03/23/20

SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 – The Virus and Disease – Timeline

Hello everyone. Since I’m living on my boat in self-exile because I am the worst a man can be today, white, over 60, lung cancer, Chronic Pulmonary Obstruction Disease, nearly losing a battle with influenza-A over Christmas, and eking along on CPP Disability, I’ve been keeping a timeline of all the goings on as of late with the coronavirus. Timeline will be ongoing until further notice, and will be regularly updated when new info comes down the pike. Scroll to bottom for latest.

Be well and remember they have not yet restricted being rational and calm, or laughter and hope.

Peace.

June 13, 2012 a 60-year-old Saudi man was admitted to a private hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with a 7-day history of fever, cough, expectoration, and shortness of breath. He had no history of cardiopulmonary or renal disease, was receiving no long-term medications, and did not smoke.

May 4, 2013, a sample of this Saudi SARS (aka novel coronavirus) from the very first Saudi patient arrived in Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg, the only level-4 facility equipped to handle the world’s deadliest diseases, via Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, who sequenced the virus sample.

May 30, 2018, Trump signs the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act. This law is another way for patients who have been diagnosed with life-threatening diseases or conditions who have tried all approved treatment options and who are unable to participate in a clinical trial to access certain unapproved treatments.

Mar. 2019, in a mysterious event, a shipment of exceptionally virulent viruses including Saudi SARS coronavirus from Canada’s NML ended up in China.

July 2019, a group of Chinese virologists were forcibly dispatched from the Canadian lab. One of them was Dr. Xiangguo Qiu who made at least five trips to the Wuhan National Bio-safety Laboratory located only 32 km away from the Huanan Seafood Market which was supposedly the epicentre of the outbreak. Theories abound that the coronavirus was then weaponized at the Wuhan Laboratory by adding two HIV molecules. And if it had been released the health of societies would crumble, with many millions dying, and anarchy would reign. And that an unelected centralized group would then arise and create their concept of order.

Oct. 18, 2019, the very opaque “Event 201” is held in in New York. It was sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum (WEF), the CIA, John Hopkins Foundation, Mike Bloomberg, and the UN’s World Health Organization. The event was a rehearsal for an worldwide pandemic. Players in the exercise were presented with a scenario where a fictional coronavirus started in pig farms in Brazil, and then spread around the world, leading to a (fictional) 65 million deaths. Interesting that Bloomberg was involved. In 2019, Forbes ranked him as the ninth-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $55.5 billion. In November 2019, Bloomberg began to run for the Democratic nomination for president of the US. He ended his campaign in March 2020, after having won only 61 delegates and having spent $676 million of his own money on the primary campaign, setting the record for the most expensive US presidential primary campaign in history. Coincidentally perhaps, when he began his campaign, Saunders was the predominate candidate, then after he stepped down nearly all the other candidates also began stepping down, and Biden suddenly became the predominate candidate.

The same day Event 201 began (Oct. 18th), The World Military Games, opened in Wuhan, China, and ran until October 27th. Similar to the Olympics, but for military personal, 140 nations and 9,309 athletes participated in 27 sports, including track and field and archery for para athletes, obstacle courses, Judo, and military pentathlons, along with many of the same individual and team sports played at the Olympics. And for the first time boxing competitions were opened to female military boxers. The US delegation was comprised of 300 military personal. Another theory suggests that perhaps one of two scenarios were carried out at this time, either the Wuhan laboratories were infiltrated and the weaponized SARS coronavirus’s two HIV molecules were extracted or it was replaced with a less deadlier version.

In related news, in Mar. 2020, in a tit-for-tat between the US and China, Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, tweeted of the possibility that “it might be US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan”, making a direct connection with the Military Games in Wuhan. He also directly quoted US CDC director Robert Redfield who, when asked whether some deaths by coronavirus had been discovered posthumously in the US, replied that “some cases have actually been diagnosed this way in the US today.” Zhao’s conclusion maybe suggests the virus was already in effect in the US before being identified in Wuhan, due to the by now fully documented inability of the US to test and verify differences compared with the flu. A manufactured epidemic event started in the US by the globalists to effect an election year and carry out their agenda? But were found out and a similar weaponized version (two HIV molecules) was replaced or had the molecules removed just before it was released? Who knows?

Dec. 10: In Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, Wei Guixian, one of the earliest known coronavirus patients, starts feeling ill.

Dec. 16: Guixian is admitted to Wuhan Central Hospital with infection in both lungs but resistant to anti-flu drugs. Staff later learned he worked at a wildlife market connected to the outbreak.

Dec. 27: Initially thought of as a mysterious case of pneumonia, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission ruled out influenza, avian influenza, adenovirus infection, SARS, MERS and other commonly known respiratory diseases as the cause. Wuhan health officials are told that a new coronavirus is causing the illness.

Jan. 2, 2020: Chinese researchers map the new coronavirus’ complete genetic information. And identify it as a new coronavirus, which includes SARS and the common cold. It is named SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease named COVID-19. Coronaviruses are common and spread through being in proximity to an infected person and inhaling droplets generated when they cough or sneeze, or touching a surface where these droplets land and then touching one’s face or nose. They publish the results on Jan.9th.

Jan. 11, China announced its first death from the virus, a 61-year-old man who had purchased goods from the seafood market. Treatment did not improve his symptoms after he was admitted to hospital and he died of heart failure on the evening of January 9.

Jan 12: China completed and published the genetic sequence of the new virus.

Jan. 13: First coronavirus case reported in Thailand, the first known case outside China.

Jan. 15: The patient who becomes the first confirmed US case leaves Wuhan and arrives in the US, carrying the coronavirus. No one in the US had yet to be tested.

Jan. 18: The Wuhan Health Commission announces four new cases. At the Annual Wuhan Lunar New Year banquet, tens of thousands of people gathered for a potluck.

Jan. 19: Beijing sends epidemiologists to Wuhan. A day later, Zhong Nanshan, a top Chinese doctor who is helping to coordinate the coronavirus response, announces the virus can be passed between people.

Jan. 20: China reported a third death and more than 200 infections, with cases also reported outside Hubei province including in the capital Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

The first case announced in South Korea (pop. 51 million). By the middle of February, a much more significant outbreak of the disease could be traced to one of the many cult-like religious sects in the country and their travels back and forth to Wuhan, and infections quickly rose into the thousands. The South Korean government quickly switched to testing overdrive. On Feb. 26, the country began drive-through testing. By Mar. 9, nearly 200,000 people had been tested for the disease. The government is also, more controversially, using a phone app that relies on GPS to track those in quarantine and make sure that they maintain their self-separation. A rigorous triage has sent all but the most serious 10% of the infected to recover at home, lessening the strain on the medical system. The hyper-connected country has been able to practice social distancing with relative ease as people went online to work remotely, order groceries, and maintain contact with friends. Instead of the authoritarian quarantining that China implemented, South Korea has relied on a test and track approach, using technology, a rapid response, a smart and techno-savvy culture, lots of testing and follow-up, and a general spirit of compliance. To-date the rate of infection has levelled off, and the death rate remains very low at less than 1 percent.

Jan. 21: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms the first coronavirus case in the US.

Jan 22, the death toll in China jumped to 17 with more than 550 infections. Many European airports stepped up checks on flights from Wuhan.

Jan. 23: With the Chinese government reporting only 830 infections, Wuhan and three other cities go under quarantine. Everything is shut down, from schools to factories, internal transportation, and even any further Lunar New Year celebrations are cancelled. All air and rail departures were suspended. Unfortunately, as the lock-down began, the Lunar New Year holiday (Jan. 24th to 30th) also began, and hundreds of millions of people were in transit around the country, as well as flying in from elsewhere around the globe, as they visited relatives. At the same time, approximately 5 million people leave Wuhan city without being screened for the illness.

And the World Health Organization (WHO) announce the outbreak did not yet constitute a public emergency of international concern and there was “no evidence” of the virus spreading between humans outside of China.

Jan. 24: China (pop. 1.4 billion) extends the lock-down to cover 36 million people and starts to rapidly build a new hospital in Wuhan. From this point, very strict measures continue to be implemented around the country for the rest of the epidemic. One week later the number of infections had climbed to nearly 10,000. The quarantine methods wouldn’t show much effect over the next three to four weeks, but countries around the world criticized them for being so authoritarian.

Though authoritarian, and perhaps guilty of suppression and censorship of information in the early days, the actions implemented are seemingly working. And though they stumbled, they acted far quicker than many democratically elected leaders have to date. Besides it’s not as if the democratic countries that are acting now and implementing similar actions, put their decisions to a vote. Tony Perman, who was quarantined in Shanghai, said that “Certainly the reality of authoritarian control, the subservience of the individual to the state or the collective, and the pressure to conform made widespread habit change both more feasible and acceptable, even if due to fear of retribution. But there was a palpable ‘all for one and one for all’ ethos.” The success of China’s approach owes as much to the public’s sense of responsibility as it does to the government’s autocratic methods.

Most deaths in China occurred in Hubei province, with most all patients over 65 years old with chronic diseases or compromised immune systems. But then in the Wuhan area, lung cancer and emphysema/COPD are significantly higher than national averages in China, a country where half of all men smoke. Interestingly, and a matter of fact, the coronavirus genome variations in Iran and Italy were sequenced and it was revealed they do not belong to the variety that infected Wuhan.

Jan. 25, travel restrictions were imposed on a further five cities in Hubei, taking the overall number of people affected to 56 million. Hong Kong declared a virus emergency, cancelled Lunar New Year celebrations and restricted links to mainland China.

Jan 30, seven days after saying there wasn’t one, WHO declared coronavirus a global emergency as the death toll in China jumped to 170, with 7,711 cases reported in the country, where the virus had spread to all 31 provinces.

India and the Philippines confirmed their first cases of the virus, with one infected patient in each country.

Jan 31st, In Italy (pop. 60 million), two Chinese tourists in Rome tested positive for the virus. The Italian government suspended all flights to and from China and declared a state of emergency. Then the virus appeared again, on Feb. 14Th, just outside the northern city of Milan. The patient was originally thought to have been infected by a colleague returning from China. But the colleague tested negative. A comedy of errors then played out. According to The Washington Post, “the patient had sought medical attention multiple times, starting on February 14, but he wasn’t diagnosed until February 21 (after he infected his wife, hospital staff, several patients and others).” Even though basically shutting down the country, with everyone on lock-down, Italy is undoubtedly getting so hard hit today because it has the second highest proportion of seniors in the world, with 23% of the population over 65. Only Japan has an older population. This may explain their high mortality rate of 7.3 per cent, which is nearly double of what China’s rate was at its peak, of 3.8 per cent. The few areas hit the hardest in Italy also had very high rates of smoking, obstruction diseases and heart disease. Many who were hospitalized were in fact already dieing, with the average age 81 years old. While an Italian virologist says that in the early days of the outbreak the country’s attempt not to appear “racist” and concerned over being politically correct, hindered the ability to properly respond to the pandemic. They also erred at the beginning of the outbreak by admitting patients with only mild symptoms, and with a low number of ICU (Intensive Care Units) beds per population (one-third of ICU beds per population as the US) the hospitals were overwhelmed. As it was, a typical flu season took up around 80 to 90% of their ICU bed availability. Other errors were a lack of strict hygiene practises, and lack of any shelter in place guidelines.

The number of confirmed cases in China jumped to 9,809. While Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom confirmed their first cases of the virus.

Russia closes 4,200 km border with China. Bans Chinese citizens from entering country. As does Singapore.

The US declares the outbreak a public health emergency. And with 11 confirmed cases in the US and no deaths yet reported, the US (pop.327 million) also announces that any citizens who had visited Hubei province in China, within 14 days of their return to the US, will be subjected to a mandatory quarantine of up to 14 days. And that all aircraft arriving from China were being directed to 13 authorized airports to receive them, where the CDC is working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and individual airlines to identify potentially infected persons. And further, that foreign nationals (other than immediate family members, US citizens, permanent residents, and flight crew) who have been in China within 14 days of their arrival to the US will be denied entry into the country. The US mainstream news called their government fear mongering, racist and xenophobic for doing so.

The number of confirmed cases in China jumped to 9,809. While Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom confirmed their first cases of the virus.

Russia closes 4,200 km border with China. Bans Chinese citizens from entering country. As does Singapore.

Feb. 1st: Philippines announced their first death, the first one outside China.

Feb 3rd. Across 25 countries, 17,205 people had been infected with the virus, which had claimed the lives of 361 others. But 99 percent of cases still remained in China.

Same day, the shit-show that was the US 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses took place. the first nominating contests in the Democratic Party primaries. Following a three-day delay in vote reporting, the Iowa Democratic Party declared that Buttigieg had won two more delegates than Sanders, while Sanders won the popular vote, but it would take 24 days for the Iowa Democratic Party to announce the results as official.

Feb 4th Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined at the Port of Yokohama dock for the next four weeks. An 80-year-old passenger from Hong Kong who embarked in Yokohama, on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, sailed one segment of the itinerary and disembarked in Hong Kong earlier on Jan 25th. Six days after leaving the ship, he visited a local Hong Kong hospital where he later tested positive for COVID-19. Home countries arranged to evacuate their citizens and quarantine them further in their own countries, and by Mar. 1st, all on board including the crew and the captain had disembarked. The 300 US citizens onboard were flown back to the US and quarantined in locations across the country, including on Air Force bases in Northern California and Texas, and the University of Nebraska. In San Antonio the CDC accidentally released one of the infected patients, where he roamed a nearby mall for two hours.

The Diamond Princess gives the best indication of how fatal the disease is than global statistics. It was a controlled environment, without many variables that normally are impossible to control. “We know that all but one patient boarded the boat without the virus. We know that the other passengers were healthy enough to travel. And we know their whereabouts and exposures.” All of its passengers and crew were tested, with 712 people out of the 3,711 people on board testing positive (about 18%), 334 of whom were asymptomatic (showing no symptoms). The infections included at least 138 from India (including 132 crew and 6 passengers), 35 Filipinos, 32 Canadians, 24 Australians, 13 Americans, 4 Indonesians, 4 Malaysians, and 2 Britons. Seven people from the boat have died, giving a death rate of 0.86 percent. And that not a single death among passengers has been in a person under 70.

Feb 5th. Trump is acquitted of impeachment for being too slow to send arms to corrupt and Nazi-controlled Ukraine.

Feb. 8th: The death toll in China reached 722, with 34,546 confirmed infections.

Feb. 9, the death toll in China surpassed that of the 2002-03 SARS epidemic, with 811 deaths recorded and 37,198 infections. A beaming, Canadian PM Trudeau, sends 16 tons (32,000 lbs) of face masks, gloves, goggles and clothing to China.

Feb. 13, North Korea imposed a month-long quarantine on all foreign visitors and others suspected to have COVID-19. The death toll in mainland China hit 1,300, with nearly 60,000 infections recorded. Meanwhile, Japan confirmed its first death from the virus.

Feb. 18th: China reported around 72,000 infections. A month later, it had only reached around 81,000. Since, the rate of infection has levelled off, and the death rate remains very low at less than 1 percent rather than the 3.8 per cent at the peak of it’s epidemic.

Feb. 19th: First confirmed case in Iran (pop. 83 million). Just over a month later, Mar. 20Th, they had 19,644 cases, with new cases also still rising, reporting 1,237 new cases on that date. To-date death toll is 1,433 people, with over 8 % (23) of their parliamentary members contracting the disease. As of Mar. 20th, Iran has the third highest number of COVID-19 deaths after China and Italy, the highest in Western Asia, and the fourth-highest number of cases, surpassed only by Mainland China, Italy, and the US (which on Mar.21st had 25,493 cases).

Feb. 19, Iran reported two deaths from the coronavirus, hours after confirming its first cases.

China’s daily infection figures drop below 2,000 for the second straight day, with the country’s health commission reporting 74,185 infections on the mainland and 2,004 deaths.

Feb. 20, South Korea reported its first death from the coronavirus. Meanwhile, And though China reported the death toll had risen to 2,118 while the total number of cases reached 74,576, the country’s health commission reported daily infections dropped to the lowest in almost a month, a result of authorities only counting cases confirmed by genetic testing in Hubei.

Feb. 22: South Korea saw its largest spike in a single day with 229 new cases of the virus.

Italy reported its first two deaths, while Iran confirmed a fifth death among 10 new infections. A sixth death was later confirmed, though it was not clear whether this case was included in the country’s 28 confirmed cases.

In China, the number of new infections fell significantly with 397 cases reported.

Feb. 27, Estonia, Denmark, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands reported their first coronavirus cases. The number of infections passed 82,000 worldwide, including more than 2,800 deaths.

Mar. 1: Global averages at this time showed 10% of those infected needed to be hospitalized, and 1 to 2% died, mostly all elderly and already medically compromised. Survivability rate was 98 to 99%. This rate may even rise, since with proper testing, there is undoubtedly going to be many more infected than now confirmed, but who do not die.

Mar. 5th. Dr Jeremy Samuel Faust, emergency medicine physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, pointed out that 25,000 people die in China every day, a high proportion of which is due to respiratory diseases which show symptoms similar to coronavirus. At the peak of the outbreak figures show that just 25 of the typical 25,000 daily deaths were from coronavirus, and that many of the deaths were of individuals in the same age groups and in the same areas where the deaths from respiratory diseases was already high. So he askedHow were doctors supposed to sort out which of those 25 out of 25,000 daily deaths were solely due to coronavirus, and which were more complicated?

Mar. 6, OPEC+ called on Russia to coordinate an oil production slow down in an effort to stabilize oil prices. All expectations were that a supply reduction would be agreed upon and the price of oil would stabilize. A shock not heard, Russia said “nyet” and turned the offer down, creating a price war.

Russia and Saudi Arabia can produce oil at around $20 per barrel, while US shale production costs average around $46 per barrel. And so Saudi Arabia and Russia can live with sub $30 oil for quite some time. Russia stated they could go 10 to 15 years. The US energy sector will collapse very quickly with sub $30 oil unless banks and hedge funds are willing to lend more dollars, which they now don’t have. One also has to consider that the US has spent the last 12 years using borrowed capital to invest in things and expecting the profits made to be greater than the interest payable. Which hasn’t always been the case, instead they simply print more money to make up for it. And they are currently at their “weakest moment perhaps since the Great Depression, perhaps ever.” Over the same 12 years, Russia, one of the least indebted countries in the world, has been the largest buyer of gold, and the biggest seller of US Treasuries in the world.

Related, today (Mar 25/in Victoria BC) I went to put some gas in the car, while keeping a safe distance from anyone I encountered of course. Three weeks ago we were paying up to $1.48 per liter, today it was down to a loonie per liter.

Mar. 7, the coronavirus had killed nearly 3,500 people and infected another 102,000 people across more than 90 countries.

China’s Health Commission reported 99 new cases, down from 143 cases the day before, with a total of 80,651 cases nationwide. Official data, meanwhile, showed China’s exports plunging 17.2% in the first two months of the year after the outbreak brought much of the country to a halt.

Mar. 11th, WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

The US barred the entry of all foreign nationals who had visited China, Iran and a group of European countries during the previous 14 days. The ban applied to Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. On Mar.16th the ban was also applied to foreign nationals departing from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Mar. 12th to Mar. 20th, most countries around the world soon followed and would shut their borders and heavily restrict or outright ban all incoming and outgoing flights. Venezuela, Bolivia, El Salvador, Russia, Pakistan and Cuba, all shutdown most flights soon after the US did. One of the many to do so on Mar.16th, was Canada (pop. 37 million) which finally announced it was blocking the entry of anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, except for airplane crews, diplomats, immediate family members of Canadian citizens. Many felt and have said, that PM Trudeau, had held back until now because he felt limiting entry was racist.

Mar. 13th Bill Gates stepped down from the public boards of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway. His stated reasons include, to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health, vaccination programs and development, education, and tackling climate change. And comes on the heels of the Gates Foundation’s announcement that it is involved in efforts to “identify, assess, develop, and scale-up treatments” for COVID-19.

Mar. 16, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the city’s bars, theatres and cinemas to close down, as the number of cases continued to rise in the US.

Renowned scientist Frank Plummer who received the original Saudi SARS coronavirus sample back in May 2013, and was currently working on coronavirus (HIV) vaccine in the Winnipeg NML labs, collapsed and died in mysterious conditions in Kenya. According to CBC, Plummer, 67, was a keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the University of Nairobi’s collaborative centre for research and training in HIV/AIDS/STIs. No confirmed cause of death has yet been released.

Marillyn Hewson, the chief executive of the world’s largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, and one of the most powerful women in the world announced that she will step down as CEO on June 15. Since the pandemic started in January, CEO’s have been dropping like flies. Some of them include (starting in January) IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, MGM CEO, Jim Murren, Credit Suisse CEO, Tidjane Thiam, JCPenney CMO, Shawn Gensch, St. Luke’s Hospital CEO, Christine Candio (one of St. Louis’ biggest hospitals), MasterCard CEO, Ajay Banga, UPS, David Abney, Disney CEO, Bob Iger, and the previously mentioned Bill Gates. The majority of them have stepped down in the past three weeks. Over the past year nearly 1,400 CEO’s have left their posts in the US. In October 2019 alone, 172 chief executives left their jobs. The highest monthly number on record. An advocate for corporate governance says its because company boards “have been too compliant and they’re finally recognizing it’s their job to be vigilant about chief executive misbehaviour.” Perhaps. But severance, stock options and buyouts were beyond exceptional, and maybe not so lucrative today.

Mar. 17th European Union (EU) leaders, announced they were closing off at least 26 countries (with more than 400 million people) to nearly all visitors from the rest of the world for at least 30 days. While in reality many European countries had already done so, the borderless ideology of the EU be damned.

Mar. 18th Flattening Curves – China, Singapore, Japan, Iraq, South Korea.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared for the first time ever a “human bio-security emergency” in the country, and the travel advisory had been upgraded to the highest level. Australians were told, “Do not travel abroad, do not go overseas.”

Italy, meanwhile, recorded 475 new deaths, the highest one-day toll of any nation, taking its total to 2,978. The total number of infections in the country reached 35,713.

For the first time since the start of the epidemic, no new domestic cases were reported in China.

Mar. 19, Italy overtook China as the country with the most coronavirus-related deaths, registering 3,405 dead compared to 3,245 in China. Globally, there had been 8,843 deaths to date, or around 7% of the numbers who have died over the same time period of the current seasonal flu.

Australia and New Zealand finally begin to restrict travel in and out.

Tulsi Gabbard, the second to last candidate in the Democratic primaries to do so, stands down, endorsing Biden, and leaving he and Saunders the two old white guys left in the race to run against another old white guy.

Trump announced he was going to unveil measures to get experimental treatments into the hands of patients, despite some resistance from the Federal Drug Administration. Including chloroquine, an inexpensive anti-malaria drug that’s been around for over 70 years and has been shown to halt coronavirus in patients who have mild to moderate symptoms. It was first approved in the US in 1949, and has been widely used as a low-cost method to treat a variety of diseases, including malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. In several studies and through anecdotal evidence, chloroquine appears to significantly limit the replication of COVID-19, particularly when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin (zithromax Z-pak).

In a study published March 18th 2020, by French physician-researchers, a total of 36 patients (20 who were treated with chloroquine and 16 controls who were not) revealed that 50% of the treated group turned from positive to negative on the third day, then grew to 70% by the sixth day. Six test patients were treated with both chloroquine and Z-pak, and all six tested negative for coronavirus on day six. “Despite its small sample size our survey shows that hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin,” the study concluded.

Both the Dutch CDC and the Italian Society of Infectious and Tropical disease have recommended the use of chloroquine for coronavirus patients, along with doctors from China, South Korea and Belgium – which have added the drug to their treatment guidelines. Meanwhile there are over two dozen clinical trials currently underway to study the efficacy of the drug. US physicians aren’t waiting for the trial results – as prescriptions for chloroquine have surged from 531 weekly prescriptions to 1,290, according to recent tracking data from IQVIA, (cited by Raymond James). The drug has become so popular that the UK has added both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to a list of drugs which cannot be exported for fear that there will be a shortage in the country. According to Italian scientist Andrea Savarino, who has worked at the Italian National Institute of Health since 2006. During the 2003 outbreak of SARS coronavirus, Savarino showed in laboratory research that chloroquine may be a useful weapon against it. But by the time his research was published in “The Lancet” in November 2003, the outbreak had dissipated and there were no human cases available to test.

Another drug which has shown significant promise for COVID-19 is Avigan, which has shown to shorten COVID-19 infections from 11 days to 4, as well as drop fever in patients from 4.2 days to 2.5 days after treatment is started. Avigan is an antiviral small molecule Favipiravir developed by Toyama chemical. It was tested in two small clinical trials of 80 patients (35 treatment/45 control) in Shenzhen, China, and in a second multi-centre trial in Wuhan, China. Favipiravir is a pyrazine carboximide derivative similar to an old TB drug but is an antiviral by virtue of inhibition viral RNA dependent RNA polymerases.

All these drugs just listed, and others, and despite some not being fully tested yet, can be used immediately according the US’s Right to Try Act of 2018.

And then there are the Cubans (pop. 11 million) Though under harsh sanctions and demonized since forever by much of the Western world, it’s too bad we are not allowed to do business with them. Their anti-viral Heberon – or Interferon Alpha 2b – a therapeutic, not a vaccine, has been used with great success in the treatment of coronavirus. A joint venture in China is now producing an inhalable version, and at least 15 nations are suddenly very interested in importing the therapeutic.

Since 1986, the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology of Havana, Cuba, has produced the recombinant human interferon alpha-2b, marketed as Heberon® Alfa R. The therapeutic use of this product has accumulated a high number of researches carried out in the country’s public health network. For the analysis of its safety profile, 28 years of reports of adverse events were reviewed in 5806 individuals, both children and adults, coming from 147 clinical trials or healthy assistances using the product. This review also contains a safety comparison between lyophilized and liquid formulations. In addition, an analysis of the connection between the occurrence of adverse events and the demographic characteristics of the patients, an analysis of immunogenicity and another on the variation of the thyroid function associated to the use of Heberon® Alfa R were included. Finally, a general analysis of the product’s efficacy based on the number of treated patients and the clinical results obtained are presented. Adverse events were reported in 4864 subjects (84 %). The main adverse events were those corresponding to the flu-like syndrome, with higher frequency in male white patients. Hypothyroidism and immunogenicity behaved lower than similar products in the international pharmaceutical market. Approximately 60 % of the treated patients obtained a relevant therapeutic response and a liquid formulation offered a better benefit/ risk ratio. The extensive clinical information evaluated recognizes a Heberon® Alfa R as a safe and effective drug, 30 years after its first production.

Mar. 20 The White House Coronavirus Task Force said it was closing the border with Mexico (pop. 126 million) to any nonessential travel, beginning March 21. The measure comes days after they announced that the US and Canada were closing their border by mutual decision. The measure allows trade to continue but restricts non-essential travel, such as tourism, from Canada. Canadian nationals who daily commute to the US for work would still be allowed in.

Coronavirus-related deaths surged past 10,000 globally.

Mar. 21 Globally there have been 276,474 cases (35.5 cases per million people), with 11,417 deaths. The hot spots currently include Italy, with 4,032 deaths and 778 cases per million, China (which has flattened it’s curve) with 3,255 deaths and 56 cases per million, Iran 1,433 deaths/ 234 cases per million, and Spain (pop. 47 million), 1,093 deaths/ 461 cases per million. While in North America, the US have 275 deaths and 60 cases per million, Canada 12 deaths and 29 cases per million, and Mexico with 2 deaths and 2 cases per million. Other countries with 2 or less cases per million people include Venezuela, Pakistan, Russia, and Cuba.

Epicentre in the US is New York City who as of today (Mar.21st) has 5,151 confirmed cases, which accounts for a third of the US cases, and half of NY State’s cases (17,041 nationwide and 7,102 in New York state) along with 29 deaths. But then New York State has the fourth largest population in the US at 19.5 million people. With 18.8 million of them crammed into New York City. The median age of those infected in the US is currently 47. The biggest problem the US will have with this epidemic, besides more than half their population being obese, is that its a nation of people who believe in their American exceptionalism, that they are an exception to the rules that apply to the rest of humanity.

Here in British Columbia (pop. five million), we’ve had 348 cases to-date, with 200 located in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, which extends from Richmond to Whistler. Ninety-five others are located in the Fraser Health region, which stretches from Burnaby to Hope. And 30 cases in the Island Health region, which includes Vancouver Island, 19 in the Interior Health region, which includes Kelowna and Kamloops, and 4 in Northern Health, which covers the province’s north. And there have been eight deaths from the virus in B.C., all of them associated in some way with the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, which was the first seniors’ care home to have an identified outbreak. In total, 36 residents and 18 health-care workers at Lynn Valley Care Centre have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Overall, it seems the populations who are “social distancing” (maintaining a distance of about 2 meters or 6 feet from anyone), are doing the best in stopping the spread. Imagine that, and it’s free. Frequently washing of the hands, stop playing with our faces, don’t sneeze, spit and cough when around others, keep one’s distance, and it hurts me to say it, but cutback on the hugging and kissing of acquaintances for a bit. And avoid crowds, stores, sporting or mass entertainment events, and other situations likely to attract large numbers of people.

The experts in the viral world figure things will settle down and we will return to our typical herd immunity rate of 70 to 80%, when two things happen. First a large enough quantity of us have caught the disease and become immune, and secondly, someone comes up with a vaccine or a prophylactic antiviral in time to cut off, reduce, or contain the spread. And though it ain’t no disco nor fooling around, it isn’t a zombie apocalypse or a mass extinction event either. Infection isn’t our primary risk at this point, it’s the shutting down of our sense of reason.

