Week of 9/13/2020
In memorium of those who died on 9-11 and the millions of Iraqi, Syrian, Afgani, Libyan, and other children who died as a result of our incoherent and selfish response to a terrorist attack carried out by Saudi Arabian extremists.
Global Covid Cases: 29,055, 013
Global Covid Deaths: 885,129 926,009
New Deaths: 40,880 avg of 5840 per day up from 5238
US Covid Cases: 6,690,810
US Covid Deaths: 198,239
New Deaths: 5283 754 avg per day down from 859 but as noted before, these numbers are political so they are suspect.
Hawaii Covid Cases: 10588 (avg 127 per day)
Hawaii Covid Deaths: 97
Oahu Covid Cases: 9559 (avg 113 new per day)
New Deaths Last Week: 13 – down from 22 the week before Lt. Gov. Josh Green tested positive. Lockdown renewed for two weeks more.
Other Covid News: A new study says more than 250,000 COVID-19 cases between Aug 2 and Sept 2 came from the Sturgis Rally. That’s approx 19 percent of all U.S. cases added last month. The paper’s authors also concluded that the rally resulted in $12.2B in public health costs Taped interviews by Bob Woodward show that Trump knew Covid-19 was deadly and a huge threat back in February and everything he said publicly from that time about the disease was a lie. Surprising no one after what might be called Idiotfest – the Sturgis motorcycle rally several weeks ago – the Dakotas now lead the nation with the highest rates of new Covid-19 cases. Brazil and India still trail the US in total cases and numbers dead – but unfortunately both countries appear to be catching up. One would hope that no country would ever catch up to the number of dead in the USA – now close to 200,000 people. In the US, the states of Texas, Florida, and California continue to vye for the top death and case positions but all still lag far behind New York and New Jersey where people were decimated early on in this global disaster. An interesting note however, when one looks at deaths per one million population a different story emeges with the worst mortality being in the Northeast early on and then moving firmly into the South.
Political and Election News: In the interviews with Woodward – this was the craziest reveal among many (in my opinion) :
Trump said, “I have built a nuclear — a weapons system that nobody’s ever had in this country before. We have stuff that you haven’t even seen or heard about. We have stuff that Putin and Xi have never heard about before. There’s nobody — what we have is incredible.”
Anonymous sources confirmed that the U.S. military had a secret new weapons system and they were unpleasantly surprised Trump disclosed it.
News sources keep saying Trump is behind in the polls and is going to lose. Apparently he already blew is 800 Million + wad…. think of that How many millionaires do you know? – effectively he just took 800 millionaires and spent everything they had on a losing campaign. CNN says that he is worth less than he was when he was elected. I don’t believe it for a second. I also don’t believe he will lose. All of those projections hinge on a fair election and we already know – Trump and his minions cheat -that’s why so many of them are already convicted or locked up. I really want to be wrong about this but I’d bet dollars to donuts – Trump has more than he did when he became president but it’s put away somewhere safe in case he has to bolt.
International News: The US is pulling up to 2200 troops out of Iraq by September. The more the better. Can we pull the troops from pretty much everywhere please? Can we then convert them into National Service Troops who make America better with their work in healthcare, education, sanitation, and recreation?
Economic News: Over 100k jobs lost in the oilfield services sector since April. Unemployment numbers went the wrong direction with 1.7 million new claims last week. 18.4% of the labor force is on unemployment insurance. That’s 29.6 million people – and that’s just those who qualify or applied for the benefit. Economically speaking – we aren’t in the toilet, the toilet is broken and shit is spilling all over the floor and spreading rapidly.
Natural Disasters/Climate Change News: Fires destroyed Europe’s largest migrant camp on the island of Lesbos in Greece. It had been under Covid-19 lockdown. Fires are out of control and spreading in Oregon, Washington, and California.
Week ending 09/06/20
Global Covid Cases: 27,158,685
Global Covid Deaths: 885,129
New Deaths: 36,664 avg of 5238 per day down from last week’s 5450 per day
US Covid Cases: 6,440,816
US Covid Deaths: 192,956
New Deaths: 6012 859 per day down from 937 last week – but as noted before, these numbers are political so they are suspect.
Hawaii Covid Cases: 9693
Hawaii Covid Deaths: 84
Oahu Covid Cases: 8765
New Deaths Last Week: 22 deaths last week up from 15 the week before and 7 two weeks ago
Average 222 cases per day up from 218 last week and 211 the week before. This fire appears to be growing out of control little by little here on Oahu despite the lockdown orders on Oahu.
Other Covid News: Researchers from the State University of Londrina in Brazil found that people who reported “antisocial traits,” such as low levels of empathy and high levels of callousness and risk-taking, were less-likely to comply with Covid-19 prevention measures, such as wearing a mask and social distancing. In other words, sociopaths are less likely to wear masks and more likely to be anti-maskers. Similar studies found the same thing in Poland and the USA. Covid-19 cases in kids have increased 17% over two weeks…not surprisingly, about shortly after the school year has begun in many places – this will just get worse. At least a few deaths and a large number of cases have been related to the Sturgis motorcycle gathering – but it’s still too early to say for certain what the effects were.
