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Charles Hugh Smith On The Phony "Economic Recovery," Stress and "Losing It"

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

The Phony "Economic Recovery," Stress and "Losing It"

Derealization leads to chronic stress, which then disrupts our ability to make rational decisions and follow plans.

We have all experienced the disorientation and "brain freeze" that stress triggers. It seems these symptoms of stress have become normalized in countries where the authorities keep promoting phony "economic recoveries." The disconnect between what the authorities are claiming and what people are actually experiencing is widening, and that leads to stress. No wonder more and more people are "losing it" in public as their neural circuitry melts down under the strain of synthesizing what they experience (austerity) and what they're told (official spin about the "recovery").

In Survival+ I call this process derealization as lived experience is derealized by official spin and propaganda.

Recent research is illuminating how stress disrupts the default hierarchy of the brain. In the absence of stress, the neocortex-rational-mind functions suppress the more primitive subconscious signals of aggression, hunger, sex drive, etc. in order to concentrate our effort to complete some planned activity.

Everyday Stress Can Shut Down the Brain's Chief Command Center. Neural circuits responsible for conscious self-control are highly vulnerable to even mild stress. When they shut down, primal impulses go unchecked and mental paralysis sets in. (Scientific American; subscription required, hopefully your local library has a copy)

This helps explain the natural "fight or flight" response we feel when suddenly confronted with danger or potential danger, but more importantly it illuminates how we lose the ability to analyze circumstances rationally when we are "stressed out." Once our rational analytic abilities are shut down, we are prone to making a series of ill-informed and rash decisions.

This has the potential to set up a destructive positive feedback loop: the more stressed out we become, the lower the quality of our decision-making, which then generates poor results that then stress us out even more, further degrading our already-impaired rational processes. This feedback loop quickly leads to "losing it completely."

Doesn't this describe our increasingly dysfunctional and disconnected-from-reality legislative process?

In pondering human development over the past 20,000 years of the transition from hunter-gatherer groups to modern life, it seems self-evident that stress was likely to be resolved in relatively short order in the hunter-gatherer lifestyle: everyone was known to everyone else, conflicts had to be resolved simply because the group survival depended on it, and most threats could be fended off with vigilance, weapons or left behind by a few hours of fast walking.

Contrast the environment that selected for this stress/conscious self-control feedback with modern life: in the modern urban life and work environment, stress is more or less constant and our ability to resolve stressful situations is limited.

This helps explain the increasing prevalence of people "losing it" in public when they encounter a rather typical frustration such as the inability to cash a check at a credit union. Just last week I saw a middle-aged man "lose it" at our local credit union, swearing and raging against employees who were simply following CU guidelines on check cashing. As the finances of many enterprises and households comes under further stress, then self-control degrades and people are more likely to "lose it."

Though this particular article focuses on short-term stress, there is growing body of evidence that chronic stress has a number of subtle and destructive consequences. In addition to the common-sense connection between chronic stress and hypertension, there is evidence that obesity is also related to stress-caused conditions such as inadequate sleep and chronic inflammation. This makes sense as the stress hormones erode the immune system's responsiveness.

Behaviorally, stress breaks down self-control, so it is no surprise that stress leads to bingeing, addictive behavior, impluse buying, etc.--all "knock-on" effects with negative consequences.

Chronic stress permanently degrades our ability to rationally analyze and plan, and so we act irrationally or erratically, as we are no longer able to stick to a conscious plan of coherent action. With the rational mind and self-control centers permanently suppressed, we are prone to "zombie" passivity, "sleepwalking" though life. This may help explain Americans' remarkable passivity as their civil liberties are taken away and their financial insecurity increases.

Many of the features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are visible in "everyday Americans," and an understanding of how stress erodes rational thought and self-control helps explain why.

We have three ways to counter the destructive consequences of stress:

1) Develop positive physical and mental responses via discipline and practice (for example, yoga, martial arts, etc.)

2) Turn off the mainstream media

3) Stay focused on our plans. The simpler and more positive the plan, the more likely it is we can stay focused on it in stressful circumstances.


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Fri, 03/30/2012 - 10:52 | 2303494 the 300000000th...
the 300000000th percent's picture

I have a dream that one day, the mainstream media will be de legitimized for all the false propaganda they churn out. And that they will be exposed for the lap dogs of the establishment that they are. All the big networks like CNN,MSNBC,FOX,ABC and others are corporate owned and what has happened in America is big corporations are now fully in bed with the US Government and therefore are pushed by funding to report on what the US Government wants them to report on. We used to call that Fascism. This is the megaphone that has people believing in this false recovery.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 10:57 | 2303520 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

That's already starting to happen. 