As to the youth of the “Five Eyes”, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and especially the US, who seemingly have no regard for containing the virus or admitting there is even an epidemic underway, they are like their parents, who have blamed all the world’s ills on their grandparents and parents, us boomers. Everyone aghast when during spring break they filled the beaches in an hedonistic ego, alcoholic and drug mosh pit. As is the privileged way. Seemingly oblivious to what was going on around them. And for most, paid for by their parents, who’ll greet them when they return with a smile and shake of the head uttering “kids”. But remember, just a few months ago these “kids” were the extinction rebellion, blaming the boomers for climate change, and believing that the world was going to end in ten years. Often insincerely, and following the herd, they attended pro-abortion rallies, pride parades, and protests of all kinds, because their lib-tard professors at school told them to. They would ban and attack any conservatives, and comedians, from speaking or performing at their school. While during the day they’d demand free speech by yelling in someone’s face and not allowing them to be heard. They blocked railroads, attacked anyone not thinking their group’s way, and even had a military arm called Antifa (anti-fascist) who acted like fascists. They had a deep lack of respect for government, and for others not in their tribe. While all of us were divided this way and that. By gender, age, generation, skin color, political affiliation, music preference, what type of car one drives, class, religion, and spirituality, or not, all the while staring at and playing with our phones for much of our day. Besides the young see that the virus is not affecting them, other than perhaps getting a cold-like flu for a few days and being carriers without knowing or caring, as much as it’s affecting and killing us evil boomers. This is also the same generation who only a few months ago would film themselves on their phones, going to supermarkets, and opening ice cream containers out of the freezers and licking some off the top then putting the lid back on and returning it to the freezer. Today they are filming themselves going to a supermarket and coughing and licking the fruits and vegetables, then putting them back, for someone to buy. They are shameless, with the goal for many to become an internet star and “influencer”, and have no idea what the word empathy means. And sadly, unlike the young in other societies, they have no sense of responsibility for anyone other than themselves, so they simply don’t care. But then who can blame them, they grew up in a world we boomers created by being the largest most silent majority in history for over fifty years now, and collectively allowed to happen. Does one not reap what they sow? At the same time many of us boomers are now perfectly willing to give up even more of our freedoms for a little bit of security, to shame those not willing to also give up such things, and who refuse to be a part of the collective. We falsely hope that once the epidemic is over our freedoms will return to us and it’ll be like it was before, a society extremely divided and ripe to be conquered. While in actual fact, nothing will be the same. Which itself could be good or bad. We simply don’t know yet, the fight is still being fought. We are really just pundits giving our opinion, based on the opinions told to us, with us talking to each other saying the same things verbatim.

Mar. 22nd With time passing each day, more and more information, case study and data is becoming available. The subtle scary aspect of this coronavirus, is many infected people are well enough to go about their daily business, unwittingly spreading it to others because any symptoms don’t appear for, on average, five to six days after infection. New data coming out of China shows that as many as a third of the people who test positive for the coronavirus may show delayed symptoms or none at all. While scientists have been unable to agree on what role asymptomatic transmission plays in spreading the disease, they do know that in many cases, the virus appears to cause a mild illness lasting about two weeks in children, adolescents and younger adults, and potentially more severe disease lasting three to six weeks in older people.

In summary someone who has Covid-19 but has no symptoms, may infect one person out of every ten they meet, if too close or in a confined space together, while only one per cent of those people who get infected and may get sick for a week of flu symptoms, may die because they are compromised.

If we can believe them, The World Health Organization (WHO) released one of the most exhaustive pieces published on how the virus spreads. The results of their research show that COVID-19 doesn’t spread as easily as we first thought or the media had us believe. The report shows that if you come in contact with someone who tests positive for the disease you have a 1–5% chance of catching it as well. The variability is large because the infection is based on the type of contact and how long, with the majority of infections coming from prolonged exposures in confined spaces with other infected individuals. Person-to-person and surface contact is by far the most common cause. When a cluster of infected people appeared, 78 to 85% of the time, it was caused by an infection within the family by droplets, and other carriers of infection in close contact with an infected person.

Or as Dr. Paul Auwaerter, the Clinical Director for the Division of Infectious Diseases at John Hopkins University School of Medicine echoes, “If you have a COVID-19 patient in your household, your risk of developing the infection is about 10%…. If you were casually exposed to the virus in the workplace, and you were not locked up in conference room for six hours with someone who was infected (like a hospital), your chance of infection is about 0.5%”. According to Dr. Auwaerter, these transmission rates are very similar to the seasonal flu.

According to WHO’s report, air-based transmission or untraceable community spread is very unlikely. The data from China shows that community-based spread was only a very small handful of cases. And that the “transmission by fine aerosols in the air over long distances is not one of the main causes of spread. Most of the 2,055 infected hospital workers in China, were either infected at home or in the early phase of the outbreak in Wuhan when hospital safeguards were not raised yet”.

And according to a working paper from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, “The current scientific consensus is that most transmission via respiratory secretions happens in the form of large respiratory droplets … rather than small aerosols. Droplets, fortunately, are heavy enough that they don’t travel very far and instead fall from the air after travelling only a few feet.” As one doctor, who wants to remain anonymous says, “Corona doesn’t have wings”.

To summarize, China, Singapore, and South Korea’s containment efforts worked because community-based and airborne transmission aren’t common. The most common form of transmission is person-to-person or surface-based. And is why the best things we can do is keep our distance when around others and wash our hands often. While the true viral capacity is unknown at this moment, it is theorized that COVID-19 is more than the seasonal flu but less than other viruses. The average number of people to which a single infected person will transmit the virus, range from as low as 1.5 to a high of 3.0.

In China, only 8.1% of cases were 20-somethings, 1.2% were teens, and 0.9% were 9 or younger, while there isn’t a single death reported below the age of 10 in the world, and most children who test positive don’t show any symptoms at all. As of Feb. 20th, 78% of the cases reported were ages 30 to 69. The WHO report hypothesizes this is for a biological reason and isn’t related to lifestyle or exposure. “Even when we looked at households, we did not find a single example of a child bringing the infection into the household and transmitting to the parents.It was the other way around. And the children tend to have a mild disease.” said the report.

Global data shows that around 95% of people who are tested aren’t positive, but the rate does vary by country. Every country has a different population size which skew multiple and cumulative case comparisons. And though viruses don’t acknowledge our human borders, by controlling for population, you can properly weigh the number of cases in the context of the local population size. For instance the US population is five and a half times greater than Italy, six times larger than South Korea, and only a quarter of the size of China, so comparing cases is mundane. As is already happening with China and many other countries, regardless of particular policy solutions, such as shutting the borders or social distancing, the virus, as with most things in nature, is displaying it’s typical pattern of not growing linearly forever but accelerating, plateauing, then quickly declining. As the virus spreads it will follow this pattern, and whether it is environmental or our own efforts, viruses quickly decline, despite what the media tells us. Every country will follow a similar pattern. And is why the Bell curve is the dominant trait of outbreaks and indeed, a fact of nature. But mainstream media shows only the more dramatic looking graphs of linear projection of the virus, instead of the more truthful, logarithmic scale. And of course they show us the symbolic sport-like scoreboards of cases and deaths.

Globally, 80–85% of all cases are mild, and will not require a hospital visit and home-based treatment/ no treatment is effective. While reports from the CDC, suggest that 12% of COVID-19 cases need some form of hospitalization, which is lower than the projected severity rate of 20%, with 80% being mild cases. The report also suggests that 1% of everyone in the US who is tested for COVID-19 will have a severe case that will require a hospital visit or long-term admission. For context, this year’s flu season has so far led to at least 17 million medical visits and 370,000 hospitalizations (0.1%) out of 30–50 million infections.

Based on the initial results, and the results from other countries, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases will increase as testing increases, but the fatality rate will continue to fall and the severity case mix will fall. As the US continues to expand testing, the case fatality rate will decline over the next few weeks. Reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general US population vary from 0.05% to 1%. The US fatality rate is already drastically declining as the number of cases increases, halving every four or five days. The fatality rate will eventually level off and plateau as the US case-mix becomes apparent. This can already be seen. On Mar.8th the US fatality rate was 4.06% (22 deaths of 541 cases), five days later the rate dropped to 2.27% (49 deaths of 2,247 cases) and by Mar.20th the rate was 1.32% (256 deaths of 19,383 cases). With most of the deaths, people had underlying conditions. In hard hit Italy, 99% of all deaths had an underlying pathology. Only 0.8% had no underlying condition. And that most of those infected were over the age of 60, while the median age of a fatality was 80. All of Italy’s fatalities under the age of 40, were males with serious pre-existing medical conditions.

Comparatively, these fatality rates are similar to Pneumonia and influenza (1.53% to 1.93%), Chronic lower respiratory disease (1.48% to 1.93%), all respiratory causes (3.04% to 4.14%), Heart disease (3.21% to 4.4%), Cancer (0.68% to 1.05%) and Diabetes (0.26% to 0.39%).

Mar.23rd. Globally, 338,307 cases of COVID-19 have been reported, including 14,602 deaths. Comparably, over the same time frame, 13.7 million people around the world have died. 152,000 died each day/ 6,500 every hour. Predominately from cardiovascular diseases of the heart (4.9 million), cancer (2.5 million) and respiratory diseases (1 million).

A poll shows 13% of Americans believe they are currently infected with COVID-19 (mathematically impossible), so of course full-on panic is blocking their ability to think clearly and determine how to deploy their resources to stop this virus. The same poll showed over three quarters of Americans are scared of what is being done to society through law and hysteria, not of infection or spreading the virus to those most vulnerable. At this rate, we will spend more money on “shelter-in-place” (house arrest) than if we completely rebuilt our acute care and emergency capacity. Rampant hoarding and a volatile stock market aren’t being driven by the coronavirus, but rather such hoarding behaviour strongly demonstrates an irrational hysteria, from purchasing ineffective household masks to buying toilet paper by the hundreds of rolls. The fear card is being played, and is being driven by government action, and the fear of what the government will do next. All this because the virus has impacted 0.004% of the nation’s population.

While countries around the world are passing bills to help small business’ and people who are being affected by the crisis and economic downturn, with hats in hand, and leaving a slug trail behind them, the “coronavirus corporate coup” moves ever forward. For a crisis must never go to waste. While this is happening in many countries, in the US, the aerospace and arms manufacturer Boeing, is asking for a $60 billion bailout. Even though their financial problems predated the crisis, with the mismanagement that led to the 737 Max as well as defense and space products that don’t work. They are now trying to get the taxpayer to foot the bill for its errors, so it can go back to making more of them. Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos (the richest person in the world) want $5 billion in grants or loans to keep their commercial space company employees on the job and launch facilities open. They also want the IRS to give them cash for R&D tax credits. Defense contractors want their payments sped up, and they want to widen a giant loophole called ‘other transaction authority’ to get around restrictions on profiteering, which will allow the Pentagon to shovel money to defense contractors without restrictions. The hotel industry wants $150 billion, restaurants want $145 billion, manufacturers want $1.4 trillion, and the International Council of Shopping Centers wants a guarantee of up to $1 trillion. The beer industry wants $5 billion, candy industry wants $500 million, and even though gyms and fitness centers are closed, Adidas is seeking support for a long-sought provision allowing people to use pretax money to pay for gym memberships and fitness equipment. Meat-packers want expedited visas for seasonal workers, so they can undercut wages of their workers, and importers want to stop paying duties they incurred for harming domestic industries for illegally dumping products into the US.

And while all schools have also shut down, even though they would provide a single point of testing a large population for a possible infection in the home to prevent community spread, based on transmission evidence children are more likely to catch COVID-19 in the home than at school. As well, they are more likely to expose older vulnerable adults as multi-generational homes are more common.

The data is overwhelming at this point that community-based spread and airborne transmission is not a threat. We don’t have significant examples of spreading through restaurants or gyms. When you consider the environment COVID-19 prefers, isolating every family in their home is a perfect situation for infection and transmission among other family members. Evidence from South Korea and Singapore shows that it is completely possible and preferred to continue on with life while making accommodations that are data-driven, such as social distancing and regular temperature checks.

And due to coronavirus’ sensitivity to UV light and heat (just like the normal influenza virus), it is very likely that it will “burn off” in many areas as humidity increases and temperatures rise. The University of Maryland mapped severe COVID-19 outbreaks with local weather patterns around the world, from the US to China. They found that the virus thrives in a certain temperature and humidity channel. “The researchers found that all cities experiencing significant outbreaks of COVID-19 have very similar winter climates with an average temperature of 41 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit, an average humidity level of 47% to 79% with a narrow east-west distribution along the same 30–50 N” latitude”.

Mar. 24th Globally: 414,661 cases and 18,552 deaths so far. And though one of the reasons why viral outbreaks attract concern from medical authorities is that they may have the potential to kill many more if they are allowed to spread unchecked. Comparing the COVID-19 death total to-date, over the same time frame, more than 238,000 people have died of HIV/AIDS.

Curfews, quarantines, lock-downs and house arrests continue to expand. In China, two months after they imposed strict lock-down measures, such measures are now being lifted. But elsewhere, extreme measures to meet the threat and control of the virus are indeed underway, but does that mean we should destroy our economies and societies to achieve it? It reminds me of what a US army officer in Vietnam once said, “We had to destroy the village in order to save it”.

In the US, 16 states have now locked down their populations, more than 158 million people. At it’s peak China locked down 760 million. Today India is locking down more than 1.3 billion people. And while Italy, Iran, and South Korea case rates are high and in some cases accelerating, they are perhaps two weeks away from those numbers beginning to flatten, then drop. It has been estimated, and according to nature, that, Spain, Germany, France, the UK and the US, Japan and India, whose cases are all quickly accelerating, will begin to see a flattening and then a quick drop-off in three to four weeks. It looks like a typical lock-down will last 21 days. After which, we should be allowed back outside. If not, something is definately amiss.

In Europe, Sweden (pop.10 million) and Germany (pop. 83 million) have closed their borders to Europeans and all foreign citizens, but migrants claiming asylum from the Middle East and Africa are still allowed to enter. Much like in Canada, where an emergency bill is trying to be passed to help the economy and Canadians, 500,000 of which are now out of work, but which includes an exemption from air travel restrictions, which took effect Mar. 18Th, where temporary foreign workers will still be allowed to enter the country to fill jobs that have been shutdown in the agriculture, seafood processing and other key industries, for cheaper wages, and can now stay twice as long (temporarily) for one to two years. While many governments are passing bills where people will be paid for staying at home, just like the concept of a “Guaranteed Minimum Income”, which has already been programmed into the narrative over the last ten years. On many levels, the solutions our governments are coming up with are worse than the epidemic. But there is a method to their madness. I suggest if you do not know about Agenda 21 and 30, it might be a good time to do your homework.

But on a human level, there are positives out there. Parents are playing with their children for the first time in who knows when, relationships are getting better, some are getting worse. With many families under quarantine are at long last getting to know each other again. Asking each other “Where have you been these last few years?” Hopefully people are also thinking about the need to stop spending money for things we don’t need, with money we don’t have.

What scares me is how many sheeple have become afraid of their own shadows, believe the fear-mongering by the government talking heads on TV, and are willing to give up any freedom they had for security. Or as Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

I foresee that soon the global population will be vaccinated. No matter how one feels or thinks about vaccines, after the COVID-19 pandemic, many are predicting that people will have to prove that they’ve been vaccinated in order to do anything at all such as study, work, travel, and receive government benefits. Being vaccinated, we will not care, as long as we stay alive. Unfortunately there are far worse things than death.

It’s like we’ve become packs of dogs where after a talking head stands up, points somewhere and yells “squirrel” at the top of their lungs, we all go off running, barking our heads off. But we are supposedly smarter than dogs, so we’ll go off running whenever a mainstream news talking head comes up with any number of words to replace the word squirrel, whether Russia!, Racist!, Ukraine!, Impeach!, or COVID-19! Then like a pack of dogs chasing a car and catching up to it, we don’t know what to do about it when we get there.

Playing the fear card, the CDC announces that, worst case scenario, more than 150 to 200 million infections will happen in the US. This estimate is hundreds of times bigger than China’s infection rate (30% of the US population compared to 0.006% in China). Does that really sound plausible to you?

What I personally fear is the “shock doctrine”, as described by Canadian writer Naomi Klein, that is being played out yet once again. It is when collective crises or disasters happen (real or manufactured) are used to push through deeply unpopular policies on people and societies who are disorientated to notice or even protect their own interests. Klein calls this “disaster capitalism”. For instance, a month and a half after 9/11 the US passed their insidious Patriot Act without anyone in the public knowing or caring that many of their rights and privacy had been taken away and the country has been fighting wars ever since. Many people believe today is one of those moments where the global elite are rolling out a pre-planned phase of social and economic chaos, and which afterwards their totalitarian new world order will be unleashed. Order from the chaos they say.

And as already mentioned Agenda 21 is their plan. It is an inventory and control plan of all things; food, land, water, energy, minerals, plants, animals, construction, all means of production, information, and all people. It is a plan for the destruction of representative government, and for unelected regional boards to take its place. It is mostly driven because the current and past lifestyle consumption patterns of a once large affluent middle class (the baby boomers) are no longer sustainable. Consumption patterns that the globalists created, but now deemed a problem. A classic “problem reaction solution”, where solutions they created goes to the problems they created. To end the focus on personal responsibility and instead make the solution a collective action. Basically a herd where one size fits all. So because of our meat intake, consumption of frozen processed convenient food, use of fossil fuels, use of motor vehicles, air-conditioning, a huge inventory of small electrical appliances and suburban housing, but a few examples, the globalists will make it sustainable not by getting rid of such things, but by controlling such things.

In a large nut shell, the globalist’s agendas are behind zoning, land and water use control, wealth redistribution, one cashless currency, cap and trade, smart grid of AI and 5G, smart meters, carbon taxes, high gasoline prices, global citizens, global public education system, common core nationalized education standards, bio-fuels, Marxist ideology advancing across the world, food control, gun control, health control, unchecked immigration and open borders so as to strip countries of their identity, and color-coded uprisings and other coups against the few countries left in the world who do not abide by the globalist’s central bank system. There plan also includes a digitalised smart grid and ‘internet of things’, a robotic transport system, facial recognition population surveillance programs, new strains of genetically modified organisms and vaccines, control of private land, and shorelines, whether of oceans, lakes or rivers, one military/intelligence machine, complete command and control, and one centralized unelected body governing the world.

They must also re-set global finance, to pretend they support any Green New Deals which wave the flag of Zero carbon. The extinction rebellion folks, paid by the globalists, specifically George Soros, are over-joyed over the fact as the global economy shuts down as does carbon emissions, and that the elderly are being culled from the global population, easing even more stress on Mother Earth.

Which brings us to one of the most important parts of their agenda, depopulation. In order to keep the house of cards standing, it has been postulated that such people-hating globalist’s plans hinge on sacrificing the working poor, the impoverished, seniors on fixed incomes, people with disabilities, and the tens of millions of people living between starvation and death. Afterwards, the percentage of people left will continue status quo, then a few years down the road, with ever more dwindling resources, another cull would then be needed.

Perhaps, this is what our world is going through today. The scare tactics being employed are more dangerous than the virus that is the excuse for deploying them. Under this induced state of fear, hysteria, and anxiety all sorts of nefarious endeavours are being played out. Its success depends upon “a large body of people following the instructions passed down by the political puppets of the deep state and by the cowardly repetition of these instructions by the mainstream media.”

And that those able to recognize the true nature of the scam are being forced into not stepping out of line, “thereby risking their job, security or status within the rigidly enforced master/slave relationship of the status quo. By complying with it such a narrative, a mute populace establishes the basis of its own debasement and slavery.”

Mar. 25th. The US announces a sweeping $2 trillion measure to aid workers, businesses, families, and a strained healthcare system. Meanwhile, they and we in Canada, get over 70% of our pharmaceuticals, most of our antibiotics, and drugs such as Advil and Ibuprofen, from China. Or rather used to get.

India’s 1.3 billion people have joined the global lock-down, and Spain recorded more than 700 deaths over the past 24 hours, surpassing China in the total death toll, making the country now second to only Italy.

Mainstream news runs with the story that a man has died from the previously mentioned drug, chloroquine. Of course what they didn’t tell you was that the man actually died from ingesting another type of chloroquine, which is used to clean out bacteria in fish-tanks.

Extinction Rebellion affiliate in East Midlands, England, start putting up posters around the region exclaiming that “Corona is the Cure. Humans are the disease”, and announcing that the virus is revenge for climate change.

On the finger pointing topic. On Jan. 21st the first case of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus was recorded. Two days later, and with only 500 confirmed cases and 17 deaths, China shut down most of the nation and enacted a city-wide quarantine of Wuhan. Even though such an early and clear and present danger signal shot across their bows, how did Europe and the US react? Italy, with a population around 4% of that of China, did not instate a national lock-down until after it reached some 12,462 confirmed cases and 827 deaths. Many doctors there now recall seeing “very strange pneumonia, very severe, particularly in old people in December and even November.” When Italy shut itself down, the UK were doing the “ignore the virus to hopefully build a “herd mentality” routine, then a week later quickly changed it’s policy. The US did nothing domestically to prepare for the virus until mid-March when hospitals began to be saturated with patients, doctors ran out of basic medical supplies, and cities and states across the nation began shutting down.

Other questioning voices have recently been heard as to some extraordinary anomalies, such as the dramatic differences among the dead from Coronavirus between, say, Italy and Germany. For example, on Mar. 19Th, there were 52 deaths in Germany and 3,405 in Italy. The difference is in Germany, whoever dies of cancer, pneumonia, cardiac arrest and Coronavirus, is considered as having died of cancer, pneumonia etc. That is, the virus is not computed as the cause of death, unless it is the exclusive cause. In Italy, instead, whoever has contracted the Coronavirus, is deemed to have died from it – if he dies – along with pre-existing pathologies. Aware of this statistical anomaly the Italian Superior Institute for Health has published an analysis based on the medical records of the deceased, that is, those who died from existing causes, to which the coronavirus may have contributed, and those who died from the coronavirus. In this new statistic, the percentage is 0.8%, comparable to the numbers in Germany.

As to the belief, bat-eating Chinese people caused the current COVID-19 pandemic. According to the most recent science research, the origin of the COVID-19 is actually unknown. And shows it is unlikely that bat consumption caused it. Most scientists believe that the virus did not enter the human population directly but through an intermediate host such as pangolins (scaly anteaters), civets, ferrets, or even turtles, pigs, or cats. The much studied 2003 SARS virus – a cousin of the COVID-19 virus – for example, is thought to have leaped from bats to civet cats, mutating there before making a final jump to humans. Initially believed the virus to have originated in a seafood market in Wuhan, subsequent studies by researchers from Japan, Taiwan, and Mainland China itself have cast strong doubts on that theory, primarily because Chinese people as a whole generally do not have a tradition of eating bats. Journalists from France 24 TV recently tracked down the makers of five of the six most-shared videos and found that none of these videos were filmed in Wuhan, or in China, as many netizens had claimed. Instead, all videos were filmed in Palau or Indonesia, in locales where bats have traditionally been consumed as food, and where adventurous visitors from around the world are welcomed to sample their local, traditional cuisine.

And though the COVID-19 epidemic first arose in Wuhan it doesn’t necessarily mean that the virus must have arisen there. Take the AIDS epidemic as an example. While the AIDS epidemic arose in Los Angeles in the 1970’s, the HIV virus actually arose in the human population much earlier – around 1908, in the southeastern corner of what is present day Cameroon. The virus then mutated and spread within the human population for more than half a century – below everyone’s radar – before exploding onto the global scene in the 1970’s.

In Canada, there were 145 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in BC, bringing the total to 617. There are now 44 cases on Vancouver Island, 330 in the Vancouver Coast Health Authority, 194 in Fraser Health, 41 in Interior Health and nine in Northern Health. Fifty-nine people are in hospital, including 23 in intensive care units. Eight long-term care homes now have cases of the virus, up two from on Monday (23rd). The two new facilities affected are Little Mountain in Vancouver and Evergreen Heights in White Rock. Each has one resident and one staff member with COVID-19.

The Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver has had 42 cases, and 10 of the 13 deaths in BC from the virus. Only 30,000 people in the province have been tested for the virus.

The BC government has closed six provincial parks (all having a beach) on Vancouver Island amid concerns that a spike in visitors was putting people’s health at risk during the outbreak. The city of Victoria is going to allow temporary shelters for the homeless at Beacon Hill and Topaz parks during the outbreak. What they will do after the epidemic, they haven’t thought about yet.

The casual attitude that some take toward physical distancing has pissed off many, so social media is full of calls to enforce the kinds of lock-downs seen in other countries, with police fining, even jailing, those who venture from their homes without proof of a valid reason. Vancouver city council has just armed itself with the ability to slap fines of up to $50,000 for businesses, $1,000 for individuals, on those who break emergency orders. Following Victoria’s lead, West Shore Parks and Rec and Saanich, worried that people weren’t following social-distancing measures either, closed their playing fields and other outdoor facilities Monday. The harbour authority closed the Ogden Point breakwater for the same reasons.

Data shows roughly half of the more than 2,790 people in Canada with the coronavirus got it from community transmission. This is a dramatic shift in how the virus is spread. According to Canada’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, the trend is turning toward community transmission, as opposed to contracting the coronavirus from travel. Twenty-seven people have died of COVID-19 to date in Canada. Of the cases reported, approximately half (53%) are male and approximately one third (30%) of cases are 60 years old and over. The date of symptom onset of the first case of COVID-19 in Canada was January 15, 2020, more than two months ago.

The Canadian government has no immediate plans to use cellphone data to track people’s movements during the COVID-19 crisis, but the prime minister did not rule out resorting to the tool at some point, saying “all options are on the table” to keep Canadians safe in exceptional times. Trudeau’s comments followed suggestions that municipal officials in Ottawa and Toronto were considering use of telecommunications data to monitor people’s whereabouts in the fight against the virus. Cellphone data could be used to create a “heat map” of where people are congregating or even to pinpoint an infected person’s location.

Russia, which has recorded 1036 cases of the coronavirus, and 4 deaths, orders all cinemas, nightclubs and children’s play areas in the country to close, after barring foreigners and closing borders back on Jan.31st. Bars and restaurants are still open and people are allowed to travel freely but to avoid non-essential trips, avoid leaving home and of course keep social distancing. Singapore, who also closed it’s borders on Jan 31st, so far has had 2 deaths, and have made standing too close to someone now illegal.

Poland has also ratcheted up its restrictions on movement and gatherings in an effort to slow the accelerating spread of coronavirus. The new measures, which will apply from today until April 11, would restrict people to only being allowed to leave their homes for essential work, visits to the doctor or pharmacy, to buy food, or to walk the dog.

In Philadelphia, the Police Department has been instructed its offices to temporarily stop making arrests for certain nonviolent crimes, including drug offences, burglary, economic theft and vandalism, until next month. With the arresting officers detaining the offender, processing the paperwork, and then releasing the offender back into the general population. The announcement came 24 hours after Philadelphia courts closed until April 1 to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

In Fort Worth, Texas, the police will cease arresting people for “low-level crimes” (Class C misdemeanours) such as thefts involving less than $100 and vandalism, if a citation can be issued in its place.

In California, officials say 56 percent of the state, or more than 20 million people could be infected, even though just 2,724 positive cases and 59 deaths have been reported in the state thus far. They also announced a “stay home” order for the state’s nearly 40 million residents. The clampdown includes the closure of various types of businesses, including dine-in restaurants, entertainment venues and public events and gatherings. The state’s Department of Water and Power announced they will shut off water and power for the businesses that don’t comply with the “safer at home” ordinance.

In Los Angeles (pop. 4 million – 669 cases and 11 deaths), the LA County Sheriff ordered all gun stores closed (fearing that too many first-time gun-owners were getting access to weapons), though this has since been overturned. And LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, lashed out at non-essential stores that refuse to close, making ominous threats. This all seems to be accelerating down the extremely slippery slope towards full authoritarian control, something the politicians will be unwilling to easily give up once this crisis blows through.

About 56% of all new cases in the US are in New York City, while 60% of all US new cases are in New York State. To-date New York City has 14,776 cases and 131 related deaths, amongst it nearly 19 million people.

Overall as of today the US has 55,568 cases, with 809 deaths.

The Prime Minister of Australia has just announced that around 80% of Australia cases are imported from the US.

Mar. 26Th: From 0 to 250,000 cases: 3 months. From 250,000 to 500,000 cases: 1 week. Epidemiologists expect 2-3 million cases will be diagnosed eventually, and with approximately an average mortality rate of 1.5%, about 37,500 deaths, then will drop off. Once again comparably, 85 million die each year from diabetes, 59 million from influenza and pneumonia, in fact, pneumonia kills more than 800,000 children under the age of 5 each year. (67,000 a month) Accounting for 15% of all deaths of children under five years old. Aspiration Pneumonia alone has a mortality rate of 21% overall, 29% hospital-associated, and 30-62% in “older, sicker patients”. On average, 9,300 people die on the planet every year from natural disasters, 26,000 from terrorism, and in the US alone, around 167,500 people die each year from accidents/unintentional injuries (48 per 100,000). Speaking of “per 100,000”, with all other demographic/population, murder, birth, death, etc, rates, the standard is “per 100,000 people”. So lets do that. Current Covid deaths per 100,000 people: Italy- 9.4 deaths per 100,000, Spain- 4.3 per, Iran- 2.2 per, Switzerland- 1.4 per, France- 1.3 per, Netherlands- 1.2 per, UK- 0.5 per, South Korea- 0.2 per, US- 0.2 per, Germany and Canada- 0.1 per. This may all change, if say the virus mutates, but we still of course do not know. But we do know how nature works.

While regions in France have just banned all sales of alcohol, and in the US pot dispensaries are now deemed “essential businesses” and may stay open, in Canada, we are now under a mandatory quarantine. If you do not abide by the actions of keeping social distancing and not going to a beach, you can now be fined up to $750,000 or 6 months in jail (just as governments are emptying their prison populations of the least violent offenders, because of COVID). If you are deemed a danger to someone’s life, like forcing a hug on someone or refusing to get out of their now expanded “safe space” its a one million dollar fine and/or five years in prison. And what if, COVID becomes just another seasonal flu? When does the lock-down end?

