A Front Line Opinion on the COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Lockdowns

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

[EDIT-09-01-2020: Our site was blocked from Facebook for sharing this opinion in May of 2020. We took it down so that we were not censored, however, once censored by Facebook it is all but impossible to get off of their naughty list. With that in mind, we are republishing this article. Of note, much of what we projected back in May turned out to be true now in September. COVID-19 has become a political tool, and with open ended “quantitative easing” the greatest wealth transfer in US history has occurred, voices questioning it silenced from mass media. If you search for our website you’ll find the site at the very top of every search engine except–Google. Censorship is very real, and although we are not yet at the level of some, it is a slippery slope that we are all headed down if it remains unabated.]

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Benjamin Franklin

This quote resonates with countless social media posts and a preponderance of news outlets tilting the discussion left or right. The context behind the quote is actually quite different and almost runs contrary to the implied meaning. But nonetheless, the message it conveys at face value does indeed lend itself to a good deal of debate among the two camps.

Firstly to answer this question we need to look at what we know about the Coronavirus/COVID-19. Although I am not a physician, my training is in medicine and I do have good deal of education in the field. That and the twenty years of experience in medicine helps to cut through the mud. But let’s face it, most physicians do not have the training in this field either, save those in epidemiology or infectious disease. But even then, our knowledge is entirely limited by the fact that we cannot effectively test. Without testing we have no accurate representation of incidence and thus no calculation of an actual fatality rate. Regardless of that fact here’s what I can tell you as fact. Most ICUs I have been to, ranging from one of the biggest cities in the US to some outliers, are at no more capacity than before, most are actually less acute/less occupied. This is my experience in a few dozen ICUs. Each one has had maybe one or two COVID patients, and very few deaths. The ones that have been particularly sickly have significant comorbidities. This is fact. While NYC is an isolated case, I will contend that it is due to the incredible proximity that people live in in NYC, that I can attest to having lived there myself. A confluence of the density and timing of the infection spread give it a higher peak, though likely much higher herd immunity.

My sources for writing this essay are from direct experience of not just myself, but the dozens if not hundreds of other healthcare personnel throughout the country who have shared their experience with me. The long and the short of it is this–outside of a healthcare facility you won’t catch me wearing a mask unless I am asked or required. Why? I am not afraid. I have been watching CNN feverishly in my travels, watching the body count rise from 2400 at the start, to 80,000 or so now in the US as the months go by. And although I used to trust CNN for unbiased coverage, it has become clear that it is not the place to get it anymore. Don Lemon, Andrew Cuomo, and nearly every talking head on the channel is working to instill fear. Why? Mr. Cuomo himself recovered and is now back in the studio. Mr. Lemon, though much older since the last time I had regularly watched cable news, is furious at those criticizing the lockdown. They Fear. And I do not mean Don and Andy, I mean They. They who set the agenda.

Most ICUs I have been to, ranging from one of the biggest cities in the US to some outliers, are at no more capacity than before, most are actually less acute/less occupied. This is my experience in a few dozen ICUs. Each one has had maybe one or two COVID patients, and very few deaths. The ones that have been particularly sickly have significant comorbidities. This is fact.

I watch these opinions in disbelief, because here I thought I was in the US of A. ‘Murica. The land of the free. And now we’re in a protracted lockdown. Shutting out political opposition with the rabid opinion of a journalist with an agenda. Mocked by the public at large. How is this possible? I’m not afraid of COVID. I’m not afraid of choking to death from a virus. Because I know I probably already had it being a frequent traveler in the hotspots long before the quarantines started, having battled my own virus that went through my family at a breakneck speed, but left nobody permanently harmed. But what I fear is our government, the same government that gave us family court and indefinite confinement for the indigent, to have the power to choose which segments of society can continue to operate. This is exactly what our founders had feared, irrespective of the context of Ben Franklin’s quote.

Dr. Fauci actually wrote the book on medicine.

I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Fauci. He is an exemplary human being who deserves every rung on his career ladder. But I value his opinion as a physician, not as a politician. I do not disagree with the risks he presents, I disagree with the risks a government having total control presents.

