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Y'know more than a few times I've seen forum members
just shoot the breeze, or raise off-topic issues, or maybe
post news of interest that doesn't merit starting a whole
new topic thread.

Also I know that there's plenty of folks who might well post
miscellaneous stuff on Faceberg - but who are now sick of
trawling through videos of cats ringing a bell to get food, or
dogs who howl while playing the piano, or swathes of dumb
truisms about how only truly spiritual people
can really appreciate the beauty of life.

Sample Facebook click bait:

So, if your refrigerator just exploded, or you've stumbled on
a great way of making sure you don't have to repaint your crib,
or found a website which portrays Hillary as a Mother Theresa,
or discovered a good side to vaccines, or simply think this damn
cold spell really sucks... or need to rant about your idiot
asshole of a cousin.... then this is the topic for all that.

Only rule is..... there aren't any rules. :wink:

Right, So I'm gonna kick this off with this little nugget.

For a few years I've been keeping track of stuff coming out of a website
called greenmedinfo which features some great health info resources.
Run by a guy called Sayer Ji. Seemed kosher enough. No red lights.

But yesterday Kathy McMahon says to me: "So, what's this,
Sayer Ji in bed with Infowars now, eh?
" Heads Up Alert!

WTF!? Here's a video all about this new article on greenmedinfo, which
spotlights the so-called Monsanto Papers. And the more of it you watch,
the more you realize that these two sites are embedded in each other.

All of which makes me as "Dis-appoinnnnnn-ted"
as Kevin Kline was when Otto found himself staring
at an empty safe in A Fish Called Wanda:


Moving swiftly on before I throw up, here's a cute
website with no discernible link to Alex Jones (lol):

Which type are you?


Finally, what's better than having the gearbox on your old banger
of a Nissan Almera totally blow up on you while on the freeway?

Having it blow up as you fortunately make it to the next exit ramp is what.

And what's better than sitting in a Nissan Almera with a blown up gearbox
...late at night... and miles away from home and anyone you know?

What's better is sitting in the passenger seat of the car driven by a
friendly farmer who has just traveled 20 miles to go pick you up.

That's the upside of living in a rural area where you actually have
meaningful relationships of depth with ordinary people who take
time to talk and who make up the landscape of your day.
Last edited by Fintan on Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:13 am, edited 13 times in total.
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There was always something about Sayer Ji that I was wary about. Just an intuitive thing, really, but he's always struck me as having a faint whiff of "cult of personality" about him.

Maybe it's just that I'm more of a Joseph Mercola type myself. :)

Incidentally, I'm also fairly partial to videos of singing dogs playing the piano and even more so for videos of two-legged dogs defying the odds of survival. Now THAT is almost worth logging in to CIAbook to find.
My real name is Gerry.
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My gold nuggets in the last year have been the birth of two grandchildren.

One, a boy, will be a year old on 25th August, the other, a girl, will be
a year old in late November. Such an amazing experience watching two
little beings who have your genes in them grow and transform, even
more amazing seeing my kids care for them.

I the last few days i listened to this is a beautiful song which
was written by Ashley Campbell for her father Glen Campbell:


A lot of sites have some good information on various natural health
topics but I find them to be repetitive, many copying from each other.

But here's an interesting snippet about Plantain
that grows commonly in gardens and on pathways:

Do Not Kill This Weed!


And here's something else I'm reading right now:

Ghosting and Gaslighting Revisited

The term gaslighting, of course, comes from a mid century movie in which
a husband tried to kill his wife by altering her reality and making her think
she was crazy. Being gaslighted makes you want to tear your hair out, and
that is the intention. People do it to control you. Do you want to be controlled?

Ghosting is a term that means someone has cut you off and cut you out.
It includes de-friending on social media, not returning phone calls, and
basically acting as if the ghoster never knew you.

Semi-relatewd to that, how do members deal with adult
"children" being dismissive and, for the want of a word,
disrespectful towards them as a parent?
Truth fears no questions
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The T and the J are just barely.
Can't be beat, won't be beat, etc.
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Yes black is very forgiving and since the passing of John Cash there hasn't been nearly enough black shirts.

