How Valentine’s Day Became a Lucrative Holiday

Armstrong Economics Blog/North America Re-Posted Feb 14, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Some believe Valentine’s Day originated as a way to offset the Pagan holiday of Lupercalia, which History described as “a bloody, violent and sexually charged celebration awash with animal sacrifice, random matchmaking and coupling in the hopes of warding off evil spirits and infertility.” Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day during the 5th century. The Catholic Church recognizes three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all who suffered horrific deaths in the name of religion. During the Middle Ages, people began to believe that bird mating season began on February 14. English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to record St. Valentine’s Day as a day of romance in 1375 when he penned the poem “Parliament of Foules,” writing, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s [sic] day / Whan every foul cometh there [sic] to choose his mate.” Hence the phrase “love birds.”

In modern days, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for businesses to use the rhetoric of pathos to convince people to spend money to express love. The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects Americans to spend $23.9 billion on the holiday this year, an increase from last year’s $21.8 billion spent. Valentine’s Day shopping peaked in 2020, one blissful month before the depths of the pandemic began, with a record $27.8 billion spent. Around 53% of Americans state that they plan to celebrate the holiday, with 76% stating it’s important to spend this year due to the state of the pandemic. Romantic.

The average US consumer is expected to spend $175.41 per person, up from $164.76 in 2021. Candy (56%), greeting cards (40%), and flowers (37%) are the most popular gifts. Around 31% state they plan to go out this year, up from 24% in 2021, which should add $4.3 billion to the recovering hospitality sector. Around 22% said that they plan to purchase jewelry and the NRF predicts $6.2 billion will be spent, marking the highest amount spent on jewelry in the survey’s history. These figures only represent what will be spent in the US, but Valentine’s Day is celebrated by consumers across the world.

Alan Watts & Eckhart Tolle – What Lies Beyond The Mind

Posted originally on Rumble by After Skool  Published January 14, 2022 

My latest work is using Science and Logic to Prove the Existence of God

Over the past 30 some years I have been studying about the various theories regarding how we exist. By that I mean that we can think and have Free Will; and that allows us to make choices in what we do — we can do what is right or we can do things that are wrong, its our choice. In my studies I found that science doesn’t allow for that to happen its called the Hard Problem!

The attached book contains an analysis of this problem this book is the result of decades of research and thinking. The only conclusion I could come up with is there has to be a God as its the only way we can actually exist. The following image is on the cover of the book and it represents creation. The picture was constructed with God shown as creating the universe, using the art concept discovered by CG Jung and described in his book, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. Jung found that all cultures had common believes and those beliefs were represented in art. Many of the art works he showed in his book are similar to the one I created here, and they are called mandalas. 

The Fourth Sunday of Lent

Posted originally on the conservative tree house March 14, 2021 | Menagerie | Comments Off on The Fourth Sunday of Lent


Jn 3:14-21

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

This fourth Sunday is also called Laetare Sunday.

From Father Z’s

The nickname Laetare originated from the first word of the Introit chant for Sunday’s Mass, “Rejoice!”

On Laetare Sunday there is a slight relaxation of Lent’s penitential spirit, because we have a glimpse of the joy that is coming at Easter, now near at hand.  Moreover, in the ancient Roman Church, before Lent was lengthened, the real, strict discipline began on the Monday after this Sunday.

Our National Faith Will Stand, Steadfast

Posted originally on the conservative tree house on March 1, 2021 by Sundance

A reminder for a friend…

Steadfast doesn’t mean when it’s easy; the term has no meaning when things are working according to our own convenient interests. Steadfast means standing strong when it’s challenging, difficult and unnerving. Just as courage is not the absence of fear, rather it is taking action despite being fearful; so too is steadfast a decision.

Often when things are disconcerting, we retreat to the place where we are comfortable. However, steadfast is unwavering despite the obstacles and difficulties. When we don’t hold the words to comfort the grieved, yet we show up and sit quietly just to eliminate loneliness, that is a steadfast commitment. When we see adversity on the face of another, and we choose to engage with our time and comfort, that is a steadfast decision.

