Standing Tall

Thought this was a pretty cool statue at Baltimore Penn Station.


No people though on a Sunday or because of COVID-19. 


I imagine this is what a ghost town looks like. 


The statues stand tall but the remnants of the people are hiding in shelters.


End of times or a new beginning…we’ll see. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Predicted It Right In 2017

This was such a funny photo I found of me from 2017.


Holding a book called The End of The F*cking World.


Little did we know back then Coronavirus was coming our way.


One thing that is amazing to me is the incredible lack of responsibility when it comes to our fiscal (tax rates and spending) and monetary policy (interest rates and money supply). 


For example, we’ve spent almost $3,000,000,000,000 (i.e. trillion) on Coronavirus Relief/Recovery. 


And there is another package in the works to borrow and spend more money. 


This on top of our already tens of trillions of dollars of national debt we already accumulated. 


The crazy thing is that this is going on globally with Europe and Japan and others borrowing and spending without any sanity as well. 


Now here is the BIG QUESTION for you all:


If everyone is borrowing and spending, who are they borrowing from???


Yep, this is called funny money! 


Because it’s not possible for everyone to be borrowing and carrying a bottom line net debt at the same time.  


The money has to come from somewhere doesn’t it?


The Federal Reserve is “injecting” trillions into the economy and their balance sheet of “loans” to us is going up towards $11 trillion dollars now.  


These injections are short term medicine that may kill the patient down the road by overdose!


Have you ever heard of a Chair of the Federal Reserve that “urges policy makers to spend more“?


Simple economics tells us that this will yield at some point an unbelievable inflation.


We are injecting or “printing” more and more money (or electronic bytes of it), and that causes the money to devalue because there is so much of it (supply side economics) with nothing but hot air backing it up (we haven’t been on the gold standard since 1971).


There is a DAY OF RECKONING coming when:


– People’s savings and wallets will devalue and money will be worth close to squat after RUNWAY INFLATION.  


– Also, what do you think will happen to the stock market and jobs too when people have only loads of valueless funny money and can’t buy anymore like they used too–can anyone say MARKET CRASH and UNEMPLOYMENT!


Folks, you heard it here first, the end of the f*cking world is coming–it’s called CONSEQUENCES, plain and simple. 😉


(Credit Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Enough! Coronavirus Already

Day G-d’s knows what of being locked down for this global Coronavirus outbreak. 


I am soooo SICK of Coronavirus!


It’s time to slay this Covid-19 and get this world back to normal. 


Sure, I am extremely grateful for every day of health and certainly not to be in the lousy hospital.


But life has got to be about more than Coronavirus. 


It’s not Armageddon, but slow water torture or death by a thousand cuts. 


The repetitiveness is mind-numbing, repulsive already. 


The news is boring, snoring everyone to tears. 


The fear is morphing into unintended complacency.


The “rescue plan” everyone knows is more pork barrel politics.


The wild gyrations of the stock market is nonstop ticker tape Vegas style. 


Even the grocery and toilet paper hoarding has got to have an end in sight.


It’s not that Coronavirus isn’t serious and important, but what about everything else in the world.


Can we start to give some attention to life again? 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Coronavirus – Something or Nothing?

I don’t know about you but I have found the communication about the Coronavirus to be absolutely confusing.


And the actions demonstrating unpreparedness, disorganized response, general chaos, and panic do not match the few calming words we are getting. 


No wonder everyone is panicking and the bottom is falling from the market.


On one hand:


– The officials tell everyone to remain calm, and there is no reason to panic. 


– Help is on the way.


– People are overreacting.


– Most people that get Covid 19 won’t even know they had it or the symptoms will be mild (or maybe moderate)


– The death rate is “only” like 3 or 4% and it’s mostly older people or those with chronic ailments anyway (as if these people don’t matter). 


– Younger children aren’t really getting it (although we don’t know exactly why or the impact on pregnant women). 


– It’s less contagious and deadly than the flu (wait, it’s more contagious and deadly). 


