Empty Streets and Shops Bode Ill

The coming carnage of the base economy of the United States is not imaginable.  Today’s common estimate of about forty percent never reopening after the early 2020 shut down will be the opening gambit. Huge swaths of big business retail have already declared bankruptcy and shut down.  Retail names are owned by hedge funds which own shopping malls.  Shopping mall owners bidding for other retail names as they become available scrambles the future for brick and mortar destinations.

There are so many small businesses which are either closed or on the death bed.  Small business is a rough game to play in a good economy, it is not worth putting money into when the word depression is tossed about as often as recession.

Think of the local food store or truck or convenience store next to an office building. Security guards may have showed up for coffee or something at the start of the shutdown.  But no more as the office building is still closed and plans are to sell it.  All the souvenir stores around the baseball stadium have no business.  No more are there services that support office workers.  How many taxis have sold their tags, if they could have sold them.  I see cars with every gig driver company there are in the windows.

What will we see in the future?  Even if a vaccine becomes available and the world vaccinated by 2022, what will remain?  Consider that the U.S. and Western Europe economies were already moving towards and even away from being service economies. 

Finland has been experimenting with a population which is paid a wage and were not expected to work, they were being paid to be consumers by the government.  It is better paying than welfare, and they were not putting pressure on other jobs.  What will be next? Perhaps twenty hour weeks with pay for forty, there by sharing one full time job with two people?

Republicans go into screaming fits when anyone mentions helping people eat by using SNAP (food stamps).  They lose it all into their diapers when you bring up Finland.  But, at some point we have to consider what to do when we have machines that are hyper-productive that do not need humans to oil the joints. 

Better A Bad Life Than A Good Death

— Euripides

Just over nineteen years ago terrorists destroyed American icons, the New York City twin towers, and damaged the Pentagon.  This occurred with over one thousand dead and many injured.  Those injuries are resulting in deaths to this day.  The attacks enraged a nation which had been stable for many years.

The aftermath continues in countries around the world in ways unknown or unseen to Americans for many reasons.  A large one is the willful lack of information from Afghanistan, Iraq and several African countries.  Not for national security, other nations are reporting the actions.  But, to continue a course of keeping Americans ignorant of military actions.  All we know is the Department of Defense receives more money than all other nations combined.

Has the trump monstrosity destroyed the importance of 9/11?  Has the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 overwhelmed our national focus on Middle East terrorism?  Has the interminable war in Western Asia finally been complete? Trump is withdrawing American troops, often without to regard of the consequences for the local people.

Callery pear known as the “Survivor Tree” after enduring the September 11, 2001 terror attacks at the World Trade Center.

I think all of those questions are being answered with a solid “yes”.  Twenty years of anguish cannot continue.  The Trade Towers went down and anger rose.  There is no way to sustain that anger after our fight became our children’s fight and in some way our grandchildren’s fight.  The Pentagon hiding what is happening in other countries does not matter anymore.  The deaths are rare and are little covered in the media.  A thousand dying of COVID-19 every day no longer makes headlines.

Just as the last of those who experienced the Japanese air attack in Honolulu and Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 has passed and the date is just another shopping day, so is September 11, 2001.  There are important moments and remembrances, in the Capitol and New York City as well as in Pennsylvania, but these are no longer a must see on television.

The country is no longer joined and focused on one enemy.  We are split into major factions, and not focused on the one enemy which is killing hundreds of thousands.  Maybe sixty percent see the enemy and forty percent are looking at an alternative universe.  I hope not but that is what it looks like on this nineteenth anniversary of a terrible attack against America.

Twenty years is considered a generation.  We will be one generation removed from the attacks next September.  It is hard to pass on such horror and anger.  It will be interesting to see if the horror and anger of hundreds of thousands of Americans will create a generational remembering of why so many have died.

“Something familiar, something peculiar, something for everyone: a comedy tonight!”

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

What do we expect from the rnc family reunion of trumps this week?  I expect that the grifters will continue the tradition started by SFB and his family of scamming the cult members.  Selling commercial time, or for a fee, doing live promos themselves. No matter what these will be the highlight of any convention night.

