Friday, March 23, 2018
"Weekly News Wrap-Up 3/23/18"
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
"The DOW took a cliff dive into a shallow pool and crashed more than 724 points. Some say it was because of the possibility of a new trade war. Trump announced new tariffs against China. Gregory Mannarino of TradersChoice.net says it’s not just trade war fears driving the market down. It is also interest rate hikes by the new Fed Chairman, and the exploding federal deficit with the latest $1.3 trillion spending orgy getting ready for passage in Washington D.C. Mannarino says, “This is going to go until we hit a wall, and that wall is getting closer every day.”
White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is going to resign. The “lame-stream” media got this wrong last week when it claimed McMaster was fired. Now, Trump is going to replace McMaster with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. Bolton hates the Iran “no signature” nuclear deal, and it’s not a coincidence Trump’s incoming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also dislikes this “no signature” deal to curtail Iran’s nuclear program.
Facebook was gamed for 50 million user profiles by the GOP, and the liberal mainstream media and Democrats alike are all bent out of shape about this privacy breach.Of course, when Facebook was gamed for personal information by the Obama Campaign, it was not a problem. Recently, it was revealed by a former Obama campaign official that Facebook was “on our side” in the 2012 election.
Join Greg Hunter as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
"Shiny NGC 253 is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, and also one of the dustiest. Some call it the Silver Dollar Galaxy for its appearance in small telescopes, or just the Sculptor Galaxy for its location within the boundaries of the southern constellation Sculptor. Discovered in 1783 by mathematician and astronomer Caroline Herschel, the dusty island universe lies a mere 10 million light-years away. About 70 thousand light-years across, NGC 253 is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of Galaxies, the nearest to our own Local Group of Galaxies.
Click image for larger size.
In addition to its spiral dust lanes, tendrils of dust seem to be rising from a galactic disk laced with young star clusters and star forming regions in this sharp color image. The high dust content accompanies frantic star formation, earning NGC 253 the designation of a starburst galaxy. NGC 253 is also known to be a strong source of high-energy x-rays and gamma rays, likely due to massive black holes near the galaxy's center. Take a trip through extragalactic space in this short video flyby of NGC 253.”
by Aldous Huxley
"Aldous Huxley became a pioneer in the (practically nonexistent) field of modern psychedelic literature in 1954 when he published The Doors of Perception, a short but detailed book about his experience with mescaline. Many people would hesitate to publish a book about such a controversial and personal topic even today, half a century later, but Huxley staked his claim smack dab in the middle of the 1950s. The term “psychedelic” hadn’t even been coined yet (though Huxley would contribute to its creation a few years later).
This book represents one of the first and best-known “trip reports”, at least in the West, placing it alongside classic documents like Albert Hofmann’s 1943 journal, which details the first ever LSD trip. By introducing curious Westerners to the idea of the psychedelic experience, and to mescaline in particular, Huxley opened the doors of perception for generations of psychonauts. They haven’t closed since.
The name of the book - which would later inspire Jim Morrison’s "The Doors" - comes from this passage, inspired by the inimitable William Blake: "To become fully human, man, proud man, the player of fantastic tricks, must learn to get out of his own way: only then will his infinite faculties and angelic apprehension get a chance of coming to the surface." In Blake’s words, we must ‘cleanse the doors of perception’; for when the doors of perception are cleansed, ‘everything appears to man as it is - infinite.’
Here’s one of my favorite excerpts, about the ultimate solitude of each human being and the limits of communication: "We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies–all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.
Most island universes are sufficiently like one another to permit of inferential understanding or even of mutual empathy or “feeling into.” Thus, remembering our own bereavements and humiliations, we can condole with others in analogous circumstances, can put ourselves…in their places. But in certain cases communication between universes is incomplete or even nonexistent. The mind is its own place, and the Places inhabited by the insane and the exceptionally gifted are so different from the places where ordinary men and women live, that there is little or no common ground of memory to serve as a basis for understanding or fellow feeling. Words are uttered, but fail to enlighten. The things and events to which the symbols refer belong to mutually exclusive realms of experience."
