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.

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.

Black Alliance for Peace Calls on United Nations to Address Human Rights Crisis in the United States

The extrajudicial murders of African/Black people, such as Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, by agents of the U.S. government and armed civilians have sparked urban rebellions in cities across the United States. Such murderous acts cannot be understood outside of the context of the U.S. state’s ongoing assault on the human rights of African/Black people.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweet—“…when the looting starts, the shooting starts…”—demanding lethal violence requires the United Nations to intervene.

Trump’s threat comes as the U.S. state has tragically failed during the COVID-19 pandemic to recognize and protect the human right to health of poor and working-class people, including Africans and undocumented migrants.

African/Black people comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population, yet represent one-third of COVID-19 related deaths. In some areas, the death rate has been as high as 70 percent.

Yet, the Trump administration, the U.S. Congress and state governments have responded by driving African/Black workers—who occupy the lowest rungs of the U.S. labor force—back to work with little or no protection. An inadequate for-profit healthcare system that discriminates against the poor ensures disproportionate death rates for African/Black people will continue.

Police authorities have been documented for abusing their power while enforcing COVID-19 mitigation efforts such as social distancing, which has been impossible for overcrowded African/Black communities and households to maintain.

Despite various United Nations bodies—such as the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the Universal Periodic Review Process (UPR), and various special human-rights rapporteurs and special representatives—calling several times on the Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump administrations to protect the human rights of African/Black people, what remains is a precarious situation that borders on genocide.

How to Start a Riot? Police Provocateurs Dressed up as “Activists” at Peaceful Anti-Globalization Rally

The issue of Police Provocateurs is currently in the news following the police murder in Minneapolis of George Floyd.

This video was first produced in 2007

Today are thoughts are with the family and friends of George Floyd. 

***

Peaceful protesters stop police provocateurs from starting a riot at the Stop the SPP protests in Montebello Quebec in 2007. 

About 1,200 protesters were in the small resort town near Ottawa as Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon at a two-day summit to discuss issues under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America pact  (SPP).

The police admitted they were their officers.”

CEP President Dave Coles confronts men with rocks and sticks.

In the footage, three burly men with bandanas and other covers over their faces push through protesters toward a line of riot police.

One of the men has a rock in his hand.

As they move forward, Coles and other union leaders dressed in suits order the men to put the rock down and leave, accuse them of being police agents provocateurs, and try unsuccessfully to unmask them.

Video

CBC Report 

About 1,200 protesters were in the small resort town near Ottawa as Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon at a two-day summit to discuss issues under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America pact.

The video titled Stop SPP Protest— Union Leader stops provocateurs, posted on YouTube Tuesday,was shown at a news conference held Wednesday in Ottawa by protest organizers, including Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, who appears in the video.

In the footage filmed Monday afternoon, three burly men with bandanas and other covers over their faces push through protesters toward a line of riot police. One of the men has a rock in his hand.

As they move forward, Coles and other union leaders dressed in suits order the men to put the rock down and leave, accuse them of being police agents provocateurs, and try unsuccessfully to unmask them.

In the end, they squeeze behind the police line, where they are calmly handcuffed.

“The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union believes that the security force at Montebello were ordered to infiltrate our peaceful assembly and to provoke incidents,” Coles told reporters. “I think the evidence that we’ve shown you today reinforces the view.”

Colesshowed photographs of themasked men’sand police officers’boots taken during the handcuffing, in which they appear to have identical tread patterns on their soles.

He also questioned whyother activistshave been unable to identify the three men whose images have been broadcast worldwide and demanded to know who the masked men were.

“Do they have any connection to the Quebec police force or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or are they part of some other security force that was at Montebello?”Coles asked, adding that he wants to know how the Prime Minister’s Office was involved in security during the protests.

He suggested that the government might want to provoke violence in order justify its security budget for the summit and discredit protesters.

