THE COYOTE

Hat Tip Boston Bob

 

The Coyote

 

California

The Governor of California is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks the Governor’s dog, then bites the Governor.

The Governor starts to intervene, but reflects upon the movie “Bambi” and then realizes he should stop because the coyote is only doing what is natural.

He calls animal control. Animal Control captures the coyote and bills the state $200 testing it for diseases and $500 for relocating it.

He calls a veterinarian. The vet collects the dead dog and bills the State $200 testing it for diseases.

The Governor goes to hospital and spends $3,500 getting checked for diseases from the coyote and on getting his bite wound bandaged.

The running trail gets shut down for six months while Fish & Game conducts a $100,000 survey to make sure the area is now free of dangerous animals.

The Governor spends $50,000 in state funds implementing a “coyote awareness program” for residents of the area.

The State Legislature spends $2 million to study how to better treat rabies and how to permanently eradicate the disease throughout the world.

The Governor’s security agent is fired for not stopping the attack. The state spends $150,000 to hire and train a new agent with additional special training re the nature of coyotes.

PETA protests the coyote’s relocation and files a $5 million suit against the state.

 


Texas


The Governor of Texas is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks his dog.

The Governor shoots the coyote with his state-issued pistol and keeps jogging. The Governor has spent 50 cents on a .45 ACP hollow-point cartridge.

The buzzards eat the dead coyote.

And that, my friends,

is why California is broke

and Texas is not

 

ROT & DISEASE SPREADING ACROSS THE GLOBE

Guest Post by Jim Kunstler

     The rot moves from the margins to the center, but the disease moves from the center to the margins. That is what has happened in the realm of money in recent weeks due to the sustained mispricing of the cost of credit by central banks, led by the US Federal Reserve. Along the way, that outfit has managed to misprice just about everything else  — stocks, houses, exotic securities, food commodities, precious metals, fine art. Oil is mispriced as well, on the low side, since oil production only gets more expensive and complex these days while it depends more on mispriced borrowed money. That situation will be corrected by scarcity, as oil companies discover that real capital is unavailable. And then the oil will become scarce. The “capital” circulating around the globe now is a squishy, gelatinous substance called “liquidity.” All it does is gum up markets. But eventually things do get unstuck.

     Meanwhile, the rot of epic mispricing expresses itself in collapsing currencies and the economies they are supposed to represent: India, Turkey, Argentina, Hungary so far. Italy, Spain, and Greece would be in that club if they had currencies of their own. For now, they just do without driving their cars and burn furniture to stay warm this winter. Automobile use in Italy is back to 1970s levels of annual miles-driven. That’s quite a drop.

     Before too long, the people will be out in the streets engaging with the riot police, as in Ukraine. This is long overdue, of course, and probably cannot be explained rationally since extreme changes in public sentiment are subject to murmurations, the same unseen forces that direct flocks of birds and schools of fish that all at once suddenly turn in a new direction without any detectable communication.

     Who can otherwise explain the amazing placidity of the sore beset American public, beyond the standard trope about bread, circuses, and superbowls? Last night they were insulted with TV commercials hawking Maserati cars. Behold, you miserable nation of overfed SNAP card swipers, the fruits of wealth and celebrity! Savor your unworthiness while you await the imminent spectacles of the Sochi Olympics and Oscar Night! Things at the margins may yet interrupt the trance at the center. My guess is that true wickedness brews unseen in the hidden, unregulated markets of currency and interest rate swaps.

     The big banks are so deep in this derivative ca-ca that eyeballs are turning brown in the upper level executive suites. Notable bankers are even jumping out of windows, hanging themselves in back rooms, and blowing their brains out in roadside ditches. Is it not strange that there are no reports on the contents of their suicide notes, if they troubled to leave one? (And is it not unlikely that they would all exit the scene without a word of explanation?) One of these, William Broeksmit, a risk manager for Deutsche Bank, was reportedly engaged in “unwinding positions” for that that outfit, which holds over $70 trillion in swap paper. For scale, compare that number with Germany’s gross domestic product of about $3.4 trillion and you could get a glimmer of the mischief in motion out there. Did poor Mr. Broeksmit despair of his task? 

