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NOT SO FAST, BIDEN: The Street Doesn’t Buy It

This article was contributed by Future Money Trends. 

Last week’s storming of the Capitol was a turning point in many regards, but what we want to focus on is what it signifies to the global community.

Since the end of WW2, America has represented democracy. Its power and prestige, in terms of its ability to invade other countries in the name of freedom and democracy, hasn’t been challenged much.

There have always been detractors to the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and others, but no Western World leader or emerging nation has ever publicly and formally come out in defiance of the American strategy of policing the world.

We believe that last week’s Capitol Hill incident will greatly damage any future attempts of U.S. diplomacy to pressure countries to embrace “Americanism” since they’ll strike back, saying that America’s democracy is, in itself, broken.

How can the U.S. lecture other countries when it can’t even bring the message of democracy to its own people? We believe this is the ramification of that event, which differs from the riots, looting, and other issues that we saw transpire in 2020 that did not have the same ripple effect.

This is not a political opinion of ours or our way of justifying the riots, but rather an observation of how America’s allies and enemies can use the Capitol Hill incident to their advantage – like China.

BIDEN’S PLAN WON’T FLY: OBSTACLES ON THE WAY

We listened to Joe Biden’s speech and what we heard is this:

  1. Taxes Will Be Higher: You will see a trend of “paying your fair share” becoming more prevalent in the rhetoric, even though most billionaires already pay between 37% and 50% of their earned income to the federal government and their respective states.

Corporate taxes will rise and any tax loopholes will be harder to strategize. We’re pretty sure that in order to rebuild America’s infrastructure in the coming years, the administration will put pressure on high earners to be “responsible” and pay more!

  1. Government-Created Jobs: It’s looking more and more like America is taking a centralized approach to job creation.

Because capitalism and global competitive forces drove corporations to outsource and search for human resources in cheap labor pools in the Far East, China, South America, and Eastern Europe, the American worker has been left in the dust.

They haven’t evolved and adapted to this change, for the most part, so the government will fill that vacuum for millions of people who haven’t been able to figure out how to deliver value in the 21st-century American economy.

Infrastructure jobs will be the norm.

  1. Biden Won’t Sail in Smooth Seas: Not everyone is convinced that the solution to the so-called broken capitalistic system is more government directive. Most who share the opinion that there’s a problem in America believe that the problem is too much government as it is.

It looks like the government doesn’t want to wait for the private sector to figure it out on its own. We expect unemployment levels to shrink, of course, since the government will find jobs for millions of people, but America will look more like China than itself.

Big changes are ahead and we don’t like them, to be honest.

America has turned a page and its new book might be increased centralization.

 

The post NOT SO FAST, BIDEN: The Street Doesn’t Buy It first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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BIDEN WON’T GET HIS WAY!

This article was contributed by The Wealth Research Group. 

Democrats have the legislative path to push through the $1.9tn American Rescue & Recovery Plan through the back door if they really wanted to; it’s called budget reconciliation. This is the mechanism that allows Democrats to vote on the plan, which will ease their path and relieve them from having to gain the support of at least ten Republicans, in order to reach the 61 total “YES” votes needed.

Biden presented the plan in a way that aims to unite the country, by hoping that Republican Senators agree to it, but $1.9tn is a huge sum!

Republicans can’t just abandon all logic and agree to this proposed stimulus plan, in the name of uniting the country. The markets, seeing through Biden’s weakness, are not happy with the delays that are projected with this plan.

This anticipated friction between the two camps is the cause of the few red days we’ve been seeing this week, especially in the NASDAQ 100 and, obviously, with precious metals.

BIDEN’S FIRST 100 DAYS

Wall Street’s forecast is that the $1.9tn will be trimmed back all the way to $1.1tn, which is a colossal difference.

The United States’ annual GDP comes out to be around $22tn, so a $1.9tn plan would equal just over 8.5% of it; the impact of it would be enormous.

Just in December 2020, Congress passed the $950bn plan, which took months to get approved and thousands of man-hours to get done. Hence, the idea that the government would easily persuade the majority of representatives to sign off on an additional $1.9tn – double the size of the last one – is proving to be an issue.

The budget reconciliation process, which is the feasible way to just use the Democrats’ majority, is what Biden’s team would resort to if the bipartisan angle doesn’t fly. To them, success would show that there is bipartisan support for the plan, so they’re pursuing this path first; that way, they show the country that Republicans have deserted Trump.

In American politics, there is no precedent for parties coming together on legislation like this, just because the president-elect wants to create an image of unity.

Clearly, Democrats are trying to show the world and their own voters that they are more flexible and civil than their more aggressive counterparts, who bulldozed through Washington, but that’s all a façade. If you know politics like a pro, you know that while Trump might have been a straight shooter in showing his disgust with the swamp, the other side is just as vicious, only they choose to conceal that part of their personality from the public.

Most Republicans won’t be fooled by these theatrics.

If the Democrats want to get ten Republican Senators to vote their way, there’ll be heavy political prices to pay.

Don’t forget that there’s an impeachment trial coming up (Which Mitch McConnell is being devious about {more on that this Tuesday}), which will be a focal point for Congress and might take weeks.

The markets are pricing in these time-consuming issues and they’re not excited about them.

BURNING ISSUES: WATCH THESE CLOSELY

  1. Precious metals must catch a bid this week, or I’m afraid that they’ll consolidate for weeks, perhaps even for 2-3 months, save for a new catalyst that might be introduced that’s not expected at this point.
  2. On the flip side, there are monstrous efforts on the part of central banks around the globe to artificially curtail the slump in the dollar. Many countries’ central banks are buying dollars and making assurances that they’ll keep on purchasing in 2021, in order to put a floor on its rapid decline – they’re creating artificial demand.

In Israel, for example, where I am currently, the dollar is trading at 1996-levels!

  1. Re-Opening the economy would mean that many more businesses would compete for your dollars. While closing Main Street compelled consumers to transact with Wall Street names and do their shopping with publicly-traded companies, re-opening would bring back mom-and-pop shops to our lives, weakening corporate profits and markets would price it in.

I like having cash right now and I like keeping my options open because things could go either way. Therefore, my cash allocation is at 23%, higher than my average 16%.

Lastly, here’s the Total Wealth Report: 12 guiding principles for life – access it HERE!

The post BIDEN WON’T GET HIS WAY! first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Kroger Won’t Require Employees to Be Vaccinated for COVID Even Though They Can

This article was originally published by B.N. Frank at Activist Post. 

Despite increasing COVID concerns and media coverage, not everybody wants to get a COVID vaccination, including health care workers who work in nursing homes.  It is reasonable to be skeptical of vaccine safety – especially ones that are still considered to be “experimental.”

CBS 60 Minutes segment, “The Swine Flu Fraud of ‘76” provides one very scary example of a vaccine having life-altering effects on thousands of Americans.  A documentary released last summer provides more details about a 30+-year-old congressional ruling regarding vaccine safety.  So maybe Kroger has the right idea about NOT forcing employees to be vaccinated.

From Consumer Affairs:

By Gary Guthrie

Kroger faces hard questions on whether it will force employees to vaccinate against COVID-19

The EOC says employers can mandate vaccinations, but there are a few exceptions

With vaccine availability starting to grow and new vaccines entering the market, hope for an exit from the funk COVID-19 has put us all in is starting to grow. But will the places we shop do their part and make sure all their employees are vaccinated and virus-free?

Headlining this puzzle are grocery chains where employees mingle with customers more than most other retail environments. Kroger, the country’s largest grocery company with 11 million customers a day roaming its aisles, stepped up to the mic on Wednesday to offer its position — kind of. While Kroger says it’s encouraging its workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, it’s waffling on whether it will require the shots once they are widely available.

“At this time, we’re strongly encouraging our shoppers and associates to get vaccinated,” Tim Massa, Kroger’s senior vice president of human resources and labor relations, told The Enquirer.

When The Enquirer pushed for a more definitive answer about mandating employee vaccination in the future, Massa didn’t give a direct yes or no and simply repeated his previous answer. Kroger executives were also mum on how they might reassure worried customers who might be unhappy that store associates weren’t required to be vaccinated.

Can retailers force employees to get vaccinated?

Read full article

The post Kroger Won’t Require Employees to Be Vaccinated for COVID Even Though They Can first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Is 2021 an Echo of 1641?

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog. 

If you don’t discern any of these dynamics in the present, what are you choosing not to see?

The reason why history rhymes is that humanity is still using Wetware 1.0 and so humans respond to scarcity, abundance, and conflicts over them in the same manner.

I am struck by similarities between the conflict-torn mid-1600s and the present: global climate change (The Little Ice Age in the 1600s), political upheavals, and wars which intertwined civil and imperial conflicts. Global Crisis: War, Climate Change, and Catastrophe in the 17th Century is a fascinating overview of this complex era which disrupted regimes and empires from England to China.

Climate change (The Little Ice Age) generated scarcities of grain in a time of burgeoning human populations. As in the present day, everyone assumed ample harvests would continue forever–expanding abundance is the New Normal. Alas, Nature is not a steady-state system, and cycles are not tamed by our desire for ever-expanding abundance.

Humans respond to scarcity by assessing who’s getting the biggest pieces of the shrinking pie. When hunger begets desperation, various dynamics are set into motion as those without agency and capital, i.e. political and financial power do whatever they can to get enough to survive while those holding the majority of political and financial power, jockey to maintain or expand their power.

These dynamics are fluid and prone to non-linear flows in which relatively small actions unleash enormous consequences that are not predictable. If we squint, however, we can discern some repeating patterns in this chaotic swirl:

1. Private owners of capital (i.e. elites) seek to influence the state to protect/expand their holdings.

2. The dispossessed/disenfranchised masses seek redress/succor from the state.

3. The geopolitical balance of power becomes increasingly precarious as competition for control of resources and political power heats up.

4. The state’s resources are diminished by famine, the decline of trade, etc. as pressures from geopolitical rivals, elites, and the masses are spiking, reducing the state’s ability to respond to the multiple challenges/overlapping crises.

5. The overlapping crises reveal and exploit the weaknesses in the political, social, and economic structures, and in the competing elites.

6. Leaders concentrate on centralized power in the hands of the few as a coping strategy by reducing the influence of broad-based councils, assemblies, etc. This concentration of power at the expense of the many (including lower-level elites who were accustomed to holding some consequential power) increases the resistance of those being cut out of the decision-making and increases the odds of catastrophic errors of judgment in the few at the top.

7. As the state falters or divides into warring factions, the most powerful elites take control of resources and power from the state, both as a defensive measure and as a means of exploiting the crisis to their own advantage.

8. Populist leaders arise demanding a fairer distribution of resources and power. The more repressed the masses, the greater the disorder created by this emergence of long-silenced voices.

9. Each node seeking to defend or expand its share of resources and power projects and amplifies persuasive rhetoric, symbols, and beliefs to unify its supporters around deeply held values and aspirations.

10. With so many loyalties in play–local, regional, linguistic, political, social, religious, and economic–each node/faction seeks to decisively cement loyalties by establishing all-or-nothing hard lines via ideologically “pure” rhetoric that demonizes competing factions, effectively dividing the populace into us-and-them camps that leave little middle ground for compromise or negotiation.

11. In this fevered competition for loyalty and trustworthy followers willing to sacrifice for the faction, leaders view every advance as evidence that compromise is unnecessary as total victory awaits the next “win.”

12. Given the grievous losses and potentially devastating consequences of competing factions gaining ground, the victors of each battle hasten to take revenge on the losing faction, laying waste and inflicting cruelties that harden the hearts of the surviving losers and inciting their own determination to exact a full measure of revenge when fortunes turn their way.

13. Only when the land, people, and treasure are all exhausted does the promise of total victory fade, and the factions seek some negotiated settlement that leaves whatever power they still have intact lest they lose everything.

14. The eventual settlement could have been reached in the initial stages of disorder, but the leaders of the factions were too myopic, too confident in their own judgment and power, too greedy for more, and too hubris-soaked to appreciate their own weaknesses and the immense pitfalls ahead.

If you don’t discern any of these dynamics in the present, what are you choosing not to see?

