Not the Monthly Post

Into the Unknown Region

For most of the fourteen years I’ve been blogging, it’s been a habit of mine on the last post of the old year (or, now and then, the first post of the new one) to offer predictions for the year ahead. I won’t be doing that this year. I think it’s quite possible to predict some of what we can expect next year. Just now, though, it seems more important to me to focus on the things we can’t know yet, because some of them will play a crucial role in the future taking shape before us.

It’s an unsettling thing, this journey we make into an unknown future. Scientists craft equations, politicians demand answers from supposedly qualified experts, advertisers convene focus groups, mystics seek visions, astrologers chart the heavens, conspiracy theorists convince themselves that the world really is under somebody’s control:  these are all attempts to extract the future from the grip of the unknown and unknowable.  That grip becomes particularly uncomfortable when some of the things that are unknowable ended up that way because of human action of one kind or another—and of course that’s very much the case just now.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of these riddles as we brace ourselves for tomorrow night’s plunge into the unknown territory of 2021.

The first one that comes to mind is the gaggle of vaccines against the Covid-19 coronavirus now being injected into long lines of recipients in countries around the world. The corporate media here in the US, at least, has been insisting at the top of its electronic lungs that “the vaccine” (there are of course several of them) is safe and effective. The stark truth is that nobody knows.  It takes one to two years of repeated tests and long-term assessments to figure out if a vaccine is safe and effective, and the Pfizer vaccine—the first one approved in the US and Britain—got a total of eight weeks of hurried testing before it was approved for sale. It’s quite common for problems with pharmaceuticals—even horrific problems—to take months or years to surface, and the Pfizer and Moderna products belong to a type of vaccine—mRNA vaccines—that have never before been successfully used on human subjects, so no one anywhere knows what will happen when millions of people take them.

One thing that interests me is the shrill tone of the claims being made by the media about the supposed safety and efficacy of the vaccines. For some years now, the comfortable classes in today’s America have lost track of the fact that control over the public narrative does not equal control over the facts underlying the narrative. For what it’s worth, I suspect that the positive-thinking pandemic Barbara Ehrenreich chronicled ably in her book Bright-Sided plays a large role in setting the stage for this situation.  Convince yourself that something is true, and the universe has to play along:  that’s the mentality of a frighteningly large share of the privileged in America these days.

As the song has it, though, it ain’t necessarily so.  Tens of thousands of people who plunged into flipping houses in the runup to the 2008 crash, convinced that the Law of Attraction guaranteed them wealth they didn’t earn, had to declare bankruptcy when their dreams ran face first into the laws of economics. Quite a few of them got shrill, too, when the housing crash pointed out the problems in their ideology, and the strident tone of media pronoucements about the vaccines reminds me rather forcefully of that earlier collision with reality.

We don’t know yet if a similar fate awaits the pundits and politicians who are loudly insisting that coronavirus vaccines must be safe, when neither they nor anyone else knows if this is true or not. The vaccines might all be safe; in that case, well and good. One or more of them might have the kind of nasty side effects that have caused hundreds of pharmaceuticals that were approved by the authorities to be pulled from the market in a hurry. One or more of them might be one of the great pharmaceutical disasters of our time, up there with thalidomide and Fen-Phen. We simply don’t know, and since the social-media barons have made it clear that they plan on censoring any discussion of the vaccines that doesn’t toe the pharmaceutical industry party line, we may not know for months or years.

The political implications of all this deserve attention, however.  The corporate media and the scientific establishment in general have nailed what little remains of their fraying credibility to these vaccines.  A great many people no longer believe anything that the authorities say about health care, and they have good reason for their disbelief—do I really have to remind anyone of the way that Barack Obama insisted that the ACA would make health insurance prices go down, and of course you’ll be able to keep your doctor and your existing plan?  If one of the current crop of coronavirus vaccines turns out to have harmful or fatal side effects, the massive crisis of confidence in establishment science and medicine that has been building for decades now may just go kinetic—metaphorically or otherwise. But we simply don’t know.

Let’s move on. Another thing we don’t know about 2021 is exactly what policies the incoming Biden administration will pursue once Biden takes office in January. I assumed during the election campaign that if Biden won, he would lead a headlong flight back to the disastrous mix of neoliberal economics and neoconservative foreign policy that the younger Bush set in motion and Obama copied with such clueless enthusiasm:  that is to say, the policies that made Donald Trump inevitable. It’s quite possible that Biden (or rather, his handlers) will still do this, but there are several curious details that suggest an alternative view.

One of the signature elements of his environmental platform, for example, is a program to fund energy-conservation retrofits on American buildings, providing a great many working-class jobs in the process. I admit I was rather startled to see that on Biden’s platform, as it’s something I pushed fairly hard back when I was writing extensively on energy issues. It seems improbable that anyone on Biden’s team would stray far enough from the airtight bubble of approved thinking to reach the fringes where archdruids lurk, so I’m assuming that this is a coincidence. At the same time, the fact that Biden’s flacks have even noticed that working class Americans might be concerned about jobs suggests a degree of attention to the hard realities of life in today’s America that’s become vanishingly rare among our clueless elites.

One of the lessons that the Democratic Party spent the last four years desperately trying not to learn is that what working class Americans want is plenty of full time jobs at decent pay. That’s all they want, and it’s the only thing they’ll accept; give them that and they’re happy, don’t give them that and it doesn’t matter what else you offer them.  It’s because the bipartisan consensus welded into place before Trump ignored that enduring reality of American politics that so many people in the upper midwest who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 decided to take a chance on Trump in 2016.

Biden, it bears remembering, will face a tremendously difficult situation when he starts his term in a little less than a month. He won election with paper-thin majorities in the battleground states, with even more than the usual evidence of election irregularities; his party lost more than half its majority in the House; he doesn’t have the faintest ghost of a mandate, and he’s facing heat from both sides—on the one hand, the ranting ideologues on the leftward end of his party, who hate him nearly as much as they hate Trump; on the other, a furious Republican Party that considers his presidency illegitimate and has a long list of grudges from the last four years of Democratic antics, which they will take out on him at the first opportunity. (You know as well as I do, for example, that the moment the GOP regains control of the House, Biden will face impeachment—unless they do the smart thing, that is, and target Harris first.)

Very nearly the only thing Biden and his handlers can do that might get him through this mess is to move toward the center the moment the inauguration ceremony is over. That will require him to throw the left wing of his party to the wolves and make common cause with moderates on both sides of the aisle—basically, the same thing Bill Clinton did, and Barack Obama did too, once the 2010 midterms taught him that catering to the far left was a recipe for political disaster.  One thing that could strengthen Biden’s position in a big way is doing something to address the needs of working Americans—not, please note, telling them what they ought to want and then trying to browbeat them into accepting it (the usual behavior of the privileged left), but listening to them and then giving them at least some of what they ask for.

If he does that, he might be able to build enough of a coalition of moderates from both parties to fix some of the serious issues that beset this country just now, find common ground among the issues that so many ordinary Americans want to see addressed, and end up with a successful presidency despite the odds. I have no idea whether that will happen, and neither does anyone else outside the inner circle of Biden’s handlers. I’m open to the possibility that Biden will exceed my expectations—it’s quite literally impossible for him to fall below them—but we’ll simply have to wait and see.

Let’s move on.  Another unknown, an important one, surfaced the other day on that charmless soapbox of the Anglo-American elite, the BBC news website. I’m not easily surprised by the babblings of the mass media these days, but this article had me staring open-mouthed, because the BBC—and even more to the point, the collection of UN environmental flacks their reporter was quoting—actually admitted in public that if the world is going to do anything significant to curb anthropogenic climate change, the well-to-do are going to have to change their lifestyles so that they produce only a fraction of the carbon dioxide pollution they currently emit.

You have to be aware of the recent history of climate change activism to understand just how astounding this utterance is. For the last few decades, celebrity activists have been busy giving new relevance to the word “hypocrite” by loudly insisting that we all have to do something about climate change, while continuing to lead the kind of personal lifestyle that dumps more CO2 into the atmosphere each year than the entire population of a midsized African city. The hypocrisy reached fever pitch as celebrity environmentalists flew in their private jets to high-profile meetings on climate change, where they waxed rhetorical about how the world had to use less carbon, while demonstrating their utter unwillingness to use less carbon themselves.

Where celebrities led, inevitably, the comfortable classes followed. Back when I was a speaker on the peak oil circuit, I noted with wry amusement how many of the upper middle class people who loved to talk about how awful climate change would be if we all didn’t pitch in and change their ways would backpedal frantically if you suggested that maybe they should lead the way by decreasing their own bigger-than-average carbon footprints.  Their idea of changing the world always amounted to pushing off as many costs as possible on the working classes and the global poor, while treating their own lifestyles as sacrosanct. Notice, as one example out of many, how often climate change activists fixated on banning coal mining, which provides jobs for millions of working class people worldwide, while never mentioning the equally gargantuan pollution generated by nonessential air travel.  It was fine to make coal miners lose their jobs, but heaven help you if you suggested that the well-to-do give up vacationing in Mazatlan or Bali!

Once the raw hypocrisy became so blatant that it started attracting critical attention, I predicted here and elsewhere that the comfortable classes would doubtless dump climate change as a fashionable issue and find some other issue that they could use to play virtue-signaling games and load more costs onto working people. (That duly happened—have you noticed that office fauna have been able to work from home during the current epidemic, thus continuing to draw their salaries, while people who work in factories, shops, and other lower-class venues have been laid off instead?  Once again, the middle classes get coddled and the working classes get screwed.) Yet here we are, and the BBC is busy announcing that the well-to-do are going to have to do the unthinkable and rein in their absurdly extravagant lifestyles for the sake of the planet.

I suppose it’s just possible that after years of hard work analyzing the ecology of our planet and the sources of the carbon pollution that’s messing up its climate, it suddenly occurred to the experts consulted by the United Nations that it’s going to be hard to cut carbon emissions unless the people who produce a disproportionate share of those emissions do something to change that. I confess, though, that I find this hard to believe. My guess is that the political blowback against the pet policies of the clueless well-to-do has reached a high enough pitch that the organs of the establishment have been forced to notice it, and have realied that it will no longer work to insist that “shared sacrifice” means that the working poor are loaded with all the costs and the middle and upper classes get all the benefits.

That’s an issue, of course, because it’s not just environmental policy that’s been twisted out of shape along those lines.  For decades now, across the board, nearly every policy that’s been pushed by the establishment here in the US and in most other industrial nations has benefited the middle classes at the expense of the working classes. That’s why we’ve gone from the situation in 1960, when one working class income could support a family comfortably, to the situation in 2020, when one working class income won’t keep a family off the street.  Those changes weren’t accidental, nor were they inevitable; they were the results of readily identifiable policies pushed by a bipartisan consensus, and defended by government, corporate, and media flacks with a disingenuousness that borders on the pathological.

The difficulty we’re in now, of course, is that a very large number of people are aware of this, and they’re far from happy about it. Here in the United States, a vast number of citizens—quite probably a majority—believe that they live under a senile kleptocracy propped up by rigged elections and breathtakingly dishonest media, in which their votes do not count and their needs will not be addressed by those in power. What’s more, they have more than a little evidence to support these beliefs, and strange to say, another round of patronizing putdowns by the mouthpieces of the well-to-do is unlikely to change their minds. The resulting crisis of legitimacy has become a political fact of immense importance.

A few years back, my fellow blogger and more than occasional debating partner Dmitry Orlov wrote a series of essays (later collected into his book Reinventing Collapse) pointing out that the United States is vulnerable to the same sort of sudden political implosion that overtook the Warsaw Pact nations of eastern Europe in 1989 and the Soviet Union in 1991. His point has lost none of its sharpness since then. When political theorists of an earlier generation noted that governments exist by the consent of the governed, they were stating a simple fact, not proposing an ideal; a government, any government, survives solely because most of the people it rules play along, obeying its laws and edicts no matter how absurd those happen to be.  If they withdraw that consent, the existing order of things comes tumbling down.

As we saw some thirty years ago, the most effective way to get people to withdraw their consent from the government that claims to rule them is to show them, over and over again, that their needs and concerns are of no interest to a self-aggrandizing elite, and that they have nothing to hope for from the continuation of the present system and nothing to lose if it falls. A very substantial share of Americans, and a significant number of people in other Western industrial countries, have already had that experience and come to those conclusions—and the enthusiasm displayed by the comfortable classes for shoving off the costs of change on the impoverished majority while seizing the benefits for themselves has played a huge role in that state of affairs.

As a result, it’s entirely possible that at some point in the near future, when next the United States faces a serious crisis, most Americans will shrug and let it fall, as most Soviet citizens did when the Soviet Union hit its final crisis in 1991. Keep in mind that the vast majority of active duty US police and military personnel—the final bulwark of any regime in crisis—voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, and might not be in any hurry to come to the rescue of a system that treats them with the same casual contempt it turns on everyone outside the circles of privilege. It’s entirely possible, in other words, that ten years from now people will talk about the former United States the way they talk about the former Soviet Union.

Will that happen in 2021?  It’s impossible to say, and one of the reasons it’s impossible to say is that it depends, among other things, on the other unknowns discussed already in this essay.  If the Covid-19 vaccines turn out to be safe and effective; if the Biden administration moves to occupy the abandoned center of American politics and gives working Americans some reason to think that their concerns have some chance of being addressed by those who claim the right to rule them; if the privileged classes in the United States and elsewhere finally notice that policies like those they favor reliably end with some equivalent of tumbrils and guillotines, or at least the irrevocable collapse of the system that provides them with their comfortable lifestyles—why, then, things could swerve in a different direction entirely.

On the other hand, if one of those inadequately tested vaccines turns out to have bad outcomes for a significant share of the millions of people lining up to receive them, or if Biden’s talk about providing jobs for working Americans turns out to be just as dishonest as Obama’s promises about his health care legislation, or if the clueless elites keep on believing that they can pursue their pet policies at the expense of everyone whose labor keeps the system going—or, gods help us, all of these at once—then we may just find ourselves plunging into a chaotic future for which very few of us are prepared. For the moment, though, we just don’t know.

With that in mind, I’d like to encourage my readers to stay watchful, stay nimble, keep your pantries well stocked with necessities, and remember that all those yammering faces on glass screens are there to sell you something you don’t want to buy.  I’ll be taking January off blogging, as usual, so we’ll resume this conversation on the first Wednesday in February. Until then, be safe, and may the powers that guide your destiny bring you good things.

1013 Comments

  1. Thanks for this post. I must admit, I’m filled with a nervous tension when reading about the potential end of the US in this post. I kind of think it makes sense because who wouldn’t be nervous in a move from order to chaos. If I hadn’t been for my spiritual practice these last couple of years, I’d probably reject the collapse idea and run away like a frightened turkey. I think rejection of ideas like this comes from a fear of death. People are so afraid of it, they won’t even let themselves imagine or think about poo hitting the fan. Good ole myth of progress optimism with a dose of repression.

    May you have a fruitful month off.

  2. I guess we will see how long their thinking caps stay on.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/30/democrats-party-joe-biden-working-class-americans

    “…political strategist David Axelrod said the problem was that the party needed to learn how not to talk down to working-class voters, noting that while Democrats dominated in and around big cities in the 2020 election, Republicans had won in 80% of US counties.”

    “…“It’s not just about having deliverables and tangibles to offer,” said Axelrod on the Hacks on Tap podcast. “It’s about changing an attitude that basically thinks of these folks as something less.

    “The Democratic party envisions itself as the party of working people but it doesn’t feel that way to a lot of working people. And the Democratic party needs to figure that out.”

  3. Oh JMG, you had to bring up all these contentious issues, which raises the specter of a seven hundred comment reply thread in your absence! I have one request for your vacation, please stop putting comments through for January. It would be nice to give your readers a break as well. Comment threads used to be 64 comments long! Nowadays things have gotten a lot more verbose and chummy, and time-consuming.

    This post definitely made me re-think my vaccine plan. I had been planning on waiting six months until after someone I know personally had gotten it, so I could see if they had any severe negative side-effects. But now that you’ve thrown the two year figure out there, I feel even more cautious. I guess it will require some thought. It seems like I probably won’t have even a chance to get vaccinated until next December anyways, at the pace things are going, so I will have oodles of time to make my decision.

    As far as old man Biden goes, I find it odd that his team have been doing some sabre-rattling vis-a-vis China lately. I figured if anything, China was probably secretly supporting his campaign (or opposing the Trump campaign). I don’t have much hope for any good policies to come out of this administration, but if they would at least stop enabling China, that would be a step in the right direction.

    Have a nice break.

  4. Thanks for your post JMG. Im a newer reader and happened to be perusing your previous post when you posted this. I found you from the Hermitix Podcast and recently purchased your translation of The Picatrix!
    Its both unnerving and satisfying to see the few people I pay attention to express their dismay for the year to come. Ive seen you express a few opinions on large scale models and I was wondering what your opinion of Martin Armstrong’s various models? (sorry if you’ve answered this in the past).
    Sounds like the coming year is the perfect example of “hope for the best, prepare for the worst!”

    Thanks again for your post, I really enjoy listening to you on Hermitix! Hope to hear you on there again soon

  5. I just discovered your blog when I was looking up info on the Law of Impactation through Google. I am taking the unsupervised course through The SIL and just wanted you to know how helpful your information is and how happy I am to discover that I can read your commentary and other’s questions/answers giving me a more expanded view on the subject that I am most interested in at this time. Thank you so much.

  6. If Biden pulls a Bill Clinton– using media-provoked race riots to propel himself into office on the enthusiasm of radicals, only to sell out the radicals at the first opportunity and run to the center– it will be the most cynical moment in the history of American politics. It’s also probably the best chance we have. I’d like to imagine that someone close to him is smart enough to notice that it would be far better for him to win back the working class, the white ethnics and the Catholics than to hold onto the furious 4% who actually believe in the Social Justice party line. If he can do that, it may set the stage for a Gabbard presidency in 2024, and there might be some hope for the republic.

    If he were to give Ibram Kendi his Sista Souljah moment, I’d consider changing my registration (back) to Democrat.

  7. There will shortly be two vaccines available in Britain, the very high tech mRNA Pfizer one, and the slightly more conventional AstraZeneca one that was approved today. The latter is not as fussy about its transport and storage and so I’m hoping that it is the one that they will offer me and mine. Whichever it is however, I have decided that I will be taking it and I fully accept the risks in doing so. From my perspective it’s a trade off, the vaccine may have unpleasant long term side effects. If I’m very unlucky or perhaps did something egregiously evil in a previous incarnation it might kill me. On the other hand COVID has a really excellent chance of killing me since I am vulnerable and there have been many, many, reports of lingering issues. The absence of easily available tests early in the year means that it’s unclear if I’ve already been exposed.

    I’m going to pass over US politics in silence, beyond mentioning that the situation is regularly in my thoughts and I wish the best for all Americans reading this.

    Anyway, wishing you @JMG a restful and rejuvenating January.

    Andy

  8. Spot on in so many respects, as usual my friend. I will be getting the vaccine however. I’m a public school principal and educators have been one of the many “essential workers” America has realized it requires to operate. Albeit more in terms of child care to allow the public to work than perhaps nobler causes. I have studied the science and the rush makes me nervous, but I still plan to trust this bit of technology with the hope of resolving this current dilemma. What worries me more is the lack of public dialogue on the real causes of this virus (current global conditions) instead of the typical medical view of a reactionary, instead of preventative, approach to personal and global health. Thanks again Mr. Greer, a blessed and prosperous new year to you and yours.

  9. Many thanks JMG for all of your work these past years, and for the powerful blessing at the end of today’s article. Sincere prayers and wishes for a prosperous, peaceful, hale and hearty new year to you, Sara and all Ecosophians.
    Gawain

  10. I for one, do not have any faith in the inadequately tested vaccines, and will resist being propagandized into getting one. I suspect the driving force behind the vaccine push is a burning desire to return to business as usual, which ain’t gonna happen. My husband and I can’t afford health insurance, nor can we afford to stop working. What would happen if we got the vaccine, and suffered serious side affects? The medical establishment pushing these untested drugs would just shrug and say “oh well…” I’d rather trust my immune system than Big Pharma.

  11. Thank you for this post, and this blog. I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written here, although I think things will continue to get worse in the more urban areas no matter what happens. Things have deteriorated too much. The mass fleeing from the cities has begun, and I think will continue for quite a while.

    I am just incredibly thankful to be ringing in the new year in a small town in a sparsely populated state, in no small thanks to reading this blog, your books (and the thoughts of your commentators) over the past few years.

    Here’s to 2021!

  12. Thanks for all your work at the blogs you run JMG. They have felt like the last remaining center of calm in a mad world.

    Those are mixed notes as to how the next year and following will play out. What I found interesting was how this post seemed at least hopeful compared to the tenor of your recent mundane analysis of the United States, which seemed to point towards more unrest, major governmental problems (including a major Biden gaffe in his term) and a continued path towards not really resolving outstanding issues till at least 2025. Is that more of looking for the silver lining or trying to stay balanced?

    I can only imagine the effects on governmental legitimacy should the vaccines turn out to have significant negative results. Though that’s tempered by the amount big tech is censoring and will let out to the general populace. I believe you mentioned the 3rd house of communications/internet companies was due for a major hit and hope that stays true.

  13. Thanks for the post John. We live in interesting times. The potential for greater disorder in the USA concerns me from my perspective north of the border. I hope that the new American administration can do better than the previous administrations, but that may be a slim hope given the deep institutional corruption at work in the country. For my part, I fear that we may be having to deal with American refugees in the north half of the continent

  14. John, et al.–

    Perhaps I’m being too cynical, but I cannot see Biden, of all people, as being one who “gets it.” Like you, my assumption has been that he represents a fast-track to status quo ante, or at least the attempted return to such. I’ve always thought that the change-agent would have to be, rather like Trump, an outsider and not a card-carrying member of the political establishment. I’m prepared to be wrong, however. We’ll see how this first year of the administration unfolds. (I’ll be particularly watching to see if some of Trump’s more telling EOs–such as EO 13932, dated 26 Jun 2020, which revised the criteria by which applicants to federal jobs were assessed and pointedly removed educational credentials as an exclusive criterion, allowing the substitution of pertinent experience–get reversed by Biden.)

    As for the vaccine–no plans to get it myself. I’ve managed w/o the flu vaccine for decades and I can manage w/o this one until the potential side effects are better known. Even my wife, who was no fan of Trump and who was far more accepting of the COVID restrictions than I have been, has stated that she dos not plan on getting jabbed anytime soon. I hope no one suffers b/c of the rush-to-approval. This is one time I’d hate to be right.

    I would be shocked if the call-to-arms for reduced energy consumption takes off among the elite. I can’t say that I have a good sense of the psychology of these things, however, and I’m prepared to be wrong here, too. I think it’s far more likely that climate change gets dropped as a cause celebre. (I mean, we all know that fusion technology is right around the corner, so nothing needs to change…right?) In the end, we can only keep on keepin’ on and working within the space of our own lives: this is something I’m–very slowly–coming to accept.

    Finally, I’ll join my wishes of the others here for you to have a safe and productive break, John. And to everyone in the community, blessings upon you all: beyond the immense value this community brings, you all have helped make a challenging year more bearable. My deepest and most sincere thanks to everyone here.

  15. @JMG

    Please feel free to delete this comment if it seems off – topic, but given that you have written about the media, I thought that you might be interested in this book called ‘A Road to Nowhere: the idea of Progress and its critics’ by Prof. Matthew Slaboch of the University of Pennsylvania. It is surprisingly good, especially, given that the author is an academic. To describe the book briefly, the author discusses Spengler, Danilevsky, Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn and other ‘pessimists’ who have critiqued the belief in unchecked progress, and concludes (with some reluctance and handwaving, IMO) that they are right and mainstream opinion wrong.

    Also, wishing you and Mrs. Greer a Happy New Year in advance!

  16. “With that in mind, I’d like to encourage my readers to stay watchful, stay nimble, keep your pantries well stocked with necessities, and remember that all those yammering faces on glass screens are there to sell you something you don’t want to buy.”

    While this is very true, please everyone remember that you are, in fact, looking at a glass screen this very moment.

    I wish you all peace in the coming mystery.

  17. A couple of notes, and this from finding myself at some strange front lines:

    1) Remember that, when everything shut down in Mid-March, flights around the world and car travel to various downtowns deeply dropped off as everyone with an office job and a commute to match suddenly had to stay home…and Greenhouse Gas emissions dropped deeply as a result. This wasn’t just the working class being forced to stay at home and lose all sources of self-support (although that indeed happened, along with a malign neglect of duties from certain congresspeople), this was also much of the comfortable classes being forced to change their habits.

    This would explain the seemingly sudden willingness to call out the extremely rich for their lifestyle – now that it has been proven that emissions can be cut when deemed necessary, now’s the time to actually lay some active guilt on people who could probably take on some deeper cuts with a small amount of actual sacrifice.

    (Admission: I was one of the masses canceling a round-trip flight mid-March, along with a hotel room, a registration at a gathering, and plans for a few days in Las Vegas. Was close enough to my birthday for that day to count as an excuse. Also drove around at my job for months afterwards and noticed how wonderfully empty the Expressways of Chicago were.)

    2) Probably the most interesting thing about the COVID vaccine is that the Medical Establishment has had to give their bodies in direct support of the Vaccines, as the Medical Practitioners of all stripes (from doctors to surgeons to nursing home employees) have been the first in line for the vaccines. If those vaccines are safe, they’ll be the proof (and the medical establishment will gain new life), if the vaccines prove dangerous enough then even those with blind faith and the ability to draw medical support to them will find themselves needing to turn away from the medical establishment – even while many others pull away (or pull FURTHER away) from a medical establishment which may be unable to deal with a self-administered mess that came from the one moment that they HAD to take their own medicine first.

    (Context: having some heart trouble at the moment, having to deal with the medical establishment. Had a couple of doctors talk about taking the COVID Vaccine. And since we’re talking about two widely different practices (GP and Cardiologist), the assumption is that the whole of the Medical Community is busy getting the vaccines – both out of belief in the Vaccines and the understanding that they have to deal with the Virus as a matter of course.)

  18. I can’t imagine the US military would stand by and let the system collapse because I can’t imagine they would want to allow the power vacuum that would create for China to step into. That scenario would place the US beneath China irrevocably for the foreseeable future. Cheaper perhaps, but not one the military would consider desirable.

    From what I understand about the Soviet Union, the system was so derelict it couldn’t have survived much longer either way. I don’t know enough about the state of the US to tell just how derelict/functioning it is and whether a sudden implosion is a real possibility at this time.

    Thank you for your good wishes. I will second them.

  19. I have been looking at some possible investment opportunities for 2021, but ultimately I think I will end up hunkering down. As someone who enjoys long term planning with many contingencies, there are just too many what-ifs to make a sensible, even risky, decision. At this point it seems positive just to survive 2021.

    On another note, I am finally reading The Long Descent. Its both frightening and comforting in an odd juxtaposition.

  20. One of the things I’m watching with astonishment is that the fact people are having horrific reactions is making the mainstream media, who then contextualize it as “This is one person out of millions! Covid is worse!” I keep finding references to things like “Health care workers in Alaska” and when I look it up, find mainstream media articles discussing this very fact. The TImes even had an article there. This is going to be very, very interesting, in the sense of the curse.

  21. My mental model suggest that 2020 was the year that the powerful decision makers (be that informal billionaire corporate networks, the deep state, a secret satanic cult, or whatever— I don’t pretend to know) changed tactics from delaying the inevitable collapse to one of mitigating the consequences, and they are doing so by means of what has made them so powerful in the first places: lies and deceit.

    It’s interesting to note that 2020 was the year in The Limits to the Growth that was most often predicted to be the beginning of the end of industrial growth. Seeing as how the Fed’s balance sheet went exponential this year an unwelcome congratulation may soon be due to Meadows and company.

    So I think that it’s safe to predict and plan for a 2021 that will be filled with more of the same kind of media/government induced hysteria and BS that took 2020 to wartime propaganda heights: new deadly pandemic strains, safe & effective vaccines, mostly peaceful protest, unquestionably fair elections, small handouts for the masses, big bailouts for the massive, and nonexistant inflation.

    I hope I am wrong and maybe even crazy — I have a years worth of backpacking left that I wanted to do.

    Nate D.
    will not be wearing a mask next year in Bonner’s Ferry Idaho.

  22. Happy New Year, everybody!

    JMG, you enjoy your break. Don’t worry at all about your suddenly Druidless readers. We’ll manage. Just go on your merry way and don’t give us a thought…

    From the site’s “National “ Mom…

  23. There’s an article from Scientific American on the risks of the vaccine. The fact this is appearing there of all places says that even a lot of their staff, who’ve been bought and are usually all gung-ho for progress anyway, are worried. If they’re concerned, I think it’s safe to say there’s a major problem….

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-risks-of-rushing-a-covid-19-vaccine/

    Meanwhile, here’s what Newsweek has to say on the topic. The headline says it all: “Unknown COVID Vaccine Side Effects May Appear After Millions Immunized—But Benefits Outweigh Risks”. Their argument is literally Covid is COLD PRICKLY, so vaccines are good.

    https://www.newsweek.com/covid-vaccine-side-effects-rare-long-term-benefits-outweigh-risks-millions-immunized-1552009

    Dear gods this is going to end so badly….

  24. The debates you had with Dimitry Orlov sound interesting. Are they archived somewhere? For myself, I wish the Dems would abandon the identity politics that they’ve embraced so enthusiastically for decades, and attend to policy issues with more real substance; like dealing with corporate power for example. Have a productive month off.

  25. Thanks JMG for another year of insightful and entertaining writing – enjoy your much-deserved winter rest.

    Feels like we’re walking a narrow and rocky path at high elevation – both exhilarating and scary. We could get to a safer place, fall hard or just keep on wandering. I don’t comment much these days, but read the comments every week and learn a great deal. So thanks to the commentariat too, and best wishes to all for a blessed and hopefully not-too-interesting 2021.

  26. Do you think, in light of the indications in the Grand Mutation chart, plus the truly atrocious inauguration chart, that Biden might end up being the last president of the US? That this could be the term it all comes crashing down?

  27. Given the fact that certain loud voices here in Ontario are now suggesting getting the vaccine be made mandatory in order to have a job (not go to work, get a job), I’ve been looking into the vaccine more, trying to decide how I’ll handle that, thus the repeated posts. After seeing the arguments for why this is different from Thamaldahide (IT WAS NEVER APPROVED!) and Fen-Phen (TWO DRUGS!), I think I’d rather take my chances being homeless for a bit…..

    Also, a doctor friend of mine has informed me that she sees reason to suspect the vaccine can have a lethal interaction with alcohol. Given how common that intoxicant is, if true this could be a disaster….

  28. @ JMG – That certainly is a lot to chew on, and I hope you enjoy your time off. I will ask you to clarify some of your thinking on these issues for me:
    1 – I’m a bit perplexed by what you are considering a ‘moderate’ political stance, especially when using the left/right verbiage, which should apply more to economic policy than social ‘issues’. Take the current fight over stimulus checks. This fight has laid bare, again, just how grossly enabling Washington is for kleptocratic class. Outside of Washington, most people (and keep in mind, that I live in Oklahoma which is, shall we say, center-right at best) view stimulus money are a no-brainer that should happen, rather than a contentious fight. I think when most people hear any DC politician say they’re going to ‘reach across the aisle’ or be ‘bi-partisan’ they immediately assume said politician will pursue another endless war, corporate bailout, or gutting some other policy like Social Security, that actually helps people. So which is it?
    2 – Have you noticed how visible the ruling class is making it that they, themselves, appear to be getting the vaccine? Do you think they’ve noticed that actions speak louder than words?
    3 –I am concerned that people are taking these claims of voter fraud seriously enough they may decide to act against an ‘illegitimate government’. Perception sometimes is reality, I suppose. That said, If the Democratic Party could rig multiple state elections to get Biden into the White House, wouldn’t they rig the Senate races to give themselves a majority? Why lose seats in the House if you don’t have to? To that end, if the evidence is so convincing, why has the Trump legal team lost 49 out of 50 court cases?

  29. A few weeks ago I spent an hour or so looking up pre-covid articles on MRNA vaccines on the internet. Most of this was pharma-industry articles ( those not behind paywalls) talking about the bright future of MRNA vaccines in 2018 and 2019 . The interesting part was that most of the insider type articles did not extoll this new type of Vaccine for its safety or effectiveness but instead lauded it for its reduced development time and ease of manufacture. Traditional vaccines require large facilities painstakingly culturing virus bits in labor intensive “incubators”. Most of these traditional vaccine factories had been shut down or off-shored in the last 20 years because they were deemed to be unprofitable. MRNA vaccines can be cranked out in a sophisticated but easily automated set of enzyme and other chemical reactions. These articles from 2019 predicted a bright future for these new high tech vaccines but warned that they would still be a decade or more in development because of issues with long term side effects and real world handling difficulties ( the need for ultra cold temperatures among them). Seems pretty risky to fast track such a thing to me.

  30. Dear JMG,

    Many thanks for this! Recently I’ve been thinking about how immediately I’ve felt the Grand Mutation and the various aspects it can make with the planets in people’s Natal Charts. My geomantic divinations indicated that aspects formed by Grand Mutation in people’s charts will endure for the length of the Grand Mutation as a reality of how the zeitgeist and the person interact. The Grand Mutation might conjunct, sextile, square, trine or oppose any planet in the chart, and for many people several planets may be directly effected. I find this fascinating since it seems that a lot of people will be touched by Fated change in the new era we are entering.

    This year, then, seems extra unpredictable on that account. As I understand it, some people will be met with good, some with evil, and some with straight up weird based on how the Grand Mutation interacts with the Natal Chart. On my own blog I’ve written a meditation on these themes and also offer my prayers to those who may wish for folks to pray on their behalf, the details are on my blog for those who might be interested: https://violetcabra.dreamwidth.org/.

    That said, I think things will get extremely interesting with far greater rapidity than usual, at least for many people who have the Grand Mutation aspecting planets in their charts. On my end, I find myself looking forward to the new year with enthusiasm. I firmly believe that there’s all sorts of ways that we as individuals can make a difference in ways that matter, and in that spirit I hope to have the insight to see the opportunities in crisis and the courage to act on those insights.

    I wish you and Sara a wonderful New Year, JMG, and a wonderful New Year to the commentariat.

  31. My mum worked in third world medicine in the 1970s, including treating one of the last cases of smallpox in Latin America. She says there’s always been a proportion of people who’ve had bad reactions to vaccines. But if the vaccine killed you, the disease probably would have too. Vulnerability to one signals vulnerability to the other. So people in that segment of the population were likely in trouble either way.

  32. Maybe I’ve become too cynical over the years, especially since 2006, when Cold bowl Nancy&co. pulled that icecream-stained linen cloth .. with all those shiny plebian promisesettings, OFF THE TABLE! .. only to be scattered upon the dirty House floor. So with all that’s been hurled down the D.C. pipe since, I see nothing but more hemming & hawing to be furthered by the KamJoe administration – blowing the more-than-occasional Cackling Kiss of Death to rain down on all those deplorable LowerMokestanis – by hitching their Wokewagon ‘securely’ to the Schwabian WEF/davos Cloud Chariot, thinking their glidepath invulnerable to any and all ‘passed-wind’shear!

    Guess we’ll see what giveth first, the Chariot .. or the Mokes. Who knows?? … Could be the makings of an Epic!

    Enjoy your restivities, Mr. Greer .. as we roll into Year 21!

  33. First off, thank you to everyone who wished me well on next month’s break!

    Youngelephant, sometimes anxiety is an appropriate response.

    Ian, if even David Axelrod has noticed so obvious a fact, there’s at least a little reason for hope. Thanks for this.

    Merle, nope. If you don’t want to have to follow all the comments, why, then don’t visit this blog between January 1 and February 3!

    Taylor, I don’t think I’ve heard of Martin Armstrong. Can you suggest a good print source online (I don’t watch videos)?

    Kim, you’re most welcome. The series of posts on The Cosmic Doctrine will be coming out as a book eventually, for whatever that’s worth.

    Steve, no, it won’t be anything like the most cynical moment in the history of the republic. It’ll be business as usual in politics; this kind of thing has happened over, and over, and over again in the history of every country you care to name. That said, if it happens, next year may not be quite as bad as this one has been, and that’s a worthwhile thing to hope for.

    Adwelly, the choice is yours, of course. I won’t be taking the vaccine, but that’s because I already had the virus and got through it fine with three days of bed rest and my preferred methods of crackpot medicine. But it’s a choice everyone needs to make for themselves.

    Chris, see my comment to Adwelly immediately above. It really is an individual choice.

    Danaone, and likewise…

    Tude, it depends on which urban area you have in mind. The big coastal cities (counting Chicago as north coast)? Sure, and yes, people are fleeing from those for very good reason. Some of the cities in the interior are seeing their tax base boom, and others are doing quite well. That said, if you’ve got yourself comfortably situated in a small town and all is well, enjoy!

    Tamanous, my post attempted to maintain a balance between positive and negative possibilities, because both are, ahem, possible. I know which way I think things will go, but those thoughts are speculations rather than certainties.

    Raymond, in your place I’d be getting ready to deal with them.

    David BTL, I seriously doubt that Biden gets much of anything these days, other than his daily meds. It’s his handlers and the team of political operatives who are using him as their sock puppet who might just possibly have a clue. But we’ll see…

    Viduraawakened, hmm! Fascinating. I’ll see if the local library can scare me up a copy.

    Docshibby, do you see my yammering face?

    Godozo, thanks for this. If one or the other of the mRNA vaccines turns out to have serious problems, watching the impact on the medical industry is going to be, er, colorful…

    Lunar Apprentice, yes, I saw that. A straw in the wind? We’ll see.

    Piglet, the military leadership? Sure. The grunts who would actually have to do the work of propping up our derelict system? Not so much. The supreme weakness in any hierarchical institution — and the military is a fine example — is that the power of the people who are notionally in charge depends utterly on the willingness of the people who actually do the work to follow the orders of their superiors — and that willingness, of course, is not limitless.

    E Wilham, invest in skills. What you know how to do will do you much more good in a chaotic situation than what you own.

    Anonymous, I think they realize that if they try to silence every report of negative reactions, the rumor mills will run wild. They’re trying to stay out in front of the curve, in the hope that it will just be a few scattered negative reactions. If they’re wrong, it’s going to get ugly in a hurry.

    Nate, well, we’ll see!

    Your Kittenship, trust me, I won’t. 😉

    Anonymous, here again, they’re trying to stay out in front of the curve. How it ends is not something anyone can know in advance.

    Phutatorius, you’d have to look for videos from peak oil conferences back in the day, where Dmitry and I used to have some lively disuptes.

    Anonymous, once again, we’ll see…

    Ben, I’m going to let you and my commentariat ponder those questions yourselves, as I don’t see any point in repeating things I’ve said many times in the past.

    Clay, that does seem rather risky. Of course since vaccine manufacturers are legally protected against product liability issues, the risk is all on the side of the recipients and the gain is all on the side of the manufacturers.

    Violet, well, we’ll see! The Grand Mutation made a hostile aspect to my midheaven, and I certainly hope I don’t spend the next 199 years (say, 2-3 lives) having career problems as a result…

    Yorkshire, that’s true of conventional weakened-virus vaccines. Whether it’s true of mRNA vaccines is one of many things we just don’t know yet.

    Polecat, as I noted earlier, it’s intriguing to see how many people try to find certainty in one way or another in uncertain times.

  34. It’s very good to read a sober analysis of where we are, even if it is so difficult to be certain about the (near) future.

    I have a friend who is an MD. I have tried to raise the concerns I have about the vaccines with him – nothing crazy, just the very same perfectly reasonable concerns you wrote about. His response is more or less to call me a tinfoil hatter; of course these vaccines are safe!! The thing is, the harder I get shouted at that it’s all perfectly safe, the less convinced I become. Meanwhile, I read about would-be future fathers being recommended to freeze their sperm – just in case.

    As for Biden moving to the centre, let’s hope so, but that begs the question of why he waited until after the election to do that. Perhaps even the DNC was shocked to see how hard it was to, ahem, arrange for him to have enough votes. BTW Orlov has a nice post up (http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2020/12/world-satanic-society-2020-year-end.html#more) pointing out how the numbers just don’t add up and yet this isn’t even being discussed.

    If Biden has had a look at your analysis of the inauguration chart, maybe he has decided to “develop a disease” almost immediately and hand over to President Harris. He certainly makes enough gaffes which point in that direction.

    Enjoy your break from blogging.

  35. Have a good vacation! Some of us did weird(er than usual) things this year and you and your writings were a bright beacon of sanity. Thank you.

    FWIW, my predictions for the vaccines are that they’ll be largely a plutonian fizzle health-wise. They’ll be rolled out so slowly, and the first doses and being prioritized for people so old and in ill health they are largely going to die in the observation period to know whether they would have long term side effects anyway. My health region got vaccine in mid-December, but the first responders – third down the list behind care home residents and their carers, and hospital staff – aren’t getting their first dose until the end of March. They won’t be considered immune until their second dose in June. Since other respiratory viral pandemics blew over without vaccines within 2-4 years, by the time they could possibly ramp out all the vaccinations to the entire population, people won’t bother because suddenly the rate of infections will drop – it’ll be spring and summer in the northern hemisphere again, by then, after all – and they’ll quietly drop the panic about it, and the low risk people will forget about how badly they’d needed everyone and their dog vaccinated, and will approach it with the same diligence most of us approach getting our flu vaccines (irregularly, if at all). The governments paid for the vaccines already, so the fact that they’ll all expire, go bad because of the extremely finicky storage requirements, etc. before everyone gets them will be able to be quietly swept under the rug to their great relief. Pandemic over, vaccinations for everyone who had really needed one, and the world carries on as usual with anyone who showed particular incompetence being promoted at least once, and the people who worked really hard in the trenches leaving in disillusionment and disgust (oh, that might be me projecting based on my own corporate experience ;-)).

    Not to mention, of course, that most people will never get their second dose, making the entire exercise largely worthless, because politicians have bowed to public insanity, and, in Ontario so far, but I’m sure other jurisidictions will follow, they are not reserving the second dose to ensure it will be there for recipients to complete the series, and are giving it all out, and just hoping that somehow enough vaccine will continue to arrive in large enough, ever increasing quantity, to ensure that everyone who got a first dose gets a second dose of the same vaccine. Anyone who thinks that there will be remotely enough, or that it will arrive to the right places at the right times, and without mixing up brands or doses to people, has apparently never encountered a medical system in the developed or developing world before, and have not gone shopping lately or spoken to a shop keeper about the major supply chain and long distance transport issues that are occurring.

  36. JMG, how do you know whom the vast majority of military personnel voted for President in 2020? What are your sources of information? Do those sources show a difference between officers and enlisted personnel?

  37. I am unlikely to have the opportunity to take any of the Covid-19 vaccines until the fall. I am planning on getting it unless really nasty sideffects have cropped up by then, as I think the risk lower for me than getting Covid, and I also don’t want to pass Covid to someone else at higher risk. Since I won’t be offered it for many months, I figure that the risk profiles will be better-known by then, and I’ll be able to make a reasonably informed decision.

  38. I am simply flabbergasted that our betters seem to genuinely believe that vaccinating billions of people with experimental vaccines is a good idea. This looks like WWI level stupidity, and sadly, all I can do is try to get through this more or less unharmed. My plan is to delay getting vaccinated for as long as possible. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to avoid it entirely (or at least for a few years, while data is collected and we can see if the thing is as safe as they say it is). But I should be able to delay getting vaccinated at least until next summer, at which point, at least some data will be in (if the data looks very bad, they’ll withdraw the vaccine in question, or at least one can hope they will).

    BTW, what does it mean to “go kinetic”? I understand “kinetic,” but this must be some sort of idiom I’d never encountered before, and Google is no help.

  39. Reply,

    JMG,

    Here is Martin’s Website, which is probably the best place to start:

    https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/the-business-cycle/

    (hope the link works) There are also lots of other people talking about him online that I feel like can explain his work really well. Gordon White seems to stand by this guy’s work.

    Martin seems to be hailed as a genius to some, crack-pot scam artist to others. His various models seem to mirror your various predictions for next year, most notably the uptick in civil unrest, peak oil, and peak in the “plague cycle” (ie. negative vaccine side-effects) within the next year.

    Personally, I dont think I have enough of a reference point to think I understand a lot of his work, but you seem like someone with a lot of life experience under your belt, so I was curious what you think considering some of the similar predictions.

    Thanks again for your time! 🙂 Happy New Year

  40. @Docshibby: My screen seems to be made of some kind of plastic composite. Harlan Ellison’s book The Glass Teat, from the 70s, is still relevant today, close to five decades later. Always preferred text to yammering heads.

  41. This year has flummoxed me in terms of predictions. I thought, as Covid started, that the economic fallout would pop the housing bubble here in Canada. Wrong! I didn’t expect at all that it would actually fuel the housing bubble.

    That’s one realization I had about predictions in general – it’s one thing to try to predict WHAT may happen, it’s another to predict WHEN it will happen. One can infer a change based on current circumstances, ie, a car is heading towards a cliff and the driver doesn’t know, therefore the car will eventually drive off the cliff. But suddenly the engine breaks down, and the car stops. The driver still doesn’t know the cliff is there, but the prediction has been proven wrong.

    We knew that at some point that a pandemic would occur at some point, because that’s what they do. But predicting when? Much more difficult.

    In addition to those points you noted, there’s also this great unknown: the economic consequences of the Covid vaccine not working. Basically, to the authorities, the vaccine HAS to work. All the stimulus is aimed at getting us to the point where immunization to Covid is widespread. If it doesn’t work or there are numerous side effects, as you suggested is a possibility, then we could be in for an economic reckoning as then the powers-that-be can’t continue to print money to provide stimulus for whenever lockdowns are imposed. If that’s true, that alone is a pretty good reason to be wary of the vaccine. Although, why do I assume that governments can’t continue to print money…

    I’ve been watching what’s been happening with Bitcoin lately as a proxy for the economy, because it appears that the reason for the spike in its value is because it’s supposedly an inflation hedge for those worried about where to park their money. Gold is pretty high this year, too. So these surges in value may have less to do with people wanting to get rich (though of course that’s a factor, too), and more to do with the fear of the loss in value of one’s dollar assets.

