The Devil In The Machine: One In 10 Computers In America Now Houses Some Type Of Evil Spirit

Do you have trouble with your computer? Does is freeze or shut down at the most inopportune times? Does it go haywire suddenly or arbitrarily erase important data for no reason? Does it vomit forth long dead languages in a deep, growling voice? If so, then you may have a serious problem. According to some reports, your computer or even your smartphone may actually be possessed by an evil spirit.

Demonic possession is a very well-documented phenomenon among human beings, and has been for centuries, but what of modern devices such as computers and smartphones? Can these machines serve as some sort of conduit for evil forces? One person who would say yes to that is a Reverend Jim Peasboro, of Savannah, Georgia, in the United States, who has spent a lot of time denouncing how computers are powerful tools of the Devil for corrupting our souls. So far, so standard, but Peasboro goes beyond just using the Devil working through computers as a metaphor for their bad influence on our youth, and rather seems to believe that demonic forces can literally possess computers.

Peasboro has written a whole book on this, called The Devil in the Machine: Is Your Computer Possessed by a Demon?, in which he outlines his belief that possession by demons can be experienced by anything with a mind, including humans, animals, and even the processor of your computer. According to Peasboro, “Any PC built after 1985 has the storage capacity to house an evil spirit,” with storage capacity seeming to make a difference, and he asserts that “one in 10 computers in America now houses some type of evil spirit.” He seems to take this all quite literally, and claims that these malicious spirits are responsible for seeping through our screens to exert their influence, which has led to much of the crime and gun violence among young people seen in the country. As to other effects of these malevolent cyber-demons he says:

I learned that many members of my congregation became in touch with a dark force whenever they used their computers. Decent, happily married family men were drawn irresistibly to pornographic websites and forced to witness unspeakable abominations. Housewives who had never expressed an impure thought were entering Internet chat rooms and found themselves spewing foul, debasing language they would never use normally…One woman wept as she confessed to me, ‘I feel when I’m on the computer as if someone else or something else just takes over.’

Surely this seems like it still must be just talking in metaphor. After all, the Internet can indeed be a scary, lawless badland where terrible people do terrible things, we get that, but Peasboro truly seems to think that it is not just the barrage of impure images and the limitless new opportunities to be exposed to violence and pornography online, but rather actual supernatural demons worming their way into our technology to reach out into us. The most bizarre story he tells is of coming face to face with one of these demons while inspecting a computer that was suspected of being possessed. He would say of the experience:

The program began talking directly to me, openly mocked me. It typed out, ‘Preacher, you are a weakling and your God is a damn liar.’ Then the device went haywire and started printing out what looked like gobbledygook…I later had an expert in dead languages examine the text. It turned out to be a stream of obscenities written in a 2,800-year-old Mesopotamian dialect!

Well, that seems like it’s definitely not your typical computer virus. If your computer starts berating you and spewing forth ancient Mesopotamian, then you probably have a bigger problem than just using Windows 10. You may be thinking about what you can do if that is the case, and Peasboro has the answer for you on that, saying that if you suspect that your computer is possessed by the Devil then all you have to do is consult a clergyman, or if that doesn’t work he says “Technicians can replace the hard drive and reinstall the software, getting rid of the wicked spirit permanently.” Hope you have that warranty handy.

Don’t just take Paesboro’s word for it all, though. There are some other pretty spooky cases out there that seem to point to real demons actually lashing out and pushing through our computer screens, and one weird account comes from a poster on the site dreamsofdunamis, who says that as she was surfing the net one evening she came across a car ad that was filled with what seemed to be sinister and cryptic Illuminati symbolism. As she scrolled down, she found more creepy symbols and a line of spectral black and white figures, and that at that point she claims to have actually felt a demon physically leap out from the screen and actually pass through her. This is all strange enough as it is, but whatever presence had come through the computer had apparently gone on to prowl around the house, as her son soon came into the room complaining of having been woken up and attacked by some sort of terrifying entity. She said of what happened next:

It sounded just like the black and white ghostly picture that I had just seen on that web page just moments before. The symbols were the same, so I knew it had to have come from that site.

As I apologized to my child, I realized that I may have to stop surfing the web late at night, for I did not want to disturb my kids sleep like this any more.

I shared this with my child, and told him that as soon as I had sensed the demon come through the screen, I cast it out in the name of Jesus, exited the page, and closed up the computer. I was surprised that the demon did not leave once it had been cast out. I was also surprised (and a bit frustrated,) that the demon attacking him was almost instantaneous; there was no pause or time elapse from when it went through my computer screen to when it entered into my child’s bedroom to attack him.

My child then reminded me, that the demon that I had cast out had probably left, but there were numerous demons that could come through just one demonic doorway. And in this case, viewing the photo was the doorway into our house.

She then goes on to speculate that the demon had come through the image on her computer, and that others might have entered her house as well. This caused her to go about praying to cast out any residual demonic forces lurking within the home. As they did this she claims to have heard a startling, loud noise like something wet hitting the floor nearby, and they looked to see a shadowy figure about 4 feet in height and possessing wings, which crouched there for a moment before screaming as if in pain and falling backwards to seemingly phase right through the wall. She goes on to claim that her family has been attacked on several occasions by such supernatural forces coming through their computer screen or even TV. She says of this:

Our first encounter with demons coming out of computer and TV screens, happened several years ago, when one of my kids had clicked on a video that promised the viewer a glimpse of a real alien. We were all sitting there at the kitchen table, with the kids doing their school work, and this one kid had finished early, so as a reward, I told him he could use the computer while he waited for the rest of the kids to finish.

Well, most of the youtube video that he had decided to view, was silent and dark, which caused one to lean in closer to the computer screen, to see if you could see anything. Suddenly, a drawing of an alien’s face flashed upon the screen, and a loud roar came from the speakers, and as everyone there at the table turned to look at the computer screen, a large black ghost-like hook, (reminiscent of Peter Pan’s Captain Hook, but very very black and wraith-like,) reached out through the computer screen and tried to stab itself into my child’s forehead. It glanced off the surface of his skin, and then gave an even louder roar of frustration, once it realized it had failed in its attack. The claw then evaporated back into the computer screen. Laughter was then heard coming from the video, as the perps laughed out loud at their supposed joke.

As you can imagine, we were all left quite shaken, after seeing such a thing. It was a lesson none of us have forgotten!

She blames this on Satanists posting images and videos with magical spells attached to them to facilitate the entry of demons into our world, and claims these show up on any site that attempts to cast light into the world of the unknown (like, say, the one you are reading right now). She goes on to give this warning:

So I share this testimony with you, in the hopes that those among you who have children, especially young ones, will be extra careful in what you watch or view, especially in the nighttime hours. Keep in mind the doorways that can be formed through the viewing of evil photos, pictures, or videos. Cast out all the demons that may have come through the TV or computer screen, after viewing those questionable items. If you have someone who refuses to curtail their nighttime viewing, then increase your prayers to our God, that your children would be protected, and then still continue to cast out the demons as the Holy Spirit advises.

Even if you can not see them, those demons still can come in and attack you and your family. Possible signs of this, is an inability to get that picture of the demon out of your mind, or if you can’t seem to forget the show you were just watching, nightmares once you go back to sleep, (or if others in your house wake up from them,) or if you find you are fearful or depressed, or getting hit with any other negatively strong emotion. (Demons love to take our normal negative emotions and turn the volume way up!)

It is a completely bonkers testimony to be sure, and one wonders if this person is for real or not. It does not even seem to be just desktop computers that are prone to this sort of spiritual invasion, but also smartphones as well. After all, what is a smartphone but a tiny portable computer? One very odd report of demons and smartphones comes from Lima, Peru in 2015, when a young woman reportedly became actually possessed after using a Ouija Board smartphone app for “talking to the dead,” as part of the ‘CharlieCharlie’ challenge, a supposed ‘ancient Mexican ritual to summon spirits’ that has become a popular smartphone app. According to the urban legend, if you make a mistake you can open a portal through which demons and other nefarious spirits can creep through into our world, so no pressure.

Eighteen-year-old Patricia Quispe was using the infamous app with her friends in an attempt to contact the spirit world when this got real weird real fast. That very same evening Patricia fell violently ill, and her parents began to worry. The following day the girl began to have strange seizures and convulsions, foaming at the mouth and apparently trying to commit suicide as well, and when she was brought to a hospital the wildly writhing young lady was reportedly barely able to be restrained by medics, who claimed that she was almost superhumanly strong.