What can we expect?  More beans for sale?  Of course.  Sleepy time bags filled with lumps?  Why not?  Landscaping services?  Best done by the lady of the house for an extra donation.  Need a purse, that might be a copy of a copy?  Sure ‘nuf. Need some speeches?  Get them by the dozen (professionally performed).  Want to set up a “charity” for yourself?  Experts are on hand.  NDA’s are available in case you have someone who overheard your phone call. 

Learn ways to avoid having your taxes seen by attorneys, real or surreal versions.  Need a mob connection, special connections can be made. Need an attorney, a few can be on hand.  Learn a new language, Russian is like a second language around the condo and fake island.  Like to schedule a vacation away from it all?  Learn to write special love letters to dictators.  How about getting a few Chinese patents?  These can be had.

There are so many other ways they can get in your wallet, just sit back and enjoy.

Always in motion is the future

— Yoda

What is telling is that the 2024 presidential battle will probably be Harris and Haley.  The important thing is whether the republican party exists then.  This means trying to figure out what the parties will be in the next few years.

Starting with the greedy old perverts.  We can be assured that one piece will be the SFB cohort.  Will they be the twenty percent?  Most likely.  If they are any larger that will make the rest of the party smaller, smaller in the view those will form another party under the greedy old pervert label.  Another small section of the gop will be the ten or fifteen percent who are “I vote gop no matter what”.   This group used to be the GOP party, but has shrunk due to dying off. The next section of the former party will be the evangelical, anti-democracy/anti-abortion types.  They are not real goppers, but use them to destroy America the republic.  And the final group are the idiots who have no clue what is going on and think the greedy old perverts sound good because it is anti-everything except white males.

All this means is that what was the republican party is no more.  It has been blown up.

Now the Democratic Party has some interesting changes coming.  Former republicans will be sneaking over, but they need some encouraging words to overcome their shame of being gopers.  A new middle of the spectrum group will form, similar to the Blue Dogs.  A lot of Dems will be invested in making their lives better.

 Behind a lot of changes will be the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It will change a lot of how the world works. Much of the pain of no employment for millions of people will cause changes.  Think of 1930, the Great Depression and what happened from that.  We are in the Trump Depression and can only look at what we need to do to make a new world.  Every thing the current administration is doing is to make the depression worse.  It is to make the thirty thousand ultra rich more rich. 

It is time to look for the future “new normal”.  We are not there yet.  What we do need are leaders who can take us through the hell that is where we are now.

There Is Nothing Complicated About Equality

— Alice Paul (1885-1977)

While trying to absorb all that is happening in the immediate, and how it came to be starting in November 2016, I cannot help but cheer on technology.  The invasive cameras are providing a lot of accountability which has not been provided before.  Even during these last couple of days dirty cops are being exposed.  From the top officers to the rookies, cops doing bad things now have no way to say “who do you trust, me or the criminal with the head beaten in for resisting arrest?”  Video from many cameras is forcing action in spite of the vocal denials of some.

That cops have done damage to many people of color and LGBTQ people and poor people has been the normal.  When you are afraid of police you avoid police.  You do not help them, you will do anything you can to not have to deal with them.  The cold-blooded murder of a young black man filmed by many cameras came after other young black men were killed by dirty cops, the deaths viewed by millions of people who never had seen death before. 

I read a little thing a day or so ago.  It went something like “if it is so hard to get an arrest in an obvious murder with many videos think how hard it is on a dark night on a back road”.

The combined effects of unemployment and a president and Senate majority leader refusing to help people of color and LGBTQ people and poor people AND middle-class people made for a tornado.  People who had never faced hunger now do.  They look and can see the actions of dirty cops, white supremacists in the Congress and White House and dismissal by republicans.  America was built on protest.  And now we are seeing it happen. 

For some of us this is another in a long history.  I saw Detroit burning, I was in the middle of the riot there.  Others saw Los Angeles, D.C., Chicago and other cities burning too. But this is different.  From the Women’s March in January 2017, to June 2020 this protests have become more diverse.  People from all places are saying I am tired of being pushed around. I am not afraid to say things have to change.

Please remember this month, June, is Pride month for LGBTQ people. The people of color who are LGBTQ are always hurt more.

This pandemic has equalized a lot of pain.