When CTH was formed, it was a small assembly of misfits who were not fearless, but brave enough to be comfortable within our discomfort.  We knew we had to look deeply at the issues which face us. We remind ourselves that ‘truth has no agenda‘ & truth exists despite our feelings of the subject matter. The core elements of CTH are based on this principle of remaining steadfast amid the face of adversity, national, political or even personal.

The CTH armory is insightful, wise and often purposeful; but this assembly is foremost a fellowship. A steadfast decision to stand together and figure out how all of these intense subjects, issues and events interact, influence and ultimately impact our lives.

Right now our nation is facing a time of extreme trepidation. Nerves are frayed, emotions are raw and individually we find our compass spinning in a way that destabilizes us. Into this climate the originating value of our core assembly becomes critical. CTH remains steadfast & committed to the best hopes and solutions within us. We strive with purpose.

Each day for over a decade we begin with a simple prayer. We host a candle for those who need prayers and support, and we engage purposefully with the intent to cherish the value, wisdom and skills that each unique person brings to the subject matter being discussed.

My personal commitment toward that end has been to remain steadfast and unwavering in defense of this little corner of the internet. To maintain a place where facts can be discovered, truth can be unearthed and honest discussion/opinion can be afforded.

In July of this past year, it was our CTH mission to ensure that people within the institutions of our government were aware of: (a) evidence of specific corruption; and (b) our knowledge about it. It was during one of those briefing trips to DC when I recognized a serious disconnect between what the people within those institutions of government viewed as their role, and what We The People expected of them.

It was also the first time when I realized that internal corrective action was unlikely to succeed because the scale of corrupt activity was not simply based on intent, but also present because the absence of morality was metastatic throughout the system.

I’m certain there are good people in DC, but the systems surrounding them have lost their originating purpose. The central function of U.S. government is now so corrupt the institutions regard ‘We The People‘ as the problem the people within the system must protect themselves from.

I quickly recognized the solutions to our national issues were never going to come from our requests to those who operate within the institutions. However, even worse was the impact we were having on each-other due to our national frustration. It was evident within our frustration – as a nation we are losing a sense of identity, unity and fellowship.

The only people who can change that dynamic is us.

We are ‘The People’ we have been waiting for; yet, the professional political class, purposefully walled-off within this corrupt system, are also purposefully blind to our assembly. In order for the DC politicians to continue operating corrupt levers within a corrupt machine they must ignore the will of the same people they are supposed to represent.

President Trump represents ‘We The People‘, and as a consequence those within this corrupt system view his appearances with the same dismissive outlook they carry toward those who voted for him.

They want to destroy us, so they need to destroy him. They want to destroy our faith, so they need to destroy hope.  They will fail so long as we remain steadfast.

CTH (The Last Refuge) was founded upon this acceptance long before Donald Trump became president in 2016; and the actions by both wings of the UniParty congress over the past six weeks have been clear evidence of what we always knew was present.

Our current national challenge is to figure out a way to confront this dynamic and then deal with it. However, we must deal with it in a way that does not destroy the founding principles of our constitutional republic. There are many disappointments around us, but we must remain strong and purposeful with any chosen direction. Misplaced corrective action regardless of intent is neither prudent nor wise.

Above all, those who understand the larger issues must remain united and hold a sense of fellowship toward each-other if we are to overcome the challenges. The purpose of using COVID fear as a strategic weapon to achieve division is evident. Unilateral fiats can be an effective strategy deployed by those who benefit from division; we must counter this effort.

The fraud within the phrase “social distancing” not only creates distance between us but also creates a void of loneliness within the soul. Into this void of isolation, fear takes hold and becomes toxic. Thus the true value of fellowship is more important than ever.

Right now everything around us seems less focused on the pursuit of happiness and more focused on what happiness we are missing. At the heart of that anxiety is this sense of foreboding. A choking sense of fear and worry; a sense of trepidation. Faith in a loving and purposeful God is now more important than ever, embrace it – share it.