    On the other hand, this could be marketing on the part of those already invested big in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general – to make them look like safe havens. That would be quite an act of thaumaturgy: to make Bitcoin, with all its volatility, appear as the safest place to invest. Meanwhile, the Bitcoin charts are looking right now an awful lot like they did back in 2017 during its last big spike.

    But who knows? Like I said, I was wrong this year with most of my other predictions. The whole weave of causality is less like a weave, and more like a wet, shrunken wool sweater of causality – even more jumbled up than usual.

  42. Martin Armstrong can be found at armstrongeconomics.com. Ongoing daily blog posts going back years.

  43. Dear JMG,

    For what it’s worth, further geomantic divination indicates clearly that the direct effects of the Grand Mutation on anyone’s natal chart won’t necessarily abide in natal charts of future incarnations of the individual, which fits my intuition. Also, I have the sense that there are plenty of techniques that you know far better than I for mitigating hostile aspects and supporting planets in one’s natal chart. 😉

    Of course, you’re absolutely right that we’ll see regarding my speculations as with so many other speculations. I’m prepared to be wrong, of course, which is why I divined about my speculations, but like so much broader pattern stuff I only expect to really grasp it when my mental sheath has developed far more than it has yet.

    Still, I feel a far greater sense of change occurring right now in the collective than ever before in my life, it’s like a spring thaw revealing forgotten ground, a chaos of rivulets cut into dissolving ice and the soft earth, a rapidly changing landscape where what was yesterday in no way predicts what will be tomorrow.

  44. Venturing into the unknown is a fearful adventure that requires courage and wisdom, nonetheless.

    I am reminded of Ted Kaptchuk’s homily on the more spiritual/emotional aspects of the Kidney* in his introductory Traditional Chinese Medice treatise called “The Web that has no Weaver”. He noted that the emotion that particularly disturbs the Kidney is fear (fear can literally make you pee your pants!) while one translation of the “spirit” of the Kidney, Zhi, is “Will”. Kaptchuk divided this into the Yang will (the one we use every day when deciding what to do next), and the Yin will, the one which may correlate (for this commentariat) to the higher self – the direction a life can take, but which may not be apparent until long afterwards, looking back. The growth of the Yin will is considered to correlate to the growth of Wisdom informed by experience.

    And the insight this reading gave me was the idea that both fear and wisdom engage with the Great Unknown – but while fear can freeze or paralyse one in the face of the unknown, wisdom can release the will to be effective, and help one stride forth, with courage, into that unknown that will never diminish, only continue to recede into a moving horizon…

    Thanks for this, and many blessings upon your goings and doings in the month of January.

  45. If in fact, the election was successfully rigged, a thing that we may need to add to our list of unknowables. Then it, in of itself, is a fulcrum for political collapse. Answering to the voters is the only real factor that keeps the elites in power from being even more self serving. With the power of big money, and such this fear has been watered down and resulted in the increasingly self serving behavior that we have all seen over the last decades. But once they have the inkling that they might be able to fix future elections ( weather that turns out to be the case or not) they will begin acting in an even more craven and self serving way. Such behavior will quickly tip the scales and result in a Soviet type collapse due to the masses loosing interest in keeping the carnival running.

  46. Could you briefly review your predictions you made for 2020? I always look forward to that annual post on your blog. It is always educational. I understand it it’s too much for a comment though!

  47. I am concerned about what happens to trust in medicine if a widely-used coronavirus vaccine were to prove to have really bad long-term results. If it were to cause refusal of all vaccines to go mainstream, this would likely cause resurgences in infectious diseases like measles, rubella, mumps, whooping cough, and potentially polio, diptheria, yellow fever, typhoid etc.

    That has the potential to kill a lot of people worldwide over the long term, as well as taking resources that we already need to deal with cancer, heart disease, and antibiotic resistance. Combining antibiotic resistance with vaccine refusal seems tailor-made to send death rates soaring and beat down lifespans.

  48. John,

    I wish Sara and you a relaxing, rejuvenating, etherically regenerating rest, and that all things raucous, redundant and recidivist leave you alone so you may recalibrate as needed .

    Thanks for a years worth of wonderful essays and thought provoking interaction with you and the commentariat. I am grateful for a place to have some great conversations.

    Thanks to the commentariat for being such a fun digital community to be a part of. As others have noted, I learn so much by reading the comments after the essay, and if you don’t mind I’d like to borrow your blessing from the end, “may the powers that guide your destiny bring you good things.”

    Onward’s to the wilderness of 2021 and the rest of this decade. Until February y’all.

  49. Oops, hit the “enter” button too quick…

    * Kidney is capitalised and singular here, because it refers to the TCM concept which is subtly different to the standard medicine concept of the plural organs known as the “kidneys”. The TCM idea is rather like a civil service department – each “organ” being an office that is in charge of carrying out certain tasks and functions, which sometimes, but not always, overlap with what the anatomical kidneys actually do.

  50. JMG, thanks for another excellent post and enjoy your break. As years go, 2021 seems very difficult to predict, so keeping your comments at the higher level is wise. If I were the oddsmaker at the local racetrack however, I’d give “Biden does the right thing” a morning line of at least 25-1.

    It’s my opinion that the economic changes will dominate 2021, as the impact of tens of millions unemployed and the structural changes of going from a consumer-based model into extreme contraction really takes hold. COVID will be a minor thought by the end of the year. There will be potential for employment in the refurbishing, recycling and lower energy sectors of the economy, but the momentum to “get back to normal” for many will make it a rough ride. You have history on your side about the timeline of collapse, but I see it happening much faster as .GOV hoards the dwindling supplies of fossil fuels and other resources. Good luck to us all, as the next leg down should come in January.

    @David, By the Lake – I really enjoyed your five part story, “The Hard Streets of Aphrodite” out on the Solar System Heritage web site. Any update on future installments or compilation into a novel?

  51. We both know the answer to your question.

    I know you don’t watch video much, a position I agree with, but you may enjoy this song and the accompanying animation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubTALMnfsfE

    It is from the Netflix show Big Mouth. The lyrics are a little hard to understand, so I recommend using the subtitles.

    If you choose not to watch it, the lyrics are below. I do recommend watching though, it is quite spectacular.

    When the ghosts of fear and failure come to haunt you
    And the gleaming lights of hope all fade from view
    When the armies of doubt and dread
    Are marching in your head
    Then the answer, my friend is tried and truuuuue
    “Whatcha gonna do?!”

    When a mother leaves her babe to cry in darkness
    And the storm clouds of betrayal begin to brew
    When the fortune-teller lies
    And the faithful hide their eyes
    Then the cosmos has but one answer for youuuuu
    “Whatcha gonna do!?”

    When you think that you’re da man
    Cuz they told you you’re da man
    And you want to be da man
    But it turns out
    You’re not da maaaan
    “Whatcha gonna do!?

    I sense that there are many travelers here who would gain some enjoyment from it, perhaps more.

  52. Confidence. Relationships, groups, societies all have cohesion -or not – depending on how much confidence the parties have in each other.

    For the disaffected in the United States, my perception is that confidence among the working poor for the governing system is nearly exhausted, only the thinnest threads of “hope” remain – and that remains because of a lack of alternative vision.

    That edifice of imaginary and actual bureaucratic/political structure that orders our lives is crumbling. Its form yesterday will not persist into tomorrow. Change is upon us, but we in the US are facing a tomorrow similar what became evident after the “Arab Spring”. In those select countries where governments fell (Egypt, Syria ,Libya and Tunisia) there was no alternative vision in place to roll the change into so there was eventually a reversion to the old systems (Tunisia, Egypt) or the countries are still in states of violent chaos.

    We here in the US don’t have an alternative system. I think many of us on the lower end of the economic ladder sense (or even fantasize) impending chaos and violence. The market demand this year for ammunition and reloading supplies illustrates my assertion, I believe.

    Perhaps you, dear Archdruid, would consider dedicating a bit more energy (on top of that you do and have) to leading an effort to construct some alternative visions?

    I have a great respect for your thoughtfulness and wisdom, as do, I am sure, most of your readers. You hold our confidence. Many of us will participate if you lead.

  53. Thanks for this post, a very good commentary on the unknowns ahead and a better, more honest way of addressing the shift from 2020-2021 than the usual forecasts that we will see aplenty. I’d like to share with you something I found quite odd that I saw yesterday in a youtube video of what seemed a fairly routine military gathering to celebrate the one year anniversary of the U.S. Space Force. Most of it was the usual review of the great things that happened this year, with congratulations and thanks to the people involved. Until Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller spoke. He did much of the same, but at the end of his talk he turned to VP Pence who was seated near him, and said that he wanted to give him a personal thank you. He started by saying, “We’ve been through some stuff”, and went on to thank him for “his steady hand and leadership” during *some of the [most] complex military operations this country has ever conducted.* As he said this, his voice started to crack slightly and by the end he almost sounded like he was fighting back tears. At the very least, he was obviously moved. But what “complex military operations (from this year) could he have been talking about?? Then he got control of himself and continued with his scripted speech. You can see it here:
    https:www.facebook.com/WhiteHouse/videos/2166069656858966/
    (You don’t need Facebook to watch it). That moment occurs around 19:52.
    Wishing you a restful January.

  54. Had a weird experience on the last day of work this year. Our team was signing off and somebody said “let’s hope 2021 is better than this year. Although, there’s not much chance of that.” If even salaried employees who’ve been working from the couch all year are thinking that way then that might be a telling sign.

    JMG – thanks for another year of providing the most thought-provoking forum on the web.

  55. My daughter is a licensed practical nurse. The facility in which she works has been severely affected by the covid virus. She dumps all her clothes in the washer immediately upon arriving at home and takes a shower. Her kids are keeping the house sanitized. She will be receiving the vaccine soon as will all health care workers as a condition of continued employment. Health care and access to same being a major status symbol in the USA, I doubt the first round of vaccines will be toxic. Members of the elite classes are after all getting vaccinated themselves, nor do they want to see a large die off among health care workers. What I do worry about is cost cutting and simple incompetence affecting later issues of the vaccine. Does anyone still doubt that American business is no less incompetent and corrupt than American government?

    Much as I admire Canada I would not care to be a citizen of a country where the Queen of England is the head of state. I suspect the people who not only will be but already are crossing our Northern border are the recent arrivals from other continents once they realize that there are no more easy fortunes to be made in the USA.

    For those of you who object to face masks, that is your business as far as I am concerned. Now you know how some of the rest of us feel who over the past decades have chosen things like not wearing crippling high heeled shoes, which are slow motion foot binding, and not spending money we don’t have on the latest fashions.

  56. Thank you Mr. Greer,

    This is both fascinating and sobering. Given your talk of vaccines I was wondering what you think are the odds of 1) government enforced vaccinations and 2) indirect forced vaccinations through employers requiring it.

  57. Over on Saker’s site I was kind of surprised to find this:

    https://thesaker.is/secrets-about-time-they-are-still-keeping-from-you/

    I’ve heard this sort of thing from my millennial friends, that the past has no value. It used to take a communist revolution to get to year1, now a college education is all that’s required. But, since the past has all been a creation of “man,” the future can be as well – and it will be. Many of the commenters expressed the same problem I had reading through the thing, but one commenter said that he had always dug Hesse and was able to follow it :- )

  58. I am finding more and more how little I know.

    Thank you for your generosity with what you know, and I wish you and Sara well. Hope you have a great break.

  59. @ drhooves

    Re The Hard Streets of Aphrodite

    Many thanks! I really enjoyed writing that series. The protagonist’s voice-in-my-head was incredibly persistent (!) and I found his character arc extremely satisfying. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried as I wrote the ending scene.

    My hope is to get it published as a novel. Given that it exists within the universe many of my other stories (in particular, the various adventures of Lady Penelope), I’d like to have the initial series of that universe (presently titled This Precarious Balance) published first, with The Hard Streets of Aphrodite as something of a companion novel. There are two further novels in the sequence (sequels to Balance which deal with later events along the main storyline): the first is in first-draft form and the second has been started.

    I also have a few more tales planned, a subsequence of adventures of Lady Penelope beginning with Lady Penelope and the Drug Lords of Venus (appearing in Volume 3 of Vintage Worlds), which I’ve also begun working on and which will likely appear (at some point) on Zendexor’s site.

    Plus, of course, there’s de-industrial stuff I’m working on for New Maps. I’m trying to be patient with myself, but there are so many stories to tell 🙂 The nitty-gritty of publishing, however, is much more involved than I’ve realized and I’m having to learn about that side of things. There’s more to writing than just the writing!

  60. Blessed be, Happy New Year, and may the vaccines work, the Biden team address the need to get people working, and the rest of us do something about what needs to happen.

    On the good news front, you asked “have you noticed that office fauna have been able to work from home during the current epidemic, thus continuing to draw their salaries, while people who work in factories, shops, and other lower-class venues have been laid off instead?” The Gainesville Sun is well aware of this.

  61. Hereward, I suspect that a lot of people in the medical profession know perfectly well that if the vaccine turns out to have major problems their industry is toast, full stop, end of sentence. People frantically insisting that X must be true, because if X is false they’ll lose their status and a lot of money, is quite common these days, as I’m sure you’ve seen. As for waiting until after the election to veer to the center, that’s standard practice on both sides: you spend the campaign mouthing the slogans of your captive constituencies, then once you get into office with their help, you ignore them until the next election campaign begins.

    Pixelated, I could definitely see that happening! So long as there are no serious health problems from any of the vaccines, or those that happen are limited to a very small percentage of cases, that would be quite plausible.

    Deborah, I saw several surveys during both campaigns and after the 2016 election, which showed what I’ve described. No, I didn’t keep the links. As far as I saw, no, they didn’t differentiate by rank.

    Pygmycory, if that’s your choice, by all means.

    Irena, that seems quite reasonable to me. As for “going kinetic,” it’s soldier’s slang for that moment when the talking ends and bullets start flying.

    Taylor, many thanks for this. I’ll find some time to go read his posts when I can.

    Jbucks, the coronavirus will fade out fairly soon one way or the other. If the vaccine protects against infection, that’s one end to the epidemic; otherwise, so many people will catch it that it will run out of vulnerable hosts, and shut down the way other respiratory epidemics have done. Your broader point, though, is true, and relevant: knowing what will happen is much easier than knowing when.

    Violet, I think there’s definitely serious potential for change at this point, but of course I do tend to think that you can predict tomorrow from yesterday — but which yesterday? Ah, that’s where the art comes in… 😉

    Scotlyn, thanks for this.

    Clay, true enough. Add to that the very widespread conviction among ordinary Americans that their votes won’t be counted fairly, and yes, that very quickly turns into political dynamite.

    Breanna, I think this year I’m just going to ket people go back to last year’s final post and draw their own conclusions. Thanks for asking, though!

    Pygmycory, that’s quite true, of course. It would be a bitter irony if public revulsion against a problematic vaccine were to turn people against the ones that work well!

    Drhooves, so noted. You do know, I trust, that various people have been predicting exactly that turn of events every single January since at least 2006…

    Docshibby, put it down to my Aspergers syndrome, but if you expected me to catch some kind of hint or subtext from this, I didn’t. Whatever…

    Zhao, I published my vision several years ago in book form. I don’t know what else I can do to get it out there.

    Lydia, thanks for this. Yes, that’s really quite odd.

    Simon, ouch. Yeah, that’s telling.

    Mary, don’t assume that the rich and influential are as smart as they think they are…

    Stephen, I don’t expect the first; the second will doubtless happen in some corporations, though even the medical industry has been forced to back down when they’ve attempted it.

    Coboarts, hmm. I’ll have to take the time to read that at some point, and see what kind of sense it makes. Or not. 😉

    Patricia, that’s very good to hear. Thank you for the data point!

  62. When considering what Biden might do I’m reminded of an essay you wrote back in Nov. of ’16 – just after the election. http://7goldfish.com/archdruid/2016/11/reflections-on-democracy-in-crisis.html

    Among other things, your essay pointed out that many peopel focus on personality rather than policy. I find this true of many Biiden supporters. They seem quite content to go back to the policies that eventually gave us Trump as long as the policies are put in place with an air of “dignity”, or “competence”, or “expertise”. They don’t mind how bad the policies are just as long as Biden plays the role of anti-Trump. This is his “mandate” to fein competence and expertise. I have a hard time beliving Joe gets it. The only hope I see is that maybe his handlers know the country is in such bad shape that the old policies won’t work anymore.

    On a more hopeful note, we might soon be able to set aside the knee-jerk opposition, and knee-jerk adulation of everything Trump. With Trump out of the picture we might be able to discuss policy on it’s own merits (or lack) rather than whether or not Trump supports/opposes it. The current “debate” over stimulis checks is a case in point. The MSM is doing backflips to keep from endorsing the $2K checks, which would greatly benefit the working class. Of course they’d have no problem supporting $2K if only Trump hadn’t come out in favor of it. Meanwhiile, back at the ranch, Trump supporters are suddenly in favor of “free stuff”, the more the better, even though Trump is supported on this issue by Bernie and AOC.

    You deserve a break, but I always find Jan. difficult to get through wiithout the weekly dose of Archdruid insight.

  63. And have a refreshing and enjoyable vacation – see you back around Imbolc/Groundhog Day.

  64. Without going into much detail I will express my gratitude for the various occult themed courses and support you have offered over the years. I wandered over to your corner of the web about a decade ago and and gradually began the work of shifting my focus from seeking material security as a prepper to a much larger and more meaningful project. At the moment if feels like I have only dipped my ankle into the kiddie pool but when I look back the transformation has been remarkable, and it is my sincere wish to pay it forward.

    As for the changes in the near future I am aware of many very disturbing possibilities as well as the inevitability of total surprises out of left field, but this passage from Dion Fortune’s The Training and Work of an Initiate gives me something to aspire to. Facing the coming challenges can be terrifying, but they could also be a catalyst for development.

    “The discipline of the Path in its earlier stages is directed primarily to the production of a definite type of character; whatever variations of intellectual quality and calibre there may be, the character-type is constant. It is the first thing that impresses one in meeting those who may justly be reckoned as initiates.

    There is a simplicity of life and a serenity of demeanour. The initiate is entirely unperturbed amid catastrophe and horror. He possesses many of the qualities of a traveller in wild lands, especially an ability to arrive right side up and smiling in the most surprising circumstances. He is equally contented and at ease in the humblest cottage and the most imposing and ceremonious surroundings.

    This harmonised, free-moving poise is the inevitable result of the discipline to which he subjects himself, for he learns control of emotion and desirelessness. It is not easy to upset the equanimity of a man who has achieved these qualities. He loves simplicity, cleanliness, and quiet, but if he cannot obtain them, he walls himself up in a shell of his own thoughts and maintains his equanimity undisturbed.”

  65. @JMG. One of the reasons it’s been such a strange year for me has been my remarkably positive experience with your favourite crackpot medicine. My judgement is that there’s no chance of convincing anyone else in my circle though – even standard herbal approaches are derided as woo and there’s a perfectly western science explanation for that. Their loss, but it is a pity.

  66. “Since other respiratory viral pandemics blew over without vaccines within 2-4 years, by the time they could possibly ramp out all the vaccinations to the entire population, people won’t bother because suddenly the rate of infections will drop – ”

    If these high priority people get the vaccine in March, that will be two years right there. March is when they stop the flu vaccines for the year. Season is over. I don’t see how the infection rate will drop when it is artificially high due to the fake PCR test. They won’t drop this pandemic until they are through with its dividends or they lose in court enough times.

    “Anyone who thinks that there will be remotely enough, or that it will arrive to the right places at the right times,”

    But one of the goals for this pandemic was to make billions for the vaccine industry. It’s one reason for the clamp down, censorship and muzzling of doctors about HCQ, budesonide, and ivermectin. It’s not like there aren’t cheap and effective treatments! But the FDA is not allowed to bend the rules and fast track a medicine/vaccine unless there are no effective treatments…hmm…could that be a factor here in refusing to acknowledge that there are indeed good treatments?

    By the way, one potential side effect that I have seen mentioned in several places might take quite a few years to play out – the vaccine causing the body to attack the placenta.

  67. JMG, this may well be too nutty and conspiratorial for you to put through, but I’m interested in your take if you have one.

    Dmitry Orlov in his latest posting, behind a paywall, references

    deagel.com

    specifically- https://deagel.com/forecast as contrasted with –

    https://deagel.com/country

    This is a strange, shadowy website of unknown ownership, and anonymous authorship that has extensive analyses of military/political/economic/social factors throughout the world. The analysis seems rather knowledgable and sophisticated, representing some well-funded effort IMHO. It has the appearance of being a public, plain-text bulletin board for the global elite, but requiring some insider background knowledge to fully comprehend its content.

    The site booted up in 2014, and I first learned of it several years ago through Dmitry, when the site came to his attention. It has been repeatedly updated, last 9-25-2020, though the forecasts appear unchanged, notwithstanding the “disclaimer” at the bottom of the ‘forecast’ page, which is an interesting read in its own right.

    Dmitry’s particular reference is to a table forecasting future populations of the world’s countries by 2025. The US forecast is for a population reduction of 70%, with similar figures for Western Europe.

    Here is a snippet from the deagel ‘disclaimer’, which suggests the thinking behind the forecast:

    “The Soviet system was less able to deliver goodies to the people than the Western one. Nevertheless Soviet society was more compact and resilient under an authoritarian regime. That in mind, the collapse of the Soviet system wiped out 10 percent of the population. The stark reality of diverse and multicultural Western societies is that a collapse will have a toll of 50 to 80 percent depending on several factors but in general terms the most diverse, multicultural, indebted and wealthy (highest standard of living) will suffer the highest toll. The only glue that keeps united such aberrant collage from falling apart is overconsumption with heavy doses of bottomless degeneracy disguised as virtue. Nevertheless the widespread censorship, hate laws and contradictory signals mean that even that glue is not working any more…”

    Reading further down, it postulates a scenario in which Russia is preparing a nuclear first strike against the US (a preposterous idea IMHO), but also suggests that a nuclear war started by the US might be a preferable course (again preposterous). All this leads me to suspect elite far-right types are behind the web-site, and that they are delusional. It’s that delusion at fairly high levels which unnerves me more than anything. Good Lord…

    Unless you happen to be familiar with deagel.com JMG, I hardly expect you to review it now. I myself had consigned it to the fringe bucket when I first encountered it, but now it seems uncomfortably pertinent.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  68. No hint or subtext. I apologize for not identifying a non-sequitur and I probably should have emphasized that much of the message is in the symbolic imagery. I enjoyed the video immensely, I thought others here, including you, might as well.

  69. I’m the fake meat opened psychic abilities guy: one major unknown I’m watching is the possibility of some major emotional meltdowns due to mishandled and unacknowledged psychic abilities, which would spread far faster than anyone would expect, as a result of fake meat messing with psychic abilities, seemingly on a permanent basis.

    As I mentioned in Magic Monday, if even a small fraction of the people who have these fake meats have these kinds of effects, even on a much milder scale, the results could be quite drastic, and quite long lasting if the effects are permanent. And by long lasting, I mean if these things are permanent, the consequences of these fake meats would still matter in 2060 even if all the fake meats are pulled tomorrow….

    Alas, I suspect we’ll never know one way or the other, but it’s still worth keeping an eye out for evidence.

    As for the Grand Mutation, I’ve done some divinations of my own and it appears that aspects to anything in that chart matter; which tells me I have an eventful time upcoming, as the sun, moon, Mercury, Uranus, Neptune, and the grand mutation itself all fit nicely into aspect patterns in my own chart….

  70. Vaccine side effects: my best friend (who works for a mega pharmaceutical firm you’d recognize and in vaccines, no less) told me on Tuesday about an odd side effect that is cropping up with Covid-19 vaccines. I’m not sure which firm makes them.

    It’s this: if you’ve had severe allergic reactions to anything in the past of the type where you carry your epi-pen with you at all times, you’d better get your shot in the doctor’s office where you’re moments away from medical rescue. She said it didn’t seem to matter (so far) as to what you are severely allergic to: bee stings, shellfish, peanuts, etc. You’ve got to wait for a while to see if you’re going to die on the spot.

    Traditionally manufactured vaccines are grown in eggs so egg allergies count but I had not heard of this. She thought it was new.

    Thanks again for a great post: I just got back from the supermarket and it had spot shortages all over the place so stock up, folks.

    Enjoy your break!

  71. Hi JMG. As your blog post is largely about events happening in the near future, I’d be interested in your views on a recent Bloomberg article I read. The article predicts 2021 will indeed be a year of peak oil, but in DEMAND, not supply. As evidence of this they point to the fact that EV car batteries have dropped in price by 10x in the past decade or so, and will likely drop 50% more by 2030. Do you think this will this give the industrial world more time before any possible great decline?

    Article: https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2020-peak-oil-era-is-suddenly-upon-us/

    Best New Year wishes to you.

  72. Stephen,

    In the US at least I don’t foresee the govt having to enforce vaccinations. But if you want a job, or to travel, or go to school, or enter a public venue…

  73. JMG, I’m with you on the vaccine; if there’s one thing I’ve learned when it comes to making anything, it’s that if something is rushed, the quality suffers. With that in mind, if you’re right about the public losing faith in modern medicine once the vaccine has its unintended side effects, I’m curious to see how the blowback will arrive: will it just take the form of the silent majority rejecting modern healthcare for alternative methods, or will it be something more noticeable? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    As for Biden’s possible willingness to compromise with the wage classes by providing more working class jobs, I hope you’re right on that, and I hope Trudeau follows suit. I had never actually heard of this until now — after all, the American media mostly focused on the personalities of each candidate in lieu of their policies, as usual. If this happens, I guess your prediction of an overall paradigm shift in the Western world would be taking effect a little faster than you anticipated. Perhaps the possible embracing of a reduced-pollution lifestyle by the privileged classes would be an example of the same thing? These are all maybes at the moment, but if they do come into effect, then you might be proven right shortly.

    Finally, since I haven’t gotten around to it yet, I’d like to wish you a (belated) happy winter solstice. I enjoyed most of my Christmas gifts, but the stars of the show, if you’ll pardon the pun, were Star’s Reach and some other books by you and the inimitable James Howard Kunstler. I’ll wait to finish off volume 10 of your essays while I dig into the new books!

    (An aside: while I was reading that collection, I noticed that you mentioned The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas. We had to read it this year at college, and I enjoyed it… just not as much as the other one that served as its counterpart. The other one, The Ones Who Stay And Fight, feels like a grotesque parody of the original. I won’t spoil anything for you, but it reads like it was written by a member of a dystopian society who hasn’t yet realized it’s a false utopia…)

  74. There is no “far left” in American politics. Left/right being properly understood as an economic continuum (Political Compass does a good job illustrating this, although you would certainly need more than two axes to fully model the situation), the far left would be people fighting for a wider distribution of wealth — not transgender bathrooms or any other sort of identity-based grievances. As someone firmly on the economic left myself, I find the latter groups and their movements as unhinged and bizarre as anyone else. It’s not an accident that class is the one verboten fault line, the one none of those folks fight for or even talk about (which serves the ownership class just fine — you can have all the “justice” and “progress” you want as long as it doesn’t cost us a dime). It is one of the ultimate triumphs of modern propaganda that there are so many people that think they’re fighting for a better world rather than the irrelevant, insane, counterproductive, or rife-with-unintended-consequences causes they’re actually pushing for. It’s a fascinating time to be alive.

  75. Biden is certainly moving to center but not nearly far enough. The one area he seems hell-bent on pursuing is gutting the second amendment. I know that appeals to everyone left of center, but given the mood of the country (and the aforementioned police & military who rank highly among the 2A crowd) that could be a grave mistake.

    Meanwhile, the fact that the far left has been otherwise shut out of the new administration virtually ensures the Dem-controlled cities will burn more brightly early next year, which should put them all in a bit of a pickle.

    I’m hoping the Rep’s retain at least one of the GA seats simply to stem the new administration’s worst impulses.

    The “vax”? I’ll hold out as long as possible as I don’t need to do anything that might engender such a requirement. The idea that the vax is necessary for a “return to business is normal” doesn’t stand close scrutiny, though — they’ve already proven that there are effective, inexpensive treatments available and the continued suppression of same means there’s more sinister aspects to the overall story.

    Peak Oil is already upon us and was likely a major factor behind the economic havoc starting in late 2019. It would be much more apparent were it not for COVID and virtually ensures an unending recession/depression going forward.

  76. My daily practice this morning (before your post went up) offered me the chance to recognize that I have an opportunity to release the view of this topsy-turvy-ness as something to tug and chafe and worry at. I admit to some weeks of nervousness, dismay, general unsettledness, etc., and yet if the practices I’ve come to adopt and the realizations they’ve guided me toward are going to mean anything, I have to let them MEAN it and live accordingly. In other words, if I’m going to attempt to live a life guided by spirit and higher powers, and if I accept that life is (or lives are) a chance to learn whatever lessons my soul needs to learn, then I need to stop second-guessing where I am and what I’m doing to the point of working myself into a lather trying to plan for all scenarios. Not that I was completely worked up, but still. I’m not advocating going through these times blind and unprepared, but rather appreciate the perspective (with thanks to Steve T and his posts at https://readoldthings.dreamwidth.org/ ) that it’s possible to recognize that divine will is going to send me exactly where I need to be, literally and figuratively, and perhaps it would be wiser for me to not fight fate and destiny. It’d be like trying to wrestle the reins that lead the horse of one’s life from the god who holds them! Better to stand in the chariot with that god and go where he might, facing the lessons head on.

    I am very most definitely not in control of much. I’ll keep working on what’s within my realm. Thank you for the sentiment expressed in your last sentence

    I wish you a productive January and I extend my thanks and gratitude to you and all who show up here for making this the space it is.

  77. Hi JMG, thanks for the post

    I live, in I think, the first country (government) in the world that will register the people who refuse to be vaccinated, AND the database will be shared accross Europe, I guess demanding the same from the rest of Europe:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/29/spain-to-keep-registry-of-people-who-refuse-covid-vaccine

    We are a country very (too much) dependent on the tourism and it seems that our politicians think
    about the brand new vaccines as a kind of Deus Ex Machina that will solve all the problems of Covid-19 and will allow the return to the “normallity” before the next summer, and I think they will try to enforce (with sticks and carrots) the entire population to take the vaccine.

    If I were more than 70 years old and living in a nursing home I will take the vaccine, because the rate of mortality in Spain for those people is around 5- 10%, but in my situation I will wait and see at least until next summer, I am not saying I will never take it, but it is worth to wait and see.

    I think the real test of the risks of the vaccine, apart the allergic reactions after the second shot, is when the immunity start to vanish and then we have to see if the ADE (Antibody-Dependant Enhancement) happens or not (as was the case in the failed SARS-COV vaccines, or Dengvaxia vaccines or those of cats’ coronavirus peritonitis). It seems that the risks are low, but not so low as appears in the MSM, in fact in the repport of the CDC says:

    “Vaccine-enhanced disease
    Available data do not indicate a risk of vaccine-enhanced disease, and conversely suggest effectiveness against severe disease within the available follow-up period. However, risk of vaccine-enhanced disease over time, potentially associated with waning immunity, remains unknown and needs to be evaluated further in ongoing clinical trials and in observational studiesthat could be conducted following authorization and/or licensure.”

    It is in page Nº 49 of the FDA and CDC report about the results of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, here is the link:

    https://www.fda.gov/media/144245/download

    But “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” as Nassim Taleb like to say, and if it is reasonable that a dangerous risk could happens, it should be tested. The weight of the evidence is on the side of the supplier, not on the public side, that have “to prove” if there is, or not, evidences.of the risk but only the supplier of the vaccine.

    I recommend to read carefully this report to have an idea about what has been analyzed and what has not, and what has been concluded and what has not.

    I wish you a good 2021!
    Cheers
    David

  78. Glad to see a BBC article admitting that CO2 emissions in developed countries need to be cut to around 10% of their current level; this agrees with Richard Heinberg’s view that we need to reduce our energy usage by up to 90% in weaning ourselves off fossil carbon.
    But I imagine >90% of the general public have never heard such a statement (including enviromentalists, many of whom mistakingly believe that renewables can actually replace all fossil fuels), and they’re gonna cry Foul as soon as they learn of it:
    “Reduce my energy use by HOW MUCH? Change my WAY OF LIFE? No WAY, pal!”
    Then we have to suggest ways of arriving at a 90% reduction. For example, say goodbye to luxuries such as commercial aviation and personal vehicles. How’s THAT gonna fly?
    And yet, that’s the reality we’re facing.
    It seems that enviros who keep shouting “Renewables will save us!” are engaging in a form of energy denial as strong and as blind as anthropogenic climate change denial, and the longer they believe it, the more painful will be our transition to a post-carbon world.

  79. The most suspect thing about the official response to COVID-19 is the downplaying of evidence that vitamin D and zinc supplementation is effective in mitigating all respiratory disease, including COVID. Vitamin D and zinc supplements cost a few tens of cents a day. Almost nobody gets enough of these in their diet or from sunlight exposure, especially people of color living at high latitudes (which explains the worse COVID outcomes in people of color living at high latitudes).

  80. Well, here goes…

    First, Happier New Year to all here.

    Second: I am not taking any vaccine, for the simple personal reason that the last 4 vaccines I did receive promptly made me ill. If those were carefully “vetted”, then this bunch appears tp be a crap-shoot. Further, 100% of the group of 30 people I work with have ha the virus – I have yet to acquire it, even rubbing shoulders with them in a drilling rig environment. They all just say I must be immune – maybe so. Have been tested 6 times and all negative…so, no strange materials going under my skin.

    Third – I got no idea what is coming down the pipe WRT Biden admin, but I am reasonably sure that the narrow path this admin will be forced to walk, along with congressional gridlock and vengeance politics is going to make things interesting to say the least. The only thing that appears to be in growth mode is the disbelief and disgust at the upper classes. This is fertile ground for locals to grow change – DC is not going to change.

    Fourth – I do not see any change coming in the media – half-truths (at best) are de rigeur and I expect those to become ‘non-truths’ based on the visible media bias ongoing. This will leave citizens turning to other means, and it will be interesting to see what flowers in the truth vacuum they have created for themselves.

    In my industry, it has NEVER been this bad. I will again caution people to watch petroleum prices. Depletion is increasing rapidly due to near-zero ongoing exploration, and at some point this will raise oil in a spike that is likely to be crippling. What is different this time is that it is not going to turn around quickly – think a couple of years rather than months.

    For everyone, remember you CAN withdraw your consent, but you have to be ready to accept or have viable work-arounds for the consequences. We have embarked on this path late last year in some ways, and it is doable. There already exist underground and gray markets – you just have to find then with a needed or wanted product.

    JMG, enjoy your break. I’m taking one as well – too many tractors need work!!

    BUT…upon your return, with all the excreta flying about, I would suggest you opine on things in a sort of “State of the Aether” address. Your historical and high altitude POV is much appreciated by many here, even if they don’y mention it – so I am…

  81. A pal recently pontificated that “all motorcycle accidents are being counted as COVID deaths.”

    Last Tuesday, all Republicans Members of Congress received the COVID vaccine, even the young ones like Marco Rubio and Jodi Wentz. (I didn’t have the heart to tell any Republican).

  82. I think if the vaccine is a disaster, they will just blame the Trump administration rushing it through. The claim will be made that Biden and the media cautioned against releasing the vaccine so quickly, even though the opposite is true, and “independent” media “fact-checkers” will “confirm” that claim. On the other hand, if the vaccine is a great success, they will say the only reason it got released at all was pressure from Biden and the media on a Trump administration that was deliberately dragging its feet, and in this scenario also, “independent” media “fact-checkers” will “confirm” that claim. (What, me, cynical?)

  83. Christopher, I’m quite sure that the people who’ve built their entire lives around hating Trump for the last four years will find some way to sustain the rush, since it beats the living bejesus out of having to face the future that their own choices have made for them. One possibility I’m keeping an eye on is that Biden may become the next Trump, once Trump himself is out of the way. The various backflips going on right now are good markers of how easy that would be…

    Juan, that passage from The Training and Work of the Initiate had an enormous impact on me when I first read it, and inspired me to work at emulating that state of mind. I’m glad it’s having a similar effect on someone else!

    Adwelly, I know. Biochemic cell salts work; there’s no physical way they can work, but they work, and anyone who gives them a fair trial will discover this for themselves. Try telling that to people who’ve bought into the materialist party line!

    Lunar, people have been saying things like that since before I was born, and the hour of doom invariably passes with only the most minor of hiccups and lurches. I’m sorry to hear that Dmitry has gotten sucked into yet another of these.

    Dude, I’m also watching this closely. If that isn’t just a one-off, things could get very, very weird.

    Teresa, both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines have caused cases of sudden anaphylactic shock, which is what your friend is talking about. It seems to be specific to the mRNA vaccines; the most recent stories I’ve read indicate that researchers have no idea what’s causing it and are scrambling around to figure out what gives. Definitely gives one confidence… 🙁

    Kel, that’s one of the standard talking points in the cornucopian script these days. The problem is that while those batteries were declining in price, world fossil fuel consumption was continuing to climb steadily year over year — it’s down in 2020, but that’s purely a function of coronavirus shutdowns. Jevons’ Law, a basic principle of energy economics, shows that when you increase the supply of energy in the market, consumption goes up — so adding wind, solar, etc. to the energy mix hasn’t replaced fossil fuels, it’s just made fossil fuels a little cheaper and so driven increased consumption. Demand destruction is always possible, but it takes government regulation, economic contraction, or both.

    Ethan, the loss of faith in mainstream medicine is already taking the form of a flight to alternative medicine. A few years ago it came out that in the US, alternative practitioners get more patient visits than mainstream doctors. That was when the big push to require people to buy medical insurance got under way — the whole point of the Obamacare fiasco was to force people who weren’t using mainstream medicine to pay for it anyway. The question is whether this gets enough traction to get state legislatures to strip the medical industry of its monopoly status, allow nurses to provide routine health care on their own without a doctor’s supervision (which they’re perfectly capable of doing), remove barriers to alternative health care, and so on. As for “The Ones Who Stay And Fight” — grotesque indeed.

    Loren, I’m always amused by the endless bickering between different factions on the left about who is or is not a leftist. As I’m not on that end of the political spectrum at all, it reminds me of quarrels between the various subspecies of Baptist about who is or is not a real Christian!

    TJ, the fact that he’s shutting the extremist left out of his administration is evidence enough that he’s moving toward the center. I also note that all of a sudden, he’s not going to be discarding all of Trump’s executive orders the day he gets into office. Entertaining times!

    Temporaryreality, good. This is where the rubber meets the road; you have the opportunity to meet the challenge and rise. I’m glad to see you’re bracing yourself to do so.

    DFC, antibody-dependent enhancement is one of the big unknowns about the mRNA viruses. If it turns out to be a serious issue, away we go.

    Yoyo, yes, I know. At least they’ve gotten to the point of admitting that the celebrity class really is going to have to give up their private jets.

    Justin, I know. The replacement of “first do no harm” by “first miss no profit” has gone very far in today’s medical mainstream.

    Oilman2, thanks for the heads up. I predicted a while back that we were likely to see a serious spike in oil prices around 2022, and I think we’re well on track for that.

    Jenxyz, of course they did. Don’t assume that the populists aren’t aware of this.

    Trojo, and that in itself might finish off what little credibility the media has left. The 2020 campaign saw viewership of mainstream media news venues drop very sharply, largely because people could compare the latest Pravda (“truth” in Russian) to what they already knew. And of course at this point, if one or more of the vaccines do turn out to be a disaster, a lot of politicians will likely be caught up in it…

  84. I was thinking myself that 2021 is a particularly difficult year to make predictions about, even more so than 2017 was. So, I’m not surprised you decided not to make any.

    One particularly bad scenario that is a possibility from the vaccines is if they end up causing antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), as has happened with some previous attempts to develop coronavirus vaccines. This article is a good summary,

    https://sciencewithdrdoug.com/2020/08/01/is-a-coronavirus-vaccine-a-ticking-time-bomb/

    It’s unlikely to show up in the near term (next few months) as it would have shown up in the trials, but the risk may actually increase over time because, as the article describes, mutations in the virus itself may turn what was initially a neutralizing antibody that is protective, into a non-neutralizing antibody that has the potential of causing ADE.

    I can imagine a scenario in which over half the population is vaccinated by the summer, COVID cases have plummeted due to herd immunity from both natural infection and the vaccine, as well as seasonal effects. Summer is enjoyed with no restrictions, the economy is recovering, and the vaccine is given all the credit even if its only one of the factors. At some point in the fall, severe COVID cases start being reported in those who were vaccinated because mutations in the virus have led the vaccine-induced antibodies to become non-neutralizing and causing ADE. At first, it’s it’s not reported on as anything more than a few strange oddities. By November, though, it’s gotten bad enough that it’s impossible to ignore anymore. This time, we’re facing a virus that has a significantly increased mortality and serious injury rate, but only for those who’ve had the vaccine. Another round of lockdowns is rolled out in many places just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This time, the politics is even worse as much of the population has a worse virus to fear, while many others desperately don’t want to go through a lockdown repeat and trust in the authorities is collapsing. By New Years next year, the USA (and probably a number of other countries as well) is rapidly falling towards being a failed state, and the religion of Progress has collapsed as well.

    Or, it may be several years until a strain of COVID emerges that causes ADE in vaccinated people. In that scenario, it could be even worse as that much larger a percentage of the population would likely have been vaccinated by then.

    On the other hand, since that vaccines have been pushed so hard as a symbol of progress, I wonder what result will come down the road even if the vaccines are largely safe and effective. Given the increasing vitriol of believers in Progress to those who are skeptical, I suspect a successful COVID vaccine would be likely embolden the believers in Progress to force whatever the next technological fix they are enamored with down our throats. it may be another vaccine, maybe a GMO like in Retrotopia, or something else, but if that mindset continues there’s bound to be some sort of technological disaster eventually.

    The other possibility which is probably more likely than either extreme is that the vaccines have significant issues, side effects and/or not being as effective as hoped, but not enough to cause a major disaster. The true believers could claim some success, and the skeptics could point to very real problems, and it would continue to be a hot button issue that divided us.

    There is one possibility i see where the vaccine drama wouldn’t lead to things getting worse. That is if Biden and the Democrats back off on pushing the vaccine. They could hedge their bets, make sure it’s available to those who want it but distance themselves from it enough that if it fails, they could blame it on Trump and his Operation Warp Speed rushing things faster than science should go. In that case, the religion of Progress could extricate itself from its dependence on the success of the vaccines. I doubt that will actually happen though, given the inclinations of the Democrats in recent years.

  85. The other major variable that I’m considering for this year is a possible spike in oil prices. According to Art Berman, production from fracking in the US will plummet by this summer due to a lack of new drilling. The partial recovery recently has been due to uncapping wells that were capped in the Spring when the price really plummeted, but that won’t last. If oil demand gets back near it’s pre-COVID levels this summer, it looks like a price spike is likely, and such a spike hitting the economy just as it’s started to recover could be bad.

  86. I haven’t commented much lately, but I’ve been listening. Thank you for this closing post. It was just what I needed to hear. My wife will enjoy it in the morning over coffee, too, I’m certain.

    Here’s wishing you a most (whatever it is you want) time off!
    We’ll see you in February.

    Grover and Co.,
    in Lower Appalachia

  87. An additional comment about the vaccine. I am absolutely positive that taking any of them are riskier for someone of my age and fitness level (I say that looking at CDC mortality figures) than just contracting the coronavirus itself. However, that is a very low threshold; it is inconceivable that the MSM is going to report honestly on the short-term dangers and long term unknowns of the vaccine so anyone could be able to make an informed decision on their own. Just look at who their advertisers are! The press and their audience is deeply invested in a very simple story where the phDs in lab coats peer into their microscopes trying to save lives while the anti-vaxxers are just a bunch of kooks.

    How deeply invested? I think sometimes when you talk about the religion of progress going to the stars you leave out an equally important part of the belief-system: that many people think one day science will out-smart death itself, or at least should try. It’s not just conquering infinite space in a spaceship but also our finite time by taking a pill. I think the reason the immortality angle was left out of Star Trek is that all the expendable crew members fatalities were necessary to create dramatic tension.

  88. JMG, yeah, I knew that you knew. The rot is deep though, even in countries with socialized medicine like Canada and the UK, sensible low cost measures (that only a few genuine kooks would disagree with) like vitamin D and zinc supplementation are ignored. For what it is worth I’ve had a lot of trouble with depression, and although I’ve tried SSRIs, found high dose vitamin D to be effective.

    Populist politics in Canada are brewing beneath the surface, but all three of our mainstream political parties are tightly controlled. The Conservative and the Liberal parties in particular could be interpreted as being a single party which puts on a show every four years to maintain legitimacy. It is perhaps not a coincidence that both of the Conservative challengers to Trudeau have been fat, baby-faced dweebs who don’t have much of a chance compared to the more attractive and fit Trudeau, just like how during the Harper years the Liberal challengers were weird dweebs with minimal connections to Canada…. The NDP is more distinct, but too far left for most Canadians.

  89. JMG said, referring to providing jobs for the working class:
    “Biden and his handlers can do that might get him through this mess is to move toward the center the moment the inauguration ceremony is over”.

    We really need to find better words for this. You are saying that helping the working class is not a leftist policy which contradicts at least a hundred years of the use of this word.
    In reality, both Democrats and Republicans are extreme imperialist right with minor differences in priorities like which country to attack next.
    The fact that Trump was a populist who happened to be in the Republican party does not make populism a conservative or right idea.
    Let’s not forget that the USSR was the first country to guarantee full time jobs to everybody. If that is not a lefty idea, I don’t know what is.

