1: We can’t go to church
2: We can’t buy a gun
3: Intact so far (troops in homes)
4: Search and seizure is intact, but going fast as we’re going to force testing and contact tracing
5: Intact so far (self-incrimination)
6: We no longer have speedy trials as the courts have shut down
7: We no longer have trials by jury as the courts have shut down
8: Forcing businesses to close and people to stay home is cruel and unusual punishment
9: Intact so far (catch-all)
10: Intact so far (states get powers not in Constitution)
So by my count, half of the rights our Founding Fathers promised to us have been taken away by overzealous state and local governments.
In a few months when contact tracing and forced testing begins, most of our rights will be gone.
Few Americans have raised a whimper about this. Most would rather have their rights taken away by their government, so long as the government can promise to keep them safe.
The government can never keep you safe. It’s not its job; it’s yours.
Chances are very good that we won’t get all of these freedoms back, ever. Never let a crisis go to waste.
So far during the 2020 cycle, Joe Biden has paid his staff $27 million, second only to the $39 million he’s given to the media.
So you’d think that both his staff and the media would do their darndest to keep this guy away from the cameras.
But they can’t.
Yesterday afternoon Biden did some kind of virtual roundtable and really put his foot in his mouth.
He claimed that:
“We're ... in the middle of a pandemic that has cost us more than 85,000 jobs as of today. Lives of millions of people. Millions of people. Millions of jobs. You know, and we're in a position where, you know we just got new unemployment insurance, this morning, uh, numbers — 36.5 million claims since this crisis began."
Actually, 85,000 died in this country and 300,000 around the world, while 36.5 million jobs have been lost in this country.
It’s understandable that Joe will get mixed up - he’s old and is going senile. Most everyone knows it, Democrats more than anyone. It’s why they try to hide him away, only bringing him out on good days when he’s halfway there.
But even that goes awry, as we saw yesterday.
How long can Democrats and the media keep propping-up this tired old man?
And who could replace him? If he’s not going to be replaced, who will be the VP that’s VP in name only, and really doing Biden’s job for him...if he somehow wins this thing?
The Democratic convention starts in 94 days.
Sleepy Joe is going to make a lot more gaffes during that time. Chances are good that one of them will end his political career for good.
It’s becoming clear that the rush to unionize newsrooms across America was a complete and utter waste of time.
Yesterday an online publication you’ve probably never heard of - Quartz - laid-off 80 of its reporters.
They had a union, but the union was powerless to stop those firings.
Now today we learn that online news rag Vice is firing 155 of its workers, on top of the 250 workers it fired in 2018. Yeah...its appears these online news rags had problems before.
Buzzfeed and Wired are two other online news sources that are likely to lay-off workers soon.
In another month or two, we’ll see the same play out at the various newspaper chains, like Lee and Gannett. Already in Montana the Lee reporters were forced to take some time off and execs have seen pay cuts.
It won’t be enough. The industry was in dire straits before this, and now that they’re going to lose all that small business revenue from small businesses that will no longer exist, well...we’re going to see a very different media landscape in this country.
At Least Two Years
Montana’s leading economist tells us we won’t recover from this economic depression for at least two years.
So that means we won’t be ‘back to normal’ until March 2022.
He figures that we’ll see 10% unemployment and an 11% loss in income during that time. I think it’ll be a lot worse than that.
We don’t make things here. We barely take anything from the earth anymore. For decades, we’ve re-engineered our economy to be dependent on rich and well-off out-of-state tourists to pay our bills.
The tourists are gone, and when they do come back it’ll be a fraction of their former number.
The good news is that we’ll move through the 2020 election cycle, as well as the 2021 municipal elections and we’ll be well into the 2022 primary process before this economic crisis is over.
And you know what? I don’t think it’ll be over by then. I think it may just be getting started by that point.
I say ‘good news’ because we know that all the people currently in office will be gone by 2022, probably earlier.
For instance, we know that all of Missoula’s politicians will be gone by that point. People don’t understand the complete and utter economic devastation that’s coming to this town.
What is the economy here?
Construction, trucking, healthcare, government and the university. High-tech was making inroads over the past couple years, but that’s now over...just look at Class Pass.
- We know that construction is shot. People aren’t going to be building anything. Office space is going to take a huge hit, more nationally than here. People can work from home and businesses know this so will stop renting out space they don’t need. No one is going to be building homes when the foreclosure crisis begins soon. There will be more demand for rentals as the people losing their houses desperately look for a place to live.
- Trucking is going to take a massive hit when the demand curve lessens and supply follows. There’s no need to produce goods when Americans aren’t buying them, and that means you don’t have to ship them, either. Trucking was on the ropes before this, with lots of talk of driverless trucks. It’s not going to get better.
- Healthcare is a mess. I haven’t heard about a single one of those 600 Kalispell hospital workers that got laid off getting their jobs back. People are afraid to go to the hospital, places that were a hotbed of sickness and infection before this crisis. I expect costs and health insurance premiums to skyrocket over the next year.
- Government is a snake eating its own tail. You take from private sector workers to pay public sector workers. Sadly, private sector workers have been given the axe. Soon we’ll see massive layoffs of government workers all over the country, mostly in the pension-mess blue states first, but then in the red states. Missoula will be forced to make cuts at some point.
- The university was a mess before this crisis, and it’ll be worse now. MSU is going to start two weeks early this fall and end right before Thanksgiving. I suspect UM will do the same, though I think both schools will see half of their normal attendance. People don’t want to go, and they don’t have the money. This will further devastate Missoula’s economy.
I don’t know how our mega-liberal, tax-and-spend, part-time politicians on the City Council are going to survive this crisis.
They didn’t have any ideas before this started, and they surely won’t have any when the devastation goes full-swing. Currently the city and county leaders’ best idea is to raise the price that you pay for gas.
