Don’t stand where the lightning strikes.

“When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe.”

— Frederic Bastiat, nineteenth century French economist and writer

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

― Reinhold Niebuhr

This is part of a new worldview-based post series – intended for planning and action use by executives and managers. These posts offer an example framework that might be adapted to address particular needs and situations. Here is an example of how a business might deal – proactively – with a serious black swan event: a sudden, unexpected loss of a major customer.

If you would like to see how this started – an experiment, please refer to this initial post on my new direction.

A worldview-based planning and action process

We are living in very different times. Our world – both big picture and personal – has never occurred before. Learning from the past may be misleading, and possibly harmful. The past and elusive present are gone forever. We have only the unpredictable future to deal with, as it unfolds. 

The world, however defined, is now changing so quickly, chaotically, and hugely that it will greatly impact virtually everyone on earth. It will affect each individual differently, depending on their location, activities, resources, and luck. And, it will also affect every group, business, and organization differently.

A process for dealing with an unpredictable, often-chaotic future is very different from anything that we learned, experienced, or imagined. Responding to events and situations reactively may well be too late for effectiveness, and may ultimately prove disastrous.

Our recent COVID happening was an example of just such a situation. No warning, suddenly-imposed lockdowns, distancing, masks, testing … all kinds of completely new dictates and challenges. We were very fortunate that this mess mostly lasted for only a year or so. But we are still dealing with the aftermath in too many cases.

Will such a happening recur? It sure seems so, based on the picture summarized in these worldviews. With so little these days being predictable, we are forced to deal with a mostly uncertain, fast-changing future. What worked in a more stable, predictable past won’t work going forward. Very different approaches are essential.

What might these approaches be in practice? Answer probably is “nobody really knows”. I sure don’t, but I have in mind one process approach that may well be appropriate for such times and challenges.

Will it work? Well, I am using it personally today to guide myself through whatever is happening out there. I may also get the opportunity to help a few clients navigate the turmoil using their versions.

For those readers who are new to this website and its series of worldview posts, here are links to the original post if you are interested:

Agility, adaptability, and resilience – plus a guiding worldview

Business simulation modeling

Where to start?

A baseline worldview for planning, decision-making, and action

While the process in concept is quite simple, the devil as always is in the details.

You may already be wondering just how might one deal proactively with a black swan event, which by definition and reality, cannot be foreseen in nature, magnitude, or timing. Clearly a serious contradiction, yes?

Those of you who have read the previous post outlining the process mechanics involved here will see immediately that there is no contradiction. We focus not on an unforeseeable black swan event, but on the ways that any major event or situation may impact us. Think unforeseen COVID-19’s impact.

This focus on impacts from whatever-causes is the key. Where are we most vulnerable to the wide variety of things that might happen, and what can we do ahead – proactively – to mitigate impact or avoid impact damage? Or, if we are especially creative, to benefit?

We don’t need to know what caused the impact, or will cause an impact maybe at some point down the road. We need only to focus on our weaknesses and available responses.

There are an almost limitless number of causes that might or could hit us seriously, somewhere. You can’t plan for any particular one of these since the causal nature is unknowable until post-impact, and possibly forever. The only thing we will know for sure is that we got hit in a major way.

Black swan events and situations are highly probable in our near future. But they are unforeseeable in nature, magnitude, and timing.
Black swan events and situations are highly probable in our near future. But they are unforeseeable in nature, magnitude, and timing.

From the prior post:

“My approach to dealing – proactively – with such things unknown is to work from something we do know well – our business (or group, or organization). We can conjure up a wide set of possible impacts from whatever-causes, and then analyze the likely consequences of each, or in combinations, on our business.”

“The goal here is to generate a quantitative map of vulnerabilities to such impacts from whatever-cause-or-causes. We can then go about prioritizing the vulnerabilities, and planning to mitigate or eliminate them.”

“If you have ever tried to do something of this nature, you will certainly have discovered that it is neither obvious nor easy. It gets complex and messy very quickly. The dynamics are what can generate some hard-to-see complications.

A sales impact example: sudden, unexpected loss of a major customer

This starting point allows us to utilize what we do know very well: our own business (or organization or group). We may not have the full set of relevant facts and consequences at hand, but these can readily be developed. Today.

The prior post offered a chart of such an impact and its (example) consequences:

A “simple” major customer loss can set off an avalanche of serious consequences.
Dynamics here are critical.

As you certainly know, none of these impact consequences are isolated or independent. They typically have many tight interdependencies. They roll out dynamically in ways that often cannot be understood until well after the fact.

In a real situation of this nature, the important set of consequences may be much larger. And substantially different.

Some of these consequences you will know immediately, in general if not in detail and quantitatively. Others will require some data gathering. An operational understanding, however, usually requires a model of some kind that defines the various interactions and interdependencies involved – dynamically.

Of particular importance is developing a credible sense for how impact and consequences magnitudes and timing might affect your survival and recovery chances.

You may well be fine as you are unless the impact exceeds some set of bounding conditions. You really need to have a solid understanding of just what these bad-news conditions are. And you almost certainly will want to have a good idea of what you might be able to do proactively to mitigate or eliminate the consequences.

This is the essence of what I would recommend, and even assist you with. This is what I do.

How might such a process proceed in practice?

It may be helpful at this point to think about how one might go about implementing a proactive process of this nature. I am going to do this, as concisely as possible, in a business case context since people are involved. People differences are absolutely critical to any business process, which makes solutions different in almost every situation.