    Enough nitpicking and you can ignore this but words have power and the US is unique in managing to turn a lot of good ideas into curse words (like community and yes some left policies) – I learned that from you so I hope you don’t mind me mentioning it.

    Thanks

  90. JMG,
    I wanted to ask what do you think of this CDC statistic:

    “However, deaths have been 20-50% above average levels for most age groups. Deaths among people 25-44 have been particularly above normal, since deaths among people this young are generally low.”

    https://usafacts.org/articles/preliminary-us-death-statistics-more-deaths-in-2020-than-2019-coronavirus-age-flu/

    It’s amazing how high the mortality has been this year for age groups unaffected by COVID. It’s hard to believe that this is a coincidence – the most probably causes are restrictions and lockdowns. In normal times this would be the biggest news of the year – not the paltry 20k people that died of COVID (as opposed of something else – see comorbidities information in CDC).

    It looks like your prediction about population reduction via economic distress is coming faster than expected!

  91. I was reading an article wherein a WHO authority was quoted as saying that we don’t know if the vaccine will stop the disease or the spread of the virus.

    At the very least this is a big admission that they have not tested the vaccines. But I believe that it is more than that – I think they are already paving the way for the continuation of the lockdowns/restrictions into the indefinite future. This is bad news for some people that are eager to get the vaccine so they can travel.

    Another related statistic was that it will take until 2024 to vaccinate 70% of US (supposedly to reach herd immunity).

    While I agree with your “unknowns”, it is surprising to me how many things look already set for the next year.

    Lockdowns will continue (with ups and downs), small businesses still closed and the new scare (super-duper COVID) is already used to close more countries. Money printing will continue (number of US dollars in circulation increased by 70% this year) and I expect stagflation to finally show up (due to lower oil production).

    With that in mind, I am building a hoophouse and planning to enjoy my garden and the occasional swim in the lake. A happy new year and good health to you all!

  92. Archdruid,

    Am I the only one really looking forward to the future after this year? The grim, and quite frankly boring, predictability of the future peaked in February of 2020. The Trump administration, which I feel was the absolute peak of our societies ability to generate noise without substance, like reality TV boring, seems to have sucked the boredom out of the world and burnt it to ashes. Left in it’s place a wild frontier. I’m actually interested in the state of the political-economy again.

    I really feel like Kek did his thing. Opened up the world to a whole range of possibilities that had absolutely nothing to do with any of the ideologies that we fight over.

    Regards,

    Varun

  93. >I also note that all of a sudden, he’s not going to be discarding all of Trump’s executive orders the day he gets into office.

    Almost as if the President doesn’t really run much of anything.

  94. @Your Yoyo… there’s no way to a 90% reduction without a commensurate reduction in population. Of course, there are suggestions that the vax may lead to sterility. Have you read and/or watched Inferno? 😉

  95. Lol.

    Nobody is even entertaining the notion that Biden is going to be dropkicked out the door and Kamala is going to be installed in his place. You forget that Biden has got the intellect of a child now, when he’s not pumped full of drugs, anyway.

    The question you need to ask, isn’t What Would Biden Do – but What Would Harris Do? Whatever the answer to that second question is, I can almost guarantee you, it isn’t going to pleasant or prudent. It’s likely to be foolish and very very partisan.

    And Trump doesn’t look like he’s going to go willingly either. Shrug, the president doesn’t really run anything much, so I care about it proportionately these days. Guess we’ll see soon enough.

  96. As far as mRNA goes – I think everyone who gets it should also get a bumper sticker that reads “I rewrote my DNA! Ask me how”

  97. Since I’m new here, one last question, are your current views related to the Pluto return?
    Not that the entire world isn’t going through something of the sort but since you are an astrologer, had to ask. Thank you for your consideration.

  98. Just on the Subject of how the modern left talk down to the working class, have you heard of a recently read book called ‘Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Class’ by Paul Embery. The Book is set in the context of the UK and Labour’s defeat there last year, but also has lessons for the modern left more generally. He discusses the book in this interview:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7sevFjAMXY

    Anyway, just though you/the commentariat might be interested

  99. John,

    Recently I’ve been wondering if Trump might be our version of Gorbachev. If so, there is the possibility of Biden being our version of, err, Yeltsin. The old adage that history never repeats but it does rhyme should be kept in mind here.

  100. Temporary,

    It’d be like trying to wrestle the reins that lead the horse of one’s life from the god who holds them! Better to stand in the chariot with that god and go where he might, facing the lessons head on.

    I assume you know that is a theme in the Bhagavad Gita.

    “Krishna is the charioteer!”

  101. Anyone who works his *** off with his hands knew instinctively, years ago, that government, media, healthcare, education…everything big, was the enemy. The horse left the barn long ago. They have no integrity and deserve no trust.

  102. Let’s say, hypothetically, the vaccine is totally safe. Does it matter? The alternative media is already flourishing with claims of risks and adverse reactions, with in my opinion a high likelihood some are accurate and some not, in the usual way of things; people are justifiably skeptical, and I know I personally cannot be convinced these are safe, and I can’t imagine I’m alone here. I could easily see a situation where, if the vaccines are safe, it doesn’t matter: lie to people enough times, and even when you tell the truth no one will believe you…..

  103. I just want to thank you and everyone in the commentariat for your insights and help this year, and for being a bastion of sanity.
    Enjoy your vacation, and Happy New Year!

  104. 1) I really like how you changed it up this year to a discussion of unknowns. It’s more interesting than the typical laundry list of prognostications!

    2) I guess you could say I am one of those people who think we now live under a senile kleptocracy propped up by rigged elections and a breathtakingly dishonest media. The way I phrased it to friends recently was with the word oligarchy—although kleptocracy is just as applicable.

    In my mind the US is already over—that is to say, it’s no longer a democratic republic. I came to that conclusion on December 14, due to the fact that on that day the electors elected the Biden/Harris ticket and—more importantly to me—Bill Barr announced his resignation. I believe that portends the death of any chance we had for justice to be brought to those who circumvented the will of the people to enrich themselves, and used Soviet-style secret-police tactics to cover it up. In my mind those two events made it a truly dark day.

    3) If you don’t mind me asking, what was your take on what happened December 14? Did it match your astrological forecast? (I recall it was ominous—a solar eclipse among other things)

    4) If you don’t mind me disagreeing with one of your predictions, I don’t think Biden will face impeachment the moment the GOP regains control of the House. I think the GOP is simply one face of the system—call them the Uniparty, the Demublicans, the establishment, the deep state, call them whatever you want—and they won’t see any need for impeachment as long as they feign a token resistance to Biden’s administration.

    5) I wish you a restful first month of the new year!

  105. Hey jmg

    I’ll miss your blog posts, but I can always search the archive in the mean time!
    Have a nice holiday!

    BTW, before you go, do you have any idea if Australia will have similar problems to America’s with in the decade, or do you think you don’t know enough to comment?

  106. Kashtan, since there are scores of potential scenarios, I’m not even going to try to offer one — or more. We’ll just have to see.

    Nate, of course that’s part of it. Remember that the religion of progress is a materialist version of Christianity with the serial numbers filed off. Space travel is the equivalent of going to heaven, and omnipotent physicians curing death itself is the equivalent of eternal life.

    Justin, too much control over the political system simply guarantees that those who seek change will seek it outside the system, causing considerably more disruption to the status quo.

    Nomadic Beer, as I noted above, it’s always a source of amusement to me to watch leftists of varying stripes debate who is or is not a real leftist. From my outside perspective, the different factions are interchangeable except in their rhetorical choices. As for “helping the working class,” the left in the US hasn’t been in favor of that for a very long time. It’s always about helping this or that subset of the middle class intelligentsia to a bigger share of the pie, using “concern for the working class” as the excuse. You might want to read the book by Paul Embery that BB cites below.

    As for the mortality statistics, I’d have to do some serious research into causes of death. There are a lot of ways dieoff can happen, and it would be worth knowing which of them is involved in the present situation.

    Varun, well, we’ll see!

    Ian, interesting. Thanks for this.

    Owen, alternatively, his handlers may have looked at the political realities and decided to veer to the middle. But we’ll see.

    Kim, I see Pluto as a minor body, not on the same scale as one of the major planets, and so its return isn’t of great importance. I know that’s an unpopular opinion these days but I’ve seen far too many astrologers make fools of themselves by making political and economic predictions based on Pluto phenomena, so I class it with Ceres, Eris, and Chiron — useful for some specialized applications, but not for general predictions about politics and economics.

    BB, thanks for this! I’ll have to see if I can get a copy.

    John, a case could be made! In that case, any guesses about our Putin?

    Anonymous, and that’s also an issue, of course.

    Blue Sun, the effects of the December 14 eclipse, which was quite baleful, will be unfolding over the next five years and a bit; ask me in the spring of 2026 and I’ll tell you how well my predictions worked out. One thing that makes astrology complex is that its effects tend to unfold over time! As for Biden, I think you’re wrong, but we’ll see.

    J.L.Mc12, I don’t know. Not living there, and having only a limited knowledge of the culture and politics, I’m probably not the guy to ask.

  107. I will be so bold as to make a prediction for the year 2021: January will be a dull month for those who frequent this blog!

    Best wishes, JMG, for a great month off. And best wishes to all in the commentariat for the coming year. The ‘wiggier’ this world gets, the greater the value of having a safe haven for civil, intelligent and stimulating discussions on all things weird and wonderful.

  108. Onething, I can’t say I knew it consciously; I may have read the Bhagavad Gita 25+ years ago. Mostly I just recognized something and found myself asking, “why am I jerking the reins…and from whom?”

    It’s an apt metaphor and one I’ll be thinking about for a while.

    ***
    Grover, I was just about to ask after you. I’m glad to hear you’re well.

  109. @JMG:
    (1) Martin Armstrong is one of only two people I know of who by January 2016 correctly and without contingencies said Trump would win the 2016 election. You, of course, were the other. I’ve mentioned him to you before.

    He forecasts trend changes, with dates, very far in advance. He uses cycles or, more correctly, claims he wrote a computer program decades ago to follow a number of overlapping social and economic cycles, updated continually with new data, to do his projections — all tied to the number pi. I find his accuracy personally unnerving, as he calls trend changes often years or even decades in advance. I started reading him, very skeptically, around 2012 and now I just don’t know what to think…other than I wouldn’t bet against him.

    (2) I think you should look at the first page of wtfhappenedin1971.com as a datapoint regarding the comfortable class and what is driving all this. I continue to think it is peak oil, rather than “anthropocentric climate change” that our Masters are concerned about. But they can’t say that, of course, because it might cause their livestock to panic….

    (3) Am I correct “Land of the free and home of the brave” (aka the idealized version of America the Beautiful) is an egregore? What happens when an egregore of that power is suddenly falsified in public view of hundreds of millions of people? I’m asking what happens on a magical or astral level — not just what a psychologist might predict.

    (4) I hope you check your PO box from time to time? Have a great and reinvigorating holiday!

  110. @onething: I looked a little deeper into that rumor about the vaccine causing the body to attack the placenta. This is a hypothetical arising from the way the vaccine teaches the body to attack a type of spike protein that occurs on the exterior of the COVID 19 virus (usually depicted as little red tufts on the grey orb of the virus itself) which happens to very strongly resemble a protein that is necessary for the formation of a placenta. Will the immune system, after it learns to attack the protein when it occurs on the surface of the virus, also start attacking it when it is involved in placenta formation? Nobody knows. The research hasn’t been done. However, if the vaccine has this effect, then so will the virus itself. Any woman of childbearing age who gets infected with the virus, even if her symptoms are so mild as to be unnoticeable, will be at risk of reduced fertility. I’m sure you are capable of teasing out the implications.

  111. Nomadic Beer, JMG,

    I’m in the younger age group, and more people I know committed suicide in December than in all of the 2010s put together. This has been the case every month since April, particularly if you count the number who drank themselves to death. So my guess is alcohol and suicide probably played a massive role in driving death rates up.

  112. Those changes weren’t accidental, nor were they inevitable; they were the results of readily identifiable policies pushed by a bipartisan consensus, and defended by government, corporate, and media flacks with a disingenuousness that borders on the pathological.

    To be honest, when I hear about politicians moving towards the moderate center, the above is what I picture happening. Would it be accurate to say, the moderate centrism described in The Culture of Contentment, versus the sort of moderate centrism that might actually fix problems?

    Also, 2020 really hammered home that I’m awful at predictions. I thought Covid would be a flash in the pan, I thought Trump would win. I’ll leave the predictions to more able folks than me.

    Along those lines – I started reading Kunstler as a counterweight to MSNBC propaganda. He seems to have lost it since the election, spinning up fanciful tales of Chinese infiltration of the government and midnight military maneuvers to keep Biden out of office. I don’t know if he’s noticed that William Barr (who was supposed to deliver a hard rain of indictments) has resigned; I don’t know if he’s noticed that he sounds like the Democrats in 2016.

    And finally, does anyone have any Internet reading recommendations for a long, cold, Druid-less January?

  113. I appreciate this refreshing post acknowledging that the unknown and unknowable is OK. History definitely presents us with a lot of good background to get an idea what direction things may be heading in, and in this instance, things may be a bit more uncharted. Without a doubt, change is in the air. This whole year has reminded me of the long Minnesota winters, and it feels as if spring is in the air. Although I also wouldn’t be surprised if the spring is like one of our Minnesota springs, with a lot unexpected snowstorms, freezes and thaws.

    As for our future here in the USA, I’ll go out on a limb as I did when speaking with my brother over the Christmas holiday, and say that I expect the USA to fall apart within the four years of a Biden/Harris. Not that he himself did anything wrong, but the reality that many have lost faith in our government and feel that representation has not fulfilled its promises. There’s isn’t any way out, other than to begin dismantling what is here, and that seems to be happening with the police in some areas, and the fact that many people are picking up and moving away from state governments they’ve found oppressive. I could easily, and hopefully be wrong. We will see. A new season is upon us, and this one likely will be different from seasons past.

    Have a productive month with your projects that need attention, and I hope you’ll have a chance to get out and look at the stars. Thanks for providing a lighthouse in a sheltered harbor during a turbulent year.

  114. Thanks for the uncommon common sense.

    I’m rather mystified myself at what I’ve been seeing from other doctors. I’m well aware of your rather jaundiced eye towards the profession, but I guess I still expected a little better. At the largish practice I’m at, many of the doctors are falling over themselves to get the vaccine ASAP. I’ve been my typical iconoclastic self pointing out the lack of testing, same as you mentioned, but it’s mostly in one ear out the other. Amusingly enough, out of well over a dozen medical assistants I’ve spoken to, only one was planning on getting the vaccine, and his justification was essentially he was a guinea pig for Uncle Sam all the time in the military, so it’s nothing new to him. The rest seem to make the connection after seeing hordes of patients their age that for them this is closer to a cold than smallpox cubed, and taking a inadequately tested vaccine with so many unknowns is probably not warranted at this time.

    Kind of the same for treatment options. There’s been an astonishing amount of research recently in support of ivermectin, from countries that I believe to be not coincidentally generally too poor for Big Pharma to have much interest in. I’ve been doing what I remember actually being taught to do and follow the evidence leavened with ethical pragmatism wherever it happens to lead, but I’m still relatively alone in this. What’s overwhelmingly popular among American doctors seems to high priced, rather impractical, experimental treatments that have failed over and over again in actual studies (remdesivir, tociluzumab, convalescent serum, monoclonal antibodies). But, hey, Big Pharma makes a bundle on them, so that’s what their “authoritative sources” tell them to keep using. That’s literally the only explanation I can logically come up with, and it’s incredibly disappointing. I’m sitting here watching them be the stereotypes that critics have long accused them of being.

  115. JMG, I was wondering what you think of the creator economy, seeing as you yourself are a part of it?

    You’ve already read about journalists leaving mainstream publications due to wokeism running wild and setting up their own publications on various platforms. But there are whole industries of people creating things and putting them online, whether monetizing the content outright or using it to get consulting clients/teach courses. I can name many of these but one guy I found unique is ScorpioMartianus on YouTube, who tries to promote Latin as a spoken language using reconstructed Classical Pronunciation.

    Anyway, this part of the internet is something I personally find really valuable and I like to see all these creators creating interesting things that allow them to make a living. I feel like your general chart for the solstice has some indications that this trend will continue for the time being, but what do you yourself make of it?

    Also, what options for this to continue as the internet wind downs do you see?

  116. Thank you, JMG, for all you do! May you and Sara have a great month off.

    I just skimmed the Deagel “forecast” page. Specifically the “disclaimer” essay at the bottom contains boatloads of probably-unintentional nuggets of information. There are many hints that it was written by someone for whom English is not their native language. This and the opinions, biases, and even many of the phrases used, lead me to think that these are Russian authors, and ones who are somewhat nostalgic for the CCCP at that. This would also explain why Dmitri Orlov is intrigued with the site.

    Not that they don’t have some points, but I also think they may be a bit too “optimistic” in the other direction, i.e. that “the West will crash and burn due to its decadence.” As we’ve seen the “decadence” more and more is just the propaganda of the MSM; in their real lives people are, down in the grassroots, already moving in other directions.

    – Cicada Grove

  117. (1) Happy New Year to All and especially to JMG and Mrs Greer.
    (2) A very lucid assessment. Any hints as to the sort of foreign policies he might pursue? Any return to the Bush-Obama type of policies might well spiral out of control now.

    Regards

  118. I think it might even end up being worse if the vaccines are perfectly safe. The medical professionals would see it, and so would double-down on them; well the people outside would dismiss it as another lie. The awkward fact is that one of the best ways to make someone furious is to dismiss what they’re saying as a lie when they are telling the truth. So you’d have a jaded, paranoid public, with a health system that is now furious, and holds quite a lot of power. The results could be colourful in the extreme….

    Also, if this isn’t too far off topic, I’ve heard from a friend of mine in rural Ontario (Near Ottawa’s city limits) has told me she’s just been told she will not have home internet or a landline soon. They are both being discontinued as of June 1 in her area. Her response was astonishing: she’ll just live without a phone or internet. Looks like the Grand Mutation prediction for technological regress is getting started already in some places…..

  119. I’d like to join those thanking you for both your useful and interesting posts themselves and for maintaining the comments as the spam-free, reasonable-discussion-filled environment they are.
    Thank you for all the good you’ve done over the years, and I hope you have a good vacation. 🙂

  120. John Micheal Greer,
    Thank you for this blog and do enjoy your time off.

    Loren,
    There is a “far left” that fights for a wider distribution of wealth. It is just smaller and given far less visibility than the anti-working class left.
    Black Agenda Report comes to mind as one example.
    This piece
    https://benjaminstudebaker.com/2020/09/28/the-rump-professional-class-and-its-fallen-counterpart/
    does an excellent job of explaining how non-economic justice issues
    function right now. Basically, the professional class, which has been shielded from the decades long attack on the working class and much of the middle class, has far more aspirants than it has positions. Some of the increasing numbers of folks who don’t make it into the professional class or who worry that they might not make it seize on woke issues as a way to differentiate themselves from the working class that objectively they have been put into. This loyalty to professional class status markers (even in the absence of professional class material benefits) is of course quite well received by the professional class and those it serves.
    The resulting split between the working class and those trying to being put into the working class is similar to the split that bedeviled the labor movement for many years between artisans, who had some degree of independence, and workers, who were dependent on employers for their survival.
    There are folks out there who want both wider distribution of wealth and power and who support anti-racism etc. but there is not enough clarity about just how nominal support for social equality is used to block moves toward more balanced distribution of economic and power.

    In some ways, what is going on in American now, with parts of both the Christian right and the woke left, seems similar to the last days of the (western) Roman Empire after one specific variant of Christianity was made the official state religion and all alternatives banned. An empire in decline was marked by increasing authoritarianism and regimentation of thought. The idea that everyone had to believe the same thing, as opposed to participating in the same civic rituals, was a new creation of that time and place. (Though there was a parallel development around Zoroastrianism in Sasanian Iran.)
    It was at this time that teachings of original sin and eternal damnation became prominent. It is ironic that the woke left can condemn people without their needing to do anything wrong (original sin) and lacks a path to redemption and forgiveness. Though being permanently cancelled is not nearly as bad as eternal hell fire.

  121. John of Red Hook: “Recently I’ve been wondering if Trump might be our version of Gorbachev. If so, there is the possibility of Biden being our version of, err, Yeltsin. The old adage that history never repeats but it does rhyme should be kept in mind here.”

    JMG: “John, a case could be made! In that case, any guesses about our Putin?”

    Hahaha! It’s too early to tell! Putin was a nobody in the early 1990s. (Okay, that isn’t entirely true, but certainly, the general public hadn’t heard of him.)

  122. Hi John Michael,

    Respect for the hard yards you’ve done over the years, and enjoy your well deserved break. But I tell ya, I’m hearing a little whisper coming from somewhere beyond my right shoulder blade suggesting that you’ve got some writing work lined up to fill in the gaps created by your break from blogging and replying. 😉 Time for rest later! Of course I could have misconstrued the whispering noise, and it was simply one of the dogs snoring. It’s possible. 🙂

    Things down here have yet again become super-weird. We have a handful of cases of the health subject which dare not be named, in the entire state, and borders are being closed. Health outcome considerations aside, it’ll be an economic bloodbath of major proportions. I also note that negative interest rates have reared their heads, and our Federal Government was this time doing the borrowing. Bizarre stuff, and it hints at the dark underlying realities of the value of paper.

    Cheers

    Chris

  123. John,

    I think we wouldn’t know who might be our equivalent of Putin until they show up and are around for a while. That being said, right now such a thought brings to mind a certain non-Christian woman of color who is both a Senator and a solder. However, the U.S. would have to hold together for that to happen, since her state was originally one of our overseas colonies. The fact that several of my liberal friends and family have said that they would never vote for her since she is a Nazi is a feather in her cap.

  124. Thanks as usual for another thought provoking essay!
    All fair points although I do wish the debate over the vaccines was a bit more nuanced although of course that’s also sympomatic of our times; the issue of immediate benefits vs potential longer term risks looks very different, for example, to a not very vulnerable 30 year old and an 85 year old…
    I also think you, consciously or otherwise, downplay the circulation of your blogging. For example, I know where were certainly people who knew Obama who read it although of course whether they had any influence on him or his policies is a different question…

  125. @TJandTheBear – “@Your Yoyo… there’s no way to a 90% reduction without a commensurate reduction in population.”

    I would say that math can be approached in different ways… Just as a thought experiment **, if one chose to take the population reduction approach to reducing energy usage, and you took the figures cited in the BBC article, you would not need to reduce the population in a “commensurate” way (ie – reduce it by 90% across the board). You would just have to reduce it in an “energy commensurate” way (ie – *selectively* reduce it by removing the fewest number of humans whose proportionately higher energy usages adds up to 90% of the total).

    I expect this number to be somewhere between 10-20% of the population (so a much smaller human “cull” than your thought experiment indicated) – although that percentage, undoubtedly still includes most, if not all, of the commenters here, even though most, if not all, of us are *already* quite busy thoughtfully reducing our own energy usage.

    ** Please note this IS a thought experiment – no persons have been harmed while conducting this thought experiment. Also this thought experiment emphatically does not express a wish, a desire or a policy proposal! Merely a cautionary tale, as, in my humble experience people who DO advocate for policy proposals involving population reduction never consider that the “population” that is most inimical to climate and the environment is the one that includes THEM.

  126. John–

    Re Biden and the cycles of history

    I saw this story this morning:

    https://www.rt.com/usa/511210-secret-service-trump-biden/

    and found myself seriously wondering if we’re getting into Praetorian Guard territory. The thought saddens me greatly, though after so many years of conversations re the cycles inherent to societies, I really oughtn’t be surprised if we do end up there at some point.

  127. @JMG – Jean Lamb in Klamath Falls, OR, says the need to put people back to work is on everybody’s lips up there. Of course, K. Falls and Gainesville are both “flyover country.”

  128. Thank you JMG for another year of thought provoking essays – both the mainstream ones like this, and the more outre discussions of esoteric matters which are beyond my comfort zone but usefully challenging for me.
    Enjoy your silent month and may you continue to thrive for many cycles of seasons to come.

    One brief comment on your reference to the BBC article and the possible trajectories of the Biden administration.

    The BBC maintains what shreds of credibility it still has with the leftie chattering classes by claiming to be “balanced”. I think the article you referenced falls into the category of providing an occasional somewhat contrary narrative to backup their claims of impartiality and balance. I no longer take any of their output except music performances and comedy so missed this article – but none of my chattering group, who are still reluctant to be sceptical of what they are fed, picked up on it – so I guess it was only very briefly visible for you to find. Now, 3 weeks later, it is well buried.

    You are right that it is interesting that UN sponsored voices are behind this, but it is not unusual – if you manage to talk to actual experts on any topic down the pub you will usually get a very different story to what appears in the scientific papers approved by their masters, let alone the mass media. The Beeb publishing an isolated story on one such alternative, or possibly more truthful, view seems hardly significant to me.

    Regarding Biden’s future path I suspect much of what Dan Glazebrook said about Corbyn and Starmer in the UK in his recent CounterPunch article ( [here now – but possibly behind a paywall tomorrow](https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/12/27/the-tragedy-of-corbynism-a-postmortem/).

    Essentially he points to the truth that the working class (in the UK, but possibly also largely in the US) has a gut understanding that they are the beneficiaries of a neo-colonial system. In global terms even the poorest in the “West” are bourgeois middle class and have a strong vested interest in the wealth pump that drives the flow from the South East to North West continues to operate.
    Any slightly left leaning incoming leader rapidly discovers that if he is to survive he has to “get with the agenda” and continue the foreign policy direction of the establishment. The only wiggle room is at home where things like creating “a million new climate jobs” are entirely acceptable so long as they are paid for by off-shoring the costs onto the global poor to benefit the domestic bottom of the pyramid.

  129. A group of doctors have formed the Front Line Covid Critical Care Alliance and have been trying to get the word out about curing and preventing Covid-19. Their work is based on numerous studies that have been done around the world. The work has been censored here in the US, I expect to protect the vaccine makers.

    I think it is important to get this information out to as many people as possible. I was on on the C-Realm podcast talking about this:

    https://c-realm.com/podcasts/crealm/566-covid-epistemology/

    What You Can Do To Prevent Getting COVID19 video at:

    More at flccc.net

    Please share. Happy New Year!

    Bob

  130. If these vaccines turn out to have serious side effects, I can already see what the medical establishment will say: “But nobody could POSSIBLY have predicted this!!!” Cuz, y’know, those very particular side effects could not reasonably have been predicted. Gah.

  131. I will never get this vaccine. I would urge people who are thinking of doing so to watch this short video where doctors warn about the vaccine and you don’t need FB to do it.

    https://www.facebook.com/TeresaKae/posts/10218122272423921

    I would also encourage people to search for Dolores Cahill, a Professor of Immunology who said that when they did trials of mRNA vaccines on animals, injury and death were quite common. Anyway at this stage, with the amount of information out there (despite the efforts of Big Tech), I think people have only themselves to blame if they suffer adverse health reactions as a result of being jabbed.

    JMG, I think that Trump will not go quitely, gently into the night, although Twitter will probably ban him as soon as Biden takes office. His supporters, rightly convinced that the election was stolen, are planning demonstrations and they and I think the USA is obviously no longer a democratic country. Sidney Powell has already produced a 270 page legal document for anyone who says, “There’s no proof!” We are not talking about the small scale vote rigging of before and many Americans know this (despite the efforts of the MSM). So it will be interesting (in the Chinese way) to see how this all pans out…

    @ Fake Meat dude

    Is the ‘meat’ in question Incogmeato?

  132. JMG, this speaks more to your broader topic than this specific post, so feel free not to put it through.

    My local community radio station just reposted an interview they did in 2015 with Patricia Clare Ingham regarding her book “The Medieval New: Ambivalence in an Age of Innovation. Here’s part of the summary:

    “Popular models of innovation (including buzzwords such as “creative destruction” or “disruptive innovation”) prize getting rid of anything that’s old. But some folks are starting to reimagine innovation in different terms: as reusing, recycling, refurbishing, sampling, or updating the old. In her new book, The Medieval New, Patricia Ingham shows that creative models combining old and new have a long and interesting innovating history. Focusing on the period that gave us eye glasses, windmills, courtly love, and mechanical clocks, (not to mention falconry and the blast furnace), Ingham asks us to reconsider what we think we mean by calling something new.”

    I haven’t listened to it yet, but it seemed like the sort of book you might find interesting. Here’s the link to the interview if you want to listen to it: https://wfhb.org/news/interchange-whats-old-is-new-again-going-medieval-on-the-cult-of-innovation-2015/

    I hope you and Sara enjoy your break, and that 2021isn’t quite the buzzsaw that 2020 has been!

    Squirrelly Jen

  133. @NomadicBeer: “We really need to find better words for this. You are saying that helping the working class is not a leftist policy which contradicts at least a hundred years of the use of this word.”

    It may suffice to say “economic left,” as opposed to simply “left.”

  134. About the vaccine….. here is something that my Neuro told me. I see him for my brain injury, and am considered in the group that needs the vaccine sooner My Neuro studied plagues and still reads up on them. He discussed the vaccine with me.

    It doesn’t stop you from getting the virus or passing the virus. —- yes, he said that. The virus, a plague, mutates so much that no vaccine can get it. What this vaccine does is…… Keeps you out of the hospital.
    Instead of getting it in your lungs, you get it in the upper part of your body.

    Why — as he said, the MEDICAL SYSTEM IS BROKEN. yes, he said that. The medical system from soup to nuts is totally and completely broken. They are trying keep people from needing doctors, insurance, hospitals, etc.

    He said I should get the vaccine since it does give me a lesser sickness. However, only masks prevent the transfer of droplets from the nose or mouth from one person to another.

    I was carefully watching the medical experts on the regular news answer questions. In the subtext, they were actually supporting what my neuro said. They danced around people getting sick after the vaccine, sort of not answering the question. We are still asked to wear masks.

  135. Dear JMG, I have finally started my magical journey through the book you co-Autored Introduction into ritual magic. I’ am in a natural enviroment closer to nature than civilisation and will be for some time, the number three keeps, reappering in my life, and I have been visited by by some of natures more shy creatures, a seal , foxes and a cat. Thank you for your presistent call to work and actions, your inspiration has helped my bevildred soul, and I feel better now than I have for years. May 2021 bring good fourtune, strenght and justice. Sincerly your novice apprentice.

  136. To JMG and the peanut gallery – have a pleasant New Year! As for predictions for 2021, I think of a quip attributed to the great yogi, Yogi Berra – “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” When I try to visualize aspects of how things will play out in the future, a chance meeting from the past pops into my head. Years ago, my husband and I were at a gas station in our town, Boonville MO. Boonville is on the Katy Trail, an old rail corridor of the MKT rail line, converted to a bike path, and also on I-70. As we were gassing up, three young folk (two guys and a gal if I remember correctly) came flying into the station on bicycles, to use the facilities. I assumed that they were just riding the trail, so I asked them how far they were going. They replied that they had left Denver, CO, two days previously, and were riding to St. Louis! They waved ‘bye as I was picking my jaw up off the pavement. Not using petroleum to travel is actually an option, it seems!

  137. @ MCB

    Thanks for the link to the article about how the m-RNA vaccines are made.

    Reading the article with the “Precaution Principle” all this method of using a novel nucleotid to avoid detection of the RNA from our immune system seems scary to me, The article say:

    “Many people have asked, could viruses also use the Ψ technique to beat our immune systems? In short, this is extremely unlikely. Life simply does not have the machinery to build 1-methyl-3’-pseudouridylyl nucleotides. Viruses rely on the machinery of life to reproduce themselves, and this facility is simply not there. The mRNA vaccines quickly degrade in the human body, and there is no possibility of the Ψ-modified RNA replicating with the Ψ still in there. “No, Really, mRNA Vaccines Are Not Going To Affect Your DNA“ is also a good read.”

    So the answer to this kind of “extinction event” (Taleb) question is that the RNA from the vaccine cannot be coded in the DNA, but a lot of people think otherwise, because we have endovirus in our DNA with retro-transcriptasa enzyme and, at least theorically it is possible retro-transcript the RNA in our DNA. Also simply it is not true that the RNA molecule “quickly degrade in the human body” because the fundament of the vaccine is to maintain the RNA inside the cells producing the S protein of the virus using the intra-cellular ribosomes.

    So the prospect of a virus adquiring the Ψ nucleotid to avoid our immune system doe not sound so impossible, and it is a another huge risk to take account.

    The problem of our Faustian Civilization is not that it does not know WHERE to stop, the real problem is that it does not know HOW to stop, this Mega Machine was built without brakes.

    Cheers
    David

  138. Yes, as we have heard in a couple of the comments above, there is at least one other approved (only in the UK for now) more traditional vaccine. There is also, perhaps surprisingly, this: The British American Tobacco Co has been given the go ahead to start testing their vaccine for covid that they have been developing.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/dec/16/british-american-tobacco-approval-test-covid-vaccine-humans

    I remember hearing, early on, that some were suspecting that some part of tobacco, nicotine, plant proteins, were a possible prophylactic against covid. There is a now a large study going on that was begun in Oct, but won’t finish until Aug 2021.

    https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04583410

    I will leave it to conjecture, but one wonders if the more traditional view of the tobacco plant as a sacred and medicinal one wasn’t, in fact. woo-woo, but based on experience and hard-won earth and ‘spirit’ knowledge.

  139. WRT a 90% reduction in energy use. That reminded me of the Riot for Austerity from over a decade ago. IIRC they had a very nice calculator to figure out where your household energy usage fell on the continuum.

    It’s not hard at all to reduce household energy consumption of every kind by 10%. You just have to pay attention and turn out the darn lights in empty rooms and limit your showers and plan your car trips.

    20% is a bit more work, involving insulation, growing some veg, and walking all the time.

    After that, it depends a lot on how many resources (of all kinds) you use. If you fly to the tropics four times a year because your soul needs the equator sun, you’ve got plenty of room to cut back. If you’re trying to keep the drafts out of the singlewide you live in, you’re already at the bone.

    Even so for most of us, it’s quite doable to cut back 20, 30, even to 40% while still living something approximating a middle-class American existence. You just have to follow those old principles:

    Reduce, reuse, repair, repurpose and then you recycle. Notice that Reduce is at the front of the line because it is the most important one.

  140. Ron, I hope it’s dull. There are any number of interesting things that could happen in the world, and I’m hoping that we avoid them!

    Gnat, I’ll definitely check those out. The American egregor? That’s an immense issue, and what happens — well, it varies from case to case, but magically speaking that’s what the collapse of the Soviet Union was about. As for my PO box, I do indeed, and you should be receiving a thank you note in the mail as soon as our postal system gets around to it.

    Anonymous, ouch. Yes, I thought that might be part of it.

    Cliff, what counts as the center varies from time to time, of course, and as I noted some years ago, the notional center in today’s American political system is very, very far removed from the central beliefs of most Americans. It’s the latter, not the former, that would give Biden a chance at a successful presidency. If he embraces the former instead — the consensus of the clueless elites, which was what made Trump inevitable — he’s doomed.

    Godozo, many thanks for this.

    BB, thanks for this. It’s just possible that a clue is being had…

    Prizm, well, we’ll see. You’re right that it could certainly turn out that way. If some state legislature or other were to pass a bill calling for a constitutional amendment to dissolve the Union, in particular, I think it would get two-thirds of the states on board very easily — Massachusetts would be as happy to be rid of Arkansas as Arkansas would be to get rid of Massachusetts…

    Hector, welcome back — it’s been a while! Your experience with your fellow doctors is fascinating, and very disturbing. I hope that sort of blind trust in Big Pharma doesn’t cost them too bitterly.

    Alvin, I noticed a while ago that none of the people I know who are actually thriving work for an employer — they’re all out on their own, and the vast majority of them have worked out some arrangement that allows them to provide goods or services to a niche market. What you’re calling the creator economy is an important part of that. Basically what’s happened is that economic overcentralization is well past the point of negative returns, in at least two senses. On the one hand, the superstructure of the centralized corporate economy is so gargantuan and so costly that the people who actually provide goods and services within that economy are no longer being paid a decent share of the value of their own labor — too much has to be raked off to support the legions of office fauna and all the other costs of excessive scale. On the other, because corporate behemoths have to focus on goods and services that have a mass market, a vast and growing array of more specialized human needs and wants is going unmet by the centralized economy. That leaves a dizzying array of niches wide open for individuals who can use their own skills as capital and find ways to thrive in the interstices. It’s certainly what I do, and I expect it to become even more prosperous and popular as the corporate economy becomes ever more rigid, sclerotic, and corrupt.

    As for the internet, it’s a convenience, not a necessity. A century ago creators used classifeid ads in magazines to reach their audience. As the internet begins to wane, expect print magazines to stage a lively resurgence — the zine scene shows that there’s already plenty of talent and entrepreneurship waiting to move into that niche once the internet abandons it.

    Cicada Grove, that doesn’t surprise me at all. Many thanks.

    Karim, if Biden (or rather his handlers) have the brains the gods gave geese, he’ll denounce Trump’s foreign policy and then carry out a somewhat less erratic version of it. Right now the only set of policies that can keep US prestige internationally from facing the kind of disaster I chronicled in my novel Twilight’s Last Gleaming is a staged retreat from global commitments we can no longer afford to maintain.

    Anonymous, that’s fascinating to hear about your friend. I wonder how widespread and rapid the retreat of the internet will turn out to be.

    Chris, it’s one of your dogs snoring. I do have some writing contracts to finish up, but I plan on taking it easy and getting caught up on some reading while I’m on break. As for the economics of the current epidemic, that’s one of the most astonishing things about all this — governments are using shutdowns instead of the proven methods of quarantine and contact tracing, and causing immense economic damage, which is going to whip around and bite them in the buttocks. Why? it makes very little sense.

    Matt, thanks for this.

    John, I could see that.

    Guilliam, if the corporate media was discussing the vaccines in terms of risks and benefits, instead of cheerleading for the pharmaceutical industry and insisting on the absolute truth of statements about safety when neither they nor anyone else know whether those statements are true or not, I’d doubtless be more nuanced. As for having readers who knew Obama, I find this hard to believe; the degree of stark ignorance of the bleak realities of contemporary American life that Obama and his flacks have consistently displayed is extreme enough that I’d be astonished if anyone in that circle reads anything outside the oxygen-deprived bubble of elite intellectual culture.

    David BTL, well, Trump was consistently dogged by Democratic loyalists within his administration, so it doesn’t suprise me that Biden’s handlers are trying to avoid the same thing! More broadly, though, that’s a serious concern at this point.

    Patricia M, unless it gets out of K-Falls et al. and finds its way to the centers of power, it may not amount to much. People in flyover states have been talking for years about the hard fact that without full time jobs at decent pay, nothing is going to improve for them.

    Roger, I noted in my post that the BBC article may or may not mark a shift in that consensus. We simply don’t know — and I think it’s crucial to accept that uncertainty.

    Investing, I’m not surprised to see KMO all over this! Thanks for this.

    Irena, sure — but the fact that negative side effects were predicted by quite a few people is what will finish the process, at least here in the US, of shredding what little remains of the credibility of the corporate media and the medical and scientific establishment. You can only lie blatantly to people so many times before they stop believing anything you say…

    Bridge, thanks for this. You might also find this post on Naked Capitalism interesting.

    Squirrelly, thanks for this! That’s a book I’ll want to read.

    Neptunesdolphins, I’m delighted to hear that your doctor admitted that the system’s broken. As my friends who’ve dealt with addictions like to say, it’s not until you admit that you have a problem and it won’t fix itself that you can actually start doing something about it.

    Martin, delighted to hear it. May the work go well for you!

    Danaone, indeed it is. Good for them!

    Yorkshire, thanks for these.

    Shamanicfallout, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of effects the more conventional vaccines have. As for tobacco, I’ve long assumed that the hideous death toll from tobacco use is what you get from treating a sacred plant so casually.

    Teresa, true enough! And that’s why the people who take vacations in the tropics four times a year are the people who need to lead the way by cutting back first.

  141. JMG, are you going to continue to put comments through in January? Also, how should we treat tobacco?

  142. Drgrumpyinthehouse.blogspot.com writes in detail about his vaccination experience.

  143. @ Joan

    In your reply to Onething (re. the prospect that Covid vaccines may trigger the body to attack syncitin-1 homologues of the vaccine antigen derived from the Sars-Covid-2 spike protein) you venture a supposition that if a woman has been infected with Covid her immune system will look and behave exactly as it would if she has been vaccinated with a Sars-Covid-2 vaccine, such that if her post-vaccine immune system attacks syncityn-1 proteins in the placenta, her post-infection immune system would do so, as well.

    This does not follow at all. Vaccines do not emulate normal immune function. They emulate a 300-year-old simple irritation/response immune system *model*, which may or may not be a useful proxy for normal, complex, adaptive, immune function, which is still very poorly understood.

    That is to say, it does not follow at all that infection with Sars-Covid-2 will direct the unvaccinated immune system to attack syncitin-1 analogues of the Sars-Covid-2 spike protein (the specific possibility that is under discussion), anymore than infection with H1N1 swine flu has been found to direct the unvaccinated immune system to turn on homologues in hypocretin producing neurons, as the H1N1 swine flu vaccine Pandemrix is now known to have done, causing a spike in the number of narcolepsy cases during the pandemic of 2009.

    Of course, whether this homology (Sars-Covid-2 spike proteins and placental Syncityn-1 proteins) will bear out in practice, is still unknown.

  144. “As for tobacco, I’ve long assumed that the hideous death toll from tobacco use is what you get from treating a sacred plant so casually.”

    If I may jump in, one of the things I find so fascinating about the history of tobacco is that it was once considered to afford massive health benefits. Rather than doing the usual thing and saying “People in the past were morons”, I started thinking through the various possibilities which could explain this. One I came up with was that something in how tobacco is handled makes it dangerous; this then lead me to looking into the history of it, and this then lead me to the discovery that it was only after the mechanization of tobacco production in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that the health claims started being challenged. So I think that’s a very big part of it.

  145. Hi JMG.

    Here in the Hispanic South America,Biden is seen as “the gringo that will give visas and citizenship to everyone”, I wonder if the USA (also Canada) will keep being a major inmigrant destination in the coming decades.

  146. Thanks for flowing with the times in 2020 and providing a greater proportion of current-events posts alongside the intriguing magical history series. I’m always interested to read your perspectives and to join in the discussion when I have time.

    Re: economic fallout

    There’s a story being told about how mega-corporations are winning and small businesses are closing, but the reality on the ground seems to be far more nuanced than that. On the big side, Boeing, Delta Airlines, Disney World, and Royal Caribbean aren’t doing so hot. On the small side, many mom-and-pop businesses are thriving through the pandemic. That is certainly true in my industry – those who produce local food or cater to gardeners and small farmers. Even in the restaurant world, the little Mexican lunch cafe that I frequent is doing just fine: they mainly cater to truckers and day-laborers who are now simply getting their burritos to go. Meanwhile it is the upscale, dine-in-experience restaurants that cater to the chattering classes that are going under.

    On a larger scale what this says to me is the majority of the folks suffering the most are in industries which cater to the comfortable classes (travel, tourism, hospitality, fine dining, boutique shops, malls, etc. etc.). And these tend to be the sorts of jobs occupied by downwardly-mobile children of the comfortable classes, who have now been given a harsh lesson in their expendability and who now have even more reason to discard the identity politics of their families and make common cause with the economic grievance politics of the working classes. If nothing else, immiserating a larger proportion of the populace – including many who were previously quite comfortable – can hardly end well for the Marie Antoinette class.

    Re: vaccines

    I’m watching and waiting along with everyone else, and will avoid getting the shot for as long as possible. Just wanted to add that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine just approved in the UK is still not a “traditional” vaccine. It is a viral-vector vaccine, which uses a live engineered chimpanzee adenovirus to carry the covid spike protein DNA into our cells, where it is transcribed to express the spike protein on the surface of our cells where it elicits an immune response. Viral vector vaccines are still considered “genetic vaccines” in that they introduce genetic instructions to produce an antigen rather than the antigen itself in the form of dead or weakened viral particles. There are a number of viral vector vaccines approved for use in veterinary medicine but none, to my knowledge, in humans until just now (the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is also in this category). Traditional attenuated-virus covid vaccines are still a ways down the pipeline, since it is more challenging to grow and purify the actual virus in the necessary quantities.

  147. I grew the lovely ornamental tobacco, ‘Only the Lonely’ last summer. I was astonished when a local Native American healer asked if I would trade some of my tobacco plants. I pointed out that this was strictly an ornamental, and that Victory Seeds in OR carries seeds for smoking tobacco, but apparently the ornamental plants I traded for a bottle of her renowned elderberry syrup were adequate for whatever use she made of them.

    I have been ordered by my daughter the LPN to stay at home. “If you have to go to the hospital, you will die.” she said

    Anyone looking for future responsible leadership might look at NM Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. She turned down a place in Biden’s cabinet, which shows sense. She was also, pre-covid, very quietly, implementing the free tuition at NM state colleges proposal, I think for NM residents only.

  148. So, all in all, sounds like even with the potentialities you’ve mentioned, your overall prognosis remains roughly the same. If this hits, we’re in for hard times — but not the end of the world. If this doesn’t hit, we’re in for other hard times — but still not the end of the world. Am I on the right track?

    Regarding the refugees to Canada question you answered above, I’m assuming that’s a situation you feel might unfold and not something you’d advocate for, correct? I’ve been reading your blog for a long time so I think I know the answer, but I’m a gifted over-thinker.

    Back in November, you suggested that now would be a good time to devote more time to our spiritual lives (which I’ve been doing; thanks for suggesting it). I feel like magic is a good way to maintain mental fortitude in the face of these shifts and difficulties we’re seeing. Beyond that, are there practical elements of spiritual study a student could focus on in situations like the present? I’ve been working with banishing rituals and meditation, following LRM. Just curious if I should be supplementing anything else in there…

    Thanks for taking our questions/comments. Enjoy the break!

