The First Sunday of Advent


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on November 27, 2022 | Menagerie

Is 2:1-5

This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz,
saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come,
the mountain of the LORD’s house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

(more…)

New Interview: Energy, Russia/Ukraine, Cryptos, US Civil War, Real Estate Crash


Armstrong Economics Blog/Armstrong in the Media

Posted Nov 26, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

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Why Celebrate Advent


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on November 25, 2022 | Menagerie 

Advent is a season of preparation that has a twofold purpose. Advent begins with Evening Prayer I of the Sunday falling on or closest to 30 November and ends before evening prayer I of Christmas. We prepare ourselves not only for the coming joy of our celebration of the birth of the Christ child; we also prepare ourselves for the Second Coming of Christ.

For Catholics, Advent is the beginning of the new liturgical year. The seasons of that year have always led me on a journey with Christ each year, and I gain so much in the consistency of the seasons and readings. We begin with Advent, awaiting the birth of Christ, then celebrate the Christmas Octave and season, Epiphany, and then soon begins Lent, in preparation for Easter. Then, after the Easter season ends with Pentecost, we have the bulk of Ordinary Time until the end of the liturgical year, and Advent again.

The readings at Mass reflect these times in the life of Christ. They take us through his birth, baptism, ministry, Passion, Death, and Resurrection. I find Advent and Lent especially to be times that help me prepare to meet Jesus in deeper and more profound ways.

Many Christian denominations celebrate Advent, perhaps in ways a little different from those of us who observe a liturgical calendar and cycle. But the focus, the point, is to prepare for the coming of Jesus.

https://www.baptistpress.com/resource-library/news/advent-rediscovered-by-southern-baptists/

https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/christmas-and-advent/the-beautiful-meaning-and-purpose-of-advent.html

We will have posts for each Sunday of Advent, beginning this weekend. I ask that you save political comments for the other posts. Please, give people a place to think about and discuss something else. I hope these posts will be an aid to all who stop in here during this busy season, an invitation to take a moment and find the reason we prepare for Christmas.

Meloni Set to Abolish Italy’s Welfare State


Armstrong Economics Blog/Italy Re-Posted Nov 25, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Italy’s new PM Giorgia Meloni revealed her first economic initiatives with a budget of 21 billion euros. The Italian government will no longer provide free handouts to those who simply refuse to work. This should not be controversial.

For starters, anyone eligible for welfare must actually reside in Italy. Those capable of working will have eight months to find employment before their free paycheck runs out. Alternatively, if someone refuses a job, they will be excluded from receiving welfare. The 5-Star’s citizens’ wage will be abolished by next year as the system has been abused by many who simply do not want to work. They are reviewing the pension system as well, but it’s too late to save the pension funds.

Italy’s first female PM is also encouraging couples to start families amid a birth rate crisis. Women may take a sixth month of maternity leave and still receive 80% of their salary. Meloni cut taxes on goods for newborns and feminine hygiene. Couples will receive a 50% increase in the “baby bonus,” and families with over three children will receive more incentives. Italy needs future taxpayers.

Everyone cheered when America appointed its first female vice president, but Kamala Harris has done nothing for women who still pay the pink tax and do not have access to maternity leave. It is astonishing how controversial this move has become with the papers calling Meloni a Fascist dictator for preventing working taxpayers from paying for those unemployed by choice.

Australians Safe from Fifth Jab


Armstrong Economics Blog/Australia & Oceania Re-Posted Nov 23, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

After taking four vaccines and failing to curb the transmission of the coronavirus, Australian health officials will not recommend a third booster shot. Health Minister Mark Butler said the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) admitted that a fifth dosage of the mRNA vaccine would have “minimal” effect toward reduction efforts.

Australia once had some of the strictest COVID restrictions in the world, and this is huge news. ATAGI member Allen Cheng, Ph.D., mentioned that the risk of myocarditis in younger people is troubling. “Vaccinations are beneficial and protective even for younger people but the more doses you get the less benefit you derive from them and then we start to worry about causing side effects,” Cheng said.

Butler said that new booster recommendations will be made in early 2023. Australians are not off the hook yet. Everyone over the age of 30 has been eligible for a second booster since July. The government still recommends staying “up to date” on vaccinations despite that standard constantly changing.