Political News: Rumors are flying that Trump suffered a stroke last year when he paid a visit to Walter Reed. Trump’s taxes (as I foretold) are not going to be released to the State of NY prosecutor. Trump controls the courts, that’s the value of his first three years. President Trump signed a memo Wednesday to restrict federal $ from going to “anarchist jurisdictions” – the memo cites Seattle, Portland, NYC & D.C. This inspired NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to say “He better have an army if he thinks he’s gonna walk down the street in New York,” Cuomo said late Wednesday. “He can’t have enough bodyguards to walk through New York City. Trump also encouraged North Carolina voters to vote twice – something that North Carolina had to remind voters is illegal. In a bit of good news on the political front, Ed Markey a supporter of the Green New Deal defeated his primary challenger, young Joe Kennedy who was backed by Nancy Pelosi and other political elites – usually an incumbant winning over a young challenger wouldn’t be something to celebrate but in this case – Markey is a solid proponent of dealing with climate change so it’s a win for those of us who don’t want to see the planet become uninhabitable. A new report says that Russia is using their troll farms to amplify Trump’s message about elections being untrustworthy – yes, big surprise that Russia would be pushing the message that Putin’s puppet is already spewing. According to an article published by The Atlantic on Thursday, President Trump referred to fallen Marines who fought in World War I as “losers” and “suckers” while deciding not to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris during a visit to France in 2018. He made similar comments about veteran and former Arizona senator John McCain after he died in 2018. Trump denies it all, but of course it is true. He also claims to be responsible for the Veterans Choice bill that McCain sponsored and Obama signed into law in 2014. We all know he’s a liar but for some reason, his base keeps following him – oh yeah, I forgot, because he’s a racist and they are mostly closet or overt whitee supremacists or the most exploitive types of capitalists who value profits far above people. Meanwhile Nancy Pelosi is catching heat for getting her hair done indoors in a salon in San Francisco, apparently violating covid-19 restrictions – yeah, fuck her for getting her hair cut – if I lived in San Francisco, I’d be voting for Shahid to replace her – but not because of her hair, nor because of his. In Texas a bunch of Trump boating enthuisiasts decided to have a boat parade and at least four of them sank. Seriously, can’t make this stuff up. Michael Cohen, once the president’s personal lawyer, detailed in his Trump tell all book that Trump hired an actor to be faux-bama so that Trump could pretend fire him. Still not making this up.
BLM – Protest News: The suspect in the Portland shooting is a 48-year-old white dad who described himself as 100% Antifa Michael Forest Reinoehl. Witnesses say the man who was killed was wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet and had been spraying people with mace/pepper spray and was carrying a nightstick and menacing people. He was a member of the same group that a man who atttacked people with a knife in Portland several years ago belonged too. It’s important to remember that these Trumpers loaded into trucks like ISIS thugs and drove into a peaceful protest to harrass, intimidate, and shoot protestors with paintballs and ball bearings. There’s plenty of video of this – but I don’t expect that to play any part in the narrative. Yes, folks, we officially have people killing each other in the streets now in Kenosha and Portland over whether Black Lives Matter or not. Thursday night, after an interview aired in which Michael Forest Reinoehl claimed he had no choice unless he wanted to see his friend beat to death but footage showed him stalking the guy he killed so he wasn’t some good guy, he was a person unhinged by the state of the world and then – Reinoehl was murdered by police. Coincidence that the man who killed a violent blue lives matter protestor was killed by police? I think not. This whole chain of events feels like a tipping point and I’d like to be wrong, but I think the death is just getting started – people should be a lot more freaked out about people murdering each other in the streets than they are… and about police murdering people…On the 100th night of protests in Portland, a riot was declared as mooltov cocktails were thrown. At least fifty were arrested.
Economic News: Apple and Tesla both split their stocks, in a way, locking in the amazing gains both companies have made over the course of the pandemic. Elon Musk is now the 3rd richest person in the world having passed Mark Zuckerberg and now chasing Bill Gates. Amazon’s drone delivery fleet was approved by the FAA. Amazon briefly advertised for agents to monitor union organizing this week before getting flagged for it and quickly removing the job listings. It was the best stock market August since 1984 – a huge generational shift in wealth from the bottom directly to the top. New weekly jobless claims came in at 881,000, well below the psychological million mark but a number that would have sent markets reeling downward in any other year. Of course, the numbers are a lie – if you get rid of the seasonally adjusted claptrap, the numbers are actually closer to 2.2 million and the second wave of layoffs has begun – this time hitting better paying jobs. 29.2 million people remain on unemployment – that’s 18.3% of the population. The bigger companies are now starting their layoffs, airlines, Salesforce, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, MGM resorts, AT&T, NBC Universal, Comcast, LinkedIn, Raytheon – not that restaurant and service jobs don’t matter – but the loss of these jobs are going to hit the economy a lot harder. There was a nice but far too minor market dip on Thursday. The top billionaires lost about $25 billion in wealth on Thursday and Friday, but that’s not enough. They need to lose it all. They need to be reduced to a number that a person can at least comprehend, they need to be reduced from billionaires to some maximum like 1/2 a billion – that’s enough for anyone. They should be required to create charities with the rest of their wealth – real charities run by trusted organizations that actually help people – not bullshit tax shelter charities or charities that push their political agenda. Tesla, much to the surprise of fans of the stock and the founder, was not included in the S&P 500 – the stock is down 25% as of writing this.
