The Daily Reckoning Commentaries

Aurora et Luna

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Saratoga Springs, New York
July 23, 2022
Editor?s note: The old world order appears to be unraveling before our eyes, greatly accelerated by the war in Ukraine. Where it all ends up remains to be seen. But today, James Howard Kunstler shows you why he believes an ?epic crackup is upon us.?
Dear Reader,
What?s wrong with the world? Let me count the ways?
The Western gambit against Ukraine is a bust, a foolish miscalculation that was obvious from the start. All it accomplished was to reveal the pitiful dependence of our European allies on Russian oil and gas, leaving their economies good and truly scuppered without them.
The Russians will likely end up with control of the Black Sea and probably the Ukraine breadbasket as well. So now Europe will starve and freeze.
Did they really want to commit suicide like that? Do the populations of Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the rest just aim to roll into oblivion? Probably not. Rather, we are entering the season of upended governments.
Europe is suddenly a magnificent mess with governments falling like duckpins, industry shuttered from lack of fuel and citizens rising up against insane World Economic Forum (WEF) diktats to drastically reduce livestock and shut down farming ? in effect declaring food production an unacceptable environmental hazard.
Cutting Your Own Throat
This, of course, after the governments of Euroland cut their own throats by self-sanctioning themselves out of Russian oil and natgas.
It?s especially bizarre in Germany, the largest economy of the region, which had just this year conclusively realized and admitted that its ?green energy? policy was a complete bust, forcing them to shut down major wind turbine installations and resort to producing electricity with coal.
Nice job, greenies. Your idiotic policies are forcing economies to turn to coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel. Of course, the governments of Merkel, and then Olaf Scholz, have revealed themselves as the sheerest hypocritical idiots.
The globalist stooges implanted everywhere will probably be overthrown. I can envision a scenario where NATO and the Euro Union will dissolve in impotent ignominy, and the various countries involved will have to renegotiate their destinies, forgoing U.S. advice and coercion.
They might even become adversaries of the USA, not allies. Did you forget we fought two wars against Germany not so long ago? And all those countries have been fighting each other since the Bronze Age, too.

History?s a Prankster
It may seem unbelievable, but history never stops reminding us what a prankster it is. A strange and terrible inversion has occurred in this Fourth Turning.
Somehow, Mr. Putin?s Russia will be left to represent what remains of international rule-of-law while the Western democracies sink deeper into a morass of deranged despotism. Anyway, they are too busy conducting war against their own people to even pretend to assist their Ukrainian proxies.
We can?t forget that ?Joe Biden? crammed nearly $60 billion into the Ukraine money-laundering machine since February, which will just spew hallucinated capital back out into increasingly disordered financial markets.
Look: The indexes are up worldwide this morning. Why? Because global business is so good? I don?t think so.
Meanwhile, there are reports of huge amounts of Western-supplied weapons turning up on the black market. Apparently, some Ukrainians are even selling these weapons to the Russians!
?An Epic Crackup Is Upon Us?
An epic crackup is upon us. Every place in the world is primed for meltdown, and a few lands in the periphery are already sinking. Sri Lanka is broke and out of gas after being set up as a WEF  low-carbon ecostate experiment.
Panama is in revolt over extreme government corruption, food scarcity and the aftereffects of an especially severe two-year-long COVID lockdown that the rest of the world hardly heard about ? perhaps because China has operational control over the vital Panama Canal and the CCP has operational control over the World Health Organization, which set up Panama as a lockdown lab project.
In the U.S., moving toward autumn, what we have to look forward to is the blatant desperation of the claque behind ?Joe Biden.? Their propaganda machine will probably go all out on climate change and renewed COVID hysteria.
There are always heat waves in midsummer. CNN acts shocked that it?s over 100 degrees in Texas. Really? Never seen that before?
Meanwhile, behind the news about emerging Omicron subvariants, the vaccine injuries and deaths mount and the CDC pretends not to notice. They are just lying as usual. You?re used to it. You pretend it?s to be expected. You?ve forgotten that it wasn?t always so. Soon, it will matter.

