Categories
Uncategorized

2020 and 2021 – Low Hopes, Lower Expectations

I have no idea what’s going to happen to the USA in the next couple of years.  My gut instinct tells me that there will be a massive financial meltdown similar to 2007-2008 and a political shit storm when Trump either wins or refuses to step down from the presidency.

I’m no fan of the liberal establishment but I’d much prefer to have them in power than the progressively worse fascist, false christian, racist, homophobe, woman haters on the other side of American politics. I’m not a fan of government being involved in every aspect of our lives as the Obama/Clinton left would build it but I’m less of a fan of everything being decided by billionaires and oligarchs and class structure being turned into a modern day Mitch McConnel/Donald Trump caste system with rich old white dudes having all the power and everyone else being told to serve or starve.

The one thing I’m pretty sure the future holds for Americans  is disappointment. All that credit is going to run out, the retirement system and social welfare systems will be gutted and collapse, and jobs are going to disappear – all while the oligarchs crow that the economy is better than ever and the stock markets are making new highs.

My liberal friends will be faced with four years of hoping to get rid of Donald Trump being dashed against the rocks. My conservative friends will suddenly realize they aren’t a part of the club they’ve been empowering. I don’t have any Trumper friends, but if I did, they would probably be disappointed to not be getting the reward they are expecting – whatever foul thing that might be – whether it is political opponents in jail, lynchings, unchecked tyranny, or civil war.

The bottom line is – unless you are a part of the .5% then you are probably going to get fucked and be disappointed over the next couple of years – but, on the brightside – the odds are in most of our favor to not be victims of a terrorist attack – whether from foreigners or disgruntled white dudes with 2nd amendment issues.

 

Good luck and good night America.

Categories
Uncategorized

The End of the Free Ride – Free and Underpriced Services Ending

I hadn’t noticed that Craigslist now charges you $5 to sell a car but it’s been that way for more than six months. I just hadn’t been selling a car until now.

It’s been a fun ride as the internet destroyed all the best industries in the world with freebies. All the ‘disruption’ that we’ve been experiencing over the past decade has really been good old fashioned monopoly building. Now that the competition has been destroyed and the moats are dug deep around the monopolies – we’re going to start having to pay and we’re going to start getting gouged.

Newspapers. Dead. Paywalls on news sites – on the rise.

Records with liner notes, CDs with liner notes, music you actually buy once and own forever – gone. Songs you ‘buy’ but have to pay to store on your device – here to stay. That storage fee. Our files are getting bigger and our ‘free’ allocation of storage is getting smaller. 5 GB doesn’t hold many home movies (icloud) or your music, videos, or gazillions of photos. 15 GB (Google Drive) gets used up pretty quick too. It’s only $2.99/month to upgrade…go ahead – and so it begins. The classic pusher line – first one is free.

Starbucks killed coffee houses, Walmart killed mom & pop stores, Amazon killed malls, cable killed broadcast, streaming killed cable, Netflix killed Blockbuster, Budweiser bought all the microbreweries and then Budweiser got bought, and the list goes on and on. CNN and Headline News killed the 6:00 news, streaming buried local news, Whole Foods killed local health food stores, Amazon bought Whole Foods, and so forth. Uber killed buses and taxis.

I liked newspapers. I liked coffee houses. I liked the evening news. I liked small businesses. I liked craft beer. I liked libraries and video stores. I liked record shops and book stores. I liked free local classified ad papers. I liked corkboard bulletin boards in local health food stores.

The internet and tech companies came and killed all these things. They promised leveling the playing field. Free services. Better everything. They lied. They were simply killing the competition and building monopolies. Now they have.

The 1990s were the emergence of computing and internet for the masses.

The 2000s were the decade when people moved into the digital world.

The 2010s have been the decade of disruption which was actually monopoly building.

The 2020s are going to be the most expensive decade people have ever lived – on many different levels.

 

I’m no longer convinced that Bitcoin will be a good hedge against that – I certainly hope so – but the powers in charge have been working very hard to limit it’s usefulness to those not in power.

 

It’s probably too late to stop any of this from moving forward.

Categories
Uncategorized

The State of the World in 2019

To say that things seem to be precarious would be an understatement.

Climate change is having devastating effects around the world.

Totalitarianism and Fascism are on the rise and seemingly ready to march.

The act of simply living has become an increasingly expensive proposition.

Children in the US and other countries spend their childhoods staring at screens and going through lockdown and ‘active shooter’ drills.

And then there is that big fake thing – the economy – along with the other fake things like nations, freedom, and liberty.

Hate and anger rule the roads, the checkout lines, and of course – the main way that people interact with one another now – the online world.

