One of the often unspoken expectations when we buy something is that it will, to some degree, make us happy. And when we become used to the availability of good things, when we come to expect them as a regular experience of a good life, we enter what’s called the “Hedonic Treadmill.”
Needing more and more good things in order to feel what we’ve come to expect as a baseline of happiness can be exhausting. It can undermine the sense of happiness we enjoy with each positive experience.
And in that way we can undermine our sense of being happy about our life.
But there is an antidote; something we can deliberately practice and gets easier over time, and that can significantly affect our happiness. Here it is.
They call themselves Amazigh – meaning “the unconquered” – who are the original people of Morocco having lived there for over 12,000 years. You’ve heard of them as Berbers, a name they find offensive. Another people you’ve heard of are the Lapps, the reindeer-herders of far northern Scandinavia, who call themselves Saami.
Astoundingly, they are directly related, for both are descended from the same stock of Cro-Magnon Ice Age hunters in Western Europe that split in two 15,000 years ago – one moving thousands of miles far north, the other thousands of mile south crossing the Gibraltar Strait to North Africa. Geneticists know this because the Amazigh and Saami share the same mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U5b1b. (See Saami and Berbers – An Unexpected Mitochondrial DNA Link, American Journal of Human Genetics, March 2005.)
So when you visit Morocco and meet a gentleman like that pictured above amidst a display of spectacular Amazigh artwork, you’ll know what incredible history resides within him. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #242 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
The megalithic temple of Hajjar Qim (hah-jar seem) on the island of Malta in the center of the Mediterranean, was built a thousand years before the pyramids in Egypt. The Stone Age people there made their temples of enormous stones weighing several tons cut from the limestone bedrock with tools of stone and antler horn for they had no metal, and moved them using small round-cut rocks as ball bearings for they had no wheels.
The massive stone I’m in front of weighs over 20 tons. These folks figured out all by themselves how to build these extraordinary temples to their gods and goddesses close to six thousand years ago. Nobody taught them. They were the first.
These ancient temples are only one of the so many things that entrance the visitor to Malta. Medieval walled cities, sea caves of day-glo blue water, sunset dining in fabulous restaurants with great food, great beer, and great wine, luxury hotels made from palaces or palazzos – all at reasonable cost.
90% of Maltese are devoutly Christian, having been so since converted by St. Paul himself in 60 AD. They are warm and welcoming, eager to have you join in the fun of their village festivals. I had such a wonderful time with them when I was first here in 2009 (when the photo you see was taken). I’ve been back twice now and can’t wait to be there again. So much so I’ll be leading an exploration of Malta over next Memorial Day (May 25-June 2). Let me know on the Forum if you’d like to join me. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #241 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Russian missiles knocked out the Ukrainian power grid this past week, with much of the nation in darkness.
Lviv, in Western Ukraine, and part of Kyiv appear to be back online as of publishing time. Western nations are scrambling to source every available gasoline and diesel-powered generator for local use while larger military-grade systems are being mobilized.
Electrical grid failure is a severe possibility over much of the world as recent trends in cloud-based computing will drive global demand to 100%, then 200%, then 400% higher within a decade. The most significant driver is cryptocurrency mining.
It has been said that what cannot happen won’t happen. Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but the move to replace national currencies with Bitcoin and similar devices is crashing headlong into the electricity problem. Windmills and solar are toys compared to thermal and nuclear power station output. And these real power plants are being closed.
The result? The US Dollar will fend off the attack from cryptos. It is almost as if the government planned things out this way.
Come on over to the HFR. Let’s talk about the Elephant in the room.
The Eiffel Tower is especially impressive at night. Taking the elevators to the first, second, and finally the third platform on top with the girders lit up against the black of night makes you gape at the herculean engineering achievement of Gustav Eiffel. It’s overwhelming that it took only 26 months to build – from the start on January 28, 1887 to the celebration of its completion on March 31, 1889.
The Eiffel was built for the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 1789 French Revolution, and of the century of scientific progress and the Industrial Revolution since. It may seem bizarre that it was bitterly opposed by hundreds of Paris’ artistic and intellectual elite, who publicly condemned it as “a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack… stretching like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal.”