“They want to defuse our questions … by trying to make it look like some radical group trying to create a confrontation,” he said.

The RCMP has refused to comment, while Quebec’s provincial force has flatly denied that its officers were involved in the incident.

It said it is not releasing any names as no charges were laid.

Retired police officer believes masked men were cops

Meanwhile, a retired Ottawa police officer who was formerly in charge of overseeing demonstrations for the force said he questions who the masked men really are, after viewing the video.

“Were they legitimate protesters? I don’t think so,” said Doug Kirkland.

“Well, if they weren’t police, I think they might well have been working in the best interests of police.”

He added that if the situation was as it appeared, he did not approve of the tactic. “It’s pretty close to baiting,” he said.

On Wednesday, the mayor of Montebello thanked police and protesters, praising the fact that there wasn’t a single report of damage during the two-day summit.

The Security and Prosperity Partnership pact, signed in 2005,is intended to forge closer trade and security links between the countries.

Opponents say negotiations about the agreement are secretive and undemocratic, and the treaty itself erodes Canada’s control over its natural resources, security and defence.

The Spectre of a “China-centric World”

Why Does the West Fear China?

A spectre is haunting the United States—the spectre of a “China-centric world”. By voicing this concern President Trump pledges to “Keep America Great”. Some of the European allies echo this concern. Others remain conspicuously silent. But what exactly is this concern about?

The United States has enjoyed the status of a sole superpower for three decades. The Soviet Union, whose military parity Washington had reluctantly respected, no longer exists. After the first decade of docility, post-Soviet Russia has assumed a more independent position but faces serious economic challenges. China is a much bigger player, politically disciplined, industrially powerful, and technologically advanced.

But, in spite of often voiced fears, China does not threaten liberal democracies or a “liberal rule-based world”. Unlike Western nations with their long history of military and political intervention around the world, China has shown little interest in how other countries are governed and is not in the habit of imposing regime change. Moreover, it has learnt to benefit from peaceful conditions of free trade and globalization, both of which were promoted by the United States and the institutions it helped to create. China’s Belt and Road initiative is meant to capitalize on this success by improving inter-regional connectivity and logistics.

The reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States has exposed serious vulnerabilities of the country. But long before this public health crisis, the Americans feared China might beat them at their own economic game. This is why the U.S. government has come to resort to a variety of political measures to counter China’s industrial and technological ascendance. It has also increased military presence in China’s perimeter.

However, China will not respond symmetrically. It will not seek military bases in Canada and Mexico in order to match the presence of U.S. forces in Japan and South Korea. Rather, it is building up credible deterrence. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is regional in scope and consists of seven full members, four of them nuclear powers (China, India, Pakistan and Russia).

The spectre of a China-centric world, just as “the Red Menace” and “the War on Terror” in the past,  serves the useful purpose of increasing U.S. military expenditures. Empires in decline tend to be violent. The actions of Britain in East Africa and of France in Algeria in the 1950s embody this tendency. The prospect of a military conflict with China may enthuse some people (it was the Second World War that pulled the U.S. out of the Great Depression) but remains dubious because of nuclear weapons.

In February 2020 the Munich Security Conference came up with the concept of “Westlessness”. i.e. a growing inability of the West to shape the international order in line with its values. It refers to a divided and in some parts increasingly illiberal West that seems to be retreating from the global stage. But this does not mean that “East” is about to take its place. Admittedly successful in peacetime competition, China has neither rational need nor cultural predisposition to imitate the imperialist experience of Western powers. To secure peace that has benefited it, China may use its weight to strengthen international organizations, such as the United Nations, and enhance a multi-polar world. This may be seen as a threat, but only a threat to the American ambition to dominate, often mistaken for “American leadership”. The current anti-China tantrum in Washington further undermines America’s credibility and encourages European politicians and investors alike to eye China as a more reliable partner.

Has the Pandemic Been Used to Precipitate the World into a Spiral of Mass Unemployment, Bankruptcy and Despair?