Canada also announced an $82 billion emergency bill to help workers, business’ and households, and to help them meet their liquidity needs. $30 million of the plan is going to the media “for advertising”. So that we continue to have the latest news and information given to us through verbiage and dramatic visuals of the global elite’s mouthpieces. In fact, the Canadian government has given $30 million to the media each year since the Liberals have been in power. In a blatant quid pro quo, mainstream media then tell only one narrative that they are told to tell, and tell it repetitively. The same message no matter what site, TV channel, or radio station.

Canada has also earmarked $50 million, as part of its response to today’s launch of the United Nations $2 billion, COVID-19 humanitarian response plan. Which is calling for a co-ordinated response to “help the world’s war-torn, displaced and most destitute people, who are facing new misery because of the pandemic”. Or as Canada’s International Development Minister Karina Gould stated, “It’s a bit of an enlightened self-interest, to help the world’s most desperate people fight COVID-19 because it is in the country’s long-term security interest as well as being the right thing to do.” The appeal is targeting the spread of the virus in South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. One just has to ask, why not help Canadians? Why are we sending supplies our own health care workers desperately need, elsewhere. The government’s wet cardboard stand is that such foreign aid “protects Canada’s future security and economic prosperity from a virus that knows no borders.”

After millions of Chinese left China when the virus was spreading, before they were locked-down, today, China claims it has its domestic outbreak under control and that their new cases are only from foreigners, they have decided to suspend entry of all foreigners’ entry to China, including the entry of foreigners with currently valid visas and residence permits.

Jeff Bezos and other corporate executives across the country sold approximately $9.2 billion in shares of their own companies between early February and the end of last week, salvaging potential losses of up to $1.9 billion, according to an analysis of more than 4,000 regulatory filings by the Wall Street Journal. Richest man in the world Bezos, was the largest seller selling $3.4 billion in Amazon shares the first week of February, right before the market peaked, avoiding paper losses of approximately $317 million through March 20. The sale constituted roughly 3% of his holdings and was nearly as much stock as he sold during the previous 12 months.

With lock-downs spreading, as we continue to be abused by government and mainstream media, and give up ever more of our freedoms, it seems our reaction might prove to be deadlier than the virus will ever be. And remember, with the ongoing lock-downs, all demonstrations, protests, marches, festivals, fairs, concerts, blockades, and town hall meetings are done. Perhaps never to be allowed again. The whole unity thing, of people coming together to rise up before injustices, walking arm in arm and hand in hand by the sometimes hundreds of thousands is no more. And we folded like a cheap suit. What sickens me is how easily we surrendered. We all know something is going on. But, seemingly at the drop of a hat or because somebody yelled squirrel, we easily and very quickly, erased any logic, common sense, reasoning, and rational thinking we had left. We should be asking questions and not allowing the media and sheeple to form or shape our thoughts and emotions.

A list of twelve medical experts whose opinions on the Coronavirus outbreak contradict the official narratives of the mainstream media, and the memes so prevalent on social media. Or as one of them, Dr Peter Goetzsche, Professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis at the University of Copenhagen and founder of the Cochrane Medical Collaboration, states, “Should it turn out that the epidemic wanes before long, there will be a queue of people wanting to take credit for this. And we can be damned sure draconian measures will be applied again next time. But remember the joke about tigers. “Why do you blow the horn?” “To keep the tigers away.” “But there are no tigers here.” “There you see!”

While Bill Gates suggest that the US go into a 10 week nation-wide shutdown, everyone be tested, and everyone be vaccinated, when they become available in perhaps 18 months.

Mar. 27Th : The facts to date of Covid -19. It is a new virus, not a flu. Antibiotics do not work against viral infections. And it is more severe than the flu because it’s new to our bodies, so we have yet to develop an immune system which can take it on. It is passed around by physical contact and in droplet form, from shaking hands etc. If transmitted airborne from a cough or sneeze or even just breathing it can linger in the air for up to 3 hours. But then we are talking still air, for Covid-19 is not wind resistant. And it is transmitted from us touching surfaces where a droplet of Covid lies, for up to 3 hours. Especially stainless steel and plastic surfaces. So wash hands often and more importantly become more aware and conscious of what your hands touch, and stop playing with your face. And as already mentioned cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, which we should have been doing our whole lives. And remember social distancing does not mean social isolation.

Start honouring the incredible intelligence of our own bodies and become more aware of what we put into them. As to this new virus, the body knows more what it has to do then we do. It is adapting to take on this new threat to it’s existence, by developing it’s immune system. The best thing we can do to help strengthen it is by relieving our stress levels, by taking a very large chill pill. But which mainstream news are trying to keep elevated. Exercise, walk, and stretch. Think nutrition and natural supplements, like Vitamin C, Zinc, anti-viral mushrooms, such as Reishi and Agarikon, which are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral and other traditional and natural medicines.

At this point in time we are past the point of being able to contain the spread. It is now all about reducing and mitigating the problem. The biggest problem that is arising in many countries is that their health care capacity is being overwhelmed. The US, Spain and Italy are getting so hard hurt because they waited too long to take action and unlike China, South Korea, Germany, Canada, the UK, and other countries, they lack a national, publicly-funded universal health care system. As for the US health care system, both heads of the US’s two-headed one-party system have spent decades pandering to, and giving the majority of government money (their citizens money) to the banks, corporations and the military. This has created their current situation where uninsured COVID-19 patients are racking up $35,000 medical bills, with even insured patients paying out-of-pocket expenses in excess of $1,300. And along with the millions of Americans getting thrown off of employer-provided health insurance, and millions now unemployed, their health system crash is inevitable, or as comedian Megan Amram tweeted a couple of weeks ago, “Corona is a black light and America is a cum-stained hotel room.”

As for the US health system, of the US’s federal budget this year ($4.407 trillion), $2.739 trillion of it is mandatory spending (providing for individuals who need help in some capacity). This includes Social Security (including programs like unemployment benefits and welfare), which demands $1.046 trillion of it. The remaining mandatory spending budget ($1.693 trillion) is spent on items such as Medicare and Medicaid. Both of which are vital and necessary programs, but are not self-sustaining. Medicare is currently underfunded, relying on general tax dollars to make up the difference. Only a portion of the $625 billion Medicare budget is covered by Medicare taxes. More than what they spend on their health care system, they also have a $1.203-trillion discretionary spending budget. Nearly 70 % or more of which is spent on the military. In fact, the US allocates more money to military spending than the next 10 countries combined. The discretionary budget pays for such things as the Department of Defense, all military spending, Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and Homeland Security, and 17 intelligence-surveillance agencies, 70% of whose monies is then paid out to private defense contractors and mercenaries. Brown University professor and Co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Catherine Lutz, found that “if you count all parts of the federal budget that are military-related, including the nuclear weapons budget, the budget for fuel for military vehicles and aircraft, funds for veteran care, etc, it makes up two-thirds of the federal budget, and it’s inching toward three-quarters.”

The remaining US federal budget must cover all other domestic programs, which include funding for education, health and human services, housing, urban development, administration of justice, natural resources and environment, the Department of Energy, science, space, and technology. And of course paying interest on the US current debt of $23 trillion.

In comparison to their recent $2 trillion package to fight the coronavirus, among other things, since 9/11, the US has spent the last twenty years at war against terrorism, spending upwards of an estimated $6.4 trillion, of which $1.9 trillion was spent in Iraq, and mostly to arms manufacturers. Their “War on Terror”, has also cost at least 801,000 lives who have died due to direct war violence, and several times as many indirectly, with over 335,000 civilians killed as a result of the fighting, with 21 million war refugees and displaced people and counting. If one were to add to these numbers indirect deaths, namely those caused by loss of access to food, water, and/or infrastructure, war-related disease, etc, then the total deaths to-date, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, and Yemen is likely to reach 3.1 million or more, around 200 times the number of US dead.

The US, besides currently conducting counter-terror activities in over 80 countries, have also flaunted constitutional, international and moral law, and continue to perpetuate crimes against humanity, all the while enabled by a seemingly morally lost, misinformed, dumb-downed, and apathetic populace. In further revenge against the 9/11 attacks, they seem to have also destroyed their middle class, bailed out the banks, and have been able to replace basic rights, privacy and freedoms with government granted privileges. Now it’s the “WAR on COVID”. But we must remember that, historically, even though they are often late for the party and inept when crises first appear, once they go on a “war-footing” and crank up their capabilities, shit gets done. We’ll have to see if they’ve still got it in them. For this crisis is not due to a lack of of health spending, but from a lack of foresight, prevention and management. And it is often the case is such crises that, using South Korea and Singapore as examples today, they are overcome thanks to human ingenuity, science, technology, and business, rather than the interventionists idea to manipulate the economy and society, which will cost so much more, in lives, employment, growth, and in opportunities.

The key to nipping this virus epidemic in the butt is speed. WHO’s Bruce Aylward has said, “the faster you can find the cases, isolate the cases and track their close contacts the more successful you’re going to be.” Author, scientist, researcher, and educator, Gregg Braden, who does very well, linking science and spirituality, has said that we must stop filling our days with diversions and instead look within. To honour our body. To rationally realize that after this epidemic, it will be a new normal for our societies, economics and lifestyles, because our just past normal was no longer sustainable. And he stresses that the key is, “To know that we will get through this, but what comes afterwards will be determined by how we respond right now.” We must also remember that in times of crisis a person’s true character comes out and shows itself, or doesn’t.

Research of 20th century epidemics show that most cases of viral infections show up in the months of March, April, and May, then taper out over the summer. Today, according to when the first cases appeared, and acceleration rates, the virus possibly, will peak in about five weeks, then fading in June, July and August.

The US now has 101,321 cases with 5 deaths per million people or 0.2 per 100,000. In Canada, 4,689 cases and one death per million people or 0.7 per 100,000. Testing is accelerating, and apart from high incident/density populated areas such as New York, L.A., and others, 90% are testing negative.

Globally, of the 7.53 billion people on the planet, .00036 have died from COVID or about .02 people per 100,000.

Mar. 29Th : Here in BC, with a population of five million people, half of whom live in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, there has been 884 COVID cases, with 81 hospitalized, of those, 52 are in intensive care. And there have been 17 deaths, most all, in care homes. On Vancouver Island (pop. 794,000) there are 60 cases, three currently hospitalized, and no deaths to-date.

These numbers are below the trends that Provincial officials have been using, where it is being presumed that 14% of patients (one in seven) would need to be hospitalized for about 12 days. Another five per cent (one in 20) would be in intensive care for at least 10 days, with 80% of them needing the assistance of a mechanical ventilator to breathe. BC also announced they are testing anti-malarial and anti-viral drugs at an “undisclosed facility.”

In the US more than 600,000 people have now been tested, with nearly 500,000 testing negative. More than 14,000 people have been hospitalized, with over 2,400 deaths (one in six). The majority of cases and nearly half of all deaths in the US, are currently happening in the dense and “practically living on top of each other” New York City. The US extended their federal social distancing guidelines for an additional 30 days, up to April 30.

Latest numbers out of South Korea show that 99% of all their cases were/are mild.

And while most of us here in BC are following the government guidelines; larger safe space when outside, washing hands, self-isolating themselves, etc, which is showing in the above numbers to be working, I worry about our mental health. Talking to some people I hear the fear in their voices. The stress of being isolated from others, fear they might have the disease, and the fear of leaving their homes. Some are even having serious medical concerns but too afraid to go to emergency, because then they surely will get it and die. Add in the fact that much of the population are already medicated, many are afraid of having to re-fill a prescription. Let alone, able to see one’s doctor at the clinic. I have a tooth that’s starting to hurt. Do I pull out the old string and prepare a doorknob?

Here in Victoria I took a drive today, since it was a mild sunny Sunday afternoon. Downtown, people were out and about, though scattered and keeping their distance from each other. It was a beautiful day. Traffic was minimally average for a Sunday, though many businesses are shut-down. I went into a supermarket to replenish coffee and banana stocks, and everyone was staying away from each other. Silently people were restricting the aisles to one or two at a time. Nobody was sneezing or coughing, and if they did, they would hopefully have covered up, and people would take a very wide berth passing around them. No one was excessively fondling the products and shelves were filled with toilet paper. I did pick up something fresh for a change, six croissants, which I use as hot-dog buns. A treat unto itself. When I got home, I used a sterilized wipe on the steering wheel, and when I got back down to the boat I washed my hands as if I was a surgeon.

With most downtown businesses closed, the heavily addicted and often mentally ill homeless have been setting up camp in their door and entry ways. Three blocks of Pandora and parts of Johnson street looked like a meth-head festival (which are currently banned, festivals that is), and are now dense tent cities. The drug trade has never had it so good. All their customers all in one place living practicality on top of each other. Have they washed their hands today. But then, where are they going to even do that? Or is the virus being relied on to dwindle their numbers, just like the virus is maybe being relied upon to dwindle those seniors in care homes who are on either government or privately insured assistance? Just asking, because the adage the elite treasure, “never let a crises go to waste” keeps surfacing.

The psychological impact of this coronavirus crisis is going to stay with us for a very long time. I wonder what the effects are going to be on the children of today, and who they will become. Because of our decisions and actions today.

Mar. 30th With many of us just hanging out at home now, try to the best of your ability to ignore the 24/7 mainstream news cycles, repeated over and over again. This only leads to doom and gloom, depression, anxiety and a loss of hope. Their agenda is completely different from ours. Focusing on the big numbers like coronavirus cases, instead of the fact that only 10% of those with the virus have to go to a hospital. Instead take that time to look at the device which can repel such a virus. Your body. Coronavirus, in all it’s forms, kills people whose immune systems are compromised or they don’t have one, and/or from pre-existing health problems. If you are going to wait for the government or the pharmaceutical industry to save you. Good luck with that. Focus on what you put into your body instead.

Besides all the other very promising options the medical world are quickly looking at today, with an actual vaccine perhaps a year away, one can include Vitamin C. The pharmaceutical industry would rather I hadn’t just typed that, because there is no patent on Vitamin C. One of the biggest things this vitamin does is attack inflammation, and COVID is all about inflammation. This is what actual kills people who have the virus, for it overpowers our immune system through inflammation. Studies over decades, have shown that if enough oral Vitamin C is taken at an early enough stage of an illness the inflammation can be stopped, and unable to ever get to the exponential growth phase. As of right now, there are doctors in China, the US and elsewhere, who are using intravenous Vitamin C on virus patients with great success. The medical journal Lancet reports that 100% of the early COVID deaths in Wuhan, China, had sepsis (a condition that can be compared to pneumonia). Vitamin C would have helped with stopping the growth of inflammation, thus less deaths. A doctor in the US used intravenous Vitamin C treating his patients, and reduced the death rate from sepsis, from 40% down to 8.5%. It has been said that in treating inflammation, “Vitamin C is like water on a fire.”

Italy, where they not only shake hands but kiss each other on each cheek, and as already mentioned have the second highest population of seniors in the world, has perhaps hit it’s peak, and rates will hopefully begin to drop. Oddly, the US and the European Union have turned their backs on them during the crises. So Russia, China, and Cuba stepped up to the plate instead, to assist the shocked nation.

Many people get sick with a virus a few times a year, and like clock work each new seasonal flu season brings a new strain. Globally, about one billion people catch the seasonal flu, five million of which are severe. Between 291,000 to 646,000 people who are elderly and with compromised immune systems die each year (0.1% of global population). They spread through respiratory droplets, with each diagnosed person passing it on to 1.3 persons. There are many vaccines available that provide immunity against multiple strains of influenza. With the economy never having to shut down because of it.

The 2009 swine flu pandemic was an influenza pandemic that lasted from January 2009 to August 2010, and the second of the two pandemics involving the H1N1 influenza virus (the first being the 1918–1920 Spanish flu pandemic), but simply a new strain. The first case was in Mexico, and the media soon had people panicking because it was a new strain which was spreading fast with no known vaccine. About 24% (700 million to 1.4 billion) of the global population got it, 60.8 million in the US, while in Canada it affected about 10% of the population (or 3.5 million). There were 284,000 global deaths (0.2% of the population), 12,469 in the US and 428 deaths in Canada. Children had the highest rates. Forty-seven per cent of children between 5 and 19 developed symptoms compared to 11% of people ages 65 and up. Treatment included the antivirals (oseltamivir and zanamivir), with most people recovering without complications. The BC government reported 1,060 severe flu cases as of Feb 2, 2010, with 49 of 56 fatalities, people with underlying medical conditions. There was no self isolation, stay at home orders given, with only a minority of schools actually shutting down because of it. At no time did the economy have to shut down. Since, about 40% of Canadians have been immunized against H1N1. Meanwhile, smoking kills one hundred people a day in Canada, but I digress.

Interesting tidbit of information, as to our health. According to a major analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), done seven years ago, in 2013, and published in The Lancet. At the time, just one in 20 people worldwide (4.3%) had no health problems whatsoever, while a third of the world’s population at the time of seven billion people, (2.3 billion individuals) were experiencing more than five ailments. Since, has our society become healthier. I figure it all depends where you live and who you are.

Mar.31st In Canada, people are facing fines for endangering others by failing to close small businesses, limit gatherings, and people who have the disease who have been ordered to stay isolated at home, but go out anyways, are being arrested. To clear all this up I’m sure everyone will soon be tested whether you want to or not, and documentation will be given to show if they have tested either positive or negative. The negatives will be allowed out to carry out essential services, such as acquiring food and supplies, while the positives will not be allowed to leave their homes, with about one in ten needing to be hospitalized. As for the acquiring part, the government will no doubt soon declare all coin and currency as unsafe due to the virus and force the digitization of the entire country.

Here on Vancouver Island, there are 67 confirmed cases, with four people hospitalized. At the ready, the Island has 96 intensive care unit beds, and 140 ventilators, including 22 transport ventilators used in ambulances, helicopters and airplanes.

Hours after laying off more than 20,000 educational workers, the Alberta government gives $1.1 billion to Canada’s largest oil company, TC Energy, so that they can start construction on the Keystone XL pipeline, which will run from the tar sands near Hardisty, Alberta, 1,897 km south to the US state of Nebraska. Though once they hit the border they will have to stop, because the pipeline is tied up with multiple lawsuits in the US, and they do not have the permits and regulatory approvals necessary to move forward.

Today, a week was a long time ago, so there is no doubt the numbers in an Angus Reid poll put out on Mar.22nd, have only increased. In the previous six weeks, people worried about getting the virus’s disease went from 30% to 65%. Seventy-five per cent worried about family members and friends getting sick, and 66% worried about their own economic circumstances.

Also today, I drove over to Esquimalt to pay my storage locker fees, for anyone living on a boat usually has a storage locker somewhere. Anyways, the storage fellow was telling me he misses the drives he used to take to unwind. Motoring along Dallas road and Beach drive on a sunny Saturday, or out to Saanichton and the fields and open spaces. He doesn’t do these things anymore because he says he is afraid of getting into an accident, and having to be hospitalized, where he would then undoubtedly, die of the virus.

Back on Mar.16th, with the epidemic only worsening, and shutdowns being implemented elsewhere, Illinois billionaire and Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker was under pressure to do the same, and reschedule the Democratic primary to be held Mar.17th. This was about the halfway point in the Democrat presidential primaries, with 23 states still left to vote. But all of them began to postpone voting to a date to be announced. Except for Arizona, Florida, and Illinois. And on that day millions of voters and thousands of election workers went to voting sites. Two days later, with all results confirmed, Pritzker in Illinois, orders everyone to stay at home. Illinois and Florida are now two of the hotter spots in the US.

New York state had 1,412 coronavirus patients hospitalized on Monday (Mar.30th) marking the biggest single-day increase since the start of the outbreak in the state. Bringing the total number of hospitalizations to nearly 11,000, including 2,710 people in intensive care. California now has 6,932 confirmed virus cases statewide, with 150 deaths and 1,617 people hospitalized. California and New York populations combined, 60 million people (or two Canada’s). While so far this year, there have been 23,000 US deaths due to flu, and 3,000 from coronavirus.

The progressive socialist Spanish government, is facing legal action for alleged negligence in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and unnecessarily worsening the humanitarian crisis now gripping Spain, currently the second-worst afflicted country in Europe after Italy. A class action lawsuit filed on Mar. 19, accuses the Spanish government of knowingly endangering public safety by encouraging the public to participate in more than 75 feminist marches, held across Spain on Mar. 8th, to mark International Women’s Day. This was also allowed to happen in many countries around the world, including the US and Canada. Hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of people participated in those marches, as well as many high-profile attendees. It is unknown how many people were infected by the coronavirus as a result of the rallies.

Earlier, on Mar. 3rd, Spain announced that the first coronavirus fatality in Spain died on Feb. 13th, with health authorities not knowing he had the virus until 19 days after his death. Since coronavirus cases that end in death last between two and eight weeks, in addition to a 14-day incubation period, it is possible that the man was infected as early as the beginning of January. The same day, Spain and many other countries ordered major football, hockey, and basketball matches to be held behind closed doors with no spectators allowed, then soon cancelling all events altogether.

On March 7, the Spanish government’s, Fernando Simón, said in a nationwide press conference that there was no risk of attending the rallies on March 8. Insidiously perhaps, despite rising cases and those needing hospitalization, the government failed to report new coronavirus cases between March 6 and March 9, apparently in an effort to downplay the danger to the public of attending the rallies. The day after the rallies, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Madrid doubled in one day, and the President of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, ordered all schools in the capital to be closed for at least two weeks. The decision by the regional government caught the central government by surprise and effectively forced it to act. Later that same day, Health Minister Salvador Illa recommended that all people with chronic diseases or multiple pathologies do not leave their homes except for emergencies.

Typical for this virus crises it seems, inept planning, lack of preparedness, and embarrassing leadership.

Apr. 1st. April Fool’s day, no kidding.

Instead of the decisions and lack there of, of governments around the world who did not prevent the global spread of the virus, and actually allowed it to be spread, Canadian PM Trudeau says the longer it takes for all Canadians to follow the rules and stay home the longer it will be before life can return to normal. When that time arrives he can’t say. It’s up to us now, if we win he gets the accolades, we lose and it’s because it was our fault. One scenario presented to cabinet is that the strict public health measures and quarantines will have to continue until at least July, but in his daily briefing to Canadians Trudeau said the length of the lock-downs will depend on “the choices and behaviour of Canadians.” And called on Canadians to “do their duty” as if we were being called to serve our country. “This is a service most of have never been called upon to do,” and that “The government alone cannot win this fight.” Though they allowed the foe to enter the ring in the first place, while knowing they were totally unprepared, but hoping being politically correct would somehow keep the monster at bay. He stated all this while still “self-isolated” at home after testing negative of the virus, and where he has been for three weeks now, while his wife, who tested positive, and their kids, are “self-isolated” in one of his other homes. But once a day he reads over the script given to him, steps out of his safe space lair and gives a speech, then answers questions from hand-picked reporters whose questions he already knew would be asked. Very unlike other world leaders who go out each day and face the music, with their coronavirus teams behind them, and stand before mainstream media without a script and answer questions from reporters from around the world, even from ones that are heavily biased and hate him or her, no matter what comes out of their mouths. But then the mainstream media today is sounding very much like they did during the wind up to the Iraqi invasion. When Saddam Hussein was the badman and building weapons of mass destruction.

Having lied for the past two months about the severity and the extent of coronavirus pandemic which its virologists started in Wuhan, and eager to convey the message that the crisis is now “under control” just so people return to work, full of hope and enthusiasm, and rejoicing at how they conquered the virus. Reuters reported that Jia county (pop.600,000) in central China’s Henan province, announced it had “virtually banned all outbound movement of people, following several cases of coronavirus infection in the area.” And that no one can travel out of Jia county without proper authorization. Additionally, residents are not allowed to leave their homes for work unless they have clearance to do so. And so, the virus is back to China, despite the best intentions of the World Health Organization and its Beijing sponsors to make it seem that China had managed to defeat the virus.

Possibly because the US president on Mar. 19th announced that several studies, and through anecdotal evidence, that the drug chloroquine appears to significantly limit the replication of COVID-19, particularly when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin (zithromax Z-pak). Last week, Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter warning physicians and pharmacists of punishments and “administrative actions” such as revoking the medical licenses of doctors who prescribed hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, claiming that hydroxychloroquine had not met the benchmark for “proof of efficacy.” Four days later, Whitmer is now begging the federal government to send her hydroxychloroquine, because “We want to ensure that doctors have the ability to prescribe these medicines”, and that “We also want to make sure that the people who have prescriptions that predated COVID-19 have access to the medication they need. And so all of the work that we’ve done is trying to strike that balance.”

In many US cities, most businesses are not only closed, but their storefronts are now being boarded up. What are they expecting? But you already know what they are expecting. Unfortunately, much of the population actually believe that once the crisis is over everything will go back to normal. But was it really normal before? Personally I don’t think so, but there is still a sliver of hope in me that we could do much better if we get the chance, but another part of me thinks its a red pill/blue pill moment. Many of us took the red pill years ago, and found out about, and can see before us, the many once hidden, unpleasant truths. And realized that living the “truth of reality” is harsher, open to ridicule, and more difficult. But sadly, it seems the majority of the herd has been swallowing the blue pill, to remain in blissful ignorance. Living in confined comfort without want or fear within a manufactured reality.

Apr. 2nd. Here on Vancouver Island, the first two Covid deaths have been confirmed, with 72 cases and seven people hospitalized. In total, BC has 1,121 cases, 149 hospitalized with 68 in intensive care units, and 31 deaths. There are currently 4,171 empty beds at the ready, many of those due to cancellations of elective surgeries. Elsewhere, half the planet’s human population is now locked-down on some level.

My son came by yesterday and picked up my laundry because I was running out of clean clothes. So today I was out and about gathering a few necessities, like chocolate milk and a couple more boxes of Kraft dinner. Picked up my laundry, all meticulously folded and smelling fresh, and was able to chat and play with my granddaughter for a bit outside though I kept my distance, which she found odd, since she’s usually running into my arms and we are inseparable when together. During this self-isolation I think I miss her the most.

There was lighter than normal traffic, but being a sunny day people were out doing much the same. City workers were repairing curbs and working on various projects, landscapers were out in full force, and public transit is still running. What I especially noticed, even those just out walking, far less people had a phone in front of their face, and it seemed everyone was more aware of their surroundings and of each other. There was a lot of respecting others going around. It was wonderful to see.

If the virus hadn’t caused the current economic crash, something else would have. Any fall in revenue is indeed problematic, but manageable without excessive debt. Global debt as a percentage of GDP rose from 250% in 2007, to 325% in 2019. With current overall debt levels triple what they were in 1999. Today, for every $100 a typical Canadian earns, they owe $160.

On April 1st, the fracking shale for oil company, Whiting Petroleum, filed for bankruptcy and unable to pay it’s debts. Only five days after the company’s board approved $14.6 million in cash bonuses for it’s top executives.

In Sweden, Extinction Rebellion and Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg fans have been deliberately coughing, sneezing, and spitting beside the elderly “to save the planet.” While others on the left of the spectrum are deeming the epidemic Mother Nature’s response to human transgression, or as our fore-bearers once viewed such disasters, as the gods enraged by human’s disrespect. But then the pause Covid has given us, could also be interpreted as perhaps a warning that maybe we’ve gone too far, and must alter our behaviour so that we don’t risk further contamination of ourselves and the environment as well.

Even after colleges around the US cancelled classes or converted to all-digital learning, hundreds of thousands of “Covidiot” teenagers and early twenty-somethings, enjoying the extended spring break of their dreams on beaches everywhere. But as studies are now showing, such “selfishly ignorant” teenagers helped spread the virus around the country. But then these are young people who are almost pathologically incapable of staying at home and doing nothing, because that are being raised by parents who have made themselves impotent, by being their “buddies” instead of being parents. Some parents are still allowing kids to have group sleepovers and parties.

Maybe these kids will remember the coronavirus as their big struggle, their “World War II” as it were. Though, given the tendency to accept and embellish unpleasant experiences into “traumas”, we imagine that American teens will use this as one more excuse why the government owes them every handout imaginable, from paying off their student loans to covering health-care costs for life.”

And even though in the propaganda world, a “wet market” sounds more dramatic than a “lab”, evidence is mounting that the origin of the virus probably came out of a lab in Wuhan and not the wet market just a few kilometers down the street. With that being said, so far China has offered Covid-19-related equipment and medical help to no fewer than 89 nations – and counting. Including Africa (especially South Africa, Namibia and Kenya, but also to many other African nations; Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru); the arc from East Asia to Southwest Asia; and Europe. Key recipients in Europe include Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Serbia and Poland. Most are donations. Some are trade – like millions of masks sold to France and the US.

Another ploy to strike fear into the masses, the mainstream media is screaming that the US now has double! the confirmed cases of Covid than Italy, the next highest country! What they forget to say, in their need for ratings and clicks, is, of course. Italy’s population of 60 million is only one fifth of the US’s 330 million.

Peace. Stay calm and rational. If the sun is out, stand outside or open the window and look at it with your eyes closed for a few moments, and just focus on its warmth upon your face, and nothing else.

Apr. 3rd. The reason I began this Covid timeline was because I had so many friends and family, many which I hadn’t talked to in awhile call me, and after some small talk ask, what’s really going on. For they knew I gleefully dabbled in going down rabbit holes in search of truth. And many no doubt thought I was what the CIA has termed a conspiracy theorist, though they never held it against me, for I sometimes made sense whether they wanted to believe it or not. I found many conspiracy theories simply fiction, but I also found many to be based on facts, reasoning and common sense, rather than what mainstream media and the education system wants us to believe instead. So trying to be not so long-winded.

