Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"The Wisdom Of Satchell Paige"

"The Wisdom Of Satchell Paige"

"You win a few, you lose a few. Some get rained out. But you got to dress for all of them."

"Ain’t no man can avoid being born average, but there ain’t no man got to be common." 

"Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you." 

"Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines."

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"

"Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter."

"Money and women. They're two of the strongest things in the world. The things you do for a woman you wouldn't do for anything else. Same with money."

"Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching."

"Mother always told me, if you tell a lie, always rehearse it. If it don't sound good to you, it won't sound good to no one else."

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Eckhart Tolle, "A New Earth" Excerpt

"A New Earth"
by Eckhart Tolle
"Unconscious people – and many remain unconscious, trapped in their egos throughout their lives – will quickly tell you who they are: their name, their occupation, their personal history, the shape or state of their body, and whatever else they identify with. Others may appear to be more evolved because they think of themselves as an immortal soul or living spirit. But do they really know themselves, or have they just added some spiritual sounding concepts to the content of their mind? Knowing yourself goes far deeper than the adoption of a set of ideas or beliefs. Spiritual ideas and beliefs may at best be helpful pointers, but in themselves they rarely have the power to dislodge the more firmly established core concepts of who you think you are, which are part of the conditioning of the human mind. Knowing yourself deeply has nothing to do with whatever ideas are floating around in your mind. Knowing yourself is to be rooted in Being, instead of lost in your mind.

You might say, “I know I am an immortal spirit,” or “I am tired of this mad world, and peace is all I want” until the phone rings. Bad news: The stock market has collapsed; the deal may fall through; the car has been stolen; your mother-in-law has arrived; the trip is cancelled, the contract has been broken; your partner has left you; they demand more money; they say it's your fault. Suddenly there is a surge of anger, of anxiety. A harshness comes into your voice; “I can't take any more of this.” You accuse and blame, attack, defend, or justify yourself, and it's all happening on autopilot.

Something is obviously much more important to you now than the inner peace that a moment ago you said was all you wanted, and you're not an immortal spirit anymore either. The deal, the money, the contract, the loss or threat of loss are more important. To whom? To the immortal spirit that you said you are? No, to me. The small me that seeks security for fulfillment in things that are transient and gets anxious or angry because it fails to find it. Well, at least now you know who you really think you are."

"Our Greatest Pretenses..."


"Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, 
but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there."
- Eric Hoffer

"U.S. Government A Criminal Enterprise"

"U.S. Government A Criminal Enterprise"
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

"Financial expert and investment advisor Catherine Austin Fitts says the U.S. Government runs on massive criminal activity. Fitts explains, “The U.S. economy is deeply dependent on criminal cash flows.  We’re the global leader in money laundering. If we stopped doing that, the economy would be in for a major, major change. The preference for most Americans is to keep that system going as long as it works for them. So, it you are a public official, you are between a rock and a hard place. If you press the red button and stop the illegal cash flows, then all hell breaks loose. The U.S. Government has been run as a criminal enterprise, and I have documented and proved that on multiple occasions. The swamp that exists in Washington is from sea to shining sea. It’s not just in Washington. It’s in every county and every state house in the country. If we are going to change and clean ourselves of enormous financial dependencies on criminal activities, we are talking about a very big change, and it’s not just in Washington.”

So, in the big picture, where are we now? Why are so many top people in politics and Hollywood being taken down? Fitts says, “These people are expensive. This is a fundamental re-engineering. We are watching purges, but these purges are knocking out the expensive people, people we no longer need from the financial coup d’état period, and you are bringing in a new wave of people or you are just downsizing. So, we see sex purges in Hollywood and in various forms of media and entertainment. You have various purges going on because the reality is the world needs to move on. This money needs to be reinvested, and you can’t afford a bunch of egotistical maniacs who were good at stealing money. You can’t use them to build the future, and you can’t afford them. There is a huge amount of money that is floating around in fixed income and derivative markets, and now you’ve got to bring it down into the hard economy and hard assets. How do you do that? You need to switch the caliber of the people for management and reinvestment of the money. You have to do it in a way that doesn’t kick off hyperinflation.”

So, what are the rich doing with their money? Fitts says, “Gold is what it has always been and that is a real store of value. I am a gold girl. If you look at the smart money and central banks around the world, the smart money is buying gold, and the smart money is buying land. If you read the land report, that’s the top holders of land in the United States. Their holdings have doubled since 2008. I see tremendous amounts of money moving into hard assets.”

Catherine Austin Fitts, who was also an Assistant Housing Secretary in the first Bush Administration, talks about the Mueller/Trump investigation that she says is twisting in the wind and also the gun control and why Americans need firearms now more than ever. Fitts also says a large market correction will probably happen in 2018.

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Catherine Austin Fitts, 
Publisher of the Solari Report found on Solari.com.

