Ebola – What Happens in Vegas, has a 70% chance of killing and a larger chance of spreading…

It was Mike’s bachelor party and he brought in his best mates from all over the country. Guys he’d grown up with in your state, his Army buddies from all over the country, college friends from NYU and UCLA Medical school, and some colleagues from Boston General and his internship in Seattle. In short, it was a great party and guys from all over the country came. It was a classic Vegas party even inculding the incredibly dirty pair of strippers doing a lesbian sex show in the suite of the hotel – which was ruined when one of them started puking blood all over the place. They all thought she was a drunk druggie whore – but no, the truth was simpler. She had Ebola.
(Note for clarity: Ebola is a virus which is passed via bodily fluids, not an STD but of course bodily fluids are often shared during sex)
To be fair, she was a drunk druggie whore – and she’d gotten Ebola from a John who had fucked a stripper who worked in a bar where a guy from Iowa had come after he found out the nurse he was engaged to had been diagnosed in Dallas with Ebola after she was assured she was safe taking care of the guy who had brought Ebola to the United States from Liberia where he had helped an Ebola victim who was pregnant go to the hospital only to have her be turned away and how she got it was a whole ‘nother story. She was married to a guy who helped pick a woman up off the street when she collapsed and was thrown from a bus and she’d gotten the disease by taking care of her son who was a hard working student in a poor school, who got it from a girl that had come from the country because her whole family was ill, who got it because they were nice people who took care of a guy they knew…and it goes on and on…to a guy in the Congo eating meat he killed in the forest back in 1974 or so…oops.

But back to John’s awesome party ( oh wait, it was Mike’s but guess what, John’s party had the same thing happen but with different people…trippy) – so they all went home and only half of them passed the disease on – so it goes like this:

10 at the party
5 get the disease and interact with 200 people
only 500 get the disease and interact 200 people
50,000 get the disease and interact with 200 people
5 million get the disease and interact with 200 people
1 Billion get the disease and interact with 200 people
Everyone gets Ebola and 5.7 billion people die….the rest survive and the world is suddenly super cool and filled with infinite possibilities. Life is awesome. Everything is awesome. Ebola is awesome. Ebola makes life worth living. Awesome.

Ebola is awesome … at least for the people 500 years from now. For everyone else, it pretty much sucks.

#vagothinks

I have strong opinions and good ideas – I’m tired of keeping them to myself. I’m going to be sharing them from now on on twitter using the hashtag #vagothinks – I’m still a week out from completing my 99 day fast from Facebook – I may do another 99 day break from it after I check messages, check up on friends, etc.

Here are the first of my #vagothinks:

#vagothinks The USA should offer Syria to Turkey if they go in and kick ISIS out – just give it to the Turks.

#vagothinks the US economy is failing miserably for everyone who is not already middleclass or higher – I propose locialism as a solution…

@vagothinks locialism is a universal safety net including free medical, food, and housing assistance for anyone earning less than $40k/year

#vagothinks #locialism should be free and available for anyone who asks for it – no proof necessary – those who opt out get special benefits

#vagothinks taxes should be paid by employers before wages – flatly – every employee gets taxes withheld – not an employee=no taxes !

#vagothinks Trash trucks should have scales on them – every household gets charged by weight – less garbage=lower bill, more garbage=higher

#vagothinks No one (including corps) should be allowed to own more than two residences but no limit on commercial or industrial properties

#vagothinks There should be a children’s judicial system where children can safely appeal unfair treatment from adults with no consequences

#vagothinks a person’s record should only reflect judgments against them -everything else should be expunged – including credit data

#vagothinks The US government should wipe out student loans and make all Universities public and free of charge – funded by taxes, resources

#vagothinks the US government should use (and disclose) alternative funding for maintenance of parks, universities, schools, highways, etc

#vagothinks the sale of raw materials to other countries should be outlawed. The USA should export finished products only.

