I hope that all of you are doing well. COVID-Fatigue is on the way to being classed as a bonafide psychiatric condition, so please take care of yourself. I think we could equally say that Trump-Fatigue is an actual mental condition (and Trump-support should be classified as malignant and deadly).
Before we get into that though…check out this incredibly positive letter from the CEO of the Japanese corporation SOMPO about the challenges we face and how we need to come together to create a better world and a new way of doing business that is focused on the happiness of people, society, and planet.
Okay…I hope you read that and feel positive because this is all about to get very dark. If you can’t handle that just skip to the bottom for some very cool and hopeful links.
Here’s another vaccine of positivity - quick look at this before you go further.
I want to reiterate - I’m not a religionist and I don’t call Trump the Antichrist in some sort of biblical sense. I just recognize that he might be the worst human to walk the earth since Idi Amin or Adolf Hitler. He’s that horrible. I’m not sure he does it on purpose, I think it’s just a matter of who he is. I know, there have been lots of other terrible people in our time - but he’s the only one who I actively see trying to destroy the country I live in, turn people against each other, start a race war, and actively kill people by neglecting to lead the country he presides over during a pandemic. So he holds a special place as a hellish incarnation in my mind.
Donald Trump does not intend to let the United States survive as a democracy. Just yesterday, he fired Christopher Krebs, the head of Cybersecurity because he succeeded in running a fair election without interference. This goes in the face of Trump’s lies that the election was rigged. Yet another Trump sycophant this week claimed that they are moving forward under the operating assumption that there will be a second term of Trump, this time U.S. Trade Representative Peter Navarro. And the Trump purges of non-loyalists have now extended to Department of Homeland Security with two more firings last Friday. Late in the day it has been reported that the director of the CIA, Gina Haspel has been left out of key intelligence meetings…WTF?
At the very least it is hopeful that this slip indicates he knows Biden won. But it’s a slim thing to pin hope on. On Sunday, following the absurd Million MAGA march which had an attendance estimated at under 10,000 though the Trumplestiltskin and his people claimed more than a million (that’s like telling people straw is gold - a new version of the Emperor’s clothes). Check out this exchange from reporting by The Washington Post:
Near the Supreme Court, a line of riot police stood facing a few dozen protesters resting homemade shields on the ground as a MAGA throng chanted and churned behind them.
“F--- antifa!” they shouted in unison.
“Who’s antifa?” one Trump supporter wondered.
“I don’t know,” another responded. “But they don’t like her!”
This article from the week was both disturbing and comforting in seeing that my views on this matter are not entirely out there.
…the kind of person who delights in wreaking havoc, who acts entirely from his own interests, and whose interests are incompatible with received norms, standards, restraints, and laws. Someone who actively seeks to inspire anger and animus, who likes nothing more than provoking conflict all around him, both to create advantages for himself and because pulling everyone around him down to his own ignoble level soothes his nagging worry that someone, somewhere might be more widely admired. This is a person who lives for adulation without regard for whether the glory is earned. The louder the cheers, the better. That's all that counts. And so the only thing that's a threat is the prospect of the cheers going silent — of someone else rightfully winning the contest for public approval.
Donald Trump is the demon in American democracy.
Trump’s Pandemic which is what I think we should call COVID-19 is a disaster for the world but mostly for the United States - I update those numbers weekly here.
I have friends who think I am alarmist. I may be… but these folks would have called me alarmist as well - and, well, we all know how that worked out.
"And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.
"But your friends are fewer now. Some have drifted off somewhere or submerged themselves in their work. You no longer see as many as you did at meetings or gatherings. Informal groups become smaller; attendance drops off in little organizations, and the organizations themselves wither. Now, in small gatherings of your oldest friends, you feel that you are talking to yourselves, that you are isolated from the reality of things. This weakens your confidence still further and serves as a further deterrent to—to what? It is clearer all the time that, if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it, and then you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.
"But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.
"And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.
Enough of that for now…here’s something else to be alarmed about….the big companies - Apple, Google, Facebook - they know when you are working, where you are working, what apps and programs you are using and more. In fact, they can choose to shut you down on your own device if they want to -
But don’t worry…I’m not through with the anxiety provokers yet…
The link above leads to an amazingly good article. I don’t really believe it, because I’m an optimist…but things aren’t really looking very promising at the moment.
Finally, I wrote some time ago about how all Americans are now mentally ill - it was a little tongue in cheek, but with this new research - it turns out that we are well on our way there with the Covid-19 epidemic
If I’ve freaked you out with the Trump and Trump Virus stuff, maybe there is no reason to be freaked after all because they’ve put Creepy Giuliani in charge and he is sinking the Trump ship as fast as he can.
And …here is one more thing to worry about - but a super interesting thing:
NOW for the POSITIVE STUFF
Now, let’s look at some positive stuff - the effect of putting homeless people into tourist hotels - mind you - there are people who resent this - but read this article, listen to the voices of the homeless men and women - and imagine a world where every human life was treated with dignity and a right to exist.
And…here is a fairly positive way to change the way you are feeling about the world.
Or, personally…this is more of the model I want to see…Mutual Aid Networks.
Here is some of what I enjoyed reading this week:
The 15-minute City See what the socialist mayor of Paris and the urban planners in Portland and Detroit have in common. The future can be awesome if we let it be.
“The defining question of our age is not whether we can achieve the impossibility of sustaining more than nine billion people on a western industrial model of development, but how to deliver prosperous lives for the global population within the regenerative biocapacity of one planet.”
It’s a long read, but this gem alone makes it worthwhile:
Economic growth becomes uneconomic growth.
The UN defines uneconomic growth as:
jobless growth, where the economy grows, but does not expand opportunities for employment;
ruthless growth, where the proceeds of economic growth mostly benefit the rich;
voiceless growth, where economic growth is not accompanied by extension of democracy or empowerment;
rootless growth, where economic growth squashes people’s cultural identity; and
futureless growth, where the present generation squanders resources needed by future generations
I mean seriously…
“For the world as a whole, the growth model is no longer safe – we are already in overshoot.”
I love manifestos - The Disco Manifesto has almost nothing to do with Disco music but almost everything to do with Distributed Cooperative Organizations.