Later, Huxley looks at a bouquet of flowers and has a realization about “Is-ness” or “Suchness”, the inherent quality of existence: "I was not looking now at an unusual flower arrangement. I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation-the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence…"
Istigkeit– wasn’t that the word Meister Eckhart liked to use? “Is-ness.” The Being of Platonic philosophy– except that Plato seems to have made the enormous, the grotesque mistake of separating Being from becoming and identifying it with the mathematical abstraction of the Idea. He could never, poor fellow, have seen a bunch of flowers shining with their own inner light and all but quivering under the pressure of the significance with which they were charged; could never have perceived that what rose and iris and carnation so intensely signified was nothing more, and nothing less, than what they were – a transience that was yet eternal life, a perpetual perishing that was at the same time pure Being, a bundle of minute, unique particulars in which, by some unspeakable and yet self-evident paradox, was to be seen the divine source of all existence.
I continued to look at the flowers, and in their living light I seemed to detect the qualitative equivalent of breathing–but of a breathing without returns to a starting point, with no recurrent ebbs but only a repeated flow from beauty to heightened beauty, from deeper to ever deeper meaning.
…The books, for example, with which my study walls were lined. Like the flowers, they glowed, when I looked at them, with brighter colors, a profounder significance. Red books, like rubies; emerald books; books bound in white jade; books of agate; of aquamarine, of yellow topaz; lapis lazuli books whose color was so intense, so intrinsically meaningful, that they seemed to be on the point of leaving the shelves to thrust themselves more insistently on my attention."
If you want to read more, including Huxley’s theory of the human mind as a “reducing valve” that funnels the super-consciousness of the Mind at Large, ruminations on manifestations of “Suchness” (real objects) compared to the emblems we use to symbolize them (like words and paintings), and the meaning of the ubiquity of folded draperies and robes in art throughout history, you’ll just have to download it below!"
Freely download "The Doors of Perception", by Aldous Huxley, here:
“Telling Stories: ‘Real’ Life”
by Chet Raymo
by Chet Raymo
"If the doors of perception were cleansed everything
would appear to man as it is, infinite."
- William Blake
"I have just finished reading Brian Greene's book, “The Fabric of the Cosmos”. As with his earlier book, “The Elegant Universe”, he does a damn good job explaining the almost unexplainable - string theory, braneworlds, multiple universes, and all that. None of this stuff has an empirical basis, and is not likely to for the foreseeable future. So does it qualify as science? Well, yes, barely. Because in principle at least experiments are possible. We should value the wild speculations of the theoretical cosmologists precisely because they are pushing the limits of what is imaginable.
We live in an imagined world. Some parts of that imagined world are so tightly bound to sense perceptions that we call them "real." The chair I'm sitting in is real. Atoms are real. The common ancestry of humans and raccoons is real. Strings and branes and multiple universes are not yet real, but they spring from the same storytelling tradition. Democritus and Lucretius told stories of atoms long before atoms were real.
It is ever for us as it was for the singer in a famous poem by Wallace Stevens:
"Even if what she sang was what she heard...
there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang, and singing made."
So, what is the real? My own views on the matter were given shape when I was young by the poet Wallace Stevens. More influential was a book I read as a graduate student, the physicist-philosopher Henry Margenau's "The Nature of Physical Reality" (1950). Margenau uses a simple diagram to illustrate the conceptual maps we make of the world. Down the middle of the page he draws a vertical line that he calls the "perception plane." It is the locus of our immediate sensations of the world - sights, tastes, odors, touches, sounds - the interface between the world as it is and the world as we know it. To the left of the line is the world "out there," which we know only through the windows of our senses. To the right of the line Margenau draws circles representing "constructs" - names, descriptions, or ideas we invent to make sense of our perceptions. The more abstract the construct, the farther the circle from the line.
Immediately adjacent to the perception plane are constructs that correspond to direct sensations: "blue," "bitter," "pungent," "brittle," "shrill." The construct "dragonfly" is a bit further from the perception plane, but not very far away. I feel a sensation on my finger ("tingle"), I see a color ("blue"), a quality of light ("iridescent"), a shape ("long and narrow"). I name this ensemble of sensations "dragonfly,"
As my experience of the world increases, the construct "dragonfly" becomes enmeshed in a web of other constructs at varying distances from the plane: "insecta," "Jurassic," "mitochondrial DNA," etc. Resilience and interconnectivity of the web are the defining characteristics of the real. "Atom" is bound to the perception plane by a dense and sturdy web of constructs. "Cosmic strings" and "branes" are way out there, far from the perception plane, dangling by a gossamer thread.
