THE DON JONES INDEX…
GAINS POSTED in GREEN
LOSSES POSTED in RED
(THE DOW JONES INDEX: 9/16/20…27,995.60; 9/9/20…27,940.47; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)
LESSON for September 16, 2020 – THE FIRE, THE RAIN and OTHER THINGS!
Note to readers: we’re a day late (always a few dollars short) as a consequence of Hurricane Sally, driving rain through the Editor’s collapsed ceiling and blowing things around. “Not sorry!” as the Reese’s Pieces people say.
“Fire and Rain” elevated James Taylor from mental inmate to millionaire in 1970. Half a century later, fire from burning forests, grasslands and towns across the Western states and civil insurrections in dozens of urban hotzones and rain from, by the week would end, seven… count ‘em… seven tropical occurrences ranging from mere “disturbances” to full-fledged Cat 2½ hurricanes were joined by wind and plague, by lead from police bullets, breadlines for the virus-scourged unemployed and an infestation of back-walking, jive-talking political candidates and predatory journalists.
President Trump, incredibly, granted eighteen… count em, 18!... interviews to Bob Woodward, one half of the team which, some forty-six years ago (47? 48?) terminated the incumbency of Richard Nixon for what many described as a third-rate cover-up of the second-rate burglary of the campaign offices of George McGovern, who had lost the 1972 election by 49 states to one. Anonymous advisors said that Trump’s ego has grown so swollen that he convinced himself he could easily handle the Nixon-killer.
With Woodward’s take on what the President did or did not know about the plague, and when, entitled “Rage” leaked to the usual media sources, the author and Djonald Unhinged spent the week hopping from talkshows to tweet snowjobs like a pair of kangaroos on meth. The most revealing was the President’s one-on-one encounter with a younger, but equally hostile scrivener, the ABC dominatrix and former Slick Willie mouthpiece George Stephanopolous, and a parcel of uncommitted voters in Pennsylvania, one of the swingin’est of swing states upcoming. To the surprise of many, Trump behaved Presidentially, damped down his temper, answered questions transparently (for the most part) and even made a decent approximation of humanity in confronting, then consoling, an immigrant girl whose mother had come to America to fulfill her dream and found, instead, death.
Of course, politics emerged. Biden, Trump said, would assuredly cause a depression, if elected, and was probably on drugs. He sloughed off the Atlantic expose of his calling dead soldiers “suckers and losers” as a hoax from a “not very great magazine”, dismissed all his Presidential predecessors except for Lincoln, whom he admired for his tall hat, and tipped his MAGA hat (metaphorically) to the National Guard, whose violent treatment of BLM protesters vitiated the prospect of his having to declare martial law, issue an Executive Order to activate the Insurrection Act and send in the military against “two hundred and fifty anarchists”. And, while wallowing, for a time, in self-pity over the plague that had ruined his beautiful economy, he shone with pride over the Bahrain-UAE-Israel treaty and predicted that more Islamic nations would soon come on board. Including the Saudis. Probably not Iran.
For his part, Woodward leaked a few more details, some of which are to be found in his book (which the President said he found “boring”), some perhaps not. Asked to judge his regime, Trump gave himself an “A”… but would raise that to “A+” if a vaccine were to be developed before Election Day. He also said he did not have to be black to understand the black point of view and hinted at a snazzy new nuclear weapon currently being developed at the Pentagon skunkworks. Asked if Trump’s “downplaying” the plague was worse than Watergate, Woodward replied that “nobody died at Watergate” and the Trump interviewer referred his own interviewers to Dan Coates, the administration leaker who mused that Vladimir Putin had dirt on the President… perhaps leakage of a viler sort.
Joe Biden hunkered down in his basement, emerging only to pay his respects to the New York 9-11 site, rather than confront Trump in Shanksville. He did meet (and shake hands) with Mike Pence, who invoked God… as often is his custom.
The drumbeat of apocalyptic happenings motivated believers to pack their suitcases, hurry to their vehicles and hit the interstates with manic glee, fully expecting to be raptured at any moment while their cars hastened onwards towards carnage among the unsaved. Conspiracy theorists polished their tin headgear and joined Uncle Joe in hunkering down – awaiting the minions of George Soros or the Trilateral Commission or grabbing their guns (Mister Caputo had not yet warned them of the necessity of having enough ammo on hand) and venturing out to storm the backrooms of the pizza parlours where manic, Satanic cannibal pedophiles were gathered in unholy congress.
The American Congress (prudent, if not holy) looked at their collective watches and decided to knock off early with vacations coming up for the elect, and another round of fundraising and flesh-pressing for the damned, for whom elections and/or re-election dates drew ever nearer.