Help Is on the Way ? A Few Years From Now
Meanwhile, the November midterm elections are only a few months away. Democrats are panicking they?re going to get smoked at the polls. Well, here?s a prediction: A new pandemic is declared in early October, complete with lockdowns, while Google partners with Facebook to roll out a new vote-by-phone app. They?ll say it?s all necessary ?to save our democracy.?
By some miracle, then, the Democrats add 30 more seats to their house majority and five in the Senate. Then we enter the new frontier of the Green New Deal and Build Back Better. In other words, the USA heads towards complete collapse.
Speaking of ?Joe Biden,? whose idea was it to send the wind-up doll president to Saudi Arabia? I can just imagine what went on in the chamber in private with ?JB? and MBS (Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman), virtual autocrat of the oil-soaked desert land. And wasn?t that fist pump just priceless?
What concessions did ?Joe Biden? win from the Saudis? Saudi Arabia graciously agreed to bump up its oil production somewhere in the 2025?2027 time frame ? a real triumph for U.S. diplomacy. Nice. Doesn?t really do much for us in the short term, does it?
People, Get Ready
And now the ground is even shifting under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as China?s extravagant matrix of city-building, mortgage debt and banking fraud rattles its financial system. What a surprise!
Potent as it has been in bribing politicians around the world, infiltrating governments and cultural institutions in every land and getting the news media to do their bidding, the CCP is apparently losing its grip on the Chinese people, who are sick of being locked down, tracked and swindled.
The tanks are out. This is not the same movie as Tiananmen Square, 1989. This is the CCP bankruptcy, an epic event that will thunder through ?the global south,? sending Africa into famine and chaos and South America into yet another rotation of elites.
Pretty soon, it?s going to be every country for itself in this main event of the fourth turning (aka the long emergency). Global unity is a mirage, along with all the preposterous narratives of a world government.
And in every country for itself, it?s going to be every community, every family, every person for itself until, emergently and painfully, everyday life can be reorganized from the ground up.
People, get ready.
James Howard Kunstler
for The Daily Reckoning
Saratoga Springs, New York
August 20, 2022
Editor?s note: The Biden administration appears to be lifting several COVID-related restrictions. But that?s not enough, argues James Howard Kunstler in today?s reckoning. He wants to hold the public health bureaucrats and Big Pharma executives responsible for the countless damages they?ve done. James takes no prisoners.

Dear Reader ,
All week the CDC has been walking back one ?guidance? after another. No more compulsory testing, no more contact tracing, no more social distancing, no more treating the unvaxxed differently than the vaxxed (though the ?Joe Biden? regime still won?t allow unvaxxed travelers into the USA), no more vax mandates (except, apparently, for the U.S. military).
The CDC seems to think nobody will notice its crimes, and the crimes of its sister agencies, FDA, NIAID, NIH (and the White House Task Force) if it strolls jauntily into the fall season whistling a happy a tune: Never mind COVID anymore, la la la?.
Sorry, not so fast. Did I say ?crimes?? Yes, I did. As in gross violations of the law and the basic social contract.
They lied about their roles in the nefarious origins of SARS CoV-2. They conjured up dangerous genetic treatments masquerading as ?vaccines? and then they faked the safety trials to rush them into use.
They denied people proper, effective treatments with inexpensive drugs and killed them with ventilators and remdesivir ? solely to maintain a fraudulent emergency use authorization (EUA) that shielded ?vaccine? companies from lawsuits.
Once the ?vaccines? were widely distributed ? and forced upon many people with mandates ? they confabulated and hid information about adverse reactions and deaths.
They also destroyed countless small businesses, livelihoods and households and hindered children?s development with lockdowns. And they used both social and news media to censor their critics in direct violation of the First Amendment. They continue to hide their information, lie when pressed and pretend that they are acting scientifically.
The Walls Are Closing In
But they?re too deep in the rabbit hole to turn back now. They know if they told the truth, they would be completely discredited and subject to criminal prosecution. Many public health officials must be secretly wondering how they will evade prosecution.
Well, they won?t when fraud is proven in a court of law.
Even with all the lies and redactions issued by the CDC and the FDA, the evidence is piling miles high that the Pfizer and Moderna drug trials were covered-up botches and the entire administration of the vaccine program has been an unnecessary disaster.
