At least five people died and 30 were injured on Wednesday when a passenger train derailed in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, media reported.
Australian tech startups are using artificial intelligence, drones, and electric force fields to prevent sharks from attacking humans at beaches.
Bloomberg says US officials are closely monitoring the technological advancements because climate change is altering shark migration patterns and threatening to push great whites closer to US shores. In the last month, a man was killed by a shark off Cape Cod, the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936, and another incident left a 13-year-old who was diving for lobsters at a beach in California with traumatic injuries to his torso.
Americans’ internet searches for “shark attacks” this summer has certainly been well above trend. A series of attacks have catapulted fear into many beachgoers, which is why Bloomberg was so compelled to find anti-shark technology.
Florida Atlantic University Professor, Stephen Kajiura spoke with Bloomberg about why sharks are attacking humans. The reason: climate change of course! Kajiura said ocean waters are getting warmer thus driving sharks to higher latitudes to chase prey. “Apex predators at the top of the food chain, sharks will always follow their nourishment,” he said, which means 1,500 to 2,400 lbs. great white sharks are moving into new terrain, including America’s northeastern coast.
“We are very aware of how close to shore great whites are now hunting,” says Cynthia Wigren, a chief executive officer of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. Wigren told Bloomberg she started searching for technology to thwart shark attacks after last month’s incidences on the East and West coast.
Her research led her to Australia, where statistically Australians have a higher chance of being attacked (odds of being attacked one in 2,704,600) by a shark than in any other country in the world, where a handful of tech firms have been developing ways to prevent shark-human interaction.
A new smartphone app debuted last year called SharkMate, it uses artificial intelligence to analyze 13 environmental factors that affect shark behavior, including time of day, proximity to a river and recent rain. This is combined with other data, such as how many lifeguards on duty, to calculate a surfer’s odds of being attacked on a given day.
The Ripper Group, a leading provider of strategy, training and deployment services for rescue drones in Australia, launched SharkSpotter, the world’s first autonomous shark detecting drone. The artificial intelligence algorithm uses sensors underneath the drone to detect animals based on their movement, speed, color, texture, shape and swimming patterns. When it spots a shark, the drone automatically sends an alert to all lifeguards. CEO Eddie Bennet told Bloomberg that the drones are operating along 15 beaches in New South Wales, and indicated the aircraft will patrol another 50 beaches in the coming quarters.
While SharkMate and SharkSpotter influence human actions; Ocean Guardian’s Shark Shield casts a three-dimensional electrical field around a surfer. The device emits strong electrical pulses that cause the shark to experience safe but unbearable spasms in their sensitive electrical receptors, turning the shark away.
Bloomberg said top leading shark researchers support these three technologies that could be the solution to prevent shark attacks at popular beach destinations.
Dr. Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, said the media’s obsession with shark attacks is warping reality.
Naylor oversees the International Shark Attack File and confirmed the shark attacks across the world are below average.
In 2017, there were 88 unprovoked attacks worldwide, and so far this year there have been 40.
The “sensational reporting,” he said, stokes fear in the eyes of the public and crushes beach towns.
Besides the massive housing bubble in Australia, its economy brings in nearly $120 billion from tourism. Australia has some of the best beaches and surf spots in the world. So the mention of shark attacks in the news tends to be negative for its tourism industry.
British adventurer, writer and television presenter Bear Grylls, soaked himself with fish guts and blood for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, dove into shark-infested North Atlantic waters (without a cage) and a Shark Shield. “I’m marinating in fish guts at their feeding time,” Grylls said.
In the footage, massive bull sharks encircled him, he said: “This may have been a bad idea.” As the sharks got closer to Grylls, the Shark Shield was switched on and repelled the sharks — proving on national television that the technology works.
This is where technology meets the wild, what could possibly go wrong?
One of the bad things about writing an article such as this one is that no matter what position it takes, it is attacked by an army of naysayers and protesters. This may seem innocuous, but it is not. In reality, it detracts from attempting to make a productive point of discussion. Their objective is to foster argument and conflict. Some are paid trolls and shills, and others genuinely feel the need to stand up and be heard…even if just to argue a point…whether that point has merit or not. Akin to Colin Kaepernick, protesting years after he lost in the Super Bowl to the Ravens and not during…after he was cut from the team…protesting an “injustice” that never existed.
