin. I suspect that Putin and Xi can make Zelinsky/Ukraine a much better deal than Washington/NATO can, going into the rest of this decade, but this might not yet be the moment for that.
Ukrainian Official: ‘We Don’t Have The Resources For Counteroffensive’
China’s Prestigious Middle East Deal May Soon See Challenges, Moon of Alabama
[C]onfidential clauses were inserted into the Beijing Agreement to assure Iran and Saudi Arabia that their security imperatives would be met. Some of these details were provided to The Cradle, courtesy of a source involved in the negotiations:
Both Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran undertake not to engage in any activity that destabilizes either state, at the security, military or media levels.
Saudi Arabia pledges not to fund media outlets that seek to destabilize Iran, such as Iran International.
Saudi Arabia pledges not to fund organizations designated as terrorists by Iran, such as the People’s Mojahedin Organization (MEK), Kurdish groups based in Iraq, or militants operating out of Pakistan.
Iran pledges to ensure that its allied organizations do not violate Saudi territory from inside Iraqi territory. During negotiations, there were discussions about the targeting of Aramco facilities in Saudi Arabia in September 2019, and Iran’s guarantee that an allied organization would not carry out a similar strike from Iraqi lands.
Saudi Arabia and Iran will seek to exert all possible efforts to resolve conflicts in the region, particularly the conflict in Yemen, in order to secure a political solution that secures lasting peace in that country.
According to sources involved in the Beijing negotiations, no details on Yemen’s conflict were agreed upon as there has already been significant progress achieved in direct talks between Riyadh and Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance movement in January. These have led to major understandings between the two warring states, which the US and UAE have furiously sought to undermine in order to prevent a resolution of the Yemen war.
In Beijing however, the Iranian and Saudis agreed to help advance the decisions already reached between Riyadh and Sanaa, and build upon these to end the seven-year war...
..The U.S. does not like the deal because it diminishes its role in the region. Israel does not like the deal because it lessens its chances to go after Iran:
The U.S. and Israel don’t look kindly on the news of the diplomatic breakthrough. They first fear that China is increasingly assertive in its role in the region, and the U.S. does
not want to experience what Britain experienced in Suez in 1956: a watershed moment signaling its global decline. The U.S. stood up to Britain, France and Israel who combined to attack Egypt after its leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. The event is seen as the final act of the British Empire before joining the more powerful U.S. imperium.
…If the agreement does accomplish the goal of truly bringing peace and amity between the two rivals, China may then enjoy a Suez moment: when the world signals the end of the American Empire like what happened to the British.
Both, Israel and the U.S, are capable and likely willing to do whatever is necessary to prevent an implementation of the deal. They can probable use their good relations with the United Arab Emirates to make things difficult. False flag attacks in Iran and in Saudi Arabia could be a way to do that. If a new ‘Iranian’ drone attack happens in Saudi oil fields or new ‘Saudi financed’ terrorist attack in Iran happen the deal could indeed be scraped.
One hopes that China and the other parties involved in the deal are conscious of that.
Israeli officials are expressing dismay at the Iran and Saudi Arabia peace deal which was announced from Beijing last Friday, with an aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling reporters that it’s the result of American “weakness” as well as failings of the prior Israeli government.
”There was a feeling of US and Israeli weakness and this is why the Saudis started looking for new avenues. It was clear that this was going to happen,” the unnamed senior official said while traveling in Netanyahu’s entourage in Rome.
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/israeli-official-blames-american-weakness-chinas-iran-saudi-dealMarch 14, 2023 at 7:32 pm #131254
Flyboys will be flyboys…
’Reckless’ Intercept By Russian Jets Caused US Drone Crash In Black Sea: Pentagon
The US military statement of events, blaming a pair of Russian fighter jets for “reckless” maneuvers which resulted in the MQ-9 drone being struck and crashing in international waters at a “complete loss”:
Two Russian Su-27 aircraft conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept with a U.S. Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance unmanned MQ-9 aircraft that was operating within international airspace over the Black Sea today.
At approximately 7:03 AM (CET), one of the Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing U.S. forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters. Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner. This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional. (“Lack” of competence?)
“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa. “In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.” (So “mission-accomplished”, right?)
“U.S. and Allied aircraft will continue to operate in international airspace and we call on the Russians to conduct themselves professionally and safely,” Hecker added.
The doctor indicted for not killing his patients I sure empathize.
