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America

As Capitalism Feeds Upon Itself – Two Classes Will Survive the #PanDepression

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.

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America

One possible outcome of COVID-19- The Insolvency and Dissolution of the USA

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?

 

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America outbreaks

We will not survive this…

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.

Categories
Antichrist 2020

The Grand Comedy

I can’t overcome my suspicion that this is all some grand comedy put on for the amusement of beings we can neither see nor communicate directly with.

I would sincerely ask for forgiveness for all of my misdeeds except when I examine my own coding, I know that I am likely to make the same glitches, or different ones – the problem is in my code.

Also, I’ve always believed that it takes more than a thief to make a thief – it also takes the circumstances around the thief. I use this same metaphor with my daughter when I teach her to lock her bike – it takes two people to make a thief, one to do the stealing and the other to allow the opportunity. Still, that is no justification for the thief – nor for the greedy politicians and business people looking for profits.

A prophet of a different sort offered one of his followers the following “Trust in God, but tie your camel” – and for all my ranting at injustice and economic inequality – I’ve been the victim of it enough to know that I don’t want to be the victim of it.

This may well be the end of humanity, the end of civilization as we know it – but in the midst of that, I’m trying to jockey to improve my own position, that of my family, my child. Oh, the comedy of that – I’m buying and selling the same commodities that are responsible for the problems I hate the most – perhaps at the very time that I should be washing my hands of the entire system – but the system has shown itself to be too resilient in the past – the recoveries and positive corrections too swift.

Y2K was a joke. The aftermath of September 11th attacks left the world with less freedom, less security, and more hatred – when it should have done the opposite. Stocks boomed when the US invaded Iraq on false pretenses in 2003. The 2008 financial crisis stole homes from the bottom and gave them to the top – this crisis will be no different.

But the irony of this particular dark comedy continues to amuse those watching it. People scrambling for position while the curtain is coming down on them.

I would be watching with amusement if it weren’t for the intense pain that has risen in my teeth over these past two weeks – I doesn’t allow me to sleep, concentrate, or enjoy this sudden family time that I treasure. Being awake is agony and sleep is impossible.

Apparently, I’ve earned my spot in hell. Now, how about those markets….

Categories
America

Are we really this stupid collectively? (Spoiler alert- apparently so)

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.

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America Books and Writers chris damitio fuck yes!

Author Christopher Damitio is Giving All of His Books Away for Free So You Can Self-Isolate

Author Christopher Damitio has decided to give away all of his books for free so that you have something to do while self-isolating and social-distancing – just in case Netflix goes down..

I’m Giving Away All the Books I’ve Written for Free – Please Enjoy While Social Distancing

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America

My Personal History of COVID-19 Pandemic – Part 1

My Experience with 2020, the year of COVID-19.

I’m not sure if I’ve just been waiting for a disaster or if I’m just more informed or if I tend to have a longer view of things than other people – but this pandemic has come as no surprise – though I must admit that the speed with which it is happening is mind blowing.

Late last year (December 31, 2019) I started reading about the outbreak in Wuhan, China. This was the official notice that China gave to the WHO that there might be a problem. I didn’t think much of it, but decided to keep an eye out.

This was going to be the year I started traveling again – so by the start of 2020, I already had several trips planned. The first to Australia in late February and early March – then a trip to the mainland USA in April, and then I was thinking Iceland over the summer and maybe Cuba before the year ended. In any event, I pay attention to the world. I’ve had more than a passing interest in epidemiology for more than a decade.

By January 3rd, China was reporting 44 cases. On January 7th, they identified it as a coronavirus. The first death came two days later. Thailand had it by January 13th. Another Chinese death on January 15th. Japan had it by the 16th. It jumped to 204 cases on January 19th. On the 21st, WHO revealed that it was passing from human to human. On the same day, Netflix released a series called Pandemic.

I made some snide social media comments about how callous Netflix was to release their mini-series ‘Pandemic’ right on the heels of the ‘Wuhan Coronavirus’ starting to spread in early January (They released it on January 21st) . A couple of days later the death toll was at 17. By January 23rd China had three cities on lockdown and had cancelled Chinese New Year Celebrations in the Forbidden City. Singapore and Vietnam now had it.

I didn’t really expect it to be ‘the one’ but apparently it is – at least so far. I began to feel alarmed when China began taking extraordinary measures to quarantine and contain the virus. China is far away – I’ve been there, I pay attention to China – and putting millions of people into a lockdown quarantine was not a normal thing for the Chinese government to do.

