Monday, April 28, 2014

Amazon: A Microcosm Of Corporate Capitalism’s Perilous Future

There have been a small list of Wall Street darlings that I have written about as poster children for the crisis yet to come.   As noted on here ad nauseam, the stock market represents absolutely no semblance of reality or value.  It has become nothing more than a bubble of criminal proportions created by renter capitalism and the fraud of this class of people who thieve off the backs of others.  Just like nearly everything else in our dystopian reality, financial markets are contrived and manipulated through state fraud and corruption.  To only question is to what extent.

One of those poster children is Amazon.  This is a company that doesn’t know how to make a profit.  And it never has.   But they make it up on volume.   What can you buy with $80 billion in revenue but no profit?  Not even a cup of coffee.   That is Amazon.  This is a company that has gone from no sales to $80 billion sales in less than two decades.  Never have they created a measurable and consistent profit.  Let alone enough of a profit to fund its growth.    So, how does Amazon stay in business?  As noted on here in prior posts, Amazon’s business in many ways is very similar to the Boston Chicken scheme that created working capital out of thin air by floating their payables.  Rapid growth is what hides the fact that Amazon’s business model isn’t a business model at all.   Rather, it’s a scheme that sustains itself only through growth at all costs.  

Amazon and Boston Chicken both used high growth rates to magically-create ever-greater needs of working capital to fuel their growth.   Diversification, or as I have called it on here before, diworsification, is Amazon’s answer to keep this scheme going.   As long as they sell more and more different types of items, they are able to continue to grow their payables float and, thus, grow working capital.  This is then used to expand the business with rapid growth void of profit.   This is exactly what Boston Chicken did.  This dynamic has allowed Amazon to push the issue of profitability into some far off mystical Garden of Eden where profits will automagically flow like milk and honey.  So far, they have used this scheme for nearly 20 years.  And, in the process, they have become too-big-to-fail with 120,000 employees.  

Besides no company actually being able to manage the hundreds of disparate businesses they are now in, Amazon has no realistic plan that will create a company that can actually pay for itself.  While Amazon pushes into endless new ventures and markets, Boston Chicken accomplished the same dynamic of pushing profitability into the future by rapidly growing their restaurant store base.  And, thus franchise fees provided a float scheme that allowed them to continue funding the operation at a feverish pace under the faux appearance of sustainability and profitability.   But, the restaurants themselves were unprofitable.  Just as Amazon’s business ventures are unprofitable.  So, as revenue from store growth for Boston Chicken abated, the reality of unprofitability led to a cash crunch and the rest is history.  ie Bankruptcy.   Amazon’s future has yet to be written but Boston Chicken certainly taught us that you can’t pay your bills with revenue.  Wall Street is apparently too stupid or too incompetent to understand this.  Which is why Amazon’s stock has been inflated and reflated time and again.  And, was recently inflated to a level discounting earnings going back to the fall of the Roman Empire. (A price to earnings ratio of 1,500 years current earnings.  A number that seems likely to stretch to infinity,  aka zero earnings, soon enough.)

A recent Bloomberg article states that increased spending is limiting Amazon’s profit.  This article is completely baseless and is representative of the ignorance and incompetence that has become so pervasive in mainstream journalism.   In actuality, it is only Amazon’s increased spending that actually allows it to survive.  Because without growth, the “chickens” of its profit-less business model come home to roost.   (Not to be confused with Boston’s tastier Chickens.)

Now, you may like shopping on Amazon.  Who wouldn’t?  I shop there regularly.  You get to buy products at below market prices while Amazon absorbs the losses.  It’s a little more of that unaccountable something-for-nothing dynamic America’s corporate, banking and political leadership have ingrained in our psyche.  But would you be willing to pay, say, 30-50% more for Amazon’s convenience?  And, would you have supported Amazon from its inception with much higher prices?  In other words, would you have purchased all of the items if its business model actually had to pay for itself?  Doubt it.   Price elasticity isn’t in their favor for discretionary consumption items.  But we may yet find out the answer to this question. 

Interestingly,  Amazon’s founder is one of the richest people in the world.  Yet, his company has never been able to make any money.  How is that?   More importantly, how exactly did Amazon get enough money to create a gargantuan, unprofitable business whose failure threatens our economy?  This while millions of people in this country are denied their economic determinism and are forced into corporate wage slavery?  Isn’t it plausible that those millions of Americans could have actually created sustainable businesses with that money?  Rather than creating a working capital scheme whose day of reckoning is imminent?  And, all of the human talent and resources wasted in doing so?   Amazon’s founder started with no wealth.  Where did that wealth come from if his venture isn’t profitable?   Well, first of all, as noted on here continuously, money is not wealth.  But this is simply a reflection of class-based, renter capitalism and the corporate capitalist shams of  Wall Street and the stock market.  In a class-based system, such as corporate capitalism, those of class enrich themselves regardless of what, if any, value or wealth they create for society.   I think we call them moochers and parasites.   Bezos’ wealth comes from his ownership of Amazon stock.  Blowing endless renter capitalist bubbles in Amazon stock with endless amounts of free Federal Reserve money is not wealth.  But, given the way our system works, Bezos has become wildly rich with meaningless money used to blow financial bubbles.  

Frankly, without the force of the state that has denied millions of Americans their own determinism, but has rewarded Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, with endless funding to create a too-big-to-fail-money & profit vacuum-suction-machine that hasn’t actually shown any capability of funding itself, he would likely be slinging hash down at the Waffle House.   That may yet happen.

Now, with Amazon’s most recent announcement, they are forecasting a loss as large as half a billion dollars next quarter.   If this economic system unwinds to the degree that is possible, the outcomes will surprise everyone.   If that happens, I suspect the stock market could disappear and so could Amazon.   And that means there will be no one left to pick up the pieces of any potential bankruptcy or reorganization of unprofitable firms.  Regardless, it’s hard to determine what a company like Amazon will be worth in any future given how much leverage is in this global corporate capitalist system.  Well, and in Amazon itself.   Its future tangible value would erode drastically in any such outcome.  Especially if the world finally realizes it is does not have a sustainable business model.  But, to take a stab,  it’s not unreasonable that the company could eventually be worth as little as $5-10 a share.   Amazon’s stock is down $100 a share since I wrote my last excoriation of its valuation.   But, it’s still trading at $300 a share.  And that means it could still drop 98% from here.  Or worse, if sales start to weaken as they have in the rest of the economy, Amazon could burn through its cash in a matter of a few years.  And that means the downside could be zero.   Wanna make a bet that Jeff Bezos won’t own the Washington Post by the time 2022 rolls around?   Just sayin   since betting and gambling or making money from money is what we really know how to do in renter capitalist Amerika.

This is typical of a system that rewards incompetence.  Some would say that incompetence is a relatively recent phenomena.  But, in actuality, it is endemic to corporate capitalism.   In a system of class that subverts merit and economic freedom, as corporate capitalism does, the system itself is inherently incompetent.   Do you think 500 people in this nation, the S&P 500 CEOs, have the knowledge and ability to make the right decisions in a future of a system with trillions of moving parts and billions of people?  Ha!  They may be able to control the system just long enough, some decades or so, that it appears so.   But don’t kid yourself.  What is different now is that this system is at a precipice.  There is nothing in the world left for class to loot.  So, sustainable growth is becoming unachievable.  Be that for countries or companies.  Truth is just around the proverbial corner.  

By the way,  the last half of my remarks about capitalism, growth and float schemes is relevant to another company I have talked about in detail on here.  That is, IBM, and more broadly, the IT sector.   Some years ago I wrote that IBM was putting in a major top and maybe its last top.   Well, I have been writing of my disdain for technology and IT for many years before that.  I doubt anything I wrote resonated at the time of my prior posts, but I bet it does now.   IBM has seen revenue shrink 8 consecutive quarters.  And their systems business is in the early stages of collapse.  Literally.  Their systems business is reporting numbers that are free-fall sales declines.  And it has been reported that the company has hired Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for its semiconductor business.   IBM has been hollowed out by bureaucratic incompetence.  So, rather than being a capital-creating organization, it is transforming into a capital-consuming or services organization.  You know, the post-capitalist service economy or knowledge economy bullshit meme.    Knowledge of what?  Doing each other’s laundry?  Additionally, the vast majority of IBM’s business is tied to the financialization of our economy and massive, dinosaur corporations.  (So too for all other IT firms.)  The current business model for major IT firms is a rent extraction scheme that offers little to no real benefits for clients but rather is meant to keep IT firms alive via parasitic means.   Now, they wouldn’t tell you that.  But, what do you expect?  Does Jamie Dimon tell you his salary comes from debt slavery, cornering the market on commodities, housing foreclosures, printing money out of thin air and the predation, exploitation and victimization of the American people? 

In many regards Amazon is a poster child for corporate capitalism.  Because, to some substantial degree, this entire corporate slavery system is working off of a payables float scheme.    Even if specific companies give the appearance of profitability.   In other words, without endless growth, this entire corporate system will collapse.  Unbeknownst to corporate capitalism’s adherents, most of the companies that exist today will collapse, unwind through divestiture or end up bankrupt without future growth.  Their business models simply are not sustainable and they never have been.  But, overproduction and overconsumption aka growth has hidden the fact that sustainable profits aren’t there in most firms. 