To begin …

MedTechNorth (MTN) is a hypothetical company that manufactures, sells, and services a variety of high-end medical devices and related supplies. U.S.-based, with plants and sales-service offices in several major offshore countries. It has annual sales of roughly $500 million and employs about 1,500 people. The company – founded in 1998 by a medical doctor who became inventor, visionary, and entrepreneur – grew extremely rapidly to its present size and global scope. Fast growth continues, at 25% to 30% annually.

The founder and CEO, along with a few key executives, have become very concerned that their rapid growth may be making them seriously vulnerable to the chaotic world situation in 2024. They have been fortunate so far not to have experienced any significant obstacles, events, or situations that might have disrupted their impressive growth achievements.

CEO Dr. Walter Eckland, called by all simply “Doc”, has asked his core team to develop a clear understanding of where MTN might be most vulnerable and what might be done proactively to minimize their exposures. He said that he was lately getting some seriously bad “vibes”, although nothing more concrete than this admittedly vague sense.

Doc Eckland saying hello – just before he asks why what he wanted today wasn’t in his hands yesterday.
Doc Eckland saying hello – just before he asks why what he wanted today wasn’t in his hands yesterday.

Doc: “I want specifically to know what it might take by way of a bad happening or two to result in serious damage – perhaps even to failure. Causes unknown, except maybe for a couple of our major customers (hospitals, you know which ones) that seem kind of shaky-flaky to me right now. And we have a lot of debt to roll over during the next 18 months. How bad can “things” get before we are in trouble of some tough kind? What things? I have no idea. You tell me. I’m not a business guy.”

CFO/COO Dr. Catherine Frank (“Cat”) had an immediate response. “Doc,” she said, “we have been doing exactly this for over a year now.”

Cat (Dr. Catherine Frank), CFO/COO, looking her kindest and most patient. Just like Doc, her boss and mentor.
Cat (Dr. Catherine Frank), CFO/COO, looking her kindest and most patient. Just like Doc, her boss and mentor.

Doc: “Why haven’t I heard about this, long ago? What have you found?”

Cat: “We were planning to update you when we got some credible results, but so far we haven’t come up with anything concrete and credible. Nothing good enough to take your time at least. This is not a simple question.”

CTO Dr. Barry North (“North”) offered his opinion. “Doc, we have tackled this question from several different angles, each giving us a different answer. So Cat’s not quite correct: we do have answers – several in fact, but with no way yet to tell which one is the most credible and reliable.”

North (Dr. Barry North), MIT doctorate in medical systems physics. Returning from a joyful winter trip to Antarctica. Blizzard photo.
North (Dr. Barry North), MIT doctorate in medical systems physics. Returning from a joyful winter trip to Antarctica. Blizzard photo.

Cat: “Thanks, North. I agree completely. So, where do we go from here?”

Doc: “Here’s what I suggest. I need to get some answers for our next meetings with the banks and for our next Board meeting. We have at most three months to figure out something. Let’s the three of us sit down first thing tomorrow so you can bring me up to speed. Then, let’s meet once a day if possible until we get somewhere. Patience, as you know, is not one of my (few) virtues. And I want to get someone with special expertise to coach us. I know just the person: Phil – you know, Philippa Conroy, the horse lady who is also an executive coach. We’ve worked with her before.”

Phil (Philippa Conroy) in a timeless photo. Nice smile hides a tough, smart interior. A real gem. Loves horses, but you’d never guess it.
Phil (Philippa Conroy) in a timeless photo. Nice smile hides a tough, smart interior. A real gem. Loves horses, but you’d never guess it.

Getting the process underway, impatiently

CEO Doc opened the first meeting at 7 am the following morning. Attending were Doc, Cat, North, and Phil. After welcoming Phil and explaining that he had described the situation to her as best he could in a much-too-late phone call, Doc apologized to all for his short notice request to attend this hastily arranged kickoff meeting.

Doc began by stating his concern that the current world turmoil might result in a “something” event or situation impacting MTN seriously. He said that his “gut feeling” was telling him to get moving as quickly as possible to address such an unknown happening before it happened. Afterward might be too late to prevent irreparable damage. Then he asked Phil for her going-in thoughts.

Phil: “What Doc described last night sounds to me like a ‘black swan’ event or situation. As these are unforeseeable in nature, magnitude, and timing, it is necessary to plan and act without any real idea of possible causes. Doc suggested working initially with a major sales drop – such as suddenly losing one of our largest customers. He said that there are several such customers operating today in some very unstable countries.”

Doc: “You all know which ones I mean here. No problems visible as yet, but certainly the significant potential for losing any one of them. Suddenly, without warning. Remember also that we are currently having huge problems getting a number of critical production materials because of both supply chain problems and basic availability of the materials.”

Phil: “Doc also advised me that ‘… a big customer loss could very easily cascade into serious cash flow and financing difficulties. Our fast growth has pretty much strained everything pretty much to its limits. Our stockholders are delighted of course. Even our banks are urging us onward.’ What Doc is sensing is a potential impact from an unknown cause (or causes) that needs to be effectively and quickly addressed. So, planning for an unknown cause to occur? Pretty hard to do and likely to be wrong. We might instead start by trying to figure out how a sudden, unforeseen, large customer loss might impact the business, and how we might do things now to minimize likely impact consequences.”

Doc: “Phil, that’s exactly what I want even though I didn’t explain it very well at all. Gut says that something big is going to happen to us – soon, and we don’t have much time to prepare. But, prepare for what, and how?”

Cat: “You know, some of my senior managers have been asking me lately pretty much the same question. Things are getting really crazy out there in each of their worlds. A couple of them are from countries undergoing some terrible problems. They know firsthand how bad things can really get.”