– There are plenty of tests available for everyone (no, there aren’t).


– It will be over in a few weeks when the seasons change and the temperature goes up. 


– A vaccine will soon be ready for testing and then distribution after 12-18 months. 


– The numbers of infected are going down in China–see they have it under control!


– Maybe we should allow investigative drugs to be used (or maybe not, the FDA thinks this is a bad idea).


– The impact to the economy will be over probably by August (or will it?). 


– It’ll ALL be over soon.


On the other hand:


– We don’t know what we’re facing (people are routinely using the words apocalypse and armageddon). 


– This could be the “big one!”


– Is this a punishment from G-d (and is the Messiah coming)? 


– This has reached pandemic proportions. 


– We are declaring a national emergency. 


– This may have come out of a Chinese bioweapons lab.


– Also, China suppressed information and initial response on this making the outbreak worse. 


– “China should be punished for these things” (or some version of this).


– Cases are raising around the world. 


– The contagion is worse than initially thought (there are comparisons to the Spanish Flu of 1918 which killed around 50 million people)


– The death rate is higher than expected. 


– We don’t know why or where certain people got Covid 19 from.


– The hospitals are already overwhelmed and are unprepared for a real surge of cases. 


– We need to “flatten the curve” so our healthcare system isn’t brought to its knees. 


– We are already triaging patients and our doctors and nurses are working extra long hours and are exhausted. 


– We aren’t prepared for this–our healthcare system and government has “failed us”. 


– We’re rolling out unprecedented economic assistance from the Fed, the Treasury…another trillion dollar deficit (no answer for how this gets paid, if ever…can anyone say runaway inflation in the future and lots of worthless dollars). 


– Washing and “Social Distancing” are paramount. 


– There is a run on toilet paper and disinfectants and these are either sold out or vendors are price gouging these items. 


– We are shutting down the country (workplaces, fitness centers, eat-in restaurants, entertainment, travel, places of worship, and any significant gathering of people). 


– The instructions to stay at home in “indefinite”!


– People are stuck in the house and worried about how long this will go on. 


– Some places like New Rochelle, NY are under quarantine and the National Guard has been called out.


– There is talk of a curfew and further measures of quarantine to be enforced under penalty of imprisonment. 


– The lines at the stores (Costco, Sam’s Club, Supermarkets, Groceries) are out the door and the shelves are empty. 


– Amazon announces that they are running out on consumer stables!


– Businesses are suspending workers, moving them to part time, and laying them off. 


– The stock market is down by 1/3 and we’re told that this could just be the beginning. 


– A recession is looming and the economic impact and duration is unknown. 


– Italy is on lockdown. 


– Borders are being closed. 


– People can’t get home from abroad. 


– Cruise ships aren’t being allowed to port. 


– Airlines are screaming for a financial bailout. 

– Navy Hospital Ships with 1,000 beds each are being deployed to the east and west coast. 


– We’re sending $1,000 checks (or something like this) to people below a certain income level (maybe $65,000).


– Taxes are supposedly being deferred (although not filing of returns or estimated taxes yet).  


– People are wearing masks everywhere (but we are being told only the sick ones need to wear it and we see everyone in China wearing it and of course our first responders and medical professionals, so which is it).


– Primary voting is delayed in some states and there is question whether the November Presidential election will also be delayed.


Summary:


Does anyone know WTF is going on around here???


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Germs, Can’t Think About Anything Else

With Coronavirus media madness 24/7…


Who can think about anything but germs!


Or should I say killing germs. 


Nobody wants to get sick.


And we don’t want to get others sick either. 

– Wash your hands a lot!


– No more handshakes.  


– No more touching “suspect” surfaces.  


– Keep good (“far”) social distancing. 


– Quarantine yourself in the house for 2 weeks (actually it’s more like indefinitely).


What has become of our world. 


Just one big GERM BOWL. 


Can we really hide from the germs? 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

OPTIMISM vs pessimism

So I thought this really matched my philosophy to a T on optimism and pessimism. 