Disaster News/ Severe Weather/Climate Change News: A typhoon is bearing down on Japan. In California the creek fire prompted the helicopter evacuation of 224 campers from Mammoth Pools area.
Random Wierd Shit: A man in a jetpack was reported flying around next to landing aircraft at LAX one of the world’s busiest airports. David Blaine rode a bunch of helium balloons up to an unthinkable altitude and then parchuted down.
Week ending 8/31/20
Global Covid Cases: 25,282,859
Global Covid Deaths: 848,465 810317
New Deaths: 38,148 an average of 5450 per day, down from last week’s 5640 per day average
US Covid Cases: 6,147,967
US Covid Deaths: 180,384 – 186,944
New Deaths: 6560 – average of 937- down from 1078 per day dying average last week – but as noted before, these numbers are now political so they are suspect.
Hawaii Covid Cases: 8139
Hawaii Covid Deaths: 62
Oahu Covid Cases: 5806 (1604 new since last week avg 229 per day up from 202 per day last week)
New Deaths Last Week: 15 – more than double the 7 deaths the week before
Average 218 new cases per day up from 211 per day last week. This fire appears to be growing out of control little by little here on Oahu. Numbers have continued going up on Hawaii and we have re-entered the same kind of stay at home, work at home lockdown orders on Oahu.
Other Covid News: The Trump administration is pushing another unproved Covid-19 cure – this time blood plasma – which might be hopeful, but hasn’t been trialed or proven to be effective yet. A Hong Kong man has been confirmed to have been reinfected with Covid-19 – which would seem to indicate that immunity – herd or otherwise – is not something that will occur naturally. A man in Nevada became the first American confirmed to have caught Covid-19 twice. This is not good news for those who thought they were done with the disease after catching it once. Mario Cuomo, Governor of NY has called out the CDC as being a tool of the Trump administration’s anti-science agenda.
BLM and Civil Liberties Protests: Wisconsin police shot Jacob Blake, a black man, in the back while his three kids watched from the car. Blake is reportedly sturggling but alive. He was shot three times in the back. Shootings have followed with multiple people dead and injured in Kenosha where it took place. Later, armed militia groups were encouraged and given water by police and then a 17-year old with an assault rifle who brought it across state lines – murdered two protestors and shot several more. The 17-year-old has become a folk hero among racists and Trumpers which when it comes down to it – are really the same thing so I’ll just say racists…or Trumpers – sama-sama. This led to what seems to be a first of its kind wildcat strike as NBA players and players from several other sports – refused to play scheduled games. A report in The Guardian detailed how white nationalists and militia members have infiltrated police across the USA. Big surprise there. Chadwick Boseman, the actor who brilliantly played Black Panther (and Jackie Robinson) died Friday – I feel like 2020 is giving us obvious messages – a monument to the CSA was damaged after a city refused to remove it – and I think the loss of Boseman (he had been fighting colon cancer for years) is a clear call to revive the Black Panthers from on high. More protests have erupted in Portland and other places. A huge caravan of Trump supporters decided to drive through Portland’s BLM protests and of course it led to people fighting and getting hurt and at least one being killed by gunfire. The “Trump 2020 Cruise Rally in Portland”was organized on the world’s most toxic social network and included shooting flying ‘All Lives Matter Flags’ Trump flags, and thin blue line flags in support of police as well as firing paintballs at peaceful protestors in downtown Portland. (Facebook) which is also where the ‘militia’ that murdered people in Kenosha was organized. Trump is already reveling in the chaos and will soon have his goons back involved in Portland ‘peacekeeping’ again – even though it was people supporting him who instigated this chaos.
