The Financial Crash of 2023

90% of all Y Combinator capital ventures fail. Greensboro’s Boom Supersonic is emblematic of these Ponzi schemes.

Record Bank Run Drained A Quarter, Or $42BN, Of SVB’s Deposits In Hours, Leaving It With Negative $1BN In Cash

Funded by over $173 billion in deposits (of which $151.5 billion are uninsured), has long been viewed as the bank at the heart of the US startup industry due to its singular focus on venture-capital firms. In many ways it echoes the issues we saw at Silvergate, which banked crypto firms almost exclusively…

Several prominent venture capitalists – such as Peter Thiel – advised their tech startups to withdraw money from Silicon Valley Bank on Thursday…

Why are VC icons ganging up and Lehmaning SVB? If your business model relied on QE wouldn’t you try to trigger the next QE too…


JP Morgan Chase & Co sought to convince some SVB customers to move their funds Thursday by touting the safety of their assets…

And while we wait to see if Dimon’s participation in the Epstein scandal will now fade from media coverage, and whether Powell will launch QE, we know one thing for sure: JPM was a clear and immediate benefactor of SIVB’s collapse because in a day when everything crashed, JPM stock was one of the handful that were up.’

Top comment:

“The thing about the internet . . Its instant . . News of Bank runs is EVERYWHERE. It could be a very very black Monday.”

The Run on Silicon Valley Bank was FTX 2.0 on Stablecoins

The fall of Silicon Valley Bank – hundreds of Israeli technology companies exposed

“Moody’s reduced SVB’s credit rating, from A minus to BBB+, which created an influx of customers who wanted to withdraw their money from the bank…

Over 500 Israeli hi-tech companies are the bank’s customers and it is the second most popular bank among Israeli hi-techists after Bank Leumi. Paradoxically, there were Israeli hi-tech companies that transferred funds to SVB following the social protest and now they fear that these funds are at risk.”

Silicon Valley Bank’s failure is an extinction-level event for startups, says Y Combinator’s Garry Tan

Yellen Says Government Will Help SVB Depositors But “No Bailout” As Fed, FDIC “Hope” Talk Of Special Vehicle Prevents More Bank Runs

Of SIVB’s $173 billion of customer deposits at the end of 2022, $152 billion were uninsured (i.e., over the $250,000 FDIC insurance threshold) and only $4.8 billion were fully insured…

The entire banking system suddenly becomes reduced to a game of chicken as follows: Fed/regulators won’t backstop deposits today and won’t admit a bank crisis is emerging, but if a bank crisis emerges and there is a flight of deposits on Monday morning, they will move.”

As JPM’s Michael Cembalest says “It’s fair to ask about the underwriting discipline of VC firms that put most of their liquidity in a single bank with this kind of risk profile. At the end of 2022, SIVB only offered 0.60% more on deposits than its peers as compensation for the risks illustrated below; in 2021 this premium was 0.04%”.

Fatal Distraction? Senior SVB Risk Manager Oversaw Woke LGBT Programs

While Silicon Valley Bank careened toward its spectacular collapse, the bank’s head of risk management for Europe, Africa and the Middle East devoted a chunk of her time to various LGBTQ+ programs.

Meanwhile, SVB went without a chief risk officer (CRO) from April 2022 to January 2023, the Daily Mail reports, as the bank apparently had little urgency to replace Laura Izurieta before finally tapping Kim Olson earlier this year.


Silicon Valley Bank Fails, With Deposits of Many Venture-Backed Companies Frozen. How Bad Will the Fallout Be?

SVB had a relatively small, highly committed group of depositors. About 37,000 customers accounted for nearly $157 billion or 74% of the bank’s assets with an average account size of over $4 million….at the end of 2022, 87% of the bank’s $173 billion in deposits were uninsured…

A Silicon Valley Bank branch in Manhattan today called the cops on tech investors trying to pull their cash out as a run on the bank forced regulators to seize its assets…

The CEO of a Boston-based health and wellness company said she has been unable to log into her Silicon Valley Bank account, where she has at least $10 million in deposits…

SVB was incredibly integrated into the lives of many founders. Not just their startup’s bank & lender, but also provided personal mortgages and other financial services.”

From the comments:

“They bought a lot of MBS at the worst possible time…

They chose to not hedge the interest rate risk.

Regulators close crypto-focused Signature Bank, citing systemic risk

Signature is one of the main banks to the cryptocurrency industry. As of Dec. 31, Signature had $110.4 billion in total assets and $88.6 billion in total deposits.

Fed Panics: Signature Bank Closed By Regulators; Fed, TSY, FDIC Announce Another Banking System Bailout

This is a regulatory failure of historic proportions by both the Fed and Treasury. Instead of preventing billions in losses, the Fed was worrying about board diversity and Yellen was flying to Ukraine. Everyone should be sacked immediately.

