Monday, November 7, 2016

Vote

Vote
For my U.S. readers - go vote tomorrow. Do it. That is all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Biggest FU in Recorded History


Michael Moore is actually listening. Color me stunned. We'll see if the Donald will actually pull it off, but as I keep saying - the rage is real. Trump doesn't have "support" so much as he is seen as a way to blow up the necrotic hand of corruption and oppression that has strangled Deplorable Country for decades.

Mood matters.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Curtain Falls?

The End

Long silence on this end. Partially due to the pressures of life. Partially due to the fact that all the things we've discussed for years here at FutureJacked are coming to life. All this planning is no longer an academic exercise.

Let's take a look over the landscape.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

What Will You Do in Post-Coup America?

USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll 28 July 2016

On July 19, 2016, The Los Angeles Times, a highly credible and influential U.S. News organization, published the following Op-Ed by James Kirchik, entitled If Trump Wins, A Coup Isn't Impossible Here in the U.S. If you haven't, please take time to read it. There will be nothing new in it if you've been following the election via the twitter feeds and articles from America's formidable array of highly credentialed and well-regarded media establishment. It's not the content, but the framing I want to draw your attention to. You have a prominent media figure floating a trial balloon in the sort of "I'm not sayin', but I'm just sayin'..." style that you see when someone under intense stress is talking themselves into doing something very challenging and very life-altering. Imagine for a moment a major U.S. news organization publishing such a thing in 2008, positing such an event if Obama were to beat McCain...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Cost of Disruption Continues to Collapse

The Disruption by CAVARTWORKS

One of the themes we continue to harp upon here at FutureJacked is that the settled and orderly life (and the systems set up to support that orderly existence) that so many (not all, but many) in the Western Industrial World have enjoyed for decades is coming unraveled as the foundations upon which it was built upon wash away under the changing tides of net negative social mood and a shift in technology allowing small groups to wield significant power to destroy.

The Old World, built as it was during an era of intensely positive social mood, governed by bureaucracies that were at least moderately efficient in not killing the goose that lays the golden eggs of good jobs and stable investment environments, and leveraging technologies of violence that tilted in favor of large-scale organizations (generally the thesis described in brief in Catastrophic Abundance) is dead. The vast majority just have not woken up to that fact. When they do, they will look around see a world with its infrastructure all laid out in nice, shiny, easily disrupted locations because of the assumptions made back in an era of peace and trust.

As mood continues to darken, things like this will continue to intrude on the psyche of that majority, reinforcing the downturn:

Threatening Robo-Calls Evacuate Thousands of Students in U.S., U.K. Schools

Thousands of students in several dozen schools across the United States and Great Britain were evacuated Monday after what appeared to be coordinated recorded threats of violence were called in, according to news reports and law enforcement officials who spoke to NBC News...
The formal response modern institutions are locked into guarantees widespread disruption at the most minor of perceived threats. It's as if society has an auto-immune disease and the slightest trigger can set off a cascading set of costly, disruptive, and time-consuming responses. And this particular incident didn't even involve a bomb or a gun. Imagine the disruption ramped up from here if a pipe bomb (even a fake one) had been planted as part of this Op...

John Robb has done a lot of work in this space over the years and you should be following his stuff.

But don't just read and think about it. There's more than sufficient evidence out there right now for you to realize you must - must - become more resilient. Grow a garden, have a little extra food on hand. Know what to do if the power goes out for four days, know your neighbors. Life is going to get much more unsettled in the coming decades. Act now to prepare so you are not caught like a deer in the headlights when things go off-script.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Threat Board May 2016

Crumble Canyon by Clay Brooks

In my last post, I mentioned I'd be hashing out some thoughts on structures to help us navigate the storm building up all around us. It's proving tougher than I thought. More to come and we may just muddle through it together.

In the meantime, we need to give another look at our threat board.