Seventy-five years ago, it was established at the Nuremberg trial for doctors that never again would we allow medical experimentation upon human beings without their consent… Meanwhile, a doctor who took his Hippocratic Oath seriously and allegedly saved nearly 2,000 patients (with FULL CONSENT) from the shots, is facing serious federal charges for conspiracy to defraud the government defrauders…
In January, Dr. Kirk Moore, along with two members of his clinic’s staff and a neighbor, were indicted on conspiracy to defraud the federal government by allegedly offering nearly 2,000 patients saline injections along with vaccine documentation while disposing of the real shots into the sink. To be clear, he is not being accused of tricking patients. He never offered unsuspecting patients fake shots. These were all people (or parents of minors) who desperately sought him out to bypass the genocidal, unconstitutional, inhumane, and immoral jab mandates, so they could go on with their lives unharmed by this terrible technology…
..According to the AMA Medical Code, “When physicians believe a law violates ethical values or is unjust, they should work to change in law.” However, it adds that “in exceptional circumstances of unjust laws, ethical responsibilities should supersede legal duties.” That is clearly going to be part of Moore’s defense if he is indeed shown to have given people saline at their request.
Ironically, Moore is being accused of grifting and running a fake vaccine card ring and earning $98,000 off it. Dr. Moore, though, rigorously disputed this fact in an interview on my podcast and notes that when people asked him for his fee for COVID treatment, he told them to donate it to a 501(c)(3) medical freedom group.
https://www.conservativereview.com/horowitz-the-doctor-indicted-for-not-killing-his-patients-2659571048.htmlMarch 14, 2023 at 7:37 pm #131255
Reapers are attack drones not surveillance drones
If it was near the war zone it was up to no good and fair game.
The Empire of Lies® will lie about it being in either Ukronazi or Russian airspace, it was probably in both
Do you believe ANYTHING the Empire of Lies® says???
I mean absolutely anything.
Let the little drone jockeys in Texas whine like little bitches, they are only good at killing wedding parties in Afghanistan, how hard was that?
Maybe they ‘mis-pronouned’ the Russian fighter pilots and got bitch slapped.
So sad :>(March 14, 2023 at 7:41 pm #131256
As to the plane crash of investigators out of the Clinton airport bound for the promised land of East Palestine, well………..March 14, 2023 at 7:47 pm #131257
Best Oscar host EVER!March 14, 2023 at 7:53 pm #131258March 14, 2023 at 8:25 pm #131259SeaBirdsParticipant
‘So. Daylight Savings… is not a bank?’
Well, we can see why the US leads in the race to the bottom
with people like this calling the shots.
Moodys reduces its outlook on the entire US banking system to negative. Wow! No wonder others are doing their damndest to distance themselves from the fallout. The space between the rock and the hard place seems to be getting pretty tight for J Powell. Asian markets in turmoil. – While Bloomberg leads with the drive to use the Poles to keep ‘Putin’s war’ alive, and latches onto the Credit Suisse CEO stumping up his best BS to keep his bank alive. Mini Mike twitching a little? RT Business section is a very good place to follow the banking crisis.
Denninger: ‘What was featured in the stupidity of 2008? Allowing the banks to run with no reserves.’
Why not cut to the quick? What about the failure to ring fence depositors? Wasn’t zero/paltry interest on deposits enough ‘punishment’ for those who preferred to eschew debt and save/manage their own money rather than hand it to fund managers to gamble with. What a bunch of fraudsters, the entire financial system is a fraud and a scam. They could be staring down the barrell at a whole lot of very unhappy people, – on two main counts, if more start to absorb GERM’s and other messages available courtesy of he who now controls Twitter.
Thank goodness for ‘frens,’ wildlife, and advances in long lense photography 🙂March 14, 2023 at 8:36 pm #131260Dr D RichParticipant
Mike Hudson also said this about the poor beleaguered bankers….
“But in doing so, its (The Fed) policy has turned into a war against the banking system as well.”
Reading or hearing an economists words is like trying to interpret the hieroglyphics of a physician’s cursive writing.March 14, 2023 at 9:00 pm #131261
Hudson: “Interest rates, which spiked last Thursday and Friday to close at 4.60 percent for the U.S. Treasury’s two-year bonds. Bank depositors meanwhile were still being paid only 0.2 percent on their deposits… There is now a flight to “cash,” to a safe haven – something even better than cash: U.S. Treasury securities.
The U.S. Treasury bills (shorter term than the Treasury bonds) are yielding even higher annualized rates than the bonds, close to 5% now.