January 24th there were cases in the US as well. The next day Hong Kong suspended flights to and from Wuhan. France had it, Australia had it, Malaysia and Canada had it. January 26th more than 2800 cases and 80 deaths. January 29th the WHO finally declares it a world health emergency. The U.S. In the meantime was doing nothing, the president brushing it off as nothing. It kept spreading. Philippines, India, Nepal, UK, Russia, Spain, Sweden.

I attended a tech conference in Honolulu on January 31st. The focus was on bridging East and West tech cultures – lots of folks from China, Japan, Taiwan, S. Korea, the US, and more. Coronavirus was heavy on everyone’s mind and a big topic of conversation.

February 1st 14,380 cases and over 300 deaths.

On Superbowl Sunday (Feb 2nd) – I had a tour with a couple off of a cruise ship. I was already feeling hesitant about cruise ship passengers – because cruise ships are notorious for norovirus and as virus incubators. Still, I took them to the North Shore where they sat on Sunset Beach and enjoyed the day. While they sat there, I had a conversation with a woman named Sally in the next car over – we were both watching the big waves from our cars. She was coughing – I joked – “Did you just come from China?” To my surprise she said yes. She and a friend had just come from a tai-chi retreat in Wuhan province and he was back at the hotel sick – she had come out to see the waves but was heading back to the Turtle Bay Resort and they were going to watch the Superbowl in the bar there…

I’m incredibly grateful that we didn’t get out of our cars or shake hands!

At this point, I knew that things were serious. I asked the app developer I work with to put aside all projects and build me a coronavirus app that showed where cases were, number of deaths, and the spread. I told him to build it fast. He told me he could have it ready in three days.

This was the day that the first death outside of China took place. A 44 year old man in the Philippines. Travel bans began and donations began to go to China where millions of people were under quarantine. 17,386 cases and 362 deaths at this point.

China was building hospitals in days and various anti-viral medications began to be tried. In early February stories began appearing on the mainstream media in the US though no one outside of the Gates Foundation, medical personnel, or geeks like me seemed to be taking things very seriously. February 5th was when 10 passengers on a cruise ship in Japan were identified as infected. 28000 cases and 565 deaths.

My developer told me the app would be late – February 7th. On February 7th – he said it was delayed further. That day an article came out from some guys who built an app that launched that day and had 3 million users. They beat me to the punch, but I should have been two days earlier if my developer had done what he said he would. Who knows, maybe he built it for them instead. In any event, this should have been a bit of foresight that earned my family millions – but my mistake was trusting someone else to do it. No matter how you look at it – he royally fucked me, but given that hundreds of people were already dying – I tried to keep it in perspective.

February 7th the WHO announces that there is a severe global disruption taking place. Cases on the cruise ship explode upwards. Two days later deaths exceed the SARS epidemic from 2002-3. Over 800 dead.

I started thinking I might have to cancel my trip to Australia – but with only a few cases there and a few in the USA and none in Hawaii – I figured I was probably okay but I had a number of things to make sure were done before I left – health insurance, deferring my student loans, getting taxes done, paying the rent, getting the registration and safety inspection on my car up to date…I didn’t have time to agonize over my missed opportunity with the app – actually, I give myself credit for seeing it – and have mixed feelings about profiting from it – so maybe I got missed by a bullet there. On February 11ththe death toll passed 1000 and the virus was named COVID-19.

On Valentines Day, I took my wife and daughter on a whale watching cruise. Cruise ships were already a big problem in my mind, but this was on a smaller ship – still, I couldn’t stop looking at the other passengers to see if they were coughing or sweaty. Feb 16th, an American woman on another cruise ship tests positive.

At this point, it was already global and obviously going to be a big problem so I made sure that my friend would take care of my wife and daughter if I were stranded in Australia because flights were cancelled. He thought I was being paranoid to even think it a possibility.

On February 20th – Iran and South Korea announced that they were seeing spikes. On Feb 23rd it becomes a big problem in South Korea with over 340 cases. Italy begins to see a spike. On February 24th, the day before I flew out – I heard the first use of the word Pandemic – the WHO Director General warned that the world needed to get ready for a potential pandemic. US President Trump suggested that it was all a hoax.

