The Great Reset: The Fate of the US dollar

While reading this book I was surprised and yet not surprised at the same time that this was so far the shortest chapter. Schwab makes the obvious conclusion that there is a chance the US dollar will no longer be the world reserve currency. He discounts new forms of currency like Bitcoin but towards the end mentions the Chinese renminbi (RMB) as a possible replacement. I’m not sure if this is a smoke screen for what appears to already be happening with some countries suggesting copying the Chinese model of doing Social Credit Scores and moving all commerce to a digital format. For years now Russia and China have been buying up physical gold and silver, paying almost double in some situations above spot price, and building vaults in their national banks to house it in. Could there be a digital currency backed by gold and silver in the future? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Schwab closes the chapter by saying that the chance of the dollar losing its dominance is unlikely. But this also follows a paragraph talking about the printing of money and how inflation will pop up its ugly head as the US continues to create more dollars to keep programs going and tax revenue declines due to Covid-19. Regardless of the pandemic the odds of the US becoming insolvent were high from zero interest rates, poor (shitty) book keeping, lack of tax revenue, and an economy that has been bleeding money into China since the 1990’s. Companies like Walmart have supported the Chinese Communist Party for decades by destroying local economies throughout the US, buying cheap products from China and shipping US dollars to China to pay for cheap labor and funding China’s expanse across the globe. Those dollars were also used to buy US debt through the Federal Reserve making China a shareholder in the US government by being a partial owner of the treasury credit card. This impacts US foreign policy in obvious ways. Recently President Biden was asked about the concentration camps in China and what US policy was on it? “They have a different culture from us,” was the response from the president. When it comes to congress or the current president the policy has been obvious, let China do what they want because they own us. I long for the days when we had a leader that referred to the CCP as “motherfuckers.” Things drastically changed in a matter of weeks.

Whether Schwab wants to say it or not the day of the dollar is coming to a close. It would appear that those above us on the income ladder agree as certain commodities are bought up and stored away for a rainy day. Billionaires are buying land, companies, art, precious metals, antiques, and anything else that will increase or hold its value over time. Keep in mind that physical items are easier to transport wealth than actual money. A woman wearing a $10,000 neckless doesn’t have to claim it like she would if it was a briefcase filled with cash. Those who can afford it are buying Bitcoin, driving the price to $50,000 per coin, last I checked. The desire to move and own land caused a housing boom during Covid-19 that is finally coming to a close. The lack of employment and no support from the government to the middle or lower class kept people in dire straits looking at eviction in the coming months along with massive amounts of debt from the pandemic, all of this due to government policies, not the pandemic.

The mismanagement of the US dollar is not due to the pandemic as Schwab would like to suggest but the poor policies that have been in place since the year 2000. If any event was to blame for the downfall of the dollar it would be 9-11 not Covid-19. If anything, Covid-19 is the final nail in the coffin not the cause of its decline.

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Homefront: a story of the future collapse

I recently received an email from a company called Webnovel who was interested in my book Homefront: a story of the future collapse. I had never heard of this company before and decided to do some research as to what they were selling. Webnovel is a Chinese based company that specializes is serialized books, expecting authors to write 1500 words a day to be paid $200 a month. they buy the rights to these works and the author is unable to publish on other platforms. doesn’t exactly sound like a good deal.

the funny part about this story is that the novel they enquired about has the Chinese military as the villains, invading the west coast of the country a year after an EMP took out the power grid and left the population helpless in fighting off an invading army. Or so they thought. I don’t know what the intent of this email was or if they even knew anything about the book. worse case scenario is that they were trying to buy the rights so that the book could be shelved and never seen again. after all the last version of Red Dawn that was created had the Chinese replaced with North Koreans after the film had already been shot. Nothing would surprise me these days. you can still find copies of Homefront on Amazon, until the Chinese tell Bezos otherwise. click on the link for a free sample.

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Orange Chicken and the death of the American mall