Fraud diminishes immunity from liability. In a just world, the pharma companies would go out of business and their profits clawed back in countless lawsuits. The drug company executives would go to prison along with Rochelle Walensky, Anthony Fauci, Scott Gottlieb and many of their lieutenants.
Oh, one more thing: They destroyed modern medicine. They will probably assist in the destruction of law, too, because the legal system will never be able to handle the volume of lawsuits against all parties involved in the COVID ?vaccine? deception ? including the corporations that forced their employees to get vaxxed and the pharma companies themselves, who will lose their EUA protections once their fraud is proven.
And they will hasten the death of an already ailing financial system that can?t bear the wealth transfers implied in the foregoing (on top of the worst debt crisis in human history).
You think I exaggerate?
A Bitter Harvest
We?re sailing into the flu season with millions of people whose immune systems are wrecked by multiple shots of mRNA novelty drugs. They are also susceptible to many viruses and bacteria that normally lurk in everybody?s bodily ecosystem, but would be controlled by an otherwise healthy immune system.
Likewise, their hacked immune systems are no longer able to suppress cancers ? many forms of which are already way up above normal statistical levels. Not to mention damage done to cardiovascular systems by spike proteins, which can linger in human bodies for more than a year after ?vaccine? shots, as well as neurological and brain damage.
They?ve now conceded that their ?vaccines? do not remain in the deltoid muscle, but actually leak all over the body. Of course, if qualified medical experts said that during the massive vaccine push, they would have been accused of spreading ?disinformation? and banned from social media.
Former Wall Street analyst Edward Dowd said Thursday (Aug. 18) that a Society of Actuaries report just made public shows that a 20% uptick in excess deaths among working-age people, which began with vaxx mandates in the fall of 2021, continued into the second quarter of 2022.
Why does that matter? Actuaries are the people who compile and analyze statistics for insurance companies. They deal in hard data.
Incredible and Impossible to Believe
Of course, the more sobering picture is that virtually all American institutions are now incredible, impossible to believe, starting from the top: ?Joe Biden? as president. The executive branch of the government is being run by Barack Obama and a claque around him and is being run into the ground either on purpose or out of astounding incompetence.
Attorney General Merrick Garland flamboyantly disgraces the very idea of justice with Stalinesque political prosecutions. FBI Director Christopher Wray flouts every attempt to extract the truth about his agency?s operations, and at least half the country believes he?s turned it into a secret police operation like the Gestapo.
The college presidents and deans have dishonored the idea of truth-seeking with their cowardly submission to Jacobin-Marxist maniacs and their program of anti-knowledge. And who in America really trusts his doctor? (Not I. Mine is the ?chief medical officer? of my network and he?s still pushing ?vaccines.?)
An All-out Assault on the American Public
Meanwhile, the party in charge is otherwise basking in the glow of victory from Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, an all-out assault on the American public, which said public is already well onto.
It?s yet another demonstration that legislation accomplishes the opposite of what its name declares its intentions to be. Reduce inflation caused by exorbitant government spending with a whole lot more government spending (of money that isn?t there)? Yeah, that?ll work, I?m sure (not).
As for ?climate action,? expect only further economic destruction, probably deliberate and certainly idiotic. It?s not feasible financially, even with subsidies, to switch out all the internal-combustion cars and trucks for electric vehicles, which would have to run on power generated at its source mainly by natural gas and coal.
Nor, on the other hand, can the federal government make oil more affordable. Rather, Americans will just have to drop out from mass motoring and long-range trucking, which implies major changes in our living arrangements. That is exactly what?s actually happening now, by the way.
We Allowed This to Happen
The act will possibly trigger destruction of the dollar as the world?s reserve currency, and a stampede out of dollar-denominated investments, which is to say, a very severe financial crisis. Credit will freeze, the distribution and sale of goods will cease, interest will stop being paid on virtually all outstanding debt, the bond market will implode, few will have anything identifiable as money and there will be little in the way of everyday goods like food and gasoline to buy anyway.
You realize, of course, that this is a description of economic collapse. If things roll that way, there will be absolutely no trust left in the U.S. government.
But we allowed all of this to happen.
We tolerated this exorbitant abuse by runaway authorities-gone-criminal. We let them get away with their BS about ?defending our democracy? when they are actively and visibly destroying it. We let them lie about spending hundreds of billions of dollars, claiming it will reduce inflation.
