Can you hear the thunder? A distant thunderstorm is on the horizon of America, but most American’s are deaf to its approach. The storm is one of violent cells, each with the potential to destroy vast segments of the population below underneath its violence. The looming problem is money. That fact was admitted in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and even the Milwaukee Journal. What are low paid people going to do when the jobs they have depended upon are gone for the foreseeable future? Not one of the three newspapers offered any kind of solution at all to this problem that is going to rise up and strike hard into the very soft solar plexus of the United States of America. Basically, all three news organizations had the same thing to write: “nobody knows, including the people who will have nothing.”

Well, I know, and many people as experienced as I, also know. Such a huge base of the population is not going to go quietly into the terrible cold night. Gun sales are off the charts and there is no ammo left anywhere. Those guns and the ammunition are not going to middle-class American families worried about roving wild biker gangs. Those guns and that ammo are going to people who are afraid, and people who are afraid can grow very dangerous indeed. The U.S. Justice Department moved to get tougher on Friday, submitting a brief to congress that entails new rules of conduct within the justice system for the duration of the “emergency” and for one year after. No habeas corpus…in other words “no right to be bought before a judge about whether you should be held or not on whatever charge.” Statute of limitations for all crimes would be put in abeyance. Arrested people could also be detained without hearing for the duration of the emergency. Those people could be deemed “pre-arrested,” a new and very handy designation, and not have any rights at all. These new rules would be fully applicable at all levels, federal, state and even county and local. That the justice department, all America’s U.S. Justice Department, would even ask for these new powers is stunning in the message it sends to us all, much less the message about congress if it acts to pass these provisions.

Everything is in flux all over the place if you are paying attention. I went to the Sentry Grocery Store today and passed through the fruit area. Yesterday, Honey Dew melons were on sale; 2 for $5. I went over to the display because I realized I like those melons and I wanted that great price. Today the melons were repriced at $5.29 each. Conversely, I went to the meat section of the store and looked at a prime rib roast. Yesterday, that same small end, bone-in, was thirteen ninety-five a pound. Today it was eight ninety-five. I bought one. Both displays had plenty of product out in the bins. Toilet paper was gone, again. The prices for the stuff were still there, however, on small cards under the empty shelves. Two days ago the Scott Tissue they had in stock came out to a buck a roll. The new tags, with no product on the shelves, came out to be a dollar-fifty per roll. A gas can was $74.95 yesterday (one of the good five-gallon ones) at the hardware store. I passed on that, although I would like a few extra gallons for my generator and cars, just in case.

Today I was looking for something else and passed the display. Same cans. Twenty-four dollars each. I bought two. I asked the guy in the aisle about the price change. All he said, before moving on, was; “yes, that’s correct.” I wondered if the cashier would stop me or something, but that didn’t happen. My mail at my UPS store mailbox is down to two or three envelopes a day, down from twenty with another twenty, or so, catalogs like it used to be. Yes, I hold the regular record at the place for catalogs received. But now, nothing. Three letters, none of them meaningful, and no catalogs, and it’s been that way for a week. Strange things are happening everywhere and getting and keeping one’s balance through this jumbled “white water” our normal placid stream of life has turned into is going to be as interesting as it is scary and unpredictable.

Adapt. Don’t get angry. Your mission, survival, must remain at the very top of every decision you make…quietly and without any fanfare at all. The complaint department is not closed…it is gone for good.
~ James Strauss



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