Theory has it that the New World Order (NWO) concept is simply the wish of a handful of international bankers that want to economically and politically rule the whole planet as one happy family. Such an order used to be called simply an empire, and actually started back in 1773, at the height of the British global empire. But really picked up steam after the discovery of oil in the late 19th century. Since 1944, they began looting the planet by using the US dollar as the weapon of choice. They are now threatened by hyperinflation, as their printing machine has been rotating for years to cover their absurd spending to sustain oil and resource wars that they’ve all ultimately lost. In order to prevent this upcoming hyperinflation, they have perhaps generated a virus attack on four countries (China, Iran, Italy and now the US) to spread panic in the population, with the artful help of their shameless mainstream media. Even though this coronavirus isn’t different from any new viruses that attack humans every year, the media scare pushed people to voluntarily isolate themselves through fear and terror. When in fact the only ones who should be quarantined are the elderly and those people whose health is compromised, and not everybody else. The people who either caught the virus but showed no symptoms, with their bodies now immune to it, nor the ones who would have to take a week or two off work and stay at home, sick with a virus on steroids, and then afterwards, and now also immune to this particular virus, could go back to work. There are millions upon millions of perfectly healthy people locked in their homes. Many have lost their jobs, and which they may never get back again, companies are going bankrupt, with many of them, maybe never reopening, while the media induced panic created a stock exchange crash that emptied wallets and dried up assets. The virus isn’t destroying us, our economies, ways of life or mental health, the lock-down is.

Dr Didier Raoult, the top virologist on the planet recently confirmed that chloroquine, as already mentioned, a nearly inoffensive drug that has been used for 60 years to treat malaria, was used by the Chinese with spectacular results to cure patients. Raoult then improved his elixir by adding a pneumonic antibacterial called azythromicin, and saved everyone of his first 1,000 cases, but one. The US immediately imposed the same treatment through a fight against its own Federal Drug Administration, which is bought and paid for by the deep state of the central bankers. All the Western governments, their medical agencies, the World Health Organization, and mainstream media then tried to destroy Dr. Raoult’s reputation, by inventing, that the drugs had “dangerous side effects”. At the same time, in Germany, internationally praised Dr Wolfgand Wodarg noted that the engineered panic was totally useless, since this virus isn’t any different than the others that affect us every years. With the pathological lies of the official communication channels of every New World Order country being exposed with each passing day, they are ramping up the fear factor and willing to destroy the social fabric of many societies. Remember, people are nothing to them.

Suddenly, with the mainstream media being forced to talk about such remedies, many big Pharma CEO’s were fired because they had just lost the vaccine contract, at first countries like Canada refused to even consider the use of such cheap and inoffensive medication, while in Jan. 2020, a couple of weeks before the burst of the fake pandemic, the French proclaimed that chloroquine was harmful and had also restrained its use.

In 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the international central bankers controlled about 95% of the planet. They felt invincible and that nothing could slow or even stop their ultimate mission to complete their Orwellian dream, of destroying the few countries left that did not abide by their rules or rely on their central banking empire, enlarge Israel, and get the total control over the world oil market. They’ve been working on this ever since the Balfour declaration in 1917, which eventually would create the State of Israel, their military bastion to control the Middle East.

Then a Russian by the name of Vladimir Putin, who had graduated in 1975 with a law degree and then worked as a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before resigning in 1991 to begin a political career, appeared on the scene. From 1999 until 2008 he served as the president of Russia. Then prime minister, and since 2012, once againthe president. After a few years spent at draining the Russian swamp from the oligarchs and mafia gangs that his stumbling predecessor left behind, he took to the task at hand. Portrayed by western mainstream media as the badman, an ex-spy who is driven by nostalgia rather than any ideology, while in reality he embodied the reincarnation of the long lost Russian ideology of total political and economical independence. Because his opponents in the West had been looting the planet for 250 years through colonization insured by a military dominance, Putin knew that for Russia to have any sort of independence he had to start by building an invincible military machine. And he did. Then to make sure that a nuclear war wouldn’t be an option, he came up with stuff which nightmares are made of, such as the Sarmat, the Poseidon and the Avangard weapons systems, all unstoppable and able to destroy any country in a matter of a few hours. Then in Sept. 2015 in Syria (who was not a member of any central bank, just like Libya wasn’t), he proved to every country that independence from the NWO banking system could now be a matter of choice.

Then seemingly right out of left field came the coronavirus and the ensuing media creation of a fake pandemic. The main focus of the NWO was to avoid a catastrophic hyperinflation of the humongous mass of US dollars that no one wants anymore, and to have the time to implement their virtual world crypto-currency. With everyone instead of “essential employees” under house arrest and paid a guaranteed monthly income. It seemed at first that the plan could work. But with the decisions made by Russia at the recent, and already mentioned, OPEC+ meeting in March, the Russians now control the all-mighty oil market, the unavoidable energy resource that lubricates economies and armies. The quaking bankers’ NATO can only watch, without any means to get it back. Or as Sylvain LaForest, via OrientalReview.org says, “The Empire of Banks has been terminally ill for five years, but it’s now on morphine, barely realizing what’s going on.”

Then on Mar. 28th Russia announced its own anti-corona drug cocktail based on Dr Raoult’s formula. Big pharma is now at its wits end. Do most Western countries now implement the good doctor’s treatment, or face the slap of a Russian pill coming to save its citizens. With Russia and China now deeply immersed in sending doctors and medicine to Italy, especially the hard hit Lombardy region, the NWO is now worried that they might find the truth, where the high death rate there is not necessarily because of Covid, but probably from a deadly cocktail hybrid from two earlier vaccines for meningitis and influenza, that they were injected in separate vaccination campaigns, very recently.

The next day, Mar.29th the NWO and their minions in the media were shocked to their core when the US government took control over the private central bank, the Federal Reserve, which is now handled by two representatives of the US Treasury of State. And for all intents and purposes has taken private banks out of US public affairs, ending a century of exploitation of the American citizens. The infamous Blackrock investment group has been chosen to start buying important corporations for the Fed, meaning that many chunks of the economy are now being nationalized, while avoiding the crash of the market by implicating important private investors in the deal. The Blackrock group is widely known as the biggest money manager on the planet. They own 5% of Apple, 5% of Exxon Mobil, 6% of Google, second largest shareholder of AT&T (Turner, HBO, CNN, Warner Brothers), but just a few examples.

A realization that must not be ignored, especially at this crucial point in time, that unbeknownst to many and which flies in the face of mainstream media, perhaps Russia and the Trump administration are actually united in their goals. Who knows? Regardless, the NWO are blatantly desperate because their pandemic option like all the others is not working. What is truly scary is that to prevent them from using all that’s left, the nuclear option to get it done, they are facing Putin and Trump, who are both not as stupid as the media portrays, though their particular personalities may offend some, nor are they the boogeymen.

Many believe that if the BIS (Bank for International Settlements), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central bank, the EU, and NATO, disappeared, our world would still not be anywhere near perfect, but it might get much better sooner rather than later or never.

There are many who doubt the NWO induced Western strategy of locking down the planet. The Mar. 26th report, Covid-19 – Navigating the Uncharted, co-authored by Dr. Anthony Fauci – the White House face of the fight, H. Clifford Lane, and CDC director Dr. Robert R. Redfield, basically the heart of the US healthcare establishment, explicitly states, “the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.”

John Lee, recently retired professor of pathology and former NHS consultant pathologist, has recently argued that, “the world’s 18,944 coronavirus deaths represent 0.14 per cent of the total. These figures might shoot up but they are, right now, lower than other infectious diseases that we live with (such as flu).” He recommends, “a degree of social distancing should be maintained for a while, especially for the elderly and the immune-suppressed. But when drastic measures are introduced, they should be based on clear evidence. In the case of Covid-19, the evidence is not clear.” Even New York governor Andrew Cuomo admitted on the record about the error of quarantining elderly people with illnesses alongside the fit young population.

The strangest thing about Covid is how was it that most all Western countries were caught completely unprepared for the spread of it, even after being provided a head start of two months by China, and having the time to study different successful strategies applied across Asia. One reason is because in Jan. 2020 the mainstream media had the world enraged over the attempted impeachment of a man who some people simply don’t like. Another reason is that the NWO know he is a threat and have been at war with who he represents for going on four years now. And finally previous administrations have raided the cupboards dry. Remember the hurricanes and FEMA’s feeble responses? Haiti anyone?

In early March, the Chinese Journal of Infectious Diseases, pre-published the Expert Consensus on Comprehensive Treatment of Coronavirus. Treatment recommendations included, “large doses of vitamin C…injected intravenously at a dose of 100 to 200 mg / per kg per day. The duration of continuous use is to significantly improve the oxygenation index.” That’s the reason why 50 tons of Vitamin C was shipped to Hubei province in early February. It’s a stark example of a simple “mitigation” solution capable of minimizing economic catastrophe.

Is this crises a controlled demolition of the global economy? Is martial law, severe social media policing, and the return of strict border controls, not the markings of a massive social re-engineering project, complete with inbuilt full monitoring, population control and social distancing promoted as the new normal?

The US are weathering a perfect storm, a totally shattered economy; a financial crash, barely masked by the trillions in helicopter money from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, tens of millions of unemployed, millions of small businesses that will simply disappear, and a widespread, global mental health crisis. Not to mention the masses of elderly, especially in the US, that will be issued an unspoken we will not save you notice on the triage list.

At the ID2020 Alliance summit in Sept. 2019, in New York, (a month before the previously mentioned Event 201, also held in New York City) it was decided by the European Commission, that the “Rising to the Good ID Challenge” program would be launched in 2020. The European Commission, is deeply involved in a crucial but virtually unknown project called CREMA (Cloud Based Rapid Elastic Manufacturing), which aims to facilitate the widest possible implementation of AI (artificial intelligence) in conjunction to the advent of a cashless one-world system. Which itself implies a central unelected body which is capable of dispensing and controlling Universal Basic Income to those in lock-down. Where anyone is liable to be erased from the system if an algorithm equals this individual with dissent. ID2020 is self-described as a benign alliance of “public-private partners”. Essentially, it is an electronic ID platform based on generalized vaccination. And its starts at birth; newborns will be provided with a “portable and persistent bio-metrically-linked digital identity.” While one of the partners, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, pledges to “protect people’s health” and provide “immunization for all”. Top partners and sponsors, apart from the WHO, include, predictably, Big Pharma. It is basically absolute social control that is being promoted as an innocent vaccine. Such a digital identity, within the vaccine, will be first tested with the people of Bangladesh, this year, if they haven’t postponed it or anything. Journalist Pepe Escobar poses a serious question: was ID2020 timed to coincide with what a crucial sponsor, the WHO, qualified as a pandemic? Or was a pandemic absolutely crucial to justify the launch of ID2020? Escobar argues that “the powers that be, taking their cue from the tried and tested, decades-old CIA playbook, of course are breathlessly calling it a “conspiracy theory”. Yet what vast swathes of global public opinion observe is a – dangerous – virus being used as cover for the advent of a new, digital financial system, complete with a forced vaccine cum nanochip creating a full, individual, digital identity.”

Consider that about 99% of people who contract the disease live through it, whether feeling any symptoms or not, and are now naturally immunized to the disease, so why would they need a vaccine for something they are now immune to? So we must be wary when some big pharma outfit miraculously brings out a vaccine to eliminate the threat of coronavirus, and we are forced to receive it under threat of arrest. And then find out later that key government officials had invested heavily in the company that developed the cure. Is someone going to be targeted as a bio terrorist germ spreader if they want to contract the seasonal cold/flu and let their bodies beat it on its own? Of course, though many vaccines have to be given today because our immune systems are degrading, they do have all kinds of toxins in them, including nanochips in the ID2020 vaccine, and since some will get rushed to market in the current hysteria, there’s a huge likelihood of making many people sick and more babies being born autistic, making the vaccine much more harmful than beneficial. Is anyone going to be held responsible for that if it were to happen? When they have never been held accountable before.

To be continued…

For anyone wanting to dive deeper, as to perhaps the reasons why, and if this is an agenda being played out or not, and then make your own decision, please visit : Agenda’s 21 and 30.

11/10/19

Half Way There – A Vancouverite Baby Boomer’s Almanac

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

The Serenity Prayer – Reinhold Niebuhr

Chapter One

Since I’m perhaps nearing my end I thought I’d start at the beginning.

Some of the oldest human relics that have ever been found were fertility figurines carved from stones over fifty-thousand years ago. They depicted women with a figure of big bum, big belly and breasts. Perhaps not understanding yet that sex produces children, the men were no doubt in awe of what a woman could do that they could not. Women on the other hand were attracted to men who were confident, athletic, brave, a good provider, respected among the tribe, and handsome, with nice eyes. This was because women were selective as to which sperm they wanted, and because such men protected and provided for them. Thus, in nature and in human tribal cultures untouched by modern western ideology, males predominately do the wooing. There’s a perfectly logical reason for this, eggs are more valuable than the dime a dozen sperm. Most females are limited by how many eggs they have at birth, while males are only limited by the numbers of females they can have sex with. For example, for some women today, a pregnancy can simply be a too costly and time consuming responsibility to take on, especially if one is single, and if a decision is made to become pregnant, she at least should be selective as to whose sperm she wants, whether the survival of the species depends on it or not, unlike a Bonobo chimpanzee.

The Bonobo, kin to the other chimpanzees who lived on the other side of the river as it were, spend much of their time fondling, rubbing, and engaging in intercourse. Primatologist Frans de Waal described the difference between chimpanzees and bonobos as being, “Chimps use violence to get sex, while bonobos use sex to avoid violence.”

After studying them for years, Vanessa Woods describes the bonobo’s world as being where all your relatives “think sex is like a handshake”. And if left alone, they live high quality, nearly stress-free lives. Their world is one where everyone takes care of each other, especially the young, and where both males and females, share the babysitting duties, and don’t necessarily care who the father was. When having sex they cuddle, kiss, hold hands and gaze into one another’s eyes, perhaps even fluttering their eye lashes. While jealousy, is considered an ugly trait. Even before eating, instead of prayers, they all have a quickie before sitting down and empathically passing the food around smiling at each other. Then afterwards no doubt all take a nap. I would.

It’s perhaps not so surprising that for bonobos, chimps, humans and dolphins, all of whom might be the smartest of all mammals, promiscuity is the norm. Regardless, because whether by love, lust or instinct, when a male animal and a female animal have sex and do not use protection, there is a good chance a baby may be conceived.

In early 1958, somewhere in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, my father’s performance reached its crescendo when the floodgates were thrown aside allowing nearly one hundred million sperm cells, the smallest cells in a human, to be ejected as semen, along with a part of his soul, and perhaps a quick pang of sadness that so often happens. Similar perhaps to how the vast majority of women have feelings of sadness or the “baby blues” after giving birth because maybe it’s that feeling that a human that grew inside her belly is now gone. In the there and then, the race was on, as the frantic sperm started swimming like crack addicted tadpoles, bobbing and weaving forward, with their long tails flowing behind. Others undoubtedly swam around like chickens with their heads cut off. Each one affected, or not, by how stressed out the father was, which could impact their future behaviour, just as a mother’s stress at fertilization can affect the egg.

Within five minutes, the hardier sperm made their way from my mother’s vagina, through to her cervix where, because it had been a couple of weeks since her last period, she happened to be ovulating. So her body had made the mucus in her cervix become more fluid and more elastic, allowing the sperm to pass through like going through a slippy-slide, and enter the uterus even more rapidly, as they wiggled their way forward in a mad frenzy bouncing off the walls and each other.

In the 17th century, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, was the first to observe sperm in action using a microscope. He called them “animalcules” or little animals, because of his belief that each sperm contained a fully formed but very tiny human being.

Once past the uterus, the horde of sperm still left dwindled dramatically. Similar perhaps to animal kingdoms, and early human tribes, where the weak, lost and stupid are usually the first to go – the survival of the fittest for the survival of the species.

Of the millions, perhaps only a very few were left to swim into the funnel-shaped ends of two Fallopian tubes. Door number one was a dead end, while behind door number two an egg (ovum) my mother’s ovaries had released, lay in wait. The largest cell in a human body, the egg, can be fertilized for twelve to twenty-four hours after it is released. It then makes its way down the Fallopian tube where it waits for a sperm to come walking through the door. As per chance, one of my father’s sperm picked door number two and sperm and egg would meet.

Picking the right door was easy, but only because of sheer luck, while the hard part came when confronting the egg that happened to be there. Back in my father’s scrotum, rumours among the sperm had run rampant that the egg was a tough nut to crack. If unable to gain entry after throwing all one has at it, relentlessly squirming like mad, a sperm runs out of juice after five days and are eventually expelled, as is the egg if it finds no suitors or anyone capable of entering. If one or sometimes two or more sperm make entry into the egg, the combination of such cells is a process that’s known as fertilization or conception. The whole process is undoubtedly nature’s way of ensuring only the healthiest sperm fertilizes an egg, through a sort of equality of opportunity over equality of outcome situation, to provide the best chances of having a healthy baby.

Once inside, the sperm’s twenty-three chromosomes paired up with the egg’s twenty-three chromosomes, and ta-da a human cell called a zygote. Within this newly formed cell are genes that had been passed down over untold generations from both parents lineage. Twenty-two of these pairs, called autosomes, look the same in both males and females, while the twenty-third pair is the sex chromosomes. Since all eggs have an X chromosome, the sperm’s contribution was a Y chromosome, thus I became a boy. If my father had shot off an X chromosome, I would have been a girl. In very few cases, or about as common as someone having red hair, some are born intersex. Meaning someone born with any of several variations in sex characteristics, including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. While the well used adage, “a woman born into a man’s body or a man born into a woman’s body” is false, for human sexuality is binary. Gender identity on the other hand are thoughts and feelings of our emotional system that do not match with one’s assigned sex, which are not hard-wired within us, they are developed.

Lining the Fallopian tube, tiny silk-like hairs, swaying back and forth like a bed of kelp in a current, move the fertilized zygote through the tube toward the uterus. A journey which took about three to five days, all the while the cells of the zygote began to divide repeatedly like an out of control virus. Upon reaching the uterus, the cells continued to divide, becoming a hollow ball of cells called a blastocyst. In two to three days the blastocyst implants itself into the lining of the uterus, usually near the top, side, front or back. The wall of the blastocyst is only one cell thick except in one area where it is three to four cells thick, and over the next few days the cells in the thicker part develops into an embryo, while the thinner outer cells burrow into the wall of the uterus and develop into the placenta. As the placenta develops, wire-like vessels, including two arteries and one vein, will branch out from its surface, much like the wires from a car battery, and entwine together to eventually form a 55 to 60 centimetre long umbilical cord which is plugged into us through our belly-button. The cord will supply us with everything we need, such as nutrient uptake, thermo-regulation, waste elimination, and gas exchange via the mother’s blood supply, to fight against internal infection, and to produce hormones which support pregnancy. Placentas are a defining characteristic of placental mammals, from mice to elephants, to whales and apes.

Most organs begin to form in the ever growing embryo, now the size of a pea, three weeks after fertilization/conception, which equals five weeks of pregnancy, because doctors date pregnancy from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period, which is typically two weeks before conception. Sticking with “since conception” henceforth, the heart and major blood vessels had already begun developing, around the 16th day. And by the 21st day someone flips on a light switch and the heart starts beating and pumping fluid through blood vessels. The first red blood cells appear the next day, while blood vessels continue to develop in both the embryo and placenta.

By the fourth week the embryo elongates, the first suggestion off a human shape, while the lungs continue to mature, as they do right up to nearly the time of delivery. Along the dorsal side of the embryo the cells had already begun to form a neuroectoderm, basically a neural plate of cells which looks like a flap of skin which transforms into a neural groove or fold, then eventually into a neural tube. This is where the central nervous system and the spinal cord will reside, topped off with a chemical electrical brain. Other cells start to arrange themselves around where the spinal cord and developing brain will emerge, mainly the face, nose, ears and eyes. All important because they all are where the brain will receive its information to operate. And still other cells will form into the skeletal structure needed to protect such vital areas. By the end of the week the heart and other organs continue to form, and the structures necessary to the development of the eyes and ears develop, while small buds show where the arms and legs are going to be. The embryo begins to take on a C-shaped curvature, like a little dolphin without the beak or dorsal fin, but soon sharing similar bone structures in our hands and their flippers.

Once the neural tube is formed, it slowly fills with cerebrospinal fluid. Its walls contain neural stem cells, which drive brain growth as they divide multiple times. Over the many weeks, some of the cells will gradually stop dividing and differentiate into neurons and glial cells, which are the main cellular components of the central nervous system. Neurons are generated from neural stem cells and progenitor cells, through the process of neurogenesis. These neurons will never divide again for the lifetime of the organism, and migrate to different parts of the developing brain to self-organize into different brain structures. Once the neurons have reached their regional positions, they extend nerve fibres, tiny antennas as it were, which allow them to communicate with other neurons via synapses, which are small gaps separating the neurons, basically they’re neurotransmitters containing mitochondria and other cell organelles. The first sparks of life begin to flash in synaptic communication between each other, which eventually will lead to the establishment of functional neural circuits that mediate sensory and motor processing, and make up one’s future behaviour.

As it develops over the next few months, the brain also divides into three sections, the hind-brain, the mid-brain, and the fore-brain. These simple sacks would eventually enlarge and further divide into other future sections, such as the cerebral cortex, thalamus, cerebellum and medulla, according to what XX or XY chromosome one has. On average and not in all cases, other changes in the brain include that males typically have a larger amygdala which is the centre for aggression and physical action, while females will typically have a larger and faster maturing prefrontal cortex which is responsible for inhibiting aggression, and is closer linked to verbal functions. But although females are slower to act out in anger physically, their verbal response is often just as hard-hitting, deep cutting, and harder to stop. And while a male’s brain circuits use more testosterone and vasopressin, the female brain uses more estrogen and oxytocin, which affects each other’s behaviour in their future.

By six weeks after conception the embryo has grown to the size of a kidney bean. Depressions that will give rise to nostrils become visible, and the beginnings of the retinas form. Lower limb buds that will become legs appear, and the arm buds that sprouted last week now take on the shape of paddles. Fingers began to form, and small swellings outlined the future shell-shaped parts of the ears, and the eyes become ever more obvious. The upper lip and nose have formed. The trunk and neck begin to straighten. By the end of this week, the embryo is only about 11 to 14 millimetres long, about half the diameter of a quarter.

Seven weeks after conception, the arms grow enough to where elbows appear. Toes are visible and welts where eyelids will appear form. The head is large but doesn’t have much of a chin. By the eight week the head has become more round, and we can bend our elbows. Toes and fingers lose their webbing and become longer. The eyelids and external ears continue to develop. The umbilical cord is now clearly visible, while the embryo from head to tail is less than 18 milometers long, about the diameter of a penny.

At the end of the eighth week after conception, the embryo becomes a fetus. It’s at this point that the chance of a miscarriage or birth defect was at its highest. Eight to ten of the fetus’ main organs are already formed. The exceptions are the brain and spinal cord, which continue to form and develop throughout the pregnancy. Ankles, wrists, and fingers begin forming, bones appear, and the genitals and inner ear begin to develop. The heartbeat can be seen via ultrasound, and the fetus begins to make involuntary movements.

Nine weeks after conception our heads make up about half the length of the fetus, but the body will soon catch up. Our faces become broader, widely separating the eyes, our eyelashes are still fused to our heads, with ears set low. We slowly begin to take on the features of our parents, and their parents, and their parent’s parents and so on and so on, who knows how far back in time, their genes continuing to combine and to create, passing on traits, abilities, and perhaps even the memories of souls, going back thousands of years.

In our closed mouths, buds for future teeth appear. Red blood cells are beginning to form in the liver, and by the end of the week our external genitalia begin to go either one of two ways; a penis and a pair of testicles or a clitoris and labia majora to protect the vulva. The intestines begin to form in our abdomen, while our skin is almost transparent. The average fetus at this point is about 61 millimetres long or the length of the short side of an old Canadian dollar bill or the size of a small peach, and fills the entire uterus, leaving it to slowly be pushed outward as the fetus grows.

More than ninety per cent of abortions in Canada and the US are carried out on embryos at six to fourteen weeks, with six per cent between fourteen and twenty weeks, and two per cent at a later stage. Of the abortions carried out beyond twenty weeks, most are due to a direct threat to the mother’s life or the detection of a very serious birth defect. Even though way before this stage and no matter from rape, incest, syringe or test-tube, women today also have the options of the “morning-after” pill and other chemical means. The majority of abortions are carried out because of economic reasons, because often there is no husband or partner.

In Canada, before it became legal in 1969, abortion could be legally performed only to save the life of the woman, to do so for any other reason was illegal. Former Chief Coroner of Ontario, Morton Shulman, recalls that, “while the pregnant daughters of the rich were sent to reliable physicians who did abortions for cash, with some of them performing twenty to thirty abortions a week, everyone else’s options were either performing the abortion on themselves or be assisted by a nurse abortionist.” The preferred method over others too ghastly to mention, was pumping Lysol into the mother’s womb. The mortality rate was high and the infection rate over 50 per cent. A doctor in Chicago was said to have performed over 70,000 abortions over his 40 year career.

Today abortion in Canada is legal at all stages of pregnancy as long as a committee of doctor’s sign off that it was necessary for the physical or mental well-being of the mother. While some non-legal obstacles exist, Canada is one of only a few nations with no legal restrictions on abortion, with regulations and accessibility varying between provinces, much the same as in the US with their states. Today the majority of women who do have an abortion have at least two, with many having three over their lifetime. In many developed nations a woman, on average, will have just less than one abortion over their lifetime. But, overall, abortion rates are dropping. Notably, abortion rates are similar in countries where abortion is highly restricted and where it is broadly legal: The abortion rate is 37 per 1,000 women in countries where abortion is prohibited or permitted only to save the life of the woman, and 34 per 1,000 women in countries where abortion is not restricted. As such, legal restrictions do not eliminate the numbers of abortions.

In early 2019, New York State passed a law, joining four other states, where an abortion is allowed right up to the ninth month, and a doctor is no longer needed to perform the procedure, but instead can be performed by a nurse or clinic employee. Additional states are currently hoping to pass laws where an abortion may be performed, not only up to natural dilation, but further – even after the baby is born, where the woman and doctor, after first making the baby “comfortable” can then decide to abort. Performing what was once called infanticide. At the same time other states are trying to outlaw abortions entirely.

I personally have no problem with abortions that are medically and morally necessary, but I am against using such a medical procedure as birth control, for stem cell misuse or for whatever mood one happens to be in at that time. And the fact that up to the present day, fathers are not included in the decision making, but then sadly and more often than not, there is no father in the picture anymore. And of course the instilled and accepted belief that it’s none of a man’s business what a women wants to do with her body. So I shall now shut up, and if this is the case of “my body my choice”, and all things being equal, then it is also my mind my choice, my business my choice, and my money my choice.

Moving through our eleventh week, our eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails, and the neck all form, while the skin has a wrinkled appearance. The arms and legs can bend, the kidneys start working and produce urine, and the fetus can swallow. Although electrical brain activity is first detected between the third and fifth week, it is considered primitive neural activity rather than the beginning of conscious thought. But the sparks really start going off at around 15 weeks, then begin to multiply ever more quickly around week 28, as it accumulates new cells throughout the pregnancy and continues, for the first year of life after birth.

By the halfway mark of a pregnancy, in the 18th week after conception (20th week of the pregnancy), a first-time mother may feel the first fluttering movements of kicking, squirming or turning, known as the “quickening”. This has got to be an amazing moment which a man could not understand where you feel a human growing inside you and it reacts to your touch. The fellow in the Aliens movie, who had that creature tear itself out of his chest, had to have felt something was growing inside him. Maybe he thought it was just a bad case of gas. But I digress. More interestingly, women who have been pregnant before, typically feel movements about two weeks earlier than women who are pregnant for the first time. Coincidentally perhaps, the same time the quickening is going on the fetus starts to hear sound vibrations. maybe we are already movin’ to the groovin’? Now eight to twelve centimetres long, an ultra-sound is able to reveal our sex, and take a picture of us so our parents can magnet it to their fridge.

One hundred and fifty days in we open our eyes for the first time. Eyes that people will later say look just like our mother’s or father’s or even grandparents. And though we become ever more active, chasing dragons no doubt, we also begin to sleep and waken on a more regular cycle. Lanugo, a fine hair, and a waxy coating called vernix, cover and protect our thin fetal skin.

At twenty-six weeks after conception, we have a 90 per cent chance of survival outside the uterus if provided with high-quality medical care, because though our lungs are completely formed, they don’t function yet. As such, these premature births are the leading cause of death for children under the age of five.

We are now able to hiccup, and are more sensitive to sound, and respond to noises and voices heard, which at this time, is mostly the sounds of our mother’s body. These include her beating heart, the air moving in and out of her lungs, her growling stomach, food being digested and expelled, and even the sound of blood moving through the umbilical cord. Recordings taken in the uterus reveal that noises from outside of the womb are muted by about half. Mostly because, there’s no open air in the uterus only amniotic fluid and it’s inside our mother’s body, making most noises muffled. The most significant sound we hear in the womb is our mother’s voice. Soon we will recognize it from other sounds, and in many cases when the father is speaking to the womb through the entire pregnancy; his voice will also be recognized. Recordings have also shown that when the mother or father is speaking, we are more alert and attentive; we cock an ear as it were.

Through the next few weeks we really start packing on the weight. Bones harden, except for the skull, which remains soft and flexible to make delivery easier. Whatever gender, our bones would grow similarly, except for sometimes longer lengths, bone densities, and the skull shape of a male and the pelvis of the female. If the average person ever found a human skeleton in the woods which had its pelvis and skull missing, they would be hard-pressed to distinguish whether the skeleton was male or female.

