“It could be argued that we are now in the midst of a coup d’état in slow motion. Democracy is weakening; few people would disagree. Corporatism is strengthening; you only have to look around you. Yet none of us has chosen this route for our society, in spite of which our elites quite happily continue down it. Certainly corporatism is creating a conformist society. It is a modern form of feudalism.”

John Ralston Saul

"Donald Trump is not an anomaly. He is the grotesque visage of a collapsed democracy. The creeping corporate coup d’état that began forty five years ago is complete.  It has destroyed the lives of tens of millions of Americans no longer able to find work that provides a living wage, cursed to live in chronic poverty.”

Chris Hedges

“A narcissist paints a picture of themselves as being the victim or innocent in all aspects. They will be offended by the truth.  But what is done in the dark will come to light.  Time has a way of showing people’s true colors.”

Karla Grimes

"Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years. Dissent tolerated when I joined a national newspaper in Britain in the 1960s has regressed to a metaphoric underground as liberal capitalism moves towards a form of corporate dictatorship.

This is a seismic shift, with journalists policing the new groupthink, dispensing its myths and distractions, pursuing its enemies.

The source of 'fake news' is not only trollism, or the likes of Fox News, or Donald Trump, but a journalism self-anointed with a false respectability: a liberal journalism that claims to challenge corrupt state power but, in reality, courts and protects it, and colludes with it.

Complex stories are reported to a cult-like formula of bias, hearsay and omission. So much of the mainstream has descended to this level. Subjectivism is all; slogans and outrage are proof enough. What matters is the 'perception.'"

John Pilger, Hold the Front Page: The Reporters are Missing

“There’s a reason narcissists don’t learn from mistakes and that’s because they never get past the first step which is admitting that they made one.”

Jeffrey Kluger

“Hate obscures all distinctions.”

C.S. Lewis

All these jokers have to offer to us is hate and fear— both of which emotions obscure reason, the instrument of scrutiny which their actions and policies cannot bear.

Stocks opened significantly lower, but with the support of some determined, price insentive buying programs in the futures markets, were able to finish virtually unchanged.

Gold was trying to break out, but was pushed back down into the close.

Today was the first trading day of this new year of 2019.  And it is almost certainly going to be interesting.

Non-Farm Payrolls report on Friday.

It is not that our age is lacking in self-aggrandizing 'heroes'.   We have an excess of them.  They cast themselves as our saviours against phantoms of fear and the troubles that they themselves have created.   Our two political parties and the corporate monopolies act like competing crime families rather than the organizers and protectors of society.

Rather, there is an alarming shortage of the basic principles of morality being exercised by mature adults.  And this shortage is particularly acute in NY and DC, the halls of big business and the government which big money has bought.

This will end, but it will not end well.

Have a pleasant evening.