The Pandemic Clock Strikes Five: Pandemic to Pandemonium

With the pace quickening, in a blink our clock has literally skipped four and has struck pandemonium. As May turned to June with red states reopening apace and blue states slow-walking the process, we were suddenly jolted from diminishing concerns regarding the Pandemic to staring kinetic Marxism straight in the face. Seemingly within hours, dozens of U.S. cities were contending with varying degrees of violence and rioting on their streets. The alarming extent of urban destruction has probably not been seen in our country since southern cities witnessed during the Civil War. After three months of Pandemic leading into this, Americans were rightly saying – what is going on here? And for certain, something is going on.

Protests don’t blossom in hundreds of cities, and within days, with riots closely behind in almost a hundred cities in such a compressed time frame without planning and coordination. The question is who is doing the planning, who is executing on those plans, and to what end? Not so curiously, no mass media outlet is asking these basic questions. Many of those sincerely concerned with race relations were furious with the violence being done to their neighborhoods and the people within them, and said so on camera. The violence was initiated by a spectrum of groups that were using the protests as effective cover, many with the most superficial, tenuous, or absolutely no connections to the movement to improve race relations.

The vanguard in the streets is Black Lives Matter (BLM), a group known for chanting for the killing of police in its marches, and practicing property destruction and violence along the edges of its marches. With thousands marching peacefully as cover, its claims of nonviolent intent are belied by the violence left in the wake of many of its very marches. With a website espousing, “we disrupt the western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” and a founder, Patrisse Cullors proclaiming “we are trained Marxists…super-versed on the ideological theories of Marxism,” it is obvious BLM is not pursuing the best interests of the American people. America’s inner cities are submitted as evidence. Working hand in glove are Antifa’s local chapters, Refuse Fascism, Anti-Racist Action, Anarchist Black Cross, The Sunrise Movement, Unicorn Riot and many others. They try to keep a lower public profile, but their planning, training and activities have been recorded and reported upon by independent media.

These less visible and more aggressive groups perpetrating the violence are largely leaderless by design, and cleverly aligned in an informal nationwide coalition communicating on social media. For subversive coordination they’ve abandoned facebook and twitter. They instead use platforms such as Discord and Signal, and have been caught giving the word to switch platforms just as the violent operations were about to commence. It is this confederation of groups and their financiers that prepositioned pallets of bricks and Molotov cocktails in strategic inner city locations just in advance of the marches. Their goals have nothing to do with addressing racial issues, but instead pursue anarchy and societal breakdown. As the entire picture comes into focus we see the familiar pattern established by early twentieth century Marxists, which played out many times, most notably in the Bolshevik, Nazi, and Maoist revolutions.

The playbook always includes the Intelligentsia, the Politicos, and the violent street activists and thugs. The Intelligentsia in academia, the press, and the NGOs serve to create societal “victims”, and whip up and enumerate grievances, identifying classes of targets who they assert are responsible for the perceived wrongs. Propaganda organs in the press, academia and related social media channels conduct sustained repetition and reinforcement of the grievance messages. The propagandized population demand the wrongs be righted, and the Intelligentsia identify the political figures to be relentlessly pressured to take up and implement proposed legislation, regulation and executive actions. Meanwhile the street activists are readied, awaiting only an event fitting the grievance profile and story line to occur, and the ignition point is reached, unleashing horrifying street conflagrations which get the attention of the entire country. Formerly intransigent government officials are cowered to act on the demands, while sympathetic officials race one another to get to the head of the parade. Statues, symbols of the nation’s history and established order, are toppled, legislation enacted and regulations implemented. The agenda is advanced – on to the next round.

The role of the Intelligentsia is to provide an intellectual underpinning to the chaos created by the mob. They provide some pseudo-historical theory, group indignation, outrage and call to action for the young activists to charge into the streets. As the violence begins they provide justification or intellectual cover for it in mass media outlets. After it’s over they provide excuses – all to guilt the population, creating self-censorship and a generally muted response from the public. These tactics serve to condition the citizenry to accept periodic anarchy and prepare the battle space for the next, most assuredly more severe round of violence.

Some of today’s Intelligentsia can be found in plain sight at planning sessions in New York City each spring. The impetus for the current wave of street violence was kicked off in March of 2011 when Pace University hosted the annual meeting of The Left Forum. What was planned that spring was multi-city street protests called “Days of Rage.” The initial event fizzled, but what emerged was Occupy Wall Street later in the fall of that year, which subsequently morphed into today’s perpetrators.

In attendance and presenting was none other than subversive Frances Piven of “Cloward-Piven” renown, plus Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daryl Lamont Jenkins, Stephen Lerner, Ashley Cunningham, and Andy Stern among many others. Google the names and search You Tube for the Left Forum events and you will see them spell out their designs for America. You will find them casually justifying “bringing down the capitalist system, redistributing wealth and power, bankrupting banks and corporations, and creating conditions of ungovernability.” To accomplish these ends they recommend “creating uncertainty for capital by putting banks on the edge of insolvency via mortgage and student loan strikes.” And always accompanied with aggressive street antics.