Economic News: TikTok is sueing the US government. Elon Musk unveiled his nuerallink tech – taking us one step closer to becoming the Borg – but he did it in pigs which I’ve dubbed CyPigs. Jeff Bezos is now worth more than $200 million dollars. You can’t even concieve of how much that is so don’t bother trying. Another new million people filed first time unemployment claims this week while the real estate and stock markets continued to soar higher and higher. 1.43 million people were added to the unemployment rolls this week. 27 million US adults are still on unemployment, that’s about 17% of the workforce – in two months we had unemployment numbers that took two years to reach during the great depression. They say the US economy is at about 78% of what it was back in January – which sounds pretty good considering March and April – but keep in mind that’s still a 22% drop in GDP – which translates to essentially, the bottom 1/5th of the population being completely fucked. The top 4/5ths are fine – just look at the markets and prices of things. Are you okay with one out of every five people being pushed into a beggar class? I’m not. Activists looking for better treatment for Amazon employees protested outside Jeff Bezos NYC house this week – and they brought a guillotine with them – no heads, however rolled. Jerome Powelll, said Thursday that the Federal Reserve will take a ‘more relaxed’ approach to curbing inflation – in other words – cash money in US dollars isn’t going to buy as much as it did – get ready for expensive everything. This has re-energized the bullish case for both Bitcoin and gold. Walmart has jumped into the Tik-Tok game, partnering with Microsoft in the bid to take the US operations of the Trump-hated platform. Walmart, which many seem to have forgotten single handedly destroyed locally owned mom-and-pop retailers throughout the U.S. and Microsoft which destroyed diversity among internet browsing – yes, there is a dangerous combination. Meanwhile, Amazon continues to destroy what is left of independently owned retailers – Powells Books in Portland, Oregon, the largest independent bookstore in the country finally put its foot down and has refused to sell over the Amazon platform – the CEO of Powells said “Selling on Amazon is like smoking, you know it’s bad for you and others, but it’s hard to quit.” While my book selling has been a small operation over the years, I took inspiration from this and also deleted all my inventory from Amazon – not surprisingly, Amazon didn’t care or notice. Amazon is worth twenty times what it was worth a decade ago and is getting ready to open a new chain of grocery stores called Amazon Fresh to compete with lower end stores like Ralph’s, Kroger, and Safeway (Whole Foods was acquired in 2017 by Amazon) …and presumably drive all the rest of the mom and pop shops out of business in the US. U.S. Tech Stocks (by themselves) on Friday exceeded the value of the entire European Stock Markets including the UK and Switzerland valued at $8.9 trillion dollars – something that seems far-fetched to me – U.S tech sector is now valued at $9.1 trillion with Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Tesla accounting for the majority of that. Many of us who lived through the dot-com crash are waiting for the other shoe to drop, but as long as the Federal Reserve keeps printing money – the market keeps rising. The markets have officially erased all the losses from early 2020 and the Dow had the best summer since 1986.
Note: American and European Capitalism thrive on crisis which is why for many traders and capitalists, 2020 is being seen as the best year ever. Think about that for a minute as we drive towards 300,000 dead in the U.S. by November.
Political News: Kelly Anne Conway has quit the Trump administration. The RNC lineup was made up of mostly Trump and his kids. More than 2 dozen former GOP lawmakers endorsed Biden on the first day of the RNC. The State of NY has filed legal action against the Trump organization. After Donald Trump Jr and his girlfriend spoke at the RNC – Twitter rebranded the event the #cocaineconvention with the tagline “Before we go low, we get high” and “Don Jr. misunderstood what they meant when they said ‘convention bump”. The message seemed to be after the first night “Vote for Trump … or else” which fits the brand. In particular, I enjoyed the warning that Democrats want to turn the country into a socialist utopia – which, if true would make me a proud Democrat – which I’m not. Somehow, the threat of a socialist utopia doesn’t sound like a threat at all, but more of a dream! The author of a forthcoming book on Melania Trump claims to have recordings of the first lady saying disparaging things about Trump and his daughter Ivanka – but this might be just a way to pump up book sales because it seems like writing a negative book about Trump is the latest way his friends and family are making money from citizens who loathe him. Trump actually issued a pardon as part of the RNC. An anti-semite speaker was removed from the RNC schedule after making a blatant anti-semite tweet just before it. The RNC was a dark and dystopic freak fest filled with liars, cheats, and psychopaths – after seeing just a bit of it, it seems pretty clear that Trump will take a second term. Senator Rand Paul claimed to have been attacked by an angry mob of around 100 people after leaving Trump’s nomination acceptance speech at the White House. House Democrats have initiated contempt proceedings against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for refusing to cooperate after multiple notices. Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said that Pompeo “has demonstrated alarming disregard for the laws and rules governing his own conduct and for the tools the constitution provides to prevent government corruption.” I remember learning about Boss Tweed and Tamany Hall way back in high school – those guys have nothing on the Trump mob currently pillaging the United States. The RNC was a four-day display of propaganda-style programming, said Peter Pomerantsev, a former Russian-television producer and author of “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible,” a memoir that describes the Kremlin’s efforts to manipulate the news. It featured unwitting immigrants who the president gave citizenship like they were winners on the The Price is Right, a Presidential Pardon handed out like a Publisher’s Clearinghouse check, and a packed ‘no social distance’ event using the White House as a prop which is something that has never been done before – along the same lines, his owned Secretary of State went ahead and used Israel and Jerusalem as another prop and his wife butchered the White House Rose Garden so she could use it as another power set. It’s always entertainment with the Trumps. I have to admit, I didn’t watch any of the RNC spectacle – but then, it wasn’t produced for me, it was produced for scared white Americans who want an authoritarian ruler to take care of them – and by most accounts – it did the job of making a Biden presidency look like a hellish nightmare to them – a hellish nightmare of equality & transparency ; equal access to voting, healthcare, education, and opportunity ; fair representation & global respect. This is the nightmare to these people – think about that. Now think about what it is they actually want…and be very afraid. Thank God the conventions are over – they mark the beginning of the end – take that how you want to. California is set to enact a wealth tax on millionaires and billionaires – including a clause that would financially punish those who fled the state to avoid it – I love California. I’m afraid that I have to be the bearer of bad news for a lot of my liberal friends – Trump is going to win again – he has barely even started spewing the fear and greed that will carry him to the win and if that doesn’t work, he’s just going to cheat. He will be President until he either dies or passes it on to his daughter. He is firmly back on the campaign trail he never would have left if Covid-19 hadn’t of interrupted and in Lake Charles Louisiana, he handed out autographs to officials telling them “Sell it on Ebay for $10,000 tonight but if I put YOUR name on it, it will be worth less.” I made a faux version and put it on Ebay – so far, no offers.