     Physicist Stephen Hawking declared last week that black holes are not exactly what people thought they were. Stuff does leak back out of them. This will soon be proven in the unwinding derivatives trades when most of the putative wealth associated with swaps and such disappears across the event horizon of bad faith, and little dribbles of their prior existence leak back out in bankruptcy proceedings and political upheaval.

     The event horizon of bad faith is the exact point where the credulous folk of this modern age, from high to low, discover that their central banks only pretend to be regulating agencies, that they ride a juggernaut of which nobody is really in control. The illusion of control has been the governing myth since the Lehman moment in 2008. We needed desperately to believe that the authorities had our backs. They don’t even have their own fronts.

     Is the money world at that threshold right now? One thing seems clear: nobody is able to turn back the plummeting currencies. They go where they will and their failures must be infectious as the greater engine of world trade seizes up. Who will write the letters of credit that make international commerce possible? Who will trust whom? When do people seriously start to starve and reach for the pitchforks? When does the action move from Kiev to London, New York, Frankfurt, and Paris?

LAST SHALL BE FIRST & FIRST SHALL BE LAST

The momentum crowd piled into Japanese and Emerging Market stocks in 2013. The MSM dutifully bashed gold at year end, declaring it dead as an investment after an uninterrupted 12 year bull market, which they missed. After one month, it seems the momentum crowd has a problem and investors in the barbarous relic may not be so stupid after all. You also may be paying more for your ethanol this year, as corn prices are rising. But at least you can eat bread, as wheat prices have plunged.

I wonder if that bloviating fat ass Long Island lawyer, pretending to be a an investing guru, Barry Ritholtz missed the little gold rally? He missed the 1st twelve years of the gold bull market, but spent 2013 doing a victory dance about finally being right. He was probably too busy shilling his latest book, conference, or investment firm to notice the gold rally.

DANGEROUSLY SPECULATIVE

The premature ejaculators who love to scorn John Hussman for being wrong about the stock market always amuse me with their touchdown dancing before the game is over. Their pea-brains are incapable of understanding stock market cycles, history, basic math, investor psychology, and the lemming like behavior of the highly educated MBA Wall Street crowd. John’s method is designed to outperform the stock market over a COMPLETE bull/bear market cycle.

John’s latest article, Pushing Luck, is filled with facts, figures, charts, and common sense. The usual suspects will ignore the data and crow about Hussman being wrong since 2009. These knuckleheads are too enraptured with their gains through the first half of this bull/bear cycle that they are blinded to the bear portion of the cycle that has just begun. I’m sure they’ll exit gracefully before seeing all their paper gains vaporize.

There are a couple of charts and some choice facts that you should be noted in Hussman’s article. Five independent valuation models that have accurately assessed future stock market returns going back over 60 years are all in 100% complete agreement. The S&P 500 will be no higher in 2024 than it is today. I bet Boomers and Xers will not like that news, but reality bites.

There are certain points in history where the projections of S&P 500 total returns have differed somewhat depending on which fundamental measure one uses. At present, a wide range of valuation methods that are actually historically reliable show very little variation. Uniformly, and across fundamentals that have reliably correlated with actual subsequent market returns, we project likely S&P 500 total returns in the range of 1-3% annually over the coming decade. Given a 2% dividend yield, this implies that we fully expect the S&P 500 to be no higher a decade from today than it is at present.

Margin debt continues to rise as the speculative blow-off has arrived. Hussman points out the prior peaks and the subsequent valleys.

Points of rampant speculation on margin strongly overlap points of extreme bullish sentiment and extreme valuation. For that reason, and also because numerous valuation measures have a more direct relationship with subsequent market returns, margin debt is best used as a confirming indicator of cyclical market extremes. Prior spikes in margin debt / GDP in June 1968, December 1972, August 1987, March 2000, and October 2007 were followed by a bear market losses of at least one-third of market value shortly thereafter.

 Margin debt to GDP has been a fantastic indicator of stock market returns over the next 30 months. Note that the scale on the right side is inverted and the red line (S&P 500 stock market return) lags the marging debt ratio by 30 months. You can be pretty darned sure that in June of 2017 the S&P 500 will be at least 40% lower than today.

