Categories
Future

The Sky is Falling…the U.S. Government Shutdown Day 34

The U.S. Government has been shut down for 33 days now. The people who were hired to keep planes from smashing into each other, to keep people from taking guns and bombs and knives on planes, and the people who were hired to keep people with bad intentions from landing on our shores or crossing our borders – all of these people have been working without pay – forced to work without pay. They aren’t alone – there are many other key personnel who have been sent home, told to work and wait for a check, or simply laid off. We all know the numbers now- 800, 000 workers. But there is a trickle down – while they aren’t working they don’t need the daycare or after school care, they are buying less groceries, they are not going to as many movies, they aren’t spending as much.

I’m not convinced that these people are ever going to see paychecks or be called back to work. I realize that sounds like crazy talk to some people but hear me out. I’m going to lay out what I think is the entire Putin, Bannon, Trump conspiracy here…and yes, he’s no longer on the media radar, but Bannon is still very much in the picture and the agenda he laid out is still playing itself out. Get ready for some head scratching and shaking because I’m about to show you how the sky is actually falling.

Bannon’s agenda has always been to shut down the government for good. If you don’t believe me….read it from the horse’s mouth

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2017/02/23/steve-bannon-details-trump-agenda-deconstruction-administrative-state/

Bannon has described himself as a Leninist and a conservative revolutionary nationalist – which meshes quite well with Russian President Vladmir Putin’s politics. It’s interesting that Bannon condemned the meetings with Russians in Trump tower – not for going against the United States but because they were handled with buffoonish egotism – and then laid out how he would have organized the meetings so as to not get caught and have plausible deniability.

So, to begin with – I contend that Bannon has been in contact with Russia all along and has been orchestrating things from behind the scenes from the get go. I believe that Bannon’s ouster from the administration was simply a smoke screen and more of his plausible deniability. Meanwhile, the work he is trying to accomplish – that of shutting down the government of the United States and replacing it with a white, Christian, conservative, nationalist totalitarian state masquerading as a democracy has continued at full force.

Here is what I believe went down and is going down:

  1. Bannon established ties with the Kremlin to get Trump elected
  2. Trump and his minions tried to take control of the situation with their mafia style tactics and politically inept meetings with Russians and made a mess of Bannon’s careful plans
  3. Bannon called them out and was at odds with ‘the generals’ and other people with genuine interest in protecting the USA from the beginning – his departure from the administration was a way to provide cover for him and his agenda.
  4. Working with Moscow, Bannon developed plans with Putin as handler of Russian assett Trump to isolate the U.S. from allies, create chaos and turmoil within the U.S, weaken the U.S. borders and economy, and ultimately shutdown the parts of the government Bannon wants destroyed (welfare state, environmental oversight, homeland security, justice department) and to create a controlled ‘black swan’ event which would enable the suspension of U.S. democracy and imposition of a police state
  5. End goal is suspension of the constitution and the invisible overthrow of the U.S. separation of powers – at which point Bannon will be brought back into the spotlight.

I believe that we are now in the middle of Phase 4 and the powers behind the administration are orchestrating a black swan event which will allow them to take complete control of the U.S. government and grant them sweeping Presidential war powers.

I believe that the black swan event is being prepared as I write this – a black swan event by the way is a major event such as the terrorist attacks of 9-11 which allows for control situations that would otherwise be out of the norm. Everything happening right now is for show – the wall, the trade war with China, the politics of the shutdown.

What the shutdown is actually doing is allowing the choreography of a major terrorist event. The Islamic State has been left to regroup in Syria with the sudden U.S. pullout – the U.S. government shutdown has created holes in airport screening, air traffic control, and border security which will only get worse as time goes on (and the shutdown will continue). The talk about an election of 2020 will continue to ramp up, but Trump has no intention of running in an election becuase he will suspend the constitution and call of the election before he has a chance to lose. He is going to go full dictator but declare that it is a move that is interests of the United States of America.

I believe that a major terrorist attack against the United States is coming from a resurgent IS terrorist organization sometime in the next 18 months. I also believe that Russia is preparing to seize Ukraine and other former Soviet territories but wants to make sure that the U.S, the UK and other NATO allies are in complete disarray. China, North Korea and Venezuela are red herrings put out there to distract away from Russia and weaken the economic and political stability of the USA. They are real issues, but not the actual attack we need to worry about.

The sky is falling. There is only one way to prevent it and it may be too late. Trump and his entire administration need to be impeached and taken out of power.

I hope that I am just a chicken little here – but to me, the entire conspiracy looks as clear as a blue sky.

Categories
Future

Toxic Masculinity and Gillette Razors

Let’s get a few things out of the way first – I’ve never been a big fan of Gillette Razors and I’m not likely to rush out and buy/not buy them because I like/dislike an advertising campaign. Razor brands (or any brands at all) have very little to do with masculinity or femininity and if you think they do – you’re sort of stupid. There – we got that out of the way.