And globalists looked out at the state of a less-than-United States; saw visions and heard whisperings in the intimations and exclamations of bureaucrats and creepy-crawlies infesting universities and think tanks and corporate boardrooms, and what they saw and heard were words that were downright discouraging, under skies that were smoky all day.
One week ago, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times reported on the latest Social Progress Index, (which they graciously shared with him before its official release Thursday morning) which determined that “out of 163 countries assessed worldwide, the United States, Brazil and Hungary are the only ones in which people are worse off than when the index began in 2011.” (See Attachment One)
Specifically, the presumably tenth annual Social Progress Index of one hundred sixty three nations… Afghanistan to Zimbabwe… - which parliaments of rogues and murders of cawing crows pronounced the news that America was not the best country in the world… as both electoral factions averred, if for different reasons… but a rather dismal 28th, down from 25th in the last social progress sweepstakes. In a world where the fortunes of most were rising – from miserable to middling, good to really, really good or excellent to an even more excellent brand of excellence – only three slid backwards: the aforementioned Brazil, Hungary and the land of the free and home of the brave, as we honor in song and spectacle in empty stadiums and school cafeterias from coast (storm-plagued) to burning coast.
The SPI determined that, as usual, the best places to live in the world were the small, cold, liberal to quasi-Socialist democracies of the European Union. Norway took the crown, with Scandinavia capturing four of the top five slots (Denmark #2, Finland #3 and Sweden #5). The other, unfrozen, Utopia was New Zealand, at #4.
(A subsidiary report, centering on the fifty United States, also found that Americans who live in places with harsh winters are better off than sun-seekers. Six of the top ten locations were in New England and the other four were also the sort of places where, if you try to kiss the flag in January, your tongue is likely to stick to the flagpole. See Attachment Three.)
The worst also included the usual suspects… dirt poor African dictatorships. It sucks to live in South Sudan (#163). If they hadn’t split off from ordinary Sudan, their status would have soared all the way to #147.
The index, inspired by research of Nobel-winning economists, and guided by the invisible… if not always transparent hands of the United Nations and EU (See Attachment Four) collects 50 metrics of well-being — nutrition, safety, freedom, the environment, health, education and more. The United States, “despite its immense wealth, military power and cultural influence,” Kristof boasted (or maybe lamented) ranked 28th — having slipped from 19th when the Index was first published in 2011 and its high point of 16th in 2014. “The index now puts the United States behind significantly poorer countries, including Estonia, Czech Republic, Cyprus and Greece.” (For a full listing of the favored 163… X-cludees included Libya, but new entries included Eswatini… formerly Swaziland... see Attachment Two.)
“We are no longer the country we like to think we are,” contends Michael Porter, a Harvard Business School professor and the chair of the advisory panel for the Social Progress Index.
Trumpeting themselves, the SPIs declared themselves “… the most comprehensive measure of a country’s social and environmental performance independent of economic factors, and complements traditional measures of success such GDP.
“The index captures outcomes related to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and reveals that, if current trends continue the world will not achieve the goals until 2082. The data also indicates that, unless urgent actions are taken, the Covid-19 pandemic will set us back another decade, delaying achievement of the goals to 2092—more than 60 years after the 2030 target date.”
Put another way, the future King of England will be as old as Joe Biden.
Among the rankings that Kristof cited, the United States ranked No. 1 in the world in “quality of universities”, but No. 91 in access to quality basic education, with kids in the United States getting an education “roughly on par with what children get in Uzbekistan and Mongolia.”
The U.S. leads the world in medical technology, but ranked No. 97 in access to quality health care similar to denizens of Chile, Jordan and Albania. Since the larger part of the study was conducted before the full effects of the plague became manifest, the prospects for improvement in 2021 are not encouraging (although Kristof takes to the pulpit and, albeit indirectly, tabs the incumbent President as part of the problem, not the solution, and that his replacement in November may “acknowledge the reality that we are on the wrong track.”
Among other categories in which America performed substandardly were homicide rates, traffic fatality rates, better sanitation and internet access. Market Watch cited discrimination and violence against minorities compared with most other advanced countries. Common Dreams excoriated the paucity of health insurance for poor Americans.
Overall, the SPI announced their primary goals and the results as follows…
· In general, the world is improving. Since 2014, the world average score increased from 60.63 to 64.24, and there has been improvement on eight of 12 components of social progress.
· Despite this overall progress, Personal Rights and Inclusiveness have declined since 2011, while the world has stagnated on Environmental Quality and Personal Safety.
· Norway ranks first in the world on social progress with a score of 92.72.
· The fastest progress over the past decade is among developing countries, with The Gambia, Ethiopia and Tunisia demonstrating notable improvement.
· There are important outliers that have declined on social progress. Most notably, the United States continues to backslide, declining both in absolute terms and relative to its wealthy, world-power peers, ranking just 28th in social progress and is only one of three countries declining in social progress over the past decade.