With Barack Obama serving as pied piper, the way was clear for the Left to come out, gather strength and resources, and get into position during the past decade. This current crop of activists has been building over that period but they are being egged on and directed by the old red bulls who ran wild in the 1960s. They want to taste revolution before they die, and their reconstituted efforts to inculcate the gullible, and activate the truant starting over a decade ago have indeed brought America to the doorstep of “ungovernability.”

Though our current crisis may come as a surprise to many, two authors foretold it all in a landmark 1997 book, “The Fourth Turning.” Historian/demographers Bill Strauss and Neil Howe explored how successive generations drive a four-phase cyclical pattern of history every eighty to one hundred years – from a High to an Awakening to an Unraveling to a Crisis. They perceived the ‘90s as an Unraveling and predicted the U.S. would enter a Crisis phase in the first decade of the 21st century, which would last up to twenty years. The financial implosion of 2008 has marked the inflection point, the “fourth turning,” into the Crisis which will impact most all institutions and people in the country. Clearly the events of 2020 represent a quickening of the societal forces which will have to ultimately be reconciled in this decade, if we are to emerge from this phase as a still self-governing society.

This Crisis converges national dynamics – political, cultural, and financial – of sufficient potency as to pose an existential threat to the future of the republic. Scottish historian, Alexander Tytler has noted that the average age of history’s democracies has been about 200 years because voters inevitably discover that they can vote themselves generous benefits from the public treasury. In addition to the undeniable looming catastrophe of our $25+ trillion national debt hanging in the wings, we face a head-on cultural Marxist revolution and an utterly corrupt, and in many parts traitorous political leadership.

The Fourth Turning book traces back seven great historic cycles to the Medieval, fifteenth century period. This current Crisis concludes the seventh Millennial cycle. This writer has partnered in the writing of a book to be released early in 2021 titled “The Seventh Crisis: Why Millennials Must Reestablish Ordered Liberty.” The theme and events of the ticking Pandemic Clock have now merged with those of the accelerating Seventh Crisis already underway. Now the strokes of our clock are to chronicle events beyond the sphere of a mere Pandemic.

The Pandemic Clock Strikes 2: “Let My People Go”

As our metaphorical pandemic clock strikes two it seems the oxygen breathing people of the country have caught a whiff of overkill in the air.  Boat owners in Michigan are told sailboats are approved on the lake, while motor boats are not.  Vermonters are told books and seeds are “non-essential” items and may not be purchased, even while sitting right there on the shelves.  Walmart is told to close certain aisles within open stores.  Fencing off an outdoor skateboard park in California is insufficient to compel compliance – bulldozers were hired to plow sand over the skateboard runs.  Kids daring to skateboard are a menace to society’s health. And in Raleigh, NC, protestors to the lockdown were met by police advising them “protesting is a non-essential activity”, and arrested and fined for assembling at a safe distance.

Some of the most concerning totalitarian theatre came on Easter Sunday.  Christians in Mississippi assembling in their cars for a service in the church parking lot were met with $500 fines for endangering the community – as they say, you can’t make it up.  Give a collectivist governor some discretion and he’ll have you in cuffs for saying your prayers.  And just so everything’s perfectly clear, churches and synagogues are “non-essential”, while liquor stores, lottery sellers and abortion clinics remain open.  Yep, every closet tin-pot dictator who made governor has been in full stride the past couple weeks.

Half the country would buy most anything these little dictators are pedaling as long as it’s packaged in a “health and safety” wrapper.  The other half of the country, the critical thinking types, aren’t surprised a bit.  We know, respect and value our Constitutional form of a government of laws, not men.  The diffusion of power is the greatest guarantor of liberty, and the entire nation is currently enduring a dangerous illustration of the timelessness and proof of that maxim.  Let’s hope we don’t have to arm-wrestle our way back to our normal, and not some new normal we’re utterly sick of hearing about.

Connecticut finally joined at least a dozen other states, and got into gear on the protest front.  I took my place in the caravan of some 100 plus horn-honking cars circling the Capital and Governor’s residence in Hartford.  We gridlocked the area for over an hour, along with many lining the streets with creative signs – it seemed like a tea party redux!  Naturally, the press reported the event as a couple dozen cars and was sure to put on the screen some admirable, bedraggled healthcare worker bearing witness to the fact the Wuhan Virus is real.  We know it’s real and we know it’s serious.  But the justification provided for the state lockdowns was to suppress the curve of the contagion and avoid overwhelming the nation’s healthcare system.  It was not to lock us up until there was a cure or until no new people became infected or died.