According to witnesses she was shouting and screaming in a deep voice unlike her own, and that much of it was gobbledygook but some of it was intelligible. Some of the things she reportedly blurted out in her eerie demon voice were “666,” “let me go, let me go,” “Please give me my phone,” as well as “Mum, these doctors don’t know what they’re doing, take me home.” Friends and family have claimed that Patricia had unwillingly let loose evil spirits through her phone and that they had possessed her. The young woman has since been admitted to a psychiatric hospital and footage of the alleged possession can be seen here. Is this real at all or some sort of a hoax?

When looking at these sorts of stories it is interesting to note that even as our technology has changed and advanced, the same mysteries and superstitions that have plagued humankind for centuries still manage to adapt into our world. Evil spirits and demonic possession have found a way to hold on, stay relevant, and get with the times. Instead of arcane rituals, spells, and speaking through Ouija boards, we now have these forces supposedly popping through our computer and smartphone screens, reaching out from the beyond by way of the very technology that seems as though it should have made these phenomena obsolete. Whether any of these stories are true or not, the next time your computer is on the fritz perhaps you don’t need a repairman, but an exorcist.

How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History And What that Can Teach us About the Coronavirus’ Potential to do the Same

In other words, the virus is calling the shots, which is the singular reason for the protracted probable depth and length of the coming post-virus urban hangover even as increasing numbers of states elect to reopen. And the longer that businesses are in limbo and shoppers in large numbers remain leery of crowds, the worse the economic fallout will be. “Without an effective testing and tracing infrastructure in place, ‘re-opening’ is just a synonym for ‘second wave of the pandemic,’” Erik Brynjolffson, a professor at MIT, tweeted last week.

One conspicuous fallout is a potentially final blow to Main Street — the future likelihood that, when you walk or drive down your favorite roads, many of the shops and restaurants you love won’t reopen. In an April 22 note to clients, Barclays said Covid-19 had accelerated what it calls the “retail death curve,” the shift of business to e-commerce. Over the coming five years, 30% to 40% of still-existing physical shops will close, the bank said. Neighborhood shops hoping to survive may have to feature cashierless technology resembling Amazon Go, vending machine sales, and kiosks offering grab-and-go clothing combinations such as T-shirts, jeans, and jackets.

It will be the same with restaurant takeout and delivery. Restaurants will be far from finished as an urban thing. Some restaurants will vanish, but others will arise in their place. Dining out, however, may no longer be the main alternative to cooking at home. The winners will be Amazon and Uber, Walmart, DoorDash, and Target, whose boom in delivery will grow at almost everyone else’s expense. Other emerging businesses, perhaps to support the unicorns, will be reliable, close-at-hand farms growing enough food so the nearby city needn’t worry about future pandemic disruptions, said Alice Charles, a cities analyst for the World Economic Forum.

Much of our current aversion to crowds will dissipate with time. Richard Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto, said that after the 1918–1919 flu pandemic, it took five or six years until people got comfortable taking trains again but that ultimately they did. “There was short-term adaptation and then no long-term change,” Florida said. It’s hard to know what residue of the Covid-19 pandemic will remain with us long-term — an obsession with disinfectant? Different dating practices? “Hindsight suggests that some behavioral and societal changes spurred by a pandemic can be lasting,” Barclays said, “and a vaccine may not be available for at least another year, at which point behaviors could be more ingrained.”

The Taiwanese capital of Taipei is an example of how a city can reopen before a treatment or vaccine are created. In the city, temperatures seem to be taken at every building entrance — at shops, malls, apartments, schools, workplaces, and offices. IDs are checked on the way in and out of apartment buildings. Movements are tracked by cellphones. If you have just arrived in the country, you are subject to a 14-day quarantine. Today, the island’s case count for the entire pandemic is 429 with six deaths.

That is not how the story ends in American cities. For us, life is likely to return to normal only when herd immunity is reached, Covid-19 burns itself out, or a treatment or a vaccine takes its course.

Bythe measure of the 2008–2009 crash, the Covid-19 recession should propel Generation Z to flock to the urban core and reignite the fortunes of New York and Chicago. But powerful counterforces suggest that history may not repeat nor even rhyme. One of them is the probable duration of social distancing, the depth of the economic downturn, and the hit to city comforts. The greater anti-urban force, though, may be geopolitics.

Even before the virus, President Donald Trump’s trade war with Beijing had initiated a decoupling of the U.S. and Chinese economies. Last year, U.S. manufacturing imports from China dropped 17%, “evidence that U.S. companies were starting to significantly” shift away from a reliance on Chinese goods suppliers, according to a recent report by Kearney, a consulting firm. Now, Covid-19 looks likely to accelerate the decoupling. The driver is how the virus laid bare the perilous fragility of globally stretched supply lines. U.S. companies will want far more diverse sources of parts and places to manufacture. “Companies will bring their strategic stockpiles closer to the U.S., maybe to Mexico,” said Sridhar Tayur, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

But the shift may directly affect U.S. cities, too, because some companies will bring factories back home. Michele Acuto, director of the Connected Cities Lab at the University of Melbourne, said that the U.S. lacks sufficient numbers of engineers to restore manufacturing at scale. But to the degree manufacturing does return, companies will shun expensive urban centers and intensify the buildup of city outskirts, where there is cheap, plentiful land and access to labor and transportation. “Rebounding manufacturing jobs would probably favor suburbs and red-leaning counties,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed. Lily Fang, a professor at France’s Insead, said medical technology — China is often the singular provider of critically needed pharmaceuticals and medical gear — is a primary example of an industry that would return to the U.S. and specifically to smaller cities. “Paris will still be Paris,” Fang said, using her own capital as a proxy for our great cities. “But it reduces the distance between Paris and the rest of the country.”

Always, pandemics seem to lead to a scapegoat — often perceived outsiders. During the Roaring ’20s, the U.S. went into an immigrant scare. Among those ringing the alarm was Calvin Coolidge, then governor of Massachusetts, who argued that the U.S. had become a “dumping ground” for “the vicious, the weak of body, the shiftless or the improvident.” The United States needed “the right kind of immigration,” he said. In 1921 and 1924, Congress passed a new quota system that clamped down on the immigration of eastern and southern Europeans and banned Asians outright. The closure of borders hit the U.S. with almost immediate effect and lasted for four decades: a 68% plunge in U.S. patents in the fields where the blocked immigrants worked, including electrochemistry, fluid dynamics, and mathematical analysis, according to a recent paper co-authored by Petra Moser, a professor at New York University. The innovation drought continued through 1965 when the Johnson administration’s Immigration Act reopened the country.

On April 22, Trump ordered narrow new restrictions on immigration that largely affected the families of green-card holders, and Moser says the hit to innovation is likely to repeat. “Our research suggests that blocking immigration today will damage U.S. science and innovation and that any damage may persist for a very long time,” Moser said. “Even when such policies have targeted low-skilled immigration, they are likely to discourage scientists and other high-skilled immigrants from the same countries to come to the United States.”

Even in a Hobbesian age of one nation, one state, and one city against the other, the pandemic is making a lot of people at least silently concede that we are all in this together.

Moser also says that the new law seems likely to accelerate the shrinkage of major cities across the country. Some 85% of U.S. immigrants live in the top 100 metro areas, according to a report last year by the New American Economy, a pro-immigration think tank. From 2014 to 2017, the population would have declined without immigration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Memphis, Tennessee; San Jose, California; Dayton, Ohio; Omaha, Nebraska; and St. Louis, Missouri. The new loss of immigrants will morph into a worker shortage in certain professions: Foreign-born U.S. residents are 34% of the health care workers in El Paso, Texas; 18% in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and 16% in Tuscon, Arizona, for instance.

Some of the country’s most important companies have launched during adverse times, going back to the depressions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (GE, GM, IBM) and right up to the last financial crash (Square, WhatsApp, Slack). Cities seem likely to continue to be founts of creativity. But they will be hobbled by Trump’s immigration crackdown.

