Tuesday, April 28, 2020



When I think back at my youth in the early 90's, I have to wonder...  why the fuck did I have to have a zippo lighter? It was one of those things that a lot of teens like myself had and I'm starting to wonder how that even happened.  We were in a technological era that they didn't have much of a purpose as fire was easily accessible. Shit, every gas station already had lighters for sale that were very cheap.

That's another thing. I didn't smoke. Ever. The closest thing I came to that was buying my punk friends cigarettes when I turned 18. I didn't have it in me to smoke tobacco or even pot. So again I ask, why the fuck did I have a zippo lighter?

It seemed to be a right of passage to adulthood. Or at least the road to it. If you can be trusted to carry fire making in your pocket, perhaps you can be trusted to do other adult like shit like vote or buy smokes. But not drink yet, that's clearly four years after you can buy cancer sticks.

Not like we were going to be in the woods stranded. Though, the more I think about it, I spent a lot of time in the woods as a teenager and I'm now wondering how I am still alive. The woods is where you would go to do some hoodrat shit. Like drink beer you somehow stole away from the adults or throw rocks at a giant clown-spider like thing.  Look, these things just happened. I can't really explain it.

But with a lighter you can start fire and save yourself. I mean, if you had the money to buy lighter fluid. I don't even know where the fuck I would buy lighter fluid now and I just found two zippo lighters recently. I have no functional use for these things other than to get it confiscated at a security check point. Because, really, after 9/11 everything changed and we can't be trusted with items that could potentially start a small manigable fire that can easily be put out.

Think back to the 80's movies you watched. Not many DON'T have a scene where the teenager starts the fire sprinklers with a zippo lighter just to get out of it.  Maybe that's why I wanted and eventually got one. To get out of classrooms in the most extreme ways.

Look, I don't know where this is going. It was just an observation on my useless ownership of a lighter when I really didn't know why I had one. By the time you get one you are of driving age and all those cars have a lighter. I mean, where else would your USB charging chord go? Oh man, I'm charging my phone right now and can't use the car lighter. If only I had a zippo lighter. 

Friday, April 24, 2020



Editorial note - i started writing this before the last bailout package was passed, and so a bit of this may be out of date, but don't worry, it's still my expressed opinions on the matter, which I'm sure you're all about reading because you're here on this website and I guess want to read the rantings of a mad man. So anyhow, let's take a step in the way back machine, will we?

It's no surprise, the layoffs are starting and they're starting fast. The economy can not withstand this pandemic situation. First you had bars and restaurants close. Which put out a whole sector of wait staff on the street.  The human dislocation is going to be nuts as we continue in the months to come. We are pretty much fucked for creating jobs for the next few months.

Fun fact. The past 10 years airlines had huge amounts of profits. They used a lot of the profits of those past 10 years on stock buy-backs so they can reap the most from their stocks. So when I read that the Airlines are seeking $50 billion in aid from the government due to the latest events in the world.... well, you have to think like me and wonder if that's a little unfair for them to shake that tin cup for a hand out before your average American gets some sort of stimulus in order to basically survive in this new normal that is modern post Covid19 crisis world.

The reality is that the trickle down economics model means that the average person barely making it by with some gig economy job, the latest in crisis basically cut that remaining thread and we're in recession 2.0. It's 2008 all over again. And if there's one thing that will help the stock market's crash into crazy lows, it's putting cash in the hands of the consumers. It really is the only way to help out the economy as a whole. Because man, we're in a fucked up place now.

So what do we do now? Because it's potentially going to be months of this.  I mean, the talk about giving every adult $1,000. Which, while it seems like it is helpful, seems woefully under the amount a downturn of the economy for months will need to help you get by. I have see and heard of a lot of job layoffs. Which is

We need a great new deal and it seems like what they are giving us is some corporate bail out. At the very least the Democrats were able to put wording in the bill that barred Trump from being able to pillage money from this in for his businesses.

Currently, as I write this, the gig economy is pretty much fucked. Which...  considering the last few years of growth and making up 1/3rd of the economy, just means that those who were barely making ends meet by taking up really rough jobs like Uber, Lyft drivers and what not.

The stimulus package is also based on your taxes from the past year or this one filing in 2019. So hey, if you had a good year last year, you probably wouldn't get much help here. Also, if you don't qualify for filing for taxes, since you make too little, like many people on special needs do, then you don't get anything either, or at the very least it will be a pain in the ass to get anything. Which sort of defeats the point since those who need it the most aren't going to get it.

The unemployed benefits will be super sized, but that was a sticking point for many republicans because they falsely think that if you sweeten the sauce then folks won't go out and find a job, because it's not like having something to do on the daily gives your life any meaning. The stimulus, in whatever shape or form needs to have something to help student loans. Because no matter how much you throw at people, if they can't pay those debts that society has thrown on them, well, then whatever you try to give them will just be taken away again by debt collectors and that's the sad fact on life.

ANYHOW, Hello from the present. So that last bail out passed and even though it had a huge amount for small businesses, the very minor amount of them actually got anything. Instead places like Shake Shack and Ruth Chris and a fucking sushi conveyor belt place in Irvine got a shit ton of money while 90% of the actual small businesses in California didn't get shit.Worse off, those places that did get some had huge advantages than the goddamn bottle neck that any other small businesses had in going to banks to ask for those loans.  Ruth Chris applied for all its locations as did Shake Shack. And while they gave the money back after a slew of bad PR, the problem is that they applied. Something that will happen again now that they are throwing more money into that pot.

I honestly don't see myself ever going to another shake shack, though that's probably because their shakes were pure trash in every possible way, but because they fucked over a lot of other small businesses. And yes, the thing was written with a massive amount of stupid loopholes for them to get it, because again, the whole thing was so badly rushed that it was just a means to inject money in to the actual big businesses and there was no denying that shit.

But now you have half a trillion dollars more going to this pot that hopefully gets to the small businesses. Which I sort of doubt it does. I read a story where a cake/bakery place asked for 1.5 million to give all its shops fully employment and to keep their head above water and they got offered only 15 thousand in terms of a loan. Which means shit.

At the end of the day we're on the 24th of April. Rent and bills and accounts payable are due in another 6 days for these places for another month of forced closure and that shit is something that they need to get put together because small businesses aren't going to survive.  The whole point of a rescue bailout for an economic crisis is that you have to actually throw that safety net out before they hit the floor. And nothing that congress is doing is going to happen fast enough before the free falling company just flat out goes under. Before the unemployed worker just runs out of money and can't buy food or can't pay for rent. 

Currently Florida has only paid 17% of their unemployed claims. They get only a couple hundred bucks for being unemployed. The food lines are beyond crazy long. Lines and lines have formed to get that assistance.  Hawaii has 26% unemployed.  Michigan has a 24% unemployment rate. And really, this is just crazy how we created a country of job loss and no safety net to catch all these who are falling and falling hard.  This is the same reason why those jobs had folks going in every day despite being sick and passing on a sickness to their co-workers. Because if they stayed home, it just puts them behind the 8 ball to paying the bills.

Flat out, the social safety net needs to exist here and it doesn't. So who deserves a bail out?  These people. Because fuck all if I wonder if any of these folks will see a penny of this new stimulus bill within the next two months. By then you have to wonder if any of these folks will just be completely drowned by debt and food insecurity.

The short of it all is that the system is fucked and it's not going to get better and this bailout just doesn't do enough to help anyone survive till tomorrow and this depresses me to an extreme. We aren't all in this together. Some folks have it a lot easier. Some folks have it a lot harder and will not make it to the other side and we can't help that if we don't acknowledge that we are all battling on a different playing field.