Imagine if Kyle Rittenhouse Had Been Black?

If he hadn’t been shot to death that night, he would surely be in prison for his entire natural life.

Imagine this, Kyle Rittenhouse is a 17-year old Black kid from Illinois. He drives across the border into Kenosha to support the Black Lives Matter protests and on his way, a friend gives him the AR-15 he was holding for him because he’s too young to own one himself.

Fearing that other BLM protesters might be endangered by armed Trumpists, Black Kyle mingles with the marchers to let the Trumpists know that there is armed protection. Things quickly get out of hand and the young, Black, and armed, Kyle raises the weapon and fires it in self-defense. Two white Trumpists are killed and third one wounded.

Kyle, our Black one, then proceeds to run toward the police who are moving in on the crowd to investigate reports of shots fired. With the AR-15 hanging at his side and hands in the air, he moves briskly toward the police who now look like a US occupying force from Afghanistan.

What do you think happens to Black Kyle at this moment? I am willing to bet that he would have been mowed down by no less than 30 guns of the converging police. The amount of bullets soaring his way would have cut him in half.

Put yourself in their shoes, though: A young Black kid with an AR-15 is running toward them. Sure, his hands are over his head but he’s still a “young, Black kid with an AR-15,” right? There are shouts from the crowd that the kid coming at them had just shot people — sure, the cops, mostly white but not all of them, would have reacted the way they usually do when Black people are involved: Shoot first and ask questions later.

If Black Kyle managed not to be executed by the police that night, he would have by now been sentenced to an eternity of time in prison. Black people can shoot Black people and get away with it — they aren’t supposed to be shooting white people, though. Especially Trumpist white people who are backed by Fox News and the Republican Party.

Let’s get back to our reality for a bit.


He Was Protecting His Community

No matter how it would have been sliced, the Right was going to make the Kyle Rittenhouse story a rallying point. In the current iteration, white Foxified Trumpist slaughters two Americans aligned with the Black Lives Movement and, of course, they cry in mob-like unison, “he was protecting his community.”

This is the first lie, not that truth ever really matters to these people. Rittenhouse wasn’t from the community in which he pulled the trigger of that illegally-possessed weapon of mass destruction. He is not a resident of Kenosha but Antioch, Illinois. He drove himself across the border, and not his mother as has been wrongly reported.

The protests in Kenosha kicked off because 20-year old Jacob Blake was shot by police while being arrested. Blake, who was left crippled as a result of the shooting, had a knife in his possession. The police opened fire on him. Remember this moment when we remember how Kyle raced toward the police with his arms raised after he had finished his shooting people — they let him pass without a word being said to him.

Suffice it to say, the right has made Kyle Rittenhouse a hero.

He has been praised by all wingnuts starting with Trump and trickling down through the Pachinko machine of hate the Republican Party has become. Tucker Carlson has a special report in store for us thanks to a camera crew that was embedded with Kyle during the trial — even though his lawyer was against such a manipulation orchestrated by Fox News. The esteemed, and alleged rapist Matt Gaetz, has offered Rittenhouse a job — God Bless America and God Bless guns! Yippee!

Rittenhouse was protecting his community, the one that consists of course of white, Foxified Trumpists. He was protecting the “community” of white Americans, the ones who are being “hunted” by white liberals and illegal immigrants. Rittenhouse is a hero in his community — he is a soldier on their made-up front.

Forty, thirty, twenty, maybe even ten years, ago, Kyle Rittenhouse would have been found guilty, at least for involuntary manslaughter. He’d be in prison at this moment. The right, however, made this their cause. The right wing machine needs Rittenhouse to be innocent because with his innocence comes big plans — a big, bloody and not justified future for Trumpist fascists: Shooting liberals is now okay so long as you make it seem you were scared.

We already know that shooting Black Americans is cool with them — and quite often, if not always, the shooting are justified by white juries. Now the bullets can be earmarked for the rest of us and very little law enforcement will be enacted to keep us safe.


The Other Slice

Had Kyle Rittenhouse been Black and he somehow managed not to be killed that night by the police or the mob of white “patriots,” then Fox and the right would have been out in force in cities and towns all over America, gunned up like the dummies they look like, while they awaited the verdict.

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s nutty declaration that liberals are “hunting patriots” would have carried so much more weight, and even made her seem right in their eyes. The whites killed in my make-believe tale, would surely have already had parks, schools, strip malls and shooting ranges, named after them. Martyred for the cause of American fascism, eternal fires would be flicking in town squares all over the land they have us American patriots unwanted.

Had Kyle been Black and he was acquitted — something that would never happen in America — the proverbial shit would have hit the fan. It might have even been the turning point; the event that historians later would identify as the one that unofficially started the Civil War.

Take for example what some historians consider the moment when the South Carolinian, and pro-slavery, Senator Preston Brooks nearly beat Senator Charles Sumner to death with cane on the floor of the Senate in 1856. Some call this the moment when a civil war became inevitable.

Black Kyle, even if he was “defending” himself like the white Kyle, never would have been acquitted. The jury would have convicted him so fast, and the judge, who was clearly rooting for white Kyle to go free, would have thrown every possible year he could at the poor, Black kid.

I am not sure Kyle Rittenhouse is guilty of murder. I don’t believe he went there with the intention of gunning people down. I think he is a dumb and impressionable kid who was in a place he never should have been. I think the horseshit excuse that “bearing arms” is our constitutional right, and so we all get to walk around like a bunch of gunned-up losers looking for trouble, also led us to those deaths.

At a minimum, Rittenhouse should have been found guilty for manslaughter; instead, he will walk free and straight onto the sets of the right wing media machine. He will declare to the army of ignorant Trumpists out there who are envious at Rittenhouse’s good fortune — after all, he got to gun down a few liberals and was found not guilty.

Rittenhouse’s trial, no matter how it could have been sliced, would either become a case where the system is fixed against Trumpists and so the system must be torn down; or, with acquittal it becomes a declaration that hunting season on liberals is now open.

Guess we are now, my fellow non-Trumpists?


Yes Trolls, COVID Deaths Have Been Racially Disproportion

Ironically, this racial disparity has increased the risk for white folks too

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the almost unimaginable loss of life, rationality has been among America’s greatest casualties.

Thus, the proliferation of those who think doctors and nurses are the ones killing patients brought to the ICU, rather than COVID being the culprit for that.

Or those who believe taking horse de-wormer and inhaling hydrogen peroxide is better for attacking the virus than anything a hospital might do.

This lack of critical thought is also evident in the way some understand (or, more to the point, fail to understand) the data on COVID deaths.

To wit, several persons who have recently written to me insisting the claims about COVID disproportionately killing Black people and other folks of color are false.

As they explained it, those who push a racial disparity narrative do so only to besmirch the good name of America (and white people in particular) for letting it happen.

But as with all things, they’re wrong.

First, COVID has most assuredly hit Black folks especially hard — as well as Latinos and Indigenous persons — and the data is clear on this point.

Second, my purpose in pointing this out is not to shame white people but to wake us up, not only to the racialized injustice of COVID but also to how that injustice, ironically, has increased the risk to us.

In seeking to debunk COVID’s racially disparate toll, my electronic detractors pointed specifically to recent CDC data (see below), indicating that the share of COVID deaths among whites (61.4 percent) has been roughly equal to the white percentage of the population. In fact, they noted, the white share of fatalities has been slightly higher than the white proportion of the nation, which stands at 59.7 percent.

While the Black share of deaths (15.1 percent) has been above their population percentage too (12.6), the fact that this is also true for whites — and that the Latino death share (18 percent) is below their population percentage (18.6) — suggests COVID has been a pretty equal opportunity killer.

Centers for Disease Control, Health Disparities, Provisional Death Counts for COVID-19

But this is all kinds of wrong.

And if the people who sent me this had read the entire report whence these numbers came — or could merely understand it — they would know that.

Racial disparity in COVID deaths is evident once you adjust for age

To understand the racially disproportionate impact of COVID, one must remember that this virus is especially deadly for the elderly due to underlying health issues more likely experienced by them. And since white folks are far more likely to be elderly — a function of systemic racial and economic inequity suppressing life expectancy for others — a large share of the dead will be older and white.

But that’s why you have to age-adjust the data. Only then can you get a clear sense of racial risk at every age group.

And when you make those adjustments — which the CDC did in that same report mentioned above — you can see the magnitude of the problem.

Although COVID does kill older folks at racially disparate rates, the disparities above the age of 65 and especially 75 are not as significant due to the consistency with which this virus kills the aged.

Where things change significantly is when you examine the non-elderly.

Among persons 55–64, whites are 69 percent of the population, but only 45.5 percent of those who have died in that age group.

For persons 45–54, whites are 61 percent of the population but a little less than 37 percent of the dead from COVID.

On the other hand, Black folks are 12 percent of the 55–64 population but 21 percent of COVID deaths in that group — a rate nearly 1.8 times what it would be if their deaths were consistent with their share of the 55–64 age cohort.

For 35–44-year-olds, Black folks are a bit less than 13 percent of the population but more than 23 percent of deaths in this group.