International News: Russia’s main opposition leader Alexei Nevlani was confirmed, by German doctors, to have been poisoned – the leading suspect is Putin. U.S. Service members were injured after a run-in with a Russian convoy in Syria. China fired a ‘carrier killer’ missile into the South China Sea – it was a definite warning. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is stepping down amid health concerns – which is something that seems pretty surprising to me. I thought he was one of the strong men that would be with us forever – bringing Japan back into the militant power structure – who will follow him? I’m guessing a nationalist hawk. Japan is the world’s third largest economy – so the decision matters. Vladmir Putin is preparing to send troops into Belarus…chaos in the USA works for Putin.
Severe Weather and Other News: Earth has lost 28 trillion tons of ice in thirty years. Hurricane Laura hit Texas/Louisiana as a Category 4 and did amazing amounts of damage but so far the death count seems to be very low considering the crazy news coverage – but these days, apparently anything under 200,000 dead counts for winning.
Here’s a radical idea! What if we all decided to stop having fun until the entire world has the basics. We all decide to stop taking trips, going to restaurants, going out drinking, or spending money on fashion or frivolous and violent television and film production until every human has access to clean water, food, healthcare, and shelter. It doesn’t really seem like that big of an ask. Every person deserves these four things, just by virtue of being born. If you disagree with that idea, I’d love to hear your reasoning.
Week ending 8/24/20
Global Covid Cases: 23,475,619
Global Covid Deaths: 810,317
New Deaths: 39,481 an average of 5,640 per day, up slightly from last week’s 5590 per day average
US Covid Cases: 5,855,818
US Covid Deaths: 180,384 – 172,836
New Deaths: 7548 – average of 1078- just slightly down from 1082 per day dying average last week – but as noted before, these numbers are suspect due to the politicizing of COVID-19 in the USA.
Hawaii Covid Cases: 6356
Hawaii Covid Deaths: 47
Oahu Covid Cases: 5806 (1416 new since last week avg 202 per day)
New Deaths Last Week: 7
Average 218 new cases per day up from 211 per day last week. This fire appears to be growing out of control little by little here on Oahu.
Other Covid News: USA, Brazil, and India still maintain the top of the leaderboard in total known cases. USA and Brazil top the death charts with Mexico and then India fighting for third. Mexico had three times as many new deaths from Covid-19 as any other country last week. It seems likely that India will at some point surpass the US in both cases and deaths as they have a population that is four times as large, but the bungling of the US healthcare system might make that a moot point. In the USA total cases are led by California, Texas, and Florida with New York trailing significantly. New York still leads the total deaths by double with New Jersey following and then a tight race between California, Texas, and Florida. This is almost completely a matter of state populations but New York and New Jersey our outliers based on the early epicenter status and high death rates early on. New cases are growing fastest in the former Confederacy. Within California, Los Angeles has been hit the hardest in terms of cases and deaths.
BLM and Civil Liberties Protests: There were multiple violent clashes between BLM and civil iberties protestors and pro-police, white nationalist, and other openly racist or right leaning groups in cities around the USA this week. Portland was the most paid attention to but also in Michigan, Georgia, and other places. The two sides could essentially be tagged as red MAGA hat wearing and not MAGA hat wearing. Federal police once again became involved in Portland as the fascist ‘Proud Boys’ brawled with Antifa and anarchists – peaceful protestors were, of course, caught in the middle.