Rule #1: Check the Saudi Stock Market


I cannot continue to stress this enough - check the trend of the Saudi stock market (SASEIDX). Here is the one-year chart for perspective:
SASEIDX, Bloomberg
They continue to hold the line, but take a look at it from the perspective of the 5 year chart and you'll see what looks to me to be an unhealthy pattern. For you technical analysts out there, especially those who use the Elliott Wave toolkit, chart your own waves or have EWI do it for you and make up your own mind, but considering this news tidbit from Bloomberg today, looks like the "fundamentals" are beginning to reflect the chart:

Saudi Arabia Considers Paying Contractors With IOUs

Saudi Arabia has told banks in the country that it is considering giving contractors IOUs to settle some outstanding bills, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

A projected budget deficit this year is prompting the government to weigh alternatives to limit spending. Contractors would receive bond-like instruments to cover the amount they are owed by the state which they could hold until maturity or sell on to banks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Contractors have received some payments from the government in cash and the rest could come in "I-owe-you" notes, the people said...
I'll just leave that there for you to ponder. If you've ever had cash flow challenges, whether with your personal budget or in running a business, you know what this means.

As goes the Kingdom, so goes the Middle East
.

The Russian Nuclear Bogeyman


Putin is a bad man. Noted. But the absolutely mad rush by the Western elites to set Russia up as the next Great Satan is, in my mind, absolutely antithetical to US national interest and, frankly, the main interests of the major Western Powers, such as they are today.

Recently, we have a former UK general talking about how we are likely to see nuclear war with Russia in the near future.  This is on the heels of countless other articles churned out the various think tanks, policy offices, and government agencies, all equating Russia's attempts to re-assert her primacy in what she calls the Near Abroad to the full-court press of the old Soviet Union.

Russia is not the USSR. The idea you would expect Russia to quietly fold itself into a world system run by corporate chieftains and bankers whose brilliance was laid bare for all to see 2007-2008 and be pleased with march of NATO to within a few hundred kilometers of St. Petersburg is to misread Russian psychology and history with a level of mendacity not seen since the senility of the Spanish Empire. But you know what, our elites are just the men and women for that job.

My analogy continues to be, what would the US response be to China toppling the governments of Mexico and Canada, and installing their own puppet regimes there?

Somehow, the Western elites have managed to craft a policy that has aligned Russia with the radical Islamists in Iran and the Chinese. In a world where we should be aligned with Russia to face growing threats out of the Middle East and as a bulwark against he rise of China, we instead have actively worked to isolate her and drive her into the arms of our enemies.

Sadly, the worst part is, I actually agree with General Shirreffs from the article above - we very well may see a nuclear war with Russia. A war that even now is completely preventable. That was one of the driving reasons I wrote Nuclear Emergencies - we could very well see it within the next ten years.

Ranting aside, when analyzing the West's tensions with Russia, you generally need to drill down several paragraphs in news stories to get to any meat. Pay attention to increased troop placements, war games (which Russia routinely runs under scenarios which go nuclear), and, of course, what stock market charts tell us about social mood.

Secession Continues to be Mainstreamed...

Texas Secede Bumper Sticker


Pardon the abuse of the Queen's English there, but I continue to get sick at the continuing drumbeat (totally forecast by socionomics, I must state) of separatism and secession which continues to slowly grow in intensity here in the States. And yes, I'm looking at you, Texas.

But it isn't just Texas. Over ten US states have active (to some degree) secession movements. As we saw with the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the USSR, and Yugoslavia - when large-scale political combinations built up over positive mood eras come apart, they can come apart quickly.

And for those who think it would be a swell idea, just remember, damn near every time, the first revolt fails...


A Tremulous Quiet


I'll leave the discussion of the upcoming US Presidential election alone for the moment. The DJIA continues its levitation act up up near 18,000. Whither it blows, we shall see - and that will help propel the campaign season in directions unimagined just a year ago.

At a more macro level, I recommend the following articles from The Archdruid Report as a way of describing some of the anger and frustration out there that the best and brightest continue to ignore and dismiss as nothing but the ravings of a bunch of ignorant, racist hicks who are too stupid to know how stupid they are and that they need to shut up and vote Blue:
Yes, in my model, socionomics is pumping the fuel into the system which ignites this anger, but Mr. Greer's discussion of how these things have worked out historically is well worth pondering.

More to come. Lot's more, sadly...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Don't Be Fooled: News Does NOT Drive the Markets

(Interview) Don't Be Fooled: News Does NOT Drive the Markets

See a fresh example in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index

By Elliott Wave International

Mark Galasiewski, the editor of our monthly Asian-Pacific Financial Forecast, explains how using the news to predict the markets is "meaningless."


State of the Global Markets Report


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This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline (Interview) Don't Be Fooled: News Does NOT Drive the Markets. EWI is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Next Wave


Coming Soon by Adam Spain

I wanted to check in on a few things and give you a feel for what we'll be working through here at FutureJacked over the rest of 2016.