Latinos are 18 percent of the 45–54 age group, but 35 percent of that cohort’s deaths — almost double the share we’d expect if deaths mirrored the population percentages.

And the data is genuinely stunning for Indigenous persons.

For 35–44-year-olds, Indigenous folks are 0.7 percent of the population but nearly 3 percent of deaths — a share of deaths fully four times their population percentage of that age group.

For 25–34-year-olds, Indigenous persons are 0.8 percent of the population but nearly 4 percent of the dead in this group.

A few calculations from the following chart also demonstrate the magnitude of COVID’s racial disparity.

While only 15 percent of white COVID deaths have been to persons under 65, nearly a third of Blacks who’ve died were younger than that. And while only 1 in 33 white decedents have been younger than 50, almost 1 in 10 Blacks who have died were that young.

For Latinos, nearly 4 in 10 of the dead have been under 65, and around 1 in 8 have been under 50.

For Indigenous persons who have died, 42 percent have been under 65, and 1 in 7 have been younger than 50.

Racial disparities in health outcomes are NOT just about economics

Some might say that these racial disparities in COVID deaths, though real, aren’t about race per se. This is the kind of racism denial you often get from certain quarters of the left. Such persons don’t dispute the disproportionate disadvantages Black folks face, for instance, but merely insist that those disadvantages have less to do with race-based unfairness and more to do with socioeconomic status.

But denial, no matter how “progressive,” is still just bullshit.

Although COVID data hasn’t been broken out by race and class together, we know that when it comes to the co-morbidities that tend to make COVID fatal, Black, Indigenous, and Latino folks suffer more of them than whites at every level of economic condition.

Indeed, better-off persons of color typically fare no better than lower income and working class whites when it comes to health, and often quite a bit worse.

For instance, in one study of severe maternal morbidity (SMM) — a leading indicator of population-level health — Black women in low poverty neighborhoods were more than four times as likely to experience a severe maternity-related complication as white women from high poverty neighborhoods.

Likewise, Black women with at least a Bachelor’s degree had SMM rates 2.4 times higher than white women who never graduated high school.

In other words, racial health disparities before COVID, which have now driven COVID disparities over the past 19 months, are not simply about Black and brown folks being poorer, on average than white people.

It is not a matter of “class, not race.” It’s about how racial mistreatment and discrimination, historic and contemporary, have affected Black and brown people, even when they are educated, employed, and have decent health care coverage.

But ironically, all this Black and brown death has also hurt white people

Having said all of this, just because persons of color have borne a disproportionate share of the suffering from COVID does not mean white Americans can breathe easily.

As I’ve discussed previously, the trajectory of COVID has demonstrated how interrelated we are and how dangerous it is to think you’re not at risk just because others seem to be taking the brunt of the damage.

When the early reports last April indicated the impact of COVID mainly was falling on Black folks in large urban areas, many seemingly decided the virus wasn’t a risk to them.

That was the point when conservatives, led by President Trump, started demanding the re-opening of temporarily shuttered businesses and the resumption of normalcy. Now that they knew those people were doing the bulk of the dying, it was as if they decided they could go back to their regular lives, confident they would be safe.

And so they did: they refused to mask, scoffed at social distancing, and then when the vaccine became available, they were the ones disproportionately refusing to take it.

Now, look what’s happened.

In March and April of 2020, white folks were only about 30 percent of those who had died from COVID, even with the way this virus primarily affects the elderly and even with whites being a disproportionate share of such persons.

But by the end of 2020, 55 percent of those dying monthly were white. Now, over 60 percent of the overall dead are white. And increasingly, this toll is falling on white folks in precisely the conservative, Trump-loving states where people felt immune.

It’s no exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands of white people have died who wouldn’t have died had we taken COVID more seriously early on when it seemed primarily a problem for those who weren’t white like us.

But because of the early disparities — still evident once you adjust for age — we took our foot off the brake, and here we are, pushing 700,000 dead. More than 1 in 500 Americans have now died because of COVID.

Yet, in the face of this mass death, millions are choosing, out of allegiance to a real estate developer and former game show host, to rely on Facebook friends, Reddit threads, and MAGA TikTok for advice rather than scientists and doctors the world over.

Between their medical ignorance and their inability to interpret basic data, there is no reason to think things will get better for America anytime soon.

Why Do I Feel Stuck?

It happens every once in a while, and it’s normal.

In life, there are moments when we feel like life is monotonous. And in those moments, we often ask ourselves: “What am I doing with my life?”

It is normal to feel this way because these moments often happen in life, and they will always come and go.

Sometimes the trigger would be our self-doubt, which will lead us to compare ourselves with other people. We might also overthink what other people think or say about us.

And once you felt that way, you’ll go down the rabbit hole of attacking yourself until you feel like shit.

Overthinking about being stuck will not get you anywhere. But it would be best if you didn’t avoid or deny this feeling. It’s something that we should accept, as it is a process that makes us grow.‍

It is a way for us to be able to understand ourselves better.

So take some time to grasp the feeling, declutter your mind, and try to figure it out. It will take time to do so, but you can’t “unstuck” yourself just by thinking about it. You have to do something to untangle yourself.

Just like how you wouldn’t know if you’d like to eat something before trying it, sometimes we need to experience the things that we don’t enjoy to understand what we want in life.

It’s not stupid to do the wrong thing, be at the wrong place, or have bad timing. At least you tried, and you should be proud of trying.

You’re Not Lazy. That’s It. That’s The Problem

You’re not lazy.

That’s not the problem.

It’s not that you’re scared or distracted or something else. You don’t have to hustle like Gary Vee. You don’t have to just do it. You don’t have to be a living embodiment of the swoosh. It’s interesting how many times this idea comes up. Even Shia LaBeouf has a spin on it.

Here’s the big secret…

We think being lazy is the opposite of being successful and productive. What if it’s not? What if being lazy was necessary? What if procrastinating weren’t a bad thing? What if you were just bad at them?

Maybe being lazy is a skill.

We’ve forgotten it.

Everyone is lazy.

Here’s the most basic definition of lazy:

Unwilling to do work.

I’m pretty sure that includes all of us. Nobody loves work. Some of us have managed to make money off doing things we enjoy. We call it “work” because it earns income or brings us some kind of reward. The dirty little truth is that we do it for its own sake.

We got lucky.

There was a point in human history where laziness couldn’t exist. You either found food and shelter, or you starved. You froze. You got eaten. Once you had food and shelter, you didn’t go about making more shelter just for the hell of it. You kicked back and relaxed. You painted the walls of your cave because you wanted to, not because it was “work.”

My neighborhood has a few stray cats. They don’t do anything more than they have to in order to survive. They enjoy long naps.

This is what animals do.

We’re animals.

None of us are exactly “willing” to do work. What we’re willing to do is exchange our time and energy for things we need. We want to do as little work as possible for the maximum outcome. Doing more work than necessary is actually the root of our biggest problems.

Laziness is good for you.


We crave homeostasis.

Do you know what really motivates people?

A desire to do nothing.

We operate on what psychologists call drives, or needs. Our biggest need of all is homeostasis, a point where we can stop worrying about everything and just chill out for a little while. We do things so we don’t have to do them anymore, at least not until tomorrow.

We don’t allow ourselves to do nothing anymore.

We’ve bought into the lie that doing nothing is wrong. If it’s not unproductive, it’s just plain boring. So we look for fun.

We eat out.

We go to movies. We play games. We throw parties. We bathe. We get drunk. We do anything but stay home.

The closest thing we have to nothing is called meditating. We’re supposed to do it sitting upright, with our legs in a pretzel. We’re supposed to by special clothes and download apps. We have to consume it. We write about it in journals. We track it in apps.

You know the worst part?

We’re constantly sold homeostasis. Every ad out there sells the idea of lounging around doing nothing. It’s just that they’re doing it in an exotic location, or in leisure, because that’s approved. The marketers and influencers have taken something we can do for free whenever we want, and they’ve turned it into the most exclusive form of luxury.

Only the rich can be lazy.


Being lazy is the best type of rest.

Tell me if this has ever happened to you: Your family goes on vacation, or you take a trip with friends. It’s supposed to be relaxing.

You come back exhausted.

Stuff like this has happened to me my entire life. I do something that’s supposed to be restful and restorative.

It makes everything worse.

We think we understand rest. We don’t. There’s actually seven types of rest, and you need them all:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Sensory
  • Creative
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Spiritual

Some people get all these types of rest without really trying. I remember those days, before I had a spouse or a kid. I could do whatever I wanted, and I almost never felt tired. I could be lazy, and there was nobody around to heap demands on me or pass judgment.

Those days are gone.

If you’re like me, you have lots of pulls on your time and energy. It’s easier to get worn out. It’s hard to figure out what kind of rest you need.

It’s even harder to justify getting that rest.

 Now I’ve honed the ability to procrastinate. I don’t have to clean the counters right now, or the toilets.

They can wait. My rest is more important.

Rest, it’s one of my favorite things. I enjoy it more than Netflix.