Could it be beyond the corona of contemplation that the day will dawn when China, not America, will be considered the benchmark by which standards for SPI and other globalist gobblers will be set?
Response to the Index has been quick, and mostly positive. “Note that this isn’t an economic index,” exclaimed Kevin Drum of Mother Jones. “The US is still one of the richest countries in the world. We just aren’t using those riches to make much social progress.”
Common Dreams found it notable that the United States “found itself in the company of Brazil and Hungary—two countries run by leaders who, like President Donald Trump, have alarmed international observers with their autocratic tendencies… the only ones… where quality of life has declined over the last decade.”
"Autocrats deliver?" tweeted Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.
The index, John Kostyack of the National Whistleblower Center tweeted back, offered a "reality check against the drumbeat of U.S. triumphalism."
But the America-hating liberal leftists weren’t the only ones disturbed by the findings… the business blog “Market Watch” called out the SPI study’s downplaying of direct political and economic decisions as “disparities” and tried to put a happy face on bipartisanship by noting that “America’s decline in the Social Progress Index predates the current presidential administration. The report also doesn’t offer explanations for why these shifts have happened. But it certainly led to people on both sides of the political divide pointing figures at who is to blame for the slip in quality of life, and “We’re No. 28” was trending on Twitter on Thursday.
And that wasn’t even the worst of it.
“Well before the pandemic, the index shows, quality of life was rapidly declining in a number of areas in the U.S.,” noted Common Dreams. “In 2011, when the country was in 19th place on the list, the U.S. earned 93.25 points for meeting basic human needs such as healthcare and personal safety.
What’s more, Market Watch concurred that “the data driving these rankings was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic sickened 6.36 million Americans and killed more than 190,000, put tens of millions out of work, and led more than half of Americans to report experiencing worse mental health. Granted, the coronavirus pandemic has also hurt the quality of life in countries across the globe, which will likely reshuffle the rankings moving forward but, for the present time, the primary vector America dominates as Number One is plague cases and deaths.
And, out West, toxicity of air quality.
And, back in the East, an unprecedented hurricane season.
And police shootings of unarmed minority suspects and the concomitant riots.
And… well, the list goes on and on and on…
“This year we also partnered with Ipsos to conduct polling on public opinion surrounding social progress in light of the Covid-19 pandemic,” SPI did declare. “This research indicates that a majority of people across countries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic want social progress–rather than economic growth–to be at the fore, not only as the crisis continues but also once it ends. Young people, in particular, prefer that their countries prioritize social outcomes even after the pandemic is over.” (That full report on is available here.)
Nonetheless, the SPI is also not without competitors.
Consider the Happy Planet Index, sponsored by the New Economics Foundation, which… in fact… is older than the SPI, first being introduced to a happier, if not wholly happy planet, in 2006. Just before the Bush Crash, as preceded the Plague Crash, everybody getting rich, doing their things and their substances…
Anyway, although older than the SPI, their rankings appeared somewhat less frequently… in fact, again… the last full report was in 2016.
The Happy Planeteers, like that guy on Saturday Night Live, “see things in a different way.” Their index is weighted to give progressively higher scores to nations with lower ecological footprints, which is to say that that least developed of countries, as necessarily use the fewest fossil fuels, minerals and other natural resources are the most virtuous. The index is designed to challenge well-established indices of countries’ development, such as the gross domestic product (GDP)… seen as inappropriate, as the “usual ultimate aim of most people” is not to be rich, but to be happy and healthy (with the concomitant low lifespans, high rates of infant mortality and what the good people refer to as “food insecurity” (as opposed to “starvation”).
This index operationalises the IUCN's (World Conservation Union’s) call for a metric capable of measuring 'the production of human well-being (not necessarily material goods) per unit of extraction of or imposition upon nature'.
Consequently, out of the 178 countries surveyed in 2006, those with the best scores were Vanuatu, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, and Panama. In 2009, Costa Rica was the best scoring country among the 143 analyzed, followed by the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guatemala and Viet The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is an index of human well-being and environmental impact that was introduced by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) in July 2006. The index is weighted to give progressively higher scores to nations with lower ecological footprints.
The index is designed to challenge well-established indices of countries’ development, such as the gross domestic product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI), which are seen as not taking sustainability into account. In particular, GDP is seen as inappropriate, as the usual ultimate aim of most people is not to be rich, but to be happy and healthy. Furthermore, it is believed that the notion of sustainable development requires a measure of the environmental costs of pursuing those goals.
Out of the 178 countries surveyed in 2006, the best scoring countries were Vanuatu, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, and Panama. In 2009, Costa Rica was the best scoring country among the 143 analyzed, followed by the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guatemala and Vietnam. For the 2012 ranking, 151 countries were compared, and the best scoring country for the second time in a row was Costa Rica, followed by Vietnam, Colombia, Belize and El Salvador. In 2016, out of 140 countries, Costa Rica topped the index for the third time in a row. It was followed by Mexico, Colombia, Vanuatu and Vietnam.