KSA KSA KSA

First off, as I continue to insist you do on at least a weekly basis, let's check in on the Saudi stock index (one year chart):

SASEIDX via Bloomberg, 16 March 2016
Be wary. The Kingdom is the linchpin for the entire Middle East.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Three Minutes to Midnight?

Cold War by Taylor Callery


I want to draw your attention to a recent article posted at War on the Rocks, entitled Three Minutes to Midnight: Closer to Nuclear Conflict Than We Think. It touches on a number of themes we've pushed hard here at FutureJacked over the last year and as mass mood continues to throw off alarm bells of negativity across the globe, these themes continue to be relevant to what you want to have on your threat board.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

State of the Global Markets Report - 2016

Futurejacked Readers -  I wanted to draw your attention to a limited offering from Elliott Wave International. As you know, we are an EWI affiliate here and have found their offerings very useful over the many years we've been both a subscriber and affiliate. 

I strongly urge you to take advantage of this free report before the free download limit is reached.

State of the Global Markets Report -- 2016 edition, one of the most anticipated annual reports for investors and technical analysts, has just been released, and the first 10,000 copies can be reserved right now 100% free. After that, it goes to $99 per download, where it will stay for the rest of the year.

This report flies off the virtual shelves every year, and with this year being especially volatile so far, we arranged with the publisher to give you an immediate heads up so you can be among the first to get access.

This 50-page, chart-filled report may be the most valuable publication you read this year. It will help you avoid the dangerous pitfalls and spot the biggest opportunities in the year ahead.
Want to know what's inside? Click this link to start reading it now. If you want a little context first, take a look at these headlines:
Wall Street makes worst ever start to a year (Financial Times)
Dow Tumbles Nearly 400 Points on China Worries (Wall Street Journal)
World markets plunge as oil drops below $27 a barrel (CNN)
Expect gold prices to be massively volatile (MarketWatch)
Notice anything interesting?

The thing that jumps out at me is how massively contrary today's reality is compared to most experts' projections for 2016 just a few short months ago. Not getting off to a great start, are they?
Now consider this: In the first week of this year, the Wall Street Journal polled 10 well-known fundamental analysts for their year-end forecast for the S&P 500. They projected on average the S&P to reach 2,193 by the end of the year. The lowest forecast was 2,100. The highest was 2,300.

Now that's interesting enough, but get this: These same experts from the same poll one year ago projected the S&P to reach 2,201 by the end of LAST year!

Fast forward to today, investors and analysts have been in a panic as the markets ended 2015 well off those projections and kicked off 2016 with its worst start EVER.

U.S. stocks, Chinese stocks, gold, oil, the entire European Union -- all are at pivotal junctures right now, and we're only two months into the new year.

If you want to prepare for the rest of 2016 and equip yourself to adapt to rapidly changing trends around the world, I encourage you to follow this link and claim your copy now.

You will get instant access to Elliott Wave International's annual State of the Global Market Report -- 2016 Edition, one of the most widely circulated annual reports for investors and technical analysts.

The State of the Global Market Report provides a premium-level look inside the world's largest independent financial forecast firm's big-picture forecasts for 2016. It gives you a snapshot of what's already occurred then focuses you squarely on what Elliott Wave International's team of global analysts sees for the rest of 2016 and beyond. At about 50 chart-filled pages, it may be the most valuable publication produced each year to help investors position themselves wisely for the year ahead, avoid the dangerous pitfalls, and catch and ride the biggest, fastest-moving opportunities.

You may not read every line of this globally focused report, but we guarantee you will benefit from the insights that apply to your favorite markets.

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Sincerely,

The FutureJacked Team

P.S. We know most investors are interested mostly in U.S. markets, but there's an advantage to looking abroad, too. EWI has a keen understanding of how markets around the world fit into the global big-picture. After all, the Great Depression started in Europe then crossed the Atlantic to the Americas. So it's important you keep an eye on the global big picture. As a result of reading this report, you'll see what we EWI's sees right now and for the rest of the year -- both threats AND opportunities on a global scale. Click this link to learn more and download your free report now.
About the Publisher, Elliott Wave International
Founded in 1979 by Robert R. Prechter Jr., Elliott Wave International (EWI) is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

He Knows What He's Doing


For those of you in the United States who continue to buy into the condescension of the Establishment as they attempt to explain the rise of Donald Trump in terms they can understand - only racist white straight males who are ignorant can vote for such a madman - make no mistake, he is not the fool they make him out to be.