First Republic Shares Crash 60% As Regional Bank ‘Crisis In Confidence’ Spreads

Banks which are sitting on some $620 billion in unrealized losses on all securities (both Available for Sale and Held to Maturity) at the end of last year, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

From ZH on Twitter:

$25BN? They think $25BN will stop this bank run???

Futures Tumble, Yields Crater, Banks Plunge As Market Realizes Latest Bailout Is Insufficient

It’s not just the regional US banks which we warned were about to be wiped out: big international banks are also getting crushed with Italian bank giant UniCredit shares halted, while Credit Suisse shares are not only 10% lower to new all time lows, but its Credit Default Swaps just hit a record wide…

2Y TSY yields have plummeted an insane 50bps… suffering the biggest 2-day drop since Black Monday in October 1987!..

The Fed is making it easier for banks to access the Fed’s discount window in order to turn assets that have quickly depreciated due to rising rates into cash without having to take the large losses the Silicon Valley Bank suffered last week. Essentially this would allow banks to obtain liquidity over the next year without selling assets…

SVB’s woes are a combination of one of the largest hiking cycles in history, one of the most inverted curves in history, one of the biggest bubbles in tech in history bursting, and the runaway growth of private capital.

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USS Kearsarge

050917-N-5313A-036 Atlantic Ocean (Sept 17, 2005) – The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) conducts steering manuevers in the Atlantic Ocean. Kearsarge is on a scheduled deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman (Air Warfare) Sarah E. Ard (RELEASED) (Released by USS Kearsarge PAO)

Ukraine responds to Nord Stream claims

Kiev had nothing to do with the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, the Ukrainian defense minister has said in response to media reports blaming last September’s explosions in the Baltic Sea on a “pro-Ukraine” group.

US openly admits it blew up Nord Stream – Russian FM

According to an informed source who talked to Hersh, explosives were planted at the pipelines in the Baltic Sea back in June 2022 by US Navy divers under the guise of a NATO exercise. They were detonated in late September, rendering the key European energy infrastructure inoperable.

The USS Kearsarge was in the Baltic in June.

This marks a return to the Baltic Sea for elements of the ARG-MEU team, including Gunston Hall and Kearsarge, as both ships participated in the Estonian-led exercise Siil 22 in May and the annual joint, multinational exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic region, in June. 

USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) arrive in Poland

The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), flagship of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), and Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) arrived in Gdynia and Gdansk, Poland respectively, for scheduled port visits, Sept. 14, 2022.

The Nord Stream sabotage occurred on September 26, 2022.


In support of BALTOPS, U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet partnered with U.S. Navy research and warfare centers to bring the latest advancements in Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) mine hunting technology to the Baltic Sea to demonstrate the vehicle’s effectiveness in operational scenarios.

Experimentation was conducted off the coast of Bornholm, Denmark, with participants from Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific, Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Newport, and Mine Warfare Readiness and Effectiveness Measuring (MIREM) — all under the direction of U.S. Sixth Fleet Task Force 68.

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Putin’s List of Demands

From Mike Whitney at Zero Hedge:

“On February 16, 2022, a full week before Putin sent combat troops into Ukraine, the Ukrainian Army began the heavy bombardment of the area (in east Ukraine) occupied by mainly ethnic Russians…

The bombardment dramatically intensified as the week went on until it reached a peak on February 19, when a total of 2,026 artillery strikes were recorded. Keep in mind, the Ukrainian Army was, in fact, shelling civilian areas along the Line of Contact that were occupied by other Ukrainians.”

Scott Ritter: “Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing Article 51 as his authority, ordered what he called a ‘special military operation’…. under Article 51, there can be no doubt as to the legitimacy of Russia’s contention that the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass had been subjected to a brutal eight-year-long bombardment that had killed 14,000 people.… Moreover, Russia claims to have documentary proof that the Ukrainian Army was preparing for a massive military incursion into the Donbass which was pre-empted by the Russian-led ‘special military operation.'”

From Israel Shamir at Unz Review:

On December 15, 2021 Russia sent an ultimatum to the US and NATO. Two days later it was published, and the Russian Foreign Office invited the West to sign up and to agree to it, or at least begin discussing it. Not only was it not signed, it wasn’t even properly acknowledged. It was blatantly ignored, as though it were a demand from a teenager to an adult.

From the Russian Foreign Ministry on December 17, 2021:

The United States of America and the Russian Federation… have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The Parties shall cooperate on the basis of principles of indivisible, equal and undiminished security and to these ends:

shall not undertake actions nor participate in or support activities that affect the security of the other Party;

shall not implement security measures adopted by each Party individually or in the framework of an international organization, military alliance or coalition that could undermine core security interests of the other Party.