Perception and cognition are hugely complex processes, endlessly debated by psychologists, neurologists and philosophers. Margenau's simple schematic of connected constructs is itself only a construct, a useful way of describing the devilishly complex business of perception and cognition. The important thing is to realize that our ideas about the world are not the same as the world itself (a point often missed by true believers). Nevertheless, only the most obtuse idealist would hesitate to call "dragonflies" or "atoms" real."
by Dennis Miller
"I’m excited! We’re in for a real treat. We’re going to gain a unique look at what’s going on in the world and how we can protect ourselves. I’m a long-time subscriber to Richard Maybury’s “US & World Early Warning Report”. Richard offers a different perspective from any other newsletter I subscribe to. His candid approach to tackling tough issues is refreshing. I’ve recently interviewed experts who warn of tough times ahead. Richard’s latest newsletter added some different concerns that can affect all of our retirement plans. He was kind enough to agree to an interview.
DENNIS: Richard, on behalf of our readers thank you for taking time for our education. There are a lot of warning signs regarding economic turmoil ahead. You recently brought up something I had not thought of, and it concerned me – trade restrictions & tariffs. Let’s start there.
RICHARD: Dennis, thank you for inviting me. You do great work, and it’s an honor to be here. To prevent misunderstandings, before we begin I’d like to make something clear. When I criticize the government, I am not criticizing my country. The country and the government are not the same thing. I love America and would not want to live anywhere else. But for a half-century, ever since my experiences in the Air Force – ever since seeing how U.S. officials operate in other nations – I have considered the government to be my country’s most dangerous enemy. I like Mark Twain’s explanation:
“You see my kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions, or its office holders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death. To be loyal to rags, to shout for rags, to worship rags, to die for rags – this is loyalty to unreason, it is pure animal; it belongs to monarchy, was invented by monarchy; let monarchy keep it.”
Trump came to power on the promise to escalate the trade war, and he’s doing it. I think he and his advisors are mercantilists.
DENNIS: Richard, I’m with you. Our readers understand. I criticize the political class regularly, and it’s not taking sides. The bigger a government gets, the more they govern against the will of the people – and become the enemy. Please explain what you mean about mercantilism…
RICHARD: Mercantilism is an economic philosophy that was popular in Europe in the 1500s to 1700s. Those were the days when people also believed in disease being caused by evil spirits, gold could be made from lead, and divine right of kings. Mercantilism said the measure of a country’s economic success is not the goods and services making the typical person’s life better, but the amount of money accumulated within the borders of the country.
DENNIS: But isn’t money a good thing?
RICHARD: Certainly. But a mercantilist puts money first. It does not matter if the whole population is jobless and starving as long as money is piling up.
DENNIS: Do you feel Trump believes that?
RICHARD: I’m not a mind reader. I only know the direction he’s moving. His desire for a trade surplus with, for instance, China, means he wants to pull these little slips of paper called money into America and ship valuable goods out. It’s crazy. As things stand now, the Chinese are sending us boatloads of steel and other valuable goods, and we are shipping them bales of worthless paper money. Trump wants to reverse this. He wants our warehouses packed with slips of paper, and those of the Chinese filled with steel, aluminum, etc.
DENNIS: You make him sound like an economic dunce.
RICHARD: The question before us is simple. Do we want those pieces of paper, or do we want things that are real and valuable? Trump wants the confetti. And it’s not just him; it’s his advisors, too. They say they’re behind him on this. But escalating the trade war means they want more confetti coming in, and more real goods going out.
DENNIS: Interesting. Our Toyota was built in Evansville, IN. I prefer both the jobs and goods in America and the little slips of worthless paper going offshore. In one of your Early Warning Reports, you mentioned the failure of politicians and bureaucrats to remember the Smoot-Hawley tariffs.