Let’s examine the economic impact of the COVID pandemic and the resulting lockdowns in the US. Small businesses are all but shut down. Most have laid off or furloughed their staff, and realistically that means they are going to go under or perform very poorly in the coming year or more. These business are not publicly traded, their impact on the economy is not directly reflected by the Wall Street indices. While the extent of this will not be known for quite some time, preliminary it is not looking good. Next up we have the ones who these businesses are indebted to. Most of these will be landlords, insurers, and employees. The employees obligations have been mostly discharged through layoffs. Now paying rent/mortgages on some of these large properties with no income? Who suffers there. Now we’re to the landlords and the banks. These entities are wealthier and have much of their wealth tied up in equities, bonds, and other investments. And then you have the top 1% and above, whose value rests entirely on the value of their assets, not their productivity. These people can furlough themselves as much as needed, they are not reliant on income, just protective of their portfolios. So where have the bailouts been focused? Not where it is needed.

The last twelve years the stock market has been in a bubble unknown to history. Near zero interest rates have caused massive debt, and although middle class salaries have not moved much, actual inflation has very much happened. The price of gold had more than doubled, the cost of living (real estate, produce, gas) have all gone up substantially. And although relative to other currencies the US dollar has remained stable, relative to a middle class income, it has gone down substantially. But when you look at those who hold investments, their wealth has gone up massively. “But Mr. MAS, I benefit too, my 401k is also up!” Dear reader, if your 401k is anything like mine, you have seen moderate gains, but nothing of the sort that your fund manager has. Those fees you pay? You are absorbing all the risk, but only getting a portion of the gains.

I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Fauci. He is an exemplary human being who deserves every rung on his career ladder. But I value his opinion as a physician, not as a politician. I do not disagree with the risks he presents, I disagree with the risks a government having total control presents.

So the bailouts/CARES act/HEROES act…let’s look at those. The CARES act provided $1200 to some families, plus $500 per kid or so. Unless you’re behind on child support. It also provided SBA loans that would turn to grants if you did not lay off your employees, but again, not if you’re behind on child support. Oh, and if you happen to live in a high cost of living area such as San Francisco or NYC, where a six figure salary can mean poverty, you don’t get anything either. So where did the majority of the funds from the CARES act go? You can read it here and many other sources. But basically a whole lot went to pet projects of the various politicians. Where did this money come from? You and your children. Although unlikely to actually be paid, it will instead manifest itself as inflation. But we’re not done. Our Federal Reserve has a lot of friends in the banking sector. What do those people have? Investments. When the economy faces collapse not only did the politicians nefariously make some trades, but they ensured that the man running the ship would not let these failing business do what they should–fail. Thanks to Jerome Powell’s Money Printer, the stock market has been profoundly manipulated. While those soon to retire may appreciate it, this again will set the stage for massive inflation, and gives those on the inside an ability to structure their assets in a way that we will socialize their losses. So regardless, ourselves and our children will be the ones to pay.

A lot of people die every day. Sometimes good, young people, and for no reason. Those who work in end of life, intensive care, cancer centers, hospice, and similar fields can tell you that is just how it is. While no doubt the COVID pandemic has killed many people, the response can never be that the government can solve this problem. In 1917 a very talented and well spoken individual by the name of Vladimir Lenin had an answer for the problems the society faced, and twenty years later his successor had enslaved a massive swath of the world and killed millions of dissidents. We live with this false notion that another Stalin or Hilter can’t exist, but it just isn’t true. Humans will be just as gullible today as they were only a hundred years ago for Russia, only 80 years ago for Germany. We watch this amplified in social media, where there is no penetration of either bubble. It can happen again, and I will argue that it can happen just as easily now as before. With the arsenal of surveillance that our agencies have it will only take one bad actor to fill the top with untouchables. And if we allow this apparatus unquestionable authority in the name of “safety” when we do not even know the true danger of our enemy, then we are only making it easy for the taking.