Article 2

The Parties shall seek to ensure that all international organizations, military alliances and coalitions in which at least one of the Parties is taking part adhere to the principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations.

Article 3

The Parties shall not use the territories of other States with a view to preparing or carrying out an armed attack against the other Party or other actions affecting core security interests of the other Party.

Article 4

The United States of America shall undertake to prevent further eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and deny accession to the Alliance to the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The United States of America shall not establish military bases in the territory of the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, use their infrastructure for any military activities or develop bilateral military cooperation with them.

Article 5

The Parties shall refrain from deploying their armed forces and armaments, including in the framework of international organizations, military alliances or coalitions, in the areas where such deployment could be perceived by the other Party as a threat to its national security, with the exception of such deployment within the national territories of the Parties.

The Parties shall refrain from flying heavy bombers equipped for nuclear or non-nuclear armaments or deploying surface warships of any type, including in the framework of international organizations, military alliances or coalitions, in the areas outside national airspace and national territorial waters respectively, from where they can attack targets in the territory of the other Party.

The Parties shall maintain dialogue and cooperate to improve mechanisms to prevent dangerous military activities on and over the high seas, including agreeing on the maximum approach distance between warships and aircraft.

Article 6

The Parties shall undertake not to deploy ground-launched intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles outside their national territories, as well as in the areas of their national territories, from which such weapons can attack targets in the national territory of the other Party.

Article 7

The Parties shall refrain from deploying nuclear weapons outside their national territories and return such weapons already deployed outside their national territories at the time of the entry into force of the Treaty to their national territories. The Parties shall eliminate all existing infrastructure for deployment of nuclear weapons outside their national territories.

The Parties shall not train military and civilian personnel from non-nuclear countries to use nuclear weapons. The Parties shall not conduct exercises or training for general-purpose forces, that include scenarios involving the use of nuclear weapons.

Article 8

The Treaty shall enter into force from the date of receipt of the last written notification on the completion by the Parties of their domestic procedures necessary for its entry into force.

From the cited Mike Whitney:

Zelensky actually agreed to neutrality in negotiations with Moscow in March, but Washington prevented the Ukrainian president from going through with the deal which means that the Biden administration is largely responsible for the ongoing conflict…

Angela Merkel revealed in her interview on December 7, 2022. Merkel said, “The 2014 Minsk agreement was an attempt to give time to Ukraine. It also gave time to become stronger as can be seen today. The Ukraine of 2014 and 2015 is not the modern Ukraine.”

Putin said, “One day Russia will have to reach an agreement with Ukraine, but Germany and France betrayed Russia, and now they are helping Ukraine with weapons.” 

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Cassian Andor’s Thick Latin Accent

I went back and watched Star Wars Rogue One and then finished Andor, which is essentially a prison pic where no one wears shoes.

This whole sad thing is exec produced by the star, Diego Luna, by virtue of the massive Latin audience he brings from Netflix: Narcos, along with a thick accent.

And then there are the wealthy politicians trying to support the resistance, a completely fictional concept.

It’s a piece of shit designed to appeal to large audience segments like veterans watching Federation aircraft in space and looking a lot like F-18s, as featured in Top Gun.

I’m especially fond of the John Wick element, where fighters on both sides are mown down, like wheat. Meanwhile, those of us who actually care about such things are reading Big Serge:

One of the first critical decisions that Brusilov made was that his attack would have no center of gravity or schwerpunkt. Instead, he instructed all five of the field armies in his Southwestern Front (again, the Russian term for an army group) to plan offensives in their own sectors, and furthermore each Corps was ordered to prepare its own attack. Thus, rather than concentrating reserves and firepower to hammer on a single section of the frontline, Brusilov planned to activate virtually his entire front, attacking along a line some 200 miles wide, practically from Pinsk in the north (modern Belarus) all the way to the present day border between Ukraine and Romania…

Brusilov was working on a shoestring budget of heavy artillery shells. His solution was to conduct extensive reconnaissance and use his artillery in a suppressive, rather than overtly destructive role. He assigned his air forces (perhaps 100 planes) exclusively to reconnaissance duty, making extensive flyovers of the Austrian lines and creating thorough sketches of the enemy defenses…

Brusilov, working on a tight ration of shells, targeted specific hardpoints, with careful coordination to end the barrage just as his infantry arrived at the enemy trenches…

The Russian bombardment was focused and short lived, and the defining experience of the Hapsburg troops was bewilderment when the shelling abruptly stopped and Russian troops began to spill into their trenches…

Brusilov’s offensive managed to bash huge breaches in the Austrian line (in some sectors, the entire first belt of defenses was captured on the first day) so that by the middle of June the Russians had already pushed 60 kilometers into Austrian lines in some places…

The problem was that Brusilov simply did not have a clear vision for how to exploit his success. The ideal operational target would have been Kovel – a major railroad intersection which would slice the Central Powers’ transit in the theater in two if it were captured. Unfortunately Brusilov did not receive clear direction from Stavka, and he opted to spend the crucial days of mid-June consolidating his gains rather than exploiting the hole that he had created.