RICHARD: Yes, in 1930, U.S. politicians decided to escalate the trade war, by levying the Smoot-Hawley Tariffs. Other governments retaliated, and the tit-for-tat trade restrictions quickly spread around the world, turning a recession into the Great Depression. The joblessness led to the rise of Hitler and other lunatics, which led to World War II, the worst conflict in all of history. Trump apparently has the same mindset as Senator Smoot and Representative Hawley. But practically no one these days studies economic history, and now Trump is repeating it.
RICHARD: Absolutely. The depth of the Trump gang’s economic ignorance is breathtaking. On March 2nd, he actually said, “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” This shows an astounding degree of cluelessness. Contrast it with the warning by the great libertarian economist and legal scholar Frederick Bastiat (1801-1850): “When goods do not cross borders, soldiers will.” (emphasis mine) There’s hardly anything that will trigger a shooting war as fast as governments trying to destroy businesses and jobs in each other’s countries.
DENNIS: I’m also concerned about tariffs. As you outlined, the egos of the political class can get in the way and the people are really hurt. The political class worldwide has plenty of egotistical leaders. Some feel that Trump is not serious about tariffs and is just trying to renegotiate a trade deal; however; “Trade wars are good and easy to win” also concerned me.
When you couple U.S. wages with our heavy governmental regulations on business, you should expect your competition to have a significant advantage in the marketplace. While I don’t want to debate NAFTA or other trade agreements, how does a country reverse a bad trade agreement, or perhaps reverse course, without starting a trade war?
RICHARD: Two good examples to follow are the Hanseatic League and the Kennedy Round. The Hanseatic League, in the 14th to 17th centuries, was a group of cities in Europe that practiced much freer trade among themselves. Because of this, they became far more prosperous than other cities.
The Kennedy Round in the 1960s was free trade talks among scores of governments led by Washington. Able to point to the example of nearly total free trade among the 50 U.S. states, which produced the most prosperous country ever known, U.S. officials persuaded 66 ruling regimes to move back in the direction of free trade. And it worked. The whole world experienced the greatest era of abundance ever known until that time.
Dennis again. I want readers to know I have no financial arrangement with Richard or his company. I’m happy to recommend his “US & World Early Warning Report” in exchange for him kindly taking his time for our benefit.
I’ve decided to continue this interview next week. Richard shares his thoughts on our never-ending wars and how they might end…. Stay tuned, it’s really interesting! The tariff issue is complicated, which is why I asked an expert for help. I’ve concluded that a tariff is like many government ideas – a great theory that can backfire! Tariffs are done for political reasons, much like raising the minimum wage. While those who benefit directly love the politicians, their customers may suffer unintended consequences.
Bill Bonner’s recent article, “Why Trump Will Lose His Trade War” explains it this way: “Meanwhile, Harley-Davidson came forward and explained to the president why a trade war is a losing proposition. Bloomberg: “The motorcycle maker is warning that Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum could drive up costs. European leaders’ threats of retaliation – which have specifically called out the iconic American company – also risk hurting sales overseas.”
Trump’s trade tariffs will hurt the very heartland industries he pledged to help. Harley-Davidson and every other decent business are forced to compete in a win-win world – by satisfying customers every day. Already, Harley sales are falling all over the world.
Business leaders are, like the rest of us, subject to influence. They’d much prefer “protection” to competing honestly. But protection is among the worst things you can give to a business; you may as well tell your children not to bother with their homework.” What’s next, a tariff on Kawasaki? A tariff is like a shot of Novocain. It may hide the pain temporarily, but it does nothing to cure the cause of the problem.
I’m with Richard – a truly free market, without government intervention, is probably the best long-term solution. Governments worldwide have infused themselves into the market to the point that I’m not sure free market capitalism still exists. Let’s hope they don’t get their dander up about a trade war because the world will suffer. Richard will weigh in on that subject next week.
And finally: “If you always protect your offspring in a cocoon they will never learn how to fly…”
Gregory Mannarino, “Post Market Wrap Up 3/22/18: Stocks Dive! PLUS:
Unmasking The Charade”
Unmasking The Charade”
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
- Winston Churchill
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
- Winston Churchill
Relax, Good Citizen! "You ain't seen nothin' yet!" But we will...