North: “I absolutely agree. I don’t do gut feelings, but my head tells me that the potential for some kind of big hit is growing daily. Meanwhile, we carry on business as usual – as if the past is going to continue happily and uneventfully. Hah! Fat chance, I strongly believe. That said, however, I am left staring at our year of efforts to get a grip on something that makes sense to do. We have some decent ideas. We don’t yet have any basis for choosing among them or for somehow integrating them.”

Phil: “Good. We are ready to get moving – productively, proactively. We can begin with a serious impact possibility. Big customer loss will do nicely. Cause? Who knows? We don’t need to know the cause, at least for our purposes here. Black swans just happen. No announcement. Remember COVID-19. So, let’s start by mapping out the impacts from a major customer loss. Nothing happens in isolation. Everything is interdependent, not isolated.”

The group then proceeded to sketch out an impact map such as the one shown above. This took less than an hour, much-pleasing the ever-impatient Doc. Phil put closure on the kickoff meeting and outlined what the next meeting should address:

Phil: “Excellent. We have a great starting point. Now the hard part begins. This impact map shows our going-in ideas on how the sales loss impact might spread. First job is to refine, and elaborate if necessary, this map. I suggest sharing this with each of your top people, within of course the strictest confidence. Folks on the firing line always – always – have a much better knowledge of how things actually work. Their input at the outset is vital.”

The group then set itself to meet a week hence to talk about whatever each was able to develop based on the impact map draft as a starting point. Doc expressed major angst about having to wait a whole week, but Phil assured him that this would be time well spent.

Within the impact map are all kinds of questions, problems, and unknowns. If you have ever tackled dealing with, or even understanding as a whole, a map such as this one, you will appreciate just what our small group of four would be faced with.

The next post will continue the case story. The challenge at this moment is understanding the business as a complex system – highly interconnected and strongly interdependent. Nothing happens in isolation.

You will note the particular characterization of the people involved. People are central, as always. No two alike. This makes even superficially-identical situations so very different in reality. What works for one group of such folks may be completely ineffective for others.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, or even understanding.

Worldview Updates:

Below are links to updated sections so you don’t have to read through rest of the unchanged sections unless you want to …

#3. Disease-X – Current: A report on a possibly promising pushback effort regarding the WHO’s Pandemic Treaty threat.

#5. Digital IDs and CBDCs – Current: #5. Digital IDs and CBDCs – Current: Raises the alarm on a “massive financial collapse” heading our way.

#6. Economic Outlook – Current: Offers an alternative view on the financial collapse scenario – ’This Is Too Stupid For It Not To Be The Plan’. 

#1. World War III

➧ Preamble:
As I have argued in recent posts (see here and here), we are already in a world war in its early stages. It is so far at least non-big-nuke (i.e., not a world-ending catastrophe), and fortunately non-any-nuke. It is endless local and regional wars – as usual. The military-industrial complex is prosperous and happy.

Despite numerous warnings about imminent escalation, the reality seems to be just more small-wars-as-usual. This seems quite reasonable since the various warmongers – rulers-and-wannabes everywhere – do not want to dominate a rubble-filled, radioactive world. They want a fully-functioning world, albeit with many fewer annoying people out and about.

So far, things in this respect are going well for them. Their main problems appear to be nasty competition between and within major blocks of rulers-and-wannabes. We have the West – the U.S., UK, EU, NATO, Canada, Australia, … – battling in a proxy manner with the rapidly emerging Eurasian and Global South block of nations – led by Russia, China, and India (now called BRICS+ as a group).

The unipolar West has quite successfully created, and continues to bunglingly enable, the growing group of multipolar BRICS+ nations. The latter seem almost certain to prevail in their own realm, leaving the West to continue its purposeful and quite rapid decline.

Summary:

Current:

The underway WW III may lead up to a much greater WW III, as this article suggests:

“But for me, the MI6 angle is the first one to be considered in this attack [attack on the Crocus Concert Hall in Moscow], not the last one. And the keys lie in that very timeline. Because, as opposed to assuming that the US is the catalytic agent for events here — easy to think because [Victoria] Nuland is involved — reframing this as a distinctly British operation (with help from rogue elements in the State Dept. and CIA, of course) yields a far more coherent narrative.”

“Remember, we’re dealing ultimately with narcissists here. Then let’s remember cui bono. Because without assessing who benefits from this attack, we aren’t doing the analysis right. Moreover, I’m not trying to blame shift here away from the US. We are definitely a player here. But it’s defining who ‘we’ in the US is where the nuance lies.”

“What if Nuland was fired because knowledge of this attack finally reached the right people at State and the DoD? And they realized, rightly so, that an attack like this would make it nearly impossible for Putin to ignore and force his hand politically to escalate the war in Ukraine to a level that would justify to the people of the West that it was finally time for us to get involved over there.”

“… But, as I said, the real goal of this war wasn’t just getting Russia, they had to maneuver the US into a terminal state as well, through the costs of fighting a war we weren’t capable of sustaining. And that was the bridge too far for US interests not beholden to the ghost of Trotsky and the tears of Bill Kristol.”

“And now you have the ‘who benefits’ from this operation. The US saw no upside in brutally killing hundreds of Russian civilians, knowing full well it would be US doing the majority of the fighting. The UK and EU need the US to do this because if the US comes out of this war unscathed (like in WWII) then the current arrangement will continue, and their plans for domination will fail.”

If this isn’t world war via proxies, I can’t imagine what would be – apart from an escalation to a big-nuke version. For planning purposes, this suggests a lengthy period of localized fighting and terrorist hits by major player proxies.

Government spending will continue at ruinous rates, eventually leading to financial and economic collapse – probably first in the West. This in turn means high price inflation will continue as well. For those who are exposed to war zone and even troubled domestic sources, supply chain disruptions and shortages will probably become part of the “normal” business environment.