“5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor”

A Comment: Real life, rough language. Within this context it stays as written. - CP

“5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor”
by John Cheese

“Being poor is like a game of poker where if you lose, the other players get to screw you. And if you win, the dealer screws you. A bunch of you reading this are among the 45 million “working poor” in America, and if you’re not, you know somebody who is. Like me. I’m not blaming anybody but myself for getting into this situation (I was drunk for two straight decades) and I’m not asking for anybody’s sympathy. What I am saying is that people are quick to tell you to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and just stop being poor. What they don’t understand is the series of intricate financial traps that makes that incredibly difficult. If you’re not poor, that’s awesome. I’m not mad at you, or jealous. Hopefully you’ll never find out that…
#5. You Get Charged for Using Your Own Money: This is the future, where many businesses no longer accept cash as payment. That means you are required to have a checking account to function in the economy. And if you’re poor, that means at some point you’re going to get bank-f**ked. Because having a checking account while poor doesn’t just mean you have to be responsible and good at math — you have to be perfect. Meticulous, flawless record keeping is the difference between surviving and having the bank seize your next paycheck.

Let’s say you’re running late for work and hurriedly stop to get gas, paying with a bank card. In your haste you forget to write the $55 down (gas being $4 a gallon, you know). So while you spent the last week until payday thinking you had $50 in your account to absorb minor purchases, you actually were $5 in the red. So payday comes. You go to the bank to deposit your check, at which point the bank takes it, sticks it in their pocket and says, “Thank you very much! I’m buying myself a new pair of shoes with that shit!” They then inform you that your account was at -$200 at the moment you deposited your check.

The bank can hit you with a $35 fine for every charge that comes in while you are in minus territory. The bank will not tell you they charged you this money. You will have no idea anything is wrong. It’s a silent chain reaction in which every charge that comes through during those few days before payday draws the $35 fee. The $8 you spent at the gas station for cigarettes, the $24.99 that automatically comes out for your Internet access… for each, the bank silently zaps out the charge and $35 on top of it, until your next paycheck is gone. Five seconds of oversight gave the bank the right to take away a week’s worth of your labor.

Some of you are saying, “Fine, just tell the bank to go f**k itself. Walk out the door and just do everything by cash or money order.” Ah, but now when you get paid, you have to go somewhere to cash your paycheck — and businesses charge up to $8 to do it. If you’re working in the service industry, congratulations — an hour of your labor just vanished… just so you could use your own money. Some describe this as a “poverty tax.” Others refer to it as a “Because f**k you, that’s why” fee.

The one piece of advice I can offer here is that you’ll be surprised how many businesses will give you some leeway if you just call them and beg. Banks are run by human beings (as of the writing of this article) and if you get a person on the phone you can get them to waive overdraft fees, particularly if it’s a first offense. Even businesses waiting on a payment will give you an extra week or two if you call and explain it. In this economy, they’re so used to people just taking the money and disappearing that they’re happy to hear you’re operating in some kind of good faith.

Otherwise, you’re going to be in a bind. And this is when you’ll find out …
#4. There is an Industry That Profits by Keeping You Poor: Think you’re too smart to ever use one of those shady “payday loan” places? Well, you should know that nobody thinks they’re a good deal. People go there because they’re choosing between which f**king provides the most lube. Say the gas bill is a month past due, and they’re threatening to turn it off (if so, it’s $150 to get it reconnected). Or you’re about to be late on a credit card payment (which would be a fee and a doubling of your interest rate). Or your favorite S&M whip broke, and Whipfest is coming up (entry fee is nonrefundable). That is when you find yourself swallowing your pride and heading to the payday loan place.

A standard 14-day “payday” loan charges $15.50 per $100 borrowed. So a $500 loan ends up being $577.50 (or 1.5 tanks of gas in interest). But if you don’t have it after 14 days, that’s fine — they offer to extend your loan to 180 days. It makes the payments miniscule. Oh, and you’ll be paying back $1,275 at 403.10 percent APR. Yes, you got f**ked, in the name of your financial asshole avoiding the credit card company’s bigger, barbed dick. And it’s a hell of a lot better than going over on your checking account again and starting up their infinite circular f**katron.

All right, let’s say you wised up. You save and cut back. You resist an offer to, say, buy a computer on Best Buy’s finance plan, because you’re too smart to take on more debt. And no monthly cell phone payments for you, oh no. You’re not going to put yourself in a hole again!
Congratulations. You just did. It turns out …
#3. No Credit Can be Just as Damaging as Bad Credit: On the spectrum of financial responsibility, from “that billionaire who drives an old Dodge Dakota” down to “MC Hammer,” you’d think that the next step up from being overdue on a bunch of bills would be to have no bills at all. Don’t buy it if you can’t afford it, right? You’ll find out the problem the next time somebody does a credit check — having no credit will stop you from getting a loan or an apartment just as fast as having bad credit. And more importantly, if you have old bad credit due to a bunch of previous f**kups, simply vanishing off the credit map doesn’t do anything to fix it.