Brynjolffson, the MIT professor and co-author of the classic on automation, The Second Machine Age, said the Trump administration’s immigration policy had already had a “clear negative effect” on innovation in his own lab. “It’s not just the written rules but also the people enforcing them who have now become much more nitpicky: delaying responses, being uncooperative, and denying visits for minor mistakes or bureaucratic obstacles,” Brynjolffson said.

“The key thing to understand is that [U.S.-born] American researchers and innovators are not hurt when the U.S. is a talent magnet, and neither is the general public,” he said. “On the contrary, immigration is a big part of what has made Silicon Valley, the Boston area, and many other parts of the U.S. so innovative, increasing everyone’s living standards. Forcing innovators to do their work in other countries hurts the U.S. in the long run.”

Roger Keil, a professor at York University, points out that urban life has already changed from what it was a few months ago. “Being urban is about freedom and mingling,” he said. “But now we are prisoners in our homes.”

Yet it is not all bad in the city. Even in a Hobbesian age of one nation, one state, and one city against the other, the pandemic is somewhat breaking through the usual hardcore divide and making a lot of people at least silently concede that we are all in this together. The virus, says Rebecca Katz, a professor at Georgetown University, is showing cities that they need each other. While Trump parcels out blame, local political leaders are forming alliances. Largely they are governors — on the West Coast, in the East, and in the Midwest. But at their core are the big cities that dominate them. “Governors and cities are taking this approach because of a lack of national leadership,” Katz says.

This is a global trend. For instance, in order to protect their own populations, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam have stopped new rice exports. As a response, seven food-importing and -exporting countries have formed a pandemic trading union. Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Myanmar, Brunei, and Singapore have agreed to keep their own mutual supply lines open regardless of conditions.

All this détente is a gigantic black eye for another epidemic: populism. Countries where garrulous demagoguery has taken root over the last four or so years — the U.S., the U.K., and Brazil, for instance — have shown themselves to be less-adept crisis managers than technocratic places like Singapore, Denmark, Austria, Germany, South Korea, and Taiwan. Pushan Dutt, a Singapore-based professor for Insead, the French graduate business school, notes that all the latter countries are electoral democracies, putting the kibosh on the idea that you can only effectively impose pandemic strictures if you are a king. These countries learned the lessons of the last pandemics, had plans in place, and executed them. The U.S. government also had a plan in place but distrusted “the deep state.” The resulting chaos has left what successes there have been to old-fashioned city mayors and state governors.

“The rise of populism in the West is proving very expensive in this crisis,” Dutt says. “The correct dichotomy isn’t between democratic and autocratic countries. It’s between competence and incompetence.”

That thought, while reassuring politically, still doesn’t leave much room for comfort if you live in a city where it does matter if the trains run on time — and whether you feel safe riding on them.

What Would Happen If We Lost The Internet For A Lengthy Period Of Time, I Reached A Strange But Compelling Conclusion: The Food Distribution System Would Collapse

Currently, about 14% of the value of all U.S. purchases is cash. The other 86% is credit cards, checks, and a few other instruments (e.g. gift cards, cryptocurrency). In the current system, the authorization of credit cards and checks is done over the internet. Without the internet, stores will not be able to accept credit cards. They can’t call in for authorization. And they probably don’t have any of those plastic machines that make an imprint of the card. Even if they did, fraud will increase at any store that accepts credit cards without getting authorization for the purchase. And credit card companies might not even accept the purchase without authorization.

Can’t the company give authorization numbers by phone? No. They are not set up to do that anymore. They don’t have the personnel. Their system is not geared for phone authorizations in large numbers. And it would slow purchases too much at the stores. So that means no credit card purchases as the grocery store, if the net goes down.

A similar situation would exist with check purchases. Currently, authorization for checks is done by the internet. No net means no purchases at the grocery store with a check. If a store decides to take checks without authorization, they will be plagued by so many bad checks that they will be forced to rescind that policy.

Quickly, grocery stores and other retail businesses will realize that they can only accept cash.

Fine. Why not just go to the ATM for cash? No can do. Those devices also work over the internet. You would have to physically go to the bank, and withdraw cash. There will be a run on the banks, and they will not have anywhere near enough cash, nationwide. There simply does not exist enough physical currency for the nation’s economy to work. You can’t increase cash purchases from 14% of total value to 100% overnight.

If the government tries to compensate by printing a massive amount of cash, the dollar will be greatly devalued. Economic catastrophe will result.

So, why am I recommending salmon, instead of tuna? Well, tuna is high in mercury. You shouldn’t eat tuna more than once a week, if that. But salmon is low in mercury. And now salmon comes in the same foil packets as tuna. These keep for about a year on the shelf, longer in the fridge, and indefinitely in the freezer. Because they are so compact, they take up very little freezer space. And salmon is very healthy, and high in protein and healthy fat.

Stores will not be able to pay wholesalers and manufacturers for goods, because they will not have enough cash, and the cash they have will be difficult to transport to the seller. Nowadays, stores buy items from many different far-flung locations throughout the world. Cash-only means that many of these transactions will be impractical or impossible.

The grocery store shelves will quickly be emptied, as people spend whatever cash they have left on food. And then the shelves will not be replenished. The whole process of stores buying food and receiving shipments of food will be greatly slowed. As soon as any food arrives, it will be bought up at very high prices. The whole food distribution system will collapse without non-cash payments, which today are done mostly over the internet.

It could take months or years for the system to adapt and return to the former flow of goods to stores. The system might not recover before many people go hungry for months on end. I don’t think anyone realizes how thoroughly dependent modern commerce has become on the internet. But if the net ever goes down for an extended period of time. We will find out, to our great consternation.

How do you prep for this kind of disaster? Store food. Grow food. And keep a bunch of cash in small denominations in a home safe.

There you have my top 11 picks for the best foods to store for prepping and survival purposes:

1. Vegetable Oil

Dietary fat is an essential nutrient. And it is difficult to grow and press your own vegetable oil. Fortunately, vegetable oil is (currently) plentiful and cheap. And it stores relatively well. Check the expiration date before you buy. But I’ve found that expiry dates give me about a 1.5 to 2 year window for storage. Rotate your stores of veg oil and you should be fine. If the oil is past expiration date, it might still be edible, though not as palatable.

How much oil do you need? I would store at least 4 tablespoons of oil per day per person (60 grams). That’s about 6.5 gallons per year per person.

Which vegetable oil is best? I suggest a variety of oil types. Canola and Soybean oils have both essential fatty acids: omega-6 and omega-3. Olive oil keeps well and is healthy. In general, though, the more refined oils keep better. So healthy cold-pressed oils are do not have a good shelf life.

2. Rice

Grains provide lots of carbs and some protein. They are a near-universal staple food, throughout the world, and have been for innumerable generations. Humans have been growing and eating grains for over 10 thousand years. So it is a well-proven survival food.

Rice in particular is inexpensive and easy to store. White rice or parboiled rice store best. Brown rice has oils in the bran layer that will go rancid after many months in storage. White or parboiled rice will keep indefinitely.

3. Pasta

Similarly, white pasta keeps indefinitely and is inexpensive. It provides plenty of carbs and more protein than does rice. Like rice, it is also easy to cook. White rice and white pasta also have the advantage of being able to be used in a wide array of dishes, without altering the flavor of the dish. Whole grain pasta and brown rice have a stronger flavor and coarser texture, that is not always preferable.

4. Wheat flour

I consider cooking to be one of the top survival skills that all preppers should learn. And baking bread from scratch is very useful as well.

To store flour long-term, choose a high-protein bread flour, white not wheat. Take a 5-gallon bucket and add a container of table salt to the bottom. This keeps the flour dry, preventing mold. Then add 4 or 5 of the 5-pound flour packages and seal the container well. Store some place cool and dry.

5. Soybeans (as soynuts)

These are not my favorite nuts to snack on. But they are very high in protein, and also contain both essential fatty acids. They store well and are relatively inexpensive, compared to other nuts.

6. Mixed Nuts

Several recent studies show that eating a variety of different nuts is great for your health [NY Times article]. Walnuts seem to be particularly good for you [WebMD article].

So it’s all good. I would store a wide variety of different nuts. They provide protein and dietary fat. They also make meals more palatable. You can survive on grains and dried legumes. But you will not have enough protein and fat unless you supplement those staple foods with some sources of protein and fat.