That, by the way, is a major reason for the massive mergers and acquisitions boom started under Clinton and peaking as I type this.  ie, When companies can no longer compete and profit in a market, they must either die or find new mechanisms of growth.   One of those mechanisms is to buy up all of the competing companies that then allows them to extract rent with impunity through forced price increases.  This happened in the Great Depression and is again happening today.  That is a major driver of the consumer price increases we are seeing in this country.  It is the rent extraction scheme of price increases that then flows to the purses of the investor class.  (That is how the board game Monopoly got its name.  The game was created during the Great Depression.  You know, the good ole days of corporate capitalism.)  That the mergers and acquisitions keep getting larger is a sign of impending economic crisis.  That is, unless corporate capitalism can figure out another way to engineer another rent-extracting bailout from humanity.   

Remember, corporations can only exist in perpetuity by extracting rent.  Is that a sustainable business model?  King George thought so.  The American revolutionaries had a difference of opinion.  Of course, all of this has been written of many times on here about what is yet to come. 

posted by TimingLogic at 10:15 PM links to this post

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses So That I May Extract A $200 Million Salary For Pushing Around Paper.

Title link here.

What do you call a salary of $200 million that creates absolutely no wealth for society but instead actually consumes wealth?  This is not a personalized attack on anyone’s worthiness but on the socially-acceptable behavior based on acts of class-based state violence.  Socially acceptable because in a class-based society our masters determine social norms and the propaganda that drives the acceptance of them.   Our masters convince us that earning $200 million for literally creating zero wealth while, as just one example, other people have their houses stolen from them by Wall Street and the state is acceptable.  

Paying yourself $200 million dollars is another example of state violence.  Literally the only way one human being can have absolutely no money (an institution of state control itself) and no method of survival other than dehumanizing, paltry state handouts and another human being can grant themselves $200 million dollars for doing nothing other than accumulating a monstrosity of debt for the purposes of class-based rent extraction, is through state violence.  

There are endless propagandists and shills who tell us that capping income or raising wages does not solve any problems.  Or that raising the minimum wage will pass directly through to consumers.  That is utter bullshit and outright lies.   This is more of that good ole private interests of capitalism and the mythical free market determining our economic fate.   I wrote a post on here eight years ago in highlighting Toyota’s production system.  I stated that higher wages actually are a benefit to the economy.  When private capital can no longer enslave labor to nonliving wages, money will be spent to drive new methods of production based on science and invention.   As long as wages are suppressed, especially by monopoly, there is no impetus for those innovations.  And as noted on here many times leading up to the 2008 collapse, I wrote that we are in a capital expenditures depression of unprecedented size and scope.  ie, Reality confirms this.   There are countless other positive metrics to higher wages as well.   Not the least of which is human dignity.  If the predatory capitalists and capitalist investor class of moochers and parasites are worried about inflation, let them share their income in order to mitigate the increase of the money supply that a rising in the minimum wage would create.  Although, frankly, with the right supporting policies, that increase in money can be ameliorated in the price of consumer goods.  More on that another time. 

Do you think it is a natural right that one person starve and another person live with this level of self-granted, wildly specious overindulgence?  Is it a natural right that without the violence of the state that I would subjugate myself to a system of debt peonage or rent extraction that allows moochers and parasites to endlessly take from me with impunity?  To literally use state force to take what I create for my own hands and mind?  Or that I create for my family or community?   All while I have to wonder where my next meal is coming from?  Because that is what debt does whether its through bonds or credit cards or any other method of extraction used.

Does anyone without a pathology actually still believe this nation was founded on class-based, free-market, corporate-capitalist principles?  The reality is tens of millions fled class-based, corporate capitalist Europe to this nation to rid themselves of class-based, corporate state rent extraction.  And, we fought a Revolutionary War to make that separation final and permanent.  To rid ourselves of the king’s private bankers, debt-based money and corporate rent-extraction that serves the capitalist ruling class  parasitically living off of the exploited working man or woman. 

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

I have noted on here time and again how ingrained the delusions of bubble truly are.  Because this bubble is massive and it goes back many decades.   In some ways, much, much longer.  So, in many regards, an entire world’s belief system of those who benefit from state violence and associated class privilege is built on unsustainable, self-reinforcing delusions.   Delusions driven by the logical rationalizations of the disconnected ego.  “I worked hard for that money and I deserve it.  It’s mine.”.  lol.  Okay.  More delusions.  See how that works out for you when no one has any money to trade with those who stole it all.

As noted on here some years ago, in the 1970s, bond traders couldn’t actually make enough money to survive.  It was a part-time job.  Now, bond traders and similar supposed Wall Street masters of the universe are the most privileged and influential people in society.  They pay themselves a ransom that they extort from humanity without literally doing anything to produce a nickel of wealth.  But in the glorified world of mammon we equate having a lot of money with being smart.   Or, worse, we equate wild excesses and worldly possessions with “good” in our Godless social value system.    Greed is good.  Wall Street genius may be the smartest man in the room but it’s one hell of a small room.   In other words, a room of oligopoly created only by state violence.  An oligopoly that would collapse without being backed by the force of the state.  

Bond traders, the financial industry and the capitalist investor class - all economic moochers and parasites -  as a whole have gained notoriety and wealth only because we live in a system of financial and debt peonage.  That’s all a bond is.  It’s debt.  It’s a state-enforced form of rent-extraction on future wealth or work.  That we are in a massive, enslaving debt bubble is how they have become wealthy.  By rent extraction from the productive assets in society being transferred to the capitalist class and capitalist investor class.  King George and his class-based, capitalist courtiers.   Moochers and parasites. 

That anyone thinks they are worth $200 million for running a rent-extraction scheme means what?  Let’s call a spade a spade.   That’s the only way we will become consciously mindful to these enslaving schemes and our complicity in perpetuating injustices against ourselves and those exploited in such schemes. 

Bill Gross is worthy just like everyone else.  He deserves an opportunity to prosper just like everyone else.  But no one has a right to prosper off of the backs of another human being while denying those very people a decent and just existence.  And that is what corporate rent extraction and debt peonage relies upon.  That is, the denial of a decent, moral and just existence.  This is clearly inconsistent with natural rights.  This is inconsistent with our Declaration of Independence that recognizes the rights of people to be free from said state violence and the subjugation to class.   It is inconsistent to the rights granted to all people by their Creator.

Lady Liberty has a new message for the world.  A message courtesy of United Corporations of Amerika -

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to serve class privilege through debt peonage and corporate servitude and rent extraction.   Send me the wretched refuse of your teeming shore so that I may make them  homeless and tempest-tossed.  So, that I may worship the golden calf and fill my house with idols off of the backs of their debt and wage slavery.

posted by TimingLogic at 1:25 PM links to this post

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gold And Gold Miners Plunge On China Worries

I want to first make a note of a new revelation that is worth watching.  Americans are recognizing that not only does the emperor have no clothes, he is not to be feared.  The CIA is a criminal, anti-democratic state institution whose only mission is perpetuation of state violence.  It is an affront to anyone who seeks dignity for all of humanity.  It is an affront to anyone who seeks to end the oppression of state violence against humanity.   A military judge has ordered the CIA to expose its global criminal torture network to Guantanamo Bay defense attorneys.   If this trial took place in a democratic court of law in this nation, this would have the potential to turn into some type of major crisis.  Which is why the criminal class in this nation has done everything it can to keep their shenanigans out of our court system.  Even though our legal system is rotten, overt manipulation is nearly impossible when the world’s eyes are focused on its workings.

I wrote this gold update last week but decided not to post it on top of my last post.  So, this is a few days old but that really isn’t relevant.   The fact is gold continues to be very weak.  And so are the gold mining stocks.   Most of which are either hitting or close to hitting new decade lows.   No surprise on here.   Remember, as noted on here many times, gold is a proxy for the actions of central bankers.  It is a proxy for liquidity.  That liquidity is once again draining out of the global economy at an alarming rate.  

There is a lot of simple-minded ‘no-analysis analysis’ of the gold market.   It goes something like this.   The government and/or central banks are suppressing gold prices because otherwise the price must go up.   The price must go up because fiat currencies are worthless or because gold is a deflation hedge.  People can even put up pages and pages of pretty graphs and pictures in support of conspiracies and beliefs that gold must go higher.  And those institutionalized to a limited way of thinking - gold’s religious ideologues who follow gold’s high priests over the cliff like lemmings -  lap it up.   Of course, all of these people own gold.  So, even if they aren’t aware of it, (and most aren’t) they are simply confirming or supporting their belief system’s own bias.   Or, maybe more aptly put, they are simply chasing their own tail with endless rationalizations.    That gold “must” go higher is a simple-minded analysis that doesn’t take into account any criticality of how markets work or why prices rise and fall or more importantly, how this global economic system actually works and, thus, how it affects gold.  Yes, I have little doubt the gold market probably is corrupt.  But then no one is more corrupt than most major holders of gold.

I have a pretty good gold trading system.  I don’t use it but it has allowed me to hit the nail on the head on most major moves in gold.  Those moves were written of on here many times in advance of those moves.  Gold, like every other part of our dystopian existence may be manipulated, but it was manipulated on the way up just as it may be manipulated on the way down.  The level of leveraged, artificial demand for gold has skyrocketed with financialization and its associated leverage. 