The Astounding Way I Earn a Living These Days…and more

America is awash in stuff, things, shit, and treasure…

It’s fucking astounding. It blows my mind. Always has. Probably always will. This country has such an amazing glut of material goods that it struggles with what to do with them – but at the same time – the citizens here are constantly buying shit, stuff, new things…to replace perfectly good old things…

My friend owns a second hand shop down the street from me – every time I step in her shop I realize that my high minded ideals and cultured aesthetic have fucked me again – she is selling the shit out of stuff I wouldn’t have thought would sell- Seriously…get this…I can buy a fine set of hand made, Danish, mid century modern end tables by a known designer and maker and price them at $50 each – and I’ll get a dozen people that come in and look at them and then tell me “Oh, I can’t pay that, I want to resell them” – pickers and dealers coming into an ANTIQUE SHOP – they need meat on the bone.

…oh yeah baby, I’ve made the big mistake – Cater to the classes and dine with the masses and meanwhile she is Catering to the masses and dining with the classes – Yeah, I’m an idiot. I have a store filled with things I appreciate after visiting the greatest museums in the world, traveling to 50 countries and 49 states, and studying art, history, and culture – in a town where most people have at best a 12th grade education and might have visited a couple of cities nearby..or maybe had a trip to California a few years ago….meanwhile my friend is selling them the same things their neighbors bought and they admired…for a fraction of the cost –

I earn a living doing this- we pay our bills and the people that appreciate this stuff find me – which is cool – but meanwhile she is employing two people, making more money, and has the opportunity to buy far more new inventory than I do (let alone expand)- so, the moral of the story is – don’t focus on what you like, focus on what people need – the Warren Buffet investment strategy – it works and my friend is proof of that –

I’m not complaining, mind you – like I said – I earn a living buying and selling really cool things, beautiful art, and interesting things – but the question I should have asked at the beginning was “Do I want to deal in cool interesting things or make money?” The answer, I thought was both, but what I didn’t realize was that I’d much rather make money selling crapola than scrape by selling art…it’s time to do some evaluation and figure out how to reshape my business…

The Three Zombie Herds of America

Coming back to the USA has been traumatic in many ways, but perhaps the biggest trauma has been in recognizing that most Americans have been zombified and then, once their minds have been erased, they have migrated to one of the three great zombie herds which roam the highways and biways of this once great land.

Herd #1: These are the ones that my new friend Get Back Jack described as being so fucked up on meth they just circle around the Best Western in Kelso, WA – or somewhere else. No explanation needed. Tweaker herd. Crankster herd. Meth herd. Ice herd. No coming back and so fucked up they won’t care when they die herd.

Herd #2: The Narcisistic Selfie herd. At one point in my life when technology still seemed cool and new and benign – I was enthusiastic to be a member of this herd. Then I left the country for five years. Like not looking in a mirror for half a decade, I returned to see people eating dinner while looking at their phones, riding the bus with phones, driving and texting having become a big crime, and somehow thinking that nude pics on their cellphones are secure. This was the culture of burners and techies and Boingboing podcasters and cool maker techno awesome which somehow devolved into selfie culture. People who are so cuaght up in what others are thinking of them that they have no room to actually think about who they are or should want to be. No self awareness only awareness of how others see their self. No self development – like a car with a perfect paintjob but an engine that is falling apart.

Herd #3: The pissed off patriot herd ready to blame all the problems on someone else. If it’s not the Mexicans, it’s the Arabs, if not the Arabs, it’s the Californians, or the Mushroom pickers, or the Democrats or the Republicans or the Libertarians, or the people down the street. I feel for the people in this herd – I agree with them sometimes which I guess puts me in the herd sometimes, but the problem is they never look at the rest of the world – they only listen to the American view of things.

Then there are the rest of us – the retirees, the screwed, the spit on, the over regulated, the under served, the tired, the poor, the restless souls, the hungry, the few who perhaps could do it better if not for the over regulation, and the community minded.