But they never include their E-mail addresses or identities, perhaps because their vitriolic comments may be interpreted by the authorities as threats that warrant charges.
In the end, they won’t be around to help you when you need it. You’ll need to think on your feet. Nothing that I’ve written for you has ever been to harm you or to not provide you with either information or “food for thought,” and I’m not about to reverse my position. We are at a juncture that most people do not recognize…on the precipice of tyranny. This piece is going to give you information that you can act on or choose not to act on. In the end, it is your decision and you’re on your own with it.
What to do when they come for the guns.
In truth, there are many things you can do about it. I’ll put out some information, but I’m not telling you what to do, nor advocating doing it.
Have some to “feed” them if they come: If you bought any semiautomatic rifles (erroneously and intentionally termed “assault rifles”) thorough Mr. Legal/Western Consumer Marketing procedures? There’s a record of your purchase…and that record is on file forever. They will not overlook whatever you purchased. For those “Davy Crockett” naysayers who will “defend until they’ve breathed their last?” Yes, that’s exactly what will happen: you will breathe your last. Christopher Dormer was a maniac on the run, but in the end, the cabin he holed up in burned to the ground…droned, no doubt. One thing is to “feed” them part of what you bought. Concept: “The Secret of Santa Vittoria,” with Anthony Quinn…where the town sacrificed 200,000 bottles of wine…to hide a million bottles from the German army in WWII.
Disassemble, protect, stash: Take a weapon apart, and break it down into its groups…bolt, barrel, so on. Coat it with protectant/oil/grease, wrap it in plastic, and it could be stashed where it will not be found.
Cache off-property: self-explanatory, but pick a national forest, a state forest, or a remote wilderness area. We have covered enough information on caches, and you will have to take the idea here and develop it.
Cache on-property: here more care will be exercised, but if you follow step #1? Chances are your property will then not be searched…and I don’t mean Barney Fife walking around the grounds. I’m talking about teams with metal detectors, combing every inch of ground, and probably searching your house as well.
Sewers: Yes, nobody likes going in the sewers…including the cops. After coating with protectant, wrap in 3 layers of waterproof plastic, and attach a line securely and where no one can find it or grab it.
Sale or Trade: getting rid of what has been purchased under record, and either buying something to replace it or trading for it…outside of Happy Mr. Gun Store-Channels.
Hidden spaces: House or Storage Unit: this would involve either some major “innovations” in “home improvement” or utilizing existing spaces and structures to accommodate your needs.
This last one you would have to be especially careful with. The detection devices the State will use are not to be taken lightly. I’m giving you these ideas for starters. There are more, but I’m not going to give you what I would do.
Understand what you’re dealing with. I write articles such as this one. If you think they don’t notice this, you better think again. They also notice that you read these articles. They know (and have recorded) all your e-mails, comments, and key strokes. This is the age where you must take extreme precautions, because what is coming down the pike will not be good. Food for thought with this article. Take the information and ideas, formulate your own plans, and run with the ball when you feel it’s the time.
The neverending saga of the world’s longest melting ice cube, that of Sears Holdings which has flirted with bankruptcy for years only to get bailed out in the 11th hour by its biggest investor and CEO Eddie Lampert each and every time, is finally coming to its logical end.
With its stock crashing to a new all time low, and with a $134 million in debt due on Monday on a bond issue that is currently yielding over 1,000% in the 3 or so business days left to maturity…
… the iconic if cash-strapped Sears Holdings, whose predecessor was the de facto originator of “online” retail with its innovative mail order catalogues, and which has been losing money for years, has hired M-III Partners to prepare a bankruptcy filing that could come as soon as this week, the WSJ reported citing people familiar with the situation, as the cash-strapped company that once dominated American retailing faces a debt payment deadline.