So - let there be more black please.

Regarding the "Rhinestone Beach boy"(covered for Brian Wilson during his break down)Glen Campbell was also one of the best Session Guitarists in the US before he became famous in his own right.
Last edited by je-demande on Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Fintan wrote:
Finally, what's better than having the gearbox on your old banger
of a Nissan Almera totally blow up on you while on the freeway?

Having it blow up as you fortunately make it to the next exit ramp is what.

And what's better than sitting in a Nissan Almera with a blown up gearbox
...late at night... and miles away from home and anyone you know?

What's better is sitting in the passenger seat of the car driven by a
friendly farmer who has just traveled 20 miles to go pick you up.

That's the upside of living in a rural area where you actually have
meaningful relationships of depth with ordinary people who take
time to talk and who make up the landscape of your day.

Love it. Got a Crawltima myself these days. Running the fucker into the ground. Nothing will stop that thing. I love seemingly crappy Japanese cars that you can just beat up forever, and just laugh about when they actually shit the bed.

I completely agree about super rural areas. I grew up around towns of about 15,000, lived in various cities short term as well. Now that I live in areas of populations as low as 400, or even 40, it's a completely different experience. You just can't beat the sense of community, empathy, and hospitality around here. As dramatic as it gets in the cities, seeing conservative rednecks share a joint with Mexican farm workers and hipster leftists is not an uncommon site.
You get a real sense of class divisions and city life differences out here during the summer months. Lots of visitors who often seem stuffy, scared, or both. Rural, white community gentrification is a very real thing that isn't often talked about. Rent is rising here because of Portland, Seattle, San Fran etc.
So these meth and heroin-addicted kids of layed-off loggers, broke farmers, and other factory workers are supposed to get tech jobs with google or something?

It's interesting as well because now when I want a vacation I go to the city. :lol:
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Incidentally, I'm also fairly partial to
videos of singing dogs playing the piano
Well that's to be expected, considering that you're a bit
of a dog yourself at singing and playing the piano.
Quite well too! I've seen the vids :wink:
You get a real sense of class divisions and city life
differences out here during the summer months.
Yeah - sometimes we get some a them thar' city folks out here.
You can tell that they are city folks 'cos they get out of their cars
and immediately walk right into the house. And the stunning view
and the fresh country air don't even register. Then they talk real
fast while wanting to simultaneously watch TV news and tap away
on their cellphones. Then they get into their cars and head on back
to the city on the biggest road they can get to the quickest.

We got some really nice young cattle and dogs and cats and birds
round here, but they don't even want to shoot the breeze with 'em.

It's life Jim.

But not as we know it!




I posted a couple of stories in the last few weeks about
the potential of presidential run in 2020 by Mr Facef*ck.

But that was just to keep you up to speed on news. Actually
I don't buy the whole idea. For one really, really good reason.

The guy has all the charisma of a dead chicken.

Check out his recent Harvard speech - at the high point where
he makes the big shout out for a new world beginning @ 14mins:


Makes you wanna rush out into the street, don't it? To throw up.

Even the whole of the CIA and 20,000
volts couldn't energize this asshole.
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Anybody out there in the path of this very special event tomorrow?
We have 98% right here at home so I get to beat the traffic.


From aNother thread:

DrewTerry wrote:This is a good summary of some interesting galactic math.

BlazeLabs Research and GraphicsImage
Gravitational Bending Of Light
[justify]Einsteins GR theory predicts the bending of a light path due to distortion of the space time fabric near massive bodies. Einstein and most physicists like to visualise the spacetime fabric as a rubber sheet, which stretches down with the weight of the mass, and thus will change any light beam travelling along its surface. However, this is just a graphical explanation. One should note that Einstein is assuming a gravitational field that is pulling the mass down and stretching the spacetime fabric. In his analogy, gravity is built in the geometry of spacetime. Again, GR is missing a physical model for its admittedly correct prediction. Shown above, is the same effect, which bends a light beam travelling near a massive body, explained in terms of the EMRP gravity mechanism.