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 10:59 | 2303522 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Wudda ya mean it was just BS?


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:32 | 2303612 Divided States ...
Divided States of America's picture

Funny, so you're saying that the Jews (owns the Media, Financials, Legal System and bought out most of Congress)are going to admit that they are doing all this for world domination? Ha, I will see it before I believe it.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:41 | 2303633 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



This article is phucking with my serenity.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 18:37 | 2305143 DorseyCecil68669
DorseyCecil68669's picture

my friend's aunt makes $72/hr on the internet. She has been without work for six months but last month her payment was $19183 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here's the site to read more .....

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 01:07 | 2305794 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

You got no friends and you know it.

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 01:14 | 2305802 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

$72/hr x "a few hours does still not add up to $19183

Let me see a few   ...3 x $72 =216.....

Wow I think she got over paid.

But I am sure she is patriotic and will give the overpayment back.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:04 | 2303536 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

What's worse is people hanging their hopes on the right wing talkers as though they're not corporate owned.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:37 | 2303622 The Limerick King
The Limerick King's picture



My life has become a delusion

An MSM web of confusion

I no longer feel

I know what is real

I'm comforted by the illusion...

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:04 | 2303696 CrimsonAvenger
CrimsonAvenger's picture

Damn but you're good. +1 from me.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:19 | 2303740 ConfederateH
ConfederateH's picture

Treyvan Martin and his gangta "No Limit N*gga" pals would call Ron Paul a "Right Wing Talker".

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:15 | 2303938 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Since Ron Paul isn't some illiterate gangsta rappa elevated to high culture by our psychotic societal mandarins, I doubt our poor dead Treyvon would've been the least aware of his existence. 

I could have missed Ron's "duhurduhda nigga, duhurduhurda trigga <UHHH!> googoola bitches, googola switches <UHHH! Like DAT!> speech.

But hey, I haven't been following the news lately.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:19 | 2303581 Catullus
Catullus's picture

I think that would require a level of shame that these people don't possess. The people reporting the news have the cognitive ability of a ham sandwich. A journalism degree seems the closest thing to a degree in sales as one an get at this point. In fact, every good salesman we have at my company was a journalism major. It's actually quite funny. They don't know shit about what they're selling, but they're selling it.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 16:13 | 2304695 johngoes
johngoes's picture

I'd say it's a marketing major, not sales. A salesman wants to take your money to get his commission. Marketing doesn't get money from you - they get theirs from their corporate hack masters. Marketing just wants to convince you the corporate coolaid is cool.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:34 | 2303615 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

"I also have a dream, but in it I'm not wearing any pants." -- A. Whitney Brown

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:38 | 2303624 Piranhanoia
Piranhanoia's picture

I guess it dates to Ted Turner selling CNN.  Before that, reality wasn't ignored as much.  There were investigative reporters everywhere.  We got bad news that sometimes helped to thwart the future impacts by causing awareness and allowing change.

Not any more.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:57 | 2303681 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

Stress is all in the head.  Everyones biggest problem  is as big as the other person biggest problem.

For those who put themselves in huge debt, houses, cars and champaign dreams on beer budgets, created their own stressful clusterfuck. If you let your money manage you, instead of managing your money, then it is partially your fault. Stress needs to managed because it all falls on you.

Best ways to manage stress:

Learn your soul.

Rant by yourself, screaming at the MSM asshats.

Enjoy all the good things in your life.

Seek the truth for how you ended up here.

When all else fails, just say FUCK IT. and drink beer.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:32 | 2303781 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

Good advice, and I've mastered the last one.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:44 | 2304119 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


When all else fails, just say FUCK IT. and drink beer.

When all else fails, it's Jay Time!

...or you could always break out the bong:


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 17:17 | 2304920 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

You have seen the light, grasshopper.  What a shared vision!

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 10:57 | 2303499 CH1
CH1's picture

The great stress-avoidance: Drop out of the system and start living YOUR way.

The system is designed to bleed you dry at all turns. Reject it and start building something better. THAT is rewarding.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:21 | 2303586 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

+ 1000

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:49 | 2303654 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Exactly.  You can combat stress--turn off the fucking tv.  That's the first step to recovery. 

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 15:53 | 2304615 mtomato2
mtomato2's picture

I went on a news fast for seven days a couple of weeks ago.  Including Zero Hedge.  Best week I ever had.  I'm gonna try and do it regular.

