A natural disaster

lake sreet

Lake St., Minneapolis, May 28/Lorie Shaul/Wikimedia Common

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is far from over, but already it can claim its place as the worst national disaster to strike the U.S in the lifetimes of nearly everyone reading this.

As of today, almost 120,000 Americans are dead, and the death toll is growing by the hundreds per day.

More than 44 million Americans have filed for unemployment, and projections are more than 5 million could be permanently out of work as the country struggles through a rescession toward a depression.

A tiny, invisible virus has now far surpassed hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and droughts in the damage it has wrought.

People in all states have suffered, but some of the country’s largest cities have been especially hard hit both by the disease and the fallout in the wake of the disease. Riots have erupted in New York, Boston, Seattle, once peaceful Minneapolis-St. Paul, Oakland and other cities.

Damage estimates are pushing toward the billions of dollars.

Black Lives Matter has become the rallying cry around which the chaos revolves, but this is about far more than black lives. This is about America at war with itself on multiple fronts.

Divisions upon divisions

The economic turmoil caused by the pandemic has loaded far more stress on those at the bottom of the country’s economic ladder than those at the top. There is no “work from home” for those who were employed in the country’s shutdown service industries – bars, restaurants, hotels, clubs, cab and Uber drivers, and more.

Efforts to protect people from the virus have further split the nation.

One faction in the country today wants the government to order everyone to wear masks to save us from the newest pandemic, but leave rioters to do what they want with the nation’s cities.

Another faction believes the government is so corrupt it’s running a pandemic scam to seize control of the populace and slap masks on everyone, but would be happy if the same government attacked people in the streets to keep them from peacefully protesting.

Many have taken to the streets in the name of Black Lives Matters – black Americans in the U.S. being, in general, the underclass of the underclass. Riots have sometimes ensued.

Maskers and anti-maskers in the 49th state sound at times ready to to resort to fisticuffs, but so far, the Alaska has avoided the fighting, looting and burning – Alaska being a state which often zigs when the rest zag.

Only two months ago, the state’s largest newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize with help from left-leaning ProPublica for a series arguing the solution to the social problems of rural Alaska – problems which are not unlike many of those of the nation’s inner cities – is to bring in an expanded legion of law enforcement.

The series helped Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, shake loose the tens of millions of dollars she’d been long trying to get the Trump administration to spend on increasing the number of police in the remote parts of the 49th state.

With that money now starting to flow north, there is a growing national drive do the opposite and “defund the police” elsewhere.

In  Minneapolis, where a white policeman put his knee on the neck of black man George Floyd until Floyd died, “the Minneapolis city council has pledged to disband the city’s police department and replace it with a new system of public safety, a historic move that comes as calls to defund law enforcement are sweeping the U.S.,” The Guardian reported.

Floyd’s death fueled the growing Black Lives protests and the cry to defund police across the country.

An ABC/Ipsos poll found 55 percent of Democrats in favor of the idea with 59 percent  wanting to turn the money over to mental health, housing and education programs. But overall, 64 percent of those polled opposed the idea with 34 percent supporting it. Two percent remained undecided.

Views appear to have been significantly shaped by the struggles going on in the country’s major cities, struggles the nation’s mainstream media (MSM) have wrestled to define. The MSM, which found a suitable dog whistle with references to “heavily armed protesters” in the crowds peacefully opposing Michigan’s COVID-19 lockdown in May, now wrestles with what to call the sometimes violent chaos.

“While the situation on the ground in Minneapolis is fluid, and there has been violence, it is most accurate at this time to describe what is happening there as ‘protests’ – not riots,” Craig Melvin, the news anchor for NBC’s Today Show Tweeted to network reporters and the world.

Fox News later pushed back with a story saying that “documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz embedded himself in the Minneapolis protests-turned-riots and said the majority of protesters he spoke with supported an ‘orgy of violence,’ including ‘killing cops.'”

