Category Archives: disaster capitalism

Covid Journal, March 23, 2020 (Capitalism On Its Knees Edition)

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It’s time to talk about new rules.

Capitalism is on its knees.

Capitalists are taking from the coffers and enslaving those that breach Martial Law with Covid.

Tell me again why we’re supposed to fear socialism or some other system that will deliver a more equitable response to this situation?
Denmark, for example, is taking the lead by effectively freezing their economy and offering to pay up to 75% of the salaries previously paid by private employers in order to marginalize mass layoffs. It won’t be the same in the US where the cash vacuum will continue to suck funds from the poor and benefit the rich, all in a perverse reverse version of Robin Hood.
I write this update shortly before the markets open at 9:30. Most global markets continue to tank.
As it turns out, markets can’t seem to function without, well, markets. With no one exchanging services, no one buying anything beyond basic needs, and no ability to move / travel around the globe, markets cease to exist.
And yet, the capitalists continue to bring lambs to the slaughter and are decimating portfolios across the planet.
They are bringing financial ruin to almost everyone, whether we know it or not.
Supporters of capitalism are threatening to shut down the US Constitution as well as disregard for civil liberties in nearly every country across the globe.
They’re also doing a shitload of backroom deals that are beyond corrupt.
Bigger companies continue to line up for handouts while smaller businesses like salons and restaurants are being closed for good.
Wanton destruction of the planet without cleaning up. Persistence in eradicating entire species from the planet without so much as a peep about genocide (which is what it is) of these species.
We need new rules.
I would like to start compiling some ideas about New Rules. I don’t want to call it a ‘manifesto’. The word scares too many people away.
At my heart, I’m what many people would call a contrarian. I’m on the other side now in terms of seeing that capitalism has failed us all. With that, I see that there’s an opportunity to think about how we can move forward without having to be in permanent lockdown.
Who’s with me?

Canada: Conservatives Not Wanted

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In Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadians said goodbye to the last Conservative government in Canada.  It was a crushing defeat for the Newfoundland and Labrador Conservatives.

This is a first*.

I believe it’s happened because of universal dislike of the Harper Conservatives and their inability to tell the truth, manage the economy or create conditions of prosperity for any region of Canada.

Let’s hope it’s not the last and let’s hope our more ‘progressive’ leaders don’t screw it up.  We already see signs (well, many) that the Ontario Wynne Liberals are inviting their own demise by doing ridiculous things like privatizing Ontario Hydro, allowing their debt to balloon and allowing more corruption under their watch.

* Clarification: Brad Wall and Christy Clark are conservatives, but they won’t label themselves as such.

The Saskatchewan Party (Brad Wall) is conservative but does not dare admit it since most of the last Conservative government there ended up in jail for corruption. Christy Clark in BC calls her party liberal but they are not. Christy is a graduate of the Manning Institute, a training institute for hard-core Conservatives.

Excited Delirium Chapter 69: Aftershocks (Surreal Repair)

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Author’s Note: The following is Chapter 69 of the my online book “Excited Delirium”. Please post comments. Please tell your friends about this story. If you’ve missed a chapter, please click here for Chapter 1 (Prelude) or here for the full index.

While the rest of the world clamoured at the doorstep of Beijing, the city itself was slowly and painfully coming back to life.

Leading the charge to recovery was an unlikely crew: the tens of thousands of athletes, managers, trainers and other personnel that had arrived in Beijing in the previous weeks.

A vast salvation effort began, with the Olympic Village at the centre of activities. It was relatively unharmed, along with its inhabitants, during and after the quake, mainly because it was built to much more rigorous standards as demanded by the International Olympic Committee, or IOC. When compared to other new Chinese buildings, it was like comparing Bill Gates to a beggar. They weren’t even in the same universe.

Efforts to rebuild and assist the dying were slow at first, with the vast language barrier causing the greatest source of friction between all of the people who were contributing their skills. In time, however, language was a pale obstacle to the sheer will and determination of these heroes to do what was right. They were here to compete against each other, but they were loath to shirk their responsibilities as human beings, let alone as ambassadors to the planet.
Simple tasks like communicating locations and efforts were delegated to the speediest runners and sprinters, modern day Mercurys that kept everyone informed. Until communications returned to normal, these people played one of the most important roles.