From about the 34th week after conception to birth in the 38th week, we continue to put on weight, and start preparing for what is to come, by ever so slowly turning into a head-down position. Our lungs are now fully mature and they prepare themselves for functioning on their own. During the later stages of the pregnancy our mothers gratefully give us our first buzz by infusing us with an increase in abundance of oxytocin, a hormone that brings feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security.

While my father was dutifully caring, providing for, and protecting my mother, she physically and mentally experienced all that is being pregnant. And astoundingly, do it three more times over the next four years. Take a break, and then in 1967 do it again, with the baby of the family arriving in 1973 to make it a six-pack.

In the first few months of pregnancy the hormonal changes, such as rising levels of estrogen and chorionic gonadotrophin brings on waves of nausea and vomiting. And despite its name, morning sickness can occur any time of day. The hormone progesterone increased sleepiness, and as her uterus grew and pressed on her bladder, trips to the bathroom were frequent. Her breasts more tender and swollen, her areolas, the skin around each nipple, darkened and enlarged. Her digestive system slowed down to increase the absorption of beneficial nutrients. But such reduced digestive system motility, caused heartburn, constipation, bloating and gas. Her heart worked harder by increasing its beat to pump more blood to the uterus which supplied it to the fetus, and gave her face a rosier complexion. Maybe this is where the craving for ice-cream came in. As well as the physical changes throughout the pregnancy, she would have experienced emotional highs and lows with mood swings running the gamut, from loving the world to wanting to kill somebody.

With her enlarged uterus pushing against her diaphragm, in the final trimester of pregnancy, she was possibly short of breath with less room for the lungs to expand. Her ankles, hands, feet and face may have swelled as she retained more fluids, while her blood circulation slowed. She may have also had more backaches and hip pain as these joints relax in preparation for delivery, and never ever able to get comfortable. Her face might have developed dark patches of skin, and stretch marks may appear on her belly, thighs, breasts and backside. She may also notice varicose veins on her legs. Her breasts may have experienced some leakage of colostrum, a yellow liquid, as they get ready for breastfeeding.

Nearing the big moment, we the fetus usually drop lower in our mother’s abdomen and become suspended upside down. False labor, known as Braxton-Hicks contractions, may have begun to occur as it got closer to our due date. During the final weeks of pregnancy it would have become harder to find a comfortable sleeping position, so mothers are usually extremely tired. As delivery approaches, some women love the whole experience of being pregnant and waddle around proudly, while others may feel like enough already, get on with this.

Then at a certain time, a very tiny unheard alarm bell goes off somewhere and the door is thrown aside and the dam bursts. The only womb we had ever known empties. Our mother begins to feel abdominal cramps or back pain that last around half a minute and occur every ten to thirty minutes. The cramps become stronger and closer together, while the mother’s cervix begins to rapidly dilate up to about five centimetres.

As our warm aquarium of pulsating organs and muffled noises empties itself, our soft skull is sucked by the flow down to a drain at the bottom, and the entrance to the birth canal. The sides of which slowly start to knead, squeeze and relax, pushing and pulling us through, like an anaconda swallowing a deer.

The contractions get strong enough where the mother has to bear down and “puussh” through them, in between either cursing their man, madly chewing ice cubes or chomping down on a stick. This stage could last anywhere from twenty minutes to two hours. And though most babies are born head first, about four per cent are born feet or butt first, and are known as breech births, or born face first facing up which is called posterior. In such cases, the obstetrician may need to recommend a Caesarean or C-section, or the use of forceps (for posterior births), as the best means of delivery. This is done by making an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus, so the baby can be taken directly out instead of travelling through the birth canal. A truly out of body experience. Caesarean sections are done most often when the mother has had a previous baby by Caesarean delivery or the baby’s health might suffer if born vaginally. The two out of three women who do undergo vaginal births instead of caesarean, of course, avoid having major surgery and its associated risks, such as severe bleeding, scarring, infections, reactions to anesthesia and more longer-lasting pain, and have a much longer hospital stay and recovery time.

The biggest disappointment in caesarean births is the millions of immune cells (types of white blood cells) in the mother which slowly make their way to the birth canal during the later stages of pregnancy. In some form of celebration of the birth, they line the route, as it were, and lie in wait while expanding their size. As the baby passes through they make contact and cling on, and slowly enter the skin, and make their way to the baby’s bone marrow, and join other immune cells already there. It is where cells of the immune system originate from, and some mature. The “muscles” of the newborn’s immune system then migrate to guard the peripheral tissues, and circulate in the blood and in a specialized system of vessels called the lymphatic system. Ever ready to attack any foreign bodies they can use their plasma membrane to engulf any bacteria or large particle, then ingest or degrade it. Caesarean births not only miss out on such a benefit, but destroy the hopes of millions of immune cells because the headliner didn’t show up.

As we get squeezed down the ever expanding birth canal each time our mother bears down and pushes, typically our head is facing either hip of our mother, but we slowly begin to rotate and face her bottom. We then intuitively hold our arms to our sides bow our head and rest our chin on our chest and humbly ready ourselves for our grand entrance into the world. Still hiding behind the curtain and waiting for the lights to come on. This position will allow the crown of our skull to go through the birth canal first, until that is when the back of our neck presses against our mother’s pubic bone. Here we genetically know to extend our neck, as if we are looking up at something and without even an excuse or a pardon me, slide by the bone by dropping one of our shoulders. By this time, the cervix has reached its full dilation of ten centimetres, the approximate diameter of a bagel, or a coffee can.

Once again we turn our head to restore its normal relationship with the shoulders, which are still at an angle, as if we are escaping from a straight jacket. Our shoulders repeat the corkscrew movements of our head, which can be seen in the final movements of the fetal head just before we emerge, by those attentively watching and ready to catch us. Undoubtedly the most painful part for the mother, who may experience an intense stretching and burning, is when our head pops out in the act of crowning. This final stage, where our head is out but our body isn’t, can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. A lifetime for the mother perhaps, with the final birth of her baby the greatest moment in life, possibly erasing any pain just endured.

We are then thrust into the spotlight and have to breathe air for the first time, with an umbilical cord trailing behind us, still attached to the placenta, which hasn’t arrived yet as it usually emerges about 10 to 12 minutes later. Luckily, being human and somebody grabbed us as we came out and not just dropped to the ground then licked clean by the mother as other animals do, we instantly have to learn how to adjust to temperature changes, to suck and swallow, though pooh and pee already comes naturally. The next few days are all about shock and awe, and radical adjustment. With the only thing needed to be kept warm and fed. Henceforth, all things learned are based on needs, experiences, then later by trial and error. And contrary to the popular belief of many today, being born does not ensure morality, good intentions or credibility.

Most medical authorities today suggest the infant be placed skin-to-skin on the mother’s chest for an hour or two immediately after birth. Any initial observations of the baby can be done while the baby remains close to the mother. Babies born in hospitals used to be removed from their mothers’ shortly after birth and brought in only at feeding times. The idea was that newborns would be safer in the nursery and that the separation would offer the mother more time to rest. This is what my mother experienced. Studies about immediate nakedidity between mother and babe have shown that such timely touching promotes neuro-behaviors and results in deeper and more fulfilling bonds with satisfaction of basic biological needs, especially feeding. The World Health Organization states that “the process of childbirth is not finished until the baby has safely transferred from placental to mammary nutrition.”

It is said that even a brief separation before the baby has had its first feeding from his or her mother’s breast can disturb the bonding process. Most newborns may be interested in breastfeeding within one hour after birth or even immediately, and will need to feed every three to four hours, even though the maternal milk production doesn’t really begin to flow until two to three days after birth. In the interim, the mother produces colostrum, a type of milk with high concentrations of nutrients and antibodies. Over the first few days, we poop what all mammalian infants poop, a greenish-black, tarry, sticky substance resembling thick extremely compressed motor oil, and which even has a name, meconium. It is composed of everything the fetus, now infant, ingested during the time spent in the uterus, such as intestinal skin cells, amniotic fluid, bile, and water.

Our first health-care evaluation is the Apgar evaluation, usually carried out one minute after birth and then again, five minutes later. They check our heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, reflexes and skin color, and score each of them from zero to ten to get a baseline. At the five minute mark, the same evaluation is taken. In more than 98 per cent of births, the Apgar score reaches seven out of ten. The other cases either need further medical care or at the least close monitoring.

Over the next 24 hours, the trials and tribulations of further “newborn screening” begin. We get washed, our weight and length is measured, and we are administered eye drops. Back in my day silver nitrate was used routinely, but burned a baby’s eyes while trying to prevent infection. Now erythromycin is commonly used. An antibiotic used for the treatment of a number of bacterial infections, including respiratory tract infections, skin infections, Chlamydia infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and syphilis. In fact, sexually transmitted diseases are the main causes of newborn eye infections.

Rumour has it that as newborns we have poor vision with eyes that can’t focus or look far. The difference between boy’s and girl’s eyes, as in other mammals, is that typically male retinas are thicker, and have more magnocellular cells, which are distributed across the entire retina and are responsible for tracking the movement of an object, whether prey or the throwing of a rock. While the female retina is thinner and has more parvocellular cells, which are concentrated around the center of the retina, and responsible for identifying objects and analyzing texture and color. It is said that this is why females take more interest in people’s faces, while males are attracted to anything that moves. This also shows up in recent studies where males typically have much quicker auditory and visual reaction times than females. Could this be why men play video games and women snapchat?

As already mentioned, many of the behavioural distinctions between male and female come from our hormonal differences and how parts of our brains are used differently during development. One interesting, quirky difference is when we move around in our environments. Females use the cerebral cortex, the part responsible for thinking, perceiving and understanding language, and can get around by using landmarks, while men use the hippocampus, the area of the brain that is pre-wired for spatial navigation, and think in terms of how many blocks or kilometres and how far from here to there.

Our brain consists of about 73 per cent water, with dense sponges of white and grey matter, both of which are major components of the central nervous system. White matter forms the deepest parts of our brains, and is entwined throughout the spinal cord. It is composed of bundles which connect various gray matter areas (nerve cell bodies) to each other. White matter affects our learning, and coordinates communication between different brain regions. It’s like a large relay switch, modulating and connecting all the brain’s different signals of nerve impulses between neurons, then distributing them accordingly. Grey matter on the other hand, is found throughout the brain, brain stem, cerebellum, and spinal cord. It consists of cell bodies such as glial cells, the babysitters of neurons who protect and feed them oxygen, and the already mentioned synapses which permit a neuron to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another neuron, and finally, capillaries to supply the blood to the brain. Grey matter includes regions of the brain involved in muscle control, and sensory perception, such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision making, and self-control.

Upon maturity our brains will weigh on average 1.3 kilograms and contain about one hundred billion neurons. And though only around two per cent of our total body weight, the brain uses 20 per cent of our oxygen and calories, thus like any other organ, the brain is affected by our lifestyle, diet, and the amount that we exercise. Putting aside the old wives tale about us only using ten per cent of our brains, modern science and medical imaging show the majority of the brain is almost always active. Our brains have evolved to use its entirety, in order to use the least amount of energy while correlating and processing the most information possible.

The sensory and motor regions of the brain mature first, followed by other cortical regions. The frontal and parietal cortices mature around the age of twelve years, the temporal lobes around sixteen years, and the superior temporal cortex being the last to mature. Female’s brains reach maturity usually a year earlier than those of males the same age. But it doesn’t end there, the brain’s maturation continues, where males tend to exhibit grey matter of increased volume but lower density than that of females. As it is, the latest research shows that the brain doesn’t fully mature until it is around twenty-six years old, if one is lucky.

Both males and females will also develop two emotional systems, based on the chemistry going on in our bodies: the mirror neuron system (MNS) and the temporal-parietal junction system (TPJ). The MNS is responsible for emotional empathy for others, while the TPJ guides cognitive empathy and the ability to distance oneself from another person’s emotions by focusing analytically on solving a problem. Both sexes start their empathy process in the MNS, but the male brain quickly switches over to the TPJ. These emotional differences will unfortunately play out later when a woman tells her man about a problem she has and is in need of emotional support and comforting. If he doesn’t see a solution to her problem, he doesn’t see the need to talk about it any longer. But then, we are supposed to be logical and not emotional, yet we are, because we’re often chosen as leaders of communities, societies, and countries, including our own families, while being too emotional is often deemed as a weakness. No matter our emotions, we are each born to have the balance needed for the survival of our species. But not all humans are well balanced, hence, survival of the fittest.

About 1.7 per cent of people born will have emotional systems which will make them either gay men or lesbian women. This has been occurring over the history of our species. I grew up having a gay uncle who was one of my most important mentors through to my teens, and who taught me much about being a man.

If one were to add bisexuality and transgender, which are both not biological but psychological, the current LBGTQ community in some Western countries is about 4.5 per cent of the population. As to the transgender movement, there are arguments being made today that it is an attempt to make it a civil right to have a mental illness, much like there is discussion lately that perhaps pedophilia should be listed as a sexual preference.

Our basic emotions are actually not a thing at all, and there are only four of them, arousal, pleasant, unpleasant, and calm. And since we are electromagnetic and electrical organisms, these basic emotions operate on their own separate frequency. Though unable to travel through solid objects, such frequencies are felt when we interact with one another. They are the vibes we get from one another from the sparkling giddiness of romance to the undertone of unease and danger, “love is in the air” and “cutting the air in the room like a knife”. The frequencies are also based on our five physical sensors: of taste, sight, hearing, touch, and smell, which along with the senses of balance, pain, hunger, thirst, and temperature contributes to our experience of our surroundings, and only shows us a three-dimensional universe. Our behaviour on the other hand will come from inherited traits, while our perceptions of things, comes from information received, experiences, and our consciousness. When such fields are in balance we are healthy, when they are not, we experience disease – physically, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically. Insidiously modern technology, particularly 5G (fifth generation cellular network technology), can manipulate these frequencies, scrambling them to induce feelings of arousal, conviviality, meanness, friendliness, anger, and even experience extreme pain, without our awareness. The previous four generations of cellular transmitters used between one to five gigahertz (GHz), 5G on the other hand operates from 24 to 90 GHz and uses millimetre waves, not cellular. These waves have a shorter range than microwaves so their antennas will have to be everywhere. A typical urban street will have to have them atop every fourth or so light pole. The 5G waves also cannot travel through solid objects, such as trees, so in many urban areas they will have to be the first to go. To date, cases of both people and insects alike getting sick due to nearby 5G towers is already on the rise. But they do have quicker internet.

Further to the differential qualities of men and women, brain scans, controlled studies, basic biology, chemistry, evolutionary psychology, and anthropology, all demonstrate that men and women are physically and mentally different. We absorb, process, and deliver information differently. And though we are all one consciousness but having different experiences, we also evolved with different priorities, and are immersed in different combinations of hormones. This leads to a varied interpretation and perception of reality, which is the root of the problems between male and female, within our families, and in the lives of our children. To remedy it, all one has to do is embrace the differences empathically, where equality only exists in compromising. Accept the reality that often and in many ways, men and women have pre-determined biological and psychological roles. Our differences are not always mutually exclusive, but we must face the fact that in some evolutionary way we complement each other so very much, and must not allow such a symbiotic nature of man and woman to be destroyed.

Back to the poking and prodding of male and female babies, it is currently possible to collect two types of stem cells during childbirth: amniotic stem cells and umbilical cord blood stem cells. Amniotic stem cells can be taken when we are still in the womb, from the amniotic fluid which surrounds us, and can be obtained through routine prenatal testing without the need for abortion or fetal biopsy. Umbilical cord blood stem cells on the other hand, are collected from the blood of the placenta and the attached umbilical cord, but are also found in various maternal tissues and organs including blood, bone marrow, skin and liver.

The use of fetal cells has been highly controversial because firstly, on many levels it’s an ethical issue. The tissue is known to often be obtained from the fetus following induced abortion. And because the supposedly “best” stem cells are from a fetus’s or newborn’s spine, not from their blood, they are very valuable, thus are often misused for anti-aging purposes or private medical matters by those who can afford it. And though both embryonic and adult derived stem cells from ethical sources, are being studied as possible treatments of a number of conditions including hematopoietic and genetic disorders, in many countries it is still deemed unethical. Canada, the UK and Japan derive stem cells from bone marrow, while the US and their prominently evangelical led Food and Drug Agency (FDA) are against stem cell use and consider it an illegal drug, but certain states do allow adult stem cell use. And though several applications to begin human trials of embryonic stem cell-based therapies have been approved, there are many steps required for such approval. Yet in Panama, stem cell therapy has been done for 16 years and has had excellent results. But if embryonic stem cell harvesting continues it could still be many years before therapies based on embryonic stem cells are widely available.

In adults, stem cells are found throughout the body. They are the handy repairmen, running around fixing anything that needs it and each having the potential to develop into many different types of cells in the body. They are especially attracted to inflammation which they immediately attempt to lessen. They also modulate the immune system, and stimulate regeneration, thus most stem cell therapy today is used to battle auto-immune diseases, and inflammation of joints. Adult stem cells have also been found to be able to replace neurons damaged by spinal cord injury, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease or other neurological problems, possibly produce insulin in the treatment of diabetes. Imagine having the ability to replace or restore any tissue or organ in the human body.

As to how useful stem cells may be in the future, consider that by 65 years of age we’ve lost approximately 90 per cent of our adult stem cells. But is eternal life possible or desirable? Some say it is, especially those who can afford the “best” stem cell therapy available. Then consider that in January 2019, 97 year old Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II of England, and who had just had recent hip surgery, supposedly pulled out from a driveway in his Land Rover Freelander and was t-boned by a small KIA car. The collision was enough to send his vehicle rolling across the road, or as a bystander described, it “somersaulted across the road”. In the KIA, a woman broke her arm and the driver had cuts to her knees, while thankfully the ten-month old baby in the back seat was alright. Prince Philip’s vehicle ended up lying on its driver’s side, where a passerby, after first checking on the occupants of the KIA, pulled Prince Philip out of his vehicle, totally unscathed. He blew negative on the breathalyser and said the sun was in his eyes. Checked over and sent home. On a similar note, one of the many who have travelled to places such as Panama where stem cell therapy is allowed was a 92 year old who needed a wheelchair to get around, had problems with his prostrate, lungs, kidneys, hips, heart, had trouble talking, and orthopedic problems. He was injected with ethically obtained adult stem cells and over the next few months and following years he was soon walking, his ailments healing, pain dissipated, his speech and eyesight improved, and his cognition improved. He’s now 99 years old, and supposedly even has his libido back. In both cases they both may have looked a thousand years old, wrinkled and nearly dead, but inside they undoubtedly were not. Similarly, just watch Mick Jagger prowling about upon a stage wailing his heart out, singing songs he has been singing for over fifty years, and how is it, no disrespect, that Keith Richards is still alive.

Back to us wee ones in the neo-natal nursery, another procedure and another reason to cry, is because we are often given an injection of vitamin K. This started when forceps deliveries were common, to help prevent bleeding in the brain due to the extra trauma to the baby’s head from using basically pliers to pull us out. But, despite the fact that forceps deliveries have changed, and occur less frequently, vitamin K is still given to prevent bleeding problems. Some countries have newer policies of when to provide vitamin K as opposed to doing it routinely.

The onslaught continues, while I can’t imagine what was done in previous centuries and eons to keep us alive, especially when in the past the infant mortality rate was atrocious. Ever onward, a small blood sample is taken by poking us in the bottom of the foot to screen for some serious, but often very rare metabolic diseases, including Phenylketonuria (PKU) a genetic disorder. What exactly is being tested for varies by state or province. We are pricked within the first twenty-four hours and then often need to return in a week for an addition test.

Then there is the universal immunization against Hepatitis B, even if our mothers test negative for it. Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can lead to chronic liver infections, as well as such things as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Some ask why babies are given vaccines for Hepatitis-B, when it is picked up through unprotected sex and needle use. Then by the time they are teens they no longer have protection when they do become sexually active. Upon birth a baby is given 250 macro-grams of the neuro-toxin aluminum. The highest daily adult dosage is 50 macro-grams. This vaccine is mandatory where available and is given either at birth or at the two month check up. In California, a child who is vaccinated for Hepatitis-B can go to school, but a child that does not cannot.

It is strongly advised that children get vaccinated starting at two months of age and that the recommended schedule be followed. The pharmaceutical companies that come up with these vaccines promise they protect children against diseases that can cause serious illness, long-term disability and death. All together from birth to six years old we receive fourteen vaccination shots. Playing the field so to speak, just in case and you never know, Chickenpox, Diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Hepatitis B, Influenza, Measles, Meningococcal, Mumps, Pertussis (whooping cough), Pneumococcal, Polio, Rotavirus, Rubella and Tetanus. Today the big Pharma lobbyists are pushing their respective governments to call for mass medication “prevention” programs, and claim they will improve the health of citizens, while also pushing for heavy medication upon children and teens, while their brains are still developing. As of 2018, vaccine manufacturers, specifically Merck, share in the over $85 billion of the “outsourced healthcare logistics market”. This is expected to increase to $105 billion by 2021. Merck is also interestingly enough, a major backer of the transgender movement.

Not all vaccinations are bad, but they do disrupt and/or degrade our immune system. Though eating a healthy balanced diet builds a healthy immune system, few are able to accomplish this today. And in our toxic world one needs a fortified immune system. As it is, people with allergies, infections, cancers, asthma, suicide, anxiety, depression and autism are all on the rise, with vaccine auto-immunity causing chronic health problems. In a recent report of which 3,345 cases were studied, 715 were not vaccinated; there was only one case of autism. Another report showed that people who were on a vaccine-friendly plan (choosing certain vaccinations) only one out of 440 patients was autistic. Yet the American Center for Disease Control, states there is one case of autism for every 45 people not vaccinated. In the 1980s medical students were not even taught about autism. Personally, growing up I do not recall ever meeting or seeing an autistic person. In the 1990s it started to become an issue, mostly because vaccinated children are sicker than non-vaccinated children.

And finally most of us are given a hearing test using wee little headphones or microphones, to see how we react to sounds. But before being released out into the world, some of us boys were taken aside, and for either cultural, religious, or social reasons, had our foreskins cut off.

The practice of circumcision is thought to be at least fifteen thousand years old. Today circumcision is probably the most common surgical procedure on children worldwide, yet it is not a medically necessary procedure. It’s most common in the US, parts of Africa and the Middle East, while less common in Europe and other countries. The most common reasons for removing the foreskin off the head of penises are religious traditions and trends. The religious laws of both Judaism and Islam require that boys be circumcised. Jewish boys get to go through the experience when they are eight years old, for Muslim boys between seven and nine. Other reasons to circumcise include, the myth that it will reduce the likelihood of developing herpes or syphilis or other medical conditions or infections, the desire of some fathers to have their sons look like them, personal choice, and aesthetic preference. And in Canada, at least in BC, such a procedure is not free either. As for the later I know a fellow who had to have a circumcision for a medical issue, when he was twenty-seven. He said he cursed his parents every morning when he would awake with a morning need to go pee hard-on, which kept tearing the stitches. I’ve heard and read other stories where having a foreskin adds to the sexual experience for the man, yet not having one is more attractive to females.

The procedure is most often performed from twenty-four to seventy-two hours after birth. We boys are splayed out on our backs, with arms and legs secured, like being readied for dismemberment or beheading, by the English in the 13th century. An anesthetic is given via injection or cream, to numb the penis, the foreskin is opened, adhesions are removed, and the foreskin is separated from the glans (the bulb). After that, a circumcision device may be placed over the bulb and the foreskin is cut off. There are three different types of such devices commonly used and all look like devices invented and used during the European inquisitions around the same 13th and 14th centuries to torture people. They include the “Gomco clamp”, the “Plastibell device”, and the ever popular, “Mogen clamp”. Each device works by cutting off circulation to the foreskin to prevent bleeding when the doctor cuts the foreskin. The entire procedure takes about fifteen to thirty minutes. Afterwards, bewildered by the pain and trauma, our mothers are told to expect us to be “fussy” over the seven to ten days it takes to heal.

For females there is no reason whatsoever for any circumcision to be performed, though today in the Western world the cutting has been replaced with piercings, tattoos and such. Unless of course you happen to live east to west from Somalia to Senegal, and north to south from Egypt to Tanzania, in Africa, which covers twenty-seven countries, as well as Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen, and many immigrant communities in North America, Europe and the Commonwealth, where female genital mutilation is prevalent and customary. Recent estimates show that about two hundred million women have undergone the procedures. Girls are most commonly cut shortly after birth to age fifteen, with most cut when they turn five.

The procedures are generally performed by a traditional circumciser or “cutter”, in the girls’ homes with or without anaesthesia. The cutter is usually in no way a medical professional, but often an older woman, town barber or butcher, or cleric who uses non-sterile devices, including knives, razors, scissors, glass, sharpened rocks and fingernails, which they often use multiple times without cleaning between jobs. While procedures differ according to the country or ethnic group, they include removal of the clitoral hood and clitoral glans; removal of the inner labia; removal of the inner and outer labia, and the closure of the vulva. In this last procedure, known as infibulation, a small hole is left for the passage of urine and menstrual fluid. Later the vagina is opened for intercourse and opened further if needed for childbirth.

Back once again to our births, and perhaps wanting to forget what was just read by slowly uncurling our toes and exhaling, twenty-four to forty-eight hours after a vaginal birth, with no complications from mother or baby, we get to go home. For a caesarean birth, if no complications, it’s a forty-eight to seventy-two hours wait until discharge. According to our biology, anatomy, and chromosomes we will be designated either a boy or a girl, and later according to psychological and chemical differences, a very few will be boys who feel like girls and girls who feel like boys. Only later will society dictate one’s gender according to a set of expectations, standards, and characteristics about how men and women are supposed to act.

I was born at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, and weighed in at seven pounds six ounces, to a twenty year old 11th generation Scottish American/Canadian mother and a twenty-two year old 2nd generation Belgian-Canadian father. Their lineages were simple hard working folk, farmers, ranchers, and pioneers. And often were restrained and respected leaders in their communities.

My father drove my mother, with me in her arms, home safely in his 52’ Chevy with no seat belts or due dated baby car seat, listening to either Conway Twitter or Elvis on the radio. My given name was Joseph, but for the next couple of decades would be Joey, then mature into just Joe. My parents would quickly have to learn how to hold me and support my neck with, I’m sure, mostly my Mom having to change all my diapers, bathe, dress, and swaddle, soothe, and goo-goo gaa-gaa to me. Then there is the feeding, and burping, which for some weeks, is at least every two to three hours, including over night, with graveyard shifts. The cleaning around our belly buttons after being unplugged, and for many males, caring for our healing circumcisions. Our temperatures are taken, and turkey basters filled with water are used to clear our nasal passages when needed. We survived diaper rash and having our faces washed. We cried and we laughed and began to learn things because every moment was new. It was in many ways perhaps the best and worst days of our lives. But thankfully, we’re unable to remember.

Chapter Two – Half Way There

02/18/19

Earthquake Precautions

Because you never know; especially in areas where there is frequent earthquake activity.

A very interesting read, which goes against everything you’ve probably been told about how to survive an earthquake. And in fact was quite controversial when it came out in 2004. Here in Canada, fifteen years later, the federal government hasn’t adopted any of it, but then, the feds won’t even allow AEDs, which are literally everywhere today, in any of their office buildings, citing legal issues. An AED is an automated external defibrillator, a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening signs of a heart attack and able to treat them through defibrillation. They have and are, saving thousands of lives, unlike the advice given that in an earthquake, crawl under the desk, kitchen table or doorway, or simply duck.

Spread the word to everyone you care about and maybe save a life one day.


From Doug Copp’s article on the “triangle of life”, edited by Larry Linn for MAA Safety Committee brief on April 13th 2004.

“My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world’s most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake. I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries. I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years. I have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985; except for simultaneous disasters. In 1996 we made a film which proved my survival methodology to be correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul, University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical, scientific test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside. Ten mannequins did ‘duck and cover,’ and ten mannequins I used in my ‘triangle of life’ survival method. After the simulated earthquake collapse we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and document the results. The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions, relevant to building collapse, showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck and cover. There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the ‘triangle of life.’ This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe, and it was seen in the USA, Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV. The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under their desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene, unnecessary and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn’t at the time know that the children were told to hide under something. Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the ‘triangle of life’.

The larger and stronger the object, the less it will compact, and the less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the ‘triangles’ you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building. They are everywhere.”

Copp’s Ten Tips for Earthquake Safety

08/20/14

Teabags by Mrs. Henderson

 

 

Tilling the Soil

 

Whilst making my tea yesterday afternoon I was compelled to ponder. What effect did tea bags have on the staple  industry when our modern world discarded their trusty kettles and Brown Betty combinations steeped just right to perfection, to on the fly zap it in the microwave. Hence having glue fasten our strings on. How relieved must the string suppler have been. How rejoiced the glue factory must have been …. Did they see this shift in demand coming ?

 

 

 

 

07/29/14

My “Peace in the Middle East” Piece

Quick as a bunny, where is this picture taken?

tehran

 

It’s not entering Vancouver BC, nor any other similiar city in the States. But it could be.

It is but a large, typical human city, with the only differences perhaps being in diet, language and skin color. But then in most major cities today around the globe, multiples of such differences are coexisting within their own populations, and makes such cities, as the one shown here, so cultural, vibrant and alive. People, who are young and old, whether man, woman or gay. Of different beliefs and traditions, yet still get along with one another. A few have too much; far too many have nothing at all, while some are actually comfortably happy in the middle. Such cities are populated predominately by good folk; whose lives sometimes only get disrupted by wayward souls not handling today’s society, elected officials, middle management, entitled and rabid by-law aficionados,  fools, or the occasional true bastard or bitch. Life in the city.

Most are not concerned with world affairs at all, because instead, they are trying to focus on their own life, their own world-view, and the lives of the individuals who make up their life. Just doing the best they can, and trying to make each day count, and perhaps mean something, for not only themselves but for their friends and family as well. Hoping to make a difference and being happy with what you got, and with what one can achieve. All the while simply trying to put food on the table and have a roof over your head where you can crash, quietly, securely and safely. And each day go out into the world and do whatever you need to do, just don’t hurt anybody or yourself doing it.