The post Is 2021 an Echo of 1641? first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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“655 people have $4 trillion in wealth. 200 million can’t cover a $1000 expense.”

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog.

The COVID pandemic has caused the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us to grow larger than it ever has been before.  Thanks to the hyperinflationary policies of the Federal Reserve and our politicians in Washington, stock prices have soared to unprecedented heights in recent months.  This pushed the wealth of the uber-rich to dizzying heights, but for the rest of the country, 2020 was an unmitigated nightmare.

As I have discussed previously, one survey found that 2020 was a “personal financial disaster” for 55 percent of all Americans.  More than 110,000 restaurants shut down permanently last year, Americans filed more than 70 million claims for unemployment benefits, and tens of millions are potentially facing eviction in 2021.  But even though we are mired in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, those at the very top of the economic pyramid are laughing all the way to the bank.

Earlier today, I came across a tweet from Sven Heinrich that really struck an emotional chord with me…

655 people have $4 trillion in wealth.

200 million can’t cover a $1000 expense.

I certainly don’t have any problem with people gaining wealth by working extremely hard and making society a better place in the process.

But most of the people at the very top of the economic pyramid only increased their wealth in 2020 because the powers that be decided to open up the firehoses and rain obscene amounts of money on them.

That isn’t right.

As a result of the deeply flawed policies that were implemented because of the COVID pandemic, the gap between “gains in financial assets and the health of the economy” was the largest ever recorded last year…

But as stock market indexes staged a huge rebound from the lows seen in March when the pandemic first hit, the gap between the wealthy and the poor extended an already widening trend to historic proportions.

A report via BofA Global Research published on Friday notes that a measure of the differential between gains in financial assets and the health of the economy hit a record at 6.3X in 2020.

My regular readers are probably sick and tired of hearing me say that the stock market has become completely divorced from economic reality, and now we have a hard number which backs up what I have been saying all along.

As I write this article, the Dow is sitting just above 31,000, and that is utterly absurd.

If the Dow were to fall to 15,000 it would still be overvalued.

Meanwhile, a brand new survey has discovered that only 39 percent of all Americans “would be able to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense”

Just 39% of Americans would be able to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense, according to a new report from Bankrate.com.

That’s down from 2020, when 41% of people said they could cover a $1,000 cost with their savings.

If only 39 percent of Americans currently have enough money for such an unexpected expense, that means that 61 percent of Americans do not.

According to Google, the current population of the U.S. is 328 million, and 61 percent of 328 million is just over 200 million.

So that is where Sven Heinrich got that figure from.

200 million of us have so little money that we are just barely scraping by from month to month.

And according to one of Walmart’s top executives, many of their customers do not expect “any kind of speedy recovery”

Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside said Tuesday that many of its shoppers don’t expect the economy to quickly bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.

Almost half of customers surveyed in November told Walmart that they were worried about the current health of the economy, she said when speaking at the virtual National Retail Federation conference. She said 40% said they didn’t expect “any kind of speedy recovery.”

Unfortunately, those that are pessimistic about how the U.S. economy will perform in 2021 are right on target.

It is going to be a very painful year.

Of course, it isn’t just consumers that are concerned about the year ahead.  Small business optimism is falling as well

A popular gauge of small-business confidence in the US sank to a seven-month low in December as stricter lockdown measures and climbing daily case counts cut into economic activity.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ index of small-business optimism fell 5.5 points last month to 95.9, according to a Tuesday release. The reading lands below the average index value since 1978 of 98 and marks the lowest level since May. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the gauge to dip slightly to 100.2.

Americans generally tend to be quite optimistic about the future, but looking ahead there just aren’t any reasons to be optimistic about the U.S. economy in 2021.

The COVID pandemic continues to get even worse, new lockdowns have been instituted all over the country, our federal government is in a state of chaos, and there will inevitably be more rioting, looting, and civil unrest in the months ahead.

Plus, there will undoubtedly be some additional unexpected surprises that most people are not anticipating.

Before I wrap up this article, there is just one more thing that I wanted to mention.  A programmer in San Francisco named Stefan Thomas is the proud owner of 7,002 Bitcoin, but he can’t access his fortune because he forgot the password, and he only has two more tries before he is locked out permanently…

Take Stefan Thomas, a programmer in San Francisco, who told The New York Times that he has 7,002 Bitcoin tucked away — currently worth about $236 million, nearly a quarter billion dollars — but that he has no idea how to access it and can only guess two more passwords before being locked out forever.

Even setting aside the long term prospects for crypto, the key message of these horror stories is that taking digital finances into your own hands is a huge risk if you can’t manage your passwords.

Can you imagine how you would feel if that happened to you?

Sadly, it could be argued that essentially the same thing is happening to the nation as a whole.

America has “forgotten the password” to what once made us so great, and we are running out of chances.

Let us hope that we wake up before it is too late because time is not on our side at this point.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post “655 people have $4 trillion in wealth. 200 million can’t cover a $1000 expense.” first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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A Nation Imploding: Digital Tyranny, Insurrection and Martial Law

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute. 

“In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. [Y]ou can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization…filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort … to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love… What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black.”—Robert F. Kennedy on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

This is what we have been reduced to: A violent mob. A nation on the brink of martial law. A populace under house arrest. A techno-corporate state wielding its power to immobilize huge swaths of the country. And a Constitution in tatters.

We are imploding on multiple fronts, all at once.

This is what happens when ego, greed, and power are allowed to take precedence over liberty, equality, and justice.

Just to be clear, however: this is not a revolution.

This is a ticking time bomb.

There is absolutely no excuse for the violence that took place at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Yet no matter which way you look at it, the fallout from this attempted coup could make this worrisome state of affairs even worse.

First, you’ve got the president, who has been accused of inciting a riot and now faces a second impeachment and a scandal that could permanently mar his legacy. While the impeachment process itself is a political beast, the question of whether President Trump incited his followers to riot is one that has even the best legal experts debating. Yet as First Amendment scholar David Hudson Jr. explains, for Trump’s rhetoric to be stripped of its free speech protections, “The speaker must intend to and actually use words that rally people to take illegal action. The danger must be imminent—not in the indefinite future. And the words must be uttered in a situation in which violence is likely to happen.”

At a minimum, Trump’s actions and words—unstatesmanlike and reckless, by any standards—over the course of his presidency and on Jan. 6 helped cause a simmering pot to boil over.

Second, there were the so-called “patriots” who took to the streets because the jailer of their choice didn’t get chosen to knock heads for another four years. Those “Stop the Steal” protesters may have deluded themselves (or been deluded) into believing they were standing for freedom when they stormed the Capitol. However, all they really did was give the Deep State and its corporate partners a chance to pull back the curtain and reveal how little freedom we really have. There is nothing that can be said to justify the actions of those who, armed with metal pipes, chemical irritants, stun guns, and other types of weapons, assaulted and stampeded those in their path.

There are limits to what can be done in the so-called name of liberty, and this level of violence—no matter who wields it or what brand of politics or zealotry motivate them—crossed the line.

Third, you’ve got the tech giants, who meted out their own version of social justice by way of digital tyranny and corporate censorship. Yet there can be no freedom of speech if social media giants can muzzle whomever they want, whenever they want, on whatever pretext they want in the absence of any real due process, review, or appeal. As Edward Snowden warned, whether it was warranted or not, the social media ban on President Trump signaled a turning point in the battle for control over digital speech. And that is exactly what is playing out as users, including those who have no ties to the Capitol riots, begin to experience lockouts, suspensions, and even deletions of their social media accounts.

Remember, the First Amendment is a steam valve. It allows people to peacefully air viewpoints, vent frustrations, debate and disagree, and generally work through the problems of self-governance. Without that safety mechanism in place, self-censorship increases, discontent festers, foment brews, and violence becomes the default response for resolving disputes, whether with the government or each other. At a minimum, we need more robust protections in place to protect digital expression and a formalized process for challenging digital censorship.

Unfortunately, digital censorship is just the beginning. Once you start using social media scores coupled with surveillance capitalism to determine who is worthy enough to be part of society, anything goes. In China, which has been traveling this road for years now, millions of individuals and businesses, blacklisted as “unworthy” based on social media credit scores that grade them based on whether they are “good” citizens, have been banned from accessing financial markets, buying real estate or traveling by air or train.

Fourth, you’ve got the police, who normally exceed the constitutional limits restraining them from brutality, surveillance, and other excesses. Only this time, despite intelligence indicating that some of the rioters were planning for mayhem, police were outnumbered and ill-prepared to deal with the incursion. Investigations underway suggest that some police may even have colluded with the rioters.

Certainly, the lack of protocols adopted by the Capitol Police bears an unnerving resemblance to the lack of protocols in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, when police who were supposed to uphold the law and prevent violence failed to do either. In fact, as the Washington Post reports, police “seemed to watch as groups beat each other with sticks and bludgeoned one another with shields… At one point, police appeared to retreat and then watch the beatings before eventually moving in to end the free-for-all, make arrests and tend to the injured.” Incredibly, when the first signs of open violence broke out, it was reported that the police chief allegedly instructed his staff to “let them fight, it will make it easier to declare an unlawful assembly.”

There’s a pattern emerging if you pay close enough attention: Instead of restoring order, local police stand down. Without fail, what should be an exercise in how to peacefully disagree turns ugly the moment looting, vandalism, violence, intimidation tactics, and rioting are introduced into the equation. Tensions rise, violence escalates, and federal armies move in.

All that was missing on Jan. 6 was a declaration of martial law.

Which brings us to the fifth point, martial law. Given that the nation has been dancing around the fringes of martial law with each national crisis, it won’t take much more to push the country over the edge to a declaration and military lockdown. The rumblings of armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., will only serve to heighten tensions, double down on the government’s military response, and light a match to a powder keg state of affairs. With tens of thousands of National Guard troops and federal law enforcement personnel mobilized to lock down Washington, DC, in the wake of the Jan. 6 riots and in advance of the Jan. 20 inauguration, this could be the largest military show-of-force in recent years.

So where do we go from here?

That all of these events are coming to a head around Martin Luther King Jr. Day is telling.

More than 50 years after King was assassinated, America has become a ticking time bomb of racial unrest and injustice, police militarization, surveillance, government corruption and ineptitude, the blowback from a battlefield mindset and endless wars abroad, and a growing economic inequality between the haves and have nots

Making matters worse, modern America has compounded the evils of racism, materialism, and militarism with ignorance, intolerance, and fear.

Callousness, cruelty, meanness, immorality, ignorance, hatred, intolerance, and injustice have become hallmarks of our modern age, magnified by an echo chamber of nasty tweets and government-sanctioned brutality.

“Despite efforts to curb hate speech, eradicate bullying and extend tolerance, a culture of nastiness has metastasized in which meanness is routinely rewarded, and common decency and civility are brushed aside,” observed Teddy Wayne in a New York Times piece on “The Culture of Nastiness.”

Every time I read a news headline or flip on the television or open up an email or glance at social media, I run headlong into people consumed with back-biting, partisan politics, sniping, toxic hate, meanness, and materialism. Donald Trump is, in many ways, the embodiment of this culture of meanness. Yet as Wayne points out, “Trump is less enabler in chief than a symptom of a free-for-all environment that prizes cutting smears… Social media has normalized casual cruelty.”

Whether it’s unfriending or blocking someone on Facebook, tweeting taunts and barbs on Twitter, or merely using cyberspace to bully someone or peddle in gossip, we have become masters in the art of meanness.

This culture of meanness has come to characterize many aspects of the nation’s governmental and social policies. “Meanness today is a state of mind,” writes professor Nicolaus Mills in his book The Triumph of Meanness, “the product of a culture of spite and cruelty that has had an enormous impact on us.”

This casual cruelty is made possible by a growing polarization within the populace that emphasizes what divides us—race, religion, economic status, sexuality, ancestry, politics, etc.—rather than what unites us: we are all human.

This is what writer Anna Quindlen refers to as “the politics of exclusion, what might be thought of as the cult of otherness… It divides the country as surely as the Mason-Dixon line once did. And it makes for mean-spirited and punitive politics and social policy.”