And you can save all that "Oh, that could never happen here!" bullsh*t, too.
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act,
just once, with beauty and courage.
Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence,
something helpless that wants our love.”
Freely download “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke here:
“There Is No Reality Anymore…”
by Thad Beversdorf
"I'd love to change the world, but I don't know what to do,
so I'll leave it up to you..." *
"What a great lyric that is from the late 60's, early 70's English band "10 Years After." I believe this describes that uneasy feeling of discontent that sits deep in the stomach, beneath the day to day exteriors, of so many people today. The world is like a black hole in that it seems to be getting smaller and smaller as the years go by but also heavier and heavier with each passing day.
When I was a teenager and my friends and I were taking reality obscuring substances, one of my buddies (this means you Nichol) would stop us at certain points throughout the night for a reality check. This was just a few moments where we 'd all gather our senses to make sure the world was still right and then we'd venture back into obscurity. I feel that reality is an old world term. There is no reality anymore. With advances in technology came unending possibilities of if you can dream it they can make it so. The ubiquitous flow of information ensures that the truth is always available but never known with certainty. It means there is no such thing as a reality check. It's like that dream inside a dream inside a dream. Which reality is real anymore? How deep does the rabbit hole go?
We are raised with pretty standard ideals of what the world is meant to be but these ideals seem to take place only in the movies. It must be incredibly difficult for our young people to reconcile the two worlds, I know it is for me. That which they learn as a child and that which they find has replaced it as a young adult. Our leaders are despicable, arrogant and egotistical fools who pretend we elect them because we don't see them for what they are. But we elect them because we feel we have no choice. We know what we want the world to be. We know what it should look and feel like. And we know it is not the world in which we live today. I know I'd love to change the world but I don't know how and so I'll leave it up to you. And so we continue to move forward down this path, each step uneasy as though something ungood is lurking just around the next corner.
We are able to put that feeling out of our minds for the most part but our subconscious is always aware that things are off. We have all kinds of self help books and new age theories that attempt to make sense of it all and explain why we just aren t happy the way we envision happy should be. Perhaps the only reality is the reality that the world isn't what we had hoped it would be and we don't know how to make that right. I'd love to say that if we just stand up and do the right thing, act from our hearts and have good intentions that it could change the world. But quite honestly there are ill-intentioned people that are constructing this new world in which we sub-exist. It is them and us, but they'd never say it that way. Certainly though their intention is not for us to co-exist along side them.
But so we carry on and we, move forward, to the best of our abilities. We accept the good with the bad and acknowledge that everything is a trade off. We believe that if we go to college we stand a better chance in life and so we borrow our first 10 years of post college wages to get an edge over the next guy who is doing the same. When we get out of school we know that it is time to buckle down and get serious. We put our lives on hold in order to focus on the future with the idea that one day we will be sitting on the porch with the person we love, the one we put on hold for all those years, and we will then enjoy our life's work then.
But then we get further in debt because we need a sleeker car and we need a bigger house but it's ok because we can just work a little more. And then the kids come and as far as we got to know them they are great, I think. But it's ok because they just finished college and now they've moved back in as the job market is tough out there and so we're paying off their student loans. Eventually they get away and begin their life's journey and they take their debt with them. And then we realize, god I'm almost 60. But it feels great because that means soon I'll be there on the porch getting to know the one I love again and life will be grand at that point.
But then we turn 65 and we realize all those policies that were implemented by all those well-intentioned decision makers have actually left us with very little. And we say it's ok because we'd be bored anyway just sitting on the porch. And so we take a job waving at people in Walmart but feel like OMG how did I get here. But the shift ends and we go home anxious to spend time with the one we love because, although it's a terrible thought, we are aware we're both getting long in the tooth. And so we arrive home only to realize the one we love is now sick and that it's too late for our days sitting on the porch getting to know each other again. We do everything we can but we cannot afford to help that person who stood quietly behind us all those years as healthcare costs are unrealistically out of touch with reality . And then it hits us that despite taking all the right steps to ensure we have a great life we failed to ever really be happy, to really love and to really accept love. And then it really hits us, this world provides but one shot.