It took me six months to find a place to rent after applying for every property that appeared in the paper across five towns. I was denied each time. It was my lack of credit due to years of me and lenders deciding to just stay out of each other’s hair, like those old sitcoms where roommates would draw a line down the middle of the house. I even used a prepaid cell phone where I’d just be buying minutes off the shelf rather than get locked into a contract with all those termination fees and shit. When I needed something big, like a computer upgrade or furniture, I’d wait for a windfall, like a tax return, and pay cash. It’s called financial responsibility, motherf**ker!

Nope. It turns out that to a business, a customer with no credit is like a girl giving you the silent treatment — they assume something is wrong. And everybody checks your credit — if I want to get Direct TV, I have to pay $310 worth of startup fees (the size of your up-front payments/deposits depends on your credit history). Utilities are even more — which means trying to move to a new place costs hundreds of dollars in deposits (remember the $150 to get my gas turned on). If I need a new car, well, let’s just say I need to show up at the dealership with a shoebox full of cash.

So repairing credit means opening accounts (having a cell phone plan is a good one, having your utilities in your own name — as opposed to the landlord’s — is another) and, you know, making sure to pay your f**king bills on time. And don’t bother trying to shortcut the system by saving the shoebox full of cash, getting a loan, then paying it all off the next month. Length of credit is part of your credit score. They want to know your ability to make steady, long term payments without missing a month or being late.
#2. Your Next Expensive Disaster is Always Around the Corner: Shit happens, always at the exact worst time. A tire blows on my car and, without a spare, it instantly becomes a paperweight. There’s $80 for a new tire, $50 for a tow. Now, it’s a good idea to have a separate bank account set up specifically for these situations because they are unavoidable. It’s also a good idea to have a sex slave or two just sitting around in case your balls need shaved. It’s not that f**king simple.

You get the same domino effect with sudden financial disasters as you do with the bank fees. For instance, I worked a shitty service industry job, which meant I got paid by the hour, and didn’t get paid unless I showed up — no paid time off. But I couldn’t physically get to work because of the goddamned flat tire. It’s a rural area, no subway or buses. So it’s double penetration — not just lost work time, but lost time that is spent paying for a tow and a tire. And if I didn’t happen to have that money sitting around, it meant waiting until payday, and missing work until then. Which meant my next paycheck would be short. By the time I get it fixed and add in the missed work time, that $80 tire just turned into a $250 enema. That’s life in a world with no financial margin for error. It’s like trying to climb out of a dick pit but the ladder is also made of dicks.

Years ago, we bought a house with the help of our in-laws. You know, because owning property is the responsible adult thing to do. The very first f**king night of moving in, we got a massive water leak. I couldn’t just call the landlord — I was the landlord. I couldn’t call a plumber because we didn’t have the $150 to pay the guy, not until payday. So the leak was allowed to run until we could put the money together to pay one. So two weeks later, we hand the guy $150. And then, a week later, the water bill arrives.

$500.

You find yourself thinking, “Man, we could get caught up if this bad shit wouldn’t keep happening!” Then it finally hits you that bad shit happens like clockwork. Not because God hates you, but because you’re poor and you’re using cheap shit that breaks. Maybe you don’t pay the $150 for a plumber, but have a handy friend fix it for you for $50. Awesome, you saved $100! Then six months later you have a leak again, because it turns out he fixed it with rubber bands and Fruit Roll-ups.

Everything in a poor person’s life is a cash vampire. My truck has 170,000 miles on it and the MPG is so bad that every time I start it, the ghost of an Indian appears in the passenger seat and cries. About twice a year, something under the hood grinds to a halt or melts — always another $500 on a tow and repairs. And that was the money I was saving to get a more reliable car.

Hell, even my own body does it to me. I lost my last job because of chronic back pain, losing my health insurance in the process. Which means I can’t treat my chronic back pain. Can’t afford to get dentist check-ups, so more expensive problems are allowed to grow and fester. And so on.
#1. You’re Always in Survival Mode: There’s a phrase in the working world that drives me crazy. One guy says, “The money’s not great, but I love my job.” And somebody responds, “Hey, happiness is all that really matters.”

To be clear, that’s probably true for people at a certain level of income. If you aren’t struggling to pay the bills, then happiness is indeed a pretty damn awesome extra. But you know those movies like American Beauty, about the guy with the unfulfilling career who abandons it to live life to its fullest? Yeah, don’t forget that after quitting their jobs they still come home to houses that look like this:
But down here, at this level, you take what you can f**king get. Fantasies about holding out for that dream job will ruin you. For instance, long before reading to this part, some helpful commenter has surely skipped down and chimed in with, “Why don’t you just get a job, you lazy f**k!” Wait, did you think I was unemployed? Hell no, it’s been years since I was out of work for any long period of time. I’ve always had jobs. Shitty, shitty jobs.