It also reinforces my sense that nothing any government or its lackeys says is reliable. The truth in fact may lie in directions opposite to what these sources are saying. Here is an article that seems to agree:

From Alt-Market.us we have another voice anticipating WW III in a non-big-nuke form: “World War III Is Now Inevitable – Here’s Why It Can’t Be Avoided”.

Huge game-changing happening in the Middle East that will likely affect war strategizing globally:

“Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israeli military sites on April 13-14 signals a tectonic shift in the regional balance of power. While the media remains preoccupied with the number of outdated Iranian drones that were shot down during the onslaught, military analysts are far more focused on the way that Iran’s ballistic missiles cut through Israel’s vaunted air defense systems striking sites at the Nevatim and Negev Air Bases.

“What the operation proved is that Israel’s ‘deterrents supremacy’ is largely a fiction based on overly optimistic assumptions about the performance of their air defense capability. When put to the test, these systems failed to stop many of the larger and more destructive ballistic missiles from hitting their targets. This, in turn, revealed that Israel’s most heavily-defended and critically-important military sites remain overly-exposed to enemy attack.”

“More importantly, any future attack will not be announced days in advance nor will Iran attempt to avoid high-value targets or heavy casualties. Instead, they will use their most lethal and state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles to inflict as much death and destruction on Israel as is required to make sure that the Jewish state is unable to lift a hand against Iran in the future. In short, what Iran’s historic attack on Israel shows is that any future provocation by Israel will be met by an immediate and overwhelming response that will leave Israel battered, bloodied and broken.”

“… The failure of the combined US-Israeli defense systems in the face of a concerted Iranian missile attack exposed the short-comings of the US ballistic missile defense capabilities world-wide… This means that the US and NATO forces in Europe are vulnerable to attack from advanced Russian missile technologies which match or exceed those used by Iran to attack Israel. It also means that China would most likely be able to strike and sink US navy ships in the Pacific Ocean in the event of a conflict over Taiwan…. And that North Korea could do the same to US ships and forces ashore in the vicinity of Japan and South Korea… The global strategic implications of this stunning Iranian accomplishment are game-changing … Checkmate, Scott Ritter [former weapons inspector], Substack”

This seems to mean that defensive systems, in the West at least, can no longer stop a serious military attack. Aggressive actions will have to be substantially toned down until nations in the West (and probably others) have been able to remedy the current defense system weaknesses. Which may take years.

I think that the likelihood of any serious world war mischief escalations has been severely reduced as a result, hopefully for quite a few years.

WW III (non-big-nuke version) is currently underway.
WW III (non-big-nuke version) is currently underway.

#2. The 2024 Elections

Preamble:

We are now in the thick of a major, even huge, election season. We can probably expect to see the very worst from both sides. There are no evident good guys in this escalating mess. The Uni-party will win and government will go on as usual. Very little will change except a few names.

The big uncertainty that I can see is one in which the election/selection results are not accepted by either party. This would involve many challenges, great disruptions, and huge protests. Government may effectively cease to function, assuming that it presently functions – see this post: “Trust. So Important. So Hard to Gain. So Easy to Lose.”.

Should most of this occur, it seems likely that someone will arrange for martial law, or equivalent lockdowns. Some, it appears, think that the COVID-19 lockdowns and related restrictions were a dry run for the real thing come 2024 election times. It probably doesn’t matter much.

There would seem to be a couple of rather likely outcomes:

(1) 2025 will be a year of internal fighting and disruptions. Probably not “civil war” in any major respect like 1860-65, but at least a serious breakdown of civil order. Kind of like today.

(2) Major cities will see the most intense and damaging confrontations. These may in fact be a trigger for lockdowns of some kind nationwide.

Will these cause financial and economic collapse? Not in the short term I think, but perhaps helping things along for more serious consequences in 2026 and beyond.

Summary:

Current:

Much as I might wish otherwise, some very useful information and insights appear in what may otherwise be regarded as political diatribes and worse. Here is a very recent example:

“Americans today are increasingly polarized, as if they constitute two separate nations.” — Strauss & Howe, The Fourth Turning

Others are drawing similar pictures of how the election season appears to be getting set up for a martial law version of COVID lockdowns:

“IT IS GOING TO BLOW…..SOON
Has anyone reading this wondered if this increase in terrorist support, happening in an election year, as the party in the White House is losing in swing state and national polls, with the Senate map overly brutal for Democrats heading into the November, is all by design?”

“Wonder no more…it is. The odds of this all being coincidental are statistically impossible.”

“With only one case against Donald Trump, the weakest we should mention,  playing out in the courts, and Trump ahead of Biden in the majority of polls, the scene is set for the powder keg that is the Middle East, to blow up right here in America.”

“Think about it. The October 7th attack against Israel by Hamas, only happened after the Biden regime released billions in funds to Iran, who backs multiple terror groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, both attacking Israel from different sides.”

“Since the majority of court cases against Trump are likely not to move forward before the election, the timing of the release of funds, the attack against Israel, and the war in Gaza to root out Hamas, is suspicious as can be.”

“… As a nation we have multiple issues facing us, from the potential for nuclear war with Russia and China, to the over-the-top ‘next pandemic will kill millions’ crowd, to the escalation of civil unrest, and the speed said unrest is spreading, it could very well be the issue that gives the Biden regime the excuse to lock down the nation by declaring martial law [emphasis added].”

The 2024 elections are unlikely to resolve any of this mess. Elections seem mostly to provide periodic venues for opposing groups to shout at one another in the nastiest possible manners.