Which figures – given that so many Americans are risking life and limb attempting to emigrate to the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Mexico. President Trump isn’t building his “beautiful wall” to keep the foreigners out; he wants, like the East Germans wanted, to keep Americans from escaping to a better, happier life.
The index, unlike SRI’s, has been criticized for weighting the carbon footprint too heavily, to the point that the US would have had to be universally happy and would have had to have a life expectancy of 439 years to equal Vanuatu's score in the 2006 index. Perhaps the IUCN’s mission would be better served were it to rename its flagship research “The Virtuous Planet Index”. It would gain more support this way… especially among certain friends of the earth and small, blue-state college campuses on which “happiness” itself is often viewed as a degenerate, wasteful emotion suitable only to bestial, beer-drinking proletarians and Republicans.
The U.S. was also recently named the second-worst country in the world to raise a family (behind Mexico) according to MarketWatch’s assessment of a recent Asher & Lyric survey of the 35 nations that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It also barely cracked the top 20 countries for raising kids in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Countries list released in January.
And America didn’t make the top 10 list of best countries for retirement last fall, either, landing at No. 18 on the Global Retirement Index.
Well, that’s better than 28th!
And check out our analysis of the best and worst nations on Earth… with a little help from various sources ranging from the exercise app Fitbit to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)… back on October 9, 2017 as a combination of the Jefferson Journals (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) and the Franklin Files (health, wealth and wisdom – regardless of the hours of one’s sleep or waking). For the winners and losers in each of the six categories, see Attachment Five)
The same essential dynamics prevailed… small (in population) and cold: good, hot and crowded: bad. Back then, it was Sweden that took the top spot (Norway tied for 4th with the Germans, behind Switzerland and Iceland), Afghanistan (which just this week signed a deal with the Taliban to swap tentative peace and economic development for women’s lives and rights) brought up the rear at 188th.
And the good ol’ USA? Why, we were… Gawdalmighty!... also 28th, sandwiched between Israel and Singapore which also… ooh, aaah!... finished 29th on the SPI. Certainly this is another mystic, crystal revelation… as exemplified in that anthem from the musical “Hair”, sung by a family band called the Cowsills – whose other composition of note was called… “The Rain, The Park and Other Things”; assuredly an instance of forward projection or ESP inasmuch as “the park”, not to mention those “other things” have been burnt to ashes by Mister Taylor’s “Fire”. (Or perhaps Arthur Brown’s, but we veer, here, into the esoteric.)
Which brings us to the present, and our struggle with a slightly updated version of the Four (now Five) Apocalypse Horsemen… Riot (replacing its cousin, “War”), Fire and Rain (in tandem, replacing one of their outcomes, Famine).
Pestilence and Death remain on the hoof and riding across America to the tune of nearly two hundred thousand… about the population of Oran, Algeria, to which locale we return to in 1947, as depicted by the French colonialist novelist Albert Camus. (For further explanation of this prophetic book, see previous Lessons.)
The old, familiar characters are still here… Rieux, the doctor (with a secret secret to disclose), Rambert, the malcontent, Father Paneloux, the city’s priest, Tarroux, the man of mystery, Cottard, the black marketeer and a supporting cast which includes the Magistrate and the police, children who die in agony, drivers of the death carts, soothsayers, a brewer of homegrown vaccines, an old man who spits at cats and then, of course, and hidden from prying eyes, the rats and fleas.
Our theme of the matching of the current week’s events with episodes of “The Plague” concerns the disclosures made by President Trump to the writer Bob Woodward (who exposed and exterminated Richard Nixon back in the day). Woodward’s new book “Rage” draws from eighteen interviews that the President gave the Nixon-slayer – an act of astonishing hubris or else a sort of suicide note by a politician who never wanted to be a politician and who now desires to end it all and go back to his happy old days of building hotels and hosting a reality show. We all wish we could go back to happier days, don’t we?
In any event, what is at stake is the necessity (or cruelty) of telling hard truths that might cause the listener to despair and, then, to blame the messenger instead of the message. According to Himself, the President knew about the infectiousness and lethality of the Coronavirus long before it fully manifested, in order to prevent a “panic” (meaning that economic meltdown) which the pandemic did, of course, precipitate – a falling stock market and GDP and a rising tide of debt with a spike in unemployment and the general cessation of life as Don Jones knew it.
And so the question is posed: should the truth always be told, no matter who is injured by it, and how gravely? Or should people be left alone to hold onto their dreams, even the false ones?