The protests are occurring because both the federal and state governments deployed their inherent and predictable blunt instrument solutions, i.e. locking down some 40 states and idling most all small businesses in the process.  It clearly was overdone, needlessly shutting businesses that could have stayed open with modifications to mitigate the impact of the Virus.  That reality has become abundantly clear to the segment of society most impacted by the government’s draconian response.  In no way did the economic carnage have to be this severe.  People are going to continue to die from this pandemic, but that fact must be balanced with the need for people to maintain their livelihoods.

That balance was surely on the President’s mind in February when he was trying to evaluate the information presented by the CDC and NIH.  After a month of being lied to by the Chinese, Fauci and Birx suddenly became alarmed as more accurate data began surfacing.  Since the mishandled SARS outbreak in 2003 they had been highly concerned that the Chinese would lose control of a virus outbreak – it was their nightmare scenario.  They believed it was being realized before their eyes, and presented Trump with some version of Hobson’s Choice between risking the lives of 330 million Americans or virtually shutting down the country.  He was captured by the “data”, and sure to face withering political criticism if he dare adopt a middle road solution – he relented to the draconian measures.

The very quickly apparent and unsurprising result is that small businesses and the families that run them were being virtually incinerated before our eyes.  Most Americans would be surprised to know that 99% of U.S. employers are small businesses.  There are 30 million small businesses employing some 57 million Americans or more.  Current polling indicates 54% of all small businesses are closing temporarily, 11% say they will close permanently within one month, and 24% say they will close permanently within two months.  Now THAT is a bleak reality that should send a chill down the spine of anyone who actually contemplates those numbers, and the magnitude and ripple effects of it all, with open eyes.

The first $350 billion federal tranche of small business loans and grants was vacuumed up within days, and too much of it went to investment and legal firms who are aces at quickly completing forms and applications, while auto mechanics struggled with the apps in their repair shops.  And of course, again it is the bankers who are the gatekeepers of the money…deja vu all over again.  But there just isn’t enough relief money to save these millions of businesses if this overkill of a lockdown goes on much longer.

A national breakpoint is approaching fast.  Nationally, the Administration has targeted April 30th as the decision point when it will advise whether to begin reopening the economy.  The governors appear to have the discretion to initiate action.  Let’s hope we get underway.  Here in Connecticut, as well as NY and the adjoining states, that decision point is May 15th.  Anyone in touch with social media can sense there’s a growing feeling among average people that we have been “played” buy our rulers with this draconian shutdown – our free republic seeks to be free again.  If wiser heads do not prevail at month end, I wouldn’t be surprised if the American people decide themselves that it’s time to get on with life again as we know and cherish it, and proceed to reopen our country without further instruction.

Democrat scare tactics continue … “take away health care…”

Unbelievable liars. All of them. Below is part of the email the “DNC War Room” just sent out with the subject line Add your name: Tell Congress to protect health care.

Let’s get something straight. Nobody .. not one conservative or Republican is trying to “take health care away” from anybody.

Prior to the Affordable [my ass] Health Care for America Act, everyone had access to health care. Walk in to any hospital and get treated. It was the absolute rule of law across the United States. You could not be turned away if you were sick or in need. In 1986 – during the Reagan administration – Congress passed the Emergency Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).

EMTALA imposes 3 distinct legal duties on hospitals. According to the statute, only facilities that participate in Medicare are included, but this encompasses almost 98% of all US hospitals. First, hospitals must perform a medical screening examination (MSE) on any person who comes to the hospital and requests care to determine whether an emergency medical condition (EMC) exists. Second, if an EMC exists, hospital staff must either stabilize that condition to the extent of their ability or transfer the patient to another hospital with the appropriate capabilities. Finally, hospitals with specialized capabilities or facilities (e.g., burn units) are required to accept transfers of patients in need of such specialized services if they have the capacity to treat them.

Furthermore, the law prohibits any participating hospital from delaying such screening examination or further care “in order to inquire about the individual’s method of payment or insurance status.”

Get treated, get better, go home … and we’ll bill you later.

In no way, shape or form would even the complete, immediate repeal of the Affordable [my ass] Health Care for America Act result in “taking health care away.” That’s a total lie.

Everyone has access to health care, and now thanks to Obamacare, almost nobody can afford paying the bills that come with the service. Health care insurance premiums are through the roof. High-deductible health plans that used to have annual deductibles in the $750 to $1,000 range just eight years ago, now have annual deductibles at or more than $5,000 per year. Back in Nov. 2016 I wrote…

If you’re middle class on a non-subsidized ACA plan, a family of four spends about $1,300 a month in premiums. The deductible for those plans is $13,000 per year. So once you pay $28,600 out-of-pocket each year, your insurance kicks in.