The banks have continued to pay near-zero interest rates while the T-bill rates have been ratcheting up during the past year or so. Greedy bankers must be counting on depositors being ignorant about how easy it is to put money into T-bills. (T-bill interest is also tax-free at the state level.)March 14, 2023 at 9:39 pm #131262
Reaper gets reaped
Hahahaha, got a big one!
However, it should be noted, the cost of the MQ-9 Reaper is somewhere north of $100,000,000 for the full package—which is nearly triple the cost of the Su-27 which brought it down….—so it is a serious loss.
Edit/Update: The plot thickens. Flight tracking specialists FlightRadar24 state they could not track this particular MQ-9 Reaper, which means it wasn’t using an active transponder. That means it was likely involved in a much darker, more critical ongoing mission than the ‘usual routine’ ISTAR stuff done daily. This is likely the reason Russian command downed this bird. Even the more powerful RQ-4’s typically fly with transponders on and can be seen doing their standard tracks on various sites like FR24.
This does add great intrigue to the scenario, that means US was attempting something with this Reaper.March 14, 2023 at 9:53 pm #131263
Turkey won’t let any Empire of Lies® warships into the Black Sea.
Gee, who’s going to salvage the Dead Bird at the bottom of the Chernoye MoreMarch 14, 2023 at 10:17 pm #131264Alexander CarpenterParticipant
Theists versus Atheists…. Ho hum. False dichotomy.
Theists versus Atheists versus Agnostics… Ho Hum. False trichotomy.
What none of these three seem able to do is establish some reason (other than narcissistic projection and identity-myth mongering) why any of this matters, why even bother to ask the question?
What if this entire conversation were magically to disappear from our civilization – i.e., if the biological-level religion-algorithms were to be wiped from our genomes (and also from the cultural and social levels)?
Would we be better off?
Would some mad genius reinvent the whole noise?
What if we add a fourth position (or non-position, if you will): that of indifference? As we maintain to the squabbles of small children?
Lots of noise, little signal…March 14, 2023 at 10:26 pm #131265
Call logs show that the EPA’s hotline set up for the Ohio train fire aftermath was a sad failure.March 14, 2023 at 10:30 pm #131266
AC: “why even bother to ask the question?”
Insecurities?March 14, 2023 at 11:02 pm #131267
@JohnDay (and @AlexanderCarpenter, too, because he sounds like he could use it).
Regardless of the many and various things about consciousness that people think of as mysterious, there is at least one thing about it that it is incontestable and definite: you know it when you have it.
And no matter who argues which points, or how many points of they discus, there is at least one thing that both parties have to agree on, and that is that they both know they’re talking.
The discussion itself proves another important point too, which is that there is something rather than nothing because if there were nothing (like, Nothing Whatever At All) then there would not even be existence, much less talking about it. That is to say, awareness most definitely is a thing, as proved by our awareness of it. We know at least that much. Even the contrarian wag who makes claims to the contrary is aware that he’s making a point.
Ultimately, then, it all comes down to that singular First Principal: there is consciousness. And that awareness of the experience of it (i.e. consciousness) is the sole and only proof that it exists. It needs no more fundamental explanation than that because an explanation more basic than that is impossible.
The Universe exists. The only theoretically possible alternative (utter and total nothingness) does NOT exist. The world came from something that plainly we do fully comprehend, but it certainly didn’t come from Nothing Whatever At All. Thus it has a Creator of everything This Creator needn’t have a name, although we can give it one if we want to. I like the word God because it’s short and easy to spell, but with or without nomenclature it is irrefutably that which exists INSTEAD of nothing. There’s no such thing as “proving” a fact to absolutely no conscious recipient of such a proof. All proofs, any proof, must necessarily to be proven TO a consciousness (which is back where this whole thing started).
No proof, or argument or equation or information exists EXCEPT that consciousness is aware of it, because awareness (consciousness of some degree, large or small) is the only way for there to be something rather than nothing. The Universe, after all, DOES exist, and awareness is the only way that it can be experienced, and thus the only way that it can exist.
These certainly aren’t new or original concepts or explanations, but they do seem to be contagiously forgotten from time to time. That’s a pity, because they are the only bedrock on which true (i.e. legitimately accurate) thought and action can be built. Systems built upon beliefs to the contrary are naturally doomed to failure for that reason.
Everyone is, of course, completely free to ignore, refute, ridicule, attack or be disinterested in these most fundamental of all fundamental First Principles. But that has no bearing on the actuality.