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

MARTIN NIEMÖLLER

I want to finish this article with the above quote, because this will hold true no matter the era. Those of us in family court who have been robbed of our families and our future already know that it can happen, and it happens on a massive scale daily. The only question is when, who is next–and who is last. We’re actively throwing away the very thing that had made this country a promise of something great to so many seeking relief from repression. And yet we are handing it on a silver platter to those who seek to take it away from us. We are human. Many of us will be killed by viruses, car accidents, diabetes, and afflictions of all sorts. Our government can help, but should never be allowed to utilize these trials of life to usurp authority, and shape the economy in favor of the oligarchs. As we allow these chips off our freedoms as we have with the Patriot Act. Stop the madness. Let nature take its course, it has a far better track record than authoritarian regimes.

Thank you to Anna for providing the header image used for this article.

The Case Against Marriage

What They Do Not Teach You in Pre-Marriage Counseling

First off, this is not a conspiracy theory. This is my life and that of tens of thousands if not more, I just happened to have documented it more thoroughly, and have done my best to attribute and support my assertions for this article. A skeptic myself, my attention would have been hard to grab with anything akin. Let’s start by looking at the odds. What has a 50% chance of failing, 15–30% chance of bankrupting you, a very real chance at making you want to commit suicide with many doing so regularly? Nope, we’re not talking about drugs! We’re talking about, you guessed it, marriage! A tradition born in a very different society, it has now been reshapen by the state into a social welfare program. While the touted tremendous benefits of marriage, such as a slight savings in car and health insurance might seem tempting, the reality is you can achieve nearly all the supposed benefits with a simple power of attorney or a contract. You can even be on the same health plan in most cases without being married if you cohabitate.

Though most have had some kind of sex education in school, few have any clue about the state of family law in the US and in fact, now in most of the world. Pre-marriage counseling in my case was the usual reiteration about not going to sleep angry, but let me tell you, that won’t mean much when you’re living in your car, your bank accounts frozen, your paycheck seized. But how can this be? What in the world happened? We’ll get to that shortly.

First, let’s look at this map:

If you are not in a dark blue 50% state, you are almost certainly going to lose your children in the divorce, no matter how much you spend, and no matter how evil the lower income spouse is. Maybe you’ll get lucky and the judge presiding over your case will care, but as someone who has been entrenched in this community for three years now, I can tell you that it is the exception. The biggest thing that gets factored in when it comes to the reality, is how much you make, and how much the state can collect in support. That’s right, how much the state can collect in support. You see, like-minded skeptical reader, when the Social Security Act was passed in the 1970’s, they inserted Title IV-D which basically reimburses the states nearly dollar for dollar for every penny they collect in support actions. In the 40+ years since, this has been perverted to such a degree that the states have hijacked the intent of the law (supporting the children,) and created their own laws around this which now skirt the constitution and civil rights in general. Why? Because they can use the federal incentive money on other budget shortfalls and pet projects. Debtors prisons outlawed? Not in family court. Accusations with no evidence? Not in family court, here you’re guilty until proven innocent. And if you can’t be proven innocent, then you’re just guilty. Never mind that it is impossible to prove a negative. Evidence? No need. Testimony is all that matters. Judges are the “fact finders,” their assertion of the truth trumps any recording you might have.

I am not a republican, I am not a libertarian, nor am I a liberal. I enjoy shooting on the weekends, think all races should have equal access to society, that public healthcare is better than private (I’ve lived under both) for most. I am a veteran who once was proud to serve his country. You don’t have to agree with me on all counts. But I think we all agree on the value of the constitution and its intent: Freedom of speech, trial by jury, innocent until proven guilty. But in family court this is not the case. Although not in the constitution, the Sherman Act of 1890 was established to prevent an entity from seizing full control over an aspect of the economy. But the states themselves have gotten around this by forming a vertical monopoly when it comes to funding itself. In the US the state writes the laws regarding custody and support and the formulas used to establish the amounts. The state then enforces it, and directly profits from it. Even in states that have been successful in establishing 50/50 custody guidelines, the higher earning spouse still has to pay child support to the other parent, frequently 30% of the difference in income in most states. Even Kentucky, which now has one of the most robust shared parenting bills, still has not addressed the issue of support properly. Child support has become a disease, a cancer. What was once a normally functioning part of an organism has turned rogue, and the immune system tasked with protection has itself been hijacked by a profit motive. Freedom of speech? Nope. I can’t use my real name here, because of a judicial order, as many of us are gag ordered. For me each court appearance includes a slip that bars anyone not a party to the case from entering. No witnesses to the corruption, except those powerless to change it, silenced by the courts.