It’s even better than sex.

I love being lazy.


Drop the ball

One of my favorite books is Drop The Ball, by Tiffany Dufu. It’s one of the most underrated self-help books of all time. Maybe that’s because it suggests there’s nothing wrong with you, except one thing:

You do too much.

Some of us are overworked because we’re taking up the slack from coworkers and spouses who don’t pull their weight. We take on their responsibilities, and over time it becomes an expectation.

They feel entitled.

There’s a simple solution to this problem.

Stop doing it.

Being lazy is hard work for some of us. We have to learn the art of not doing their work, to the point it becomes a problem. It will bother us to see work not getting done. We have to get over it.

It’s called learning to be lazy.


Being “busy” is killing us

The true opposite of being lazy is having something to do. They fit together. We do things in order to satisfy our drives. Once they’re done, we’ve achieved homeostasis. We can go back to being lazy.

We’ve twisted purpose into something else. Now our lives our full of things we have to do that don’t achieve homeostasis.

They throw us further out of whack.

Most of us don’t need 40–60 hours a week to do our jobs. It’s not even close. And yet, we’re pressured to fill up that time. In fact, our jobs are often filled with disruptions and distractions.

Whenever we do finish our work earlier, we’re not rewarded.

We’re punished.

Our bosses give us more work. They cut our hours and send us home. So we find ways to look busy. We write memos. We hold pointless meetings. We attend professional development workshops.

It’s all a waste.


Bring back lazy

Maybe you feel out of whack. Maybe you struggle to focus. You have actual things you want to accomplish, not just busywork. For some reason you just can’t get started on them.

Maybe it’s not because you’re lazy.

Maybe it’s because you’re not lazy. You’re doing too much. You’re trying to please your family, your boss, and even total strangers. You’re not doing the things that would actually satisfy you, and it’s keeping you from achieving homeostasis. Either that, or you’re mistaking your body’s need to do nothing as a bad thing, and you’re depriving it of valuable rest.

I have a suggestion, and it goes counter to the Nike slogan. They say, “Just do it.” For some of us, that’s the answer — not always.

Just don’t.


This is the Dawn of the Age of Collapse

Our Civilization is Now Reaching an Omega Point — the Point of Irreversible Collapse

This gentle world that you and I know, that I love, of old parks full of ancient trees, long walks through them — all that is now coming to a swift and sudden end.

We are reaching what I call the Omega Point. “O” for game over. The Omega Point is the inflection point at which our civilisation will no longer survive — and we are coming closer and closer to it by the day now. We are surely going to hit it within the next two decades, perhaps the next decade, on the trajectory we are on.

Omega isn’t some kind of abstruse notion — it’s just simple economics, which any grade schooler can understand. Let me explain it you conceptually, and then I’ll describe how life will change as we begin to hit it.

The world’s GDP is about $80 trillion. Omega is theoretically hit when the costs of the existential threats of the 21st century that our civilisation now faces — climate change, mass extinction, ecological collapse, and the pandemics and social upheavals and economic depressions they’ll ignite — exceeds the world’s GDP. At that point, we are spending every dollar, euro, and renminbi we have to fight floods, hurricanes, fires, and pandemics — which leaves nothing, and I mean nothing, over for air, water, food, energy, medicine. Bang. The lights go out.

In the real world, though, Omega is hit long before the costs of our existential threats reach the ceiling of global GDP. As we fight climate change, ecological collapse, mass extinction, pandemics, authoritarianism, we must still feed and nourish and clothe and mend ourselves — that is, we need to spend a significant percentage on the basics, food, water, air, medicine, shelter, clothing, and so forth. That’s about half of global GDP right now.

So realistically, Omega — the point at which our civilisation collapses, for sure, permanently, game over — is hit at about half of global GDP spent on combating our existential threats.That leaves us too little left over for the basics of life, and civilisation descends into chaos, ruin, and social collapse — just as it has, for example, in America, as people fight each other bitterly for self-preservation.

So we hit the Omega point when the damage caused by our existential challenges — climate change, ecological collapse, pandemics, authoritarianism, etc — reaches $40 to 60 trillion at our current level of global income and wealth.

Now, if that doesn’t make sense, think about it this way.If you had to spend 100% of your income, say, mending your roof, or shoring up your home’s foundations, you’d be effectively broke. Sure, you could borrow, maybe, if you were lucky, and you had good credit. But you would still be bankrupt in net terms. And as a world, we have no such luxury — when we are broke, collectively, nobody is left to lend to us. Omega therefore represents the point at which our civilisation is effectively bankrupt: when we’re $40 trillion to $60 trillion in the hole.

At that point, there will be no way out. We will be broke, and not have the economic capacity to mitigate, avert, or address problems like climate change and ecological collapse anymore. Their costs will have exceeded the total economic resources of our civilization.

Nice theory, Queen, you might say — but so what? Surely Omega, this sci-fi concept you’ve invented, is in the distant future. It’s something our great grandkids might have to worry about! Relax, dude! Everything will be fine!

Wrong!

Let me put in context for you just how close we are to hitting Omega. $40 to $60 trillion might sound like a lot — but in fact, it’s not. It is frighteningly little. Take Covid. It’s a relatively minor problem compared to climate change or mass extinction, in scale, scope, and intensity. Its damages won’t remotely approach those of a melted down planet. And yet the IMF has estimated that Covid has already cost us $24 trillion.

Covid alone takes us about 40 to 60% of the way to hitting Omega. Covid alone. My God. This afternoon, when I thought about this, and ran the numbers in my head, my heart skipped a beat. We are in serious, serious trouble, I thought. My God. Are you seeing the problem here? Let me spell it out.

So what about climate change? The IMF has estimated that climate change costs about 7% of global GDP — but that’s just subsidies for undercharging for carbon (if that makes your head spin, don’t worry about it.) That doesn’t factor in the damage caused by climate change — megafires, megafloods, mega-hurricanes, and so forth. It doesn’t even factor in, for example, the global microchip shortage, that was essentially caused by climate change.

So how much is that? Easily twice as much again — so now we’re at another 15% of global GDP. And even that’s sure to be a significant underestimate. We don’t know how much climate change is really going to cost us — all we know is that the costs are going to be singular in human history. The costs are going to be so great at some point they can never be repaid at all — do you know how to make the Arctic ice freeze again, how to make a rainforest? I didn’t think so. So doubling that estimate of climate change’s costs is far too conservative. I’d put the truer number at closer to 25% of the world’s GDP. But we can put it on a spectrum from 15% to 25%, because even that conservative math makes the point frighteningly clear.

In a world of Covid plus climate change, we’re already close to hitting OmegaCovid costs us 10 percent of the world’s GDP, and climate change another 15% to 25%. That’s 25% to 35% of global GDP — just on these two threats alone. Omega’s hit somewhere near fifty percent, remember. That means that we are more than halfway to hitting Omega, right now. That we are almost sure to hit it by the end of the decade or so.

We haven’t even factored in the biggies yet: mass extinction and ecological collapse. We are used to living in an alienated, hyper-technological, disconnected way. But the truth is that the basics of our lives come from…the earth. The insects and worms turn the soil in which we harvest our crops and medicines. The fish clean the rivers which supply our reservoirs. The trees, like the ones in my park, breath out the air we breathe in. The earth’s great ecosystems are reaching tipping points, because industrialisation and its predatory economics rips their roots out at the bottoms, killing off the most vulnerable things: little insects, fish, young saplings. Where and when they’re “replaced,” monocultures are made, which are no substitute for natural ecosystems and their complexity and productivity.

As the planet’s great ecologies collapse, our civilisations basic systems will fail. The most basic of all. Air, water, food, medicine, energy. The ones we have long taken for granted. And that’s when the fireworks will really begin. Life will become a bitter, brutal battle for self-preservation. Neighbour will turn on neighbour, and friend on friend — not just at local scales, but at national and then international ones. What will you do when the food, water, medicine, and air begin to run out? Well, the first thing you’ll do — have to do — is pay through the nose for what’s left. And the ensuing despair, poverty, and rage will kickstart a new wave of fascist-authoritarian movements globally.

If you think all that’s some distant fantasy, take a hard look at how long it took America to collapse. The middle class became a minority in 2010, and by 2016, Trump was made President, by an enraged, downwardly mobile white majority. That is how fast a society comes apart — even the richest one in the world. And in that way American collapse is a tiny warning of what awaits the world in an age of civilizational collapse. People turn ugly and stupid as they fight for self-preservation. Politics turns fascist. Economies go south. And a sense of indifference takes over. Because life becomes a bitter struggle for each isolated, disconnected individual. If you’re living, like the average American, a life of unpayable debt, facing an impossible challenge till the day you die — what emotional or economic room do you have to care about anyone else? You don’t. Bang. That’s how societies collapse: poverty.

