A major American city is on fire – pandemic is raging still – and the fiddler on the roof is fanning the flames instead of soothing frayed nerves.
We’ve always said that Trump doesn’t plan on stepping aside regardless of outcome in November’s election. First, we saw Jared Kushner’s trial balloon of putting off the election and now, we are seeing something else:
The Insurrection Act of 1807 is a United States federal law (10 U.S.C. §§ 251–255) (until 2016, found at 10 US Code, Chapter 15, §§ 331–335, renumbered to 10 USC, Chapter 13, §§ 251–255) that governs the ability of the President of the United States to deploy military troops within the United States to put down lawlessness, insurrection, and rebellion.
Under this act, the President may deploy troops as a police force during a natural disaster, epidemic, serious public health emergency, terrorist attack, or other condition, when the President determines that the authorities of the state are incapable of maintaining public order. Interestingly, action taken under the Insurrection Act, allows the President to bypass the Posse Comitatus Act – which limit’s the President’s ability to use Federal troops on U.S. soil.
The Posse Comitatus Act allows governors to deploy National Guard and keeps them under State control. The Insurrection Act is a very different story.
Be prepared to be occupied by the armed forces of the United States – in the United States.
Here are a couple of other articles that might be of interest to you:
Christopher Damitio has completed his 50,000 word pandemic novel. It’s free and worth a read even though it was written in just 25 days. It’s a strange mixture of reality that we are all living and dark fantasy. If you want to escape from Coronavirus (and Trump) this is both the answer and not the answer.
I’m going to tell you now – what you are seeing is confirmation bias. People are seeing what they want to see, just like I saw that the economy would drop twice as hard as it did (so far).
I’m not sure what people are smoking, but it’s definitely some kind of hopium. Unemployment is as bad as during the Great Depression. There is no cure or vaccine for the virus yet. Life as we know it has changed forever.
Still, I have to give people credit for being so adaptable. I hope that I’m wrong and new waves of the virus don’t start murdering new masses of people. But even if we avoid that nightmare – we still have to deal with the fact that tourism and hospitality is on it’s knees and being kicked.
I’m not sure what would happen if the President or VP had the virus, but judging by Britain, as long as they survived it would be no big deal at this point.
As soon as governments allow it, there are going to be mass waves of evictions and foreclosures – not to mention bankruptcies by the basketful.
Maybe the USA will pull out of this tailspin, maybe the insanely resurgent economy will save us all – but I doubt it. I’ve been wrong before – and maybe I’ll be wrong on this. Still – it doesn’t feel like I’m wrong (but it wouldn’t would it? All the ‘plandemic’ nuts feel sure they are right and you probably feel like you are right too, regardless of your position on things).
Here’s what I see coming –
economy re-opens in May and June and people can’t help but start behaving as if the pandemic has been beaten – people can’t resist the summer travel season – everything feels like a comeback
waves of evictions and foreclosures in July begin – also people start wondering why their jobs haven’t come back and the prices of groceries are 4x what they were in January
August schools re-open – pandemic resurges bigger than before
stock markets and equities finally catch up with the real economic data and crash hard
bitcoin, gold, and silver all spike to levels that seem stupid to consider at the moment
Trump will try to postpone the election (if he survives getting virus which he either already has or will get soon)
Biden will hum-deedle-dee and haa-doodle-doo through the most muddled election in U.S. history
Today more than ever, the workers of the world need to unite. As billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk try to force their workers to return to factories despite the COVID-19 risks (and without additional pay or benefits) and as Donald Trump and Republican governors try to re-open their states and ‘send people back to work’ without understanding the risks, and as Wall Street bails itself out using money for small business and the US Congress chooses to bail out billionaires over working moms – all of these things should be revitalizing the labor movement. Today, we should be looking at the gross inequities that have made ‘essential workers’ some of the lowest paid with the least benefits while ‘non-essential workers’ have the cushion to sit out this crisis with no risk.
The capitalist USA political machine has always been scared of organized labor, they’ve always been scared of workers organizing, and they’ve always been scared of the workers controlling the means of production. They’ve labored such things as red, communist, socialist, or anti-American. The reason is capitalist class have always depended on the slave labor of the workers to make themselves rich. There has been a war against organized labor in this country for a long while and the capitalists are winning it even as 30 million US workers suddenly find themselves unemployed due to COVID-19..
Gone are the days when unions were controlled by the workers, gone are the days when there were calls for shorter work days, shorter work weeks, higher pay, better benefits, or lifetime security for loyal workers – instead we live in a country where companies are immortal and workers are hired as ‘contractors’ which is a fancy way of saying they have no job security and no benefits they don’t provide for themselves. Those contract workers, by the way, have been sidelined and for the most part have not received any sort of bailout or unemployment yet – although the government (to it’s credit) has set about creating a bailout for them – but most regular unemployed workers are either still waiting for unemployment or haven’t been able to log in to overwhelmed state systems.