Fuck it, I’m not innocent. I don’t have the answers. I do see the problems pretty clearly though. It all comes down to two issues – 1) Too much technology and 2) Too much government – unfortunately, those are two of the most powerful forces to ever exist – Government automagically encroaches on the freedom of it’s citizens to protect itself – Technology is the same and worse because it forces all to use it or be left behind. There are no more payphones in my town – if you don’t have a cellphone, you can’t make a call. Government is savvy and uses technology to control and inform on its citizenry. Technology is savvy and uses it’s power to control government, citizens, and to gather information.

I may have the freedom to write this but I can only have that freedom if I pay for a laptop, a connection, electricity, a place to sit, and do that by earning money, spending money, and using technology. Freedom is gone. I could tell you a million freedoms I don’t have
– to disappear
– to live in the woods (without a permit)
– to stop paying bills or taxes
– to be free

All of it is clear in America, but only if you have taken some time to not look in the mirror.

What’s Up Stud?

imagesI went out for a bike ride this morning and it happened to be when the local high school students were out having their lunch. I rode by a group of boys and one of them yelled “What’s up Stud?” and frankly, it pissed me off.

So I turned my bike around and said “Who said that?”

“I did, what’s the problem Stud?” one of them said.

“The problem is you don’t know me, I’m a disabled Marine Corps vet, I’ve served my country, I own a business in this town, and you’re being disrespectful.”

“How is that disrespectful, Nigga?” one of the white boys said.

I thought about my black friends, my African wife and daughter, and my buddy’s grandmother and decided to just ignore that whole end of the conversation.

“It’s disrespectful because you don’t know me, I’m not your friend and you have no reason or right to call me Stud, motherfucker, or anything else”

These were high school football players and a couple of them started moving towards me – at this point there were about ten of them – then the giggling girls showed up – “He said motherfucker… hee hee” and I felt the threat from a big dumb looking kid moving towards me – I know that look – he was going to hit me and impress those girls

A couple of options went through my head

1) Step off the bike, pick up the bike and use it to smack his big ugly face with the sproket and then kick him right in the nuts before doing a sweep and stomp on his face – then turn and give a big Marine death yell to the rest and deal with whatever they might have to give
2) Ride away
3) Keep talking and try to explain why what they had done and were doing was disrespectful

I wanted to believe those kids were just missing someone telling them how it was…that was stupid. They were too far gone to learn anything in that situation and I felt the situation escalating as big hoss moved toward me. At that point a smaller, wiser kid with a scraggly beard stepped forward…as I got ready to teach big hoss a permanent lesson.

“Passion lies that way – if you leave now” the smaller bearded said. Honestly, I don’t know what the fuck that meant. I was close to entering a rage and not far from attacking a 17 year old kid amidst a group of ten or so hormone addled boys in the midst of a couple of girls they were bound to want to impress. The moment I was trying to figure out what it meant, I realized it was time for option number two. I rode away – but boy was I pissed.

I can’t begin to explain how angry I found myself. I took myself into my garage and tried to calm myself as I looked at my baseball bat and a few other nice pieces of equipment that might level the playing field. Ultimately, there was nothing to be done. I had a series of options that led to nowhere good.

1) Beat up a bunch of minors
2) Get beat up by a bunch of minors
3) Argue with a bunch of petulent teens
4) Yell at disrespectful kids of disrespectful parents
5) Have bigger worse problems

None of it was good. I called the police and told them about the incident. I called the high school and told them about the incident. In both cases, they said there was nothing to be done about it and in the future I should ignore the teens taunts and disrespect. If we were still in Africa or Turkey, they would have been bleeding and learned something – but this is America. There is nothing to do.

I don’t really like it – but that’s all there is to it. I’m going to have a big dish of spaghetti next to the door when Halloween comes – if those dummies come to my door – I’m going to serve it to them cold and ruin all their candies – I remember their faces – and that, kids, is why you should never holler disrespect to unknown strangers. It might just ruin your Halloween candy.

Notes for the future

2015 – USSR Reformation – evidence emerges that Russia armed and offered advisers to ISIS – Russia continues conquest of former republics – EU and NATO scramble to contain advance

US and UK are deeply occupied by spread of ISIS as it continues to create new fronts in the Middle East and North Africa – New fronts in Indonesia and Malaysia

China, the Koreas, and Japan start having major troubles.