The myopic believers in the this time is different mantra will continue to scorn Hussman until reality sets in. They said the same thing in early 2000 when Hussman predicted negative returns over the next ten years. Returns were negative over the next ten years.The cycle is half over and the lemmings shouldn’t be doing their touchdown dance just yet. History always wins.

Still, nearly all of the current disputes about valuations, profit margins and so forth can be settled by an evaluation of the historical evidence. The unsettled arguments are the ones that require the present to depart from history against a century of evidence. There are two main beliefs here: that profit margins will remain elevated dramatically above norms that have been revisited in every cycle, including the two most recent ones; and that strenuously overvalued, overbought, overbullish conditions can be sustained indefinitely. These beliefs are identical to those in 2007 that we thought were settled by the 55% market plunge that followed. Investors have become speculators, and now rely on both, in the face of the same conditions that have repeatedly emerged at the most memorable market peaks in history.

QUOTES OF THE DAY

“We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.”

Ben Bernanke – July 2005

“House prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years. Although speculative activity has increased in some areas, at a national level these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals.”

Ben Bernanke – October 2005

“Housing markets are cooling a bit. Our expectation is that the decline in activity or the slowing in activity will be moderate, that house prices will probably continue to rise.”

Ben Bernanke – February 2006

“Despite the ongoing adjustments in the housing sector, overall economic prospects for households remain good. Household finances appear generally solid, and delinquency rates on most types of consumer loans and residential mortgages remain low.”

Ben Bernanke – February 2007

“The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”

Ben Bernanke – January 2008

 

“The continuing shortages of housing inventory are driving the price gains. There is no evidence of bubbles popping.” 

David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, August 2005

“We are really on track for a soft landing. There are no balloons popping.”

David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, December 2005

“It appears we have established a bottom.”

David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, January 2007

WARPED, DISTORTED, MANIPULATED, FLIPPED HOUSING MARKET

The report from RealtyTrac last week proves beyond the shadow of a doubt the supposed housing market recovery is a complete and utter fraud. The corporate mainstream media did their usual spin job on the report by focusing on the fact foreclosure starts in 2013 were the lowest since 2007. Focusing on this meaningless fact (because the Too Big To Trust Wall Street Criminal Banks have delayed foreclosure starts as part of their conspiracy to keep prices rising) is supposed to convince the willfully ignorant masses the housing market is back to normal. It’s always the best time to buy!!!

The talking heads reading their teleprompter propaganda machines failed to mention that distressed sales (short sales & foreclosure sales) rose to a three year high of 16.2% of all U.S. residential sales, up from 14.5% in 2012. The economy has been supposedly advancing for over four years and sales of distressed homes are at 16.2% and rising. The bubble headed bimbos on CNBC don’t find it worthwhile to mention that prior to 2007 the normal percentage of distressed home sales was less than 3%. Yeah, we’re back to normal alright. We are five years into a supposed economic recovery and distressed home sales account for 1 out of 6 all home sales and is still 500% higher than normal.

The distressed sales aren’t even close to the biggest distortion of this housing market. The RealtyTrac report reveals that all-cash purchases accounted for 42% of all U.S. residential sales in December, up from 38% in November, and up from 18% in December 2012. Does that sound like a trend of normalization? There were five states where all-cash transactions accounted for more than 50% of sales in December – Florida (62.5%), Wisconsin (59.8%), Alabama (55.7%), South Carolina (51.3%), and Georgia (51.3%). In the pre-crisis days before 2008, all-cash sales NEVER accounted for more than 10% of all home sales. NEVER. This is all being driven by hot Wall Street money, aided and abetted by Bernanke, Yellen and the rest of the Fed fiat heroine dealers.

Source: Realty Trac

The fact that Wall Street is running this housing show is borne out by mortgage applications languishing at 1997 levels, down 65% from the 2005 highs. Real people in the real world need a mortgage to buy a house. If mortgage applications are near 16 year lows, how could home prices be ascending as if there is a frenzy of demand? Besides enriching the financial class, the contrived elevation of home prices and the QE induced mortgage rate increase has driven housing affordability into the ground. First time home buyers account for a record low percentage of 27%. In a normal non-manipulated market, first time home buyers account for 40% of home purchases.     

Price increases that rival the peak insanity of 2005 have been manufactured by Wall Street shysters and the Federal Reserve commissars. Doctor Housing Bubble sums up the absurdity of this housing market quite well.