Assume a light beam is coming from a source hidden behind our sun. When the wave approaches the massive body of the sun, a pressure imbalance will start to take place because the energy densities and hence the radiation pressures acting on the incoming photons are no longer equal. On the outside, they see an incoming flow of direct ultracosmic radiation, whilst on the side facing the sun, they see an incoming flow of attenuated ultracosmic radiation. This will result in the photons being pushed down towards the sun's surface as they travel in the direction of earth. As soon as they pass over the shadowed region, they recover the energy balance, and keep going straight again. This energy density difference perfectly explains the distortion of the space time fabric in Einstein's theory, and one must admit that in this case, Einstein's imagination was very good, considering he did not have our EMRP model (or anything else) to physically understand what was going on.[/justify]
[right]Experimental confirmation of variation in the speed of light[/right]
[right]The first confirmation of a long range variation in the speed of light travelling in space came in 1964. Irwin Shapiro, it seems, was the first to make use of a previously forgotten facet of general relativity theory -- that the speed of light is reduced when it passes through a gravitational field. He had proposed an observational test to check his prediction: bounce radar beams off the surface of Venus and Mercury, and measure the round trip travel time. When the Earth, Sun, and Venus are most favorably aligned, Shapiro showed that the expected time delay, due to the presence of the Sun, of a radar signal traveling from the Earth to Venus and back, would be about 200 microseconds more than it would if the sun was not present. Later on, using the MIT Haystack radar antenna, the experiment was repeated, matching Shapiro's predicted amount of time delay. The experiments have been repeated many times since, with increasing accuracy. This experiment had for the first time shown that the constants like c and G, assumed constants in Einstein's SR theory suffered local (or regional) in the proximity of massive bodies like the sun.

Faced with this evidence, Einstein stated:"In the second place our result shows that, according to the general theory of relativity, the law of the constancy of the velocity of light in vacuo, which constitutes one of the two fundamental assumptions in the special theory of relativity and to which we have already frequently referred, cannot claim any unlimited validity. A curvature of rays of light can only take place when the velocity of propagation of light varies with position. Now we might think that as a consequence of this, the special theory of relativity and with it the whole theory of relativity would be laid in the dust. But in reality this is not the case. We can only conclude that the special theory of relativity cannot claim an unlimited domain of validity ; its results hold only so long as we are able to disregard the influences of gravitational fields on the phenomena (e.g. of light)." - Albert Einstein (The General Theory of Relativity: Chapter 22 - A Few Inferences from the General Principle of Relativity)

When incoming ultra cosmic energy is shadowed, it will create an energy gradient, and pressure gradient, resulting in curvature of rays as explained for the gravitational bending of light. According to Einstein, a curvature of rays can only take place when the velocity of light is not constant over its path. (In fact it will result in local variations in G as well). In a way it's very similar to a ray of light passing from air into water. One can also explain it in terms of partial conversion of energy from the photons linear KE, into rotational KE during the curved path, which reduces the linear KE (and hence their velocity) when photons (or radio waves) approach the massive body such as the sun. Remember : "The special theory of relativity cannot claim an unlimited domain of validity" , so as long as there is the presence of a shadowing effect (ie. gravitational field), we can claim such variations without contradicting Einstein's own quotation, actually with his blessing. Hence in such cases, the speed of light will vary over its path. This will introduce the time delay noticed by Irwin Shapiro. This effect also sheds light on the reason for which distant galaxies seem to be receeding faster than nearby galaxies. They are not! Only the speed of light is changing due to the change in amount of shadowing and the change in G.[/right]

The title asks why our current clocks are 'un-natural' which is a common theme of rebuttal to any alternative ideas, but why there exists such defensiveness about a convention as old as the clock and the calendar?
Why is the 12:60 timing unnatural?*

Earth & Moon Math:
• The Earth-Moon distance is 60 times the radius of the Earth.
• “12” is considered the most holy number of heaven.
• “7” is the most holy on earth
• “5” is the symbol of life in Sacred Geometry (fundamental to Phi-lo-Sophia) and connects 12 to 60 in an obvious way.