Back in 1999 when gold was $250 an ounce, who were the largest sellers?  Central banks.   There is a simple argument to be made the the dumbest people on earth are central bankers.  Just kidding.  Sort of.  But we know this.  The central planners in central banks are almost always going to be systemically-incompetent as any centrally-controlled bureaucracy is.   And, remember, it is the world’s central bankers who have given a certain class of people the money to trade in the gold market.  And the money to hoard it.  That includes manipulating it as well.  Whether that is overt and willful manipulation or simply the fact that central banking money is rigged to flow into a global, predatory, capitalist investor class that then buys gold without any overt intent of manipulation, the end result is the same.   That is, a gold buyer’s best friend is the central bank that allows distortions or manipulations of the gold market to take place.  The central bank that continuously has bailed out the endless moral hazards of gold buyers.

World Gold Council sees increased gold demand in China as its citizens become wealthier.

China loses its taste for gold as demand remains flat.

China companies hoard gold as collateral for their massive speculation.  (That will ultimately lead to gold’s collapse.) 

China GDP showing deeper slowdown.

TSX gold miners plunge on China demand worries.

Gold drops on China demand worries.

People nonsensically have cited Russia’s and China’s central banks as major buyers of gold in support of their bullish positions.   Both Russia’s and China’s economy are right now in the early stages of being beaten back into the stone age because of their own faulty economic policies and massive corruption. Now, the global economy, including particular nations, may see various factors that lead to a bounce or temporary relief from downward pressure, but without massive reforms, the downward trend in these economies and the global economy will continue.  

Someone is going to be very, very wrong about the future price of gold.   As I have said repeatedly over the years,  China (and Russia) will likely become become net sellers of gold at some point.  Both countries have experienced monetary inflation beyond anything ever witnessed in a major world economy.   As just one example, when real estate is rising 25% a month for years on end, that gives us some kind of indication of how much useless, corrupt, centrally-planned money was being pumped into China and Russia for more than a decade.   Much of that useless, corrupt money was used to buy gold in addition to real estates, plants & equipment, etc.  But, when the useless, corrupt money bubble pops, and it certainly will, that money will effectively be exposed as useless to some degree.  Maybe completely useless.   And because of that, so will the worldly possessions bought with it.  ie, Gold.   The trend of China becoming a net seller of gold may be close.   Not good news for the future of gold prices. 

As written ad nauseam on here, if you believe central bankers, the capitalist investor class, Wall Street, politicians and other status quo moochers and parasites are going to save the world they created, then you should load up the truck with gold.   Because it is the status quo who owns most of it and, thus, controls its price either directly or indirectly.  Otherwise, the reality is most likely that there is no place to run and no place to hide for what is yet to come.  

posted by TimingLogic at 9:19 AM links to this post

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Karmic Moment Comes Home: 81% Of Americans Believe Obama Is A Chronic Liar

Yah think? 

So, if most Americans believe Obama regularly lies, is it pathological or are 81% of Americans suffering from mass delusions?

Or, are the perceptions of endless lying due to massive state secrecy that hides the incompetence and criminal behavior of a rogue political class?  Or is it because conspiracies, bigots, partisan politicians and the like have found cover in the times in which we live?  And they use this cover to create their own lies?  Or is it all of the above? 

Seymour Hersh it out with his latest accusation. That is, the Obama administration pushed the U.S. military to bomb Syria.  And, did so knowing that he was actually lying.  Sort of makes some of the accusations of the military-industrial complex seem a little backwards.   In other words, it isn’t the military that is rogue, it’s the U.S. political class that is rogue.  Something we knew has existed from the 1947 National Security Act that turned American into a state at permanent war with the world.  It is our kings that are abusing military power and the servicemen and servicewomen who defend this nation.  And we love them for it.  Or, at least we used to.  Hersh is a great journalist but he has been wrong in the past.   If he is right, what kind of people are actually so detached that they would willfully murder countless innocent people?  That would possibly lend credence to political lying being a pathology. 

Regardless, these are interesting times that the vast majority of Americans outside of the political class and ruling class recognize their public servants can’t be trusted or worse.   Back in 2009 soon after Obama’s election it became apparent he was just another front man for American corporate empire.  At that time I wrote that Americans had lost all confidence in the entire system sans Obama.  Poll numbers for Congress have been in the low teens for two decades but with the grip of the two political parties, many people feel trapped into voting for a criminal class that pulls at our primitive emotions with endlessly manipulative messages of deceit.   I noted at that time that if Obama failed to reform the system, he could create a complete crisis of confidence in the entire system and then all would be lost.  With the presidency being the only office that held some degree of the American people’s trust, that loss would be then be complete.   That is exactly what has happened.  Exactly.  Loss of confidence is now complete. 

Obama has lied countless times I am aware of.   Including many lies about Obamacare.  That includes lies still being perpetuated.  ie, That 8 million people have signed up while probably that many were dropped as a result of Obamacare.  And, that number is not representative of who has actually paid a premium.  That number is probably more like 2 million out of the 50 million uninsured and tens of millions more underinsured in catastrophic (ie useless) plans.  But, more importantly, it’s what he doesn’t say that often involves greater mistruths.  That is, secrecy and cover-ups.  

Additionally, Obama’s presidency has supported or presided over a massive, taxpayer-funded corporate bailout for the massively corrupt and exploitative health care industry, revelations of massive corruption in the stock market,  revelations of massive corruption in commodities trading markets, revelations of continued massive corruption on Wall Street, revelations on  massive corruption in new corporatist trade deals, revelations of massive corruption involving corporations hiding trillions of dollars overseas to avoid taxes, revelations of massive corruption in the Federal Reserve lining the pockets of the political and capitalist class stealing from the masses, revelations of massive corruption and meddling in foreign affairs by the CIA and Whitehouse, revelations of massive criminal behavior in the NSA, CIA and executive branch courtesy of Wikileaks, Snowden and others  and on and on and on.   The entire system is rotten to the core.

The status quo now finds itself in the midst of a massive new bubble of its own making with only four ways forward.  One, start killing Americans.  Whether that is slowly through the denial of a living wage or denial of social benefits or cutting of Social Security or by more frontal assaults as we saw this past week in the new Waco, the Clive Bundy debacle.  These violent attacks on Americans are happening with greater frequency whether that involves food rights or property rights or natural rights or loss of social benefits or countless other examples.  Two, the status quo creates crises between other nations that attempts to unify American nationalism against a foreign enemy.  That’s not working.  Americans now see right through this in Syria, Egypt, the Ukraine and elsewhere.   Three, they start new trade wars and bring jobs back to America now that they have beaten American wages and benefits down to slave wage, poverty status.  Or, fourth and finally, they take their medicine or have their medicine fed to them by We The People and the status quo collapses.   That’s about the only choices left. 

I think a good analogy of this moment would be a person who has been married half a dozen times and the answer given for why they has so many relationship failures is that their spouses were assholes.   In other words, every negative experience is someone else’s fault.   Everyone does this in some aspect of their life.   It doesn’t need to be relationship-related.   It could be Jamie Dimon or Lloyd Blankfein whining about being victimized because they are successful.   Ahem, predatory would be a better word.   There is something in everyone’s life that continuously resurfaces in some form or another because we refuse to recognize moments are created for us as learning experiences.  So, instead, we continue to repeat the same behavior time and again that causes endless suffering.   The ego is the victim.   It’s always someone else’s fault because the ego shirks its emotional responsibility. 

This is humanity’s learning experience.  Time after time after time we have refused to acknowledge each moment and its learning experiences until we have finally backed ourselves into a corner.   This is where we finally are forced to look in the mirror and realize, its us or them.   I was the one who picked the political deadbeats who exploited me.  I was the one who married six assholes.  (Or maybe I’m the asshole or maybe we both are.)   Regardless, I picked my mates and I picked the politicians who exploited me or who perpetuated a system that exploited me.   This is the moment I must take responsibility for my emotions that politicians have preyed upon for decades.  Emotions that have created an endless, self-reinforcing feedback loop of my own endless emotional self-abandonment and associated suffering. 

Through the repetition of life’s learning experiences that I created but failed to learn from I have ended up here.  Why?   Because rather than being responsible for my own existence, and thus viewing experiences as self-reinforcing feedback loops for emotional growth and expanded self-awareness, I viewed those experiences through the ego’s primitive, fear-driven emotions.    I may have thought I was doing the right thing but ignorance is not a defense for learned helplessness that we create by granting others power over our emotions and the associated messes these takers have put all of us in.    Awakening and enlightenment is a violent and invasive process for the disconnected ego.

Groundhog Day is over.  Time’s up.  There is no more reliving the same experiences over and over and over and over again because we never learned what those experiences were here to teach us.  We have created a karmic moment that will force us to look in the mirror and bear witness to our own morality or lack thereof.  (A little karmic humor and cheer for this holiday.)   

This moment is exactly what the American people need.  Well, and humanity needs.  We created this moment just for us.   We did so because of our continued refusal to make decisions based on virtue and goodness rather than rationalizations and ego.  Our continued emotional self-abandonment has created a moment that where the system we created is void of any confidence, goodness and morality.   This is the moment where we recognize that politicians we outsourced our own personal responsibilities to don’t give a shit about us.  They are Godless takers.  And they take from us to serve themselves and our class-based, capitalist masters. 