  149. @JMG: Well, your election predictions were correct about one thing: Trump really did get a much higher percentage of the Black and non-Cuban Latino vote than anyone would have predicted, with ~15% of the Black vote (compared to the 6-8% that Republicans usually get) and over 40% of the Latino vote. (He also got the majority of the Cuban vote in Florida, but that’s less of a surprise, since it’s well-known that Cuban-Americans tend to overwhelmingly vote Republican.) It wasn’t enough to win him the election – thankfully, in my opinion – but it does show that Democrats won’t be able to keep taking minority votes for granted. It’s becoming very clear that appeals to identity politics are a losing gambit if they’re not paired with actual policies to make people’s lives materially better, and as a Democratic voter, I hope the party’s leaders take that lesson to heart.

    You were also right about the riots hurting the Democratic Party and progressive causes in general. Support for the Black Lives Matter movement dropped from almost 75% back in the spring to just barely above 50% in the fall. I largely blame the (mostly White and middle-class) radical fringe activists who kept trying to hijack the movement and make it about every far-left cause under the sun other than police brutality against minorities (e.g. anti-capitalism, anti-colonialism, communism, anarchism), much to the chagrin of the older African-American activists who didn’t particularly care about their pet ideologies and wanted to keep the movement more narrowly focused. The radical activists also rejected the tried-and-true strategy of disassociating themselves from the violent rioters (which is what protestors have typically been doing since the 60s: “most of us are peaceful, the people breaking windows and looting are a small minority of opportunists, we condemn them”), instead making bizarre arguments in defense of vandalism, arson, and looting. It was very frustrating seeing the movement squander so much of the goodwill that they’d originally had with the general public. Again, I hope activist leaders take some lessons from this.

    I hate to say this, but I have a sinking feeling that the Democrats really won this election solely because independents saw them as a lesser evil compared to Trump, not because they have any real semblance of support from the general public. If there were an option that would cause Trump and Biden to both lose, I feel like the majority of Americans would’ve taken that instead.

  150. Temporary Reality,

    Large and in charge! Thanks for thinking about us.
    Hope you and yours are in for a much better new year…

    Coop Janitor,

    If you’re around, I just saw your product order. Many thanks! And I hope things are going great in your neck of the woods.

    Grover

  151. Re: coronavirus, vaccine, and fertility. It seems that there’s only a tiny thread of logic to the idea that either the virus or the vaccine could impair female fertility (the ability to form a placenta), as mentioned earlier in the comments. OK, so the probability is very low. But the potential impact, if any, would be mind-boggling! And I don’t see any practical way to TEST a vaccine for its impact on fertility. Having faced “infertility of unknown cause” decades ago with my wife, I know how painful, frustrating, and mysterious conception is under ordinary circumstances.

    Now, imagine that two or three years from now, the birth rate is observed to have plummeted. Will we say that “well, people just decided to stop making babies until life settles down”? Or will we say that “a natural immune response to the spike protein on COVID-19 makes pregnancy less likely”? Or will we hear people say “That damn vaccine killed my unborn grandchildren, and Somebody Must Pay!”?

    To tie in another thread, we know that only ways to limit energy consumption are 1> to limit energy production (e.g., through exhaustion of energy resources) and/or 2> to reduce the population that’s consuming energy. If someone were to cold-bloodedly consider the problem, and propose that the most “humane” way to reduce the population is to design a virus and/or a vaccine that caused infertility (rather than, say, hand-to-hand combat (Rwandan-style), forced starvation (Holodomor-style), or gas chambers (Nazi-style)), do you suppose they could get the resources to make it happen?

  152. Cliff – not internet reading, but even better – a print book. Hot Earth Dreams, by Frank Landis, a professional ecologist given to “lateral thinking” – full of charts, speculations, history, and a richness of scenarios worthy of a place among the books by Our Druid. Whom he quotes, but perhaps might by enriched by having read in further depth.

  153. I wish everyone a happy new year. Let us hope that 2021 is good for us all. John Michael I hope you and Sara have a restful January.

  154. John, et alia—

    Among the many, many unknowns and possibilities I’ll be watching in 2021 is the much-vaunted Artemis program. IIRC the unmanned (uncrewed? unpeopled?) Artemis I mission is supposed to launch November next year, already delayed by a few years from the original timeline as I understand. It’ll be interesting to see if it does indeed launch next fall or if it gets pushed back yet again. (I’ll be watching also to note the noise-to-results ratio the whole program produces as the years unfold…)

  155. @ Cliff

    https://www.aldaily.com/ It leans a bit towards the literary world, but “articles of note” may be about almost any topic. It’s been around a long time so maybe you already iknow about it.

    Also https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/12/larry-wilkerson-no-evidence-of-massive-russian-hack.html?fbclid=IwAR3CgcFIEJ7S0dtH3fn2GKBhuhNTHgcjP1PTCefyiZ8edGaGPZx5bV7UZLg
    I’ve linked to a specific article, but there are lots of interesting things on this site.

    For a Jewish perspective. https://www.tabletmag.com/

  156. Hi John Michael,

    Reading is one of my pleasures too. Enjoy your well deserved holiday. It’s a bit of a shame I can’t rely on the random noises emanating from the dogs – thought I was onto something there. Oh well, back to the drawing board. And my holiday involves moving rocks and soil and maintaining this farm. It gives my brain a much needed break – this year has been err, complicated.

    You have raised an interesting point that I am also considering. History is a good guide as back in the day there used to be a sanatorium not too far from here, and if we as a society were serious about the health matter which dare not be named…

    Of course, that does suggest that if you were to examine the actual outcomes based on what is actually going on, it suggests that we have flown further down the rabbit hole of financial abstractions. I mean, if the economy is tanking, then money printing should usually produce a result which means that money is worth less than what it once was worth.

    It is very possible that what we are experiencing is a deliberate reduction of both demand and supply in order to support the abstract value of money and the status quo. That’s my best guess at this stage. Such policies do not bode well for the future. Especially as the pain is being disproportionately heaped upon the young. That should not be. Oh well.

    Cheers

    Chris

  157. Re: COVID-19 vs. Influenza. Recent statistics show that this has been a remarkably mild season for influenza. The media explanation is that flu vaccination, and our efforts to prevent COVID-19 with vitamin-D, distance, masks, and washing our hands has knocked out the flu, too. But this doesn’t quite hold together, because flu vaccination rates haven’t been exceptionally high (189 million vs. 174 million last year, +8%), and COVID cases are soaring anyway. If masks, distance, and hand-washing were being used widely enough to suppress the flu, why aren’t they suppressing COVID-19, too? How can we resolve the discrepancy?

    Maybe far fewer flu victims are seeking medical attention, so the diagnosed rate underestimates the infected rate this year.

    Maybe actual flu victims are being mis-classified as COVID-19 victims, because hospitals get more compensation for COVID-19 cases, or maybe patients show up with concurrent infections but only get the COVID test.

    Maybe prior-year “flu” statistics included undiagnosed victims of prior coronavirus outbreaks.

    If masks and lockdowns save tens of thousands of lives that would otherwise be lost to the flu, will they become routine every winter?

  158. Dear Lathechuck,

    If I may, in response to your comment time-stamped at December 31, 2020 at 4:52 pm:

    A data point: worldwide, randomized sterilization forms one of the plot points of Dan Brown’s enormously popular and frankly appalling novel _Inferno_ in which a manmade virus infects the entire human population, randomly sterilizing one out of every three people. The viewpoint characters then agree that actually this provides a net good for the world and likely a new Renaissance waits just around the corner. Then the curtain drops.

  159. Your Kittenship, (1) yes, and (2) you probably want to talk to a Native American about that.

    Anonymous, fascinating. I wonder what caused that.

    Quinshi, I suspect the people down your way who think that are going to be bitterly disappointed. Both houses of our Congress just passed a bill that includes more money for building the wall on our southern border.

    Mark, thanks for this. The story of big corporations thriving and small businesses being battered is of course a generalization, but I think you’re overgeneralizing in the other direction. Here in downscale East Providence, certainly, a lot of businesses that rely on bringing in customers are in bad shape. As for the vaccine, fair enough — many thanks for the clarification.

    Mary, fascinating. Could you ask your daughter for more details? I heard the same thing from one of the staff at a local business I frequent back in May — he was very insistent that the way to survive the virus was bed rest and over-the-counter medication, and that going to the hospital was a good way to become a statistic. He didn’t explain the details, though, and that business has now shut its doors (one more casualty of the epidemic), so I can’t ask him.

    Dudley, the question at the moment is the angle of the slope of decline. All hard times are not created equal; the near future could be a gradual decline or a plunge into serious crisis. As for emigration to Canada, I’m certainly not advocating it. If things fall apart here, though, expect a lot of refugees heading that way. Until you finish LRM, btw, it’s premature to add other things.

    Ashara, thanks for this. I hope other Democrats are paying attention to those numbers! I can’t help but remember that one of the reasons Hitler was able to get enough popular support to take power in Germany is that none of the more (small-d) democratic parties would stand up to the incessant demands and street violence of the Communist Party. It’s not impossible that the Antifa movement and its associated extremist politicians, allowed to go unchecked, could cause a similar backlash here…

    Lathechuck, I note a vast torrent of identical stories in the mass media, all assailing the claim that the Pfizer vaccine can cause an immune reaction to the syncytin-1 protein, which is essential for placenta formation and thus to pregnancy. I don’t have the medical knowledge to decide who’s telling the truth, but quite often in the past when there’s been this kind of saturation debunking, the debunkers turned out to be lying through their teeth. That’s the damnable thing about the collapse of credibility on the part of the media and the medical industry. At what point is it the better part of valor to decide that whenever the media says something about health care, no matter what, it’s a lie?

    David BTL, it will indeed.

    Chris, that makes a certain amount of sense!

    Lathechuck, the almost complete disappearance of flu really strikes me as suspicious, as the coronavirus — which is not notably more infectious than flu — has spiked despite the masks, lockdowns, antisocial distancing, etc.

    Brian (offlist), equating nationalism with racism across the board is the kind of cheap shot that gave Pravda its reputation. If that’s the best you can do, don’t bother trying to comment.

  160. @Alvin?
    I’ll second egghead:-) at ScorpioMartianus on YouTube. Not in to Latin? – how about Ancient Greek? Or just some Halloween or Christmas (Grinch) songs…
    Quid Est – https://youtu.be/OPcy7u1eEmg

    @Grover
    Your post reminded me I needed to get an order in – and one of the empty tins was setting on the desk.

    Coop Janitor

  161. Dear Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat,

    If I may:

    While I’m not a Native American I do work with tobacco. While I don’t put the stuff inside my body in any form, I find that nature spirits get much more excited about tobacco offerings than anything else. One First Nations shaman I read — Medicine Grizzly Bear Lake — writes in his book _Native Healer_ encouraging folks to give offering of tobacco to plants, especially herbs, and especially after one digs a root up. Matthew Wood the master herbalist also employs this practice. For awhile I took a page from Lake’s book and offered his suggested oatmeal and cornmeal as cheaper substitutes. The thing is, the nature spirits really don’t get excited about oatmeal or corn. They appreciate it, but not too enthusiastically frankly. They get very happy with a pinch of tobacco, though. Honey too they adore, but I find tobacco much easier to work with and it’s easy enough to grow.

    Personally I like being friendly and enjoy cultivating an open-handed attitude in my friendships. For this reason I gift many plants and nature spirits tobacco even when I don’t intend to take anything from them. For instance, I climbed a 50′ tall wild Holly tree today and while in the branches I tossed tobacco from my pouch downwards. Afterwards, the Holly tree insisted I pick up some of his beautiful leaves from the ground. Now we’re friends.

    Being on good terms with nature spirits is something that really, seriously, and profoundly pays off. Besides the simple joy of relating to trees as friends, there’s also the reality that nature spirits will look after humans that treat them kindly. In a time with more and more crazed, tree-snapping weather, having some friends on the “inside” of the outside strikes me, personally, as plain common sense.

  162. Kind Sir

    Thank you for another year of excellent insights and i wish you and your wife all the best for 2021.

    2020 was the year we burned down the house to get rid of a few cockroaches in the kitchen.
    So i guess 2021 will be the year of telling ourselves how much better it is to live in a tent.

  163. Regarding tobacco, some of the traditional ways to use it in at least the Eastern US is to pray with it and use it as offerings, especially to plants when harvesting them. A very powerful plant, it makes a sense that growing it and using it in such a disrespectful way has caused a lot of harm. It seems like the way people are growing and using cannabis now is going to cause some long term problems too.

  164. I’m also starting to worry about another unknown: how many people are going to look at the way the media portrays Nazis, how it portrays everything else, and decide they’re lying about everything else, so Nazis must be pretty good. The rapid increase in sales this year has me thinking this is a very real risk….

    Lathechuck, JMG

    One of the things which has me convinced that the vaccine will cause infertility in women is that there’s a statement going around about how a number of women in the study have gotten pregnant. This raises a number of questions though: the most obvious one being if there’s a variation between the control and test groups. I’ve yet to find anything on that, other than shrieking about how someone in the control group lost a child. Until I see that data, I have to assume the vaccine will cause infertility.

  165. Regarding COVID vaccines and syncytin-1, as much as I love conspiracy theories, and as much as I am in the “unless you are at risk do not take the vaccine” camp, the reality is that syncytin-1 and the COVID spike protein the mRNA vaccines supposedly inoculate us against only share a short amino acid chain. Similar claims were floating around about 8 months ago based on a similar story about how COVID has a short amino acid sequence in common with HIV and therefore COVID is an airborne AIDS super bioweapon.

    That being said, the COVID vaccine is completely untested in pregnant women, and nobody knows what happens if you get pregnant after taking the vaccine. There is also no data about male fertility and the vaccine, although that is less of a risk as it only takes one functional germ cell to, uh, find a way. Trial participants who could get pregnant were required to prove they weren’t pregnant and start hormonal or IUD birth control. Nearly all trial participants were therefore, effectively, adult men – neither children nor women in various stages of pregnancy. There are all sorts of cell lines that only exist in various phases of human life from when a sperm and egg join until around age 25 or so, and I bet they are mostly important.

    That being said if I were a soulless billionaire technocrat, sterilizing the citizens of wealthy countries would be a good way to fight climate change secure more fuel for my jet.

  166. Thanks for your musings and wisdom this year JMG. Certainly is an air of untethering here in my English midlands town right now, never heard so many fireworks on a NYE evening. And already the vaccine use here is looking like it’s not going to follow the manufacturer recommendations to maximise reach. All going to continue being interesting. Jay

  167. @JMG: Of course, I constantly see the cultural right (or at least the Very Online sects of it) making similar mistakes. While the radical left makes the mistake of not caring what ordinary people think, the radical right seems to increasingly be assuming that ordinary people are already on their side, when that’s not really the case. Whenever I visited any of the usual alt-right websites, they were always going on about how average Americans were fed up with “political correctness” (which is definitely true), and thus must actually support far-right traditionalist and ethno-nationalist policies instead (which is absolutely not true at all). There seems to be this mistaken impression that since most average Americans aren’t left-wing culture warrior, they must be right-wing culture warriors instead.

    And I think that played a big role in why Trump lost, especially when you consider that the one demographic group he performed significantly worse with compared to 2020 was straight White males. “Owning the libs” might make for a good campaign slogan, but it makes for poor policy. I think a lot of working-class people who voted for Trump in 2016 were okay with his belligerence and outlandish behavior because they assumed it was a show he was putting on to win the election, and that he’d act differently once he was in office. And I think a lot of those same people grew very tired of the constant partisan hostility over the four years that followed, recognizing that right-wing “anti-virtue” signaling was ultimately just as hollow and meaningless as left-wing virtue signaling.

    I recall you mentioning on your Dreamwidth page that both sides lost in this election, and I think part of the reason that happened is because both sides have become wildly out of touch with “normal” America. Obama managed to get the heartland on his side in 2008, and Trump managed to get them on his side in 2016, but at the end of the day, they both failed to understand what had made them appeal to heartland voters in the first place.

  168. @JMG

    I am probably overgeneralizing, and certainly the statistics bear out the trend that the wealth gap is continuing to balloon exponentially, with Bezos and ilk as prime beneficiaries.

    At the same time, I can only report what I see, which is likely different in a rural area than in cities where more small businesses have an unavoidable reliance on bringing people into close proximity. Skilled trades are thriving, and everyone is booked out at least a month. Construction, arborists, plumbers, etc. Small farms are thriving, in many cases more than the big farms which rely on wholesale demand (i.e. restaurants, school cafeterias, etc.) that remains disrupted. Craftsfolk who sell their wares online seem to be doing well. Garden supply stores are running a brisk business. Therapists are busier than ever. These are, by and large, the people I know. Meanwhile Boeing is crashing, taking with it a number of mid-sized regional manufacturers that feed its supply chain. That got started well ahead of the pandemic with the 737 Max issues.

    Overall, our town’s homeless population has at least quadrupled, and the mood is somber. Jobs are hard to come by if unemployed. Tensions are high, and virtue signallers abound. That said, I’m feeling hopeful for 2021 and the years beyond. 2020 may have succeeded in damaging the status quo beyond repair, and the sooner that happens and the sooner we can start exploring alternative possibilities, the better from my perspective – even if that does open the door to some less pleasant potentialities.

  169. JMG, may you have a well deserved restful and peaceful vacation from posting! I will spend January catching up on reading previous Magic Monday comments, as I’ve fallen behind on those (so many great comments, so little time…)

    Happy New Year Everyone!

    Joy Marie

  170. Hi JMG,
    First, many thanks for hosting this blog and discussion list. I hope you will spend lots of time doing many things that do not require staring at a glowing screen ;-)). Also, thanks to all of my fellow commentariat–particularly those who do not share my own view of things! While sometimes perplexing, I continue to benefit greatly from the many points of view expressed politely here.

    Many regular commenters have their own very interesting and informative blogs on a wide variety of topics– Some of them have posted links to their blogs and I hope that more of you will post a link with a brief description of your blog’s theme;
    I have two blogs:

    http://jackmanassas.blogspot.com/
    This is the most boring blog on the internet. I use it mostly for curmudgeonly rants and as a convenient place to remember things like ‘How to install Linux as a second operating system.’ But if you are bored enough, it could be right for you…

    https://emmanuelg.dreamwidth.org/
    I use this one mostly to explore Geomancy and related topics.

    https://conjunctio.dreamwidth.org is a very interesting discussion group about Geomancy. Highly recommended if you want to post a geomantic reading and discuss it with someone.

    COVID Vaccine Comments

    From within healthcare, I have to say that the speed of development and deployment of the numerous COVID vaccines is breath-taking, and worrisome. It usually takes 5 to 10 years to develop a new vaccine. Even at that cautiously slow pace, some of them are withdrawn from the market due to unexpected adverse effects or inadequate benefit.

    The three-shot vaccine ‘Lymerix(R)’ for Lyme disease was, for example, withdrawn from the market when a number of early recipients developed arthritis [probably rheumatoid] after receiving the vaccine. However, if you google for the reason Lymerix was withdrawn, you get a company statement that it was pulled ‘due to inadequate customer demand,’ — and then you see a news bulletin that two other companies are currently developing new vaccines against Lyme disease. This sort of reporting does not fill me with confidence!

    Since a part of my job is to give vaccines, I am in the process of putting together a handout on the COVID vaccines in plain english with a summary of risks and benefits. That way, my patients can have a chance of making an informed decision on whether or not to get the shot–If it becomes available in our area in 2021! One advantage of living in rural Canada; You will never be the first to try out a shiny new medical treatment!

    Best wishes to all of us for the coming new year!
    –Emmanuel G

  171. @JMG

    What I will miss about the internet is the memes. The video sharing and talking to people globally. Near instantaneously.

    Lots of free anime from Japan too.

  172. @Lathechuck

    As far a viruses go Coronavirus is a pretty gentle plague. So long as it consistently causes excess mortality. That will keep the population down. Even the 1918 plague of flu caused a fertility crash:
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/here-comes-the-covid-19-baby-bust/ar-BB1bj9e0

    Of course other factors like the decline in childcare and govt subsidies for children in general. And other factors like the encouragement for both Men and Women to be more selective in their choice of marriage partners in terms of quality would also contribute.

    But I think the decline of industrial civilization alone will increase the possibilities of death for everyone.

  173. Oops, I must’ve been listening to Chris’s dogs too. I revise my good wishes to “have as productive a month as you wish, but mostly, enjoy your time off”

  174. JMG,

    Could you elaborate on your crackpot medicine of choice? Is that the biochemic salts thing? I’m looking to add to my repertoire. My HSA covers acupuncture, shockingly, and I always like to discover and try out other energy based methods of healing.

  175. Re: shutdowns

    Economic crashes are usually a prime opportunity for the cashed-up to acquire real assets on the cheap at bankruptcy sales. The Packer family, one of Australia’s media barons, got their start when Keith Packer travelled the country buying up bankrupt local newspapers during the Great Depression, and the family is still riding that ‘good’ fortune.

    So it would be easy for the rich and clueless to assume that creating an economic crash would work for them, while failing to notice that what drives the whole thing is people actually having money to spend …

    Thank you very much for your comments on niche self-employment. I’m noticing a number of high-value crops that could be grown where I live, if the imports became scarcer.

  176. So, I just walked past CNN’s new-year special, and overheard someone (a celebrity, I assume), casually talking about how there is a ten PM curfew. This raises a tonne of red flags: are things really that bad in the US? I mean, I assume it’ll be justified with “COVID!”, but curfews seem more likely a sign people are expecting something big….

  177. Anonymous, why should they bother? In Antifa, we’ve already got people in black uniforms marching through the streets, beating people, destroying property, and upholding an ideology that says that one particular ethnic group is responsible for everything that’s wrong with the world…

    Jay, glad to hear it. Here in East Providence it’s been like a morgue, with a few distant fireworks going off but no voices, no horns, nothing else.

    Ashara, I think that a lot of people were also just hoping that if Trump wasn’t in the White House any more, the left would lay off the constant shrieking two-year-old theatrics, at least for a little while. I know quite a few people, many of them not even Trump supporters, who had to walk away from lifelong friendships and relationships because the other person had turned into a 24/7 rage junkie unable to talk or think about anything but “Orange Man Bad!”

    Mark, thanks for the data points.

    Dennis, I discuss them in this essay.

    Anonymous, that was my thought also. It’s not as though the virus is more transmissible at night…

  178. I voted for Clinton in 2016, straight ticket democrat in 2018, Biden in 2020, and in point of fact have never voted Republican, and still had to cut three people out of my life because they were so consumed with hatred for Trump and his supporters….

  179. Good list. There is one other rather exciting unknown sitting out there – and that’s the rebirth of psychedelics in medicine. Oregon has approved psilocybin in specific circumstances for therapy, along with a few other West Coast cities. Most nations are now underdoing trials of MDMA, LSD, DMT, ketamine, and even mescaline to treat depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and even personality disorders. I don’t think it’s a magic bullet, but the science looks promising, and if it can provide relief to the millions that suffer with intractable mental health, at the same time as opening up worlds of experience that the material worldview says is impossible, then that quiet revolution might just push us all in a new direction.

  180. Does the chart for the start of the year have any meaning? If it does, well, there’s another quite malefic chart taking effect for this year…..

  181. Glad to hear your continued voice of reasonespecially in regards to the vaccine. We are planning the roll out in.Australia mid 2021 so we will at least have about 6 months of observation of other countries to get a vaguely better idea. 2021 is going to be an interesting one and just like you, I really havent made any solid predictions. Normally there is a bit more of a solid footing to go off but at the moment there are too many moving variables to get a solid grip. Going to be fascinating to see.

    Have a great break over January, well deserved as always.

  182. @ John of Red Hook: I have been telling friends that I think your candidate for our Putin will actually be the next Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hawaii. As I like to boast, I received only 79 fewer votes in the primaries than our coming VP, when running as a delegate to the DNC for Major Gabbard.

    To all who commented on tobacco: thanks for the prod to plant some this spring in the garden. Before the shutdowns happened, I had planned to consult with the Narragansetts on how I might best thank the river for her great blessings to me. I hope that their museum will soon be open again.

    JMG: My best wishes for many books devoured in January!

    It’s been a very quiet NYE. The past 4th was memorable for the tons of powder blown off.

  183. John Michael wrote, “For some years now, the comfortable classes in today’s America have lost track of the fact that control over the public narrative does not equal control over the facts underlying the narrative.”

    That is so painfully true nowadays! Every time I look at the newsfeeds, something there reminds me just how disconnected our elites (and their chroniclers) have become from reality. Today it was the mayor of Austin’s last-minute attempt to shutter bars and restaurants during New Years’ festivities. That would be the same mayor who told his peasants to stay home over Thanksgiving while he went to a timeshare in Mexico. Why is it always those fools whose political careers are already doomed who then go on overreaching, as though they could somehow right their extravagant wrongs and erase everyone’s memories? Governors Newsom, Whitmer, and Cuomo come painfully to mind, as well as Speaker Pelosi. Once the fact of their hypocrisy slipped out, despite their flailing attempts at narrative control, that damage can’t be expunged by doubling down on their unrepentant arrogance. Even were they competent enough to effectively control the narrative, it wouldn’t change the ugly facts.

    Likewise for the attempt to bailout a dying medical system by getting everyone to buy-in to endless vaccines for the ever-mutating viruses we all somehow used to deal with, without going into hysterical death panics. With the underlying facts of viral mutation remaining the same throughout the span of human history, what level of narrative control would be necessary to create the never-ending extractive dystopia our medical overlords are fantasizing about?

    I think it’s the medical system itself that’s in a death panic, and is projecting its own fear out onto everyone else. I wonder if their universal-vaccine nostrum may be the equivalent of wielding a band-aid to stabilize a hemorrhaging patient, since government life-support is the only thing I can see keeping the Ponzi scheme of Western medical care afloat any more. If one of the rushed vaccines does end up causing disability in its hapless victims, perhaps we will finally be able to lay our failed sickcare system to rest and get on with the always risky prospect of living life, rather than merely hiding from death.

    Where narrative control appears to have escaped its limits and successfully changed its underlying facts is America’s upcoming coronation. I wrote “appears” because I’m still not buying it. The silence coming from Trump’s camp is truly peculiar. None of his handlers could stop him from tweeting with abandon over the past four years, but I’m supposed to believe that he’s now humbled by his loss and cowed into passivity? An egomaniac that uncontrollable would not respond with restraint unless it seemed to be to his own strategic advantage. What advantage he is trying to exploit I have no idea, but I am not about to discount him yet.

    Trump’s power is very hard to gauge — he probably has a hard time knowing where he holds influence himself. He certainly didn’t have the power to just toss out a veto to the budget and get it to survive an override. So, instead, he tossed out the golden apple of a $2,000 stimulus, leaving the congress critters to fight over who has the right to claim the flattering optics of that populist prize. And our modern-day Olympians have indeed started a war between their houses in the frenzy of their political vanities. Will that war lead to a contested election that gets decided in the house? I’m not gonna gamble my money on any particular outcome at the moment. Should Biden manage to get himself inaugurated, I expect the coup plotters to last no longer than their Bolivian counterparts did — hopefully, Biden and Harris have a better escape plan laid out than Jeanine Áñez did.

    As for the mainstream BBC declaring that the well-to-do will have to change their lifestyles “for the children” or the environment, or whatever the cause-du-jour is, that’s definitely another attempt at narrative control through handwaving. The billionaire class may have decided to dump the comfortable classes with their profligate lifestyles before the comfortable classes could dump climate change. How could the billionaires hope to succeed in maintaining their own profligate lifestyles if the petty nobility were allowed to go on believing they deserve the same privileges? I think there is a nasty battle brewing between the real Gotrockses and the mere pretenders of the run-of-the-mill celebrity classes. Popcorn — everyone’s pantry should definitely be stocked with a healthy supply of popcorn to make it through 2021!

  184. @Anonymous
    @JMG

    The way that curfews were justified over here in the Czech Republic was that people were gathering in each others’ apartments (because bars etc. were closed) in the evenings, and that was helping spread the virus. Well. That’s what they said.

    I believe we have a 9pm curfew now (again). I think. The rules are constantly changing, and I can’t keep up anymore.

  185. Hi John Michael,

    Mate, I do my best to ignore the words, whilst listening to them all the same and just float above it all and observe what is going on. It is a habit of mine to speak with as wide a variety of people as possible.

    Thought you might be interested in the official advice down here: Scott Morrison and Paul Kelly have given their first coronavirus update for 2021.

    Sensibly the official advice is: “On the vaccine, you don’t rush the [rollout],” he said. “That’s very dangerous for Australians. Those who suggest that, I think it’s a naive suggestion.”

    It doesn’t get spelled out any plainer than that.

    Cheers

    Chris

  186. @JMG

    Do you still think that tourism will make a full recovery once COVID is declared over? See, 2020 was one big nightmare, but the one thing I actually did like about it was that tourists vanished from Prague (hehehe). I realize they’ll come back once restrictions are lifted, but I’m hoping not in quite such large numbers…

    Happy New Year everyone!

  187. violet – Thanks for explaining the plot of “Inferno”. The first question that came to my mind upon reading it was “how would a virus sterilize ONLY 1/3 of the population?” For that to be even theoretically plausible, it would have to key on some genetic difference. Is THAT port of the plot, too? (I’m trying not to say that it’s “race” based, because race is too crude an oversimplification to apply, but I guess it would end up looking that way.)

  188. >I think that a lot of people were also just hoping that if Trump wasn’t in the White House any more, the left would lay off the constant shrieking two-year-old theatrics, at least for a little while.

    Chamberlain thought he could appease Hitler too. I wonder how that turned out.

  189. Dear JMG, the problem in your piece is that Biden’s presidency is ALSO an unknown. As fa as I know, Trump at this time has the same probabilityas Biden to gain his second mandate.
    Evidence and pressure is ganining tremendous momentum, demonstrating that the elections this time has ben rigged to an incredible amount.
    There are more than a thousand testimonies under oath that are denouncing severe irregualrites, while there are several investigations underway. The people is now convinced that something terribly nasty has been done on 3th November. Where the votes have been investigated, even in counties that has officially had no particular problems, like in Coffee, the irregularities are unbelievable, especially concerning the Dominion voting system

    https://rumble.com/vcc1gv-30-12-2020-senato-della-georgia-testimonianza-su-dominion.html

    My personal opinion is that you shoul reconsider all the part of your post where Biden presidency is mentioned. Just try to immagine what could happen if Trump is in charge this year.

  190. >At the same time, I can only report what I see, which is likely different in a rural area than in cities

    This rural area here has never really seen true prosperity (as I reckon it) but it’s getting a tiny taste of it too, recently. There’s multiple ways to explain it but I like to tie it back to money printing and hyperinflation, which tend to invert a few things. And one of those things is money flows to the rural countryside and out of the cities, which is opposite of what it usually does. You saw that somewhat during the 70s too, IIRC and then farmers really hit tough times during the 80s (remember Farm Aid?) when they managed to restore confidence in the dollar.

    It’s cyclical, and it’s about time. If I was a farmer, I’d make hay while the sun shines.

  191. Dear Ashara,

    If I may in response to your comment timestamped, December 31, 2020 at 7:33 pm:

    I think you may be on to something. One friend of mine who is a working class Trump voter who got a lot of flack for it, would often express a lot of dismay at Trump’s behavior to me when we talked politics. It seemed to me that this person felt a measure of embarrassment at Trump’s twitter habit, and his generally provocative, flamboyant, and outrageous behavior. This person basically felt that Trump played the fool, and this playing the fool reflected poorly on Trump voters, which caused this friend rather obvious personal pain and distress.

    Ironically, I who didn’t vote and am in a trans body would come to the defense of many of Trump’s policies because I never have paid much attention to the man himself, and viewed him as an abstraction who benefits my particular class. This person would agree with me about all of that, but that didn’t assuage the sense of horror this person had over Trump acting up. I found this all very surprising at the time. Certainly, I can’t imagine this person voting for Biden but I can imagine many millions of other 2016 Trump-voters who had the same emotional reaction and simply sat the 2020 election out, just as I — a lifelong democrat voter — sat out the 2016 election.

  192. To Ashara’s last point, I think what “heartland” Americans want, what most Americans want, is right in our founding document: a basic opportunity for a meaningful existence (life), the basic freedom and respect due a human being (liberty), and the chance to find one’s own way (pursuit of happiness). Such simple things, and yet our leadership–such as it is–seems wholly unable to provide them. What we don’t need are more bureaucracies (whether government or corporate in nature) directing our lives and telling us where our happiness lies.

  193. @Anonymous et al re: tobacco

    It’s also been known for some time that nicotine is helpful for Parkinson’s disease– it may even be preventive– and that it alleviates some symptoms of OCD. I think we did a grave disservice to many people a couple decades ago with the campaign to demonize smoking. One of the side-effects was to nearly halt research into its benefits. That campaign was so very successful that now, when we have a way to get some of the benefits without anything like the harm– vaping– we must now keep marching ever forward and demonize vaping as well. I can’t help but wonder if that last wasn’t encouraged by the pharmaceutical industry. Still doesn’t solve the problem of mishandling sacred plants.

    https://knowingneurons.com/2016/04/13/nicotine-parkinsons-disease/

  194. Ashara,

    That’s a spot on analysis. The other item that occurs to me is that the “both sidesism” that currently saturates our political discourse, misses the point that while both sides may be “evil,” both sides are not evil in the same way. I’m really unwilling to side with Trump and his supporters for the very same reason that I’m unwilling to side with the opposition. They have some decent ideas for reforming our stagnant political-economy, but dear gods do they go off into crazy town for everything else. The never ending justifications, obfuscations, or just plain denial of the bad behaviour on their respective sides is something that could drive a man to drink.

  195. All I want to mention here is that Bitcoin, now past its 10-year anniversary, continues its upward trend in price…surely an indicator of a lack of confidence with the current monetary system.

    I’d be interested to hear what your take is regarding cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, which seem to point towards a new paradigm not just for networking and data, but also for the balance of power in economies and in societies.

  196. @ Patricia Mathews

    Re cornucopian nonsense

    Rather makes me think of that (in)famous quote from 1929 about stocks having reached a “permanently high plateau”….

  197. Re: medical treatments (new and old) for anxiety and depression… I know that these are serious conditions with clinical definitions, but in a more popular understanding of the terms, how can any rational person NOT be feeling some anxiety and/or depression after the year we’ve had?

    And, if one is being treated medically for anxiety and/or depression, to what extent is one’s ability to accurately perceive risk affected? What other aspects of mental function might be affected, which might influence one to go out and march with a crowd, or put your “stimulus” money into stock-market gambling? (Now that Robinhood Financial (robinhood.com) has opened the doors to small-amount, commission-free trading, anyone can play.)

    I keep asking “how crazy can people be?” and they keep responding as if it’s a challenge.

  198. Maybe I might add just a small comment as well to the tobacco thread since I had mentioned it in my first comment and I have really been interested in all of the discussion about it. I haven’t been following the Dion Fortune readings, and I don’t know much about traditional occultism, and so don’t know how this traditional knowledge thinks about this, but I might suggest that tobacco contains what we might call ‘higher elements’ or ‘higher substances’. Tobacco would not be the only plant, or fungus, to contain these higher elements. And perhaps one of the reasons that it remains unknown and un-transubstantiated is that we cannot absorb, or otherwise make any use of the plants unless we are inwardly prepared, and ready to receive them. Or, alternately, prepared and administered by one who is, and can, work with these substances. In other words, the efficacies are ‘state-dependent’.
    Perhaps this, at least in some way, could explain the beneficent, medicinal, and frankly, sometimes other-worldly aspects of some plants. And then why, without this knowledge, and ‘inner being’, these plants can sometimes have a very opposite, even dangerous effect people.

  199. @ Isaac re: “Regarding tobacco, …A very powerful plant, it makes a sense that growing it and
    using it in such a disrespectful way has caused a lot of harm. It seems like the way people are
    growing and using cannabis now is going to cause some long term problems too.”

    The misuse of cannabis among recreational users is already causing issues:

    https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/c/cannabinoid-hyperemesis-syndrome.html

    Cannabis, like tobacco, is a potent medicine, not meant to be casually used as if you were just
    popping a package of gummy bears. Not everyone has these symptoms but enough do so that they should
    take the hint and use it temporarily to treat ailments. Abusing it will result in its coming back
    to bite you on the posterior when you least expect it.

    JLfromNH

  200. Dear Lathechuck,

    Honestly I don’t remember the fine details of _Inferno_, let alone Dan Brown’s specific scientific mechanism for randomized mass-sterilization. I think there was a lot of hand-waving, but the details elude me now. More to the point, to paraphrase a colorful punk rocker, it wasn’t even worth hating.

  201. To me, two examples below show that the crisis of legitimacy in the US is at a point in which reform is no longer possible.

    The first example is the sudden (in less than a year) collapse in the legitimacy of the public health field, whose decay is very well described in this thread:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/jonst0kes/status/1340703667473805312

    The second example is from the media, those corrupt mouthpieces for the privileged classes: I haven’t voluntarily imbibed mainstream media for years, but the other day I found myself involuntarily listening to MSNBC in a friend’s car. The MSNBC drones were talking about “radicalized Republicans” (that is, working people) in the post-Trump era, how supposedly delusional and detached from reality said working people had become, and how urgent it was for the privileged classes to “fix” them.

    Since I so rarely take in mainstream media I was stunned by the severity of MSNBC’s detachment. I had no idea it had gotten this bad! Marie Antoinette showed more sympathy and understanding, and to me these examples of the privileged classes’ utter unwillingness to humbly engage in self-reflection only show that we’re not going to have any kind of moderation or stabilization under Biden, or ever.

  202. David, by the Lake – In addition to the gas supply sabotage you linked to, there were at least 41 incidents of railroad sabotage in Washington State in 2020. The attack consists of electrically connecting opposite rails, just as the axle and wheels of a train car would, which triggers a sensor to prevent collisions. But emergency stops to prevent collision have themselves caused derailment. All the hazardous materials safety precautions of the industry won’t do much good when you have malicious actors trying to circumvent them.

  203. @JMG,

    Thank you for sharing all this. Even though I haven’t commented these last three weeks, I’ve still been reading Ecosophia intently – it’s just that, knowing so little about either secret societies or mundane astrology, I haven’t had much to say, though I certainly appreciate the chance to hear a little about two subjects on which the mainstream thinkers have nothing to say!

    I hope that you and Sara hace a wonderful new year, and I look forward to your return to blogging in February.

  204. I know JMG wrote about the Great Reset some weeks ago, describing it as warmed over communism, repackaged for today, but in re: the bit above wondering why the governments have fallen over themselves to kill off their economies, I saw an interesting interview with Catherine Austin Fitts yesterday, part of a larger film called Planet Lockdown I think.

    https://youtu.be/C1-0XKYAZII

    No written transcript as yet to my knowledge. Setting aside for a moment whether the GloboCap super elites have the organizational capacity to pull it all off (or are just incredibly hubristic) she does offer a good framework to explain their motivations and how specific governmental policy choices in recent years help move them closer to their apparent goals, including such things as total social control of civilian populations and “transhumanism” for themselves.

    A useful antidote for her dark views is James Howard Kunstler’s annual prediction piece. I don’t read him often anymore because his tone is so often universal contempt for all Americans, but he adopted a more evenhanded tone for this piece, so it was quite readable.

    https://www.theburningplatform.com/2021/01/01/forecast-2021-chinese-fire-drills-with-a-side-of-french-fries-jacobin-style-and-russian-dressing/

  205. “As for the economics of the current epidemic, that’s one of the most astonishing things about all this — governments are using shutdowns instead of the proven methods of quarantine and contact tracing, and causing immense economic damage, which is going to whip around and bite them in the buttocks. Why? it makes very little sense.”

    One thing you need to keep in mind is that among the comfortable classes, Covid is the Black Death. People are genuinely terrified of mass deaths; I know people who have spent hours crying because someone touched them. They are convinced any exposure to it will kill them, and that this is an utterly unprecedented disease. People are saying that compared to Covid, the Black Death looks likes the flu, and they have meant it. Once you remember these are the people making decisions, the insane overreaction makes sense. I just wish I knew how this weird panic got established, and how to dispel it….

  206. Regarding tobacco bad health effects–

    Long ago I read a piece (sorry, the link is long lost) whose author speculated that the reason tobacco causes cancer is because its growers fertilize it with potassium mined from the ground. A small percentage of potassium is radioactive (potassium-40, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium-40). This would wind up in the tobacco plants and the author theorized that over time, tobacco smokers concentrate enough of this radioactive potassium in their lungs to cause cancer via low-level radiation poisoning.

  207. John Michael, interesting was not the first word that came to mind while reading the Naked Capitalism post you recommended to Bridge. Horrifying, appalling, and alarming all felt like more accurate descriptors to me. Yikes! The advanced corruption in the pharmaceutical industry was not any great surprise, but to have it so meticulously dissected and laid out for inspection was disturbingly illuminating. OK, so I guess that does qualify as interesting!

    Why anyone in these avaricious, predatory times would put their trust in a profit-driven industry to care for their health is beyond me. We each care for and are dependent on our own health to an extent that no industry or bureaucracy could ever hope to imitate. My present distrust of allopathic treatment was hard earned through an ungodly number of botched surgeries and pain meds (and that was before the industry got this corrupted.) My health only started improving when I walked away from the pathologizing allopaths and finally began working with my body instead of against it. Outside of acute emergency care or useful diagnostics, I am far more confident relying on my body’s innate self-healing systems and applying alternative practices that can strengthen them.

    We all have incredible, unrecognized healing resources within us. And, even so, we’re all going to die some day. Like everyone, I would love some mythical guarantee of health, but, similar to any mythical guarantee of wealth, I have to assume that whoever is peddling that mythology is doing so for their own betterment, not for mine.

  208. @JMG That is not my definition of left/right but from Political Compass (www.politicalcompass.org), who uses a specific series of questions/policy positions to plot anyone along left/right and libertarian/authoritarian axes. Undoubtedly there is room to quibble with exactly how they score everything, but it does at least provide a framework meant to be universally applicable — anyone is free to label themselves however they choose of course, but I’m a big fan of having actual definitions behind labels. Their US election 2020 page plots 31 primary candidates, of which only four are even on the left side of center. Interestingly it is nearly as much of a monoculture along the libertarian/authoritarian axis, with only those four plus two others on the right on the libertarian side of center; 25 of 31 candidates are in a single quadrant.

    @Jessica I didn’t mean literally nobody of course, but rather no such group with any remaining political clout. Their traditional vehicles have all been co-opted or destroyed.

  209. I think it was J K Galbraith who quipped, “America is a third-world country. It exports agricultural products and imports finished goods.” That is even more true now than when he said it. And along with third-world status has come the typical co-morbidities, like an uncaring elite, contempt for the workers and the poor, and election jiggery-pokery.

    I’m not anti-Trump, but the way the national debt has ballooned and the wealthy become even more staggeringly wealthy while the majority slowly lose ground is a huge black mark against his administration.

    Perhaps Jack London in “The Iron Heel” was prescient, if a hundred years premature, when he wrote. “Out of the decay of self-seeking capitalism, it was held, would arise that flower of the ages, the Brotherhood of Man. Instead of which, appalling alike to us who look back and to those that lived at the time, capitalism, rotten-ripe, sent forth that monstrous offshoot, the Oligarchy.”

    My personal opinion is that 2020 will become known to historians as “The Year The West Was Lost”.

    It’s not just America. It’s all over the Western world that our leaders have failed to face up to the coronavirus, but have turned tail and run and hid themselves behind the skirts of “the science”. The damage they have done is enormous, while other nations forge ahead. We are at the tipping point, and from now on it’s a long slide downhill.

  210. Dear JMG,

    Just be aware of the growing science on sick buildings that partly resulted from more energy-efficient designs following the twin oil crises of the 1970s. Our extensive use of fungicides has evolved common moulds with the result being that water-damaged buildings with microbial amplification can cause serious illness in those who are genetically susceptible (estimated to be perhaps a quarter of the population).

    Yes, mould illness is real despite the insurance industry’s attempts to quash the science on this (with the US government not exactly working hard to correct the public’s misassumption either).

    Much of that particular patient group need an open design with high airflow. There is just as much of a push to healthy homes as to energy-efficient homes, and the design principles for both do not always overlap.

    Please see the section on Innate Immune Activation below:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mold_health_issues#Innate_Immune_Activation

    Thanks.

  211. RNA can most certainly be reverse transcribed into DNA and integrated into our chromosomes – that is what HIV does all the time. Coronavirus doesn’t usually do that, but it would be premature to conclude that it cannot ever happen – a retrovirus like HIV might be present in a cell at the same time as coronavirus-derived RNA, whether from a live virus or from the vaccine. Since the pseudo-uridine is recognized by the ribosome as if it were the natural nucleotide uridine, I don’t think it would be a hurdle for the reverse transcriptase, either.

    However, I don’t think such a reverse transcription would be a noticeable problem for the organism. After integration, the virus-derived material would be mostly dormant and wouldn’t be expected to trigger an immune reaction. After all, that is probably how syncytin itself entered our DNA a long time ago!

    The risk of adverse immune reactions (mentioned in the Scientific American article and dissected carefully in the Naked Capitalism link above) is probably much higher during the acute phase right after vaccination, when the adjuvants contribute to a “danger signal” that cranks up the immune system.

    It shouldn’t be too difficult to measure the cross-reaction of the sera of three groups of people with syncytin: some who passed through a coronavirus infection, some who received a vaccine, and controls. That can be done in a tube (or on a slide) with a few drops of blood, a few weeks after infection resp. vaccination, and takes at most a few minutes to read out.

  212. PS: If autoimmune antibodies were to be produced after infection or vaccination, then those might (but only might) indeed remain vigilant for decades afterwards. I don’t think this risk can be excluded a priori for any infection or vaccination – it is a matter of empirical evidence if such reactions will occur more frequently in the infected or vaccinated than in others.