A huge chunk of this economy runs on shitty jobs now. Recently, McDonald’s held a job fair with 50,000 openings. They got more than 1,000,000 applications. Tens of millions of you will wind up in one of these jobs, it’s sheer math. These service jobs pay hourly, they give you little or nothing in terms of benefits and there is nothing in the way of security even from week to week — your hours could get cut at any time, for any reason. Sure, you can take a second part-time job. Though, that’s assuming you can find one that works around your primary job’s schedule — just mentioning that you have another job in an interview is often enough to stop that interview mid-sentence. Why hire you when there are 30 guys in line behind you with completely free schedules?

So in answer to the inevitable, “You need to dream bigger, and strive forth to get a new career for yourself!” Hey, I totally agree. But now we’re back in the Catch-22 poverty f**k gauntlet. Once you’re in this tier of jobs, getting out isn’t just hard, it’s expensive.

Sure, you can take classes at night at a community college or something. Maybe you’ll even get financial aid or loans to pay for your books or tuition. What they will not pay for is the time you missed at work while you were in classes or for a babysitter or for transportation. And you sure as f**k better be certain that you have some kind of aptitude for whatever you’re studying (which, by the way, you won’t know until you’ve spent a year or two studying it) because that’s the only chance you’re going to get.

You can do it the old-fashioned way, by working your way up the corporate ladder from within whatever shitty job you have. But that is also expensive because promotions often require you to move. I got offered a promotion at my shitty service job (washing semi trucks with high-pressure hoses, the job that eventually destroyed my back) that would have required me to move several hours away. And moving costs money — remember what I said about the cost of getting utilities turned on? And how landlords check your credit?

And then there are the intangible costs. I would be abandoning my children, for instance — I share custody with my ex-wife, who obviously was not going to be moving with me. How many visits would I get in before my car broke down? And moving away from friends and family also comes with a cost — think of the favors you do for each other (i.e. the friend/brother/uncle willing to fix the truck for free, because you helped paint his porch, etc).

It’s not impossible, but it’s taking a huge risk. And if the new job doesn’t work out after you bet all of your chips, you’re triple f**ked. And at that point the world will wag its finger at you and tell you how irresponsible it was to move when you were so poor. “Ha, you poor people are always doing stupid shit like that!”

And on and on. People do get out of this situation — I got paid to write this, for instance. All I’m saying is that the journey is something like trying to go from the Earth to the Moon. By letting them launch a Saturn V rocket directly into your butt.”

"Nuggets From The Net: BetterHelp"

"Nuggets From The Net: BetterHelp"

Long time viewers are familiar with the occasional "Nuggets From The Net" where exceptional websites are highlighted for your perusal. Times are tough, very stressful, even dangerous, we all know that, and worse is coming, and we all can use some help now and then. Nothing at all to be ashamed of! In that light, after checking out their website, I present you with "BetterHelp", a mental health services organization I highly recommend. This is of course not a paid advertisement, we haven't had any ads, popups or banners in 9 1/2 years and will not start now. Consider this a public service for anyone who may need it. - CP

Our Mission: Making professional counseling accessible, affordable, convenient - so anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime, anywhere. BetterHelp is the largest online counseling platform worldwide. We change the way people get help with facing life's challenges by providing convenient, discreet and affordable access to a licensed therapist. BetterHelp makes professional counseling available anytime, anywhere, through a computer, tablet or smartphone. As of April 2017, more than 1,500,000 people signed up to BetterHelp and over 2,500 counselors provided services through the platform. Convenient, affordable, private online counseling. Anytime, anywhere.

Counselors on BetterHelp are licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (PhD/PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW/LMSW), or licensed professional counselors (LPC). All of them have a Masters Degree or a Doctorate Degree in their field. They have been qualified and certified by their state's professional board after successfully completing the necessary education, exams, training and practice. While their experience, expertise and background vary, they all possess at least 3 years and 2,000 hours of hands-on experience. Click here to learn more about the counselors.”
https://www.betterhelp.com/

Get help now: If you are in a crisis or any other person may be in danger the following resources can provide you with immediate help. 

United States:
Emergency: 911
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1- 800-799-7233
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433)
Lifeline Crisis Chat (Online live messaging): http://www.crisischat.org/
Crisis Text Line: Text "START" TO 741-741
Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)
Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228
Planned Parenthood Hotline: 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) 
American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222
National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency Hope Line: 1-800-622-2255
National Crisis Line - Anorexia and Bulimia: 1-800-233-4357
GLBT Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
TREVOR Crisis Hotline: 1-866-488-7386
AIDS Crisis Line: 1-800-221-7044
Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net
Suicide Prevention Wiki: http://suicideprevention.wikia.com

"Just When You Thought..."

X22 Report, “Hold On To Your Seat The Entire Economy Is About To Change”

X22 Report, “Hold On To Your Seat The Entire Economy Is About To Change”
Related followup report:
X22 Report, “The Battle Accelerates, The Truth Is Being Forced Into The Open”

Musical Interlude: Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”

Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“What makes this spiral galaxy so long? Measuring over 700,000 light years across from top to bottom, NGC 6872, also known as the Condor galaxy, is one of the most elongated barred spiral galaxies known. 
Click image for larger size.
The galaxy's protracted shape likely results from its continuing collision with the smaller galaxy IC 4970, visible just above center. Of particular interest is NGC 6872's spiral arm on the upper left, as pictured here, which exhibits an unusually high amount of blue star forming regions. The light we see today left these colliding giants before the days of the dinosaurs, about 300 million years ago. NGC 6872 is visible with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Peacock (Pavo).”