Serious people must be seriously asking themselves: What will it take to stop them now?
James Howard Kunstler
for The Daily Reckoning
Louis 14th Has a Toothache
By Bill Bonner
Editor, The Daily Reckoning Australia

Dear Reader,
The markets were on edge last week. Up. Down. Sideways. Mr Market seemed undecided. Unsure. Was the Fed getting ready to ?pivot?? Was the recession going to be ?softer? than we expected? He didn?t know. 
But our guess is that the Fed will stick with its rate hikes a while longer?the recession will be deeper than expected?and stock prices have further to fall before finding the bottom.
In the meantime, we?re on our way south?driving down US 95?unarmed. And we?ll take this occasion to develop an old theme?and introduce a new one.
We begin, today, by going back in time.
Louis the 14th was the Sun King. He was an ?absolute monarch? whose word was law.
He was also at the head of what was the 17th century?s richest and most powerful nation: France. Whatever Louis wanted, he got.
But he also got things he didn?t want. Dental caries, for example, and a toothache. Charles Spencer, Princess Diana?s brother, describes it:
?In the autumn of 1685, Louis developed an agonizing and persistent toothache, and his doctors decided to extract the offending molar.?
They did it without anaesthesia, neither local nor general. And then, with no antiseptic, and limited understanding of post-operative hygiene, an infection soon set in. It spread to the King?s jawbone and threatened his life. The royal sawbones ? the best in France ? decided on more surgery. Mr Spencer continues:
?They removed all of the teeth from the top layer of his mouth, then punctured his palate and broke his jaw. This was all completed without anaesthetic; the king was awake throughout the procedure.?
When the gruesome ordeal was over, the medical team cauterised the wounds by placing red-hot coals in his mouth.
His life was spared. But not his dignity. When drinking, liquid would sometimes come out of his nose.
Facts of life
Antiseptics weren?t widely used until 200 years later, when Joseph Lister began applying what we call ?phenol? to wounds. Phenol is derived from petroleum distillates.
Anaesthetics weren?t in service until a plethora of experiments ? also in the 19th century ? with chloroform, ether, cocaine, and opium led to both general and local pain killing.
Public buildings in France weren?t centrally heated until the 20th century. The Palace of Versailles didn?t get heat until 1956. 
Penicillin came on the scene in 1928 when Alexander Fleming extracted it from a laboratory mould. Root canals were done long before the birth of Christ, but the first modern root canal was performed in 1838. They became routine with anaesthetic only in the 20th century. 
At least Louis 14th ate well. For while Louis?s toothache occupied his attention, in the 1690s ? 1.5 million people in the world?s richest nation ? starved to death. Then, came another famine in 1709, with another 600,000 dead. Famine ? like war and slavery ? was a ?fact of life? in the 17th century. 
In famines, people do not necessarily die from starvation. Many are undernourished and weakened by hunger; then, they die of opportunistic diseases. 
Crops fail from time to time. Drought, heat, cold, too much rain?too little sun...can all cause a bad harvest. Then too, crops and farm animals are subject to common illnesses, blights, and epizootics.
Working as hard as they could, families could usually produce enough to live on (or else they wouldn?t have survived) but they could rarely produce a substantial surplus?or save it ?for a rainy day?. And even when they could produce more, food was hard to keep. Fruits and vegetables rotted. Grains were eaten by mice and birds. ?Food security?, as it?s called today, was rare.
I, breakfast
Throughout the Middle Ages, and up to the 18th century, there was a major famine almost every 10?20 years. Some of them were terrifyingly lethal. The great famine of 1315 killed some seven million people?or about one out of every 13 Europeans. Even as late as the 1840s, the Irish famine killed more than a million ? or nearly a quarter of the population.
But by the middle of the 19th century, there were few famines in Europe.
The last major famine in France occurred in the years just before the French Revolution. Possibly caused by a volcanic eruption in Iceland, the French went hungry in 1787 and 1788. By 1789, they were ready for a change. Soon, they were cutting off heads by the thousands. 