Karma is a bitch and the energy of its accumulated wrath is here to collect.

posted by TimingLogic at 12:29 PM links to this post

Monday, April 14, 2014

Signs Of The Times - The Coming Blood Moon Tetrad And April 2014’s Cardinal Grand Cross

Most people don’t seem to appreciate the significance of the times we are living through.    Contrarily, the analysis on here over the last nine years has been well ahead of the curve and very unique.   There aren’t too many people involved in finance and economics who have written that we could see the collapse of capitalism, the disappearance of the stock market, the end of money and other equally unique possibilities explained in a fair amount of detail and analysis.   On a practical note, there have been dozens of major outcomes on here that too were well ahead of the curve of groupthink.  This includes the crash of China’s stock market, the crash of the U.S. stock market and dozens of other events that have already come to pass.  Many more outcomes discussed on here are starting to reveal themselves.   Currencies around the world are crashing, economies are crashing and there is human strife everywhere.  All written of well in advance of them happening. 

This may be the most profound experience in human history.  This moment was almost certainly made by us just for us.  And that means there are many reasons to belief it could not have unfolded any other way.   The profoundness of this statement is very real.  Human awareness and consciousness only expands through experience.   One must experience evil to recognize the profundity of our divinity or our mind’s higher power.  This is necessary for a global awakening.  Which, by the way, is also a major long-time thesis on here.  

Many people active on the internet tend to have a very distorted view (driven by emotions and associated beliefs) of reality.   Some are still subsumed to the state’s propaganda bubble.  Some have awoken to it but are still unaware of how big that bubble is.  ie, That it isn’t just a U.S.-centric bubble.   The good news is with the passage of every day human conscious awareness literally is expanding at an incredible rate around the world.  And, that means the ego’s belief systems are crashing.  So too are state actor’s ability to manipulate those belief systems.  For when I no longer believe something, it can’t be can be used to manipulate and control me.   It can’t be used to instill fear in me.    

A lot of people mock astrology because it doesn’t fit into this nice little box of beliefs that they believe they control.   Control is nothing more than an ego-created illusion.  Astrology essentially tells us to some degree our ego’s perceptions of free will (control) may not be accurate.  Of course, anyone who understands the cyclicality of life appreciates free will as perceived by the ego may not be real.  Or may be different than we believe.   Science may have already given us a glimpse into this possible illusion.  Maybe more on that in the future.  I want to stay on topic.

What is certainly free is our ability to mindfully overcome a primitive, fear-driven ego state of being.   And, thus to rise above being controlled by ego or emotions.  Or being controlled by others who play on our ego or emotions.  Most importantly, the emotion of fear.  Fear is the primary method through which the state and pathology controls people.  Money, corporate capitalism, terror, politics, war, etc. are state institutions that rely upon the emotions of fear to survive.   In fact, it is the pathology of the state itself that relies on fear for its very survival.   

I would guess most people discount astrology because they haven’t studied it.  They don’t really appreciate what it is and what it isn’t.   It takes years or decades to really appreciate and become skilled in its esoteric arts.  Instead, the uninformed often believe astrology is the daily horoscope quotes near the comic strips in the newspaper.   Interestingly, I have seen people mock astrology because it’s not logical or rational as they believe science is.   Ahem.  In actuality, the human condition is neither logical nor rational.  And neither is science.  Science comes from the same place as astrology.  That’s not from logic or rationalism, either.  It comes from the divine knowledge of the human mind.  Scientific discoveries may then be defended through logic and rationalism (patterns we perceive through mathematics, chemistry, etc)  but at its core, the formation of scientific hypothesis is a creative process of the imagination and is not a passive reaction to observed regularities.   And while science may tell us how, astrology may help unlock why.   Which, frankly, is why so many scientists and seekers of truth have been drawn to it. 

Planetary and mundane astrology has been studied for thousands of years.   In fact, up until relatively recently, astronomy and astrology were one in the same.   I’ve noted on here in the past that some modern science is re-embracing astrology in its attempts to appreciate the cyclicality of life.   Astrology is heavily scattered throughout Biblical text,  was studied by some of history’s greatest philosophers, has been studied by some of the world’s most brilliant scientists, and was actually accepted quite commonly amongst some of our Founding Fathers.   Life is cyclical and nothing captures that cyclicality more accurately than the sun, planets and the moon.

I’m not ever going to turn this into a financial market/economics astrology blog.   For some time I thought about starting a second blog to focus on those dynamics but for countless reasons that never came to fruition.   But the last forty years are arguably the richest in the history of astrology.  And that richness is peaking in the decade of the 2010s.  That includes the coming blood moons.  

I have been writing on here for some years that 2013 may have represented the greatest astrological turn date in thousands of years.   And as noted a few times last year, that date was late Scorpio (late November of 2013).  Also noted at the time, that was when the battle between good and evil coalesced.  In other words, that battle has now begun.  And that battle is now being waged in the human mind.  That is where it appropriately should be waged because that is where astrology actually originates.   That battle is being waged between the evil of the disconnected ego and the truth & unconditional love that comes from our mind’s higher power.   

These times are incredibly interesting so I’m going to make a few comments about the coming four blood moons.  I’m not taking any sides or drawing any conclusions on any of what I type below.  To start, let me state that I’m not really a big “moon” person in my use of astronomy/astrology.   I don’t really pay a lot of attention to the moon beyond anecdotal analysis of void of course, declination and new/full moons.  These are typically short term events affecting financial markets.  Well, and other things like earthquakes.  And, more specifically in the U.S., here.   And the earth-moon barycenter force dynamic here

I’m really interested in major cycles affecting nations, the planet, human behavior (ego/economics/finance) and expanding emotional awareness in toto.  ie,  The movement and cyclicality of the sun and planet’s energies.   Although there is no reason to believe that these can certainly work harmoniously with the moon to create major events.

The field of astrology is incredibly large and complex just like any other discipline, it takes years, if not decades to develop a useful depth of knowledge.  And just like science, the application of this knowledge varies substantially with the clarity of the mind wielding it.   Most chemists, as just one example, may labor a lifetime with no major accomplishments.  Yet a very few may uncover some of life’s most amazing secrets.  Astrology is no different.  Just as in science, art, literature, craft, emotional intelligence and other forms of divine human expression, being able to clear the chatter, ego, belief systems and emotions from one’s mind and listen to what remains is very important.   For only then are we able to hear or receive the truth that is available to all. 

There are many who state that the coming clusters of blood moons are common.  But, that’s not exactly true.  Yes, a cluster of four blood moons isn’t that uncommon but blood moons on the start of Jewish Passover, as will happen the next two years, come very infrequently.  We have only had a handful in two thousand years.  All coming blood moons are going to come to pass on Jewish holidays.  Historically these have been correlated to major events.   By the way, of the five clusters of four blood moons in the twentieth century,  three preceded some type of  financial collapse in the U.S. by a year or so.   All five were within a year or so on the fore or aft side of stock market peaks for many years.  That included the Great Depression, the Panic of 1907, the 1987 crash and the dollar crisis that led to the U.S. ditching the gold standard.  

Needless to say,  it is interesting that this blood moon will be centered over the United States.   This during the same month that Pluto’s destructive forces will be in opposition to the U.S. founding’s sun during April’s Cardinal Grand Cross

One should not particularly view these events as literal dates where events may occur.  But, more that they are signs of the times and may foretell of events during this astrological cycle.  ie, Blood moons, as an example, are considered prophetic omens.

Preterism has a view that many ancient Biblical events may have already come to pass.  There is ample evidence that the state was the antichrist in Biblical times.   Specifically, Nero the Roman Emperor, who murdered well more than a million Jews in one of the Roman-Jewish wars.   The mark of the beast was possibly the Roman currency that bore Nero’s likeness.  Or more generally, money itself, that Rome used to force Christians to live in a world where a divine existence was made nearly impossible by state control, including the forced us of money (mammon) itself that the state required people to adhere to.  Rome forced every act to be monetized and thus exploited or taxed for the glorification of state actors and their enrichment.   It’s important to understand this distinction.  It wasn’t so much Roman money but money itself that kept Jews from leading a Godly life;  as was noted in Biblical times, one cannot serve both money (mammon) and God or a divine and virtuous life.  

Remember, as noted on here before, Jesus of Nazareth was likely from a sect of Judaism that rejected money and all forms of violence, war, weapon-making, etc.  Essentially they rejected state authority and control.  Their only authority was divine.   (While this sect is not noted in Biblical text itself, it is easy to see through Jesus’ teachings and his complete rejection of money and material ownership.)  The mark of the beast may also have been the Roman documents needed to conduct trade anywhere in the world.  Documents that swore allegiance to pagan sacrifice and the Roman Empire itself. 

For those who are interested in prophecy, those were certainly times of one world government and the mark of the beast; the Roman Empire and its forced use (worship) of money that served state actors and the expanding power of the state.

Today, we once again have a similar incarnation of the Roman Empire.  Some who follow prophecy would say a reincarnation of the Roman Empire.  It is the American empire.  And just as in Biblical times, all trade required the mark of the beast or Roman seal/the use of Roman money.  Which specifically is the U.S. dollar enforced by the greatest military power the world has ever known.   Yet more generally it is the global capitalist system that forces all of humanity into a system of state control including the forced-use of money in general regardless of whether that is gold, rubles, yuan, yen or whatnot.  In other words, humanity is forced to choose to grub for money and do the state’s bidding in the process, or lead a virtuous life.  Seldom do those paths ever cross.  In fact, I think it is very easy to prove they never cross paths.  So, if comparing Biblical times to today, one could actually interpret the view of one world government to be U.S. empire, the all-controlling state itself or the global  forced service/subjugation to money (mammon) required by the state.  Or, possibly even corporate capitalism which is a supra-national empire that is the prime mover in the use of modern money.    