In 1886, on May 4th, following organized labor activities and protests (on May 1st – the real labor day) which followed demands for an 8 hour workday – police killed several protestors and riots ensued – culminating in protestors bombing the police with dynamite and the police killing four more and then seven being sentenced to death for conspiracy. This, many say, is the origin of the world’s labor day on May 1st ( though actually, MayDay goes further back than that) – in a sense – one could argue that communism has it’s militant roots in this American event – thus is an American institution which has been villified and made to appear foreign and anti-American.
President Grover Cleveland feared that MayDay celebrations would be used to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre and celebrations were banned. After the Pullman Strike where Federal Marshalls and U.S. military killed workers demanding safer conditions, the government rushed to create a National ‘Labor’ Day – but designated it be in September to avoid remembrance of government brutality towards workers demanding better conditions and safer work environments. The choice of September 1st was blatantly political and championed by President Grover Cleveland to disempower nascent Communist, Anarchist, and Syndicalist movements which used MayDay as a rallying point to bring workers to a more empowered system.
The United States has defeated organized labor. They have villainized labor as mobsters, communists, and criminals. They have created a holiday that disempowers workers from solidarity with workers in other countries, and they have impovershed workers to the point where we are working longer hours, getting less benefits, and earning less money or we are not working at all. There is no need to outlaw labor organizations because they are already frequently working against labor.
You (and everyone) need to look at this and scroll through the whole thing – it will take you 10-15 minutes, but it may be the best chance to ever understand just how obscene the inequality of wealth really is.
Update 4/28/20 – American deaths from Covid-19 surpassed American casualties in the Vietnam War today. Over 1 million cases in the USA – Trump continues to treat it like it’s no big deal and the stock market follows suit. Trump and his followers want people back to work, no matter the cost in lives and heartache. It took longer to reach this milestone than I would have expected – 22,000 in 11 days. That 2000 per day average is a troublesome number – it really should be going up or down – not hovering. Hopefully it will start to drop dramatically soon – but that seems as unlikely as the Stockmarket continuing to go up.
Update 4/17/20 – American deaths from Covid-19 now outnumber American deaths in the Korean War. Covid-19 is now the second leading cause of death in the USA and will probably pass cancer before the weekend is over.
Update 4/15/20 – We have now passed the death tolls for the War of 1812 and the American Revolutionary War. These are not happy numbers. My estimate is that we will achieve parity with casualities from WWI by May 5th.
April 6, 2020: For those saying that the number of deaths in America from COVID-19 aren’t staggering – a bit of history on American casualties:
* 2977 deaths in the September 11th attacks
* 7702 casualties for every war or military action since Vietnam combined.
* 10,986 is the death toll in the US for COVID-19 deaths (4/6 at 6pm HST)
* War of 1812 ~15,000 Casualties
* American Revolution ~25,000 Casualties
* 36,516 Korean War casualties
* 58,209 Vietnam War Casualties
* 116,516 WWI Casualties
* 405,399 WWII Casualties
* ~650,000 American Civil War (both sides)
So, we’ve exceeded September 11th and all the wars since Vietnam including Iraq, Afghanistan, Gulf War, Bosnia, Somalia and everything else.
Next stop is the War of 1812 followed by the American Revolution. Let’s hope we don’t start reaching the Korean War and Vietnam because WWI levels are right around the corner. God help us all if we get to the levels of WWII and the American Civil War.
Don’t believe anyone who says this isn’t serious. It’s deadly serious.
I’m going to go ahead and coin the name for the coming crisis the Pan-Depression short for Pandemic Depression. It’s coming and it’s going to be ugly. #pandepression
Capitalism is eating itself and the result isn’t the creation of a giant uniform middle class. The middle class is what capitalism is feeding on.
The rich are sheltering in place. They are not worried about surviving this – though they will certainly lose the most in an absolute sense. These are billionaires.
The wealthy are scrambling to save their wealth – they are maneuvering for bailouts, looking for safe-havens, and cutting expenses – mostly this means cutting workers and worker benefits.
The top of the middle-class who thought they were wealthy are quickly heading towards losing it all. They are not going to get bailouts and they are not going to be collecting rents. They are not going to be getting paychecks but they will still have to cover their bills. They are freaking the fuck out. They are wondering when their wealthy and rich friends with power are going to look out for them. They are quickly learning that they are not as important as they thought.
The middle of the middle class is getting a bit of a lifeline – they think they will get three months of paychecks while unemployed, they think they will get a break on rents, they think they will get a stimulus check. They think they can make it for a couple of months and then this should all be over.