I’ve never gotten over being lied to about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, so excuse me for never buying the bullshit from Star Trek, which was only possible as time travel and therefore duly ignored. And what do you do with the copies of the people just beamed down to the planet?

By prequeling the prequel they could put out a series on the cheap using the most recent film. Bernays would be proud.

The Sharas and many others made a lot of money writing great books about what happened during the Civil War. Military history offers lots of victories and tragedies which deserve to be told, HBO’s Band of Brothers is another example of great story-telling by the people who were there.

Andor is just more Star Drek from people who’ve lost their way in the universe.

Stormtroopers were trained in methods which were colloquially called Infiltration Tactics. First, the base tactical unit shifted from the company (several hundred men) to smaller units like the platoon (perhaps 50 men). These smaller groups would then conduct their advance irregularly, that is to say, more spread out and making proper use of cover. This was the end of the “charge”, as such. Rather than units of many hundreds attempting to rush across open ground to assault the enemy position, smaller units would work their way forward at a judicious and measured pace…

Fire and movement is, to this day, an absolutely essential and basic infantry tactic. It involves the cooperative action of the unit (be it a squad or a platoon) split into two elements. A “firing element” suppresses the enemy position by firing upon it, covering the approach of the “maneuvering element.”

And what is the point of white body armor if they’re going to lie down and pretend to be dead at the first shot from a blaster?

You’ll see no laser swords because it takes forever to put them in, as such things do not actually exist.

They’re already too busy in edit pretending gravity doesn’t exist. If they’re ignoring gravity and escape velocity, what other important things might they not be telling us about?

Societies who venture into space must have vibrant economies in order to afford the investment. NASA has been usurped by venture capitalists, but Russia and China continue their programs, with the latter placing a satellite behind the Moon, and launching a successful robotic mining effort of H3 for their fusion reactor.

The US buys Russian Soyuz rocket engines to launch our satellites.

It is no accident that our science fiction is also second rate.

As to actual Evil Empires, no one comes close to the British for imposing death, slavery and subjugation on four continents for hundreds of years, and so it is proper the worst of them speak as though from one of its universities. In reality, the UK military has recently humiliated itself on several continents. Her Majesty’s government even failed in their support of the Confederacy in the Civil War and the defence of slavery.

Gandhi was trained in law at London’s Inner Temple and lived in South Africa twenty years before returning to Gujarat and disposing of the British Empire by personal example of will. There’s your Cassian Andor.

Star Wars, by dispensing with the historical record for the fantastic, has nothing to say about where we’ve been, what we’ve done and where we are going. It fails to resonate and does not qualify as art in any sense. Perhaps by presenting us with hopelessy broken people lorded over by assholes, we can learn to accept our plight, or maybe it’s just college-educated assholes projecting their hatred of us.

In the old days, the boardrooms made movies out of great books, but people don’t read, anymore. The next Bret Easton Ellis came and went, unnoticed. 600 million Chinese watched an NBA game last year, and no one watches pro basketball. If you view the Star Wars franchise from the perspective of a Chinese peasant, it begins to make a little more sense. The Empire sure looks like a fascist totalitarian government. China and Disney have invested in a Shanghai resort and Andor is a prison flick, for sure.

I’m not sure how a worn out American theme park works here. Probably about as well as an over-used science fiction movie.

Squid Game comes from South Korea because they remember fascism.

The reality show version did not go well.

I’m starting to get it, now. If your series is to be seen by people in many countries, you must avoid telling the story of anyone, lest someone be triggered for having their culture appropriated.

And the characters must be authentic to CRT standards. And the men cast as heroes must look like sixteen year-olds with no shoes, to weaken their appearance as much as possible. Putting men in prison for a whole movie is a side gig which will be very popular.

I don’t remember seeing a lot of black guys in that prison.

Women would love a channel where they could look at men in prison.

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Pushing Cardboard

The tall black kid who fed the printer at work was let go this afternoon, after failing to report after the last break.

A few minutes later, someone very important came down to show me how to properly load the printer with cardboard without bending my back.

They told us the first day they’d instructed nearly forty people and Easy Money and I were the first ones to stick.

We finally gave them a reason to get rid of the kid.

They tried to kill me at work, today.

I’ll give them another chance, tomorrow.

I wondered how I could be so fortunate as to get a first shift job.

Now, I know. With the delightful black kid gone, it fell to me to feed the 36 inch printer with cardboard, today. But I had been instructed in the proper technique and assiduously practiced it.