Ukraine Supporters & Denial of History


Armstrong Economics Blog/Ukraine Re-Posted Nov 22, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

UN Agreement Ukraine 1994

I apologize, the proposal began in 1991 for Russia to join NATO. But the final agreement with respect to Ukraine’s nukes was not in Belgrade but in Budapest. History has been rewritten to support the war against Russia for climate change. I have never seen any account of history that reports NATO invited Russia to join in 1991. Some people are so pro-Ukrainian that it is insane. They are really cheering for World War III and no doubt believed in COVID, Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, and Hillary’s RussiaGate. They refuse to open their eyes to see that they have been played for fools as always to justify war.

So cheer all you want. This war will NOT be confined to just Ukraine you can watch it on TV as if it is some video game. Ukraine was the 3rd largest nuclear power. That was a fact. The US paid them to surrender their nukes to Russia and they in turn provided nuclear power rods for electricity. James Baker warned about loose nukes and Ukraine was one of the three republics that ended up with nukes. The difference was, Ukraine wanted to use them on Moscow. All my sources back then were deeply concerned that Ukraine just could not ever be trusted. It was Ukraine that kept the cold war going. Zelensky has supported the Ukrainian Neo-Nazis who have even bragged that they feed the bones of Russian-speaking children to their pet wolves. I have fact-checked that and it is a true statement made to the press.

My dealing with Ukrainian governments has always been: Just show me the money. Ukraine is a corrupt black hole. History will show who is on the right and wrong side if any side survives.

Good luck with your hatred. Remember, there is a funny thing about what we call karma. What you wish on someone else may be what becomes your own undoing. So don’t worry. Your hatred of Russia will end that nation, but it will be a Phryic War and nobody will survive. So cheer the loss of your future. You will get what you deserve in spades.

The Polish Association of Memory of Victims of Crimes of Ukrainian Nationalists documented 135 methods of torture and murder practiced by Ukrainian Nazis. Poland officially called the Ukrainian actions genocide. The Ukrainians have been protected by the CIA for decades ONLY because they hated Russians. They continue to protect the Ukrainian Nazis only because they are waging war against Russia.

The Ukrainians were unprecedented in their war crimes during WWII and the sheer outright cruelty one would expect only exists in some B-Rated horror movies. This included:

  • Running children through with stakes
  • Cutting a person’s throat and pulling their tongue out through the hole
  • Sawing a person’s torso in half with a carpenter’s saw
  • Cutting open the belly of a woman in an advanced stage of pregnancy, removing the fetus, and replacing it with a live cat, before sewing up her abdomen.
  • Cutting open a pregnant women’s abdomen and pouring in broken glass
  • Nailing a small child to a door.

Ignore all the history you want to keep fanning the flames of war. When you lose everything, remember – you asked for this result.

Multinational Advertisers Begin Pulling Out of Twitter


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on November 3, 2022 | Sundance

In the prediction section of the recent Twitter discussion {Go Deep} CTH mentioned the reason and unspoken motive behind a prediction that multinational corporations would start to pull their advertising money from Elon Musk.

We are simply in an era where there is no distinction between the WEF guidance for multinational corporations and the instructions toward governments’ they support.  Free speech and freedom of expression are against both their interests.

Multinational corporations are political entities.  The former distinctions between the private and public sector have been purposefully erased.  Evidence can be found in the vaccination mandate and within corporate responses to voter outcomes during elections. {Go Deep}

As predicted, it begins….

(Via Wall Street Journal) – Food company General Mills Inc., Oreo maker Mondelez International Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Volkswagen/Audi are among a growing list of brands that have temporarily paused their Twitter advertising in the wake of the takeover of the company by Elon Musk, according to people familiar with the matter.

Some advertisers are concerned that Mr. Musk could scale back content moderation, which they worry would lead to an increase in objectionable content on the platform. Others are temporarily halting their ads because of the uncertainty at the company as top executives exit and Mr. Musk considers a raft of changes, some of the people said.

Kelsey Roemhildt, a spokeswoman for General Mills, whose brands include Cheerios, Bisquick and Häagen-Dazs, confirmed the company has paused Twitter ads. “As always, we will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend,” she said.

A Twitter representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

General Motors Co. paused its spending on the social-media platform last week.

Several ad buyers say they expect the number of brands pausing Twitter ads to rise. They say that the platform isn’t considered a must-buy for many advertisers, with far larger budgets going to tech giants such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Meta Platforms Inc., and that pausing makes sense during the bumpy transition under Mr. Musk.