Power corrupts, plain and simple. Once judges are elected they are almost impossible to get rid of short of a major controversy. Media will not touch them, politicians will not either, after all, you never know when it will be your turn in front of their bench. While not all corrupt and certainly none see themselves that way, many are emotionally fatigued and have Title IV-D quotas to fill as a part of their duty. The same politicians that help them with their election benefit directly from these added federal funds. As a result, they do what they want to do, and have judicial immunity in all but the most heinous of cases. But for simply ignoring a higher state or federal law and subsequently ruining you and your children’s lives, there is no punitive action you can take. Want to appeal that illegal order? No problem, $12,000-$50,000 and a 5% chance that the superior court will reverse it. That is if you’re right. Judicial complaint at the state level? In the trash. Want to represent pro-se because you don’t have the tens of thousands? Good luck, your 5% chance is now near zero percent. This is the state of things in America. We have allowed a family court industry, comprised of attorneys, judges (former attorneys,) so called “experts” to hijack the moniker of “what is best for the kids.” And while it is known by the medical/psychological community that the best thing for kids of divorced parents is a no-conflict shared parenting arrangement, this $50 billion a year industry has become so brazen that they will go on the record promoting the use of the “silver bullet” as well as clearly admit that they do not want to change the custody laws to maintain this source of revenue. In Pennsylvania an attempt to reform the law has been stalled, the hearing comprised mostly of attorneys and women’s rights groups who are afraid to lose the leverage the children provide, and the attorney fees from high conflict divorces.

Child’s Drawing During the Divorce

Now of course the democrat parents blame the republicans who passed Title IV-D so that the government doesn’t have to pay assistance to these fatherless families. But then you have democrats who have pushed the laws which allows almost any woman to get an order of protection with no evidence, colloquially known as “the silver bullet” which will almost certainly cause the father to lose custody. In the end, it is a bipartisan problem. The only real progress in the last several decades was president Obama signing into law provisions designed to limit incarceration, as prisons were becoming more and more full of fathers who cannot pay outlandish orders. But I can tell you from personal experience, the local judges will still rule to jail you until you can prove yourself innocent. There is no disincentive for them to act immorally and contrary to the law. There’s no scorecard kept, no punishment. So with that said, even if your future spouse seems like the perfect person, the risk is impossible to outweigh with the meager benefits of marriage. Most of us thought the same of our spouses and as we now know, they can hide this for years or simply exhibit it out of nowhere after pregnancy.

RIP Ken Paton — Facebook

I am the DAD that used to be, 
You were my world, and you loved me 
but mom said no, that’s how it has to be.

Love you forever and ever, 
but your mom stopped that cause she’s more clever.

I’ll see you on the other side, and for now I’ll swallow my pride, 
and do what I have to do, to make the world have a clue.

I am a Dad, YOU LOVED ME AND I LOVE YOU, 
but mom says we are not allowed to.

NO seeing each other, no being a dad, 
because that makes mommy really mad.

I hope you see this in due time, 
that what mom does is a crime.

Canadian Father’s Rights Movement

Some states such as California have gone even further. You might think you have a happy marriage for ten years to your sweetheart you’ve known since high school, but if you are in CA then it is possible for you to get hit with lifetime alimony. So at the age of thirty, your sweetheart you married at the age of 20 has a choice. Maybe you put on a few pounds, maybe its been rough for you the last few years, maybe you’ve grown apart. Now does she leave you while taking the kids and your paycheck, or stay married to the man you have become? Free pass to cheat, lie, steal, and do whatever nefarious things she wants. Maybe it will happen and maybe it won’t, but the law gives the judge the entirety of the discretion. They simply need not like you — no need to justify any legal basis to award it. Only if you appeal do they have to write an opinion, for which you’ll have the tens of thousands right?

Undoubtedly many might see this is as a men’s rights article, and though it disproportionately affects men, there are many women who are estranged from their families and children due to the same laws. Take the case of female physician who works sixty hours a week while her husband is a stay at home dad. Who do you think will get custody in a state that doesn’t do shared custody? There’s more than a small handful of women who are also alienated from their kids, it is real, and it happens. You just need to be at the wrong end of the luck equation, the tables already tilted against you when the interests of the state and the judge are to award custody to the parent with the smallest income.