After lunch, the muckety muck came down, approached me and said, “Your technique is perfect. You’re doing a great job.”

After the last break, he came down again and addressed the Cuban running the line. The next thing I know the speed of the printer had been turned up to 50 per minute and I was hustling to keep up. Fortunately, I processed all the cardboard in the order.

It appears that I passed the audition for the job nobody wants.

Easy Money was right about this job. Whereas the first order of the day involved rather large pieces of cardboard, the second order was smaller- a real pie job, and the last job, upon which my performance was tested, was not so big.

It’s not really hazing, but assessing abilities, while having a great deal of fun. I’m sure the folks upstairs cried with laughter while watching me, this afternoon.

OTOH, it might be nice to have a 62 year-old around to shame the youngsters.

Easy Money and I threw nearly 15,000 36″ cardboard sheets into the printer, today. We’d have thrown them all, but for the frequent stoppages by the perfectionist Cuban running the line. It is quite something pairing up with a 30 year-old woman of no real size, and yet will work you into the ground.

Because she’s been everywhere and done everything, they had her using the dispatch system this afternoon to direct the sea of palletized boxes to their proper locations in shipping.

I have survived seven ten hour days, while having a cold.

I took her home from work again, as a Golden Goose occasionally requires.

Another obvious reason no one wants to push cardboard to the 36″ printer is the two Cubans who run it and refuse to speak to us, but engage in long conversations with everybody else.

Instead, we are trained to respond to visual cues and doing the best we can.

They are very kind and obviously wonderful people.

Most of my people worked in hosiery mills and chair factories. Several of my dad’s sisters graduated valedictorian from high school and went straight into the mills.

Clay Shirky pointed to the descretionary time provided by the Industrial Revolution and the problems it created. Mom’s brother spent all his nights in a pool hall.

Back then, men did all the tough jobs and would be ashamed to allow a woman to push pallets of cardboard. Easy Money does it better than most of them.

The beautiful oriental lady who is a few years older than me stepped up at the end of the day to help me move some cardboard from the pallet to the the printer. I could hear her thinking, “If he can do it, so can I.”

The nerves in my fingers are dying again, as they always have when I abuse them. They usually re-grow and return in the Spring. X-rays of Lou Gehrig’s hands showed multiple broken fingers, but he never missed a game.

The parking lot smells like a dead skunk. The smell wafts into the building during breaks and shift changes. Yesterday morning, the break room reaked of it.

You cannot stop it. These people are gonna do what they’re gonna do. Every one of them looks you in the eye and says hello. There is no woke shit going on here.

Easy Money obtained some for me, yesterday. It is excellent, as I’ve come to expect.

We go back to a 40 hour week on Monday. I could use it. Unfortunately, boot camp is not over and never will be. Some days will be worse than others, but the suffering will be perpetual.

$14 per hour x 50 hours = $700

$7 per hour X 10 hours = 70

Sometimes, the work was hard, but usually it wasn’t, and I’m learning so much.

Once I got some nice steel toe sneakers, life got a lot better. Another pair is on the way.

I’ve also purchased prescription safety glasses.

The young black guys dress like burglars, all in black. I was complaining about ruining another old shirt and was told they wore clothes to hide the grease stains I get while inside the printer, setting up for the next job.

Everybody seems to like the latest fool working on that printer. And Easy Money smoothes the way.

The first order of business is to get her a car. I ask no questions and so am aware of none of her circumstances, other that she lives with her grandmother and new girlfriend.

I make of myself a worthy vessel into which people like her fall. That she is a modern day superwoman is providence. She read me like a book, the first day. I am thrilled to not be found wanting.

You may remember during the early period of my recent unemployment the fun I had being scammed on VK, and how they immediately moved you to WhatsApp or Google Chat and started the drill. I spent several weeks down the rabbit hole, taking it to the ask for the credit card, calling them scammers and watching them detonate.

Easy Money is not a scam. She is as I found her, the most genuine of living artifacts and evidence of how people are surviving. She’s much more important than this job. She’s a magic carpet ride to places otherwise unknown and forbidden to people like me.

I’m literally sidekick to a superhero. I’m a piece of meat, available to do her bidding, without question.

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Making Boxes

I had a scratchy throat last week, and spent the weekend gobbling Sudafed, so that I could return to work.

A tall, young black kid showed up around 7, yesterday and took command of loading the printer. I was thrilled, as the cardboard sheets were big and there were a lot of them. Fortunately, he threw it all into the printer, and all I had to do was roll up the pallets and unband them.

We did this again this morning, but something was wrong with the cardboard and it kept getting jammed. They tried everything, but ended up clearing away the mess and trying again, until it had all been processed.

They took it in stride as just a normal thing.

Easy Money, who had helped me load the printer, was now free to run the bander and palletize the new boxes. She’s done this kind of thing for years.