This is more than meanness, however.

This is the psychopathic mindset adopted by the architects of the Deep State, and it applies equally whether you’re talking about Democrats or Republicans.

Beware, because this kind of psychopathology can spread like a virus among the populace.

As an academic study into pathocracy concluded, “[T]yranny does not flourish because perpetuators are helpless and ignorant of their actions. It flourishes because they actively identify with those who promote vicious acts as virtuous.”

People don’t simply line up and salute. It is through one’s own personal identification with a given leader, party, or social order that they become agents of good or evil. To this end, “we the people” have become “we the police state.”

By failing to actively take a stand for good, we become agents of evil. It’s not the person in charge who is solely to blame for the carnage. It’s the populace that looks away from the injustice, that empowers the totalitarian regime, that welcomes the building blocks of tyranny.

This realization hit me full-force a few years ago. I had stopped into a bookstore and was struck by all of the books on Hitler, everywhere I turned. Yet had there been no Hitler, there still would have been a Nazi regime. There still would have been gas chambers and concentration camps and a Holocaust.

Hitler wasn’t the architect of the Holocaust. He was merely the figurehead. The same goes for the American police state: had there been no Trump or Obama or Bush, there still would have been a police state. There still would have been police shootings and private prisons and endless wars and government pathocracy.

Why? Because “we the people” have paved the way for this tyranny to prevail.

By turning Hitler into a super-villain who singlehandedly terrorized the world—not so different from how Trump is often depicted—historians have given Hitler’s accomplices (the German government, the citizens that opted for security and order over liberty, the religious institutions that failed to speak out against evil, the individuals who followed orders even when it meant a death sentence for their fellow citizens) a free pass.

This is how tyranny rises and freedom falls.

None of us who remain silent and impassive in the face of evil, racism, extreme materialism, meanness, intolerance, cruelty, injustice, and ignorance get a free pass.

Those among us who follow figureheads without question, who turn a blind eye to injustice and turn their backs on need, who march in lockstep with tyrants and bigots, who allow politics to trump principle, who give in to meanness and greed, and who fail to be outraged by the many wrongs being perpetrated in our midst, it is these individuals who must shoulder the blame when the darkness wins.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that,” Martin Luther King Jr. sermonized.

The darkness is winning

It’s not just on the world stage we must worry about the darkness winning

The darkness is winning in our communities. It’s winning in our homes, our neighborhoods, our churches and synagogues, and our government bodies. It’s winning in the hearts of men and women the world over who are embracing hatred over love. It’s winning in every new generation that is being raised to care only for themselves, without any sense of moral or civic duty to stand for freedom.

John F. Kennedy, killed by an assassin’s bullet five years before King would be similarly executed, spoke of a torch that had been “passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Once again, a torch is being passed to a new generation, but this torch is setting the world on fire, burning down the foundations put in place by our ancestors, and igniting all of the ugliest sentiments in our hearts.

This fire is not liberating; it is destroying.

We are teaching our children all the wrong things: we are teaching them to hate, teaching them to worship false idols (materialism, celebrity, technology, politics), teaching them to prize vain pursuits and superficial ideals over kindness, goodness, and depth.

We are on the wrong side of the revolution.

“If we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution,” advised King, “we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society.

Freedom demands responsibility.

Freedom demands that we stop thinking as Democrats and Republicans and start thinking like human beings, or at the very least, Americans.

Martin Luther King Jr. dared to dream of a world in which all Americans “would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

He didn’t live to see that dream become a reality. It’s still not a reality. We haven’t dared to dream that dream in such a long time.

But imagine…

Imagine what this country would be like if Americans put aside their differences and dared to stand up—united—for freedom…

Imagine what this country would be like if Americans put aside their differences and dared to speak out—with one voice—against injustice…

Imagine what this country would be like if Americans put aside their differences and dared to push back—with the full force of our collective numbers—against the evils of government despotism.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, tyranny wouldn’t stand a chance.

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2021: If It Wasn’t For Bad Luck, We Wouldn’t Have No Luck At All

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog. 

If we have indeed begun a sustained “reversal of fortune”, it might be prudent to consider the possibility we’re only in the first inning of a sustained run of bad luck.

In our self-deluded hubris, we reckon we’ve moved beyond the influence of fortune, a.k.a. Lady Luck: our technologies are so powerful and our monetary policies so godlike that nothing as random as luck could ever crush our limitless expansion.

Thus does hubris beg for a comeuppance: the greater the hubris, the greater the reversal of fortune, the greater the confidence in our godlike powers, the greater the collapse of our prideful faith in technology and economic policies.

So we’ve enshrined our hubris-soaked happy story: the virus will naturally weaken, vaccines will conquer the Covid virus in short order, and by opening the monetary spigots and flooding the global economy with trillions in newly created currencies, we’ll unleash the greatest boom in history, because it’s so righteously “green.”

We seem to have forgotten that to elicit a laugh, tell God your plans. We confused a sustained run of good fortune with godlike powers that are impervious to mere luck.

Unfortunately for all the true believers in our vaunted technology and human agencies, luck still matters, and after 50+ years of under-appreciated, fabulously good fortune, we’re in the first at-bat of a sustained reversal of fortune, for as noted here many times, the way of the Tao is reversal: good luck doesn’t last forever, nor is it some birthright of technologically advanced civilizations.

Are we ill-prepared for seven lean years of increasingly bad luck? Absolutely. Whatever technology can’t resolve, trillions in newly issued currency will: either the magic of technology will work miracles, or the magic of limitless free money will work whatever miracles are left after technology wipes up the spot of bother.

If you wanted to script an unprecedented collapse of faith in the false gods of technology and money-printing, you’d outline exactly what transpired in 2020: a reckless dismissal of the pandemic followed by a monumental financial crash that opened the floodgates of free money, which triggered a massive “recovery” rally in risk assets, driving gamblers’ confidence to new heights of fantasy.

All hail our new secular gods, the Federal Reserve, the most powerful force in the Universe!

Then you’d release miraculous vaccines that promised a permanent resolution to the pandemic and a measured return to the carefree pre-pandemic orgy of debt-based consumption. (Never mind the doubts of some experts about the vaccine protocols: Covid-19 Vaccine Protocols Reveal That Trials Are Designed To Succeed (Forbes.com) by William A. Haseltine)

Then you’d script the opening inning of the tragi-comedy unfolding in 2021: rather than fading as so many were pleased to confidently predict, the Covid virus has made remarkable gains in function, becoming more contagious and more elusive as multiple variants emerge globally.

Rather than conquering the virus, we’re unable to even keep pace. The variant ravaging Britain was finally identified in late December, and subsequent sequencing of previously collected samples indicates that it emerged (or arrived) in September. In the meantime, this variant (and other mutations with similar characteristics) have spread around the world with business travelers, tourists, etc. One or more of these variants may reduce the efficacy of the much-hyped vaccines. It’s all in this report from the New York Times:

As Coronavirus Mutates, the World Stumbles Again to Respond (New York Times)

Everything that was supposed to work smoothly due to our oh-so-advanced technological and administrative prowess is now either in doubt or in shambles. Consider the potential for less than 95% efficacy in the vaccines due to the interactions and mutually reinforcing dynamics of 1) vaccine hesitancy in those who understand the conventional processes of testing vaccines best, i.e. healthcare professionals; 2) the potential for consequential numbers of those who receive the first shot of vaccine failing to come back for the second shot due to unpleasant experiences after the first shot or other conditions such as being overworked, evicted, etc., and 3) variants further reducing the efficacy of the vaccines in unpredictable ways.

So let’s say the efficacy drops from the promised 95% to 65%. Are you in the 2/3 camp who are protected by the vaccine from serious illness (though you may be a carrier and infect others, a possibility that was not tested by the trials protocols), or are you in the 1/3 camp who for whatever reason is no longer protected by the vaccine?

Since we’re chasing a fast-mutating virus, there may not be a fast, accurate way to identify who’s fully protected and who isn’t. Since this may be unknowable, everyone will have to continue the behavioral methods of limiting exposure and transmission of the virus. In which case the vaccines will have accomplished very little in terms of returning the world to the pre-pandemic glory days of 2019.

If we have indeed begun a sustained reversal of fortune, it might be prudent to consider the possibility we’re only in the first inning of a sustained run of back luck. We might want to consider learning a new theme song for 2021, Albert King’s Born Under a Bad Sign (composed by Booker T. Jones and William Bell): “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”

The cycles of human history are amenable to a reversal of fortune: please consider historian Peter Turchin’s three indicators of systemic disorder: check, check, and check.

Suppressing discussions about the potentially lavish banquet of consequences set by a reversal of fortune won’t actually change the outcome of the next eight innings, it will only serve to increase the odds of catastrophically consequential decisions being made by those at the top of the hubris-heap.

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Italian Government On Verge Of Collapse Amid Battle Over EU COVID Relief

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Under the leadership of Premier Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s government has enjoyed a degree of stability unseen in decades, as the technocratic former law professor – initially brought in to lead a government formed by two anti-establishment parties, the anti-migrant League and left-wing populist Five Star Movement – Conte has already survived the collapse of his original coalition. When League leader Matteo Salvini withdrew from the ruling coalition back in 2019, Conte managed to stave off another election by recruiting new allies from the opposition.

Since then, Conte has led Italy through two COVID-19 lockdowns, and as the country lumbers forward, with much of its economy still paralyzed, the PM has his work cut out for him if he wants to get the country’s debt burden under control without resorting to punishing austerity measures (which, at this point, would probably spark a full-tilt revolution in the streets of Italy’s largest cities).

But as Italy staggers out of another COVID-19-induced-lockdown, the ruling coalition is once again at the point of fracture. After Salvini quit the ruling coalition back in the summer of 2019, Conte struck a deal with Matteo Renzi, the former prime minister, who later broke off from the Democrats and formed his own centrist group.

Well, now that Italy has finally received the €196 billion-euro ($240 billion) windfall from the European Union COVID bailout package, parliament must vote on how to spend the money. But since nothing is ever easy in Italy’s politically fragmented government, disagreements over spending priorities are prompting Matteo Renzi, a junior partner in the coalition, to consider abandoning the government, and thrusting it into chaos just as the relief package is being finalized.

According to Bloomberg, Italian President Sergio Mattarella (in Italy, the president plays a caretaker role) has extracted promises from Renzi that the political infighting won’t impact the relief package.

The latest government plan uses EU money to earmark €223 billion euros for investment and other projects to boost the Italian economy, which was already weak even before the pandemic, according to a draft seen by Bloomberg.

Spending on infrastructure including railways, highways, ports, and logistics totals €32 billion, while investment to make Italy’s economy greener totals €69 billion. Health spending, meanwhile, has been raised to €19.7 billion in what Bloomberg described as a concession to Renzi. But Renzi and his lawmakers have demanded Conte share more power with his coalition partners while speeding up public works projects (and giving up control of the secret services).

COVID has already heaped on more debt, and although the EU money will undoubtedly help, Italy is still dipping into its own pockets to fund some of the recovery measures.

Source: Bloomberg

Should Renzi pull two lawmakers backing the coalition in the Italian Senate (which, for those who aren’t familiar, has 321 seats, with 315 of them being elected, and the 6 others appointed “senators for life”), Conte would need to see if he can drum up enough support from opposition lawmakers to former a new governing coalition. If Conte can’t find the votes, Mattarella would have no choice but to call another snap election.

Fortunately for Conte, nobody – not even Renzi & Co. – really wants a new election. Recent reforms have reduced the number of seats in both houses of the Italian Parliament by 1/3rd, which means another election would prematurely force dozens of politicians into early retirement. Perhaps that’s why we haven’t seen a major blowout in BTP-Bund spreads, though yields on the 10-year BTP have reached the highest level since Dec. 8 as the yield climbed by a few basis points early Tuesday.

The move has widened the spread over bunds by 3bps to 109bps.

Still, we’re not seeing much of a reaction in Italian bonds, probably because investors have confidence in Conte. He’s currently leading his second government, despite never having been elected himself. And nobody wants to risk an election at a time when polls suggest voters would turn once again to Matteo Salvini and the League, which remain popular throughout the country, even in provinces once considered bastions of progressive politics in Italy.