Economic News: Elon Musk is now the 4th richest person in the world. I don’t really understand this. Spending at Walmart dropped dramatically as soon as the unemployment supplement was suspended in the U.S. Mortgages are at their highest default rate ever (16%). Over 30 million people lost their jobs between mid-March and mid-May. But the wealth of America’s 600+ billionaires ballooned by $434 billion. Apple just became the first $2 trillion dollar company. Larry Ellison – a major Trump donor (and only person who owns his own Hawaiian Island) is trying to buy Tik Tok for Oracle. Weekly new jobless claims jumped back above 1 million on Thursday. 28 million Americans are collecting unemployment – that’s close to 18% of the working population. So far 30 million people lost their jobs while America’s billionaires became richer by about $434 billion dollars…The richest 10% of Americans own a staggering 84% of all stocks and bonds. The stock market has boomed because the Federal Reserve threw $7 trillion dollars at the stock, bond, and financial markets since March – a move which benefits the richest 10% greatly and everyone else not very much at all. Just so you can see the zeroes – this is how much our government gave the wealthy $7,000,000,000,000 of which nearly half $484,000,000,000 went to America’s billionaires. To put that number in perspective – that $7 trillion could have created 7 million millionaires – in other words they could have given $1 million dollars to every citizen of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North and South Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, Montana, and Hawaii or alternatively they could have sent over $21,000 to every man, woman, and child in America – instead, well, you get the picture. During the pandemic, the poor lost their jobs and became poorer while the rich kept their jobs and their investments were bailed out. If the Federal Reserve had let markets bottom out, welath inequality would have been cut in half – meaning, the rich would have lost about half their wealth. Instead, low paid workers lost their jobs, got the stimulus and unemployment and handed it over to the rich in the form of rent, credit card bills, and other payments – which filtered right up to the top – as money does – and, let me beat this dead horse, the top didn’t lose anything but only reaped the benefits every step of the way. I’m a fan of socialism, but what we have done in America is create socialism that only exists for the wealthy. There is a huge reckoning coming…some have called it an unemployment tsunami – others just call it collapse.
Note: American and European Capitalism thrive on crisis which is why for many traders and capitalists, 2020 is being seen as the best year ever. Think about that for a minute as we drive towards 300,000 dead in the U.S. by November.
Political News: The ‘Virtual’ DNC happened this week. Steve Bannon, Curt Schilling and others were arrested for ‘wall fraud’. A judge dismissed Trump’s lawsuit to continue hiding his taxes…but we still haven’t seen them. Over 70 Republican National Security officials have said they will vote for Biden – this has never happened before. Joe Biden’s acceptance speech was a masterpiece of hope and statesmanship – comparing him to Trump really comes down to the simple light versus darkeness, a point which the speech made repeatedly. In a secretly recorded conversation the sister of ‘President’ Trump said ‘he has no morals and you cannot trust him’ – which surprises no one. The RNC will take place this week which should be fun – watching Trump try to outdo Biden’s convention – already at least five protestors have been arrested in Charlotte outside the convention site.
International News: The president and prime minister of Mali have been arrested by the people. Blockades in Bolivia continue. Belarus anti-government protests continue. Israel has been bombing Gaza every night for at least a week with war planes. Iran is showing off some new intercontinental balistic missiles.
Severe Weather and Other News: The hosttest temperature ever recorded on Earth was recorded this week in Death Valley, California. 130 F or 54.4 C. Fires are ripping California apart. It looks like two hurricanes are going to hit the Gulf of Mexico coastine from Houston to New Orleans. Oh, and it looks like a small asteroid may hit earth the day before the U.S. elections…just to add some drama to an otherwise boring year…
Week ending 8/16/20
Global Covid Cases: 21,715,859
Global Covid Deaths: 770836
New Deaths: 39,131 an average of 5,590 per day, down slightly from last week’s 5,845 per day average
US Covid Cases: 5,541,022
US Covid Deaths: 172,836
New Deaths: 7576 – average of 1082 – just slightly up from 1024 per day dying average last week – but as noted before, since these numbers are now gate-kept by the Trump administration and not released by the CDC directly – they are suspect.
Hawaii Covid Cases: 4825
Hawaii Covid Deaths: 40
Oahu Covid Cases: 4390
New Deaths Last Week: 9
Average 211 new cases per day up from 164 per day last week. This fire appears to be growing out of control little by little.
Other Covid News: 100,000 U.S. kids have tested positive for Covid-19 in a 2 week period. Some studies suggesting that the virus affects younger children different from older ones. Actor Antonio Banderas tested positive but like most rich and famous, will probably be fine. In Russia, Putin claims they have a successful vaccine and his daughter took it. Meanwhile, in New Zealand where people are not selfish and stupid like we are in the USA, life has largely returned to normal with no new cases in 100 days (update: they now have a couple of clusters that they think came from frozen foods shipped from the USA). India, Mexico, and Brazil are still suffering from the most rapidly growing numbers but now Indonesia and Peru also seem to be joining the unfortunate club. The death totals for India, Mexico, and Brazil just barely pass the USA when they are combined – so the USA is still the undisputed loser in the pandemic.
BLM and Civil Liberties Protests: Hundreds of looters smashed windows and looted stores along Chicago’s miracle mile on Sunday night, thirteen officers injured, at least one person shot. The White House is looking at a plan to bar American citizens and resident aliens from crossing back into the USA from Mexico – probably as a means of suppressing votes. If one were to watch the mainstream media, it would be easy to think the protests are over – but tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) are still gathering nationwide – largely in peaceful protests that aren’t covered by the media.