These certainly could be considered by many to be associated with prophetic omens and the coming blood moons.   How they may impact the Jewish population as past events have?  Who knows.  But, it most certainly would involve some degree of state-sanctioned violence.  There certainly are other historical parallels.   I could actually rattle on and on as it pertains to historical parallels to today.   And, to some degree I have done so time and gain on here.  And there are other interpretations of what may be happening today.  But as it pertains to omens and prophecy, these certainly are very high on my list as I have written about them all time and again on here over the years.  What these astrological events mean are for you to decide. 

Regardless of whether what is happening today is an example of evil and state violence repeating itself, or whether there are unknown forces at work that act cyclically to recreate history time and again, or whether these are noncyclical natural forces and responses driven by the laws of the universe acting upon the human psyche, or whether these are prophetic forces in the battle of good versus evil initiated by the energy consciousness of all life or whatever, we live through very interesting times.   And these times were foretold of for thousands of years.  They were written in the stars. 

Let me close with a few interesting links on the coming blood moons.  Well, if you are inquisitive and have an open mind, they may be interesting.  I found these sites by doing a little digging on this topic.  I haven’t checked their work so I am going on the assuming the dates and events are accurate.   Someone put a lot of work into these analyses.   I wouldn’t worry so much about their conclusions.  As Richard Feynman noted, it was more about the analysis of the data rather than being overly concerned with drawing concrete conclusions.   I simply appreciate the symmetry of the first link and the natural patterns of the second.   Both symmetry and natural patterns play a major role in financial market/economic analysis.   Well, symmetry also plays a major role in Biblical prophecy.  I would encourage you to view these sites with an open mind.  Unfortunately, for some people, that will not be possible.   By the way, an open mind, also means that you consider these events may not be religious in nature.  But, that they could be spiritual in nature.  Or, neither.   Possibly just coincidence.  But ancient peoples noted that certain astrological events were tied to cyclical energy forces possibly acting upon their psyche, the planet or both.  And, that is how blood moons became associated with omens. 

I’m not trying to scare anyone.  This certainly doesn’t scare me.  Nor is that my intent.  There are plenty of other fear mongers out there who wish to manipulate people for their own personal gain.   People need to keep an open mind rather than operating from a state of fear.  I don’t believe I actually need to say this but I certainly am not aware of anything that tells me we are experiencing the end of the world.   The return of the Son of Man may actually be an astrological event.  Certainly we are experiencing the end of the world as we know it.  But, that has been discussed on here ad nauseam.   This system is finished.    Money, economics, finance and the power of the state could plausibly all collapse.  Or, at best, they will certainly all experience some degree of substantial crisis and reformulation necessary for human progress.  Not just in the U.S. either.  This is a global crisis with unprecedented evil around the world.  That great evil is the violence of the state that subjugates the human spirit for its own glory.     

An esoteric look at symmetry of the past and current blood moon events.

An esoteric analysis of lunar tetrads tied to major Jewish holidays.

Space.com and NASA tetrad link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 5:54 PM links to this post

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Vladimir, He Wrote Me A Letter

posted by TimingLogic at 9:27 AM links to this post

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What Role Might Russia Play In The Devolution Of Late Stage U.S. Empire

Interesting markets today, eh?   April has the potential to be a very, very interesting month.  Not just for assets either.   We could be close to what Robert Prechter terms as the “oh shit” moment. (My slang characterization.)  ie, When Wall Street bag holders wake up and realize that they have inflated assets to the moon and the entire herd goes running for the door at the same time. 

I don’t typically put up this kind of what-if post that involves possible guesstimates of what is happening behind the scenes but I’m going to make an exception here.   I’m doing so primarily because the current geopolitical dynamics are very interesting.   The U.S. is clearly in the late stages of empire and, as such, that empire is very vulnerable .  (As noted on here in the past, 2022 is the latest date by which I would anticipate that empire to disappear.)   Good news for lovers of liberty.  Bad news for capitalism, the state, state actors, Wall Street, the investor class, the Federal Reserve and, frankly, political and capitalist classes in countless countries around the globe that have enriched themselves on the tails of U.S. empire.  That even includes the Russian oligarchy that has enriched itself through American empire’s deregulation of global capital that has resulted in an unprecedented looting fest.  One that Russian capitalist oligarchs and the political class (moochers and parasites) have jointly benefited from immensely. 

Russian state actors are almost certainly emboldened because of the weak Ukrainian response by the United States and Europe.   When one understands state actors are generally predators one may appreciate how an emboldened Russia could be explained by the primitive laws of the jungle.  What happens when hyenas have surrounded a weakened lion? (And mind you, the U.S. is in a very weakened, late stage empire state.) They never refuse an opportunity to go for the kill.  Is there really any appreciable difference in how state actors act out their primitive ego-driven pathology?  Let’s be honest.  There is little evidence the Russian state cares about humanity more than any other state actor. 

We simply don’t know the intent of  the political players in the world today.  And there certainly are differing intents in each country as well.   Obama’s intents may be determined by unseen forces or by a personal agenda and Putin may be no different.  I don’t believe anything with any degree of conviction that I read or hear as it pertains to issues involving the state.   If Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy told you they were selflessly acting on your behalf, would you submit to their authority?   With the pathology that is so pervasive in this world of unprecedented evil concentrated in class-based state power and control, is there really a difference? 

I think it’s plausible to consider Putin may be nothing but a propagandized front for a wildly corrupt political and capitalist thugs robbing the Russian people blind.  In other words, a “made man”.   Garry Kasparov, the world’s best known Russian sans Putin has talked about this repeatedly in his current role of human rights leader.  And his characterizations are far more colorful than mine.  Of course, conspiracy theorists say Kasparov is a mule for western power and opposes Putin under false pretense.   I guess opposing massive state corruption must now be a conspiracy.  The list of claims and counterclaims is endless.   Let’s stick to what we do know - Putin was a low level apparatchik who came out of no where to gain control of Russia.  Russia certainly isn’t the home of political saints and servants.  Putin somehow became one of the most powerful men in the world almost overnight.  How did that happen?  His bear wrestling skills?   Get real.   What potential powers control him or inserted him into the Russian political scene?  Or uses their made man’s charm to manipulate Russians and people around the world on behalf of Russian state actors?   I doubt Putin’s rise to power is the result of the mythical free market.  And I doubt it is virtuous.  As Bill Moyers noted decades ago in the documentary I have highlighted on here countless times, who controls Russia’s equivalent of our secret government?   There is a very large world out there that is hidden from plain sight, not just in the U.S. but in Russia, Europe, China and elsewhere.   With unprecedented state secrecy, it is almost certainly driven by extreme pathology and thus a will to use state violence to win, loot, steal, pillage and exploit at any cost. 

We really don’t know what Putin’s intent is in the Ukraine or elsewhere.  Or what has been premeditated or cultivated by state actors.  But we do know Russia is a shithole of mass inequality and injustices,  substantial media censorship, extreme levels of corruption and very powerful organized crime.  The facts just don’t present themselves that Putin is on a mission to serve humanity through nonviolence and selflessness.   In other words, for someone to grab at the personal and political power Putin continually is grabbing at is for dubious, almost certainly pathological reasons.  There are no benevolent dictators.  Only magnanimous ones who are willing to throw scraps to those they have destroyed on their way to their pathological need for power and control. 

What this ongoing situation in the Ukraine does point out is how tribal the primitive, unmindful ego truly is.  How placing our responsibilities into the hands of state actors perpetuates the victimization of innocent people.  How placing people in a ego-driven, primitive state of fear or using propaganda to turn people against each other for reasons of race, creed, language or any superficial  difference, truly does turn our minds into that which is little different than jungle animals with a will to win/survive. 

The Ukrainians seemingly started fanning the flames against Russian-heritage people by using state violence to pass laws making them second-class citizens.  Russia then responds.  Then absurd allegations of using nuclear weapons against Russian-speaking Ukrainians was intercepted by Russia. Of course, these preposterous remarks and violence against Russians is almost certainly driven by the Russian genocide of Ukrainian people some decades ago.   Information is leaked out that is manipulatively used for the benefit of providing propagandized cover each state actors.  Ukrainian Russians certainly had a right to referendum.  And, if they wish, to join the state of Russia.  But the news organization Russia Today has been on a propaganda binge recently.  It has become absurd.  That includes painting Stalin, one of the worst state butchers in human history, as a hero and also stating that Russia would have won World War II without western assistance.   This at a time when reports out or Russia highlight rising censorship of those critical of Putin and increasing state propaganda.   Russia Today often does report the truth when it benefits the Russian state.  Especially regarding U.S. and European injustices.   But Russian journalism is still substantially repressed when it comes to reporting the massive corruption and injustices in Russia itself. 