For planning purposes, it is the disruption that seems most important. We will be dealing with disruption consequences of great severity and scope.  This suggests focusing on vulnerability and resilience as a top action priority.

Top 2024 candidates for President. Scary, both.
Top 2024 candidates for President. Scary, both.

#3. Disease-X

Preamble:

Disease-X, in case you have not heard, is a term used by the World Health Organization (WHO), a UN agency, to describe a surely coming but as yet unknown, devastating disease. Like COVID-19, even. I went into this whole mess in some detail in a recent post: “Who Is WHO? The Great Resetter, Maybe?”.

The main purpose of Disease-X, so far as I can see, is to help drive world domination by the United Nations (UN), the WHO, the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Bank, IMF, and kin. The WHO has succeeded in getting virtually every nation on earth to sign up for its control agenda, which conveniently supersedes any national policies and interests. It basically establishes a worldwide police force to tackle the ravages of Disease-X before it actually happens. Very proactive, yes?

Disease-X then, for planning purposes, is simply (well, not quite so simply) a means of achieving world domination by one set of rulers-and-wannabes. Unfortunately, they may well succeed, at least temporarily, but not without serious and powerful pushback. From whom?

From the rapidly evolving and strengthening, multipolar, Eurasian and Global South (aka Global Majority) nations led by Russia and China. This situation is indeed inconvenient for the West-driven world dominators, who detest competition.

While this global control contest is going on, we must be able to function in some manner regardless. It might therefore be reasonable to assume a Disease-X lockdown (or martial law equivalent) as a serious near-term risk.

Most of us have the COVID-19 lockdown experience to guide us in preparing for the next one. How did the COVID lockdown impact you? What would you have done to better prepare for COVID if you had advance warning?

Summary:

Current:

Disease-X sounds a bit vague and techie, yes? Much better to have something much more official-sounding. Like H5N1

“Amidst growing concerns, experts have cautioned that a bird flu pandemic may be looming on the horizon, one that could be catastrophic on a scale ‘100 times worse than Covid-19.’ The alarm was raised following reports of the virus being found in multiple species, including cows, cats, and humans, which could potentially accelerate the virus’s mutation to become more transmissible among humans.”

“… ‘This appears to be 100 times worse than Covid, or it could be if it mutates and maintains its high case fatality rate,’ said Fulton. ‘Once it’s mutated to infect humans, we can only hope that the [fatality rate] drops.’”

“According to the World Health Organization, the H5N1 fatality rate stands at an alarming 52 percent, a stark contrast to the less than 0.1 percent mortality rate of Covid-19. The concern is that if H5N1 becomes easily transmitted among humans while maintaining its high fatality rate, the consequences could be dire.”

Keep in mind that that the “disease” of whatever name may well be nothing more than a way to scare many kind trusting folk into behaving in the prescribed manner. Which they mostly will. This of course is the plan, nasty disease or not.

Whether or not the latest version of Disease-X is anything at all, the reality that must be addressed is that far too many people will believe, unquestioning. It seems likely to result in another, far more restrictive, social lockdown. This is our planning reality.

“This May 27–June 1, 2024, global elitists and world leaders from across the West will gather in Geneva, Switzerland, for the WHO’s 77th World Health Assembly (WHA). Attendees from all 194 WHO member countries are set to vote on major amendments to the International Health Regulations that would effectively strip all power away from sovereign countries and turn it over to the WHO’s global health board in the event of a pandemic.”

“If the ratifications are agreed to this month, the WHO will also be granted sole authority over what constitutes a pandemic.”

“As we have seen over the past years, just about anything qualifies as an ‘existential threat to public health,’ including, but not limited to, misinformation, parents protesting at school boards, free speech, and—of course—racism. The fact that the WHO is on the cusp of unrestricted authority to decide these measures should terrify every American.”

“What’s more, the changes also include plans for a mandatory and universal vaccine passport system that’s overseen by the WHO. In fact, the globalist organization has already contracted a German-based company, called ‘T-Systems’, to develop the technology.”

“… Now, 44 Republican senators have sent a strongly worded letter to Joe Biden, urging him to reject two forthcoming international agreements under consideration at the World Health Organization (WHO) that would compromise U.S. sovereignty. “

“Sen. Ron Johnson wrote on X, ‘Two international agreements are being considered at this month’s World Health Assembly that surrenders U.S. sovereignty to the WHO. [Biden] should reject them, or at least submit any agreement to the Senate as a treaty. The entire Senate GOP conference has signed onto my letter to Biden demanding just that.’”

“Sen. Ron Johnson wrote on X, ‘Two international agreements are being considered at this month’s World Health Assembly that surrenders U.S. sovereignty to the WHO. [Biden] should reject them, or at least submit any agreement to the Senate as a treaty. The entire Senate GOP conference has signed onto my letter to Biden demanding just that.’”

Ethan Huff writing in Natural News on 4/23/24 reports on a possibly promising pushback effort: “WHO backs off on Pandemic Treaty, makes substantive changes to address tyranny concerns”:

“Some good things happened this past week concerning the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Pandemic Treaty. In response to widespread public outcry, the WHO substantially revised its proposed International Health Regulations (IHR) amendments, dialing the tyranny back a notch [emphasis added].”

“According to the group Us for Them UK (@UsforThemUK on X), the changes represent a serious victory ‘for national democracy, free speech and human rights.’ Almost all of the substantive concerns presented to the WHO Working Group for the IHR amendments have been trimmed back, one of the biggest changes being that the WHO’s recommendations will be non-binding.”

“’Article 13A.1 which would have required Member States to follow directives of the WHO as the guiding and coordinating authority for international public health has been dropped entirely,’ Us for Them UK tweeted.”