The kid had been working on the printer for three months and apparently knew everything there was to know about it, and so frequently looked at his cell phone, said hello to his friends, often took off for a moment and generally disregarded any time restraints.

He surrepititously ate a Slim Jim while loading the printer and waiting for it to jam. Nobody took any notice. Unless there is a safety issue, he is trained up and good to go.

I moved a lot of paper, yesterday, but not so much, today, and so I’m not nearly so tired. I’m off beer, entirely, and instead taking vitamins and eating bananas. I breakfast at 4:00 am, and enjoy a solitary trip to Greensboro. If you go to bed at 7:30, as I do, and which my sister-in-law has been doing for thirty years, it’s actually fun.

It’s a tough job at times, but somebody’s got to do it. If you can manage to have some fun, then do it.

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Easy Money

The third day at my new job started at 5:00 am and lasted for ten hours.

I’ll do it again, tomorrow.

The employment agency placed four of of us this week at a locally-owned manufacturer. Two of them failed to show up after the first day.

On the second day, I was placed on a two color offset press line, feeding sheets of cardboard into the hopper which produced printed boxes. I distinguished myself in the morning by keeping the line fed by myself. After lunch, they paired me with a girl, who did an excellent job. At the end of the day, we were asked and agreed to show up early. Unfortunately, she has dread locks and a nose piercing, which caused her to be repeatedly cautioned by the safety engineer. I hope they don’t dismiss her, as we are a very effective team.

Yesterday, we were trained to set up the press for each order and processed a big one before the end of day. This morning, we ran 2500 pieces, before the line went down, and we spent the afternoon waiting for it to be repaired. Regardless, we were asked to show up at 5:00 am tomorrow for another ten hour day, as a 7600 piece order awaits us.

We are told this line represents the meat and potatoes of the company and are proud to be a part of it. The Cuban who runs it has been there for eleven years, is a master of the art and spends a lot of time testing boxes, before he begins mass production. It is an old line and frequently jams, requiring us to shut down, break the presses apart and remove the mangled cardboard.

I’m in pretty good shape after my first ten hour day, probably because we spent the afternoon making ourselves useful, while the line was repaired. At some point, we will be required to hump it, but have already proven that we can, to the apparent delight of our supervisor.

At one point, this afternoon, my partner looked over at me and said, “This is easy money.”

I actually like going in early, as there is very little traffic. I’m supplementing my country ham, eggs and toast for breakfast with a bowl of oatmeal. I have a sandwich for lunch and trail mix on breaks. We were beginning to tire after lunch, probably from boredom, but rallied by quitting time. It remains to be seen how I will hold up on a day where the line runs without problems.

They have a water fountain with electrolytes and we make frequent use of it.

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The Road to Partition

One of the many reasons I read, listen to and watch Tom Luongo is because of the people he introduces, in this case, James Fawell and his three part series on:


History defines Revolution as a governmental bankruptcy, which leaves only two options to its resolution; liquidation or reorganization. Liquidation means violence with the only peaceful resolution being a reorganization against which events are stacked. Liquidation manifests as an armed insurrection driven not by the obvious divisions that develop between the factions in a Revolution, but through the twin assault of both inflation and taxation. And not just increased taxation, but aggressive tax collection. The former wears many faces; scarcity, demand, supply chain break-down and a depreciating money all of which drives the rising price of shelter, food and energy that leads to food riots and the complete breakdown of society. The latter comes from the financial strain of an unrepentant bankrupt governments spending that drives not only higher taxes, but the need of its collection by whatever means justify…

What is so fascinating about governmental bankruptcies when they occur on a global scale is that along with the interruptions and evolution of trade, they foment the creation of competing settlement/reserve currencies. It is an impossible situation that so polarizes trade that the resolution of competing financial systems provides the singular cause of World Wars.

The Road to Partition

Secession from the United States of America is clearly unconstitutional as witnessed by our American Civil War (1861-1865), yet Partition is as American as apple pie. Partition is not only constitutional, but was integral to the establishment and the early development of Maine and Vermont as well as the break-up of the western portions of the Carolina’s/Virginia/Pennsylvania into the states of Kentucky/Tennessee/Ohio, then again when Virginia was partitioned into West Virginia early in our Civil War (1862). Now. Today, movements towards partition in an increasingly divided America are far more frequent than many people can imagine…

Illinois dominates all primary points of contact between the East and West Coasts of the North American Continent. From Canada to Nashville, all points of transfer between the East and West Coasts come predominantly through Illinois. Accordingly, the flash point where violence and insurrection will arise will be the Late Great State of Illinoyz…

After our Civil War, as roads, railroads and telegraph/telephone wires began to cross America, the role of Illinois as the “Homeland” or “Key” to controlling the North American Continent became crystal clear to the money interests of the East Coast…