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Don Jones’ Book of the Week: Bob Woodward’s “Rage” – Trump reportedly told him that he deliberately downplayed plague to prevent panic (i.e. DowDrop – it crashes anyway). Climate change claws back into notoriety as wildfires and hurricanes run riot – the human riots, election and plague downgraded.
Still and all, plague deaths keep rising – especially among young people. “If someone is having a party,” a college official warns, “don’t go.” And children’s daycare centers are deemed the latest hot zones. Experts say testing must increase from 30 to 200M tests/month. Bad week for Brits: social gatherings of more than 6 people criminalized… Oxford/Astra Zeneca’s vaccine gave a subject spinal inflammation. Dr. Fauci predicts that vax distribution issues will rise.
“Since joining Rieux’s band of workers (Father) Paneloux had spent his entire time in hospitals and places where he came in contact with plague. He had elected for the place among his fellow workers that he judged incumbent on him – in the forefront of the fight. And constantly since then he had rubbed shoulders with death. Though theoretically immunized by periodical inoculations, he was well aware that at any moment death might claim him too, and he had given thought to this. Outwardly he had lost nothing of his serenity. But from the day on which he saw a child die, something seemed to change in him.”
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Prior to the 19th anniversary of 9-11, Joe Biden suspends campaigning. President Trump does not. The President walking back Feb. 9th statement that CV was deadlier than a “strenuous” flu, still did nothing. (Woodward) NIH director Francis Collins throws cold water on a vaccine by Election Day. CDC predicts 217K dead by October 1st. Fauci calls it wack-a-mole, then they downgrade the toll to 205K by October 3rd. Big difference!
Wildfire blankets fourteen states with toxic smoke. 3 million acres now scorched and failed Presidential Candidate/Governor Jay Inslee (D-Wa) deduces it’s a “climate fire”. Overseas, fire destroys the largest refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece. (Arson?)
“A high wind was blowing on the day Father Paneloux preached his second sermon. The congregation, it must be admitted had replaced normal religious practice (with) more or less extravagant superstitions...
“(I)n the spring, when the epidemic was expected to end abruptly at any moment, no one troubled to take another’s opinion as to its probable duration, since everyone had persuaded himself that it would have none. But as the day went by, a fear grew up that the calamity might last indefinitely, and then the ending of th plague becaue the target of all hopes. As a result, copies of predictions attributed to soothsayers or saints of the Catholic church circulated freely from hand to hand.”
Friday, September 11, 2020
President Trump goes to Shanksville, PA, and proclaims his “unwavering love” while Joe Biden (changing his mind about Pennsylvania) goes to New York and shakes Mike Pence’s hand. Trump then flies off to maskless revelry in Michigan, where compares himself to Winston Churchill, calls Bob Woodward (“Rage” in bookstores soon, but all the important people have copies) a “wack (or maybe whack) job” and doubles down on his double-down downplaying of the plague, past and present.
Dr. Fauci calls fighting the CV like playing “whack a mole”, adding “don’t underestimate the pandemic and don’t look at the rosy side of things.” Monkey shortage imperils vaccine tests; N95 mask shortage imperils healthcare workers. Seven… count ‘em, 7… tropical storms take aim at East Coast, fires have now torched and scorched over 4.3M acres in the West.
“Some of these prophetic writings were actually serialized in our newspapers and read with as much avidity as the love-stories that had occupied these columns in the piping times of health. Some predictions were based on far-fetched arithmetical calculations, involving the figures of the year, the total of deaths and the number of months the plague had so far lasted. Ohers made comparisons with great pestilences of former times, drew parallels (which the forecasters called “constants”) and claimed to deduce conclusions based on the present calamity.”
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Ten percent of Oregonians now evacuated as fires roar into Portland suburbs. Police arrest an arsonist who, because so many… 23 at latest count… have died, he can be tried for murder.
President Trump and Dr. Fauci trade barbs while HUD secretary Ben Carson proposes six months of rent relief to plague unemployed and Joe Biden retreats to his basement and smiles. Fauci: “Normalcy will not return until late 2021.” Or 2022? Trump: ‘We’re rounding the turn to the defeat of the virus.” A problem: more young people are getting it; latest contagious colleges include Boston U., Albany, Temple, Wisconsin and Michigan. Granted his fifteen seconds of fame, a party boy exclaims parties “are the rainbow after the storm.” Tough guy MAGA Man snarls: “You ought to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder and exercise your First Amendment rights. Conspiracy theorists applaud Trump’s pressure on the vaxxers because of the “Deep State movement within the bowels of the CDC.”
“Thus superstition had usurped the place of religion in the life of our town, and that is why the church in which Paneloux preached his sermon was only three-quarters full…
“(H)e started by recalling that for many a long month plague had been in our midst, and we now knew it better, after having seen it often seated at our tables or at the bedsides of those we loved. We had seen it walking at our side or waiting for our coming at the place where we worked. Thus we were now, perhaps, better able to comprehend what it was telling us unceasingly; a message to which, in the first shock of the visitation, we might not have listened with due heed.”