So how much will ecological collapse and mass extinction cost us?Physicists have a point called a singularity — where all the laws of physics break down. This is an economic singularity. Nobody knows, and in a sense, it doesn’t matter, because the question makes no sense. How much does it “cost” to live on a planet where the air isn’t breathable, the water isn’t potable, and the food isn’t edible? Where life itself is poisonous? The question itself is absurd. The only good way to frame it is the opposite: it costs so much that nobody really realises their potential. People live short, dull, stupid, angry, desperate, lives, where they get sick, die young, and nobody much cares about anyone else. That’s what it costs. Attempting to quantify all that is an exercise in futility — all that we can say is that the cost is civilisation itself.

Still, for the sake of argument, let’s say, conservatively, again, that ecological collapse and mass extinction cost us another 25% of global GDP. They do so by causing widespread shortages of the basics. You used to be able to go the store, and buy anything you liked — now getting good water and fresh food is a daily challenge, which often goes unmet. Then there are the pandemics, which seem to erupt every five years or so. There’s the shortage of life-saving medicines, which cost a society huge numbers of life-years. There are the costs of migrations — people simply abandon those places which have become deserts, as the topsoil eroded away. Fire Belts, Flood Belts, Plague Belts — all these are the vocabulary people speak now, and the price of being poor is living in one. If you have the money, you flee, at all costs.

As a result, financial systems begin to break down. Who’s going to insure a Fire Belt, Flood Belt, Plague Belt?Those who did go broke — bang! There goes a whole asking sector and insurance industry. Who’s going to write a mortgage against a home that’s going to be incinerated or flooded — or already is, every year? Who’s going to insure a life whose expectancy is declining due to a new pandemic every few years? As financial crashes follow ecological ones, as natural disasters metastasise into economic catastrophes, whole economies begin to seize up. Banks don’t lend, businesses shutter their doors, mass long-term unemployment is the new normal. Getting money out of the bank is an iffy affair. Paying your bills — who knows if you’ll do it this month.

All that? Easily another 25% of global GDP.

And that puts well past the Omega Point. 20% Covid. 15 to 25% climate change. 25% ecological collapse — in truth, the number will be much higher. Still, all that is enough to put our civilisation past the point of no return. Add those up, and you get somewhere between 60 to 70 percent of GDP as the costs of our existential challenges. Bang. That’s too much. We can’t pay it. We can’t afford it. It makes us broke. And growing, poverty produces across our civilisation what it always does in societies: despair, rage, hostility, cruelty, stupidity, violence, fascism.

Omega. Game Over. The point at which the costs of our existential threats exceed our civilisations economic resources. When that point is hit, there is no turning back. Collapse is inevitable. We are, in my estimation, somewhere between 10 to 15 years away from hitting Omega.

Those are words that are frightening for me to write. They take my breath away. I’m not often wrong on issues of economics — I predicted everything from the crash of ’08 to the wave of authoritarianism sweeping the globe to American collapse. That’s not to toot my own horn. It’s to warn you.

The problem of imminent civilizational collapse is not being taken nearly seriously enough. How do we fix it? We invest, right now, like never before.

While we still have the money, energy, time, While we still have the resources to address our existential problems. Before they swamp us, flood us, incinerate us, spin out of control. Take Covid as an example. It was better to swallow a bitter pill, like New Zealand and Taiwan and Vietnam did, and lock down swiftly and hard — they have, by and large, bounced back. Those that didn’t swallow the bitter pill, like America, Britain, and Europe, are now paying a price without end — a pandemic that has spiralled out of control and won’t go away.

The lesson couldn’t be clearer. We have to get serious about our existential threats now, before they spin out of control.The closer that we come to Omega, the uglier life will get. The poorer we will grow as a civilization, and the uglier, stupider, more violent life will get — and the more powerless we will be to change it all. Just like it has in America.

I’ve estimated it will cost about $20 trillion to begin really addressing all these problems — a quarter of global GDP. 

That’s the scale at which we’re talking right now. Do you hear anyone — a single prime minister, politician, leader, CEO, talking at those scales?

I didn’t think so. And that, my friend, is the problem. We are about to be engulfed by our existential threats, and it is already hitting us faster, harder, and more severely than anyone much thought. Civilizational collapse is now the theme that will dominate the rest of our adult lives. Covid is a warning. This is the dawn of the age of collapse.

I’m Sorry, but Climate Change Will Not Be Stopped

Don’t get me wrong. Your heart is in the right place, but you are still living a delusional life, thinking that your desires are reflected in our politics because a 70-something-year-old in political office said some words once. You’re kind of like a smoker saying they’ll quit tomorrow, right after they finish this pack.

Tomorrow never comes, however. The smoker buys another pack. They’ll quit after this fresh new pack, after all.

You vote for another corporate politician who is paid to be liked by you, paid to say the things you want to hear, who enacts legislation favorable to big industries — in this case, any industry reliant on or producing fossil fuels. Like that smoker, you’ll quit your bad behavior tomorrow. The behavior of electing the same people who make the same promises over and over that they then break over and over. The same behavior of purchasing goods and services from those corporations that create all the emissions that cause the climate issues.

Today, though? You still have hope. The future is always full of potential correct choices that we can make. You can always quit smoking tomorrow. The past and present, however…

I’m sorry liberals, but climate change is coming. Your carbon taxes and credits won’t stop the easy money of fossil fuels from either simply paying for those credits and taxes while still burning fuel in excess, or from avoiding those regulations altogether through accounting tricks and the systemic reality of global capitalism.

Dodging some phone calls

Corporations consume, just like whatever ate most of this mushroom.

How can corporations avoid those regulations? Well, depending on the implementation of these liberal political solutions, big firms will either just drill elsewhere, refine elsewhere, or find a consumer base elsewhere.

That “elsewhere” is whatever country doesn’t have those carbon-reducing regulations. If you think this won’t happen, I offer the entire history of neoliberal global capitalism as proof of how these regulations will be avoided.

New labor markets get exploited elsewhere when unions are a problem locally. Corporations move headquarters for tax avoidance all the time. They also find new markets to sell their goods within when consumers in one location can’t afford the price of the goods locally — the consumer can always import them from elsewhere if they want them enough and have the extra cash.

Cash is king. Screw the environment. That’s not your home, is it? Capitalism is your culture, now. Accept it.

Regulatory pressure and the corporations avoiding that pressure are no different — it will either be cheap enough locally to pay off politicians to prevent regulation, or corporations will just move their headquarters somewhere else, a place that doesn’t impose regulations on them in exchange for the jobs and GDP growth to bolster that country’s tax receipts.

The politicians love that stuff.

No, I don’t mean wherever you grew up, or wherever your parents are. Wherever that home is might be underwater when climate change is in full swing — depending on the surrounding topography, of course.

I mean go back home.

The interesting scientific fact of life here on earth is that we are all related. I’m related to you, even if the distance of our relation is large.

The other interesting scientific fact of life here on earth is that all life is related. From the tiniest little fungus growing on a fallen branch, to the huge oak tree whose branch fell off and is rotting on the ground, to the snake that lives under the fallen branch, to the coyote that just trotted past the fallen branch, to the human hunter tracking the coyote because it killed a chicken… We are all related.

Everything you look at that is alive is a distant relative.

You haven’t been home in a long, long time.

You’ve been in a world of steel and concrete and carbon and asphalt and glass and drywall. You’ve been in a world of on-demand air-conditioning and heating — all reliant on carbon, of course. You’ve been in a world of on-demand entertainment, unable to entertain yourself in the ways humans have entertained themselves for a million years. You’ve been in a world of on-demand McDonald’s and Panera and Subway and the French Laundry and Door Dash and Uber and Lyft and AirBnB and artisanal soaps and just this once, you know, treat yourself!

Your nature has been replaced with capitalism.

You’ve been renting an apartment in another city in another country on another continent, far from your home.

You speak a language that nature doesn’t know, now. Your home doesn’t speak your language, and you have forgotten how to listen to the words it uses. They’re not literal words — the home you left long ago speaks in a language of signs and symbols, able to be divined only roughly, and only learned through some intuitive form of semiotics.

Your home speaks a language of chirps, and barks, and rustles, and wind, and dampness, and sharpness, and roughness, and dirtiness, and growth, and decay, and heat, and cold, and fangs, and beauty, and fear.It’s a language you would need to know if you wanted to stop or reverse climate change — it’s how we didn’t notice a problem until recently. We didn’t hear the words our home was using to tell us about it, and now that it’s screaming, we’ve finally taken notice. It’s too late.

Without knowing the language, you will never be able to be comfortable in a carbon-free home. You will never stay there willingly. You will never make the pilgrimage back home because you will not be welcome there. You may crash there for a weekend, but you will go back to your normal world immediately due to the discomfort of not understanding the language. There will be nowhere for you to sleep comfortably, no food for you to eat, and no company to share.

There will be no one to talk to back home. You are a stranger to your family.

How to become welcome again

The religious know of a concept called revelation. As an atheist, I can’t say I have ever experienced religious revelation.

But I have experienced natural revelation before. The religious will try to attach their rhetoric to this somehow, but I know better. I received natural revelation when I started to remember the language, when I began to sense the dialect of our home.