Teams were then built to reflect a balance of skills. Weight-lifters, runners, swimmers, gymnasts and others were spread out across about 1,000 recovery teams, all with the objective of crawling into tight spaces, lifting mass that no normal person could imagine, acting as guardians or running back to the base to inform organizers of major finds, be they living or dead.

These teams were also assigned the task of finding living people, encouraging them to return to main Village and to volunteer for services after they had taken care of themselves. Most of the non-Olympians were asked to either work with others to scrounge for food and water or they were asked to leave as soon as possible so as not to tax the limited resources that the city had left. It was difficult for some to accept, but with a little encouragement, they realized that if they couldn’t contribute, they shouldn’t be making demands on this small, yet brave army of humanitarians.

Managers, trainers and other professionals were assigned to a make-shift triage and emergency centre that became one massive repair operation. Within 3 days, 250,000 people were inspected, operated on, sewn up or resuscitated; most of these people saved because for the first time in a long time, Beijing was overpopulated with people who had medical expertise. It was a non-stop, full-on rush of repair that finally eased off when people either stopped showing up or reports about the mortality level came in. Or the weaker ones finally fled, once roads and transportation became an option again.

As people waited, they camped out in open areas, like the Forbidden Palace or Tiananmen Square. By the end of Monday, this make-shift city-within-a-city had more than half a million inhabitants.

By the end of Monday, the rest of the world was finally able to peer into the black swirling mist and fog that surrounded China and Beijing, as communications were finally starting to show signs of life again.

It was the CCTV, or Chinese Central Television, that was able to feed stories the people of the West, as they anxiously awaited some kind of information about their loved ones.

But they would be disappointed: the CCTV had no official direction yet from the Chinese government, so all that was made available to the world’s eyes were misty details about the quake, the current situation and how many people were affected.

Even though the media of the world had converged on Beijing to report on the Olympics, they were powerless to report on anything to their homes because of power outages, lack of satellite feed or broken communication lines.

The world would have to wait until China was able to get its house in order.

[Author’s Note: I conceived of this plot component in 2006 and wrote most of these chapters into the story of ‘Excited Delirium’ during the course of 2007. I was stunned like the rest of the world when a tragic earthquake struck the province of Sichuan on May 12, 2008. Please believe me that I do not want to ‘profit’ from the suffering that the hundreds of thousands in this quake experienced. I remind all readers that this is a work of fiction and that my goals are to speak to the symbolic reference that’s used in the numerology along with the viewpoint of one fictional cult concerning the fate of the Chinese.]

(Note: “Excited Delirium” is a work of fiction. Any person, place or thing depicted in this work of fiction is also a work of fiction. Any relation of these subjects or characters to real locations, people or things are an unintentional coincidence.)

Read more with Chapter 70

Did you miss a chapter? If so, click here to see all chapters or click here to go to Excited Delirium: Chapter 1 (Prelude)

Creative Commons License
Excited Delirium by Liam Young is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License .
Based on a work at www.exciteddelirium.ca .

 

Excited Delirium Chapter 70: Aftershocks (Get Garamond)

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Author’s Note: The following is Chapter 70 of the my online book “Excited Delirium”. Please post comments. Please tell your friends about this story. If you’ve missed a chapter, please click here for Chapter 1 (Prelude) or here for the full index.

“I have something to tell you,” Diana said to Kite once she pulled him aside.

“Go for it. I don’t think anything can surprise me any more,” Kite responded frankly.

“I’m surprised you haven’t wondered at my connections and my desire to explore and expose the OMNINet, have you?” she queried.

“I did. For a nanosecond. Most of the people that hire me don’t want me to ask questions about who they are or what they do. They just want me to do what they ask. And they don’t want me to ask anything of them after we’ve agreed on rates.”

“Fair enough,” Diana answered thoughtfully. “But I think it’s about time that you discovered what my motive is with this.”

“OK. If you really want me to know. I mean, we’re not playing Halloween anymore. No masks. So we might as well have no lies.”

“Well, it all starts with someone that I was dating once,” she started.
Kite had to work very hard not to roll his eyes. The stories always went like this and they never changed: she’s bitter about someone with OMNINet, she hates them, she destroys the company by proxy, thereby destroying everything the company dude stands for. Sub in ‘golden fleece’ or “Troy’ for ‘company’ and the story has been repeated for the last six or seven thousand years.

“Sure. It usually does,” he tried to say as seriously as possible. He couldn’t help being a smart ass. It was a defensive play that came to him naturally to protect him from the history of verbal and more often, physical abuse he’d received as a quasi-nerd.