The WSJ reports that employees at M-III Partners, a boutique advisory firm, have spent the past few weeks working on the potential filing, with M-III staff seen at the retailer’s headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. That said, a Chapter 11 may still be avoided as Sears “continues to discuss other options and could still avert an in-court restructuring.”
Furthermore, Eddie Lampert, the hedge-fund manager who is Sears’s chairman, chief executive, largest shareholder and biggest creditor, may once again simply rescue the company, as he has done on many occasions in the past by making the payment. What’s different this time, is that Lampert is pushing for a broader restructuring that would include shaving more than $1 billion from Sears’s $5.5 billion debt load, selling another $1.5 billion of real estate and divesting $1.75 billion of assets, including the Kenmore appliance brand, which he has offered $400 million to buy himself. Said otherwise, Lampert hopes to shrink Sears back to profitability with the company already closing hundreds of stores in recent years.
Unfortunately for the billionaire, a key stakeholder group is resisting efforts to continue business as usual: as a result of the company’s poor financial performance, its creditors have refused to support his out of court restructuring plan, which would leave bankruptcy as the only option.
One can’t exactly blame the company’s lenders for being skeptical: Sears has lost more than $11 billion since 2011, and its annual sales have dropped nearly 60% in that period to $16.7 billion. Analysts say it needs to raise more than $1 billion a year to stay afloat.
Desperate to avoid losing control of the company which he bought out of bankruptcy in 2005, Lampert – who in 2003 was kidnapped from the parking lot of his Greenwich office, but was able to persuade his captors to let him go after two days of captivity – has also sought advice, or perhaps magic, from distressed consulting firm AlixPartners, lawyers at Weil, Gotshal and Lazard, as he has tried to keep the company afloat and restructure out of bankruptcy court.
Another hint that a bankruptcy now appears inevitable is that on Tuesday, Sears added restructuring expert Alan Carr as a director, expanding the six-person board to seven.
Carr runs a restructuring advisory firm and previously worked as a restructuring lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He has also served on the board of companies—including wireless-networking business LightSquared Inc. and guitar maker Gibson Brands Inc.—that have recently navigated the bankruptcy process.
As the WSJ puts it, Lampert, who was “once hailed as a genius investor for smart bets he made on AutoZone and AutoNation,” met his match in Sears, Roebuck. The retailer was struggling before he combined it with Kmart, which he rescued from bankruptcy, to create Sears Holdings Corp. in 2005.
While Lampert rushed to cut expenses and close unprofitable stores, the business continued to deteriorate during the recession following the financial crisis, as more purchases were made online and rivals such as Walmart and Amazon grew stronger. Not helping was Lampert’s unconventional approach to retailing: he resisted investing in store upgrades and after becoming CEO in 2013, managed the company from Florida.
According to the WSJ, Lampert wants to restructure Sears without filing for bankruptcy protection, because he views bankruptcy as risky for retailers who often enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the hope of restructuring but wind up in Chapter 7 liquidation instead, as was the case this year with Toys “R” Us Inc. More realistically, Lampert does not want cede equity control to the company’s creditors, which would be the most likely outcome in court.
Lampert, whose hedge fund ESL Investments Inc. owns a majority of Sears shares, also believes the company can get more value for its assets by selling them while it is a going concern, this person added.
And while critics have accused Lampert of stripping assets from the insolvent company, Lampert claims he has been selling assets to give Sears the cash it needs to stay in business, i.e., avoiding handing over equity control.
As for those who have never heard of M-III Partners, it was founded by turnaround expert Mohsin Meghji, who in 2011 quit Loughlin Meghji to start his own company after working on restructurings for nearly 30 years. Sears, which still has nearly 900 stores if not for long, would be M-III’s biggest assignment. It recently served as chief restructuring officer of Real Alloy, an aluminum recycling company that sought bankruptcy protection in 2017.
To be sure, none of the above will come as a surprise to anyone as Sears shares, which traded as high as $144 over a decade ago, closed Tuesday at 59 cents, confirming that investors were aware that a potential bankruptcy filing or restructuring is imminent. If there is one shared feeling among the various stakeholders, it is probably relief that the world’s most drawn out insolvency – on par with that of Greece – is finally coming to an end.