I received a completely subjective form of knowledge that I couldn’t give anyone else — no attempt at translation could transmit it between you and I. It was knowledge only I could have. I could describe the steps to take to get there, but I couldn’t describe the knowledge sitting at the end of those steps.

And I could only describe my steps. I don’t know if your steps will be different. It brings to mind a quote I know, although it describes the inverse of this situation between us:

There is a false saying: “How can someone who can’t save himself save others?” Supposing I have the key to your chains, why should your lock and my lock be the same.

Friedrich Nietzsche

I know my lock and I have my key — but I don’t know your lock, and I do not have your key. You have to find those yourself for natural revelation.

It was easier for me to pick up the dialect of our home again than many others, I suppose. I spent most of my youth in the woods. I probably chopped down one hundred trees before I was twelve. I spent years in the military in the bitter cold of the arctic and the extreme heat of the desert. I’ve caught wild fish with my hands in a jungle pond. I’ve seined for bait fish to catch bigger fish to eat. I’ve seen cows, alienated from their natural world by human forces, get stuck in the mud of a ravine and die. They are not home just like you are not home.

Climate change may very well be your mud.

So, I have always been able to intuitively understand bits and pieces of the language of our home. My alienation was not as complete as most of us today — it’s harder for me to get stuck in the mud than many. I could tell there was a language being spoken, even if I couldn’t speak it, much like how I know when someone is speaking German and I understand the general idea of what they are saying, while I can only speak English fluently.

But, you? It’s very likely you’re reading this somewhere in a city, on a floor of a building not at ground level, or on a train scrolling through articles displayed on a phone that has a million times the processing power needed to get to the moon and back.

You likely speak a language completely foreign to your home. You need to go back — the door has always been open, and your family has been waiting for you. They’ve missed you, even if they don’t know what to make of you any more.

When you start to speak their language — when you have a naturalrevelation after some time spent at home — you will be welcomed again. Just like we always were, until only very recently in our history.

It’s not too late for you. It’s never too late to go back home — your real, ancestral home. You will only be judged there if you do not speak the language. That can be overcome.

When you can speak their language, you are what your family calls an apex predator. They respect you greatly. Only humans will ever debate whether you are one or not — a luxurious argument that only another apex predator could make.

The first painful steps

The first steps are the hardest in any journey. You know the road ahead will be long and difficult and maybe even dangerous.

The first step in going home is to go home. There is no way out of the process but through the process. It is natural and personal.In the language of humans, this means… Put your shoes on. Put on a hoodie or a jacket if it’s cool outside. Take a backpack or a bag you can walk with comfortably. Throw some bottles of water in there. Skip the snacks — you’re going hungry today. Trust me, food will only slow you down.

And now, just go walk somewhere that humans aren’t. That’s it. That’s how you go home.

And I don’t mean go to an abandoned strip mall, either. I mean go to where the woods and forests are. Go out into the desert. Go up into the mountains. Go down into the swamps and jungles. Go out into the grasslands. Go far down the beach, way past the parking lot where all the tourists are. Step off of a path and keep walking. Keep walking for hours in your home. And keep walking still, until you are exhausted. And then, sit there for a while. Regain your strength. Look around. Poke stuff with your fingers. Listen.

Maybe don’t eat anything just yet. You don’t know the language. Yes, I know you’re hungry. Let the feeling pass through you. It doesn’t have the power over you that you think it does.

Then, turn around and come back to your apartment in the human world, far from home.

You won’t speak the language at first, or even hear it. You will be startled by wild animals. You will be feasted upon by mosquitos or ticks or leeches or flies or all of the above. You will be tired and thirsty and hungry and sore and uncomfortable. You will feel not welcome.

But if you do this enough — if you practice this immersive form of learning the language of your home over days, weeks, months — you will understand what nature is saying when it’s trying to communicate with you. You will understand what your distant relatives are saying again, like you used to before the concrete and steel.

It will be that form of natural revelation that you are alienated from now that you will feel, the subjective knowledge that I cannot give to you. A form of knowledge only gained by experience. No words can suffice. No translation is possible. Your key is not my key.

Why you must go home

You have to go home if you ever want to reverse climate change. Capitalism has alienated you from a fossil-fuel-free life. Even if we stopped all use of fossil fuels — and thereby saved the climate and the world’s ecosystems from collapse, if we were lucky enough to have done it thirty years ago — you would be screaming and crying for fossil fuels to return within the next day.

That first night at home would be unbearable to you. It would be a Pyrrhic climate victory. You do not know that which you wish for.

This alienation is complete as long as we do not recognize it. We only do not recognize it because we do not feel the discomfort of going home and trying to speak to our family. The discomfort is unbearable and slaps you in the face with the alienation you have succumbed to unknowingly. A passive alienation you couldn’t detect, because it was made so easy for you.

The more you are home, though, the more you will be immersed in the language of your family. You will become comfortable around them. They’ll stop running away from you when you show up — not always, and not all of them, hell… some of them don’t even have legs — but you will be speaking their language and know what not to say to them that would cause offense.

They’ll share their culture with you freely. It costs nothing but your time and discomfort.

Have you ever wondered how wildlife photographers can take photos of lions and bears and poisonous snakes up close? They’ve spent a lot of time at home and they speak the language fluently.

If you want to save the climate — if you want to fix the world — you have to go home first. That’s the first step.

They miss you. You’ve been avoiding their calls. Stop sending them to voicemail just because you no longer speak the language fluently. It can be learned again. It’s natural for you.


It’s Time to Make Your Escape Plan From a Collapsing America

Over the years, I’ve predicted America’s collapse into fascism, hate, and backwardness. Often with enough detail and precision to chill many of you. And in response, you often wondered, here in the comments, or in emails to me, “Should I

leave?” I’ve left the question open. I’ll come back to why in just a moment. But now the time has to come to say it openly.

You should make exit plans from a collapsing America.

Over the years, we’ve discussed America’s abysmally low quality of life, and compared to Europe, Canada, or even many middle income countries, it’s one thing to wonder about leaving for a higher quality of life. It’s quite another to understand that the end of American democracy is now in sight, and is becoming more and more certain by the day.

Why? America’s future is now more or less obvious to anyone with eyes to see. Let me begin at the beginning.

America was given one last chance to preserve not just its “democracy,” but to stave off its inevitable plunge into fascism. 

That last chance was nothing short of a minor miracle. The coup on Jan 6th was stopped by a handful of brave police officers. Many of them literally gave their lives. Why? To prevent fascist militants from accomplishing their goal, which was to stop the counting of Presidential votes — even if by massacring anyone standing in their way. Remember those gallows? Remember the open cries for violence?

Societies do not often get chances like this. America got incredibly, incredibly lucky. If the coup had been successful — and it came within a hairs’ breadth of being successful — anything could have happened. The election could have been stopped, a full blown constitution crisis would have ensued, Trump easily could have declared martial law. American democracy would have come to an end.

So what have Democrats done with that fateful, incredibly fortunate second chance? They’ve squandered it. Yes, I know they passed a bill today. That bill is inconsequential. It adds up to less than 1% of GDP.

What does it actually take to stop fascism? Not in “my opinion,” but as in “what we know from history?” Three things. One, a socio-economic reconstruction plan, on the order of about half of a society’s economy, not 1% of GDP. Two, a process of special justice, which punishes the fascists for their transgressions and abuses of power. Three, the cultural impact of all that, which translates into stronger and more robust norms against hate and brutality and supremacy.

A society has to say never again. And mean it. Economically, culturally, socially.

The Democrats have not led America to that place. Instead, something dark and sinister is happening. Again, it’s not “my opinion” — it’s a fact. They are losing key races across the country. The midterms will be a rout. Why?

Because American fascism has hardened and grown and matured. Think about the last round of Big Lies. “They stole the election from us!” Now think about how Glenn Youngkin just won Virginia: “They’re coming for our kids!” Us. Our. Who are we talking about? Well, that’s coded — or maybe not so coded — language. It is the open language of white supremacy and fascism.

“Us” and “our” mean a certain kind of American. You can call it “white America,” though that’s certainly too broad, or you can call it “working class white America,” though plenty of downwardly middle class whites are part of this movement. This fascist movement. Which is Trumpism. And now it’s evolving and maturing.

“They’re coming for our kids” is a much, much more sinister and dangerous lie than “they stole the election from us!” Your kids are the most important thing in your life. It is a raw appeal to emotion, which triggers rage and aggression and hostility on a primal level. That is why you could see the bizarre scenes of parents… screaming… death threats… at teachers… and principals… at town meetings. “They’re coming for our kids” is a giant leap for American fascism. It is the kind of Big Lie that caused a mass hysteria, a moral panic, amongst Weimar Germans, and turned them genocidally against the Jews.

There are levels of fascist Big Lies. “They stole the election from us!” Is a political Big Lie. But “they’re coming for our kids!” is on a very, very different level. It is a cultural Big Lie. A social Big Lie. And most of all, a supremacist Big Lie.