Chet Raymo, "Pigeons"

"Pigeons"
by Chet Raymo

"That old curmudgeon H. L. Mencken wrote: "The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind." Admitting that no one - including this writer - is immune to self-delusion, still it is hard for anyone who respects empirical evidence to argue with Mencken.

Half of Americans believe in ghosts. Almost seventy percent believe in angels. More people believe in astrology than express interest in astronomy. Almost anything paranormal - ESP, UFOs, channeling, etc. - is deemed more interesting than science. Not to mention the eighty-three percent who believe in a God who hears and answers prayers. Why so much belief in a total absence of non-anecdotal evidence?

Back in the 1940s, the behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner did a famous experiment with pigeons that he thought had some relevance to human credulity. He put birds in the kind of cages used for training animals by reinforcement - peck a bar, get some birdseed, that sort of thing. Except in this new experiment, the feed was provided at regular intervals regardless of what the pigeons did. And guess what? The pigeons fell into certain behaviors all by themselves - nodding or turning or pecking for food - although their behaviors had nothing to do with the reward being offered. Skinner wrote: "A few accidental connections between a ritual and favorable consequences suffice to set up and maintain the behavior in spite of many unreinforced instances. The experiment might be said to demonstrate a sort of superstition. The bird behaves as if there were a causal relation between its behavior and the presentation of food, although such a relation is lacking."

"There are many analogies to human behavior," said Skinner. He was not the first to comment on the human propensity to mistake coincidence for causality.”

The Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke, "All Will Come Again"

"All Will Come Again"

"All will come again into its strength:
the fields undivided, the waters undamed,
the trees towering and the walls built low.
And in the valleys, people as strong and varied as the land.
And no churches where God
is imprisoned and lamented
like a trapped and wounded animal.
The houses welcoming all who knock
and a sense of boundless offering
in all relations, and in you and me.
No yearning for an afterlife, no looking beyond,
no belittling of death,
but only longing for what belongs to us
and serving earth, lest we remain unused."

- Rainer Maria Rilke

"Man Is A Strange Animal..."

"Man is a strange animal, he doesn't like to read the
handwriting on the wall until his back is up against it."
- Adlai Stevenson

"Hot Chocolate Wisdom"

"Hot Chocolate Wisdom"
by Buddha of Hollywood

"Once upon a time a group of former classmates, well established in their careers, got together during a class reunion. They decided to go and visit an old college professor who was a source of inspiration for all of them. During the visit the conversation devolved into a series of personal complaints about their lives, careers and relationships and how stressful things were.

While listening to their complaints the professor decided to offer everyone a cup of hot chocolate. Coming back from the kitchen the professor brought a pitcher of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups and mugs. Each of the cups was made of different materials. Some were of clay, metal, glass, crystal and porcelain. Some were very simple and others were very ornate. Some were very cheap and some were very expensive.

The old professor invited everyone to serve themselves. When everybody had their cup in hand the professor shared his thoughts about the chocolate. "Did you notice that all the fancy cups were chosen and only the modest ones were left at the table? Even if it might seem natural to you to choose the very best in life, this might be the source of all your problems and stress. The quality of the cups you choose does not change the quality of the chocolate you drink. What you really need is the pleasure and nutrition of the drink, not the cup, but subconsciously you choose the fancy cups. Life is the hot chocolate. The careers, jobs, and relationships, money and social status are just the cups. The quality of your cups will never determine the quality of your lives. The gift of life is free; it is up to you to choose the cup you will receive it in."

"Stand Up While You Read This!"

"Stand Up While You Read This!"
By Olivia Judson

"Your chair is your enemy. It doesn’t matter if you go running every morning, or you’re a regular at the gym. If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting - in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home - you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you.

That, at least, is the conclusion of several recent studies. Indeed, if you consider only healthy people who exercise regularly, those who sit the most during the rest of the day have larger waists and worse profiles of blood pressure and blood sugar than those who sit less. Among people who sit in front of the television for more than three hours each day, those who exercise are as fat as those who don’t: sitting a lot appears to offset some of the benefits of jogging a lot.

So what’s wrong with sitting? The answer seems to have two parts. The first is that sitting is one of the most passive things you can do. You burn more energy by chewing gum or fidgeting than you do sitting still in a chair. Compared to sitting, standing in one place is hard work. To stand, you have to tense your leg muscles, and engage the muscles of your back and shoulders; while standing, you often shift from leg to leg. All of this burns energy.