Everyone agrees that America is not the same place that it once was.
Our society is undergoing a fundamental transformation that is absolutely breathtaking, and some of the changes have been positive. But many would argue that most of the changes have been negative, and the truth is that we can see evidence of this all around us. Wikipedia defines social decay as “the tendency for society to decline or disintegrate over time, perhaps due to the lapse or breakdown of traditional social support systems.”
As a society, we are more disconnected from one another than we have ever been before, and perhaps this is one of the big reasons why so much anger and hatred are growing all around us. At this point, a large portion of the population doesn’t even seem to possess a basic level of empathy and compassion for their fellow citizens, and that has frightening implications for the future of our nation.
Because we are so disconnected from one another, it is very easy for each of us to get intensely focused on the details of our own daily lives.
But when we step back and take a broader view of things, the extent to which our society has deteriorated is quite stunning.
Today, I would like to share with you 7 glimpses into the social decay that is voraciously eating away at the fabric of our country…
#1 Long Island – Gang activity is spreading like wildfire all over America. On Long Island, some homeowners in the Hamptons are actually installing “panic rooms” in their homes as MS-13 continues to move east on Long Island…
Wealthy Hamptons homeowners are securing their homes by installing luxury panic rooms to protect themselves from the dangerous MS-13 gang that has plagued Suffolk County.
Billionaire Gristedes supermarket mogul, John Catsimatidis, told the New York Post ‘I sleep with a gun underneath my pillow: a Walther PPK/S, the same one James Bond carried.’
‘[My wife] Margo prefers a shotgun. Although, once, she thought she heard something, got the shotgun out and shot through the door,’ he added.
#2 South Fulton County, Georgia – Law enforcement authorities recently discovered “more than 10 decapitated goats” in and around the Chattahoochee River. Needless to say, this completely shocked the residents of South Fulton County…
Officials say they found more than 10 decapitated goatsin and around the Chattahoochee River.
Channel 2’s Tom Jones was in South Fulton County, where the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper found the headless animals floating down the river near the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive bridge.
#3 Baltimore, Maryland – The opioid crisis in America has never been worse than it is right now. As a result, many babies are addicted to the drugs the moment that they are born. In the city of Baltimore, approximately one out of every four babies is born as an opioid addict…
Every 15 minutes, a baby is born dependent on opioids. In Baltimore, doctors at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital say babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome — a set of conditions caused by withdrawal from exposure to drugs — now account for 25% of the hospital’s admissions.
One of the gang appears to be brandishing a machete as he strikes the victim.
West Midlands Police confirmed three people sustained stab injuries and were taken to hospital.
Witnesses claimed there were “about 30” youngsters “aged around 16” involved in the incident.
#5 Auburn, Washington – Do you remember what I said earlier about many Americans lacking basic empathy and compassion? Well, an incident that just happened in Auburn, Washington is a perfect example of that. It all started when a convenience store clerk confronted a pair of potential thieves…
The horrific incident occurred in Auburn, Washington Saturday, when two teenagers and an adult male got into an argument with a Shell station attendant who said the pair owed money for two pepperoni sticks that had arrogantly helped themselves to. After walking around the counter and confronting the group, clerk Zarif Kelada suddenly staggered forward and collided with a water bottle stand before collapsing to the ground.
Instead of helping the clerk, the two boys decided that it was a great opportunity to rob the store. As one of the boys was leaving, he even ripped a dollar bill out of the dying clerk’s hand…
Instead of physically helping the clerk, or at the very least calling 911, the two boys seize their opportunity and pounced on the unmanned checkout. The man chose not to participate in the robbery, but also failed to signal for help – he simply strolled out the door, leaving Zarif dying on the ground. After stealing cigarettes and over $150 from the register, one of the boys committed a final act of defiance, ripping a dollar bill out of Kelada’s hand as he lay on the ground, struggling for air.
You can see video of this robbery right here. If this is what the future of America looks like, we are all in really big trouble.