Nobody is coming for Trumpist America’s kids. I told the story of how I was violently abused growing up in Virginia as a simple example. It’s minority kids who are under immense and profound threat in America today — and they will be tomorrow. Who’s really getting beaten and bullied and harassed at schools? It’s not regular old white kids. It’s minorities, Jews, Mexicans, gays, women, everyone else, at least most of the time. And that dynamic is of course mirrored across American society. Who rises to the top? American whites do, which you can see in everything from media to finance to business to the arts to the sciences to literature. Nobody is coming for America’s white people. How could anyone? They have all the guns, money, rights power.

So what are they so angry about? Well, the idea of any kind of progress for anyone else seems to drive them into a rage. That is because all the entitlements they enjoy are called “privilege.” I don’t like that word, but in America’s case it’s true. To say that little Johnny shouldn’t have to learn about slavery is only to say that he should be able to on being ignorant, and perhaps a bigot, like his parents — the Trumpists — are. And if he beats up a few minorities at school, harasses them, insults them…well, that’s just boys being boys. Just like, apparently, only white dudes get to be CEOs because everyone else is dumber than them, I guess. You see my point.

What is White America so angry about? All those Big Lies are designed to feed into the latent sense of supremacism and entitlement. Yes, living in a more equal society does mean the loss of some forms of privilege. Like saying no, my kid shouldn’t be insulting minorities or gays “for fun.” Or like saying hey, maybe our society should actually be fairerBut fairness, to the one in power, looks a whole lot like dispossession.

So why tell the Big Lie? To stoke all those Trumpist parents into a whole new level of rage, anger, violence. To drive them literally senseless with fear. If someone’s coming for little Johnny…who are they? Why? Now I’ve got to protect my kids at all costs. This is a horrific Big Lie to tell. It is the culmination of what I’ve tried to describe above. Manipulating White Americans into rage over the loss of their privileges, which are unfair ones to have to begin with. Stoking the fears of racial anxiety to a white-hot flame, by making white Americans imagine they’re genuinely under attack.

These are old, old fears. You have to understand them that way to really know them. White Americans have lived with these fears since they colonised the land. The Natives were attacking them. The slaves would rebel. They’re coming for our wives and kids are the oldest, most primal fears in the white American imagination. And here they are, being used to drive white America into a mindless rage, all over again.

The cycle of hate is repeating itself. It is being allowed to repeat itself precisely because the Dems haven’t done enough to stop fascism. It’s true the Dems probably couldn’t have done the things I talked about — a socioeconomic reconstruction plan on the order of a New Deal, etc. But they haven’t even tried. And it only really begs the question: well, maybe America’s just essentially a fascist country then.

So Youngkin won easily in Virginia. Without a platform. With no political experience whatsoever. Simply by telling the Big Lie that “they’re coming for your kids” to white working class America. That template is going to be followed across the country — and Trumpists are going to believe it. The question of course is: why are they going to believe it? After all, the only possible thing really coming for little Johnny is another kid with a gun. And they support gun “rights,” to the point where guns have more rights than women. Trumpists are going to believe the Big Lie because they are still possessed by paranoia and rage. They feel entitled to the soil, and everything on it, by virtue of blood. You can still trigger rage in them with the old lie: “They’re coming for our wives and kids!” Last time, that led to slavery, genocide, apartheid, segregation.

What will it lead to this time?

That a Glenn Youngkin can trigger white rage on a mass level, drive it to the level of mass hysteria, make a society senseless with fury, with that one little Big Lie? That white Virginians were gullible enough to believe that their kids were under attack? Only this time it wasn’t communism or rebel slaves…but “CRT”…a theory (LOL)? It tells us everything about the future American politics, which is that it’s just like the past.

All of that is a long, long way to see: you can see the future from here. You meaning you. Anyone vaguely sane and thoughtful should be able to see what is going to happen next. The Democrats will lose in the midterms. They’ll lose the Presidency. They’ve barely been able to muster the littlest will to fight fascism at all — meanwhile, fascism is now telling the kinds of Big Lies that actually lead to genocide. Telling those Big Lies, the platform of the GOP is now openly about ideological and then ethnic cleansing, like in Texas, where women don’t have rights anymore, or like in Virginia and Ohio, where they’re not about to, either. As white America’s driven into a mass hysteria of white-hot rage by the Bigger Lies of “they’re coming for your kids! Your wives! Your land!” — Trump wins again.

And you should know what’s going to happen when Trump wins again. The abuses of power will be much, much worse. This time, it’s going to be American families separated. American kids and moms thrown in concentration camps. Martial law and military justice will be deployed against critics and opponents. Every school-board thug will be the town’s local chief Gestapo officer, policing kids and parents alike for thoughtcrime.

Want to live in that kind of society?

You shouldn’t stick around for what’s coming, my friend. I’ve held back for as long as I could, because I felt there was still a small enough chance — a slender one — that, even if only by sheer dumb luck, America might just make it. That chance is now gone. The game is over. There is no stopping what’s coming, and what’s coming is something like Russia, the Balkans, or America in the Jim Crow era.

You should make an exit plan, now. You don’t have to use it right away. But you should make it and have it. You should have an option you can exercise to escape what’s coming in America. I know that makes me sound like some late-night TV hysteric. I’m sorry to sound like that. I wish I was only trying to scare you. Sadly, like I said, anyone should be put together what I’ve outlined for you.

If you want me to (tell me in the comments), I’ll give you some tips and ways to make an exit plan.

No, it’s not easy to do such a thing. But now is the time. You have about two years left, maybe three, before all of the above — Bigger Lies, white rage, growing hate, mounting fanaticism, fascism going local — really culminate in serious disaster and horror. After Trump gets elected again, it’ll take maybe six to nine months for the next wave of abuses — American families separated, little Gestapos everywhere — to begin. That gives you tops three years. That’s a good amount of time to make an exit plan. Don’t wait. Don’t dawdle. Make it now. Even if you think what I’ve said is mostly nonsense, and there’s only, say a 25% chance of it happening…do you really want to risk it? You should at least have the option, even if you never use it.

I’m sorry to have to say it, and plenty of people will object vociferously. They’ll say it’s better to be patriotic and whatnot. I’ve never had strong feelings about America being some kind of home. It’s always hated me too much for that. Can’t you see it now, all that hate, growing every day, like a cancer? This one’s terminal.

Get out while you can. Because America’s not going to get another chance. The last one was the last one — and it was squandered. That leaves you with one goal, I guess. Survival, my friend.

If Rittenhouse Walks It’ll Be Open Season For White Supremacists On our Streets

I swear, sometimes it seems like people don’t even pause for a second to consider the consequences of their choices. I’m not talking about basic things like adding a serving of vegetables to every meal (though people should do that too). No, I’m talking about idiots holding seats of power who make abysmally idiotic choices on a regular basis.

It seems like our Supreme Court gets every single decision wrong. Even when it comes to flat out basic ideas that should be no-brainers for law students on their first day of class. The people occupying the Supreme Court are supposed to be the best of the best, yet every time they get into the spotlight they reveal themselves to be absolute FOOLS!

Those decisions trickle down, and now we’re in a situation where a 17 year old kid allegedly walked around the streets of Kenosha and allegedly killed two people. I’m saying “allegedly” because the case is still at trial. He’s claiming self-defense, but let’s pause for a moment and take a macroscopic look at this.

Do we really want to live in a society where frustrated individuals feel emboldened to buy military grade weapons and march around our city streets shooting people? What’s the best case result in that scenario? The best thing that can happen is that the people go home without shooting anyone. That’s the TOP! Anything else that might happen is a tragedy.

Just pause for a minute, I’m begging you, pause and consider what kind of a world it would be if yet another court emboldens yet more frustrated people to buy guns and become armed vigilantes. Will that end well? Do we want that? Just shut up about your rights and your sacred beliefs and consider the potential loss of life. We don’t have to live in that world. It’s a bad world. It’s an ugly world.

All the conservatives I know want to kill people

If you ever have the misfortune of talking to a conservative, it doesn’t take long for them to bluster about how they want to kill people. First they start blustering about their guns. They’ve got this gun and that gun and a scope for this gun and a whatnot thingamabob for that one. Then they pivot and start talking about what they’d do if the police ever came to their house and asked to take their guns.

“I won’t live in tyranny!”

“You’re saying you’d shoot them if they came to your door?”

“Dang right!”

Then they put on YouTube and start watching heavily edited riot videos and working themselves up into a murderous rage. They conveniently ignore that it’s white police officers in disguise throwing bombs at houses. Conservatives don’t care about the truth because they’re racists and at the root of everything they just want to slaughter black people with their AR-15s.

It is a historical fact . . . that law enforcement frequently infiltrates progressive political movements using agent provocateurs who urge others to engage in violence. It is also a historical fact that, more rarely, such provocateurs commit acts of violence themselves

It escapes me why the authors of that paragraph use the word “rarely” at the end. The whole point of their article is to demonstrate how infrequently law enforcement and the media take seriously how often police forces are guilty of inciting violence at peaceful protests. This is something that should be prominent in every legal proceeding related to any form of civil unrest.