For many people, weight gain is a matter of slow creep - two pounds this year, three pounds next year. You can gain this much if, each day, you eat just 30 calories more than you burn. Thirty calories is hardly anything - it’s a couple of mouthfuls of banana, or a few potato chips. Thus, a little more time on your feet today and tomorrow can easily make the difference between remaining lean and getting fat.

You may think you have no choice about how much you sit. But this isn’t true. Suppose you sleep for eight hours each day, and exercise for one. That still leaves 15 hours of activities. Even if you exercise, most of the energy you burn will be burnt during these 15 hours, so weight gain is often the cumulative effect of a series of small decisions: Do you take the stairs or the elevator? Do you e-mail your colleague down the hall, or get up and go and see her? When you get home, do you potter about in the garden or sit in front of the television? Do you walk to the corner store, or drive?

Just to underscore the point that you do have a choice: a study of junior doctors doing the same job, the same week, on identical wards found that some individuals walked four times farther than others at work each day. (No one in the study was overweight; but the “long-distance” doctors were thinner than the “short-distance” doctors.) So part of the problem with sitting a lot is that you don’t use as much energy as those who spend more time on their feet. This makes it easier to gain weight, and makes you more prone to the health problems that fatness often brings.

But it looks as though there’s a more sinister aspect to sitting, too. Several strands of evidence suggest that there’s a “physiology of inactivity”: that when you spend long periods sitting, your body actually does things that are bad for you. As an example, consider lipoprotein lipase. This is a molecule that plays a central role in how the body processes fats; it’s produced by many tissues, including muscles. Low levels of lipoprotein lipase are associated with a variety of health problems, including heart disease. Studies in rats show that leg muscles only produce this molecule when they are actively being flexed (for example, when the animal is standing up and ambling about). The implication is that when you sit, a crucial part of your metabolism slows down. Nor is lipoprotein lipase the only molecule affected by muscular inactivity. Actively contracting muscles produce a whole suite of substances that have a beneficial effect on how the body uses and stores sugars and fats.

Which might explain the following result. Men who normally walk a lot (about 10,000 steps per day, as measured by a pedometer) were asked to cut back (to about 1,350 steps per day) for two weeks, by using elevators instead of stairs, driving to work instead of walking and so on. By the end of the two weeks, all of them had became worse at metabolizing sugars and fats. Their distribution of body fat had also altered - they had become fatter around the middle. Such changes are among the first steps on the road to diabetes.

Conversely, a study of people who sit for many hours found that those who took frequent small breaks -standing up to stretch or walk down the corridor - 
had smaller waists and better profiles for sugar and fat metabolism than those who did their sitting in long, uninterrupted chunks.

Some people have advanced radical solutions to the sitting syndrome: replace your sit-down desk with a stand-up desk, and equip this with a slow treadmill so that you walk while you work. (Talk about pacing the office.) Make sure that your television can only operate if you are pedaling furiously on an exercise bike. Or, watch television in a rocking chair: rocking also takes energy and involves a continuous gentle flexing of the calf muscles. Get rid of your office chair and replace it with a therapy ball: this too uses more muscles, and hence more energy, than a normal chair, because you have to support your back and work to keep balanced. You also have the option of bouncing, if you like. Or you could take all this as a license to fidget. But whatever you choose, know this. The data are clear: beware your chair."

"We Keep On Hoping..."

"What happens to people living in a society where everyone in power is lying, stealing, cheating and killing, and in our hearts we all know this, but the consequences of facing all these lies are so monstrous, we keep on hoping that maybe the corporate government administration and media are on the level with us this time. Americans remind me of survivors of domestic abuse. There is always the hope that this is the very, very, very last time one's ribs get re-broken again."
- Inga Muscio

"Ten Essential Elements of a Covert Op"

"Ten Essential Elements of a Covert Op"
By Jon Rappoport

"I’m talking about major covert ops, not small ones.

ONE: Compartmentalization. The tasks necessary to carrying out the operation are divided among players at different levels. In a successful op, these groups of players are unaware of each other. They wouldn’t be able to confess to more than their own roles. And in many cases, the disparate players would never believe they were part of an op. They would swear they were “doing good” - as, for example, in medical research that was - unknown to the researchers - actually designed to obscure a chemical attack on a population, by locating a virus as the false culprit. By training and by general stupidity, the researchers are always predisposed to finding a virus. The last thing on their minds is that they’re part of an op.

TWO: Gaining tremendous media coverage for the effect of the op (even exaggerating the effects), while hiding the cause and the players who planned it.

THREE: Blaming the wrong people as the originators of the op. Relentlessly discrediting truth tellers who see what’s really going on.

FOUR: Developing and promoting a false cover story to describe the details of the op; in many cases, those details are wrong. For example, the famous truck bomb parked at the curb of the Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, did most assuredly not cause the human and property destruction that ensued. There were bombs inside the building.

FIVE: Laying down false trails for investigators and independent researchers. In the wake of the JFK assassination, we saw the emergence of many, many “alternative” scenarios. Some of that “information” was designed to lead into dead-end alleys - after much time and frustration.