There is a serious health crisis which must be duly resolved. And this is a number one priority.

But there is another important dimension which has to be addressed. 

Millions of people have lost their jobs, and their lifelong savings. In developing countries, poverty and despair prevail. 

While the lockdown is presented to public opinion as  the sole means to resolving a global public health crisis,  its devastating economic and social impacts are casually ignored.  

The unspoken truth is that the novel coronavirus provides a pretext to powerful financial interests and corrupt politicians to precipitate the entire World into a spiral of  mass unemployment, bankruptcy and extreme poverty. 

This is the true picture of what is happening.  Poverty is Worldwide. While famines are erupting in Third World countries, closer to home,  in the richest country on earth,

millions of desperate Americans wait in long crowded lines for handouts”

“Miles-long lines formed at food banks and unemployment offices across the US over the past week”   

In India:

“food is disappearing, ….  in shanty towns, too scared to go out, walking home or trapped in the street crackdowns,

In India there have been 106 coronavirus deaths as of today, to put things in perspective 3,000 Indian children starve to death each day” 

From Mumbai to New York City. It’s the “Globalization of Poverty”.

Production is at a standstill. 

Starvation in Asia and Africa. Famine in the U.S. 

All countries are now Third World countries. It’s the “Thirdworldisation” of the so-called high income “developed countries”.  

And what is happening in Italy?

People are running out of food. Reports confirm that the Mafia rather than the government “is gaining local support by distributing free food to poor families in quarantine who have run out of cash”. (The Guardian)

This crisis combines fear and panic concerning the COVID-19 together with a sophisticated process of economic manipulation.

Let us first examine the impacts pertaining to the developing countries.

Developing Countries. The IMF’s “Economic Medicine” and the Globalization of Poverty

Is the coronavirus crisis part of a broader macro-economic agenda?

First some historical background.

I spent more than ten years undertaking field research on the impacts of IMF-World Bank economic reforms in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Since the early 1980s, “strong economic medicine” was imposed on indebted developing countries under what was called the “structural adjustment program” (SAP).

From 1992 to 1995, I undertook field research in India, Bangladesh and Vietnam and returned to Latin America to complete my study on Brazil. In all the countries I visited, including Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco and The Philippines, I observed the same pattern of economic manipulation and political interference by the Washington-based institutions. In India, directly resulting from the IMF reforms, millions of people had been driven into starvation. In Vietnam – which constitutes among the world’s most prosperous rice producing economies – local-level famines had erupted resulting directly from the lifting of price controls and the deregulation of the grain market. (Preface to the Second Edition of the Globalization of Poverty, 2003)

 The hegemony of the dollar was imposed. With mounting dollar denominated debt, eventually in most developing countries the entire national monetary system was “dollarized”.

Massive austerity measures were conducive to the collapse in real wages. Sweeping privatization programs were imposed. These deadly economic reforms -applied on behalf the creditors- invariably triggered economic collapse, poverty and mass unemployment.

In Nigeria starting in the 1980s, the entire public health system had been dismantled. Public hospitals were driven into bankruptcy. The medical doctors with whom I spoke described the infamous structural adjustment program (SAP) with a touch of humor:

“we’ve been sapped by the SAP”, they said, our hospitals have literally been destroyed courtesy of the IMF-World Bank.

From Structural Adjustment to Global Adjustment

Today, the mechanism for triggering poverty and economic collapse is fundamentally different and increasingly sophisticated.

The ongoing 2020 Economic Crisis is tied into the logic of the COVID-19 pandemic: No need for the IMF-World Bank to negotiate a structural adjustment loan with national governments.

What has occurred under the COVID-19 crisis is a “Global Adjustment” in the structure of the World economy. In one fell swoop this Global Adjustment (GA) triggers a Worldwide process of bankruptcy, unemployment, poverty and total despair.