I could go on about the big stuff – but what about the small stuff – Craigslist now charges for ads -after killing all the little free ad papers in America. Starbucks isn’t a ‘3rd place’ to spend time and make friends any more but it killed all the little coffee shops that were. All the ‘craft breweries’ and microbreweries are now owned by big international conglomerates and those hundreds of cereal brands in the grocery store are all made by the same three companies.

People are waiting in line for hours to have a ‘new chicken sandwich’ and literally stabbing each other over them.

Cord cutting is now more expensive than cable.

Not only do you have to pay for your phone but also data and storage plus any apps you might think you need.

All the ‘free’ places that used to be good for kids or a relaxing day are filled with sometimes violent and psychotic homeless – for god sakes don’t leave your kid alone at the park or the library and don’t try to spend a quiet afternoon there unless you want to smell pee and hear someone on their cellphone.

No hike in the mountains is complete without some asshat blasting music on a portable speaker as the go down the trail looking for an ‘epic selfie spot’

A new car costs more than a house did when I was a child (the 1970s) – and yet annual wages are about the same or less when inflation is considered.

A trip to the dentist used to be $100 for a cleaning and checkup, no insurance required and if you needed a filling you would get it that day for $100 more or a root canal for $500. Now, they won’t see you without insurance and your co-pay on the root canal will be $1500 and the cleaning, filling, and root canal will require 4-5 appointments that will total in the thousands at the very least.

As for the doctor – just forget it. Let the sickness run its course and die if you have to rather than leaving your kids with huge medical debts.

Everything is more expensive – and yet our schools constantly are sending home fund-raising notices so the kids can have field trips, drama, music or anything else.

National Parks are no longer free and often require reservations just to see them.

The internet is no longer a reasonable place to search for information because you are so bombarded by paid search results and advertisements that the chances of finding what you are looking for are slim to zero unless you are a highly paid search professional. There are no more random exciting discoveries on the internet – only clickbait.

People no longer write letters – email has become so overwhelmed with spam that it is useless. People no longer answer their phones because of robo calls, no one checks their voicemail – most are over-full, and texting is following the same trajectory. The end result is isolation and loneliness.

Social media is filled with malicious ads, fake news, and mind control material – not to mention trolls and hate mongers.

I could go on. I don’t really need to. Let me just lay it out for you in simple terms.

The world is not as good as it used to be. The world sucks. It’s not your imagination or bad attitude. It really sucks.

We’ve created this world and now we have to live in it. If you pray, you should pray for divine intervention, the arrival of aliens, a takeover by artificial intelligence, or the birth of some sort of viral movement that has the ability to sweep all of the world around us away. Those are the only things that can change the trajectory we are on.

Otherwise, we just need to hang on, keep struggling, and make the best of what has become – at best- a very sucky situation for the majority of us in 2019.

Categories
Politics

October Thoughts on the U.S. 2020 Election

My guess is that Trump has been holding back the killing of Baghdadi (the leader of Daesh) for an emergency oh fuck moment. The fact that he has done it now – probably means that he is in full ‘oh fuck’ mode. I expect that we will start getting lots of positive news about trade breakthroughs with China as he tries to make the economy work a bit better for him.

A friend just told me that Trump showed up to the World Series and the crowd boo’d him! In Washington D.C. !!!

He has four options.

  • Impeachment and getting fired if the Senate has a closed session.
  • Impeachment and not being fired if the Senate has an open session and he can bully enough Republican senators.
  • Pulling his full dictator move before the 2020 election even happens.
  • Quitting and getting Pence to give him a full pardon.

In any event, we have an interesting election shaping up.  Biden has been muddied and frankly isn’t a very good candidate. Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders would probably make pretty good presidents but no telling what will come out regarding either of them as the Trump organization digs deeper. As to the other candidates…

  • I still think Andrew Yang could be the surprise derby winner – his supporters don’t have landlines and probably don’t talk to pollsters
  • Cory Booker is seemingly one of the nicest and most caring individuals to ever run for office
  • Julian Castro is smart, but can a guy named Castro win in the USA? I don’t think so.
  • Beto seems like a cool guy but I wouldn’t vote for him – I’m not sure why. I know he’s not a Mormon, but I can picture him knocking on my door to give me religious literature
  • Tom Steyer is a billionaire – I dig his schpiel but not sure I buy it
  • Klobouchar, Buttigeig, Harris – great cabinet material here.
  • As for Tulsi – who I’ve met and generally like – the events of the last couple of weeks have just been too bizarre around her. She threatened to boycott the last debate but then didn’t, she has this bizarre antagonistic thing with Hillary Clinton and the DNC, she spends far too much time on Fox News, she got support from Trump about being a Russian agent, her wacko trip to Syria, her crazy Lanikai cult background, and her anti-LGBTQ past – it all adds up to some weird ass shit going on with Tulsi. Then here Stepford ‘Regime Change War’ over and over again – it all just makes me feel like I have a stranger touching my privates (and not in a good way) so ewwww…
  • As for the old Clinton tribe – won’t surprise me if she does drop herself in it, but please no.