I was in Australia for ten days during which Hawaii reported no cases and Australia’s cases grew from 8 to 12. In Tasmania, I was struck by the abundance of caution in airports and on a brewery tour where they said that anyone who had been to China, Japan, Iran, Italy, or South Korea would not be able to go on the tour. I watched and hoped that my flight back to Hawaii would not be cancelled. COVID-19 began to spread much faster outside of China than in it. Travel bans began cropping up. The US still was playing a game of poo-pooing the seriousness while the world began to take notice. Toilet paper shelves were stripped naked in Australia in the days before I left. I found it bizarre, especially since Aussies are much less prone to panic than Americans. I suggested to my wife on March 1st that she go buy toilet paper, bottled water, and some shelf stable food. She thought I was being a bit silly, to be honest, so did I.

I flew back to the USA on March 5th.On the very empty Quantas flight, I watched Mr. Rogers with Tom Hanks and thought to myself how he was the most iconic of baby boomers and how the shit would hit the fan if he contracted the disease. I have no way to prove it – but it’s true. As Forrest Gump, he pretty much represents the way every baby boomer thinks of themselves – as Vietnam Vets an protesting hippies both.

By that time, the US had started to take notice. The US Congress had approvedan emergency spending package. It wasn’t much, but it was something. March 7th, the number of COVID-19 cases passed 100k. It was pretty much everywhere by this time – over 100 countries had reported cases which meant it was probably everywhere. The U.S. Hadn’t even begun testing yet.

In Tasmania and Australia I had been rigourously tested and screened before my flights. Arriving in Hawaii, no one even bothered to ask if I had been to any hard-hit virus areas. No thermal scanning. Nothing. I was surprised to see that cruise ships and tourists were still operating.

On March 11th, the WHO finally declared COVID-19 a pandemic. President Trump continued to claim it was under control even as Seattle, the SF Bay Area, and New York began to to see a huge increase in cases. By this point – which seems a year ago but was less than a week ago – there were a couple of traveller cases reported here in Hawaii.

On March 12th – Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were diagnosed with COVID-19. I started having dreams that I was actually in some sort of artificial reality. I find it difficult to believe that I am not. The world has flipped on it’s head. I had one dream where I was told that I was in a coma and needed to wake up if I wanted to live. I saw similar social media posts.

In 2005, my girlfriend (a brilliant epidemiologist!) and I went to Burning Man – when we came out, we learned that Hurricane Katrina had happened. It was surreal. It was nothing compared to this reality.

I suppose I must summarize the past five days – The U.S. Cancelled flights to and from Europe. Seattle, San Francisco, and New York went into lockdown, and the state of Hawaii slowly moved to stem the tide of possibly infected tourists. Schools have been closed. A friend (also a tour guide) took a group of people from an infected  ship on a six hour tour – no word if he has it yet. My wife and daughter were going to go visit friends in Oregon on Spring Break but we cancelled the trip. I am so grateful we did. Spring break has been extended one week and then two weeks and probably will be more. All of us are being told to shelter in place and exercise social distancing. School has been cancelled in California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii – and probably everywhere else in the USA. Every hour there are new developments in the past two days we’ve gone from 1 case in Hawaii to three to eight to sixteen to twenty-six. And we’ve barely begun to test people.

The US and Hawaii governments seem to have finally woken up to the nightmare unfolding. Hawaii resisted shutting down tourism since we rely on it – but it is foolish to keep letting irresponsible vectors come here to enjoy paradise and bring the seeds of destruction with them. Wiser heads seem to be prevailing. Shut down the airports, put arrivals in quarantine, shut the hotels and restaurants, stop the fucking madness.

As for me, I have what I think is the flu. My wife has it. My daughter has it I think it is flu. Our noses are running. We don’t have fevers. We are all tired and grumpy. We have mostly been inside our little apartment together for almost a week.

I’ve bought a reasonable amount of food (but no toilet paper- yet) and my wife has slowly fallen into a depression that I am becoming fearful of. She’s a teacher, so her work has been stolen from her by this virus. All of my guide work has also been taken away, but I don’t really mind. The stock market has only begun to crash losing 33% so far, but I suspect it will go much further down. Still, I’ve been surprised by the resilience and recovery of hated capitalism before – so I keep buying quality stocks as the price goes down.

The truth is, I don’t know if any of us will survive what is happening. This may just be the end of us all. Or, maybe it’s the end of the world as we know it. I hope so.