Interesting paragraph I saw, thumbing through 1984 again the other day, and I can't seem to get it out of my head:


In the ramifications of party doctrine she had not the faintest interest.
Whenever he began to talk of the principles of Ingsoc, doublethink, the mutability
of the past, and the denial of objective reality, and to use Newspeak
words, she became bored and confused and said that she never paid any attention
to that kind of thing. One knew that it was all rubbish, so why let oneself
be worried by it? She knew when to cheer and when to boo, and that was all
one needed. If he persisted in talking of such subjects, she had a disconcerting
habit of falling asleep. She was one of those people who can go to sleep at any hour and in any position. Talking to her, he realized how easy it was to
present an appearance of orthodoxy while having no grasp whatever of what
orthodoxy meant. In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most
successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept
the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the
enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested
in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they
remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed
did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will
pass undigested through the body of a bird.

Sorry..  I know it was long, but...  "Knew when to cheer, and when to boo..."  Who of us here on ZH doesn't already intrinsically know that right now?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 19:00 | 2305207 Miss anthrope
Miss anthrope's picture




Fri, 03/30/2012 - 19:00 | 2305208 Miss anthrope
Miss anthrope's picture




Sat, 03/31/2012 - 10:44 | 2306186 e-recep
e-recep's picture

yeah but how? by living in caves and hunting in the woods?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 10:54 | 2303505 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



Wait 'til the black market for SSRIs takes hold...

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:00 | 2303506 LouisDega
LouisDega's picture

Dr Leo Buscaglia Bitchezz

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 10:56 | 2303516 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

My brain's chief command center shut down due to stress a long time ago. Fortunately there's an App for that and my iPad is running my life now.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:09 | 2303546 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture


or maybe


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 20:44 | 2305382 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Well, running the World's largest car dealership(s) will do that to ya!

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 10:57 | 2303519 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

I AM NOT LOSING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 10:58 | 2303523 km4
km4's picture

Working 9 to 5 -- at 75

For millions of workers, retirement has been delayed for years; others say they may never retire. Thanks to the nation's massive asset meltdown -- sagging retirement accounts, plunging property values -- an enormous swath of the population has had to redefine their life path. Older folks who assumed they'd be retired by now are struggling with the need to work long after the passion (not to mention the brain and the body) has started to fade. And the result of all this turmoil is a little-noticed but profound shift in the workforce.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:01 | 2303528 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

I've noticed a lot more little old ladies driving school buses. What could possibly go wrong?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:07 | 2303551 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Those darling little munchkins will make the old ladies into crazed JetBlue'll see

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:08 | 2303553 sabra1
sabra1's picture

my friends grandmother's grandmother used to earn $50.00 a day driving a school bus. now she earns $2600.00 a month on the internet using her sex-cam!

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:24 | 2303595 harmonymonkey
harmonymonkey's picture

Link please...

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:24 | 2303754 ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

Did you run out of animal scat porn to fap to?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:00 | 2303526 CvlDobd
CvlDobd's picture


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:02 | 2303532 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

 "Derealization leads to chronic stress, which then disrupts our ability to make rational decisions and follow plans"


I just buy myself a few ounces of gold & instantly feel better...

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:03 | 2303534 PacOps
PacOps's picture

Check out this option ...

How Stress Affects the Brain 

Stress, pressure, fatigue, poor diet, alcohol, and drugs damage neural connections between the brain’s prefrontal cortex—or “CEO”—and the rest of the brain.

When you are overtired or under intense mental or physical stress, the brain bypasses its higher, more evolved, rational, frontal executive circuits—it starts using more primitive stimulus/ response pathways.

Consequently, you respond to daily demands without thinking; you make impulsive, shortsighted decisions.

When the brain’s CEO goes “offline,” strong emotions, such as fear and anger, take over, adversely coloring your view of the world.

How the Transcendental Meditation?technique Optimizes the Brain

The stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation® technique provides the experience of “restful alertness,” which increases blood flow to the brain’s prefrontal cortex, strengthening communication between the prefrontal cortex and other areas of the brain, and develops total brain functioning.

As a result, the TM® practitioner displays stronger executive functions, with more purposeful thinking and farsighted decision-making.

When the brain’s CEO is fully “online,” the emotional response to the world is more balanced and appropriate.

Better, healthier decisions result in reduced illness, improved overall health, and longer life.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:32 | 2303611 Boxed Merlot
Boxed Merlot's picture

As a result, the TM® practitioner displays stronger executive functions, with more purposeful thinking and farsighted decision-making...


Keep telling yourself that. 


It also helps to have a destination.


Alice in Wonderland: Alice-“What road should I take?”  Cheshire Cat- “That depends, where do you want to go?”  Alice-“I don’t know”.  Cat-“Then it doesn’t matter”.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:40 | 2303629 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Best 'stress reliever' for good brain 'CEO' health? Choking the shit out of a CEO.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:05 | 2303544 PaperBear
PaperBear's picture
COINTELPRO googles as always.