Watch the video above. Look at the production quality, the way they play back and forth between dying Europe's cultural icons, shifting to the black and white video footage of swarming masses overwhelming border barriers. The fable that is chosen for this piece is pitch-perfect.

And the elites have no answer, other than, trust us, this will work out because we are smarter than you morons out in the lumpenproletariat.

Donald Trump as president would be a disaster for a variety of reasons, but the rage he represents is real and the core issues that drive that rage are far more than the arrogant assumptions of the elites.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Threat Board February 2016

Triple Threat by Mr. Grin
In Looking for the Channels from June of 2015, we were trying to get a feel for where this onrushing flood of negative social mood would carve out the channels and build up the stories we'll tell ourselves about this unsettling era in which we live and hope to traverse.

Let's zero in on Syria, as it seems to have eclipsed the struggle in Ukraine as the hot spot most likely to generate an historical accident on the scale of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo. And while from a socionomic point of view the potential for a World War in the immediate future looks unlikely, things can spiral out of control quickly in these eras. Alan Hall covers this in a short video and link to an article here.

Replaying the Thirty Years War in Syria

As events in the Middle East barrel down the well-worn path to even more death and destruction, I continue to ask you to read news articles and consume news videos with a jaundiced eye and with your socionomics hat on.

At this point, any "real" reason behind the conflict in Syria has long be overtaken by events. Whether you subscribe to the Arab Spring in Syria thesis, or the attribute it to Sunni efforts to oust Assad and disrupt the "Shia Crescent", or that it was all about building a pipeline from Qatar to Europe - Russia's decision to prop up the Assad government in late 2015 has shifted the calculus significantly.

Today we find a situation where:

  • Russia is bombing "moderate" rebels in western Syria, shaping the events on the ground to restore the Assad government's primacy in the west of the country and secure the major urban areas (of which Aleppo is the key prize).
  • US policy is in flux, torn between the hawkishness of the McCain camp and a more "realist" point of view on whether further intervention will produce the results they hope for.
  • Turkey has become fixated on the growing strength of Kurdish elements in the Syira debacle, turning its guns on the Kurdish YPG - a group that has actively fought Daesh and has been strongly supported by the US coalition.
  • The Turkey-Russia dynamic continues to be tense. Russia has not only kept up significant air operations in Syria, but it has moved advanced anti-aircraft weapons in to Latakia and reportedly Russian Spetsnaz forces are active in Syria.
  • Saudi Arabia, already in a fight against Iranian proxies in Yemen and subject to attacks by Daesh internally, is readying itself to send forces to Turkey and engage the fight in Syria.
  • Jordan sits on the sidelines at the moment, but one can assume Daesh has its sights on the kingdom.
  • Israel will do what it wants, against who it wants. They are absolutely the joker in the deck. Should Jordan go up in flames, always remember there is a strong thesis in parts of the country that the Palestinian population should be forcibly relocated across the Jordan River. Should the region implode further, look for this "desperate times call for desperate measures" thesis to take hold in socionomically fertile soil.
And those are just a few snapshots of a region of vast importance to energy flows and geopolitics.

And as we strongly urged in our 2016 Socionomics Trendspotting article, you should be checking the Saudi stock market index at least weekly. Here's the current chart, five-year view for context:
SASEIDX Five Year View, Bloomberg, February 14, 2016
Looks like a steaming bowl of not-good, and also looks like a chart of a country set to double-down on sending troops out to fight their designated enemies.

The Keynesian Endgame Looks to go Full Retard

Pardon the indelicate, but accurate, phrase, but as Central Banks around the world go full retard with the implementation of negative interest rates and as they huff and puff and talk themselves into attempting to ban cash, what might that mean for those of us out in the real world?

The short answer is, I have no clue. NIRP policies would seem to be a bullet to the head to pension funds, but perhaps in the short term we could see the market head higher as money flees bonds. Or, perhaps NIRP might actually create a stronger incentive to save at first, until the Central Bankers really began to drop the hammer on relatively small deposits in terms of fees and negative-interest charges. If you are relying on a pension, or plan to in a decade or so, well, here is your pro tip of the day - it looks doubtful you'll see much of it when you need it.