7. Sunflower Seeds

Most nuts are rather pricey. And if you are buying a large quantity for long-term storage, it might strain your budget. I suggest buying an extra bag of walnuts, pecans, or almonds each week, and adding it to your stored foods.

But if you want an inexpensive source of healthy fat and protein, look no further than the humble sunflower seed. Buy in bulk, and the cost per pound is lower than nuts or soynuts. They keep well and are very tasty.

8. Dried Legumes

I’m not a big fan of dried beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils. They are high in protein and fiber. No one can deny that they are healthy, store well, and are inexpensive. But they are difficult to cook, and I don’t personally find them very palatable. Even so, the aforementioned advantages outweigh those culinary downsides. Dried beans should be a part of every prepper’s stored foods, as a survival ration, if nothing else.

Store-bought legumes are also viable as a seed source for the survival garden. And fresh legumes are much better tasting than dried ones. You can grow them in your garden, or trade them as a barter item to other gardeners.

9. Cheese (2 types)

From the point of view of a prepper storing food, there are two types of cheese, the kind that needs refrigeration, and the kind that does not. Grated parmesan or romano cheese keeps without refrigeration, until it is opened. But the expiry date is limited, so keep an eye on that, and rotate your stocks.

The cheese found in boxes of Mac and Cheese also keeps on the shelf. The powdered kind keeps very well, because it is dry. The “deluxe” type is a paste in an aluminum pouch. That cheese is also shelf-stable, and perhaps preferable; it doesn’t need milk or butter to make it into a cheese sauce. But shelf life is limited. I’ve used the cheese from Mac and Cheese boxes over pasta and over rice. It’s not bad, really. In a pinch, you can raid your stores of Mac and Cheese, and make all kinds of cheesy dishes from stored food. Very useful.

The other type of cheese, essentially any cheese that needs refrigeration, does not keep for very long in the fridge. So throw it in the freezer, for indefinite “shelf” life. The main concern here is that some cheeses are less palatable when thawed. I’ve found that sharp cheddar cheese tends to fall apart when thawed. Swiss cheese fares somewhat better. Blocks of cheese sized and shaped for use on crackers work well.

In terms of both pricing and palatability when thawed, the good ole American processed cheese food slices, individually wrapped — you know which ones I mean — are best. The cheese is inexpensive, high in protein and calcium, and thaws well. The individual wrapping holds the integrity of the slice better than deli cheese that you throw in the freezer.

10. Egg Whites (frozen)

Every supermarket sells egg whites in a carton, refrigerated. You can toss these in the freezer, and they will keep indefinitely. Thaw and use for any egg dish or for baking. Add a little cheese and you’ll never notice the lack of yolks.

Frozen egg whites are an excellent source of protein. In fact, there is very little of anything else. It is basically pure protein. And it keeps forever as long as it stays frozen. Thaw by leaving it in the fridge for a few days. That is always the safest way to thaw anything.

11. Salmon packets

Tuna now comes in foil packets, rather than cans. The packets have very little water, so they don’t need to be drained. It is the most compact way to buy and store tuna. But it doesn’t keep as well as the cans.

So, why am I recommending salmon, instead of tuna? Well, tuna is high in mercury. You shouldn’t eat tuna more than once a week, if that. But salmon is low in mercury. And now salmon comes in the same foil packets as tuna. These keep for about a year on the shelf, longer in the fridge, and indefinitely in the freezer. Because they are so compact, they take up very little freezer space. And salmon is very healthy, and high in protein and healthy fat.

The World Will Not Be Destroyed By Those Who Do Evil, But By Those Who Watch Them Without Doing Anything

The plain truth can often be so obvious as to be invisible.

There are so many obstacles to change on the scale we so desperately need.

We are fast reaching a point that no humans can or will be able to understand the world we live in.

We pass this way just once.

Artificial algorithms are taking over.

Yuval Noah Harari in his latest book ( 21 lessons for the 21st Century) puts his finger on the problem.

” In the coming century biotech and infotech will give us the power to manipulate the world inside us and reshape ourselves, but because we don’t understand our own minds, the changes we will make might upset our mental system to such an extent that it too might brake down.

Surely its time we stop being the free fodder that feds big data. It’s much harder to struggle against irrelevance than against exploitation.

What will be the point to education if algorithms make us redundant?

It is difficult to discern world-wise whether there is any sincere conversation on AI Ethics.

Is it being addressed by any of the big tech companies or are they just giving token nods to what is right or wrong, while taking advantage of all human beings out there?

Are there just pushback from the outside organisations.

What we are witnessing is their profit growth with economic disparity worldwide increases at a starting rate. This certainly rings true if one looks at the state of the world with people judged by their wealth.

So what is the ethics of creating a sentient life form on a planet that is burning?

Perhaps it will be for the best if we continue not to understand the planet we all live on and leave it to AI to sort us out.

Or can we now start contributing to better governance solutions?

If we don’t grasp the nettle soon there will be no coming back.

To have any relevance now and in the future, we need billions to take to the streets to demand the sustainability of our planet (Human vote with their feet, not Social media) before profit-making goes underground.

When it comes to making the world a better place, corporations are often accused of apathy (the flip-side of blind self-interest). But if consumers are truly committed to social change, they must answer the same challenge.

If we can get consumers to make mindful shopping choices, to support brands that act responsibly and to purchase goods from those that dedicate a portion of the sale proceeds to causes, we are well on our way to re-purposing everyday purchases.

We are the first generation to know we’re destroying the world, and we could be the last that can do anything about it.

SO AS IF YOU DON’T ALREADY KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE HERE IS YOUR CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.  

We need to recognize that everything we do, every step we take, every sentence we write, every word we speak—or don’t speak—counts. Nothing is trivial.

Take personal responsibility.

We need to use social media – this is one of the most effective ways to get brands to listen to you, so tell them that you want a change.

Why?

Because, unfortunately, the politicians who dominate the world stage are, depressingly, mostly cut from the old cloth, and the leadership challenges they face, are particularly complex and will require different skills — notably a clearer vision among leaders of organisation’s shared purpose.

Because the digital revolution is far from over the pace of change only seems to be quickening when in fact it is causing isolation. 

Because, we are allowing non-regulated large technology platforms to become too powerful, using their size to dominate markets and we are not paying enough attention to how the tools they create can be used for ill –  like device addictions, as we drown in notifications and false news feed posts.

Because there is an increasing imperative for all of us to respond to climate change.  Which will and is challenging our lives developing on a daily bases right in front of our eyes into our biggest need to act as one.

Neither FEMA or Any Other Governmental Agency is Prepared to Take Care of You In the Aftermath of a Major Crisis. I Lived In A Post-SHTF World For 3 Years, And This Is What I Learned

Editor’s note: This article was written by Maybell Nieves, a professional physician from Venezuela.

As a professional physician having always lived in a big city, I never imagined that at some point in my life, the social and economic situation of my country, Venezuela, would lead me to learn and use survival skills that I had read about but never even thought of applying.

Without being in a declared war or a formal armed conflict, we have experienced different situations of chaos for about 10 years in Venezuela. But in the last three years, the country has become a true SHTF scenario, where the only way to move forward is to learn how to survive.

I feel that the lack of food, clean water, and, at the lowest point of the situation, electricity, has given me new skills that have undoubtedly prepared me for any catastrophic situation.

After three years in this contingency, I can now share every situation that took me by surprise and the techniques I had to learn by doing.

There is no such thing as “too much” stored water

Water is one of the most important resources we need for life. Unlike other supplies, it is not interchangeable with another product, and to be ingested, it must go through a purification process.

I have never been prepared for a water shortage before. Now I know it is important to keep water stored safely in closed containers. If water is not drinkable, it must be purified before ingesting it since contaminated water can cause serious gastrointestinal diseases.

Water is not just for drinking but is used in many other activities, such as cooking and cleaning, so I had to learn some purification techniques that can be done at home.

One of the most popular techniques to decontaminate water is to boil it for three minutes. Purification tablets are also very useful, not that expensive, and easy to use.

Adding five drops of chlorine per liter of water as an emergency measure is another way to clean the stored water.

Grains are my friends

To eat properly, it is necessary to consume proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

The moment I realized that animal protein was scarce—in addition to the fact that the electricity problems spoiled it—I had to investigate the nutritional content of other foods in order to keep myself well-fed.