The bottom of the middle class has lost their jobs, they are unable to apply for unemployment, they don’t know how they will pay rent, they are hoping that they are not forgotten by their government. They no longer have health care (if they ever did) and they are torn between looking for work, hustling, or just saying fuck it.
The working poor are ready to stop paying rent, stop paying bills, stop paying anything. Their work is gone, they don’t have enough money to last the month, they fully expect to get sick, they don’t have health insurance and they will just have to deal with it as they always have. Many of them hope that this will create an opportunity for them to improve their place in life.
The poor are wandering the streets, looking for easy shit to steal, making soup from whatever the fuck they have. It’s easier for them – there are more hand-outs being given, more people looking out for them, more helping hands being offered. Like the homeless guys who moved into Occupy camps – they are seeing some benefit from this.
So, what’s going to happen when the shit ‘really’ hits the fan? Here it is – laid out for you.
The rich will be fine. The most mercenary and heartless of the wealthy will be fine. The other half will realize they are fucked – along with nearly all of the upper middle class – these are the people that will be killing themselves as they move progressively faster down the ladder towards the great equalizing station – the working poor. The middle and bottom of the middle class will also fall – but the drop isn’t as far or as painful and it is my opinion that many of them will manage to hold on – they are essential – grocery store workers, retail workers, restaurant workers, small farmers, civil servants – but the majority of the population are heading straight to the working poor and a large number of them will fall to the actual poor. You will have former millionaires living in tents next to former (and still) homeless. Bankers next to bartenders. People in America and Europe are about to learn (in the next six months) that what actually divides you isn’t your intelligence, your skill, or your hard work – it’s the luck of being born where you were and to who your parents were. That’s it.
There will only be two classes that survive – we can call them the haves and the have nots. That is it.
As the U.S. federal government continues to run the money printers at full steam, continues to send magic money to banks, tech, and industry, and also continues to systematically shut down the economy (through necessity) – one outcome seems to be becoming more and more possible. The complete insolvency and dissolution of the United States of America.
Personally, I’m not convinced that it isn’t intentional. Certainly this was the stated goal of Steve Bannon and other Trump agenda planners. As crazy as it sounds, Trump and his cronies would do nothing but profit from the dissolution of the USA – which could be why they are pumping all the resources they can into business, industry, and finance. After all, just because a huge country fails in a globalized economy, that is no reason for all of the companies in that country to fail.
How would that happen? Well, frankly, it’s already happening. The largest economy in the world has shut down. The USA is sending out T-bills to foreign banks in ever greater numbers for a like amount of foreign currency on the condition that the foreign currency can be redeemed at the same rate in the future. The debt of the USA has reached levels where it can no longer be repaid. The treasury bills and dollars held by nations like China are a ticking time bomb that could literally break the bank.
Troops have been stationed along the southern and northern borders. National guard has been activated and troops have actually been deployed throughout the nation but especially in (blue) urban areas hit by corona-virus. Reported numbers of up to 10 million have filed unemployment, but the real numbers are probably somewhere in the 50-60 million range. What happens when the US can no longer pay government retirement, disability, and social security? Technically, those aren’t employment, but they are how a huge number of people live.
I’m not saying this is going to happen, but it sure seems more likely than it did. As the election gets closer, the economy contracts, shelves become emptier, and chaos becomes more pronounced – I will not be surprised if the Trump administration simply dissolves the USA and thus absolves itself of all debts, all encumbrances, all foreign obligations, and all responsibilities towards its citizenry. The fact that taxes and the DNC convention have both been pushed back are icing on the cake.
As crazy as it sounds, I don’t think it is impossible that Trump vacates the White House, moves to Mar a Lago and begins issuing edicts from his personal palace. I’ve given a lot of thought to what happens to the troops in a situation like that – are they simply told to go home? Are they given over to each state’s National Guard units? Or are they asked to swear a new oath to an emergency war time government? Maybe a combination of all three.
In any event, I don’t see California or New York cooperating with such a plan. Governors Cuomo and Newsom are in unique positions total control of their own sovereignty. California would be one of the wealthiest, most technologically, greatest food producing nations in the world – and it’s an oil producing state with vast natural and renewable energy resources. California doesn’t need the USA and in the situation outlined above, I don’t think the USA would need California.
Interestingly, California could easily militarize her borders – since agricultural inspection stations already exist on every road into the state. The governors of each state control the National Guard and Governor Newsom could easily absorb military personnel and bases into the California National Guard. What if he also said that all taxes should be paid to California instead of to the IRS?
There are a large number of possibilities here that didn’t exist two months ago. I’ll admit it – the idea of a liberated Bear Republic is an exciting prospect to me.
What about Hawaii? Far too distant to be ruled by a Florida Trump – but also home to one of the largest US military contingents in the world. Unlike California, Hawaii is not self sustaining as it is right now. Hawaii would need the help of the outside world. I don’t think it’s at all unlikely that Hawaii would turn to the Republic of California for help. The bonds of mutual aid and friendship between the two states run deep.