Over the years, the number of people who starve to death has dropped dramatically. Modern, civilised countries suffer more from obesity than from hunger. Food is cheap. Plentiful. And extremely varied. A person in Baltimore can sit down for breakfast and enjoy a bowl of muesli with nuts from California?quinoa from Bolivia?other grains from Iowa and South Dakota?dried raisins from Chile?and cashews from Brazil. 
If he wishes to put in some fresh fruit, he will have no trouble cutting up a banana from the Philippines, blueberries from New Jersey, or strawberries from Florida. 
What accounts for this dramatic abundance?
Why did the number of starvation victims decline? 
While deaths from starvation have decreased, so have the number of victims from other natural disasters. Though there are far more people on planet earth than ever before, fewer, and fewer of them succumb to nature?s torments.
Convenient untruths
One of the myths from our last hurricane season is that storms are getting worse?and ?climate disasters? are becoming more frequent.
When Hurricane Ian struck the west coast of Florida earlier this month, for example, the press was quick to point the finger: at climate change. The Financial Times reported that ?hurricane frequency is on the rise?. The New York Times added that ?storms are becoming more common in the Atlantic?. The Washington Post got the same memo; ?climate change is rapidly fueling super hurricanes?, it told readers.
And then the president himself, Joe Biden, added:
?I think the one thing this has finally ended is a discussion about whether or not there?s climate change, and [that] we should do something about it.?
But none of it was true. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had already studied the issue and concluded that ?there is essentially no long-term trend in hurricane counts?. Nor were hurricanes becoming more intense or more dangerous. 
?We conclude that the data do not provide compelling evidence? the NOAA wrapped up, for neither more storms nor fiercer storms. If the storms were doing more damage, it was only because there was now more development on the Florida coast to do more damage to.
The reporters must have known the truth. You?d think someone would have clued in the president too. But they chose to ignore the facts in favour of the approved fantasy.
An embarrassment of riches
In the 1950s, when we were eight years old, a snowstorm closed the roads of Maryland for a full week. We walked for miles to the closest store to get supplies, pulling a sled behind us. Today, the roads are cleared quickly. 
In general, people suffer much less from nature than they used to. When they get a toothache, they go to the dentist and have a fairly painless remedy. When it?s cold, they have central heating. When it?s hot, they turn on the AC. When the wind blows, they stay in their well-built houses, safe and sound. When it snows, they load up on food and toilet paper?and then drive around in four-wheel-drive automobiles, waiting for trucks to clear the roads. Even floods are much less dangerous. Usually, the warnings come out hours?days?or weeks in advance. People are given plenty of time to get out of harm?s way?or ?ride out the storm? in a protected space.
What accounts for these changes? Nature has not changed much. She still has her tempers and her tantrums. But now they are much less lethal. Few people die, from cold, from heat, from tidal waves, from floods, or from wind. Whatever Mother Nature throws at us, we humans are generally able to cope with it fairly well.
In the very old days, nature was always a threat. Humans were hunters?and also prey. But today, few people are killed by wild beasts. Even tiny beasts ? viruses, bacteria, and fungi ? are no longer anywhere near as dangerous as they used to be. The Black Death in the 14th century killed an estimated one out of every four people in Europe. Then, in the summer of 1665, the Great Plague of London killed 15% of the population of the city. But during the COVID Crisis of 2020, the world?s population actually went up. Fewer than one person out of every 10,000 died, and he was usually over the average age of death anyway.
What made the difference?
Tune in tomorrow.
Bill Bonner,
Saratoga Springs, New York
October 22, 2022
Editor?s note: The U.S. is practically at war with Russia in Ukraine and could possibly end up in a shooting war with China over Taiwan. But as James Howard Kunstler argues today, the real enemy is right here at home.

Dear Reader ,
Welcome to the New Age, where authority has no authority and does not deserve to act with any authority, but will act as if it does, anyway, and then lie to you about it.
Nowhere is this quandary more vivid than in the racketeering operation formerly known as medicine.
Our authorities have disgraced themselves behind a new theology of degenerate ?science? that veers back into superstition. Proof that they don?t believe their own story shows in their desperate efforts to hide the data, confabulate numbers, ignore true facts and lash out viciously at anyone who discloses their zealous deceits.
Case in point: the persecution of Meryl Nass, MD, in the state of Maine by its Board of Licensure in Medicine.