Next thing to get out of the way. I’m a former Marine, I played football and wrestled in school, and generally people don’t give me any shit – but when I was growing up – I was bullied. When I was in the Marines – I was bullied. And I have seen enough toxic masculinity to last several lifetimes. I have seen it directed at women I care about, friends who don’t fit the American bullshit masculine mold, and at myself. Sadly, and this isn’t easy to admit – I’ve engaged in toxic masculinity in the past as well. I was never a bully, but I’ve treated some incredible women to some incredibly bad bahviour. There is no excuse for that – yes, I was conforming to toxic masculine behaviour I was taught and expected to conform to – but I knew better when I was doing it and it was bullshit. There is no fixing what is already done, but know this – I was wrong and I know I was wrong. I’m a better man today and if anything, the change in my outlook and behaviour should be seen as a positve indicator that we can live in a better world and that men can be better than they were taught to be.

That’s a lot of stuff to get out of the way. Now, in case you haven’t seen it, I’d like to share the Gillette advertisement that has been causing so much controversey among toxic males and their toxic female defenders:

Let me summarize the message of this commercial – “Hey men, stop being assholes to each other and to women” – That’s it. I’m not sure what kind of person gets offended by this – but my suspicion is that in general – people who engage or have engaged in the awful behaviour shown in this ad are the ones who are offended by it – i.e. toxic males are offended that their toxic behaviour has been called out. What kind of toxic behaviour? Here’s a list and some personal examples from my life.

Kids bullying and physically abusing one another.

I was born with a birth defect. I had to wear a helmet during my first year in school because I had a skull fracture when I was five. I wasn’t able to participate in all the sport or active play during that time. I became a more bookish and inward looking person. I was bullied for all of that. I was bullied for my good grades and for enjoying school. I was bullied because I was smaller than most kids. I spent most of my childhood (and much of my adult life) trying to prove that I was as good as other boys and men. I developed fairly severe emotional and psychological problems that took me years to overcome as a result of the bullying, the beatings, and the bullshit. Why? Because I was small and because I was different.

Men bullying, objectifying, and abusing women (or each other)

My mother was physically, emotionally, and verbally abused by men much bigger than her during much of my childhood. We had neighbors who tried to corner and rape her. I remember a family friend sitting in conversation with my mother on our deck and ‘accidentally’ allowing his erect dick to slip out of his shorts. Every woman I know has stories of being sexually harrassed, assaulted, or abused. Many of the men I know have similar stories. I have those stories. I remember an asshole of a roommate in the Marines who bullied me and our other roommate mercilessly – he was older and bigger and baited us into physical confrontations – I remember this prick dragging our roommate out of bed in his underwear after a night of drinking and other guys (like me) standing around laughing and giving approval. Not cool at all. I’m ashamed that I said nothing and was so insecure that I sought this jerk’s approval.

Homophobia

I went to school in the 1970s and 1980s. We rarely knew if kids were gay or trans but if someone found out, they were ostracized and punished by every insecure male in the school. I was called queer, gay, faggot, homo, and more – not because I was gay but because I wasn’t interested in acting like a fucking jerk or didn’t want to commit crimes, destroy property, or put myself or others in danger. Homophobia goes way beyond just treating LGBTQ people badly – it’s root lies in toxic male insecurity.

Mysogeny and Sexual Harrassment (treating women like they are less than equal)

I have grabbed women’s asses, cat-called, leered, harrassed, and said rude things to women who weren’t interested in me. Nearly every man I know did the same things. We were encouraged in this behaviour by our fathers, brothers, coworkers, and peers. We were essentially taught that women were there for us to fuck and if they weren’t going to fuck us, they had no value. My behaviour and that of all the other men who have engaged in this kind of bullshit was toxic. I am deeply ashamed of my past behaviour and I own it. Women are equal to men in every way and no one deserves to have their body, their work, their ideas, their personhood or their lives disturbed and harassed.

Condoning toxic behaviour like those above

I can think of countless times I witnessed bullshit like what I’ve listed above and said nothing because I was afraid of being judged by the men around me. I’ve heard men engage in the most foul and offensive ‘locker room’ talk and not objected or even left the room because I didn’t want to lose status. I’ve seen this bullshit encouraged by countless men, by the father’s and grandfathers of friends, and by strangers.

The root of all of this is toxic insecurity. I’m serious. The guys who engage in this behaviour are the weakest and most self-hating people in the world. They focus their power on hurting those with less power and then they reap the rewards of fear and condonement by those around them. I don’t know if there is any way to fix them – but those of us who are aware of it can do a couple of things to change the behaviour 1) Do as in the video and stand up to right wrongs when we see them, don’t turn a blind eye, don’t laugh at this bullshit, and don’t give the toxic male bahaviour the approval it seeks 2) If that is too much, simply walk away – don’t silently participate, don’t hear it and let it go, don’t write it off as ‘boys will be boys’

We can live in a better world. We’ve all fucked up somewhere. We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all watched silently when awful things happen. We don’t have to anymore.