That’s not an anomaly, those are the figures I ran in November and I’m not sure what the plan level was. I just ran the numbers again, and a family of four with two kids (12 and 14) who are shopping for an unsubsidized plan will pay a minimum of $20,496 out-of-pocket for the least expensive plan required by law. Dental and vision not covered. If you’re one of the unlucky families that are required to – by law – buy these outrageously high policies that simply provide you with catastrophic care due to the high deductibles and premiums, you know what I’m talking about.

If you’re an employer working hard to keep 50 to 200 employees covered in a group plan, you know what I’m talking about. Prices are out of control.

Of course, if you’re “lucky” enough to get a subsidy – where other people’s money is covering part of your tab – and you’re the same family of four making $50,000 a year in Connecticut, you’ll still be paying out more than $10,000 in premiums and deductibles before insurance picks up anything.

Don’t let the DNC liars take the high ground here. Don’t let them lie and continue their fear-mongering. Call them out on it. The president lied when he said we could keep our plan and our doctor. He lied when he said costs would go down $2,500 a year. Lie, Lie, Lie.

Obamacare insurance can drive you to financial ruin

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was meant to keep medical expenses from driving you to financial ruin, not for medical insurance to drive you to financial ruin.

But that is what we have now, and it’s exactly what everyone here at RVO predicted years ago. If you’re middle class on a non-subsidized ACA plan, a family of four spends about $1,300 a month in premiums. The deductible for those plans is $13,000 per year. So once you pay $28,600 out-of-pocket each year, your insurance kicks in.

Look at that number again. Twenty eight thousand six hundred dollars.

Where is that $28,600 going? Insurance companies are not keeping it*. The insurance companies are using most of it – or all of it it – to pay healthcare providers for services provided to other subscribers. Most of those other subscribers are on government subsidized programs or have very expensive pre-existing conditions. Of course, they will also use it to cover health care costs you have once you’ve paid your $28,600.

Insurance companies must also cover costs and payments to healthcare providers for mandated coverage requirements. You know, mandates requiring them to insure – without question – those with extremely expensive pre-existing conditions at “normal” rates. Think about that for a moment. It’s kind of like not having insurance when you wreck your new car in the morning. No problem, walk into Progressive in the afternoon and make you first $200 monthly payment on your new policy. Then, walk out with a check for $40,000 to replace your new car.

No, it’s exactly like that.

Obamacare Risk-Corridor Payments Fall Short

Still, insurance companies are losing money and pulling out of the market. This is not unexpected and we also predicted this. The risk corridor scheme was set up to help insurance companies cover losses during the first three years. But just as they got started, the government realized they would not have enough to cover the losses.

In the end ACA insurers collectively incurred $2.87 billion in losses exceeding the risk corridor boundaries, but only ended up owing $362 million in contributions. CMS was able to pay out only $0.126 on the dollar to insurers owed payments, although it reiterated its intent to pay out the full amount owed over the life of the program. This funding shortfall resulted in severe losses for a number of insurers, and several, including a number of consumer cooperative (CO-OP) plans became insolvent.

Are you still wondering why it is failing? It’s clear, there is no “affordable” in the Affordable Care Act.

* Yes, insurance companies do use some of the funds to cover administrative costs.

Ebola concerns and what Frieden said about getting on a bus

I’m listening to Rush Limbaugh today and I understand Jim was talking about Ebola earlier today on the big radio show earlier today. I’m no expert, but let’s put this in perspective. At this point there is very little chance you’ll be exposed to Ebola. Period. You’re more likely to be killed in an auto accident on the way to work.

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Calif. Insurance Commissioner shocked at huge increases in 2014 health insurance premiums

How could this have happened? Premium increases between 22 and 88 percent? Let me say this upfront: California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is either a dunce who does not know what he’s talking about, or he’s a liberal political hack who can’t wait to get a job in the upcoming government socialized health care operation.

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Krauthammer on Hobby Lobby – Media lies will help Democrats

Yup. Charles Krauthammer is right. I’m not sure that I have ever seen such wide-spread media bias in my lifetime. The 16 news headlines and ledes I documented on Monday were just the tip of the iceberg, and the faithful are swallowing the meme whole … the mean guys on the Supreme Court are taking away your birth control.

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Hillary Clinton lies about Hobby Lobby SCOTUS ruling

Here is the full, in-context video of which Jim featured portions of on the big radio show today.

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News media & liberal sites lying about Hobby Lobby SCOTUS decision

The number of people claiming the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS case denies the “rights” of women is alarming. The Facebook posts are out-of-control and completely out of context. People should take the time to read and understand the case Hobby Lobby brought against the government and stop lying about the SCOTUS decision and the case.

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Obamacare Numbers: 70% over 35-years-old, 79% received subsidies

As a disclaimer, this information is for the first three months of enrollment prior to Jan. 1, but it is directly from the Department of Health and Human Services.

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