Ten years ago I was completely unaware of this issue, and until the last few years was quiet about my divorce. But it was only when I began to speak out about it and share my story that I came to the stark realization just how many people have had their lives upended by this. Not just middle aged men, but their parents, new significant others, their children and the children who grow up in these broken, often fatherless homes. We worry about the COVID-19 deaths, a mere fraction compared to those who have lost their lives at their own hands, or at the hands of poverty, substance abuse, and disease resulting from the economic disadvantage or subsequent PTSD. We spend millions on lobbying gun control. And while events like Sandy Hook are beyond reproach, the sad reality is that many more children end their lives due to growing up in these broken homes, parents turned toxic by financial incentive. Many of these children die by their twenties, overdose on opiates to dull the pain. This has to stop somehow. For your sake and that of your children.

Before You Do ANYTHING

…read this first.

[Publisher’s Note: We are not attorneys nor should you consider this legal advice, just things that we’ve heard other parents say they wished they had done.]

It might have been years of torture, years of abuse, and despite everything you have tried it is still ongoing. No amount of marital therapy has fixed it, and it is getting worse by the day, more and more so in front of the children, who are now getting closer and closer to the day they will remember everything. You don’t want to leave them in that way. You beg and plead, try to reason, and are willing to give up and admit to anything just to get some peace in the house. Make any concession. But it doesn’t work. Nearly every night things are still back at square one, the only question is about what and where, not so much when. You start to understand it is over and you see an attorney. If you’re fortunate they will lay it out to you as it is, and you do some planning, but if you’re not, you’ll be given the false hope of fairness and justice. Do not fall for this trap. While occasionally some are fortunate and do make it out relatively unscathed, a larger percentage will end up far worse. Here are some terms and common traps. Consult a competent attorney for actual legal advice, but these are some things to consider when facing an abusive spouse likely to manipulate the process.

Do not disclose your intention to file for divorce.

Do not disclose when you are moving out.

Do not move out without the following:

  • Ample evidence of their behavior that is legally admissible.
  • Secure all financial documents and proof of assets.
  • Check for any siphoning of marital funds into other accounts.
  • Secure receipts for big ticket items.
  • Make some sort of a custody plan if you can. While a toxic ex will unlikely allow this to happen, make attempts via email so they can be clearly documented. In some states this will matter, in others it will not.
  • Do not allow the other parent to tell the children that you are moving out.
  • Do not move out if you can. Many states will treat this as abandonment, and it gives them the ability to say that you “ran out on the kids.”
  • If the other party is willing to leave (without the children) then let them.
  • If you move out, take the kids for overnights immediately. Until there is a custody order, the other party CANNOT keep you from your children.
  • Carry a recording device in case they want to try and falsify domestic violence reports. Disclose you have it going in a two party sate, make it plainly visible.
  • Tell your family and friends what is going on while it is happening. Do not allow the other person to get an edge up by painting you black before you have a chance to defend yourself.

The biggest takeaway here is that you will want to take the high road and not cause any more drama then warranted which is what is in fact–what is best for the kids. But if you are reading this then your cohort will likely not and you should be prepared for the worst. I would like to stress that not every divorce is like this but if you are here, the odds are that is where it is headed.

These are just some of the basics of how to stay away from the worst. Unfortunately many states allow for false domestic violence claims to be taken at face value (courtesy of VAWA) and once that happens you are facing a much bigger battle. The key is to be prepared ahead of time, that way should they choose to go that route you have their motive established in a legally admissible manner. It does not mean that a corrupt court will factor any of it in their decision, but it is the only thing that will stack the odds in your favor.

This Site Should Not Exist

Slavery and debtors prisons ended for most over a hundred years ago, all except one class–the alienated parent.

Since starting on this journey several years ago, I have come to find a wonderful community of others who have been wronged as I have, and those who seek to take advantage of the community by offering frivolous services and empty promises. Our mission is to ensure that the alienated, or soon to be alienated parent, is armed with the latest information to give them the best chance at being there for their children. Join us to help end the systemic corruption that serves only to divide families.