Not only was Chicago the Mid-Western home of the money controlling Central City Banking system of the post-Civil War years, but the driving force in the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank…

The U of C would go on to become the home of Leo Strauss, protégé of Hitler’s chief political economist at the University of Berlin, who was spirited away by western money interests as he was 1) Jewish and 2) would instruct a new generation of neocon at the U of C in the management of tyranny, educating an entire generation of young psychopaths like Elliot Abrams, Richard Perlman and Paul Wolfowitz…

While the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) was created by Paul Warburg in 1921, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations was created by Adlai Stevenson in 1922, the only city in America to have a CFR branch. Unlike the CFR whose mission statement was global, the CCFR’s sole mission statement was to settle immigrants to Illinois (Chicago) and teach them how to vote…

People vote with their feet and Illinois is 3rd in states losing population (169,076) behind California and New York, but with the highest lost percentage (2020 Census). At the same time, Texas has added 4,300,000 people…

Throw in a woke governor tied into a globalist/Davos/WEF agenda and a legislature committed to the Jacobian cause of Wokism, and while other Partitions may be peaceful, the pressures to maintain control over the North American Heartland will sooner than later result in violence.

I’ll be watching for part III of this series, which is in his book. Until then, here is Fawell’s first podcast in June with Luongo, concerning the book.

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The Anarchists

Yesterday, I watched The Anarchists on HBOMax.

For as long as I can remember, people around me either visited or lived part of the year in Mexico. Somehow, during the last couple of years that I’ve been playing with crypto, I’d not been aware of the Anarchists and their community in Acapulco. And the series indicates they were drawn there by crypto millionaire, Jeff Berwick, of whom I was also blissfully unaware.

The series starts with a family burning books on the beach and the kids saying fuck alot. Perhaps nothing better illustrates the attitudes behind these ex-pats. Without telling too much, as the series progresses, we come to understand how terribly damaged most of them actually were, and why bugging out made sense for them. Unfortunately, these misfits chose to bug out to the same place.

That Anarchapulco followed the fall of crypto, only to have FTX come along later and put nails in the coffin, makes the series compelling, and further cements the prevailing view that most of these people were simply con artists running Ponzi schemes.

As we’ve seen before, there probably wasn’t enough material in this story for a series, so they had to hype the personal problems of the subjects, which included a lot of threats from one guy on Facebook. When they introduced Acapulco as the home of Anarchists, I thought it odd, having seen all three seasons of Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico. It’s also incredibly hot and expecting a bunch of whackjobs to get along in order to survive is definitely asking too much.

I never had much money to invest, but I bought near the recent top, took a little profit and watched the rest take the ride down. OTOH, we know people who moved all their investments to crypto and lost everything.

Last year, the Wife had a HVAC sales rep give us a quote. He happened to be on one of the local school boards and had a brother-in-law who quit his job and went all in on crypto. I spent an hour telling him what I knew about it.

Fortunately, rather than going head over heels for crypto, I hung back, listening to Tom Luongo, who preaches the beauty of the decentralized blockchain, but is not a Bitcoin maximalist. He actually predicted the rise in Fed interest rates six month beforehand and buttressed his notions with a desire to attract USD liquidity as quickly as possible, in order to rid us of LIBOR and the influence of the ECB. Since then, he recently chronicled how BlackRock attempted a run on the Bank of England and Credit Suisse, only to be backed up with loans from the Fed, now flush with cash.

Just as anarchists must at some point rely on things like law enforcement and medical assistance, so must we trust that our government will refrain from getting us into unnecessary wars. Even with nearly $1T going to the MIC each year, we have no military to speak of. The Pentagon is simply a much bigger version of Ukraine, in their ability to move funds to corporations and thereby, politicians.

The front end of our spears are insane neocon psychopaths with no reverse gear, who have been roundly criticized by Russia as being non-agreement capable. Nevertheless, Russia has managed to carve four Oblasts from Ukraine, with a minimum of civiliation casualties. And still, Ukraine shells the Donbass, as it has every night since 2014, but now with the help of US HIMARS missiles.

Experts indicate Russia will end up with Kiev and everything to the East of their Dnieper. The rest will probably end up as Poland. But people like Scott Ritter are rightly terrified we may never get there, and unfortunately, he knows what he’s talking about.

Just as the legal constraints of North Carolina’s Unemployment benefits program prevent me from participating, I understand what it must be like to have children in our school system: even if you wanted to comply, there is simply no way forward. However, I think the real lesson from The Anarchists is there is nowhere to run, for most of us. And even if there were, it might not be any better, because we tend to bring a lot of our problems with us.

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Coming Together in Liberty

I was in the Liberty Food Lion, yesterday morning, when the power went off. Rather than complain, everybody moved to the registers and got checked out, during the fifteen minutes of emergency power.

