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Our goal is to inject facts into debates that are too often dominated by opinion and feelings. These natural human traits get in the way of ...

Thursday, May 28, 2020

TRUMP WEAPONIZES CORONAVIRUS AND RELEASES IT ON HIS OWN CULT FOLLOWING.

The virus has NOT been modified or lab created, nor has it been concentrated or redistributed. Trump
and FOX#### have though, dampened down the science and understanding of the virus and the pandemic to the point where their following almost gleefully put themselves in danger in a way they would not if they were given proper information. The motive is hard to understand. Do they completely take for granted the loyalty of the millions of people following them, that they are willing to sacrifice themselves and their families to prove a point, that is false on its face?

Millions of Americans,  primarily Trump supporters crammed into bars, onto beaches and tourist sites this holiday weekend. People are understandably eager for some sense of what we have all come to know as normal life. Through crafted messaging though,  these people are being misinformed that this event is rather on the way to being finished or never really was all that bad, 100,000 deaths be damnd. In doing this the Trump Administration is politicizing and weaponizing the pandemic response. 

The irony in all of this, the weaponized response is being aimed with laser-guided precision on Trump's own power base. It seems ironic, but it could also be exactly to plan. It has always been unclear who in the Trump Administration is calling the shots. As cases in the south continue to rise and hospital capacity falls will the willing followers finally being to look at the reality around them and compare it to the stream of lies and misinformation from Trump, FOX#### and AON? The people are dying and sooner or later have to draw the conclusion that the picture they are being asked to believe isn't the same as where they are.
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Any way you look at things in the USA right now there is a single common DESTABILIZED reality, growing harsher and harsher, day by day. The every day running of America is more unstable every day. We all know who benefits most from this reality, and it seems certain that Trump will continue to weaponize this situation as long as Putin continues to work on his campaign from the back rooms.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

TROUBLE FOR CHINA, AS THE WORLD NOW KNOWS THERE CAN'T BE ONE SUPPLIER OF EVERYTHING.

As the world was getting settled into the system of almost everything being made in China, COVID-19 sends a wakeup. There can't be just one central hub for manufacturing, no matter how convenient or enriching. The ramifications of this are enormous economically and geopolitically. 

China has long sought a position of global influence more in line with being not only the largest nation by population but also being able to track its national story for millennia. As the world's one stop shop for almost everything manufactured they were looking at, soon, being able to assume that mantle. Economic power has been shifting toward China as the market for cheap consumer goods turned their capacity for production and lower labour cost into a siren call to western corporations eager to sell high volumes, repeatedly to consumers eager for the low cost and throw away convenience. China also offered a means of moving production away from, in particular, North American production facilities in favor of the lower cost, lower regulated Chinese environment. COVID-19 has exposed the problems with focusing too much reliance on one economy for the production of what would become essential supplies.

There is malice being expressed as a result of the emergence of COVID-19 out of mainland China, but it is at best uninformed, and, also, unfortunately, it comes as faux blaming for political cover, by the always faux, Trump Administration. The reality is its a system that is not workable, globally. The truth is we can't have manufacturing capacity all tied to one country, or region for that matter because some supplies can't be interrupted. 

Malicious or not, the necessary reduction of reliance on China for all things manufactured has the same effect on China. A reduction of its global power just as it was about to assume the mantle of a true global superpower. There is going to be frustration and true angst in the power lines in China as its economic outlook changes. How well it adjusts will depend on the ambitions of the leadership and the attitudes of the world around us. 

If we turn to an atmosphere of blame and politically convenient bashing, the capacity that exists can be quickly turned to arming a hostile cornered feeling China. The world, by necessity will be a different place as a result of COVID-19. What that difference looks like, is up to all of us to craft.

Friday, May 15, 2020

WHAT'S HAPPENING TO THE ECONOMY ISN'T A DOWN TURN.

There is a lot of talk and concern about a depression or recession associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is not the reality of the current situation.  As I said in a tweet, calling this a down turn is like calling Hurricane Katrina a housing shortage. This disaster is blowing the economy over, but that is not the primary issue. The primary issue is 10s of thousands, to hundreds of thousands of Americans dying. While the hurricane is still blowing is no time to send out some kid to start the coffee and put out the donuts for the morning rush.

There should be a simple common sense path forward. First you deal with the disaster, then you worry about the financial impact. Note, the word simple does not mean the same as easy. The game of Golf is simple, get the little ball into the hole in as few shots as possible. The simple goal is not easy.
This pandemic is a hurricane of a disease causing virus. As long as they are circulating there is going to be infections, illness and death. There are other illnesses out there causing sickness and death, but the Coronavirus causing COVID-19, according to qualified experts, is unique in its ability to spread and its wide range of targets then it attacks the human body.  It comes from a family of viruses that include most if not all strains of the common cold. The family also contains the SARS virus, which this one, by my reading at least, is most directly related to.