#6 Portland, Oregon – Just recently, Antifa took over the streets of downtown Portland and actually started directing traffic. Portland police monitored them the entire time, but they refused to intervene. When one extremely frightened elderly man refused to follow Antifa’s directions, they attacked his vehicle, causing $3,000 in damage…
Video captured by Brandon Farley shows the driver inching forward, getting clear and driving away quickly. He stopped less than a block away, got out, looked at the damage to his car quickly, then got back in as protesters arrived and again began hitting his car.
The driver, who spoke with KOIN 6 News but did not want to go on-camera, said he got out of his car earlier and asked protesters to move. But, he said, they grabbed him. He got back into the car, which is when they began beating on his car and smashed his driver’s side window.
The person in front of the car was trying to lift up the front end as the driver was trying to get out of the area.
The driver said there is $3000 damage to his car. He called the police to file a report after he left the area, which police confirmed.
#7 San Francisco, California – One of the wealthiest cities in America has also become a cesspool of crime, drugs and human feces. An Inside Edition news crew went down to one of the worst parts of San Francisco to report on the crime wave, but while they did that their own vehicle was broken into and “thousands of dollars worth of equipment” was stolen…
While the crew was interviewing the man captured on camera in the initial theft, their actual crew car was broken into via the “smash and grab” method, leaving “thousands of dollars worth of equipment” stolen.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, more than 31,000 people reported “smash and grab” robberiesin the city in 2017 alone.
If 31,000 people reported “smash and grab” robberies in San Francisco last year, how many more went unreported to the police?
What in the world is happening to us? America was once “the shining city on a hill” that the rest of the world admired, but now the only example we are is a bad one.
It doesn’t have to be this way, but we have got to be willing to go back to the values and the principles that made our country so great in the first place.
If we continue down the path that we are currently on, how do we possibly expect to have any sort of a positive future as a nation?
Change is desperately needed, but unfortunately real change does not appear to be anywhere on the horizon at this point…
Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have kindly been asked by fellow Democrats to make themselves scarce during midterms, will embark on a 13-city speaking tour beginning in Las Vegas on November 18, according to Bloomberg.
Tickets won’t be cheap either – with prices for the first show ranging from around $72 to $750 on ticketmaster to watch the prototypical American power couple “sharing stories and inspiring anecdotes that shaped their historic careers in public service, while also discussing issues of the day and looking towards the future,” according to an announcement from Live Nation.
Bloomberg points out that the new speaking tour is likely to stoke criticism over the Clintons leveraging their political fame to give expensive speaking tours – including an infamous $500,000 speech to a Kremlin-linked investment bank amid the Uranium One deal (a trip during which Clinton and Putin hung out at the Russian president’s house).
The tour and ticket prices could reignite criticism of the former first couple for profiting from their former offices. During the 2016 campaign, Republicans blasted Hillary Clinton for giving highly paid speeches to corporate audiences after leaving public service.
Indeed, the Clinton tour follows two years of declining popularity – between Hillary Clinton’s historic 2016 loss to Donald Trump, and Bill Clinton’s old rape allegations cropping up amid the #MeToo phenomenon.
Vanity Fair writes “The Trump era has not been kind to the Clintons, the prototypical American power couple who, after three decades in the public eye, have seen their political capital vastly diminished. Hillary, indelibly marked by her 2016 election loss, has played only a limited role in the midterms, given the Democratic Party’s newfound aversion to her brand of establishment politics. Bill, meanwhile, has undergone a belated reckoning with #MeToo.”
[T]he issue of Hillary’s “likability”—as Barack Obama so memorably put it—is now secondary to the #MeToo scandals hanging over Bill, and the awkward questions she has been forced to address. In a recent interview with CNN, she drew a painstaking line between Bill and the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against the current president, noting, “There’s a very significant difference, and that is the intense, long-lasting, partisan investigation that was conducted in the 90s. If the Republicans, starting with President Trump on down, want a comparison, they should welcome such an investigation themselves.” That answer may be sufficient for the dwindling number of hardcore Clinton fans, but it is unlikely to win converts. –Vanity Fair
Tickets for the Clinton tour go on sale Friday. It should be fun to compare crowd sizes between Trump rallies and Clinton appearances.