3-28-12 David Wilcock Interview of Drake, “an Insider specifically asked by the Pentagon ‘good guys’ to come forward”

Part 2b opens with the notion that there were, during the Vietnam War, continuous attempts to instigate copies of the My Lai massacre of innocent civilians that would see the enlisted men refuse the order followed by the rescinding of the order.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:06 | 2303547 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Yoga works for many to relieve stress but it can also fuck you up bigtime:

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:08 | 2303552 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

"In the absence of stress, the neocortex-rational-mind functions suppress the more primitive subconscious signals of aggression, hunger, sex drive, etc."

Bullish bunga bunga!.... in the Italian leadership context.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:09 | 2303554 Carpathia
Carpathia's picture

I'm 64 and have lived through a number of recesssions.  I'm a zerohedger and so believe that a major collapse is coming.  But the bottom line is that you have to take individual control of your own life.  You have to find work that is both meaningful and renumerative.  Waiting for the system to save you is a fool's errand.  Of course there is a social construction to our lives.  But it's up to each of us to construct a meaningful life.  Tune out all of the made up fantasy bullshit.  It can be done. 

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:15 | 2303571 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

I'm pretty close to your age and I need help with finding meaningful and renumerative work. Being a lifeguard in a car wash just isn't cutting it for me.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 17:15 | 2304911 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

There are lots of folks who formerly earned six figures who are now pressed to take that Walmart greeter job at minimum wage.  Meantime the Banksters and Wall St. MUST get their bonus!

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 11:08 | 2306213 e-recep
e-recep's picture

the word is 'remunerative', folks.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:15 | 2303572 sabra1
Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:33 | 2303614 Paul Atreides
Paul Atreides's picture

Alex Jones does break some informative news here and there but he does nothing but promote fear, not once does he ever offer a solution to the problem or name the crooks instead of the puppets. I guess that's why they let him stay on the air...

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:20 | 2303744 CH1
CH1's picture

Right, and that's the sad, sad copmmentary: For actual news, we have to turn to Alex Jones, fer gawd's sake!!!

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 15:08 | 2304450 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

His news reports would be better if he did not sensationalize them.

Some are misleading, but the general target is right on.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 17:13 | 2304907 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

Right there with you Carpathia.  Lots of us are living off "fumes" compared with our former resources.  I sometimes feel like I'm suffocating but then I try to pull back & look at the big picture.  Life goes on, regardless.  And yes, a monster crash is coming that Americans will have a very hard time coping with.  Probably why Ruger can't keep up with gun orders.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:15 | 2303566 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

"The disconnect between what the authorities are claiming and what people are actually experiencing is widening, and that leads to stress."


It leads to folks thinking, "Boy am I ever a fucking loser....I can't even make ends meet when all around me everyone else is doing just great."

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:19 | 2303582 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

That is a great point! I see this all the time with friends and family. People are getting fed up with feeling beat down.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:30 | 2303607 centerline
centerline's picture

I get this daily from my wife, who is completely convinced there is a magic formula that I do not have which is why she does not have everything that everyone else around us has.  Apparently everyone around me has cash coming out both ears.  Funny that all I see is debt in 90% or more of them.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:43 | 2303641 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

I'm sure you've explained it to her, so does she just not get the "debt" issue? People are so accustomed to thinking that debt is no big deal. When my parents were growing up, debt was regarded as a negative, with the exception of a reasonable mortgage. My how things have changed, as has the definition of "reasonable".

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:35 | 2304067 centerline
centerline's picture

For sure.  Realistically, I think she "gets it" on some level.  But is caught between the reality she sees and is told by everyone else (her circle of friends... aka Ministry of Truth) and the world she knows exists underneath (the real truth).  It goes to show powerful the "dark side" is... the temptation of debt... the redefining of wants as needs... etc.  Plus, I live in an area where most people are in fact much better off than us, which does make it more of a challenge.

But, one by one, things I point out come true and people who seem to have it all fall from grace in an amazing display of exploding debt!  One of her friends got divorced a few years back and both her and her husband came to realize that each had something north of $50k in debt they had hidden from each other.  I laughed my ass off because my wife was soooooo jealous of the things they had.  Ha, ha.  It was all smoke and mirrors.  And I know that the majority of the people around me are the same.  The bigger the paycheck - the bigger the expenses and debts in most cases.  Just human nature.

Mostly, she is a kind-hearted person with a strong work ethic.  When push comes to shove, she does the right things.  But, is sheeple having a hard time casting off the chains.  And as such, my family is then bound by those same chains.  Time will test those chains I am sure, and I will be there to help release her from them and show her and my kids another way.  I have been ready for a long time for a different existence myself.

Always nice to see you around WD.