The all-cash segment of buyers has typically been a tiny portion of the overall sales pool.  The fact that so many sales are occurring off the typical radar suggests that the Fed’s easy money eco-system has created a ravenous hunger with investors to buy up real estate.  Why?  The rentier class is chasing yields in every nook and cranny of the economy.  This helps to explain why we have such a twisted system where home ownership is declining yet prices are soaring.  What do we expect when nearly half of sales are going to investors?  The all-cash locusts flood is still ravaging the housing market.

The Case-Shiller Index has shown price surges over the last two years that exceed the Fed induced bubble years of 2001 through 2006. Does that make sense, when new homes sales are at levels seen during recessions over the last 50 years, and down 70% from the 2005 highs? Even with this Fed/Wall Street induced levitation, existing home sales are at 1999 levels and down 30% from the 2005 highs. So how and why have national home prices skyrocketed by 14% in 2013 after a 9% rise in 2012? Why are the former bubble markets of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Phoenix seeing 17% to 27% one year price increases? How could the bankrupt paradise of Detroit see a 17.3% increase in prices in one year? In a normal free market where individuals buy houses from other individuals, this does not happen. Over the long term, home prices rise at the rate of inflation. According to the government drones at the BLS, inflation has risen by 3.6% over the last two years. Looks like we have a slight disconnect.

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/01-overflow/Case%20Shiller%20NSA.jpg

This entire contrived episode has been designed to lure dupes back into the market, artificially inflate the insolvent balance sheets of the Too Big To Trust banks, enrich the feudal overlords who have easy preferred access to the Federal Reserve easy money, and provide the propaganda peddling legacy media with a recovery storyline to flog to the willingly ignorant public. The masses desperately want a feel good story they can believe. The ruling class has a thorough understanding of Edward Bernays’ propaganda techniques.

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”  

Ben Bernanke increased his balance sheet by $3.2 trillion (450%) since 2008, and it had to go somewhere. We know it didn’t trickle down to the 99%. It was placed in the firm clutches of the .1% billionaire club. Bernanke sold his QE schemes as methods to benefit Main Street Americans, when his true purpose was to benefit Wall Street crooks. 30 year mortgage rates were 4.25% before QE2. 30 year mortgage rates were 3.5% before QE3. Today they stand at 4.5%. QE has not benefited average Americans. They are getting 0% on their savings, mortgage rates are higher, and their real household income has fallen and continues to fall.

But you’ll be happy to know banking profits are at all-time highs, Blackrock and the rest of the Wall Street Fed front running crowd have made a killing in the buy and rent ruse, and record bonuses are being doled out to the men who have wrecked our financial system in their gluttonous plundering of the once prosperous nation. Their felonious machinations have added zero value to society, while impoverishing a wide swath of America. Bernanke, Yellen and their owners have used their control of the currency, interest rates, and regulatory agencies to create the widest wealth disparity between the haves and have-nots in world history. Their depraved actions on behalf of the .1% will mean blood.

 

Just as Greenspan’s easy money policies of the early 2000’s created a housing bubble, inspiring low IQ wannabes to play flip that house, Bernanke’s mal-investment inducing QEternity has lured the get rich quick crowd back into the flipping business. The re-propagation of Flip that House shows on cable is like a rerun of the pre-bubble bursting frenzy in 2005. RealtyTrac’s recent report details the disturbing lemming like trend among greedy institutions and dullard brother-in-laws across the land.

  • 156,862 single family home flips — where a home is purchased and subsequently sold again within six months — in 2013, up 16% from 2012 and up 114% from 2011.
  • Homes flipped in 2013 accounted for 4.6% of all U.S. single family home sales during the year, up from 4.2% in 2012 and up from 2.6% in 2011     

Source: Realty Trac

The easy profits just keep flowing when the Fed provides the easy money. What could possibly go wrong? Home prices never fall. A brilliant Ivy League economist said so in 2005. The easy profits have been reaped by the early players. Wall Street hedge funds don’t really want to be landlords. Flippers need to make a quick buck or their creditors pull the plug. Home prices peaked in mid-2013. They have begun to fall. The 35% increase in mortgage rates has removed the punchbowl from the party. Anyone who claims housing will improve in 2014 is either talking their book, owns a boatload of vacant rental properties, teaches at Princeton, or gets paid to peddle the Wall Street propaganda on CNBC.