Nicola Zingaretti, leader of the Democratic Party and a member of Conte’s ruling coalition, said Tuesday during an interview on Sky.

It’s the latest sign that the surprising stability that permeated Italian politics during the pandemic, as Italy became for a time the worst-hit country in Europe, was an aberration, and that the shroud of national unity is already dissipating.

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TRUMP 2024: MAJOR CLASH! This is Escalating!

This article was contributed by Portfolio Wealth Global.

In this type of environment, we’re holding our tongues and being mindful of the words we use, since the stakes are as high as we’ve ever seen them.

Political historians and even hedge fund titans, such as Ray Dalio, have warned that the past rhymes and that America is headed towards a revolution.

Today, we want to explore a number of possible scenarios in the new American landscape:

  1. A 3rd Party: It’s clear by now that not all Republicans are hardcore Trump fans. Not all 74M Trump voters are going to remain loyal to him specifically, but many will.

If the House and the Senate, led by Democrats, vote to strip Donald Trump’s rights to run again in 2024, we believe that he would launch a media giant where he can broadcast his policies. It would be Donald Jr., who ends up running in 2024.

  1. Disengaged Americans: Many of Trump’s supporters are veterans and people that love the idea of a constitutional America, limited government, fiscal responsibility, and remaining strong in the face of China’s rise to global supremacy.

We estimate that tens of millions of Americans are more loyal to Trump’s views than to the general views of the Republican Party.

The problem with that, of course, is that creating a third party would cause this new party to split its voters with the Republicans, which, by definition, would make Democrats the biggest party by miles.

In other words, it’s a tricky situation and would require extensive effort to bring into existence a party that competes with Democrats, even though Portfolio Wealth Global doesn’t believe that Biden will run again in 2024. This means that the Democrats also need to think about who their next candidate will be.

What we mean by disengaged Americans is that we will see a country within a country. If a group of tens of millions of people refuse to trust the election results and refuse to acknowledge Biden as their president, it is an issue that we cannot over-emphasize. Democracies function only when the people give it power and respect the legitimacy of the current regime.

Most Trump supporters don’t.

  1. Zero confidence in the Media: Mainstream media is dead to Trump supporters.

This is the reason we are pretty convinced that Trump will form his own media corporation and that it might be Donald Jr., who is groomed for office.

There’s fake news and then there’s propaganda; we live in the age of both.

New media outlets will be built from the ashes of the legacy channels, in our view.

  1. Biden Years: In times past, when America was this divided, U.S.-led think tanks looked overseas and found an enemy to portray as a threat and wage war against it.

It diverts attention away from domestic issues.

It’s also possible that Biden will not resort to war, since he’s too weak to get the support needed, and will instead dish out free money to everyone in order to gain favor.

For example, Biden might wipe clean all student loan debts.

It’s unclear how America will wake up on the 21st of January, but we can assure you that 2020 altered this country forever.

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TRUMP WILL NEVER CONCEDE!: America Is Now Two Countries

This article was contributed by Future Money Trends. 

What we’re about to discuss should not shock anyone: The United States of America stands at a crossroads. In the past, when such trying times occurred, the binding glue that propelled the country forward was cherishing the freedom, liberty, and pursuit of happiness set forth in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The country also united under charismatic and optimistic leaders that had magnetic personalities, such as Abe Lincoln, JFK, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Today, the situation is much more complex. No one thinks that Joe Biden (not even those who voted for him) is a one-of-a-kind political magician who will rally the country after him. He doesn’t possess the personal charm of Kennedy or the oral talents of FDR. When in crisis, the country usually elects a born leader, a person deemed to have extraordinary qualities, but the Democrats did not produce such a person.

This isn’t a political opinion; it’s a reality that few would argue, if any.

The mission of the Democrats was simply to ensure that Donald Trump doesn’t stay in office for four more years and to gain a majority in the Senate. Most would argue that until the coronavirus showed up, Trump was quite popular with many who ended up voting for Biden (swinging away from him).

There was growing discontent with the government ever since the 2008 bailouts for Wall Street and it only intensified in the years that followed, culminating in a complete lack of trust in elected officials by a growing number of people. This is not an American phenomenon, but a global one. We’ve seen civil unrest in a great many countries.

Democracy only functions when the minority feels that the majority won’t abuse its power. The minority (according to the certification of Joe Biden), which are the Republicans and Trump’s supporters, do not buy into this. They refuse to go along with the status quo, protesting the lack of real investigation into voter fraud allegations and election irregularities. They’re also concerned about the following: reckless spending, higher taxes, Radical Left ideas, socialism, open borders, restriction of free speech, too much government, and pro-China policies, among other things.

They protest censorship of free speech, double standards in reporting of rioting, assault on their rights, and show their hatred of the Radical Left, by taking a stand.

On the flip side, Trump haters are celebrating and can’t wait to see him gone. They couldn’t stand what he stood for since he attacked the establishment.

This is, of course, an overly-simplified explanation of the forces at play. What really matters is that it seems like the left and right are growing further apart, with fewer people in the middle, less and less of them wanting to compromise and to settle on ideological matters.

In other words, remaining neutral is becoming harder since the two agendas are so far apart that staying in the center shows a lack of courage to follow one’s heart.

No one can simultaneously like and hate that Twitter banned President Trump. One can either see it as a violent act of censorship, which could be even construed as inciting violence (since Twitter is backing Trump’s supporters into a corner), or as justified since Twitter is acting responsibly – you’re either here or there.

Future Money Trends believes that Trump will never concede, nor will many millions of his voters. This is not a small movement, nor a weak one; their votes will likely form a large third party in the 2024 elections.

The United States is one of the only Western countries with only two big parties. We tend to think that the various factions within the population are not represented by the two main parties and that we’ll see the rise of a pretty large new party led by Trump or other politicians who share his views.

It’s a big prediction, but it’s certainly where the country is already heading.

A person working in one of the tech companies and living in San Francisco, Seattle, or New York City has little in common with a person from the rust belt or the heartland.

The fabric of society is definitely falling apart and what we’re afraid of is that politicians will resort to an age-old tradition in Washington, which is to find a “new” enemy, a common foreign enemy, to rally the people against.

Watch this narrative and be ready to call it out!

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TRUMP IMPEACHMENT: THE LATEST!

This article was contributed by The Wealth Research Group. 

Why is America getting split apart? What is the underlying cause of the division, the root of the issue, the heart of the rift that is visibly growing between left and right?

If you ask a Trump supporter or a Trump hater, they would give you one of a myriad of answers, but the bottom line, as far as we’re concerned, is trust in authority.

Trump’s supporters want him in office, because they trust him. They have no faith in career politicians at all; there’s a growing number of Americans, Europeans, and other westerners, who have come to the conclusion that career politicians are bought and paid for, represent interests that are not those of the majority of Americans and are colluding with foreign interests to globalize and to strip the rights of the average person. In developing nations, where distrust in government is the norm, this seems obvious, but westerners somehow forgot that governments have historically been a hindering force, not a liberating one.

If the media calls these anti-establishment ideas conspiracy theories, then Trump supporters consider it a way for the mainstream media to delegitimize what they think in their heart of hearts to be true, thus they don’t panic when the media attempts to debunk anything.

They simply do not trust the mainstream media at all.

My purpose is not to debate whether they’re right or wrong; it is to show that in today’s world, there are tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of people, who have either zero faith or well below average confidence in their elected officials, whom they deem as crooked and working to enslave, deprive and censor them.

These issues are not to be brushed off and they’re not only shared by people on the sidelines or fringes of society; conspiracy theories once deemed as “nuts” have come to fruition, and now a great many feel enlightened about the nature of politics, big business and the deep state and the relationships that form between global interests.

As long as the system was reasonably working for most, they just sleepwalked through life, not caring about these issues, which have been known to many of us for decades. The ignorant were blissfully enjoying the invisible cage.

You and I have known about the elites, the deep state agenda, illegitimate warfare, global interests and secret societies for a long time; now there are many more who do, since the tragic comedy that is politics is much more visible to us. We can see their mistakes, their lack of self-discipline, their hypocrisy and double standards.

Criticism is labeled as spreading fake news and is censored; it’s a thin line that tech giants are walking on.

Wealth Research Group does not believe that these dividing issues are going away whatsoever; trust is impossible to rebuild, once it’s fully lost. Permanently shutting down Trump’s Twitter account may end up being a disastrous decision for this country.

While calls for impeachment have been made and articles have already been drafted, Trump is talking about building his own communications platform.

As I said before, it’s difficult to publish our letter without getting comments from both the left and the right, arguing their case.

Our mission is to analyze the politics and then translate it into finances.

In the end, being an efficient person requires handling YOUR BUSINESS, even in the midst of social crises. Stay disciplined about your affairs first; nothing is more important than realizing that being the best version of yourself is the most effective thing you can do for others.

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Congress Gives $1.9B to Rip-and-Replace Huawei and ZTE Equipment from American Networks as Part of COVID Package

This article was originally published by B.N. Frank at Activist Post. 

Wireless connections have always been more vulnerable to hackers than hard-wired connections.  Wireless network vulnerability is also NOT a new thing.

Last month it was reported that one longstanding network flaw has continued to NOT be fixed.  Also reported – due to security concerns, Congress allocated $1.9B to remove Huawei and ZTE gear from American networks.

From Telecoms:

Congress earmarks $1.9 billion to remove Huawei and ZTE gear from American networks

The US lawmakers have included in the coronavirus relief package up to $1.9 billion as reimbursement for American CSPs to remove Huawei and ZTE equipment from their networks.

European readers woke up this morning to the breaking news alerts on their smartphone screens that the US Congress has agreed to a $900 billion package of COVID-19 pandemic aid. More details of what are included in the package, especially details related to the telecoms industry, have just been disclosed.

Reuters learned from its sources that $1.9 billion has been set aside to finance American broadband operators to remove and replace equipment from Huawei and ZTE that is operating on the systems. Back in June the FCC formally designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats. Such designations excluded the vendors from the shopping list of any operators wishing to access the Universal Service Fund (USF), worth $8.3 billion. Earlier this month the FCC shared more details on its mandate to operators which have equipment from these vendors to “rip and replace” with equipment from vendors deemed safe. The $1.9 billion is to compensate the cost to implement the rip-and-replace policy. The priority of the reimbursement is with small operators, especially those with two million subscribers or less, Reuters reported.

Read full article

High-speed internet is achievable, safer, and more secure with a wired internet connection (see 12) – not 5G or WiFi.  According to lawsuits and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman, Americans have already paid to have high-speed internet via fiber optics where they live (see 12345).  Regardless, the FCC recently gave billions more to telecom companies and said it was for high-speed internet in underserved areas.  NOPE.

Of course, the FCC has been corrupt and “captured” agency for decades (see 12).  The agency refuses to update 24-year-old RF radiation exposure guidelines.  During the Trump administration, lawsuits have been filed against the agency for NOT protecting the public from unsafe levels of radiation as well as controversial and dangerous 5G on Earth (see 1234) and in space.  Doctors and scientists have asked the agency MANY TIMES and again recently that health and environmental risks from radiation from 5G, cell towers, and other wireless sources be evaluated by experts with no conflicts of interest (see also 123).  NOPE again.

In 2019, telecom executives gave congressional testimony that they had NO independent scientific evidence that 5G is safe.  There is research that has already determined it’s not.  Since 2018 there have been reports of people and animals experiencing symptoms and illnesses after 5G was installed (see 1234).

Recently, the U.S. Government Accountability Office also issued warnings about cybersecurity risks associated with the 5G deployment.  The White House has also issued a directive about the potential for satellites being targeted by hackers as well.

petition boycotting 5G phones has been endorsed by doctors, scientists, and telecom whistleblowers.  Americans opposed to 5G are encouraged to sign a petition asking President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris to stop the deployment.  If you’re concerned about 5G cell towers being installed near your home and throughout your community, EMF Experts is offering a free online tutorial on how to locate them.

Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology.  For more information, visit their archives.