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:56 | 2304179 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Centerline said:

For sure.  Realistically, I think she "gets it" on some level.  But is caught between the reality she sees and is told by everyone else (her circle of friends... aka Ministry of Truth) and the world she knows exists underneath (the real truth).

It must be a continual struggle to keep bringing her back to reality after her friends give her a good brainwashing. Keep at it, though, because a family which has a firm grounding in reality is a rare and valuable asset.

You might suggest to her to inquire about her friends' monthly debt burden when they are showing off their latest financed endorphin rushes.

Best of luck to you.


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 17:42 | 2304997 centerline
centerline's picture

Yeah - society at large really works people over.  Peer groups can be even worse.  It is a constant battle against obvious programming.  I can see the cracks in the dam though!

FYI - I openly share this here because I know that so many people are in a similar situation.  I have a friend at work in the same boat and it is fun at times to share stories, failed endeavors, new angles taken, etc.  Anyhow, if anyone finds this and gets something out of it... mission accomplished.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 17:14 | 2304909 Jena
Jena's picture

There are lots of ways in which to sort people but this is a big one:  People are either basically happy or they're not, and the ones who aren't 1) expect someone else to make them happy and 2) can't ever be satisfied.  Wanting what other people have (and expecting you to go get it for her) is one example.

You can't fill a bucket with a hole in it.

Good luck.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:51 | 2303660 therearetoomany...
therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Divorce - if your sacred partner derides you and questions your quality and in essence says that you have failred - time to go. 

See how she does without you. 


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:05 | 2303900 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Under Marriage 2.0 (thanks, Cultural Marxism!), she'd do quite well. The house, the car, the kids, the savings, the retirement funds, plus a handy monthly stipend. Freed of the oppression of our friend's financial restraints and any consequences of her bad behavior, she can jump off the deep end into debt, and our friend here would get the bill.


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:05 | 2303898 ILikeBoats
ILikeBoats's picture

Set a series of tests for her , if she fails them, carefully plan for a divorce.  If she has assets that are not commingled with family assets, see that they somehow are, so that she cannot try to keep them out of the division.  Yes, this happened to me in 2008, in 2011 I asked for a divorce, best decision of the decade for me, despite the process not being over yet.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:59 | 2304194 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

Re I get this daily from my wife...

Sounds like you could use a roll of  duct-tape... the industrial-strength variety ;)

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 17:06 | 2304886 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

Buying crapola on credit is NOT the path to happiness.  EXTRA STRENGTH duct tape.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 20:11 | 2305325 kiwidor
kiwidor's picture

Women should know their limits;


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:02 | 2303884 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

I think it's worse. I actually do make ends meet.  Yet I feel like a fucking loser because so many have gotten so much for free while I have to pay for it.

I feel like a fucking loser because I can't refi my house from 7.5% to 3% because I owe too little on it.

I feel like a fucking loser because my sons education was doubly funded by me, via taxation and via direct purchase of tuition and books.

I feel like a fucking loser because I've known since the 80's (when Congress first took notice of the Social Security funding issue and did nothing about it) that I would never see retirement as my parents have.

I feel like a fucking loser because my 401-k investments have lost money, and over the last two years the investment options have ALL been annual losers.  Also, I can no longer make a loan to myself, due to plan rule changes, in order to purchase precious metals.

I feel like a fucking loser because my cash is worth less and less yet, apparently, food stamp cards seem to increase in value.

I feel like a fucking loser because I have been unemployed for prolonged periods of up to six months and had NO unemployment benefits.

I feel like a fucking loser because I didn't dip into my equity to fund an exotic vacation, an RV, new cars or other shit that so many others cheerfully displayed.

I feel like a fucking loser because for the first forty years of my life I basically didn't pay too much attention to the assholes in DC and put misguided faith in the belief that they worked on my behalf.

Etc...but whining make me look like a fucking loser, too.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:06 | 2303907 ILikeBoats
ILikeBoats's picture

go buy an ounce of silver, get yourself a nice shiny Silver American Eagle , you will feel better.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:30 | 2304317 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

I always have two eagles in my pocket...just in case.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 18:31 | 2305114 Implicit simplicit
Implicit simplicit's picture

Your not the loser because your learning how not to play the game by their rules. Stiff them every chance you get; it will make you feel better.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:16 | 2303576 trip kitchen
trip kitchen's picture

"When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, they lose it."

-Gerald Celente

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:23 | 2303590 centerline
centerline's picture

Another good guy who doesn't get tricked by all the smoke and mirrors.  Sucks to get screwed by MF Global though.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:18 | 2303580 I_Rowboat
I_Rowboat's picture

As for number 1, your energies are far better spent doing something that's both physically useful and productive -- like splitting wood, tending your garden, or foraging for game/mushrooms/berries etc.  There is an enormous amount of practical knowledge that we have collectively lost over the past several generations about how to thrive in a low energy, constrained economic situation.  Try to re-discover some of it now, before you have to depend on the results.