Dr. Nass is an internal medicine physician and a recognized expert in bioterrorism who famously uncovered the origin of the mysterious ?Gulf War Syndrome? as a reaction to the U.S. Army?s own anthrax vaccine.
She has testified before Congress and in many state legislatures about vaccine safety. After the emergence of COVID-19, Dr. Nass spoke out about the dangers of the new vaccines, and in favor of early treatment protocols using ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.
?Shut Up!? They Explained
Her outspokenness attracted the ire of Maine Gov. Janet Mills, and her sister, who happens to be the ?chief health improvement officer? at MaineHealth, a huge network of 12 hospitals, 1,700 doctors and 22,000 employees, deeply invested in the COVID vaccine program.
In January of this year, Dr. Nass? license was suspended by the Licensure Board based on complaints by two ?activists? that she was ?spreading misinformation? and for her use of early treatment protocols with her own patients.
The board compelled Dr. Nass to undergo a neuropsychological evaluation to determine if she was a drug abuser or suffered from mental illness. (Flag that, since it implies official defamation of her character.)
The board accused her of ?fraud, deceit or misrepresentation? in her practice, ?conduct that evidences a lack of ability or fitness? and being ?an immediate jeopardy? to public health.
How to Fight Back
For most of this year, the board refused to entertain any defense by Dr. Nass against her suspension until a hearing held on Oct. 11. Days before the hearing, the Licensure Board withdrew all the ?misinformation? charges against Dr. Nass without explanation and now bases its case on Dr. Nass? use of early-treatment protocols.
The hearing was highly instructive on the tactics and strategies for defeating official persecutions against doctors in America (and broadly across all of Western Civ these days), since the Maine Licensure Board acted with obvious ignorance and malice that is easily revealed.
Dr. Nass? attorney deftly got the board on record attesting to their own deliberate misconduct. For instance, he repeatedly invoked their charges against ?spreading misinformation,? forcing the chair, an eye doctor named Maroulla S. Gleaton, to affirm that the charges had been precipitously dropped days before.
There was also some lively discussion of the board?s imputations against Dr. Nass? mental health and insinuations of drug abuse ? Dr. Nass testified that she?d never been treated for mental health issues, had never taken pharmaceuticals for them, never took illicit drugs or been accused of it and, where alcohol was concerned, enjoyed ?about five drinks a year.?
The Licensure Board members must have realized in the proceeding that Dr. Nass is fixing to sue the living heck out of them, and that just about everything they?ve said implicates them in a malice-driven campaign to defame her.
Good luck to her!
The CDC Shows Contempt for the American People
Meanwhile, as if there has not already been enough official lying over the lab-birthed COVID-19 virus, the CDC?s Vaccine Advisory Committee voted on Thursday to add Pfizer?s and Moderna?s mRNA shots to its childhood vaccine schedule. The vote was 15 to 0 ? a final supreme gesture of contempt for the people of this land.
Had none of the committee members seen reports of mRNA-vaccinated children dropping dead from myocarditis induced by the vaccines? Or read about the effect of the vaxxes on the reproductive organs? Or the enhanced incidence of cancer? Or heard about the damage that the shots instigate in human immune systems?
If not, that would be astounding. The news is all over the place (if not in the mainstream news media). Was any of this discussed in their deliberations? I don?t think so, but we may never know.
But the Lawyers Said It?s Fine
Adding the mRNA shots to the official vaccine schedule will make permanent the liability shield their makers enjoy under the current Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Pfizer and Moderna are now off the hook for any responsibility, unless fraud over the vaxxes is proven in a court of law.
This is the first time that a pharmaceutical under an EUA has been admitted to the childhood vaccine schedule. The Vaccine Advisory Committee said it was OK because it consulted with the Department of Justice?s Office of General Counsel, and the lawyers there said it was OK.
One might ask: Is it within the purview of the DOJ?s Office of General Counsel to review the medical criteria for such a decision? The answer must be no. How are they qualified? You may be certain they did not parse the drug trial data on the mRNA products, or study the official reports of deaths and injuries.
In short, they know nothing.
Since many states and localities go by the CDC?s vaccine guidelines, as well as pediatricians, then millions of children will be required to get the shots to attend school. So the CDC has not only put an as-yet-untold number of kids on the road to disability, infertility and death, but it may have coincidentally destroyed public schooling in America.