The story included video of Horowitz talking to protesters who said the only way to fix the nation’s problem is to burn things down. Such views have further divided an already divided nation.

help blurb

Battleground Seattle

Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan, a white woman, is now at odds with city police chief Carmen Best, a black woman, over six blocks of the city surrounding a police station seized by protesters and turned into the center of what is being called the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.”

“The order to essentially abandon the department’s East Precinct in Capitol Hill four days ago has been a sore spot between the two,” KOMO News reported. “Best admitted publicly to her officers that she did not give that order.” 

Such sore spots are everywhere across a country that everyday looks more divided along conservative and liberal battle lines.

“I will say, having been on four combat tours in Afghanistan, I saw a lot of parallels with the shadow government in those countries,” Jesse Jensen, a Republican Congressional candidate, told KING-5 News afer touring Seattle’s autonomous zone.

President Donald Trump has threatened to send in federal troops to quell violent protests and end land grabs, but Democrats – among them the Seattle mayor – and some in the media have argued that is unconstitutional.

When Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wrote an op-ed for the New York Times suggesting Trump employ the Insurrection Act in order to make available troops, the senator ended up in a fight with the newspaper’s reporting staff.

Cotton argued the Army was necessary to stop “nihilist criminals…simply out for loot and the thrill of destruction, with cadres of left-wing radicals like antifa infiltrating protest marches to exploit (George) Floyd’s death for their own anarchic purposes. These rioters, if not subdued, not only will destroy the livelihoods of law-abiding citizens but will also take more innocent lives.”

Times reporters claimed that troops would put “black New York Times reporters in danger,” though it wasn’t clear how. The real issue appeared to be deeper as Zack Beauchamp reported at VOX.

“…It’s a question of how journalists should think about their roles as guardians of mainstream discourse,” he wrote.

Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones later appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources to explain her vision of that role.

News organizations across the country, she said, “are really struggling to cover in a non, in a way that appears to be non-partisan, a kind of political landscape where one political party has in many ways gone rogue and is not following the rules. But their defense, if you just cover that straight down the line, you will look like you are picking sides, and so, adherence to evenhandedness, bothsidesism, the view from nowhere, doesn’t actually work in the political circumstances that we’re in.

“And what a lot of people said is that, you know, it is fine, we as a news organization must air the opinion of someone like Sen. Tom Cotton, but in a news article where we can test the facts, where we can push back, that you don’t just hand over your platform to someone that powerful making assertions that might have been unconstitutional and most certainly some of them were not accurate.

“So it is not just the New York Times, news organization have really been struggling with how do you cover where we are politically without always having to get those calls that somehow the coverage was in opposition to the Republican party.”

The statement sounded a lot like a pitch for the NYT to become a liberal Fox News to save itself the trouble of needing to respond to calls from Republicans believing themselves unfairly treated.

The media groupthink has become so twisted that Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi was forced to observe that “we are seeing headlines previously imaginable only in The Onion (a satirical online website), e.g., ‘27 police officers injured during largely peaceful anti-racism protests in London.'”

“Lizard brain”

Hannah-Jones’ comments appear symptomatic of the national divide that began growing under President Barack Obama and exploded under Trump. Endocrinologist Dr. Robert H. Lustig almost two years ago warned that we were headed here.

“Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is ostensibly a mental condition in which persons have been driven effectively ‘insane’ due to their dislike of Donald Trump to the point at which they abandon all logic and reason,” he wrote at Medpage Today. 

“Many have remarked that Trump operates out of his “lizard brain“….I would argue that Trump has turned our brains reptilian.”

Lustig went on to outline the hormonal, chemical changes in the body triggered by fear and selfishness, and ended by observing that “many of us have now become Trump.

“The more dopamine and cortisol, the more we lose our ability to discern truth from post-truth, the more irritable we become, and the more we abandon our cognitive control and with little regard for the consequences.”

It is easy to blame Trump for all of this, but he is not alone. The “Trump resistance movement” formed even before Trump was sworn into office and promptly accused him of the treasonist act of conspiring with Russian leader Vladimir Putin to steal the election.