Related connections:
• 360 is obviously close to the number of days of the year;
• 360 can be divided evenly by all of the digits other than 7;
• 100 can only be divided evenly by 4 of the digits (instead of 8 digits for 360).
• 360 is also connected with 60
• 12 = # zodiacal signs
• 2x360 = 720 = 6! (i.e. 6x5x4x3x2x1)
• 3x360 = 1080 = radius of the Moon in miles
• 1080 = # of degrees in regular octagon
• 3x720 = 2160= Moon diameter
• 2160 = 25,920/12 or Precession of the Axes (25,920)
• 720+1080+2160 = 3960 = Earth radius in miles.
• 7! (7x6x5x4x3x2x1) = 5040 = Earth + Moon radii in miles
• 12!/8! = 11,880 = Earth radius + diameter in miles.
• These # all reduce to 9 (& 360).
• (13!/9!) - (12!/8!) = 5,280 = # feet in a mile

(*) It's not at all - to me the clock or calendar one uses serves a purpose, and therefore is not an 'either' 'or' proposition.
Questions wrote:• We seem to feel there should be only 1 "way" to keep time or count the past - why?

• Who or what is threatened by / fearful of an alternative?

• So what? If these are superior calendars and time-keeping mechanisms that should be self-evident in no time at all.

• Those who claim to know better should therefore have nothing to worry about (assuming they claim all they know...).

Final Question: No matter the direction, purpose, method or reason to travel -
Do we insist all use the same map?

Is there only one (1) map for all to get where we intend to end up?
Imagine the conspiracies that must have existed before they "knew" where the land masses were, and whose maps were accurate, how to know who to trust?

How many Columbuses actually did "sail off the edge of the Earth"? (Or it was assumed because they simply never returned from such a dangerous undertaking, even with the best map!)

PDF File: Why Do We Still Believe Newtons Laws? | 29 Pages

PDF File: Scalar Functions for Wave Extractions in Numerical Relativity | 9 Pages

PDF File: Loop Quantum Cosmology - Inflation & Evolution | 7 Pages

New Method to Construct Spacetimes w/ Spacelike Circle Action | 18 Pages

PDF File: Pioneer Effect is not Cosmological | 8 Pages

PDF File: Expanding Universe of Spinning Spheres | Pages

PDF File: Time The Grand Illusion
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The Solar eclipse in plane sight.. :wink:


And a rare view of a coronal loop during an eclipse.
Huge loop considering it's 90+ million miles away.

Bri posted an extract above from Drew Terry which shows
the amazingly harmonic mathematics of the solar system:
• 2x360 = 720 = 6! (i.e. 6x5x4x3x2x1)
• 3x360 = 1080 = radius of the Moon in miles
• 1080 = # of degrees in regular octagon
• 3x720 = 2160= Moon diameter
• 2160 = 25,920/12 or Precession of the Axes (25,920)
• 720+1080+2160 = 3960 = Earth radius in miles.
• 7! (7x6x5x4x3x2x1) = 5040 = Earth + Moon radii in miles
• 12!/8! = 11,880 = Earth radius + diameter in miles.
• These # all reduce to 9 (& 360).
• (13!/9!) - (12!/8!) = 5,280 = # feet in a mile
Speaking of which... it don't get simpler than this:
Amazing how that awesome display in the sky today can be seen by
tens of millions and watched on video replay by half the world, and yet
few if any know what it meant.

Blinded by science and blind to the truth, a world of people watched the
secret of their own personal immortality play out in the heavens above
and saw naught but the superstitions of religions or some lifeless science.

Took me a decade to penetrate that mystery since back when I puzzled
aloud in early Treeincarnation audios about the relationship between the
Sun, Moon and Earth.

I've hinted at the answer in the recent Neil Armstrong video. Neil himself
has lived and died that secret. Not even he knew what he was doing.

I will be walking down that immortal road in detailed videos this Fall.
Because there comes a time when the death veil must be torn down.