  213. Hello AD JMG,

    I recently discovered you (believe I left a short comment a few weeks ago to that effect) and have been hungrily devouring every word I can find that you’ve published ever since. I feel incredibly fortunate that I was just able to nab copies of both Dolmen Arch books as signed first editions. What good fortune for me!

    You’ve brought an excitement and richness to my spiritual life that I didn’t realize I was missing. Thank you for teaching those of us who wish to learn. I (and many others) will study quietly on our own paths – and collectively, you’ll have had a great positive influence on the astral muck we are wading through down here on Earth. Drain the swamp, indeed.

    I’m so glad you’ll be resting this January and look forward eagerly to your well-rested return. Time for brooding, yes?

    With utmost respect and kindest regards,
    Erika

  214. @ Lathechuck

    Re sabotage

    I was wondering, too, how the story I noted was or was not representative. Do you know to what degree those incidents you cited deviated from “usual” malicious activity (of which there is always some)? I’m trying to keep an eye on reports re power grid infrastructure, but I’m only on the periphery here at a modestly-sized municipal utility.

    I hope stuff like this is sporadic and not a trend. We need to address our nation’s problems, not spite one another.

  215. @dropBear: “2020 was the year we burned down the house to get rid of a few cockroaches in the kitchen. So i guess 2021 will be the year of telling ourselves how much better it is to live in a tent.”

    Haha! That’s a good one. I wish it were merely a joke…

    @Anonymous: “One thing you need to keep in mind is that among the comfortable classes, Covid is the Black Death. People are genuinely terrified of mass deaths; I know people who have spent hours crying because someone touched them. They are convinced any exposure to it will kill them, and that this is an utterly unprecedented disease. People are saying that compared to Covid, the Black Death looks likes the flu, and they have meant it.”

    Okie-dokie, I realized we were in the middle of mass hysteria, but I didn’t realize it was quite that bad. I wonder how many people actually think this way. Hmm.

  216. Re: Payback

    You probably already know this, but the current energy cost of bitcoin mining per transaction is 680kwh or enough to power a US household for 23 days (https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption/)

    The irony is, if everyone mining bitcoin cut their mining by 99%, they would all get the same amount, the same number of transactions would go through, and the energy costs would be cut by 99%. However because they’re all competing, the cost keeps going up and up. Its an engineered “tragedy of the commons” Its diabolical, and at present, is the most wasteful system of exchange I’ve ever heard of existing.

    The “new paradigm” is to double down on the old one. Treating energy like its limitless, and any expenditure of it is justified so long as the numbers in your bank account keep going up.

  217. Put another way, you could drive an electric car from New York City to Salt Lake City on the electricity spent to enable a single transaction in the bitcoin system.

  218. With regard to the medical properties of tobacco, I wonder if readers of this blog are familiar with the origin of a popular phrase?

    “When an ‘apparently dead from drowning’ person was pulled from the Thames, it was thought that two things needed to happen to successfully resuscitate them: warming of the body and stimulation. Tobacco was becoming popular in Europe thanks to its exportation from the Americas, and a well known stimulant thanks to the alkaloid nicotine. The nearly dead drowning victim can’t smoke themselves, and certainly can’t swallow anything. And since hypodermic needles weren’t to be fully-invented for another hundred years, the only logical way to administer tobacco was rectally. Plus, the warm smoke would warm the individual from the inside. Win-Win. Thus, the tobacco smoke enema was born, and devices placed all along the Thames river.” — https://naturespoisons.com/2014/07/29/the-exciting-history-of-blowing-smoke-up-ones-arse-tobacco-smoke-enema/

  219. JMG: Many thanks, again, for everything you bring to my world, not least of which is this wonderful forum. I wish you and Sara blessings, good health, peace, and fortitude this coming new year. Enjoy your internet break. We will miss you

    Fellow Ecosophians: thanks to all of you as well. It is a sanity saving joy to read and “listen” to all these fascinating conversations and ideas.

    A few posts back JMG wrote something that struck me like a cold, hard slap across the face. As a result I have adopted “ incerta vadum somnum et somnia” as a personal motto. Something to help me remember from whence I come.

    A topic that has been broached here is the devastating ennui, loneliness, and rootlessness that is the portion of so many people in our modern, western society.
    In my own family, prior to my 18th birthday we moved 13 times living in 5 different states. Since my 18th birthday, I have moved an additional 9 times in three other states!
    We weren’t military (as is often assumed) but simply a lower middle class family whose parents sought “greener grass” repeatedly.

    Three years ago my husband and I relocated to far, upstate New York and I have been dumbfounded by the immense portion of locals who are at least 4th generation in the same village, hamlet or at least county. It has made me painfully aware of what my own hyper-transitory life has deprived me of in the way of family, friends, and trusted connection in and among a community.

    I am wishing you all the best,
    Courtney

  220. @ JMG and READERS…

    It’s not just me seeing the advance of this. While curmudgeon Kunstler has done a fair job of laying out possibilities, as has JMG, this is the event that will drive the next generation into the new ways of doing things. In my industry, things rarely happen in a logical progression, yet all can be tied back to what is going on in the worlds of finance and resource depletion and resource positioning (3D position, as in what country and what depth we have to drill to get at it).

    I would posit readers visit: https://www.artberman.com/2020/09/03/stop-expecting-oil-and-the-economy-to-recover/ over the coming JMG hiatus.

    In my universe, the new normal is rolling in at warp speed. It’s never just ONE thing – not when humans are involved. And we have this new star conjunction JMG laid out for us, and there is a LOT going on we never see until it’s in the rear-view mirror. Government is going to devolve away from the centralist model – the corruption is too apparent to anyone who cares to look, and at ALL levels. “Withdrawing consent” is already building out in Cali, and likely to spread.

    I might also suggest readers look at the latest from Kunstler – the former liberal-turned-populist who saw what we all saw when TOD (The Oil Drum) began years back. His article, “Chinese Fire Drills with a side of French Fries (Jacobin-style) and Russian Dressing”, lays out a lot of what I have envisioned based on my reading and within my industry. And then he brings in the rest for a pretty reasonable scenario of the coming changes that energy will force.

    Most folks reading here are reasonably astute, and reasonable in general. We will all need to become more ‘reasonable’ while at the same time retaining our critical thinking and voices in the coming years. Mine are waning, but for many here, your new reality is approaching and there will be opportunity everywhere around you if you think smart and help others out.

    I wish all a better year, and anything I can do to usher in a better climate for existence I will do. My offspring deserve it, as do we all.

  221. My estimation of the chances of Biden being the next president keep dropping. The louder the media screams about how Biden has won, the more and more I think there’s a chance something will happen Wednesday that keeps Trump in office…

  222. ” However, only masks prevent the transfer of droplets from the nose or mouth from one person to another.”

    Perhaps in some situations that might help slightly. But these viruses are spread by aerosols. The droplets will also contain virus, and the droplets quickly evaporate, and the virus can then travel. If that were not the case, the various studies done before 2020 on the problem of flu would have shown masks to be useful. But meanwhile, long-term mask use has never been done, and is thus a forced medical experiment.
    Is it really likely that obstructing breathing is somehow going to be harmless to an organism?

  223. Hi John

    Great post. I share your concerns about these fast tracked vaccines.

    Whilst you have covered the risks of Moderna and the Pilfer vaccines a lot, you haven’t talked so much about the Oxford vaccine.

    https://www.wired.com/story/the-astrazeneca-covid-vaccine-data-isnt-up-to-snuff/?fbclid=IwAR33IJaY2T66-6113vjnLnPQOUv1fWrLH2ttZPxdfYUV81ou1neQK4kcuAA

    This article is quite alarming, to be frank, given that we in the UK will be pushed to take this vaccine this year.

    Luckily, I’m a young and healthy, so will be at the back of the queue! I also covered this subject in my last FI blog post – https://forecastingintelligence.org/2020/12/06/the-cavalry-is-coming/

    In regard to Biden and his plans, it is a mystery to me.

    I sense that given the overwhelming pressure to deal with Covid, that much of Trump’s legacy will quietly be preserved by the Biden team, particularly in foreign affairs. Already, Biden’s inner circle are saying that they will keep Trump’s border and immigration controls in place as they are terrified of a huge surge of illegal immigration killing the Democrats in the 2022 House mid-term elections.

    That tells me that the hammering the Democrats got in the state, governor and house elections has got through to the party elite and they will ditch the Left now that Biden has managed to squeak into the White House.

    So, to summarize, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Biden do roll back elements of the Trump legacy but for much more, the legacy of Trump will be preserved, tweaked and even expanded in the years to come.

  224. Hi Christophe:

    Regarding “the ever-mutating viruses we all somehow used to deal with, without going into hysterical death panics. With the underlying facts of viral mutation remaining the same throughout the span of human history,…”

    I agree with your point about our current medical dystopia and the controlled narrative. Your comment about the underlying facts of viral mutation inspires me to expand the thought a little.

    Until very recently, with the discovery of the genetic code in the 1960s, we have not had to deal with viral mutations caused by human experimentation on viral replication and mutation. Stuff escapes from laboratories, accidents happen.

    Like unintentional impacts on global climate caused by human activity, and our discovery of nuclear power, our own technologies may have overwhelmed our ability to manage them without causing more harm than good.

  225. However did “Chinese fire drill” come to mean disorder and confusion? Among the most regimented nation on the planet? At least where official actions like fire drills are concerned! Of course, the totalitarian impulse to cover up the existence of any fire might come unto play

  226. Scotlyn,

    Thanks for that response re the vaccine. I was very skeptical when I read that and the only reason I considered it possible was the likelihood that it’s an engineered virus.

  227. Happy 2021! Hope your January break is restful.

    This post is nice summary of the various possible outcomes instead of straight predictions, and one of the most rational posts about 2021 I’ve seen on the interwebs. I have to say I was quite dismayed when Biden’s first cabinet picks all seems to be giddy at the thought of returning to the policies of Obama/Bush. They acted as if the last four years were a huge mistake and could just be swept away. It sounds like you’ve seen differently in later news and I sure hope that many of the Trump policies continue (tariffs, distancing from the Chinese, bringing back manufacturing, troop removals, and tighter borders).

    We’ve been going through the list of what needs work around the house given the upcoming uncertainty. The one thing with working out of one’s own house and growing at least some of your own food, there is a never ending list of home projects. We realized our 20 year old refrigerator and stove should be replaced in case things completely seize up with China (assuming some of most of those appliances are made there). Well ha-ha on us, there is hardly any appliances in stock and it took 8 weeks to get them. We joked “Welcome to the Soviet Union!” Maybe if we were of a different social class, we would have had different results.

  228. Ashara,

    “I hate to say this, but I have a sinking feeling that the Democrats really won this election solely because independents saw them as a lesser evil compared to Trump,”

    They most certainly did not win and I think if we ever get a real vote count, we will find that blacks voted for him at greater than 15%. A lot of the worst cheating took place in inner cities like Detroit.

  229. Re: the crisis in confidence in establishment medicine

    Based on anecdotal experience, I find that many people suffering from long-term health issues due to Covid, are also losing faith in the medical establishment and those who had never had much reason to prior are turning to alternative medicine for help.

    While I certainly agree that Covid is no bubonic plague, the death rates are relatively low, and if you are younger and healthy you are unlikely to die of Covid and or end up in the ICU, I think Covid is a more serious concern than some commenters here regard it as. Dying of Covid is not the only concern, as many who have survived the virus and were never hospitalized are still dealing with long-term health issues.

    I’m speaking from personal experience. I had a serious and mysterious illness last spring. While I tested negative for Covid, doctors are pretty convinced it was a false negative based on clinical information. For the last 8-plus months I have been dealing with health problems that have limited me. !t’s been the most serious thing to ever happen to me in my life. I had to take three months of medical leave from work, and while things have improved somewhat, I still have not fully “recovered,” and have physical limitations I never had before. (I considered myself a healthy individual pre-illness. I rarely got sick. I hadn’t seen a doctor for any health issue besides wellness check-ups in almost a decade. I walked 5 miles a day on average, went on long hikes weekly, ran and did yoga weekly, and ate a whole foods diet. In 2019 I had done a 600-mile long distance hike with a 20 lb pack, sometimes walking up to 22 miles a day. In contrast, eight months after my illness, I am still not able to hike.)

    Many of Covid “long-haulers” I’ve either communicated with or read about have similar stories. Many of them were young and physically active prior (even a marathon runner) and had no known health issues prior to getting sick.

    Since my illness I’ve had many medical appointments (with primary physicians, cardiologists, pulmonologists, etc.) and my experience with them has overall been discouraging. They do standard tests, they come back normal, and despite everything I tell them I’m still experiencing that is not normal, they dismiss my experience. The pulmonologist I saw over the summer told me I was overanalyzing things and told me that if I took some drug, he was certain that I’d be fine in 10 days. I was skeptical. I hear so many similar stories among other Covid long-haulers: doctors dismissing the patients’ experience just because the standard tests done are normal, and not having much helpful treatment to offer. On an online group for long-haulers, the negative experience we are having with doctors is something most of us share.

    No treatment has been a magic pill for me, but the treatment I have found to be somewhat helpful has either been something I discovered on my own, was suggested by a non-medical person, or from an alternative practitioner. I haven’t really gotten any help from any allopathic doctor, besides their ordering tests that at least ruled out certain diagnoses. Herbal medicine, various nutritional supplements, nutritional changes, and acupuncture are what I have found helpful…. Even something so basic as Vitamin D my primary care physical refused to order a test for when I asked her if she could, saying it was unnecessary; I had to get a naturopath to order my Vitamin D test. On online groups, long-haulers are sharing what works for them; a lot of it considered “alternative”. I think that sharing tips amongst us is more helpful than what we are getting from many doctors, who are not good with dealing with complicated issues, or can’t prescribe anything not FDA-approved. On the plus side, this whole experience has given me reason to really delve into herbal medicine and acupuncture, which I had little experience with prior. Now I’m reading books about acupuncture and Chinese medicine and it’s been fascinating. (I have never tried biochemic salts though; I might read up on that.)

    Anyway, I wanted to share this experience to suggest that in addition to the possibility of the vaccine rollout adversely affecting people’s faith in establishment medicine, the experience of thousands of Covid illness survivors who are dealing with long-term health issues and having discouraging experiences with doctors also may further push the crisis in confidence in establishment medicine.

    I do very much believe that a much greater proportion of money, energy, and resources should be put towards prevention and treatment than towards vaccines. For example, there is a lot of evidence that those with higher Vitamin D levels have less serious Covid cases. But that is too simple to focus on and doesn’t benefit the pharmaceutical industry.

  230. Anonymous:

    Your comment about some people’s reactions to covid reminds me of something my son told me. He and his brother run a small business, internet based with a warehouse for shipping product, and was able to keep his doors open with basic staff all year. One of the employees who reports to work in person is a young woman in her late 20’s, no known health issues. My son says it’s sad and almost a little comical how she refuses to pass anyone in the hallway, won’t go into my son’s (huge) office – she’ll talk to him from outside the door – and she’s washed her hands so much that they’re red and peeling. She won’t eat lunch in the usually empty break room because she’d have to take her mask off to eat, which she will not do even if nobody else is there. My son has tried to tell her that she probably doesn’t need to be quite so diligent, especially as most of the two dozen employees are working from home and there’s hardly anyone at the warehouse, but she will not be convinced that her very life is not endangered by any and all contact with other humans.

    I’ve got a few neighbors who are far too afraid of the virus and I saw some of them raking leaves – alone, outdoors – in the fall wearing a mask.

  231. All—

    For your entertainment, I found this:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fwipS7-dXEg

    Because we didn’t learn anything with Concorde, we have the (proposed) Concorde 2.0, which will revolutionize air travel ***cough***

    I was particularly impressed by the notion that the “high density” configuration would seat 19(!!) passengers. Apparently, economics are not an issue…

  232. JMG – my apologies for predicting economic mayhem next year – as a recovering meteorologist and broken down horseplayer, I’m used to making poor predictions – I just can’t help myself. In fact, back in 2006 to 2009 I was definitely in the camp of thinking massive collapse was just around the corner. Then from 2010 to a year ago, I saw the decline much more along the lines of your timeline – slow and steady.

    But COVID has accelerated the pace of collapse now, much like Ethyl and Lucy in the chocolate factory when the conveyor belt speed was increased. Or, to be more accurate, it’s been the response to COVID and the lockdowns which have sped things up. The numbers don’t add up for maintaining the facade of normalcy any longer. That’s why I think the next step down begins in earnest this month, as everyone has taken stock of 2020 over the holidays, and what it all means going forward.

    I believe many of these the following are baked in the cake over the next few years, and 2021 will be reckoning when many come to the conclusion the wheels have fallen off: collapses in the housing and commercial real estate markets, nationalized housing of underwater properties, bank holiday, collapse in the dollar, collapse in equities, collapse in bonds (which really triggers the dominoes), bank bail ins, confiscation of retirement accounts, pension defaults, far worse havoc in supply lines than we saw in 2020, increased energy costs coming home to roost, collapse in tax receipts, exponential increase in unemployment, well – you get the idea.

    I hope I’m wrong – and the slow grind down occurs instead.

    @David BTL – thanks for the update on your writing – I’ll keep my eyes peeled for your works getting published, and I’m slowly getting to Vintage Worlds III – lots of stuff in the hopper these days.

  233. Beekeeper – Your description of a hyper-vigilant co-worker brings to mind something that I’ve been saying for a while: “some people are being only half as careful as they need to be, and your being twice as careful as you need to be won’t help them, or you”. Conversely “even if some people are being twice as careful as they need to be, that doesn’t excuse you for being half as careful as you need to be.”

  234. Hi Patricia,

    To me “Chinese fire drill” meant a game kids play. You pack as many teenagers into a car as you can and the driver sets out. When you come to a stoplight, everyone jumps out, runs around the car as fast as they can, and scrambles back in. Repeat until bored or threatened with citation by cop. I have never seen Amish kids play the game; maybe the hubbub would frighten the horse.

    I never heard of the other meaning till I saw it on the Internet.

  235. Okay, I just voiced my concerns about the vaccines to some family members. Apparently, if they kill 99% of people who get them, it’s all good: in their mind, Covid is a literal extinction event. Their logic is that someone supposedly got infected twice; so even if you survive the first time, you’ll just get it again and again until it finally does you in. This is terrifying on so many levels………

    Irena,

    I watched someone have a mental breakdown and literally start sobbing because he saw someone touch a mailbox near his. I’ve had someone lose it because I touched her cup giving it to her (I work at a fast food joint); plus what Beekeeper has to say, and my family experience above. It’s getting really bad out there

    Beekeeper,

    My personal favourite example of insanity is something my mother reported, which is that someone she knows who lives in a rural area, with closest person being some fifteen miles away, puts on a mask before going outside. To her mind, this is in fact necessary: you never know when you could have contact with the virus!

  236. Something just clicked. I really hope I’m wrong, but one of the biggest changes the new Grand Mutation predicts is a collapse in the myth of progress. This will happen within the next twenty years, and probably within the next few years, since the Grand Mutation is also a Great Conjunction, and will last for the period of time they tend to do so.

    What would be one of the simplest ways for that to happen, given the facts on the ground right now? Simply for the vaccines, which the Progressives (in the broad sense of all those who believe in Progress) have staked their entire reputation on, to fail catastrophically. So, this would seem to suggest that will be a major factor over the next year or so…….

  237. @TJandtheBear

    “Back then 750M (60%) were employed in agriculture, and wood was *the* energy source.”

    The hot areas of the world have plenty of heat and sun. There is a lot of potential there to utilize the heat and the sun to power their civilizations.

  238. beneaththesurface – Long Haulers,

    Please check out the FLCCC doctors, I put message above about them and a link to a podcast. Or just check out FLCCC.NET (Frontline Covid-19 Critical Care alliance). They are a group of doctors who are trying to get the message out about treatments using existing supplements and pharmaceuticals. Their message is getting censored by the media, though they are highly respected in the field. EVMS.EDU also has a Covid treatment protocol from one of the doctor in the group.

    I did see that Ivermectin does work with long haulers somewhere on their site and they have some links for having remote consultations with doctors who will prescribe it.

    I came across the preventative protocol from EVMS.EDU early on and have been taking those supplements, have not been overly cautious and have not caught Covid-19 (at least to my knowledge). Were any of the long haulers following such a protocol before catching Covid-19?

    Hope this info helps, best of luck!

    Bob

  239. Interesting to track your use of the “scientific establishment” idea. Here you tie it closely to the corporate media, which is a reasonable connection given the media’s role in promoting the vaccine approach to the pandemic as well as their role in spreading the expert’s message on how to respond to the pandemic.

    A huge problem that this post gets to the heart of is that in our complex world it is really hard to get people to understand how knowledgable judgements relate to the uncertainties in the situation. You had a phrase something like “ringing cacophony of jumbled sensory experience” to describe the human condition and I think starting from that state rather than from the “we’ve got it figured out” state is the right approach. Then what does the consensus of the “scientific establishment” mean? Let me give an example: At the beginning of the pandemic, the debate about the value of wearing masks was heating up and the CDC was still saying healthy people didn’t need masks in public at the first of April. They were taking the “cautious” approach of not recommending actions without clear evidence of effectiveness. But any scientist who knows a bit about how infections are transmitted through droplets passed through turbulent air could tell you in March that masks almost certainly help minimize transmission and the main uncertainty is how much they help. So the more cautious approach would actually have been to use the bit that we do understand to guide the mask recommendation. The CDC came around to that opinion in early April, and later studies have confirmed that masks help quite a lot.

    The vaccine situation is not all that different. There are good basic biology reasons to expect that mRNA vaccines are not likely to have side effects that are dramatically larger than other widely used vaccines. But the human immune system is extremely complicated and certainty is far off. mRNA vaccines have been in various stages of testing for rabies, flu, and a couple of other viruses. The tests on these specific COVID vaccines have been fast, but without major red flags. We are at a point where the best evidence in a complicated situation suggests that giving these vaccines to as many people as possible is the best path for minimizing death and suffering. Could they be wrong? sure. What are the chances that these vaccines are a disastrous mistake? Pretty tiny…I would guess tiny means a percent or less. Is it a good risk for society to choose to take? Here is the problem. We as a society have fractured to the point that we don’t have a trusted system for choosing which uncertain path we take. In situations like these two where expert knowledge is needed to choose a path, we are losing the ability to listen long enough to understand how a choice of a path is laden with uncertainty. A particularly common and insane response is to claim that since experts sometimes get it wrong we are going to start ignoring expertise. A sane response involves hard work to analyze uncertainties to allow reasoned debate about available options. The study of uncertainties is actually a major part of science. But in our public discourse we mostly do memes and sound bites. Thanks for your blog.

  240. Ganv,

    I’d like to quibble with your mask argument. I don’t think anyone knows what the effects of partial oxygen deprivation on the human body, for hours every day, are. Since that’s what these mask mandates require from many people, the cautious approach would be to refuse to mandate masks, even though it helps reduce the spread of the virus.

    Another thing I think worth noting, building off your comment, is that many scientists, if the articles appearing in venues such as the BMJ and Scientific American are anything to go by, took a look at the new vaccines, and are saying something to the effect of “Good God this is going to end so badly!”

    Sadly, the corporate media has managed to convince so many people, especially on the left, that scientists are all on board with this, and so if it goes sideways, their credibility will be shot. Oddly, the more radical right is filled with people who are gleefully citing these scientists! I already know someone in the anti-vax movement who has reassessed her older opinion (all vaccines are bad), since the fact you have so many scientists calling out the regulators suggests they have at least some integrity.

    What this suggests is that if these vaccines end up going sideways, then it’s possible the preservation of science will become a goal of the far right, while people who are on the left may very well react with throwing it out altogether: considering that many of them are convinced every scientist is on board with this; while those on the right took a look at this and see science doing its job, with the media and regulators being corrupt. How this will play out is another of the great unknowns we face.

    https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/11/27/covid-19-vaccines-where-are-the-data/

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-risks-of-rushing-a-covid-19-vaccine/

  241. Hi Ganv,

    You are so right. There was something I needed to look up the other day, and I realized that here in the U.S., there was no source of info I could trust. I couldn’t do what people have done for centuries, “Oh, here it is, on page 1,054 of the Britannica.” I had to look on several sites and sort of average out the info. “OK, this is U.S. ‘mainstream media,’ so this and this and this is probably lies…this is Vox, who doesn’t outright lie but twists his words like a lawyer so you must parse very carefully whatever he says…”and so on. It was exhausting. The Information Superhighway isn’t much good if it ends in a pileup!

  242. For those who may be interested (assuming JMG allows this shameless book plug through), I have a new novel available. It seems like about the worst time possible to release a comedy but people looking for a literary escape from our current woes should enjoy it.

    The title is “Narquinxa and Xandalus”. It’s the story of a couple of aliens who come down to investigate life on Earth only to end up falling in love and then having to save the planet from an evil AI. It’s a kind of sci-fi/action/romance/comedy.

    Ebook available here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PBCXB5S

    Paperback here (and other online book stores): https://www.bookdepository.com/Narquinxa-and-Xandalus-Simon-Sheridan/9780648948629

  243. @investingwithnature–I briefly visited the evms.edu website. I saw a link to an article on treatment protocol for patients in the ICU. I did not come across the preventative protocol you mention. I’d like to have a look at it. Could you give me a date range, title, search terms of some other way of finding it?

    @gnav–it was suggested at the time that the main reason the CDC did not recommend mask wearing by the general population until after the first of April was that there was a shortage of masks and the CDC did not want ordinary people buying them up when the health care workers needed them more. Once instructions for making DIY cloth masks from bandanas started circulating on the Internet, and a few more companies started producing cloth masks, the CDC started recommending them. I remember that in mid March there were no masks to be had in the drugstores and hardware stores where I live, and hospitals were asking for donations of the (initials and a number) kind, so that seems plausible to me.

  244. Goldenhawk wrote, “Until very recently, with the discovery of the genetic code in the 1960s, we have not had to deal with viral mutations caused by human experimentation on viral replication and mutation. Stuff escapes from laboratories, accidents happen. Like unintentional impacts on global climate caused by human activity, and our discovery of nuclear power, our own technologies may have overwhelmed our ability to manage them without causing more harm than good.”

    Some of our technologies have certainly escaped our ability to manage them, and some are causing far more harm than good. Our tinkering with genes appears to have already fallen into both categories; however, trying to fix those problems by doubling down on the technology that created them is a recipe for even more problems, if not total disaster. The best way we could deal with viral mutations caused by human experimentation would be to simply stop causing them. Instead, we’re now creating as many new mutations as rapidly as we can to fix the problems our old mutations have caused. I really don’t think this is going to end well at all.

    Nonetheless, I would maintain that the underlying facts of viral mutation do remain the same, no matter how ignorantly we dove into tinkering with them. Viruses mutate. Sometimes they use horseshoe bats to do so. Other times they use clueless geneticists. Rarely, the mutations end up killing off one of the virus’ host species. Unfortunately, our host species would be humans rather than just the clueless geneticists. Were it just the geneticists at risk, I would encourage them to experiment to their hearts’ content — there’s something quite noble about sacrificing oneself in the pursuit of one’s cherished dream, no matter how misguided.

  245. There is a lot of potential there to utilize the heat and the sun to power their civilizations.

    @info,

    I’m a fan of solar energy, but… that potential has always been there and will continue to remain unrealized for the forseeeable future. It’s no more a viable replacement option now than ever before due to a whole host of issues.

  246. Lady Cutekitten, I still have the World Books from the eighties I grew up with. They’re out of date now, but of course that is of minimal effect on many articles. You can often find encyclopedias at library sales around here, generally partial, but if you pick up enough partials I suppose that would make close enough to a whole equivalent.

    This is really an election horoscope question, albeit a bit late, but . . . if we end up with, as seems likely, fifty percent or more of the country doubting who the president is, would that horoscope apply to both candidates simultaneously? (I say more than fifty percent because surely I’m not the only American looking at the current situation and saying there’s no way to tell who won the electors in several states, so the electoral college votes are invalid in all of those, and unless the House votes, there’s no path to a legitimate presidency for anyone at this point.) Or would it apply only to whoever the actual winner is? I could also see both continuing to claim victory and taking the Oath of Office . . . I’m rather glad to be a rural dwelling Deplorable this year, far distant from the capitol.

    I suppose there are enough documented historical split claims on who is head of state that someone may have worked out the results at least so far as coronations of competing claimants of thrones are concerned, but if so, it’s probably in Latin if not lost, and would it apply?

  247. Starting off with a “thanks-roll”:

    JMG, thank you so much for keeping this comment thread going!

    And many thanks for the Naked Capitalism article, you slipped that in there oh-so-cazh…

    MCB, likewise, thanks for the berthub article about how the Pfizer vaccine is made; sent that to a PhD biochemist of my acquaintance and he loved it. He’s not touching the vaccine with a 10 foot pole, mind you…

    And thanks to Forecasting Intelligence for the link on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    investingwithnature, thanks for the FLCCC.net video about coronavirus prevention/treatment. The video can also be found on the right-hand side of that website.

    Lady Cutekitten, thanks for DrGrumpy’s blog, hilarious in a dark way. That mall… OMG… I thought such places only existed in JMG’s novels.

    Thanks everyone for the tobacco info. Violet, I saved your post off into my Folder of Lore, it was that good.

    Emanuel Goldstein, thanks for having such an educational avatar. I looked it up on DuckDuckGo, found the Big Online Encyclopedia’s article about ‘1984’, read that down to the theory about Goldstein being a proxy for Trotsky, read the Trotsky article, then read about Trotskyism.
    Oh, and I liked your post, too. 😀

    Thanks, mog for the ‘ethical sceptic’ site! A good description of “living a fact-based existence”.

    Thanks, Oilman2 for the column by Art Berman. Ouch!

    Thanks, KW, for the link to Kunstler’s piece on Burning Platform. It sounds like his own Christmas wish list, but still fun to read.

    – – –

    I join Irena in marveling at just how severe the coronafear is among some people. I wonder where they are getting their input from (too much TV and not enough independent research by themselves, probably).

    “Partial oxygen deprivation due to wearing masks” — I wear a cotton mask made of bedsheet material folded over double, and can breathe through that just fine. However, I see people wearing the “fancy” masks made of obviously-impermeable material, and … yeah.

    Anonymous, January 2, 2021 at 10:24 pm — if there was a tragedy with the vaccine causing the collapse of the myth of progress… it could also account for the US population decrease JMG noted in his US Grand Mutation chart (on the Patreon, spoiler, sorry).

    David, by the lake, December 31, 2020 at 9:02 am — that reminds me, RT is short for Russia Times (they shortened their name a few years ago). Strategic Culture Foundation is also Russian, and so is the Saker. They still have interesting things to say, but it’s necessary to keep their probable biases in mind when reading them. There are other Russian proxies out there but I can’t think of their names right now… will mention them as they come up in the conversation.

    Payback and Alex: Bitcoin and its crypto siblings are looking awfully bubblicious lately. A pro ball player just asked to be paid in bitcoin.

  248. >Some of our technologies have certainly escaped our ability to manage them, and some are causing far more harm than good. Our tinkering with genes appears to have already fallen into both categories; however, trying to fix those problems by doubling down on the technology that created them is a recipe for even more problems, if not total disaster.

    Again, I will say, one of the objectives of a corpgov bureaucracy is to increase the net misery of the world. And you give them a tool like genetic engineering. Not exactly sure what happens next but I can almost guarantee you the net misery in the world will skyrocket. They’ll try to make it look like and accident but it’s not, not really.

  249. @John Michael Greer

    Is is true that Psychopaths rule the current Western World. Looking at their Great Reset and how they really love to obsess over micromanaging our lives. Really gives me that impression.

    What is the best way to deal with Psychopaths?

  250. About vaccines:

    1. Portuguese health worker, 41, dies two days after getting the Pfizer covid vaccine:
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9111311/Portuguese-health-worker-41-dies-two-days-getting-Pfizer-covid-vaccine.html

    2. 75-year-old Israeli man dies 2 hours after getting Covid-19 vaccine:
    https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/293865

    3. Reuters rushes to defend the vaccine:
    https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-pfizer-health-concerns-idUSKBN28K2R6

    and some politics of resentment to spice it up – Bill de Blasio dances as New York burns:

    4. https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/01/01/watch-bill-de-blasio-dances-in-times-square-while-keeping-new-yorkers-out/

  251. WRT population reduction and mass sterilization (because it’s good for us in the long run!).

    Quillette recently published an article about the rise in vasectomies in younger, vegan men in Australia.

    Apparently, permanently curtailing your fertility is more acceptable than using a condom and the ladies really like it.

    I suppose that means (if any of this story is true or it expands to a larger um, gene pool) that hardcore vegans will continue to remove themselves from the gene pool. Those gentlemen will be replaced by men who didn’t get snipped.

    Here’s the link: https://quillette.com/2021/01/01/the-sexual-politics-of-vasectomies/

  252. @ Patricia and Lady Cutekitten:

    Chinese fire drill is a lovely substitute for its coarser equivalent: clusterf###.

    I use it all the time, rather than sound like I’m still in the Navy.

  253. @ Cutekitten,
    It is so hard to find sources to simply trust. But part of the problem is that in earlier times the encyclopedias only gave answers on fairly simple questions but now the internet has answers of widely varying quality on a huge range of questions, many of which don’t have known answers. Few places like to publish and fewer people like to read the articles that clearly show what we do not yet understand.

    @ Anonymous,
    Your Scientific American article is from June, before we knew much of anything about these COVID mRNA vaccines. And the BMJ opinion piece is a normal part of evaluating what risks to take. Any evidence for your oxygen deprivation theory? You can measure it pretty easily. Humans with healthy lungs seem to adapt pretty easily to oxygen conditions varying quite a bit more than is caused by a mask. Surgeons and many factory workers have been using them for years without major trouble. Seems like a red herring.

  254. In beautiful synchrony with your post on unknowns we can’t fully discern ahead of us, Alastair Crooke has helped to lay out the mythic boundary we are all suddenly confronted with in our mental landscapes. The quote that most sticks with me from his new article is “Inwardly, they knew; but suddenly, sharply – like the crack of a crystal breaking – it has become luminously conscious to all.”

    Why on earth did we collectively choose to venture into this uncharted territory so woefully unprepared? It is surely high time to learn those new old skills we’ve been putting off for such a long time!

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/01/04/america-epiphany-moment/

  255. Quinshi,
    As a Mexican and Peruvian I have seen the same idea about Biden being thrown around. Though probably for high skilled workers immigration will be a little more lax than under Trump I think both countries are going to start to pushback on illegal immigration and that is a good thing for the continent. If I may, every time I mention that I agree with strong policies against illegal immigration I get trashed and bullied. Are you on our side or ours they say. Oh a classic binary! I always like to point out that politics are not a football match —for as much as we like the sport— and identifying with an ideology so strongly has many dangers as it triggers the survival instinct when somebody challenges it (what we identify with, we protect) so I am not surprised they dismiss me as a lunatic, though I definitely am in some sense of that word.

    What they seem to miss though is that we need more people in the country to do the hard work instead of sucking on the low hanging dollars, yes it is harder to stay and make a change but it is the only lasting result for both countries and we will need that —the strong and healthy relationship I mean— as the Long Descent continues, as once JMG pointed out to me. And more importantly, I don’t really understand why people leave Mexico that way, life is much harder in the USA than it is in Mexico at least that was the case for me. You can live with very little here which is why the art scene is booming strongly, attracting a lot of attention from art hubs that have lost their spark to the stifling end of Modern fArt. It is way easier to put your own business or do something on your own as the government has various support systems for that as well as a decent free healthcare system and an internationally renowned higher education system as well (for those willing to put in the hard work as there is no handholding at the national university (UNAM)). What I hope to see in the next decade or two is for sufficient social infrastructure to handle the surplus of hands and I think that is a real possibility as I see the rising middle class bring in a lot of enthusiasm and a fresh look contrasting the imposed foreign idiosyncrasies by ways of big corporations. For the ones that don’t fall pray to the other “easy” lifestyle of the Narcos (I think that avenue is getting narrower) I see some very interesting things happening for them. A lot of Mexicans are leaving the cubicle. I hope the people that get disappointed for not getting a free pass tap into that. Unfortunately, many people that leave the country are unaware of this as it is already common knowledge among that section of society that when you struggle, you just cross the Bravo but I also think they are starting to realize that it is not such a great idea after all.

  256. The U.S. was once (perhaps long ago) considered a beacon to the world in the area of human rights.

    Today a British judge denied the US extradition request for Julian Assange, citing horrific US prison conditions and the inhumane treatment to which he would almost certainly be subjected.

    President Trump could still pardon Assange before he leaves office. Or the Justice Department under President-elect Biden could decline to prosecute, as in 2013 under the Obama administration.

    More unknowns to add to this year’s zeitgeist of uncertainty.

  257. Anonymous says:
    January 2, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    Do your family members not realize that if the virus does not confer immunity, that there is no possibility of a vaccine? That’s how vaccines work. They provoke the immune system with the virus. Like when you get measles, you’re then immune. Or, you get the vaccine, and then you are somewhat immune.

  258. “My personal favourite example of insanity is something my mother reported, which is that someone she knows who lives in a rural area, with closest person being some fifteen miles away, puts on a mask before going outside. To her mind, this is in fact necessary: you never know when you could have contact with the virus!”

    Umm…okay, but from where does she think the air in her home comes?

  259. Beneaththesurface:

    Thank you for sharing your story. i hope you are able to recover soon. I have had a similar experience with mystery symptoms that the medical system was unable to help me with, and people disbelieving that it was real, only it happened fifteen years ago, long before COVID. I had to slowly figure out what worked and didn’t for my body to mostly recover, although I still have to be careful and not abuse my body or things can get worse again. I certainly don’t deny yours or anyone else’s long haul COVID experiences, but I really have issues with how it’s been politicized, When I first heard people with establishment views talking about long-term COVID cases, I immediately looked at it cynically because these were often the same people who denied and ridiculed those with similar issues before COVID was a thing. In my mind, your experience confirms my cynical view, that the establishment only pretends to care about long-term COVID for political gain, while those feeling its effects get marginalized just the same as people in similar situations have before.

    I do have a question for you, did most COVID long-haulers that you have contact with contract it in the spring like yourself? I ask because every story I’ve heard (which I’m sure is far less than you know about) had it start in March or April. I wonder if there’s very many that contracted it later, especially in the waves that have come since June. I ask because this spring was strange to me and some I know too, although in a much less extreme way than for you. I had unexplained inflammatory symptoms similar to some I’ve had before but different enough to perceive it as something different, in the spring. I’m almost sure it wasn’t COVID as I live in an area that had very few cases until June, and it didn’t feel like an infection. I even remember the day it came on, the evening of Wednesday March 4, about a week before COVID panic swept the nation. It slowly got worse for a couple of weeks until I drank a bunch of chaga mushroom tea, which mostly got rid of it, although it kept periodically coming back through May, although drinking more chaga would nip it in the bud. Something shifted at the end of spring/beginning of summer, and it didn’t come back.

    I know some others who felt strange during that time too, and were unlikely to have had COVID, so I’ve been wondering if there was some underlying environmental factor during that time that affected a lot of people, made those who did contract COVID then more likely to have worse cases (the death rate of later waves has been significantly lower, although some of that is probably just more cases being counted), and possibly contributed to the sudden psychological changes that happened then too. I have no clue what that factor would be, however.

  260. Ganv,

    the timing isn’t the issue. The fact that it got attention at all raises red flags, given that vaccines usually take years to test. But, to a lot of people all that went away now that Biden has won the election, and if the scientists are getting caught up in that, that doesn’t look good either.

    As for the oxygen deprivation, there’s a world of difference from a surgeon who uses a mask and making people wear them all the time. It’s the all the time part that I think raises red flags, and frankly, until I see the research, I don’t think anyone can know the effects. Which raises questions, since depending on how much masks help, it might still be worth taking this risk, but it cannot be ignored.

  261. Onething,

    I’m worried if I ask that question my mother will just start wearing the mask inside, and frankly, given her medical issues, I don’t want to run that risk, although that is one of a dozen questions that has occurred to me around her reaction to the virus. As for my family, they have no idea how anything works, if I’m being honest. It’s enough for an expert to tell them something and they believe it, no matter how absurd it is; “the expert is always right” might as well be their motto….

  262. @Lathechuck

    About the novel Inferno, it’s been several years since I last read it, so take this with a bit of salt. If I recall correctly, it is not that 1/3 of the population would be sterilized, but that 100% of the global population would retain only 1/3 of their fertility. The way I interpreted this, the virus would cause chronic damage women’s uterus, leaving them much more prone to miscarriage even after the infection receded.

    It certainly did not mention anything about targeting specific ethnic groups. The antagonist was a left-leaning transhumanist polymath whose goal was to buy humanity another century for science to fix the Malthusian quagmire we are already in.

  263. Kashtan, interesting! And best of luck with your condition. Last spring certainly had a different ‘vibe’; lots of commenters here noticed it.
    Christophe, thanks for the Crooke article!

    These Are The Days Of Our Times:

    Yesterday I went back to YouTube to revisit one of my favorite trance-electronic pieces, Recondite’s ‘Tie In’. This link has a video which goes with the music. It’s beautiful, hypnotic, and oh-so-tech.

    I decided I wanted to buy this album, so I went looking around online. No matter where I hunted, I found that it is only available on vinyl.

    😀

  264. Dear JMG,

    I was pleased to read your balanced response to Biden’s victory. I am one of your followers from the Archdruid Report days, and have to say that despite this, I cannot stand Trump. And it’s not snobbery – I totally get what you say about what neoliberalism has done to the living standards and job prospects of ordinary people, and if a populist politician comes along to work against the status quo, I’m all for it. But just not him…

    I’m British and my opinion of him was formed in the 2000’s when he destroyed part of a precious coastal ecosystem to build his golf course. He then tried to moralise with the Scottish government against building an offshore windfarm – but it was self-serving – he was opposed because it would spoil his view (and money-making potential). And he has not treated the locals well. I remember visiting the area before all this happened, and it was a special, beautiful place.

    To me this story sums up the character of the man, and I’m thankful he’s now been voted out. To those who are incredulous that he lost, I think it’s entirely credible that over 50% of Americans shared my view of him. Like you, I’m cautiously hopeful that Biden “gets” it, that Trump was a wake-up call. And it would be great if politicians and world leaders everywhere got it too.

    As for the vaccine, well, contracting the virus “only” has a 1% risk of death but also 10% (ish) risk of long term damage to the organs and immune system (aka long covid). These are *known* risks, and I feel quite frighteningly high. The vaccine risks, though not known with certainty, are likely much lower than this. I know what I’m doing…

  265. @info: the best way to deal with psychopaths is to back away slowly smiling, and stay out of their way.

    @Goldenhawk – Strauss & Howe pointed out that Woodward & Bernstein were considered heroes for blowing the lid off Watergate during the ’60s-’70s Great Awakening, but their counterparts in a Fourth Turning would not be so considered. And so it proved. As witness Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, treated as traitors who should be strung up and/or sent to Supermax or Guantanamo Bay. Reason #365 for Millennials to study history!

  266. On Christmas Day, the Prince Hall Masonic Temple in Providence burned. A fundraising campaign has begun to help them to rebuild.

  267. Serious question from me: Is anyone in the US actually asking “How do vaccines work?” Think flu vaccine, smallpox vaccine, polio vaccine, corona-virus vaccine.

    What will history show about Google searches, encyclopedia look-ups, and other methods of seeking How To information.

  268. I’d like to share a little food for thought, as it were, with everyone here – especially those in the “wear your mask, DAMMIT!” camp.

    This study from 2019: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6815659/ analyzed historical mortality statistics for seasonal flu, and came to the conclusion that on average 389,000 people die each year because of it. (Like everything else on the internet, every source has its own data and draws its own conclusions – but in this instance most of them are not far off from this number.) This number is important because it can be used as a control group: measures taken, apart from the vaccine, to curb the spread of Covid-19 will also curb the spread of seasonal flu, given the similarity of the viruses. By comparing the number of seasonal flu deaths for 2020 with the long-term average, we can measure how effective the travel restrictions, commerce restrictions, and sanitation regulations have been.

    Given the widespread application of the regulations, the enthusiasm with which they were enacted and enforced, and the high rate of public compliance, we could reasonably expect that they would have driven down the rate of seasonal flu infection in proportion to the effectiveness of the methods themselves. The final tally of NON-COVID seasonal flu deaths for 2020 (available here: https://www.worldometers.info/ ) is 491,000. That’s a whopping 26% ABOVE the average of 389,000!

    There’s no doubt at all in my mind that the experts studying the covid situation have noticed this. After all, they have just as much access to this information as I do. What is troubling me – and should be troubling everyone else, too – is this: the government regulations are obviously doing more harm than good, so why are they still being enforced? Can anyone answer that?

  269. Sara,

    Where are you getting the claim 10% of people who get Covid have long term damage? I’m genuinely curious, since if that’s true, it does rather significantly change the question of vaccine safety, but I can’t find anything I find reputable which says anything like that: there are definitely some people who have long term issues, but I’m not seeing it rising to 10% of infections.

  270. @Patricia Mathews
    “the best way to deal with psychopaths is to back away slowly smiling, and stay out of their way.”

    Personally practical on a person to person basis. But they are very good at ending up in positions of Authority and Influence. That would make backing away far more difficult.

  271. Steve- I was unable to verify your “Worldometer” figures for 2020, because I could only find 2021 data, so I looked here: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm, which seems likely to have higher-quality data in any case. According to CDC, seasonal influenza in the US is WAY DOWN in the 2020-2021 season, contrary to your claims. The chart for pediatric fatalities, for example, was between 100 and 200 in each of the three prior seasons, but there’s been just one this season. The number of “influenza-coded deaths” is practically invisible, relative to all causes, and especially COVID-19.