Climate crises East and West. Hurricane Sally lashes Miami and Key West, Paulette afflicts Bermuda. Wildfires make American air quality worst in the world and Pacific Coast cities the worst of the worst. Trump blames wildfire on forest management by Democratic Mayors and Governors. Two L.A. cops shot in ambush; BLM protesters gather at hospital… to taunt them. Trump says that Joe Biden is shot (figuratively) and will be locked in a basement while the radical left runs the country. His advisor, Jason Miller, denies the President is running out of money, says “enthusiasm” will carry the day. Biden replies that he stays home out of respect for 9-11. Trump re-replies that: “Joe doesn’t even know that he’s alive. Now, I can be even more vicious!”
The long awaited Second Wave of an indubitably vicious plague may be at hand. Dr. Fauci maintains that we’re plateauing at 40,000 cases and 1,000 deaths per day.
“There was no doubt as to the existence of good and evil and, as a rule, it was easy to see the difference between them. The difficulty began when we looked into the nature of evil, and among things evil he included human suffering. Thus we had apparently needful pain. And apparently needless pain; we had Don Juan cast into hell, and a child’s death. For while it is right that a libertine should be struck down, we see no reason for a child’s suffering. And, truth to tell, nothing was more important on earth than a child’s suffering, the horror it inspires in us, and the reasons we must find to account for it.”
Monday, September 14, 2020
100 days to Christmas, 50 to Elections. President Trump holds another super spreader rally in Nevada despite masklessness criminalization: thunders “If the Governor comes after you, which he shouldn’t, I’ll have your back.” Pardon? (He also tells North Carolinians to vote twice, a felony.) He tells climate skeptics that it will be getting colder, and that Joe knows (not), nor does Science. Biden calls him a “climate arsonist”. Doctors call his rants “negligent homicide”, Dr. Oz warns that the President is “tempting fate”.
HHS’ Michael Caputo justifies altering plague data to please Trump as a move against seditious Deep State saboteurs in CDC… recommends MAGAmen with guns buy lots of ammo and then… then, he goes on medical leave.
“It was wrong to say this I understand, but that I cannot accept; we must go straight to the heart of that which is unacceptable, precisely because it is thus that we are constrained to make our choice. The sufferings of children were our bread of affliction, but without this bread, our souls would die of spiritual hunger.”
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
The plague celebrates its six-month anniversary. Children’s daycare centers are the latest hot zones. Henderson NV fines Trump rally organizers $3,000 for flouting masklessness law, no attendees charged.
Wildfires have now burned acreage equal to New Jersey; states ordering mobile morgues, although official death toll remains low. Smoke pollutes American air all the way to New York.
“There was no question of not taking precautions or failing to comply with the orders wisely promulgated for the public weal in the disorders of a pestilence. Nor should we listen to certain moralists who told us to sink on our knees and give up the struggle. No, we should go forward, groping our way through the darkness, stumbling perhaps at times, and try to do what good lay in our power. As for the rest, we must hold fast, trusting in the divine goodness, even as to the deaths of little children, and not seeking personal respite.”
The Don was up and down all week, closing at just a smidgen over last week. But while the economy languished in the doldrums, the riots faded away (and the plague didn’t), the main story was the weather… fires in the West and hurricanes in the east. Climate change, one of the near-“forgotten” issues of this election year, returned with partisan fervor as Team Trump prosecuted its war against Science just as it did with the pandemic. A massive, unusual rise in government receipts, and a similar orgy of spending canceled each other out.
THE DON JONES INDEX
CHART of CATEGORIES w/VALUE ADDED to EQUAL BASELINE of 15,000
(REFLECTING… approximately… DOW JONES INDEX of June 27, 2013)
See a further explanation of categories here…
ECONOMIC INDICES (60%)
DON JONES’ PERSONAL ECONOMIC INDEX (45% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)
See further indicators at Economist – HERE!
ATTACHMENT ONE – from the New York Times
‘We’re No. 28! And Dropping!’
A measure of social progress finds that the quality of life has dropped in America over the last decade, even as it has risen almost everywhere else.
By Nicholas Kristof Sept. 9, 2020
This should be a wake-up call: New data suggest that the United States is one of just a few countries worldwide that is slipping backward.
The newest Social Progress Index, shared with me before its official release Thursday morning, finds that out of 163 countries assessed worldwide, the United States, Brazil and Hungary are the only ones in which people are worse off than when the index began in 2011. And the declines in Brazil and Hungary were smaller than America’s.