That eventually led to the House of Representatives impeaching Trump and the U.S. Senate clearing him. Along the way, the few gestures toward reconciliation offered by Trump invariably blew up, and the newly elected president became more and more confrontational by the day.

He eventually began to spend an inordinate amount of time locked in a Twitter storm war of words with enemies real and imagined. And that was before the deadly disease called COVID-19 spawned by the SARS-CoV-2 virus scared the beejusus out of much of the world and upended the economic forces that serve to stabilize societies.

Prescription for a riot

The pandemic was like adding heroin to the cocaine to create a speedball, “often referred to as ‘dynamite,’ (or) ‘whizbang’ as Canadian researchers put it. 

Mix this social dynamite with large numbers of out-of-work young people, and it’s no surprise the country ended up with urban streets full of angry mobs of protesters who could care less that their intermingling increased the odds of catching COVID-19.

When the left-leaning Guardian and The London School of Economics and Politics examined the 2011 London riots, which eventually spread across much of the United Kingdom, they noted that the protests were driven by students and other young people, almost 60 percent of whom were unemployed.

And in that case, as in this case with the problems that have sprung up across the U.S. since Floyd’s death and the charges of murder levied against the police officer who killed him, the uprising was born of a rebellion against law enforcement – the most obvious  controlling arm of the ruling class in any society.

“Reading the Riots,” The Guardian and London School take on what happened in 2011, now sounds eerily like a description of what is happening in the U.S. today:

“The main findings from the first phase of the study are:

  • “Widespread anger and frustration at people’s every day treatment at the hands of police was a significant factor in the summer riots in every major city where disorder took place. Of the 270 people interviewed, 85 percent said policing was an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ factor in why the riots happened.
  • “At the heart of problematic relations with the police was a sense of a lack of respect as well as anger at what was felt to be discriminatory treatment. The focus of much resentment was police use of stop and search, which was felt to be unfairly targeted and often undertaken in an aggressive and discourteous manner.
  • “Gangs behaved in an entirely atypical manner for the duration of the riots, temporarily suspending hostilities with their postcode rivals. The effective four-day
    truce applied to towns and cities across England. However, on the whole the role of gangs in the riots has been significantly overstated.
  • “Although mainly young and male, those involved in the riots came from a cross section of local communities. Just under half of those interviewed in the study
    were students. Of those who were not in education, 59 percent were unemployed. Although half of those interviewed were black, those involved did not consider these ‘race riots.’
  • “Many rioters conceded their involvement in looting was simply down to
    opportunism, saying that a perceived suspension of normal rules presented them
    with an opportunity to acquire goods and luxury items they could not ordinarily
    afford. They often described the riots as a chance to obtain ‘free stuff.’
  • “The evidence suggests rioters were generally poorer than the country at large. Analysis of more than 1,000 court records suggests 59 percent of the England
    rioters come from the most deprived 20 percent of areas in the UK. Other analysis carried out by the Department for Education and the Ministry of Justice on young riot defendants found 64 percent came from the poorest fifth of areas – and only 3 percent came from the richest fifth.
  • “Rioters identified a number of other motivating grievances, from the increase
    in tuition fees, to the closure of youth services and the scrapping of the education maintenance allowance. Many complained about perceived social and economic injustices. Anger over the police shooting of Mark Duggan, which triggered the initial disturbances in Tottenham, was repeatedly mentioned – even outside London.”


As in England then, those protesting and rioting in the U.S. now are both black and white. The first man arrested in connection with the torching of the Minneapolis police station after rioting in that city was a blonde-haired, white man – 23-year-old Branden Wolfe from nearby St. Paul.

After Floyd’s death, Wolfe – who tagged himself as mr_wolfe_alpha on Instagram – posted there that “now there’s a brother dead, and I can’t get that image out of my head.” Wolfe is alleged to have subseqently joined the rioting and then helped to loot and burn down the Minneapolis police station.