As Joel Rosenberg put it in his book The Ezekiel Option, “In the long run everything would turn out fine…but tomorrow could be a disaster.”


In short, this equates to:


I’m a strategic optimist, but a tactical pessimist. 


My mom used to say, “If I am pessimistic, I’ll never be disappointed.” LOL


I think though when we have faith then we know that truly, in the end everything is for the best and will be okay.


In the short term though, there are challenges to face and these can be tough indeed. 


– Strategically an optimist. 


– Tactically a pessimist. 


Plan for the worst, hope for the best. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Revolting Bug Food

So this is the latest food items in modern supermarkets.


It says:


“Eat Bugs”


Bugs are a source of high protein.  

Crunchy too. 


The ones above were Cheddar Cheese Crickets!


There was also Chile-Lime Crickets (with Pumpkin Seeds) and Dark Chocolate Crickets (with Amaranth Seeds).

Then came the BBQ and Honey Mustard Crickets 

 

And to top it all of some Salt and Pepper Mealworms.

OMG folks, we have gone back to the Stone Ages eating this crap. 


Or maybe this is all that will be left when Armageddon finally comes.  😉


(Credit Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Two Lightning Strikes

One week apart, two freak accidents, both families nearly wiped out. 


Both touched me. 


Exactly one week ago, I learned and wished condolences to the man in synagogue who lost his wife, youngest son, and mother-in-law in the Mexico tourist bus accident. 


Today–7 days later, a neighbor comes up to me and tells me she’s going to the funeral for her daughter, son-in-law and three children killed in the Costa Rica plane crash this week, and I wished her that G-d have mercy. 


Like two lightning strikes–not a coincidence (I don’t believe in that).


I believe more that it is a warning, and it is really frightening.


I pray that G-d should have mercy on all of us. 

Please G-d, Save Us. 
Please G-d, Save Us. Please G-d, Help Us To Succeed. 
Please G-d, Help Us To Succeed. 

Life truly hangs by a thin thread.


The time period between my meeting the man and women from these two families–7 days–represents both life and death–it is both the number of days of “Sheva Brachot” (days of celebration for a bride and groom) and the number of says of “Shiva: (mourning when someone dies)


We need to be committed to doing good in this world and in His name.


— Repentance, charity, and prayer.


All of us must do our best to serve G-d and always do right with integrity.


G-d should defeat evil, and He should have mercy on his faithful children, so that He turns mourning into celebration and blessings. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to kristendawn, and interesting that it is from Costa Rica)

Never Ever More Vulnerable

Vulnerable.jpeg

So we have never been more technology advanced. And at the same time, we have never been more vulnerable


As we all know, our cybersecurity have not kept near pace with our ever growing reliance on everything technology.


There is virtually nothing we do now-a-days that does not involve networks, chips, and bits and bytes. 


Energy

Transportation

Agriculture

Banking

Commerce

Health

Defense

Manufacturing

Telecommunications


If ANYTHING serious happens to cripple our technology base, we are toast!


From a crippling cyberattack that disables or hijacks our systems, steals or locks down our data, or creates massive chaotic misinformation flow to a EMP blast that simply fries all our electronic circuitry–we are at the mercy of our technology underpinnings. 


Don’t think it cannot happen!


Whether it’s Wannacry ransonware or the Equifax breach of our privacy data or the Kaspersky Labs hidden backdoor to our top secret files or North Korea threatening to hit us with an EMP–these are just a few of the recent cyber events of 2017!


Technology is both a blessing and a curse–we have more capability, more speed, more convenience, more cost-effectiveness than ever before, but also there is greater vulnerability to complete and utter death and destruction!


This is not just a risk that life could become more difficult or inconvenient–it is literally an existential threat, but who wants to think of it that way?


People, property, and our very society is at risk when our cybersecurity is not what it must be.


It’s a race of defensive against offensive capability. 


And we can’t just play defense, we had better actually win at this! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)