Well, then that feeling of uneasy discontent that shadowed us when we were young is now an intense pain in our heart. And we look out at the world and we ask ourselves how could this have happened? I did everything they told me I was supposed to do, I did everything right! And it becomes clear that life was a chance to change the world, but we didn't know what to do, and so we left it up to..."
* Ten Years After, "I'd Love To Change The World"
* Ten Years After, "I'd Love To Change The World"
"11 Life Goal Hacks: How to Achieve Anything"
“We're all familiar with the nuts and bolts of goal-setting. We should set specific, challenging goals, use rewards, record progress and make public commitments (if you're not familiar with these then check out this article on how to reach life goals). So how come we still fail? This psychological research suggests why and what mindsets should help us reach our goals:
1. Stop fantasizing: The biggest enemy of any goal is excessive positive fantasizing. Research on fantasizing in goal-setting shows that positive fantasies are associated with failure to get a job, find a partner, pass an exam or get through surgery. Those whose fantasies were more negative did better. Don't experience the future positively before you achieve it.
2. Start committing: The reason we don't achieve our goals is lack of commitment. One powerful psychological technique to increase commitment is mental contrasting. This involves entertaining a positive fantasy but then pouring a bucket of cold reality over it (follow this link for the details). It's hard, but research shows people really respond to it.
3. Start starting: You can use the Zeigarnik effect to drag you on towards your goal. A Russian psychologist, Bluma Zeigarnik, noticed that waiters seemed only to remember orders which were in the process of being served. When completed, the orders evaporated from their memory. What the Zeigarnik effect teaches is that one weapon for beating procrastination is starting somewhere... anywhere. Just taking that first step could be the difference between failure and success. Once you've started, the goal will get lodged in your mind.
4. Visualize process NOT outcome: We're all susceptible to the planning fallacy: that's thinking all will go smoothly when it won't (and hardly ever does). Visualizing the process of reaching your goal, helps focus attention on the steps you need to take. It also helps reduce anxiety.
5. Avoid the what-the-hell effect: When we miss our target, we can fall foul of the what-the-hell-effect. It's best known to dieters who go over their daily calorie limit. Reasoning the target is now gone, they think 'what-the-hell', and start eating too much of all the wrong food. Goals that are vulnerable to the what-the-hell-effect are generally short-term and inhibitional (when you're trying to stop doing something). The effect can be avoided by setting goals that are long-term and acquisitional. Find out more about the what-the-hell effect.
6. Sidestep procrastination: When goals are difficult and we wonder whether it's really worth it, procrastination can creep up on us. Under these circumstances the key is to forget about the goal and bury yourself in the details. Keep your head down and use self-imposed deadlines (read more on how to avoid procrastination).
7. Shifting focus: You can't keep your head down all the way or you'll get lost. In the long-term, the key to reaching a goal is switching between a focus on the ultimate goal and the task you are currently completing. Research suggests, when evaluating progress, especially on difficult tasks, it's best to stay task-focused. But when tasks are easy or the end is in site, it's better to focus on the ultimate goal (read more on how to shift focus).
8. Reject robotic behavior: Often our behavior is robotic. We do things not because we've really thought about it, but because it's a habit or we're unconsciously copying other people (e.g. Bargh et al., 2001). This type of behavior can be an enemy of goal striving. Ask yourself whether what you are doing is really getting you closer to your goal.
9. Forget the goal, what's the aim? Goals should always be set in the service of our overall aims. But there's a dark side to goal setting. When goals are too specific, it's easy to get stuck; when they are too many goals, unimportant, easy ones get prioritized over vital, difficult ones; when they are too short-term, they encourage short-term thinking. Badly set goals reduce motivation and may increase unethical behavioor. Remember to keep in mind the whole point of the goal in the first place.
10. Know when to stop: Sometimes the problem isn't getting started, it's knowing when to stop. Psychologists have found that sunk costs make us do weird things (Arkes & Blumer, 1985). 'Sunk costs' refer to the effort or money we've already expended in trying to reach our goal. So, even when our plan is failing, we keep pushing on. Research shows that the more people invest in a goal, the more they think it will succeed; irrespective of whether it actually will succeed. Know when to change tack or you'll end up flogging a dead horse.