 

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It’s Over: Trump Promises “Orderly Transition” On Jan. 20 After Biden Win Certified

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Millions of Americans will remember Wednesday as the first time in decades that the US Capitol building was successfully stormed and overrun – though, to be fair, when the British sacked Washington during the War of 1812, they didn’t stop to take selfies with the Capitol Police.

At any rate, the flashes of the chaotic crowd breaking windows and scuffling with police, accompanied by the news that 4 people died during the chaos (1 woman was shot by a Capitol Police officer, while 3 others died during unspecified “medical emergencies”, according to media reports) was enough to convince half the US that a low-key “coup attempt” had just taken place. Though the fact that lawmakers returned to the floor a few hours later to finish up the certification vote sort of undercuts that notion.

Citing Wednesday’s unrest as justification, GOP lawmakers largely dropped their objections and allowed the Electoral College tally to be certified, cementing his win.

And as several staff members reportedly threatened to quit in protest, President Trump published a statement via spokesman Dan Scavino promising an “orderly transition” on Jan. 20. While Bloomberg described the statement as a “concession”, Trump continued to insist that he still “totally disagrees” with the outcome of the election.

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said. “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”

Matt Pottinger, a deputy natsec advisor, and an avowed China hawk is reportedly among the staffers who resigned in protest. Pottinger was recently in the news for going public with new, credible allegations that SARS-CoV-2 leaked from a Chinese lab.

Meanwhile, the president’s twitter account remains locked.

Snapchat joined Facebook and Twitter in blocking the accounts, according to a company spokesman.

Before the vote in the Senate, VP Pence spoke to promise that those who contributed to the chaos will be prosecuted. According to Capitol Police, some 52 people were arrested.

“To those who wreaked havoc in our capitol today, you did not win,” the vice president said. “Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people’s House.”

Of the 52 arrests, 47 were related to violations of the 1800 curfew set by Mayor Muriel Bowser. 26 people were arrested on Capitol grounds. Several others were arrested for carrying firearms, either without a license or unlawfully.

In addition, the DC police chief said two pipe bombs were recovered from the headquarters of the RNC and DNC, while a cooler from a vehicle on US Capitol grounds that contained Molotov cocktails. 14 police officers were injured, 2 of whom remain hospitalized after being attacked by members of the crowd. Police said more arrests are expected as investigators will now attempt to identify people from camera footage.

The vote in the Senate was completed early Thursday morning. One senator told reporters that she had backed away from the opposition vote because of the chaos.

“When I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes,” Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was supposed to take the lead on objecting to results from Georgia, said on the Senate floor Wednesday night. “However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider, and I cannot now in good conscience object to the certification of these electors.”

By the end of the proceedings, both the House and the Senate had rejected challenges to results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, while no senators signed on to challenges in Georgia and other states.

The FBI late Wednesday asked the public to submit tips, such as images, videos, and other information to help agents identify people who were “actively instigating violence.”

During what several media outlets described as a “siege”, at least one Trump supporter entered the Senate chamber, while others smashed windows in an attempt to break onto the House floor, where police officers brandished guns to keep them away. Police placed the building under lockdown, and lawmakers were instructed to prepare to put on gas masks as pepper spray filled the chamber.

Meanwhile, in keeping with the media narrative that Trump supporters aren’t proud Americans but crypto-fascists hoping to trample on democracy, Joe Biden – speaking from Delaware – said the Capitol’s storming bordered on “sedition” and called “on the mob to pull back and allow the work of the democracy to go forward.”

Though the chaos has subsided, Mayor Bowser’s public emergency declaration will remain in effect for 15 days, allowing her to impose restrictions on people’s movement.

 

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California Has the Strictest Lockdown in the US—and the Most Active COVID Cases (by Far)

This article was originally published by Jon Miltimore at The Foundation for Economic Education. 

*EDITOR’S NOTE: Does anyone really need any more evidence that lockdowns do not work?

COVID-19 vaccine may have arrived, but government lockdowns are far from over.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson reinstated a strict lockdown in the United Kingdom, citing a surge in infections and hospitalizations fueled by what officials say is a more transmissible variant of the coronavirus.

“It is clear that we need to do more to bring this new variant under control,” Johnson said. “That means the government is once again instructing you to stay at home.”

Lockdowns remain a reality in many parts of the US as well, although many states—Alaska, Florida, Missouri, South Dakota, and Alabama, among them—have abandoned nearly all restrictions.

MultiState, a state and local government relations company, has a tool that allows readers to track lockdown stringency in US states. The company’s methodology relies on reporting on nearly a dozen factors—Are residents under stay-at-home orders? Are bars and restaurants allowed to operate beyond delivery? What constitutes an “essential” business?—to determine each state’s ranking.

The state’s with the lowest “open score” are the following: California (50), New Mexico (49), Washington (48), Illinois (47), Hawaii (46), Oregon (45), Delaware (44), Vermont (43), New York (42), Michigan (41), and Colorado (40).

Many believed lockdowns might be nearing an end with the announcement of effective vaccines. Unfortunately, that seems far from certain.

Lawmakers continue to rely on lockdowns and various other restrictions in an effort to tame the spread of the virus, but these restrictions come at heavy costs to individuals and economies: job losses, business closures, depression, drug overdoses, and a massive surge in poverty, among them.

This evidence in itself would bring into serious question the ethics of infringing on basic freedoms and fundamental human rights in an effort to slow transmission of a virus. However, lockdowns become even more questionable when one considers evidence that suggests these draconian restrictions seem to have little impact in slowing the spread of the virus.

The aforementioned United Kingdom, for example, is “reimposing” a lockdown, we’re told. But data show the UK’s lockdown stringency has remained remarkably consistent. The toll of the virus, however, has not.

Data in the US tell a similar story.

California, despite having the strictest lockdown in the country, has the most active cases—by far. Sure, California is the most populous state in the US, but the 1.4 million active cases is more than double the next closest state, Florida, which has roughly 609,000 active cases. On a per-capita basis, Californian’s active cases are about 30 percent higher than Florida, which has virtually no restrictions in place. (To put it another way, California currently represents nearly 17 percent of all active cases in the US.)

Similar patterns can be found in other strict lockdown states such as New Mexico, Washington, and Illinois—all of which are witnessing sharp upticks in cases and deaths despite having some of the strictest lockdown policies in the US.

Counterexamples, however, can also be found. OregonVermontDelaware, and others have seen more modest case increases and deaths with the arrival of winter.

The takeaway here isn’t that the politicians in Delaware and Vermont had better pandemic plans than lawmakers in California and New Mexico or are achieving better compliance. Indeed, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently pointed out the virus is surging in LA County despite “great compliance” with public health recommendations.

The takeaway is that central planners can’t manage the coronavirus. Not effectively anyway. They lack the knowledge and the mechanisms of control necessary to control something as complex as a virus. And to be fair, managing a submicroscopic infectious agent that replicates by transmitting itself through living cells is a rather tall task. (Much more complicated than, say, delivering the mail.)

The inability of central planners to effectively manage the virus needs to be acknowledged. One of the duties of the economist is to offer a dose of reality to those who dream they can create anything if they only have enough power.

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design,” Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek famously explained in The Fatal Conceit.

Lockdowns may not be effective, but that doesn’t mean they are going away. Politicians are incentivized to embrace them, even if they don’t work.

Perhaps the best way to end the lockdowns is for Americans to remember that all people are born with “certain unalienable Rights,” and that government exists only to secure these rights.

Once people remember this basic truth, they can find the courage and fortitude to peacefully resist this historic government overreach that has proven so harmful to so many.

Fortunately, many are already actively doing so. From Beverly Hills to Louisville to New York City and beyond, Americans are rediscovering the great tradition of civil disobedience.

“I was not born to be forced,” the great American poet Henry David Thoreau, author of Civil Disobedience, once asserted. “I will breathe after my own fashion.”

It’s a principle we never should have forgotten.

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California Has the Strictest Lockdown in the US—and the Most Active COVID Cases (by Far)

This article was originally published by Jon Miltimore at The Foundation for Economic Education. 

*EDITOR’S NOTE: Does anyone really need any more evidence that lockdowns do not work?

COVID-19 vaccine may have arrived, but government lockdowns are far from over.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson reinstated a strict lockdown in the United Kingdom, citing a surge in infections and hospitalizations fueled by what officials say is a more transmissible variant of the coronavirus.

“It is clear that we need to do more to bring this new variant under control,” Johnson said. “That means the government is once again instructing you to stay at home.”

Lockdowns remain a reality in many parts of the US as well, although many states—Alaska, Florida, Missouri, South Dakota, and Alabama, among them—have abandoned nearly all restrictions.

MultiState, a state and local government relations company, has a tool that allows readers to track lockdown stringency in US states. The company’s methodology relies on reporting on nearly a dozen factors—Are residents under stay-at-home orders? Are bars and restaurants allowed to operate beyond delivery? What constitutes an “essential” business?—to determine each state’s ranking.

The state’s with the lowest “open score” are the following: California (50), New Mexico (49), Washington (48), Illinois (47), Hawaii (46), Oregon (45), Delaware (44), Vermont (43), New York (42), Michigan (41), and Colorado (40).

Many believed lockdowns might be nearing an end with the announcement of effective vaccines. Unfortunately, that seems far from certain.

Lawmakers continue to rely on lockdowns and various other restrictions in an effort to tame the spread of the virus, but these restrictions come at heavy costs to individuals and economies: job losses, business closures, depression, drug overdoses, and a massive surge in poverty, among them.

This evidence in itself would bring into serious question the ethics of infringing on basic freedoms and fundamental human rights in an effort to slow transmission of a virus. However, lockdowns become even more questionable when one considers evidence that suggests these draconian restrictions seem to have little impact in slowing the spread of the virus.

The aforementioned United Kingdom, for example, is “reimposing” a lockdown, we’re told. But data show the UK’s lockdown stringency has remained remarkably consistent. The toll of the virus, however, has not.

Data in the US tell a similar story.

California, despite having the strictest lockdown in the country, has the most active cases—by far. Sure, California is the most populous state in the US, but the 1.4 million active cases is more than double the next closest state, Florida, which has roughly 609,000 active cases. On a per-capita basis, Californian’s active cases are about 30 percent higher than Florida, which has virtually no restrictions in place. (To put it another way, California currently represents nearly 17 percent of all active cases in the US.)

Similar patterns can be found in other strict lockdown states such as New Mexico, Washington, and Illinois—all of which are witnessing sharp upticks in cases and deaths despite having some of the strictest lockdown policies in the US.

Counterexamples, however, can also be found. OregonVermontDelaware, and others have seen more modest case increases and deaths with the arrival of winter.

The takeaway here isn’t that the politicians in Delaware and Vermont had better pandemic plans than lawmakers in California and New Mexico or are achieving better compliance. Indeed, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently pointed out the virus is surging in LA County despite “great compliance” with public health recommendations.

The takeaway is that central planners can’t manage the coronavirus. Not effectively anyway. They lack the knowledge and the mechanisms of control necessary to control something as complex as a virus. And to be fair, managing a submicroscopic infectious agent that replicates by transmitting itself through living cells is a rather tall task. (Much more complicated than, say, delivering the mail.)

The inability of central planners to effectively manage the virus needs to be acknowledged. One of the duties of the economist is to offer a dose of reality to those who dream they can create anything if they only have enough power.

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design,” Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek famously explained in The Fatal Conceit.

Lockdowns may not be effective, but that doesn’t mean they are going away. Politicians are incentivized to embrace them, even if they don’t work.

Perhaps the best way to end the lockdowns is for Americans to remember that all people are born with “certain unalienable Rights,” and that government exists only to secure these rights.

Once people remember this basic truth, they can find the courage and fortitude to peacefully resist this historic government overreach that has proven so harmful to so many.

Fortunately, many are already actively doing so. From Beverly Hills to Louisville to New York City and beyond, Americans are rediscovering the great tradition of civil disobedience.

“I was not born to be forced,” the great American poet Henry David Thoreau, author of Civil Disobedience, once asserted. “I will breathe after my own fashion.”

It’s a principle we never should have forgotten.

The post California Has the Strictest Lockdown in the US—and the Most Active COVID Cases (by Far) first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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The Coming War on Wealth and the Wealthy

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog. 