Suddenly – you have a vast Pacific power born. If you want to talk dominos, it seems likely that Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Alaska would also be a part of this new Pacific nation.
As to what would happen east of the West Coast – I have no idea but given current politics – it wouldn’t seem too unlikely to have the rest of the Western states and the Southern states align themselves with King Trump of Florida.
All those purple and blue states up North might well band together – Michigan, New York, New England, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania – culturally, that seems to make sense. But hey, it’s probably just wishful thinking – I can’t think of a single person in that red area that I want to have making decisions that affect my family or me – can you?
The emerging consensus seems to be that we will get through this – it will take some time, but we will emerge from the other side of it.
I reject that notion.
I reject the concept of we, since already more than 30,000 of those who were ‘we’ are no longer among the living. By the end of this – it will be hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions that will no longer be among ‘we’ – and thus we will no longer be inclusive but exclusive – numbering only the survivors.
Yes, a good number of survivors will push on, but they will not be we. You may be among them, I may be among them, but the survivors will not be us. The survivors will have borne witness to death and suffering that ‘we’ cannot imagine. The survivors will have seen and experienced the greed and selfishness of robber baron tech capitalism up close and far too personal.
Personally, I don’t think the United States will survive this. Not the United States as we know it – but maybe a different form. My prediction is that California, Texas, New York, and Washington state will all find themselves in possession of more autonomy than any states have had since the civil war. Maybe they will be independent – I don’t know, I don’t see the future – I simply look for patterns and historical currents.
The USA will survive through the year, but come 2021, it will be gone – at least as we know it. The inept campaign of Joe Biden and the incessant rallying of Donald Trump have virtually guaranteed that. Trump wants his name to be on the meager relief checks. He wants people to feel like he has paid them! In an election year. His mailers are paid for by the government and say Donald Trump’s Social Distancing guide.
If there is an election, it will be called into question and the USA cannot survive that. If there is not an election, the USA also cannot survive that.
The stock market and big business? They may well survive – as we speak they are sucking the last drops of prosperity from the bloodless corpse of America. The $6.6 Trillion money grab is a way to preserve the wealth and power of the dominant entities on this planet.
China will be fine. The European Union will survive. Australia and Canada will carry on. The Latin American, Asian, and African nations will survive and suffer as they always have – but the USA cannot and will not make it out of this in tact.
Only a miracle could save the USA. A candidate with the savvy and strength to inspire loyalty across party lines, with the bravery to make decisions that seem suicidal but are the only way to survive, and a desertion by the media from their blind allegiance to capital. I see no other way that the USA gets through this.
So, be prepared. WE will not survive. Many of us will die. The way we live and interact with each other will change. The new rulers – and the new rules – they are coming but we are blind to their advance.
This is a time of sheer amazement for me. As an anthropologist, I’ve spent years watching and studying humans – and frankly, I am completely dumbfounded by our collective stupidity. This is especially true in the United States of America – and let’s be very clear – it’s not fair to refer to it as America – because we seem to be much more stupid than the other people who live in the Western Hemisphere.
The stupidest president presiding over the stupidest people on the planet is calling for them to pack churches on Easter and gently encouraging people to resist social distancing or self isolation so as not to negatively impact the economy. Yes, by all means go back to your minimum wage jobs without health insurance, put yourselves and your family at risk of death, and rack up more debt by paying everything except rent with credit cards because that is all the cash you have.
Head to a Florida sand bar party and fly your Trump flag proudly as you high five virus carriers. Vote again for those awesome GOP and Dem Senators who want to bail out banks and airlines but have no problem with you being homeless in the time of COVID-19. Grab them bootstraps.
For the life of me, I’ve never understood how anyone could vote for a party who’s initials stand for ‘Grand Ole’ Party’ – they might as well just call themselves the Kurrupt Kullexion of Kristian – it’s no secret that the Repulicants have long been racist, corrupt, and anti-freedom unless you can buy the privilege.
And yet, even if we acknowledge that 50% of the country are buffoons – we are still left with a lot of buffoons outside of that. How in the world did the Democrats manage to lose to Trump? How did they manage to not support a President with both houses of congress and let a bunch of retarded nay-sayers block Supreme Court picks, key legislation, and more.
The Senators and Representatives can’t all be that stupid, can they? And whether they are or are not – the fact that they managed to get into office in the first place says everything that needs to be said about the electorate – we are collectively much more stupid than we think we are. Individually, that probably holds true as well.
So, keep riding for the brand, fools. Keep working for the system so you can change the system, idiots. Keep supporting the status quo so you can change the status quo, buffoons. As for me – I quit.