As for banning cash, I again have no real clue how that might play out in the real world. The first shot across the bow will be banning large denomination notes, such as the 500 euro note, the 50 pound note and the 100 dollar bill. The same tired arguments used to ban private holding of gold back in the mid-20th century will be trotted out - only criminals need to hold these notes and we must fight those bad, bad people. 

After that, some societies might actually pull it off. Norway has talked seriously about it. And in a small, ethnically homogeneous society where the elites can get most everyone on board, it might work - until hackers step in and show just how vulnerable such systems can be. In a society such as the US could it happen? Maybe the $100 bill could get pole-axed, but past that, it will be much like efforts by the elites on the coasts to ban or strongly restrict firearms - they seem to have no real clue just how much resistance they would meet out in Flyover Country. But that may not stop them from trying.

Plan

We will leave you with this admonition - plan, but don't fear. Have a solid emergency plan in place. Think about how you would participate in a world where cash has been banned. What sort of barter arrangements would you be able to participate in? What skills can you offer? 


If war breaks out, what would that really mean for you? If a world war breaks out, what then? If nothing else, revisit our Nuclear Strike of the Month for August 2015 and apply that analysis to your region as applicable.

Keep your eyes open, believe little of the spin provided to you as fact, and enjoy the moment. We are still in an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. Enjoy, prepare, then be part of the solution to a better world when the whole thing goes sideways.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Europe: Why It's Going to Get a Lot Worse Before It Gets Better

(Interview) Europe: Why It's Going to Get a Lot Worse Before It Gets Better

New interview with our European markets expert

By Elliott Wave International

Brian Whitmer, the editor of our monthly European Financial Forecast, explains what indicators helped him anticipate market volatility.

You'll also learn what he's expecting for the year ahead in European stocks.

You can read Brian's commentary comparing Germany to the Greek god Atlas as part of our report, Deflation and the Devaluation Derby.

Here's what you will learn:

  • How Europe's biggest economies are screeching to a halt
  • Currency devaluation's role in the developing global crisis
  • How the self-reinforcing aspect of deflation is already apparent in commodities trading
  • Why the top 1% of earners are in for a rude awakening
  • The hair-raising future for U.S. stocks

Just recall how swiftly the 2007-2009 financial crisis unfolded. We anticipate that the next global financial crisis could be even more sudden and severe.

Prepare now with our new report, Deflation and the Devaluation Derby.

CLICK TO CONTINUE READING >>


This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline (Interview, 4:32 min.) Europe: Why It's Going to Get a Lot Worse Before It Gets Better. EWI is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Socionomic Trendspotting for 2016


2016 is already shaping up to be quite a show. Let's pick out some of the major themes which have been developing and see what socionomics has to tell us about them.

Nuclear Testing


Socionomics has long looked to nuclear weapons tests as a marker for social mood. It is my opinion that they are even more important as a mood marker now than in the past, as the major proof-of-principle and development tests have been completed for a variety of weapons systems by the major nuclear powers. Any full-blown nuclear tests by an established nuclear power would be part of a larger geopolitical struggle or messaging than a strictly technical test.

Other powers seeking nuclear weapons might be expected to continue limited testing. What's quite interesting is that North Korea led the year off with the detonation of what they claimed was a hydrogen bomb at their test facility at Punggye-ri (sometimes referred to as P'unggye-yok).
First, a quick detour. Their claims that they set off a hydrogen bomb have largely been derided. It is almost certain they did detonate a nuclear weapon of some sort. I find it highly unlikely they have been able to construct a classic hydrogen bomb due to issues of complexity as well as the need for specialty items and substances required to make such a device work.

That said, it is plausible that North Korea did test a device that utilized fusion as part of a primarily fission weapon. This is known as a "boosted weapon" and in short, it means a nuclear warhead based on fission (much like the weapons detonated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki), but laced with materials which, when subjected to the intense energy of a nuclear explosion, also fuse, adding even more power to the blast.

Details aside, what I wish to draw your attention to is the use of nuclear tests as socionomic markers. I propose you keep the following list of what I regard as ranking potential nuclear tests in mind as we navigate 2016:

Baby Bear

North Korean nuclear tests do correlate with other negative mood indicators, but in my opinion should not be solely relied upon. North Korea has other factors it is dealing with - including a still relatively new leader as well as tensions with not only the US and South Korea, but China, Russia, and Japan. A one-off nuclear test of North Korea should be noted, but such an event does not necessarily correlate with intense levels of negative mood outside of the region.