    Now, this raises some questions in my mind. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/covid19-is-surging-but-flu-cases-are-down#Flu-vaccination-rates-this-year says that the flu is down because more people got the vaccine, and because the safety precautions we take for COVID are also crushing the flu. But we’re still only getting 53% of white people vaccinated, and overall only about 10% more than last year. So it’s hard to accept the vaccination rate. Is it masks, distance, and hand-washing? They can’t have it both ways: COVID is soaring, even if flu has been crushed. Maybe masks, distance, and hand-washing work against the flu, but not against COVID? On the other hand, maybe we’ve been fighting coronavirus infections for years, and just assumed that it was the flu, and now that there’s widespread testing, flu isn’t the threat we thought it was?

  272. In the winter of 2019, I spent three days in bed with a flu followed by about 2 months of persistent coughing, which nothing seemed to be able to stop. The coughing was so bad it was giving me a headache. (If the same thing happened to me now I wouldn’t be able to go out in public as I’d be a pariah).

    I had ‘long flu’. It turns out that ‘long flu’ is a well known phenomenon – https://swprs.org/post-acute-covid-long-covid/

    So, it’s not surprising that a ‘new’ respiratory illness would have long-term symptoms.

  273. FWIW, The Large Online Encyclopedia says 10% of people who test positive have symptoms for more than 3 weeks, and 2% of them are “long haulers”. But this last claim in the article is tagged “unreliable medical source”.

    Per Scientific American, the percentage you get depends on how long it’s been after the initial infection.

    Personally I wonder if some part of the virus is similar enough to a protein in our own bodies (as hinted at by the placenta discussion above) to trigger a kind of auto-immune syndrome after the virus itself is knocked out. Our immune system jumping at shadows, as it were, and hitting parts of our own body thinking they are the virus.

  274. I asked my daughter to elaborate about hospital conditions. She works in a nursing home, but what she is hearing is that hospitals are full, supplies are inadequate, and nurses and Drs. are performing what amounts to wartime triage.

    IDK if the Democrats stole the general election, but I doubt it because, as was said above, they would surely have also worked their alleged chicanery on behalf of down ballot candidates. A slew of Democratic challengers hand picked by Minority Leader Schumer, Israel’s man in DC, nearly all lost. If there had been a plot, Schumer would have been in on it, and would have demanded that his amen corner also benefit.

  275. Anonymous, not sure if this reply will get put through so late in the week, but here is one source:

    https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-ons-release-on-estimating-the-prevalence-of-long-covid-symptoms-and-covid-19-complications/

    “… The ONS data released today suggest that 1 in 10 people infected may have symptoms lasting for more than 12 weeks, i.e. long COVID…”

    Actually, I should probably change my wording of “known risk” to “likely risk based on what we know so far”. Of ourse one really big unknown is when, or even if, these effects will eventually clear up.

  276. I dunno about the vaccines being the biggest crack in consensus brewing – how’s this front elsewhere?

    In Canada the storm breaking is about all the politicians and health authorities who took tropical vacations or traveled out of the country for family reasons over Christmas (which the rest of us are not allowed to do – not even a local funeral or visiting dying relative is allowed, so you certainly can’t go to another country for one. Single household only for Christmas).

    This is typical: Ontario hospital CEO who vacationed in Dominican Republic resigns from health panels http://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5862449

    Niki Ashton was the first to be outed, which is particularly salacious, since when she’d run her boosters tried to make her out like the Canadian AOC.

    My husband just read me the headline “Tory MP currently out of the country resigns from ethics committee” oh man…

    Bloodbath:

    Alberta Make-A-Wish family who had to cancel Hawaii trip infuriated by UCP travel controversy http://www.google.com/amp/s/globalnews.ca/news/7554239/alberta-make-a-wish-hawaii-trip-cancellation/amp/
    (UCP are the governing social conservative, lower taxes for the rich, party).

    The first local politician in Victoria to be outed was one of the explicitly social justice slate members. In his case, I wouldn’t call it hypocrisy, so much as he genuinely didn’t understand that there was a political angle to any of this. He followed the medical requirements for travel!

    Tomorrow morning at the latest, the admitted travel records of every local, provincial and federal politician (and probably some tribal, as well as high ranking health authorities and civil servants) for the last year will be in the news. And the true records within a few days for anyone dumb enough to lie or not respond to the requests for info everyone got from a dozen papers in their inbox today.

  277. >The U.S. was once (perhaps long ago) considered a beacon to the world in the area of human rights.

    The next world power will be whoever markets themselves as a haven to flee to. And if nobody’s willing to do that, we may be looking at a Late Bronze Age type collapse.

  278. >the government regulations are obviously doing more harm than good, so why are they still being enforced? Can anyone answer that?

    Maybe the government hates the people they govern?

  279. Anonymous and others re: masks,

    I avoid masks as much as possible, because wearing one gives me hot flashes and makes me feel faint, something I had never, ever experienced before the mask craze.

    There are plenty of well-done studies showing minimal benefits to mask wearing by the general public and a few that show negative health effects. One interesting article I stumbled across (can’t access the entire thing, probably available only to professionals who subscribe to that journal) is “The Effect of Wearing the Veil by Saudi Ladies on the Occurrence of Respiratory Diseases” in the Journal of Asthma from 2001. According to the abstract, “Veil wearing was practiced by 58% of the sample. Respiratory infections and asthma were significantly more common in veils users.” This, even though women who wear burquas and niqabs are warned that neither is effective as protection against Covid, because they are not fitted like masks and do not sufficiently restrict breath entering and exiting. It would be fair to examine whether or not people who must wear masks day after day for many hours at work also show increased incidence of respiratory issues, but if such a study were done and the results were politically incorrect, would the mainstream media report it? My bet is no.

    In other news, our state health director, a real doctor, was asked at a recent press conference about the incidence of seasonal flu in Vermont this year. To paraphrase Dr. Levine, it is a mystery to him why there is so little flu. Most of us normal people would figure that flu is being reclassified as Covid this year, either because it’s hard to distinguish the two or it serves some political purpose, but he appeared to believe that all the mask wearing had prevented an outbreak of flu. That seems pretty miraculous, since the masks don’t appear to be doing all that good a job of preventing the surge in positive coronavirus tests. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but it all sounds like a lot of BS to me – and I raised three teen-age boys so I consider myself to be well practiced in the art of BS detection.

  280. @steve on higher influenza worldwide:

    That’s an interesting comparison you make. Unfortunately, following the link you gave to worldometers.info, the only number on flu I could find was 7227 seasonal flu deaths this year, which is obviously wrong. Assuming your number of 491 000 is correct, what intrigues me is that earlier on this thread Lathechuck and JMG were discussing the _lower_ numbers for influenza (in the USA, I presume). Total number of deaths in Europe also suggest that at least in Jan-Feb 2020, flu season was particularly mild. How to reconcile the two sets of numbers? Might a higher number of flu deaths be coming from countries with less social distancing?

    I don’t know, but a breakdown by country would be essential for understanding what is going on.

  281. Since the thread is continuing, and just to change the subject a bit, another commenter, Brian Kaller, has recently had a fascinating article published by the Front Porch Republic, where he highlights the wholesale disappearance of unsupervised and self-organised groups of playing children from our city streets and country byways in the space of a single generation. He draws on the insight of some scholarly works demonstrating the cultural riches which have thereby been lost. He does have one or two suggestions for “guerilla” rearguard actions, but, well, I recommend having a read yourselves…

    https://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2021/01/the-end-of-childhood-play/

  282. Sara,

    Thank you for the link! I’ll read it over once I have a little more time for it, but it does look like this could be a major issue.

    Pixelated,

    One of my friends who works in Parliament is furious over the fact it’s being reported Trudeau remained in the National Capital Region. Apparently, it’s an open secret his family went on vacation. When that breaks, it’ll very likely bring down a lot of things which we took for granted.

    As for Nikki Ashton, I’m particularly incensed at that, since I have several elderly relatives who I’d like to visit, but have been unable to for months now, because they live in a different province. So for her to go to Greece to visit family, while we peasants are unable to travel between provinces, is particularly galling. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out over the weeks and months ahead….

  283. @Matthias Gralle

    I’m not sure how you would think that worldometer’s numbers are “obviously” wrong. Are you comparing them to news reports in the mainstream media? Perhaps worldometer could share their sources with you – but you may need to belong to a university or government department before they’ll talk to you, especially if they’re to share accurate data.

    As for the 7227 death count – that’s for only the first 5 1/2 days of this year. Extrapolating it to 365 days gives a figure of 479,600; not far off from last year’s total, which was around 490,600 when I checked it around mid-day on Dec. 31st.

    And the flu season in Jan-Feb 2020 may very well have been a mild one: the lockdown nonsense didn’t get started until the end of March.

    And don’t forget that reports in the mainstream media can no longer be trusted, especially about a hot-button issue like the “pandemic”. Remember the images of all those coffins in Italy last spring? They weren’t from covid or even from 2020 at all, they were archived footage from a shipwreck near Malta in 2013. But when the whistle blew about that bit of deception, there was no screaming match about fake news – the images just quietly disappeared from the newscasts.

  284. I just did a count: about 46 mentions of “mask” as of 9:17. So I guess it’s not off-topic at this point. I think the 50% compliance, more or less, that we’ve achieved as a nation has given us the worst of both worlds: economic damage and a raging pandemic.

  285. Onething,

    According to my family, the fact that exposure to Covid does not result in immunity is why we need these fancy new vaccines: standard ones are limited if exposure to the infectious agent fails to give immunity, but not these new fancy MRA vaccines: they can overcome it!

    It’s really weird realizing just how delusional my family has become…..

  286. Re fewer cases of flu: one comment made was who would have thought that washing hands more often and going to bed when you are sick would decrease the spread of disease?
    Re psychopaths: backing away while smiling is great advice and why would one not do that when leaving a boss? A psychopath boss would not regard that as odd behavior.

  287. Steve – Is it possible that the Worldometer figures you saw showing increased flu were for the entire calendar year, 2020? The flu is most prevalent in mid-winter, so the Jan-Mar 2020 part of the 2019-2020 “flu season” (including those whose illness began in late 2019 but developed serious complications in early 2020) might have provided the big numbers you cite.

  288. A while back, someone outlined a scenario much like what it appears we face: “Say it’s a close election, but then a bunch of D-party mail-in ballots are ‘discovered’ and Google and Facebook ban all complaints.”

    Your response: “If that happens I think we’re probably in for civil war.”

    Given what’s happening in DC right now, I think you were, once more, prophetic. I really, really hope I’m wrong, but it really looks like that’s where things are headed right now…..

    https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/102089.html?thread=11016905#cmt11016905

  289. Hi JMG,

    I haven’t had a chance to read through the comments yet, so apologies if this is already being mentioned to you, but you might find it amusing that the big story in Canada this week is government officials being publicly forced to resign after taking overseas Christmas vacations this year. The list keeps growing and growing! This is after most people cancelled even meeting up with their immediate families, thanks to government statements suggesting strongly to do so, due to 2nd wave concerns.

    Also hope you enjoy your break!

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  290. @Goldenhawk “The U.S. was once (perhaps long ago) considered a beacon to the world in the area of human rights”.

    Only in their domestic PR, and inflated imagination of their own citizenry or in the third world / behind the iron curtain (which had a point, since they compared it to Stalinism).

    Western Europeans in most of the 20th century, especially young ones, considered the US one of the worst human rights offenders, domestically (from slavery, McCarthyism, seggregation, E.J. Hoover, rampant police shootings, etc.) and globally (from Mosaddegh to Allende, and from the Vietnam war to J.W.Bush).

  291. Not sure if the rest of JMG’s time off has a topic, so this may be off-topic, but…

    events at the US Capitol today were very dramatic, and I’m wondering what people on here make of them.

  292. pygmycory,

    It’s one of the many many unknowns at this point: what it was, and what happens next….

  293. @steve: my error for not realizing you were talking about 2020 and I saw the 2021 number. I am not at all saying the 490 000 number for 2020 is off, to the contrary, I am very interested in it. However, I do think the euromomo and CDC numbers are at least as reliable than worldometer, and that’s why I am thinking about possible explanations.

  294. @Pygmycory re: the Capitol

    I’m sympathetic, and it warms the cockles of my heart to think the electorate may still be able to strike fear into the hearts of the elected. But… so far it looks poorly organized and probably futile. I don’t think there was ever a real plan, there.

    On the other hand, the Boston Tea Party was a bunch of colonial yokels dressing up as indians and tossing tea off of boats. They got organized later. So I’m not willing to write it off as insignificant just yet.

    Info is still patchy, I’d like to know if any actual organized groups were involved. Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess: could be the last gasp of the pro-Trump crowd and it all fizzles out now… could be we find out in ten years that this is where the upcoming revolutionary leaders all met each other and started bonding and corresponding.

  295. re: long-term respiratory illness discussion: Things have improved for me in the last decade, but I used to get a killer flu once or twice a year. I’d catch it when everyone else did, everyone else would be over it in a week, and I’d get bronchitis and spend 6-8 weeks trying to hack up my lungs. On three occasions I fractured ribs, which tacked more weeks onto recovery. After all that, I’d be a wrung-out wreck. It took a while to get back up to normal physical capacity. Every dang year.

    Clearly this was a case of the terrain, not the germ. I take better care of my diet and general health now, and the last couple of “flus” only took me down for a week or two.

    One suspects at least a portion of the long-lasting covid sequelae may fall into the same category.

  296. Anonymous at January 6, 2021 at 7:06 pm:

    Wow…. I just re-read that comment thread. That conversation happened in September. The scenario described then looks more likely than ever now. Prescient even.

    Those people at the Capitol were not your usual run-of-the-mill fringies– the woman who was shot to death was a 14-year Air Force veteran.

    Wondering what small part I can play to help us all get through this.

  297. @RaggenJRay:

    Yes, I’m just beginning to understand that.

    “I don’t know a soul that’s not been battered
    I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
    I don’t have a dream that’s not been shattered
    Or driven to its knees…

    But it’s all right, it’s all right
    For we lived so well so long
    Still, when I think of the
    Road we’re traveling on
    I wonder what’s gone wrong
    I can’t help it, I wonder what’s gone wrong.”

  298. @Lady Cutekitten of LOLCat–
    Re: reliability of books/printed information.
    If memory serves, you can assess the reliability of a book (or website) with a Geomancy reading, using section V of the house chart for your assessment. Worth a try!

    @TJ and the Bear–
    re: Solar Power–
    It _does_ have its limitations, but could be very useful in equatorial desert countries where sunlight is plentiful and strong, and fuel is scarce. Even if a solar oven or water distiller (for example) could only be used every other day, in a country where all the trees are rapidly being removed for fuel, low-tech solar can make a huge difference.
    Augustin Mouchot, a French engineer in the 1860s to 1880s, surveyed the previous 2000 years of solar engineering and worked out most of the bugs for practical solar devices. If your French is good, you can read his 1869 first edition free, here:
    https://archive.org/details/lachaleursolair00moucgoog/page/n9/mode/2up

    The 1879 second edition has recently been translated into English, and is available in print, here:
    https://www.amazon.com/Steampunk-Solar-Engineering-Age-Steam/dp/B088GKF31G

    For the rest of us, orienting new houses and engineering them with the aim to make use of passive solar energy goes a long way towards reducing our use of all types of fuels. Not a complete energy solution, but possibly a piece of the puzzle for many of us.

    @Ganv
    re: Masks and oxygenation
    I worked full-time for 15 years in industrial medical clean rooms where we made sterile IV medications for use in hospitals. All of us wore masks all day long, and we did not get brain damage. And, BTW, these same blue 3-ply masks were standard medical equipment in such places precisely because they are very effective at interrupting the stream of particles and contaminated moisture that humans emit while breathing.
    It is easy to test whether your mask is lowering your oxygen intake though– Most pharmacies sell fairly cheap Pulse Oximeters. You put a finger into this small device, and it uses light to measure the oxygen saturation in your blood. Last time I checked, they were about $35.00, so if you and 6 friends want to check your blood oxygen, $5 each. I have a pulse ox that is working fine 10 years after I bought it.

    @Steve
    re: Flu Deaths vs. COVID deaths.
    I did an analysis of flu death data in Quebec recently, compared it to COVID, and drew some conclusions. If anyone is interested, you can find it on my Very Boring Blog, here:
    http://jackmanassas.blogspot.com/2020/10/to-expect-from-covid-lot-of-numbers-are.html

    @Cicada Grove
    re: Emmanuel Goldstein and Trotsky
    Yep, Goldstein is an interesting sub-plot within 1984!. Within that story, there are hints that he worked hard to establish Big Brother in power, realized that he had helped to create a monster, and was powerless to prevent Big Brother from using Goldstein’s opposition to further Big Brother’s monstrosity. As you pointed out, this was pretty close to Trotsky’s life experience–a well-meaning if violent fellow who turned out to be wrong about almost all of the things he deeply believed.
    Oddly, I have found myself playing the Goldstein role two or three times in my real life so far, so it was a natural avatar for me.

    Soren Kierkegaard (a theologian) used to create personas with their own names that each held a consistent set of views about one issue or another. He would then let these personas interact with each other (and sometimes the public in journals or the papers) to see where they took him. Selecting an online avatar can serve the same purpose, if you are looking into something new and are not sure how you feel about it. I think that JMG does this with characters in his stories–and sometimes they surprise him!

    On avatar-selection generally–
    I would advise anyone to choose an avatar with the same name as a minor literary or historical figure. This is a mechanism to help guard your privacy: If anyone tries to Google ‘Emmanuel Goldstein,’for example, they will get some results that relate to me, but most of them will be about the Emmanuel Goldstein character in Orwell’s ‘1984.’ Not a perfect solution but helpful.

  299. @Pygmycory: I thought Mitt Romney’s statement about it was eloquent, quoted in part here: “We gather today due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning,” Romney said. “What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the president of the United States.”

  300. @ pygmycory

    Re DC

    As a constitutionalist, I am profoundly disturbed. This is yet one more chink in the foundation, one more severed thread of our badly-fraying social fabric. I fear that, once again, people will mistake Trump for a cause, rather than a symptom, and the underlying issues which brought us to this point will remain unaddressed and will continue to fester. I voted for Trump because his policies, such as they were, were better for the future of the nation than those Biden offers, which are only going to worsen our situation in this imperial decline. But the Constitution is more important than any election, for without it we have no country. The protesters stopped nothing but caused considerable damage to what remains of this republic. I fear that the response to these events will miss their true meaning and will likely further exacerbate the situation. We need the likes of George Washington–who valued the Republic to such a degree that he dissuaded the Army from marching on Congress and who voluntarily surrendered his commission at the height of his power–and all we have are the present crop of useless politicos and their hangers-on. Ce n’est pas bon.

  301. @Lathechuck

    Those figures were indeed for the entire year. But since we spent about 80% of the year under curfew, the tally – even if it wasn’t the lowest ever on record – should at very least been below average, but it wasn’t. It was way up on the high end of the scale.

    The big red flag with this statistic though, isn’t so much the magnitude of the number as the fact that nobody is talking about it. The silence on that matter is deafening.

  302. Re: Events at the Capitol.

    I pray for peace.

    May there be peace.
    Among friends and neighbours, may there be peace.
    In families, communities, neighbourhoods, towns, cities, may there be peace.
    In hearts, minds, spirits, may there be peace.
    In the country that gave me birth and among those of its people who know me and claim me, may there be peace.

  303. @pygmycory I’ve been holding onto this quote for just this day:

    “Without arguing the point as to whether a state can survive without compelling its subjects to accept as Absolute Truth whatever system of belief the dominant elite may have decided to put forth as divine revelation…where once allowed to prevail, it only grows in force and terror as the violated, coerced factors become increasingly intractable through the operation of a second natural law, namely, that gods suppressed become demons; which is to say, that psychological and sociological factors neither assimilated nor recognized by the consciously controlled system become autonomous and must ultimately break the approved system apart. ”
    -Joseph Campbell, p.405 Occidental Mythology

  304. Well Archdruid, it looks like Biden will get the star forecast you had on your other site. Should be interesting to see how he handles it. Odds on Kamala being president by April?

  305. Some proposals, together with the supporting peer-reviewed evidence basis for each, for protocols aimed at preventing and/or pre-emptively treating Covid-19, especially for those who are highly vulnerable and/or highly exposed. From a website titled “Swiss Policy Research”. On an initial review, it looks soundly evidenced, and might provide a good starting basis for discussions with one’s doctor, perhaps…

    https://swprs.org/on-the-treatment-of-covid-19/

  306. Cicada Grove, without more information on what you can do, no one can say what you can do to help get through this.

    I suggest that 2021 will look much like 2020 for most of us, only more. Money will be worth less than it was, finished goods and raw materials will be scarcer unless you can supply them yourself. If you’ve a remaining Great Depression or WWII relative or any re-enactors, or third world immigrants, in your circle, they can teach you something useful. Brush up on your first aid, particularly that which needs no purchased supplies, and be prepared for the official safety net to not be there for you and yours, whether hospital, courthouse, police, power grid, or welfare office.

    *is kicking herself for not buying that loom two years ago*

  307. @Phutatorious

    Mitt Romney is a shill. First off, what elegant statement did he make when the Antifa/BLM goons make when they were tussling with the secret service in front of the White House? Did that amount to an insurrection? I guarantee you most Trump voters didn’t need him to tell them that the election was getting stolen on the night of November 4th. I just want to know what you think a stolen election would look like if that wasn’t it? Or do you think that’s simply impossible here or anywhere else — Note: our own **** government supported the overturning an election in Bolivia in 2018 because of returns that came one day later, not three and a half. I am sure you were reading something in Latin at the time.

    Let me spell it out for you, oh learned scholar. This was a successful Color Revolution, and now the country is merely the first colony of the Empire it has birthed in Washington. The Unpredictable Demagogue has been banished but the Imperial Treasury is nearly empty — we will be hailing Caesar soon enough. I can only hope that by then Romney receives that fate which he deserves and those like you are learning the real life lessons that come with calluses.

  308. Whatever Trump’s followers decide to do, whatever the frustrated mobs decide to do, what we’ve seen is the ignominious exit of a charismatic tyrant who fell apart when things got real, and whose very Vice President and his untra-conservative new Justice have drawn a hard line under what he wants and have said “No way.” Because in the end, there was a lot less to him than met the eye. A competent tyrant has to also be an able ruler, and alas, this guy was no such thing.

  309. To new Dr. Grumpy readers: his posts are but a shadow of his former glory. He’s been blogging for many years, he may be running out of topics. Go back and read his old stuff. You’ll love it.

  310. A propos the Capitol breach, yes, it seems we just entered “into the unknown region”…

  311. I think the 50% compliance, more or less, that we’ve achieved as a nation has given us the worst of both worlds: economic damage and a raging pandemic.

    Yes, if we’d have had either no lockdown and/or 0% compliance we’d be in much better shape per the data that’s been available since the beginning, but that’s not the PC position.

    @Emmanuel Goldstein

    I’m working on acquiring an off-grid property and solar definitely figures into it — it’s definitely a micro or local solution. Long-term macro-wise it simply doesn’t pencil out, just like wind doesn’t.

  312. Hi JMG and all,

    Seems that Orange Julius at the end, yesterday, “Crossed the Potomac”, but at the same time had to say “Tu quoque Pence fili mi!” when he thought was “stabbed in the back” by the VP. I think it was not the “right” time and Trump was not the “right” man that could change the outcome, 10 years later I think a more tough bonapartist figure may be would act more like the 18 Brumaire.

    I think this will be the wave of the future because if you read all the MSM in the western countries, they say the recipe for the future is to “crush” any form of populism, to censor it, in all media and social platforms, any kind of populism, so any social movement that go against the TINA will be banned, as in some kind of global new Congress of Vienna, and to double down in the same “right” policies, cause they think they can stop/control History….

    People around me are betting how many years the orange man will wear an orange suit, and I think may be they are not very wrong, at the end. …Vae Victis!

    Cheers
    David

  313. Pixelated,

    The mainstream media is now attacking those of us who are irritated by Obama’s Hawaii vacation, because he grew up there. What’s amazing is that I think people genuinely believe that; likewise, in the Canadian context, the CBC radio aired a segment this morning criticizing people for attacking Nikki Ashton, since “she was showing compassion to her family.”

    The fact that I know people who’s family members are dying in another town and are being told by our provincial government they are not allowed to visit just makes this even more volatile and explosive……

  314. First time poster, long time reader. I just saw this on Yahoo: https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/astrology-inauguration-day-tell-us-194555840.html.

    I know this should be on the previous week’s post (The Grand Mutation), but this one is more active at the moment. Here are the last 2 paragraphs:

    “Yet Biden seems uniquely astrologically positioned to take on this conflict. He was born with a Saturn-Uranus conjunction, which translates to having a powerful will and being ambitious and creative. It’s in Gemini, too, which could speak to his ability to deftly communicate in order to achieve his aims. And because Biden’s Saturn and Uranus are conjunct Harris’ rising in Gemini, they’ll work together to champion individuality, open-mindedness, and powerful change.

    That said, it appears as though this volatile, albeit powerful, Inauguration Day is setting the stage for an intense, game-changing presidency. But by looking at the new POTUS and VPOTUS’ natal charts, it’s apparent that if anyone is up for the challenges the next four years will present, it’s Biden and Harris.”

    We’re saved! We’re saved!!

  315. Everybody, Thanks for the comments. The USA isn’t my country and the mainstream media has it’s limitations, so I can’t always trust that I’m getting the full picture even if I can see into the US from my living room window. I do care about what is happening, and yesterday was impossible not to notice.

    More locally, a tiny protest of Trump supporters happened last night in Vancouver, and a CBC photographer got punched for filming it. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/violence-protest-vancouver-photographer-assaulted-1.5864160

    @Scotlyn, yeah, I’ve been praying about this too.

    @DavidbytheLake. That is pretty similar to what I was thinking. Trump is a symptom of decline, not a primary cause of decline. I was reminded of the late roman republic and how Julius Caesar in particular would egg his street-level followers on, with resulting violence. Not that I can really see Trump doing a Caesar at this point.

    I am really sad to see democracy in the USA has deteriorated so badly that the USA is experiencing this level of division and rage. I keep hoping things will improve, and they keep getting worse.

  316. re. Canada’s political class travelling in 2020

    Yes. “Do as I say, not as I do,” in action.

    The BC provincial-level politicians seem fairly clear of this so far (I heard that premier Horgan had been planning to travel, then thought better of the idea and cancelled it, and told others to do likewise, good for him if so). Unfortunately we had travellers in local municipal politicians, and the national ones, and the provincial ones in Alberta, and other provinces I know less about.

    This includes the director of UBC’s school of population and public health.https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/peter-berman-ubc-travel-pandemic-1.5864330 Headdesk. Seriously, didn’t any of these people think?

    Doesn’t mean that the restrictions aren’t necessary, but if you’re going to ask the entire population to make sacrifices, you need to make them too. I am very tired of the attitude that this sort of thing is ok, and I think it is endemic in the political class.

  317. Re: riot in DC. As far as I have heard, the mob only did damage to the Capitol Building, and the riot did not spill over into local businesses. There were some smoke-producing devices, but nothing burned. There are reports of two pipe-bombs having been found, near the headquarters of the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee, but no word on whether they caused damage, whether they exploded, or whether they were even capable of explosion. Some participants had a few firearms, but the only story I’ve heard about shots being fired were by a police officer, killing a protester in the Capitol Building. I would like to know what fraction of the crowd entered the Capitol, or engaged with police, vs. how many were content to wave their flags from the surrounding area.

    One of the things I’ve learned, though this election process, is that each state is responsible for the integrity (or lack thereof) of its election. When people from Texas, among others, appealed to the Supreme Court regarding irregularities in Pennsylvania, the Court dismissed the complaint as “lacking standing”. That is, Texans could not have been injured by fraud in Pennsylvania, so whether it was fair or fraud, so it was up to the political leaders in PA to investigate whether or not fraud was committed (to the alleged benefit of their candidate). Nobody seems to have had much interest in doing that, for some reason.

  318. Regarding events at the capital, I’m strongly reminded of the ‘unite the right’ rally for a number of reasons. Both reek of astroturf.

    I remember a post on here a while back entitled ‘the flight to the fringes’ in which Grampa Greer suggested that Trump’s base was adopting a more mainstream and reasonable set of policies, fashions and beliefs than were present among the Kek-worshipping weirdos who meme’d him into office. I think that’s true – incidentally, I think it’s the major reason Trump lost this time around. The mainstream, after all, already knows how it’s voting, to be willing to change one’s vote at all pretty much consigns a person to the fringes these days.

    Where I see a parallel to today is my perception that this shift didn’t happen entirely organically. In regards to Trump cutting ties with the more fringe elements of his own coalition, someone here speculated whether there might be a ‘night of long tweets’ in which he told the Kek-worshippers where to go. I’m fairly sure that to the degree that there was a watershed moment, the unite the right rally was it. Some of you may remember that around that time there were multiple very public street battles between the Populist Right and the Radical Left. Prior to the unite the right rally, the Populist Right was noteworthy for its strange costumes – people clearly put work into looking unique, and the effect was about as different from Antifa/Black Block’s uniforms as it’s possible to be. After the Unite the right rally, the only thing remarkable piece of clothing worn by any Trump supporter caught on video was the omnipresent red cap. The bison headdress the photogenic participant in last night’s activities wore is the first time since then I’ve seen something truly weird being worn at one of these events.

    The shift goes beyond what photographs make it into the press though. Since at least late 2016, the Chans have had an element of people trying to game their status as leading cultural indicators by influencing what gets airtime there. While it’s impossible to be sure whether any given post there has an organized agenda behind it, seen in aggregate on can make educated guesses. When there’s an astroturf campaign in progress, a lot of people suddenly sound the same. That happened to an extreme degree after Charlottesville, the message was fairly clear – no more fringe behaviour, if you’re going to be a militia be well-kept, no brawling in the street without looking middle-class. I remember the snobbery of the tone in particular, small wonder there were fewer meme magicians interfering with the Biden campaign.

    And that slightly eerie sameness of tone was present again last night. The people who all sounded like they were reading variants of the same script were clearly in favour of violent (but unarmed!) insurrection, while the posters who came across as thoughtful and creative were clearly not buying it. So while I’d be hesitant to say what exactly it was, I’m pretty confident it was not a grassroots movement.

  319. Well, while our gracious host is taking this season off from reviewing and making predictions, I’m not yet accomplished enough at divination to do that, so here are my ‘five tensions’ predictions from last year:

    -Fungi will continue to rise in prominence in the biosphere. Some humans will notice, but communication will be slow
    I”ll call this one a miss, Colerado’s steps towards legalizing Psylocin therapy notwithstanding. While it’s possible I was simply one of the humans who didn’t notice, I was keeping an eye out for it and saw less fungus-related news this year than last. I think my error was not foreseeing how much 2020’s themes would be around a shift from earth to air, or how that would affect the prospects of an organism that exists mostly underground.

    -The Abrahamic religions will have a quiet year, dominated by internal work and contemplation more than any overt show of action.
    I’ll call this a hit – the only news related to the Abrahamic religions I recall from this year is Iran’s early and intense trouble with Covid and the ongoing war in Yemen, neither of which are really all that religious.

    -The great debate between ‘more moderation’ and ‘more free speech’ in public forums will see a swing in public sentiment towards the ‘more moderation’ side, which will happen hand-in-hand with a rise in analogue, curated communities as an alternative to the ‘public square’ model offered by the tech monopolies. Alternative voices like Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin will grapple with technical issues as they try to create their own analogue alternatives to the big markets. Progress in this area will be slower when working against than working with the big players, but there’ll be enough pull that alternative media will be a net importer of talent.
    I’ll call this one a hit as well – mostly because Gordon White’s eleventh-hour fully-encrypted messenger app for his premium members is so spot-on in my prediction of alternative voices grappling with tech, albeit successfully in his case.

    -Team Red will make gains against Team Blue, what defines the two will be more confusing than ever. Existing territory will be the biggest predictor of who shakes out where, but momentum will be reversed in key areas. It will still be unfashionable to be a woman on Team Red, but there will be more early adopters.
    This one was so spot-on I’m tempted to call it a miss for underestimating the scope of things. The influx of capital and talent to rural areas from urban in the wake of lockdowns in big cities has been immense. Then there’s news of California losing some very popular figures to Texas, Elon Musk and Joe Rogan probably being the most high-profile. As for girls and women defecting to Team Red, I’d say the continued growth of Cottagecore is decent evidence that these trends are continuing.

    -Globalist Environmentalists will agree more closely than ever that something must be done about the ecology, but find themselves unable to enforce any of the legislation they could pass. Ray Dalio will call them all idiots again and tell them they need to find a populist to sell their message. They’ll quietly agree, but their search for talent will be frustrated by the need for consensus.
    This one’s another miss. The Crowned Corvid proved far more charismatic than Swedish Jeanne D’arc could have hoped to be, and now we’re all shouting ‘How dare you!?’ whenever a public figure takes a plane.

    -Also one prediction close to home – the advent of peak oil in Canada will play havoc with the economy and make Alberta and the rest of Canada even more toxically codependent. The level of vitriol will surprise Canadians East of the Prairies and West of the Rockies. The Liberal government will appoint a committee.
    This one’s a miss, though the advent of peak oil seems to have arrived on schedule – negative prices for crude were one of the stranger things we got to witness last year. However, the politicians who would have normally ginned up that codependence to lap at spilled blood seem distracted by eating their own. Albertans, in a show of practicality that I feel I owe an apology for not foreseeing, are doing what the rest of Canada has been doing for decades and heading for greener pastures. My condolences to those selling their houses at a loss, but the other provinces will certainly benefit from the influx of work ethic.

    Well, that’s it for my 2020 predictions! 3/6 isn’t great, but that’s why we practise. I’m less excited about the five tensions model than I was a year ago, but I’ll give it another go for 2021.

    -Death. This is a little disturbing to get so clearly right off the bat, but a real feast for crows moment. Life in retreat. Glad I live near the oceans already. Also glad that my hit rate is only about 50% with this method.

    -But also hope. The light of Erendil in a dark place. A password whispered when the hearer feels most alone. A guiding light. Between this and the last prediction, it’s as though Cthulhu rises from the oceans and starts strangling, but King Arthur also walks out of a barrow, asking for a drink of water.

    -And speaking of water, it will be a dryer year than we’ve had in a while – one leading to famine that leads to the death on the first path maybe? Not enough for combustion, but a few more like that and a spark anywhere will be all it takes.

    -By year’s end Team Red will be completely unrecognizable by traditional political analysts. It won’t be pushed to violence, but it will have nowhere left to retreat to. There will still be too much water to produce any spice worth the name.

    -Life will take over the oceans – not really sure how that’s possible but… maybe it refers to a reversal or displacement of the oceanic die-offs we’ve seen for a while. The ‘Cthulhu rises from the depths’ imagery does almost imply that death was in the oceans and is coming to land. Or perhaps the oceans are metaphorical, and we will all be treating the subconscious mind as the living things that it is? That makes more sense really. Disturbed as I am by the first image I’m reminded of Shakespear’s immortal lines, ‘To sleep, to dream perchance’.

    Well, many thanks for the forum. Hope to see you all here again next year.

  320. Pygmycory,

    I wonder if that event won’t be our equivalent to the Storming the Bastille…..

  321. Emmanuel Goldstein:

    Re avatar selection– That’s a neat suggestion, never thought of that, thank you!

    I enjoyed your Jack Manassas post about coronavirus vs flu numbers. But I must point out that in the early part of the year, test kits were scarce, so only the worst cases got tested for coronavirus. Thus the death rate looked higher in those months. I have noticed the same effect in my own county (the Health Department has a very good, informative site) as I track my local numbers over time.

    Graham, thanks for the link to the January 20 astrology reading!
    I liked comparing her take to JMG’s reading. The ‘Moon void of course’ remarks were interesting, as were those comparing Biden’s and Harris’ natal charts to the Inauguration chart. I still don’t want to be anywhere near DC on that day, though.

    Greencoat: I agree about the strangeness around the January 6 mess.
    This post
    features photos of “Bison Headdress Guy” being at an Arizona BLM rally in June, and at a climate activism event in 2019. Pictures of the people inside the Capitol show one with a hammer-and-sickle tattoo on one hand, and another being ID’d as a member of Philly Antifa. The poster believes that Antifa were allowed to enter the Capitol (and even guided around inside) in order to put paid to the Republicans’ planned protest of the election… which is exactly what happened.

  322. Has anyone else given thought of the weird way in which one of the reasons Coronavirus vaccines are hard to make, that they risk inducing cytokine storms where the immune system goes haywire and overreacts in an attempt to eradicate a virus, oddly mirrors the way we’ve destroyed so much in the past year in the name of fighting a virus?

    It would be a perverse way for the micro and macrocosms to mirror each other, if the vaccine which plays such a large part in our efforts, induced cytokine storms in large numbers…..

  323. As Karl Marx said, history repeats itself, first as tragedy, and then as farce.

    Events in the US seem to be proving Herr Marx right. First, there was the Stalinism on the supposed left, primarily on college campuses, only without any firing squads or labor camps. And this business at the Capitol: was that supposed to be the storming of the Bastille? Only no guillotines seem to be popping up.

    History is long, of course, and the US may yet have its tragedy. For the time being, though, the whole thing looks rather farcical.

  324. For us to have a president like Washington, we would have to be willing to vote for someone like Washington. I doubt he was someone you would want to have a beer with, nor did he have a beautiful wife. And, I believe, he spoke his mind, when he spoke at all, and did not concern himself about whom he might offend.

    I am no fan of DT, but it has been painful to watch the progressive deterioration of a formerly clever and wily man. Over the past 3-4 months there have been a series of missteps and poor decisions. It began with the election in Bolivia. This administration has not one single successful coup to its’ credit. No wonder the military industrial complex decided he had to go. Biden doubtless gave the required assurances. DT was counting on the Supreme Court, in case the voters were unimpressed this time around, so what did he do but send over a charming but unqualified Associate Justice, essentially a grad student whom Roberts is going to have to mentor. From the terseness of the SC’s refusal to take up alleged election fraud cases, I gather that the Chief Justice is not a happy camper. Not to mention DT ignored the Georgia runoffs, even though he must have been told that the Georgians were restless, having cookouts, and talking to the neighbors and registering voters. Not to mention insulting the Gov. and Sec State of that same state, forgetting that those two officials will someday have to face Georgia voters, who have made it known that they won’t stand for their votes not being counted.

  325. Steve – Extrapolating the number of influenza cases reported in the first five days of 2021 to the whole year while assuming that every day is the same ignores the seasonal nature of, ahem, “seasonal influenza”. Here in the northern hemisphere, flu peaks in January and disappears in March, only to re-appear in December. COVID restrictions were imposed in March, too late to have any impact on the 2019-2020 flu season.

    The reason “nobody’s talking about” the widespread severity of the flu right now is simply because the official figures don’t indicate widespread severe flu. (As I said before, though, I’m not sure that it’s being diagnosed and/or reported accurately, but we’re both talking about the interpretation of reported figures, not personal experience or alternative data.)

  326. A friend i worked with in the past sent a text yesterday gloating essentially about the women who was shot and killed at the washington….whatever it was. “lets ask ashli how well her tweet has aged. Oh wait we can’t…..” to which i replied you’re messed up dude. He didn’t respond for a few moments and then said “yes the one sitting quietly in his home not the terrorists breaking into our govt buildings, to which i replied “So what is different then what went on the rest of this year? Cheering for people dying, not what normal people do” and here is where his thinking is “Um protesting unjustified killings is a lot diff then rioting bc your president lost. I don’t condone vandalizing business establishments but breaking into govt buildings is a whole other level. Also sad that you don’t see the difference but also not surprised”

    I left him with “yeah i guess so, everyone has god on their side.” Sigh, this is going to end poorly. If you do not concede to all the left believes to be true and right they automatically lump you in with the enemy. Even if you never voted for trump. Dangerous times dead ahead.

  327. Cleric of progress,

    I’m not sure it was a quiet year for Abrahamic religion. We saw a pretty open suppression of Christianity this year with a rather disappointing lack of resistance from the churches. Also some good fight among some Jews in NY city.

  328. Patricia Matthews,

    I sadly agree that Trump appears not to have been an able ruler, but in what way have you seen him as a tyrant?

  329. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P5b-s5hs7Q

    You want a perfect prefab world
    Where the boy always gets the girl
    But the world’s not really like that
    Where knights in armor slay the beast
    And every peasant gets a feast
    But I don’t want a world that’s like that
    Cause if the beast has a heart and the peasant has none
    Your equalizer’s come undone
    Now what’s left to do when every wish always comes true?
    And what’s great to me won’t seem so great to you
    There’d be no saints if every heart was overflowing
    There’d be nothing to learn if everyone was all-knowing
    Well it’s a worthy crusade but I won’t cheer the parade of the equalizer
    100 smiles make a frown mean more
    There’s no equalizer
    Off the lines in factory
    Cookie cutter mentality
    Well the world’s already like that
    And I’m sorry if you disagree but that’s the point
    It takes a bit of piss to put the spice in victory

  330. Greencoat, the “the major reason Trump lost this time around” was not the “mainstream” turning against him, but industrial scale voter fraud in the key counties in the key states. I am frankly amazed at Americans who are more than willing to turn a blind eye to this! It seems to me that Americans think voter fraud is ok as long as their preferred candidate wins. That is why they proudly announced they voted for Biden 30 times and encourage others to do so (to quote some anecdotal evidence by the commentators here). I guess it’s a cultural thing (I’m not American). It reminds me of the Bowie lyrics – he would have been 74 the other day.

    I’m afraid of Americans
    I’m afraid of the world
    I’m afraid I can’t help it
    I’m afraid I can’t

    Mary Bennett, you say “This administration has not one single successful coup to its’ credit” as if it’s a bad thing!? Gotta keep the Empire going at all costs, right?

    I’m afraid of Americans
    I’m afraid of the world
    I’m afraid I can’t help it
    I’m afraid I can’t

    PS. I wonder if JMG is popping his popcorn now?

  331. From “The King in Orange” to “The Emperor has no Clothes” in a single day. With the Titanic sinking and the ratlines crowded with fugitives from the hold getting off the ship as fast as possible.

  332. @ Graham (1/7/2021, 4:34 pm) – Did the article say saved from what?

    @ JMG – Thank you for your thought provoking essays and for being a wonderful host.

    To All – Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2021 – and may every challenge and difficulty become a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block.

  333. Normally I agree with your take on pretty much everything, JMG, but I think you are in error in suggesting that there was “even more than the usual evidence of election irregularities.” I’m actually kind of surprised that you would suggest this, as no one has been able to come up with any evidence that would convince even the conservative judges that Trump himself put in place. I’m under no illusions that Biden will be able to fix everything, or even anything, especially after the Far right has been emboldened by Wednesday’s activities. But let’s at least keep it all real.

  334. Commentariat + vacationing Druids,
    Today someone told me about how asymptomatic spread caused 60% of all cases. I looked up the study cited by the countless news articles https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2774707?utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_term=010721 . It screams noosophy (sp?). It’s not actually a study at all, just some model. In the write up of it in the methods section, they describe exactly how they just come up with assumptions for various figures without any reasoning for it. In another section, they outright say the study had no quantitative meaning. Just “ctrl/cmd f” the word “assumption” and “quantitative” if you don’t want to read the whole thing.

    Sorry for the somewhat low effort write up, but I think my point is clear.

  335. Doesn’t mean that the restrictions aren’t necessary, but if you’re going to ask the entire population to make sacrifices, you need to make them too. I am very tired of the attitude that this sort of thing is ok, and I think it is endemic in the political class.

    They know the restrictions aren’t necessary. Actions speak far louder than words.

    The DC commotion is the very definition of making a mountain of a molehill. The BLM/Antifa riots earlier in the year were far more threatening & destructive yet were summarily downplayed. The fact that some folks ventured into the halls of Congress was more illustrative of the Durkan/Lightfoot hypocrisy wherein leftist politicians only care about law & order when their own premises are the subject of protests.

    By year’s end Team Red will be completely unrecognizable by traditional political analysts.

    They’ll for sure be struggling to find a central unifying figure, but Team Blue will be fractured entirely. Now that the WH, HoR & Senate are all Dem the progressives will demand that their entire agenda be shoved down America’s throats. That won’t happen — note already Manchin’s objection to a paltry $2K stimulus — and the riots will restart with renewed vigor. Meanwhile, the depression that’s been papered over since 2009 will hit with full force and Biden will bear the blame. Should they manage full-on MMT that’ll only accelerate the decline. Team Blue pandered themselves into a **** sandwich that’ll mortally wound them for a generation.

    Personally I want to see an entirely new team, and perhaps one will rise above this year’s ashes. The donkeys and elephants are FUBAR.

  336. I tried posting this earlier but didnt seem to take. My apologies if it shows up twice…

    @ Cicada Grove re “Pictures of the people inside the Capitol show one with a hammer-and-sickle tattoo
    on one hand, and another being ID’d as a member of Philly Antifa.”

    Actually the alleged tattoo was really a symbol from the video game series Dishonored. If you
    scroll down far enough on the link below, there’s an enlargement of the protesters hand showing
    what the tattoo actually looks like.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/55572805

    The same article also mentions there was no evidence of antifa supporters. The whole thing
    looks like a mainly disorganized group of rowdies bent on intimidation. There was no real
    organization and a number of the rioters seemed more interested in putting on a show than
    actually trying to take over the Capitol and occupy it. The guy with the horned headdress
    looked he watched Braveheart a million times and another just paraded around with a confederate
    flag. Nobody seemed to have any real purpose and so nothing was accomplished except to get
    several people killed.

    If their goal was to get Trump to stay in the White House, they failed miserably, hardening the
    attitudes of the Senate and giving Mitt Romney et al chances to give impressive sounding speeches.
    I suspect the majority of people who came to DC hoping to keep Trump in office demonstrated peacefully
    and are probably bitterly disappointed their efforts got crushed by a small but violent group.
    Nothing was solved and nobody’s happy.