Russia, IS, China, Korea – RICK

 

Labor Day

I’m working today – as we all should be.  It would be different if they called Labor Day ‘the last day of Summer’ or ‘Fun at the Lake Day’ or ‘Beach BBQ Day’ – but I hate the fact that it’s called Labor Day.  Labor Day is a joke.

In most civilized parts of the world – Labor Day is May 1st – also known as International Workers Day or May Day.  I support that holiday – but the USA has not and never has. Instead, the capitalist USA political machine has always been scared of organized labor, they’ve always been scared of workers organizing, and they’ve always been scared of the workers controlling the means of production. They’ve labored such things as red, communist, socialist, or anti-American.  The reason  is that the capitalist class have always depended on the slave labor of the workers to make themselves rich. There has been a war against organized labor in this country for a long while and the capitalists are winning it bigger than ever.

Gone are the days when unions were controlled by the workers, gone are the days when there were calls for shorter work days, shorter work weeks, higher pay, better benefits, or lifetime security for loyal workers – instead we live in a country where companies are immortal and workers are hired as ‘contractors’ which is a fancy way of saying they have no job security and no benefits they don’t provide for themselves.

In 1886,  on May 4th, following organized labor activities and protests (on May 1st – the real labor day)  which followed demands for an 8 hour workday – police killed several protestors and riots ensued – culminating in protestors bombing the police with dynamite and the police killing four more and then seven being sentenced to death for conspiracy. This, many say, is the origin of the world’s labor day on May 1st ( though actually, MayDay goes further back than that) – in a sense – one could argue that communism has it’s roots in this American event – thus is an American institution which has been villainized and made to appear foreign and anti-American.  In any event, President Grover Cleveland feared that MayDay celebrations would be used to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre and celebrations were banned. After the Pullman Strike where Federal Marshalls and U.S. military killed workers demanding safer conditions, the government rushed to create a National ‘Labor’ Day – but designated it be in September to avoid remembrance of government brutality towards workers demanding better conditions and safer work environments. The choice of September 1st was blatantly political and championed by President Grover Cleveland to disempower nascent Communist, Anarchist, and Syndicalist movements which used MayDay as a rallying point to bring workers to a more empowered system.

Retailers love Labor Day and it is said to be the 2nd best retail sale day of the year – which means that workers are working longer hours on this holiday celebrating labor rights

The United States Capitalist Army has won it’s war against organized labor. They have villainized labor as mobsters, communists, and criminals. They have created a holiday that disempowers workers from solidarity with workers in other countries, and they have impovershed workers to the point where we are all working longer hours, getting less benefits, and earning less buying power (less money).  There is no need to outlaw labor organizations because they are already working against labor.

Congratulations America. Happy Labor Day.

American Dogs

I used to have a dog. My dog was well trained and I took it most places with me. The dog was loved and well cared for. Still, I recognize now that I wasn’t a very responsible dog owner – unless I was someplace where people might be walking – I would let the poop stay on the ground.  I didn’t keep my dog on a leash, generally – because she was well trained and would come when I called, heel, etc.

I tell you that so that you have some context for this bit of a rant.  I’m not much of a dog person any longer. It’s different when the dog is yours and you’ve raised it from a pup, spent years with it, etc – I know that – but the relationship I see between Americans and their dogs is something that makes me a little bit sick these days.

I go to people’s houses and find dog hair everywhere, I see people kiss their dogs on the mouth, I see people letting their dog lick their mouths, taste their food (and then the people eat it). I’ve been into houses as an insurance agent, a guest, or a picker where the smell of dog piss is so overwhelming that I want to vomit. People have their little dogs pee on pads that soak it up – but which don’t soak up the smell.  I’ve been served food by hosts with dogs who didn’t seem to notice that their dog’s hair was in the food.

People let their dogs jump on me, lick me (it’s licking, not kissing), and harrass me.