Lentils are grains that are easy to store, non-perishable, and high in protein. Together with a cereal like rice, they make a complete meal that keeps us well-nourished and in good health.

Let there be light: candles, matches, flashlights, and batteries

After spending more than four hours without power, I began to worry. I had some candles saved, but I did not know where they could be. I also had a couple of flashlights, but I had removed the batteries to prevent them from being sulfated.

Candles and matches must be in several easily accessible places. Likewise, the batteries should be in the same place where the flashlights are kept, and we must be sure that they have a charge.

During this year, the country suffered the most serious electrical crisis. In several areas, there were blackouts of up to five days.

After a couple of days without electricity, the candles will not be enough, so learning to make oil lamps becomes a vital skill in this situation.

The lack of electricity can lead to a state of anguish that grows with the passage of time. It is important to do everything possible to minimize that effect.

Be prepared with medicines, but it’s better to learn from nature

Due to my profession, I am always very attentive about keeping basic medications, such as anti-inflammatories, analgesics, and antibiotics, in the cabinet.

When I had to live in an SHTF situation, my medical supplies became insufficient, and I couldn’t find any in the pharmacies or they were too expensive. So I had to learn a little more about natural medicine, its uses, and its benefits.

I must say that this is one of the most important things I learned during that time.

Many anti-inflammatory drugs and synthetic analgesics damage the stomach mucosa as a side effect. In situations of stress, there is a large production of acids in the stomach, so using drugs that further damage this organ is not the best idea.

Roots such as ginger and turmeric are excellent anti-inflammatories. They are easy to get and easy to store. Likewise, garlic is a potent analgesic.

In the case of presenting wounds or cuts and not having antibiotic ointments, honey, ginger, and cloves are foods that have scientifically proven antibiotic properties.

Chamomile and lavender are natural relaxants and help fight stress and insomnia.

No matter how big the supply of medicines we have, it will always be more economical, favorable, and easy to store the natural product, with equal and, in some cases, greater effects.

Cash

Banks have made life easier for us with the use of debit and credit cards. However, there are situations in which having a lot of money in the bank does not help much, and I learned it the hard way.

When there is an electrical fault, despite the fact that light and other electrical services have been restored already, the digital communication of the points of purchase become so affected that it is impossible to buy anything in this way.

For this reason, I understood that it is always important to keep some amount of cash for this type of contingency.

Take advantage of any time you get to replace supplies

Although during those years I did not have to be locked in a bunker without being able to leave, the feeling of confinement was quite similar. When, in spite of having the money, you can’t find what you need to eat or, despite having a private vehicle, you can’t move for lack of gasoline, the situation becomes desperate.I understood that in those moments in which there was an opportunity to replace the supplies I had at home, especially water and non-perishable food, I had to do it.

The situation in my country has improved. Although still not at the best economic and social level, and with many problems of scarcity and lack of some supplies, society has been regularized.

However, I appreciate the years that taught me these valuable lessons that I still apply.

The most important thing I learned was to be prepared for when an SHTF situation strikes again.

Trump’s Executive Order to Manipulate the Minds of US Schoolchildren

Trump signed an executive order that aims to manipulate the minds of young children.

“We will state the truth in full, without apology (sic),” he said, adding:

“We declare that the United States of America is the most just and exceptional nation ever to exist on earth (sic).”

If bipartisan US hardliners get their way, education at all levels may resemble Nazi Germany and Israeli indoctrination of children.

After Nazis gained control in 1933, the infamous Nuremberg Laws followed.

Education featured indoctrination and loyalty to the Reich. It laid the groundwork for wars to come.

Scholar Louis L. Snyder witnessed Nazi rallies and practices firsthand.

He explained that “(t)here were to be two basic educational ideas…”

“First, there must be burnt into the heart and brains of youth the sense of race.”

“Second, German youth must be made ready for war, educated for victory or death.”

“The ultimate purpose of education was to fashion citizens conscious of the glory of country and filled with fanatical devotion to the national cause.”

As one of the world’s most militarized societies, Israel resembles Nazi German.

It’s notably by indoctrination through education, waging wars on Palestinians and neighboring state, along with mandating military service as a rite of passage.

Militarism is fundamental in Israeli society, young children brainwashed to be warriors.

Starting in pre-school, it continues through higher education.

What’s ingrained in young children at an impressionable age sticks most often when becoming adolescents, youths and adults.

When I attended public schools long ago, teachers taught and children learned, preparing me and many others for higher education and later life.

Historically in the US, local authorities determine educational policy, not the federal government.

The 10th Amendment was the basis for making it a function of individual states and local communities.

Nationwide, local school districts decide on how it’s to be financed and administered.

Until the 1960s, the federal government had virtually no role in setting policy.

Since then, it’s been involved in fostering equal access to education, along with safeguarding constitutional rights of students and teachers.

While not constitutionally protected it as a universal right, the 14th Amendment safeguards it against discrimination based on race, gender, religion, or disability, or ethnicity.

Federal funding of education also plays a role in its content. Funds can be advanced or withheld based on whether local authorities stick to federal standards.

Trump’s EO establishes a so-called President’s Advisory 1776 Commission.

It’ll be charged with “work(ing) to improve understanding of the history and the principles of the founding of the United States…”

According to remarks by Trump weeks earlier, he’s opposed to truth-telling works like Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States — what he called “left-wing indoctrination,” adding:

We will “reclaim our history, and our country, for citizens of every race, color, religion and creed.”

He and hardliners surrounding him want children, adolescents and youths brainwashed in the American way — its mindset ingrained into their consciousness by sanitizing the nation’s history.

They want an obedient population for easier control.

Samuel Johnson called patriotism “the last refuge of scoundrels.”

Thomas Paine called dissent its highest form. So did Howard Zinn.

When governments ill-serve, exposing wrongdoing is vital.

It takes courage and involves sacrificing for the greater good.

It includes risking personal harm and welfare.

It means doing what’s right because it matters.

It reflects patriotism’s highest form.

It’s not what Trump and other US hardliners have in mind by his EO.

Their ideas are more akin to the USA Patriot Act that trampled on the Bill of Rights — eroding fundamental freedoms, not protecting them.

Each new US ruling regime advanced things toward greater totalitarian rule.

Perhaps over the next four years, remaining freedoms will disappear altogether.

America’s Collapsing Because it’s the World’s First Poor Rich Country — A Middle Class Falling Into Ruin, The Majority Of People Now Effectively Poor

There are days I feel like I read dystopian statistics for a living. And then there are day when the dystopian statistics take even my jaded breath away. Here’s one: 43% of American households can’t afford a budget that includes housing, food, childcare, healthcare, transportation, and a cellphone. Translation: nearly half of Americans can’t afford the basics of life anymore.

Does that take your breath away too? It should. And yet it might not come as a surprise. You might know it intimately. The statistics say there’s an even chance you’re…living it. What a grim and bizarre reality. Half of people are effectively poor in the world’s richest country. What the?

The folks that did the study above call this new class of people ALICE, for “asset limited, income constrained, employed.” It’s a sharp way to think about American collapse. Let me translate this term, too: the people formerly known as the American middle class.

Let’s take each of those terms one by one. “Asset limited” means that these households don’t have the resources — the hard financial assets — to drawn down on anymore. That tallies with other research which says the majority of Americans now have a negative net worth. In short, “asset limited” is a polite way of saying: indebted for life, with no real way of ever not getting out of the trap. It’s a nice way of saying: broke.

Why not? That brings me to the second idea in the term. “Income constrained.” American incomes haven’t risen for half a century. But the cost of living has exploded..skyrocketed..gone supernova. Healthcare and education didn’t cost as much as a house in the 1970s, or even the 1980s. And houses didn’t cost more than the average person would ever make in their lifetime. If “asset-limited” is a polite way of saying “broke and indebted”, income constrained is a polite way of saying “poor.”

There are two basic kinds of financial poverty, after all. Not having much of an income, and not having any wealth saved up. Americans are poor in both ways now. That’s because their incomes haven’t risen to allow them to save, and their debts keep mounting, which eats up their meagre incomes. Hence (another shocking stat) most Americans now die…in debt. What the?

Is this the 1300s? What do we call a population that live and debt “in debt”? We certainly don’t call them free in any real sense. They’re the modern equivalent of serfs or peasants — who are born owing, and who will die owing, a fictional, unplayable amount.