For some time now news has come out that Russian corporations and banks have been moving their money out of the west.   So, there may be some reason to believe all of this is premeditated or that Russia expects it to get much worse.   It appears plausible that Russia may be ready to challenge the U.S. global economic, political and even military authority.  Most likely not to take the place of the U.S. but rather than create a multi-polar world where Russia gets more of that good ole American home cooking.   Some view this as a positive.  In other words, a return to a multi-polar world.  So, rather than U.S. hegemon, we now have other states also seeking to dominate humanity.  And all using every form of violence at their disposal to become king of the jungle.  Are you kidding me?   Let’s get real.  State power doesn’t give a shit about you or me or humanity.  Or for polar bears or teddy bears or small kittens.  Russia (China, India, Europe, Japan and other state actors) simply covet what we have.   That is, more state power.    I have little doubt that most politicians around the world today would have supported Hitler were they to be caught up in the egomaniacal power rush of Nazi Germany.   A reason why law based on natural rights is the only true authority over humanity.   The only true authority over humanity is law that frees man from men.  And why the concept of a political class must become obsolete for humanity to evolve and thrive.  A multi-polar world simply gives state actors new reasons for being.  It gives those who serve the state new purpose.  New reasons to perpetuate violence.  More spying.  More economic violence.  More military spending at the expense of humanity.  Possibly a new cold war.  Humanity?  Well, we are the victims of any world that glorifies the state.  That includes a multi-polar world.   The answer to empire is more people power.  Not a multi-polar world controlled by more state actors.

Is it possible that Russia’s recent intents include unseating the petrodollar?  And possibly baiting the U.S. into arrogant, unmindful, primitive-ego-actions that would cause that to  happen?  Is it possible that all of this could be premeditated by Russia’s “secret government”?   Who really knows?  No one.  That is, except those handful possibly behind the curtain.   But, regardless, taking all of today’s events at face value when there is another world of state actors hidden from view is dubious.  It’s just a matter of really understanding what is going on.  And all we have are guesses.  Possibly somewhat educated or plausible ones that take into account the state’s intent.  That is, to survive and enrich itself through violence and control.  

One thing is certain, as I noted many times over the years, we will likely see more and more of these challenges to U.S. power as the empire continues to fracture.   This could have been anticipated to some degree and was predicted on here years before it started happening.  The waning U.S. empire simply doesn’t have the capacity to control everything.   The U.S. empire suffers from overreach as all empires eventually do. That is why they are encouraging South Korea, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Poland, Egypt, Georgia and other outposts for the empire to join them in armaments purchases and even new armaments production.  Japan is now on the verge of recreating a large armaments industry for the first time since its ill-fated attempt at empire.   It’s also likely why the U.S. foments so much insurrection around the world.   Not to win every situation, but to keep a lid on challenges to the empire.  The only way the U.S. can keep a lid on the world is by encouraging its satellite states to join the empire in keeping the status quo “as is” for every political class’s own self-interested benefit.   And, to use policies fomenting strife to keep state challenges and resultant rises in democracy to a controlled number. 

Pathology holds vendettas forever.  The will to win (competition) that defines pathology is fundamental to vendettas and the ego’s primitive need for revenge. (violence)  There certainly is no desire for pathology to connect to another human being and resolve issues through nonviolent shared benefit.  Or to grant someone grace for past mistakes.  Russian state power has many reasons to have a vendetta against the U.S.   That goes well beyond the collapse of the Soviet Union.  That was a very humiliating experience for any proud state actors of the Soviet control structure.  It’s almost a certainty that some of those in Soviet power are still very influential today.  Possibly, or I would say almost certainly,  working behind the scenes in Russia’s secret government.

But the revenge goes well beyond the collapse of the Soviet Union.  That includes endless efforts by the United States to surround and destabilize Russia financially, economically and militarily.  And while you will never read this in the mainstream media, it is almost a surety the U.S. and European state actors in concert with U.S. and European financial forces caused the Russian currency crisis in the late 1990s that tanked the Russian economy, decimated newly forming Russian power, sucked billions in savings out of Russia and thus created instability within the Russian populace.  And, in the process, enslaved Russia to U.S. handouts and financial control courtesy of the IMF and Wall Street.  By the way, this type of currency/financial crisis is substantially behind China’s unfolding disaster as well.  Umm, not the only country on the receiving end of that kind of economic and financial violence either.   Iceland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Iran, Iraq and on and on have all experienced this form of financial/currency violence to varying degrees by European or American state actors.  Don’t think this isn’t well understood in the halls of Russian power.  It most certainly is.  Unlike people in the west who are oblivious to it.  Russians actually lived it. 

Additionally, back in 2008 and starting again in 2013, the Russian economy started serious declines that were made more precarious due to its relatively small dollar holdings.  Something I noted in 2008 and even accurately predicted Russia’s next moves in the process.  Russian state actors are enslaved to U.S. hegemon and they certainly know it.  Russia today is on the verge of another currency crisis as the ruble hits all time lows, their equity markets are imploding and another Russian bank run is in the early phases of developing.   Russia may possibly be on the verge of another 1998-type crisis or worse.  Again, don’t think Russian state actors don’t appreciate this.   The circumstances dictate that Russian state actors do something to break this cycle of American control or watch their economy, currency and political system collapse again.  They will certainly use state violence to defend the goons and thugs who control Russia.   

Let me interject briefly here.  What does any of this have to do with humanity?  Or the betterment of the world for all people or our planet?  Hahahaha.  Diddly shit.   We are the useful idiots through whom endless state violence is perpetuated be we American, Russian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Mexican or whatnot.   The state exists because we allow it to exist.  And, often we cheer its violence through war, economic exploitation or winning any type of nationalist game.  As inventions, supporters and beneficiaries of state violence, the military, the security apparatus, the mainstream media, corporations and the financial apparatus stokes the flames of state violence as well.   Not just in the U.S. either.   Out of this state violence comes rising nationalism, which is nothing more than a form of ego primitive tribalism that rations love for our fellow man and allows state pathology to project its violence upon innocent humanity both domestically and around the world.   More than half a dozen years ago, when we were in the throws of Pax Globalia, I wrote that we were entering a period of rising nationalism.  Does anyone doubt it is here?  The state laid the ground work for rising nationalism with its fear-based violence and control that has left people afraid, helpless and hopeless.   Unless humanity rises up and stops the pathology of the state we don’t really know where any of this ends.  But, it won’t be any outcomes that benefit humanity.  Again, entering a war cycle is something I have again talked about for a long time on here as well.  I would argue the world is already at war in many ways as I type this.  That includes economically, financially and through state security apparatuses amongst other manifestations of state violence.  

What would the Russian state recognize as the best method of accomplishing a break from this U.S. and western European control?  Or creating a dollar crisis and possibly even a euro currency crisis or a Euro-area economic crisis?  How about by mocking Obama and baiting him into making a wrong move in this game of state chess?   Which is exactly what Russian state actors are doing.  Because then Obama, the U.S. and Europe are likely to respond through primitive attempts at control.  In a primitive, control-driven state of mind, we never think clearly of our behavior’s consequences.  The Russians certainly appreciate U.S. political and military arrogance is off the charts.   Possibly without historical precedence unless we go back to the times of the Roman Empire.  And that means the U.S. is likely bait-able into arrogant, rash and impulsive control-driven decisions that have a self-harming or self-destructive effect.   But, remember something.  I noted on here a long time ago that after the fall of the Roman Empire, the world’s wealth peaked for a thousand years.  Don’t think it can’t happen again.  Not necessarily for a thousand years but my point is that the U.S. empire is far, far larger than is imagined by anything I have ever seen written or spoken of.   The U.S. empire is probably responsible for upwards of $50-60 trillion in annual global trade.  Not GDP.  Trade.  Possibly even more than that if we include indirect or second and third degree derivatives of trade.  That is not an inflated number.  I’ll hit this in greater detail and with an explanation in my upcoming series.    My point is that Russian state power too could crumble if they actually do attack American empire or the dollar.  And Russia could eventually collapse or break into even smaller pieces as a result of their own actions backfiring. 

China could never, ever pull any of this off.  That is, if Russia is actually attempting to pull anything off.  China is beholden to a mercantilist economic system reliant on American and European consumption.   They actually extend us massive loans to buy their exports.  (Treasury and European bond purchases)  (Obama wrote an op-ed some years ago stating this is the direction he wants the U.S. economy to go.  ie Mercantilist policies that are a form of state violence against other nations.  Well, and enslaves a producing nation to corporate control.)

Russian state actors may believe they could possibly survive such acts of aggression because they are energy independent, commodity rich and have some ability to produce most of what is required to survive, including food.  But, then again Russia is highly reliant on trade with China, Germany and much of Europe.  So, they have an indirect and massive exposure to U.S. empire and the status quo that empire has created.

We are going to see if this is a premeditated attempt by the Russians to clip U.S. empire as 2014 unfolds.  Because if it is, tensions, events and an emboldened Putin will likely keep pushing the U.S. and Europe.   That pushing may be calculated to get the United States and European state actors to make a mistake that cannot be put back in the bottle.  Mistakes that would create unrecoverable crises.  We already see Russia lining up new trade deals with China and Iran.  As an aside the Iranian deal is apparently a barter deal.  That’s very interesting because I have noted direct trade settlement and barter are likely where the future of trade is heading.  Not exactly a commonly predicted outcome.  But it all continues to unfold as I have anticipated for many years.  Regardless of what is going on  I think we can safely assume what is being reported in the media certainly isn’t the whole of it with state secrecy, power and violence around the world at such abominable levels.

Additionally, at some point it may be plausible that Russia make a calculated move that allows the ruble do whatever it will against the dollar or even refuse to recognize a market for dollars.  In other words, provide no direct convertibility of rubles to dollars.   Why does the ruble need to even trade against the dollar?  What does Russia buy from the U.S. other than Treasuries they are forced to buy?   Possibly, if necessary, Russia could back its currency by raw materials, petroleum or gold in some effort to prop up its value.  I suspect that effort, if undertaken, would fail completely and miserably.  And possibly lead to Russia’s permanent collapse.  But Russia isn’t a major trader with the United States and frankly we offer nothing of value for them to purchase in dollars so they may believe they can pull this off.   That’s all that matters.  Is this a calculated risk they are willing to take to get out from under American control?