The picture above is of a city that once the Nazis get done with persecuting, starving and killing, especially those who resist and shoot back, the Jews held within the Warsaw Ghetto, then move into the realm of trying to exterminate them…….. Oh my, I am sorry, wrong century.

The picture above is of a city that, once Israel is done with killing as many Palestinians in the Gaza Ghetto as they can, and then afterwards continue to persecute and starve the survivors, because such people have been made into “the other”, thus looked at as less than human, much like they themselves once were, will be next on Israel’s agenda and list of things to do, and kill if they have to.

Making their enemies, less than, is why in Israeli mathematics, perhaps one, maybe two, Israeli soldier deaths equal, or as often the case, be of greater value than, five hundred Palestinian civilian men, women and children killed.  Or that they stress to the media that they warn beforehand a neighborhood which will be reduced to rubble and that for the Palestinian people to run and hide. Run to where?

The Gaza strip is surrounded. For all intents and purposes it is a large concentration camp. To their west lies the Mediterranean Sea, where offshore an Israeli Naval armada sits and pounds them daily. Their 11km (6.8mi) southern border is heavily fortified by Egypt, who doesn’t like Sunni Muslims, which make up much of the Gazan population. To the east and north is their 51km (32mi) heavily fenced, mined, and armed border with Israel.  While the sounds of jets, helicopters and drones, hum from the overhead sky 24/7. All together, the Gaza Strip is 41km (25mi) long, 6 to 12 km (3.7 to 7.5mi) wide, with an area of only 365 km sq (139 sq mi). Within this space 1.8 million people live, well sort of live, with over half under the age of eighteen. The density is 5046 people every squared kilometer (13,000 people every square mile), making it one of the most densely populated parts in the world. Somebody farts and others will smell it, so of course a tank round’s explosion will kill and maim everyone around it, whether one is hiding or not.

Because in reality, Andrew Exum, a former US army officer and defence department special adviser on the Middle East, and who has studied Israel’s military operations, says this about what is going on in Gaza today, and how difficult it really is to target individuals and not have any collateral damage, “There are good strategic reasons to avoid using air power and artillery in these conflicts: they tend to be pretty indiscriminate in their effects and make it difficult for the population under fire to figure out what they’re supposed to do to be safe.” 

Military analysts and human rights observers say Israel is still using predominately, unguided, indirect fire with high-explosive shells, which are totally inappropriate for use on the Palestinians in Gaza. Exum adds, “[Israel’s 155m howitzer] shells have a lethal radius of 50 to 150 metres and causes injury up to 300 metres from its point of impact. Furthermore, such indirect-fire artillery (meaning it is fired out of direct sight of the target) has a margin of error of 200 to 300 metres.” Obviously meaning, the Israeli’s are killing Palestinian civilians on purpose.

As for rockets fired into Israel, it’s a war; and being the elected body, Hamas is allowed to defend themselves and fight for the end of their apartheid, much like what went on in places like Soweto and Belfast back in the day. Besides, their crude rockets are often either shot down, land harmlessly in open areas, or yes sometimes, even fall short. As far as the Israeli population in range, all they really have to put up with is occassional falling from the sky debris, which has only killed three people. Meanwhile the Gazans are getting the holy book thrown at them. Military technology and hardware being tested, missiles, jets, cruisers, tanks, drones, helicopters, ever more heavily armed and supported ground troops, and who knows what, because this time, the Israeli’s are intent of finally ridding themselves of these lesser people they have locked up in Gaza. Especially the children.

According to Pernille Ironside, who runs the UNICEF field office in Gaza, it is estimated that so far roughly “373,000 Palestinian children have had some kind of direct traumatic experience as a result of the attack and will require immediate psycho-social support. This is in addition to the 408 children reported as killed and the thousands left wounded.”

After Gaza, and with flared nostrils, filled with racism and exceptionalism, Israel will no doubt once again focus and be obsessed with the city pictured above, and its country. But not before world leaders will stand in front of podiums, and in strong voices, once again announce that we must never forget what just happened in Gaza, but must remember it always, so that such a thing may never happen again.

Government controlled mainstream media in Israel, the States, and to an ever greater extent as of late, in Canada, already deems the country pictured above, “the other” as well. So when Israel actually does something, the no doubt disproportional casualties and destruction will be easier to swallow. If they do go in, I’m sure the States especially, but a few other countries as well, like Canada perhaps, will continue to obediently stand behind them in lap dog like support. Hopefully the saner people of these countries, as they are increasingly doing, will stand up and tell those whom they voted for to cease and desist, though I highly doubt such a fantasy happening.

As to the situation in Gaza today, it looks like I’ll sadly have to add an attachment to The Borborygmus Which is Palestine – An Essay on Apartheid, which I posted in December/2012, and after the human atrocities are over in Gaza, I will be able to compare it to the transcripts of the Nuremburg Trials, oops did it again, wrong century. Sorry. I mean compare it to possible future war crime trials against Israel. Though in reality, the States will never allow such a thing to happen, because they are complicit, with no one to hold them accountable for anything they do, much like the Israelis, nor do they both seem to even hold themselves accountable anymore, perhaps they can’t, I don’t know.

As a superpower the States does seem to be fading in many parts of the world, not so much militarily, but the disdain, lack of respect and actions other countries now show, and act upon, towards American diplomats, who are still clothed in attitude and so-called ideals, like so-called democracy, speaks volumes. Much of the chaos in the world today was created by the States, and many sociopathic hawks and beurocrats, running many governments all over the world, are not buying the American loud and proud bullshit anymore, and are willing to take the risk and simply take what they want. Alas, the madness which is human history continues.

 

The picture above………Tehran, Iran   Sept.2012    Photo: Fred Dufour/ AFP/ Getty Images

 

 

 

08/22/13

Dreams of Inheritances and Lotteries

While reading the daily rags a few weeks ago, on scan and bee-lining for the crossword, a smidgeon of information passed my way and halted my progress. At first I feigned surprise, recent surveys show that nearly half of Canadians are relying on either receiving an inheritance or winning a lottery for their retirement, with similar numbers showing up in other developed countries as well. My surprise died when I realized holy shit, I am one of those people. And then, as I happen to be currently reading up on social contracts, I wondered in a most dedicated and peculiar way, are lotteries and inheritances becoming but another interpretation of unrealistic hope subsidizing the con of what has become familiarly known as the “American dream”?

The seeds of the dream could be traced back to the concept of Res Communes (common things), from the Roman Justinian Code, issued in 535 AD. Res Communes were all the things owned by no one and subject to use by all. “By law of nature these things are common to mankind – the air, running fresh water, the sea, and its shores.” It would become known as the Public Trust Doctrine, where “a state serves as a trustee for such things on behalf of the present and future generations.” Today, International law recognizes all those things that lay outside of the political reach of any one nation state, but belongs to all people, as the global commons; the high seas, the atmosphere, Antarctica and Outer Space. To ask how this particular human contract is going we’d have to stand in front of a mirror before we answer, and then lie to our own face.

A thousand years after Res Communes, the contract had an amendment attached to it. During the Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries when birth was given to humanism, there came a new way of thinking about humans and their place in the universe, that people’s actions were not directed by God, but instead, people are responsible for their own lives.

In Europe, in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Renaissance would evolve into the Age of Enlightenment, where philosophers, artists, and scientists discussed the theory of a social contract, made up of unwritten constitutions of nature and society. Such a social contract was theorized to be the blueprint for modern society, where individuals are suggested to surrender certain definitive freedoms and submit to the authority of a ruler, in exchange for protection of their remaining assumed rights. Consent is given to be ruled by an executive power, though consent to be a part of society is not necessarily consent to such an executive. As Thomas Hobbes wrote in 1651, a social contract should be “a mutual exchange of benefits necessary to the formation of a valid contract.”

The deal would become where the ruling state would provide a neutral authority to act to protect the lives, freedoms and property of its citizens, and that justice was to be for all. The citizens on the other hand would promise to avoid doing harm to others, to not interfere with each other, and would be recognized to possess natural unalienable rights. The problem with this concept was that there was no shaking of the hands to seal the deal because it is a theory, and the authority of the state had nothing above it to control it. And most importantly Res Communes began to become privatized. Democracy was the promised placebo to deal with such lack of accountability, but alas it has failed. And though hundreds of millions of law-abiding citizens over the centuries have sacrificed their lives, and even more than that, in fulfilling their duties and their part of the deal to their state and country, the state hasn’t had to sacrifice anything. If such a social contract was indeed co-operative, changes would then  have been different than the present, and once again, collapsing of the middle class and the ever widening problem of distribution of wealth.

As to the planet, according to the international sustainability think tank, Global Footprints, August 12, 2013 marks the day when humanity has used up all the natural resources and waste absorption that the earth can provide in a year. Our human consumption and waste for the remaining four and a half months will be borrowed from future generations. This day has arrived three days earlier each year since 2011. Global Footprints have calculated that if everyone in the world consumed the same as the United States; it would take four Earths to sustain the global population.

The social contract theorized during the Enlightenment would eventually arise in the American Constitution, and would expand out globally and became everyone’s dream. Though it wasn’t until 1931, and historian James Truslow Adams’s book “Epic of America”, that the American dream became popular with the masses in North America and Western Europe. He felt the American dream, was the “dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement….. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position…. The American dream that has lured tens of millions of all nations to our shores in the past century has not been a dream of merely material plenty, though that has doubtlessly counted heavily. It has been much more than that. It has been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class.”

The dream was then interrupted by the Great Depression, which brought a deep understanding of deprivation. Soon after, World War II and its untold hardships and death on a massive scale erupted. After the horror and madness, those who survived returned and reunited, after sometimes years of separation, with their loves and families, all the while held intact through simple monthly letters. With many of the men, and no doubt much of the populations in many countries, suffering post traumatic shock. Never being able to tell their stories of what they had seen and done. They dreamed of a calmer life, where they felt safe, could toil in meaningful work, and aspire to educate themselves, get married, buy a house and raise kids in it. For decades on end working long full days, putting each of their children through school, and who after graduating, would themselves take on the responsibilities and accountability of being an adult, and stand on their own two feet. One’s dream in life was to be achieved based on individual talent, energy, perseverance, audacity, and a little bit of good luck once in awhile. But the reality of life dictated such a dream could not be for everyone, though generations have tried.

The dream would supposedly continue until the day came to retire and then life would become days of gardening, reading, playing crib, and knitting, baking, and puttering around aimlessly. Maybe obsessing over a lawn, or practising a craft, and if blessed, seeing the grandkids from time to time. Golfing, playing bingo, meeting with friends once a week, and every year going on a little vacation, by plane, train or automobile, to visit family, with the rest of the time spent watching a lot of television. This was not so much how people thought and hoped for; it was what was taught to us, rather advertised to us. Today, the end game of retirement isn’t something people necessarily look forward to at all; instead, for far too many individuals it has become a very, very scary thing. In Canada, 32% of 45 to 64 year olds are expecting lotteries to support them in their retirement, while only 34% of those who do retire have either relied on their savings and investments, or had a pension to achieve it. So for about six out of ten Canadians, retirement is not becoming an option.

Over the past forty years the one dream has morphed into four dreams and has laid waste through our societies at an ever accelerating rate. Writer and Professor of history, Ted Ownby, identifies the four dreams as, Abundance; of material goods, The Democracy of Goods; access to the same products for everybody, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or class, Freedom of Choice; where everyone can fashion their own lifestyle, and Novelty; of ever changing models and products and “expanding the consumer experience and fine tuning people’s purchasing skills and awareness of the market.”

Our societies have become top down structures of capitalistic enterprises, with no one above them to curtail their greed and ego. They have skillfully revised the social contract into being all about maximizing corporate profit at the expense of the citizenry. For all intents and purposes the social contract is now null and void, and we’ve allowed it to happen, for we have been sufficiently distracted enough from reality that we continue to buy into the con, that we can have anything we want, be anybody we want to be, and be able to fulfill all our desires, whether self-indulgent, degenerate or with the best of intentions. Any changes to the contract have not been co-operative in any way, shape or form, and instead have been dictated to us.

Thus, inheritances and lotteries have become a part of the dream, subtly replacing jobs and opportunities. Where all we’ve got to do is buy a ticket and dream, while cruising through the nicer areas of town, doing the slow looki-loo drive by, ogling all the homes and finely kept lawns. Dreaming of what it would be like sitting inside that house, with an even bigger screen TV, an even more expensive couch, and a big truck, Sea-doo, Ski-doo and a ride-a-mower parked in the garage. Dreaming of the opportunity to live in a luxurious way, by not dedicating oneself to education and working hard and having the discipline to do so, but instead simply by winning the lottery, or with about the same odds, becoming a sports hero or celebrity. So wrapped up in technology and upgrading it every few months that we’ve become Star Trek’s, the Borg.

Many think that when they win, which they actually believe will happen, eventually, they will be able to expand their material wealth and instantly retire and do nothing in particular. Bigger house, a few vehicles, and month long travel vacations, with the destinations prone to be places one can shop. Some also believe they will, perhaps, maybe, probably win, but are thinking of the freedom it would bring. To finally go buy a guitar, get that easel you’ve always wanted and spend a couple of hours in an art supply store picking out tubes of oil paints, writing a book, or perhaps even going back to school or finally getting your teeth fixed, making a difference in one’s community, or finally being able to help out a friend or family member. Paying it forward in meaningful ways to people who truly deserve it, all the while not even carrying a phone, but for most of us this is all but a dream.

While in the reality of our daily lives we, and those who are supposed to lead us, have together accumulated debt on a massive scale, which has overshadowed and distracted us from seeking and finding true abundance, which is good health, education, family, friends, a healthy natural world and meaningful work. Instead we are searching for meaning and acceptance through what we consume. It’s like people actually seem to believe if you are rich you are automatically accepted as being successful, smart, honorable, and someone who should be looked up to. Even if what you do to make a living goes against all that is moral and right. It seems we have become simply paychecks, and are defined and accepted as such. If indeed this is the case, then of course inheritances and lotteries are important dreams for many people. They have become key to any long term financial security, especially considering that getting or winning such a windfall saves us from having to work for it in a job that isn’t there anymore. People feel they will gain importance and be more than who they are, but don’t understand its nothing but window dressing for what’s really inside. We have reached the point where we have become so successful at being consumers we haven’t the wherewithal to even retire, unless of course, as mentioned, we win this week’s lottery or someone close to us dies and leaves us the money to do so.

Inheritances

Of all the Canadians who have received an inheritance, nearly half preferred not to divulge how much. Of the rest, 47% said they received an average $57,000, one in five said they received $100,000 or more, while one in four received less than $5,000. Higher up the ladder, 36% of the wealthiest families have received an average of $136,000 inheritance, with this figure predicted to swell to about $300,000 in cash, real estate and other valuables, but then assuming and knowing can be the defining difference between fantasy and reality. It’s like the reports today concerned with climate change, worried that when the earth’s ecosystems collapse it’ll cost us tens of trillions of dollars. With the question instantly coming to mind, who’ll and how many will be left to pick up the tab? And who’ll care?

In a perfect world where all goes well, the economists and soothsayers estimate that Canadian seniors and boomers will leave nearly a trillion dollars to their offspring. On the other hand this estimate is in constant flux, as much of the bulk of inheritances is tied up in homes and property. Those lucky enough to have bought their house in the seventies, and stuck it out, now find the place’s worth has risen 300%. But there’s that second, perhaps third, mortgage that was taken out a decade ago for the $60,000 update on the kitchen. Before that the roof had to be replaced, then the trip to Europe, the loan to your kid so he or she could purchase their first home, a 550 square foot “condo”, the new car loan, thankfully now able to be amortized over 84 months, so that some money is left over monthly for buying other stuff, like food, and every year Christmas is finally being paid off in April. Over the past ten years, such home equity lines of credit have risen 170%. This is why today, about 68% of home owners have, on average, only about 34% in equity in their home.

In 1980 the average home was about $100,000, with an average household debt to income ratio of 66%. Meaning for every $1000 a homeowner earned, $660 went to the bills; mortgage, household expenses, food and such, while $330 was left over for savings and frivolous spending. Today the average house in Canada is about $353,000, over 11 times the median family income, with an average household debt to income ratio of 161%. In other words, the average Canadian household debt, as of 2013, is about $1650 for every $1000 of disposable income. Even crazier, more than one in eight homeowners’ debt to income ratio was 250%, meaning two and a half times their annual income went to mortgages, credit cards and other forms of debt, creating -you guessed it- more debt. It’s a similar system to how many governments work their books.

Canadian house prices today have doubled since 2002, and over 13% since 2008, but seem to now be bogging down; you can just about hear the balloon stretching if you’re quiet and turn the TV down. The only reason the Canadian housing today has stayed fairly steady is because we are buoyed up somewhat by the continuing global economic crisis. Meanwhile the most expensive homes, condos and properties in the major cities are being gobbled up by foreign buyers. The average house value in BC today is $498,000. In Vancouver it’s $684,000. Ontario’s average is $369,000, but $479,000 in Toronto, with Alberta’s average house value at $363,000, $420,000 in Calgary.

It is estimated that over the next ten years, house prices will rise perhaps 2%, barely keeping up with inflation, and while current debt and housing levels are ever more unsustainable, when the lending rates rise, and they will, they’re be hell to pay for many. Economists suggest that with only a half of one percentage point increase in the lending rate there would be an immediate drop of about 10% in house sales and over a 3% decrease in prices. A mere 1% increase in borrowing rates would drop house sales over 15% and decrease the price of the home by more than 7%. For many Canadians, they will not be able to  afford to live in the homes they own.

But over 80% of Canadians aged 18 to 29 years, still continue to expect an inheritance, especially those who attended post-secondary school, are savvy to the real estate market and the value of their parent’s home, and who are graduating with an average of $28,000 in student loans into a world where there will never be enough jobs or opportunities. While only 48% of the 45 to 64 year old baby boomers are expecting an inheritance of some sort, because they understand the fact that people are living longer and spending more in retirement, and are seeing firsthand how tough it’s going to be as we age. Boomers in particular are becoming more concerned with debt reduction than retirement and leaving an inheritance, and it’s highly likely we may well be one of the last generations to inherit anything. As to how much wealth is transferred to the next generation, it’s changing all the time, because of the high costs of living in one’s final years, especially if you want to live with a better than average standard of living. The reality will be mostly determined by the actions of the real estate market. As it is, forty-five percent of those 60 or older are going to need their savings to fund their retirement, with only one in four willing to make personal sacrifices to ensure an inheritance for their family. At the same time, only four in ten Canadians actually have a will.

Baby-boomers’ parents were unique, in that they grew up with a very deep understanding of deprivation, untold hardships and World War Two. When and if able to leave an inheritance, they feel compelled to provide financial assistance to their family. Boomers on the other hand have grown up in a relatively peaceful and affluent time, and a life of abundance. They are compelled more to treat any monies or property that they leave to certain people or charity and non-profit organizations, as a bonus, instead of a requirement. Of course that’s only if there is anything left after keeping us in diapers and well medicated in our final years.

Another generational difference is that no longer do the majority believe in a life after death, instead it’s now all about holding on to this one, even to the point of sculpting and altering one’s body to give the impression “age doesn’t mean anything”. Holding onto all we have, and getting as much of it as we can. Never going airborne to look down and see how massive our herd has become and how so alike we look.

At one time we used to inherit the best of family legacies, traditions and values. Perhaps an old watch or chiming clock, an antique dining room table with ornate chairs, perhaps a cache of recipes or a set of dishes and a tea set, or maybe some small plot of land and/or the family home, which was built to raise a family in and not just another investment. Or more importantly such things as honour, the level-headedness of one’s grandmother, the reason people respected your grandfather, having a good work ethic,  being taught etiquette, things like poise and reservation, or how to respect each other even if you don’t like each other. There are also other traditions and values that have been passed on which humanity could do without, such as out-dated social and religious values. But nothing lasts anymore, so there is less to be passed on. Even antiques will soon be no more, and more expensive, for I highly doubt an IKEA bookshelf or Wal-Mart writing desk will be around for auction in seventy years. Our legacies will be plastic effigies of ourselves.

Unfortunately, much of the best of past legacies, traditions and values have been replaced with economic inheritance. Which itself is based on the soft and shaky ground called real estate speculation, a global economic crisis, diminishing ecosystems, and a declining number of people who have planned for retirement, in non-existent or non-sufficient savings, tax, and insurance plans. As for stocks and bonds being a part of one’s inheritance, about 90% of all stock, including bonds, is owned by the top 15% wealthiest individuals. I know, made me cry too.

A few final thoughts on inheritances and why they are diminishing, debt is rising, and the ever widening gap between those with and those without continues. Between 1976 and 2010, Canada’s middle class saw their income grow only 7% when adjusted for inflation, which is about 0.2% per year. The top 20% of earners saw their incomes rise more than 40%, while those in the top 5% saw their incomes rise by that much annually.

Then there is the makeup of the average Canadian family today, where it’s not simply the married for forty years parents passing away and leaving their wealth for their two children and three grandchildren. Today if there is a pot left behind to be pissed in, it might well have to be divided between two or three unmarried and/or sometimes remarried spouses, children from the various relationships, siblings, next of kin, and of course creditors. This issue also appears when someone wins a lottery, and the relatives and friends start appearing out of the woodwork for their cut, whether entitled or not.

Most sadly, where grandparents were once very important within the family makeup, experience and values, especially to their grandchildren; far too often the thread of this legacy is rare or non-existent today. At the same time more and more parents and grandparents are dipping into their savings and retirement funds to financially help their struggling adult children who are finding it difficult to get jobs or meaningful work. But then, for three generations now, around the globe, television and mainstream media have far too often been the parents minding the children.

Reality is, for the majority in the present world, people need to keep for themselves what they would have left as an inheritance to finance their senior years, and/or need to keep working past the American dream’s unnatural sixty-five years old deadline. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that such a deadline is perhaps the reason for the rapid growth of people today developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. Preventing mental decline is all about keeping physically active, socially connected and mentally challenged; while drooling over daytime television sitting in a lazy-boy rocker, in a small apartment, taking your meds, smoking your reefer, or drinking enough so that you may sleep that night, does not. People should be able to work as long as they physically and mentally can. Today most have to, before having to spend their final years, often in decrepit, unsafe, and vulnerable situations, or having to rely on Government assistance and eating cold soup out of the can over the kitchen sink. All the while the body and mind deteriorate and one becomes ever more alone and frightened. Many thank God for bringing contemplation, forgiveness and erasure of sin before going to heaven, others now thank god for lotteries, for all the same reasons.

Lotteries

Once upon a time, when we began to jam ourselves into villages, then towns and cities, we slowly stopped believing in ourselves, we also stopped using both sides of our brain at the same time. But we had to believe in something to get through our daily lives, doing those things we usually didn’t want to do, so we came up with the concept of religion. Today we have lotteries.

Any local convenience store clerk will tell you they can actually see the physical and mental reaction a person goes through when coming in to check their tickets. Some people are either cheery, feeling that positive vibes will help their chances, or glum and quiet, hoping and praying under their breath. The “sorry not a winner” from the clerk, is followed by the customer exhaling all their air, shrugging and slumping their shoulders, dropping their heads, and feeling beaten down again. But then the moment they decide to spend the last toonie to their name on a “scratch and win”, voila, hope is restored. The ticket will be taken home or to a place where the aura will make the scratching almost ritualistic and holy. Or by using “reverse psychology’, they scratch the ticket immediately, like they don’t care if it’s a winner or not, and then nonchalantly wading it up and dumping it in the trash bin. The hope, loss and recovery are quickly experienced, as they then continue to go on about their day. For most, even a free ticket win nearly brings out the choir. The dreams a major lottery creates, believing if you don’t play you’ll never win, could put a spring into one’s step for a whole week. People will spend hundreds on Keno or pull-tabs, drinking coffees or beer specials for hours, chatting within their like-minded group, and win fifty bucks and feel like a million dollars. The altar is no longer in a church, it’s in a casino.

Meanwhile, the odds of dying in a terrorist attack in North America are about 1 in 20 million, while travelling abroad these odds drop to 1 in 650,000. In Canada, we have the lowest risk of dying from terrorism out of all the Western economies in the world, about  1 in 14 million, about the same odds of winning the national Lotto 6/49, which odds can be, on average, anywhere from 1 in 14 million to 1 in 28 million. In the States, the chances of winning one of their Powerball or mega-millions state lotteries is about 1 in 175.7 million. A typical, two dollar, thousand dollar prize scratch and win, where the odds of winning a thousand dollars is about 1 in 960,000 is similar to the odds (1 in 1 million) of being killed by flesh-eating disease. So getting beheaded in a terrorist attack, and winning a major lottery have about the same chance of happening in one’s life – interesting. Yet in Canada, we’ll drive at least 16 km (10 miles) to get our lottery ticket, consuming gas worth more than the ticket, and its 3 to 20 times more likely for us to be killed in a car accident than winning a lottery or being car bombed.

The odds of being killed by a bee sting or a snake bite are about 1 in 100,000. Dying in a plane crash 1 in 360,000, becoming a pro athlete 1 in 22,000, getting a hole in one in golf, 1 in 5,000, the same odds for getting injured or dying sometime over the next year. Then raw reality lays bare the odds of getting cancer – at least once in our lives – 1 in 2.

As to the Canadian lottery, Lotto 6/49, if you spend two dollars a week on one set of numbers you’re likely to win $10 at least once every 13 months. Another study found that spending $25 per week for 20 years on lottery tickets, you could make over a third back, occasionally winning in increments of either $10 or the 4th place range of $75 The odds of winning a free ticket are 1 in 8; winning ten to twenty dollars, 1 in 77. The average Canadian spends $257 per year on lottery tickets. British Columbians spend the least at $240, while 45 to 64 year old men spend the most at $880 per year.

One of the largest lottery jackpots won in the world was in March 2012, in the States, where three tickets shared in a $640 million cash payout. After taxes each of the winners shared $474 million. In the US, the federal individual income tax rate is 35-39.6% on taxable income above $400,000 for a single and $450,000 for a couple, plus state and municipal taxes. The highest combined federal, state and city tax rate paid by someone winning the lottery is in New York State at 48.5%. In Canada there are no taxes on lottery winnings, but there are on interest earned from them.

One of the highest lottery prizes in Canada was in April 2013, where there were four winning tickets sharing $63 million. Which was $15.8 million per ticket, but one of the winners had two winning numbers, because eccentrically, for 30 years he always purchased two identical sets of the same numbers, doubling down each time, thus he was able to pocket $31.6 million.

The good thing about the lottery is it’s like the left-brain right-brain thing. It gives hope, some solace during the week perhaps, where one walks a bit straighter, and a humbled confidence could even enter their realm. And in most cases it only cost two bucks. Then there’s the view of where does the money go, won or lost. The winners more often than not are broke within five years, while the money pooled by the lottery corporations, surprisingly, is often money well spent or at least it’s what we are led to believe.

Lotteries in North America are a fairly recent addition, and unfortunately governments have become enamoured with lotteries and casinos, because instead of some of the escalating revenues going to actually help communities, as has been the case, the monies they receive now are put into general spending, most often to cover their, but really our, growing debt. One can also say that lotteries give false hope, a release valve for the population, so that there is less pressure on political leaders, to remedy the growing inequality of modern society. But then these negative aspects of a lottery have been used for thousands of years, and as mentioned, have only been recently accepted, when governments wanted a piece of the action once controlled solely by the underworld and despots.

Evidence suggests lotteries began in China over four thousand years ago, with the first recorded signs of a lottery during the Han Dynasty between 205 and 187 BC. It’s believed lotteries were created to finance government works, such as the Great Wall of China. Gambling has gone on as long with the Egyptians, who became notorious dice players three thousand years ago. The first known European lotteries were during the Roman Empire. By 1400, many communities of Europeans would hold lotteries for needed public works.

Gambling, lotteries and sweepstakes were illegal in many countries, including Canada, the US and most of Europe well into the early 20th century. Gambling Mecca’s were always elsewhere, Havana, Beirut, Monte Carlo…. It wasn’t until the sixties that casinos and lotteries began to push for amendments in both Canada and the US.

In Canada, it wasn’t until 1969, when the Criminal Code was amended, that the federal government and the Provinces were allowed to operate such “lottery schemes.” BC offered Canada’s first lottery in 1974, with everyone else soon following. There are five lottery corporations in Canada today, covering all the provinces and territories; Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Western Canada and BC. Combined they bring in $8.5 billion in revenue annually. In the US there are forty-four States or Territories which offer government operated lotteries.

In 1985, selling under the umbrella of the Western Canada Lottery Foundation, BC opened its own lottery, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), which today is the largest net income generating commercial Crown Corporation in BC. But like the BC Transit Corporation, it is placed outside of direct government oversight. In 2011/12, over 5,000 community and charitable organizations received a combined $134 million in Community Gaming Grants for arts and culture, youth and disabled sports, public safety, environmental groups, animal welfare agencies, fairs, festivals, museums and for people in need. A further $100 million went to local governments that host casinos and community gaming centers and local economic development projects. With 900 employees, its revenues for 2012-13, by operating 2.5 lottery machines per 1000 people in BC, were $2.76 billion. While $624.5 million was paid out in winnings (39%),  total expenses were $910 million. Net income was $1.2 billion, of which $100 million in taxes goes to the BC government, hopefully going where it’s supposed to go, which is support for health care services and research, and a consolidated revenue fund to support other health care and education programs. Of the remaining monies, $128 million goes to debt; $116 million goes to Capital expenditures and finally the federal government gets its $9.1 million share. Millions also are allocated to gambling addictions. The bottom line is that, for every one dollar gambled in BC, eighty-seven cents goes back into BC. Funny enough, so do most of the prize payouts.