Americans are something very much like Neo-serfs because of the last idea in the phrase ALICE, “employed.” You see, it’s not as if the average American is poor now because he or she is sitting around playing video games all day. Quite the contrary. Americans are notoriously hard working people — and that trend continues right down to this day. Americans hold several jobs. The “side hustle” has become an everyday feature of life.

Americans aren’t poor because they don’t work, they don’t work hard enough, or they don’t work long enough. They’re poor even if they do. In that sense, the final idea in the phrase ALICE is underwhelming, inadequate — it fails to really get to the root of the problem here. If the majority of people in a rich society are poor now…even though they’re “employed”…then clearly the problem isn’t the people…it’s the system.

Now, you might object. Are Americans really becoming “poor”? What else would you call people that struggle to afford food, housing, childcare, and healthcare? You can’t call them rich, and you can’t call them middle class. They are poor in the sense that they are deprived of the basics of life, and deprivation is what poverty is. Even far poorer countries, I’d wager, don’t have such dire outcomes — bigger percentages can afford the basics — because medicine or rent or childcare in Pakistan or Nigeria doesn’t cost so relatively much. Americans are indeed growing effectively poorer and poorer now — and it shows in their depression, stress, anger, rage, anxiety, falling longevity and health, not to mention classic turn towards authoritarianism.

Poverty in America, in other words, has become endemic and ubiquitous because its systemic and structural. It’s baked into the system. It’s a feature, not a bug. And most Americans these days, I’d wager, understand this intuitively. Work hard, play by the rules, become something, someone worthy. Be a teacher, engineer, writer, coach, therapist, nurse etcetera. What do you get? You get your pension “raided” (read: stolen) by hedge funds, you get your income decimated by “investment bankers”, you get charged a fortune for the very things you yourself are involved in producing but never earn a fair share of, you get preyed on in every which way the predatory can dream up.

But it’s a new kind of poverty too — or at least one unseen since the Weimar Republic, really. It’s the poverty of decline, degeneration, decay. It’s the poverty of a middle class becoming a new poor. It’s the reversal of an upwards trajectory — not the failure to launch. It’s people who expected to live better and better lives finding themselves in the grim, unfamiliar predicament of never being able to reach them, no matter what they do. Except maybe sell out and become one of the predators. What happens when that takes place? Something strange, something difficult, something paradoxical and backwards.

If I say to the average American — “hey, I know you’re poor. Listen, I’m not trying to insult you. I’m trying to help you. I know it. The statistics tell me so. I can see it in on your stressed out, depressed face. I can see it in everything about you now” — what will the average American say? Well, he or she will respond defensively, probably. “Hey, go to hell buddy! I’m not poor!” That’s understandable. Nobody likes to be called poor — and especially not Americans, because living in a hyper capitalist society, poverty is stigmatized, scorned, mocked, and hated. To call an American poor is something like calling a Soviet a bad communist party member — or maybe even a capitalist. Comrade! To the gulag with you!

I get it. But it’s not helping anyone to pretend Americans are rich now when in fact they’re poor. The difficult truths are these. The majority of Americans — or near enough — are effectively poor now. America is the world’s poor rich country. And no progress whatsoever can be made until enough of them are willing to admit it. Think about it. If Americans go on playing this strange and silly game of pretending to be rich when they’re poor…then what reason is there to address any of the obvious and fatal failures at the heart of American life anymore? If you’re rich and fortunate…why do you need public, healthcare, childcare, retirement? And yet without those things, Americans will only ever get poorer.

There’s a place where pride becomes hubris. Where stoicism becomes vanity. Where self-reliance becomes ignorance of the common good. Americans are at that place right now, in this moment.

American poverty — a middle class falling into ruin, the majority of people now effectively poor — is what gave rise to today’s problems: Trumpism, extremism, fascism, theocracy. It’s what drives religious fervour — save me, someone! It’s what ignites the spark of racial hatred all over again.

And until and unless this problem is addressed, my friends, in a tough and gentle and sane way, America is going to stay where it is. People that really understand political economy have a saying: “capitalism implodes into fascism.” That’s because it produces mass poverty, not riches, decline, not upward mobility — and the new poor then turn on everyone, neighbours, friends, allies, values, morals. If that sounds eerily like America today…then you should be able to see America tomorrow, too.

Somebody needs to say it, and it needs to be said with gentle understanding, real empathy, uncompromising truth, and genuine compassion. America is effectively a poor country now. Not a poor country like poor countries, but a poor country of its own kind. A poor rich country, a rich country where the average person lives like a poor person. That single fact is at the heart of American collapse, my friends. And it’s not OK.

How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History And What that Can Teach us About the Coronavirus’ Potential to do the Same

In other words, the virus is calling the shots, which is the singular reason for the protracted probable depth and length of the coming post-virus urban hangover even as increasing numbers of states elect to reopen. And the longer that businesses are in limbo and shoppers in large numbers remain leery of crowds, the worse the economic fallout will be. “Without an effective testing and tracing infrastructure in place, ‘re-opening’ is just a synonym for ‘second wave of the pandemic,’” Erik Brynjolffson, a professor at MIT, tweeted.

One conspicuous fallout is a potentially final blow to Main Street — the future likelihood that, when you walk or drive down your favorite roads, many of the shops and restaurants you love won’t reopen. In an April 22 note to clients, Barclays said Covid-19 had accelerated what it calls the “retail death curve,” the shift of business to e-commerce. Over the coming five years, 30% to 40% of still-existing physical shops will close, the bank said. Neighborhood shops hoping to survive may have to feature cashierless technology resembling Amazon Go, vending machine sales, and kiosks offering grab-and-go clothing combinations such as T-shirts, jeans, and jackets.

It will be the same with restaurant takeout and delivery. Restaurants will be far from finished as an urban thing. Some restaurants will vanish, but others will arise in their place. Dining out, however, may no longer be the main alternative to cooking at home. The winners will be Amazon and Uber, Walmart, DoorDash, and Target, whose boom in delivery will grow at almost everyone else’s expense. Other emerging businesses, perhaps to support the unicorns, will be reliable, close-at-hand farms growing enough food so the nearby city needn’t worry about future pandemic disruptions, said Alice Charles, a cities analyst for the World Economic Forum.

Much of our current aversion to crowds will dissipate with time. Richard Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto, said that after the 1918–1919 flu pandemic, it took five or six years until people got comfortable taking trains again but that ultimately they did. “There was short-term adaptation and then no long-term change,” Florida said. It’s hard to know what residue of the Covid-19 pandemic will remain with us long-term — an obsession with disinfectant? Different dating practices? “Hindsight suggests that some behavioral and societal changes spurred by a pandemic can be lasting,” Barclays said, “and a vaccine may not be available for at least another year, at which point behaviors could be more ingrained.”

The Taiwanese capital of Taipei is an example of how a city can reopen before a treatment or vaccine are created. In the city, temperatures seem to be taken at every building entrance — at shops, malls, apartments, schools, workplaces, and offices. IDs are checked on the way in and out of apartment buildings. Movements are tracked by cellphones. If you have just arrived in the country, you are subject to a 14-day quarantine. Today, the island’s case count for the entire pandemic is 429 with six deaths.

That is not how the story ends in American cities. For us, life is likely to return to normal only when herd immunity is reached, Covid-19 burns itself out, or a treatment or a vaccine takes its course.

Bythe measure of the 2008–2009 crash, the Covid-19 recession should propel Generation Z to flock to the urban core and reignite the fortunes of New York and Chicago. But powerful counterforces suggest that history may not repeat nor even rhyme. One of them is the probable duration of social distancing, the depth of the economic downturn, and the hit to city comforts. The greater anti-urban force, though, may be geopolitics.