Now, recently, I have people walk into my antique shop with their dog in their hands or even worse, on a leash without asking so much as a by your leave.  I’ve had guests show up at my house without mentioning they were bringing their dogs (fyi – Lola is the only dog allowed in my house – all others must stay outside).

I understand it’s your dog. I understand you think of it as a member of your family. And I don’t really give a shit. It’s a dog. Dog’s aren’t particularly clean. Pigs are particularly clean and I don’t want a pig to lick me, jump on me, or come in my house or shop. Dogs are not as clean as pigs – I don’t like your dog, we might as well get it out of the way. I may not like your kid either, for that matter and you probably shouldn’t bring them into an antique shop either unless they are restrained or very well mannered and behaved.

I don’t have any desire to get another dog.  If I do – you don’t have to like my dog just like I don’t like yours. Now – quit making me deal with your dog’s spit, hair, shit, or piss –

I was at a loss as to how to nicely tell people not to bring their dogs in my shop – my solution was to hang a sign in the door – “Licensed Service Dogs Welcome – All others please wait outside” I bet there will be more than one that ignore the sign…I will definitely ask them to leave after pointing out the sign.

We’re All Fucked – Even You.

Okay, the bad news first – We’re all fucked. Now that we have that out of the way – let’s move on to the good news – oh, wait – there’s not any. We’re all fucked and that is all there is to it.

How are we fucked? Well – let’s look at freedom. Think you have some? Yes, you do – you can either have an iPhone or an Android phone but if you need to use a payphone you are out of luck – because they are all being turned into wifi devices so if you don’t have a device with a tracking chip in it you can’t check on the bus schedule which runs on a QR code, you can’t check in without paying a ‘desk’ fee, and – well you get the point. But this isn’t a big brother rant about how the technology is getting a better rein on you and tracking your movements, purchases, online browsing behavior, and relationship status to decide whether you should be detained, given online dating ads, or awarded a bonus farmville page…no, it’s not that.

Want to build a house? Just buy some land…uh, no, it doesn’t work like that anymore.  To buy the land you need to have proper documentation to start with – try to buy a lot without a phone number and you will find lots of problems..and then even when you get the land you need to work with the planning department, the zoning department, the EPA, the city works department, the public works department, the approval of approval department, and the bank because even if you don’t take a loan out you still need to have insurance and paperwork. You are free to fill out forms with personal information to do something which affects you on land that you own. None of this is new though….

Illegal immigrants are flooding over the border – but that’s not the problem- the problem is we’re spending huge amounts of money to send them home and catch them instead of embracing them and letting them work hard and build a better life as they wanted to come here to do…and meanwhile, the immigrants who came here and did everything legitimate and earned a good living and became successful – they are buying property in their home countries and getting ready to flee this disaster of a country to go back home to where they can eat non GMO foods and have reasonably priced healthcare with no insurance premiums and not have to face a bunch of angry lazy white people who look for the closest successful brown person to blame their failure at life on…but that’s not really a problem for everyone – just for America – which will soon be a nation of very rich haves and pissed off ignorant have nots who aren’t able to get close to the rich without setting off proximity alarms because they are carrying cheap devices in their pockets…

Does anyone else realize we are all carrying around micro chip transmitters that tell our movements, record our conversations, and offer total access to our most personal data? And since when has data really mattered? Since all of our valuable possessions became lines of code and alphanumeric passwords…your bank account has been hacked – hard to do that if you use cold hard currency – but then the currency has transmitters in it too..

I don’t know much about common core but I know that when you take away the incentive to ACHIEVE you are taking away one of the greatest motivators of growth – we live in a society which is quickly heading toward “Everyone wins and no one loses” which doesn’t really serve to make everyone equal as to make it a problem for anyone to go after their full potential and for any conversation or moving forward based on ability and potential and achievement to be a source of taboo. A forbidden topic. God forbid that your child should be an honor student and you should be proud,  – the sticker for the new america – My child is a drone. All children are drones.