Categories
Cryptocurrency Economics Future Investing Politics

Predictions for 2019

I have a number of predictions for 2019. They are worth considering in any event. First a fun one – I think that in 2019, celebrity stock and crypto traders will become the new celebrity chefs. In the past most notorious traders have either been criminals or niche market – I think this year they will go mainstream. Think in terms of Rachel Ray, Anthony Bourdain, and other chefs who made the leap to stardom from the nineties to the oughts.

Alright – moving on:

1) While it sounds hard to believe in light of the ridiculous predictions, the boom and the bust, and the bear market of 2018 – I believe that Bitcoin will end 2019 worth more than $100k per coin. Adoption is happening, regulation has not killed it, and bitcoin retains the advantage of being the most useful of all cryptocurrency – and the world financial system needs it.

2) The frangmentation of the internet into national and regional separate internets will continue. We will see distinct American, European, Chinese, Japanese, and African internets emerge – it’s my belief that the I2I communication this creates (internet to internet) is going to be where the most remarkable autonomous A.I developments take place in 2019.

3) The #metoo and #blacklivesmatter movements will grow in strength – large numbers of established white dudes will be taken down for offensive and toxic past behaviour. This will lead to a bit of a backlash and two distinct movements by white groups – one inclusive which attempts to show that not all white people are bad and one that is reactive and pushes back with negativity, hate and fear.

4) Impeachment proceedings and formal charges lie ahead of Donald Trump. To distract and rally his base he will either use Taiwan or Mexico to create a distraction.

5) Marijuana will be decriminalized in the USA – this will create massive debate about those incarcerated for marijuana offenses

6) The stock market will rally in the first two quarters of 2019 breaking previous all time highs and then crashing hard and fast in the third quarter.

7) Crypto markets will skyrocket and the price of Gold will approach $2k USD again in 2019. Both Facebook and Amazon will implement their own cryptocurrencies and start gradually accepting Bitcoin for payments.

8) Amazon share prices will soar going past $1.5 trillion USD as the full scope of Amazon’s investments in health, hospitality, and transportation become known.

9) A centrist third party will appear bridging the gap between the left leaning democrats and the fascist leaning Trumpists. They will field a viable third party candidate that appeals to broad swaths of both red and blue voters.

10) The automation of fast food, self driving cars, and other A.I. driven worker replacement strategies will accelerate in 2019 leaving record numbers of low skill workers with nothing but low paying options for employement.

Categories
Future

Happy New Year 2019 from Vagorithm

The holidays are at an end (for the time being) and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the readers and followers of Vagorithm. Vagorithm was born from the idea that change is happening faster than we can recognize it. During the coming year, I will do my best to keep you up to date on the latest in technological, economic, political, social, and cultural change in the world around us. Both personally and professionally, I’ve declared 2019 to be ‘The Year of Change’.

Now that the holidays are through, I will resume my regular schedule of a new post each Thursday at 12 pm HST. Posts on this site will be focused on book reviews, forecasting, and looking more closely at political, economic, and cultural change as it happens around us. I will continue to monitor the world with the Vagorithm Index and will certainly make some changes to the algorithm as the year progresses.

As the year begins, we are in a deep rut which I fear may go deeper. From an all time high of 907 under President Obama’s leadership and vision, we have sunk to a near all time low of 271 with multiple countries around the globe seemingly ready to collapse, century old powerhouse corporations like General Electric, Sears, and Ford struggling to stay alive, and a global wealth disparity that is growing faster than at any time in the history of our species – so, we have some challenges ahead.

My predictions for 2019 are not hard to predict. I believe that multiple modern stable democracies are in danger of collapsing. I think that cryptocurrency will move faster on the pace of adoption than anyone expects after the big collapse of 2018. I worry that those who need the most protection in our world will suffer the most in the coming year. Finally, I think we are going to see big breakthroughs in gene-editing, self-driving electric vehicles, and industrial automation – those kiosks in McDonalds are going to be showing up everywhere.

Economically, I think the U.S. and Global Equities Markets have one big bubble ahead of them before a spectacular collapse and the U.S. Dollar is going to lose a lot of value before the year is done. Gold should approach the $2000 mark again with other metals following. We are going to start seeing the effects of workers being replaced by automation in 2019 and it’s not going to be pretty.

All of that being said – things are looking good for 2019. This is a year of new things being born and change coming hard. It won’t be easy, but there are huge opportunities for a better world in the next 365 days.

I wish you the best