Here’s looking at you, Federal Reserve–thanks for perfecting ‘legalized looting’ and neofeudalism in America.

The problem with pushing a pendulum to its maximum extreme on one end is that it will swing back to the other extreme minus a tiny bit of friction.

America has pushed wealth/income inequality, unfairness, and legalized looting to the maximum extreme. Now it will experience the swing back to the other extreme. This will manifest in a number of ways, one of which is a self-organizing populist war on wealth and the wealthy.

To say the system is rigged to benefit the already-wealthy and powerful is a gross understatement. Take the tax code as an example–thousands of pages of arcane tax breaks and giveaways passed by a thoroughly corrupted Congress and thousands of more pages of arcane regulations and legal precedents.

How many pages apply to the bottom 95% of American taxpayers? Very few. There are the standard deductions for mortgage interest, healthcare costs, etc., but virtually no other tax breaks. Very few pages apply to even the 99%–go talk to a CPA and you’ll find there are no more tax breaks for a sole proprietor making $500,000 in earned income than there are for a sole proprietor making $50,000.

99.9% of the tax code benefits the top 0.1% and the corporations, LLCs, and philanthro-capitalist foundations and trusts they own/control. Stripped of artifice and spin, America’s tax code is nothing but legalized looting. This is only one small slice of the entire pie of legalized looting, of course, but it’s one we can all understand.

A sole proprietor pays 15.3% in Social Security and Medicare taxes. Why don’t America’s billionaires pay 15.3% in Social Security and Medicare taxes? Aren’t Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid the bedrock social safety net programs of the American people? Then why does a struggling sole proprietor pay 15.3% tax to support these essential programs and billionaires pay essentially zero?

There’s a term for this disparity/injustice/unfairness: legalized looting. The super-wealthy pay essentially zero percent of their income and wealth to the programs that provide basic economic security for the disabled/elderly citizenry, while Jose the sole proprietor pays 15.3% of every dollar he earns.

So explain to us again why Mr. Buffett can’t afford to pay 15.3% of every dollar of his income to help fund basic economic security for the disabled/elderly. In a system of even the most basic fairness, every dollar of income would be taxed at the same rate. In a system of even the most basic fairness, those with incomes of $100 million would pay the same 15.3% Social Security and Medicare tax as the sole proprietor earning $100,000.

Needless to say, if this most basic fairness was applied to America’s wealthy and powerful, these programs would not be facing insolvency.

If Joe the sole proprietor hits the big time, he pays 32% federal tax over $165,000, 35% over $210,000, and 37% over $524,000. If we add 15.3% to 37%, we get 52.3%. How many of America’s super-wealthy / billionaires pay 52% in Social Security-Medicare and income taxes? Zero.

Could America’s super-wealthy / billionaires afford to pay 52%? Of course, they could–they own the majority of all financial assets and skim the majority of all income. But they won’t, because the system is rigged to benefit the few at the expense of the many via legalized looting.

It isn’t just the inequality of ownership of capital and power that enrages the oppressed; it’s the blatant unfairness of our neo-feudal/neocolonial system. As I explained in Neofeudalism and the Neocolonial-Financialization Model (May 24, 2012) and Welcome to Neocolonialism, Exploited Peasants! (October 21, 2016), the Financial Nobility have “come home” and applied the same rapacious exploitation they perfected in colonialism to the domestic populace.

Here’s looking at you, Federal Reserve–thanks for perfecting legalized looting and neofeudalism in America.

The gulf between the lavishly praised American ideals and the putrid, corrupt reality of America’s neo-feudal system is wider than the Grand Canyon. As the pendulum accelerates to an extreme equal but opposite to the current extremes of unfairness, exploitation, and legalized looting, those who have suffered the consequences of this systemic inequality will find expression in whatever ways are available.

Since it’s difficult to get to the protected compounds of the super-wealthy, the signifiers of the merely wealthy will offer readily available targets. The new Tesla won’t just get keyed; it will be “reworked,” to the great satisfaction of the “workers.”

Please note that I am not promoting a war on wealth and the wealthy, I am merely pointing out that it is as inevitable as the gravity pulling the pendulum.

The war on wealth and the wealthy will manifest politically, socially, and economically. It won’t be a tightly controlled, top-down movement. It will be spontaneous, self-organizing, and unquenchable.

If you don’t understand why a war on wealth and the wealthy is inevitable, please study this chart: the way of the Tao is reversal.

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Portuguese Nurse Dies Suddenly After Receiving COVID Vaccine

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge.

The latest suspicious death to occur days (or, in some cases, even hours) after a patient received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine has surfaced in Portugal, where a pediatric surgery assistant in Porto (who was reportedly in “perfect health” when she received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine) has died suddenly.

Health authorities are investigating the death. Meanwhile, scientists from around the world continue to criticize the European Union for its comparatively sluggish vaccine rollout, which only began on an emergency basis a little more than one week ago.

The patient was identified on Monday as Sonia Azevedo, 41, a mother of two who worked as a surgical assistant at the Instituto Portugues de Oncologia, a cancer hospital in Porto. She was among the 538 healthcare workers at IPO who received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last Wednesday. Azevedo had dinner with her family on New Year’s Eve but was found dead in her bed the following morning.

Now her family members are demanding answers about the circumstances of her death, RT reports.

“I want to know what caused my daughter’s death” her father Abilio told the Portuguese tabloid Orreio da Manha. He described her as a “well and happy” person who “never drank alcohol, didn’t eat anything special or out of the ordinary.”

Azevedo was so proud to be among the first to receive the vaccine, she changed her Facebook profile picture to reflect that. “Covid-19 vaccinated,” she wrote under a selfie with her face mask on. “We don’t know what happened.

It all happened quickly and with no explanation,” Azevedo’s daughter Vania Figueiredo told the paper. “I didn’t notice anything different in my mother. She was fine. She just said that the area where she had been vaccinated hurt, but that’s normal…”

Portugal, which has a population of around 10 million, has so far reported more than 427K cases and over 7.1K deaths due to COVID. While Germany is leading the EU in vaccinations, Portugal is lagging behind even Argentina, according to data provided by Bloomberg.

What they don’t tell you is that many among the first wave of individuals designated to receive the vaccine have been turning it down, including many health care workers like Azevedo.

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The ‘Great Reset’ is about Expanding Government Power and Suppressing Liberty

This article was originally published by Ron Paul at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. 

World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab has proposed using the overreaction to coronavirus to launch a worldwide “Great Reset.” This Great Reset is about expanding government power and suppressing liberty worldwide.

Schwab envisions an authoritarian system where big business acts as a partner with the government. Big business would exercise its government-granted monopoly powers to maximize value for “stakeholders,” instead of shareholders. Stakeholders include the government, international organizations, the business itself, and “civil society.”

Of course, government bureaucrats and politicians, together with powerful special interests, will decide who are, and are not stakeholders, what is in stakeholders’ interest, and what steps corporations must take to maximize stakeholder value. People’s own wishes are not the priority.

The Great Reset will dramatically expand the surveillance state via real-time tracking. It will also mandate that people receive digital certificates in order to travel and even technology implanted in their bodies to monitor them.

Included in Schwab’s proposal for surveillance is his idea to use brain scans and nanotechnology to predict, and if necessary, prevent individuals’ future behavior. This means that anyone whose brain is “scanned” could have his Second Amendment and other rights violated because a government bureaucrat determines the individual is going to commit a crime. The system of tracking and monitoring could be used to silence those expressing “dangerous” political views, such as that the Great Reset violates our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The Great Reset involves a huge expansion of the welfare state via a universal basic income program. This can help ensure compliance with the Great Reset’s authoritarian measures. It will also be very expensive. The resulting increase in government debt will not be seen as a problem by people who believe in modern monetary theory. This is the latest version of the fairy tale that deficits don’t matter as long as the Federal Reserve monetizes the debt.

The Great Reset ultimately will fail for the same reason all other attempts by the government to control the market fail. As Ludwig von Mises showed, government interference in the marketplace distorts the price system. Prices are how information about the value of goods and services related to other goods and services is conveyed to market actors. Government interference in the marketplace disturbs the signals sent by prices, leading to an oversupply of certain goods and services and an undersupply of others.

The lockdowns show the dangers of government control over the economy and our personal lives. Lockdowns have increased unemployment, caused many small businesses to close, and led to more substance abuse, domestic violence, and suicide. We are told the lockdowns are ordered because of a virus that poses no great danger to a very large percentage of the American public. Yet, instead of adopting a different approach, politicians are doubling down on the failed policies of masks and lockdowns. Meanwhile, big tech companies, which are already often acting as partners of government, silence anyone who questions the official line regarding the threat of coronavirus or the effectiveness of lockdowns, masks, and vaccines.

The disastrous response to Covid is just the latest example of how those who give up liberty for safety or health will end up unfree, unsafe, and unhealthy. Instead of a Great Reset of authoritarianism, we need a great rebirth of liberty!

*EDITOR’S NOTE: We already live on a prison planet born into a system of oppression. The ruling class and elitists now want to tighten the chains so much that we’ll never be able to escape. 

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2020 Was a Snack, 2021 Is the Main Course

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog.

One of the dishes at the banquet of consequences that will surprise a great many revelers is the systemic failure of the Federal Reserve’s one-size-fits-all “solution” to every spot of bother: print another trillion dollars and give it to rapacious financiers and corporations.

Though 2020 is widely perceived as “the worst year ever,” it was only a snack. The real banquet of consequences will be served in 2021. The reason 2020 was only a snack is that systems didn’t break down in 2020. The reason 2021 is the main course is that systems will break down, and once broken, they cannot be restored.

I made the chart below to explain how systems fail and why they cannot be restored. Systems have numerous sources of potential fragility:

1. Systems can be tightly bound to other fragile systems, setting up the potential for a domino-like cascading collapse that starts with one system failure that then brings down every connected, interdependent system.

2. Systems can be hollowed out by self-interested insiders who mistakenly believe the system can survive endless looting.

3. Systems can be weakened by perverse incentives that provide strong incentives to under-invest in core functions and divert revenues to profiteering and extraction (stock buybacks, bonuses to managers, etc.)

4. Systems can appear robust to casual observers because insiders cloak the decay of function, accountability, and transparency.

5. The decline of functionality/results can be hidden by bureaucratic obscurity (accounting statements in which all the important information is buried in footnotes starting on page 217, etc.) and by complexity thickets that reduce accountability to near-zero: no one is responsible for the decay of function, accountability, and transparency.

6. Process replaces results as the Prime Directive of the system. Devoting resources to following processes rather than to getting results generates an illusion of functionality even as the ability to evolve and adapt is lost.

7. Buffers that enabled effective responses to crisis are stripped to the bone as redundancy and resilience are discounted as “hurting profits” or “needless expenses.”

8. Insiders and the public/customers wrongly assume money can solve all of these systemic frailties. But money cannot buy trust, competence, institutional depth, productive incentives, or anything else that is essential to robust, anti-fragile systems.

Americans are unprepared for the collapse of core systems. The secular faith holds that corporate ownership of core systems, centralized state control, and the relentless pursuit of infinite greed will magically manifest the best of all possible worlds because self-enrichment by any means available is what perfects systems.

Unfortunately for America, this faith has it exactly backward: self-enrichment by any means available is what hollows out and fatally weakens systems. The relentless pursuit of infinite greed (“investing” in stock buybacks, legalized looting, etc.) has destroyed the moral foundation of society and the economy: there is no civic virtue or public good left. These empty phrases cannot hide that America is a moral cesspool so corrupted by greed and self-interest that the nation can no longer even recognize its own moral dissolution.

The second graphic I prepared a decade ago depicts the lifecycle of bureaucracy which can be either private-sector or public: the initial purpose of the organization that inspired the innovators and initial managers is slowly replaced by self-interest, and those who were willing to sacrifice to serve this purpose quit in disgust or are marginalized as “threats” to self-serving insiders.

The competent leave or are forced out, leaving those of supreme incompetence in power, managers who’ve been selected for loyalty to the Prime Directive, protecting insider looting from outside interference via a mastery of public relations (“managing the narrative”) and obfuscation.