As for number 2 -- Duh.  Turn off and kick in your TV.  Do it.  Now!  I haven't owned one since 2000.  Same for all of the iNarcissism gadgets and their internet-based erratta (here's looking at you, Facebook and Twitter)  Fuck 'em - one and all.

As for number 3 (sticking to a simple plan), see number 1.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:21 | 2303583 centerline
centerline's picture

There is a mathematical side to what is going on.  There is a political side to what is going on.  And so on.  Then there is the human side to what is going on.  CHS continues to be a favorite of mine in this regard and deserves applause for "keeping it real"  (I know, here comes the Chapelle clips -  LOL).

Is funny that just the other day I was talking with my kids percussion instructor (a guy who really loves what we does and is very much not materialistic) about stress and the way life has become in main stream America.  He went right to the fight or flight thing.  That we are being bombarded daily with stress that triggers, and ultimtely desensitizes/nuetralizes, this mechanism.  The ramifications of this are profound.  When he pointed out this simple (and painfully obvious) truth to me - it hit me like a lightning bolt.  If CHS can reach a even a few people with articles like this, he is a hero in my book.  We do have to remember that the journey as important (if not more) than the destination.


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:23 | 2303591 semperfi
semperfi's picture

Gotta get back to the basics - family, neighbors, friends, fun, hard work, God, guns, gold.  Maybe Green Acres is the place to be.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:56 | 2303668 tiwimon
tiwimon's picture

Ain't that the truth! Memories and moments matter, simplify and live life for you, your family and friends, not the Jersey Shore, Desperate Housewives or whatever way media wants us to


/edit - In the last couple years I have learned a new way to live, I call it the drama free way, if it causes drama - it gets kicked to the curb, if it causes stress its kicked to the curb, if it raises my bloodpressure or is too damn complicated or too much money for something that adds no real value to my or my families life - its kicked to the curb - less drama = life made simple


//yeah I know - there is a little drama in every life - but I try to adhere to that at any rate

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:55 | 2303676 I_Rowboat
I_Rowboat's picture

I'll skip the God part -- I don't see how more magical thinking will help the situation -- but ditto on the rest of your list.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:38 | 2303794 semperfi
semperfi's picture

The God part can be as simple as 3 basics, the way it is for me: 
- 10 Commandments
- Golden Rule
- natural God-given rights which cannot be usurped by humans/govt

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:00 | 2304199 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Maybe Green Acres is the place to be.

I'm convinced that it is. Just make sure you don't buy anything off the back of Mr. Haney's truck.


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 17:00 | 2304863 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

The Haney place?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:23 | 2303594 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

"We have three ways to counter the destructive consequences of stress:"

#4...a few hours at the range seems to help.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:25 | 2303596 stormsailor
stormsailor's picture

with zsa-zsa in a peek-a-boo? 

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:03 | 2304217 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

It was Eva Gabor in a peek-a-boo, dahlink.


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:26 | 2303599 zerotohero
zerotohero's picture

most days i fell like a yo-yo with all the turmoil in the markets, banking system, military threats, global warming, twitter/facebook, big brother police state, food prices, oil, unemployment, medicare etc.


i need a drink

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:05 | 2304223 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


i need a drink

...or maybe just burn a little rope.  ;)_s


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:26 | 2303601 dbomb12
Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:30 | 2303606 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

I had to stop watching CNBC.  Their moronic spew was actually just pissing me off.  How can they work around finance that long and not figure out the market is rising because the currency system is dead?  I bet they didn't even cover this yesterday: 

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:58 | 2303616 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

Anyone see or report this yet?

15 Trillion dollar cover up discovered by the house of Lords UK.

Search: Tim Geithner arrested, detained then released, questioned about AIG cover up.

200 Financial execs arrested.



US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Arrested, Questioned and Released

As predicted, the collapse of the Satan worshipping financial mafia is accelerating. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was detained for questioning by New York police on February 24th and was released after giving evidence about many high level financial criminals, according to New York police sources. “In most cases we have to slap people to get them to talk but in his case we had to slap him to shut him up,” one of the interrogators joked. Geithner has been released but is accompanied at all times by an armed deputy to make sure he does not leave the country. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy is also proving to be very talkative, sources in Europe say. Berlusconi has been released. Meanwhile, meetings between White Dragon Society representatives and South Korean government officials last week in Seoul were very productive.