In the days that followed the Minneapolis precinct fire, a Federal Protective Service officer, a black man, was shot and killed outside the U.S. courthouse in Oakland during a Floyd-related protest. He is now believed to have been attacked by 32-year-old  U.S. Air Force Sgt. Steven Carrillo, an active duty military police officer. Carrillo’s race is unclear, but he is either white or Hispanic.

He was arrested after a shoot-out with Santa Cruz police in which Carrillo is alleged to have killed yet another police officer. The San Jose Mercury News linked Carrillo to Boogaloo, a libertarian anti-government movement that claims to be preparing for a civil war in the United States.

Carrillo apparently disliked the Republican-Democrat “duopoly” which has run the country for decades. The Boogaloo group is sometimes portrayed as far right, but it appears to be closer to where the far right and far left meet on the dark side.

“Protest for support and solidarity of Minneapolis, and the George Floyd protesters,” one of the group’s entities posted on Facebook.” “Mr Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis last weekend by the Minneapolis Police Department. The time for solidarity is now. We must set aside our differences, and unite against a common enemy in the police state.”

“During his arrest, Steven Carrillo shouted at officers, ‘This is what I came here to fight. I’m sick of these goddamn police,'” Dan Noyes with the ABC-7 News I-Team in California reported. 

Noyes also grabbed a screen shot of an “Early Warning Signs of Fascism” poster from the Holocaust Muesum that was reported to have popped up on Carrillo’s Facebook page just before his last gun battle with police. The signs warns of:

  • Powerful and continuing nationalism
  • Disdain for human rights
  • Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
  • Supremacy of the military
  • Rampant sexism
  • Controlled mass media
  • Obsession with national security
  • Corporate power protected

And more.

The polar opposite of facism, in which the state controls everything, is anarchy, in which the state controls nothing. Democracies, most of which have survived for relatively short times, have always struggled with where to draw the line between these two extremes.

SARS-CoV-2 seems to be making the struggle even harder in the U.S. by the day.

This a revised version of an earlier story. It was updated to add the observations of Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi and edited to clarify the process of impeachment.













25 replies »

  1. “There is not a so-called journalist alive that can cram so much unrelated shit into an essay as Medred; I’ll hand him that. At least there was nothing about humpies but rest assured…”

    laugh of the night.
    i needed that.

  2. In a utopian society all police officers would be 5′ tall 100# women with 9mm handguns. Single stacks for their dainty hands. Their only way to defend themselves would be to shoot and they’d shoot often… and the nation would be a better place with far less crime and fewer shitheads on a rampage burning and looting other people’s property for fun.

    • “Now we have people calling themselves journalists deciding what their readers believe”

      How does that work, exactly, Steve-O?

      Are you familiar with the concept of agency?

      Google it.

      I’ll wait.

      • Pete,

        Ever heard of quotes and how to properly use them? Go ahead and Google “quotes” and when you figure out what they are for and how they work please feel free to fix your misquote then come back and ask you questions.

        What I said was “Now we have people calling themselves journalists deciding what their readers should believe.” Why would you purposely misquote something directly below the original quote?

      • Pete,

        While you are studying the English language, you might want to add “operative word” to your googling. If I were to use “operative word” and “quote” in a sentence it would be that Pete Snow removed the operative word when he decided to incorrectly quote what I said, had Pete quoted me correctly with the operative word intact in my quote he wouldn’t have asked the questions he asked.

      • Pete,

        You aren’t still waiting are you? You understand how removing the operative word from what I wrote and how misquoting me led to your faulty understanding of what it was that I actually wrote, right? You do understand that the word “should”, the word you removed from what I wrote is the agency you are looking for, correct?

  3. The riots were nothing more than ignorants beingfed excuses and used by their corrupt Commie mastasa:
    “One of the most high-profile founders of the Black Lives Matter organization – now one of the most influential and powerful political movements on the planet – has a long history of supporting Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro.

    Tometi appears alongside Maduro on a Venezuelan government propaganda site’s news report from the event, raising a fist and embracing him. The photo appears to be taken in front of a giant photo of Maduro’s face.