Operating in denial of (or proactively against) such core truth causes all sorts of problems, because everything that is the contrary to truth is consequently false and can work only to move the practitioner further and further away from that which is actually real.
Hence the ubiquitous dishonesty of wannabe failures (they must want to fail, else why would they lie?) These poor sods are far away from the truth indeed, and widening the gap by rushing in precisely the wrong direction as fast as mistakes can carry them, and were last seen on the way to Hell in a handbasket.
Somewhere along that terrible downward spiral materialism must start feeling so hopelessly bad (because the harder they try the worser they fail) that I’m sure that after a while the oblivion of being nothing at all would seem like respite. The victim might yearn for cessation of all existence not just for self but for everyone and everything and could easily make it goal, and then an obsession. Spiritual murder-suicide. If you’re looking for devils and demons then the folks who think and act like that might be a good place to start.March 14, 2023 at 11:54 pm #131268WESParticipant
Hillary Clinton: What difference does it make at this point, if we kill more Ukrainians?March 15, 2023 at 12:04 am #131269aspnazParticipant
“What we have lived through since 2020 is so sophisticated, so massive, so evil, and executed in such inhumane unison, that it cannot be accounted for without venturing into metaphysics. Something else, something metaphysical, must have done that. And I speak as a devoted rationalist.”
I guess you would think that if you also believe the world ends at your gate and started when you were born. Otherwise, this is a plainly stupid assertion. World wars, the big names – Mao, Stalin, Hitler etc – were all helped by the man in the street, people like Naomi Wolf, to cause famine and death of their neighbours. Then came the propaganda age, the years since the USA started ruling the world, and you could view the USA’s killing as no different to the big names. Then take the rape of third world countries by the west, for example, the rape of Nigeria by the oil companies so that Nigerian people are still some of the poorest in Africa, or selling weapons to people in Africa to fuel their wars.
The USA kept the killing behind a curtain so that the US people could pretend that they believed that killing children in Iraq was saving America. Of course, the people of the USA always knew that every day people were being killed using their tax money, but they had a socially acceptable “I didn’t know, is Iraq a country?” lie they could spout to forgive themselves of the evil that they allowed to be perpetrated in their name in a world outside America that the US people count not even be bothered to find out about: killing people they didn’t even know existed.
I see this as a big problem with Christian culture: Christianity includes forgiveness which allows people to do terrible things as long as they later repent to Christ … Christianity allows people to not take responsibility for the crimes by saying a few hail Mary’s to wipe clean their history of murdering. Hence people like Colin Powel can be rehabilitated into society. How evil is that and how long have the Christians been allowing evil to live in their midst under the pretense of forgiveness?
Naomi Wolf claims that evil has descended, but that evil comes out of the mouths of the ignorant west all the time. For example, a lot of people in the west consider freedom to be one of the most important human rights. Many people in China would not agree with this idea, they would rather forfeit freedom in return for a reduction in crime and faster economic development: enabled by state run social scoring, facial recognition systems and financial controls. Same for Democracy, most people I have spoken to in China think that the Chinese would not benefit from Democracy. Of course, these ideas are core to western ideals, but they mean nothing much in the rest of the world. The western people were willing to swallow the line that they fight in Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands, to bring Democracy to that nation but nobody cared to ask Iraq whether they wanted Democracy. Similar in Ukraine. It does not take much to see the sort of corrupt regime the people of the west are supporting in Ukraine, yet they keep on supporting the Ukraine war. The evil is there, it has always been there, it will always be there and the ordinary people collaborate with evil all the time.
Pretending that Covid is some sort of new evil is just a rather flimsy excuse for not calling out the evil of the past and not seeing Covid for what it was at the time.March 15, 2023 at 12:11 am #131270AntidoteParticipant
@D Benton Smith
Oh FFS! Arrogant? Condescending? Dogmatic? You will most likely die similar to my beloved dog. In some form or another all of us will. The *material* that your beloved GOD assembled you from will decompose back to its more basic constituents. The big difference being that my memory of his intense awareness of the universe around him will inform my perception forever. Your claimed awareness of the universe around you will be that….. yours. In your own fat gorilla head.March 15, 2023 at 12:16 am #131271WESParticipant
Russian Su-27 Pilot: I am personally insulted to be accused of dumping gas on that US drone.
That is very unprofessional!
I did share my vodka with that US drone because it said it was thirsty!
I didn’t know the drones controller couldn’t fly his drone while under the influence of vodka.
We Russians always drink vodka when we fly!