Standing in front of the plastered drywall where a Chinese eatery once stood, I am filled with a feeling of loss and dread. This was the spot where Oriental Express, a staple of Crossroads mall operated for over twenty years. I don’t know when it opened, my own memories go back to high school. Being the only one of my friends who owned a car I was the transportation to this place that I loathed. I hated the mall, but I loved the orange chicken. Even when I worked downstairs at Olga’s kitchen and had a lunch break, if I had the money I went upstairs and ordered the orange chicken and fried rice.
Malls have been closing around the country in record numbers and I had a thought that even if Crossroads Mall closed that somehow this Chinese place would remain open, the loan survivor of an economic apocalypse that Hot Topic and Zale’s would fall prey to. It was during the lunch rush that a person quickly learned what to order while standing in line. As you approached the counter the same order would be repeated with the exception of some dietary idiot ordering steamed broccoli. “Orange chicken and fried rice to go” rolled off their tongues as if they were in a soviet bread line, the only difference, they desired the Styrofoam container they were being handed. For six dollars you could eat a meal and be set for the rest of the day. The staff would scoop a pile of chicken onto the platter and when you thought they were done they continued scooping more. I was always happy to see the employee glancing up as if their eyes asked a question. “Is this enough? How about this? Now?”
While I didn’t care for the mall growing up there was the movie theater next door and or the longest time it was the best place to see the latest film. Plans would include finding parking at the theater, traveling on foot down the grassy hill to the mall, ordering orange chicken, eating it as fast as possible to make sure we didn’t miss the film, and rushing back to take our seats. For the price of some milk duds or a small popcorn a person could have a meal and let it digest over the ninety minutes we watched Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, or Keanu Reeves save the world.
A few months ago, I took my daughter to the mall in an attempt to tire her out. Being two years old she has a desire to walk to the edge of the world without stopping. She never takes a nap and for some reason her battery never moves below full, bouncing around the crib a night shaking walls and hollering at the top of her lungs until she passes out. I figured that with the escalator and the circle pattern of the mall I could follow her around and wait until she tired out before taking her home. That never happened. Instead we ended up in the food court and I bought the orange chicken and fried rice. Everything was the same as it had been for the last twenty years. Bamboo chop sticks, fortune cookie, a cup of water, and my food in a white foam container. Zoey tried some chicken and rice. The sticky sauce was on her lips and she fought to take it off. She seemed indifferent to it and I thought that in a few years she would be asking to have some orange chicken as I had done as a kid. This would be the only time she would try it.
The plastered walls are accompanied by a sign that reads “please excuse our mess. We are remodeling.” There are other spots in the food court where places closed and walls were put up to hide the fact there are empty spaces that have not been filled. McDonald’s closed years ago and was never replaced. Subway had a short lifespan and at the moment Sbarro is the only place I can think of worth mentioning. Olga’s kitchen is still there, downstairs in its own little world, with a new menu that I have trouble reading, desiring the old sandwiches that I once made.
The mall is slowly dying and during this process it has lost the carousel and several stores that people loved over the years. We knew this would happen when Tinder Box was forced to close, the only place for smokers to find cigarettes on their lunchbreak. Once the mall was no longer concerned about what the consumer wanted it was game over. Sears no longer owns Craftsman tools. Hot topic sells T-shirts for things I don’t understand, they could be anything from bands to some anime cartoon I have never seen, I don’t know. Half of Spencer’s is a sex shop and the rest is cheap clothes that will fall apart as you walk out the door. Sears has been on the verge of filing bankruptcy for a few years now but that is not what worries me. If the mall was a living organism then it just lost its stomach. Oriental Express was the last place that offered something comparable to street food. It was the one thing that people making minimum wage could eat while at work and not lose half of their check.
As a poor young man, I can’t tell you how many times I took my girlfriend to get orange chicken at the mall, unable to afford anything else. Dates to movies would start there and then we would go to see the latest Star Wars flick that George Lucas decided to poop onto the screen. The traffic in Portage is so horrific on most days that if I found myself in the area, I would gravitate towards the mall for food rather than trying to be sideswiped on Westnedge. In Portage, Oriental Express was my go-to, the place that always got it right and I could count on to fill my stomach and not regret it later. Over the years I would run into other people who knew of the orange chicken and I would watch their eyes light up, saliva would build up in their mouths and a few minutes later they were off to enjoy a tray of food just on the mention of it. This was the 90s and we would joke that the cooks must sprinkle crack on it because once a person had it, they wouldn’t order anything else.
Waving my fist in the air and trying not to scream in my anger of losing such an institution I left the mall with my daughter and went to Mid-Town Fresh a few blocks away from my house. In the lunch area they were serving orange chicken. I knew this wouldn’t be close to what I was seeking and yet I ordered it anyway. The chicken was heavily breaded and the sauce was sprinkled with sesame seeds. It was a bastardized version of what I wanted but I thought I would give it a shot. People think that the secret to orange chicken is the sauce, but its not. This tasted more like orange peels and the breading was thick and spongy. The appeal of Oriental Express was that the sauce was so thick and heavy you would scoop the rice into it and mix it around to soak up the rest. I have not found a place yet that matched it and likely never will.
I doubt I will ever go to the mall again. I have no reason now. When your business relies on having chains that everyone else has what do you have to offer that is unique? There is a lifespan for everything. With the come and go reputation that the restaurant business has I should not be surprised that Oriental Express closed. I was shocked to hear that the London Grill closed. I was devastated that I would never be able to make a pilgrimage to Les Halle and see the place that Bourdain wrote about, but for some reason I thought that Oriental Express would always be there. If this isn’t a sign of how things are really going in this country then I wouldn’t know where else to look.
If anyone knows where to find the recipe for that orange chicken let me know.

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