For me, that's what today symbolized .
Last edited by Fintan on Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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And your seminal research into this topic relates well to the "death" on mankind's lunar initiation (When Neil put his foot on the moon's surface) and the "birth" from its ashes of the solar initiation that is driving the current wave in the evolution of conscious awareness.
The grand design, reflected in the face of Chaos.
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Here comes the borrowing economy.

So the commune returns with the networked hyper capitalism.
Not sure how governments will tax this. ... rs-online/

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Here comes the borrowing economy.
Not sure how governments will tax this.
Unusually, the government is playing with NOT taxing this type of activity.
Tax-free up to £1,000 for amateurs or double that if doing it for business.

But that's just not enough to power a neoliberal economy.

The great consumer credit illusion has run it's course.

And somethin' new had better this way come, and pretty soon too -
or there'll be more folks like Trump -who'll be tryin' some new shit.

It's Change, Jim - But Not As If We've Ever Known It.
Italian candidate Beppe Grillo of the politically eclectic Five-Star
Movement, in 2013.

Why Every European Country Has
a Trump or Sanders Candidate

Italy has two politicians riding a wave of outrage,
out-polling mainstream parties.

By RICHARD DRAKE • August 28, 2017

The suicide in the Friuli region of northern Italy earlier this year of a 30-year-old man, identified in the newspapers only as Michele, has become a symbol of the country’s unemployment tragedy, particularly as it affects young people. Though much worse in the South, the country’s economic crisis also has had a blighting effect on the North.

The national unemployment rate now stands at nearly 12 percent. A 40 percent youth unemployment rate nationwide, however, has people speaking of a generational apartheid in Italy. There is no work to be found for young people. In the workplace, comparatively speaking, they have been walled off from the rest of the population.

Friuli is a region of plain and mountain in the northeastern part of Italy, flush against borders to the north with Austria and the east with Slovenia. The annals of Friuli antedate by many centuries the arrival of the ancient Romans, who founded the colony of Aquileia there nearly two hundred years before Christ. The barbarian invasions swept over Friuli in the general wreckage of the Roman Empire. An Aquileian state arose in the Middle Ages, but was absorbed in the 15th century by the expanding Venetian empire. Then Friuli passed through French and Austrian phases of occupation and control before becoming part the newly founded Kingdom of Italy, in 1866.

The Friulani, a highly energetic and resourceful people steeped in the work ethic common to the peasant and artisanal cultures of traditional Europe, tilled the land and also gained a well-deserved reputation for their skill in specialty crafts and the building trades. Typically in such cultures, the work that a man did defined him. The modern world has changed those old ways of life, but the culture they generated persists. More recently, Friuli became renowned for its small businesses and factories, which played a vital role in the national economy. There was still hard work for the Friulani to do.

From his mother’s milk, Michele would have imbibed the work ethic of his native region. He would have thought of work as dignity and honor. In a suicide note, he claimed to be bereft of such things and of hope. “Desire has passed me by,” he wrote. Michele never had been able to find a meaningful job and had despaired of ever finding one. Contemplating his blank future, a sense of deep frustration had crushed his spirit. He hoped that his parents would forgive his dreadful act, but could not envisage a place for himself in a society without work.

No less than many other regions in the country, Friuli has been devastated by the economic crash of 2008 and its seemingly permanent aftermath. Hundreds of its small businesses and factories have closed, leaving many thousands unemployed. Michele’s father called his son’s death “the defeat of a moribund society.” What other way is there to describe a society unable to create work for its young people?

One of Italy’s rising political figures, Beppe Grillo of the politically eclectic Five-Star Movement, has proposed a guaranteed citizen income for all Italians. His reasoning appears to be that the Italians should be getting something from their government other than its slavish devotion to the corrupt oligarchy of the banks and corporations that rule the country.

There is a strong Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein component in the Five-Star Movement, as well as an admiration for the challenge that Hugo Chávez threw down to the multinationals in Venezuela. Grillo also has praised Ecuador’s Rafael Correa for his opposition to the International Monetary Fund, an institution that the Italian leader reviles as a battering ram of noxious austerity policies.