SIX: At least several goals. In any large covert op, there are a few different objectives, at different levels. For example, certain players gain an increase in status; profits for the elite planners; control of market share; demonizing of opponents; general demoralization of the population. Arguments over “the real purpose” of an op are often misguided. There was never just one purpose.

SEVEN: Testing public response. After an op, analysts are tasked with assessing the public reaction. Did most people buy the official scenario? What objections were raised? Who raised them? An effort is made to be as precise as possible. What lessons were learned that can be applied to the next op?

EIGHT: Controlled opposition. This aspect involves infiltrating independent voices with plants, who try to take charge of unofficial and truthful narrative and steer it AWAY from the truth. Among the plants are people who promote the most absurd theories possible about the op. And then there are those plants who accuse everyone who doesn’t agree with them of being “CIA agents.”

Note: Several of these functions are actually carried out by people who aren’t plants at all. They’re just crazy and/or desperate egomaniacs. They obtain their highest degree of satisfaction from making accusations against innocent people and inventing sleights against themselves. They live in an unenviable sewer.

NINE: Distraction. After a covert op, the government and the press will sometimes promote and pump a new story, concerning a different “sensational event” - and lean on it for a period of time sufficient to distract the public from the original op.

TEN: Limited hangout. This strategy involves seeding a cover story with some bit of truth to attract the unwary, in hopes that they will buy the whole cover. Or, admitting to a watered down piece of truth about the op itself, to “let off steam” and make it seem as if the whole op has been exposed.

These ten elements (there are more) are standard. They’re not esoteric. Any intelligence agency deploys them in a variety of situations. For the most part, the press simply takes dictation and reports what front men for covert ops want reported. Of course, the press is seeded with intel assets.

How does a researcher deal with these ten elements? He drills down below the cover story to discover the core facts about the op. He isn’t diverted by the distractions and the fake news. He must be ready to find some mind-boggling truths at the core and accept what he finds. Having discovered the core, he can then “reverse engineer” the op and see how it was put together. He can see who benefited at various levels.

In my 1987-8 investigation of AIDS/HIV, what lay at the core was the fact that the virus had never been shown to cause anything. Nor was it a reasonable candidate as a disease agent. From there, I could assemble the multiple purposes of the op and see who was benefiting. I could separate the dupes and pawns and true believers from the actual operators.

My research uncovered a formidable structure of hierarchical power. Fortunately, I and other independent researchers who were arriving at different conclusions managed to maintain a cordial relationship, instead of sniping at each other. The few times I encountered megalomaniacs, I basically ignored them. It was a good lesson to learn.

A final note for now: just because ops are covert, that doesn’t mean they are well executed. Quite often the operators make blunders. In that case, the following cover-up carries the freight of mistakes and smooths them out by concocting fantasies that are relayed to the press, and in turn, to the public. And even then, the cover-up can fail to impress intelligent observers. However, through repetition, and by using “experts,” the mainstream media keeps promoting the cover story. In the end, it is the sheer monopolistic power of the press that functions as the ultimate cover.

That is why I named this site no more fake news 16 years ago. Because that blunt power needs to be dismantled. We are in the middle of a sea change, where that very thing is happening.”

The Daily "Near You?"

Bolton, United Kingdom. Thanks for stopping by!

"Brass? More Like Titanium!"

 
”You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion 
by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.” 

- Then Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday, March 2, 2014 
as he sharply denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin's 
"stunning, willful" actions during Russia's invasion of Ukrainian territory.

Musical Interlude: Shakira, “Empire” (Instrumental)

Shakira, “Empire” (Instrumental)

"A Message From The Ministry Of Homeland Security"

"Well..."

And good riddance...

Oh! I'm sorry, was that too insensitive, or not politically correct enough?
How very rude of me! 
Tough... and I don't care who doesn't like it.
- CP

"Honoria"

"Honoria"
by Taylor Caldwell

“This is a true story about a nation which was once great. At the outset, we will call that nation "Honoria;" but you will readily guess her true name, as the story unfolds. Honoria had always been distinguished by a strong, sturdy, industrious middle class, composed of farmers, artisans, shopkeepers- virtuous and sane and devout. But the middle class presented a threat to an all-powerful government, determined to protect the rich and the strong- and the worthless, the mean, the haters-of-work, the whining cowards who wanted everything for nothing. So the government decided to get rid of the middle class.

But the greedy mobs could never be satisfied. They made endless demands on the Senators. They stood in government offices and howled. They howled for more. And they got it. But still the howl went up for more and more; and the Senators, now the creatures of the mobs, tried to provide everything the mobs demanded.

And the middle class, the backbone of the nation? They were reduced to despair. They dared not have children; they couldn't afford them. While the mob enjoyed their public housing, their free sports, their free meals, the middle class worked ceaselessly, trying to get ahead of their tax bills, trying to live, trying to keep their schools alive for their children. It was all no use. They began to dwindle away. They had to leave their houses. The mobs moved into their houses and turned them into slum dwellings. Crime became so commonplace that it was dangerous to be on the streets at night. Morality was dead.