Reality will reassert itself in 2014, with lemmings, flippers, and hedgies getting slaughtered as the housing market comes back to earth with a thud. The continued tapering by the Fed will remove the marginal dollars used by Wall Street to fund this housing Ponzi. The Wall Street lemmings all follow the same MBA created financial models. They will all attempt to exit the market simultaneously when their models all say sell. If the economy improves, interest rates will rise and kill the housing market. If the economy tanks, the stock market will plunge, creating fear and killing the housing market. Once it becomes clear that prices have begun to fall, the flippers will panic and start dumping, exacerbating the price declines. This scenario never grows old.

Real household income continues to fall and nearly 25% of all households with a mortgage are still underwater. Young people are saddled with $1 trillion of government peddled student loan debt and will not be buying homes in the foreseeable future. Dodd-Frank rules will result in fewer people qualifying for mortgages. Mortgage insurance is increasing. Obamacare premium increases are sucking the life out of potential middle class home buyers. Retailers have begun firing thousands. The financial class had a good run. They were able to re-inflate the bubble for two years, but the third year won’t be a charm. In a normal housing market 85% of home sales would be between individuals using a mortgage, 10% would be all cash transactions, less than 5% of sales would be distressed, and 40% would be first time buyers. In this warped market only 40% of home sales are between individuals using a mortgage, 42% are all cash transactions, 16% are distressed sales, 5% are flipped, and only 27% are first time buyers. The return to normalcy will be painful for shysters, gamblers, believers, paid off economists, Larry Yun, and CNBC bimbos. 

AND NO ONE SPOKE, OUT OF FEAR OF THE HANGMAN’S CLOAK

First they came for the “brown skinned terrorists”. Then they came for the “Ron Paul terrorists”. Then they came for the “Tea Party terrorists”. Then they came for the “OWS terrorists”. Then they came for the “gun owner terrorists”. Then they came for the “Verizon cell phone terrorists”. Then they came for you. They can do no more than we let them do.

 

THE HANGMAN

By Maurice Ogden

Into our town the hangman came,
smelling of gold and blood and flame.
He paced our bricks with a different air,
and built his frame on the courthouse square.

The scaffold stood by the courthouse side,
only as wide as the door was wide
with a frame as tall, or a little more,
than the capping sill of the courthouse door.

And we wondered whenever we had the time,
Who the criminal? What the crime?
The hangman judged with the yellow twist
of knotted hemp in his busy fist.

And innocent though we were with dread,
we passed those eyes of buckshot lead.
Till one cried, “Hangman, who is he,
for whom you raised the gallows-tree?”

Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye
and he gave a riddle instead of reply.
“He who serves me best,” said he
“Shall earn the rope on the gallows-tree.”

And he stepped down and laid his hand
on a man who came from another land.
And we breathed again, for anothers grief
at the hangmans hand, was our relief.

And the gallows frame on the courthouse lawn
by tomorrow’s sun would be struck and gone.
So we gave him way and no one spoke
out of respect for his hangmans cloak.

The next day’s sun looked mildly down
on roof and street in our quiet town;
and stark and black in the morning air
the gallows-tree on the courthouse square.

And the hangman stood at his usual stand
with the yellow hemp in his busy hand.
With his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike,
and his air so knowing and business-like.

And we cried, “Hangman, have you not done,
yesterday with the alien one?”
Then we fell silent and stood amazed.
“Oh, not for him was the gallows raised.”

He laughed a laugh as he looked at us,
“Do you think I’ve gone to all this fuss,
To hang one man? That’s the thing I do.
To stretch the rope when the rope is new.”

Above our silence a voice cried “Shame!”
and into our midst the hangman came;
to that mans place, “Do you hold,” said he,
“With him that was meat for the gallows-tree?”

He laid his hand on that one’s arm
and we shrank back in quick alarm.
We gave him way, and no one spoke,
out of fear of the hangmans cloak.

That night we saw with dread surprise
the hangmans scaffold had grown in size.
Fed by the blood beneath the chute,
the gallows-tree had taken root.