If you were to read about the United States of America from someplace else, you’d probably think it was a nation full of people who are gearing up to go to war. Anyone would think the same thing from what they saw in the media. You would see hysterical rage fueling terrible acts. You’d see the intense hatred between people who belong to different political parties. You’d believe this is nationwide.
But it’s not. Sure, there’s some tension if you talk politics, but in most places, it isn’t crazy in a life-threatening kind of way. Mostly, it’s pretty friendly.
When I went through the news today to search for a writing topic, it was like being hit with a wall of despair. Parts of the country are truly in bad shape. The venomous hatred is like nothing I’ve ever seen in this nation.
There are absolutely pockets of rage – violent enclaves studded with people who are nothing more than domestic terrorists. Full-on fascists who unironically call themselves anti-fascists.
In Portland yesterday, some people in masks (and some who brazenly went without them) took over a major intersection and “directed” traffic, shouting obscenities and racial slurs toward white drivers. An elderly man became fearful and drove through them. They chased him down and began striking his vehicle with batons and rocks. AN OLD MAN. They were within minutes of beating him, according to reports. Meanwhile, the police “monitored” the situation from a distance, allowing the mob free reign. (Read more at Zero Hedge.) Near Portland, arsonists actually set fire to a truck bearing a couple of pro-Trump stickers.
In Kentucky, Senator Rand Paul’s wife sleeps with a gun. Fear is now a constant companion for her. She wrote an open letter to Senator Corey Booker that was published on CNN, calling him out for urging people to “get up in Congresspeoples’ faces.” Booker isn’t the only member of Congress who is inciting violence, either. Judicial Watch has filed an ethics complaint against Representative Maxine Waters for “inciting violence and assaults on the Trump Cabinet.”
It goes on and on. A writer for The Late Show tweeted “I’m just glad we ruined Brett Kavanaugh’s life.” A special education teacher in Minneapolis tweeted, “So whose [sic] gonna take one for the team and kill Kavanaugh?” An executive from Google tweeted, “You are finished, @GOP. You polished the final nail for your own coffins. F–K. YOU. ALL. TO. HELL.” And these are just this week. Wow, and we thought Trump’s tweets were a bit over the top.
Lest it seem one-sided, there’s a whole language that angry conservatives use to insult liberals on Twitter. Twitter is a verbal war zone and there aren’t a lot of people taking the high road there.
Over the past year, we’ve seen violence at a Unite the Right rallies, notably the one in Charlottesville, Virginia that left a woman dead when a car drove into a crowd.
It’s impossible to find truly unbiased links for all of these and that leads me to my point.
It isn’t like this in everyday America. The media is painting an ugly picture and putting that picture everywhere so it seems like this is our reality.
Rage is not the reality for most of us.
A couple of days ago, my neighbors were grilling and we chit-chatted over the fence. They shared some delicious southern barbecue with us, and I passed on some of the last, delicious late tomatoes to them. They had a Hillary Clinton sign in their yard when we moved in, but they still caught our dog Bella and brought her home when she escaped over the fence for a little walkabout.
We helped the neighbors on the other side of our house when the husband had a heart attack last year. We couldn’t do much, but we went over while they were waiting for the ambulance and took care of their pets during the hospital stay. Later, the wife brought us a cake. I have no idea for whom they voted and I don’t care. It was a delicious cake.
My landlady has bumper stickers all over her car with which I disagree. Some of them make me cringe internally, but I don’t feel obligated to point out her errors in critical thinking. I gave her a nice plant to thank her for letting us move in and she gave us a couple of pumpkins for the front porch. She brings dog biscuits for our pets every time she swings by to do a repair or collect the rent.
When I was in California, I was a part of the warmest network of homesteaders you can imagine. When there were wildfires, they opened up their fields and barns to others fleeing the flames with their livestock. We got together monthly to learn new skills and all “paid” the teacher with a homemade or homegrown goodie. When one homesteader broke her leg, we all took turns looking after her livestock until she recovered.