Did the CDC Just Destroy Public Education?
The so-called ?uptake? on mRNA shots for children has been paltry. Parents do not want their kids to get the shots. Do you know why? I?ll tell you: Because, unlike the experts who sit on the CDC?s Vaccine Advisory Committee, many parents have actually read about the serious adverse reactions in young people who get the shots.
And many more have heard enough horrifying rumors ? despite the criminal delinquency of the major news media in ignoring any negative news about the vaxxes ? prompting these parents to steer clear of vaxxing their children. Other countries have officially and altogether discontinued mRNA vaxxes for children.
Do you think that?s for no reason?
If the schools require mRNA shots, then many parents will not send their kids to these schools. Parents have plenty of other reasons to want to withdraw their kids from public schools, not least the pervasive race-and-gender hustle that is replacing actual teaching in this country.
The schools are now hostage to Marxist lunatics, launched from colleges and universities that are likewise captured by Marxist lunatics. They seek to overturn Western Civilization and its long train of accomplishments in discovering how the world works. They seek to replace all that with a set of wishful fairy tales that don?t comport with reality.
Why would any sane parent subject their child to such a wicked regime? Might this not provoke a rebellion against paying the exorbitant school taxes all across America?
Always, Always Follow the Money
Beneath all of this lies the subterranean flow of enormous sums of money to the pharma companies that virtually own the U.S. public health bureaucracy. Anthony Fauci?s minions, dispersed among the various agencies under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, plus those in the ancillary CDC, have been pulling hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in royalties from patents associated with the mRNA products.
And they?ve continued to haul in that schwag during the three-year fracas over the bad-faith origins of COVID-19 and the deceitful introduction of these so-called ?vaccines? ? which do not stop the transmission of the disease and present manifold dangers to those who take them.
Everything the authorities tell you about all this is a lie. They are turning desperate because the time is at hand when they will actually have to answer for their crimes against the people of this country.
They don?t deserve your respect and they surely can?t command your compliance. You?re their enemy, and they should be yours.
James Howard Kunstler

San Francisco, California
February 4, 2023
Editor?s note: There are two kinds of prosperity ? real prosperity and false prosperity. Today, Charles Hugh Smith shows you why false prosperity is doomed to fail.

Dear Reader,
There are two kinds of prosperity, one fake, one real. Bogus "prosperity" depends on credit-asset bubbles inflating, magically creating "wealth" not from labor, production or improving productivity, but from the values of assets soaring as bubbles inflate.
This bubble-generated "wealth" then fuels a vast expansion of credit and consumption as assets soaring in value increase the collateral available to borrow against, and the occasional sale of soaring assets generate capital gains, stock options, etc., which then fund sharply higher consumption.
When the value of a modest home skyrockets from $200,000 to $1 million in a few years, that $800,000 in gain was not the result of any improvement in utility. The house provides the same shelter it did when it was worth 20% of its current value. The $800,000 gain is the result of the abundance of low-cost credit and the global search for a yield above zero.
Eventually, this vast expansion of "money" chasing yields and seeking places to park all the excess cash trickles into the real economy and the result is inflationary. Consider how soaring home prices affect rents.
Why All Credit-Asset Bubbles Are Self-Liquidating
When an investor bought the modest home for $200,000, the costs of ownership were low due to the costs being linked to the value: The property tax, insurance and mortgage were all based on the valuation. (The costs of maintenance were unrelated to valuation, of course, being based on the age and quality of construction.) Let's say the modest house rents for $1,500 per month.
The investor who buys the modest home for $1 million has much higher costs, even if they bought the property with cash and didn't need to borrow money (i.e., obtain a mortgage). The property taxes and insurance are much higher, and the comparable market rent of similar houses reflects the expected yield on investing $1 million: If investors expect a 3% yield after all expenses, then the rents have to rise so the investor/owner nets $30,000 annually.
Due to the valuation increasing in a bubble, the rent is now $4,500 per month, even though the house hasn't materially gained any utility at all. The rent has to be high to justify the purchase price of $1 million.