By my non-expert understanding, one of the differences between this and the SARS outbreak of earlier this century was the severity of illness. SARS didn't have a range of illnesses, to say, if you caught SARS you became very sick, period. (There were a very few exceptions) So it was relatively easy to contain. If you had it, you were in the hospital, likely ICU, you weren't in the grocery store sneezing on a shopping cart. That is not the case today. People have a wide range of illnesses from deadly, to zero symptoms at all. The zero group is what makes this one so hard to control. People with zero symptoms are able to infect large numbers of people around them and not know its happening.  Many of those people will get ill, some will die, others will without symptoms be new spreaders. THAT is the howling pandemic wind blowing down the economy.

As in a hurricane we should not, cannot, ask people to risk the howling wind for non essential purposes to keep money moving. No one needs to go bowling in a howling hurricane and no one needs to go bowling in howling pandemic. First things first, deal with the disaster we have little control over, THEN we can deal with the new economic reality without turning the pandemic into a much deeper crisis than it already is. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

TRUMP'S REALITY CAN'T CHANGE NATURE'S

As the reality of the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to descend on to the White House and its staff it is becoming clear that Trump's reality can't avoid it. This, though, doesn't mean that he will accept what is happening, literally in his own back yard. 

The deaths of over 80,000 American citizens to this pandemic has not phased him and there is no let up in sight. There can't be a let up without definitive action from his administration, and he clearly has little interest in that. Unable to field questions from a press conference on the Rose Garden and constant tweeting about Obama make it clear that Donald Trump is out of the game.

Testing in America remains a shambles everywhere but the White House. Now that there is an increasing number of staffers testing positive for the virus there is no shortage of kits and supplies for tests there. The other place testing is supplied and run well is in Donald Trump's immigration. As is required, the staff and others around him are seeing and propagating the Trump Testing Myth. The reality on the ground, reported by the front line workers is vastly different. There is nothing shocking about disconnect between the real world and Trump's reality. Trump sold his image effectively for years in an environment where the "behind the scenes" reality really was behind the scenes and you could choose what happened in front of the audience.  The presidency isn't supposed to work that way; que Mitch McConnell. 

Somewhere there has to be a breakthrough in reality, but with the GOP enabling Trump's fantasy it seems sadly unlikely. 

Monday, May 11, 2020

NEARING 160 THOUSAND AND COUNTING. STOP REPEATING THE LIES

This blog started off as fact-checking and presenting factual information in a way that I hoped people would understand. I soon acknowledged the resources involved were too great. People needed to understand what was happening to them and that they were being fooled. Pieces talked about trying to understand how you can be manipulated, like "Are You Being Informed Or Inflamed". Discussing how emotion is used to override your critical thinking and make you feel a certain way about an issue instead of knowing about it and then making up your own mind about how you feel. We discussed recognizing bias and opinion as opposed to facts in something you are reading, We've asked the question, "Does Donald Trump Lie?", or is he just relating what he sees from a point of view that is not based in the reality we all live in.

 It has also been raised on this blog that we should not be repeating Donald Trump's lies and views over and over again to "fact-check" them because that is not what we are really doing. When we do this we are click-baiting to try and get clicks from people trying to feed on our collective rage against Trump. It is purely a money making ploy, and it further distributes his messages of division and hate. We have watched over time as the handlers and manipulators behind the scene have been tearing down the institutions that protect the United States from sliding into dictatorship, and therefore protect the world from having a dictator with the power of the American military and nuclear forces wondering what their long term game is. Are they colluding with a foreign power or clearing the way for a future autocrat to ascend to power using the doors that are being left open now. It's a scary time, without the pandemic, but the pandemic has laid bare the urgency of the moment in immediate terms. What is taking place around the botched response to the real and immediate crisis of COVID-19 in the states is undeniable. It stark and immediate terms, the actions of the White House is directly costing the lives of 10 of thousands of Americans. The world has become accustomed to, maybe too much so, American leadership in times like these. Her might, ingenuity and sheer power have helped guide, or even just push the international community through some tough times. What is going on, now. will seemingly drag us down for far longer than what may be needed.

To be clear and upfront, this blog is located outside the United States, but only the most naive look at American politics and believes its influence is restricted to the borders of the USA. We all have a stake in what goes on in Washington, as did the rest of the world have a stake in what was going on in Berlin Germany in the 1930s. With this in mind, it seems like it is time to become a little more offensive in the approach. Launching a few twitter missiles at this guy, to change a few minds is now in order. To be clear, no misinformation. Just putting some truths out there in a way that may get some attention, MAY open a few minds.