    I am aware that justice also has to do with racial aspects,” assured Tometi, according to Venezuelan state media. “What we are experiencing is the manifestation of anti-black racism and this is state violence. It must be called by its name. Police brutality, the murders of blacks, violence against the Afro-descendant community, all is proof of the violence of the State,” said the Black Lives Matter founder.

    Tometi also quoted Joanne Chesimard, a radical Marxist convicted of murdering a New Jersey state trooper in 1973 who has lived for decades as a fugitive in Cuba, as urging, “you must fight until all black lives matter.” Tometi referred to Chesimard, who renamed herself “Assata Shakur,” as the summit’s “dear exiled sister.”

    The Black Lives Matter non-profit identifies Tometi, no stranger to red carpets as a result of her activism, as one of its founders, a “student of liberation theology and her practice is in the tradition of Ella Baker, informed by Stuart Hall, bell hooks and Black Feminist thinkers.” On her own website, Tometi claims to be a “human rights advocate” and pro-immigrant activist.

    In addition to meeting with and applauding Maduro at the New York summit, Tometi also served as an election observer in socialist Venezuela during the 2015 legislative elections. She praised the socialist dictatorship as “a place where there is intelligent political discourse” on Twitter during one of the bloodiest years of police brutality in the country.

    Tometi’s ideology does not appear to be an outlier within the Black Lives Matter movement. In a eulogy, the organization mourned the passing of brutal Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in 2016.

    “There is an overwhelming sense of loss, complicated by fear and anxiety. Although no leader is without their flaws, we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante,” a eulogy by the official “Black Lives Matter” organization read.”

    • “Commie”, WTF! You are so full of bs, I am about to let ‘er rip. Change is coming, get ready for it. You and Rush can move to the SE. Memphis, “cradle of the civil war”, see how that works out for you.

      • Jame’s, isn’t it funny how Democrats are removing Democrat statues of the CONFEDERACY? Isn’t it funny how Nancy Pelosi wants removal of Democrat CONFEDERACY statues her very own father dedicated? Let’s face it Jame’s, if you know history, you know change already came.. after all, it was the Democrats who owned slaves, formed the KKK, lynched blacks, segregated schools, voted against civil rights and voting for both women and blacks. Of course ANTIFA AND BLM roots are COMMUNIST AND MARXIST.
        The problem if you watch CNN and know nothing of history or current events..
        Cut this out and tape it to every starbucks table down in Seattle.

  4. “That led to an unsuccessful attempt at impeachment.” It was successful, he just wasn’t convicted by the Senate

      • Steve O, the impeachment was successful as you well know. But there was no conviction.

      • AF,

        Trump was no doubt impeached in the House of Representatives. To say it was a successful impeachment isn’t really factual, if the impeachment were successful there would have been a conviction in the Senate. Remember, impeachment is just the formal act of bringing charges.

    • yes, Geoff; i fixed that.

      he was impeached, and then he was cleared. but in my own defense for my own bumbling, i’m not so sure that what was written was much different than describing an “unsuccessful attempt at prosecution” when someone is indicted and then cleared.

      and that phrasing is used with some regularity.

  5. Mr. Medred, you are a light house in a storm . Good job with an effort of objective writing. Rare in this era . The idea that cops in the bush are needed for social stability is foolish. Degenerated social conditions can be fixed by economic opportunity and family ties not more and more cops . What foolish waste of money by Murkowski and ADN. Your quality writing reminds me that I should pay for what i read and donate to your jar . Thank you for holding the battle line using logic , rational thought and best possible facts . Again ,good job bring light to the day with rational information.