The core function of the organization becomes masking dysfunction, ossification, sclerosis, and the looting of insiders. The loss of function, accountability, and transparency are hidden from prying eyes, and whistleblowers–the most dangerous threats to self-serving insiders–are hunted down and destroyed.

It is not a coincidence that America’s “growth sectors” are corruption and public relations (“managing the narrative”) because the best way to cloak corruption and systemic failure is to manage the narrative by suppressing dissent and eradicating whistleblowers.

Unbeknownst to most Americans, many core systems are already in the first stages of collapse. No corporate sector does a better job of masking dysfunction and profiteering than healthcare, and so the collapse of healthcare systems will surprise everyone who swallowed the sector’s glossy PR.

The entire financial system is hopelessly compromised, corrupt, self-serving, and obsessed with maximizing personal gains by any means available. One of the dishes at the banquet of consequences that will surprise a great many revelers is the systemic failure of the Federal Reserve’s one-size-fits-all “solution” to every spot of bother: print another trillion dollars and give it to rapacious financiers and corporations.

I suggest dining lightly on the feast of consequences because the courses of systemic failure will continue being served the entire year. So save some appetite for the really big systemic collapses that are only now being slid into the oven.

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Top US Official Says ‘Growing Body Of Evidence’ Shows COVID-19 Leaked From Chinese Lab

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

The most ‘credible’ theory about the origin of COVID-19 is that it escaped from a Chinese laboratory, according to US National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger, who made the comment during a Zoom meeting with UK officials.

“There is a growing body of evidence that the lab is likely the most credible source of the virus,” said Pottinger, referring to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to the Daily Mail, which notes that ‘even China’s leaders openly admit their previous claims that the virus originated in a Wuhan market are false.’

Pottinger was one of the first US officials to sound the alarm at the White House over the origins of the virus in January 2020, when he initially suspected that the outbreak originated in a Chinese lab – after which Pottinger ordered US intelligence agencies to search for evidence. Good thing he kept this theory to himself or Twitter may have banned him.

Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory Party leader who attended the meeting, said Mr Pottinger’s comments represented a ‘stiffening’ of the US position on the theory that the virus came from a leak at the laboratory, amid reports that the Americans are talking to a whistleblower from the Wuhan institute.

I was told the US have an ex-scientist from the laboratory in America at the moment,’ he said. ‘That was what I heard a few weeks ago.

‘I was led to believe this is how they have been able to stiffen up their position on how this outbreak originated.’

He added that Beijing’s refusal to allow journalists to visit the laboratory only served to increase suspicion that it was ‘ground zero’ for the pandemic. ‘The truth is there are people who have been in those labs who maintain that this is the case,’ he said.

We don’t know what they have been doing in that laboratoryThey may well have been fiddling with bat coronaviruses and looking at them and they made a mistake. I’ve spoken to various people who believe that to be the case.’ –Daily Mail

“Even establishment figures in Beijing have openly dismissed the wet market story,” Pottinger told the call participants.

Meanwhile, emails obtained via public records request revealed that influential scientists have been hard at work crafting the ‘natural origin’ thesis while suggesting a lab leak as a ‘fringe conspiracy theory.’ Via USRTK.org:

*  *  *

Influential scientists and many news outlets have described the evidence as “overwhelming” that the virus originated in wildlife, not from a lab. However, a year after the first reported cases of SARS-CoV-2 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, little is known about how or where the virus originated. Understanding the origins of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19, may be crucial to preventing the next pandemic.

The emails of coronavirus expert Professor Ralph Baric – obtained through a public records request by U.S. Right to Know – show conversations between National Academy of Sciences (NAS) representatives, and experts in biosecurity and infectious diseases from U.S. universities and the EcoHealth Alliance.

On Feb. 3, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) to “convene meeting of experts… to assess what data, information, and samples are needed to address the unknowns, in order to understand the evolutionary origins of 2019-nCoV, and more effectively respond to both the outbreak and any resulting misinformation.”

Baric and other infectious disease experts were involved in drafting the response. The emails show the experts’ internal discussions and an early draft dated Feb. 4.

The early draft described “initial views of the experts” that “the available genomic data are consistent with natural evolution and that there is currently no evidence that the virus was engineered to spread more quickly among humans.” This draft sentence posed a question, in parentheses:

“[ask experts to add specifics re binding sites?]” It also included a footnote in parentheses: “[possibly add brief explanation that this does not preclude an unintentional release from a laboratory studying the evolution of related coronaviruses].”

In one email, dated Feb. 4, infectious disease expert Trevor Bedford commented:

“I wouldn’t mention binding sites here. If you start weighing evidence there’s a lot to consider for both scenarios.”

By “both scenarios,” Bedford appears to refer to lab-origin and natural-origin scenarios.

The question of binding sites is important to the debate about the origins of SARS-CoV-2. Distinctive binding sites on SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein confer “near-optimal” binding and entry of the virus into human cells and make SARS-CoV-2 more contagious than SARS-CoV. Scientists have argued that SARS-CoV-2’s unique binding sites could have originated either as a result of natural spillover in the wild or deliberate laboratory recombination of an as-yet-undisclosed natural ancestor of SARS-CoV-2.

The final letter published on Feb. 6 did not mention binding sites or the possibility of a laboratory origin. It does make clear that more information is necessary to determine the origins of SARS-CoV-2. The letter states,

“The experts informed us that additional genomic sequence data from geographically – and temporally – diverse viral samples are needed to determine the origin and evolution of the virus. Samples collected as early as possible in the outbreak in Wuhan and samples from wildlife would be particularly valuable.”

The emails show some experts discussing the need for clear language to counter what one described as “crackpot theories” of lab origin. Kristian Andersen, the lead author of an influential Nature Medicine paper asserting a natural origin of SARS-CoV-2, said:

the early draft was “great, but I do wonder if we need to be more firm on the question of engineering.

He continued,

“If one of the main purposes of this document is to counter those fringe theories, I think it’s very important that we do so strongly and in plain language…”

In his response, Baric aimed at conveying a scientific basis for SARS-CoV-2’s natural origin.

“I do think we need to say that the closest relative to this virus (96%) was identified from bats circulating in a cave in Yunnan, China. This makes a strong statement for animal origin.”

Meanwhile, 27 scientists issued a statement drafted by Daszak (who didn’t want to be identified as its author), in which they “strongly condemn[ed] conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” and reported that scientists from multiple countries “overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife.” The letter included no scientific references to refute a lab-origin theory of the virus.

One scientist, Linda Saif, asked via email whether it would be useful “to add just one or 2 statements in support of why nCOV is not a lab-generated virus and is naturally occurring? Seems critical to scientifically refute such claims!”

Daszak responded, “I think we should probably stick to a broad statement.”

Growing calls to investigate the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a potential source of SARS-CoV-2 have led to increased scrutiny of EcoHealth Alliance.

The emails show how members of EcoHealth Alliance played an early role in framing questions about the possible lab origin of SARS-CoV-2 as “crackpot theories that need to be addressed,” as Daszak told The Guardian.

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The United States Has Become A Banana Republic

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

If we continue destroying the U.S. dollar at our current pace, toilet paper will eventually be more valuable than U.S. dollars.  I know that sounds absolutely crazy, but it is true.  Once the COVID pandemic hit the United States, those that control the levers of power in this country decided to go “full Weimar” and they never looked back.

As a result, the size of our money supply is rising at a rate that would have been unimaginable just a few short years ago.  To illustrate what I am talking about, I would like for you to check out this chart that was posted on Twitter by James Turk.  As you can see, M1 was up by more than 50 percent in 2020.

We’ve never had a year like that in all of U.S. history.  What we are doing is literally insane, but most Americans aren’t even aware of what is happening because the mainstream media isn’t talking about it.

If you are not familiar with “M1”, here is a definition that comes from Investopedia

M1 is the money supply that is composed of physical currency and coin, demand deposits, travelers’ checks, other checkable deposits, and negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) accounts. M1 includes the most liquid portions of the money supply because it contains currency and assets that either are or can be quickly converted to cash. However, “near money” and “near, near money,” which fall under M2 and M3, cannot be converted to currency as quickly.

When new money enters the system, every dollar that you are currently holding becomes less valuable.

And if your paycheck does not rise at the same rate that the money supply is rising, that means that your paycheck becomes less valuable as well.

It is helpful to think of our money system as a pie.  When more dollars are added to the pie, your share of the pie steadily becomes smaller.

So who does benefit when the pie is expanded?

The ultra-wealthy do, and I will discuss that more below.

But first, I wanted to share another chart with you.  The first chart from James Turk showed how M1 has been rising on a percentage basis, and this next chart which comes directly from the Federal Reserve shows how M1 has been rising on an absolute basis…

Just look at that for a moment.

It truly is breathtaking.  M1 has literally been rising at almost a vertical rate, and it makes all of the inflation that has come before look almost meaningless.

This is why the stock market keeps hitting record high after record high.  Stocks started to crash when COVID first started to spread in the United States, and the Federal Reserve decided to do whatever was necessary to rescue the markets.  The “unprecedented” response that we witnessed ended up being “a key driver of billionaire wealth” in 2020…

A key driver of billionaire wealth concentration was the unprecedented monetary policy response to stabilize financial markets in the early days of the pandemic, which spurred the stock market’s gravity-defying rise. When Wall Street was on the verge of panic in March, the Federal Reserve intervened with the promise of low rates and an open-ended liquidity spigot.

In addition, Congress just kept passing “stimulus package” after “stimulus package” in a desperate attempt to “rescue” the economy.

But in the process, they borrowed and spent trillions of dollars that we did not have, and that also helped to fuel our transition into hyperinflation.

The good news is that hyperinflation is not showing up at the grocery store or at Walmart yet.  Eventually, it will happen, but so far consumer prices are just rising at a pace that is quite a bit brisker than usual.  Where we are seeing hyperinflation is in stock prices, high-end real estate in rural and suburban areas, and in other areas of the economy that the ultra-wealthy have been pouring their money into.

Despite the fact that we just endured one of the worst economic years in U.S. history, 2020 was actually a banner year for billionaires

Between roughly mid-March and Dec. 22, the United States gained 56 new billionaires, according to the Institute for Policy Studies, bringing the total to 659. The wealth held by that small cadre of Americans has jumped by more than $1 trillion in the months since the pandemic began.

According to a December report issued jointly by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies using data compiled by Forbes, America’s billionaires hold roughly $4 trillion in wealth — a figure roughly double what the 165 million poorest Americans are collectively worth. The 10 richest billionaires have a combined net worth of more than $1 trillion.

Last year the rich got a whole lot richer, and the poor got a whole lot poorer.

As I discussed the other day, 2020 was a “personal financial disaster” for 55 percent of all Americans.  The year ended with close to 20 million Americans still receiving government unemployment benefits, and poverty and homelessness have been exploding all around us.

In some cases, people were waiting in lines that were up to 12 hours long just to get a couple of bags of groceries at food banks around the nation.  We haven’t seen anything like this since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and many are expecting things to get even worse in 2021.

And with each passing day, more businesses are closing and more Americans are being laid off.

The retail sector has been hit particularly hard.  The following comes from Axios

Malls are going belly up. Familiar names like J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew have filed for bankruptcy. Increasingly, Americans’ shopping choices will boil down to a handful of internet Everything Stores and survival-of-the-fittest national chains.

And what we have experienced so far is just the tip of the iceberg.  One recent report projected that “100,000 brick-and-mortar U.S. retail stores will close by 2025”

A research report from UBS predicts that 100,000 brick-and-mortar U.S. retail stores will close by 2025, in a trend that started before the pandemic and has accelerated amid coronavirus-related shutdowns.

Our national landscape is already littered with abandoned stores and restaurants, and they are telling us that it is only going to get worse.

What is our country going to look like as this process plays out?

Of course our authorities will just respond to every new crisis by printing even more money.

That is what they did down in Venezuela, and now just about everyone in Venezuela is a millionaire.

But most of those “millionaires” are living in crushing poverty because the money is absolutely worthless.