…is first report further on the ongoing chaos in Europe and the US before returning to the Asian negotiations. In general what has happened is that dozens of high level informants have come forth in the past weeks and detailed testimony by them is being gathered. Apart from Geithner and Berlusconi, the talking big fish include members of the Rothschild family who have come forth with startling information.

The most interesting revelation given by the Rothschilds is that Queen Victoria was actually the illegitimate daughter of Nathaniel Rothschild. That means Rothschild’s had managed to place family members at the head of the British, German and Russian empires by the time World War I started. Hitler was also a Rothschild who wanted to be crowned King of the world and who helped found Israel by chasing the Jews out of Europe. Their infiltration of the highest levels of world power continued in the post war period. So, in the big picture of things we are witnessing the collapse of the Rothschild attempt to crown themselves as monarchs of a world government with a capital in Jerusalem.

The competing attempt by George Bush Sr. and the Nazi faction to set up a 1000 year reich is also collapsing. Geithner has already told the police that both he and Obama work for Bush. The Bushes, like Geithner and others are not allowed to leave the US now.

The names of some of the many top cabalists being fingered by high level defectors will be listed at the end of this report.

In other signs of the collapsing old regime, the Greeks have clearly told the EU to put their latest bail out where the sun does not shine. Elected Prime Minister George Papandreous is expected to return to power soon and replace cabal puppet Lucas Papademos, according to Europe based CIA sources.

The Italians are also deciding they do not want to become part of the greater German empire and have begun actively preparing a return to the Lira, the sources said.

The cabalists for their part are still fighting to preserve their power and control. The latest scam they are working on involves the $6 trillion worth of 1934 gold back securities that were seized in Switzerland recently. These bonds were tied to financier and Bush/Clinton bagman Mark Rich of Glencore Commodities. The plan was to place Hillary Clinton at the head of the World Bank and have her use the World Bank to launder the bonds and give the money to the communist government in China. The Chinese, in return, were supposed to turn a blind eye to the continuing European Central Bank and Federal Reserve Board scams.

The cabalists have also tried yet again to assassinate Russia’s Vladimir Putin in an attempt to regain control of Russia in a desperate attempt to revive the insane plan to get the Russians to help start the World War 3 they feel is needed to complete their plans for world domination.

The pentagon has already told top cabalist attack dog Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel that they would shoot down any Israeli planes that tried to trigger this war by attacking Iran.

The CBS news network in the US now has also broken with the cabalists and has begun information warfare with cabalist propaganda outlets like CNN and Fox.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:23 | 2303998 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Ok, I'll bite. What's the White Dragon Society?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:07 | 2304234 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Ok, I'll bite. What's the White Dragon Society?

You might want to ask White Spiritual Boy about that one.


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:19 | 2304268 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Ok, I'll bite. Who's White Spiritual Boy?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 15:28 | 2304498 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Ok, I'll bite. Who's White Spiritual Boy?

Good question. Let us know if you find out. (Yes, I'm being completely serious.)


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:56 | 2304416 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Fulford comes from a distinguished Canadian family.

He worked for Forbes a few years back.

Supposedly, he is the spokesman for this WDS who are going to wipe out the NWO and make heaven on earth.

There is supposed to be a lawsuit in adjudication now which is causing bankers to resign and flee for parts unknown.

For some reason, the WDS is cheap, considering they have tons of gold. They cannot afford a decent u-tube studio or suit for their spokesman.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 16:59 | 2304858 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

This has about as much credibility as "The Galactic Federation of Light".  Complete & utter B.S.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 20:59 | 2305413 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Admit it, you didn't depart with the rest of the Heaven's Gate cult to Hale Bopp...:>D

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 19:21 | 2305234 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

And in further news, Pinky and The Brain have cornered the market in markets and are now one step closer to TAKING OVER THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:35 | 2303617 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:15 | 2303623 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

Doug Casey wrote an interesting piece last week titled "The Ascendance of Sociopaths in Governance". Couple such personalities with the use of anti-depressent pharmacologicals and/or alcohol, it's not difficult to see how such abominations as the NDAA come to pass. Regardless, we're long past the point of no return. Take care of your corner as best you can.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:38 | 2304085 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Sociopath = psychopath

There is no cure for psychopathy.  If you put them in counseling they will actually try to learn manipulation from the counselor, tell them what they want to hear, etc.  

So if there is no cure, what is the solution?  Well, psychos hate to be recognized as psychos!  It completely eliminates any chance of successful exploitation if the populace is on to you.  So clearly all the psycho politicians, banksters, and execs need to be OUTed!  Immediately!

There once was  a site called PsychoNews, if I recall correctly...

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:42 | 2303637 hidingfromhelis
hidingfromhelis's picture

Doesn't this describe our increasingly dysfunctional and disconnected-from-reality legislative process? 