    • Steve I believe you are right . Available evidence says this was a lab created virus. Complicit with China , Fauci , WHO, Bill Gates , and apparently even our universities and money okayed by Obama’s administration. The question -was it purposely released to create chaos? Also Are the violent riots manipulated by monied intrests ? Evidence says yes . Millions and now billions have been poured into front groups by soros and related entities even Biden’s associates. In the personal words of soros “ i give them money but i dont tell them what to do “. As to myself i argue that this is not a “ natural movement as it’s been given incentive to produce results for more “donations” I argue that legally monied intrests are supporting insurrection and chaos. They should be punished severely and im not talking about tge rioters who are just pawns. I argue that its directly from the playbook of Obama and Hillarys dead leftist professor and mentor – strike every where and dont let up especially where the opposition is inexperienced or weak – such as Trumps Achilles heel ( viruses and riots ) if trumps haters seeded these efforts its an impressive offensive. At a minimum its not natural. I do totally agree with Mr. Medreds idea that the underlying cause is poverty and socio economic problems. Democrats support a social system of dependency and victim culture which destroys the inner character of its adherents. Gradually reducing the recognition and realization that personal responsibility develops humans to their highest talents and the balance that with liberty comes responsibility. Now obviously we have a problem with police brutality and I support peaceful protest to bring about recognition and change. We also have a major problem with the “FED” destroying our currency which negates personal efforts and achievements. So I argue its is time for change but victim culture and anarchy is not the way . Creating a third world anarchy vacuum is a recipe for Mogadishu.

      • Looking at events unfolding in the lower 48 (police cars on fire, statues destroyed and toppled, tear gas on the streets, police shooting out journalist’s eyes with rubber bullets and more)…
        I would say that America has found itself deep into the middle of a “Colour Revolution” just like Yugoslavia in the late 1990’s and Georgia in 2003 and Ukraine in 2014.
        There are many perpetrators who have instigated this current nightmare, just look at the Billionaires making $637 BILLION dollars why nearly 40 Million Americans are unemployed?
        There are NO coincidences…The FED pays out nearly $1 Trillion dollars in government bailouts to corporations and the billionaires profit nearly $1 Trillion?? I would say they ALL are to blame at this point…from Bezos on down the line!

      • Steve , everyone should push for removal of qualified immunity of cops . Fill in the gap with a requirement that each officer purchases his own insurance against lawsuits. There is no excuse for abusive law enforcement by public safety or officials. All police training should be focused on conflict deescalation. Just saw a video of a Georgia cop shooting a fleeing unarmed suspect. Suspect is the key word. Untill court proves guilt that man guilty he must be treated as innocent. Disgusting action by poorly trained leo . Turns the public against the upstanding officers . Travesty!

      • Ah yes…
        ROME (Reuters) – Italy cannot afford to return to normality after the coronavirus emergency but should turn the crisis into an opportunity to reform the country, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Saturday.
        We must take advantage (of the situation) to turn the crisis into an opportunity, and remove all the obstacles that have slowed (Italy) down,” he added.
        Conte said his coalition government was preparing a plan of reforms to simplify bureaucracy, push digital investments and green energy, improve education, support the poorest and bring more women into the workforce.

      • DPR,
        Justin Amash (Libertarian from Michigan) has sponsored a bill in Congress to end Qualified Immunity although I suspect a large amount of push back from Republican senators and the FOP union.
        Sadly, our politicians have failed us since day one of the Corona Lock down and many of them who stood up and preached “limited government” have been the most controlling.
        The police system has morphed into an “occupying force” here in America and nothing distinguishes our nation from a third world such as Palestine…”No knock raids” in the middle of the night, Qualified Immunity, Asset Forfeiture, Chemical Tear Gas, Non-Lethal Rounds that blind and can kill… all needs to end.
        The longer the government turns a blind eye to protesters demands, the less of America as we once knew it will remain in the end.

      • You must be more than just dead. Yes, yes of course your news sources are more ‘right’ but a simple goog has the actual evidence the other way. That is, if you tend to go with science as opposed to bleach drinkers.

        There is not a so-called journalist alive that can cram so much unrelated shit into an essay as Medred; I’ll hand him that. At least there was nothing about humpies but rest assured…

      • So Monk, your types always like to quote “science” when it comes to “Global Warming” or Covid, but when it comes to genders it is, “oh, never mind science, instead of 2 genders there are actually 57” or how life long criminal things in the act of getting shot by cops and how it is all the cops fault or how “it’s a war on young blackmen”.
        You people….

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