Too bad for them, for The Eiffel was quickly embraced by Parisians as a beloved symbol of their city, while it has gone on to be one of the world’s most epically famous monuments.
Rebel and I are here in Paris with our son Brandon for Thanksgiving. I took this picture last night. Should you ever be in Paris, be sure to visit the Eiffel – all the way to the top! – at night. The experience is simply glorious. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #240 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
On Thanksgiving Day, Americans gather with their family and friends to celebrate the blessings that Providence has bestowed on their beloved country.
A deep appreciation of these blessings involves understanding that they were earned. It is to understand the awesome truth of how “God helps those who help themselves” applies to the Mayflower Pilgrims and their First Thanksgiving at America’s birth.
This is an appreciation and understanding of which those on the Left are incapable – for it would mean celebrating the capitalist freedom that made that original Thanksgiving possible. That made America possible.
Thus they must distort history instead. The distortion starts in Kindergarten, with the childish make-believe of your kid’s school play portraying the noble Squanto teaching the helpless Pilgrims how to feed themselves. So let’s drop the curtain on the distortion and watch the real thing. Here it is.
The real history of the Mayflower Pilgrims was recounted by their leader, William Bradford (1590-1657) in his book Of Plymouth Plantation, completed in 1647. It is from Bradford that we learn of Squanto, who did indeed show the Pilgrims how to “set” or plant corn (a new unfamiliar crop for them).
Then we learn that the Pilgrims taught the Indians how to grow more corn than they ever had before:
“The Indeans used to have nothing so much corne as they have since the English have stored them with their hoes, and seene their industrie in breaking up new grounds therwith.”
Reading the real history of the Pilgrims is so revelatory that I want you to see it at length. It is as effective a refutation of socialism and affirmation of capitalism as there has ever been.
Today is Thanksgiving Day, and it is my favorite holiday. Thank you, thank you to the many TTPers taking the time to read Skye's Links today. Your friendship and engagement on the forum are deeply meaningful. We are a team of like-minded friends, and sometimes not so like-minded, engaging together to understand the world better.
Our world is changing fast as global finance capitalism attempts to dominate industrial capitalism. The old system lifted the quality of life for everyone on the planet. The new system? Not so much as fee income from every facet of life and movement replaces investment in productive systems.
The photo is an old political propaganda piece first used by FDR against Hoover and later used by the Axis against American G.I.s. It successfully depicted the American Dream on this most beautiful holiday.
Little did people know that the Deep State then and the Deep State today see the simple message of prosperity as their enemy; as they see it, a happy home can afford to pay higher fees.
Please join us at Skye's Links while we discuss the changes we are seeing and the deeper meaning.
Enjoy your day, and we hope you are with your family and loved ones. And if you have a moment, share the prayers, and Grace offered before your meal today on the forum. So many TTPers want to hear each other's thoughts, especially today.
When American explorers came upon this extraordinary cliff dwelling in 1860s Arizona, they dubbed it “Montezuma’s Castle” on a whim. The Aztec ruler had nothing to do with it, of course. The Anasazi people built a number of these marvelous structures in the Southwest, high up on cliffs above a river that seasonally flooded.
For hundreds of years the Anasazi flourished, skilled agriculturalists and brilliant at constructing vast irrigation systems. Yet it all came to naught with a devastating megadrought with no rain for many decades, culminating in the collapse of the Anasazi culture and abandonment of their cliff dwellings by the early 1500s.
Another lesson that it is nature that control’s the Earth’s climate, not us. You’ll find Montezuma’s Castle above Beaver Creek south of Sedona. It’s a marvel not to be missed. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #194 photo ©Jack Wheeler)
Nope – he finds a culture inhabited by ill-dressed goons speaking in monosyllables, with no understanding of history or the natural world or anything else, surrounded by shoddy, fake technology. The president is a dreadlocked idiot. The average IQ hovers around 65.
Sure… you know that one. It’s Idiocracy, the comic film from 2006. Except that it isn’t -- it’s “The Marching Morons,” a 1951 short story by C.M. Kornbluth. That’s where the producers of Idiocracy got it, without acknowledgement, knowing that the current run of morons wouldn’t recognize it.
We’ve haven’t reached the state of Idiocracy or “Marching Morons” as of yet. But from the evidence of the midterms, we’re a good halfway there.