Somebody needs to stand up and say, “It’s a well known fact that our police forces frequently engage in activities either to commit acts of violence themselves, or urge others to do so.”

The police create kill boxes. They escalate the violence. Does “defund the police” still seem like a bad idea to you fools? Why are we using tax dollars to fund groups that run around inflicting violence on our communities? Why won’t the media cover this? This seems like pretty big news. Every single time there is a riot, some journalist should be investigating whether or not there was any covert police instigation of violence.

But nobody cares.

The Supreme Court wants more guns

Even with the tragic loss of life that came with the Rittenhouse incident, the Supreme Court is looking to make it easier for citizens to carry guns around.

Faced with the question “does the constitutional right to possess a gun extend outside the home?” the majority of the Supreme Court appears to be heading toward the answer “yes.”

On Nov. 3, 2012, justices heard oral arguments over New York’s restrictions on the carrying of firearms in public. Supreme Court watchers reported that conservative justices — who make up the bulk of the court — appeared to be of the view that the state’s laws contravene individuals’ right to self-defense outside of their own property

Morgan Marietta

At what point will the right to life be part of the question? That’s in the Constitution too! These absolute morons with nothing to lose and a couple hundred bucks in their pocket are free to run around with military grade weapons. What about MY right to live?

Even if these losers don’t intentionally want to kill me, there’s a high chance I’ll be hit by a stray bullet. It’s like bringing an alligator to preschool and then being shocked when a child gets eaten.

If there wasn’t an alligator at the preschool, the alligator couldn’t have eaten anyone.

Why do I have to trust that a person is going to handle his alligator responsibly? What part of living in American society provides an indication that gun owners are responsible? They don’t take vaccines, they don’t believe the Earth is a sphere, they think JFK Jr. isn’t dead and is planning on being Trump’s running mate in 2024.

These people are unhinged! I don’t want them toting military grade weapons around! Why is that so hard to understand?

There need to be consequences for loss of life

The self-defense argument is so broad, and brainwashing tactics are so effective, that it might actually work in the Rittenhouse case.

Another factor is that Americans are flat out stupid and half of them (or more) are flat out racist. We all need to recognize the fact that there are millions of hostile white people in this country who are looking for any excuse to take to the street to shoot black people. That’s the reality of the United States. That needs to be acknowledged in the media, in politics, and in schools.

Deceitful white supremacists will try to frame the narrative as a person’s right (they’ll ignore race when they talk about it), to defend himself/herself (they’ll ignore who incited the violence), and try to make fearful suburban housewives think a guilty verdict represents an assault on their ability to protect their children.

The argument of whether people have a right to walk around our streets without the threat of being shot will never even be mentioned. But here’s the wild card that, in my opinion, might hurt the defense.

Though Rittenhouse and all three men he shot are white, many people saw racism at the heart of Kenosha — an armed white teen, welcomed by police to a city where activists were rallying against a white officer’s shooting of a Black man, and allowed to walk past a police line immediately after shooting three people — In Kyle Rittenhouse case, Americans see what they want to see.

Did you catch that? The dead people are white. If you don’t think that makes a difference then you’re delusional. I’m not saying it’s right, in fact, I think it’s utterly and completely wrong. But that is the reality of our racist nation. The defense needs to mention the race of the victims again and again and again.

Here’s what I’ve learned about white supremacists over the years, at the end of the day, they don’t care if the dead people are white or black. They don’t care if they are innocent or if they are rioters. They don’t care if they are police officers or private citizens.

White supremacists just want to see Americans dead. They want to pick up their military grade weapons they got at the local sporting goods store and slaughter as many people as possible because they get off on it. They get off on the fantasy, and when the fantasy stops getting them off, they do it in real life.

Why doesn’t the political left use that argument to terrify cowardly suburban housewives to vote the way they want them to? It’s actually something to be afraid of! Why doesn’t anyone hammer home the real threat of these white supremacist psychopaths that have such an influence on our society?

If something is going to kill you in America, it’s going to be them!

How about if we try to make our streets safe?

There’s just a blatant disregard for human life in the United States of America. The important questions don’t even enter the conversation. The lawyers and the media pick and choose the parts of the Constitution they care about, and completely disregard the segments that give us the right to life and liberty.

When people end up dead, we need to do something about it. The tradition of having enraged private citizens pick up their guns and take to the streets to engage in violence and death does not have a positive historical precedent. Oh, make no mistake, it’s happened before. It’s part of the history the right doesn’t want taught.

Ultimately, we determine the direction our society takes in the voting booth and in court. We should not tolerate the idea that people can pick up their guns and walk around killing each other. That concept is offensive. The people who think that’s acceptable are despicable human beings. This isn’t the Middle Ages. The people out there who vote because of fear, are voting the wrong way. They’re voting to make the world more dangerous. They’re voting to put the lives of their children at risk.

If you kill people, there have to be consequences, otherwise more people will die. Why isn’t anyone pushing that message? If you don’t make an example when a life is lost, the armed psychopaths in our society will become emboldened. Right now their fear is the only thing keeping them at home. Bit by bit, our courts and the political right are wiping that fear away.

Every day, it gets more likely that you’ll be shot by a lunatic in the United States. That should bother you. That should bother everyone. But the people who live in gated communities with their own private police forces just don’t take it seriously. They’re too dumb to recognize, sooner or later the white supremacists will come for them too.

This is the problem that should be keeping you up at night. White supremacists want to kill you, and a large number of your fellow Americans are urging them to take to the street with military grade weapons.


The Fat Lady Has Just Sung


In October, ahead of the useless and infuriating spectacle that is the COP 26 meeting in Glasgow, quietly, with little fanfare, and it seems almost reluctantly, the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report titled:

“Climate Change and International Responses Increasing Challenges to US National Security Through 2040”

Taken together with articles and studies coming fast and furious regarding the state of the climate since the U.N. declaration of “Code Red for Humanity” last month, the report is both a sobering read and a final and unequivocal rebuke of climate denial as far as the U.S. government is concerned.

One notable omission from the report is the usual recap of the science behind climate change, designed to convince pea-brained, snowball-toting, mega-skeptics like Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma.

The first sentence states:

“Risks to US national security through 2040 will increase as countries respond to physical effects of climate change. Global temperatures most likely will surpass the Paris agreement goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius by around 2030, and the physical effects are projected to continue intensifying.” (emphasis mine)

Notice, they allowed no room for fudging. No “might be”, or “could be”, no “optimism” a-la CNN that “there is still hope!” or “ but we are not TOO late…”

The US military is planning on a greater than 1.5 degrees Celsius rise in global temperatures and chaos, by 2030, even if Senator Inhofe thinks snowballs are proof of his scientific discovery that it is all a hoax.

Right below that declaration, is a deceptively bland-looking graphic, with full or half-full orbs denoting the likelihood and the severity of adverse events. The events below are considered “high risk to US national security” by the U.S. intelligence community by 2040, and by extension a risk to your security. That is less than 19 years from now. A newborn today will still be not old enough to buy a Bud in the U.S. but will be able enroll in the military and will have to deal with the risks of…

  • Cross border water tension and conflict,
  • Developing country financial and technology assistance,
  • Petro-states resisting clean energy transition from fossil fuels,
  • Competition with China over key minerals and clean energy technologies,
  • Cross border migration due to climate impacts,
  • The strain on energy and food systems,

to name a few.

In the key findings section we encounter:

“Key Judgment 1Geopolitical tensions are likely to grow as countries increasingly argue about how to accelerate the reductions in net greenhouse gas emissions that will be needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals. The debate will center on who bears more responsibility to act and to pay — and how quickly — and countries will compete to control resources and dominate new technologies needed for the clean energy transition.”

This, after admitting that the world is not likely (at all) to meet the pledges made at Paris.


It remains a fact the industrial north is responsible for at least 62% of the CO2 accumulated in the atmosphere since 1751. It is also fact, that even after externalizing carbon emission to other countries and relying on shoddy carbon accounting, the North American per capita emissions is 3.5 times the world average, while the average European’s is 1.8. If you compare it to an average African citizen, a person living in North America is responsible for a staggering 13.7 times more carbon emitted annually.

“Countries most likely will wield contentious financial and economic tools to advance climate policies and defend their national economies”

Page 7

Many countries, devoid of the resources to meet the looming crisis, need help but the greedy, be it the feudal, colonial, or the capitalist kind, are loath to admit their undeniable responsibility to humanity, stop polluting, and pay up.

According to the External Affairs Minister of India, by the time of Indian Independence, the British had extracted $45 trillion of wealth from the subcontinent.

Even for allowing the moral escape clause of limiting the counting to start at a time when “international awareness of climate issues” grew, research estimates the environmental liability of the OECD 20 countries at $15 trillion!

However, the countries most responsible for this destruction are yet to make good on their pledge of the paltry $100 billion promised at the Copenhagen climate conference of 2009. Only $10.3 billion has been delivered so far.

The U.N. reports that in 2019, 118 million people in India “suffered the indignity of defecating in fields, forests, bodies of water, or other public spaces due to lack of access to toilets” — after making significant progress since 2015, when the number was over 560 million!