Sadly, many other countries are doing the same thing that the U.S. is doing, and so this hyperinflationary spiral is not likely to end any time soon.

But let there be no doubt that we are also in a global economic depression.  Global GDP is about 8 percent lower than it was before the pandemic started, and the outlook for 2021 does not look promising at all.

If you think that there is a way for this economic story to end well, just go back and look at the M1 chart from the Federal Reserve one more time.

Every other time this has been tried in human history, the story has ended badly.

Our story is going to end badly too, and every American needs to get prepared to survive in a very painful hyperinflationary environment.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

 

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2020 Ends With Around 20 Million Americans Still On Jobless Benefits

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

The total number of Americans on government unemployment benefits ended in 2020 just below 20 million. 2019 ended with just 2 million on jobless claims…

Source: Bloomberg

Initial claims dropped on the week, back below 800k (787k vs 835k exp and 806k prior)..

Source: Bloomberg

After big drops last week, California (and New York) top the states with the biggest increase in jobless claims (as lockdowns accelerated), while Illinois and Pennsylvania topped the biggest improvers (though Illinois’ plunge seems like a huge outlier)

Continuing claims continue to slide as Pandemic Emergency Claims rise (and thanks to the latest COVID Relief Bill, will be extended)…

Source: Bloomberg

Let’s hope 2021 gets better…

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Covid “Mutation” Stories Show That The Lockdowns Are Designed To Last Forever

This article was originally published by Brandon Smith at Alt-Market.us. 

For many months now I have been warning that the design behind the pandemic lockdowns is a perpetual one; meaning, the lockdowns are MEANT to last forever. We can see this in the very commentary of the establishment elites that are pushing for the mandates; their most frequent argument being that the pandemic restrictions are the “new normal”. This assertion is outlined by globalists like Gideon Lichfield of MIT in his article ‘We’re Not Going Back To Normal’. In it he states:

“Ultimately, however, I predict that we’ll restore the ability to socialize safely by developing more sophisticated ways to identify who is a disease risk and who isn’t, and discriminating—legally—against those who are.

…one can imagine a world in which, to get on a flight, perhaps you’ll have to be signed up to a service that tracks your movements via your phone. The airline wouldn’t be able to see where you’d gone, but it would get an alert if you’d been close to known infected people or disease hot spots. There’d be similar requirements at the entrance to large venues, government buildings, or public transport hubs. There would be temperature scanners everywhere, and your workplace might demand you wear a monitor that tracks your temperature or other vital signs. Where nightclubs ask for proof of age, in future they might ask for proof of immunity—an identity card or some kind of digital verification via your phone, showing you’ve already recovered from or been vaccinated against the latest virus strains.”

In my article ‘Waves Of Mutilation: Medical Tyranny And The Cashless Society’, I dismantled Lichfield’s arguments and outlined why the controls the establishment is attempting to put in place have been planned far in advance. The so-called “great reset” and “Fourth Industrial Revolution” has been in development since at least 2014 when the terms were first being injected into the mainstream economic media. The ideas of a cashless society, the “sharing economy”, biometric mass surveillance, social credit scores, etc, have all been part of the globalist agenda for decades. The coronavirus is merely a useful crisis for them to exploit as a rationale for the draconian measures they have always wanted.

The plan was so predictable that I even pointed out at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak that lockdowns would not end even if a working vaccination was developed because all they have to do is declare that a “new mutation” of the virus has been found which is resistant to existing treatments. Or, they could engineer a whole new virus and release it into the population in order to keep the Reset machine rolling forward.

Not surprisingly, just as news hit the wires that the barely tested and highly suspect Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were being released to the public, reports have begun to trickle in of “more infectious” Covid mutations found in places like the UK, India, and South Africa.

I’m not sure how much more transparent the elites can get.

Take the Pfizer vaccine now and you might receive an immunity passport for a few months, and then it will become void with every new mutation of the virus. So, you must then submit to ENDLESS vaccinations, many of them untested and potentially hazardous. As the former VP of Pfizer and other medical professionals have warned, these vaccines are like Russian Roulette and could cause an autoimmune response that leads to sterility or other harmful reactions.

The vaccines themselves are a conveniently short-lived solution even if they do work. They require multiple doses over the course of a month, and renewed vaccinations are to take place possibly every few months. Basically, it never ends. With the mutations and limited antibodies from the vaccines, the elites could keep the lockdowns and mandates in place for many years to come.

The World Health Organization is making it clear that vaccination will not necessarily be considered a solution to viral spread. Meaning, even if you are vaccinated you will still be considered a potential carrier and transmitter of Covid, therefore the lockdowns and mask mandates will not stop. This begs the question – What’s the point of the vaccine?

The WHO chief scientist cites the fact that there is not enough evidence to prove that the vaccines prevent transmission. By that logic, we could also argue that there is no evidence that the vaccines are 95% effective, or that they are safe in the slightest.

In the meantime, the WHO and our friendly neighborhood fascist Dr. Anthony Fauci are consistently spreading the narrative that the “worst outbreak” is yet to come. Gotta keep that fear train chugging forward on the track to the “Great Reset”, right?

For the people that actually believe that the covid crisis will end after mass vaccinations, I’m sorry to say, but you have been duped. Every single element of the establishment response and every public statement they make indicates that they plan to violate your civil liberties for a long time to come. Those promises of relief right around the corner? All lies. The claim that if you go along to get along everything will go back to normal? It’s a con. It is hollow rhetoric designed to make you shut up and submit to medical tyranny for just long enough that it becomes irreversible.

I suspect they are hoping they can condition the public over the next few years to simply adapt to the controls until we forget what life was like before the pandemic and the reset. It seems, however, that the globalist reset plan is not going very well.

The vaccines and the mutation news feel rushed, to say the least. Initially, the establishment said that it would take at least 18 months just to develop a vaccine for trials and testing, and that the lockdowns would continue well beyond that time frame until a majority of the population was shown to have immunity. Instead, they tossed out multiple vaccines within 6 months and the mutation narrative is already in the news.

I believe this is because resistance to the pandemic lockdowns is growing and the number of people refusing to take the vaccines appears to be high. As they say, the revolution will not be televised, but it is still impossible to hide completely.

In Europe, a huge percentage of the population (around 50% or more depending on the country) are hesitant to take the vaccine. In the US, polls show that at least 30% of the population will refuse outright, while 60% of people are hesitant about effectiveness.

Even large numbers of health care workers are refusing the vaccine, and these are the people with the most pressure to submit or face consequences.

Hilariously, the media is arguing that though there have been “some allergic reactions” to the shot, there is “no evidence of serious long term side effects”. Perhaps that is because there are NO STUDIES of the long-term effects and there were minimal trials before the vaccines were released? I mean, is this not basic logic? Do they really think we are that dumb?

So far it seems hundreds of millions of people are not that dumb. Surprisingly, even sheriffs and police across the country are openly refusing to enforce mandates and carry out color-of-law punishments against citizens that do not submit. This is really a huge obstacle for the globalists and their reset.

The virus has produced a 0.26% IFR (Infection Fatality Ratio) among anyone not in a nursing home with preexisting conditions. Over 40% of Covid deaths are attributed to elderly people that were already suffering from numerous ailments. Only around 10% of people that end up hospitalized for covid suffer from long term health concerns (more than three months). And, only around 15% of ICU beds are in use across the US, meaning that the claims of over-capacity and full hospitals were nothing more than fear-mongering all along.

Consider the fact that hundreds of thousands of people already die each year from infectious diseases like the flu and pneumonia and Covid starts to seem far less threatening. It is certainly not an excuse for medical lockdowns and Orwellian contact tracing measures.

On top of that, numerous studies are revealing that the lockdowns and the masks are completely ineffective in stopping the spread of the virus. The states and countries with some of the most strictly enforced mandates also tend to be the places with the highest infection spikes.

Because of this, it makes sense that many people are refusing to comply with the mandates. The media claims we are conspiracy theorists that believe the virus “doesn’t exist”; this is not the case. In fact, I have long suspected that the narrative that the virus “doesn’t exist” was a psyop or strawman that would be used against the liberty movement later to discredit our resistance to medical lockdowns.

Most of us are well aware the virus exists. Some of us have already dealt with it and recovered from it. What we are saying is that the CDC, the WHO, and the medical community’s OWN STATISTICS show that Covid is not a threat to more than 99% of the population. If we are to accept their stats as even remotely accurate, then Covid becomes a non-issue for most people.

Again, I will ask the question that the mainstream refuses to ask:

Why is 99% of the population being told they must sacrifice their jobs, their businesses, and their liberties in the name of making less than 1% of the population feel safer? Why not ask the 0.26% of the people under threat from the virus to volunteer to stay home so that the rest of us can get on with normal life? Why are we doing the opposite of what makes the most sense?

The answer is that the pandemic response is about dominance, not public health. People are starting to recognize this, and they are about to revolt.

So, the next logical step for the establishment if they really want to institute their reset agenda is to introduce a new threat. Meaning, they need a “mutation” of the virus or a completely new virus in order to create the kind of fear that is required to manipulate the public into going along with further control.

Will a new and deadlier virus be found? Maybe. In most cases, viruses tend to evolve into less deadly strains of the original. They also tend to balance out their rate of spread versus their rate of mortality. In other words, like any other creature, viruses evolve to survive, and a virus cannot survive if it kills off a majority of its potential hosts. So, they mutate to become more infectious, but invariably less deadly.

If a “mutation” does show up on the scene that is more deadly than the current form of Covid-19, then I would be highly suspicious of its origins. What is most likely is that that the elites are in a panic and they are using the mutation narrative as a propaganda tool to illicit terror and conformity in the public. There may be no mutation at all, or the mutations will have no significant bearing on the death rate.

Ironically, by rushing out the vaccines as well as the mutation stories, the elites have sabotaged themselves. They wanted to blitzkrieg the public with the lockdowns and they met heavier resistance than they expected. So, they put the vaccination program on a bullet train, and now the public is wary of being injected with a vaccine model that is barely tested. Now, they are promoting the mutation bogeyman and this only makes people question why they should take any vaccine at all? If the virus is going to continually mutate then why take a questionable vaccine that could be useless in a matter of months?

All the mutation narrative does is further expose what the true agenda is – What the elites want is never-ending lockdowns. There is no program to save lives or flatten the curve. The entire health argument is utter nonsense. Nothing that has been done so far supports the notion that public health is the priority. Instead, what we are seeing is a mad dash towards totalitarianism using Covid as the excuse, and the effort is failing.

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The Rich Got Richer During COVID-19. Here’s How American Billionaires Performed

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

We’ve all been affected by the pandemic-induced mayhem of 2020. But, as Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang noteswhen it comes to finances, some have fared far better than others.

While job loss persists for Americans making less than $20 an hour, the rich have gotten richer. More specifically, the most wealthy American billionaires have seen their net worth bounce back dramatically, thanks to strong stock market performance.

Here’s a look at who’s gotten richer since the market bottom in March 2020, and just how much their net worth has increased since then:

Billionaire Net Worth Growth in 2020

Between March’s market bottom and December 2020, the billionaires included on this list grew their wealth by 57% on average. Interestingly, that’s about 10 percentage points higher than the overall growth of the S&P 500 index during the same time period.

Elon Musk saw the highest increase during this period, with a $129 billion boost in net worth—that’s a whopping 523% in gains.

This makes sense considering the year Musk has had. Tesla’s market value has skyrocketed throughout 2020, and SpaceX’s long-term valuation doubled after making some monumental strides in the private space industry.

Jeff Bezos saw the second-highest growth in net worth with a $74 billion increase. This isn’t surprising, given that Amazon’s stock price has climbed 69% since the beginning of 2020.

But Amazon hasn’t been the only company to benefit from the accelerated e-commerce market—other retailers, like Nike, have also seen a significant boost in online sales this year as well.

Billionaire Wealth, in General, is Up

It’s not just the billionaires on this list that have increased their wealth. In fact, during the pandemic, billionaire wealth on average has increased 27% worldwide. Growth has been exceptionally strong in tech and healthcare.

Will things level out post-pandemic, or will the wealth gap continue to grow?

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