The middle class, the hardworking, the self-reliant, slowly smothered from despair. Who cared? The mob had a full belly today and government promised to fill it again tomorrow. The middle class of Honoria stood in the way; it must be destroyed. Then, the elite could rule by oppression; and the craven, the despicable, the cowards, the worthless, could live on the bodies of the nobles and the heroic- through taxation.

The monstrous state, the top-heavy bureaucracy, was happy. The cynical laughed among themselves. Freedom? Why, the people didn't want freedom. They wanted free entertainment, free bread, free housing. A degenerate nation deserved no freedom, no consideration.

An old general, who had been victimized by the government, stood up and cried aloud to Honoria to remember her past, to return to honor, to decent government, to the principles of the Founding Fathers, to God. The people hooted: He was a reactionary. He was eliminated. He retired, with bitterness, and thought his anguished thoughts. A Senator dared to stand up in the Senate and cry a halt to foreign subversion of Honoria and to constant foreign aid and the draining away of the people's money. Other Senators shrieked him down and called him vile names. He, too, was liquidated. And the nation fell deeper and deeper into debt, became more luxurious and rotten.

Honoria joined a league of the world, with her enemies. They exploited her. She taxed her citizens more and more to send her wheat and meat to those nations.

In one of Honoria's stupid wars she allied herself with powerful barbarians who were full of hatred and envy, and the lust for power. Honoria sent "experts" to the barbarians to teach them the latest scientific discoveries.

Honoria had become a corrupt and monstrous nation. Foreign tyrants and domestic mobs called the tune, and the spineless rulers of Honoria danced. The very walls of government echoed to the ever-growing demands for more foreign aid, more security, more bread, more sports, more government, more restrictions on the proud and the self-respecting. And the middle class finally died.

And what of the barbarians? They looked on Honoria with contempt. They were fierce and dedicated men. They had allies in the government of Honoria. Who could oppose them, with their savage ferocity? The time had come for them to take over Honoria, and destroy civilization. And the barbarians moved in. Who had made the barbarians so strong? Honoria, of course. Honoria had given the barbarians access to the wealth of Honoria, at the expense of the betrayed and ruined citizens of Honoria. Honoria had sacrificed her people so that her alleged allies could make common cause against her with the barbarians.

What is the real name of Honoria? Ancient Rome. You know what happened to ancient Rome. The barbarians, in the fifth century, invaded Rome and destroyed her; and for hundreds of years, there was a long, black night of slavery and despair and rain. Rome had not only betrayed herself but all the civilized world with her. The barbarians ranged over that civilized world; and the cultures of thousands of years were destroyed, so that only fragments have come down to us, mere fragments of great and mighty literature, and law, and beauty.

Fortunately, one thing did survive: The Twelve Tables of Common Roman Law. Those Tables of Law formed the basis of English Common Law and, more indirectly, of the American Constitution. Had Rome retained her Constitution, she would perhaps have survived and her splendor would not have been extinguished. But she permitted the slow erosion of her Constitution, just as we are permitting the quicker erosion of our Constitution.

Everything which strikes at our Constitution brings us closer to death as a free nation, just as Rome died. Each time a new treaty of alliance is signed with foreign nations, we die a little more, as Rome died. Each time the Supreme Court or the President violates the Constitution, we come closer to slavery- as Rome came.

Nearly two thousand years stand between us and Rome. Never before the rise of Rome, and never since, did two nations so remarkably resemble each other, in history, in splendid rise in civilization, in magnificent communication between nations, in grandeur and wealth. In strange and amazing ways, we are the counterpart of ancient Rome. Her history, almost step by step, is our history.

Shall we continue along the path which led to the extinction of Rome? We have made her terrible mistakes; we have duplicated her crimes and stupidities, almost to the letter. WE are destroying our Constitution, the only safeguard we have in the face of domestic and foreign enemies, just as she destroyed hers. We are permitting government by men, now, instead of government by law- just as Rome finally did.

So long as Rome remained Rome- patriotic, proud, virtuous and healthy- she remained a strong and powerful nation. When she became internationalistic, underwrote the economies of other nations, permitted her rulers to become dictators, enmeshed herself with the problems of aliens and taxed her own people to support those aliens, she began to die.

When she became militaristic, and had her armies spread on foreign soil, the fabric of her life was weakened and strained, and the wild sword of the barbarian cut it easily.

It is a stern fact of history that no nation that rushed to the abyss ever turned back. Not ever, in the long history of the world. We are now on the edge of the abyss. Can we, for the first time in history, turn back? It is up to you."

"Do Not Live For Others..."

"Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you."
- Christopher Hitchens

"I Rescued A Human Today"

"I Rescued A Human Today"
by RescueMeDog.org

"Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life. She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one. I rescued a human today.”
"People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way."
- Ashly Lorenzana
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
- Will Rogers