Now as wide, or a little more
than the steps that led to the courthouse door.
As tall as the writing, or nearly as tall,
half way up on the courthouse wall.

The third he took, we had all heard tell,
was a usurer…, an infidel.
And “What” said the hangman, “Have you to do
with the gallows-bound…, and he a Jew?”

And we cried out, “Is this one he
who has served you well and faithfully?”
The hangman smiled, “It’s a clever scheme
to try the strength of the gallows beam.”

The fourth man’s dark accusing song
had scratched our comfort hard and long.
“And what concern,” he gave us back,
“Have you … for the doomed and black?”

The fifth, the sixth, and we cried again,
“Hangman, hangman, is this the man?”
“It’s a trick”, said he, “that we hangman know
for easing the trap when the trap springs slow.”

And so we ceased and asked now more
as the hangman tallied his bloody score.
And sun by sun, and night by night
the gallows grew to monstrous height.

The wings of the scaffold opened wide
until they covered the square from side to side.
And the monster cross beam looking down,
cast its shadow across the town.

Then through the town the hangman came
and called through the empy streets…my name.
I looked at the gallows soaring tall
and thought … there’s no one left at all

for hanging … and so he called to me
to help take down the gallows-tree.
And I went out with right good hope
to the hangmans tree and the hangmans rope.

He smiled at me as I came down
to the courthouse square…through the silent town.
Supple and stretched in his busy hand,
was the yellow twist of hempen strand.

He whistled his tune as he tried the trap
and it sprang down with a ready snap.
Then with a smile of awful command,
He laid his hand upon my hand.

“You tricked me Hangman.” I shouted then,
“That your scaffold was built for other men,
and I’m no henchman of yours.” I cried.
“You lied to me Hangman, foully lied.”

Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye,
“Lied to you…tricked you?” He said “Not I…
for I answered straight and told you true.
The scaffold was raised for none but you.”

“For who has served more faithfully?
With your coward’s hope.” said He,
“And where are the others that might have stood
side by your side, in the common good?”

“Dead!” I answered, and amiably
“Murdered,” the Hangman corrected me.
“First the alien … then the Jew.
I did no more than you let me do.”

Beneath the beam that blocked the sky
none before stood so alone as I.
The Hangman then strapped me…with no voice there
to cry “Stay!” … for me in the empty square.

THE BOTTOM LINE: “…I did no more than you let me do.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“…Our Lord says, ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments;’ but they feel that though they are, to a certain point, keeping God’s commandments, yet love is not proportionate, does not keep pace, with their obedience; that obedience springs from some source short of love. This they perceive; they feel themselves to be hollow; a fair outside, without a spirit within it.

It is possible to obey, not from love towards God and man, but from a sort of conscientiousness short of love; from some notion of acting up to a law; that is, more from the fear of God than from love of Him. Surely this is what, in one shape or other, we see daily on all sides of us; the case of men, living to the world, yet not without a certain sense of religion, which acts as a restraint on them.

They pursue ends of this world, but not to the full; they are checked, and go a certain way only, because they dare not go further.
This external restraint acts with various degrees of strength on various persons. They all live to this world, and act from the love of it; they all allow their love of the world a certain range; but, at some particular point, which is often quite arbitrary, this man stops, and that man stops.

Each stops at a different point in the course of the world, and thinks every one else profane who goes further, and superstitious who does not go so far,—laughs at the latter, is shocked at the former. And hence those few who are miserable enough to have rid themselves of all scruples, look with great contempt on such of their companions as have any, be those scruples more or less, as being inconsistent and absurd. They scoff at the principle of mere fear, as a capricious and fanciful principle; proceeding on no rule, and having no evidence of its authority, no claim on our respect; as a weakness in our nature, rather than an essential portion of that nature, viewed in its perfection and entireness.

And this being all the notion which their experience gives them of religion, as not knowing really religious men, they think of religion, only as a principle which interferes with our enjoyments unintelligibly and irrationally. Man is made to love. So far is plain. They see that clearly and truly; but religion, as far as they conceive of it, is a system destitute of objects of love; a system of fear. It repels and forbids, and thus seems to destroy the proper function of man, or, in other words, to be unnatural.