I feel like this is a last ditch effort by our planet, Mother Nature, to get us to stop. It’s funny, but while we are freaking out about toilet paper, the air and water are clearing. Dolphins are re-appearing in Venice, Italy. People in Beijing can see the stars at night because the pollution that blocked them is gone. I have always felt like it’s ridiculous to think that my collection of cells and systems has consciousness but OUR entire collective collection of cells and systems does not. Our planet almost certainly has a consciousness – and if you think it does not – well, I urge you to rethink that. Why wouldn’t it? We are a part of that consciousness.

I may die in the coming days. You may die in the coming days. It is my hope that my daughter won’t die in the coming days and thus far – I can only express gratitude to whatever powers may exist that this disease is largely sparing children.

I love my child. I don’t want to see her grow up in the disgustingly ugly, dog-eat-dog, god-eat-god, capitalist monstrosity that has emerged from our collective history. I want to see us change the way we do things. I want to see us begin to take care of each other, take care of our planet, and take care of all the other inhabitants on it. If COVID-19 is what it takes to make that happen, I’m happy to welcome it, but I fear it may just make things worse – it may just bring out the worst in us.

But of course, it’s easy for me to say that. All I’ve lost from this is work that I didn’t particularly enjoy and money that I’ve never felt particularly in love with. It is so early – and there is no telling what I will think tomorrow.

Categories
Alternative Medicine America

Convert the US Marine Corps into the US Med Corps – Drastic and Useful Idea

I’ve been floating this idea for a while – but from where I sit it makes sense to use the United States Marine Corps into the United States Medical Corps. It’s not as difficult or crazy as it sounds. With COVID-19 we need an action ready branch that can deploy into dangerous situations when needed. Marines have what it takes.

1) Move all military medical personnel into the USMC

2) Move Marine aviators to the USAF or USN. Move Marine Recon and heavy combat troops to US Army or US Navy.

3) Offer crash medical training to all Marines willing to stay and become healers

4) Recruit (draft if necessary) doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, endocrinologists, and nurse practitioners into the USMC (U.S. Med Corps)

5) Create two divisions in the USMC – domestic med corps and international med corps

6) Use the new USMC as the basis for universal health coverage in the USA.

7) Make a 2 year commitment to either defense, healing, or infrastructure mandatory

 

Look, I’m not a fan of nation states. I’m not a fan of drafts or mandatory service, and as a Marine who served – I can see why this would cause a lot of devil dogs to protest  – but given the circumstances, this makes sense. The Marines are the best candidates to save us all.

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Anthropology outbreaks shananapocalypse we know nothing

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: A Few Observations Amidst COVID-19/CoronaVirus Response and Reactions

I dive into the four horsemen metaphor at the end of this post but I think it is worthwhile to read everything in order to get there.

This is all unfolding at a pace that would have seemed impossible or ridiculous just a few days ago. Tens of thousands of people (maybe hundreds of thousands or millions) have already lost their jobs, though most of them probably don’t know it yet.

Airlines and cruise lines are shutting down. Casinos are shutting down. Movie theaters, restaurants, and bars are shutting down. Hotels are shutting down. At the moment, these are all temporary – but let’s face it – most businesses can’t survive a month or more without income. From where I sit, I can’t imagine this all being solved in a month.

The governments are printing money and will be handing out money to keep people from freaking out – they have to.  That process is going to make all of the money worth less than it was before. Prices will rise – not just from gouging, but because the cost of production will go up.

It seems to me that pretty much everyone is going to be exposed to this virus in one way or another. Those who become symptomatic (which I have no idea about a number, no one does) will seek treatment and most likely, there will not be enough beds/doctors etc.

We can’t all hide in our homes forever – so we are going to have to come out and interact with each other on some level – work, school, foraging, or just mental health.

I have no idea where this all goes, but it leaves things radically different than they were before. At the moment, it seems like we are trying to race the virus- come up with a way to defeat it before it defeats us – that might work if we can overcome the bureaucratic red tape around vaccine development and deployment – but it won’t really change anything about how people are forced to weather this thing.

But, let’s say that we don’t come up with a cure or the virus adapts after we do. What does the new society that comes out of this look like?

It seems to me that nature is forcing us to group together in smaller numbers and limiting the way that we are able to interact with one another. Maybe on some level, nature decided that letting humans easily move about from place to place covering large distances is a bad idea. Maybe the bottom line of all of this is that essentially, we are learning that ‘travel isn’t a good thing’.

Maybe this plays out by a large number of people dying and then small communities with immunity or with the disease wiped out within local borders, closing their doors to newcomers that might bring this (0r any) virus.

Is it worth it to conquer or control territory that might bring you the disease?