“Another change is the erasure of a proposal that would have struck from the amendments wording that recognizes the ‘dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms’ of human beings. ‘This proposal marked a particularly low water-mark, and should never have been suggested,’ Us for Them UK says.”

“If you are concerned about the WHO suddenly attaining dictatorial powers at the mere ‘potential’ of a public health emergency, worry not: the WHO will only be able to gain total control if it can demonstrate ‘that coordinated international action is necessary.’”

Agency of the United Nations
Agency of the United Nations

#4. Ukraine, Gaza, …

Preamble:

These wars are either local or regional disputes of the kind that have been going on at least forever, or they are proxy wars driven by major powers against each other. Most likely, both. Gaza, Yemen, and kin seem to be the former. Ukraine is very clearly a proxy war between the hegemonic West – U.S., UK, EU, NATO, … – and Russia (along with China and other Eurasian plus Global South nations) responding in a multipolar manner.

Local and regional wars are just part of our civilized environment. It’s just what we do. The current proxy war between the big guys, however, is of extremely serious concern. It is presently escalating steadily, and seems likely to break out into something major. This was dealt with above in #1 – WW III.

“In untangling the causal factors behind the many crises we face today, the trail of breadcrumbs always leads to the transnational banking cartel, led by the BIS, which has the determining influence in shaping the system of governance under which our societies operate. This network likely constitutes the very “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy” that President John F. Kennedy had warned about.”

The Power Behind the Throne and the Bankers’ Forever Wars.

“In the recent past, Ukraine was militarized and Nazified to strike against Russia with the same powers behind the throne pulling the levers.  As the US-installed Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk spoke appreciatively in 2014, ‘… international bankers are ready to help us. … We would not have survived without their international assistance.’”

“The Western financial system, having operated globally over the past 80 years, is coming to an end, and in its place, the bankers will attempt to introduce a new global financial system based upon Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), Digital ID, and Universal Basic Income (UBI). The system will facilitate surveillance of the most intimate aspects of our lives and demand our absolute compliance. There is more to CBDCs than meets the eye …”

I thought about merging this one with the #1 WW III concern above, but I am still thinking that they are different – at least in terms of how each might impact us. “Bankers’ wars” are truly different.

Summary:

Current:

While I continue to see us as already in a WW III, with Ukraine, Gaza, … being used to some degree for quite different purposes, the article below has a quite interesting perspective. See my recent post on this: “World War III Is Underway – But Not As Expected”.

“If you’re getting the feeling like the globalists are really pushing hard for WWIII these days, you’re not alone.”

“In the past few months there has been multiple instances of European and US officials hinting at the possibility of a new military draft, the EU has talked openly about boots on the ground in Ukraine, NATO officials have stated unequivocally that they WILL NOT accept a loss in Ukraine to the Russians and the Kremlin has warned once again that nuclear weapons are on the table if western troops enter the war. The US government has recently asserted that Ukraine will be joining NATO, a red line in the sand for Russia.”

“Then there’s Israel and Gaza. I warned months ago in my article ‘It’s A Trap! The Wave Of Repercussions As The Middle East Fights ‘The Last War’’ that the war in Gaza would expand into a multi-front conflict that would probably include Iran. I also warned that it would be to Israel’s benefit if Iran entered the war because this would force the US to become directly involved. To be sure, Iran has already been engaging in proxy attacks on Israel through Lebanon, but Israel’s attack on the Iranian “embassy” or diplomatic station in Syria basically ensures that Iran will now directly commit to strikes on Israeli targets.”

“In other words, much like WWI, the situation is being escalated by the political elites despite the fact that the general public in the west is increasingly opposed to participating in the conflict. The globalists want to send us to war whether we like it or not.  Every decision they have made so far makes peaceful resolution impossible.”

There is just no way that anyone can reliably predict what’s going to happen next in this chaotic situation. It is not really a black swan since we can figure out general directions, but the series of events and situations that will actually occur are pretty much random to us.

Perhaps wars and rumors of war have always been used to mess with people’s minds, on both sides. Perhaps this is what many of the local wars are about. Mind control.

My sense is that we can use reporting such as this to indicate where we might want to focus our attention on becoming more agile, adaptable, and resilient.

Is the Ukraine situation also being used by some folks to mess with our minds?
Is the Ukraine situation also being used by some folks to mess with our minds?

#5. Digital IDs and CBDCs

Preamble:

Digital IDs and digital currencies (CBDCs) are all about money and control. And what is “money”? Money is a tool for control. In a rather lengthy and rambling article …

“Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.”

—  Mayer Amschel Rothschild, patriarch of the Rothschild banking dynasty, in 1790

“When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation.”

— Napoleon Bonaparte

“The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”

— Benjamin Disraeli, in 1844

“There is something behind the throne greater than the King himself.” 

— Sir William Pitt, Prime Minister, in 1770

“Glenn Beck dropped a similar clue. In his interview with Tucker Carlson published on February 21, 2024, he shared a story of his encounter with George W. Bush:”

“I thought of something George Bush told me in the Oval Office. I was asking about the policies and how they were going to change, and he said, ‘Glenn, don’t worry, whoever sits behind this desk, in that chair, is going to have the same advice given by the same advisors and they’ll realize, the President’s hands are tied.’ I walked out of that room horrified… Why do we even have elections?”  [AP Note: We have elections to anaesthetize the electorate to believe that they have the power to change policy – they can’t, and they don’t.  Britain is an oligarchy and has been for centuries.”

“… There are three fundamental truths about modern banking [emphasis added]:

 The money isn’t yours.
 The money isn’t actually there.
 The money isn’t really money.”