The Queen of England, on the other hand, having been handed sovereignty over the seabed around the British Isles in a breathtaking (pun intended) display of appropriating the commons by the consent of a handful of English gentlemen (The Continental Shelf Act of 1964), is now adding to her considerable ill-gotten gains by leasing the wind that blows over that seabed to the tune of millions of dollars. Apparently, looting of the sub-continent, and most of the planet for that matter, for 200 years wasn’t enough.


What would your demands be, if you were a leader of a country where 118 million people were desperately looking for a place to defecate twice a day while the country and the people that impoverished your country kept getting richer off air?

How would you plan for what would surely be “geopolitical tension” between nuclear-armed, economically challenged countries if you were a Pentagon analyst?

“Key Judgment 2: The increasing physical effects of climate change are likely to exacerbate cross-border geopolitical flashpoints as states take steps to secure their interests.”

Through its occupation of the Tibetan plateau, China controls the headwaters of not only the Yangtze and the Yellow rivers essential to feeding its ever-growing, coal-dependent population, but it also controls the headwaters of the Yarlung/Brahmaputra, Indus, Lakong, and Nu rivers, estimated to be home to 46% of the world’s population in several countries. Two of those counties are nuclear powers and so is China.

Turkey sits on top of the Euphrates and Tigris, Ethiopia controls the Nile, Israel (also a nation that possesses nukes) has a death grip on the Jordan River, and Bolsinaro is burning the Amazon.

Flashpoints indeed!

The chart on page 2 of the report makes the point extremely clear even to the snowball-toting skeptics in the US Congress. Just look at the numbers.

Already over 800 million people worldwide suffer from hunger according to the UN. Given the enthusiasm for cutbacks on the part of industrialized countries, when the global average temperature reaches 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average, that number will explode.

“All societies are three meals away from anarchy.”

Vladimir Lenin

Key Judgment 3Scientific forecasts indicate that intensifying physical effects of climate change out to 2040 and beyond will be most acutely felt in developing countries, which we assess are also the least able to adapt to such changes. These physical effects will increase the potential for instability and possibly internal conflict in these countries, in some cases creating additional demands on US diplomatic, economic, humanitarian, and military resources.

After decades of hegemonic oppression and capitalist exploitation, the weakened states of Central America are finding it impossible to deal with the effects of an increasingly destructive and hostile climate. Caught between hurricanes, droughts, and inept or outright corrupt governments while faced with starvation or becoming collateral damage to criminal elements, they flee, mostly northward.

The U.S., having found itself unable to deal with this mass of humanity to begin with, will soon find itself dealing with large internal population displacements due to the same dynamics, as well as more climate refugees massing its Southern border.

This northward movement of humanity in its hundreds of millions will leave no country unaffected. Along with the human misery of the so-called “caravans”, a flood of humanity, like Napoleon’s Grande Armee marching through Prussia, will devour everything in its path.

Donald Trump will not be the last leader to call for a wall, misguided as that approach is. India already has a wall along 76% of its border with Bangladesh, potentially in a futile attempt to cut off over 100 million future refugees. Backed against a rising sea, starvation, and no way out, they will also swarm that border. What would you do, if you had a child and that was the only way out?


What would you do, if you were a leader of a nuclear-armed country where 118 million people are lacking basic sanitation, let alone have access to air-conditioning needed to cool down in now-common 50 degrees C+ days, or have the electricity needed to run the pumps to drain your aquifers even further because China has reduced your water-flow and your crops are failing?

In a way, attempting to predict the future is futile. Humans are fickle, leaders may change their minds. We have discovered that even quantum particles can’t be counted on to stay put. That’s one reason the reporters and courtesans tell us “but there is hope”, I suppose.

The U.S. Intelligence agencies do not deal in hope. They deal in analysis and risk assessment, although even they can’t help but indulge in magical thinking sometimes. Under “Events that would change their assessment”, they include:

“A successful geoengineering deployment at the scale that results in global cooling without negatively disrupting weather patterns.” Insert miracle here ___

It is a sad day for humanity when even the most clear-eyed assessment of our “predicament” hopes for technological magic to save us, while ignoring one of the most obvious solutions.

Cut the military’s budget that uses the threat of ongoing conflict to bloat its spending, and funnel the money into realistic, fossil-fuel-cutting, emission-reducing solutions. Now. Repeat worldwide.

Sir David Attenborough said it best during his speech at COP 26:

“If working apart we are a force powerful enough to destabilize our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it!”

Sir David Attenborough

I share his passion, but sadly, not his optimism.


Manchin is demanding progressive lawmakers give in.

Virtually everything that the left has predicted would happen to the reconciliation bill has happened or is in the process of unfolding. No matter how much of it we might have seen coming, that hasn’t made watching it occur in real time any less infuriating or, frankly, painful. Among those who has earned the left’s ire is none other than West Virginia senator Joe Manchin, who has happily served as an active barrier to virtually any progress the left might like to see under the Biden administration.

Of course, he never ceases to kick it up a notch.

From the moment the bipartisan infrastructure bill and reconciliation bill route were decided upon, it was obvious to anyone who follows politics that lawmakers like Manchin were going to do everything they could to torpedo the reconciliation bill if they were able to. One of the key pieces of leverage that the left has in the slim majority in congress was securing the agreement that the reconciliation bill would be voted upon first or at the same time as the bipartisan infrastructure bill to ensure that didn’t happen.

Originally, the bill was supposed to be $6 trillion, then was whittled down to $3.5 as the compromise that was originally agreed upon, and now, thanks largely to Joe Biden’s weakness and unwillingness to fight, stands at Joe Manchin’s preferred figure of around $1.75. Not only that, but Manchin and Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema have succeeded in gutting the bill of paid family leave, negotiations for drug prices, key climate provisions, and tuition free community college. Virtually all that is left is universal pre-k for the simple reason that the donor class wants parents back to work, some scaled back climate policies, and a means tested daycare program.

Still, even with all the concessions, lawmakers like Manchin and Sinema have not committed to voting for the reconciliation bill.

Last week, Nancy Pelosi met with the progressive caucus to urge them to, as predicted, vote for the bipartisan bill so that it could pass before the President went overseas. Of course, that meant that it would be before the reconciliation bill was voted upon, and she was quite literally kicked out of the meeting in response.

Of course, the only guarantee they had was Biden’s confidence that Manchin and Sinema would back the bill. After everything that has occurred, they’re simply expected to take his word for it. Well, as expected, Manchin himself decided to come out and publicly refuse to commit.

Not only that, he decided to take to the press to demand progressives give in.

At the press conference, Manchin said:

“I’ve worked in good faith for months with all of my colleagues to find a middle ground on a fiscally responsible piece of legislation that fixes the flaws of the 2017 Trump tax bill that I thought was weighted far, far to the high end earners, and the needs of the American families and children. However, as more of the real details outlined in the basic framework are released, what I see are shell games. Budget gimmicks that makes the real cost of the so called $1.75 trillion bill estimated to be almost twice that amount if the full time is run out. If you extended it permanently, and that we haven’t spoken about. This is a recipe for economic crisis…well I’ve worked hard to find a path to compromise but it’s obvious, compromise is not good enough for a lot of my colleagues in congress. It’s all or nothing, and their position doesn’t seem to change unless we agree to everything. Enough is enough.”

Sen. Joseph Manchin– W. Virginia

The sheer gaslighting. The unmitigated gall. The nerve of this multi-millionaire to get up in front of the cameras and outright lie to the American people the way he did is enough to make you sick. This bill is a shell of what it once was. A shell. And yet he pretends as though it is the progressives who aren’t compromising, who are saying ‘all or nothing’? We are in this position because in spite of the concessions that have been made to him, he is still unwilling to commit to voting for this bill. He succeeded in getting the bill so scaled back it has reached the point where many of us on the left are urging the progressive lawmakers to abandon it altogether, and Manchin has the audacity to go on camera, finger wag, and say “enough is enough”.

As I have said now countless times before, if Manchin succeeds with this behavior then democrats absolutely deserve the political bloodbath they have coming to them in upcoming elections. If this is the man that democrats have decided will act as the de facto president, then I want no part of it. Manchin’s right, I suppose. Enough really is enough. These are not minor disagreements over a spending bill. This is open political warfare over the future of the democratic party, and Manchin is working as hard as he can to alienate the left as much as humanly possible.

Is this what people voted for in 2020? Is this the type of leadership that organizers moved mountains for? Is this what Arizona and Georgia flipped blue for? I’m not sure what else there is to say about Manchin that hasn’t already said, but we should be thoroughly embarrassed by the fact that this was the path chosen by a democratic party that was handed the house, the senate, and the white house.

They’re really going to demand we move mountains again, aren’t they?

I don’t have the time or the energy to dwell on the anger. At this point if he succeeds, then good luck in 2022. The American people certainly don’t deserve what’s coming, but nothing would give me more pleasure than to see a party as weak, feckless, and corrupt as the democratic party get what it deserves.