Maybe we are entering the age where the superpower and mega state loses control of our destiny. Maybe we are entering an era of local autonomy.

I don’t know…I’m simply watching like everyone else – and trying to put the potential pieces together in a way that makes sense.

I don’t think we are all going to die.

I think our countries and economies might already be dead.

I think capitalism might have just been dealt a death blow.

I think we are going to see a lot of elderly, homeless, and ill people heading into the great beyond.

I think that travel, tourism, and mass entertainment (sport, cinema, etc) might have just been given a choice to evolve or die.

I think monetary policy is on the verge of complete failure.

I think human beings are being given a choice about which direction they want to go now – and the choices are 1) End as a species or 2) Change everything

If we are to look at the classical progression of the end of the world, we can look at the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Death, Famine, War, and Conquest.

Horseman #1: Death:

We have started with death. This virus will run it’s course.

Horseman #2 Famine:

The result will be famine – a general lack of everything – and it wouldn’t surprise me if mother nature throws severe climate, storms, earthquakes and disasters on top of that.

Horseman #3 War:

Unfortunately – war will almost certainly follow. Politicians use war to preserve their power, to save economies, and to control resources for ‘their’ people. War is coming. On what level – we can’t know.

Horseman #4 Conquest:

Superpowers and nation states will do what they do. Strongmen will rise up and do what they do. They will try to use us to fulfill their ambitions. Ultimately they will fail.

Is there a way out? I don’ think so. If there is, it is to take away power from the large and to empower the small. Maybe that is what the lamb is all about. Decentralizing, focusing on municipality, commune, neighborhood, town – not on state, country or nation.

Metaphorically, I think the four horsemen of the apocalypse work – but I also think there is a metaphor built into the prophecy that gives us a way out. The lamb.

I’m not a religious person, I’m not saying everyone needs to find Jesus – I don’t believe that. I’m saying that there is a way to short circuit the four horsemen.

We need to embody the qualities of the lamb and the flock. Care for one another, be gentle, not over-graze, and stick together. The society of the lamb is a small group of people, they range in their pasture, they are not aggressive, and generally, they cannot be used for aggression.

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America outbreaks Politics shananapocalypse

A Complete and Total Societal Failure

We can’t say that we didn’t see it coming and yet here we are – totally and completely unprepared. From the top leadership to the ground zero forces – we are totally unprepared to deal with the current state of the world. And, unfortunately, it is likely to get worse – and we are unlikely to get better.

There are so many levels here – personal, local, city, state, federal, international. On the health level, school level, home level, or business level – there are failures stacking up in every realm. The one that people are noticing right now is the financial – but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Still, it bears looking at.

I also failed. I knew how to prepare – or I thought I did, but then I lost the thread. For the past three years, I’ve been getting ready for the inevitable meltdown of the Trump economy.  One of the cornerstones of that was allocating a certain amount of my investments into volatility – for me it was TVIX – the Velocity Shares 2x VIX Short Term ETN. At one point late last year, I had over 200 shares – which for me was a big investment – but the constant infusions of cash into the economy by the Federal Reserve and the short sighted stimulus kept pumping the economy higher and higher – finally, in December, the TVIX was driven so low that there was a huge reverse split and I was left with  the process beginning again. This seemed like a good way to lose what little money I had – so I sold. And of course, today, at $350 each and I don’t have this particular hedge. So, like everyone – I am losing.

It turns out that there may not have been a good hedge, no place to hide out. Bitcoin and Gold are both tanking along with the markets today. Inflation is starting to reveal itself and that’s just going to get worse – so cash is nowhere to hide. Real estate is going to suffer along with everything else.

So, there is the financial end of things from my very tiny perspective. We should have known a pandemic would have this kind of effect – I mean, actually we did, but we ignored it. We should have known that ineffective leadership with temporary loyalist cabinet members and “Yes Sir” congress would lead to crisis – and I suppose we did, but here we are. All those baby boomers who kept loving their 401k growing under Trump’s grand manipulation of the economy, they probably don’t feel so good about him now, hiding out in their Boomer Bunkers with huge piles of toilet paper and soon to be dead spouses and call centers that keep telling them to call their PCP, the CDC, an Emergency Care Clinic, or someone else because no one knows how to take care of this.

Is this the end? Probably not. Let’s hope that it is the end of the disgusting capitalist ideology that got us here. There is a chance to change – that is the only real hedge – anything else is just like an injection of cash into the stock market by the inept and corrupt banking system or a new decree or ban from the inept and corrupt political leadership.