How is it implemented? The lockdown is presented to national governments as the sole solution to resolve the COVID-19 pandemic. It becomes a political consensus, irrespective of the devastating economic and social consequences.

No need to reflect or analyze the likely impacts. Corrupt national governments are pressured to comply.

The partial or complete closing down of a national economy is triggered through the enforcement of  so-called “WHO guidelines” pertaining to the lockdown, as well as to trade, immigration and transportation restrictions, etc.

Powerful financial institutions and lobby groups including Wall Street, Big Pharma, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were involved in shaping the actions of the WHO pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lockdown together with the curtailment of trade and air travel had set the stage. This closing down of national economies was undertaken Worldwide starting in the month of  March,  affecting simultaneously a large of number of countries in all major regions of the World.  It is unprecedented in World history.

Why did leaders in high office let it happen? The consequences were obvious.

This closing down operation affects production and supply lines of goods and services, investment activities, exports and imports, wholesale and retail trade, consumer spending, the closing down of schools, colleges and universities, research institutions, etc.

In turn it leads almost immediately to mass unemployment, bankruptcies of small and medium sized enterprises, a collapse in purchasing power, widespread poverty and famine.

What is the underlying objective of this restructuring of the global economy?  What are the consequences? Cui Bono? 

  • A massive concentration of wealth and corporate capital,,
  • the destabilization of small and middle sized enterprises in all major areas of economic activity including the services economy, agriculture and manufacturing.
  • facilitates the subsequent corporate acquisition of bankrupt enterprises
  • It derogates the rights of workers. It destabilizes labor markets.
  • It creates mass unemployment
  • It compresses wages (and labor costs) in the so-called high income “developed countries” as well as in the impoverished developing countries.
  • It leads to an escalation of the external debt
  • It facilitates subsequent privatization

Needless to say this Global Adjustment (GA) operation is far more detrimental than the country-level IMF-WB structural adjustment program (SAP).

It is neoliberalism to the nth degree.

In one fell swoop (in the course of the last months) the COVID-19 crisis has contributed to impoverishing a large sector of the World population.

And Guess who comes to the rescue? The IMF and the World Bank:

The IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has casually acknowledged that the World economy has come to a standstill, without addressing the causes of economic collapse.

“The WHO is there to protect the Health of the People, The IMF is there to protect the health of the World economy” says Georgieva.

 How does she intend to “protect the World economy”?

At the expense of the national economy?

What’s her “magic solution”?

 “We rely on $1 trillion in overall lending capacity.” (IMF M-D Georgieva, Press Conference in early March)

At first sight this appears to be “generous”, a lot money. But ultimately it’s what we might call “fictitious money”, what it means is:

“We will lend you the money and with the money we lend you, you will pay us back”.(paraphrase).

The ultimate objective is to make the external (dollar denominated) debt go fly high.

The IMF is explicit. In one of its lending windows, the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, which applies to pandemics, generously,

“provides grants for debt relief to our poorest and most vulnerable members.”

Nonsensical statement: it is there to replenish the coffers of the creditors, the money is allocated to debt servicing.

“For low-income countries and for emerging middle-income countries we have … up to $50 billion that does not require a full-fledged IMF program.”

No conditions on how you spend the money. But this money increases the debt stock and requires reimbursement.

The countries are already in a straight-jacket. And the objective is that they comply with the demands of the creditors.

That’s the neoliberal solution applied at a global level: No real economic recovery, more poverty and unemployment Worldwide. The “solution” becomes the “cause”. It initiates a new process of indebtedness. It contributes to an escalation of the debt.

The more you lend, the more you squeeze the developing countries into political compliance. And ultimately that is the objective of the failing American Empire.

The unspoken truth is that this one trillion dollars ++ of the Bretton Woods institutions is intended to drive up the external debt.

In recent developments, the G20 Finance ministers decided to “put on hold”,  the repayment of debt servicing obligations of the World’s poorest countries.