“The data paint an alarming picture of the state of our nation, and we hope it will be a call to action,” Michael Porter, a Harvard Business School professor and the chair of the advisory panel for the Social Progress Index, told me. “It’s like we’re a developing country.”
The index, inspired by research of Nobel-winning economists, collects 50 metrics of well-being — nutrition, safety, freedom, the environment, health, education and more — to measure quality of life. Norway comes out on top in the 2020 edition, followed by Denmark, Finland and New Zealand. South Sudan is at the bottom, with Chad, Central African Republic and Eritrea just behind.
The United States, despite its immense wealth, military power and cultural influence, ranks 28th — having slipped from 19th in 2011. The index now puts the United States behind significantly poorer countries, including Estonia, Czech Republic, Cyprus and Greece.
“We are no longer the country we like to think we are,” said Porter.
The United States ranks No. 1 in the world in quality of universities, but No. 91 in access to quality basic education. The U.S. leads the world in medical technology, yet we are No. 97 in access to quality health care.
The Social Progress Index finds that Americans have health statistics similar to those of people in Chile, Jordan and Albania, while kids in the United States get an education roughly on par with what children get in Uzbekistan and Mongolia. A majority of countries have lower homicide rates, and most other advanced countries have lower traffic fatality rates and better sanitation and internet access.
The United States has high levels of early marriage — most states still allow child marriage in some circumstances — and lags in sharing political power equally among all citizens. America ranks a shameful No. 100 in discrimination against minorities.
The data for the latest index predates Covid-19, which has had a disproportionate impact on the United States and seems likely to exacerbate the slide in America’s standing. One new study suggests that in the United States, symptoms of depression have risen threefold since the pandemic began — and poor mental health is associated with other risk factors for well-being.
Michael Green, the C.E.O. of the group that puts out the Social Progress Index, notes that the coronavirus will affect health, longevity and education, with the impact particularly large in both the United States and Brazil. The equity and inclusiveness measured by the index seem to help protect societies from the virus, he said.
“Societies that are inclusive, tolerant and better educated are better able to manage the pandemic,” Green said.
The decline of the United States over the last decade in this index — more than any country in the world — is a reminder that we Americans face structural problems that predate President Trump and that festered under leaders of both parties. Trump is a symptom of this larger malaise, and also a cause of its acceleration.
David G. Blanchflower, a Dartmouth economist, has new research showing that the share of Americans reporting in effect that every day is a bad mental health day has doubled over 25 years. “Rising distress and despair are largely American phenomenon not observed in other advanced countries,” Blanchflower told me.
This decline is deeply personal for me: As I’ve written, a quarter of the kids on my old No. 6 school bus in rural Oregon are now dead from drugs, alcohol and suicide — what are called “deaths of despair.” I lost one friend to a heroin overdose this spring and have had more friends incarcerated than I could possibly count; the problems are now self-replicating in the next generation because of the dysfunction in some homes.
You as taxpayers paid huge sums to imprison my old friends; the money would have been far better invested educating them, honing their job skills or treating their addictions.
That’s why this is an election like that of 1932. That was the year American voters decisively rejected Herbert Hoover’s passivity and gave Franklin Roosevelt an electoral mandate — including a flipped Senate — that laid the groundwork for the New Deal and the modern middle class. But first we need to acknowledge the reality that we are on the wrong track.
We Americans like to say “We’re No. 1.” But the new data suggest that we should be chanting, “We’re No. 28! And dropping!”
Let’s wake up, for we are no longer the country we think we are.
ATTACHMENT TWO – from the Social Progress Index/Imperative
Ranking the Countries of the World…First to Worst
Fire and Rain” elevated James Taylor from mental inmate to millionaire in 1970. In 2020, fire from burning forests, grasslands and towns scorches the Western states and civil insurrections (including arson, looting and murder) rage in dozens of urban hotzones and rain from Hurricane Sally drowns the Gulf Coast states, it’s important to remember that these rankings were compiled on data from before the plague broke out. What the 2021 rankings will look like is anybody’s guess.