My pick would be some combination with Yang in it. Warren and Yang in either combo -I would start feeling some hope again.

Categories
Economics Future

Get Ready to Get Screwed!

I mean, technically, we’ve all been being screwed for a long time but things seem to be ramping up a bit. Here is what is coming:

1) Election meddling

2) Totalitarian attempts at refusing to lose election

3) Complete stock market meltdown

4) New ‘dot-com bubble’ explosion – tech and startups are about to stop getting huge cash infusions and no more rounds of ‘do crazy shit even if it doesn’t make money’ seed money.

5) No Deal Brexit

6) A new war in the Middle East involving Turkey, Russia, Iran, Saudi, Yemen, Israel, Iraq, and when hundreds of thousands innocent people are murdered the USA and Britain. It will start as Turks vs. Kurds and escalate to Sunni vs. Shia and then into oil control

7) Chinese are going to reach a boiling point and pull the economic nuclear option by selling all the US debt they own and crashing the US dollar

8) Another huge refugee crisis

9) Don’t forget accelerating climate change

10) More shootings in the USA

 

So, the moral of the story is. Be grateful that none of that is happening today (yet).

Categories
Economics Politics

Attending a Gun Show and Having My Expectations Shattered

I attended a gun show as a vendor this weekend. I don’t own any guns so I wasn’t selling those – I was selling knives and fishing gear. I wasn’t really sure what to expect at the gun show – I’ve never been to one.

Here’s what I thought it would be: survivalists, right wing militiamen, gun nuts, NRA and MAGA hats, tin foil conspiracy theorists, and lots of Trump lovers. I thought there would be crazy people buying guns to kill with and no regulation of any sort.

Here’s what I found – essentially it was like a Star Trek Convention but with models of tanks instead of Klingon warbirds and with guns instead of space memorabilia. Instead of people dressing up like Kirk, Spock, and Khan – they were dressed as cowboys, G.I.s, and Japanese soldiers. There were cool displays on the history of firearms, historic gun displays, and plenty of educational material. There were plenty of police around, people were generally funny, friendly, and reasonable. I only saw four MAGA hats and a couple of NRA and Second Amendment shirts – far less than I would see at an antique show in Oregon –

But keep in mind – this is a gun show in Hawaii – so it’s going to be pretty different. I thought it would be torturous but I ended up having fun, eating hot dogs and drinking soda with some nice folks, and selling a bit more than I would have at the flea market. There were no big Trump displays, no conspiracy theorist booths, and I really didn’t see any survivalist or bunker mentality militia stuff happening.

Although – there was a guy there who looked just like Steve Bannon. Fighting Jesus

My top seller of the weekend were tiny gold crosses that have knives hidden in them on dogtag chains. People loved those things.

There were a few political discussions, but I tried to keep my views on the low-down so I could feel how people felt and in general – people at a gun show in Hawaii didn’t seem to be too keen on Trump, but at the same time they all seem to think that Antifa is a fascist group (for the record, it stands for Anti-Fascist) and that there is a deep state conspiracy that has kept Trump from doing all the good he promised them he would do.

So, that’s worrisome. Even though these were some very reasonable, multi-cultural and open minded fun loving costume wearing gun lovers – they still think the only way to save America is to rally behind the guy who stole the presidency.

I’m hopeful for humanity but I’m pretty sure America is completely fucked.

Categories
Future

Reflections on Sept 11th 18-years later. Dominators and Cooperators

The problems in the world can be traced to one group of people – no, it’s not an ethnicity, religion, or nationality. It’s a mindset.

Dominators. Dominators are those who believe they should be able to force the world to do what they want. Not just single people but communities, states, nations, and even the whole planet. This mindset has created every problem we face in the world.

Terrorism – people who were dominated and learned the dominator behaviors. Terrorism is literally the act of attempting to force the world to do what you want with fear and intimidation.

Colonialism – people at a higher level of technology dominating people with a lower level of technology

Racism – the attempt of one group of people to assert dominance over another group based on skin color (same for nationalism but with nationality)

Global Warming – attempts to dominate nature with catastrophic results

And the list goes on and on – it’s September 11, 2019 – 18 years since the terrorist attacks. A child born that day becomes an adult today. Things have only gotten worse since that time. We’ve all lost. We’ve lost our freedom, liberty, privacy, time, money, and mental health. We’ve lost lives. We’ve lost democracy. We’ve lost our minds.