The cancellation of debt has not been envisaged. Quite the opposite. The strategy consists in building up the debt.

It is important that the governments of developing countries take a firm stance against the IMF-World Bank “rescue operation”. 

The Global Debt Crisis in the Developed Countries

An unprecedented fiscal crisis is unfolding at all levels of government. With high levels of unemployment, incoming tax revenues in developed countries are almost at a standstill.  In the course of the last 2 months, national governments have become increasingly indebted.

In turn, Western governments as well as political parties are increasingly under the control of  the creditors, who ultimately call the shots.

All levels of governments have been precipitated into a debt stranglehold. The debt cannot be repaid. In the US, the federal deficit “has increased by 26% to $984 billion for fiscal 2019, highest in 7 years”.  And that is just the beginning.

In Western countries, a colossal expansion of the public debt has occurred. It is being used to finance the “bailouts”, the “handouts” to corporations as well as “the social safety nets” to the unemployed.

The logic of the bailouts is in some regards similar to that of the 2008 economic crisis, but on a much larger scale. Ironically, in 2008, US banks were both the creditors of the US federal government as well as the lucky recipients: the rescue operation was funded by the banks with a view to  “bailing out the banks”. Sounds contradictory?

The Privatization of the State

This crisis will  eventually precipitate the privatization of the state. Increasingly, national governments will be under the stranglehold of Big Money.

Crippled by mounting debts, what is at stake is the eventual de facto privatization of the entire state structure, in different countries, at all levels of government, under the surveillance of powerful financial interests. The fiction of  “sovereign governments” serving the interests of the electors will nonetheless be maintained.

The first level of government up for privatization will be the municipalities (many of which are already partially or fully privatized, e.g. Detroit in 2013). America’s billionaires will be enticed to buy up an entire city.

Several major cities are already on the verge of bankruptcy. (This is nothing new).

Is the city of Vancouver up for privatization?: “the mayor of Vancouver has already indicated that he feared the bankruptcy of his city.” (Le Devoir, April 15, 2020)

In America’s largest cities, people are simply unable to pay their taxes: The debt of New York City for fiscal 2019 is a staggering $91.56 billion (FY 2019) an increase of 132% since FY 2000. In turn personal debts across America have skyrocketed.

“U.S. households collectively carry about $1 trillion in credit card debt”. No measures are being taken in the US to reduce the interest rates on credit card debt.

The New World Order?

The lockdown impoverishes both the developed and developing countries and literally destroys national economies.

It destabilizes the entire economic landscape. It undermines social institutions including schools and universities. It spearheads small and medium sized enterprises into bankruptcy.

What kind of World awaits us?

A diabolical “New World Order” in the making as suggested by Henry Kissinger? (WSJ Opinion, April 3, 2020):

“The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order”

Recall Kissinger’s historic 1974 statement: “Depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the Third World.” (1974 National Security Council Memorandum)

The political implications are far-reaching.

 What kind of government will we have in the wake of the crisis?

Concluding Remarks

There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding the nature of this crisis.

Several progressive intellectuals are now saying that this crisis constitutues a defeat of neoliberalism. “It opens up a new beginning”.

Some people see it as a “potential turning point”, which opens up an opportunity to “build socialism” or “restore social democracy” in the wake of the lockdown.

The evidence amply confirms that neoliberalism has not been defeated. Quite the opposite.

Global capitalism has consolidated its clutch. Fear and panic prevail. The State is being privatized. The tendency is towards authoritarian forms of government.

These are the issues which we must address.

That historical opportunity to confront the power structures of global capitalism, –including the US-NATO military apparatus– remains to be firmly established in wake of the lockdown.