This appears to be the essence of what is happening in our money world. The real powers-that-be want to dominate the world and they are well along on the path to doing so. Digital IDs and CBDCs are their tools.

Summary:

Current:

The preamble article referred to above really contains the essence of what is happening money-wise. Digital money is coming very quickly. Much of the necessary system infrastructure is already in place. It is a virtual certainty – rare in a world of so much uncertainty.

Timing of this transition is not clear, but what is clear is that the powers-that-be, aka bankers and assorted overlords, know that their time for succeeding is short. The longer the delay in execution, the more resistance will develop. Once it gets organized, the resistance will be fierce.

For us non-bankers and humble businesspeople, we can only accept this as part of our near-future reality. We can’t do much of anything to impede it or change it. We must plan to live with it – but our way as much as possible.

The action options are relatively few at this point. We have to figure out how this money (and surveillance) transition might affect us. Then we can devise some creative ways to minimize the hassle and potential problems. This will be easier to do today than if we wait until we are forced to act – to comply and obey.

In this regard, you might want to have a look at a recent post: “Why Are We So Obedient and Compliant?”.

The transition to digital money is well-advanced. As the article below states, it should be in place by 2030. My bet is that it will be much sooner – 2025-2026 timeframe:

I keep reading predictions that the U.S., and possibly much of the world, is heading for a “massive financial collapse”. Such a happening would likely usher in some kind of martial law or lockdown situation since the globalists are getting desperate to achieve their domination-of-everything objectives. For example:

Ethan Huff of Natural News on 04/19/2024 raises the alarm on just this possibility: “A MASSIVE financial collapse is coming that will destroy everyone’s assets, warns Paul Craig Roberts [1]”:

[1] Paul Craig Roberts is an American economist and author. He formerly held a sub-cabinet office in the United States federal government under President Reagan, as well as teaching positions at several U.S. universities.

“… The private Federal Reserve tries to manage this process to prevent such crashes, but the reality of fractional-reserve banking is that there will always be booms and busts due to the corrupt nature of fiat currency, which is not real money.”

“What happened in the leadup to 1929 is once again happening today. The 21st century as a whole is marked by a long-term drop in velocity of circulation, which is currently at the lowest level on record.”

“Meanwhile, stocks and real estate have been driven up to sky-high prices well beyond what they are actually worth in real terms. When the bubble pops, it will be the biggest bubble pop ever, producing unprecedented dispossession and economic collapse.”

“’When after more than a decade of near zero interest rates, the Fed raises interest rates it collapses the values of financial portfolios and real estate and produces a financial crisis,’ Roberts says.”

“’As the authorities have set in place a system that bails out secured creditors with our bank deposits, stocks and bonds, we will have no money and no financial assets to sell for money. People with mortgaged homes and businesses will lose them, as they did in the 1930s, when they lost their money due to bank failures. People with car payments will lose their transportation. The way the system works is you lose your money but not your debts.’”

“You can expect more bank collapses, which will mean the loss of your deposits. The federal insurance program will not recoup whatever you lose because, as previously mentioned, all deposits have been turned into collateral for creditors.”

Should this actually occur more or less as outlined above, we would be in a whole new ballgame. Somehow, I don’t see this being allowed to happen except in the context of driving martial law or equivalent into existence. Too many of the powers-that-be-and-wannabe have big money in banks.

Click image to enlarge. Use "Back" button to return to post.
Click image to enlarge. Use “Back” button to return to post.

#6. Economic Outlook

Preamble:

As always, the official story is that the economy is fine and getting better. Based on the theory that anything the government and kin say is almost certainly false, this statement means that things financial and economic are bad and getting worse. In practice, we might want to proceed with great caution.

What is our own situation today? Good and getting better, or not so good and getting worse? Or perhaps just static and sort of okay.

Whatever our situation is reflects what is actually going on in our part of the world. It is valuable information about our actual operating reality. No matter what official and media sources say.

So, our first step would seem to be figuring out just what our operating reality is and, where possible, why. If we see things looking good and getting better, then we need to be very clear on the causes here. Are our markets growing solidly? Are we doing better competitively? Is inflation making our numbers look good? …

The underlying reality for most today seems to be one of continued real price inflation and broad customer-market weaknesses. This may mean that our good results are price-driven, not output quantity-driven. Vital to know which.

My guess is that most individuals, businesses, and organizations are struggling, at least somewhat, or doing okay at best. Lots of dark storm clouds on the economic and financial horizon. Great uncertainty as to where things are headed.

Caution may be the best plan for the moment – surely until selection season is over.

Summary:

Current:

Well, at least the job market is growing nicely, so says the government and its lackeys. For example, this glowing headline in a recent article:

All job additions in this report are part-time jobs. This reflects a “good” economy? Sure doesn’t look so good to me. Why so many part-time jobs? As the article goes on to explain, people are working two or more jobs just to stay afloat, probably with their credit pretty much maxed out as well. This seems like pretty grim news. How might this situation affect your plans and actions going forward?

It is not just jobs data that is being misstated, here is what the real inflation situation is:

My takeaway from this unfortunate meddling with data is that inflation is indeed high and staying there, requiring many people to take on extra jobs part-time to make ends meet – despite what official figures are claiming.

See also my post of how consumer price inflation is being manipulated: “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics”.

Some kind of serious economic crisis appears to be a certainty at this point. Here is another extremely serious concern:

  • QTR’s [Quoth The Raven] Fringe Finance talking with Andy Schectman, President & Owner of Miles Franklin Precious Metal Investments, about government spending and financing this humongous spending, via ZeroHedge: “Are We Destroying The Economy On Purpose?”:

“Where is the common sense in any of the policy decisions of this government and of this Federal Reserve? Or is it too stupid to be stupid? And I’ll leave that up to you.”