By the way, that we offer nothing of value for Russia to purchase, other than dollars, is symptomatic of empire overreach and is a late state dynamic of empire collapse that has been documented very substantially by historians.    So, while all of this would be very, very painful for Russia, they may view it as an achievable goal of regaining some degree of state power at the expense of the United States.   Remember, Russian state actors are likely driven by a pathological will to win rather than worrying about the rights of their own citizens or humanity.  Do you actually see American state actors worried about the poverty, homelessness of crumbling of America?  They are living large and our fate isn’t even on their radar.  It is no different anywhere else state violence exists.    

The U.S. is in a very, very weak state and I am certain state predators in Russian and elsewhere can sense this.   Ego and arrogance keeps U.S. state actors from recognizing their own weaknesses.  While some people see the size of the U.S. military and thus would disagree with that statement, they would be wrong.  People simply will not fight endless wars on behalf of the state.  So, the U.S. military is generally there to intimidate.  To enforce the potential of state violence so that actual war is unnecessary.   This was the premise of the Soviet-U.S. balance of power for 40 years.  That is, overwhelming state force existed to ensure it military action never actually had to be used.    Wholesale use of military violence is a major sign of weakness and state policy failure.   When the state relies on overt violence to solve its issues,  they have reached the last resort.  That should tell you something about the state of permanent war that now exists in the United States.  U.S. state actors are operating from a very weakened, ego primitive state of mind that lacks criticality of thought or mindful understanding in a last ditch effort to save the empire.  I doubt they are consciously aware of this but it doesn’t make it any less true. 

Regardless, given the heightened sense of arrogance (United States), and possibly even calculated desperation of many state players (Russia and others) around the world, we should consider that the linearity of the past is out the window.  State actors are under extreme duress from their populace given the unprecedented suffering and economic crises around the world.  Suffering and crisis that state actors created.   Heightened violence (control) may be the last, best option for many players.  And fomenting foreign enemies is a favorite game for pathology.  To varying degrees, every major state actor around the world is operating at some degree of failed state status.  This may not be evident yet but it will become so.  While some states appear more stable than others, if the U.S. failed state collapses, Canada and Mexico, as just one example, will collapse with it.   Well, frankly the world will collapse with it.  

In a world where nearly every state is the some degree of terminal failure, actions of state actors today are a matter of life and death for the state.   So in order to maintain state power, any disagreement in today’s world has the  potential to become bigger and more dangerous than most are willing to consider.   I’m not stating that will happen.  But that we should open our minds to its possibility unless humanity steps in to stop this madness.

Humanity has what are really two simple choices in this cycle.   We either continue to place our faith and power in the authority of class-based state actors, and could end up with a substantial amount of humanity and the planet dead, or we continue our awakening to reality and take back our God-given personal authority from the state.  ie, We refuse to fight their wars, refuse to be subjugated to their debt and monetary enslavement, refuse to be intimidated and threatened into conformity and obedience, refuse to allow their endless destruction of our privacy and our rights, refuse to allow the continued exploitation and destruction of the human community, refuse to allow the continued destruction of the planet, refuse to support their endless devaluation of life, refuse to serve their exploitative, feudal economic system of corporate control and refuse to serve their god of mammon and exaltation of the disconnected, Godless ego underlying all of this.

posted by TimingLogic at 7:55 PM links to this post

Monday, April 07, 2014

Anti-Americanism’s False Savior: Putin the Pathological

As a follow up to my last post, I want to highlight some of the incredible state violence that Putin and the Russian state perpetuates.  State violence that counters the growing propagandized Putin cult of personality.   State violence that has, rather than freeing men from the rule of men, actually violently strengthens it.  Because Putin, as a state actor and thus a perpetuator of violence, has more in common with Stalin and Hitler than he does with Jesus of Nazareth, Mohammed, Gandhi, King and Mandela; five men who resisted state violence.  

So, let’s take a more critical look at Russian state actors beyond the primitive tribal rooting for Putin to take down the United States empire.  Which, by the way, he may succeed at to some degree.  But, if he does, it will certainly inflict massive unintended consequences on Russian people and the Russian state.  There is no way around the largest empire in history.  Russia, China and other state actors owe the vast majority of their power to American empire.   But this isn’t a moral game, it is about power.  Russian state actors want some of the good ole fashioned American state power.  In the Soviet Union, Putin and other state actors sought that power by attempting to defeat the United States in a game of control between two fear-based socioeconomic ideologies;  communism versus capitalism.  But today, Putin and other Russian state actors have gotten a taste of the good life.  So now they serve capitalism’s mammon just as the America does. 

There is ample evidence to convene a grand jury in The Hague to consider whether Putin and other state actors should stand trial for crimes against humanity.  Russian state actors have the blood of countless dead Chechens on their  hands.  By some estimates, that number is upwards of two  hundred thousand dead and half a million displaced.  This includes Russia’s murder of democratically-elected Chechen leaders.   Of these, a former Soviet Air Force General, who was Chechnya’s first democratically-elected president, was murdered by Russia with the possible assistance of the NSA.   So, in fact, Putin and Russia have actually fomented far greater violence in Chechnya than the U.S. and Europe are accused of in the Ukraine.  Not that state violence is ever defendable or one act is worse than another.  Chechens have long sought their own referendum on freedom from Russian oppression that Putin hypocritically denies.   Chechnya attempted this referendum nonviolently and through democratic processes.   Russia used incredible and overwhelming state violence and crimes against humanity to stop any such freedom movement. 

There are claims and counterclaims of wrong-doing from both sides in Chechen mass murders but it was the Russians that sent more tanks into Chechnya than they sent to fight Hitler in Germany.   It was Russia that used disproportionate and unlawful state violence to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.  And, in the process destroy millions of human connections.   This while Putin mocks the United States for not allowing the Crimean referendum on freedom.   Now there certainly are many Russian-heritage people who will defend this wholesale murder of Chechens.  These are the same people who defended the wholesale murder of Ukrainians in the Russian-created genocide decades ago.   A holocaust that most accounts place at more than a million dead.    I guess Putin forgot to release this fact of Russian oppression in his Ukrainian propaganda campaign.  Not only that, but the Russians have actually enslaved and butchered countless ethnic groups first under the violence of Tsars, then under the Soviet Union and now under Russia.  All manifestations of state violence.   People who defend state violence for any reason are institutionalized.   Defending state violence is really nothing more than barbaric tribalism.   That is, kill the enemy at any cost.  Whose enemy?  The enemy that threatens the survival of the tribe.  Of the state. 

Putin hides behind a war on terror to rationalize their mass murders in Chechnya.  Does this sound familiar?   Whose war and whose terror?    Russia has been at war with Chechnya for hundreds of years as a result of Russian state expansionism.  This recent bloody mess was almost certainly driven by the Russian state defending oil and energy interests.  Sound familiar?  Sounds like United States, Saudi Arabia, Iranian and other examples of state violence. 

Were there imported freedom fighters that arose in Chechnya after the murder of democratically-elected leadership seeking a nonviolent referendum on their freedom?   There certainly were.  Would there not be freedom fighters in any part of the world under state oppression when democratically-elected leaders were killed?  Or when foreign oppressors have been on your neck for hundreds of years?  What exactly did Russian state actors expect?   Did they think their actions would lead to unprecedented harmony and peace?   Violence begets violence.  Chechnya was turned into rubble by 1,500 Russian tanks, artillery and air bombing in a blitzkrieg campaign of state terror that lasted years.   Of course, all of this was suppressed because Russia imposed a media blackout to hide Russian mass murder and incredible violence from public scrutiny.   And from international prosecution.

This reminds me of Ron Paul’s remarks of why people in the Middle East hate the United States.  It’s not because we are free.  It’s because we are exerting substantial state violence to prop up the tyranny and oppression that people in the Middle East are forced to live under.   Is Russian state violence in Chechnya really any different? 

If the people of Chechnya wish to be free of Russian rule for the same reasons the people of the Crimea wish to be free of Ukrainian rule, then why doesn’t Putin grant them the same referendum on independence that he supports in the Ukraine?   Well, the answers are really quite simple.  Putin embraces the Ukraine because it serves his ego’s primitive tribalism to protect his own kind.  That is, Russians.  Ukrainian Russians are culturally Russian.  Chechens have completely separate historical and current cultural and religious differences with Russia.   So, tribalism plays a major role in the hypocritical support of Ukraine secession while denying the rights of Chechens.   Additionally, supporting the Ukrainian referendum enriches the Russian state.  Russia gains more human chattel, more land and more natural resources while, in the process, thumbing their nose at European and American state actors.  Supporting Chechen rights of independence would almost certainly lead to even more secessionist referendums as other peoples living under Russian state oppression seek their own freedom.   This entire dynamic is driven by state violence and tribalism.  In other words, people who don’t think, act, believe and look like Russians are on the receiving end of primitive state violence.  Sound familiar?  It should.  It is the basis for America’s endless wars.  Would a generally Caucasian and generally Christian America support pro-active torture, murder and endless war against other generally Caucasian Christians?