Since the recent presidential election in the United States, Grillo has praised Trump as a much-needed change-of-air in world politics. Change of any kind, a powerful sentiment in the United States last fall, exerts the same kind of force in Italy now.

Even if a guaranteed citizen income initiative were to prevail and become law, the main problem underscored by Michele’s death would still remain. An allowance conjures up the image of juvenile dependence. A national welfare program for all citizens certainly is preferable to leaving ever rising numbers of them in want, but it would not solve in a socially edifying way the anterior problem of work. Michele was not asking for an allowance. He wanted work to do. This is a human need that societies deserving of survival are obliged to supply, a point raised by Thorstein Veblen in the book of his he valued most, The Instinct of Workmanship (1914). Human beings, he wrote, are called by nature to useful effort. It is not only the deprivations and frustrations associated with sex that undermine and subvert the human personality. He judged the men who live by moving money around to be the greatest peril of all to those who live by work.


The problem of work in Italy today belongs to the class of social consequences identified by Pier Paolo Pasolini in a famous Corriere della Sera article in 1974. “The Italians are no longer what they once were,” he observed.

By this statement, Friuli’s greatest poet, filmmaker, and social critic meant that Italy’s traditional values had undergone an anthropological mutation. The country had abandoned its traditional way of life, which in its peasant culture had achieved a kind of poetic synthesis in the saying of Padron ‘Ntoni, novelist Giovanni Verga’s lead character in I Malavoglia (1881): “He is richest who has the fewest wants.” Pasolini feared that the new values of a hedonistic consumer society would be a poor substitute for Italy’s Christian and socialist ideals. What a debased fate for Italy, to come through the civilization-defining vicissitudes of its millennial history, only to end up ignobly aping American-style conspicuous consumption.

Pasolini had in mind a particular phase of the globalized economy, which since the 1970s has sped forward on the principle that money must be completely liberated to maximize profits for those who have it. It is immediately evident why this golden rule for today’s economy, though achieving its purpose of profit-maximization, has been a poor proposition for most of the working people of the Western world.

While rates of extreme poverty worldwide have declined in recent decades, the means to produce such a result have required an outsourcing of the West’s manufacturing base. The coincidental surge in profits made possible by the relocation of manufacturing jobs to countries unencumbered by high wages, labor unions, and environmental laws has with perfect justice sparked a political firestorm.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz explained in Globalization and Its Discontents (2004) that the basic problem with the world’s current financial arrangement concerned the institutions and organizations commanding it. The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the U.S. Treasury, and the European Monetary Union protect special interests, Wall Street most of all. Despite their lip-service in democratic argot, the very last thing seriously on the minds of the top financial policy makers is the well-being of ordinary people.

As a result of the methods used to promote globalization, the consequences for the West have been tragic. Work is becoming increasingly uncertain and insecure, or it is in the process of disappearing altogether. It would take Veblen’s talents for social satire, which are unsurpassed in all of American literature, to depict with the essential exactitude of artistic synthesis how far the United States has fallen away from democratic grace, the country’s dramatically widening gap between the haves and the have-nots being what it is. Clearly, we are on the wrong course. What the robotics revolution, now at an incipient stage, will do to further diminish opportunities for Western peoples to work can be easily imagined, if the economic imperative of corporate capitalism is the rule to go by.

The same desolating trends can be seen in Europe, where people increasingly regard the European Union as a Trojan horse. The economic elites and their political front-men responsible for this image-challenged contraption lose public support with each new poll. The people by and large blame the European Union and the other accessories of globalization for their worsening standard of living. When informed by the establishment media that thanks to globalization Europe has never been more prosperous and peaceful, Europeans in historic numbers are reacting with disbelief. Their deepening sense of betrayal propels the surge of populism that defines the politics of Europe today.

Arguments long-settled in favor of deregulation, liberalization, open borders, and other globalization watchwords have been reopened. The constituency is growing for a politics that puts the well-being of Europeans first. Political measures calling for the protection of European jobs and cultures have gained a following unforeseen prior to 2008.