This is why all credit-asset bubbles are self-liquidating: Once the cost of credit drops to near-zero, there's no discipline left: Any loan for any investment can be justified by the "guaranteed" increase in value/collateral. Since everything will rise in value, then it makes sense to leverage up as much debt as possible to gain control of as many assets as possible, as the means to maximize gain.
This leads to marginal borrowers overextending, borrowing more than is prudent.
Free Money, Big Costs
All this nearly free money sloshing around seeps into the real economy, jacking up prices (such as rents) without increasing the production of goods and services or improving productivity. Costs rise solely as a result of the bubble, pressuring wage earners and enterprises.
Central banks are eventually forced to raise interest rates and reduce credit expansion to put the brakes on the bubble's inevitable offspring, an inflationary spiral. Once credit is no longer expanding rapidly, the air starts leaking out of the asset bubbles.
Marginal borrowers can no longer roll over their debt based on ever-higher collateral (as valuations rise, so does the collateral to support new loans) and default becomes inevitable once markets tighten.
For example, those willing and able to pay outrageous rents thin out, and commercial residential properties are vacant, generating zero income.
But inflation generated by bubbles is "sticky." Landlords are reluctant to drop rents, as they've been trained by central bank bailouts and decades of easy money/credit to expect a prompt resumption of the bubble's expansion. This mentality permeates the entire economy.
Once valuations stop rising like clockwork, the bubble "prosperity' is revealed as illusory. All the "wealth" was illusory; it wasn't generated by improvements in productivity or the production of more goods and services; it was all based on soaring valuations driven by cheap, abundant credit and the bubble-mentality faith that bubbles never pop and so the "wealth" created by soaring stocks, bonds, collectibles and real estate would only continue expanding forever.
The inflation generated by bubbles remains as collateral crashes and credit expansion reverses into contraction. Suddenly, there are fewer greater fools willing to pay bubble prices for assets.
The smart money sold long ago, but the not-so-dumb money finally awakens to the potential downside of bubbles popping: Rather than reaping huge gains, assets might become illiquid (i.e., there are no buyers at any price) or valuations might fall faster than anyone believed possible in the heady bubblicious decades.

The Liquidation Phase
Bubbles liquidate the illusory "wealth" they generated when they pop, and then the bogus "prosperity" dissipates into the air from whence it came. The only source of real prosperity is improvements in productivity that generate more goods and services with fewer inputs of capital, labor, materials and energy.
So here we are: The global credit-asset bubbles are popping, and the illusory "prosperity" generated by the bubbles is about to tumble off a cliff. The $20,000 week at the posh resort was fun, as was the $80 lunch for two (two avocado toasts and two beverages), but it was all fake, phony, a fraud.
Jacking the valuation of a bungalow fivefold doesn't actually improve productivity or create any new goods and services. It jacked up prices and property taxes, but it didn't actually create any real wealth.
Alas, the natural order of markets is mean reversion and the collapse of whatever is unsustainable. This includes speculative manias, credit bubbles, asset bubbles and projections of endless expansion of margins, profits, sales, consumption, tax revenues and everything else under the sun.
The Psychology of Collapse
There's a well-worn psychological path in the collapse of bubbles. This path more or less tracks the Kubler-Ross stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, though the momentum of speculative frenzy demands extended displays of hubris and overconfidence, i.e., the first wobble "must be the bottom."
There are also repeated spikes of false hope that "the bottom is in" and the bubble is starting to reflate.
This pattern repeats until the speculative fever finally breaks and all those betting on a resumption of the bubble mania finally give up.
This process often takes about the same length of time that it took for the bubble mania to become ubiquitous. If it took about 2? years for the bubble to expand, it takes about 2? years for the bubble to pop and the market to return to its pre-bubble level.
Once again we hear reasonable-sounding claims being used to support predictions of a never-ending rise in stock valuations.
What hasn't changed is humans are still running Wetware 1.0, which has default settings for extremes of emotion, particularly manic euphoria, running with the herd (aka FOMO, fear of missing out) and panic/fear.
Despite all the assurances to the contrary, all bubbles pop because they are based in human emotions. We attempt to rationalize them by invoking the real world, but the reality is speculative manias are manifestations of human emotions and the feedback of running in a herd of social animals.
It's a long way to the bottom, but it won't take as long as many seem to think.
Charles Hugh Smith