Momma Bear

The next level up in concern would be any test or tests by Pakistan or India. These are regional rivals who have fought a number of wars since the middle of the last century. A weapons test by one, the other, or both, should be noted with alarm and taken in the context of any other geopolitical situations. These would be, in my opinion, markers of not only regional negative mood, but potentially a negative mood marker for the larger world system.

Poppa Bear

The last time Russia tested a nuclear weapon was 1990, when it was still part of the Soviet Union. The last US test was in 1992. The last UK test was 1991, and China and France conducted their last tests in 1996.

Were one or more of the Big 5 to test a nuclear weapon I would regard this as an intensely negative mood marker. As stated earlier, while there are plenty of engineers and physicists in these countries' weapons programs who want to test to confirm the weapons would still behave as expected, political considerations to refrain from testing overwhelm this desire - currently.

Should a country such as Russia conduct an underground test, consider it not only a "message" to the West, but as a flashing negative socionomic indicator.

Charts to Watch

SASEIDX - Bloomberg
Check the Saudi index every week. I cannot stress this enough. Should the House of Saud go the way of the Bourbons, then the conflict we see in Syria will be little more than a warm-up for the slaughter to come. 

Polarization

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to burn hotly on socionomic fuel. The Donald’s popularity looks to me far more akin to that of a rock star than a traditional political candidate.
What he does have on his side is a large wave of anger and revulsion for the political process as it has metastasized to date. Bernie Sanders has a similar wave of disillusionment and anger pushing his campaign from the Democratic side.

How will it play out? Trump himself could act as a primary marker of social mood over the course of the year. If we see a further deepening of negative sentiment, he might actually attain the White House. Should the waves have another run towards the positive, then he should flicker and die out, another negative mood structure shown to have foundations build on sand when the positive tide moves in.

I want to especially emphasize the first point above. For all the vaporing over Trump, should he actually be elected, what could he possibly accomplish? He has no party (the Republican Party elders would be reluctant in the extreme to allow anything constructive to happen under his watch – just to show the little people the folly of not voting for a proper Establishment figure if nothing else). He has no theory or mechanism to inspire, past his celebrity. For all those comparing Trump to Hitler, recall the National Socialists had a deep and disciplined party structure built over a decade. They built up an ideology that German universities accepted, like shooting an infectious disease into their veins. There was a deep base from which Hitler could draw. Not so much for Trump. Treat him as a marker. Granted, should he actually be elected and survive to take office, we could see a level of dysfunction that would make the 1850’s look like a time of blessed harmony.

Another issue that bears watching is the Bundy militia occupation of a federal wildlife refuge. Right now it is mostly being played for laughs or indignation by the main information channels in the U.S. Again, social mood will dictate whether this is an incident around which a lot of anger out West over federal ownership and authority over vast areas of those states turns into a movement, or whether it fades away. And before you dismiss it as another Clown Shown to distract everyone, let’s recall another armed action against a federal facility, taken in an era of intense political polarization, and meant to ignite a conflict – John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry. It “worked” in the sense that not long after, the U.S. entered into a period of bloodshed so vast that it took a World War to exceed its death toll.

And a final issue you might see thrust back into the limelight with the coming of spring – and a downdraft in mood – could be another wave of unrest on various college campuses. I have a lot of opinions here, having been at ground zero for one of the more well-publicized events this past fall. We’ll see how things work out. One thing I will point out regarding the campus protests you saw – they are in some ways an example of what a strong set of theories and an entrenched “machine” made up of like-minded people can do. Note that you have seen men and women in positions of authority calling for the evisceration of the First Amendment – and not one of them has suffered a single penalty, while their targets have been forced into silence or to resign.

Secession


This is a theme I am quite intrigued by and expect to see gain tremendous traction this year. In a way, it is unfolding in a manner that rhymes with the clashes of the 1930’s between fascism and communism across Europe.

As in the 1930’s watch Spain. If you are someone pushing for independence for a region or a peoples – whether it be Scotland or Texas, Wallonia or Biafra, I expect you already have your plane tickets booked for Catalonia.


Where this goes will be interesting to say the least. Should negative mood rip the last shreds of legitimacy from the old powers that be in 2016, we all need to keep our heads and see where the waves are rushing – either to move safely with the tide, or attempt to move to safety in order to avoid being engulfed…