No, those asshats are part of the looting, like remoras swimming along side of their overlord sharks, hoping to pick up some crumbs.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:45 | 2303644 HarryM
HarryM's picture

Great article

Conflicting stimuli to our brains is what causes see sickness

Thank God we have this site or I would start to believe that I am insane. 

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:53 | 2303670 Blue Horshoe Lo...
Blue Horshoe Loves Annacott Steel's picture

In the long run, this is very bullish for the riots and civil unrest ETF.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:14 | 2303725 The worst trader
The worst trader's picture

I've become comfortably numb.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 16:57 | 2304853 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

We're all numb now, some more comfortably than others, but this is right where TPTB want us.  At some point a trigger event will wake everyone up like Albert Finney in "Network".  I'm waiting for Chuck Henry on CH 4 to step up and do the "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore" speech.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:16 | 2303732 robdashu
robdashu's picture

I wonder of the stress/losing it reaction is consisten across the population,  Do different classes (yes, rich and poor) perceive the same amount of stress.


Is stress about paying the rent the same as stress of having you millions in investments be cut in half?


I suspect the stress levels are similar, even thought the drivers of the stress are quite different;   but if the stress gets higher on the masses, that's wqhen the revilution and mass civil disobedience - or violence and terrorism - start.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:32 | 2303783 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

" Even the wildest fantasy has to have some basis in reality; otherwise, most people become discouraged".

Apparently the Fed and MSM do not care. They have their respective agendas.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:47 | 2303818 Dr.Vannostrand
Dr.Vannostrand's picture

This article hits home for myself. My now ex GF decided to get me out of her life late last month because I didnt propose yet. I was going to pop the question next month, haha, but didnt matter to her; and I was a mess for the 1st couple of weeks. Been doing the old stay with the parents thing until I could move into my new place, and it has done wonders for me. The time spent with family has been great and allowed me for focus on myself for the 1st time in a while. Looking back, things were not good with myself and the ex for a while, hence me not popping the question; and this is probably the best thing that could happen to me. Way less, stress, back in great shape, and more benny-bucks for AuAg and Pb rather than going to "support" her, haha. Thanks to Tyler and all the members here, haven't logged in since all of this happened, but been reading and all the insanity here keeps me sane. In the immortal words of Frank Costanza "I'm back baby!"

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:47 | 2303827 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

I completely agree with "turn off the mainstream media". Most of the "news" presented on it is intended to upset us, to split us into evenly-divided red and blue camps. I think the MSM is dying, and it's a generational thing. Most of the people I notice who watch network/local news TV programs or read their local corporate-owned newspapers are over 55.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:13 | 2303926 ILikeBoats
ILikeBoats's picture

You can tell the target market by watching the commercials ... mainstream news TV is only appealing to people who need Hoveround scooters, have grandkids, or need drugs due to disability or old age.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 15:30 | 2304506 Goldtoothchimp09
Goldtoothchimp09's picture

-- and the young folks support Ron Paul !

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:32 | 2304048 stiler
stiler's picture




2) Turn off the mainstream media

3) Stay focused on our plans. The simpler and more positive the plan, the more likely it is we can stay focused on it in stressful circumstances.



like sitting with head in chin in front of computer screen? Get to work! ...oh, wait.

I think you need to have something more than money-making as a goal-- like gold collecting, or making art. What're ya made to do?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 21:04 | 2305418 StychoKiller
Fri, 03/30/2012 - 22:53 | 2305492 Jena
Jena's picture

Marquetry, too.  Click to enlarge.  (Furniture is just one facet but I opened with this because of the gun cabinets.)  With this as one's hobby, you wouldn't even have to know what the MSM is talking about anymore.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:52 | 2304129 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

Stress is the number one killer by far. It causes most mental illnesses, hypertension, diabetes, drug use (incl using food as a drug) etc, etc. etc.  Learn to meditate and see things objectively without emotionality (even though everyone around you is crazy), you will be fine. The key is to stay in the present, and leave the past and future pretty much alone.  This takes time and practice.  Unfortunately, most do not do this. With predictable results. The ancients knew this. We should learn it as well. Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" is a good start.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:54 | 2304404 Sal34
Sal34's picture

Well said, Desiderata is one I always liked too.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:43 | 2304367 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

But but but McLaren car sales go through the roof, another sign that the consumer is baaaaaaaaaack.

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 11:25 | 2306235 e-recep
e-recep's picture

aww, have you not learned it yet? if the economy of the top 1% improves, it means the whole economy is improving. ivy league economics 101.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 15:09 | 2304455 Ljoot
Ljoot's picture

We have three ways to counter the destructive consequences of stress:

Make that four.



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