Economic News: There have been more than 56 million 1st time unemployment claims since the pandemic began. That’s roughly 1 in 3 workers in the USA. Think about that as you look at the record stock market levels. This week, people cheered as the number of first time unemployment filers fell below 1-million for the first time since March at 987,000 – a normal number is more like 5000 or less. There is nothing to cheer about. More than 30,000 US restaurants have closed since the pandemic began. That means dishwashers, bussers, cooks, waiters, bartenders, managers, and distributors that rely on each of those restaurants took a hit. Most of those will not reopen – ever. Reliable estimates say that 20-25% of all small businesses in the United States will never recover. Double-digit numbers of tenanats are not paying rent or mortgages.
Note: American and European Capitalism thrive on crisis which is why for many traders and capitalists, 2020 is being seen as the best year ever. Think about that for a minute as we drive towards 300,000 dead in the U.S. by November.
Political News: It was revealed that Trump has been making inquiries about adding his face to Mt. Rushmore. You can’t make this stuff up, Trump also claimed that the 1918 Spanish Flu probably ended World War II which didn’t begin until two decades later. Joe Biden selected Kamala Harris as his running mate. It looks like Republicans (Trump Republicans) are ready to send QAnon candidates to Washington, D.C. – it’s the new TeaParty in a less educated and more terrifying mantle. Trump began a new game of ‘birther’ lies against Harris as well as openly saying he won’t fund the post office because he wants to discourage mail-in voting (while registering to vote by mail in Florida). Several of Trump’s appointments have been ruled invalid by a congressional watchdog group – among them DHS secretary (acting) Chad Wolf and his undersecretary (acting) Ken Cucinelli. Trump’s younger brother died yesterday – meanwhile the president was golfing and smiling in posed pictures with fans on social media ‘It is what it is’.
International News: Lebanon’s government stepped down. China has sanctioned about a dozen citizens including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. China has begun arresting pro-democracy leadership in Hong Kong. Trump announced a peace agreement between Israel and the UAE ( I never knew they were not alrady at peace – because frankly, they were never at war – but the deal normalizes relations and pauses the Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank that Palestinians want for an eventual Palestinian state). Many hard-core Christians are saying this is the start of the 7-years of tribulation, frankly, I feel like we’ve already gone through four of them. There was an astoundingly bad oil disaster in Mauritius, which is getting very little attention despite being far worse than the Exxon Valdez disaster. Greenland’s melting ice sheets have apparently gone beyond what nature can repair anytime soon, get ready for a little more ocean.
Severe Weather and Other News: Several homes in Baltimore exploded from a gas leak. Several fires are raging in California. Severe storms rampaged through the midwest and it looks like another East Coast hurricane is forming. Inland tornados and even a rare ‘fire hurricane’ took place this week for those playing 2020 end of the world bingo.
Global Covid Cases: 19,918,914
Global Covid Deaths: 731,705
New Deaths: 40,918 – 5,845 per day average – about the same as last week’s 5724 but a little higher
US Covid Cases: 5,165,337
US Covid Deaths: 165,260
New Deaths: 7,166 – 1024 per day dying average – down just a bit from last week’s 1220 – but as noted before, since these numbers are now gate-kept by the Trump administration and not released by the CDC directly – they are suspect.
Hawaii Covid Cases: 3346
Hawaii Covid Deaths: 31
Oahu Covid Cases: 2964
1149 new cases last week. Record numbers daily. Average of 164 per day. This fire appears to be growing out of control.
Hawaii has reimposed 14-day quarantine between islands and all parks and beaches have again been closed on Oahu along with other restrictions. Lockdown part 2. Not as severe as March-May and this time with Sept 5th given as a date restrictions will be lifted. Schools have made the first month of school virtual.
Other Covid News: 250,000 Bikers are going to Sturgis, SD and no one can stop them. We’ll see how this plays out. Imagine one super-spreader and then they all ride off in different directions back to different parts of the country. Brilliant. Almost as brilliant as opening schools and Trump repeatedly claiming kids are immune to COVID-19. They are not immune. They die, yes in smaller numbers but they also spread it to parents, teachers, grandparents, and everyone else. Ultra-brilliant. I’ve seen several of the underground anit-mask videos that are circulating and I’m convinced they are Russian made – the production values fit. Smart move by Russia to play on the idiocy of mask-independence. Brazil, India, and Mexico appear to be in a three way race to catch up to the horrific USA numbers of deaths from this scourge.
BLM and Civil Liberties Protests: Protests in Portland have continued and continue to be reported as violent – the most interesting fact I heard reported was that several police vehicles were incapacitated with metal bars. No further details. The Census is going to be shut down a month early – a process that will certainly affect the count in drastic ways by leaving low income and minority voters off the count in numerous areas. Protestors in Portland set the police union HQ on fire.