This moment in history is where each person of strength holds a higher level of influence, and we should engage in the lives of others to show that strength. Right now people around you are looking for courage, optimism and hope. If you do not provide that to your family, friends and community, you allow the alternative, despair, to take root.

Despair is the foreboding outcome of the same evil systems that create it. Recognize despair when you see it, intercept it and eliminate it when you can… AND you always can. Tend to the flickering flame of liberty & teach others, especially our youth, the skills to defend it.

Do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. We are a majority nation of liberty loving independent and free-thinking people; born under a compact to allow each to live their lives according to their own purpose. Do not abdicate the duty to protect individual liberty to anyone except yourself. Your dreams are unique to you.

Stay strong for your family…

Stay strong for your community….

Stay strong for our nation… We need each-other.



Dear Treehouse,

[…] I have been saying for some time that America is at a tipping point. Regardless of who is in apparent control of the Government (Executive, Legislative or Judiciary), there are forces at work that truly do lead to the creation of a “Uni-party.” As the underbelly of the Uni-party has been exposed, those in control have become vulnerable.

The real prospect that God-fearing, hard-working, honest Americans are beginning to see how the system has been rigged to manipulate them is upon us. Your dogged determination to lay bare the ugliness of what Washington has become is to be greatly admired.

We have lacked true leadership for too many years. This of course creates a vacuum and vacuums are dangerous because they allow false prophets to arise. People are desperate for someone to lead and say that they can restore the values that we once held dear as a nation.

Perhaps this is why your banner with the redhead staring at the gathering storm calls to me. The storm is just off the shore, building energy, waiting to crash over all of us. Yet, in the gathering darkness you have provided a light. A beacon of hope in a dismal world. A beacon which illuminates an alternative to the false choices of the Hegelian dialectic that is forced upon us all.

May God keep and protect you as you gather and collate the evidence to lay bare the ugliness that has become government, as it is now practiced, and reclaim all that makes America truly great. May the Holy Spirit guide you in your words and actions. Know that there are many that believe in what you are doing and stand ready to do their part. Remember that the darkness is always greatest before the dawn. I am confident that a new dawn is about to break.

~ A Patriot

The First Sunday of Lent

Posted originally on the conservative tree house on February 21, 2021 by Menagerie

Jesus in the desert


Mk 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

A Reminder About The Importance of Fellowship

Posted originally on the conservative tree house on February 13, 2021 by Sundance

We assemble upon a great digital battlefield in the fight for our republic. It is critical to reflect upon the values that form the foundation of our national assembly…. “Isolation starts with a rebellion against God“, we must be conscious about the need to connect.

It’s hard to believe this image was originally shared on these pages and discussed almost a decade ago.

There was just something about the shift in messaging from the totalitarian left that sounded an internal alarm amid those who were focused on the open dismissal of liberty and freedom that resounded from the drumbeat of the Obama era.

“Fundamental change” was a looming catch phrase many just seemed to ignore.

And here we are… divided by a network of seemingly intoxicating systems; many purposefully driven by the modern dynamic of social media, steering a tribal outcome we are only now just beginning to fathom.

Ultimately the collective weight of progressive leftism is putting us is isolation. There are many historic references to this disconcerting sentiment to review with hindsight.

We saw this coming…. we just didn’t know the entry vector that would be used to accomplish the final stages of diminished freedom and individual liberty. As we look at the current COVID-19 mandates, dictates and controls one cannot easily dismiss the weaponized use of a virus to attain division under the guise of “social distancing.”

When we initially asked the question: “where would you choose to live“, we had no idea a virus would be purposeful to enhance the objectives of social engineering, isolation and ultimately, painfully, oppression. Oblivious to the grand design, we allowed a seemingly disparate network of big tech companies to control communication. The COVID aspect now generates in the physical world exactly the same distance created in the digital world.