  337. Arthur Vibert – You need to parse the responses of the various judges who have rejected the fraud claims carefully. The Supreme Court said that the possibility of fraud in Pennsylvania was not something that the plaintiffs had legal standing to dispute (regardless of the evidence). The Attorney General said that there was no evidence of widespread fraud at a level sufficient to change the result, which leaves room for more fraud than usual. And why would a well-designed fraud leave proof to be discovered? What we know, is that “health precautions” prevented the usual oversight of poll watchers from being effective, and that even so, poll watchers were sent away when the counting was suspended… then the counting resumed. This does not prove fraud, but it certainly doesn’t prove accuracy. We also know that ballot “correction” procedures varied from one district to another, in ways that were biased toward Biden/Harris. (These corrections prevented ballots from being discarded in some areas that would have been rejected elsewhere, regardless of the way the vote was cast.) And a computer security expert demonstrated “hacking in” to a voting machine which was thought to be securely isolated from the Internet. Again, not proof of fraud, but problematic.

  338. CNN is now giving airtime to people advocating for the expulsion of all members of Congress who voted in favour of the electoral college challenges. I can’t see it working, but if it’s attempted, this would make an already volatile situation that much worse; as would any effort to impeach Donald Trump at this point, which is another one being brandied about…..

  339. Since oil and other fossils are finite and emit carbon, the plan is to electrify society with batteries. But doh! Minerals used in batteries are finite too. And dependent on fossil-fueled transportation and manufacturing from mining trucks, to smelter, to fabrication, to delivery.

    Batteries use many rare, declining, single-source country, and expensive metals. They consume more energy over their life cycle, from extraction to discharging stored energy, than they deliver. Batteries are an energy sink with negative EROI, which makes wind, solar, and other intermittent sources of electricity energy sinks as well.

    http://energyskeptic.com/2021/battery-minerals-rare-declining/

  340. No, Bridge, I don’t hold with coups, but am a true believer in minding one’s own business. I guess I am not so good at sarcasm. It did seem like DT began to come unraveled right around the time of the Bolivia election.

    I think he lost for two reasons ( or lost enough ground to make theft possible, as some insist), one being the virus and the other being what I would call death by a thousand cuts. Americans expect a president to be on top of a natural disaster, both in terms of moral leadership and of appointing the right people to the right jobs. Maria wiping out Puerto Rico was bad enough, and after that came the virus, and the President seemed to be MIA for both. Also, enough persons had enough reasons, or thought they did, to dislike him, that the combined total of their votes tipped the scales for the other side. Add to that the serious organizing and voter registration by some of the left organizations, like DSA, and DT lost an election he ought to have been able to win. I truly thought he would pull out a win, and that the Dems would take the Senate.

  341. After DT was pushed off Twitter, it was reported that he opened an account on the smaller social media Parler system. I’ve woken today to the news that Parler has been removed from the Google Play store and Apple is also threatening removal from the iPhone.

    @Bridge Despite this there is some insight in the PMC part of the population as to where this leads. The Hacker News site surely represents the darkest part of the jungle where office fauna (JMGs phrase – I’m a proud example) lurk. Here is one comment quoting another on today’s news….

    “Great and relevant comment from nicbou in the other thread:[0]
    Someone brought an interesting perspective in another thread and I can’t shake it off. The other side keeps deplatforming them. Their legal cases are rejected. The mainstream media refuses to take them seriously. We’re not even listening to them, because it’s science and they’re *ists if they disagree. We’re not debating anymore. We just assume we’re right.”

    And

    “We are slowly squeezing a significant segment of the population out of public debate, and they are powerless to stop it. Is it surprising that they are furious about it, and explode in unpredictable ways? Wouldn’t you do the same?”

    Such attitudes are vanishingly rare though. What happens when a large part of a country completely loses faith in ordinary politics. I think the West is close to finding out.

    Andy

  342. @Arthur Vibert

    You wrote “…no one has been able to come up with any evidence that would convince even the conservative judges that Trump himself put in place…”, no doubt in reference to the recent Supreme Court decision.

    But the Court ruled that the State of Texas had “no standing” to object to allegations of voting fraud in other states, and dismissed the case without reviewing the evidence that was submitted.

  343. Mary Bennett: “This administration has not one single successful coup to its’ credit.”

    Is that supposed to be a bad thing?

  344. It seems to me that the Capitol issue is more close to the Munich Putsch of 1923 than to the 1789 Bastille, it was much closer to a charade than a coup, and it gave a good opportunity to the establishment to get rid of trumpism, but the over-reaction will make things much worse, as in 1923; they are censoring all the trumpism accounts and pushing for impeachment of the POTUS and probably will try to push for a new tough “domestic terrorism” law, all of this is giving new live to the trumpism, that was really finished after Trump fatal error on wednesday inciting the riots.

    The next move will be, probably, a cyber civil war, where the angry alt-right hackers will attack the social platforms that are trying to silence “the movement”.

    Not an easy time for your country.

    Cheers
    David

  345. I have been seeing people wishing painful deaths on others (because politics).

    Was asked an old question the other day and didn’t have a clear answer to give. Still thinking about it and thought it worth throwing it out to everyone here on this island of sanity – in some ways it is a mundane question but what about esoteric/occult views?

    Anyway – here is the question (I paraphrase):

    “If you are faced with someone who is threatening to kill you unless you do what they want, is there any point in trying to defend your life or should you just suck it up?”

    Seems simple but also tricky – if one is unable to escape or defend oneself without killing the person who is going to kill you, and, assuming one defends oneself from a place of emotional equilibrium (i.e. no hate or fear, just the recognition that you have to make a choice between continued existence or a forced departure from this material plane) – what factors are there to consider?

    I am minded of Krishna and Arjuna speaking of war in the Bhagavad Gita, but what I am wondering about is factors that might be of importance.

    On the one hand:
    “Know That, by which all this (universe) is pervaded, to be indestructible. No one can destroy the indestructible (Atma).” (2.17)

    “If you will not fight this righteous war, then you will fail in your duty, lose your reputation, and incur sin.” (2.33)

    Thought the ‘lose reputation’ bit smacks of guilt-tripping, but incurring ‘sin’?

    “The great warriors will think that you have retreated from the battle out of fear. Those who have greatly esteemed you will lose respect for you.” (2.35)

    What should it matter what anyone else thinks of one’s decision.

    But then there is:

    “You will go to heaven if killed, or you will enjoy the earth if victorious. Therefore, get up with a determination to fight, O Arjuna. (2.37)
    “Treating pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat alike, engage yourself in your duty. By doing your duty this way you will not incur sin.”

    To fight is either righteous or it is not. But deciding that is another thing. As JMG has noted – the opposite of one bad idea can often be another bad idea.

    Doing nothing and letting another kill you seems like a lazy way out; and yet… A deer in the jaws of a lion will go limp before being killed – for a human does it just come down to preference in the moment – go out fighting or not. Perhaps it depends on the nature of the individual or that a warrior may need to behave differently than, say, a herbalist for instance; but also that there is a lot of romantic ‘field truffle’ on the subject and whilst a warrior might be full of themselves, the herbalist could turn out to be the steelier character.

    The scenario was presented like this (and again I paraphrase):

    “An evil person gives orders to a fearful person to kill, the fearful person attempts to follow these orders.
    The target of the orders knows that killing the fearful person will have no immediate impact on the evil person, and that a multitude of other fearful people have also been told to kill by the evil person.

    “And so, even though the target knows they have the capacity to kill the first fearful one and perhaps the second and third, the other fearful ones will eventually succeed in killing the target.”

    I saw an interview of a trench war survivor and he said something like this:

    “We two young men faced each other, strangers with no reason to kill each other except that we had been told by others not on the battlefield that we must each kill the enemy.
    “The only reason I survived was because I was faster – I stabbed him with my bayonet and blood started coming out of his mouth – now, 70 years later his face is still in my dreams.”

    To take another life (whether indestructible atma or not) is not, to my mind something to be taken lightly.

    Thoughts much appreciated.

  346. Recent events remind me more and more of the latter part of JMG’s novel “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” where Russia and China are both formulating plans to cause Americans to fight against each other. I know many people who post here have read it, but saying more would be a spoiler, I suppose.

  347. @Youngelephant:

    Thank you for the link to the JAMA study. It is indeed purely a modeling exercise, and those 60% are not particularly reliable. However, they based their modeling on existing experimental studies (their references 2-16). In my opinion, the crucial parameter they used is that asymptomatic people with COVID would be 75% as infectious as symptomatic ones. This number derives from references 9, 15, which analyse local transfection events in South Korea and Brunei, and reference 16, which was already a review. So you can certainly criticize those original studies, but the hypothesis that transmission occurs to some considerable fraction from asymptomatic patients is not just mathematical speculation.

    In fact, it is uncontroversial that transmission of the common flu, measles etc occurs from those who haven’t yet developed symptoms. It is just a question of deciding whether this kind of transmission is important enough to warrant all the restrictions placed on the population as a whole, and that is why the JAMA paper you cited calls itself a “decision analytical study”.

  348. @pygmycory I hope that the mob is not successful at unseating either of the local politicians. He has a good heart, gifted orator, but naive about human nature, clearly, while she… I’ll let her “defense” in her own words showcase what kind of a person she is…but she’s a good politician, whipsmart and incisive. The public will have cut off their noses to spite their faces to lose them.

    I saw that the Cranbrook mayor was bullied out for driving two hours to his isolated cabin in the Okanagan. The bar for committing Travelcrime will be lowering for us all, I imagine.

  349. Facebook has wiped the #walkaway account and all content (people’s videos),and Ravelry is back to enforcing political sameness, having removed the “GOP knitters” group that had adhered to the rule “do not mention Trump”. People are casting about for new venues.

    Basically we’re being herded apart along the lines of (in some cases merely perceived- and guilt by association with-) political sentiment because ” I don’t feel safe” and a claim to moral authority.

    Blacklists, no-fly-list threats for those returning from DC… Now that ghettoization is underway, do those “terrible people” have to sew a bright cloth symbol to their clothes?

    How long until there is danger in being a “sympathizer” for pointing out how wrong this all is? Do I dare sign my name to a letter to my Congress critter who has jumped on the topple trump bandwagon?

  350. @earthworm

    I can’t answer that question, but it reminds me of a story I heard: In Cambodia, a new leader was trying to clean up the budget. He gave his honest aide the unenviable task of sorting out the water utility, so that it could meet budget shortfalls and still get water run to the poor. In an audit, it turned out the biggest offender was the military. They had never paid a water bill, ever. Our trusty aide went to the head of the military and told him they’d have to pay their water bill like everyone else. The military fellow held a gun to his head and said “We don’t pay for water.” The aide said: “I’m a good Buddhist. Do what you must.” The aide survived, and the military paid its water bill.

    I don’t think this is a template for every such encounter, but I do think at least part of the answer lies in being spiritually grounded enough not to fear death, wise enough to read the situation accurately, and self-disciplined enough to do the right thing when the situation calls for it.

    Which is a good goal for everyone.

  351. Lunar Apprentice,

    Well, the court does get to decide whether a plantiff has locus standi or not, and since elections are handled by states according to their local regulations then it could be argued that Texas didn’t have locus standi. If the courts had accepted the case, it would essentially create a legal presidence where any state could sue any other state over election results, thus essentially negating local jurisdiction.

    earthworm,

    The word “sin” used in that context is a bad translation. The correct term is “karma.”

  352. Earthworm, I don’t understand the question – in this scenario is the alternative to killing doing what you’re told or allowing yourself to be killed? That makes a pretty big difference.

    In moral questions of self defence (which may differ from the legal) I think of it in terms of ‘implied consent’. If someone shoots at you, they’ve implicitly consented to you shooting back. They have no right to expect asymmetric use of force. If they’ve said “Shall we dance?” there’s no blame on you for replying “Yes”.

    With the more complex scenario of the frightened person, you could see it as executing them for cowardice. They were too spineless to defy an unjust order (while still being willing to kill you), and now they’re going to pay the price. You just have to keep killing until the cowards are more frightened of you than they are of their own commander.

  353. @ Cicada Grove

    I don’t buy the idea that Antifa was single-handedly responsible for the disaster at the Capitol. The narrative doesn’t add up. Assuming that the people who got into the capitol were all Antifa members, and that they worked in concert with the police as I’ve seen some people claim, why would the police shoot one of the “false protestors” they were supposedly in cahoots with?

    If Antifa was there at all, it’s unlikely they were present as anything more than a small minority of protestors. By all appearances, the vast majority were genuine Trump supporters, much like the woman who was shot by police. If that’s so, then what need would there be to lead Antifa members around for a photoshoot when they can take pictures of the genuine Trump supporters who were out there doing the exact same things that the supposed Antifa plants would have been doing?

    I can’t see how the claim makes any sense, and the evidence I’ve seen given in support of it is flimsy at best.

  354. No, Irena, it is no bad thing, but it does explain why various parts of the military industrial complex have turned against Trump. A party with a genuine, practical peace wind down the overseas bases plan and whose leadership could refrain from behaving like (insert undruidly word here) could do very well in American politics. Add a full employment plan, reasonable restrictions on immigration, and regulation for the public good of predatory capitalism, including enforcement of antitrust laws, and I think that party would have a winning platform.

  355. Mary,

    Trump lost for one reason. His votes were stolen. The evidence for that is sufficiently overwheming. So the few posts here trying to analyze other reasons are simply not part of reality. But to say that he was MIA on covid! What other national leader did more?

  356. A conversation with a good friend of mine earlier today re recent events has brought to mind something one of my professors told me when I was a young undergrad studying history some thirty years ago: “It is not what is true, but what people believe to be true, that drives the forces of human history.” He was at the time discussing the consequences of WWI on Europe, and Germany in particular.

    The truth of the DC riot—right-wing fanatics, misguided mob, or Antifa false-flag—is less relevant to the future of this nation than the stories that will ferment around that and similar events among the various subcultures and fragmented elements of our society. And those stories can become myths which, as our host reminds us, carry meaning far beyond the simple narratives. What the consequences of those myths and meanings will be in terms of the fate of this republic is yet another great unknown.

  357. Where is this overwhelming evidence? Every news story I’ve heard or read has said there isn’t any and that all of the many legal challenges were thrown out due to lack of evidence.

  358. @Onething

    I have looked for hard, unimpeachable evidence–not rumors, anonymous sources, second-hand reports or theoretical arguments from preconceptions–that vote-stealing did happen in sufficient amounts to steal the election from Trump, while allowing other republican candidates to win their races for other offices. I have not found it. Can you tell me where I can find it, if you know?

    When I ask this I am certainly not denying that a certain measure of fraud has occurred in this election, as it has in every election since the days of George Washington, but this sort of fraud is carried now more or less equally by partisans of each major party. Human nature being what it is, to hold an large-scale election without any voter fraud is simply impossible.

    But the folk who talk about the election being stolen seem to me to be talking about something than this, and far more one-sided. It is the one-sidedness of their claims that particularly sets off warning bells for me, and makes me wish for hard, first-hand evidence. When I look for evidence of this, all I find are rumors, possibilities, and extremely stupid arguments from baseless statistical assumptions.

    After all, many politicians of all political parties are devoted to securing their advantage at the ballot box by any skillful means whatever. Why should one party suddenly achieve such a spectacular success over the other, when all parties are skilled at cheating?

  359. Varun, consider a hypothetical situation of a passenger boat, say a ferry: Imagine a passenger drilling a hole under his seat, causing a leak. Another passenger witnesses this and notifies the captain, who responds: “He’s not drilling the hole under YOUR seat, so you have no standing to complain”. It’s clear the SCOTUS abdicated.

  360. @hermitalex, cicada grove, re: the Capitol thing:

    I’ve looked at some of the photos, videos, eyewitness accounts, and I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing. Internet sleuths have of course been on the case, and identified a couple of people who were also photographed at antifa/blm events in the previous year or two. There were also a bunch of people who were clearly actual Trump supporters, swarming in with the crowd, taking selfies, wandering about, and generally loitering. If that’s a coup attempt, I’m Minnie Mouse. There are a couple of people in the photos in tactical gear running around with ziptie handcuffs. The media and Twittier have, of course, been all over those, gasping about how these guys must have been plotting to hogtie and kidnap some elected officials, or something equally nefarious. And that, of course, means the whole crowd must be evil, seditious, etc. etc. and must be exterminated post haste.

    As information trickles out, I don’t think there’s any one single narrative that fits everything, and there are some things that don’t smell right. Capitol police were told 24 hours ahead to stand down, apparently. Why?

    In the videos of the initial rush, with people breaking windows, there’s one of a guy hitting a window with something like a police baton, and a couple of other guys trying to stop him, like “hey! WTF? What are you antifa or something?!”

    Probably a lot of the crowd were actual Trump supporters riding the wave of excitement, in the way that crowds do, thinking perhaps that showing up and heckling would stop the EC vote counting. Almost certainly some opportunists who show up at every available protest, because protests are fun!

    Then, there are the zip-tie guys. I don’t know anything about them, but the photos reminded me of some of the photog work coming out of the Colorado demonstration where the biker was shot dead last year. The pictures are so clear, so well-positioned, so well-composed! See the man with the helmet and the zip-ties leaping heroically over the railing! What a perfect shot! What are the odds? That photog was so lucky! I don’t have any inside info on that. Maybe the photog lucked out. It happens. But the cynical side of me looks at that photo series and says… that dude is there to be photographed. There’s no reason for him to leap that railing, except that the photog is right there, and it’s a good composition. A captivating image. The light is so perfect. The focus is wonderful. Do you know how hard it is to get a clear shot like that, with indoor light and a moving subject? What *is* that camera rig? Plus, he’s such a contrast to all the old, overweight dudes in their jeans and Carhartts in the background taking souvenir pics of each other with their phones.

    These are, of course, the pics that the media is using now to call for the “cleansing” of Trump supporters (for real, an ABC news bigwig used that word!) and to justify the Big Purge that deleted over sixty thousand users from Twittier on Friday, coordinated with a massive booting of conservative groups and user accounts from FacePlant, YouToob, WordsPress, and possibly other platforms as well, along with (scr)Apple and Goggle booting the Parler app from their platforms in an attempt to stem the flood of refugees fleeing there after being purged from the Big Tech sites. Nearly all the alt-tech sites this weekend seem to be groaning and glitching under either the crushing influx of new users, or malicious DDOS-type action. The word that comes to mind is: Gleichschaltung.

    So… I withhold judgement on what happened at the Capitol, pending more and better information. Right now, it seems like there were several parallel and/or conflicting things going on. Some people with deliberate intentions (possibly a variety of intentions), perhaps some people doing a paid gig, and a lot just along for the ride. There are some parts of the story that don’t quite add up, and will not let me settle on any of the narratives currently going around, whether it’s “it was all a setup to give them an excuse to depose Trump” or “Trump’s pet terrorists trying to violently overthrow the government” or “harmless fluffy protesters touring the Capitol building” or any of the variations thereon I have seen .

    At a glance, the shooting seems accidental: exactly the sort of thing you’d expect from nervous LEOs with guns, an excited mob, and gallons of adrenaline. But again: not enough info.

  361. For those who say “where is the evidence of stolen votes” did you really expect the corporate media to give you the information? The same ones who russiagated for 4 years (the fact free conspiracy theory)?

    Follow Patrick Byrne on Twitter (before he gets banned probably).

    https://got-freedom.org/evidence/
    https://creativedestructionmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Reclaiming_a_Superpower.pdf

    Still though Trump was cheated I think Biden / Dems may have scored an own goal given the horrific inauguration chart. The next few years are going to be a trainwreck for America, sadly.

  362. @Loren:
    Thank you for the link to the Nat. Communications article from Wuhan – I haven’t accompanied the literature recently and found it very interesting.

    First of all, among the almost 10 million people tested, only 300 had positive PCR test results. That means they managed an almost incredibly low false positive rate – at most 0.03%! I am not sure if their test parameters are different from those used in other countries, but if true, this would mean that very few people with positive test results are flukes.

    Second, in this very special situation where, according to their data, no transmission at all was happening after the draconic lockdown, all their positive cases seem to have been either completely false positives or at the very tail-end of an infection cycle, where the PCR test still takes up some fragments of viral genetic material, but the immune system has already mopped up all infectious particles. This is clear from the fact that virus could not be cultured from any of the 300 PCR-positive cases. In a situation where transmission is still occurring, some percentage of presymptomatic and asymptomatic people do have intact virus particles that can be cultured, see e.g. this paper from Washington state (Fig. 3).

    To conclude, in order to evaluate the necessity of placing the entire population unter distancing measures, lockdown or curfew, it would be important to have empirical data on how many among the asymptomatic, PCR-positive cases have virus particles that can be cultured in vitro, and how many do in fact transmit the virus to other people. I would be thankful for such data.

  363. PS1: Fig. 2, not Fig 3

    PS2: …empirical data from a country with stable or increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases on how many…

  364. I am looking forward to our host’s take on the events at the Capitol. Mr Greer, I hope you will address the symbolism angle.

    In the meantime, I would love to read other’s take on that same angle. I was struck by how weak it made the US government seem, like they got “pantsed”

  365. There is something fishy about this whole thing that is being denounced in such big terms with loud voices and hyperventilation. By the standards set by other events back in summer, this is a garden party. No cone-tipped cylindrical projectiles were flying (not from the people who were not supposed to be there). No glass bottles with gasoline and a burning cloth stuffed were thrown. No materials combusted. All that was remaining were a few strewn papers and upturned furniture (which could have been done by the inhabitants themselves), some graffiti and some broken glass (And a noose). The reaction was pure hyperbole, calling for all but the guillotines.

    Two things are very clear. One, people are not fools. They know and understand what is happening despite all the memory-holing that is frantically going on.
    Second, the more the overreaction is, the more extreme the backlash will be. There is zero recognition of that reality on the powerful side. They are trying to deny even an honorable exit to him, instead trying to tar and feather him. I saw the rallies, I saw the frenzied enthusiasm. These are not people you mess with. I expect things to get nasty in fairly quick order.

  366. Rose Red Loon, while allowing the Capitol to be stormed could be an act of gross incompetence, it feels more like it was allowed to happen. No actors necessary – there’s no shortage of angry right-wingers. It’s very clever psychology. Storming the palace is supposed to be the culminating point of a revolution. To let it happen before anything has even got going, and for it to have no effect, is a really sneaky way to deflate a movement. Plus the propaganda victory for believers in law and order and the excuse to start a crackdown. Imagine the disheartening effect if in Russia 1917 if they’d stormed the Winter Palace and Kerensky and the Provisional Government had been back in there later the same day. If that is the strategy, then if Trump supporters try anything similar again, the response will look more like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx4osljrMkA.

  367. @Bridge:

    To the extent that your last comment was addressed to me, why do you assume that I pay much attention to mainstream media? I don’t. (I haven’t watched any TV since about 1985. The print media that I do read, in a couple of languages, I take with huge spoonfuls of salt.)

    I have looked through the links you provided, and I see very little hard evidence there at all, just claim after claim, assertion after assertion, assumption after assumption, and affadavit after affadavit. Affadavits are not very useful as evidence. Anyone can claim, assert, assume, or swear to anything, whether it actually is true or not–it’s all just word-spinning withiout hard evidence to back it up. What evidence there is in the links you provide seems consistent with the usual level of deceit and fraud in every election since the founding of the Republic.

    Do you seriously think that a wholly fraud-free election is really possible, even in theory, anywhere in the world? Wholly honorable, honest people are nearly as rare as white crows. When you find them, they are quite often too naive, or too ignorant of the dark arts of deception, to detect fraud even when it is right under their noses, for they tend to suppose that everyone else is as honorable and honest as they are.

    The hope of a wholly honest election is a fool’s hope; the best we can ever realistically hope for is that all major parties are more or less equally competent in the frauds they always prepetrate.

    Nor is the common citizenry of any nation any better. The default setting of a large majority of humanity is outright contempt for truth, honesty and fairness. Machiavelli at his most cynical took much too rosy a view of humanity.

  368. Witnessing the US Capitol get transformed in one day from a cherished symbol of stable continuity into an archtypal symbol of a dying banana republic was a bit unnerving for me. Whenever the weather was obliging, my grade school, located in the basement of a church across East Capitol Street from the Folger Shakespeare library, took us out for recess to play on the Capitol grounds, which continually enticed us just a block down the street. I sprained my ankle jumping out of a tree in the northeast teardrop of the park, and Jenny and I got married six times in second grade under a tree in the southeast teardrop. At that age, it was very important to us that we also got divorced seven times under that same Capitol tree — the last time just to make sure it really stuck! Since it was the seventies, we second graders knew that absolutely every adult really wanted to get a divorce — it was the cool thing to do.

    In seventh grade, I used to play intrepid explorer with my rambunctious, incorrigible friends in the mini evergreen forest tucked in the southwest corner of the main steps to the Capitol. One time after school, my partner in crime Amanda and I went there to camp out like Lewis & Clark. One of us, with perfect seventh-grade clarity of thought, even remembered to bring matches! Surprisingly, setting dried pine needles alight against the Capitol’s foundations in order to survive the freezing passes through the Rockies didn’t turn out to be the best idea we had ever had. Who could have guessed that the fire in our little pile of dried needles might be able to spread to the carpet of dried needles all around us? Certainly not our two intrepid, twelve-year-old explorers! We did manage to get the brewing inferno put out before the trees went up like Roman candles and smoke began really pouring out of our tiny terrorist hideout, but not without frightening ourselves half to death. Our muddled, pre-pubescent minds were utterly terrified in their adrenaline-fueled panic that we would manage to burn down the US Capitol. Just imagine having to go home and face your parents after that!

    So maybe I didn’t always show the nation’s monumental teat all the reverence it was due, but I always felt a familiar fondness for our gleaming white Capitol building. Ever since the interminable Civil War drove President Lincoln to commission a ridiculously oversized dome for the new United States Capitol, a huge effort has been expended to project and preserve an air of stately (though ill-proportioned) grandeur about the place. Outside of disaster movies and the cover art on punk albums, images of the cherished symbol of the Capitol have been deftly curated and monitored in the nation’s and world’s imaginations. So much effort, expended by so many, laid to waste in the blink of an eye, as images that cannot ever be unseen seared themselves into our minds. Commoners scaling the walls of the US Capitol to lay siege to the seat of power is not an image any politician should have been foolish enough to imagine could be played to his advantage in the long run.

    Whichever faction of the elite (or both of them, for opposing reasons) underwrote this disastrous power grab must have completely forgotten where their power actually comes from — the magical images and symbols of state. Allowing such a secure talismanic image to be replaced with an equally powerful, but utterly unstable talismanic image is a mistake they will come to seriously regret.

    I can’t decide if the new image is more reminiscent of when the first two estates of the États Généraux, the clergy and the nobles, lulled into smug complacency by the myth of their own indisputable superiority and entitlement, were taken all unaware by the third estate of the commoners declaring themselves to be the National Assembly. Louis XVI defensively locked them out of the halls of power in Versailles, so they simply moved to a nearby tennis court to write up a French constitution protecting the commoners. Our two power-drunk houses of Congress, while meeting in private to decide the commoners’ hapless fate, found themselves forced to flee from those unhappy deplorables and then lock them out —that sure sounds like a pretty close fit. I wonder if the commoners will go find a tennis court somewhere?

    Or is the meticulously stage-managed image of the Capitol’s siege more reminiscent of the sans-culottes marching on Versailles to storm that stately palace and drag their befuddled leader back to Paris, where it was hoped he would be more responsive to the citizens’ needs? We all know how that chapter ended! The current images captured of commoners scaling the walls, breaking the doors, and running amuk were clearly designed to evoke this parallel, and the media have been milking it breathlessly for all its worth with their impassioned ejaculations of “coup,” “riot,” and “traitor!” So, if this is the script, then the question that I’m left with is “Which befuddled, tone-deaf leader did the commoners believe was indifferent to their suffering, and therefore desire to extract from those gilded halls to make him more responsive to the citizens’ needs?” Did the directors and producers of this spectacle give any thought to the lasting images it would implant in the global imagination, or the obvious associations those images would conjure up? They’re playing with forces so far beyond their control or understanding — but, hey, Louis thought he knew what he was doing too, when he first called up the États Généraux…

    True to type, our imperiled elites ended by being willing to forfeit a mind-boggling amount of the influence and control they once wielded just to ensure that only they get to be the ones left wielding whatever thin scraps remain. They lost so much more than they gained! By dividing the political landscape into simple binaries and fomenting those divides to generate fast, easy results, our elites ended up backing themselves into a double bind where they would eventually have to relinquish half of their support just to keep the other Pavlovian half satisfied. When the divide was Democrat vs. Republican, that somewhat worked. When the divide switched to populist vs. elitist, they panicked and brought the whole thing crashing down. No one forced them to trash the sacred symbols of their own authority (plural because elections are a sacred symbol conferring authority as well), leading half the populace to withdraw all its loyalty and allegiance, while causing the other half to doubt the nation’s stability. This ill-considered overreach will be their undoing, for no amount of narrative control will be able to unseat the deep myths that now reign amuk in our psyches.

    Our leaders had delusional fantasies of getting their own Reichstag fire by which they could manipulate Americans into clamoring to grant them the despotic powers necessary to protect the nation from scary terrorist arsons (certainly not the first time they have lusted for that particular wet dream.) But this time, rather than orchestrate any images of a Reichstag fire, they instead delivered images of a populace pushed so far beyond its limits that it preferred chaos to the intolerable regime being inflicted upon it. That is what is called a serious tactical failure, the kind that leads to winning a battle by losing the war. Once the seductive binary lure of our overlords’ contrived “approved narrative” loses its chastening influence due to mind-numbing oversaturation, what will remain will be the images. Magical images of the symbols of state being striped of their mythic power.

    Our oligarchic politicians have invited the nation to doubt and ridicule the very symbols that conveyed them their power. We really ought to take them up on the invitation. Until then, try to steer clear of the purging mobs reveling in their fifteen minutes of fame. I’m sure they’ll be particularly thrilled to finally have the needed ammunition to cancel me, now that I have confessed to trying to roast all the congresscritters alive back in the early eighties. How this nation could have survived all that time with a treacherous, fugitive, tween terrorist on the loose is a total mystery. Who among you had even guessed how close our traitorous pre-pubescent putsch came to actually toppling the free world and seizing the reigns of power? Had Amanda and I succeeded in our nefarious plans, at least it would have spared the world having to witness our feckless politicians incompetently attempting the same feat today.

  369. @ methylethyl

    Thank you – yes that is the kind of thing

    @ Varun

    Thank you – I sort of guessed that – what I was wondering about was the intimation that karma is not what most people think, that sometimes extreme actions (killing) might be an acceptable action but the ‘energy space’ one needs to be in for that not to have a negative effect on one’s path (as opposed to fear, anger driven action) is something to contemplate.

    @ Darkest Yorkshire

    Indeed the question is not clear – superficially it might be considered straightforward (‘shall we dance’), but there is actually a lot to unwrap.

    “you could see it as executing them for cowardice. They were too spineless to defy an unjust order”
    Yes that may be one way of viewing it; the issue I see is that having some idea in mind is not necessarily the same as having the energy state where the action does not affect one karmically.
    Very easy to fall into the mind-state of ‘kill them all and let god sort them out’ – an illusory mind-state that justifies killing is not the same as an energy state where an action can be performed without repercussions.

    For the trench war survivor, one could imagine that both young men were suddenly in a situation that was frightening enough to make one kack in one’s pants – survival was not about philosophy or lofty thinking or having a mental justification, but base level ‘thinking’ (if it can be called that) from the animal brain? The person who pauses to wonder what to do dies – the person who unleashes unrestrained violence lives but 70 years later still sees the face of the person they killed.

    What I am thinking about are the differences between Arjuna a seasoned warrior and a young man thrust into ‘hell on earth’ where one kills or is killed but they are not prepared for that.

    A person can have created a mental state where they think they are justified and that actions are righteous and therefore they are correct in their actions. Just because they think they are ‘in the right’ does not make it so.

    @ all
    Granted one cannot trust much of anything online just now, but if the online frothing is indicative of what people are doing, there seems to be an unraveling taking place – JMG talks about humans developing the rudimentary mental sheath, the online narrative of the media seems to be pushing for a cut-off of higher plane thinking and a reversion to only the base emotional levels.

    What prompted my thinking on this is suddenly seeing people’s online accounts (that we have followed for some years) where they have appeared rational suddenly switching to call for people with different worldviews to be locked up and or killed, or for people seen not wearing masks to be barred from all healthcare or locked in a dark dungeon with other people who don’t wear masks and that ‘disease’ should be introduced to the dungeon so that they all ‘die gasping in darkness’. This is unhinged.

    Most people never really face truly abominable situations of the real dark underbelly of existence (a fact for which I am thankful), but looking at some of the things going on just now, my feeling is it could be time to get one’s head right.

    I hope not, but it seems like the madness of crowds may nearly be upon us.

  370. In the Washington Post, I read an eyewitness account of the tragic fatal shooting of the California woman in the Capitol Building. The witness was described, in passing, as “a liberal activist”. But there was no follow up to a question that seems obvious to me: what was a “liberal activist” doing in the Capitol at the leading edge of the wave of invaders? There is a second question implicit in the first: why isn’t the Washington Post curious about answer to my first question? But it’s at least four years too late to expect objectivity from the Post, since they updated their masthead motto to “Democracy Dies In Darkness” as soon as Trump got elected.

    The accounts I hear on NPR and read elsewhere refer to “an insurrection in which five people died”, without mentioning that the only person killed with an actual weapon was a protester shot by police (at least one of the other three was a heart attack; two others being unspecified medical issues). The police officer who died the next day, according to one account, was struck with a fire extinguisher, but the identity of the murderer has not been released (if known).

    Similarly, we read that four people “were stabbed” during clashes in DC on Dec. 12, but the only detail I can find on that is that a local man was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon. Who got stabbed? Which side do they represent? Maybe there’s a tacit agreement that release of these details would further provoke the conflict, whoever was involved, but who gets to decide how much truth we can handle?

  371. A large part of the journalistic reaction to the Jan 6 event at the Capitol was summed up as “desecration” of this temple of Democracy. It’s as if a mob had stormed through a cathedral, someone remarked. It seems to me that, since the most recent legislative action was the passage of a 5000-page spending bill (which obviously no one had time to read before voting on it), at least three months overdue, the “sacred” had left the building a long time ago. The impeachment was a fiasco for both sides: if you believe the prosecution, the acquittal was a partisan fraud, but if you believe the defense, the prosecution was just as fraudulent. The sacred struggle for truth and justice was not on the list of priorities.

  372. Historian David Kaiser on Trump, McCarthy, and (though he does not pursue the matter), the people they both spoke for and the problem that is still with us.

  373. @ Onething, who asked why I see Trump as a tyrant – it’s from watching him in action, from his behavior on his reality shows, to his treatment of his underlings and everybody else around him. His behavior as President including this latest stunt of inciting the Capitol riot is straight out of a hundred historical biographies of tyrants.

  374. A quick note for our non-US readers. The country is assembled from states, states are divided into counties, and elections are managed at the county level. Thus, the rules and procedures for voting are different from one state to another, and the database of registered voters is maintained at the county level. Applications for mail-in ballots are processed at the county level, and the criteria for accepting ballots vary from county to county. Thus, we can have some states mailing a legal ballot to every registered voter, while other counties provide them on request, while other counties require a specific justification to obtain one. The rules for registering to vote also vary. In some counties, you’re offered voter registration when you obtain (or renew) a driver’s license (which are managed at the state level). Some states require advance registration, but some allow registration on the same day as voting.

    A recent investigation found that in 252 counties, in the only 29 states for which data were available, voter registration exceeded 100% of the Census-derived estimate of the eligible population. Put another way, there were 1.8 million more registered voters than eligible citizens. (Data were not available from some large states, such as California, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Illinois. When you hear “Illinois”, think “Chicago”, with a long-standing reputation for political corruption). Records are kept on who actually voted, so a potential scheme for ballot stuffing might be to screen the database for registered voters who have not voted recently (perhaps due to relocating, or dying), and submit ballots in their names. This could not be the action of a single rogue poll-worker. (That’s been tried, though, without success.) In routine elections, the process is monitored by having poll watchers, of both parties, present as votes are counted. However, the pandemic prompted changes to these procedures in 2020.

  375. Re my previous comment on truth, mythology, and meaning

    Take, for example, the Boston Massacre (Mar 5, 1770) and the Boston Tea Party (Dec 16, 1773). In US lore, these are closely tied to the Revolution and indeed they served as significant symbols for those pushing for independence. The first may have been an accident or the result of high tensions (the soldiers being pelted with snowballs and heckled by a mob) and the second was most definitely an act of vandalism. Both occurred years before Lexington and were used as propaganda before and during (and after) the Revolution.

    The friend of mine I mentioned is thoroughly convinced that the election was stolen based on videos circulating in certain social networks that show ballots being “discovered” and poll workers “rerunning” ballots through the counting machines. While he doesn’t condone the riots, he believes Biden’s win illegitimate. He’s also an Iraq veteran and an unabashed conservative. (There are any number of areas where he and I agree to disagree.)

    I think Trump lost a very close election that was held under abnormal conditions (Covid). Personally, I think he lost b/c a sufficient portion of the Republican establishment decided that an Establishment Biden was a better choice than a Populist Trump. (I also think this is borne out in the loss of Democratic House seats coupled with Biden’s win.). The Dems symbolically control everything now for the next two years after the GA results, but that control is extremely tenuous as any one Dem senator (and there are several conservative Dem senators) has an effective veto on legislation: remember that Harris only gets a vote if the Senate is tied.

    So there’s going to be a lot of symbolism developing in these next years, something that is fertile ground for magic-work. I pray that whatever the future holds, we choose a peaceful path rather than a violent one.

  376. Just a quick follow-up on my last comment.

    I don’t think that the videos to which my friend referred–the one’s showing Democratic operatives effectively stuffing ballot the ballot box–are any more accurate than Paul Revere’s engraving that depicted the Boston Massacre. But that’s the point: they don’t have to be factually accurate for people to attach meaning to them.

    And if Biden’s presidency *does* go terribly sideways in the coming years, there’ll be these symbolic images laying around for people to latch on to.

    Above all things, we must retain the ability to pause, take a deep breath, and step back from the immediate to get some perspective.

  377. @earthworm

    At the age of 14 I came within a millimetre of murder. My violent schizophrenic mother had physically and mentally abused and tormented me since I was four and one day, full of pain, rage and teenage hormones, I snapped. After a furious chase I had her cornered in the bathroom and held a carving knife to her throat, about to end her life in a hideous manner. She pleaded with me to stop and suddenly the rage left me. I wilted, turned away, put the knife back in the kitchen and hid myself in my bedroom. Two good things came from day – my mother never bothered me again and, most importantly, I did not become a killer. It’s something I’ve reminded myself of many times over the years, I did not become a killer.

    Now, 45 years later, the events of that ugly day still haunt me, I can still see it all so clearly. A bit like that old soldier, I can still see her face and hear her voice as she begged me not to kill her. What if I’d done it? What would have happened to me and the rest of my family? Would I have had a future? What of my soul?

    Regarding those people on social media fantasising about the violent deaths of others, one cannot help wondering if they’ve ever come close to killing someone themselves. It isn’t easy, it doesn’t feel good and the memory will never leave you.

  378. Lathechuck:

    I’ve seen news today that the officer in DC was not murdered by a protester, that he died of a medical condition, possibly a stroke. If this is true I doubt that the MSM will report it; doing so would surely be seen as a capitulation to the Right and the MSM cannot afford to do that.

  379. @ Miranda

    I can’t think of anything else worth saying except thank you for having the strength and grace to share that

  380. @onething, I for one would never call Trump MIA on Covid! On the contrary, he was quite proactive (via FEMA) in seizing personal protective equipment being delivered to Massachusetts and other blue states that were experiencing the earliest major US outbreaks and trying to protect their vulnerable populations, back in April. The equipment was redirected to “loyal” (Trump-voting) red states that didn’t need it then but wanted to have it on hand just in case (however little good it did them in the long run). Meanwhile front-line health care providers and nursing home nurses here in MA were reusing their single-use PPE items for days. How much this contributed to the high April death toll here will never be known. Actually, it’s known quite well, it’ll just never be proven. But it won’t be forgotten either.

  381. Hi everyone,
    JMG, thank you for hosting us, and I hope you ultimately have a nice break.
    Everyone else, thank you for providing generally grounded commentary on current events, or as earthworm’s comment stated, an “island of sanity”.

  382. RE: Onething @ Jan 9th 2:56 PM

    Do you have any evidence?

    I mean that sincerely.

    I watched the entire Jan 6th congressional debate over objections to certifying the vote and Mitch McConnell opened by saying that the objectors were hoping to overturn the elections on the basis of mere allegations of voter fraud. It was reiterated numerous times by Republicans and Democrats alike throughout the night that the allegations lacked any evidence.

    So, do you have any evidence that the election was stolen. If you don’t have any evidence then how do you know it was stolen?

    Again, I mean this sincerely. What is the most egregious case, or the most compelling one, or the most well documented one? I’ve followed this fairly closely and I’ve seen a lot of unsubstantiated allegations, but I haven’t seen any actual evidence.

    If there is really a case to be made, please make it now. And, to be clear, I would like the best case that you have. Not a list of all of the allegations, but the most defensible and clear cut example that you know of. I don’t, for example, mean a case where 1 dead person voted, I mean a case where 1,000’s of dead people voted and it can be verified.

    Thanks,
    Tim

    P.S. I’ve enjoyed your comments over the years and I don’t mean to imply any ill will. I’m asking in good faith and I am looking forward to a respectful and civil discussion on the matter. Or, if you feel that I’ve put you on the spot please refer me to a case that you feel is well substantiated.

  383. Robert Mathiesen re “Wholly honorable, honest people are nearly as rare as white crows. ”

    “I have never found a perfect man. If you find one, let me know. But I will always love and honor one who dies nothing dishonorable of his own free will. Against necessity, even the gods strive in vain.”

    Simonides of Keos, who could put more common sense into a few lines than most media pundits can in an entire speech or editorial.

    But, yes, we should always be on the lookout for the white crows among those in power. Another quote from Steve Stirling, in the mouth of a very successful leader in his 1632 series: “Anyone who runs for office for any other reason than to get his program across is either a fool or a scoundrel.” That’s the same man who said in a later book “The secret to a successful economy is very simple – just keep people working.” [As nobody since F.D.R. seems to either remember or believe.]

  384. I lived in China for many years. The Communist Party of China maintains a very strict internet censorship policy. Facebook is blocked. Twitter is blocked. WhatsApp is blocked. Every other non-Chinese social media platform is blocked. You are not allowed to use them. Use of a VPN to bypass the blocks is a crime (albeit foreigners are generally left alone to do this).

    From this weekend forward, the US has abdicated all moral right to criticise China, or any other government, for internet censorship. I wonder whether the Righteous care about what they have so carelessly thrown away?

  385. @Onething

    “Trump lost for one reason. His votes were stolen. The evidence for that is sufficiently overwheming. So the few posts here trying to analyze other reasons are simply not part of reality.”

    That sounds exactly like the Democrat position on HIllary’s loss last time around; “She only lost because the election was stolen (by Russia), therefore we don’t need to reflect on our own failings (because there were none).”

  386. @ Christophe

    Your reflections reminded me of a events that happened here (Melbourne, Australia) last year as part of the corona business. One specific incident was a pregnant mother being arrested in front of her young children in her home. She had apparently posted some Wrongspeak on faceplant. The cops decided not just to arrest her but to handcuff her as well. In a phone conversation with my father he used the phrase “is nothing sacred anymore?”. Whatever happens from here, when I think back on corona my primary images are going to be of cops arresting pregnant women and running around in storm trooper outfits bashing citizens.

    I recall one of the main anti-globalisation arguments back in the 90s was that globalisation would destroy the nation state. I think we’re now seeing all that come to a head. Trump ran on a campaign of saving the nation. I’m sure the globalist exponents are quite happy on some level to see a powerful symbol of the nation desecrated.

  387. Hi all

    A question of a foreigner: how is it possible that a quite big city as is Detroit gave 95% of all the votes to Biden an only 3,5% to Trump?

    I have consulted the data and this is not only the case only of the past election the difference was even bigger in past presidential election: in 2016 Hillary won with 95% vs 3,1% Trump, in 2012 Obama won with 97,51% vs Romney 2,08%, in 2008 Obama won with 97% vs 2,65% McCain.

    For me, an spaniard, is hard to undestand how such a big city, that should be full of a very diverse population, could vote so overwhelmingly or the same party election after election, decade after decade. It is that normal in your country? are there many more cities like Detroit? how do you explain that?

    May be someone from Detroit could explain this to me

    Cheers
    David

  388. @anna m, that’s a fair critique, but I think the problem was with my wording more than my prediction. I would consider a loud year for the Abrahamic religions if they responded in kind to what was being done. The New York Jews affair was interesting, but if we’re thinking of the same story I believe it boils down to ceremoniously cutting a chain on a gate and pointing out their mayor’s hypocrisy given the activities of the local colour revolution. I’d say the Abrahamic religions could almost be described as a zone of calm in a very loud year.

  389. Lathechuck
    I realise the states manage the US elections but I don’t really understand why voter fraud isn’t illegal, with severe penalities, especially when you consider how harshly the law in the US is applied in general. Same with Antifa violence which is basically celebrated in the US by Pelosi, AOC etc, and the media, and doesn’t seem to have any real penalities either. It’s almost like the PMC wants voter fraud and Antifa street fighters?? Wonder why…

    There is no chain of custody with your ballots. There are ‘votes’ put on USB sticks that ‘go missing’. There are mystery trucks arriving at 4am with thousands of ballots when only a few staff and no poll watchers are on site. Poll watchers are told to leave because of ‘water leaks’ in key counties. But the ‘counting’ still continues, strangely Biden leaps ahead… Poll watchers are allowed to “watch” the count from 35ft away. People counting votes are allowed wear masks that say Biden / Harris, so no bias there. People are allowed to vote after the polls close as long as it’s postmarked on the day of the election! The FBI shredded disputed votes so no audit was possible. Hackable Dominion voting machines are used who are owned by people affiliated by the Clinton Foundation – I could go on.