This is the America that I see. Neighbors being kind to neighbors. Communities that care about one another. People who don’t want to participate in the hysterical rage that we’re seeing all over the media.
In times of trouble, our communities are there for one another. We do this without government intervention and media urging.
There’s the Cajun Navy, which formed after a bunch of guys who fish and hunt banded together and then went and rescued people who needed rescuing. There are the people in Hawaii who saw that the government wasn’t doing anything to help people displaced by a volcano, so they stepped in and built a tiny house community for their homeless neighbors.
There was the guy in Puerto Rico who bought a utility truck with his neighbors and restored power to their neighborhood himself. After Hurricane Harvey in Texas, there were stories of community that would melt even the coldest heart. And remember how practically the whole internet stepped in to support the woman who got in trouble for rescuing abandoned dogs and cats after Hurricane Florence?
We can and do pull together during hard times. And when those hard times happen, it doesn’t matter who somebody voted for or what they said on Twitter. That rage doesn’t matter anymore.
First of all, I refuse to connect with any of my neighbors on social media. I won’t look up old friends there either. I just don’t need to know their deeply held political convictions that may or may not be ridiculous enough that I’d feel differently about them.
I know how kindly they treat stray cats. I know they share the extra apples from their tree with the rest of us. I know how cute the kitchen is of the woman with the apple tree because I spent a pleasant afternoon in there teaching her how to can applesauce. These are the things that matter.
I only use social media for business purposes, to help people who want to be better prepared, and to tell funny stories or share pictures of my cat, if I’m being honest. I can’t be bothered to get into arguments on there. When in history has anyone ever totally reversed their deeply held opinion on anything because someone on Facebook ALL-CAPPED the “truth” at them?
I don’t talk about politics and religion. Remember the days when this was the norm? When it was considered discourteous, particularly at the dinner table or at family functions? It was absolutely not done at the workplace either. Maybe instead of avoiding the topics, we should have learned to have these discussions civilly, but that ship has sailed. It’s now truly impossible for most people.
Over in my Facebook group, these topics are completely off-limits too. People get a warning when they post something political, and then if they continue to do so, they’re out of the group. That’s because we’re a community. We learn from each other and we celebrate our similarities. The hot-button issues don’t add to our conversations. Instead, they make people angry. Insults start to fly. People leave – good people. We don’t need that stuff. We need the exchange of information.
I believe these topics that will cause nothing but strife and alienation should be pushed back into places where they’re appropriate instead of front and center of all media publications, all social events, all online forums. Is the fact that I’m neither a Republican nor a Democrat really pertinent to my ability to teach you how to prepare for a power outage? Do my stepfather’s deeply held beliefs – ones with which I strongly disagree – actually change the fact that he is a wonderful, generous soul? Of course not. I focus on his kindness, not his cringe-worthy opinions. I know that arguing with him would be pointless – he’s not going to change his mind. And I like having a pleasant relationship with him.
These opinions we’re all so currently worked about?
They’re mere asides, personal tastes, like preferring whiskey instead of vodka over the ice in your highball glass.
These political arguments?
They don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
If the SHTF tomorrow, you’d no longer care who the people surrounding you voted for in some rigged election. (I’m not talking about Russians. I’m talking about the fact that our entire system is corrupted.)
You would care about whether you could trust them to have your back. You’d care about whether they were willing to trade their eggs for your tomatoes. You’d care about how you could work together to keep your families safer.
Stop letting social media draw you into fights that are not your fights. It isn’t your responsibility to tell someone they’re wrong.
Stop letting the media make you feel like you’re under siege. While there are definitely some pockets of political violence here in the US, these pockets do not represent the majority of us.
Sure, you can personally dislike things done by the President or by some member of Congress on the “other side of the aisle.” But stop thinking each one is a personal attack. These are just politicians politicking.
And they’re really be politicking in the next little while. They want to stir us all up into a frenzy as they try to motivate people to get out there and vote to put their corrupt heinies back in their comfortable seats on Capitol Hill. “It’s the most important election of our lifetime,” they’ll say.
Yeah. Just like the last election and the election before that.