It might, heck, -check that- it does seem overwhelming at times.  But that is the nature of this collectivist strategy.  That is the purpose of this bombardment.  We must hold strong and push back against their lies and manipulations.  If you look closely at their attack, it is weak and much of it is psychological bait.  Do not fall into the trap of despair.

When I share the message “live your best life”, it is not without purpose.  Every moment that we allow the onslaught to deter us from living our dreams, is a moment those who oppose our nation view as us taking a knee.  Do not allow this effort to succeed.

You might ask yourself how can I, one person, a flea looking into a furnace, retain an optimistic disposition while all around me seems chaotic and mad.

That’s the point; it ‘seems’ chaotic and mad because it has been created to appear that way.  There are more of us than them; they just control the systems that allow us to connect, share messages and recognize the scale of our assembly.

In/around July 2020 it was obvious in my travels we were on the precipice of a disconnect from human interaction that would numb our psyche to what ultimately matters, fellowship.

Not only are various governmental agencies forcing the separation of people from their community networks, we are also seeing faith-based organizations, churches, buying into the fear. Even in areas where churches are not forcibly shut down, many are seeing a structural shift where some faith leaders are willingly ostracizing their community under the guise of various COVID alarms. This is not good…. not good at all.

Fellowship is the essential ingredient to a purposeful life. How and why we interact with each-other is how and why we recharge our core humanity. To see faith leaders willing to separate from the function of fellowship is alarming. However, as individuals we must not allow this foreboding sense to become the normal expectation.

Throughout history large armies have been defeated through the process of division. It is not a leap to see the same strategic objectives being deployed against social assemblies including congregations. It is puzzling how many in leadership cannot see the danger in social and spiritual distance when the bond of fellowship is needed more than ever.

Each of us has a different connection to our community. Each of us has a different level of internal strength… such is the nature of living. However, the distance between people is manifestly not a good outcome when combined with the lack of food for the soul.

The influence of social media is already troublesome, physically distancing from human engagement only worsens the impact. There is no digital replacement for the true fellowship of humanity on a personal level.

Ultimately it is the currency of human connection that is the true value in our lives.

We have each felt how our positive influence upon the lives of others nourishes our own sense of purpose and fulfillment… Do not lose that. Do not think you can compensate for that through other arbitrary measures; you cannot.

With local, state and federal leaders moving beyond the workplace distance; and beyond the community distance; and beyond the church distance; and now entering your home to tell you the importance of separating yourself from your family we must evaluate these arbitrary decrees very deliberately.

Evaluate very closely what we are willing to give up. Perhaps we are in this position today because we didn’t sit still enough and contemplate the real priorities in our lives.

Our liberty is inherent.

Our freedom is inherent.

The removal of both requires consent.

I choose not to disconnect.

I choose purpose.

I choose my own humanity.

Love to all,

~ Sundance

Photo of the Constitution of the United States of America. A feather quill is included in the photo.The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America and is the oldest codified written national constitution still in force. It was completed on September 17, 1787.

[…] I asked a gentleman for the location to a convenience store to purchase some mints to chew throughout the day. I was directed to a specific store.

When I made my purchase, the mask on the other side of the counter was as sad as many that day, but I felt compelled to ask how she was doing. The typical “been better” was the return. However, as I started to walk away… I turned back: “what’s wrong”?

For the next few minutes I listened as I met a mom of four kids who was 15 days from a COVID-based eviction. There was really no-one to blame; and worse, for her no-where to turn. She was looking for housing grants to avoid the most painful decision in her short 30-year-life.

You see, there was a reason why I went into that store that afternoon, at least that’s what I told her; and there was a reason why she was there. In part with your support, and after putting all other tasks in the appropriately unimportant place they deserved, WE (yes, you and me) together found a solution and provided the resources she needed. Starfish dude strikes again… this time with His help and your help.

It would have been very easy to walk out and accept that simple: “been better”. Heck, I think of all the times I have done that before…. but not this time. This time something nagged about it…. and so I turned around and found tears, fellowship – and mints.