Tier 1 (2019 rank in parenthesis)
Rank Country Score
1 Norway 92.73 (1)
2 Denmark 92.11 (2)
3 Finland 91.89 (4)
4 New Zealand 91.64 (7)
5 Sweden 91.62 (5)
6 Switzerland 91.42 (3)
7 Canada 91.40 (9)
8 Australia 91.29
9 Iceland 91.09 (6)
10 Netherlands 91.06 (11)
11 Germany 90.56 (8)
12 Ireland 90.35 (14)
13 Japan 90.14 (10)
Rank Country Score
14 Luxembourg 89.56 (16)
15 Austria 89.50 (20)
16 Belgium (19) 89.46
17 Korea, Republic of 89.06 (23)
18 France 88.78 (15)
19 Spain 88.71 (17)
20 United Kingdom 88.54 (13)
21 Portugal 87.79 (18)
22 Slovenia 87.71 (21)
23 Italy 87.36 (22)
24 Estonia 87.26 (25)
25 Czechia 86.69 (24)
Rank Country Score
26 Cyprus 86.64 (28)
27 Greece 85.78 (30)
28 United States 85.71 (26)
29 Singapore 85.46 (27)
30 Malta 84.89 (29)
31 Poland 84.32 (81.25)
32 Lithuania 83.97 (32)
33 Israel 83.62 (31)
34 Chile 83.34 (37)
35 Latvia 83.19 (36)
36 Slovakia 83.15 (35)
37 Costa Rica 83.01 (34)
38 Uruguay 82.99 (41)
Rank Country Score
39 Croatia 81.92 (38)
40 Hungary 81.02 (39)
41 Argentina 80.66 (42)
42 Barbados 80.50 (40)
43 Bulgaria 79.86 (43)
44 Mauritius 78.96 (44)
45 Romania 78.35 (45)
46 Kuwait 77.47 ()
47 Belarus 77.00 (48)
48 Malaysia 76.96 (46)
49 Panama 76.55 (47)
50 Armenia 76.46 (59)
51 Trinidad/Tobago 76.33 (off)
52 Serbia 75.54 (53)
53 Ecuador 75.45 (52)
54 Albania 75.41 (54)
Rank Country Score
55 Tunisia 75.02
56 Georgia 74.85
57 Jamaica 74.75
58 Montenegro 74.42
59 Peru 74.22
60 Colombia 74.00
61 Brazil 73.91
62 Mexico 73.52
63 Ukraine 73.38
64 Sri Lanka 73.20
65 Rep. of N. Macedonia 73.16
66 Bosnia/Herzegovina 72.74
67 Kazakhstan 72.66
68 Moldova 72.58
69 Russia 72.56
70 Paraguay 72.48
71 Cabo Verde 72.05
Rank Country Score
72 Cuba 71.52
73 Jordan 71.50
74 Oman 71.41
75 Suriname 71.12
76 Mongolia 71.07
77 Dominican Republic 71.05
78 Maldives 70.81
79 Thailand 70.72
80 United Arab
81 Qatar 70.58
82 South Africa 70.26
83 Algeria 69.92
84 Indonesia 69.49
Rank Country Score
85 Lebanon 69.37
86 Botswana 69.36
87 Bolivia 69.23
88 Vietnam 68.85
89 Kyrgyzstan 68.65
90 Fiji 68.42
91 Bhutan 68.34
92 Turkey 68.27
93 Iran 67.49
94 El Salvador 67.25
95 Namibia 67.14
96 Guyana 66.95
97 Morocco 66.90
Rank Country Score
98 Philippines 66.62
99 Bahrain 66.60
100 China 66.12
101 Saudi Arabia 65.06
102 Uzbekistan 64.98
103 Ghana 64.86
104 Azerbaijan 64.11
105 Nicaragua 64.02
106 Gabon 63.93
107 Iraq 63.52
Rank Country Score
108 Honduras 62.41
109 Guatemala 61.67
110 Timor-Leste 61.08
111 Senegal 60.04
112 Egypt 59.98
113 Turkmenistan 58.35
114 Nepal 57.60
115 Kenya 57.10
116 Tajikistan 56.99
117 India 56.80
118 Cambodia 56.27
119 Tanzania 56.20
120 Myanmar 55.99
121 Benin 55.56
122 Zambia 55.34
Rank Country Score
123 Bangladesh 55.23
124 Gambia, The 55.10
125 Rwanda 54.13
126 Malawi 54.07
127 Lesotho 53.80
128 Côte d'Ivoire 53.59
129 Togo 53.05
130 Uganda 52.98
131 Eswatini 52.92 ???
132 Zimbabwe 52.26
133 Laos 51.80
134 Sierra Leone 51.74
135 Liberia 51.37
136 Nigeria 51.31
137 Cameroon 51.29
Rank Country Score
138 Equatorial Guinea 50.08
139 Korea, Democratic Rep. of 50.01
140 Burkina Faso 49.87
141 Pakistan 49.25
142 Mozambique 49.00
143 Mauritania 48.95
144 Haiti 48.79
145 Ethiopia 48.59
146 Djibouti 48.53
147 Sudan 48.51
148 Madagascar 48.46
149 Congo, Republic of 48.45
150 Mali 48.29
Rank Country Score
151 Angola 48.16
152 Guinea-Bissau 46.69
153 Papua New Guinea 44.91
154 Guinea 43.41
155 Afghanistan 42.29
156 Congo, Democratic Rep. of 42.25
157 Niger 42.21
158 Burundi 41.20
159 Somalia 35.58
160 Eritrea 35.20