Twenty-five per cent of Canadians consistently play the lottery, while it’s estimated that more than 60% of Canadians will plunk down at least two dollars on any lottery which prize has grown to mega-million size. And like all big business the push is always on. Previously noted, subsidizing a government’s lack of fiscal restraint means the revenues from gambling are paying for the services the government can no longer afford to provide, and of course the push has reached mainstream radio stations, where the evolvement of never ending contests has reached a place where if you win, you will receive $100 to play Lotto, plus have an on-line account set up for you, so that “you never have to worry you don’t have a ticket ever again”, and as a special bonus you will receive an e-mail notification when you win, oh yes, when you win! So all that is needed is to sit in front of the television, mouth agape, watching regular programming, drooling in front of the computer, or playing video games until three am, and simply waiting for the phone to magically ring, and will change your life.

Nine out of ten winners of $100,000 or less spend all their winnings in five years or less. Researchers have offered a few theories as to why so many winners blow it all rather quickly. Theories abound that most lottery players have below-average incomes and education and are highly likely to be financially illiterate and that winners might also engage in something behavioral economists call “mental accounting”, where a person treats their winnings less cautiously than they would their earnings, because the winnings are something they didn’t have before. And of course some people simply develop a taste for luxury goods that outlasts their money. Just like any other addiction.

According to a study by the Statistic Brain, compiled from 34 national lottery winners (8 male, 26 female, with an average age of 46), and who averaged $175,000 in winnings, suggests that 55% were of course much happier after winning, because of improved financial security, 65% were less worried, could purchase anything they wanted, and that 23% felt their life became easier, while 43% of the winners felt no effect on their happiness. Other studies suggest that such happiness, on average, ebbs over time. Interesting effects from this study include, 58% of winners’ families claimed to be happier, 40% increased their contributions to charity, 38% have moved since winning, 48% were in a career job before and are still there, 15% started a new job, 30% started their own business, and 32% have gained weight. The average number of friends that male winners gave money to – three; the average number of friends female winners gave money to – one; while 44% would spend their winnings within five years, and the probability that any such new wealth will be gone by the third generation (grandchildren), is 90%. Of course, all these numbers are dependent on the amount of money won and who the people were.

As for multi-million dollar winners, at least those who have a head on their shoulders, who are happy with who they are, thus, are well grounded, American Brad Duke of Star, Idaho, could be used as an example. When he realized he had won the $220 million Powerball jackpot in 2005, he kept it to himself and went about his daily routine. The breakdown of what he finally did with the loot, when he finally went public; $45 million invested in safe, low-risk investments such as municipal bonds, $35 million in more aggressive investments such as oil, gas, and real estate (personally, real estate for sure, oil and gas, not even if my life depended on it, which it does. I’d go solar and wind alternatives), a $1.3 million family foundation, $63,000 spent on a trip to Tahiti with 17 friends, he paid off the $125,000 mortgage on his 1,400 square-foot house, paid off his outstanding student loan of $18,000. As a mountain bike enthusiast he spent $65,000 on new bicycles, bought a used black VW Jetta for $14,500 and now gives an annual $12,000 gift to each family member.

But it’s all relative, depending on the winner’s sense of well-being, which doesn’t fundamentally change, and their current situation which will most certainly exaggerate. If you are unhappy, can’t manage money and you’re surrounded by people you do not trust, winning millions of dollars will probably make your problems worse. If you are happy with your life, it fulfills you, you are careful with your money and you have strong relationships in your life, a lottery win is likely to build on those strengths. We are who we are.

The downside of it all is that many people’s lives have become nearly entirely economic, and lacking any depth whatsoever. We believe we have very healthy relationships with our stuff, while our human relationships become ever more dysfunctional. And is perhaps why dog ownership is growing in leaps and bounds; people seeking unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness. This gets us back to the idea of the American dream, discussed earlier, and how it has evolved into simply being the best consumer you can be, all the while, it is clearly warping our senses and human values. It has become the way of the world, for it keeps the global economy going. The 1% who run the world, control us by constantly reminding that if we buy, use, discard, then buy some more, all is well. If we do not, the economy will die. Meanwhile fossil fuel limits, environmental limits and debt limits are all being reached, and no heed is taken, and if it is, its then quickly squashed. It seems the only dying that’s going on here is us and all the other species that live on this rock.

In the US, it’s becoming blatantly obvious such a way of living is not working. A recent report out of Oxford University, estimates 80% of Americans (four out of five adults) will suffer the hardship of joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives by 2030. In 2012, 33 million American adults, 15% of the population, and only two million fewer people than Canada’s entire population, who were responsible for a family of four, saw their annual income fall below the poverty line of $23,021.

So if after eking through life and getting cancer, a hip replacement, suffering depression, getting hit by lightening, having a parasitic worm gnaw its way through your body, getting into a traffic accident where somebody died, becoming a superstar, writing a novel and fourteen million other things, you actually do win a lottery or receive an inheritance, be cool, chill for awhile, take your time and keep it to yourself. Yes, this will be very difficult, but so is life, and if indeed you won and if you play your cards right, it could get better.

Put one or two steps between you and your ability to spend the principle. Surround yourself with people you trust, whether a lawyer, financial advisor or even a committee of three of those closest to you. Meet with estate lawyers, accountants and financial advisors, and when you meet them do not let on you have fourteen or so million sitting in your savings account. See if they will show you respect thinking you’re just regular folk. Provide for your children with savings accounts; hold off on giving money to anybody else until you have a financial plan in order. Set aside a small amount as crazy money, but set a very small limit, do not dwell on it, and don’t hurt anyone.

Winning a lottery is much more than just money and managing it though. It is also very much about managing one’s behaviour. A real bitch or prick filled with self-indulgence, hate, greed and zero empathy living in a hovel, will no doubt be of the same character and possess the same attitude, if living in a castle. For as they say, doing the same thing and expecting a different result is a sign of utter madness.

As for the American dream, many citizens today the world over, are realizing that such a dream is becoming unattainable, and perhaps it never was, as George Carlin eloquently deadpanned, thirty years ago, “It’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

No matter if one wins a lottery or has an inheritance thrown into one’s lap, or not; making a difference in your life has got nothing to do with money. Money simply gives one the freedom to do more. Our stuff does not define us. We are who we are. And we don’t change as much as we think we do.

Though I have no pension, nor substantial savings, and will never be able to retire, I don’t care. I’m a writer and though I don’t make money doing it, I wish it was all I had to do. But I continue to work, have a roof over my head, be fed and I’m blessed with family, trusted friends and acquaintances. I accept and deal with the dark days as they periodically appear, and enjoy the good ones, one at a time. So yes, I will still saunter over to the corner grocery store once a week, grab some chocolate milk and eggs, smell the smells, sample some freshly made pakora’s, gratefully take a small container of chutney, chat with the merchant and his family, smile at people there and back, perhaps shove my face into a blooming Lilac bush, and spend five dollars on BC/49. Because you never know, and no matter the truths written above, if five dollars is what it takes, in this economic world of ours to inject some confidence in looking forward to the future, and the freedom it would bring, and be able to dream of things outside our boxes and daily routines, without harming ourselves or others, I figure it’s money well spent.

04/16/13

One Day in the US of A

April 15th 2013

Of the 2.5 million Americans who die every year, the approximately 6,850 Americans who died this average day, 45 of them were murdered, 31 of them by gun.

As well, there were 72 deaths attributed to alcohol.

95 were killed in motor vehicle accidents.

105 killed themselves, 50 of them used a gun.

110 deaths by overdose and drug induced.

234 people died in unintentional accidents.

1,580 deaths attributed to cancer, 25% of them lung cancer.

2,150 people died because their hearts gave out, blood pressure was too high or other cardiovascular illnesses, nearly two people every minute.

569, mostly women, were raped or sexually assaulted, about one every minute.  At least those are the reported cases, it is estimated that 63% of all rapes or sexual assaults go unreported, so the actual number is probably much higher and closer to 1,500 women raped each and every day.

 86,575 people injured themselves today someway, somehow………………..

Meanwhile, 3 deaths and 176 injured in bomb attack at the running of the Boston Marathon and the world mourns. While the country screams out for vengeance. Very much unlike their reaction after the Newton massacre last December, of 20 first-grade six year olds and six of their teachers, when many Americans refused to even glance into the mirror. Though in this instance they might have to start.

Postscript;

Father’s Day weekend, June 15th + 16th, 2013, Chicago, Illinois, 7 dead and 31 wounded in over 50 unconnected shootings.

July 4th weekend, 2013, in Chicago,72 people, including children, shot. 12 killed.

Iraq 2003-2011, 4,422 American troops killed. Chicago 2003-2011, 4,265 people murdered.

 

04/8/13

Costs Of Living – Inequalities, Poverty Levels, and the Cost for one Person to live in Victoria BC

“Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and for his family an existence worthy of human dignity”  U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights


 

While we have been busy climbing ladders, wishing we were someone else and purchasing our personalities, the basics of life have become much more than simply the costs of living, and are in fact taking much more from us than just income and capital; it’s taking away the planet we live on as well.

To exist as a biological species we need safe drinking water, food, clothing, a roof over our heads, and sex. To be human we need someone to love, someone to love us, friendship, an individual talent which gives us self worth and the ability or opportunity to question. To keep humanity’s greatest resources, imagination and ingenuity, in proper context, we need what Albert Einstein called “the principles of free and responsible development of the individual so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of mankind.” To keep ourselves mentally healthy is to relish each one of these essentials. But each one of these essentials, especially over the past thirty years, has now become nearly entirely privatized, as we stare like deer caught in the headlights.

Today such basic needs and rights also include education, health care, parks and recreation and freedom of speech, all of which are now packaged into products to be simply bought and sold, with many of these rights easily taken from us. Obtaining them is now based on who can pay the most, because anything good, important, healthy or reliable costs more.

The cost of living before agriculture and civilizations was called life and death. Then about twelve thousand years ago, after seventy thousand years of our current mutation as modern humans; we began to domesticate animals and invented agriculture to feed them, eventually feeding ourselves as well. We also began to live communally in larger numbers, which rose exponentially after such villages became cities. The cost of living became income. At this time the characters bearing psychopathic tendencies, such as “self-esteem derived from personal gain, power, or pleasure; failure to conform to lawful or culturally normative ethical behaviour; lack of concern for feelings, needs, or suffering of others; lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating another; exploitation is a primary means of relating to others; deceit; the use of dominance or intimidation to control others and misrepresentation of the self”, were finally able to rise to the top, feeding on their thirst for power, to control the food source, and demand tithe for doing so. Where once there was enough for everyone slowly became never enough. The seeds of inequality among humans began to quickly sprout and split into the haves and the have-nots.

At the same time, laws were formed by the individuals who controlled the wealth to control the public and soon the populations began to lose the opportunity to be noble or heroic, with everyone’s destiny and position in life laid out for them. Distractions such as literature, theatre and sports quickly followed, becoming the places where we could live out an honorable life, through someone else’s actions.  To further control the masses the elite created capital, usury, then debt, by imposing scarcity on their own populations, and any conquered ones, thus causing inequality which created poverty. To keep at least a wee bit of hope, religion was created.

Eventually the distractions and illusions became what they are today, sports heroes, movie stars, politics, and numerous economic theories that only exist on paper and which keep us focused on anything other than our own lives. Ideas such as GDP, which we base our economic worlds and societal success on, but which have nothing to do with our personal well-being or the planet’s. It operates under the illusion that unlimited growth under free market capitalism, operating on only one delicate and finite planet will work, and that a person’s well-being has all to do with material gain and how much one consumes. As it devours our social and natural environments it has us thinking that money will bring us happiness, where instead life should be doing that.

But we do not live in a world where the economy understands that there are now over seven billion people living on a single and finite planet and concerns itself with the importance of everyone getting along, the welfare of each individual, and having enough for everyone, even future generations, by caring for the earth’s resources. Instead we have an economic system, neo-liberal capitalism, which only generates extreme wealth for a very few individuals and is destroying the planets ecosystems by replacing the earth’s resources with waste, and controls the majority of the human race using nationalism, intolerance and oppression by economic means. For instance, if every country on earth were to consume resources and generate as much waste as the United States, we would need five planet earths.

Meanwhile we are extolled through the corporate government media machine that we should worry about events in far-flung places, rather than what’s happening in our own communities, ignoring the depravity within our own society by watching it happen somewhere else. More often than not, global mainstream media is not the real world; our everyday lives are not filled with horror, crime, and continuous bad news nor are they filled with the need to always exact revenge. Most all news stories are about things we cannot influence, and the daily repetition of such things we cannot do anything about, makes us passive. It is grinding us down and is undoubtedly one of the core reasons for the widespread disease of depression which is ravaging our societies. Media could and should, put life into better perspective though in many instances it is verboten to do so and now simply sticks to peddling the ideology of the corporate state.

We are further led to believe that lavish spending and waste makes one a better person somehow, to be a true human you need stuff, especially stuff you don’t need. That what one is wearing or what vehicle one drives denotes their personality and that money is everything. Even assets and debts are to be carried over, and still to be paid after we die. We are bludgeoned and brow beaten about debt and how much is owed, numbers in the billions and trillions on the national level and which we have no hope of ever relating to. On a more personal level we simply try to ignore the amount we ourselves are amassing.

We are also told that having a distinct personality is imperative to be the most powerful, invincible, admired, sexy and unique, yet our daily lives are interactive and interdependent worlds, as are most all species whether animal, bird or fish. No matter the distraction or how far one buys into it, the underlying questioning of what we are told to do, say, act and buy, goes against the reality of who we are. And it’s confusing the hell out of us.

For generations’ topics such as religion, politics, what one does for a living, inequality and sex were simply not spoken about or brought up. Climate change and the current economic crisis can also be added to this list. Yet these are all things we should be talking about, because they are the causes of the abuse we are doing to ourselves and the planet. We get upset when talking about such issues because it’s taken personally, thus we become emotional and offended. Talk about any other fundamental global issues today and people really get their hairs up and knickers in a twist, and either emotionally expounds their personal world-view at you or simply doesn’t want to talk about it and quickly changes the subject. The main reason for this is because it gets too close to the bone; we are hurt emotionally because our inaction, obedience to the system, and denial are complicit with the digression of our unequal societies and destruction of the earth’s eco-systems.

It is getting harder and harder to differentiate between truth and fiction so we interpret reality through illusion, believe what we want to believe, and are quickly rid of anything unpleasant, instead of learning to cope. Our comfort zones have been separated from reality, with the media working their best for their corporate masters, to ensure that they shall never meet. The paradox today is that people have to be far enough out of touch with reality to function and yet acknowledge reality to survive.

The separation between reality and illusion is a thin veil and is creating so many contradictions in our lives that many people today, especially in the developed countries, simply can’t cope with daily life. Each year the United States and Canada consumes more than two-thirds of the world’s pharmaceutical anti-depressants, the bulk of the global cocaine supply and have some of the highest rates of alcohol abuse in the world. Not to mention deteriorating physical and mental health. There is a reason for this.

We have become a public overwhelmed, numbed, and weary of the stories and realities of climate change, unwinnable wars, whether drugs or terrorists, and the ever worsening global economic recession and the strain it’s putting on our lives. No matter how much one becomes distracted, such issues weigh heavily upon us. For many, worrying about where the next meal will come from creates stress and worry, which affects our health, therefore also becomes one of the costs to live today.

Underlying our human madness is the reality of each day in an individual’s life and the fact that our basic, modern needs, and fundamental requirements to exist as a healthy biological species, along with, income disparity and the lowering of our morals, are all becoming more expensive and much more than we, as well as the planet, can afford.

It is estimated there are billions of people in the world living on less than $2.50 per day. Most are indeed poor, but then again there are also some peoples and places on the earth, where consumerism and capitalism haven’t become a belief system, nor has the surrounding environment been eroded or poisoned. In such places $2.50 a day is all you really need to fulfill one’s daily need for water, food and a roof over your head, with lives which are just as fulfilling, loving, rich and rewarding as anywhere else. But for much of the planet’s populations, one’s life is determined by how much money one makes and what you do with it.

Today the cost of living is based on what is called the “poverty level”, which is the minimum level deemed adequate to afford the essential resources an average human being needs to consume in one year. It is based on a human’s basic food and water requirements necessary to exist.  With food, a human’s health is determined by what’s called “body-mass index”, which is a human’s body shape based on an individual’s weight and height. The minimum “allowed” body-mass index is 16, although the more accurate and real body-fat % number is being used more often as the scale, with the highest percentages being in North America. The BMI is still used globally, with the lowest BMI scores, averaging 19, are found in many of the poorest countries, especially Eritrea, Congo, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, and Southeast Asia. The highest rates are Tonga, Micronesia and Samoa, with an average of 32. As a rule a BMI of over 25 puts one overweight.

Though there is no standard caloric intake list, a person needs a minimum of 1500-2000 calories of food per day. With the actual number of calories each individual needs depending on multiple different factors, including age, gender, height, weight, lifestyle, availability and metabolism, and that not all calories are created equal, so it depends more so on what kinds of calories you eat.

The minimum amount of water our bodies need, in a moderate climate and average activity level, is about 5 litres (1.3 gal) per day, while the minimum water needed for drinking, cooking, bathing and sanitation combined is about 50 litres (13 gal) per day, per person. In perspective, Americans and Canadians use 250-300 litres (65-78 gal) of water per day per person for drinking, cooking, bathing, flushing toilets and watering lawns. In the Netherlands, they use 104 litres (27 gal) per day, while in Gambia, in Africa, they use only 4.5 litres (1.17 gal) per day. The poverty level minimum water needs also states that every person must have safe drinking water available less than 15 minutes away. And although 70% of the earth’s surface is water, less than 2% of it is fresh water, of which only a few hundredths of a per cent is actually drinkable.

As for food and water, these minimums are scary as in many parts of the world they are still not being reached, and in fact are declining, with the supply of these basic needs being the most affected by climate change. The UN estimates that there are 925 million humans with insufficient food, 1 out of every 7 people, with over half of all the children in the world today living in poverty. Global fresh water is dwindling quickly, not so much from drinking, but from growing food, while the acidification and oxygen depletion of the earth’s oceans, lakes and rivers, drought, severe weather, glaciers disappearing and rivers drying up continue unabated.  We whine about what a litre of gasoline costs, yet are paying sometimes twice as much for the same amount of water in a plastic bottle. Heck, in Victoria we are paying fifty-cents to simply put air in our tires.

The poverty level provisions must also include proper sanitation for our biological waste, health care for serious illness, injury and pregnancy, and shelter, where fewer than four people live in each room with at the least a floor and a roof.  Next up is education, where each person is able to read and write, thus learn. Finally, the poverty level includes that everyone should have the modern essentials of having information at hand, whether in books, magazines and news sources, as well as access to services such as further education, health advice and care, legal assistance, social services, and financial services such as credit unions.

While in reality many of these minimum requirements can never be reached by someone actually living at the poverty level; with many of them slowly being erased or priced too high and out of reach for the majority of humanity.

Before we continue I would like to emphasize that I understand very well there will be a wide range of circumstances when further discussing the cost of living, and to some extent income inequality, but I’m just going for an average, ballpark figure of an average Canadian, with the odd comparison to the Americans. I’m not really comparing but generalizing, because there are so many variables, such as where one lives – city, small town or suburb. Are they male or female, single or have a large family, or two people sharing expenses and with a joint income of $40,000 and having a higher standard of living than two individuals living alone on $20,000 each, with all sorts of intangibles in between.

In Canada the after-tax poverty thresholds are $18,421 for one person, $34,829 for a family with two children. One in ten Canadians live at or below these levels; 3.2 million people, of whom 634,000 are children, with British Columbia continuing to have the highest child poverty rate in Canada. In the US the poverty level is $11,344 for one person, and $22,133 for a family with two children, with more than one per six Americans living at and far below these levels.

Such income levels have not changed much over the past 30 years, though the actual costs of living and the income of the top earners have risen dramatically. Consider that in 1982 the median income of an average Canadian was $28,000 annually after taxes, while the income for the top one per cent was $191,600 after taxes, seven times higher. Fast forward to today where our economy has grown twice as large, the richest one per cent now report a median income of $283,400, nearly 10 times higher than the median income of the other 99% of Canadians whose median income has only risen to $28,500.

Income inequality is even more disturbing in the US. In 1980 the average CEO’s annual pay was 42 times more than the average worker. By 2011, their pay was 340 times more, regardless of business performance or shareholder value.  As to income growth over the past 45 years and adjusted for inflation, 90% of Americans annual income, has risen a mere $59 per year, while the top 1% of the top 1%’s annual income has risen to $18.7 million. To put this in perspective, for each dollar that an average household’s income rises, the household incomes of the top 1% of the top 1% rises $311,233 annually.

In Canada the top 100 CEO’s earn an average of $6 million per year, while the average minimum hourly wage in Canada is nine dollars, in the US its $7.25 per hour. The lowest minimum monthly gross income in Canada, working a 40 hour work week, is $1,631 per month. To currently live in Vancouver B.C. an individual needs to earn at least $18.81 per hour and work a 40 hour week. In 2012, the average weekly wage in BC was $860.57 before taxes, with an hourly average wage of $23.53. In a nut shell, more than half of all Canadians are living on less than $25,400 per year after taxes and would need to work one month to make the same amount a top CEO makes in one hour.

Out of the pie, 51.9% of Canadians make $29,299 a year or less, 48% make more than $30,000 per year, and the final 1% makes $169,000 or more a year, with 0.1 % of these individuals making an average of $30 million a year. Breaking it down further, if you make more than $60,000 per year you are in the top 19%; above $120,000 per year you are in the top 5%. As for weekly income, the top 10%, who are mostly just the managers of the top 1%’s industries, governments, corporations and wealth, and who are really just commodities themselves, average $6,000 per week. Their bosses make about $160,000 per week.

The disappearing middle class in BC have individual earnings between $40,000 and $125,000, while in the US their middle class is determined to be those earning $36,000 to $57,657 per year. In both countries it’s becoming blatantly clear, yet readily ignored, that the bulk of the populations of both are below middle class, with a few at the very top.

The latest employment reports show that since the economic downturn in 2008, 60% of all jobs lost during the subsequent recession paid middle income wages, while 60% of jobs gained are low paying jobs in the accommodation or fast food industry. Declining traditional middle class jobs include executive assistants and secretaries, construction laborers, carpenters, bookkeepers, accountants, telephone operators, general maintenance and repairmen, and reporters and correspondents.  With the biggest drops in employment occurring in utilities, public administration and especially manufacturing. Although actual manufacturing sales are rising, the higher paying manufacturing jobs are disappearing quickly, and being replaced with low paying service jobs. Staying stagnant are jobs in business, trade, and information, culture and recreation, while rising employment opportunities are in education, health, and as previously mentioned, the fast food and service industry, which is growing four times the overall rate. People are getting jobs but staying poor, because the increasing low-wage jobs don’t pay enough to live off of.

Besides income disparity, wealth inequality is equally outrageous. The richest 300 people in the world have the same wealth as the poorest 3 billion. In Canada, the top 1% possesses more than 45% of the wealth, while eight out of every 10 working Canadian share 7% of the wealth between them.  As for who actually has the wealth, meaning who has the share of money, gold, real estate, stocks and bonds, not very many. In 2012, Canadians with more than $30 million in assets numbered only 4,922 individuals, with a combined worth of over $148 billion. In 2010 the population of Canada was 43 million people, yet only 164,000 individuals made more than $250,000, while in BC there were only 18,810 individuals making that much, and once again, possessing nearly 45% of the wealth.

In the US, the Walton’s, heirs to the monolith that is Wal-Mart, are worth a combined $110 billion, more wealth than the bottom 42% of Americans combined. If Wal-Mart was a country it would be the 26th largest economy in the world, with yearly sales exceeding $444 billion, $20 billion more than Austria’s GDP.

The problems with such growing inequality are that most of the wealthy do not even invest their wealth back into where they live; instead they move it offshore as quickly as possible. There is no trickle-down effect. Record profits in the private sector haven’t led to an increase in wages, but rather quite the opposite, less wages along with fewer jobs.

After all that, and taking a deep breath, we come back to how much does it really cost for somebody to live. In BC the average working stiffs, putting in 40 hour weeks, with no dental plan and no pension plan, other than what the Canada Pension Plan eventually pays when we are 65 years old, gross median annual incomes, range from the ticketed master carpenter making $50,070, to a construction labourer averaging $36,147, an apartment manager making $32,300, a bartender $23,198, to a waitress making $22,242, while a bookkeeper makes on average about $17.95 per hour,  a pharmacy technician, $15.91 per hour, and someone working in retail/fast food $10.25 gross per hour. Currently, the before taxes, gross median annual income in Canada is $30,800.

The poverty level mentioned earlier, supposedly is the least one needs to survive as a human being in a developed nation. In Canada, as earlier noted, it is $18,421 per year after tax, while one’s actual cost of living is determined by how much of a consumer you are and how much of the bullshit do you buy into. In Canada, in 2012, for every $100 an average Canadian family earned in disposable after-tax income they owed over $164 in market debt.  Why this is so, is in part because many of us are buying stuff we don’t need, and with stagnant wages for the past few decades the basics are costing so much more.

An example; a single male living in Victoria BC in 2012, pulling in $24,000 a year gross, whether $2000 per month salary or working 40 hour weeks for $12.50 per hour, is determined to be on the poverty level.  Off the top goes $3600 (15%) to Federal taxes, $1214 (5.06%) to Provincial taxes, $1080 (4.5%) to Canada Pension Plan, and about $360 (1.5%) for unemployment insurance. Using public transit with a bus pass costs $82 per month ($984/year) and living in a one-bedroom apartment costs an average $830 per month ($9960/year).  Cost of consumables such as food one only makes at home and personal care averages $280 per month ($3000/year). BC Medical (health care) is $55 per month ($660/year), $66.50 per month if you make over $30,000. Some sort of Life insurance, Critical Illness insurance or even savings, will cost at least $40 per month ($480/year), and that’s if you don’t smoke. Though I will not be adding such a cost to total when complete, a pack of cigarettes averages $9.30, a pack a day habit will cost you $279 per month.

Apartment insurance is about $15 per month ($180/year); the average cell phone costs are $71 per month ($852/year), though a basic land-line phone on one’s home runs about $26 per month.  Very basic cable is about $38 per month, including taxes ($456/year), while having an internet connection is about $40 per month ($480/year).  The cost of electricity for an apartment, with free hot water with heat registers, is on average $18 per month ($216/year), if it’s electric heat, $50+ per month. Entertainment is going out for a dinner for two ($50) once a month, grabbing the $10 burger and beer special once a week at the local pub, buying a bottle of cheap wine ($10), a new book ($15) and perhaps going to a movie once a month ($12), will total about $127 per month ($1524/year).

After paying these costs of living, the single person living in Victoria will be left with nothing, in fact they will be in arrears $1046, and still have to cover any clothing expenses, stamps, laundry, newspaper and occasional coffees, and emergencies. While the two week holidays one gets annually, never really includes an actual vacation. Such things as owning a car, paying for its gas, smoking, having a drug problem, eating out and being an obedient consumer is simply not possible. Though many cut corners and/or borrow to do so, a minority steal to do so. With over half of Canadians making less than $30,800 net per year, the poverty level is not so far away for the majority, and it is very true that “most everyone is a couple of paychecks away from being on the street.”

Many people whose income is $60,000 a year are also living paycheck to paycheck. The more you make, the more you spend, most times on frivolous and disposable stuff that has no actual value, and on such things as a bigger car loan or lease, a mortgage, higher credit card debt, purchasing higher end stuff and more of it, such as phones, clothing, TVs and shoes, personal loans, eating out more often, expensive holidays, TFSA’s, RRSP’s and savings, maintenance of home and a higher standard of living. It’s all relative. Though of course, no matter how much a person makes still does not guarantee them happiness.

The proverbial wrenches thrown into the cost of living are the facts of life that drop in and disrupt our lives from time to time, the stuff that happens in between paychecks. One’s mother dies on the other side of the country. Can one afford to fly there and bury her? One breaks their collarbone in an accident at home and has to go on six weeks unpaid leave, or someone has the flu and can’t afford to take the time off work. The car needs new tires, or one who has no dental insurance needs a tooth pulled, a root canal, or heaven forbid needs a crown.  It is estimated that 60% of all the people in the States who go bankrupt each year, have done so because they had a medical crisis and huge medical bills and costs.

As it is, wages have been stagnant for thirty years, which we have compensated with debt. Our society is becoming ever the more insecure, living in fear of losing one’s job, not being able to provide for family and the worry of losing one’s stuff. Stuff which we have been programmed to believe that we simply could not get by without, but which has no value whatsoever. Yet our response to the madness continues to be, think me and mine.

We have been told to do things in our lives that make us feel important, more independent, vital and valued. Interacting in the world of my daily life, I see so much of it, where people have taken what should be self confidence and empathy, and instead have created a profound sense of entitlement and a drone like stare. But no matter the cape one wears, we are all having a hard time of it mentally and emotionally. Though we try to smile and coo that everything is alright, we are actually barely putting up with the arrogance and ignorance of our fellow human beings, including ourselves.  But then this should not be surprising considering its now three generations of people, in Canada, the States, Europe, et al, who have been raised by television, and we are never wrong.  History has also proven that the worse society becomes the more delusional they become.

Ever since television, the powers that be have worked very hard at selecting for us what decisions we make. Forty years on, most of our decisions are already made for us well in advance and the income equality and wealth distribution gaps have widened to a point never seen in all of human history. Meanwhile the majority of us are finding it ever more difficult in bearing the brunt of what the cost of living today is demanding from us.

With any society truly only “three meals away from a revolution,” the trigger point for change in how our economic and social worlds operate is nearing. But when people rise up because their child is starving and they themselves have no prospect of an advancement or job, because as our population grows there will never be enough jobs for everyone, will pharmaceutical drugs and the gods of consumerism replace the most powerful drug we possess, which is hope?