The next day another stroll, a little lost, and a veteran on the street… I can’t tell you his story because that’s for another day… but it is just as important and just as profound. As I walked away from him many minutes later he yelled at me: “HEY DUDE”. I turned my unmasked smile back in his direction only to have him say: “we need more people like you in charge”… Thumbs up, and I continued my travels.

Which is really the point of writing all this. Our nation needs more people like you, right now. Don’t wait… engage life, get optimistic however you need to do it. Then let that part of you shine right now… This is how we fight. Hold up that flag; give the starter smile… rally to the standard you create and spread fellowship again.

….God knows we need it.

Youth v Age

Armstrong Economics Blog/Politics Re-Posted Jan 27, 2021 by Martin Armstrong

Video Player00:0001:18

Ronald Reagan was 70 years old when he became President. That made him the oldest until Biden. What is most interesting is how age was a question he was often asked when running for president. Oh, how times have changed! The two heads of state I ever met who were both genuine and intelligent with a sense of humor were Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Perhaps it was a different era with different quality people running for office. I suspect that with time, the treatment we have witnessed in Supreme Court appointments with the hostile accusations from religions to sexual harassment, have a very negative effect insofar as nobody is perfect and having things dragged up from high school is uncalled for.

My cousin found this photo of me when I obviously believed in Santa Claus. I grew up and realized I was lied to and I had to fend for myself in life. Others seem to think the government is there to take care of them. I guess they still believe. Hence, we should never be judged by what we may have believed in our youth. Grilling people on what they said of did in high school only deters people who would be qualified from taking any office.

Ray Charles – America the Beautiful – We Should Not Forget

Armstrong Economics Blog/Opinion Re-Posted Jan 12, 2021 by Martin Armstrong

Our greatest hope is that there are conservative Democrats who would also defend the Constitution if the extreme left-wing tries to drastically change everything. We need to place our hope in the bottom-line as they will have some resistance to Klaus Schwab and his insane movement to take over the world with the help of Bill Gates and George Soros.

Christmas Tree Of Liberty

Re-Posted from DEC 24, 2020 AT 8:06 PM

“The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

We’ve all heard this quote from Thomas Jefferson, but the tree hasn’t been watered much during the existence of our Republic. Especially these days, when citizens have become accustomed to accepting the abuse of tyrants.

Too many have accepted the outright theft of a presidential election by the Democrat Socialists or Bolsheviks or whatever they call themselves these days. They are the Corruptocrat Party being nominally led by an ancient and very corrupt politician with dementia. His party took over our education system and now they want to cancel our history. They’ve pulled down our statues while claiming America is hopelessly evil. they want our Republic destroyed. They want a ‘great reset’ to socialism and globalism.

Our money has been corrupted by the left-leaning Federal Reserve central bankers. Marxism has canceled our culture, our families, and our holidays by means of leveraging lies about a virus. Some, such as Bill Gates, want to cancel humanity altogether.

If President Trump allows our election to be stolen by domestic criminals aided by foreign enemies, then our Republic is at an end. The voting process will become permanently corrupted. A sliver of billionaire and trillionaire elitists will control our elections and everything else. These are dark times and the Christmas star (Jupiter and Saturn aligned) portends an urgent need for action. President Trump has done some things such as his commendable vetoes of Pelosi’s pork-stuffed stimulus bill and the NDAA and massive defense spending. He has gifted pardons to Roger Stone and others, but he still needs to pardon Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Trump has stood up to China and the Swamp, but the latter remains undrained, thanks to feet draggers such as Jeff Sessions and William Barr.

We can’t allow our Republic to go gently into that goodnight of socialism and corruption. We can’t stand by while our jobs, our liberties, and our elections are brazenly stolen from us. It’s time for action, not just grumbling, sloganeering, and ’trusting the plan.’ It is now time to use the Insurrection Act and arrest the traitors. Yes, that will inevitably lead to bloodshed, but the Tree of Liberty is thirsty.

Merry Christmas,