P.S. From a guy who flew 44 cases of good European beer and 2 cases of Johnny Walker whisky from Moscow to Siberia in true Russian tradition!March 15, 2023 at 12:34 am #131272March 15, 2023 at 12:37 am #131273GermParticipant
TVASFMarch 15, 2023 at 12:40 am #131274Michael ReidParticipant
There are so many approaches to life.
I am considering this that I just found today:
The Hermetic Principles – Ancient Wisdom for a Better Life – The Alchemist
The seven principles are the foundation of Hermeticism, a branch of spiritual philosophy dating back over 5000 years ago. They were outlined by famed author Hermes Trismegistus, who is believed to have written the Emerald Tablet and the Corpus Hermeticum (two highly influential, ancient teachings).
His work would go on to influence both ancient Greek and Egyptian cultures, with both adopting him as a god of wisdom. (In Greece he was called Hermes; in Egypt, Thoth.) He was known in his time as a great master of the universe and is said to have lived for thousands of years.
Over time, the seven hermetic principles were passed down by word-of-mouth from teacher to student, and eventually, one day in the early 20th century, the teachings were compiled into a book called The Kybalion, written by “The Three Initiates.” Today, they remain an occult source of wisdom, separate from any real religion but powerful nonetheless.
And while the seven principles are just one way of understanding the universe, they aren’t so constricting that they cannot be studied alongside other spiritual philosophies.
Huge thank you to Sarah Elkhaldy (The Alchemist) for this wonderful collaboration. Please subscribe to The Alchemist Youtube channel for more spiritual knowledge.
Please consider supporting After Skool on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/AfterSkool
Visit our site at https://www.afterskool.net/
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Or send us an email at [email protected]
”March 15, 2023 at 1:42 am #131275
Dr D Rich wrote: “Mike Hudson also said this about the poor beleaguered bankers….
‘But in doing so, its (The Fed) policy has turned into a war against the banking system as well.’”
A: Yeah, I didn’t quite like that statement, either. It seems partly true to me, because it is like giving chemotherapy, but just rescuing the cells you want to rescue, not the ones you don’t like.
@D Benton Smith and Rene’ Descartes said: “I think, therefore I am”.
That is the easy part.
I also think that D Benton Smith is, but I can’t realy prove it to myself like that, let alone ptove it to anybody who is uncertain whether I exist or not.
I still think it is futile to try to prove something to somebody who does not know it.
They can just say “No, you’re wrong”.
About “Creator” and our limited dimensional perception… “Creation” is a 4D conception. If we were able to experienc 5, 6 or 7 dimensions, we might not have this beginning-of-space-time befuddlement (I suspect, but cannot prove).
I feel that “I” exist, and I feel the existence of some others,like my wife and kids, and mom, and of spiritual connection with other spiritual beings, but I’m just saying that.
You would be mistaken to believe it just because I said it.
If you have similar experiences sometimes, that’s dfferent…
My brother is red-green color-blind. I still say “red” to him, and he’s ok at traffic ights, but we’re never really talking about the same thing.
We were kids growing up together for a long time, before we figured this out together.
I’m just saying there are pretty hard communication limits when people have not shared the same experience.March 15, 2023 at 2:28 am #131276
Thanks very much for the video and the link. After watching the video that you included in your comment I popped over to AfterSkool and will be going back for more. It’s connecting lot of dots, both philosophic and historical. Good stuffMarch 15, 2023 at 2:29 am #131277zerosumParticipant
The Reaper costs $64 million each, versus $95 million for a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.March 15, 2023 at 3:08 am #131278zerosumParticipant
Bank Depositor bailout + $ 8 T
USA budget $ 7.9 TMarch 15, 2023 at 5:53 am #131279₿oogalooParticipant
Those who seek the answer in material science are destined to wind up in the neighborhood of where we are now: materially capable of video-taping the nuking of a planet from space by AI robots, and spiritually unable to stop themselves from doing it or even understanding how they got into such an untenable spot in the first place.
As for me, the greatest modern teacher on spirituality was not Gandhi, but Dostoevsky, and particularly in that great masterpiece of a novel, The Brothers Karamazov.
It starts with the atheist Ivan’s takedown of Christianity in the chapter The Grand Inquisitor, where Ivan presents an unanswerable argument to his younger brother, the devout Alyosha. At the end of Ivan’s monologue (or poem), Alyosha has no rebuttal. All he can do is kiss his brother on the forehead. Ivan gives the best argument for the atheist position that I have ever heard.