I don’t think Americans need more costs in their lives right now, more taxes. I think they need as much money in their pocket as they can get for what’s coming.
I really don’t think these politicians will survive this. Seems like Engen is already grooming Slotnick to take over for him in the election next year.
I suspect Engen will be given a cushy city job to finish out his 25 years so he can get retirement.
I don’t think either of these two men care about you or your family.
$300,000 Over Budget
Missoulians simply won’t put up with our current politicians when their jobs are gone and their savings wiped out and their houses about to be foreclosed upon.
A good example of why appeared on RD today.
I can’t believe I never noticed the $300,000 the stupid Broadway Island bridge went over budgety by.
I can’t believe a wooden walkway would cost half a million dollars to begin with, but then I’m not real keen on how graft and corruption works, either.
That’s about all I can chalk-up the $300,000 extra the city needed to finish this bridge that pretty much only homeless people use to get to an island they can pitch their tent and do some drugs at.
No one has asked any questions about this bridge, and I suspect they won’t.
I think it’s another example of why all of Missoula’s politicians will be gone soon. Let us hope.
Each day I go look at the job openings on Craigslist and Indeed.
I know I’ll eventually have to find a new job, as my old job is no longer viable and I probably won’t be asked to do it again as there’s no need for it anymore.
So I’m looking and waiting for my unemployment to run out. At that point I’ll have to find a job...me and 30 million other Americans. Good luck with that!
Anyways, we know that there are 813,000 fewer jobs being offered now than just two months ago.
People just don’t understand what’s on the horizon.
Hear any talk about that ‘V-shaped recovery’ lately?
No one believes that malarkey anymore.
German Far Right
I’m worried about Germany.
The last time they had a major financial crisis, they kicked out one government and put in a new one and a few years later they were invading countries and ushered in a world war.
And the country is heading down the same path again.
The country’s economy contracted 2.2% in the first quarter and it’s expected that it’ll be 10% in the second.
We know Angela Merkel doesn’t want to be chancellor anymore. Last year she said she’d be stepping down after this term, her fourth.
But then in February, her chosen successor abruptly quit, leaving Merkel in a bit of a lurch...and just as this virus crisis was about to get started.
Some claim she’s been doing a decent job during the crisis, but I don’t think so. The economy is in shambles and people are out of work. In Germany, this has always been a recipe for disaster.
Merkel is weak and tired and just wants to go home. Sadly, she has until October 2021 before the next German election.
That’s a lot of time for some ultra, far-right individual to come along and play off the German’s fear of economic instability, refugees, and the EU’s open borders.
Chances are good this person will be elected. Perhaps in early-2021 we’ll begin to see some special quarters open up in German cities for ‘the sick,’ special ghettos where they can ‘recover.’
The Flu Hits Montana
Finally today, I’d like to leave you with this is an excerpt from my 2014 book, Hustlers and Homesteaders.
Montana wasn’t spared the flu’s wrath. Fear spread in the population that the virus might be back when deaths occurred in Boston toward the end of September. It was clear the disease was spreading fast as well. It started in Scobie, according to Alan Johnson, a researcher at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. By September 26 the Fergus County Democrat reported that twenty-six states of the union now had the flu virus, with more than 29,000 cases. Just the day before 146 had died at New Jersey’s Camp Dix.
Missoula has twelve cases at the end of September, prompting officials to close all public places. Billings had forty cases. On October 4 the Public Health Service in Montana made it clear that Sheridan and Fergus Counties had been hit hard and that the disease was “epidemic.”
By the end of the month officials reported 3,500 cases, although that was just among the white population. Twenty-three cities in the state reported the virus. Anti-toxin serums were issued, but they didn’t do much. The Cheyenne Indians on the Tongue Indian Reservation got it far worse than most, with more than 1,000 people infected and 39 deaths.
The virus began to spread and people got worried. In Butte the saloons closed on October 22, showing how serious the disease was. The city’s Dr. Huie Pock and his Chinese remedies were in high demand, and many swore they worked and saved their lives. Others tried different prescription medicines, often going through terrible sweating pains as a result, or even dead-sleeps that seemed like comas before they came to again without symptoms, or at least the belief that they’d never get them. Many simply stayed home, something Montana’s coming winter made easy.
In the cities that wasn’t enough. By Christmas Butte had 12,000 people with the virus and 1,000 of them died. Anaconda saw 100 people die that holiday. From October when the first cases were reported to May when the last came and went, 1,200 people in the mining city had died from the flu.
The virus claimed around 5,000 lives in Montana, around 1% of the state’s population at that time. The state was lucky. In France 400,000 died from the virus while in Britain 250,000 succumbed to it. Japan lost 390,000 while Brazil lost 300,000. Just 50,000 died in Canada.
By January 5, 1919, the U.S. Census Bureau released all the information it’d so far gathered on the virus and its toll, a staggering 111,688 deaths. The numbers would prove low. Estimates would put the total number as high as 675,000 dead between 1918 and 1919 when the virus finally petered-out. No one really knows how many died worldwide, but estimates put it as low as 50 million and as high as 100 million people. When it first broke out it was killing people at a rate of 1 million a week around the world, a rate that continued for six months.
The same night as the U.S. Census Bureau was releasing its flu figures, former president Teddy Roosevelt began to have breathing problems at his Sagamore Hill home. After getting a once-over from his doctor, he went to bed and died around 4 AM, most likely from complications of the malaria he’d caught in Cuba, the bullet he’d taken while campaigning in 1912 - and which was still in his chest – and the injuries sustained while exploring the Amazon in 1914.
“Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping,” Vice President Thomas R. Marshall said upon hearing the news, “for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.” Teddy Roosevelt died on January 6, 1919. He was 60 years old.