11. If-then plans: What all these studies show is the importance of self-regulation in achieving a goal. Unfortunately, as we all know to our cost, controlling the self can be very hard. One strategy with plenty of research to back it up is forming 'if-then' plans (Gollwitzer et al., 2006). You simply work out in advance what you're going to do in a particular situation. Although it sounds simple, we often prefer to wing it, rather than plan. With a little ingenuity, though, if-then plans can be used to surmount the obstacles described above.”
Elton John, “Your Starter For”
Gregory Mannarino, “Stocks Fall: Here Are The 3 Main Reasons Why”
"If US Plans A Terrorist False Flag Chemical Attack To Justify Bombing Syria, Russia Says It Will Respond"
"If US Plans A Terrorist False Flag Chemical Attack To
Justify Bombing Syria, Russia Says It Will Respond"
by Fedrico Pieraccini
"Events in Syria increasingly resemble a direct confrontation between major powers rather than a proxy war. Lavrov’s words, delivered a few days ago, reveal the critical phase of international relations the world is going through, with a potentially devastating conflict ready to ignite in the Middle East region.
An alarming warning by Sergei Lavrov and Chief of the Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, was announced via the RT broadcaster and several Russian media. The content is explosive and deserving of the widest possible dissemination. Gerasimov claimed that Moscow had “reliable information that fighters are preparing to stage the use by government troops of chemical weapons against the civilian population.” He alleged that the US intends to accuse Assad’s troops of using chemical weapons against civilians, and then “carry out a bombing attack” on Damascus.
Gerasimov warned that Russia would “take retaliatory measures” if the US targeted areas where its military are located in the Syrian capital. “Russian military advisers, representatives of the Center for Reconciliation and members of military police” are currently in the Syrian capital, Gerasimov said, adding that in the event that the lives of Russian military personnel are placed in danger, the Russian Armed Forces will respond with certain measure to both “missiles” and their “launchers”. A few hours earlier, Lavrov responded, “criticizing the remarks by the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, about Washington’s readiness to “bomb Damascus and even the presidential palace of Bashar Assad, regardless [of the] presence of the Russian representatives there.” “It is an absolutely irresponsible statement,” the Russian top diplomat added.
The words of Gerasimov are even more dire, since he explains how the United States and its allies are preparing the ground to justify an attack on Syria. According to reports, terrorists stationed in Al-Tanf (an illegal US military base in Syria) received 20 tons of chlorine gas and detonators, disguised as cigarette packs, in order to attack in an area under the control of the terrorists that is densely inhabited by civilians. What would then happen is already obvious, with the White Helmets (AKA Al-Qaeda) and mainstream media ready to broadcast the images of the victims of the attack, tugging at the heartstrings of Western viewers otherwise unaware of the conspiracy being played out.
Efforts to frame Russia have already reached the highest alert levels, with the false-flag poisoning of the Russian spy in the United Kingdom. It seems that there is a significant effort by the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany to provoke a military confrontation with Moscow.
How else are we able to interpret threats from Macron to strike Damascus, together with his ominous advice to foreign journalists not to go to Damascus in the coming days and, for those already there, to leave the capital immediately? There has even been chatter within diplomatic circles that suggest that UN personnel are leaving Damascus. This could be psychological warfare, or it could be a prelude to war. With the stakes so high, we cannot afford to ignore any detail, even if it may be disinformation. The American attack seems imminent, with mounting signs of movements of American and Russian warships in the Mediterranean in attack formation.
Russian military representatives have reiterated that in the event of an attack, they will respond by hitting both the missiles launched as well as the ships from which the missiles were launched. Things are getting pretty dicey, and the risk of a direct confrontation between the United States and the Russian Federation are rising with every passing hour. The transfer of numerous US aircraft from Incirlik, Turkey, to Al-Azrak, Jordan, is another indication of preparations for an attack, since the forces moved to Jordan are close to the Al-Tanf base. The proposed strategy could involve an assault on the city of Daraa, for the purposes of securing the borders between Syria and Jordan and Syria and Israel.