Extreme wealth and social inequality is nothing new, nor is the inability to afford the cost of living. It has happened more than a few times over the course of human history. Each time there was ever worsening of physical and mental health, shorter life spans and more criminal behaviour, especially among the wealthiest, because unfortunately, when life gets hard, living wrong is easier than living right.

But when we cannot feed ourselves or get access to drinkable water anymore, enough will then be enough. And there will be change. Such crises in the past have touched off revolutions, which more often than not are led by middle class, educated leaders, doctors and teachers; though the problem with revolution has always been that they are messy and very violent affairs. For to achieve true change, the system must not only be beheaded, the base has to crushed and swept away as well. Leaving it and just getting a new head, operating within the same system, same rules and regulations or lack thereof, eventually fails as well, because the system is broke, and has never worked. At that time the step will have to be made to cross the great divide between being aware of our current dysfunction yet only standing back and pontificating about it, and start acting on the dialogue about alternatives and solutions to the problems and becoming involved in its reform. It’s why many of the earliest civilizations had laws where wealth would be distributed anew and all debt erased every seven or so years.

Today I fear that I myself am caught up in the current age of myth and capitalism and that as a people we do not have the courage to rescue ourselves from ourselves anymore. It has become too easy to shut out the madness of our corporate governments and oligarchs with sports, movie stars and reality TV. I sit here and peck away on the computer analyzing, researching and giving an opinion about problems that thousands have already and quite often have done so more eloquently and intelligently, but I feel this is all I can do. Of course it is not.

The proof in the pudding will be when enough of us scream “time out”, get up from our couches, step away from our routine distractions, put one foot in front of the other, get out onto the street and make our voices heard, and come up with options and alternatives as to how we currently operate as societies. Instead of future generations cursing our names, we should at least give them the impression that we tried the best we could, and for once stopped thinking about me, myself and I. How can we expect any hope for our children and our children’s children if we do not?

The height of ignorance would be for us to continue to operate on self-denial, excess and self-indulgence and believe it’s all about us, with no thought to our children and grandchildren and what type of world they will be allowed to grow old in. The epitome of ignorance personified is to actually think the ecosystems and weather patterns of the earth, which we have greedily altered, care if we can cope or change our ways, or not.

After forty short years, the reality being proven in most developed countries is that in general, and not through a lack of trying or working hard, but because we are operating within a flawed system and have become distracted, we won’t do better than our parents, and our children will not do better than us. Heaven help our grandchildren.

 

 

 

08/29/12

Salesmen of Sport

With capitalistic bubbles stretched taut, economies and individuals staggering under debt, infrastructure rapidly falling apart and the legitimate rape of the planet continuing unabated and ignored, one of the distractions in a Canadian’s life, hockey, seems to be heading for another strike. Imagine that, individuals of the top 1 % arguing over how much more of the pie they can take. As of 2012, the average wage of a NHL hockey player for one season was $2.4 million, about $29,000 per game. In the real world $2.4 million equals someone making $48,000 per year for 50 years. Yes, wow.

Comparatively, the other major sports in North America that keep us preoccupied and distracted and who also possess an insatiable thirst for our hard earned dollars, the NBA, MLB and NFL, have combined revenues that are higher than most countries make in a year.

The numbers quoted in this article for any players cited as being one of the richest 100 athletes in the world include player salaries, bonuses, appearance fees, prize money and endorsements and licensing, just like any other corporate entity, because that’s what they are, ask them. These 100 players combined earnings last year was $26 billion.

The National Football League brings in revenue of about $9.5 billion a year and even though they generate the most money of all the pro leagues in the entire world, their players are the least paid at an average wage of $1.9 million a season. And yet as so happens, of the 100 richest athletes in the world, thirty of them are NFL players, the most from any sport.

Leading the way in the NFL is Peyton Manning who just recently signed with the Denver Broncos for $96 million over 5 years. For signing he was given a $6 million advance. Last season (2011) he did not play because of rehab from neck injury but his team at the time, the Indianapolis Colts still paid him his player’s wage of $32.4 million. Manning also made over $10 million in endorsements, making his combined earnings in 2011 $42.4 million. Manning is listed as the 10th richest athlete in the world, while on average the top ten players in the NFL are making upwards of $20 million per season.

NFL players get 47% of league revenues, but there are 1,696 of them, spread out over 32 teams, playing a 16 game season and perhaps a few playoff games. The NFL has the shortest average career span of the big leagues of only 3.3 years.

The Dallas Cowboys (#1 at $1.8 billion), Washington Redskins, New England Patriots and three other NFL teams are presently, some of the most valuable teams in the world of a combined worth of over $8 billion.

Yes the States has the over-hyped bling, attitude and 2 yard running plays of the NFL, but in Canada a superior game of football is being played, mostly because of a slightly different set of rules and character of player. The Canadian Football League is all about finesse, throwing the ball and the smoothness of the game as it is played out, mainly because a CFL team only has three downs to get 10 yards and a first down so you have to make things happen, while in the NFL they get four kicks at the can to get 10 yards, conveniently allowing lots of time-spots for advertisers. There are only eight teams in the CFL, with 42 players per team, 19 of which may be imports, plus 4 players in reserve, playing 18 games and a few playoff games if lucky and they’ve been working hard. League revenues each year are between $120 and $150 million, with each team having a salary cap of $4.3 million. Playing wages go from league minimum of $43,000 per season to the quarterbacks on each team, who make the most at $250,000 to $400,000 per season. The average CFL player makes about $82,000 per season and the average career span is about three to four years.

Major League Baseball has revenues in the $7.7 billion range, the second richest pro league in the world. With 30 teams and 750 players who play a 162 game season and a few playoff games, the average wage of a player is $3.31 million per season, while the average career span in baseball is about 6 years. Twenty-one baseball players make up the world’s 100 richest athletes, with fourteen of them making more than $20 million per season. And then there is Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees.

In 2000 and playing for the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez signed the largest sports contract in history, a ten-year deal worth $252 million. In 2004 he was traded to the New York Yankees and in 2007 he opted out of what the Rangers had still been paying him, and what they still owed, by signing a deal with the Yankees for $275 million over ten years and breaking a new record for sports contracts, the record being his previous deal with the Rangers. Since he started playing major league baseball in 1994 Rodriguez has made over $296 million, with his teammate Derek Jeter, playing since 1995, having over $220 million in career earnings. Rodriguez’s current annual playing wage is $30 million. Meanwhile, his team, the Yankees, had a 2012 team payroll of over $198 million and is the third highest valued sports franchise in the world, at $1.7 billion.

Even though they are the second richest pro league in the world, MLB is also the most regional of all major sports and is strictly and truly, America’s game. And lord knows, especially today, they desperately need the distraction and the emotion the game brings to them and are obviously still willing to pay for it.

Though actually attending a pro game is far above what most people can afford because the arenas will soon be filled with corporate boxes, we do have bars and TV. Instead of actually going to a game and spending a hundred or more bucks, if you’re lucky to find a ticket, we can buy a $200 team jersey with someone else’s name on the back, go to the pub and spend another $50 on pints and a burger, with friends.

Over on the hard court, the average wage of a player in the National Basketball League is $5.5 million per season, making them the highest paid players of the major sports leagues. Indeed, only thirteen NBA players are in the top 100 richest because there’s so many of them right behind them. The NBA has only 450 players, on 30 teams which play 82 games and if hope willing, have a long playoffs to endure. The average career in the NBA is about six years.

The average player earns about $67,000 per game. League revenues in 2011 were $3.6 billion, of which nearly 56% went to player salaries. The elite players are earning anywhere from $10 to $15 million per season, Kobe Bryant is the highest paid basketball player at $20 million per season playing for the LA Lakers. He also is paid $32 million from endorsements, making his 2011 income in the $52 million range. Lebron James of the Miami Heat meanwhile made more overall money than Bryant, with $13 million in players’ wages and $40 million in endorsements, totaling $53 million, he also now owns a stake in the English League, Liverpool Soccer Club.

Bryant and James were both on the US Olympic Basketball team, their games as exciting as the Canadian Olympic Women’s Hockey team beating yet another opponent 16-2.

Ah, finally back to the good old game of hockey. There are no NHL players amongst the 100 richest athletes of the world and considering a very recent poll suggesting Canada could support another 3 NHL teams, hockey is truly Canada’s game.

The National Hockey League made $3.2 billion in 2011-12, a 50% increase over the past 7 years. Currently the players receive 57% of revenues, with the owners taking 43%, though as I’m writing this article, the players union and the league are at an impasse at meetings to renew their contract, mainly concerning economic issues. If no deal is made by Sept15th the players will be locked out. The player’s side would like to see an increase of $100 million to $250 million for a subsidy fund which goes to teams who can’t afford to pay their players and are struggling in shitty markets, such as the successful operations in Phoenix, Arizona, two teams in Florida and one in Carolina. To keep these teams and others, competitive, they must be subsidized by the other team owners to do so.

The players union has also said they would be willing to have a hard salary cap in place and are willing to take less than 57% of revenues for 3 years, maybe 54%. The NHL is countering with the players receiving 43% of League revenues and the owners getting a 25% raise. The League would also like to end long-term contracts with their front end loaded deals, such as those being signed over the past few months by their very selves, and that the same amount is paid each season of that contract, which would also have a 5 year cap on its length, forthwith.

Like kids in the sandbox, the owners have the bucket that the players shovel money into and the players who have the shovel are refusing to play any more if they can’t have their share, with the owners wanting a bigger share and if they don’t get it they’ll take both the bucket and the shovel and go home in a pout, it gives me a headache. Collectively the players make more money than all the CEO’s and owners who hire them and individually make far more in one season than what 80% of the planet will make in a lifetime.

As mentioned earlier, the average NHL player’s wage is $2.4 million per season, with thirty teams carrying 690 players, playing 82 regular season games. This year each team has a $59.4 million salary cap. The playoffs are four rounds of best of sevens, with the champion team having to win 16 games, playing a maximum of 42 games over nearly two months to achieve it. The Stanley Cup is mutually agreed upon as being one of the hardest physically and mentally challenging championships to attain in team sports. Yet in North America, out of all the major team sports, NHL hockey is the lowest rated sport. The average career in the NHL is five years, though 50% of all NHL players play less than 100 games.

The two highest paid players this past season, both earning $10 million were Roberto Luongo, currently of the Vancouver Canucks and Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Luongo signed a new deal with the Canucks in 2010-11, a 12 year $64 million contract, which paid him $10 million this past season and then pays $6.7 million each year after. Lecavalier signed his front-end loaded deal in 2008, an 11 year $85 million contract. The top NHL players meanwhile, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin each make $9 million a season. Tied for sixth richest contracts in the NHL are Chris Drury and Scott Gomez at $8 million per season each, which is sad considering since signing such huge deals years ago, both have either been injured or inept and ineffective when they have played.

The average NHL franchise’s worth is about $228 million. Toronto, NY Rangers, Canadians, Red Wings, Philly and Boston are all valued at more than $300 million, while Nashville, Tampa Bay, Winnipeg and Phoenix are valued at $150 million. Two teams, representing both ends of the scale, were sold during the 2011-12 season. Tampa Bay was sold for $93 million; the Canadians were sold for $575 million.

Besides the pro North American sports teams and athletes already mentioned, many of the richest players in the world are in individual sports. The boxer, Floyd Mayweather, is the richest athlete in the world. From June2011 to June 2012 he fought twice. The first fight he made $40 million, the second he pulled in $45 million, for a total of $85 million. I say this with a pure white cat on my lap which I am stroking and a pinkie finger touching the side of my mouth. Total time in the ring for Mayweather was less than an hour. Besides being his own fight promoter and having no need to endorse anybody other than himself he made no outside endorsement money.

The second richest athlete in the world is also a boxer, Manny Pacquaio, who made $56 million fighting and $6 million on endorsements. Number three, surprisingly, is golfer Tiger Woods. He made $4.4 million golfing and $55 million from Nike. The combined, $59.4 million is half of what he made in 2009. He would have made more, but after his wife attacked the car he was driving with a five-iron because he was following his little head around, he lost sponsors Tag Heuer and Gillette. Woods’ net worth as of 2010 is $500 million.

After #4 Lebron James, is the tennis player, Roger Federer, whose total earnings were $52.7 million, $7.7 million in winnings and $45 million on endorsements. #6 is Kobe Bryant, then golfer Phil Mickelson, who made $4.8 million for golfing and another $43 million on endorsements. Eight and nine are the soccer players David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo is the highest paid soccer player in the world, but Beckham made more on endorsements. Beckham’s salary to play soccer was $9 million, with endorsements of $37 million. To-date he has made over $260 million in his career. Ronaldo on the other hand was paid $20.5 million to play soccer and made another $22 million on endorsements.

Soccer is actually the world’s third richest pro sport, behind the NFL and MLB. The franchise, Manchester United, is the second most valuable sports team in the world at $1.86 billion, followed closely by Real Madrid and Arsenal, both at over $1 billion each.

The tenth highest paid athlete is Peyton Manning and right behind him is another soccer player, Lionel Messi, with $20 million in playing salary and $19 million on endorsements.

Other notables, who are leading their respective sports in earnings and are included in the top 100 richest include, Formula One driver, Fernando Alonso with total earnings of $32 million, Valentino Rossi earning $30 million racing motorcycles and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the highest paid cricket player in the world earning over $26.5 million. One of only two women players on the list is tennis player, Maria Sharapova, the 26th richest athlete in the world, earning $27.9 overall earnings. The other woman is also a tennis player, Li Na, at #81.

Interestingly enough and at first a surprise, Usain Bolt is one of the richest athletes in the world besides of course being the fastest human on the planet. Bolt is the 63rd richest athlete with only, at least compared to this surreal world we are walking through in this article, $300,000 in prize money, appearance fees etc, but he makes over $20 million in endorsements, Puma pays him $9 million alone.

Basically, the top twenty-five paid athletes in the world are making in excess of $30 million per year, roughly the same as someone making 60 grand a year for 500 years, yes, five hundred years. There are no hockey players on the richest list, though they still make very, very good coin. And there are no rugby players, who average around $50,000 per season, with the top class players making $300,000 per and the elite, $500,000 plus. Also not on the list are the hundreds of millions of people, who are playing for the love of the game, whatever that game may be.

While back on earth, in Aug. 2012, over 20% of the United States population, 66 million Americans and each representing a family of four, made about $28,800 last year. Comparatively, over 80% of working Canadians are making less than $48,000 per year.

There you have it, at least inquisitively. The sheer wealth and the representative numbers so far mentioned makes my head spin. But then athletes are only one part of our distracting celebrity culture and always have been, with the question always being, how much of the integrity of the richest athletes in the world and their ilk, such as corporate CEO’s, movie stars, rappers and rock stars, is left after withstanding the demands, pressures and greed to make even more money. There are many who are wealthy and still show glimpses of empathy, they appreciate what they’ve got and they make an effort to give back, though never as much as they could afford. What they all share is that they understand what they do is strictly business.

Others are taken over by the voices in their head, the whispers in their ears and they simply can’t help themselves. What once was and who they really are is gone, reshaped, forgotten and not even allowed by their status and class, they’ve sold their souls. Enough will never be enough and eventually many simply stop caring.

A celebrity’s job is twofold; they help us endure while our society goes through controlled collapses and the more the situation deteriorates the more grandiose, fictional and contrived the spectacle of the arena becomes, whether in a stadium, boardroom, on a screen or upon a field. Personal dramatics become the agony, the defeat and the winning with tears of joy and chest of pride, while fiction eventually erases what is natural, genuine and spontaneous; and they are the faces and hawkers of goods for corporate society and the gods of consumerism.

We admire our stars because of three things, how much money they make, what they do and we wish it were us. We live our lives through them and the maybe couple of hours we spend watching them we can hopefully forget about the real world, perhaps even hoping for some inspiration. Our celebrities show us that we can triumph and get to the top of the world, often just so we can give a finger to those who thumbed their noses at us or belittled us at one time and we act and are able to extract revenge on something or someone. Or become a hero and save the day by overcoming much pain and hardship. These storylines run through most all that happens on television, in movies, sports, business and politics. But in reality, for a vast majority of people, they never happen.

I’ve coached young hockey players who besides talking their parents into buying them $200 high-tops so that they could be cooler, get them to pay for a $200 stick, which breaks at their next practise, and $400 skates, both believing they’ll make the kid a better hockey player. This is the other side of the celebrity’s job; to be the “human representation of commercial commodities.” Most of the world’s richest athletes make more money from endorsements than from their playing wage, the numbers are obscene. They’ve become salesmen for materials we don’t need or can’t afford and they personally don’t seem to have a problem with that and no matter how much the planet sickens and deteriorates around them they relentlessly ask us to spend more, to support them so that they can make even more money.

To underscore this article, I’d like to end it with a paragraph listing some of the corporations who gave the aforementioned richest athletes millions of dollars to sell their products for them. They predominately target people that have money or credit, children, those whose religious belief leans toward consumerism, those who believe there is no such thing as climate change and those who smile and say everything will be all right as long as everyone sticks to the status quo. The list is what our heroes and our children’s heroes want us to purchase, even though in reality none of these products define us, or at least they shouldn’t. Materialism is never ending, never enough, like allowing the voices in our heads to go on and on and on, like the band on the Titanic, until we eventually slip beneath the waves.

Nike, Mercedes, Chevrolet, Monster Energy, Haagen-Dazs, Hennessy, Hewlett-Packard, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, State Farm Insurance, Rolex, the Nike Jordan brand (over $1 billion in sales each year),Wilson, Credit Suisse, Exxon, Amgen/Pfizer (pharmaceuticals), Burger King, Samsung, Castrol, Reebok, Sony, Wheaties, DirectTV, Gatorade, PepsiCo, Dolce, AT@T, Adidas, Kia Motors, Bacardi, Quaker State, Rawlings, Range Rover, Toyota, Shell, Kraft Foods, Tag Heuer, Verizon Wireless, Gillette, General Electric, Head and Shoulders, Pepperidge Farms, Vita CoCo, Ford, Goodyear, Subway, RBC, Polo/Ralph Lauren, MusclePharm, EA Sports, Jeep, Pennzoil and Toshiba.

Highest-Paid Athletes 2012 – World’s Richest Athletes ‹ The Richest People In The World 2012

08/11/12

Dazed and Confused

“There must be some kinda way out of here.

Said the joker to the thief.

There’s too much confusion.

I can’t get no relief”

All Along the Watchtower – lyrics by Bob Dylan

After writing the four “Oh Canada, where art thou going” articles I felt drained, perhaps confused. Maybe it was the weight of too much information. Or the fact that the current political system in most capitalistic/democratic countries, including my own, is truly broken, with the world now being run rough-shod by a shockingly small number of transnational corporations and few hundred individuals doing what they will with the planet and its inhabitants. While at the same time many of us plead ignorance. The confusion I felt, altered something in me and made me remember what mostly affects our lives happens at the community level and not on the other side of the planet. But then I realized, holy cow, my community and more specifically my tribe is just as confused as I am.

On the federal level in Canada and after an election, we have no more say in any decisions made by that government, basically the same at the provincial level, who also make their own decisions without any public consultation, with their often times wrong and misguided decisions felt by all except themselves. While on the community level is where we live our daily lives.

On our streets, in our homes, at our workplace, where we buy our food, raise our children, where we meet with friends and where we share our lives with a loved one is what is important to our lives. What affects us the most is the environment, how clean the water is out of the tap, what are the conditions of our communities’ infrastructure and how safe are our streets, most all of our needs are met within the community we live in.

Politics on the community level, in most cases is working. If a municipal’s council comes up with something that many in the community feels strongly about, the town or city hall fills up pretty quick at the next week’s meeting. But reality dictates that councils are also often influenced by the local business community, small groups of usually retired teachers and other very politically correct individuals. Citizens who believe it is their civic duty to make their community safer but perform with such fervor that this type of over the top justified involvement most often becomes invasive involvement. They become hall monitors and snitches, always on the lookout for that one small thing a fellow citizen does that the police or city council might be interested in.

Technology seems to be opening up transparency and on the whole, at least at the town or city level there is still a degree of accountability. We live in the same community with those elected; their kids go to the same school as our kids. We get people into government by voting for them, supposedly to speak on our behalf. And only at the community level can you speak your behalf to the elected member of your community face to face and personal.

Of course this all breaks down the bigger the community, town or city is because those on council are humans and once they believe they have power over others and are becoming increasingly wealthy compared to their neighbours, they will move away and their kids will attend private schools. Scientific American and Psychological Science have both shown and have proven that the wealthier a person becomes the less empathy they have for people unlike themselves. They become much more focused on self and that such a level of self interest of course promotes wrongdoing and unethical behaviour. While the true psychopaths, if defined as individuals whose brains do not register stressful feelings when they observe harms on others, who are most likely to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain and who represent less than one per-cent of humanity while possessing more net worth than the bottom 90% combined, are the puppet masters and running the show.

So anyways, I’ve decided to focus my articles more on the community level. This came about because of two things: a community project I assisted with and the fact I just took a week off and travelled through some very cool little communities around nearby Puget Sound in the States. With an open mind, a willingness to always talk and with a friendly and inquisitive nature I’ve met many people over the past week. And you know what? Most people do know the current way of things is askew and wrong on many levels, but their lives take up all their time and though realized or not, the simple human interaction we have within our tribes, the thirty to forty people we come into contact with daily or at least once a week face to face, is what makes up nearly every moment of our lives. For this is where humanness resides.

The community project needed a dozen people to volunteer to work as a team, by using each one of our specific traits and experience to bring the project to fulfillment. Many in the group had obviously stepped out of their routine and you know what? They craved it, egos were not evident, and everyone was engaged in the moment and enjoyed the feeling of being a part of something far bigger than they themselves individually. It made us happy.

Happy is a funny thing. We consume, earn and spend, often times even when we can’t even afford it, forever chasing down some false and misguided happiness. Yet within our individual worlds, deep down, the level of respect and admiration from friends, families, peers and communities determines a human’s happiness, not wealth, economic status or overall success, while food, sex and water simply keep us alive.

We each would hope to be an engaged, trusted, generous and accepted member of our individual groups. Indeed within our local hierarchies the individuals with such traits hold a higher status among the group. And if truth were to be told, where we stand with those whom we live our lives alongside and the acceptance and respect earned from them makes us happier, regardless of our wealth or fame.

Volumes of reports and studies on happiness all clearly show that feeling respected and admired as a human can cause our happiness to increase and being happier makes those around you happier, thus overall happiness increases. Meanwhile, it’s also been proven time after time and over the eons that just feeling rich or feeling above others, one’s feeling of happiness does not increase. We should know this, you think?

Seriously I don’t see much happy these days. The smiles are there but the eyes aren’t smiling. There are days lately where I feel I’m either going nuts or I’m just noticing we’re all nuts. It seems everyone is questioning, whether it be our lives, relationships or jobs. There’s also a lot of denial out there, even with reality gobsmacking us in the face. We are all agog with far too much information, looking more zombie-like with a thousand yard stare and either a stupid little grin stuck on our face or in most cases just a permanent scowl, with everyone seemingly so pissed off.

Personally, I get excited when I sense change in the air. But lately it’s getting rather thick, with information exponentially increasing in speed and volume it is now far more than we can absorb.  It’s not even subtle anymore, this struggle we are having over our subjectivity, our inner reality, and how we define our needs.  If change is dealt with an honest apprehension of one’s situation and without cynicism, it can only be proactive, but our avoidance of doing so will only create tragedy.

Communities are being affected by change the hardest because it is where we actually live and because of the trickle-down effect from the top of greed, oily slime and the oppressive nature of capitalism and consumerism. Yes capitalism creates new ideas, but its goal is to intensify consumerism, even when it is no longer affordable for the average humanoid, and it does so with no ecological or moral principles. Advertisers have shaped our attitudes, what we taste, see, hear, smell and feel. Our car and clothes we are told are what defines us. And yes we have unlimited information and technology at hand, because it’s been put there before us to purchase to keep us busy and entertained, while we lose control of the world out on our streets. This happens oddly enough because we think we have freedom, no rights, but we say we are free and safe. We’ve given up far too much just to think we live in a safe and wonderful environment. Our idea of what normal is and what is sane, decent and patriotic has sucked our soul’s dry, while each day we desperately try not to notice that the systems running our societies outside our front doors are terribly broken. It’s like we don’t trust ourselves anymore. The weathers fine, no it is not. Equal rights, excuse me? There will always be jobs for anyone willing to work we are told, nope not no more, because there are simply too many of us. Our senses are numbed daily by a myriad of means, we are all self medicating in some way.

Most of us are seeing the same things, the same stories, yet we are coming to different interpretations. Everything that is said or done is becoming being taken the wrong way. People are offended very easily these days, always “put out”. Trying to prove their point is whatever they say it is by their level of indignation. Trust and respect seems to have been replaced with fear and blame. Any truths and realities are argued and often denied because of a two minute sound bite of only a few dozen words announced on any mainstream news stream that they had heard, seen or read. So much of what we say amongst others is misinterpreted and questioned. We are realizing the deteriorating situation of our lives, individual world-views and the planet, and it is scaring the hell out of us. The scariest is the realization that things have gotten so out of hand yet we allowed ourselves to be distracted while it went on and we are confused by the realization that many aspects of our lives have somehow become beyond our control. It seems all that is left is denial and rage.

Grasping reality can sometimes be painful but rarely does anyone die or lose an eye over it and a change in behaviour does not necessarily always mean mental illness, but could be perceived as a type of societal shell shock. It’s as though one doesn’t know what to believe anymore. Not knowing if one should accept the reality of our lives; where not everyone is a drunk driver, murder (at least here in Canada) is rare, there is no such thing as the perfect family, we all have mental illnesses, and the majority of the population will experience violence only on the screen, thousands of times and all different ways. Or we can keep acknowledging and swallowing the steady stream of propaganda shoved down our throats and which assault on our senses on a daily basis.

Changes are happening that are far too fast for the mind to comprehend and weigh their implications, because reflection has been ignored and tossed aside when the television entered our worlds and became the center of our universes. The people that are getting off of their addiction to the aptly nick-named boob tube are often times awakening to find themselves embarrassed for their blindness and ignorance. I was.

But then that is what a capitalistic system creates, class stratification; along with racism, prejudice and feelings amongst the majority of people of powerlessness, unfocused rage and shame. These frustrations are then controlled by developed compulsions and self indulgences which displace such frustrations. While the majority slave away at their lives the few at the top snicker away that so many have fallen for the propaganda. They do not snicker fearlessly though for they dread and pray the majority do not become pissed off and develop such insolence as standing up and saying enough is enough.

The less people who instead of simply stepping outside and being aware of what the environment is doing, are told what the weather and other people’s lives are doing via a seemingly drunk on caffeine and themselves, boob tube personality with a painted on smile, the better. The less people who still think the world is gumdrops and lollipops the better as well.

Nearly everyone I know is questioning something in their lives. What was once right or wrong doesn’t necessarily mean right or wrong anymore. We seem to have been programmed but are now trying to shake the cobwebs out. Whether because of our parents, peers or mainstream media, what we once believed good is now bad and vice versa. People are not dealing with their shattered dream so well I fear. One of the reasons for this is that too many of us are still living in the past and so very scared of the future, with many of us still hung up over things that happened years and decades ago. Yet all it takes to create positive change in one’s life is relentless struggle to keep a greater self awareness of the present. Most mistakes I have made and continue to make, happen whenever I’m not listening or not aware of the moment nor focused on the task at hand.

It seems ladies and gentlemen we have also somehow lost our empathy, equal rights and traditions. If we were electrical, which in part we are, we’re blowing fuses, experiencing black and brown outs, and disconnecting all over the place. The promise of more open communication through texting and tweetering is actually creating the opposite. Someone once said our generation has at hand, more information and technology than at any time in history, yet we have somehow become the stupidest.

It does not have to continue. All it takes is taking one step forward instead of leaning out of a sofa for the remote. Stepping away from mundane routine and habitual thought that keep us away from taking such a step, for the majority of folk, seems to be the scariest part. It is but being engaged in your world. It’s hard work being aware of each moment and is sometimes forgotten or ignored for hours or days at a time, but it must never be given up on. The only place the ego does not dwell or like, is when their host is living in the present moment. This is where true change happens.

Another step forward could be finally finding out your neighbours name and taking some pride in your community. Not so proud? Do something about it and get others to help you. It’s like if you want a responsible, trusted, smart and goofy child, you as a parent should be responsible, trusted, smart and goofy. You don’t agree to how we’re ravaging the planet and ourselves, speak up, create change and better yourself. Go to a municipal council meeting one night. Once a year spend the fifteen minutes or so and vote. Know who you are voting for. The community you live in is not your living room or house, its outside on the street. The people you meet each day are your community and this is where we can make a difference for the better. Don’ be intimidated by the media and corporate propaganda, no one owns the Earth. At the same time we must stop fouling our own nests, the rest of the animal kingdom are shaking their heads in disgust laughing at us and crying at the same time.

Let us not be souls who instead of dying peacefully, aware and grateful, it will be the tragic; sitting up from one’s deathbed after your life had just flashed before your eyes and very sadly gasping “Oh shit”. Overwhelmed with regret and guilt, thinking of all the things one should of, would of and could have done. Ruing all the differences in one’s life, in other’s lives and in their own worlds, that could have been made. And then slowly laying your head back down upon the pillow and allowing your last breath to escape from within. With finality perhaps asking ourselves if we had made a difference that we had lived or we had never made a difference and it was of no concern to anyone whether we had lived at all.

To paraphrase the humanist and writer, Eckhart Tolle, “The greatest achievement of humanity is not art, science or technology, but will be the recognition of its own dysfunction, our collective madness,” and dealing with it.