In Italy, for example, 77 percent of the people questioned in a recent poll could see no advantage to them at all from the country’s membership in the European Union. Sixty-four percent of them expressed hostility toward it. Eight Italian businesses out of 10 can find nothing positive to say about the European Union. It is seen to be a creature of the banks and the big financial houses. As public relations disasters go, this one has unfolded on an epic scale as the underlying populations, long left out of consideration by the economic elites, have begun to sense the fate their masters have in store for them.

Leaving underlying populations out of consideration was a special feature of the planning that went into globalization. They have been voiceless. In America, Trump gave them a voice, and they responded to him with their political support. It did not matter that he came before them without a plan for their deliverance. That he came to them at all mattered. He understood the depth of the anger and alienation in America against a status quo personified by his opponent, Hillary Clinton, whose repeated and munificently rewarded speeches before the captains of finance on Wall Street effectively branded her as the safe candidate for all who wanted to leave existing economic arrangements fundamentally undisturbed.

Trump may go down in history as a president who was hopelessly out of his depth on all vital matters, but his presidential campaign will be studied for as long as historians have an interest in American politics. It was a masterpiece of intuition based on an uncannily correct judgment about the spirit of the times. Bernie Sanders had the same insight, but the Democratic Party turned out to be much more corrupt and vulnerable to manipulation than the Republicans, an astonishing feat. In possibly an even more flagrant instance of interference in the American democratic process than anything yet proven against Vladimir Putin, internal machinations weighted the primary process against Sanders. The Republicans tried to head off Trump, too, but a fiercely loyal base and a dearth of plausible opponents gave him an easy victory in the primaries.

At an academic conference in New York in May a year ago, I participated in a conversation among scholars, journalists, and government officials who generally thought that Trump would not even win 20 percent of the national vote. His ridiculous campaign surely would fall of its own dead weight. Professional pollsters, though not so far wrong as my conference colleagues in New York, also missed what appears to be the main story of the campaign: a loss of faith, unprecedented in its severity, by the American people in the rules of the game. There is no other way to explain the stunningly bizarre choice that they made for the man to lead them.

That Trump has rapt admirers and self-confessed imitators in Europe should come as no surprise because the mood he represents is an international phenomenon. Virtually every European country has a Trump candidate saying basically the same things that he did in his campaign against immigrants, globalization trade agreements, and the establishment media. Italy has two such candidates: Grillo and the leader of the xenophobic League Party, Matteo Salvini. They are riding a wave of anti-establishment outrage and in tandem are outpolling the two major mainstream parties, the center-left Democratic Party, now in internal disarray from schism, and the center-right Go Italy Party.

As Europe since the end of World War II has slipped ever more securely into the orbit of American military and economic power, it is only to be expected that the Atlantic Community will be increasingly homogeneous. The Italian case is most instructive about the fundamental meaning of America for Europe. Italy’s greatest postwar novelist, Cesare Pavese, explained in The Moon and the Bonfires (1950), “America is here already. We have our millionaires and people are dying of hunger.” Contemporary Italy, in keeping with Europe as a whole, is best understood as an example of America’s role as the prime mover in international affairs and economics, or of how the world works per necessità, in Machiavelli’s phrase, according to the dictates of those who hold irresistible power.

By outsourcing its manufacturing base in search of portfolio enhancement, the United States exercised a freedom for which liberty-loving European businessmen, bankers, and politicians hungered as well. Unable to compete with 50-cent per hour labor, the working classes in America and Europe would have to go to the wall, but while adjusting their blindfolds they could rest assured that in the fullness of time the wonder-working ways of the free market would redeem the world.

Such a promise held no meaning for Michele, and he left this world slamming the door. “I feel betrayed,” he wrote in his suicide note. Who can say which other factors drove him in those last desperate hours before he took his life? We do know what his stated reason was for doing it. Work was the final thought that he had. How else could a Friulano give a good account of himself in this life?

Richard Drake, a historian of Europe and the United States,
is professor of history at the University of Montana.
Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.
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