    You clearly don’t have a democracy. In contrast, when I worked as a Poll Clerk, we weren’t even allowed wear party political colours in case it was thought we were trying to influence voters subliminally, to give but one example. So why are Americans so blasé about what happened, even Trump voters like David BTL?

    I think it might be constant propaganda that Americans tell themselves. We have the best democracy in the world! We rescue people in dictatorships and bring them democracy! [and take their oil] If a lie is repeated enough, people believe it. It is also because your judges are basically politicians who have to run for election, so no partisanship there at all. At this stage, I think the US will fall apart quicker than expected. It will probably be for the best.

  390. Re: vote fraud and down ballot losses
    When the US goes to topple the leader of another government do we worry about who else wins or loses or do we focus on the top race. I really don’t know, but the question comes to my mind when I h at that rebuttal.

    I’m not happy about the a idea of some other foreign government interfering in our election. And of course the Department of Honeland security has assured us that 2020 was a secure election. So it’s probably nothing

    I hope we have a more peaceful and healthful year for everyone’s sake.

    Hope JMG is enjoying his vacation. Thanks for hosting this site.

    Candace.

  391. Lunar Apprentice,

    That’s a pretty loaded metaphor.

    I don’t feel like they abdicated their responsibility. I think they didn’t want to set the presidence of allowing states to challenge each others electoral conduct. After all, the moment they allow that it would set the stage for every local decision that could potentially effect the outcome of federal elections to be challenged. I would like to point out that the Republicans were also try to tip the scales in their favour through various shenanigans, one example being the district in, I think it was AZ, that had a population of 500k but only one voting station.

    Of course we can go back and forth on this topic endlessly. Sufficient to say I don’t really think there was sufficient evidence indicating fraud on a scale that could tip the election in Biden’s favour. Not to say that there wasn’t any fraud, just not as much as the Trumpist-wing is suggesting.

    I will say one thing though, we really need a single standard for federal elections to avoid this level of confusion.

    earthworm,

    There in lies one of the major themes of the Gita and it goes to the concept of Swadharma, that is to say ones individual Dharma in each life. Since ever action creates or destroys Karma, even inaction, then one has to take the action they feel is best fit for any given circumstances. Sitting around thinking about the Karmic consequences is all well and good, but if it renders you unable to take any action, then inevitably you create a Karmic bond that you’ll eventually have to deal with anyway. If you are a king, then your swadharma is Rajdharma, and all your actions are judged according to those circumstances.

    Bridge,

    With respect, just because the legacy media outlets are biased and factional, does not mean that new media or freelance journalists are any less biased or factional.

    Regards,

    Varun

  392. JMG: “I’m open to the possibility that Biden will exceed my expectations—it’s quite literally impossible for him to fall below them.”

    Joe Biden: “Hold my beer, man.”

  393. Ecosophian: “Hold my beet, man…”

    …and keep an eye on that dog. 😄

    To be fair, I had no problem believing Biden broke his foot playing with the dog. I’ve tripped over a dog or two in my time.

  394. Bridge—

    Re the election

    I can only speak for myself, but to me the Constitution and it’s processes are more important than anything else. If we discard those, the US ceases as a nation. In our electoral process, there are legal avenues for disputing contested results—states have rules for recounts, etc. Once those are exhausted, however, the results stand. To my mind, particularly, once the Electoral College has voted, it is over. Right or wrong, a majority in the EC gets you the presidency. I’d rather have a candidate I opposed as president and keep the Constitution than chuck the Constitution to have the candidate I supported. There’s always next time. If we lose the Constitution though, there may be no next time. I said it earlier and I’ll say it again: the Constitution is more important than any election. It’s really as simple as that.

  395. Thank you @christophe and @yorkshire for your thoughts on the symbolism. So much to chew on, especially as I’m watching the narrative management play out, and the story change by the hour. Thanks also to everyone else for such thoughtful comments. I have been doing my best to stay objective by reading a wide variety of opinions and ignore the hysteria on all sides. I am very concerned though, that, irreversible changes in civil rights will be enacted amidst the hysteria. I suppose this is inevitable, but I very much don’t want to it to happen.

  396. @Beekeeper, it someone is struck on the head, and a few hours later suffers a stroke, and later still, dies of it, expect a murder or manslaughter charge. Countless “MSM” sources have reported that a stroke was the cause of death, but that’s irrelevant to questions of culpability. That’s true even if there happened to be some pre-existing medical condition that the blow(s) merely worsened or triggered. (Look up the “eggshell skull rule” as applied to criminal law.) Of course it’s very unlikely for there to have been any such pre-existing condition. I’d be interested to see any evidence of one, but it makes no difference in the end. N.B.: I am not a lawyer and nothing in this comment should be construed as legal advice.

  397. Re killing or being killed

    This question raised memories for me of an old post by JMG on a previous blog (with further discussion in the comments) about how ideas about violence between groups changes as part of the cycle of civilisations. In war band/dark age society personal loyalty to the survival of the ingroup leads to a very different ethical calculus than we have today (could you perhaps even say that it would be immoral to allow yourself to be killed without a fight because that leaves your group more vulnerable?)

    Then, a movement in later feudal society to a more abstract concept of violence to protect personal honour for the elite but with peasants seen as lacking both honour and the moral and legal ‘right’ to use violence (especially against the elite of course).

    Gradually this idea of personal honour supported by violence being broadened to cover most of male society with any pretensions to gentility and also increasingly formalised into dueling codes (which seems partly to have been an attempt to minimise the actual death rate).

    Eventually the state comes to monopolise violence and honour is now seen in resisting the urge to violence or (potentially) in exercising it as an automaton of the state in wars. Until of course the big collapse occurs to restart the cycle.

  398. Simon S wrote, “I recall one of the main anti-globalisation arguments back in the 90s was that globalisation would destroy the nation state. I think we’re now seeing all that come to a head. Trump ran on a campaign of saving the nation. I’m sure the globalist exponents are quite happy on some level to see a powerful symbol of the nation desecrated.”

    Those globalist exponents better gather up all the happy they can while the getting is good. They’ll probably want to keep an extra reserve on hand for when the nation state comes roaring back with a unstoppable vengeance, sped on by their foolish desecration this week of those powerful national symbols.

    In a truly bizarre way Trump did save the nation — as in, the recently threatened idea of the nation state. He brought nationalism back into vogue (albeit with quite a bit of help from the bungling globalist puppeteers.) Our particular nation may not come out of this reversal in one piece, but it will certainly come out in the form of nations rather than as member-states of a globalist wet dream. Like I said above, hope they got their happy on while they still could. If they were edging, waiting to enjoy the big one, they’re gonna find themselves rather deflated.

    By revealing just how toxic and destructive the political class is, Trump caused more and more citizens to begin withdrawing their support from the oligarchs. That process is not only continuing, but accelerating rapidly now. Hence the panicked purging taking over oligarchic minds at the moment and leaving them too distracted to pay any attention to the actual gaping cracks opening up beneath their feet. They can go on playing their futile games of whack-a-mole to their hearts’ content, as their Rome burns — their citizens will appreciate their efforts no more than Nero’s did. If they get tired of playing whack-a-mole, maybe the oligarchs can graduate to skeeball. In fact, there’s a whole world of common(er’s) entertainments awaiting their elite discovery. My, how the mighty are falling off their pedestals!

  399. @ Varun

    Thanks Varun – the Gita was the first thing to pop into mind and I just took that as one potential point of departure for thinking.

    being in a trench with a bayonet facing the ‘enemy’ I wonder how one decides about duty – certainly too late for thinking once in the situation.

    “Since ever action creates or destroys Karma, even inaction, then one has to take the action they feel is best fit for any given circumstances.”

    Yes – although for two young conscripts (or volunteers) being used as cannon fodder for empire, when you’ve kacked your pants and are surrounded by blood and guts those niceties are toast.
    And as you say, it is a matter for each individual in the moment and circumstances – yet I cannot shake the feeling that the energy state of the individual at that moment is of great importance.

    @ all
    Found this:

    “In recent years revisionist historians have offered a new and potentially disturbing reason why most soldiers survived the experience of trench warfare without becoming psychiatric casualties. In The Pity of War, Niall Ferguson argued that for many combat was not a devastating experience but exciting, adventurous and fun, precisely because of the danger. Furthermore, he suggested, ‘many men simply took pleasure in killing’ and proposed that Freud’s death instinct might be revived ‘to explain the readiness of millions of men to spend four and a quarter years killing and being killed’.1”

    and

    “Happiness is doubtless the wrong word for the satisfaction that men experience when they are possessed by the lust to destroy and kill their kind. . . . Thousands of youths who never suspected the presence of such an impulse in themselves have learned in military life the madexcitement of destroying.6”

    But:

    The ‘joy of war’ case stands in contrast to S.L.A. Marshall’s observations of US forces engaged in north-west Europe and the Pacific. He estimated that only 25 per cent of infantry fired to good purpose during combat.8 Roy Grinker and John Spiegel, two American psychiatrists who treated US troops in North Africa, also concluded that few soldiers ‘anticipate pleasure from destruction or killing, and, although some chronically hostile, aggressive individuals may be fascinated by the prospect of getting all the fighting they want, they frequently find it impossible to adapt their habitually irascible personalities to the controlled environment of teamwork and coordination necessary in battle’.

    https://www.kcl.ac.uk/kcmhr/publications/assetfiles/historical/Jones2006-thepsychologyofkilling.pdf

    It’s a big subject and Yorkshire was also right in saying he didn’t understand the question – I am trying to work out the question(s) myself!
    That said I have things to do so this is perhaps a rabbit hole I shall back away from. practice is more important than armchair philosophy just now.

    Maybe it just comes down to how many times one has been around the cycle.
    After countless cycles of birth and death maybe stuff just gets old – like Groundhog day – eventually a soul chooses to do something different.
    Souls get to choose upward or downward spirals and then experience the consequences of that.

    Perhaps unravelling was not the correct word and unveiling might be better.
    Maybe it’s as simple as the universe giving individualities the opportunity to choose and that is what determines what happens.
    We seem to be seeing a bifurcation and polarisation in so many areas and perhaps it is just a case of this reality being like Grand Central Station – with so many budding humans in incarnation there could be souls moving in all sorts of directions and we’re just at an inflection point.

    Seeing people online so casually wishing death on others has been a surprising turn and I guess I’m exploring that because it is so at odds with my own thoughts – in the 45 years I have studied and practiced martial arts, the more I have done the more I have tried to avoid having to use it unless absolutely necessary.

    I have never in my years here seen the world as weird as it is just now.
    Emotions are running so hot that minds appear to have short-circuited and I wonder if the emotional energy acts like a scream of interference that swamps out higher thought.

    If the astral is really cruddy, could the madness of crowds be that earthing out?

    In the five elemental processes there can be a creation cycle and a destructive cycle
    Fear gives birth to anger, anger gives birth to hatred etc
    or
    Gentleness gives birth to kindness, kindness gives birth to joy and compassion etc

    I’ve also seen a destruction cycle put like this:

    A man has a weakness, a flaw, that flaw leads him to guilt, the guilt leads him to shame, the shame he compensates with pride and vanity, and when pride fails despair takes over and they all lead to his destruction…

    The emotions flying around at the moment could easily become a destruction cycle.

    My working conclusion: It is a time of danger and opportunity and I’d better be careful what ‘energy’ I latch onto just now.

  400. Just now the myth that is coming strongly to mind is that of the Tower of Babel…

    A project of overweening megalo-techno-ambition, that is followed by (punished by, or simple karmic consequences?) a failure of the common language in which everyone can make meaning in common and remain in the same “world”, resulting in small groups of people splintering off into different “worlds” of meaning (languages), thoroughly unable to comprehend the meanings that make up the “worlds” of all the others. The megalo-techno-ambition fails…

    A few re-readings and meditations coming up.

  401. Varun – Re: one polling place for 500K registered voters? If I recall correctly, the actual situation was “one EARLY voting place for 500K voters”. One of the responses to the pandemic was to expand the use of “early voting”, where people could go to vote at least a week prior to the actual “election day”. These votes would not be counted (or at least, totals kept secret) until Election Day. A lawsuit was filed regarding the low number of early voting locations, but a judge ruled that even if there was only one location, it was an improvement over the past practice of having zero early voting locations. “Early voting” (like voting by mail) is claimed to be important for hourly workers who cannot afford to take time off on the official election day. Whether or not it is also more vulnerable to fraud, I don’t know, but it seems so to me.

  402. DFC–

    Your point regarding the 95%+ totals from big cities for Democrats is one of the key reasons why I don’t believe in the results of this or any other US election. 95% is third world dictator levels of support. When Americans were told that Saddam Hussein received 95% of the vote, they laughed. The only reason they believe these sorts of results in this country is that they’ve been hypnotized. The feeling is, “Of course our elections are legitimate, this is America.” They’re so legitimate, in fact, that we now have to be banned from questioning their legitimacy. The sound you hear now is the sound of an iron curtain descending across the North American continent.

  403. Among the people I know in the US, all of the non-voters bothered to vote last November. Literally all of them. They are generally working class people who feel the political establishment has forgotten them and so they don’t bother to vote. From the ones I talked to before the election, the trend of thought tended to be: we’ve seen how this president and administration plans to handle covid and the resulting depression, pros and cons, now let’s see how the other administration tries to handle covid and the depression, pros and cons. It appeared to me to be a very practical choice.

    Trump absolutely had the enthusiasm factor. There are millions of people who genuinely like him, as opposed to the other side, where I’ve never met someone who actually liked Joe Biden. That is my explanation for why JMG’s materials and comments sections made it seem like Trump would win in a landslide and in the end Biden won the popular vote by some seven million or so. It was an emergency triage decision by voters “We’re in a bad situation; let’s see if the other side can handle it a bit better.”

    The absurdity I can’t help but point out, as someone not living in the US and observing things as an outsider, is that even JMG’s readers have subscribed to the culture war. There is the potential for a shift or realignment of populist verses elite, or the bottom 80% verses the top 20%, domestic production verses globalism, or relocalization verses hyper-centralization, but instead even the commenters here (and sometimes JMG himself) prefer right verses left. For all the good it does you, you mimic your supposed opposites exactly: focusing on how the other side is so crazy and ridiculous, when from an outsider’s perspective, both sides have gone coo-coo for Coco Puffs. I certainly hope I’m wrong.

    To sum up: it seems prudent for Americans to look for allies rather than enemies among their own social class. Right-wing working class people looking for allies among left-wing working class people, same for the lower middle classes, in other words, the bottom 80% or so.

  404. As a non-US citizen and non-US resident, I have refrained from commenting on the election and post-election. I do want to say it surprises me that US citizens would feel any satisfaction about the events of Jan 6, in the sense of “people against Congress”. For people watching from outside the US, the effect of the invasion of the Capitol is exactly like Christophe described above (January 10, 2021 at 5:44 am, though I don’t share Christophe’s assurance about who the actual planners of the invasion were): The image of American strength, stability and rule of law has been destroyed, or at least severely damaged.

  405. The evidence that I accept for vote fraud is as follows.

    Premise 1. People who are willing to act unfairly and in violation of the spirit of a law or agreement are usually willing to violate its letter as well.
    Premise 2. The Republicans under Nixon launched the “war on drugs,” which began the mass incarceration of likely Democratic voters– hippies and blacks, in this case. Felons are not able to vote in the Untied States, so the “War on Drugs” always had the effect of disenfranchising Democratic voters. The same campaign of disenfranchisement was greatly intensified under Reagan. Democrats, meanwhile, push policies intended to flood the country with immigrants, who happen to vote Democrat. And it’s well known that both parties engage in “gerrymandering”– the organization of congressional districts in such a way as to prevent the other party from attaining power. All these are examples of technically legal, but deeply immoral, violations of the spirit of the law. And there are many more besides.
    Conclusion: Cheating is likely in every presidential election.

    Premise 1. Those who are corrupt in some matters are likely to be corrupt in other matters.
    Premise 2. The corruption of our political class is well known enough to need no documentation; the Hunter Biden scandal is well known. Premise 2 assumes that Hunter Bidens are common enough as to be ubiquitous on both sides of the aisle.
    Conclusion: Corruption and cheating are likely in every presidential election.

    Premise 1. Given similar outcomes, similar starting conditions are likely.
    Premise 2. The percentage of the vote which Democrats receive from certain population groups are similar to those received in fraudulent elections in third world and Communist dictatorships.
    Conclusion: Our elections are probably as fraudulent as those in third world and Communist dictatorships.

    Premise 1. People who are willing to cheat in a primary election are willing to cheat in a general election.
    Premise 2. The Democratic Party was willing to cheat in 2016, in order to secure Hillary’s nomination.
    Conclusion: Therefore, the Democrats probably cheated in the 2020 general election.

    Premise 1. Systems which are simple and transparent are hard to rig, but systems which are complex and opaque are easy to rig.
    Premise 2. The US presidential election system is very complex and very opaque.
    Conclusion: Therefore, the US presidential election is very easy to rig.

    Premise 1. Given means, opportunity, and sufficient motive, people will engage in criminal behavior.
    Premise 2. The Democrats had means, opportunity, and the very strong motive of “preventing another Hitler” in the 2020 elections.
    Conclusion: Therefore, the Democrats probably engaged in criminal in the 2020 elections.

    Premise 1. Winning an election requires active campaigning and a candidate who inspires voters.
    Premise 2. Biden did essentially no active campaigning and inspired nobody.
    Conclusion: Therefore, Biden did not win the election.

    Premise 1. Those who are willing to engage in campaigns of mass violence and repression are probably also willing to cheat in elections.
    Premise 2. The Democrats and their allies in the media and tech companies have spent the last seven months fomenting and encouraging political violence and are now engaged in a mass campaign of repression against conservatives.
    Conclusion: The Democrats were probably also willing to cheat in the election.

    Premise 1. Organizations with a history of criminal behavior are likely to continue in that kind of behavior.
    Premise 2. The CIA and other American intelligence agencies have a history of overthrowing hostile governments around the world.
    Conclusion: The CIA and other American intelligence agencies, which very obviously viewed Trump as a hostile government, likely participated in overthrowing him.

    Premise 1. If I am hesitant to post all of this out of fear of retaliation, then we live in a tyranny.
    Premise 2. I am afraid to post this.
    Conclusion: I’m sure you can reason it out yourself at this point.

    Now, you’ll notice that all of this is logical inference; none of it is the sort of evidence that would hold up in a court of law. In many cases, other explanations are possible. If it rained last night, then this morning the streets will be wet. But if the streets are wet and no one checked the weather forecast last night, it may have rained, or else the streetsweeper may have come through, or else someone may have sprayed the streets with a hose, or else all three may have happened. Similarly, the populations of our urban centers may indeed favor the Democrats by a ratio of nearly 20 to 1. (If that’s the case, our elections are even less legitimate, since now we’re clearly talking about two completely separate peoples, neither of which has the right to rule the other). Whatever fraud did take place may not have been sufficient to tilt the election in Biden’s favor, though I suspect it was.

    Also, none of this says that the election should have been overturned. I’m not sure that it should have been. You could make the case that Trump lost the election fair and square, by not planning and preparing to counter Democratic voter fraud ahead of time. His after-the-fact complaints about voter fraud, on this view, are like a hockey team complaining that it lost the Stanley Cup because of a shoulder-check. Sorry, that’s the game. I saw an interview with a former Trump official– I can’t ever remember his name– who outlined a detailed plan that he and Jared Kushner had come up with intended to do just that. Apparently he was fired and Kushner was sidelined, while Trump hatched a new plan with the RNC. The official described Trump as “surrounded by Yes Men.” I suspect that what happened was that Trump finally out-smarted himself. I think that he thought he could allow the Democrats to engage in fraud and then catch them in the act, thus making himself a hero by exposing election corruption once and for all. But then his plan failed, and he was caught in his own trap. The march on the Capitol was a last, desperate hail-mary; the Hollywood quality of it is indicative of the thinking that went into it. As I said the other day, in stupid TV shows you can just kill the enemy’s king, and then all of his followers make you the king, for some reason. Real life doesn’t work that way.

    What it does all say is that there are indeed very good reasons to believe that our elections are fraudulent– and that they always have been.

  406. I’ve spent some time looking at the link Bridge provided, and I’d like to address some of the evidence piece by piece.

    1. Polling evidence that large numbers of people were sent mail-in ballots who never requested them and subsequently never returned them. Some did return them but were still listed as never having done so. — This could be fraud, or it could be mistakes. Did this happen disproportionately to republicans or was it even across the board? We don’t know because the people doing the polling only called registered republicans.

    2. A GOP observer, Gregory Stenstrom, in Delaware was given very poor access to a vote counting station and treated with hostility — It does seem that this was possible illegal, however I’m more inclined to blame incompetence and annoyance than fraud. This guy shows up asking questions people don’t have the answers to, complaining about everything, calling judges, etc. His own lawyer got sick of him and stopped paying attention to him halfway through the night. My guess is that the workers decided he was crazy and tried to keep him out of the way.

    3. Non-profit organizations gave grants to help fund election infrastructure and did so mostly in urban areas — You can argue that this wasn’t fair, and that non-public organizations have no place in funding elections, but it isn’t fraud. Unless the claim is that the city of Racine was willing to fraudulently change their election results in exchange for a $100,000 grant?

    4. A USPS worker observed co-workers backdating postmarks on 7 or 8 ballots that were picked up in the early morning of November 4th. — Changing the postmarks was technically fraud, yes, but by the person’s own testimony the post office people thought the ballots had been missed on an earlier pickup and seemed to be trying to avoid getting in trouble.

    5. A truck driver carrying mail-in ballots wasn’t allowed to unload where he was told to go, had to wait a while and was sent off somewhere else without proper paperwork. — I have a hard time parsing this affidavit, so perhaps I’m missing the implication. It sounds like he had a strange day. I’m not sure what to make of the claim that someone tried to bug his truck afterwards.

    So that’s what I’ve read through so far. In my own opinion it falls well short of overwhelming evidence.

  407. @ Tamhob and Earthworm. It’s fascinating to pair the two of you.

    It’s easy to philosophize about what you would do in extreme circumstances when you’re safe and well-fed and your culture encourages you to philosophize about events that probably won’t happen.

    If your culture encourages you to act (without hesitating) to defend yourself and your culture, you will. As a species, we didn’t populate every habitable speck of ground by being diffident and concerned about ‘feelings’.

  408. I don’t have much to add to the discussion about the storming of the Capitol, but I’m sure, that the symbolic character of it can scarcely be overestimated. i believe that it is an inflection point for the United States, at which things and problems which were formerly more or less hidden due to the bias of mainstream media and the self-image of Americans, suddenly came out in the open, in a brutal way. In his predictions for 2020 JMG wrote that it would become impossible to paper over the conflicts in US society. So, probably 2021 already has shown itself to be a watershed year.

    As Earthworm proposed, by the way, what we see now happening in the United States may be the earthing-out of all the muck on the astral plane about which JMG wrote, as least regarding local conditions in the United States.

  409. @Steve T:

    I entirely agree, provided that the same premises also lead you and me to conclude that the Republicans cheated in this election, too, though this time less effectively. (Also, every minority party surely cheated, though these parties lacked the resources for cheating to good effect.)

  410. “the 2010 midterms taught (Obama) that catering to the far left was a recipe for political disaster. ” Really? I have been appreciating your insights, and occasionally disagreeing with your analysis, for a long time, but this comment seems way off base. It has always seemed to me that the Democrats’ failure in the 2010 midterms, and the overall switch of around 900 elected positions from D to R was because Obama pandered to the right wing of his party by bailing out the bankers and leaving the working class to sink or swim, and by refusing to even consider universal health coverage, opting instead for “Obamacare,” which originated with The American Enterprise Institute, hardly a left-wing bastion. Whether you call those moves left or right, however, they both fit into your overall thesis of the Dems betraying their base and bringing forth Trump.

    Have a great break! I look forward to catching up with you in the new year.

  411. The fairly rapid push to deplatform the right is eerie, in light of the fact the Grand Mutation seems to say there will be a massive move away from advanced technologies. I wonder now if this is how it gets started, as the right begins to build the alternatives to the internet so as to be able to communicate effectively even without it….

  412. @ Miranda Thank you for sharing that situation and its lasting impact.

    Similarly are folks that have been in battle/war situations. A lot of them will come back as peace loving pacifists because they have seen and felt what it is like to be in the presence of deadly violence. All the glory of war and violence fades away and what remains is but a lingering shadow.

    The brightest light casts the darkest shadow.

  413. PatriciaT: The comment “We’re saved”, we’re saved” was my poor attempt at humourous sarcasm.

    I’ve been watching Game of Thrones these past couple of weeks, so here’s a mashup quote from GoT and Biden:

    “A Dark Winter is Coming…….”

  414. Scotlyn-Yes. Poet D.H. Lawrence wrote about how civilization *is* the tower. Specialization leads to mutual incomprehension. Definitely meditate-able…

  415. Walt:

    I agree with your assessment.

    This evening, CBS “News” (I know, I know) reported the incident with the fire extinguisher during the protest, but admitted that it’s not yet been established whether the deceased officer was actually hit, or whether any one specific action that day led to his demise. Investigations are ongoing.

    I still think that if his cause of death turns out not to be useful to the elites, the story will be dropped quietly. I never used to be this cynical, but I feel that current conditions warrant it.

  416. @ David BTL I will take what you said and swap around one part.

    “If we lose the Constitution though, there may be no next time. I said it earlier and I’ll say it again: the Constitution is more important than any election. It’s really as simple as that.”

    “”There’s always next time.”

    This is the main point that folks have to remember. This is not a permanent situation. I suspect what we will see over the next 4 years is a significant amount of push back towards the majority elected. I suspect this will be a major issue that will ensure that, as you said, Bidens term will go sideways.

    Every time someone is defeated but not extinguished, they learn a lesson on how to win the next time around.

    This will probably produce a lot of solidarity from the losing party. It will clarify their strategy in a way that will probably hold up the constitution rather than trying to destroy it. Folks are blowing off a lot of steam right now, it is expected, but it is when these folks go quiet and start working together on real achievable strategy – that is when change will happen. We are already seeing a lot of people who are working together, they have been for a long time now, but the goal is much better defined.

    I’ve said it before. I’m on the opposite side of the planet and as such I don’t have a horse in this race. But it is fascinating to see where it is all going. It doesn’t feel like people are trying to rip up the constitution, it is more a case of demonstration to those in power that they ‘the people’ can still push back if needed and a reminder of who they should be serving. I’m in Australia, our parliament house in Canberra has a public grass walk way across the top of the building. It is meant to be symbolic, that the people are above the politicians and to remind those in power of who they serve… of course it was blocked off in 2017 over “security concerns”.

  417. earthworm,

    I have, throughout my entire life .. up to this point, been one to let things pass over me .. in that I always felt that any sleights due to perceived wrongs to me weren’t worth the aggravation of pursuit!
    But … as things have progressed these last 5+ years of OMB, Omg!!!! ….. in fact, back since 2006 .. when Cold bowl Nancy took impeachment of ‘Cough-Drop George the 2nd’ off the gilded table .. I knew the jig was up, eventually to be pulled from semi-rouch waters, with the lowerMokestanis attached firmly to the hook. So, at this point in time, I have absolutely NO faith in authority whatsoever! … because THEY have no faith in me! They want their ricebowls to remind ‘whole’ .. at ALL COSTS, leaving everyone else to writh and twist.

    I no longer care.

    So, the whirlwind spins ever tighter, but to what end?

  418. @ Steve T.

    I like how you reason. I would say that my major premise is that Biden actually, in one of his few public appearances, bragged about thaing he most “diverse” voting fraud campaign in American history. In this case the word diverse being used accurately rather than as jsut empty rhetoric: they probably did cheat in many ways. The fact that he could make such a outrageous statement just shows how much in the tank the MSM was, which is by far the most important reason he got away with it.

    I recommend reading “Means of Accent” by Robert Caro. The book is essentially about the 1948 Senatorial election LBJ stole against a legendary former governor in a Democratic primary (the only election that mattered in Texas back then.) It’s a first class lesson in the simple mechanics of voting fraud and why I knew that when they had suspended counting in the Swing States election night Biden was going to win even though Trump was far ahead at the time in almost all of them.

    Also, many of the voting rules that came in with the Progressive era, like requiring pre-registering and secret ballots, have been dismantled by the Democrats anytime they got a chance because they control the big population areas where they could get the 95% vote, 80%plus turnout result. Trump actually made this point rather well in the January 6th speech that has since gone down techno-oligarchic memory hole.

  419. I wish for anonymous s***posting and global communications that the internet of the 2000’s until the tech giants crushed it.

    I will miss it if the internet goes away.

  420. CS2:

    even JMG’s readers have subscribed to the culture war… you mimic your supposed opposites exactly: focusing on how the other side is so crazy and ridiculous, when from an outsider’s perspective, both sides have gone coo-coo for Coco Puffs.

    Hopefully not all of us.

    I spent most of my life on the liberal side of things, and finally realized that the Democratic party does not and will never support my values, despite the protestations of the Democratic faithful. At the same time, I remember the conservative Bush administration plunging us into the monstrous war in Iraq, so I can never buy what the Republicans are selling either. And I flat-out detest libertarianism.

    So I don’t know where I fit into the political spectrum. Probably not anywhere.

    It does seem like Dems and Repubs both are mirroring one another, becoming angrier and more brittle, and completely refusing to see that there could even be an argument against them. I can’t see any good coming of any of this.

  421. Jeanne at
    January 8, 2021 at 9:14 pm —

    Re BBC article on who it was in the Capitol– thank you for this!

    I’ve been gradually gathering more info, especially pictures, and the clear closeup of the guy’s hand is especially helpful. (First one I’ve seen yet.) I compared it to the smaller, blurry pic of his hand from the original article I saw claiming it was a hammer and sickle– and yup– same ‘Dishonored’ symbol. And so, my opinion of the matter rotates under the impetus of more data…

    There have also been several opinion columns from various people saying basically, ‘that was no coup, it was far too lame’.

    It appears the King In Orange has been disrobed. The restless masses ain’t going away, though– this little shindy taught them something very dangerous to the oligarchy. Which is probably why the pretty people in Capitol City are panicking.

  422. One reminder for the non-Americans, a lot of Americans still believe we are the rulers. Whether it’s the people protesting the Kavanagh confirmation or the electoral college vote, we believe we own that building, we have a right to be in there, (I’ve been there, years ago) and those we elect are supposed to do our bidding. L’etat c’est nous, if you like, and we get grumpy when we don’t get our ways.

    Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. And every single person who was at that rally signed with their presence on camera and video, just as much as our ancestors signed with their pens.

    As a rallying point, as a symbol, that many people and that much belief also have power. I won’t say if it’s healthy or not to have that focus, but it will resonate. I do expect that the name Ashli will become quite popular for baby girls this year.

    Another reminder, remember how far it is to the capitol for most of us. For the Europeans, my home, which is still two days drive from the west coast, is as far from DC as London is from Moscow. For driving it, which I’ve done twice in my life, it’s a five day drive one way if you want be reasonably functional on arrival. The number of people who make any given rally or other event is a fraction of those who would like to but are prohibited from doing so by distance and finance, or who are generally supportive but crowd-adverse.

    Heck, it’s a half-day drive to my own state capitol in good driving conditions, which January is not. It’s not something one does after work or whatever. Apply for time off in advance.

  423. @ TamHob

    “ violence between groups changes as part of the cycle of civilisations”

    I think I recall that discussion. What gets me here is that this looks like a bifurcation/polarisation where communication has virtually become impossible. I have seen numerous examples of people merely suggesting that a subject should be discussed in an analytical manner only to get dog-piled.

    I can see the sense in what you said, but this seems on a different level. Maybe it isn’t, and this is what happens to decaying societies (i.e. that one part of a population decides to hate another part?).

    Is there any movement on an actual ecosophia mailing list if digital comms become interrupted?
    I know folks in the US have had meet-ups, has anyone in the UK done that?

    @ teresa from hershey

    For sure – what I’m wondering about here is more from an occult/esoteric level, while in the material society it looks like a cultural implosion that could all too easily degenerate harshly.

    @ polecat
    “So, the whirlwind spins ever tighter, but to what end?”

    Good question. I’ve cut my access to the few media news sites I glance at by 90% over the last 10 days as it seems like an exercise in futility – thing that really gets me is that this is not just gov and tech, looks like a good number of people are with the programme. Just rereading this from 1941:

    “Sometimes I think there are direct biological factors at work—a type of education, feeding, and physical training which has produced a new kind of human being with an imbalance in his nature. He has been fed vitamins and filled with energies that are beyond the capacity of his intellect to discipline. He has been treated to forms of education which have released him from inhibitions. His body is vigorous. His mind is childish. His soul has been almost completely neglected.”
    https://harpers.org/archive/1941/08/who-goes-nazi/

    Is mokestani a US slang term? (sorry I’m in the UK and you lost me on the first bit)

  424. Cicada Grove, I never got what a ‘crisis actor’ was supposed to be until I looked into that guy. At one of those Antifa rallies he was photographed with a sign saying ‘Q sent me’ which is as good an example of Poe’s law as any. But one place that purported to doxx him identified him as an out-of-work actor. If that’s really the case I can finally see how a crisis actor might appear – were I trying to promote myself for that kind of work I might go to areas where a lot of excitement and cameras are present and look like an interesting background character. In any case, I find it interesting that someone like that made it into the big papers.

    Bridge, for all I know you may be right! If I had to bet I’d offer good odds that the election had widespread fraud, good odds that it wasn’t centrally orchestrated, and even odds that it didn’t affect the outcome. But without a clear way to prove what happened, it would be foolish to bet. Regardless therefore, I would urge you to consider the parallels between your beliefs in this moment and the beliefs of HRC voters in early 2017. They also thought there was election interference leading to the wrong president being inaugurated, and I’m sure you had an opinion at the time as to what they should do about that.

    Believing that the election was interfered with doesn’t prevent the soul-searching necessary to figure out why it was close in the first place, but it certainly provides an excuse not to if you don’t want to! And on that subject, I’ll note that the way you described my thesis – that the mainstream turned against Trump – was the exact opposite of what my thesis actually was. I proposed that the fringes turned against him. Bit of a tell IMHO.

    Just as a general note to both Americans still trying to make up their minds about stolen elections etc: I should point out that any foreign actor hostile to you (plenty of those) or fearful of you (literally all of us) would care much less about who sits in the oval office than whether the electorate thinks they belong there.

  425. Robert, of course. I really think the main issue this time around is that Trump convinced himself he could win without properly preparing to counter the Democrats’ fraud operation, and then tried to change it after the fact. I think Giuliani might have been involved, as the 11th hour lawsuits remind me of his primary campaign in 2008, in which he tried to ignore every race and then swoop in and win everything on Super Tuesday. Again, it reminds me of a team complaining about losing the Stanley Cup because of a shoulder check. Sorry, that’s hockey.

    I said the foregoing to a group of Democrat family members, and they just ignored my actual words and started shrieking media talking points about “60 court cases” at me. That bothers me more than anything else. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me. I greatly mind the fact that most of my fellow citizens seem to have replaced their brains with their TVs and “smart” devices.

    Unfortunately, Donald Trump himself almost certainly needs to be included in that category. The march on the Capitol was the perfect ending to an idiotic Hollywood movie.

  426. I have contemplated answering two posters here, but I think it is no longer safe to discuss anything political publicly.

  427. Cleric,

    There were several altercations with New York Jews, but that was marginal. My main point was the fairly open suppression of Christianity.

  428. Earthworm – there is a UK & Ireland “Ecosophia Isles” grouping. I took part in (but did not organise) a lovely quick Zoom meet up last night. Perhaps you might send a message to ecosophia-uk@eeecourse.org and whoever approves people will get you signed up.

  429. @Cliff,

    Thanks for your response, and yes, hopefully not everyone. Your political story is likely more common than people think. I guess you could register as an Independent?

  430. @ Cliff

    I think there are many of us who don’t fit in any of the current political categories. I know I don’t. One of the challenges those like us face, of course, is how to engage the present system without a party organization that represents our values. Does that mean voting for someone you dislike but who’s better than the opposition on certain key issues? Does it mean not voting? I think it depends on the circumstances, the choices we have, and our individual priorities and assessments.

    I, too, have generally been on the liberal side on things and have come to a similar conclusion re the current Democratic Party. And while I’m a civil libertarian, I’m not an economic one. I have voted for individual Republicans on a case by case basis, but never before for president. I’d argue that I still haven’t, as Trump is no Republican–I voted for Trump as a populist and anti-globalist, but I’d never vote for Jeb, for example.

    @ Michael Gray

    I’d agree with the emphasis implied by your revision of my statement!

    @ Anonymous, et. al.

    The de-platforming is reflexive and short-sighted. Again, those folks are mistaking symptoms for causes and missing the underlying issues. And expelling dissenting voices from public discourse doesn’t silence them, it merely drives that dissent underground. There it has much more potential to radicalize, while the root causes of that dissent remain unaddressed and likely worsen, as now there’s no one bringing attention to them.

    Moreover, weaponization of politics is always poor choice, as what goes around comes around. Or, as we might say here in this forum, karma’s a thing. The actual violent protestors aside–who are properly subject to criminal charges–if we punish people for merely expressing an unpopular opinion, fire them for merely being present at a rally, seek to bar the opposition from office for expressing concerns raised by their constituents, then we should not be surprised when, later on, those same weapons are turned on us. None of which is helpful to the discourse needed for a functional democracy. Unfortunately, passions are high right now and the willingness to consider the long-term consequences of these (re)actions is rather lacking

  431. Earthworm, the Harper’s Nazi sorting algorithm could be a personality test. It’s probably better than the MBTI. I’m a combination of C and G. 🙂

  432. earthworm,

    ‘Mokestanis’ is MY personal slang for what’s become of an ever greater demographic of desperate muricans .. both deplorable AND the blu non-glitterati/wokerati – basically, the down-trodden who ain’t in that glorious Club, as per the musings of one G. Carlin .. but receive it smartly, nontheless!

    Use it liberally (Ha!) if it suits you.

  433. Onething,

    “I have contemplated answering two posters here, but I think it is no longer safe to discuss anything political publicly.”

    Agreed.

  434. One shaman in the center of world power!. Inside the “Omphalos”!,

    I know is a fake shaman but, what a symbolism!

    After a year that a virus from the “wild nature” have been wreaking havoc in our almighty techno-scientific civilization, a half naked shaman appears as a symbol also of how fragile the political power really is, and in fact, this is now, firstly inside the minds of the terrified politicians in DC, so the over-reaction.

    What a synchronicity!

    From now on a see peak Big-Tech, peak globalization, peak techno-science, peak MSM, peak internet, peak smart-phones, peak oil, peak transport, peak travel, peak financialization, peak cars, peak garbage, peak consumption, peak desires, peak comfort, peak cities, peak planes, peak tourism…

    It is really a “phase change” in the system, and it is even hard to say how much has changed the world, or at least our perception of the changes in the world, in only one year.

    Good luck
    David

  435. For what it might be worth:

    The MAGA folks can shout, riot and wave guns around all they want. The rock bottom reality is that Easy Street is closed for business, and permanently so, I would guess. There is no more easy money and no more easy life sitting at the end of a 10,000 mile supply chain, playing golf and being a VIP in one’s own town or county.

    After subjecting us to four years of the Trump Family Reality Show, no Republican has any business lecturing the rest of us about Family Values. Men, if you want to marry a series of trophies, that is your own affair, but do be aware that your children won’t have a functioning Mom in their home. The only one of the Trump adult offspring who appears to resemble an actual. normal human being is the one he didn’t raise. He did provide generous support and was and is part of her life and that is very much to his credit.

    I don’t think Trump is a bad person at all. I think he is a clever and talented guy with some good ideas who was out of his depth in the presidency because a government is not a business. Mi hija the LPN thinks he might be suffering the delayed effects of his bout with the virus, which apparently was pretty bad. Maybe he literally could not walk from the WH to the capitol building because of post disease weakness.

    The point being that Trump could have won elections to the governorship or senate, and learned the art of governance, but those positions require patience and work. The reason Andy Cuomo never seems to have effective opposition is that very few persons of sense want his job. The tactics of making deals, not paying suppliers and employees, and bluff are effective until they aren’t.

    What else isn’t working as advertised is the Republican tactic of throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. Of course they are going to make outrageous claims about the election: that is what they always do. See the 2000 election, and the Iraq war, for examples.

    Which is not to say that the Democrats don’t have their own problems, but that is another topic.

  436. In the spirit of asking questions that wouldn’t have been asked before:

    Why are elections held on weekdays in the US and the UK? It seems like a considerable part of the arguments for massive early voting, mail-in voting etc. would disappear if elections were held on a day when few people need to work. All other countries I know of vote on Sundays. If there were religious reasons to avoid Sundays, then the election day (every two or four years) could be made a holiday.

    Holding elections on weekdays, putting polling stations out of reach of public transport etc. reeks of voter exclusion. On the other hand, pre-registration and the necessity to show valid photo IDs are part of the voting process in most country.

  437. Some (thousands of) Chassidic Jews showed some chutzpah in New York City. After the authorities caught wind of a planned 10,000-attendee wedding, it had to be severely scaled back to take place. The next wedding was advertised solely by word of mouth; 7000 people attended. Finally there was a funeral for a 90-something holocaust survivor who was highly revered in the community. The five police officers in the vicinity did nothing to interfere. I share these with you not to condone civil disobedience but simply in the spirit of a civil sharing of information.

    NYC City Hall failed to stop massive Satmar funeral

  438. @ Graham (January 11, 2021 – 6:42 pm) – To be clearer, I should have reviewed & tweaked what I wrote before submitting my comment. I think that your “We’re saved! We’re saved!!” was a brilliant assessment of the breathy enthusiasm in article you referenced – it certainly implied that sentiment without stating it directly. In the article it noted Biden’s “…ability to deftly communicate in order to achieve his aims.” and “they’ll work together to champion…powerful change.” Um. Right. Saved indeed.

  439. I have contemplated answering two posters here, but I think it is no longer safe to discuss anything political publicly.

    Chilling, isn’t it? Winter is coming…

  440. Matthias,

    Thanks for correcting me. I found that study at work, skimmed it, and wrote a quick write up because it didn’t smell right to my first impressions and wanted to let off some steam. Happy to change my mind.

    Tbh, I’m not really at risk of serious case of covid, and don’t spend much time thinking about it. Reflecting on it now, I think I was caught up in the abhorrent (even for the last year’s standards) astral conditions following the storming of the Capitol. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have cared about skimming that study!

    Onething, I agree it’s no longer safe to discuss anything political. One problem is lots of culture has been made political over this last year. I find myself second guessing 75% of what I say outside of “safe” settings. I switched to this silly moniker in this blogosphere for a reason lol.

  441. Hi Onething,

    How are you doing? Better, I hope.

    I also adopted a no-political-discussions rule. Which at the moment is like taking a vow of silence…

  442. Well, I am still working my way through the comments/trying to catch up.

    hermitalex, yes, I’ve been seeing more input (including nice clear photos of the participants on several webpages) that lead me to believe the original article I read about “an Antifa op” was incorrect. (Sigh. Life in a hall of mirrors.)

    Alan White– the blue bosses are really freaking out, or pretending to… I can’t quite tell which. Is it possible that they believe their own rhetoric about scruffy NASCAR “deplorables”? Is it still ‘propaganda’ if you believe it yourself?

    Methylethyl at January 9, 2021 at 5:57 pm, I think you are the closest to the truth of anyone. It was a ball of confusion up there and it will take time to sort out what-all happened.

    Christophe at January 10, 2021 at 5:44 am, that is an awesome essay. I think it deserves to be a guest post on the Dreamwidth blog in fact. Do I hear a second?

    Whether the “Capitol Hill Riot” was staged, permitted to happen, or just an unexpected spontaneous event, it has resulted in a meme that I think will reverberate deeply. And that is, that a bunch of commoners literally climbed the walls of the Capitol Building and put all of Congress to flight. Whether it’s really true, a lot of red-staters now think it is. I’m not sure that any amount of flapping and banning is going to be enough to erase that idea now.

  443. Thank you JMG for continuing to read and put through comments even while in your month off. I didn’t realize until today you’d been doing that. Just kept coming to your sites forlornly looking for the haven from the storms I thought would be missing until February, and clicking away when I remembered you were on break . It’s still stormy here, but the winds howl a little less fiercely, and that may make all the difference for some of us in trying to navigate through.

  444. No nation can have a lasting government of any form unless each citizen is willing to compromise at least in cases of grave necessity, with what he or she regards as supremely evil.

    I regard slavery as a very, very great evil. Yet had I been a member of the convention that drafted the US Constitution, I would have supported the infamous Three-Fifths Compromise with that evil simply–and only!–because without it there could have been no United States. (I would have tried to find the courage to do so even if I was personally at great risk of being enslaved myself.) For without that compromise, there would still have been only thirteen independent Colonies, which Britain could have picked off one by one at its leisure over the next few decades, once it was no longer distracted by pressing concerns elsewhere (as it was during our War for Independence).

    If some foreign power wants to destroy any nation from inside, and is patient enough to play a very long game, all it has to do is continually propagandize the citizenry of that nation to treat every major political disagreement as a stark choice between good and evil. The inherent inability of any citizenry to agree among itself on which choices are good and which are evil, will then slowly complete the work of destruction without that foreign power’s needing to do much else.

  445. Ok so here’s a question. It seems forgotten now but in the run-up to the election, every poll on Five-Thirty-Eight was consistently showing the Democrats in the lead, for several months, by good margins of 5 – 15%. They were expected to win, even if the polls were out by as much as they were in 2016 (and looks like they were). As long as turnout was good, and everyone who wanted to vote was able to do so. Given that, why risk cheating?

    Well, the polls could have been rigged against Trump, but
    a) *all* the polls were pointing the same way, including ones commissioned b