And it is true that this sort of fear of God, or rather slavish dread, as it may more truly be called, is unnatural; but then it is not religion, which really consists, not in the mere fear of God, but in His love; or if it be religion, it is but the religion of devils, who believe and tremble; or of idolaters, whom devils have seduced, and whose worship is superstition,—the attempt to appease beings whom they love not; and, in a word, the religion of the children of this world, who would, if possible, serve God and Mammon, and, whereas religion consists of love and fear, give to God their fear, and to Mammon their love.”

John Henry Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. 5, No.23

Podcast: John Sharry and the Psychology of Collapse

YOU WILL NEED TO GO TO DOOMSTEAD DINER TO HEAR THE PODCAST. I CAN’T SEEM TO IMBED IT ON THE SITE

Off the microphones of John Sharry, RE & Monsta

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on February 1, 2014

logopodcast

Discuss at the Podcast Table inside the Diner

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/132590086&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true

I recently ran across a great article from another of the FEASTA crew of Theoretical Physicists delving into Collapse Topics, John Sharry.

John wrote the article Hope in the Face of Disaster – Creating a sustainable, viable, future path for civilisation , which explores the psychological underpinnings and attachments we have to the Progress Meme, as well as proposing means and method to deal with the oncoming storm in a constructive paradigm.

In closing his article, John writes the following

Building a Community of support

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Mead

In my work as a mental health professional rarely do people overcome big personal problems on their own. It is usually in the context of support from family, friends or even a professional that people turn their lives around.

While there is a myriad of future challenges facing humanity that are already beginning to impact, the future still is unpredictable and open to choice. While few people yet take the long term view and see the direction towards which we are heading, it is incumbent on those who are aware to prepare and act now. If we do survive and continue to live purposely it will be down to our personal and collective choices. While we don’t know what exact questions will be asked of us in the future, let alone begin to fully answer them, we can build resilience and a state of preparedness for whatever future challenges are to come. If we strive now to honestly face the reality of our predicament, set meaningful goals that bind us together and take constructive action, then we can build a future worth living for.

Such are the Goals and Purpose of the SUN Project also, and it is always a great experience to find others of Like Mind who see these problems and are attempting to address them constructively.  I highly recommend listening to this podcast with John Sharry if you are concerned with the direction of Collapse and your own ability to deal with it and make the changes necessary for survival.

About John Sharry

John Sharry trained as a scientist, social worker and psychotherapist. He is Director of the Parents Plus Charity and a weekly columnist for The Irish Times. He is the author of ten books in counseling and mental health including three best-selling positive psychology books and seven popular self-help books for parents and families. His writing has been translated into eight languages including Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic. He is particularly interested in how a psychological perspective is crucial in understanding how people will respond to the current peak oil/climate change crises. His website is http://www.solutiontalk.ie. He lives in Dublin.

NO WOODY! THAT’S A BAD WOODY!

I fucking hate child molesters. If there is such a thing as Hell, I hope there is a special place there just for them.

(A note from Nicholas Kristof: In 1993, accusations that Woody Allen had abused his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, filled the headlines, part of a sensational story about the celebrity split between Allen and his girlfriend, Mia Farrow. This is a case that has been written about endlessly, but this is the first time that Dylan Farrow herself has written about it in public. It’s important to note that Woody Allen was never prosecuted in this case and has consistently denied wrongdoing; he deserves the presumption of innocence. So why publish an account of an old case on my blog? Partly because the Golden Globe lifetime achievement award to Allen ignited a debate about the propriety of the award. Partly because the root issue here isn’t celebrity but sex abuse. And partly because countless people on all sides have written passionately about these events, but we haven’t fully heard from the young woman who was at the heart of them. I’ve written a column about this, but it’s time for the world to hear Dylan’s story in her own words.)

Link to Dylan’s letter is here.

TBP SUPER BOWL POOL

For all the TBP sports fans, let’s see who is most knowledgeable or lucky regarding an event that will get 300% more viewers than the Commander in Thief’s State of the Union Address.

  1. Who wins the coin flip?
  2. Who wins the game?
  3. Total score over or under 48 points?
  4. Peyton Manning total passing yards over or under 300?
  5. Number of times Manning shouts Omaha, over or under 27?
  6. Final score
  7. Bonus question: Will Erin Andrews interview Richard Sherman after the game?