They’re giving kids medication to make them more amenable to the drone school system and for those parents who decide to discipline thier children in an attempt to teach values and character who are caught lies a future of losing your children and having them put with drones who will not push them in any direction but that of droneness.

We’re not fucked because of the wars or rumours of wars or because of the immigration problem or because of the technology – though if you think Google and Facebook and Twitter aren’t playing with what you see and are exposed to in order to make you a better consumer of the clients which pay them (including the governments) – you are a consumer, you are a product, you are a well greased wheel in the machine of society. And, by the way…you are fucked.

You are living in an age when decency is being replaced by a culture of outrage over people suggesting they might be better at something than someone else is. And then there is decency and respect – seems to have died with the WWII generation – the baby boomers brought in the ME ME ME generation and destroyed ancestral inheritance as they kicked thier kids out at 18 so they could focus on themselves again (if they even waited that long – since divorce and remarriage effectively alienated kids from anything they might have ever gotten in the first place (both materially and emotionally) as family homes were sold and since people generally remarry younger spouses – that takes care of that – if you see what I mean) Those kids grew up seeing their parents taking care of themselves and those parents just couldn’t believe it as they asked “How can they be so selfish?” because when kids have to take care of themselves and give everything to themselves because thier parents are so selfishly doing what is ‘best for them’ – it doesn’t exactly engender selflessness…and of course that cycle continues and now you see parents that don’t even seem aware of the fact they have kids as they pursue whatever they want despite having kids they should be taking care of (hello crack baby babies). And it doesn’t get any better…

All of this might be fixed if the power would just go out and the grid were shut down and civilization as we know it were to crash down around us – those who know how to work and use their brains would be able to succeed based on hard work and merit and brains… but shit, that ain’t going to happen. It’s just not.

The governments will keep the power on and the labs and companies will keep making people more useless as truckers no longer need to drive their trucks and no one else needs to do anything to do their job either and then it will just be a matter of either 1) the rich and powerful figuring out how to get rid of all of us unnecessary drains on their enjoyment or 2) the machines figuring out that there just don’t need to be as many of us as there are.

Sorry, unless the aliens come and decide to intervene or society crashes – those are the only two logical outcomes.  So, in conclusion – if you aren’t rich and powerful – you are fucked. If you are rich and powerful you are fucked because you are on the way to losing your humanity – but maybe I’m just saying that to make myself feel better – in fact – you might just not be fucked if you are rich and powerful enough.

 

Revelation Made Clear – The Breaking of the Seven Seals

The end days are upon us – I’m no Christian, but here’s some pretty clear revelation for you….

  1. First Seal: A white horse appears, whose crowned rider has a bow with which to conquer. (6:1–2) – this is Putin in Crimea
  2. Second Seal: A red horse appears, whose rider is granted a “great sword” to take peace from the earth. (6:3–4) – this is ISIS in Iraq and Syria
  3. Third Seal: A black horse appears, whose rider has “a pair of balances in his hand,” where a voice then says, “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and [see] thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” (6:5–6) – This is the revival of hostilities in Palestine and Israel
  4. Fourth Seal: A pale horse appears, whose rider is Death, and Hadesfollows him. Death was granted a fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (6:7–8) – This is the Ebola outbreak in Africa which is out of control
  5. Fifth Seal: “Under the altar,” appeared the souls of martyrs for the “word of God,” who cry out for vengeance. They are given white robes and told to rest until the martyrdom of their brothers is completed. (6:9-11) – They are resting
  6. Sixth Seal: (6:12–17)
    1. There occurs a great earthquake where “the sun becomes black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon like blood” (6:12).
    2. The stars of heaven fall to the earth and the sky recedes like a scroll being rolled up (6:13–14).
    3. Every mountain and island is moved out of place (6:14).
    4. The people of earth retreat to caves in the mountains (6:15).
    5. The survivors call upon the mountains and the rocks to fall on them, so as to hide them from the “wrath of the Lamb” (6:16). – This is coming soon – big Cascadia Quake or maybe Greenland
  7. This is the 144,000 getting marked – coming soon…