Even before the virus, President Donald Trump’s trade war with Beijing had initiated a decoupling of the U.S. and Chinese economies. Last year, U.S. manufacturing imports from China dropped 17%, “evidence that U.S. companies were starting to significantly” shift away from a reliance on Chinese goods suppliers, according to a recent report by Kearney, a consulting firm. Now, Covid-19 looks likely to accelerate the decoupling. The driver is how the virus laid bare the perilous fragility of globally stretched supply lines. U.S. companies will want far more diverse sources of parts and places to manufacture. “Companies will bring their strategic stockpiles closer to the U.S., maybe to Mexico,” said Sridhar Tayur, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

But the shift may directly affect U.S. cities, too, because some companies will bring factories back home. Michele Acuto, director of the Connected Cities Lab at the University of Melbourne, said that the U.S. lacks sufficient numbers of engineers to restore manufacturing at scale. But to the degree manufacturing does return, companies will shun expensive urban centers and intensify the buildup of city outskirts, where there is cheap, plentiful land and access to labor and transportation. “Rebounding manufacturing jobs would probably favor suburbs and red-leaning counties,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed. Lily Fang, a professor at France’s Insead, said medical technology — China is often the singular provider of critically needed pharmaceuticals and medical gear — is a primary example of an industry that would return to the U.S. and specifically to smaller cities. “Paris will still be Paris,” Fang said, using her own capital as a proxy for our great cities. “But it reduces the distance between Paris and the rest of the country.”

Always, pandemics seem to lead to a scapegoat — often perceived outsiders. During the Roaring ’20s, the U.S. went into an immigrant scare. Among those ringing the alarm was Calvin Coolidge, then governor of Massachusetts, who argued that the U.S. had become a “dumping ground” for “the vicious, the weak of body, the shiftless or the improvident.” The United States needed “the right kind of immigration,” he said. In 1921 and 1924, Congress passed a new quota system that clamped down on the immigration of eastern and southern Europeans and banned Asians outright. The closure of borders hit the U.S. with almost immediate effect and lasted for four decades: a 68% plunge in U.S. patents in the fields where the blocked immigrants worked, including electrochemistry, fluid dynamics, and mathematical analysis, according to a recent paper co-authored by Petra Moser, a professor at New York University. The innovation drought continued through 1965 when the Johnson administration’s Immigration Act reopened the country.

On April 22, Trump ordered narrow new restrictions on immigration that largely affected the families of green-card holders, and Moser says the hit to innovation is likely to repeat. “Our research suggests that blocking immigration today will damage U.S. science and innovation and that any damage may persist for a very long time,” Moser said. “Even when such policies have targeted low-skilled immigration, they are likely to discourage scientists and other high-skilled immigrants from the same countries to come to the United States.”

Even in a Hobbesian age of one nation, one state, and one city against the other, the pandemic is making a lot of people at least silently concede that we are all in this together.

Moser also says that the new law seems likely to accelerate the shrinkage of major cities across the country. Some 85% of U.S. immigrants live in the top 100 metro areas, according to a report last year by the New American Economy, a pro-immigration think tank. From 2014 to 2017, the population would have declined without immigration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Memphis, Tennessee; San Jose, California; Dayton, Ohio; Omaha, Nebraska; and St. Louis, Missouri. The new loss of immigrants will morph into a worker shortage in certain professions: Foreign-born U.S. residents are 34% of the health care workers in El Paso, Texas; 18% in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and 16% in Tuscon, Arizona, for instance.

Some of the country’s most important companies have launched during adverse times, going back to the depressions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (GE, GM, IBM) and right up to the last financial crash (Square, WhatsApp, Slack). Cities seem likely to continue to be founts of creativity. But they will be hobbled by Trump’s immigration crackdown.

Brynjolffson, the MIT professor and co-author of the classic on automation, The Second Machine Age, said the Trump administration’s immigration policy had already had a “clear negative effect” on innovation in his own lab. “It’s not just the written rules but also the people enforcing them who have now become much more nitpicky: delaying responses, being uncooperative, and denying visits for minor mistakes or bureaucratic obstacles,” Brynjolffson said.

“The key thing to understand is that [U.S.-born] American researchers and innovators are not hurt when the U.S. is a talent magnet, and neither is the general public,” he said. “On the contrary, immigration is a big part of what has made Silicon Valley, the Boston area, and many other parts of the U.S. so innovative, increasing everyone’s living standards. Forcing innovators to do their work in other countries hurts the U.S. in the long run.”

Roger Keil, a professor at York University, points out that urban life has already changed from what it was a few months ago. “Being urban is about freedom and mingling,” he said. “But now we are prisoners in our homes.”

Yet it is not all bad in the city. Even in a Hobbesian age of one nation, one state, and one city against the other, the pandemic is somewhat breaking through the usual hardcore divide and making a lot of people at least silently concede that we are all in this together. The virus, says Rebecca Katz, a professor at Georgetown University, is showing cities that they need each other. While Trump parcels out blame, local political leaders are forming alliances. Largely they are governors — on the West Coast, in the East, and in the Midwest. But at their core are the big cities that dominate them. “Governors and cities are taking this approach because of a lack of national leadership,” Katz says.

This is a global trend. For instance, in order to protect their own populations, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam have stopped new rice exports. As a response, seven food-importing and -exporting countries have formed a pandemic trading union. Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Myanmar, Brunei, and Singapore have agreed to keep their own mutual supply lines open regardless of conditions.

All this détente is a gigantic black eye for another epidemic: populism. Countries where garrulous demagoguery has taken root over the last four or so years — the U.S., the U.K., and Brazil, for instance — have shown themselves to be less-adept crisis managers than technocratic places like Singapore, Denmark, Austria, Germany, South Korea, and Taiwan. Pushan Dutt, a Singapore-based professor for Insead, the French graduate business school, notes that all the latter countries are electoral democracies, putting the kibosh on the idea that you can only effectively impose pandemic strictures if you are a king. These countries learned the lessons of the last pandemics, had plans in place, and executed them. The U.S. government also had a plan in place but distrusted “the deep state.” The resulting chaos has left what successes there have been to old-fashioned city mayors and state governors.

“The rise of populism in the West is proving very expensive in this crisis,” Dutt says. “The correct dichotomy isn’t between democratic and autocratic countries. It’s between competence and incompetence.”

That thought, while reassuring politically, still doesn’t leave much room for comfort if you live in a city where it does matter if the trains run on time — and whether you feel safe riding on them.

The Civil War Has Begun -Thousands Of People Protesting The New World Order Lockdowns Descend On London Demanding An Immediate End To The COVID Restrictions

Thousands of protesters descended on the British capital on Saturday to call for an end to coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions on businesses in the UK, which they described as a form of “tyranny”.

If you want to have riots calling for social justice and burn down whole city blocks, that seems to be allowed. If you want to have violent anti-Trump rallies, that seems to be allowed as well. But if you dare to hold a protest against the New World Order, the COVID lockdowns, or the massively lopsided system that punishes good and rewards evil, they come for you and force you to disperse. Truly the dystopian world envisioned by George Orwell in ‘1984’ is coming true to a degree that might even surprise Orwell.

“History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” – George Orwell in ‘1984’

People seem to be waking up and that’s a good thing, the global elites are indeed attempting in this crazy year of 2020 to bring in the New World Order, and they are using COVID lockdowns and a forced social justice agenda as the sledgehammer to accomplish the mission. But in order for these much-needed protests to be truly effective, governments all over the free world need to be brought to s standstill under our leaders begin to listen to the people. The people in London who protested are on the right track, but I fear it may wind up being too little, too late.

FROM BREITBART NEWS: In a Breitbart London exclusive video, protesters were seen singing: “I would rather be a human than a slave”, “We are the 99 per cent”, and “You can shove your New World Order up your ass”.

The ‘Stop the New Normal’ march was organised by the anti-lockdown activist group Stand Up X and was one of the largest rallies against the government’s coronavirus restrictions since the beginning of the lockdowns in March. The large scale act of civil disobedience followed more restrictions being imposed on the people of Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, as well as the introduction of a ‘tier system’ by Prime Minister Boris in England, in which local regions and cities are placed under lockdown if spikes in coronavirus cases are recorded.

At around 4 pm the police in London began using tactics to split the protest into separate groups and made at least 18 arrests in Trafalgar Square and on Westminster Bridge. One woman told Breitbart London: “I’m so angry, all these police that are storming in, they’re going to lose their pensions. They’re supposed to be protecting us, they’re not, this is tyranny.”

“I cannot believe in this day and age, in this time now, more than ever we need to stand together, and if people can’t get together and get united for the cause, for their freedom, for everybody, then we’ve lost already,” she said. “I don’t understand, if your children are not the motivation to fight for your freedom… my grandfather and my grandad did not fight in the First World War and the Second World War as snipers to not be under a fucking dictatorship, for it to happen now in 2020,” she added, going on to urge the rest of the country to “wake up”.