Just like this recent clusterf*ck of a SCOTUS confirmation and the SCOTUS nomination before that.
They – the politicians, the media, the rich people pulling the strings, and industries like Big Tech and Big Pharm – want us at each other’s throats. It supports them. It confirms the veracity of their whims. It puts money in their pockets and power in their hands. Divided we fall and these are the people who want that to happen.
Every single one of us is being manipulated. We’re being turned against one another. We are being ripped apart for the benefit of those who love power.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
We are better than this.
In the most extended bull market ever, a new trend has emerged in the Hamptons, a luxury Long Island playground for millionaires and billionaires, which involves the ultra-wealthy installing panic rooms packed with guns for the next apocalypse, according to a New York Post report Saturday.
“I sleep with a gun underneath my pillow: a Walther PPK/S, the same one James Bond carried,” said John Catsimatidis, owner of Red Apple Group and Gristedes Foods, who has a vacation property in East Quogue. “[My wife] Margo prefers a shotgun. Although, once, she thought she heard something, got the shotgun out and shot through the door.”
The Post said the billionaire and his family, like many others in the Hamptons, are terrified over new concerns that MS-13 has a growing presence in the area.
In April, the vicious Salvadorian gang murdered four men behind a sports field in Central Islip. Over the summer, a Hampton Bays brothel raided by local police found MS-13 insignia. And in 2016, the Post notes, a man with MS-13 affiliation broke into an upscale Southampton home and sexually assaulted a woman.
As authorities crack down on gang strongholds in western Suffolk County, Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skryneck warned that ongoing police raids would push gangs, and violence into his jurisdiction [Southampton].
Chief Skrynecki, who took command earlier this year told residents attending August’s Hampton Bays Beautification Association meeting that his officers are seeing signs of the gang in Southampton.
One Southampton millionaire, who requested to remain anonymous for security reasons, told the Post that she recently had a security company install bulletproof glass and high-tech surveillance cameras throughout the estate.
“MS-13 is in Suffolk County,” she said. “What’s an hour car ride? They are near.”
The anonymous millionaire is not alone. “The home-security business is very event- and news-driven,” said Gary Blum, president of Armored Entry, a company that installs bullet-proof, super-secure windows and doors. “We get business when there is a tremendous amount of fear being generated.”
Blum told the Post his bulletproof windows are not cheap, starting at $6,000 per window, “you can beat it with a sledgehammer without making a dent.”
Chris Cosban, and his company Covert Interiors, has seen demand soar in the Hamptons for panic rooms ranging from $25,000 to $200,000. “The big thing [with homeowners] in the Hamptons is that if somebody has it, they all want it,” said Cosban. “There is a wow factor … They like to brag about it.”
Herman Weisberg, managing director of the personal-security firm Sage Intelligence Group, told the Post that his Hamptons clients want their panic rooms to double as home theaters, home offices, wine cellars or even gun vaults where assault rifles and shotguns can be stored.
“People used to open up their garages and show off their Lamborghinis,” Weisberg said. “Now they take guests to the wine bar in their safe room.”
Catsimatidis, who also had his home broken into, worries about the MS-13 threat, has installed infrared sensors at his place. But, the paranoia of social destabilization is not just with the billionaires and millionaires on the East Coast, Al Corbi, president of SAFE (Strategically Armored & Fortified Environments), an architecture-focused security firm, just “finished a system for $100 million” with a panic room on the West Coast. “That sounds like a lot but there is nothing I know of, human or manmade, that could possibly harm this family for three generations, including global nuclear holocaust, a pandemic or a second Ice Age,” he said, adding that, “it is like a Ritz-Carlton underground.”
Some residents in the Hamptons told the Post that some of their neighbors have entirely gone overboard fortifying their estates for the apocaplyse. “In the Hamptons, it’s hard to know if someone is an oligarch and lots of security makes sense, or if somebody is just paranoid,” said one East Hampton resident who wished to remain anonymous.
So, could this new panic room craze in the Hamptons be a reactionary response to the MS-13 threat, or is it that the ultra-wealthy have too much excess liquidity?