“Talking about the Treasury buying back bonds, and how that turns into pure debt monetization, Andy added: ‘They say, ‘And this is gonna happen in the next few days,’ but who will be the entity that will do the buying? Because the treasury is broke. It ain’t gonna be the treasury. So who is it? It’s the New York Fed. And they’re gonna have to conjure up cash to buy those bonds. And while a good portion of the world is shunning our bonds, and for good reason, keeping in mind that we do need to sell almost 14 trillion this year to retire 9 trillion and maturing at higher rates, plus the current bills. You know, who’s going to do it? And this is debt monetization. This is the beginning to Weimar Republic. The Treasury says they’re going to do it, but they’re broke. So it’ll be the Fed that will come up with the cash to do it.’”

Debt monetization, also called “printing unbacked-by-anything money”, is a sure path to disaster. As in post-WW I in Germany. It may well be so far along in the U.S. that only war can prevent ultimate default.

Schectman is not the only one sounding the alarm in this particular manner:

From ZeroHedge via Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com on 4/18/2024, we have: “’This Is Too Stupid For It Not To Be The Plan’ Holter Hammers Globalist Agenda ‘Driving America Into A Brick Wall’”:

“’Why?  It’s called inflation, and it’s not temporary.’ [precious metals expert and financial writer Bill] Holter explains, ‘Foreigners are backing away from buying Treasuries…”

“That is the only thing that has kept the doors open, so to speak, is the fact we are able to borrow an unlimited amount of money because we are the world reserve currency. “

“Foreigners backing away from our debt is going to lead the Federal Reserve to be the buyer of last, and then, only resort.  So, you will have direct monetization between the Fed and the Treasury. “

“What that will cause is a currency that declines in purchasing power. It will decline in a big way, and it will decline rapidly. So, what I am describing is inflation that turns into hyperinflation.”

“But that is not the end of our problems.  Holter points out, “I do think it is going to get worse, and that means interest rates will go higher, and that will put on much more pressure…’”

“… The other wild card is war, and Holter says, ‘War is a way to keep the system propped up.’ In closing, Holter contends, what you are seeing is not a series of mistakes by incompetent people.  Holter says, …”

“’This is too stupid for it not to be the plan. . . .This is not a Republican or Democrat thing.  We are being steered directly into a brick wall because the globalists can’t take over the world with the US standing.’”

“They have to take the US down, and if they take the US down, so will the western financial system fall.  If that happens, the globalists can have their way.’”

‘Too stupid not to be the plan’ also seems to say something about the likely capabilities of such planners: intelligent but not smart.


Price inflation? Probably just another rumor, or maybe even a conspiracy theory.

Price inflation? Probably just another rumor, or maybe even a conspiracy theory.

#7 Climate Crisis

Preamble:

Much today is being done because of the so-called “climate crisis”. In the 1970s, it was global cooling and a potential new ice age driving the climate repair efforts. More recently, global warming seems to have taken over these climate mischief concerns. As a way to reconcile these two opposing causes, they are today merged into a catchall called climate crisis, or simply climate change. Whatever their current label, these are driving huge efforts to replace fossil fuels, to shift populations into 15-minute cities, and to reduce the amount of land available for growing food.

Despite the fact that over 1,600 scientists including Nobel prize winners have stated strongly that there is no climate crisis, an amazing number of people are on board with climate-change-prevention projects. Electric vehicles are one of the major results of climate crisis efforts. True believers in EVs are still many. Well, perhaps not so much lately.

I certainly can’t dispute what the 1,600+ scientists are saying. This means to me that the “climate crisis” is actually part of the globalist agenda. All of the big players here – WEF, UN, WHO, IMF, … – pretty much admit that, while carrying on the pretense of addressing climate-whatever.

People will believe what they want to believe. What’s important to folks trying to live their lives sensibly and to folks managing businesses and organizations is that this pretense is our operating reality. We can’t change it. In practice, we must deal with it as best we can, while ignoring any related disbeliefs.

See my post from a while back on this: “Beliefs and Stories, Not Facts, Actually Rule the World”.

Our operating reality is whatever the globalists are pushing for, regardless of their public rationale. The globalists seem pretty likely to succeed in major ways – near-term at least. This means that our challenge is figuring out how their climate-whatever efforts may affect us and our businesses, and devising ways to comply and obey – minimally and selectively – while protecting ourselves from the potentially most damaging aspects.

Summary:

Current:

Dealing with so-called threats like this does not in my mind involve opposing them – except as opportunities arise – but instead focusing on protecting ourselves and our interests. More power to the climate alarmists, as the article below illustrates.

The non-activist challenge involves identifying your points of vulnerability and seeking practical ways to strengthen and protect these. There may even be some ways to benefit from such globalist efforts, but with great care.

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts July, August, and September will be hotter than usual. And for those who view warmer temperatures as problematic, that’s a significant cause for concern.”

“’Earth’s issuing a distress call,’ said United Nations secretary-general António Guterres on March 19. ‘The latest State of the Global Climate report shows a planet on the brink.’”

“Fossil fuel pollution is sending climate chaos off the charts. Sirens are blaring across all major indicators: Last year saw record heat, record sea levels, and record ocean surface temperatures. … Some records aren’t just chart-topping, they’re chart-busting.”

Umm …

The climate crisis agenda, especially by the UN, has been evident for quite some time. This report simply confirms what we mostly believed. It does not change the worldview for this concern.

A 15-minute city for us soon-to-be-carless folks. Walking and biking are so good for our health as well.
A 15-minute city for us soon-to-be-carless folks. Walking and biking are so good for our health as well.