Buddhism tells us that fighting hatred or anger with hatred or anger is always a way to lose. We can’t all be good buddhists or christians and love our enemies – but there is a practical way to overcome these problems. It’s been there all along -waiting for us. Cooperation.

Cooperating with each other, cooperating with the planet, cooperating between nations, states, and individuals.

The problem, of course, stays the same. The dominators. The dominators have an unfair advantage. Here is how it works:

Cooperator + cooperator leads to cooperation – everyone wins

Dominator + dominator leads to domination – everyone loses except single entity that dominates the rest

Dominator + cooperator leads to domination – everyone loses except single entity that dominates the rest

Whenever a dominator (individual, society, company) encounters a cooperator (individual, society, company) the cooperator is faced with a choice – be dominated or become a dominator. This dilemma leads to a world that is increasingly ruled by dominator behavior and entities. It becomes increasingly hard to even think about cooperation.

Many have tried to overcome this Catch-22 and few (if any) have succeeded. If they have succeeded, they do so by existing outside the notice of the dominators. Secret societies of cooperators and esoteric sufis. And all it takes to destroy them is notice by a dominator and the will of that dominator to do what dominators all do – to dominate.

I believe there is a way out of this mess. I believe it is the way out of all of our messes. It’s a way that we don’t have the will or the fortitude to take because it will be messy and ugly. On that morning 18-years ago, we were presented with horror and tragedy but we were also presented with opportunity – an opportunity to not respond to domination with domination – but we failed. We created a hellish world of never ending war, violence, and domination on the political, economic, and personal levels.

What is the way out?

Cooperation. Those who are cooperators need to join hands, join forces, and join hearts. We need to clearly state what is acceptable in a cooperative world and what is not acceptable in a cooperative world. We need to make a declaration of independence from domination and dominator behavior. And then – the hard part that we must do or we will fail. When a person, a company, a country engages in dominator behavior they need to be totally and completely stripped of everything. Stripped of money, stripped of family, stripped of diplomatic status, stripped of resources, and on an extreme individual level – stripped of life. This is our only way out of the downward spiral we have become trapped in.

How do you recognize a dominator? Easy. They are in it for themselves and don’t care about the cost to others, the cost to the future, the cost to the planet, or the cost to humanity. Dominators must be destroyed or completely disempowered. We cannot out-dominate the dominators, we can only destroy or disempower them completely. It is the only way.

Categories
Antichrist 2020 Future

Top 10 Reasons to Vote for the Antichrist in 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections

1. You think kids should be in cages and families don’t have the ‘right’ to stay together when they seek asylum

2. You hate abortion for any reason unless it’s an abortion of a non-white or non-American person

3. You believe white people are naturally superior to non-white people and Americans are superior to non-Americans

4. You believe that Americans are special in comparison to other people, especially white Americans

5. You don’t care about methods, only about results – especially when it comes to your 401k

6. Lies don’t bother you – as long as they support your moral position

7. You support Israel and Jewish people but only until all the Muslims are gone

8. Global warming is a part of God’s plan for Armageddon

9. You’d rather be ruled by Russia than by a black or non-white president

10. You can’t wait for Jesus to return and join the Republican Party

 

God Bless America

Wear your support for the Antichrist in 2020 proudly

AntiChrist for President

Categories
Uncategorized

Hello world! AntiChrist 2020 for President!

Antichrist 2020

Categories
Uncategorized

Inverted Yield Curve

The yield curve inverted this morning – which historically has been a bad sign for the American economy. It’s indicated a recession before – but we all know the rules no longer apply. Markets are being manipulated with such a heavy hand and without regard for the human consequences that it’s entirely possible that Trump and his cronies will manipulate the markets back to all time highs before the end of the year.

He has to. The economy is his main tool in the election in 2020 – that’s part of the reason why they are playing with it so heavily right now – the way I see it is that here is the likely scenario –

  1. Trump will make the economy blast higher and higher using every dangerous and questionable technique they can to make sure that he wins the election of 2020 – they will use the economy as a bludgeon and all those old white people with 401ks won’t want to give back their gains
  2. If and hopefully when he loses the election – they will pull the carpet out from underneath the economy, scream ‘communist plot’ and refuse to give up power. They will declare an unprecedented national emergency and stay in power – never giving it up.

Or, alternatively, the magicians have run out of tricks and we can expect the coming months to see a crash that will put 2008 to shame. Personally, I think the global economy needs an actual reset and a huge crash could be just the thing. After that we get someone like Andrew Yang or Bernie Sanders in office and we begin to have a more human centered governance – rather than the rape-bro culture we currently have.