This dynamic of tribalism is driven by the primitive ego’s rationing of love for those it recognizes as worthy while simultaneously denying it to others who it deems as unworthy.   This isn’t love at all.  It’s simply a manifestation of primitive ego attachment rather than true love’s higher state of being.  Tribalism or support of like-minded people involves a rationing of worthiness and empathy that comes from a very ignorant, primitive state of mind. (ego)   The same ignorant, primitive state of mind that is often willing to embrace evil.  That is what violent forms of nationalism are.  Ditto with political party, religious and other forms of tribalism.  It’s just a pathology used by class-based, state actors to stoke a fear-driven, primitive state of mind in people then willing to participate in state violence.   This Ukrainian/Chechen comparison is really no different than the Nazis Aryan race or American exceptionalism or the divine birthright of British or European aristocratic rule.   By the way, Europe still lives under that repressive aristocratic rule.  Birthright aristocracy has maintained its grip on democracy through capitalism.  Just as it now does in the United States.   All of these are examples of primitive tribal manifestations of the ego’s small-minded ignorance enforced through state violence. 

Contrarily,  our mind’s higher power recognizes true love and worthiness for all humanity.  Including those we disagree with.  Including those who we perceive as different.   Do all people not have a right to seek freedom to lead their own self-determined existence void of state violence?  Do not all people have a right to lead a life of nonviolence?  A right to refuse to live under state violence?   If Chechnya’s referendum were successful, I can guarantee that  there are many other ethnic peoples in Russia suffering under some degree of second-class status or forced state oppression who would also break away from Russia and neuter its violent power.  Russia itself would collapse without its brutal force and oppression of humanity.  Guaranteed. 

Putin is also well-known for his use of state violence to literally dehumanize people simply because of their private sexual orientation.   Ayn Rand noted that civilization is the progress towards human privacy.   I suppose being that her family lived under the oppression of the Soviet Union, she had Putin-esque apparatchiks in mind when she made that statement.  This is state violence against people who have done absolutely nothing to harm anyone.  It is nothing more than another example of primitive, ignorant, ego-driven tribalism that rations love, worthiness and acceptance.   Putin personally uses the power of the state to dehumanize the Russian gay and lesbian community because they too are different than him.   Like Chechens and other ethnic Russians.   Putin uses God and the power of the state to defend his dehumanizing violence.  I think we have enough history of how the state has used God and religion to perpetuate its violence against humanity.  We don’t need an all-knowing state theocracy or state religion or fearless “self-described” state moral authority to determine who is worthy and what is worthy.  That’s why people left Europe by the millions to come to America.  To run from religious state-derived violence that as in same ways very similar to the theocracy of modern-day fanatic states like Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.  Putin is not humanity’s judge or moral voice.  He is driven by ego, ignorance and evil.  State-enforced morality, always through violent beliefs, has resulted in more genocide and state oppression than is even imaginable.  

When the state provides cover to this type of violence against people of differing ethnicities, patriarchy, misogyny, sexual orientation or in some way who are different,  it opens the door to useful idiots and the collective mob to do the bidding of the state’s dehumanizing exploitation.   Freeing men of the rule of man through natural-rights-derived rule of law would stop this arbitrary state violence.  The same arbitrary state violence that Hitler too used.  By the way, this isn’t specific to Putin.  It is specific to the state.  This is really no different than how state actors exploited and dehumanized African slaves in America’s past.  Or how gay people are dehumanized by religious fanatics under the protection of many state actors in the United States today.  This application of state violence arbitrarily victimizes innocent people and labels them with subhuman characterizations or equally other emotionally-violent acts of brutality that then conditions society to accept the resultant atrocities created by the state.  Adolph Hitler and the Nazis too were masters at this type of primitive tribalism and state violence and they killed ten million Jews, gypsies and intellectuals to prove it.  It is also the same type of tribal state violence perpetrated through centuries of dehumanizing European aristocratic colonialism.   Every different ethnicity of people exploited by European elites was given a derogatory, subhuman characterization or label by their European masters.   The resultant bigotry and primitive tribalism that was used to rationalize this state violence has resulted in countless state-created holocausts throughout history.   That includes the holocausts in Iraq and Chechnya.   The European aristocracy is responsible for the deaths and misery of far more people than Adolph Hitler.  And they still perpetuate their state-inflicted crimes against humanity today.

Additionally, Putin has also been estimated to be worth as much as $70 billion.   Can you imagine the reaction if it was found out that Barack Obama had enriched himself to the tune of $70 billion dollars using state violence?  Even if Putin is worth just one percent of that, he is a consummate state predator that has used the violence of the state to exploit humanity for his own personal gain.  For a mid-level KGB apparatchik to rise to the level of acquiring this insane level of wealth can only happen through the force of the state.  Frankly, he stole that money from the Russian working poor using state violence.  And, mind you, there are enormous numbers of suffering poor in Russia who have not benefited from the Russian plutocracy that Putin fronts for.  Something that Garry Kasparov has written and spoken about ad nauseam.  Now, many state apologists would interject here and state that Putin is trying to right the wrongs of a Russian oligarchy he inherited.  Umm, can we get beyond rhetoric to reality?   This is the same meme used by Obama apologists.  If his wealth truly is some large number, he has made a hypocritical mockery of any such efforts.  Tens of millions in Russia today live in abject squalor while Putin appears to live like a god.   How else does an apparatchik gain such extreme wealth if not through state violence?  Did he cure cancer?  Solve global hunger?  Develop a sustainable energy replacement for oil?   

Putin, who derives his power by convincing others to give away theirs, now seeks to exploit his recent Ukrainian winnings by projecting Russian state violence onto peoples in the Americas.  This can only have one intent.  Putin seeks to regain Russian state power after its humiliating collapse. (The Soviet Union)  And using Russian state violence to achieve this end.   Such a loving, compassionate  and empathetic person.   I wish him the best in placing Russian weapons of state murder in the hands of nations in the Americas.  But, don’t bet on it.  South America is very leery of smooth-talking foreign state actors.  They have  learned lessons by granting the United States similar power.  Or, have learned by being on the receiving end of the United State’s long and powerful stick of state violence.

Actually, Putin may be the nicest person in the world to those he agrees with.  I think we could even have said the same of Stalin and Hitler.   In other words, members of his own tribe who validate or empower his primitive ego and megalomania.  But there is no evidence I am aware of that Putin has any qualms about using state violence as long as it is Russian state violence that serves the Russian state and personal enrichment.  All of which feeds his pathology.  Whether that is the proliferation of nuclear technology to the repressive, violent and destabilizing state theocracy of Iran or the manipulation of Europeans under the threat of Russian state violence of withholding energy or giving Syria he technology to make chemical weapons or the murder of anyone who seeks to secede from Russian state violence.   And, Putin has no qualms about projecting Russian state violence around the world, being it is the second largest global dealer of death and weapons of mass destruction.   If Russia could be the world’s largest death dealer, does anyone doubt Putin would refuse to sell weapons to any butcher based on some new-found morality?  Putin simply employs a well-developed, manipulative charm and propaganda offensive in his projection of state violence.    Charm that too many are willing to fall prey to.  It’s the same charm and propaganda he used to get elected and still uses to manipulate people in Russia and around the world.   Charm indicative of pathology.  The United States, China and Europe, amongst others, perpetuate the exact same type of violence.  But, do two wrongs make a right?  Does Putin offer humanity anything different?  Are you kidding me?

Speaking of charm, Putin continually manipulates the masses, especially in Russia, with his Hollywood-style, propagandized public exhibitions of being a man’s man.   Having pictures taken with his shirt off or wrestling bears or other equally aggressive macho bullshit that appeals to the primitive ego knuckle-draggers. (This is a form of covert state violence against a man's feminine energy and this violence becomes socialized across state-controlled societies.)   Authentic masculinity rejects aggression or bear wrestling or other completely primitive,  asinine macho chest-beating behavior as noted on here in past posts in support of male masculinity.   To be masculine is to assertively and nonviolently reject ego-driven aggression.   Russian musicians literally sing adoring songs about all of this.  Songs about Putin being the perfect man, a great lover, someone they would like to marry and a strong leader.  This type of dystopian brainwashing is reminiscent of songs about Der Fuhrer. 

That Putin now bamboozles people, possibly pathologically, on a mass scale means exactly what?   That he is Der Fuhrer?  Putin’s “charm” has won over many western capitalists - perpetrators of violence themselves, the Russian  mob, and those riding the wave of anti-Americanism.   Russians and Russian-heritage people, who themselves have been treated as second-class citizens courtesy of American tribalism, now can cheer on their own tribe.  They have their own tribal leader willing to violently defend their nationalistic fervor by showing Russia can win against the United States.  A fervor most are likely institutionalized to after living for nearly a century under a system of propaganda-driven state control we called the Soviet Union.   

Anyone who seeks a willful intent of controlling another human being, either through outright violence or covert manipulation, or seeks to charm another human being into outsourcing their internal locus of emotional guidance and personal power, is almost certainly a predator to some degree.  At the minimum they are emotionally-dysfunctional and seek control (violence)  over others to ameliorate that dysfunction.  And, in cases of people who are able to actually rationalize murder, violence and exploitation on a grand scale, as all state actors do, that person may be completely pathological and without any ability to express true love, empathy and kindness other than through inauthentic cold, calculated, learned mimicry that serves their unbridled or disconnected pathological needs of covetousness, power, ambition, adoration and control.   These they steal from you and me through emotional and spiritual violence.  Most often emotional and spiritual state violence.

posted by TimingLogic at 9:19 AM links to this post