In footage shared online, police were again seen physically confronting the anti-lockdown protesters, with one man wearing a ‘Make Britain Great Again’ hat being thrown to the pavement.

In contrast, the police took a hands-off approach to a large-scale protest against police brutality in Nigeria, that was led by Black Lives Matter activist and self-described Black Panther, Sasha Johnson. Another protest organised by the Stop Trump Coalition — which saw around 50 people gather in Parliament Square to protest against the American leader as well as the prospect of a trade deal between the UK and the United States — was not broken up by the police either. READ MORE

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

Top 10 Guns To Buy During a Pandemic

Americans have an obsession with guns according to left-wingers, and that’s pretty normal, considering what the Second Amendment in the Constitution reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

What the left conveniently forgets on a regular basis is that any form of gun control is not constitutional, but let that go for now.

The thing about gun control is that it doesn’t work, and if you want to test this theory, just put a sign in front of your house that reads Gun Free Zone, and see if it becomes the safest in the neighborhood. I’m just kidding, but it’s common sense, really, that criminals don’t care about laws, because guess what: that’s why they are criminals in the first place.

And this is the reason the vast majority of mass shootings take place in gun-free zones, that basically become victim disarmament zones. When private citizens are allowed to defend themselves, especially in concealed carry states, violent crime decreases dramatically, because after all’s said and done, an armed society is a polite society.

I bet you didn’t know it, but violent crime and gun control laws are pretty much correlated, as in the more gun control there is, the more violent crime occurs, and you can check that out in states like California, Illinois, New York, etc.

After this short introduction, let’s move along and follow the current news cycle. Enter SARS-Covid19, and what do you know: despite the lockdown, Americans are buying guns like there’s no tomorrow. There’s an old saying in rural America: when in doubt, buy a gun! All jokes aside, according to various reports in the mainstream media, more than 2 million guns were purchased last March alone, most of them in Illinois, followed by Texas, Kentucky, Florida, and California. To put things into perspective, this represents an increase of 1.1 million guns compared to sales figures from the same period of time, March 2019 respectively.

There were also reports from various gun shops all across America about supply issues due to the gun-rush and all that palaver. The last time Americans bought guns in such a crazy manner was in December 2015 as the Obama administration hinted at restricting what the mainstream media calls assault rifles following the mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA. Why are Americans buying lots of guns now, you asked? Well, this is anyone’s guess really, but there are a few reasons for that: first, preppers don’t trust the government, hence with the lockdown and all that, if SHTF, a breakdown in law and order is to be expected and then it’s every man for himself. In this regard, guns are self-help survival tools by any definition.

Another reason would be the fear of the general public of Big Brother further infringing on gun rights, now with the pandemic eroding civil rights via dictate and all that. Basically, Americans fear that the US Government may become tyrannical, as per the Declaration of Independence actually, and they are taking precautionary steps.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.

Again, this is common sense, but it’s interesting that many Americans bought their first gun during the Covid19 pandemic, and the vast majority of the 2 million have been handguns, as opposed to long guns/rifles.

With all these in mind, let’s get a little bit technical here: According to guns.com, the most popular (as in best-selling) handguns last year were the ATI GSG 1911, the SIG P320 M17, the legendary GLOCK G19, the RUGER LCP, the RUGER GP100, the AR556 RUGER, the COLT M1991 (.45 ACP obviously), the small frame revolver S&W 442, the sub-compact RUGER LCP, the GP100, the AR556 RUGER and, finally, the S&W 442.

As per rifles and shotguns, we must mention the BUSHMASTER XM-15 QRC, the S&W M&P-15-22 SPORT, the lever-action MARLIN 336,  and the classic MOSSBERG PATRIOT and 500. Now, if you’re looking to buy a gun for self-defense, it’s important to learn how to choose the best tool for the job so to speak. Obviously, the most popular guns are probably the best and/or the cheapest, but popularity alone is not a good enough reason to buy gear.

When it comes to guns for home defense, handguns come to mind first; you should choose based on reliability, overall quality, accuracy, ease of use, and capacity (magazine capacity). Stopping power is also important in a self-defense situation, and here the caliber of the bullet comes into play. Popular wisdom tells us that a .45 ACP is way more effective than a 9 millimeter in terms of stopping power in a handgun; however, it’s worth mentioning that the FBI and police departments all across America switched to 9mm handguns in 2015.

One big advantage of owning a 9mm handgun is that it comes with a larger capacity magazine compared to, let’s say a .45 ACP. We’re talking about a 15+1 or 17+1 magazine in a 9mm handgun, compared to a 7+1 or 9+1 capacity for a .45 ACP, and yes, that counts in a shootout, especially if you consider that police officers have a 28 percent hit rate. As in, when under fire, you tend to miss a lot, and having more rounds would definitely help; 9-millimeter rounds are also cheaper, so you can spend less money on practicing, which is another advantage for beginners. Finally, a 9mm gun has less recoil than a .45 ACP, which means more accuracy. A .45 ACP is a slower round, yet it has more penetration power, even if the energy is dissipated very rapidly. Regardless of what you choose, just practice a lot and you’ll do fine, regardless of the caliber.

Here are my top ten guns for defending your home, pandemic or not, in no particular order:

  • Beretta M9. Caliber: 9mm, capacity 15+1

This is incidentally the sidearm of choice for the US Armed Forces, and it’s pretty obvious that the military uses good gear. The gun is light at 33.3 ounces and has a cool 3-Dot Sight System for acquiring a target. The M9 is very accurate out of the box, comes with a reversible magazine release for both left/right-hand users, and has a sweat-resistant grip.

  • Glock 19 4th gen. Caliber: 9mm, capacity 15+1

This is a legendary handgun, and the golden-standard in the industry, being hugely popular due to its robustness, efficiency, simplicity, and ease of use. The Glock 19 comes with rough-textured frames for amazing grip and interchangeable backstraps, being capable of operating in all weather conditions with industry-leading ergonomics and performance. The gun comes with 3 magazines and enlarged reversible magazine releases.

  • SIG SAUER MK25 P226. Caliber: 9mm, capacity 15+1.

This is Navy Seals’ weapon of choice. Do I need to say more?

  • SMITH & WESSON M&P SHIELD. Caliber: .45 ACP, capacity 7+1.

Yes indeed, this is a lower capacity handgun, but it’s super compact, which makes it great for concealed carry, it’s a proven performer and features a 5.3” fiber-optic sight radius for fast-tracking and a factory ported barrel and slide, with a barrel length of just 3.3 inches.

  • RUGER 1707 GP100. Caliber: 357 Magnum, capacity 6

This is a classic six-shooter with a 6-inch barrel and super-accuracy provided you’re taking your gun-range lessons seriously.

  • Colt 1911. Caliber: .45 ACP, capacity 7+1.

This is a classic handgun, proven in action in the last 100 years, and making for one of the most reliable home-defense tools out there. The 1911 model is big and heavy, and features a dual spring recoil system, being a man’s gun par excellence.

  • Glock G23. Caliber: .40 S&W, capacity 14.

This is the ideal all-rounder, being incredibly compact and easy to carry around, and the weapon of choice for many law enforcement officers, due to its reliability and proven knock-out power.

  • Charter Arms Bulldog. Caliber: .44 ACP, capacity 5.

This is one of the most formidable concealed carry choices you can make, being hugely reliable, proven in action since 1975 and boasting immense stopping power for home and/or personal protection, while being relatively easy to carry.

  • CZ 75 SP-01 TACTICAL. Caliber 9mm, capacity 18+1.

This is another excellent home defense gun, especially for first-timers, due to its huge capacity, and side in frame design, which provides excellent recoil management.

  • WALTHER PPQ M2. Caliber 9mm, capacity 15+1.

Walther is a legend in the gun-enthusiast community, being a global leader in producing dependable/high-quality guns. This is arguably their best handgun yet, with an ergonomic grip and one of the smoothest triggers you’ll ever find the stock in a gun.

This concludes the article for today. If you can’t decide on what to buy just from what you read on the internet, I would advise you to take a trip to the nearest gun range, rent and shoot a few models, then make a choice based on personal preference, budget or what have you. Stay safe and happy hunting.