Economic News: Second highest unemployment in U.S. history, just under June 2020 – but the markets took that as good news. Gold has broken records for all time high several days and Bitcoin is becoming a more acceptable safe-haven/investment daily. The U.S. imposed tariffs on Canada and Canada responded with tariffs. Markets remain giddily high while tens of millions of Americans face eviction, foreclosure, and not being able to feed their families. Bankruptcy after bankruptcy continues. At some point, only the 1% will be customers to the huge tech firms while the other 99% huddle under bridges being told the economy is doing great. The US Post Office continues to be strangled by Trump donor and appointee as Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
Political News: The Axios interview with Trump was one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen. The level of incompetence and befuddlement was almost unbelievable. Trump signed an executive order saying that Tik-Tok and WeChat need to either be sold to American corporations or cease business in the U.S. He also suggested that Microsoft should pay key money to the US treasury for making a deal possible – key money is considered fraud in the real estate world where Trump comes from, but that is no surprise. Saturday, Trump issued executive orders which are generally illegal because they take the power of taxation and spending powers from the legislative to the executive branch, a move which is dangerous because it consolidates power in the executive and weakens the system of checks and balances. Kanye West’s campaign has been revealed as a GOP ploy to siphon black votes from Biden. Still no running mate announced for Biden. Intelligence revealed the China and Iran favor Biden while Russia favors Trump – and the interference is happening at unprecedented levels – largely through public manipulation on social media like Facebook.The Libertarian Candidate had to cancel an appearance Friday after getting bit by a possibly rabid bat. True story.
International News: A cargo of Russian explosives blew up in Lebanon – I’m sure you’ve seen the videos. Horrific. Lebanon appears to be going into revolution mode. The US lifted its global travel advisory but the rest of the world are increasingly putting up barriers to entry for virus riddled American travelers.
Severe Weather: So far, the hurricanes have mostly missed causing major disaster but it’s early in the season and a new one is forming in the Pacific. Not really weather but a large Earthquake hit North Carolina (5.1)
8/02/2020 0700 HST
Global Covid Cases: 18,134,406
Global Covid Deaths: 690,787
New Deaths: 40,065 average of 5724 per day – this is down slightly from last week’s 6235
US Covid Cases: 4,783,757
US Covid Deaths: 158,094
New Deaths: 8537 average of 1,220 per day, up significantly from last week’s 947
Hawaii Covid Cases: 2197
Hawaii Covid Deaths: 26
Oahu Covid Cases: 1842
577 new cases last week. Average of 82 per day. Currently 902 active cases up from 427 last week.
Other Covid News: Several members of congress were diagnosed with Covid-19. Herman Cain, a prominent former presidential candidate who attended Trump’s rally in Tulsa died of Covid-19. The virus continues to spread in the US at a faster pace. Hundreds of children at a camp in Georgia were diagnosed with Covid but schools continue to rush headlong into opening. Hawaii pushed back the start date. In Indiana on the first day of school, at least one student tested positive – which is a nice catch but how many are missed? Major League Baseball began again and quickly had to shut down games due to many players testing positive. A cruise ship returned to sea and immediately had 36 crew members test positive. Trump administration says to expect about 30,000 deaths in the next month in the USA. Internationally, Brazil, India, Mexico, and South Africa appear to be turning into virus hotspots. Just about everything is Covid news right now, but let’s move on.
BLM and Civil Liberties Protests: The Federal Government agreed to remove Trumps CBP/ICE stormtroopers from Portland and big surprise, the demonstrations once again turned peaceful. The protests are reaching a point where people are losing interest from what I can see. The Federal crackdown re-enlivened them but with that stopping, I suspect that they will dwindle.
Economic News: The $600 supplement was not replaced and nothing has been agreed on to replace the now expired CARES act which boosted unemployment, put moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures, and gave other assitance. The titans of tech were called before congress for a video conference (which lacks all the impact of an actual sitting at those tables) and were grilled for monopoly and exploitation. Then they announced earnings and all earned billions of more dollars. Markets continue to be blown up larger than seems possible. Gold reached an all time new high. Silver is climbing but still sits far below its all time high. Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency were on a massive tear with Bitcoin passing $12k but then bringing down the entire crypto market in a minutes long flash crash that dropped the price to $10.5k before recovering to about $11.3k. The craziest market on the planet but in the long term, the one that I think will be the most important. Kodak made a deal with Trump to make chemicals for Covid testing and jumped from $3 per share to $36 per share. U.S. GDP lost 31% in the first quarter- far more than during the Great Depression. Unemployment numbers remain in the tens of millions and no relief is in sight. Bankruptcies and permanent closures appear to have accelerated.
Political News: China called out the USA for owing more than a billion dollars to the UN. Trump (after his humiliating Tampa rally where he was trolled by Tik-Tok users and K-pop fans) has said he is going to ban Tik-Tok because it is a national security risk. The RNC has barred the media from the Republican Convention. Trump floated the idea of delaying the election – which it seems certain he would do if he had the power, but we can expcet disruptions even if it does happen.
Hurricane Douglas missed the entire Hawaiian Island Chain last week, but it’s early in Hurricane Season. Hurricane I-whatever hit Puerto Rico and the Caribbean but didn’t do enough damage to merit Trump going on a paper-towel throwing mission. It’s lost power and become a tropical storm and will mostly miss Florida. Mother Nature is showing some mercy.
I’m going to take a one week break from Facebook starting now. Why not join me for a Facebook detox?
As always, please comment with any stories I may have missed.