THE CORONAVIRUS PLANNEDEMIC IS AN ACT OF WAR DESIGNED TO CRASH THE GLOBAL ECONOMIES AND BRING IN THE NEW WORLD ORDER WITH A DIGITAL ID

In the United States last week, stimulus checks are going out and I know people who have received them, I have not so far. Those $1,200 checks account for almost $500 billion of the total package, so where did the $1.5 trillion dollars go? They sold this whole thing as something that would primarily ‘benefit the people’, but which people exactly are receiving the other 75% of that massive mountain of money? Here’s something for you to chew on, Jeff Bezos’ wealth increased by $24 billion dollars this week while you were so excited with your $1,200 distraction money.  First rule to apply when you need to figure out something that makes no sense is who stands to benefit the most? That’s rule number one.

Rule number three is understanding we are living in certified end times, and the New World Order must rise to the forefront. Now figure out what the first two rules are.

Here we are at roughly the one month mark since the Plannedemic lockdown here in America went into effect, other nations like Italy, Israel, the UK and others had already been locked down. So what does the view at this level look like? It looks like exactly what I thought it looked like a month ago, a real virus hijacked and weaponized, combined with a worldwide campaign of fear and disinformation designed to make us so afraid that in the ‘fog of war’ we wouldn’t see what the elites we actually doing. ‘Toilet paper shortage’ that’s really a psy-op. But we who have the Holy Spirit saw this coming from a mile away.

“Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.” Acts 13:40,41 (KJB)

In the United States this week, stimulus checks are going out and I know people who have received them, I have not so far. Those $1,200 checks account for almost $500 billion of the total package, so where did the $1.5 trillion dollars go? They sold this whole thing as something that would primarily ‘benefit the people’, but which people exactly are receiving the other 75% of that massive mountain of money? Here’s something for you to chew on, Jeff Bezos’ wealth increased by $24 billion dollars this week while you were so excited with your $1,200 distraction money

First rule to apply when you need to figure out something that makes no sense is who stands to benefit the most? That’s rule number one. Rule number two is who is in what position after the changes take place. Rule number three is understanding we are living in certified end times, and the New World Order must rise to the forefront. Any questions? From the very beginning we have been lied to by China, by the World Health Organization, by Bill Gates, by Anthony Fauci, by the CDC, by all of them. Time to rouse from slumber, Christian, there’s a war on.

New World Order elite Jeff Bezos Gains $24 Billion While World’s Rich Reap Bailout Rewards

FROM YAHOO NEWS: The world’s richest person is getting richer, even in a pandemic, and perhaps because of it. With consumers stuck at home, they’re relying on Jeff Bezos’s Amazon.com Inc. more than ever. The retailer’s stock climbed 5.3% to a record Tuesday, lifting the founder’s net worth to $138.5 billion.

The pandemic has brought the global economy to a near standstill and pushed almost 17 million Americans onto the unemployment rolls in the span of three weeks. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. signaled Tuesday that loan losses fueled by the unprecedented job cuts — many of them in the retail sector that Amazon so efficiently disrupted — could rival those incurred after the 2008 financial crisis.

Yet Jeff Bezos and many of his wealthy peers have seen their fortunes recover in recent weeks, helped by the boost given to markets by unprecedented stimulus efforts by governments and central bankers. While the combined net worth of the world’s 500 richest people has dropped $553 billion this year, it has surged 20% from its low on March 23, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index

“The wealth gap, it’s only going to get wider with what’s going on now,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak + Co. “The really wealthy people haven’t had to worry. Yes, they’re less wealthy, but you haven’t had to worry about putting food on the table or keeping a roof over your head.” READ MORE

A Nice Overview Of The Trail Of Lies Around The Coronavirus

The World Health Organization is Bill Gates favorite group of end times elites, to paraphrase the old 70’s commercial, he liked them so much he bought the company!

Economist Destroys China – Calls Coronavirus An Act of War

Economist Danielle DiMartino Booth calls what China has done an act of war, she talks about the economic impact the coronavirus is going to have on the future and what the aftermath is going to look like in a sit-down with Patrick Bet-David.

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