But then Dostoevsky presents another view in The Russian Monk, the “book within the book” where Alyosha’s spiritual teacher, Zosima, tells his life story while he is on his death bed. And this is not an argument, but it is Dostoevsky’s counter to Ivan’s position. And speaking through Zosima, I think Dostoevsky gives the best argument against the atheist position that I have ever heard. It is authentic spirituality.
I haven’t read the book in 25 years, but I feel like I read it yesterday.March 15, 2023 at 8:12 am #131281PolemosParticipant
The proof that “I am” is not the same as a proof that “It is,” neither of which is a proof that “He is” or “She is” or “They are;” none of which moves one by closer to riddling out a path between “It’s terrible and a horror” or “It’s beautiful and a joy,” which is why some ask “What’s the point in proving?” and others garden and others give rides to hitchhikers and others watch sunsets and others play video games and others enjoy making love with strangers and others read old books from dead people and others leave their bodies and observe the castles in the sky, the way we used to, before the crack in time gave power to the hungry ghosts in metal suits and the starving egos in dragonform, watched all along in the distance and in the imminence by the grace of the unfolding One.March 15, 2023 at 11:20 am #131298
I’m pretty sure you exist, because otherwise who’s doing all of that gardening, remodeling and commentating? It’s got to be somebody, and since no one can prove that it’s not you then it looks like you’re the one who has to take the rap.March 15, 2023 at 11:24 am #131299March 15, 2023 at 11:26 am #131300March 15, 2023 at 11:42 am #131301aspnazParticipant
If you have even the slightest discomfort with the notion that the ENTIRE universe and everything in it derived from the singular consciously aware divinity, then you dear neighbor have been gaslit by folks who would rather that you did not know that. And I’m pretty sure it’s because because they have a vested interest in you thinking and behaving otherwise. No “cartoon” demons necessary, but like I asked earlier: “There’s a difference?”
Prove it. You can’t. See, your reality is not my reality but you claim that yours is superior to mine. I don’t mind you thinking that, I do mind you preaching bollocks. Stop spouting stuff you cannot backup without us being in your brain, it makes you sound like ISIS.March 16, 2023 at 4:41 am #131346
Prove it. You can’t. See, your reality is not my reality but you claim that yours is superior to mine. I don’t mind you thinking that, I do mind you preaching bollocks. Stop spouting stuff you cannot backup without us being in your brain, it makes you sound like ISIS.”
I did not expect such unprovoked hostility from you, but there it is in print, so obviously you’re a lot more than slightly discomforted by my words, and the only thing I can do about that is encourage you to contemplate why you’re so hostile towards awareness. Where do you think your conscious awareness comes from?
If you think it comes from a material process then you’re not a very thorough scientific thinker (because all known science up until now hasn’t the slightest clue or explanation for it . . . nor could it ever.)
If you do not think it comes from a material process then it came from where I said it did because if you take the time and effort to think it all the way through to it’s inevitable conclusion that is the only conclusion that is possible.
And if you are agnostic, and have simply not yet taken the time and invested the effort to think it all the way through, then you simply don’t know what you’re complaining so unpleasantly about, and bad manners is bad policy for a person in that condition (ignorance).
Nevertheless I’ll respond to your assault point by point.
#1 “Prove it”
Prove a First Principle? If there were a more basic proof than axiomatic self evidence then it wouldn’t be a First Principle, so your ill tempered demand (in addition to being bad manners) doesn’t actually make any sense. You are aware that you are reading this, right? Well, that’s the proof.
#2 “your reality is not my reality”
There are not two realities. Just one. That’s what the “uni” part of Universe means.
#3 “you claim that yours is superior to mine”
No, I didn’t. I carefully reread my words and I simply did not say that. So the accusation is false.
#4 “I don’t mind you thinking that, I do mind you preaching bollocks”
The anger and vitriol of what you just wrote to me contradicts you. Looks to me like you mind what I think very much indeed, other wise you would not call it bollocks and you would not describe me expressing my thoughts as preaching.
#5 “Stop spouting stuff you cannot backup without us being in your brain.”
Why should I stop honestly communicating my thoughts and observation about self-evident truths? Are you suggesting censorship? Sure sounds like it.
#6 “. . . it makes you sound like ISIS”
I haven’t the foggiest notion of what the fuck you’re talking about with the “ISIS” comparison. If that’s what my comment reminds you of then I guess you are the authority of what is in your head, but that’s on you, Bro, not me, and it doesn’t strike me as being very healthy.
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