Meanwhile, North of Liberty on 421, they’re building a bridge for traffic transiting the Megasite.

During the two months since I’ve been back, I’ve come to love this place. Whereas people in Greensboro are pretty much shut down since COVID, people in Liberty make eye contact, talk and laugh.

I’ve become good friends with many of the employees and managers at Food Lion, where it has become increasing clear how vital the service they provide to Liberty is, lacking any major thoroughfare, with 421 having bypassed the town decades ago.

Next week, I expect to return to a woke work place in Greensboro. As an older white man, I am not hopeful that I will last very long.

Regardless, the Wife recently expressed a renewed commitment to get me through this.

It seems the only thing worse than having me around is not having me around.

What passes for the local newspaper announced a couple of meetings in Liberty to discuss neighborhood improvements, presumably in line with the leaders’ plan to make the town a bedroom community, in anticipation of local megasites.

Geographically, Liberty has suffered being twenty miles from Greensboro, Burlington, Siler City and Asheboro, where people typically go to work. It has therefore always been a bedroom community, at least since the ’70s, when most of the industries began to leave. This isolation appears to have protected Liberty from most of the neoliberal industrial and social destruction now rampant in bigger cities.

Asheboro, the seat of Randolph County, in particular, has become the Wild West, with retail and restaurant chains crowding every intersection, having exhausted opportunities in Greensboro and Burlington. Still, the I-85 corridor is growing like mad, as Asheboro and Siler City languish.

Even though Asheboro finally has a beltway around the city, Siler City stands to gain most from the megasite activity to their East. In this regard, it really doesn’t matter if the megasite North of Liberty is successful, as the commute for Liberty workers is not much further to the much more promising megasites to the South in Chatham County.

Unfortunately, Liberty political planning continues to suffer from a lack of people with manufacturing experience. In that regard, Liberty has always been a refuge for sketchy manufacturers who were unable to compete in places like Greensboro. And as always, Liberty politicians remain desperately grateful for these people, who often leave town in the middle of the night, with lots of debt in their wake.

Even during the eighties, manufacturers coming to Liberty struggled to find experienced wood workers and upholsterers. Tom Ferguson, a cost accountant from High Point who built a $10M per year furniture business, often complained that he was running an insane asylum, so damaged were the older hands who still knew how to operate the lathes and sanders.

Given what has occurred here since then, I’m not sure standing up a competitive bespoke manufacturer of any kind is even possible, anymore.

Worse, the current fad of manufacturers flocking to nascent area megasites intent on building electrical vehicle components seems doomed to fail, if anything beyond conventional wisdom is considered. The forlorn hope that the future will be otherwise is a cruel joke on rural folk. But they have become used to broken promises and are increasingly seeing their continued survival as a matter of self reliance and dependence on each other.

Asheboro, in particular, appears to be an increasingly divided city, with Latinos taking most of the menial jobs and doing business among their own kind. I wouldn’t be surprised if sometime soon, a grassroots effort arises to limit the effects of these people. I’m told Randolph County has one of the highest gun ownership rates of any place in the country. Over time, this does not bode well for the Latinos.

Yesterday, my Latino neighbor, who is my age and I have known for over thirty years, returned home from working in a chicken processing plant near Pittsboro, as I was getting up leaves. We spoke for a few minutes. He was dirty and exhausted, as usual. He has spent his entire adult life doing work people like me would never consider. In that regard, he is truly a Great American.

Likewise, I recently saw the Chinese guy who is also my age and I’ve known for over thirty years, in Food Lion. He ran a chain of very successful restaurants in small towns and has recently sold them to people who aren’t able to find help. He now runs a restaurant in downtown Liberty, serving American fare.

“I got tired of cooking rice and chicken wings,” he said.

My brother is the maintenance engineer at one of the bigger plants in Liberty. The college boys who run the place barely bother speaking to him, anymore. They don’t know how to fix anything and generally see plant maintenance as a waste of time and money. He’s left several times, only to be asked to return. He regularly gets job offers from manufacturers in High Point, but abhors highway 62 North, where they are currently installing a water line.

Whereas hopelessly liberal Greensboro is hamstrung by liberal woman on city council, primarily concerned with funding their nonprofits, places like Liberty are run by retired teachers and other former professionals lacking any sort of real life experience. They are both embarrassingly subject to conventional wisdom and the hucksters who purvey it.

In Greensboro, they fell victim to the Boom Supersonic Ponzi scheme. Liberty politicians are betting on Toyota manufacturing EV batteries at the megasite. Meanwhile, Toyota is using old car batteries to supplement solar and wind energy solutions.

One need only look to DH Griffin’s investment in the Chatham County megasite as evidence that the Randolph County megasite is doomed.

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