The warnings raised by Lavrov and Gerasimov appear unprecedented, given that they detail a plan already set in course, evidently approved at the highest levels and aimed at provoking and justifying an attack on Syria; and attack that would encompass the Russian forces in Syria. Tensions continue to grow, following Russia’s shooting down of a drone by two surface-to-air missiles launched from its Hmeimim Air Base. Moscow has even deployed to the Mediterranean the Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate Admiral Essen and the Krivak II-class anti-submarine frigate Pytivyy. Both are prepared for anti-ship and anti-submarine operations. Sources claim that this deployment was planned some time ago and is part of a routine deployment of the Russian navy. But during such a delicate moment, it pays to focus on every detail. Without resorting to excessive alarmism, if Lavrov said that “the movements of the warships of the United States and its allies in the Mediterranean seem compatible with the strategy of using this chemical attack to justify an attack on the Syrian Arab army and government installations”, then it is reasonable to speculate on whether the Russian ships are moving in to the area to counter any provocations.
There are two fundamental flaws in the reasoning of US policy-makers and the US military establishment. They are convinced that an American demonstration of strength (involving a large number of cruise missile launched against Syria through a significant involvement of aircraft carriers as well as bombers) would stun Russia into passivity. Furthermore, US military generals are convinced that Syria and Russia do not have the ability to defend themselves for an extended period of time. They seem to be fooling themselves with their own propaganda. As their Israeli colleagues have already learned, such an assumption is mistaken. While the idea that a high level of firepower would meet with some kind of success, the possibility of a response from Syrian and Russian forces remains. And this possibility seems not to have been given sufficient weight by the US and her allies.
How would the American military and the Trump presidency react to a US warship being sunk by anti-ship missiles? It would only serve to demonstrate how vulnerable American naval forces are when confronted with such advanced weapons. It would represent a tremendous shock for the US military, possibly the biggest shock since the end of WWII. What would Trump and the generals in charge do? They would respond with further bombardment of Russian forces, leaving themselves open to a devastating Russian response. The conflict could escalate within the space of a few minutes, leading to a situation where there could be no possible winners.
The normal reasoning I employ when considering total annihilation is placed to one side when US special forces deliver 20 tons of chlorine gas to Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria order to execute a false flag for the purposes of blaming Damascus and Moscow. If we connect this event to what is currently happening in the United Kingdom, and the hysteria in the United States surrounding alleged Russian hacking during the American elections, we can understand just how much international relations have deteriorated. This situation is reminiscent of Ukraine in 2015. Ukrainian forces suffered repeated defeats at the hands of the Donbass resistance, being contained in the thousands in different “cauldrons." Within NATO headquarters in Brussels during that time, there were open discussion over sending a contingent to support Ukrainian troops. The plan, however, was never realized, given the possibility of direct confrontation in Ukraine between the Russian Federation and NATO.
In recent months, the possibility of a war on the Korean Peninsula has also been evoked and perhaps simultaneously averted by the unpredictable consequences for both Seoul and the American forces in the region.
In Syria, the approach of Washington and its diplomatic and military emissaries seems more reckless and less tied to a chain of command where the buck stops at the American president. It seems that the US deep state in Syria has a greater and more hidden control over American forces, sabotaging every agreement made between Moscow and Washington. We saw this during the Obama presidency, where the US Air Force bombed government troops in Deir ez-Zor only a few hours after a ceasefire had been reached between Lavrov and Secretary of State Kerry.
The grave circumstance about which we write seem to be without precedent, seeming as they do to lead towards a direct confrontation between nuclear-armed powers. Alas, in such circumstances, we can only hope for the best but prepare for the worst; we can only wait to read on the mainstream media notifications of the latest chemical attack in Syria. We can only hope that there is someone in Washington retaining enough sense to factor in the devastating consequences of an attack on Damascus and the Russian forces in the region.
Never before has the region been on the verge of such an explosion as in the next few hours — as a result of the typically reckless actions of the United States.”
No, no, no! We do not want to do this folks!
These psychopaths are going to get us all killed! And this is why:
"No, Putin Isn’t Bluffing on Nukes"
"No, Putin Isn’t Bluffing on Nukes"