Many executives on Madison Avenue are uneasy with the rash of sudden executive departures from Twitter’s advertising sales and marketing units. Among those who have exited are Chief Customer Officer Sarah Personette, Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Berland, and Jean-Philippe Maheu, Twitter’s vice president of global client solutions. Those executives helped reassure advertisers that their ad dollars were being spent wisely and appropriately on Twitter. (read more)

Fascism was traditionally defined as an authoritarian government working hand-in-glove with corporations to achieve objectives. A centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, using severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

That system of government didn’t work in the long-term, because the underlying principles of free people reject government authoritarianism.  Fascist governments collapsed, and the corporate beneficiaries were nulled and scorned for participating.  Then, along came a new approach to achieve the same objective.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) was created to use the same fundamental associations of government and corporations.  Only this time, it was the multinational corporations who organized to tell the government(s) what to do.

The WEF was organized for multinational corporations to assemble and tell the various governments how to cooperate with them, in order to be rewarded by them.   Corporatism was/is the outcome.  The government is now doing what the multinationals tell them to do, and in return the multinationals install the compliant politicians.

Fascism, the cooperation between government and corporations, is still the underlying premise; the World Economic Forum simply flipped the internal dynamic putting the corporations in charge of handing out the instructions.

What results is a slightly modified definition of fascism:

A massive multinational corporate conglomerate; telling a centralized autocratic government leader what to do; and using severe economic and social regimentation as a control mechanism; combined with forcible suppression of opposition by both the corporations and government.

Doesn’t that define our current reality, especially visible in the era of COVID?

The instructions from the multinational corporations to government would be called the “Great Reset“, or as commonly transposed by the government officials receiving the instructions, “Build Back Better”.

 ~ Go Deep ~

Retail Sales Growth Drops Below Rate of Inflation, What Does That Tell You?


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on October 14, 2022 | Sundance 

You often hear me talk about how financial pundits and economic analysts are disconnected from Main Street.  Today we get a prime example of that from the Wall Street Journal.

The topline of the WSJ article is essentially that people are not spending money on anything except essential goods (housing, energy, fuel, food, etc), which is somewhat of a ‘duh tell us something we don’t know‘ type article.   However, the analytical part of the article is where you find the insufferable disconnect.   Here’s one example:

[Data Point 1] Gasoline prices dropped in September for the third month in a row, falling 4.9% from August.”  [Data Point 2] Sales at gasoline stations, a proxy for spending by car owners, declined 1.4% last month.” 

If gasoline dropped 4.9% in price, but sales only declined 1.4% that would indicate more physical gasoline was purchased at a lower price than the month before.   It’s not a hard concept to understand.

This is a retail sales reality even identified in the article itself, “Unlike many government reports, retail sales aren’t adjusted for inflation, so some swings reflect price changes rather than shifts in the amounts purchased.”

However, now look at this:  “Spending at restaurants and bars grew 0.5% in September from the prior month. But prices at restaurants grew 0.9% in the same month, according to a separate Labor Department report released Thursday, meaning that consumers are getting less for their spending.

No, that’s not what this means.

If restaurant prices increase 0.9%, but restaurant sales only increase 0.5% it means you are selling/serving fewer customers.  It doesn’t mean consumers getting less food, it means fewer consumers are eating at restaurants….   Which is caused by consumers having to prioritize their spending.

(WSJ) – […] Spending declined in categories linked to big purchases like cars, televisions, beds and golf clubs. Purchases at electronics and appliance stores declined 0.8% in September while spending at furniture stores fell 0.7%.

[…] Scott Brave, the head of economic analytics for Morning Consult, said consumers have started to pull back on optional purchases while still spending on the essentials.  “They are having to make tough decisions,” he said. (more)

NBC Nibbles Carefully During Report on Fall Harvest Inflation


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on October 13, 2022 | Sundance

In this brief segment on fall harvest inflation, NBC notes consumer prices for food stuffs continue increasing regardless of the economic action by the Biden administration. The reason is very simple and is outlined within the segment by Jacob Goebbert, the Goebbert’s farm general manager.  WATCH:

.

The current inflation is embedded in the cost of products, because it’s a supply side issue.

Financial “experts” can shout all day long about the fiscal policy (spending) being the origin of inflation (ie. demand side), they’re wrong.  Our current inflation cycle, most notably evident within massive increases in food prices, is a supply side issue created by the increased energy costs.  Full stop.  It’s a Biden policy outcome.