“Anyways, I uh … I used to date this guy who works for OMNINet today. Actually, I was made to. He was brutal and cruel and I felt had to stomach the relationship because my father wanted me to date him. I tolerated this stupidity because I was young and insecure. I was not an attractive girl when I was a teen and I felt like it was something that I should abide by.”

“Wow. Harsh.” Kite was starting to see something of himself in Diana. He was starting understand that he wasn’t alone with having a shitty youth and wasn’t the only person growing up who was surrounded by know-it-all jock bullies.
“Anyways, my father decided that his actions constituted their own version of divine intervention and he believed that our child would be the Chosen One or the second coming of the Messiah.”

“Jesus Christ!” Kite yelled out loud, not picking up on the irony of his exclamation. “Talk about delusions of grandeur!”

Diana couldn’t help but crack a grin. “I pulled you aside because I finally felt comfortable telling you this, although I’m surprised you didn’t figure it out earlier. Really: if you pulled to a distance in what’s been happening, you should have seen it coming for miles,” she offered, giving him a chance to digest what she was getting at.

“Holy shit!” He blurted out. “You’re Garamond’s daughter!” Kite concluded after a few moments pause.

“Yeah. Unfortunately. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the daughter of the most evil man on the planet. He does everything in the name of religion and takes and takes and takes. Rarely does he give, unless it translates to a good PR opportunity.”

“Man, I’ve gotta let this brew for a few minutes. I honestly had no idea. I thought you were just some pissed off employee or girlfriend of a dude who put in too much time on the desk with his hot co-worker. I had no idea you were … connected.”

“Well, OK, but let’s not dwell on it for too long,” Diana said, somewhat impatiently, realizing that they had a lot of work to do.

“But what about the dude? Who was that?”

“Take a wild guess.”

“It wasn’t Eddie was it?”

“Are you kidding? I’d get more pregnant humping a post in the winter-time that I would if I were to hook up with Manchester.”

Kite chuckled. “Yeah … you’ve got him nailed.”

“Well, technically, not,” she said, smirking back.

“OK. This could go on all night. Who’s. The. Dude?” Kite said, putting a staccato punch on each word.

“Hadlock. Simon Hadlock. He was supposed to be my husband and ‘divine intervener’. Luckily, he was far from it and we never had a child. I left him and I haven’t spoken to my father since.”

“And here I am right in the middle of a Greek tragedy,” Kite joked as he started to understand the full consequences of his employer’s wishes.

[Author’s Note: I conceived of this plot component in 2006 and wrote most of these chapters into the story of ‘Excited Delirium’ during the course of 2007. I was stunned like the rest of the world when a tragic earthquake struck the province of Sichuan on May 12, 2008. Please believe me that I do not want to ‘profit’ from the suffering that the hundreds of thousands in this quake experienced. I remind all readers that this is a work of fiction and that my goals are to speak to the symbolic reference that’s used in the numerology along with the viewpoint of one fictional cult concerning the fate of the Chinese.]

(Note: “Excited Delirium” is a work of fiction. Any person, place or thing depicted in this work of fiction is also a work of fiction. Any relation of these subjects or characters to real locations, people or things are an unintentional coincidence.)

Read more with Chapter 71

Did you miss a chapter? If so, click here to see all chapters or click here to go to Excited Delirium: Chapter 1 (Prelude)
Excited Delirium by Liam Young is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License .
Based on a work at www.exciteddelirium.ca .

 

The Solution to Quebec Student Strikes

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Last week, I mentioned that the students in Quebec should consider a completely different model for education.

I’m relieved to see that I’m not alone:  Google alumni Sebastian Thrun has decided to stick it to the educational ‘establishment’ that hurls generation after generation into insurmountable debt so that they can literally ask ‘do you want fries with that’ and create a whole new approach to learning.

He understands – primarily as a result of his experience with Google – that important credentials (eg. the Google Certified Partner program) can cost students as little as $50, make them qualified to do what they need to do with skills that are VERY MUCH in demand and leverage these talents to start new businesses, help non-profits or join the corporate ranks.

So … why aren’t students in Quebec (and everywhere else) seeing the light and challenging an antiquated model of learning that started with the ancient Greeks and continues today?

Tradition dictates that we run to stand still.  It’s time to get off the treadmill and throw the old ways on their head using new technology.

What an incredible opportunity for these people!